My 78th Birthday is Here At Last!!!

September 14, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

Marty took me to a Birthday Dinner at Harry's Road House

Marty took me to a Birthday Dinner at Harry’s Road House

An Introduction Video To My Future Traveling Life: “AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 YEARS!”

August 5, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

MY FIRST TRAVEL VIDEO –  A PREVIEW OF THINGS TO COME!

Here’s my traveling video….. a sizzle reel produced by Rock Richardson of Warrior Films, LCC, to entice a Reality TV Series into following my travels around the world when I set out this Fall for my

“Around The World In 80 Years” epic adventure

to travel for two years straight, solo backpacking, until I turn 80 in 2017, and then to keep going for at least two years after that.

https://vimeo.com/126007199

My time in Santa Fe has been great, but is coming to a conclusion in mid-September. After a nice long visit with my family, I’ll take off to travel solo throughout the Caribbean Island chain, Central and South America. Throughout that long journey I’ll be filming myself with my new miniature camera and its gadgets.

So, stay tuned.

A Persecution Of Sunshine For A Rabbit Like Me!

July 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Blogging suffers when I stay still and I vow to make great efforts in the future to improve my frequency and to add a post more than once a month, starting right now!  Perhaps you don’t realize that I have another website, www.insecretdiffusion.com, which does a little bit better, but which I also intend to speed up. My mid-year resolutions!

Just now, I’m suffering from too much light in my life and I can’t see very well, so tend not to write as much. These days, I simply  can’t escape from the relentless New Mexican summer sunshine because I’m still housesitting within this lovely, modern, window-filled, Santa Fe house. At the moment, I’m wearing polarized sunglasses inside and out; and wishing for a non-existent, darkened room to work and sleep in. A shady place to live in.

I’ve always been a bit light-sensitive and recent opthalmological appointments have now exaggerated that, making me long for the frequent rainy days that are hitting this State uncharacteristically this summer. I had cataract-removal surgery on my right eye ten days ago and will have the left eye done next month. In the process, I sought to learn the cause of my crossing left eye – Strabismus – with the hope that during the next operation, they could simply tighten up my loosened muscle.

However, an hour’s drive to Albuquerque to see a specialist revealed that I’m a strange duck indeed! Dr. Chan had never seen anything like me. There’s no common medical description and she intends to consult with a famous Boston specialist, her mentor, to see if anything is known about such eyes as mine. I should have expected this, as every eye doctor I have asked, at home or abroad, has simply shaken their head in puzzlement.

As best I can understand from Dr. Chan’s description: both of my eyes see 20/20 and the cataract-removal will improve even that. But, when I track my eyeballs to either side (you know, follow the Popsicle stick to the extreme in the eye test) then,  my eyeballs disappear into my skull farther than they ever should. I don’t think they should, at all, and don’t for most humans, but mine do. The left more than the right. This is, apparently, unheard of. In addition, these billiard balls of mine do a little twist as well. Weird!

I tend to see double, although my brain sorts it out pretty well and I can drive just fine. Though if I’m tired, I’ll wear an eye patch. However, that’s another reason that I’m ready to leave the United States again. One can’t survive without a car here; but I never need one in any of the countries I travel to. It’s time for me to stop driving, especially in a spot where the sunshine is so relentlessly penetrating. New Mexico is blessed with it all year-round and these short pinion pines are not very shady. Where, oh where, is a shady land with my name on it? Guess that’s to be the theme of my new world-embracing search!

I think the light-sensitivity might be temporary as I’m adjusting to the absence of my cataracts. Hope so! And, like I say, the sight is great out of one eye at a time, but not always together.  I catch myself squinting a lot. There are many cross-eyed people in the world. I wonder why this doesn’t fall into that category? Do they have surgeries to fix that? I didn’t ask. But, fortunately, I don’t look cross-eyed, or really any different than usual. Only me and my eye-doctor know for sure.

When I got home that day, I reported this surprising news to my neighbor, Barbara, who had a profound interpretation!

“Well, you must be a rabbit then! They can swivel their eyes to see behind so predators can’t sneak up on them!”

Well, there it is! That’s why I can skim along, alone, all over the world and nothing bad ever happens to me!

I think I’ll keep this unique skill after all!

 

This Is A Long, Hard Marathon…. But, I’m Winning!

June 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s been almost a month since I last posted a photo-blog on any subject and that’s a long time for me to be silent. But, the story in the previous post continues and I’ve been very busy scrubbing and polishing. At the same time, I’ve gained new devoted friends here in Santa Fe; have made some progress on designing my new Reality TV show; am continuing to work on my 4th book; and have been working overtime on an enormous amount of housework to whip this property into shape and get it sold.

Charley Davis, mentioned in the previous post, is responsible for the great success in this project. Within less than four weeks, we have reduced this family’s  unwanted possessions to almost nothing!!! Sorted and sold most of them … what they didn’t take to California… in a big two-day estate sale; and donated heaps of food, clothing and yard-sale leftovers to Salvation Army. We pulled in over $5000 for the homeowners.

Andy Ault, of Keller-Williams Real Estate in Santa Fe, has just put this most unusual home on the  market for $620.000, considered by locals to be an absolute steal for over three beautiful acres and 6000 square feet (some of that income-producing rental apartments), a three-car garage and a huge yurt for meetings or activities. We had our first showing two days after he put the sign out in front!  

Things have settled down immensely, as the family flew in Wednesday night, loaded the Budget Rental truck with their stuff on Thursday, and took off with the three dogs on Friday morning. They are now hoisting the heavy stuff up the three flights of stairs to their brand-new apartment.  Better them, than me; but they tell me their dogs are “lovin’ it!” The green park riverwalk is right across the street.  Meanwhile, I have only one self-sufficient cat to look after.

Catfish Willie, a big, loveable Manx

Catfish Willie, a big, loveable Manx

Much quieter!

Now, here are some pictures taken just today:

Extra meeting or activities and professional room.

Extra meeting or activities and professional room.

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Patio, visible through kitchen window

Patio, visible through kitchen window

Former garage, turned studio, workroom family room, children's play area, extra office.

Former garage, turned studio, workroom, family room, children’s play area, extra office.

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The house is loaded with real oak trim

The house is loaded with real oak trim

Luxury Home In Santa Fe, N.M. Comes With a Yurt!

May 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

This was taken in winter before the flowers bloomed

This was taken in winter before the flowers bloomed

If you’ve been following my adventures for the past few months, you know that I have been house and pet-sitting for my friends, George and Jo, whom I met in Montevideo, Uruguay, who live here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Every month has brought a new surprise. I’ve often done house and pet-sitting in Brazil, South Africa, and Albuquerque, but this assignment has been the biggest of all….. and  it’s getting bigger all the time. In early February, I took on three dogs, one cat, and a ninety-three-year-old granny, Marian, to look after while my friends went to California for work. One month into my three-month assignment, Marian died in her sleep.  I wrote about her illness and death a few blogs back, describing the hard work  of that period as equivalent to running six marathons in forty-eight days.

Well now, I’m involved in running my seventh marathon of the year! I’m  helping my friends to move permanently to California where employment demands them to live for at least two more years. So, they’re putting this house up for sale, leaving me to prepare it for real estate showings and to either sell, or get rid of, everything that they haven’t already boxed up during their last visit home. In a few weeks, they’ll return to truck the pets and their possessions to a new apartment in Sacramento.

Well, I’ve managed to get to this advanced age without ever having to even organize a yard sale, let alone, empty a house and stage it for real estate viewing. This is a new twist on the concept of house-sitting! Plus, I’m a stranger in the area and don’t know any of the resources, contacts, and consignment shops used by those who suddenly downsize drastically. Help! However, George has absolute faith in my ability to do this job flawlessly. All by myself!

Enter, a brilliant solution….. thanks to a new piece of my wardrobe, bought on a whim at my recent Writing Retreat at a Yoga Center called Body, in Santa Fe. By the way, my new book manuscript (my fourth book now) passed the stringent review that Tom Bird gives it during his all-important Soul Read; and it is now moving on through the production process. It should be published by September. But, back to the weird story of how my new pants saved my skin on this house-sitting assignment.

I’ve suddenly become an unexpected member of “THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS” and my new trousers  have saved everything! Now what does that have to do with selling this house? Strange and amazing things occur when you spend $120 on a pair of absolutely divine and stylish, flair-legged, black, pin-striped, swishy pants and then wear them around town with your black cowgirl boots. Women give you compliments! Every time I wear them, total strangers tell me how great they look, and, one day, a lady wanted me to come into a consignment shop and show her friend. Once inside, a gal named Charley Davis also got into the pants conversation and I learned that she runs a business to help people pack  up their stuff and move across country.

Bingo! Did I ever have a job for her!

Luckily, George and Jo were still in town and they hired her to do a professional job for them. So, we are now heavily-involved in doing this work together – cleaning, culling, planning a yard sale for next weekend; and rearranging their furniture for photographs and for staging. Today’s photos below will show you how that’s going!

Bright, sunny dining room. Soon the hollyhocks will show through the window.

Bright, sunny dining room. Soon the hollyhocks will show through the windows.

Now, what does this have to do with a yurt? In addition to a three-car garage, this property has a most beautiful and enormous yurt, used for meetings and dancing. It’s only a few steps up the hill but surrounded by forest privacy. So, if you’re looking for a large three-bedroom, two-bath house, with inside office space, and two occupied, income-producing, rental units;  as well as a detached place to set up an art or hobby studio or hold gatherings, such as yoga classes, study groups, or many sorts of professional activities……as well as lots of parking….. then look no further.

Come to the “City Different,” Santa Fe, New Mexico! This house is  slightly out in the country, in the bedroom community of Eldorado, where views of rolling hills, forests and mountains stretch forever. But, it takes only fifteen minutes to drive to the lovely Santa Fe downtown plaza. It’s a very, very, very quiet location. And the stars shine brightly at night with no city lights to interfere.

Price is available on request from Realtor, Andy Ault, of Keller Williams Realty, 505-946-2144 or [email protected]

Stay tuned for pictures of the yurt in my next post. AND, of my famous traveling pants! Tell all  your friends! This beauty won’t last long! BTW, Santa Fe is the clean-air capital of the world!

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The other end of the large living room.This other end of the large living room has a balcony on the left overlooking two private adobe walled gardens. .

IMG_6524The in-home office space has a panoramic view of pinion-covered, low, lovely, rolling mountains; plus Santa Fe’s bright blue sky.

A semi-circular bedroom looks out upon forest. Could  also be a den.

A semi-circular bedroom looks out upon forest. Could also be a den.

Bedroom or Den

Bedroom or Den

 

My Mission Statement: “To Write Large Upon The World!” While Traveling Solo

May 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

                               TO WRITE LARGE UPON THE WORLD

My DNA comes from a long line of Tall Ship Captains! My great-grandfather, Henry Hilgrove Hollis, was captain of The Harvest Queen, out of Baileys Bay, Bermuda. My father, Russell Dickinson, set out in his twenties to sail around the world aboard the famous (to yachtsmen) little schooner, The Cimba. See The Saga of Cimba, Amazon.com. I’ve written a movie script about his dangerous voyage home aboard the derelict four-masted schooner, The Seth Parker.  The script is named The Insatiable Sea.

Although I’ve never sailed, I have circled this globe twice, slowly, alone. And now, I feel the drumbeat quickening, to set out once again for a third go-round. I still have latitude to do a little planning, but my time in the United States is slowly winding down.

It’s quite uncanny the way this change announces itself. Most likely, it’s the DNA talking, because maps come out; dreams are revisited and considered possible; timeframes become examined in a way that’s slightly more pertinent than just last week: “Would my book release benefit or suffer if I left sometime in September?” The balancing act goes on until the perfect date is chosen. Something inside relaxes!

                             TO MAKE FOOTPRINTS OUT OF WORDS

Because my Bermudian great-grandparents kept long love letters sailing between Bailey’s Bay, Bermuda and his four-masted, merchant vessel, The Harvest Queen, in  ports all over the world; and because I transcribed those seven-hundred, hard-to-read letters and donated them to the Bermuda Archives, I learned the value of sharing words written from the heart. That thirty-year experience taught me to write my thoughts and to hope that someone in the future will value them.

TO STRETCH MY BOUNDARIES TO INFINITY  & NEVER FEAR ANYTHING

Solo world travel keeps a person young because you’re only going to do it when you feel young! So far, so good! And, it’s exhilarating to realize how little of the “Stuff of Life” one really needs. But, also to prove to myself and anyone else who might be watching, the truth of:

             “SUFFICIENT TO THE DAY, ARE THE MEANS THEREOF!”

No matter how far I send myself, I do not exhaust that constant umbrella of promise. What a delight now, to test that Truth, yet again and again! Tapping the universal force of The Granny, combined with the innocence of “The Class of ’55,” I expect to bop around the world, continually finding new friends and wonderful adventures.

My Newest Book, “Millennial Springtime: Love In The Vast Lane”

March 31, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

At last, my fourth book is in its final months of preparation and I look forward to having it in hand before this Spring, 2015, is over. That would be very appropriate, since my book’s title is the title of this blog posting: “Millennial Springtime: Love In The Vast Lane.”  Rather than merely a few months in our calendar year, this title refers to the first quarter of a thousand-year millennium, or a full 250 years.  We are now so early in that vast time period, that we don’t even think in those terms yet. I’m hoping to examine the brand-new, long-term cycle which we’ve entered without even noticing it.

As I described in my last post, I experienced the very productive Tom Bird’s Writer’s Retreat in Sedona, Arizona, last week, where some very personal material about my Spiritual Awakening in the form of Hearing Voices all came spilling out. This as a How It Feels To Go Crazy But Know You’re Not! kind of a revelation.  How can one qualify for a diagnosis of Schizophrenia in 1980…. and probably still today? Just confess that you hear Voices in your head! My Voices began in 1980 when my kids were in high school; and I didn’t want to let them down, so I managed to turn off the noisy brain chatter through the use of Sony Walkman tape players. All was quiet for fifteen years.

Then, they came back, speaking again in my head, in 1995, when I no longer had a family at home, and I stayed with them. I have learned a great deal through my happy conversations with the Upper Realm since then and have published the results in my second  book: “In Secret Diffusion: The Upper Realm Answers Questions About Earth” and through an ongoing website/blogsite  www.insecretdiffusion.com where I solicit cosmic questions from the public. Then, interview The Holy Spirit for the answers.

My new book is a collection of many of these blog posts, written over a four-year period. The material I wrote in the Arizona Writing Retreat rounds it out by explaining how and why  My Voices began and the life story behind that. A lot of the material centers upon this Millennial Rollover period and why there were such public expectations about what it meant to mankind. Remember how concerned everyone was, back then, in the decades before the year 2000? Some religions claimed the end of the world and some scientists worried that the lights would go out because of the Y2k bug.

And then, nothing happened!  Apparently, anyway.

So, nobody talks about it any more. At all! Like a highly-anticipated party that nobody attended, after all. Well, my new book does talk about it and I make some highly original statements and conduct some very pertinent interviews with The Holy Spirit on the subject of this New Millennium and what it means to mankind. And the new things that are possible because of it.

One of which is that many people, all over the world, are hearing Voices and are organizing themselves to compare notes. There is a Hearing Voices Network, which I just learned about and intend to join. More about that soon. As I explain in this new book, God is now freely trying to initiate this conversational exchange with humankind. It’s not easy to break through to us. We become afraid. We get lost in the negative band that circles this planet and think that we’re going crazy. We don’t realize that God will literally “answer” our prayers and we are not sure whether we should talk to Whoever that is, in there, calling us by name. So much confusion these days. The medical profession doesn’t help in this instance. I believe that this is a new minority emerging from the closet and I hope to help all I can. This book shall address these issues.

The Vast Lane awaits when your inner hearing channels open up!

So, please hold your breath and wait just a little longer and Millennial Springtime  will be yours for the ordering!

An Explosive Writing Experience!

March 27, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Calling all authors….Present or Future! If you have a book in you, crying to get out, then you need to give Tom Bird’s Writing and Publishing Techniques a try! http://tombird.com/

It’s almost Other-Worldly, in that your Left Brain is told to take a hike, while your poor, neglected creative genius of a Right Brain is finally given freedom to have a field day, expressing what is really in your heart. And what you write under the luxurious conditions of a Writer’s Retreat will really surprise you! Guaranteed!

No, this is not chemically-induced! You can replicate these writing conditions at home, once you learn how. There’s deep breathing in the right position; there’s music with benevolent subliminal suggestion, and there is permission to let your flying fingers on keyboard or unlined paper, run free and easy without judgement or caution of your dictatorial Left Brain.

While you’re “In the Zone” you hardly know what this epistle is turning out to be. You can write for hours at a time. Later, you’ll read and outline what your Author Within decided to tell the world. It may not be, at all, what you expected. In fact, it’s better to go into this with no expectations, at all, as to what topic to write about.

This past weekend, March 19-22, I met with about forty brave souls, in person, and a batch of other writers,  located all over the world, attending remotely, the Tom Bird Writer’s Retreat in Sedona, Arizona. Many of these  remote attendees worked throughout their own nights, since they were on the opposite side of the globe. Now, that takes real desire to become a published author!

I had attended a sample presentation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, this January. Since I’d then been poking along on writing my fourth book for a whole year, I was particularly intrigued by Tom’s claim that I could “Write a book in a weekend!” What? My three other books didn’t come out that quickly! Is this the “fast food” of the publishing industry?

What kind of valuable work could emerge from my poor brain at the speed of light? Don’t our tomes need to be mulled and researched and worried to death (ie: left-brained) in order to qualify for consideration in the world’s Opinion Market? In a word…. No! Throughout history, literary geniuses have flash-written their best works. Those poured out as fast as the pen could fly. Wouldn’t I like that to happen to me, too? In a word….. Yes!

And it did! Tom’s method is a combination of Brain Science and Divination, honed over three decades of helping authors get off the pot and into publication. He is a Seer and makes no bones about that. But, as a Professor of the Craft of Writing, he lets his students discover their own truths by giving them the right conditions and the correct small and personal questions to get the floodgates open. Then, he circulates among us as we scribble words coming through our fingertips. He must be studying our aura or our energy intensity fingerprint, but he seems to know a good deal about what is going on inside. He softly drops occasional comments pertinent to what we happen to be writing.

The book that wanted me to write it wasn’t the one I wished to see upon my plate. I had hoped to be surprised by a stunning piece of fiction, pouring its irresistible story upon the page. But, the matter flowing from my fingers would require me to tell a secret that I didn’t want to reveal. Tears flowed and I struggled.

My writing output slowed. Every fifteen minutes, an alarm goes off and we must count our word output. This Left Brain crumb, apparently, keeps it happy. In the January Santa Fe Workshop, my writing speed was very fast. Now, with my secret grabbing the mental doorjamb, my words were slow and agonized. Tom noticed this and gave encouragement: “This is the most important book you will ever write!”

I know it was, because it was about my Inner Voices; telling how They started and the life difficulties that
They caused. The secret had to do with Something that I’d been told by the first Big, Loud, Inner Voice I’d ever heard. I had never told anyone about it and never intended to. Now, it was pushing to get out! It did get out, with the help of a consultation with a Counsellor standing by.

But, you’ll have to read my resulting book to learn just what it was and why I wouldn’t talk about it!

By the way, we all went home with a completed manuscript… nowhere near ready to publish. There’s a great deal of work to do under the guidance of Tom and his staff. But, the skeleton is complete and each book is fresh and inspired. And for those of us accepted into his Publishing House, we will not be struggling alone.

I Have Run Six Marathons in Forty-Eight Days

March 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Instead of the classical definition of a Marathon….sweaty bodies, running uphill for 26 miles….. let’s consider a type of hard slogging, unusual effort made by the less athletic members of society. This Hidden Marathon consists of dogmatic, muscular, pain and suffering which can last a few hours or a few weeks. It might be self-imposed and very beneficial; or more likely, it will be totally unexpected, and will benefit someone else. All you can do, in either case, is to hang on and continue with the very best that you can give it, until something comes to a conclusion. This kind of Marathon does resolve fairly quickly.

But, six Marathons in six weeks and a few days? That’s a stretch for even me, who is used to running at full tilt. Here’s the rundown:

1. On February 6th, I moved into my friends’ house in Santa Fe, to housesit three months for their large and beautiful house, three dogs, 1 Manx cat, and 93-year-old Granny Marian. All were in apparently fairly good health, though some needed meds and lots of attention. But, the first two weeks of any house/pet-sit present a steep learning curve, so I was too busy to notice that it was a Marathon. Tiring, but doable.

2. Marian had a fall and hurt her back; then another, a week later. It was a very busy week tending to her and walking the dogs along what I later learned was an expanded route along these lovely dirt roads. Once a dog knows your schedule, they won’t let you change it. Four walks a day suddenly became the norm! That was a six-day Marathon.

3. Marian called 911 for herself, though I didn’t think she needed emergency care. I guess she did, as she was in the hospital over the weekend and then, came home on Monday and died in her sleep Tuesday night. Another six-day hard run.

4. The house was full of family and law enforcement all day Wednesday when I discovered that she had passed away. Her son and daughter-in-law live half-an-hour away and they came quickly, as did other family members. Sheriffs and medical examiners investigated her unattended death. Her body was donated to science at the University of New Mexico, so there was no funeral or memorial service. Two days later, my friends returned from California to take care of all the official business, to give away furniture and possessions, and to initiate repairs and renovations prior to putting this house on the market, now that they are no longer necessary to her care. I loved having them here but it was a very busy time and counts as another Marathon.

5. Now this next one was fun and very valuable to me: the only Marathon that I had planned to run, long before I even knew that I’d be housesitting. It was the Tom Bird Writer’s Retreat in Sedona, Arizona, a virtual bootcamp of intensive writing and instruction for eight hours a day over a four-day weekend. Family members filled in at the house while I was away. My Marathon included two six-hour hard drives to and fro.

6. This most recent Marathon started when I returned home at 10 p.m. Sunday after a long, hard drive back from Arizona. My daughter’s family, from Golden, Colorado, were due to spend two nights with me on their way to a Spring Break holiday in Tucson, Arizona. They pulled in at midnight and I had a joyful reunion with Jennifer and Kevin and my teenaged grandchildren, Riley and Molly. We visited till the wee hours and finally turned in very late. But, here’s the story of how that period became another Marathon, simply because of a dog’s torn dewclaw:

WHEN THE CURE BECAME THE CURSE!

The Astrologers have sure been right about 2015 being a time of great changes, endings and beginnings. This was wildly true to March’s Marathon tendencies this year. I heard another starting gun at midnight Sunday night. After my tiring drive home from an already exhausting Writer’s Conference, I discovered that Venti, the big Boxer/Sharpei mix dog, had injured her leg during my weekend away and was now licking it compulsively. The dewclaw is the little vestigial thumb that dogs have on their inside ankle and hers had ripped half off and was now protruding painfully. Imagine your own thumbnail torn half off, causing excruciating pain with its every flopping movement.

My family arriving at midnight were very sympathetic, but what could we do to help so late at night? The next morning, Venti was not doing well and continued to lick and nibble at the injured area, so I called her owner, Jo, who advised bandaging it so she wouldn’t harm it further. Daughter, Jennifer, wrapped the ankle with  rubber gauze and adhesive tape; and thinking the matter solved, we all went off to Santa Fe for sightseeing and errands.

Though the Writer’s Conference had been exhausting, I looked forward to getting back to work on my newest book manuscript as I am now accepted into an exclusive training program. Tom Bird will use our group to perfect a future writing course worth thousands and we get to study free, though the material will be demanding. So, I planned to rest a bit and pick up my pen tomorrow morning when my loved ones continued their vacation.

But, with the Dewclaw Drumbeat swirling around my head, I haven’t even been online to find out if I’ve already missed an assignment. I hope and pray that we’ve all been given the opportunity to breathe for a moment after returning home. I guess I’m “hanging on by a toenail” until I can get back on my computer to find out.

However, upon returning home from a touristy afternoon, we discovered that Venti’s paw was worse. She could hardly put any weight on it and the fault lay in that bandage we’d applied. She had worried the injured toe out from under the gauze but her foot had swollen. The tape was too thick to cut through and we backed off with this gentle giant’s warning growl. I had been badly bitten on my last dogsitting assignment and didn’t want the same to happen to me or mine. So, Venti would have to make it through the night, though we called California and agreed upon a trip to the vet’s in the morning.

My little family delayed their departure to help me get this sixty-eight pound, vet-phobic, gunshy patient to the veterinary office. It took all five of us all morning to achieve that task. I truly could not have managed it on my own. The four of them have chronic, serious problems in getting out the door for any activity; so getting ready for a normal takeoff was exacerbated by our multi-pet indulgence and sympathy. By the time we got her into  the car, Venti’s tranquilizers were wearing off and, by now, she was really hobbling on that strangulated foot.

Venti and admirers

Venti and admirers

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The vet hardly paid attention to the dewclaw. It would heal itself! However, the bandage did require emergency attention. That rubbery gauze was now acting like a rubber band. Hopefully, she would regain full use of her foot. He sounded quite serious. There was one saving grace, in that her routine shots were due today just in their normal rotation, so he was glad I had brought her in. I would never attempted manhandling this nervous Nellie by myself, simply for shots.

Venti has Dewclaw PTSD, quite obviously. She had hurt that toe before, in a most spectacular way! A few years ago, George was bathing her in their fancy bathtub, when that nail got in the tub’s jacuzzi jet. Her struggles to free herself resulted in a sudden jet stream of water, shooting upwards towards the ceiling! Now, this is a very jumpy, old-lady pooch! She panics at a sudden sound, even under normal conditions. Any quick movement has her scurrying from the room in fear. Imagine being bathed in a glass-enclosed tub when the geyser grabs her toe and then shoots her with a stinging stream of water!

Well, it probably all came crashing down in memory when that same appendage erupted in such agony this weekend. And, you can’t run away from your own foot, now can you? All you can do is lick and lick and try to bite it off! Let’s hope that she gets to keep her foot after all that well-meaning human intervention.

Oh, and get this! In my haste to help her out of the car back at home, the driver’s door slammed shut, locking both my keys and the dog in the hot car. If there hadn’t been a spare car key in the house, I’d be engaged in Marathon # 7 by this time, trying to get the poor baby outathere!

I sure hope the Astrologists foresee a calm and boring April!

I Lost My Way In Eldorado…….

February 10, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

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Whenever I take on a new housesitting position, there’s a fairly steep learning curve to master all at once. About a week ago, my dear friends and fellow part-time expats to Montevideo, Uruguay, learned that they needed to spend three months in Sacramento, California, for work. Luckily, I was available (and experienced at house and pet-sitting) to shift over here from my Santa Fe apartment. Friday, we moved my suitcases in and continued my crash course in all the details of their large home, four pets, and mother-in-law, Marion, 93. It was a more complete briefing than I usually get; with introductions to standing-by friends; and plenty of written instructions.IMG_6364

This included drives to the tiny downtown center of Eldorado, bedroom community to Santa Fe, and introductions to the pet shop owners and others whom I might well be dealing with.  Also, the fifteen-minute haul along I-25 to Santa Fe’s three exits. This is pinion pine country, with low, rolling hills and adobe architecture; lovely and quite anonymous as to outstanding features. The sun in its blue sky is scintillating, to say the least. One must wear hat and sunglasses to mitigate the glare. Heck, I even wear that in this east-facing kitchen to prepare breakfast, as my eyes were raised in cloudy Florida

Okay, all this is stage-setting for my hilarious opportunity to have a learning curve at the expense of my charges. I’d been on my own all weekend and things went very well. Sure, I kept locking myself out of the house; but I knew where the hidden key was. Sure, the three dogs were trying to teach the newbie that they were owed all sorts of treats for every single pee break. That’s called “Pay To Pee,” in my book. But, Monday arrived uneventfully and I had errands to run in town right after lunch.

I managed well in Jo’s unfamiliar car and got headed in the right direction on the main highway; then noticed that the hood was wobbling in the wind. Uh-oh! I probably should have pulled over, but didn’t until my first scheduled stop at Walmart. Yep, It wasn’t seated tightly till I pushed it shut. Whew! My luck held  navigating to every destination on my list. Previously, I’d only walked a few of the central streets. Santa Fe, “The City Different,” is bigger than it looks and, as I may have said in an earlier blog, is reputed to have been designed by a drunk, riding a donkey….backwards.IMG_6367

It’s the oldest city in America (maybe in competition with St. Augustine?) and the streets were once footpaths, winding around folk’s cabins and barns. Plus, I’ve yet to see a very exact map to get things fixed in my memory. Nonetheless, I clipped along to P.O. and grocery, and finally, to my apartment for another load of possessions. It was rush hour when I headed to the highway in the late afternoon slanting sun. IMG_6371

Wow, those road signs are hard to read against the light. Consequently, I added eight miles to my drive by heading towards Albuquerque, the wrong direction. Finally, turned around, I found the exit for Eldorado and then realized that I had no mortal idea of how to find the house! I’d been a passenger for several arrivals; I knew the street address, but was bereft of that small detail. No problemo! I’ll ask at the corner gas station. Drew a blank with the young fellow manning the place, though he did confirm I’d found the town.

Soon, I was in the upscale Agora Shopping Center, with still no clue of where my dirt road to the house was. No problemo! I see a flag-strewn building nearby. I need a policeman right about now. Oh, a Fire Station? Good! I need a Rescue, right about now …. the pets need feeding at 5 and Marion will surely be worried. These guys will steer me right! What? They’re closed? Do they only open in the event of a fire? Oh no! It was 5:05 p.m., on a weekday. Just past closing time!

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 On to Plan B! The very modern Agora Supermarket and its manager, Joel Lino, my savior! He not only took time to find maps, look up names in phone books to confirm my memory of the address, BUT, he arranged to leave the store for a few minutes, get in his car and LEAD ME THERE!!! Just before darkness fell. That would have really cooked my goose as night falls like a velvet curtain in New Mexico! Give this guy a medal for a rescue!

While we were bumping into dead ends, before he figured out the street, I did consider one desperate measure: IMG_6377

There was this sign in the liquor department. Luckily, I didn’t have to resort to shoplifting, just to get somebody to tell me where home is! Praise be to Joel, who was willing to go way out of his way for a lost stranger! Not only for me, but one Manx Cat, three hungry dogs, and one worried mother-in-law, about to call her daughter and son-in-law in California to come find me.

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