If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…

the Ford Flexyour average hearse

The Ford Flex is a full-size crossover manufactured by Ford. Its styling is based on the Ford Fairlane concept unveiled at the 2005 North American International Auto Show.

Does anyone else notice the striking similarities between this new vehicle and a hearse?! Who wants to ride in back? Wayyyy too creepy for me.


Fire and Wine

Wednesday evening we made plans for our realtor, Zoee, to stop by and enjoy a celebratory glass of wine in the new house. We wanted to show her what it looked like with all of our stuff, and to thank her again for finding such a gem for us. Around 8:30 as Zoee and I were drinking wine and chatting on the couch, when Jim popped in from the office to ask if we smelled something funny.

At first I didn’t smell anything out of the ordinary, but as we explored the house, we all distinguished the unpleasant aroma of something electrical burning. Jim, Zoee and I followed the smell to the back of the house, where we were shocked to see smoke coming out of the wall behind the keypad of our newly installed alarm system. Not good.

I vaguely remember Jim and Zoee telling me to call the alarm company, but I was not messing around. This may not be a “fire,” per se, but there was smoke and that signals an emergency in my book. (Emergency is defined by Jessica White as something that she cannot fix herself and would hurt herself becoming involved in; something tax dollars should fund e.g. police, fire, etc). I launched into safety mode and darted off to call 911 with one hand while grabbing my fire extinguisher in the other.

Within minutes a ladder truck arrived with lights on, but thankfully no sirens. Three firefighters walked in, and while I recognize that they are required to wear a lot of equipment, these folks were enormous to begin with. Not joking, they were giant people. They dwarfed Jim’s six foot tall frame made me feel like a child.

They trekked to the scene of the crime and as soon as they were out of sight, two more entered through the front door, one carrying a five foot long axe. If that man thought he was going to chop down a wall in my new house he had another thing coming. I had visions of throwing myself in front of his axe to stop the destruction in its path. My second thought was to try to control the hysterical laughter trying to escape me. My life is random, but this was ranking high on the strange adventure list.

It only took a few minutes for the emergency personnel to determine that the problem was with the alarm, and we’d be safe as long as we didn’t plug it back in. Throughout the whole process, I was on my cell phone arguing with the alarm company, and Jim and Zoee calmly continued to drink their wine. As the gracious team of firefighters made their way out of the house, one of them commented that they had initially thought they walked into the wrong house; that generally, people are outside waiting for them and hysterical, but we were just sitting around drinking wine. Life is short, why not enjoy the chaos.


When I don’t write about something it’s because I don’t want to deal with the associated feelings it will cause. I have intentionally not yet written about Auron, because I felt that words could not do justice to the pain I’m feeling. I don’t want to have to fully absorb all the sadness by writing, but I know he deserves the tribute.

He was a truly amazing dog, loyal beyond any other I have known, and so completely loving. Jim raised him from a baby, and they had a bond so strong nothing could come between them. Even on late nights when Auron was exhausted, he would abandon his bed to sit in front of the door to wait for Jim. It didn’t matter if I was home, he would stay at his post until his master arrived. This even happened if Jim was in the bathroom…the dog wouldn’t budge from outside the door until he knew Jim was safe and sound.

Auron would lick everything incessantly: your hands, face, the carpet, his paws…we always joked he had OCD. He was so well behaved, even during bath time when he was miserable, he would sit quietly as I lathered his emasculated self with cherry vanilla shampoo. He did have a propensity for diving into the trash, and once ate about three pounds of jerky from the cabinets, but I can’t blame him, we left it within reach. Auron’s quirks were endless: refusing to eat unless we were home, being obsessed with car rides, squeaking his balls, etc. I’m so glad he had a few chances to come to work with me at PetSmart where he was a perfect gentleman.

Despite reaching middle age with grace, he never lost the puppy mentality and appeal. So much so that people constantly commented on how youthful he acted. His ears made him seem like a cartoon character at times, one went forward, the other went back, like they were controlled by a hidden remote control.

Losing him unexpectedly was horrible. I would never wish that type of situation or the accompanying pain on anyone. I think a part of me is still in shock, and refusing to process the whole truth. I never, ever thought I would be this affected by losing a pet. But things are just different. I miss so many things about his presence, and the way he would always lay at my feet as I was on my laptop on the couch is something I will never forget. I may have been his step pet parent, but I think we had our own special bond.

I think what breaks my heart more than anything is the fact that dogs are the most loyal, trusting creatures in the world. They depend on you to take care of them, and love you unconditionally even when you forget a feeding, or are too lazy for a walk. It hurts to know that we weren’t strong enough to be with him in his final moments, and maybe that was selfish, but maybe it was the right choice. I just feel such guilt like we somehow broke that trust by having to say goodbye. I know we made the right choice, but I wish it was easier to feel confident about it. Somehow, even with the vet’s diagnosis, it still feels like we betrayed our best friend.

I know that in time the pain will subside, and we’ll be able to come to terms with his passing, but as for now, it’s a huge void. Bruno does seem to carry on Auron’s spirit somehow, and I’m so glad they had some time together. The puppy is even carrying on the crazy ear phenomena!

Through all of this I guess I’ve learned that it’s impossible to prepare for the unexpected, and that when it does happen, your family and friends really do provide the support you need to carry on. I feel so lucky to have such a strong support system, and I hope Auron has one in doggy heaven.

Airing My Dirty Laundry

I am really, really excited about my new washer and dryer, so much so that I’m actually writing about this to others. The Twins, as I like to call them, are being delivered by the appliance stork (otherwise known as Home Depot) tomorrow, and I have been waiting all week to watch them reach their rightful home.

My excitement has been bubbling beneath the surface for quite some time. When Jim and I moved in together last year, we found a great place, but the 1970’s stackable washer/dryer set was an embarrassment to the art of clean clothing. Nevertheless, I immediately took charge of our laundering needs, and essentially forbade him from washing his own clothes…lest it disrupt my system. I became resentful any time I left town and he took over the task; a parent with empty-load syndrome.

It was a reward to shop for new ones when we got the house, and that bubbling excitement soon burst to the surface. We made the purchase at Home Depot last weekend, and the clerk must have sensed my enthusiasm, because before we checked out, he printed out photos to “tide me over until the real thing arrived.” I wasn’t embarrassed. I told him with confidence that they would go straight onto the fridge, even if it made the other appliances jealous.

I don’t know why I have always loved doing laundry. It must be the satisfaction of quickly being able to see the fruit of your labors, accompanied by the refreshing scent of clean. Or the fact that these machines have been so personified that it is difficult not to treasure them, name them, knit them their own Christmas stockings… Here’s an excerpt of the product description:

Sensing technology adjusts to the needs of each fabric SenseClean system for intelligent fabric care Sensor Dry auto adjusts the drying time for optimal care Machines that are
sensitive, intelligent and flexible. Really, how could I resist?

One man’s trash…

Before we moved we had to decide whether to try to sell all the things we wanted to get rid of, or just to donate them. We pretty quickly decided to donate everything.

Donating isn’t just the charitable thing to do; it also spares you from the embarrassment of showing strangers all of your crap. Not to mention the fact that spending an entire weekend day making small talk with people who are interested in my junk would undoubtedly lower my IQ several points.

This is nothing against yard sales; I actually love them, but only as an attendee, never as a host. I would have been mortified if I had to show my closest friends and family members some of the things Jim and I just parted with, never mind putting them on display them to carloads of random strangers and neighborhood joggers.

“Look! Everyone! I have held onto this old stained bedspread for six years!”

“Going once…going twice…Tupperware containers without matching lids!”

Before rapidly squashing the notion of selling our wares, I had traumatic visions of elderly women trying to barter with me to lower the sticker price on my old towels and kitchen utensils. I could not endure this.

Needless to say, I already have plans to go to a neighborhood yard sale this Saturday. I just gave away all of my stuff and need someone else’s.