Sunday, September 30, 2012

After The Rain

There was a lovely spell of steady rain two nights ago. I could almost hear my yard singing! But a closer look around revealed two things I had not noticed before.

That, my friends appears to be a little fairy village that set up camp among my jalapeƱos, rosemary and basil.

I'm not evicting the mushrooms.

Out front, I spied what has to be the home of a half million ants. These guys have to go. I'm not sharing a picture if my eviction notice because I don't want to hear from you people who are antists (that is what you call people who are all "ants are a vital part of the food chain," no?).
Fine. I'll confess. I bought an anteater. His name is Art. He's REALLY hungry. And available for parties.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Truth About Dogs

My dog had been sleeping on a floor cushion with a blanket for years. We were both OK with that until I decided to wash it. It was dirty and smelled, well, like dog. The problem: there was no way to wash it without ruining it. So I threw it out and bought a new one.
Not just any bed would do for my sweet dog. I bought one from the Martha Stewart collection at PetsMart. For $60. I put it in the same place as the old bed, then put Charley in it. Not interested. I moved it and planted treats in it. He found them without getting in it. I tried calling it the special, fancy, expensive bed - showing him how plush and soft it was. Nothing.

I couldn't take it back. So it sat there. Empty. Sad. Might as well have been a pile of cash for the dog - both meant nothing to him.

A few months later, I had this cheap (supposedly) lightweight comforter on my bed from Target. With each weekly washing, the batting would start to move around. One day, fresh out of the dryer, the batting magically became a lumpy roll in the center of the piece. I couldn't get it straightened out. I didn't want to throw it out yet. So I grabbed the scissors, cut a small hole on the underside and pulled out the stuffing. By the time I had my bed situated, Charley made himself at home.
He found a squishy bed he could adjust on a whim. It was also turf the cat wasn't interested in exploring. He thought he hit the dog bed jackpot.

I was sad for the fancy bed. I moved it to a corner of the living room where the cat doesn't roam. I put Charley's blanket in it and hoped some day he'd give it a chance.

One morning, I couldn't find Charley. I called his name. I heard his tags. He was sleeping in the fancy bed!
He doesn't always go there. Some days he prefers the pile of batting. I will have to throw that out at some point. But I do find him in the fancy bed a few times a week.

So here's my lesson to all you dog owners: NEVER tell a dog how much something costs. He doesn't care. Unless you tell him how much your new shoes cost - then he'll think they're a delicious snack.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Crazy Lady Keeps Calling

I don't  usually answer my phone when I don't recognize the number. My theory: if I don't know you and you leave a message, I can decide if I want to talk to you.

About a month ago, I realized a woman had called me so many times, I should see if she left a message. She left nine. At first, it was kind of entertaining. There was a lot of "Isabel? Are you there? Will you pick up? I just want to talk to you." Then it was, "Isabel! The puppy is hurt and I need to take it to the vet! Will you meet me there? Oh, well. I thought maybe you were home."

I realized this woman would not stop calling on her own. So, one day I answered. I calmly explained that she had the wrong number. She said she Isabel gave her the number a year ago. I said I've had the number for more than five years, so she must have given her a bad number. Or maybe she wrote it down wrong.

Still, Amy called. She cried. She accused me of lying. I asked her to stop calling. She wouldn't. So, out of frustration, I said, "I understand why Isabel gave you a phony number. You're insane. Stop calling me or I'll report you to the police for harassment."

Then, I went online to find out how to block her number. I followed the instructions and the calls stopped.

Until Monday.

This is one of the five messages she left yesterday.

I thought I recorded all five, but I screwed that up. I spent a half hour on the phone with AT&T trying to figure this out and got nowhere. Now, I think this Amy Cowger lady has gotten a new number to get around my number block.

I'm not convinced I can block her again. So, for your entertainment - and a little public shaming, I'm going to post her voicemails here. She's already called me five times today. I'm sure she'll leave a few more messages.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

How To Make Your Dog Hate You

I love my dog. He loves me. Mostly.

I see his eyes when I get out an old Halloween costume. Well, I see them before he turns to leave the room. I see them again when I catch up to him and use my "This is going to be fun!" voice.

It's a look that begs me not to do it. He's embarrassed. He does not want to be a superhero, hot dog or spider (all costumes we've tried and he ruled out). He makes it impossible for me to get a picture of him.

So why did I find it hard not to linger in the costume aisle at Target? Is it because my dog's tolerance of a rainslicker when it's wet and a sweater when it's cold gives me hope that he'll see the fun in a costume? Is it because I want to remind him that I'm really the boss?

Probably not. I think it's because I have an unrealistic idea of what I want my dog to be: sweet and incredibly patient when I'm crazy. And look cute while posing in one of these costumes.

Monday, September 3, 2012

It's Labor Day!

I'm not sure if I'm supposed to celebrate this holiday or not. I mean, I don't like laboring. So should I be happy I have reason to labor? Or should I be happy I don't have to labor in the office today? I don't think it's a real holiday unless there's a theme that can be successfully displayed in a dessert (and by "successful," I don't mean obscene).

Anywho... here are a few cards to mark the day. I think they're better than all those mattress sale ads in the newspapers!
And here's one more non-laboring thing to check out:
This dog makes my dog looks like he works pretty hard!