29 May, 2015

This is a doozy AND there is at least one picture in it

29 May 2015

R. Linda:

It must be the season for picking up other peoples mail, dog sitting, and Memorial Day sales!

Let's start with the sales. Tonya heard that the best time of year for buying appliances is Memorial Day. SO she got it into her head when we first moved in the abode that all the white appliances (that worked perfectly fine) had to go because they were an eyesore when one has a black granite counter top. I have to agree, black appliances would look nicer BUT! Come on I said, we will replace them as they get old.

No, no, the BIG sale was coming so we had to go at least and LOOK. I knew look wasn't the true word, BUY was. I was hauled off to many different appliance stores in an attempt to wear me down and it worked, by the time we got to the last store I would have bought everything. We did find that every store where the appliances WE wanted to buy were on sale, were not that good, wouldn't last a year, had major issues, etc., BUT this one that costs triple what the one YOU want is listed for is GUARANTEED to last for YEARS. Oh sure it is! Well, we took an upgrade on the stove, but we refused to budge on the refrigerator and dishwasher. If we would at least upgrade on the fridge, they'd throw in a free wine chiller. NO THANK YOU. I could buy one for what the upgrade would cost me, so NO!

Tonya was happy she had her appliances, my wallet was quite a bit lighter, but I will say we did save big on everything, or at least I thought so until later. We bought from one big box store so we were insured fast delivery, but guess what? No installation. They don't do that anymore so find someone. Great, by the time you find a serviceman, you are paying triple for the service so where was the savings, I want to know. I left that small detail to Tonya, because me old neighbour rang me up to ask if I'd pick up his mail while he went on a Viking Cruise to Prague and beyond. Must be nice to be retired.

I told him I'd be happy to, it was on me way home. I will say I did not expect to be picking up the mail and the sugar ants at the same time. I opened his mailbox the first day of me mail pick up to find some kiddo had put a half sucked on hard candy in the old fella's mailbox (with the flag up just for shites and giggles). I saw the mailman had stacked the mail on one side of the mailbox to avoid the sticky gooey mess. I got the mail and had some of the baby wipes from the youngest in me car, so I swept the candy out and closed the box.

Then I went home to find that Dragon had her dog shipped up from New Jersey. But the dog arrived one day before she went on a trip to Vermont with the elderly ladies travel club she belongs to. She found out they had a trip from Jersey to northern Vermont scheduled and would be coming her way to get there, so she was hopping the tour bus from here! How nice I thought, to be rid of her for five days. Of course, I do wonder what there is to do in Vermont for five days! Anyway, I came home to the most spastic dog I'd ever seen in me life. This animal she acquired after Hurricane Katrina. It was one of the dogs that was rescued and never found by its owner. I know warm touching story and isn't the Dragon lady so warm hearted for adopting the hound. Yes, she has adopted the hound from hell. It is a hunting dog, so it wants to run and it thinks it is a horse, it rears up to its full height of 6' when anyone comes in the room and it has a bark that is a deep WOUFFFF that near shatters eardrums. In the south this thing is called a Red Coon Hound and we have lots of raccoons up here so the barking is constant at night when those critters are out by the pond after our fish. Forget the full moon the howling goes on non-stop.

Not only is this hound unpleasant vocally and socially (has no doggy manners), it thinks it owns the joint. Me Red and White Setter be sulking that her abode has been invaded by this intruder from Louisiana and she does not like it. She has a futon couch she sleeps on at night, but no not anymore. The hound, named Banjo has taken her couch over. Lookie here as they say down in 'Orleans.

Yup stretches himself down the entire length of the couch and is happy about it too.

He thinks there is nothing wrong with taking over, but when a thunderstorm comes, the good times begin! Let me tell ya. He fits his big self into the dark space between me bedroom and the guest room where he thinks he is invisible. I can't get into me room for his blocking me way. He whines like Armageddon be on its way right to where we live.

So all was well the first night of the new house guest (and I use that term very loosely), but when his mistress left for the wilds of Vermont he turned into a real bugger he did. Not only had he taken over me own dog's territory and took her toys, her bones (no matter he had his own), he head butted her out of his way or ran her over, or pushed her so he could get a treat first. Not to mention he is like a vacuum he wolfs down his food and then goes for hers. She be a dainty eater, when she gets to eat.  He also had an annoying habit of nosing and tonguing his way along the counter and table tops slurping up what was not there. You'd think he hadn't been feed in years the way he was so food oriented, just like his owner, SHE never missed a meal. I was putting up with this insanity for three days when Tonya asked me to take a day off to wait for the delivery of all the new appliances she had put me in the poor house to buy. Oi. Me mam was there but no, she had no clue when it came to "deliverin' machinery" which I told her it wasn't machinery per se' it was appliances -- the very thing she used everyday in that kitchen, but no, no, she wasn't going to be "responsible" for the placement and "wot have you." I did end up taking the last three days of the week off and must say it would have been pleasant being the Dragon was not around, but for her dog that was.

The nonsense started as I was sipping me morning cuppa and Banjo sat 5' away watching every sip I took. I picked up me toast and started putting jam on it and I could hear the audible licking of his teeth with his tongue. I happened to look over and he was focused on me like a target, the drool dripping to the floor. I shook me head, took a bite and watched the hound's head move with the toast. I tell ya! I finally turned me back on him, but that was a mistake because I soon felt a wet tongue licking the bit of jam that fell on me barefoot. Gross, gross, gross! No matter how much I yelled at him he'd disappear and then magically reappear. I couldn't eat anything in peace AND he had already had his food before I got mine!

I had two hours before delivery so I took off to the old neighbourhood to pick up me old neighbour's mail. This time when I opened the mailbox, the mail was jammed all the way to the back and where the sticky goo had been was thousands of sugar ants. I was not happy having to reach back to get that mail, but I did it. I saw one cardboardy piece of junk mail and I used that to swipe the ants out. Only problem was, they were far enough back me quick swipes were dispersing them all over the box, the ground, the mail and ME!

Okay I don't like creepy crawly things and sugar ants are no exception. They are tiny beings I'll give you that but they remind me of fleas so -- GROSS! What to do right? There I was stamping on them and dancing around, trying to brush meself off at the same time as people drove by, slowing down to look at me with open mouths like they thought I was having a fit on the side of the road. It was terribly embarrassing, and took a few minutes before I realised I had an audience. I got in me car pronto, ant hanger-ons and all and drove off until I realised I had ants crawling up me arms and fleeing the mail on the seat to other parts of me car. I pulled into a car wash and tried to vacuum them out of me car and then off me until some woman rolled down her window and told me that "if you got bugs you need to bathe more often!" Oi!!!

Here look at before and after:

You can just make out the goop on the right of the picture with ants crawling all over. 
Then I sprayed, but still not totally successful. See here:

Buggers were still there, not as many but still!
I drove home feeling like the little buggers were crawling all over me when they probably weren't. I was thinking about the delivery and the annoying hound. Where to put him I wondered. If I tied him outside he'd be rearing like a horse and barking. Though once home I found I didn't have to worry about any of that, the delivery was delayed so it would be the next day they "thought". Oh goody. I was extremely irritated with the shipping company, what if I only had the one day off? And they didn't call to tell me they weren't coming until three hours into the arrival time. Who does that?

"Who knoes how long they will be here if they doo shoe oop," me little Irish mam said.

Thanks mam. That be a great help. So next day, same thing, more ants, me avoiding them this time and getting that mailbox slammed shut once I had the mail. Then I'd examine it hoping it looked to passersby like I was sifting through me mail which I was in a way, not for bills but for ants. I know you think I be crazy, I do too because it wasn't my mail or my bills or ants!

I get back to see the delivery truck is already unloading and guess what? The refrigerator doesn't fit. THIS after we had taken everything out of the old one. Or, I should say me mam did in a hurried fit because suddenly there she was with deliverymen, two barking dogs, and notta clue what to do. Like she never had modern conveniences before. I tell ya the woman!

So THAT appliance had to go back for a smaller size, OK then. The rest of it was put in place, the white ones taken away and that was that except we had to put all the melting food back in the old fridge. Why can't things be easy? I want to know the answer please.

I rang up Tonya told her what happened, she seemed a wee bit disappointed about the fridge, but was all chatty that she found some guys on Greg's List to come install everything else.

"Greg's List?" I asked sceptical. For sure! They were the cheapest she could find, and hey we were doing a good turn being me and me mam were immigrants from Ireland these guys were immigrants too but not from Ireland they were from someplace else she couldn't remember. Oh boy.

"They will be there at 7 a.m. tomorrow," said she.

"Why so early?"

"The guy told me they were building a rabbit hutch for their rabbits so . . . "

Honestly, I don't know how she does it. Where she finds these people I don't really want to ask too much anymore, I never like the answer. Rabbits? I did ask if they raise rabbits and she said no, she didn't think they raised them for sale but for hunting. The man had told her they "got gun, let robbit loose go kill an eat."

Uh huh. I thought she was pulling my leg UNTIL I met them. No they were raising rabbits to let loose and then waiting a few minutes go hunting to eat them. I was thinking I was having a nightmare and not awake. On top of this me last day off I'd be getting up at me normal time I would for work to wait for the rabbit killers to come and install my appliances. Never mind I would be getting everyone's breakfast going, feeding cat and dogs, getting those outside, and trying to get dressed in the bargain.

Well, the guys from Greg's List arrived right on the dot and eyed the pot of coffee and the scones so my wife offered them some and they sat down to breakfast as she and kiddos went out the door. I was shocked but had nothing better to do but sit down and try to tell them what I needed done, but they were too busy asking for more coffee and scones and would it be "trooble to get egg too?" I felt like a short-order cook. Eggs? They had the nerve to ask ME to cook THEM eggs, my eggs. They were on the clock they had told Tonya, so I was paying for them to sit around and wait for ME to cook eggs while they leisurely munched on scones and sipped me morning joe! NO WAY. I instead told them we were on the clock (I pointed at me wristwatch) and I needed to get to work, but that didn't fly because me mam (not exactly awake) informed me "this be yer day off." Thank you mam.

An idea struck me and I excused meself because I said, the dogs need come in and so I unleashed the Dragon hound first and then me own who is nothing compared to the Banjo dog. Right away dog slobber was all over the two of them as they fought the hound off who was rearing and jumping and barking and licking, and it was the promise of them getting to work I'd get the dogs put up.

The stove went in, no problem, the dishwasher . . . problem. They went to the basement to "figure woter system for whokup."

"They are Pootins." Me mam whispered to me.

"They are wot?" I was confused.

"Pootins. Roossians. The accent."

"Ohhh," I said realising that yes, the accent was familiar like Uncle Boris. Oi!

Meanwhile, I had shut the hound in the guest room and the setter in the kiddos room. They were barking tandem and making such noise I was sure me neighbours (who none live close) could hear them. The scratching at the doors had me mam telling me they would be ruining the wood and I would have to put them out. Easier said than done. Foolish me got the two of them somehow on leashes and they took me flying down the stairs and to the basement door where they both wanted at the workers. I managed to pull them out the backdoor and got my dog on the long leash but the hound had other ideas and pulled me to the open bulkhead where he was determined to drag me down the stairs to get those men. I tell ya I still hurt from muscles in places I didn't know I had!

It was three hours later and the Russians were still at it in the basement. The dogs had dug up pretty much most of the backyard trying to get to the bulkhead, me mam was clicking her tongue over the long gouges the dogs had made in the two doors, and I was panting from the exertion still of leashing up dogs. I yelled down and asked them what seemed to be the trouble and they told me they were trying to figure out the water connection. Oh boy.

Meanwhile, the hippie Tonya hired (also from Greg's List) showed up unannounced to rotor till the patch of vegetable garden Tonya had over the weekend (when I wasn't home) asked him get ready for her garden. He had no shirt on, but he did have a bandanna wrapped around his blond locks to keep them out of his eyes, a pair of homespun trousers and no shoes. Nope not even a sandal. It wasn't three minutes into the tilling I hear me mam calling me for a first aid kit. Yeah you can guess what happened. I be surprised he didn't loose all his freaking hippy toes! He nicked one so that was dressed and bandaged, and he had to go home because the shock was just too much for him in one day. Begorrah me!

Four hours into water connection, the Russians still at it, and I was starting to get worried.

Now five hours into water hookup or whokup I was about to go down and tell them they were done when one of them came up soaking wet with a huge smile to tell me we had "connection" and turn the dishwasher on. I was not wanting to. You know five hours of fiddling around down there, one soaking wet, the other one missing (sort of) and we are talking electric and water for God's sake. Yes, I was afraid I'd be electrocuted if I touched the thing, but me mam made it hard for me to refuse by calling me things like wimp, scardycat, etc. I didn't see her touching the dishwasher though.

The two of them came up out of the cellar with their tools and probably mine, and told me they hoped it would drain okay. What? I was thinking I didn't hear them correctly. They were talking bill and sidestepping me asking WHAT ABOUT THE DRAIN OR LACK THEREOF I SHOULD KNOW ABOUT. I wrote them out a check (I don't remember the amount because I was thinking what did they do?) and they turned the thing off and said to turn it on again later to see if it worked.

"Oh I will be ringing you up it doesn't." I said as they flew out the door.

I started the thing again and it seemed to be working. I had to take a shower, I was full of dog slobber and so off I went. I turned on me faucet to get a cup of water to brush me teeth and nothing happened. I stood there listening to air groaning through the pipes. Hum. I turned on the shower and the usually good water pressure came pouring out with the intensity of Niagara Falls. There was nothing to do but jump into the falls and worry about the faucet later. While in the shower I could hear the hound barking up a storm which made me think there was trouble. I would turn the water off and listen and hear nothing. I'd turn the falls back on and battle to catch me breath and hear that stupid animal barking. I rushed through the shower and towelled off to quiet. I got dressed and went downstairs to find the mother of mine sitting in the kitchen with a cuppa, the dishwasher on dry cycle and the hound scratching at the cellar door.

"Ee's been dooin' dat da whole time." She muttered.

Sighing heavily I opened the cellar door and thought it looked shiny down there. I turned on the light and I now have a swimming pool in me basement. Enough said don't ya think? Of course when I told me mam what was down there, she said, "See spies for Pootin."

Yeah never mind. You don't know how much I be looking forward to work tomorrow. Let Tonya handle this new mess. But wait, one more thing. I had to go pick up Dragon at the bus station, hence the shower. Me mam pleads with me to take her hound with me, I didn't want to do it, but ended up doing it anyway. You ever drive with a large animal jumping from the front seat to the back and throwing slobber on you each time? It isn't fun I can tell ya that much. So I go to the station and she be waiting, I put the luggage in the boot of the car, get her ample self in the passenger side and off we go.

So I be driving home and Dragon starts wiggling in her seat. Her dog is in the back seat scratching himself which has her wondering if MY dog gave him fleas. REALLY? I did notice a small sugar ant on me arm but I made like I was stretching and flipped it on Dragon.  Before long the two of them were scratching, and I be trying to ignore them both. By the time we got home they were both in spasms of itching and with Dragon's poor eyesight she is certain she sees fleas on her.

I be about to get the hose to blast the "fleas" away before I will let either one of them in me abode. Yup.

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  1. I LOVE it when you get revenge! I hate bugs and yes you're crazy! But that's what makes me stories. LMAO

  2. Oh yeah, think tape measure and ANGIES LIST NOT CRAIG'S LIST FOR WORKERS.

  3. omg! you are too funny and i love your mother!

    1. She be available to be shipped off to your house anytime! Just give me the word and the address and she's all yours.

  4. You wrote a novel LOL How's your dear old ma on cooking? I need a homecooked meal, send her my way.

    1. I told her I had two places to send her and she took that as her being popular. I tell ya!