Part 171 ~ The Adventures of King Ben & Zeus the Big Dumb Dog

If you missed the start of this series, you can find it here. A lot of things will be the same or very similar.

Younger came to sit with Ben when I took Older to work last night. The smoke from the fire was bad and it was still 102°F (39°C) at 6:30pm. They were still up when I got back, Ben had Auntie take him to bedtime. She went home right after. I asked if she could come tonight too, she said she would.

The fire… a news report I read documented four thousand acres burned and ten structures. 0% containment. That was as of 7:00am Sunday, September 6.

I did take pictures. The first picture I took was around 3:30pm on Saturday when I walked to the market. I thought I’d smelled smoke, but the house was closed up, blankets over the windows, trying to keep the 112°F (44°C) heat out, so I hadn’t looked. I was surprised to see it when I walked to market

I kept a watch on it, but not super close. It wasn’t close enough for us to be in danger. My city is in a valley, surrounded by foothills. The fire was burning in another valley south and east behind foothills.

Anyway, as sunset approached I checked the sky. The smoke was blowing north and west. The fire was also moving west.

Particulates in the air make for a dramatic sunset, but the air quality was horrible, it was still ridiculously hot, and I felt horrible at the thought of people losing their homes, or lives.

We know about fires in California, especially SoCal. We have some every year. If we’re lucky, it’s just some vegetation, quickly put out. If conditions are unfavorable, well… you’ve seen or read about it, I’m sure.

Anyway, I don’t even know what time I took my pill and finally slept last night. I had been dozing in and out of a semi-sleep since I got back from Driving Miss Daisy and getting Ben settled. I did eat, and did my Night Things, but I was drained from the heat and the injury and 2020 in general.

When I woke up and grabbed my phone to check the time, I was SOOO hoping it was 3am and I could go back to sleep. Unfortunately, it was 5:36am. I could’ve dozed for a while longer but there wasn’t much point, so I got up. I got the coffee going, turned the AC down from 75 to 62, and switched the one in Daughter’s room on and set it at 70.

Ben and Zeus were waiting for me when I came out of the baño a little after 6am. I put food down for Zeus and opened the side door, got Ben’s stuff, and uncovered, lit up, fed and paparazzi’d Sven

Then I checked out the eastern sky through the bathroom window screen and from the broken, blockaded back gate.

It was pretty, but it was smokey too. There is ash over everything outside. It’s not as bad as the Cedar Fire of 2003, but still yucky.

We went and got Daughter on time. As we were getting off the freeway, I went to the right instead of continuing forward. Ben asked for Starbursts earlier and I’d told him we’d get them after we got Mom, that’s where I was headed. He was getting upset about the change in route. Autism can be like that. Going a different way is often very upsetting. I told him we’d get his Starbursts then go back and go the “right” way. As Daughter got out of the car, he asked for a toy car too. We told him 7-11 doesn’t have toy cars, just candy.

She got back in the car, we went back to the freeway so I could drive home the “right” way. We got home and came inside. Dogzilla had gotten into the trash. I scolded him and told him he was very “naughty” and wouldn’t pet him. He tried to look like he was ashamed of misbehaving but, he wasn’t and he couldn’t fake the look. Big Dumb Dog!

Either Ben was upset by me scolding Zeus or about not getting a toy car, or going the wrong way, or just because… whatever reason, he went to bang his head on the door and fall down. DANG IT!

Then he was telling me to get dressed and go to the store for a toy car. Then he was standing on the back of the couch, trying to force open the nailed-closed window. Ugh! It wasn’t even 8am yet and I was not gonna start a day Guessed to be 110°F (43°C) with problems. Obsessive autism problems. I got my wallet and walked over to the market. I got a bunch of different plastic, filled with candy, cheapo toy cars, and a couple more Starbursts.

I handed him the bag. He said “Thank you, Gramma.” and that was that. Obsessive thought, need, want… whatever, fulfilled. Or bratty child getting his way. I didn’t know, and I didn’t care. I wanted to get through the day with minimal drama and stress.

Daughter went to her room to sleep and I began a long day of Couch Sittin. Ben was very energetic all morning. The half seroquel he used to take in the morning was moved to his bedtime meds. I think we might need to move it back to morning. Especially since he starts really pacing and getting agitated around 10am every day and seems to chill out after he takes the seroquel at 10:45. I moved it to 10:30 today.

Things started to calm down around 11am. Ben dumped his chalk in front of the Bath Room and started doing his thang.

He got back on the couch several times, eating a snack, surfing his tablet, drinking water or diet coke… late morning and early afternoon were definitely better than early morning.

The pill splitter we have sucks! When I tried to split an adderall in half for the 1pm dose, half was fine, the other half was crumbly. I put the good half back in the bottle and the crumbly bits in a medicine dosing cup. You know, the little cup on top of a bottle of cough meds or Nyquil… one of those. Then I added water and swished it around. Then he drank it. And the next, and the next. It took three times of adding water to get the crumbly half into him. I think next time that happens, I’ll just dump the crumbles into his mouth. I’m sure it doesn’t taste great but he’s so used to taking meds, and he used to take everything crushed and mixed, this has got to be better.

I texted Younger to see if she could still come by after work this evening, she said yes. The funny thing is, she sent me a text at the exact same time. It was the first time we’d talked. She and I do stuff like that a lot. I think about her and she texts or calls.

A little after 2:30 Older Daughter came out and took over Couch Sittin Duty. I gave my report and went to get Horizontal. Everything was groovy for a little while.

Around 3:30 Ben decided he needed to be outside, busting stuff. He started on the cinderblock property wall, I got him away from the wall but then he jumped into his dirt hole and started on the cement walkway. That would’ve been acceptable if it wasn’t 104°F outside, and smokey too.

The wind was blowing the smoke south and west today. Anyway, I stayed outside with Ben and kept gently, trying to talk him into going back inside the house. Finally, a little after 4pm I was able to convince him. He doesn’t realize he’s overheating. His medications also make him sensitive to the heat. We have to watch him, heatstroke is a very real danger to the little knucklehead.

Back inside the house, I made him drink water, then rewarded him for coming inside with a diet coke. Daughter had put his “orange chicken” (Yes! The TGIFriday’s that was his favorite kind of frozen chicken nuggets. They had it at WallyWorld) in the toaster oven, so it was done by 4:30.

Younger gets off work at 5:30 and is coming straight over from work. No stress about getting Ben to cooperate when I have to Drive Miss Daisy. Then Older is off for the next four days.

Tonight’s song… think of someone you don’t like, then play it.

Thanks for stopping by today. It was kind of a mixed day, but overall good. A few little bumps and hiccups, but that’s life. The heat is supposed to ease off a little bit. I hope they can get the fire contained before the Santa Ana winds come and all of the back country burns like in 2003. Come on back tomorrow. We’ll see what’s what and go from there. ¡Hasta mañana!






20 thoughts on “Part 171 ~ The Adventures of King Ben & Zeus the Big Dumb Dog

  1. Glad things are relatively under control. Horrible weather all over California… my daughter’s power went out for a couple hours today in LA. She was mostly worried about the fancy cheese in her fridge lol. Tomorrow looks to be better 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!🤗🥰 The fire has moved to less populated areas, south and east. Still mostly burning out of control but the winds arent too bad. We’re used to fires, like people in the midwest are used to tornados. 🤷🏼‍♀️ Fires are part of living in California. We had a very wet spring, lots of growth, that had now died and dried out. I expect we’ll have more fires before the rains start in Jan or Feb.
      Sweet Dreams, ¡Hasta mañana!🍪🌈✨💫💕
      Except for the half hour I sat outside trying to talk Ben back in, I sat in AC. I’ve had heatstroke, I dont want it again.😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It just breaks my heart, all the damage caused by the fire. Though it makes for pretty photos but I’m sure the smoke and fire is making the heat so much more unbearable. The chalk designs are fascinating. Take care my friend. Hope it’s a good night today. ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The smoke is clearing… it smelled so bad! Not like campfire… just BAD! The fire moved farther from us, we’re safe. And it’s supposed to be cooler tomorrow. Only 95°F😂
      I hope your Monday is fabulous and you get all your preparations done. When are they coming home?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. One, I’m still entranced by the chalk creations. Please continue to share.

    Two, isn’t the “thinking about someone and suddenly they reach out” thing fun but a little unsettling? I’ll have a random memory flashback of the time a friend and I did something we shouldn’t have and PING, she sends me a text, even though I haven’t heard from her in months. There’s definitely something mystical going on, at least with certain bonded people, that we don’t fully understand…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely love the thought waves pinging the radar and causing a reaction. It happens so often with Younger, she’ll often call and ask what I wanted.😂😂 “What Mom? I “hear” you. What do you want?” It eases my mother’s heart, especially since she moved out and into a drama filled relationship. I’ll “know” if it’s really, really bad. I allow for some bad, she’s almost 26… her life, her journey, her growth.

      I’m a firm believer in the mystical. Too many things I’ve felt, seen, heard… things I know, but should be able to know… ya know?😂😂

      I wonder if I transferred Ben’s creations to shadowboxes if I could sell them as “Art”? Earn the cost of materials?🤔

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At the very least, don’t delete the photos of Ben’s work. It’s entirely possible that on some random day, some very dedicated researchers might study said said photos and suddenly find the very link that helps us understand how he and others in his situation process input and output. Wouldn’t that be great and beautiful? And then all that chalk dust will prove to be completely worth it…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. When Declan was younger we had the same meltdown if we went a different way than he was anticipating. Heaven forbid if there was a road closure or something, causing a detour, because we had a meltdown in the car and when we got home. It’s amazing how “stuck” his mind could be! That fire is bad! Stay safe! Here’s hoping for a cooler day today with less smoke!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They DO get “stuck” and it can be SOOO frustrating! I know they can’t help it, but sheesh, we’d gone to that 7-11 on the way home many times before, and it was a stop for him🤦🏼‍♀️ I think one of the hardest parts of Ben’s autism is the unpredictability. Some things are always NO. Some things are sometimes okay, and some things are just completely random. The random catches me unprepared and I react badly at times.🤷🏼‍♀️ We’re human, we make mistakes too.

      The Guessers are saying only 95F today. Might need a sweater😂😂 The smoke plume isn’t huge in the east today. The fire was moving south and east, away from us. It had grown, last I read. It’s in the canyons and foothills of the back country. There are some houses out there but it’s not densely populated. We are fine here in my city. It looked close, but was is a canyon on the other side of the hills. My city is in a flat valley surrounded by hills, things look closer than they are.🤷🏼‍♀️ The stench of the smoke is gross. Even with the house closed up for two days the smell got in and just lingers. It’s not the campfire smell either, we need a good breeze to blow it away, but not until the fire is more contained. The lack of wind has helped.

      This is the first Holiday I’ve been excited about since the Kootie. No Zoom School today! YAY!🎉💃🏼🌠 I hope you guys have a great day!💕

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad to hear the fires moved away and the smoke is clearing. This heat can’t be helping Ben’s moods. Fingers crossed it cools down for you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sorry you had behavioral issues with Ben. It must be hard.
    Also bummed you have fires out your way. We had smoke here for at least 3 weeks. The 106 degree heat doesn’t help.
    You’re right. 2020 sucks.
    Even Zeus is misbehaving. Ugh.

    Andrew hated it when we changed routes too. He grew out of it thank goodness.

    Andrew came over for dinner last night. I had a corned beef cooking for hours in the crock pot, made mashed potatoes, carrots, and boiled cabbage. I smother the top of the meat with yellow mustard, ground cloves and brown sugar and bake it until bubbly.
    It’s Ken’s favorite too. We usually invite his 89 year old Mother when we make this dinner. She loves it. But she is still in the rehabilitation home with her broken ankle. We can’t visit her. She’s lonely and misses her TV taped shows and hates her roommate. Ugh.
    We Zoom with her twice a week and call her often.
    We invited older son, but he decided to stay home yet asked Andrew to drop off leftovers since they live close. Luckily there was some left. Andrew can eat a lot. We call him “the super hoo” for Hoover vacuum.
    He seems to be doing a little better. Had a Covid test that came back negative. Good news. He never goes anywhere, so I don’t know why he thought he needed a test.
    Another hot and smokey day here.
    Stay cool Angie


    Liked by 1 person

    1. The smell is making me feel a little nauseous. We need a brisk breeze to blow it away, but for the fire, a breeze would be bad, as you know.
      I can’t remember the north burning like this. Usually the fires are down here. I guess we can all expect things to be weird with the weather.
      I love corned beef and cabbage! My mom used to make it for St Patrick’s Day. I’ve never made it, Younger is vegetarian and Older is super picky, doesnt like cabbage, wont try corned beef 🤷🏼‍♀️
      Glad Andrew is okay and MIL is healthy enough to complain😂😂

      Hang in there, Teri💕💝

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fires are scary. Sad people are losing their properties.
        We are lucky. So far the fires aren’t anywhere near us. The valley collects the smoke though.
        We tried to go hiking yesterday. Came back early.
        Cooking vegetarian is tricky. We have extended family with food restrictions too. Not easy.

        Enjoy your Labor Day.


        Liked by 1 person

        1. She hasn’t gone full vegan, so it isnt too difficult. She still eats eggs and dairy. So we make cheesy pasta or mini pizzas. She’s been vegetarian since she was 12, so we’re all used to making something for her, or she eats whatever is vegetarian. She never asks for special consideration when she goes to other people’s homes. Before… ya know.

          We’re in a valley too. My house is pretty much in the middle of the city. A LOT would have to burn before we were in danger.💕

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I was surprised that he got so upset about it. Yes, set routes, but we’ve gone to that 7-11, by that route, after picking him Mom up several times in the past couple months, and we told him we were doing it before hand.🤷🏼‍♀️
      When things that were previously okay, suddenly arent… that is a frustrating thing about autism. The unpredictability. Keeps me on my toes. 🤷🏼‍♀️ I just remind myself that as frustrating as it can be for me, how awful it must be for him to get so upset over going a different way. To have no control over the situation. I know how that feels, and it sucks!💌💌

      Liked by 1 person

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