Monday, July 15, 2019

If Cussing Were Wishes...

I really, really, really wish cussing fixed the things that were broken.

If cussing granted wishes, then I wouldn't have had to drive to Home Depot three times today. I would have been able to find the drill bit that I needed because it would damn well have been where it should have been instead of where ever it currently is. Cussing would have kept the weenie drill bit I ended up using from snapping off in the board I was drilling a hole in. Cussing would have kept the exact amount of wood that I purchased intact where it was whole allowing me to utilize the eight feet cut-to-two-four feet pieces that I needed, instead of leaving me with the one four foot, one snapped-in-two-thus-useless foot pieces I ended up with.

All I wanted to do was build a fishtunkin raised garden bed. It ain't rocket science. I'm not trying for whistles or bells or convoluted watering systems, just a freakin box on legs, but everything has to be a production. It can't ever be simple. Why?

I really should have known that a four foot tall raised bed was too tall, so that's on me, but dadgum if that wasn't the least of the aggravations of the day. At least I had a handsaw to cut the legs down (so my fingers and toes were never at risk) because my only other option would have been to gnaw them down with my own teeth as my circular and jigsaw would never have made it through the 4x4 legs.

At any rate, my end goal is to delve into utter madness by pulling up my already established garden beds so that I may place them on legs thereby creating a hindrance to weeds, reduce back strain for myself, and to restrict access to vermin as the fence and other tactics I have thus far employed have failed in their efficacy.

Brilliant!!!
Here's something I'm pretty proud of. My brother and his wife came to visit and he helped me build this retaining wall on the side of the house. See, what had happened was, our house was built on a mound and as a consequence the earth had eroded to such a degree that huge sections of the foundation were exposed. That is a bad thing. So my brother and I built this retaining wall. I had decided to put plants in the bed to keep the soil in place and make it purty, but my brother's wife suggested strawberries!

This one time.

The other half of this one time.
I stuck my blueberries in there, too. They've been struggling. Maybe now they'll thrive. Or die. Honestly, at this point, I don't care. Just piss or get off the pot, man!

I haven't decided what to put in the second bed as it stays pretty shady through the day. I'm open to suggestions. So this was an amazing bond-y project to do with my bro. We have all kinds of plans for next year. So excited!

So why do I continue to put myself through such aggravation? Sometimes my projects comes out really nice. Eh, this one time it came out really nice. Ehh, this one time it came out really nice with out a mass of aggravation or multiple trips to Home Depot. Ehhh, I'll get back to you when I've figured it out.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Holy Sphincters of Horror...

I don't know how dogs ever made it in the wild because, based on what I've experienced with our three dogs, they are dumb as dirt and should have killed themselves into extinction a long time ago. Maybe someone can explain to me why, even though it makes them sick, they insist on eating the mushrooms that pop up after every rain or the residuals left over by roaming rabbits (I assume it's rabbits). Don't try to tell me I should get rid of the mushrooms, I'm irritated enough I  would be happy to smack the maker of that comment in the eye. We pluck all the mushrooms we find. Those fetchers always find the rest.

So my house has smelled like shit and vomit for weeks. I know, the language is uncalled for. Except I have cleaned up so much poo and vomit in the last few weeks, I feel like it is absolutely called for and perfectly expresses the end of my tolerance for the whole thing.

Image result for dogs
Not my dog.
It's not gross enough that they vomit and poo, but they do both in their crates. I thought there was an understood "don't poop where you sleep" rule amongst their kind. They are in collusion, but I don't know who they think they're taking down with this behavior. I'm not sleeping outside.

Then there are times when I encounter the smell of poo, but no evidence of the crime because they freaking ATE IT!!! Then because, who knew poop upsets the stomach, it comes up again. My eyes tear up I can hardly see and I can barely control my gag reflex.

All three dogs have spent multiple nights outside because I am sick of waking up to poo. They don't whine to be let out because they like the squish of poo between their toes, I guess. I don't freakin' know, but I am over it. All three morons are now in separate cages, because we couldn't figure out from whom the diarrhea sprang, because all three would dance through it and eat their share, so my kitchen looks like the city pound.

Image result for dogs
Also not my dog.
So now we send them out to potty with an escort, then they go straight back into the crate. It's a miserable existence. I'm suffering the most. I swear the smell of poo has been burned into my olfactories. They are one poorly placed poo away from being permanently "outside" dogs. Then they can eat whatever and crap wherever they want because apparently, the garbage they're eating outside is more desirable than the food we provide for them. Like, they'd literally rather eat poo (and 'shrooms) instead of what's in their bowls.

After these dogs go to the big farm with lots of room to run and play, our home will forever be pet free. Only ten more years...unless they keep eating poo.

Image result for dogs
Still not my dogs.

*All photos were captured from Google images and even though I should know how, I don't know how to link information to give proper credit. Imma hafta learn how to do that forthwith.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Oh Right, There Was Fun Stuff Too...The Cruise Pt. 2

So I remembered all I had done in my previous post was complain about Hell, and it's being other people, and junk, and forgotten there was awesome that needed to be reported as well. Like the ginger beer I drank in Jamaica, which was neither beer nor contained ginger. It was, however, very burny?Spicy? I think that's how you would describe that. Almost painfully spicy. I couldn't finish it, but I kept the label because it was such a liar.

Selfie
Also, the waters were so clear at every island, I mostly felt comfortable swimming in them because I knew I'd be able to spot any sharks and also there were plenty of people to plow through before one would get to me. I was also able to see to the ocean floor and I found a beer bottle cap that I picked up with my toes. It was only after that, that I realized the little feathery masses at my feet were fishes and not seaweed as I had originally thought, and I quickly put my water shoes back on. I also kinda lost my enthusiasm for that particular body of water and skeedaddled back to the beach.

We went to Hell and bough a postcard. Literally. The shop in Hell, Jamaica is run by a little old man from Mexico who had made a brief stop in his life's journey in San Antonio so he loves his Texas girls. At least, that's what he said, and the pictures on the wall kind of backed him up. The shop (which is almost all there is in Hell) also had Dixie cups nailed to the walls beside the bathrooms with a little sign asking for donations to pay for toilet paper. It was classy.

Hell's Gift Shop
Being that this was our first cruise ever, Babe and I booked a tour at every port (Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica) to insure the boat wouldn't leave without us. As we stepped off the ferry at Grand Cayman I saw a very large (Caymaner, Camanite?) very, very buff dude in a security uniform with a gun, sipping from a pink straw that was poking out of the coconut he was holding in his ginormous hand. It was dainty is what I'm saying.

I looked down to see two chickens just hanging out at his feet like they weren't chickens or he wasn't a security guard. We boarded the tour bus and there were more chickens. Like, in the middle of town waiting to cross the road to the courthouse. So I guess that answers that question? I saw another rando chicken and just mused out loud about the mass sightings when the tour guide mentioned the "Hurricane of 1936, so named because it happened in 1936 (before hurricanes were named) that released a bunch of chickens and roosters. Now there are wild chickens and rooster running loose on the island." That just tickled me. He also mentioned the island no longer had skittles, which I found really confusing, until he explained the government's determination to minimize skittle clouds and eradicate the Zika virus, which they had successfully accomplished. So he hadn't been talking about the candies.

Apparently this is also a problem.
There was a "rum" tasting, "tequila" tasting, and "insert some third liquor here" tasting portion on every tour, but Babe and I don't drink so we spent that time practicing our thumb twiddling technique. My thumbs are very dexterous now. I also learned that sea-sickness doesn't necessarily manifest as violent and forceful vomit. It can be just a slight discomfort, slight headache/nausea that goes away once the sufferer finds herself on solid ground. Hopefully, this little note helps as the forceful vomit was what I was looking for and it took me two trips back to solid ground to realize that I had been, in fact, a little sea sick for the first four days of the cruise.

Also, and this is a little more uncommon, landsick is a thing and one can be landsick for several days after returning from a cruise. It's called mal de debarquement syndrome or as I like to call it "insult to injury syndrome." I'm one of the lucky few to get to experience that fun time and it's just like it sounds. I was "still on the boat" for about a week after we got home. I spent a lot of time laying down before I fell down. Anyhoo, that is your PSA for the day. Learn it. It may save your life!

Just kidding. Hopefully, it'll help you recognize the sea sick sooner than I did. Also, I'm a rocket scientist so you'd probably figure that out sooner anyway. So...

It was really nice to spend time alone with Babe. He's a lot of fun and it was great to reconnect with him. We've decided we want to go again and take the kids. They are all old enough now that it can be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

I just couldn't eat it.
On the other hand, we left the children alone for a week...there will be a part 3.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Hell Is Other People...

Babe and I went on a cruise to celebrate our 20th anniversary last month. Granted, our anniversary isn't until June, but whatever man. So this is gonna be a two part post because I have a lot of feelings. Tomorrow I'll share all the fun stuff, but today I'm gonna complain.

The older I have gotten, the more large groups of people aggravate me and my disdain grew ten-fold on this cruise. To be short, people suck. They are rude, selfish, self-centered, and inconsiderate.

Let me explain. If I've been standing in line for three hours, waiting to board the boat, what makes you think slipping into the line once I've reached the front is ever going to happen. Also, coagulating where I am standing, like a freaking gnat cloud is almost more than I can take. I was about to start smacking people by the time the line started moving.

If Muster (emergency drill) is at 4:30, don't freaking saunter up at 4:45. Every-damn-body who is there has to wait until every-damn-body else shows up. I get that you are on vacation, jackass, but so am I and I didn't plan on spending it on deck, waiting for you.

Here's another one. If the crew has decided to start a dance in the middle of the promenade, and you have somewhere you'd like to be, here's an idea-maybe move around the side to get by. Or you could be the asshat who just walks through the middle. Don't let the activity happening in front of your stupid face get in your way.

Also, getting up and leaving in the middle of a live show is still RUDE. Especially if your dumb ass is in the front row. When an announcer asks the audience to clear the aisles and not to take flash photos as it could distract the performers, don't be the woman who decides she must take her baby out right now and must use the entire aisle, performer be damned, or the idiot who immediately takes a flash picture causing the announcer momentary blindness.

Saving ten seats for your family who then don't show up and or allowing your children to swing from the railings is...come-on people. It's a boat, not a freaking playground. I'm a hundred percent sure if that boat went down we wouldn't be able to shove off, even if we'd made it to the life boats because some people would be trying to reserve seats for their family, others would be letting their kids run wild and the rest would be pushing the slow and elderly out of the way.

Why? Because Hell is other people, that's why.

                                   
                                                Taken before I got on the cruise. Look at that face. I was so naive.

Monday, April 15, 2019

But My Apple Tree Is Doing Great...

Image result for garden
Not my garden

We planned a trip to Utah for a week at the beginning of April and I was hurrying to get my garden business taken care of before we left. The first item on the list was to mulch this huge pile of wood in the backyard we had tossed willy-nilly next to my garden last summer. A raccoon had taken up residence in said pile and was using my dang garden as his own private food source.

Babe and I had gone about two weeks before to rent a mulcher from Home Depot, but after the paperwork had been signed, we realized it wouldn't fit in the back of the van. Babe wouldn't entertain my suggestions to tie it to the roof or drag it behind us, and after that I was out of ideas. We ended up getting our deposit back after fifteen full minutes of rental.

Realizing that no mulcher was likely to fit in the back of the van, and attempting to find someone with a truck and time to kill was just more aggravation than it was worth, I bought one. I'm really glad I did. It's taken me several days of mulching and I'm still not finished, though the raccoon no longer has a place to hide. It would have cost us more to rent than it did to buy. Plus, free mulch for my garden! Bonus.

Anyway, I figured once the wood pile had been disrupted, the raccoon would find somewhere else to dine, but I was sadly mistaken. I know it was a raccoon because I have a fence around the garden, and it was STILL getting in. So I decided to make a cover. I bowed PVC pipes at three foot intervals and then zip-tied black plastic chicken screen around the pipes. I planned to cover the top as well, but we just barely had time to close up the sides.

I figured the screen would be too flimsy to support the weight of an incoming raccoon, but I was wrong again. The next day it had eaten my green bean seedlings and left a peach pit in my tater box, the cheeky bugger. I ran out of time before I could finish my projects.

My Kid sister took care of my garden (and the furry dingus') for most of the time we were gone. She was rightfully more concerned about my plants than she was the dogs. It rained a couple of times while we were away, which helped her out a ton.

The ground was nice and wet when we got home. I headed out to the garden first thing the next day. The sight that greeted me. It was just...amazing. I walked through the lovely little gate, which is a fun story in itself, and I saw my cucumber box full of green...grass. There was also grass in my bell pepper box. I think the green in my corn box was corn, but at this stage it kind of looks like grass too so...

Whatever.

Meenie and I were attempting to put the screen over the top of the PVC pipe to close it in and wouldn't you know it, the screen was about three feet too short. Also, it was too narrow. Also, my corn bed had been taken over with ant piles, but I didn't know that until I stepped in one. And when I stepped backwards, I found the other ant pile. Then, when I retreated to behind the potato box, I found the third one. That's when I fled the garden.

I bought death dealing granules and gleefully salted the earth, but I'm kind of afraid to go back inside my lovely garden. I ventured in once last week to plant store bought, healthy cucumber plants that were dead two days later, and haven't been back since. So I don't know what to do. If I set a match to it I'm certain to burn down the whole neighborhood, which may upset a couple of people.

I'm ready to call time of death. It's only April, but being that this is Texas, it might as well be Hell.

But my apple tree is doing great!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Mistakes Were Made...

Ten years ago we bought the home in which we currently reside. The Previous Owners (PO) had planted two lovely little evergreen trees on either side of the windows at the front of the house that we...thought were okay. They weren't our favorite, but whatever.

One of the trees died a few years back, so we plucked it out of the yard as one does. The second one continued to thrive, and grow out of control because we neglected it, but only recently had it come to my attention how out of control it really was. It kind of looked like a giant green starfish. Actually that entire front area has vexed me from the start. The PO's had created a stone border flowerbed in front of the windows and around the two trees. That area is a pain to maintain because every year weeds and anthills pop up like daisies, which incidentally, won't pop up in that area.

Last year, I stopped trying to plant stuff and just put down black screen weed blocker and rocks. Then I dropped some pave stones and a couple of potted plants in the bed to make my life easier. Spring came last week while we were in Utah and when we got home the flower bed that I had so lovingly filled with rocks and junk was once again covered in weeds. How the hell...whatever.

Anyway, back to the tree. I was looking Evergreen over and realized how out of control it was. Babe and I have planned to add a red oak to the front yard, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to lose that evergreen. So I took my trimmer out of the garage and set to work shaping it up. It was going really well...at first.

I was trimming those branches like a champ. One of the neighbors even offered use of his telescoping hedge clippers so I could reach the higher branches. I learned two things using that tool. The first being, my aim is just...terrible. Which may or may not have something to do with the second, I have miserable upper body strength. Mr. Neighbor Guy also grabbed a ladder and cut off the top four feet of the tree.

I cleaned out all of the branches at ground level as well as the dead and dying branches, which all happened to be at the back of the tree where it touches the house. Things were coming along pretty well until I took off this one branch.

                                                               
This was the good side.

I really don't know what happened. It was just one branch. Who knew one branch could cover so much space and then not? It was seriously dumbfounding. One branch undid all of the work I had accomplished. Now, my out of control Evergreen had become a middle aged man tree who had lost his comb over. It was so downhill from there.

When we moved in, the tree stood at a 90 degree angle. As I cut back the branches I realized it was now leaning at a more acute angle. So no matter how well I managed to trim it up (not that that was going to happen) nothing was going to cover the fact that it leaned. Try as I might to clean it up, in the end it just looked like a five year old had taken a pair of scissors to his sisters Barbie. After which, Barbie went to a bar and got sloshed so now she's leaning on the bar wearing one shoe and asking the guy next to her if he thinks she looks pretty.

It wasn't going well is what I'm saying.

The right next door, next door neighbor and his wife came home after I had brutalized the tree, and he choke/snorted, "Good job!" to which I replied, "Don't lie to me!"

Eenie had a good laugh when she got home. We then noticed (because we're observant like that) the branches from the trunk out were dead and/or dying so mayhaps the tree should just be put down. Also, the whole thing rocked like a nineties boy band.

                                                                   
Who Runs the World...Eenie!

Eenie volunteered to try taking it down. She huffed and puffed, but the tree refused to budge. Even our neighbor from the other side made an attempt (we have super helpful neighbors). I heard him mutter, "por que?" as he pulled from one side while Eenie pushed from the other. So much fun. I was rethinking cutting it down until I saw it in the light of day the next morning. It looked so much worse.

I cut it down.

Mistakes Were Made...
Sometimes you just have to recognize it's too broken to fix. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Here, There Be Monsters...

We have three animals in our home. Some would call them pets. Here we call them Gus and the Idiot Twins.

Gus

Gus and the twins

Then, there's Luna. The female idiot twin is stupid and will constantly eat things that will eventually kill her, but until then only cause diarrhea and occasional vomiting. But always diarrhea. We make efforts to find the mushrooms that pop up after rain, but she'll find them in that knothole in the southeast corner of the backyard just behind the fence pole at the outer edge. You know, the one you have to wedge your fat little snout in to reach, but it's worth it because you're a fat little turd who enjoys burning butthole.

Apollo is the second half of the Idiot twins and he's the one with an empty skull cavity. He has no original thoughts therefore does not cause mischief on his own, but will stupidly follow what the other two are doing. The three of them together have created such havoc that three sets of friends have refused to watch them ever again. So we were scrambling to find anyone to care for them when we went out of town last week, because when I tell you these friends will not watch our dogs ever again, they mean it. These people who love us, who will (and have) drop anything at a moments notice to help us, are not willing to come to our house twice a day to feed and water our dogs and let them out to potty because it's never that easy. Let me be clear, I don't blame them. I am so over the half-wit and her diarrhea as well as Gus' incessant destructive behavior.

We managed to find a young man we go to church with willing to tend the monsters for three days until my Kid sister could take over. I had such hopes. Being that the animals behave like...animals, they destroyed the bottom of the crate a few weeks ago and had been sleeping on the wire and floor when I finally took pity on them and put one of the beds we've managed to keep in one piece for almost six months (!) in the crate to create a more comfortable environment. They left it alone (!) and like a fool, I  thought we had broken a destructive habit. I repeat, I'm such a fool.

Everything was rolling smoothly along, padding that false sense of security, when the mother of my pet minder texted me to tell me Luna had refused to go out to use the potty that morning.

Aaargh.

I texted her back and told her that Luna needed to be made to go or she would crap in the crate. She said they'd go back after church. 

 Gus is a monster who delights in tearing things up. We have bought countless beds, blankets, toys, etc. that he has quickly and completely destroyed. He's chewed up my lawn tools, my trees, an entire fence that I built for the sole purpose of keeping him OUT of my garden (he ATE the fence), the bottom of the pool hose, the spray nozzles from my pesticides and herbicides- by right he should be dead- and he has to really work to get at a lot of these things. They aren't at snout level. They are pull himself up, reach into a bucket, make like a magic claw, accessible.
More Gus 
They were cleaning up poop when they got back to the house, and that's when things went typical. After attempting to clean up Luna's mess, she took the cover off the bed and tossed it in the wash, leaving the bedding uncovered. Guess how the monsters entertained themselves until the the cover was returned...

After returning the cover to what was left of the bed, Luna decided to pull the Diva card and wouldn't allow Gus in the crate. The family brought over a second crate for the Idiot Twins to sleep in, which upped Gus' anxiety so he went to town and finished off what was left of the bed. When we got home, all three mutts found themselves back in the same crate on the bare floor because that Diva garbage doesn't fly with me. Luna tried growling at Gus when we got home and I quickly reminded her who she was dealing with. She shut it up real quick. Homie don't play.

Even though they were disgusting, they were weren't as disgusting as they usually are. Maybe we can call on this kid again. Or maybe we won't go on vacation again until the furry monsters have gone to that big, green farm in the sky.