Happy Random Almost Halloween

It is Friday.  Thank gawd.

As much as I love him, if the dog wakes me up tomorrow morning at 5:30 a.m. barking because our absolutely ANAL paper delivery person walks up to each and every front porch and lovingly places each and every copy of the Podunk Suppository in the exact middle of each and every front porch mat, I will strangle him.  Or the paper delivery person.  Whatever happened to just throwing vaguely in the direction of our house as you drive/ride your bicycle past?

I had lots of comments about the Trick-or-Treating traditions here in Podunk, and I’m glad to report that yes, they will allow the kids to Trick-or-Treat on Halloween.  It’ll still be between 3 and 5 p.m. in the afternoon, but it will be on Halloween.  The Young One, who hasn’t gone out the last two years, will go this year, but not for candy – he will be collecting donations for Unicef.  I am so proud of this kid I can barely express it, but it means I have to go out and find him a costume, like, NOW.

Tuesday Jolly and Little Guy will be here!  WOO-HOO!  I dragged poor Beloved into Babies R Us last week, and we sort of got carried away…

Baby Stuff

More Baby Stuff

And More Baby Stuff

What??  They’re going to be here for a whole week; we wouldn’t want the poor kid to get bored.  No, I don’t care that he’s only 2 1/2 months old – my grandson WILL NOT BE BORED.

Yesterday evening while I was waiting for Beloved to come home from the office (oh, we just love those clients on the west coast who schedule conference calls at 3 p.m. their time) and the oven to warm up for the meatloaf, I grabbed my camera and Scooter and I took a stroll around the block.  I got an interesting shot or two of the last of the fall foliage on our street, but more importantly, I got the dog to be still for more than a fraction of a second.

Scooter 1

Scooter 2

Scooter 3

Scooter 4

I was just tickled; he usually tries to lick the camera when I take his picture.  I’m afraid I’m rather stuck on the little critter, but he really is a handsome animal (and yes, those are Grateful Dead dancing bears on his collar).

Have a lovely weekend, y’all, and a safe and fun Halloween!

He May Be Retarded, But He’s Mine

Scooter

To anyone who doesn’t already know, this is Scooter, a beagle/dachshund mix, and he is the subject of this week’s Spin Cycle.  Why?  Because the subject is pets and the kids resent being referred to as “pets” he’s far more blog-worthy than the fish.

I’ve been anti-cat all of my life, but that’s probably because I’m allergic to them – if I get too close to one, my face swells up until I look like a Cabbage Patch Kid that’s taken a bad beating.  Eyesight and breathing through my nose become an impossibility until you take the horrible beast away and the Benadryl kicks in.

While I’m not anti-dog per se, Beloved and I, long before we ever became husband and wife, decided we didn’t want any pets. Period. We had more than enough kids, thank you very much – what the heck did we need with something that wouldn’t be able to exploit us in our old age?

However, in the Spring of 2003, Miss Jacki brought Scooter home and made it clear that if we didn’t let her keep him, she would go throw herself under the wheels of the nearest garbage truck next trash day and we’d all be sorry then.  The fact that the rest of the kids were “oohing” and “ahhing” and making a huge fuss over him didn’t help matters a bit, and before we knew it we’d been railroaded into giving room and board to a six-month-old, ten-pound set of teeth.

Because HE. CHEWED. EVERYTHING.  Shoes.  Garbage cans.  Furniture.  Ankles.  If it weren’t for the fact that he came to us house trained, I have a sneaking suspicion we’d have spent the next several weeks warning the Department of Sanitation to be on the lookout for a desperate and dogless 11-year-old.  But, time passed and he outgrew his desire to chew everything he could get his grubby little paws on.  He’s probably not as well-trained as he should be – he barks at everything that passes in front of the house (for some reason, bicycles particularly seem to bother him) and he will try to jump on people when they come into the house, although since he weighs all of 16 pounds this isn’t as much of an issue as it would be if he were, say, a Saint Bernard.  He has the disgusting habit of dragging his butt across the carpet, then licking it (the carpet),  and he is forever getting his lead tangled on things when he’s outside without us (as The Young One said, “Geez – even the hamster could figure out how to get loose!”).  But his love and adoration for all of us is so obvious that we can’t help but love him back.

I noticed a little grey on his muzzle and belly the other day, and it made me realize that he will be 7 years old sometime this fall.  Since the life expectancy of a beagle is just over 13 years, and the life expectancy of a dachshund is just over 12, this makes Scooter middle aged – if he lives another 7 years, he will be a very old doggie indeed.  It then occurred to me that those seven years will pass much more quickly than I want them to, and I’ll be facing the rest of my life Scooterless.

I was more than a little surprised to find myself on the verge of tears.  I guess I’ve just gotten used to the little bugger.

Say Hello to Our Little Friends

Gourami

One of the things I neglected to mention a couple of weeks ago is the fact that Beloved shares a birthday with The Young One.  And since Beloved was out of town on business, I wanted to post about The Young One’s early entry into the world and Beloved is stoutly maintaining he turned 38 (for the ninth consecutive year) I, well, neglected to mention it.

While I may have neglected to mention it, I was well aware that it was his birthday and wanted to surprise him with his gift when he got home at the end of the week.  However, since the man is notoriously hard to buy for, I was at a bit of a loss.  He’d asked for a new electric razor, but honestly – who wants to buy their husband an electric razor for his birthday?

That clearly has “Father’s Day” written all over it.  So until June he can just shave with a cheap, plastic disposable razor.

Because I’m just thoughtful that way.

And because I’m the wonderful wife that I am – YES, I AM – I’ve been listening to him talk about how he’d love a huge, salt water fish tank for the last ten years…and actually paying attention.  So, while he was out of town the week of his birthday and I was buying futons and cell phones for the kids, I went out and priced large, salt water aquariums.  I then had to weigh his desire for a salt water aquarium with his desire to kill his wonderful wife for spending that kind of money on fish you can’t even eat.  ‘Cause honestly?

Salt water aquariums are ridiculously expensive.

So, wanting to really surprise him and being the Queen of Compromise that I am, I bought a 30-gallon fresh water tank and tricked it out to look like a salt water tank.  That takes talent, folks.  (Humor me, okay?  It takes talent.  And a lot of fake coral.)

What I didn’t know at the time was that you can’t just buy a tank, fill it up with fake coral and plastic plants and throw fish in it.  Oh, no – you have to treat the water, let it run through a carbon filter and test it to death for a week before you just throw the damn fish in it – on a carefully planned schedule.  So on the day Beloved was due back in town (well, he was actually due in on 2 a.m. the following morning), The Young One and I found ourselves in the living room struggling to assemble a stand and fish tank, including 30 gallons of water, 2 pieces of neon-painted coral, 4 plastic plants, one filter, one heater, one thermometer, one fluorescent light and one wish that I’d just bought a damn Norelco razor.

Just no fish.

The fact that our house is still standing is a testament to our determination, because neither I nor The Young One are what you would call “mechanically inclined.”  But we got it done, turned on the light (which made it look way cool, even fishless) and set a large balloon arrangement next to it.  Then went to bed, because setting it up took all damn evening.

Needless to say, Beloved was very surprised and spent all week itching to get fish for it (we went to the pet store twice just to look at them).  Finally we bought six fish this Saturday – three long-finned danios (one of which has already been returned because he apparently had the first signs of something called “ich”), one hatchet fish and two beautiful gourami – one looks just like the fish pictured above.  Except for the one we’ve had to return, they all seem to be doing really well and adjusting to their new environment.

Then Sunday while I was making brunch, Beloved called me into the living room to take a look at this:

Scooter and Fishies

Say “Hello” to our little friends.

Just too darn cute.