Sunday, May 31, 2009

Upside Down and Inside out

Mother Nature kind of cooperated yesterday and it finally stopped raining about mid-morning but it was breezy all day.  Sounds like perfect weather right?  Sure, if you aren't trying to paint a huge concrete hole in the ground!

We finally got all the water out of the bottom of the pool but because of the morning showers, the concrete was too wet to start painting yet.  While we were letting the concrete dry out, we decided to go ahead and fix another issue we had with the pool.  We have fiberglass walls with tile imprinted at the top.  After many, many years, the bottom portion of the tile faded out from all the chlorine.  We had a couple of choices - 1) replace the walls (not in the budget this year) 2) repaint the tile by hand (no way I was tackling that tedious job) or 3) use a product called BorderLines to rejuvenate the tile surround.

I opted for the BorderLines because it was relatively cheap and sounded easy to install.  It is basically a giant sticker that covers the old tile.  Easy peasy - right?  Kind of.  It was really easy when the pool was empty to walk in and stick the new border on.  At least in the shallow end.  Unfortunately, about half of the pool is designed in such a way that I can't reach the border from the bottom.  My only option was to lay on the deck with my head upside down and try to line up 2 foot sections of sticky border.  I'm sure it was a comical sight to watch - me laying on the deck, legs all akimbo, half hanging in the pool, head completely upside down desperately trying to keep the lines straight!  Thank goodness no one was home when I was doing this part!  I was able to finish this in a couple of hours and I have to say that it looks so much better!

Mr. M and I debated about starting to paint or not.  Apparently the paint we are using must be activated and then only has a certain amount of time that it is usable.  We decided that darkness was going to be an issue, so we only opted for priming some sections that needed to be addressed so they could dry thoroughly before we began the real job of painting the pool.  

Today the weather looks glorious so I think we should be able to get our painting done.  I'm not sure how we are going to do some sections of the pool but we will come up with a way, we always do!  Wish us luck!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Stop Raining on My Parade

My MEF, NV says that she doesn't care if it rains today or not because the mother got her outdoor painting done yesterday.  Well, I beg to differ with her.  I need it to stop raining for a couple of days!

We have some painting that needs to be done but we need a couple of days of dry weather to accomplish it.  Unlike NV and the mother, we can't move our painting project around if it starts to sprinkle.  And once we start we have to keep going.  You see, we need to paint our pool.

We have been working diligently on this for a couple of weeks.  We drained the sludgey water out when we took the cover off.  I spent and entire day in the empty pool with the power washer cleaning the dirt off the walls and the floor. And we drained the excess water. Mr. M acid washed the pool.  And we drained the pool. We applied the neutralizer and Mr. M power washed the pool a couple more times.  And we drained the pool.  Then it started to rain constantly.  And we drained the pool again.  Thursday night we drained the pool one more time in anticipation of being able to paint today.  We gave the pool a final wash down and drained the last of the water out in hopes that today would be the day.

Early this morning I woke up to the gentle pitter patter of raindrops on the roof.  Crud!!  Today was supposed to be dry!  We checked the pool this morning and guess what?  It needs to be drained again!

So NV, I am going to counteract your request and beg and plead for 3 days of dry weather so we can finally get this pool painted and then fill it with water so we can use it.  Please, I'm not asking for much!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What time is it?

What on earth am I doing up at this hour of the morning?  And more importantly, why am I blogging about it?  

I am a notorious night owl and and absolute grump who is completely incoherent in the pre-dawn hours.  Just ask Mr. Monkeygirl who has to talk to me before he leaves for work - or my mother who for years had to get me out off bed for various reasons.  So it is kind of surprising that I'm up and moving at this fine hour of the morning.

Skaterboy has a "job" and needed some guidance this morning so I was forced to get my bee-hind out of bed.  I have a friend who's 80+ year old shouldn't be driving anymore.  However, the 80+ yr old insists on going to the doughnut shop daily to meet with his crew to hang out with his friends.  My friend had hired someone to be his chauffeur so no one had to worry about who was driving where.  The chauffeur is out of town, so Skaterboy is filling in as the sub.

You would think that if this is early for me, it would be way to early for a 18 yr old, but he jumped at the chance to take the job.  I guess money is a great motivating factor!  Skaterboy listened intently as I gave him the final instructions this morning and he took off - in my car.  He needs new tires desperately and he was nervous about driving someone he doesn't know around.  Oh yeah, and he is out of gas!  Wait - the phone is ringing.................................................

Skaterboy was lost.  Not his fault.  My friend told me the wrong street name.  It is in an area of town where every street has almost the same name  -blah Trails, blah Estate, blah get the picture.  A quick check of GoogleMaps got him back on the right path and he found it easily and was even early.  I'm intrigued to hear the rest of the story when he gets back.  I wonder if he will bring me a doughnut?

Monday, May 25, 2009

In Honor....

...of all those past, present, and future, who sacrifice their lives and give up so much so that we can be safe and secure in our home.  No matter what your views are on the wars/conflicts, I thank you all for defending our honor and support you in your actions.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!  We appreciate all that you do for us. There are no real words that can describe our gratitude.  And I apologize if the salutes aren't perfect - they were trying really, really hard!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mind Your Manners

Nine month old puppies can be a challenge.  Especially when you are nine months old and you weigh 75 lbs!  A few weeks ago we decided that in order to save our sanity, our home, and possible jail time for animal cruelty, we needed to do something about the puppies behavior.

The out of sight fencing has been a huge blessing.  Coal now has room to run and we are all happier.  But we still have to stop the jumping and the mouthy behavior before we end up looking like human chew toys.  We tried the board and train route and that helped, but it is difficult to really understand what they taught him during the 9 days he was there is less than 20 minutes.  Don't get me wrong, he was better but we still had issues.

I know he really wants to be a good dog, I can see it in his sad brown eyes, so we signed him up for adolescent obedience training at Support Dogs.  I wasn't sure what to expect and I was hoping for the best.  I'm not sure about the training at the local pet stores and most other training offered in this area is done in a drop-off/pick-up way.  No offense, but I need the repetition as much as Coal does!

Last week was our first class.  Coal barked and barked and barked and jumped and barked and barked.  He was so loud that even when the training was yelling, you couldn't hear her.  We finally got him to settle down and started our lessons.  It was the first week so it was a little chaotic and we didn't do much but we had some hope.

Today we had our second class.  There were twice as many dogs this week which was actually a good thing for us.  Coal needs to be around other dogs to get used to them.  We waited for our instructions, and Coal laid on the floor and didn't make a sound.  What?  Was this the same dog who wouldn't shut up last week?  Yep.  He was very well behaved during class.  He barked once and compared to the other growling going on, he was one of the angels in the class.  Next week will be the challenge - we have to come across the room without being on a leash.  I guess we better practice!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Rock 'n Roll Lifestyle

Sometimes you just need to party!  Remember back before you had a mortgage, car payments, a career to worry about and life was strictly lived for the fun of it? Sleeping in late was the norm not the exception and the number of hours spent working was the minority? Yeah, I can't really remember that far back either.

We have several friends that play in local bands and we try to be supportive when we can.  Often they are playing far from home or on a work night, so we don't always get to support them as much as we would like.  However, this weekend ended up being a perfect storm for our local band coverage!

Friday night, we went out late to catch a friend who plays in a band called Contagious.  Yes, that is their real name.  I'm not sure who came up with that name and not sure why you would want to have the word contagious printed on your panties but, hey I guess it is a good marketing tool!  As usual, the guys were great.  I'm not sure I completely agree with their set lists, but who am I to argue, they are booked all the time!

Saturday afternoon, we went out to support my colleagues who just started playing under the name Spent.  They were the entertainment at a local parish picnic and they sounded awesome!  This was only the second time they have played in public and they had their own set of groupies (about 6 or 7 little girls camped out right in front of the stage!).  We had fun and the weather partially cooperated - it wasn't raining but was a little cool and windy.

The guys finished up around dinner time and we met another musician friend and his girl at a local mexican place for dinner.  He played earlier in the day at a benefit so we missed his gig.  We had a nice dinner and then meandered off to a local dive bar to hear another band play.  I can't recall the name of the group but they where a bluesy group and their female vocalist rocked Etta James!

We wandered away in the middle of their second set and went to a biker bar.  It was an honest to goodness biker bar and all I can say is that a vast majority of the guys in the bar were absolute giants!  Appearances aside, everyone in the place was super sweet and we had a great time.  The band was incredible and if you ever get a chance to catch an American Bleach show, I recommend it - these guys rock!  The best part was when our musician friend got to join the band on stage for one of our favorite songs!

I was an incredibly long day and it has been a really long time since I have been able to say that I caught 4 bands in one weekend!  Now I think I need a nap before I go back to being an adult!

Monday, May 11, 2009

MisAdventures in Air Travel

I am not what most people would call a Road Warrior, but I do my fair share of travel for both business and pleasure.  I have gotten used to the "airport shuffle" - pack bags, find parking spot, grab shuttle, check bags, navigate security, find gate, board plane, fly, de-plane and start the whole shuffle over again trying to get your luggage, rental car and find the hotel that is tucked away in the middle of nowhere. I have learned that you can't really be in a hurry or your are going to drive yourself crazy.  Learning how to kill hours in an airport has become one of my special skills in life!

This morning I worked from home because I had a midafternoon flight to catch. The 'talky-talky bug guy" (nice pest control man but geez - he likes to talk your ear off!) came by and we somehow got on the topic of travel.  He made an offhand comment about "travel is fun, when it all goes right".  I should have pushed him in the pool for making that comment!

I realized on the way to the airport that I forgot to pack my pj's.  No big deal, I can improvise or - gasp - go shopping.  When I got to the terminal, I tried to get in the shortest line to check in, when I heard a voice call out over the counter "If you are flying to Charlotte and you have a connecting flight, please get in this line over here."  Apparently, there were Air Traffic Control tower issues in Charlotte causing  flight delays.  When I checked in I was assured that even though my first flight was delayed, I was fine because my connecting flight was also delayed so I had plenty of time to make my connection.

So I wandered off to the gates to play the waiting game.  First it was delayed, 40 minutes, then it was a little over an hour, next it was 2 hours late leaving.  When they announced the last delay, all connecting passengers where asked to check in.  While we were standing in line, they made an announcement.  "This plane IS leaving at 6:18 with or without you".  Basically, if we hadn't been helped yet, we had a choice, get on the plane and take our chances in Charlotte or stay behind and try to get on some other flight.  

I was trying to make up my mind when it was my turn at the counter.  The very nice, but frazzled agent was trying to figure out where to send me.  While she was looking up my options, the other agent came out and said "we will start boarding in 4 minutes".  She turned around and ran smack dab into the pilot, who delivered the news - nope, we had another hour on "ground hold". 

Unfortunately, my only chance at a connecting flight was booked full tonight.  I could try to fly to Charlotte and take my chances or I could go home, sleep in my own bed, and try again in the morning.  I decided that I preferred my own pillows over the potential of using my laptop case as a pillow on the floor of a crowded airport terminal.  

I have to get up at the b-crack of dawn to catch a flight, but I should get to Wilmington before the activity start!  Oh, and I need to grab those pj and throw them in my suitcase!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

ID10T Part 3

It seems that I am living in a vacuum. Despite the reports to the contrary, it appears that no one is really interested in giving me a bid on my upcoming bathroom remodeling job.  

You've heard all about my run-in with the first wanna-be contractor.  Well, a few days after I got all my frustrations off my chest by opening blogging about my troubles, wanna-be contractor #2 called.  I wasn't sure this person would ever materialize because they weren't hounding us seconds after we returned from the home improvement show.  But they finally called and I spoke to a very pleasant woman on the phone.  

Given that I was getting ready to leave for a business trip, and the fact that they like to talk to both buying parties at the same time, we scheduled the appointment for this past weekend.  I have this 'thing' (ok, it is a compulsion) to make sure that things are neat and tidy when someone comes over.  Well, last week was a bear at work so I was too exhausted to clean when I finally got home every night from work.  My plan was to leave early - or earlier than normal - on Friday and clean up the house. I did leave around the time I had planned but was too wiped out to even think about cleaning on Friday night.  Since Sales Guy #2 was supposed to show up at 10 am on Saturday, I was forced to do the unthinkable - set my alarm on a weekend!  

I got up and scrambled to clean the house as much as possible before the expected arrival time.  I managed to get almost everything cleaned up, which was a challenge with Coal running around making a mess behind me.  He would steal the paper towels and shred them all over the carpet I just vacuumed or jump on a counter or window that I just cleaned.  Nevertheless, I finished up with about 15 minutes to spare and we waited patiently for the knock on the door.

And we waited.  And waited. And waited.  Eighty minutes after our scheduled appointment time, we decided the guy was never going to show.  I can't call them because I honestly can't recall the name of the company. I figure that if he didn't call to confirm the appointment or call to cancel then he doesn't really want or deserve my business.

I got a referral from a friend whose Mom had someone who does awesome work, so we will give them a try.  If all else fails, this may end up being a DIY project which I really don't want to do.  This one is way over my head!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hooshetto Central

Last night Mr. Monkeygirl and I stumbled across the breeding ground for Hooshettos.  We weren't looking for it and we didn't really think it was located so close to our home.  

What exactly is "hooshetto", you ask?  It is more than an attitude, it is a way of life.  In order to become 'hooshetto' you have to remain committed for a very, very long time.  It isn't something that you can easily turn on or off.

'Hooshetto' is a delightful combination of a Hoosier (and not the Indiana kind) and a ghetto lifestyle.  Words can not accurately describe the horror of what we witnessed last night. Alcohol was involved but, seriously, these people need to get a life.

Things started out normal as we met our friends at a local bar. Then the freak show started.  Girls in matching outfits. I mean identical outfits.  I haven't wanted to wear the same thing as my friend since I was about 12 years old. There were couples groping and making out in the corner.  Not just towards the end of the night, but all night long and every chance they got. And apparently it was contagious.  It was isolated to one couple at one table at first.  Then it spread to the other couple at the table.  From there is just got worse, spreading from table to table like the swine flu. It was disgusting to watch but like someone said - it is kind of like a train wreck, you just have to watch. 

The floor show was even better. We also got treated to an excellent imitation of a vintage Anthony Kiedis hair swinging, rockin' it dance.  Some  - ahem - gentleman's clubs hold amateur hours and I think some of the girls thought they were trying out for a permanent position.  I applaud their ability to let go and enjoy themselves but this one girl was out of control!  She started off early in evening with a solo dance.  Dancing by yourself is okay, but generally, it is more acceptable to do this while the band is actually on stage.  Her sexy (and I use the term loosely) move - put your hair in and out of a ponytail. Did I mention that she appeared to be badly in need of a bath and a decent haircut?  She had a little too much too drink (duh!) and many of her 'patented' moves caused her to fall on her @$$ on the dance floor.  She acted like it was part of the show and just went right on back to her own little world.

The drama in this place was a little too surreal.  I seriously can't make this stuff up. The high school dance-like groping was just part of the fun.  The conversations in the women's room were priceless.  Something about someone's half-brothers half-sister doing something was a little too much to try to comprehend.

The band rocked (as usual) and we had fun, but I will always be on the lookout for hotbeds of hooshetto activity in our area.  If this keeps up, we might have to move!