I am so high!

And not in a good way.

I have always had really low blood pressure. Strangely, after only two years, nine months and 15 days taking care of my mom, I am noticing some adverse effects. I have gained at least 25 pounds, increased my alcohol consumption and just for kicks doubled my salt intake. If I start gambling, doing heroin and watching porn it’ll be all over. The worst part, I was supposed to LOSE 25 pounds. I went the wrong direction. Now I need to loose 25 pounds just to be fat.

I have stopped eating salt, sorta. I use a fraction of what I used to use when I am cooking. I have stopped adding any salt to my food once it’s cooked. No more Cup o’ Stroke for me, (Cup o’ Noodles to you laymen).

I remember just like it was yesterday…August 1978, laying in a hospital bed, minutes before I gave birth, the nurse took my blood pressure and asked my nearly 200 pound self if I was an athlete. I said; “Do I look like an athlete?” I think that was the last time someone asked if I was an athlete.

People talk about the Covid-19 being the cause of an newly found 19 pounds added to their frame. If being on a ‘stay-cation for a couple of months is an excuse for weight gain, then it’s a miracle after being housebound with my mom for 2 years, 9 months and 15 days I haven’t qualified to audition for My 600 Pound Life.

As soon as it’s not 100 degrees I am going to start taking little trips around the block. I’ll probably start off driving my car, work my way up to our ATV, (All Terrain Vehicle), on horseback and finally on foot.

Although, the horse would probably prefer I walk for a few months, then ride.

Just When………

Just when you think you know how something’s going to happen……

 

Birth and Death

Let’s start at the beginning, birth.  When I had my first daughter, I was three weeks overdue.   I read all the having-a-baby-books I could get my hands on so I would be well prepared for the blessed event.

Late one night I kept running to the bathroom, nothing.  Felt like I really needed to ‘go’, nothing.  I called my doctor and told him something was wrong with me.  He said, “Get to the hospital!!”  I did. A young orderly brought me a wheelchair, I told him I didn’t need one.  I explained it was a misunderstanding, my doctor made me come to the hospital, but I really wasn’t in labor, but I could use a bathroom.  The young man insisted I be driven to the maternity ward in style, so I obediently climbed aboard.

My then-husband Jack, kept saying he was going to tell all of our friends that I drug him out of bed in the middle of the night for no reason.

I said, it’s not my fault, I only wanted to go to the bathroom, the doctor made me go to the hospital.

They hooked me up to a machine that instantly confirmed that indeed I was in labor.  I guess the baby book writers left out the part where you feel like you need to use the restroom when you really need to deliver a baby.

Baby no. 2, also three weeks overdue.  I didn’t feel anything.  None of the back pains I read about, none of the front pains one could expect.  Nothing.  Went to the doctor, he said go home, pack a bag, meet me at the hospital.  I said, Ok, he was going to ‘jump start’ my labor with a drug called Pitocin.

After it kicked in in 5 or 20 hours the main event would begin, he said.   They ordered x-rays, weird I thought, I didn’t read about that in my many useless books.  Ok, whatever, I just wanted to get the show on the road.

The doctor came into my hospital room and said, Good news, Bad news.  The Bad news, the baby is breech.  Unfortunately I had just viewed an episode of Little House on the Prairie where a lady DIED from that!  The doctor reassured me that the x-ray showed the baby was “really” small and it would be no big deal.

They gave me a shot of Pitocin and 3 minutes, not 3 hours, later I was in labor.  Tina was born 10 minutes after I got the injection, she was 9 pounds not 6 and broke all the records for the largest breech birth in the hospital’s history.

The third little angel was supposed to be scheduled for delivery in February.  They planned it out because of the middle kiddo coming so fast they said I’d never make it to the hospital in time.  Heck, my doctor thought I might have her in my sleep, and not wake up.

My doctor had a vacation planned that began on February 7th, so we moved the original date up to the 6th.  Unfortunately for the baby, I had the 7th sorta stuck in my head.  It wasn’t until her 8th grade school project that involved a birth certificate that we all realized we had been celebrating her birthday on the wrong day her entire life, woops.  What kind of mom doesn’t know her own kid’s birthday?  That answer wasn’t in the baby books either!

Now for death.

The father of my girls, Jack came upon hard times.  Make no mistake, when we got a divorce I considered hiring a Mexican Mafia person to break his knees, it was a tumultuous divorce to say the least.  Lucky for Jack, I didn’t know any Mexican Mafia folks, so his knees were left intact.

Anyhoo, twenty years after our divorce Jack came to live with my husband Poor-Jim and me.  It’s not as weird as it sounds.  We have a guest house that isn’t attached to the real house so a person could live out there pretty independently.  Kitchen, bathroom, bed and TV.    I had long since stopped hating Jack.  He got sober and I found the friend I always knew was buried deep, deep, deep down inside.

Jack lived with us for 7 years.  The main problem is he always took Poor-Jim’s side and Jim always took Jack’s side.  It could have become an issue, but since I was ALWAYS right, it didn’t really matter what they thought.

The day Jack told me about the cancer I felt helpless but hopeful.  I did the only thing I knew how to do.  I sent him off to visit his buddy in Palm Springs for a couple of days.  With Jack out of the way, I invited daughter no. 1 over and we cleaned his room.  When he got home, he was speechless.  He loved how great it looked.  Unfortunately, we accidentally threw out all his hairbrushes.  They needed cleaning and we had run out of steam.

I had watched enough movies to know exactly how things would go.  He would beat the odds and live another decade, at least, to take Jim’s side against me.

I took him to every doctor’s appointment; I managed all his medication.  I went on a road trip with granddaughter no. 1 to his favorite place, the Grand Canyon.

 

The entire family took Jack to The Happiest Place on Earth, that was on a Thursday, the following Thursday his battle ended.

He loved Disneyland.  He came home DEMANDING we get an electric scooter, just like the one he drove on Disneyland’s sidewalks.  He wanted to drive it around our property.  We live on a farm full of animals and decomposed granite, and those are not conducive to sidewalk friendly vehicles, so that couldn’t happen.

I thought we would have weeks of bedside chats with family and friends like they do in the movies, at least days of them.

He was given Morphine for the horrendous pain he was in, took a nap and never woke up.

Back in the old days, I was ready to have Jack clobbered by the Mexican Mafia. The unexpected friend Poor-Jim and I came to love left us way too soon.

 

I think of the man that worked so hard to stay sober, He wanted to be an inspiration to people struggling with the same demons he struggled with, and give them hope.

 

He was an incredible asshole, that became an amazing man.

 

we miss him…

Why its hard taking care of mom

Why it’s not always fun taking care of Mom

 

Let me preface this with this: It is a gift to take care of my 95 year old mom every day. My sister did it for years when I was working.  She did a great job, even though mom didn’t always appreciate it.  Now it’s my turn.

If Mom was sent to a nursing home or to live with a nice family on a farm, I would be spared some of the adverse conditions of our daily routines but I would feel guilty that I wasn’t doing all I could for her.  I would constantly wonder how she was, if she was happy and well cared for.  In our current situation, old folks homes are a death trap, so that wouldn’t be good for anybody.  I can only imagine how it is for the seniors and their families knowing their loved one is trapped in a nursing home that has an overwhelming Covid death rate.  I’m sure the super high-end Ritz Carlton type nursing homes are super nice.  But the kind most people can afford, like my mom, had a horrible reputation before the Covid.  Nursing homes were notorious for the lack of care given to some of our most vulnerable.  Many seniors passed away before their time once they were put into a ‘home’.  My sister and I would NEVER have subjected our mother to that life or death.

As long as she is here with me, I know if she’s happy and I know if she’s being cared for.  So, the good news is, there is no mystery involved in this situation.  I know exactly how she’s being taken care of.  I am also acutely aware of how unhappy she is when she doesn’t get to have foods or drinks that make her sick.  And of course, that is exactly what she wants.

Personal hygiene

When she sees something in her diaper, she isn’t a fan of….. she puts about half a roll of toilet paper on top of the “situation” so she doesn’t see it.  Then changes her diaper and puts the ‘soiled’ diaper in the trash accompanied by half a roll of coveted toilet paper.

As you can imagine, using toilet paper at that pace, it is not a surprise that it would run out in no time.  The other day when mom ran out of toilet paper,  she used the paper towels I had stashed in the vanity.  That little decision can be a VERY costly plumbing repair, not to mention our septic system isn’t designed for paper towels.

So, even though it was nice have a couple of cleaning supplies in the vanity for emergency bio-hazard-clean ups, I removed the paper towels, Windex and Dow scrubbing bubbles.

One time, and only one time, I used Clorox Bleach Wipes to clean up the bathroom crime scene and stupidly left them in the vanity.

I removed them from the vanity when I realized mom was using them as toilet paper.  I’m not sure how great that is for a person’s private parts, but I know they’re not good for the plumbing.  I’ve heard of bleaching your nether regions, but I don’t think it’s acceptable to use Clorox Bleach Wipes.

I always tell her not to do things that are dangerous or unhealthy.  Like using poultry sheers to open up a bottle of 7-up.   Mom was attempting to snag a quick slug-o-soda while I was outside for a minute.  Poultry sheers are special type of kitchen scissors that will cut through a chicken bone like it was nothing.  Imagine that deadly tool in the hands of shaky-hands-Benita, whilst balancing herself against her walker, (she refers to it as her ‘coach’, I don’t know why) because she needs one hand to hold the plastic 7-up bottle and the other hand to wield the bone-cutters.

Before my mom came to live here, she lived in Colorado with my sister, the painful part was wondering if she was ok and wishing I could do more for my mom and my sister.  Every day she mystifies me,  I wonder why she wants to use Clorox on her lady parts or why she would risk losing a shaky digit just for a bottle of soda that will cause her to projectile vomit.

At the end of the day, I am grateful I am blessed to kiss her good night.  The things she says and does are a constant mystery to me, but one thing for sure, she is NEVER boring.

 

 

 

 

Heros among us

 

We find ourselves trying to manage a constantly changing situation.   Uncharted territory is an understatement.

Trying to prepare for the worst and hope for the best is always good advice.  Trying to imagine the worst-case scenario today is a place I just can’t visit, not even for a second.

A couple in Kentucky has their home surrounded by police because they refuse to be in quarantine even though the husband tested positive for the virus.  The wife said it was because they didn’t have time to get supplies, so they needed to shop.

Hmmm.

That is the most absurd mind thought, or mind-less thought.  Anyhoo, it’s scary to think of all the people that know they have the virus or have been around a virus carrier and insist they can go about their business as usual.  Crazy.

I know children are worried.  Elderly are worried, and pretty much everyone in-between should be.   Even if you believe it’s all a Democratic Party hoax, it’s gotta be irritating not to be able to get a roll of toilet paper.  “Not a square to spare.”

So just when I was about to think how horrible some people are, I read something on the Next Door Neighborhood site.  One of my neighbors has offered to get groceries or medication for anyone needing help.  How amazing is that!  A regular guy, offering to help anyone that needs it.

There is hope for our world after all.

By the way, I have a “square to spare”, if you need it😊

 

 

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.