Waylon’s Excellent Adventure

Waylon came into our life about six years ago. It was January 2003 and my husband was preparing for a kidney transplant at University of Michigan on the 30th of the month. What better time to get a new puppy?

No really, we wanted to get a companion for our older dog Sophie and I had the idea that a Corgi would be nice to have. I had wanted to smaller dog that might spend some time on my lap and cuddle with me. So not long after the first of the year we went to look at some Corgi puppies that were advertised in the newspaper.

Now as most of you know, you don’t ever just go to look at a puppy, you usually come back with said puppy. When we walked into the puppy house, there was Momma, Aunt and Uncle corgi along with 8 rather rowdy puppies. We had already decided we wanted a red and white so our decision was cut in half. We picked a sweet little guy and took off on our new adventure.

On the way home we stopped at our local Meijer store to pick up puppy supplies. I stayed in the car with him and he was getting very restless and whining so I had a Waylon Jennings CD I put in the player and he settled down and went to sleep. When Sam got back to the car I announced the name of our puppy..the rest is history.

We went through the usual puppy training horror stories. Had to shovel a path through the snow for him to go potty, although later he would refuse to get his feet cold and wet and poop on the porch. He is the only dog I know where he needs to be bribed to do his bodily functions.

When he was about 6 months old we noticed that he loved balls, what dog doesn’t?, you say. But this was a little unusual. He would herd the ball around the yard and when you’d try to kick it he would get in front of it and block your kick. He was the shortest soccer goalie I had ever seen. He herded the ball around the yard, around the house, everywhere it could go and he did it to the point of exhaustion. Needless to say he is a source of joy and entertainment for a lot of people.

He and Sophie helped Sam during his recovery and a year and half later we loaded them all into the car (along with his ball) and headed across the country to our new home.

We have been through countless balls over the past 4 years, but that is a small price to pay for so much joy. Just ask Waylon.

Economy Lobotomy

For the last few days I have been considering writing about the state of the economy.I would like to attack it from my point of view. It is highly personal and hope no one will be offended.

Over the past 10 years it seems that the stock market has driven our lives. Even if you are not an investor, it has been the harbinger of both good and bad. The main thing I have against it is the greed of the companies and their stockholders.

The term “down-sizing” was brought about by companies who needed to pare down their bottom lines for the stockholders so they would get a better return on their investments. So millions of jobs have been eliminated and sent over seas where they can made by child labor and not pay a living wage.

Another popular way if doing business is the Holding Company. A group of investors is formed and they acquire a business usually through financing a lot of debt. They go in and sell, or close the unprofitable parts of the business, keep the profitable part for a while, mean time paying interest rates that are higher than a cat’s back to the banks. They usually forecast sales and profit margins that are not attainable. When that happens guess what? They have to go through and eliminate mores jobs and shut down more plants, thus creating a lean and mean operating machine. So basically the American worker pays the price for all this balance sheet magic.

The CEO;s of these companies are always given golden parachutes so that when the company closes, they will leave with millions of dollars for screwing their employees out of their jobs.

And this doesn’t even begin to address the Sub-prime Mortgage mess. But I honestly believe that downsizing started the ball rolling. The trickle down theory just does not work in this day and age. I have yet to benefit from it. If things keep going like this there won’t be anyone here in the states that afford to buy all this stuff made overseas. We can barely afford gas and groceries.

My husband and I have been displaced by the economy. To find work we had to move to Washington where housing is more expensive or should I say was more expensive. We purchased a home two years ago and today it is worth roughly $100,000 dollars less than what we bought it for. We can’t even refinance it as we do not have the $100K to bring to closing. To us this is a nightmare. I am ashamed that we got caught up in this mess, but hindsight is always 20/20.

So pardon me if I don’t feel too sorry for Wall Street or the execs who had been living the dream for so long. I am relatively sure they will all land on their feet. It is the middle class who will pay for all of the pseudo-prosperity of the last 10 years.

The Grocery List

As I sit on the couch at 7:00 on a Saturday morning, making a grocery list of what we need, I am tempted to insert such things as patience, a cure for my husband’s illness, a job further east, a dog who will allow my husband to sleep in on a Saturday morning.

The food and sundry items seem so ordinary and mundane yet we need them to sustain us.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could list our other needs on a piece of paper and travel to a store and pick them off a shelf and pay for them and leave? Would we be able to manuver the cart out the door? Would they fit in the back of my Volvo? Some days they barely fit in my mind.

They haunt my dreams, my waking hours. Monopolizing my conversations. I am consumed by them, yet this is who I am. So I will continue my grocery list and fight the urge to take the easy way out.

Viva Vietnam

I have been getting my nails done on and off for the last 20 years. You know the acrylic ones where you have to go every 2 or 3 weeks for fills, or if your like me you stretch it out as long as you can.

It can be fairly costly especially if you have the pink and whites done. When I first arrived out here I found a gal in Washougal to do them for me. I think it cost me $50 for a full set and $25 for a fill. She did a lovely job, but I had to take them off after awhile because of the expense.

I have a problem growing my nails, they get so long and begin to peel and crack and then I start biting them off. You get the picture.

My friend talked me into going and getting our nails and toes done one Saturday where she always goes. It was a place where all the nail techs are Vietnamese. I had never been to one of these salons before but I felt like it was going to be an experience.

Now who would have thought the fall of Saigon would bring a new cottage industry to the U.S.? I had walked by these places many times and looked in at the busy nail techs, with their surgical masks and thought it somehow odd. But here I was, mainly because I have become frugal in my advanced years, sitting in a massage chair that was working me over pretty good, getting my feet done by Hanna.

There seems to be a guy who is in charge who also does nails at each of these shops. They all talk between themselves through their masks in Vietnamese. I have considered buying a Vietnamese to English dictionary to see what they were saying but I would need to ask them to speak up because they talk so softly and I can’t hear worth a damn anymore, and that would defeat the purpose.

I am putting off going for a fill right now. They take the layers of acrylic off with a grinder of all things and it gets really hot and burns. Ouch! I have never seen fills done so quickly.

The jury is still out as far as how long I will continue doing this, but my nails sure look good and I am saving money.

Inane Infomercials

I don’t know about you, but I am personally tired of Billy Mays yelling at me about various products on TV. From Mighty Putty to Kaboom he comes into my living room like a spokesman for the hearing impaired. With the voice of an overly excited contestant on Wheel of Fortune he sings the praises of his products and tries to get us to order them.

It took me about two years of hearing the Oxi-clean commercial before I tried it. Kudos to Mr. Mays, that product really works. Now I’m not saying that everything I have used it on won’t completely disappear in the future, but for the time being the stains are gone.

When I heard his latest commercial I was a bit surprised. It seems that he is endorsing a health care coverage plan. Maybe who ever gets elected this November could use him to tout their health care bill.

Me and My Blog

I am so excited as today is the first day of my blog. A tip of the fedora to my Son Andrew whose computer prowess has enabled me to realize that indeed I can function and communicate in the 21st century. Thank you Son, you are a genius.

The aim of my blog is to make you smile and occasionally laugh out loud with my observations of every day life.

So this will be an exercise of my stick-to-it-ness and wit.

I am an aspiring writer who needs an outlet for my creativity. So let’s see how it works out. I am anxious to get started so stay tuned and stay in touch!