Sunday Morning Musings: “Traipsing” with the Laundry and “Gosh All Fishhooks”

washer dryerI gathered up my laundry and traipsed it over to the laundromat, with my head full of all the changes that are coming with the move.  Yep, it’s almost most a done deal, with the closing less than two weeks away now.

For many, I suppose, there’d be no question about the choice between living in a large apartment complex and owning a home of one’s own.  For me, someone who has lived in apartments most of my adult life, there are things about apartment-living that I will miss.  I like being around people, and even though, in most large apartment complexes like this one, you don’t get to know most of your neighbors so well, there’s a comfort in seeing different people, saying “hello”, and at times, having a chat.  Another plus is that there’s not much responsibility; if something needs fixed in your place, you can call the management, and if the management company is a decent one, you get the repair done in a timely manner, no cost to you.  There can be negatives, of course, like problem neighbors and management that is either too lax or too “into everyone’s business”, but recently, I haven’t had many problems where I live.

Therefore, why make the move, especially a move that will entail 20 miles rather than 5 of driving commute to work?  Although it may seem like a minor reason for some, trudging my laundry back and forth to the other side of the complex gets to be more of chore every week.  Having my own washer and dryer within steps of my bedroom will be pure luxury.  Likewise, having a garage to keep my car out of the elements and away from a parking mate’s dinging car door is something I’ve wanted for a long time.  What’s more I’ll have a kitchen, a kitchen with a multitude of drawers, drawers which actually open without having to open up an appliance in order to pull them out; a kitchen with an expanse of counter space on which I can roll out dough and spread out pans for kolaches to rise.  (That’s going to be the first big baking that I do.)  Then there’s the yard, which, though not overly large, has incredible nooks around the house and garage to hang and set all the plants I have that have needed space to spread out, and which will be the perfect place for a little dog to romp and smell whatever there is too smell.

Indeed, I do have mixed feelings about moving, but the pull to do it has been inside me for a long time.

So that was on my my mind as I “traipsed” over to do my laundry this morning.  So was my mom.  “Traipsed” was a word Mom used.  She had a very colorful language, and I’m sure I picked up a lot of it.  However, being away for so long from the rural area where I grew up, many of these colloquial words and phrases have been pushed back into the recesses of my brain; though, sometimes, my colleagues will raise an eyebrow at some expression that has come out of my mouth and question the usage.

I’ve been thinking about some of these different expressions in these last few days because my sister has been in town to visit and attend the Houston International Quilt Festival.  On the ride back into town, after we had picked her up at the airport, she began to relate an incident that’d happened on the airplane, and she said, “. . . and these people from up front had to ‘high-tail it’ back to the bathroom.”  And “whoosh”, with those words, I was taken back many years ago; it had been so long since I had heard the expression “high-tail it”.

This morning, while I was folding my clothes (at the laundromat), I was thinking about my sister using “high-tail it” and remembered how “put out” she had been about these people needing to go to the restroom just when the plane was about to take off.  “Put out,” I thought; “does anyone use that expression anymore?”  These days, I think people mostly use “put out” with a completely different meaning, a usage neither my mom nor my sister would ever use.  I started laughing to myself, remembering something else my mom used to say.  Mom was a hard cookie, and could, in fact, say some pretty mean things, but it was a rarity for my mom or my dad to really cuss.  One expression that my mom used, though, when she’d lose something or something didn’t turn out right, was “Gosh all fishhooks.”  Thinking about that took me back a long time; in fact, it made me think of The Little Rascals.  “Gosh all fishhooks” sounds like something that Spanky or another of the characters from that old time show would have said.

I looked up “Gosh all fish hooks” but didn’t find any history of the expression, but I did find an interesting article from a small town in Minnesota (which I’d never heard of), which you might like, if you’ve gotten this far in my ramblings.

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A Little Advice for Would-be Dog Owners

papintubIn not too many months I will have had Annie, my little papillon, for almost three years. Before I got Annie I hadn’t had a dog since I was a kid on the farm. Oh, there’d been a few cats along the way, but not a dog.

I do not regret for one moment getting Annie. She brings a lot of joy and entertainment into my life. However, getting her was a big decision for me. I read a lot of books, searched countless websites, and talked a lot about getting a dog.

Some of my friends told me, “Hey, just get a dog already!” But I know myself better than anyone, and I wanted my decision to be the right one. I had to be really sure I was committed to owning a dog, and I wanted to pick the right dog for me. In the end, it all worked out, and it was a good decision.

But where I live, I see a lot of dogs who need better owners. These dogs deserve to have better lives, so let me give this advice.

Don’t get a dog . . .

  • unless you are committed for the long haul. Most dogs live a long time (some up into their late teens), and they are not like a lamp you get tired of and can just shove into the closet
  • unless you have a life that is fairly routine. Dogs like routine, and when it comes to house-training, dogs really need a routine; otherwise, there will be messes in the house long after puppydom is over.
  • unless you can give a dog exercise every day. And remember dogs that don’t get enough exercise are more likely to get bored and then chew up things and do other types of damage to your home and personal possessions. Find out how much exercise the dog you are thinking about needs before you actually get it. A dog like a Jack Russell terrier may look small and cute, but it will be bouncing off the walls and the top of your head if it doesn’t get enough exercise.
  • unless you are ready to pay for all the needs of your dog. Some big dogs can eat a lot of food. Check out the price of one of those big bags of dog food. Also dogs will need shots at least once a year. Plus, they need heartworm medicine and flea treatment once a month. Then what about if the dog gets sick or breaks a bone or gets bitten? That’s more vet bills. Annie’s yearly shots and check-up is about $140, another shot every six months at about $40, flea medicine $70 for 6 months. I forget what the heartworm medicine costs but I think about $5 a month. Then don’t forget about the city license. That will cost too, and it’s even more if the dog is not neutered. Then if you get a dog that needs grooming; that’s just like taking Big Hair Betty to the beauty parlor! And if you go out of town and need to have your dog boarded? Or you decide to take the dog on a flight? All of that will cost too, and it’s not cheap.

Now some just plain serious stuff.

Don’t get a dog . . .

  • unless it is neutered or you are willing to have it neutered. And don’t tell me you want your dog to have puppies, or you want your male dog to be a stud. If you are reading this post, you are not a dog breeder. Just because you think you’re a big hot stud does not mean that your dog needs his balls. Other dog owners do not like a dog that is always humping their dogs or even people’s legs just because some guy thinks he’s so macho that he can’t bear to see his male dog neutered. In reality, a neutered dog is an all-around nicer dog. If you’re worried about the dog getting fat, it’s not because the dog is neutered; it’s because the dog isn’t getting enough exercise. And if your dog is a female, there are millions of unwanted dogs put to death every year. Do you want to add to that number?
  • unless–and this is a biggee–you are willing to clean up after your dog. This means cleaning up inside when the cute little puppy messes on the carpet–and it will–because it’s just like a baby, and has to go frequently. This also means picking up the poop outside after your dog does a big one. It’s necessary because you don’t want to step in it, other people don’t want to step in it, it spreads disease if not picked up, and in most cities, it’s the law!

So if you’re considering getting a dog, think about these things. A dog can be a wonderful part of your life, but you have to be ready to be a dog owner, and in particular, you have to be ready to be responsible for that dog’s life in every way. Otherwise, neither you nor the dog will be happy.