Rain delay(ed)

The rain was delayed, so Dad zipped over this morning, and we got a bit more work done before the clouds opened up. Yippee! I now have two walls up and clad, the back studs up and a few rafters. There will eventually be windows in the side walls, more for light than ventilation, and simply because Mom and Dad are replacing two windows in their house, and giving me the old ones.

Rome also wasn't built in two days. Or three. Or even a week.

Day two of shed building. We got the base and floor down, and (after another run to the local Home Despot 30 minutes away) two walls built, but not erected. Rain is forecast for the next little while, so this project will be on hold for a few days - gives me time to recuperate!!

Those are the sheathed walls, laying on the floor, waiting to be put up. And yes, this did take us all day!

Morning laugh

Because I'm a curious person (read: nosy wench), I track visitors of this blog. Today, I saw that my blog had been visited by someone googling (Query: if you use Yahoo search, is it called Yahooing instead??) for peel-and-stick vinyl flooring in Oklahoma. The result of a couple of separate posts, of course, seeing as I have never been to Oklahoma, let alone bought or sold tile there.

I do know the words to "Oklamhoma" though... (Oooooo -klahoma... where the wind comes sweeping down the plain...).

Okay, morning diversion over. Back to shed building - I think the floor and walls are going up today - woohoo!

What do you get when you add 990 pounds of concrete, a post-hole digger and a warm day?

One very tired homeowner.

And the beginnings of a shed.

It really doesn't look like much, but remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. And neither will be this shed.

Did I mention I'm tired??

When dogs think...

I really, adamantly, firmly believe that dogs need to think, to solve problems, to figure things out, to be ultimately happy, healthy dogs. Dogs need exercise, but they also need to exercise their little grey cells. Anyone who has taken their dog to any training class will tell you how one hour of class will exhaust their dog so much more that one hour of walking on a leash - it's because the dog is thinking that entire hour. I cannot stress enough how much I believe in mental exercise for dogs. Do I do enough of it with Kip? No. But I do try to create "problems" for him every day, even if it's just inside for a few minutes.

In addition to providing Kip with a challenge, those exercises provide me with some amusement. One of my favourites is placing things on top of the kennel, and having Kip figure out how to get them down. I use a variety of sizes and stiffnesses, so some can be pulled through, and some have to be taken from outside.

Here is the armadillo. Kip passes this test well. (Yes, yes, this is my messy dining room. Please keep in mind that I am doing renos!)

And here is a nylabone - not such a good try as the armadillo, but it amused me! Silly boy!

Oh, I love seeing a dog think!!

(And please ignore the ladies of The View discussing orgasms in the background...)

Going nuts

I see you Mr. Squirrel. I see you on my bird feeder.

I see you doing acrobatics to get at the seed.

I see you sitting in the tree.

I hear you chittering at me.

You are lucky that I am willing to put up with your nonsense, simply because this is my first bird feeder and my first tree in my first yard. And that still makes me happy. But wait until next year, Mr. Squirrel... wait until next year...

How to keep your dog happy on a rainy day

Please note: I am ALWAYS careful that anything I ask Kip to do is safe, and I firmly believe one of the most important things in dog training is setting your dog up for success. In other words, no dogs were harmed in the making of this video.

Giving up old friends...

Sad as it is, there is a time when you simply have to give up old friends. It doesn't matter that you have been friends for decades, that you have laughed and cried together, that they have been there with you through sleepless nights, long days and troubled times - when they start to disappoint you, you know it's time to go.

I am, of course, talking about authors.

A confession - I am a book-lover. I read all the time. I generally have 3-4 books on the go at any one time, and constantly re-read old ones. I own 500+ books, and get more from the library. I have realized over the years that my bank account and my bookshelves cannot support my habit, so I am very selective about which books I buy. I have a tendency to find new-to-me authors I like, then buy everything they have ever written.

Another confession - I am a murder-mystery addict, especially the "cosy" type. No, they aren't great "Lit'rature", but they are enjoyable - and that's what I personally look for in a lot of my fiction books.

Putting all that together, I find it very hard not to get the latest book written by an author whose oeuvre I have decided to own. And that's the dilemma I now face.

The author in question - Martha Grimes.

She has written a series of books all named after British pubs, and featuring Detective Richard Jury. The series started out great. Jerusalem Inn, The Anodyne Necklace, etc. - some of my favourite books to read over and over again. Like a lot of other series, the books started getting thicker and thicker - all the better from a reader's point of view, since that means more time spent in the Jack and Hammer with Melrose Plant and the rest of the gang. The books also started getting a wee bit formulaic (always a precocious child and animal (generally a dog) with human-like traits) - but really, many series do after a while, and it wasn't too bad. The good still outweighed the bad. The author's voice started coming through the characters a bit more as well, especially when proselytizing about animal abuse. Annoying, but still worth the money in my opinion.

Until The Old Wine Shades. The book was published 2 years ago, and I bought it as soon as it came out in paperback (hardcovers are way more expensive, and way harder to read in the bathtub, so I'm a paperback kind of gal). And I still haven't read the damn thing. I've started it more times than I can count, get ~1/3 the way though - and give up through sheer boredom. It's not the subject matter, it's not the plot, it's not the formula or the proselytizing - it's sheer, unadulterated, "maybe I should clean the house instead of reading this book" boredom.

There is a new book in the series, published last year, titled Dust. Hopefully it's not a prophetic name, as in "dry as". But I think this will now be an author I take out of the library, instead of haunting the book store to buy the latest as soon as it's published.

I can forgive old friends many things - but boring me isn't one of them, especially when I have to pay for the privilege. So sorry old friend, but I'm cutting you loose. Thanks for the good times, and I'll look in on you every so often. Good luck in your future endeavors, and hopefully, one day, we can be friends again. Maybe. Once you get your voice back.


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