Happy Halloween

One of my favorite things to do on Halloween is to listen to the re-telling of The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe. Glenn Beck reads this on his radio show every halloween. He does an excellent job! He reads it with great passion and really gets into character. A CD is also available now, which I will be purchasing.....trust me it is worth the purchase!

So enjoy.

The Tell-Tale Heart
By Edgar Allan Poe

rue! --nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses --not destroyed --not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story.

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.

Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded --with what caution --with what foresight --with what dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it --oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly --very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed. Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this, And then, when my head was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously-oh, so cautiously --cautiously (for the hinges creaked) --I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights --every night just at midnight --but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber, and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he has passed the night. So you see he would have been a very profound old man, indeed, to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept.

Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. A watch's minute hand moves more quickly than did mine. Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers --of my sagacity. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I was, opening the door, little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea; and perhaps he heard me; for he moved on the bed suddenly, as if startled. Now you may think that I drew back --but no. His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness, (for the shutters were close fastened, through fear of robbers,) and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily. I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening, and the old man sprang up in bed, crying out --"Who's there?" I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was still sitting up in the bed listening; --just as I have done, night after night, hearkening to the death watches in the wall.

Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief --oh, no! --it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him, although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise, when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself --"It is nothing but the wind in the chimney --it is only a mouse crossing the floor," or "It is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp." Yes, he had been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions: but he had found all in vain. All in vain; because Death, in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him, and enveloped the victim. And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel --although he neither saw nor heard --to feel the presence of my head within the room.

When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little --a very, very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it --you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily --until, at length a simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture eye. It was open --wide, wide open --and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness --all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but I could see nothing else of the old man's face or person: for I had directed the ray as if by instinct, precisely upon the damned spot. And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense?
--now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.

But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eve. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man's terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! --do you mark me well I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me --the sound would be heard by a neighbour! The old man's hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once --once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eve would trouble me no more.

If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs. I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye --not even his --could have detected any thing wrong. There was nothing to wash out --no stain of any kind --no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. A tub had caught all --ha! ha! When I had made an end of these labors, it was four o'clock --still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, --for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises. I smiled, --for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search --search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.

The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: --It continued and became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definiteness --until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears. No doubt I now grew very pale; --but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased --and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound --much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath --and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly --more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men --but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! what could I do? I foamed --I raved --I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder --louder --louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! --no, no! They heard! --they suspected! --they knew! --they were making a mockery of my horror!-this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now --again! --hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!

"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! --tear up the planks! here, here! --It is the beating of his hideous heart!"

And on a lighter, funnier note.....here is a joke that Mitch sent me.

Hospital Bed Sheets.

An extremely modest man was in the hospital for a series of tests, the last of which had left his bodily systems extremely upset. Upon making several false alarm trips to the bathroom, he decided the latest episode was another and stayed put.

He suddenly filled his bed with diarrhea and was embarrassed beyond his ability to remain rational . In a complete loss of composure he jumped out of bed, gathered up the bed sheets, and threw them out the hospital window.

A drunk was walking by the hospital when the sheets landed on him. He started yelling, cursing, and swinging his arms violently trying to get the unknown things off, and ended up with the soiled sheets in a tangled pile at his feet.

As the drunk stood there, unsteady on his feet, staring down at the sheets, a hospital security guard, (barely containing his laughter), who had watched the whole incident, walked up and asked, "Say, what's going on here?" The drunk, still staring down replied, "I think I just beat the s**t out of a ghost."

Hope everyone has a very happy and safe Halloween!

As for me, I will be enjoying a nice glass or two or three of wine tonight!!! =)


Sunday evening nap

It's a good thing Booyah does not mind sleeping on his dog bed or on the guest bed downstairs, which we now jokingly call Booyah's bedroom, because there is just not enough room on the couch for one more.

In other news.....
Maggie went with me on her first home visit today and she did great! I was very proud of her!! We visited a family with children, which I was a little worried about because Maggie is very much a hound who needs her space and sometimes children can be very intrusive, but she did fine, I was so pleased with my little girl!! This family's children were very well behaved, and provided her the space she needed!!

It is always hard taking just one and deciding which one to take. The boys have been on HV's with me, so it was Maggie's turn. Next weekend the kids and us will be going to Colonial Beach, we are so excited, we can't wait!!!

BTW.....lazy bum mom did not sew any Halloween costumes this year, so the kids will be couch potatoes for Halloween. We very seldom get trick or treaters, so no need to really dress up. But, I plan on finishing Maggie and Cueball's fall coats this week. I know, I know.....procrastinator. =)


2 The Sofa

So.............it only took him 7 weeks and a nice big push from me Friday night, but Cueball finally discovered the joy and comfort of the couch. Now he chooses the couch over his dog bed. Who can blame him? And what does Maggie have to say about all this?

.....she is totally fine with it, just as long as she has a part of the couch too.

And Mitch's rain gage really came in handy this week. We got over 5 inches of rain in the last 3 days. Parts of our back yard are giant mud puddles. The rain always makes the kids extra frisky. They had a ball running around out there.

The leaves are really starting to turn now, I am hoping to get back out there this week and get some great shots of all the beautiful fall colors.

Next weekend we are going to Colonial Parkway with the kids, it will be lots of fun!!


Hmmm.......We shall see on Nov. 4th

So here is what the "experts" are saying.....

'07 rankings: Bookend partners

By Jason Cole and Charles RobinsonOctober 23, 2007
The Patriots and Colts' routs kept them in the top two positions, respectively, and moved them one step closer to a battle of unbeatens in Indianapolis on Nov. 4. At the opposite end of the rankings, the Rams and Dolphins look like serious contenders to remain winless this season.
While no one made a major move up in both writers' rankings, the Buccaneers took a fall outside of the "Top 12" after losing to the Lions. And while the Broncos moved closer to the "Top 12" on one side, they remain at the "Bottom of the Pack" by the other writer.
Here are the complete rankings following Week 7 action.

Cole rankings
LW (1)
New England Patriots (7-0)
LW (2)
Indianapolis Colts (6-0)

Robinson rankings
LW (1)
New England Patriots
LW (2)
Indianapolis Colts

Cole: OK, Miami isn't very good, but what New England did to them was absolutely ridiculous in putting up 42 points in the first half. But enough about the latest exploits of the Patriots, who are playing like they're seriously ticked at the league. Can't imagine why. As ludicrous as this sounds, I'm getting the feeling that the Patriots could go undefeated if they really wanted to this season. Then again, they have to deal with Indianapolis on Nov. 4. … As for the rest of the top of the league, you would have gotten some seriously long odds on a parlay from me that Cleveland and Kansas City would have been in the top 10 of the league. Yeah, the Browns are a pretty big reach at No. 10, it's not like anybody else deserves to be there right now. Seattle needs to figure out if it's going to be good or not after a couple of ugly games preceding the victory over St. Louis. … In all, after the top three, this is about as fluid as it gets.

Robinson: This whole idea that the Patriots can't establish the run is a myth. Come playoff time, the triumvirate of Laurence Maroney, Sammy Morris and Kevin Faulk will be just fine. And who needs to establish the run when there isn't a secondary in the league that can hold down your passing game? … One Colt who could really, really hurt New England's defense: Dallas Clark. … Seven games into the season, and Terrell Owens is quietly having one of his most superb seasons. Seriously. As welcome as his good behavior has been this season, it almost seems awkward. … With David Garrard limping, that decision to dump Byron Leftwich and his salary looks like a big mistake. And no, I'll never buy that the Jaguars cut Leftwich because his presence would have undermined Garrard. … The Texans and that struggling defense are on the verge of a serious beat down at the hands of the Chargers. … Raise your hand if you agree with Ray Lewis and the rest of the Baltimore fan base when it comes to Brian Billick's mundane offensive play-calling.


Happy Birthday Mitch and Mike!!

Today is Mitch's birthday! And, we had a great day together! Mitch really liked the hummingbird rain gage I got him. I am glad too. Sometimes it can be challenging shopping for him so when he dropped a hint about a rain gage a few months ago, I made a mental note then wrote it down in my calendar in my purse. Next year we hope to take a week off and go to the
Mountains with the kids. We celebrated Mitch's birthday going to the mountains the first year we were together and it would be very nice if we could go back.

To my husband:

I love you very much sweat pea! I hope you had an awesome day!! And I hope you have many more wonderful years!!!!!!!!! Thanks for being you! =)

And, happy birthday Mike! I hope you had a wonderful day!

Ramona posted a great picture of the twins on her site. Check out Mitch and Mike as kids.

Punk Rock Greys and Weekend Activities

Whoa......busy weekend. Mitch picked up Hallo Sarina on Friday and she stayed one night with us. I took her on the Home Visit on Saturday to a great family in Chesapeake who will now foster her with the intention to adopt. Traffic was great getting there, but it took me forever to get back home. We enjoyed having Sarina here for one night. She is a very sweet and smart girl! She has a Mohawk like Maggie. I had not seen another Grey with a Mohawk, so this was a special treat. Here are the punk rock greys. Sarina.
And here is the happy girl chillin on a dog bed. She later found the couch. She is a couch potato.
Then Saturday evening Mitch and I went over to Brian and Tracey's for their annual Brunswick stew party. It was absolute perfect weather for this party. We had a great time and the stew was scrumptious! They had been cooking it all day in a huge pot, which looked like a witch's pot for brewing potions. =) They made 30 gallons!! Yummy!! We ate quite a bit and were stuffed when we got home.

And lastly.............here are more pictures of Centex Mist, now affectionately known as Mona. She is now in her forever home with the family who fostered her. They are an awesome family and she is one happy girl! It was really great seeing her again on Saturday! It is nice that her family is close by and we will be able to see her often. We are keeping her this coming weekend while her family is out of town.


Ahh....fall is here

Today was a beautiful day here in Charles City, VA. When I got home from work I decided to take the camera outside with me and the greys and just enjoy the scenery and hopefully get some good shots of the kids outside. Most of our shots are of the kids inside the house, and I am a little sick of the overly blue living room. That carpet and couch have got to go!! Anyways, the sky was gorgeous with all the puffy clouds. I love this time of year! The air just feels and smells different. Okay.... I will admit we need a better camera, or maybe the camera is fine and we need a more skilled photographer. =) ANYWAYS no matter.....bare with me on the blurriness. I can never figure out which setting this camera needs to be on. BUT, you will get the general idea, at least I hope.

Some of our trees are starting to change colors. This is a shot of our front yard near the driveway. We already have lots of acorns in the yard, which Booyah seems to love to eat.
This is another tree in our front yard. My favorite is the blazing orange color that some trees' leaves turn, unfortunately none in our yard yet, but the yellow is quite nice.
And here are some more trees in the front yard right by my garden, which I did not grow anything in this year, but plan to next year. It stunk having to by veggies and having to pay ridiculous prices for them, when I know I can grow my own way cheaper. I do have some Jalapeno peppers from last year in the freezer from last years garden.
And finally the last shot of the trees. This is in the backyard facing my neighbors property. We will have new neighbors soon, hope they are a nice as the ones we have had for 7 years!
Here is Booyah enjoying the fall breeze after a good romp around the yard.
I love this next shot. I love the expression on Maggie's face, I just wish it did not come out so blurry. Oh well.....maybe I need Photography 101 lessons or something. =)

She is giving me the stink eye in this next shot. It is a little past their dinner time and she is wondering why they are not in getting their grub on and why I am continuing to point the camera in her face. Maggie is definitely a hound who needs her space!! Miss Queen herself seen below.
And, here is my boy Cueball. This picture surprisingly enough does not look half bad. He is a handsome boy.

Fall is positively my favorite time of year!


Meet and Greet and Dog Haul

On Saturday we had our monthly MG at PetSmart. I took Cueball with me and he did great. He was the donation dog for the event. And, he did very well. Everyone thought he was adorable and he was very welcoming of people loving on him. We had a good turnout of hounds and lots of folks stopped by. We were there for 2 1/2 hours. =) Hopefully we will get some applications in and find some good forever homes for the hounds. Cueball was very fascinated with the shopping cart at the Meet and Greet. I think he was trying to tell me that we should go shopping and pick up some new squeaky toys and treats.

A Greyt Big Thanks to all the volunteers who came out with their hounds and made this event a greyt success!!!! Hope to see you all at the next one! The hounds appreciate your support!

On Sunday, VAGA brought up a haul of 10 hounds. And for the first time, I played a small part in helping with the haul. I met some volunteers in Mechanicsville and picked up two hounds, Sonic Cruz and Centex Mist. It was very exciting seeing these two girls and being able to bring them home, help them with stairs and introduce them to a home. We hope to be able to help more completely with the hauls next year when we have a more reliable vehicle.

The other 8 hounds headed up to Northern VA. Sonic Cruz went home to her family today. She is going to a nice home and will live with two greys. There was no indication that she had ever been in a home, but she picked up on going up stairs very quickly and she came right in and laid down on a dog bed. She was a tired girl.

Then, a little while later, she jumped up on the couch with my Moo Moo! Surprisingly enough Maggie had no issues with this. She was even touching Maggie and Maggie did not budge, or fuss. Is this my same Maggie Moo?She will adjust very quickly in her new home. She was a very sweet girl!! Glad I got the chance to meet her and spend a few hours with her.

Centex Mist the other hound I picked up this morning is a doll!!! She is staying with us for the night. I wish she was staying longer. She is such a sweet love bug!! She follows us everywhere and fits in so well with our hounds and our cat. She is a very smart girl. She has already mastered going down the stairs. I am working with her to teach how to go up the stairs. She is eating very well and has had no accidents in the house thus far!! We are calling her Mist for now. She will be going to her foster home tomorrow afternoon. We hope they foster fail!! She is such a wonderful girl! A little shy in the very beginning, but she warms up to you very quickly. She loves to be loved!! She is little like Maggie (57 lbs), but she is taller than Maggie. Then again who isn't? She is the shortest Grey we have seen so far. She even won a stuffie at the VAGA picnic for being the shortest hound. And, Booyah won tallest hound. That was rather amusing!! =)
Just look at her sweet face.....how could you not love on her! Her foster family is going to adore her, can't wait for them to meet her!! Hopefully their Iggy will love her too!
And here is Cueball, after wearing himself out playing with squeaky toys. This boy loves toys!!


Unusual Temps

Oct 7
Partly Cloudy
N/A/67° 10%

High not valid after 2pm
Oct 8
Partly Cloudy
88°/67° 20%
Oct 9
Mostly Sunny
94°/63° 20%
Oct 10
Partly Cloudy
82°/52° 20%
Oct 11
Mostly Sunny
70°/47° 10%
Oct 12
Partly Cloudy
66°/47° 10%
Oct 13
Partly Cloudy
69°/44° 10%
Oct 14
74°/48° 10%
Oct 15
72°/49° 10%
Oct 16
71°/47° 10%

Is it October? We saw some Halloween decorations as we drove around town today, but with temps in the 90's today it does not seem like it is October. Above is our 10 day forecast. I believe we were warmer than Florida today. ???? And we just saw on the news that a pool in Chesterfield was open today. Our pool has been drained and put up for the season. Mitch and I are hoping for cooler temps soon. As we would like to use our chimenea soon and Mitch would like to finish the patio soon. We thought it would be done by October. I am thinking more like November. That's okay....maybe we can have a spring party instead. =)

This weather is too weird for my taste. I like to have my seasons have an identifiable change. This is why I don't think I would be very happy living in a state like Florida. I look forward to fall and love snow. No offense Ramona and Mike!!

Just an observation.


Itchy & Scratchy Show

Urgh...... The hounds have fleas! I can't figure out how they got them. We frontline every 30 days all year long. Everyone is itching and scratching in the Ridlon house. Maggie has become bald on her chest under her neck and on her thighs from all the scratching and licking. Her right ear is scabbed from all the scratching. Poor thing! I feel horrible for her. We bought all kinds of flea stuff this weekend to try to combat this issue. We gave all of them a bath today with flea shampoo. And we are hopeful that this will work. Just in case, we also went ahead and bought flea spray and a flea comb. We plan to use the fogger this week in the house and we bought some flea killer for the yard too. I know, I know a little overkill, but better safe than sorry. And besides, when we noticed the issue this week.....I of course was freaking out!!! I have just never experienced this before. I have had K.C. for 12 years and she has never had fleas. And amazingly enough, I have not found one on her. We have had Misty 8 years and she has never had fleas. Nor have we found any on her. Just on the hounds!


I guess this can happen to anyone, but it is very frustrating for us. Especially for me. As I feel that my house is dirty and that the fleas are somehow a reflection of poor house cleaning on my part. =(

Enough about that. On a happy note....well at least for me......the Colts are winning and should be 5-0. The game is going into the 4th quarter now, so unless they mess it up.....they are now 5-0. Yippee!!!!

More happy stuff and pictures to come later this week. We promise!