A Random rant

October 28, 2008

I believe in positive, force-free dog training. If you’ve seen me around town, I’m the girl with the 4-foot loose leash, the clicker hanging around my left wrist, a poop-bag looped around my right ring finger, and the bait-bag clipped to my jacket. I’m committed. I’m thorough on the click-n-treat reinforcement of the behavior I want. I avoid the “N” word.

But you know what makes this hard? Let me tell you: freezing rain and snow, short dark days, and cotton gloves. Who makes cotton gloves? And, more importantly, why do I have so many of them? They serve absolutely no purpose in life. If it’s warm enough for cotton, you don’t need gloves. If it’s cold and wet, then cotton gloves are worse than no gloves. Trust me on this.

Then there’s Miss Daisy who seems to need ideal conditions to, um, do her business. Not once, not twice, but three times she started to assume the position only to be side-tracked by a barking dog, a garage door opening, or a soggy piece of paper toweling floating by in the flooding streets. (Did I mention the cotton gloves? The wet cold night?)

Then there’s the whole allergy issue. It turns out that the reason Daisy’s had so many infections and we’ve been to the vet so often is that she’s allergic to dog food. So all that organic, all natural food I’ve been buying? Yeah, not so much. No more peanut butter, bullsticks, rawhide chewies, dog bones, or training treats.

All of which kind of complicates the whole training thing. Clearly I need to quit my job and begin making single-source protein treats.

And get to work knitting some woolen water-proof gloves.


Bathroom update

October 25, 2008

All last week I had anywhere from two to three men crowded into my upstairs bathroom. Here are the final results–prior to painting. (And here’s what it looked like all year.) I’m basically happy with everything except that I went with a cheap medicine cabinet to fit into the existing hole–which was never centered and always wrong. So now, the lights and medicine chest look crowded to me. Thoughts?

Who knew?

October 20, 2008

So the contractor is here to start on my bathroom. First up: finish taking up that old linolelum. He’s got two workers up there with scrapers and a heat gun.  I’ve got to admit that it’s kind of validating to see that it’s taking them a long time too. I spent six hours in there in July and my heart goes out to them.

Best moment? When I explained that I hadn’t yet found two replacement light sconces because the only ones I could find aimed downwards and the ones I want to replace aim upwards. Brad looked at me for a long moment and then said, “You just turn ’em around.”


Contractor Pick-Up

October 14, 2008

The first time I visited my local Home Depot I was impressed by its size and the many services it offered. I was with my parents, who were visiting me, when I pointed out the whole section of the store dedicated to Contractor Pick-Up.  “How cool is that?” I said. ” You can get your tools and materials and then choose a contractor to do it all for you.”

Needless to say, there was first silence and then a lot of ridicule and laughter directed at me.

In my mind I’d imagined a slew of guys with leather tool belts slung around their Carharrt-clad hips standing in a line while they waited to be chosen. Like, you know, a taxi line-up.

And you know something? I still think it would be a great service to offer. Think about it–it would eliminate the constant search for a good and reliable contractor/painter/plumber/carpenter. It would be a great opportunity to compare prices, work schedules, and references. And it would mean you really could get started on the project as soon as you got home! It’s a perfect one-stop-shop situation.

But no. Now I’m working with three different guys on three different projects and they’re all pending. Where are they? When are they coming? When are they finishing? Hello?

The Weed/Rake Connection

October 5, 2008

It’s been a cold indoor work day down here. I’ve got a stack of student papers in front of me, a pot of chili on the stove, and a sleeping dog at my feet. I could finish the papers, I could make the cornbread, I could let sleeping dogs lie. But the sun is out and I do believe it’s warmer outside than in. I say it’s time to rally and go attack my dead flower beds and leaf-speckled lawn.

Sundays usually means work for those of us in the teaching profession: reading, prepping, grading.  But sometimes you gotta let Sundays be true to their nature.

And today is one of those rare and beautiful Sundays. I’m calling it and heading out!