Thursday, September 20, 2018

Procrastination, thy name is Donna

I've always been a go-with-the-flow kind of person.  I take the easier and more enjoyable way whenever possible, so of course I make deadlines I don't meet or goals that I know when I make them aren't going to happen.  Life's just a bowl of cherries, right?  So surely my readers didn't think I was serious when I typed something in my last entry from four days ago saying I'd be back the next day.  Right?  

OK, my intentions are good, but now that I'm footloose and fancy-free not babysitting, Cliff seems to find more places to drive.  Tuesday we had to drive to Oak Grove about some prescriptions.  Yesterday we got in the car after our dinner at noon, heading to Holden to check on a batwing mower on Craigslist (he bought it).  Today we picked up granddaughter Heather at the automotive place where she took her car, went by Cliff's sister's house long enough to say hello, then came home until 11:30, when it was time for me to get a haircut.  Of course, on any of these days I had plenty of time to do a blog entry.  But I procrastinate.

This morning I went in the kitchen to get a cup of coffee and said to Cliff, "I need to unload the dishwasher."  I opened up the door, grabbed four plates, shut the dishwasher door, put the plates in the cabinet, and said, "Well, that's a start."

And I sat down to drink my coffee. 

That's pretty much how I approach every day.  I'm not even ashamed.  Somebody has to be in this world to make you Suzie Homemaker ladies look better, so I'm just doing my job.  Gabe feels pretty good about all the car rides we're taking him on, though.  Any little local trips where we aren't planning to eat out or do any heavy shopping, he gets to "go with" now.  I make him stay mostly in the back seat, although I do let him stand with his front feet between me and Cliff.  He likes to stand, looking down the road, as though he's riding shotgun.  And praise be, he hasn't gotten carsick for a long, long time.     

I still have hummingbirds around; when the cold front hits tonight, perhaps that will encourage them to move on.  I walked out the back door today and saw a small flock of bluebirds.  Those beauties have become a favorite of mine.  Before we moved back here to the trailer house, I don't recall ever noticing a bluebird, although to be honest, I wasn't looking for them.  First of all I put a concrete birdbath in the yard, since that had been suggested as a way to attract bluebirds.  It worked, too.  But the concrete birdbath was so hard to keep free of that green algae, and impossible to dump out because it was so heavy.  So I gave up on it and got a bluebird house for Cliff to put on a fence post; ever since then, there's been no lack of bluebirds around here.    

The weathermen on TV have been teasing us with promises of a much-needed cold front bringing in some much-needed rain, but now they've taken the promise of rain almost completely out of the picture.  That's how our whole summer has gone.  And that's all I'll say about that, because if I don't change the subject, I'll get depressed thinking about the drought.  My mom often told stories about the drought during the first years of her marriage in the thirties, and after the past summer, I almost feel as though I can relate.  However, we don't HAVE to have a garden in order to eat, and that makes a huge difference in how we fare.  Mother told about the wife of the farmer she and Daddy worked for giving them some potatoes that were left in the ground until they had frozen (probably the littler ones) and also some dried pole beans that had been planted in with the corn, and climbed up the stalks for poles.  Mother said that's mostly what they lived on that winter, along with gravy made with water instead of milk.  Hard times, folks.  When they got married my sister Maxine (age 5) joined them.  Mother made dresses for her out of her own old, worn-out dresses.   They also had a lot of canned goods Mother's mom gave them as a wedding gift.  And Daddy would hunt rabbits, but I think they sold more of them than they ate themselves.  Honestly, meat was never a big priority with my parents; they could take it or leave it, throughout their lives.

We won't talk about the "no air conditioners" problem of the 30's.  

Hard times, folks.  Hard times.  We who didn't live through it can't even imagine.  

Peace.  I'll refrain from promising to be back tomorrow,  But I SHALL return. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Why do dogs roll in stuff?

I was going to do a blog entry this morning, but things happened:  Cliff had to go by the clinic about a couple of things, so of course I wanted to go along, because he's the only one who lets me tag along that way.  If he says "I'm going," I say, "Wait for me, it'll only be a minute," because I don't care WHERE.  Then I hunt for my shoes, take Gabe out to potty before we go, comb my hair, put on different clothes.  So it's always more like 10 or 15 minutes.  I wouldn't blame Cliff if he decided to sneak away without telling me.  No, he wouldn't do that.  I'm the one who cooks for him, so he wouldn't want to make me mad.

This morning I was inspired to blog about Gabe, since Cliff and I spotted him rolling in something in the pasture; I called him, and his head and neck were shiny with some sort of stinking-to-high-heaven corruption.  I don't understand what a dog gets out of this, but I know Gabe loves it, and doesn't understand why I won't let him smell the way he wants to.  One day recently I left his bath water in the kitchen just in case he found the stink again, which he did a short hour later.  He hates baths, and it seems like he would figure out he wouldn't have to have so many baths if he'd quit rolling in stuff.  I did look on the Internet to see why they do what they do, though:

"Many believe it's instinctual behavior, harkening back to the days when your dog's wild ancestors would mask their scent to help them sneak up on their prey. Wolves, for example, have been observed rolling in animal carcasses or the droppings of plant-eating animals, to cover up their own smell during the hunt."

I'm don't think Gabe is the sharpest knife in the drawer, but if we can break him of a couple of suicidal stunts he pulls, he'll suit me fine.  He knows "sit" and "stay" and "down" and "come" (if he wants to).    I recently taught him to "sit up pretty", and used treats to reward him; I use pieces of his regular dog food as treats, since he likes them.   If he things there might be a treat in store, he'll just randomly run through the few commands he knows in about five seconds, ignoring my orders.  This dog is SO food-oriented.  Here's an example of how he shames me when I'm trying to show him off.  And don't be making fun of my big feet.

See?  I started out telling him to sit, but he "sat up pretty" instead.  Next, with me still saying Sit, he lays down.  Of course, when nobody is watching, and nobody is recording, he goes through his paces perfectly.  Just like children do.

Yesterday one of my granddaughters, Monica, brought her dog Suzie along.  She's an older dog, but after a couple of hours of getting acquainted, she and Gabe had a great time.  Poor Gabe was worn out last night.  When Suzie first got here, she spent some time letting Gabe know who was boss.  This was really good for him, since he hasn't had a lot of experience getting to interact with other dogs.  It was great fun watching Suzie pee, then Gabe trying to cover her scent with his pee... that went on all day long.  There is a video of Suzie and Gabe frolicking, but it's a Facebook video, so I can't share it on the blog.  

On another note, I have a Facebook friend in Kentucky who goes to bluegrass festivals.  She's told me so much about them, I really want to attend one.  It sounds like the best people-watching event ever.  There are no festivals nearby, but there are several in the state.  Two of them will be going on at the same time our local fair happens, and we don't want to miss our chance to drive a tractor in the parade.  Gabe might even get to join us.  

I hope to be back tomorrow, perhaps with a topic of more substance.