Friday, June 29, 2012

about neah...

i read some article about a guy whose dog just died. baad idea. after i got done crying i realized that as much as i hate her, losing her would break my heart.

She likes to lie directly in front of the door...blocking whoever is leaving last in the morning...a last ditch effort to not be abandoned. Although, truth be told, the other morning she pouted and refused to come downstairs at all when we left.

in the evenings if we are going out she stands directly in front of the door like a statue until we agree she can come, only moving when she gets a leash.

if she thinks someone is going out, she skids like fred flinstone when she tries to race to block the door.

we think we have turned a corner finally. our ferocious puppy has finally realized (with the aid of the shock collar---brought back from a lengthy hiatus) that she can chill out. from the time she found her voice, neah would lose her proverbial mind and become uncontrollably angry, barking snarling, etc. we couldn't calm her or get her attention and had to take her out of the situation where she would stomp around mini-barking for a very long time. Finally at 20 months she is learning that she doesn't have to be angry. if she starts to bark we can get her attention back and she settles. She seems to have learned that other people are allowed to go a different direction, that bikes are not evil, and that motorcycles (while very loud) are not going to harm her. 

With all that said, it does NOT apply to the door bell. We still have problems with the door bell. if you EVER come over--do.not.ring.the.bell.  the doorbell reverts her to her 8 month old tantrums.

On the other hand, she is loving, loyal, funny, and loves to cuddle from about 4am onwards. her favorite game is chase. she loves anti-static dryer balls, her three beds, and cheese. and we can't imagine life without her.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

on mailboxes and HOAs

i think i have written before (or maybe just in my imagination) about how much i love to check the mail. anna and i used to have to rotate days, odds for me, evens for her, running across our little street in NC, feet burning on the summer asphalt in hopes of some delicious envelope to admire. 

adam, luckily, shares no such enthusiasm for the box that bears letters. in fact, if it were up to him, there would be no box at all--or at least he would never check it. Thus, the mailbox with its wondrous surprises (like the amazing dishtowels that somehow perfectly match our kitchen rug from Lisa and Ilissa) is my domain. that also means i am responsible for making sure it remains upright.

as of last night, upright mailbox: FAIL.

But, i want to share with you the correspondence that led to this FAIL.

Jun 12
Hi ******,
I wanted to make sure that my husband and i are listed as the current owners of ********** now. We purchased this property from the *********. We would like to make sure that whatever monthly dues we owe get paid. Also, the mailbox is falling over. Is this something you handle? I think it only has a few more days before it lies down totally.Thank you,Martha 

 Also Jun 12
Hello Martha,

I do show both yourself and Adam as the current owners. All dues statements should be going directly to your residence. I do show a balance of $0.00 being due. As to the mailboxes, I do believe the post is the Association and will address this at the Board meeting tonight.Should you have any questions or concerns please let me know.***********
Association Manager 

Jun 18
Hi there. 
We appreciate the temporary solution of shoving rocks in the base of the mailbox, but it is already beginning to fall over again. Could you please let me know how to get this properly repaired?

Last night (after we saw it and a neighbor checked to make sure we knew it was dead):
***********,The mailbox has fallen over, on the ground. Can someone please fix it asap?
Sent from my Windows Phone

This morning:
Good morning Martha.I have previously sent the work request to Bruce Roberts Co and they were set to come out beginning of next week. Given the current status I have asked that they come out today or tomorrow at the latest. Thank you for keeping me updated on the status of this mailbox post. 

Draft Response:
dear so and so, if you had just had it fixed the first time, the US postal service could have delivered my goodies---now i have to be a nagging bitch and that is fun for no-one.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012


a friend just embarked on a new relationship. i guess i could have been all gung ho, supportive, butterflies and fairies. instead i asked this: what are her flaws?  the thing is that we all have flaws. i have at least two (hundred). the thing that i think makes relationships work or not work is whether you can decide that the other person's flaws are worth living with forever and ever amen. in the early fairy/unicorn stage of relationships, there are no flaws, or they are cute.

let me tell all you people out there this right now---no one's flaws are "cute" for longer than 90 days. "cute" turns into "i might have to kill you in your sleep".

so here are the two examples of the things poor adam has to deal with on a daily basis.

1. i have a flair for dramatic presentation (like you all didn't know this already from reading my blathering). i am pretty sure that i suffer more than anyone else in the world. this can be anything from job things to lack of ice cream to the dust collecting on my passport. disagreeing with me on this point will result in meltdown. acceptance of this fact results in me realizing i am being a big woos [read: b*t*h].

2. i have a volatile temper. sometimes it is hard to tell---i can look like i am laughing and be three breaths away from not being jovial. suggestions/things i am not going to like need to come slowly. they have to appear in the peripheral view and remain there, holding VERY still, until i turn in their direction and acknowledge them. then, they have to approach gently, cautiously, humbly, recognizing the volatile entity before them. i'll come around, but i have to have time to process slowly otherwise i dig my heels in and hell and highwater ain't movin' me.

on the other hand: i put up with compulsive "it has a place"-ness, page petting, and lack of planning. i think i got the better end of the deal.

what are your fabulous flaws?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

so about Friday's non-post

I had this plan. [insert fiendish laugh here] for friday's post.

i WAS going to take pictures of adam and neah in their cute matching shoes and write about how ridiculous it is that the dog has more expensive shoes than i do. however, as it turns out, i think the shoes are going back. so, instead here's the singular reason why i think we are never going to find decent dog booties:
MY AUSSIE THINKS SHE"S A SLED DOG and pulls like it is no-one's effing business, causing the booties to spin on her feet--even if i put them on tight enough to cut off all circulation to her feet.

Photo: Nectarine upside downcake!
i now renounce all business to do with neah's shoes. i will stick to trying to figure out what to do with a shitload of nectarines all going ripe at once....oh yeah, make a nectarine cream cheese upside-down cake:

Yeah. it was de-licious and i finally got to use the lovely pie thingy that Justin and Brooke gave me us for our wedding.

Today i got to speak with my father who is way farther away than i appreciate. i realize what a blessing the last decade or so has been. he and i had a tumultuous start, too much love, too much passion and too many opinions and stubbornness. my older sister and i were masters of button pushing.

luckily, about a decade ago God provided my with a life experience that i hope i and no woman on this planet ever have to endure again, and an opportunity to clean the slate and start over with my folks. We learned to see each other as adults, grown ups, friends. I have immense respect for the person my father is as a man--protective, caring, strong, patient, funny. My dearest hope is that we still have a long time left to enjoy each other :) LOVE.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fern Gully

For as far back as i can remember, meaning last year, whenever we talked about a garden all Adam said he wanted was ferns. I like ornamental plants, don't get me wrong, but i couldn't figure out the obsession with ferns. I tried going to the source of all knowledge--wiki--which just told me that it's a plant. thanks. that was no help. so i dropped it. clearly, personal tastes in plants are personal tastes in plants--until they invade your backyard.

you see...wait, here's a cute picture for while i tell this story...adam was charged with weed whacking the back yard (read weed patch) ahead of our house warming this past weekend. it was going smoothly until he realized that three little ferns had sprouted in the middle of the weeds. next thing i knew, he had whacked most of the yard and was meticulously pulling the weeds by hand from around the ferns to save them from any potential damage by the weed whacker. After half an hour of delicate precision, i threatened to put up a sign renaming said weed patch "Adam's Fern Gully"

He kinda-sorta-not-really-but-bear-with-me, looks like the character from fern gully, minus the tan:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Neah's House

Just in case anyone had ANY doubt who thinks she owns this house....

Friday, June 8, 2012

in another life...

i loved to paint. i am hoping one day i will be able to carve out a space in the new house for an easel and come water colors or the meantime, a blog i read had some of the work of this artist (Michael Cina) on it, which i love. I hope you love it too.

Please please, tell me about fabulous local artists near you.

Monday, June 4, 2012

not before and after...

i know you are waiting for photos---and i am waiting for a room to be complete, so hold your horses.

this post is a product discussion. yes, brace yourself, there's a new gadget in the house and i think it warrants discussion. for weeks, every time we walked into a store with vacuum cleaners a noise erupted out of adam that reminded me distinctly of moo-ing. it would start low and the longer i ignored it, the greater the intensity with which it's name would be repeated.

Yes. Roomba: 
See, the problem here is that a roomba was not in the budget. that and i was pretty sure that Neah, herder extraordinaire might in fact try to eat it the way she tries to devour the other vacuum cleaners in the house---leaving us with iRobot-pieces.

Adam was determined, however, that the house would clean itself. His folks kindly gifted him the toy of his dreams as our housewarming. Now, by way of some background, let me tell you that if you believe that your animal might be a prolific shedder (read: can't figure out how it's not hairless already) just get all non-carpeted floors. Then you will be sure that a small animal or large winter coat could be made out of the leave-behinds.

Roomba had its work cut out. We finally got rid of all the boxes on Saturday so there was space for it to do its thing. We took our battle stations: adam next to his prize contraption and me as far away as i could get to avoid another injured thumb. He pressed clean and Roomba lept to life.

Neah watched it, and then true to her Aussieness tried to herd it. Thing is, Roomba reinforces herding behavior because if she nips at it, little-Bot changes direction! Finally she decided that she wasn't sure if she liked this thing that moved on its own all the time and started following it around, but hiding behind Adam to watch it. By day two, she just ignored it entirely. Phew.

Roomba's not bad. You definitely have to be in for the long haul---it doesn't clean efficiently, but in the end it gets it done. It has trouble with thick rugs and transition areas--tends to leave behind dirt/hair in the crevasse. Also, it is confused by the base of our bar stools and tends to run up the side of one and get stuck. It does a great job of not falling down the stairs. It does not like dark rugs--thinks they are some kind of void or something, nor does it like air vent grates. Adam loves it. I love anything that doesn't mean i have to vacuum 6 times a week to keep up with the shedding.