Thursday, March 20, 2014


Greetings and salutations!

That phrase sounded so familiar to me while I was sitting in my car in the garage this morning with the garage door open and spying on the weird old guy across the street from my rear view mirror.  And it sounded familiar because back in the days when I was a child, and that was a very long time ago, my grandfather would send us letters via snail mail and he always prefaced his missive with that howdy doo.

Back to spying on the neighbor.  Now that we are home owners (receiving applauds and whistles...thank you) it seems that we should be a little more observant to the comings and goings of our new neighbors.  To whit the weird old guy across the street.  He spends an unusual amount of time on his roof.  He has many many solar panels up there, they are large and hard to miss, so I doubt he's verifying that they have not been stolen in the night or gone away in some other nefarious manner. He wanders up there back and forth across the roof, sometimes he has a little rag in his back pocket in case something needs a little sprucing up I imagine.   He had a little vacuum cleaner/shop vac up there for a while so that makes me think he's very tidy.  The vacuum looked like a robot, but not that interesting.  It was yellow, but in any case it is gone now so the mystery remains unsolved.  He also has a ladder/antennae on the side of the house which he uses to gain access to the roof, so he must be clever and possibly receiving messages from Mars or something.  Oh wait, I already knew he was clever because the guy we bought our manse from told me that weird old guy had reconfigured his cars and his bicycle to be electric, like he is an electrical genius or something.  He also spends too much time staring at his utility meter, if you're that smart and everything is run on electricity shouldn't your meter be spinning madly? And if so, can you count the revolutions or whatever happens on meters?  What in the world is he staring at?  He usually is in his pajamas for this event.  But hold on, the solar panels.  What devious plan are they providing power for?   As yet I have not approached him and demanded clarification of his oddities.  Unlike the other neighbors, he did not come over to meet and greet.  Steve thinks he's planning bad stuff, but he may be projecting. In the meantime, I will continue my covert observance of him from my car's rear view mirror or my bedroom window.  Rest assured.

I am very happy being a homeowner again.  I wish ownership did not involve hemorrhaging money on  plumbers and hardware and lawn mower repair and other non shoe items.  Alas, such is life.  Plumbing.  I have decided not to be a plumber.  What started as a simple do it yourself project turned in to a night mare of talking to the guys at Ace and Home Depot far too many times.  In fact I traveled back and forth four times to our local Ace yesterday and had a most unpleasant encounter with an older gremlin with long nasty finger nails who talked over me way too many times until I provided him with pictures that verified I knew what I was talking about and more importantly, that I also knew what I needed.  Sadly this all culminated in an emergency plumbing repair call at 6:00pm on a Wednesday night.  Much soaking of the vanity, the bathroom floor and the carpet of the bedroom ensued from badly joined hoses and valves and unplanned breakage of 40 year old water lines etc.  About two shop vacs worth of water if you're wondering.  So I sat huddled in the corner of a darkened room in the fetal position and sucked my thumb while all the mayhem went on around me.  I so alarmed the plumber emergency guy that he called me a couple times to see how I was doing.  Did I forget to mention that I could not turn off the main water supply to the house?  Right, I couldn't.  That was bad and if you have any weird ideas that I'm incompetent, the plumber who came out to take $400 from me couldn't turn it off either.  He recommended that that be repaired too in case I ever needed to turn the water off like if I was doing some repairs under the sink.  I just stared at him and said, you mean like now and why you're here?  A laugh a minute.

I spent 17 days, 6 hours and some odd seconds at the Petaluma Palace in February whilst the happy couple took themselves off to Hawaii for their annual constitution.   Themselves have a new dawg and she's a beaut. and comes with a fantastic story.  It seems there's this breeder of Rhodesian Ridgebacks   in Texas who contracted a breeding with another RR of some impressive lineage.  And so the deed was done and since science is a wonderful thing, mommy dog and daddy dog never actually had the conjugal visit, instead a vat of semen arrived via FedEx and the mating took place with tubes and science stuff.  At any rate the puppies arrived, and there were many but they looked a little weird and as time went on  they did not look like show quality sign me up for Westminster or Crufts dogs.  Well, as it turns out, someone made a bad boo boo and in fact the semen which was used on the dog in Texas was in truth that of a Schnauzer and as you can see looks nothing like a Rhodesian .   And which results in an expression such as this.  

All good sport I assure you.  In any case the proud puppy mill owners were quite anxious to rid themselves of this litter of puppies what with the impending law suit and what not looming.  And so that is how their Highness's came to own their new bundle of joy whom they named Frankie but who should in fact be named Harriet but that's my opinion.  It may be also true that I have mixed up sire and dam but it in no way changes the gist of the story and since I was able to order off the senior menu this morning at Country Waffles I get to enjoy that latitude.

The spouse and I were able to finish a project together recently that did not involve much screaming or threatening gestures.  We built a tasteful fence and gate on the walkway to our front door which has the sole purpose of keeping the ancient terriers from excaping and causing major reductions in the cat population of our 'hood.  Ta Dah.  We are genius, no?  Did I tell you that we painted our front door lime green?  Well we did that too.  I have more projects and a grand honey do list.  But for now, with the debacle of the plumbing, I shall, as they say, give it a rest.  Instead, the middle daughter has decided that the front yard at her house must be landscaped so I have found an outlet for my creativity with that project.  That the yard is big enough to farm is of no consequence.  It isn't, after all, my money.  And in truth, is there any money that is better spent than someone else's?  It's so much cheaper that way.  Sonny in law luvs that logic.  So the plan involves many many many yards of stamped concrete patios, 20  some odd redwoods, about an acre of lawn and more decorative trees and shrubs than even I can conceive and the tasteful placement of architectural fences and such like.  This has to be done by May sometime.  No problem, right?

I'll leave you with that.  Bon jour!


Sunday, January 26, 2014


I have been remiss.  I admit it.  And while most of you heaved a huge sigh of relief, there is that teeny tiny minority of you jonesing for a squidgy update.  You're welcome (please note correct spelling of you're in this usage...)

So baby Lauren was born and had learned to smile when last we spoke.  The darling baby Grace in New Mexico has flourished and came for a visit in October with her mother and brother.  I have a picture of the baby cousins for you to enjoy.  This was taken when the mothers told them I was coming over for a visit.  I made the quilt btw.

Then I forgot to visit or bought them something and this picture was snapped..
Whatever..  Grace on the left, Lauren on the right FYI

So that takes care of those two.

More exciting news.  We bought a house!  Now we are within striking distance of the middle daughter and her family and therefore we are useful to them with babysitting etc.  speaking of babysitting...I suck. Maybe you knew that.

So anyway we bought a house.  It has a pool.  It's kind of an odd looking structure from the front, but we have plans to camoflage the unfortunate curb appeal with and artful and tasteful screen of some sort.  And a garden gnome or two.  Or not.  The inside is really nice, open and light.  And since I broke a bunch of stuff during the move, it is maybe not quite as cluttered as most of our homes have had a tendency to be.  Makes dusting(?) easier.  Or at least I suspect it would be easier if someone were so inclined to do so.

We moved right before Christmas.  So I barely got most of the moving boxes unpacked and tossed in the side yard, heretofore known as utility yard, when I was obligated to unpack boxes of Christmas stuff, put the tree together
and hosted Christmas Eve for the middle and youngest daughters and their families.  We had take out Chinese for dinner, tore  through gifts for 12, watched Mary Poppins, a Christmas classic, and enjoyed each other's company for a couple hours.  Done.  In our family, this is known as quality time.  So be it.

The middle daughter and I are taking baby Lauren to visit her kin in New Mexico in February.  We plan to visit the Carlsbad caverns while we are there.  My only experience with caves is that part in Tom Sawyer with the murderous bad guy and Huck Finn.  I may be just a little bit apprehensive. But that book was fiction, right?  In any case it would be just too depressing to attend my funeral celebration, I mean service, and noting the  zero attendance.  I know you guys...heavy sigh.

will be house sitting for the privelaged next month and maybe something interesting will happen.  If so I'll tell you about it.  If not, I'll probably tell you about it anyway.