Once again the demented schoolmaster is shouting and ranting first thing in the morning. He seems to have an apprentice today. They're taking turns berating the rest of the students and playing rousing marching music. It's a good thing we have a sense of humour about it. We often wonder how the hospital next door feels about bellowing in the a.m. but they're probably busy waking people up anyway ~ maybe it helps.
We're proud to announce that we managed to get our weekly grocery bill under $100 this week. We've been tipping the scales at around $160 and Brian's been going nuts trying to figure out what's wrong. The thing is we've been buying large bags of dog food & laundry detergent & giant rolls of toilet paper & bottles of wine & a coffee pot etc. etc. etc. and these big ticket $10 items really make the grocery bill click up. Brian and Shelley have had an ongoing discussion about the size of their grocery bill since they've met. Shelley shrugs her shoulders and buys what's needed and is happy they've got the funds to finance their weekly trip without angst. Brian is aghast and frequently questions why Shelley's purchasing a certain item & pretends to have a heart attack at the check out counter & talks to the packer boy and anyone else that will listen about their ridiculous grocery bills. One must recognize that this routine between Shelley & Brian has now been going on once a week for approximately 728 weeks. There must be some gratification in it for both of us.
We just tried to go for a walk but got caught in a torrential rainstorm. Brian (smart guy that he is) had a rain coat on but Shelley only had a sweater. We tried to bull our way through it for awhile, but even Brian with his rain coat was soaking wet by the time Shelley announced: "Let's walk back to that last bridge, cross over and get a taxi home."
"But how am I going to explain to the taxi driver" Brian jeered "that we got tired of taking our pet rat for a walk?"
Fredi was soaked to the skin and shaking like a leaf. Shih Tzu's body temperature runs about 100+ degrees and it doesn't take too much to get them shivering when they're wet.
Shelley had been complaining of vague flu-like symptoms for a couple of days; achy, clammy, nauseous. That evening we had invited a guest for dinner and unfortunately Shelley spent most of the evening lying in the bedroom moaning and wishing "it" would go away while Brian entertained.
"Should I go?" our guest asked politely.
"Oh No" Brian explained to him.
Which is exactly how Shelley felt.
The next day she'd break out in spontaneous sweats and had no appetite, but was more mortified about leaving their guest alone than having the flu. The day after that, she started to feel better.
"It's been so many years I can't remember the last time I had the flu" Shelley told Brian. "Before the kids were born, I know that, so it's probably over 30 years. I hope the next break will be just as long."
After a couple of weeks of rainy, coolish weather and a few days of Shelley being under the weather, the morning dawned warm and sunny. Breakfast out on the balcony, study Spanish and then it was off to the park, armed with 20 treats, to give Fredi a training workout.
"Fredi! Aqui!" we'd shout and she'd run between us eager for her treat. "Good aqui! Good aqui!" we'd tell her, petting her generously. After about 3 times running between us, responding to our commands, she'd figured it out. Soon as she'd received her treat, she'd turn around and run back to the next, ready for her next treat even without the command. This was no good, so we added sit to the routine. She'd run and then we'd make her sit before she'd get her treat. This too took about 3 repetitions and then she knew to sit before the command. Hard to train the puppy if she anticipates you.
We ran out of treats and continued on our walk and were gratified when Fredi came instantly to the "Fredi! Aqui!" command. Note: We're not as stupid as Fredi thinks we are. We know she's not trained to come instantly after one session.