Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Revelation About Me

Everyone who knows me knows that my animals are my children. They may annoy me sometimes when they do things they aren't supposed to do (like coughing up a hairball on the carpet, jumping on the kitchen sink to get a bug, rolling in the middle of the bed when I'm trying to make it, scratching my bare skin when I've just gotten out of the shower because street cats don't know how to keep their claws in, etc.), but even when they are annoying me, I find joy in them. As I scold Jewel when she's about to jump on the counter after that bug, I can see the expression on her face saying, "But, MOM, there's a bug in the window!" Then she sulks off and cleans her self, giving me the stink eye the whole time. They have such great personalities, even when they are sneaky little witches.

There have been a couple of temporary pets that have stolen my heart, too. Oscar was one of them. I told his story last summer, I believe. My brother Rob brought him to my house after finding him eating garbage on an old logging road. He was sick with infection from the horrible cut on his neck where he had apparently broken off a chain, and he was so stinky. Bathing him was WILD. He was just a puppy, about 5 -6 months old, I know because he was losing his puppy teeth. He stayed in my yard until he was well, and he got so big and rambunctious that I was afraid he would hurt Georgia. We couldn't keep him, so I tried to find a home for him, with no luck. Rob and Dave took him to the Humane Society, and I'm pretty sure that sweet puppy found a forever home. He was such a sweet dog, just too big and out of control for me to handle at that point in my life. I cried like a baby the night before they took him away because I let him down. I took him in, but I couldn't give him what he needed to be the pet I needed him to be.

Before Oscar, there was Taco. Taco was a husky mix with white-blue eyes. She was called Taco because she looked like a larger version of the Taco Bell dog. She had been hanging around the neighborhood of some people we went to church with at the time. They were tired of her, but they fed her because she had just had a litter of puppies and she appeared to be starving. Dave offered for the people to bring her to our house. He thought they would drop her off and she would just fend for herself. This was early in his understanding of me and animals. :) She was also a super sweet and very stinky dog. She stayed in our yard in Gardendale, and she played pretty well with Georgia. She slept on an old comforter on the porch. Her only drawback was that she roamed a lot, it was the Husky in her, I think. There was one very traumatic night when I had put her on a tie-out on the porch so she wouldn't roam and get hit by a car. When I got back from class, the dog and the tie out were gone. Dave was home, but he had not let her go - he thought she had just left. I went looking for her and found her in the backyard. She was so traumatize from being tied up that she wouldn't even move. I had to pick her up and carry her back to her blanket on the porch, and she wasn't a small dog. She had obviously been mistreated. We decided we would keep her in the house with Georgia. I brought her in and bathed her on a Friday night, and we were going to the vet for shots on Saturday. Saturday morning, she took Georgia off into the woods and we couldn't find her for a while. We decided then that unless we were ready to fence the yard (and we couldn't afford it), then we couldn't keep her. Georgia would stay in the yard on her own, but Taco took her off and we couldn't risk losing here. We took Taco to the Humane Society, and that was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I cried like a baby over her, too.

That experience is why I made sure that Rob went with Dave to take Oscar to the Humane Society. It's a hard thing to do, and if you are going to pick up strays, you need to be able to do it. The rule at my house now is, if you pick one up, it goes to the Humane Society immediately. If it comes to the house, it will be treated as one of our pets - shots, spay/neuter, flea meds, kennel trained, house trained - all of it. I'm too soft to get attached to them and then have to take them away again without knowing if they will find a family.

I wrote all this as background to help explain what I learned about myself. As an avid animal lover, it's always been hard for me to imagine not liking an animal, especially someone's pet. In the past week, I've learned that I don't love them all. We’ve been dog sitting my in-laws’ Dachshund for a week. He started and ended the week by chasing and attacking Gypsy. I’m not happy with him. He is mean, he bites, he screeches and whines, he doesn’t listen, he’s stubborn, and he constantly has to be ON me. I could deal with all of that stuff, except the cat chasing. Last night, I though he was going to kill her. Luckily, she got away from him and she wasn’t hurt. Everyone in my house was traumatized by the time we got him under control, including him. On top of that, he is not kennel trained. When he’s in the kennel, he screeches at the top of his lungs and sounds like he’s going to stroke out. As you can imagine, there hasn’t been much sleeping going on lately. We tried letting him sleep with us at night, but he keeps us awake and he chases the cats. It's hard for me to not like him. I want to like him, but we just don't mesh well.

Georgia has been looking quite frazzled and she was really clingy this morning. She doesn’t like it when he misbehaves, and she REALLY doesn’t like it when there is yelling. :) Two of the cats, Gypsy and Squirt, all but moved out for the week. I’ve barely had to fill the cat food bowl because no one has been inside to eat. I feel so bad for all of my animals; it isn’t fair to them, and I’m not sure I can do this again. He goes home today, and I am looking forward to a peaceful night of sleep. I’m hoping my animals quickly return to normal.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

New Blog

This is the link to the new remodeling blog: I'm going to try to keep them separate. :)

This is it!

This is the new house. I took pictures of the inside as well, but I can only post a limited number in the blog. I will be creating a separate blog for the ongoing remodeling project, so there will be plenty of pictures in it. I plan to show before, during, and after of each room we do.
Last night was Day 1, we ripped out the carpet in all rooms except the den. The hardwoods don't look too bad - not nearly as bad as I expected. Hopefully our friends can meet us this weekend to work on refinishing. They work for food. :) Tonight we will be pulling the staples out of the floor. The carpet pad was stapled down, and the staples don't come with it when you pull it up. :) We probably would have done more last night, but we ran out of daylight and the power was off.
Speaking of power, do you know that you now have to provide proof of residence before you can get your utilities turned on? What a load. We tried to line up power, water, and gas last week so that it would all be on on closing day, but we couldn't. We had to bring a copy of the deed to prove that the it's our house. So we worked by Big Light (we gave my dad a giant flashlight for Christmas) until it was just too dark to see. Hopefully there will be power tonight.
I'm ready to start painting. I'm anxious about getting everything done in time for the shower and I'm just ready to paint and make it mine.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Today is the the day.

We close on our new house today at 4:00. We had a little scare because apparently today is Confederate Memorial Day and the courthouse is closed. Our credit union is in the courthouse so we thought we weren't going to be able to get our certified check. Luckily, the main branch is open today, so all is well. Let's hope there are no surprises at the closing table.

I'll take pictures of the house the next time I am home in the daylight, which will probably later this week. We have decided to go ahead and refinish the hardwoods because we have some friends that are going to help us with it. I think we'll be pulling up the carpet later this week so we can start that project. After the hardwoods, I'll be painting. We walked through the house again this weekend and I realized that there is WALLPAPER in the bathrooms. I DESPISE wallpaper and it is a pain in the butt to remove, so the bathroom will be the last thing I paint. That wallpaper looks like it is on there good, too; it isn't even peeling in the corners. :(

The deal is, I want to refinish the hardwoods, paint, and move in by June 1. This is because I'm co-hosting a shower in the new house on June 2. Dave is willing to go along with this plan because I promised that the next thing on the list, after hardwoods and paint, can be the little out building that needs some serious help to make it a functional space. He has also been promised the basement as "his area" until we can build a bigger outbuilding for him. Eventually, I think we will make the basement a master bedroom suite, but for now it will belong to him. This will allow me to do basically whatever I want upstairs. Within reason, of course. :) Future plans for the house include new kitchen counters and floor and remodeling the bathrooms and the basement. I'm so excited! There is so much potential just waiting there.

Friday, April 13, 2007

New Things

If pets look like their owners, who does this remind you of? Rebecca? Good, because this is her new kitten. :) She got him for Vivi, because Vivi has been behaving badly - most likely due to loneliness during the day. His name was Shep to begin with (the name of Vivi's husband in The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood), but she changed it to Dean. Apparently, she likes that name. :) I took this picture of him right after she got him; she brought him to my house so I could see him, and he hissed at everything, including the camera. This picture just makes me laugh everytime I look at it. Georgia was so intrigued by him and the more excited she got, the bigger he hissed and spit. I don't think he appreciated her very much.

This is the new painting I did last night at Sips 'n Strokes class. I think it turned out pretty cute, and I plan to hang it and the other one in my new house. Rebecca and Kendall went with me, and we had good time. I never would have expected my sister to be so Type A about painting, though. I thought that all three of our paintings looked great.
That's good for now. I just wanted to share these pictures.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Not Guilty!!

The verdict came back this morning, and he WON!! He won, he won, he won!! I'm so excited for him. This is good stuff.

Some background on the craziness of this week: Dave has spent the last several weeks preparing for a robbery trial. When he got to court Wednesday morning, he learned that the robbery was dismissed, but he would be trying a theft case for the same man. That day. With one hour to prepare. You see, he spent all of his time preparing for the robbery because it was higher on the docket. The judge was testing him - because he likes him. :) He did the best he could, and apparently that was enough to create a reasonable doubt for the jury! He saved this man from a sentence of 20 to life. For the record, if he was guilty of anything, it was probably a misdemeanor - not deserving of life imprisonment. As Dave said last night, it's a hard job - harder than he ever imagined it would be.

A house update - we are supposed to close on the 23rd of this month. God willing, everything will work out fine and this will be our house. We walked through it again this week and found some things that need work. It looks like the shower in the master bathroom leaks, so we'll probably need to replace it . This means down with the pink tile! :) (What is with the trend of pink tile? Yuck.) We are going to try using it for a while first to see if it is actually still leaking, or if the water stains on the ceiling downstairs are old. On that note, we've decided not to refinish the hardwoods (the ones that are hiding under the carpet) because the shower is probably a more immediate need. We will be doing some painting, too, before we move.

That's enough for now.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I forgot something.

I forgot something really big in my update yesterday. Dave's first trial is scheduled for next week, April 9th. I can't disclose any details because of attorney-wife privilege, but please keep him in your thoughts as he prepares to try this case. He is really stressed out right now, so please pray specifically for calm and peace of mind as he prepares. Also, pray that God gives him the words he needs during the trial, that justice is served, and that Dave has peace with the verdict.

He's not on the "good" side of the law (he's the defense counsel - but then, I guess "good" is relative), so we have to be careful about praying for a victory. I will say that Dave is pretty sure the defendant is innocent, so he's really hoping to win. Are you thinking to yourself, "What does a lawyer do when he knows the client is guilty?" The answer is: He hopes that the district attorney does his job well. The majority of Dave's work is appointed by the family court, and most of the people he represents are there because they NEED to be (i.e. the kids need to be taken away, the mom does have a drug habit, etc.) so his job is to get the best deal possible for his client and hope that the other side does a good job.

It would be wonderful if he won his first trial, but I just hope he does his best and that he is happy with his effort - regardless of the outcome. Anyone who knows him well knows that he will argue with a rock just for the sake of arguing. It's fun for him. He's been practicing on me for years. I've been thoroughly cross-examined a multitude of times, so let's all hope that he uses that experience in the courtroom next week. By the way, when I said this to him last week he told me that the difference between arguing with me and arguing in the courtroom is that I don't have a lawyer present. I told him that I thought I may need to get one. :) The Good Lord knows I can't win an argument with him on my own. With all due respect for myself, it IS virtually impossible to win an arguement with someone who argues just for the sake of arguing. How can you make a point if the person you are arguing against changes his position over and over again so that nothing you say is relevant to the next point? He's very good at getting your thoughts so twisted that you don't know what you believe anymore. Surely he can do that in the courtroom and create a reasonable doubt for the jury, right? I can't think of anyone who should have been a lawyer more than him.

On that note, please pray for my sanity, and my sense of humor. :) If we survive this one, we'll be okay through all the rest of the trials in his life - court trials, anyway.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Serial Contract Writers Strike Again!

Once again, we’ve put a contract on a house. Hopefully this will be the last one. This is the house that we heard a rumor about last week. There isn’t even a sign in the yard yet. We got to see it unofficially on Saturday (that means we walked up to the people in the yard and asked them if we could go inside) and then we saw it again officially on Sunday (with our agent). I love it. It reminds me of our house in Gardendale, which I still miss SO MUCH sometimes. It doesn’t look anything like it, but it feels right. And, it has the same old people smell that the Gardendale house had in the beginning. Luckily, I know how to get rid of that now. The yard is huge and beautiful, and fenced in. There is a nice brick patio in the back and a huge front porch. It’s 3 bedrooms and 3 baths, and it probably has hardwoods under all the carpets. The kitchen is very comfortable with giant window over the sink and lots of cabinets. There is a laundry room off the kitchen – big enough for a kennel and the animal feeding station. Maybe this will be home. God willing, the inspection will come back okay and we can finish this house search.

Speaking of God, this is the Christian Holy Week – the week between Palm Sunday (when Jesus returned to Jerusalem) and Easter (when He was resurrected after being crucified). I think this is my favorite holiday because it just astounds me that God sent His only Son to die for me. Isn’t that amazing? Jesus Christ came to this earth to set an example of how we should live our lives, and then He died to wash our sins away so that we can have eternal life in Heaven. Also at His death, the veil that shrouded the Holy of Holies was torn in half, giving us direct access to God so that we can have a personal relationship with Him. As with most relationships, I don’t always give that one enough attention, and I am a sinner by nature, but I cannot imagine how hopeless I would be without God. Amazing things happen when Christians pray. Read more about the real meaning of Easter in the Gospels: Matthew 27: 35-50, Mark 15:24-37, Luke 23: 22-46, and John 19: 18-30.

Finally, here are a few pictures we took over the weekend. Bunny ears have nothing to do with the Risen Christ, but they are awfully cute on a Brown Dog. The azaleas in our backyard are gorgeous, too!