Catnaps and Adventures

For the past year the Princess and I have been fostering a 17-year-old cat, named Mabel, who has end-stage cancer and is a little sweetheart. 

A sweetheart in every sense of the word except when it comes to taking medication. 

Mabel does not do pills. Mabel does not do medications that are syrups. Mabel does not do anything that you try to “sneak into her food and/or mouth”.

Mabel is a cat with simple needs: change her water bowl after she drinks from it, clean out her litter box after every usage, answer her cat calls when she yowls, and stay the hell away from her mouth.

Two weeks ago, my unwitting partner forgot how testy our little Mabel could get when she’s trying to give her oral medications. 

The Princess went to open Mabel’s mouth. Mabel got pissed. The Princess got bit.

After washing the wound and putting antibiotic on it, we watched it slowly get swollen and red with the passage of time and decided to call the medical hot-line who advised us to seek immediate medical attention.

We end up in urgent care, get a 10 day prescription of antibiotics and go home only to watch the hand get redder and more swollen. We make another phone call to the medical hotline, get told that it hasn’t even been 24 hours for the antibiotics to start working yet and maybe that’s the problem. 

Go to the doctor if we feel we need to, but maybe give it a bit more time. 

Up to us.

We didn’t wanna seem like we were over reacting, so we went to bed. At 4:30 the next morning, the Princess decided that her hand was not “looking too great”.

Once again, we called the medical hotline and this time we all agree that the situation called for a trip to our local ER thirty minutes away.

I grabbed some blankets (for ME), loaded the Princess and her swollen hand into my car and off to the ER we headed.

After sitting in my car with blankets wrapped around me for 2 hours, the Princess texted me and let me know that she was hooked up to an IV, had had x-rays and blood work done, but that she had no idea when she’d be finished, so for me to go to my morning doctor’s appointment

After debating the pros and cons of this, I agreed to it and left.

I go to my appointment and texted the Princess that my apt was finished and that I was on my way to the hospital to pick her up and asked her for a status update.

“Had a Thai tea and doughnut, got bored waiting for you, left hospital and am now on an adventure,” she texted back.

“ADVENTURE?” I wrote back. “And what, pray tell, does that mean?”

“I’m on a bus,” she answered. “Having fun. Have been talking to the bus driver and playing tourist. Will explain everything when u pick me up. Meet me at Home Depot.”

I send her a thumb’s up and headed out to get her.

“So,” I asked after she got into the car, “What’s the status on your hand and how did you end up on a bus?”

“Did you know that you have to PAY to ride the bus?” she answered with no response to how her hand was.

“Yes,” I slowly answered. “And why are you even asking me this? Of course you have to PAY to ride the bus.”

“Well,” she responded. “The bus driver kept looking at me when I got on and asked me if I had a bus pass. I didn’t know what a bus pass was, so he explained and then told me that I could use cash if I didn’t have a pass.”

“Seriously,” I said to her. “You seriously got on the bus and thought that the bus was FREE?”

“As in no money FREE? “

“Yup,” she innocently answered while I shook my head and drove us home.

“More importantly, “ I said to her. “What the heck were you doing on a bus in the middle of a pandemic with an open wound? Why didn’t you wait for me to pick you up?”

“Ya know what,” I continued. 

“Don’t answer that. You’re o.k. I’m o.k. And we both need naps today.”

Life is good, People. Have a great day, and I’ll catch ya the next time, looking at life from my shoes.

Strange Bedfellows

“We’ve probably got rats!” the Princess yelled while all 3 of us stared at the wall with the offending scratching sounds.

“Great. Just great!” she continued.

“I told you to take care of that darn garage door sealer way back in June,” she said with disgust, while Mabel and I slowly got up from the lounge chair.

I’m no expert with rat scratching and I didn’t want to make a bad situation worse, (because I really wanted to get back to the show we were watching), but from what I was hearing, it sure as hell didn’t sound like any rat to me. 

Whatever or whoever was scratching on our living room wall sounded bigger than a rat, but I wasn’t ready to argue with the Princess.

“You’re right, hun,” I said.

“I’m not quite sure how a rat could have squeezed himself into one of those two miniscule spaces at the end of the sealer, but why don’t you call your humane exterminator out here tomorrow and I’ll give Jeff, our handyman, a ring to come out and fix it,” I continued.

Well, long story short: the exterminator dude came out, checked our home for rodents, told us that the buggers probably got in via the little spaces at the end of the garage door sealer, charged us $350 for that brilliant fact and went on his merry way.

So now we’ve dished out mucho bucks to a rat friendly exterminator, plus the cost of our handyman. 

And all because I didn’t listen to the Princess way back in June.

Yep.

When your partner’s right, they’re right. Ya just gotta apologize and go on with life, ya know?

So, last night I went out to empty our garbage and surprise, surprise. I opened our laundry door to go into our garage and lo and behold the outside garage door was WIDE open and had been left opened since 3 p.m. when the Princess came home from her bike ride!

Hm…ya think maybe an opened garage door is large enough for a rat (or any other creature for that matter) to enter?

At this point, I’m thinking we’re starting the winter seasonso maybe it’s best we just leave food, water and bedding for the little guys and all just get used to living with each other.

Oh well. 

I’ve had stranger bedfellows.

Have a great day, People, and stay safe. 

May you all be blessed with a healthy, happy Thanksgiving and I’ll catch ya the next go round, looking at life from my shoes.

One Last Gift

My friend died yesterday. 

Three months ago when she called me to tell me that she had stage 4 cancer, she let me know that her biggest regret about this “whole cancer thing” was that she probably wouldn’t have the time to see the results of the presidential elections.

She was right. 

She didn’t.

What she DID have the time for, though, was to make sure that her many friends were all made abundantly aware of her love and appreciation for her time with us and that each of us were a joy and gift to her and sent us blessings via emails that her daughter graciously sent on.

And in this solitary gesture of love and kindness, what she did was to give us a gift; one last (and in some ways, lasting) gift from a woman who had given so much joy, kindness, laughter and encouragement to so many of us.

I am heart-broken, but so very grateful and honored to have known her and to have called her my good friend. 

The last message to all of us was for us to “be as loving and compassionate as we can, to our self and others” and then she fell asleep!

My dear, sweet Rozie Roo. She was my mentor, my friend and my surrogate big sister. 

And I loved her with my whole heart.

Thank you, dear Rozie, for your gift of joy and kindness; thank you, dear friend, for your unconditional love.

R.I.P. my loving, sweet, funny friend. 

I’ll see ya on the flip side!

My sweet Rozie

You prefer WHAT party?!

Got my official mail-in ballot last week and decided that I better take a few moments today and give it a serious look-over.

Un-Hun.

I opened up the envelope and saw that we have 36 candidates running for state governor.

Yes, you saw correctly – THIRTY-SIX people!

But that in and of itself isn’t the only little caveat that has me raising my hairy, untouched, pandemic eyebrows; it’s the fact that these candidates belong to parties that I never heard of!

We’ve got one who prefers the “Stand-up America party”, another one who prefers the “Socialist workers party”, one who likes the “Propertarianist party”, (yeah, I had to Google this one myself just to pronounce it), one who’s affiliated with the “American patriot party”; another one who prefers the “Cascadia labour party”, and another one who affiliates with the “New-liberty party”.

The candidates who have listed themselves as preferring the “Trump republican party” are pretty easy to understand.
And I guess I get those who have identified with the “Pre-2016 republican party”. But what, pray tell, is a “Fifth republican party”? Did I sleep through the first four republican parties?
One of the candidates listed himself as preferring the “Fifth republican party”.

Damn!

Guess I’m gonna be busy today.

Hopefully, you’re all staying safe and sane during these challenging times, People!

I’ll catch ya the next time, looking at life from my shoes.

A Moment of Levity

For those of you who know the Princess, you know she loves animals – really LOVES animals and anything living. She tried her darndest years ago to resuscitate a caterpillar by flipping over its lifeless body and gently rubbing between its legs to bring it back to life. Her innocent attempt actually succeeded and the little bugger crawled happily away.

I, on the other hand, am very selective with my love and have a slight fear of any animal that shows too much enthusiasm. Jumping dogs. Bucking horses. Running bulls.

And if the truth be told, I’m guilty of stepping on spiders, squishing most insects that I find in my home and am not a fan of bees while I garden.

You get the picture.

This coronavirus pandemic has us (like most of society) stressed to the max. So we’re making a lot of cupcakes, eating bags of popcorn and cookies, and binge watching a lot of Doc Martin, lately. (If the woman calls me “tosser” one more time, I’m gonna toss her and her little animal-loving self out into the cold!)

To offset this binge eating, we’re taking daily walks. For most couples this is a lovely, outdoor experience bordering on spiritual enlightenment. For the Princess and I, there are times it turns into a lovely tug-of-war; with SHE running over to pet and love on one of the neighbor’s dogs, and ME gently reminding her that we have a “six foot rule” to abide by.

So yesterday during our daily outdoor ritual, I saw one of the neighbors give her dog a treat for not running toward us and jumping, and I got an idea.

Today we went for a walk and the Princess smiled at the dog-walking neighbor, said, “Good morning” and kept walking.

Genius here pulled out a Hersey Kiss, gave it to her and said, “Good job!”

Needless to say, I now have a black and blue arm and she has been calling me “tosser” most of the day.

Oh well, a moment of levity in the midst of a pretty scary time in our lives.

Stay healthy and safe, People, and I’ll catch ya the next time, looking at life from my shoes.

Hangin’ in Costco’s Egg Aisle

My GP wanted to know why I needed another prescription of Xanax. I wasn’t quite sure how to answer her.

 

On Tuesday afternoon, I walked in from doing my weekly grocery shopping and discovered that it took me an hour and a half longer than it usually did.

 

The Princess had some shopping to do Tuesday, too.

 

Women have told me, “Must be nice shopping for the two of you gals. My husband HATES shopping. Thinks it’s women’s work and all.”

 

Un-huh.

 

“So,” I asked these clueless individuals. “Have you ever gone shopping with a five year old in a toy store?”

 

“No?” I continued. “Well, you really don’t want to if you don’t have to,” I informed them.

 

“The Princess is a grown up version of a 5 year old.”

 

The Princess needed to see my grocery list while we were still in the parking area of Costco, so I gave it to her.

 

Not thinking that I would actually NEED the list while shopping, she left it behind in the car when we went in, and when I asked her for it, she innocently looked at me and mumbled, “Uh, the list is in the car. Maybe I’ll go out and get it, eh?”

 

“Hm,” I answered. “I think that would be a smart thing to do in light of the fact that I know there were at least TEN items on that list, and I can only remember ONE– eggs.”

 

 

“You go to the car and I’ll meet you in the egg aisle,” I continued and off we both went in opposite directions.

 

I quickly got to the egg aisle, picked up the eggs and began to wait, thinking, “Well, maybe she forgot where the car was and she’s out there walking around aimlessly looking for our white Subaru.”

 

(Have I told you, People, that here on the Olympic Peninsula in Western WA everyone and their mother’s uncle owns a white Subaru? Well, they do!)

 

“No,” I told myself, “She couldn’t have gotten lost. We parked too close to the store for her to have gotten lost. She must have lost my list and she’s afraid I’ll get mad, so the poor thing is probably asking the Costco door people if they’ve seen it on the ground.”

 

“Yep,” I assured myself. “That’s what must have happened.”

 

“Let me call her up and see what’s going on.”

 

“Hey, “ I said to her when she answered. “Where the heck are you? I’ve been waiting forever in the egg aisle.”

 

“I’m in the food aisle,” she said. The Haagen-Dazs ice cream bars are on sale and they’re giving samples today. You need to get a sample.”

 

“And oh,” she continued. “You know those wool socks that you and I like for the winter?”

 

“They have them by the towels on the other side of the store, “ she added, before I could answer her question.

 

“So, let me get this straight,” I answered, keenly aware of the fact that I was talking to her in a very public place.

 

“You are in the store right now shopping, and I’ve been hangin’ in the egg aisle for the past 15 minutes waiting for you to come back with my list?”

 

“Well,” she answered having a hard time not laughing out loud at my annoying tone with her.

 

“I looked down the egg aisle and didn’t see you, and then I saw the Haagen-Dazs lady and went there, and I ran into one of my biking buddies and started chatting and then…well,” she continued.

 

“I started wandering around, checking out stuff, and that’s when I saw our wool socks.”

 

“You still want the list?” she asked me when I wheeled my cart out from the egg aisle and saw her in front of the ice cream lady hitting her up for a second sample.

 

“No,” I answered her. “I just sent you out to the car to get it ‘cuz I have nothing else to do but hang in Costco’s egg aisle today.”

 

Lord, please help me keep my sense of humor today, ‘cuz I’m gonna strangle her if I ever get ahold of my grocery list!

 

Life with the Princess is never boring. Have a great day, People, and I’ll catch ya next time looking at life from my shoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Education was Important to my Mother

Education was important to my mother.

Keeping her children happy was even more important.

So, when her oldest daughter lost her sense of humor and started freaking out about final exams the week before graduation, Momma Benedetti went to her bag of tricks to ease the tension.

She dressed up in my graduation cap and gown and declared she was a “college gad-gee-ate”.

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When that didn’t so much as get a smile from me, she tried walking into my bedroom with a rose between her teeth and asked me to tango.

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Unfortunately, I was so hung up on doing well on my finals, that neither action made me any less anxious.

Yes, I was her more sensitive child. The one the doctors always referred to as “emotional” and recommended enemas on a regular basis.

You know the kind.

Every family has one.

And lucky me, I was the one.

It wasn’t until the next morning, while I was sitting on the throne, looking down at the painted toenails of our clawfoot bathtub, that I burst out laughing.

Mom had painted all of the nails on the claws with bright red nail polish.

Her oldest daughter needed to laugh, and Mom wasn’t giving up until I did.

She succeeded.

I sat there on the toilet laughing hysterically and shaking my head in awe.

Mom got me on that one.

I was now prepared to kick some serious butt on the last of my final exams and to graduate from community college.

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Thanks, Mom.

It’s because of you that I went on and became a “college gad-gee-ate”.

I miss her every day, but it’s memories like these that keep her close to my heart and very much alive.

Love you, Mom.

Love you to the moon and back.

Continue reading Education was Important to my Mother

Rat Karma

The Princess is outside walking around with the exterminator.

Yep.

Unfortunately, our local raccoons have no manners and are messy eaters with the birdseed they steal from the Princess’s bird feeder.

 
Did you know that rats like leftover birdseed?

 
Un-huh.

 
They do.

 

And our cat, Boo, has been too occupied with the deer to mess with the baby rats, so we’ve got furry, 4-legged, low-riders scooting around the perimeter of our home and having a grand ole time.

 

Yuck!

 

I hate rats. The Princess, on the other hand, loves and respects all life forms, including RATS.

 

She spent the better part of an afternoon researching and calling various exterminator companies.

 

I can assure you, the pest control company that she eventually hired was thoroughly vetted to make sure the little buggers wouldn’t suffer any undue stress when they went to rat heaven. They simply eat a special food that they leave for them, and then drift off to sleep, like Snow White.

 

“Yeah,” he reassured her. “They may get a tad thirsty before they doze off, but that’s about it. It’s pretty painless.”

 

“Oh,” he continued. And you might have a peculiar odor coming from the house until we come and pick up their remains, but not to worry, it’s just their decaying bodies.”

 

Swell.

 

I’m so glad she paid a professional to do this. I was prepared to buy some traps, bait the traps and nail the little buggers. But the Princess, being the Princess, didn’t wanna hurt the little sweethearts.

 

“After all,” she informed me. “You could end up with bad karma if you kill them inhumanely.”

 

Un-huh.

 

To tell you the truth, I wasn’t looking forward to killing them myself, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. And I certainly was not going to cohabitate with any 4 –legged creatures of the rat family. If you recall, the Princess and I played a version of “Pop goes the weasel” with a rat when we lived in CA. I did not and do not want to do this, again!

 

No siree, Bob.

 

I’m glad someone else’s karma is gonna be negatively tweaked, though. I can now go to sleep knowing that my “rat karma” is in tact.

 

And you, dear People, have a great day and I’ll catch ya next time, looking at life from my shoes.

 

 

Hullo! Is Anybody home?

For those of you that have regularly followed me over time, you know that I have a mother with a few endearing (or not-so-endearing) little peculiarities. To say that Momma Benedetti’s special character traits haven’t ingratiated herself with many would be a boldface lie. So when my sister and I recently tried to telephone her, repeatedly, and were unable to reach her, we were a tad concerned.

 

My mom has a pretty steadfast routine and RARELY deviates from it. Her morning coffee, a trip to the loo, watching her favorite show, “The Price is Right”, taking out the garbage 3 times a day; walking the circle around her senior complex…you get the picture. We know if it’s Monday afternoon, she’s at the Senior Center playing “pitch”, her favorite card game, and if it’s Thursday afternoon, she’s across the street playing cards with her Thursday group.

 

She eats regularly, poo’s regularly, does her laundry, dusts and makes sure the garbage doesn’t sit in her baskets more than a couple of hours. So when we couldn’t reach her over an 18 hour period of time between her regular routines, my sister and I became concerned.

 

I was hesitant to text our cousin at her job because she does so much for Mom/us and thought long and hard about contacting the complex’s administrative person to check on her, but decided when BOTH my cousin and I couldn’t reach her, that I’d best contact someone at the apartment’s office.

 

Linda, the office administrator, graciously answered, sent up an individual to check on her and lo and behold, 10 minutes later, I received a phone call from Momma.

 

“What’s your problem?” she barked. “I got your phone calls. I was busy eating and didn’t wanna be bothered.”

 

“The maintenance guy scared the heck outta me pounding on the door,” she added.

 

“Cazzo! she continued. “Can’t a body eat in peace without being harassed?”

 

At that point, I took a deep breath, told her that I had to visit the restroom and hung up.

 

Damn that old woman drives me nuts!

 

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Have a great day, People, and I’ll catch ya the next time, looking at life from my shoes.

 

 

Rest in Peace, Little Sweetheart

We had to say good-bye to our sweet, dear Mollie today.

 

It was the right thing to do; the compassionate, kind thing to do.

 

But somehow all that doesn’t matter to our broken hearts right now. All I know is that this black and white fur ball – that at times drove me totally off the deep end – made me laugh and smile (most of the time) and brought endless joy to my life.

 

I know we were good Mommies. I know we loved her completely and totally and spoiled her like no other.

 

But somehow all that doesn’t matter right now.

 

All I know is that there’s a hole in my heart as big as the entire outdoors; and no sweet, little fur ball laying on top of my chest tonight poking her precious, pink noise in my face staring at me with those cute, sweet, raccoon eyes of hers.

 

The Princess and I love you sweet Mollie Girl. Love you with all our hearts.

 

Rest in peace, little sweetheart. You brought us much joy.