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Finished Yard

Finished Yard

Yard is finished.

So is Stanley:

I had to move into the office, so he’s now asleep on my lap as I work. I’m getting really good at typing over a fluffy, furry, snoring dog.

Fun Times in Ranney/Stanley-Land

Fun Times in Ranney/Stanley-Land

I have ceded my home to my dog today. It’s been all Stanley, all the time, at least since dawn.

Yesterday, the lovely people from Keller Materials dropped off 7 cubic yards of decomposed granite on my driveway. I’m serious about the lovely part. What a great company! The driver didn’t speak much English and my Spanish sucks, but we managed to communicate well enough. It was fun watching the huge truck unload everything. Thankfully, John was here and corralled Stanley so I could be in my garage watching myself be trapped by decomposed granite. I could have moved the car, but I didn’t have any plans to go anywhere.

Today my yard person and three helpers are spreading all the DG in the backyard. Remember the little creek and the bridge? Well, it’s no more. I realized, the first time it rained, what a disaster the creek was. It filled up with water and stayed there for way too long. Mosquito heaven! Plus, it’s been a bear to maintain. The soil kept falling into the creek and all the rocks were obscured. My yard guy is filling it in, compacting it down, and removing the bridge and the ultra large rocks.

What the yard looked like brand new, in 2016.

Stanley has been supervising with barks since dawn.

Over time, some of the beautiful, exotic plants died, but I had cacti replanted in their place.

The cacti seem happy – and they’re five times this size now.

The backyard is a metaphor for most goals in life, I think. You do one thing. When it doesn’t completely work out, you tweak it a little, do some reorganization, a little thinking, some more manipulation, all to get it to work how you want.

If you’re lucky you have a four legged furry who acts as a cheerleader. (Stanley is confined to the inside until they finish, about two more hours from now. He’ll be hoarse by then, as well as exhausted and crossing his legs. A dog’s work is never done. Of course, my work doesn’t matter. As long as he’s happy. 🙂 )

Log Cabin Life

Log Cabin Life

My electricity was out for hours today. Evidently, the entire subdivision was affected, but I don’t know why. It’s the first time it took something like five hours to fix.

I was working along and then wham! it went out. I was sweating out losing all the work I’d done this morning, but Scrivener saves every two seconds, isn’t that great? I only lost a few of the changes I’d made in the edits.

You can’t do much but read in an outage. I was just grateful I had a book downloaded on my tablet and two battery packs filled with power in case I needed them.

Cell phones are marvelous, aren’t they? They can still connect to the outside world. The electric company kept sending me emails that the problem was fixed and I kept calling them back – uh, no, it’s not.

I exercised in the dark in my gym. I didn’t want to waste the time. That was kind of a cool experience. Stanley didn’t know what to think. He was a dark shadow in a dark, shadowed room. I did get to read for hours, however, and that was lovely. Oh, and it wasn’t very hot today so it was bearable in the house. We’ve had rain and it cooled everything down a little.

We’re finally back up and running which means that Stanley has to bark at all the ceiling fans. 🙂 I swear, the longer I’ve had him the odder he gets. I wonder, is it being around me?

My Neighborhood and Dogs

My Neighborhood and Dogs

If you go to NextDoor for my neighborhood you’re going to scroll through at least fifteen posts about Dog Found, Stray Dog Located. It’s become an epidemic this month. I don’t know if people are abandoning their dogs in my neighborhood or if they’re getting dumped here in some other way.

Cats aren’t exempt, either, and there are always reports of a poor rescued kitty who died of feline leukemia which is highly contagious.

One of the problems in helping out a stray dog is that they may carry diseases like canine flu that could be transmitted to your pets. Still, I applaud the efforts of these good samaritans who look out for these poor dogs and cats especially in this heat.

Why do you think people abandon their pets? I know the myriad reasons, from crowded shelters to financial issues to behavioral problems, but what I want to know is why? How can they live with themselves knowing that they took in a pet then when it got to be too much simply let it go to fend for itself, starve, get mistreated, or run over by a car?

I don’t understand. My guilt would paralyze me.

One dog I rescued had parvo and was at the vet’s for two weeks. He survived, but was never, well, manageable. He ran away constantly, ate the carpet, chewed on furniture, and was otherwise a holy terror. I advertised and found another home for him and off he went to be a companion to a little boy. Six months later I was notified – because of the rescue’s records – that he was euthanized for behavioral issues. I’ve always felt horrible about that. I’ve wondered, for years, if he would have been a better dog if I’d spent more time with him, taken him to obedience training, done more. I thought I’d done the right thing, but it didn’t turn out to be right for him.

I see ads all the time to re-home a dog. I understand those. Sometimes, it’s just not the right fit. That’s why I like rescues that offer you a two week no questions asked return policy.

What do you think? How do people abandon a dog that’s come to rely on you for love, food, and shelter?

Maybe It’s Being a Writer

Maybe It’s Being a Writer

Stanley is not a happy camper.

Yesterday the A/C people were here from 8:00 until 12:20 PM. At 11:00 AM the next door neighbors had five pickup trucks lined up in front of our houses filled with roofers. Part of their roof was removed and replaced. Tat, tat, tat, automatic hammer and whirr, whirr, whirr went the compressor.

At 2:15 they must have shorted or otherwise traumatized the security system because the alarm went off from then until 37 minutes later. It was a damn loud alarm, too. The homeowner told me five years ago that she had it installed in the attic so all the neighbors could hear it.

We could.

I’m trying to revise a book and it’s difficult to work with all the barking, whirring, tat, tat, tatting, and sirens.

Let’s just say my output wasn’t all that great yesterday.

Stanley fell asleep beside me at 5:00 and didn’t budge until it was time for bed.

This morning, before I’d even had my coffee they were at it again. All five pickups. All the noises from yesterday, sans burglar alarm.

However, and this is why I titled this post the way I did: I’m invariably curious about stuff. I want to know weird things, like:

  1. Why are they tearing up the metal roof on their extension in the back? I kind of liked that metal roof. During a storm the rain made great sounds bouncing on it.
  2. Why did it take so long for them to turn off the alarm? Did they have to find the homeowner and get the code? I know, for a fact, that they no longer used the alarm because she came over to my house last year and asked if I’d seen the people who burglarized her house. (I hadn’t. When I’m working I’m working and my concentration is on the monitor.)
  3. Why are all five pickups black? None of them have a company logo on them, but it’s like they all got together and decided on the mafia look.
  4. While I’m speculating, what’s with the woman who comes every day, parks in front of my house and trots over to the other neighbors with an armful of notebooks? Is she a decorator? Why has she been coming every day for the past month? Does it take that long to decide on window treatments?

Yes, I have a Rear Window kind of life. It’s the front window, though. 🙂

Are you curious about your neighbors, too?