Saturday, September 27, 2008

On This and That

On the debates: do we really ever learn anything new about the candidates by watching them "debate" (debate is in quotes because it seems nobody ever really answers/debates the questions, choosing instead to talk from a script they have rehearsed beforehand regardless of the questions)?

On text messaging: when a client arranges a meeting with you and is sitting in your office discussing tax matters, then picks up his crackberry and asks you if he has spelled "squirrell" correctly, is it any of your business to whom or about what they are writing?

On redundancy: I love my new upright bagless self-propelled vacuum cleaner, but when I went to dump the contents of the cannister (which indicated my previous vacuum was alarmingly deficient in the job of sucking up dirt if the volume of dirt, lint, hair and birdseed now in the cannister was any indication at all), dirt and debris fell all over the kitchen floor, requiring that I reassemble the vacuum in order to suck up that which had already been sucked up once. And now, I imagine my stats will increase dramatically based on this paragraph alone.

On death and dying: the goldfish, the one that almost died on April 15th, is dead. My daughter made me feel especially bad when she told me she bought it as a feeder fish when she was in the 5th grade (I took over care and feeding when she moved out last year). That would make the fish about 9 years old. She never had a name which surely proves that goldfish live longer when you don't name them. My husband, bless his soul, offered to cremate her...on the grill. I'm sure this would be acceptable in some parts of the world, but not in my house. We will conduct a proper memorial service and bury her in the back yard, in this heart shaped casket (it's about 8 inches wide for a little perspective):

Rest in Peace

And last (and least), on NASCAR: we're going to the races tomorrow. yippee.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Gratuitous baby pics and Winnie-The-Pooh quotes. :-)

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.

"Pooh," he whispered.

"Yes, Piglet?"

"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw, "I just wanted to be sure of you."”

"Pooh looked at his two paws. He knew that one of them was the right, and he knew that when you had decided which one of them was the right, then the other was the left, but he never could remember how to begin.”

"If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart.. I’ll always be with you."

Have I mentioned how much I love my grandson? He is the sparkle in my days.

But about this blog...

"I don't see much sense in that," said Rabbit. "No," said Pooh humbly, "there isn't. But there was going to be when I began it. It's just that something happened to it along the way."


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jumping Into The Deep End, An Instruction Manual

Instructions for going off the Deep End, in 8 easy steps:

1) Invest your life savings in a boat (granted, it may not drop in value quite as fast as the stock market but it is not going to appreciate no matter how hard you try)
2) Quit your job at a time of impending economic doom (but then stick around much longer than you planned, feeling more like a prisoner than someone in command of her future)
3) Welcome your pregnant teenage daughter back into the home so that she might get her feet under her (instead of dangling from the moon, if you know what I mean)
4) Welcome new baby into the home while teenage daughter is still struggling to find her place in the world and not at all ready to be a parent (where is the maternity leave policy for grandparents anyway?), spend as much time as possible at the hospital with said baby tending to unknown ailments and trying out various medications for gas, reflux, and constipation (oh, and crying!).
5) Encourage teenage daughter to get a job, for her sanity and yours, even if that means a lot of babysitting
6) Volunteer on several boards that suck any remaining time out of your schedule
7) Care for several sick animals in the home, and then, when one of them dies...the final straw:


* No, I did not bring home the puppy. That would be the teen mother who brought home the puppy, because you know, she felt bad for us losing Cocoa and what better way to soothe us than introduce yet another creature that requires much attention, love and nurturing. Arghhhhhhh! I'm afraid I lost my cool. As much love as may have been intended here, I'm afraid I yelled and screamed about never ever giving someone a pet as a surprise gift, and how this was the equivalent of handing over a baby to someone who isn't ready to take care of it. I was nasty and ugly and I feel badly about that, but eventually, the puppy (a beagle...a very cute little 8-week old beagle, but still...) went back to its original home. Whew. That was a close call.

Labels: , ,

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Visit From Cocoa

Yesterday, we had a surprise visitor that brought a smile to our face. When I left the house to go to the office, I pulled out of the garage and looked across the yard. There was a dog that looked almost exactly like Cocoa, exact same size and color, only with a tail (she was a chocolate lab). And it was a girl. I did a double take and then called her over. I called my husband outside and he also thought it was Cocoa. She was young and playful, so happy to visit us, almost like she was sent by Cocoa to say "Look, I'm happy now!" She didn't have a collar on but we tried feeding her and she turned her nose up at our only offering of dry kibble. I think I've seen her down the road about a mile before, so hopefully she got home okay. She left our yard almost as suddenly as she appeared, but she made us both happy. Funny how those things happen. :-)



Saturday, September 13, 2008

And Then There Was One

Yesterday marked the end of Cocoa's life. He was only 9 years old.

Cocoa was never the favorite, privileged one. He spent many years of his life as an Outside Dog, sleeping in the garage at night with several other dogs we owned at the time (who have all since been farmed out to good homes, except for Smokey, who has always been the favorite, privileged one). Cocoa was a country bumpkin, not the smartest one in the bunch. We always said that if dogs wore clothes, Cocoa would wear Big Mac overalls, with the sides unbuttoned. Cocoa never went with us on road trips. Instead, while we took Smokey on trips to the East Coast and the West Coast and all points in between, Cocoa preferred to stay home to guard the fort. The car made him nervous. All he knew was the country life. Even the occasional outing to the vet was filled with quivers and heavy panting, as he faced a world he knew very little about. But he was a lovable dog, a good doctor to his brother and a good protector when he needed to be. Or at least he put on a good front. He never bit anyone, but he growled and barked if a stranger dared walk onto our property. But he liked the rural mail carrier. She always had dog treats for him. And Cocoa loved food. He was big for an Aussie, 100 pounds at one point. The doctor said he was the equivalent of a 400 pound man, but we preferred to think of him as big boned. Even on a restricted diet, he was still about 90 pounds. But they make Big Mac overalls in all sizes.

A couple years ago, when we were down to just two dogs, we cleaned him up and brought him into the house to become an Inside Dog. He quickly adapted to the spoiled life, sleeping on the bed and the couch, and making himself at home wherever he pleased. He tore up several doors and some drywall in the garage scratching to get back in if we inadvertently left him out for too long after that, making it clear that he definitely preferred this to his former life. And who can blame him?

The End happened so suddenly and yet, we somehow knew it was coming. We never really learned what was wrong with him, but he was in serious pain and struggling to hang on to life, curling up in the corners of the house, licking his stomach and legs constantly, straining to go to the bathroom but leaking urine and feces to the point where I had to put him outside all night, on what would become his last night alive...I feel so bad about that...if I'd only known, I would have made him a special place to spend his last night. Poor guy. When we took him to the vet again, for the third Friday in a row, they could only tell us (without running many more expensive tests to possibly confirm what we think we knew) that he was in a lot of pain and wasn't going to get better. I called my husband from work and asked him to talk to the doctor and make a decision about what to do. Ultimately, the decision was made to put him out of his misery rather than bring him home to an uncertain but painful future. My husband said that his eyes were gray instead of the nice golden brown you see in the picture. He had seemingly lost his will to live. It was a very tough decision, but in the end we hope it was the right one.

We'll spread his ashes on our property so he can continue to guard and protect us.

Rest in peace, Cocoa. We'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Is It Something in The Water?

Ever since Cocoa exhibited signs of blockage (he still does, but the vet can find nothing wrong on the x-rays or blood tests and we haven't yet committed to the expense of an endoscopy, to search for masses, and then biopsies, etc., because, frankly, we're not inclined to treat an older dog for cancer), he's also become crippled like his brother Smokey. Not as bad yet, but he is definitely limping and favoring his back legs. Aussies are known for their hip problems (not as bad as German Shepards though), but Cocoa hadn't exhibited any such discomfort until the baby came home and we accused him of nursing it for all it was worth. Now, I'm not so sure it's not something in the water. Because now? Well, now, the goldfish that "died" and returned to life on April 15th is struggling to stay afloat and even the stray mouse that we've seen scurrying about once in awhile, eating bird seeds off the floor (hey, we live in the country, these things are inevitable and we don't dare put out poison for fear the dogs will eat a poisoned mouse), is crippled. Last night, he was hobbling about near my feet. If he had scurried I would have screamed like a little girl and put my feet up, but as he hobbled about I felt bad for him. I even moved my foot closer to see if he would scurry, hoping he would not. Then I poked him with a stick. But no. He's either become a domesticated pet, or he is too uncomfortable to care. Poor guy.

Then, my husband woke up complaining of back pains this morning, suggesting we need a new mattress (ours is only a few years old).

So far, the horse and the two caged birds are the only ones not exhibiting signs of impending death. Well, okay, my husband is not yet, but still, back pains are never good.

Sheesh, as if taking care of an infant and in immature teenage mother who cry all the time is not enough. This is just a test, right?