This morning I awoke early, roused out of sleep by an odd dream - one of those that you're not sure if they're real or not until you wake up. It wasn't real, but the cricket that was either inside our room or just outside the open window was. I think it was inside, and from the sound of it, it was the biggest cricket in the world. You know, loud enough to start your day off with a headache -- something that is truly unfair unless you're waking up with a hangover.
This was the start of my day. I knew today would be a busy one. We've been lucky enough to qualify to have the house "weatherized" for free and we had guys coming to replace the wiring, in the attic, for all the lights in the house AND we had another guy coming to service the boiler heater and check out the hot water heater!! WOO HOO!! However, they were both set to arrive around 8:30am. So, no shower for me this morning ~ it's ok, I got a good one yesterday.
The kids come in our room every morning and this morning Tristan was having one of those whiny-3-year-old mornings. Grumbling on my part, but nothing really unusual there. Time to get dressed: Shannon dresses himself and goes to get the kitchen ready (this I do LOVE!!), as I'm working on getting Tristan dressed he decides he needs to use the potty. We're in the middle of potty training & toilet demands come at odd times and places. OK. Today he decides he's quite manly and will stand to pee. Instead of the toilet he pees on the plunger and floor. He then decides to sit. Knowing it will be a while till he decides he is done, and that the clock is counting down till men show up, I go ahead and feed the dogs.
Tristan's done, dogs are fed, kids get fed. Mom cleans up pee from toilet floor & plunger.
Floyd, the furnace guy, calls. Can he park in the driveway? Sure, I run out to move the Jeep onto the road. We talk and I realize he'll be needing in & out access to the basement, which requires walking in and out of the backyard to his truck in the driveway. Which means the dogs can't stay in the backyard. Hmmmmm ... where to put the dogs??
Can't have them loose in the house. Can't put them in the dining room. Can't put them in the music room (where Tristan naps) or the boys' room (where Shannon naps). Only one room will work - our bedroom. I do a quick pick-up of anything that might appear edible to confused dogs and toss a blanket across the bed in case Whiskey decides to make herself at home, or in case Jomo (who weighs close to 80lbs and is more than big enough to jump onto the bed) figures out he CAN jump up onto the bed. Currently, this is something he doesn't know. Dogs go into the bedroom, door is shut tightly.
The guys who are going to work in the attic call. They're lost. Where is our house?? I ask them if they're sure they're on the right street, as our street changes names every time it crosses a road. Oh yes, they're on our street. So I tell them what to look for. Seriously, you can NOT miss our house. Sore thumb ya know? They call back a few minutes later. Can I go stand out front? Sure. I tell them I'm wearing a tie-dye. This I have to repeat. Apparently there are a lot of women standing in front of blue houses with white columns wearing tie-dyes at 8:45 in the morning. They finally arrive a good 5 minutes or so later. The younger guy sheepishly admits they were on the wrong road. "Yes, I know you were" I think to myself, but tell them it happens all the time.
It is now that I realize that they need the FRONT door open so that they may access their van. Hmmmm .. what to do with little kids??? Can't put them in the bedroom. This sounds familiar. I grab the baby gate and barricade the kids and myself to the living room and sunroom.
Ironically, all goes fairly smoothly. Floyd, the guy in the basement, finished first. Very sweet man. Tried to convert me, but he was at least sweet about it. Guess when you deal with furnaces all day Hell stays on your mind. After he left I put the dogs back outside. No damage done to bedroom, and they were happy to be out.
I fed the boys lunch, and put them down for naps. The guys in the attic needed to access the basement. OK. Armed with the baby gate, I block off the deck, barricading the dogs to the yard. I block the baby gate with two deck chairs. This kinda works. The dogs let the guy come up and get back inside before they knock everything down and get back up onto the deck. We repeat this procedure several more times, everytime he needs to go back to the basement to check the breaker box.
They're all done now, it is about 2pm. Just as they're leaving I realize the lights have gone out. I call them, they come back. Apparently the younger guy mixed up the wiring upstairs. I assure them that mixed up wiring upstairs is nothing new around here. :)
Up into the attic they go. Front door is open. Access is needed to the basement again. I block the dogs off once again. Now comes the fun part.
For those of you who don't know this, the door to our basement is a full-size door, but a trap door that lies in the floorway of our back hallway. You have to walk to the deck, turnaround, pull it open, latch it, then proceed down. There is MAYBE a 4" "ledge" of sorts that sticks out from the freezer and washer that you can tip-toe on if you want to get back inside the kitchen.
I'm in the living room when I hear it. Here she comes, barreling down the hallway, and before I can get to the front room, Whiskey is out the door, bounding across the street, and up the alley. Whiskey is our 9 1/2 year old Chocolate Lab who loves to socialize and was Houdini in a previous life.
She broke through the barricade and then did one of two things, either of which boggle the mind: 1) turned into a mountain goat and tip-toed along a very narrow ledge for the length of 7+ feet OR 2) turned into an Olympic worthy long jumper with big brass balls (she's spayed though .. and a female) and took a running leap over the big opening in the floor. Either way, she made her break and was gone.
Can't very well go look for her when you have workmen at the house and two little kids who are getting ready to be picked up by Grandpa in a few minutes (by the way - the kids are in time-out for fighting!), now can you?? I call Animal Control. Really, I am shocked that they don't just say "oh, she got loose again eh?" - maybe it's because we're not Canadian.
The guys finish up and leave. The kids leave. Grandpa promises to drive around and look for her with the kids. They do that for 20 minutes with no luck. Finally, I decide to go look too. I change the answering machine message, leaving my cell-phone number in case anyone calls with her.
I'm out and about and get the first call - the Paul Bunyan Tree Service guys have mulch for me, can I be home? Ok, sure, I'll head on back. Second call - we've got your dog. Luckily they're on our street, so it's a quick swing by. I park on the hill, pick her up, put her in the car and begin to walk around to the driver side, walking behind the car. It is at this point that I realize I'm parked on a steep hill, the dog has hopped into the driver seat, and I'm behind the car. I envision her accidentally knocking the parking break loose and the Jeep rolling back, flattening me. This doesn't happen. Oh well, bikini season is over anyway.
We get home, I park on the street again to allow the tree guy to dump the wood chip mulch in the driveway. But, I need to clean up the driveway some. So, I move the trash can to the side. Pick up some recently cut down debris, put that in another garbage can, and put is aside. Move the chair that had set out near the pool that is no longer up, and also the umbrella. Summer is over. Then I realize that the long board that Justin took out of the attic might be in the guy's way, so I start trying to push it to the edge of the driveway, rolling it over.
Suddenly, I feel a familiar sharp pain and I begin hollering "oh please no!" Thank you Justin for not telling me there were nails sticking through the board. And, in case anyone is curious, crocs do NOTHING to stop nails. Luckily, it barely broke the skin. A tetnus shot is not exactly the type of shot I was hoping to end the day with.
I hobble inside. I find myself standing in our big bathroom (after having put some hydrogen peroxide on it already), mastering a very impressive yoga pose as I spray some Bactine on it too. A little neosporin, a band-aid, and I'm (relatively) good to go. I hobble back to the end of the bathroom to put stuff away and, as I am wondering "why in the world is the floor so wet?" I manage to whack my head against a towel hook.
I hobble back to the other end of the bathroom, throw down towels, do the appropriate amount of cursing, and swear off that bathroom for a while.
The "tree guy" arrives and dumps the wood chips with only a slight heart attack from me when he catches on the overhead lines. One of those "nowhere to run," "I can't watch this," and "I think I'm going to faint" feelings - well, all rolled into one.
And that brings me up till now. I'm a little scared to move to be quite honest.