Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Why This Writer Has Wood Floors: Just another Day at the Craig House

If you did a quick tour of my home, you might notice the absence of carpet. No, there’s not one bit of fiber-weaved flooring in my suburban Houston, Texas home. I don’t even own an indoor rug.

Other than the Italian tile in my kitchen, baths, and entryway, all you’ll find is wood—beautiful, 5-inch wide, 100% hard yellow pine. Each flank of wood was lovingly, if not slightly begrudgingly, put into place by my husband.

The golden hues of wood and the natural imperfections blend harmoniously and add appeal to my mix of not-so-fine antiques and contemporary furniture. The overall style is what I call demure eclectic. In case you’re wondering, “demure eclectic” is one of the latest, the hottest trends in design. I know this because when I’m not writing about murder and mayhem, I specialize in writing interior design articles and naming the latest trends. (Not that I know anything about interior design, mind you, but the magazine needed someone and hey, I know how to write fiction, so...) Anyway, this might automatically lead you to assume that the ambiance factor is why I have wood floors.


Well, you know what that say about assuming.

Nope. That’s not why wood floors grace my home.

Some people who have noted the absence of carpet, asked if one of the Craigs suffered from allergies. Other than my being seriously allergic to exercise, in which it leads to me breaking out … in a sweat . . . the Craigs are allergy-free.

The reason I have wood floors happened several years back. It involves a dog, Bosco, a Boston terrier whom we also dubbed the dog from hell. The story of Bosco is a blog unto itself, but I’ll save that for later. My point is that he was a very expressive canine. To express himself, he’d leave little “surprises” in the house when things didn’t go his way. (And, yes, I do mean those kind of “surprises.”)

At this time, my son was ten, and it never failed that he always found those surprises and helped distribute them throughout the house. Now, I know, you are probably thinking that this is why I have wood floors. However, I said it involved Bosco, but by no means, is he the reason.

On this particular day, I had been scheduled to do an author’s talk at a library about 30 miles from my home. My original plan had been to wing it. Seriously, just how many people would show up to hear little ol’ me?

Remember what I said about assuming?

Well, the morning of the talk, I’d gotten a call from a friend who said she’d heard about the appearance on the radio. An hour later, another friend called to say she’d heard the announcement on the local television. I panicked. I needed handouts, a speech, and I needed it fast.

My husband arrived home, a little late by the way, to take me to the all-important meeting. As we started out the door, my son screamed he’d forgotten his electronic game and could not, would not, leave without it. I mean, he was going to be in a library, where thousands of books lined the shelves, what else could he do there, other than play games?

He ran upstairs, next to the last room down the hall, grabs his Gameboy, ran back down the hall, down the stairs, and into the entryway. You guessed it. Unbeknownst to my son, he’d found Bosco’s opinion about us leaving . . . and tracked it from the upstairs to the downstairs.

Hubby, seeing my near panic, jumped in to save the day. He grabbed a different pair of shoes for my son, promised to help me clean when we got back, and ushered us all out the door. Before getting in the car, hubby told my son to remove the shoes and toss them in the trunk. Do I need to mention that the trunk is where I’d put my handouts?

Now, the talk went fine, without the handouts. When we arrived home, I went straight for the supplies. My hubby, still on my good side at the time, told me, “You do the stairs and entryway, I’ll do the hall.” Seemed like a fair deal, and I remember thinking . . . this is why I love that man.

However, while I was working on the steps, my husband appeared at the top, gazing down at me. “I don’t think this is salvageable,” he said.

I looked up and sent him the look wives have been sending husbands since Eve realized she’d been conned by Adam to eat the apple. (The whole snake reference is a symbol. Ask Freud.)

“Baby, I explained. “It’s called spot removal. The supplies are under the sink.”

Like a good husband, he came down the stairs to get his supplies. After I finished my chores, I went for the wine and sat in the dark trying to de-stress. Thirty minutes later, mellowed by the Merlot, I started upstairs. I crossed the clean entryway, made my way up the clean stairs, but when I turned into the hall I stopped dead in my tracks.

A little in shock, I made my way down the hall to stand in the doorway of the master suite.

Hubby and the dog from hell were stretched out on the bed. Hubby held a newspaper in his hands. Reading the obituaries I’m sure, due to his thinking he’d be appearing there soon. Slowly, he lowered the paper, looked me right in the eyes, and in a voice that showed little fear considering the situation, said. “I did what you asked.”

And he had. But he hadn’t used the pet stain remover or a scrub brush. He’d used an exacto knife. Yep. Every one of my son’s foot prints had been precisely cut out and removed from the carpet. Spot removal, Craig style.

And that, my dear readers, is the reason why this writer has wood floors . . . put in lovingly, if not slightly begrudgingly, by my husband.

Okay…that’s my wood floor/husband story. Do any of you have funny husband stories? Or funny pet stories? Or fun. . . Hey, do you hear that? I think it’s sirens. I kind of ran into some trouble a while back involving rope, guns and agents, (my next blog) and I might be on the run for a while, but please post your comments—don’t forget the contest we’re running here at Killer Fiction—and I’ll be checking in when the sirens have stopped.

Crime Scene Christie

44 comments:

fleury said...

This story is about my father and his dog and since he was my mother's husband and the dog is a prominent player, I suppose it will do.

My mother has a kind heart, an overly kind heart. When my husbandless and childless cousin Dorothy, a New York stage actress, died all her cousins promptly and helpfully distributed her worldly goods among themselves except Dorothy's New York born and bred French poodle whose name was Boonie.

fleury said...

Sorry Christie. I'm not used to blogging and this comment wasn't finished.

Boonie, as I was saying, was small, temperamental and mean. Daddy had gotten his number years earlier when they'd had dinner at Dorothy's and Boonie bit him in the leg. Mother told Daddy not to whine and he spent the evening mopping blood from his leg, moaning quietly. Fortunately, at that time, Dad had not yet stopped drinking.

In any event, Mother brought Boonie home where he lived a long life mostly under the dining room table, snapping and growling at anyone who ventured nearby. She steadfastly refused to "do anything" about him, despite repeated pleas from family and friends.

Boonie's end occurred one winter when Mother and Daddy happened to be in England and Dad was suddenly hospitalized. My sister was in Boston with a difficult pregancy when the housekeeper called to say he needed to be put to sleep. She--the housekeeper--knew better than to make this momentous decision on her own. My poor sis took about 30 seconds to give Boonie the old thumbs down, far much less time, I should add, than her eventual labor and delivery.

Such travail.

Mary, the housekeeper, considerately wrapped Boonie in plastic wrap and put him in her freezer pending Mother's decisions on the final disposition of the remains. When Mother and Daddy arrived back home, she transferred Boonie to their deep freezer.

Mother was distracted by my sister's illness and Dad's recovery and unlike my sister couldn't make prompt executive decisions. Besides, it was winter and the ground outside was hard.

Mother raced up to Boston and I came up from Houston to keep Dad company. He was feeling better, but said he'd feel a lot better if he could get some of the peanut brittle ice cream that was out in the freezer next to Boonie.

I regretfully declined the chore.

Then word got around among their friends who to a person hated Boonie that he was out there in the freezer.

"Whaaaat?" they all said.

"Gawd!" said the more articulate.

We explained the need for peanut brittle ice cream which was delivered promptly and in such great quantities that I was unable to freeze all of it inside, in the refrigerator that did not have a frozen dog in it. Dad did get as much as he wanted, however, and he certainly enjoyed all the attention which escalated dramatically during a power outage that winter.

In any event, when Mother got home, my brother, finally, took pity and brought a crew over to the house to dig a proper grave for Boonie. He, my brother, also had the pleasure of removing Boonie from the freezer.

I had gone back to Houston by this time, so I only heard about this part of it. But, I knew and know to this day, that Boonie was finally where he should have been all along.

This is all true.

Fleury

Jolie Mathis said...

My story isn't funny! We just had VERY BAD CATS, and there was a lot of cursing and threats, and we ripped out the carpet and put in tile. I like your story better.

Gemma Halliday said...

Ohmigod – I just about spit out my morning coffee reading your post, Christie. He cut out the footprints?! Are you sure this is the keeper husband? Lol!

But, I have to agree that esthetically wood floors are much nicer. I worked in interior design (for a very brief time. Yes, I’ve worked in just about every industry for a brief time.) and always recommended wood.

~Gemma

P.S. We can add pictures to our posts? How cool are you. I must figure out how to do that...

Ciara Gold said...

I remember being in stitches when you told this story. Too fun.

My DH? Hmmm. Well, we went to visit my Brother-in-law during a snow blizzard one fine Christmas. And of course it house is located at the bottom of a mountain that you get to by way of the top of the mountain. Needless to say, we didn't dare navigate the steep driveway down, but instead, parked at the top of the hill. No worries. We had a great Christmas, but when it was time to leave we discovered that the van would not move. Snowed in? He and his brother tried everything. Wood planks under the tires. Pushing, but the van wouldn't budge. Thirty minutes later, my DH gets a funny look on his face, then grins. Yep -the parking brake works very well. He unset the brake and off we went.

Angie Fox Gwinner said...

Okay, this can't beat the frozen dog because, in my opinion, nothing can. But here's a husband story.

Jim and I were semi-newlyweds and it was our first Christmas in our new house. I was pregnant and in full nesting mode. I'd always wanted a beautiful, velvet tree skirt and finally found the perfect one. I brought it home, called my husband to the kitchen, opened the box and showed him my gorgeous find.

He said, "Oh Angie, what a beautiful sweater. I'm sure you'll look great in it."

Yes, I was six months pregnant, but WHAT? I wish I had a picture of the look on his face when I told him it was our new tree skirt. All he could say was, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry," over and over again. I think the fear short-circuited his brain for a second.

But we did have a good laugh and I still model the tree skirt for him every year.

Christie Craig said...

Fleury,

Thanks for the great story. Frozen dog in the family freezer, huh? I swear, I laughed so hard the cops nearly caught me.

Uh-oh. I think they're hot on my trail again...

CC

Christie Craig said...

Jolie,

Believe me. There's a lot of cussing around here with our kitties from time to time but I still love 'em!

CC

Suzan Harden said...

Now, everyone needs to ask for the mattress story from Christie. Trust me - it's even funnier.

And it's still Mr. Craig's fault...

Christie Craig said...

Gemma,

Yeah, he' a keeper in spite of it all. (And those floors look good, too! lol.)

And, yep. We can post pictures but just don't ask me how I did it. (My blind art director was the one who actually did that part. LOL.)

CC

Christie Craig said...

Hi, Ciara!

Thanks for coming by the blog. Don't you love it when our DHs do stuff like that?

CC

Christie Craig said...

Hi, Angie,

You're right - nothing is going to beat that frozen dog story. LOL. But I did get a chuckle out of your DH's comment about the tree skirt. Men! Gotta love 'em!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Hey, Suzan!

LOL. Yep. The matress story is ALL Mr. Craig's fault.

It's also why he won't let me go to Tomball, Texas by myself.

CC

Estella said...

I have laminate flooring in my house---also for pet reasons.

Christie Craig said...

Hi, Estella!

We go to some pretty amazing lengths for our pets, don't we?

CC

Faye Hughes said...

LOL. Love it, Christie!

Now is that Bosco in the picture? He looks so innocent.

Faye

Jana DeLeon said...

Oh Christie, I am so jealous. I have 3 dogs/3 cats and horrible allergies and can't wait for the day I can afford to tear out all the carpet and replace it with wood! Your husband is definitely a keeper! :)

Kathy Bacus said...

Seriously funny story, Christie. And Angie I can just imagine the look on your face when your dh told you how great you would look in that 'sweater'. It probably closely matched his expression when he discovered it was a tree skirt.

Too funny, ladies!

Christie Craig said...

Hey, Faye,

Yep, that's Bosco, my dog from hell. My son's legs, too. LOL.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Hey, Jana,

Yeah, I think my husband's a keeper, too. (Did I mention how great the floors look? lol.)

I'm sorry about your allergies. I know that can be really tough.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Hey, Kathy,

Thanks, girl. I can laugh about it all now. I wasn't laughing so much when it happened, believe me. LOL.

And I agree. I bet Angie's DH's face was redder than the "sweater"/tree skirt. LOL.

CC

angie fox gwinner said...

He still dances to this day - "It was in a box, and folded and I didn't look close enough and I'm just a guy and, and..."

Men. They can defy logic. And we never quite let them forget. ;)

Kate Douglas said...

GAWD how I needed this tonight. You are ALL nuts. In a good way...Christie, the joy of reading your blogs is hearing them in your voice! And yes, I have dog AND husband stories but life is short and I don't want to spend the night posting. Besides, since he retired, dh is vacuuming, washing windows and cleaning toilets so I can write. I will NOT say a bad word against this man...he has reached sainthood.

Allie Hollister said...

I have a dog who leaves little reminders that we pissed her off, too. And, too funny, we have hardwood floors throughout, except the kitchen and bathroom.
Anyway, DH and I were traveling to California, to see my family. We stayed in a hotel with two queens, so we each took a bed. Gracie, my Maltese, kept jumping from bed to bed, then finally settled on DH's bed.
In the middle of the night, she squatted on my husband's pillow and peed right next to his head.(Yes, we had let her out right before we went to bed)
To his credit, he didn't get mad. He was just worried that the housekeeper would have to clean it up, so he got up and washed the pillow case and pillow and hung them to dry.
He still loves Gracie, but she isn't allowed to sleep on the bad anymore.

Allie

Ms Terry in Gadsden said...

I knew it would come to me . Funny pet story.
Herman was a red wennie dog . I would have said Dashund but I worry that i dont spell it correctly.
I remember when we frist got him. COUNT ERIC VON HERMAN was his name.
Herman liked to play soccer he would run and run run all over the yard pushing that ball. And when it went in to the ditch he would work til he got it out of the ditch.
One day the paper delivery lady ran over Herman and broke one of his back legs in a couple of places. The vet said the way it was broke it couldnt be put in a cast so Herman just had to wait til he healed for a long time Herman drug his back leg . I remember my grandfather saying you need to just go have that dog put to sleep, he commented that the dogs never going to walk right again. Months went by and Herman got better , his leg ended up being stiff so that when he ran the leg that he had broken looked like a rabbits back leg so he kinda hoped like a rabbit. But he still played soccer I really dont remember a time of him not playing.
A few years went by and Herman had some problems with his digestive tract. Soon after this Herman went of to hide in a place near our home so he wouldnt die in front of us.
My mom called and told me that Herman passed away. I then called my sister to tell her about our loss.
My brother in law said that my sister was at work and he would let her know about Herman when she got home.
Well later on that evening my sister called me and said who is Uncle Herman.
Her husband told her Im sorry to tell you but your uncle Herman has died.
He knew the dogs name was Herman but i guess he thought since i was so serious about a recent death that I must have been speaking of a Human. Funny thing about Herman for many years we called him Herman the human.

If my mom or my brother left the room we could ask him where is Momma or where is Bill and he would howl and howl calling them.

I really miss Herman , thanks for making this were we could share pet stories also .
My Husband story is way from funny.
Maybe you will have a blog where we can tell the stories simular to mine. oops i better hush.
My story would make a great book.
want to write it. Im sure we'd get a movie deal too.

Christie Craig said...

Hi, Terry!

Thanks for sharing your "Uncle" Herman story. I'll be doing a blog about husbands in the future, I sure but, girl, I don't know if the world is ready for us to start talking about *those* kind of husband stories. LOL.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Hi, Allie,

Thanks for sharing your pet story. It's amazing how they can let their feelings be known in no uncertain terms, isn't it? And your DH is a definite keeper!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Hi, Kate,

Thanks for dropping by, and thanks for the kind words about my blog. (I'll be putting your check in the mail, girl, as promised.)

Now, about your DH, I don't blame you at all for thinking he is a keeper - he sure sounds like one to me!

CC

Christie Craig said...

LOL, Angie. Looks like he's a good dancer, too. LOL.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Guys, thank you so much for sharing your pet stories! It sounds like the sirens have died down a little, so I can make a run for home while the coast is clear.

Wish me luck!

CC

Alyssa Goodnight said...

That is absolutely hilarious. I cannot even imagine my reaction if it had been my husband. But boy, there'd sure as heck be payback.

ms terry in gadsden said...

just wait til you hear more of Chrisite's stories . you will see that her husband has a nice way of making life easier for Christie.
i mean look if you read her first blog she told us about the dust bunnies . I think we all know dust bunnies are a lot easier to capture on hardwood than they are on carpet.
I mean the pup's presents are eaiser to clean off of hardwood than they are off of carpet.
And what was that about the Mattress again.

ruth said...

Whenever I would visit my brother which was often, his cat did not care for anyone but him living in the house. He tolerated his wife. SO when we visited the cat peed on his rugs purposely to show his displeasure.

diane said...

I think that wood floors are the best. Where we live most people have them since they are attractive and easy to clean. I have two dogs so I can attest to that. My Maltese is an angel and never dares to have a problem but sometimes the mix does and this is annoying but easy to look after.

Colleen Thompson said...

Great story, Christie!

I think I've adopted Bosco's second cousin (Jewel, Destroyer of Carpets and Dampener of Beds).

TJ Bennett said...

CC, that is too funny! It reminds me of Mrs. Heston's answer to a reporter's inquiry to her if, during 50 years of marriage to Charlton, she'd ever thought about divorce. "Divorce?" she mused. "No, never. Murder, definitely." No jury in the world would convict you, babe.

TJB

Christie Craig said...

Alyssa,

I was pretty much in shock myself. I think hubby knows I love him and therefore he's pretty confident that I'm gonna keep him. Besides the weeks of work at putting in the floors were pretty much pay back.

Christie

Christie Craig said...

Dianne,

Yep, wood floors are pet friendly. Thanks for posting. Oh, I love Maltese puppies. I put one in my next book.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Ruth,

I have one cat who doesn't like humans. Oh...he loves me, but overlooks my human issue. He doesn't pee on anything when company comes, but he hides. People have accused me of having one imaginary cat.

Christie

Christie Craig said...

Colleen,

In spite of being the dog from hell, the Craig's loved Bosco. But in my defense, I warned you about getting a Boston! Of course, it was too late, you already loved the animal. And don't we all!

Christie

Christie Craig said...

TJ,

I'm going keep this blog and ask you to testify for me if a murder is every commited.

Thanks for posting.

Christie

Christie Craig said...

Terry,

You are so right. My hubby is a keeper. I joke him and tell him he's like a dog I can't take back to the pound because the poor fellow would end up in the gas champers. But in truth, I love that man.

Christie

Precie said...

Goodness, that's priceless.

Here's my pet & hubby story in haiku:

Kindly puppy dad
Sharing hot buffalo wings.
Intestinal woe.

Christie Craig said...

Precie,

Hmmm...those few words create lots images. Reminds of a scene in my book where the hero is telling heroine about his pet skunk. ;-)

Christie