Monday, June 23, 2008

My Evening

Let me tell you about this past Friday evening. I worked late, as usual, driving home around 7:30. I had to first stop at a copy shop to see a proof of our board agenda book to make sure it was okay to print 35 copies of a 350 page agenda book with numerous colored inserts. I get there and stand in line while another person at the counter is yelling at them for not getting her project done on time. This does not bode well. Ten minutes later I get to the counter and let them know I was there to look over a proof. They immediately pull out a box, but all that is in it are my originals with instructions that I would be by after 6:00 on Friday to look over a proof.

Copyman: “Oh, I guess it didn’t get done. If you want to wait, I can get one printed out in about 30 minutes.”

Me: “You know, I don’t have 30 minutes to stand around here. I’m exhausted and I had to drive out of my way to come here.”

Copyman: “Well, it’s a pretty simple project. I’m sure it will be okay.”

Me: “Well, I’ve done this enough times to know that it is never simple. Many things can and have gone wrong”

Copyman: “If you want to come by tomorrow, the proof will be ready”

Me: (Big long sigh while rubbing my face) “Okay, again, I’ll have to make a special trip AGAIN. Can we get any additional discount on this since it has taken up my time?”

Copyman: “How about 5 percent”

Me: “Deal”

I’m driving home after this and realizing I have absolutely nothing to eat. All I wanted was a baked potato, so I stopped at Wendy’s and picked one up. Oh, it smelled so good on the way home as exhaustion was really starting to settle in. I get out of my car and I see my neighbor D. walking up.

Back up to two weeks ago, as I was mowing my lawn the mower started sounding funny and then all of a sudden the blade flew off! I realized I hadn’t been cleaning under the lawnmower and it got completely gunked up with clotted grass. The blade kept banging into it and finally said enough of this and flew the coup. I tried getting the blade back on but realized I needed a special wrench that came with the mower and God knows, I had NO idea what I did with it. So a few days back I asked D. (who has the same mower) if he had the special wrench and if I could borrow it.

Back to Friday night. You know how you should be grateful for small favors. I know I should have been happy to see D., but all I wanted to do was to get in my house, feed the cats and have my baked potato. Maybe he will just drop off the wrench. But, no, D. was there to help me with my mower. The light is quickly fading as we are both sweating and swatting mosquitoes who, I’m sure, are overwhelmed with the smorgasbord of ankles and feet. Did I mention that D. is retired. He’s a big guy but does everything s l o w l y. I could tell that he had the blade on backwards but he really thought it was on right. So, I humored him and started it up. Oh, the rattling it made.

Me: You know, I really think the blade needs to be turned over.
D: You may be right. Let me look at my mower and I’ll be right back.

Great, at least I have a little time now to feed the cats. Phone rings, it’s my neighbor K.

K: Hey, C, could you do me a big favor.
Me: (muffled cry in my head) Sure!

K: I was transporting some feral cats today and one bit me really bad. My whole hand and arm is swollen and I’m supposed to be taking care of Kelly’s cat. Would you mind running over there and feeding the cat?”

Me: No problem.

When I hang up I see D. walking up. Sure enough, the blade was on backwards. He fixed it and my mower was humming like new.

Me: Gosh, thanks so much D. This is great.
D: No problem, just let me know if it needs to be tightened up some more. Say, did I tell you about………………..

Another 15 minutes go by as I listen to D. talk about various neighborhood news. A lull finally appears in the conversation.

Me: Well, thanks again. I need to run over and feed Kelly’s cat.
D: Okay, goodnight.

Whew, I run across the street and down about a half block to Kelly’s house. The cat is outside and food is on the deck. Hmmm, shouldn’t there be some water around here? I put out food and run back home and call K. asking her about the water. Yes, there should be some water, would you mind putting out a bowl. I take a Tupperware container and fill it with water and run back over to Kelly’s. As I’m walking back to my house I notice my front storm door is wide open. Damn, I forgot to lock it! For some reason when the humidity level is high my storm door doesn’t close properly and sometimes flies open. I get to the stairs of the front porch and see Sweet Pea (inside only cat) on the front porch. Our eyes lock and we both freeze. I quietly and slowly say “Sweet Pea” and BOOM, he is gone like the roadrunner, streaking off into the night. I cannot repeat the words I said at that point. By now it was closing in on 10:00 and I decided to let Sweet Pea run while I finally sat down at my computer while eating my reheated baked potato. I tried twice after that to get Sweet Pea back in the house but he was just toying with me. After the second time when I did get a hold of his back end, but he hissed and lashed out at me, I said, ENOUGH! I’M GOING TO BED. IF YOU WANT TO STAY OUT HERE ALL NIGHT SO BE IT! I marched up the stairs to the front porch, opened the door and stood in the threshold and said “Last time”. Sweet Pea then just sauntered up the stairs and into the house.

I sighed my last sigh of the day, locked up and went to bed.

Friday, June 20, 2008

To all the June babies I know

They say April is the cruelest month, but June is for me. Ever since I've been working at my current place of employment (over 18 years now!) I'm waist deep in preparations for our July Board meeting. I eat, sleep, and drink my job from mid-May until the end of July. That is in a typical year. This year, we've lost some very valuable people and my boss has taken up the slack. In turn, I've been given a lot more work on top of my already crazy schedule. I told a co-worker today that I'm just totally burned out.

So, I need to apologize to all my peeps who are born in June. I always am late or totally forget to acknowledge your birthdays--my sister and brother-in-law, my good friends J & P, and my great pal and sometimes blogging buddy, Cat59.

I hope you will accept this small virtual token birthday present:

The very first handfull of blueberries from my very own Butterball blueberry bush! Now, remember, I did say virtual, because...well...I threw these little puppies into a container of vanilla yogurt and ate them this morning. They were butterballisious!

Not to worry though, there are still many more blueberries on their way to ripening.

Happy Birthday all you Geminis out there!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Eine Kleine Elefantmusik*

(*with apologies to Mozart)

With all the craziness going on in the world at large and in our own little worlds, I thought I'd lighten things up with a couple of videos courtesy of the Elephant Sanctuary. No, the elephants aren't making the music, but there is great music that accompanies each one.

The first shows that The Elephant Sanctuary is not just a sanctuary for elephants. In the rural Tennessee town where the sanctuary is located, there is an area close by that is a known "dumping grounds" for people who no longer want their cats or dogs. The Elephant Sanctuary will find a stray and take them in, getting them--up to date on their shots, neutered or spayed, dewormed and defleaed and then gives them sanctuary on their grounds. (In the past few months the sanctuary staff has worked with Lewis County in an advisory capacity to find a solution to the ongoing problem of stray animals.) Enjoy! I especially like the Spike Jones music.

The second video just makes my heart sing. It shows the elephants just having fun. Remember that the vast majority of these elephants have been taken from cruel and abusive situations. Some were kept chained in a windowless barn for months at a time. To see them frolicking and being able to come and go as they please, pleases me to no end. And who doesn't love a good Desi Arnaz song to go with it?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Wild Kingdom (Takoma Park style)

Sorry yet again for the long delay in posts. With me being up to my eyeballs in paper at work and staring at a computer screen all day long, the most I’ve been able to do at night is read a few blogs and leave even fewer comments. On top of that the heat and humidity of the summer has arrived in full force for the weekend. Temps in the mid to upper 90s and high humidity. I just find myself very depressed during this kind of weather and if I’m not working, don’t feel like doing much of anything.

Hmmm, I wasn’t expecting that to come out so negative considering I have a cute wildlife video for your perusal! You have met Willy Mo, one of the many raccoons who come by the Possumlady Outdoor Cafe, now meet…..Little Mo. Little Mo is new to my wildlife menagerie. I have three other possums that come around—Daisy, Simon, and Twinkle Toes. Little Mo started appearing around March. Hope you’re not bored with the video as it is over a minute of just watching him eat, but he is just so cute! I don’t understand people who think possums are ugly. They are so timid too and do no damage around the house and help eat up insects and grubs. Though I think my possums probably think they’re a little too high class for that now after gorging on expensive Science Diet cat kibble, along with the occasional grape for dessert.

The video was taken around 8:00 one evening when I was surprised to see him out in the daylight. But 8:00 is his usual feeding time, in darkness or daylight. You will see him scoot into a cat shelter my neighbor brought over. The cats will go into it if it starts storming out, but it really has been taken over by the possums at night. I don’t know where they go during the day as I’ve opened it up on several occasions during the day and no possums.

Speaking of storms, we had a hellish one on Wednesday afternoon. Tornados were spotted around the DC area (which is very rare). The wife of my boss called to say that a huge neighbor’s tree had fallen on her car and crushed it and also damaged my boss’s house. He lives in Takoma Park too so I was quick on the phone to my neighbor and luckily there was no damage to my house or the block.

I’m writing this on a late lunch break as I know I’ll be too tired when I get home to post anything. Wish me luck though! I’ll be turning on the AC for the first time this season when I get home and fingers crossed, I hope it works!!

Update: Well, I'm finally posting this on Saturday morning. The AC works!! Woke up and wasn't even able to open the windows for a bit this morning as outside is already unbearably humid and sticky--yuk! The inside cats are not happy. Their usual perch in the windowsill is no more until the heatwave breaks late next week. Who ARE all these people that crave summer!! Do you LIKE sweating and having no energy? I just don't get it.

Sweet Pea trying to cool his ample stomach on the kitchen floor. Hmmm, maybe I should give that a try!!

Stay cool everyone!