April 8, 2008

I am really running behind this month!  I have had a tough time recovering from my surgery, but finally, as of this week, I'm starting to believe I'm going to get back to normal (such as THAT is...LOL!).

I wanted to share a picture with you of Zoe (my Miniature Schnauzer) and Tori (My Aunt's Miniature Schnauzer) playing.  This was taken while my Aunt Susie from St. Louis was staying and taking care of me right after my surgery.  I love this picture!  Zoe is "butts up" and Tori is "belly up."  They had so much fun together, it was a blast to watch them.


April 10, 2008

Do you ever have those times when nothing seems to go right? 

My toilet broke about midnight the other night.  I didn't have any idea what broke exactly, but I knew it did break, because water was pouring out of the bottom of the tank from an undisclosed location.  I heard it (luckily, I hadn't been able to sleep...insomnia actually can be a good thing) and managed to get a trash can under the stream of water.  My first thought was to turn off the water as quickly as possible because the tank just kept filling back up as soon as the water level went down.  So, being the halfway intelligent person that I am, I grabbed the valve behind the toilet and turned it to the off position.  Nothing happened.  I waited a few minutes to see if the water was clearing from the pipe.  But the supply didn't seem to be diminishing.  I turned it as far the other direction as it would go.  The tank was still filling back up with water.  By now, the trash can was overflowing, so I dumped it in the toilet bowl as quickly as I could before repositioning it and returning to the valve.  I couldn't believe it wouldn't work!  My house is not old.  There was no reason for it to be inoperable.  I tried again.  And again.  The trash can was full again, so I had to dump it once more.  By now, I'm beginning to realize the plumbers who worked for the contractor who built my house were idiots and it was going to be a long night.  I grabbed the float and held it up trying to figure out my next move.  Water continued to drain, but, of course, as long as I was holding the float up, the tank didn't refill.  Unfortunately, the trash can was overflowing yet again, so I had to dump it a third time. 

Since the valve was inoperable, I needed something to hold the float up so the tank wouldn't continue to refill.  The only thing I had handy was a toilet bowl cleaning brush, so I grabbed that and tried to wedge it under the float in a way that would keep it from lowering as the water level went down again.  I had to dump the trash can a couple more times before I was finally successful in finding a way to use the brush to hold up the float.  The floor was soaked.  I was soaked.  The water finally drained out of the tank and I dumped the trash can for the final time.

I didn't fully trust the brush to hold the float in position.  After all, it has bristles on one end and that made it difficult to firmly wedge it in place.  Luckily, I had some twine in the junk drawer (you have one of those too, don't you?), so I tied the twine around the float and then secured it to the handles of the cabinet above the toilet (thank goodness the cabinet doors had handles on them!).  By now, I'm wet and filthy and exhausted.  I've managed to pull something in the area where I had major stitches from my surgery and my torn rotator cuff is hurting.  I was frustrated and tired and in pain. I cleaned myself up and finally crashed into bed.  My insomnia was cured!

I'm happy to say, I was able to fix the toilet all by myself.  Turns out, one of the bolts holding the tank onto the base of the toilet had rusted through and given way.  When the bottom dropped off the bolt, the water started dripping, then running out of the bolt hole.  Lowe's had a replacement bolt and for good measure, I bought some plumbers goop to put over the top of the bolt . The incompetent plumbers had used this goop to help create a seal previously, so I don't think it's effective, but it made me feel better.  And I was extremely happy to have avoided paying a plumber to make the repair since money is very tight at the moment.

I have a feeling this was probably one of those moments when, had this been video-taped, I could have submitted the resulting video to one of those TV shows and won the jackpot prize.  In retrospect, I had to have looked like a crazy person, frantically trying to get the water turned off, dumping the water, playing with a toilet bowl brush and finally handcuffing and securing the float.  But I must confess, I'm glad it wasn't taped.  Writing about it is bad enough.  I just hope I'm not the only one out there who goes through these crazy little dramas in life. 


April 21, 2008

If you have read my "Thoughts and Ramblings" very often, you know I HATE snakes.  They freak me out...whether they are poisonous or non-poisonous.  They are just too frightening to me!  As long as they stay away from me, my house, my yard, my dog, I'll stay away from them.  But when they venture up into my yard, they MUST die!!!!!

I'm back at work as of today, but am only working 1/2 a day for awhile until I get up to full speed.  When I got home after lunch, Zoe needed to go out...nothing new THERE...she ALWAYS has to go out, usually desperately.  I wandered around the yard a bit while she did her business and started back in to get something to eat, when I suddenly became aware of a SNAKE climbing the brick of my house RIGHT BY MY BACK DOOR!!!!!!!  It wasn't a very big snake as snakes go, probably a young teenager, but it was RIGHT BY MY BACK DOOR!!!!!  CLIMBING MY HOUSE!!!!!   AND IT WAS A COPPERHEAD...with the pointed head, fangs, venom...shudder!

I grabbed Zoe and, very bravely, I must say, managed to open the door and carry her inside without causing the snake to get upset.  I then quickly went back out and grabbed my always handy shovel...which was RIGHT BY THE SNAKE...and started whacking.   I can be very determined when a snake is invading my territory.  In short order, I had whacked the thing in half.  I was shaking so badly afterwards, I had to go inside and calm down before dealing with the remains.

Imagine my surprise when, upon returning to the scene, I discovered the half with the head was GONE!  GONE, VANISHED, WITHOUT A TRACE!!!!!

I'm freaking out because I'm afraid that half is still alive!  I Googled "snake cut in half" and the posts I discovered assured me this could not be the case.  But I'm still worried.  It gives me the shivers!  So my question to you is this:  can a snake that has been cut in half fairly close to the mid-point actually live?  PLEASE say it isn't so!

Here's a picture of the half that didn't get away.