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Biggest Loser finale, slow progress on household renovations, and budget cuts

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

First, just let me say that I am WAY pleased with Hanna and Olivia on last nights final episode of Biggest Loser. The hair, the makeup and the fashions all looked SMASHING! Way to go, ladies! Congrats on your stong finish and best wishes on your future FIT lives!

Last week I bought 4 more fence panels, and began painting them. When the paint dries, the waterproof membrane will be stapled in place, and they'll be attached to the newly pained fenceposts. The fence is almost halfway done, and the grass is crazy. I have seeded over the last bare areas (after removing the stone path), and due to the hot temperatures, the grass is germinating ultra fast. The last area I seeded needs to be mowed already.

This past weekend, we worked like HOUNDS on our projects- him inside, sanding and mudding the kitchen ceiling, and me outside, working on the fence. We were a real team, and I experienced an unprecedented level of marital satisfaction. Unfortunately, Monday rolled around, and I find myself alone again.

Some bad news: my neighbor (and dear friend) lost his state job. The budget for his department (environmental quality) has been cut by about 30%. But his "early retirement" isn't the worst part. The worst part is that because of the enormous budget cuts, his work will not be continued by anyone else. He has been monitoring the quality of water in our state, and has built an exhaustive map ranking the health of lakes, streams, and rivers. Apparently, water quality is not a priority under our present political leadership, but tax cuts for their MOST WEALTHY cronies ARE. I'm sure they'll be thrilled to learn they can start dumping raw sewage and toxic industrial waste into rivers again, because environmental monitoring is a thing of the past. After all, it's much cheaper to donate money to politicians than it is to clean up after themselves. Now they don't have any of those stringent water quality requirements to worry about!

Summer school begins today- gotta run.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 5/25/2011 1:28PM

    Boooo to the politicians - but yay for a great weekend working with your DH on the house!

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MBSHAZZER 5/25/2011 10:43AM

    Ugh, politics. I love how all of these politicians are like, "but what about the CHILDREN" and then they proceed to foul the enviornment.

Sounds like you made some great progress on your improvements! Enjoy summer school!

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In only 2 weeks, my dog has gone blind

Monday, May 23, 2011

I knew this was a possibility with diabetes, but I had NO IDEA it could happen SO SUDDENLY.
Two weeks ago, she was looking out the window of the car and barking at people walking dogs. Then, she started stumbling a little... losing her footing. I chalked it up to getting older and the recent decline in overall vigor... even when she walked right off the edge of my neighbor's front porch and tumbled into the flowerbed.
But the following week, she was stumbling more. Literally at every curb during our morning walk. I became more concerned, and watched her more closely. Just DAYS LATER, when we took her in the car with us, she failed to react to a man walking a Boxer right next to our car. We were stopped at the corner, my spouse was driving, and pup was on my lap. The man and his dog were directly beside us, and as they crossed the intersection in front of us, pup stared blankly at them, her eyes unmoving. My spouse and I looked at each other, our hearts breaking. It happened SO fast.

On Thursday, I'd gone to the stoneyard and purchased a truckload of stone to make a rustic path in my backyard, and laid them out where I planned to set them into the ground. This morning, I picked up all those stones and stacked them in an out-of-the-way corner, so the backyard would be easier for pup to navigate. It is truly sad that she hasn't had any time to become accustomed to her visual impairment. She bumps into everything and stumbles over the thresholds she has navigated easily for ten years. It's hard to believe this is the same dog that ran so fast ahead of me on the jogging trail she almost pulled me down... the same dog who tangled her leash in weeds as soon as she could see the banks of the river, so excited to go for a swim.
Today, a squirrel came down the side of a tree, about six feet away from where she was sitting, as I painted the fence in the backyard. She turned her head toward the sound of the tiny claws on the bark, but didn't stir. I encouraged her, asking her if she could get the squirrel, and she only let out a small, pitiful groan, full of frustration at her handicap. She knew the squirrel was there, and she now knows her squirrel chasing days are over.
So do I.

emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANIMATED71 6/4/2011 10:59PM

    Oh my, that literally brought me to tears. I am sending her and your family well wishes. Please give her an extra kiss tonight. I just got my new gal from the pound three weeks ago and already we have such a bond, they truly are a man's (ladies) best friend. Good luck!

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DANDELIONESS2 5/25/2011 8:16PM

  How awful! Heartbreaking.

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BCARSON11 5/23/2011 10:22PM

    That is a very sad story. Your dog will adjust and do ok. I had a dog who got glocoma and lost vision. I also had another dog who went deaf. They find a way to cope. Yours will too. Just keep loving your baby. That will help.

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MBSHAZZER 5/23/2011 5:47PM

    Oh, I am so sorry to hear this news. Sending you and your pup good wishes...

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PHEBESS 5/23/2011 5:07PM

    Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry!!!

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KATRINAKAT23 5/23/2011 4:35PM

  I am so sorry!! It is so hard to watch our pets suffer. I hope that she adjusts to her limitations and in doing so gets new abilities to get around and in doing so that you take comfort in her new abilities.


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JBJAKUBEK 5/23/2011 3:49PM

    I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. That's just heartbreaking. emoticon

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RHIPEA76 5/23/2011 3:46PM

    emoticon

This just breaks my heart! I don't even know what to say. My thoughts are with you and your baby, as one fellow dog lover to another.

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Civic league suggestions to increase revenues and membership

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

So one of my neighborhood organizations is having another meeting. As usual, the subject of money and membership comes up (there are fewer than a dozen of us in the room). So we "brainstorm" the problem. I suggest that we sponsor a one mile "fun run", since we have a neighborhood exercise trail, and the trail is hands-down our biggest pet project year after year (landscape projects like tree planting and mulching along the trail).
My suggestion is greeted with groans.
Omg, how can I ask people to excercise... we can't reasonably expect people will want to walk on our exercise trail... after all, it gets HOT and it's a MILE long... there are no trees... no, we need ways to just GET PEOPLE TO GIVE US MONEY for fixing up the trail & other projects....
I feel like beating my head against the wall. Okay, sure. It's BETTER to ask people to just give us $5 for no particular reason than it is to ask people to give us $5 and run around our 1-mile track to benefit the track?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 5/18/2011 10:58AM

    Ummmmm, what do they think the trail is FOR????

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MBSHAZZER 5/18/2011 9:15AM

    Ugh. I totally feel your frustration.

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Ever watch Antiques Roadshow?

Monday, May 16, 2011

I cannot believe how subdued peoples' reactions are when they are told they own something worth thousands of dollars. I would fall out if they told me grandma's teapot was worth 50 grand. People hear these astounding figures and they seem so underwhelmed.

This appraiser just told a guy his item was worth 50-70 thousand dollars, and he goes "okay, thanks" and nods his head. WTH? I would pee my pants and faint dead away.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SECRETFUN 5/21/2011 12:04PM

  I would swear and or faint. May be it is kind of dreamy and they have not heard since they were waiting and heard all the folks who were told $5. I also wonder how 'right' the numbers are. Or they knew because they already checked on eBay.

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MBSHAZZER 5/17/2011 12:55PM

    Hehe... have never seen it... but it sounds like it's unintentionally funny!

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KIMBYUT 5/16/2011 10:24PM

    I love that show (I thought I was the only one!). They really don't get too excited. I'd be freaking out and offering to sell granny's tea pot, on the spot :)

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DANDELIONESS2 5/16/2011 9:58PM

  I know, right? Used to be that folks would scream and shout - which is why I started watching. Nowadays, nothing. Nada. Almost enough to make me stop watching.

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PHEBESS 5/16/2011 9:27PM

    LOL - I know what you mean! I always wonder if they end up selling the thing, or if they keep it for sentimental reasons, or what? Because they seem to just not be the least bit impressed!

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SHARILKING 5/16/2011 8:36PM

  I agreed. LOL

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Men don't ask for directions, part 2.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

I think this is pretty much another form of the old 'men never ask for directions' adage.

I can't count the times we will be shopping at Lowes or HD and my spouse is unable to locate what he wants/needs, or is unable to decide, and the simple errand consumes an hour or more because he won't ask for help. In fact, he can be looking like a deer in headlights, babbling to himself about how they don't have what he needs, when a sales associate comes up and asks if he needs help, and he will say "no thanks". Then of course, I will end up having to find a sales associate anyway to come over and help my husband if I ever expect to get out of the store that day. But he will NOT ask for assistance.

Last night, it was plywood. Of all things! He was unhappy with the plywood choices being offered at the store, and my impatience was growing. The sales clerk approached and asked if we needed help, and I immediately said "YES! We do!", which forced my spouse to ask a specific question, thereby saving us countless minutes of wandering and wondering. I wanted very badly to move into the outside garden area and buy fence panels.
Once again, my self-sufficiency embracing spouse wanted us to wrestle the 6' tall x 8' wide panels, weighing around 80 or 100 lbs, on to the cart by ourselves. Except the cart has wheels on it, and it rolls away when you're trying to get the massive fence panel onto it. My spouse threw a garden hoe down on the ground, to try to prevent this, but of course it didn't work, and was actually a trip hazard for us trying to load the cart. After a panel corner crushed my toe, I limped away to get help.
Is it a point of masculine pride to NOT ask for help?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_UMAMI_ 5/8/2011 12:27AM

    I tend to agree about the guy-asking-for-help thing, but I must also say, if I were married to you, I'd be terribly intimidated! (Based on what I've heard.) Maybe you need to send him out on his own to prove himself? emoticon

I grew up with four older brothers, and my dad still tells me that I'm the smartest. Maybe it's a guy-thing. After all, women are the multi-taskers. (We have to cover our #sses and those around us.)

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MBSHAZZER 5/4/2011 3:28PM

    Oh, your spouse and I must have been separated at birth! I would literally rather die than ask for help. One day, I was taking out the trash and I slipped in the alley where the trash is housed and hit my head really, really hard. I was lying there, unable to feel my extremeties, unable to sit up, but when someone walked by and asked if I needed help, I actually said NO!!! WTF! What can I say, I take self-sufficiency to the extreme!

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PHEBESS 5/4/2011 2:03PM

    Yeah - I don't know what it is, but there's something in a man that seems to think "help" equals weakness. I totally don't understand it. DH has been known to BREAK things trying to open them (such as a simple zipper).

Maybe it's hormonal - all that testosterone makes them feel invincible and therefore omniscient??

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