Tag Archives: housekeeping

Underappreciated Tasks In the Modern World: Garbage Collection


Good morning Everyone!

Those of you who read yesterday’s post, Now the second day, will remember that by the time I pulled out of the driveway headed to work I was somewhat discombobulated.  This sensation only increased when I realized that the garbage can was not out on the curb for trash collection.  I should have realized that yesterday was garbage collection day, because I had been given a clue – the sunrise pictures I took yesterday included photos of my neighbors’ garbage cans out on the curb.

A Clue for the Clueless!

However, I did manage to forget, so was aghast to see the garbage can in the driveway as I pulled out.  In our household, going two weeks without garbage collection usually leads to a certain amount of desperation.  No matter how hard we try, we just can’t cram two weeks worth of stuff into the bin.  Fortunately, I found out this morning that my ultra-organized husband had not only put the garbage can out on the street for pickup Tuesday morning, but had gone ahead and taken the can back in since it had already been collected by the time he was ready to leave for work. 

Horse Drawn Garbage Cart

The idea that garbage collection is a necessity is a relatively new one in human history.  For centuries, humans did not worry about waste disposal; they either piled the waste in one spot, burned it, or, most common in cities, just threw it in the streets.  Interestingly, it was Benjamin Franklin (surprised?) who formed the first street cleaning service in 1757 and who encouraged the public to dig pits to dispose of their waste.  It wasn’t until the late 1800’s to early 1900’s before cities started to really focus on waste collection.  Even then, as the photograph above shows, there was not a lot of concern about where trash was dumped; it was dumped in any open field, wet land or watercourse that seemed convenient. FN.

One of the first motorized garbage collection trucks

Once the internal combustion engine was invented and harnessed for transportation, it didn’t take very long for the garbage collection truck to be invented as well.  The truck above is from the early 1900’s.  It posed problems for garbage men, though, because it required the person picking up the trash can to lift it over his head.   

The rear-loading garbage truck was invented as early as the 1920’s. 

Ad for 1920's rear-loader

A similar model is still used to pick up my garbage today, although hydraulic lifts and other mechanical improvements have been added to make it easier on the garbage collector.

The garbage truck I am most familiar with

Between the 1920’s and today, of course, many other forms, shapes and sizes of garbage trucks were tried out.  The next one is one of my favorites; using it taught the garbage industry that bigger is not always better!

The Godzilla of Garbage Trucks

My family has not had to resort simply to imagination to experience what it would be like today if there was no garbage collection.  The first two years we lived in our house, our neighborhood was so new that when replacement drivers would come in around Christmas time, they just forgot about us.  You don’t realize how desperately important trash collection is until you go three weeks without it with a five/six-year-old girl at Christmas time.  By the time we heard the garbage truck that second year after Christmas, Mark and I both flew out of the house, chased it down, and held the garbage men there in conversation while we not only got them to empty our can, which was full to overflowing, but also sweet-talked them into taking the other seven garbage bags we had been forced to store in various and sundry places.  Actually, there wasn’t a lot of sweet-talking involved – we just kept grabbing bags and chucking them into the garbage truck opening like madmen.  Fortunately, by the third year in our house, even the replacement drivers knew where we were (or word had spread that the crazy people at our house would chuck garbage into the truck no matter what if you skipped us) and we haven’t had the same problem since.  However, I have never taken garbage collection for granted after that!

Other garbage trucks from years gone-by

So, today or the next week, if you get behind a garbage truck, or when your own local garbage man comes by to collect your trash, give them a friendly wave, and a kind thought.  Without them, our homes would be messier, smellier places and they deserve our thanks!

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy

FN.  The pictures and historical information above came from Ace Disposal:  The History of Garbage Collection.

Ten Reflections on Hot Green Tea in the Morning


Good morning!

Having noticed that my caffeine of choice, Diet Coke, is rapidly increasing in price to the point where I will have to get a second mortgage to continue to indulge my current habit, I have instead been trying to drink a little bit of hot green tea in the morning.  After about four days, I have come up with a number of observations:

Green Tea Lid

1) Hot tea is, well, hot.  Once I get the tea past the scalding point where I can drink it, the first sip sends a wave of warmth through my whole body.  I can see this would be a good thing in the winter; in the summer, not so much! 

2) The green teas flavored with fruits are not bad tasting at all, especially when you add 1 teaspoon of sugar to the cup with the tea bag and then let the hot water flow over both.  I like the pomegranate flavored green tea and a blend called “raspberry soiree.”  The only problem with “raspberry soiree” is that I spend the next 60 minutes humming “Raspberry Beret” by the Artist Formerly Known As Prince.

3) Herb tea and green tea are not equivalent!

4)  The poor lonely coffee cups in the pantry that until now have only been used for ice cream (on occasion) and the caffeination of visiting parents and other guests are now seeing the light of day more regularly.

Lonely Coffee Cups

5) This is supposed to be doing something good for my health, although the idea that an anti-oxidant is a good thing is counter-intuitive to an oxygen/air-breathing life form, and the elimination of free radicals makes me feel a little bit like I am violating someone’s freedom of speech. 

6)  I have something else I need to remember to throw away as soon as I use it and not leave it lying around.  Dried, used tea bags are definitely not attractive!

7) I finally have something I can sit down at the table with and not be immediately surrounded by a pack of dogs begging for it.

8 )  The daughter still comes over to view the tea when she’s up, but it’s summer and she’s not been up often enough this week for it to really be a factor.  I let her try some peppermint herbal tea one morning, and it was not a hit! 

9 )    While not as many as for coffee drinkers, there are lots of cool accessories you can gather with tea drinking.  My collection currently includes a Keurig mini-brewer (off-limits to anything but pouring water in it to make tea with) and a ceramic tea pot. 

10)  The teaspoon of sugar (and possibly the heat of the tea) makes me crave a glass of ice water immediately after I drink the tea.  Drinking more water is always a good thing, right?  

Have a good day everyone!

Nancy

Shadow’s Spread


Good morning everyone!

This Summer's Bedspread

Usually, Mark and I keep the same bedspread on our bed year round, only changing it out periodically to get it cleaned, but this summer, we decided to switch the regular comforter out for a lighter bedspread.  The bedspread  is  lighter and more comfortable than the regular comforter for summer, but there is another reason I like the bedspread, aged though it is.

 
 

Quilting that remains on bedspread

Shadow loved this bedspread.  It was originally quilted.  Stitch by careful stitch, night after night, without messing up one single square of fabric or alerting us to what she was doing, over the course of her 16 years, Shadow managed to pull out every one of the quilting threads in the bedspread, leaving only a few on the side.

Before and After

We have been without Shadow for over nine years now, but I still won’t get rid of her bedspread.  20 years from now, in whatever condition it is, I still will be carrying it around.  I can’t touch Shadow any more, but I can touch the bed spread she worked so hard on, and smile at the memory.

Shadow and I at Calloway Gardens

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy

The Beeping Fridge, The Momentary Absence of Clutter and Child’s Play


Good morning Everyone!

It mattered not, after all, whether the Weather Channel gave us a 90% chance of rain, or a 30% chance of rain, because, at our house, we ended up with 0″ of rain.  So either way, I guess, it was right! 

  • The Beeping Refrigerator

    From Print Shop Professional 2.0

The refrigerator in the garage keeps beeping at us.  It has never done so before, so naturally we are a little curious as to why.  We have checked the temperature in the refrigerator and freezer, and they appear to be fine.  I have reset the water filter status, and that didn’t work.  I turned the compressor off for about 10 minutes, then turned it back on.  I have read the 23 page refrigerator manual cover-to-cover and in doing so have learned how to set up the refrigerator, install/hook up the ice maker and water supply if I so choose, how to fix various and sundry problems, none of which apply to our current situation, and even the proper way to dispose of a refrigerator (yes, they spent 2 out of 23 pages on that one), but nowhere does it even mention beeping.  Anywhere.  I even downloaded a version of the manual from the Frigidaire web site to electronically search it for “alarm” or “beep”, and didn’t get anything.  So, basically, I am back where I started, with a refrigerator beeping at me and no information to go on.   It is worse than arguing with the computer, because at least the computer, when it beeps, gives me a crumb of information (usually incomprehensible, but a crumb nonetheless) to go by.  Stay tuned; if I ever find out how to fix it, I will let you know.  At least the refrigerator is only six months old, so it is still under warranty. 

  • The Momentary Absence of Clutter

From Print Shop Professional 2.0

We had company for supper this weekend, an old friend we hadn’t seen in quite a while.  Not only did we have a fantastic visit, but as a side benefit, the clutter throughout the den/kitchen/study/dining room part of our house was completely swept away.  I may not be able to find any of the stuff again, but it is safely tucked away somewhere.  Kayla wasn’t as keen on the picking up part, although she did make a valiant effort on her bathroom and bedroom, but she always enjoys the company part.  We not only visited, but towards the end of the evening we played UNO, one of Kayla’s favorite card games.  The first two games went fairly quickly, but the third game lasted about an hour and a half and was a lot of fun.  To her great delight, and with an assist from Dad, Kayla ended up winning that last round.

The dogs enjoyed my friend being over, and my friend was able to enjoy them once we got the three of them to settle down and stop sniffing.  (Cindy has a bischon frise at her house, and my three were intent on gathering all the information about the bischon that they could.) 

      • Child’s Play

Kayla played Harry Potter Sunday afternoon.  She came out of her bedroom with her purple dance bag packed and a little cosmetics case (for just a minute, it looked like she was running away!)  and informed us that the bedroom was the Forbidden Forest, Harry wanted them to stay there (in this game, she is Harry Potter’s sister) but that she didn’t think that was a good idea, so she was moving on.  She set up camp in the middle of the great room, and was busily setting up file folders.  I guess if you are on the run, file folders are indispensable.  She and Harry must have finally agreed on where they were going , because she eventually broke camp and went back into her bedr…. I mean the Forbidden Forest.  I love my child’s imagination!

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy

Closets, Rain and Underwear (An Unlikely Combination!)


Good morning everyone! 

No-no and Bad Dog are off to a flying start this morning.  I just retrieved a red-ink pen from No-No (fortunately before he had pierced through to the ink) and a handkerchief from Bad Dog, both of which they could only have taken directly off my bedside table. 

Bad Dog (Mandy) and No-No (Darwin) Confer on Tactics

I hope you had a great weekend!  We did.  Our big activity for this weekend was going to see the last Harry Potter movie.  Yes, it is as good as the collective “they” say.  For purists, there are differences from the book, but over all, the movie does a fantastic job of conveying the important points.

  • Inmate’s Underwear

    From Print Shop Professional 2.0

Kayla is of an age now where she can (sort of) understand what’s going on when she listens to the news.   Yesterday afternoon late, we had to head into Montgomery to buy a few things, and on the way there, we heard a news report about how the sheriff of Polk County, Arizona has decreed that male inmates must buy their prison underwear or do without.

Kayla thought for a minute, then said reflectively, “You know, I think everyone should have at least one pair of underwear.”  Then she thought some more, and announced that “If I ever go to prison, I will be sure and pack my own underwear.”  We explained that you don’t normally get to take your own stuff to prison.  She said, “Well, then, the underwear they give you might not fit right or be very comfortable; I guess I just won’t ever to go to jail.” 

We told her we thought that was a wise decision. 

  •   Gentle Rain

    Happy to Get Rain (from Print Shop Professional 2.0)

We have had an unexpected break in our summer weather, for just a few days, and it has been nice.  Overcast clouds and summer thunderstorms gave us rain for about four days straight.  The crowning glory was a slow soaking rain on Saturday, followed by a cloud show that was absolutely breathtaking!  The rain clouds broke into huge blankets of dark gray pillowed skies bordered by luminous white clouds, with just one or two patches where the clouds broke completely and the rays came shining though.  How I wished my fellow bloggers over at The Simple Life of a Country Man’s Wife, and Just Rambling Pier  had been here to take pictures.  They both are super photographers.  I, of course, in spite of my three cameras plus one cell phone that takes pictures, had nothing available to capture the moment with.

Our Cloud Show Was Even Better Than This! (From Print Shop Professional 2.0)

Mark volunteered Saturday morning to help Kayla clean her closet, due to a pressing need to find out how many pairs of shoes she had that fit, and so they spent about two hours working on it together.  It now looks really good and they were still speaking to each other when they finished!  I have given him carte blanche on my half of our clothes closet whenever he wants, Kayla’s looked so good when they finished.  The craft closet I have not offered up for cleaning.  🙂 

A Closet That Was Cleaned (from Print Shop Professional 2.0)

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy

Fibber McGee’s Closet


Morning Everyone!

I am pleased to report to America that I have discovered Fibber McGee’s closet – it is now a kitchen pantry and lives in my house!

I was born without the gene that gives people the gift of organization – the ability not only to straighten something up in a logical and usable manner but also to keep it that way. My husband, happily born with this gene, patiently reorganizes the pantry from time to time, but somehow I always manage to get confused and put stuff back in the wrong place and then I run out of room and put something on the very top or second shelf on top of something else. Since vegetable beef soup cans were apparently not designed to sit on top of loaves of breads, bags of egg noodles or cracker boxes, eventually someone opens the pantry and various items fall off the shelf onto either the floor or the opener’s head. While not conducive to cooking anything, it is very good for the reflexes – I have made some excellent saves of soup cans and Doritos bags in my day!

Not only is Fibber’s McGee’s closet alive and well, but it has had a child, which also lives in my house – Kayla’s closet.  (We think the pantry may have had an illicit affair with my craft closet, but have not yet been able to prove it.)  I had the occasion to go into Kayla’s closet yesterday looking for something, and upon doing so realized I should have marked it as a hard hat only zone. I think the only reason the child can find any of her clothes is that the majority of the ones in the closet remain hung on the rack (although some of them appear to have mysteriously taken up residence on the floor – well, on top of the piles of toys that are on the floor) and some others are in her clothes cupboard which is a no toy zone. You can tell that this closet is still young, however, since, in spite of its best efforts, nothing in the closet managed to fall on anyone.  It wanted to throw something at me, but couldn’t quite manage it.

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy

P.S.  For those who are wondering what the heck Fibber McGee’s closet is:

A long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away, before television, computers, iPods or internet, there was radio.  There were many kinds of radio programs – news, comedies, drama, mysteries. One of the longest running shows was a comedy called “Fibber McGee and Molly” which ran from sometime in the 1930’s until it was cancelled in 1959.

One of the “running gags” in the show was Fibber McGee’s hall closet. A person opened the closet at his or her peril, because, with one exception, every time the closet was opened, you would hear the clatter of all kinds of things pouring out of it and onto the head of the person who opened it. Accordingly, the phrase “Fibber McGee’s closet” is (or was) synonymous with cluttered closets.

Differences Between Men and Women: Exactly When Was the Election Held?


Hi Everyone!

Somewhere along the line, a very important election was held, and the women either weren’t informed about it, or completely shut out of the voting process. 

That’s the only explanation I can come up with for some of the following:

1)    Panty Hose

Joe Namath notwithstanding, panty hose is an extremely odd fashion accessory to saddle a woman with.  Not only do they rip and run very easily (I average one wearing per pair)  but a woman has about a 1 in 3 chance of getting them on correctly to the point that they are even halfway comfortable.  And in climates such as the Deep South, they are not designed to keep you cooler throughout the day!

2)    Make-up

Exactly who dreamed up the idea that females should every day spread a range and assortment of very expensive goop in varying amounts across their faces, and then paint on top of the goop?  Or, conversely, who decided that only women, and not men too, needed to perform this ritual?

3)  Shopping for Clothes

Have you ever gone shopping with a man for clothes?  The clothes are all laid out neatly in sections together – pants with pants, shirts with shirts, underwear in a neat section behind the counter.  Women’s clothes, on the other hand, as a general rule, are scattered throughout the women’s section, with only loose groupings of  sizes (misses, women’s and petites) and “occasion” dresses. 

4)   Fashion

Adult men’s clothing styles, for the most part (excluding the 1970’s)are very stable.  The one fashion item for men that seems to change drastically every once in a while is the width of ties – and since they have two choices, wide ties and narrow ties, all they have to do is have a selection of both and they are covered either way.  Women’s clothing styles can change as much as three times in one year. 

 

5)   Shoes

With the notable exception of platform shoes from the seventies, men’s shoes tend to stay flat, and fairly comfortable.  Women’s shoes come in all shapes and sizes, and apparently the higher the heel the more attractive the shoe.   The only problem for me is that I can’t walk well in anything higher than about a 1-inch heel. 

6)   Hair

My husband can wash and brush his hair and be ready to go out the door in 5 minutes.  My hair (admittedly it is getting long right now) takes a lot longer – I’m lucky to get it washed and blown dry in 15 to 20 minutes.  For him to get his hair cut costs about $15.00 at the same barber shop he has been going to since he went to college lo these many years ago.  I can’t even get my hair shampooed for that!

7)   The failure to invent the riding vacuum cleaner

According to Ehow.com, the first riding lawn mower (powered by horses) was invented in 1900, and the first gas-powered riding lawn mower was invented in 1919.  The world still awaits the invention of the (non-horse-powered, of course) riding vacuum cleaner.

8)  Electronics

My husband can work every audio-visual piece of equipment in the house and the remotes that come with them with no difficulty whatsoever.  I can use the same equipment, do the exact same thing that he does in the exact same order, and the *&^%%$%#%$^^&%& equipment still refuses to work.  

9) The Automatic Laundry Folding Machine

We can send a man to the moon, and build a space station, but we can’t invent an affordable machine that will automatically fold my laundry once it finishes in the dryer?  Priorities people!

10)   Hormones

Enough said.

So, Ladies, keep your eyes peeled.  Surely these things will come up for a vote again sometime in the next 500 years, and this time, let’s make sure we show up!

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy

The Dream versus Reality


I have a dream. 

From Print Shop 2.0 Professional

 In my dream, I have perfectly coiffed hair, stunning make-up, an elegant outfit, a house that shines in every sense of the word – dark wood floors that stay shiny instead of riddled with paw prints, none of those piles of clutter that inexplicably build up in odd nooks and crannies throughout the house – a daughter who has done her homework before I pick her up from day care, and three dogs sedately trotting beside me as I gracefully glide toward the door to greet my husband as he returns from a hard day’s work.  If I need a pen, a pencil, the tape, scissors, paper or any kind of widget at all (I never have figured out what a widget is, but they sure are mentioned a lot!), I can go (gracefully glide) immediately to the spot where the item is located.  As my husband walks in the house, he is greeted by the wafting aroma of a home cooked meal, completely from scratch, using the best recipes I can cull from The Joy of Cooking or The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.  Even though this gourmet meal is being presented, the kitchen itself is spotlessly clean.  I am completely caught up with all my chores at home, and all my projects at work have been finished at least five days before the deadline.  (Those of you from work who read this can pause to roll on the floor laughing for a moment. )

The gap between this dream and reality is very far indeed. 

(Those of you who have come to our house for supper do not see this reality – we make sure the house is picked up before you come over!) 

When my husband usually comes home from work, he is met by three frantic dogs, two of whom are doing their best to jump on him any way they can. 

 Having just finished and filed the brief that was due today at 4:30 right before I headed for the house,  I am now at 6:15 having a discussion (read argument) with Kayla as to why she failed to complete her homework at after school care rather than waiting until we got home.  I also am explaining to her (this concept is relatively new) that just because you didn’t have any worksheets from school doesn’t mean that you have no homework – after all, if the teacher gives you a study sheet and hints that you are having a test on the study sheet on Friday, she intends for you to review the study sheet in the intervening week. 

From Print Shop 2.0 Professional

 The kitchen is not clean, and I am doing my best to piece together a fairly quick supper because a) I failed to plan the meals in advance and b) we just got home and I have about 1 hour and 45 minutes to get Kayla bathed, fed, ready for bed and still give her some modicum of time to spend playing and having some quality time with us.  We usually have laundry lurking somewhere, whether unfolded in a basket or in the form of  ironed pieces hanging on the the mantel (and what ironing was done was done because Mark did it), and the pile of shoes in my bedroom (see,https://workingmomadventures.com/2011/03/03/earth-fare-the-longest-walk-general-von-bissing-and-the-birds/) is anywhere between two and four pairs.  As for perfectly coiffed hair – you can forget it.  I am lucky to have gotten it washed in the morning with enough time to let it air dry, and as a general rule my make-up is never perfect. 

From Print Shop 2.0 Professional

The dogs, if I walk them, with the exception of Tyra, have pulled me out of the door looking rather like a crazed Hittite charioteer without a chariot,  being pulled by dogs, not horses.  I have often wondered if I tried it on roller skates, how fast I could be clocked before I fell and seriously injured myself.    The inside of the refrigerator looks like a no-man’s land, with odds and ends in containers that I can’t remember what they were or when they were cooked. 

An actor rides a Roman-stule horse-drawn chariot in Jerash, Jordan, during a rehearsal for 'The Roman Army and Chariot Experience,' a one-hour show held in honour of Julius Caesar, and part of Jordan's newest tourist attraction(AFP/File/Khalil Mazraawi)

This is the problem with the dream – it makes me feel continually inadequate, and I am doing it to myself!  Somewhere in the back of my mind, I have decided that the dream is the way most people live, and if I don’t measure up to that, then I am not worthy.  While I should (and am trying to) do better on keeping the house picked up (understand, Mark does pull more than his fair share here; I am the one that has the organizational/neatness issues), it will never be perfect.  In fact, I wouldn’t want it to be, since for the three dogs to be trotting sedately beside me I would have to have a different trio than the lovable mutts that romp beside me through my day, for me to have a daughter that does her homework perfectly and on time every day, I would have to have a different daughter, and for me to have the floors sans paw marks, I wouldn’t be able to have the dogs.  (Well, actually, I could also have lighter wood, but that wouldn’t look right in the house, either.)  There probably would be a lot less laughter, too.

So, I guess rather than tasking myself with inadequacy, I will change the things I can, accept the things I can’t, and pray for the wisdom to know the difference.  I also will go read the latest book on how to keep things organized, once I find it after threading through the shoes on my bedroom floor and searching in the clutter stack that is growing on its own in the corner…..

If you can relate let me know!  I would love to know that I’m not the only one  out here.

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy

Cheese Grits, the Sequel and Where only the Brave Dare Go


Hi Everyone! 

  • Cheese Grits, the Sequel

From Print Shop 2.0 - Rising Steam

Last night, Kayla was helping Mark while I was cooking supper.  I left the kitchen to go check on them, and when I got to the room, Kayla said to me, “I wish I could have cheese grits for supper, like the ones they make at school or that Grandma Pat makes.”  (Steam started rising from my stomach toward my ears.)  She then added, “That’s because they have the right kind of grits and cheese.”  (The steam hit my head and started to roll around my eyes in advance of a full whistle blast.)  She reflected a minute, then added cheerfully, “Well, you have the right kind of box but not the right kind of cheese.”  (Small wisps of steam began to slip out from my ears.)  At that point, I told her that she probably should quit while she was behind, and went back to working on supper, which, for the record, was NOT cheese grits and probably won’t be for some time!

  • Where Only the Brave Dare Go

The Inside of My Refrigerator (Not!) From PrintShop 2.0

I really looked at the inside of my refrigerator last night.  To really look at the inside of your refrigerator means that you have to intentionally look at every item on every shelf, as opposed to the instant identification search you do most of the time – ie., you want milk, locate milk, grab milk and return the rest of the refrigerator’s occupants to the comforting, cool dark that they love. 

When I did look, I saw that the inside of the refrigerator is beginning to be a very scary place, which means that the time to clean out the refrigerator has arrived again.  The last time I went through the refrigerator, say six months ago (Mom, I am just kidding – I have cleaned it out since Christmas!), throwing out all leftovers and other items I could not place a date on, I found three science experiments involving fermentation (I didn’t know until then that it was possible for lima beans to ferment), two new kinds of penicillin, three mutant bacteria that did NOT have good intentions for humanity, and four cures for cancer.  If you see the HazMat team headed toward my house this weekend, you will know what caused it!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Nancy

Cleaning, Petting the Dogs, The Longest Walk Revisited, Braces and Grammar


Isn’t it great to know that we have made it to another Friday?  Although we have nothing spectacular planned for this weekend, it’s nice –

excuse me while I go retrieve a handkerchief from Bad Dog, who just saw me looking at her and has decided to lie on the handkerchief and pretend that it’s not really there –

 to know that a chance to sleep in and have some additional family time is right around the corner! 

  • Cleaning

Our first activity of the weekend, however, will occur tonight when Miss Kayla gets to clean her bedroom and bathroom once we arrive home.  I don’t think she’s too happy with that itinerary, but it is necessary! 

  • Petting the Dogs

I got the chance last night to sit down with each of the dogs and pet them for a couple of minutes.  Darwin started it, really; I was going over to him to get him to stand up and go out for the last time before we went to bed, and he looked up at me from his dog bed, which is on one side of our fireplace in the den and his tail started wagging furiously.  Darwin’s dog bed is about two sizes too small for him – we have tried buying bigger beds, but he refuses to have anything to do with them – and it constantly amazes us that he can even fit in there!  So, when he started wagging his tail, rather than make him get up right away, I sat down by him and loved on him for a minute.  While I was doing that, Mandy looked up from the dog bed she was using on the other side of the fireplace with kind of a grumpy “Are you really going to wake me up now?” look, so I went over to her to pet her, too.  Petting Mandy is always a sweet experience; for all her foibles in the chewing and counter departments, she is a very loving dog and has the softest hair I have ever felt on a dog.  In my opinion, it is as soft as an angora cat’s hair would be, but less fluffy and infinitely less likely to send me into a sneezing fit!   Having petted the other two dogs, it just wouldn’t do, of course, to leave Tyra out, so I went over to her (she was on the couch, guarding “her man”, ie., Mark, from all comers except me) and stroked her for a while, too.  I got several tail thumps from her for that one.  It just was a sweet moment. 

  • The Longest Walk, Revisited

I was getting ready for bed last night, when my eyes fell upon the pair of shoes I had worn yesterday sitting by my bureau.  I thought about what I wrote yesterday, and decided it couldn’t be too hard to take them to the closet, so I went ahead and picked them up and carried them through the closet door – at which time I pitched them on the floor two inches from the shoe rack where they still remain, along with most of my other shoes.  Oh well, Rome wasn’t built in a day and two inches beats a whole room as a distance to conquer!

  • Kayla’s Braces

I was on the phone with my mom last night, and had just finished telling her that Kayla’s braces weren’t hurting her anymore, when screams started to erupt from her bathroom – the kind of screams that let you know that something is wrong.  I raced in there, got off the phone with my mom, and then got to play the “Stop screaming long enough to tell me what’s wrong” game – any mother will tell you that if you’re not frazzled when you first hear the screams, you will be by the time you finish playing twenty questions in between the screams.  I usually don’t make it to question 9 before my eyes start flashing and smoke starts coming out of my ears, because it is so frustrating to need to help and not be given any information about how to do so.  It turned out that a wire in the back of her mouth had poked into a very tender place in her cheek and stuck there.  It wasn’t in very deep, and we got it pulled out fairly quickly but there was quite some excitement for a minute or two!  After Mark got home, he insisted that Kayla put some wax on that wire, and put on the Canker-X medicine the doctor gave her, and that helped, too. 

  • Grammar

I have tried to use English correctly in these posts, but”lie” and “lay” defeat me – I have a 50/50 shot at it, but usually get it wrong.  So, if anyone knows, did Mandy “lay” on the handkerchief, or did she “lie” on the handkerchief, and is there a good way to remember the difference? 

Have a great weekend everyone and I will talk to you on Monday!

Nancy