On The Road Again

At least I will be in a few hours.  R will be here to run the house and care for the canine children while I’m gone.  My son’s eldest son, Blake, and his mom, Amanda, are back in Denver for his 2 month post-surgical checkup.  So, Dad and Cole are alone once more.  Granny has been there helping out but she has to go back to work the middle of this week so it’s my turn to house-and-child sit.  Not that they need any help.  Cole will turn 13 in 11 days so he’s no baby.  But I’ll get to go visit and spend some time with my “boys” for a few days.

I’ve been doing some sewing of late (finally) and made some blankets.  I have yet to do all the fabric I have hemmed to use for blankets though.  I need to go buy some suitable for the summer time.  Most of the colors I currently have were bought for xmas blankets but then Mom got sick so xmas got canceled.  I was going to go ahead and use it anyway since I have many, many thousands of designs to use, but decided I’d just have to buy xmas colors again later.  So I’ll keep what I have and work on xmas in my spare time while doing other things for other seasons.  I also bought some things to do for my mom for her wheelchair.  I’m going to make zippered cushions so they can be unzipped and thrown in the washer when necessary.  And I’m making two so they can be cycled.  I bought her new silver gray sheets that I trimmed with pink embroidery and the pink and grey pastel bedspread to go with it. I bought her new pillows for the bed and one to lean on in her chair that says Happy Day Mom (or something to that effect–it was bought, not one of mine).  I made her a few blankets for Mother’s Day, two patterned and hemmed and this one embroidered:

 

Then I made this one for R’s family member:

Then, this one for another forgotten lady that Father Time is claiming for his own:

I have plans for more really pretty blankets, too.  I have the designs created but will have to find the right fabric for them.  I’ll get there.  But it’ll have to be after I get home from Austin again.  Buenas noches, mi amigos.  I’m outta here!

 

Another Beautiful Day

R needed to go pick up some trim boards today so he could finish the chimney rebuild.  It seemed like the perfect day to take the two littlest chis for some one-on-one with mom and dad.  So we loaded up the truck and found ourselves on the way to McCoy’s via Starbucks and Kroger gas.  The sky was a lovely shade of light blue, and fluffy white clouds hung there unmoving as if the whole world was on hold for that fleeting moment.  We’re so fortunate to live in Texas and wake to so many beautiful days.  It’s about to turn hot in our southern state so really pretty, pleasant days are cherished.  Soon it’ll be so hot I’ll be cussing the AC bill and trying not to sunburn in the shade.  But, until then, I’ll enjoy the beauty and peace of this late spring day.

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Zoe and Dusty (the littles)

Since it was the “weekend” (when you’re retired, every day is “weekend”), we didn’t have a lot of errands today.  R worked outside and I worked inside on a few chores I’ve not had time to get to recently.  For instance, I cleaned out my closet so I can donate what I’m not wearing anymore.  I’m not really a good person for donating to charity; it’s just that our closet is too small to fit those clothes if they’re not entirely necessary.  Then I opened the packages stacked by the front door.  I order things online that I can find cheaper or are more convenient than shopping around to find locally.  So there was a throw I bought for the new swivel/rocker/recliner, and a new quilted bedspread because the comforter is no longer needed for the warmer days.  Then, there was a box of medical stuff I found on sale.  I have a printer ordered for my mom that is due next week, a water filter for the refrigerator, some supplements, a couple pair of tennis shoes, a sun dress that’s back-ordered to June, etc.

Then I put up the stacks of “stuff” I had parked but never got back to pick up.   Ya know, sometimes I get started on a project and there’s a dog emergency (harsh “words”, a small cry, a big crash) that demands my attention, and whatever I have in my hands gets parked on the nearest flat surface.  In the old days, my OCD would have demanded I return post-haste to pick up the project and put it away, but I find with age comes patience and a little forgetfulness.  So sometimes the project sits for a time gathering dust and losing importance until realization lends me to notice its presence again and industry provides action to put it away.

Next, I turned on the dryer to tumble the last few pieces that somehow never got put away.  The hamper is full again and will demand attention soon for I will run out of pants to wear.  The mail lady is a nice sort but she frowns on me coming to the mailbox in my nightgown.  And the pizza man—–well!!!!!!!!!!

 

Not Santa Quality Yet

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Work continues

Well, it’s beginning to take shape.  Hope it’s ready by xmas!

Today was a long day (are they all?).  We both had appointments for new glasses.  Check.  Then I had a doctor’s appointment.  Check.  Then we had to go to a specialist to pick up supplies.  Check.  By the time we got home the sky had clouded over and there were hints of sprinkles in the breeze.  It was Trifexis day at our house so that took some time to medicate all of them (“no, no, no, no!!!  That’s your sister’s medicine!”), then get them and the fishes fed.  So R didn’t have much time to play with the chimney today, but every day it gets a little closer to completion.  The parts are all here and mostly installed.  Most all of it is painted, sealed, caulked, measured, cut, drilled and hammered to perfection.

Tomorrow I have a nail appointment early and a grocery list to fulfill.  My daughter came home from the hospital on Monday and I have yet to call to make sure she’s still alive (bad mom!).  I was going to call her tonight then we got into a conversation about the insurance company/society’s pretensions, etc., that carried over multiple subjects and raised my voice loud enough to make the dogs wonder.  I value our debates and it’s even better when we agree on each point and the conversation ends with my husband saying, “well, if you believe in it don’t accept anything less!”.  Love that man!

Our courtship and marriage has been a series of jousts that we never expected to last this long but are so glad they are.  From the beginning one of us would make a statement, crack, insult, or a dare, ask a leading question, etc., which the other would bat back across the net like a tennis match.  We enjoy just getting a laugh but after 18 years the times are fewer when one of us really gets one over on the other, and when that happens it’s a red letter day between us.  That happened today at Whataburger — and in my favor, too.  I made R’s face turn red in embarrassment.  I didn’t say anything ugly; I just caught him off-guard.  One of those subtle statements with my eyes lowered almost coyly, drop the line, then look up into his face, sort of bashfully.  He was already red and giggling.  Win for me!!!!!!!!!!!!

We talked today about how, after all these years, we still have fun together no matter what we’re doing or where we are.  However, neither of us can remember the joke when we both laughed so hard we almost wet our pants while putting gas in R’s Mustang one day.  He had the gas nozzle in the side of the car.  I was getting out of the passenger seat.  We were talking religion something and R said we must have had a broken spell checker, or something like that.  Immediately I couldn’t breathe for laughing so hard.  Half way out of the car, I fell back in and broke my fingernail in the process, still trying to get a breath.  R fell against the back of the car laughing with tears running down his face and almost pulled the gas nozzle out while it was still pumping.  It was several minutes before sanity returned and we could both breathe somewhat normally again.   And we’ve never been able to recreate that conversation or why that punchline was so damned hilarious, but we still laugh about our reactions and how crazy it was.  Crazy memories.  Crazy, sweet memories.  Sigh

 

 

A Little Production

Yes, I did get some work done today.  The dogs and I hemmed 6 blankets and washed fabric for 4 more.  Before that I paid bills (always with their help, of course) and balanced the checkbook.  We took a trip to pick up parts so R could spend the day on the roof drying in the chimney since there was a promise of rain in the sky even though it wasn’t listed in the weather report.

Then we cleaned up and went out for Mexican food and Margaritas (mine—R doesn’t drink much or often).  It was fun and supplied a little couple time.  I had listened to Zoe cry/whine all afternoon because I had to put her down in order to sew.  Five years old, she is less than 5 pounds so is everyone’s baby doll, however, she is too spoiled for my own good.

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Zoe Zoe, the precious

She weighed less than a pound when we got her at 8 weeks of age.  Her sister weighed 2 1/2 pounds.  Zoe was sick with an infected eye, mange and a tapeworm.  We didn’t know if she’d survive, but thankfully she did. Therefore, we all baby her.  If I need to do something I hand her to R and say, “hold this”.  He does the same with me.  We never put her down unless it’s a dire necessity.  She is the sweetest, most cuddly, softest, angel we have (think bunny rabbit).  But when we try to do something we want or need to do, she doesn’t understand why we can’t just hold her and do whatever, too.  (Example: she sits on a towel on the vanity when R shaves so she can be with Daddy)  So when I tried to sew I wasn’t holding her, which made her cry.  I’d pick her up and take her out in the yard to see R and she’d be fine.  I’d set her down in the grass or on a rug, and she’s fine…until she hears the serger running again.   Then she whines until I pick her up. I finally put her on a blanket on one of my sewing tables so she was close enough to touch me.  She sat calmly by watching me run the machine, but by the time I finished today’s portion of sewing I was ready to scream.  So going out to dinner with my hubby was just what the doctor ordered.

An evening sitting in front of the TV followed dinner until we’re all sufficiently pooped to fall in the bed.  I took a sleeping pill; R took Zoe to bed and they’re both snoring now.  They’re all precious but sometimes patience is in short supply so it’s best to have an outlet for the frustration.  We’re good at redirecting and not taking it out on the animals.  Just one more thing I value about a marriage that already has so many great facets.

Coasting More Ways Than One

I’ve been home now for several weeks; simply not posting.  I’ve been trying to keep up with home stuff and get back to some sense of normality.  I’ll be headed north again in a couple of weeks but hope to get at least some sewing done between now and then.  I have done enough to catch up but not get ahead.  I have fabric for six more blankets to donate so would like to get started on them.  Perhaps tomorrow…

Mom seems to be better and we’re not spending as much time down there with her, so we’ve been able to catch up at our house.  Of course, when you look close you often find more than you care to see.  Heeding the TV commercials, I called the insurance company to see if they could lower any of our rates.  Turns out they can save us a lot if we just fill out this paperwork and this paperwork and …… you get it.  Most, but not all, of that is completed.  Then in the mail comes a letter from the homeowners association saying our chimney needs to be painted.  Turns out our chimney needs more than paint; it needs a whole new chimney.  So hubby has torn it down and is in the process of replacing multiple parts.  Some had to be ordered so it will be time-consuming, too.  I hope it gets done before the insurance company inspector arrives or there’ll be some “splainin’ to do”.

Zsa Zsa has had the last of her heartworm treatments now and just went back for her two week follow-up.  Doc has okayed a little activity so the crate left the living room again.  Two more weeks and perhaps she’ll get to resume her puppy-fueled activity.  It’s hard to keep her from jumping straight up into the air in elated exuberance on any given occasion.  I sure wish I had her energy!  She’ll be two in June and we’re hoping by then she’ll be free to be the puppy she obviously is and leave the pain of heartworm treatment and spaying behind.  It’s hard to introduce pain to a puppy; life is hard enough without starting young.

Zsa Zsa at the veterinarian’s office.

Since I’m getting my living room back, I went shopping today to replace the automatic recliner that no longer works.  It goes up and up and up, then I crawl out over the arm.  Not optimum.  Not optimum at all.  R had to take it apart to get it to return to starting position.  This time I got a bigger (wider), more plush swivel rocker that also reclines albeit under my steam, not electricity (less to go out that way).  R will drive up to get it Monday if he can climb down from the rooftop long enough.  At least, that’s what he said.

It seemed that no one in the pack wanted Fancypants’ position of alpha.  However, Khandi is stepping up to the plate.  She is definitely throwing her weight around and no one is pushing back.  Mimi tried at first but Khandi let her know pretty quickly how things were going to be run at HER house.  R had them on the bed with him while he was changing shoes when Mimi started growling at Khandi for being too close to her human.  (I wasn’t there but I can see it in my mind) R said Khandi never uttered a sound; she just grabbed Mimi by the throat and shoved her against the headboard…and held her there until she stopped struggling.  R said there wasn’t a mark on Mimi but she walks a large circle around Khandi now so I guess the point was made.  In a pack as big as ours there has to be some friction at times but I think Khandi sometimes goes a little overboard, but then I’ve never been a canine alpha so perhaps that’s the way it gets done.  She never uses her teeth though sometimes she scares the little ones and they yelp (which breaks my heart), but she leaves no doubt who is boss.

Mimi, AKA Pinky

Khandi and Bandit accompanied R on a fishing trip after I got home from Austin.  I don’t know which of them enjoyed it more.  It was Khandi’s first time in the boat and in her life vest but she took to it like a trooper and had a ball.  Bandit always loves trips with his daddy so they added more happy memories.

Khandi and Bandit enjoying a night on the boat

They love it when R brings in a fish because they get to touch it.  They don’t hurt the fish; he gets to go back in the water to his family, but the dogs get so excited to touch them with feet and noses.  Bandit will watch when R casts in and wait patiently for him to bring in another fish.  Both of the dogs are really well-mannered when taken anywhere and it does them all a world of good to “get the hell out of Dodge” for a while.

My eyes are telling me to get my update over and go to bed so I think I’ll obey.  Gone…but not forgotten.

 

Yes, Still Here

It’s been almost a year since I’ve updated; it’s hard to believe it’s taken me that long to have 2 thoughts to rub together.  I’m in Austin, Texas, in someone else’s home, with someone else’s dogs.  Don’t get ahead of me…it’s my son’s house and his dogs, and I’m just visiting.  I’m the grandma of the week.  My oldest grandson is in the hospital in Colorado having had brain surgery on March 15th.  His younger brother is in Texas still going to school.  Mom is in Colorado; Dad in Texas.  Cole (the younger) leaves for school after Dad has to leave for work and gets out of school before Dad gets home from work.  Therein lies the rub.  So, Mom’s mom (Granny) was here for ~10-12 days but her vacation ran out.  Then, I (Nana) came in for the last few days before Mom and Blake come home to Texas.  Get it?  I’m on vacation, in other words.  I’m in a huge house with my own suite which includes a walk-in closet and a full bath.  I couldn’t afford this if it was a hotel!  Of course, I will take photos but right now I’m resting while the housekeepers spiff up.  What a life!

Sophie and Buster, our grand-dogs

These are my housemates today.  The little one won’t put down the toy even to sleep.  Her name is Sophie.  The big boy on the right is Buster Brown.  We almost lost him last Fall; he was so sick!  He had an autoimmune condition and turned bright yellow.  He spent a couple of weeks in intensive care and had a 20% survival estimate.  But he pulled it out and this week I’ll get all his cuddles while Cole is in school.  Buster is an A1 cuddle-bunny.

At home I left hubby and 7 dogs, a sick mother and 55 gallons of tropical fish (that I hope he remembers to feed this week).  We are back up to 7 dogs again.  After we lost Fancypants we spent a few months broken-hearted.  Then, my mom fell and broke her hip and went into the hospital, then to rehab, then home for 3 weeks, then back in the hospital then to a different rehab, then back home again.  Busy four months.

The first of January ( I think it was New Year’s Day, in fact), the next door neighbors gave us their dog.  Their little girl was highly allergic so the 18 month old pup was relegated to the back yard for about a year.  It was about to freeze overnight so it was the best time for them to give her to us…they couldn’t bring her in and they couldn’t leave her out.  We had known we were going to get her because the little girl had been sick for a while; it was a matter of time until they could bear to part with “Zazzles” the Schnoodle (designer mix of Schnauzer and poodle).

Of course, the first thing with a new animal is straight to the vet where we found out that our Zsa Zsa (well, what would you do with Zazzles?????????)  needed to be spayed, microchipped, vaccinated and treated for heartworms.  To date all is complete except the second heartworm treatment which is scheduled for next week.  She’s doing great, is full of energy and happy as a clam.  Besides a new name she has been groomed twice to look like a Schnauzer (we haven’t tried the poodle cut yet).

Zsa Zsa’s first grooming
“Yes, Mom, I’m still working on doing the laundry but the children won’t mind!”

Which leaves Mom, still in a wheelchair and still unable to walk.

Mom and her dog, Pepper

See why I’m having such a good time in Austin?  LOL  The wildflowers are blooming everywhere (No, I have no pictures yet.  Someone has to drive, you know.). The pollen is outrageous.  My asthma is trying to kill me.  But vacation is vacation, ya’ll!

More another day and I’ll try to get bluebonnet photos.

Happy Medium

I think life has died down to a dull roar now.  We got Fancy’s ashes back but have yet to bury them in our backyard like we’ve done with the others who have left us.  We didn’t know how the pack would react to her sudden disappearance or which one would become alpha in her place.  She was a good alpha.  She didn’t throw her weight around; she was the “inspector” of all things; she never got vocal except when it was time for her dinner and we were dragging our feet; she never reprimanded any of the pack for grievances even when she should have.  Fancy was a calm, cool canine.

No one in the pack has claimed the alpha position.  At various times one or the other is loudest or tries harder to communicate their wants and/or needs, etc.  Khandi has taken over inspector duties.  She’s in the middle of everything that goes on inside or outside; she’s interested in absolutely everything.  She checks on me when I go to the bathroom like Fancy did.  She tells me when it’s dinnertime as Fancy did, but Khandi is not verbal about it; she gets in my lap and puts her face into mine so I can’t see anything but her then licks me on the nose.  I tried to tell her she was too close for me to even focus my eyes on her but she doesn’t get that; she just keeps licking until I get out of the chair and head off to the kitchen.  Bandit was the first one to tell me he was hungry and he’s only done it once.  He licked me on the bottom of my foot!  I went “ew!!!!!!!!!!”, he looked at me mournfully as if pleading so I fed them.  I wondered if he was going to do that every day but that’s the only time he’s done it.

Mimi, now 13, is the eldest dog in the house.  Naturally we wondered if she would be alpha by default, but she hasn’t changed a thing so I don’t think she’s interested.  Otherwise we don’t really have an alpha yet but they’ll let us know when it becomes applicable.  Mimi and Khandi played tug of war on the patio once…the only time Mimi has played with any dog to date.  It was so cute I had to post video on Facebook, so we think Khandi is going to be the best addition we’ve made to the pack in recent memory.  She’s smart and happy and outgoing.  She minds, walks well on a leash and loves people, babies and other dogs.  Another cool canine.

It’s almost 2 AM so I’d better ooze on outta here!

 

Rest In Peace, Fancypants!

This is her daily medicine schedule board; everything isn’t on here
This is how bad she felt, especially while having to wear the cone of shame for her eyes.
Fancy dressed up and shopping with Daddy

 

 

Goodbye, Miss Fancypants!  We miss you so much!  We love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We got to keep you for 16 1/2 years; wish it could have been forever but you were getting increasingly tired, confused and sicker all the time.

Run wild and free over the Rainbow Bridge, sweet girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You don’t have to be sick anymore!

 

This is the only thing on her medicine board now
Looking out Daddy’s car window
Last unhurried nap before we left the house
Last puppy whip at Starbuck
Fancy’s last trip to PetSmart
Right before we left home to take her to the vet.  The last time my 3 little black girls were in the same photograph and Dusty photo bombing as usual.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Down

Free-Standing Lace Mobile
Kite Wall Hanging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I got the first two projects done.  On to #3 tomorrow.  It’s almost 1 A.M. and I’m reloading the system on my desktop computer.  Had a Windows 10 problem I couldn’t fix any other way.

Today we did some errands including the pet store and then lunch.  Came home and put the mobile and kite together and got them wrapped for presenting next week.  Got another huge design coming up tomorrow and a laptop to load Windows 10 on (just received it in the mail from Amazon tonight).  Happily busy and feeling so much better now that the doctor fixed my medication situation.  It’s nice to feel like a human being on a regular basis again.

Close-up of cactus babies
Cactus that had “babies”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both cacti

Hope you all have a wonderful night and wake up rested.

March Marches In

First Amaryllis of 2017- more are there now

It’s been a lovely year so far.  We didn’t have much of a winter so everything is green and blooming already and it’s barely March.  Our amaryllis are blooming and the barrel cactus has had babies for the first time.  Joy!

I finally got some sewing time in today.  We’ve got a baby due soon in our group of friends/rescue peeps so that’s where I started today.  I’ll try to post a picture tomorrow.  It’s free standing lace and has to dry after washing off the stabilizer.  I hope to get it constructed tomorrow so I can deliver it Monday (I’ll be in their area).  We finally opened the box for the cap driver for the 10-needle and it has exactly 1 page of instructions.  Hope we can figure it out when we get ready to install it.  LOL  We may be hitting YouTube for suggestions.  I have a surprise gift for someone coming up, too.  It’ll be a challenge I’ve yet to meet.  Then I’ve got ball caps to label; some just need names added, some need simple designs as well.  We’ll see what we can figure out.

We’re beginning to catch up with the dog vetting.  Khandee goes in for her 4 week post-hw treatment checkup on Monday.  Bandit and Dusty will go with her so they can get their yearly vaccinations.  Princess is due; my sister is going to schedule her and get her in.  Then I’ll have a few that will need dental cleanings which I’ll work into the schedule for the rest of the year.

R finally bought his trolling motor that he’s been researching for 2 years.  It’s kind of anticlimactic now.  He had to order it because they no longer stock that model.  It’s supposed to be here by the end of the month.  He’s been playing “boat” more lately, getting it ship-shape for the next fishing trip to Lake Livingston.  He’ll be ready to go when the weather clears up.  There’s rain due off and on the next couple of weeks but when it clears he’ll be long gone.