Thursday, March 26, 2015

Vacation Week and Doggy Bath

Keith is on vacation this week, the way they do it with the railroad is that they have to sign up at the end of the year for the next year's vacation spots. He used to take vacations in the summer but I convinced him to do it this year in the spring and fall so that the weather is nice and it's not too hot to go anywhere. Not that we've been anywhere yet.

So far, we went to see American Sniper one afternoon, which was very good except for the fake baby scenes. We've been out to eat a couple of times since I don't cook on vacation if I don't have to. Keith has had a few naps, nothing unusual about that, and I got him to mow the yard and spread some dandelion killer stuff in the grass. We went for a drive, thinking we would take the dog to this lake that is outside of town in the dry dirt area near the oilfields, a lake that we have never been to, not being much in the way of lake people with no fishing poles or boats. Well, that didn't go so well and we never did make it to the lake.

We drove some of the roads outside of town, driving through the metropolis of Tupman which I think is near Taft, a tiny town of a few hundred people living in what passes for houses in that kind of town. Think shacks. I had Millie on my lap on a pillow and as we are driving along outside of that town, my lap started to feel very warm and I realized that Millie couldn't hold it any longer and had peed right through the pillow onto my lap. We stopped by the side of the road where Keith took her for a little walk while I unsuccessfully tried to dry things off with paper towels. We got back in the car, Millie sitting on my now wet lap and instead of going to the lake headed for home since my pants were all wet with doggy pee. Lovely.

As we were almost home, she started throwing up, fortunately just foamy bile, but a lot of it, all over the side of the car door and on the floor and yes, on my pants.

I don't think that dog likes riding in the car all that much, the last time she went very far she threw up, so I should have known better. They do make doggy motion sickness meds, so before we take another car ride we will stock up on those.

Tomorrow we are going to take a drive into the desert, Keith says the wildflowers are blooming like crazy right now so I'd like to see that before they all die. We won't be taking the dog with us. We did figure out that we can leave her at home with the back door open enough for her to get in and out of and that seems to work okay for now. We just lock the side gate and if anyone is bold enough to try and climb over the fence to get into our house, have at it! Keith is over at Home Depot looking for a doggy door thing that they make for sliding glass doors so that we won't have to leave the door open in the future. It's going to be fly season here real soon and we really don't want the house to fill up with flies.

Keith gave Millie a bath yesterday morning, she hadn't had one since the flea bath we gave her when we first brought her home. She wasn't too thrilled about it but her fur looks a lot fluffier and cleaner and she sure smells better!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Nothing Much

So, I made that corn soup and it was okay, nothing special though. It didn't really need the bacon on top and the texture was odd since the outer skins of the corn kernels stay kind of together after you blend the soup. Keith did not like it at all.

I also made some enchiladas that were not good, I baked them a bit too long. sigh...

I'm just not that good in the kitchen, I think mostly because I just do not like to cook. I have been cooking dog food though and I guess it tastes good to the dog because she laps it right up! I use either chopped up chicken or ground beef or turkey and brown it with some shredded carrot and then add some cooked rice after everything is done. I tried some chopped up broccoli (gag) and she seemed to like that and the last batch I made had shredded carrot and zucchini in it. She doesn't like the canned dog food much and doesn't seem to like dry food all that much either, except for the cat dry food which she shouldn't eat because there is too much protein in it for a dog. I don't mind cooking her dog food because I can do a batch big enough for a couple of days instead of having to cook 2 or 3 times a day like you do when feeding humans.

We did go out to eat last night, over to the Roadhouse Grill which used to be one of our most favorite places to go. They have wonderful hot rolls they give you with honey butter and their baked sweet potatoes are delicious but the rest if the food started kind of lacking in quality so we stopped going as often. Keith had a craving for it last night, though, so over we went where we had to wait a while for a table and then sit next to a table covered in dirty dishes which sat there and sat there and sat there until finally I asked the guy that was coming to wipe off other tables to seat people if they couldn't clean it up. They were apparently quite short staffed or just didn't care. The one waitress serving our area was gone most of the time, no coming around to check on drinks or how things are. Keith's pork chop dinner was good but my salad wasn't, I could have just bought a bag of salad at the grocery store and put a few pieces of grilled chicken on it myself. If we ever go there again (doubtful) I won't be getting a salad.

Other than last night he hasn't been home much this week, only getting the minimum time off between trips in and out, but next week he will be on vacation. I have gently (well maybe not so gently) suggested that he try not to spend his vacation in front of the TV and he says he has things he wants to get done, so we will see how it goes. I'm sure I will be very ready to have him go back to work by the time the week is over with. He bought a bunch of flowers to finish off the front flower bed and a bunch of other yard stuff that hasn't been touched yet so hopefully he will do some of that along with the shed and garage clean out that he wants to get done. I don't think we are actually going to go anywhere other than getting our taxes done, but maybe one afternoon we will take a drive or something. We can't just pick up and take off for an entire day anymore, that little dog really can't be left alone that long. Kind of like a small child. By the looks of the toys in the living room you would think we had a small child living here.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Some Flowers and Cats and Stuff

I'm actually cooking today. What the heck is up with that? I cooked once last week too, I made meatloaf for Keith and it came out really good or so he said. I don't much care for meatloaf but I choked some down and it wasn't too bad. For meatloaf anyway. Keith likes meatloaf to where he will actually order it when he is out to eat. Unthinkable as far as I'm concerned.

Anyway, today I'm trying a recipe for creamy corn soup with crisp bacon. The recipe is easy enough, just saute some onion in butter, then corn, carrots and celery gets sauteed in the onion butter for about 10 minutes, then add some milk and chicken broth and cook for a while, then you are supposed to use an immersion blender to blend it all up. Which I don't have but you can use a regular blender, too. You just have to blend it up a little at a time, finding something to put the blended soup in while you are blending the rest of it. Or whatever, we will see how it tastes. The crispy bacon part is a garnish on top and I've even already cooked the bacon, something I really hate doing because you have to cook it long and slow to crisp it up and I'm more of a hurry up and get crispy already sort of person. Not much patience in the kitchen.

Today I've also cleaned cat boxes, vacuumed the house, grocery shopped, and shopped for new dishes. I did get some new dishes but more on that later because it is kind of a long story. I also shopped for new clothes this week, also a long (and sweaty) story.

It is hot here this weekend, yesterday we broke an almost 100 year old record, getting up to 93. Geez. It really didn't seem that hot to me because I had all the ceiling fans in the house going and our dark screens help keep things cool.

So, flowers. Our flower beds have been going crazy so far this spring with absolutely no effort on our part, I haven't even watered them yet, the few rains we had being enough for now. All of the flowers that we planted last spring have come back bigger and better and it's really colorful outside. The lavender that I planted in the back yard that almost died over the winter is in full bloom and the bees love it.

This is the backyard flower bed and I can't remember what the yellow flower vine is, kind of like a small rose, but boy, is it pretty this year! Last year it didn't bloom all that much and they didn't last long, but this year every branch is covered in little flowers.

The front yard flower beds are also looking quite good this year.

We got the cats some new cat stands, the cheap one we got at Walmart being almost unusable for them and looking really shabby. Whoever designed it didn't try it out on cats, they had a hard time getting from one level to the next and the covering on the scratching posts only lasted a few minutes it seemed like. We got shorter easier to move around ones this time and everybody seems to really enjoy them, even the dog was sniffing around.

The one that Bear is on seems to be the most popular, perhaps because it is right by the sliding door and gets lots of sunshine. It has another flat platform a little lower and usually somebody else is laying on that one. The oval shape is perfect for our big fat cats.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

It's A Good Thing

That Millie doesn't tinkle when she gets excited like a lot of dogs do. Otherwise there would have been tinkle all over the house when Keith got home yesterday. She gets SO happy when he walks in the door and jumps all over him, runs around the house like a maniac, grabs her toys and shakes them, then runs around some more and then jumps on him some more. He played with her for a while and then took her for a walk, me still not feeling well from my cold and with no energy to go out walking. Then, they were both tired so onto the couch for a nap.

She was laying next to him with her head hanging off the couch, which didn't look all that comfortable to me, so I tried to rearrange her body just a bit.
I got a book on chihuahuas and how to train them (which sounds like a whole lot of work) but it was interesting to read about their temperament and learn a little more about our little doggy. She is not all chihuahua, having that dachshund mom or dad in there, but I figured part chihuahua means chihuahua traits and the book might be helpful. It came with a training video that I haven't watched yet but will soon. Chihuahuas are small but fearless so you really have to keep an eye on them when they are out where dangers might lurk, like other bigger dogs. You also have to watch that you don't step on them, which has happened a few times already, me and Keith both having stepped on her paws. Yelp! They are very playful and energetic (no kidding!) and very protective of their people.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday Odds and Ends

I don't get sick very often, but this year is not starting out all that well. Keith brought the Barstow crud home from work and we were both sick with colds that didn't want to quit, the cough from the cold seemed to hang on for weeks and we had stuffed up noses and lots of snot. We started feeling better and then he had an attack of what we thought was allergies but must have been the Barstow crud again, with him having a miserable trip over the desert, runny nose, sneezing and coughing the entire way. Enough to where the engineer was having second thoughts about being cooped up in a cab with him and worried about his own health. It was the second coming of THE COLD not allergies, because I'm going through my second coming right now. It started a few days ago with that something more than allergy type feeling and has become a full blown nasty nasty cold. My head is full of cotton and I can't breathe through my nose very well. Two colds in as many months is very unusual for me, I don't think I've had a cold in 2 or 3 years. Thanks, nasty Barstow!

Now that we've been dog parents for a few months, I've come to the conclusion that cats are much much much easier. Dogs certainly do need a whole lot of attention and don't let you forget that they need that attention unless they are asleep. I do enjoy having an animal that is actually excited to see you when you walk in the door, whether you've just been outside to take trash out or have been gone a few hours, it's like OH MY GOD YOU'RE BACK AND YOU ARE THE BEST PERSON EVER! Kind of good for the old ego there.

I do sort of feel like a zookeeper though, what with feeding and poop cleaning up and feeding some more and more poop cleaning up, but we are enjoying our yappy needy little dog quite a bit. Except for the barking part of it all.

Speaking of poop, as we get older or don't eat the right things, we do tend to have problems in the going to the bathroom area on occasion. Or every day in my case. I've been drinking my Metamucil 3 times a day for a lot of years now, the extra fiber certainly can't hurt and it's supposed to help keep your arteries cleared out too, but even with all that Metamucil I've had a lot of problems in the bathroom going ever since I turned 50 it seems like, with each day being a challenge as to whether I will or won't be able to go today. It's not fun dealing with constipation, not a topic we usually like to discuss but something that can make you very cranky and irritable. It's also not something you want to wake  up thinking about every single day.

I had tried probiotic pills once before but the brand that I bought gave me stomach cramps, so gave those up very quickly. I decided to give them another try and got a once daily delayed release probiotic and hey! no more problems! The brand that I got is made by Renew Life and is called Ultimate Flora and boy, do they work well with no stomach cramps. I still drink my Metamucil for those digestive benefits and I feel a lot less cranky these days.

And, speaking of constipation, we've all dealt with hemorrhoids, or piles as they called them in the olden days, and those aren't much fun either. I used to use the standard Preparation H but found a homeopathic cream that works so much better, almost instantaneously. It's called Nupercainal Bio-Active cream nad it's made with herbs and is cooling and soothing and works really really well. It feels a little odd at first since it is definitely COOLING! Strange feeling to have your hind end kind of tingly cold but it works so very well.

Okay, what else can we talk about that doesn't involve butts and bathrooms?

The weather? It was supposed to start raining overnight but I woke up to sunny skies. Rain is promised for later today so we will see if that ever happens. I do like me a rainy Saturday, especially when I can just stay home and watch it all from the comfort of my couch. Which is where I will probably be most of the day since I really don't feel all that well.