Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Housesitting adventures.

I feel like I need to make a few different posts, but at the rate of interesting events these days, I'd best just update you completely so I don't forget things.

I worked the night Sat. and Sun. On Sat, my manager gave me a small gift. I figured I may as well save it and open it on Christmas, so I left it on the table in the house. Then I went shopping and while there picked up a box of chocolates. I'm sure I put them away. But I must have left them accessible. On Monday morning when I got home, the dog was very happy to see me and excited to go outside and do her business. I let her out and went to change out of my work clothes. As I get up the stairs, there on the landing is a pile of garbage. I bend down to pick it up, and realize it's the wrapping paper from the gift I had gotten, and the pieces of the gift are strewn about the house, including half a chocolate bar wrapper, no sign of chocolate. Great, the dog ate my chocolate that I didn't even know I had! I pick it up and head for the bedroom, and there on the floor is a big piece of garbage that's initially unrecognizable. After a bit, I realize it's from the box of chocolates I had bought. Not just any chocolates... brandy beans! The dog has eaten chocolate, which is potentially toxic, and alcohol! Now what? I go change, have breakfast (I insist on having breakfast in the morning now, whether I just woke up or I just got home from work.), and wait for the dog to ask to come back in. An hour after I got home, she's still not made a sound, so I open the door and make her come in, I want to sleep! That was just after 8:30. At ten, she comes and wakes me up. She only wakes me up if she needs to go to the bathroom. So I get up and let her out. And peek out the window to make sure she's okay. She's having diarrhea! GREAT. So I grab a pillow and blanket, and set myself up for the day on the couch near the door. Sure enough, about every hour she's begging to go out. I'd say it cleared her system by midafternoon. Boy, was I glad I wasn't going in to work that evening.

I mentioned recently that the car wouldn't start. I was a little lazy about doing something about that, mainly because I hate to bother other people about stuff like that. So today I decided to go out and ask someone. Also the dog needed a walk as I hadn't left the house AT ALL yesterday. So I geared up, she willingly let me put the muzzle leash on her, and I went to open the door. It moved maybe half a centimeter. I double checked the door... yup, it's unlocked. So I tried again... and again... and I kicked the door and I leaned back holding the door knob, and I jiggled the door forward and back... but nothing I tried worked. So I considered heading out the back door, but remembered that it only went to a balcony, and I really wasn't sure about a jump onto snow-covered rocks, as I hadn't explored the back of the condo at all. So I stood there for a while in indecision with the dog staring up and me and trying to figure out why in the world I wasn't opening the door to let her out for her walk. Finally, I decided there was no other choice, I was going to have to climb out the window. Now the only window anywhere near the ground is the one in the laundry/storage room. Which meant moving the treadmill and taking piles of stuff off of the table in front of the window. Climbing on the table, and opening the window. The window is about 5 feet off the ground INSIDE the house, and closer to 7 feet off the ground outside. Luckily, it's positioned right over the porch steps, and there's a railing near the wall under the window. Unluckily, when opened at it's widest, the window is only (I just went to measure it!) 16 inches wide by 27 inches tall. I put my right leg out and tried to reach for the railing, but it was too far, so I brought my right leg back in again. I put my right leg out, then my right arm and body, started to get scared that I'd get halfway out and my left leg would be stuck, but was just able to reach a wooden box tucked behind the railing. I eased out the window, kept a death-grip on the frame (for fear the layer of snow and ice on everything might result in a bad fall). Finally, I was out and hopped onto the steps and went up to body-slam the door. BOOM! Open. I let the dog out, tied her up and went back in to close the window. That done, I tried to go out and close the door properly... but now it wouldn't close. I grabbed the shovel and got rid of all the snow I could in front of the door, but no change. Then I took a good look at the door, and realized it had up to a centimeter of ice rimming the part of the door that comes in contact with the frame. So I went back inside and got a butter knife. And I chipped all that ice away. The door now opens and closes smoother than when I got here!
Finally able to come and go as I please, the dog and I left for our walk. Taking a husky for a walk is great, 90% of the time, I just need to keep a firm grip on the leash, and she "helps" me walk at a good pace. But if ever I see her headed for another dog or in the wrong direction, a firm tug on the leash and calling no or her name, will stop her and it doesn't take long to redirect her. We stopped halfway at a friend's place (poor spoiled indoor dog had to sit outside for a while and wait for me.) I hung out there for a bit, got fed, played a game, and asked for some help boosting the car. I took the dog back, and shortly after, my friend's husband showed up with his car and booster cables. The second they were attached the lights came on in the car. (I had been fiddling around with the lights after it wouldn't start. I guess I ended up leaving them on when I was done fiddling. Hard to know when nothing will turn on. And yes, dad, I tried jiggling the wires around the battery, but nothing happened.) The car needed a lot of encouragement to keep the charge, so I had to go for an impromptu tour around town, since driving the car is the best way to recharge the battery. So I got to see all of Apex, found the industrial part of Iqaluit, etc. I figured the best place to try shutting the car off was back at the place where I'm housesitting, since I wouldn't need a ride back if it wouldn't start. And as I pulled in, my friend's husband had just pulled in as well. He had gone on an errand, and noticed me behind him so figured he'd make sure the car would start again. It did. We'll see if it starts tonight!
Oh, and I've been put on call for the night, so I'll be able to go to the christmas eve service at church. I think I'll go to my apartment first and pick up my electric heating pad... sleeping on the couch has put my back out of wack, and wrenching on the door today certainly didn't help!

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