Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey Talk

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. There is so much to be thankful for this year. Friends, family, and beloved pets made it all worthwhile. I'm grateful to have a job that allows me to do good. I'm looking forward to holiday celebrations for the first time in more than a decade. I might even get a tree this year.

My sister and brother-in-law hosted a delicious dinner their home near Milwaukee, WI. We watched football and then A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. I got to snuggle with the nephews, learn more about Thomas the Train, and read books about farts.

Exploring my sister's garden was a treat. The lettuces and Swiss chard are still intact as are most of the herbs. The trees seem so much taller and more numerous in the north. The nearby lake is amazing. The light shocked me the most. By 4:45 in the afternoon, it is as dark as midnight. Most of all, I got to spend time talking to my sister and helping in the kitchen. She's such a good friend, and having her at such distance is a real sadness for me.

Just when I thought it might be okay to go back to Wal-Mart, I heard another sickening story about Wal-Mart pricing practices that are making it difficult for their suppliers to stay in business. So my opinion that Wal-Mart creates poverty was reinforced for the millionth time. If I do buy a tree, it won't be from there.

In unrelated news, my darling kitties were well-cared for by a friend and her daughter. I suspect they were even spoiled. Murphy the Beagle stayed at Mom and Dad's house. Mom laid out some strict rules at the beginning: no dogs on the furniture or bed. Dad reports that by the end of the week, Murphy was not only sleeping on the bed, but his head was on the pillow between Mom and Dad. He sat on the couch with them while they watched movies. Even though they were in good hands, I missed the fuzzy ones something fierce and was happy to see them again. They even let me hug them more than usual when I got back.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

No more holes in the wall!

Nearly a year ago, I set about the systematic destruction of my home. Destruction wasn't my goal. The idea was to remove a little wallpaper and put up paint. However, the removal of wallpaper revealed problems that had never been addressed. Some of those issues dated back to the 1930s.

I did enjoy the trip through the layers of wallpaper. Some homeowners preferred paisley and others liked cabbage roses. It was an introduction to them. Most preferred pinks and greens with an occasional touch of silver or gold. The large hole in the wall and the hidden, closet-like room were definitely a surprise.

The sheet rock contractor is an old friend of Dad's. Dad was acting as project manager for questions while I was at work. Murphy the Wonder Beagle stayed with my parents during the renovations. Murphy has been known to zip out the door at the slightest opportunity. I just didn't trust him to behave for strangers. Dad was happy with the situation too since he has wanted a dog for years. He and Murphy went to the hobby shop together, built model airplanes, took naps together and surfed the internet.

A phone call from the contractors to inquire whether I had a black and white dog was quite a surprise. Upon hearing the answer, "No," they said, "Okay, we'll put him outside."

When the contractors arrived to put up sheet rock this week, I came home from work each night to a house that looked progressively more normal. As of today, the walls are ready for paint. The ceilings have sheet rock of the same thickness throughout the house. It even smells new. Not only did they do a great job, but I have the same number of pets at the end as at the beginning of the project.