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2012/03/30

We waited for you...


After a crazy day at work a glass of wine on the patio, dogs running the back yard, breeze blowing and the warm sun shining down on me was what I envisioned on my way home.  Well the sun was shining and the breeze blowing but it was cold and the dogs didn’t want to play so I took my wine and went to the basement took off my shoes and got comfy and  played around on the computer. After a while I went up stairs looking for something to eat.  I put a cup of left over coffee in the micro wave and heated it up and was about to pop a bagel into the toaster when the girls started in on me about, let’s go out to eat Mom. I just drank a glass of wine I can’t go anywhere. Ok we’ll wait.  Well I am not waiting I’m hungry now; in the toaster the bagel went. Ding, left over coffee is warm, so I added hazelnut creamer and way more sweetener than normal to cover up the stale taste: my hot bagel popped up and I smeared butter over it and went back to my room to watch TV.  I have no opportunity to watch TV upstairs since the girls found Korean soap operas.  I went downstairs and sat in Archie’s chair and ate my bagel drank my leftover warmed up coffee and fended off dogs. I finished just in time to have Archie come down and scream he wanted his chair back.  I jumped in the bed and got warm and tucked in all the dogs and turned on my reruns of Law and Oder when one of the girls come to me and said “Mom it’s been 30 minutes let’s go”.  What? It will be more than thirty minutes before I can get behind the wheel, get out of here and stop bothering me.  Ok we’ll wait. Now I am full, warm and cozy it’s going to take an act of GOD and Congress to get me out of this bed; so when I woke up it was 8:30. I took my sleep eyed self up the stairs to see what was going on, when I peered into the living room Korean soaps blared from the TV and the girls who by now would be in their jammies, are sitting there fully dressed.   Then they said “Mom we waited for you”. I laughed at them and told them to keep on waiting we were not going out to eat at 8:30 at night. They hate it when I laugh at them and enjoy myself at their expense. I then had to make amends for my BAD, and told them we would go out tomorrow.  As they talked amongst themselves as to where we would eat I yell back at them Mc Donald’s!   As no one in my family likes Mc Donald’s this caused a huge up roar, I guess cheep is out of the question.

2012/03/29

I got you, you little bastards.


It’s amazing how good I feel when I finally get one over on the Damn dogs.  They have had me so long in the grips of their plot to drive me over the edge of sanity that I forgot what it feels like to get a slash mark on my side of the score sheet.  The Hooligan boys are right up there with Archie and the garbage can. They play catch me if you can with the kids who refuse to play so they just leave them where ever they are when they start the game.  Now that is in my room……  the game as it were is played out when the girls get home from school and let all the dogs out of the kennels and let them outside to take care of their business.
This is a good thing now when it gets out of control is when they open the door to let them back in the house.  Every one shoots into the house from their invisible cannon at the door.  It shoots them either way coming or going and if you’re in the way you’ll get run over. Now they all run straight to the kitchen except the hooligans.  They make a sharp left as soon as the cannon is fired and they blow down the stairs and over the gate as if it were not even there.  Once they are in my room they turn into guard dogs and will not let the girls near them and bark the whole time.  The girls quit playing this game with them months ago.  So they get in my room, girls go upstairs and they stop barking the others settle into a lap and girls get a snack all is happy.  Now when I get home they have done every unspeakable thing to my room.  I have tried to dog proof my room but the bets are off when it comes to their body functions. They were just out, but that makes no difference; and then times it by two. If they find one little piece a paper or heavens for bid I leave the box of Kleenex where they can get to it, I have a shredded mess and one if not both will have to poo or pee on the shredded mess.  And let us not forget about the sticks they have in their mouths when they run back in. I yell at the girls and they say they can’t get them and they just run down there.  I found that they will not jump the gate in the hallway because it is too close to the steps going down.  Now the gate at the bottom of the stairs they jump because they are on the stairs and jumping on to the floor, but they have not tried to jump over the gate when they are on the floor and the stairs are on the other side. So I made the girls leave the gate in the hallway up and they just need to step over it and not move it: let the dogs in and out in the study room then they won’t jump the thing and go down into my room.  Now this has worked again until I get home and the gate comes down the first thing they do is head for the basement and they cry their butts off because they can’t get back up stairs.  Now my choices of how quickly I will go insane and the route the dog send me down changes daily, as if one thing has just got to work.  The mornings go the same I send them all up and out first thing in the morning.  I put the gate up behind me and go upstairs to start my day.  I make my coffee and go back let dogs in.  Again the hooligan boys get shot straight down the stairs and over the gate and on my bed.  By the time I get there to get them out they have already tore up my bed I just made.  I gave up on that mess and let them tear it up.  But then if I ignore them they will cry they want up stairs, until I want to strangle them or rip out their noise makers myself.   I thought if I put the gate up higher they wouldn’t jump over it, wrong.  They just went under it.  I mostly just gave up because this battle was going to last a lot longer than I cared to fight it.  So this morning I it came to me if they don’t like to jump down on the stairs move the damn gate in the middle of the stairway.  I’m not sure how this epiphany came to me but I am damn glad it did.  So I let the dogs in this morning and waited and sure enough they ran down to the gate and came right back, but I needed to test this a little more. I through a little kibble over the gate and they just stood on the steps and wiggled around and cried. I started to do my happy dance and yelling that I finally got them.  Yes it is a good day.  The girls just looked at me like it finally happened and I completely lost it.  I licked my finger on the end made the number 1 in the air in front of me and yelled "I got you, you little bastards". It has been a wonderful day indeed.


2012/03/28

Can you let us out????

The company I work for went through some huge growing pains.  We were busting at the seams literally.  They ended up buying a huge warehouse with extended land for building a new facility.  I was shuffled off to the new warehouse so my space could be utilized for manufacturing.  We worked through the logistics of getting the raw materials to three different locations to be assembled. My office was a desk on the dock, were I staved off natures elements while doing my job.  After a fashion they built us an office; four walls a door and a couple of windows.  Now this did keep the draft off our feet but done nothing for the wind blowing up over the walls and down our necks.  My co-workers and I dealt with this for 5 years all through the building stage of the new manufacturing addition to the warehouse.  We grew to love our little office with no roof, and the jokes about closing the door you’re letting out the air conditioning. Now that the new space has been built and manufacturing is in one building, the company has started to remodel the preexisting warehouse and its offices.  While this work went on we were move to the middle of the open warehouse in cubes to do our work.  I watched my new office as it was being built and last week we did move into our new space. There are a few details that still need to be addresses like putting a door on it and now putting glass in the window of the door, finishing off the warehouse truck drivers entrance and waiting room, along with a little detailing.
Yesterday the construction worker was putting the door on the waiting room, he appeared to be having difficulty  getting the door to close correctly so even though there is a sliding window between the office and waiting area we could hear him  banging away at the door we even felt the wall shaking a couple of times.  Then toward the later afternoon he went to get the construction supervisor and both men went into the waiting room and had a discussion.  After a few moments the Supervisor knocks on the sliding window.  My co-worker and I just look at each other as if to say what they are doing. He made some hand jesters to my co-work to come to the window. She slides the window open and he says “can you come around and open the door for us”. Both of us are in a fit of laughter to see the two locked in.  As they make their quick exit we start making fun of them.  Now this morning we are filling in the other co-worker that shares this office with us, on the daily activities of yesterday, when the construction supervisor and one of his men come back to the waiting area.  The supervisor enters first and walks to the other side. The young man, most likely not knowing the door will lock behind him, hesitates for a moment then just shuts the door.  The three of us are having a good laugh at their expense, I get up to go over and tell them they just locked themselves in again and my co-workers say” don’t you dare tell them, make them come knock on the window again”, so I sat back down and watched as they discovered yet again they locked themselves in the waiting area.   The supervisor with his red face knocks again, we are all laughing and making fun of him saying “didn’t learn anything from yesterday”. I hope we did not make him too mad as we still need glass in the window of our door.



2012/03/27

Looks like total chaos.


As humans we all have strengths and weaknesses and every month we have to answer these two questions.  It is part of the case manager’s monthly interview.  Of course the kids mostly use the standard answer of, I don’t know. But I am left to come up with the answer, now it is hard enough for me to answer that question about myself let alone answer for the kids. For the most part it is the same, month after month, but on those occasions that I  actually put some real thought to the question I have to  take a long deep look at all of us and what we all bring to the table of life.  It’s amazing when you actually think about it and really dig deep into the fibers of each person in the family and how we are so different but that’s what brings us to the point of what makes this all work. Now when you add in the dogs and start to think about them in the same way it takes on a whole different look, from the outside it looks like total chaos and dysfunction.  I have been contemplating this very thing, for a long time, I mull it over on those nights that I am awakened from my sleep then my brain activates and it just can’t be turned off.  So I think about everything and as of late I spend this time trying to understand the reason why this family works: The dogs the kids the chaos the noise and total diversity of the house. 
The dogs are so different, Cabot is afraid of anything that moves.  He has a high pray dive and is one of my Alpha males. He wants what he wants and will not heed any of the others warning growls for him to go away or get out of the way.  He absolutely pisses off everyone when he enters a room.  He can’t help himself.  The barking can drive the sanest person to want to drop kick him to the next county.  He can jump shoulder high from a standing position and will steal food from your mouth. Now I can go on with his faults’ but just know he is a huge pain in everyone’s derriere.  But when he seeks me out for a little lap time and one on one, he looks at me and his eyes tell me everything.  The, I wish it was just you and me, the, I only want to spend my life with you.  He loves everyone he just does not want them to move.  A lady stopped by last night to meet some of the foster dogs, looking to adopt.  Cabot barked at her all the way through the house till she sat down then consumed her lap and just loved her to death.  As soon as she got up and ready to leave he barked at her all the way out of the house.  All the barking leads to everyone in the house yelling shut up Cabot; or Cabbage depending on the accent. Then we have Chiquita she is my spinner.  She spins out of control and will run into things and trip humans and barks at the speed of light when she is in her accelerated spinning modes.  She talks to me all day long and loves to be high on top of things she wants to snuggle so bad but it is hard for her to settle down so she will not be annoying.  But once she calms down she is quite the lover.  She growls at Archie and really dislikes him and we have no idea why.  The two of them will get in front of the heat duct and start growling to determined who is going to get the hot spot, and then she will snap at Archie and cause him to defend himself the whole time the sound of this is being channeled through the heating system and heard throughout the house. So there is no escaping this annoyance because the sound disrupts every single person in every single room.  Archie is just plain old and the epitome of a dawdling old man: I apologize to my male readers.  It’s as if his mind got stuck when he was in his peak ,prime days of the number one alpha dog where all he does is walk in a room and the pack just move back and give him space and choice of anything he could possible want.  Well he still acts this way but does not have the body to back up his stuff.  His body is starting to snarl and curl up he walks slower and does not have good balance the only thing he has is his voice and teeth, and he use both to get his way but all it does is piss off the other dogs and cause a ruckus, and he is voted off the couch any way. The garbage can must be screaming at him 24/7 to come hither and he does just that.  It has become one of the biggest challenges to keep him out of the garbage. We even tried moving it to higher ground so he could not reach it, but the only place in the kitchen he cannot reach is the top of the refrigerator and because it has a cabinet above it, the garbage is placed half over the frig and half over the door to the frig.  Now I can’t tell you how many times we all have had garbage come careening down all over us. If we are able to move so the can does not bash us in the head we still get a garbage shower. I personally have had all the garbage showers I care to in my life time.  So we have been trying other approaches to this problem but have not found one that is Archie proof. You can be standing next to the sink and he will just reach up bite the door and yank it open while you stand there. It makes me want to declare a moratorium on garbage.
My sweet Weezie my first small dog she is going blind and hard of hearing and an energizer bunny extraordinar, she can’t see the ball but will run like hell to find it and the whole time barking for the ball. She does not have time for the Chinese Cresteds nor does she care about them.  She loves her Papasan and won’t let anyone sleep in it or use it in any way. She lives to gut stuffed toys and get that squeaker.  But at her age she is either going 100 MPH or she is dead on the Papasan.
Gertrude she is the pup of the bunch at 3 she has found her place in the pack and the home. She is an independent girl that struts her stuff and knows she has stuff to strut. She is confident and will take on anything and believes she is way better than sliced bread. Of course the kids made her that way.  The foster dogs add all kinds of things to the mix as they come and go and we are all characters. 
To take one Character out of this mix, none of this would work, our differences is what makes us the Damn Dog house, Characters Welcome.                              

2012/03/24

One time only food

I think most of us use recipes or learn how to cook our favorite foods, so we can make it again if we like it.  I personally cook from memory and at my age I have lots of food cooking memories to tap into. I do have some favorite recipes that I still follow to make sure the dish comes out the same, But most food I learned how to cook and can make again and again. Now the girls are see food cooks; they see it and cook it.  Everything is cooked the same, one girl boils everything in water. Take whatever you find in the frig put it in water add onions ,salt and hot chili peppers. I have only one time found something too hot for them to eat; Habanera peppers.  Every other pepper is OK by them.  The hotter the better.  Sometimes the steam coming from the pot is so spicy hot I can’t breathe,   It takes my breath away and chokes me.  Now another girl cooks the same way but she puts it all in a fry pan with way more oil than needed adds everything in the frig  along with  onions, salt and  hot chili peppers.  Another girl cooks everything with Berbere spice(mixture of hot chili, garlic and ginger root etc) red onion, salt and way more oil than needed. One girl does not like to cook so she eats warmed up tortilla’s with salt.  I call their food one time only food; because we never have the same things in the fridg every time they cook.   Fried eggs are the only thing all three make the same,  One cup of oil and a whipped egg,  then deep fried.  The rule is you make it you eat it.  I caught one of them with a can of chili beans and she was cooking them in oil in the frying pan, for 15 minutes.  I told her you know those are already cooked you just heat and eat or add to a dish your making.  You do not need to deep fry them. Her reply was one of the other girls showed her how to cook them.  Make sure you eat all of them……..  There is just something about a pot of boiling  Iceberg lettuce with hot chili in it that makes me want to diet.   I had a cupboard full of different spices, none of the girls knows what 99% of them are.  So they smell them if it smells good in the pot it goes.  They think the more spice you use the better something will taste, needless to say my supply of spices is dwindled down to  nothing.  I must add that I do not eat the foods they cook, you make it you eat it.  One of the girls has found the new world of TV cooking shows, so she has shown a big interest in learning how to cook the Mmmmm good food she sees them make. So she is hanging around the kitchen and learning how to make some different foods, she even offered to cook the next big holiday family dinner. Now it is a tempting offer but I am real sure if she screws it up she won’t be able to eat all that food.
I came home the other night and the youngest is cooking and made enough for the exchange student to share with her.  I look to see what she is cooking and found it to be totally unrecognizable so I passed. As I muddle around the kitchen looking for something to put a space between my back bone and belly button, I hear the exchange student say “I don’t know what this is but it’s pretty good”. I started to laugh and said “ Enjoy because she will never be able to make it again, It's a one time only Food'. 


2012/03/23

Name calling

I know all of my dogs voices just like I know the difference between my kids. But I have those moments that I almost have to call every name out before I hit the one I want. So I am on the couch with a lap full of dogs drinking my coffee and catching up with the morning news and the kids are in the kitchen getting ready to leave for school and a dog barks, the first thing I do is yell out shut up Cabot.  He is my prolific barker so I don’t think about who’s bark it belongs to, I just yell at Cabot.  Again with the bark, Chiquita shut up, then I look in the chair and Chiquita is looking at me like I’m nuts.  Cabot is standing in front of me, again a bark. Gertrude shut up, hell she is in my lap so now I am up and in the kitchen to quiet the offending dog.  Back to my coffee and comfy spot on the couch and the kids start the school morning procession out the door. Bye Mom; bye daughter one, no Ma I am daughter two, Oh sorry Bye daughter two,  Bye mom; Bye daughter three, No mom its Daughter one,  OK! OK! Bye girls.  Now the dogs start again barking because the girls are leaving.  Shut up Cabot. Marley what are you barking at? GAWD, its Joey. Will all of you shut up.  I reach over for my coffee and Cabot got his head shove down the cup to get to the coffee. So much for morning news and coffee,  After I get dressed for work I start kenneling the foster dogs, I yell out lets go puppies and they all run to pick out their kennel of choice.  I have a couple dogs that need assistance getting in, one is hiding in the big bed and the other want to play catch me if you can.  As the morning is not going quite as planned so my frustration is kicking in and I start with all the names of the dogs trying to hit on the right dogs so I can get his attention and get him in the kennel.  With  eleven dogs by the time I am on the third wrong name I want to kick myself.  I even hear myself start to stutter.  What the hell, is my mind completely gone. Then comes the, you Damn dogs, now I have their attention and my morning is shot so off to work I go.  


2012/03/21

Texas Fly Swatter


I’ve been asked about the Texas Fly Swatter and the role it plays in the Damn Dog house: It was a humorous souvenir given to me when I had Noddia my Great Dane.  It was quickly throwed into the cupboard that contain many things I didn’t have a clue what to do with, to be forgotten.  My Great Dane was a perfect dog.  I never raised my voice or scolded her until she ate the exchange students Graduation cake while we were at commencements.  She never took food off the table nor did she steal food from a plate just lying around. Now her head was much taller than the table top so as she walked by the table she was in grabbing rang of anything not directly in the center of the table.  She was 7 years old when she done this.  Why that day she decided to grab the cake I have no  idea.  When we arrived and saw what she had done I was in shock and did not know what to do, so I cleaned up the mess,  then went and bought a cake off the sale table at the bakery. It was not the same as Grandma's home made hand decorated cake but we had cake.  Later that night my sister was digging around in the cupboard for who knows what, she saw the fly swatter and started to shaking it in the air, laughing, then she asked “where did you get this thing”.  Hey you can use it on Noddia. At that point the dog who was sitting on the couch watching us, jumped off and ran like hell.  That was the moment I learned of its power.  I never did have to use it on her that was her one and only aggression. 
When she passed I got Weezie my Toy Fox Terrier who was a good dog too. But she was toy aggressive and she would gut every stuffed toy that came in the house rip the squeaker out and chew it like gum.  When she was displaying this behavior she became toy killer and would act like she could not hear or see you.  Nothing in the world could distract here from her intend death of a stuffed toy.   Now I used the power of the Texas fly swatter and it worked.  I grabbed it one day when I was yelling at her to stop gutting that toy and she acted like she couldn’t hear me, I smacked the floor in front of her with it and she took off like a flash of lightning.  I only used it when she was in murder, death, kill mode,  and with her I had to be close or she would not see it or hear it.  Then the Chinese Cresteds started coming and they never  listened to me so I was always smacking the floor, wall, furniture or any flat surface.  It worked till I finally broke the handle and now it says swatter only.  Then it got to where all I had to do is shake it at them and they would stop whatever they were  doing and listen to me.  Then the rescues started growing in numbers along with a whole host of issues that would blend into the pack and they finally became the Damn Dogs. It has been chewed on, peed on and lost. It spent one winter outside in the back yard where it got dragged out and left.  Not knowing where it was it stayed there all winter till spring lawn clean up came and it was found: it use to be a dark blue, but outside all that time faded it.  Then the kid’s learned of it power and they start shaking it and smacking everything  but if you don’t smack it on a flat surface it becomes a dud that has no affect.  So one day I’m giving the kids instructions on how to use it to achieve  the maximum benefit, and all the dogs where in the living room jumping around like we were going to feed them or something. When I  squarely smack the floor with it and every one took off.  I started to laugh at the mass exoduses that just took place and yelled “Now that’s what I’m talking about, crowd control”.  To this day it has the same effect; but the problem is I can never find it when I need it.  So one day I bought a couple regular fly swatters but it just isn’the same thing and they are so cheap now the first smack will bend the little wire handle.   I have no idea how to get more of these marvelous souvenirs. If it breaks or gets eaten totally I will be in trouble, the Damn Dog will take over completely  
   



2012/03/20

Hate mail


So for the first time in my life last fall I  received hate mail from an unhappy neighbor.  The Damn Dogs have pushed the limits of sanity for my unhappy neighbor who shall remain anonymous to me.  The letter being very nicely written but to the point, made me glad winter was upon us so there will be no more greeting at the fence when Mom comes home or company comes. I have 5 dogs who bark at everything that moves I have one dog that circles with excitement, the more excited the more RPM she does.  As she reaches her higher speeds she starts to bark the faster she goes the more she barks.  So getting her to stop barking is not an easy task, since you have to stop the circling to make that happen. Then I have three dogs that join in because everyone else is barking.   And two that get so excited they turn on each other and start a fight.  Now then the other eight have to get a little of that action so now the noise level has reached its peak. By the time I get out of my car I have to run and get inside the fence yelling , STOP THAT BARKING,  THE DOGS ARE FIGHTING, GIRLS GET OUT HERE AND HELP. ETC, ETC, ETC.  I have to be careful of who I pick up first in the middle of the snarling, snapping pile of dogs.  Cabot who is on the bottom mostly can jump to should height in a single bond. He does not like to give up so he will jump to get the last bite of his intended aggressor but has gotten me a few times instead.   If I am lucky I can grab him first and the rest will stop if I am not I grab Willy and run, with Cabot close behind me as I am still yelling stop, stop, No ,NO, NOOOOOO with a few other chosen colorful words.  All of this chaos is in a 5 minute window of time but very intense and noisy.  I am sure I have more than one unhappy neighbor but as of yet only one has wrote me anonymous letter.  So all the kids now know they really can’t just open the door when mom comes home and let the Damn Dogs out.  Dogs are cordon off in different parts of the house and kept away from the door.  So I can at least get out of the car and walk to the house in peace.  The barking stops quickly and is kept in the house all is happy except the girls who get the daily call I am one block away. When winter did arrive life with the barking dogs was done inside, now the weather is warm and the dogs want to get out side but as soon as you open the door 4 of them act like they got shot out of a cannon and the barking is instant. Then the excitement starts and I have stampede  of barking, running and circling dogs in the back yard.  I stand there and scream STOP BARKING and start chasing them wagging my finger at them the whole time.  I'm not sure whats up with the wagging finger but its moving a mile a minute.  It has absolutely no effect on them what so ever.  Now if I get the Texas fly swatter out and smack the picnic table that will get results.  But I can never find the thing when I need it. The whole time this is going on I'm thinking about my unhappy neighbor that sent the letter last year and wonder if just hearing the barking dogs made her mad, I am sure adding a screaming old lady to the noise is just the end for her.  I have to rethink my summer when kids are home all day and they don't want to be bothered by the dogs while watching the Korean soap operas. I am sure animal control will show up and not another letter.

2012/03/19

Girls Emergency

With so many cultures  and languages spoke in my home, communications can get very interesting.  There are a lot of hand jesters used and generic words like, thing, Mom I need one of those things.  Can you narrow down the field on that so I  can even begin to understand what you’re asking me.  Sometimes a simple question or statement can become a mountain of misunderstandings that either leave us all laughing, in shock or mad.  So Friday night after work was one that left me in shock.  I get home and we are sitting outside enjoying our unusually warm weather for this time of year and the dogs are running around enjoying the weather too, as the question of where is the shaver for the dogs, they need their faces shaved.   The standard issue reply is “I don’t know”.  I have been looking for it for almost two months now.  So I said I was going to the store to buy a new one, then at least it will appear after I buy a new one, then I can have two…..   When one of the girls tell me that I need to buy them something.  What? You know the thing for your arms.  What thing?  Then one of the other girls says” Ya Mom it’s a girl emergency”.  A what ?
A girl emergency its hot now and we want to wear shorts and summer tops and we need one of those things. Then one of them lifts her left arm over her head and uses the first two fingers on the right hand in a scissors cutting motion under her arm. Now I can’t breathe because  I am laughing so much.  Then she shares that she tried to use the, again with the two fingers cutting action, to cut under her arm but it didn’t work. Then I ask “did you try it on your legs too”? We are all laughing now and the dogs hear the excitement and come running to get in on whatever is causing the ruckus. Then comes the screams of dog nail scratching bare legs.  By the time they got done showing me there scratches and complaining they are young and if they get lots  scratches now their legs will be ugly when they get older. I said through my tears of laughter “ trust me when you get older you won’t worry about scratches, getting a job will take care of that” So I was instructed to get shavers for dogs and girls and to do something to the dogs nails so they won’t get scratches. This is an all out girls emergency. 

2012/03/17

Bats in my basement

When I bought the big house 3 years ago, it had been empty for about 2 years so just long enough for the wild life to find its way in.  The house has 5 bedrooms but I wanted the basement so I could spread out and have a place to go and recoup.  It is over 800 sq feet in my room alone. So as you can imagine I have plenty of space for my sewing, reading, TV, computer and a king size bed.  It was a little strange the first few nights sleeping in this hug room even the dogs snoring echoed down there. It was not long less than a week when I heard my first bat.  Now I don't know its a bat, I just hear the flutter of its wings as it flies by.  I am not pron to fear and am able to keep it together in moments of uncertainty, confusion and things that go bump in the night. But I was totally on edge because I do not have a lamp yet and I have to cross a large gaping area to get to a light switch. I am thinking I hope this is a bird but can't believe one would get into the basement.  I gave myself a couple more moments of frozen in the bed fear and then talked myself into getting over to the light switch. To my surprise its a bat.  It took a minute for this to sink in,why is a bat in my basement. I guessed it was because the house sat empty for so long.  I got a towel and started waiving in the air shooing the bat toward the stairs. This worked but my lack of for thought sent the bat into the rest of the house where it was less easy to shoo him,  I went back open the door and started again.   This took about 30 minutes to get the bat out and get back to bed and another hour to calm down and go back to sleep.  Two nights later I am awakened by the fluttering of wings in the night.  So I jump up and run for the light switch then to the top of the stair open the door grab a towel and start shooing the bat out the door this time it went much smother and less time.  But I can not figure out if its the same bat or is there a flock of the damn things in my house.  So I set out looking for where they are hiding. I even went to the attic and stuck my head up there to see what was hanging from my rafters; nothing at all.   Now this time I have spent way more than 30 min. looking for bats.  The next day I am complaining to coworkers about my bat problem.  I was told to google the problem, I found that this was a not so easy fix to find out how they get into my house as they are masters at squeezing into and under the smallest little openings. My life with the bats haunted me for 1.5 years at least 3 or 4 times a week.  I got where I could shoo them out in my sleep.  Some nights I would have two at a time.  I would sit out at sun set and watch the top of my house looking to see them fly away so I could find their access in and out.  This never got me any answers.  My friends all laughed at me about my bats in the basement.  The oddest thing was they were not up stairs only the basement. Now the dogs mostly did not pay any attention to the bats. I am not sure they even knew what the hell I did in the middle of the night with a towel. Then one night I woke to the sound of scratching on the window above my head. It sounded like a bird trying to fly though the window I could hear its wings flapping on the window with great vigor and what I thought was talons scratching the glass. Then it stopped and I heard digging, scratching and clawing sounds as if they were in the wall. But I am in a basement its bricks. I listened as the sound move along the top of the bricks up in the rafters of the floor above me. As my house is over 100 years old it has been remodeled, picked up turned around and had a second addition added to the existing basement.  But as a result of the updating and remodeling they took the ceiling out of the basement to put in new wiring and heat and air ducting.  They never put it back because the ceiling would be to low.  I used some cloth I had and made a ceiling that covers the wires and floor joists. You can see the heat and air ducts  but not the rest.  It has a couple of places I could not staple the fabric down but mostly I like it.  Now as the sound moves along the top of the wall then it turns and starts moving down the other side, it became hurried and faster till it broke free of the confined area and then I heard the familiar sound of bat wings fluttering and swooping around in the dark, Gotcha I know how your getting in now.  The next day I went out side and found a space between the siding and the brick foundation. It was a rather large space so they could access my room by wiggling up in there and then down and around the wall till it could fly. I am not good at fixing things so I always have to hire some one to do the work but money was tight back then so I looked for something to just stuff in the space to keep them out.  My solution was a hunk of Styrofoam from some appliance we bought. I broke it up and stuffed it up in the space. Now for the next year and a half I have been bat free till last night.  Now from the sounds I heard there must be three down here but confined in the fabric ceiling they are not flying just scurrying around up there. But now the Damn Dog are on alert and they start in running around the room barking. Ya didn't care when they were flying around the room now you want to cause a ruckus.   So I go out and look and they have chewed, scratched and clawed at the Styrofoam and made a new opening.  I must now wait till the little bastards fly away tonight and plug my hole again. Kids, Damn Dogs and now bats in my basement.

2012/03/16

I can't beleive it's not butter

I have had my share of body fluids, three years ago when we first moved into the big house we were out side cleaning up the lawn but while we were there the dogs where inside getting into everything. This was before we knew that they would get on the counter and surf for any thing eatable. We were still leaving thing out and not thinking about them getting on counter because they never had.  My kitchen was most definitely designed by a women she thought of everything. But the most obvious was she never had animal because there is a small counter between the wall and my island range and my counter.  Why they built it like that I will never know. The only thing it is used for around here is to sit on and the dogs use it to gain access to counter and the stove.  So while we worked away in the yard the dogs found the new tub of, I can't believe it's not butter. 2 pounds and 13 oz. size needless to say it was licked clean by the time we came back in.  Now not knowing who the guilty dog or dogs were we just through away the container and left it at that; a learned experience. So I had just started meds to sleep, after two years of only sleeping a couple of hour a night, I  finally said OK to taking them.  The next day after a wonderful sleep I got up and made breakfast for the kids.  I got everything cooked and was getting ready to sit down when one of the kids said "Mom whats all over your back"?
I don't know what does it look like. Eeeewww it something nasty. What does that mean it's something nasty, the kids were treating me like a leaper so I went to the bathroom to check the back of my shirt. As I am looking at my shirt the mental image of a dog puking on me came flashing into my head.  I fell out laughing and ran to my room where yes my wildest dream was true.  I had been puked on and then I slept in it all night long.  The bed was a disgusting mess of regurgitated, I can't believe it's not butter. The eeeewww feeling came over me and I went straight to the shower. Now the one sleeping up close to my head was Chiquita so I am assuming it was her. But the reality is I do not know who ate it or puked it up. But hey my meds worked I slept right though it all.


2012/03/15

Bloggers reality

I can talk about all the chaos in my life but until I started writing about it, did I really understand how bad it is. You put it in writing and you'll see the bigger scope of things. I guess it snuck up on me over the years so subtle and then it became more noticeable but still I thought hey what would I talk about if I did not have all this stuff in my life.  Every time we would go on vacation or someone would complain about some part of their vacation that just made it the worst.  I would say if all went as planned and nothing happened what would you talk about.  It just makes you a more interesting person when you have something to talk about, no one wants to hear It was a great time the weather was perfect plane trains and auto were all on time and not a problem.   We are humans and we tend to find the unexpected much more interesting.  The chaos that drives us to the brink of craziness.   The parts of our lives that make others go OMG.  That’s what makes us interesting.  Now this is my opinion and not some fact I picked up on a talk show. Maybe this is how come I never realized how out of control things have become. When folks hear  about me they all say, I don’t know how you do it.  I just get up put one foot in front of the other and go.  Now since I started to put my life in writing I can’t believe how I do it either.  Have I become so ho hum about my life; the if you can’t fix it deal with it, that keeps my blinders on.  I keep thinking that my blogging will slow because I won’t have anything left to write about.  I thought maybe once a week I would write something.  Wow how can this be the shit just keeps on coming.  I must be a nut case to do this day in and day out.  I have gone so far off the interesting person scale to the, other she is lying or commit her now scale. My dogs have gone from local celebrities to total annoying little bastards. How did this happen to me.  I am not sure how it got this far out of control and I am not totally sure I know if I can fix it.  Whatever it is, I don’t even know that.  What is normal what is expectable, is there a line that got crossed, did I just bite off more than I can chew?  I found blogging to be a new stress reliever but now it is causing me to think I need a therapist.  I know that living with the blinders on got me through all of this and I didn’t question none of it.
I will not ponder this anymore because It truly is not a good feeling so I think I will put my blinders back on and put one foot in front of the other, It got me though the day and that’s all I need to do.

2012/03/14

The Damn Dogs are KILLING me!

I am sure that there are TV and Movie writers that wish they could write this stuff that I live through.  I pray for a day of sanity and calm.  But this is what I get.
 The bed was made with clean sheets on Monday today is Wednesday and as I sit here blogging for peace of mind and calm my bed cloths are in the wash. Every day I make my bed before I leave my room in the morning everyday when I get home they pile all the blankets in the middle of the bed. Today they not only piled it in the middle they peed on the bed chewed sticks, tissue, and a green plastic bowl.  The Damn Dog are killing me. 

2012/03/13

Volunteering

I work at a pretty incredible company the mission is to help folks live a better life. Not by giving them more money but more opportunities. We are a very diverse company there are way over 25 languages spoken there and we help team members learn English, with on site classes, there are  many computer labs so folks can go and learn how to use them and the internet. We have an internet cafe on site for those who want to check e-mails, surf the web, play games etc.  They serve fresh fruit to all employees everyday free. We have many handicap people, its nothing to see dogs walking around helping their owners.  We train team members so they can move up in the company or move on to better jobs.  We have hot lunches everyday from the cafeteria that is run by a Sue Chef. The team members can get there taxes done free we have an exercise room with all the equipment you need and showers .The company pays everyone to be healthy. Like 9$ a pay check to not smoke you can earn over 30 bucks a paycheck by staying healthy, we have health screenings every year and they offer flue shots,  The list of things is endless and we are Green company to boots.  We have a farm were we grow our own vegetables for the cafeteria  and we have garden plots for team members to grow there own veggies and they can go out on breaks and pull weeds or water them.    We offer cooking classes once a month to teach people how to cook healthy and cheep meals.These things can all be done during the day while they are work,  The list go on and on.  Now staff get a yearly bonus and we must do things to get the bonus. All of these things go directly to the good of our team members and our community,  Once a quarter staff must volunteer to help our mission. So over the years I have done some interesting things through this volunteering.  Serve food, clean up after company functions, Played and Elf at Christmas, pulled weeds, cleaned up planters along the down town streets, Worked at recycle events dragging electronic stuff out of cars as they pull up, helping with tax preparation.Helping with the flu shot day. and that list goes on.  So today was my key indicator day where I have to do volunteer time.  My boss told me I could help in the kitchen getting food ready for the cooking demonstration tomorrow. So one of my co workers and I head off to the kitchen were we think we are going to make sandwiches or something benign.  We arrive to find we will be cutting up chicken for Fajitas. The butterflied filet chicken breast were frozen and we had to slice them so small it was like shaving them to make long slivers of chicken and filling baggies with them. We slivered over 100 frozen chicken breast, which equals 100 chickens. I am going to need therapy on my wrist and shoulders. Not to mention the frost bite. This was by far the worst 1.5 hours I have done doing volunteer work in the past 14 years.  My fingers are swollen and I have a blister on my index finger where it connects to the hand.  I was trying to get the pressure of the knife more centered and the top of the metal blade kept rubbing my finger The other hand hurts like hell as I was trying not to saw the damn things just push down on the top of the blade with the other hand, Both options have left me almost crippled.  At one point I see my co worker and the chicken in her baggies looks so nice and straight in the bags.  Where my first handful went in nice and neat but the second handful is now thawing and picking it off the cutting board makes getting into the bag difficult so I was cramming the second handful in the bag.  I started stressing over this and then I thought am I doing this right maybe I am suppose to use one of the butterfly filet counting each side as one, I asked if we were using two filet and she said yes. So I decided to not stress over the neatness I mean its going to be cooked and ate who cares how it looks in the bag. We counted our bags and we thought we were with in 10 bags of our 50 we needed.  When we ask for clarification on what two meant. We were not even close because the two meant two butterfly filets to a bag which meant two chickens per bag. Needles to say our excitement at being almost finished diminished quickly. We kept making jokes about what we did and had to do so that helped keep our minds off the pain in the rest of our upper bodies.
Typing sucks and I will be begging the girls for a back message tonight. Now I have to admit cutting them frozen did make them easier to cut and make them more uniform in size but Damn why didn't they use the slicer. I will be sure to pick my volunteer hours better in the future.

2012/03/12

My kids are addicts.

I think I knew about my kids addiction about 2 years ago.  At that time I just blew it off thinking it was a fluke and the unlikely chance that it would develop into a problem seemed impossible.  My father developed his addiction after his leg was broken and he was off work.  It lasted for many years until one day he just up and stopped.  I never learned why he was able to quit like he did but I was proud of him.  My Mom had the addiction though out my child hood but it never seem to totally control her. She was able to carry on a normal life with her soap alcoholic addiction.   Hers has stopped now because the soap operas has been cancelled and are being replaced with reality talk show or some other daytime television program that as a working person I cannot get into due to the fact I’m not home during the day.  The two girls came and realized that they could find YouTube videos from their country in their language  Then they came up on Korean soap operas.  Again it’s not their language and they cannot use the computers very well so I am not worried.  The computer got the last virus and I swore I was not fixing another computer.  The blame game became very intense as to who killed the computer and to keep blood from flowing I got them all their own laptops. I cautioned them to take care and not let anyone barrow or use their laptops because if they break or you down load a virus I am not fixing them.  The first thing was face book the second was Korean soap operas.  They went to their rooms and watched the things all afternoon and night.  After two months I told them they had to come out of their rooms and become members of this house again.  The first thing was to get the Korean exchange student to translate them for the girls. Again I am not liking this but now the laptops are dying OK I can see the light at the end of this.  Last week I hear all the girls in the living room laughing and screaming. Wow had not heard that for awhile, not all of them together for a long time. After a while I go to the kitchen to get sustenance and I peek in on the girls to see what’s up.  To my surprise they have found a channel on the satellite TV that plays Korean soaps.  Later that night its past 12:30 and I hear someone in the living room.  I went to investigate as it is a school night and the kids all die around 9 or 10.  I get up to the living room and there she is watching the damn soaps.  Oh Hell no, go to bed you’re not going to stay up  all night watching these things.  Then she goes up stairs to get her computer because she needed to take care of some home work.  The ranting that I was spewing was that of a person having  a psychotic break. After the kid went to bed I had to breath because I had totally lost it.   So Sunday night comes and all of them are watching these things.  We have 5 languages spoke in the home and only the exchange students can speak Korean.  So how do these girls get hooked on them.  Sub titles in English are being read by the others.  The exchange student is doing homework, She says that it’s good that it’s in her language because she does not have to read just listen and she can do her home work. I am teasing them now telling them they can’t read that fast and the exchange student is doing home work how can they know what is going on.  Then one of them shows me the remote and tells me that they just run it back  and pause it so they can read it.
I clearly see that the addiction is compulsive at this point and I am never going to watch the big TV any more, I will be squinting at the 12” TV for life.  Who knew that soaps in any language are addicting, as I have never had this addiction.  Do they have a 12 step for soap opera addictions?



2012/03/11

Horrifying

Warning graphic. 
Just when I think my house is pretty dog prof the Damn Dogs find one more thing to just scar the hell out of me.  I know my higher power has his hands completely wrapped around this house and all that live here.  He has watched over me and mine and for that I am so grateful because I can not keep up with all that they find to get into. 
I am making breakfast for one of the girls as we are the only ones up this morning.  Like always I can find the deepest subjects to engage the girls into to pound my message home and keep them hanging on long enough to get my point across.  I can and do preach but that is when I am mad or have no time to take the time not to. This morning we are talking about the dogs and the rescue the importants of  being responsible and doing all you can to help the dogs. Keeping them safe as they do not have the ability to reason out a situation they act on pure raw instinct.  The thing that gets humans into trouble is what animal get into trouble with. A commotion starts in the living room, I lean over to see whats going on.  Now all the dogs are circling the wagons as it were.  This is never a good sign. I yell at them to knock it off. The crowd disperses and I continue on with our conversation.  Again I see them congregating again in the corner between the chair and sofa.  Again I yell at them and it breaks up, all go off except Willy, he keep circling and heading back to the same spot. Go lay down Willy NOW!  As if this will work but I don't want to leave the stove.  Then I hear the scream and the attack starts.  Now I am moving at break neck speeds to intervene and stop the fight. When I get into the living room I can see my Cabot and Willy starting in on their killer attack thing they do to each other when one thinks the other is hurt or in trouble. All I have to do is pick a pimple and the dogs screams and the other want to rush in to attack and kill.  They only do it to each other . Then they snuggle with each other and take a nap. Cabot is doing the screaming and as he lunges to attack back he is immediately snatched back as if he is he has a rubber band attached to his butt. When I get over to him this is what I see. 



  
As I am trying hard to get him unwrapped from the phone base the messages start playing.  So the whole time we are listen to phone messages from back to, Don't for get the Christmas party tonight.  
I'm real sure Cabot did not find the humor in this, as we did.

2012/03/10

Meet Chilly Willy


Willy is a sweet boy who finds sleeping in in the morning one of his favorite things to do.  He has not met a squirrel he didn't love to chase. He gets along with dogs but loves his humans more. He would rather be with his human than any other place. He is very social boy and will hop in any empty lap he finds.  He lounges in the big bed and never want to get up in the morning, and he find comfort in his kennel and he will sneak into the kennel room and crawl in while the humans hunt for him. We have learned that when he disappears he is in the bed under the blankets or in a kennel. He love a good run and can move like the wind.  Loves to go for walks and rides in the car.  He is a well traveled little guy and his little secret is he has a German micro chip along with his English one. We have no knowledge of his former life but seem well adjusted and would make a wonderful only dog or with a buddy but he wants to be number one he can't be number 2. He does good with his potty and his skin is good and very soft.   His flashy spots and wild red crest gives him a lot of character.

2012/03/09

Introducing Marley

As a rescue I feel the need to let the world know about these little characters that live with me. 
Marley got his name from the movie of the same.  He is not that bad but he is an Energizer bunny on speed.  He came here so frightened he would not let anyone near him. We could not catch him and soon did not try. The plan was when you’re ready you’ll come to us. It took a very long time but we did win him over and he has come out of his fear base shell. He is the happiest dog now and he lives life to the fullest. He plays hard and runs like the devil is on his tail.  He has two speeds fast and stop.  He loves anything hard plastic so keeping nylabones around is a must he is a robust vigorous chewer and will take advantage of things lying around.  The floor is littered with nylabones and keeping them on the floor is sometimes very difficult as they hurt like hell to step on.  From what I can see he spent most if not all of his life in a kennel. He came to me in the fall very pasty and without color, within two weeks he was sporting a tan. He has more energy than most dogs and loves to play. His brother came to me a couple of weeks after him and the two of them possess a lot of the same characteristics. Play hard, run hard, and just stop. He is a lover and wants to be with his humans even in play he wants his humans in the same room. He will seek you out and look for you.  One of the games I play with him and his brother is hide and seek. Of course they always win but love the game. He is an opportunist and will steal any kind of paper towel, tissue, napkin etc. He can jump like a gazelle and needs a fenced in yard. He does well with my kids but will not let them pick him up. He will go to them always and sit on them but they cannot pick him up if they are standing. When the kids are lying on the sofa with a blanket he will crawl up under it and curl up with the kids. If they are sitting they can do whatever they want and he loves it. He love to sleep in the big bed but will be on alert all night long nothing moves here with out him knowing it. So he now sleeps in the kennel and without problems.  He needs a family that is active and will interact with him. He lives in a big pack and I do not think he will do well as an only dog.  He needs a dog that will play with him and a family that will play with him. He has as much love to give as energy. He is very happy dog and will Velcro to his human quickly.  He craves humans and play. He is a Goof ball.
Marley
 

2012/03/07

Cabin Fever


Cabin Fever is a term we use mostly in the North. As it causes depression, anxiety and distress from prolonged confinement. It originated in the West, this term first  alluded to being cooped up in a remote cabin during a long winter but since has been used more broadly. As can these Damn Dogs suffer any more this year with cabin fever. The past few days have been unusually warm, today climbing near 60, this is mostly unheard of for Michigan at this time of year.  The sun was shining and a warm breeze blew in from the South and made sitting on the patio a wonderful break yesterday.  So I grabbed a glass of wine and went out to sit in the sun and watch the dogs play. 
It started immediately  as soon as I opened the door. They ran out  the door as if they were being shot out of a cannon. Then they flew around the yard at break neck speeds. Half were breaking the sound barrier and the other half were being trampled by the first half. This will piss off even the best tempered dogs not to mention a bunch of depressed grouchy dogs suffering from a huge case of cabin fever.  The break neck speed dogs have not missed a step as they ran the back yard and the others who got run over by them are now in attack mode in retaliation for being run over.  As the speeding dogs made their return loop of the yard the other lay in wait for them.  When they made there move on the speeding pack it caused such a commotion that all I could see was butts, heads and tails rolling around in the grass, and all I could hear was screaming, growling,barking and snapping teeth. I put my wine down and ran to break it up. I used my out side voice and it did the trick as I am sure the next county over heard me. I have a circler in the pack and when she gets excited she spins out of control.  Her spins took her in the direction of my glass of wine sitting on the picnic table. I have no way of measuring her speed or mpr's but it was fast when she hit the glass.  Now I was planning on a long stay so I filled the glass fuller than normal so I could drink it at my leisure. Now when she hit the glass I still can't say with certainty how the glass itself stayed intact and did not break, but wine went every where. The dogs came running as if I had used a bull horn to announce free drinks. I was shoeing away a couple of dogs and a couple more moved in the faster I swatted at them the quicker they returned.  I finally gave up and let them lap it up as I figured how drunk can 10 dogs get on 8 oz. of wine. I looked down at them under the picnic table licking the wine up and realized it was still dripping down from the table on their backs.  We have two kinds of dogs here the lickers and the lickees so some are licking the concrete and some are licking them.  GAWD, the image of the dogs licking wine off each other and the concrete was what my dreams were made of last night.

2012/03/06

Shoveling dogs

The oldest came home for spring break and was not in the house 30 min when one of the hooligans got her credit card and chewed it. She did not have time to realize it had even come out of her pocket.  I believe they have radar for such things.  It got me to thinking what I have lost over the years with all the dogs.  Although they did not chew the dining room chairs they do something referred to as shoveling.  They will dig their nails into the bottom of a chair and push themselves up the back of the chair.  I have a couple very vigorous shoveling dogs that get a momentum going and they can rub the jammies right off themselves.  But the chairs I have has a loose weave fabric on them ,the bottom of the dining room chairs are about gone. They went through the fabric and are now in the foam. There is a hole in the middle and they are almost to wood now.  I try to keep the chairs pushed under the table but the girls do not.  They will do this where ever they are when the urge hits them.  I have one that gets under the edge of the coffee table and rubs his back on the bottom of the edge, this also will remove a pee band when he has had enough of it.  Now the living room furniture is a little more durable and has held up under the shoveling dogs. Sometimes they will lean on the front side of the couch or bed and run up and down rubbing their sides along the length of them.  They will lay on their backs and wiggle around on the floor like a fish out of water, scratching themselves. Now almost every dog that has come through my house has done one or more of these behaviors. I have one now that if you cross your legs  he will stand under the one that is crossed over the top and rub his back on the bottom of your shoe or slipper, whatever.  I know sometimes there is nothing better in the world than a good back scratch, so it only stands to reason the dogs would like them to.  Since they destroyed the chair straight away I just tell folks please sit down sorry the dogs tore up the chairs and I am not going to buy another set for them to ruin.  The sofa has been pee on pooed on and puked  on. I am on my second green machine because I killed the first one.  The kids sit on the arms and the dogs sit on the top of the back, all are starting to break down.  I tell myself when I am done with kids and dogs I will buy new furniture, but in reality I will never be done so I will just buy smarter next time. 

2012/03/05

Potty habits.......

It has come to my attention that one of the Damn Dogs is pooing on the move.  At first it was not so noticeable, but those scattered poos are not random acts of more than one dog pooing in same place.  They are now getting strung out, up and down stairs which leads me to believe the dog is moving while pooing. I can’t imagine a dog hanging his butt over the edge and it bounces down three or four steps.  Now I find myself wondering, is the dog walking or running when this takes place.  This in itself is of no consequences that fact that I am even pondering such thoughts scares me.  What has happened to my mind over the years that causes me to sit and think about such things in the first place. I really have a lot more things that needs my attention, but here I sit thinking about dogs poo habits. I don’t know if my age plays a big part of this or I am just crossing over to the dark side.  The side where I am totally consumed by dogs and their habits or lack of. Maybe I need more omega-3 fatty oils for better brain function. Oh my GAWD 30 years ago you could not have paid me to believed I would end up like this.  Back then my thoughts where on what I was going to wear everyday and if I had a date for the weekend. Now here I am contemplating how to get one over on my kids and how dogs poo . It scares me to think of what the next 10 or 20 years will bring.  Even when I am trying to concentrate on work at hand I can hear someone walking down the stairs and then scream out “OH SHIT!!” Now my mind goes right to which dog came down the stairs last because those stairs where poo free a few moments ago. Like it even matters I cannot make them not do it again, I cannot get one over on them all I can do is tell everyone to not walk around with out the lights on, keep your slippers on etc.  I find myself trying to figure out who made what mess by the size of the poo.  Again like it matters, I will just clean it up and go on with my business.  I cannot fight the potty habits of 10 plus dogs just deal with it.  So where this obsession with dog poo comes from is a mystery.  Will I need a 12 step program in the near future.  Will I ever just deal with it or will I keep on obsessing over it.  Heaven only knows.