Weeks ago, my husband nudged me awake.

“Babe, your alarm is going off.”

Wait… what…?

I sat up and listened. Hard.

“I don’t hear anything.”

He pushed me again.

“Trust me. Your alarm is going off.”

So I rolled to the edge of the bed and, sure enough, my iPad screen was on and a still, small sound was barely audible. I’d left the volume turned down to the lowest possible setting from the night before. I pushed the button and rolled back over.

“How can you hear that but you can’t hear me when I’m talking to you?”

“What? I dunno.”

[flash forward a few days]

“Honey, I still don’t know how you could hear my alarm the other day, but you can’t hear me when I’m talking to you. I was right next to it, and I couldn’t hear it ringing.”

“Well, I spend all day, every day, listening for small sound changes. Heart murmurs, valves closing, that sort of thing. So big sounds just get tuned out. You talk all the time. You’re a big sound. I don’t even hear those anymore.”

…….

…….

…….

Well, there you have it.

ūüėČ

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Because I married a caring man…

Because I married a caring man, I am sent inside to take off my heels while he walks the dog after work.

Because I married a caring man, I am allowed to sleep until my alarm goes off, even though he has to get ready for work as quietly as possible.

Because I married a caring¬†man, I have a visitor for lunch on his day off. (This may also be because my building is a Pokestop, but we’ll let that pass.)

Because I married a caring man, we swerve for birds. (We are those people.)

Because I married a caring¬†man, we’re getting another dog.

…Wait…. what?

Yes. You read that right. We’re getting another dog. I will admit I have not been on board with this over the past week, but this is me¬†making an honest effort to¬†get on the puppy train.

Yes! A puppy! We’re getting a puppy. Her name is Lucy (I named her, that’s something, right?) and she is approximately nine(ish) weeks old. She and her four siblings (no, we’re not bringing home the rest of them) came into the Mister’s clinic about a month ago after they were found abandoned at the local farmer’s market.

The Mister had been one of their primary caregivers for all these weeks, and had taken a shine to a particular favorite: a black lab-ish female with a white chest and two white toes on one foot.

This is Lucy.

Lucy is one of four remaining puppies after¬†the first got sick and died. In an effort to save the rest of the litter, the siblings were split up last weekend and sent home with the clinic technicians. The Mister’s favorite quickly started to show symptoms. Bad symptoms.

This is the kind of disease that is highly fatal (but thankfully not transmissible to Meera), so the only options were to attempt to treat her (with small chance of success) and bring her home, or go ahead and put her down.

We made our decision Sunday night. Things did not look good for our little visitor.

But, because I married a caring man, Lucy’s 11th hour came and she was pardoned. A phone call to my office said, “I just can’t do it. I’m going to try and treat her.”

Surprisingly, our little friend has rallied throughout the week and is expected to go home early next. Home. To our apartment. With us.

Like I said, I admittedly have not been on the puppy train this week. I might not be on the puppy train next week either. But, because I married a caring man, I’m actually surprised this is the first time this has happened. So I’m making¬†an effort to get on board. It’s not like this is the first dog we’ve ever trained, and it won’t be the last. We move into our house in just over a month and will have a yard and a lot more room then, so it’s not the end of the world.

And who knows, maybe this little black wiggly ball of fluff will worm her way into my heart like she’s done with the Mister. Meera already likes her, anyway.

[No pictures yet, but updates will come next week, I’m sure.]

I will never escape them.

So we’re back from our state circuit tour and are glad to have a vacation from our vacation. We loved being off work and getting to see everyone, but bouncing around like ping pong balls for ten days will really take the energy out of you.

If only we weren’t so popular. Hmm… ūüôā

During our grand tour my parents thought it would be a demented wonderful idea to buy my husband a giant plastic centipede. Yes, a centipede. Complete with fangs and stingers and jiggly little legs.

Remember these little nightmares? Yeah. I've been trying not to.

Remember these? Yeah. I’ve been trying not to.

Some of you may have been around for my post on these little nightmares, but just in case you weren’t, here are some pleasant facts about Satan’s many-legged minions:

  • They are FAST! Wickedly, otherworldly fast.
  • They have long fangs that leave puncture marks like a snake.
  • They are nocturnal.
  • They eat anything and everything. Including bats and snakes. And probably people, if they can catch you. Which they can.
  • They come originally from Africa, but are also abundant in the Caribbean, where they strike fear into the hearts of all but the hardiest of visitors.
  • They are very hard to kill. The best method is to cut them into pieces, but then even those pieces will run around and try to bite you (and they can).

So. Yes. Quite adorable.

And after traveling thousands of miles by plane to escape them, I now have one IN MY HOUSE! Thanks Mom. And Dad. Thanks so much.

Here is Meera, doing what sane creatures do when they find centipedes — try to kill them.

Meera chases down a giant centipede.

Didgeri-don’t

My husband helped somebody move last week, and when he picked me up from work that afternoon he had a strange object in the back seat.

“If you can guess what it is, I will be impressed,” he said.

I picked up the object and felt it through its long fabric sleeve. At 3-4 feet long, it was not completely straight and was open at both ends.

“I don’t know. Some sort of instrument?”

“Wow. You’ll never guess what kind.”

I took the first wild guess that came to mind. “A didgeridoo?”

The mister’s mouth fell open.

We own a didgeridoo. An actual, real life didgeridoo.

For those of you who don’t¬†know (because why in the world would you?), a didgeridoo is basically a long smooth tube made of some sort of wood that aborigines play in Australia. [Picture courtesy of Google.] NO IDEA why the people Matt helped had one, but they were going to throw it out. So now we have it. Still not sure why….. but we at least found a good use for it the other night.

It drives our dog NUTS! (And probably all the other dogs in a five mile radius, although that hasn’t been confirmed.)

First off, I think the noise unnerves her. As it would most creatures, I think, since it sounds like a very long expulsion of gas from the body. (Colloquially known as a barking spider, squashed frog, bubble or fart.)

Secondly, she seems particularly disturbed by the fact that the noise does not seem to be coming from daddy himself. Instead, it’s coming from a hole¬†several feet away from daddy, but that may or may not be attacking daddy via a long tube that’s eating his face. I think that would bother me too, if I were a dog. Actually, it sort of bothers me now.

The video below is for your personal viewing pleasure. Treat yourself to¬†the musical inclinations¬†of the mister¬†and the mutt as they perform an inspired duet entitled, “Daddy, I will protect you from the evil noise-making thing¬†as long as it doesn’t get too close to me.”

The didgeridoo creates a very deep noise, so you may not be able to hear it well on the video, but Meera’s reaction to it is definitely audible. Enjoy.

The Pied Piper’s Brother

Do any of you remember the children’s story about the pied piper of Hamlin? Well, it goes something like this:

The town of Hamlin is plagued with rats. The townspeople are at a loss about what to do. Then, right on time, a strange young man appears and announces that he can rid the town of the rats for one thousand dollars. The townspeople, though wealthy, do not want to pay his price and instead insult him by offering only fifty dollars. In response, the piper takes out his pipe and begins to play, drawing all the young children of the town out into the streets and away into the mountains, never to be seen again. The end.

Well, I’ve decided in the past few weeks that there must be an unpublished bit of that story – something explaining where the piper came from and how he learned his magical craft. So here is my version of the piper’s background:

The piper learned to play the flute in high school band and started to notice that strange things would happen when he played. Woodland creatures of all kinds would gather around to hear him play, and his classmates began to tease him about his band of furry friends. They never seemed to go away! So one day the piper left town with his flute and went off to make a living with his talent somewhere where people wouldn’t make fun of him. His brother, however, had the same talents, and instead of using them to rid towns of rats and other vermin, he used them to bring such things into places where they were not, and delighted in the fear and disgust of those he claimed to be helping. The evil brother spent his whole life filling homes and towns with rats and mice and then leaving the inhabitants to deal with their unwanted new residents.

Why is this untold part of the story important, you ask? Well, I seem to have married the evil brother.

The Mister has recently acquired a small collection of tiny felt mice – the kind you buy in the cat section at the pet store – and has been hiding them in cabinets, tying them to doorknobs, tucking them into beds and generally causing havoc in his mother’s life.

While I usually know about these things before they happen, I still claim innocence in the overall scheme. I, for one, don’t want to be thrown out on the street when his mother gets tired of finding little mice in her bed. But, the evil brother can’t seem to help himself, so I’m sure the strange appearances will continue.

Do you have any “evil brothers” in your household? What pranks have you pulled on your mother?

My Masterpiece

My Masterpiece

Well, I am proud to announce that I have finished my greatest crochet masterpiece to date for my most supportive costumer – the Mister. So, after thousands of stitches and about 20 hours of work spread over eight days, I present to you… BOWSER!

Photo Aug 04, 12 03 30 PM

Bowser is the turtle enemy of Mario in all of the famous video games featuring the two characters and a host of their friends. The Mister always plays as Bowser when our friends get together for a Mario Kart game night, so when he found out a pattern existed to create the formidable snapping turtle, he was over the moon.

The pattern I used can be found for free here on Nanette Crochet’s blogspot. I made a few alternations to the original pattern, but since I haven’t discussed those revisions with the original creator I will not detail them here. However, they mostly revolve around creating Bowser’s tongue, teeth, claws, eyes and eyebrows, since those were originally done in felt, but I don’t have any felt so I created them from yarn like everything else.

My Bowser is made of 68 individual pieces (at last count), some of them only inches long and a few stitches wide, sewn together like an enormous 3D jigsaw puzzle that I, at times, thought would be impossible to complete.

His jaws and mouth alone are made up of 12 pieces (not including his four teeth or the green part of his head and horns shown in these pictures. Only the jaws.).

Photo Jul 31, 4 20 15 PM Photo Aug 04, 12 06 20 PM

His shell has a top and a bottom piece. He has eight hair pieces, two horns and eight spikes. His four arm bands are separate, his belly plate is separate from his body, and his red inner mouth is a different piece from the tan outer plate along his jaws.

Photo Aug 01, 9 41 02 PM

All body pieces before head and shell were attached

Photo Aug 01, 9 41 08 PM

Body with shell

Photo Aug 03, 4 57 04 PM

Hair pieces

Photo Aug 04, 12 03 53 PM

Finished product, showing claws, arm bands and eyes

Photo Aug 04, 12 03 13 PM

Close-up of his eyes. I am especially proud of these because it took almost an hour of trial-and-error to figure out how to create their iconic shape from stitches rather than felt pieces.

He is approximately 10 inches tall (not including his horns), 9 inches wide from hip to hip, 7.5 inches from the tip of his tail/shell to his belly, and 20 inches around (measuring over his shell and under his arms).

The Mister is impressed and, quite frankly, I am too. I know this is tooting my own horn in a major way, but I’ve never done anything this complex before and I’m incredibly proud of how well he turned out. I don’t want to do items like this on a regular basis, but knowing that I can is pretty cool.¬†

Photo Aug 04, 12 03 38 PM Photo Aug 04, 12 02 42 PM

What do you think? Is the husband worth it? I think so. ūüôā He’s excited to make all his friends jealous. ūüôā

Birthday Antics

So the Mister’s birthday was this past Saturday and I made my first attempt to throw him a surprise party Friday night. I say “attempt” because he figured out there were people coming an hour or so before they arrived, but at least it lasted that long. (When you tell a man he has to put on decent clothes after his shower, it tips him off that something is going on.) He was a good sport about it though and let me surprise him anyway. It was a good party and we had fun – melted strawberry cake and 30+ mosquitoes and all. (What’s a party without a mosquito-smashing tournament?)

A group of our island family also went to see the new Robocop movie Saturday night. Oh. My. Goodness. Talk about a terrible film. Definitely on my “top 5 worst movies I’ve ever seen list.” I spent the majority of it getting angrier and angrier at the audacity of the characters that thought they had the right to turn a man’s humanity on and off at will. But part of the fun (apparently, I was told later) was seeing how terrible it really was, so the Mister enjoyed it, anyway, and that’s what matters.

The day AFTER he turned 24, the Mister and I spent 6+ hours watching ABC Family’s classic Disney movie marathon. That is definitely something they should do on a regular basis. Enough of these tween-aged “Disney feature original” movies; give me animated animals, flying pirates and sing-a-longs any day.

The Mister and I have also started watching a British-based TV series called “Merlin” on Netflix and it is WONDERFUL! We absolutely love it. It’s about the legendary city of Camelot from the story line of the powerful wizard Merlin as a young man working for (then crown prince) Arthur. I highly recommend it for anyone who likes the legend of Camelot, action, adventure, magic, dragons or, really, television at all.

So, the Mister’s 25th year on this earth started with Disney frolics, legendary adventures and futuristic crime-fighting robots. Here’s to another wonderful year!

 

[Just in case anyone is wondering, the other movies on my “top 5 list of worst movies I’ve ever seen” include Field of Dreams and Transformers.]