Friday, October 22, 2010

Leash Law

We have a leash law in our town.  This means that, on our walks, Tucker is on his leash.  Every.  Single.  Day.  I don't have a problem with the leash law at all.  Even if we didn't have one here, Tucker would still be walked on one for safety reasons if nothing else (even though the subdivision where we walk is undeveloped--and we hope and hope it remains that way).  What I DO have problems with are all the dog owners who walk their dogs without their leashes and the fact that the leash law itself seems to be discretionary.  I know that there are some other walkers out there who have called and lodged complaints with the Police Department (from the officer who sends out crime reports for the town).  I have seen an increase in patrol cars in the area as well as animal control.  What I have yet to see is anyone walking with unleashed doggies being ticketed.  This morning AnimalControlMan was in there and TWO patrol cars.  There were 5 unleashed dogs with their owners walking around.  AnimalControlGuy stopped only one person (she has two dogs and one of them is mean---I know this because that's the dog that attacked Tucker Sunday morning) and merely talked to her.  She waited until she thought he left and CONTINUED TO WALK HER DOGS- UNLEASHEDAnimalControlGuy meandered his vehicle around the loop again but stopped to talk to the officers in the 2 patrol cars parked in the back of the subdivision.  Mean Lady with mean dog, meanwhile, moved to the inner loop that surrounds the 2 ponds and CONTINUED TO WALK HER DOGS- UNLEASHED.  Maybe AnimalControlGuy couldn't see her, you say?  Well, I could see her and I had practically the same vantage point as he did.   

This probably sounds like I am nit-picking and, I must admit, MOST of the unleashed dogs are very, very sweet and so are their owners (and, when the dogs jump into the ponds, the birds take off and I get pictures of them in flight--this also has a down side which is the fact that the dogs frighten the birds which is why they take flight) .  However- there IS a leash law and some of the dogs are not easily controlled by their owners.  I have seen 2 different dogs almost get hit by cars when said dogs darted into the road.  I have seen 1 large dog jump up on the older lady who uses a walker but gets out there and walks anyway.  I have seen 3 different dogs get leashed as soon as another person and/or dog comes close to them (which makes me wonder what would happen should they not get the leash on them in time).  I have seen Tucker get attacked by a dog (and there was no blood, I think the dog was just doing that alpha male thing, but STILL).  I have seen 2 dogs who run up to other people and/or dogs at full speed and loud bark.  I have seen several police cars and animal control vehicles cruise through the area and DO NOTHING which leads to my thinking that the leash law is discretionary so WHY DO WE BOTHER HAVING IT?  AND, did I mention that there is a DOG PARK not even a half mile from this place?????

So fellow pet owners out there-please share your take on the leash law where you live.  Meanwhile, here are some photos from the week's walks.

Gull searching for Tuesday morning breakfast

Ducks flying away from unleashed dogs

Little Blue Heron flying away from us on Wednesday

Little Blue Heron today, not scared of us at all

Or, maybe he is!

Egret who flies away from everything

Egret ballet

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Purge it Baby!

We are fast approaching the 15 month mark of living in our empty nest and I believe that, so far, we have survived with dignity and grace.  Ok, maybe dignity and grace were not the principle elements but, we did survive.  And what is it, exactly, that we have survived?  We have survived being in our home...alone...together...just the two of us- which might not sound like a big deal to most but it has been quite interesting.  We have survived our youngest deciding to move in with her sister instead of coming home for the summer--it wasn't a surprise, those two are very close.  We are still trying to survive the passing of Hubs' mother 4 months ago.  We have survived the quiet--shoot, we're almost enjoying that part now.

Since we now have some sort of understanding as to what to expect from an empty nest, it was time to start making decisions about what to do with all this space.  We have a tiny house but, with the 4 daughters living elsewhere, we had, for the first time, SPACE!  Unfortunately, it was cluttered space.  When the youngest moved her possessions out, I wondered what she had actually taken with her.  It was a prime example of what a room looks like after it is hit by the proverbial tornado.  In other words, it looked just the same as when she did reside here with us.  This child, baby daughter M (in order to discern her from married daughter M), took her dresser with her but left everything once contained in said dresser ALL OVER THE FLOOR.  She took her oblong table but left all of its contents ALL OVER THE FLOOR.  She took her big bookshelf but left all the books and knickknacks ALL OVER THE FLOOR.  She took the closet contents out of her closet and took what she needed/wanted, left the rest and, guess exactly where she left it?  That's right, ALL OVER THE FLOOR.  The other 'daughter room' was not as bad with most left behind items stowed in the closet.  Then there was the attic.  And so, we officially entered the PURGE! phase of having an empty nest.

I gave all who had possessions stored here a timeline for going through all of their crap precious assets and rescuing those items they wished to retain.  Any remaining items would go into the Empty Nest Yard Sale.  Should anyone not make it home to siphon through the jungle (and I mean THICK jungle) of belongings, no worries!  It would ALL go into the yard sale, claimed or not.  Finally, the attitude I've been waiting for had arrived--DON'T MESS WITH ME ON THIS ISSUE! 

I could see it all without even closing my eyes!  An office/study in the back bedroom.  The front bedroom, a guest room.  EXTRA closet space....EXTRA I said!!!! Clean rooms that STAY that way because they aren't cluttered with things that don't belong to the two of us!  Good Lord IT'S A MIRACLE! 

Then I started going through all the attic boxes and containers.  I saw all the American Girl dolls and accessories; the mountains of stuffed animals; all those trophies; baby clothes...sweet, precious memories, NOT mere stuff.

We do have a large number of things for the yard sale (although the attic looks the same as it did before the Great Purge of 2010) and 85% of these things belong to my mother who is moving in with her sister so she purged her house while packing (I did save the Fisher Price Toot-Toot from her 'stuff.').  There is no study or guest room either.  What the heck, I've lived with clutter all these years, what's a few more? 

Mostly Mimi's stuff

Also mostly Mimi's stuff

Monday, October 18, 2010

I am so NOT digging housework

I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only person in the world who DOES NOT DIG housework.  I don't usually mind the droll, day-to-day stuff- probably because I've been doing it for so many years that it's more rote than anything (except the bathrooms, I will ALWAYS and FOREVER hate cleaning those.).  You know, just a normal part of the day-to-day living.  HOWEVER, those every so often chores like moving the fridge and stove to clean beside and under them; moving the furniture to clean under it; and, the granddaddy of them all---getting down on all fours to clean the floors.  I cannot even begin to tell you the level of my distaste for this last duty.  The fact that I do really like the end result does nothing to make this chore remotely tolerable.  So, I bought a steam cleaner--a shark (see picture) thinking that my days of getting on my hands and knees to clean the floors once every other month or so were over.  WRONG.  That thing does clean, but not as good as I do 'doggie style.'  Today was the day for cleaning the floors on all fours and this job is just not getting any easier.  Now I can add the fact that, because of the combination of my age and my weight, it's, at the very least, extremely uncomfortable (NOT to mention the fact that I must look absolutely ridiculous just getting up and down.).   Here's the thing:  I am looking for a better steamer.  And, yes, I still want the steamer--  I don't like using chemicals what with a dog in the house and any grandchildren that might come my way onedaybeforeIdie. But I want one that will take away the need for such serious 'Cinderella type' cleaning.  If anyone out there knows of a better steamer, PLEASE share this information with me!!! Meanwhile, it's back to cleaning the hard, but effective way.

On a lighter note:  here's what Tucker and I saw on our walk this morning (Big Dog is still visiting with daughter R and Strider!!!!)...
Beautiful Osprey

Same guy

Here he is in black and white

Here he is flying away
A painted bunting


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Morning Walk

Since Becks, the big dog, is visiting daughter R and her big dog this weekend, Tucker and I were able to take the camera on our walks.  These are some shots from today's walk.  Hope you enjoy them!

Blue Heron

Red Shouldered Hawk (I think)

Snowy Egret

Blue Heron

Blue Heron