Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Surprise on Trash Day

This morning was trash day.
And now you're wondering why this is important, I know.

Being trash day, I took the trash out around 6:30am,
and then had to get my younger son's baseball gear out of the car.

As I was climbing halfway into the car, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye.
Something was outside in the dark morning with me.

I turned slowly and saw a dark furry shape.
A cat?
Crap, no, it was a RACCOON.
Within just a few feet of me,
early-morning-me, in my nightclothes, glasses and bare feet.

Simultaneously, I wished I had a weapon and my iPhone.
You know, to defend myself and have photographic evidence of the event.

In the 2+ years that I've lived here,
I've never encountered anything bigger than a wild rabbit,
so this was surprising.

I'll admit, I was more than slightly worried.
Would it attack me?
Clearly it was hungry and wanted in the trash.

The raccoon turned and looked right at me.
and just stared.
Then it dismissed me and went back to the trash.

 I realized the wild beast was not intimidated by me at all.
Not even when I took one step forward and yelled, "Shoo, shoo!"

It just stared, and I admit,
I shut the car door, picked up the LARGE bag of baseball gear
and hightailed it back to my front door.

When I peaked back at it, from the safety of home, the raccoon was still there,
investigating the trash.
Indignant,I decided this couldn't stand.
NO wild beast should be fearlessly attacking my trash.

I unleashed my ferocious guard dog.
My slightly overweight, big-boned Labrador retriever guard dog named Annie.

 "Go get it, Annie! Get the raccoon!"
I shamelessly sent the dog to scare away the raccoon.

I've never seen her move so fast.
But, of course, she didn't catch it.
But she sure tried.

And came back home to her dog bed
and attacked her stuffed rabbit instead.

Good girl, Annie!

Have you ever encountered a raccoon at home? 

 (This is a true story, and no racoons were harmed in the making of this post.)


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Day My Kindle Died

I've already shared before my thoughts about the Kindle.

And in the year and eight months since I received my Kindle for Christmas, it's become an essential in my life.
It lives in its purple case in my purse.
And goes with me everywhere.

I read a LOT people.
I read over 80 books last year.
Going for 100 this year.

Some of those books are bought on Amazon,
others are borrowed from the public library through their e-book lending system.
It's wonderful.

So that makes today a sad day.
It's the Day My Kindle Died.

It's unresponsive.
Stuck on it's screen saver of John Steinbeck.
And after lots of charging and trouble shooting, on the phone with Amazon trying to figure it out, Amazon called time of death.

And you know what else they told me?
Kindles under a year old get replaced for free,
but since mine was 1 year and 8 months ... no replacement for me.

I can buy a new one at a discounted price.

I haven't dropped it.
It hasn't gotten wet.
It's used a LOT, but it stays safe in its case.
It's treated well.

It died in under two years and NO REPLACEMENT?
No Bueno.

I'm seriously disappointed in Amazon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Elementary School Black Market

Yesterday was the first day of school in our part of North Texas,
the end of a rough summer,
and I couldn't wait to hear how the day went for my boys.

My younger son had a really rough summer, involving various medical issues and surgery.
And he was very nervous about returning to school and handling his chronic nausea issues.

I gave him medication before he left for school.
We talked about how he'd handle things if he started to feel sick.
I worried about him all day.
Hoped things were going well.

 However, when I picked him up,
one of the first things he said ...

was that he had traded two Hexbugs for a Pokemon game.

Guess the first day was a success.

Did you know that there was an elementary school black market?
Did you ever trade things at school?
What has your child come home with?


Monday, August 27, 2012

The End of a Rough Summer

Today is his first day in 10th grade.

Today is his first day in 5th grade.

Today is the End of a Rough Summer and the first day of school in our part of North Texas.
The end of a really, rough summer.

 My 10-year-old starting getting sick in May.
After weeks of pain and nausea ...
and tons of medical tests,
he had surgery in June to remove his gallbladder and appendix. 

Then, after some bumps in the healing process,
we ended up back at the doctor's office
and he ended up with a new diagnosis of Abdominal Migraines. 

 Needless to say, he's had a rough summer.
No summer camps.
Canceled trip to Disney.
Lots of indoor time healing.

The 15-year-old spent the summer healing from his 2nd knee surgery
and learning how to drive.

It has been a stressful summer, to say the least.

 But, I've watched my older son become more confident in his driving
and continue to grow into such a fine young man.

 And I've seen my younger son overcome adversity
and begin drum lessons and return to baseball.

 I have hope as we go into fall ...
hope that this will be a great year.
And thankful we survived the summer.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Survival Skills of a Pampered Labrador Retriever

The Survival Skills of a Pampered Labrador Retriever

 I'm not so sure my pampered Labrador, Annie, could make make it on her own ... her survival skills are lacking. Princess Annie-Pie. Case in point:

1. Foraging for Food: She tries to chase rabbits, but to date, she's never actually caught one. And, she might never live this one down in the canine community, but she has actually laid on a bed and let rabbits jump around her!

2. Living in nature: She doesn't like to get her paws wet. Or go out in the rain. If she gets muddy at all, she immediately starts grooming. She uses stepping stones and seems to prefer the sidewalk.

3. Mating: She's friendly with other dogs, but she's not that interested in them. She's more likely to steal their bone, tennis ball or squeaky toy. (Also, she's fixed.)

 I'm afraid Annie just doesn't have what it takes to make it in the wild.

Her real skill? She probably holds the world record in longest attempt at begging for pizza ... and fastest ever response to the sound of a bag of chips being opened. Gotta love her.

Have you seen the Tumblr site called DogShaming? If you love dogs, you'll get a kick out it. Dog owners send in photos of their pets with hand-written statements of their shameful crimes.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Find My iPhone: Yes, My Teenager Lost Another Phone

A True Story, brought to you by Find My iPhone and my occasionally forgetful teenage son.

My 15 yr old son has an iPhone.

The same phone that he used his Christmas and birthday money to buy about 7 months ago.

Firs you need to know this:
He doesn't have the best tract record with cell phones.
He's dropped one down the sewer.
He's gone swimming with one.
He's dropped one in the toilet.

But, after few years and some gained maturity and responsibility, and his own money,
and he's ready for a smartphone.

He's done a surprisingly great job of keeping up with it ...
until a few weeks ago.

He left his phone at our apartment complex pool.
And realized the next morning that it was missing.

So, he calls me at work.
In a panic.

 Enter: Find My iPhone. (accessed through Apple's iCloud.)

This is so wonderfully cool.
With Find My iPhone, through GPS, you can see on a map
where your phone is currently located.

You can send a message and/or sound to it, remote lock it and/or remote wipe it.
The sound emits at full volume, even if your phone was on silent, for two minutes.

My son did this, with no luck.
So, when I got home from work, we went searching.

I downloaded the free Find My iPhone app, and then started searching for his phone.

The GPS showed his missing phone was still in our apartment complex,
but located near another building.

So, we went a-knocking.
We knocked on every single door in that building.
No one answered.
except one.
A teen boy was working with a crew putting in new carpet in an empty apartment ...
but he said hadn't seen the phone.

We were about to give up, when I decided we needed to access the Find My iPhone app again and have it send the noise ... and then we heard it.

A pinging.

From the bushes right by the apartment with the carpet installers.

We found the phone!

Someone had ditched it (probably freaked out by all the noises it was making and all the message we had sent). They'd stripped off his OtterBox Case, darn it.

Thank goodness for Find My iPhone!!

FYI, Find My iPhone must be enabled in the iCloud settings on your device for you to locate it with this app.

 Because my with my son's track record, there's no way I was buying him a replacement.

 (This post was not sponsored in any way by Apple or iPhone. It's a true story, and I'm SO thankful we were able to find the phone.)


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Communication Issues and Spiders, Oh My.

Last night, I piled my younger son and the big dog
into the car to drive to the high school to pick up my older son from football practice.

(Miss Annie, the big dog, refuses to jump into the car now,
so I have to heft and heave her big boned body into the car.
And end up covered with hair.
BTW, she jumps in for my older son.
And I'm the one who feeds her and takes care of her.  Ahem.)

Anyway, the weather was unseasonably cool,
so we had the windows down and were cruising through the dark,
somewhat quieter part of town.

It was peaceful.
Destined to be interrupted by noise and chaos.

And, of course, the calm is broken by my younger son yelling out, "Spider! Ahh!"

And then I respond with a "Ahhh! no!!!  Where?!"
as I slam my foot to the brakes.

There's no response from the backseat,
so I turn around and find ...

my younger son deep in his Minecraft game on my iPad,
battling digital spiders.

Good grief.