Wry Exchange

Culture Shock in my Home
06-21-09, 12:31 am
Filed under: Culture, Depression, Home, hosting | Tags: , , ,

 I am home.  I love home.  I missed Husband and the doggies.   Husband missed me, GoodDobie looks great, but BadLab is a porker.  I can’t feel his ribs, and he has a little pot belly.  No more rice and hamburger for him.  My baby Dell is here, with new innards.  I’ve been adjusting and installing today.

The other big news?  Chef and Mrs. Chef moved in with us.  They arrived a few days after I left.  Mrs. Chef had never been out of Chile before.  Chef was last here in August, and they married in April.  They’re looking for engineering jobs here.  They have lots of free time.  I thought it would be easier for Mrs. Chef to settle in without me around.  I want her to be comfortable here.  She’s adjusting well, and the dogs love her.

I returned home at 2:30am today.   (GoodDobie jumped all the way up to kiss me.  He hardly ever stood up even when he was healthy and strong.)  I walked in, and the changes were staggering.     The kitchen, and both living rooms.  Our house is over 100 years old, and we have 2 living rooms.  I assume one was once the parlor.   The upstairs bathroom and third bedroom were rearranged, too.   Anyone who knows me in real life knows I am oblivious to a lot.  I don’t notice things.   For me to be exhausted and notice all the changes was a surprise.  I still haven’t been to the basement.  Can’t take the shock.

Husband requested they not ‘clean’ his office, toolbench, our bedroom, and the third bedroom.  I use the third bedroom to keep my clothing and ironing board.   They haven’t touched the first three areas, but ‘my’ room is all rearranged.   I had clothes in different piles on the headboard/bookcase to sell on eBay, donate, or be mended.  They are all ironed, damp, and folded nicely on the bureau.  The shelves were cleared off except for junk, my scarves moved, the ironing board moved, and everything rearranged.  Apparently, she likes to iron.  She irons everything, including washcloths.

The bathroom door was closed, shower curtain closed, handwash in the bathtub, 3 scatter rugs on the floor, tp hung backwards, and blinds slanted differently.   I know it sounds petty, but we’ve lived in this house for 30 years, and Husband grew up in this house.  It’s all different.   I emptied out my travel cosmetic and bathroom bags onto the small table in the bathroom.  She lined everything up in neat rows. 

We’ll skip the kitchen and backyard, but my bookshelves.   My bookshelves.   Husband built a wall of bookshelves in our front room.  I have them arranged just so, and they’re accented with photos and tchochkes picked up from our travels.   I regularly purge books by moving them to the attic or donating.  I’m anal enough about the books that they’re arranged down to Chile-travelogues, Chile-language, and Chile-history.  I have Spanish dictionaries on one shelf, and all other languages on another.  Half of the shelves are nonfiction reference and travel, and the other half is fiction and art books.   The books are now arranged by size.    “Diving in the Caribbean” is now next to a Diane Arbus photography book.    I don’t see my little piece of the Berlin Wall anywhere.   “Lamb” by Christopher Moore is next to “The Book of Nothing.”  The photos, boxes, and decorations are all rearranged. 

Most women would probably feel violated by someone going through their clothes or makeup, but the books are what killed me.    I want to move it all back into place, but it would hurt her feelings.  Thankfully I have an appointment with the wacko doctor on Monday.


Dobie Drugs
05-07-09, 10:23 pm
Filed under: Home | Tags: , ,

Poor GoodDobie is whipped.  He had a seizure yesterday morning and last night after his shots.   With the vet’s blessing, we cut the insulin in half.  This morning he had a seizure before the shot.    It’s taking him longer to become himself each time.  He sleeps long and hard after the seizures.  We got Phenobarbital today for him, and he’s a happy, drunk little monkey.  No seizure tonight, but we think his eyes are going. 

We are not ready to have the ‘quality of life’ discussion, but we are both thinking of it.   He has 20-22 good hours daily, and we’ll see how the Phenobarbital works.   He’s been romping in the house, and running around chasing BadLab outside.  He’s eating and drinking well.

BadLab has been a wonderful protector.  He helps GoodDobie, and alerted Husband to this morning’s seizure.  He goes out with GoodDobie, and stands watch in the backyard.  He sleeps touching him. 

The vet isn’t sure if the diabetes and seizures are related.  He’s asking specialists.  The strangest thing is after the insulin injections,  GoodDobie starts humping BadLab.  He’s not a humpy dog, it’s really out of character, and he’s not good at it.  BadLab doesn’t care.   He’s happy to play.

Attack Balloons
01-15-09, 12:44 am
Filed under: Home | Tags: ,

 Badlab jumped in the shower with me when I had my eyes closed to wash my hair this morning.   So I washed his hair, too.  It’s been a while since he has hopped in the bathtub.  I think it was because of the killer attack balloons.

I filled the bathroom ceiling with mylar balloons today for Husband’s birthday.  He gets up, and goes in the bathroom in the dark.  All the ribbons hanging down got him.   It had to feel like cobwebs all over his face.  

When I pulled the balloons into the hall later, both dogs ran like hell.  I don’t think either one has ever seen a helium balloon before.    I also filled the floor of the downstairs powder room with black balloons.  I didn’t plan on putting them there, but Badlab went nuts when I started blowing them up.  I gave him one and he played with it for almost an hour before it popped.   He held it gently in his mouth, but ran all around like a puppy.  GoodDobie was up in bed, toys are beneath him.

Husband had a good birthday, with many good wishes from around the world.

12-17-08, 2:53 am
Filed under: Exchange Program, Exchange Students | Tags: ,

  For years students have referred to Husband as god. His motto is “Losing is not an option.”  He’s arrogant, but not so much that the G is capitalized.   He’s the  neutral, fair, honest, calm adult who always gets results.  He’s a good listener, and wants to hear all sides of an issue.   He’s good with discipline, and encouragement.  He spends a lot of observing the students. He stays in the background, and I’m in a swirl of activity.   I interact more with the students, and we compare experiences.  We work well as a team.  I’m intuitive, he’s left brain.  He’s god, he can do anything.

Not this time.   We lost, but the FES lost more.   Husband told me to double up on the happy pills for the next few days.

I’ll write about it in the morning.

States of the States
09-15-08, 11:32 pm
Filed under: Culture, Home | Tags: , , , , ,

I have a Monday wrap-up of news from home to Bolivia today.

  • Bolivia-seems to be quieting down.  This follows the pattern since Morales was elected.  The next flare-up will probably be in December when Bolivians vote on the referendum of Morales’ new constitution.
  • Venezuela-Chavez played ‘me, too’ and expelled the US Ambassador to show solidarity with Bolivia.  In a speech to his supporters, he said “Shithead Yankees, go to Hell!”  Nice touch, huh?  He immediately followed that line with “We are a dignified people.”  He also offered to send troops to Bolivia in event of a coup attempt.  He was rebuffed by an Army General who said Bolivia won’t tolerate interference in it’s sovereign affairs. 
  • Chile-Thank you Michelle Bachelet for bringing Evo Morales to Chile to discuss issues with Unasol-Union of Nations of South America. 
  • Home-we had our first hurricane here at home.  Ike’s remnants hit 81mph, enough for category 1 status.  We received absolutely no rain, but the wind.  Oh, my the wind.  People are without power in a wide area, roads are closed because so many trees and power lines are down, and schools were closed. Our new roof held up perfectly, hurray!  We lucked out with just a few small branches down, and a portion of our stockade keepthedogsintheyard fence blew over.  The wind ripped a 4×4 post out of the ground in pieces.

Graduation Party Weekend
06-01-08, 10:16 pm
Filed under: Home | Tags: ,

 Husband and I were invited to two graduation parties this weekend for family friends.  One child graduated from college, and the baby graduated from high school.  Husband had a swell time at Friday night’s party/polo game.  We missed today’s polo, but arrived for the party.   Square dancing had just started when we all noticed thick black smoke in the distance, about a mile away.  People were joking about whose house was on fire.  “Too far away to be ours.”  “Too much to the right to be yours.”  Husband thought it looked like burning tires.  The fire chief quietly left the party.  Someone was nosy enough to go investigate.  He returned to the party yelling to his brother that it was his property.  The party went silent.  No one moved.  He had to shout four times for anyone to respond.  He’s kind of a jerk, so we were waiting for him to yell “Just kidding!” The spell was broken when we heard the fire trucks  roar past.

Husband and I followed our friends to their home.  Thankfully, their house wasn’t on fire.  They have a one room Summer house by their lake.  It burned to a crisp.  The timbers were only a foot above the ground By the time we got there, and walked back the long drive, the fire was dying out.  The firemen soaked a wide area of fields and woods.  We walked to their home, and watched the firemen working down over the hill.   The fire was down to the lake and over to woods.  As it died down, the women joined the men. (Not being sexist, but we had flipflops on, the guys had real shoes.)

As we walked down the path, we noticed something really weird.  The grass/weeds were green, but the ground was black.   It looked like rich soil; we don’t have dirt like that around here.  We guessed the grass was so wet it didn’t burn.  The firemen told us the fire burned underground.  It went through rabbit holes and ditches, and popped up in different places.  It was much closer to the house than we thought.   I never heard of fires going underground except those coal fires in Centralia, PA.  The lake is an old stripper cut, so maybe? 

We all returned to the original party to resume square dancing.  The firemen said to check on the fire every half hour during the night.

Wry Home Update
05-22-08, 7:04 pm
Filed under: Home | Tags: , ,

  It’s been a while since I gave a personal update. 

  • The tank is back on the road and good as ever.
  • Another one of our cars was the victim of a hit & run.  The rear passenger-side door was severely dented.  Thank Goddess I wasn’t driving the car that night.  Husband probably wouldn’t have believed that I had nothing to do with the damage!
  • BadLab was attacked by a nasty little white poodle last week.  Husband said I should’ve left the leash go.  I pulled Badlab and GoodDobie away.  BadLab was very polite and calm.  The little bastard poodle came from behind 2 cars parked in a drive, and we didn’t see him until he lunged.  He kept snapping and chasing until grandma tackled him. 
  •  I was pleased to confirm I can pull two 100lb. dogs away from a predatorpoodle.  We’re back to daily walks.  I take a wooden spoon with me to smack other dogs if needed.  It makes me feel better to have a weapon.  lol.
  • Chef broke his ankle playing basketball again.  He did the same thing as an exchange student 10 years ago.  His college is on strike so he doesn’t have to worry about walking much.
  • P broke up with his gf, and moved back home.  His family sold their house, so he moved to an uncle’s house.  His parents new home should be ready to move into this week.  He’s been living out of suitcases for 3 months now.
  • WryExchange has been getting a lot of hits for people searching for chipmonkeys and cold flashes, but no new funny searches.
  • I started a new blog, and I have six posts up.  The blog has 2 hits.  One each from Husband and P.  It’s private in public.   It’s even more esoteric than WryExchange.  Let me know if you want the URL.
  • We’re getting a new roof this month.  Damn slate only lasted a hundred years, and needs replaced. 😉  We can’t afford slate, we’re just getting regular shingles. We’d like to save it so someone else can use it for repairs/replacements. 
  • For those of you out of the states, cherries are $11.00 per kilo.