We have lots of different seasons here in Florida. We have alligator mating season where you might find a big male gator that has wandered out of the swamp, in your garage looking to mate with the lawn mower. There is hurricane season also known as the time of year Home Depot sells all of its plywood. That is followed closely by the plywood return season. Of course that only happens if we manage to duck all the hurricanes. There is tourist season, actually two tourist seasons. One in winter when those with lots of money come down from up north, and the summer tourist season when everything is cheap. That's the season my dad used to bring the family down to Florida. Right now it seems that it is spider season. I walked out the door with the dogs this morning, directly into a spider web. They are everywhere. Strung across the gazebo on the deck out back, across the sidewalk and dog run, and just about anywhere they can anchor two strands of spider silk. The photo above is of the spider that spun its web across the swimming pool. Quite a feat of engineering there. The only problem with all the spider webs is that I have managed to walk into just about all of them. Besides the icky feeling of spider web clinging to your face and arms, there is the problem of where did the spider go? Unless I can see the spider clinging to the remnants of its web, I have to do the full body beat down, slapping every part of myself just to be sure the spider hasn't hitched a ride. Worst spider web interaction so far this week... when I got up yesterday morning and walked into a spider web strung between the cabinets in the kitchen. I hate spider season.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
I just finished walking the dogs. It's 10:45pm and it is so damn hot outside that even the dogs didn't want to be out there. This has got to be the hottest night of the year so far. It's as if Satan has breathed down upon us. The temperature is 89 degrees, the humidity is 56%, and that combination makes it feel like it is 94 RealFeel® degrees according to the weather web site. I don't believe it, I think it is at least a 130 RealFeel® degrees. My underpants haven't dried out all day. I have a continuous stream of fluids coursing through my body. Liquids go in through my mouth and pour out of my body through the pores of my skin so fast that I haven't had to pee all day. I even drank two beers with dinner and didn't have to pee. Out in the back yard the cats have been laying motionless all day long, and now that it is late evening and time to eat they reluctantly drag themselves over to the food bowls. As I am giving the cats their food I can hear somebody splashing around in our swimming pool. I'm not surprised, however I know that the water is the same temperature as fresh urine and isn't that refreshing. So who was it that was going for the late night swim? I shined my flashlight over to the end of the pool and there they were. Two raccoons having a good old time, so brazen that my flashlight, my voice, and the cats didn't scare them off. I seriously considered joining them.
Monday, July 28, 2014
The wailing cries of a wounded animal coming from our bedroom startles me. No, not one of the dogs, it's Mark. He's pulled a muscle in his back and has been whining all day that "It hurts". I get up out of the big fluffy chair and go in there.
"What's wrong?" I ask
"My back is killing me. Help me."
Once again I have to stress that I do not have the nursing gene within my makeup. I am not like my nursey sisters who seem to have the patience and empathy to help the afflicted.
"I can't make it stop hurting. I don't have a stash of morphine lying around the house Mark."
"What about those pills you take every day?"
"Pills? You mean Excedrin? Okay, I can do that."
So I fetch a couple of Excedrin and a glass of water and hope for the best. I swear, if he interrupts my mid-afternoon nap again I'm going to look into institutionalizing him.
What I hadn't anticipated with the Excedrin is the fact that it tends to eat through your stomach lining. I've been popping those things for so long that my stomach has become inured to the acid they produce. Thirty minutes after swallowing the two Excedrin Mark is crying out again.
"My stomach hurts."
"Oh, yeah, I forgot. Excedrin needs food in your stomach. How about a cookie? Would you like a cookie?" I ask, remembering that a 'cookie' usually placates the dogs. So I bring Mark a bit of food and a Tums antacid, hoping that this will fix things. No such luck. About an hour later Mark is screaming for help. I once again get up and go to the bedroom. There sitting on the side of the bed is Mark holding the thermometer.
"Oh my god, I'm really sick. I have a fever now."
"What do you mean you have a fever?"
"I have a 99.7 temperature. I think I should go to a doctor."
"You do not have a fever, you do not get a fever from a back ache. Besides, a fever is like a 101 degrees. What you have is a hot flash. Does your back hurt right now?"
"Does your stomach still hurt?"
"So the Excedrin got rid of the back pain, but it makes your stomach hurt. Win some, lose some. The stomach pain will pass. Just relax and watch TV, and stop bugging me already."
Yes, the Excedrin worked on Mark. It got rid of the pain in his back. Unfortunately it didn't do anything for the pain my ass. He's still sitting in the bedroom whining.
Friday, July 25, 2014
So what is the difference between these two piles of stuff on my kitchen counter? They are both made in a dog food factory, they are both intended for my dogs to eat them, and they don't smell or look much different from each other, as least to my senses. Yet when it comes time to feed my dogs it is the one on the left that turns them into a drooling mess. It's called a dog treat. I can get my dogs to do just about anything if I have one of those in my hand. From clear across the house, through closed doors, my two sleeping dogs will arise from their slumbers at the slightest crinkle of the doggy treat package. I can hide them anywhere in the house and they find them, usually before I even have it hidden. With a doggy treat in my hand I can unleash the beasts outside, knowing that they will never stray far from the hand holding the doggy treat.
On the right is dog food. Dog food from a twenty pound bag where thousands of other bits just like them sit. Yet they don't interest my dogs. Only if in the grip of a famine will they even think of eating plain dog food, unless I do something to it. I must doctor that crap up to make it palatable to my dogs. Left over beef, chicken, or bean burrito will suffice. And it doesn't take all that much. I recently mixed one half spoonful of Mark's macaroni and cheese into each of their bowls of Purina. It suddenly turned from just a bowl of crap that daddy put in front of them to steak tartar. So why can't the dog food companies make the everyday food that my dogs eat, taste as good as the shit they put in those little bags of doggy treats? I do know this. The twenty pound bag of dog food costs twenty two dollars. The five ounce bag of doggy treats? Five dollars. It must be the crack cocaine that they put in it that drives up the price.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
A week ago my tenant informed me that the caulking around her bathtub was coming loose, so I promised to repair it right away. I lied. I hate caulking, it scares the shit out of me because I have never been able to wield a caulking gun with any expertise what so ever. So for a week I kept trying to avoid her, knowing that I had broken my promise of a quick fix. Finally I couldn't hide any longer, so yesterday I dug out the caulking gun, along with a tube of caulk, and went over to do the job. I also grabbed a giant roll of paper towels, a sponge, and a large garbage bag. Scraping the old stuff off of the tub was easy and made me feel somewhat confident. I then cleaned the area and began caulking. Slowly and gingerly at first, it seemed to be going just right. And then I twitched. A huge gob of caulk bulged up from the seam between the wall and the tub. No problem I thought, I'll just come back and fix that when I'm done. Again I twitched and nervously tried to bring the tip of the caulking gun back in line, causing it to squiggle up and down. When I got to the corner a huge blob of caulk squirted out and up the wall. Fine I told myself, when I do the finger swipe down the line of caulk it will all work out. No, it did not work out. As I slid my finger along the gooey caulk it squished out in every direction. Before I knew it caulk was on the back of my hand, on my arm, and smeared up and down the wall. The more I tried to clean up the mess and straighten out the caulk line, the more caulking found its way to where it wasn't supposed to be. I now had caulk on my pants, shirt, and my tenant's shower curtain. It spread like a disease. The more I wiped, the more it spread.
I certainly hope my tenant enjoys her newly caulked bathtub. I think it is acceptable, but then again I'm blind as a bat. I'll have to ask her if it passes inspection. If not I can do it all over again, because as I usually do, I looked it up after the fact. How to caulk a bathtub, it is right there on the internet and looks pretty straight forward. Which means I can probably fuck it up easily.