Saturday, January 31, 2015

Blogger Hates Me

Okay, Blogger hates me. Finally let me back in. For days I have tried to access those blogs I follow, Blogger tells me I follow no blogs at this time ........

The Internet is extremely slow. My old dog Oscar continues to get better, but seems to have his days and nights reversed. I hear him snoring as I write. Last night he paced. His toe nails click-clicking on the wood floor in my bedroom. We have a gate up to limit his mobility, but after listening for awhile I finally got up and removed the gate. This was after I lay as still as possible, pretending to be asleep, hoping He Who was also awake would get up and tend to the dog.

I decided this was a bad idea, since if He Who loves a roaring fire got up, he would, no doubt, add some logs and raise the temperature that had just gotten comfortable. My main objection to getting up was the fact that all the dogs follow me. Usually starts with Cujo, then Toni Louise decides that she should check it out, while Wall-E will come out from the covers and may or may not join in.

This was not a problem last night. Oscar's pain pills are a once a day event. Between the hours of 4 and 5PM. He will go to the treat jar and call out to me. There he will watch as I pop his pill in half to get the correct dose for him, then carefully break a treat in half and mold it around the half-pill. I break a second treat in half so that I can give treats to all of them.

Now, we all know that there is an order to follow when giving treats. Oscar, being most senior, is always first. Wall-E, being most timid, not to mention considerate is always last. Toni Louise likes to perform a twirly little dance for her treat and Cujo requires a firm warning to take his treat nice, no nipping. They vie for second and third place, both being competitive.

Yesterday, when I knelt down and carefully placed the treat with the pill in Oscar's mouth, Cujo snatched it away and despite my quick action to pry open his greedy jaws, swallowed it!!!!! I had to prepare Oscar's again and Cujo thought he deserved a second treat when Toni and Wall-E got theirs. Instead, he was treated to a good scolding about snatching treats from the mouths of others.

So, last night, Cujo was one mellow little guy. Once asleep, he was like a rag doll. Slept all night long, he did. Never moved. While, Oscar, on the other hand had many needs throughout the night. He was like a toddler. He wanted to go out, but just stood there gazing at the dark terrain. Then he was back up for water. Then the pacing and I released him from the confines of our room. I woke periodically and once when I checked on him, he was just standing in the middle of the sitting area staring at the wood stove, with his cloudy cataract covered eyes.

Think I will join him now and nap. Cloudy dreary day is perfect for napping.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Attitude Adjustment and Urine

Still waiting for the well estimate and trying to figure out how to work those remodels into the bank loan. Feeling better. Not physically so much, but back to my optimistic self ..... as opposed to my pity party of yesterday.

Lots of TV watching. Wish the weather would release me from these four walls. Watching TV can be quite enlightening. Did you know that the yellow pigment used for making paint is dried cat urine? No wonder paint stinks. How do they come into possession of this? Is there a cat house somewhere that trains cats to pee into a vessel that is then put in an oven to dehydrate the urine? Perhaps "cat house" would not be what this is called ........

Why cat urine? Why not human urine? I would sell my urine to the paint manufacturers ...... Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I sell aluminum cans, what's the difference?

Is cat urine a better color? I wonder.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Happy New Year

The beginning of the year was supposed to be the beginning of better luck ..... or so I thought.

We had big plans to remodel our bathrooms this Spring. I was measuring and determining how much tile would be needed as I recovered from Shingles. Feeling crappy, but optimistic. I convinced myself that I would start to feel lots better and get my energy back in time to start ripping out old stuff and start laying tile. I even found a good price on my tile ........

The well continues to plague our lives. He Who fancies himself a plumber finally admitted he was out of his league and called in an expert. Two men, I am not sure what to call them, came out and looked at the contents of the filter and then walked out to the well and determined the scope of the project. That was last week and we are waiting to hear how much this project will cost.

Even without knowing the estimate, I know that the bathroom remodels are on hold. I know that a trip to the bank to add to the mortgage is in my future. Two steps forward, three steps back. Never gaining ground, just losing. I am finding it hard to remain optimistic.

That energy I have been waiting on seems to also be on hold. A trip to the clinic last week added more prescriptions, took some existing ones away and added a referral to a gastroenterologist to my world. I feel like crap!

Oscar, my beloved old dog, is still confined to his crate, but seems to be feeling better. The episodes of pain have decreased and he looks like he has lost some weight. The pain medication keeps him pretty mellow. But, as he starts to feel better, he wants to be out of the kennel. His kennel is situated right next to my chair and his bed at night is right at the foot of our bed. He prefers to be with the rest of us and his canine siblings have learned to be careful when he is on the loose. Martha, the boy cat, has been the bane of his existence.

Martha loves to lurk in corners and chairs, just waiting for an opportunity to pounce on anyone who may happen by. Poor Oscar is left yelping in pain, his front leg twisted to one side as his muscles spasm. Martha has been outside a lot of late.

This morning as I was having my coffee, trying to talk myself into feeling good, Oscar started yelping inside his kennel. This cry was higher pitch, like a scream. I jumped up and immediately unlocked the door to the kennel to get to him. The door seemed to be stuck and the more I pulled, the louder he screamed. This caused a chain reaction behind me as Toni Louise started barking and growling at me. She thought I was hurting him and the other two joined in with the barking. I stood up and turned around to restore order to barking trio.

They settled down, Oscar was still yelping and I could now see why I could not open the door to the kennel. His mouth was wide open and his teeth were hung in the grid of the door. The poor old guy only has a few teeth left and he managed to get those caught in the door. My attempt to open the door only made the situation worse.

I finally got my fingers in far enough to move his upper jaw and release his teeth. I opened the door and gathered him carefully in my arms and sat down and bawled my eyes out.

Oscar is okay, but this entire day has been non-productive and I am a basket case.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dog Days ..... And Nights

There I was sleeping soundly. All my creatures in their rightful places, as usual. My head was at the foot of the bed, Wall-E was nestled close to his master and Cujo was snug against me, Toni Louise's foot touching my shoulder ....... and Oscar next to my feet. Suddenly Oscar started yelping. The ear piercing cry that a dog makes when he is in extreme pain.

We all jumped up and I hurried to Oscar to see what was wrong. My first thought was that Martha, the boy cat was up to his shenanigans of tormenting us as we slept. He has been known to grab my toe in his claws and nip it lightly. He has thrown caution to the wind lately, or has forgotten who I am. I am the alpha here in this unlikely pack of animals and he would do well to remember it. I bite back.

I remembered putting Martha out to hunt before retiring for the evening though. Oscar continued to yelp as I gathered him into my arms to comfort him. He was trembling like an earthquake, poor boy. I sat and rocked him gently in my arms, as I always have when he is distressed. Oscar has always been a little on the high maintenance side and I have been known to sleep in a sitting position, holding him while he sleeps.

Okay, so he is spoiled. My own fault, but he is 15 years old now and I am not apt to stop coddling him now. I see older dogs abandoned all the time and I wonder how their persons can just stop loving them. He finally settled down and licked my hand then indicated that he wanted to be put down. He waddled to the end of the bed and looked at me. He wanted to go outside. This is his signal. Should I happen to be sleeping he will make an impatient noise.

I took him out and made note that he was walking a little off kilter but he managed to hike his leg and relieve himself. He stood there looking at me and I scooped him up to go back to bed. This resulted in more yelping and trembling. I held him very carefully while my hands roamed over his being to determine if he had an injury I could not see. He trembled and whimpered. I put him gently in the bed and crawled back into the wee bit of space my bed companions had left for me.

I had just settled down and was drifting off when I was subjected to another series of yelping at ear splitting volume. All the while He Who was pretending to be asleep ignored us. I got up with my old boy and watched as he paced to and fro, then stopped and just stood there with is eyes closed. Then he would start the yelping again.

ALL NIGHT LONG. Nothing I did brought him any comfort. I could not find any tender spots on him. He stays inside all day, he does not jump up on the furniture. He pretty much lives to eat, sleep and poop. I grabbed bits of sleep in between his attacks of pain and called the vet when I got up.

I knew he was in severe distress when he refused food this morning. This dog loves his food. Even losing most of his teeth has not affected his appetite. He didn't even want one of his favorite treats. Our appointment was at 2:30 and he paced and yelped the time away.

He rode in the front passenger seat on a pillow, as if he were a king on his throne. I sat in the back with Cujo. Cujo was along for more than the ride. His vaccination was due.

We have a fabulous vet. We literally go over the river and through the woods to get there, her clinic is in the middle of a farm. She treats farm animals, too. We are usually greeted by her gorgeous border collie, but he wasn't there today. Cujo marched in smartly on his lead and Oscar was carried in by He Who longs to be loved by the doxies as much as I am (they tolerate him).

We sat and waited for our turn as we chatted with the tech. She affirmed that Cujo was there for a shot. I swear he heard and understood. He was so upset he crawled into the lap of He Who is only second best to me. Oscar had insisted on moving to my lap as soon as we sat.

We stopped at the scales, the least favorite part of any visit to a clinic for humans. He tipped the scales at 18 and 1/2 lbs. This is not good. He should weigh 12 lbs. Cujo was not much better at 15 lbs. Looks like chow time will be a meager affair in the future.

Oscar was first to be examined. I had left Cujo on his lead to walk around while Oscar was getting all the attention. There were several canine patients recovering in the crates and we could hear some whimpers. Poor Cujo became so distressed that he vomited right there on the floor! I swear it was that awful anticipation!

Oscar has some degenerative disease in his spine. His lower neck. Nothing can be done, really, except for pain management and crate rest for the next week. After that we will explore some other options. Due to his age, I will not entertain thoughts of surgery. As much as I love him, I will not subject him to some lengthy painful procedure and recovery. I am hoping for some good results. He has had his pain meds and even eaten a little.

He is still experiencing some attacks of pain, but with less frequency and seems to be a little more comfortable tonight. I am hoping for a better night's sleep to night. But, like all mothers everywhere, I am prepared to comfort him if he needs me. Keep your finger crossed!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Another cold miserable day here ...... but thinking about this girl makes me feel better. I love this age. So easy to make them happy with little things, like coloring books.

The girl has attitude, as you can see. This is my Jailynn. She possesses that attitude of my baby girl, Adrienne. She says what ever pops into her head. Cannot imagine where they got that from!

Here she is being silly, wearing her daddy's glasses. Her daddy is my handsome grandson, Danny. Missing them today.

It is dreary outside and the water situation persists. Lack of running water excuses me from many daily chores. Dishwashing and laundry. Mopping is out, as well as cooking. Showering sounds wonderful, as my feet have been cold all day long.

We have a problem with the well. I hear tell that the well will be yanked up this weekend to look for a crack in a pipe. This worries me, the yanking up of the well-works. Sounds involved, doesn't it?

Remember back to last Spring. The winds had demolished the fence. The weak point being the gated area that faced east. Once the gates had been blown down, still dangling from the standing fence, the weight helped the wind take the rest down. You will recall that Mrs. He Who Repairs voiced her opinion about putting doors and gates in wind's way. She suggested that the gate be on the north side. You will also recall that He Who will heed advice in a perverse manner, did not put a gate in the western facing fence section ....... he did not put a gate in at all.

I mention all these recollections because, I now realize that they will be taking a section of fence down to access the well, as it resides inside my fenced area. The east and west sides of the fence have garden beds that would suffer from the destruction of big equipment. The only side left, is the north facing side (the house being on the south side). This is the location someone suggested for a gate. But ....... there is all manner of manly junk and wood stacked yay high blocking the way.

This leaves one to wonder what He Who and his cronies will do when it comes time to remove that panel. Will they wisely choose to move some of the stuff blocking the northern section ....... or will they take the path of least resistance and risk the wrath of Mrs. He Who collects junk and destroy a garden bed or two?

I will be home. Depending on my level of unrelenting nerve pain (a Shingles gift), I will either be outside with a watchful eye, or I will simply pull all the shades and hide inside, preferring not to watch.

Besides the garden beds I so lovingly tend, I am also wondering if He Who Plumbs knows what he is doing. 40 years has given me many examples to draw from, but I will not recount them for you here. Not right now anyway.

Other than the well situation, things remain uneventful here. Boredom has set in and my hip and back refuse to play nice in front of the sewing machine, not liking the cold floor or the swivel chair. I have been fashioning rag rugs with worn out sheets cut  (ripped) into strips. I am happy with the results. So much so that I have launched a search to find more article to rip into strips.

TV and audio books help, but I have been forced to actually chat with telemarketers and toy with them for my own entertainment. The salesperson wishing to talk me into re-facing my kitchen cabinets was treated to a rant about having just done so and demanding to know why he thought they needed to be done again, wondering if the workmanship or materials were defective. I almost started laughing when I asked if the service would be cost-free, since they must have done something wrong.

I was feeling guilty about wasting that poor man's time and answered the phone without looking at the caller ID. The caller identified himself and said he was my "neighbor" He admitted that we had never met, but said that his pipes were frozen and he wondered if he could borrow my washing machine and dryer. Borrow. He said borrow. I thought maybe he was wondering if my laundry facilities were open. The machines are coin operated and cheap. I cannot figure out how to change the rate in the thing that accepts quarters, so I am stuck at $1.

I told him that my facilities were open year round, but that we were also having water issues and suggested the laundry mat in town. In reply, he says, "Oh, I was just wanting to borrow them, I don't have any money."

Yes, but no. Yes, I do understand what you are asking, but the answer is no. Really, maybe I should just take a ride to the nearest neighbor I do not know and ask if I could "borrow" their bathroom and kitchen. After all, I am the "neighbor".

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Animals Love Me

While on my trip, I met some dogs. Don't be fooled, that is not my sweet Cujo in my arms. That is "Weenie". She is about 5 months old and sooooo sweet. I texted this picture to He Who was back home with two of the dogs and said to look at our new puppy. He was not amused.

I thought it was funny. I have met very few dogs who do not like me. They can sense dog lovers, you know.

This is Bear. He is my grand-dog. Look at those eyes. He is so very loving. Not a shrewd bone in his body. He loves me unconditionally. I shared my dog food and treats with him. I even taught him not to jump on me.

Here he is with his master, Jailynn. She tends to be a bit bossy with him. He is so sweet that he tolerates it. Like he realizes she is just a little girl.

This lovely creature is none other than Toni Louise. She went home with her Daddy while I stayed in Georgia. Toni looks for chances to escape, something I did not want to deal with that while navigating my solo drive in the RV. Wall-E also went home. He is pretty laid back, but really prefers the company of He Who would not give him back to his rightful owner. But, back to Toni Louise. She does like to pose for a portrait.

Cujo shunned me every night for about 30 minutes after sniffing other dog smells on me. He always came around when it was time to get under the covers to sleep, though.

Wall-E was not happy to smell other dog on me when I returned. He withheld affection for awhile upon my return. He doesn't like it when I cheat on him.

Oscar, on the other hand, does not care at all. He is secure in the knowledge that I will always love him, no matter what. And, believe me, he has tried my love over the last 15 years. He is washing Toni Louise's face in the photo. She allows it and seems to actually encourage it from time to time. Such a sweet accommodating girl, my Toni Louise.

Yes, dogs and cats alike seem to love me. I seem to attract strays. Stray of the animal kingdom are okay ....... human homesteaders who skip out on their bills ...... not so much.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Relatives, Lunch, and Duct Tape

Father and son. He Who texts and He Who, Jr. Is it me, or has anyone else noticed that everyone sits around with their phones in hand? No conversations, just texts .........

We hit the road shortly after this texting lesson (son teaching father, while granddaughter was doing something to my phone). We picked up the granddaughter-in-law and great granddaughter and went out for lunch. We all agreed on Appleby's, the menu being kid friendly, with cheese burgers for Jada.

Jada had proclaimed that she was not keen on dealing with a five year old (spoken like a girl with a little sister), but she was soon under the spell of Jailynn. Both girls are out spoken, just like their Aunt Adrienne, causing me to call both of them Jadrienne. They held hands to cross the parking lot and then became inseparable. Jailynn took her cue from Jada and they sat together, leaving the adults to entertain each other.

Jeff, son of He Who later used his plumbing skills to fix a drip, had his Minnesota Vikings jersey on. In a Georgia establishment. None of my off-spring are shy (imagine that?) and he asked them to put the Vikings game on the TV closest to us. Lost his attention then, but cousin Doris soon joined our group. We lingered a little and chatted like only family reunited can.

As we were leaving I happened to look at the booths across from our table. They were occupied when we arrived. They could not have been the first choice for seating, as you can see ........

I must say I find the duct tape solution to be ingenious. But ........ with all the colors available, I wonder why they chose this nearly neon green? I wonder how long these seats have been in dis-repair and if the management is aware.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Me and My Jada

One of the highlights of my last trip to see my Dad was having Jada fly to Atlanta with her Dad. It was a very short visit, but I treasured every minute. She stopped to pose with my dad, her great-granddaddy.

and with Granny, though it blurred. Could it have been the photographer? Maybe.


She did the selfie with Gramma. We spent most of our time on the road. Jada was pleased to learn that Georgia restaurants came complete with cheese burgers. She refused some of the finer cuisine, like grits. She didn't even appreciate the delicacy of fresh cracked pecans.

Don't know about that girl's taste, but I love her anyway! I wasn't happy to not see her sisters, but I am hoping to see all of them this summer. Maybe sooner.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Even Gnats Seek Warmth

I do, of course, realize that I am not the only one experiencing the blast of artic weather. It seems to be cold everywhere. But, this blog is, after all, about me and my view of the world from here.

Not much to write about lately. I have not been around many folks. None of the people who love me want to share space with me ....... what with me being all shingly. So, my view is limited lately. He Who is no longer employed as a beacon of light to stranded motorists has been around a lot more. He has not had time to be bored as he has had the well and pump situation to deal with.

The water pressure is still not good. He researched all the "symptoms" on-line and it pointed to our well going dry. He left and went to some farm store to talk it out with some guy who "knows about wells" and they decided it was some kind of valve. He even explained the thing to me, but I just sat there wishing I had more Vicodin and nodding from time to time. I have no idea what he told me. But, we do have water and he fixed the shower head today so that I can enjoy a hot shower under a forceful torrent of water. Like I said, it is cold!

The woodstove has been going non-stop, and is keeping the icy drafts at bay. I can tell a huge difference in the temperature when I leave the room. On a trip to the bathroom, I shivered as I sat upon my high seated ADA approved toilet and noticed some little plastic parts lined along the edge of the tub ......

I find it disturbing when I see extra parts after He Who plumbs has repaired something. Gives me pause. That is when I saw the gnat. Yes, one of those big gnats. Inside my bathroom. I guess it was trying to stay warm, but I didn't want him in my house. I was slapping my hands together madly trying to kill it when I happened to see the Martha, the boy cat watching me. He was looking at me with a smirk on his face as I struggled to kill the gnat and get my pants up at the same time. Just sat there in the hall smirking at me, like I was insane. Sometimes he is just creepy.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I Would Eat The Eggs

Now that my blisters are all dried up, I am allowed to venture out. I made my first adventure to grocery shop. Food being a necessity and He Who no longer tows (yay!!!) is not a thrifty shopper. He will follow my list and instructions, sort of, but he doesn't seek out bargains.

It has been nice having him around. Lots of little things are being taken care of. Perfect timing on his resignation, since the water issues with our pump have been taken care of sooner than later. No stopping to take a call.

So, I ventured out to tackle refilling the pantry. I chose to stay close to home on my first adventure. The Alco store in town is closing and the close proximity to the grocery convinced me to check it out. The "EVERYTHING MUST GO!!!" sign and the up to 60% off definitely caught my eye. Everybody knows how I love a bargain.

The "sale" was a disappointment. I had my eye on some deep pocket sheets for my bed, but even at 40% off, they were still out of the range I would consider spending. I had seen them on sale cheaper than that. In the very same store. They had removed all the "discount" prices and the percentage was off the higher retail price. Must be why they still have so much merchandise on the shelves.

I did find a few bargains, but nothing to write home about. From there I went to the grocery store. Talk about sticker shock! Now, to be fair, I know I have not done a proper restocking for awhile; but it had only been a few weeks. I could not believe how much everything had gone up. I was only down for 3 weeks, not 3 months!

I noted that gas was only $1.89 a gallon. That was at the only station I passed and there is no competition there. I am not one to note prices, since I rarely fill my tank. I have a man servant for that, you know. So, it seems that the meat prices went up as much as the gas prices went down.

Maybe it isn't the best time for He Who Is Unemployed to be in such a state. Perhaps we should raise our own chickens and pigs and cows. Who am I kidding? I would make them all pets and refuse to have them turned into food. Eggs, I would eat the eggs.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Christmas Miracle

Christmas wishes do come true. Despite the Shingles and all that goes with that particular malady, I can say that life is good. The sporadic back and leg pains as well as a dull headache still plague me. Who knew that my headache was one of the symptoms?

The last two years have been trying as my Dad battles cancer. Watching him shrink before my eyes has been the most emotionally painful thing I have ever experienced. Not watching was not an option. I have treasured every single moment I got to spend with him.

When the oncologist pronounced that there was nothing left to be done, that the cancer had won, we all took turns crying on the porch. He had struggled through the chemo all summer as weak as could be. Needing more help than he wanted to admit. My Daddy has always been the care GIVER and was not ready to be taken care of. There were times when I knew he was in pain. He would never say so, unless the pain became more than he could bear. The scowl on his face told me so, though. His need to go take a nap was his way of escaping all those caring eyes.

Hospice moved in and the chemo was discontinued. As the chemo left his body we would notice small improvements in his daily life. Still using a walker, he seemed to be able to stand longer and walk a little further. His hand tremors disappeared and he became more interested in his surroundings. When I left to come back home the second week in December, I was cautiously optimistic because he was feeling so much better.

My plans were to come home for my wedding anniversary and Christmas, then plan my next visit. And you know what they say about best laid plans. I knew I didn't feel good when I left and that my back and leg were hurting, but figured it was the long hours driving. Little did I know that I would end up being confined for nearly 3 weeks.

I remained worried about my Dad for the last month. Christmas came and went and all I wanted was for my Daddy to feel good again. I prayed for him daily. I researched every cancer site I could find on-line and none of them offered much hope for him. All I asked for was that he would not be in pain, and that his quality of life would improve.

I called him a couple of days before the New Year and got no answer, left a message. Didn't give it much thought. He was still mobile and plenty of step family lives close by to help. Called again on New Year's Eve. No answer in the morning, or again in the afternoon. I was worried. I decided to wait until 5:00 and went on with my daily routine of sitting in front of the TV until pain decided to stab at me and cause me to pace until it subsided.

During a rotation through the kitchen the phone rang. I knew it had to be either Mama or Daddy calling me back. I resisted the urge to demand to know where they had been. Mama sounded happy and that is how I always know how my Dad's day is going.

They had been to the doctor's office and shopping, then out to eat!. My Dad was so excited to tell me he had not even had a nap! He went on to talk about how good the fried catfish was and that his sense of taste had come back, He reported a weight gain of 19 lbs. and his "heart" doctor likes his blood pressure.

It is a Christmas Miracle! I am over he moon with happiness that my Daddy is feeling so good. Not sure what it means as far as the cancer goes, but just to hear him feeling so good means the world to me!