Saturday, December 05, 2009

Phew! The Neighbor is Alive! / Painting the Chicken Blue

Friday, we discovered that our neighbor was not dead.  I had seen her just before Thanksgiving, and there were cars at her house that day, but then after that, we hadn't seen her.  She's an older woman, retired, living mostly alone (she's got a boyfriend and a small dog).  And it wasn't all that unusual to not see her, but we noticed something that made us wonder.

A few days after Thanksgiving, a black dog came out of her backyard and barked at someone walking their dog by the house.  I thought one of the Neighbor's guests had brought a dog, as our own dogs have been barking a lot at the fence for a couple of days (unusual behavior for them).  But seeing the dog loose was something else.  Darling Man went over to investigate and discovered what he thought was a chewed through tie-rope.  I called and left a message on her machine that her visiting dog had gotten loose and we left it at that.

Except in the next couple of days, we kept seeing Black Dog.  He was very skittish and kept retreating to the neighbor's back yard like he belonged there. 

It was odd, so Darling Man went to knock on Neighbor Lady's door and found a very wet package stuck behind the screen.  And her car in the garage.  But no Neighbor Lady. 

A little over 10 years ago, my grandmother's neighbors noticed something odd about her house and called Mom - and we discovered shortly thereafter that Grandma had died after a night out with my uncle and hadn't been picking up her papers and her TV had been on for a couple of days  in a row.  So you can see why we might have been concerned.

When I got home, I checked her mailbox and found a hold-delivery notice... then asked the neighbor on the other side where Neighbor Lady might be.  She was on a cruise!

So Black Dog wasn't a guest of hers... just a stray that had found a quiet, safe place to hang out.  At that point, we were pretty sure he hadn't eaten in a week, so we fed him and called Animal Control.  They came out and after a grand chase, finally caught him. 

He's in good shape.  His fur is smooth and shiny and he was only just starting to look a little thin.  He wore a black collar but no tags.   This is someone's dog.  I hope he's chipped so his owners can be found quickly!

And I hope Neighbor Lady is having a great time on her cruise!

And in other news...  yes, I'm probably a little nuts.

I went to Lowe's today to buy paint for my parents' kitchen.  The guy behind the counter asked me what I was going to be doing, and I replied, "I'm painting my parents' chicken blue."  What a great double-take!

This past summer, I was hoping to help Mom get the blue kitchen she always wanted.  The current kitchen has wall paper with a cow-motif which was never all that attractive, but after 10 years of living with it (it was there when they moved in), both Mom and Dad had finally had enough.  I asked Dad to peel up some of the wall paper so we could know what we were dealing with, and the top layer came up easy as pie.  But he didn't realize that the adhesive layer was still on the wall.  When I showed up with my paint and primer and other supplies, I found a daunting job ahead of me.  I knew I had to get that stuff off - I had the same problem in one of my bathrooms and wound up having to retexture the entire room because I tried to paint over it.  Luckily, Mom has a steamer and a good scraper, so nearly 5 hours later, I had this corner done.

Tomorrow, I'll go back, prime and paint that corner and let Mom decide if the blue I got for her is the color she wants.  It's really pretty and it's a semi-gloss version of the blue in my guest/computer room that I just got finished last week.  I think it will be really pretty in there and I also think she will love it!

As to the nuts part...  there's so much that needs to be done right now.  Christmas is coming.  Projects to complete, gifts to finish buying, a stocking to fill and food-type stuff to plan.  And we're in the middle of pledge and getting ready for our winter break.  And I'm painting a kitchen that's not even mine.  But you know I find painting so calming, it's like a physical meditation for me.  And it's something Mom's always wanted.  I hope it's done in time for Christmas!

Cows.  Pigs.  Horses.  Chickens.  This is what's going away.  About time, don't you think?


gayle said...

Wow how sweet you are for doing this for your mom!!! I know first hand how hard it is to get wall paper off. We removed our kitchen and bathroon....tried had been there for 20 husband finally had to sand some of it to get it to come off. Do you really like to paint?

Janis said...

You do have a tough job ahead of you...removing wall paper is no walk in the park! What a wonderful Christmas present for your Mom....she will love it. When we would ask my Mom what she wanted for special occasions..she would always wallpapering/painting/cleaning..etcthe gift of time n service is so much nicer then just going out and buying something. God Bless you Sayre

Floridacracker said...

A great gift! And a valuable one at commercial painter rates!

Floridacracker said...

A great gift! And a valuable one at commercial painter rates!