….ta-daaaaaa!! I’m baaaaaaaaaaack…
So, had shoulder surgery in October and spent the next couple of months alternating cursing the surgeon, the dog, the hubby (poor darling…he was collateral damage, really), the Internet for telling me what a breeze recovery was for some, myself, and all the undiscovered tribes in Bali and other exotic locales..just because I can, okay?
It hurt to have my shoulder ripped apart and put back together. It still hurts, but every day it gets better. My own Marquis de Sade, a/k/a physical therapist, is impressed with my progress. I cursed her too. Often and loudly.
Since we last met, besides the aforementioned surgery, I’ve had:
- my job of sixteen years eliminated
- my sister sue me over a land deal I have nothing to do with anymore
- another patch of property I’m trying to sell come under contract twice – both times falling through
Let’s take these one at a time, shall we? The job, well I’ve known since last spring that the job I have now would likely change. Unfortunately, the new owners of the plant have a very different view of ‘change’ than I do. Their idea of change was for me to drive over 125 miles ONE WAY to work every day as my position is moved to another of their plants. For me, that’s a 2.5-3 hour commute…and did I mention that is ONE WAY? Yeah, so I said thanks but no thanks. I now have to find a new job.
Y’all, I haven’t even interviewed for any job in sixteen years. I have no idea how it’s done anymore, but I find out later today as I have the first interview. It’s like I’m a virgin all over again. I’m curious as to how I’ll come across. Strangely, though, I’m not the least bit nervous. I imagine it’s because I don’t know any better.
Sister, sigh…this particular sister lives in a place we call “Not Reality”. Always has, likely always will. Apparently, she’s managed to convince an attorney to come visit her Not Reality and I’m being sued now. It’s such a stupidly convoluted story I can’t really explain here. It involves property borders and disputes. But here’s the thing, the property in question isn’t mine anymore. I sold it a year ago. A. Year. Ago. Why she’s included me in the lawsuit with the current owners is a question only answered by those living and working in Not Reality. Personally, I don’t go there. Terrible hamburgers.
Property sale…this land is across the street from the land I’m being sued over. ….fortunately it doesn’t attach to any of my sister’s land at all. However, I keep getting people saying they really, really, really, really love it and want to buy it BUT…….(insert something stupid or something that exists only in Not Reality here). It’s getting to the point where if my broker calls to tell me I’ve got another offer on the land I just wait for the punch line, because it is coming.
So, how have y’all been doing?
…..you’re minding your own business, when your dog decides to rip your arm off?
Does that just happen to me?
Well, she was unsuccessful in the aforementioned rippage, but only by a thread – no really, the surgeon said I’ve got a thread of tendon left. I imagine it there, hanging on by its little tendon-nails and screaming at me every time I move my right arm that it’s doing its best, that I am not making this easier and that..
…”I’m giving it all she’s got, Captain!”…
It might be the pain medication talking, though. I can never be sure.
So, um, yeah, I’m going to have to have THREE tendons in my rotator cuff repaired. Apparently, there are four tendons so one of the little guys escaped injury and is now trying to do the work of ALL THE TENDONS at once. This results in moments of blinding, excruciating pain. Followed by hours of agony. And the whole thing starts over again.
But, it only happens when I move, sneeze, breathe, you know the stuff we rarely do.
The surgeon said words like “mess” and “extensive” when describing the damage. I’ve torn those three tendons, the bicep tendon, and then there’s something wonky with my collarbone. He’s going to flay my shoulder, poke around a bit, attach things where they should be attached, clean out the debris that doesn’t need to be there, stitch me up and send me on my merry way.
He also said the anesthesiologist will insert a nerve-block catheter thingy (it’s a technical medical term, I’m very learned in these things now) to keep my shoulder/arm numb and pain-free for FIVE days post-op.
When he told me that part I nearly kissed him. However, since we’d just met I thought it’d be best if I waited until after he’d filleted me and fixed all that damage before moving to the next level of our burgeoning relationship. I’m telling you, though, there’s going to come a time when I kiss that boy for relieving me of all this pain.
Between now and then, though, there’s months of rehab/therapy, many days/nights of pain, gallons of tears, a mind-numbing amount of medical bills that (thank God) my insurance will mostly take care of, lots of whining on my part, and I hope to come out the other side with the world’s first arm worthy of a major-league rookie pitcher (of advanced years). You think I’m joking, but seriously kids I am setting the bar that high for me.
I have to. It’s the way I am, I have to push myself to do more, to do better, to go a little farther each time. It helps me focus on the task at hand, and the small victories are oh so sweet that way.
…and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful riiiiiiiiiiiiiip…
It started from this lovely dog, and ended with a trip…..to the doctor. (and now you’re humming the theme from ‘Gilligan’s Island’ and later today you’ll still be humming it and wondering why…and you’re welcome)
You see, in the one corner on a retractable leash of 16 feet, was my beloved GSD.
In the other, an armadillo. A live armadillo. Y’all there was a live armadillo in Texas. No, really, I can confirm.
The chaos when said dog sets her formidable sights and muscle onto retrieving the creature…excuse me…the live creature without warning the person holding the leash resulted in a resounding rip/tear as the leash/dog combo went from dead run to all stop. And, no, it wasn’t the leash or its braking mechanism that was the source of the tearing. It was my shoulder. Specifically, the subscapularis tendon and muscle.
I think Einstein created a formula for just such an event:
Force of Dog X Mass of Dog + Acceleration of Dog in Pursuit of Prey = HOLYMOTHEROFALLTHATISHOLYFUCKFUCKFUCK!!!!!PAIN!!!!!!!
Or something like that, it’s all very scientific.
I waited a couple of days, but when I realized my right arm was absolutely zero use I decided I might oughta see the doc. She manipulated my arm, making me cry and see stars at the same time….and I’m pretty sure I grabbed her leg and squeezed reaaallllly hard…before saying I needed an MRI and it was probably a rotator cuff tear.
The MRI confirmed it’s a tear.
Next week I see a surgeon, because of course I am one of those who will have to have surgery. Of course it’s a complete and utter tear, none of this partial tear shit for me, nope, when I tear something I go all the way.
There’ll be surgery and rehab and lots of whining on my part.
It’s a good thing that…my Mate is a mighty (sailin’) man, a Skipper brave and sure….
You’re welcome, again.
When we bought the mini-ranch one of the first things hubby did was stake out an area for a shooting range. He then put up stacks of hay bales, some wooden pallets, and stapled three targets in a row across the top.
Standing back, about 25 yards..or feet…I don’t know, because math, he proceeded to take the big-ass gun we have (okay ONE of the big-ass guns we have) and plug the bullseye nearly every time.
Handing me another of the BAGs, this one a smoother semi-automatic (the first being a revolver) he told me how to aim and shoot and stepped back.
I proceeded to empty the clip………..into the ground. By God, if anyone comes near me their feet are in some serious danger!
Every once in a while, patient hubby would take me out to try and teach me how to not shoot an intruder in the foot, thereby simply angering him/her and probably causing me to lose the battle, and each time I shot the ground. It didn’t seem to matter what size caliber the gun was either. Hubby had (wrongly) assumed a little “plinker” as he called the .22 we have would make it easier. Oh but he underestimated my ability to not be able to shoot straight. Still, he persevered. Bless him.
The other day, we tried again. This time with a BAG – the semi-automatic one I’d used on my first outing – and it was like a light bulb going off at my feet. Suddenly, I “got” it and began hitting the target every time. I mean, right in and around that bullseye. Anyone stupid enough to try and hurt me or mine would be in some serious trouble.
Unfortunately, I also became a casualty of the shooting range. You see, I was wearing ear protection, eye protection, the correct shoes, and a hat. But, since it was elebenty-hunnert degrees outside I was also wearing a tank top. And, since semi-automatic handguns have shells that eject after shooting, I now have FOUR rather large and painful burns in areas that are…well, sensitive. Yep, those suckers went straight up and then down the front of my tank top.
On the plus side, anyone coming at me now can feel reasonably certain their feet will survive intact.
They were two kittens hanging around our yard. One, a golden tabby we nicknamed “The General” after the cat in the original (and still the best) “True Grit”. John Wayne’s character, Rooster Cogburn, had a cat in the movie named General Sterling Price. Love that name. Anyway, the other cat was a tortoise shell tabby that had an elongated face and giant ears. He reminded me of every cat I’d ever seen in ancient Egyptian wall paintings. We didn’t call him anything, but he was clearly a very clever kitty because he’d hang back as The General snatched some of the food I’d begun to offer from my hand and when it was dropped, the other cat would saunter up and eat it off the ground without ever having to get near the stupid human.
One day, the week before 09/11, I opened the front door and there on my welcome mat were The General and his sidekick. The minute I opened that door The General ran off but the other kitten sat there staring up at me and meowing.
“Well?” I asked, “are you coming in or not?”
He slowly stretched up from a sitting position and sashayed his little ass into our house and hearts.
And there he stayed.
We named him “Bugsy”, and later “Bugsy, the Insane” for his crazy antics. He had pink paw pads, and a pink nose, and the rest was gray and white. He looked like Bugs Bunny.
At his visit for neutering, the vet guessed he was at least part Abyssinian – a revered breed in ancient Egypt – due to his bat-like ears and regal profile. He was crazy smart, able to open drawers and doors. He came when called, argued incessantly when given a command before reluctantly doing whatever I asked, and in general was a royal pain in the ass.
And we loved him awful.
When he turned 10 I started having to give him insulin twice a day. When he turned 13 we added thyroid medication.
When he turned 16, after years of not wanting too much human contact, he became an affectionate and sweet lap kitty.
Last weekend, after being sick a couple of days, he went to sleep and didn’t wake up.
We buried him under a mesquite tree and cried, the hubs and I. We still catch ourselves looking for him in the house, and I’m hearing the echoes of his meow from time to time.
He will be missed, but as my 9-yr. old granddaughter said during her breakfast prayer yesterday, she’s hoping that he’s in heaven with her great-grandmother (who died the same day as Bugsy) and having fun playing together. I choose to join her in that sweet and pure belief.
And, when I die I’ll look for Bugsy, and Smokey, Duchess, and Bandit, and all the rest of the animals I’ve loved along the way.
We bought a mini-ranch, and this blog has just gone. to. hell. Hasn’t it?
Sorry, kids, but ranch and work and commute make awesy here not so awesy-ish. Or something. See, now I’m just rambling.
Where was I? Oh, right, I had not yet begun had I?
Begun what? You ask.
Today’s post, which in retrospect is probably not funny but desperate times and all that…
The hubs is a machinist.
Trust me, it looks like it’s random sitting up there by itself, that statement. But it’s important to the story. Or maybe I’m bragging.
Definitely one of those things.
We have been unpacking and sorting and decorating the ranch for elebenty-hunnert months now, and in one of the guest bedrooms we were missing bedside tables.
Tired of hearing guests curse whenever they went to either turn on a lamp, or lay their phone/keys/wands on the nightstand only to find there were none, we decided to buy some.
Only here’s the thing, we were adamant about re-purposing an old set.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to find just the right set of old nightstands that aren’t covered in Scooby-Doo stickers, have things growing in the drawers, are missing a leg, or have been painted over so many times they are collapsing under the weight of the paint?
You know what, never mind. That isn’t even really what this post is about.
Suffice it to say it’s hard to find the right nightstands. Also, we did…after looking for six months under every Flea Market rock in the land (or at least the land we live near), we found two gorgeous tables. We also scored big on these solid wood babies, because it was approximately the surface-of-the-sun hot that day, and the poor vendor at the flea market booth was literally melting in front of our eyes – no shit, I’m not exaggerating (much) here..he was over six feet tall when we first spotted his tables. By the time we’d negotiated price, he was only five foot three. The rest of him was pooling at his feet.
We got them home, and then proceeded to place the set of gorgeous lamps the previous homeowners had left us on the tables.
Except, one of the lamps was missing the whazzit that you use to turn the switch on. It had the stem part – the part made of machined glass that will cut your fingers to ribbon if you can latch onto it , which you can’t so you have to either unplug the lamp every time you want to turn it off or keep a pair of pliers on the table so your guests don’t require stitches. But you see, pliers really aren’t in my decorating scheme and unplugging the lamp is just too much work.
In steps the hubs…the machinist who tells me he can make a “knurled knob out of black metalkote”.
The next day he does in fact bring home a knob-thingy. And it’s black. And it doesn’t fit.
“Well, I was guessing,” he says, “I thought it was a 256, but it’s gotta be a 440”
“Clearly” I said, haughtily. “You should have asked me. I coulda told you the standard 256 won’t work on these. Ya gotcher non-standard 256, but that’s risky. Idagone with the 440 from the git-go.” I said.
“You don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, do you?” He said, smugly…and right-ly.
And, the next day he brought home the 440 and it fit like a glove.
Of course, I could have told him that if he’d of just asked me in the first place.
*WARNING* Language and anger ahead. If you’re sensitive, go away now. If you’re a snowflake, go far, far away and don’t come back.
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.
WHISKEY. TANGO. FOXTROT.
Why is everyone so upset about this Pepsi ad?
It’s an advertisement. For a fucking soft drink. It’s no more, and it’s no less.
Get over yourselves, snowflakes of the world, you don’t get to be the only ones outraged. Wait, yes, you do get to be the only ones outraged when your outrage is so clearly manufactured. And, if it’s not, sweet clothespin jeebus, you people need to get out more. Or maybe just study your history.
You who protest a fucking Pepsi ad hide behind your keyboards, and compress your outrage in Twitter-sized posts. You weren’t there, on the front lines, fighting for equality. You need ‘safe zones’ everywhere you go. You’d probably piss yourselves if you were ever on the receiving end of true opposition to your beliefs.
If Dr. King, Jr were here he’d slap the shit out of you and tell you to shut up or dig in and work for those people who are still facing inequality and discrimination every day. Not just people of color, but all people.
If Mother Teresa were here, she’d pray for your fragile asses and go back to ministering to the unwashed masses; quietly bringing dignity and a measure of comfort to their lives.
If Ghandi where here, he’d tell you to find your inner peace and project it on those around you.
But none of them are here, and I’ve taken great liberties with what I’m *sure* they’d say if they were. Who knows? Maybe they’d dismiss you out of hand for the immature children you so clearly are.
I started this as a part one because I’m either naïve about the amount of baffling happenings living in the country will provide, or because I’m not.
It’s definitely your classic either/or situation.
Besides, it makes me look introspective and cool. Or not.
See what I mean?
Did you know that “in the country” there are a LOT of people who not only don’t have smart phones with GPS, they don’t even have smart phones? Or dumb ones they can carry around past their front porch – provided the cord stretches that far? They also don’t have voicemail or answering machines. There’s a helluvalot less conversing on the phone going on in the country. I’m convinced, given the sheer numbers of people I see parked in front of the local eateries, that that’s where one goes to talk to people who live in the country. It’s been interesting trying to get things done/fixed around the ranch. Interesting and slow.
“In the country” driving directions involve a lot of “…then ya go passed where the Souters red barn used to be, only it got hit by lightning in ’79 so it’s not there anymore, sad story, they lost their best mule in that fahr…” And I find myself very sad for the Souters’ loss, and I don’t even know them. I also don’t know how the hell to get where I’m going.
Did you know that “in the country” a good number of businesses are either cash only or cash/check? The first time I encountered the checks only thing, I had to sit down with a blank piece of paper and practice writing a check…yes, it had been that long. The first time I encountered a regular brick building business that was cash only was after I’d had my car inspected and handed the guy behind the very cluttered desk my debit card. He stared, blankly, at me. “We only take cash” he said.
Shit, I thought, now what do I do? I smiled, trying to buy some time. “Oh, guess I should’ve known when I didn’t see any of those ‘we accept VISA…’ signs in your window.”
“Welllll….I can take a check, if it’s local…” he said, smiling back at me.
“Oh, I’m local alright. Been living here a few months and just realized my car’s inspection was about to expire so thought I’d better get ‘er done, ya know..” shut up, you idiot “Anyhoo…here you go” I said, handing him the check, and then not able to leave well enough alone, added, “It’s a perfectly good check.” what the feck?
His face darkened, and looking at the check he said, “It better be; I know where you live now.”
Did I mention folks in the country can be a little scary?