Hitchhiking House Gecko

My daughter’s teacher calls these native Floridian lizards house geckos. LOL

They are actually anole lizards. Thank you, Carol J, for telling me the right name. 😀

This little guy hitched a ride on my trike platform the other day. Didn’t know he was there ’til I got home. So funny!

 

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Dogs in Strollers Signal the End of Times

Do you suppose that at the height of any advanced civilization, pets were carted around in small chariots and worshipped? And then the civilization collapsed due to economic and political disaster? Egyptians, Romans, Mayans. America?? The sign of the end is animal worship IMO. LOL

I don’t know if it’s Florida, old people or Wal-mart, but the amount of small dogs in strollers is increasing. I just saw two Shih Tzus being walked in a stroller on our street on the way home this morning. I saw a Yorkie in a stroller at Wal-mart last week. North Korea has missile capability. The end is nigh. (Please remind me to never go to Wal-mart ever again. Even if they have the cheapest aprons for high school ceramic students in town.)

Seriously though, why stroll a dog? Isn’t the purpose of walking a dog that the dog actually gets exercise? God have mercy on our confused nation. I mean, I love dogs, but a baby stroller?? Please euthanize your dog if they are unable to walk any more. For God’s sake. If you are offended by this advice, you might be a dog-strolling Wal-mart shopper. Or from Florida.

For years I have openly laughed at neighbors standing in small, sad patches of grass behind their dog, watching said dog poop, relaxed with total apathy except for their anxious blue-gloved hand in permanent claw pose, waiting to scoop said poop. The dog always has a smirk or a smile, “I got this human to pick up my shit for free just because I lick his face when he walks in the door.” Or the dog looks totally strained or confused. “Why do I have to poop in front of everyone??”

Who’s in charge? Someone once famously said, “If aliens came to our planet, they would think dogs were in charge because we are picking up their poop!” Aliens would definitely think dogs are in charge if they saw us carting them around in a baby buggy. Gah!

Flooding in Texas. Increased earthquakes. Global climate change. Start prepping now. Actually it’s probably too late. Watch Red Dawn and buy a bottle of Tequila.

Horsey

Technically, this is a goat. But I’m wearing flannel!


Oh boy! I feel like a 5-y-o again. Next Wednesday, I meet with a woman to discuss her part-time position for a stable hand. It would be taking care of 6 horses one day a week.

I get to meet a horsey!! Yay. Even if they don’t need or want me (I watched a Youtube on mucking a stall! Our horses just went outside wherever they wanted!) I get to wear overalls and touch a horse! Whee!

We had about 10 horses when I was a kid. I loved to brush and feed them. We rode as often as Dad or Mom would allow us. We had saddles, bridles, brushes. I loved the smell of leather and their sweaty, shiny hair.

Some were ponies, so even at the age of 6, I could stand shoulder to shoulder with my horse and hug her around the neck. That’s a great feeling.

Muscular legs, round bellies, tender brains, soulful eyes. We loved to feed them apples, carrots and just pet them. They were a friendly bunch. We even had a foal on St. Patrick’s Day and called her Patty. lol One slobbered on my red felt cowboy hat and turned it green just in that spot. lol

People never assume I know my way around horses, but I do. I’m not frightened, I know how to lead them and the principles of riding. I even worked on a small ranch at 18 during the summer.

This farm girl doesn’t mind getting dirty and dusty. And now, I have the energy to do something like this. At least one day a week. Yee-haw!!


In honor of meeting a horse, here’s my Bradbury-esque 451-word essay, The Ravine. It was inspired by an event from when I was very young and a dog ran one of our horses down. 😦

Only Dogs Like to Eat Alone

My mom told me not to pet the cat or dog when they were eating.

“Why?”

“They don’t like it,” she summed up. “They’re territorial.”

Whatever that meant. I was only 5 or so. Just don’t do it. Got it.

I never really had a pet that I took care of. Our family had dogs and cats of the outside variety. No perfectly-quaffed poodles or sofa Shih Tzus. We had one indoor cat and one indoor dog before I turned 7. But Tiger ran away and Kelly the Collie up and died. The other animals?

We had a stray named Frisky. He was a tan, lean mutt from our country neighborhood. He stayed outside and my parents fed him scraps. He stuck around, occasionally let us pet him and hooked up with another pup. She was a mutt as well with doberman coloring. Black with brown brows and tips. She gave birth to over 27 puppies during her short life and we had an unintentional puppy mill under our porch.

The dogs got sick, some came down with Parvo (or that’s what I was told), some were shot because they teased our horses (One was caught nibbling at a run-down horse, meaning-some dog(s) or coyote had run the horse to death and then one of our dogs gnawed at its carcass. True!), some ran off. And at some point, we no longer had any dogs. I don’t know what happened to all of them. I really don’t.

We lived on a small farm. Dogs were expendable and unconsidered. Just a fact of life. I didn’t start caring for animals until I met my husband’s cats for the first time. I don’t mean to write so callously about these dogs, but I was a child and nobody asked my opinion as to the condition, well-being or healthcare of said animals. I can see now, it was a problem.

However, for their brief life, they ate well. Mom and Dad threw leftovers, scraps, meat, bones, gravy, dog food in their bowl on the hill. Also, there was an all-you-can-eat mouse buffet under the house for our cats; the occasional rabbit for the dogs. I didn’t understand or research the eating habits of domesticated beasts. That was above my paygrade. And in the 80s? No interwebs. Even if there had been, my parents wouldn’t have sprung for the luxury of computer connectivity.


Do you like to eat alone?


When it comes to eating, I get it, dogs and cats are in it to win it. The biggest mouth gets most of the food. And everybody knows it. You better be cool with that or risk a fight over vittles. Big dog on the porch always wins.

But thankfully, people are not territorial. We don’t push each other away from the bowl. We don’t have to eat shoulder-to-shoulder in a trough of slop. We all get our own individual portion of the beautifully-baked pie. But after weight loss surgery, my pie’s a little different.

Fixing dinner for your family after weight loss surgery kinda sucks. Knowing that you can’t enjoy what you’re preparing because you’re nervous about the outcome makes eating not as enjoyable as it once was. Whipping up a dinner or meal for others isn’t much fun if you can’t really taste it.

I try to make healthy meals, but it’s difficult. The flavor can suffer sometimes from a lack of salt or sugar or calories. That’s okay, but it is an unsatisfying task to cook for others and only provide a hot meal, not a delicious one.

I’m learning to accept it, but it’s so ingrained in my sex and culture. I am learning to eat on my own. Not share in indulgences. Eat my own menu. Savor my healthy cooking. Walk away in the middle of dinner. Allow others to prepare their own choices. Find recipes that satisfy taste and health. But it’s a lonely road to walk sometimes. I miss shared meals and food experiences. I miss connecting over food. It was a large part of my life. The biggest. Sad, but true.

Cooking and eating have been my favorite things. Food and taste and savory meals, those are my bedrock of love. My husband agreed to marry me mainly for my ability to bake an authentic Italian lasagna. Ricotta, not cottage cheese. LOL

My meatloaf was once described as crack. Highly addictive. But I can’t make meatloaf like I used to. Secret ingredient: Dale’s Seasoning. Which has twice the amount of sodium found in regular table salt. Two times more sodium than SALT, which is sodium!

Bad, Meatloaf! Bad!

Salt is toxic. Salt lead to my first round of heart failure. Salt is consumed at 2 to 3 times the amount we should have daily. With my surgery, I am eating significantly less of everything, including salt. So I’m able to put back in some of the sodium I reduced over the years. But I don’t want my family to have it either.

How do I love my family without food?

I have to release the burden/blessing of providing food and find my worth as a mother or wife by providing other things. What are those things though?? LOL I am trying to allow my daughter to have some control over food choice and prep. That’s hard, but she’s ready and able. I have to let go of her apron strings because she long ago dropped mine. I can provide her with self-sufficiency and independence. Those things are much more valuable than meatloaf.

My worth is found in another bowl. A water dish of my own. The one with my name on it. And I don’t have to share it with anyone.

I know there’s a balance to strike. I know that. I’m learning. I’m finding that balance. It’s just hard to change your whole lifestyle on a dime. But I am learning to eat like a dog. By myself. From my own special dish of value and worth.