Monday, April 30, 2018


I may or may not have mentioned that my exit is being closed for the season. They need to replace the bridge over the interstate. The timing is unfortunate. The start date is right around Memorial Day and the end date is November 1st. This means that my business will suffer. My campers will need to take the exit 5 miles east of me and take the frontage road. Not such a big deal, but travelers like convenience. I am annoyed, but not much I can do about it.

The real tragedy, as far as HeWho likes his morning sausage biscuit, is concerned, is that McDonalds is closed for remodeling. Not many options nearby. He tried the local bakery, but deemed the bread/sausage ratio wrong. Just wrong. He tried the biscuits and gravy and did not like them either. He was distraught!

Good thing he is married to me! I tell him all the time how lucky he is. While Bob Evans and Jimmie Dean have alternatives available, HeWho is not a big fan of those either. Now, before you picture me standing over a hot stove every morning making sausage biscuits for my man, just know that is not happening.

I have morning chores that do not include cooking breakfast. I am happy with coffee and toast, maybe a bagel. Not only that, how do you cook just one biscuit. If I make biscuits for dinner, I always have leftovers. So, once a week I make a big batch of biscuits and cook up the sausage, split the leftover biscuits and add the sausage and freeze them in individual baggies. HeWho likes them. Thirty seconds in the microwave and all he is missing is the wrapper from McDonalds.

He will be really happy tomorrow. I made cheddar biscuits last night. The only thing he loves more than cheese is peanut butter. Jif. 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Blood and Bullets

I was inspired for a post as I cleaned the men's room this morning. I always knock before entering, even if I am pretty certain the room is not occupied. I like surprises, just not ALL surprises.

I had been mowing and decided to just open the doors to see what supplies I would need. The ladies room was okay, smelled like shampoo. Didn't need much, just a routine once over. Lately, the men's room has been ....... um ..... challenging.

I have signs up on both restroom doors that prohibit smoking. I went a step further and put signs inside the restrooms. I put the one in the men's room over the toilet, but I still find butts in the toilet. Cigarette butts, that is. The small trashcan located next to the toilet is always full of odd things. Beer cans, banana peels, candy wrappers and apple cores. Sometimes there will be a line of ants marching towards it. I rarely find the empty toilet paper tube there. It will still be on the dispenser.

They will open a new roll and place it on the back of the toilet, but like all men everywhere, they seem to be unable to figure out how to change it out and put the new roll on the dispenser. This is not a fancy industrial type that requires a key. Just a plain old wall hung dispenser that holds one roll of paper. You push the roller in the center and remove it to place a new roll on after disposing of the empty card board tube. So simple.

But, I know you are wondering about the title. You want to know where and why I might mention blood, and ammunition. Did you really think I would get to the point that easy? The blood was in the sink and on the wall. Maybe a shaving accident? Or, maybe a sneeze that was extraordinary? Or, ........ maybe a story worthy of a Dateline episode?

Perhaps the bullet on the floor had something to do with that blood. Maybe the sound of the truck back firing was really a gun shot! I have a sign posted on my door that states the fact that we do not allow fire arms on the premises. But, I also have signs that tell you to STOP and go ONE WAY. Signs that tell you to SLOW DOWN and WATCH FOR CHILDREN and signs everywhere that state the speed limit is 10 MPH.

I scrubbed the blood and what looked to be tobacco juice off the walls and front of the sink, cleaned the toilet and changed out the toilet paper rolls, mopped the floors and tossed the garbage. It is a mystery, the blood and the bullet. We may never know the rest of the story.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Spring Has Sprung

As it turns out, Wall-E is a perfectly healthy 10 year old dog. No parasites. His white blood count was only SLIGHTLY elevated. So, thank you to the vet for making me worry about this dog that primarily belongs to my grandson. I was having some very dark thoughts about telling Gavin that the dog he entrusted to my care was not well.

The bad part about living in a rural setting is being removed from the convenience of having services close by. While it is true that the small town we are close to has a vet clinic, we had a horrible experience there with our Saint Bernard and vowed to never return. We managed to find another vet close by and absolutely loved her. Her practice included farm animals, as well as pets. Her fees were so reasonable and she was accommodating to our crazy schedule. She knew all of our pets and the last service she performed for us was helping my Oscar over Rainbow Bridge. Her practice closed for her to return to school.

This new clinic has so many vets that I doubt we will ever see the same one twice. Those extra tests for the elevated blood count pushed the cost of Wall-E's visit to $500! I don't pay that for my dentist unless I have a full round of x-rays every time I go .... and it still did not hit $500.  I will be looking around for another vet to take care of my pets. It would be well worth the drive.

Wall-E is in awe of his short nails. He even let me hold his paw as we examined them together. They itemized his clipped nails as "complimentary" on the invoice. 

The most important thing is that Wall-E is a happy boy. No more loose teeth to annoy him and make him feel bad. His siblings were ecstatic to see him come home. 

Back to normal here, Spring seems to have happened over night and I find myself doing outdoor chores all day long. And the days are long!! My vegetable garden is going in late, but the asparagus is already producing. The strawberries have a thousand blooms and that many weeds! Mowing every other day to keep the grass down. Baby geese on the pond and I hear my Killdeer dweeping as I work. The humming birds swooped in to chastise me as I fill the planters on the front porch. I washed all their feeders yesterday and have them ready to hang this morning.

My coffee cup is empty and I hear the great outdoors calling my name .......

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wall-E Goes To The Dentist!

Spring has arrived with a vengeance! Too many chores have challenged me lately. It is the mad rush to get the grounds ready and stock the store. Thank goodness for work campers!

Today was an off day for me. Wall-E had to be at the vet's clinic by 7:30 for his dental appointment. No, I did not do the transport. I very graciously offered to pick him up and let HeWho "volunteered" take him.

Wall-E is not fond of travel, he is a homebody. He better get with the program since we plan to live on the road in our golden years. He knew something was up when I made him don his harness. We had a very restless night last night, then I was afraid to go back to bed when the dogs woke me at 5:30. I was worried that HeWho drives would not wake up. He set his cell phone to jolt him out of the bed. It rang THIRTEEN times. Mainly because I was not in the bed to poke him in the side.

He woke, he dressed, filled his bubba mug with diet coke and hit the road, Wall-E in tow, for the 25 mile trip to the vet. A woman would never do that! It was pretty somber after they left. The remaining three dogs were worried. They are used to going to vet together and were not happy to be minus one. I sipped my coffee, as I put the second coat of paint on some shelves, then showered and dressed. The phone rang constantly during this time. Wall-E's blood work was good, except for an elevated white count that made further testing necessary. The vet tech said it could be heartworms which did nothing to elevate the mood in my house. Wall-E is almost 11 years old. A senior citizen of the canine variety.

I decided to head out a couple of hours early to run some errands and the vet called again while I drove to let me know that Wall-E was awake and resting peacefully and would be ready to go home in about 3 hours. Then she told me the price tag attached to the visit. $500. I miss my old vet. To say that she was reasonable is an understatement. Wall-E whined all the way home. A high pitch than makes the tiny hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. He is 8 teeth lighter and had has a dazzling smile now, not to mention his very short toenails.

We are all resting better now that Wall-E is back with his pack. The vet called this evening to go over his after treatment with me and assured me that heartworms are not what he is looking for. The white count was only slightly elevated, indicating an intestinal parasite that will require nothing more than a worm treatment.

I blame Martha, the giant boy cat. It must be the chunks of  rabbits, squirrels and birds that he constantly brings into the back yard to offer as gifts to his canine buddies. Martha is sleeping the morning away, cherishing the comfort of my bed until I scoop him up and move him to make it. Martha started on a new cat food this week, a healthy weight formula. I don't know that it will help, since he feels free to supplement his diet with all manner of fresh meat! I don't know how much he weighs, but I can assure you that he weighs more than any of his animal pack. Wall-E tips the scales at 20 lbs. and I imagine Martha is at least 22.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Aches and Pains

Another day, another ceiling. It is like I don't know how to stop! Then the walls ...... the more I do, the more I see that needs to be done. I just took a very long, very hot shower and noticed that the bathroom ceiling is looking drab .... Next time I shower I will avert my gaze from the ceiling.

It occurs to me that the trim painting awaits my attention. I was thinking that it can't possibly be worse than painting the ceilings, so I grabbed the paint and started on the baseboards. Everything is going to be white. I was hoping this would be a quick job, just scooting along the floor until I needed to move a piece of furniture. Not much furniture to move. Yep, I was going to knock this task out in no time.

I must be delusional! I started with the gate that keeps the canines out of the bedroom until bedtime. Martha, the boy cat, is very agile and not to be contained. I figured the gate would be more or less dry by bedtime. This is important because HeWho is not allowed to paint would, no doubt, smear the paint climbing over the gate. It is not a tall gate and I can easily step over it without touching the paint, but better safe than sorry. The dogs won't approach the gate unless I am on the other side. 

So, there I sat, on the cold floor, painting away. The cold floor was making my joints hurt and I decided that I should just call it a day and get a hot shower. This is when I discovered that I could not get up off the floor! People of a certain age should not try to sit upon the floor to do, well, anything! I had been dragging a damp towel to clean any drips in my wake. A full sized bath towel (actually a towel used to dry the dogs). I decided to use this towel as a cushion for my knees. I thought fondly of the good old days when I would just use my hand on the floor for leverage and just pop up to my feet.

I thought of calling HeWho was plumbing the bath house for help. That would have been a disaster, since we both would have started laughing and that would have made us too weak to accomplish much. I even thought about telling him to bring the hand truck to use to kind of wiggle under my butt and shove me to a standing position. More laughter, bad idea. The canines seemed to be fascinated by my position on the floor. I finally got up on my knees and painfully made my way to a standing position. What with my arthritic right wrist and bum left shoulder, it wasn't easy.

I suppose I will be nursing all my aches tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sunshine, Lollipops and UPS

The sun is shining!! This makes me so happy and motivated. I sold a truckload of furniture that is supposed to be picked up today. This means I will be rearranging stuff all day. I was busy doing just that when I heard the door ring.

UPS was there, trying to deliver a package. New driver, my old driver must have retired. I will need to educate this one about my road signs ..... In the meantime he has some very heavy saw blades to deliver to the road crew staying here. The last batch came via a freight truck and were on a pallet. The driver followed my directions to a T and put them right where I told him. I don't want them to go to the site my workers are staying on, but in the front parking lot to make it easier to re-load.

The young UPS driver looked confused when I directed him to unload them onto a pallet coming up from the back via HeWho delivers when I call. I said, "See the line of rocks there, at the end of the parking lot?" He nodded. I went on to tell him to back his truck up and wait for the pallet to arrive, so that the packages wouldn't be sitting on the wet ground. He said, "Okay, in front of the sidewalk?"

Instead of the response that was on the tip of my tongue, I sighed deeply and went over to the spot I had indicated and using my hand signals (NO, not that one), waved him to where I wanted him to be and left him in the care of HeWho brought the pallet up for him. "Yes, let's block the sidewalk that leads to the laundry facility and the bathrooms", I muttered to myself on the way back to my moving things around. I did say he was young and obviously has lots to learn.

I have the feeling it is going to be a long day. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Still Painting and Watching Vet Shows

I like to paint, I like the fact that you can see the results right away. That being said, I have grown tired of painting.

Yesterday was a day of great accomplishments. I painted the ceiling in the hallway and started the walls. As I sat in my chair, covered in canine warmth (it snowed yesterday), admiring my work and scolding Charming Eddie for getting down and then wanting to get right back up in my lap ..... I moved my left arm to make way for the recliner to go down and then scoop up the not so charming Eddie. Pain shot through me like I had been struck by lightning.

I cannot tell you what I actually did to cause the pain. I gasped and tears ran down my face, causing Eddie to climb up my chest to lick the tears and comfort me. I thought it might ease off if I just sat really still, but that didn't happen. Too bad the dogs can't fetch Tylenol. It is that left shoulder again. I don't know why it hurts, since I am right handed and that arm got the work-out.

Sleep was elusive. I couldn't seem to get situated in a comfortable position. I took 2 Tylenol and 200 mg. of Ibuprofen. This usually works. It did ease the pain and make it more bearable. I still have to guard that shoulder this morning. I refuse to go to the clinic. I know they will want an MRI and my current insurance will not cover it until the deductible is met. I have not seen a doctor this year. My Medicare kicks in in July. I am strong willed and can hold out until then.

In the meantime .... I decided to swap recliners with HeWho has a very large one that could hold two people, but not unless they were willing to know each other very well. Mine is small and more suited to the size of the room. For two weeks I used his recliner and hated it. I like to sit in a more upright position while I am using my laptop. His recliner had me tilted so far back I had to employ a pillow even with the chair in a non-reclining position. Add to that the fact that I had trouble getting out of it. It did allow the 3 dogs to sprawl quite comfortably and leave plenty of room for me.

I switched the chairs back yesterday. I am glad to report that I am much happier with this chair. The dogs are still trying to arrange themselves in the confines of the chair. Cujo has always claimed the space right next to me. We sit cheek to cheek and I am not talking about kissing cheeks. Wall-E is bigger than Cujo and has now claimed that place. Cujo, not to be out-done, has decided to climb on top of Wall-E's back and then proceed to wiggle down and force him out.

This is quite annoying for me. They growl at each other and show their teeth. They would not dare to bite with me, the alpha master sitting in such close quarters. Eddie claims my lap. He squirms around until he is between my legs, his long, long body extends below my knees while his sweet little head rests upon my belly.

Last night, unable to sleep, I watched a reality show. Dr. K, exotic pet vet. Toni Louise is usually up for vet shows, but she prefers the ones with dogs. This episode was about a tortoise who was egg bound. Really interesting.

On my recent trip to the vet to get all the vaccinations taken care of, the vet asked me if I was aware that Eddie was intact. Why, yes, I am, it is pretty obvious. Well, maybe not so obvious, since he has long silky hair. His little girlfriend is a Shitzu mix with blond hair and an audacious under bite. Eddie wants to father one litter before he loses his manhood. I wanted to call the pups Shithounds, but they already exist as Shiweenies.

I have been told that I cannot keep a puppy. We'll see who falls in love with a little piece of Eddie and Daisy.

What made me think about Eddie being intact was the fact that some exotic animals are really great at hiding their gender. Dr. K was even fooled by one last night. Seems some females have "fancy" parts. She told a story of a male ferret brought in for  neutering. The owners were convinced the ferret was female. When they were shown the male appendage right where it was supposed to be on his belly, they revealed that they thought it was "her" belly button and that they kissed it all the time when they played with "her".

I highly recommend this show, quite entertaining! 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Watching Paint Dry

Where did the sun go? The snow has finally melted, but I am thinking about closing all the curtains and turning on all the lights. I can't take another gray day!

You might recall that we re-covered the ceiling in our little living room. It seemed a lot bigger when I was dabbing the nail holes and imperfections with joint compound and prepping it for paint. It got even bigger when I was painting it. 

I like the way it turned out, but it made the other ceilings look ugly ...... It was hard to find an ending point. So, we extended the work to include the dining area and the kitchen. This means that I have been spending way too much time with my head tilted back and my arms in the air.

I will finally finish the last coat of paint in the kitchen today. Then the cabinets that have been waiting for so long will get some attention. I am ready with my Zinser primer. I found a can that had been opened and was lacking a label in the oops section of Menards. Five dollars!! I feel noble.

The by-product of all this ladder standing work is that I hurt. I can reach most all of the ceiling with just a step stool. But over the fridge, my short arms failed me. I thought about asking HeWho is out building fences for help, but his caulking and painting abilities are not up to my specifications. I am beginning to think he does a poor job on purpose so he won't be asked to do these tasks ever again. 

I made myself a questionable platform on which I placed the stepstool allowing me to reach the back corners. It was a little wobbly, but in a tight space, allowing me to hold onto the walls. While on this contraption, I was sub-consciously holding on with EVERY MUSCLE in my body. I could barely walk the next day, so I skipped a day before climbing up again. Then I repeated this every other day. Some days I couldn't stand to finish and would just sit in my recliner in pain.

This little guy was fine with all the sitting. He kept my lap toasty warm and showered me with sweet kisses. While he sat in my lap, Cujo and Wall-E kept my sides warm. Now, they all howl when I abandon our chair to shower and start the day.

I think they will be okay if I close the curtains and we all pile up in the chair for a while.