Category: Pets

So Saturday I had another back breaking session of labor.  I loaded up the back of the Tacoma with 10 bags of mulch 10, bags of top soil, and 25 pieces of sod.  I was a bit annoyed and a little more amazed by the Hispanic family that was parked in front of both the mulch and sod, making my loading process more of a hassle.

They jammed an INCREDIBLE amount of things into their Ford Expedition SUV.  I saw at least 6 patio chairs, a table, a bunch of mulch, at least 20 pieces of sod, and at least a dozen medium sized potted variegated plants.  The vehicle had to be stuffed from ceiling to floor.  Oh, and the couple had to jam their three children in there as well somehow.

After they were done I was commenting to another customer about how amazing it was they managed to get all of that stuff inside the Ford.  The sod went on the back seat, that must have been neat and tidy.

So once I got home I got busy.  I parked the truck right outside the front gate of the new chicken grounds and used our little pull behind wagon to cart stuff into the fenced area.  I spread the mulch first.  A bunch of it went into the center of the chicken play area we created.  My thinking was I knew they loved digging through mulch around the yard so I wanted them to have their own collection of it.

The rest of the mulch was used around the pond and the small area that has the birds of paradise.  In the past couple years it had become pretty pointless to add mulch to landscaped beds because the chickens would destroy it with their endless scratching shortly thereafter.  It felt sort of strange to place mulch down and realize it would actually stay put, making those areas look nicer than they have in quite awhile.

I then worked on getting the top soil and sod down.  A lot of the grass went around the perimeter of the coop.  When the chickens dig, quite often they like to do it against some sort of structure.  Putting a thick sod border around the coop is one way to encourage the chickens to excavate elsewhere.  Even though the temperatures were nice and cool to start the day it quickly got warm.  I was out there a good five hours plodding away.  Even though I certainly did not enjoy it, having the chickens mulling around me wondering what I was doing most of the time made it less annoying.

I picked up Sadie Saturday morning so she had a bunch of crazy play time with Bowser and Elsa.  It seemed most of the time Bowser and Elsa would tag team Sadie which for the most part Sadie was ok with.  A couple times it got a little out of hand and Sadie let out a quick warning snarl that let the other dogs know a boundary had been reached.

I have had an issue with the connection to the outlet of the pool pump leaking for awhile.  I have tried to fix it by applying fresh pvc cement to the outside of the joint but it accomplished nothing.  The only way to fix it correctly is to rip that section out and replumb it to the input of the filter.  If pressed I could probably do it but with something like this my preference is to just pay a professional to do it to minimize the potential for future leaks.

So when I got more chlorine at Pinch-a-Penny I made arrangements to have someone come out to do the work.  In addition to fixing that section I am also going to have them pull out the pool heater that has been broken for at least five years.  Once it is pulled out they will have to replumb the lines some more.  Even when the pool is warm in the summer we hardly use it, putting in a new pool heater would be a huge waste of money not only in up front costs but also the ridiculous impact it has on my electric bill.

On Saturday night Cindy and I went on our Valentines Day dinner early to Stir Crazy.  We invited Katie along as well as we didn’t want her sitting home being bummed out.  The food was good but our waitress, Nicole was pretty awful.  From the first word out of her mouth you could tell she hated being a waitress.  Although the entrees came out lightning fast, things that seemingly did not require much preparation like draft beer and desert had these inexplicable delays.  She brought out plates and forks for desert 10 minutes before the desert actually arrived.  We actually got the check before we got desert.  It was bizarre.  Nicole did not clean up in the tip department as a result.

Sunday morning I was up pretty early.  I gave Cindy a break from chicken duties since she does it pretty much every other day.  Katie had said she was interested in riding EUCs Sunday morning but was still asleep so I kept myself busy for awhile.  First I put my Mavic up to get some more updated aerial video of the additional improvements we made to the chicken area.  I am still fumbling around trying to figure out everything the drone can do.  I have only grazed the surface thus far.

I then sat down and paid my bills for the week which took extra long since it was credit card reconciliation time which is tedious and annoying.  Katie was still asleep so I grew tired of waiting, I didn’t want to have half the day pass before getting out.  I was just loading the truck up to head out on my own when she came out of the room.  She said she still wanted to go so instead of a solo trek, Cindy and her piled in the truck for a ride at the Greenway.

The weather was really nice for riding and we were having a great time.  When people see us on the wheels it is very common to get comments like “Wow, that’s cool!”, “What is that??” and other statements of intrigue or interest.  Well as I was exiting one of the boardwalk areas I passed an older couple whom were obviously not born in the US based on their accent.  As I was passing them the old man says, “the sign (at entrance of the boardwalk) says no motor vehicles”  I at first thought the guy was just being funny as universally, we have never had anyone be negative about our EUC riding.  I told him in a friendly voice, “well this is basically like an electric bicycle” (bikes are allowed).

Well the old prick continued “well that thing still has a motor doesn’t it???”  Instantly I lost all patience with this guy.  I now used my overtly sarcastic, fake friendly voice as I told him.  “well why don’t you go ahead and report us then.  Have a great day!”  as I rode away from him.   They walked by me again when I was stopped by Cindy who was practicing on Katie’s EUC.  The guy had no additional commentary for me, good for him.

Like I said, Cindy who rode the MiniPro for most of the ride got more practice in on the boardwalk on Katie’s wheel.  Cindy likes the height of the rail as a support if needed.  She did well, riding without support for 50-75 feet a couple times.  She stepped off it a bit awkwardly during her last roll and called it quits.  When I was learning I always made sure the last ride I did was not a fail.  I think it helps a lot to get right back on and have one more small success before stopping.  It just helps build confidence going forward.

After the ride we stopped and grabbed lunch at a pizza place.  The main pizza maker used to work with Katie at her old waitress job, his name was Tommy.  I could immediately tell he was from NYC.  I don’t know if you could find a more stereotypical pizza guy.  He looked and talked exactly as you would imagine.  He was very funny and had all of us laughing throughout the meal.  The pizza was very good.

We didn’t get home until after two.  Cindy was shocked when she discovered Kristen, our white chicken outside the fence.  She was able to quickly grab her and put her back before Bowser could react.  When reviewing the security dvr she saw the escape on video.  Kristin was able to simply fly up to the cross post and jump over.

Well obviously we can’t have that and chickens have a lemming mentality, when they see one do something they are apt to try it as well.  We had to do some wing clipping.  We only trimmed the wings of four of the ten chickens, Pumpkin, Peaches, Stephie, and of course Kristin.  They are the smaller birds with good flying/jumping ability.  The process only takes 30 seconds per bird so it wasn’t bad.  Early on when the chickens became adults we had issues with a few of them flying over the main fence but they eventually stopped trying.  We are hoping they come to the same conclusion with the new fence as well.

I got some WoW time in the rest of the day as well as some backyard EUC riding just for fun.  Tonight I need to go to a jewelry repair place to get my beloved Casio G-shock watch repaired.  I broke the main pin that connects the band to the watch body when I was chasing down Bowser a couple weeks ago.  The attempts I made to replace the pin myself have been utter fails.

 

So as soon as I woke up yesterday the first thing I did was pop two Advil.  I knew the only way I was going to be able to get through a third day of fence labor was medicated.  My back, knees, arms, and hands were all killing me. Cindy had two classes to teach in the morning so that left me in the back yard solo to attach the 100 foot rolls of 4 foot welded wire fencing to the posts we spent two days erecting.

So once again my prior experience with doing a fence helped me out as I did a lot of the backyard fence myself as well.  I basically would roll out the spool of wire along the fence line and then haphazardly stand it up against the posts.  I then would hammer in a shitload of fence staples into the far end corner post.

I then position my Tacoma off the other end which I used as my pulling point.  I attached my fence stretcher to the tow hitch on the truck and the other end to a pipe I threaded through the fence.  I had a steel cable that was attached to either end of the pipe to give me a more or less even pull from the top and bottom.  I then started to ratchet the fence stretcher which would slowly take the slack out of the fence and get it nice and tight.  I then would go back to the far end and start hammering in staples in each post while the fence is still stretched to maintain as much tension as possible.  When I finally got back to opposite corner post I again sunk a ton of fence staples and then cut the spool of wire.

Even though I had not done this work in a long time things went pretty smoothly.  Cindy was amazed that by the time she got home I was just finishing up the third side.  She helped me do the front of the fence line which was split in two halves by the gate.  We actually had to splice together the one side because I did not have a long enough piece left over.  I was really happy how we managed to make the seam pretty much invisible unless you were looking for it.

Finally the last small section was stretched and attached.  It felt great to have my three days of intense labor at an end.  I spent close to an hour cleaning up all of the tools, parts, and left over materials that were scattered around the yard.  Of course there is more labor to come to “furnish” the backyard to offer the chickens more protection, shade, high ground and fun.

So after clean up we were able to lure the chickens into their new area.  They seemed a bit confused and sad to not have access to the entire back yard as they have their entire lives.  I couldn’t help but feel a bit guilty but I knew in the big picture this was going to be a good thing.  Not only do we have to work on the chickens new area but we also have to work on cleaning up and repairing the rest of the yard that they have systematically ripped apart in their chicken sort of way.

Last night I was so tired and sore I just wanted to veg out.  Today I hope to do at least something fun although I know a trip to Home Depot in the morning is on the schedule to at least get a few basic things to get the chickens rolling in their new yard.

So I left work about an hour early in order to head out to Jack & Ann’s in Immokalee, the place I planned on buying my fence supplies from.  When I installed the fence around the entire back yard years ago I went there as well.  The store is extremely old school.  The back of it looks it has literally been untouched since it was built 40 or 50 years ago looking downright dilapidated in some parts.

So I had a list of things I should need.  It added up to a lot of stuff, more than I thought my Tacoma could hold.  I asked the guy about delivery as before they did deliver the supplies to the house.  He said they could deliver it but he was pretty sure I could get it all in my truck.  I trusted his judgement so I pulled over to the fencing area and started loading up along with one of their lot guys.

The 45 posts, 300 feet of welded wire fencing, brace wire, and four foot gate did indeed fit.  I just used one of my ratchet straps to hold the gate securely on top like a fencing material sandwich.  When I got home Cindy helped me dump the materials around the chicken coop.  The chickens were quite curious about what all the items were.  If they knew they would be used to reduce their free ranging territory they probably wouldn’t be very happy.

Speaking of chickens, Peaches made me laugh out loud the other day.  I was trying to bribe the chickens to go into the coop early so the dogs could run free.  I was in their run refilling a container with dried meal worms.  As I poured the bag into the container a few meal worms dropped to the ground which the chickens ate quickly, except for Peaches.  Instead of waiting on the ground like your normal chicken she quickly ascended the four levels of the center perch in the run so she was up to my shoulder level.  She then helped herself, grabbing worms directly from the bag as I poured them out.  She is fearless and relentless in her pursuit of her fair share.

So for many, many years I have been battling toenail funk on some of my toes.  I have tried endless remedies without success and instead have just tried to keep the problem nails trimmed back hard.  A week or so ago I found something on Amazon that supposedly worked very well based on the reviews others had left.  It was an oregano oil extract.  I was surprised when it arrived yesterday to see it shipped directly from Greece. You are supposed to apply the stuff to the affected nails twice a day and let it dry.  Before I even opened the bottle I could smell it, the papers in the box had already absorbed the scent.  Although oregano on food is normally a good addition, the smell of the oil is not pleasant.

So after my shower I opened the bottle and applied the oil generously to the funked toes.  The smell was even stronger of course but I figured in 10-15 minutes once it dried it would dissipate.  Well it never really went away.  Cindy was more bothered by the smell than I was.  She brought in her oil vaporizer to try to counteract the smell.  I could still smell the oregano this morning when I got up.  Hell I smell it right now while the foot is in a sock and sneaker.   I can only hope the smell is worth the end result.

I have a four day weekend lined up thanks to burning two vacation days to complete this fencing project.  I will be going at it non-stop until it’s finished which will hopefully leave some time during those four days to do something other than fencing.

Last night was not a fun one in the dog household.  When Katie and Daniel split the original thought regarding their two dogs was an on and off thing where the dogs would stay at the two households on alternating weeks, hence why Tank and Bowser  have been living with us for the last week.

Well since that initial agreement there was more discussion how long term it makes more sense that one dog permanently lives with each of the “parents”.  Trying to shuffle dogs back and forth between two people no longer in a relationship is normally not a great idea despite me doing it since I was separated. I can attest that it complicates things. If neither person is agreeable to letting the other keep both dogs then this is really the only option.

Of course there are a lot of sad consequences as a result.  After some oscillation back and forth it was decided Bowser would be staying with us while Tank would live with Daniel and his family.  Cindy was especially sad.  She loves both dog’s but is very fond of Tank whom was the first dog Katie adopted.  We had Tank in the house for two weeks last year while he recovered from surgery which gave Cindy more time to bond with him.

Then there is the impact on both dogs whom have been side by side most of their lives.  Splitting them up is going to be difficult on both of them.  Luckily for Bowser he has Elsa to help keep him company.  I have a feeling Tank is going to have a much rougher road.  In general our household is going to be a healthier environment for either dog to be in long term.

Of course the impact on Katie is extreme, it’s almost like having to decide which kid you want to get rid of.  Katie loves both dogs obviously.  This is just the latest of a series of hard decisions she has had to make and come to terms with in the last few weeks.  I’m proud of her for making them. In spite of the impact on the household, I would actually prefer if the dogs were able to stay together under our roof.  So we loaded up Tank’s stuff in Katie’s truck last night before she drove him to Daniel’s place.  Cindy was teary eyed through most of it and although I was not quite so emotional, I understood it’s origin.

I wish this week was over.  When I have a large project on the horizon like building a fence I just want to get started on it so I can get it done.  I have been running through mental checklists of all that I will need to make it happen.  It’s a big list.

So I had another frustrating day on Friday trying to get answers from my dealer about my truck.  It was supposed to be ready for me to pick up while they wait for a part that will take a month to become available.  Instead after leaving multiple messages for my service advisor to call me back for status, I had to call right before I left work and wait on hold to talk to the guy for 10 minutes only to find out nothing was done and the truck was still not put back together.  There was no sensible explanation for why this was, only that I couldn’t get the truck till Saturday.  I explain the entire interaction in this venting video.

When I got home Friday I was already annoyed as shit by the dealer bullshit.  I got home before Cindy so I was bull rushed by four crazy dogs.  Perhaps because of my state of mind I made a poor decision to let all four dogs in the back yard while the chickens were out.  The chickens were on the other side of the yard so I thought the dogs could pee quickly and I would take them right back in.  Well the chickens spotted me and came running over to see what sort of good stuff I had for them since they associate me with good stuff.

Well Bowser, the big catahoula mix spotted the chickens and started heading that way.  I went into full emergency mode, forgetting my aching knee and sprinting after Bowser as he started running towards the birds.  The chickens are used to being in the yard with Sadie and Elsa without issue so I don’t think they realized at first that Bowser was a threat.  He got dangerously close to several of them as I was sprinting after him while screaming at him to stop.  I finally chased him away into the back yard.  He ignored my screams as I chased him.  He finally stopped and got into a submissive position, knowing he was in trouble.  I grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and used my voice of God tone to reiterate how bad that was.  I walked him to the door holding the scruff.

Now of course the ultimate fault in this incident was my own.  Having him out there without a leash or at least the buzz collar was just a dumb thing to do.  We really would like to make Bowser understand the chickens are off limits.  Tank seems to be getting the idea as he did not approach the birds.  After the incident I was a bit frazzled, thinking about just how awful I would have felt if something happened to one of the chicks.

Saturday morning I was up early with Sadie to go participate in the Run for the Paws 5K, my first year doing so as a participant.  I got there with time to spare, arriving before 7 for the 8AM start race.  This was the first time I saw a number of people in the running club, some of them since last January when I timed the event.  Many handshakes and hugs were exchanged and it was nice to see all of the friendly faces.  Sadie and I mostly stuck with Ali leading up to the race helping her attend to a few minor details.

So I had very low expectations for Sadie with the event.  She is a good 20 pounds overweight so running is just not her thing.  She is no youngster anymore either.  I had totally expected we would be walking the race and I even expected to cut the course so we didn’t go the complete 3.12 miles.

So the race started and I began walking at a brisk pace.  Soon I realized Sadie was sort of pulling me a bit so I started into a slow jog.  She seemed very excited and happy with all of the other people and dogs running by and she wanted to be part of it.  She ran much further than I expected and even after we slowed to walking we would pick up running after a bit.  So not only did she complete the entire distance, I bet she ran close to half of it.

For a good portion of the last part of the race we were running/walking with Ali’s boyfriend which was cool.  He and I get along very well.  When we got to the last few hundred yards I started again with a very slow jog, encouraging Sadie to finish strong.  I could tell how exhausted she was at the end, I was practically pulling her along.  Ali was at the finish cheering us in which was very cute.  Once we got through the finish chute I sat on the grass so Sadie could rest, she was so, so tired.  I told her how proud I was of her.  Somehow it seemed like she felt proud as well.

When I got home I had to waste an hour and a half driving the loaner vehicle back to the dealership to pick up my Tacoma.  On top of the run around I was given I had one last annoyance, the car wash the service advisor said would be done was not.  The last time I was there they “forgot” to do the wash as well.  Later in the afternoon I just washed the truck myself.

Despite having a pretty busy morning I had a work filled afternoon.  I weeded the property, did a few odd chores and mowed the grass.  The good news was the cool temps made outside work not all that unpleasant.  Late in the afternoon I even found a little time to go take my Gotway Msuper out for a 5 or 6 mile cruise.

On Saturday night I was home alone with the four dogs while Cindy, Katie, and our friend Kim went to a country concert at the fairgrounds down the road.  I am not a country music fan in the least so I was quite happy to just dog sit.  I was going to play WoW but the dogs were carrying on.  Bowser and Tank figured out how to use the dog door and were barking constantly out by the pool.  I came storming out and opened the slider while yelling “What are you doing??!!”  Well all of a sudden I hear a splash.  Evidently Elsa was out there as well and I startled her enough that she fell in the pool.  I ran over to the deep end and was ready to jump in and grab her but she somehow managed to get out by herself.

So after that incident I spent the rest of the evening watching the new show I am trying to catch up on Man in the High Castle on Amazon video.  It seemed like the dogs calmed down if I was in the great room with them, all four of them were snoozing away while I laid on the couch.

The weather Sunday morning was pretty miserable, raw and wet.  The steady light rain combined with temps in the low 50’s made EUC riding a non-option.  Cindy and I wound up running to Home Depot mid-morning to pick up a new bathroom faucet, a sort of impulse move.  The old faucet was sticking a little when used and was low quality builder grade stuff.

We picked out a nice Kohler replacement along with some plumber putty and teflon tape.  Since the weather was still shitty I figured I may as well dig right into it.  It’s sort of hard to believe with the various home repair/maintenance tasks I have done over the years, replacing a bathroom faucet has not been one of them.  Of course I figured this was yet another opportunity for a YouTube video.

Getting out the old faucet was not too difficult although the hot water feed side was much more corroded than the cold side.  The old faucet used solid copper feed pipes.  The new faucet uses modern braided feed lines which are much more forgiving.  When we bought the faucet I thought we were replacing just the faucet, I had no idea you normally swap out the drain as well in this scenario.  Cindy helped me with a good portion of the swap out.  After maybe an hour of work it was done and looked good.

There was a pretty bad puddle of water in the cabinet this morning despite things being leak free in our initial test.  I think I already know where the leak is from, where the drain is inserted into the existing pvc pipe.  I probably didn’t let the water run long enough in the initial test to fill that pipe to the point where a leak could be detected.

Cindy and I did some more discussion regarding fencing and the chickens.  I have come around to the idea of creating a sub-fence for the chickens that would enclose the coop area and extend behind it considerably.  It would allow us to contain chicken damage while protecting them from untrained dogs.  If we want to allow them full access to the backyard some days we can simply leave the gate open.  It will not be an easy job.

In addition to constructing the fence I am going to need to put some additional bushes/trees in that area for cover.  I also am thinking about building a deck that the chickens can hang out under since they love to hang out under the large shed a good portion of the day. The other issue is laying things out in a way that compensates for the flooding that can occur during wet season back there.  I may try to raise some of the ground with top soil and sod.  I don’t want the chickens wading in a pond all day long like ducks.

So President Trump has certainly been making a big splash with his statements and executive orders thus far.  His latest brain fart was ordering a temporary ban on entry to the country from certain Muslim countries creating a firestorm of backlash, even more so than him floating the idea of a 20% tax on Mexican goods.  The guy just has no clue and zero comprehension of the big picture on any issue he thinks he is addressing.   This circus comes as no surprise to me and I wonder why others seem to be so shocked by these ill advised actions.  He got to where he is by being loud and appealing to the lowest, dumbest common denominator.  Why would anyone think he would be different once seated in the White House?

 

So I didn’t receive any word back on the truck from the dealer by 3PM so I gave them a call.  They said they identified the cause of the airbag warning light.  It has to do with a wiring harness connected to the passenger side curtain airbag.  They said they did not have the part in stock nor did they have an eta for how long it will take to get it.  The truck was still apart so they said I should just keep the loaner for the night.  Today they will get more info on the part availability.  If it is going to be a considerable delay they said I can pick the truck back up but I would need to sign a waiver as driving a vehicle with any airbag issue could be a liability.

It certainly isn’t an ideal scenario as it sounds like I will have to take the truck back again once the part becomes available.  I’m not really worried about driving with an airbag issue as it first showed itself back around 6000 miles.  I recapped the situation on video as anything Tacoma related seems to have a lot of YouTube interest.

This weekend will include Ali’s Run for the Paws 5k, a race I have been involved in since it’s inception 11 years ago.  The first 10 years I was involved as an organizer and race timer.  This will be the first year I will be a normal everyday participant.  Ali is sort of excited to have me there with Sadie.  With my bum right leg I don’t plan to run the event but instead walk it with Sadie.  I don’t even know if we will do the full 3.12 mile distance which may be too far for Sadie but we will give it a go.  Ironically this was the last running club race I was involved with last year and will be the first running club event I have attended since.  It will be nice to see some of the familiar faces that I spent so many early morning hours setting up events with over the years.

I am doing some planning and thinking about some additional fencing in the backyard to accommodate the addition of Katie’s dogs to the mix.   Tank and Bowser do not yet know the chickens are out of bounds.  My thought was to create an additional large dog run area down the one side of the back yard.  Cindy came up with the idea of instead creating a fenced in area around the chicken coop to restrict the chickens instead of the dogs.

My knee jerk reaction to Cindy’s plan is yes, it would be nice for me to not have to deal with the chickens ripping up various sections of the property and scattering chicken poop far and wide.  However the crazy compassionate animal lover in me hates the idea of taking away the freedom the 10 birds all have come to love.  The other problem is the chickens prefer to be more or less hidden during a good portion of the day and they use the underside of the large shed and the bushy areca palms around the pond to accomplish that.

However if I fenced the area around the coop there really is no cover available other than the coop itself.  The other problem is the area behind the coop that would likely be fenced is flooded out badly through a good portion of the summer. Of course the cheapest and least labor intensive option is for us to train Tank and Bowser that the chickens are part of the family.  Cindy actually has some training collars that she has used a little bit to start that process so we will see how that goes.

I am sure the weekend will include some EUC riding.  I have the idea of heading down to the hilly area of Marco Island to ride for something unique.

My last day of my extended three day weekend was very lazy.  Early in the morning I spent some energy doing additional cleaning in the chicken coop.  I pulled out the stand the nesting boxes are on and worked on the mountain of feathers, dust and sand that was wedged behind them.  It was pretty damn gross.  I used a couple of my battery powered tools to help in the process, the blower to blast out a lot of the junk and the battery powered shop vac I got for Xmas to suck up the rest.  I also dumped out the nesting boxes and refilled them with fresh shavings.  Peaches was the first one in the coop laying an egg after I finished and she seemed happy with the clean up in a chicken sort of way.

Cindy was teaching a class Monday morning so I decided to take Sadie and Elsa for a DD coffee ride.  This was the first time I have taken both dogs in the truck anywhere.  I knew it would be interesting to see how they would work out the seating arrangements.

In the old Tacoma, when I had Nicki and Sadie along it worked out well because Nicki preferred to lay on the floor in the back of the access cab while Sadie always rode shotgun.  There were multiple configurations tried during the ride, all of which were funny and cute.  The funniest of all was when Sadie had her head on the door while Elsa sat on Sadie’s side.  It didn’t look comfortable but Elsa stayed that way for quite awhile.

The rest of the day I only attended to some minor chores peppered in with a lot of WoW.  I have been working on some other characters that refresh the game for me since their play style and objectives are very different.

I did not go out on my EUC at all yesterday.  With my puffy right knee I just didn’t feel a strong urge to push it, again.

It’s nice to have two short work weeks in a row, if I could permanently swing a Howard Stern style three day work week that would be amazing.

Yesterday during our department meeting my boss was talking about how we had two short weeks in a row.  I looked at him confused.  Since Christmas was Sunday that meant we had Monday off, meaning next week was short but not this week.  He reminded me that we also get Christmas Eve off which is Saturday so that means Friday is the make up day for it.  My day all of a sudden got a lot more awesome when I found time off I forgot about.

Sadie will be going back to Ali’s either today or tomorrow.  Of course Cindy and I will miss her but I think Elsa may miss her even more.  She has so much fun when Sadie is around.  She also feels more confident and at ease.  Once again Elsa has spent a lot more time out in the great room with us at night since Sadie has been there than when she isn’t.

I think I am on a circling pattern as far as Christmas gift buying goes.  There may be a gift card or two I may snag yet but I think I am pretty good to go.  When I look at my 2016 Christmas budget column in Quicken it would also indicate it’s time to shut things down.

So over the weekend I rotated the tires in the Prius, hoping it would help quiet down some road noise from a couple tires that were showing wear.  Well instead the noise got even worse.  I gave Cindy the green light to just get all four tires replaced.  She called up the place we bought them from, Tires Plus.  They were nice to deal with last time and gave Cindy a military discount.  The guy said he would get us a partial credit since the Bridgestone Ecopias have a 65,000 mile warranty and we only put maybe 55,000 miles on them.  It turned out that we wound up paying about $100 less than we did the first time so I was happy with that.  Cindy said the Prius drives and sounds much better.

15390723_1378659395480644_1358009061820280402_nBringing Elsa into the house has been a lot of fun but we are still trying to figure out some of her weird quirks.  She still gets very nervous at times, getting scared of things that aren’t obvious.  When it gets dark out she seems especially scared.

She rarely will stay out in the great room with us at night.  She prefers to retreat to the office and hide under one of our desks. The odd thing is when Sadie is with us, who is always near by, Elsa wasn’t doing her nighttime hiding.

Lately in the morning she has been hesitant to go out first thing to pee.  We don’t know if it’s the fog or the wet grass.  Cindy hasn’t been able to convince her to go out alone.  I have been coming out as well and going out in the yard in my underwear to entice her to venture into the grass to relieve herself.

As quiet and as timid as she can be, she also can be super energetic and funny.  When she comes out of the bedroom in the morning she comes running up to the office to greet me, jumping around and licking my face.   When she plays with the neighbors puppy she runs around like a maniac.

Getting to know her personality has been a little challenging but overall very cool.  I can tell how happy it makes Cindy to have Elsa in the house which always make me happy by proxy.  Of course I find it very endearing that her preferred sleep position at night is normally laying against or on me.

It’s going to be a long day.  I awoke for unknown reasons about 2:30 AM.  I unsuccessfully tried to will myself back to sleep for about an hour until I gave up and got out of bed.  I plopped on the computer and spent two and a half hours in WoW, having a fun time tooling around my alternate virtual universe with a bunch of other nocturnal gamers.

Sadie should be going back to Ali’s sometime today which is going to be sad for Elsa.  She really loves having Sadie around and I think Sadie feels the same way.  It certainly has made Sadie’s visits much more entertaining.

While I was at the gym yesterday while I was on a treadmill I saw a commercial for some bank that was promoting a FANTASTIC deal for US veterans!  They will allow you to refinance the full value of your existing home PLUS whatever balance you owe on it!  The spot declares how awesome this could be, allowing you to pay off your credit cards, get a nice wad of cash while paying less per month!  Of course they neglect to mention that any people that take advantage of this “deal” will be absolutely buried in their house in negative equity for the rest of their lives.  What a nice way to thank our veterans!