Monthly Archives: August 2010

Too Darned Hot

Its’ been a few days since I’ve written and I’ve actually missed doing it.  I’ve been swamped getting things for the CPA and running errands all over Denton.  Today, however, it’s just too darned HOT to be running around, so I’m back home.  We have central A/C but we also have a ceiling fan in each main room.  I’m not only utilizing both of those, I have yet another fan sitting on the floor next to the couch.  I know it’s only 93 out there with 25% humidity but it feels like it is higher to me.  No wonder I spent the last 20-odd years trying to get projects up north in the summer!  Yuck!!!

It’s amazing all the little things that need to be done after someone passes away.  It’s a lot more than just giving away things they owned.  It’s a lot more than changing the name on the utilities.  It is like wrapping up a huge project at work and all the paperwork that goes along with that.  At this point, I’m still trying to hunt down information for the CPA, for 2009 and 2010 taxes.  This is hard enough for yourself, but imagine trying to do this for someone else, with no clue where things are filed, what she paid or didn’t.  With dementia, there were holes in her memory, so not everything got filed or completed.  Some things actually got done twice because she forgot she did them the first time.

I always regretted not having brothers and sisters, thinking of all the things I missed out on, but this is one time that I’m glad to be an only child.  While I would enjoy being able to split up the duties with someone else, I think it would be a nightmare trying to explain to someone else what I’m trying to do and what I’m looking for.  It’s hard enough for me to understand most of the time! 

As of now, I’m taking the rest of the weekend off though.  I’m going to sit and play bingo on Facebook, work on writing a few blogs ahead of time, and playing with the dogs.  I may not move from the computer, except to go to bed.  Hmmm, this is a recliner.  Maybe I’ll just lean back and take a nap.  That sounds like a much better idea right now.  It’s just too darned hot to do anything else, at least that is what I’ve decided.

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Give a Dog a Bone

Growing up in the country, I never really thought much about giving a dog a bone to chew on after a steak dinner.  My only concern was having enough bones for all the dogs so there was no fighting involved.  Tinker Belle used to chew for hours on a bone and be thoroughly happy.  Yesterday, we gave each of our three dogs a steak bone and they loved it and were entertained for hours!  This is nothing new, by the way.  They routinely get steak bones but they NEVER get chicken or turkey bones.  Regardless of the heat, I think they could’ve stayed outside all night chewing, gnawing, and guarding their respective bones. 

Today, however, was a different story.  Mid-afternoon, I had put them outside so we could run over to Nonnie’s and check on the house and the pool.  We had been home about an hour when I made some popcorn and, of course, all three dogs were stationed right under my feet.  You can’t just let them sit there with their imploring little eyes staring at you.  Well, I can’t, at least for very long.  I gave in and tossed each one a single kernel of popcorn.  Our Sheltie Stephi and little SoLow gobbled theirs right down but I noticed that Sam, our other Sheltie, left hers on the floor.  Ok, something must be drastically wrong for Sam not to inhale food, any food.  She not only out-eats the other two dogs, she usually finishes in a third of the time.  I swear she has a vacuum hose in her throat!  She was guarding the kernel but not even trying to eat it. 

Samantha "Sam"

 

When I called her over, she willingly came to me and seemed just fine.  The only issue I saw was that she wouldn’t close her mouth.  She COULDN’T shut her mouth because a steak bone was lodged at the back of the jaw.  She couldn’t get enough leverage to break it with her teeth, nor could she remove it with her tongue.  Great!  Now I have to stick my hand in her mouth to pull it out!  Gross!!!  Well, heavens, I couldn’t budge it either.  Come to find out, it was stuck between two bottom teeth.  Her top jaw could move just fine but the steak bone was glued to those bottom teeth.  Now we both had to go to Ed for help. 

It was near dinner-time and I think Sam was getting a little antsy.  I know I was.  How was this dog going to eat if she couldn’t chew?  I was already anticipating a trip to the emergency room for pets and a few hundred dollars, just for a stupid steak bone!  I had never in my life seen a bone stuck like that in anyone’s mouth, but for it to be in my sweetie’s mouth, now that just hurt.  She couldn’t understand and kept wagging her tail, kind of, but she never whimpered, never fussed, never tried to bite anyone.  She was handling this better than I was, actually. 

Before I even suggested barging off to the ER for dogs, Ed had an idea he wanted to try.  When he came back with the pliers, I cringed.  I thought of all the things that could go wrong.  I could imagine him pulling at least one tooth out, along with that steak bone.  I imagined him jerking the bone out but breaking a tooth at the same time.  Oh, yes, all of this was going through my mind and more, so I just closed my eyes down to slits.  I didn’t want to watch but I couldn’t totally look away.  

Ed was very careful and, you know, that steak bone just popped right out.  I couldn’t believe it!  I let go of Sam and she jumped off the couch, wagging her tail, and just pranced in front of the other two dogs.  She had long ago lost that kernel of popcorn she had been guarding, but she got two extra treats at dinner, just for being a good girl.  All three dogs are now in the house and all is back to normal.  

SoLow and Drake, nose to nose

“Normal” in my house is SoLow chasing Sam in a circle around the couch as fast as SoLow can go and Sam running slow enough that she stays just a little bit ahead of her.  Occasionally, SoLow will grab at Sam’s closest foot while they are running.  She rarely actually catches it, but this is why dachshunds are called “ankle-biters.”  That’s all they can usually reach and that’s just fine with Sam.  She loves playing with her best friend.    

And, yes, before you ask, they will continue to get steak bones occasionally.  We will be a little more vigilant, however, in watching them while they are gnawing on it!  And, no, we never found out who snitched Sam’s popcorn. 

 

Mini-Vacation

I have spent the day working on corralling some of the information needed for the attorney and CPA handling Nonnie’s will and taxes.  Now, I’m sitting outside of Nonnie’s house enjoying the cool breeze over the pool, listening to some romantic, soothing songs.  Little SoLow has now calmed down enough to lie at my feet and snooze, her head resting on the top of my foot.  I’m watching the cows either graze under the huge pecan tree, which must be 175 years old, or slurp water out of the horse trough behind me.  The sun has set but the sky is still light with beautiful pale orange, wispy clouds just floating there, not really moving much at all. 

 I gaze down the hill where the mesquite trees used to be.  Yes, they have started working on the 22 million gallon “pond” and the water lines to carry the water to various well sites.  Right now it looks a bit rough but when they are done with it, I can envision a rolling field of lush, green grass in front of and to the east of the house.  I can see fat cows resting amid the grass while their calves run just for the fun of running before they must settle down for the night.  There are lots of Canadian geese nestled by the water.  What a wonderful, peaceful place that will be when all the construction is done and the workers are gone.  I really look forward to that day. 

Gee, all I need is a rocking chair on the front porch, huh?  Yes, I’m so looking forward to some peace and quiet.  Right now, there is very little of that.  It’s not like I am swamped with work.  It’s not that I couldn’t take a day off, if I wanted to.  I just don’t want to, not until we get everything done and there is no one else I need to meet with, to fill out forms for, or to call for information.  On the other hand, this life is so different from the life I have led for the past 20 years.  I was always traveling somewhere, working with many different customers, and trying to please everyone.  Make it right for the customer; make it right for my employer; it was a balancing act in a way.  I’m not on Barge-Time yet but I am definitely moving slower than I used to.

Then I open my eyes and look at the TV.  The Rangers are ahead of the Twins, 3 to 2.  Ed is sitting on the couch reading today’s paper.  We, the dogs, the goats, and the turtle have been fed and are totally sated and lazy.  No, I’m really not at Nonnie’s house.  I’m sitting at my desk, taking a minor break from reality and daydreaming a little, taking deep breaths and trying to relax my shoulders.  It’s a mini-vacation that always puts a smile on my face and soothes my soul.  Now I can go back to filing and trying to organize my desk and … COME ON, MURPHY, ADD A FEW MORE RUNS JUST TO PAD THE SCO…  Sigh, he hit a pop fly and the inning is over.  Oh, well, I guess I need to take the headphones off and actually listen to what’s going on around me.  Ed could’ve been talking to me this whole time and I wouldn’t know it.  So, back to reality I go, but that was a great mini-vacation.  You should try it sometime.  It does wonders for your attitude.

A Procrastinating Sunday

This has been an easy day but then, Sundays usually are nowadays.  Stay at home, rest, and straighten what I feel like straightening up around the house.  I sure like these days, especially on days that are over 100 degrees F.  Even as far north as Dallas and Fort Worth, August is just miserable!  I think from now on, I’m going to just leave the state during the entire month of August every year!  A great many Texans go to Colorado or New Mexico during the summer and I love Ruidoso.  It is close, we could drive there, and the mountains are beautiful, but the chance of running into someone I know is pretty good.  I would love to go to Chicago but summer is not the time to visit.  After listening to the sports reporters, maybe Oxnard, CA, would be the perfect place?

My husband Ed likes Seattle and that would be nice.  There are a lot of things to do there and you’re close to Canada, the mountains and the ocean.  The temperature in August ranges from a low of mid-50’s to a high of mid-70’s.  I’m not a big sun-worshipper so that would work for me.  You are looking at between $1,750 and $3,000 a month for a place to stay plus $850 for a rental car.  Hmmm.

I love Boston and that would be nice also, from a low of mid-60’s and a high of about 80 F, but rent would be overwhelming at around $4600 a month plus over $1,000 for a rental car.  Ok, forget Boston proper but outside the city might be worth checking out.  We could always take the train into Boston.   Massachusetts or even Maine might work and everything is so much closer to each other than down here in Texas.

Edinburgh has a lot to do and a low from about 50 to a high of 65 F.  Unfortunately, I wouldn’t want to stay just in Edinburgh and summer is not the time to visit London.  Could we spend a month traveling around Scotland?  I bet we could.  Well, I know I could.  Yet if I go all that way on a vacation, I need to go to London and Plymouth.  Ok, maybe not the UK in the summer.

Ed has always wanted to go to Australia or New Zealand and at one time, long ago, we considered emigrating to New Zealand.  Auckland, New Zealand, would NOT be a good place in August since it is their winter and you need to pack winter clothes.  With a low of about 45 and a high of only 60, that wouldn’t be bad but I would also want to go to some of the other cities, such as Queenstown and you’re getting down to freezing at night and only to 50 F during the day.  I am not getting away from the heat just to go get cold somewhere else.

Ok, why am I puzzling over something that we probably won’t even do?  Because it’s Sunday and I really don’t want to go straighten my closet today.  Once I get started, I tend to keep working until I get it completed.  Gee whiz, it’s now 7:40 pm.  Oh, my, there is definitely not enough time for that today.  Maybe I’ll go play some bingo on Facebook and talk with my Bingo-Buddies.  That sounds like much more fun to me.  Bingo, here I come!

I’m a List-Maker and Proud of it!

I make lists, lots of lists, so I don’t forget anything.  I make lists for the grocery store.  I make to-do lists every day.  I make lists of bills I need to pay, of bank CDs that are coming due to mature, and of what to pack for a trip.  I make lists of things I need to look up on the Internet, especially maps before going on a trip.  I make lists of what I need to talk to the doctor about, when and what to do before I go in for a medical procedure, and what I want the vet to do during my dogs’ annual checkups, which usually isn’t everything they want to do, by any means.  I make lists of EVERYTHING!  Sometimes I even use those lists, but sometimes I forget I’ve even made a list.

I am usually so good at making a list of addresses for where I’m flying into, where I’m staying, where I’m working that week, the nearest restaurants to the hotel and office, and the nearest discount store, just in case I have forgotten something.  Then I go to the Internet and print maps of each of those places and directions from one to another, just in case I don’t have access to the Internet and get lost.  I will also make a list of things I really want to see in that area and do a little research before I leave, including maps and directions.  All of this I pack in my briefcase so that I have it with me at all times during my trip.  Did I mention I hate getting lost?

The one time that I forgot to make all of these lists, I really didn’t worry about it because I wasn’t renting a car and would be riding with someone who had been to this job site many times before in the past month.  He would know where the hotel and office are, right?  Since it was a guy, I figured he would know the closest restaurants.  Man, did I foul up!  He couldn’t get us from the airport to the hotel using the Interstate!  We had to call the hotel for the correct exit.  And when he hesitated the next morning pulling out of the hotel parking lot to go to the office, I knew I had really messed up!  How can you work at an office for a month and STILL get lost?  Honestly!  Since then, I’ve been very conscientious about my lists and my maps.

It’s not that I’m forgetful.  I just want to be prepared.  I don’t want to have to go back to the store for milk, especially since I usually didn’t want to go to the store in the first place.  I hate coming home from a trip with only 2 special dog treats when I have 3 dogs.  Not a wise move, believe me, and they know when I have forgotten one of them!  Now the goats, Bob and Willow, don’t care and all Fred the turtle thinks about is the next feeding time, but that’s a totally different story.  Ok, wait, what was I talking about again?  Oh yeah, lists.  I make a lot of them and it is great how much they help keep me on track and on schedule…well, most of the time.

I HATE Shopping Update

Ok, now my kids are jumping on the bandwagon on my issue of shopping. My son Drake, prior to reading my I HATE Shopping post, was actually looking forward to buying a new pair of jeans and thought going to a department store might be nice for a change. After reading the post, he decided maybe he would go back where there were fewer choices. Or maybe he would call his sister Kim to do his shopping also. Now that sounded even better to him, at least until I told him Kim’s reaction to the post.

I found out that Kim actually hates shopping also and was laughing hysterically while reading until she got to the last 2 lines. I don’t think she appreciated my approach of using her as a backup if I got flustered again on a shopping trip. She does it so well that I just assumed she enjoyed it but nay, not so. She only enjoys it if she is “in the mood” and she never knows when that will happen. Usually it doesn’t happen until she and her husband Bob are forced to go out shopping, whether for a present or an event they are attending. At some point, she will turn to Bob and smile sweetly. I think he must know at that point that it’s going to be a LONG day of shopping. Hmmmm. Since I can’t anticipate when that will happen, I’m not sure how this will work for my benefit.

Oh, but Drake had a ready solution for my dilemma. Whenever the mood strikes Kim, she is to immediately call him and he will meet her, whenever, wherever. Well, maybe she will forget to call him or maybe she will be selfish and not want to share her shopping mood with him. He has that covered also. He’s going to tell Bob to call him and he will come “relieve” Bob at the store, giving Bob to go play golf or play with their dog or even clean the house! Not a bad idea, son! I just may use that approach myself. Kim, I would watch out if, in the middle of a shopping trip, Bob suddenly has to make a phone call. You never know what you might be in for after that, but since I love your taste in clothes, it’ll be good for me, no matter how many outfits I have to watch you try on!

Gallery

Why do you keep the things you do?

After going through some of Nonnie’s stuff, I decided that I just can’t do that to my kids. After I’m gone, I don’t want them to find crap that I haven’t looked at in 30 years. How do I know … Continue reading