Lee joins the ranks...

Here's Lee's new blog. http://133gardner.blogspot.com/

He's transferred some old blogs from myspace, but has also added new. The punk. I just know I'm going to lose readers to him, since he writes so much way better than me do. :)


I've got the what, now?

When I woke up this morning, I felt really dizzy and nauseous. I thought I was just dehydrated. That's what it felt like, kinda. I showered, and we went to work. I dozed in the car on the way... Lee was driving! I am not usually a dozer. I sat at my desk for about and hour, alternately staring and laying my head down. SO! Turns out I have "what's going around..." some kind of flu bug. Lee drove me home then went back to work. I told him I wasn't tired, but then I slept from 10:30 - 2:00. Apparently, my body felt otherwise.

I'm ok-ish, until I stand up, then I'm all kind of yuck. I don't mind being "fake" sick, but I hate being "real" sick.

The last time I had the flu was in Austria in 1996. The whole Neidhausel (the house the volunteers lived in) was down with it. Dr. Steiner from town brought his black bag and his Irish Setter, Stella, to administer shots and to check in on us all. Stella did not administer shots, but she was a nice distraction.



Within an 8 day period, we were late to 3 different parties. I know that parties should have a start time. So, is it bad form to arrive 1 and a 1/2 hours after the official "start"?

I think we've been feeling like the white rabbit. "No time to say hello goodbye I'm late I'm late I'm late."

We were late to one party because we were staining trim. The next 2 parties we were late because we were napping. That is not a euphemism - we were ZONKED. That is also not a euphemism.

So, sorry to everyone who said "Well, the Gardners SAID they were coming..." In the future, we will try to get sleep at other times and not during your parties. :)


2.5 hours

At 4 p.m. our house becomes our own again. It is being toured. We stopped in at noon and some little old ladies were leaving our house making comments about how they like curtains, and how the roman shades we used were just too sterile. I'm afraid I didn't take it so well. In the car I was all like "Well, excuuuuuse me for not having little old lady taste! You know the kind of fluffy curtains they're talking about, don't you?! Ruffles! Fringe! Probably in Peach!" Poor Lee. He kept saying "There, there... you de-fluffified the house." Simmer, stew.

We're hanging (hiding) out at Culver's now. Free wireless! And pumpkin malts (not free!). mmmm....

I'm uploading pics of our house. Some are blurry because it was a low-light situation and I was trying out a new flash. They'll be on the left at some point.


T minus 3 days

We actually had friends call us asking when the housewalk is, since I didn't mention it in my blog. The housewalk is this Saturday. Lee's dad came over last night and got the molding up in the kitchen. Our kitchen is officially finished! Well, mostly. ARGH. We did a silly cover up of the canister lights above the sink, and I said, "You realize that this "solution" will be in place for 20 years." Lee's mom helped me dust. She seemed to like the swiffer duster with the extending handle. She dusted the HECK out of one of the radiators.

I have no commitments tonight, so I'm hoping to get the last little bit cleaned and cleared out. There's not much left. We've got some yard work to do in the back. I could really use about 10 bags of mulch, but ugh. I don't believe I'm that ambitious. I did, HOWEVER, put mums out front... one large plant on either side of the walk. Lee dug the holes, and I surely do appreciate it. Used mulch to cover the rest of the area. As my friend Katherine said "Ah yes. Mulch covers a multitude of sin."

We're both taking Friday off to finish any last minute things. Like wiping kitty nose smudges from the clean (for the 1st time) windows and cleaning out the "water feature." (It's more like a "water pain-in-the-hiney", and it's the last year for it. I already took the bigger "feature" out since it made me swear just looking it. I'll take this smaller one out in the spring. We're just not water feature people. Paul and Carrie, with their whole pond system, which is gorgeous, but if it were mine, I'd probably, well, I don't know... hire Paul and Carrie to take care of it, I guess.)

War goes to the vet this evening for houseification shots and earmite termination. He's getting pretty roly-poly, so we're considering making his full name "Warren". The boy loves his vittles. And pooping.


So Long, and Thanks for all the Tuna.

Pestilence didn't show up for breakfast this morning. We weren't too worried at first. Then we headed out for church and saw a pile of fluff on the sidewalk on the other side of the street. We kept going to church trying to believe that it wasn't her.

The theme of the service this morning was "Joy." Lee and I had a hard time not busting out crying. What a theme. We raced out of church as soon as it was over and confirmed that it was Pestilence. We buried her in the yard. I know, I know, not supposed to, but it seemed right to us.

Lee asked me why it was so hard, since it was just an outdoor cat that "we didn't really care about." We cried a lot today. I think once you start down the "caring" path, you can't just not care. We named her, we fed her. She had moments of friendliness, and it was nice to see her as part of the set. And it's not like we didn't think this COULD happen sometime. We just couldn't take them all in.

We put War in the basement as soon as we got home from church. We are going to take him in. We were going to let him hang outside until the weather turned bad, but not now. We'll get him "house ready" this week. I think he'll do fine.


Housewalk, Shmousewalk

Those of you who see me even every once in awhile are probably sick to death of "Housewalk" talk, but I've got to get some things off my chest. Our house is going to be in a Housewalk a week from Saturday. Every spare minute we've had has been spent "working on the @#$ house."

We've been finishing the kitchen finally. (New cabinets 2 years ago, then the work stalled.) Oh, and by "we", I mean Lee's dad and Rick (our handy-man). Ok, we've done some of it too. We got the faux-tin ceiling installed. (We= Rick, again). We've got the trim hanging out in the basement waiting for someone to stain and poly-urethane it. (Someone=Lee).

Funny story related to the ceiling. Well, not so much funny as "Oh, that could have been SO much worse." We went away last 2 weekends ago - we had a 3 day weekend. We left on Saturday, and Rick spent 11 hours putting up the ceiling in the kitchen. At some point, he closed the closet door where we keep the litter box. SOOOOO, we arrive home LATE Monday night. I look at the closed door and say, "Crap." Indeed. We went on a poop search. Found one pile in the dining room, in the corner, on the hardwood floor. It looked like it was furtively placed... our poor cats. That cleaned up ok. The basement smelled like a zoo... uh oh. There are various area rugs down there that could have been used, but our cats apparently are awesome... they peed behind a door on the concrete. Some bleach and baking soda took care of that. As soon as we came home, we opened the door to the litter box and they ran immediately in. It warms my heart to know that they'd rather hold it, than go on my (new!) rugs or my (new!) couch.

Ok, then, last night as I was finishing sanding the last room to be painted, Lee says "Are we taking this Housewalk seriously enough?" And I laughed, because we've been spending every moment of the last month working on the house, talking about the house, buying parts for the house... And I thought he was kidding. Apparently he wasn't. He's wondering what peoples' expectations are. Are they coming to see the house decked out for Christmas? Are they expecting perfection and a well laid table? I guess I'm just assuming that they're like me, and like to see architecture, see how people live, how people decorate, and think about how I'D decorate it. It's not gonna be perfect, and items keep slipping off the bottom of our list as we run out of time. I was going to plant mums out front. HA HA HA HA. Don't judge us by our front yard, please.

This Saturday will be spent deep cleaning. We've kept things picked up, so it should go ok. Then we'll just need touch ups next Friday. I'll probably photograph each room as it's done. Might post 'em if anyone is interested.


Ah, Summer, where didst thou go?

Just found this pic in an old email. This is me and Lee at our local waterpark. It looks like I'm having fun, but early in the ride, the back of my head smacked into Lee's knee. (Or Lee's knee smacked into my head.) Either way, it really hurt, and that's about all I remember from the ride. Also, we both left our glasses in our bag, so there was lots of squinting going on.

And yet, I miss this warm summer evening... with daylight that went on for hours. Now we wake up in the dark. I was sleepy last night at 7... because of the dark. Time to break out the happy light again.



We went to the U.P. to visit my folks last weekend. They live way the heck up there... almost as far north in MI as you can be. It was a beautiful drive all through WI. (And I do mean all through WI, as we drove the full length of it.) Crossed the MI border, then ran into this:

Saw campgrounds on little lakes shrouded completely in mist. We amused ourselves by naming the lakes. "Welcome to Lake Despair." "We hope you enjoy your stay at Grouchy Lake." "Please come back to Lac du Malaise."

Then we found someone had beaten us to the naming conventions:

We were going to eat dinner in Calumet, but couldn't really find it. We saw the sign for the town, but not much else. We pressed on to my folks' house, and got pizza from the bar next door. (Folks were at a wedding reception.)

More pics from our trip on the left. Enjoy, eh.

Kitten Round-up 2007

Lee set the date for last Friday for the Kittens of the Apocalypse to have their kitten-making apparatuses removed. Who's up for corralling some kittens? Friday a.m. found us being outsmarted, outwitted, outplayed by creatures with brains the size of walnuts... but they have EXCELLENT survival skills.

War was no problem. He trusts us, so I just picked him up and stuffed him in a cat carrier. He wasn't happy about it, but didn't make a big fuss. Then Lee set the live trap (after I'd left). He got mauled by Pestilence, by grabbing her without gloves on. Not that gloves would have helped him hold her. He trapped Famine and accidentally let him go. Thought he trapped Famine again, but turns out it was Death, which was surprising, because Death usually watches from afar, and won't eat until we've gone inside. Then Lee didn't want to try to get Death (who was going ballistic in the trap) into a carrier, so he just took the 2 kittens Friday.

Lee picked them up Friday evening, and we put them in a closed off part of the basement. We set up a convalescence area of 2 cardboard boxes on their sides with soft blankets on the bottom. War was just as happy as could be and started exploring right away, although with his tail tucked between his legs. (Well, who can blame him for that!) Death... ah, Death. Death sat in one of the boxes, hunched up, face to the corner, whimpering. It was very pathetic. Eventually, he came out and found a hiding place worthy of Houdini. He and War somehow get up behind the utility sinks... we think they're sitting on the pipes.

No bad smells, as both kittens seem to be using the litter boxes. Score! We'll let Death go after we've gotten the other 2 done. War is probably going to become a permanent resident here. I KNOW... I don't want 3 cats. But he seems to have chosen us, and is very much like Murray in temperament, which makes him an ideal cat. I'm not opposed to giving him away to a good home that won't de-claw. So, he goes into the vet again tomorrow to get him up to "house standards." IE: de-earmited, more shots (we only got the others the rabies).

We're taking the other 2 kittens tomorrow: Pestilence and Famine. I caught Pestilence through great skill and cunning... and, erm, incredible good luck. We kept the cat carriers out on the deck and started putting their food inside. AHHHH... see how clever we are! Pestilence went in with her back to me and I closed the door. I was shocked. She was pissed. She started twirling around like a whirling dervish, banging into the sides. We put her in the basement, still in the carrier, and covered it with a blanket. She calmed down right away.

Lee wanted to keep all the kittens in the basement from now until Spring, since that's only for a "couple of months." I pointed out that it'd actually be 5 (!) months, and that wasn't going to work. We're a little worried about their survival, but they've been well-fed for months and will continue to be, and they've got shelter (under decks in 2 yards) and each other. We're thinking about what other kind of temporary shelter we could give them.

So that's our kitten saga for now. I was balking at the cost of neutering "strays", but Lee said "You can't put a value on life." Well, shoot. It's not like I can argue with that statement. I mean, if it was between my kids and cats, well, I'd choose appropriately. (The kids, of course!)


For your viewing pleasure...

... in light of the fact that I don't have time to write more...

Don't Do It

Just promise me you won't watch Return to Me while you are in the throes of PMS.

Lee said "Are you sure you want to do this to yourself?"

Nooooooooo... even the funny parts seemed extremely poignant and heartbreaking.