Friday, February 29, 2008

Two (or more) Ways to Get Results

Have you ever been in a discussion with someone and suddenly realized that you have reached the same conclusion, but you got there via different routes? BUT since you both have an extreme investment in your respective routes neither of you can see the result is the same? More screaming and frustration than action is the ultimate result.

So, if you know someone is going to take a certain route and needs that route to see the end, do you adapt and take that route or do you take your own route and hope you both get there at the same time?

Guess this comes under the adage "there is more than one way to skin the cat".


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Four Things About Me

Within two hours of each other, I received the “challenge” to complete these questions from two different friends. The lists were very similar and I included questions that were exclusive to one or the other list. Thanks, M and B. Much appreciated. Sorry I wasn’t up to the task when the challenge was received.

Four Jobs I Have Had:
Fast Food Cook
Lifeguard/Swim Instructor/Swim Coach
Executive Assistant

Four Places I Have Lived:
Gulfport, Mississippi
Normal, Illinois
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Elverta, California

Four TV Shows I Watch:
Dr. Who (the new and the old)
Star Trek (the original preferably)
Perry Mason (when I can find it)

Four Movies I Would Watch Over and Over
any of Cary Grant’s movies
Robin Hood (1938 version)
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Four Places I Have Visited, But Not Lived
Oslo, Norway
New York City, NY
Santa Monica, CA
Seattle, Washington

Four Places I Would Like To Visit Before I Die
the moors of England
St. Augustine, FL
anywhere in Alaska

Four People Who Email Me Regularly:

Four Favorite Foods:
medium rare steak
Is Dr. Pepper a food?, If not, any roasted vegetable.
garlic mashed potatoes

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now:
Working out

Four people I think Will Respond

Four things I look Forward To This Year:
Getting back on financial track with my goals
Showing Luke maybe even up to three feet
Seeing Quinn and Adam
Continuing to get healthier

Thanks again, M and B. That was fun. Now, I really must finish the financial project I am working on.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Left Hind Feet

The Stevens Ranch has been over run with Left Hind Foot ailments.

Angus' tumor is on his Left Hind Foot; Luke's abscess is in his Left Hind hoof. So twice a day soakings for them both. Strangely enough, they both actually tolerate it pretty well.

Me, I am too impatient. I want them both well NOW. (This coming from the one who lost an entire week to drugs, and fever and sleep.

My apologies

to the wonderful people who commented on my 12 of 12 this past week. (I remember Bonnie and Bear'd, for sure, but there were at least three others as well).

In my state of not knowing what time of day or even what day it was, I also must have not known the difference between delete and post in the comments section of this blog.

Your comments were read and I thought I pressed post. So, sorry. But thanks for the wonderful comments on my photos. I will do it again next month, with the phone or maybe with a camera.

Again. I appreciate all my comments. I just don't know how to push buttons when I am ill.

Angus Update (and other things)

Every lose an entire week? Ten Days. I did.

Took Angus to the vet on Friday. He is doing ok. He has a tumor on his toe, we have opted to not have it removed, but it means we have to watch him to make sure he doesn't chew it. He does well, for the most part. I hate the cone on his head (photo later) for when we aren't around, but he can't chew it. That is good. He is responding to the medication he is on; so that is good too.

While at the Vet's, I started having a bit of trouble breathing. Asthma-type symptoms. I asked the receptionist if they had many cats on Friday and she yes. So, being allergic to cats, I think nothing more about not being able to breathe. I'll find my inhaler; or so I thought.

Saturday is a normal day. Pick up my prescription for my dental surgery on Tuesday. (2/19). Head over to the barn to see the group. (Luke has an abscess so he's not ridable for a few more days). Have some trouble breathing, suck on the inhaler that I hate using because, well, I can become easily dependent.

Saturday night, all hell breaks lose, so to speak. I have trouble concentrating. Nothing tastes good. Nothing looks good. Nothing on tv is good. UGH! I think I am getting sick. DAMN. We have a birthday party to attend on Sunday. I go to bed. I get up on Sunday morning around 10. I DON'T fix our normal bacon and eggs. I fumble for the thermometer. Take my temp. 103. UGH. Still can't breathe. Just relax. It will be over soon. Or so I continue to tell myself.

I nap. I call to cancel our attendance at the birthday party. I nap. I get up and go to bed. This has got to pass. It has to. I get up at 5 on Monday morning. Still no break in the temp. I call my office mates. I call the boss, who is driving back from AZ after being gone 10 days. I go back to bed. I finally call the doctor. I am so ill, they don't want to see me. (Only somewhat joking. My doctor is very good and believing me when I tell her what I think I need. ) Can someone come pick up a different inhaler and some heavy duty cough syrup. I send Brandt who is off for President's Day.

Tuesday comes, I think. I am still running a temperature of 102. I cancel my dental surgery. Have to reschedule. The soonest I can get in is JULY. GUGHHHHHHH! I nap. I text the office. Find a replacement for girls night out. (They went to the Kings game). Not going to make it. Wednesday comes and goes. Temp finally back to normal for more than five minutes.

Thursday. I am exhausted. I have only eaten raspberry Jello. And enough water to drown a whale. Friday. (Brandt is now sick) I venture to the vet's for more medicine for Angus. Feels good to get out. I come home and nap. Saturday. I fix bacon and eggs. Dogs are happy. Sunday I take it easy.

Today, I return to work. Man. This is one nasty virus. Be glad I stayed home. But I lost an entire week. Didn't check emails; didn't surf the internet. NOTHING. A lot of nothing happened in a week. Glad I missed it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Custodian Duties Are Difficult

We have a menagerie of many critters on our ranch. And we take our custodial duties very seriously. In fact, the joke in our family is that the humans are allowed to live here because of our ability to pay the bills. We have dogs, cats, horses, a rooster, not to mention the voles, red-tail hawks, garter snakes, gophers, owls, rabbits, quail, coyotes, foxes, mice (no rats, thank goodness), woodpeckers, starlings and a variety of other birds.

We are good custodians. Two friends have requested that we care for their animals should something happen to them. Very seldom do we either over or under react to an injury or illness. I check and double check with experts and most times, we are right on the mark for their care. And we have had some big issues. I also don’t think we keep them around longer than they can handle. Our Vets are the BEST!!!!!!

Cocoa lived to be 15; Joe was 14 (four years as a diabetic canine); Chi was 17; Bo was 13; Tush was 33; Geoffrey was 9; Dawg was 12 when she got lost last spring during a storm; Ryan was only 3, but not very bright as she was hit by a car. So why am I so bummed?

Our 18½-year-old dog is not doing so well. Not bad, but not well. About three weeks ago, we noticed he had a broken toe nail. It had become infected. We took him to our Vet. Soak him twice a day for a week. Antibiotics. Pain pills. He never missed a step. He has been a quick and bossy as ever. Back to the Vet, who is happy with his progress. Swelling is gone; infection is mostly gone; however, toenail is splintered beyond repair. Continue soaking two times daily for a week and then bring him in for a quick snip of the splintered toenail. He will be under no more than 10 minutes. That was this morning.

Just talked with our Vet. His toenail removal went well, but, there is always a but, he has a small tumor in his toe. Removing it means being under for nearly 60 minutes. We knew we were taking a huge risk with the ten minutes today. There is no way I will let him do 60. NONE. Now the question is, is this the first of many, or the last of many? We now wait.

18 years for a dog is a long time. It is just very hard, given the month that it is, to think of saying good-bye. So, we wait.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Maybe it isn't fairness

that I am in search of.

Maybe, it is simple justice.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

February 12 of 12

Today, is 12 of 12 day. I still don't have a camera, but decided to do use the one my Treo 600. The photos aren't the quality I would like, but it is better than last month's narrative or not doing it.

If you are new to 12 of 12, it was started by Chad Darnell. Check out his site.

Didn't come out too clear. I was driving. 7:42 am. Somewhere between Sacramento and Davis, California. Hybrid's Fuel Economy Reading. What you can't read is that I was averaging about 29.8 mpg.

The front seat of the Hybrid. 7:43 am. Somewhere on the causeway.

Guess I shouldn't admit to speeding, but see all those cars in front of me? They had just gone screaming past me. And I am in the slow lane. Near Davis, CA. 7:50ish.

GPS Map in Hybrid. Approximately 7:54pm. Just past Dixon, CA.

Almost to the office. GPS showing how much the gas and electric motors are each working.

And how they aren't working at all. At the moment.

And how the Electric Motor only is doing its thing. Vacaville CA. approximately 8:05 am. Yes, I was a bit late for work.

Millennium SportsClubs new Lifestyle and Exercise Program. Being offered now. Freshly delivered by the UPS Driver. Tried to get his photo, but he wouldn't stand still long enough. Here is what he left us.

The Technogym treadmill tv screen. I was watching the Travel Channel's show on Hawaii's ten best beaches. This is the massage option at one of the resorts. I was just getting started. 4:15pm.

Sunset in the rear-view mirror. 5:25pm. On the causeway, Davis CA.



Saturday, February 09, 2008

And Then There Were None

All the roses are pruned. Now, to the Mulberry trees, that are supposed to be fruitless; the apple tree and a couple of other trees.

Whewwww. This is the latest it has been to get them pruned since 1995.

It is a beautiful day. Windows open. Sun peaking through some huge white fluffy clouds. Great day for skiing, if I still did that.



Life is short

I am still struggling with the "Life being Fair" concept. But for some of us, Life is also too short. This is a bad time of the year for me, for a variety of reasons.

Five years ago, tomorrow, my mother died and my sister continued her spiral to the depths of nowhere, but at exponential speed; while my brother's star began to rise even higher than ever.

One year ago today, our dear neighbor died. I take Luke to her place every weekend to exercise him and get him into shape for this show year. She has a great riding arena. I shed a tear each time I look around and realize that although I can "feel" her helping me, she isn't truly there to enjoy Luke and I, like she had two years ago. I have my sites set on two or three big shows this season. And several smaller, schooling shows.

And then, Wednesday of this week, another neighbor lost a 14-year-old due to a horse accident.
They aren't sure exactly what happened and I haven't been to the neighbor's yet; but I am sure they are still in shock.

So, doesn't matter if you live to be 74; 64 or 14.

Life is short. Being daring, yet careful. (oops, here come the cliches) Live it like there is no tomorrow.


Friday, February 08, 2008

Civic Duty Done

Well, it was an interesting two days. Actually, it was an afternoon of one day and a morning of the next.

Civic Duty complete for another year or so. Although I have enjoyed the process in the past and took my "job" on the previous two juries very seriously, I am gratful I did not make this panel. I was never called. Got to the courtroom, but they never called me to the box.

It was criminal and it was murder. Eight weeks minimum. It wasn't the thought of being away from work for that long that bothered me, it was the idea that I couldn't talk about what I was or was not doing for that long. ARgggghhhh!


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Speaking of being Civic

I am off to Jury Duty. Not sure what to expect this go around. (I get called every three years, like clockwork. Fortunately, my boss is on nearly the same schedule).

I get to go and sit and wait at 1pm today. I am glad they have gone to the one-day or one trial method, but I have been on-call since Monday morning. Makes planning your work day a bit tough, not knowing if you are going to be at work or at the courthouse.

I have been on two juries. One criminal. One civil. Both were very interesting.

More later.


Fun in the Boonies-Update

Well, it turns out there was no downed plane. That infamous group, THEY, aren't sure what really happened, whether it was a hoax, or a misheard signal. Either way, they spent over 5 hours searching for someone who wasn't lost.

I think I am relieved. (Although the entire situation exasperates me, and here is why. The FAA declared the incident settled about two hours after the first reporting, but apparently neglected to tell the local authorities who neglected to tell the guys on the street. Go Figure. And THEY wonder why we are so jaded and tired of the crap.)

Here is a link to the story in the Sacramento Bee.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

No more Jello before bedtime

We have a some friends who live not too far from us with whom we enjoy doing a variety of activities.

So, I had a dream last night that we were at the one friend's house and Brandt and her nephew were fishing in her pond. (She doesn't have one, although she lives very close to a lake). Her niece and I were swmming in same said (non-existent) pond. The niece was attacked by a shark, so she and I quickly got out of the water. She was fine, no scratches or marks, but the nephew caught the shark on his next cast. It took him what seemed like forever to bring the creature in.

Brandt and our friend made the nephew put the shark back in the lake. They were both very insistent. The niece and I were standing on the shore wondering why. I screamed something like "Sharks can't live in fresh water, so you are going to kill it and besides it attacked us."

Of course, the alarm went off.

I am not allowed to eat jello before going to bed, anymore.



Today is Super Tuesday in the political world. (Yes, I voted. First one in line. Got to certify that the ballot box was empty and working ok.)

It is also Fat Tuesday in the Catholic world. Mardi Gras to the rest of the world.

I am preparing for 40 days of Lent. Never really been very good at picking a vice (I don't have many, wink, wink, nod, nod) to do without in years past. But this year will be different. It started out different for a variety of reasons and continues on the path to sanity.

What habit do I want to change? What habit do I want to begin that will continue to enhance my existence? Well, I have a few more hours to decide. Until then, bring on the fast food, the Dr. Pepper, Pizza and sweeties peppermint candy.


Monday, February 04, 2008

Life is NOT fair

but isn't it supposed to be equitable?

I am not looking for everyone to be treated the same, like clones, but there comes a time when trade-offs do not out weigh their opportunity costs.

Life is not supposed to be fair, but damn it, all other things being equal, it should be.

Yea, I mixed my metaphors and clichés, but I am irritated.

That is all. On that. For now.


The limb was strong

Well. What a game.

My fan powers not withstanding, this time the TEAM I wanted won. Am I losing my touch? I hope not, as I have already sent letters to the Packers and Chargers ownership groups for next season. (I picked them at the beginning of the season).

I liked the Audi commercial and of course the Budweiser (Hank) one. The baby e-trade and the Shaq vitamin water one were pretty good too.

May the ghosts of Bill Walsh and Walter Payton rest again another year.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Going out on a Limb

Here's to the Giants. Got to cheer for them, being a NFC apologist.

And, as much as I like Tom Brady and Teddy Buschi, I can't stand the coach.

As much as it pains me, GO GIANTS!!!!!!

Fun in the Boonies

The only time we see any law enforcement officers is when our CHP friend is in the neighborhood and stops by to say hi. She did that yesterday.

So imagine my surprise and curiosity when at about 7pm last evening, after listening to Kitty growl for about twenty minutes, I finally got up to see if there was truly something in our yard that shouldn't be there and see several patrol cars, traveling at a slow crawl, lights a blazing on the levee behind us with search lights canvassing the entire area. (For Kitty this is too close, although it is a 700 feet from our backyard to the railroad tracks and another 200 feet to the levee road). I comment to Brandt, well, M (our CHP friend) is chasing a slow driver tonight. Hope she catches him. I return to watch the Kings vs. Bulls on WGN. (I don't like the local play-by-play guy, so watch the Kings on alternate stations when I can.)

Kitty continues to growl. It is a very deep, don't mess with me growl. Soon, Boy, starts growling and barking at something. A patrol car proceeds slowly south on our road, which is currently closed about 3/4 of mile south of here due to flooding. He flashes his search light over the property. Boy runs down the driveway to tell him to stay away. He makes four or five trips in front of the property.

Half-time of the game comes and we have switched back to the local channel for news. Lead Story: "Rescue crews scouring the area between Elverta Road and the county lines for a downed airplane. No other details available." Well, that explains all the patrol cars and fire trucks. By now, the wind is gusting to 50 miles an hour and raining quite steadily. Brandt and I go out and check on Reuben, Luke, Rufus and BJ. All fine. Not happy about all the activity, but fine. Weather explains why they don't have the chopper in the air. Kitty continues to growl. I try to let her know that it is ok, but she isn't happy. And an unhappy 70 pound rottweiller/lab mix that believes she is a 3 pound lap-puppy is not easy to console.

The searching, the lights flashing and shining in our windows continues until nearly 11pm. Maybe those of you who live in the city are used to patrol cars, sirens, search lights until all hours, but for those of us in the boonies, well, its unusual.

Here is a link to the story in the Sacramento Bee. They aren't sure what happened. We may never know. What I do know is Kitty's radar is very good. Relevant, not always, but very accurate.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

I finally caught it

My office mates have been "sharing" a cold since late November. Some have had it twice or three times. I am the only one who hadn't caught it.

I was careful. Washed my hands, yada, yada, yada. Well, Thursday morning I woke up with a slightly scratchy throat. By Thursday night, I thought I was going to "die" from lack of being able to breathe. Spent most of yesterday downing hot beverages and meds. Felt pretty good today... but took it easy. CUZ,

There is a Super Bowl Party to attend. Routing for the Giants, but think dynasty and the fates are on the Patriots side.