Allow myself to introduce... myself


Monday, June 15, 2009

Sarcoptic and Other Manges of Canis Familiaris

I must have mocked Mange too much in my last post, for now the controllers of karma in the world have decided to infest my poor puppy with a case of it. I've learned more about puppy diseases in the past month than in my prior 34 years of living, as adorable Argus was already diagnosed with a case of the Parvo within days of our bringing him home. Parvo is bad stuff, and his bout with it required 36 hours of IV fluids at the vet, antibiotics, 6 different medicines, and Scootchie and I sleeping on couches so I could make sure puppy kept breathing all night. So $1400 dollars in vet bills later, now my mangy puppy is starting to get a few bald spots, and the vet (our new best friend) has confirmed he has a case of the Demodectic Mange. Now don't fret, dear reader(s), as the demodex mites are not nearly as horrible and sinister as the sarcoptic version. Whereas the sarcoptic mites are indiscriminate in their choice of host, the demodex buggers happen to be much more picky. They only like puppy meat, so even the other dogs in the house have so far been unaffected. Our dearest vet believes that poor Argus has a compromised immune system due to his bout with the Parvo monster, and this is why the armies of demo demons have chosen his poor little body. Rest assured that he is getting the proper medication to evict the horrible parasites, and we feel quite confident that he'll soon be as good as new, and happily eating us out of house and home. I hope to get updated pictures up soon, as soon as he stops trying to eat the camera.

And now...

We are busily beavering away at putting some spit and polish on the house, due to the imminent arrival of Scootchie's parents. They will be staying with us this weekend, as Scootchie's firstborn will be GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL. No one can believe Scootchie is old enough for this sort of travesty to befall him, but I assure you it is so. A great celebration will be had after the deed is done, for which I will be catering the food. And I just have to share the best thing that was ever said to me, by email yesterday from Patty, Scott's ex-wife and mother of said graduating senior: "YOU are the permanent wife.. I was just the trial run". I am overjoyed to share with everyone how truly awesome Patty is, as she is one of those rare, wonderful, truly benevolent human beings, who honestly is one of the biggest fans of Scoshie (the combination of Scott and Tashie) there is. Who could ask for anything more?

(How about a dog with no baldspots?)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

House Hunting, Sarcoptic Mange, and Value Village

Well, Dear Reader(s), the time has come for me to give you a bit of bad news. It seems that you won't be reading blog posts composed from the sunny Echo Lake house after all, and your favorite blogger's couch will not be located across from a woodstove on the rock floor of a sunken living room grotto. You see, for the umpteenth time, the borrowed money of the Hale family has been deemed less worthy than the borrowed money of other families, simply because our money has been labeled as secured by the Veterans Administration. For the third time in a row, we've been told that no one wants to mess with the VA. In my worst pouting fit to date about this house business, I asked Scootchie (demandingly) what ever happened to that wave of patriotism everyone had? Of course the reality is this - we have no money for a downpayment and so MUST go VA, and the buyer who "won" our beautiful house was coming in with 20% down. Our offers to the seller were EXACTLY the same in terms of the money they would end up with, but those darn sellers understand how picky the VA can be. Damn! Damn! Damn!

So this morning we have yet another appointment with Real Estage Agent George, who has 7 or 8 houses in line for us to traipse through. We already have one in line for first place, but at this stage of the game I'm beginning to worry that the dreams of home ownership may end unfulfilled for the Hales. Woe is me.

To cheer myself last night I started admiring the loot I acquired the last time my Mom visited, when we stopped at a barn sale out in the boonies. For you city folk who might happen upon this blog of mine, a barn sale is not the sale of a barn, but rather it is a load of old dusty bits that have been placed into a barn for strangers to paw through. I don't know why, but for me, a barn sale can be the Holy Grail of the weekend sale-ing experience. There's a hierarchy in the sale spectrum, and barn sale is at the top for me. Some will argue that an estate sale is actually the Holy Grail, but I contend that estate sales are often over-priced, and not containing the bargains one is usually on the search for. This barn sale had us work for it's goodies, as we had to follow about fifty neon green signs to find the location. At first upon our arrival we found nothing of note. The barn was of the metal variety (not usually a good sign), and it was filled with tables of perfectly labeled ordinary items laid out nicely. Feeling let down by our exhausting journey, we were slowly making our way to the oversized exit, when we overheard a promising declaration from the principle money-taker; "don't leave before you see the other barn in the back."

And there it was, the motherlode.

The barn in the back was the ENORMOUS old RED wooden type, with lots of tables crammed FULL of miscellaneous OLD dusty, rusty, miscellaneous STUFF! And as a person who recently decided to collect vintage bottles of various bathroom-type remedies and cures for embarrassing problems, I hit the jackpot. So that's what I gazed at lovingly last night, while pining over yet another house that has passed through our lives, and the barn and shop turned gallery and art room that will never be. My wares are still dusty, as I'm scared to clean them. But in the end, I think they really help tie the room together.

And as for the Value Village part of my post, I'll have to leave that one for tomorrow. But let me whet your appetite by saying that it's a PROJECT, and it starts with this:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Meet Argus

Argus is the newest member of the Hale/Moreno househ0ld, a Neapolitan Mastiff puppy who is now about 12 weeks old. As you can see, he's not the most active of breeds, and prefers to spend most of his time sleeping. Any time not spent sleeping however, is spent either peeing or pooping, which is not my favorite part of the new-puppy experience.

It has been almost 20 years since I've had my own dog, and the only puppy I've ever had was outdoor-only. We had to give up a lot of dogs for different reasons when I was a kid, and I swore I wouldn't have a dog of my own until I could give it a good forever home.

We bought Argus from a rescue in Oregon, taking a long road trip to pick up this 9 week old puppy we didn't know much about. He sat in our laps the entire ride home, which turned out to be a bittersweet experience as he gets SEVERELY car sick. Three days after we brought him home, we discovered at the Vet's office that he tested positive for Parvo. Since I'd committed to be this new puppy's forever home, we had to at least TRY to cure him. So three days of intensive vet care and $1500 later, we got our lovable loaf back on track, eating and gaining weight like he should. In the three weeks we've had him he's gone from 12 pounds to 24-27, and never stops wagging his tail.

Life is great.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Just POST Already

I'm starting to think the problem might be attention span related. Its not that I haven't been at a computer, its not that I don't have PLENTY to talk about, its not even that I don't have a whole score of pictures taken solely for blog posts. It MUST be that I'm just plain lazy. I can't make excuses anymore - I haven't posted, Because. I'm. Lazy.

So let me bring you up to date on the most recent happenings:

1. Got married. Right, you knew that already.

2. Started looking for a house. Realize that Scootchie and I both fall in LOVE with houses that are quirky and need lots of work. We like projects, for better or for worse. So far we've made offers on three houses:

The Dome House
I loved this house so much, I even thought of putting a skunk inside to scare other people away... Is that wrong?

Amazing house on 5 acres with 2 barns and an awesome front room for the art room. Lost the bid to someone going conventional (no one likes VA loans).

The Woods Creek House

This one was on 7 acres of mostly blackberry bushes, but I was going to have a herd of goats take care of that!
We didn't fall in love with this one until we went inside. Hardwood floors, a sunroom, a GREAT east facing room for the art room, lots of light and funky corners. The real estate agent on this one let our agent know right away she hated us and our stinky VA loan, so when we saw the next house, we rescinded our offer on this one.

The Echo Lake House
Keep your fingers crossed for us on this one... there's still hope.

We have an offer in on this one now, and Scott has kindly told our real estate agent that we want to do everything possible to get it. This is another one that doesn't look like much from the outside, but Scootchie and I both can squint enough to see magic happening. This one is only on 1.9 acres, but since it has an ENORMOUS barn (an upstairs office in the barn has already been staked out as the art room), I've been wondering what Scootchie would think about having peacocks?

I have more updates to share (including an introduction to our newest family member), but think I may have to post more tomorrow. You see right now, we're on our way to see a man about a cash register. Not that we NEED a cash register, but today I've been at home in 80 degree weather with a sick kid, perusing the Craigslist FREE ads. Who wouldn't think this is awesome?

Update on the register - it weighed a zillion pounds and I threw my back out carrying it.  Woo Hoo!