Sunday, February 17, 2008

our second home...

How do you know when you've spent too much time at the Home Depot lately?

Sales people say this to you, "Next Sunday, can you bring me a tall, soy latte with a shot of caramel?"

Or, "You're finally buying something? You've only been coming here every Sunday for the past five weeks, looking."

Yes, we finally bit the bullet on our bathroom remodel. We had one shopping cart, and two large platform carts filled to the brim today. Didn't think about how much we were buying until we got to Jeff's truck, and then questioned whether it would all fit. It did, and now has a new home in our basement.

Thanks to all our friends at the Depot. I'm sure we will be seeing you again soon. We'll try and remember to bring you Starbucks.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

gotcha day!

Recently, I read an article about a couple who adopted a child. Yes, they celebrated the child's birthday, but they also celebrated the anniversary of the day they brought the child into their home. They called it, "Gotcha Day".

When I read that, I thought of my dogs (as I often do when I read stories about children). Seems silly to celebrate my dogs' birthdays, when I had nothing to do with that day. Gotcha Day makes more sense. I could never forget the day each dog came into my life, and it does seem cause for a celebration of some sort.

Exactly one year ago, Jeff and I made the ride out to Rochester to pick up baby Oreo. What an adventure! The drive there was three hours of anticipation. Will he like us? Will we like him? Will he be like Munchkin? Will he be easy to train, or will he tear the house up?

Finally, we got to see him for the first time, along with 6 other puppies, and numerous grown shelties. The puppies all greeted us at the door, and I have never seen a cuter sight. The adult shelties looked curiously at us through the sliding glass door on the deck. I could have stayed there for hours watching the puppies tear around the kitchen and receiving licks and snuggles from the adult shelties. Still, I was anxious to get my baby home.

Oreo stayed awake the whole ride home. He cuddled up in my jacket and tried to crawl up the sleeve. I let him drink out of the cap of my water bottle. It was the perfect size for his little tongue.

Finally, he was home. I can still remember the sound of his little paws on the floor, his ears bopping up and down as he walked, and us having to shuffle our feet so we wouldn't step on him by mistake.

How our lives have changed in one year! I went from a house with two slow moving, old dogs, to one with two lively, playful, fiesty dogs! Oreo brought the puppy back in Misty, and a whole lot of energy into our house. Here's to many more "Gotcha Days"!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

rafter of turkeys

My editor in chief informed me that a group of turkeys is called a "rafter".

Why did the rafter cross the road?

To get to the other side. Quick before a car comes!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

too many choices

Haven't found the time (energy) to blog for awhile. Jeff and I are making plans to gut our bathroom, and I've spent a lot of time searching the web and the Depot for all sorts of fixtures, tile, tubs etc. It is amazing how many choices there are for everything from vanities to exhaust fans to faucets. Not to mention paint colors! I thought I had the perfect tub picked out, until my mom mentioned that I should make sure it's not too tall and difficult to get in and out of. Turns out it was 20 inches high! That's quite a step for a short lady. Back to square one. It is all very overwhelming, stressful, and the work hasn't even begun. Being we have only one bathroom, it is sure to be a major inconveinence. We even toyed, albeit briefly, with the idea of adding on a second bathroom, so we could redo this one!

The rest of my time is spent keeping Oreo busy and occupied. When I have spent too much time searching the web, Oreo will sit by the back door, growl and complain until I pay attention to him. Oreo has been working on his agility everyday. He even ran through all his obstacles once, without me telling him to. I though that was pretty cool. Misty can be a distraction at times. She starts running along beside Oreo while I'm shouting commands, and tries to get Oreo to play with her. I want him to do his weave poles, but he'd rather run away from Misty. As long as they're having fun and getting exercise, I don't mind. I guess it is their version of picking out bathroom fixtures - run thru the tunnel or behind the garden or bark at the neighbors or dig a hole? What's a dog to do? So many choices.

Misty has been barking obsessively out the picture window all afternoon. I kept looking out, and saw nothing. No one is walking by, no one is in our driveway, no car has driven off the road (at least for today, friday there were three victims). Finally, I see movement in the woods across the street and realize what is bothering her. I pull out the binoculars. There is a gaggle? flock? herd? of at least fifteen turkeys walking around. Boy, they are big birds. I wonder what kind of choices they have to make.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Voter suppression?

For the past 13 years, my polling place has been a local church basement. I have always questioned why I was voting in a church. Seems to me a violation of separation of church and state. I never complained, as it is close and convienent.

A few weeks ago, I got a card in the mail saying my polling place had been changed. I was now to vote in the old school building, which holds our miniscule library and town offices.

Yesterday, I went to vote, and return some library books. The library is at one end of the school and the town court and offices are at the opposite end. I saw lots of cars parked near the court end of the building, and saw people going in that door to vote. I decided to park at the library end, return my books, and then make my way down the long corridor to vote.

I walked and I walked. Peeking in rooms to see if there were voting machines in them. Nothing.

I got almost to the end of the building and saw a sign that said the polling place was in the gym. I had no idea where the gym was located, nor would anyone else who had moved into the town in the last thirty years or so, when the school was closed.

I met up with a couple of senior ladies, who came in the door. I asked them if they knew where the gym was. They did, and said it was at the opposite end by the library and then around the corner. They were annoyed that they had used that door to enter, and now had a long walk ahead of them.

I made it to the gym and voted, before the two ladies even made it halfway to the gym. I felt bad for them, and now they would have the long walk back to their car.

I came home annoyed. I thought, how many people just gave up on voting, when they couldn't find the polling place? I know I was close to that point.

I told Jeff about it, and he thought I should call the news stations. He said they would love to do a story on voter suppression.

I hadn't thought of it as voter suppression, but now I understand how easily people can be persuaded not to vote, even when they want to.

I didn't call the news, but I did call the board of elections. All I asked for were some signs with arrows pointing people in the right direction, and maybe a sign that said, "Polling Place". Doesn't seem like rocket science.

They said that they would let the commissioner know, and hopefully have it corrected by November.

We'll see.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

ice storm

Our backyard is now an ice skating rink. We had an ice storm and still no day off from school! It is so frustrating.

The dogs are struggling to pee and poop, since they can't get their footing on the ice. They're not able to run, chase, or do agility outside. It is hard just to walk.

When Oreo went outside for the first time after the storm, he just stood there, not knowing what to do. Misty started walking along the side of the house, where it is easier to get traction under the eaves of the house. She may be smarter than I orginally thought. Oreo immediately followed her lead. Misty walked along the perimeter of the whole yard, and was able to make it up the steep path behind the garden. Oreo tried and tried, but he kept sliding back down the hill, defeated. That is his favorite spot in the yard. He had to settle for rummaging around my garden.
I put down ice melt in the whole backyard (never done that before), and it says it's safe for lawns. Hopefully, that speeds the melting up a bit. Of course, then the mud pit will be back.
Both dogs seem a little depressed today, being stuck in the house.

I'm cooking lamb for dinner - maybe that will cheer them up. They are sheepdogs.