Put The Toilet Paper In The Fridge, People.

March 31, 2017.

Here are some things I’ve learned on this trip.  You will be glad you’ve learned from my experiences.  You’re welcome.

1)  If you eat a green chili burger in Santa Fe, I suggest you put the toilet paper in the fridge overnight.  You will thank me for this tip.  When they look quizzically at you as you order and they tell you “it’s hot”, and you just blow them off with a “phwah” and a flighty hand gesture, you will be seriously sorry.  Listen to them.  They are not messing around, people.  THIS. is the evidence.  The green chili is hiding under the cheese.  And it’s potentially lethal.  I only ate half of it and spent the next 24 hours in the loo counting the tiles on the wall.

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2)  When Doug says it’s COLD, it’s COLD.
Our boat.  It should thaw out by August.
Then we can all go sailing.
3)  Cherish the religious sites, even if you’re not religious.
Share the joy.
You don’t have to be into it to get into it.
4)  Pay respects to sacred places.
Respect it as its original people do.
5)  Never, EVER underestimate The Power Of A Woman.
Or a few thousand of them.

And cool, supportive men.
6)  When in Rome …. eat, drink and be merry.
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7)  Enjoy the special times with your true friends.
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8)  Eat dessert.  Life is short.  Enjoy it!
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#thingsihavelearnedalongtheway, #greenchiliburgerssantafe, #ontheroadwithzuma, #travelingwithagreatdane, #enjoyinglifeontheroad, #tryeverythingonce

The Diner.

March 31, 2017.

I needed to take the car in for an oil change this morning and I had extra time so I stopped at the nearby diner for breakfast which is a real treat because I haven’t had an egg in like, 3 months.  Not that I have anything against eggs.  Or chickens.  I’m just watching my cholesterol levels, ya’ll.

So, I bellied up to the farthest corner of the diner in ‘the loser section’ because that is where the waitresses seat the scruffy people who look like they can’t afford an egg.  Perhaps I should’ve brushed my hair better.  I had a lovely, panoramic view of the parking lot. The Eagles were playing ‘Desperado’ on the radio.
I felt right at home.

The coffee was hot and heavy and I swear they had a camera on me because they kept coming to refill my mug after every few sips.  Or maybe they just wanted me outta there.  The waitress was adorable. In true Southern style, she called me Sugar, Honey, Dahlin’ and Sweetie.  And she really meant it.  I know she did.

They wanna fill you up at diners, so the lovely charming waitress clad in a gingham apron immediately brought me a piping hot freshly baked biscuit the size of a tom cat’s head with a side of outstanding homemade apple butter.  Mmmm Mmmmm.  I snarfed down the bottom half and thought, “Uh Oh.  I’m full”.  Then she arrived with 2 eggs, potatoes and bacon.  And. Another freshly baked biscuit. And a bowl of something I didn’t recognize. I didn’t order that.  She looked a little concerned about my mental state when I asked what it was.  “Why, that’s gravy, Hon”.  Gravy. Southern style pork sausage gravy for the biscuit.  People go crazy about Southern gravy here but I couldn’t eat much so I had to pass.  Two of these monster biscuits and that slug of gorgeous gravy could feed a family of four. I felt embarrassed about leaving it all but I couldn’t fit it in my purse.

#southernhospitality,#southerncooking, #biscuitsandgravy, #southerndiners, #genuinesouthernhospitality, #ontheroadwithzuma, #travelingwithagreatdane


March 30, 2017.

I am still croaking.
Today is Laryngitis Day 14.

The Dr. shrugged wisely and softly suggested, “rest your voice” which I’m pretty sure means “shut the hell up” in doctor talk.  So I did.  For three days.  I holed up in the RV and typed and read and researched and watched waaaay too many stupid game shows and did you even KNOW there are STILL Soap Operas on daytime tv? This is mind-boggling news to me.  Whaaat is with the lingering shots of people staring off into space?  They’re still doing that?! How 1972!  (Last time I saw a Soap Opera, apparently).

Anyway, I can’t talk make noise so when I’m all hush hush around our friends, I find that slowly, we’re deep in a quiet conversation, leaning forward and being all serious and good listeners and then … they all start whispering.  If you’re really in need of free entertainment, try this. I guarantee it will work.  Great party trick. Then you’ll all burst out laughing because it’s just human nature. I pretty much laff so hard I can’t squeak out a word the next day.  But it’s worth a good chuckle, ya gotta laff at yourself, right?

Anyway, I try not to talk at all, sooo when I do spurt out partial words (like, “harooo?” when the ‘phone rings), it takes a few sentences before real sound comes out.  I can hear the silence of the people who call me and are clearly thinking, “WTF?”.

Zuma thinks it’s great because she pretty much doesn’t listen anyway. Even the hand signals are being ignored.  Because, apparently, my hands speak volumes even if they’re just fluttering fingers.

So, Gentle Readers, I am pretty sure this is THE END and they’re plotting to remove all my insides and stuff me with straw because I have a ‘strained larynx’ and doctors freak me out.

I just wanted to share that with ya’ll, because, yeh, I can type but I still can’t talk.

#laryngitisishilarious, #ontheroadwithzuma

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch (Maine).

March 30, 2017.

It’s Spring here!  The season is three weeks ahead of the norm and Western NC is always three weeks ahead of Maine so I’m lovin’ it. The flowering trees and shrubs have been blooming like crazy.

Everywhere we go, showers of petals rain down on us, the daffodils have completed their vibrant showing and the lawns are being mowed for the third time here.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch, poor Doug is shoveling the snow for the millionth time.  5″ more fluffy stuff is expected there overnight.

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We’re truly thankful for all the people who stay at the farm and keep things going when we’re away.  THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

It’s beautiful here but there’s a down side.  The frost a couple of weeks ago killed off a lot of the flowers and probably a gazillion bees. The orchardists and berry growers’ livelihoods are severely threatened.   It’s been consistently cold in Maine so I’m hopeful the bees will be okay there but I gotta offer a little help.  (This is the same cray cray farm lady who runs 75′ of extension cord to hook up a big fan and en suite bird baths for the Bluebird houses when it’s really hot).  Iiii know.  Cray cray.  Doug just rolls his eyes and hopes I don’t burn down the barn blowing up the wiring while I’m trying to save the Bluebirds.

I found these very cool unique ‘bee hotels’ at the Arboretum here and I’m going to buy a few and set them up at the farm.

Mason Bee House
They’re available on eBay (tap in a quick search for Mason Bee Hotel, $11.95 – $19.95).  Mason bees pollinate but, from what I’ve read, they don’t produce honey (?). However, If we all do our bit, hopefully we can keep the bee population healthy and pollinating.

Other tips (not trying to get all ‘preachy’):  Please don’t use chemicals on your property and plant flowers and shrubs that attract butterflies and bees.  Enjoy!

#mainelife, #freezinginmaine, #springinginnc, #travelingwithagreatdane, #savethebees, #savedougfromthemainewinter

Boobie Ruby and Keepin’ it Weird

March 28, 2017.

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That’s a familiar saying around Asheville and, for a small fee,
you too can purchase your very own hippie-style bumpers stickers
and plaster them on your car and drive around looking all cool.
Like I do.
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Yep, there’s no question about it.  Asheville attracts the unique, the artists, the travelers, the adventurers, the curious.
Of course, the community is speckled with the cogs that turn the wheels of the city, but we feel that ‘keeping it weird’ is what attracts us far more than well-tailored business suits and high heels.
The Police here are cool.  Friendly to the public, no matter who you are or how you’re dressed.

Its not uncommon to see them talking with the transients, keeping the peace ‘n all.  People are friendly. Personally, I think this has to be because they’re happy to live here.

Speaking of how you’re dressed, how about how you’re undressed? Doug and I were zipping around West Asheville one day last Summer and we saw a young woman walking on the sidewalk pushing a bicycle.  With no top on.  And no bra.  Yeh, it was all hangin’ out there and she was feeeling the sunshine.  For about 10 seconds we drove along in silence (rapidly blinking in unison) until we both inquired at the same time, “Did you see what I just saw?” We immediately named her Boobie Ruby because we’re twisted suddenly, she was everywhere we went, just feelin’ the breeze.  Since then we’ve seen other women chillin’ topless in the city.  Even downtown.  Hey, whatever floats your boat.  Go for it. It’s legal.  I looked it up.

Sure, people gasp and point and stare but seriously, who really cares?  It’s all good.  It’s Asheville.  Keepin’ it weird.

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#keepinitweirdashevillenc, ashevillenc, travelingwithagreatdane, #weirdasheville, #loveasheville

Why Wouldn’t You Want To Be a Gynocologist When You Grow Up?

MARCH 29, 2017.

When Emma was a pre-schooler, the teacher asked all the kidlets what they wanted to be when they grow up.  “A fireman!”, “A teacher!”  Then our daughter blurted out “A leader”!  Not one child admitted they wished to pursue a career in gynecology.  Go figure.

So today I had “The most funnest day of the year” and got all that girlie stuff taken care of.  “How ya doing?” asked the Dr., “”Great!  This is my favorite day of the year!” (my usual comeback, try it, they’ll practically snort stuff out their nose.  I just do it for the reaction and it really eases the tension in the room.

So, after 2 hours I was finally released from unflattering gowns and stirrups and paper tablecloths and got to go home.  After everyone in the entire building had seen my gi gi and boobs.  If this is making you uncomfortable, turn the page.  Or get over it.  It’s reality, man.  I think I made a lot of friends today because the three rotating receptionists kept screwing up my appointments so I had to hang out longer.  The laryngitis helped speed things up.  Or else they were thinking, “Next stop for this one: Puzzle Factory (loonie bin)”.  There was a lot of scribbling on forms; they looked very serious but they were laffing.  I just made light of the whole thing.  I had fun with a very unpleasant situation.  They liked my sense of humor.  So much so that they invited me back on Monday for a bone density scan and then I don’t need another oil change for a year.  Unless they scan my messed up knee and then they’ll find enough screws and plates to start a hardware store.  Good second career, that hardware store business. Sorting screw and nails is far more appealing to my mind than … yeh …. well, you know.

Yeh, so, I hate going to the Doctor.  Because I always convince myself on the way there that it’s a) incurably terminal and b) I really should be home defrosting the freezer right now because if I need emergency surgery what will happen to the new bag of fresh ice cubes?   So I took an Uber because I didn’t feel like tackling rush hour traffic.  That was fun, too.  The trees are blossoming in full force and it’s absolutely glorious today, 80 degrees.  What better day to hang out in an OB/GYN’s office folks?

Anyway, I really liked my Doctor, we hit it off before the intimate part.  Shudder.  I just go to my ‘Faraway Place’ where I’m 15 and jumping merrily over picnic tables on my pony and count to ten. Then I bound off the table, gown flapping, like I’m being pursued by a herd of wild boars.  But I survived it and it’s over.  I still feel somewhat violated. But it’s over, Thank Gawd.
Missi commented that I should at least get a ribbon for participation.

A Request ….

March 26, 2017.

A few months ago I wrote a blog (Old Dogs Matter, August, 2016) dedicated to senior dogs and you, Gentle Readers, told me you really liked it.  I received photos from as far away as France! and met some fantastic, genuine dog lovers.  So, I want to write another blog about Senior dogs, past or present, to pay homage to our loyal friends.  Please message me on FB or e.mail me and I’ll put a blog together in the next coupla days.  Thank you!

‘The LOOK’.

March 15, 2017.
Yeh, so, this is “The Look”.
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It means:
The bed is lumpy.
It’s cold out there.
I think I have cellulite.
I need Animal Planet.
My water has not been freshened up in the past hour.
Where’s that chicken jerky stuff you hide from me?

Zuma and I rarely talk.  It’s all in ‘the look’.  When she can’t won’t get on the bed because she thinks she’s claustrophobic she stands staring at the bed then staring at me hoping I’ll move the pair of socks that are blocking her way.  She can give me ‘the look’ for a very very long time.  She never says a word, she just acts like her life is completely ruined.  If the comforter isn’t just right, I get ‘the look’.  I’ve tried to ignore it and give her hand signals to jump on the bed but she won’t make the leap of faith until I relocate said socks (or whatever miniscule obstacle is barring her way).  How can such a giant dog be deterred by a pair of socks?  Dane Brain.

Never ever do I scold Zu.  I talk to her like she’s a human.  Because she is.  Only nicer.  More forgiving, more accepting.

When people hang out with us and hear me talking to Zu like she understands everything I say I have to question if they sometimes kinduv wonder.  Momentarily.  Then they realize that this big ole dawg totally knows what I’m going on about and I just have to give her a hand gesture or ‘the look’ and she responds.  I’ve even asked, “Do you think I’ve been living alone with my dog too much?”.

When she was a puppy she had two bathroom accidents (major) when she first came to us, totally not her fault as she’d never lived in a house.  My reaction was (sigh) “Oh boy, let’s go outside, no worries”. It totally worked.  Never again did she have another accident. She is easily embarrassed.  Danes are very sensitive creatures.  Despite their size, these Gentle Giants are the biggest dog wimps ever.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to live with a challenging, hyperactive dog.  After decades of having German Shepherds, the Great Dane is my fave breed now.  I still get excited by a nice Shepherd, but the docile, easy-going temperment of a Dane is something everyone should experience.

If you can get through the Sorry-but-I-ate-the-couch phase.

#danebrain, #travelingwithagreatdanedog, #ontheroadwithzuma

We need another one ….

March 25, 2017.

This is Zuma’s BFF Alis (short for Aurora Borealis):

A couple of days ago, Zuma and Alis had a doggie play date at the dog park.  The girls had a blast with the other dogs when suddenly two beautiful Danes came gallomping along.

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Oh boy, if anyone thinks that dogs aren’t fully aware of their own kind, introduce four Danes.  Scooby Doo Land.  They were so happy to see “their own kind”.  They hit it off immediately and it was comical to watch “Dane Brain” (times four) in action.  They play so differently from any other dogs, it’s all “mind if I put your head in my mouth?” and “let me stomp on you”, body slamming and knocking each over head-on at a slow motion 5 mph.

It was impossible to get all four to cooperate for a group photo.
Alis had to take a break after a while.  That’s my dear friend and Alis’s Person Jansen!

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The owner of the black Dane and the Harlequin is very knowledgable about the breed, she has had several and says she always gets another one when the first one is about four.
Then, the mature dog can help socialize and teach manners to the younger one.  Seeing Zuma come to life with other dogs her size makes me think ….
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…. I think I’m ready for another one ….

#gettingasecondgreatdane, #travelingwithagreatdanedog, #ontheroadwithzuma, #haveIlost mymind?

Bath House Hysteria.

March  21, 2017.

Okay, if you’ve never experienced an RV Park Bath House in the Winter, DON’T DO IT.  Unless you’re into self-torture.

When my hot water wasn’t working I had to use the bath house at the RV Park.  It’s nice enough, clean, tiled, efficient.

But those tiles are really freaking cold on a March morning and if I don’t have a shower every two days my hair looks like a bacon dish.  I have to lay all my shit stuff out on the bench, towels, clothes, etc., all in the order I will adorn them post showering. Gently deposit shampoos and soap and wash cloth in the shower and prepare to be amazed.  No.  I can barely pull the tap out of the wall to make the water run and it takes a really long time for the hot water to come through.  So long that I turn the knob the other way and pray it’s gotta be right.  No.  How long should I wait for the hot water?

Finally, the hot water kicks in before I go mental and then I drop the soap.  OMG.  I am NOT a fan of public bath houses.

Last summer Missi scrambled out of the shower on a really hot day and was freaking out because there was a snake in the shower.  I don’t mind snakes.  I actually like them unless they leap out and surprise me.  So I calmed her down and went into the shower stall expecting to tackle a giant Anaconda.  It turned out to be a baby green snake who was already dead.  It was the size of a large worm. But Missi doesn’t like snakes and a snake is a snake.  Even tho’ this little guy was so small it would have barely qualified as an appetizer on a cracker.

The other day I had a shower in the bath house and when I went to open the door Missi was on the other side.  Our timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  I pulled, she pushed and she screamed hysterically because she wasn’t expecting anyone.  Me neither.  We laffed so hard I almost had to go have another shower.  If you know what I mean.

Now I have gushings of hot water in Hula Girl I don’t have to use the bath house.  Life will be easier but not nearly as entertaining as bath house hysteria.

#publicbathhouses, #rvcamping, #travelingwithagreatdanedog, #ontheroadwithzuma, #bathhousehysteria