Monday, December 22, 2008

Dog Day Afternoon

It’s so cold today, that all six dogs are in here at once.

Plus the cats.


It’s special.

This is the first time Abbey has been inside with everyone. She’s been in “confinement” for awhile and we tried to bring her out last week, but there was a little too much interest on the part of the terriers (who have no…um…powers). So, even though Hokie was just happy to see his playmate back and didn’t appear to have any further…expectations…we figured we’d give it another week.

This coincides with a day Dirtman and Heir 1 actually have work, so they’re gone today. Naturally this is good news (or will be if we get paid. He’s actually done a few jobs over the past few months, but getting paid is another problem. But we won’t go there right now…), but it does leave me with major canine juggling to do since I can’t leave them outside. Not only is it too cold today, but I know that if a dog starts barking nonstop, we’ll get blamed because everyone in the village knows we’re the house with six dogs. (It’s already happened once, according to Dirtman. Fortunately our landlord/neighbor stuck up for us and informed the “complainant” that none of our dogs is ever outside at night.)

So I try to rotate the crating of said dogs so no one is stuck in there for a huge amount of time. Then there is the regular airing, which I’m doing in three groups: Topper, Zsa Zsa, Abbey; Hokie and Gaspode; Salt, Topper and Hokie. Topper has to be both the first and last out because he feels that’s his job.

This allows for tons of photo ops, but Dirtman took the camera with him to take picture of…well, I’m not quite sure. As much as I appreciate the income, working with septic systems does not afford a whole lot you want preserved visually.

I ask you, what’s cuter? This:

Or this:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Christmas Spirit

As most of you know, this Christmas didn't promise to be all that wonderful and I was sort of dreading the holidays -- all that forced joviality and focus on churning out seasonal wonderfulness. It seemed no matter how "frugal" the project, it entailed running to the store and buying something and we choose our expenses very carefully these days.

This year at some point I realized that our spirit was about the only thing we could always afford to ... um ... decorate. So that has been our focus.

I say this because Heir 2, having read my blog, came to me and said he felt readers were getting the wrong idea about the atmosphere around here. Because, in spite of the constant disasters that have been cropping up on a regular basis*, we're really a pretty jolly bunch for the most part.

Lately the focus has been on cookie baking and, fortunately, Heir 2 and Caisee have been on hand to help out in the decorating department. I'm afraid by the time it comes to the decorative cookies, the most I can muster in the way of artistic design amounts to shaking one color on every cookie.

We've been having pretty regular game nights, even on weekdays. Heir 2 and I love board games. Dirtman and Heir 1 -- too much focus required. So I made it a contingency that no one was allowed to eat Christmas cookies unless they play a game. Somehow this helped Dirtman's focus. Heir 1 -- not so much. But he's near by in the living room (this is a small house -- everywhere is near by) and pops in now and again and I even deign to give him a cookie.

And we attended Heir 2's Christmas ("Holiday") concert.

Guess which one is Heir 2...
Yeah, that's him with the Santa hat.
A true Linguini, through and through

*Today's disaster du jour is that Heir 1 hit a deer -- with his vehicle, I mean. He's fine. The deer? Not so much. His truck? Driveable...sigh.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A girl's best friend

No, not diamonds...


*Left on the pan after baking spritz cookies to accompany Heir 2 to a Christmas party.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

...And so it goes*

Anyone want to join me in a good laugh?

You know the kind -- a good, in-the-gut, knock your head back guffaw; a breathless, eye-watering, slap-your-thigh chortle; a maniacal, slightly disturbing, eye-popping cackle; a screeching wail that is a cross between a shriek and a yowl that might be heard from a wild animal...

The dryer went out. Permanently.

Isn't that a riot?

Yes, yes -- we've been hanging out our laundry. But do you know how long it takes clothes to dry hanging on a line outside in Virginia in December? And do you know what they feel like if you don't at least "finish them off" for a five-minute spin in the dryer? And do you know that it's supposed to rain all week long?

Anyone care to join me in a huge explosion of laughter, because you can? Because of me you can walk outside and know that a huge tank penetrating the wall between dimensions will not mow you down because the odds of that happening to anyone are one in infinity, but the odds of it happening here in Linguiniland are one in about three. Breath with relief knowing that if lightening is going to strike, it will strike here; if a hammer from the space station enters the earth's atmosphere, it will fall here in a fiery ball; if someone tells you "when hell freezes over," well -- you know now where to bring that side of beef.

So we've adjusted the way we refer to Heir 1. He is now the son that lives in the basement -- with the dogs -- and the wet laundry.

NOTE: We do have a gas dryer in storage that we will be using as soon as we can get a propane tank installed.

*One of the best taglines I've ever heard, courtesy of Linda Ellerbee.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wanted: One Two Bluebirds of Happiness

Every now and then the universe aligns itself with me. This is a rare occurrence that I believe resulted in my meeting Dirtman and receiving the Heirs as sons.

Another happy result of this once-in-a-blue-moon kismet is that when it is happening, if I wish for something, I get it.

So, during one of these serendipitous events I said, "I wish I had a bluebird house," knowing that even if I was able to go on line and figure out a way to make one, I didn't have the tools or scrap to make it out of nor the money to purchase it.

Readers of this blog know of my infatuation with birds in general but, more specifically, of my obsession with luring a bluebird family to my vicinity. I don't know why this is, I just do. I love the color of bluebirds and I find them...mmmm...I don't know...comforting.

I never really got to enjoy last year's bluebirds (I link this again for any newcomers. The rest of you are probably sick to death of this post. It's just my way of keeping it real.) and it looked like I was going to lose out this year also.

Fortunately, I have a woodworking father-in-law who took time out to not only build me one bluebird house, but two. And they're so adorable that I want to move into them.

Dirtman got them up in time so that maybe they'll be inhabited this year. I was going to decoratively paint the white one, but it was more important to get it up and un-human-smelling before it's time for the bluebirds to start scouting for nesting sites.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

My "Pony"*

See? This is what I mean by "just in time."

There I was yesterday, tottering on the brink of despair and then this:

Snow (which the lovely Zsa Zsa is demonstrating).

Okay, not a lot of it, but I remain hopeful (Yeah. I do. Still. I just won't learn...).

Please ignore the eye-rolling and gagging coming from certain readers of this blog.

*For explanation, see previous post.

Such a good girl!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Just kidding...but...(with disclaimer*)

Guess what?

This is going to be the best Christmas ever! I mean ever forever!

How do I know this?

Remember that old joke about the parents who had two kids, one a pessimist and one and optimist? And the pessimistic kid gets all kinds of terrific gifts and keeps predicting dire outcomes as a result of the gifts. And the optimistic kid keeps getting really crappy gifts and is really happy about them?

Remember the punch line?

The parents are amazed that the optimistic kid is still so happy after not only receiving lousy presents, but watching her ungrateful sibling get really great stuff and complaining about it. So they decide for Christmas to give the optimistic kid a huge box of – literally – crap. On Christmas morning, while the pessimistic kid is whining about all the really great gifts she gets, the optimistic kid opens her big box of crap.

The parents are incredulous as Miss Optimistic starts cheering and dancing around with joy.

Why, they ask, is she so happy when she just got a big box of crap?

Because, she says, this big box of manure means there must be a pony for her somewhere!

So here I wait, with my big box of crap, for my pony.

*Things are by no means bleak around here, trust me. We Linguinis are not that shallow and are, by nature, a scrappy bunch that would never let a little thing such as TWWTNTTAA (That Which We Try Not To Talk About Anymore) spoil our good time. And I would be remiss if I didn't point out the numerous "just-in-the-nick-of-time" blessings that have rained down upon us, even in the past few days. But lately even the most optimistic people I know are e-mailing me amazed how so much bad juju has been floating around us lately, almost to the point that even I have to admit it's funny -- or will be.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I stand corrected (Really...I'm standing)

Just popping in -- all is well and I have to officially post that the Heirs took care of the pile of dishes (since they created most of it...) last night when we finally got our sink back.

The bad news is that it didn't take long to replace it.


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Here we go again...

Hey, Sisiggy! What is this week's catastrophe!?

This week, Boys and Girls, we're without a kitchen sink!


And guess what, Kids?!

What, Sisiggy?!

When you don't have a sink, the dishes don't stop piling up!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Can you see that Sisiggy is having a bad day week month year life? Can you see that Sisiggy has had quite enough of this crap? Can you see that Sisiggy has lost complete sight of her freakin' HAPPY PLACE?

Oh, look at the time...

Because Sisiggy, Boys and Girls, knows that as soon as the sink is fixed, she's going to spend the next day and a half washing and drying all the stinkin' dishes from all over the house because PEOPLE... KEEP... EATING.

...Uh, gotta go, Sisiggy...


Monday, December 01, 2008

I'm not dead yet...I'm feeling much better (think I'll go for a walk...)

I try not to talk about medical issues here on the blog. The reason for this is two-fold, the first being the very obvious reason of it being extremely boring to listen to someone go on and on about that kind of thing.

The other reason is that I think you can talk yourself sick – or write yourself sick, in this case. You draw it to you, so to speak; give your illness all your energy.

I’m breaking my own rule for one reason only: turns out I’m not sick.

See, the thing is, truth to tell (that I didn’t tell my family), I thought – no, I was sure – that when I went to the doctor for the first time in two years, he was going to find I had one or all of the following:

Minor heart attack(s)
High blood pressure

Of course he found what he’d already found: My thyroid doesn’t function and, as it turns out, you really, really need your thyroid and should never stop taking your meds even if, say, your prescription runs out but you no longer have health insurance so you can’t afford to go to the doctor to get it refilled because you are afraid that even if you can afford to pay for the visit, if that doctor finds anything else wrong, when you do want to get insurance they won’t cover something that is a “pre-existing condition.” Turns out you shouldn’t do that because a non-functioning thyroid can lead to symptoms that lead you to believe you’ve had a minor heart attack, hypoglycemia, osteoporosis, high blood pressure or diabetes.

The other thing I learned was that there is a reason why Primatene Mist is being pulled off the market and should never be used as a substitute for your regular asthma medication, even if, say, your prescription runs out but you no longer have health insurance, etc.

So, other than the thyroid and the asthma, both of which are nothing new, I’m strong like bull – or I will be once the thyroid meds kick in. Don’t ask me how I managed to get through this year and still have normal blood pressure.

Probably all that steel-cut oatmeal.

Anyway, I’m doin’ a happy dance tonight and looking forward to, now that I’ve got my asthma meds, sleeping laying down rather than propped up.

End of medical post. As you were.

We interrupt this blog for a moment of geekiness

Okay -- if you are reading this on the night it's posted and you live in the northern hemisphere and the sky is clear, go outside this instant and look at the crescent moon. There should be two "stars" right next to it.

The brightest is Jupiter and the other is Venus.

Is that cool or what?