The Crew

Hi. It's me. Nicole. C'mon in and meet the crew at This D*mn House. There's a full cast of characters -- both human and otherwise.

First, there's me. (Not that I'm any more important than any other crew member, but hey, I'm doing the writing!) This is me. It is. Really. Except that's my third birthday and that's been a few years ago ... back when I wanted to be a veterinarian. Sometime before kindergarten by which point I'd settled on becoming a Catholic priest. (Yeah. I had a very vivid imagination.) Luckily, by age 6 or 7, I decided I wanted to work for a newspaper. I managed to do that as both a reporter and later, an editor, for 12 years.

Maybe the doctor's bag and all those instruments set me on the path of my current tool obsession. Funny how much you already are the person you're going to be by the time you're 3!

This is me and the mother.
She'd kill me if she knew this photo was here. So, if you tell her it's here, consider yourself NOT my friend.

Yeah, she doesn't look old enough for senior citizenship but she is. (Here's hoping I inherited THOSE genes.) Lots of people tell me we look alike and as I get older, I am starting to see it. A little. (If I tell the truth, this is where I admit that I really look more like my father to the point that if you cover up the hair on our respective school photos, the same face stares back at you. Scary!)

The mother is very talented. She can design in her head like no one I've ever met. Leave her in an empty house for 10-15 minutes. She'll give you every detail to make it look fabulous, right down to the switchplates.

This is Ozzie. See that attitude? Well, I don't always get that much lip from the little dude. He's a teenager now but there are days that he is just as active as any pup. (Yorkies are notoriously hyperactive so this isn't surprising.)

He's my little shadow and follows me just about everywhere. He is the official tool and material sniffer and you might even occasionally notice his paw of approval right in the middle of the job. He gets that into it!

And he's my official greeter. He is there to welcome me home every night.

This is Toby. He arrived less than two weeks before a major storm blew through, taking most of the shingles off of our roof, taking down the phone, power and cable lines, leaving us for more than a week without electricity -- in 100-degree heat.

Toby has mental issues that began to emerge shortly after he turned 1. I used to laugh when I'd read about people giving animals Prozac ... until I ended up with one that needed a similar medication. He can still be a little off the beam, but through the miracle of modern pharmacology, he is SO much closer to normal.

This is Pearl and Ladybird. Ladybird (left) is the mother's car and she's our workhorse. This car can haul almost anything ... and has! She's getting up in years so I finally, for the first time in my life, went into debt to buy a car.

That would be Pearl. (right) I always tell people that I don't have children, but I do have three babies: My boys have fur; my girl has wheels.

Occasionally, there's another face that makes an appearance at This D*mn House. Sadly, those appearances have been very infrequent of late but I'm hoping to see Lawrence, our handyman, back on the scene very, very soon. Lawrence got on board a few years ago and has been part of a variety of  adventures. Lawrence is proof that dependable and affordable help can be found. (And that it can be found in the want ads if you're really, really lucky.