29 June, 2015

Happy MidSummer Gabe! Oh yeah and Happy Fathers Day!

29 June 2015

R. Linda:

Ordinarily I be not a vengeful man, but I have recently been driven to me limits and it be me own fault for becoming complaisant.

I have recovered enough from me broken toes to be able to put weight on the foot and walk (unsteadily I might add). Recovery has kept me from garden duty and anything else requiring working on me day off. I was looking forward to yesterday (Saturday the 20th), as a day of doing absolutely blooding nothing but loafing about the abode. I have gotten used to two things: 1. The old ladies bickering (Dragon: You don't need chickens you don't live on a farm! Me Mam: We can use the eggs and save money wit da amount of eggs we have from our own chickens! Dragon: I just bought eggs from the store because I don't like the taste of those free ranger chicken eggs you bought from down the road. Me Mam: Free range! You had em' fer breakfast yesterday and didn't noo the difference!) and 2. Dragon living here permanently. That last does indeed give me pause and yes chills run up me spine at the thought, but accepting the fact that Big Tony is having a blast without her in Japan, leaves me thinking he isn't going to be rushing home to wife and New Jersey anytime soon. I have to admire him for that. If it were me I'd do the same.

So me nerves (on acceptance of these two facts) have calmed down and I float me brain through the house like all the external things going on about me are not reality. Like I am watching a movie and am totally separate and apart from the action. I am rather pleased with meself as the technique did not come easily and is not completely mastered, because last night I found this cocoon I have made is flimsy.

I was rather enjoying reading a book (something I have had no time for) at the kitchen table, as I sipped me tea, with the two oldsters going at it over how to make blood pudding of all things. Like Dragon would know anything about that. But seems she googled it so she be an authority up against me Irish mam, who all her life was brought up on the stuff. Anyway, I had tuned the ridiculous out and heard somehow a knocking on me door. I left the shrill shrews to answer it, never giving it a thought it was 10 at night and no one in their right mind would go visiting. And I was correct, no one in their right mind was standing on me doorstep, two not in their right minds to be exact.

The circus had come to town, more precisely to me abode. There stood the two princes of wickedness, Weasil and Kincaid. I would have thought Kincaid had enough of the toe breaking episode of the weekend before, that he'd not show up for a good while, but no, no, there he was and he brought his cohort in crime with him. I sighed all the way to me socks at the sight of them.

"Wot ya want?" I asked not inviting them in.

"Hey, iz datty a way ta greet yer bosom buds?" Weasil asked like he was insulted, which is a stretch.

What could I do? I sighed heavily again and let them in.  Not that I wanted to but I knew as do you, there would be no getting rid of them. The kiddos were still up and came running at the two clowns all in happy animation and the two clowns got themselves even further down a few levels to act as childish as the three who had an excuse for that. I tell ya.

I left them in the living room whipping up the noise level, as Kincaid shouted after me that he and Weasil were staying the night. I waved me hand and pretty much tried to ignore them, but Kincaid came into the kitchen to ask Dragon if he and Weasil could have her room, she could double up with Tonya and oh yeah she was fine with that. Well, I wasn't. That meant Gabe was relegated to the couch again! The scene of the toe breaking crime! I was so purple with rage I could do nothing but sputter incoherent words at both Kincaid and the Dragon lady. I was ignored. Yes they talked over me sputtering like I wasn't in the room. I tell ya!

It was going to be Fathers Day and I was damned I'd be sleeping on the couch. I tried to get this out and was told by Dragon there would be other Fathers Days and to suck it up. Suck it up??? I'd like to see her sleeping on the couch.

It was then Weasil came in with his knapsack and threw it to me almost knocking me head off because I didn't expect him to toss it.

"Prezzie in dere fer yer arse." He said rather smugly.

This took me by surprise. It was a twin sized air bed, yup it was. The nerve of him! I asked why he didn't use it and he said he would and I could share the bed with Robbie. Uh no. I'd rather the air mattress.

While I fumed, the rest of the house (all except Tonya) were enjoying the clown show in the living room. I looked at the air mattress it had one of those plug in thingees that blow it up and you do nothing. I felt a little bad because it was obvious Weasil had gone to some expense. However, Tonya said I should throw out the clowns, air mattress and all, but I was feeling a little guilty. I know I shouldn't have and I did regret it later.

When everyone had gone to their nice comfy beds, I opened the air mattress and plugged in the air thing and watched as nothing happened. I unplugged it and then plugged it back in and still nothing. I forced meself to read the directions, and I had got it right but seemed I had a defective mattress. Oh goody. I pulled the tubes out of the mattress and got me bicycle pump. I tried to get the end of the nozzle on the last tube that was attached to the mattress but it wouldn't stay attached. I spent an hour looking for duct tape but couldn't find the roll. I was frustrated and angry so I did the only thing I could, I used the breath in me body to blow that stupid thing up and I will tell you I started at 11:45 and it was near 3 a.m. when I collapsed exhausted next to the inflated bed. I must have slept like that for 20 minutes before I revived. I flipped off the lights and flopping on the bed I closed me eyes and through me eyelids, I could see light and the light intensified. I opened me lids to a room jumping in an orange glow and it was getting brighter by the second.

"Wot the heck?" I said to no one and got up and looked out me window to what looked like a witches sabbath. There below me, the fire pit was aglow with tiki torches lit and there were the two miscreants drinking and dancing and raising general mayhem. I was pissed off I tell ya. I opened me window and shouted at them.

"Wot the hell are you doing?"

"Uhhh . . . it iz midsummer eve sos wez roasting marshymallows in celebration of da nightie. Why dun't ya join us." Weasil shouted up at me.

"It's 3 in the morning let that fire go out and shut it down." I whisper-yelled back and closed the window.

I lay meself back down when I was just starting to drift off and I hear, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! I flew back to the window, the fire was dying down, and I could see the two miscreants next to Robbie's beaten up Mini Cooper.

"Wot are  you doing now?" I whisper-yelled at them.

"Fixing the dent in Robbie's car." Weasil whisper-yelled back.

"At this time of night? Well, stop it, if I can hear you me neighbours can hear you."

"OK," a rejected sound came drifting back.

I limped back to the mattress and stood looking down at it, no sheets, too lazy to get any, so I dragged me prized green blankie you made me out of the cedar chest where I had hidden it from Dragon, and like I was falling into a swimming pool I just glided through the air and BOOM onto the mattress which deflated totally. All that huffing and puffing for nothing! There I was lying on a quickly deflating mattress bed listening to the air rushing out! Go ahead laugh. I didn't find it funny instead I was too sick at heart to feel much of anything but lay there mad at me foolish self.

"What are you five yeas of age Gabe?" I asked meself listening to the last fizzles of air mattress life.

I forced meself up as the creepy feeling of the mattress starting to sandwich me, bought back some slamming memories of the first night in me new abode (See Don't Try This At Home -- for that matter don't try it PERIOD! 16 February 2015).  I got meself up and out of there fast so entanglement wouldn't commence. What to do? I went to the futon where me dog used to bed down and not thinking it wasn't she, I lay meself down in the dark, and put me arms around her (I thought it was her) only to be growled at. And it wasn't a good growl. I hastily sat up and slid me hand down the furred body to realise it was short haired and not me dog. I got up and switched on the lights. I had, in my worn out state, forgot about the coon hound. There he was looking up at me growling. Look at this:

You might think he;s laughing but he wasn't.
Feeling maligned all around I tore the pillow and blanket from under him and he tried to bite me. I stood there holding the pillow laughing at him.

"You're not quick enough!" I sneered. I realise in me awakened state that wasn't a great thing to have done, but too late and somehow I survived the pulling of the pillow and throw. 

I threw the pillow across the room thinking he'd go for it, but no, no he didn't. You see I had a method to me madness (sort of). What he did infuriated me more. Instead, he stretched back out and went to sleep. 

Look familiar? 
I took meself downstairs and made a cuppa. Rain had started and was pounding the windows and if ever there was more lonely a scene it was me, sipping steaming tea in the kitchen by meself at 4 a.m. Being sleep deprived, it was hard not to feel sorry for me injured self. Happy Fathers Day I whispered and lifting up me teacup for the toast found the chair I was sitting on disintegrating to the floor with me in it. In me sleepless state I had forgot that me mam had glued a kitchen chair that had arrived broken many years ago and we didn't throw away because I was always going to fix it. Yeah it took me mam's arrival for HER to fix it and well, now we could throw it out. 

I sat with scalding tea all over me chest (lucky for me I had on a fleece jacket so I wasn't burnt), but me backside was smarting more than me injured toes. I sat in that wet rubble for a good ten minutes contemplating me place on the totem pole of the O'Sullivan family. I had literally reached an all time low. How did that happen? Everyone including the house invaders were comfy in beds, even the visiting hound had a bed. How did this happen? Time for Gabriel Aloysius O'Sully to man up. 

The chair was splinters so I stuck it in the trash bin in the garage. I got me green blankie and re-hid it from the Dragon lady, stuffed the defective air mattress back in its bag and then roused the two clowns telling them it was 5 a.m. and they needed to leave. I told Weasil I didn't want the air mattress, he should use it (and I know he will and when he does, yup revenge will kick in) and it was with pleasure I watched the Mini Cooper pull slowly down the driveway. Where it would land next I had no clue but I was determined Fathers Day was mine!

And it was. I ended up on the couch, and slept the sleep of the dead until three kiddos came in with breakfast on a tray. How nice was that I ask ya? There was Lucky Charms without milk, a quarter glass of orange juice, some kind of mushed fruit and well it was the best breakfast ever. That is until Tonya came with another tray of eggs, rashers, toast and oh my God, Dragon's blood pudding which I fed to her beggar dog who would not leave me alone. He wanted the rashers but he didn't get any. It was pudding or nothing and the stupid thing ate it. Later he wasn't acting too crazy so I am assuming he had the dickey tummy I was supposed to have. Ha Ha Ha!

Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved

16 June, 2015

Putting on daddy's shoes

Not a funny story, just one that made me proud of a little man's effort to fill his da's shoes

16 June 2015

R. Linda:

I was home not enjoying the gloom and the Bickersons (me mam and Tonya's) when I decided I'd had enough and would go outside even though it was raining lightly. One man can take just so much of two old ladies bickering about everything under the sun. They agree on nothing. So to be home with broken toes, trying to recuperate, and having to listen to the yammering, it gets on the nerves every single one of them until the last one is starting to vibrate and the anger is rising, and well you need to get out of Dodge.

I made the mistake of trying to put shoes on the broken foot and almost went through the roof. I knew they felt pinched but didn't know how much until I took a step. I threw them off looking for something waterproof since those were the only rain shoes I had. But there was nothing but me slippers and being it was a desperate time, desperate measures came into play and slapping those suckers on me battered feet, I took off for the porch.

Instantly upon exiting the house I was faced with the rain dilemma, no brolly. I forgot one, not thinking of needing one for God knows what reason I would think that, and me rain slicker was without the hood, so there I was getting rather wet. I stood there for a good five minutes before I forced meself back inside.

The two women didn't know I had gone missing even if it was only for five minutes. They had taken the argy bargy to another room which took me a few minutes to realise I had space to breathe and enjoy the semi silence. The only person in the room was the wee one and he had found me rain shoes and was busy putting them on.

I sat there in dripping slicker watching him. He thought he was alone and was hard at the task of trying to get those big boats on his feet. If he had known I was there he would have handed them to me for help, so to watch a not quite one year old try to figure out shoes was rather interesting, to me at least.

The struggle begins
He was sitting on the floor not contemplating the shoes, but handling them as if getting a feel for how heavy they were for someone his size. Then he bent a knee and slid a bare foot back towards him and put the shoe where his foot had been. Lifting the shoe straight up he slid his foot towards the shoe and found is foot went slightly to the side of the opening so he started grunting as he tried to fit the shoe opening to his foot instead of the other way round. This of course, made manoeuvring rather difficult. I almost jumped up to help him when he figured it out himself and moved his foot instead of the shoe and wham in it went! Well done I said silently.

He then tried to get up and had a bit of a time with that big shoe on his foot but he managed it. Happy with that he sat back down and was ready to put the other shoe on, but it was behind him. Up he struggled again, instead of reaching around, and once up right slid his shod foot backward, then the bare one and crouching down got hold of the other shoe and trying to pick it up from an angle, it was too heavy so he stood there a minute and then sat back down next to the errant shoe and dragged it to his other foot. Same process all over again and then it was two feet in and trying to stand up with both feet encased in boat sized shoes.

It was hard not to help him, but he did it! Not only did he do it, he leaned down picked up his duck billed hat and put that on ready to go.

Success! Thats my boy
Maybe because I am a dad, it was a big deal to see the little guy figure out shoes, even if they were way too big. But he did it and he got up, got on his hat and then started to shuffle around like an old dude very proud of himself even if he had nowhere to go and no one knew. Well, no one but me, but he didn't know that until he saw me and rewarded me with the biggest triumphant smile ever.

Just had to share that as a proud father.

Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved

14 June, 2015

The damn dog, the fan and me foot!

14 June 2015

R. Linda:

In the scheme of things when one needs to slow down and does not, the Fates take over and make sure that one is slowed to a standstill when need be. This was me experience recently when it seemed I was running all over the place without taking a breath. I was out in the garden helping the wife with the new garden and if you think making a new garden is a joy you are looking at the wrong guy. THIS new garden is five times the size of the one Tonya lovingly had at the old abode. Because there is more cleared land, that makes for bigger garden -- that's her logic! Oh yeah.

Meanwhile, work had picked up and I be busier than ever and so the wife begrudgingly informed me she would make the new garden herself and of course, not to be out done on making me feel more guilty than I already did, her MOTHER (the Dragon), said she'd help. If you remember, I found a guy on that Internet list and he roto-tillered his toes. So as it turned out, I ended up doing it all meself.

I'd come home from work, find dinner was not on the table because now I had two resident cooks on me hands (her mother, my mother) who argued over what to serve and how to prepare it. That only left me to get out of the line of fire by making the garden. This went on for a week and a half of me at work, home to make garden, then in exhausted, to a dinner that was always weird because the two resident cooks insisted on adding salt where there wasn't any called for, or sugar where you'd least expect it, and the arguing needed an arbitrator (me), and by the time things were settled in the kitchen the two oldsters moved it to the living room to argue over the remote, AND THEN it was time to help Tonya get the kids bathed and in bed, stories read, and me going to me home office to finish up some work, and then to bed and the next day the same old same old. Take a breath Gabe, I tell ya!

I wasn't gaining weight from the meals that were being conglomerated on me plate at night, and any calories I did gain, went with the garden work. To say I was on the run down side, would be a great way of putting it. I knew I had to stop, to take a day off, but because the two old ladies were in me adobe I knew that was not a good idea. I couldn't go on holiday and leave the wife and kiddos so what did I do? I continued on as before running meself ragged.

Then it happened. Everything came together like a car crash. I came home, went to the garden, then to the table wondering what the hell I was being served, after bathing kiddos, getting them in pyjamas, the doorbell rang and who was on me doorstep but Robbie Kincaid, the better half of the Weasil/Kincaid Side Show. After getting meself worked up that the Weasil was somewhere about, I finally believed the big Scot that he was alone. He needed a place to crash said he.

I was all the time asking him how he found me. I did not forward me new address but after five times of me begging to know how he knew he told me Weasil had told him. Of course! That's how knackered I was because ordinarily I'd have surmised that on me own. I had no place to put his fat arse, but I needn't worried, Dragon gave him her room and she would sleep with Tonya, leaving me to sleep on the floor somewhere. I was pissed off I was, but made the best of a bad situation by waiting until nearly 2 a.m. for everyone to go to bed so I could camp out on the living room sofa. Tonya had wanted to buy a sleeper sofa way back when and I said no, because I didn't want an extra bed for unwanted guests. Well, I ended up being a guest in me own abode!

Finally, as comfy as I could get, I lay meself on the sofa and tried to sleep but it was warm. Not warm enough for the house AC, but warm a fan would do the trick. I got one, one of those stander ones. Oh here let me take a photo of me nemesis.

The culprit lying in wait for the unsuspecting sleeper
After I had set up the fan I took a sleeping draught because I KNEW I'd get no sleep on that couch. The dog thought I was a great dog bed and she'd be on top of me or next to me and we know sleep would be elusive! As to the coon hound THAT was ensconced next to its mistresses bed. Or so I thought.

The hum of the fan and the sleep medicine lulled me to sleep as uncomfortable as I was with me feet hanging off the end of the sofa, dog on top followed by cat sometime during the night on me head. And how did I know the cat was there, she was grooming my hair with her claws, that's how I knew! It was about 3:00 in the morning that damnable coon hound let out three loud woofs by me head. This had me nearly jumping out of me skin it did. I got up looking around in the dark, not sure where I was and stupid me moved around as if looking for an intruder, when mostly asleep I walked smack into the fan which . . . I did hear humming but being not awake was unmindful to its whereabouts or mine, whichever the case might have been. And when I did walk into that fan I walked into it! I mean I really walked into it like there was nothing there. I broke me little toe I did, and fractured the one next to it and a whole lot of little bones in me foot. The ball of me foot under the big toe is swollen way out I can't put on a shoe. Here look at this!

The little swollen toe attached to the swollen foot was originally sticking out at a right and painful angle
Yes, I did a number on meself. Being not quite awake I knew if I woke any further up I'd be feeling pain, so I did the unthinkable I made me way to the powder room, dragging me injured foot, and in the dark found a wash cloth, ran it under cold water (because I was too lazy to go to the kitchen for ice and I didn't want to wake up anymore than I was for the pain). I limped back to the sofa, this time mindful of the fan, and as I put the cold cloth to me tootsies I realised one of them was sticking out at a right angle. THAT got me to turn on the light and what I saw had me swooning. The little toe was sticking straight out to the right of me foot, the toe next to it was leaning in the same direction but not so violently. I quickly turned the light out, threw the wet cloth over the smarting members and went back to sleep.

Next day me foot was yellow, green, blue, purple, black and very swollen. I of course could not step on it, let alone walk. I was given a crutch by the Dragon who comes prepared because of her knees. The crutch was too short so I used it like a cane to hobble around. She made me put a sock on the foot she said, to keep the little toe in place, but in reality I think it was so she didn't have to look at it.

I ended up at doctors who told me I dislocated me toes, fractured  small bones in the foot and broke the pinkie toe. He did not recommend surgery, but told me to ice, ice, ice and keep the foot elevated and he told to me to buy a special kind of elastic support sock to keep the toe in place. He didn't think it severe enough to split, or operate on or put a metal rod in it, OUCH.

So a few days go by, I am able to step on it, but still can't walk without howling in pain. The veins are still popped way out. It now looks like this:

Colours are not as dark, the swelling is still prominent but hey at least the toes are in place
I blame it on the coon hound. Yes, I do. He had no clue I was sleeping on at the sofa and when he came upon me he thought me an intruder and thus the ear drum shattering barking in me face that woke me up with a start and had me standing up in a dither, and slamming me foot into the fan I forgot was there. Yes, it was all his fault!

Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved

30 May, 2015

New Photo of Yours Truly

30 May 2015

R. Linda:

I have so far changed up me profile pictures twice as the years passed on. I think the two Halloween costumes that graced me profile were me two favs. Being Captain Hook was a hoot and then Sherlock O'Sullivan was a blast. But now, it is time to switch it up and get a new pic on the blog. My fascination with Sherlock has made me think Moriarty be me next persona.

It not being Halloween, I had to think how to disguise meself in public for the new photo, as Moriarty be a shadowy figure. Me wife came up with the perfect place, time and PHOTO! I did manage to wear a black shirt because Moriarty be a dark character and well, the photo shows me not reading a Conan Doyle novel but a menu which fits me more.

I don't think you will be disappointed with me updated pic. SO without further ado here is the new blog photo of yours truly! How do I look?

Me wife tagged this photo with the title TYPICAL -- So what ya think?

Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved

29 May, 2015

This is a doozy AND there is at least one picture in it

29 May 2015

R. Linda:

It must be the season for picking up other peoples mail, dog sitting, and Memorial Day sales!

Let's start with the sales. Tonya heard that the best time of year for buying appliances is Memorial Day. SO she got it into her head when we first moved in the abode that all the white appliances (that worked perfectly fine) had to go because they were an eyesore when one has a black granite counter top. I have to agree, black appliances would look nicer BUT! Come on I said, we will replace them as they get old.

No, no, the BIG sale was coming so we had to go at least and LOOK. I knew look wasn't the true word, BUY was. I was hauled off to many different appliance stores in an attempt to wear me down and it worked, by the time we got to the last store I would have bought everything. We did find that every store where the appliances WE wanted to buy were on sale, were not that good, wouldn't last a year, had major issues, etc., BUT this one that costs triple what the one YOU want is listed for is GUARANTEED to last for YEARS. Oh sure it is! Well, we took an upgrade on the stove, but we refused to budge on the refrigerator and dishwasher. If we would at least upgrade on the fridge, they'd throw in a free wine chiller. NO THANK YOU. I could buy one for what the upgrade would cost me, so NO!

Tonya was happy she had her appliances, my wallet was quite a bit lighter, but I will say we did save big on everything, or at least I thought so until later. We bought from one big box store so we were insured fast delivery, but guess what? No installation. They don't do that anymore so find someone. Great, by the time you find a serviceman, you are paying triple for the service so where was the savings, I want to know. I left that small detail to Tonya, because me old neighbour rang me up to ask if I'd pick up his mail while he went on a Viking Cruise to Prague and beyond. Must be nice to be retired.

I told him I'd be happy to, it was on me way home. I will say I did not expect to be picking up the mail and the sugar ants at the same time. I opened his mailbox the first day of me mail pick up to find some kiddo had put a half sucked on hard candy in the old fella's mailbox (with the flag up just for shites and giggles). I saw the mailman had stacked the mail on one side of the mailbox to avoid the sticky gooey mess. I got the mail and had some of the baby wipes from the youngest in me car, so I swept the candy out and closed the box.

Then I went home to find that Dragon had her dog shipped up from New Jersey. But the dog arrived one day before she went on a trip to Vermont with the elderly ladies travel club she belongs to. She found out they had a trip from Jersey to northern Vermont scheduled and would be coming her way to get there, so she was hopping the tour bus from here! How nice I thought, to be rid of her for five days. Of course, I do wonder what there is to do in Vermont for five days! Anyway, I came home to the most spastic dog I'd ever seen in me life. This animal she acquired after Hurricane Katrina. It was one of the dogs that was rescued and never found by its owner. I know warm touching story and isn't the Dragon lady so warm hearted for adopting the hound. Yes, she has adopted the hound from hell. It is a hunting dog, so it wants to run and it thinks it is a horse, it rears up to its full height of 6' when anyone comes in the room and it has a bark that is a deep WOUFFFF that near shatters eardrums. In the south this thing is called a Red Coon Hound and we have lots of raccoons up here so the barking is constant at night when those critters are out by the pond after our fish. Forget the full moon the howling goes on non-stop.

Not only is this hound unpleasant vocally and socially (has no doggy manners), it thinks it owns the joint. Me Red and White Setter be sulking that her abode has been invaded by this intruder from Louisiana and she does not like it. She has a futon couch she sleeps on at night, but no not anymore. The hound, named Banjo has taken her couch over. Lookie here as they say down in 'Orleans.

Yup stretches himself down the entire length of the couch and is happy about it too.

He thinks there is nothing wrong with taking over, but when a thunderstorm comes, the good times begin! Let me tell ya. He fits his big self into the dark space between me bedroom and the guest room where he thinks he is invisible. I can't get into me room for his blocking me way. He whines like Armageddon be on its way right to where we live.

So all was well the first night of the new house guest (and I use that term very loosely), but when his mistress left for the wilds of Vermont he turned into a real bugger he did. Not only had he taken over me own dog's territory and took her toys, her bones (no matter he had his own), he head butted her out of his way or ran her over, or pushed her so he could get a treat first. Not to mention he is like a vacuum he wolfs down his food and then goes for hers. She be a dainty eater, when she gets to eat.  He also had an annoying habit of nosing and tonguing his way along the counter and table tops slurping up what was not there. You'd think he hadn't been feed in years the way he was so food oriented, just like his owner, SHE never missed a meal. I was putting up with this insanity for three days when Tonya asked me to take a day off to wait for the delivery of all the new appliances she had put me in the poor house to buy. Oi. Me mam was there but no, she had no clue when it came to "deliverin' machinery" which I told her it wasn't machinery per se' it was appliances -- the very thing she used everyday in that kitchen, but no, no, she wasn't going to be "responsible" for the placement and "wot have you." I did end up taking the last three days of the week off and must say it would have been pleasant being the Dragon was not around, but for her dog that was.

The nonsense started as I was sipping me morning cuppa and Banjo sat 5' away watching every sip I took. I picked up me toast and started putting jam on it and I could hear the audible licking of his teeth with his tongue. I happened to look over and he was focused on me like a target, the drool dripping to the floor. I shook me head, took a bite and watched the hound's head move with the toast. I tell ya! I finally turned me back on him, but that was a mistake because I soon felt a wet tongue licking the bit of jam that fell on me barefoot. Gross, gross, gross! No matter how much I yelled at him he'd disappear and then magically reappear. I couldn't eat anything in peace AND he had already had his food before I got mine!

I had two hours before delivery so I took off to the old neighbourhood to pick up me old neighbour's mail. This time when I opened the mailbox, the mail was jammed all the way to the back and where the sticky goo had been was thousands of sugar ants. I was not happy having to reach back to get that mail, but I did it. I saw one cardboardy piece of junk mail and I used that to swipe the ants out. Only problem was, they were far enough back me quick swipes were dispersing them all over the box, the ground, the mail and ME!

Okay I don't like creepy crawly things and sugar ants are no exception. They are tiny beings I'll give you that but they remind me of fleas so -- GROSS! What to do right? There I was stamping on them and dancing around, trying to brush meself off at the same time as people drove by, slowing down to look at me with open mouths like they thought I was having a fit on the side of the road. It was terribly embarrassing, and took a few minutes before I realised I had an audience. I got in me car pronto, ant hanger-ons and all and drove off until I realised I had ants crawling up me arms and fleeing the mail on the seat to other parts of me car. I pulled into a car wash and tried to vacuum them out of me car and then off me until some woman rolled down her window and told me that "if you got bugs you need to bathe more often!" Oi!!!

Here look at before and after:

You can just make out the goop on the right of the picture with ants crawling all over. 
Then I sprayed, but still not totally successful. See here:

Buggers were still there, not as many but still!
I drove home feeling like the little buggers were crawling all over me when they probably weren't. I was thinking about the delivery and the annoying hound. Where to put him I wondered. If I tied him outside he'd be rearing like a horse and barking. Though once home I found I didn't have to worry about any of that, the delivery was delayed so it would be the next day they "thought". Oh goody. I was extremely irritated with the shipping company, what if I only had the one day off? And they didn't call to tell me they weren't coming until three hours into the arrival time. Who does that?

"Who knoes how long they will be here if they doo shoe oop," me little Irish mam said.

Thanks mam. That be a great help. So next day, same thing, more ants, me avoiding them this time and getting that mailbox slammed shut once I had the mail. Then I'd examine it hoping it looked to passersby like I was sifting through me mail which I was in a way, not for bills but for ants. I know you think I be crazy, I do too because it wasn't my mail or my bills or ants!

I get back to see the delivery truck is already unloading and guess what? The refrigerator doesn't fit. THIS after we had taken everything out of the old one. Or, I should say me mam did in a hurried fit because suddenly there she was with deliverymen, two barking dogs, and notta clue what to do. Like she never had modern conveniences before. I tell ya the woman!

So THAT appliance had to go back for a smaller size, OK then. The rest of it was put in place, the white ones taken away and that was that except we had to put all the melting food back in the old fridge. Why can't things be easy? I want to know the answer please.

I rang up Tonya told her what happened, she seemed a wee bit disappointed about the fridge, but was all chatty that she found some guys on Greg's List to come install everything else.

"Greg's List?" I asked sceptical. For sure! They were the cheapest she could find, and hey we were doing a good turn being me and me mam were immigrants from Ireland these guys were immigrants too but not from Ireland they were from someplace else she couldn't remember. Oh boy.

"They will be there at 7 a.m. tomorrow," said she.

"Why so early?"

"The guy told me they were building a rabbit hutch for their rabbits so . . . "

Honestly, I don't know how she does it. Where she finds these people I don't really want to ask too much anymore, I never like the answer. Rabbits? I did ask if they raise rabbits and she said no, she didn't think they raised them for sale but for hunting. The man had told her they "got gun, let robbit loose go kill an eat."

Uh huh. I thought she was pulling my leg UNTIL I met them. No they were raising rabbits to let loose and then waiting a few minutes go hunting to eat them. I was thinking I was having a nightmare and not awake. On top of this me last day off I'd be getting up at me normal time I would for work to wait for the rabbit killers to come and install my appliances. Never mind I would be getting everyone's breakfast going, feeding cat and dogs, getting those outside, and trying to get dressed in the bargain.

Well, the guys from Greg's List arrived right on the dot and eyed the pot of coffee and the scones so my wife offered them some and they sat down to breakfast as she and kiddos went out the door. I was shocked but had nothing better to do but sit down and try to tell them what I needed done, but they were too busy asking for more coffee and scones and would it be "trooble to get egg too?" I felt like a short-order cook. Eggs? They had the nerve to ask ME to cook THEM eggs, my eggs. They were on the clock they had told Tonya, so I was paying for them to sit around and wait for ME to cook eggs while they leisurely munched on scones and sipped me morning joe! NO WAY. I instead told them we were on the clock (I pointed at me wristwatch) and I needed to get to work, but that didn't fly because me mam (not exactly awake) informed me "this be yer day off." Thank you mam.

An idea struck me and I excused meself because I said, the dogs need come in and so I unleashed the Dragon hound first and then me own who is nothing compared to the Banjo dog. Right away dog slobber was all over the two of them as they fought the hound off who was rearing and jumping and barking and licking, and it was the promise of them getting to work I'd get the dogs put up.

The stove went in, no problem, the dishwasher . . . problem. They went to the basement to "figure woter system for whokup."

"They are Pootins." Me mam whispered to me.

"They are wot?" I was confused.

"Pootins. Roossians. The accent."

"Ohhh," I said realising that yes, the accent was familiar like Uncle Boris. Oi!

Meanwhile, I had shut the hound in the guest room and the setter in the kiddos room. They were barking tandem and making such noise I was sure me neighbours (who none live close) could hear them. The scratching at the doors had me mam telling me they would be ruining the wood and I would have to put them out. Easier said than done. Foolish me got the two of them somehow on leashes and they took me flying down the stairs and to the basement door where they both wanted at the workers. I managed to pull them out the backdoor and got my dog on the long leash but the hound had other ideas and pulled me to the open bulkhead where he was determined to drag me down the stairs to get those men. I tell ya I still hurt from muscles in places I didn't know I had!

It was three hours later and the Russians were still at it in the basement. The dogs had dug up pretty much most of the backyard trying to get to the bulkhead, me mam was clicking her tongue over the long gouges the dogs had made in the two doors, and I was panting from the exertion still of leashing up dogs. I yelled down and asked them what seemed to be the trouble and they told me they were trying to figure out the water connection. Oh boy.

Meanwhile, the hippie Tonya hired (also from Greg's List) showed up unannounced to rotor till the patch of vegetable garden Tonya had over the weekend (when I wasn't home) asked him get ready for her garden. He had no shirt on, but he did have a bandanna wrapped around his blond locks to keep them out of his eyes, a pair of homespun trousers and no shoes. Nope not even a sandal. It wasn't three minutes into the tilling I hear me mam calling me for a first aid kit. Yeah you can guess what happened. I be surprised he didn't loose all his freaking hippy toes! He nicked one so that was dressed and bandaged, and he had to go home because the shock was just too much for him in one day. Begorrah me!

Four hours into water connection, the Russians still at it, and I was starting to get worried.

Now five hours into water hookup or whokup I was about to go down and tell them they were done when one of them came up soaking wet with a huge smile to tell me we had "connection" and turn the dishwasher on. I was not wanting to. You know five hours of fiddling around down there, one soaking wet, the other one missing (sort of) and we are talking electric and water for God's sake. Yes, I was afraid I'd be electrocuted if I touched the thing, but me mam made it hard for me to refuse by calling me things like wimp, scardycat, etc. I didn't see her touching the dishwasher though.

The two of them came up out of the cellar with their tools and probably mine, and told me they hoped it would drain okay. What? I was thinking I didn't hear them correctly. They were talking bill and sidestepping me asking WHAT ABOUT THE DRAIN OR LACK THEREOF I SHOULD KNOW ABOUT. I wrote them out a check (I don't remember the amount because I was thinking what did they do?) and they turned the thing off and said to turn it on again later to see if it worked.

"Oh I will be ringing you up it doesn't." I said as they flew out the door.

I started the thing again and it seemed to be working. I had to take a shower, I was full of dog slobber and so off I went. I turned on me faucet to get a cup of water to brush me teeth and nothing happened. I stood there listening to air groaning through the pipes. Hum. I turned on the shower and the usually good water pressure came pouring out with the intensity of Niagara Falls. There was nothing to do but jump into the falls and worry about the faucet later. While in the shower I could hear the hound barking up a storm which made me think there was trouble. I would turn the water off and listen and hear nothing. I'd turn the falls back on and battle to catch me breath and hear that stupid animal barking. I rushed through the shower and towelled off to quiet. I got dressed and went downstairs to find the mother of mine sitting in the kitchen with a cuppa, the dishwasher on dry cycle and the hound scratching at the cellar door.

"Ee's been dooin' dat da whole time." She muttered.

Sighing heavily I opened the cellar door and thought it looked shiny down there. I turned on the light and I now have a swimming pool in me basement. Enough said don't ya think? Of course when I told me mam what was down there, she said, "See spies for Pootin."

Yeah never mind. You don't know how much I be looking forward to work tomorrow. Let Tonya handle this new mess. But wait, one more thing. I had to go pick up Dragon at the bus station, hence the shower. Me mam pleads with me to take her hound with me, I didn't want to do it, but ended up doing it anyway. You ever drive with a large animal jumping from the front seat to the back and throwing slobber on you each time? It isn't fun I can tell ya that much. So I go to the station and she be waiting, I put the luggage in the boot of the car, get her ample self in the passenger side and off we go.

So I be driving home and Dragon starts wiggling in her seat. Her dog is in the back seat scratching himself which has her wondering if MY dog gave him fleas. REALLY? I did notice a small sugar ant on me arm but I made like I was stretching and flipped it on Dragon.  Before long the two of them were scratching, and I be trying to ignore them both. By the time we got home they were both in spasms of itching and with Dragon's poor eyesight she is certain she sees fleas on her.

I be about to get the hose to blast the "fleas" away before I will let either one of them in me abode. Yup.

Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved

Where are the blog photos? I will tell you where they are!

29 May 2015

R. Linda:

I have me followers writing asking "where did the pictures go?" And since I be getting tired of writing each one individually I be doing the public service announcement, so here it be:


I know, I know, my bad.

If you want a story with the pictures write me and I will put them back though that will be time consuming on me end (doesn't matter there are 773 posts), but for me faithful 19 and missing 20 I will do it. It will kill me though and take away hammock time, but if you really, really, really must HAVE the photos in a fav story I will drag meself in here and set it to rights.


Your lazy leader,
Gabriel Aloysius O'Sullivan

Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved

16 May, 2015

A Day In The Life

16 May 2015

R. Linda:

Yesterday morning was me day off. I was going to sleep in when at 6 a.m. I hear "You son of a bitch get out of here now or I swear I will do something drastic!" Of course, I dreamt that in me sleep or so I thought and then I heard, "Oh yeah and I'll call the police and what will YOU do?"

I opened one eye and the room was grey from the dawn light and Tonya was fast asleep and the dog was curled by me side of the bed looking up at me as if to say, yeah I heard that too.

"You try it Bozo you just try it and see what happens."

No, I was really hearing shouting and as I looked at the clock another outburst rang out and the dog growled as if saying she didn't want to be disturbed either. I finally realised it was me neighbours five acres away. The air was still, me window on that side of the house was open and I was hearing them argue. It stopped eventually with a door slamming and tyres grinding at top speed down the driveway. By that time I was not getting back to sleep so I got up, made breakfast, coffee, and cleaned up until the house was up.

I decided (being wide awake) to help get the kiddos off to school and I tell ya it was a trial. I know mornings are hectic with two of us trying to get ready to go to work and the three kiddos getting ready to go off to school and daycare. I told Tonya to go on I would take kiddo duty so she could enjoy a cup of fresh Joe and not have to gulp it down. Famous last words.

I had one spazo on me hands, that be baby who has developed an alter-ego we call Georgie. The reason he is called Georgie is because I had a cousin Georgie who was the image of the cute blond, blue-eyed babe but underneath all that "cute" was a demon of a child. His middle name was Trouble it was. He couldn't keep out of that muck no matter how much his parents threatened him with all sorts of diabolical punishments. He was the first of our family to run away from home. Yes, and he did it with typical Georgie panache, at the tender age of 10 he hopped a railroad car and made his way from Wicklow to Dublin! Yes, he did.

Well, it doesn't take much imagination or thought to know when young George was returned to his rightful abode, he was in the doggie house big time. He was grounded until the age of 60 his ma said and his da immediately enrolled young George in a boarding school to be taught what being on ones own really means when one is the "new kid" and friendless. It did not take long for young George to turn it all around and find a way to steal his peers homework, thus achieving academic stardom the easy way. Not only that he had a system of blackmailing the younger students into handing over any and all goodies sent to them by their caring families, and turning around and selling the said goods to the older students who coveted what they did not have. I tell ya.

When George was graduated with honours and released from the said boarding school, he turned a page and became a farmer! Oh yes he did, forget academic promise he bought a used tractor and some acres that came along with a run down farm house and there he was, Farmer George.  His parents were not proud.

I lost track of cousin Georgie, but he amazingly reappeared as he possessed me youngest son. We would have head banging on the floor to which one thought the child in fit of temper would suffer concussion. The worse of the head banging (in which he propelled his arched upper body hard backward into the back of the hard wood highchair he was sitting in), was the sound of the whack his head made on hardwood. This often as not happened when our youngest was in a fit of temper. Why and how he knew to do this distressing action I have notta clue. Neither of his brothers ever attempted to whack their heads on anything hard (and this done dozens of time in succession on his part), therefore, I don't know where he learned it unless there was someone in daycare that exhibited same.

So it turned out Georgie was out in force spazing on me, head banging on the pine floor boards screaming at the top of his lungs. This, after I went up to his crib to get him, to find he had stripped himself of his onesie AND his nappy, and was bouncing around the crib throwing everything he could out of it. I somehow waded through a sea of stuffed animals and got him in a clean nappy and jeans, before he kicked me in the mouth and I put him down for a minute to get a Kleenex. He took the opportunity to go crawling backwards down the stairs at a hundred miles an hour shirtless. When I caught up to him he was not letting me get the shirt over his head for the head banging on the floor. Me mam told me to ignore him which is pretty hard to do when you are in fear the child will cause himself brain damage. The dragon lady, me mother-in-law was all for picking him up and hugging and kissing him as if that behaviour never happened. I saw it as a reward to keep doing that kind of thing, and told them both their suggestions weren't within me realm of possibility, so I continued to fight to get that shirt over his head as he screamed at the top of his bloody lungs.

Finally, I got our Georgie in his chair where he continued to head-bang until I got his oatmeal in front of him. He was quiet for a minute as he picked up his plastic baby spoon, and then looked at me with slits for eyes and while still watching me watch him, he let the spoon scoop up a large spoonful of the porridge and then he flung it in me direction. Before I could wipe the stuff off, he had thrown the spoon on the floor and picked up the plastic bowl (yes, we know not to give him breakable anything) and threw the bowl and contents on the floor where the dog was happy to clean up on aisle five.

I left his care to me mam while I told me middle child to go and brush his teeth and comb his hair and when I saw the older one I took pause. His shirt was buttoned wrong and for an 8 year old I was rather stunned. I told him the problem, "one side is longer than the other," but he couldn't see there was a problem and for a good 3 minutes we went back and forth. Finally, I unbuttoned his shirt and re-buttoned it correctly. No sooner had I done THAT I turned around to see the middle child with hair dripping.

"What did you do?" I asked him.

"I wet my hair in da sink and combed it." He said smugly.

"It is dripping down your face, your chin, your shirt, the floor," I pointed out.

"Iz okay." Said he and off he went leaving me a puddle to clean up.

What kind of kids do I have? One spaz, one can't button his shirt to save his life, and one who thinks putting his hair under the sink and combing it without towelling is acceptable.

Off they all went to school, the two older ones walked to then end of the driveway and the little one me Mam offered to drop off if dragon lady would do the breakfast cleanup. She agreed which meant she'd rearrange the kitchen and we would never find anything ever again.

I left holding me head to sit down and veg by meself in the living room. I hadn't sat down for more than a minute I hear SLURP SLURP SLURP and I realised after a moment it was the dog drinking water, but then I realised the dog dish was in the kitchen, not the hallway. El Stupido was drinking out of the toilet bowl that one of the kiddos had left the seat up. We put the seat down expressly because of that. I was so grossed out to find the dog had drunk the toilet dry! Now beside meself I took meself outside to the back deck where I had left a grill I had bought to put together.

Have you priced grills? They start at a whooping $500 and go up into the thousands. AND they last a total of one year. I wasn't about to invest in something that expensive that would last me one season. SO I went to Ocean State Job Lots for the first time. It is an inexpensive Walmart as I see it. Right as I walked into this mecca of Chinese goods the first thing in me sight line was the grills. I bought this one:

Looks good now!
There I stood looking down at the box. No tools necessary, everything needed to construct grill was in box. OK I decided no time like now so I got the box opened and found pieces that didn't look like a grill but okay it said piece A gets attached to pieces B and C. Sounded simple enough. I found the key wrench and the plastic knobs and the wheels and well . . . it looked easy. Guess what? It wasn't. Nothing lined up! I was very frustrated after five minutes so after thirty you can imagine how I was. Dragon, meanwhile, had watched this show of mine from the kitchen window and was snickering (I could hear her). After another twenty minutes of me cursing for real and kicking things, I hear a car door open and close and there is this oriental man smiling at me as he came up the deck stairs.

"I hear you need hep wit grill." He said putting out a hand and introducing himself.

It seemed Dragon had befriended him at the only Chinese Restaurant in me area. His name was Chang and he was very nice and very much ready to pitch in.

"I can't get this lined up," I said showing him me problem.

"Oh no Chinnie grill line up straight," he laughed, "you see Chinnie letter writing? It not straight either."

"O K," I didn't know if I should join in the humour or be more humble.

"Here let me do." He took the parts from me and started getting them together as if they were aligned which they were not.

"There, see you jus fass it." He smiled. "That how you line up paahts."

"I see," I said, but not really seeing at all. But he forced the parts to align and while I struggled to hold them steady he used the wrench to tighten them up.

"Now you have Chinnie shiny grill!" Broad smile at me as we both stood back to admire the completed grill.

"Thank you." I said truly humble and feeling the complete idiot. I didn't feel that for long because Dragon came out when all was said and done and made me feel the TOTAL idiot.

"He isn't mechanically inclined," she pointed at me as she regaled Chang with horror stories of Mr. Fixit Not. I left them to go in and brew us coffee, all the while wondering if I should have made tea instead. But all I had was Bewleys no Oolong. But then I realised after working with Ms. Jaio I didn't want to insult him if he was from another tea province. She drank Houkui tea because she was brought up on it. She be from Huang Shan where that particular tea be made. It was no big deal to Mr. Chang, he was good with coffee and a scone with jam. I worry needlessly sometimes to be politically correct and notice Mr. Chang wasn't very politically correct, he was having fun at me expense making fun of Chinese products.

The gist of this grill business be that I reckon it would cost me $500+ for a grill I'd get one season or maybe two. This way me paying $120 I get probably two seasons at not even half the cost. I won't have to send for parts or any of the $500+ parts needed, instead I'll just go buy another one at $120.00!

Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved

10 May, 2015

The Rumour Mill Takes Off

10 May 2015

R. Linda:

I thought moving farther out to the boonies would be a tranquil experience. I live on the edge of a forest and technically in one before they built a few homes in it so now my area be not considered IN the forest, but an old part of it, whatever. With that in mind, you think not much goes on in a community of a few hundred people and thousands of tall pines. But things do go on like yesterday for example.

It was mid-afternoon when I was looking at the beaver-less pond in the front of the abode, thanking the powers of the universe that there were none of those critters there to harass me. The air carried a slight breeze scented with lilac and the day was simply gorgeous. I inhaled a breath of the lilac and pine scented air and when I opened me eyes I thought I saw flashing blue lights in the distance, up where the road would be. Faeries? Blue faeries? Out here in the wilderness? I stood there and more flashing blue lights, and then more and more until I lost count and realised those were police lights not blue faeries!

I wondered what be going on? So I walked the long trek down me driveway (yes I do have one, I know unique to me) and then took a path into the woods that overlooked the road below. Now me road is a back road, certainly not a main thoroughfare so to see one police cruiser is a novelty, but to see as many as I did (a parking lot full) be rather a stunner. The amount of unmarked police cars was just as crazy.

Look here:

Look at them all!
I stood there watching more and more state police cruisers come quietly in, lights flashing and part way down the road they went. There were police in bullet proof vests with machine guns and all this began to register in me brain that something be greatly amiss. I had never seen a police presence like that in a remote area. A city yes, but out here in the sticks?

The reason became clear later, but at that time I had no clue. Watching the police turn away the occasional vehicle from the road and horseback rider, made me more curious. I will say a heavy police presence was not the way I thought I'd meet me neighbours but that's what happened. A man who lives two long distances away from me, came up and told me what he thought was happening.

"Some guy is barricaded in someones house down there. He's waving a gun and this is the result."

Then the guy's wife came up looking for the hubby and says, "No, I heard he has kidnapped a small child."

Well then, that explained it more. But neither of those were true though they both had an ounce of truth in them I found out later.

Then the policeman waving the occasional car away started walking towards us. I thought he would tell us to disperse but he asked if any one of us owned the house way back in the woods. I said I did and he said they were evacuating me neighbour across the way and could she and her kiddos stay with us. Well certainly says I. But she decided instead, like a typical woman, to go shopping!

Me neighbour standing next to me asked the officer what was going on and he said something about a high speed chase gone very wrong and that was it.

It wasn't five minutes later, me neighbour on me other side came up and said he heard on his police scanner (I know some people have nothing better to do) that the man who lived down the road was involved in a road rage incident and was holed up in his abode.

We were all so confused as to what was really going on. Then to our utter astonishment an armoured police tank came rolling in. Holy Moly was this guy a terrorist? Had we got it wrong?

Look here:

Tank arrives

How many terrorists were there? That's what me neighbours wife asked, her eyes bugging out of her head. Was there a militia gone wrong down there? This is the Live Free or Die state. Who knew? We watched as the armoured vehicle made its way a little down the road.

Armoured Vehicle on its way down the road
For all appearances with so many unmarked cars it looked like a party gone wrong, but those cars, make no mistake, were police. An ambulance rolled on by and we were primed for gunfire to start.  Whatever was going on it did not look good.

The interesting thing was we couldn't see but maybe three heavily armed officers, the rest had surrounded the house which was deep in the woods as is almost all the homes where I live. We had no view of anything for the trees and being the homes are acres apart, it is hard to hear or see anything. So we were mostly still in the dark, though we were more apt to believe we had terrorist in our midst, but that didn't make much sense, there is no one out here! Unless there was covert activity. I tell ya we were all talking crazy by this time.

This went on for hours and as it happened, more neighbours came out of the woods with lawn chairs and bottles of beer to watch the show. I was stunned. The officer keeping watch on the road didn't seem to care he was too busy with the situation at hand. I was gobsmacked at the party atmosphere that was taken hold on a possible dangerous situation not far from us. I tell ya! Americans -- anything for a gathering to socialise!

I did find out a story about the same area of woods across from me while all the hoopla was going on. I was told a summer ago three or four males were running naked through the woods. Someone saw them on the horse trails and called the local authorities. They were arrested the next day, two of them from Rhode Island. How they were identified I haven't a thought in me head. But they were caught. Why they were running around without clothes, I also don't know and have not a thought on that either. Seems I have moved to an interesting and bizarre area. Who knew?

I thought with all the craziness of the chemical scare, the thieving beavers, and general silliness of me old neighbourhood, I was set to live a boring and sedate life. Not so R. Linda!

Just as quietly as all this started, it ended. No shootout, the man came quietly (or at least I think he did). The men in blue packed him in a squad car and they drove by our silent selves who were waiting to get a look at the bad hombre.

The bad hombre turned out to be a 85 year old grumplson. Seems the "incident" started in the town over from me. Road rage, yes the old geezer waved a pistol at a man on the side of a road arguing with him, and that man reported his ancient arse to the local authorities who raced up to his abode to arrest his wrinkled arse. Only the old geezer wasn't leaving the house and locked himself in! So there. After a standoff that lasted from afternoon to the early evening, the boys in blue negotiated terms that led to the unlocking of the door and giving his old self up to the law.

I ask you does this look like he needs all that police presence?

Watch out! (photo courtesy police dept)
I won't mention the man's name or where he lives as it is, he is innocent until proven otherwise. But really?

Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved

02 May, 2015

Got a Stair Lift Chair? I do! There are times . . .

02 May 2015

R. Linda:

The bad news is that Big Tony be extending his stay in Japan. That means the Dragon lady be extending her stay at me abode! Seems Big has pitched an idea to a Japanese investor and there is interest therefore, Big isn't coming home anytime soon. The Dragon took that news a little too calmly for me taste. She just shrugged and wished him luck and that was that.

I stood there looking at the hung up phone that she had put down and then told me her good news. I could not move. I was frozen in horror as she walked off. All I could do was look at that phone and try to will it to ring back that Big had changed his mind and was coming home to NEW JERSEY!

No matter how hard I tried, no ring came until I started to turn for the kitchen to relieve my stress with chocie chip cookies. I near had to scrap meself off the ceiling for scaring meself that I actually had the psychic power to make that phone ring with Big being the caller. I ran for it, I did.

"Ello?" I said near breathless with excitement.

"Gabe, it's me, I'm running late so ask your mom or mine to start dinner. I will be there as soon as I can." Click.

It was Tonya, who didn't wait for me to tell her the news that Mommy Dearest AKA Dragon, would be staying another month at least!

Dejected I stood there once again looking at the phone. I got it to ring, but it was the wrong person. I'd try it again, I mean I got it to ring right? Next had to be the right person calling. I closed me eyes and with all me brain power willed Big to ring me up with better news, that deal was done sooner than later and he's on his way home to NEW JERSEY!

Suddenly I heard ringing. Me eyes flew open and I picked up the phone and got dial tone. I looked at the receiver and wondered what the heck. And the ringing was still going on before I heard pounding on me front door. It was the doorbell, stupid me!

Feeling a psychic failure I answered it to find another bit of bad news, the Weasil was on me doorstep! Could this day get any worse? The young whippersnapper had found me and he complained it wasn't an easy task. He had luggage with him, two suitcases. That could only mean extended stay. Ugh!

I didn't get to say anything sarcastic or demeaning to him as the Dragon must have smelled fresh young meat because there she was hugging his skinny arse and lifting him off the carpet in her deadly embrace. The Weasil's face was like a red balloon as she slowly (in her anaconda way) started squeezing the living life out of him.

Somehow he managed to shimmy his way downwards and out of those two massive arms and threw me between himself and the salivating mother-in-law. There were a few merry quips exchanged between the two, and then it was he and I running for the kitchen to get away.

"I needies me a drinkie. I was all for a cuppa but after THAT I needies something stronger." Said he.

After one whiskey for me and five for him, I had the nerve to ask him to what I owed the honour of his visit. More importantly how did he find me. I made sure I covered me tracks so he couldn't, but there he was.

"Housie warming prezzie." He said, and unzipped the carryon he had grabbed as we ran for it.

It was a lovely bottle of Midleton Whiskey, aged and precious. I was gobsmacked, but then Weasil can afford such gifts. I thanked him and told him I'd bring it out for special occasions. To which he informed me any visit by him was a special occasion. I ended up breaking the seal and we both partook of the smooth taste of the rare blend. Heaven I tell ya!

It was as the mellow feeling of whiskey bliss took me over that the young scamp informed me his visit was for two weeks. He wanted to see the new surroundings and acclimate himself with what was to do in the middle of Nowhere, New Hampshire. I was in a pleasant haze when he told me this and I just nodded and took another sip.

It wasn't until 3 a.m. I woke up from me sleep to realise how long his stay was going to be and it coincided with the Dragon's and well . . . I couldn't get back to sleep after that epiphany.

I won't get into the scrappy and oh so crazy conversations that occurred to me and around me by the two "houseguests" but suffice it to say it was hell on earth trying to extract meself from their company. Usually where you found one, the other was sure to follow.

While being critized and belittled by one, and watching the other drink from the coffee pot, lick his plate and be as obnoxious as he knew how, I was thinking of building a shed out back in the woods just to keep me sanity. I know living out there with no amenities like in me lovely abode would be difficult, but I'd rather chance the bug bites, the snakes, and spiders than those two combatants.

I had been back in me office figuring out dimensions and how much wood I would need and got that down, so this idea of mine was ready to become a reality. Just as I was about to go buy lumber for me woodland hide away, and sneak down the back stairs before either of them could find me, I heard a strange male voice telling someone to get on and take THE ride up the stairs.

Ride up the stairs? Whaaat? I stealthily made me way down the hallway to see a man standing to the side with Weasil behind him (never a good thing) and I could just see Dragon's knees go floating up the stairs. What the heck? Now me curiosity was peaked so I went all the way down to find that the stranger had installed a Stair Lift for Dragon. Do you know how awful that looks? Certainly took the old world charm of a colonial staircase away fast.

Here take a look:

How lovely is this?
So now me new abode has an old lady's chair that goes up and down the stairs almost silently except for a slight hum. Me abode looks like a rest home now. Yesss.

Can you just picture Dragon with her pointed hat and shoes, holding her broom as she floats up and down the stairs? It is very spooky at night because my bedroom is right at the top of those stairs and I can hear that slight hum and I can just picture her.

Now this has been installed without me permission, but I was told when she leaves it goes with her (bad knees you know). Somehow I don't think it will. Anyway, for the past week every night that damn thing is in use when everyone should be asleep. It was starting to get to me that hum. I be a light sleeper, and so I was tossing and turning as a result. One night the damn thing was being used constantly and I thought I heard diabolical laughter. Finally, at 4 a.m. I dragged meself out of bed and into the hallway to confront her, but the chair was at the bottom of the stairs. Ah ha! She had to be raiding the kitchen, but really, it seemed like that chair would get to the top of the stairs and then go back down. Hum, was it malfunctioning? Going by itself up and down? Well R. Linda, I waited for 15 minutes and no one came to the bottom of the stairs and the Stair Lift stayed put. I gave up and went back to me bed. I must have been asleep no more than three minutes I heard the hum of that stupid thing coming back to the top of the landing. I wanted to fly out of bed and confront her, but I was too lazy. I meant to say something to her the next morning, but I guess raiding the kitchen wore her out because she was sleeping in by the time I left for work.

I did notice at dinner that night that both Weasil and Dragon had dark rings around their eyes, and both were napping frequently or nodding off. I wondered what they were doing that they were so knackered, and then thought - no way would they be together doing anything because . . . because why? Well, I thought, maybe Weasil was here to be fawned over by that rabid Dragon. Sometimes he likes that, but oft he doesn't. Who knows? Who cares? Not me.

Well, I had two more nights of humming Stair Lift and on the third I decided to wait for her. I heard the Stair Lift go zipping down the stairs, and then slowly it came back up before it went zipping back down. Then there was nothing for 10 minutes (yes, I timed it) before it came zipping back up. I crept to the keyhole and watched an empty chair go slowly down the rails to the bottom of the stairs. Did Weasil bring a ghost with him from that haunted castle he recently scared himself in? But as I pondered, the hum of the chair started again, and there was the thing coming into me sightline through the keyhole. The chair seat was laden with donuts, coffee, little tea cakes and sugar and creamer. Hands took the tray that lay across the seat and off the contents went but not before the chair magically floated empty back down the stairs. I was perplexed. Suddenly it started humming as it came back up with the Weasil sitting on  it. Hum. I opened the door a crack and watched him trot down the hallway to the kid's playroom where a light was flooding over the hall floor. The door closed and that was it. Weasil and Dragon were using the damn thing as a dumb waiter. One would ride it down and raid the fridge, the other would remote control it to come up with the food and then remote control it back down the stairs to pick up the culprit who did the actual raiding of refrigerator.

By riding it they weren't making the stairs creek, the hum was less noisy. Diabolical I tell ya, the two of them. I did wonder why we seemed short on goodies. Now I knew. But this wasn't the only use for that Stair Lift, it has three settings, very slow (as Weasil tells me so one can enjoy the scenery), slow (a little faster than very slow) and zip line fast (if there is an emergency and you need to get up or down in a hurry). However, I found out that there are two additional speeds, warp speed and extreme velocity. These last two are a Weasil invention he somehow wired the chair up for. Seems he and the Dragon have late night races up the stairs to see who can go faster. I tell ya!

When I found out about this I was put in the chair and seat belted, yes he added a seat belt. Not only a seat belt but I was fitted with one of those spongy neck braces you get for whip lash. And it was needed, he started me up on warp speed and I was thinking I was going up the stairs like me hair was on fire. Than he put it on extreme velocity and I came whipping down those stairs holding on for dear life I didn't lose mine, screaming like a girl. The seat belt kept me from being thrown out the front door or through it, and the medical neck collar prevented the whip lash that would certainly have come with the quick stop. There ought to be a law against fiddling with things like Stair Lifts. Further there should be a law against letting the Weasil free to roam. He needs to be locked up somewhere with the key thrown away. As for Dragon, I won't even go there.

Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved

24 April, 2015

What you should never do in a haunted castle

24 April 2015

R. Linda:

Weasel told me that recently a friend of his bought  an old ruin of a castle in Scotland. The price was very little, and well it should be as 3/4 of the castle walls were nothing but rubble on the ground. However, in the half standing tower I was told one could look over hills and dales and even a lough where the water rippled in the high winds of the Highlands -- and was as black as night. No not Loch Ness, but some other lough, loch, lake. If there be some sea serpent in that lough I have not heard, but it is ominous to look out at the black water, I understand, without getting a shiver up ones spine.

There is one wall and enclosure that is still standing I be told. And that if you got up on the half open tower (where the breeze will blow you about with no mercy) and stand upon the crumbling stone stairs, it be like one is experiencing a hurricane! There be a doorway up there that had been shored up that the new owner broke open to find two rooms inside the wall still intact. Messy, full of bird droppings, leaves, broken stonework, and such, the laddie spent a week clearing it out. He got a friend and they used mortar to restore where they could and basically got the two rooms into some order.

One room was made into a makeshift kitchen (because they had to have their food) and the other a bedroom of sorts. Well, the black lough in the distance and the high winds had so unnerved the other fellow he decided he was going back to Glasgow, he was done. He told the new owner that he felt like he was being watched as he worked, and he felt like something dreadful would happen if he stayed. Besides which, was that as he worked, he had the distinct feeling his ears were being pulled but there was nothing there! The new owner felt none of this and told his friend he understood (which he did not) and this is how the Weas got the call to come take the helper's place.

As you know the Weas be an enthusiastic sort he is and it would be just up his alley to be on top of a ridge looking down at the minions below (of which there were none), a black lake would not be a bother and as you also know, nothing scares the Weasil. I will say many a time the Weasil has frightened the bejayus out of me, but that is neither here nor there.

It came to pass that for two weeks the two laboured on these two rooms and the owner moved in, without electric, without a working water closet, without heat, without much at all but a lovely renaissance style bed and a few family tapestries placed strategically on the old stone walls to shut out what wind they couldn't mortar out.

A large assortment of medieval candle holders were got from somewhere and so at night at least there was a blazing two rooms in the old ruin that could be seen from far far away. At night with the aid of so much light, the owner drew up his plans for renovation. He had to go into Inverness which was some distance south and so he asked Weasil if he would stay at the old place one night to make sure it was secure. Secure from what I have no idea.

But Weasil being a camper and adventurer as you well know, jumped at the opportunity to stay saving him the long drive from the closest village which was some kilometres away. Well, it ended up being a lonely day and into the night the Weas was looking forward to a rainy, windy night of howling winds, and rain lashing the shingled roof above (which he had just finished repairing that very day), and all was ripe for a good nights sleep! Yes, it was, or so he thought.

Well, all happened as Weasil thought it might, the wind howled, the rain lashed, and he slept fitfully until the devil's hour of 3:30 a.m. He was restless and no matter what he couldn't fall back to sleep. He lit one candle and got out his mobile phone, as remote as he was he did have some reception, spotty that it was, but enough he could read his email. When he was done he played a few games on his cell and then bored, he decided to download an app or two. Well, none would download and as he sat cursing, he thought he heard the "woo woo woo" sound that goes without saying that the Weasil was not alone but in the presence of a spirit!

For some unexplained reason, his ears tingled and felt hot. He thought he felt a tug on his left ear but wasn't sure it was some muscle spasm from how he was lying in the bed. I tell ya a muscle spasm in ones ear? Come on, really?

Weas was able to Google for a very short few minutes the history of the place he was lying in by candlelight.

Now legend said that the former occupant of said ruins was a mighty and bloodthirsty warrior knight of the William Wallace era who cut off  mens ears and ate them for breakfast. He drank their blood because he thought it would give him more power and so the tale goes. Neither the new owner nor the Weas would normally be phased by such stories, but late at night, with wind and rain, sleep becoming elusive, and nothing much to do, ones mind might just start to conjure up the memory and that perhaps the stories were true?

What would someone like Weasil do in a case like this? Look at the ghost busting apps to download to his mobile phone, that's what. And that is exactly what the laddie did. He found one app that after several others, downloaded with ease. Now that in itself might tell you spirit was guiding that one app for one ungodly purpose, but Weasil was not thinking, which is usually the case and so he was happy to have the download.

Thrilled to the nines the Weasil set up his new ghost proggie as he called it, and settled back in his cushy sheets and goose down comforter to track the ghost. The app came with sound effects I might add and those did unnerve our Weasil to which he turned that off and let the ghost warning which was a pong sound be the only one besides that of the howling wind and rain outside to invade his delicate hearing.

He didn't have long to wait, for within a minute a PONG sounded and on the small phone screen there appeared a ghost floating across the screen and disappearing though the opposite wall. I would think that would raise the hairs on ones neck if the sound accompanied it. Now when you pointed your phone to the right the image on the screen of a square box room would zoom to the right and at first nothing. But when Weas zoomed to the left, BINGO, a loud PONG sounded and there coming out of the wall was a ghosty. Yes, and Weasil was thrilled. He tracked the image as it floated up to his ceiling and down to the left and then to the right, and as the rain and wind howled the Weasil's attention was rapt on the image, his eye lit up with a satisfaction that yes there was a ghost in his room!

For about thirty minutes the Weasil was thus occupied until another pong sounded and a second ghost came into the room. Well, this was wonderful to be able to track not one but two ghosts and to speculate who the second might be? An earless victim of the first ghosty? He thought so until the third, and the fourth and the fifth ghosty drifted in and well the Weasil after ten minutes was surrounded by too many ghosts to count!

The novelty had worn way off as the wind and rain got stronger, the pong sounds more frequent and the Weasil was steadily losing his nerve and virb as the spiritual visitors increased. Another five minutes and the Weasil had enough, but instead of shutting the programme off, he went into the other room and closed the door. Fumbling with his phone he got the torch app to come on and finding a candle or two or three lit those, yet the storm sounds permeated the kitchen area too making him feel very uneasy and as he had not mortared that room, the wind came blasting through (which made the relighting and repositioning of candles a real challenge, not to mention that splashes of rain came with the wind making for a rather damp Weasil).

Stupid is as stupid does and he flicked on the ghost app and the four corners of the  kitchen flashed up but it was ghostless. Feeling better, the laddie took some cold mutton from the ice chest and some left over wine and made himself 'a feel better repast'. After the second bite though, a pong sounded from his phone he left across the room. Weasil froze and debated as he sat not chewing, food getting soggy in his chops, whether he should cross the room and take a peek.

Usually nothing frightens the Weasil as I said before, but this situation did for some reason. Curiosity getting the best of the  laddie, he began slowly chewing and finding it hard to swallow from the lump in his throat, BUT the Weasil rose and walked unsteadily towards his mobile. He looked down and floating behind him was a rather large ghost. Was this THE ghost, the one that cut off ears, ate them and washed them down with his victim's blood? Holy ghosties Batman, but Weasil was outta there like he'd be launched off a missile pad. Candles left burning, sanny half eaten, wine on the table, wind and rain splashing in and no Weasil in sight.

Weasil told me later that the Google history on the castle, placed the victims being relieved of their ears in the bedroom and the eater of the ears would wait to be served in what he and his friend were using as a kitchen. Explains a lot he said.

The next day when the owner arrived he found the wind had blown over the candlesticks, the rain put the fire out and mice had eaten the left food. He was perplexed as to what happened to the Weasil, and realising the Weasil's vehicle was not at the footpath entrance, that something must have spooked the Weasil for him to take flight and almost burn down the man's new abode.

Well, Weasil has yet to tell his friend the truth because he says he's embarrassed. That's a first in my book because as we know from experience nothing embarrasses that lad.

I asked him if he was going back there, he told me no way Jose. That he'd rather be lashed to the main mast of Captain Jack's ship in a raging monsoon. Could it be the Weasil be really afraid of the spirit world? Who knew?

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