Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It's Been a Blitz

The past couple of weeks have been crazy.  I feel like I'm suffering from attention deficit disorder because things have been coming at me so fast that I am unable to focus on anything for more than a minute before I am interrupted by the next thing.  My phone has been ringing off the hook and people have been coming and going from my house, so the dogs are totally nuts.  I have that sign on my door that tells people to not knock or ring the doorbell, but call me on the phone when they are outside.  Well, that no longer applies, because now the dogs bark every time the phone rings.  I may have to set it to vibrate and keep it attached to my belt loop, but I suspect I will jump when it vibrates and my startled reaction will probably cause them to bark anyway.

This new obnoxious dog behavior has made it impossible for me to conduct business over the phone.  I am an email person, because I communicate most clearly through writing, but the lady I've been working for is a phone person.  Whenever I emailed her about something, she'd email back, "I'll call you about this."

I was like, "Noooooooooo!" because I knew the dogs would freak out as soon as the phone rang and I wouldn't be able to hear anything.  I kept having to lock myself in a bathroom or my office to put a door between me and the dogs.  To top it all off, every time this lady was giving me important information, someone else would call me simultaneously, and my stupid phone would just cut off the person I was talking to, and start beeping loudly in my ear.  I can't talk to two people at the same time, so I don't understand why phones let other calls interrupt when I'm already on a call.  I'm sure that function serves a purpose for some people, but I'm considering buying a new, smarter phone that will allow me to send all interrupting calls straight to voicemail.

In taking this job, I definitely surpassed my limit for how many tasks I can remember to do within a short period of time.  I got so busy that I stopped cleaning up manure and the paddock looked like hell.  I woke up in the morning and fed the dogs, anxious to get out there and put a dent in the manure problem before the phone could ring.  However, neither Scrappy nor Stewie would eat.  Midge, the diabetic dog, kept trying to eat their food, which would have probably induced seizures or a coma had she succeeded.  I took her outside, hoping the boys would eat their breakfast in the time we were gone.  They did, but as soon as we came in, the boys wanted to go out to do their business.  So, I took them out, and then ran down to the barn to clean up some of that mess.

I barely got started on the manure when the phone rang with more work for me.  By the time I fed the dogs their lunch, I began wondering if I ever gave Midge her insulin shot for breakfast.  I found the syringe, so I must have given it to her.  She was racing around the house panting anxiously in the afternoon, and I thought her storm phobia was kicking in because it was cloudy outside.  No sooner would I try to investigate Midge's problem and the phone would ring to distract me.

At one point the dogs heard me make a noise and they were convinced that someone was coming in the garage door.  They charged the door barking and I ran after them only to slip in a huge puddle on the tile floor.  At first, I thought the dogs spilled their water bowl, but it was full.  Then I thought a pipe had burst under the sink again, but it was fine.  It took half a roll of paper towels to sop up the puddle.  Then the floor got super sticky and I knew that puddle was Midge peeing sugar water.  She didn't get her morning dose of insulin after all.  I grabbed the syringe, popped the cap off and saw that it had never been used.  Apparently, I got the syringe out, but before I could actually give her the shot, I had to get control of her because she was trying to eat the other dogs' food.

By taking her outside before administering her shot, I set myself up for failure, because I was rushing to get my morning chores done, knowing that my employer would be calling soon.  I was pressured for time and not thinking about whether I skipped any steps.

I thought, "If I am so busy with this job that I can't even remember to give my dog insulin and don't have the time to clean manure out of the barn and paddock, it's time I quit."

Fortunately, I didn't have to quit, because the lady called to tell me that my part of the project was done and she shouldn't need my help anymore.  Whew!  I then tried putting my life back in order.  I occasionally consider part-time local jobs as they become available, but now I know that with my memory problems and my inability to prioritize and handle distractions, and with all the work that needs to be done at home, having a job outside the home would never work out for me.

Anyway, in the meantime, while I was trying to get back into the groove of my regular routine, my daughter returned my borrowed truck to me.  I opened the garage door, took Stewie outside, and on our way in, heard a thud.  Both Stewie and I paused, but by then I was so fed up with every little thing I do being interrupted that I decided to ignore it and finish what I was doing.  I went back in the house, my daughter walked out of the house, and a minute later the phone rang.

It was my daughter calling from her car on the driveway.  On her way out of the garage, a rattlesnake rattled at her and then skedaddled into our garage.  Great.  Just great.  I thought I was finally going to get to sit down and relax and watch some TV.  Apparently, that thud we heard was the rattlesnake banging up against something.  The one time I really needed to focus and investigate what made the noise, I chose to ignore it, simply because my mind was exhausted from being pulled in so many different directions for so long.

My husband and I went out into the garage with a flashlight and some brooms and long sticks and tried to flush the rattlesnake out.  It was hunkering down right where we need to walk the dogs in and out a dozen times a day and a dozen times a night.  Worst spot in the world for a rattlesnake to camp out.

I'm usually of the mindset that if you leave a rattlesnake alone, it will go away on its own, but in this case, we needed to know where it went.  We didn't want it going deeper into our garage.  We sweated it out for about twenty minutes trying all kinds of techniques to flush the snake out, but it just kept finding places to curl up and hide.  I was about ready to call the fire department to see if they had someone they could spare to help us, but there has been a wildfire burning nearby and I figured they were busy.

We sort of have a snake stick, but we didn't have a clean shot to pick it up without other stuff getting in the way, and we have no training in how to pick up a snake safely so that it can't swing back at us and strike.  We finally started using a stick to pull the things it was hiding behind out of the corner of the garage, and then we set up some coolers and a plastic bin like a cattle chute to guide the snake out of the garage.  My husband encouraged it to move with a paint roller, and when it finally came out, it tried to come around the chute back into the garage, so I swept a broom at it, and it got the hint.  It squirmed on down the driveway and my husband herded it all the way off the property with his paint roller.

So, now we know that snakes can be herded.

Somehow during the whole process, our water softener shorted out.  Fortunately, we got it going again by flipping the fuse.  I'm hoping tomorrow will bring me some rest because I know the next day is going to get crazy busy again.


Jen said...

Oh how I feel your pain! *laugh* Sometimes things get so bonkers around here I feel like I'm passing myself in the hallway (not that I'd recognize that demented looking woman going 100mph, you understand ;o)

No idea if you want to know this stuff or not, but... I got an s4 awhile back, and there are some marvelous apps to help those of us whose lives border on insanity to keep things straight. No idea what I'd do without "Sam" to keep me in line. It's like having a combination Mom/secretary tucked in your back pocket. Ha. N'forget It reminds me to do almost everything, be it daily (like your dog's shots), weekly (water plants), or monthly (change A/C filters). Night's Keeper can create pockets of "Do Not Disturb" time (e.g. my phone mutes itself for work and church). I'm pretty sure I saw "reject call with a message" come up last week during a phone call as well (I'm not usually looking at the screen when I get a second call, so I didn't even realize I had that feature). Well. If that's TMI, my apologies.

In the meantime, I'd say you definitely need to have some chocolate ('cause that makes everything better ;o)

TeresaA said...

I'm exhausted just reading about it!

I had to laugh at the image ofyou and your husband herding the snake down the driveway with a paint roller though. :)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

OMG! Now my dogs have started barking while I make outgoing calls. They've figured out that when I have the phone pressed to my ear, there's a person nearby. They can hear the other person's voice and they run around the house barking looking for them and I can't hear myself think, none-the-less hear what the other person is saying. I ended up breaking out the spray water bottle to get their attention, because screaming shut up doesn't do a dang thing to stop them.

Mrs Shoes said...

I hear ya Nuz, sometimes we get to the point that taking outside work is more a PITA than any kind of benefit.
I passed that point a while back, & hallelujah for doing only what I need to & want to do, because that freedom feeds my soul.

I hope you got paid for working at least!

Those dogs are too darn smart, & I'm so very glad the only snakes we have around here are garter snakes!