Monday, January 25, 2016

Stinky Dog

This past week Millie has not been coming to sleep with me on the nights that Keith was at work, instead she stayed on his bed either on a shirt that he left laying there or on his pillow. I didn't really mind not having a dog in the bed with me, a dog that somehow manages to get herself right in the middle of the bed so that I wake up and have to scoot her over. I felt bad for her because I knew she was wondering if he was Ever Coming Home! but I tried a couple of times to bring her to bed with me and no, she wanted to be in his bed whether he was there or not. Well, okay then.

Last night she came to bed with me and I did indeed wake up a couple of times and had to scoot her over and in the scooting over I realized that it was bath time again. She was under the covers and as I lifted the covers to do the scooting I could smell that not so fresh doggy smell coming from her.

We are a bit lazy about bathing her on any kind of regular schedule especially in the winter when it's cold outside. She doesn't really enjoy her baths, but when we notice the stink then I guess it's time! I do need to buy a hair dryer, something I don't use myself, but it takes her a long time to get dry and she runs around the house trying to dry off on the furniture, so tomorrow I'll go to Target and see what they have. I don't think the noise will bother her since she isn't afraid of the vacuum cleaner and will sit right in its path while I'm trying to clean. We will see though, and hopefully the hair dryer won't be a waste of money since neither of us uses one, we just run around trying to dry off on the furniture, ha ha!

Speaking of wasting money, we haven't done much of that lately, only going out to eat once in the past few weeks and hey, you gotta eat anyway right? The way to not spend money is to just stay home (and don't get online, too many shopping temptations!) which makes us even more boring than usual. As you can probably tell since I'm writing a post about how stinky the dog is.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Hot Dog!

I was up at the Walmart Neighborhood Market doing some grocery shopping yesterday morning, rather uninspired grocery shopping because I just can't think of anything that sounds good for dinner and don't feel like cooking it anyway, but the animals needed food so there I was. I always glance at the dog toy display even though I know that the Walmart dog toys are the type that Millie can totally destroy in about 5 minutes, like the blue dog toy that is now completely empty of stuffing but she still likes to make the squeaker squeak so I guess the $2.97 I spent wasn't totally wasted.

Anyway, here in the dog toy display is something that doesn't belong there but makes sense if you are a Walmart worker and hey, it's in a dog shape so where else would it go?
See that weiner dog there in the middle?
Yes, that wiener dog. The one that is actually a hot dog slicer/ketchup dispenser for those kids that need a gimmick to eat their hot dog.

I know it's in the dog toy section because some underpaid Walmart employee was having to put away the stuff that the shoppers decide they don't want after all and leave laying around all over the store or stuffed in among the candy bars and gum at the checkout counter. Because it's just too much trouble to hand it to the checkout girl and tell her you've changed your mind. The underpaid Walmart employee (like I once was) had a basket full of junk to put away and was tired and wanted to go home and couldn't find the hot dog slicer display so just put it in the next logical place. Dog toys!

Well, so far so good as far as not being unemployed yet. Keith got bumped off the yard job extra board but was able to bump back onto the road extra board where he went out on one trip and then has ended up doing two overnight yard jobs in a row. He was also spending time at the yard doing his annual employee training modules and got those finished up yesterday evening so that is one less thing to worry about. We're still on the austerity budget since we aren't sure how long he'll be able to hang on without someone else bumping him off but he's made it this far so we are a little more optimistic. And I don't know how to spell optimistic because to me it should be optomistic but spell check tells me that is wrong so I had to google the correct spelling.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Where did the Focaccia Bread Come From?

Yesterday Millie spent most of her day napping with Keith. He had gotten in from a late shift sometime after I went to bed then woke me up with weird cooking smells coming from the kitchen about 2am. He was wanting to watch a DVD and couldn't figure out how to work the new DVD player that we had gotten along with our TV and that we really don't use since we have Netflix (yay!) now. I had to go get my glasses so I could see what I was doing and show him how to play his DVD and then went back to bed but couldn't get back to sleep.

I got back out of bed and was up until his movie was over with, trying to read my book and make myself sleepy enough to go back to bed. About 4am his movie was over with and we both went to bed. I woke up a little later than my usual time and Millie of course stayed in bed with Keith. She won't get up if he is in bed no matter what time of day it is. I did get her to come and eat her breakfast but then she went right back to bed with him.

He finally woke up in the early afternoon so Millie went outside for a bit and we were in the bedroom, me doing something on the computer while we were talking about whatever it was we were talking about. As I was coming out of the bedroom I see Millie in the front room laying on the floor by her little bed and as I wondered why she was laying by her bed and not in it I see something in her bed that at first looks like a toasted english muffin but was in fact part of a triangular piece of focaccia bread about 4" in size.

What the heck? We don't eat focaccia bread ever and even if we did she isn't tall enough to get into the trash where a piece of focaccia bread might be. Did we leave the gate open and she found it on the street? No, the gate was shut so she must have found it in our yard, but who's been eating focaccia bread in our back yard?

We finally figured out that someone next door may have tossed it over the fence for her, maybe to get her to shut her yapping when they were taking the trash out. She yaps the entire time the poor homeowners get anywhere near their trash cans, which are in their side yard right next to our side yard.

Needless to say I did not let her eat her focaccia bread.

Keith has been able to work yard jobs this past week but is fully expecting being bumped by someone with more seniority any minute now. We did find out that if he has to go on furlough the health insurance does stay in effect for 3 months, so that's a relief considering we have lots of appointments coming up and I still need to see someone about my digestive issues. The MRI showed nothing that would be causing it, no inflammation or diverticulitis, so next step is to make an appointment with a gastro doctor, which I'm going to put off until after I see my regular doctor in a couple of weeks.

We also found out that the railroad unemployment actually pays more than we thought, we kept hearing a figure of $500.00, which we thought was for 2 weeks, but actually for one, so he would get enough to at least keep the house payment and most of the bills paid. So, we should be able to squeak by. The company guys seem to think this slowdown is going to last for quite a while what with stock markets crashing and China doing whatever China is doing and oil prices down so low and election years and all that other stuff that makes economies go into slumps. You know something is really wrong when big companies like Walmart and Target start closing down stores.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bear and Mimi and MRI scans

Well, here we go with Keith having been bumped off of the yard job board. There really are no other options as far as traveling to another district for work, all the other districts doing their own cuts, so he will have to go onto the furlough board which is basically an unemployment board where you sit and wait and hope that in a few months they start recalling people to go back to work. He thinks you get a small amount in railroad unemployment, smaller than state unemployment pays, which as anyone whose been on unemployment knows is not much. Something like $1000.00 a month. We are not sure if he loses his benefits while on the board so we may not have any insurance for a while. We have our annual doctor visits coming up and some dental visits which will all have to be put off until he hopefully gets back to work.

I did go back to the urgent care doctor on Monday to see if results had come back as far as intestinal parasites go, and they had and I don't have any parasites but still having issues so they sent me to get a scan to see what the heck is going on with my digestive system. We think it may be diverticulitis which I was diagnosed with back in '07 when I had my colonoscopy. I have never had any real problems with it before unless you count occasional constipation, certainly nothing like I've been going through for the past 6 weeks or so.

I went yesterday for the scan which was no big deal except for no food or water for 4 hours beforehand, which was actually more like 12  hours since there wasn't enough time between waking up and going for the scan to have any food or water. They do tell you to drink 16 oz of water before you come for the appointment and then they give you a bottle of water when you get there. The actual scan only takes about 15 minutes, the checking in and getting your IV in for the contrast dye took longer than the actual scan. I should find out the results from that in a few days and then go from there. If nothing is conclusive the next step would be to see a gastro doctor but if we don't have insurance then that will get put on hold for a while along with the other doctor and dentist stuff.

Other than digestive issues, the two blood draws I've had done had good results, nothing going on with my liver or anything and my blood pressure has been really good too. And no weird parasites living in my body.

Millie is almost done with her antibiotics, she was getting to where she wouldn't eat all of the pill pocket treats so last night we tried some turkey lunch meat with the meds sprinkled on it and yum yum yum, she liked that a lot! It's not crappy lunch meat from Walmart but the good meat from Trader Joe's that is actually turkey cut from the breast in recognizable slices and without all the preservatives you find in regular lunch meat. She seems to be feeling much better and back to her barking at noises and tearing up her toys.

Bear and Mimi were sleeping together on the bed the other day, Mimi being a very convenient pillow for Bear's head.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Back to the Austerity Budget


Okay, so far so good. Keith did indeed get cut from the board that he was working on but fortunately was able to go onto the extra board that they call for yard jobs if someone is sick or lays off or goes on vacation or whatever. There are only a few spots on that board so if they do any more layoffs someone with more seniority will certainly bump him off. Joe came over and helped him navigate the system, he had to look and see if there were any openings in Barstow or Needles that he could bump onto, which there weren't and which was just as well because he didn't really want to have to go live out of a motel in Barstow or Needles. Some railroad guys have to go to other states to find work, living out of their cars or motels if they can afford it, or if you can't do that you go onto the furlough board which is no pay and no benefits. He had to bump one of his friends off of the yard job extra board which he hated having to do, but when the boards get cut, the claws and fangs come out and it's every man for himself. As Joe said, seniority sucks until you get some and then it's great. I asked him if he was in any danger with job cuts, but he has built up his seniority enough to where it would take a national disaster before he would be cut off.

The yard jobs don't pay as much as the road jobs but at least you get to sleep at home and as long as he can stay on the board he should make enough money to keep the bills paid. You only get called when necessary, though, so you could go days and days before getting a call. We got used to having that extra income these past few years so having to go back to the old don't buy it unless it's absolutely necessary thing will be tough but that's the way we used to live all the time, least this time we have Netflix so if we are really bored because we can't afford to leave the house we've got some good TV to watch.

I did shut down my Etsy shop for a bit to do some rethinking about that and to not have to spend any money on it at the moment. I make a lot of sales there but I really don't make any money at it, it basically just pays for itself with a very tiny bit left over as far as any profits go. I've pretty much decided that I need to raise my prices to where I do make some money at it but who knows if people will pay the higher prices. I'm giving myself a few more days to think about it all and then possibly re-open the shop with those higher prices.

Millie has been a bit lethargic lately, I am assuming the meds she is taking make her a bit sleepy. I had to get the pill pocket treats and then open up the capsules of antibiotics and sprinkle the powder into the treats to get her to take her medicine. No way could I get a huge capsule down her throat without causing her trauma and I don't know why they don't give little dogs a liquid form in maybe chicken flavor like they give little kids bubble gum flavored.

I have watched quite a bit of TV lately, it's cold outside and sitting on the couch with a blankie and a remote is about all I feel like doing some days. I just finished watching Last Tango in Halifax, a British show that I really enjoyed and also watched Marco Polo which I wasn't sure if I would like but found quite entertaining. I don't usually like historical dramas all that much but this one had enough intrigue and bloodletting to keep me wanting to see what was going to happen.