Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lady in the Pink Bathrobe

There is a lady in a pink bathrobe that wanders around Chauncey. Though, I haven't seen her in almost 3 months, so it's quite possible that she's now wearing clothes and I just don't recognize her. Who knows? My last sighting of her was near an intersection by our local gas station. Pink bathrobe lady was picking up trash along the road!

The first time I ever saw the pink bathrobe lady was shortly after we moved in. One evening, me, Mason, Stephanie, and Ryan were hanging out on the back porch talking, when all of a sudden we heard this dog (which is located kinda kittycorner behind our house) start growling and barking like crazy. It sounded like the noises a dog would make before, during, and after an attack on someone or something. Then we hear this little boy start screaming. Well, it was just one consistently long scream ... "AAAAHHHHH, AAAAHHHHHH, AAAAAHHHHHH, AAAAAHHHHH, AAAAAAAHHHHHH, AAAAAAAAHHHHH." And we see him holding his shoe while running back to his house. just a couple houses down from my own. Well, we all lost it. It had to be the funniest thing I have ever seen and heard. Oh, I know, I know. How sad! This little boy got attacked by a dog and lost his shoe. Boohoo. Well, this dog is on a chain, mind you, so the only way this kid could have lost his shoe from the dog is because he was messing with him. In my opinion, the stupid kid got what was coming to him. I'll come back to this poor dog on a chain in another post, because he gets messed with a lot. No wonder he is so mean!

Anyway, the screaming kid runs into his house and the next thing you know we see a manwoman with a mullet come out of the house and start powerwalking over to the house with the dog on a chain. I call this person a manwoman because I really am not sure if it was a man or a woman. It was just really skinny, with a mullet. I'm guessing it was one of the parents to this kid. So, of course, some of us are encouraging the manwoman with phrases like, "Yeah, go get some," and others (me and Stephanie) are in support of the dog on the chain so we are just like "WTF manwoman! Your kid shouldn't have been messin' with the dog on the chain!!!"

After the manwoman goes marching over to talk to the owner of the dog on a chain, we start to see all the neighbors coming out of their houses to take a peek at the drama unfolding. One of those neighbors, was the pink bathrobe lady. She was walking up and down the street smoking a cigarette. I bet it was one of those really long cigarettes too. What are they called? Viriginia Slims, maybe? At first we all thought, that the pink bathrobe lady must have been in such a hurry to find out what was going on that she couldn't put clothes on first. Apparently, not, however, since I have seen her multiple times since then in her pink bathrobe.

I wish I could tell you what ended up happening with the owner of the dog on a chain and the manwoman with a mullet, but I have no idea. I do know that a Sheriff ended up coming to deal with the situation, but the specifics of how it all ended, no clue.

And, so ends the story of the lady in the pink bathrobe.

Until next time, my friends.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chauncey or Chancey?

For those of you not from around here we pronounce the town I live in Chancey not Chauncey, a short "a" instead of a long one. So here's some interesting folklore regarding my town's name. Well, I think it's interesting anyway! I found it on http://www.wikipedia.com/ so I don't really know how accurate it is. This is the same website that I went on when Anna Nicole Smith died and it said that her cause of death was due to an anal pop rocks explosion.

Folklore:


  • Local legend explains the unusual pronunciation of the village's name in several possible ways: During the nineteenth century, Chauncey was a prominent stop on the Underground Railroad. The assumption was that those who come from far away and had merely read the name would seek directions using the phonetic pronunciation, identifying these individuals as Southerners in search of escaped slaves. Locals would then point these travelers in the wrong way.

  • Another local legend regarding the name relates to the fact that Chauncey was a mining town. It says that the owners of the mines had the name of the town pronounced "Chancey," so that any people that came in wishing to unionize the mines would be recognized immediately, by their pronunciation of the name of the town.

  • Yet another version holds that the name change occurred during Prohibition, when it was necessary to recognize outsiders.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Before and After

I wanted to show you a picture of a trailer nearby my house. I call it the trailer on stilts:


I took this picture about a year ago, shortly after we moved in. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I mean, it's not every day that you get to see a trailer on stilts. When my mom and sister came to visit I even had to drive them past it, so they could see this work of art for themselves. Unfortunately, the stilts have now been covered up and it looks kinda normal:





I'm not an expert on construction or trailers or anything like that, so there might be an actual reason why this trailer is so high up. My guess, though, for those of you wondering, is that it has to do with the flooding that can occur in Chauncey. Oh yeah, another great part of Chauncey is that it floods. Since I've been here the flooding hasn't been bad. My house hasn't had any damage or anything and, technically, it's not in the flood plain. Normally what happens is it floods on the two main roads that you need to enter or leave Chauncey. That is a pain because then you have to either take the "Chauncey Flood Route," which leads you on a windy, narrow, gravel/dirt road that is actually quite scary to drive on, or you have to go about 30 minutes out of your way just for, what normally is, a 5-7 minute drive into Athens. I know, I know. For those of you that live in bigger cities, 30 minutes is nothing. When I was in St. Paul, my normal commute to work or school was 30 minutes on a really good day with little to no traffic; with traffic, though, or even rain or snow, the commute would be over an hour. It never bothered me and I never even thought twice about it. Now, though, I'm so used to living in a small town that 30 minutes to get from Chauncey to Athens is a LONG time.



The thing about driving in a small town versus in a city is that while you might not be dealing with all the traffic congestion type problems you have to deal with a lot of other even more annoying driving issues. For instance, I have noticed that Ohio has the slowest drivers I have ever seen; people consistently drive under the speed limit. In St. Paul, you go at least 5 miles over the speed limit if not 10 or 15. This would not be an issue if we had a lot of four-lane roads around here, because you could just pass the slow-poke. However, most of our roads are windy two-lanes, so if you get stuck behind someone who apparently IS IN NO FREAKIN' hurry to get anywhere, you have to drive behind them and suffer. They aren't bothered either if you ride their bumper ... they just keep goin' on up the road without a care in the world. ARGH!

I mean, no one around here even seems to mind that there is a STOP SIGN at a TRAFFIC LIGHT (this is in front of Tractor Supply in Athens)!!! What do you do? Do you stop at the stop sign first, even when there's a green light? It's so confusing.



The other thing is that in a city all the roads have signs on them. So, if someone tells you that you have to go 99W and take a left on Johnson Blvd and then a right on Taylor Way Lane when you will soon see the big red house on the left with the white car in the driveway, you are assured you'll get there with little problem since all the roads will have signs. Well, that's not so in Southeastern Ohio. Apparently, "they" like to make you guess as to what road you're turning down. I've been on at least two work-related drives where roads have been unmarked. I can tell that you're thinking, "Sure, that's a pain, but just pick up your cell phone and call to get better directions." Oh, how lovely that would be, if it were so easy. Unfortunately, cell phone service goes in and out around this area and right when you really need your cell phone you'll pick it up and it has NO BARS! I've been in pretty desperate sitations in the past where I've done the whole rolling down the window and holding out your cell phone while driving hoping the Satellite Gods will give me a signal thing.

One time, my coworker, Darlene, and I were driving out to Meigs County (a neighboring county to the one I live in) for work-related reasons. Well, we're driving, driving, and driving, when we realize, "Um, yeah, something isn't right." We came to an intersection where we had to make a choice, go right or go left, and, according to our directions, we should still be going straight. Grrreeeaattt. So, we end up taking a left and stopping at a small gas station to see if they know where Rt 256 is, or whatever the name was of the road we were looking for. Since we stopped at the gas station station, I decided to go to the bathroom. It's one of those bathrooms where you need a key to get in, which I have no idea why since it was a hellish looking room with a nasty looking toilet. I didn't even sit down ... i just hovered. So when I came out Darlene says that the gas station attendant told her the road isn't marked, we passed it, and we need to head back down the road we came in on and once we see the big pool on the left that's our turn. Oh sure, the big pool! How could we have missed it? You know what the next part of our directions said? Look for the "T" in the road. Oy! The joys of driving in Southeastern Ohio!

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cans Only Jesus

The picture on the left is a barrel with the words CANS ONLY JESUS written on it. The barrel is located in a little strip mall in Athens with stores like Big Lots, Save a Lot, Little Caesars, etc. On one of our many trips to Big Lots, Mason and I saw this and we just had to take a picture. I've been pondering the meaning of it ever since. I just can't figure out what the author meant. I mean, there are so many ways that you can interpret those three words. For instance, it could mean, "Cans only! Jesus!" as in "Quit putting freakin' plastics in here!" Or it could be a message to Jesus Himself, like "Cans only, Jesus" since Jesus will probably be looking for a place to recycle when He comes back to earth. The other possibility is that at one time it actually said "Cans only for Jesus" like maybe if you throw cans in there some church gets the recycling money or something. Sigh. I will probably never know the true meaning behind the Jesus barrel.

If you ever see Jesus walking around looking for a place to throw his cans please let Him know that He has his very own barrel in Southeastern Ohio.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Amazon Rant & Hilde Girl

So, if you read my last post you would know how I excited I was to spend my day watching the SATC movie. Well, my SATC DVD is NOT HERE! Now, I love Amazon.com, but I'm really disappointed in them today. I preordered this DVD like three weeks ago. My feeling is that it should then arrive in your mailbox on the day of it's release date. Am I expecting too much? Tiffany's DVD shipped last week and, according, to the "track your package" thingy its says it's in Hayward which is right by where she lives. So, she will probably come home from work and open her mailbox to the SATC DVD! My package, however, is still in Cincinnati. Ugh. I will never, ever preorder something from Amazon.com again, especially if it's something I'm dying to have the same day of it's release.

It actually probably worked out better that my DVD isn't here, because I have a sick dog on my hands. As many of you know, Hilde has been kind of a sickly girl since we rescued her from the dog pound a year ago. We first noticed a problem only a few days after we got her ... she had horrible breath. I mean, it would stink up an entire room. I thought that it was just from having bad teeth so I kept giving her those milk bones that say they're supposed to help with a dog's teeth. Yeah, well, that didn't work. Then she also developed a bloody nose with green gook coming out of it and this weird cough that sounded like a sneeze but it was coming from the back of her throat. So off we went to the vet's office. The vet checked her "thoroughly," or so it seemed, and we left not knowing the cause, but with a full supply of antibiotics that were supposed to cure her unknown condition. She started on the antibiotics, but after a few days when the bloody nose came back and the nasty stench didn't go away, I made yet another appointment with the vet. We went back again, but this time saw a different doctor. Literally, within about 3 minutes, Dr. M located a piece of plastic that was wrapped around her back teeth and stuck in her gums. YEEOUCH! The weird thing is that this huge, nasty piece of plastic didn't affect Hilde's eating at all. In fact, she would scarf down her food ... but now that I think about it that was probably because she was just about starved when we got her. Well, anyway, the vet pulled it out and we continued on another round of antibiotics and within a few days she was noticably better, no more bloody nose or bad breath.


Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that she was also in heat during this time and had to be confined to dog prison in the kitchen. Mason likes to say that "She was bleeding out of both ends." Gross, huh? Doesn't she look sad in dog prison?









Little did we know, that was just the first of Hilde's many health problems. She has chronic urinary tract infections (UTI), because, according to the vet, she has a small urethra or something like that. I guess it causes bacteria to grow faster than in normal dogs, with normal urethras. So, we have to try to lower her PH. We've been giving her 1000mg of Vitamin C every day, per vet instructions, and we've now started her on Apple Cider Vinegar as well. I even bought PH strips so we can start to test her urine to see if it's working. Sigh. I never would have imagined myself obsessing over a dog's urine the way I do with Hilde's.

Then came the fungus. Or so we thought. She began to lose hair on her hip area. It was a circular patch and the skin in it looked kinda black. So, off to the vet again. The doc assumed it was a fungus so he gave us some fungal cream to put on it twice a day and let me tell you that was really fun trying to do that! He also scraped off a sample of the skin so that it could sit in the lab for 10 days and see if any fungus would grow. Nothing grew in the culture, but Hilde's skin is starting to look better and the hair is beginning to regrow. We still don't know what it was or why it's getting better ...

Now comes the vomit. Last night Hilde was throwing up from about midnight until 5am this morning. I didn't hear her throw up the first time, but then I heard Madge eating something and I'm pretty sure it was whatever Hilde puked up. Yeah, really disgusting, I know, but Madge likes other nasty things like cat poop. The other times she threw up, though, there wasn't anything coming up just yellow bile like stuff. So all day today she has been really lethargic and won't eat or drink anything. I tried giving her some food a little bit ago and she will eat if I feed it to her, but if I set it in front of her she won't take it. Ugh. I don't know what that means ... I wish she could talk. I think I'll wait out the rest of the day and head to the vet if she's not doing better by tomorrow.

I blame Mason for all of her health problems. He insisted on naming her Hildegaard, after a nun from the 12th century, since Hilde was found at a convent and rescued by a bunch of nuns. Well, after he named her and, of course, by the time she was used to her name, I decided to read about the nun, Hildegaard. It turns out that this woman was SICK HER WHOLE LIFE. I'm convinced that because Hilde was named after her that she is now destined to follow in this woman's footsteps. You should read more about the sickly nun here and what my poor little dog has to look forward to.

Sex & The City and The Mayor's Toilet

Let me just say that today is the DVD release date for Sex and the City: The Movie and me and my BFF, Tiffany, are beyond excited! We have been dedicated followers of the Sex and The City gals for years now and obsessively watch and rewatch every episode. I even kinda believe they're real people, not just characters of a show. Ok, well, not really, but I do love that show! Luckily, I have today off of work so my plan is to head to the post office at 10am and PRAY, PRAY, PRAY that my copy of SATC has arrived. Then, with DVD in hand, I'm headed home for a day of watching my 2 disc SATC DVD. I can't wait!!!!

If you don't know, SATC is based on 4 main characters, Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte. They are funny, successful, and glamorous women. A couple of nights ago, Mason and I were walking our dogs, Hilde and Madge, and I was totally wrapped up in my thoughts of these fabulous girls and my excitement to see them again, when Mason whispers, "Look! There's a toilet in the mayor's yard!" Ah, what? That simple statement, "There's a toilet in the mayor's yard", slapped me back in to my harsh reality. I went from dreaming of my four rich, fabulous friends to my present situation, which was standing in a pot hole staring at a friggin' toilet in the yard of the mayor. It's moments like this when I think to myself, "WTF have I gotten myself into." So, yesterday Mason and I drove past her house to snap some pics of the toilet. See for yourself:

The yard:
















The toilet:















I mean, seriously. A toilet? In the mayor's yard? Is this disturbing to anyone else?

Wow.

Apparently, Chauncey's not the only crappy place to live. Read about Tiffany's troubles in the Bay Area here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Our House



In case you haven't seen our house, here are a few pics ...






























Cliff started it all ...


I decided to start this blog, because of Cliff, a drunk man, that ended up lost in our yard a few nights back. Before I tell you the whole story of our drunk neighbor, Cliff, I need to give you some background on the area we live in ...

About a two and a half years ago, we started looking for houses. We had some standards that we were determined to follow, such as (1) 2 bathrooms, (2) at least 3 bedrooms, (3) in the Athens City school district (4) around $75,000 and (5) absolutely, no houses in the Chauncey and Glouster areas. The Chauncey and Glouster areas are known for being poor, rough neighborhoods riddled with crime and drugs. And, frankly, we didn't want to be known as "one of those people." So we were determined not to land in those areas. Well, we looked at a number of houses that met all of our standards, but that were total dumps. We would have had to spend a ton of money (that we didn't have) trying to make them liveable. So, a year went by ... no house ... still living in a crap-hole apartment ... Then I was looking on real estate website and saw a really nice house. It only had one bathroom, but it had three bedrooms and the photos of the house looked really, really nice. The only problem - it was in Chauncey. So to make a long story short, we saw the house and loved it. We don't regret buying a house in Chauncey for a second. Sure, it'd be nice to have more land, but that's about it. We don't plan on living here for the rest of our lives, but we'd be happy even if that's what ended up happening. We do have to deal with the eye rolls and questioning stares when we tell people that we live in Chauncey .... I think they wonder if we are "rutters" (I'll get to that in another post), prostitutes, druggies, or just plain stupid. I have to say, though, living in Chauncey has been quite amusing ...

Since living here, we've come to appreciate our neighbors and neighborhood. We knew we were no longer in Kansas when one of our neighbor's kids, Albert (pronounced Albeeerrrr), just walked in to our house. No knocking, no asking if he could come in, just walked right on through the door. This is what we know about Albert: he is from a sibling group of 8, very dirty (the whole snotty, boogery nose and all), he is 6 (he informed us he had failed Kindergarten due to it being too hard), he stands on top of his dad's run down mini-van and urinates on passing cars, and he understands why our dogs love to be scratched, because as he says "I'm itchy too, girl." When he entered our abode without any provocation, he immediately proceeded to the refrigerator requesting a "samwich". Since that time, we've posted a "Albert watch" and have become quite aware of his movements and location.

Other characters have steadily arisen. The following are just a few: our next door neighbor with a million freakin' cats, their granddaughters that leave us candy, "newsletters" and love letters to our sons, and an occasional passerby with arsenals strapped to their backs. We also have a woman that walks up and down our street for no apparent reason who our BFF's Stephanie and Ryan nicknamed "the cavewoman" since she resembles a female version of the Geico cavemen. (OK, so that's kinda mean, but it's the truth ... she looks like a freakin' cavewoman!!!)


Finally, to give you a picture of what our neighborhood looks like let me just say that we have an official "trailer mansion" just a couple of blocks down. You know, the kind that has one trailer in the middle and then several trailers attached to it, kinda like the wings of a mansion. The trailer at the beginning of the blog is just a few houses down from us. Sweet, huh! It was even featured in Newsweek!

Ok, so back to Cliff, the reason for the whole blog. Last week, probably about 9pm at night, Mason and I let the dogs out and we were standing on the back porch talking. Well, Madge was going crazy, howling and barking at something in the back yard. We assumed it was another freakin' cat pooping in my garden or something. I was trying to see what it was and was just about to tell Mason to "shoot the damn thing" (with an airsoft gun, people) when I realized it was some guy laying in our back yard. So, we dragged the dogs back in and Mason went back to watching TV while I panicked looking out every single window in the house. I could hear the guy moaning and then I saw him walking around and ran in to the living room and told Mason to go out there. Mason really didn't care and wasn't interested at all about the drunk man wandering around in the yard. So, I'm texting with my BFF Stephanie and then I look out the kitchen window and I don't see him anymore. PANIC! I run into the living room and force Mason to get off his butt, because I'm sure that this drunk man is going to, I don't know, kill us or something. So Mason is not happy that he has to go outside and look for some drunk person, but we go out anyway. He's not in the back yard anymore, so Mason goes up front and sure enough, Cliff is laying on our front porch. Mason starts to talk to him and I run away. Well, not really, but I just peek around the side of the house at them and get on the phone with Stephanie to tell her about it. So, Mason tries to find out where he lives, but Cliff is too drunk to remember, so then Mason gets the phone because Cliff is going to try to call his Mom, Victoria we later find out (And, by the way, Cliff is like 50 years old and still living with her). Well the number he gives Mason is wrong, but fortunately we live in such a small town that the person Mason was talking to says "Oh yeah, that's Cliff. He lives over on May." So, poor Mason, has to practically carry drunk Cliff home. Of course, they get lost, but neighbors along the way know who Cliff is and Mason gets him home safely. During their walk home, Cliff renamed Mason, Jerry, and also promised to pay him $1500 when he got paid. Needless to say, we're still waiting for the money. But we love Cliff now, because he gave Mason his new official "drunk name" of Jerry. Drunk Cliff can come over anytime he wants and lay in our yard!!