So it's mani pedi day

by Lorin Michel Saturday, September 12, 2015 7:20 PM

I am not a girly girl. Never have been. I don't spend a lot of time on my hair; I go days without makeup. The last time I wore a dress was when I got married nearly 17 years ago. I live in shorts, tanks and flip flops in the summer; jeans, long sleeve tees and boots in the winter; leather coats. I never get my nails done.

I do however get Riley's nails done. We have just returned from his mani pedi. Or is it mani mani? Maybe pedi pedi? Whatever. The point is that the nails on all four feet have been trimmed and he's good for another couple of months.

When we had Maguire, we'd trim his nails ourselves. I would hold a flashlight behind the nail so that I could see the vein. Kevin would maneuver the trimmer until I said stop. Clip. Done. We were pretty successful.

With Cooper, because his nails were darker, we couldn't see the vein even with a flashlight, and I am horribly paranoid about trimming nails to close and causing the dog to bleed. Freaks me out. We took him to the vet.

Riley's nails are sort of in between Maguire's and Cooper's which makes sense since he looks a little like Cooper but he has the smarts of Maguire. He is also most definitely his own dog, with more personality than he knows what to do with.

I made his appointment the other day. The new vet we have is wonderful. It’s the vet the rescue group uses. In fact, every time we've been there at least one other rescue is also there, having dogs checked out. Today it was a greyhound rescue, there with Mindy a 10-year-old who was first rescued from the race track and then rescued again when her owners took her to the shelter to have her euthanized.

People suck. I hate people.

So the vet is great but Riley does not agree. None of our dogs have been good at the vet. Maguire used to do everything he could do to make himself the size of teacup terrier. He was 85 pounds at his biggest. Cooper was probably the best of the bunch. He'd whine a bit but he stood his ground and willingly went with the vet techs, wagging his tail. Riley channels Maguire. He whines and whines and whines in the car. When we get into the vet office, he turns up the whine-volume so that it's close to a howl. It is not pretty, or melodic. The vet tech took him back and he went, looking back over his shoulder the whole time. Mom? Aren't you coming? Mom?! MOM!! How can you do this to me?! Haven't I been a good boy? I'll be better. I promise! MMMOOMMMMMmmmmmm


When he came back this morning, he was overjoyed that I was still there. He hopped into the car, relieved as can be. Settled right down. We stopped at Walgreens to pick up Kevin's prescription. They have a drive thru. The pharmacist keeps a box of milk bones at the window. Riley got two just for being "so good."

Ha. I wanted to say "you shudda seen him 15 minutes ago when he was doing his impersonation of a chihuahua." But I didn't. I smiled and thanked her. Riley gobbled his cookies.

Now we're back home. Riley is positively stealthy with his mani pedi. My nails are a little ragged. Last week I dropped a steel bar on the tip of my middle finger on my right hand. Half of the nail is now black. I have a similar situation on the middle toe of my left foot. Even if I got manicures or pedicures, I doubt it would help. But maybe.

I'll call the vet and see if they can fit me in.

Waitin’ all night for Satur-day: observations from outside

by Lorin Michel Saturday, November 3, 2012 11:08 PM

Guest post by Squire Squirrel

The Squire here. For some reason, I have that song in my head, the one that gets sung on Sunday nights when Hey Kevin watches that game where there’s a bunch of big guys running around in really tight colorful outfits. Sometimes he yells: “what are you DOING?!” That’s usually when somebody called the Bears is playing. Hey Lorin yells when those guys from someplace called the Patriots are playing.

There’s a really pretty blonde lady who comes out and sings about waiting all day for Sunday night. Hey Kevin stands in front of the TV and watches her. He doesn’t say anything the whole time she’s singing. It’s like he’s a statue of something. It’s kind of funny. I always chuckle a little. Hey Lorin teases him about how much he likes faith. I didn’t even think Hey Kevin was a religious guy.

Anyway, I had that song in my head this morning as I was walking across the wall before I jumped up onto my favorite branch. Waitin’ all day…. Except that I was thinking about waitin’ all night for Satur-day. It’s a catchy song. I think it’s sort of like “I hate myself for loving you.” That’s a song by Joan Jett from like a really, really long time ago. I don’t know much about music but I kind of like that song, or at least the Sunday night version.

But this morning, I heard Hey Kevin singing it. And it was “waitin’ all night for Satur-day.” And then he sang something like “Mom and dad are the best in OP.” And I couldn’t figure out what he was talking or singing about. I heard a little jingle jangle from the vicinity of their bedroom and I sort of stretched out, wondering just what was going on. Then all of a sudden the door opened and out shot this red-furred knight in training, followed by Hey Kevin in his bathrobe. This red guy ran straight toward the tree I was hanging in, literally, and then he pee’d. Didn’t even look up. Hey Kevin did, though. He looked up at me and said:

“Hey Squire.”

“Hey Kevin. What’s with the red one?”

“This is Cooper. He’s going to be living with us.”

“Cooper.” Hmmmm. “Is he taking the place of the knight?” I couldn’t believe I was asking it but I don’t want anyone to take the knight’s place. He was my liege; I was his squire. We were a couple of guys in the backyard. I’m not ready to let that go.

“Not taking his place,” Hey Kevin said. “No body could ever take his place. He was our most special boy. But Cooper is the new generation; he’s the next guy. He needs a good home and we wanted to give it to him. I hope you two will get along.”

I huffed a bit. I’m not sure I want to get along. But as I gazed down at this hyper mass of wanna-be, I thought, well, maybe it would be OK to have a new knight I could train, that I could serve. It wouldn’t be the same, but it could be different.

I nodded. Hey Kevin nodded. Hey Cooper pee’d again and then raced back toward the house.

“He’s going to need some work,” I said.

“He is,” said Hey Kevin, and then they both went back inside, with Hey Kevin singing his new song.

I’m not sure about this but I’ll give it a try. I may hate myself for liking you, but if Hey Kevin and Hey Lorin think Hey Cooper is OK, then I’ll sing along.

Besides, I’ve been waiting all night for satur-day. The tough get rough in a big-time way. The last one standin’ gets to turn on the play, cause I been waitin’ all night for Satur-day. 

On a bonus Saturday

by Lorin Michel Sunday, September 2, 2012 8:39 PM

It occurred to me last night as we were sitting on the patio, having a dinner of stuffed pork chops, twice baked potatoes, some white corn on the cob and a 2006 Syrah from Ojai called Vino V, that tomorrow - now today - was going to be like a bonus Saturday because of the three-day weekend. It made the evening even more enjoyable somehow.

Saturdays are my favorite day of the week. It's the only day of the week that I don't work. This doesn't mean that the computer isn't on; the computer is on every day. Like most people, I need to surf a bit, check my email and, unlike most people, post to my blog. I can only do that from a computer; for some reason, the software on blogengine.net does not allow for posting from the iPad. Though I am currently writing this from the pad. I just have to email it to myself when done. 

Back to Saturdays. It's the day when we get to do whatever we want. In this house that usually involves some sort of house improvement project. Many a Saturday has been spent building the backyard barbecue/kitchen, dismantling and then reassembling the shower in the master bathroom, stripping and re-staining the kitchen cabinets, then pulling that color through to the stair railing and trim, re-tiling the kitchen floor and countertops, building racking for the wine cellar, designing and building a loft bed for Justin, a piece of furniture for the master bedroom and on and on and on. I realize that to most people, this does not sound like fun, but to the Michels, it actually is. As I've said before, my husband is very gifted when it comes to building stuff, and I'm a good helper.

Oh, and the above list doesn't even include the car stuff we do. You'd think we lived in a broken-down fixer-upper with dilapidated cars up on cinder blocks in the driveway. We don't. We just like to recreate our lives on a fairly regular basis.

Yesterday was no different. We had to rebuild our side gate. Several years ago, when we had the house painted (thankfully a project we didn't do ourselves though I had to talk my husband into hiring somebody), we ripped down our side gate and built another, painting it to match the color we painted the front door which was a slightly lighter color than what we used to repaint the house. The gate, with all of the opening and slamming shut, was starting to splinter, so this weekend's Kevin and Lorin project involved the gate. 

Wood was gathered from Home Depot, as well as new hardware and a stronger latch. Cars were removed from the garage and saws were removed from cabinets, a router was employed. The gate was removed from its hinges. Work commenced; I'll spare you the details. Suffice it to say that we nearly finished our task. It will be completed today, on our bonus Saturday.

Bonus Saturdays only occur on three-day weekends. Memorial day and Labor day are the biggest three dayers of the year. Others, like Martin Luther King day, President's day and Columbus day can be three-day weekends for schools, banks and government, but not for all businesses. While some of my clients may be off on one or more of those days, not all are. So I work, Kevin works, Roy and Bobbi work, Diane works. Those of us who are independent contractors do not get three-day weekends and bonus Saturdays unless everybody in the country gets them.

This year there are only two and this weekend is the second. So on this bonus Saturday we get a Saturday do-over. We get to finish our gate project this weekend instead of next. Unfortunately we do not get to go up to the mountains to visit Diane and Gene and the dogs. We won't be done in time to make the 2 1/2 hour trip. Instead, maybe we'll go out for a late lunch, hang out, and look forward, sort of, to Sunday on Monday.

Another bonus? Next week is only four days. It's a bonus celebration all around.

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