I may chat about my books, what I'm writing or reading, or just general thoughts. You may read posts about my cats or just my crazy life in general. Comments are welcome, if anyone wants to interact with me. Maybe we can share war stories, whether it's writing related or just about life in general.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Hurricane Harvey

By now this is old news, but you can bet I watched this closely and was on the phone with family the whole time.  Almost everyone lives there except me and my youngest sister.  I’m thankful I have a sister who keeps track of everyone and gives the rest of us updates on everybody.  Sometimes it’s very hard getting answers out of any of my siblings on a regular basis.  Everyone is too busy, I guess.

 This photo by Richard Carson of Reuters

This photo is from the Guardian
Can you believe ALL this water? 

All my family is okay and trying to get back to normal.  I think they were off work about a week, or so, due to flooded roads everywhere.  Lots of water is still standing, but no real damage to repair.  My mom is safe in a nursing home and they had no problems there, thank goodness.  One of my brothers had two inches of water in his garage but no other damage, another brother lost power for a few hours. 

 This is a rescue on Tidwell Road in Houston - photo by CNN News

 Stranded cows in LaGrange Texas - photo also by CNN News

My dependable sister kept me updated and sent me a few photos.  She was lucky that her place is a bit higher and quite safe after all the rain that fell.  I have another sister who lives in a neighborhood that’s prone to flooding, if it rains hard, but the water only came up her driveway and then receded a couple of times.  I think her backyard may have flooded though, but no water got into the house. 

 This is from my dependable sister's yard.  Not bad at all after all that rain.
I believe my sister who lives in a rural area, in more of a farm setting, got the worst of it.  She got about twenty inches at her place and the pastures flooded, but her house was unscathed.  I’m not sure if she lost any cows or other animals. 

 Here's a bit of a different story on my sister's farm, but this could be far worse.
Everyone is trying to get back to normal, but I know life will be far from normal for thousands as they rebuild their lives.  There’s still about eight feet of water covering Beltway 8, a main road that circles the city of Houston.  The news reported that the water is going down about an inch a day.  It might be weeks before that freeway is open.  I’ve been on these interstates many times and it’s astounding to see the pictures of them flooded by that much water.  I wanted to get closer to home, but of course this is now an argument as to why we should move there.  I guess time will tell.

Below is a video from CNN, but you’ve probably seen this on the news.  If you care to watch it again, click here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Why do we hate flags and statues enough to destroy them?

Antietam Memorial Monument in PA courtesy Wikipedia

What’s going on today is really upsetting.  And police are standing by and watching throngs of stirred-up people destroying pieces of our history.  This makes no sense at all to me.  You can’t change history by getting rid of all these things, as if they never existed.  How foolish.

People harbor way too much hatred toward each other in our country.  Destroying all these statues make none of these vandals any better than the terrorist group, ISIS.  You cannot undo the Civil War.  Maybe we don’t all agree about what happened there, but it did happen.  We can’t throw temper tantrums over it.  That time is behind us.  We can move forward and try to live side-by-side and as equals regardless of skin color, religion, political views, opinions, etc.  Way too many people have been killed in wars, or murdered just because these things.  Killing and throwing tantrums won’t solve any problems.  I don’t know if the human race will ever learn this lesson.

 Confederate Monument in Alabama courtesy of Wikipedia
The confederate flag and statues of our forefathers and some war figures from the Civil War have stood proudly for over a hundred years in places around the south.  It’s very disturbing to see groups of haters forming for the sole purpose of destroying all these things.  No, it wasn’t right to enslave black people, or to deny rights to women, but all that has changed now.  I don’t see our monuments as racist.  I see them as reminders of our past and hopefully we’ve learned a lot since the Civil War days.  Although when I look around at all the hatred in our country, I don’t think all the blood that has been shed in all the wars has been enough to get through to some people who are bent on destroying our history just because they don’t agree with it.

I don’t know how you all feel about this, but it makes me sick.  Why can’t we all get along with each other?  Life is what you make it.  You can still have your views, opinions, religion, beliefs, etc., but let others have theirs as well.  It doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, but let’s stop all the killing and vandalism.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Entertainment and other things from the desert

Living in the desert brings a ton of wildlife to the backyard because we have desert behind us and no neighbors.  Our lawn has died long ago.  We’ll replace it with rock once the weather cools off.  You don’t have to water rock and it won’t be a constant struggle to keep it alive.  This summer has been very hard on all the plants and trees.

 Quail and other birds

A quail family

But the birds are having a blast in the dirt that was once home to our lawn.  They peck away out there and take dirt baths.  I have no idea why they like to roll in it while flapping their wings.  We’ve also seen lots of baby quail this month.  Everything seems to be off schedule.  This is also true for us, as work has become a full time job this month.  Usually August is slower for us.  At least it’s cooled off to the low 100’s, or the upper 90’s, so this is a good thing.

 Here's a baby roadrunner
As you can see the baby roadrunners are still alive so they must be catching enough food to survive.  I don’t know if you can tell this is a young one or not, but he’s about half grown.  The day I took this we had four roadrunners in the yard.  I’m not sure if the parents were here with the “kids,” but I think that must have been the case.  Unfortunately, I was unable to get all four of them in one picture.  In years past we’ve never seen this many at one time.

 Laser cat toy

Koki and Raven waiting for the laser

About a month or so ago, I bought a laser for the cats at Walmart.  It was the best $1.98 I’ve ever spent on them.  But I suspect it’ll cost me a lot in batteries to keep this thing going.  It did come with a spare set, which I had to install already.  Raven cries waiting for me to get it going.  He and Koki will chase it all over the place.  My hands seem to wear out before they do, but I play with them about fifteen minutes a night with this thing.  Raven will bat it all over the place, or knock it off the counter trying to tell us it’s time for laser play.  I imagine he’d turn it on if he knew how.

I want to apologize for my erratic posting.  I’m so beat when I get home from work that getting on the computer is the last thing on my mind.  I do good to get dinner ready and the kitchen cleaned up.  There isn’t a lot of time left before bed.  I still have to soak my feet every night and put on my ointment.  I go back to the foot doctor next Wednesday.  By then my orthopedic shoes should be here.  People sure do have to put up with a lot of crap when they get older.  I never think I’m that old, but it seems to be one ailment after another.  Thank goodness I have a positive outlook and try to keep a happy attitude about all this stuff.

 Beautiful clouds we've had lately with thunderstorms at night

On another note, I’m excited for the solar eclipse that’s coming on Monday.  I imagine I’ll be inside working though, so won’t even get to see it.  That’s a bummer.  This is the first time in 99 years that it will be seen by all of the US.  This probably won’t happen again in our lifetimes.  Total darkness will envelop a path throughout the US while the rest of us will see a dusky sunlight for a full two minutes.  When this happened centuries ago, it’s no wonder people used to think the world was ending.

I still have some vacation posts to write and pictures to share from my time in Texas in May.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that soon.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Raven can be very destructive

He chews on us all the time, but he loves to chew on everything and reminds me of a puppy sometimes instead of a cat.  My arm isn’t a bone.  But he seems to think so.

 The new toy started out like this

This is what the toy looks like now
I ordered him a new cat toy and he tore the thing up in about 30 minutes.  It didn’t take him long at all to dismantle it.  I thought I might try to glue it together for a while, but its way beyond that now.  I still haven’t thrown it away.  I put it on the floor in the pantry and tucked the little yellow ball back in there too.  He loves to go in there and dig that yellow ball out every night.  He knows I’m playing a game with him because he’s so smart.  If I don’t put the ball back in there, he leaves it alone.  He has fun so I really don’t care what he does to his toys.

Sometimes he’s too smart for his own good.  I got a new laser pointer at Walmart and he knows where the red dot comes from because he brings the thing over and wants you to shine it so he can chase it.  I’m sure he’d turn it on himself if he could.

He’s really something else.  He still flops over at my feet in the kitchen when it’s dinner time.  Somehow he never hurts himself.  I love watching him and Koki after a tiring day.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Is there such a thing as too much thinking?

My mind has been all over the place lately.  Thinking has to be good, right?  But it can be distracting too.  Some crazy questions come to mind all the time.  Among them are “Why do lizards do pushups?”  And “What is the difference between regular shoes and orthopedic shoes?”

I’ve been off work a few days due to bad blisters on my feet caused by my shoes.  I’m not one to go to the doctor for every little scratch and am most likely to look up a way to treat myself over the internet.  This foot condition escalated fast.  When I got home from work last week and got my shoes off, I knew I had to call in sick and make a doctor’s appointment.  Lucky for me, they had a cancellation and I was able to get in the next morning.

Now, I’m on foot soaks, medicated ointment three times a day and some antibiotic tablets.  I was instructed not to wear any closed-toed shoes for a week.  That was music to my ears because I hate closed-in toes, especially in the summer.  I went and talked to my boss and offered to come in, if I could wear sandals with socks for the week.  Of course the answer to that was no.  I hated missing the hours, but I figured it was best to follow the doctor’s orders.  The first four or five day I couldn’t have gotten my feet into a sneaker anyway.  They were too sore for that.

 Orthopedic shoes go here

The doctor also wrote me a prescription for orthopedic shoes.  Oh my.  Am I that old already?  I always thought this type of shoe was for old people. 

I went to a place in town I’d never been to before because I had to do my research and find out how much extra all this was going to cost me.  I also called my Medicare provider to see if it was covered.  It sounds like it’ll be a 20/80 kind of deal, but only if the right codes are used when ordering the shoes.  Hmmm…I guess I’m about to find out pretty quickly what that is.  I have to see a foot doctor on Wednesday the ninth.  He wants to x-ray my feet.  I hope I’m not in for all sorts of ailments now that I’m old enough for Medicare.  I’m thankful I’ve been healthy most of my life except for a few strange things that have happened.  Luckily, I had enough sense to go to the doctor for those.  I usually ignore the situation and think it’ll get better on it’s on, or with my help from some natural remedies I come up with.

My research told me that orthopedic shoes can be worn by people of any age and they give more support than regular shoes.  The support is geared to the problem each person is facing, so the shoes make walking and standing easier without the wear and tear on the feet, ankles and legs.  They provide more support.  The toes on these shoes are wider than most footwear and the heels are lower and sturdier.  I sure couldn’t tell that by the wall of shoes he had in the store.  They measure your feet for the right shoe.  That makes me feel better that they won’t be too darn ugly and medical looking.  I’m not too old to not care what I look like.

 Lizard goes here

As far as the lizard doing pushups, they always do that here.  We see them all over the place.  They have to stop and do pushups every few feet.  I’ve always wondered about this so I looked it up too.  My research told me that lizards do this to show strength to others in their territory.  They likened it to going to the gym to keep in shape.  This behavior is supposed to avert physical confrontations between male lizards.  They are showing any other competitors that they’re superior.  They can also do pushups to increase their body temperature.  Very interesting, huh?

I’m also very worried about a friend who had a motorcycle accident a couple of weeks ago.  He’s still in ICU.  Things look good and then they go downhill again.  I’ll be devastated if he doesn’t make it out of this.  I’ve known him too long.  He’s a good guy.  I’m so glad I got to visit with him while in Texas in May.  Right now he has a brain bleed they’re working on.  All prayers would be appreciated.

Aside from that, the weather has dipped down into the upper 90’s, so it’s a lot more pleasant than our triple digits.  We’ll take the break.

I'm posting without pictures because that area doesn't seem to be working right now.  Sorry about that.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Hot, hot, hot here

How much hotter can it get?  All the plants and animals are suffering from this heat.  Our yard is shriveling up before our eyes, even though we water and water some more.  It does little good.  I imagine we’ll have to replace almost everything in the fall.  The triple digits started a month early this year and you can sure tell it too.

The baby roadrunner appeared in the yard about three days ago.  He perched on the table out back and looked around a great while.  I hope he found some dinner in the desert.  He’s on his own now.  I imagine it must be rough trying to hunt in the beginning.  I almost wanted to go out and try to catch a lizard to give him.  Poor thing.  He’s the carbon copy of his parents and I would post a picture, but you can’t tell he’s about half their size unless you see him in person.

Work is never ending with lots of hours and food slinging going on to all the hungry shoppers.  It makes me question if I want to do this job the rest of my life.

I guess that’s it for now.  I’m already posting this a day late.  But work and the heat is wearing me out.  This beautiful sunset is sure a nice sight at the end of a long day.

Sunset in the desert

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

When rumor becomes reality

This isn’t a pretty thing as we’re discovering at work.  I’m sorry for this dismal post.  There have been rumors flying all over the place for a month now.  Well yesterday we confirmed the boss of seventeen years is leaving.  She’s being forced out of the business, which is such a shame.  All of us love her and she’s the best boss ever, tough but fair, and who could ask for more than that?  But you know how it is when personalities and styles collide. 

Now everyone working in our division feels their jobs are on the line and there’s so much scrambling and drama going on over what to do.  I’m sure some of you out there have had experience with what happens when a new group takes over the duties in the workplace.  Unfortunately most of the older people are forced out for ones with the viewpoint of the new boss.  This is especially true for management positions, although I expect it to impact some of the rest of us as well that have been there a long time and are fans of the outgoing boss.

I’m probably not going to be keeping up my twice weekly posting here on this blog due to all the things going on in my life and in my head as I try to handle all this change.  It has caught most of us by surprise, although we suspected a big change was coming.  Right now I’m caught up in the whole mess wondering what to do myself, as I probably won’t want to work for the incoming regime.  I’m sure there will be more scrutiny put upon us and also changes we aren’t used to and perhaps a lot of us will have trouble adapting to. 

Almost everyone in my workplace is contemplating leaving and looking elsewhere for jobs.  These people are like extended family and it pains me to see everyone hurting and so paranoid about the future.  I find myself in the same frame of mind with times of anxiety that I can’t sleep or eat much.  Is this letting the regional manager win?  I hope not.  After our morning meetings at work we’re sent out on the floor with a positive attitude and the thought of not letting them when.  Them (in this case) being the hungry customers who can drive us all crazy.  If you’ve ever tried to serve food from a stainless steel cart inside a busy store you’ll know exactly what I mean.  But the customers in my state have no manners at all.  It seems their parents were absent during their upbringing, or perhaps they feel entitled to be given free food and waited on and all their messes cleaned up by us.  The food service industry can be a thankless job, except for a few who recognize what it is to serve others with a smile no matter how the day is going.

So I’m done ranting and look forward to coming home at the end of the day, taking off the shoes and all the hot clothes required for the job and enjoying the wildlife in my backyard that hasn’t got a care in the world except for looking for food and water all day and trying to stay away from the predators so they can live another day.  Sometimes I wish I only had their problems to deal with.

 Papa with his baby quail.  Both parents share equally in their upbringing.

On a lighter note, we’re finally seeing baby quail showing up in the yard.  They’re so late this year unless this is the second batch.  I’m told quail can have two sets of chicks in a year.  They are so cute and we’ve missed them so much.  The babies are carbon copies of their parents and mimic them in all they do.  It’s so cute to watch and adds some joy to a stressful day.

Note:  Due to the nature of this post, I can't post other pics at this time.  Thank you for understanding.