Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sitting Pretty

I love this time of year in MO. I’m generally a big fan of Spring and Fall anyway, but in MO Spring has every other season beat, hands down.

Having grown up on a New England island in the days before almost every house was built with central air, we had the windows open three out of four seasons and I really miss that out here in the Midwest, but it’s simply too hot in the Summer not to run the A/C. And since I’ve been reminded about the attic fan (which is on now, and has this place rocking like a house party), I’ll be able to keep an open house an extra couple weeks.

So Spring, here. Open windows, birds up at 5:05am, singing in the new dawn. Dogs want out right then to observe and comment (I’m sure my neighbors just loooove that). Cats want feeding so they can then stake out the window from which they’ll watch the bird feeders. I may as well get up and greet the day. It’s truly the only time of year that it’s easy for me to get to work in time for the 8am morning meetings (not that I’m so very lazy … I do have an hour commute, so have to leave home by 6:45am, which gives precious little time to get ready for the day, seeing as I am the least morning person you will probably ever meet, and certainly the least morning person of anyone in the family).

Which is kind of funny, seeing as Dad is the epitome of morning person, and so it must be lurking somewhere in my DNA, right? Not so much; very dormant trait in me. Then again, I don’t think Mom’s much of a morning person either; I think Dad just hasn’t been able to force himself to let her sleep-in the past 48 years! He’s become the consummate professional accidental-waker-upper “who, me? no; i was just making coffee, was that too loud, did i wake you? well, since you’re up anyway …”

Besides, he sends the grandkids in to do his dirty work when they’re visiting (thought Mom didn’t know, huh Dad? FAIL!).

So, not a morning person, me. But this time of year? Easy-peasey getting up. I started writing this at 5:40am this morning, after feeding the cats and playing with the girls on the deck for a couple minutes (tried to get pictures, but the girls are not in the mood this morning … I think the flash bothers them ... see?).


(Full Tilt) Boogie



I’m pretty psyched with the house right now: I’ve got Turf Tek caring for the yard (they started for me last summer when I realized they were only $10 more expensive per mowing than my neighborhood kid, and they actually do the trimming around the entire house, not just the parts they think I’ll see), so it looks lovely. And I started with Orkin because I am done with these frigging ants. Orkin’s been out twice (it’s a year-long service) and I haven’t seen an ant since … plus, they’re killing the spiders!

Both Orkin guys couldn’t help but comment when they got downstairs in the garage and basement … neither had ever seen the amount of spiders I have “in a house like this” … which I have decided meant in a house someone is living in, non-condemned, that isn’t a pigsty.

And, I just started with Scoopy the Poo (awesome name!) to clean up after the girls weekly. What I’m doing here, you see, is supporting my local industry during this economic downturn … besides, I have a real live medical excuse to stay out of the sun called methotrexate. SCORE!

About the dog poop … I feel kind of guilty. I never really use the deck at all in the summer. Even after dark it’s just not fun for me to sit outside in humid, no breeze, 95+ degree weather (it’s the no breeze part … gak, too hot and sticky). So I stay inside, in my 80 degree A/C house. Yep, that’s how effing hot it gets here, that setting the A/C at 80 is significantly cooler than outside!

So, the girls are six now, and I’ve never (well, maybe twice) cleaned up after them. Never thought about it at all … until last Summer. I kind of noticed, in the back of my head, how bad it smelled sometimes when I let them out. In Summer they go out after dark and come back inside next morning, because to leave them out during the day is just plain wrong. Anyway, I’m almost ashamed to admit it took ruminating over the Winter for me to realize it was my yard that stunk so bad, and it was because of the dog pooh. Sheesh!

So, on a visit to the vet for Joey’s special not-gonna-get-kidney-disease-eating-this food, I picked up a brochure for a local cleanup company (to remain nameless); made the appointment for their first visit; arranged my schedule to leave work early … and they never showed! They never even called! I wasn’t so very upset because that was also the day of the first Orkin visit, so it wasn’t like I wasted the energy or anything. But, then I tried to reschedule and the jackasses never even called me back!

So, I’m thinking I have to do something. Now that I know this is a bad smelly scene I can not subject my neighbors to it any longer. I mean, they have kids on either side, and the folk behind me have a pool! How awful for them! What to do? Because I think you know I’m not doing it (oh, I could have the best of intentions to get out there and do it, but if it’s something I’d really rather not do, I’ll find a reason not to … witness: I’ve cleaned the yard maybe twice in six years to date).

So (I say “so” a lot, don’t I?), I’m driving home from work one day last week, and a couple cars ahead of me is an SUV, tooling along at 70+, passing the cars in the right lane, doing just exactly what he’s supposed to be doing … but the guy behind him? Wants to go faster, and wants SUV out of the way, now. And he’s zipping into the right lane to inside pass (which I’ve done often enough, but not when it just won’t work!), getting stuck behind the slow vehicle there, and zipping back behind the SUV. And because he’s doing this repeatedly, I’m staying about four car lengths back, where I can see that there is a company logo on the SUV, but the font isn’t big enough for me to read.

We’re all tooling along, still at 70+ mph, still passing all the cars in the right lane, and I’m having this internal dialogue with myself about how very much I want to read that signage and why is the font so effing small and maybe I can get a little closer to read it and shit! That assbucket just zipped back between us without even looking for me!

Realizing I had drifted closer, I backed off again. A bit further down the road split, and zippy the pinhead finally got out in front of that SUV, which was going to the right, and since I was going to the left I got up close enough to read the signage and it was Scoopy the Poo! Awesome! But we were traveling too fast for me to read the number, so I looked it up on-line when I got home and contacted them and they are FANTASTIC!! See how that happened? Isn’t that something like serendipity? They’ve been out for the first run where they do the initial cleanup, and have the key to the gate to get in for future sessions. The girls have met them and been fed cookies (they still hugely distrust these strange people, but will let them in the yard, and prolly bark quite loudly the entire time). I told Scoopy’s to let me know if they’d rather the girls stay inside on cleaning days – kind of a moot point, seeing as in a few weeks it’ll be too hot for them to be outside during the day anyway.

But, I’m pretty sure the neighbors will be quite pleased with this turn of events. I even talked to Turf Tek and they’re going to start beautifying the dog run as well, now that there won’t be poop-mines for them to navigate. Which means no more 8-foot weeds (yep, happens), or oak trees under the deck (from bird migrations, I guess). Instead of seasonal cleanup, they’ll keep it looking beauteous on a regular basis.

Sigh. I'm so happy right now.

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