Thursday, July 13, 2017

Dreaming of the River View

Why do we dream the things we dream? The other night I dreamed I was working in a cafe that was just opening. It was hectic because it was new and no one really knew what to do and where things were. I was trying to pass out menus to people and get their orders. Every time I looked around more people were seated in the cafe. Someone asked me for walnut bread, but they wanted it to be freshly made and heated up. The cook had some, but it was frozen and not fresh, so I did not serve it. Almost as quickly as the cafe filled it up and was busy, it was suddenly empty - we had made it through our first rush.  It seemed like a fairly simple anxiety dream, but not too anxious. What made me wonder about it was the cafe. Although I have waitressed at lots of restaurants and even owned my own cafe, I dreamed about the River View Cafe where I worked as a young kid.

We lived across the street from the RV at the Green Mountain Lodge. Our friends the Emorys owned the cafe and often needed help - like bussing tables or dishwashing when I was younger.  I was ten when I started bussing tables - just barely able to reach across the table, load up a tub full of dishes, and carry it to the dishwasher. Then when I was about 14, I started waitressing. Maybe I was twelve.  Edna Emory was the cook/owner. She was a big Indian woman from OK with a temper like you wouldn't believe. She taught me what to do as a waitress and sent me out to my first table. It was a table of about 8 tourist. I started at one end and worked my way around - just like Edna had said to do. When I handed her the ticket, she said, "I sent you out to take an order and you wrote me a book!" She was teasing, of course. I waitressed for Edna for several years. I can still remember standing behind the counter serving her apple pie, or taking orders when the food trucks had not been to town and we were out of everything. I can remember waiting on specific people like the Mutz family who always came in large groups and had been drinking - lots. They were a fun group, but a bit demanding and intimidating. I remember waiting on a group of jeep drivers (young handsome guys who drove jeep tours in RR). Once, as they were finishing their meal, I asked if I could "take anything off" meaning clear their table of unnecessary plates. Of course being the smarties that they were, one of them reached up and pulled on my shirt sleeve and said, "Sure, start with this." I was mortified.  I remember waiting on Steve Smith one Christmas vacation. He was up skiing with a friend. He told me that he was coming back in the summer to drive jeeps. I didn't believe him, because he was not all that handsome or what I thought a jeep driver should be. He did come back and we became great friends and he was an excellent jeep driver. I never thought he was handsome, though.

I also have memories of Edna and Jack fighting - with each other or with employees. It eventually made me move on to work somewhere else - like the Highlander for Ray and Lottie Tweed. Lottie was the best at training waitresses. Working of her was great. Working for her husband, Ray, was iffy. Sometimes he was silly and teasing. Sometimes he was harsh. And so I moved on to Texas Red's. Reds was the best - lots of fun people to work with and lots of great memories. It was very organized, good food, and good tips.

Working at these places taught me lots, and I used that knowledge to open my own cafe. I have millions of memories of working as a waitress. So why do I dream about the RV?

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Grumpy Cat Killer

Our 4th of July was not very exciting this year. After last years trip to the emergency room when Toby rode his bike into the chicken coop, I guess "not exciting" is okay.  This year Toby had to work a bit - our vacation really put him behind at work. The price you pay! When he got home, it was still rather pleasant outside.  We decided to do some work around the ranch - like fence stuff. By the time we got gathered up and out to the fence, it was hotter than the dickens. We painted the entry way posts until I turned into a puddle of butter.  It was a good thing I wore my cheap sunglasses, because I had to take them off over and over to wipe the sweat out of my eyes so that I could see to paint.  My sunglasses were a whole new color by the time I finished - getting paint all over them. At one point, water poured out of my latex work gloves and ran down my arm - it was sweat!

We  finished painting the entry way and came home to recover. We drank about a gallon of water each, took a nap, ate some watermelon, and ate some salty chips. Toward the late afternoon, we went back out and Toby welded some thingies on select posts to hold the barbed wire - if we ever get to the wire part. I helped him, although my job was not so hard. Later I cooked him a steak and grilled some squash from our garden. We read a bit and then went to bed.  That was our big 4th of July.

This morning looking at FB and Instagram, it seems everyone else celebrated with parades, fireworks and cookouts. Somehow I feel old and left out. We didn't get any invites to any celebrations. Maybe it was because our kids are grown and had other plans this year. Maybe it is because we seem busy with the moms and do not accept many invites, therefore we don't get many invites. Maybe it is because we are grumpy.

Yep, grumpy! The GGs came out on Saturday and spent the night. They weren't her ten minutes before I was getting on to GBN2, which is the norm. That kid will argue with a fence post. I don't know where she gets it, but we butt heads often. I used my teacher voice to make sure she knew I was serious (sometimes for some reason they don't take me very seriously :) Anyway, when I finished using my teacher voice to get on to GBN2, GBN1 said to her sister, "It's okay, Soph, sometimes Booboo is grumpy."

One of the reasons I had the GGs come out was because I had two new kittens for them to play with. I had gone to Fletcher on Friday to get the kittens from a friend. I really only wanted one cat - a very handsome male - but I took a second cat to keep Handsome happy. Friday night we had some friends over to eat. A big storm came up and our friends went home early. I didn't think about it at the time, but I am afraid one of the kittens may have taken a ride up in the motor of our friend's car. The kitten was gone the next day. But I still had Handsome Cat and that was who I wanted in the first place. The GGs were thrilled with him. They brought him in the house and played with him before losing interest and finding a movie to watch. I had to put Handsome out when he started to pee in Toby's chair. Later that evening, we went to eat at the Chuckwagon in Velma. We did not see Handsome anywhere, so we banged on the truck and called his name. As we drove off, Toby hit the brakes several times to make sure Handsome was not up in the truck. But then as we drove down the drive, we heard the kerplunk, and looked back to see that we had run over Handsome. It was a bit traumatic. That must be a new record for me - killing two cats in one day.

I am trying to do a painting a day this July for World Watercolor Month and post them to FB. Here are my paintings so far:
 July 1 Strong and Free
July 2 In the Shade
July 3 Poppies
July 4 Red, White, and Blue

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Vacation Is Over

Getting back into the swing of things after a vacation is always hard. Toby and I have done some work around the house since he had a few days left of h is vacation when we returned from the mountains. Cleaning house and doing laundry took up lots of my time while Toby worked in his garden. We had a house-sitter while we were gone who took care of the animals, but it is amazing how dusty and dirty the house gets in one week. Well, when you have a pack of dogs like we do, and live in the middle of a hay pasture, things get hairy quickly.

Since we have been back, we also had some guys come and put guttering around the house. For a while now, when we get big rains, the water seeps under the house and causes serious water to stand - not good under the house. We have a pump we use to pull water out. Then we set a fan in the crawl-way. But the new gutter should fix the problem by catching water off the roof and re-directing it away from the house. It is amazing how the new stucco and now the gutter has made the house look very nice. Also, the house-sitter did some painting on the carport. Now rather than just oilfield pipe looking brown and rusty, we have things painted white to match the house. Yay!  Now I need to get my patio looking better. I do have some nice plants on the patio, but there is lots of stuff that needs to go to the barn. It's a never ending job.

Yesterday, I went to WF to a meeting with all the care-givers where my mom lives. I walked into a board room with a table full of workers - social worker, doctor, two nurses, activity director, speech therapist, and dietician. It was a bit overwhelming for a minute - I felt like I had been sent to the principal's office. But they were all very pleasant and professional.  My brother joined the meeting a few minutes after I sat down. For about an hour, they all discussed their observations and care for Mom. It was pretty amazing. I learned new things about dementia and treatments. They addressed Mom's speech problems, anxiety, mood swings, etc. and offered new ways to deal with the problems. They answered our questions and listened to our concerns. It was great. I left there feeling like my mom is in the right place and is getting great care.

All the staff at the HOH said they thought Mom was very polite and sweet. Pete and I were skeptical. But Mom has always been very social, pleasant, and has a great sense of humor. I just don't see that side of her much anymore. Sure enough, when I went back to see Mom, she started in on me - she wants her phone, she wants out of the place, she wants more clothes...And she was ugly about it. Although I tried to redirect her attention, she was pretty persistent. I think just seeing me triggers all her anger. She seems to associate me with all that is wrong in her life - everything is my fault. Sigh. Eventually I told Mom I had to go, but would be back on Saturday. The vacation is over.

I know that the HOH is a good place for my mom. She is safe and well cared for. I am hopeful that she will settle in and settle down and maybe be more like her old self again. I pray that.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Relaxing Vacation

We are home from the mountains. It was a nice seven day stay in a condo in town, although we had wanted a cabin in the woods. Turns out that the condo was a good deal and it had wifi. It seems that we are more addicted to the internet than we thought.  Well, maybe. I think we could have roughed it for a week and read books rather than search the net. Mostly we use internet to communicate with others - like Skyping with Jesse. Messaging with a few others. And since we had wifi, we used it for entertainment and keeping up with the news and weather.

Speaking of weather, it was warm in the mountains for this time of year. In fact, it was actually hotter in Taos than it was in OK for a few days. I was looking forward to cool mountain air, but it was a bit hot and dry. My nose has still not recovered. We slept with the windows open and a sheet to cover us most of the time. Before we left, it was finally cool enough to put on a blanket in the early morning hours. The temps were in the 80s to 90s in Taos, but cooler in RR. The locals were all complaining about the heat. Although it was not as cool as I wanted it to be, there is just something about mountain air that I love.

We saw lots of old friends. I love visiting.  Toby rode his bike while I walked the street and went in and out of shops visiting my old buddies. We had dinner with a few old friends, too. We spent some time in Taos with my brothers and their wives. The wives shopped Arroyo Seco while the men fished. Later in the evening we ate at Sabros in Arroyo Seco sitting outside and listening to Jimmy Stadler who was pretty darn good. It was a good meal with good food and a good time with my brothers and their wives. We also ate at Orlando's one evening - my favorite!

I did do some painting - a couple of little watercolor sketches and a 9x12 pastel. I took lots of photos to do some more paintings now that I am home. Toby and I listened to two books on CD. It makes the long drive up and back go a bit faster or at least more entertaining.  We wanted this vacation to be relaxing, and it was. Now it is good to be home, though. Toby has a couple of more days off, so we can get a few things done around here. And we will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary tomorrow!

Friday, June 09, 2017

Okie View

A couple of weeks ago, I took a photo of the front pasture. The sun was setting and making nice long shadows. From the photo I did a pastel earlier this week. I put on a CD, Byrd and Street, which my friends Jo and Gene gave to me a few years back, and painted away. Good music to paint by! It is amazing how I think a painting is finished, until I see it in a photo. This could use a bit more tweaking, but it is close.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Coyote Trouble

Yesterday morning I looked out the window to see my red-heeler, Jack, playing with another dog that looked very similar to him. Wait a minute! That's a coyote! And they were not playing! Jack was right on the coyote's tail chasing him in the front yard. I hollered for Toby and the gun. About that time Max, the Dane, came out to help Jack. The coyote took off into the pasture, but didn't go too far. Max and Jack were smart enough not to chase the coyote back into the woods - lots of times other coyotes are waiting in ambush. By the time Toby came with the gun, the coyote was out of range, but still visible. Then he moved on off and out of site.  It is not unusual to have coyotes come fairly close to the house, but it shook me to see him in the front yard with my dog. I think the coyote was after my lone, free roaming chicken (who thinks she is a dog).  I'm glad Jack, who is in charge of ranch security, was on the job, and his faithful sidekick and deputy, Max, was with him.

Toby teased that we should put the small dogs outside for the day - with a pork-chop tied to their collars.

In the Mom News, I spent the day in WF working along side my SIL packing and cleaning on Mom's old apartment. Most of our day was spent sorting through her closets. Dang! That woman had lots of clothes!  We got lots done, but still have lots to do. This weekend, we need to get the apartment totally cleaned out. We will have a large garage sale later this summer using Jesse's house and garage. That's what she gets for going off to Greece for ten days.

Of course I went by the HOH to see Mom. It was a good visit. Although she was a bit sad and told me over and over that she did not like eating with crazy, old people, she was actually very calm.  She sat up in her chair, dressed nicely, and talked to me without yelling at me or throwing a fit. This is SO much better than our visits for the last year or so. I pray that she becomes content where she is and can live peacefully.