Rocks with Legs, and the Ensuing Panic

Matthew had his mid-semester break (aka – one day off every four months) this past Monday and we had a movie and beach day, which explains my absence from the blogosphere. The funniest part of the three-day weekend definitely happened on Friday night at a friend’s house when we introduced Meera to the idea of tortoises.

She obviously thought they were just big rocks in the grass while she played with the other dogs. Even after we pulled them out for a race (yes, fifteen 20-30-somethings sat in the driveway and yelled at their chosen tortoise for half an hour), she was more interested in grabbing the banana we were using as bait than in the abnormally large, spotted rocks sitting nearby. Then they stuck their legs out and started to move, and you could see her whole world turn upside down. Her eyes went wide and she growled and snorted at them, while still straining to get closer and investigate. Every time they inched forward she would jump back in surprise and fear, dancing indecisive circles around them. When the race was over we presented one to her to smell, and she was obviously torn between trying to eat the waving legs and running in fright from the moving, banana-eating rocks. It’s hard to describe in words, but the whole thing was hilarious.

Then last night, she was playing with her egg (a food-dispensing toy) and it rolled over next to the vacuum cleaner. Meera hates the vacuum cleaner; it is the most evil thing in the whole house. So what did she do? She laid down in front of it, like a worshiper bowing to an idol, and whined pitifully until I approached the mighty vacuum cleaner and retrieved it for her. Silly dog. (Although, I have been known to chase her with it while I’m cleaning, so that probably doesn’t help.)

Tell us about a time your dog discovered something new about the world. What was his/her reaction? Did you catch it on tape?

Things Dog Moms Say

I know I’ve discussed this before, but there are a lot of things I say now on a regular basis that I never expected to come out of my mouth. I’d say a majority of those things come about because I am a dog mom. So, in honor of being a dog mom, here is a list of ten things I find myself saying every. single. day.

1. You’ve already pooped and peed, so you don’t actually NEED to go down to the yard. You just WANT to go down and find cat poop. And that’s gross so we’re not gonna do that.
2. What do you want?? USE YOUR WORDS!!!!
3. You’re a whiney pants, that’s what you are.
4. You nap whenever you want throughout the day, so when you want to go to sleep at night why don’t you just go? Why do I have to go to sleep too?
5. Just a minute, Meera. Yes, I know it’s your dinnertime, but you can wait five minutes. FIVE MINUTES, I SAID!!
6. Meera, come here. Come here, Meera. Meera? Meera, come here! COME HERE! Dog, don’t make me come after you!
7. I KNOW you can hear me!
8. You are making me look bad.
9. Ok, you can lay next to me as long as you let me sleep another hour. No, next to me. On this side! Oh alright fine, sit on my legs, just be still.
10. Why do you have to curl up and be sweet on the one tiny space of bed not covered by your dog blanket? Why?

Momma Hen, Hard at Work

And I actually mean that more literally than you might think. I’m hatching chicks faster than a barnyard hen house!

crochet animals

Five chicks and (now three) bunnies ready to go to their new homes!

I posted a notice on the Ross Students’ Facebook page last Tuesday asking how many people might be interested if I decided to make Easter chicks to sell on campus before the April break – just as a feeler for the idea. I was amazed when I had to shut down the post after 18 hours because I had 13 chicks and 12 bunnies ordered in less than a day!

So, needless to say, I’ve been pretty busy ever since. I’m averaging two animals a day, so I hope to have this first batch of orders done by the middle of March. And I already have people wanting to jump in on another batch to be done by the end of finals in April! I am both amazed and honored.

I know I’m not charging enough for them, but it was a special Easter thing, so I can call this first go-round a “sale item.” This morning a launched a Facebook page where people can keep track of their order’s progress and ask about special items (which of course depend on my yarn supply at the moment).

Even though the page says in three different places that I’m working on Easter orders and not accepting new requests at this time, I’ve had three different people ask for specialized animals in the last three hours. Two of them I should be able to fill sometime this year – but one student wanted three green vervet monkeys with the Veterinary Staff of Asclepius on their bellies by the end of the semester. Good grief! I’m not even sure you can do that with crochet stitches! Cross stitch, probably, but I’ve never learned to do that. And by the end of the semester!? No way in the world am I that good, even if I could figure out how to make one by then. Unfortunately, I had to tell the young lady no. Hopefully she’ll find something else equally as special for her departing friends.

green vervet monkey on a face

This is a green vervet, in my backyard actually! So cool that I didn’t have to steal a picture from Google!

Anyway, looks like I may have found a source of income after all! Which is good, since the school PR office has never gotten back to me about freelancing and Thing 1 and Thing 2’s parents are adding Thing 3 soon and won’t be needing me for many months.

Check out the Chesnut Crochet Creations Facebook page through the link above and let me know what you think! Sorry, island orders only.

Good thing we don’t pay our own water bill…

I can think of very little more awkward than walking down your back stairs to find the gardener taking a shower underneath your house.

Which is what just happened to me.

I think.

Let me back up a bit.

The underside of our house is completely open where the house sticks out from the side of the hill. (This often makes me question the structural integrity of island building methods, but that’s a story for another day.) This open space is home to lots of random, discarded objects, like gardening tools and old, broken water heaters. The house next door is the same way, and serves as the gardener – Silvester’s – primary base of operation. He has a chair, lots of small equipment and other tools of his trade stored under there and goes back and forth throughout the day gathering what he needs. Which is why he’s around so much for Meera to bark at him.

He also has a wooden rack of work clothes under there, which he sometimes washes in a tub and hangs in the yard to dry. I discovered several weeks ago that he sometimes also changes into and out of said work clothes underneath that house, which I can see from my back porch stairs.

So, obviously, I try very hard not to look in that direction until I can somehow be sure he’s not over there in some state of undress. (Which has, unfortunately, failed twice.)

Sometimes he moves over and uses the underside of our house for different jobs as well.

Today, because of a half-wall between the edge of our house and the yard, I could only see a running faucet and the top of Silvester’s shoulders as he waved to me (thankfully), but it seemed for all the world like he was taking a shower underneath my porch.

He could have simply been rinsing off because of the heat. He could have been completely naked. I have no idea and I don’t want to know. But come on!

I know he’s not visible from the golf course and that the houses on either side of us are empty. I know I’m the only resident that goes down into the grassy area during the day. (My dog’s gotta pee and stretch her legs sometime.) But he knows I come out every couple of hours, and he knows I can see him from the stairs. Maybe he’s just hoping he can be fast enough that I won’t catch him, I don’t know, but when I do catch him he doesn’t seem to care much at all.

Maybe I should start announcing myself from the porch to see if any voices answer back from beneath my feet before I go downstairs. “It’s three o’clock and I’m coming downstairs!” (channeling Robin Hood here)

Who knows. Welcome to the island.


Kudos to the Eskimos

I’m not gonna lie – all the weather reports from back home make me feel pretty good about throwing open my balcony doors each day to greet the tropical sunshine.

We don’t have snow. We don’t have black ice.

But, as the Mister pointed out last night, we also don’t have Taco Bell’s new XXL steak nachos, so there are pros and cons to everything.

One of my best friends, Ari, has a special gift. Every year, without fail, there has been snowfall within a week of her birthday (tomorrow). Even when there hasn’t been a hint of a snowflake all winter, it’s 55 degrees outside and Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early spring, there is STILL snow within a week of Ari’s special day. This year, however, she seems to have overdone it a bit.

I, for one, would almost like some of that winter weather to make its way here, just for the fun of seeing how the natives would respond. We think it’s chilly here when the evening air comes off the water at a balmy 70 degrees. I throw on a hoodie to take the dog outside. No shame. But I at least know what real winter feels like. The people we go to church with find out our hometowns had single digit temps and their faces fall slack. Literally. Like cartoon characters. They cannot wrap their brains around that kind of cold.

[Quite frankly I can’t either, since we got out of dodge the day before the polar vortex froze the northern hemisphere, but I at least know what it’s like to have to dress like the abominable snowman. My roommate had to help me dress several times in college because I would wear my fleece pajama pants under my jeans and she’d have to pull the legs of the bottom pair down under the top pair so they didn’t bunch up at the knees. It’s what friends are for, right?]

So this is one time I’m actually grateful for the Mister’s school choices and the six-hour plane ride between us and the great white north (ironically, Tennessee, not Canada).

So kudos to all of you freezing your tails off back in the States; I applaud your courage. Be safe driving (and walking, and climbing stairs) and make smart choices (i.e. – stay home in your fleece pajamas whenever you can). And if you can drag your frozen feet into an airport terminal, come visit us! We have a pull-out couch. 🙂