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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Ass backwards

OK.  Buckle up because I'm on my soap box.  Again.  We've all seen it in the headlines a million times.  There's a Nurses shortage.  Nobody seems to be able to figure out why that might be and quite frankly nobody really cares much until they, or someone they love, checks into the hospital.  Then suddenly it's a huge deal.  Their family member isn't getting perfect care or is "special".  "Do you not understand who we are or who he/she is, and how important we are?"  Yeah, yeah.  We know.  Nurses are just stretched tighter than the elastic on your panties/boxers, so please give us the respect we DESERVE and don't treat us like your maid or housekeeper.  Hospitals are NOT hotels though I do admit most advertise themselves like they are so no damn wonder you are so confused.  "This isn't a hotel but act like it is, and you're not a maid, but act like you are".  OK....I can do all that-- and you can compensate me TWICE.  Two jobs, two paychecks.  You do the math.

If most people were treated like nurses are, they'd quit too.  The compensations sucks, the hours are brutal, your life is at stake everyday from diseases, mass casualties are becoming the norm, (as well as crazy patients and their family members), you get hit, slapped, punched, and due to the budget you need to 1) do more with less, not eat, not pee, and oh, BTW  "we need you to work a double".  If you don't, "we'll fire you for job abandonment.  Oh....and that pooping, and continually vomiting patient needs you again.  And, I have you down to work Christmas again this year."   

Our country has things ass backwards from my viewpoint.  We allow outrageous compensation to thieves at Goldman Sachs and other huge corporations who are literally bankrupting and stealing from us, and then we do not adequately compensate the very people who save our lives--Nurses, Firemen, Police Officers, EMT's etc.  Then we all act shocked when simple mistakes are made like a kidney for transplant getting tossed in the trash or when medication errors are made. Think the jobs so easy??  Try it sometime. 

 Teachers are another totally overlooked group.  We expect our country to be #1 in everything but we don't invest our money in places that can make that happen.  Teachers need to be fairly compensated.  Period.    College loans are becoming life long boat anchors around the ankles of kids who are just trying to get an education-- and that's another crazy maker. 

We allow Congressmen and women to draw "pensions" for their service to us when most of them were stealing from us all along anyway.   Isn't that just rewarding a crook for stealing?  I'm sure there are some law abiding politicians.....I just can't think of any, and that might be because politician and crook are synonyms. 

OK.  I'm done.  Time for a nap.

Last night's post that never made it

While I was at Lake Austin, I met a lot of ladies my age.  Some were there with a friend, some were with their mom or sister, and some came alone like I did, for some rest and quiet.  Two in particular were there after losing their mom's and really wanted and needed, to talk about their mom's.   I'm thinking it might be interesting to ask management if that they would consider doing an annual bereavement week/weekend for anyone that might be interested in coming for something like that.  (This might be too big of a Debbie Downer--I dunno-- but I think it might appeal to some.)  Frankly, that's just where a lot of us are these days in my age group and  even though my mom is still here-technically- the grief process marches right on and  beats the heck out of me some days. 

My plan would include guest lecturers on the stages of grief, how there's no time limit on it, good self care, journaling, maybe some meditation, and the importance of  exercise and laughter during this time.  Naturally there would be massages, facials, etc.-- the fun stuff for the sistas!  A good cry, a good laugh, and then lots of chocolate.  See....I feel better already!

Last night I remembered my conversation with the manager, Tracy, telling me her story about losing her dad to Alzheimer's.  He was diagnosed with early onset at 53 and died at 68.  It's so weird to me how people who have never met can bond over such a crappy illness, but we just do.  Tracy said her dad went to live with his other daughter (Tracy's sister's family) when he started getting really paranoid and thought the man he saw in the mirror was stealing his clothes.  He told Tracy and her sister that "the man looks a lot like me" and "he better stop".  They finally shoe polished out the mirror so her dad would no longer see "the man". 

Tracy's sister's family included her husband and their four teenaged sons, so the dad fit right in.  But here's the best part : he thought he was running a school for boy's, since boys were everywhere.  The entire family ate dinner together at night, family style, and her dad would always say grace, since duh..... he was the head of the school.  See???....  This disease makes you laugh while it stabs you right through the heart.

Tracy suggested I do two things and I plan to do both.  First was to video mom--especially her voice--on my phone and transfer later, for all of our family to enjoy.  Tracy said that's one thing she really misses hearing.  The sound of her dad's voice.  With that in  mind, today I interviewed and filmed mom.  (I missed getting the funniest part because I thought my phone was recording but it wasn't--a combo side effect of my hysterical laughter at what she was saying, and operator error.  Oops.)  I actually made two videos and sent the smaller file to all of her grand kids since the big file wouldn't go.  In the big file, I asked her about each grand kid, and on some she was a little drifty and out there, and on others she was more animated, but the gist of her old personality is still there, and that just blows my mind.  Then to have a forever recording of her voice, saying my name in the shorter video, is somehow very important to me and I'm thinking will become more important as time goes on.

The second thing Tracy suggested, was to write down all the funny stories and memories of mom, so they aren't lost over time.  Mom has had some real lulu's so that part will actually be fun.  My sister said Saturday when she was visiting mom at lunch, she and mom got laughing so hard a piece of meat f-l-e-w out of mom's mouth and hit a lady's shirt, across the table.  Then both of my siblings reported, separately, that mom and another lady at lunch speak a language ( to just each other) that is NOT English, but they both seem to understand what the other is saying.  Go figure.

Happy Labor Day weekend to all and to all a good night. :)))

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Uh, oh.....

I'm baaaack and feistier than ever-- or at least I will be for probably another hour.  First, let me say that one four legged black girl is mighty glad to see her May-May and has spent most of the hour or so I've been home, being loved on, adored, chatted with, stroked, and otherwise given my total attention.  That's just how we/she roll (s).  She's coming out of her "abandonment depression" and is beginning to act like herself.  She goes all dark and weird without her momma.  At now 13, she doesn't do change real well especially when it involves you going, and her staying.  If she gets to go, that's a whole other story.  And she didn't get to, but she sure tried, and she gave me the limp eared stink eye as I drove away.  Nothing guilt's me more than her stink eye.  And she knows it---- and is not afraid to use it.  Dog manipulation.  It's the worst.

Now, the topic I most want to cuss and discuss is the state of the world we live in.  Since I have been AWOL from TV (by choice) and from most things real worldy, what in the Sam hill is going on?  Why do we think further violence is the solution to the world's problems?  Do we really need to start another war?  Yes, our world is in BIG trouble but I can't help but think that doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results, just isn't terribly smart.  Name me a war in the last 25 years that we actually won.  I'm not sure it's up to us to "fix the world" and I think it's total arrogance on our part to think we actually can.  We are not the super power we used to be and even then that's pretty dicey considering we can't even fix our own problems here at home

In fact, I think we are simply a part of a big old dysfunctional "world family" where nobody gets along with each other and the hero child, the US, is always over-functioning trying to settle, meddle, boss, control, and manipulate, for their own gain. We try to paint ourselves as these do-gooders but that's a bunch of horse pucky.  We've always got a mixed motive.  There's always something in it for us otherwise we wouldn't bother.

So what's my solution?  See below.  Whoever's fighting has to wear it until they can stop, behave, and come to some sort of amicable agreement, and the UN can enforce it.  I'm serious.  Done and done.
P. S.  You will never find 2 women in this shirt.  Just sayin'.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Time for a break

Yesterday mom blew my hair off.  I had just finished telling her that I was pooped out, and as a result, was taking myself on a mini  vacay down near Austin, all by myself, for some R and R.  She thought that was a great idea.  Then she said "You look good...have you had work done?"  I swanny.  I about d-i-e-d.  I just never know what she's going to say next and I told her "HELL, YES, I've had work know I had a face lift almost 10 years ago!".  With that, the aide that had come in to change her and get her up from her nap almost fell out of the chair laughing.  Mom was laughing and I was doubled over howling.  Have I had work done....please.  She sat there smiling like she'd just made the worlds best funny and in lots of ways she had.  Where did that come from?

The disease of Alzheimer's never ceases to amaze me.  How people hang on for so long in various states of awareness blows my mind and the backing and forthing is a whole other issue.  One minute mom is cracking funnies and the next minute she's "out there".  You just never know what's coming.  The Scream lady--the one with the frozen face--is still here, though I'm not sure here is really accurate.  I thought she'd be long gone by now.  There just is no rhyme or reason to this disease.  Once I think I understand what's going on, I find out I don't.  I just cannot wrap my brain around this disease.

As a result of my vacay, I will not be blogging from Sunday- Thursday.  In fact, I may not do just a whole lot of anything except let someone else take care of moi'.  I've never done this before and I think it's high time I did. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

This and that

We saw the Butler yesterday and it was excellent.  I was a little afraid that Oprah might "play Oprah" a little bit and have that detract from the movie, but nothing could be further from the truth.  She was outstanding as was Forrest Whitaker and the entire cast.  John Cusack as Nixon was so spot on, I wanted to reach up and smack him one. Go see it if you can and make sure you can lie down afterwards.  It will wipe you out.  You will run the gamut of emotions.

Sad news.  Senora Maria is back from Mexico (Ocampo) but she came home sick, and one of her son's is, and has been, in the hospital here for ten days.  Read:  she is a wreck.  So that ironing board I was so ready to give up is now around for the near future, and perhaps for good.  We'll see.  I am sending prayers for Maria's clan.  Her family is not blessed with good health and neither is her husband Juan's side.  Two DNA crummies eqauls=crummier.  Something I can be grateful for today.  I forget how lucky I am until I get sick or feel crummy. 

Sis hit the dawg jackpot Saturday night with two T-bones to gnaw and she has been blissed out ever since.  She doesn't know there's a third bone in the freezer and I'm not telling her either.  A girl can only take so much happiness and I'm going to let her ride this wave all the way to the beach.  Oh, Sis....some gals have it so good and you are definitely one of them. 

Happy Monday to all. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

I want to be a Karen

Today I am having an emotional hangover.  I knew yesterday would be a workout and it was.  Boy, howdy, it was.  I have an older friend/acquaintance who is in a real pickle.  She has stage 4 colorectal cancer with metastasis, and is not as financially blessed as some.  She had an oncology appointment at the Parkland Oncology clinic yesterday (and no one to drive her) so another friend and I took her.

Yep.  Back to Parkland.  Quit laughing.  It makes me smile just thinking about it.  Taking her brought back lots of old memories.  Some great.  Some not so great, and some just plain scary but that's another story.  Yesterday, I could see that my friend simply does not understand what's going on.  I asked her what she needed from me that afternoon.  To please guide me, as I did not want to overstep my role as chauffeur, so I gave her a verbal menu of roles I could play.  Driver, friend, wheelchair pusher, support person (quiet), advocate/RN (not so quiet), hard question asker.  As I anticipated, she responded with "all of the above". (Since I am not family or even  a best or close friend, I really wanted/needed to know my boundaries.) 

Oh, crud.  "All of the above".  That's heavy stuff.  Thankfully, I had my other friend there to help and, boy, howdy, another set of hands, a great brain, and another body, sure came in handy.  The clinic was just as I remembered, even though I'd never been to that exact one.  Efficient (usually), full of sick folks not feeling so great, and staff that I simply love.  All just people.  

It was funny to me how the old Parkland training from Brian kicked right in and when I wasn't sure what to do next, I asked.  At one point in the second part of the check in process, my friend got really nauseated and was about to blow.  My other friend said "help!!!" and here I was standing at the check in, forging my nauseated friend's name for her since 1) she felt lousy, and 2) because we couldn't get her wheelchair through the morass of chairs.  I asked Karen, our check in person, for a basin and towels, and off she flew.  Meanwhile I spotted a white topped trash can right near by, so I whipped off the top, scooted it right next to my now gagging friend's wheel chair, and bingo.  You get the picture. 

A minute or so later, sweet "check in" Karen appeared with a towel, wash cloth, and a plastic basin and I reassembled the trash can.  My other friend got my barfing friend a cold wet wash cloth and we were back in business.  When we got back to the check in process, Karen looked at me and said in the kindest and most tender voice, "I'm so sorry".  All I could do was look in her eyes, thank her for her help, and say "Me, toooooo".

The story above it completely unimportant except for one thing.  There are lots of "Karen's" working at Parkland.  In fact, there are lots of Karen's everywhere.  Watch for them.  If you look for them, you will see them.  But more than that, today I'm trying to remember to be one. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Meditation, anyone?

I'm going to out myself here because it might benefit someone else and because I know it has benefited me.  I'm meditating.  I've done it off and on for years but a friend sent me the link for the Oprah-Depak Chopra 21 day meditation challenge and I decided it sure couldn't hurt, and might actually get me back on track.  It did, and I love it.  I'm trying to do it first thing in the morning before my day gets going and then again at night.

Why twice?  Because I'm an over achiever.  If you go online to, you will see the link if you are interested in signing up.  We're on day 10 but that doesn't matter.  You can jump in any time.  It helps me in all aspects of my life and I simply love it.  If you have squirrel brain like I do, it's a wonderful opportunity to hit the brakes.  One of my friends says her brain wakes up about 3 AM and gets busy before she even wakes up.  By the time she does became conscious in the morning, her brain has been up for hours plotting, making up stories, worrying, over thinking things, and trying to figure things out.  She meditates to corral all that nonsense and flush it.

Centering myself first thing in the morning is just lovely.  I highly recommend it. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


She said.  Then another she, said.  Two sides.  Two different stories.  Very different.  Such is the situation with Lady O and the Swiss sales girl over a pricey handbag that Oprah wanted to see in Zurich.  Oprah says she was out shopping alone--a fact I find hard to believe.  The sales person says a man was there with her.

Now to the purse.  A $38,000 one.  Expensive?  No doubt.  Could she afford it?  No doubt.  Oprah thinks she wasn't shown the bag because it was too expensive for her because she is a black woman.  The sales clerk says that although she didn't recognize Oprah, nothing could be further from the truth.  That she is an excellent salesperson with great customer service.  She says she asked O if she'd like to see the bag more closely.

I'm thinking if Oprah really wanted to see the bag she could have 1) pulled out her black American Express card  2) asked to have someone else wait on her 3) asked to see the manager.  If the sales gal had shown Oprah the bag, she might have made a fat commission.  And, she might not have.

My question is, is this part of what the sales girl might have been trained to do, regardless of someone's color?  I have been in snooty stores where they (correctly!) assumed I wasn't going to buy something but does that mean I cannot look at it?  I don't know.  I guess it depends on the store, the level of customer service, the salesperson, and how they were trained to deal with customers. 

Is it a coincidence that Oprah has a new movie coming out about a butler at the White House way back when, and the way staff was treated back then, what they saw, and what they heard?   I just am wondering if perhaps she was a little overly sensitive and perhaps the sales gal was a tad insensitive.  Beats me. Sure is interesting when there are two sides of a story, that are poles apart.  Today I know the truth is usually somewhere in between. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

It's almost time...and I'm ready

I'm feeling it.  Are you?  That sense that Fall is almost here even though it's still a thousand degrees outside.  It's starting to get dark just a tad bit earlier and it's beginning to look like back to school, first thing in the morning.  I'm not sure if it's the difference in the light or what, but something is just.... changing.  And different.  And with that let's just say I'm ready.

I'm ready for cooler temps, Fall mums, and even though the leaves won't change here until November, I'm going to pretend this is Fall in Colorado and the aspen's are turning.  All those yellows, gold, oranges and reds just get my motor going.  I'm ready to cook soups and Fall type food, too.  I love summer.....I'm just over it....and the heat. 

I'm ready to see the Smalls head off to a new year of school and hear all their news.  I know there will be heartbreaks, drama, and hilarity, along with new shoes, new clothes, and new school supplies.  All that new paper stacked and ready to begin a new year of writing, life experiences, new lessons, new friends.

I was thinking this morning of the freedom we all have to let go of the past.   We all know you can change it.  But we all possess the wonderful ability to create each day, what will ultimately be a new past.  Since today will be the past tomorrow, that's a pretty astounding thought.  I can create the past today.  Anything I didn't like back then, I am no longer tethered to, and today, can begin a new one.  Fresh slate.  New paper.  New school supplies, new clothes. 

No wonder I like Fall.  What looks old (leaves, plants, clothes, relationships, places, people, thoughts awareness's etc.) is really making way for all newI love that.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Screened in porches

This morning I'm thinking about screened in porches.  Why?  Because I want one.  I know it's way old school to have them but I don't care.  I still want one.  Mine would not be your 50's grandmother oh, my lord this is a gross and tacky, porch.  Mine would have a large ceiling fan(s) to stir the air, perhaps a mister for when it's blazing hot like it is now and would also have a fireplace so I could get my pyro on in the Fall.  I'd want a cosy outdoor dining table and comfy slip covered chairs in washable fabric and another seating area for casual visiting, reading, dog loving, and TV watching.  An outdoor flat screen and sound system for TV viewing and maybe a built in refrigerator, to cut down on trips to the kitchen. Proximity to the kitchen is also an important feature but since I'd be grilling mostly, it's not a deal breaker.

Heck....all I'd need now is a bathroom and I could live out there!  Just imagine how fun it would be to sleep out there in the fall when it's chilly at night.  I might need to have flaps installed on the inside that could be dropped and secured to keep out rain and dirt, but beyond that, I'm set.

Ooops.  Forgot one thing.  A doogie door.  If my gal pal is going to be out there with me, and I know she is, that's a must have.  Can't forget the hound features.
Here are a few that got my motor running.  Some looked especially good given their location.


 or maybe                              

I couldn't get my favorite lake house one to load here and that's probably a good thing.  It just would have made me want it more.  It's on Houzz, over looks a lake, has a fold open and back screen door, with the tail of a fish mounted on the wall barely visible in the photo. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Mom update

It's after one o'clock and I'm back briefly from my erranding.  Just saw mom and my brother, as he fed mom lunch.  Man...she was eating like she'd just plowed the back forty, so good for her.  Given that she used to just eat a bite or two, this is good-- for as long as it lasts.  She eats about as much as toddlers do.  Watching my brother feed her, just completes the whole circle.  (Another Lion King music moment brought to you by Disney.)      :)))         

It's so weird...I can look at mom's eyes and tell whether she'd 'tuned in" or "out there".  Her eyes telegraph everything and even though most of the time she can't respond back in a language I understand, we can still muddle through.  I either understand somewhat or think I do-- and I  just don't worry about the part I don't get.  If her eyes are blank I know she's not home and not to bother.  At that point, all I can do is comfort her.

My brother and mom had been discussing her old lake house because she was having catfish for lunch.  If you want to see mom perform, start talking about something she remembers and then mention your memories. Oh, lordy...she will wiggle and make her eyes big and it's just hilarious.  I told her I was aware she'd fallen out of her wheel chair this week and asked her how she did it.  She did one of those "hell....I don't know " kind of shrugs that always makes me laugh.  She looked none the worse for wear despite a skin tear on her leg and when your skin is as thin as tissue paper, that's par for the course.  That's just how life is.

Today all is well and we are all exactly where we are supposed to be in God's world today so enjoy it--or fight it.  Your choice.  The good news is, if you aren't in a good place, it WILL change!  Happy weekend.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Irony much?

Just a small dose of irony from this morning.  The phone rang, it was an unfamiliar but recurrent number so I answered it.  It was a lady, Jan, calling about the house "you are renting from me".  I told her I wasn't renting a house--we owned ours--and we were in it.  She continued on like I was a half wit.  "You know...the house with no power...the one in Colorado you are renting".  One more time, Jan...  "We aren't renting a house in Colorado with no power, Jan.  You have the wrong number".  Jan apologized and we hung up.  Five minutes later the phone rang and caller ID said Aspen, Colorado so I answered "Hi, Jan.  This is still the wrong number and you're killing me's supposed to be 105 today in Dallas and you are still calling me about a house, in the mountains, where it's lovely and cool, with no power, in Aspen!  Honey, I'll trade!  Right now!!  I'm on the next plane!"

We laughed, and she wanted to know "how she got this number."  "Jan, I have no clue how you got my number but I assure you I am not at your house in Aspen....though I sure would like to be."  She promised she would NOT call again, we both laughed and that was that, or so I thought, until I got back after lunch.

I checked my messages and wanna guess who had left a message?  No, not Jan.  It was the electrician she called in Aspen to come fix the power.  He wanted to know if it would be OK to come now.  (head bang, head bang, head bang)   Sure, Dude...come on. 


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Welcome Home

Wow.  I feel like that old Western song "Back in the Saddle Again".  Boy, it doesn't take long, does it?  It's like burning up on re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere. 

We ran by last night to see mom and she looked like a little kid who'd been in a food fight.  She either didn't like what they were feeding her or someone's aim needs improving.  Anywho, she was about the same. We told her about how cool and wonderful it had been in Colorado and she ooo-ed and ahh-ed at the appropriate spots.  I realized she doesn't even know it's hot outside since she never goes outside. But she still remembers what August in Dallas is like, if you tell her.
 Another gentleman who lives over in the Independent Living side had come over with their dog, to see his wife.  Sadly, his wife didn't know him or the dog, and he told us she had been put on Hospice 5 weeks ago.  He seemed to think that was a l-o-n-g time until I smiled and said mom had been on Hospice16 months.  He looked at me like he'd seen a ghost.  He had told us he'd declined to go on a cruise to Alaska with their son, afraid that his wife might die while he was gone.  I told him I had done the exact same thing last year, but that this year, I went.  I told him next time to just go.  Go make memories for himself  and his son's family, and to keep on living. 

I think I might have shocked him a little.  I couldn't have gone this time last year either, just like he couldn't go right now.  Maybe this time next year neither one of us will be visiting over at the Plaza.  Or, maybe we will.  Who knows.  All I do know is, we both have to keep living  fully and finding our joy.  That's what life's about.                                                         

Monday, August 5, 2013

Laundry and lifts

Sooo good to be home even though the temp difference is well over 30 degrees.  Sometimes you just have to trade some things for others.  It was worth it to see Brian, Sis, and sleep in my own bed.  I've found out I'm simply a nester.  I like being in my own house doing nesty type things.  My mother always told me I was but I thought she was nuts.  She was, but she was right about this. 

I was talking with a friend on our trip, and she's a nester, too.  She and her partner divide up the chores and she's the laundry lady.  She says her things never make it through a complete dryer cycle without being hung up, wrinkle less.  She also has a perfect ratio of laundry detergent, fabric softener, and Oxyclean that she adheres to, for a perfect wash.  It's taken her awhile to get it just right and now it's purrrrfect.  She loves the smell, the feel, and it works for her and her partner.

 This gal is a brain.  She has a law degree though she's not practicing, works for an airline and I think her job is to work out how much fuel, etc. will be needed per day for all the air planes and their routes, and has to make the airline stay with in that amount.  Now, I think that's what she does.  Something like that anyway.  Holy cow.  (I'm telling you this part so you can get a sense of what a cool person she is and how diverse.)

 I just thought it was so cool that she'd reveal herself about laundry.  I had to gasp for air when I realized it's not just my sister and I that love to do laundry.  LOTS of PEOPLE DO.  I don't mind telling people at all.  I just didn't know anybody else liked it!  Frankly, I'm too lazy for a laundry ratio but I love that it works for them.  Plus, I'm not a fabric softener girl.  Can't go there; can't stand the stuff.

  My friend also has a fear of heights that sounds like it might be worse than mine.  Not comparing--just saying.  I saw the pic her partner took as they rode up the lift together and my friend's hands were glued to the seat bar,  looking straight ahead intently. She could not look left or right.  It had started to rain but she was determined to do it.  To hell with the rain!  Her partner said she tried to comfort her but there was just no way, until  they started coming down. Down was better.  That is until the the lift stopped briefly, their seat swung to and fro, and my friend lost it completely.
You could tell when she told us her story, howling laughing, she'd do it again.  And maybe even again.  Maybe not in the rain-- but  FEAR conquered.  I love that.

This all started because I told her I had made myself do it, because I was scared.  That's when she decided to face her fear and do it, too. (Me and my big yap-- but now I'm glad I told her.)  Today we know each other at a much deeper level.  I know about her laundry love and fear of heights, and she knows about mine.  We both have been utterly transparent with each other.  And may I just say, it turned out to be one of the best laughs of the trip.  The two of us confessing our fears.  Who knew???

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Adios, CB

54 degrees with clouds overhead.  It looks like it would love nothing more than to start a gentle sprinkle and work it's way into a first class frog strangler.  This cool weather sure is making the thought of packing up to leave tomorrow miserable.  We've eaten, we've shopped a little, and  we've enjoyed friends but it's the weather and the scenery I just can't get ready to leave behind. 

Our buds left this morning, poor thangs.  They missed all the cooking demo's at the Arts festival and actually so did I -- I just watched for a minute.  I figured I can watch cooking any old time and seeing everything else (and shopping) was much more of a priority.  There were food stalls everywhere so for lunch you just got what you wanted and sat down at the aluminum picnic tables, eating with people you may never see again, but thoroughly enjoyed visiting with.  You could be seated at restaurants, too, but outside was way more fun.  We met a couple who lives nearby (30 miles away) and had their dachshund, Buster, on a leash under the table.  From what I could tell, Bruce fed him about half of his pulled pork sliders, while Buster's dad didn't even offer him a b-i-t-e of his ribs.  Pooooor Buster.  Wrong Daddy.

Though you were technically not supposed to have your dog at the festival, everyone did, so I never quite understood why they bothered with posting that nonsense.   The dogs were all well behaved and had every bit as much fun as the people.  Our whole table laughed watching a very friendly mutt on a leash go up and try to get acquainted with an enormous English Mastiff sitting regally in the shade.  The smaller dog respectfully wagged his tail and stood almost nose to nose until the Mastiff had had enough of a meet and greet.  One GIANT bark and that ordinary sized mutt popped straight up in the air, legs churning, running before he ever hit the ground.  Our whole table fell apart laughing and the Mastiff's owner just chuckled. 

The rain just started and with the window open off to my left, you can already feel a difference....  I had to turn the fan off. It's freezing.  Yeah I hoo.  And speaking of cold...last night on the shuttle coming back from the festival, we had stopped at the Third Bowl ice cream stall before jumping aboard the bus.  I got some Skipppidee Do Dah (vanilla, caramel, and toffee crunch...oh, baby) and Bruce got some way too healthy (boring) blueberry something or other.  Anywho, on the ride back up the hill, all the windows on the bus were down and we about froze to death.  Did we stop eating our ice cream???  Hell NO.  If you are already cold, there's simply no reason to stop.