Saturday, November 24, 2007

How Not To

A how to guide on painting a gunite in ground pool.


For the sake of your sanity and that of your spouse, please hire someone to complete the project. Pay an expert – anything. Remortgage the house, cash in your retirement; sell all your belongings at a garage sale. I speak with the voice of experience.
The day begins. Search for the rental place, get lost several times finally give in and call them and ask for specific directions. I know it is not a manly trait to ask for directions but I won’t tell a soul. This is when you truly realize that size does matter. Small truck, 10 bags of sand, lots of huge hoses, the thingy that holds all the sand, the lovely sandblasting outfit. And then the compressor itself is almost as big as the truck. Will our little truck really pull this behemoth?
The ride home is scary all ten bags of sand are sitting on the back seat slowly leaking out sand. I’m hoping we don’t have to stop fast. We arrive home safe but anxious. Drag out the equipment and the 10 bags of sand. Perhaps I could use the leaf blower on the cloth seats.
I won’t mention that part about hubby breaking a part. It did require a trip back to the rental place. I stayed home and drank coffee. An hour later the master returns. I help him suit up. I take pictures of the alien astronaut crawling around the bottom of the empty pool. He pushes the button. Nuttin. No sound, no movement no nuttin. The darn thing doesn’t work.
Mr. Fixit himself is on the phone with the rental people for hours. It’s a Saturday they close at 1pm. They promise to contact the mechanic that is on call but he may not be reached till tomorrow. Okay, this is a daily rental and day one is slowly slipping past.
The sky is darkening, looks like rain in the forecast. Why does this not surprise me? Perhaps tomorrow the mechanic will show up.

Black Friday

Black Friday

I rolled out of bed the red numbers on the clock said 6:30 am. So the really, really good (LOL) sales started at 4 am. I ground beans for the coffee and started the Krups machine. I walked the dogs, gulped down two cups of fresh brewed coffee, fed all the animals, ate breakfast and took a shower. I sat outside and drank coffee number three. I needed the caffeine and used low fat creamer, so I feel I’m safe. I tossed in a load of whites, piled the darks next to the dryer and swept the kitchen floor. I gave the dog her pill, disguised in a slice of ham and put in her eye medicine. Right eye – antibiotic, left eye – artificial tears. I rechecked the bottles to make sure I did the correct eyes. I removed some leftover turkey and made turkey salad for dinner. I looked at the clock on the kitchen stove and it blinked 11:00 am. Now I’m really, really late for all those spectacular sales.
I drove over to my friends and we sat and talked and devoured turkey sandwiches. I watched the noon news and saw throngs of people standing in line waiting for the stores to open. Then the camera switched to the customers entering the stores. I witnessed people pushing, running and yelling with the look of terror on their faces. It reminded me of the crusaders going off to war. And here I sit missing all this action. The time now is 2:00 pm. My friend and I head off to a little store nearby. The parking lot was quite empty and there was no yelling and pushing. We scouted the clearance rack and looked for bargains. I spent a total of $15.00 and my friend spent a little more. Our spending frenzy satisfied we drove home with happy faces.
We missed the crowds, the confusion, and the traffic jam and perhaps a few bargains but we had a great time. I walked the dogs, fed all the animals, removed the clothes from the dryer ate a turkey salad sandwich and watched the 6 pm news. They started with the major traffic jam on I-75 and then the mass confusion for a parking spot at the mall. Am I sorry I missed all the great bargains? Actually I believe I got the best bargain.

Friday, November 23, 2007


It hasn’t rained here in over a month. We have put off the enormous task for over a year. On Wednesday we decide to tackle the issue. We rent a sump pump, drag out the pressure washer and go to work. The mission to drain the 32 foot pool begins. It becomes an all day process. At last it is finished and pressure washed. A clean slate ready to begin the transformation we had put off for way too long. We drop into bed drained from all energy. Muscles revolting from lack of use remind us of their displeasure. Morning breaks through dark and cold. Giant pellets of rain splatter on the dry pool surface. Rain continues for most of the day. I stand by and watch the empty clean pool fill once again with water. The sump pump returned our options are minimal. With buckets, cups and paper towels our work begins. Once again the pool is clean and dry. Friday comes swiftly as many are heading out for bargains and we stand at the edge of the pool. The morning sky dark like Black Friday itself lets us know Mother Nature prevails. Rain came slowly in miniscule drops. Woe is me.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving. I think. I guess. Perhaps. Maybe – maybe not. I don’t know. I’m so confused. I just read that the first Thanksgiving is just a myth. It really happened in Florida. There was no turkey, no pumpkin pie – just beans. Should I toss out the turkey and open a can of pork-n-beans? Next thing they will be telling me the earth is flat. I suspected this all along! If I’m not careful where I walk I could fall right off the edge. Would I end up in hell? Or am I already there?
I’ve also read that if your children watched Sesame Street years ago they may have been psychologically damaged. Remember Oscar the grouch and Big Bird with his imaginary friend. What have I done to my children? And now all the children are obese due to that jolly old man in the red suit that comes around in December. England has banned fat Santa’s. They need to trim down they are setting a bad example for our children. Don’t mention that he breaks into your home in the middle of the night and eats your chocolate chips cookies and drinks all the egg nog. (thank you) Well, that means less sugar for the kiddies to get fat on.
My thoughts on child obesity are – here goes!
Our children are obese because their parents sit in front of the computer 24/7 and blog leaving the poor young-uns to fend for themselves.
Since I still believe in the tooth fairy, the lottery fairy and happy ever after (I saw Enchanted yesterday at the theatre) I am going to celebrate Thanksgiving with turkey and all the trimmings – no beans. I hope my children will forgive me for making them watch Sesame Street and letting a fat old man in a red suit be a role model. I will tell their father to stop wearing that suit. I will reduce my computer time by 10 minutes per day and buy lean cuisine frozen meals. I’m still unsure about the circumference of earth.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I have found a kool new blog at They do mucho advertising, fun and interesting blogs and free online classified ads.
The pack leader can be found at
Check them out.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Obsession. Are you afflicted by it? What does it mean? The dictionary says - to preoccupy intensely or abnormally, preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling. So I am preoccupied with getting the remote away from hubby. Does that make me obsessive? I want to be rich. Is that an unreasonable idea? What is unreasonable? Are my off the wall ideas or feelings obsessive? Am I obsessing over this word? When I leave the house I worry that I have left the side door unlocked or the iron plugged in on hot. Should I go back? What if I don't? I worry about forgetting to use the spell checker on e-mails. How do you retrieve an e-mail already sent? So what does the person think when they receive my e-mail with bad spelling? I will spend the rest of the day with an abnormall preoccupation that I am obsessive.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Raspberries and Rhinos

So my friend invites me to go beach camping. I’m always ready for an adventure so hubby and I accept. Our last camping excursion was not too successful. This adventure includes my friend and three pre teen girls.
The campground was nice, small, right on the Gulf of Mexico and filled with gigantic RV’s. We had a pup tent. We found our plot of paradise right on the corner. We set up our dwelling and I felt like an ant at the Grand Canyon. We were surrounded by 40 foot shiny behemoths. We had a pup tent. A pup tent set up on a sharp corner of paradise. If I do the math calculations - forty feet making a sharp right turn on five feet of roadway, 3 foot pup tent hugging the curve. I believe any rolling penthouse will be a few feet shy of making that corner. So we parked our truck right smack in front of the pup tent. Once one of those mobile suites smacks into the truck the noise will awaken us and we can flee to safety. We feel free to begin our adventure with our temporary homestead securely in place and protected by the truck. The white sandy beach beckons five responsible adults and three giggly giddy girls.
We trudge down the beach. My friend points and says, “That’s where all the action is. See those white tents. The sand sculpture contest is right in that area.”
It’s funny how the mind plays tricks on us. The farther we walked toward the white tents the farther away they appeared. How can that be? A mirage? I being the most sensible of the adults in this procession have worn shoes. After what seemed to be hours of walking we arrived at the festival. And it was an amazing site. Within seconds hubby has vanished into the troves of people. He has in his possession the car keys, the money and the water. Hours slip by and I am thirsty, tired and cranky. I want to return to the pup tent perched precariously on the corner space. As thoughts become reality he shows up. I bite my tongue – ouch – and say nothing. Although the less than hospitable eye contact reaches him he just smirks at me. He knows what I am thinking. We leave the heat of the beach and head for the main roadway to catch a trolley back to the campground. We have come prepared with pocketfuls of quarters.
The green metal trolley bench is perched right in the sun along the main road. There are about 60 unhappy looking people waiting for a trolley that holds 20 bodies. Let’s do the math. One woman mutters that she has been sitting in the hot sun on the green metal bench for over an hour. Let’s do the math again. We discuss our situation and the decision is made to walk to the next trolley stop. Off we go with smug faces and most with bare feet: bare feet on a rough hot sidewalk. I look down at my Crocs and snicker.
Twenty minutes later we stumble upon the trolley stop. No green metal bench just a sign indicating the trolley runs on the hour. Twenty cranky looking people hover at this trolley stop. We pass by and head to the next stop. The sidewalk becomes rougher and hotter. I look at my feet encased with protection.
The giggly giddy girls begin to whine. Hubby pulls out his sandals he has stashed in the backpack and hands them to the girls. They take turns wearing the sandals. They beg for a taxi. I eye the bike chained to a tree but realize I have left the hacksaw at home. We see a scooter ‘For Sale’ only $1,200. We have a pocket full of quarters. Perhaps they would take the quarters for a down payment. Then the math facts come into play again: scooter for two, six people walking down a hot rough sidewalk. Oh and just a pocket full of quarters. We trudge on for what seems like hours but it most likely minutes. We find another trolley stop and slip silently onto the green metal bench.
I see the trolley before I hear it. Our excitement is uncontainable. Shouts of triumph spill over the weary travelers. The green trolley breezes by, the driver waves and we see the FULL sign in the window. They are no printable words for my feelings. Hours of walking with grumbling girls finally brings us back to the campground. Our illegally parked truck is absent. A yellow towing notice is taped to the electrical box on our site. Big black tire tread marks run across the top of our crumpled pup tent.

Friday, November 9, 2007

whispering wannabee

My problem child is this 100 pound German Shepard with enough energy to run an entire city. Oh - if only I could harness his energy and use it for profit and pilferage. I could chemically alter it and charge $2.00 a gallon and still make a profit. Back to the walk from hell. I watch Cesar Milan the dog whiperer with intense passion. He is my hero. I have worked and worked with the problem child following Cesar's advice but we still have major issues. This morning on our walk or drag I saw a school bus stop and watched that metal arm swing out to stop kids from crossing behind the bus. So this lightbulb (energy effecient) goes off inside my head. Why couldn't I make a swinging arm like the bus and attach it to my body to keep the big boy behind me and not in front of me. That would truly make me the pack leader. I wonder how much all that metal would weigh? I suppose I would need a patent and then what happens when walking down the sidewalk and a car is parked illegally on the sidewalk and out goes that metal arm and smacks against that nice new shiny Hummer. Well, serves them right for buying a fuel guzzling dinosaur. And then there are all those mailboxes along the side of the road. So I see some problems with this invention. I should put that thought on the back burner and fume about what London is trying to do to poor old Mr. Claus. They want jolly (fat) Santa to be slimmed down. Apparently he is a bad influence on children causing obesity. Perhaps they should produce my mechanical dog walking device and place them thoughout the city and on school grounds. The obese or likely to be obese children could jump over the metal arm and this could be their exercise for the day. Then poor old Santa Claus can stay fat and jolly.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I had to take a break from writing my great American novel. I have to do this thing called 'going to work'. And that's like 5 days a week. I get up at 6AM have coffee read the paper load the dishwasher, feed the animals, pack my lunch, eat breakfast, walk the dog, get dressed and jump in the car and head south but first I have to spend most of my paycheck to fill up the gas tank and then head south again, weave in and out of traffic take a shortcut to miss the backlog of an accident on my usual route and get caught in parking lot traffic on the freeway, mumble to myself, turn the radio up louder and feel like that was surely not the way to go and finally get out of one mess and get caught up in another traffic jam and watch all the rad racer drivers around me go crazy and fast and drive on the shoulder, honk their horns, yack on the cell phone and just be plain obnoxious, so I get to work only five minutes late and try to make up time grab my coffee cup from the holder by the top only and slip from my car and ooops the cup was not connected to the lid and there goes the semi hot coffee all over my jacket, try to clean off the mess with a white paper towel but all the lint sticks out like a sore thumb on my navy blue jacket so I say 'oh well' and hurry to my desk and log on or try to log on to the computer but the internet is down so I can't access my files then they call me to cover the front desk while the receptionist does whatever and the internet is still down and my lesson plans and progress reports are not completed and they were only due yesterday my headache begins and it isn't even time for bed so the day was pretty much the same as my spilt coffee and then I get to leave and fight the traffic all the way back home by now the sun has disappeared and it's dark and the lights twinkle in my eye causing my contacts confusion so it doubles everything I see including headlights I pull in the driveway and hope the thump wasn't the neighbor kids bike left in my driveway again and so what if it is except for I think it's stuck under the car, I walk in the house drop my stuff on the floor and there is Mr. Wonderful with his great smile and dinner on the stove I blow him kisses walk by the cat sitting on the counter and she slaps at me for some reason or another who knows with her attitude, I eat my dinner walk the dog unload the dishwasher, read the paper again clean up the dog mess that was hidden from sight flop on the couch, fight Mr Wonderful for the remote, give up, stumble into the bedroom and wait for the new day to begin all over again. So perhaps on the weekend I can continue with my great American novel.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Alice in Stumbleland

Chaper 2

Tormented screams cut the air like a box cutter on cardboard. Participatory outrage boiled from all sides. The heavy hemp ropes started to sway. Sur Amboy stood in shock for a mere second and then he sprung into his savior mode. Sur Parrish was gone. The bikers sending swift karate chops at the attackers did little to slow the onslaught of violence. A cloud of dust and debris spun forth toward the wooden platform. Broken vases sailed over cowering bodies. Sirens in the distant became silent. The flower boy and ring bearer huddled next to an overturned motorcycle. Four large hairy arms swept down and snatched them from their hiding place. The children screamed and Sur Amboy charged. Hidden beneath his flowing wedding gown he lifted his ruby encrusted sword. He had always used it as a showpiece but now he knew it would become a weapon. Perhaps a weapon of death. The chaos was over in minutes although it seemed like hours. Sur Amboy hugged the terrified flower boy and ring bearer. As the dust settled the wedding party staggered back to life. Badly bruised and bleeding almost everyone was accounted for. Sur Parrish was missing. The handmade headwrap lay tattered, torn and bloodied on the the very edge of the red carpet walkway. Silence seeped over the park like thick early morning fog. Someone pointed to the great elm tree and the heavy hemp rope. Sur Amboy lifted his sword and sliced the hemp to pieces.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Alice in Stumbleland

Chapter 2

Sur Amboy stood tall and proud on the wooden plywood platform in the middle of the park. His black croaks only inches from the nailed shut trap door. He smiled like the new moon as his stunning groomette walked casually down the aisle. Taking on a life partner was not an easy task. Some of the family members refused to attend and others had closed the heavy metal door on his life and his love. Such as it was he would move forward and follow his heart. His steel grey eyes sparkled with delight as his love walked toward him in a magical mist. A lone musician played Taps, one of his favorite pieces. The sad soulful music brought tears to his eyes. His sister strummed the harp and his Professor of Magic tapped softly on the drums. Out of the corner of his eye Sur Amboy saw a movement. He looked at his biker buddies seated to his right. Their Marleigh cycles parked on the grass three feet from the makeshift alter. He chuckled, probably there for a fast getaway. Halfway down the aisle Sur Parrish stopped as a roar splintered the quiet. The procession halted as the world exploded into chaos.