22 October 2009

Of Store Windows and Bad Dog Owners

Daisy's Eyes
Originally uploaded by Nancy Dunne
Okay, here's what really happened. I was helping a colleague of mine to replace the posters in the anti-theft thingys at the front of our store yesterday. The back sides of two of them are slam up against the entrances to our store windows, both of which were open because another colleague was working on the window displays. I hopped up onto the opening created by the ajar door on the left hand window and the height helped me reach the top of the thing. Because the floor slopes downward, the right hand window's floor is much lower than the left...a tidy fact that I failed to take into account when I sat on the ledge of said lower window.

I leaned back to sit down on the floor of the window, only to find that instead of a few inches away it was about two feet away. BLAMMO. Landed on my back like some kind of crazed turtle, laughing my face off and leaving my poor colleague (who soon joined me laughing) to wonder if I'd hit my head on the way down, I'm sure. Today I'm a bit sore on my back and neck and feel like I've scraped the backs of my knees, but otherwise I'm none the worse for wear.

And Julian, it had nothing to do with the Benadryl. Okay, maybe a little. Teensy bit.

The Benadryl I'm taking to combat a particularly nasty allergic reaction to new washing powder has left me in a haze...an emotional, quick to react, haze. I managed to make it to the bus station early to catch the bus home last night (no small feat considering after 6:30pm they only run once an hour and I didn't even leave Wakefield till 6:40!) and plopped myself down in one of the seats to read while I waited. A man and woman that I see frequently around Keighley came into the bus station with their two dogs.

Now I'm going to pause here and say quickly that I know that not everyone feels that dogs are members of the family and that we have a duty to care for them when we take them into our homes...but I do, and under normal circumstances I am appalled at the treatment of dogs I see on a daily basis around my neighborhood. Just down from us I saw a woman beating the fool out of her dog one day for I don't know what...I made a comment about how dogs respond better to love than abuse and she took the poor thing inside her house. Most of the time I can hold my tongue and not let myself get too involved in the things I see...I have to, because if I don't it honestly hurts my soul.

The man and woman were waiting on the same bus as I was. Someone that I assume they know came over to talk to them and squatted down to pet the dogs. He had no issue petting the male, but when he paid attention to the female the male barked at him. Reasonable reaction, really...they are clearly using these two for breeding (from the state of the female's body every time I see her!) and the male thinks the female is his. The visitor backed up and headed on to his bus stand. The man hit the male dog with whatever was in his hand so hard that the dog yelped and immediately assumed a very submissive posture. The man then looked each of us at the stand in the eye in turn, making comments about how he can't have that dog barking like that and next time the dog will know better, etc. Later on, as we all still were waiting to leave on the bus, I saw the female dog sniffing at something and the woman literally kicked the poor thing off it's feet to stop.

But did I say anything? NO. I will admit here and freely to anyone that asks that I am a coward, and people who will do that to their animals scare me. But at the same time I, in the aforementioned Benadryl haze, was almost in tears thinking about those poor dogs. They look to their humans to take care of them and provide them with safety, and in return they are hit and kicked. I don't know how anyone can look into the eyes of an animal and do it any kind of harm...I know that I could not look at those eyes in the photo there and do anything but fall in love.

Next time I see them I hope that I will be brave...I hope that I will be un-Benadryled and close to an authority figure like a police person...and that I will have hit my head hard enough in the store window to report them and hopefully make life better for their dogs.

12 October 2009

Lemons and Lemonade

Lou says "Surprise!"
Originally uploaded by Nancy Dunne
Last Thursday was a pretty normal day. We were getting ready to head up to the Northeast on Saturday to surprise Simon's mom for her birthday, and I'd gone for a much needed hair appointment. I sprinted from the salon to the bus station, made the bus, and got home...and decided that Friday evening and Saturday morning were PLENTY of time to finish laundry and packing and tidying the house for Simon's friend to spend the night and watch Daisy for us.

Lemon Number One: Friday morning before he left for work, Simon popped our duvet cover and spare sheets into the wash so that his friend would have a clean bed to share with Daisy. I went down around 8am to take that out and put some clothes in, and found that the washer was standing in water. Not good, and not the first time it's done that. Did I mention it is a front loader? Kitchen was nearly standing in water as well! I removed the duvet cover and started the thing again with just a sheet left inside in the hopes that it would drain. I checked on it as I was leaving for work and found it again standing in water but THIS time, as a special bonus, the water was foamy. At least I learned my lesson from the first waterfall and left the door shut.

Lemon Number Two: Friday night we had a mandatory training at work...after work...on Friday night. I got out of there at about quarter to eight, caught two well timed trains, and made it to Keighley in time to RUN to the bus station in the hopes of catching the 9pm bus to home (after 6:30 pm, really, the buses only run once every hour). Once again, however, I found myself at the bus station as the flipping bus was pulling out of the station...literally, I made EYE CONTACT with the driver as he left the stand. You can imagine my joy at the mile long walk home in the dark.

Lemon Number Three: To quote my husband, our washing machine is "completely buggered." Bless him, he went out Friday night in search of a laundrette so that we'd have bedding for Ste and underclothes for ourselves and all were closed, so he had to go back Saturday morning. We left for the Northeast about an hour later than we'd planned due to having to wait on the tumble dryers at the laundrette.

Lemonade: Look at the expression on my mother in law's face in that photo. She had no idea that all four of her children, two daughters in law, one son in law, and three granddaughters were coming to take her to dinner for her birthday, and we could hear her almost squealing when she opened the door and found the girls there, claiming to be lost. (The adults were all in various states of crouch behind the hedge.) She wore that grin for most of the night and into the next morning. Simon's entire family has been so kind to me since I got here in April, and his parents have welcomed me into their family like I've always been there. Good times and nothing but lemonade.

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