November 29, 2010

Gross Out Story of the Day

I had gone to a nearby town for an appointment and to run a few errands. It was lunchtime when I got out of the appointment. I was starving and still had a few errands before heading home, so I stopped at a Subway restaurant across the street and got a sandwich to go.

After eating 3/4 of the sandwich, I looked down at the napkin on my lap, and there was a used band aid. It was stuck together on the ends, like it had been circled around someone's finger. I thought back and no, the woman making my sandwich did not have on gloves.

Blech! So much for a healthy lunch. I hope the Pepsi I drank with it kills germs.

Until next time, may you have blessings and a surprise-free lunch,

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful day.  Mine was good.  Very non-traditional, in fact, very non-Thanksgiving.  Hubby and I were supposed to meet Brownie at my mother's house last weekend, and Mom cancelled it.  My in-laws are having Thanksgiving at Brother Bear's house on Saturday.  So Hubby and I had the day off today.  I was really looking forward to it.  Didn't have to cook, didn't have to clean up, didn't have to make plans around anyone's schedule; a mini vacation where we could do anything we wanted to do, whenever we wanted to do it.  We planned to go geocaching.  We'd never done it before, but it sounded like fun.

Then the day began cold, windy, and rainy.  Hubby talked to his parents and they wanted to go out to eat lunch with us.  I hate to say it, but that just about killed the day for me.  Making plans wasn't on my plan of the day, and making plans to eat out on Thanksgiving Day really wasn't on my plan.  I suggested that if we were finished with our geocaching by dinner time (that's supper time to most Southerners), that we would call and see if they wanted to meet somewhere.  I knew from experience that the lines would be long for lunch.  As it turned out, we decided not to meet for lunch and Hubby and I took off.

What I found out about geocaching is that we really stink at it.  There was one that said it was off the road on a little used country road.  There WAS no other country road at the location.  There were tire tracks through someone's field, but I didn't think that could be it.  Hubby thought it was.  He tromped through the mud and poison ivy and never did find anything.  Then we drove on to the next one that promised to be easy.  The rain began pouring as we got to it, and even when it let up a bit, we couldn't find anything.

Then we went to one where the location was listed.  Surely that one would be easy.  Nope.  Couldn't find it.  So we went home.  While there, I looked through the list again to see if there were any clues we missed.  I also saw another one at the cemetery near me.  I walk there quite often and thought I recognized the name on the title of the cache.  So I cheated and looked up the name on findagrave, and saw that the cache name was the picture engraved on the headstone.  So we hopped in the car and went to the cemetery, found the headstone, and then began looking for nearby hiding places.  Hubby found it fairly quickly.  I guess that wasn't totally cheating since Hubby did use the GPS to hone in on the exact location.  But at least we finally found one. Victory!

And an update on the home front.  I put the sixth and final coat of varnish on the kitchen sink cabinet yesterday.  Don't be too impressed, they were thin coats because I put them on with a cloth.  Probably equivalent to two or three brushed coats, and much smoother.  While I had the varnish out, I thought I might as well put a few coats on the bathroom cabinet that only had gel finish.  Hubby was none too pleased about having the kitchen and the master bathroom out of commission at the same time.  And the bathroom cabinet took forever to dry.  Our humidity level hovered between 70 and 80 percent during that time, and it took two days for one coat to dry even with a fan and the dehumidifier running.  The kitchen cabinets dried much faster.  Have no idea why.

So now we are ready to put the new dishwasher in.  The cabinets are darker, and with more red than the bathroom cabinets, even though it is the same stain.  I'm not sure I like it, but Hubby does.  Oh well.  I know how to redo it if I can't live with it.  I still want to keep the tile, and put colorant on the grout.  But I am going to hold off until the dining addition is done, if it ever gets done.

The cat is friendly one day, and standoffish the next.  He wants in, but then he won't come in.  He is also scratching the deck.  Not a good thing, and I'm going to see if I can make an easy scratching post.  He also won't sleep in the dog house, even with his blanket in there.  I don't know where he goes when it's raining.  I checked under his favorite bush last night and he wasn't there, and he didn't come when I called.  I guess he is roaming after all.

Until next time, may you have blessings and victories,

November 20, 2010

What a Day.

This is just a mishmash of things that happened today.

I want to start with a product review.  Ok, maybe not a product review, because I don't know the name of this thing.  So it's a thing review.

Brownie gave me this thing for my birthday.  It's like a flyswatter on steroids.

She got it for me because I love tennis, and I thought it was one of those novelty items that would never work.  But it does.  It works like a bugzapper when you press two little buttons on the handle.  The "strings" just have to touch the bug and it's a goner.

Just two words of warning.  No, more than two words - two warnings.

First, once you zap the bug, release the buttons.  If the bug remains on the wires while the buttons are held down, it will continue to fry, and trust me, that smell is bad.

Second, don't use this in front of other people unless you want to be the star of a comedy on youtube.  Bugs that bob along the ceiling are hard to hit and this isn't as limber as a flyswatter, so there is a lot of swatting at nothing.  However, if you buy this for someone else, be sure you bring your video camera the first time they use it.


Update on the cat.

He is doing fine.  I don't think he's left the yard since Thursday.  Today he even let me pick him up, carry him around, and put him in my lap.  If he is trying to get me to let down my guard, it's working.  He is still trying to spray though.  We put some blankets on the deck and he slept there a couple of nights, and tonight I moved them to the "dog room" inside the shed.  I don't know if he will sleep there though.  (Hubby assured me the dogs have been gone long enough that there is no dog smell there to bother the cat.)

Hubby, who has never been a cat lover, has been seen feeding choice pieces of chicken to the cat AFTER he told me the chicken was for us, not the cat.  


What we did today.

Is there something in Murphy's law that when something bad happens, it should be at an inconvenient time and place?

We were supposed to have a day out today, but that didn't happen.  While Hubby mumbled and grumbled doing plumbing, I escaped to the garage to work on picture frames for Brownie.    We made two trips to Big Orange and then Hubby needed another plumbing something-or-other, and we thought we'd throw some business Big Blue's way too.

A couple of months ago, our dishwasher became just an expensive dish drainer.  It had been leaking around the door quite a while before I noticed.  Yeah, I'm that observant.  I didn't really want to replace it until the kitchen makeover was done so I've just been doing dishes by hand.  I really hate doing dishes by hand.  My hands hate doing dishes by hand.  Even with hand lotion by the sink and by the bed, my hands are always dry and cracked.  So this week, we gave up waiting and bought a new one.

Last night, Hubby pulled the old one out.   Then there was a mini flood when it leaked all over the floor, but after we got that cleaned up, we saw that the old one had leaked so long that it had taken the finish off the cabinet beside it, stain and all.  Years of abuse had done a number on the sink cabinet finish also, so I decided to refinish the cabinets around the dishwasher now and do the rest later.  Not the best plan, but then Murphy never gives much notice.

Oh and if you noticed that there is no tile in the dishwasher opening, I've got the tile to do that too.

I didn't remember to take a picture before I started sanding, but it was only a little less bad than this:

This is the pantry to the left of the dishwasher. The bottom corner is where the water dripped out of the dishwasher.

With so much of the bare wood showing, I wasn't sure the gel stain would cover evenly, so I did a trial run on the inside of the dishwasher hole where it won't show later.  It was a little darker in those areas, but the color was the same.  That's a good thing when trying to cover 1980's orange-y oak.
After one coat of gel stain:

And this is the sink cabinet to the right of the dishwasher.  It has also been sanded.

I was going to paint inside the sink cabinet before I stained the outside, but it is still too wet and I don't want to seal moisture inside. The bowl is there just in case the new line drips. So far, so good.

With one coat of gel stain:

Just last week I was thinking of getting rid of the dehumidifier because we hadn't used it in such a long time.  I sure am glad I didn't!  It's getting quite a workout drying this cabinet, and I hope it will make the stain dry faster too.


And last, our find of the day.  We started the day giving away our old dishwasher on craig's list.  It was claimed by an appliance repairman who thought he could fix it easily.  We ended the day with a free desk.

As we were driving home from our third trip for plumbing parts, we saw the desk in someone's yard with a FREE sign on it.  Didn't look bad, so when we got home, we jumped into the beastmobile, and headed back to get it - if it was still there.  It was, and here it is:

It's not perfect of course, or it wouldn't have been free.  Probably the reason they were getting rid of it was from water damage, of all things!  It's a Bassett desk, but don't be too impressed, it's made of MDF with a thin veneer, not even hardwood on the stiles.  So no surprise that a little water did this to it:

I think we can replace that board and then paint or refinish the desk.

Until next time, may you have blessings and projects to keep you busy,

November 18, 2010

Cat Update

Hubby and I were both in shock this morning. Hubby opened the garage door and then got out of the way before opening the pet carrier door. But the cat didn't make his bolt for freedom. He sat in the crate for a minute, then walked out, stretched, and sauntered out the garage door like he does this every day. Then he began meowing for breakfast. His morning meow is loud and sounds just like he is saying "Now!" He seemed really glad to see both of us, and was really hungry. He has come every time I've walked out the door; he's so sweet, rubbing my legs and wanting to be petted. I think he really likes us...whaaa... How did you get in here? What are you doing, cat?  Why are you crouching and snarling! Helpppppppp........

Gimmee dat kumputer! Yew r telling dis all wrong yew brainless 2 leg. Now git dis strate. I am not sweet! An my name is NOT da cat. It is da King. Seems ta me at 1 time my name mite huv ben Pierre, and fer awhile it wuz Scat, but fer da last few years I huv been da King, an don't nobody fergit it. Dere ain't no Alpha Dogs on dis block, only an Alpha cat, an I'm it. I'm da King here an all whut live here r my subjects.

Now dat we got dat settled, lemme tell whut really happened yisturday. I think I'm gettin da hang of dis here kumputer now.

I got up at dawn as usual an headed over to da young 2 legs house. Dey leave early an fill up da breakfust bowl round daybreak. It wuz empty, dadblast those 2 legs. Den I went down to da barn house cuz dey always fill da bowls at night. Dey wuz empty too. Now I wuz a gittin ticked. Next I went over to that yappy leetle pomeranian's house. Those 2 legs don't get up early anymore an that bowl wuz empty too. I's so hungry I didn't think I culd make it to da shepherd's house, but I did. Empty bowl dere too.

By den it wuz bout time fer da tall 2 leg to finish hiz breakfust an gimmee da milk. Sometimes I have to call fer it, an yes I AM sayin "NOW", ya numskull. Can't ya understand simple English? He came to da door an yew know whut he done? He put down an empty bowl!!!

Wull, that wuz jist da last straw an I left. I went to da house of one of my girlfriends' way down da road hoping that crowd she runs with might have dropped some crumbs on da porch. Nuttin. I looked in her window an could see her bowl filled with da dry stuff. I hate da dry stuff but I woulda eaten it then. I called an called fer her but one a those 2 legs opened da door an threw water at me! I left, an could see her watchin me from da window. This is my only picture of her. Aint she purty?

When I wuz a-leavin her place, I got a whiff of fish, tuna I believe. Finally, someone with a little sense was going to feed their king. It was da house of da tall and short 2 legs, Mutt and Jeff I call em. Jeff must be awake now. She has a speech impediment that pert near drives me crazy.  It sounds a lot like da sound the-monster-that-makes-da-grass-short makes when it goes over a rock.  It seems to stop when she sees me, so I went to help her.  I smelled tuna but it was on a shelf I couldn't reach. Why in tarnation would she do that? I called an she came to da door carryin my bowl. Weren't much in there, but I wuz hungry, so I took a bite. Yuck! I've tasted bad tuna in my time, but this was the wurst! Still, it was food, so I took another bite. Blech! It was awful, bitter stuff. I decided I'd eat grass rather than eat that stuff, but Jeff was petting me, and it felt good so I stayed for a minute. I dont' think she has ever petted me that long before, and it brought back a happy memory from my kittenhood, so I stayed, even though I was starving.

Then Jeff went into da house and left da door open. I poked my head in just to see iffin she was getting something better to eat. She was. She got some turkey. I luv turkey. Luv, luv, luv. Then she went an wiped some of that rotten tuna on it. Still, it was better than nuttin, so I ate it. Wasn't bad except the part that had da tuna stuff on it. Then she sat on the floor and started petting me again. I was feeling really funny, like I was drifting in the wind. Then it was hard to keep walking, but I didn't want her to stop petting me. I wasn't feeling right and knew I had to get outta there. But she followed me out da door and then picked me up. I wanted to reach around and bite her but I just didn't have the energy.

Then Mutt came over and they took me into the garage. I don't like the garage. There's a cage in there. I have bad memories of cages. Mutt and Jeff were talking, looking at their watches, putting on gloves, and petting me. I rubbed against the cage. It felt good and I hadn't seen it before, so I looked in. Before I knew it, they were pushing me into the cage and even though I used my finely honed claws on them, it didn't faze them at all. I was trapped. I looked around and there was a little opening in the side. I lunged for it. My head went through but I couldn't get my shoulders through. I backed out to get a running jump on it, and Mutt slammed the gate on the little opening. Then, he picked up the cage and put me in the big white box on wheels.

These 2 legs are so weak they can't go anywhere without their boxes on wheels. That's why I am the King and they are mere subjects. I despise 2 legs; they don't have the strength and endurance to survive on their own, but as their king, it is my duty to train them.

The white box was surprisingly comfortable, and I was beginning to nod off when we finally came to a stop. Jeff picked up the cage and carried it into another building.  I knew from the smell that it wasn't a good place and I mustered all my energy to give them a roar that told them that I was their king. They ignored me. Then Jeff left me there surrounded by the enemy.

A 2 leg in a white coat came over and made the cage smaller and smaller until I was squeezed between the walls and couldn't move. A sharp pain in my neck and the next thing I knew, I was back in Mutt and Jeff's garage. I was in a different cage, and it was warm and dark. I heard Jeff's voice and the darkness lifted while she opened the gate. This was my chance to escape but I couldn't move my legs. I saw her hand coming in and tried to catch it with my teeth, but I missed. She straightened out my neck and I drifted off in the darkness again.

The next time I awoke, I was alone in the dark and I had a pain in my bum. Must have been when they pushed me into that cage. I heard Jeff come into the garage and I started crying. I hated myself for this weakness but I couldn't stop. What was wrong with me! She spoke to me in a soothing voice and she poked a straw through the cage and then let some water run out. Then she dropped an ice cube into my cage. What?!!! Was she trying to drown me, a teaspoon at a time? I vowed to myself that I would get even, no matter how long it took. I knew I should go to work on the cage, but I couldn't see where the openings were in the dark. Instead, I plotted my revenge on the 2 legs. Even prisoners get a potty break eventually.

I woke up this morning feeling refreshed. My bum is still a little sore, but it was probably the best night's sleep I've had in years. No matter, I will not be weak. I will get my revenge. I've got it all figured out. I'll hang around all day watching them, pretend to be nice to them until they let down their defenses, and then I'll attack. They'll never know what hit them. But I just don't feel like it right now. I don't know why, but I don't even feel like seeing any of my girlfriends. I need to beat up that great dane again, but not today.  Right now I just want to eat, sleep, and sing a little soprano.

Until next time when I will own this computer, may you be obedient,
The King

November 17, 2010

When Plan B Fails

I thought the only problem with Plan B is that the cat might not show up this morning. He did show up but when he didn't get fed right away, he left to visit the next home on his route. What he didn't know is that I called all my neighbors and asked them not to leave food out yesterday or this morning. Still, I had to call and call until I'm sure the neighbors thought there was a hyena caught in a bear trap over here, and I opened a can of tuna and walked up and down the driveway letting its fragrance waft in the breeze. Then, he came back.

But the reason Plan B failed is because I didn't consider the possibility that the cat might not like the taste of pill-flavored tuna. He took a bite or two and refused to eat any more. I continued to pet him and noticed that he was losing his balance as he rubbed against the edge of the door. His eyes were glazing over but he wouldn't lay down. He walked through the bowl of tuna and then wobbled and I picked him up. He tensed a bit, but I sat on the floor and held him in my lap, petting him and telling him he was getting sleepy. Hypnotism isn't as easy as it looks on tv because he didn't fall for it. But now that I had tuna smeared all over me, he liked me a lot better.

He wanted to leave. Cat instinct is to find a hiding place when they don't feel right, I guess. Time was running out and Hubby came up with Plan C. We both put on leather gloves (mine were embroidered red suede with fleece lining) and took him into the garage and shut the door. He was not happy about that, but I kept petting him. Hubby opened the squeeze cage the vet loaned us. Cat rubbed against the cage, and stuck his head in.

"It's now or never," Hubby said, and we both shoved him in and shut the cage door. The cat immediately started looking for a way out and found an opening. It was a little window type thing and the wire door was open. He got his head through it and tried to push through. Luckily, he has been eating really well lately, and couldn't get the rest of his fat self through. When he pulled his head back in to regroup, Hubby shut the window.

He clawed and bit the cage all the way to the vet's office. I was prepared to stop and jump out of the car if the cat got out. When I walked in the vet's office door with him, he began a blood-curdling growling meow. The vet looked at him and told me that instead of picking him up this afternoon, I should come back in an hour while he was still sedated. I wished them luck and God rest their souls if the cat escaped that cage.

An hour later, I brought back a bigger pet carrier and the vet carried him out of the recovery room to put him in the cage. The cat was completely stiff, tail straight out, legs pointing straight up. Stiff! I stared in horror and thought the vet had given him the big send off instead of the little snip snip. But apparently stiff cat syndrome is not uncommon after surgery.

Now the cat is coming out of the anesthesia and I am supposed to check on him to make sure he doesn't fall on his face and suffocate. I just looked in on him, and he had moved. I opened the cage to readjust him, and he tried to bite me. This is one unhappy cat. If I have to move him again, I may just have to tilt the cage.

Sorry about the poor quality picture. My camera doesn't do well in low light and I didn't want to further traumatize the cat with the flash.

Update: It is now late afternoon and the cat seems to be completely alert. And unhappy. Long, mournful meows when I check on him. We're keeping the cage covered so he won't hurt himself trying to get out through the wire openings. Hey, it works for birds. This cat has deep-seated confinement issues.

Until next time, may you have blessings and strong cages,

(Part three of this story here.)

November 16, 2010

Countdown to Operation: Cat

Or cat operation, whichever you prefer.

This is the cat. He has been hanging around our neighborhood for a couple of years, dumped most likely by someone who got tired of him hanging around their neighborhood. Until the last few months, we've never had more than a glance at him. He hides in the bushes and only comes out to go from one hiding place to another. Many times he is missing patches of hair and covered in big, scabby wounds. Once he was hit by a car and limped for a month or more, but then recovered on his own. That was at a time when he wouldn't let anyone near him.

But then Maggie moved in with her female cat, and this cat began to change. He started sleeping on Maggie's porch, eating her cat's food, and even let Maggie pet his head. Maggie didn't want him hanging around her house and shooed him away every day, so he still roamed the neighborhood, getting in fights with both dogs and cats. But we started leaving out food also, and eventually, he let us pet his head too. I didn't want him either, but there didn't seem to be any way to get him to go away, so we just decided to let him be.

Doesn't he look nice? He's not. He can be, but he can also go from purring to slashing in a second. Whoever feeds or pets him has to have really fast reflexes to avoid the claws. He also sprays - the house, the shrubs, the patio furniture. Everything. That was the last straw for me. I decided that if he was going to stick around, he had to be fixed.

He is not an adoptable cat because of this aggressive behavior, so we wouldn't take him to the SPCA even if we could catch him, which we can't. We've tried. He is very wary of cages; in fact, he is wary of everything. Any sudden move or noise and he takes off like a shot. He did come in the house one time (there was food involved), and he was fine until I closed the door.

The neighbors across the street call him Tom, not because he is a tom cat, but from the cartoon Tom.
Hubby wanted to name him Socks and still calls him Socks sometimes. I call him the cat when I'm talking to other people, but I call him Kitty to his face. Tomorrow, the cat will probably call himself the victim.

Not that he cares what anyone calls him; he doesn't come to any of those names. He comes to KittyKittyKittyKittyKitty using a hyena-like voice. That means food. He comes to food and nothing else.

He's really a pretty worthless cat. Won't catch rats, mice, or birds. I saw him watch a rabbit hop by him and while he looked with interest, he didn't move. He doesn't play with leaves, or strings, or crickets, or any of the things other cats normally chase. He's just lazy. I don't know how he survived so long on his own until we started feeding him. He was much thinner then too.

So, that brings me to Operation: Cat

I called the vet last week, told him of our failure to catch said cat, and asked for Plan B. This vet always has a Plan B. This is the plan.

Today, at 1700, I pick up a cat tranquilizer from the vet.
Tomorrow, at 0700, I start the kitty call.
At 0800, I crush the pill and mix it with a teaspoon of tuna.
At 0805, I pet the cat (so he won't leave) until he falls asleep.
At 0900, I slip the unconscious cat into a pet carrier and take him to the vet.
At 1100, the vet gives him a rabies shot, and a quick snip, snip.
At 1400, I pick up the cat and take him home and get him out of the carrier before he awakes.
At 1500, the cat stops spraying and starts singing soprano.

The success of Plan B hinges on the reliability of a stray cat to show up in the morning.

Wish us luck.

Until next time, may you have blessings and sweet kitties,

(Part Two of this story here.)

November 15, 2010

Embarrassment Proof

Having kids is a lot of work, a lot of frustration, and a lot of expense. One odd benefit though is that they make parents embarrassment proof. Our first little precious began insulating me against embarrassment the first time she threw up on me in public. I'm sure my face was beet red as I hurried us to the car to go home. The second time, it was probably also a shade of red as I went to the restroom to try to clean up. The third time, I just sat where I was and wiped it up with another diaper. Our second little precious didn't throw up on me in public; her diaper leaked, and it wasn't pee. I was mortified, as we were at a party and people were eating. And it reeked. After that, I could stand in line at a store with a kid in a smelly diaper, wear projectile vomit like an embroidered design, and clean up assorted bodily fluids without gagging. Much. But now the kids are grown and gone and I haven't had my embarrassment shield tested in awhile.

Until this weekend. Hubby's brother stopped by to help us move the washer and dryer (again), but he wanted to stop off at the bathroom first. As he left, I mentally went over the laundry I'd hung to dry in that bathroom. Just jeans and bath mats, I'm good. After he left, I continued doing laundry, walked into that bathroom, and THEN I remembered I had been sorting laundry on the floor - jeans and underwear. Oh well, nothing he hasn't seen before.

But there's more.

The last time Lil was home, she went shopping and found the perfect bra to make her very slim figure more rounded (if you get my drift), but they only had one. She gave me the tag and asked me to get another sometime. I lost the tag, but I did find one I thought was it. I called her to compare numbers and took it into the room with the brightest light, the guest bathroom. And there it lay on the counter, in all it's rounded glory. *sigh* Oh well, once again, nothing he hasn't seen before. Except he probably thought it was mine.

Until next time, may you have blessings and a bulletproof embarrassment shield,

November 12, 2010

Cheap Pictures

Hi all, I know it's been awhile since I've updated the ol' blog. I wish I could say it's because I've been so busy getting things done, but the truth is that I've been down in the dumps. Hubby has been away on his annual hunting trip and I just don't do well when he is gone. I did get some stuff done though. I was determined to get something finished while he was gone and that one thing was the bathroom. The construction has been finished for awhile, but a room just isn't finished until it has some art on the walls. I spent so much money on getting another piece framed that I needed something cheap for this room.

Remember this picture I found at a thrift store?

Changed to this:

Total cost $8.00

I don't have a before of the next two pictures. They were frames my neighbor gave me. I just painted them, added mats and printed photos of my dogs.

Total cost $3.50.

Until next time, may you have blessings and simple projects,