Saturday, June 28, 2014


Summer is of course a very busy time at my job.
My Boarding Area is packed but that's good.
Busy + Waiting List = Job Security. 

But it does leave me exhausted and no energy to get stuff at home done.
I've shared photos before of my yard and right afterward I got a lot of it mowed down
but I didn't tackle the area of the hill.
Too Hot + Too Tired = No doing it.
And then it's rained several times.
A couple of days ago I walked down to the top of the hill again.
I just stood there looking at it.
I'm not even upset.
OK yeah, I WAS, but no, not any longer.
Nope, I'm NOT going to let it drive me crazy.
But..these weeds are TALL..
I mean like 4 feet.
This one is even taller than that.

So...I'm done.
My niece Lily is coming over tomorrow and we are going to clear just the top part.
Then we are putting up a fence.
Yeah, that's my usual M.O.
If I can't deal with something, then block it out and try to forget it.
I do have BIG plans for the top area now though.

I'm fencing it in and lining it with flowers and making it into a big outside room.
Painted picnic table, birdbaths, fairy garden, fire-pit area...yep, things like that.
Or buying a big discounted pool and surrounding it with pea gravel.
Or maybe a horse trough/stock tank for a MODERN effect.

Maybe not.
But...I DONE with that damn hill.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


and it's HOT.
but I am NOT complaining.
I said if it would only warm up, I'd be happy.
I've got the fans going and I made some new screens for my front storm door.
A very nice girl at the hardware store told me how.
I'm usually ignored at those stores or else talked to condescendingly. 
It was so very nice to talk to a helpful sweet person.
That motivated me, so she helped me pick out a screen door for the back of the house too,
and the hardware to go with it.
What I really liked about her was that she said to me - "You can do it!".
Yep, really nice to be treated with cheerful optimism instead of bored dismissal.
So today I will cutting down the screen door and sanding the edges and painting it.
This coming week is suppose to be more bearable, only in the low 80's.
I really hate to stick the window air-conditioners in if I don't have to.
But on THAT note, my gang was been getting their summer grooms.



I always take my Poodles in to be done because I want them to be pretty.
Sadly I do the rest of my little ones myself and it ends up looking like a real hack-job
so therefore, no photos!

I even got Nora shaved down.

She doesn't appear to be too happy about it
and she's terrified to be up on the chair where I put her for this photo.
I'm thinking her previous owners must have not allowed her on the furniture
because she was very afraid sitting there.

None of my other pets have that problem.

Then I gave Blue a good bath. 
I use that bluing shampoo to keep his coat snowy white
and I finish up with a creme rinse that I massage in and it makes his hair drop out in hand fulls.
Then I gave him several good rinses and towel dried him and then blew him out with the high-power blowdryer.
He doesn't mind the dryer like a lot of dogs but I suppose that's because he can't hear it.
I bet it feels good too, all that air blasting his hair free.

He feels SO SOFT!

So, everyone is done except Ruby.
I washed her face the other day and she went into a huge seizure fit thing again.
Her eys bugged out and her mouth and tongue went grey and she was drooling.
I really thought that was it. I thought she was passing as I held her in a towel.
She couldn't walk afterwards, so I just laid in her bed with her paws curled in.
Of course this happened just before bedtime and I sat with her until I couldn't stay awake
and then finally went to bed myself realizing she could be gone in the morning
or if she couldn't walk, well... I would probably have to have Doc release her from her little body.
But in the morning, she was trotting around the room like nobody's business.
Yeah, I might not shave her down
or if I do, just do a little at a time.
Maybe later today I will shave my long haired cats Harry and Charlie.
That's always fun.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Feeling Apprehensive.

So, kind of a strange thing happened this morning.
Well two things actually.
First, we slept in! yep, until 6:42!
but the really strange thing was as everyone jumped up and ran downstairs 
both Ping and Nora refused to go.
Ping, my little assertive watchdog of a toy poodle
and Nora, my Border Collie.
Actually Nora crawled under the bed!
That made me sort of afraid to go downstairs myself
but I knew the gang was waiting at the backdoor to go out.
So I let them all out and went back upstairs.
I had to pull out the bed and coax Nora out
and carry Ping!
Everyone is now acting normal but...
I'm still looking around, wondering.
The weather is nice with a light wind, although they've forecast storms
and now I'm wondering if they'v sensed that something is coming.
Yep, feeling apprehensive.

Friday, June 13, 2014


Yes, all CAPS because I am screaming.

Screaming in frustration.

Those are photos of my backyard, on this Wednesday 6/11/14
and here's the photo I posted 5/08/14

after spending many long full days clearing it.

In the last two weeks I've been really busy at work so I come home exhausted
and haven't been working on my yard except to mow the front yard
and work on the flower beds along the drive
and to lay paving bricks along side all of it.
I took down some trellis's and leaned them against the picnic table and a garden chair
and less than two weeks later, here they are:

and it's been raining.
So for many days I haven't been able to work outside because of that.
The plus side of all this is that some Dianthus that I had bought last Fall have bloomed.

They were annuals that I had never got around to planting and were left in a flat until late October
and I had on impulse just stuck them into the hard ground in the front of the house.
I just couldn't bear to toss them while them were alive and growing still.
and by some miracle they made it through our awful freezing winter.
So anyway, last Saturday I spent several hours trying to make a dent in all this overgrown mess and then
last Sunday my sister and I planned to go to Sunnyfield Greenhouse in Galva, IL for a day trip.
We've been there before, it's a cool place with lots of flowers and plants.
We decided to go even though neither of us planned on buying anything.
We were just going to look and maybe get ideas.
Of course we both broke down and got some flowers.
(butterfly bush)
(orange flower vine thing)

I saw a fountain that I loved.

There was a light glowing up under where the water bubbled up.
But sadly it was $460.00.

I swear this gardening thing is a sickness, an addiction.

On Wednesday, my day off, it rained on and off.
I snapped the above photos and just went inside in despair.
I just don't have the energy to do it all again.
I'm pretty sure that I'm going to call and get a dump truck full of rock.
Yep, cover as much as possible in gravel.
And actually the greenhouse was all rock with potted plants set on top....
Hmm, that might be just the ticket!
But tonight, after a very long and super busy day at work,
we are just going to chill and watch some TV.

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Twenty years ago today my Dad passed away.
It doesn't seem that long ago but then again it does.
I've talked about our relationship here before.
How we started out as almost strangers
and then after my mom passed, him falling into the role of a very strict disciplinarian.
I've written how he got rid of almost everything, including all of my pets,

and how I hated him... but also loved him.
Over the years many things changed between us.
There was a period of time after I moved out on my own where I caused him a lot of grief.
The quiet obedient child finally rebelling and doing the opposite of everything he wanted.
But time went on until we finally both matured and by some miracle became best friends.

The man who I could never talk to somehow became someone that I could casually drop by his house with my dog
and sit on the patio and chat and laugh.
I would call him about the silliest of things, like a funny story about how my dog was chasing lightning bugs
and what a sight it was to see.
Or I talk to him about boyfriend problems and he would give me his opinions
although I never followed his advice.
We still had our moments, times when he would comment about dishes in my sink
or some other household chore that wasn't done to his satisfaction and I would get upset
but not as upset as his complete lack of emotional support of anything I did artistically.
In fact, the night before it happened I called him to let him know that I had entered a piece of my Art work in an Art exhibition.
I was excited because it had been chosen to be in one of the downtown business windows.
I wanted desperately for him to go down and see it and the ribbon that hung from it and 
I started to give him instructions to the building's location but he had interrupted and told me not to bother.
He said that he doubted that he would make it down there.
I bit my tongue although my feelings were very hurt.
I wanted to say so many things but I figured why?
I knew it would just created an argument and not solve anything.
I knew I couldn't change his feelings towards Art.
So, I just finished up the conversation and then went to meet a friend to go see a movie.
We went and saw "Forrest Gump".
On the drive home, after talking about the movie, we started talking about our fathers.
Both of our Dads were far from being young and both were semi-retired and liked to come to our homes to tinker around.
She laughed how her Dad would buy things for her house without her approval, things that she herself would not have chosen
and I shook my head and said that my Dad would send me out to buy whatever he needed
or if he did pick up something, he'd had me the receipt for reimbursement.
We talked about how while they could be frustrating as hell, we both would be totally lost without them.
I remember saying to her that if something happened to my Dad, that they would have come get me and take me straight to the Mental Hospital
because I just would not be able to handle it.
We were quiet for a few minutes as she drove, thinking about it and then she started to sing.
My friend can NOT sing but she thinks she can.
I covered my ears and pleaded for her to stop and she just turned up the radio louder.
Finally we were at her house and I got out and pretended to run to my car as we were both laughing.
Then I drove home and tried not to think about our prior conversation.
The next day I was working at my retail job.
Usually I would leave right on the dot at noon for my lunch break but I was running late helping a client.
I finished up about a quarter after to find my area manager standing at our work station waiting for me.
She looked so serious as she said that they needed me up in the office, that the store manager had to talk to me.
"OK!" I brightly answered. I knew I wasn't in trouble. I always exceeded my sales goal but then her face made me hesitate.
"What's wrong?" I asked and she flushed and looked down and just said "You need to go up there Cindi".
I could see tears in her eyes so I went right away, taking the stairs rather than the elevator.
I got to the office and some of the customer service girls looked stricken, but some just had their heads down avoiding me.
So I walked behind the counter and looked at the Office Manager and mouthed the words to her
"Am I being fired?" she just looked at me and then the one of the store managers opened the door of their office and said to come in.
I stepped inside and she closed the door.  The other manager was there too.
He said "You have a phone call, you can take it here at my desk" and then they both left the room.
I picked up the phone and it was my Dad's next door neighbor. 
She was saying something about my step-mom coming home from work for lunch and..."
Then the neighbor was crying.
"Did something happen to her?" I asked. I guess my mind would just not let me even think it might be Dad.
"No, Cindi, you just need to come to your Dad's house" she sobbed.
I refused. I told her that I wasn't coming until I knew why and then she said it.
"He's gone Cindi, your Dad is gone. Your step-mom came home and found him down in his den..."
I don't know now what else she was saying. I started trembling and I was crying silently.
One of the managers opened the door and put her hand on my back, I was shaking so hard that she said she would drive me. 
we pulled up to my fathers home, firetrucks, an ambulance, cop cars lined his quiet street.
I walked inside and my step-mom rushed to me.
She was hysterical.
The coroner was there and as we sat down on the sofa,  I recognized a friend of an old boyfriend of mine, a funeral director.
He leaned forward towards me, his face looked like I was seeing at it in a doorknob.
So close and distorted.
He was saying something to me but I have no clue what.
I was crying so hard.
At some point I realized that my Dad was still in house.
They said that since they had been told that he didn't want a service and wanted to be cremated that they weren't sure if I would be able to see him later, so did I want to see him now? before they took his body?
Ok, maybe this is too much detail but I did want to see him.
I remembered walking towards the stairs and unknown voices calling out that the daughter was coming down.
So I walked downstairs, through the rooms and past firemen, policemen, I guess that's who they were.
To me they just strange men in a nightmare.
And then there he was.
He had a heart attack in his den.
By the bathroom he had gotten a bit sick and someone was saying they could see that he had taken his heart pills, that he must have realized something was happening but....
So after an eternity or maybe it was just a few minutes, I called my sister.
She lived in Ohio at the time.
I had her go get her husband and sit down and I told her.
She wouldn't believe me at first, that's what she kept saying but I knew that she knew it was true.
I told her what I knew as we both sobbed.
I don't remember the whole conversation really, everything was becoming so surreal and dream-like.
I went back into the living room and sat some more with my stepmom.
She had called her friend and her parents and her sister.
So I just sat and finally later in the afternoon I called my friend.
I just said her name and she started crying, and I told her that I had to tell her something
and she just kept yelling "no, no , NO! I don't want to hear you."
But I told her and she was sobbing and I asked her to call my other friends for me and let them know what had happened.
So yeah, twenty years ago today.
Twenty years ago today, a lifetime ago
but then again not.
A few nights later, my friend went to the Art Exhibition Party for me and walked up when they called my name.
She held my piece of work as it was auctioned off.
She said a well-known artist commented on it and said it was very cool.
I had made a mask as everyone had for the exhibit.
The funds were to go for a Halloween event they were having later that year
so I created something with that in mind.
It was a mermaids head with her eyes closed and her mouth open.
It was a greenish grey color, hopefully so that it would look like it had been under the sea for a very long time.
It was creepy and spooky.
Anyway, my friend came to my home later and told me about the evening and said it was very exciting.
I just nodded.
She walked around my house, looking at the plants and baskets people had sent
and then she asked if she could opened the big basket they had sent me from work.
It was filled with junk food.
I said sure and poured some alcohol as she opened up some Oreo's.
Back then I really didn't eat stuff like that but as we sat on the sofa watching TV, both drinking and her eating, I told her to give me some of those cookies.
Yep, I still crave those damn things whenever I 'm really down.
In fact, twenty years later, I think I could use some Oreo's just about now.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Going Towards the Light.

So, I almost bit the dust last night.
Yep, instead of walking towards the light
I think it would have been more like fireworks.
I was outside working in the yard and decided to move stuff off of the patio area.
The patio is enclosed with the wooden fence that I put up and inside that area is a couple of chaise lounges,
a big high back bench with an another bench in front of it for a foot rest and several big pots for flowers and a big round metal table with an umbrella and two mesh chairs.
Along the back fence I had been building a raised flowerbed area with cinder blocks, trying to give it a Mod look and then on the back side fence, for the lack of a better space to store it, is my adjustable aluminum ladder.
In the far corner is the dog poop wastebucket. It has a metal lid and next to it is the scoopers.
I also have 2 large and 2 medium hard plastic raised dog beds, that I had stored for the winter, that are now out there too.
Last night I decided that this space was just not working for the dogs.
Since working on my yard, my vision has changed.
I think that it's a much better idea to have the table and chairs out in the yard, away from the dog "stuff"
and although I don't really entertain, if I ever did, I'm sure no one would want to sit in the dog area.
So I was rearranging things.
I have my picnic table out in the yard and I'm working on my potting bench up against the side of the house.
I've taken apart the cinder block project.
That idea wasn't working because the dogs kept jumping into it and "using" it.
I have instead framed that area with the blocks and then laid them on their sides to just form a raised platform for them to lounge on.
So last night I was moving things around, trying to get stuff done before it got dark and sweating like crazy.
I swatted away the gnats that everyone is dealing with right now, then I picked up my aluminum ladder and it slid open.
It wasn't locked into place, not that it ever really catches properly but it slid out longer and in my frustration I just grabbed it and held it up vertically trying to figure out where to put it.
I decided to just lift it over the back fence and drop it over the side onto the area where I have my clothesline.
So there I was, trying to lift it high enough, with it all stretched out and I looked up.
It was maybe 6 inches, if that, from the power-line.
Yeah the one that runs the electricity from the pole to the house. 
The one that you don't touch and here I almost slammed my metal ladder into it.
I froze. Then I slowly backed away and then turned the ladder horizontally.
I awkwardly dumped it over the fence and thought to myself. "Wow! that was close"
Then my next thoughts were:
Crap! my house is a mess. Everyone will judge me.
No one knows where my funeral clothes are!
They don't even know my final plans and wishes
or where my "papers" I know where my papers are? I have papers? house stuff and insurance papers?
and I don't have a will. 
Oh god, my animals!
I had homes in place for some of them but my main person for several just announced on Friday that she and her husband are having another baby.
Yeah, she might have changed her mind since she already has 2 cats and 2 dogs and now about to have a 3rd kid.
So.....I need to be more careful
and I need to get rid of all the extra crap I've still hanging onto.
I need to organize and make some plans.
Maybe I will just let my niece have the house and my critters.
Yep, lots to think about.........