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.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Irresponsible people and other issues

Sometimes life can be one problem after another, as I’m sure most of you are aware.  Living in this state has been a learning experience for sure.  I’ve never lived in a place that is home to so many irresponsible people.  I’m beginning to think that the only thing about the state of Utah is the magnificent scenery.  But does this alone make up for all the other problems here?

Getting a contractor to come out for anything we can’t take if ourselves is nearly impossible.  We are trying to get our home ready to sell and there are some regular maintenance issues to take care of before we put the sign up.  The contractors have been this way since we moved here in 2004.  They make appointments to come out for something and then never show up or have the courtesy to call and cancel the appointment.  It’s impossible to get anyone on the phone, so it usually takes days to make an appointment in the first place; hence, we do most things ourselves.  Unfortunately, we can’t do some things.

Sunni's Photo's - Sand blocks out everything

As stated earlier this state has a lot of issues, many more than just the people living here who are in service jobs.  The air quality and water quality is very poor, if you ask me.  The wind blows a lot.  When it does, the sky fills up with read dirt.  This is a bit worrisome because this state was downwind from all the bomb testing carried on in Nevada in the 1950’s.  I think that’s why many people living here come down with cancer.  A lot of the obits in the local paper are for young and old people who’ve died from this disease.  It takes many years for all the radioactivity to dissipate, if it really does.
From Sunni's Photo's New Filter on left - Old on right
Along with this is the water quality, which the officials say is within government standards and not a concern.  If that’s the case, the standards need to be updated and tightened up.  I pity the poor people who drink water from the tap around here.  We have a whole house water purifier and a separate R/O system for drinking water.  You should see the filters when we change them in the R/O system.  They are loaded with red dirt and are very heavy.  We even took a used filter down to show the city officials who brushed us off.

On top of all that, it’s about impossible to get even a part time job here because you are shunned unless you’re part of the dominate religion.  All jobs go to those people first.

Unfortunately, the weather is another downside.  The desert is a harsh place with its temperature extremes.  I feel so bad for all the little critters living here that have to adapt or die.  At least we’ve done our part by always supplying them with water and food when there’s nothing growing in the desert for them to eat.  I hope the next homeowners here will at least make sure all these animals have water.  They have entertained us with all their antics over the years.  It’s like living in the middle of national geographic in our back yard because our house backs up to the desert.

So yes, after giving this a nine-year shot, I think the scenery is the best thing this state has going for it.  It’s definitely a photographer’s and a hiker’s paradise.  Almost everywhere you look is another magnificent rock formation that astounds you.

On another note, we’re trying to weed stuff out and organize ourselves to move, which won’t happen now until spring, so unfortunately we’re here for another winter.  It’s time to psyche myself up with the old saying that “things could be worse”.

The garage is full of crap to go through, but I figure I can put on my sweat pants and work on that project all winter.  At least we had the common sense to insulate it when we built the house in 2004.  I hate the cold and of course, we’re still having the debate of where to move.  I’m going south and my husband wants to go north.  We’ll see what happens with that.
My sick baby - Comet

We’re still medicating the cat who will be fifteen tomorrow.  The poor thing has such a stopped up nose and this has been going on since early September.  Giving her the new liquid medicine twice a day has been a challenge.  My husband says, “Why do they have to make animal medicine that taste like bubble gum, why not chicken gravy?”  He has a point.  We’re wrapping her tightly in a towel, like a burrito, to give her this liquid – sadly there’s no pill popper for this.  She’s slowly shredding this towel.  I imagine it’ll be a rag once this is over.
From NaNo website

With all this on my plate, I’m signing up for the NaNo again this year.  I’m crazy to do this I know, but I love writing and may as well.  After all, 1667 words a day isn’t all that much.  It’ll be a nice break to let my imagination run wild once a day.

Now for some strange news in time for Halloween:
Many radio listeners thought that aliens were invading us, on October 30, 1938, when they tuned into Orson Welles' broadcast of War of the Worlds. As part of the realistic radio play, an announcer interrupted a dance orchestra to describe a crash in a farmer's field, and then later he warned of creatures with tentacles inside giant attack machines. The public went into a panic--it's estimated that as many as one million people believed a real invasion was underway.

Free Clipart

Happy Halloween everyone!  I may be posting only once a week for a while with so much going on in my life, but I’ll do it more if I can.

Note:  I'll upload photos when I can.  This seems to be having trouble that they haven't worked out yet.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Nursing a Sick Cat and Other Things

Comet - from Sunni's Photo's

My oldest furry friend, Comet, has had such bad allergies this year and she’s never had them before.  We had her to the vet for three allergy shots so far and she’s on her second type of allergy pills now.  What’s next?  I don’t know, but she’s not improving much so far.  

We’re a bit worried about all the atomic dust we have blowing around here all the time.  This is a result of being downwind from the atomic blasts done in Nevada in the 1950’s.  It’s so sad that the hand of man ruins this beautiful country.  Perhaps that’s a subject for another post.  Many people around here die from cancer and it’s no surprise when you see the sun completely blocked out by flying red dirt quite often.

If you’ve ever had a cat, you know how it is to administer a pill to these creatures who think you’re about to kill them.  Once they figure out you’re only trying to help, it gets a tad easier, but is still a struggle every time.  That’s where the pill-popper comes in.  This handy tool was a great find when I had to give one of my boy’s thyroid pills all the time.

From Sunni's Photo's - the Wonderful Pill Popper

This cat struggles to breathe every night, which is especially hard on her, just like humans when the nights are always worse than the days.  I have no idea why that is.  Last Wednesday she was finally sleeping, but on my side of the bed, so I left her there and slept on the couch that night.  What we do for our animals!

Koki - from Sunni's Photo's

However, my new bed on the couch was okay with my youngest one, Koki, because Comet hates her.  She can’t come near me if Comet is nearby unless she wants to be attacked, so she promptly curled up on my legs and slept there all night.  Of course, all of you can guess how much sleep I got.

On another note, we’ve been clearing things out and attending to repairs around here so we can move come spring.  At least the weather has been beautiful the last few days and we’re delighted to see it will be this way all week.  I’m trying to suck it up and store it away because the cold is coming, much to my dread.

I’ve also been working on the corrections of my mystery book and making notes for the NANO in case I have a total lapse of good judgment and talk myself into this added stress by participating in it again this year.

Thanks for visiting.  Tell me your cat stories, or anything else newsworthy, if you want to share.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The County Fair

When I was visiting my family in south Texas, this is one event I’m glad I was able to take in because it brought back fond memories of going to the fair in my childhood.  This was the first time I was in Texas when this was going on since I was in my teens.

Sunni's Photo's - From left my sister Scherri, me, my sister Tedo and my niece Jodi

The weather was perfect – in fact, it was downright hot.  We got up early, despite the fact we stayed up half the night visiting.  We met at my nieces at 6 am, so we could all go in one vehicle and arrive in time to get a good spot in the shade.  Well, that didn’t happen.  Apparently, that still wasn’t early enough because we had to find a place on the sunny side of the street.  All the spots under the trees were already taken, even though we arrived three hours before the actual parade started.

That was still okay and we all enjoyed ourselves, but gave a cheer when the sun went behind a cloud temporarily.  It was fun to see the floats go by and the marching bands, but I have to say I was a bit disappointed because there weren’t near as many floats in the parade as when I participated in it years ago.  Back then, we had elaborate floats that we worked on decorating all summer.
From my high school - Lamar Consolidated

In addition, the band members are wimpier now, in my opinion, because they get to wear shorts and T-shirts and don’t have to suffer through the whole thing in band uniforms like we did back in the “old days.”  The twirlers and cheerleaders were still in uniform at least, so not all the old times were lost.  There are three high schools now in my little town and there was only one when I went to high school.

This parade starts the fair out every year.  The town mayors and judges also participate, as well as the beauty queen contestants for fair queen, along with the fire and police departments.  It takes two hours for the parade to go by.  Everyone taking part marches through two towns that are split only by the overhead railroad tracks.  Once the parade is over, everyone heads for the fair.

Of course a fair in Texas wouldn't be complete without a John Deere tractor

We parked and found a place near the start point, so we could avoid the traffic jam that follows every year.  Even so, there was still a line to get in at the fair, but not too very long.

I probably had more fun watching my sister’s grandchild watching the parade.  He was in awe of the fire trucks who would sound their sirens as they went by.  This little kid was also enthralled with the floats carrying people dressed up as animals.  Of course, when Mickey Mouse came over to hug him, he was ready to run back to his dad.  He also liked the twirlers and cheerleaders who would perform their routines as they marched down the street.  He would start dancing and waving his tiny American flag as he stood next to the curb.  Many floats threw candy to the kids as well.  I seized some of that because we didn’t have any breakfast.  By the time we got to the fairgrounds, it was almost noon.

We looked at all the usual exhibits that we looked at as kids.  Many of the animals weren’t even in their enclosures yet.  As a result, that area smelled a bit cleaner than I remember it.  The 4-H kids raise animals every year for the fair.

After we had burgers for lunch, we walked the midway and looked at all the rides and food stands.  Many were the same, but some were different than they had years ago.

We should have gone back in the evening when they had the judging and the fireworks, but we were off on some other family adventure.

 Below are some pictures of the midway.  I'll have to add pics later.  Right now this isn't cooperating with me.

Ft Bend County Fair midway - Sunni's Photo's

Friday, October 11, 2013

Whirlwind Trip down South

My family minus my youngest sister and brother

When I say whirlwind that’s exactly what it is with my family – running non-stop.  But there’s nothing like family and I realized just how much I missed them all.  Usually years go by between visits so it’s always such a treat.  I come back home totally worn out, but it’s all worth it and I’d do it again in a minute.

Most of my trip was unexpected visits to the hospital and doctors offices.  This is what happens when you have a large family and many friends.  Things happen out of the blue.  One of my sister’s best friends collapsed a few days before I arrived and they had to life flight her to the ICU in Austin where they induced a coma for three days so they could keep her alive and run tests to see what happened.  My sister, her husband and this friend had gone up to the hill country for a few days and the girl was fine before her collapse.  Everyone thought she may come out with brain damage because the paramedics that arrived were rookies and had to call in a back-up unit.

It took a full day in Austin as we sat in the waiting room before we could see her.  Her procedure had to wait because two heart attack victims came in that took priority first and she was stable at that time.  They installed a defibrillator and put her on seizure meds, although they had not confirmed she had a seizure causing her heart to stop.  This gal is only fifty-years-old.  Her elderly parents were both there (both in their upper eighties).  Her father was bouncing off the walls from all the coffee he had been drinking while waiting.  He knew of all the coffee machines on the floor and they were all dry except one, he told us.  It turns out she’ll be okay, but can’t drive for six months due to Texas law concerning seizure medication.

A few days later, we ended up in the hospital again to see my brother-in-laws father who has COPD.  We had been eating barbecue at their house the night before and he seemed fine, but they had to drain a liter and a half of fluid off his lungs.  They told me this is a regular occurrence.  The man is in his 90’s.

My mother at La Casona Mexican Restaurant 
My mom has dementia and had doctor appointments for evaluations to see how far this has advanced.  They are hoping to put her on meds to slow down the disease.  We won’t know the results until mid-November because she has more tests to do.  On top of all this, she took a nasty spill in the bathtub back in July.  Her leg and back are still bothering her from that incident.

That was one reason I was trying to rush this family book along, as well as taking my trip, before I actually intended to.  I’d like my mom to be able to read it while she still can.  When I gave it to her, she said it was the best gift I could have ever given her, so that made me feel good about finishing this ten-year project.  She told me a few days later that I was a good writer and it was hard for her to put the book down.  Okay, I know this is my mother, but that was still a nice compliment.

When we all get together, it is non-stop talking and laughing.  I really missed my sisters so much and had so much fun catching up.  We were never in bed before two or three in the morning and back on the go usually by seven the following morning.  All of us figured we could sleep after I went home.  We had to make every minute count, never knowing for sure when we’ll see each other again.

I lived out of my suitcase and shuffled between houses.  That was okay with me.  My ordinary life is so dull compared to the non-stop action that goes on down there all the time.

 My great-nephew Travis
It was lucky for me that my great nephew was visiting from the base in CA at the same time so it was good seeing him, his wife and little boy.  He’s in the Marines and will be getting out of the service early next year.  He’s been to Afghanistan twice and we’re all happy nothing happened to him over there.  He’s a sweet kid.

 This is my brother-in-law Mark with his barbeque pit
One night my sister and I were up and out at the barbecue pit helping my brother-in-law put meat on the grill at two AM.  He takes his barbequing seriously.  Many times, he’ll stay up all night smoking stuff.  It sure is good.  Sometimes they sell extra meat to friends and co-workers.  The only problem I had was my feet swelling up from all the salt.  I use very little at home.  That has never been a problem for me before, but it sure was this time.  My sister said, “Why didn’t you tell me you were on a low-sodium diet?”  Well, I’m not really, just don’t use much salt usually and generally try to eat very healthy.

I went to the county faire and parade, which I haven’t done since I was a teenager.  That in itself is a long story so maybe I’ll save that for another post.

 This is one my neices Jodi in her apt.
I was shocked to see my nieces all grown up with their own households and some of them have little ones now.  It was hard to wrap my head around that.  But the children are so well-behaved so that’s a blessing.

 My neice Reesa with Rylie and Ray

Of course, I ate enough Mexican food and barbeque to last me quite a while.  They eat lots of that in Texas.
Luckily, I made my return fight when I found out ten minutes before take-off that I was waiting leisurely at the wrong gate.  And you guessed it, the correct gate was at the other end of the airport.  Isn’t that always how it is?  I was breathless and my head swimming by the time I made it down there.  Even then, I got a seat in row eight, which was pretty good considering they don’t have assigned seats on Southwest Airlines.

It was a wonderful trip and I took tons of pictures.  I hated to see it end.  I was really wishing I had stayed longer when I got off the airport shuttle here and it was 65 with a stiff north wind blowing.  I had left a balmy 85 down south.
To be continued.