Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Happy Birthday Wilbur...

              ... oh, and to my mom too!

When we took Wilbur in we knew from his vet records that he had originally been adopted out at approximately 11 weeks of age.  His previous owners (back yard breeders) only had him for one day when one of their pregnant female pit bulls nearly mauled him to death. After his owners relinquished custody of the little guy to the clinic and he landed in our life we calculated his age, went back in time, and figured he had most likely been born in mid January.  My mother's birthday is January 16th so we thought, what the heck, she won't care.
And as an animal lover she certainly didn't.

Fractured scull, punctured throat, torn ear, damaged eye, and many contusions.

A very handsome little man on the mend.

From poster boy to calender boy (Wilbur was the June, Hunk of the Month,  in last years Pit Bull Frog Calendar).
This dog has been nothing but a joy to us ever since the day he walked (and grunted like a pig) into our lives.  He's been a wonderful boat dog, a heating pad on cold nights (and hot nights whether we like it or not), a fantastic pre-dish-washer-plate-cleaner, and a very patient listener while I yak and yak and yak at him all day long.

He's put up with horrendous heat (2 months of nearly 100 degree temps during our Chesapeake Bay debacle back in 2010), rough overnight passages, and choppy seas, yet he continues to give us unconditional love.

So, today he got to spend his special day at Doggy Day Care where he played all day long with his doggy friends and came home with a little birthday bag full of treats. And even though he's usually stuck to us like glue, he was so tired tonight he went down below to our berth a couple of hours ago and has been snoring away ever since.

The only spoiler here will be attempting to move the little stinker into a more favorable position when we try to get into bed as Wilbur has apparently acquired a pretty handy dandy no fail anchor.

But it's his birthday and we'll just have to live with it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Motel Life Continues

As I mentioned earlier, when we arrived here at our Motel away from Home we noticed (yet weren't surprised) to find a police presence in the parking lot. An unfortunate sign of our times seems to be that that wonderful safe haven for travelers, once known as Motels, has since then turned into hovels for those on the dole.
And what a shame because motels once gave me a feeling of nostalgia. I used to associate them with visions of families traveling in their huge gas guzzling cars complete with home-made ham salad sandwiches, a bunch of cranky kids, and a tired mom.

Not so much anymore.

After putting up with the screaming antics of one of the regulars here, and being awakened at midnight by slamming doors and yelling on the floor above us, I was horrified to hear on the local news that the body found in one of the rooms here the day we arrived was the result of a homicide. And I sucked in my breath when the news station zoomed in on the finger print dust smeared door, and I saw the room number. It was one off from ours. It took a bit of deduction before I finally figured out that the room in question was directly behind us. We front the courtyard and that room borders the parking lot. Anyway, the news continued to say that the young lady (24 years old) put up quite a fight and the family is distraught. She'd apparently been there with a boyfriend who has yet to be questioned and we've heard nothing further on the matter.
I guess this explains why we found the business card of a homicide detective in our door. I have to wonder if they even bothered to find out who checked out of our room right before we checked in.

So on a lighter note.

Sitting in a motel room all day long is claustrophobic and just plain weird.
Wilbur strikes a Pit Bull Frog pose in front of the TV while we watch Turner and Hootch (I kid you not!).

I couldn't take sitting around any more and finally said, "ENOUGH!" and took Junior to Doggy Day Care for a half day while I did some running around and then we were off to the Dog Park to kill time before picking up Hans from work.
The end result of six hours of play time.

Ditto for today which also included an especially intense 15 minute tug of war with another dog.

That's a brand new Hedge Hog lying beside the little man.

He has not performed a squeakerectomy on it.

He must be tired.

Tomorrow we finally get to move back onto our Knotty Cat with her newly painted and very pretty bottom.

Honestly, I can't wait!!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

From Live-aboard to Motel Dweller

Oh My God!!!! I want to go home!

I mentioned in a previous post that while the Knotty Cat is on the hard in order to get her bottom cleaned and painted; Hans, Wilbur, and I get to luxuriate (read sarcasm) at a motel.

And I gotta say, I don't know how people do it.

The fun started around midnight last night when I was awakened by slamming doors and yelling people. Why, oh why, do people wait until the dead of night to start fighting? Luckily this was a very short lived event and then everything was quiet.

Then while I was at the dog park this afternoon I found out that a body had been found at our particular motel the day before. I guess this explains why the police were here all day and a homicide detective left a calling card in our door.

So tonight while eating our dinner of pizza (I love pizza but I'm already longing for a home cooked meal) the yelling and door slamming started again. This time it was right across the court yard from us and as I peeked through our curtain (I'm destined to be Gladys Kravitz wherever I live) I recognized a man I'd seen earlier on my way to the ice machine and even then I could just feel the anger coming off of him. He was now storming up and down the walkway and screaming into his phone. Hans made me get back from the window and we could hear many doors slamming, and more than one voice yelling. I looked out again and Angry Man (skinny and wearing no shirt) was still pacing and I could see the glowing screen of his cell phone clutched in his hand. When he started shouting again to someone about his having three thousand dollars in the bank by Friday so leave him the 'F' alone we called the front desk. We were informed that Angry Man had just been told to shut up right now or he was going to get kicked out.

Things finally quieted down.

I have to wonder why anyone would feel the need to leave the privacy of their room in order to have a loudly nasty conversation on their cell phone.

What's sad is the fact that this really is a nice motel. It's clean, well maintained, and the staff is very friendly.

I have my own opinion about why this kind of crap happens these days but I don't intend to turn this post into a political debate so I'll stop right now.

Wilbur wants to go home too!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Ground Hog Day, or perhaps, Oh Crap, Not Again!!

Last summer when we moved (and thus drove 2 vehicles for 2 days) from Pittsburgh to Florida, we ended up staying at a motel that I referred to as The Roach Motel, a term that we used for our more sensitive friends and family. For our really good and more understanding friends, we simply called it the Crackhead Motel.

I fear we may now be staying at either one's close cousin.

This morning after loading up the vehicle with our luggage, groceries, and Wilbur, we made the short jaunt to our new digs for the next four days while our Knotty Cat gets her bottom cleaned. Since Wilbur didn't recognize our new route (and probably thought there wouldn't be a break for a few more hours), he settled down and went right to sleep. And let me tell you that's the extreme opposite of what I have to put up with when we make our usual four mile ride to the dog park, a route the little stinker now knows all too well. And even though the park is only a few minutes away, it means I have to endure the entire trip with a screaming, snorting Pit Bull who fully anticipates playing with his group of extensive friends.

Whether they like it or not.

Wilbur snoozes with our orange juice and his all time favorite, a can of whipped creme (all our other perishables were shoved into the refrigerator at Hans' workplace).

Poor, poor Wilbur. I swear it's pure Pit Bull abuse. Imagine being shut up in a motel room with only a king size bed and a TV for entertainment (along with a full food and water dish).

This is the polite picture.


Even with a king size bed, it portrays how very needy Wilbur truly is.


The not so polite picture I absolutely refuse to ever have published is the one (thanks to many of the hot flashes I'll endure tonight) where I have both my legs outside the covers and straddled on either side of Wilbur. It gives the impression that I'm giving birth to a dog while blogging.


But anyway, I'd no sooner dropped Hans off at work this morning and pulled up to our new and temporary home, I noticed those pesky police cruisers once again parked along the perimiter of our building.


And I'm not sure why, but I really didn't feel any safer to find upon arriving back at our temporary home after taking Wilbur to the park and picking up Hans, to find that a homicide detective had stuck a business card in the key slot of our door.


Not quite the same thing as someone promising quick pizza delivery.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Today We Moved Our House

Actually we only moved the Knotty Cat around the corner to a boat yard so she can get hauled out tomorrow for a good cleaning and bottom paint job. But after we arrived Hans observed that all we really have to do is cast off our lines and just like that we can move our home to wherever we want.
It's quite liberating.
I did manage to get the boat out of our slip with much better results than I did last week and when we arrived at the boat yard we were very happy to note that we were docking in a slip at least 20 feet wide. Wow!! It made us realize how tightly squeezed we are in our current home port.
The only place we can find on our boat that will hold our over sized dinghy motor is a side rail at our stern. Either port or starboard it doesn't make a difference, but this damned motor has become the bane of my existence. Getting in or out of a slip means that this little bugger gets high priority attention as it just loves to grind itself into pilings any chance it can.
This morning Hans was at the bow and while he pulled the Knotty Cat forward, I braced myself against our stern piling in an attempt to fend off the dinghy motor. It probably would have helped if I'd kept my right hand clear so it wouldn't end up pinned between the piling and the motor.
Ouch!! Luckily Hans heard me screaming and gave me some slack and I managed to free my hand before it could be completely crushed.
Never again will I do that.
Now that we're at a different marina we have to keep the starboard stern away from the dock so the stupid motor doesn't dig into the dock. Luckily we get hauled out in the morning.
Wilbur was at his most irritating this morning and when he wasn't jumping ship to he was constantly underfoot.
Naughty Dog!
The Welcome Wagon arrived to greet us.

And then flew away.

I was under the impression that this was January. So why the hell have I had to take two showers already today? Honest to God, by the time we arrived here this afternoon the sweat was running off us.

Gee, I just can't wait for summer to arrive.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Bunch of Middle Age Cruisers Celebrate the New Year

Rich with his drum machine, and Hans with his new keyboard. Some serious music is about to take place!

This little guy was left out of most of the festivities and he ended up sulking below in our berth.


When we ended up at anchor on New Year's Eve around 2 PM we realized there was no way we'd stay awake to ring in the new year. But just after the sun went down we were surprised to get a call from another live-aboard couple in our marina who had finished up their work day. They were on their way out into the bay and did we want to meet up with them?

They ended up rafting next to us and I have to tell you this was a first for the Knotty Cat!! I'm just not a rafting up-let's party till all hours-act like a bunch of idiots kind of person. Especially on what I've always referred to as Amateur Night.

Really, I'm not.

Yet we had a great time. We laughed about anything and everything, witnessed a beautiful full moon rise over the bay, and by eleven o'clock we were back on our own boat with a pouting pitty. We hooked up our TV and antennae, and while Wilbur refused to budge from under his blanket, Hans and I actually witnessed the ball drop at midnight.

Getting up in the morning wasn't so easy but by 11 or so we were finally moving around and enjoying breakfast and mimosas.

Danee patiently waits on her boat while we try to wake up.

On New Year's Day, Hans got the chance to use his new keyboard. Rich and Danee's good friend's motored out and before we knew it, all three of our boats were rafted together and don't think the Knotty Cat wasn't hugely proud of herself. All three boats hanging on her anchor!!! What a girl!


So we ended up spending New Year's Day sitting at anchor with good friends and music. The wind also kicked up and many boats with smiling, happy occupants sailed past shouting out greetings to us (at least they didn't tell us to shut up).

Luckily, we got back into our slip with no mishaps since Captain Hans was at the helm and not me.


And now we're back to reality and of course our vehicle has decided that the Knotty Cat gets way too much attention. Therefore it decided to light up the dashboard with many alarms and then screamed and beeped at me and Wilbur the whole way to the Doggy Park. I then drove a very scary 4 miles enduring the mushiest brakes in the world to our local mechanic.

The good news is that Wilbur thoroughly enjoyed the ride back to our marina in the courtesy van where he gave our driver many big pitty kisses the whole way.

Here's to hoping this isn't a portent of things to come.