Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

I am not a nosy person. Most of the jobs I've had required confidentiality. One of them, in human resources, required that I familiarize myself with the types of questions the law says employers mustn't ask. So, whether it comes naturally or through years of practice, I mind my own business, sometimes to the point that it comes across as indifference. I'm not nosy, but I'm not indifferent, either.

Yesterday, as I loaded groceries into the trunk of my car at the hottest place in the world (the Walmart parking lot), I kept hearing the muffled barking of a dog. I looked around while I situated slithery plastic bags but couldn't figure out where the sound was coming from. Finished, I closed the trunk. Part of me wanted nothing more then than to get in the car, turn the air conditioner on full blast, and head for home. I'm sure the man who was waiting to park his pickup truck in my space expected me to do just that. But I couldn't.

Instead, I took off walking, following the direction of the barking dog, until I finally narrowed the sound down to a couple of cars. The little dog, a cute, fluffy, spotted thing, was standing up in the backseat of the first car I approached. The car's front windows were both down about two inches, but the back windows were up, and the interior of the car was black. I would not have wanted to be stuck in that backseat.

Not sure what to do, I decided to call the Sheriff's Office. Not 9-1-1, but the main office, where I hoped to get advice about what steps I could legally take. Having worked for the Public Defender, I knew the Sheriff's Office number by heart. I tried and failed to dial it half a dozen times. First of all, the shine on my cell phone makes it almost impossible to see the screen in bright sunlight. Secondly, my hands were shaking like crazy, so I kept hitting numbers twice and having to back up or start over. Then I noticed a young woman approaching very slowly, pushing a grocery cart. She had a worried look on her face and was staring straight at me.

"Is this your car?" I asked.

"Yes."

"I was calling the Sheriff," I told her. "It's way too hot to leave a dog in the car."

"I take good care of my dog," she replied.

"Not like this," I said. Then I quoted statistics to her, facts I'd learned by watching TV and reading websites like this one. I finished up by asking her to please hurry up and get that dog in some cool air.

She said, "Thank you for your concern." She didn't say it sarcastically, but so calmly that I detected a tone of let-me-be-careful-how-I-talk-to-the-crazy-lady. Whatever. I'd had my say.

I walked back to my car, turned on the A/C and waited a couple more minutes--just long enough to make sure John QuiƱones wasn't going to show up.

So, have you ever been in a position where you weren't sure what to do? What was the situation, and what did you decide?

Saturday, August 01, 2015

"Just make us be brave and make us play nice..."

I've skipped a few Saturday posts (also Sunday thru Friday ones), but I'm here today to share a song with you. This one's been around for about fifteen years, best I can tell, but I'd never heard it until it played in the background of a recent TV show. I downloaded it immediately and have listened to it dozens of time since then. It's a short, sweet song, sort of a little prayer like those I imagine we've all whispered from time to time. Enjoy!




The song is "Don't Let Us Get Sick," by Warren Zevon.
Thanks to This Is Not An Exit for posting the video on YouTube.
Click here to read the lyrics.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Quick Thoughts

It seems to be getting harder and harder for me to organize my thoughts and retain them long enough to sit down and work them into a coherent post here. They're too scattered, entering my mind like tabloid headlines read in the supermarket checkout line with no point-by-point stories to clarify them. Here's a sampling, not necessarily in chronological order:

I should put away the folded laundry. Nah, there's no rush. I can read another chapter.

Donald Trump leads in the polls. Is that not the scariest thing ever? Do people think he just landed in the limelight yesterday with pockets full of money? Have they read nothing at all about his ruthlessness in business and in life? About the total disrespect he has for almost everyone whose name isn't emblazoned in gold on a building? I understand that some people rally behind a man who isn't afraid to say what he thinks -- we've all had times when we'd like to stand up and stick it to "the man" -- but isn't diplomacy an important quality in someone who'll be dealing with foreign leaders? The presidency is no place for a hothead.

What is that in my mouth? Holy crap! It's my denture! Why is it in two pieces? I was taking a nap; how did it break while I was asleep?

Why is this towel on the sofa? I'll just pick it up and pretend I didn't notice it's where it isn't supposed to be. Gimpy's wearing his guilty face, and I don't want to hurt his feelings.

Oh, no! Another theater shooting! And this one was only an hour away from here. How many died? Two, not counting the shooter? That is so sad! And there's our governor, smack in the middle of the investigation bigwigs outside the crime scene. That's gotta be the fastest trip he ever took. Ha! Listen to how he dodged the question about gun control.

I need to go to the store. But the heat index is over three digits. How can I put this trip off until tomorrow? Peas. I can eat this can of peas for supper. Tomorrow won't be cooler, but I can get an earlier start.

Another murder in Baton Rouge. Another person dead, another family traumatized. How many does that make this year? Hm. This website says 40 already. So that's, what, almost six a month? Not much fuss raised about most of these individuals. Why not set aside one day a year to lower the flag and collectively acknowledge all those who have been slain one at a time? It would at least call attention to the fact that this country has a murder problem.

I should empty the dishwasher. Nah, I'm gonna read for another twenty minutes.

I really want to see the new baby! Look at all that dark hair! She looks just like her daddy, and I know he's gonna be a good one. Her mama will be a good one, too. She's a lucky little girl. They're probably having a lot of visitors now. I'll wait a little longer.

Good grief! There's a brain-eating amoeba in the water supply! Not ours, thank goodness, but too close for comfort. They're saying the water is safe to drink, but be careful not to get it up your nose. Seriously? How thirsty would I have to be to drink water that I know contains a brain-eating amoeba? I'd stick with diet soda; the chemicals in that might kill me, too, but it would take them longer to do it.

Why are the dogs scratching at the base of this little table? There must be a ball under there. (Pulling out table.) Oh my goodness, five balls -- and dust bunnies and dog hair. Heh. All three boy dogs are darting in and grabbing a ball. Heh-heh. Lucy's nuts. She's ignoring the two remaining balls and scooping up dust bunnies.

This raisin bread is SO good! How many slices should I toast? That's a lot of carbs and calories, especially with the butter on it, but I haven't eaten yet today, and it's almost noon. It could be breakfast and lunch. Yeah, that's it, that's how I'll think of it. Hm. How can I keep the first two slices warm while I wait for the second two to toast?

Look at this nonsense on Facebook! Why does she insist on posting political videos that have no foundation in fact? She's smarter than that. She is, right? Have I given her credit for having better sense than she actually does? This one is just way over-the-top ridiculous. Okay, I'm sorry, but that does it. Let's see...click to pull down menu...click unfollow.

I really should vacuum. Nah, I'm not expecting company, and it's quiet now. It's a good time to start that next book I've been waiting to read.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

What I've Been Reading

It's embarrassing to admit that I've forgotten the basic plots of almost all the books on this list, even though I'm fairly sure I enjoyed each one while I was reading it. I know for certain that I've liked every Barbara Freethy book I've read so far, so Daniel's Gift must have been good, too. In The Sweetest Thing the lead female owned a candy shop, I think. Or regularly visited a candy shop. Or was it a bakery? I don't know, but it was something sweet. The only non-fiction book on this list is When I Married My Mother, and the fact that I remember quite a bit about this one speaks to the wisdom of giving a book a title that clearly hints at its contents. Good planning, Jo Maeder.

Daniel's Gift
by Barbara Freethy





The Virtues of Oxygen
by Susan Schoenberger

http://www.amazon.com/Virtues-Oxygen-Susan-Schoenberger-ebook/dp/B00H8UTC0Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1436318622&sr=1-1&keywords=the+virtues+of+oxygen+by+susan+schoenberger



Watershed Year
by Susan Schoenberger




Conditions
by Christoph Fischer

http://www.amazon.com/Conditions-Christoph-Fischer-ebook/dp/B00NZ1VTBU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1436318740&sr=1-1&keywords=conditions+christoph+fischer



Out on a Limb
by Carolyn Jourdan

http://www.amazon.com/Out-Limb-Mountain-Mystery-Scientific-ebook/dp/B00B9FKLS6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1436318793&sr=1-1&keywords=out+on+a+limb+a+smoky+mountain+mystery



A Thousand Lies
by Sharon Sala

http://www.amazon.com/Thousand-Lies-Sharon-Sala-ebook/dp/B00GMOFDB4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1436318846&sr=1-1&keywords=a+thousand+lies+by+sharon+sala



The Sweetest Thing
by Lillian Darcy





When I Married My Mother  (Non-Fiction)
by Jo Maeder

http://www.amazon.com/When-Married-My-Mother-Daughters-ebook/dp/B007ZFVABQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1436318948&sr=1-1&keywords=when+i+married+my+mother+by+jo+maeder



At Last
by Barbara Bretton

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Idle-Point-Maine-Stories-ebook/dp/B00BZF0H6G/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1436318994&sr=1-1&keywords=at+last+barbara+bretton



Gumbeaux
by Kimberly Vargas

http://www.amazon.com/Gumbeaux-Kimberly-Vargas-ebook/dp/B005O561JK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1436319044&sr=1-1&keywords=gumbeaux



To read a description and reviews of any of these books,
click on its image above.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Spiffy!


Levi has been wearing my old T-shirts for the last week and a half after I found a small but nasty-looking wound under the curls on his left side. He had apparently sustained the injury a few days earlier, but it didn't bleed enough to discolor his thick fur. I might not have found it when I did had he not been snuggled up next to me on the sofa and flinched when my "skritching fingers" landed on that particular spot. By then it appeared to be badly infected.

We went to the vet the next morning, where a saucer-sized patch of Levi's fur was shaved off, the wound was thoroughly cleaned out and we were given two weeks' worth of antibiotics and one week's worth of doggy pain pills. My canine-trodden floors are not sanitary (there is no five-second rule here), so I asked the vet about bandaging the wound to keep it clean. He didn't want to do that, said it needed some air circulation, and suggested putting Levi in a clean T-shirt instead. So, that's what we've done.

I had no idea that Levi would be willing to wear clothes. He surprised me. He didn't object when I put the first one on him, and he's been as cooperative as a fashion model each time I've changed his outfit, often two or three times a day. He hasn't tried once to get out of a shirt. He wears a loose elastic belt around his waist, which allows me to roll the shirttail once or twice to keep it out of the line of fire when he pees.

The wound is healing nicely. I could probably leave the shirts off by now, except I don't trust our three other nosy dogs to pass up a chance to explore what the heck that thing is on Levi's side. As long as he seems comfortable, I'll lend him shirts until there's no more sign of the injury. Besides, he looks really, really cute!