Not nearly enough snow…

Again, I love snow.  I am in full glory when we get 12+ inches.  Over the weekend we got big snow on Saturday and then a couple more inches on Sunday.  Good times.

Here is Rummy, enjoy the fresh snow Saturday morning:


I thought that S should wait to dig us out until after the snow stopped, but she had other ideas.  She actually enjoys shoveling snow.


The owner (I think) of the little gas station around the corner from us is a very industrious man.  He has a Jeep and this winter he put a plow on it so he could run a side business plowing driveways.  I want to hire him on the days that we get ton of snow, but S wants to do it all by herself.  Seriously?  This picture only shows half of our driveway:


All day Sunday S complained about how much her arm and back muscles hurt.  I had very little sympathy.


Water is important…

We haven’t had much rain here in northeast Ohio during the month of August.  We had maybe two days with some rain, but it always came early in the morning and lasted just an hour or two.  Our grass is almost all brown now.  A lot of our plants are suffering. 

I don’t water the lawn like some people choose to do.  I feel guilty when I hook up the sprinkler and turn on the faucet.  I’ve tried it a couple of times, but usually, after a few minutes, I run back outside and turn off the water.  There are people on this earth who quench their thirst in the same filthy water where they and animals bathe.  There are people on this earth who have very limited access to water, water that they require just to survive.  Knowing those things, I have a difficult time watering my lawn and even my garden.  It seems selfish. 

Not that I am totally judging everyone else who chooses to water their lawns.  Them I judge only a little bit.  But if my family needed to survive on food grown in our garden, I would certainly water then.  I don’t know, maybe it is silly.  I just can’t get past that guilty feeling.

Over the weekend we had a problem with our plumbing and our water supply.  We actually ended up being without water for several days.  It was really difficult to not be able to wash my hands as often as I like or wash dishes as needed.  We couldn’t flush the toilets, which became disgusting faster than I could have imagined.  We couldn’t shower.  We had to purchase a dozen gallons of water from the Wal-Mart so that we could have drinking water for ourselves and the dogs.  We used it to clean ourselves as much as possible and S made the valiant effort to use it to wash her hair in the sink.  She is lucky to have short hair at the moment.  I couldn’t have tried it because my hair is too long and too thick.  I would never have gotten it rinsed.

The whole not being able to shower thing wasn’t horrible the first two days, but by the third day it was unbearable.  On the fourth day S started to freak out and I needed to come up with a plan.  I found the cheapest, closest motel and we checked in for the sole purpose of taking showers and using a toilet that flushed.  I wanted to check out as soon as we finished, but S said no.  She wanted the option of going back for a second shower and she didn’t like the idea or renting a motel room for an hour because that is so uncouth.  I didn’t really care, I just wanted her to be happy and making her happy at that moment was getting her clean.  We didn’t end up going back for the second round of showers though.

I drove back out to the motel this morning to check out.  $50.51 for two showers.  Not so bad considering S said the shower was the best feeling she’d ever had.  I hope she was exaggerating.

As of ten this morning, our water supply problem is repaired.  Thank you G_d.  I’ve been washing dishes, washing clothes and flushing the toilets like a crazy person since then.  I love water.

Good things…

In effort to prove my contention that I am not an angry person, I will post a few of the things that I am happy about this week.

1. Looking over my current DirecTV bill I found that my NFL Sunday Ticket has automatically been renewed, at the early purchase discount rate, no less.  Yeah!  You have no idea just how much I love football.  Or just how much I love my Pittsburgh Steelers.  If it had not been automatically renewed, I might have had some purchasing guilt over it again this year like I did last year.  It’s kind of a lot of money to spend on watching football when there is really just the one football fan in the house.  Sure, S likes watching Steelers games, but she does not live and die with them like I do.  But, the decision has sort of been made for me and I have a little less guilt.

2.  I am totally enjoying our evening walks with the dogs.  And the dogs are quite pleased as well.  During the walks we’ve gotten to meet more and more of our neighbors and a local police officer who lives on the next street up from ours.  I like participating in the community, even if it is just in a small way.  Also, S has started taking Rummy jogging in the afternoons and they both seem to be enjoying that.  Emma and I get to stay home, which pleases both of us.

3.  The county fairs start next week!  We love county fairs.  Oh, the corn dogs I will be eating…

4.  We found a decent local pie place and last night we tried out some pies.  We bought four different slices to share and sample and they were all pretty good.  When we lived on the other side of town we had a great dessert place that we indulged in, but it is now way too far away for the indulgence.  But now we can at least get a pie fix on this side of town.

5. This morning we watched the trailer for the new Harry Potter movie, due out in November.  Brilliant from the looks of it so far.  The Tom Riddle boy seems like perfect casting.

6. Last Thursday I purchased and then grilled to perfection a Porterhouse steak.  Life is good, very good. 

7.  We are having house guests this weekend, S’s brother and his wife.  Which means we get to show off the house again and I do love that.

8.  A family has moved into the house next door to us.  Mother, father and children.  The house has been vacant since before we bought our house and while I enjoyed the quiet and the privacy, I worried about living next to a somewhat run-down, empty house. 

I thought I would have ten things, but no.  Oh wait, I started reading a really good book last night.  Yeah, that’s #9.  Oh, and in the past two weeks I read biographies of James Madison, James Monroe and John Tyler, so there, that’s #10.

Cup runneth over…

Two people live in this house.

One person, me, washed all of the dishes in the house yesterday at 5:00 pm.

Two people were out of the house all last evening.

This picture was taken at 2:03 pm today.

There are about 13 cups and glasses in this picture. 

There is one plastic cup not in the picture but is on another section of the counter.

14 cups and glasses used in less than 21 hours.

We were not here for 4 of those hours.  And we were asleep for at least eight of those hours.

In 9 awake and here hours we used 14 cups and glasses.  We had no outside guests.

Same squirrel, different savagery…

This, I firmly believe, is the same squirrel who was getting it on in my previous post, Sweaty Squirrel Sex.

This morning I noticed him hanging around my garage door.  By the way, I have named him Marvin Gaye.

There’s nothing wrong with me squirreling you… Squirreling yourself with me can never be wrong, if the squirrel is true… Let’s get it on…”

Anyway, it kind of looked like he was digging and biting at the garage.  I watched him for several minutes and then grabbed the camera because, you know, I’m a little obsessed with Marvin Gaye’s antics.

He totally knew that I caught him doing whatever it was that he was doing.  But then he just went back to do it.  Not the “it” from my previous post, the “it” concerning the garage.  He finally ran off when I yelled at him.  Mostly though, he just ran up a nearby tree and stared me down.  While I was yelling at him, he was yelling back at me in that “cluck-cluck” sound that squirrels make when they are mad.  Which, by the way, is slightly different than the sound they make when they are doing their Marvin Gaye type activities.

When I inspected the garage, this is what I found:

The paint has been stripped away and…

There are teeth and claw marks in the wood.  Marvin Gaye is eating my garage.  Maybe he wants to get into the garage so that he can turn it into a private Love Shack.  Maybe this is his way of telling me I need to refill the bird/squirrel feeder.  Maybe he is just a hoodlum.



Mike’s garden…

From where I sit while I type this, I have a good view out of two windows.  When I put the desk in the office I set it away from a wall, in the corner, allowing me to watch out over the back yard from one window and to look out of my neighbor’s garden from the other window.  It’s a good view.  I love our back yard and when the dogs are out there I can keep an eye on them.  I also get to watch the bunnies, squirrels and birds all day long. 

And the view of Mike’s garden is nice too.  He must pump steroids into the ground because his greens grow like mad.  And last summer he had about a dozen tomato plants which entertained me to no end.  Entertained me because even though there were a dozen plants and each one was heavy with tomatoes, Mike never got to eat even one of them.  The squirrels ate every single one of them.  And I watched them do it.  They would steal the tomatoes and then jump up on a tree in my yard and eat them.  But they would only eat half of the tomato and then they would toss the waste into my grass.  And even though they had just wasted half of a tomato, they would jump back down from the tree, back into Mike’s garden and steal another tomato.

This year Mike is fighting the good fight.

He has crafted a scarecrow out of one of his polo shirts.  It sure scared the hell out of Rummy the first few times she saw it.  And it must be scaring away the bunnies because his greens are way bigger now than they are in the picture above.  But he hasn’t put in his tomato plants yet.  That will be the real test.


The gifts, part two…

There was a second gift from Mr. & Mrs. S.   I’m sure that S will be absolutely horrified that I am posting pictures of it.  She is embarrassed by it.  I alternate between being embarrassed and being in awe.  It also leaves me with a feeling of claustrophobia and a little bit of self doubt.

This is a picture of our television.  I purchased it back in 2001, I think.  And at the time it seemed to be on the cutting edge of technology, what with the flat screen thing.  But it still just has the old school picture tube in it, so it was out of date pretty quickly.  I bought it because I had purchased our first DVD player and that thing wouldn’t work with our 1980’s television. 

The television had some cool features, like a built in tv guide-type grid that would tell you what you were watching when you landed on a channel.  And yeah, that was cool before we got DirecTV which has that feature built in.  It is also a 20 inch screen, which I thought was cool because, at the time, I had only ever had 19 inch televisions.  It doesn’t take too much to impress me.  It was a decent sized television even though I have been lobbying to get a flat screen LCD that is at least 32 inches.  I just think football will look even better when it is on a 32 inch screen.

We have been proud of that television because it’s a good size without being a monstrosity.  Having it in our various living rooms did not make us seem like TV People.  You know, the kind of people who spend tons of money on huge televisions because watching the thing is their whole life.  Our tv said “hey, we like to watch this box, but we have other interests“.

Which brings me to the second gift…

Someone gave Mr. S this television when he wired up their new flat screen with surround sound.  Since Mr. S and all the rest of the S family have big, new televisions, nobody needed this one.  So he offered it to us.  And while he was offering it to us, he was degrading our tiny, little television that barely has any sort of viewing screen.  After telling us how much of a joke our tv is, we couldn’t so much say no to this big “wonderful” tv, could we?  We told him we would take it, but that we couldn’t get it into our car.  We kind of hoped that would be the end of it.  But no.  Mr. S has a huge pick up truck.  And the tv fit in it (barely).

So, the gift tv has a 42 inch screen.  It’s old school with the picture tube and curved screen, but it does have a huge picture.  After we got it in the house and got it up onto the tv cabinet (just barely fits) I turned on the NFL NetworkPeyton Manning was life-size in my living room.  To say that the tv is huge is an understatement.  Yesterday I played a little Madden on it and my G_d it was huge.  The thing is, we have a pretty small living room.  This tv dwarfs the living room.  It is now the focal point of the living room.  It blocks sun from coming in the windows.  It totally screams “hey, we are tv people“.  As I said, S is appalled by it.  She thinks it is freakish.  She never even wanted a bigger tv, so this is just beyond the pale for her.

Did I mention that the gift tv weighs more than 200 pounds?  It took the three of us and a dolly to get it into the house.  S sustained an ankle injury in the process.  We couldn’t get rid of it if we tried because the two of us will never be able to carry it.  When it finally dies we are going to have to hire men to carry it out to the curb for us.  The old tv (our tv), well I carried it all by myself up to the bedroom.  We never watch tv in bed but now we have what S once called “a big tv” in there too.