Monday, March 14, 2011
One of the joys of lasting a long time is that various body parts start to work erratically. My latest problem is with the eyes. I seem to be allergic to oak pollen, and it affects my eyes more than the rest of my head. I was never allergic to anything except poison ivy and honeysuckle sap until about 10 years ago. We were living underneath big live oak trees, and the BW was bothered a lot. I hadn't noticed it for the first few years except when she pointed out the yellow dust all over the van. Then one year it seemed as if I had a cold, and I finally realized that maybe it was the oak pollen.
Since then it had gotten worse, and I started being affected two or three months ago. At first I assumed it was dry eyes, and just being an old fart was the cause. When I looked them up on Sparks, it said that age was a big factor, so I just accepted it. But it kept getting worse, and now it drives me up the wall. I tried a number of the BW's suggestions, but the thing that finally helped a lot was to take an antihistamine. It was like magic. Unfortunately, as time goes on, the magic doesn't seem to work as well as it did before. There was a little article in the paper that this is an unusually bad year for tree pollen - possibly a record - so maybe it will slack off in a month or so, but I suspect there will be something else to irritate me then.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Today I reset a whole lot of clocks, read the Sunday paper (especially the comics and Comp USA ad), and washed the inside of the refrigerator while waiting for the BW, who was going to do it. I just started, and by the time she came back it was done.
Then we went to Sweetbay and bought a cart full of groceries. After they were all put away, I spent nearly two hours spraying where the bees weren't thick, but saved some for the Meyer lemon and avacado tree because the bees were swarming there. After that I spend nearly two hours digging out nutsedge and sand burrs, with a few odd weeds thrown in. I kept going until the grocery bag was too full to tie fully closed.
And I didn't overeat, at least so far. Sounds like a miserable Sunday, right?
Saturday, March 12, 2011
I rolled out at 6:00 this morning and made it to downtown Palm Harbor before anyone else, but Dan drove past me, looking for the trailer which wasn't there just as I got out of my car. I waved my arms in his rear view mirror to stop him.
We did more than $100 again today, and I made the pancake batter, loaded the dispenser, and after a while greased the grill and made pancakes, but only a dozen at a time. We normally turn out three dozen on each of the two grills, but it was so slow than I just wanted to keep the grill working while waiting for customers. It turned out OK, as we never did run out completely, and we only used up 10 pounds of pancake mix today. That still left us with excess pancakes, which we put in the trash yesterday. I brought some home today, even though they do have a lot of sodium in them.
Then I washed everything again, and how my car is completely packed full. I gave my key to the storage facility to Jim Angle, so he could drop off the frozen sausage, so I'll have to wait until Monday to put everything back in storage.
It's lucky we have two cars, because I took the BW to Ace Hardware to pick out a new toilet seat today. A hinge broke on one of our toilets this morning, and it was her favorite. The new seat made her happy.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Wednesday I went down to the Chamber of Commerce to find out where and when the Citrus Festival signs would be ready for the Kiwanis to put up. The first thing I had to do was wait a half hour until someone could talk to me, then wait another 10 minutes while they tried to figure out where they wanted them. Then they gave me 16 signs and five large banners that they wanted up. I was having a hard time understanding their directions because I know the directions of the compass but not the directions they were giving me, so I waited while they figured out where, in compass directions, they wanted the things placed, and which direction they should face. By the time I finished the 16 signs it was 2PM (four hours after I started) and I took a lunch break at home before tackling the banners. Fortunately Dan called me there and asked me to wait for him - he had stopped by the Chamber but wasn't ready until after three, so I waited in a recliner, because I was shot.
Dan and I managed to get four and a half banners up, using all the line the Chamber gave me, and all the rope I had at home. By then it was nearly six and I was totally done for the day. I did go out after supper and buy another package of clothesline braided rope to finish the last banner.
Yesterday it was raining really hard in the early morning, but it quit, and I took the BW with me to finish the last banner. She held the middle up while I wrapped the line around a post twice before pulling the line as tight as I could. The clothesline stretches, so you need to get it tight, and then I wrapped the end over the line twice to get the knot tight for the first knot.
After that we went back to the fourth banner, which was a mess because we were running out of line and one corner had the grommet ripped out. I put four layers of duct tape on both sides of the bad corner, embedded a strand of rope in the corner for strength, and then cut a hole with my trusty Swiss Army knife. Then we moved it farther back from the intersection so there were places to tie the top corners and middle of the banner. It looks great now.
Today I went for a nuclear stress test, which took from 7:45 to 10:00, then rushed over to the Citrus Festival and helped make pancakes and clean up. Then I brought all the pans, bowls, and utensils home to wash for use tomorrow. I'll be back there at 7:15 tomorrow, and maybe again Sunday. It was a fairly long day and I found out that the Chamber expects us to recover all the signs and banners for them Sunday or Monday. I'm not sure about it - I guess I can, but the BW has a big shopping list and I promised to go shopping for house stuff Monday. I also got a call from a doctor who reads the before and after pictures who says I look worse this time than the last test, so I may have a fight with the cardiologist next week.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
We had Shepherds for 30 years - went through five of them. I gave the first one away after a couple of years, and neither he nor our first bitch was a good example of the breed standard even though the bitch did win a puppy show. That got us out of the dog show business because the other owners had nothing encouraging or friendly to say. If it's going to be cutthroat, it's no fun.
The last three were near perfect, and the last one was perfect, but they didn't last all that long.
After the last one (Willy, for Wilahamina) died, we didn't have a dog for a couple of years, and then I retired. Pretty soon the BW was mooning over every dog she saw - even every scrawny cringing mongeral she was in Mexico, but I refused to adopt a dog in Mexico.
We were out on our bikes in Yakima, and the trail passed the combined SPCA and Pound. She went in and asked for a small dog (since we were living in a 27 foot long trailer). After a couple of rejections, one guy remembered "That Scottie" on the back wall. They brought out this sad little dog, who weighed 8 pounds, and since he did come to her when she called him I suggested she put some money down on him. He has Schnauzer ears and a tail. He was also in day five of a six day stay, and looking at a vacuum the next day, so she did pay $30 for the dog. He cried when they put him back in a cage, and the attendant said "Don't cry little fella - you're going home today." That did it for the BW - we turned around and went home to get the van right then.
As soon as we got him into the van, he came to life and was barking like crazy at every dog he saw with a terrible shrill bark. Since I let her keep him, the BW let me name him, and because of his attitude I called him Dirty Harry. That turned into Harry in short order.
As near as anyone could figure, Harry was half Miniature Schnauzer and half Miniature Poodle. The had Schnauzer ears and stance but a Poodle coat - silky and thick. People would pet him and remark "Oh - he's silky!" because he looked like a Schnauzer but was something else. I used to tell people he was an Irvington Terrier, and it made everyone happy. He grew up to be a 14 pound dog and a real lover. He also lasted 14 years and had a personality and expressiveness that was amazing to a lot of visitors. He would do almost anything I asked him to do. He could also disappear in a travel trailer, and we couldn't figure out how he did it. Annie's shepherd took up the whole couch, and you never had to wonder where Fuzzy was.
The shepherds, after six years living with us, seemed to understand about as much English as a six year old human. Harry wasn't quite that fast, but nearly so.
Because the Shepherds didn't last too long, when Harry was about six or seven the BW started wanting a replacement dog, and she finally got a "Schnoodle" called Gracie with ears and a tail. It was the third litter by the same breeder, who finally left a litter natural.
So we had two dogs, and when it got cold Harry would shiver. In spite of his fur, his surface to volume ratio was way too high. I have seen Chiuauas shivering away on a hot summer day, but they can be so small that anything less than body temperature makes them suffer.
When it was cold we had a sweater for Harry, and later we leaned to cut off a sweatshirt sleeve, cut arm holes and slit the belly, and make a sweatshirt for him. He didn't mind a bit, and was perfectly happy wearing a coat.
After Harry died, the BW went crazy, and within a couple of weeks she had located a breeder of miniature Schnauzers with a litter due, cut a deal, and paid for a puppy in advance to be sure she got one with a tail. The standard for the breed is that the tails MAY be docked, but in the US every breeder has it done at the age of three days. It's a major operation for a grown dog (costs about $600) but for a new puppy it's minor.
Ralphy, Harry's second replacement, is a 14 pound dog too, and he sometimes gets a shivering fit - not often, but in the winter here it gets cold enough to bother him. We bought him a sweater, but every time we put it on him he would go crazy - run around in circles as if he were chasing his tail. We finally figured out that the hard sweater was catching the guard hairs in his coat and pulling the hair. I cut up an old sweatshirt of mine, put the sleeve on him. and he tolerates it just fine. He isn't sick - he is just small. The people who claim that anything with fur shouldn't have a covering never had to live with a small inside dog. They do get cold, and you feel really bad when they're shivering hard.
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