Monday, November 17, 2008


"...and unto thy neighbor's husband be dominatrix."

When we passed this sign today, I looked at Hubby and asked, "Did that say 'Wife submit to your husband'?"


"OH! OH! OH! Go back, go back! I've gotta get a picture of that!"

"I AM NOT turning around. You can take a picture next trip."

"NO NO NO! Turn around now! Pull in right there! (pointing wildly) Right there! Right THERE!"

Hubby sighs and hangs head in resignation. He swings the truck around in a parking lot and heads back down the highway.

"Pull in there, in the second driveway, on the far side of the sign."

"Yes dear."

"Roll down your lean back a little...pull forward just a smidge."

"Yes dear, yes dear, yes dear (sigh)."

The irony of the situation is not lost on Hubby.

I take a few shots and we pull back out on the highway. I start laughing.

Hubby heaves another big sigh.

"You're gonna blog about this, aren't you?"


I don't think I would make a very good Churchachrister.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Weird Dreams

Hubby went off to sand sheetrock by himself today and said I didn't have to go. Yay! Spent most of the day horizontal napping on the couch and had two very strange dreams.

In the first dream we were in the process of moving to California and I needed to find an apartment. I assumed apartment rent in California would be sky high and we couldn't afford anything more than a hovel.

A gay friend of mine, name unknown, face unfamiliar, was showing me his apartment to show what we could get for the money. It was a plain white box kind of place, but it was spacious enough for the two of us and the rent was reasonable. I decided that maybe California wouldn't be as bad as I feared. Then I woke up.

Got me a root beer, ate some popcorn, and fell back to sleep.

In the second dream Hubby and I had moved back to the little town where we went to college. (We actually want to move there BTW.) We had just moved into a ratty old 1970 era single-wide trailer with low ceilings, avocado appliances and dark paneling. It was nasty. (I actually lived for three months in a place just like this in 1990, it was miserable.)

All 15 of Hubby's family had dropped in to see the place. I was trying to pull together food to feed them all.

There were leftovers (whose?) in the fridge, so I started pulling all that stuff out. I pulled a sheet cake pan of tea from the freezer, but the liquid wasn't frozen. (Why was the tea in a sheet cake pan, and why was it in the freezer?)

When it came to room temperature, mosquitoes started hatching out of it and flying away. I was madly slapping my hands over the pan trying to kill them. I kept slapping and slapping but I couldn't kill any of them.

I finally decided, "I can't serve this."

Then I woke up.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Minimizing the Damage

Hubby wants to go out to eat. I'm looking pretty rough - wrinkled sweats, no makeup, hair in a ponytail. Ewwww. I don't really want to be seen in public.

Me: "I look too rough to go out."

Hubby: "It doesn't matter, you're always beautiful. Just brush your hair and put on some shoes."

He's so sweet.

I putter around in the bathroom for quite a while.

Hubby: "What are you doing in there???"

Me: "Putting on earrings to minimize the damage."

I don't think it helped much.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rainy Day Nuthin

A cold, drizzling rain was falling when I woke up this morning. Hubby yelled from the kitchen, "Do you want to skip sheetrocking today and stay home?" I yelled back, "More than life itself!"

So we flopped around in our PJs all day and watched West Wing and numerous episodes of Law & Order. We ate cold pizza for breakfast and warmed over pizza for supper. It was heavenly.


Cheezburger the Porch Cat has decided he likes it inside better than outside. I won't allow him in until late at night after everyone else has gone to bed. He gets rambunctious with the old lady cats and I don't want them to have a heart attack due to his presence. Poor Chelsea is a rickety 16 years old and she just can't take the excitement.

Cheezburger stayed in all night last night and went outside this morning to eat breakfast. When he was finished he wanted right back in. I'm standing at the front door looking down at him with his nose glued to the storm door waiting for it to open. Hubby is piled up nearby with his coffee and the morning newspaper.

"Your cat wants back in," I say to Hubby.

"So let him in" he replies from behind the paper.

I ponder that a moment. Cheezburger has been in for eight hours or so and he has just eaten breakfast. He probably hasn't left the porch since it's raining. He probably needs to pee and poo and I don't want that happening in the house.

Looking down at the cat I ask, "Have you taken your morning poop somewhere???"

"Yep" replies Hubby very matter-of-factly from behind the sports section.

"Not you, the cat."


Don't old people inquire about each other's colonic activity? Geez. And why would I have included the 'somewhere' part if I was asking Hubby? That's a little more than disturbing. We only have one potty.

"Have you taken your morning poop somewhere Honey?"
"Where exactly?"

I wouldn't want to step in it or anything.


Cheezburger still has the quick wits of an outside mouser and chases anything that moves. He was sitting on Hubby's desk when something up in the air caught his eye. He meowed that "I'm gonna eat that" meow and started pacing back and forth trying to figure out how to get to it. I couldn't see anything but guessed he had spied a bug up there somewhere. He continued to mewl and started to climb the bookcase.

Finally I figured out he was after the second hand on the wall clock! He worked at it quite a while, long enough for me to get a picture.

This is one big honkin' cat by the way. He is all meat and muscle, so very unlike our little lightweight old lady housecats. If he gets between your feet it's like tripping on a cinderblock.



Monday, November 10, 2008

Sheetrocking, The Saga Continues

The demo work at the farmhouse is complete. New thermal pane windows have been installed. A new closet has been framed out. (Please let my calculations for the rough opening be correct.) All critter holes in the exterior siding have been plugged, screened, caulked, and tarpapered over. Exterior walls have been insulated. Wiring has been run for the closet light. All sheetrock has been hung and the first round of tape and mud has been applied. That's seven days of work since finding the snake if anybody is keeping track.

Hubby and I have decided we are too old and out of shape to do construction work for more than two days at a time. We work two days and rest two days. Of course each day of work involves a three hour round trip driving over the back roads of rural Arkansas in a work truck. The trip alone beats us up pretty good and Hubby is already tired when he arrives to start work.

Friday we started the taping and mudding phase. Mudding sheetrock is probably the worst task on a rehab job. We learned how to mud sheetrock by trial and error so there is probably an easier way to do things. We've also probably forgotten a few tricks we learned along the way because too many years pass between sheetrocking projects. Of course each time a room is completed I vow I'll never sheetrock again, but somehow I keep getting dragged back into these farmhouse projects. The good thing about our inexperience is that no matter what we do, no matter how many mistakes we make, it always looks 100 times better than it did. Our motto: "It ain't perfect, but it's better than it wuz."

Saturday we sanded down the first mud. I forgot that sanding sheetrock is actually a worse job than mudding. We wear masks but I know half a pound of gypsum dust is probably sitting in my lungs right now; they are on fire. I always wonder if I'll end up with sheetrock dust pneumonia. My neighbor ended up in the hospital for seven days with it when they remodeled their living room.

Hubby put a box fan in the window to help exhaust some of the dust. He set it up on the sill, looked down at it, took it back out of the window and starting taking the grill off.

Let me pause for a moment in the story and tell you about my husband's obsession with box fans. We have two in our house that run 24/7. He loves the noise and the blow. I hate the noise and the blow. He is obsessive about keeping them clean. He periodically takes them completely apart and cleans them with a toothbrush and toothpick. Nary smidge of dust nor cat hair is tolerable on the precious box fans. In truth they would probably last a lot longer if he would clean them a little less fastidiously and a lot less often.

So he starts taking the grill off the box fan at the farm. I'm thinking, "Hellz bellz boy, don't clean the fan now, clean it after we get through sanding. A cat hair isn't gonna hurt a damned thing with this mess!" I go over to rip him a new one and I see what he sees. There is a dead mouse in the fan. Fairly large, healthy looking mouse except he's dead and all. Now how in tarnation did a mouse get inside a box fan? He was too big to fit through any space in the grill, and the housing of the fan was metal. It's a mystery, but there he was. Somehow he got in and couldn't get out and died in there. Ugh.

You will note I mentioned cat hair. Yes, there are four cats at the farm. Indoor cats. Worthless beasts apparently. I vote to turn them out and let them become hawk or coyote food. Might as well be good for something. Obviously they are not mousers.

So add one more dead critter to the list. (The mouse, not the cats.)

Having all these wild critters in the house without me knowing they were there would give me a big ol' case of the heebie jeebies. But that's life on a farm. Hubby's momma wouldn't trade it for nuthin'.

I'm glad I'm a city girl.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sheetrocking, Part 2

Holy Cow! I never finished with the rest of the sheetrocking story. Pfft!

So Hubby and I arrive at the farmhouse to find the yard dogs toting around a dead bunny. Add another dead critter to the list. The bunny didn't have a mark on him so the dogs must have run him to death.

Poor bunny. I felt so bad for him, really I did. He was out there in the woods, minding his own business, getting himself a little bunny breakfast, and the stupid yard dogs run him down for no good reason.

And yes, they're pretty stupid. Their names are Who Me? and Why Not?, so named because of the perpetual dork look on their faces. The vet's office thinks the names are a hoot.

So we go in and get the sheetrock hung in the living room. Hubby is keen to start taping and mudding, but his momma decides she wants all new sheetrock in her bedroom and wants the "homemade" closet torn out.

The farmhouse was built by a little old man using lumber he cut from the property. He didn't know doodley-squat about home construction so nothing is done to standard. It's a nightmare to try to do any repairs to the place. We can only dream about studs being 16 inches on center. There's not one in the whole place.

So we tear out the whonky closet. This involves crowbars, sledgehammers, and a reciprocating saw. Lots and lots of banging noises and screeching saws. We get the structure down and most of it hauled out but there is still a huge pile of crap in the middle of the floor.

It's hot, dusty work, so I take a break and head for the kitchen for something wet to drink. Hubby is still in the bedroom banging down the rest of the sheetrock on the exterior wall.

In just a few minutes we hear Hubby yelp. We can tell there is something bad wrong. It wasn't the type of yelp where something nasty like a mouse poop has fallen on your head. That's actually a common occurrence when we open up the walls at the farm. One day I will probably contract hanta virus out there.

This was a yelp like I-need-help-now-get-in-here. We go running in the bedroom and Hubby is on the far side of the room white as a sheet.

"What's wrong??? Are you OK? Are you hurt?"

He can only point to where we had been working. I look and see nothing. No blood. That's a Good Thing. I look back at him.

"Down there", he says and points again. "I yelled 'Snake!'"

I peer over the pile of sheetrock debris and see this....


"Is it alive?" I asked, trying to size up the threat level. I couldn't imagine a snake would have hung around with all that banging and sawing going on. He would have had ample opportunity to depart before we exposed him to daylight. I figured he was dead. Dead critters in the walls are also not that unusual at the farm.

Then it moved!

It was a big, muscley, meaty slither. This sucker was very much alive and quite healthy.

I SCREEEEEEEAMED like a girl, me being a girl and all, and ran out of the room.

Hubby's yelling after me, "Get the camera, get the camera!"

I retrieve the camera from the truck and come back in to snap a picture. The snake still hasn't moved from the hole in the wall. As I'm trying to focus Hubby keeps urging me to get closer. Oh not no but hell no. The camera has a zoom and that's all the close I need to get.

"What kind of snake is it honey?"


The big damn wall snake was toted outside on the tip of a very long brush ax.

Add one more critter to the list.

Poor snake. I felt so bad for him, really I did. He was curled up in the wall, minding his own business, getting himself a little snake nap, when a stupid yard husband comes along....