Thursday, July 24, 2014

25 reasons why humans shouldn't populate the state of Arizona

Get out while you can (and yes, these are all personal experiences).

1) When it's 114 degrees outside, it doesn't matter if it's a dry heat

2) There is no such thing as scorpion bug spray, they love to come inside your home, at night,

3) and they run faster than Forrest Gump

4) A popular landscape rock color is beige and is used all over in front and read yards, which matches the exact color of baby rattlesnakes

5) Beige carpet is a popular color in homes, which exactly matches the color of scorpions

6) Spend enough time in the desert running your dogs, and you might be stalked/chased by an irritated coyote,

7) twice.

8) It is the number one retirement state in the U.S., so if you want to drive anywhere, you should plan on taking valium and an extra 10 minutes, because you are going to get stuck behind someone that can not see over the steering wheel, and there are no highways or freeways that run through town

9) The water in your hose is scalding hot, and burns everything for about the first minute it is on, there is never an appropriate time to check if it has cooled down

10) There are earthquakes

11) When you "kill" scorpions, and leave them in a bag, they play dead and can live for up to a week without oxygen. So you shouldn't keep the bag to teach your dogs (scent training) and children to stay away from scorpions. Because when you shake the bag, it's a really exciting time for everyone involved.

12) When you walk outside at night during monsoon season, you may find a tarantula at eye level under the front porch catching bugs

13) And along with beige carpet, beige tile is popular, which also camouflages scorpions

14) There are cactus that jump, called jumping cholla, and it lodges itself into your skin with a barbed hook at the front,

15) and because that isn't scary enough, the barbs are poisonous

16) If you forget anything in your car, it melts

17) If you have nail polish in your car, it swells open and could spill on your upholstery

18) iPhones screens overheat if left in the sun for five minutes in summer

19) During the rainy season, tarantulas live in your front and backyard, and are bold

20) Trees have thorns instead of flowers

21) Worms, lizards, and frogs are deadly poisonous (centipede, millipede, gila monster, colorado river toad)

22) Wild pigs chase you (javelina)

23) There are no amusement parks or large awesome water parks

24) Dairy Queen is a necessity, not a luxury

25) The lakes are not really lakes at all, and not fit for swimming, they are manmade are filled with chemicals, but people still fish in them

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

And through all that, my eyelashes stayed glued on.

A case of the Mondays.

My 15 year old daughter had her wisdom teeth removed on Friday, the same day I take my 12 year old to the doctor, because she is on day 4 of sore throat and on-and-off fever (which was diagnosed on Monday as strep). The weekend was filled with back and forth trips from the kitchen (and store) to the couch. Ice pack, warm compress, ibuprofen, narcotics, soup, smoothies and eegee's.  My girls take it like a woman. Our new saying in the house, because if they "Take it like a man," there would have been more whining. Let's face it, women handle sickness and pain better than men. Silently suffering.

My hubby has found, in the last two days, four scorpions in the house. In between caring for the girls I buy and spray a deadly chemical at the permitter of the exterior of the house and yard, clean all of inside and our baseboards with orange oil. I also read lavender plants help, I buy a few and plant them by our doors.

By Sunday, probably due to the stress and exhaustion, I am feeling feverish and a sore throat coming on. I panic, because I cannot handle a week out of work. I am not able to sit still, and a week on the couch is like a week in prison to me. I am supposed to teach dog class, and do not feel I am well enough to go. I call my dog training mentor, and friend, to let her know I am not up to class. I explain my impending feeling of doom and that I'm certain I've gotten the plague. She recommends that I make a special tonic, to kick its butt before it takes me down.

I research the tonic and the necessary ingredients. Honestly, when I find it online, cannot believe it is safe for human consumption. 1 1/2 heads of garlic (not cloves, people. Heads.) onion, ginger, horseradish, peppers, and apple cider vinegar. Apparently this is the holistic approach to flu shots. The instructions says to blend everything together and let it steep for 4 weeks. My mentor mentioned ahead of time that I do not have the time to wait, she recommends that I blend it and chew it down.

I sit, restless, weighing the options of being sick for a week or consuming fire. I decide that braving the fire is a better option. I drive to the store and feel teeny panic attacks while I make my purchase.

I arrive back, and begin preparing for my own demise. I chop four serrano chiles, a full onion, about 15 cloves of garlic, ginger, horseradish and half a bottle of apple cider vinegar, and throw all the ingredients in the blender. And prepare to blend. As I stare down, psyching myself out, I begin to cry. It was the onion. I swear. I press the button, and everything mixes together. My head cannot even come within a few inches with the lid on without wanting to gag. The websites say to consume a few droplets to save yourself from flu, but if you are already sick, 6 tablespoons per day are recommended. I "chicken out" and commit to 3.

I stand for a solid minute, wondering how one goes about ingesting this concoction. It is too chunky for a shot glass and too runny for a bowl. I opt to load everything on a spoon and guzzle it down. I hold the spoon and muster up the guts (pun intended). Once it enters my mouth, I chew lightly and immediately swallow. I think that once it is past the lips that all will be right in my world. Wrong. My esophagus and stomach are now feeling exactly where the lump is traveling as it enters my unsuspecting body.

I do an amazing dance, surprising myself with new moves. Some sort of hopping and jiggling, to try and extinguish the fire. Half hour later my limbs are tingling and I can feel blood rushing around in my head. I begin sweating.

After all the excitement, I am tired but I wrestle with sleep.

The next day, I awake late. Now, I don't have a specific start time at work, but I try to be punctual. I rush around the house, shower, put my eyelashes on, and prepare my kale smoothie and lunch, and talk myself into consuming one tablespoon of the fire. Which has now begun fermenting overnight, and is waaaay worse on the second day.

As I am in process of feeding the dogs, before I go, I become aware that the two younger dogs, who happen to be litter mates, are in a mood. I have skipped our normal weekend outings because my girls are ill. My Catholic guilt takes over and I feel leaving the girls, who are mostly improved, but not 100%, all day with two rambunctious dogs, is unfair.  I decide to take them outside for a quick game of flirt pole. This game is a gift. I stand still while using a horse whip with a dog toy tied to the end of it to make my dogs chase. Imagine, large cat toy. As the game progresses, Ava and Roo become more and more frantic, I see them becoming crazed instead of calm. Right as I am about to quit the game, Ava captures the toy and Roo lunges. I catch them both mid air, teeth bared, and haul Ava in the house, to sucessfuly prevent the dog fight. I am now quickly realizing they are really pent up, and I will need to take them out. I change into my jogging clothes, throw my hair up, and take them for a run.

At least, that is my intention. It is 8:00 a.m., and thus rapidly approaching 90 degrees. I take my crew into the wide open desert behind my house, but I realize I am not up to running. I have taken my dogs off leash for years in this desert. My two "new" dogs are only 2, but my senior dog is 15, and we have gone almost daily for the better part of 10 years now. The last time I went far into the desert, Ava and Roo decided to rustle up a coyote and take chase. Predators turn into prey, and to make really long story short, I was stalked by a coyote within 10 feet, a little under a mile back to civilization. This coyote was baying and circling, trying to decide if Roo was going to be breakfast. Well, after years of dog training, I have learned enough about dog body language and behavior. I hope domestic dog behavior is similar enough to kept the wild dog at a safe distance. I walked--even though ever fiber of my being was screaming for me to run-- back to the house yelling, keeping a " I mean business" body posture, and throwing rocks near  him, when he got too close.

Since said nightmarish situation, I have decided that Ava and Roo cannot run free anymore, until they have a reliable recall, which means another round of training classes. But as I stand looking at the peaceful desert, I decide what are the odds, after 10 issue free years, that this is going to happen again? Slim to none. Since I am wicked close to the house, I unclip the leashes. With the speed and power of a greyhound, Ava takes off, and Roo, less muscular and agile, tries to keep up, lumbering behind her. I am standing still, and watch them, keep going. I frantically begin calling them back to me, while they dash back and forth, leaving only a dust trail in their wake. The pent up frustration is too much and distraction is too great, they are gone. Wild and free.

As I stand in the sun, leashes dangling, cursing myself for this stupid situation, I watched my two have the time of their life. I try to relax, until I hear a coyote to my left begin baying. I think that there is no way this is really happening, and I begin wildly laughing. Ava and Roo are somewhere that direction, and I cannot imagine they wouldn't have learned the lesson the first time.

After a few long seconds, I hear them pounding towards me, but I cannot see them. The last time this happened, and they ran back to me, the coyote was within feet of Roo, (Ava had a 5 foot lead) and she was wild eyed and running for all she was worth to hide behind me.

My dogs hit a clearing, and I brace myself for battle number two. But, there is no coyote. Maybe it's the intense smell of garlic pouring out of me? I will never know.

I leash my brats and head back toward the house, walking calmly with the coyote out of sight, but continuously calling. The sound is deafening at this close of a distance. Again. But my inability to see him this time spooks me worse than watching him stalk. At least I could watch his behavior and make corrections to my posture. This time, I a flying blind.

I reach the sidewalk after what seems like an hour, and am exhausted. I look down at Ava and Roo and they are more wound up now then when we left the house. Gah. So I run after all.

I get back to the house with sweat pouring down my face and chest. Garlic stinging my eyes. I shower, re-dress and spruce up my makeup before trying to start my Monday a second time. I am surprised to find, that through all that my eyelashes stayed glued on.

Them lashes though. Through flood, sweat and tears, making girls feel fancy for years.