Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Pitchforks and Shovels!!

 B I N G O!!!!!  It's that time again.  It sure seems like it comes around more often than once a week.  Don't get me wrong ... I love getting out of the house to visit with friends new and old.  I admit, there are a couple of "different" ones, but they probably think the same thing of me!!

I put Cooper's collar on and fooled him into eating a tiny piece of pill to help him sleep.  After all, I was going to be gone almost seven hours.  

With no big traffic jam, I arrived in no time.  Up to the parapet I went with pen in hand.  I'm one of the lucky ones to sign checks at the end of the month.  LOTS of checks.  You would be amazed at the extent of this Lodges activities.  We just had a big Mardi Gras party (which I did not attend) and now the Big Kahuna Pig Luau is on the horizon and already sold out.  No one ever said this lodge was not an active one!

Add to that the parties at least three days a week for birthdays, anniversaries and funerals.  Whatever you have going on, we have the venue and the food.

I hobnobbed with the Knights until time to check out my setup.  I am SO very thankful that the Castle Lady in Waiting sets up everything for me.  All I have to do is show up and count the money.  There is that big blackish/grey infernal machine, just sitting there laughing at me.

All the funny colors are dobbers.  Any good bingo player has at least TEN that they carry with them to every game.  Yes of COURSE there are lucky colors!  Red, green and blue are the best ... and they will buy three of each to be sure they don't run out.

The cranky lady was back yet again, but this time she barged up to the front of the line and demanded service.  I really do try to be nice, but I had to tell her to go to the end of the line.  If anyone has the exact change and only wants one or two small things, I can accommodate.  But any more than that and the pitchforks come out all the way to the end of the line ... which is sometimes clear across the entire building.

We try to run them through like cattle through the chutes, so as you can imagine, I have lots of experience in that department.  Most everyone picks their own cards off the top of the pile, but there are about eight that must have that SPECIAL number.  They go through the packs one at a time until they find it.  The one that will WIN!!

Sometimes that takes awhile, since there are SIX piles of cards, some with as many as 200 sheets of paper.  It doesn't take long for the torches to be lit.  It's a sign ... because the pitchforks and shovels will be appearing almost instantly.  The faster they get to the table, the more likely they are to get the winning ticket for themselves.  I'm not sure how that theory works, but it happens every week.

There were no fights on this night that I know of, but when SEVEN people won one $200 pot, we came VERY close.  That only happens when we pull our boxes of cards out of order.  Never EVER pull them out of order.  It's a cardinal sin!!  I quickly went back and marked every one with a big RED number to be sure it didn't happen again.  

The good news is we weren't very busy on this night.  The two Hot Ball pots of $1199.00 each were won the week before.  Many people will not come play again until the hot ball pots are higher.  The lure of winning big money is huge.  

Not very busy also means it's the end of the month and no one has received their check yet.  That's bad news for me since it brings out the change.  Yessirree ... kiddy piggy banks are broken around the entire city.  I get mounds of change that I get to count.  In some cases $10-15 dollars in change.  That takes time to go through, but count we must, because they who break piggy banks don't know how to do it very well.  It's almost always wrong.

I also have to say that it's not just the women who have WET money.  This guy must have run around the block six times with that money in his front pocket.  I used a healthy dose of hand sanitizer until I had time to wash up.  It's okay ... it's like kids playing in the dirt.  It's good for your immune system.

Lucky for me the infernal machine, in spite of trying to fool me by running out of paper, balanced to the penny.  I raced out the door.

Mr. Cooper was sleeping when I returned, but the excitement made him itch all over.  So this morning I ordered one of those suits Dave was talking about.  Although it said deliver tomorrow, the final page said POSSIBLE delivery tomorrow.  I'm going for Benadryl this morning.  

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

 You know the old saying, two steps forward, one step back.  On this day it was two steps back.  I'm used to that actually, since on the ranch there was always something causing a backward step.  It's hard enough to keep yourself going, but when you have to deal with 350 head of cows and calves, there's going to be problems on the horizon.

It started out just fine when I pulled the critter cam.  There was absolutely nothing on it.  I suppose that's a good thing, but I sure wish the fox would return.  Here's the video from a week ago that just about gave me a heart attack.  Remember this face??

I instantly made a dash out to the corral to check the fence line.  Hmmm no holes.  So what's up with the camera capture?  I watched it in slow motion ... literally frame by frame.  Awwwwwww it's not the skunk after all.  For one fraction of a second, I could see the ear of a fox.  Otherwise I would have SWORN this was a skunk!!

That calm lasted all of fifteen minutes.  This turned out to be two steps BACK.  Cooper would jump like someone stuck him with a pin, then do this until I picked him up.  I tried everything and nothing worked.  I even got a piece of tranquilizer pill down his throat, but of course that made him panic.  Poor guy ... I feel so bad for him.  

We tried the cone of shame, but that doesn't keep him from spinning on the floor.  I finally grabbed his leash and we went for a walk down the driveway.  That seemed to get his mind off the itch.  He finally calmed down enough to go to sleep on the couch.  That means I can't move or we have another episode of itch and bite.

It was a long day.  Suddenly I could smell it.  No, not skunk ...... barbecue steak wafting in on the breeze.  The neighbors are having a barbecue ... Halo's family.  Oh for the taste of potato salad and maybe some corn on the cob. 

I really did need to get to the store, so with Cooper perfectly decked out in his new neck wear, I took off for a quick run to return some Amazon stuff and grab a few groceries.  I hit the pavement running, before coming to a screeching halt.  The UPS store door was locked.  Oh good grief ... it's a Holiday, silly girl.  No one is going to be open but the grocery stores.

I hotfooted it over to Food Mart.  This is NOT my favorite store, but they have the best (and cheapest) English muffins.  I literally ran through the store trying to get back to Cooper as fast as possible.  I didn't get much of anything that was on my list, but grabbed some tomatoes and onions.

Frozen taquitos with a little salsa would have to suffice for my holiday meal.  What a letdown!!  I can STILL smell those steaks in my back yard!!  It's okay though, because Cooper was fine when I returned and didn't go into frantic mode.

I even had time to make a few squares for the latest quilt while he laid on the floor next to me.  Hard to see the colors, it's all light browns and grays.

Not the most exciting holiday I've ever had, but I was happy that Mr. Cooper slept a good portion of the afternoon.  He even got me down on the floor to play a little ball game later in the day.  He must be feeling better if he's wanting to play.

So today we gear up for a wonderful, fabulous night of Bingo.  I've got my fingers crossed that Cooper will sleep the night away.  I'll go in late and try to leave early ... and maybe I'll give him a tiny piece of sleepy pill. 

I know, it's crazy to worry about a dog so much ... but after all, he's the only other person in the house and I don't want him to chew a hole in his leg!!  By the way,  Jonathan says HI ... disco disco!!!

Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day ... A Day To Remember

 Here's to all those who sacrificed their lives that we could live in freedom and peace.  This image says it all and demonstrates the respect we should have for all those who put their lives before ours.

It was a lovely day in overcast-all-day California.  Very fitting I thought.  The theme of the day was BE MORE SPECIFIC!!  That's what my neighbor said when I talked to her yesterday.  Here's my kid, FINALLY doing better.  It was the best day yet, though he still refuses to take his pills.  As much as I hate it, I have to pry his mouth open and try to stuff them down his throat.  It's not an easy task.  

BUT it's required ... and they finally seem to be taking effect.  We even had fifteen minutes of playing the ball game.  THAT is a dramatic change!  The only way he will sit still and not be frantic for any length of time is if he sits beside me on the couch, which is why my butt is killing me and my running brain is screaming YOU NEED TO RUN!!

Meet Halo.  This is the big guy that lives next door.  Notice any resemblance?  Not all that big, but bigger than Cooper, they are not related.  He and Coop have become great friends, but since the neighbors put in their big fence, he doesn't roam my front yard much any more at all.  Cooper has missed him.

Come on Coop ... let's go for a walk and see if you are REALLY feeling better.  He came unglued when I went for my running shoes.  That is a VERY good sign that he's not feeling, or at least noticing, the itchy patch on his butt.  

Who should we find roaming the yard but ..... HALO!!!  They ran up to each other and instantly began playing racehorse.  Running around the trees is so funny until you are the one on the end of the leash trying to keep up.  I never let Cooper go because he heads straight for the road.

They had a blast, but wait ... Halo is not usually out here by himself.  I didn't see his Mom ... so I called her.  "Raquel ... there's a white guy out here roaming around".  I got no response.  "A fluffy white guy".  Still no response.  "Raquel ... are you there?  Halo ... Halo is outside running around".

She began to laugh hysterically.  She had recently seen a couple of homeless guys parked on the ditch bank several blocks away and thought I was talking about THEM roaming our yards!!  Gosh ... I don't think that is how I would describe them, but NO ... I'm talking about your DOG!!  I guess I should be much more specific in my descriptions.

Back inside, I went into "leftover" mode to figure out what to make with leftover corn tortillas, corn, chicken that had to be eaten this day and the end of a block of cheese.  It screamed enchilada casserole to me!  So I whipped up two and baked one.  The other went in the freezer.  

Note to self:  Always remember to check the BAKE setting and make sure it's not on CONVECTION!  It was pretty crispy on top, but very tasty.  If you haven't tried Hatch green chili sauce, give it a shot.  It's a little spicy, but REALLY good!!

Though I still don't trust Cooper not to chew on his leg, I did get in a little sewing on my latest quilt.  Yes, I had to put the cone of shame on again.  It's good practice for tomorrow night's Bingo when I have to be gone.  At this point he SEEMS to be much better, but I just can't take the chance of coming home to a bloody mess.

Isn't it fun to have pets???  I even got in a load of laundry so my sheets don't smell like DOG any more. It's the little things!!

For dessert, since there is ALWAYS dessert ... I went for the angel food cake yet again.  So far my diet is working, though slowly.  I was pretty shocked yesterday when I looked up my little app where I record what I eat and discovered about 60% comes from FAT!!  How could that be since I eat so much salad?  Oh yes ... that ice cream is the devil in disguise!!  So I'm switching over to CAKE!!!  

And so another day has passed .... the best one so far in terms of Cooper!  I have high hopes that the cone of shame will be put away for good.  Cooper is VERY happy about that!!!

Sunday, May 28, 2023

The Cone Of Shame

 And things were going so WELL!!  Cooper ate his pills which were covered in that nasty pill pocket stuff and we went for a walk.  Yay ... he's getting better.  We got about 50 feet and I had to carry him back.  Boo ... he's NOT getting better.

The good news was that he slept on the couch next to me all morning long with NO tranquilizer.  Yay!!  Until I tried to sneak off to brush my teeth.  He chewed on his hip and now has another little hole.  BOO!!!  It's like taking care of a 2 year old.  You can't leave them for two seconds.  And so the Cone of Shame was instituted on his little head.  Two steps forward, one step back I guess.

Here's the every morning lineup ... and it's always a big fight with the dog who is not motivated by food one little bit.  There is nothing he will eat with relish that can disguise the pills.  They taste bad.  Don't ask me how I know.

The T-shirt didn't work very well ... he just pulled it up and chewed away.  Big sigh!!

I'm pretty sure I used up all my internet data in the first three days while sitting bored to death on the couch.  Oh I have an unlimited plan, but that doesn't mean they can't throttle you back.  If it weren't for that, I'd probably go nuts right along with Cooper.

These bread recipes have been rolling around the web for some time now, so I thought I might try one out.  My mom and I made all of the bread we ate on the ranch because trips to the store were few and far between.  We made everything from scratch ... cakes, angle food cake, bread, butter, jam ... practically everything we ate, so I'm familiar with the process.  Oh yes, I was the turner of the butter churn.

This idea of mix it up, do NOT knead, and bake in a stew pot was pretty foreign to me.  What the heck ... let's try it!

Flour, yeast, salt and water.  That's it.  Quickly mix it up in a big bowl.  It's really sticky, making it rather hard to mix, but I persevered.  Let it rise for 3 hours.

They left out one very important part.  Do not let it rise in the SAME bowl.  Transfer it to a GREASED bowl so you don't spend 15 minutes trying to extricate it from the pot it has become glued to with something akin to Gorilla Glue.  

After three hours, heat your oven to 450.  Yeah, that's a problem since my ovens don't come anywhere near what it says they are.  I set it to 500 and hoped for the best.  Plop the bread on a piece of parchment paper and drop it in the pot which you have already heated up in your oven.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 10 minutes more.

It wasn't done.  Here's how you tell.  You give it a really big THUNK with your middle finger and thumb and listen for the hollow sound.  This sounded like a rock I dropped from ten feet.  Nope ... not done.  It's a delicate balance ... cook too long and the crust is really thick and chewy.

At long last it LOOKED good ... so I took it out to cool.  If you are making bread, you always let it cool down almost completely before slicing.  I admit, the texture isn't great.  Maybe next time I should actually try to knead it a tad ... BUT ... this is RUSTIC bread.  That's my excuse anyway.

Time for a taste test.  I have an ulterior motive here ... I'm hoping for a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner.  Won't that be fabulous on homemade bread??

First bite with a bit of butter of course.  Hmmmm ... not bad.  Not bad at all.  The crust is a little chewy due to the temperature not being quite right, but it's really quite tasty for flour and water.  

The real test was the grilled cheese sandwich I was patiently waiting for.  OH YEAH .... Just LOOK at that baby!!!  The taste test here wasn't quite as good as it looked.  Oh the bread was delicious ... but the cheese completely melted into the bread and could barely be tasted.  

It didn't matter one bit.  There's not much better than fried bread and butter.  The other good thing ... it's really a small loaf, so it will disappear in a flash and I won't be eating it for 6 months like everything else.  Just for kicks, next time I'll try that gluten free flour.  Even better, this cost pennies and not the $5.00 a loaf you see in the store.

No, Cooper did not get a bite, although that IS an idea ... maybe he will eat his pills if I smush them in a piece of bread.  

In spite of everything, the Cone of Shame came off and he finally went to sleep on the couch.  Sleep is good ... it gives me time to relax and not watch him every second.  I'm hoping for an improved day on this day EIGHT of the infection ... which is looking better and better, you just can't tell it by Cooper's crazy actions.  

We will be BACK on the couch!!!

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Square Nails ... That's OLD!

 Four days of sitting on the couch doing nothing.  It's pretty boring, but I just can't trust this little guy not to chew on his hip.  He remains much quieter if he can lay beside me, so that's what we do. I have used the collar on occasion, but am a little leery of him jumping off the couch with it at 14 years of age.  

SO ... I scrounged through my drawers and came up with an old camisole that was no way EVER going to fit me again.  A little sewing here and there and VOILA!!  A T-shirt that he tolerated much better than I thought he would.  FINALLY ... the frantic jumping around has slowed.

It is actually healing up with lots of neosporin and is nowhere near as RED as it was.  The spots are old man age spots.  Hopefully he will be back to normal SOON!!!  It is surprising just how strong his jaws are when you are trying to stuff a pill down his throat twice a day.

Just for kicks, on the way back from the vet, I drove by the old ranch.  This is where I spent most of my life growing up.  I was looking for the 100-tree eucalyptus grove that surrounded it, all over 150 feet tall.  I drove right past this place before I realized THAT was the ranch.  Sorry for the dirty windshield!

I was in complete shock!  Almost every tree was GONE!  Even as I stared at the house, I didn't recognize it at all.  Everything is gone ... the fences, the trees, the yard, the fuel tanks ... even all the ditches have been filled in.  Previously, you could not see the house from this view because of the trees.

This is the old quonset hut I have mentioned before.  It's where we parked the small tractors and mowers, and it's where we stored the cattle grain and salt.  We used to sneak in and eat the salt.  All of those big front doors slide open sideways.

As I turned down the road and looked back, I saw all the tree stumps lining the canal.  That was our swimming pool as a kid, and where we played with the dead carp at the end of irrigation season.  What a shock it was to see this.  I just can't believe it.

The house looks so small.  I lived here from about 1954 to 19-something when I moved out and my parents built a new house for them just past the barn.  Shortly after, I moved back in.  This is a two story house with a bedroom and large attic on the second floor.  The stairs were very steep and barely wide enough to climb up.

This house was made with square nails, it's that old.  The internet says they quit using square nails in the late 1800's.  I'm not sure the house is that old, but all the 2 x 4's and framing were hand hewn.  You could see the axe marks in the wood.  THIS is where I learned how to reroof a house.  I spent many hours up top tearing off the original roof, which is how I know it was all put together with square nails.  

The large section to the right with the fireplace chimney ... that was added on some time in the 80's.  Jonathan was born and raised in the kitchen, which was the largest room.  I say large, but really, the entire original house was maybe 20' wide by 35' long.

Between the house and the barn were an amazing set of corrals, perfect for working cattle.  I was so sad to see everything gone.  No freezer house where we stored all our meat and home canned vegetables, no loading chute for the cattle, no scales to weigh the cattle ..... nothing.  The corrals covered the space between the road where I am, and the back of the barn.  

Although it looks attached, the second structure on the left has a driveway between it and the barn.  That's the saddle house, and where the caterpillar was kept out of the weather.  The saddle house was of course the Jail where the Sheriff put the bad guys.

Inside the barn was a long rope attached to a sliding hook used to lift hay into the barn using horse power.  That's what we used to swing on out the top door and over the feed trough inside.  Oh the memories.  If you got hurt, you never mentioned it because we were not allowed to DO that!!

So so sad to see it in this terrible shape.  I guess everything disappears over time, but this is heartbreaking.  The ranch is now used for farming tomatoes and cotton.

This is the house my parents built after we sold all the cattle and switched over to growing rice.  That's a story for another day.  You can tell it's a farm house because the entire left half of it is a garage and repair shop.  I lived here after both my parents passed away.  This is where I was going to live the rest of my life until my brother (who lived in the other house) decided he was moving away and the ranch had to be sold.  That's yet another story.

Further on down the road as you look back at the ranch houses, for as far as you can see was pasture for the cattle.  It was 640 acres of beautiful green where I acquired my addiction to running.  I would spend hours after work, just running the perimeter of the fields.

So that's the end of an era I suppose.  Raising cattle is now the occupation of big corporations who bought out all the little guys.  In this entire area, which used to be huge cattle country, only dairies remain ... also owned by big corporations.  Life moves on I guess ... but it's kind of sad to see.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Progress .....

Hello Blogger ... I see you have changed your format back to the old way!  Just when I figure out how to go with the flow, you change directions once again.  

Nights are good.  Not that I sleep much because I'm waking up every hour to check on Mr. Mr. to make sure he's not chewing.  If I move around much, I get THE GROWL that tells me to lay STILL!  That's a good sign that he's feeling a bit better.  It's funny how many habits he picked up from Miss Jessie.  That was the first one and it seems to be pretty lasting.

 He's still freaked out about the "feeling" and probably the itching.  I really didn't want to put on the cone of shame and lock him up, so I scrounged through my closet to come up with this .... pantyhose.  It fit perfectly, but didn't last long.  If anything is touching the spot, he's even MORE uncomfortable.

Scratch the onesie idea.  

Another half a tranquilizer and he slept for about three hours.  Ahhhhhhhhh ....  Unfortunately, another problem raised its ugly head.  When you sit on the couch all day long, you play with your phone ALL DAY LONG.  By the end of the day my thumb was killing me.  Next morning, it was even worse.  

Being the old cowgirl that I am (we always did our own doctoring of cattle and horses), I used some of that cortisone on my hand.  Wow ... that stuff works really GOOD!!  You would probably be surprised by all the cattle and horse medicines we used on ourselves when we were sick.  It was much cheaper than going to the Doctor.

Cooper sleeping gave me a few minutes here and there to work on the latest quilt.  All these little squares .....

will eventually become this.  I didn't get far because if I turn my back for two seconds, Cooper will try to bite and scratch.  I've tried neosporin, cortisone and some anti-itch cream, but nothing seems to work.  The good news is the antibiotics are working.  It's not NEAR as red or angry looking, but progress is slow.

I had to leave at noon for a meeting on the Father's Day Breakfast, so I slipped the cone on his head, told myself he would be just fine, and ran out the door, hoping to be gone just an hour.  Good grief ... traffic from the freeway repair gone wild was epic.  Apparently they diverted ALL the freeway traffic on to the highway I take to town.  

If you were in Arizona, some nice person would slow down and let you in.  Not so in California.  It was 15 minutes before I could make my only left hand turn.  I sat at the stop light through three changes before I even got close.  Guess I better find an alternative route.

Once the meeting was over after overwhelming the newest person in charge with the five item menu that turns into 20 items by the time you are done, I headed back home.  I had other errands, but instead just raced back home to Mr. Cooper.  He was of course fine as frogs hair (that's pretty fine) and barked like crazy.

Out the door we went with the ball, but it didn't last long.  He suddenly remembered the spot and got THE LOOK yet again.  It kills my heart.  It also reminds me that I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was in high school, but my dreams were crushed when the schools said NO WOMEN ALLOWED.  No kidding, women were not allowed to take any of the classes required.  It sure would have come in handy this last week.

On the way home, I decided to make a quick trip by the ranch, just to see how much it had changed.  Boy was I shocked.  I didn't recognize ANYTHING.  I'll post some pictures tomorrow.  In the meantime, I'm back on the couch with Mr. Cooper.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Where's The Tequila!!

 It's probably a good thing I never had children.  I would not have survived the first cold or flu incident.  I'm pretty sure I get more worked up than Mr. Cooper.  Lucky for me this doesn't happen very often.  

So here we are at the FIRST Vets office, where I got some antibiotics for the ugly infection on his hip.  No pictures, as it would ruin your breakfast.  I didn't see it at all until I gave him a haircut.

Nice waiting room, yes?  This is where I used to take all my horses for teeth floating and hoof care.  Apparently that owner sold out completely and moved to Florida.  Smart guy.  That means the Vets here are all fairly new.  Because Cooper was so agitated and literally would not sit still, she gave me an anxiety pill for him.  I was tempted to take it myself, since I was a wreck.

There's nothing worse than looking at this little face knowing he's in so much pain and discomfort.  The spot is about 2 inches around and probably VERY itchy.

Yesterday morning, it was worse than ever ... REALLY bad!!  Poor baby jumped around on the couch every two seconds.  Mom went into panic mode again and frantically called every Vet in town.  Luckily I got ahold of my usual place and they let me go right in.

I don't know where they got THIS new Lady Vet, but she is hilarious ... a kick in the pants!!  She checked him out and said it wasn't really as bad as it looked.  Keep the collar on him so he won't bite at it ... and as you can tell, I follow directions really well ... and get a baby onesie from Walmart. 

WHAT?  I laughed while she described putting in on backwards so his tail could stick out and he couldn't chew the spot.  Okay ... but what about the fact that he cannot sit still for two seconds.  Literally.  Is there something we can put on it to lessen the itching?

She said she would give me some cortisone cream and a tranquilizer.  Is that for me or the dog?  The dog she said.  Have you got a tranquilizer for ME??  That's what Tequila is for she said!!  I'm going to the store today.

After getting some pill pockets along with another bill .. this time half as much ... we went home where I geared up for the stuff-the-pill-down-the-throat fight.  Not being food motivated, there is nothing you can give him to take pills with.

To my amazement, he ate that pill pocket like a champ while I smeared a good dose of cortisone cream on the spot.  He went to sleep in a few minutes and slept for about four hours.  YAY!!  When he woke up, he even played with the ball for a few minutes.  SUCCESS!!

Today it looks much better, though he still jumps every couple of minutes like he got stuck with a pin.  Maybe a little more tranq so he will sleep through the worst of it today.  

As for me, I think I need some groceries at the store.  You know, the BIG store with the BIG liquor aisle.  Maybe a bottle or five of wine!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

The Magic Kingdom

 Sooooooo ... I'm up and alive ... and still able to tell you about the tales of the Magic Kingdom of Bingo.  But first, let's get very confused about how to upload images.  Blogger has chosen to change the way it does stuff once again.  Just when you finally get used to the old way, they change it.  

ANYWAY ... we interrupt this programming to tell you about a little hiccup along the way.  This is Mister Cooper in a place I don't think you have seen him before.

Yessirree ... this is the only Emergency Vet within 50 miles of my house.  Mr. Cooper and I made the frantic long trip yesterday morning when he went absolutely ballistic.  There is nothing worse than having your best buddy in the whole world with a medical problem they can't tell you about.  

I'll finish this story tomorrow because he is okay ... or at least he will be.  It's a weird one.

Back to the Magic Kingdom ... I barely made it in time, having just gotten back from the Vet.  Thanks to my Fairy Godmother Jackie, all my stuff was completely set up and ready to go.  I wasn't too worried, since this week of the month is always slow.  

This weeks story is all about what I call stretchy pants.  You know, the tights of old that they now call "leggings".  They have had several names over the many years of my life, but they have always been stretchy pants to me.

If you are a jealous-invoking 135 pound female, they look fabulous.  So trendy and slimming, and probably VERY comfortable.  Truly, if you are under 200 pounds, they still look really cute with a long top.  Especially nice for us old gals that like something comfortable.  I'm with ya on that one!!

On the other hand, if you are 250 pounds, stretchy pants may not be the haute couture you were looking for.  Truly, I'm not being catty here ... just realistic.  If you are over 300 pounds ... PLEASE do not wear stretchy pants.  Try as I might to remain neutral, I just KNOW the look on my face probably reflects that thought.

We had several instances of that little oversight last night.  To make it more uncomfortable for me, the 300 pound stretchy pants had an even tighter top TUCKED IN to the infamous stretch pants.  I just smile, since I don't want to hurt ANYONES feelings.

Nothing can top that, I thought ... until the next gal in line stepped up.  Over 300 pounds in a WHITE STRETCHY ONESIE was more than I could fathom.  Where can you even BUY something like that?  I felt bad for her because I knew I was not the ONLY one with those thoughts.  If only I could have that state of mind, because I look in the mirror every one of the five times I change clothes before leaving the house, to make sure nothing is hanging out and I look presentable.

Things actually went along quite nicely until I left, which was right after the games began.  I cannot thank Mary enough for taking over my job so I could go home to check on Mr. Cooper, who was stuffed into a very small kennel to keep him from moving around.  I was extremely worried about him ... but alas, when I got in the door, he was barking at me like crazy.  That was definitely a good sign.  

I'm exhausted now, mostly from worry, so I'll relate the rest of that story tomorrow.  We will be cuddling on the couch all day today.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023


COOPER ... Where ARE you???  No one is better at hiding when it's time for a trim than my little kid Cooper.  I try to fake him out ... wash my hands and lay the town down on the table.  I throw some stuff in the washing machine while getting out the clippers.  None of these fakes do any good whatsoever.  The nose knows ... and he melts into a pile of jelly.

The poor kid has been traumatized twice when younger and needing a haircut.  That's why you see piles laying on my counter because now I do it myself.  I have no training whatsoever, other than pruning my horses for shows.  I admit, they came out a little better than Cooper.  It's all that twisty weird fur-hair he has.  This is actually a really big pile!!

Once done, he pouts.  I do take him outside for a quick run-around, then he gets a treat, but the next hour is spent sitting on the couch with his back turned.  I've had lots of different kinds of dogs over the years, but never one like this.  

He's probably telling Jonathan what a horrible dog Mom I am.  At least he will be a little cooler in our 90 degree days.  You can see Jonathan on the far right, along with the photography stand and his heater.  Exotic birds have to be kept warm in the winter, around 80 degrees.  Since I don't keep my house that warm, he gets his own ceramic heater.  I know ... spoiled!!

Surprisingly, I wasn't too sore from running, so I got to work cleaning Jon's cage.  THIS is why you don't let parrots run around outside their cage.  This is about three days worth of wood chunks he gets to chew on in order to keep his beak at a length where he can eat.  Any longer and they will starve to death because they can't pick up and hold anything.  

If you let them out and don't keep an eagle eye on them, your furniture will look like this.  Yes, I'm constantly running to Home Depot to buy more wood.  No one ever said parrots were cheap and easy keepers.

Here's a first .... every morning while waiting for the sun to rise, I play crosswords on my phone.  It takes some thinking, and usually proves my memory is not what it used to be.  "I know that word ... what is it?" And of course with thousands of players, I never expect to win, other than to keep the squeaking of rusty bolts in my brain from keeping me awake at night.

Surprise!!  The next week I was 45th!  LOL

I'm still working on the sprinklers, and was surprised to find this in my back yard.  I actually have flowers blooming!!!  It's weird though, those honeysuckle (least that's what I think they are) do not smell much this year.  

The gardeners showed up while I was out and I asked them to prune the roses.  There is always a lot of hand waving .. kind of like charades.  They speak VERY little English and I speak NO Spanish.  I walk over and pretend to prune them .... he just shakes his head.  Finally he gets it, until I say they can do just a few today and the rest next week.

OK ... NEXT WEEK he says, GOT YOU MOMMA!  I just go inside shaking my head.  

After much scrounging through all the boxes, I've settled on this new quilt.  It was two hours of cutting up fabric before I discovered my mistake.  It said to cut FIVE squares ... I cut FIVE STRIPS.  Big sigh!!!  I think I need a few more crossword puzzles.  Then as I began the sewing, I read "Draw a diagonal line on each square".  

Oh my aching back ..... there are 396 squares!!!  Whoever said quilting was FUN?  So I sat on the couch marking every one while watching the latest rodeo, with Cooper's back still turned to me.  Even a snack would not deter him today.

My plan now is to head out for another run.  My back isn't all that happy, but I'm hoping it will get stronger quickly ... after all, I'm going to need it to sit up on that stool for five hours tonight. 


Monday, May 22, 2023

Running Makes You Feel Good

 Some mornings I wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed.  I think the last time that happened was in 2012.  Even though I wake up really early, it seems to be getting harder and harder to get moving.  I don't even open my eyes until I find the light switch.

Why get up so early?  Because there's a little white fluffy kid staring me down and sneezing right in my face.  That usually brings out five or six sneezes of my own ... and we are awake!!

Most mornings I slide out of bed and roll around on the floor a lot, listening to all the cracks and pops while trying to limber up enough to get to the door.  SO ... lets go for a run!!!

Running makes you feel good.  That's a lie.  Running is an addiction that never goes away.  It's always in the back of your mind ... I should run today.  I need to run today.  Come on, let's run today.  On this particular morning, I accidentally stepped on the scales.  Oh the words that came out of my mouth.  OK ... I guess we are running today.

I put on my running gear, and by the time I get to the socks, Cooper goes ballistic.  He loves nothing more ... not even his ball ... than going outside and heading down the road to smell the smells and water all the neighbors plants.

After fifteen minutes, he goes back in the house.  Otherwise, by the time we get to the end of this street, I'm carrying him.  Too bad I don't have someone to carry ME!  By the way, when I say run, I don't really mean that literally.  It's more like jogging as far as I can go while concentrating on breathing.  It's not hard because you suck down air like you are starving for it after the first 50 feet.  

Here's everything you never wanted to know about running.  At first, you run out of breath, so you walk.  After awhile, you find you can keep running if you take a big deep breath.  It seems to open up your lungs and now feels like you can run forever.  This happens at about the 75 foot mark.

That's when the pain starts in your legs.  No one ever said running feels good.  Your lungs are working nicely, but now your legs start to burn and you've only gone 100 feet.    Keep going ... keep going ... ok, I'm done.  I walk for 50 feet, then pick up the pace and run again.

Along the way I ran into the peacock.  This time he had his feathers completely spread out.  WHAT A BEAUTY!!!  I took two steps towards him to get a picture and he instantly put them down.  Sadly, I haven't seen any females in the pens, so he must be spreading out looking for another mate.  Boy was he strutting his stuff!!

More running while I admire everyone's plants that are blooming nicely while mine die, and I double check the fences for dogs.  I remind myself that I really should bring along my running water bottle, because by now my mouth is as dry as the Arizona desert.  I also wonder if that's really a good idea since at our age we shouldn't drink too much water away from the closest bathroom.  

About this time your mind begins to wander to old marathons and running the hills of San Francisco when you weighed MUCH less.  

And THAT is what brought about .... once again .... the infamous DIET.  If only you would weigh two pounds less every time you went out for a run, but NOOOOOO.  So I finally made it back to the house, albeit going a whole lot slower than when I started out.  

I park in front of the fan I put in the doorway to bring in some cool morning air.  Although I felt like I ran at least ten miles, turns out it was only 2.3.  This definitely won't be an every day thing.  Even in the old days, my routine was always to only run three days a week, with heal-up days in between.  Boy am I going to need that now.

Sufficiently cooled down and now STARVING, I went back to sewing this binding while I contemplated what a diet breakfast should look like.  GUESS WHAT!!

It's DONE!!!  I'm so excited to finally have it on my bed, if only for five minutes.  I took it off because it's obviously too hot to use in this heat.  Maybe come next DECEMBER, I'll get to put it back on the bed.

I finally downloaded a diet log app just to see what the problem was with my eating.  YIKES!!  Come to find out just two ice cream bars add up to what my calorie count should be.  Oh this is not good ... not good at all.  Maybe if I only eat salad for the next three months, I can get away with eating ice cream?

A very satisfying day it was, until I added up all those calories.  Oh Momma ... my diet needs a major overhaul.  I'm certainly not giving away all that ice cream I have in the freezer, but every time I want one, I'm going to step on the scales first!!  

Decision made ... it's salad for breakfast!!