All posts for the month October, 2016

The Best Dog I Ever Found on The Road

Published October 26, 2016 by mindfulofchatter


Today is the day to say good-bye. Today is the day to wrap an old friend in a soft blanket and lay him to rest under a huge walnut tree.

Today I said good-bye to GusMonster.

GusMonster came to me via a rural road in Minnesota. While driving my son to school one morning, we saw a dog in the distance. Coming closer, we saw it was a puppy. My son got out, and got the puppy to come to him. The bright red ball of fur climbed into the van and promptly curled up on my son’s swim towel and went to sleep.

Gus 6 months

Gus spent that day at a grooming shop. He got a bath and some food. The groomer told me he was very hungry, and she had kindly fed him several of her sample packets of food.

Once home, Gus got to meet the rest of the pack. He got on fine with everyone. I called the local radio station and they announced the lost puppy over the air. Flyers were made and posted all around the area. No one had lost a puppy.

We decided to keep Gus. His big feet earned him the Monster part of his name. He had bright, coppery red fur, white socks with freckles and green eyes. He was a really pretty puppy. There was pit bull in there somewhere. It showed in the shape of his head, and in his then square body. The rest was a mystery.

The vet came to vaccinate the horses. He gave Gus a once over and deemed him healthy and to be about 6 months old. Gus took that news and almost instantly began losing his baby teeth as if it were a cue.

As with all puppies there were trials. Gus peed in the basement rather than outside, when he got loose he gleefully ran all over the property, not bothering to come when called.  He had no clue about walking on a leash. He didn’t sit, stay, or lie down. As he got older, his eyes changed from green to gold. His manners improved.


Gus hunted squirrels. He seemed to think that was his purpose. He got good at it, too. After that, he learned how to hunt raccoons. Later he was taught to hunt pheasants. Well, not really hunt the pheasants. What Gus learned that when Arty or Rocky were on point, there was a bird there somewhere. Gus’ job was to flush that bird for the hunter. More than once, Gus proudly trotted to the door holding a pheasant in his mouth. We shared the pheasant with the dogs. After all, they worked for it too.


Gus guarded his family. He played, he ran, he hunted. He stayed with me through so many bad times I can no longer count them. He accepted other dogs in our lives without issue. He never once offered to bite or growl at a human. He never chased the horses, but he’d follow the tractor as if he’d been doing it his entire life. He kept a look out, watched repairmen carefully and slept on the floor with his head on my foot while I watched TV.


I will never find another dog like Gus.

As the years passed, GusMonster’s muzzle got whiter. His freckles faded. His socks blurred as he grew more and more white hair. He moved a little slower. He coat became rougher. He got thinner and the arthritis in his back took its toll. But he still kept watch. He still slept with his head on my foot while I watched TV.

And today, after 15 years together, we parted. Gus was let go to run again. He was met at the Rainbow Bridge by his old hunting companions. They are running, playing and catching up the years they have been apart.


Play on, GusMonster. You deserve it.







Facebook. Why Are you there?

Published October 25, 2016 by mindfulofchatter



I recently made the decision to leave Facebook. I mean LEAVE.

I didn’t deactivate my account. I deleted it.

I had posted that I was going to take hiatus from the ol’ FB. I wasn’t planning on leaving at that time. Just stepping away and getting my head back together. I needed a break from all the hate that is now spewed every minute of every day.

I had said plainly, ‘I am taking a hiatus for Facebook. If you would to like to stay in touch, please PM for my e-mail and/or phone number.’ This, to me seemed like a simple thing to do. Some people have my e-mail already, some my telephone number, a few have both. I wasn’t expecting a full inbox.

What I got was two people asking for contact info, and several making rather odd, almost mean, comments.

It was the comments that made me just leave. Why be so unkind? Why be so mean? Do you even think before you type that crap? And I see that all over FB. Sure, it’s easy when no one can see you to type some nasty comment, call someone names or bully that poor kid at your school (note: you are a total butthole if you bully anyone). But you don’t have to do that. I once typed a comment about a comment and got raked over the coals because I was ‘judging her life’. I wasn’t judging her life. I never even MENTIONED her life. Only her comment. But that was lost on her completely. Even after I pointed that out to her.

The people I got on FB for, all those years ago, are rarely on. My kids rarely use FB for anything (I guess I did something right).  I can text, or ring, them.  My close friends already have my contact info. While it was fun to re-connect with some old high school friends, we still never talk. Before I made my exit, I had disconnected from several people who never, ever actually talked. All they ever did was post cat photos or something similar. Why be on FB if you aren’t going to actually talk to anyone?

So I have to ask. Why are YOU on Facebook?

Do you get your news there? Because if that’s your news source, you are in trouble. Are you there to keep in touch with your friends? If so, are you actually keeping in touch, or just posting cat photos? Family? Really? You can’t just call your own family?

I’m not here to say leave Facebook. I am here to say:

Think before you post. Don’t be a douche when you post. Don’t spew hate because you disagree. Don’t bully anyone. Don’t name call.

Be compassionate. Be upbeat. Agree to disagree – nicely. Remember what you say to another human effects them. So be a good effect, not a bad one. As my mom would have said ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.’

I find it sad, the state of Facebook, really. It was supposed be a fun place to share photos, events and to keep in touch. It has turned into a place for spewing hate, name calling and bullying.

And I want no part of that.

An Update on The GusMonster

Published October 22, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

Gus 14 years

Gus and I are facing the ever shortening road. His days are winding down. We are not far from the Rainbow Bridge.

Gus is doing okay. Not great. His good days are getting to be fewer. His bad days are becoming more common.

His coat is rougher to the touch. His thirst now varies day to day from normal to extreme. There is a sometimes a touch of blood in his urine. He has painful days. I see how much he hurts some days just getting up and walking. His balance is iffy most of the time now. I make sure I at the stairs to ‘help’ him (he intensely dislikes any help). He is beginning to throw up once in while. And he is coughing more often. Every so often he looks lost, as if he forgot why he got up.

I know things are not going to get better. This is not going to pass.

Gus is headed towards the Rainbow Bridge.

Rocky, Spenser, Tuff, Sydney; all will be there to meet him. Tails will wag and chases will begin. Gus will shed this dying body and be happy and healthy once again.

I don’t want him to go, but I can’t wait for him to be free once more.


When Staying at a Hotel…

Published October 17, 2016 by mindfulofchatter



One of my new jobs is at a local hotel in the housekeeping department. I have been a hotel housekeeper before, a long, long time ago. The job of a hotel housekeeper, or maid, is the prepare the rooms for the next guest, and refresh the rooms of the people who are staying longer than one night.

Many people do not realize how hard that work is. The bed linens are heavy to carry. There are sometimes up to 14 bathrooms to clean in one day, per maid. Some of those 14 rooms have more than one bed that needs stripped and remade. We dust, we vacuum, we pick up the trash left behind, clean out the fridges and change out all the towels. If you think it’s easy, please, be my guest and try for one day. After your 2 day recovery period, let me know how you’re feeling.

So I want to say a few things to those of you who travel and stay at hotels, and to those you who chaperon bands, drill teams and the like on road trips.

Stop being pigs. Stop being disgusting humans.

My job is hard enough without you trashing a room. I don’t need to spend 20 minutes, or more,  picking up the trash you’ve left all over the room. I don’t need to have to search to find all the towels you’ve stuffed behind the furniture. I don’t need to pick up all your nasty dishes, fast food wrappers, half full coffee cups and endless kleenex. Nor do I need to crawl on the floor fishing your crap out from under the bed. There are trash cans in every room. Use them.

Have an accident? Did your dog or toddler take a dump on the bed? Call the front desk and ask for help. The desk is there 24/7. I don’t need to find the bed and all the sheets full of shit. Or the towels. The nice dude, or dudette, at the front desk can get you some plastic bags and help you get it cleaned up before it becomes a mess with a life of its own. And you can have a clean bed to sleep in as well.

For those you who think that by trashing a room I am keeping my job. Stop being so stupid. I HAVE a job. My job is the clean that room for the next guest. You acting like a disgusting pig and trashing the room only makes my job harder, and makes my day longer. You being a disgusting pig, impacts everyone’s day. From mine to the other maids to the laundry people. Thing only you’ve really accomplished is make us all more tired, and show us what horrible, nasty human you are. We are not impressed.

So be thoughtful. Put your damn trash in the trash cans. Need a bigger bag? Ask at the front desk. They will gladly give you a large trash bag or several more small ones.

What to help a little?

Pile all the used towels together in one place, preferably the bathroom. Toss all the used soap and shampoo in the trash can. Make sure the toilet has been flushed. No one likes that surprise.

Put all of your trash in a trash can or trash bag. Empty out any half bottles, cans or cups, and toss them in there as well.

Want to really help?

Strip your bed. Put the sheets and pillow cases in a pile, the bedspread and blanket in another pile.

Mostly, think about someone besides yourself. Don’t be a pig. Don’t make a huge mess just because you can. Don’t think you are helping people keep their jobs, because you aren’t. It’s just you being disgusting.

If you are chaperoning a band, drill team, debate team, or whatever; check on your kids. Don’t let them trash a room either. I don’t care that you aren’t their parent, you agreed to be responsible for them on this trip, so be flippin’ responsible! Stick your head in their rooms and make them pick up after themselves. At check out, do the same thing. Don’t let them zip out and leave a trashed room behind. There is no need for them to learn to be a disgusting human so early in life. Stop it before it becomes a habit.

Mostly, just be polite. Pick up after yourself. Call the front desk if something goes awry. Above all, enjoy your stay.

We really do love having you come to visit.






Questionable New Employment

Published October 14, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

I recently landed a seasonal job at one of those pop-up Halloween stores. The job is fun, but the hours are few and the pay is tiny. I have been looking for a regular job for a while, so this seasonal job is a good fill in. A little money is better than no money.

That little seasonal job was ready to promote me to a manager position for the rest of the season when I got a call from a housekeeping job I had applied for a while back. Whomever she has hired hadn’t worked out, so I was on deck for try out. It is part-time, but it pay a little better than the seasonal job. When going back to my seasonal manager, we realized I can work both jobs by working evenings at the pop-up shop. I won’t be a manager, but I’ll have a wee bit extra coming in for a little while.

But my first day at the new housekeeping job was a trial in itself.

The day was going okay until the end. There were extra rooms to clean. They were sort of divided up between all the maids. The lady I was training with was told she could go home (there was good reason behind that), and I was told to go help make the beds in the one remaining room.

Now, understand, this is my very first day. I don’t know where anything is, what procedures are, or much of anything else for that matter. I wasn’t even told where the schedule was.

The room was trashed. One of the beds was full of poop. Yes, you read that right – poop. Apparently the bathroom had poop all over the place as well. Thankfully, I wasn’t cleaning the bathroom. One gal cleaned the nasty bathroom, I stripped the beds and remade them, another gal emptied the trash, picked up all the trash on the floor, and cleaned the furniture. I was asked to vacuum.

And they all left and went home while I was vacuuming.

I was left alone on my first day of work. All alone. All the managers had gone home as well. There was no one around to help me with whatever would have happened next. I only knew to come in again this morning, because I saw the schedule by accident. So I signed out and left. If anything was done wrong, too bad.

I was supposed to come back with a paper I had forgotten at home, but that manager was gone as well. No one had said anything to me. She never told me she was leaving and to bring it so-and-so. So I didn’t go back. She will get that paper this morning.

There wasn’t very good communication (rather an understatement). This was a horrible experience for any new employee. I am not sure this is a company I want to work for, but I HAVE to work here until I find something else.

And all of this is complicated by the lack of money and the way the paychecks are falling. I can not pay my bills at this point. I may lose everything before the money actually gets to me. I have things for sale, but no one is buying. I have a dying dog who needs certain care, and how do I provide that care now?

I have a job. In fact I have two jobs. And my world is still collapsing.



‘Tis The Time For Halloween! And Seasonal Employment.

Published October 5, 2016 by mindfulofchatter



October it here. Where I live it was ushered in riding on rain and overcast skies. This is a nice break from the heat we have had of late. The leaves are beginning their change. I see sweaters and boots making their early fall appearances. I often need a light sweater in the morning.

Gus is still chugging along. I can see some decline here and there. I know that time is running away from us., but we are still here, still together, still wishing Artemis knew what personal space is (Artemis is my second dog. She grew up with Gus, often sitting on his head, his back, his haunches. She has no clue about personal space). I changed his diet a bit and his appetite has improved.

I have snagged a seasonal job. This means I have to make changes in Gus’ day to day routine. I am no longer here to let him out every two hours. So now I have to plan to triple pad him and make sure his bladder is empty when I leave for work. I have asked for 4 – 6 hour shifts, explaining to my manager the situation. My manager is a marvelous, understanding young man. He has scheduled me for 8 hour shifts with an hour for lunch so I can come home and take care of Gus. I repay that kindness by working harder.

The job is a retail gig at a pop-up Halloween shop. Pop-up stores are so named because they pop-up for the season only, then are gone as fast as they arrived. I am on the floor helping people find their costume, accessories, and make-up. My theatre past has already made me the go to person for make-up and costume ideas. I stock, keep aisles clear and put back things that have wandered to the wrong section.. My organizational skills have also been noticed, and I am often asked to re-display a wall of items to make more sense and have a better presentation.

I hurt from head to toe, though that is passing as my body gets accustomed to the new found exercise routine. My feet are not liking all the walking, but they t00 are getting the hang of it. And I bought a little tub to soak them in when I get home. I must be kind to my feet. My managers are great people. So far, most of my co-workers are good to work with. Overall I am enjoying it.

I won’t make much because they don’t pay much. Surprisingly though, they pay a little better than some of the permanent jobs here. It is part time as well, so again – I won’t make much. I am hoping it will cover my living expenses for October so my only worry will be November. One worry at a time, eh?

I have applied at the post office for seasonal work there as well. I am worried about the hours there. They begin between 2 and 5 A.M.. That will be a struggle for me. I am no night owl, and I find sleeping during the day very difficult.

I won’t know for a while if I even have that post office job, so until then I will just worry about tomorrow.