sad and happy

Last night I got a text from a friend going “Dude, your mom’s dog died.” Wait, what.

I was in the middle of telling new-guy that I was going to leave so I could turn some stuff in when I got the message and then I just had to tell him that I had to go and make a phone call. At this point, a manager came up to give us crap and then told us to “lighten up” and I told him that I just got some really awful news and I wasn’t going to lighten up. I told him my mom’s dog died and I have to call her and he gave me the look I was expecting “Are you serious?” (I’m under the impression that he doesn’t give a crap about anyone’s feelings except his own). I’m now under the impression that he has never had any kind of bond with an animal.

I turned in the stuff that needed to be turned in, clocked out, and immediately called mom. And she told me that she was going to call me if I didn’t call her (we’re terrible at calling each other. I hate phones and deal with the public most days and she’s fairly “meh” when it comes to phones, probably from her 25+ years of working in an attorney’s office as the bookkeeper)

So, I’m talking to mom, and eventually get to the front of the store so the friend who told me could get rung up when the same manager comes up and starts making loud jokes. Friend goes off on him about how he’s rude because I’m in the middle of a “really important phone call” and here he is running his mouth.

I found out that Maggie Moo the ugliest, most adorable dog (she was a Shih Tzu with bug eyes and an underbite) was put to sleep on Friday because they found out she had multiple tumors in her abdomen and, while they could extend her life to maybe a year, mom felt it wasn’t fair to Maggie. She said she’s doing ok, washed the puppy dog toy we bought for Maggie, and keeps it on the table so it’s close by so she can hug it when she needs. Maggie is cremated and now hangs out in an apple orchard in Basset.

I’m thinking about asking a friend of ours how much she’ll charge me to make an amigurimi dog for mom. Or ply her with a bunch of stuffed animals that we have in the house. Mom swears she’s not going to get another dog any time soon, she wants to wait until they have a house again (they live in a house that got converted into 3 apartments) and she’s so disappointed that she couldn’t bury Maggie in the backyard of our old house so she could be with Burney, Heather, and Kelly (two dogs and a cat).

Onto some lighter things:

Jamie bought me some flowers because they are “Orange and super ugly” and he knows that I’d love them. Now I’ve just got to figure out a good place to put them so Snooch, Mewkis, and Carrot don’t eat it.

Jamie won a raccoon stuffie out of the claw machine (first go!) so now my garbage bear has a trash panda and I find it hilarious. He loves it. And I got him a bumblebee-bear (bumblebear). I know I shouldn’t waste the money, but it was $2.50 and too good to pass up.

For whatever reason, I’ve been thinking of Hermux Tantamoq lately (probably because of the heat) and decided to go ahead and re-read The Sands of Time (book 2 of 4 in the series). I love this little series of books and part of me wishes there were more but part of me is glad there’s only four. It’s definitely a series that I can read over and over again and not get tired of. I finished reading Time to Smell the Roses while on the bus to work yesterday and it’s still as enjoyable as the first time I read it. I’m really glad I stumbled upon the first book (Time Stops for No Mouse) while digging through the redacted children’s books in the library basement because it spawned a need to have all four books immediately and I have them.

I got in last night from work to find a sneaky, stinky, slightly green fake dog waiting for me. Bug not only busted out of her crate, but also busted out of the dog room. She’s learning.

I don’t know what it is, but I feel great. Maybe it’s the impending springy-storm that’s supposed to come, maybe because it’s getting warmer, I don’t know.

I know yesterday at work was filled with anger. One department manager spent about twenty minutes yelling into his phone to someone about someone else, one department manager has threatened to quit, one guy was going off about how people needed to “learn to do their god damned jobs,” and one person threw a temper tantrum to the point where they got reported by management (not by me. I only found out because I was pulled to the side because I was a witness to it)

We’ve already hit the 90-degree mark (it’s going to be awful this summer) so maybe it’s the heat making everyone lose their minds.

But hey, no worries. I got a new phone that won’t die on me if I play podcasts for too long, I’m working my way through a Charles L Grant novel, I saw where the wild rose vine behind the house is blooming (woo!), and I have donuts. It’s going to be a good day today.

Also: I’m trying to update more often, as you can see. I want to do more updates, even if it’s something like::

Have I written? No, but I did add a new idea to the list
Have I knitted? No, the green monstrosity still sits on the loom
I posted some new pics on IG, but still haven’t attached the account to fb, twitter, or tumblr (I am terrible at remembering passwords)
I need to update the “Things I have Read” list

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hard to tell

The past few days have been a mix of little sleep, nightmares, and that nagging feeling that I don’t know what was part of a dream and what was part of reality. I don’t know if the reality/dream mixup is because of lack of restful sleep or I’m just due for another one of those “wait, did that really happen?” days. Maybe it’s stress causing the intertwining of reality/dream states and, frankly, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.

But, I do know that:

+ the little hedgehog flowers Jamie got me the other day are still doing well. I’ve set them up where they can get natural light but not be eaten by Snooch, Carrot, or Mewkis
+ Hobbes is doing his “I’m a sad puppy” whines because he thinks he’s being ignored
+ I popped that really gross ingrown-hair/blackhead/dirt-pocket thing on Bug’s leg the other day and that was real enough (a great thing about pitbulls, if you’ve got to pop a zit or whatever on them, they might bonk you in the face with their nose, but they won’t retaliate. if you poke them in the eye by accident, they love you anyway)
+ The yard looks much better now that we’ve mowed/weedeated and picked up trash from the front yard (the downside to our house: everyone seems to believe we are a catchall for their trash)
+ I have a blood blister on my finger from a pair of scissors
+ Another one of my roses is starting to bloom and the rose vine looks awesome

screaming into the void

I feel that I’ve been screaming into the void and the only response I get is silence. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but it is kind of disappointing.

+ Knit hat for coworker has been in my bag for like 2 weeks and I haven’t seen him, so it’s like I’m just carrying around this lemon-yellow thing for no reason.

+ Working on another shawl and this one feels like it’ll never be completed. I’m at the halfway point, trying for a larger shawl, so I’m really not surprised that it seems to be taking forever. The more I go on, the more I realize I have so much green yarn.

+ A narrator/voice actor that I love (and follow on various platforms) sent out a call to authors for stories for him to narrate. He’d requested more sci-fi (because he mainly does horror), and I’ve been tempted to double check the word count on a story or two that I’ve finished and send one on to see what happens. Because, really, why not? The most that’ll happen is I’ll get told he can’t do it or whatever.

+ Still need a title for the Heironimus story. I mean, I could leave it called as such. I think it’d be really awesome to send it somewhere, but it’s a little past the normal 7500-word limit.

+ Started working on a fresh story and I keep having to make notes to myself within the story to look up what certain things are called or look up what the correct part for an item is. So far, I’ve mostly got descriptions of things. I texted Jamie about it, saying that I felt a bit like M R James and I’m trying to keep that in mind while I work on the idea. I have a vague idea of where I want it to go and how to end it, but that’s far on down the line.

+ I’ve got bits and bobs of stories pecked at on the computer that I need to work on, but my notes for a couple of them have disappeared so hell if I know what I was doing besides half-thought notions of “what if” and “I wonder.”

+ I’d say I’d be working on stories and such tomorrow, but tomorrow is a day for housework and seeing if the weather is decent enough for me to go outside and start cleaning up around my roses and working on encouraging them to grow. I think two of them straight gave up after last year’s well-intended flower bed clearing by other people (who mowed them down). Maybe I’ll plant a pumpkin seed and see if I can get some nice leafy growths to help maintain some cover and maybe get another Surprise!Pumpkin out of it.

But now, it’s time to wake Jamie up and let the dogs out so they can get some of their crazy out of them.

Ye (short) Saga of Dog

Yesterday, Jamie busted into my department saying that he got a voicemail from Animal Control saying they had our dog.

What.

I listened to the voicemail and called them back, Jamie talked over the robot voice so I had to hang up and wait until I could hear well enough to go through the keypad list and get a human on the phone.

“Hi, someone called and said they have my dog.”

(request of what the dog looks like, etc)

I describe the dog and get “Oh! L wants to talk to you, hang on a sec.”

Oh thank gods. L is there and she knows us, she knows we’re obsessive over our dogs. She kept in touch with us when Hobbes had been stolen. L is awesome.

L gets on the line and tells me that yeah, they have Hobbes and the neighbor was able to get the others in the yard.

What.

So I tell her that Jamie is on his way and send him to go talk to management about leaving for a bit due to family emergency. (it is our family and this is an emergency)

I text Jamie to make sure Firefly is there because if the neighbor has gotten the dogs in the backyard, Firefly has undoubtedly gotten out (because she is an old woman who doesn’t believe in fences nor rules). Jamie gets to Animal Control and finds that it’s not just Hobbes that they have.

They have Firefly, Cricket, and Hobbes.

They tell Jamie that “the other dog, the one with the disability, stayed in the yard.” Jamie told them to not believe Bug because Bug is a tank. (it’s true. If she had 4 paws, she’d be able to take over the world). Stuff happens.

Jamie gets them inside and just lets them roam the house. Cat boxes, cat food, dirty dishes (not many, just like breakfast bowls and such from before we left for work) be damned. Let them pee on the floor, we’ll clean it up when we get home.

Jamie comes back to work, texts me that he’s back, and we continue the day.

We get home to find that someone has found the sunflower seeds and has pooped them out. There is poo and explosive poo in various spots around the living room and kitchen.  Jamie walks back into the living room, where I am coming through the door, and tells me that “it’s bad.”

They’ve knocked over the trash can and have strewn trash all over the kitchen. There is peices of trash bag mixed in. All I can do is use the broom and dust pan and just dump everything into the bin (sans bag) and tell the dogs to not do it again.

Jamie tells me that the AC officer was telling him that they found where the dogs got out of the backyard and that we need to fix the fence. Jamie wound up having to explain until they understood that we don’t have dog doors, the dogs were in the basement (not crated because I wanted them to have some roaming time) and that they must’ve gotten out via the basement door or the window.

Check the basement: someone (probably Hobbes) hit the plexiglass window that I had epoxied up last year perfectly and broke it free of the epoxy. We have a 14″ high, 20″ long open window leading out into the back yard. They stayed in the living room over night until the morning when I could find the super awesome duct tape and tape the window back on so I could crate them. Now, I am going to have to look for a non-dull saw so I can saw part of a pallet apart so I can nail bits of pallet across the window so a certain old man can’t break out again.

Jamie also told me that the AC officer told him that normally dogs are very timid when they go to let them out of the little holdy thing in the trucks, but not Cricket. Cricket jumped out (aiming for the face, of course. stupid dog) and was all wiggles and play bows.

Today:

I duct taped the window and put the half-door that Jamie made for upstairs but didn’t fit up against the stairwell that leads to the backyard. I also pulled the extra pallets we had, that were tucked up, and put them against the hole that was caused by the nice person who mowed the ditch beside the fence, the hole that was patched, and the hole that apparently Firefly made when she realized Hobbes had gotten out.

These are our dogs. They’re sweet, they’re loving, and they firmly believe that fences are for other people.

Dogs don’t like my music

As a fan of music of varying types, from centuries long-past to things released within the past couple years, I’ve found that I typically land on the same upbeat music over and over again when I want to listen to something while I clean.

Typically, this usually involves an array of 90s (pop, ska, punk, house/acid) and the dogs are displeased.

Firefly is pretty aloof about the whole thing, just as long as she gets to curl up on the couch. Bug seems to like pop more than the others, Hobbes just gives me his sad/confused-dog stare, and Cricket seems to think that it’s the perfect time to jump on people or go see Jamie.

I have noticed, however, that all of them hate Jamiroquai. Which sucks for them.

Hobbes is more of a fan of Alt/Rock and metal (seriously, cut on Volbeat or some old school Cradle of Filth and he is all about that). And they all like Voltaire.

Yesterday while cleaning the living room, Jamie cut on Spotify through the PS4 for me (because I couldn’t find it) and I found that none of the dogs like the Spin Doctors. What the hell, dogs.

Sigh, oh well I guess. Now this just means there are 5 people in the house that I can annoy with my atrocious tastes in music. Jamie’s pretty used to it (he should be after all the time we’ve known each other), but now he’s got a pair of AfterShockz headphone thingies so he can listen to podcasts while I continue to be a dork.

making things

+ I finished the Combo Breaker blanket, it is folded up and sitting on a shelf until Jamie remembers to take it to work to give it to the parent. lol

+ I made Jamie a Bear Hat. It is a smidge too small, but he thinks it’s awesome. So, I’m working on making another one (I have the yarn so why not?) I still have a few more months before it gets cold enough for him to wear a hat, so I have the time to work on it.

+ I keep staring at the same documents doing nothing.

  • Weird Granddad story is just…there. I am at a point where I don’t remember exactly where I was going with it
  • Attempted Novelette is at a standstill. I’m at the point where I can’t remember whose name is for which character except for one, and that’s mainly because I keep making terrible jokes about it.
  • I’ve been jotting down notes for another story idea to try to get bits together with it

+ Nothing is finished and I don’t know if I’m fine with that. I don’t know if it’s an epic brain fart or just extreme apathy.

+ Bug and Firefly got into it the other day and Firefly needs to learn that Bug is getting her back for when they were younger and Firefly got Bug because Bug was too nice. Now Bug is a tank of a dog and has power behind her snaps.

Firefly is fine, we carted her butt to the vet, where her head was cleaned and parts were shaved. I insisted we take her because of the puncture under her jaw (which is fine, just squicky) and we learned that she’s got a couple more punctures than I had originally thought. She’s on antibiotics and has been happily spoiled by getting to sleep on the couch, getting various pieces of human food (cheese, peanut butter, things like that), and snoring on the bed.

Tell a story

I was speaking with my mom last friday (because it was my birthday. yay birthday) and my main goal is to make her laugh. I love making my mom laugh. Be it with a joke, a story, a terrible side comment while we’re out. Anything. If I can make my mom laugh, she can be happy, and that’s the important bit. (my mom is awesome)

She asked me if I had gotten a new job yet or if I was just taking this time as an “extended vacation.” I told her I was looking for a new job, but in the mean time I’m working on writing and cleaning and dog stuff. Mom told me that I should write because I “tell good stories” and that I would be great at it. She continued with saying that I should tell my funny stories because it makes her laugh and I could “easily get a lot of followers.” lol

What caused this was I was telling her a story, to make her laugh and to show how derpy Cricket is.

So.

Since it’s hot outside and we live in SWVA, it’s muggy from 8 am to 8 pm. We have a short time for yardwork between 7 am, when the noise ordinance is over, and 8–maybe 9 if we’re lucky. Or, between like 7:50 pm to when the sun goes down and we no longer have visible light to see by. But my tomato and melon plants and corn are thriving, so there’s that (however, the grass has come back so now the areas look like a grassy plane with plants)

We own a kiddie pool. A Bright. Neon. Pink. kiddie pool. I got it on sale for $5 like two years ago. The dogs use it as a giant water bowl and the only dog to ever lay in it was Hobbes (and now he can’t because some fucking peice of shit fucking stole him out of my yard. lured him out of my yard and sped away. I wish nothing but bad, horrible, terrible luck on them and I want my godsdamned dog back).

Currently, Dunk-dog will step in it and stand there most days and Cricket will step in it occasionally. Firefly and Bug will drink out of the kiddie pool, but that’s it. Bug thinks it’s a ploy for something and Firefly knows that if she’s not careful the giant water bowl will turn into the giant bath bowl and that’s never good. Firefly is weary of any large body of water that is not a dog dish.

Jamie bought a sprinkler, saying it’d be great for the dogs before realizing it’d be a great waterer for the garden…if we can get it to do a 180 sprinkle instead of a 110 sprinkle. Bug and Firefly see it as a barrier of awful, Dunk thinks it’s weird, and Cricket’s like eh, whatever and walks around. Currently, we haven’t used the sprinkler for them specifically. We’ve just played with it. Normally, we use the hose and its sprayer-of-many-settings.

Bug and Firefly are terrified, hanging back if I fill the water bowl and kiddie pool or at least being a few steps away watching me wearily as I water the garden. Dunk stands near me but doesn’t want to get sprayed in the head. And then there’s Cricket.

Cricket is our black derpy border collie. She’s average height, but mostly black. So, we worry about her when she’s out. Sure, we have half of the area shaded by our awesome tree, but she’s …special. She’ll stand on the porch or patio in the blaring sun and just stand there. Every so often she’ll stand in the kiddie pool or hang out in the shade. But then she’ll stand on the porch or roll in something in the sunny area and be a silly dog.

So, I was watering the garden. It was after 4pm and I try to stick with what my grandmother told me: if you water your garden, don’t do it between 10am and 4pm because that’s the hottest part of the day and it’ll just evaporate and you’ll have wasted your time.

I changed the setting from jet (to get to the farthest garden spots) to shower (to get to the closest areas) and realized that Cricket was just standing there. So I sprayed her a little.

She walked away, played with Firefly for a bit, and came right back. So I sprayed her again.

I didn’t hold her down and spray her, nor did I chase her with the hose (because, hell, if I wanted to, I could chase all the dogs and spray them). I was like 5-10ft away from her.

I put the hose down, I had finished with the garden, and Cricket immediately came up and jumped on me, grinning like a goober. I rubbed her ears, laughing at her, and then she got down, shook excess water on me, and ran away to go play with Dunk.

I got my dog with the hose, and she got me back.

 

I told this story to my mom and she howled with laughter.