Life

Eat that? Are you kidding?

When I first got my dog, I was at the pet store looking for something he might eat.  I saw a couple buying a brand that I hadn’t tried yet and asked if their dog liked it.  The woman replied that the dog didn’t like it at first, but they took the manufacturer’s advice and waited until the dog was hungry enough to try it.  Since I had been told this before but never did it, I asked how long it took.  The woman replied “Four days.”

“Four days?!” I said astonishingly. The woman said that it was very hard to do but the dog eats the food now without a problem.  Since the woman was obviously still traumatized by the event, I just said thanks and walked away.

Here are my thoughts on the matter.  Those companies that tell you to starve your dog into eating their food want to sell dog food – whether dogs like it or not.  It’s about the money, not the dog’s palette.  Once the dog starts eating it, of course he is going to continue to eat it.  He has already been taught to eat it or starve.  If you were starving, you might eat bugs to survive, but do you want to only eat bugs the rest of your life?

I tried various dog foods to find one that my dog would eat.  I’m told that stores will let you return dog food if your dog won’t eat it, but the ones he didn’t eat I donated to friends.  My dog is happy and healthy, which makes me happy and I don’t suffer guilt pangs every time I feed him.

Just saying.

 

Life

Yuletide

I’ve lived in Indiana my whole life and finally this year I went down to see the lighting of the “Tree” on Monument Circle.  The weather was perfect, cold but not too cold, and dry. My sister and my son went with me and we had a nice time.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see the fireworks from our location.

My sister and I also went to the Yuletide Celebration at the Circle Theater for the first time.  We both love live performances.  We attended with my two BFFs and their husbands.  My sister even had her picture taken with a Minion!   It was a great show.

So there are two things off my “never did” list.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and have a healthy New Year.

 

Life

It’s me again

It’s been quite a while since I posted anything.  No excuse really.

I’m retired now.  My twin sister and I both retired in June and she moved in with me.  It has taken a little adjustment – she lived alone for over 30 years and I have lived alone for almost 6 years.  But it is good.  I had forgotten how much alike we are.  We’ve spent a lot of time unpacking and merging two households.  My sister is a bit of a pack rat and I have a problem with clutter, but we are both compromising.

It is so nice not to be alone any more.

But it seems that having her here has stirred up the ghost again – either that or invited a new one.  I have an earlier post about the ghost in my house.  Previously I only heard noises and felt someone pressing on the bed, but that all stopped a couple of years ago.  I told myself that Paul had chased the ghost away.  Now we are hearing noises again and voices.  Andre hears the noises too, because suddenly he’ll stare at the garage or the front door like he expects someone to walk in.

My sister heard the voice first.  Our bedrooms connect and she came to my door one evening and asked what I wanted.  I said “What?”  She said, “Didn’t you call me?”  I hadn’t, but she said it was my voice.  It happened three or four nights in a row.  About a month later I heard someone say my name, it was not my sister’s voice.  I always assumed my previous ghost was a man, but the voice was female.  My sister was asleep all the times that she heard me call her, but I was awake and turning over in bed when I heard the voice. We both mention it to each other, but otherwise just ignore it.

But what happened today was really freaky!

My sister’s house shoes have hard soles, so when she walks the foot steps are noticeable and distinctive. I woke up around 8:00 a.m. and heard her walk down the hall to the bathroom and back.  I went back to sleep.  Later I heard her walk to my door and say “It’s 9 o’clock.”  So, I decided to go ahead and get up.  I expected to find her in the kitchen making our morning coffee, but she wasn’t there.  The house was dark and quiet.  I thought it strange and went looking for her.  I found her in bed.  I said to her “You went back to bed after waking me up?” and she sat up and said “Why did you go back to bed after waking me up?”  I asked what she was talking about and she said that I had tapped on her door and said “It’s time to get up.”  She said she got up and looked for me and found me in bed, so she went back to bed.   After we both recited what had happened to each of us – and confirmed that it was our voices that we each heard but that neither one of us had been up – we freaked out.

Is it a ghost mimicking our voices?  Or can we be telepathically or subconsciously talking to each other?  Whatever, we are both paying attention now.

Life

Let It Snow

I didn’t shovel my driveway last weekend. No reason except laziness. Just didn’t want to move the truck to get to the blower. And, after all, I have an all-wheel drive vehicle, so I just drove over it. I had company Saturday night and was a little embarrassed at my laziness and felt bad that they had to wade through snow. But, in all fairness, I warned them beforehand.

So today, I was watching my neighbor clear his driveway and saw how much snow we got. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get out so, I put on 3 pairs of socks (I hate cold feet), my tall horse barn boots and bundled up in my Carhart pants and jacket. Put on a hoodie and down filled gloves and out I went.

It took a little effort to back out the truck. I would have gunned it, but since I was in the garage, I thought better of it. I drug out the blower and started the ritual of getting it going. It was a lot easier than I had told myself it would last weekend.

Now, since I had packed the snow down from last weekend driving over it, I couldn’t get all the way to the cement, but at least I can get my vehicle in and out. I cleared the walkway and even a little potty area for Andre. Although, past experience has shown that he will pee in the patch, but will run out into the snow to go number two. A pee-patch – ha ha!

Now I am treating myself with chips and salsa. Feels good to have it done.

Life

Flower

This is my philodendron plant from my father’s funeral. He died in 1987. It’s been through a move; knocked over and repotted; over-watered and under-watered; had lots of sun and very little sun. I’ve trimmed it back and I’ve also looped some of the vines back into the dirt and they take root. Through all that it not only lives, it thrivesIMG_0544.

It is a good role model for us humans. It shows that with the right nourishment, determination and a little help from friends and loved ones, we can survive hard times. Life is precious – hold on to it as hard as you can. Never stop growing.

 

Life

Guardian Angels

We’ve all had instances where we’ve done something and wondered how we managed to survive it. Such as not paying attention and driving past a stop sign. Or, you are on a chair hanging curtains and lose your balance. You land in a sitting position on the kitchen table instead of falling all the way to the floor, so you don’t get hurt. Guardian Angels or just dumb luck?

I for one believe in Guardian Angels because, aside from those little things, I have had two experiences that would have been life-changing if my Guardian Angel hadn’t stepped in.

The first.

One day I was walking downtown on my way to a job interview. Since I had to do it on my lunch hour for my current job, I was in a hurry. I stopped at a corner and waited for the signal. As soon as it changed to “walk” I started to step off the curb. Just then, a gentleman grabbed my arm and said “Wait.” I looked over to see a woman in a pickup truck who had decided to beat the signal and failed. The man standing on the other side of the gentleman stepped out and was struck. The police were called and people started giving their eye-witness accounts. I looked around for my “angel”, but he was gone and I continued on to my interview. I always look both ways now after the “walk” signal comes on.

The second.

When I was about 25, I had to work late one evening and left the office about 7:00 p.m. I had parked at a hotel parking lot downtown and was walking there – it was just a couple of blocks. There had been some women raped in downtown parking garages recently, but in a different area from where I was.

Years before, in high school a police officer had talked to our class about safety. He said that most women get hurt because they are too polite to follow their instincts. They don’t want to offend someone by refusing to get into a elevator with them, and things like that. I also had read a newspaper interview of a rapist explaining how easy it is to find victims because of the same thing – manners.

Continue reading “Guardian Angels”

Life

All done

I’m a little late with this. Here’s how my head saga ends. Ten days after my Mohs procedure, I returned to the doctor to have the staples removed. There were 38. I asked if they were going to numb my head and the nurse said it wouldn’t hurt. She was right except for a couple where the skin had started to grow over them. The doctor came in and checked the wound and said it was looking great. He wanted to see me in a month and in the meantime I was to continue to wash it daily and keep it moist with petroleum jelly. I did and since I had to wear a bandage, I wore hats to work. Although it was nice not to have to style my hair, wearing hats became tiresome.

When I returned for my next visit, the doctor said the wound was healing really well and fast. He had to remove a few hairs that were embedded in the new tissue. That hurt more than the staples. I was given a prescription for cream to put on the wound twice a day for a week and released. Yep, the surgeon didn’t need to see me again unless there was a problem. He said to follow-up with my regular dermatologist. I followed the instructions and continued to wear a hat while using the cream. Now I am able to go without a hat and my hair has grown long enough for a comb-over. But, I gladly show it to anyone who asks. I want everyone to be aware of what could happen from too much sun exposure.

Life

The Saga Continues

One week after my January 6th surgery, it was back to the dermatologist to get my stitches out and get the results of my second biopsy. Not good. He still didn’t get it all. So, he scheduled another surgery for the next week. I was really disappointed. Of course, there was nothing I could do about it. My second procedure was the same routine as before, he numbed my head and explained how he was going to proceed. I asked what would happen if the wound was too big to cover. He gave me four options (none of which were appealing) and said he wouldn’t know until he “got in there.” He put a cloth around the area and started cutting. As I’m sitting there listening to him do his thing, I wondered what the skin/meat was like – was it like cutting into raw chicken or pork? Sick, I know, but what else did I have to think about? When it was time to stitch up the area, he really had to pull the skin to get it to close. I could feel the skin tighten on the right side of my head. Now I have a slight idea of what it is like to have a facelift. When he finished, he left so the nurse could clean up the area. I asked her my question about chicken or pork and she said “No one has ever asked me that before. Now every time we do this, I will be thinking ‘chicken or pork’!” She assumed it would be like chicken. When Doctor returned, I asked him. He didn’t hesitate and said pork.

I had more pain this time. Mostly because of the taught skin. Not only did the top of my head hurt, but I had pain in my right ear. Ear pain is one of the worst pains there is. I took the prescribed pain pills this time, and it only cut the pain in half. So, I took Ibuprofen too. I also massaged the right side of my head trying to loosen up and stretch the skin. It helped. I was so glad to get the pressure bandage off, they make it as tight as they can to stop the bleeding. I must admit I didn’t wait the full 24 hours like I was supposed to.

Continue reading “The Saga Continues”

Camping · Horses · Life · Mel · Trail riding

A horse trip from long ago

Way back in 2007 (early in my horse camping life) I made a trip to Midwest Trail Rides in southern Indiana.

The trip down was pretty easy.  I loaded most things Thursday evening, so Friday I just had to hook up the trailer, load my personal items and Mel.  Mel went right in to the trailer for a change and it only took an hour and a half to get there.  When we arrived, I was able to pull straight into my camp-site – no backing up – yay.

It was so dang hot!!  And so dry!!  The trails were like powder, so the dust was unbelievable.  And since Mel has been known to kick when a horse gets too close to his hind quarters, we had to be in the rear.

We all know the saying “things happen for a reason”.  Well, a couple of weeks before the ride, I had a flat tire on my trailer from a slow leak.  Because of that I purchased a Trailer-Aid Tandem Tire Changing Ramp.  Paul I went out to replace the flat, only to discover that my spare was flat too.  So we took them both to Big-O Tires to be fixed. One they could fix, the other had to be replaced.

When leaving the campground on Sunday afternoon, I rounded a corner and a fence post jumped right in front of my trailer fender.  It was impossible to avoid so I wound up hitting it.  The fender curled down and sliced my newly-fixed tire.  A couple of good-ole boys were nearby and offered to help.  They were able to change my flat using the Trailer-Aid Ramp that I had just purchased.  We rolled up onto the ramp with the good tire and they changed the bad tire while Mel was still in the trailer.  It was funny to see him poking his head out the window to see what was going on.  Either this was all according to some master plan or my guardian angel was looking out for me. If I hadn’t had the slow leak, I wouldn’t have bought the ramp nor would I have known that my spare was flat too.

By the way, I say “good-ole boys” with affection.  Horse people are always so friendly and helpful.

So, add to the cost of the trip, the cost of 2 new trailer tires and replacing the fender on the trailer.  Owning a horse is like owning a boat – the horse is the least expensive thing to buy.  Then there’s the tack, the board, the fly spray, the camping gear, the truck, the trailer, the tires, damage caused by vicious fence posts, etc. etc.  But the fun and companionship is priceless!

Life

A Bigger Hole in My Head

Sunday the 5th I sat inside watching my neighbors shoveling their driveways every couple of hours to keep on top of the snow storm. I kept telling myself that I should be out there doing the same thing – but myself didn’t want to. Myself decided to sit around in my bathrobe all day and rely on my 4×4 truck to get me out of the driveway on Monday. Later that day, I received a notification from my employer that the office would be closed on Monday. Woo-hoo, 3-day weekend. That evening I got a call from the dermatologist’s receptionist stating that the office would be opened on Monday and asking if I would be able to keep my appointment. I said “I’m going to try.” This was the appointment to remove the basal cell carcinoma from my scalp.

So Monday at 12:30 I left the house to make the 20 minute drive to the doctor’s office. My appointment wasn’t until 1:40, but I wanted to give myself plenty of time. Getting down the driveway was easy until I was stopped by the large wall of snow that the street plow made. But, I pulled forward a little, put it in 4-wheel drive low instead of high and hit the gas pedal. I made it through without hitting my neighbor’s mailbox across the street – yay! I love my Truck.

The drive was easy, just slow going. The frozen tundra (usually referred to as streets) was bumpy and hard. I could have gone faster than I did, but it felt like my insides were being jarred loose. I arrived at 1:10 to find a note on the door saying they were closed for lunch and would return at 1:00. There was another patient sitting in the parking lot (in his vehicle, of course). About 1:20 the doctor, nurse and receptionist pulled in and let us in. They said the only place they could find that was open was the Cheesecake Factory and they only had one chef working, so it took quite a while to get lunch.

Since they only had the two of us scheduled for that afternoon, it was only a few minutes before I was ushered in and given a local anesthetic on my head. Doctor made a circle with the needle and said the needle punctures would be the worst part of the procedure. I told him it didn’t hurt much at all – the most painful shot I ever received was in the heel of my foot. He agreed that that is one of the most painful spots to receive a shot. Then I sat and snoozed while the anesthetic took effect.

Continue reading “A Bigger Hole in My Head”