Coffee heat rising

From Bad to Worse…

Okay, so…This gets better and better.

What we have here is a dog that’s been pounding on Death’s door for the past two weeks. Pee pads all over the floors, because she’s only marginally continent.

So there’s the underlayment of “bad.”

Moving on toward “worse”:

Vet decides the dog has Valley fever: puts her on a drug that nearly kills her. I take her off the drug, but continue with an antihistamine-con-prednisone, which seems to soothe her some. She improves.

Vet remains convinced that the problem is Valley fever, even though we have no empirical evidence to prove it. He wants to see her at 8:30 Sunday morning. I have to be at choir at 10 a.m., and it’s a half-hour each way to the vet’s office.

Saturday we have a half-day choir shindig. During the five-hour absence this engenders, the dog pees and craps all over the family room. The pee pads worked…but…hell.

No, I can’t leave the dog outside in 100-degree heat. And now it’s raining: no, I can’t leave the dog outside in the rain.

Dog is better, but far from dancing on the top shelf. I learn to bribe her to eat by doping her food with baby food. This works, within limits. She still is obviously pretty sick. Is she on the mend? Maybe. Or…is she just showing the salutary effect (highly temporary) of the antihistamine/corticosteroid combo?

Haven’t gotten any writing done: missed the whole week’s worth of posts at P&S Press.

Sunday morning my son shows up to drop off his dog — the dog that can not ride in a car without having a nervous breakdown — so that he can drive to Colorado to visit his 104-year-old grandmother. He appears as I’m trying to bolt down breakfast before I have to leave for the vet, hoping that if I can just get fed and get my makeup on and my hair up, maybe I’ll be able to race direct from here to the church and get there in time for the 10 a.m. rehearsal.

In the ensuing chaos, of course, I get neither painted nor combed.

Off to the vet, who is kind despite little-womaning me and who suggests I bring her back on Tuesday for a full-body ultrasound scan, which he will deliver gratis. I don’t feel I can turn this down despite my nagging suspicion that this is a device to pull me into still MORE fabulously expensive treatment on this poor old dog, whose time would be about here even if she did not have some as-yet-undiagnosed ailment.

Fly home, drop the dog in the house, paint my face, slap up my hair, and fly out the garage. Turn the corner and…my hair falls down. Park the car and struggle until I get it back on top of my head — have NO idea what it looks like except that it undoubtedly is not good. Shoot into the choir room right at 10 a.m.

Sit through a long, VERY high-church service. You’ve heard Episcopalians are a dime short of Catholic? That’s wrong. We leave Catholic in the dust.

Okay. It was a very beautiful, very affecting, and amazingly wonderful service and I wish we could do those all the time. Our musicians leave everyone of any persuasion, religious or otherwise, in the dust. 🙂

Drive to AJs, buy enough tomatoes and stuff to cook up some pasta for lunch. Having had it, buy a four-pack of Guiness. So much for that damn wagon!

Race home. Pick up the soggy doggy pee mats. Clean up the dog mound that by now has glued itself to the floor so that I have to soak it loose by covering it with a paper towel saturated in Simple Green and letting it sit.

Fix a pretty damn good lunch/dinner. Consume two of the beers. Feel richly justified in doing so.

Fail to get much else done yesterday.

Rain starts to fall. Charley, who’s not too bright. likes to stand in it and then track in fresh mud. In the middle of the night, he goes out through the dog door and forgets how to get back in. I have to roll out of the sack, track him down through the downpour, and coax him back into the house.

Today: Wake up, as usual, around 4 a.m. AC is pounding away. I think I hear the motor shut off upstairs, but…the fan keeps running.

And running. And running. And running…. WTF?

Get up, stumble down the hall, and try to figure out the hated Nest contraption. Finally ascertain that even with the unit shut off, the fan continues to run. Nothing that I do will shut off the effing fan.

Get on the phone to the Nest people; reach a tech in Idaho. Nice thing about Google is they make their people work 24/7. Great place to work, eh?

With him directing my sticky little fingers, I fiddle around and fiddle around and FIDDLE around. I want my Honeywell old-fashioned mercury-driven no goddamn digital crap REAL THERMOSTAT back. Nothing works. I draw the line when he asks me to go out in the rain (it’s pouring), shut off the breaker switches, and fool with the wiring in the thermostat. I say I’m calling my AC guy. He resists — they do NOT want other techs fooling with their equipment. I say I am not fiddling with the wiring in this thing. He says if I’ll let him know when the guy gets here, he’ll get on the phone with him and coach him. And if we do that, they will cover the cost of the service call. I do not say I have a service contract, which may or may not cover this antic.

I get off the phone with this guy, having failed in every way to shut off the fan, along about 5:40. At ten til 7, the fan finally shuts off on its own.

No wonder, I think, noooo wonder my AC bills have been so high: the damn thing has been sucking hot air into the house whilst trying to cool the interior air 20 degrees below the ambient temperature,.

At 7 a.m. I reach the AC company. They call back to say one of their guys just walked in the door and they will send him over to work on my fiasco before he starts his full (!!) day of jobs.

I email the Nest/Google guy to let him know, as instructed, that the AC dude is on his way.

Cassie, having been made to choke down a quarter of a blue pill with a chunk of the present pork chow, is unhappy and can’t get through the whole dish of food. I decide to try one of the cans of PD MarvelVet foisted on me. Fake stew.

The stuff stinks to high heaven. Charley and Ruby fly into a BERSERKER ecstasy at the first whiff. Fight my way into the back bedroom, slam the door on Ruby and Charley, set the dish down in front of Cassie.

She sniffs at it tentatively, refuses to get up out of her reclining-Sphinx position. Takes a bite. Stands up and starts scarfing. She inhales the stuff, which leaves the bedroom stinking like an abbatoir.

She now has consumed two full meals, one of home-made dog food and one of made-in-China foodoid. This is good because she’s lost so much weight her spine is sticking up.

Meanwhile, I realize we’re almost out of said home-made food. Good GOD I don’t want to drive back down to the AJ’s in the rain to buy a roll of Freshpet dog food. Fortunately, one package of chicken thighs is left over from last month’s Costco run. Get that out to start defrosting it. I figure starting this evening I’ll spike her regular ration (1/4 pound) of real food with a half a can of commercial food, and in the interim give her a half-bottle at a time of the baby food I bought to lure her into eating her regular food.

Quarter to ten: AC tech shows up. Never did hear anything from Nest’s precincts. Wouldn’t matter anyway: our guy has been trained in the Nest and knows how to fix it. He takes the thing apart and discovers…the wires are wet!

Holy sh!t.

Onto the roof with our guy. He finds the wiring is sun-rotted and a mess, and the low-voltage stuff has worked loose where it enters the attic. He rewires the unit, gets the system to working fine again. Seals up the open-air feature as best he can with a LOT of silicon (it’s supposed to keep raining through Thursday) and says to call a roofer and get him up there to seal that thing up good with tar.

That’ll be two hundred dollah, please!

So much for this month’s budget. Which was overdrawn anyway…

He mentions that they’re looking for an office lady to answer the phones, book calls, and do some light bookkeeping. That would allow me to pay bills like this and even buy an iPhone. I think about it. 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. My favorite hours, actually, for an 8-hour day — I used to work that shift on my first job and loved it, because it left a bunch of time before everyone else got off work to run errands and generally enjoy life.

On the other hand…it’s..{choke gag!} a JOB. Don’t much like the idea of leaving the dogs (possibly singular) alone for 8 hours at a time. And…truth to tell…I don’t wanna work anymore.

Speaking of the which, in the middle of all this my beloved Korean journalist emailed: would I edit an 8,000-word paper that needs to be at the publisher by Friday?

Should I say no, given the madness ongoing?

Did I say no? Not on your life!

On the way out, AC tech leaves the gate hanging open. Ruby somehow slips out the front door and escapes! I do not notice this. The AC guy has to turn around and go back out rather quickly, and when he does so he spots the dog. She bounds over to him and he captures her. That’s a God’s miracle…under normal circumstances that dog would be half-way to Yuma by now.

He is so distracted by the corgi sideshow — as am I — that he forgets to pick up the $200 check I was writing as these antics were under way. He leaves the premises unpaid.

Today I have to try to figure out if a payment I made to renew the New York Review of Books has gone astray and an AMEX charge account number stolen. I paid through bill-pay but, in the glory of its new Web interface, the credit union screwed up and bounced the payment. So I used a renewal form, charged it to the corporate card. I did not have time to drive this piece of paper to the Post Office — normally I would go in person to the PO to mail anything even remotely financial. In a hurry, I decided to take a chance and put it in the outgoing slot in my mailbox.


Day or so later, I notice the mailbox flag is still up. WTF?

Often the mailperson doesn’t even bother to come down our street, especially if the only thing to deliver is trash. So I figure he probably didn’t come by, so I’d better retrieve the thing and carry it to a post box.

Empty. SOMEBODY has picked up the envelope. But if it was the mailindividual, s/he should have pushed the flag down by reflex. We get as much mailbox theft here as we do car break-ins and petty theft from yards, so the natural thing to surmise is that a meth-head ripped it off.

Another day or so later I checked AMEX online. The charge hadn’t gone through, but neither had any unauthorized charges. Today I have to back into that thing and try to figure out whether the drug pushers have got my credit-card number. Shit. I should’ve known better.

Phone rings as I’m sitting here typing this. 800 number. Eff you!

<click> <click>

I really need to get rid of this land line and replace it with an iPhone. But that will require some concentration and a lot of time to learn to use it. And hassle. Lots and lots of hassle.

Thank goodness there are two more beers in the fridge! 😀 If you can’t see the sun through the clouds, do you have to wait till it’s over the yardarm?

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