Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mud Wrestling Anyone?

There it is folks, 110 feet of mucky, torn up yard!
They trenched in our power line last week. It rained every day after that, so we really have a mess. I knew it would be a mess, but it bummed me out seeing the wreck our front yard has become. Now I can't wait for it to snow, so it covers this eyesore up until we can work on it next spring.
Here's Virgil with his new rock friends that got dug up by the trenching machine.

On a brighter note, we finished our garage-insulating project last weekend. I tried to get some pictures, but the flash isn't working on our camera. I think the flash might just be turned off. I'll have L see if he can turn it back on, so I can photograph our finished product.

This weekend we hope to get the new cover for our AC unit built. Then we can get our regular winterizing done. THEN, we can try to get the inside of our house back in order before the holidays! Is it just me, or does everyone let housecleaning fall by the wayside while they're working on other projects? Around here, there just aren't enough hours in the day to do everything!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

7 Things About Me

The Zombieslayer at tagged me with this. For some bizarre reason, he thinks that my quirky ideas on life are interesting.

1) I've never been in a casino. I probably never will be unless I go to one for a concert. I don't believe in luck. I believe in MATH! I work too hard for my money to throw it away on games that are mathematically stacked against me. I do enjoy a game of poker or Blackjack, but I'll only play for chips.

2) My biggest goal in life was to be a mother. I adore kids and I'm sorry that there won't be any more "little ones" in my future. I thank God every day for my 2 amazing kids! They have made my life complete. I had always planned on being a stay at home mom, but life had other plans for me. Working full-time with a limited income, while raising 2 children, has been a challenge. I think we've managed to balance our life pretty well by teaching our kids that family comes first and that money can't buy happiness.

3) I've never had any desire to travel anywhere but the U.S. and Canada. I admit it...I'm boring. I love traveling, but I know I'll never live long enough to see everything in these 2 countries. I'm just not comfortable traveling to a place where I don't know the language. I'm not even interested in visiting Hawaii or Puerto Rico. I'm more into mountains and woods, than overcrowded beaches.

4) I'm the only one in my house with any organizational skills. It exhausts me keeping my guys and our household on track. If anything happened to me, my guys would starve and drown in their own filth within a month. My biggest dream is for someone to take care of me for a change. A week without responsibility would be heaven!

5) I'm a recycling Nazi! I finally got my family trained. Work is another story. I'm constantly pulling recyclables out of the garbage at work. My Boss finally snapped at me about this last week: "I told the dishwashers to throw that stuff away! Recycling stacks up faster than we can haul it around here!" I didn't think that it was a good time to point out to Boss that my recycling program at work has saved her a fortune in garbage fees. *sigh*
I also re-use a lot of things, at home, that most people would throw out. I've been writing a post about this, so I won't bore you with the details now. Believe me; if something finds its way to our garbage can, it's GARBAGE!

6) My entire adult life has been a constant fight for survival. Our biggest mistake was choosing the wrong place to live. This area showed a lot of promise when we moved back here. It's gone downhill ever since. In a way I'm grateful for this experience. It's taught me what is truly important in life. My spiritual life has been immeasurably enriched by our struggles!

7) I don't want to live forever! Retirement for us, like many Americans today, is unattainable. L and I will have to work until we drop, just to maintain the simple lifestyle we've worked so hard to attain. I'm not going to go out of my way to live a healthy lifestyle just so I can work into my 80s. Until Z is settled into a life of his own, I'll fight to stay healthy so I can give him the best start in life I can. After that....meh. I'm at peace with myself and God. My afterlife sounds a lot more appealing than my earthly struggles. There's a lot of longevity in my family. My luck I'll still be working when I'm 90.

I'm supposed to tag 7 more people, but I think most of you have already done this before. If you really feel the need to do this tag just let me know. I'd love to read it!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

This Could Take FOREVER!

Our electrician planned on having the work on our powerline completed by last Friday. He said all he needed was the go-ahead to dig AND an appointment with the ditch-witch guy.

I didn't realize that "go-ahead" meant every single utility company in the county! We've had our powerline, encased in conduit, laying across our front yard for 8 days now. Today, the first utility company showed up....the gas company. We don't have natural gas! BUT, we still needed the company to come out and put a flag in our yard that says we don't have gas.

Now we're waiting for the phone, cable, water, and electric companies to come out and place their little flags! Any bets that they'll all show up before the ground freezes?

Sunday, October 07, 2007


By the time this week ended, our problems from last weekend seemed trivial!

Sunday night we went to bed hoping that the coming week would be better. How naive we were! I awoke at 1:37 a.m. to my alarm clock blinking. Hmm...I must have slept through a thunderstorm that disrupted the power. I got up, put on my glasses, and turned on the bedroom light to re-set my clock. UH-OH...the light was too dim to see the clock controls....WTF?! I went to the kitchen, where the lights were also dim. Then the lights brightened...for a couple of minutes, then they dimmed again. I called my parents, who live 2 blocks away, to see if they were having power problems. Nope, their power was fine. I then called the power company and reported my problem on an automated server. Within an hour, a line-truck was in our driveway. We were getting full power to the main entrance box on our pole. The problem was ours. SHIT!!

L and I stayed up the rest of the night. My alarm clock wouldn't work, so I didn't dare go back to sleep and miss getting up for work at 5:00 a.m. We had to manually open our garage doors to get the vehicles out of the garage, as there wasn't enough power for the door openers to work. I also went to my parents' house to pick up their dog, Shadow. My parents would be out of town for 3 days, so Shadow would be staying with us.

L called our electrician first thing Monday morning. He was also here within an hour, bless his heart!! He quickly found that we had full power coming out of our entrance box, BUT we were only getting 1/2 power at the other end of our underground line. This meant that the underground line needed to be replaced. Naturally, this is THE most expensive item that could have failed. By mid-afternoon Monday, we had 150 ft of new, conduit encased power line, running across the top of our yard. The picture above shows our lovely, new, gray yard ornament.

We're now waiting for the ditch-witch guy to come and bury the line. The grass had just started filling in over the trenching work from last summer, when they wired our garage. Now, next spring, we get to smooth out and seed an additional 150 ft of trenching.

By now I'll bet you're thinking that things can't get much worse, aren't you? WRONG!!
When I came home from work Tuesday, Shadow wanted to go out. I tied her out and didn't even make it to the kitchen before Hairry started frantically barking from his vantage point on our bed. I looked out the kitchen window and saw the dog that has been visiting us every couple of weeks for the last year. Shadow was on her hind legs, at the end of the chain, barking and snapping at the dog. I immediately went out and pulled Shadow back into the house. (For a background on Shadow's aggressive personality, check out my 12/3/06 post.)

Shadow laid down on the living room floor and started licking herself. It was raining at the time, so I didn't think anything of this behavior. Within a few minutes, Z came to me and said:"We've got a problem. Shadow needs to go to the vet!" Sure enough; Shadow's skin was flayed open from the middle of her chest to a point beneath her front left leg, about 7 inches long. I immediately called the vet. Unfortunately, our vet was at his other clinic....100 miles away! The vet's assistant called him, then told me to bring Shadow in so she could assess the wound.

The strange thing is, there was no blood! The stray dog had apparently attacked Shadow, but we hadn't heard ANY fight noises. Hairry discovered additional puncture wounds on the back of Shadow's neck.

The vet's assistant gave Shadow an antibiotic shot and wanted to keep her overnight, so the vet could stitch her up first thing Wednesday morning. I knew that Shadow wouldn't eat or rest while kenneled next to strange dogs, so I convinced the assistant to let me take her back home for the night. Hairry was a very attentive nurse to Shadow. He followed her around, with a worried look on his face, while licking the wounds on her neck.

L took Shadow back to the vet first thing Wednesday morning. Since the wound had already started to heal, the vet needed to perform surgery to debride and stitch the wound. We arranged for me to pick Shadow up when I brought Hairry in for shots on Wednesday afternoon. In the meantime, my parents returned from their trip. It wasn't fun explaining what happened to their beloved dog!

By Friday, Shadow was running around like her normal self. My parents are trying to restrain her, but I think that puts more pressure on her stitches.

In addition to our other trials, work was a ZOO on Friday and Saturday!! Our new day dishwasher can't come to work until 9:00, so I have to wash dishes and wait tables. I also had to bake 4 pans of bars and a pumpkin pie for a catering job.

We had planned on insulating and sheeting the south wall of our garage yesterday afternoon. By the time I got home from work, I was too exhausted to attempt this task. I couldn't have pounded in a nail if my life depended on it.

Today is the start of a new week. Wish us luck!