Archive for the 'city' Category

Absenteeism, Dog Rehab and Small Projects

I should apologize for my absenteeism but I haven’t been in a real good place and as I would try to write – my words were so negative. So, I have kept silent and just been a voyeur at other blogs where life is happier. I guess I needed some time to sort some stuff out. Not that all is so depressing because a couple of things have been done at the house and well, Stella has been in rehab and by proxy – so have I.

Here is a catch up of what has gone on in the rust belt.

Life is energy….this is our philosophy about life. This works on many different levels from where we live, all the way to a dog named Stella and everything in between.

Stella as a baby….damn cute and was Satan’s spawn.

I made the decision to take Stella to the next step in her rehab, when you’re stuck you’re stuck (I was so stuck) and she was showing interest in some dogs (calm ones only) anxiety with others, and she still wasn’t digging men however. I felt it was finally time and made the call. Scott doesn’t know that when I left our first meeting I cried – I do not recommend when driving. I finally found what I have been looking for, I have hope, I have relief that this dog would finally just be “a dog” over time.

The last 5 weeks have been a journey, for her and for us. For this dog to meet her first dog and to have a positive experience is like watching a child take its first steps. My heart could of burst, but the fact that there were used condoms on our sidewalk rained on our moment. Thank You ghetto people for showing us you know how to use birth control – now how about a trash can?

Stella has been to a pet store which is something we could have never done in the past with her. She was in a room with 8 other dogs off leash and not freaking out. We learned to how to manage her fearful behavior, how to set limits and boundaries with her, claim our home, how to catch her at the start of fixating on men, new commands and was on a treadmill. There is one thing that for the husband and I that stood out the most was participating in a pack walk after only 2 weeks. This is the most spiritual thing I have ever done. There is nothing like 13 dogs and 10 owners hiking and not one single peep out of the dogs – it was heaven!

Stella will continue with socialization with Versatile K9 once a month and we will continue to do the pack walks with them. I would love to get some folks together to do pack walks in our neck of the woods on the offset weeks. Our goal with her is to walk downtown of our city with many people and for her not to have anxiety about it. I should also note that yes you can teach an 11 year old dog new things. Lena has gone along for the ride and has learned a new command or two along the way. We had suspect that she might even be a part of some of the issues that Stella was showing. Needless to say our home is much calmer as a whole. A friend remarked last night that you can really tell that the dogs are being worked with because Stella has so much more confidence. If you are looking for a dog trainer/behaviorist Scott and Kaethe from Versatile K9 I highly recommend.

About the house and small improvements.

We had this old non-closet (the kind where a coat hanger doesn’t fit correctly) in need of some love. After I took out a stud or two and well all the framing stuff we did some drywall and just left it.

We always had other plans for the space but just never got around to it. Rain gardens to build, cold frames to build, fence staining the endless list of stuff. It is only part done for we need to go and do a fabric run but it’s much better than it was. A place for coats, the dogs stuff, hats, shoes and boots.

The other small project we did was to utilize a 50 plus year old shipping crate that is just too cool it sit in the basement. We have no storage in our bathroom. No closet. No place to put a closet. Taking out walls to utilize the room between the studs…not even going to go there.

The closet cost like $40.00 in materials and the bathroom cost pennies for the screws. Not bad!

The holiday's have come and gone and well…. I am glad it is over. The neighborhood sounded like a war zone on New Years and I find it quite an accomplishment when one can tell the difference between fireworks and gunshots. In this hood it was more gunshots accompanied by a couple very nice, colorful firework displays.

The neighborhood is semi silent this week. We had huge hopes of the neighbors across the street had moved but as I have said once before when the bills come in people stay with friends and family and return when they have money. I wonder if Mr. Landlord is still collecting his section 8 monies?

The reality is that our neighborhood is going down the drain faster than you can say home for sale. There are more rentals than owner occupied and due to the city's lack of everything it is a matter of time before it looks like the other really bad sections of the city. You see this is part of my funk, my frustration. I have to be honest I am so close to outing where I live I can almost taste it. When you read in a city official report that no matter how much money you throw at the people problem it will never be solved until you solve the economic problem it begs to wonder why?

So you see where we live is sucking the energy right out of us. I would say more me than the husband. I live, I work within a 1 mile radius. The husband and I will go to different parts of the city and walk the dogs looking for something good about where we live. Every single time we see some major screw up of where bad planning has graced us once again. A nice neighborhood, a developer who ran out of cash and not so nice housing is what is left because it becomes rentals and not the good rentals but the ones with the sheets as curtains. The best sign I read on a persons home was "Smile you’re on camera".



Well….it’s November folks and tomorrow is a big day – Election Day! What’s on the meal ticket? They want more money! Everyone wants money!

My city, as it was quoted in the paper (cough, cough) has an 85% poverty rate. WOW! are you freaking kidding me! I guess the rest of the 15% are suppose to foot the bill. I don’t think so!

The political manipulation on all fronts, schools included, are down right disgusting. Folks – all the adds, letters to the editors etc is all manipulation directed at you. The playing one side against the other side is all nothing more than manipulation. The whole party line crap is just that – crap! They love to get folks going and keep people divided because if we all ever sat at the table together and put our heads together, we would figure out that these people have been playing us for a very long time.

Most politicians are full of themselves. Most will tell you anything to get the vote. These folks are not working for us in any way shape or form it just appears to look that way until you really start thinking – so what has really gone on in the last x amount of years? These people bank on the fact that Americans have a very short memory and that people are very distracted with life/TV these days. Because my friends they really don’t want us thinking too hard about anything, it would not be in their best interest if we did.

My city will never be what it once was, not 10 years from now, not 20 years from now or 50 years from now. It’s over, so can people please get with the program already. Telling us that you need more money is not getting with the program, it’s beating a dead horse.

Thank You…..Mr. Landlord(s)

Besides a whole lot of weeding and planting there have been some other things that have going on in the hood. People have been moving into this old neighborhood courtesy of the many “For Rent” signs and “word of mouth networking” that goes around here. Word of mouth networking is how you keep your money on the “down low”.

The section of the street where the husband and I live, OWN – not STAY, has become infested with trash. Non respecting, ghetto-trash. It was one thing when there was one family – I think they are a family – not so sure who really lives there still to this date. Hey, at least these folks I can work with.

Now there are more homes rented out and they bring others with them. I have no tolerance left in me for ignorant people. The whole vibe of our street has changed within a week. I think an exorcism is in order, along with a Rabbi, Voodoo Priestess, Minster, Bishop, Reverend and whomever I missed. Cleanse the bad mojo that has been bestowed upon us quickly I say.
Continue reading ‘Thank You…..Mr. Landlord(s)’

Making Decisions and Traditions

Yesterday was election day.

The husband and I have a tradition. We vote, then we go to breakfast. I told him that I would make homemade pancakes but he insisted that we stick to the tradition.

Here in the dying city it’s all about politics and money (people, renewals and increases). Same stuff different year. A renewal passed for the port and the people sent a message – again – of we are not giving one more dime to the rest of you with your hands out. As I was checking other near by cities I saw the same results. Renewals were not an issue but increases were a not happening for many.

I wonder why? I don’t know, the thought of financial responsibility and all that it entails comes to mind. The fact that many people have had to make adjustments in their own personal lives and feel that government should be doing the same. I find it all rather interesting that so many had their hands out. Amazing, just amazing.

There has been many decisions made over the last week dealing with woodwork for the house as well as kitchen hardware. The husband and I kept going back to this one very simple style over and over. I have a rule if you keep going back to it, go with it.

Base Molding aka Base Moulding (English spelling)

To balance the new door trim and new base moldings we are using Plinth Blocks.
Plinth Blocks:

Door Trim:

We will be staining fools in order to have this stuff up by Thanksgiving.

Another decision that we decided upon was the pulls for the new kitchen cabinets and latches. We have this tendency to mix old and new. The husband leans towards modern and I lean towards the old but a cool look. We both like clean lines and not a lot of frills. Lets face it if we lived in a Queen Ann it would be a whole different ball game.



I cannot wait to actually have a kitchen that functions.

It is very hard to type with a cat in your lap – I just thought I would share that with everyone.

Give me Color, Texture, and Tickle my Olfactory’s

We have been plant shopping. We have been bush shopping. I hate shopping except for when it comes to plants, tools, house stuff and of course shopping for other people. When we purchased the chipper/shredder I could have wet my self. Big, red, loud and it was an excellent investment when you have two large maple trees and all your neighbors have trees. Sorry, I was reliving that euphoric feeling, back to the plants.

I started to write this last night when a visitor of the 4 legged kind ended up tangling with the neighbors 10 lb Yorkie mix.

There was this very beautiful male pit taking himself for a walk, as I found out. That’s right, someone busted loose and decided a late stroll was in order except his owner wasn’t included. Now the 10 lb munchkin was doing one of two things either protecting his territory, his people or both – I really want to believe this. Little Man was not on lead or chained up, he was actually in my yard and I had just taken him back to his property just minutes before. I actually thought the pit belonged to one of the people who was visiting, as I learned very quickly that wasn’t the case.

Little Man thought it would be a real cool idea to mount, that is display dominance over the 60 plus lb pit. Now, I have to admit that the pit, we’ll call him Big Boy, was a very tolerant boy. Little man did the dominance thing at least 5-6 times, all the while growling and displaying aggression. Little Man was showing no love for Big Boy. Little Man was also not coming when called/screamed at by his owners.

I put a call into our local police department explaining that we had a pit loose, that he was tangling with the small dog next door and that this was going to get ugly. To which dispatch tells me that the dog warden would be back in the morning. WTF?…are you kidding me?…no shit, I already knew that. I also know that our police will do what ever is necessary to get the dog where it needs to be, which is not running loose in neighborhoods.

Within 5 minutes I was calling back. Big Boy had enough of Little Man’s crap and it became ugly fast. Another call to the police department dispatch, I wonder if she could hear the dogs fighting in the background? Now a car is getting sent.

While I’m on the phone I see the owner of Little Man hitting Big Boy with a broom trying to break up the fight. I’m thinking – if this dog is “lit up” as they say, she is going to be next. The owner was able to break it up, her kids grab Little Man and make a run for the house, Big Boy was following. I hung up with dispatch and called Big Boy from my front porch so everyone could get in safe, including me. Big Boy decided to continue his walk and was off running between the houses and I made a break for Little Man’s house with rags and peroxide in hand.

I have to be totally honest – I expected the worst. I expected deep puncture wounds, torn flesh, ripped throat etc. To my surprise and lucky for Little Man, he had teeth mark abrasions, a nasty tear under his arm which was bleeding like no tomorrow, a cut by his eye, but all in all – he was in good shape. I believe that Big Boy was putting Little Man in his place and not trying to hurt him. If this dog was a fighter he would have ripped him to shreds. This tiff was over dominance aka pecking order and nothing more.

Police show up, I go to meet them since I’m the one who called. As I’m talking to the officer, which I must apologize for interrupting his dinner – no I really feel bad about that – but who comes walking up? – Big Boy. Big Boy is sizing me up, and believe me, I’m thinking “are you friendly pit or mean pit?” I have not been that nervous around a dog in a very long time – I was scared.

Officer: Where is the dog?
Me: Standing next to me.
Officer: What is he doing?
Me: Smelling my boots.
Officer: I want you to walk very slowly to your porch.

I trust my officers, I knew that he would do what ever was necessary and that included shooting this dog if he made a move on me. I knew this, I accepted this though I never want to witness it or be a part of it. So I walked and Big Boy is following me, not chasing just walking with me. The officer shouted “Hey Dog” to get his attention which helped me make it inside my house. Within 5 minutes this officer had this dog in the back seat of his cruiser. Awesome in my book – Just awesome.

Big Boy appeared happy to be going for a car ride – no joke.

I don’t think that this is a bad dog. He put up with some major crap from Little Man and had enough. I feel awful knowing that this dog was probably put down today because of his irresponsible owner. I was surprised that the dog had tags on, not a common sight where I live. Had I trusted this animal I would have simply called the owner to come and get his/her dog and none of this would have happened. Like I said when it comes to certain breeds here you have a 50/50 chance of getting bit. Little Man being the little man that he is, took an already bad situation and made it worse.

I have a difficult time understanding owners who know that their dogs have issues with other dogs/people. Would allow them to have full run of their yard with no fence to keep them in and others out. I know my one dog has issues because she herself was attacked as a young pup and we make sure that on her property we don’t allow strange dogs within the fenced in area. Little Man almost tangled with her once before because he got into our yard without me knowing and I had just let the dogs out. I had to grab Stella and get her in before she got to him. Understand Stella has never bit anyone or any dog it is that we don’t trust her when it comes to her yard because of certain behaviors she displays. This is a precautionary measure only. If I know this about my own dog why is it so hard for others to understand their own dog. I don’t understand it. I don’t think that I will ever understand it.

Integrity Wins!

Let’s hear it for integrity – it’s seems to be contagious – Not! I thought I’d share the aftermath of the power of the e-mailing.

I wasn’t the only person who questioned the behavior of a certain board member and his decision making process. This is good because it doesn’t make me look like some crazy person. Some other folks would tell you different.

This is what happened:

The meeting with the block watch captains happened.

The person facilitating the meeting stated that the “Political Action Committee” would be in after this meeting officially ended. Imagine that, should have been set up like this from the beginning. Give people choice if they wish to leave.

The Board is no more, at this meeting it was officially dis-banded and some restructuring will be taking place. I applauded this decision because it should have happened over a year ago. Now things can get done.

Myself and the other board member have been called names on the local message boards. Wow, stand up and not roll with the flow, you get labeled a mental health nut-case. No, I didn’t feed into it because the folks who are doing it look like fools.

Myself and the other board member pissed a whole lot of folks off. Oh well – Like I said, this homey don’t play that !

The best part was that the political action committee did a no show. How funny is that?

Power to the little people.

It’s All About Integrity

Grab your favorite beverage and join me.

After a glass of wine and the re-attaching of my head to my shoulders a question kept coming up over and over – “Do I have a valid reason to be angry”?

In the last 72 hours my patience has been pushed to the limits and my integrity tested. Integrity won because I resigned – This homey don’t play that!

You see I have had this non paid position on this board that deals with block watches. If you live in an urban area you might belong to one. Block watches are a good thing.

The city-wide board that I sit sat on, with its non paid positions meets 4 times a year, every quarter to touch base with the Captains of the the block watches. This is to makes sure that every is going okay, address any problems, plan any events for the future, things of that nature.

We have one rule no political stuff of any sort. No campaigning of any sort – by anyone – for any thing.

I knew we had a meeting coming up this week, no problem, I was eager to get down to business to do some problem solving because my dying/dysfunctional city is going to be laying off many folks and it would be a good idea to deal with the aftermath of how we will be effected.

Husband: “You need to come and read this”.
Me: “read what”? – local message board.
Husband: “Did you know about this”?
Me: “NO” – hand starting to shake, head ready to explode.
My head is popping off.

Continue reading ‘It’s All About Integrity’

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