Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I'm going to have to get the Manager

Normally I start my workday by reading CNN online. Being that H is a newsaholic, I try to keep up on current events as best I can so I can respond intelligently during dinner conversations.

H: Did you read how the Jewish settlements are being bulldozed?
WTC: I sure did!
H: Now Bush will have to answer all kinds of questions about CAFTA.
WTC: I know!
H: Insurgents still have cells in the major Iraqi cities
WTC: The sure do!

I am so glad H has helped me to be a news-follower.

Anyway, today on CNN I read this
. The whole shooting-in-the-parking lot thing has got to be terrifying. You really should not have to deal with loading the 975 plastic bags they give you at Wal-Mart AND have to dodge bullets at the same time.

"I had only half of my groceries in the car," she said. "I took my kids, and all three of us jumped in the car and we sat on the floor. ... Then I heard six or seven shots."

Seriously, it is very disturbing how our society has become more and more violent. Not to make this story light in any way, shape, or form, I must mention that I found it kind of interesting that the lady who was loading her van “said she felt safe enough to leave the van when she saw the store manager.”

That manager must have been wielding that little bracelet-thing of keys they always carry. That always makes me feel very secure in moments of great fear.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

He's no softie when it comes to hardwood

My timing could definitely use a little work. Waaaaaaaay back last year before we dug into ProjectHouseFromHell, before we set up camp in the Motel 6, and when we were still lounging in the familiar comforts of our dear old house, H came dancing home with exciting news. H actually used to dance, talk, eat, smile, laugh, and sleep before this past year. He has done none of the above since August 2004. ANYWAY, H was all excited and just could not wait to tell me the good news. The good news was that his contact in the flooring industry had given him the *inside scoop* that Brazilian Cherry flooring could be purchased, for just a short time, at less than the cost of oak flooring. Now I know all of you non-flooring-followers will pish-posh this as trivial. “Who the hell cares!?, you yell, “flooring is flooring is flooring!” Ya, I used to be that way too. Until I was enlightened with the benefits and beauty of The Brazilian Cherry. Brazilian Cherry is all the rage now, I guess. I had not been reading up on my latest issues of Metropolitan Home and Modern House at that point. Martha Stewart was in jail for pete’s sake! The jist, actually, of H’s excitement, was that we could save a wad of cash on really nice flooring if we purchased in *the time frame*. The *time frame* being the next day. Due to my *somewhat* pessimistic nature, H knew he had to perform a doosie of a sales job on me since we had not even put our house up for sale, much less dug a hole for a new place. Certainly, we didn’t need flooring quite yet. I felt like I was in some kind of drug deal but nonetheless, I agreed to purchase an amount of The Brazilian Cherry with the promise that if everything fell through, H would pawn the stuff and buy me a Brazilian Cherry-valued horse.

A few months ago, a coworker told me she had met someone in the area who does woodworking. Apparently, this guy is retired and makes things out of pieces of scrap wood flooring. When my coworker met him, he showed her this beautiful set of wooden salad tongs he had made out of none other than, Brazilian Cherry. My coworker asked if she could have a couple of pieces of our Brazilian Cherry so she could have a set of salad tongs made by Retired Woodworker Guy. She offered to have some made for me as well if I could get the wood for her. I thought, “What the hell…sounds kind of interesting!”

Here’s where my bad timing comes in… This past week, H began to lay the Brazilian Cherry floor in ProjectHouseFromHell. Ever particular in his work, he was going to put down the most perfect and beautiful floor ever known to men with hardwood floors. In order perform this highly skilled feat, he took a week off work and labored from the wee early morning hours to waaaaaay past our bedtime. He was not eating, not sleeping, not shaving, and not conversing. Let’s just say he was a man consumed by Brazilian Cherry. One evening, I was out at *the job site* throwing food scraps to him as he nailed and hammered when I suddenly remembered the salad tongs. I have a knack for forgetting things and, when I remember them, I eagerly tell the nearest soul before I forget all about the things again. I politely and cheerfully said, “Hey, would you be able to give me some of the scrap wood flooring so I can have some salad tongs made?” He looked at me like I had just stepped out of my alien capsule and had spoken in an unrecognizable tongue. “You know,” I said, “salad tongs…out of Brazilian Cherry!” I smiled. His drawn face showed only irritation, fatigue and confusion.


Monday, August 15, 2005

Stretch it, Tack it, and run like hell

As you can see from the pictures posted below, ProjectHouseFromHell is coming to its exciting, dramatic conclusion. We are supposed-to close on our loan in a week; however, you can see there is still a bit of work to do. I know all of you would love to pitch in and, honestly, I appreciate the offer. It is H…he can’t stand to have anyone else do anything in the place unless 1) It is a meaningless task such as going around with a garbage bag and collecting wrappings from light fixtures, electrical sockets, and wire, or 2) He gives you something to do and you say, “ah ha!...I can do this!” but much to your disappointment and eroding self-esteem he constantly circles around the assignment correcting and offering a better way to do it. Anal retentive, perfectionist, whatever you want to call it we must realize this, THIS is his life. His reason for living and breathing, his legacy, and what truly defines H as a functioning human being. The poodles and I are mere shadows at this point. We sit, have cocktails and milkbones, and patiently wonder when we will have our H back once again.

This morning I got a phone call from H re the carpet guys:

WTC: Hi you! How is the carpet coming?
H: #%&(*@#&@*_#)@(&(*&
WTC: Wait, don’t talk so fast. What is going on?
H: #&%(*#&$)#*&_#)(&)
WTC: So what did you do?
H: *#%&@^%#&^@%&^#%@*&^#%@&^#%&^%&@^%*&@^%#
WTC: Do you think they’ll be back?
H: @$*&^#*&$^#*&%*#&^%*#&%^*&^#(*&#^$*&^$*#^$*&^!!*^
WTC: Is the owner going to come out to see you?
WTC: Does this mean we won’t have any carpeting upstairs?

There will be life after this house, right?

House pics!

Below are some pictures of the famous's a mess, but you get the idea. We are now at the 7-day countdown!

Stone Tower

Originally uploaded by WalkTrotCanter.

This is the tower-thingie in the entry of the house. We are thinking we may get into rock

We are finally stoned

Originally uploaded by WalkTrotCanter.

Remember our knashing of teeth over selection of stone? Here is the Eucalyptus Country Ledgestone! This is the family room as seen from the kitchen. Looks like I need to clean it up a bit.


Originally uploaded by WalkTrotCanter.

The kitchen (sans drawers/knobs!)...this is what you see from the family room. Note the humongous bar! YEA!

Wash N Slosh

Originally uploaded by WalkTrotCanter.

This is the cocktail lounge


Originally uploaded by WalkTrotCanter.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Maybe if I write about horses, they won't be interested

This is just a test. Surely a true spammer would not be interested in horses. Who likes horses anyway? It is much more fun and mentally challenging to type the code so dumb and irrelevant comments appear on my site. Freaks.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

We have truely lost control of our horse.

Well it seems to be crunch time for ProjectHouseFromHell. We have to close on our loan by August 22 or the earth’s atmosphere will self-destruct and all life forms will be eliminated. That and we will lose our fabulous interest rate. H has kicked into balls-out working mode. (Sorry, I have always wanted to use “balls out”…it is just so down and dirty) Right now the motto is not “Always have control of your horse”. Nope, it is “We have pretty much lost control of our horse and if we don’t catch him soon we will be sitting in a stinky pile of manure!” Yea, I’m fired up too.

I have suddenly been assigned to handle the financials. Oh yes, with my keen mathematical skills, knack for number-crunching, and ability to converse with the money people. Most of my bank conversations go something like this:

WTC: Hi there, I am calling about our loan…er…I mean, our soon-to-be-loan.
Mr. Potter: (sigh…not HER again) What is your name?
WTC: Oh ya, guess I should tell you that. WTC…but it might be under H or maybe under H and WTC. I am not sure.
Mr. Potter: (Clears throat) Hmmmmm…ok, here it is. It is under your husband’s boss’s mother’s sister’s account. Right now it looks like we still need a Sworn Construction Statement, a property inspection, a final appraisal, receipts from the gifts you purchased for the past 3 Christmases, and your first born child.
WTC: Right. Ok. I’ll get right on that.
Mr. Potter: I will need these by 2 pm today because I am leaving the office for our annual golf outing.

After these conversations I have to phone H, who is working on a job in No-Cellphone-Signal-Land. He usually calls me back and says he couldn’t understand a word of my message and what do I want because he is working in an attic that is hotter than hell and full of spiders. Absolutely nothing I have to report is what he wants to hear. As a result, he has become a bit irritated and seems to be losing his sharp edge just a bit. With having to work his regular job, having to work late into the night to finish his own house, and having to deal with me all while trying to make a deadline, I guess it is somewhat understandable that he indeed seems to be losing control of his horse.

The other day was pretty much a day I describe above. The bank was screaming for numbers and receipts that are buried somewhere in the deep in the depths of the Motel 6 and I had phoned H to leave a muffled and unclear message to call me. He called back in his I-Am-Fuckin-Hot-And-Highly-Irritated voice.

WTC: Hey, the house-inspector-guy wants to come on Wednesday.
H: Crap. I was hoping it wouldn’t be that soon.
WTC: I tried to make it later but it takes a while to do the paperwork after the inspection and we need to have it done by the 19th or they will tear the house down and we will have to start all over.
H: WTC, you REALLY need to fill the nail holes.
WTC: Wha??
H: The nail holes really need to be filled.
WTC: What nail holes?
H: The nail holes in the trim that I haven’t put up yet.
WTC: Ya, ok.

Where’s my lasso?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Looks like Fair weather to me!

Bloghero Stacy recently had a post about the menu at the MN State Fair. It is indeed fair season, especially here in the Midwest. There isn’t much else to do so why not go watch pig judging, ride the Tilt-A-Whirl, and stuff your gob with food that only tastes good when it is 95 degrees and you are surrounded by dust, sweat, and the smell of penned animals. I do actually like the fair. In fact, our county fair was last week and I took ½ day off work to go watch, of course, the horse and pony judging. I wandered thru the 4-H buildings while I was waiting for my friend to meet me. As I browsed the food and clothing exhibits, I guess I got a little I made a list of what I miss about being a kid at the county fair:

I miss the fair being free. There was no entrance fee until just a few years ago when they started charging $5.00 admission. This was huge in our town. The old folks gasped in horror and became outraged so now if you are over 100 years old (or something like that) you get in free. I am only 40 so $5.00 for me. Bummer.

I miss riding the Rocco-Planes with my friend Ellen. We would ride several times in a row until we figured out how to remain upside-down for the entire duration of the ride. The year we turned 11 or 12 we were so good we landed at the *time to get off the ride, kid* place upside-down. The not-so-friendly-tattooed-possible-child-molester-carny-guy got really mad at us and said if we didn’t start landing right-side-up we couldn’t ride anymore. See, I was even a rebel back then.

I miss my younger sister working at the lemonade shake-up stand. My sister was extremely spoiled and a bit prissy so to watch her perform customer service for about 45,000 sweaty, thirsty, and often obnoxious county fair attendees for an entire week was always a treat. One year she burned her hand really bad on the first day and couldn’t work the rest of the week. I still have not figured out how she burned her hand at a lemonade stand.

I miss being in 4-H. I, of course, desperately wanted to be in horse and pony projects; however, even back then I could not have a horse since we lived in a subdivision. My parents tried to appease me by letting me raise rabbits. My poor dad, who was not blessed with the skills of a carpenter, built 2 rabbit hutches for our backyard. Even tho Ray swears he followed the instructions in the 4-H manual, on really windy days the hutches would blow over. You could almost hear my poor rabbits screaming, “ooooooooOOOOOOOOhhhhhh” as the wind caught the roof of the hutch and over it went, rabbits tumbling every which way. It was probably a bit like The Wizard of Oz or Twister in the rabbit slum of my backyard.

I miss going thru the 4-H exhibit buildings with friend Ellen. I was no less sarcastic back then and Ellen was as bad as I. We would peruse the different projects, and do our own judging. Here some kid spent hours sewing a wrap skirt in first year clothing and we would be doubled over laughing at the crooked seams and the red bandana material. We were evil. The photography projects were the most fun…we would almost pee our pants at the projects that got bad grades. You could always tell the ones who took all of their pictures on the same day and were desperate for subject matter because they were all pictures of the same flower or of the same person in the same clothes for all of the shots. I am sure no one appreciated our critiques but boy that was a hoot.

Most of all I miss the annual 4-H Fashion Review. If you are not from 4-H country, think Paris runways on a slightly smaller scale. The Fashion Review was the big night where, prior to the start of The Fair and in the lights of the stage at the local high school, the 4-H clothing project participants modeled the outfits they had sewn. It was a *Review*, if you will, of the outfits to be judged at the county fair, displayed in the exhibit building, (and laughed at by smartasses such as myself and friend Ellen). Actually, both Ellen and I were in the clothing project so it was double the fun to be a participant in addition to our own judging. It was a big night here in town and of course, there were always a few girls who were quite sure they were Cheryl Tiegs or Rachel Hunter, the popular supermodels at that time, in their carefully sewn wrap skirts and Dr. Scholl’s sandals. The evening was always narrated by a woman who was the Martha Stewart of our town. In the fair off-season, she gave seminars about canning, sewing with difficult nylon fabrics, and decoupage. I guess that somehow qualified her to be the Mistress of Ceremonies for the 4-H Fashion Review. The thing about her was that she had a touch of a Southern Indiana accent so she would start out the evening saying, "Welcome ever-one to the 4-Aiche Faishon Revieeew. She would then give a brief description of everyone's outfits as they modeled on stage. "Betsee is ready for a Spring luncheon in her festive calico wrap-skirt and kicky Dr. Sholl’s sandals. Thank-eeeuuu Betsy.” Betsy would nervously walk to the center of the stage, squinting in the bright lights. Center stage, we were instructed to take a step forward, turn so the eager audience could see our fine garment from all sides, and then walk off stage. Some kids would be all nervous and twirl really fast and then practically run off stage. The Mistress of Ceremonies Lady would kind of frown at those kids because they weren’t following her instructions. There was one family during my 4-H years that by far dominated the clothing projects. There were about 5 kids, all girls, and their mother was a master seamstress. They completely blew everyone, including Ellen and I, out of the water and won Grand Champion every year. We hated them. The Mistress of Ceremonies Lady, of course, LOVED them. She would glow as she described their outfits. “Janelle is a star athlete and ready for action in her sporty aerobics outfit. Sewn with difficult nylon and stretch terry,” (she got all orgasmic when people sewed with such challenging fabrics) “Janelle is the captain of the team as she burns those calories in cheery bright blue and white.” She would always comment on the accessories the girl had to go with the outfit. “Janelle accessorizes her fun and kicky outfit with matching blue leg warmers, cushy Nikes, and sport towel!” We would all stand backstage in our Bare Traps and boring cotton outfits and wish we could sew creative and fun outfits like Janelle and her sisters. Often we would argue about who had to follow that act. I guess the good part of the whole 4-H thing is that I learned how to sew…it does come in handy sometimes although I never did try to tackle nylon fabrics. Plus, it gave me a start in modeling…lol.

So, there’s my list! Thanks Stacy, for this little trip back to my wild days. Happy fair-going everyone!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I only hang with the best

Yesterday I was out at The Barn where it was very close to a zillion degrees and I was getting terribly bummed-out watching everyone ride their OWN horses as I worked with SOMEONE ELSE'S horse in order to get some free riding on A HALF-DEAD SCHOOLHORSE. I have no issues, really.

Realistically, my main goal in life at age 40 is not to be successful in my career, a joyful and enthusiastic partner in marriage, nor one who strives to save the world; rather, a successful, joyful, enthusiastic, and helpful owner of a horse, dammit. That's it. I think H is finally realizing I am serious about this one. As faithful readers of this blog know, a certain ProjectHouseFromHell, H's pride and joy and reason for getting up, out of bed, and breathing each and every day, has been a major stumbling block in my quest for equine happiness in the past year. Thus each and every step, how ever small, towards my goal absolutely and completely lights up my world like a sparkley vodka tonic on ice.

Back to my thesis...ahem. So I arrived at The Barn, parked my car, and lugged my 750 lb. saddle bag inside. I bought my own saddle a couple of years ago (M-A-J-O-R sparkley vodka tonic!) and I keep it in a nice/protective saddle bag; however, due to the fine quality of the saddle and the fine quality of the stainless steel stirrups purchased for said saddle, the bag weighs a ton. Literally. Further, when I do my lugging between Motel 6 and Barn, the fine quality stainless steel stirrups usually crack me in the shin at least once during the treck from car to building. With my gentle demeanor these days, I am usually uttering a string of 4-letter words as I shuffle along with my precious load, the stirrups banging me in the shins with every step. As I got inside The Barn, I saw that a couple of the stalls were empty...meaning the people with a horse AND a pony (BOTH!) had moved their horses to a different barn. When I met Instructor in the barn aisle shortly after my brilliant observation, he said, "WTC, why don't you just keep your saddle in the tack room with the others (meaning the people who HAVE HORSES TO BOARD THERE) you don't get arrested for cursing in public like the village idiot."

This almost makes me a boarder! This is almost like having a horse! I am boarding my saddle at The Barn! I ceremoniously hung the saddle on one of the saddle racks. It was beautiful.

Sparkley Vodka Tonic On Ice, WITH LIME.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Welcome to the cocktail lounge!

Originally uploaded by WalkTrotCanter.

I figure why not continue my laundry/cocktail hours in our new digs. The laundry room is upstairs in the house but I am sure H wouldn't mind wiring for a fridge and wet bar. I can call it Wash-n-Slosh...LOL

Reunited and it feels so good...!!

Originally uploaded by WalkTrotCanter.

Will ya look what arrived at the new house on Sunday! It was a tearful homecoming for my beloved washer and dryer. No more Motel 6 Chez Laundry after Saturday when the *water guy* comes to install the softener. YEA!!!

Monday, August 01, 2005