Monday, July 29, 2013

Oh Armadillo!

We're having the back porch redone.

Which should, once again, be a fairly innocuous task.

I mean, it's not like we're crazy enough to do it ourselves.  We didn't even consider it; instead we accepted our limitations and hired a great company. The workers got started last week.  Monday and Tuesday they ripped the old porch off leaving this:

And one of the things we noticed was the huge pile of dirt by the foundation that you can see here:

"That's odd," we said. "They're probably going to level it out later."

Because we didn't realize that the workers hadn't left us the pile.

The armadillo did.

That's right Midwestern and East Coast friends, AN ARMADILLO.

(this wasn't the one in our yard, found the pic on Wikimedia Commons posted by By Wgfcrafty 

Which we discovered at about 10:45 Tuesday night when it was frantically trying to get back in the yard and into its burrow.

Let me set the scene for you: I was working  online, keeping my corner of the internet free from penis artists when Opie took Bubba outside for the night....five minutes later, he called me.  "There's an armadillo trying to get in the yard!"

I did what any rational person would do--researched it on the Internet.

And if you've ever been lucky enough to be around me when I'm doing research, it probably doesn't surprise you to learn that the Internet is NOT filled with stories about how the friendly armadillo builds its nest under the house and wanders around spreading sunshine and love.

In fact, it was even worse than the time that I researched the raccoons who had dug into my siding and read things like "distantly related to bears!" and "vicious when cornered" or my personal favorite "common rabies carrier."

What is worse than rabies?


The first article that I found online said that armadillos are linked to leprosy in humans.  Don't believe me?  Check this out, it was reported on CNN!

(It is interesting to note that when I shared this tidbit with my Oklahoma friends they were all  "Oh, not all of them." Like that was comforting.  Because, let's be honest, with the way my life usually goes, if one out of every million armadillos is infected with leprosy, that one would be in MY yard.  I'm already practicing walking around in sackcloth and ashes screaming "unclean!" at anyone who walks by)

In any case, I handled this news with my usual stoic calm.

"For the love of heaven, DON'T TOUCH IT!" I screamed at Opie.

And, oddly, he hadn't been thinking about touching it.  All he really wanted to do was keep it from getting back in the yard.

"Shine the flashlight on it and yell." I suggested.

But that didn't work.  All the armadillo did was begin running up and down the fence line--shockingly fast for a creature that looks like a fat little dinosaur--stopping and digging at the fence every few feet.

"Kick the fence!' I shouted then.

So, it was 11:00, Opie was running around the backyard, waving the flashlight, yelling and kicking the fence, while Bub ran with him, barking at the top of his lungs.

And the weird thing was, it scared the armadillo off...but none of our neighbors even noticed.

Which is a little insulting.  I mean, on the one hand, I'm glad that no one called the police and had Opie hauled off to jail.  But on the other hand, I'm a little offended that they might have heard the commotion, peeked out the window and said "Oh, yah, it's just those psycho Yates again, nothing to worry about." and went' about their business.

I'm tying to figure out what it might take to get these people's attention and I have to be honest,  I smell CHALLENGE.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Close Encounters?

Forget crop circles, look at the perfect grass circle inadvertently left behind after Opie mowed the yard.  I say it's a clear sign of alien activity.  Opie thinks these kind of conclusions are a clear sign of my imminent breakdown.

Silent Sunday

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Princeton P. Kitty -- Rock Star!

Ok, I know I'm teetering dangerously on the "crazy cat lady" line but, seriously, how funny is this cat?  Who knew he was such a Beatles fan?

Kitty In the Sky With Diamonds 

 Kitty-Cat Garden

Sgt. Princeton's Lonely Hearts Club Band

With A Little Help From My Cat

Catnip Fields Forever might be time for me to start getting out a little more....

That Suburban Momma

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

How Not To Renew Your License Plates

So, Sunday I washed my car.

Which probably sounds like a normal, everyday activity—even for me.

And it was…right until the moment when I was hunched down behind it, scrub scrub scrubbing away, and I took a good look at the license plate.

‘That’s odd,’ I said to myself. ‘That looks like my license plate expired in June.’

Sunday, in case anyone’s wondering, was JULY 7th.

And I had a vague memory of Opie waving some little postcard thing at me a while ago and saying something about “renewing your tags.”  And he might have reminded me once or even twice since then.  And it’s possible that I responded, “I know, I’m not an IDIOT.”

Which meant it would have been a really bad idea to wander into the house and ask him if he had any idea where that pesky postcard had disappeared to…especially since when this same thing happened in Missouri, (Yes, that’s right, the exact same thing happened just a few years ago.  Don’t judge me. I am a CREATIVE TYPE and a FREE SPIRIT, I can’t be expected to understand things like deadlines and government regulations.)

Anyway last time this happened, the state of Missouri charged me some ridiculous fine and few things infuriate Opie more than throwing money away.

Besides, whenever I am facing a problem completely of my own creation, I prefer not to tell Opie until 1 of the 2 following things have occurred:

1.      I have solved it myself.

Or, as is more often the case,

2.      I don’t solve anything but stew about the whole thing for hours, exaggerating the situation in my head and imagining the worst case scenario.  Then I erupt into hysterics, shouting things like “I can’t believe I forgot to renew those stupid plates! But I did and now they’re expired and it’s probably going to cost us THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS and even then I’ll probably still go to prison.  PRISON!  CAR PRISON!  I’M GOING TO CAR PRISON, DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?”

Seriously, it’s hard for me to imagine how interminably dull Opie’s life must have been before I came back into it.

In any case, first thing Monday morning, I got up, spent half an hour searching for the postcard and then realized that I also needed my proof of insurance.  Which was supposed to be in the car but was missing because someone had mysteriously moved it into the house and hidden it in a stack of other important papers (I suspect the cat). 
Finally, I gathered everything together, got to the office at the exact moment they opened and was somehow still fourth in line, got to the counter, muttered “I’m a little late” and braced myself for the worst.

“Oh, honey,” the clerk said. “Everyone forgets, that's why we give you a 30 day grace period.”

I think there might be hope for life Oklahoma after all!

Misplaced Alaskan

Wordless Wednesday -- Summer Fun

The bounce n splash at the club...and a lesson: Sometimes you need the big kids to help:

That Suburban Momma
Wordless Wednesday Hop

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hypochondria...Or, Why Kimberly Shouldn't Be Allowed Near WebMD

Yesterday, I noticed a lump on my foot.

That’s right, my foot.

I have a small, painful lump on the bottom of my left foot…a small round white spot with a dark dot in the middle.  And, after careful internet research, I have decided it’s one of two things:

1.       A plantar wart

2.       A splinter

The only way to be sure is to wait awhile and see if the spot changes at all.

If it’s a plantar wart, according to the pictures I have spent most of the morning nearly puking over, it will spread across my foot in what WebMD calls a “mosaic” and I call leperous patches, turning my foot into a twisted, gruesome shadow of its former self.   

If it’s a splinter, it will undoubtedly get driven deeper and deeper into my skin with every step I take, eventually reaching my bloodstream, festering and rotting and spreading gangrene, again turning my foot into a twisted, gruesome shadow of its former self.

And this, my friends, is what hypochondria looks like.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Foo Dogs -- The Perfect Memorial

You know what’s hard?

Trying to find a Chinese Foo Dog in the middle of Oklahoma.

You know what’s harder?

Driving around rural Oklahoma AND the Osage Nation Native American Reservation trying to find the one and only store in the middle of Oklahoma that sells a Chinese Foo Dog.

Not to mention keeping my temper when I discover that the one and only store in the middle of Oklahoma that sells a Chinese Foo Dog only takes cash.

All in all, it’s been a rather weird day.

But I get ahead of myself…it all started about a month and a half ago when I had to say goodbye to my 13 year old Chihuahua, Peek-A-Boo.  I still can’t bear to talk about it, you can read about his life here.  Anyway, my mom wanted to get me some sort of memorial of him and since he was always outside in the garden with me, she thought I should get some sort of garden statuary.  But she wanted me to pick it out, because she wanted it to be just right.

To be honest, it was challenging to find the exact right thing…largely because the main reason Peek liked the garden was that he would wriggle his fat little body through the rows and eat any vegetable he could get his paws on.  Seriously, he ate tomatoes off the vine, spinach and arugula off the plant, he even dug up the broccoli plants and gobbled them down stalks and all.

He was not what you might call a normal dog.

And there aren’t a lot of Chihuahua Eating Broccoli statues available.

Anyway, I finally decided on a Chinese Foo Dog because they are half dog, half lion and are the traditional guardians of Buddhist temples…and I decided that they were the perfect representation of Peek’s lion-like heart.

However, as I mentioned, they are a little challenging to find in the middle of Oklahoma.

It has taken me almost a month to find a place that even knew what I was talking about…and that place is in the middle of a little town called Skiatook.

Which is only about 45 minutes away…if, of course, you don’t get lost.  And if the route that your GPS sends you on isn’t filled with construction and crazy detours through the worst parts of town…I mean, meandering around North Tulsa wasn’t quite as scary as the time I got lost in East St Louis, but it was close.  There’s just something about a pawnshop on every corner rusted out cars on every lawn that gives me the heebie-jeebies.

So, an hour and fifteen minutes later, after making my way through scary North Tulsa, three practically abandoned small towns, and finding my way to the Osage Nation Native American Reservation, I found the statuary store.

And saw this sign:

Have you ever seen a more customer unfriendly sign in your life?  I mean, we’ll TRY to help you…unless we’re on our lunch break, then you’re on your own.

But my main concern was that they don’t take credit cards…and I never have cash.  I looked in my purse, hoping for a miracle, and managed to gather twenty-seven cents.

Probably not enough for a concrete Foo Dog.

So, after trying to remember every curse word I know—and singing a few in time to the song on the radio—I started driving up and down the streets of Skiatook, looking for a bank or a gas station or a grocery store where I could buy something like a pack of gum and use my debit card to get cash back.

Which is when I found the WalMart.

I think every town in America has a WalMart…and every WalMart has 1,716 lanes but 1,714 are usually closed—in spite of the fact that there are always 453,892 people in the store.

But you can get cash back on your purchases so I grabbed a bag of M&Ms and waited 10 minutes to get through the line and get enough cash to go get my dog.

And if you think this added stress to my day, consider the poor man who had to finally deal with me at the statuary store…I went back, called the number,  and got lucky enough to get someone to find me.

“I’m looking for a Foo Dog,” I said…and surprised myself by kind of tearing up.

He gave me a strange look and let me to the Asian art display.

And I took one look at the Foo Dog and burst into tears  “That’s perfect!”  I said.   “It’s just like my dog!”

I had the feeling that he either wanted to explain to me that Foo Dogs aren’t real or ask me what kind of mutant dog I had, but he had clearly already decided that I was a dangerous lunatic (perhaps he saw the cursing display on my first trip) .  Or maybe he just isn’t used to women sobbing in the statuary store.

So he just said, “Ok then.” and practically ran over to the cash register.

Then, after he got the dog all loaded,  he stood to the side of the car, eyeing me suspiciously while I wept over the Foo Dog and shot M&Ms like they were cheap tequila.

Can you imagine the blog HE’S writing tonight?  “I thought we were going to have to call the police because the woman JUST WOULDN’T LEAVE…I think she might be an escaped mental patient.”

But I’ve got my Foo Dog in memoriam of my Peek-A-Boo dog…and here it is: 

Super Sunday Sync
Super Sunday Sync

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Thought this pic was perfect for Wordless Wednesday
because it leaves me speechless...
All I'll say is yes, this is my cat.  And yes, he sits like this ALL THE TIME.
  It's disturbing.
That Suburban Momma