Let it Rain

This week we bought a rain barrel.  It was really easy to install.  We actually put it in last night in the dark.  We got it at WalMart for a good price.  I have wanted to get one to help with watering the plants.  Collecting the rain water and using it on the plants will help cut down water cost very much.  Here is the one we got. 

  They are very nice and clean looking, however ours is hidden inside my new garden shed.  When I get it all finished I will post pictures.



Custom Shower

We have been building a custom shower.  It is the last big thing that needs done in the house.  After this we will just have small things like trim, doors, and cabinets.  It is such a good feeling getting a little closer to being finished.  It has also been really fun getting to work with Blake on the house.  We work really well together and have had a great time doing all this work together.  Here are a few pictures of the many steps we had to do to prep the shower for tile.  The tile part will be easy after this.

  This is the tar paper we put down to protect the wood.

  This is the first layer of concrete.  It helps give the lining a slight slope to the drain.

  I had to install the lining.  It was hard to wrap the bench and the floor all with one sheet.

  I even drove the last nail!

  It was a good feeling to get the last layer of concrete finished.

Now all we have to do is put the tile in!

What a SHOCK!

We went Sunday to PetSmart and got the dogs an invisable fence.  It took a little while to get it set up (just a few hours).  It is the wireless instant type of fence not the buried kind.  We finally have it set up so that they can’t get in the front yard or the driveway.

We knew that Chloe would take the shock so much better than Marley, we were right.  He freaked the first time he got shocked.  We didn’t even set it very high because we knew it wouldn’t take much for him.  He cried like such a baby.  He has always over exaggerated any sort of discipline we give him.  He started acting too scared to even leave the porch so we set it on level one.  On this level it just gives them a warning beep and no shock.  It has worked really good. 

Chloe on the other hand is set on level 4 out of six.  She still runs right through it if she really wants to.  She listens really well but also likes to chase birds and cats.  I don’t think it will be very long before we can set her on level one too.

We worked outside building a shed the past two days and never had to worry about where the dogs were at.  It was really nice because they could run and play when we would have usually left them on the deck.  I would highly recommend this system to anyone who has considered it.  If we tried to build a fence it would have cost a fortune and taken forever.  Plus this way we can enjoy our tree filled view rather than a fence!      

Rants and Raves

We had a few situations we had to deal with recently.  I thought I would share with everyone our experience because hopefully it will help someone in a like situation sometime. 

The first thing has been a long process of about 2 months.  Blake has an HP laptop that a fan went out on.  No big deal we thought because it was under the extended warranty he bought still.  Oh we were so wrong.  He called and they shipped him a box so they could fix it.  A few weeks later he received the computer and everything was looking good…except the screen was busted.  So Blake immediately called HP again to deal with the situation.  They gave him some hassle over it but finally agreed to send a box so that could be fixed.  Finally a few weeks later he gets it back and it has a big sticker on it that says “No Fix”.  We were so confused.  So of course Blake called them right away to fix the problem.  

Now just having to call this many times is frustrating enough but of course no one spoke very good English to top it off.  He would have to repeat things several times and they still barely understood what he was saying.  Well to top it all off they were claiming that none of his information was anywhere to be found.  They had no record that he had ever bought a warranty or had any repairs done to it just weeks before.  He talked to one person after another and they kept putting him on hold for long amounts of time.  Finally he had been on hold for over a half an hour when he decided to hang up.  He decided to call the next day and try to do it all again.  He finally had someone tell him he could fax his receipt information and they would re-enter it all back into the computer.  So he faxed it and waited until the following week to call.  When he called that time he still went through the same stuff.  They were very unfriendly to him and in all honesty I think they wore the friendliness out of him.  I started getting so frustrated that they were upsetting him so much so I thought there had to be another way to fix this.  I got on the Internet and found a way to send an email to the President and CEO of HP.  I thought it was at least worth a try to complain.  So Blake hung up with HP on the phone and sent the email.  The next afternoon he received a phone call from and English speaking person from the corporate office.  They said they had record of everything down to each phone call he made.  They promised to get it fixed this time and asked if there was anything else they could do to help.  He said he would like the touch pad replaced because it was a little worn out and they said no problem. 

We got the computer back today and I must say, they did a wonderful job this time.  They replaced his LCD screen that was busted with a really nice plasma screen.  The color in it is just great.  They also replaced the touch pad.  The computer is as good as new now.  HP corporate office did a great job.  Other than that I don’t think I can say much else.  Lesson learned…don’t hesitate to go to the top and complain because someone might actually listen!

The other issue we had was that I found a fraudulent charge on our checking account this week.  It was an online purchase from Reservation Rewards.  I could not recall ever even hearing of them before.  I Googled them and found their web site which I really did not recognize.  I looked through some of the thins that also came up in the search and found the word scam over and over.  Apparently they some how get your card number from other online purchases and then start charging you a monthly fee.  I went to the bank to make sure I didn’t overlook any other charges and to have new cards sent to us.  Apparently I did miss one more charge that was made last month because it happened right after I threw my back out.  The bank said I needed to call the company first and see if they would refund the money and then if not the bank would fight it.  I called them and they gladly cancelled the future charges.  I had to ask twice to have the charges refunded.  Our money was back in the account today!     

I want everyone to be aware of this company though because they can get you just about anywhere on the net.  I finally figured out how they got us.  I recently sent Chloe’s AKC registration papers in and they sent me an email with some rebates from Dog.com.  I bought some bones and a Gentle Leader harness and had a follow up email from them offering a deal for buying from their site.  Well the deal said something about Reservation Rewards I think.  I didn’t do anything except click on it to see what it said.  Apparently that is all you have to do and then they can get your information and start charging you monthly membership fees.  Somehow this is legal according to everything I have read online but it is all crazy and theft to me.  Thankfully we had our money refunded with no problems.  But please everyone be aware of this in case it ever happens to you!   

Personality Test

I found this on Jeannie’s blog and thought I would post my results.  It was scary how much it was really right.  Blake did it too and it was right on him too.

Mine: #1-The Reformer

You’re a responsible person – with a clear sense of right and wrong.
High standards are important to you, and you do everything to meet them.

You are your own worst critic, feeling ashamed if you’re not perfect.
You have uncompromising integrity, and people expect you to be fair.

At Your Best: You are hopeful, honest, and inspiring. You bring out the best in humanity.

At Your Worst: You are intolerant, judgmental, and picky.

Your Fixation: Resentment

Your Primary Fear: Being corrupt.

Your Primary Desire: To be good.

Other Number 1’s: Al Gore, Martha Stewart, Gandhi, Celene Dion, and Spock from Star Trek.

Blake: #5-The Investigator

You’re independent – and a logical analytical thinker.
You love learning and ideas… and know things no one else does.

Bored by small talk, you refuse to participate in boring conversations.
You are open minded. A visionary. You understand the world and may change it.

At Your Best: You are sharp, inventive, and creative. You have the skills to lead the world.

At Your Worst: You are reclusive, weird, and a bit paranoid.

Your Fixation: Greed

Your Primary Fear: Being useless or incompetent

Your Primary Desire: Being competent and needed

Other Number 5’s: Bill Gates, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Bjork, and Stephen Hawking.

Go check out Jeannie’s blog and tell her congrats on her recent engagement!

The President Came to Town

Tomorrow is Kentucky’s primary election, so Mount Sterling had a visit from former President Bill Clinton.  Here in the Craig house we are not Clinton supporters but we thought we would try to see him anyway.  He was The President after all. 

We found our way down town to the street where he was to be appearing.  As it turned out he was going to be speaking on the front porch of our dentist’s parents house.  We stood around and waited for him to show up, soon a few secret service agents started to appear.  Blake was really excited about that.  Finally a few patrol cars showed up and after a few minutes Mr. Clinton came through the front door and started giving his speech.  We could see him pretty good as long as people didn’t hold signs right in front of his face.  We were about 20 or so feet away from him.

We didn’t have any desire to stick around and hear the speech so we left.  But now we can tell our children that we once saw President Clinton.

ps- Vote for McCain! 


Crime Scene

*Caution-Contains Graphic Images*

Weather: Clear and warm, approx  78F
Arrived on scene at 1505
Responding to scene: Deputy L. Kuhn, Deputy D. Lyon
Location and Description:South end of Hallway, small hallway, tan walls with white trim, four separate doors with attic entry north of crime scene
Witnesses:No eyewitness known.


Victim 1:
Chloe “Wildflower” Craig dob 1/24/07 (approx 15 months old) 25 inches tall, 45 lbs found in south end corner disoriented, staring at the east wall.  Appearance of heavily bleeding wound inflicted to the middle, bottom of ear.  Blood stains under head and neck area indicate profuse bleeding, red to brown and color.  Wounds appear to be result of blunt force and biting.  Victim appears to have been bitten and then thrown into west wall.  Victim appears to have been repeatedly forced into wall, blood spatter patterns appear approx 39 inches up on west wall.

Victim was found wearing pink color, with silver dog bones.  Slightly crusty nose and mud on paws.  Area surrounding victim along with water dish and food bowls appear to have been disrupted.  Brown fur found in victims claws are evidence that victim did attempt to defend herself upon assault.  Also evidence suggest that a white organic chew bone may be the cause for the assault. 


Suspect: Marley aka street name “BUCK” dob 9/15/07 (approx 7 1/2 months old) 23 inches tall, 37 lbs found in north end of hallway chewing upon victims bone.  Suspect did not seem to show any concern for victim.  Upon examination, suspect sustained no injuries.  Suspect was found wearing silver chain also known as “bling”  Evidence shows that suspect may have close ties with local gang members and affiliates. 

Suspect Marley aka BUCK was apprehended at approx 1508 and taken into custody. 

Marley aka Buck recently posted bond and awaiting trial.  If found guilty, may lose dog park privledges and bone rights for 3 months.