I CAN FIX THAT FOR YOU

CAPABLE | THE DAILY POST


People used to help me do all the setup and wiring stuff of life, but things have changed. Today, they call me. It’s not like I’m particularly good at it. I’m not. About the best you can say of me is that I’m logical . I can dope how to plug A into B and B into C. Usually, it only fits together one way. If you stare at the plug awhile, you will have an AHA moment.

300-gate-gar-new-snow-07012017_002

I guess it’s that Garry is less capable at this stuff than I am. He looks at something mechanical and his brain freezes. Like, say, a vacuum cleaner. I look at it and I figure there’s got to be an “on/off” switch. There has to be one of those step-on-it release thingies so the upright will let you vacuum under things. And there’s got to be a release button on the canister so you can empty the dirt. The problem isn’t whether or not these buttons, pedals, et al are there. The only question is “where”? Garry says just one thing: “HELP!”

72-BW-Stairs-from-above-080616_03

Anyway, last night I finally got the extension cords I had ordered. Amazon has a new delivery service. Their own. Not UPS and not FedEx and not even the pretty lame USPS. Nope, it’s AmazonLogistics, or AMZL. I had ordered these from Amazon because I didn’t feel like hauling ass to the mall or Walmart. I figured with Prime, I’d have them in a couple of days.

It took a week. First they sent them to Wisconsin. I got an emailed apology that they had been sent to the wrong city. Then they wandered around the midwest for a while, showed up somewhere in Texas. Got another apology. Eventually, the night before last, I got a note saying they had been delivered. To my back porch.

We have a back porch. A deck. It’s a steep stairway nobody will climb in anything but full light, and never ever if the steps are icy or even wet. Except for one FedEx guy who not only brings the package to the back door (which is on the deck), but knocks and hands me the package to make sure I got it. The man is a saint, but I digress.

It was 1AM. It was pelting rain. I suppose I should have checked earlier, but usually, I get an email to tell me something has arrived. But that’s from UPS, FedEx, or USPS. Amazon doesn’t do that. You have to look at the order to see if it was delivered. I didn’t want the electrical cords out in the rain, so I put on my robe and slippers and went to the back door. No package.

72-bonnie-stairs-scotties-073016_027

I limped downstairs and checked the front door. Nope.

Went down another flight of stairs to the bottom floor. Checked the two side doors. Nope. Nada. Nothing.

I limped back up the stairs, got back into bed and called Amazon. She said “sometimes the delivery people say they delivered it, but they haven’t.” I said looking for a package that ISN’T THERE in the middle of the night IN THE RAIN is uncool. I know why they mark things delivered when they haven’t been, but I’m too old to be running around in the rain to find a package that isn’t there. Eventually, I got compensated (appeased) and drifted grumpily into sleep.

Last night, I realized I should use those cords. Garry had been unable to use his heating pad for more than a week. The cable box and Roku in the bedroom were strung together with a huge, heavy-duty surge protector that was overkill in the extreme. It was safe, but weird.

I dug through the stuff stored between the dressers (extra bedding and pillows in zip bags) to find the outlets. Moved the lamp plug. Added the new extension with the multi-plug and connected Garry’s beloved heating pad. By then, Garry was done with his nightly ablutions and was offering to help. I let him hold things while I did things easier done with two hands.

96-Unplugged-9

Detached the cable box and the Roku. Carefully unplugged and removed the huge, heavy surge protector. Replaced it with a standard extension cord (note to self, should buy shorter extensions for future use). Managed to NOT knock over every single thing on the dresser (only half of them). Booted up TV, cable box, etc. Lights came on. All was well.

Garry was happy. I had brought back the power. And I’m thinking “I just added an extension and replaced another” … but one person’s simple act is another’s miracle.

When I wondered when (and why) I became the woman who fixes stuff? When did people stop helping me and instead begin asking for my help?  I should be glad. If I had to call someone for everything that needs doing, I’d spend my life waiting.

I’m not old enough for that. Yet.

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH …

A gray day in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. It’s cold, damp, sunless. Nothing to do. Not even something to bark at. The humans are drinking coffee and doing stuff on their computers. Nothin’ to do in this burgh.

Bonnie watches and waits.

Bonnie watches and waits.

Every now and again, Gibbs — our very special agent — goes out to patrol the yard. Barks a few times to make sure his presence is known. Bonnie watches from the window. Since Gibbs moved in, she sees no reason to go on patrol. That’s clearly his job. But in the evening, when the barks fill the air from far and wide, Bonnie is out there, communicating on the doggish network. Getting the news of the day, passing along any juicy gossip she may have. She expects Gibbs to come too. She gives him a short bark, and he leaps to his feet. When Bonnie says “jump,” Gibbs doesn’t even ask “how high.” He just jumps.

Bonnie agrees with Johnny Rocco: "I'll never have enough!"

Bonnie agrees with Johnny Rocco: “I’ll never have enough!”

We think of a day like this as peaceful. I guess for the dawgz, it’s boring. No squirrels to chase, though now that I’ve repaired Squeaky Squirrel and he is back in action, mauling him is always an option. I had to do some serious stitching with super strong button thread. I also un-stuffed his tail and removed the second squeaker from it to make eviscerating squirrel less tempting. So far, so good. Squirrel is still in the game.

Garry cradles a newly sutured squirrel, but fears for his future.

Garry cradles a newly sutured squirrel, but fears for his future.

Missing an ear and oddly misshapen where I was forced to suture sections of him to other sections that were never meant to be sewn together. I look like that under my clothing too. When they had to put me back together, they had the same problem, so they stitched whatever they had to whatever else they had.

300-cushions-interiors-02012017_002

My abdomen looks as if I was mauled by a wild animal. I tell them I was taken by a lion while we were on safari in Botswana. Why not? It’s a lot much more entertaining than the truth and a lot simpler to explain. When they ask for details, I tell them “It all happened so fast. Once he had me in his jaws, it was just a blur.” That usually ends the conversation.

300-garry-kitchen-interiors-02012017_019

So it’s quiet on the home front. We are all inside. There’s coffee to drink, sandwich makings, and a decent steak for dinner.

300-picture-window-interiors-02012017_023

A little bit boring, but only if you are a dog. For the humans, days like this are the best part of life.

INTERIOR | DAILY POST

ASKED & ANSWERED: WHAT ABOUT THE BABY?

The place? Amazon.com

The product? BISSELL 9595A Vacuum with OnePass – Corded – by Bissell

bissell-vacuum-cleaner


QUESTION: It doesn’t have a baby strap, how am I supposed to safely attach my baby to it?


Answers:

Consider the Go-Go Babyz Travelmate Car Seat Luggage Strap if you want a solution to strapping your baby to the Bissel CleanView Upright. Then you can have all the conveniences of your car seat AND vacuum cleaner and it’s only $20!

M. Yates answered on September 4, 2015


You can use the curtains and blinds attachment for a nice, gentle suction.

An Amazon Customer answered on September 2, 2015


This is just the standard model, without all the bells and whistles. If you want high quality baby straps, you should really go for the Dyson DC50, but those are at least $375-400. Some of the less expensive Shark models have inferior straps that are prone to breaking through regular wear and tear. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for.

DivinePrince answered on May 12, 2016


If you had gotten a Fair Trade Warranty on the baby, you wouldn’t be asking this question. Think ahead, next time.

Lucy answered on August 17, 2016


You know what? That’s a good question. I haven’t seen my baby since I strapped him to the lawn mower. I’ll be watching this question.

P-ro answered on July 13, 2016


Someone please think of the children!

Erek answered on September 3, 2015


Baby goes inside the wind tunnel

Barry answered on December 4, 2016


Teach your baby how to vacuum and how to change the oil in your car. It’s well worth the effort!

Navyvet answered on July 1, 2016


I don’t have a baby, so I’m wondering if I can hook up the dogs. Before you ask, yes, this is a real question and these are real answers.

Real vacuum cleaner, too. I ordered one and should have it today. Now that the house is clean, having a reasonably good vacuum cleaner might help keep it clean, even without proper baby straps. It’s modestly priced, has positive reviews. We don’t need an industrial grade machine; this should do the job.

There are other hilarious questions and answers for this product. I’ve seen this phenomenon before — mostly for photo gear — on Amazon. Rumors to the contrary notwithstanding, there are still people in this world with a sense of humor. It’s always worth glancing at the Q & A section and skimming comments, even for stuff you aren’t going to buy.

You just never know what you will find on Amazon.

STAY CALM AND WATCH FOR SIGNS


CALM: Noun


  1. Quiet and peaceful state or condition.
  2. Peaceful mental or emotional state.
  3. Complete absence of wind, or presence of wind having a speed no greater than one mile (1.6 kilometers) per hour. Also, a period or condition of freedom from storms, high winds, or rough activity of water. (“The calm before the storm.”)
  4. Tranquility.

All is calm, all is bright says the carol. It’s not bright today, but it is calm. Yesterday, a crew of three women armed with cleaning implements and a level of energy I have not had at my disposal in many a long year turned our dusty cave into a clean home. The floor in the kitchen is really completely clean! There is no dust on the picture frames and even the blinds are dust free. Every doll is clean, too. If there was no other reason to celebrate, having a clean house would be huge.

300-lr-clean-22122016_01

But … where are the dogs? Is that barking I hear?

There comes a moment when you have to accept reality, even when it goes against the grain. My ability to take care of this house has been in decline for more than a decade. My get-up-and-go got up and went a decade ago and does not appear to be planning on returning. So this year, instead of buying presents for other people that they probably don’t need and won’t appreciate anyhow, I bought us a clean house. If I can squirrel away a little money every month, I will buy it again in a few months.

I also bought a vacuum cleaner. In the end, not a big professional one, but something with a bit more guts than we have and lightweight so i can actually use it myself. We have a monster machine downstairs that when it was new was too heavy for me and now, is too heavy for both of us.

Dolls and a president

Dolls and a president

We needed a real machine. For several years, we’ve only had a very lightweight electric broom. It’s fine for sweeping up crumbs and light dust, but doesn’t have what it takes to tackle the carpets (very old carpets … 50-year-old carpets) in the offices and bedroom. We are on the brink of a glorious future of peace in our little corner of Earth. A place where the air is clean. Glory to the highest.

Stay calm. Watch for signs!

CALM | THE DAILY POST

LOST AT SEA – WAITING FOR THE SHIP TO COME IN

You know what I mean. I’m talking about that ship. The one which is carrying your treasure. The ship we wait for all our lives. Someone once asked me if I’d been down to the wharf lately to wave at incoming ships. “Maybe,” she said, “Your ship is out there just looking for you, loaded with treasure and unless you wave it into shore, it will never find you.” Now there’s a thought.

72-money-etc-082216_007

I went outside to collect a package this morning. When I came inside, the door molding fell off, revealing a mess of dry and not-so-dry rot underneath. I don’t know if we need a new door assembly (again), but we absolutely need some repairs to the threshold and the door frame. If we don’t fix it, I’m pretty sure it will fix us.

I know money cannot buy happiness, but I’m replete with happiness. Any happiness that comes without a price, I’ve got it. I need some of the stuff that only money can buy. Repairs to the house. New bathroom fixtures and flooring. Paint. Molding. Someone to clean the gutters, paint the window frames, and clean up what used to be a garden. Repave the driveway.

Neither God nor love nor hope of a miracle pays those bills. So barring my treasure ship showing up in port, I’m not sure what, exactly, remains for me to do.

Because that door frame is looking expensive in a dollar sign kind of way.

TREASURE | THE DAILY POST

DRIP, NOT PERCOLATE

We do not percolate. We drip. We consulted with Mr. Coffee and he assured us that percolating takes too long. In the morning when the only thing in life you want is a cup of coffee and maybe a toasted muffin and jam, percolating requires art. Too much art.

Garry sets it up the night before and the first one in the kitchen hits the button and passes out biscuits for the ever-alert canine early warning system.

72-kitchen-window-16112016_14

Following the ritual of the passing out of dog treats, we enter the ritual of answering email. And so the morning passes. Coffee. More coffee. Biscuits. More coffee. Tapping on the keyboard while sipping coffee.

You can deprive me of many things … but please oh please … leave the coffee. Keep the pot “on” and hot. Coffee should always be ready to drink. Pass the half-and-half, please.

PERCOLATE | DAILY POST