Thursday, March 14, 2013


I haven't really gotten anything productive done this morning. I've been watching workers from the power company install a new power pole and a transformer and I don't know what else they're doing.

I'm amazed how quickly they get things done. A couple of hours ago, this big wooden pole was sitting in front of the empty lot next door. About ten o'clock, I noticed two big trucks parked in front of my house, and one of the poles had been moved across my driveway and into my yard. Men were drilling holes and screwing in posts and whatnots at the top of it. Then the big drilling rig moved into place and dug a hole that was probably about 7-8 feet deep and 2-3 feet across, I'm guessing.

The drilling rig thing also has a bunch of cables and straps and calipers to pick up and move the power pole. I'm amazed that it can move everything all around those wires without getting shocked, because this whole time, there's still electricity in my house. In fact, one of the workers knocked on my door--once everything was in place--to tell me that they were going to be shutting off the power to my house for about fifteen minutes.

I don't know if they're going to be taking out the old pole or keeping it there. Maybe the new pole is just for the new transformer (that big, gray, garbage can sized thing at the top).

But it's been interesting process to watch. I bet my nephews would have liked to see it.

Yay, electricity!


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Monday, March 11, 2013

Peanuts, Turtles, morning TV, and more

Here we are again, a month later! Maybe I should just tell myself it's okay to update the blog once a month and call it good.

The house is beginning to fill up with foster animals again. I just had Ella by herself for a day or two. By the Friday after Valentine's Day, I'd been given a black lab named Dakota. Unfortunately, she only made it through a weekend here. She has some pretty major separation anxiety issues, and with me working full time and traveling quite a bit for church responsibilities, having a dog that can't handle being home without someone there just won't do. On a positive note, I've been wanting to change out the ugly commercial-looking carpet in the back area for something like vinyl or laminate flooring for a while. Now it looks like it's going to be something more definite than a vague "someday."

The shelter was able to find another foster for her--someone who is home more than I am--so on Monday evening, I traded her out for a smaller, less destructive model named Snoopy. I tend to call him Peanut--he's a bit too neurotic to be a cool, laid-back dog like Snoopy.

Peanut is a chihuahua mix who loves to snuggle up next to you and snooze. Right now, I'm sitting on my couch with Peanut on one side of me and Jamison on the other. They're about the same size, though Jamison looks bigger in this photo. He pretty much ignores the other animals in the house, although sometimes he gets hyper and wants to play with the cats, and they think he's scary. And then Zen wants to play, but Peanut thinks Zen is scary. I'd be scared of rough housing with someone ten times my size, too.


Today was an adoption drive at PetSmart, and I ended up coming home with another foster chihuahua. To be honest, I'm really surprised that Peanut wasn't adopted. He's adorable and friendly and little and just a fantastic little dog. Turtle is a little bit bigger than Peanut, but not by much. He doesn't like kids, so I'm a good fit for him. He's pretty funny--quite a different personality than Peanut. Peanut is a slightly neurotic cuddle bug. Turtle likes to be wherever you are, but he's not as much of a lap dog. However, he does like to play with tennis balls.

I have a couple, because Zen likes to chase them, too, although his attention span is pretty short. Right now, he wants to go chasing after the tennis ball too, when I throw it for Turtle. Sadly, Turtle is worried that Zen is chasing him and it ends in a snarl on Turtle's part.

Peanut hasn't shown much interest in toys until this evening. Just to see what he'd do, I rolled a tennis ball by him. He pounced on it, but his mouth isn't big enough to grab it.

Work has been pretty interesting lately. I saw a posting in a library forum online at the end of January talking about a program called "Blind Date with a Book". Basically, the idea is that you set up a display of a bunch of books wrapped up so that no one can tell what's inside. People can come check out a book and find out what they actually got when they get home. Like a blind date. I thought it sounded like fun, so I got permission to do it at my library. We had a questionnaire that people could fill out about their "date"--questions like "How was your date? Was there a "love connection"? Would you two go out again?" and a place at the bottom for them to put in their library card number. They could turn the date review slips in for a chance to win gift certificates for dinner and a movie for two. It was a lot of work to pull the books (and they really were random--I just walked up and down the aisles pulling books willy-nilly) and wrap them up and make sure that the correct barcode was on the outside. That part would be easier at my brother and sister-in-law's library, where the barcodes use RFID so they can be read without having to optically scan the numbers or key them in. But I think it was a big hit. We had almost 120 books checked out, only a little over half said they liked the book(s) they got, but everyone said they thought it was a fun idea and were looking forward to doing it again next year.

Our local news station has a regular feature they do called "Thrifty Thursday" where they do a story about different ways to save money. A couple of weeks ago, we got a phone call from a reporter asking if she could do a story about free or inexpensive things available at the library--particularly ebooks. So one Thursday morning, a coworker, the library director, and I showed up at work at 5:15 am and we filmed a couple of segments live for the morning news. It was nerve-wracking, but still, kind of fun. You always sound different in your head than you do when you hear recordings. You can see it here.

Spring is starting to show up here, and the gardening bug has bitten. One of my coworkers gave me a couple of wisteria pods last week. I planted the seeds and also tried to root the branches that the pods were attached too. It's too early to know if the seeds will sprout, and even if they do, I've read it takes ten years for wisteria plants to flower from seed. Sadly, the stems were pulled out of the dirt in short order by some cat or other. I planted a "non-invasive" honeysuckle vine out along the fence this afternoon. I have this idea of covering up the chain link with some vine or maybe a combination of several--honeysuckle, virginia creeper, berry bushes, whatever. Just something to give some privacy and still let the wind blow through without knocking the fence down. And the flowering plants should bring hummingbirds. :)

I picked up some orchids from the clearance racks at Lowe's this week. One for $7 and the other two for $1.50 apiece. The last two had already finished blooming and I'm not sure one of them is going to make it, but for less than two dollars, it's at least worth trying. Thankfully, the pets have left them alone. So far...