Friday, December 28, 2012

Robin, This One Is Especially For YOU!

Hi all!  I'm finally gonna' do some catch up here in blogland.  Soooo..... without further ado, it's time for that cutesy dog post I promised.  You've been warned.

On the day we got Tanner, he looked like this:
He was a little tan fur ball with a white blaze on his chest, white back toes and green eyes.

On his very first night at home, our dog Hailey was already willing to share her favorite spot with him.

He made himself quite comfortable.  I thought even his little backside was cute.

 Tanner got to meet our nephew Nathan the very next day as we were already on our way down to Palm Springs to close on our condo.  Obviously, Nathan thought Tanner was pretty cool.

We ended up waiting in a motel for days while the kinks were ironed out with our seller.  Tanner proved to be a pretty mellow fellow through it all.

Hailey and Tanner made themselves comfortable in the condo right away.  
They didn't mind the 80's furniture one bit.

When we checked out the dog area at the condo's west wall, we found out that Tanner wanted to help take Hailey for a walk and that he would hop like a bunny to keep his feet from getting wet in the the long grass.

Tanner's ears were flopped over for about the first week that we had him.  He looked like a little teddy bear.  Many people mentioned that he seemed a lot like a 'live' stuffed animal.
 Then one night he had one ear that was starting to go up.  The next morning he looked like this:
He was really starting to look like a Chihuahua!

There was a lot of work that needed to be done in the condo and all that being held in one hand while my husband or I would clean and scrub and move things around with the other hand was exhausting for Tanner.

But he found a really great place to rest!

 Hailey is sweet and will put up with almost anything from Tanner.....
 But when she's done, she's done.....  everybody has their limits!
(This is one of my absolute favorite pictures!)

 We have had so much fun with this little guy.  He is super easy to train and really made this Christmas time special for all of us.  It was a little tough because I took on extra work and then I was also surprised to note how challenging it was to have a big family holiday without our dog Parker this year.  Many people mentioned that they had so many wonderful memories of our Parker and also told me how much they really like our new little dude.  I would never want to put any pressure on a pet to heal a hurt, and yet Tanner has been just what we needed, just as he is.
......and it looks like the green eyes are here to stay!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I'm Only Doing Positive. For Now. ...So Enjoy This Christmas Tale

Can I just say that I have never in my life ever had such a strong desire to just hole up and take care of my own... 

So for now I'm working my butt off (quite literally) day in and day out and tonight I'm busy wrapping my nephews gifts in the color of money.  Cuz' I'm teaching him what I know to be true- that success really is the best revenge.

And I know the current POTUS thinks I'm one of those evil small business bastards that should be taxed the hell out of, so to that I say: anybody who wants to kill my initiative and ingenuity can kiss my...

Oh yeah.  Sorry.  I was being all positive and everything....

Here's a kick butt Christmas tree story instead.
All true. 
Happened today.

So I show up to one of my regular clients homes and there's a new request added to the list of party preparation.  Seems there's a tree in the garage that needs to be put in a stand and brought into the house.

OK, I'm game.   The tree looks like any other regular type fresh cut Christmas tree, all baled up and sitting in a big bucket of water. 

I walk over and try to lift the tree out to see how it'll fit into the tree stand.

I swear to you, that tree had to have sucked up enough water to choke a horse.  It was HEAVY.  I mean, 'holy crap I think I might have herniated something' heavy.  And it didn't look anywhere near big enough to be even slightly that heavy.

So I got some help to get the tree out of the bucket and into the stand.  Nobody else could understand how a tree of such 'regular' size could be that heavy either...

Then we all noticed how the size of the trunk was no way gonna' fit into any regular size stand.  The base of that thing had to have been 8 inches across and the stand would only hold something maybe 5 inches across.

So we did what anybody in the mode of getting that stupid tree to fit into the stand would do.  We got out an electric saw and started hacking away at the base until we were finally able to stuff it into the stand.

Great.  We had a tree in a stand.  Let's bring it into the house.

Except that when we got the tree into the house somebody noticed that all the bottom branches had been cut off and were just being held on by the baling that was tied all around the tree.  So, of course, when the baling was removed the tree was branch-less at the bottom for at least 2 feet.  I guess somebody might have mentioned that the idea was that the tree would be cut off at the bottom and the lowest branches were to be used as greenery for decorations. 

Oops.  Nobody had informed me.  That would also help to explain why when we hoisted the tree upright inside the house, the top was scraping the ceiling...

So now we needed to take the tree out of the stand, re-cut it and get it back into the stand.  Did I mention that somebody thought we better hurry up and put water into the stand so that heavy ass water logged tree wouldn't lose all its needles or anything?  Yeah, brilliant.  Because moving that tree that was already losing pounds of needles wasn't nearly enough fun on its own.  Having a huge puddle of water on the hard wood floor was so much better...

Back outside we went with the tree.  Using a neighbors borrowed saw, we cut that sucker back to a point where the tree trunk would fit nicely into the stand.  Great.  Only now the baling had been removed from the tree and it was nearly too fat to fit back inside the door. 

We did get that super heavy, now shorter tree back into the house.  It only took 3 people tugging and shoving and one person getting slightly injured to get it done.

The tree was lovely.  So green and nicely shaped. 

No one would ever guess how difficult it had been to tame that beast into the beauty that it now is.

But wait.  There's more!  That tree had more surprises in store for us.

It had a giant lady bug nest in it that we discovered while trying to get packages sent out to the UPS guy.  Yes, just picture it.  Ladybugs everywhere and one very confused UPS dude. 

And it was only after the tree had been sprayed for the ladybugs that the wasp flew out of it, very suddenly, dive bombing across the room so as to scare the livin' hell right out of all of us that were left still doing party prep.

At this point I looked at the homeowner and stated clearly that if a squirrel suddenly flew out of the tree, then that would be it.  I was out. 

He said he understood.

That's it.   That's my story.  All true, as I said.  Now I wish all of you and yours the very best this Christmas and I hope that your tree is drama free this year!!!

***all images in this blog post courtesy of***

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Years Plans, A Small Business Rant & Puppy Love...

...that's my life these days, in a nutshell.

Let me explain.

When I got back home from the Palm Springs trip that involved our getting the new (to us) condo all cleaned out and redone to our liking (and ability, in two weeks time) I was presented with a business opportunity.  I was more than happy to jump on said opportunity because my husband and I had already decided that we are returning to our Palm Springs condo for New Years, and taking our nephew with us!  It turned out that we didn't get the last of our deliveries until the Friday afternoon before we left on Saturday morning to come back home.  Naturally that means we need to go back just to be able to see how much we enjoy the fruits of our labor.  AND Nathan- our nephew- is thrilled beyond words that his school calendar this year allows for a sun break for New Years!

So.... it's on to explaining my small business rant. 

It goes like this:  I took on a huge project that will end on the 23rd, knowing that I wanted to pay for my return trip to Palm Springs.  This project is so large that I needed quite a bit of help in order to get it done on time for the customer.  I lined up help right away.  It seemed like a win-win as I knew several people who definitely needed money right now and some of those had helped me out on a temporary basis in the past.  My plans seemed solid.  I'm not a fly by night kind of gal.  I'm extraordinarily reliable and come with exemplary references, etc., etc.

So when a couple of these people turn out to be major lazy asses who are completely ungrateful for the work I've offered and don't care that they are making me look like a total ass hat, well- I'm less than impressed and might or might not have even wished that their inability to pay their rent on time or make the payment on their new roof might cause them to lose said roofs over their respective heads.  Yeah, I can be nasty like that...  I take business seriously and don't enjoy being taken for a ride.  What can I say?

Anyway, there is a happy ending to this situation:  I have been able to take on more of the work than I had anticipated having time for myself.  And I have been able to bring my new puppy, Tanner, with me to the job site with no problems at all.  The people I am working for love him and can't keep their hands off him.  This has resulted in me already being able to pay for the New Years trip and Tanner's social skills are blossoming.  And last night I did get a voice mail from one worker who just wanted me know how grateful she is for the chance to make some money and how every little bit helps, especially during Christmas.  That one phone call did an awful lot to undo the yucky feelings I have had about the people who have said how much they needed to work and then shown up to do so with rotten attitudes or even bailed on me at the last minute.

So, finally, it's on to the puppy love:  Robin, I will post one giant picture post of love just for you in the very near future.  The rest of you can skip it if it makes you want to puke.  I get it.  In the mean time, just know that every last moment I can spare is being spent loving on our dogs Hailey and Tanner.  Hailey is great with the new pup and I have actually found myself wishing he wouldn't grow up so fast.  I am really loving this process of puppy raising that I was so afraid of.  It has been such a true blessing.  My husband and I have not smiled and laughed so much in I don't know how long.  I really cannot express enough how good this little surprise has worked out for us, even amidst our condo chaos and all that is the holiday season.  It feels like this year we're getting to stop and enjoy everything through the new little guys eyes. 

Of course some of that is because if we don't watch him carefully he'll chew everything in sight and pee on the artificial Christmas tree...!

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