Gratitude week 33

  1. Summer! The weather here has been perfect. I wish it would just freeze this way. Okay, maybe that wasn’t the proper word to use…freeze….brrr.
  2. I was able to visit with my daughter for a little while this weekend.
  3. My husband made me a dairy free, yeast free, gluten free pizza that wasn’t flavor free.
  4. I was able to get my 40 hours in at work this past week.
  5. I took my cat in for his yearly vet visit. At 14, I thought this cat would live forever. He is as energetic as a kitten. He’s also become very vocal at night. Turns out he has a thyroid disorder. He lost 3 lbs from last year going from 11 lbs to 8 which is a lot for a cat. The vet ordered some medication for him and gave him his shots. For the next couple days, my cat became lethargic and didn’t want to eat or move around much. I literally thought he was going to die. He is starting to feel better so I am grateful for that. I’m hoping that the medication will make the rest of his time here with us relatively pain free.
  6. I am grateful to be able to work around my schedule.
  7. I’m grateful to have some new stories to tell. If only I had the time to tell them….in due time.
  8. I’m grateful to have some time off at the end of the week to go up north. We really haven’t been up to the family cabin all summer. This year no one even got the dock in the water.
  9. Feeling productive.
  10. My son has a job interview tomorrow.

Sick as a dog

Right before everything shut down I foresaw the last window of opportunity to get things done. Paul and I had one last lunch date at the Chinese restaurant before it closed its doors maybe for good. I returned some Amazon items at the mall. I knew that once the school closed the mall would shortly follow. I got fingerprinted for my census job as soon as I could then found out later that I did it on the last day they kept fingerprinting open. It took 3 weeks later to get my background check back. Because of this I would be surprised if I start my census job much before summer ends.

One of the first things I did after everything was shut down was to buy some heartworm pills for my dog. Would it be bad to say that I took a risk for my dog? I have geriatric pets. My dog is almost 13 and my cat somewhere around 14. I try not to keep a large supply of expensive pet products because, well…

So I wandered out that day to buy heartworm pills. I saw a dog with heartworm once. It looked pretty miserable and I didn’t want the same fate for my dog. I even saw a dog with rabies once but that was so long ago.

The dog with rabies was sitting by the burning barrel. Did you have a burning barrel as a kid living out in the country? This really brings back childhood memories. We would take our garbage out to the burning barrel. This was years before recycling was even a thing. This was in the days I had trouble lighting a match. I was always afraid to light the fire.

When the burning barrel was lit we would put a grate over it so fiery pieces wouldn’t fly out and create other fires. As kids, this allowed us ample opportunity to play with fire. My mom gave us her old pots and pans. I created rock soup with dirt. It didn’t taste as good as I was expecting. Neither did grass. Sometimes we would take rotten vegetables from the garden like zucchini and cook them on the fire in a frying pan. I guess I was a child once but I don’t think children would be given the task of starting a burning barrel fire today.

That is where we found the dog with rabies. My mom drove in the driveway with all of us kids in the car. We saw the dog crouched next to the burning barrel snarling and foaming at the mouth. We were scared. I remember the fear. It was hot sitting in the car waiting for my mom to decide what to do. Something was wrong with the dog. It wasn’t our dog. We never saw it before. My mom thought we could make a run for the house to call for help.

By the time the man arrived with a gun, the dog moved a little further from the house. Mom told us to stay inside and I was big enough to peek out the bathroom window. I saw what happened to that dog.

I have seen a dog with fleas, heartworm, and even rabies in my lifetime. Yet I don’t know anyone who tested positive for coronavirus. It’s interesting to see how our experiences shape us. I had to make sure that didn’t happen to my dog, but at the same time I wasn’t too worried that something would happen to me.

Torn linoleum, bed bugs, and a touch of poison ivy

Remember last year when I told you about our worst return home from a family vacation to Florida??

Just a quick recap…we pulled into our snow covered driveway to find our pet sitter stuck in a snow bank…our house was covered in dog piss, feces, and vomit. There was wet pee covered towels shoved in under clean, dry towels…and someone went rummaging through everything in my bedroom..

This return home from Florida was up there with the worst.

We had a great time in Disney…then Paul and I stayed a few days for a conference..At the conference things started to fall apart. I was having a hard time sleeping and got a head cold. I had to force myself to stay awake for the seminars and was too tired to do a lot of the fun stuff afterwards. Great!

The kids spent the weekend at a camp up north for a family reunion with my mom.

The first problem came on Saturday afternoon when the new pet sitter arrived. She noticed that the dog got locked in our bathroom. I usually leave the bathroom door closed. But since I wasn’t there, it was left open. Upon leaving, I am always the last one to leave the house to make sure the oven is turned off, etc…to make sure these types of things don’t happen.

This is what I came home to:

Someone left the door open and the dog trapped himself inside. Our dog tried to scratch his way out of the bathroom. He tore the linoleum and clawed up the door and trim pretty good. To think that all of my worry scenarios involved teenagers trashing my house, not a geriatric dog!! Seriously!!!

Great! Good thing my son had that flooring job for the summer.

The following day, my son contacted me about bites all over his body. My mom thought it could be poison ivy since he walked near some. My son thought it was bed bugs.

The next day, he was covered in a rash.

I blew off some sessions to make a doctor appointment. Then I had to stay on hold to give parental consent since he is 17, under legal age.

The doctor didn’t know what was causing the rash…she told my son to thoroughly clean his room. That was the best advice a doctor ever gave my kid.

My son bagged his bedding and vacuumed his mattress. He thought he saw bugs, but wasn’t sure.

Meanwhile, my mom called the camp they stayed at for the weekend to ask about bed bugs in his cabin. This prompted a visit to the camp from the health department with no signs of bed bugs there.

Then I blew off some more sessions to contact my friend who works for an exterminator. To make a long story short, tomorrow I have an appointment set up with someone that does canine inspections for bed bugs. I really hope it is poison ivy or spiders. Yes, I am starting to like spiders even more..

At least this time I knew what I was coming home to. Although that did not make it easier..

I felt so miserable being sick. I felt stressed out about everything at home. I wanted to take a nice long walk…at nighton the freeway…but instead I literally cursed my luck with a few 4 letter words..

Why me?? Why??

I have a feeling this workation is going to be a lot more expensive than we had planned. It already cost what little was left of my sanity…

 

Not my cat!

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One summer day, my cat ran away…

He never ran away before and he hasn’t run away since..

He didn’t even take a suitcase.

There was a bad storm.

He didn’t come back.

It was getting to the point that I was debating whether or not to throw out his litter box and donate his food.

Nothing brings a cat back faster than giving all of his things away…

He had been gone for several days…

I kept an eye out for him when my friend Lisa and I went running around the neighborhood.

That day, Lisa spotted something orange in the ditch…an orange cat was floating in the water of a flooded ditch.

Lisa found a stick and tried to get it out of the water unsuccessfully.

Did I finally find my lost cat?

I was pretty convinced..

A missing orange cat…an orange cat in the ditch…two women wet and muddy trying to pull a dead orange cat out of the flooded ditch…sweaty….possibly crying..

I had my husband bring a shovel to the ditch to carry out the cat for a proper burial..

When we got home, my orange cat was sitting by the back door innocently like none of this ever happened..

I wish I could hear his side of the story…

I also wished things turned out better for his stunt double…

Remember that time we were out running and you thought you saw your cat dead in the ditch??

Lisa reminded me of the story a few weeks back..

How could I forget??

It was one of the strangest things that happened while out running…

That bites!

I feel overwhelmed by the busyness at work. I like being busy, but I don’t like feeling like I can’t keep up. Paul and I have been working hard together, alone. We have been arguing for days. It seems like the stress is bringing out the extremes in our personalities and right now we clash. I have been holding myself tight and my body aches from it more than it does from a 12 mile run.

There is no sanctuary.

At home, my pets still have fleas. They are licking and scratching themselves until they bleed. It disgusts me. I don’t want them around me. They sit in my chair and scratch. I can’t relax. I feel crawly when I sit down. I can’t stand to be in my house. It is unnerving.

The vet said there was nothing I could do, that I might still see a few fleas all winter even after treatment. I never would’ve guessed that something like this could happen. Was it the unseasonably warm fall temperatures??

I blame myself. My husband asked me why I blame myself for situations I have no control over. I really don’t know why.

If only I would have treated the pets a few weeks back when I suspected but didn’t find anything. I only put flea treatments on my pets if I have to. Maybe I was wrong.

I have been strongly indoctrinated as a child that the use of any chemicals was wrong. My autistic brother Matt was supposedly allergic. We weren’t allowed to wear bug spray. My brothers and dad had to take down wasps nests with the end of a rake and run or spray them with a hose. Chemicals were not allowed. Instead of weed killer, we put cement blocks on weeds to kill them.

I am not that extreme, but it is hard to change my mindset.

The one thing I am excited about is picking Angel up from college for winter break. We are heading out to pick her up this weekend and then having a family Christmas party at my brother Luke’s house.

We are also supposed to get a snow storm this weekend. We are expecting a foot of snow. After it is done snowing, we will have strong winds and dangerously cold temps. This is going to make the 6 hour drive downright treacherous for us.

Why can’t my life ever be boring!??!!!!!

Regardless, it is certain to give me something interesting to write about!

I sneeze..

I sneeze and sneeze and sneeze. 

Am I getting sick? Or am I allergic to the tree?

The cat has fleas..

A sick child needing to be picked up from school early..

I sneeze..

Many ideas swirl through my head, but no time to write..

Work..busy during a slow time..

A weekend away to see my daughter perform..

A long drive home on snowy roads..

Cleaning.. Laundry..

Christmas parties all week…all month..

Bunco party…church choir party…sailing club party…staff party…band concert…choir concert….band concert…choir concert for my three kids in three different schools in two different towns…an overnight family Christmas party out of town…tickets to a show…singing for the Advent services every Wednesday night…singing again on Christmas Eve…Christmas Day with family…

Picking up a kid from college…visiting my dying mother-in-law…scheduling conflicts…a hair cut..a birthday party..

Should I start my Christmas shopping??

I sneeze..

Bring a dish to pass…a dish to pass…a dish to pass…Whatever shall I make?? Whatever shall I take? 

Secret Santa…a gift exchange…

No winter clothes that fit my youngest kid..

Cooking, cleaning, dishes, laundry..

A sick kid, pets with fleas..

I sneeze and sneeze and sneeze…

15. If I were an animal…

Day 15: If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

If I were an animal, I would be a cat.

I have often heard from non cat lovers that cats are unteachable, temperamental, independent, and disobedient. But those of you who are cat lovers know that is simply not true. If a cat has a good master, a cat can be just as loyal as a dog. My cat is more obedient than my kids. He always comes when I call him, not just when it is time to eat. He misses me when I am gone. A cat chooses his master carefully.

I like to think that I am like a cat in this way. I am very independent, but have a strong loyalty to the select people I choose to trust.

My friend Cindy taught her cat to use the toilet. Sometimes he leaves the seat up and doesn’t flush. No different from her kids, I guess..

If I was a cat, I would be a fierce hunter. My family would get excited and shriek when I bring mice inside the house for supper…I know I would get sick of only drinking water and dried up old cat food, so I’d catch my own.

I would perch in high places and observe others. I wouldn’t have to talk, I just get to watch.

Other people could pick up my crap for me.

I could take more time to laze in the sun.

I would keep my coat shiny and clean. Someone else could brush my hair and vacuum up my clumps of fur.

I would be satisfied to spend my day curled up in your lap. I would purr to let you know how much I care.

I won’t have to worry about presidential elections, raising teenagers, or work.

I think it is time to take a two hour nap…

Oh wait, I’m not really a cat..

 

Mouse house

I remember as a little girl whenever someone in my family got a big box, they brought it over for me to play in. My grandma called the box a mouse house. I colored my little house and grandma would cut holes in the box to make windows and doors to peak out of. For a brief period in my adult life, I had a real life mouse house.

Last month my son participated in his first science fair at the high school. He presented a project on the different types of bombs. You might think that this would be an interesting project, but it wasn’t. I mean, he couldn’t make a project and test it at the school like other kids did. His project consisted of magazine picture cut outs and a lot of writing. Other kids had projects that included experiments with sound waves, catapults, ice cream made out of different ingredients, the effects of caffeine on sport performance, etc..

On a side note, my personal favorite this year was the one that tested the effectiveness of acid reflux products on reducing stomach acid. The girl said that the least effective products were harmless and that the most effective were harmful. She said that the most effective products cause organ failure. She said that if you suffer from acid reflux, it will kill you. Great! Another thing to worry about. I never imagined that my stomach acid would get me in the end. Lol. I really hope that girl doesn’t decide to become a doctor.

The science fair brought back memories of Angel’s first couple of science fairs. For her second year, Angel did an experiment on 3 white mice. She started to bring her mice home on weekends. She didn’t want them to end up being snake food after the science fair. She wanted to keep them as pets.

Now the science classroom housed the mice and one more animal, a 3 legged cat. One weekend the door to the room that contained the mice was not shut tight. By Monday, there was an all out mouse massacre. Angel’s mice were the only mice to survive for the science fair since she brought them home. After the science fair was over, she convinced us to keep the mice. She was going to keep them in a cage in her room so our cat would not get them.

I would like to say that she never had a mouse in her room before, but she did. A few years previous there was a tear on the bottom of our screen door. When another dog came into our yard, our dog totally tore through our screen door leaving a big gap. If we left the sliding door open, we had ourselves a redneck pet door. It worked well for awhile with the pets letting themselves in and out as they pleased, until the day our cat brought a live mouse in our house. We screamed as our cat ran with the mouse into the girls bedroom and dropped it there. Eventually Paul was able to catch and release the mouse outdoors. That was the end of our pet door.

Right after Angel brought the mice home, two of them died. The last mouse lived a couple more months. I called him Roady which was short for rodent. He didn’t care for me that much at first. He bit my finger a couple of times until I decided that I was going to try to win him over. I started hand feeding him wax worms and other little delicacies to the point that he was happy to see me.

We ended up buying him a little hamster ball so he could explore the house. He did escape his cage a couple of times. We found him bundled up in Angel’s basket of yarn. He liked the yarn so much that we put it near his cage so he could pull it in and make a little nest. That little mouse made a sweet pet. It really changed my viewpoint on the less desirable creatures of creation.

Whatever motivates you to run…lol

Remember the mess that we returned to after our vacation in January? Maybe you need a refresher?? We sure would have liked things to be fresher! We came home after our vacation to a big mess. Our pet sitter gave her mom our garage door code so she couldĀ  feed our pets and let out our dog. Except that she decided to overfeed our dog and not let him out. So we came home that night to piles of puke, dog crap, and rings of pee. Not to mention that her mom went rummaging through all of our things. Yes, even my underwear drawer. Gross!

This week our old pet sitter turned 18 and moved out of the house. After all that happened, we have a new pet sitter now. Today while Paul was at the grocery store… What? Yes, my husband does the grocery shopping. Yes, he likes to cook. Oh yes, I know I am lucky! Yes, he probably is a better cook than I am. Okay, he is. Well, let’s just get back to the story..

While Paul was walking into the store, he saw the old pet sitter’s mom coming out of the store. She seemed shocked (embarrassed?? guilty?!??) to see him. She started running full force in the opposite direction with her cart full of food. All I could think was… my gosh, I hope she wasn’t wearing my underwear….

Whatever motivates you to run…lol.

Grace uncommon, part 10

Aunt Grace did not like to be touched. But it seemed to go beyond shirking away from hugs. My family was never the affectionate touchy feely huggy group. However, Aunt Grace’s dislike of touch went far beyond the human touch. She liked animals but had a great fear of them touching her. I found this to be quite peculiar. Even the least affectionate person that I know loves the furry touch of cute kittens or puppies.

I knew that Grace liked animals. She always threw out stale bread for the birds to eat. She put out milk or food scraps for the stray cats in the neighborhood. Her care towards them told me that she liked them. But if an animal came near her, she would shriek.

Once I brought my dog with when I visited Grace. He got away from me and jumped on Grace’s lap. She screamed, “Get it off of me” over and over in fright. When we were little kids, we thought that her fear was rather comical. Now as an adult, I wish I understood why she was so afraid.