Saturday, June 28, 2008
Oh, dear. We Northern Californians have not seen blue sky for a week now. Our fifth season started early this year, fire season. Perhaps you have heard about this, like eight hundred or so fires burning in our state. It wasn't the Gold Rush that gave California its nickname, the Golden State, you know. It was the plethora of sunlit, golden hills. Dry grass, everywhere. Tinder dry. And if Man was not stupid enough to start fires with his campsites and cigarettes, then God steps in with dry lightening. Brown skies are awful. Depressing, yes, but unhealthy as hell, too. My canary and parakeet are doing well, glad to say. But I am not. Sore throat, flaming sinuses, and viscious headache, too. So, I do what I do when it is hot. I go the movies. The air there is cool, and smoke-free, too. Yesterday, I saw Wall-E, which funnily enough is about an earth so polluted, the population has fled to space. Really wonderful film, by the way. I am so grateful that I am no longer self-conscious about going to Disney films, without a kid in tow. I am a kid, underneath it all. And I felt better when I left, too. Refreshed. On the way home, I caught a glimpse of blue through the sunroof. And later, taking the Pickle out for her last potty stop of the day, there was a definite hole in the dirty stuff, hazy blue with a sprinkling of cottony white clouds. Never been so happy to see blue sky before. Our marine layer is back this morning, and it is looking gray, like maybe there is blue in our future when it burns off. Yay.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The $$$ from Geo. W. came yesterday. I am suitably stimulated. So far, I have been to Petco for a Pickle carrier, handy-dandy foldable washable airline-appoved zipup bag for the little one in the car. Yay. Also Bitter Apple to spray in places where she should not be chewing, so I can relax a little. Then to Best Buy for a couple of cherished CDs. And this PM, a trip to Safeway for my favorite new ice cream, Cinnamon Caramel Cashew, which somehow disappeared awfully fast. Is anyone else uber-irritated at that thing the checker does, read your name off the receipt and thank you using your last name? Does that mean there is a Safeway supermarket secret police force that knows everything I buy there? Are they watching my ice cream consumption? Do they know I am addicted to Cool Whip? Oh, God! I'm so embarassed here!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I harvested the first zucchini from my little veggie garden in the back yard yesterday, chopped it up, sauted it with garlic and herbs, tossed in some seafood medley (calamari, shrimp and scallops) and some pasta, dredged it with parmesan, and voila, le diner! I don't know about you, but this was something of a miracle here in the little yellow house. I have never grown anything, much less something edible, that I actually ate. And, as we speak, there are a couple of dozen tomatoes on my six little plants, so many that I had to prop them all up. Happily, everything is still alive and kicking, and getting ready to give me a happy, healthy summer of organic veggies, still warm from the sun. How sweet is that!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
When I moved in from the house on the edge of the world, I got this dandy deal from the cable company because I was a "dish conversion". Then the introductory period ended, and the bill went through the roof. So I went back to the dish, a different provider. School heated up, I got really busy, and the lousy service just got tolerated. Once in a while I would throw something at the TV, like in the mornings when an episode of ER would suddenly morph into Spongebob Squarepants, or the company logo would pop on and float around the screen like some neglected jetsom. Taping became a real challenge, too, as I often got an hour of that self-same logo instead of the desired program, until I realized I had to set the dish as well as the VCR. So it was a priority to get a different service once I finished all that academic stuff. And I did. And I hated it. The cable company service was more expensive than the dish for less channels. And they had the balls to charge me an installation fee, without mentioning it. Their onscreen guide sucked, too. Now, I am housebound for the moment, with the baby Pickle (I know she's a dog, but she's still a baby, too), and I need my entertainment! So, I am back with the dish, a different provider. In fact, the same one I had at the coast, where there is no cable. And it has improved substantially. The remote is a thing of beauty, it even turns both TVs on and off, a feat not possible to date. And, I got DVR! Wow, that's slick. I've already set it to record my soap everyday, and some movies on the premium channels I got, free for the first three months, and some programs coming on in the middle of the night, like episodes of Sex and the City that are so hard to find in the schedule. Just love this! Ain't technology grand? Hopefully, this is it for a while. Only end left dangling is that the installer guy took the business unit out of the dish that was up there, and I need to return it to my former provider. Spent a few hours today trying to get them on the phone, then finally e-mailed them. That is why I kept that lousy, overpriced, glitchy system for so long in the first place.
Monday, June 16, 2008
I got all excited by this envelope in today's mail marked "Stimulus Payment". Finally! I thought they had forgotten me (this is not unusual, I always think that). And it was a notice from the Feds telling me how much my "Stimulus Payment" will be. Like I couldn't figure that out from the CHECK. Really, guys. How many trees died so you can send out these cheesy notices. Just send me the CHECK. And for the record, I already knew how much mine would be, I looked it up online. I already spent it. I really need that CHECK. Yesterday.
Friday, June 13, 2008
The Boo is mighty unhappy. He had his teeth cleaned, toenails clipped, and ears probed yesterday, a full day at the vet's. Now he is expressing his dismay, as Sunny, the canary, sings away in the kitchen, and Pickle rolls around on the floor with a stuffed ball about as big as she is. Surreal, that's what it is. Given my druthers, I would go back to bed. Alas, not to happen anytime soon. So, some work (laundry, dishes, dusting), some play (a mystery novel, a walk), some love, even from taciturn Boo. A cup of coffee helps. And at least an hour will be devoted to reading my new writing book, and perhaps a sojourn into one of my burgeoning novels. Fear of mediocrity, get thee behind me!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I keep telling him I only got the Pickle because I love him so much. Boo is not buying it, as you can see. He is very eloquent in his disdain, turning away and strolling off like royalty amongst the rabble whenever that annoying little furball comes near, wagging her tail at him. On top of the bed, on the couch, and on a kitchen chair are his only bastians of solitude, since Pickle is clueless of his dislike, and just keeps trying to engage him in her play. I play with both of them at the same time. That is probably why I have two hands. The day may come when they will play together. Or, this may just be a distant and unreasonable goal. I seem to be burning a few calories here in the process, never a bad thing. Nevertheless, Boo's proximity alarm seems to be lessening in distance, and it has only been six days. Stranger things have happened.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Well, it is as if she always lived with us, the Pickle. It is like having a baby. You think you are getting your little one on a schedule, but, in reality, they are regimenting you. Sleep was a little tricky in the beginning. Pickle sleeps beside me on the bed. Boo sleeps on the same side, at the foot. Pillows separate them. This works fine, I found out. Since she is still on Missouri time, we get up really EARLY, like 4 AM the first night. I prevailed in getting her to sleep in till 5. Yay, me. Today, we got to sleep in till 6, and I was soooooo grateful. Of course, I turned off the lights last night at 9:30. Sigh. Well, that's what VCRs are for, right? Meanwhile, the Pickle can go outside by herself, and today, she learned to come back in, too! That doesn't mean she is housebroken, though. She still needs reminding. My days are about evenly divided between amusing her, looking for her, or fitting in some time for myself during her many naptimes. Dear daughter says she looks like Gizmo, from Gremlins. Well, yeah. Blessings come in small packages, full of spirit, joy, and love.
Friday, June 06, 2008
We had a hilarious trip to the airport yesterday afternoon, my friend Gina and I, the Pickle pickup party. We left earlier than I meant to, because suddenly got worried that her flight was coming in at 5:33 PM St. Louis time, which meant two hours earlier. Not to worry, the time we had was right, as I found when I remembered I could just look it up online. Nevertheless, it was good that we were early, as we had to find out where to get her, which meant Gina had to bounce into the Continental terminal while I hovered outside in the car at the curb, until the little policeman in the tiny golf cart honked at me, and I had do the terminal circle, again. We parked at the wrong garage, and took the Airtrain around to our terminal. We were supposed to be on the red train, but got onto the blue instead, and had to double back. None of this phased us. We were in hysterics most of the afternoon. Pickle's flight was six minutes late, and then, suddenly, there she was. She was a mighty happy little puppy, not at all frazzled from her eight hours in the crate. She had food and water and comfy papers to cushion her. We took her in the crate back to our car, then got her out, with some ingenuity as she was sealed in with plastic ties and we had no scissors. I just took the top of the crate off and lifted her out. Cute doesn't begin to describe this pup. She is happy and sweet and licky and bouncy. We stopped at In 'n Out Burger on the way home, she had some water, but didn't piddle till we got home, on her piddle pad before we took her inside. She slept next to me all night, with just a couple possible piddle runs. And we all got up, Boo, Pickle, and I, at 7 AM to begin our new life together. So far, she has negotiated the few stairs we have, actually used the dog door once, and jumped off the couch. She is at the moment taking her fourth nap of the day. We saw the vet this afternoon, and she is perfect. So I got exactly what I wanted, and what a blessing she is. My mother said why get one so far away, why get a fuzzy one, she's too expensive, blah, blah, blah. Oh, go rain on someone else's parade. Mine is perking along just fine.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Two more days, and our family will grow by one. Little Pickle will arrive Thursday at one of our Bay Area airports (oh, please let it be Oakland, so much closer). I have conscripted a friend to accompany me with a full kit of Pickle accessories: water, piddle pads, towel, toys, Milkbones. And a trip to Petco gave us lots of goodies, little bitty bowls, little bitty collar, little bitty dog bed (to put on top of big bed, where we will all sleep together, a threesome, Boo, the Pickle, and I, and that's as exciting as my life gets), and a handy dandy enclosure to keep her safe when I go out, or when I am washing the car or working in the yard. I also got Puppies for Dummies, and plan on boning up on my training skills so that we start off on the right foot. It looked expensive, this proposition, but this is my present for stopping smoking nineteen years ago, and the cost of smoking for a year (at least the way I smoked, two and a half packs a day) would be approximately $4,095. I am getting off cheap here, really.