Morning Rain brings Barky Showers

I awoke at 6 in the morning as it was my habit to do.  I was even able to get partially dressed before Mrs Dog decided that she heard me and came to investigate. 

The pleasures of an older dog.  When they’re puppies they’re under foot and don’t know why it is a problem.  When they’re adults, you tell them they’re under foot and learn not to be quite so close.  Now that she’s 10 and her hearing is getting selectively worse, I’m noticing that she isn’t quite as aware of what I’m doing any longer.  I can even get out of The Poang Chair and get standing before she opens her eyes.  Sleep is the number one activity.

I got out of bed, dressed, and padded my way into the Kitchen to roast a half cup of coffee beans.  Seven minutes in the roaster cum popcorn popper and I had time to feed her and grab all the gear we needed for a walk.

Finally, we were able to step outside and were greeted by a light mist of rain.  More like someone was standing on the roof and spraying a bottle of water into the air above my head.  I called to Lettie, and she decided that she didn’t hear or really didn’t need to hear what I was saying so I pulled her back into the door.  Inside the door is where we keep our umbrellas and this was going to be a wet walk.  We got to the corner where the 25 year old grey and maroon umbrella was opened and we walked into the progressively degrading conditions. 

By the time I rounded the corner the fourth time, I could see the sun rising over the ocean front condos, the ocean itself, and the Bahamas.  It was still raining but not so hard as I didn’t take the time to close the umbrella and use it to knock two mangoes off the tree on the corner on the rental property.   The people who live there are from Minnesota, they won’t mind, they don’t know what good mangoes are!

I walked inside and prepared a mug of coffee, a biscuit and a chicken pattie and continued to watch as it got progressively worse.  The rain danced across my swimming pool making the little rubber duck thermometer that floats there look as if there was someone draping some gossamer sheers past it in rapid succession.  The pool lost its sheen and the water’s surface became a uniform layer of grey from the droplets.

It was this time that I realized that this little storm would have the weather alert radio in Philadelphia sounding off about heavy storms and low visibility, but here in South Florida, the land of Hurricanes, nothing.

Then it began.  My little summer shower flexed its muscles.  While I had a mouth full of biscuit, chicken, and coffee, the world flashed brilliant white and the note of a giant bass drum sounded off.   The lights in the house flickered off, then on again.  My power conditioners snapped into use while the shoddy FPL infrastructure surged into the forefront of my consciousness. 

And the dog started to bark.  Barking from Mrs Dog is a rare thing.  Even when she was young she almost never barked.  I never quite understood why dogs bark at thunderstorms but it is a thing I’ve grown used to and accept as I have this wonderful creature living with me.   If she barks, I pay attention.  There’s a reason for that.

One dog trainer I read at some time in passing said “Make Storm Time, Fun Time”.  So I reached over onto the counter and found the Pumpkin Orange bottle of soap bubbles.  Now Lettie was barking for joy.  Not just one bark when the BOOM! happened, but a steady stream of baritone barks that showed she was really happy to play and take her mind off of the horrible maelstrom outside.

Not really a maelstrom, I can only imagine how she’ll be when we get a hurricane…

Holding the bubble wand near my lips I blew out a stream of about 20 bubbles and she leaps for joy snapping at each and every one while jumping like a puppy.  Reminding myself to blow bubbles out away from my body, I watched her ivory teeth chomp each impending bubble as a lightning strike happened with the BOOM! and she merely went on happily chomping away at soap.

I doubt that having a dog eat soap is a good thing, but the tiny amount that she gets in from snapping at bubbles and only occasionally getting one can’t be a life threatening situation, I swallowed more shampoo last night after I climbed out of the shower after using the pool.  She seems to enjoy it greatly, and its mental health benefits outweigh the little bit of soap that are in those shimmering spheres of soap that mysteriously fall from the sky.

Here we are, an hour and 45 minutes later, the storm is beginning to fade.   The sun is now higher in the sky, the Bahamas are sunny with only scattered red blobs over the radar near Freeport, over 60 miles away.  Our own rain storm will fade away into canine memory and the rainbow over Wilton Manors won’t be so redundant.

La-Z-Boy Design Tool Review

In short, its a great planning tool and it is free.   Of course Lazyboy wants you to go to their site, see their furniture, and buy.  Some of their furniture is truly wonderful and well built.   Before we moved here to South Florida, we had a room full of the stuff that was 20 years old or more.   I could have repaired the furniture, but we decided it was time and bought more when we got here recently (see earlier post).

When the tool was put in at La-Z-Boy, they could have locked you into their own furniture only and in doing so gutted the utility of it.   That decision wasn’t made and it made it much more useable.   On the other hand, if you are considering new furniture, and La-Z-Boy is a possibility, I’d say go for it, and look at their offerings. 

All of Lazyboy’s current models are in the program, and you can pick and choose the ones you want to put in your room.   You define the size of the room, find the type of piece in pull down (Chairs, Tables, Couches and Sofas and so forth) then the piece you are looking for and their furniture is already defined.  Double click on the piece and it plops it down in your virtual room.   You can spin it around and place it where you would want it without even buying a stick of furniture or moving a piece in your own room.  Just take measurements of the room.

The next step would be to find all the pieces you have that are going to remain in the room, find similar pieces and size them to fit by dragging the edges so that your dimensions (Inches or Metric) fit.   Everything is drawn to scale, and all the particulars are saved for you so that at the end when you print out your plan if you like, you get basically a Pick List of items with the models and names intact.   

The fun starts when you have all the pieces in your room and want to try out alternate layouts.  Why move that big TV across the room when you can do it virtually on your PC?   I ended up spending about a day on the site after I had measured my existing pieces and laid them out just so I could place them in the room before we bought anything.   It saved me from making some very costly mistakes of buying furniture that wouldn’t have fit.   When I got it in the room, after delivery, I knew exactly where everything was to go and what the alternate layouts were.   

After I used the site, registered, saved my plans and printed them out, we got our furniture set up by the shippers and they’re laid out just like I had planned.   It made for a much easier design and layout and didn’t require the services of an interior designer.

Thanks, La-z-boy, you were a great help!

Ikea Poang vs La-z-boy Barnett Reclina-rocker review

We finally got to the point here where we hit the wall with living like frat boys with cobbled together furniture and finished getting the Comfy Chairs for the house. Now that all is a rather loaded statement because put two opinionated people together trying to figure out what is comfortable, looks good together, and is appropriate for our lifestyle and you may find yourself surprised.

When we lived in Philly, we had a living room full of old La-z-boy furniture. Specifically a Blue Couch and Recliner. They were fine, and by the time we moved here to Florida, they were 20 years old plus. They did however hold up well and were well built pieces. The couch and recliner had eventually worn to fit whoever sat in the same position every day and you could tell which was preferred by who. By the time we moved, they were too worn out to be moved so we left them behind on the curb and in our rear-view mirrors.

When we got here we muddled through with a Futon, replaced the mattress, and a couple chairs that weren’t quite fitting the bill. So we started looking. I insisted on a rocker and didn’t care much about the brand so we went looking at La-z-boy and it was fine, not perfect, just fine. On a whim we went to Ikea and I went to sit on that iconic chair they have there called the Poang. Only now they have a rocker. I was in heaven because in all my years I had never fit in a chair that was form fit to me so perfectly. Unfortunately it would mean that the living room would have a La-z-boy couch, La-z-boy chair, and the Ikea Poang chair, Mismatched. It reminded me of the Bunkers in All In The Family with Edith’s little chair next to Archie’s ugly wingback.

So after we went back to the La-z-boy show room in Wellington FL, sat on every chair they had, and found that the line we had in Philly was just closed out but they did have four “Barnett” Rockers in South Florida of that line on discount I was swayed. We went back to the showroom in Ft Lauderdale on Federal Highway, spoke with them and they told us that we could have the matching chairs at the Palm Beach County Price which was a discount, and wrote us up. That left me scratching my head wondering why Wellington was in a different sales district but since we got that price I didn’t care.

Still a couple weeks later I was left with a La-z-boy chair that wasn’t quite as comfortable as the Poang and I couldn’t sit in it more than an hour or so without shifting around. My partner was still happy. We wandered into the local thrift store and someone had dropped off a Poang in a particularly odd beige and green floral pattern that had seen better days, but when I sat in it I was home. It fit me like a glove. We ended up with that chair in my living room and I’m happy. I can sit in it with my laptop for 3 hour stretches, and still bounce when the music moves me. I have the La-z-boy which is comfortable and perfect for TV Viewing Positions. My partner can’t sit in the Poang for 10 minutes, or so he says, and heads for the La-z-boy.

The Moral of all of that is To Each His Own.

Oh and P.S… The Poang with the Leather upholstery is firmer than the one with the fabric and more comfortable, but I’m still happy and sitting in the fabric upholstered chair and now writing to you.