Relatively cold

The cold snap down here is killing stuff, namely citrus and other plants. The plants around the house here in Gold Canyon are looking awful. The frost doesn't leave the patio, which is on the north side, even in the late afternoon. The crust on the puddles around the golf course doesn't thaw during the day. 

It is all relative; Minnesotans would be gleeful at the prospect of hitting 50 degrees during the day back home. When I saw that number on my car thermometer today in Gold Canyon, however, I shivered. The girl running the till closest to the automatic door at the grocery store was freezing.

The sun still shines, however. And I can tell in the evening that the days are starting to get a little longer. 

The dogs who barked all weekend and inspired this past week's column welcomed home their owners about two hours after I completed the column. They have been well behaved since. I think I will go over and offer to take care of the dogs the next time the couple is gone. I would love to give them walks, especially if it kept them quiet. Better than throwing doggie treats over the fence every fifteen minutes. 

In other news, I talked with Aunt Olive on the phone this week. She absorbed another "punch to the brain" as she called it this week. Olive is under the perpetual impression that she had a stroke yesterday and that she fell recently. It is clear that the left side of her head feels strange, and it is only natural that she would attribute it to a recent event. 

Sister Tracie is tending to Olive while I am gone. They bought head phones with a microphone for visiting, which I think will be sufficient. They also looked to see if there is insurance on the hearing aid which was so quickly lost after it was purchased. I just worry that if Olive gets another hearing aid, she will get annoyed, throw it out and then forget she threw it out. 

One of her favorite nurses, who she calls Truman, has, according to Olive, "really laid down the law." She told me that several times before I left. Truman, she said, is really bringing order to the place. He's shaping everybody up and nobody dares differ with him. This has been a theme in our phone calls as well. Truman is laying down the law!

Well, my sister finally had a visit with Truman. His "laying down the law" consists of telling Olive that she's darn lucky she's over 100 years old, because if you're under 100 years old, you have to wash dishes. Knowing Truman, he says this with the utmost seriousness, and Olive has taken him seriously. She forgets the specifics, but remembers the general concept: Truman is cracking down. Those who are 99 years old and younger have to wash dishes!

It is also time for a haircut. This is a touchy deal, as Olive has systematically decided that everybody who cuts hair has developed a drinking problem. "It's so sad about Ella," she says of one of the ladies who cuts hair. "She's taken to liquor."

This must be news to Ella, who doesn't even know her name is Ella. 

So, best wishes to sister as she sets out to solve the haircut dilemma, which is usually only solved by a trip to Twin Valley.