All posts tagged: Buffalo NY

Independence Day.

Thanks to the bold minds and brave signers of the Declaration of Independence, and their willingness to see it through we are here now:  equal, free of abuses, repeated injuries,  and usurpations from Government, free of a Government which refuses to pass laws, free from the obstruction of justice, free of taxation without representation…er. Ok. Well. Thanks to the bold minds and etc. etc. were here now: basking in a glorious summer day of picnics and simply joys. The people of the WideEyedHousehold came of age in one of the New Jersey shore towns, working to serve the holidays of one hundred thousand city-folk. Now, we wallow in the quietude and privacy of a day of independence, without obligation. Sweet Tibbit the Useless-Little-Black dog waits patiently for more raspberries to ripen on the thicket in back yard. She already harvested all within reach using her front nibble teeth, stretching her neck, balancing her dainty toes on the edges of the raised beds to reach more. Hamish watches, pretty sure this is Not Allowed but not sure …

Matching up the eyes.

The littlest WideEyedFunk was holding his head in his hands when I saw him in the living room. Spent, frustrated, and angry, he stared at his new bike helmet laying on the floor. It looked like a lumpy neon-green billiard ball. “What’s happening there?” I asked him. I felt like a giant standing over him. I was crunching on a snack and idling away an afternoon. I’m used to small beings around the WideEyedHouse, but usually they are dogs and cats of limited sentience. How interesting to be able to talk to a small one and expect a real, human-language response. He sighed. Ok, well, that was sort of Hamish-the-Corgi like in nature. “No really,” I persisted despite his terrible angst. “What’s wrong?” The small one looked up at me and ran his hands over his head. “I can’t get my bike helmet to fit.” He put it on his head. Backwards. He was correct. It did not fit. The straps dangled in the wrong place, his ears were being pushed awkwardly, and it came down …

The interview ends with a worm.

We’re here with Hamish the Corgi and Miss Tibbit-the-useless-little-black-dog. It’s painting season again here at the WideEyedDomicile. The Bosses are up on the scaffolding along the northwest side this season, scraping and painting yet another architectural complexity. We asked Miss Tibbit what she thinks of the house painting activity. “Well,” she looked either thoughtful or vacant, it isn’t easy to tell, “it is really pretty boring. We just sit around in the yard. There’s not much to do.” Hamish looked sideways at her. “That’s a negative attitude.” Tibbit snorted. “Look at them up there,” Hamish waved his nose upward, “they stay in one place for hours at a time and I can keep my eye on them.” “Whatever,” Miss Tibbit seemed doubtful. She sniffed the air and “Hey, there’s a worm over there!” She spun on her hind legs and took off. “What??” Hamish ran after her. Another day, more of the house painted. We’ll check back in with the WideEyedHousehold next week.

Epic morning walkies

The WideEyedSpouse scored a vintage Royal Racer sled on walkies last evening. There it was, plonked in the trash with an old broom, crumbling wood, and a broken snow shovel. A little yellow sticker on it says “SALE. $1.00”. The sticker itself is old. I was going to write about that for a bit. Then Hamish ran through a giant pile of crumbly leaves with a big smile and bouncy ears. The universe might have been created so that Corgis would have the opportunity to run through leaf piles on a sunny fall day. The joy-power generated might fuel cosmological function. But the morning uni-blocker walkies this morning turned interesting on me. Characters and circumstances converged and the mundane transformed to epic. We crossed the street in the wrong place because a young man on our sidewalk looked nervous about passing Hamish and Miss Tibbit. This unexpected act suggested adventure to the Corgi and the Useless-Little-Black-Dog. “What are we doing over HERE?!” they exclaimed to one another. Peeing on the neighbors rose bushes it looked …

Lucky, redefined.

“No more estate sales,” the WideEyedSpouse decreed on the way home from the upholsterer. We had just paid the deposit for redoing an antique sofa we scored for 20 dollars. It wasn’t going to cost 20 dollars to make it usably un-stinky and gross. “No more upholstered furniture at estate sales,” I negotiated. He nodded. “For a while,” I amended, ignoring the sharp look he sent across the center console. That was seven months ago. I broke only once late last spring and came home with an iron koi, an iron dragon, and antique porcelain vase with a little bird on it. Indisputably all cool things – none needing upholstering. “Ok,” the Spouse said, patting the dragon on the head and smiling at it, “no more estate sales until the house is painted.” June. July. August. September. Last night we stashed the scaffolding in the basement. The fall rains started and the temperature dropped. We’ll finish next summer. This morning I saw the Spouse flipping through pictures on his computer tablet. “What’s that?” I asked. “Oh, …

Should I be proud that I outsmarted dogs?

We’re out of dog biscuits. No, I mean, we’re OUT of DOG biscuits. Cookies. Snackies. Num nums. Call them whatever you want, doesn’t change the fact that the jar is EMP-TY. The WideEyedHousehold economy runs on milkbones. I don’t want to hear a lot of noise about dogs should listen.  They listen just fine when they want to. And when they don’t want to, I rattle the cookie jar lid, sharpens their hearing right up. I carry a pocketful of cookies pretty much all the time. Dogs are less apt to be nervy when there’s a pocketful of cookies around. But we ran out. No Cheerios to replace them. No Cheez-its, chips, or peanut-butter-stuffed-pretzels. Nothing. The WideEyedSpouse and I are on our own. I opened the fridge, hardboil some eggs? Too messy. Cut some cheese chunks? No, I’ll end up eating it all linty from my pocket and everything. Arugula? That’s just panic talking. My eye fell on the bin of dog dinner kibble on the bottom shelf of the pantry. The dogs like it …

One Score and Two Hours Ago…

…the Spouse and I married on a Tuesday afternoon and unbeknownst to us, the WideEyedHousehold formed. Coalesced. Here we are four apartments and four houses, five cities, and 16 cars later. We got married at 2:30pm and I planned to stop and think about it at 2:30 today – exactly 20 years later. When I looked at the clock it was 4pm and I was folding whites in the basement laundry room. I thought back. At 2:30, the Spouse was vacuuming the downstairs while I vacuumed the upstairs. Evidently marital harmony sounds like whining Orecks. Twenty years ago today I had on a purple dress with a little row of flowers along the back, Watteau train level. The Spouse had on a suit, the first of the three he’s owned as an adult. I remember our family sort of awkwardly assembling at the church, then there was some chanting, then we were married. No one bothered to turn on all of the lights in the church. It was after all a Tuesday afternoon, not a …

Abeyance

Yep, this is the summer of abeyance. The house isn’t quite painted. Decisions about staying or going are waiting until the green is replaced by blue on ALL FOUR sides. “And on the garage,” the Spouse says. The grapes aren’t quite ripe. Miss Tibbit the Useless Little Black Dog hangs around the arbor, so they must be close. I caught her using her nibble teeth on the bird netting. “You’re going to have to wait,” I told her. Unbelieving she licked her chops and glanced at the fat clumps of red grapes. My grant proposal MIGHT be funded but we won’t know for sure until October, when the federal budget passes or fails.  “Just hold tight,” the grant program officer told me. My heart thumped HARD twice, then pattered away a little quicker than normal. “Have you ever had a heart attack or stroke?” the Doc asked at a recent check-up… Amazon hasn’t shipped our package of dog poop pick-up bags yet. One thousand small black bags for one thousand offenses against the neighborhood. I’m carefully hoarding our few remaining …

Save the grapes.

In past times the marauders took all. This year we vowed to defend against their incursion. The harbingers arrived yesterday evening, as we ate the evening meal. I gazed out the open windows and into the gardens as is my habit in weather fair and foul. The grape clusters are small this year, but numerous, and their purpling flesh glowed in the lowering sunlight. I admired their bounty and watched the leaves of the vines rustle in our summery breezes. But wait. My eyes sharpened and I peered intently. Not breezes rustling the leaves! Not breezes at all! The leaves shook and shimmied as two, no three, no! Many robins and starlings gripped the vines with tiny feet and ravaged the fruits with rapacious beaks. A fight broke out over a particularly lush patch. Wretched pillagers fighting! Over MY grapes! “They are here!” I announced to the WideEyedSpouse, “They are in the grapes!” He slewed about in his chair and gaining his feet stormed the arbor with determined strides. The winged looters fled his arrival, perching …

High places

Miss Tibbit and I stood in the rain eating black raspberries off the canes in the backyard. I reached high, Miss Tibbit plucked the low ones with her front nibble teeth. Their pure, rain-washed fruitiness is soothing my stomach after a feast of lamb vindaloo and chicken xacuti, samosas and deep-fried paneer at the Taj Grill. I can hear the rain pinging on the steel frame of the scaffolding. We should be painting. Monsoon-like rains and passing lightening storms make it impossible. The scaffolding arrived a week ago on a big rig. It traveled across country for 22 days to get here. Twenty feet of bright yellow painted tubular steel and mini-girders. So cheery. So horrifyingly high. From July 2 to July 5 we spent the daylight hours perched on Level 1 (6 feet), Level 2 (12 feet), Level 3 (18 feet) scraping, washing, priming. The husband of each neighboring household came to see. From my aerie they all looked the same: wide legged stance, arms crossed over the chest, head tilted back, mouth a …