Friday, March 24, 2017

He Who Has A Birthday


Almost 43 years ago I married the love of my life. He was so cute, don't you think? We look so young ..... we were so young. Could the knot in his tie be any bigger?


We were approaching 50 in this picture. The mustache is gone and spectacles adorn his sweet face. He is still cute. He is 64 today and I tried to get a picture before he left the house to go about the day. I failed.

The facial hair is back. The hair on his head .... gone. Still cute to me, though. He is in Jefferson City to update his propane dispensing abilities as required by the state. While he is gone I have a cake to bake and steaks to marinade, stuff to do for the birthday boy.


One more picture ........ back when he had hair and too much of it! Oh, wait, I had hair, too! We were 23. I was pregnant with our youngest child.

Happy Birthday HeWho is loved.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tomorrow Might Not Come

You never know what other people are feeling, or thinking. Well, unless you actually know them. My children tell me I wear my thoughts on my face, but I think it is only apparent to them, because they know me so well.

Here I sat casually eating my toast to accompany my meds, scrolling through my e-mail and listening to an audio book. Nothing much on mind. Another warm day is blooming along with my peach trees and I was letting my mind just float along with garden thoughts ......

The bell to the office sounded and I got up to go tend to the camper while shushing the dogs. I smiled at my new tenant, hoping he didn't have a major issue with anything. He had just checked in last Sunday and this was the first time he had come in since. I recalled that he had told me he would be bringing his wife in to meet me .....

I looked past him, expecting to see her. He was alone, though. "I just wanted to let you know that my wife died and won't be coming to live here." I was so shocked that I gasped as my hands flew to my mouth. I offered my condolences and he went on to explain that his daughter-in-law would be staying with his teen sons when he was working (over the road truck driver). I nodded as he relayed all this. I was speechless (a rare event).

I asked if she had been ill and he went on to tell me that she died suddenly of a heart attack ...... while he was setting up the camper here last Sunday!

Life is short and there is no guarantee that you will have tomorrow. I immediately called my husband to tell him that I love him. I am so sad for this man I barely know.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Viscous Cycles

Life goes on. The new water heater was never installed. The $6 part that was replaced to regulate the pilot light, did indeed fix the problem. The newer problem was the result of someone turning the thermostat to "low". That same someone who installed the new part.

This all resulted in yet another cool shower event for the lady of the house. This time she was quite vocal about her displeasure. Upon a more thorough examination of the water heater and all it's parts ( I am seriously thinking he read the manual accompanying the appliance at this point) the thermostat setting was discovered.

The new water heater is going back to the store for a refund and all I have to say is ...... I better not have another bad shower adventure!

Feeling full of energy, I gathered all of Eddie's toys into their bin and proceeded to clean up all the bits of firewood that Eddie has been chewing on. I swept all of them up and even managed to get them into the dust pan before Eddie discovered them again and tried to redistribute them throughout the house. Our old Saint Bernard loved to chew on firewood, too. Well, Louise liked any wood she could find. She ate our coffee table.

I understand his need to chew. He is cutting his teeth. What I don't understand is his need to tip his bin over and spread his toys all over the floor, then settle on some firewood. He is his own personality, my Charming Eddie. He is quite content with his pack of dog siblings and does not try to take over, but at the same time, is not one to be run over. He allows Toni Louise to be the alpha, but refuses to share his kibble with her. She is still not all that fond of him, but will protect him from the sharp laws of Martha, the boy cat.

Eddie's paws continue to be his dominant feature. I am still hoping he does not grow big enough to actually fit them. I examine them closely, every day. Looks like they may have botched the job of removing his dew claws, as he has a tiny nail growing on the side of his left paw. I did not bring that to the vet's attention, lest the offer to complete the job came up. I personally think the removal of the dew claws is inhumane and would never have permitted it. How would you feel about having someone clip off your smallest finger with a garden tool? 

I have rested and now I can clean the rug again, as more firewood entered the house and Eddie dutifully gnawed some more and also emptied his toy bin. A viscous cycle.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I'm Dreaming Of A Hot Shower

Seventeen degrees this morning! I suppose if I have to be sick, might as well be when I can't go outside. I am still recovering. The cough is almost non-existent and my nose and eyes have dried up. The headache lingers on. Not nearly as bad, but still annoying.

I have been napping every day, then having trouble falling to sleep at night. I have vowed to skip the nap today. My eyelids are heavy and I long to slip away into the bliss of a forbidden nap, but I will not! Doesn't help that it is very quiet here and all four dogs and the cat are napping along side me.

HeWho drives is on a mission. About a week ago, I reported the lack of hot water while doing dishes. Never mind that it was an excellent excuse to leave them sit awhile, I was perplexed at having no hot water. HeWho seems to be able to justify so many things, suggested that it was because some campers were using the showers. Let me just say that this is the slow season. I have had the campground packed with tent campers, all of them lining up for showers as all three washers in the laundry room are going and still had plenty of hot water at my disposal.

I broached the subject again that evening and was met with an exasperated sigh from my mate. It is true that after an hour of waiting, hot water was restored, but I thought it deserved further investigation. So, when I adjusted my shower yesterday to my normal settings and stepped inside to be doused in cold water, I wasn't all that much surprised. I had to turn off the cold water entirely before continuing with a warm shower. I am a big fan of hot water. I like mine just shy of a first degree burn. I want to leave the shower so warm that a glow stays with me all day. I was cold all day and along with being still sick, just miserable.

I layered on my clothes and dried my hair, then went out to the public showers to see if someone had left the hot water on, or a pipe had burst. Everything was normal. When HeWho no longer tows, but will unlock your car to retrieve the keys, came home I told him of my lukewarm adventure. He decided to launch an investigation and discovered that the pilot light to the water heater was out. He had difficulty re-igniting it and spend an hour researching the problem on-line before taking a trip to an electronic supply store to buy a part.

The part was cheap, but he drove quite a ways to get it. He replaced the part. Done. Problem solved. He took a shower last night after replacing the part and had the same problem I had. Another session on-line and he decides it is yet another part. But this part is spendy ..... over $200. So, he has gone to buy a new water heater. Has to be large capacity, since it services the laundry room and the showers, as well as our personal space. The kicker is that the water heater is not that old. The one that was here when we bought the place was old and still lasted quite a few years. 

Needless to say, I did not attempt to shower this morning. I coveted the remnants of warmth from my bed. I am looking forward to a nice scalding shower as soon as the new water heater is installed. It is good to have something to look forward to.    

Friday, March 10, 2017

Happy/Sad

I am happy to report that I was the first in line to see the nurse practitioner after lunch. Sad to report that I have been awake since 5 am. Afraid to go back to sleep, lest I miss the chance to grab a spot in the clinic's schedule.

Happy to report that I have nothing more than the flu. Sad that there is absolutely nothing to be done that I am not already doing. The flu is a virus, antibiotics are not effective. I knew this and I would not take an antibiotic for a virus. I was more worried about the constant headache and the tight chest. My chest is clear and my cough is non-productive.

My blood pressure is up, but who knows which came first, the headache or the elevated blood pressure? One can cause the other, you know. I am to continue with my regimen of self medication, along with plenty of fluids and lots of rest. This particular strain of flu is taking longer to run it's course.

Happy to know that I do not have to invest in any expensive prescriptions, but sad that it cost me $56 to be told that I already knew what to do. That was my new co-pay. The new policy does not provide a discount on prescriptions, either. Sad.

Happy to be back home, snuggled next to a warm canine, slippers on my feet and a blanket on my legs. Sad that this will be a totally non-productive week.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Lottery

I promised myself that I would see the doctor today if I still felt wretched this morning. The day dawned and I woke with a pounding headache, deep cough and tight chest, wheezing for breath. I climbed into the shower to see if that would help anything. I did feel cleaner as I punched in the number to my clinic within my network, following the rules of insurance.

I am loathe to drag myself to an emergency room unless it is a true emergency. I ran my fingers through the soft fur of my Charming Eddie as I waited for the call to be answered. Apparently they only leave a few spots open for sick people and I am to call back tomorrow at 8 am and hope that I am one of the first calls. No, I could not claim a spot today.

So, here I am, the same old drugs on board that offer little relief as I cough and sneeze and ache. I don't think I am worse, but I know that I am not better. I dreamed that I had that cock-a-mamy pneumonia I keep seeing on TV. I guess we will see tomorrow. I have the clinic number all queued up for calling promptly at 8 am. Makes me think of having the radio stations number on speed dial to win tickets to a concert when I was young ..... a long time ago.

In the mean time, I had discovered that my washing machine was not obeying my demands yesterday and brought it to the attention of HeWho plumbs. "Well, you have to close the lid." says the pseudo plumber. You would think I had just started using this particular machine. The problem was that the water would turn off after just a splash unless the lid was closed. I pointed out that it would be really difficult to put the detergent and clothes in with the lid closed. "Wait til the water is done filling ...." I then pointed out that the lid LOCKED when the water stopped running.

He left to go tinker on his beloved tractor and I retired to my recliner to continue being sick. After my Theraflu kicked in. I preformed a more thorough investigation of my washer. I discovered the problem and fixed it all by myself. Someone had changed the setting to rinse and spin only. Now, if I could just fix my ailment ....

It was so nice outside. My canines frolicked in the back yard all day and I hung out laundry. The sky started to become overcast an the air was very still and calm, so I texted the tractor man and suggested that we finish putting the cover on my green house while the wind was down. He tried to suggest that I was not up to it, but I lied and said I was. You will recall that he had used his favorite tool to apply the top ..... Gorilla tape.

Beyond that I realized he had no plan for the rest of it. He wasn't really listening to any of my suggestions and I could tell his heart was not in it. He was thinking to put the front on, but I suggested we do the back and sides first. The back was going to be tricky and he grudgingly measured out the plastic and got busy with the tape and then ........ miracle of miracles, he needed to go do a cab call!

I took out the garbage and felt the first hints of rain and I am back in my chair to continue to be sick. Supposed to snow this weekend, so I might as well continue being sick. I am not looking forward to another night of coughing. Just hope I win the "see the doctor" lottery tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Flu, Round Two

It is not fair! I started feeling bad Sunday, but just thought it was the change in the weather. Monday I woke with a sore throat and hideous headache. I still have the headache. I have been dosing myself round the lock with my trio of NSAIDS. I can keep it under control and bearable, but it does not completely go away. Just like the last bout of whatever this ailment is.

New symptom has plagued me this time. My nose is running and my left eye tears constantly. It was swollen almost shut yesterday. I was unable to focus through all that water. I think a bib would have helped to catch the tears as they fell. Not to mention the drippy nose.

Today is a little better. I can actually see to read and write. I tried Dayquil, it did next to nothing. So, I sent HeWho is, no doubt, the one who brought this bug home, for some Theraflu. Same with that. I found my old go-to remedy of Benadryl and Tylenol/Aspirin/Ibuprofen every 4 hours to be the most effective at keeping the symptoms at bay.

Enough about my confinement. Eddie had his last shots today. HeWho is not sick was already gone with my little guy when I dragged myself from the bed this morning. Eddie continues growing at a rapid pace. Today he weighs 8' 14". He saw his favorite vet today, Dr. Jill and she assured HeWho was the responsible party today, that Eddie was not finished with his growing. That makes me a little sad. She took note of his big paws.

As much as I wanted another tiny doxie like my Sweet Emmy Lou, I will love Charming Eddie no matter his size. I am smitten with the little guy. Next shopping trip will be for a good collar. Adjustable, of course, but I don't think his growth spurt will balloon his neck. Oscar and Emmy wore choke chains. Emmy's was more like a necklace and would not fit Eddie. Cujo wears Oscar's old chain. I can't remember where I bought them, but I do remember that the small ones are hard to find.

The Benadryl is kicking in and I can feel things drying up in my head. Eddie and Cujo are already asleep next to me, so I suppose it is time for another "nap". I would much rather be outside .......

Sunday, March 5, 2017

I Was Right!

Yesterday was a balmy, fine weather day and I may have overdone it. Maybe. I cleared another garden bed and planted some more bulbs and was quite happy with my productivity.

I wish I had accomplished a lot more, but you have to ease into these things requiring physical activity after your butt has spent the winter holding a chair down.

I spent Friday purging my closet. I have empty shelves and empty drawers now. I removed a lot of stuff from the side of the closet housing the stuff of my mate. He would not know where to begin. After I had removed a good portion of stuff he has not worn in years, I asked him to take a look and remove any items he simply did not like to wear. He removed nary a piece. The man has ELEVEN sweat shirts. He sees nothing wrong with that, even though, he has never worn some of them. I told him he would be allowed THREE. We plan to live in an RV, remember?

I used the rake a lot yesterday, accompanied by lots of bending and pulling of weeds. Last night as we sat watching a movie from our free Showtime month, I complained a lot. I could have sworn my shoulder was dislocated. The pain, while not unbearable, was enough to keep me from falling to sleep later on. I took some Ibuprofen and later a shot of whiskey with some Tylenol. I finally fell into an uneasy sleep.

Late, or rather early this morning I woke suddenly when the paw of a dog poked me in the ribs. I decided to have a bathroom break and when I turned over to get up, I experienced a sudden sharp pain I in my shoulder accompanied by a loud snapping sound .... and my pain was gone.

I realized then that I was right about my shoulder!! I thought about waking HeWho sleeps so soundly to tell him that I was right about my shoulder, but decided to just go back to sleep. He had assured me that my shoulder was not dislocated, that I had just used my arms too much. Well, duh.

Thing is, not only did my shoulder hurt, but my elbow and my wrist. I couldn't even play solitaire on the computer. I was totally incapacitated as far as my right arm went. I could not navigate the internet, I tried!

I have been careful with my shoulder today. No raking or lifting. Just a lot of reading and feeling better!


As the l o n g shadows fell late yesterday. I stopped to admire my handiwork. I had acquired more weeds and brush than would fit in my receptacle.

Who knew that much debris would be in such a small garden plot? You will note that the side of the building still has the old siding and has yet to be painted. You can see how inconvenient a bum shoulder would be!!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Chivalry Is Not Dead

The grouting is done. I had planned to do it before bed last night, but the approaching storm had my joints out of whack. As it was, I thought I would not be able to get back up from my kneeling position this morning when I made that last swipe with the sponge.

Instead of grouting, I did the dog bathing last night. It was a very wet event. Toni Louise was so happy to get a good scrubbing. She has finally learned to enjoy a good bath. I did her first because she is usually the hardest. Wall-E came next and I swear I saw that dog smirk when I lost control of the shower head and got soaked. Cujo loves a bath and is easy to do, but Eddie was not so cooperative. He can slip right through my hands when he is all soapy ...... and he did several times.

Both tasks were equally tiring. Cujo woke me around midnight and we went outside. The air was absolutely still and warm, so much so that I contemplated opening the bedroom window. I scooped him and Eddie back in the bed and was too lazy to get back up to open the window. I am so glad I didn't!

I had not even settled in good when the storm hit. The lightning lit the room up and then the thunder crashed through the house, followed with hail so loud I would have thought I was outside under the porch. Toni Louise high tailed it to the bathroom and wedged herself between the tub and toilet and refused to move all night. HeWho snores was unaware of the storm. Cujo had a bad night and was up again very two hours to go out and eat wet grass, then vomit. HeWho swears he didn't sleep well was unaware of Cujo's woes, as well.

Now, Eddie usually accompanies any one of the other dogs when they need to go out. He loves to go outside, then make me chase him to come back in. Last night he went out the first two times with Cujo, but after that he just looked at me when I got up. Growing puppies need sleep.

The temperature has dropped today and not conducive to outdoor activities. So, wouldn't you know, my computer started acting crazy. The internal mouse refused to work. So frustrating. HeWho is addicted to buying gadgets had a mouse I could use. He gallantly installed it for me .... lest I go berserk. Chivalry is not dead.