Mr. Bernie and I are quite lucky when it comes to car troubles, we really don’t have them often. This month has been extra special and seems to be making up for all the years of being trouble-free. At the beginning of the month we had a screw in our tire and Mr. Bernie limped the car over to a tire place. A traded bunch of money we don’t have, for a set of new tires. We thought that would be it for the month or year. We were wrong.
Last night we stopped at the local grocery store to pick up some cat food for the cats. We ran in the store, did our shopping and were all ready to go home. Boy, were we surprised when the car wouldn’t start. I was hoping it was a glitch. Mr. Bernie tried and nothing. Well that is a lie, the radio and other things came on, just not our car. Mr. Bernie said quite a few naughty words, many rhyming with the word truck. What were we going to do? We don’t live in town, so we didn’t want to call someone out to drive us home. Mr. Bernie is good at math and figured to walk to two miles home it would take about 40 minutes. I don’t know how long it would take, he is the math guy. So we gathered stuff out of the car and with Mr. Bernie clutching our plastic grocery bag, we were off. I had my lovely fuzzy and hooker looking black purse. If ever there was a day I wished I carried a normal purse, that was the day. There are no sidewalks out here, none. That is such a bonus when one has to walk somewhere.
We had just left the parking lot of the store and talking about what we were going to do. Were we going to call and have it towed? I started fiddling with my phone to find a tow truck. I didn’t want to have to pay extra for a tow at night. Suddenly, a car pulls over. A rough-looking guy and equally rough-looking gal stopped to offer us a ride. I didn’t want to take the ride. Mr. Bernie was all for it. I hesitated and Mr. Bernie climbed in the back of the car first. The Mr. has really long legs, so it was amusing to watch him try to get in the back seat. The inside of the car reeked. The car had been partied in and alcohol had been spilled. Bonus! Who needs an air fresher of pine when your car can stink of booze? I was clutching the side of the car and gauging at how I could get out of the car if need be. I was clutching Mr. Bernie’s hand like a drowning woman. We explained where we needed to go and we were off. The guy kept playing the radio louder and louder, which made me nervous. Then the guy showed us the knob of the car radio and told us how he had to fix it for his mom. Well isn’t that special? The woman hardly said a word. At one point the radio was blaring and the driver started to roll up the windows, I started to have a mini panic attack! I know he is rolling up the windows and turning up the music so nobody can hear us scream. I just know it. Oh, my God, were going to die!!!! We had them drop us off in the church parking lot across the road from our house. I gave them $5.00′s for gas and thanked them. The woman asked me to pray for Henry. I was so fascinated with her missing teeth and how black the other 4 teeth were that I didn’t ask who Henry was. However, I did assure her that we would pray for him. The guy told Mr. Bernie his name and told him to be sure to pick him up if we saw him walking. Mr. Bernie assured him that we would. We were so thankful for the ride. I was thankful not to be taken to the woods and killed.
The Mr. frantically started to put a tire on the old farm truck we have. It’s needed a tire for a while now. Today seemed as good of a day as any to fix it. He also called a mechanic to see if we could have our car towed to their shop. The truck has not been fired up forever! It belched black smoke and sounded loud and scary. I’m sure the neighbors were thrilled that Mr. Bernie had a reed holding the gas pedal down to clear it out.
He looked in his manual as to what could be causing the car to not turn over. Sometimes if you hit the starter on the car, it will start. We were going to try that. Fun!! We hoped into the truck and putt-putted down the road to our car. We were going on an adventure. When we reached the car, Mr. Bernie tried to start it. The same thing happened. Then Mr. Bernie got some tools out of his tool box and went to work. He added some wire to the coil of the battery because he didn’t like how loose it was. Then he handed me and itty bitty channel locking tool. (No, I didn’t know that name before asking him. It looked like a baby wrench) I said to him, “What in the hell is this?” He looked crestfallen and said, “I thought you would say Oh, for cute.” Any other time I might have. While he went back and forth for tools I told Mr Bernie, “Standing around watching a guy fix a car is not nearly as fun as it was when I was younger. I think being in a heated garage and being in my 20′s made it more sexy and fun. Being in your 40′s standing in an IGA parking lot, the whole process looses its charm and sexiness factor.” He had a hard time finding the starter, so he just started hitting things. I asked him if he was just hitting stuff in hopes of hitting the starter. Mr. Bernie assured me that he knew what he was doing. Well alrighty then, I still think it looked like he was hitting random stuff. We tried the car again and VROOMMMMMMM it started!!
I guess he did know what he was hitting.
I was honored to participate in World Book Night. World Book Night is a program that gives away thousands of free books on April 23, every year. You sign up at the World Book Night site and if you are picked, 20 books are sent to your local book store or library for you to pick up and distribute, at no cost to the giver. This was my first year and I had no clue as to what to expect. I was able to give away most of my copies of David Sedaris’ book, “Me Talk Pretty One Day” I set up at my local coffee shop, Rock Creek Roasters. Who doesn’t like coffee and books? I had my table set up with a sign, bookmarks, info about World Book Night and of course books. My friend, Trish, stopped by to keep me company. I gave out quite a few books, but these two stories really touched me and I wanted to share.
There was a gentleman sitting across from my table, who keep looking at the books and looking away. This went on for quite sometime. Finally, I walked over to him with a copy of the book and the info about WBN. I told him why I had the books and asked if he wanted one. His eyes lit up and he said to me, “I like Shakespeare.” That caught me off guard. I explained to him that today was Shakespeare’s birthday. He was just tickled by that. Then he reached into his backpack and showed me his dog eared copy of Shakespeare plays. He flipped open the pages and told me that ” I can’t read it so good because the print is small. My eyes are getting old and are not what they used to be.” I asked which story his favorite and he told me Hamlet. When he thumbed through the book I gave him, his eyes lit up. “I can see the words in this book. Nice big letters!!” He was very thankful. I’m going to be looking for a large print edition of Hamlet and will leave it at the coffee shop for him. I found out later that he is homeless and lives by the river.
A while later, my friend, Joel pointed out a couple of gentlemen outside. He suggested that I go meet their adorable golden retriever puppies. It was slow in the coffee shop, so why not? I’m always up to meeting new puppies. I’m so very glad that I did. Those two men made my day. In the short visit I had with them, I was more moved than I have been in quite a long time. I told them that Joel suggested I stop out to meet their fur kids. Their eyes lit up and they introduced me to their girls. The men were older, wearing flannel shirts, they had beards and blue eyes that just twinkled when they talked. I liked them from the word go!
I started talking to R. about the pups and the plans they had for the pups. Dog training so both men are disabled and they don’t need a dog to knock them down. Then R. started to tell me about how he was disabled. There was a mix up with some medication for him at the hospital and it caused him to have several strokes. The Doctors didn’t catch the mistake until he was already damaged. He is not bitter about it nor is he going to sue. As he said, “It is what it is.” He missed being able to do bead and wire work, he can’t do that with his hands anymore. As we talked his hands would leave his lap and just hover in the air for a bit and he worked to put them back on his lap. I explained about WBN and asked if the two of them would want a book. He replied, “Well ,I don’t read so good but M. can read.” He asked about which book I was giving out. He got excited when he realized that he knew of the author from NPR radio. M. was busy visiting with some other folks about the pups. R. was going to tell him to stop in and see me and get a book.
When M. was done visiting outside, he came into the coffee shop. He told me that R. told him to come in and talk to me about books. What he told me next just blew me away. I could have been done giving out books after talking to him. He explained that, “R. can’t read because of his dyslexia and he didn’t finish his schooling. I like to read him stories so that way he can enjoy them too.” Awwwww. I asked him how long he and R. had been together. He told me 36 years!! That is longer than most heterosexual marriages. They meet when R. was 16 and M. was 25. M. told me that he is an artist and he used to draw pictures of R. even before he met him. That when they finally met it really caught him off guard! It wasn’t all hearts and flowers but it has been a good life. They used to follow the negro’s to pick apples up north and they follow them back to Florida for the winter picking. They also got mixed up with a group of hobo’s and enjoyed that. As they got older they needed a place of their own. Hence they are now in Montana with their own home by the river. They both finally qualified for Social Security and M. gets a small check for being a Veteran. They live a simple life and have no desire to sue the hospital for what happened to R. He mentioned Karma and not messing with the Universe and things like that. All the while he was talking, his blue eyes were twinkling. He thanked me for the book and told me the he would see me again.
The interaction with those three men made my day and touched me quite a bit. I was touched that R and M shared their story with me.
Give away a book and who knows what you can get back in return. I got to meet some amazing men that touched me.
Many of you know that when we adopted our dog, Katie, we started fostering for Rez Dog Rescue. My friend, Sheri, runs the group and I have wanted to interview her for my t.v. show for a while. Since my little local show for The Museum of Women’s History is about interesting women, I begged Sheri to agree to let me interview her. She is smart and funny, but not a big fan of being in the limelight. I reminded her that my show is on the same channel that broadcasts school-board meetings and city council meetings. It’s not as if it a national show. I was thrilled when she said, “yes.” Mind you it wasn’t enthusiastic or excited. More like “ok, you wore me down, I’ll do an interview.” I was just so happy she agreed I didn’t really care how she said yes, just that she did.
Friday was our day to do the deed. I sent her the questionnaire to fill out and the release form. She picked me up at work and thrust that those papers at me the minute I got in the car. She was not really excited about this. She also had a c.d. her ex-husband made for her of pictures of dogs she has rescued. That was going to run in the back ground while we were talking. Neither of us had bothered to check the c.d. before giving it to the program guy. We sat in our chairs and I explained how this whole process would work. Telling her not to look at the cameras but to look at me. We were just going to chat for a bit. Behind us the pictures started running and suddenly we both shrieked in shock! They were pictures taken at one of her birthday parties, towards the end of the night. They were not dog pictures for sure. We were laughing so hard it was hard not to cry. Thankfully, the guy in charge of my show was able to delete those from the rotation. I was just hoping that he had not posted some of the stupid pictures we had taken after long rides to the rez. They are not flattering at all.
We get counted down that its time to start. I started to get a bit nervous. I have never interviewed someone I’m close to. I know all the answers, so it was odd to ask her stuff I already knew, but my audience didn’t know and that was who we were taping for. I introduced myself and welcomed Sheri to the show. She said, “Thank you, Bernie” so solemn and serious, I almost started laughing right there. Our friends were wondering how we would get thought something like this without it having to be edited. My show is one take and 28 minutes. Whatever was said was going to air. I got some of her back ground and that went well. I could see her eyes twinkling, so I was just waiting for something silly to happen. I would have loved to have been as obnoxious as we normally can be. However, for the purpose of the show we had to be normal. Everything is clipping along nicely. Nobody has said a swear word or anything inappropriate. We were doing great! Then she just couldn’t stand behaving anymore. I asked her: “Where did you get the idea to send puppy bags home with new adopters?” She looked at me serious as a heart attack and said, “God told me” Then said, “I don’t know where I got the idea.” I about flew across the table at her to choke her. I couldn’t laugh. I must have just stared at her for a second or two and we kept going. The rest of the interview went off without a hitch. I think we were both glad it was done.
Then it was off to run errands all over town before our pedicle appointment at Golden Nail. Sheri gave me a gift certificate to get my tootsies done for my birthday. We decided to go together and see what trouble we could get into. The guy who owns the salon is funny and from Minnesota. What more could you want. When we sat down I couldn’t help but stare at him and finally blurt out, “You look like my nephew, Trey!” He stared at me for a beat or two and said, “You do realize that I’m Asian, right?” Which made me laugh like a mental patient. I explained that my nephew was adopted from South Korea, as was his sister, Jade. I think he thought I might have needed glasses. We had a lot of laughs getting our feet done. The folks doing our pedis were quite funny as well. When it was time to leave, we had to put our toes under a light to seal the polish. Sheri tried to convince me that I needed to hike my leg up high to put dry them under the hand nail light. I told her there was no way I could hike my fat thigh up that high. On her first visit there, she did that as a joke. She is more limber than I.
We shuffled out with those cheap thong shoes that break if you look at them. It was time to get an oil change and as soon as Sheri got out of the SUV, her thong broke. She shuffled into the oil change place with half a shoe. I was laughing pretty hard. We sat down to wait and quickly got bored. So we found a Highlights for Children magazine and kept ourselves entertained. The first was a search and find game. She did much better than me. I was looking for actual objects and they were really only outlines. She gave me a hard time about the magazine being too hard for me to read. Then she read me a story in her best story-teller voice. There was a gal in the waiting room who kept looking at us funny and texting on her phone. Lord only knows what she was saying. Finally, she could stand it no more and had to look at the Highlights magazine as well. We still had time to kill so I stapled Sheri’s flip-flop back together. I’m a helper bee. You can’t be married to an
Engineer and not have some of that ingenuity rub off. When it was time to pay I quizzed the guy at the counter about different items they had for sale. One was a cabin filter. I didn’t believe Sheri when she told me it was for a cabin.
Finally, it was time for dinner at Golden Phoenix Chinese buffet. We shuffled into the restaurant with our pedi flip-flops on. Sheri’s held together by a staple. We gorged ourselves and were ready to call it a night. As we got ready to leave, we realized that both of our flip-flops had blown out! Yes, we are classy with a capital K, thank you for noticing. We had to shuffle hop out of the restaurant with partial shoes. That is why we can’t have nice things. We don’t take care of them. All in all a Golden day!!!
Ohhhhh and Ahhhhhhhh Which of these items would please you the most?
In the day I’m sure they were lovely gifts and on every wife’s dream list.
How excited would you be to get a new iron as a gift?
I can think of 30 other ways to “Please a lady” and a toaster isn’t it!
This image is used with permission from Casey Page, a wonderful photographer with the Billings Gazette.
She was digging around in the archives and shared some fun old ads she found.
There are a couple more I will be sharing over the next couple weeks.
It’s been a while since I have posted our adventures on the reservation. Yesterday was a day to “write home about.” Our plan was simple, have a dog put to sleep, bury her and not get caught, pick up 12 dogs/puppies that had been spayed and neutered that day. Just a simple routine run. Many of our friend’s know that nothing is simple and routine when Sheri and I get together. WARNING: This is a longer than normal post.
Sheri and I had to run a dog to the vet to be put down. She had not recovered from a long illness. She was wasting away and couldn’t stand. It hurt our hearts to see how far downhill she had gone. Sheri carried her into the vet and laid her on the table and the she was given a shot that would allow her to go to sleep and stop any pain she may have been in. This made the 21st dog that had to be put down and I know it hit Sheri hard. After she passed, Sheri wrapped her up in a blanket and brought her to her vehicle. Then we drove to a peaceful spot where Sheri had buried the rest of this Momma dog’s family. Sheri grabbed her shovel and I kept a lookout in case anyone was coming. If they did, I was to honk the horn, that wouldn’t be obvious in any way. She buried the Momma had a moment with the grave and came back to the vehicle. That part of our trip was done. Sheri changed clothes out behind the vehicle, all that was left to do was spray a ton of Lysol in the truck. I only gagged on the fumes a couple of times.
It was time to check on the puppy in the back of the SUV. He was going to a new home and was along for the ride. Sheri had put heavy blankets around his carrier so nothing could get into it. When we went to check on the puppy, he was going to a new home, he had pooed in his carrier. Yum! That was a special little surprise. We cleaned that up and headed to our next stop to drop the little guy off to his new folks. So we loaded up and headed off to our next stop, which was a gas station. Panda’s new folks drove three hours from Wyoming to pick him up. It was easier to meet them off the freeway, so they could just hop back on the freeway to head back home.
When we do these runs to Hardin and the reservation, I always like to stop for a corn dog. It’s Sheri’s fault, she is the one who got me started on that little addiction. I waddled up to the counter and told the gal I wanted 4 plain corn dogs. Not the chili ones, not the jalapeno ones, but plain corn dogs. The little gal rang me up, ran to the case and told me they only had 2 regular corn dogs. Only 2?? I inquired as to how long it would take to make 2 more. I was told 12 minutes, so I had her make us two more. Sheri and I at our corn dogs while we waited for the other 2. We discovered that when the corn dogs are fresh, they are much more crunchy and tasty than the “God only knows how long they have been around ones.” Who knew?
We ran to an abandoned trailer to try to pick up the rest of a litter of puppies Sheri had found last week. We have been there before and the kids are not nice to the Momma dog at all. They hit her with sticks and yell at her. She had picked up some of the puppies and wanted to see if the others would come out. We parked and Sheri dumped out a big bag of food for all the adult dogs milling around. It’s so sad to see how they dive for that food, they don’t know when they might eat again. She put some food near where the puppies were hiding to see if they could come out. We did catch one of them and as I brought it to the truck, my foot sank in a big puddle next to the truck.Sheri ended up in another puddle which got her foot all wet. Are we having fun yet?
Our next stop was to drop off some food to a sweet old Indian woman who feeds the dogs in her area, we drop off food for her so she can feed the stray dogs. She told Sheri about some dogs that needed homes. They came from a home she had picked up other dogs from. So we took off in a flash to get them. It was dark and Sheri thought she knew where she was going. When she was going to go up a one way, we realized we had to regroup and change directions to find the place. We got there and a dog was chained in the front yard barking to beat the band. Sheri went up to the door and told them who she was and who sent her. They brought out an ugly, mangy bat looking dog, we think it’s a chiwennie. They also gave us a solid black pup, about 4 months old. He is a lab, pit, border collie mix. Where were we going to put these little darlings? Why in the front seat with me of course! The crates in the back were for the puppies we had to pick up at the vet. The back seat was for the adult dogs who were fixed. Why not have these guys in the front with me? It was that or strap them to the roof. They were both very, very busy! Wanting to shift gears for Sheri, climbing all over. While bat dog was moving around I screamed because I realized he was not fixed and I was touching his balls. Yea!! They both smelled to high heaven and have scabs all over. They would move around, I was grab them, Sheri would drive, they would try to help to drive……..you get the idea.
The little puppy we picked up under the trailer had to be dropped off at our foster home in Hardin. Sheri wormed him, gave him his first round of shots and his kennel cough vaccine. The fosters already had his brothers, so it was a family reunion of sorts. Time to pick up all our puppies who had been fixed and bring them back to Billings. All the while trying to keep our two new travelers on my side of the SUV. It was quite entertaining to watch. Not as entertaining to participate in.
At the vets place we got the bill for the fixing and for a puppy to have her leg amputated. We swallowed hard and started loading up dogs. That went quicker and better than I anticipated. With everyone loaded up, Sheri holding the new amputee in her lap we were off. The two new pick ups were still busy and one even helped Sheri by putting her truck in 4 wheel drive, which meant we had to stop on the middle of a road for a minute to fix that. The black puppy, now known as Biff, decided he would snap at Eileen on Sheri’s lap. The bat dog finally fell asleep and Biff did for a short while as well. Only 5 more stops to go, we were on a roll!
One set of fixed puppies are being fostered by Tere, she lives about an hour from Billings. We met her off the interstate so she could take her foster pups back home until Saturday. (We were having so many meetings off the interstate it almost felt illegal) While we were waiting for Tere, Sheri took Elieen outside for a bit and I stayed inside with the hell hounds. Bat dog decided to walk over the top of Sheri’s keys in between the seats and suddenly the alarm on her SUV was going off! It freaked me out and I paused for a minute. Sheri came flying up to me, yelling to get the key. I already had the key in the ignition and was hitting buttons. Sheri is yelling, I’m trying to keep the dogs off my lap and finally I find the right button. Silence. I hop out of the SUV and Sheri yells, “Don’t shut the door! All my keys are in there!” I had no intention of shutting it, just enough to keep the dogs in. Sheri and Tere start loading up pups. Someone stops to ask us about the dogs and we are ready to go to our next stop. We were still bickering back and forth as we pulled away. Tere was just laughing.
Billings Animal Rescue Kare was our next stop. We work hand in hand with them. Sandy, the director, was more than willing to take in the ugly bat dog. Errrr, adorable little darling. When we arrived we had her look at Biff as well, we wanted to make sure he didn’t have the bad kind of mange. She gave us both a big hug and had vases of flowers for both of us. She told us how sorry she was about our having to put down Momma dog. The flowers almost made me cry, but I was too tired and we still had a few more stops to make. It was the highlight of our night, the kindness of the flowers in sympathy for putting down Momma dog.
It was time to drop off Elieen, our amputee, and we started sniffing the air. Biff had pooped in his crate and it stunk to high heaven. We were driving around with the windows down just laughing about how awful it smelled. That was a great way to cap off the night. We dropped the pup off at a ,new to us foster. She is a sweet gal and didn’t say a word about how bad the truck smelled. While we were gathering stuff for the pup, Sheri realized our flowers had fallen over and gotten things wet. Her bag of shots had fallen open and we had to find those. Time to head to our next destination.
We arrived at Rnita and Doug’s with their set of puppies. Our windows were open so we could breathe a little easier. Biff was in the back screaming. I had to pee. We had to bring the pups into their foster home. We brought puppies in, I peed, the paperwork was wet from the flowers. All in all a successful drop off.
Time to had the Holiday Inn to drop off a poster for a fun play and benefit, The Prince Theater is having a play tonight and for the next several weekends. Some of the ticket sales will go towards Billings Animal Rescue Kare and they will have donation jars out for the other rescues in the area. Sheri’s ex-husband made us a great sign. We had to drive around until we found the right door. Dropped it off and time to head to my house.
All we could do was laugh about the smell, with me grumbling about our new foster pup. We arrived at home and Mr. Bernie let Patch come out to greet us and meet the new stinky puppy. Sheri gave him his shots and he found a rawhide and settled in for a while. Biff stinks and has mange but that will all be fixed in a short while.
I was ready for a long hot shower and bed.
Poor Sheri still had 3 more stops to go that night.
Just a typical night for Rez Dog Rescue.
One of the things I miss by living in Montana are birthday parties with girlfriends. Roy does he best every year to do something special for me. However, the girl in me wants to have a party with a group of friends. That is something that has not been possible since I have moved to Montana. Jenny decided if she was going to fly me home for my birthday, by God I was going to have a party too. She sent messages to my girlfriends inviting them to one of my favorite restaurants on my birthday. I told her that if anyone asked if they needed to bring a gift, tell them no. I didn’t need gifts, having everyone come out to celebrate my birthday was gift enough.
The plan was to meet at 6pm at one of my favorite restaurants for dinner. A lovely unexpected surprise was extra people at the party. An old friend, who I have not seen in years, read about the party on Facebook. She told another friend that she would like to go, the more the merrier! I’m so glad she did that. With something like this, you don’t want to invite people you haven’t talked to in years, but if they want to go, Yea!! I was just giddy at having a my friends all in the same spot to get caught up. It would have been present enough.
After visiting for a bit, I was told to open my gifts. I have to say that every present was unique and thoughtful. Usually on your birthday, there is the odd unique gift, on this birthday they were all unique and so very thoughtful. Everyone found things that were so unusual and fun, yet very me! I received lovely pendent of the Ariel Lift bridge, on a long chain. I can never find necklaces long enough.. I had never seen anything like it. Another friend, brought me an unusual painting done by otters! Now that is something I had never heard of before. She thought that since I enjoy animals so much, I would enjoy a picture done by an animal. You have never heard of otters painting? Go read this: “Outsider Painting” Its a pretty cool process. Another friend brought me a beautiful necklace of St. Bernadette, the Saint I’m named after. Another friend brought me an adorable pin of Noah’s Ark, the earrings are in the pin and a necklace. It turns into a little trinket box when I’m not wearing it. Another friend gave me an Amazon gift card, which is perfect because I wanted to download some new music to my Kindle before I go home.
Facebook is a funny thing. Many of us have not actually talked to each other in quite a while. However, we are all good Facebook stalkers, which allowed us to not have awkward silences during dinner. Many of the conversations started out with, “I saw on Facebook…” It was great because we could ask more about things we saw. It gave us all a good jumping off point. Which the exception of Michele and Tammi, all of those girls have been friends since Elementary School or Junior High. To get them all together in one place was a blessing all of its own. It was nice to get caught up and see what is going on with everyone.
Finally, it was time for cupcakes!! Michele ordered cupcakes from my wedding baker, so of course they were amazing. Red Velvet, Chocolate Heath Bar Crunch, Spiced Pear/Chocolate and Pink Champagne. They all had little glitter sprinkled on the top. When they started to sing Happy Birthday to me, the whole restaurant joined in! That was embarrassing, but in a good way. When it came to the part to sing my name in the song, some guy yelled, “Thank you” That cracked us all up.
It was time for people to start trickling out to go head home. I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face. All these very different women came out in the cold to celebrate my birthday. It was almost as if time stood still for a minute and I was a girl again. I almost expected my Mom to come out from someplace and tell me it was time for bed.
I felt so blessed and honored to call these women my friends.