Well, the final sign of the impending fall season has appeared. Hubby’s bowling leagues have started up again. He’s going to be bowling on Monday and Wednesday night which means that I get the house to myself and (the best part!) I don’t have to cook supper if I don’t want to. Yipee, yipee, yipee.
He is also the "6th man" on a Sunday afternoon team. That means that he fills in when one of the regular guys can’t make it for some reason. For the first 6 weeks, one of the regular guys coaches his son’s football team, so Hubby will be filling in for him. After that, Hubby will fill in on an "as needed" basis. Since Hubby is considered the "6th man" and will be bowling for the first 6 weeks, he’ll get to share in any prize money the team wins at the end of the season. I actually like having Hubby out of the house for a few hours on Sunday afternoon. Gives me a chance to get the housework done without somebody "watching" me and giving "helpful suggestions" on how I can do it better, faster, whatever.
The Dog Mobile has been repaired. Hubby picked it up today and said it looks exactly like it did before I dinged it. I can’t wait to see it. I can’t wait to drive it. I don’t mind driving Hubby’s F150, but I miss my car. I’m extra cautious when I’m driving the big truck because I know that it’s Hubby’s pride and joy. I don’t get to enjoy the drive because I’m watching for tailgaters and crazy people that change lanes without looking. The best part of the last few days is getting to listen to Hubby’s XM radio. It’s nice to hear songs that you don’t hear very often. Tonight I heard a Jackson 5 song and a Kentucky Headhunter’s song. Yes, I sang at the top of my lungs.
Hubby and I had to go last night to buy some shoes for him. That man goes through shoes faster than a teenage boy. In the last year we’ve discovered that his foot has gone from a 9-1/2 normal to a 10 wide. We think it has something to do with the fact that he stands on his feet alot . . . or that he’s just getting older. We couldn’t find the shoes he wanted in the right size in the store, so I have to order them online. The store was having a buy one, get one half price sale and since we bought one pair at the store and we are going to buy one pair online, they will give me a credit for half-off the second pair of shoes when I pick them up next week. Whoo Hoo. Now I just need to find a couple of pairs of shoes for me.
So far this week is shaping up a lot better than last week.
I survived the annual family party for my mom’s birthday. I’ve been doing this now for a few years, so you’d think I’d be used to all the stuff that goes into pulling this thing off every year. For some reason, though, this year I was a nervous wreck. I was worried that my house wasn’t clean enough. I was worried that we wouldn’t have enough food. I was worried that it was going to rain. I was afraid that Luci wouldn’t behave. You name it, and I stressed over it.
But everything came together and it was a wonderful party day. At least that’s what Mom said as she left. If you can make the birthday girl happy, then nothing else matters.
I’m very proud to say that both Blacky and Luci were on their best behavior. Blacky normally hides when the whole family comes over because 17 people in his house is too overwhelming for him and he has to hide. For some reason, this year he decided to socialize with everyone. He stayed under the dining room table most of the day. I think he was hoping for dropped food. He did make the rounds a couple of times to check out the friendly people who would pet him. And to scare the crap out of the nieces that aren’t dog lovers. Tell me that dog doesn’t have a sense of humor. Luci had a moment when everyone first got there where she ran through the house at top speed but once she got a whif of everyone she calmed down and was the charming little girl I know she can be. She even showed off her obedience skills for everyone. While we were eating, she would go around the table and plop down next to someone and then hit them in the elbow with her nose to let them know that she was expecting a sample off their plate. I don’t think anybody actually fed her anything, but it was very funny to watch. Especially since it’s the first time she’d ever done anything like that.
It did rain about 1 p.m. but it stopped in plenty of time for Hubby to cook the brats and burgers on the grill. But it was a little humid. . . okay, it was a lot humid. August in Ohio, air-you-can-wear, humid. But the temps were only in the mid-70’s.
I met my nephew’s girlfriend for the first time. She seemed like a nice girl – I didn’t get to spend much time talking to her. She’s very cute. And she had a healthy appetite. I was afraid that she was going to be one of those girls that eat salad and drink water. The kind of girls my brother used to bring home. We will have to see if she is a passing fancy or a permanent fixture.
I love my Mom and I’m glad that I got to have her party. But I’m also glad that it’s over and I have 364 days until the next party. I have a fabulously clean house, a fridge full of leftovers, and I lost two pounds from all the worrying. All in all, not a bad weekend!
Ever have one of those days that’s not really a bad day, just an annoying day? I’m having one of those days. Stuff is going wrong, but it’s not going so horribly wrong that it’s enough to qualify for a full "Bad Day" status. Let me share . . . .
Luci had a restless night on Thursday night. Totally my fault because we didn’t get a chance to go for our walk last night because my Thursday evening schedule had a little monkey wrench thrown into it. Since Luci didn’t get her exercise, she was up every two hours last night. Most of the time, it was because she wanted to play. But there was one instance where she did actually have to go potty. So I got up with her every time because you never know and I sure didn’t want to wake up to a potty spot on my bedroom floor.
So, I’m kind of tired this morning when I get up. I’m a little nervous about the fact that Hubby and I having my mom’s birthday party at my house on Sunday. I’ve got a zillion things to get done before Sunday and my mind is already working overtime. I love my family, but I’m an obsessive worrier when I have them over to my house. Will I have enough food? Is the house clean enough? If it rains Sunday, where am I going to put 17 people in my house?
I dropped the back to my earring down the bathroom sink this morning. I’m annoyed that I lost the back to an earring, but I’m glad that I didn’t drop the earring down the sink. The earring in question is one of the ruby earrings that my Mom and Dad got me for my 40th birthday.
I wanted to take a vacation day today to get ready for the party (clean the house, last minute food shopping, etc.), but the boss needed me to come in for a half day so that he could get an important letter out to a client. I did manage to get the letter out for the boss and get out of the office at noon like I planned. However, I clipped the retaining wall in the parking garage when I was leaving and scraped the rear passenger side door of the Dog Mobile. It looked like minor damage to me. Fixable with rubbing compound and touch up paint. Hubby thinks it’s major damage and we need to get it fixed now. I deal with the insurance company and I get an estimate from a local body shop that Hubby wanted me to use. The body shop guy said that the damage is minimal (So there, Hubby!). He can fix it for less than my deductible and there’s no reason to turn it into my insurance. Sooo, I have to drop the car off on Monday and I’ll have it back by the end of the week. Okay, annoyed that I have to spend money to fix the car. Annoyed that I did something stupid and dinged the car. Happy that it’s not major structural damage. Happy that I was right and Hubby was wrong! Oh, and I have to drive Hubby’s truck for a few days. Yikes!
Ran the errands that I needed to get done. Had some problems finding the stuff I was looking for. One of the stores I stopped at is doing a major remodel. EVERYTHING is being moved. I couldn’t find anything I was looking for. I went to a second store and was able to find most of the stuff I was looking for. Almost forgot to order Mom’s birthday cake (eeekkk!). Did forget to buy the drain cleaner I needed for the bathroom sink. Oops. I’ll do that tomorrow. Still need to clean the house. Still need to get more party food and supplies. Happy that I could make some progress but annoyed that I don’t seem to be making as much progress as I wanted. I still have tomorrow and Sunday. The party isn’t until 3:30 Sunday afternoon. The weather forecast is calling for scattered showers on Sunday afternoon and evening. Anybody want to take a bet on if Hubby has to use the umbrella while he’s grilling Sunday afternoon?
Every night (or just about every night), Luci and I go for a walk around our neighborhood. This is an important event because it helps her get rid of some excess energy and wears her out so that she will sleep through the night. If I don’t go for out walk, I can guarantee that I’ll be up at least once in the middle of the night because she’s bored and she thinks that Mommy should get up and go outside and play fetch with her. It’s also important that she be exposed to all kinds of different and interesting things and people so that she doesn’t develop any anxiety issues. I learned the hard way with Blacky that the more things a dog is exposed to at an early age, the less likely the dog is to develop fears and phobias as they get older. One dog with an anxiety disorder is enough. I can’t imagine having to deal with two Nervous Nelly’s.
Anyway, Luci loves her walks. We go at the same time every night and she knows when it’s "walk time." If I’m not ready when she thinks it’s time to go, she’ll start whining and prancing in front of me. The minute I say "okay, let’s go" she’s at the door waiting for me. We practice her obedience commands (heel, sit, stay, come when called), she gets to sniff everything she sees. She meets new friends and she knows when to be her absolute cutest puppy self so that the little kids can’t resist petting her. Some of the adults can’t resist petting her either. What’s funny is that she’ll be a good little puppy sitting quietly until the person gets about a foot in front of her and then she’s a complete wiggling puppy mess. Dancing, wiggling, licking puppy. She knows which houses have people that talk to her each night and she gives me a very concerned look when we pass the house and the people aren’t outside. She’ll look at me like, "Hey, where’s my adoring public?" and then we start walking again. If the people are outside, she’ll pause for a minute and wag her tail and then go on about her business. It’s all about being seen.
She also loves to play "adventure dog" – she sticks her nose to the ground and will sniff as she walks along. Now "adventure dog" also involves Luci’s other great love – picking up whatever she can find on the ground. She’s found rocks, crab apples, walnut shells, and sticks on our walks and will pick them up and take them along with her for a bit. When she finds something a little more interesting, she’ll drop what she has and picks up the new find. If it’s not something that will hurt her, I usually let her carry her find for a while. I can’t wait for this fall when there are leaves on the ground. She’s not going to know what to do with herself. Last night she found her biggest treasure to date. An empty bottle of Jagermeister – some kind of hard liquor. She found it, sniffed it, and then picked it up to bring it home. Since it was glass (and a little bigger than her normal finds), I didn’t think it was a good idea for her to keep it. When I bent down to see what she had, I laughed so hard I almost cried. My 11 month old puppy is dragging home empty liquor bottles! Oh, my, what will she get into next!
Yes, I went to see "Snakes on a Plane." Yes, I loved it!! Yes, it is everything they said it would be . . . and more. I’ve been hearing about this movie since the first of the year and knew that I just HAD to see it on opening weekend. I even managed to talk Hubby into going with me. He loved it, too. There was even one point that had him screaming "like a little girl." (His words!) I screamed at the same part and we looked at each other and just laughed until we cried. It was so funny because Hubby watches these kinds of movies all the time and nothing EVER phases him. But you just weren’t expecting that snake to come popping out of that compartment.
At the risk of sounding like that hokie movie trailer guy, Snakes on a Plane is the most fun you’ll have at the movies all summer. It grabs your shirt collar and drags you along at top speed practically from the minute the movie starts until the very end. Even music video at the end is too cool to be missed. Okay, it’s not a group that I recognize, but the song was cool. Especially when they repeat the most anticipated line in movie history . . . "I’m tired of these xxxxxx snakes on this xxxxxx plane!" (I’ve been saying this line alot since I saw the movie yesterday.)
There is no rhyme or reason as to why I loved this movie. Part of it was Samuel L. Jackson. I love just about everything he’s ever done. It doesn’t seem like he’s acting. You almost believe that there is an FBI agent out there somewhere that’s just that cool. Part of it is the title. How can you not want to see a movie called "Snakes on a Plane?" Yes, it’s seems like a bad 70’s disaster movie remake, and it probably is, but it’s fun. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t have to make sense. It’s two hours of having the crap scared out of you and then laughing about it afterwards.
I could go on and on about this movie, but I won’t. There are already a zillion reviews and websites out there to do that. I’m just saying . . . Go. See. This. Movie.
Time for another of my People Watching blog entries. Over the past few weeks, these are the things that I’ve caught my attention.
- As I was walking back from my favorite lunch spot by the river, I noticed a BMW station wagon driving down Main Street. A beautiful burgundy BMW station wagon. Now, when did BMW start making station wagons? Who knew that driving a station wagon would suddenly be cool? The BMW was the same color as my Doggie Mobile . . . yes, I know that a Ford can’t compete with a BMW, but I thought it was cool that they were the same color.
- A baby with a mullett. The little guy was about 3 or 4 years old. He was at the grocery store with his Momma and his Granny (his words). The little guy’s hair was about 1/4 inch long all over his head, except for a patch of hair on the back of his head. The hair was half way down his back. Evidently it had never been cut since the day the kid was born. Oh. My. Gawd. Who would do that to their baby? Why would you do that to your baby?
- One piece pantsuits with vertical stripes are not a good look for anyone. Especially if the wearer is short and more than just a little overweight.
- The beautiful young Italian guy that works at the pizza shop close to my office. I pass the pizza shop twice a day – once on my way to my favorite lunch spot and once on my way back. He’s at least 10 years younger than me and I’m a happily married woman. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate a good looking young man. Oh, yea, he smiles and waves at me every day. Now that’ll put a spring in an old lady’s step!
- I was reading a trade journal at work the other day and came across an ad for the new Oakley sunglasses. They have a MP3 player built into the side piece. I can’t remember how much music it holds, but it seemed like an obscenely large amount of music. But that’s what you would expect for sunglasses that cost close to $500. Yes, you read that right. $500 for sunglasses. Yowza!
- I was watching the Little League World Series tonight and noticed one boy that was playing the game with this horrible shiner. Turns out it he had been hit in the face by a bad pitch and it not only blacked his eye, but also broke his nose. Broke the nose so bad that they will have to do surgery to straighten it out after the team finishes their games in the LLWS. Rather than sit on the bench to avoid further injury, he begged his parents to let him keep playing. The dad is an ear, nose, and throat doc and said that it was okay for the boy to keep playing. And play he did. He dove after one ball and made an important catch in the game. (I can’t remember what team it was!) Wow, can you imagine the dedication of that boy to want to play a baseball game with a broken nose?
That’s all for now. Luci’s letting me know that she’s ready for bed. She’s got her paw on my leg and she’s tugging on my shirt.
I went to see the movie "World Trade Center" on Sunday. Normally, I don’t like Oliver Stone movies, because he tends to make his movies with a political statement or has some sort of conspiracy theory attached to it. I couldn’t imagine what kind of treatment he would give the subject of 9/11. When I heard that the guys that were actually trapped worked as advisors on the film and that some of the rescuers were extras in the film, I thought that it couldn’t be all bad. They weren’t going to let Oliver Stone mess with their stories. The movie got all kinds of positive reviews . . . including one from the local paper which doesn’t normally like anything. Soooo, I went to see the movie. It was well done. It was even handed. There were no conspiracy theories. There was no political agenda. There weren’t even any shots of the planes hitting the towers. There was just one shot of a shadow of a plane on a building as it passed by and then a shot of a command room that shook a little when the second plane hit. It just told the story of those two officers and their families. At times, the movie seemed to move a little slow but then I realized how slow that day must have moved for those two officers. For those two families. I remembered how slow that day moved for me. Even though I knew the movie had a happy ending, I was on the edge of my seat every time they showed the trapped officers. I cried at the end when they finally got the officers out. It was a good movie. I’m glad that I saw it.
Hollywood needs to make movies about 9/11. We need to see movies about 9/11. We can’t ever forget what happened that day. There are stories out there that need to be told. There are stories out there that we need to hear. It’s time for those stories to be told, to be heard. If for no other reason than to remind us of the horror of that day. To remind us that we can’t ever let our guard down. No matter what, they aren’t ever going to stop coming after us. Ever. The terror plot that was discovered in London last week was proof of that. And it wasn’t even an original plot – they dusted off an old idea and tried it again.
It’s a hard movie to sit through. There were feelings and memories of that day that I had forgotten about until I saw the movie. I didn’t personally know anybody that was killed that day and I can’t imagine how hard it must be for someone who lost a friend or family member that day to see this movie. But if you have the slightest interest in seeing World Trade Center, I highly recommend that you go. I think that everyone should go see it. At least once.
Luci’s full name is Lucifer Raphael . . . she can be as evil as the devil or she can be as sweet as an angel. The past few days have proven that. Here are a few examples of what she’s been up to lately.
Good – She shares her apples with Blacky. She chews on them until they break in half and then gives one half to Blacky.
Evil – she pulls the apples out of the tree.
Good – she fell asleep on my foot last night while Hubby and I were watching TV. She’s so adorable when she sleeps. You could forgive her almost anything.
Evil – she’s learned to "knock and run" at the back door. When she’s outside, she doesn’t bark to come in the house. She stands at the back door and scratches at the door for me to let her in. Blacky taught her that. She has also learned that if she runs back out into the yard after she scratches at the door, I’ll follow her to see she’s doing. What I usually find is Luci sitting in the middle of the yard with a tennis ball waiting for me to play fetch. Okay, I haven’t decided if that’s evil or good. It’s cute to see her wanting to play with Mommy, but the knock and run thing is getting annoying.
Good – I took her to visit a girlfriend of mine that moonlights at our former vet’s office so that she could clip Luci’s nails. Luci sat quietly while we drove to the vet’s office. She walked calmly into the waiting room. She didn’t wiggle while she sat on the scale so I could find out exactly how much she weighs. (77 lbs. at 11 months.) She walked calmly into the exam room and did the happy puppy thing with my friend. My friend commented on how beautiful Luci is and how well behaved she was.
Evil – The wonderful Luci turned into the demon from you-know-where when my friend got out the clippers to trim Luci’s nails. She wiggled and squirmed and growled like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It wasn’t until the last two nails that we discovered that we could get her to behave if we bribed her with doggie treats.
Good – she waits patiently under the kitchen table while we eat supper.
Evil – she tries to steal food off our plates if we get up to get something out of the fridge.
Good – she’s really getting the hang of the "drop it" command when I catch her with something she’s not supposed to have in her mouth. Like a rock or a walnut shell.
Evil – she’s digging holes in the yard to find the rocks and walnut shells.
Hubby and I tell her all the time that it’s a good thing she’s cute or she’d be in trouble a lot more often than she is now. Life with a puppy is certainly never boring. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
No, I don’t mean Christmas. Or even back-to-school. Although both are wonderful things. I’m referring to the best part of summer. The part of the summer when The Little League World Series is on ESPN. I’ve never been much of a baseball fan. I honestly say I’ve never watched a pro baseball game on TV. I do, however, watch the Little League World Series and the College World Series (both men and women).
I can’t really explain why I love to watch the little guys play. It might be the fact that it reminds me of watching my nieces and nephews play in their various baseball leagues. It might be the sound of an aluminum bat. That’s such a joyus sound to me and always makes me think of late summer. It might be the total joy of the little kids playing the game for the glory of winning the title for their hometown and not because they are making a zillion dollars. I love the fact that the coaches are sometimes the dad of a player and they are more interested in the players attitudes and how they are holding up in the stress of the game. I love watching the moms in the stands that are so happy when the boys are doing well and some who actually cry when the boys lose.
I love the player introductions before each game. The boys tell who their favorite player is and some other interesting information about themselves. The answers that the boys give are totally what you would expect young pre-teen boys to say. And they’re just so darn cute. You want them to stay that way forever.
What can I say? I’m a hopeless romantic. The Little League World Series shows that there is still some joy in the world. Just look at the faces of the boys on TV.
Ever since we got Luci, I’ve had trouble with her responding to the "come when called" command when she’s off leash and running away from me when she had something in her mouth that she wasn’t supposed to have. We took her to obedience class when she was very young (3½ to 4 months old) and she did great during the class. She learned all the commands and did them perfectly. While she was on the leash. She didn’t do so well for me when she was off the leash. But she would listen to the instructor and she would listen to Hubby. That meant that the problem was me. I wasn’t projecting enough authority for Luci and she knew that she didn’t "have" to listen to me. I can’t tell you how many times I had to chase that little dog around the yard to get her to drop a rock, or a nail, or some piece of metal that she had found in the yard. Or to get her to come back in the house after going out to potty in the middle of the night. I even resorted to bribery – getting out the yummy chewy treats to get her to drop her "treasure" or to come back into the house. That worked, but then I was afraid that she was going to get fat from all the extra treats she was getting. And it wasn’t really reinforcing my authority with her.
So I got out my "mom voice" and started working with her so she’d listen to me. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t project enough authority for Luci to listen to me. I was one of those wimpy mommies that you see at the store pleading with her kid to behave. "Now, dear, we don’t do that. Please stop. No, don’t do that. Please come here." I never wanted to be one of those mommies. I wanted to be the mom that had the perfectly behaved kid. I wanted to be the mom who could just give "the look" to her kid and the kid would instantly behave. It just wasn’t happening. And I felt like a failure.
Let me explain that I never had this problem with either Goldie or Blacky because they were both always eager to please. So they never disobeyed a command. Ever. Blacky even responds to command that I’ve given Luci. Until Luci came along, I never knew that I had a problem projecting authority with the dogs. I was at my wits end. I had no idea what to do to make this crazy dog listen to me.
Then I discovered Cesar Milan. The Dog Whisperer guy on TV. I read his book. I watch EVERY episode of The Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic Channel that I can find. I saw how he helped Oprah with her dogs. This guy is amazing. I thought that it can’t be as easy as he says. All I have to do is project a calm assertive attitude and Luci will respond to that and obey me? It worked in every episode and on every dog that he helped. Heck, what did I have to lose? So I tried it. And it works!! I’m not getting an immediate response 100% of the time, but she’s realizing that I’m not playing around anymore and that I expect her to listen to me. We still have a lot of work left to do, but at least I’m not chasing her around the yard all the time anymore. And I haven’t resorted to bribery in a week. I’m so excited that I can’t stand it. Even Hubby is impressed with how well she’s responding to me. He thought I’d spend the rest of my life chasing her around the yard.
To be honest, I don’t know if it’s the tips I picked up from Cesar or the fact that she’s getting older and more mature. But I don’t care. She’s starting to listen and I don’t feel like a failure anymore. Thank you, Cesar!