Blessing? Or a Curse!

 

More than a few times over the last couple of years I have meandered into my kitchen immediately panicked by the sight of a smoke-filled room, who wouldn’t?  As soon as the initial fear subsided, I realized it was smoky but didn’t smell like smoke.  Fooled again.  Damn cataracts.

I learned that cloudy drinking glasses were not a sign of a dishwasher misbehaving but rather another telltale sign that eye surgery was imminent.

Prior to my surgeries I cleaned like company was coming.  Knowing my perfect vision would reveal all the dust bunnies, (who am I kidding, I could build a dog with all the hair I find daily in certain corners of my fur-laden house) and other ‘imperfections’ lying in wait.

After each surgery I couldn’t see anything clearly.  My eyes were dilated for days.  First, I had surgery on my right eye.  Unfortunately, the operation didn’t take.  That is to say my new super-fancy-expensive lens that was supposed to fix my astigmatism causing ‘visionary’ woes took a turn for the worse.  Also known in the medical community as: “It shifted”.  No problem, my doctor said.  Instead of fixing your left eye we will just do surgery on your right eye…again!  Oh, goody.  A couple days later, the doctor operated on the left eye.

Well it’s been two weeks.

I can see!!!!  Out of both eyes!!!  I don’t mean to overuse exclamation points but this is a BIG DEAL.

Since my surgery we have painted our house and fences, well, we had professionals do it.   I wasn’t able to do much the first week, but now I’m on ‘light duty’ and have cleaned windows, painted base boards, scrubbed and dusted like nobody’s business.  Yes, that is considered ‘light duty’, to me anyway.

Everyday I see a new spot to clean, it’s inspiring.  The TV looks AMAZING! The picture is so bright and clear.   Today I noticed some of my favorite politicians and television personalities are sporting a bunch of wrinkles I never saw before. Fortunately, they are not alone.  I too have a bunch of cracks I didn’t know about.  Oh well, it’s only going to get worse😊

I may be all wrinkled up and look terrible, up close and far away, but my house is gonna look GREAT!

And that’s all that really matters.  Great vision is definitely a blessing and a curse.

 

Power to the people

Our local electric company is doing a “little” work on some power lines. Even though we have solar power, we are still beholdin’ to the doings of Southern California Edison as our ultimate Lord-Of-The-Power.

A few days over the last week we have been without normal or any power. Saturday morning, just as a crew of painters arrived to paint our house, (that’s another story, first paint job in 20 years!) our power was…..strange. I thought it was due to our ongoing personal out-in-the-country-home electric issues, but now I believe it was SCE, the little dickens! A surprise attack of sorts. A prelude to future fun and games.

On Saturday morning, around 6:30 AM, some areas of our property had no power while other areas had half power. Our patio market lights had two lit bulbs and 15 or so unlit bulbs – weird. Anyhoo, miraculously all the power came back on full strength just as the painters hooked up their power paint sprayer and power washer, emphasis on the word ‘power’. Thank you, Jesus! I gotta admit I was a little panicky, not at the thought of major electrical issues, but at the thought of my house not getting painted.

On Tuesday, our last day of house painting, the power went out again. This time it was scheduled to be off between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Fortunately, the painters started at 7:00 AM and had most of the power painting almost completed by the time we were power-less. The workers finished up the last of painting the old fashioned way: with brushes and rollers. Unfortunately for my 94 year old mom, my sister and me, it was over 100 degrees that day and we couldn’t run a fan let alone the air conditioner. That was pretty rough.

Anyhoo, that worked out ok, well, that is to say we all survived and it was great to have power on by 3:00. When the power was scheduled to go off on Friday, again from 10:00 to 5:00, I really wasn’t too worried, I’m proven tough, until 3:00 pm that is.

We ran out of water around 11:00 AM. We’re on a well and need electricity to run the pump. No pump, no water. No water, no flushing of the toilets, no doing of the dishes and no washing of the bedspread the cat barfed on, (or some other biological nonsense).

So, on that fateful Friday, Poor-Jim picked up 3 grandkids on his way home from work. They didn’t get home until 5:00. I didn’t panic cuz I knew the power would come back on at any second….. at 6:00 PM Poor-Jim drove down to where the SCE workers were working and they updated our 5:00 PM turn on time to 8:00 PM. I busted out all the battery operated candles and tried to make it fun for the kids. I BBQ’d dinner and piled up the dirty dishes.

At 9:00 Poor-Jim drove over to the “linemen-for-the-county” and got the next update, 9:30 PM to 10:00 PM. The power came on at 10:15 PM.

I put a thermometer in the fridge about 8:00 PM… 65 degrees.

I threw everything out on Saturday.

So, here’s the good part. I had a ton of battery candles, and batteries, some battery operated twinkle lights (so we could find the now water-less toilet) and a battery operated spotlight. I AM A SURVIVALIST, sorta.

We didn’t have air conditioning, lights, internet, television or toilets that flush. We were without most of the modern creature comforts my grandkids have NEVER been without and are quite used/addicted to. It was like camping…sorta. If you were spontaneously catapulted into a really hot, toiletless tent.

Ironically, it was my sister Teri’s last night here before going back to Colorado, where they apparently have a lot of power and water. I had a lot of fun activities planned, unfortunately they included watching sad dog movies, showers and flushing toilets, (basic necessities to you pantywaist-non-survivalists).

Plan B, we used the spotlight to illuminate our UNO cards and played cards until one by one each grand baby passed out. Aunt Teri soothed herself with wine to cover up her lack of sad dog movies and a shower.

All in all, I will never forget the day Southern California Edison took the Power away from these People. We may have missed a shower or two, maybe lived without lights and movies. But thank God we had UNO and WINE.

The End.

P.S.

The power goes out again tomorrow. I bought a generator.

Power to the People!

Our local electric company is doing a “little” work on some power lines. Even though we have solar power, we are still beholdin’ to the doings of Southern California Edison as our ultimate Lord-Of-The-Power.

A few days over the last week we have been without normal or any power. Saturday morning, just as a crew of painters arrived to paint our house, (that’s another story, first paint job in 20 years!) our power was…..strange. I thought it was due to our ongoing personal out-in-the-country-home electric issues, but now I believe it was SCE, the little dickens! A surprise attack of sorts. A prelude to future fun and games.

On Saturday morning, around 6:30 AM, some areas of our property had no power while other areas had half power. Our patio market lights had two lit bulbs and 15 or so unlit bulbs – weird. Anyhoo, miraculously all the power came back on full strength just as the painters hooked up their power paint sprayer and power washer, emphasis on the word ‘power’. Thank you, Jesus! I gotta admit I was a little panicky, not at the thought of major electrical issues, but at the thought of my house not getting painted.

On Tuesday, our last day of house painting, the power went out again. This time it was scheduled to be off between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Fortunately, the painters started at 7:00 AM and had most of the power painting almost completed by the time we were power-less. The workers finished up the last of painting the old fashioned way: with brushes and rollers. Unfortunately for my 94 year old mom, my sister and me, it was over 100 degrees that day and we couldn’t run a fan let alone the air conditioner. That was pretty rough.

Anyhoo, that worked out ok, well, that is to say we all survived and it was great to have power on by 3:00. When the power was scheduled to go off on Friday, again from 10:00 to 5:00, I really wasn’t too worried, I’m proven tough, until 3:00 pm that is.

We ran out of water around 11:00 AM. We’re on a well and need electricity to run the pump. No pump, no water. No water, no flushing of the toilets, no doing of the dishes and no washing of the bedspread the cat barfed on, (or some other biological nonsense).

So, on that fateful Friday, Poor-Jim picked up 3 grandkids on his way home from work. They didn’t get home until 5:00. I didn’t panic cuz I knew the power would come back on at any second….. at 6:00 PM Poor-Jim drove down to where the SCE workers were working and they updated our 5:00 PM turn on time to 8:00 PM. I busted out all the battery operated candles and tried to make it fun for the kids. I BBQ’d dinner and piled up the dirty dishes.

At 9:00 Poor-Jim drove over to the “linemen-for-the-county” and got the next update, 9:30 PM to 10:00 PM. The power came on at 10:15 PM.

I put a thermometer in the fridge about 8:00 PM… 65 degrees.

I threw everything out on Saturday.

So, here’s the good part. I had a ton of battery candles, and batteries, some battery operated twinkle lights (so we could find the now water-less toilet) and a battery operated spotlight. I AM A SURVIVALIST, sorta.

We didn’t have air conditioning, lights, internet, television or toilets that flush. We were without most of the modern creature comforts my grandkids have NEVER been without and are quite used/addicted to. It was like camping…sorta. If you were spontaneously catapulted into a really hot, toiletless tent.

Ironically, it was my sister Teri’s last night here before going back to Colorado, where they apparently have a lot of power and water. I had a lot of fun activities planned, unfortunately they included watching sad dog movies, showers and flushing toilets, (basic necessities to you pantywaist-non-survivalists).

Plan B, we used the spotlight to illuminate our UNO cards and played cards until one by one each grand baby passed out. Aunt Teri soothed herself with wine to cover up her lack of sad dog movies and a shower.

All in all, I will never forget the day Southern California Edison took the Power away from these People. We may have missed a shower or two, maybe lived without lights and movies. But thank God we had UNO and WINE.

The End.

P.S.

The power goes out again tomorrow. I bought a generator.

Sometimes I hate People

I don’t think I ever despise animals. Well, not mine anyway. My dogs are not perfect, but there never seems to be an expectation of ‘perfect’. Sometimes I let my doggies out to do “their business” but God bless one of the five, he used to hold it until he came back inside. Not sure why, old age was a big part. I knew he was unaware of the nuisance, so it seemed futile to chastise him.

As some of you may know I am pretty much housebound. Which is not entirely horrible. I super love where and how I live. So rarely leaving home isn’t really a problem. I take care of my 94 mother, a couple grandkids a few days a week and a boatload of animals.

Once in a while mom needs to go into town to get her nails or hair done. Those outings are not exactly….easy. Wheelchair, ramps, the scary trip down the ramp with mom clinging for dear life to the wheelchair while yelling out grunts, screams and animal-in-pain sounds, the bumpy ride to the car and finally hoisting her 90 pound frame into the car that seems like it gets higher every time she needs to get in or out. Needless to say, I normally try to avoid leaving unless its a life or death situation, AKA mom needs to get beautified.

My husband, Poor-Jim is on summer vacation and my sister Teri is visiting from Colorado. Teri and I started a diet right after she got here. Together we need to loose about a zillion pounds. They say there is strength in numbers. And since we have a lot of numbers to loose, we may as well try to do this together. This has created the Perfect Storm. Freedom for me to travel Mom-Free whilst attempting to cut out soy, grains, dairy and the motherload of all attitude adjusters, wine.

A couple of days ago Teri and I traveled to Hobby Lobby in search of a couple goodies. I needed a frame for a beautiful painting of my Guinea Fowl and Teri, (the super crafty one of us) needed thread and some sewing stuff I have no idea how to use or what it’s called.

Teri headed off to no-mans land, (sewing notions) while I found unexpected joy in my rare opportunity of solitude perusing the dozens of aisles full of amazing things I have no use or space for, until my blissful shopping excursion was abruptly interrupted by the sound of a woman checking out fabrics in the part of the store I would NEVER find myself browsing. Unfortunately the fabric area is adjacent to the galvanized metal cake stands and I was forced against my will to overhear the fabric lady’s conversation with her friend.

At first I thought it was two loudmouth gals blabbing up a storm, when after a couple seconds I realized one ‘loudmouth’ was only present via the dreaded speaker phone. So, problem one, the one real lady was talking way too loud on her stupid cell phone, ( I long for the pre-cell phone days) but to make matters worse, problem two, she was having a conversation with her blabber-buddy at full volume for all to enjoy.

Although her friends planned trip to Catalina Island getting cancelled should have been of the utmost importance to me and any other shoppers, it was not. Not to me anyway.

I was getting super annoyed, as their conversation seemed to never end. And, I swear, it got increasingly louder. Not only did I find it incredibly boring, I found her lack of manners subjecting me to this mundane nonsense inexcusable. I looked around to see if anyone else looked irritated. But there wasn’t any one around, for MILES! I guess I am in the majority for avoiding the sewing section.

I spotted a Hobby Lobby clerk lady and asked her if they had rules against obtrusive rude behavior. She said no, but she wasn’t a fan of the cell blabbers either.

Well, it looked like I was alone. No Hobby Lobby Calvary to come to my rescue. So, with all the composure I could muster up, I quietly approached the blabber. I said: “Excuse me…..excuse me” she said, rudely: “I AM ON THE PHONE!” No kidding. She was irritated that I would interrupt her while she was clearly on the phone.

I said: “I know you are on the phone, that’s the problem. I don’t want to hear your conversation. I don’t want to hear one side, let alone both sides! ” Just then, her blabber-buddy chimed in: “Oh my God! Tell her to mind her own business!” I said: “I’d like to mind my own business, but unfortunately I am being forced to hear all about your friends trip to Catalina and you getting all you chores done.”

The blabber-buddies hung up, thank you Jesus!!!

I don’t think I have ever approached a rude person quite like that before. I think the combination of not being around people I am not related to and being on a diet caused me to hit my breaking point.

I would never chastise an innocent animal for crapping on my clean floor, in other words, for being “unaware of the nuisance”. That being said, look out you Cell-Phone-Speaker-Blabbers, If I catch you out there in public crapping on my shopping tranquility, I’m going to give you a the last piece of my mind!

The impetus

Gophers! They are Killin’ Me!

well…. my tomato plants.

Left the baby tomatoes and ate the roots!

This poor tomato plant was about an inch tall when I planted it. After a few months, it grew to about 3 feet tall and loaded with future tomatoes. I noticed it looked a little wilted the other day. Then upon closer inspection, I realized the problem. No roots. None. The horrible gopher, or gophers ate all of some plants, roots, stems, leaves. So we installed a hot wire around the plants. It worked great, kept the critters off the plants, but not off the roots.

I consider myself an animal lover, but this is WAR! The gophers are welcome to the rest of our 5 acres, but they need to leave my garden alone. I busted out my field camera so I could catch them in in act. I originally bought it to see if predators were attempting to get into my chicken coop, when and how. Since we got Miss Sugar and Baby Biscuit predators have been a non-issue, so the camera has not been needed.

I got out the field camera and quickly realized I had forgotten how to operate it. I pride myself on not saving stuff, fortunately I saved the box it came in as well as the instructions. Unfortunately, the two sets of instructions I so fastidiously saved were in a foreign language. Both of them! Truth be told, for the first 2 hours I tried to work the camera without looking at directions. When it was obvious I couldn’t make it work on my own I decided to break down and look at instructions. A lot of good they did.

I finally figured it out. I set it up right in front of the last two ‘salsa garden’ tomato plants, as well as the last surviving jalapeno plant. I could hardly wait to see what my motion sensor camera had captured. Rabbits? Gophers? MOLES? What ever they are. Anyway, I didn’t see any wild animals. Nothing, except a bunch of pictures of my feet when I was watering.

I feel mildly victorious in my reclaimed field camera skills, well my ability to take random pictures of my feet anyway. Maybe the gophers are camera shy. Hot wire, field camera, who know’s I’ll take all the help I can get:)

Dear Diary…

So, yesterday I was doing ‘mindless’ chores and my mind wandered. I was thinking about my blog. The one I haven’t had time for.

Anyway, I was thinking, a blog is sorta like a grown-up diary. If you didn’t post or posted anonymously it would be just like a diary. Writing about your daily activities or deepest thoughts and dreams. Things you’re proud of, things your ashamed of. In my case, at least today, I will post.

I am recovering from taking care of and finding homes for my 7 puppies. It was a full time job. Taking care of my mom and the other 35 animals seemed like a part time job compared to the puppies.

They were so precious, well, they still are:) It was a lot like being a new mom, only with 7 babies and 10 years into menopause. Let’s just say it aint natural to have 7 babies when Mother Nature has decided you may no longer be a mama. I think it was easier when I was 25 because I was young and stupid. The older I get the more I worry. I don’t drink and drive and I don’t put newborn puppies in the garage. I put them in my master bathroom. I cleaned it until it could have been used as an operating room. When the puppies woke up, I woke up. When Sugar needed to go out, I let her out. When she needed to come in, I let her in. I had to keep all the other dogs and cats away from the bathroom so Sugar wouldn’t be tempted to kill them. She wasn’t aggressive, but you never know what a protective mom will do if she feels a threat. I’m really not sure how Sugar, (the real mom) could have managed without me!

After a month I decided they were old enough to move into the garage. They literally outgrew my bathroom. So, they needed to be moved. I cleaned the garage, set up a safe-zone and created a fenced in outdoor area that they could play and potty in during the day. At night they were locked in the safe-zone of the garage. Every morning I cleaned up the poop-fest, fed, watered and loved up my precious babies. Sugar was pretty much finished with them a few days after they were moved into the garage.

I moved every towel, (about 25) that weren’t bright white into the puppy land. I changed them hourly. I did so much laundry I wore out my washer and dryer. The puppies left a couple weeks ago and the new washer and dryer arrive tomorrow. I think Poor Jim is getting tired of going to the Laundromat.

I didn’t expect finding the right homes for the precious angels would be so laborious. I had to learn how to work Craigslist, after a month of posting, I still don’t really know how it works, but it managed to get the word out.

I really connected with certain people and did not connect with others. Needless to say, the right people got a puppy. I didn’t expect to become so close with some of the new family’s. I get photos every day. Some times they are pictures of the puppies, some are pictures of the puppies with kids. Some are just pictures of the family’s.

I miss them so much, but I am truly happy they all found AMAZING homes. I cried when they were born, I cried at the thought of loosing them and I cried every time another one left. But the worst cry was the morning I had to clean up their garage-safe-zone. I felt the most overwhelming sense of loss. I didn’t expect to feel that way. The entire experience was a constant stream of surprises. Then it just ended. One morning, there were no happy fur balls to greet me. Just an empty space.

I will be forever grateful to the people that were crazy excited to welcome our babies into their lives. Many cried with joy at first sight, they all thanked me for choosing them, I didn’t expect to get thank you notes, but I did. There are some fantastic people out there that I wouldn’t have gotten to know if it hadn’t been for Sugar and Baby Biscuit’s babies.

There were more people needing puppies than we could provide, so I contacted the lady we got Baby Biscuit from, (the daddy) and she helped a couple wonderful people find the companions they needed.

So, Dear Diary, Sorry it’s been so long since we talked. I was busy crying over a bunch of adorable puppies.

What a little rain can do

As most folks know Southern California has been in a drought for…..a billion years. Or, so it seems. This last ‘rainy’ season brought more rain than our dormant and super thirsty plants have seen in a long time. The hills that are normally brown and dry are bursting with color.

The California Poppies have been an incredible show of Mother Nature’s ability to spring back to life with just a few drops of water. Last year I don’t think my lilac bush, (looks more like a tree these days), was able to produce a single flower. Even with daily watering in the spring. Apparently it needed water in the winter. Who knew. It didn’t have any leaves so I thought it was hibernating for the winter.

Such a glorious time of year. I hate to be a pessimist, but all this beauty is going to get cooked this summer. Regardless of how much water I use, it’s inevitable, all the plants will take a beating. Only the strong will survive and they will look pretty sad.

That’s why I try to appreciate every flower both planted and growing wild. What I don’t appreciate are the weeds. Thanks to the rain, our weed population is at an all time high. A articularly obnoxious one is tall and full of thorns. When I take the goats for a walk I have to wear rain boots so I don’t get legs full of prickers!

I love the rain. I love the flowers. I Don’t love the prickers!!! And mosquitos!!! We’ve never had mosquitos. After the 2.4 inches of rain in February we have a zillion mosquitos. I don’t have sprinklers, I use a hose to water everything. When the water hits the plants, the mosquitos go flying. I need to make sure my mouth is shut when I water or I could eat a dozen mosquitos. No blabbing on the phone while watering. A girl could end up with a belly full of mosquitos.