Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Vet Visit

Gray skies greeted me this morning. You would think I would become accustomed to the dreariness that seems to have enveloped my world. I have not. 

As usual I was dreaming as I lay sleeping that last hour. Dreams are usually elusive and sometimes troubling. I will sometimes spend the day trying to remember my dreams. This morning, though, I woke with a smile on my face. I was dreaming that we were at our cousin's house and every dog I had ever loved was there! Heaven. When I was finally pulled from my dream I was holding my sweet Emmy Lou while surrounded by all the other dogs I have loved and lost.

Maybe I dreamed about dogs because we had an appointment with the vet for vaccinations. All four dogs in one visit. Just go ahead and get it done is my motto. I used to do this sort of thing alone with no problem. I did not even attempt it this time. 

It all started with the putting on of harnesses. Seems Charming Eddie discovered the basket I keep them in and managed to destroy Wall-E's harness. Good thing I always keep back-ups. HeWho was "helping" me started the vehicle while I struggled to get all the dogs harnessed. Cujo stood quietly while I snapped him up, Wall-E searched frantically for a place to hide while Eddie jumped around my feet barking with excitement. Toni Louise kept taking her harness off as I tried to tighten it. By the time I got them into the car I was exhausted.

I live near NOTHING. All four dogs insinuated themselves into my lap as HeWho drove the 25 miles to the vet. In a fit of insanity I had donned a lightweight jacket, what with the temperature being in the 40's. I forgot that HeWho has a love of heat, would have the heater going full blast. I was bathed in sweat when we arrived at our destination.

By then Eddie had managed to remove his harness and had to be redressed. After many instructions, HeWho took two leads and I took two leads and we entered the facility. I picked up Cujo, since he fears the world at large. Charming Eddie was sniffing the air while Wall-e cowered close to HeWho scolded Toni Louise for peeing on the floor. Great first impression. This was our first  visit with the new vet clinic with all the kids in tow. 

Toni Louise , having had her bladder repaired and stitches removed here was quite comfortable with her surroundings. After all, she peed in the reception area floor. I am not quite sure which one pooped near the scales while they were being weighed. I lean toward Wall-E and his anxiety. Cujo stood nicely on the scales and discovered his weight (14.2 lbs) before walking calmly into our assigned room. Wall-E (18.8 lbs) and Toni (20 lbs) were both overweight, while Charming Eddie was perfect at 13 lbs.

They all had their temps taken and next thing we knew, we had two more poops on the floor. Not Cujo, as he was resting quietly in my arms. Cujo was true gentleman when he was examined and given his shots. He never objected to any of the experience, just maintained he stoic expression.

Toni Louise remained in her assigned seat for the ride home, so I only had 3 dogs in my lap and had wisely ditched the jacket. They all had a nice drink of water when we got home and all are taking a nap. I just wish I was included on the nap part.

This has been a long day and I hear rumors of another cold front that might bring snow. Hibernation is sounding good. Just wake up when it is all over and the sun is shining!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Play In The Dirt

He Who turned 65 was very happy with his birthday dinner. I managed to survive ...... it occurs to me that I am not as young as I used to be. I cooked all day long. If I wasn't shoving something in the oven, I was pulling something out and wondering why I thought I could coordinate all the dishes to come out at the same time.

I found some nice Brussel Sprouts at the grocery, making that the spot of green in a colorless menu. I baked the cake first, then got the chicken going. The problem with the time factor was that the cake needed 350*, the chicken, 300*, the Brussel Sprouts coated in oil, garlic , and parmesan cheese  were to cook at 425*, and the biscuits wanted to be at 450*. I cooked the chicken and let it sit atop the stove to stay warm while the sprouts, then the biscuits cooked. That worked out great, except that it left a 20 minute gap before serving.

I was inspired to serve a veggie platter to keep the hungry people happy and in a fit of insanity decided to make a batch of coconut chicken nuggets. From scratch. All the while worrying that I might not have enough food. I can honestly say that I have NEVER run out of food when feeding a crowd. I always prepare too much. The result of all this thinking and doing meant that I was exhausted by the time I put the food on the table.

When asked if they could bring anything, I said no. When Cheryl asked the birthday boy, he told her to make sure Craig brought his dentures. HeWho can be rather indelicate, but our friends already know that. They brought an apple pie instead. Sharon showed up with a meat and cheese tray. Plenty of food. Everybody got leftovers, including me. I was so happy for the apple pie, since I had absolutely no intention of eating the chocolate cake.

When we moved to Minnesota we learned about "golden " birthdays. That would be your birthday that coincided with the day of the month you were born on. I had never heard of that particular milestone birthday, but it is celebrated there ..... much to the dismay of my youngest. She was born on the first day of the month. I was already older that 31, so I was left out, as well.

Yesterday I rested. The skies were gray and it rained and hailed all day long. An instant replay today. There is water standing everywhere. I see mosquito larvae multiplying in my minds eye. I want to go out and play in the dirt, I really do.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Let Them Eat Cake!

I have been in a grand funk lately. The gray skies do not help and I just do not feel good. As I sat sipping my coffee and watching HGTV, a nagging headache at the base of my skull .... I decided to just pretend to feel good and see how that works.

As the aspirin hit my empty stomach (yes, I know better), the burning sensation hit mid-sternum and I was light headed. My heart beat was irregular (nothing new), but ..... just in case I am having a heart attack, I ran to take a shower. Priorities and all that, it would be rude to have a medical emergency with my hair standing on end and ungroomed, wouldn't it?

While in the shower, I remembered that my HeWho has a milestone birthday tomorrow. He already has his Medicare card, so what shall I do for his big day? Perhaps I will laminate his Medicare card in lieu of a birthday card! Seems like, I don't know ..... not enough? I declared that we should only celebrate those years ending in zero when I turned 50, but 65 is the Medicare milestone.

I will bake his favorite cake, my least favorite cake, yellow cake with milk chocolate icing. I won't eat any unless I can scrape the icing onto his plate. He is a big fan of me doing this, but he can't eat the whole cake before it goes stale. So, I invited 3 other couples to join us for dinner. I will have no choice but to get my butt in gear and plan a menu and clean my house! Done!!

Beefed Up Chicken, Rice Pilaf and something green. A trip to the produce department will make that decision. In the meantime I was happily going about the business of daily chores, having a clean scalp and body, I went to make the bed. Martha, the boy cat was asleep atop my pillow (that's why I have a cat hair on my eyelashes). Normally, I would cradle him in my arms and move him to the foot of the bed while he purred. 

Last night he awakened me at 3:20 to go out, having managed to evade both of us as we were getting ready for bed. We usually let him out as the dogs are coming in. So, I unceremoniously dumped him in the floor. He gave me his most indignant look. I have warned him repeatedly about interrupting the sleep of the person who literally saved his life with a bottle of cat formula. He thinks he is the master of my universe, the ruler of my animal kingdom. He is wrong ...... I am the master of this universe and the ruler of the livestock allowed in my house!

Having a purpose, I will now go tackle that universe with a dust cloth and vacuum. As Paul Harvey used to say ..... good day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Keurig .... Quality?

Yesterday was pretty much a wasted day. I did not actually go back to bed, but I accomplished very little.

This morning I woke with renewed energy, ready to tackle ....... something. Knowing I had an early morning arrival of a new tenant, I showered and dressed, then brewed a cup of coffee. Fed the animals and began to plan my day. The tenant came and I took care of that. The office is cold and despite my layers of clothing I carefully donned with the notion that the temperature is supposed to rise significantly today, I was chilled to the bone.

Another cup of coffee seemed to be in order. Yesterday, I descaled the Keurig. The descaling solution was $12.99! To add insult to injury, it required wasting an entire gallon of water. I do not use the water from my faucet, I purchase my water. My well water is full of minerals and will kill a coffee maker in less than 6 months.

My Keurig is less than a year old and I am the only one using it. I have a cup every day and occasionally I will have a second cup. Like today. I have cleaned coffee makers before with vinegar and marveled at all the stuff that came out. The water that ran through yesterday was clear. Just a very small amount of what looked to be coffee grinds.

Should be good for 6 months or so, right? Imagine my surprise and annoyance when I tried to brew that second cup and it stopped in mid-brew. The screen told me that needle maintenance was required. The half brewed cup is full of grinds and undrinkable. The display showed a number to call and I would be happy to vent, so I call it. Of course there is no actual person I can talk to. The voice directs me to the internet. One cannot talk to the internet!

I really want to yell at someone and looking at a video is not satisfying. I got the stupid machine in an effort to cut back on coffee. I would have bought a much cheaper unit, a knock off, but HeWho likes name brand quality purchased it.

Somewhere, there is an instruction book that came with this unit. I admit that I did not read it before using the machine. I admit that I don't know the exact location of said book. But really, the stupid thing is not old enough or under enough use to require maintenance! Maybe this is preventative maintenance and the machine is pre-programmed to require me to have to purchase their products. Vinegar is cheap!

Okay, I feel better. Not nearly as much as I would have felt had I been able to express my displeasure to a live person, but, still better. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

What Else Can Go Wrong?

Yesterday, on my Walmart shopping spree, pleather was not the only big find. Peeps. Cotton candy peeps. Two things I really like, all in one. Like Reeses did with chocolate and peanut butter. I like mine stale. Chewy. I bought myself a treat and opened them immediately when I unloaded the groceries and all my other purchases, so that air could reach them.

Maybe I should have walked on by. They did a number on my digestive system. Sugar (massive sugar) should not be indulged just prior to bedtime. I know this, having been a mother and old enough to know better. But, I did it anyway. I had a miserable night. My own fault.

Martha, the boy cat was illusive last night and avoided capture. HeWho is not as persistent as I am, and just left the cat inside. He woke me in the pre-dawn hours and I had to stumble out of my warm covers to accommodate his release to the great outdoors. The canines let me snooze until 8:00 (7:00 real time). Still feeling wonky, I discovered an ant invasion in the bathroom. How do they get in?? They were in the medicine cabinet circling the toothbrush of HeWho had put one of those ant traps there when he discovered the problem the night before. Without ever mentioning this to his wife.

The trap seemed to be a beacon to all the ants in the world and the cabinet was alive with ants. I went the harsh chemical route and killed them with spray. Fully awake by now, I went to grab some coffee. The Keurig was blinking at me, telling me that I needed to do maintenance. I unplugged it and plugged it back in. I did get my coffee, but it is blinking again. Fortunately I had already purchased the descaler solution. I do not use water from the faucet, only bottled water, so why would it need maintenance? The solution was over $12!! Just think how many pleather leggings that would buy!!!

Hot coffee in hand I sat down to check e-mail and phone calls that happened in the night. I pushed the button to turn on the TV. Nothing happened. I left that for HeWho still slept.

I decided to get the laundry started. I discovered that after the pipe burst and flooded the entire area after the last water issue that HeWho made the mess did not clean up the mess. Pipes are laying willy-nilly everywhere and every item that could become a vessel to hold water was still holding water. I walked out.

Maybe I should go back to bed.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Pleather .... NO!

Snow kept me glued to my chair watching old movies yesterday. Fat, wet flakes blanketed the grounds and the park was lovely to look upon. From inside my warm abode with logs crackling in the fireplace. It snowed so hard that my little dogs took one look out that door and turned around to stay inside. No frivolous potty breaks yesterday.

So, today, I hopped into the shower straight away. Grocery supplies are low. I have been lazy, people. I have not properly stocked my larder. The biggest tragedy being the lack of dog treats. Shame on me.

HeWho is the giver of treats to the critters. They have a routine and upon his return form his morning McBiscuit, he doles out the dental chews. I am the giver of the eats and the water .... the necessities of life. I am also the one who keeps those critters clean.

I tossed the keys to HeWho acts as my man-servant and he started the vehicle, then came back for the broom to sweep all the snow off my hood. He had already filled it with fuel. I don't do this, as I am a delicate being and I have someone who loves me enough to do it for me. Really not delicate, just don't want to.

I opened the mail before I left. I got my Medicare card today! Feeling special, senior citizeny, I hopped on the interstate and pointed my car towards Walmart. Not in the market for clothes, I perused the clearance racks anyway. I got a pair of sweatpants for $1. Who could walk by that bargain? Not me. I picked up a cute little (not that little, actually) top for another dollar. It was like I was in The Dollar Tree! My clearance shopping did not stop in the ladies department. HeWho now has a $3 flannel shirt. It was only fair.

One thing I did choose not to buy, despite the amazing price and the fact that it was my size, I just could not see me in pleather leggings. No need to make thunder thighs shine, that only makes things look larger. I did have a good laugh, though. Some people looked at me and kept their distance. Okay by me, I don't like to be crowded.

The moral to the story, well, there are two:
1. If you want your space, act a little crazy, people will leave you alone. Unless you happen upon a kindred spirit, then you will have someone to laugh with you.
2. Fat people do not wear pleather. They should not wear pleather, that is. Really shouldn't. 

Friday, March 9, 2018


Cujo is rarely photogenic, but he is quite handsome here. I took this on our trip. Cujo is a good traveler, knowing he will be close to me for the trip. He knows he will have endless opportunity to smell strange smells and bark at those people he perceives to be a threat to me.

Wall-E here with his boy, Gavin. The dog was ecstatic to see Gavin. Gavin was equally happy to See Wall-E. Wall-E is a horrible traveler. He hates the entire process. When he sees us carrying stuff to the RV, he slinks off into a corner, like we might forget to load him if he tries to become invisible. On the road he is nervous and shaky. He wants nothing more than to dig his claws in my arm and back while he buries his face into my shoulder.

Eddie's first trip. He loved it. He wanted to sniff every square inch of the camper, then settled in to watch the scenery flash by. He especially enjoyed the attention he got every time we stopped. I am not sure if people were enchanted with him or just wanted to talk to me to see why we have 4 dogs.

Toni Louise wasn't particularly happy to be traveling. We had to put a baby gate between the driver's area and the back. She is definitely the dog of HeWho rescued her from euthanasia. She thinks she is supposed to be with him if she can see him.

I had to ride in the back with all the furry children. I tired sitting in the navigator's seat, but found it too uncomfortable with 3 dogs in my lap and one whining to sit in the driver's seat. I opened the sofa bed and piled all the dogs on it with me.

See, I told you I figured out how to download my pictures. I kind of found it accidentally, truth be told. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Phone

I pick up the ringing phone and say, "Kan-do Kampground ...." I wasn't expecting a person to say anything, as lately 90% of the calls are solicitors. But, this was a live one.

"Is this a campground?" I reply in the affirmative, wondering why she thought I answered the phone identifying that it was, indeed, a campground. "Oh, do you have places to park campers in?" "With water and all that?" I fell into my speech about the amenities included with a stay here. "Well, how much is it to stay there?"

And this is where it became impossible to communicate. After ascertaining that she had no idea about the electrical needs for the unit, since she was calling for her son. I quoted both prices for an overnight stay. 30 amp is $31 and 50 amp is $35. "So, it costs $50?" She seemed to think that was okay, but I repeated my pricing. I asked her what kind of camper she had. "Oh, it's little, only about 24'." I told her that she would need a 30 amp hook-up and asked when he (her son) would be camping.

This is when I found that he wanted to live here. I told her that the monthly rate is $400 and asked how old the camper was since I won't take junky long term campers. She was freaked out about the $400 monthly rate. When she thought it was $50 nightly, she was okay with that. 

Didn't matter anyway, camper was too old and her son won't be living here .....

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Birds and Bees

Last week when the sun was shining and the birds were singing, a bee entered my humble abode. He was buzzing around all the plants in my kitchen as I was preparing supper. I pointed him out to HeWho happened in to tell me where he was about to go.

I wanted the bee to go outside, as I don't fancy being stung in the night as I sleep. I handed him the fly swatter. But he would not kill the bee! When I asked why, his main reason was that he did not want to get stung or mess with my plants. But, then he decided to educate me about the benefits of bees.

According to him, the bees fertilize the plants! When I asked how they did this, he looked confused, but then assured me that it had something to do with their legs. Perhaps he meant pollinate? 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Snow Fall

I had to be up early today for my appointment with the insurance agent for my Medicare supplement. It is March and the days of lazy leisure are dwindling.

By early, I mean 9 am. But, given the fact that I have been crawling back into bed and sleeping until 10 am every morning, it is early for me. I dared not go back to bed this morning after the 6:30 dog pee-pee time. I brewed my coffee and settled in my chair to waken. This confused the dogs, as well as the cat.

The dogs just jumped into my lap, but Martha, the boy cat, was miffed. Mornings are his special time with me. He likes to walk with me as I wait for the dogs to come back in. He positions himself between my legs and alternately rubs his entire body on one leg, then the other as we wait for his canine siblings to come inside. We all go back to bed and Martha waits until the dogs are resettled, then he slinks into the bed on the other side of me for a belly rub.

I showered and puttered about until Mr. Medicare showed up. I am all signed up and waiting patiently for my birthday before I have my check-up this year. The temperature seemed to have dropped dramatically while I was signing up. I just could not warm up.

HeWho was running errands (those McBiscuits do not come to him, you know) returned and built a fire. I was just going to sit and sip some hot tea til I got warm. My canines jumped into my lap and we all got toasty warm ..... and fell asleep.

I am not sure what woke me, probably the wind knocking stuff around. Opened my eyes, looked out the window to see that it is snowing! I am so done with cold stuff. I want to dig and prune and mow. Is this some kind of mean joke from Mother Nature?

Friday, March 2, 2018

All Is Well In My World

The flow of water running through pipes was reinstated very late last night. The canine contingent and I stumbled off to bed at 11:30. My plumber (aka HeWho plumbs) did offer to wake me so I could shower. Wake me? Why on earth would he want to do that? Let sleeping dogs lie!

I had a magnificent shower this morning. It was all I could do not to stand there until the hot water was gone. But I restrained myself and went on to clean the kitchen. And all the paint brushes. Feeling quite accomplished I decided to tackle the huge mess awaiting me in my laundry room/pump room.

First, I would need to describe what actually happened there. HeWho plumbs had reckoned the problem to be the pump. This prompted him to purchase another pump to pull the water into the system. New pump #1 failed. He diddled with the wiring and the breakers and on and on all day. Yesterday he arose early and returned new pump #1 and come home with new pump #2. 

This led to his discovery that the breakers were bad and assigned me to look up a federal pacific 2 pole 20 amp replacement. Not a daunting task with my friend Google. While I looked, he left and returned with one. Making me think he had given me some busy work to make me feel useful. I have no need to feel useful, I am content to be useless and go on about my reading and holding dogs in my lap.

Having identified the problem, but already having constructed a sizable puzzle of PVC pipes and elbows and lots of smelly pipe cement, he diddled more and finally succumbed to having a man with more knowledge help. This was when I gathered my dogs and retired to my bedroom. I stayed on after the departure of the helper. I would occasionally hear some noise, but I ignored it for quite some time.

I finally ventured out to check up on him. He was drenched, head to toe. EVERYTHING was drenched, as the pipe ruptured under the pressure of the water. He thinks he may have not waited long enough for the glue to dry. I left him to play in the water and parked myself in front of the TV, dogs in my lap.

This drenching happened THREE more times. He even changed one set of clothes, only to wet another set. I ignored all this, as it was getting later and later and I knew no shower would be forthcoming. Decided I would have all day to deal with the mess today.

Today is here. Did he use the mop or wet/dry vac to attempt a clean-up? No, he did not. He put a box fan in the kitchen, since the water went all the way into my kitchen and another fan in the laundry room. The kitchen floor was dry when I awoke this morning. But I have a long rug runner going down the middle of the laundry room. Atop this runner, anchoring it to the soggy floor was new pump #2 and all the glorious, convoluted pipe structure making it impossible to move. The rug was keeping the floor wet and water squished up into my shoes as I wiggled by the roller coaster looking construct to try to get to the washer.

I took what I could outside. My dryer sheets are wet, there is, in fact, a layer of water atop that appliance. The cat food is wet, the cat litter is wet and I have emptied the mop bucket  too many times to count. The fan is blowing in there now.

Unfortunately, on one of my trips outside to take wet stuff, I opened the gate to put some things away from canine curiosity and Toni Louise gained freedom. She ran, of course, and no manner of cajoling, promises or threats, appealed to her. I thought about chasing her, then just gave up.

I alerted her master to the situation and then went to the front door where she waited for me. These adventures do not endear her to me. But, all is well in my world. I have had a shower and my kitchen is clean.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

I Am Not Having Fun

Rumor has it that there will be running water soon. I have high hopes. I really want a shower. I want to wash the dishes and rescue the last load of laundry that got caught up in water debacle.

The parts came in today. All efforts to pump with an axillary pump failed yesterday. After HeWho plumbs diddled with the wiring and breaker box most of the day, he finally had someone come to assist him. I took the dogs to my bedroom and hid out while this humiliation happened. My house is a wreck, with dishes piled up all over the counters.

For some reason, this does not seem to bother men. Bothers me, though. Good news is that I finally mastered downloading the pictures on my phone! Hooray for me!

My house smells like that nasty stuff used to glue the PVC together and I am wondering what we will eat tonight. It is already dinner time. Chinese? I will gladly skip food altogether if it means I will have a shower!

I just heard water gushing. We have water, but we can't seem to contain it in the pipes. Things are not looking too good for that shower. I can't complain, because none of my tenants have water either.

I am not having fun.