Time For A Doctor Visit

Whiteman CAC, Vet Clinic host 2010 Bark in the...

Image by DVIDSHUB via Flickr

Three outdoor cats. One indoor cat. Two dogs…and a horse. We have some really sweet pets. Really sweet pets that needed to get their shots. I called the vet. She came out on Friday. She had her mobile office all packed up in the back of her pickup. Cool. I liked her a lot. She was good with the animals.

First, was Jazz. Jazz is a horse who I have to say was not all that thrilled with getting blood taken, a couple of shots and a vaccine up her nose. (who would be?) Horses are a lot like young children. A horse will fuss and carry on, but the “parent” has to say, “Look this is for your own good.” (you might not believe me right now, but you need this! Stop it already, I’ll give you an apple if you are a good girl. We are not above bribery.) All in all Jazz was a pretty good girl. Dr. Dyer showed me how to give Jazz the more common shots that she will need. I would have never guessed in a million years that this would be me. I’m now reading a lot about horses and giving my family information that even they didn’t know.

Junior, our mutt, is a senior citizen. He is 13. Poor guy. He has a yeast infection and his joints are hurting. He’s getting arthritis. The vet told us that he can take glucousimine and chondrotine (did I spell that correctly?) just like a human. So we got some for him at Walmart. It is orange flavored. He thought it was a snack so he ate it up. It won’t cure him, but it will help with the symptoms. It’s hard being an old dog.

On the other hand, Ace, the collie is in the prime of life. He is a poo head. Silly dog, who has a penchant for collecting all the food bowls. Not the food mind you, but the bowls. I think he has a bowl fetish. Whatever. He sat through his shots like a pro. As long as one pets him, he is your new best friend.

I found out for absolute sure the gender of all our cats. This has been bothering me for some time now. The three outdoor cats are all strays.  We are the proud owners of two girls and a baby boy. I pretty much figured this out, but it’s nice to have it confirmed. The two girls “act” like girls. Pet me. Love me. I am a queen. The kitten is a boy and he is mischievous and does not understand self preservation. He will dart under the horse, jump on people and hang there, and attack the dog’s tail. No common sense. Definitely a boy.

Joe, the indoor cat, is old too. He was trapped in the bathroom until we needed him for his doctors visit. Joe is a big scaredy cat….but, I have to say that he was good and took his shots like a man…er….cat.

Being a pet owner is a lot of work. Animals depend on the owner for everything. A place to sleep. Food to eat. Kindness.

That is why it always bothers me to watch pet rescue shows. I cannot understand how some people treat their animals so horribly. Animalsare like children,who depend on their parents to survive. Pet ownership is a huge responsibility…..but, it is also fun. Each animal has their own personality. Each is unique.

Snake Wrangling

Line art drawing of a black snake.

Image via Wikipedia

Snakes really aren’t my favorite creature ever created. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. Those that love snakes would tell me, “Snakes get a bad rap. They are not really scary. They help to control the rodent population.” Yada….yada….yada. Whatever, people. Let’s face it, one can’t pet or snuggle with a snake. Snakes have fangs. They bite with those fangs, if agitated. Giving a snake a hug could prove dangerous, especially if said snake is a boa constrictor. Just sayin’. How many of us have ever heard of snakes called Fifi, or Fido? No? No! One hears names like Squeeze or Viper. Sorry. It’s just not a love relationship with me. As long as snakes stay outside in the fields they are safe. If they come near my house….they might be separated from their head. Just sayin’.

My aunt emailed me the other day. She was down in the basement of her house and came across a snake skin. Not the kind of thing a woman wants to find in her house. Spiders. Check. An occasional mouse. Check. Check. A long snake skin. Oh, no I don’t think so! She promptly did what any God-fearing woman would do. She called an exterminator. The first guy said they didn’t work with snakes, but he’d put her in touch with someone who did. (Good, make it snappy, Mister!)

A young woman showed up. She went down into the basement to check things out. Uh huh….definitely a snake skin. After some investigation and caulking of any holes, she declared that the snake was long gone. The basement was snake free. She even guaranteed her work for 10 years. (Better be!)

She informed my aunt that it is illegal to kill snakes in the state of Maryland. Say what?! Yep. I didn’t believe it either, but it is true. I guess if I still lived in Maryland that my picture might be hanging in the post office, under the most wanted criminals section. A hardened snake killer. If a snake was in my house he’d deserve what he got. So there.

The young female snake wrangler was at the house for maybe a half hour…and my aunt had to fork over several hundred dollars. I’m thinking I might have my children consider snake wrangling as their desired career. They could make the big bucks. Enough money to help keep me in the lap of luxury in my old age. If they are really good they might be able to have their own cable TV show, sort of like Dog The Bounty Hunter. I would be so proud.

 

Lovin’ Me Some Tractor Supply

Looking west at the Tractor Supply Company loc...

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I never used to go to Tractor Supply. Not ever. Had no real need to visit. That all changed when I “came back” to the country. My husband and I spend a lot of time at this place now. A lot. Who knew that a woman could have such a good time at this store? Here are some of my adventures of late:

1. They have lip balm at TS. It’s called Chicken Poop. Really. It’s not really made with Chicken Poop, but it’s a cool name, huh? I bought my mom some (as a gift bag decoration) for her birthday. She thought it sounded gross. Obviously, the woman has no taste. I TOLD her it really wasn’t chicken poop. I don’t know if she believed me. Shows how much she trusts her eldest daughter. Hmmppfff!

2. My hubby and I bought our daughter some really CUTE boots to muck the horse stall in. They are brown and orange with flowers on them. She is more used to “manly” boots. We told her she is a girl. She will wear the boots and look cute…as cute as any girl can, when her boots are covered in sawdust and horse poo. But anyway….

3. I check out their bulletin board while there. I like to look at what animals are for sale. Cows, horses, dogs, llamas, anyone?

4. We got more wood shavings for the horse stall. Who knew how much a horse can poop? Let me just say, A LOT. And cleaning up after a horse is not like changing a diaper. At least a baby is some what self contained. Just imagine how much an animal weighing several HUNDRED pounds can put out. Just sayin’.

5. I appear to be talking a lot about poop today. Go figure.

6. My husband is coveting a Carhartt coat. He said they are the warmest coats ever. That might make the short list for a Christmas present. Don’t tell him.

7. How fun is it to pick out gates? Deep blue? A Rusty red? Or the old standby, silver? (We went with blue, by the way)

8. Last night the girl at the cash register asked if we would like to buy a flashlight? They were on sale. So we did…only because they were super cute. (At least that was my opinion, my husband probably would not describe it that way.) The flashlight can fit in the palm of ones hand, and yet has a very powerful light. Good for night trips to the barn. Or checking on the dogs. Or just walking around the yard for no reason whatsoever…in the dark. Don’t ask. One never knows.

9. Sometimes my husband strays to the aisles full of nuts, bolts, screws. Boring stuff. I don’t really like those aisles very much. So, while he is looking at the bins of bits and pieces, I occupy myself by counting all the small pieces that have accidentally been dropped on the floor in that aisle. I count them. I think about the store employee that has to get down on their hands and knees and retrieve all those pieces. What a pain. He (or she) is probably cursing the nuts and bolts aisle. Who can blame him?

10. That aisle is near to where the chain is. The other day we needed a length of chain and I enjoyed watching the man put the chain in the machine that cuts it to the desired length. I have to admit that when near that machine I have a nearly uncontrollable urge to throw some other object in the machine to see if it can cut something besides chain. I end up not doing it. I don’t want to break the TS chain cutting machine. Besides it would probably cost a lot to replace and I’d feel badly about it. I’ll just keep my destructive tendencies to myself. For now.

So, as you can see, Tractor Supply is my new fun and fav store. Some people like Saks, Belks, Proffits, JcPenney, or Kohls.  Hey, all I’m saying is…..give Tractor Supply a chance. You just might be surprised.

It’s Alive! It’s Alive!

Radiant Heated Sidewalks

Image by Canadian Veggie via Flickr

My husband and I built (and I use that term loosely) our house. Really, my husband designed the house and made sure everything was getting done, other men actually built the house. I pretty much just visited during the process and looked at how things were coming along…and made comments. My contribution to the process pretty much went like this, “This half bath will look soooo cute!”, “I like the view from the front of the house.”, or “I think I just saw a spider crawl under the baseboard. Sweetheart, have you seen a lot of spiders?”  In my defense I DID stain our big front door. In the garage. In the middle of February. When it was like -100 degrees outside—and it felt just as bad inside because the stinkin’ house wasn’t heated yet. My hands went numb and froze to the brush I was staining with. And for those of you that know about staining, I realize that one should not stain when it is that cold. But, I also know that I wasn’t lugging a 500,000 pound door somewhere else to stain it. And, I also wanted the huge gapping hole in the front of the house covered so the Arctic wind couldn’t get in. So, I made due. It was one of those experiences that I will one day tell my grandchildren about…..”Oh, yes sweethearts. Grandma’s hands are permanently stained brown because of the freezing cold, door staining incident during the winter of 2009.” Aaahhhh…..the memories.

I love our house. I really do. But…….don’t tell anyone…I think our house is alive. Yes, I still have my wits about me. No, I’m not having hallucinations. Let me explain, that I’m not really crazy…..um….not anymore than (ab)normal.

1. We have geo-thermal heating. If one happens to be standing in the garage when it comes “on”, it sounds as if the house just breathed a huge sigh. I’m not kidding. It sounds very human. Sigh.

2. We have a metal roof on our house. On really windy days (which tend to me many, here in rural Ohio) the house sounds as if it is moaning. You can really hear it in the attic. And no we are not haunted. It is not a scary moan. Besides if we were haunted it would probably only be the spirit of a dead cow, considering our property used to be some farmer’s cow pasture in days gone by. Just sayin’.

3. I’m still getting used to the fact that we have a soaking tub with jets, in the master bath. The tub is set on a timer to “blow out”  it’s jets once a day. It’s kind of like a reverse vacuum cleaner. Anyway, I forgot about it the other day. I was sitting on the toilet, minding my own business when, ‘whoosh!’, the thing kicked in. Um…let’s just say, I’m glad I was already on the toilet so I didn’t pee my pants.  I think I heard the tub laugh.

Right now, I’m listening to the hum of the dishwasher. The music of my life.

I Can’t Seem To Write

Rainy window, rainy tree

Image by V'ron via Flickr

Do you ever go through periods where you just feel overwhelmed? Blah? Can’t seem to “get it together”? Concentration is elusive? Well, I’m having one of those days. It actually started last night. I feel sort of helpless in the midst of this. I don’t like this feeling.

1. The list in my head keeps growing.

2. Things I need to do.

3. Things I want to do.

4. And yet, I don’t want to think about my list.

5. I need to do more laundry.

6. I should do my daily house cleaning.

7. I just want to watch TV.

8. Normally, I don’t even like to watch a lot of TV.

9. What is the matter with me today?

10. My brain hurts.

11. I feel like I should be doing something.

12. Something impressive.

13. Something original.

14. Something meaningful.

15. And yet…here I sit.

16. No energy.

17. A headache.

18. Desire with no drive.

19. I don’t like this feeling.

20. Not one bit.

Asking ‘Why’ Is Normal

PET scan of a human brain with Alzheimer's disease

Image via Wikipedia

I have a lot of family and friends that are dealing with illness themselves, or illnesses of those they love. Some of the loved ones have had tests come back, with news that is not very encouraging. Some of them are having to learn to live with a chronic condition, others know they are dying. Friends and family members are having to learn about scary medical terms, and medical diagnoses that they can’t really get their mind around. Scared. Angry. Sad. Confused. Accepting. Forgiving. Frightened. Heartbroken. Encouraged.

Many times people ask ,”why”? Why me? Why my husband? Why my wife? Why my child? Why cancer? Or an incurable heart disease? Or Alzheimer’s? Or Cystic Fibrosis? Or a myriad number of other medical conditions that change the lives of the ones that have them, as well as those that love them.

Why is a huge question. If I had the answer to that, I would be a much sought after woman. Sometimes I blog about funny things, or controversial things, and sometimes I blog about things that make others sad. Sometimes I just feel led to blog about a certain thing, something that is on my heart. But, I don’t have the answer to, why.

I have mentioned in previous blog entries that my husband and I co-facilitate a GriefShare group. The group is for those that have lost someone close to them. This last group meeting was about the question, why. I learned some new things last week, or at least was reminded of them. I want to share some things with you. I never know who is touched by what I have to say, or whether the things I mention help anyone….but, if I say even one thing that does answer a question, touches a heart, turns a soul toward God, or gives some reassurance…then it is worth it.

1. We are all terminal patients in this life.

2. Everyone is going to die…it’s just that most of us aren’t forced to think about it.

3. “When you ask ‘why’,  you are in essence validating your own humanness and realizing you are not in control.” —Dr. Tim Clinton

4. There are questions that we have in this life, that will not be answered this side of Heaven.

5. My finite mind cannot understand an infinite God. If I could understand all His reasons,could understand why He allows the things He does, that would make Him a very small god.

6. Knowing ‘why’ wouldn’t make the hurt any less.

7. God reveals enough.

8. Attitude might not change your circumstances, but it does change YOU.

9. We are each on a journey. Some journeys are longer than others. Some have more struggles than others.

10. Everyone is going through something. Sometimes others can see it. Sometimes not.

11. Life is like a tapestry. God can see the beautiful story that he is stitching together from His perspective in Heaven. Down here on earth we can only see the “ugly” side of the tapestry. We see the knots and strings, the stops and starts, the new threads…on the underside of the tapestry. It doesn’t make sense to us…because we can’t see how we each fit into the picture. But God knows. He knows what He is doing.

12. It is good to feel a part of something bigger than yourself.

13. Illness and death are scary for everyone involved.

14. Being scared or angry is normal.

15. You don’t have to stay scared and angry.

16. It is a choice.

17. I wish I could hug everyone that is in pain.

18. And cry with them.

19. Tears are cleansing.

20. Jesus loves us. He understands grief. When His friend Lazarus died, the Bible tells us that Jesus wept.

21. Jesus understands pain.

22. His love caused Him to lay down His own life for us.

23. He loves each of us that much.

24. Pain is not because God hates you.

25. He has not forgotten you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There Is Beauty In The Simple Things

Sunrise on Vanha Porvoontie

Image by MikeAncient via Flickr

1. Warm candle light spilling  from the windows on a dark, chilly night.

2. Opening the mailbox to find a letter addressed to you.

3. Breathtaking sunsets where all the colors melt into each other.

4. Small churches with stained glass windows and steeples.

5. Lantern style street lights.

6. The very first snow of the year

7. Hot chocolate with gooey marshmallows.

8. Flavored coffee in a favorite mug.

9. The smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree.

10. Thanksgiving with family and friends around the table.

11. Having plenty to be thankful for.

12. The laughter of small children.

13. The silence on Christmas Eve.

14. The clank of wind chimes.

15. Driving down a country road.

16. Finding a great coffee shop in town.

17. The smell of apples and cinnamon.

18. A day off

19. Snuggling on the couch with a the TV remote and a bowl of popcorn.

20. Having friends over.

21. Laughing at something stupid.

22. Music that touches the soul.

23. A much loved and well worn bathrobe.

24. A loyal pet.

25. Friends

26.The beauty of nature

27. Holding hands

28. Smiling

29. Memories of happy times

30. Knowing that you are unique, no one can ever take your place.

God blesses us every day with the simple things.