Sunday, November 17, 2013

Odds and Ends and Those Darn Dogs

This time last week the temperature was beginning to drop. Sunday afternoon I pulled the electric blanket out of the closet and rigged up its wiring behind the headboard and under the bed to take the chill off the sheets before bedtime. I also set the thermostat so the central heat would come on if the temperature dropped too low in the night. Which it did.

For two nights in a row the temperature hit the freezing level. I kept the heat on in the house all day and dressed in sweats and thick socks. The third night the heat didn't come on, and I kicked off the covers because the room was too warm. The next afternoon I slid the switch from heat back to air conditioning, and the A/C has been on ever since. Yesterday I wore shorts and sandals to play ball outside with the dogs.

I picture the weather gods as geeky guys in a control room, pushing buttons, turning dials, and laughing so hard their sides hurt. Cut it out, you guys. It's not funny.

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My microwave oven died. Well, I suppose that's not technically true; it had irreversible turntable failure, so I euthanized it. It was eight years old and getting quite rusty where condensation had accumulated under the turntable, a sure sign that death was imminent. The decision to put it to rest came about because the turntable stopped turning altogether. The cooking function still worked, but I convinced myself that the little turntable motor, straining to turn and unable to do so, was a fire hazard. The fact that I'm spoiled and lazy didn't have anything to do with it.

Remember when microwave ovens were new to us and we had to manually turn the dish of food several times during the cooking process to evenly distribute the heat? It wasn't a big deal then, but it sure seems like a lot of trouble now, don't you think?

Anyway, Kim and I both checked microwave oven reviews online, then we went shopping and picked out one that was on the list she'd made. It looks and functions very much like the last one (different brand), but the inside is operating-room clean, and I'll be a lot more careful about wiping condensation out of this one. Long may it nuke.

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I was on the phone with my sister a couple of weeks ago when I had to interrupt our conversation to holler at Gimpy, who had suddenly decided to dig a hole under the gardenia bush. He's a fast digger, so the hole grew to about four inches deep by the time he understood why I was yelling at him. Apparently that hole is the perfect size to meet his needs.

Levi and Gimpy take play breaks under that bush all the time. Now, when they lie there, Gimpy positions himself so he can drape his front paws over the side of the hole. (This is Louisiana, folks. Think swampland. Any holes we dig are mudholes.) Not only does Gimpy get his paws muddy, he drops the tennis ball into the hole and bats it around like he's kneading dough until it's covered with a thick coating of smelly mud.

When they've rested enough, Levi is the one who sticks his mouth into the mud to pick up the ball and bring it back to me to throw. My reaction? To use a local phrase, "Ain't no way!" I make them wait while I go inside to get a paper towel, then make sure they're watching while I use the towel to pick up the ball and throw the whole mess in the garbage.

I wonder how many balls we'll dispose of before they make the connection that the mudball is a game ender.

"Before" and "after" tennis balls.

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At the center right of the photo above you can see the wicker basket (formerly a dog bed) that holds the dogs' toys. We keep it up out of their reach so we can monitor which toys they're playing with and not leave them unattended with anything that might present a choking hazard. When the dogs show an interest in the toy basket, we set it on the floor and let them choose. The boys, Levi, Gimpy and Oliver, like to empty it out, one item at a time. Lucy doesn't show much interest in it.

The other morning the boys had taken all the toys out of the basket and were playing happily with one thing, then another. Kim and I were nearby, working on our separate computers at opposite ends of the den, when we heard a loud crunching sound. We glanced at each other, simultaneously asked, "What was that?" and got up to look.

It was Lucy. She was lying comfortably in the empty toy basket on the floor between us, eating the sides of it. How convenient!

8 comments:

  1. "Velvet Sacks" has been included in the A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point many new visitors in your direction.

    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2013/11/a-sunday-drive.html

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    1. Thanks, Jerry. I appreciate the link.

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  2. But Mom, the mud smells soooooo good!

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    1. Hahaha, they probably think it does. But they--and the backyard mud--are full of sh*t.

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  3. Levi and Gimpy probably snicker each time you toss out a ball. Dogs, gotta love em.

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    1. Welcome, Kelly Louise, and thanks for visiting. I just now explored your blog, read several of the "popular posts" listed on your sidebar and found them very entertaining.

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  4. That Lucy will rule the roost!!!

    I've never had a microwave that turns....

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    1. Holly, Lucy expects her humans to give her what she wants when she wants it, but she doesn't rule the roost in the dog world. Taking a shot at the alpha dog position would require her to first acknowledge the existence of the other three dogs. I don't think she's ready to stoop that low.

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