Driving North at a Leisurely Pace

Olive's last night at the home beach.
Olive’s last night at the home beach.
the Gypsy Carpenter's last night at the home beach.
the Gypsy Carpenter’s last night at the home beach.
This is the most liked and commented upon photo I have ever posted. Crap Bird Photography is the way the inetrnet shoud be.
This is the most liked and commented upon photo I have ever posted. Crap Bird Photography is the way the inetrnet shoud be.
Travertine Hot Springs.
Travertine Hot Springs.
Pinochle
Pinochle
This dog is eating twice as much as Elvis and it shows every day.
This dog is eating twice as much as Elvis and it shows every day.

The gNash and Dodge are rolling uphill towards Montana and we’ve got a hanger-on. The usual Gypsy Carpenters crew minus Mimi (DEP, sweet kitty) plus foster puppy Chava are all festively packed in the king cab of our 18 year old Dodge and it’s got all the makings of a drunken party. There’s daily fights, spilled drinks, vomit, public scratching, and that’s just the dogs. Only Elvis and Burt are completely satisfied with their space. Nobody crowds them and gets away with it. Meanwhile Olive, Chava and I are jockeying all day, everyday to make do with what we can get. You’d think we’d swiftly work out a compact of who sits where  when but noooo.  Chava is growing faster than a kudzu in July so it’s a turf battle everyday. What worked before noon on Friday was no can do by Saturday night.  Mood and climate also impact the degree of bodily contact allowed. Too hot? GTF off of me says Olive with a gap toothed crooked snarl. Too Cold? Climb up on my lap, there’s room for you both, says me. Just when everyone settles down somebody (me, Burt, or Chava) has to go to the bathroom and the proverbial pot is stirred again. And despite Chava knowing I am his boss he still treats me like a mom he can walk all over. Chava even tries to nurse on my forearms as he falls asleep. What a cutie-pie.

In the midst of the hourly land rush there have been countless bowls of spilled water and the aforementioned vomit and deafening barks in ears. Burt’s worried the floor boards are rusting from the constant moisture. I’m worried I’m growing mold on my perpetually wet bum. There are legs, teeth, and tongues everywhere and they have not figured out how to coordinate. Maybe that’s a good thing. Imagine them working together to thwart us. The mental and physical effort to keep two old dogs and one new puppy safe and satisfied is not 30% greater than the two dogs alone. I’d say the well trained but scarily growing puppy is a 100% increase in energy cost for Burt and me. He’s so fast and less solidly reliable to hold a stay or wait. By Monday morning he might weigh less than Olive but he will be stronger than Elvis and Olive combined. And he just eats and eats and eats. Which means he poops and poops and poops.

And it’s all been worth it. We’ve taken our time and let puppy stretch his legs in new places. When we first got Olive we did the same thing. We visited the Parque Nacional Sierra de San Pedro Mártir just like we did eight years ago with Olive. A condor even flew over head on Chava’s first hike, the steep 4 KM climb to the Mirador (lookout) where you can see the Bahia de California from the top of the mountains. Human year equivalent 90 year old Elvis waited in the gNash. We told him it was boring. He only ate a little bit of a window shade in retaliation.

Today finds us at Burt’s Father’s unibomber home in California. We lovingly call it this because it’s a 50s era mail order log cabin with no potable water and a hot water heater only turned on once a week for Jack’s shower. It’s a dark place. If and when I take a shower in the cool rust waters, the dribble hits me in my bellybutton. I tweak my back wetting my hair and I come out smelling like a can of nails left under a drain spout. Not worth the effort. I’ll wallow in my dog water stink and vomit a few days more.

This is the most liked and commented upon photo I have ever posted. Crap Bird Photography is the way the inetrnet shoud be.
This is the most liked and commented upon photo I have ever posted. Crap Bird Photography is the way the internet should be. That’s a California Condor.
Travertine Hot Springs.
Travertine Hot Springs.
Pinochle
Pinochle. Bad hand.

 

 

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November is here

Glad it wasn't an 'if it's yellow, let it mellow" moment.
Glad it wasn’t an ‘if it’s yellow, let it mellow” moment.

Slowly but steadily we are making headway on decades of forgotten maintenance at this house. This week I cleaned up an original fan. The year 1965 was a long time ago for an electrical appliance. This fan made a classic racket when you turned it on. Since it is co-wired to the light every time a person goes into the bathroom the wacky fan comes on and starts making its loud rhythmic banging. Racket, racket racket….Nice cover for any bathroom noises but also a loud announcement that you are in the bathroom and kind of takes away from the soothing ambiance many people like when in using comfort closet. I presumed we would replace it. Wrong. Again.

Under Burt’s orders I dismantled the fan and clean it. Unlike current day appliances this thing was solidly built and came apart for easy access to its innards. Inside the vent I found a bunch of sticks and leaves wedged under the vent flap. Could a squirrel have lived here? With all that noise and vibration. It sure looked like it. Burt applied WD-40 to the moving parts. I marveled at the quick to judge bias that lead me to presume we would throw this away. It worked beautifully and is now quieter than a new fan. Yay, Burt!

Yesterday I took a long walk with the dogs. We made it to Fort Hunt and walked along the Potomac. Elvis is getting old and cranky. Mark my words. This is a bit of prepare yourselves for the inevitable. He’s approaching 11 and slowing down like he’s on a freeway off-ramp. I had to drag him home from yesterday’s walk. Burt and I have both faced death in traffic as Elvis refuses to cross a street at a proper pace. He’s nipped at us and even broken skin. We think arthritis might be to blame but he moves very well. He still jumps and gets up and down with ease. Anyway, I tell you this because yo love him too and I don’t want you to be surprised if the end draws up faster than expected. But I hope it’s still far off and we are in a long and gentle geriatric stage.

Departing to visit the parents today!

Before. This fan is as old as me.
Before. This fan is as old as me.
After. I wish I was as easy to maintain.
After. I wish I was as easy to maintain.
Painting helps.
Painting helps.
New storm door.
New storm door.
Halloween spider eating another spider.
Halloween spider eating another spider.
I found a nice tree on my walk.
I found a nice tree on my walk.
Wild grapes are electric with color.
Wild grapes are electric with color.
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