Monday, April 30, 2012

April Blog Challenge: Z is for Zilch

Seriously, zilch.

My mind is a blank.

I think my mind needs a vacation after this A-Z challenge.

I think it may have given me an eye twitch this year.


I'm going to rest my frazzled brain.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

April Blog Challenge: Y is for Yes

Seriously, must stop saying this word. Or any variation of it.
Dr. J had called me up on Tuesday, asking me if I would be able to work Friday (yesterday) to help fill in. Evidently the two office managers were going to be gone, and so was one tech. I double checked with my grandparents to make sure they didn't have any special plans to move cattle or anything, and told him "yes, I can work." I was mostly thinking, extra 8 hours on my time card? Hell yeah!
Here's the thing: he was mostly worried that a lot of ranchers would be coming in for lots of vaccines and stuff, and that basically the shit would hit the fan and the two receptionists wouldn't be able to handle it with everything else. So, what I understood from all that was that he doesn't really have faith in the two receptionists to do their jobs.
Here's the other thing: I was bored 98% of the day. I found things to do, but I was a little out of my element. Normally at the main clinic in Town on Saturday's, I'm reception. I'll pitch in where needed, but mostly, I'm up front. But on Friday, I wasn't reception, I was a tech. Which threw me for a loop. When I'm over at the satellite clinic in Sticksville on Wednesdays, I'm reception, tech, and kennel because it's just myself and a vet. So, I was little out of my element over in Town yesterday because I don't really know their whole system for during the week. But, again, I was bored. (Which probably means that Saturday will blow up in my face because I'm all alone up front on weekends)

This past Wednesday I had a rancher gal come in for a couple items at the Sticksville clinic, and then asked me if I do "chute work" during the day when I'm not at the clinic. I knew what she meant - working cattle in a chute, like vaccines and stuff - but I was a bit surprised by her question. Then she tells me that the folks that usually help her are moving and she was wondering if I might be available if she could coordinate it right with my vet job and the jobs for my grandparents. I was flattered that she asked, and because flattery works well in bribing me, I told her if it could be coordinated right, I could probably help her out. (This is the same gal who at Christmas gave me a thank you card with $20 in it to thank me and help with gas for running big orders for her over the hill on my way home on weekends from the main clinic).

Saying yes probably just gets me into more trouble that I know.

I should have learned years ago. Saying "yes" gave us the Psycho Suzi series.

Friday, April 27, 2012

April Blog Challenge: X is for Uh . . . well . . .

Yeah . . . I had nothing for this one. This is one of the hardest letters to come with up anything. So, I Googled words that start with X. I'll share a few of those with you.

Xenophobia (n) - fear or hatred towards foreigners, foreign countries, or anything foreign.  

Xanadu (n) - an exotic, luxurious place. This word comes from the poem "Kubla Khan" by Samuel T. Coleridge.

Xhosa (n) -Xhosa is the name of the Bantu language, and a name for a member of the Bantu people of South Africa.

Xenon (n) - a heavy, colorless and odorless gas that is found in very small quantities in the Earth’s atmosphere. It is often used in lasers, vacuum tubes and luminescent tubes for electric lamps.

So, now you can say you learned something new today.

You're welcome. ;o)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

April Blog Challenge: W is for Watching War Horse

I watched War Horse recently. I really enjoyed it. Although, I admit, I cried over it. I'll admit that I shed a couple tears over the stupid preview sometime last year. Yes. I did.

I'm a sucker for a horse movie . . . 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April Blog Challenge: V is for Validate

It's nice when, once in awhile, you get validated at your job. You work hard, try to do your best at not screwing up and hope that every once in awhile, your boss will say, "Hey, I just wanted to thank you for all your hard work. I want you to know I really do appreciate all that you do."

As most of us know, this does not happen often. And for some people, never. The average person probably doesn't expect to hear it every day, but just every so often. It's nice to have your hard work noticed and appreciated.

Last weekend this happened.

Nothing major happened this last weekend at work. It went very smoothly, actually. After we locked up, I cleaned everything up at the front desk, double checked with Dr. J's wife that she had the money doing end-of-day, and left.

When I got home almost half an hour later, I discovered a voice mail on my cell phone. I figured the call came in while on the mountain as there's no cell signal. I listened to the voice mail and couldn't help but smile and think, "awww."

Dr. J had called my cell with this message, "Hey J it's just me, I just wanted to say thanks for all of your help today. L just did end-of-day and it was perfect, no issues. You're the only one who's consistent with no mistakes. (pause) You want a full-time job? You could be married to the vet clinic (chuckles). To hell with grandma and grandpa, work for us. Okay, see you Wednesday, have a good one."

I have no intentions of leaving my grandparents in the wind, but I just thought that was the sweetest voice mail. I work hard and try not to make too many mistakes. I'm not perfect and I know that I still make mistakes. But getting a call like that . . . just makes all my hard work validated.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April Blog Challenge: U is for Understanding

There are many humorous things in the world, among them the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.  ~Mark Twain, Following the Equator, 1897

Call me a dreamer. Call me crazy. Call me anything you want, really. But what this world needs is a dose of "understanding". We've become too politically correct. We've become a world where we can't live without a cell phone or an iPad. We still don't seem to understand that under the color of our skin, we are all the same. It doesn't matter what we call the God(s) we pray to.

It's people like this who breed hatred in this world. And I don't understand their reasoning. I don't understand why. I just plain don't understand.


If they believe that America is so damned awful - why don't they fucking leave? I'm sure if they pray, God will send them to land that He loves. I'd like to suggest Antarctica. But then, they might protest that God hates penguins. And I love penguins, so I really don't want to do that to the poor Penguins.

Do I like everyone I meet? Nope, not all of them. Do I tell them then that God hates them? Nope. I buck up, and work with the crazy people that make me want to stick a fork in my eye. Life isn't perfect and it certainly isn't fair. Nor are people. We're all so much alike, and yet, so very different.

Is my country perfect? Hell no. There's tons that need to be fixed. But that also goes for everywhere else on this planet.

Hatred and greed will get us nowhere but destroyed. I'm not saying you have to bake your worst enemy a cake - I'm just saying, at least show them some respect. Try to understand someone else's differences - why they believe what they do.  We should embrace our diversity, not condemn it.

If we're both fighting, then we're both losing.


Monday, April 23, 2012

April Blog Challenge: T is for Thank You (Postcard)

I forgot to schedule this one, so I'm posting it kinda late. Ooops. That's what happens when I have to be on the road early on Sunday morning, stay the night out of town, and am on the road again Monday.

I wanted to send a huge thank you to Lynne over at The Giggle Fest for my postcard this month! I love love love it!!

If you haven't stopped by her blog, you definitely should.

If you're new here or just stopping by and you're wondering why I'm posting about a postcard, let me tell you quickly about The Great Postcard Campaign! I came up with this last summer. If you're tired of getting bills and junk mail in the mailbox, jump on in to the Postcard Campaign. Trust me when I say these postcards bring a smile to your face and brighten up your day. I literally laughed out loud when I pulled the one above out of the box!

Each month a different blogger on the list sends out postcards to everyone on the list. You can click on the Campaign page for more details, but that's basically the gist of it. If you'd like to get some mailbox happiness in your neck of the woods, please shoot me an email with your real name, snail mail addy (as it should appear on an envelope), and your blog link. All I ask in return is that you thank the blogger who sent out postcards, preferably with a post similar to this, but other ways can be arranged, and also link back to me.

Now I get to announce the next sender of postcards!! For May, it will be the ever so lovely Rita from The Adventures of Cinderita!! 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

April Blog Challenge: S is for Shitscapade

Before I even start my post, I'd like to say I hate the new blogger dashboard look. Was the other way really so bad?!

Anyway, I thought I'd relive my "eat shit" fame. So, please enjoy another flashback - I'd only been on the ranch a couple weeks . . . 

Alright y'all, we knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. I was actually hoping later or never, but obviously my hopes have been dashed. You guys kept assuring me it would never happen, while I figured it was bound to, just because that's how I roll.

March 4th, 2011 marks the day I face-planted in muddy cow shit.

Now, the day started off relatively normal. I'm starting to get the routine down. However, today we were mixing it up a bit. We have a pen near the barn with calves in it, weaned and everything. My grandparents had been waiting for decent weather (and my grandfather wanted to wait for me to be here as well) to vaccinate, de-worm, and de-lice the calves. Then we'd separate the heifers from the bulls. My grandmother has let my grandfather keep some bulls this year, as he wants me to learn it (they were in the pure-bred bull business). So, we strayed from our normal routine and didn't feed those cows until after we were done.

We fed the Spring herd first, nothing out of the ordinary there. No new calves yet.

We fed the Fall herd after that, nothing out of the ordinary there. From there I tested the electric fence for that pasture, and then tossed some hay into the calf feeder. This area is a place just for the calves to get hay without their mothers getting all greedy and shit and eating it first. There are two little doorways that are just big enough for the calves to get in and out.

Next we had to get the chute ready - you know, break up the snow that had stockpiled in there. We separated 5 or 6 calves at a time to take into the chute. We had our syringes ready and our topical de-wormer/de-licer. I was in charge of walking up and down the chute to bring the cows up to the squeeze chute where they were to receive their treatments. At one point, when my grandmother, K and I went in to get more calves to bring into the chute, we were in some pretty mucky/muddy/shitty areas, and she called out as we were to run after the calves to keep up with them, "Keep your mouth shut" as the cow shit-mud combo goes flying. You might think that this was when I decided to get down and dirty. Oh no. I held my ground.

We finished with the cows, and we needed to move the bulls from the pen to the pasture across the drive. My grandfather, told me to go around and get the bulls out of the corner and out of the pen so K could whisk them across the drive. I could tell it was pretty deep shit-mud, so I was trying to be careful.

I failed. Miserably.

This was my moment. There were just a couple bulls left, and as I was walking in the suctiony shit-mud, my left foot didn't move, but the rest of me kept on going. My right leg was out far enough in front of me, that my thigh mostly prevented my actual face from meeting with the shit-mud. That and my hands, which thank God, were still in their work gloves. I attempted once to get my sorry ass up, but found that my left foot was half out of the boot, and the boot was in shit-mud up to the brim. And technically, most of my weight was on my right leg, bent completely, and if I could stand, I would have been standing on my tip-toes. Papa D had to get the last couple bulls out, one of which wanted to start coming my direction. Luckily, these guys aren't full grown, so I shook my rattle-paddle and hollered "shoo!" and he took off out of the pen. Papa D started coming to me and I told him to finish. My one attempt at getting up told me this shit was quicksand.

Just in case you ever wondered about it, it is rather humbling to be sitting in shit-mud up to your knees and technically your ass. You reach a moment where you realize, "Shit happens. Literally." And it's slightly embarrassing. I mean, the shit-mud obviously kicked my ass.

 This is the shit that sucked me in. Literally. Two feet deep.

K had been on the phone with her brother who called at the most inopportune moment, because as she answered I fell. She asked if I was injured, I hollered back with no, and they finished getting the bulls across the drive. 

Just for future reference, mud-shit in March is fucking cold. K was able to help me keep my left boot on - which was perfect because I really didn't want mud-shit between my toes. Not as appealing as sand on the beach. Once my foot was back in my boot, then she had to help me get my right foot out of the mud. I was only inches away from the "safe zone" (meaning the mud wasn't like quicksand). Once I got my right foot in that footing, then we hauled my left foot out of the suction of the mud-shit. I did manage to get some shit on my face as during one of our attempts to free me my gloves slipped on the rattle-paddle and smacked me in the side of the face. Remember, my gloves were covered in cow shit and mud. At least I didn't eat it.

My grandparents finished up, and we walked up to the house. I slightly remember walking a little funny as I had cow shit-mud from my knees down, and on my ass. We washed our boots off, and then Papa D played photographer. Now, trust me, if he had had his camera on him during this whole shitscapade, he would have been clicking faster than any other photographer ever. K had to take my coat and scarf off, I had kicked of the gloves (which were unsalvagable), but I had cow shit-mud on the cuffs of my sleeves,  so she had to help me out of said coat. She let me borrow a pair sweatpants (which had to be rolled up about 4 times as she's like 6' tall) and a pair of socks. She was totally awesome and washed my pants, my coat, my socks, and my scarf for me.

I then got a ride home from Papa D (and had to borrow shoes from K as well) so that I could take the world's hottest and longest shower. I will say this, my legs were green. I'm sure my ass was, too, but I'm not that flexible. Nor was I inclined to look at my own ass in the mirror.

Oddly enough, I was never mad over this whole shitscapade. Okay, well, not fully. The second it happened, I was little miffed. But then I realized, there was absolutely nothing that could be done without assistance. I'm just lucky that once the bulls were in their pasture, they didn't call out, "THAT'S LUNCH!!!" Yes, my grandparents were laughing at me. But I was laughing at myself, too, so really, it's all good.

I'm just lucky it wasn't a true faceplant, although, I'm pretty sure, that too will happen at some point.

Because that, folks, is how I roll.

I am now officially a member of the Phi Beta Shit Club. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

April Blog Challenge: R is for Reviews

Book reviews that is. I have a few quick books to review. Can't get behind on letting you know the awesomeness of which you should be reading. (Other than my blog of course)

I'm first going to tell you how much I loved the other two Hunger Games books. The Hunger Games was recommended to me by Jewels, who basically cornered me and forced me to read it. (just kidding about the cornering and the forcing) If you haven't read these books, you definitely should. There's always a twist, usually one you didn't necessarily see coming. You become vested in the characters and their safety and thank God that you don't live a world like this. Seriously captivating books!

Catching Fire
Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create. Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding. It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans - except Katniss. The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' mockingjay - no matter the personal cost.
I recently read Jennifer Weiner's Best Friends Forever, and thought it pretty good. It's the first book of hers I've read, and I'd be happy to read her other works. This book follows two girls, who grow up as best friends, have a falling out, and through a twist of fate, have to come back together to get out of a sticky situation. The first part of the book has a lot of flashbacks to their childhood, through Addie's eyes, as the book is told from her point of view. Addie seemed to have to drawn the short stick in the game of life, while Val seems to always be one sandwich shy of a picnic. But it does convey that sometimes, though life has gotten in the way, one girl gets the lemons and the other brings over the vodka.

Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That's what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they're both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school's scapegoat. Flash-forward fifteen years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weathergirl at the local TV station. Addie Downs lives alone in her parents' house in their small hometown of Pleasant Ridge, Illinois, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the Internet. She's just returned home from Bad Date #6 when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat. "Something horrible has happened," Val tells Addie, "and you're the only one who can help."

The last book I'll show you is Emily Giffin's Heart of the Matter. The book is told from two women's point of view, in the wake of a tragedy that intertwines their lives. Right or wrong,  you see each woman's point of view, and wonder how their lives may straighten out. This was definitely a good read, and would recommend it.

Tessa Russo is a stay-at-home mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon. Valeria Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie - a boy who has never known his father. Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, they are strangers to one another and have little in common, aside from a fierce love for their children. But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined. This is the moving, luminous story of good people caught in untenable circumstances. Each being tested in ways they never thought possible. Each questioning everything they once believed. And each ultimately discovering what truly matters most.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

April Blog Challenge: Q is for Quitting

It's been over a year now since I quit my job in Sacramento and moved to the middle of nowhere. I'm glad I did so.

I was so afraid of quitting because I was giving up my benefits. I'm a worry-wart, so I figured something would happen the second those benefits were gone. Luckily nothing did. I also worried because I was giving up my 401k.

But quitting was worth it. I was so stressed and unhappy. I'm not saying life up here in Sticksville is perfect. The stress is different and nowhere near as bad as my last job. Ranching can be a stressful way of life - it's a 24/7 job. Hay prices alone are enough to give a rancher a heart attack. Putting out a monthly publication can be stressful - you need advertisers in order to pay for printing costs, gas prices alone are enough to give you a heat attack right at the pump, and any kind of glitch that could possibly happen. The vet's office can be stressful - dealing with distraught pet owners, people who just walk in and expect to be seen right away, animals peeing on the floor, people constantly telling you they helped pay for the remodel because they spend so much on their pets.

But the stresses here don't make me hate where I live or any of my jobs. They make me appreciate a day off, my family, my friends, my co-workers. I've learned a lot since quitting my job city job, and I don't regret one iota of that decision.

Sometimes, quitting really is the best thing you can do.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April Blog Challenge: P is for Psycho Suzi Flashback!

 I felt like doing a flashback post for "P". For more Psycho Suzi stories, please click here. For quick reference, Suzi is a girl I lived with for one academic year in college - what I refer to as my "dark year". It was actually cathartic writing a series of posts about her, and it's great that they became entertaining instead of aggravating. And btw, if you read other Suzi posts, trust me - this shit really did happen. I'm not that imaginative.

I was spoiled by my first roommate experience. I have to admit. When it came to sharing things, we typically didn't mind. We tried to be considerate about it. Like if she and her boyfriend used the last of my butter, they'd buy me some next time they grocery shopped. Her boyfriend often asked me for stamps. He actually would give me exact change for each stamp he took. If I ate some of her crackers, I'd buy her a new box next time I was at the store. Often we'd ask before we took anything, but there times we'd have to say something after the fact.

During college, my first three years anyway, I lived close enough to campus that I walked. I enjoyed my walks to campus. Mornings were always nicest, in the summer it was before the heat of the day. In the winter, the crisp air was nice even if it did sting my eyes. In the winter I often walked with a travel mug of hot chocolate to help keep me warm. This was in addition to a sweater, a coat that goes to my knees, mittens, scarf, and a hat. No I didn't attend school in the Mid-West where temperatures can often be below zero. It's still California, but for those that live in the Northern part of the state, winter can get cold.

With my first roommate, I'd often "borrow" packets of hot chocolate if I ran out. I'd replace them. She didn't have to ask me to. I did it on my own, out of consideration. That and Karma's a bitch.

The winter I lived with Suzi, I, at one point, ran out of hot chocolate. I hated buying cups of hot chocolate at school, because even though they tasted awesome, it got expensive. Plus I would burn the taste buds off and the roof of my mouth with the first sip, so everything felt and tasted funny for the rest of the day. You can stop giggling at me now.

The morning I realized I was out of hot chocolate, she had already left for the day. I decided I'd take a packet. I had every intention of making sure I bought her more - I had to go to the store in a couple days anyway. It wasn't like she drank it near as much as me; I rarely saw her drink hot chocolate. She used the Nestle brand, with the marshmallows in it. I used, and still use, Swiss Miss. It's cheaper and you get more packets in a box.

I left her a note on the whiteboard in the kitchen that I took a packet, just in case she kept inventory. It wouldn't shock me. I made it up, and ran off to school. When I came home, my note was gone. She had written nothing in return. When we were home together she didn't say anything, either. I figured she didn't mind.

Next day, same thing. On the third day I finally made it to the grocery store. When I picked up a box of her Nestle hot chocolate, I discovered it was twice the amount mine was, and she got less than half of what I got packet-wise. I hadn't noticed a taste difference. And the marshmallows got in the way of the sippy-hole of my travel mug. I still bought the damn box, because I had every intention of giving her the whole box to repay what I took.

I got home, groceries in tow. Her mom was in town for a couple days. Again. While she came across as nice, the woman was a hoverer. Way more than the average mother. She was constantly worried if we kept the front door locked, as "some stranger from the street could just show up" since we lived right on the road. If she was so worried about her daughter's safety, why didn't she have Suzi move? In fact, we weren't in a bad part of Chico. That's what I didn't understand. Minus the random dumpster-diver, we had no trouble at all.

Sorry, I digress, again. Suzi and her mom are out for the time being. I start putting my groceries away, and I opened up a cupboard. What I find is rather upsetting.

It was a box of Suzi's hot chocolate, with torn pieces of binder paper taped all over it. In Suzi's mother's handwriting, it said the following, "Suzi's Hot Chocolate!", "Suzi Only!".

I was more than offended. I had left the bitch a note regarding the hot chocolate. And she has her mommy go out and buy her a new box because I took 3 packets?! WTF?

I grabbed the box I bought for her and nearly tossed it. Instead, I took 3 packets and rubber-banded them together with a sticky note that said: "Here are the packets to replace what I took. I had every intention of replacing them". I had intended on giving her the whole box. Oh hell no. Not now. I stuff the remaining three packets into my box of Swiss Miss that I had just bought. I stuff the box down into the bottom of the garbage - out of sight.

A few weeks later, it was Christmas. She had made us stockings to hang outside our bedroom doors and put presents in. I put shit in hers. Whoa. Not literal shit. Just shit. I bought stupid kids toys and she was in love with them. Second childhood my ass - she never left her first. What did I find in my stocking?

A fucking box of Nestle Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows.

I got bitch-slapped without being touched.

(Just so y'all know, I have never quite lived this post down. I still get teased by family if they offer me hot chocolate. I'll get, "Well, we only have that Nestle crap. . . " and a sly look. Just to be clear, I don't really care about the brand of hot chocolate. It's all good. In college, I was looking for cheap. Swiss Miss is cheap. Nestle was twice the price for half the amount of packets. That's what I thought was crap. lol) 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April Blog Challenge: O is for Obnoxious

As anyone who works in the public sector knows, the public can get a bit obnoxious. Not everyone, mind you, is that way, but there are always a select few that are . . . special. Here's two:
This past Saturday, at Job 3, I had some guy walk in at 8am with a dog he wanted the vet to look at. He had no appointment and the vet had in-house treatments to do. He waited. And while he waited, he talked. And talked. And talked even more. In short, he wouldn't shut up. He started telling me how shady everyone in the valley is, and felt I should know all about his family drama. I'm sorry, but do I have a neon sign above my head that says I'm dying to know all about the estate drama of people I don't know? Didn't think so. But it must say sucker. I was busy with getting the desk set up for myself, pulling the days files, and trying to get things situated. All the while, he was talking about this drama. If I walked away to do something in another room, or the phone rang, he'd stop, and as soon as I was back in the room or off the phone, "So back to what I was saying . . ." I'm pretty sure I was wondering if a fork in the eye would have been more fun.
 I this is the first thing Obama and I agree on: Shut up.
I'm pretty sure some of you remember my little story about the gal who finagled my home number and called me at home because she'd forgotten to call the satellite clinic in Sticksville to get her dog his monthly shot. Yes, that did happen. No, I was not a happy camper. And no, I did not call her back. Although my grandmother suggested I call her back at midnight. I called the gal back from work the next day and left a message. (The week prior to this, she'd called the clinic on Thursday for an appointment that day, but I had to remind her the vet is only over here on Wednesdays). My message went something like this, "I got your message last night; just want to remind you that the doctor is only over here on Wednesdays. If your dog needs the shot, I would call Town and make an appointment over there. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me back at work, as this is not something that  you need to call my house for." She called back the next Wednesday at 8am asking if she could just come on down. I told her no, I had the doctor in surgery until 10am. Her response? "So come in an hour?"

Monday, April 16, 2012

April Blog Challenge: N is for No longer the "newbie"

During last year's blog challenge, I wrote about being the "newbie" at my third job, the vet's office. One of my followers had commented, "in a small community, you'll be the newbie for years". I sort of dreaded that.

I'm happy so say that I am no longer the newbie. Not that I don't still  make mistakes or screw up royally, but I can't claim the newbie title any longer.

Last summer, the weekday receptionist, CP quit to move back to Fresno with her husband who was taking care of the family turkey farm. I have no idea the details of why there lived in Town, and how her hubby wound up down in Fresno, but whatever. The clinic hired a girl full time and another as part time.  The new full timer only lasted a month or two before putting in her notice. The part timer became a full timer, and they hired a second full time receptionist.

They also had a tech that put in her notice because she was moving, so they hired a new technician. Dr. AC quit at the end of May, as his wife couldn't get a job in her field in our county. They moved to Washington. I miss Dr. AC, he was cool. So, after several long months of working the two retired vets hard with tons of cattle work, they finally hired a new vet, Dr. A - she's pretty cool, too.

It actually feels good to no longer be the newbie. Although, I still have lots of questions because there's always more to learn. CP told me before she left that she'd been there for 4 or 5 years and still felt like she didn't know anything. At least I'm not alone.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

April Blog Challenge: M is for Me

I both love and despise scary movies. I can't really put a finger on why I enjoy watching them, but I can put several fingers on why I don't. A year or so ago, I watched Paranormal Activity and it scared me so bad, I admit, I had to sleep with a light on. I was literally scared of every shadow I saw. And I watched the movie at like 10am. This past year, I got up the courage to watch the second one . . . same result. I just couldn't turn the light off when I went to bed. I'm sure in about a year, I'll have worked up the courage to see the third one, and again, I'm sure I'll have to sleep with a light on.

I don't care what time of the day I have to wake up for work, I still hate it when my alarm goes off. Especially in winter, it's just cruel and unusual punishment to make me get out of my wonderfully warm bed. Because it's colder than a well-digger's ass outside of those covers.

I refuse to get pedicures because my feet are so ticklish. Once I nearly kicked a girl off her stool when used the srubby brush. I felt really bad, even though I'd had no control over the action. It is safer for all pedicurists that I refrain pedicures.

Speaking of feet, I don't like feet. I don't want to touch someone else's feet, even fresh out of the shower. I don't want someone touching mine. It is, however, okay for me to touch my own feet.

I am currently loving the song "Springsteen" by Eric Church.

I could marry Josh Turner's voice.

I think of this song when people hurt me or piss me off . . . or my friends. Because it makes me laugh instead, and there is a teensy bit of truth to it.

I love how the world is silent when it snows.

After my last psycho roommate, I have come to the conclusion that my next roommate will be a husband. If he's lucky.

Part of me wants to go Disneyworld on my honeymoon, just so I can go to the Harry Potter park. Sad, yes. Another part of me wants to go on my dream cruise - 2 week Mediterranean.

I have been dying to see Rascal Flatts in concert for 12 years. In the beginning it was all bad timing. Now it's price. One concert I checked out, the seats were well over $100. I love me some Flatts, but not at that price.

I saw Nickelback at the same venue I checked for Flatts tickets, a year earlier. Nickelback tickets were $55.

As I write this, I'm starving. Must go raid cupboards.

Friday, April 13, 2012

April Blog Challenge: L is for Lazy

I don't know about some folks, but I enjoy a nice lazy day once in awhile. You know the day that you never leave your pj's and have yourself a Harry Potter marathon. I'm talking such a lazy day that you'll actually try the Accio! charm to see if you can whiz anything right to you instead of getting off your lazy ass to actually get it. Unfortunately, this charm still doesn't work for me - though not for lack of trying. I'm thinking it's just a lack of a wand.

Since moving to Sticksville, I tend to be busier than when I lived in Sacramento. In Sacramento, lazy came around on my days off as I recovered from working graveyard. I would usually stay up all day after getting off work at 7am, and lose any and all energy by 2pm. I much prefer sleeping at night, so I'd wait until it was dark and then go to bed.

However, that's not necessarily the case here in Sticksville. Three jobs can keep a person occupied. Four if you count my occasional sheep-sitting.

We are now going back to our month to month portion of our publication (in the winter we double up because not so many travelers), which means we'll have shorter amounts of time to get our stuff done. Ranching never really stops and we are only half-way through spring calving season, which fortunately has gone much smoother than last year. Not as much icky mud for me to get stuck in. (Tune in for "S"). Plus my job for the vet's office is technically four days a week, in two different valleys.

Sleeping in is a real luxury. Like when my grandmother surprises me every once in a great while with, "Why don't you take tomorrow off?" I always triple check this in case she wants to change her mind. And the next morning I promptly sleep til 9am.

A couple of times since moving here I've had myself a pajama day. I've sat and read a good book or watched myself a couple of movies.

I'm telling you, sometimes a lazy day is all you need. Sometimes you also have to include Harry Potter in there, too.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April Blog Challenge: K is for Katie-bug

I remember very well the day in 1995 that we went to adopt our little Katie-bug. My mom had decided it was time for another dog; she and I drove to the city pound to adopt from a litter she had read/seen in the paper. A litter of Terrier crosses that had been abandoned. (I will apologize now for no puppy pictures, as all of those are hard copy buried in albums somewhere at my parents house).

It started out with Mom saying, "I want a short-haired female." By the time we drove up to the pound, it had turned into, "I want a female." And when we walked in, she took the first puppy to jump up on her. Luckily it was female, but she was long haired with massively uneven floppy ears.

She was perfect.

 Katie-bug, Christmas '09, showing off her perfectly imperfect ears.

We found out quickly that all you had to do was look at the damn dog cross-eyed and she'd squat and pee. It took us years to break her of that. And it wasn't like we were giving her mean looks, either. You could walk in and she'd be all excited to see you and you excited to see her, and she'd piss all over the floor.

Katie and Mickie.

Another thing we found out quickly was her love of fetching. That dog was in love with tennis balls. I think she loved them more than us sometimes. For several years, you couldn't throw a tennis ball enough for her. We couldn't wear her out. It took my mom's BFF's son to finally wear her out. Once. I'm not sure he ever accomplished it more than once. We all swore she'd die chasing tennis balls, her favorite thing in the world.

And not just tennis balls. Any ball. Or stick - even if it was bigger than her. The best ball story has to do with my volleyball. I had a pink volleyball that had blue or purple triangles on it. Probably not the prettiest but it was bright and you could see it coming so you could hit it instead of it hitting you. My parents and I were out in the back of the house, doing something, when all of a sudden we hear this muffled "ooooooooooow! oooooooooooooow!" We couldn't figure out what that noise was for the life of us. We made our way to the garage and stopped and started laughing our asses off. Somewhere in an album there is a picture of this, but I have no idea where. We found Katie slowly making her way alongside the back of the house, howling to tell us to come help her. We did, once we got over our initial shock and laughter. Our other dog at the time, Dustie, liked to eat balls . . . and she eventually got a hold of my volleyball and chewed a hole through it. You would find bits of tennis balls or my pink volleyball in her poop all the time. Quite amazing Dustie never wound up needing exploratory surgery. Anyway, Katie, while playing with said volleyball, had managed to get it stuck on her head!! She had bounced her head along the side of the house, knowing which direction we were in. After taking a picture, we rescued the poor dog's head from the dog-eating volleyball.

Oddly enough, she loved to swim. We had a Lab cross, Dustie, that refused to go in any deeper than her belly. Part Lab my ass.

Katie in the water, with her precious tennis ball. Charlie waiting to steal it.

Another thing Katie was excellent at, was catching popcorn. Hey eye-snout coordination was top-notch. Charlie, our hound dog, has the worst eye-snout coordination ever.  

Waiting for popcorn, April '10.

Katie also helped Dustie chase after wild turkey's and deer. Dustie would actually chase after them so that we had to chase after her. Katie usually made it as far the end of the yard. Better than nothing, I suppose.

For a few years, travelling with Katie proved to be interesting. The poor thing got car sick. We had to ask the vet if we could give her Dramamine, or the like. And for awhile, we did have to. One day she just stopped getting car sick, thank God.

 Katie-bug was probably a 1 or 2 here; took a picture of a picture in a frame on the wall. On our way to a campsite somewhere, hoping for a bite of doughnut.

If you threw a tennis ball for Katie, she would be your friend for life. She didn't quite trust you until you played fetch with her. After that, you were in. For life.

As it happens, Katie-bug got older. It took her longer to catch the tennis ball. She couldn't jump to catch the ball anymore. Her eye sight started to fade. Her popcorn catching abilities started to wane. She started getting fatty tumors.

 Katie posing in her scragamuffin glory.

All of a sudden, it seemed her arthritis took a bad hold on her. She was usually too painful to lay still for very long. The vet put her a few different medications to try to alleviate her pain and discomfort. She'd meander along, deaf as a doorknob. She started barking at nothing, and didn't bark when there was something to bark at. She never took much of a liking to Libby; she took a nice big dump in front of Libby's kennel shortly after Libby joined the family. And every time I kissed and hugged her good-bye, I started to worry it could be the last.

"You lookin' at me?"

This past year, my parents had to keep her locked in the laundry room because she was becoming incontinent. My parents kept lots of blankets for her to lay on. Some days she didn't have much of an appetite, others she did. Some days she had a bit of spunk and would hop (her new old-lady version of running) outside. She'd still get excited when I'd come see her, although sometimes she wouldn't know I was home til I got on my knees to put my hand in front.

We couldn't get her groomed anymore, as we couldn't pick her up - she was too painful.

Just before Christmas, the vet's office insisted she go in for blood work. They have to monitor her kidneys with the medications she was on, and they wouldn't refill her medications without the blood work. My parents managed to get her in the truck, where the vet discovered a tumor on her spleen. He gave our sweet little Katie-bug about 3 months.

My parents brought her home for one last Christmas with her people, her pets . . . her family.

I saw her at the end of January, knowing that most likely, it would be the last time I would see her. I gave her extra hugs and extra kisses, and told her just how precious she was to me. Our little lopsided-ear dog.

On Saturday, February 18th, 2012, Mom texted me while I was work at the vet's office. They had taken Katie-bug to the vet to have her euthanized. She was 17 years old.

Now we know she's no longer in pain, but is instead, trying to get her tennis ball back from Dustie in their own little keep-away game in puppy heaven. 

April Blog Challenge: J is for Jacked-up Saturday

So, this past Saturday was pretty jacked up. For my new followers, I'd like first to say WELCOME! And for those that pass by via the A-Z Challenge, HI and thanks for stopping by! And since my new followers and possible tourists don't know, I work three jobs - one job is working for the local vet's office. On Saturday's, I'm the receptionist at the main clinic in Town, and three days a week I operate the satellite clinic in our valley.

Anyhoo, when I saw the appointment book on Saturday morning, I knew it was going to be an interesting day. Especially since I saw a gal sitting in her SUV in front, and since I knew her, I could tell she wasn't on the books, and considering she's sitting outside the front doors at 8 a.m., I figured it wasn't a good sign.

I opened the doors and let her in, and she told me about this poor little calf - about a month prior it had been attacked by a coyote. Later by an eagle. She's been trying to get the wounds on its haunches to heal and they just won't. She said the weekday receptionists had told her she could just stop in at 8, since we were booked the rest of the day. I told her she could just pull up out back, and have Dr. J take a quick look at it and see what he wants to do.

Dr. J finally comes in around 8:15 when our first appointment shows up - a dog with a foxtail in it's ear or nose (I can't remember now . . .). I tell him about the calf, and what his first appointment is. He looks at the book and promptly sits down scribbling notes on a sticky note. Evidently the weekday receptionists had scheduled two equine lameness exams - one at 9 a.m. and another at 9:15 (apparently owners were traveling together to save gas as they live an hour or so away), and gave Dr. J only half an hour for both horses. One equine lameness exam takes two hours. I quickly did the math . . . two horses, a calf emergency and a dog with foxtail that was going to require sedation. Holy crap on a cracker - we were already 5 hours behind and it was only 8:15 a.m. Just shoot me now.

The gal with the calf waited about 20 minutes until the dog was taken care of, and then he stitched up the calf and put drains in. The gals with the horses showed up at 8:45, and promptly had to wait about half an hour before Dr. J could get out there. I had explained about the calf and they completely understood. As he ran out the back to finally get to the horses, Dr. J hollered for me to let him know when his other appointments showed up and he'd come in real quick and take care of them. I had offered to reschedule the other morning appointments as they were vaccines only and not things that had to be taken care of today, but he declined.

So I started inputting payment checks into the system, except that every time I pulled out a check, the phone rang. Evil. Then people came in wanting things, so I had to get up and help them shop. And still the phone rang.

At 11, my parents showed up with their dog, Libby. Quick Libby update - the splint she's had on for a month is now off! Dr. J took it off that morning, saying her leg looked real good and he wants her back in a month for a recheck. (For my new peeps, Libby has floating knee caps, and last fall, lost the use of her back legs. My vets have been attempting to fix her legs since Thanksgiving. For the whole Libby story, please click on her name above.)

At noon, I locked up and offered to buy Dr. J and the tech burgers and bring them back since they were working through lunch on those two horses. Yes, they were still there. Three hours by that time. Dr. J declined the burger offer, but the tech accepted. I met my parents for lunch, and brought back a cheeseburger and fries for the poor tech. And a half of my mom's burger that she couldn't eat for Dr. J. His eyes lit up when I told him I brought him half of a mushroom-swiss burger, but he never touched it. I think the tech took two bites of hers. In the end, she wound up taking all of it home.

He called a retired vet to fill in for the afternoon, as he had to do nerve blocks on both horses and couldn't just stop in the middle of that to do regular appointments. Dr. D showed up at 1:30, ready and rarin' to go. His first appointment he wanted to run a CBC, but of course, doesn't know how to run the new fangled machines. Well, neither do I unfortunately as I'm reception on weekends and the satellite clinic doesn't have blood machines. I figured since I used to work for the company that makes our in-house stuff, that it really couldn't be that freaking difficult. I finally figured stuff out, but we eventually had to call a tech at home because our results were zero. Which would mean the dog should be dead. Apparently you have to take the top off and then stick it in the machine. Got it.

The afternoon was busier with people in and out than the morning. Dr. J finally finished the two lameness exams around 2:30 - the exams had taken 6 hours, and then he had a half hour of writing in the records. He finished about the time his equine dental showed up.

We had a couple of people walk in with pet issues - another foxtail (I got a feeling it's going to be another bad year for those bad boys), a dog having seizures, and a dog with a barely-there limp.

I stayed after closing time to get my files put away, clean up the front desk, and finish charging stuff out. Thank God for Dr. D coming in, or we would have been in a real world of hurt. It's not very often we have to call in one of our retirees to help us out because our doctor on duty is over-worked and double booked.

I will just say that the weekday receptionists did not get very nice notes from the vet about the little scheduling conflict (to put it nicely), nor about how long it took him to do the exams.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April Blog Challenge: I is for Internal Hotties

So, I'm totally doing a major "fluff" post because it's my blog, I haven't done a hunky man post in quite sometime, what woman doesn't love drooling?, and it's my blog. Besides, it's tough work trolling Google for images of hot guys. I mean, really, there are pictures of Robert Pattinson amongst them. The horror! ;o)

In no particular order, let the drooling commence over some International Hotties.

Ryan Reynolds

Hugh Jackman

James McAvoy

Matthew McConaughey

Russell Crowe

Daniel Craig

Jude Law

Jake Gyllenhaal

Christian Bale

Shamar Moore

Monday, April 9, 2012

April Blog Challenge: H is for Happy (aka 100 Things That Make Me Happy, Part 5)

I'm doing a list of 100 Things That Make Me Happy. Of course, at the rate I've been doing these it'll take me forever. But I'm killing two birds with one stone, because my 100 things can fall under "H" for happy. If you'd like to play catch-up, click here. So, in no particular order, I continue!

#21. Being able to load hay on the feed truck. K's brother can actually lift said bales, and K or Papa D often times finish loading with the tractor. But today, Papa D and myself did it. The bales are still a bit heavy, but I was able to stack them. Last fall I did it a few times when our tractor was in the shop. It's actually quite exhilarating to stack those hay bales. Especially when those bales start tipping 100 pounds.

#22. Going to the movies. I know it costs a small fortune to go these days, but as long as the movie is good, it's always worth it. It also helps when you have a good audience that actually laughs (aka has a good sense of humor), or claps when something happens (like in Titanic when Kate spits in abusive guy's face or when someone shouts "DUH!" at the end of HP5 when the Minister of Magic says, "He's back!" and the audience laughs). Sometimes it's the audience buzz that makes a great movie even better.

 #23. Sticking with the movie theme, I love when a movie on DVD has great special features. I love a good gag reel that's genuinely funny, good "making of" featurettes because I'm a dork and I like to know how they made movie magic. There's no excuse for any DVD to be released without any special features (I'm looking at you, makers of of Australia). I'm looking for something akin to this:

#24. The Draw Something App. I finally got it to download after several attempts. I only have two "games" going at the moment, but this stuff his hilarious. I'm like the world's worst drawer. Seriously, I drew a reindeer and it was a stick figure reindeer with antlers and a big nose . . . I figured that might help someone guess . . . Yeah. I suck.

#25. Watching Ghost Hunters or Ghost Hunters International. It's a guilty pleasure of mine. Sometimes they catch some really cool stuff. And I laugh so hard when the ghost hunters get all scared and scream when bats chase them.