31 October 2023


 It's Halloween today and it's only noon and it's already been a day. (as evidenced by that poorly-constructed sentence)

It's been a week and one day since I had the dog body-slam me.  Guess where I was today?  Yes, the clinic.  


First of all, it was another new doctor because my new doctor wasn't available.  He was like an attractive nerd-like quality yet outdoorsy.  His name was Brooksy.  His full name was Collin Brooksy Hayfen.  Dr. Hayfen.  It felt very Greys Anatomy.

(it's been a busy brain day today so this is going to wander)

Wait, I was excited to tell you about Dr. Outdoorsman that I left out how I ended up there.

I've been wearing a brace for a week.  It helps and it's cumbersome and I realized that I was 100% triggered this morning by this whole process.  It's like 2012 reimagined without the ambulance ride/hospital stay/casts.

Kevin was fussing over the weekend that my knee didn't seem improved. I promised him that I would phone the chiropractor in the morning and if he said "Go to the doctor" then I would do so.  He said "Go to the doctor"  


I made the appointment and only had to wait until this morning.  That's plenty of time to spiral and imagine that I'm going to need surgery (again) and be on bedrest (again).  With added splashes of "AND this wasn't even my fault, Not even My Dog." pouting.


The doctor said to wait and see AND to take prescription Allieve AND to follow-up with an ortho doctor.  Use it but also stay off of it.  Basically everything I've been doing and BONUS: I get to pay for that advice that I was already employing.


Today I learned that "Injury by large dog" is NOT an unusual injury.  The x-ray tech (yes, x-rays) said he gets one about once a month.  That makes this marginally feel less stupid.  

However, I also learned today that the brother has already commented about how no one likes the dog and the dog can't be around the family and that's upsetting.  This is a veiled comment because upon entering their house for family dinner on Sunday, I said "No. Stay. No. You've spent all your chances with me" to the dog. To which, Nephew put the dog in the bedroom because he is my favorite.  

Kevin is fully prepared for the "Your dog is a d*ck and it nearly put my wife in the hospital" confrontation this weekend.  I kinda want to watch with popcorn and a soda.


But Good News: my blood pressure was back to its usually crazy low numbers.  To which, I wondered "Wow, I wonder what happened...what's changed...hmmm...ohhh, dead mom."  (I totally just heard her in my head "Oh SURELY!")


Meanwhile, I'll be working from home and skipping walkies and taking it easy this week.  If you need me, I'll be on the couch.  Oh, and Kevin said again: "Thank god for you working from home."  Yes, Kevin, that is exactly it.  If I weren't HOME I wouldn't have been in this situation in the first place.


Happy Halloween


26 October 2023

Dog Breaking and Entering

 Well, because this year simply cannot get any more dumb, I've hurt my knee.

Actually, no, *I* didn't hurt my knee.  The siblings dog did.  Please update your 2023 list to include:

Injured knee by 60+ lb. boxer dog who broke into my house

The siblings have a boxer and this is the second one they've had.  They're terrible at training their dogs AND it's a boxer.  I described it as "Poorly trained" and was corrected to say "Not trained". It has zero boundaries and I've tried working with her but a dog that isn't made to behave isn't going to change by any small attempts made by me.

Usually the dog is in the house during the workday.  On Monday, I was working in my office and heard the jingle of a collar that wasn't Lucy's.  I got up from my desk and went into the hallway to discover the dog bouncing back and forth because it's always over-joyed to see people.

Wait, you have to know that the first time she did this she peed on our brand new couch.  Proceed.

Lucy was on the people bed, sleeping, and she stayed up there during this ruckus.  Good girl.  I'm body-blocking the dog to get it to go down the hallway, through the living room, and out the door.  All the while, hoping it doesn't pee all over the carpet.  

I was nearly successful when the dog spun and body-slammed into my leg.  The leg that used to have eight screws and two plates holding it together.  Luckily, I was standing next to my chair so I could hold onto it and not fall.  And then just hold onto it until I could regain my composure.  I honestly thought it was broken, again.

It took my breath away and this is when I realized that my phone is on my desk, at the other end of the house.  And the dog is still in the living room.  Holding my breath, I took a few tentative steps to discover Not Broken but Definitely Hurt.  I got the dog out the door, slammed the door, then sat down.  

My knee swelled almost immediately and I sat there debating what to do.  Emergency room? Urgent care? Chiropractor?  I got ice, made a blanket fort on the couch for me and Lucy, and laid down.  After about an hour, it was still painful but obviously not broken.  I could wiggle my toes, bear weight and had mobility, even if it did hurt.

Clearly, I was done working that day too.  

Kevin came home a few hours later and asked what happened.  He was annoyed then more annoyed because he can't just call and say "KEEP YOUR DOG OUT OF OUR HOUSE" because a) there will be drama and 2) it's my father-in-law who is letting the dog out during the day.  Instead he asked about ibuprofen and ice and what I thought I should do.  I told him that I was going to see how it was in the morning then decide.

I couldn't get comfortable during the night, which didn't bode well for the situation.  The next morning, only my knee hurt.  When the dog hit me, I felt a pop in my ankle, leg, knee, and hip.  Now I could feel like my knee was displaced; everything else seemed in working order.  I phoned the chiropractor and got an emergency appointment; after hearing "You were hit by a what?" from the receptionist.

Our friend the chiropractor was incredulous.  He knows the family dynamic and everything that has happened this year.  He agreed that nothing was broken and examined my knee.  "It's very inflamed" he tsked.  He adjusted my ankle and my hip which really needed adjustment, probably the "pop" I heard.  Then did an over-all adjustment and checked my knee again.

He's always honest, which I appreciate.  "It's going to hurt, probably worse tomorrow then hopefully get better.  If by Friday it's not, you can come back OR go get it checked"  This is one of the reasons I like him, he will say "This isn't my area" instead of just having me return again and again.   

I went home after buying a brace and we rested the entire day. It still hurt but it did feel marginally better.  I had to make sure it wasn't a placebo effect though.  Then yesterday, I had a meeting at work so I put on the brace, took some ibuprofen and lots of water, and off I went.  It was at the college, not my office, so lots of walking, including stairs.  I did okay but definitely felt sore.  I made it back home and rinse/repeat: couch-ice-ibuprofen.

Later in the day, I was reading when I heard a scuffle outside on my deck.  Lucy had been laying on her blanket on the deck so I opened the door.  The effing dog is back.  This is where I explain that Lucy is thirty-pounds and eleven years old.  She cannot take a hit from that dog and that's what boxers do.  

I'm trying not to yell because it makes the situation worse. I'm blocking the door, yet trying to keep a small space for Lucy to sneak into the house.  The boxer, circles around her "playing", and slams her. Lucy growled and snipped at her then looked at me with an expression of "Sorry" and "Help" and I'm all GOOD GIRL. Then Lucy dove into the house and I again slammed the door in the dogs face.

I do feel badly because the dog is lonely and badly trained but to quote Kevin "We're not sacrificing our dog to train your dog."  I gave Lucy some CBD and we both took a nap.  At this point, I was able to walk a little without the brace but it felt risky.  Every once in a while, I would feel my kneecap "slip", which hurts a lot. 

Kevin came home last night and I mentioned that the dog was here again.  He immediately phoned his brother and said "The dog was here again today.  It knocked Surely on her ass yesterday and hurt her."  At first my father-in-law denied letting the dog out, LIKE WE DIDN'T KNOW DIFFERENTLY then admitted that he did "But I don't think she went anywhere."  


I think I'm going to be fine.  I don't think I'll need to go to Urgent Care tomorrow.  I will decide later today if I will go to the chiropractor again or just let it heal over the weekend while using the brace.  In fact, I ordered a different one that isn't so cumbersome which will be here today.  I am hoping to be annoyed that I won't need it by the time it arrives.

But I will have lost a week.  A WEEK of productivity because I got body-slammed by a dog.

Oh, and when I say "It broke into the house" I mean:  We have a big deck with gates off of the living room.  During the day, Lucy will lay outside on her blanket for hours.  Sometimes I leave the gate open so she can come and go as she pleases.  If I know the dog is out next door, I lock her gate so she can't get on the deck.

I also leave the screen door and door to the house cracked open so Lucy can come in without needing me. There is a big rock that blocks the door so it only opens about six inches.  Kevin hated this set-up until he was home with her for a week then was all "I understand now" because Lucy wants in/out/in/out/in/out all day long. This is our compromise.  

Also, if you thought "Well, just don't do that anymore" my response is It's my house that I would like to live in freely.  I shouldn't have to worry about a dog breaking into it. They should worry about Not Letting the dog break into it."  So, yes, I've thought about this a lot.

Usually Lucy will come in the house if she sees the dog come over to the house.  However, it appears that the dog has learned to check the gates to get onto the deck.  Also, it seems to do it quietly so it's in the house before I know it. That's what I mean when I say "Broke into the house"

So yeah.  If you need me, I'm the one with the brace and the cane, feeling my age and thinking about ordering a truckload of sage to cleanse me and everything I own.  2023 has been ridiculous.

Gratuitous photo of Lucy
sleeping on the people bed

22 October 2023

I Broke The House

 Kevin is gone all weekend, working on a project.  I thought I would just have a relaxing weekend, with nothing big planned.  Maybe paint, maybe not.  Watch a movie, read. 

With that, I usually do all my chores (housework) on Fridays so I have the weekend to do whatever.  Because Kevin was going to be gone, and frankly I just didn't have the energy, I skipped it.  I figured I'd do it over the weekend.

With that and because of the alphabet brain, this isn't a big deal. Most people would never notice that I had skipped chores.  Well, I had also let the laundry pile up a bit.  This is very unusual because after having no power for four days years ago, my PTSD will not allow it.  Except for this weekend.

And the universe laughed at me.  Silly mortal.

Now let's add that I can't get the bathroom sink to clear. I've tried everything, Kevin has tried, and no.  I did manage to get it to flow better then it stopped.  I have time on my hands, I will try again I thought.  I started the laundry and went to work under the sink.

This requires a towel because no matter how careful I am, there's always water.  I had a hand towel and an old bath towel down.  Upon taking everything apart and cleaning it with the little tool, nothing was improved.  I put everything back and it was WORSE.  Wtaf.   I decided I would leave it and Kevin could look at it tomorrow. Clearly, I had put something back together incorrectly or something.

Then I checked on the laundry.  Nope.  The washer stopped.  Of course it did.  It threw a code so I searched it and it said the drain was blocked.  Now this has become a Kevin problem. The interwebs assured me that this wasn't a big deal. The interwebs lies.

About 6:00 Kevin phoned and said he was on his way and apologized that it took so long.  "What's happening there?" he asked.  9/10 times the answer is "nothing".  Today was "Well, it appears I have broken the house. I can't unclog the sink and now it won't drain and the washer stopped working."

He immediately went to 1,000 because all he heard was two things weren't draining.  I assured him that it wasn't a drain issue, it was a coincidence.  All the while, hoping it was indeed, a coincidence.  But the other sinks drained, the tub, the toilets.  It wasn't a drain issue.

I'm bailing out the washer and throwing soaking towels into the tub when he came home.  "I'm going to fix the sink..." he said.  I stood there like...wut?  But okay.  I realized that he needed to make sure that we didn't need a plumber because our plumbing was broken.  Because that is exactly how this year has gone for us.

He took apart a piece that I hadn't that was near the floor of the cabinet.  And...retch.  There was the plug.  I offered to switch him places because I don't ick out as badly as he does.  Also, that meant he would go look at the washer, which was more important to me.  

He has a thing about "letting" girls do gross jobs.  Even though I know he'd rather go to the dentist than clear that clog, he told me no.  I wasn't disappointed.  I went back to bailing and wringing towels.  

Once he fixed the sink, he came out to look at the washer.  I showed him the google search and he went to work.  He pulled out the washer then jumped behind it.  He took off the back of the washer and...it looked nothing like the internet said it would.  

One of his best friends used to work at Sears when it was still a thing.  He reluctantly called him and asked for help. To my relief, he said to do the same thing that the interwebs did.  He also suggested (literally) unplugging it and plugging it back in.  I had already done that.  Twice.  He had Kevin check one more thing then asked us to run it on a different cycle then let him know if it helped.  We did and...nope.  Then we got the "It's probably more expensive to repair than to just replace it."  I flipped him off but said "Thanks for your help!"  (remember, he's on the phone)

It feels like Kevin asked simultaneously "How much does a washer cost?" and "I hate to ask but what are you thinking about dinner?"   Sensing a shift in the ether, he said "I don't care, you can make eggs. Cereal. I'm going to go shower..."

I cleaned up the mess in the mud room as best as I could with a broken washer in the middle of it. Then started dinner and tried not to swirl the metaphorical drain myself.   Kevin came out from the shower and said that his friend wanted him to check one more thing.  Back behind the washer he goes, we try it, it doesn't work, and now the washer is full of water again.  

I returned to making dinner and Kevin went out to his shop.  He came back with buckets and asked for help.  I started to gesture toward dinner like "DO YOU SEE THIS" but refrained because it's not his fault for trying to help when I had broken everything in the house. #melodrama

We took out ten gallons of water then called it a night.  We ate dinner then I got onto the interwebs again to search for washers.  No one keeps appliances in stock now, in case you're wondering.  I checked a local store and while they were closed, the site said they had them in stock.  Fantastic.  When do they open?  11:00 am.  Sigh.  But at least they had one and it wasn't terribly expensive.  

KEvin offered to phone the siblings to see if they would let us do two loads of laundry.  I said no, because if one thing went wrong it would be my fault FOREVER.  He tried to deny that but then just couldn't.  "We'll save that until tomorrow" he says.  Answer will still be no tomorrow, Kev.

Finally we went to bed and Kevin was almost immediately asleep.  Love that for him.  My brain is trying to find  traction, what can I do in the morning to be ready for this.  Is there anything else we can do.  Certainly, this isn't a new problem.


I realized that I can hand wash clothing.  It's been done for centuries.  While not fun and not even in my Top 100 Ways I Like  to Spend My Time, it was better than what-felt-like a disaster I had on my hands. It's 11:00 pm and I'm googling "How to wash laundry without a washer."  You know, just in case there were new developments since the 1700's.  There wasn't but at least I felt like I had a plan.  I went to sleep thinking how I could prioritize what needed washing, what could go next door if I chose to ask, and what could wait.  It is super fun living in my brain.

Oh and this is where I also realized that there shouldn't be that much water in the wash and perhaps it wasn't just a drain issue.  #causeandeffect

Kevin left the next morning at 6:30. I woke up momentarily but thankfully fell back asleep.  About an hour later, my  alphabet brain started yelling at me about laundry.  I got up, made coffee, and contemplated My Plan.  Once coffee was started, I emptied a tote and let it start to fill with soapy water. I had to deal with the wet  towels from the night before first.  In they went into the soapy water for 30 minutes. I took my coffee, a brownie, and the dog and went back to bed.  I turned on NCIS so I wouldn't get caught up in a movie and distracted. 

Wet towels are the worst to wring out. The worst.  This is where I explain that my preference in towels tends toward a cozy rug.  I want them thick and heavy.  Kevin tends toward "This is the towel I had when I moved out of the house when I was 18."  One by one, I took the towels out of the soapy water, wrung them the best I could, carried them to the kitchen sink, then rinsed them.  

My hands hurt, I don't think I have fingerprints anymore, and that was really hard work.  At one point, I said aloud "This is the WORST" then laughed at my own self.  Trying to balance karma immediately,  I said "No, no, this is bad but it's not the worst.  There are many worst things."

I did the best I could then put them in the dryer.  I was a little worried that they weren't wrung enough and I was right.  It took forever for them to dry. And it caused a little catastrophasing of "Now the dryer is broken."  Eventually they dried and I could see and feel where perhaps the washing machine had been not working well for a while.

Next I did the "easy" clothes: socks, underwear, yoga pants, tshirts.  This went much easier but wringing them still made me wish for one of those old-fashioned wringers that essentially strangled all the water out of the clothes.  Finally the dryer finished the towels, I started the color clothes then tried to psych myself up for more towels.

I realized that I didn't need towels, per se. I needed wash cloths and hand towels.  My first instinct was "They sell those at the store every day" then I tempered that with "Well, that applies for every single item I'm washing so..."  I washed just the hand towels and wash cloths.  

The store texted me to confirm that the washer I wanted was in store.  I replied "I will be there in an hour."  Then he clarified: "Do you want top load or front load?"  I answered "Top load, preferably but beggars cannot be choosers."  They had both and they were waiting for me.

I showered, feeling bad about creating More Laundry,  and loaded up Lucy.  I phoned Kevin to let him know and he was relieved as well.  I bought the washer after a little debate and went to pick it up.  This is how I had to get it:

Thank the universe for the back-up camera and 
a husband who drove dump truck teaching me
how to back up

Okay, so now that was done.  I began to pull out of the loading dock when I saw that I missed a call.  I assumed it was going to be Kevin.  It was not.  It was my father-in-law.  I was immediately curious because the siblings are home.  I phoned him and he asked if we still had his hand truck.  Weird.  "Yeah, it's in your old shed."  He asked if we could bring it to him when I got home.  Puzzled still, I said Yeah but what are you moving?"  He stopped then tried to verbalize but his cognitive delays wouldn't allow him to form the thought.  Somehow the universe whispered in my ear.  "Did you mean Mom's WALKER?"  Relieved, he said yes.  Well, it's kind of a hand truck, for people.  

About THAT: the doctor told him that fall prevention is A PRIORITY.  He cannot fall and remain living.  So, in answer to that he just about fell outside this morning while I was gone.  The siblings yelled at him and this was him being contrite.  

Now I'm home, hoping it doesn't rain before Kevin gets home.  In the olden days, my father-in-law would have this done by the time Kevin got home but this is where we are now.  The last load of hand-washing is in the dryer.  All that remains is still more bath towels, jeans and bedding.  

And I'm still not sure that the dryer isn't dying.

10 October 2023

Five Minutes Peace - The Latest Edition of Raising Parents

I remember a thousand years ago when my best friend had all-the-kids under grade school age and was a stay-at-home mom.  The book Five Minutes Peace was new...maybe? popular, probably at the time.  I sent it to her as gift of support.

I think about that book often, not as in I-gave-it-as-a-gift but like I do with If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.  My life is often If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.  I realized today that it has also become Five Minutes Peace.

A new stove is to be delivered sometime this afternoon. That is another whole story but try to focus.  

I had four errands to run, not including walkies for Lucy.  I started early, after working all morning so that I was home well in time for said delivery. They weren't difficult errands: recycling, buying dog food, dropping off goodwill donations and recycling grocery bags.  All in and out, quick.  

My phone rang when I'm less than one minute away from recycling, my first stop.  I had been gone fifteen minutes.  It's my father-in-law.  Like always, it's a scenic tour to the point.  Two things happened: he managed to get two flu shots in one week and he fell.  Which happened first? unclear for a minute.  

I'm getting that frustrated kind of tired where you're teary.  I'm thinking "I can drop recycling and go right back home. That will be twenty minutes at the most. I can call the ambulance..."

Then I get to the "I fell last night after dinner" part.  Okay, heart rate: return to normal. Brain, you can also just relax. Everyone stand down.

There were two separate incidents, unrelated perhaps, and the reason he phoned was he needed to know Which Shot He Still Needed.  He was certain he had three flu shots.  (spoiler alert: he didn't)

For effs sake.

I clarified which shots he's had in the past two months and said I would work on this when I got home.  He was satisfied with this answer then said he was really sore and how sister-in-law had to help him put on his socks.  Sigh.

I suggested that he could a) call the doctor b) go back to the chiropractor and/or c)  take some tylenol and rest.  He clarified again: he was sore from falling but maybe because he had all the flu shots.  I repeated his options and he chose to rest.  Okay, then.

Lucy and I went for walkies - in the rain because Fall in the PNW - and I texted my sister-in-law the update.  She just phoned me, it was too much to text.  He fell because he dropped a fork and ignored the siblings telling him to leave it.  Like a toddler - not sarcastic, literally like a toddler - he got his head over his feet and fell, unprotected.

This is where she shares that he hit his head.  WUT.

a) he didn't tell me this. He said his back hurt

2) he's 85, diabetic and on blood thinners.

c) they left him home alone and didn't tell anyone TO CHECK ON HIM FFS

ACK.  Now I'm back to considering returning home.  She said that she was confident he was fine and also said she would come home if she needed to and if I could check on him when I get home.

This is my life now.

Okay, so whatever, there's that.  I then phoned the pharmacy to clarify which shot he received on Friday.  They transferred me to the pharmacist who loves my f-i-l.  She explained that he got the flu and the Covid imm and how did he get two flu shots.  "Because I didn't phone you to clarify. I  thought he had it and indeed, he did not."

She says "Well, you're guaranteed a long life. You've fulfilled the fifth commandment and have honored your parents.   You will have a good long life."  

It's very sweet of her to say and I appreciate the support but the alphabet brain is scrambling for which commandment...it's not the right for not self-incrimination...and also: it feels like this whole thing is shortening my life. But it was nice of her to say.

I finished my errands, after two separate conversations with Kevin and return home.  I went downstairs to check on him and the door is locked. I can see that he's snoozing in his chair and their dumb dogs did not bark.  I backed away slowly and quietly and went back home.  

Then I thought "Well, maybe I should check because he hit his head" then the equally dark thought of "If it happened, it's already happened.  Possibly waking him up would be worse."  Yeah, that's effed up, I know.

I let my s-i-l know and checked with Kevin to make sure he agreed.  He did and so I started to work. 

About two hours later, my f-i-l phones.  He asked if the stove has been delivered yet then announces that he is getting a Shingles shot on Sunday.  I wanted to say "Can we just calm down with the shots for a little while?" but instead I said "Great!"  

Then..because there's always something else...he says that he's going to the doctor tomorrow to see why he's falling "all the time".  I measured my words and said "My guess is she's going to tell you you're 85 years old"  He took that on the chin but was adamant that he was asking.  FINE.

But I absolutely emailed the doctor all of the above so she had the information ahead of time. Then debated whether or not I should just go.  Kevin said no and sister said no.  I'm not going. Yet.

So, let's back up two months ago when he fell just prior to leaving for California.  YES, a WHOLE OTHER STORY.  The doctor told him that he needed to start using a walker and he declined that.  He was polite about it but no.  I've since reminded him that Mom's walker is in our shed and we can bring it down. He says no.

It turns out that s-i-l still has the walker from hospice - they knew we'd need it - and she is putting it in his room tonight and having another "bone of contention" discussion.  1...2...3...NOT IT.  Although Kevin has intentions of having a conversation with him about this also.  I reminded him that we had this same conversation with his mom dozens of times and her life ended exactly has predicted: started with a fall and never recovered.  He said he wants to say it so he knows he's said it.  FINE.

But wait, I'm not done.  I haven't mentioned that I went to the doctor with him A WEEK AGO.  It was his annual exam and really wasn't that comprehensive or enlightening because he's 85 and he is in there all the time.

He did, however, fail his cognitive tests.  I wasn't surprised but I was also disheartened.  The doctor specifically asked who is handling his finances and decisions.  I explained that the family was and she was visibly relieved.  

Yet, she gave him a handicapped placard for this van.  I mean....wut.  (they had one, it was invalidated when mom passed)  He renews his license next month and we're equally hoping and dreading that he fails. 

On that day though, I spent forty minutes on the phone with Kevin in the grocery store parking lot rehashing everything that was said and recommended.  INCLUDING the fact that he is also having AUDITORY HALLUCINATIONS at night, most likely due to stress.  He's hearing church music/noises when he's alone and it's loud enough to drown the television noise.  The cure? up his anti-depressants and time.  Super.

It feels like I'm forgetting a big part of that doctor visit and I probably am. But nothing else will describe this situation better than "I just can't remember all of it; there's so much." Oh wait, I took notes on my phone...oh, of course: he arrived to that appointment with wet pants because he couldn't find a parking space and he refuses to wear much-needed diapers.  Yeah.

And keep in mind: he doesn't live with us. He lives next door and it's still this intense.  And, and, and, Kevin is going to have to tell all of them: "If you have complaints, talk to that person. Don't talk to us and then get frustrated that it isn't fixed."

So...yeah.  It's been a roller coaster this week.  It's Tuesday,

And my damn stove still isn't here.  It's officially six minutes past the delivery window.  Of course.

Oh, and I'm getting a new stove from my father-in-law as a thank you for helping so much over the last year(s).  It better also be able to tie my shoes and wash my truck.

09 October 2023

Didn't Have That On the Bingo Card

 Well, because our life just can't be normal - like - ever, we have a cougar in the neighborhood.  No, not me but an actual cougar.

I get email alerts from the nextdoor app and most of the time they're annoying nonsense.  This time it was a post from really nearby: Cougar Sighting.  I clicked through and there had been multiple sightings.  Before I could talk to Kevin about it, our neighbor commented that she had heard it in the woods.  The woods behind our house.  So much for the neighborhood text chain, I guess.

We let the family know to watch the dogs and keep an eye out for anything.  Like always, the brother has suddenly seen/known something before us. "I saw one the other morning!" he reports.  I eyeroll because that's something you share with people.  Also, I can spot a liar at fifty feet.

A few nights later, I was out on the deck and heard something.  It sounds like a child scream.  There's only one little kiddo in the neighborhood and it was too late for him to be outside playing.  I texted the neighbor who reported hearing it and she confirmed that's what it sounded like. YIKES.

We've been keeping Lucy closer than usual and she has her rattle collar on her so it's guaranteed she will come when called. (old girl doesn't hear as well as she used to)  We go with her if it's dark and we keep an ear out for any noises.

The other night Kevin was out in the yard with her and he heard something in the woods.  He called me to come out to listen and the cat alerted.  It's a creepy sound, especially in the woods and in dark. (Click here to listen)  It startled an owl and it began to hoot in reaction.  This time, it sounded like it was down by the creek instead of behind us.  

AND THEN on Saturday Kevin came home from meeting his friends.  He was driving his car, which is a little loud.  He pulled it into his garage then stood outside the bay door, working on something.  He heard the cougar scream really really close by.  

He said he ducked into the garage, pulled the door down, then went to the entry door.  He listened and could hear something in the woods. He called out to his brother, who had also just gotten home, to see if it was him.  No answer.

Then he debated: stay in the garage or come to the house.  Realizing he couldn't stay the night in the garage, he bolted for the house.  

He spoke with our other neighbor and they reported that their dog - a giant, doofy Pyrenneese - had been barking at the woods all night, confirming that there was something out there.  (draw the bottom of a boat. The left upper part is one neighbor and they're by the main road. The upper right corner is the other neighbor and they're completely surrounded by woods and the last house on the road.  We are in the middle, with woods on one side and a ravine/woods on the other)

This morning I phoned Fish and Wildlife and they were surprisingly unconcerned.  If we had actually seen the cougar, then they would make a plan but because it's only auditory, we're on our own.  She did refer me to the website, specifically Living With Wildlife, with categories for which kind of wildlife you're experiencing.  (link, if you're curious)  She assured me that cougar attacks are unlikely and to just be careful.  That seems contradictory but here we are.

She suggested that we could get a game camera so we knew what/how close any animal may be.  That is a HARD PASS for me.  I am happy not knowing what's out there.  I mean, I assume and I intellectually know that there is plenty of wildlife out there.  I do not, however, need to specifically know if they're wandering around the house.

One of my favorite things is to step out onto the deck to look at the stars when there is a meteor shower, possible Northern Lights, or full moon.  It's well after Kevin and the dog have gone to sleep.  I always have the deck gates closed when I do this and listen for movement.  Now I'm hesitant to do even that and will probably take a break for while.

Our hope is that it will move on once it gets colder and the salmon spawning is done; which will be late November.

Live in the woods, they say, it's so peaceful they say.