Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bad Blogger, Bad Blogger!

(Read the title in a stern voice while mentally hitting me on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper.  :D)

I cannot believe that it has been almost a month since I wrote a post.  Now, my life isn't especially busy and I haven't really forgotten about this blog, so the only explanation is pure laziness.  And I am going to try to be better.  Yes, I make false promises all of the time.  I guess I should be a politician!  :D

Since I was here last, a few things have happened.  The weather has turned warm enough for us to need a/c, so we installed two of the units we have.  Tomorrow we need to put the one upstairs because The Youngest and her husband are coming here on Wednesday and it is impossible to be in that bedroom without air!  So, tomorrow is planned for us.  I can't wait for them to get here--I do miss her so much.

Of course, we have the 4th of July coming up on Wednesday.  I am not a holiday person, so I don't get caught up in any of the festivities and don't miss it at all.  And K is on night shift, so it isn't as if I have the opportunity to do anything anyway.  What I WILL be doing on the 4th is getting ready for company.  Not only is The Youngest and her husband coming to stay, but The Oldest and her family will come here for the day on the 5th.  So, I will be entertaining and feeding 13 people that day.  And that is what I will be preparing for on the 4th while others are eating, drinking, being merry, and watching fireworks displays.  And I am okay with that.

In other news...

I have, over the years, talked far too much about our chipmunk problem.  Because we live in the city, we can't shoot the little buggers.  And K won't poison them for fear that someone's (illegally) roaming pet might accidentally get into it, so we are pretty much screwed.  With K working full time, he just doesn't have enough free time to live trap, so we just try to deal the best we can.  I have been getting increasingly worried that our yard might collapse from all of the underground tunneling, but we haven't seen any indication of that--yet.  I can't begin to count the number of holes we have in our yard--it is starting to look like a prairie dog village.

The biggest reason for our chipmunk problem is our neighbors.  They have a food pile that they keep year-round, so wildlife of all kinds are in our neighborhood every day/night.  They set up their trail camera and found that deer, raccoons, skunks, fox, and coyotes show up.  Of course, part of their food pile is strictly for birds--they feed the ducks--and that is what mostly attracts the chipmunks.  They finally figured out that the chipmunks were getting to be a problem when they started going through 50 pounds of sunflower seeds per week, so they decided to do something to decrease the population. Also, the rodents were tunneling under their driveway and it was beginning to affect the stability of it!  Both are retired, so L decided to do live trapping--his wife won't allow killing the little rats, so he had no other choice.  L put out three traps and as of last week, he has already caught and relocated 108 chipmunks.  And I am definitely seeing the difference.  Chipmunk sightings have decreased--a lot!  I was seeing multiple chipmunks every time I looked out one of my windows and now it is a bit rare to see two at once--or even one--whenever I look outside.  I am ecstatically happy about this and can only hope he will continue to trap.  The only way I could be happier is if we get rid of every single chipmunk from our neighborhood--something that I know will never happen, but I can hope.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Responsible Dog Ownership

Last weekend, The Youngest's boss ( a veterinarian) and his partner decided to take advantage of the nice weather and walk along the river there in the city where they live.  As it was, they walked along just enjoying the day and not paying particular attention to what was going on around them.  Suddenly, a dog attacked the vet and bit him in the crotch and immediately let go.  However, there were four puncture holes through the man's pants and boxers and blood was present.  The dog was on a loose lead and his owner wasn't paying attention to what was going on.  The vet didn't even SEE the dog, much less engage him in any way.  He didn't talk to the dog and didn't make eye contact.  Yet, the dog--a Rottweiler mix*--attacked with no provocation.  And to make matters worse, the dog was not vaccinated and is now in custody of animal control and under quarantine.  Meanwhile, the vet almost lost his junk--he is considerably bruised and battered--and must wait the proper time to find out if he needs rabies shots.  This freaked me the hell out!

I LOVE big dogs and would love to have one, but this is just an example of how you MUST be in control of your animal at all times--and I'm not sure I have the wherewithal to be able to control a big dog.  Despite what people say, you can never completely trust an animal.  As I have always said about my animals, "S/he hasn't bitten/scratched anyone--YET."  Too many people--and I'm making assumptions about the dog's owner, now--don't do enough research about a dog/breed before getting one.  Many people just go by what looks cool or is the 'in' thing at the time.  But there is much, much more that is involved in RESPONSIBLE pet ownership and it's time people started to realize this.  Maybe we should have to have a license in order to GET an animal, rather than waiting until we already have one.

Hopefully, the vet will be fine--and the chances are that he will.  This could have been much worse, but for him, it was terrifying enough.  I don't even WANT to think what the results would have been if the dog had attacked a child!  Horrifying!

*In no way am I trying to vilify Rottweilers OR any big-breed dogs.  This is only mentioned as it IS relevant to the story.  Little dogs can do just as much damage as a big dog--in different ways, of course.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Pass The Knitting Needles

Two gadgets that I have in this house have saved my sanity more times than I can count.  Between the DVR and TV remote/s, I am able to ignore commercials that I find particularly annoying.  And anyone who knows me, knows that when I'm annoyed by a commercial, I'm REALLY annoyed.  Right now, the most annoying commercial I know is for the Honda Pilot--and every time it comes on I want to run away from home while stabbing my eardrums with knitting needles.  And I will now share it with you:

Not only is the 'music' annoying, I want to know just who the hell is the black kid?  Sorry, Honda, but I definitely have to pass on EVER considering buying your product.  But then, we 'buy American,' so it is kind of a moot point.  ;)

Thursday, June 07, 2012

I'm Impressed

I don't normally endorse products on this site.  And I never have received compensation for anything I've posted about and now is no different.  However, I do have to tell about something that I'm pretty impressed with.

I don't know how many have heard of the Clarisonic line of products.  These are skin care electronic devices that are supposed to clean your skin better than you can do by 'just washing.'  (There are other products that help tighten the skin around the eyes, but they mainly do cleansers.)  The first time I heard of these, I was intrigued, but the cost just seemed far too high for something that was just going to cleanse my face, so I put the thought of purchasing one out of my mind.  Then they came out with the smaller, cheaper models.  (Although, the price was/is STILL very high.)  And one day I got an offer for a special price on one and I began to consider making a purchase.  So, I began my research and decided to buy one.  And I did in January.  I am impressed.

A while back, I did a post about the bad lighting in the hotels where we stay and mentioned the condition of my skin.  One of my biggest skin problems has always been blackheads on my nose--this despite the fact I never use makeup unless I leave the house.  I have tried every mask, cleanser, face brush/cloth I could find and yet I never have had luck in taking care of my problem.  The Clarisonic is the first thing I have used that actually helps my skin--and I feel as if it was money well-spent.

I won't try and say that my skin is as good as it could be.  The only way for it to be 'perfect'--or as perfect as I could get it--is to go to a professional aesthetician for regular facials.  Or I would need to spend big bucks for a dermatologist to do all of the chemical peels and whatnot to get me back to 'baby skin.'  I really am not willing to spend the money, so this is a good substitute.  The only 'problem' I have is that I have to use the machine almost every day or my skin goes back to 'normal.'  However, it only takes one minute to use, so it isn't like I need to spend a lot of time to improve my skin.

My point for this post is this:  If you ever have considered buying a Clarisonic, don't hesitate.  I am well pleased with the results that I get and, hopefully, you will be, too.  But, please buy from somewhere with a liberal return policy--I purchased mine from Ulta--in case it just doesn't suit you/your skin.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Was It Something I Said?

Our town is run by a city commission.  The commissioners are voted in to 3-year terms and can only serve 6 years in a row.  The commissioners, in turn, vote in a mayor, who can only serve one year at a time.  This works as well--or as poorly, take your pick--as any of the types of governing bodies we have here in the US.

One of our neighbors was a commissioner/mayor several years ago.  For the most part, our commissioners aren't voted in as party members, but it isn't hard to deduce which side of the fence they are on.  The Neighbor and I are polar opposites in almost everyone of our beliefs.  However, I don't know how HE knows this fact.

K is opposed to having signs, posters, decals, bumper stickers on ANYTHING we own.  I'm surprised he 'allows' me to have a Red Wings Skin-It on my cell phone.  ;)  While I DO have a few smaller Red Wing  Skin-Its on the Envoy, K would be just as happy if it was devoid of any personality whatsoever.  (Of course, I would have the entire Envoy covered, but that is another topic.)  We never have political signs in our yard.  We don't have bumper stickers of any kind.  We don't go to political rallies and never endorse, in any way, political candidates.  Yet, our neighbor knows that K is closer to his political views than I am.  And the only way he knows/thinks this about K is that K is a union member.  Frankly, even *I* am not sure how far left OR right K leans.  Politics is not something we discuss often.

As I said, our neighbor has some experience in the political arena.  He wants more.  A few years ago--after his time on the city commission--he tried to get elected to the State House.  I'm not sure he even got out of the primaries.  A few weeks ago, he came by the house with a petition so that he could become a candidate for the commission once again.  Nothing unusual about that, except for HOW he presents these petitions.  And this is the story:

The doorbell rang in the early evening.  This in itself is a very unusual occurrence, but seeing The Neighbor at the door was even more so.  We are neighbors and friendly, but we aren't what you would consider 'friends' with him and his wife.  I opened the door and he asked if K was home.  When K came to the kitchen, The Neighbor told him that he was going to run for City Commission again and asked if K would sign his petition so that he could get on the ballot.  K agreed and The Neighbor left.  Without asking me if *I* wanted to sign the petition.  This is the second time he has done the exact same thing, so I'm assuming he knows that I don't particularly like his politics.  But I don't understand HOW he knows this.  I find this very perplexing.

After The Neighbor left, I asked K if he thought there was any chance of the man getting on the commission again.  K said he didn't know, only that he would NEVER vote him.  I really had to chuckle over that one.  ;)