Tuesday, July 24, 2012

my secret addiction

My secret addiction isn't really a secret, if you read my comments on blogs, or my Facebook posts, Twitter posts, Instagram posts, Path posts, G+ posts, etc.  The list goes on ad nauseum because my addiction is tied to my fingers, which are tied to my brain.  

I am addicted to smileys.  I use them at the end of most comments I make, and when I send messages, or chat online, there is usually a smiley just waiting to pop from my brain down through my fingers and hit the keyboard.

It isn't that I am attached to smileys.  I used them in moderation for many years.  But since I began blogging, and reading other blogs, I see that many times it is hard for a person to convey how they are reacting to what they read.  Being a sensitive type, I figured that adding a smiley to my comments and posts would soften what I was saying.  If I was trying to amuse, then it would let the reader know that I was attempting humor.  If it was a comment that was meant to give guidance or advice, then a smiley would soften the blow.

As time went on, the smileys started multiplying.  Soon I was adding them to every reply, every comment.  That was when I realized I had an addiction.

What I also had was lack of confidence in the words I wrote.  I have often heard people say that people who curse a lot do it because they have a small vocabulary (ok, I do favor a %*$# here and there, and my vocabulary is extensive, so I don't necessarily agree with that).  I also used to tell Wretch, when she was a teenager and ended every sentence with "you know" that, no I didn't know, and those two words were fillers.  

Smileys are fillers.  At least when you end most sentences with them they are.  So should I try to wean myself off of them, and replace them with what?  Other emoticons?  (Smileys even have a class of their own, called emoticons, a distinction not given to just any type of texting.)

I could try different faces.  After all, even I don't smile all the time.
Frown :-(
Very Happy  :-))
Angry :-|| (although I seldom am)
Crying :'-(  
Tears of Happiness :')
Horror, disgust, great dismay D-': (lean right to look at this one)
Shock :-O

Or maybe I should just let my words stand as they are, alone and unsupported by an emoticon that will forever be grinning at the reader.

It's going to be an uphill battle.  For the artist in me that wants to draw words, emoticons come the closest to achieving that.  For the writer in me, I know it is a weakness.  So maybe I will start by tapering off.

One :D at a time.  :D

...life is good. ~cath :-D
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Monday, July 23, 2012

hair of the dog

Several months ago Gabe and Caesar began to lose hair.  When Stevie Wonder checked, he discovered that the expensive flea and tick drops he had been buying and using religiously weren't working.  At all.  There were multiple generations of fleas camped out on the dogs.  Whole villages of fleas.  Whole cities.  Entire nations.

Steve put the drops on every three weeks, instead of four, at the directions of our trusted veterinarian.  And washed them with flea shampoo before he put the drops on, waited the prescribed amount of days, then shampooed them again.

No luck.  They fleas just laughed and waved at Steve, and continued to frolic on the dogs.  And the dogs became phobic every time they saw the leash and dog shampoo on the back porch.

Steve then changed brands of shampoo and drops.  No luck.  Fleas waving, dogs scratching, hair falling out.  Not only were there fleas on the dogs, but the yard was becoming overrun with them too.  Steve sprayed, and threw some stuff out guaranteed to kill the fleas, then wet it down with the hose, which according to the directions on the bag was supposed to activate the poison and clear the yard.  Our yard isn't small by any means, and we were spending a fortune on flea killer that wasn't killing anything but our pocketbook.  I thought things couldn't get any worse.

I was wrong.

I told Stevie Wonder one day that what we needed to do was take the dogs and get them clipped.  SHORT.  We usually do this every summer anyway, so it was kind of a ritual.  In all the attempts at flea killing, I hadn't realized we had missed the spring clip date.  So I went to work one morning while Stevie Wonder loaded the dogs up to take them to the groomer.  It usually costs us about $120 to get three dogs groomed.

I got a call a while later.  From the groomer.  At the vet.  She had noticed a "couple" things on the dogs while she was grooming them, and wondered if I wanted to have the vet look at them while they were there.  My mouth dropped open as I listened to her.  Then I said the only thing I could possibly say to respond to a groomer calling me from the vet's office.

"You better call my husband and ask him what he wants to do."

Then I waited.  About an hour later, Steve called.  I braced myself.

"Uh, honey, the groomer called and told me that there was a spot on Caesar's ear, and one on Biscuit's neck and asked if I wanted to have the vet take a look and I told her ok."

I said nothing.

"Is that ok honey?"

I drew a breath slowly and exhaled.

"I guess it's ok.  Just take it out of my checking account."

I heard nothing else until I got home that evening.  Steve was holding the bill in his hand.  And he was minus one dog.  I asked him what happened and how much it cost for the groomer.

"It was $297 for the groomer."

I just looked at him.  Surely he didn't just tell me the number I thought he told me.


"$297.00.  And Caesar has to have surgery on his ear.  He's been flopping it and it filled up with blood, and the vet needs to cut it open and drain it.  So I told him to do it.  And I just paid for the whole thing at the desk."

"How much was it?"

"It was $847.00."

He was telling me that he took three dogs who were supposed to be groomed for $120 into the vet and came away with a bill that was almost $900.  He learned 2 very valuable lessons that day.

1. Never assume all groomers charge the same rate.  It's not a price war out there.
2. When you use a groomer who works in a vet's office, expect the vet will get his cut some way.

At least we have the satisfaction knowing that Caesar's ear is fixed.  Biscuit's neck has been treated and healed (she had a scab on her neck from...you guessed it...fleas).

And I will have to give up my next 47 visits to my hairdresser to compensate for the money we spent on the dogs.

All because we have nations of fleas in our yard.

...life is good.~cath
@jonesbabie on Twitter

Friday, July 13, 2012

requiem for bugs bunny, part deux

I was leaving for work yesterday morning.  As I drove past the neighbor's house, I saw him. Bugs. Still alive. Somehow he had outsmarted Elmer.  I started laughing as I voice dialed the house on my cell phone.

By the time Stevie Wonder answered, I had my laughter tamped down from shrieks to gurgles. The conversation went like this:

Me: Hey.
Elmer: I'm getting my gun right now.
Me: Why?
Elmer: because I know you are calling to tell me you've seen a *%&#@!$ rabbit.
Me: (I'm feeling kind of creeped out, like he read my mind) well, ummm, yes I did.
Elmer: I'm getting my gun and headed out the door right NOW. Bye.
Me: hold it Bub, the rabbit is in the neighbor's yard.  You can't stalk Bugs on someone else's property.  Besides, he was still running the last time I saw him.
Elmer: *%&#@!$ rabbits...why are they in my garden?  (I think this was rhetorical and I don't think he really expected an answer.)
Me: because they are RABBITS? 
Elmer: (more expletives)...
Me: (snorking) have a good day honey! 

...life is good.  And Bugs lives to graze another day...

  find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

requiem for bugs bunny

Just two weeks ago, summer was lush and verdant.  The garden promised bountiful produce that would put a table full of vegetables on our table, as well as a steady supply for many family members and friends.

That was before the drought and heat of June.  It seemed as though our garden turned overnight from a thing of lush green beauty to a thing of dried up tinder.  

We still had some tomatoes though...and Steve prayed for rain on the late beans that had some tender young small beans starting to sprout.  And the rain did start...yesterday.

Then Bugs Bunny arrived. Steve turned from a loving gramps into a stalker of bunny tails...one tail in particular.  He cussed and ranted and I laughed, thinking he wouldn't bother one little bunny who couldn't possibly eat what was left of the garden...

Wrong.  Just like Steve believes every snake is a poisonous snake, he gave this rabbit the power of a legendary jackalope.
And turned into Elmer Fudd...with a rifle.  (Remember we live in the country, where carrying a gun in your yard is a natural thing, and using said gun doesn't even make the neighbors jump.)

As I drove up tonight, I saw Bugs sitting in our yard, and he saw me, and ran to the beans.  I went on inside and told Steve that Bugs was back and doing well, sitting right in the middle of our beans.  I had to jump back out of the way as Steve grabbed his rifle and ran barefoot into our yard (which has more stickers than grass in it), and stalked poor Bugs down and blasted him into the hereafter.

Bless you Bugs... Requiescat in pace ...

I will think of you with every bean and tomato I don't pick.      

...life is good. ~cath 
@jonesbabie on Twitter

Friday, July 6, 2012

letter from maddie

Maddie is leaving
memories of these two weeks
my heart breaks a bit

life is good. ~cath