Thursday, April 22, 2010

Random Thoughts....

Now there's a bit of a scary title for a post for ya!

Random thoughts from me!

Oh, the myriad of things that go through my mind at any given time. Happy, sad, serious, whimsical -you name it, and my mind might go there now and again.

Take this for an example.

Yesterday, I took Sir Sammy out for a walk and headed, again, down the road towards Peale, the little ghost town. As I passed by my friend and neighbor's (Kate) home, she was out on her patio and called down a cherry hello to me. I said I was taking Sammy for his little outing and asked her if she wasn't busy, would she like to accompany me.

To my pleasant surprise, she said that yes, she wasn't in the middle of anything more pressing than just putting some windshield washer stuff in her car so she hustled down the hillside in front of her house and together, we set off then to walk the dirt road, remembering little bits and pieces now and again too as we walked of our childhood.

From where Kate's house is located to the "end of the road" -local terminology for where the paved road in the village ends and the dirt road begins - there are three other houses on her side of the road. I'm a lousy judge of distance but I'd say it's close to two tenths of a mile, maybe.

And in that space, Sammy managed to empty his bladder at the very least, four times!

That act launched us into a little discussion about first, the size of Sammy -he really is a pretty small terrier-mix type of dog -and how big his bladder must be that he can water so many places in that amount of walking area!

Kate's take on this is that dogs -or maybe just Sammy (we're not sure if he is that different from other dogs in this instance) must have really large bladders and excellent control too of how much they can spray at each stop to make so many pit stops and have more built up quickly or a fantastic ability to stop, hold it, then release again.

Like her, I find this quite an amazing feat too along with his ability to also cough without any fear of leakage too!

See, I told you didn't I at the onset of this post that when I begin to think, some of the ideas that spring from those thoughts can be more than a bit strange, can't they?

I mean, how many of you have ever given thought to a dog's watering abilities anyway?

Back to our walk -and our conversation -we talked about how when we were growing up, we had run through the various paths in the woods around our homes and especially how we had grown up recognizing various floral displays growing around the woods too. I mentioned having seen some of these flowery things the day before and lamenting about how as a child, I had known the names of many of these flowers but today, not so much coming forth in the memory area as to what these various plants are called. One that I mentioned to her was the little flowers we called "Ladyslippers" and that brought a giggle from Kate as she then told me that those plants were not ladyslippers after all. She couldn't remember either now what the little pinkish-lavender shaded plants we called by that name actually are but she said that sometime or other over the years, she had looked up ladyslippers and saw a picture of them and to her surprise -mine too -she said that they really aren't all that pretty a plant. Actually, she says they are quite ugly!

Hmmm. Wonder now who gave these tiny, pretty little plants a name that really seemed quite fitting for them.

On the subject of plants, I had a bit of communication yesterday on Facebook with Kate's youngest daughter who will be getting married now next month. In one of her notes to me, Susan had asked if I like rhubarb and I immediately wrote back to her that I LOVE rhubarb and have been trying to get some to transplant it someplace in my backyard too for a number of years.

Growing up, my Grandpa had several rhubarb plants down in the lower section of our backyard here. Not a whole lot, not a huge patch -in thinking about this, I think he had maybe 5 or 6 plants but it was more than enough to supply us with lots of rhubarb for my Grandma to make her great rhubarb cream pie that Grandpa and I both loved plus, she and my Mom would often pull rhubarb and after cleaning it and cutting it into smaller pieces, they would cook it down to make rhubarb sauce -another food that I dearly loved too. Grandma always was able to harvest enough of the rhubarb every year to provide not just the pies and some rhubarb sauce for a side dish at our meals but also, to have an adequate supply of the sauce that she would can it then, preserving it for a treat every bit as tasty as homemade applesauce was in the middle of the winter!

All of that back and forth about rhubarb with Susan got my mouth watering as I was thinking how good a pie, some home-cooked rhubarb sauce would surely taste maybe sometime this year! Susan, you see, has some rhubarb at her home about 40 miles from here and is planning to come visit her mom this coming Sunday after work and when she does, she's going to try to remember to pull some of the stuff for me and drop it off at my house! Whether she means just bringing me a bunch of rhubarb to be cooked up or hopefully, some sprouts I can transplant and then, hopefully have my own little rhubarb patch growing here again, I'm not totally sure there but either, or -or both -would really be neat is what I was and still am thinking!

This morning, Mandy had doctor appointments for both the kids -just the general check-up type appointments, nothing special, no illnesses, etc. Now, taking them for a doctor visit is something that is never just a run-of-the-mill event cause one never knows from one visit to the next with them what might happen that they will possibly wig out about -for reasons totally unknown to my daughter, or probably, in all likelihood, completely unknown to the kids too!

And today was no different. Mandy says both the kids went ballistic when the nurse just wanted to check their blood pressure. Maya totally refused to allow the nurse to check hers and although Kurtis did submit to allowing the nurse to put the cuff on him and get a reading, he screamed the entire time she was doing that. Then there was a hearing test -a regularly scheduled event for six-year-olds -and Maya had hissy fits then over that too. None of these things are the type of things that would/could induce pain ya know but just a bit of a change from the routine things the nurse does when they see the doctor and presto-magic, you have on your hands then at least one, possibly two screamers in the room. (Sometimes kickers as well, come to think of it.)

Mandy did say that once they got in to see the doctor, both of them had by that time calmed down and both acted like civilized little children for him then. Go figure, huh?

Oh the tangled webs we do weave when we try to make sense of why children with autism do some of the things they do, don't we? No rhyme or reason to those adults in charge, those of us who are regarded as being "NT" or "neuro-typical" people but to these children when they have these little fits, although they can be very frustrating to cope with sometimes, it's just a normal part of doing business with them. And, if you pick your battles with them too, most of the time you end up thinking that in the grand scheme of things, it's not worth getting all worked up about these mini-meltdowns or little hissy fits they pitch from time to time. Just definitely does keep life a bit more interesting though as you try to anticipate what things might be the ones that will trip a trigger in them.

I realized this morning when I went to wash up the load of dishes I had soaking in the dishpan that we have now finally run out of fuel oil -an event Mandy has been anticipating for about the past 2-3 weeks as she had warned me then that the gauge on the fuel tank was registering very, very low. So, we'll have to order a delivery of fuel oil that will, hopefully then take us over the summer months and into early fall then. We have an oil furnace and hot water heat and the hot water then for the house -bathroom, kitchen, etc. -is heated from the furnace -no separate hot water tank, you see. This also means that I am going to have to dip into my meager funds I have set aside from the paid posts I do from time to time in order to be able to pay the bill we already owe the oil company for the last delivery they made to us before they will bring another load of oil to dump in our fuel tank.

This makes me think about how the fuel oil charges are really getting way out of bounds for everyone to pay, not just those of us like my family, who are a very small budget all the time. And that also reminds me of how, the first year after my kids and I moved into this house after my Mom died and that year, because I had no account set up in my name then with the fuel oil company, I had to pay, cash on the nose, every time they brought us oil that year. The following year after Mom's death, I got on a budget plan with that oil company and paid the same amount to them every month, all year-round which enabled me to be on an automatic refill timetable and eliminated the running out of oil at inopportune times ya know. I remember too that winter when I was on this "budget" plan that my oil bill that year ran me $165 a month and that I had remarked about it to someone that seeing how much the oil was costing, it maybe was really a good thing my Mom had died when she did because that monthly oil bill was $48 a month more than what my Mom's entire monthly social security check was!

And now, 31 years later, no our oil bill isn't more per month than what my check is or what Mandy's income is, but boy, the price of oil definitely is far from being "cheap" fuel isn't it?

All this has Mandy thinking that maybe we would be better off if we purchased an electric water heater this summer and had that to use to heat hot water for our usage. She seems to think that would be less expensive but I'm not so sure it would work that way. For one thing, having an electric water heater would then increase our electric bill -just for openers -and also, with the state having lifted recently the regulations that were in place that were supposed to keep peoples' electric bills somewhat reduced, that means come next year, the electric company will then be able to charge what may very well truly be -or seem like -an arm and a leg for electricity and which one -the heating of the water by the furnace or the heating of the water via an electric water heater -would actually then be the most economical?

Maybe, ultimately, we would be better served to find a "bucket-a-day" type stove -such as the one we had in the house when I was a kid and that stove is what was used solely to heat the water for our washing, bathing concerns. It meant that one had to build a fire in it or maintain it every single day of the year in order to have hot water available, and it was fueled by coal so that would mean if we had that type of apparatus, we would also then have to be purchasing coal and have a coal bin of some type in which to store the coal and it would also mean dirt, dirt and more dirt being probably tracked upstairs then from whoever would be in charge of firing the darned store. Mess, expense, difficulty getting the coal into the area of the stove -ARRGH.

But the bonus to that -and yes there is a bonus to it -is that in the winter months, the kitchen would be a lot warmer from having a little stove like that with a fire contained it it and the heat from that contraption would then rise and warm the floor of the kitchen and give a bit of a toasty warmth then along the way.

Ah -questions, thoughts on all of these things and no real, hard, fast answers to any of them either. The debate on this topic will no doubt rage on here in the household for a while yet.

Just got a phone call from my older daughter telling me that she and my older grandson are now on their way up here to spend the day with us. And that's great that she is bringing him up on a day he has off from school as we really don't get a chance to spend near enough time with him. He's quite the handsome dude, good student in school, polite (well to his aunt and to me, anyway although his mother occasionally says he's getting a bit mouthy at times) and overall though, just a great young man about to enter into his teenage years. Expect the mouthy stuff to not just continue now but also to increase -if he operates the same was his mother did then and his uncle and his aunt! Just saying...

So now, off to the kitchen I go to finish washing up the dishes in the sink because I heated a bit kettle of hot water a little while ago and it should not be a decent temperature that I can withstand then to put my dainty little pinkies in there without scalding myself on that lovely chore!

And as I wash up those dishes, more thoughts will be racing through my mind. Some will merely crawl through too. But odds are none of them will be rocket science type things. None of 'em will be earth-shattering discoveries and some of 'em might just be downright weird too.

All of that remains to be seen, but in the meantime, y'all have a great day!


Suldog said...

Heh. This is the 'War & Peace' of random thoughts :-)

Always enjoyable, Jeni. Thanks!

TechnoBabe said...

Do you have the recipe for the rhubarb cream pie?

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

Owning a home is not cheap at all. lol