PlazaJen: The Blog

Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Category: dogs (page 1 of 3)

scraping the hull

It’s been a rough month, indeed. There was a brief respite – a quick trip to Vegas – that was an utter escape, lots of fun (no big wins) and I’d say Vegas is definitely like a Disneyland for adults. The rough spots have been lots of work, some serious brain chemistry working against me, and now, we find ourselves at a terrible spot with our younger dog, Tripper. He’s got a detached lens on his eye, an infected tooth, and his fever was too high for surgery. Now he’s panting, not eating, not drinking, and I’m desperately dropping pills down his throat to ease the pain and fight the infection(s). Plus an ice cube just now to try to get a smidgen of fluid into him. I’m taking him back to the vet tomorrow, and I fear deeply that unless they have answers and can stabilize him, our vibrant, goofy loving dog will be crossing the Rainbow Bridge before old age should have taken him. I’ve pretty much spent my weekend crying, not unlike each day the past month, so I’ll work to stay hydrated as well, and hope we all get through this with love, kindness, caring and the least amount of pain possible. And I’d like to ask for a new deck of cards, because I’m not doing well with what’s getting dealt to me.

View from the Tripper

Tripper: Hullo. Hullllooooo, we came right back this morning, yes, did you notice?

Me: Good dogs! Very good. Sit.

Tripper: We were so good. Now let me show you with my nose where the real treats are, ok, lady? OK?

(Tripper counter-cruises the stove, snuffling like a truffle pig. I see the pork shoulder that was in the smoker overnight is wrapped in foil and parked squarely – safely – on the back left burner, which also happens to be the furthest accessible point from either direction.)

Me: Laughs.

Tripper: Oh my god, so, like, can I have that? I’d really like that. That smells AMAZEBALLS, and you know, you did take my balls away from me. I’d really like that meat. (SNUFFLES DEEPLY) I mean, ok, I sound selfish. I’ll share. With her. (looks at Polly) Like, so, can WE have that? We’d really like that. We’ll be super good. Swear.

Later, I discover Mr. Tripper paid Polly with false promises of future treats to go in his kennel last night (in the dark hallway, after they came in from their nightly constitution) instead of him, so he could have free-range of the house for just one night. James got up at 2 am and realized the mistake, as a waggly happy Tripper was ready to go go GO outside (I smells meat!) and poor Polly was in the crate. Guess I need to turn the light on tonight to make sure this sort of mischief doesn’t continue! And no. No meat treats for breakfast. They got plenty of bones yesterday, and a rib bone tonight, so no matter how pathetic they try to act, we are ON to them.

A Little Levity

I am brimming over at this point. My emotional bucket has reached capacity. A friend of mine posted this on Facebook last night, and I surprised myself at how hard I laughed. To the point I was trying to hold my eyes open because I was physically scrunching up my face so much, I couldn’t see. I hope it at least gives you a chuckle. (The “ok” hand gesture set me over the edge, I think.)

Off The Chain

Yesterday was such a lovely day, I decided to spend part of my lunch break taking a little walk in the neighborhood. I thought it would also be nice to take one of the dogs along, namely, Tripper, as he is always looking for mischief and could use a little more discipline in his life.

Well. Polly and I did a fair amount of leash work with her when she was a  pup, but we never did the same work with Tripper. So I picked up one of those “gentle leader” gizmos at PetSmart, thinking that would magically transform this brutish boy dog into a model walking companion.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

First, just the experience IN THE HOUSE should have indicated how things would go. Battle Royale getting it on him, and then several SIT SIT SIT matches where I was extracting his paw from being trapped as he maniacally tried to remove the straps around his face. (I even stopped and consulted the guide to make sure it was on correctly. It was.) Out the door we went, and every four steps, it was like I had a swordfish caught on the end of my line – wild head whipping, pawing, general mayhem. I thought, fine, we’ll just keep going and he’ll get used to it. I held the leash high and short, ala Cesar Milan (Proud, like in dog show!) but there was nothing prideful to be found. Gentle leader, my ass. Even my sharp “TSST!” was useless, and all I could think of was the South Park episode, when Cartman goes apeshit on the end of the leash while Cesar counsels his mother to not pay any attention to him.  This concept is great in theory, but when your arm and patience are both being taxed to maximum capacity, while you’re walking in a no-sidewalk neighborhood, watching for cars? Not so much.  We made it as far as the neighbor’s driveway, and I decided my notion of a bucolic midday walk was seriously flawed. Back in the house he went, and I continued to stroll by myself, returning home sweaty, still covered in dog hair.  Quite the sight. I may try Polly next time, maybe. Or exchange the “gentle leader” for “bad motherfucker collar”.

Edited to give you the South Park snippet (only there was no calming down):

A Happy Dog’s Tale

A couple weeks ago, our friend Cindy went out for a walk and came home with a lost dog. The pooch was predominantly black lab,  a blocky-headed, chunky dude named Coal. He had a leather collar with a city and phone number in Georgia, so we all assumed his owners had recently moved to town. After all, Coal hadn’t missed any meals, and he was one friendly dude. Because Cindy’s yard isn’t fenced, we agreed (yeah, I got the puppy-dog eyes from my husband) to a trial run and to help house him for a couple of days, as long as he got along well with our two labs. Plus, we have an outside kennel and doghouse, and a fenced yard – it seemed like the humane thing to do for the fella. James had high hopes he might be a hunting dog, but one toss of the dummy showed utterly NO interest in retrieving. Coal chased after the dummy, looked at it, and ran back to James – leaving the dummy behind. Not a duck dog!

He certainly got along with our dogs -manic play time and Coal showed no interest in challenging either dog for pack leadership (another oddity, as he was still intact, and I fully expected aggression between the two males.) No such thing, though by day two, Tripper was attempting to hump him, proving once and for all he’s got a madcap gay puppy inside him just howling to get out! (j/k!) We decided to get our P.I. friend in on the hunt for Coal’s owners – since the GA number rang into a fax, and faxes sent to the machine were unanswered. She quickly identified the name of the owner of the former number, and we even thought we’d found a residence -not too far from where Coal was found. Alas, no such luck. Cindy called vets in the Georgia town, and found Coal’s former vet – who confirmed the name we had was indeed the owner. They supplied a KS number, but that person said they weren’t missing a dog. I started to believe his owners had dumped him, and it made me so sad – and angry. To me, dogs are a commitment for their lifespan, not a couch you decide you’re tired of and put out on the curb. But I digress.

My new knitting friend Shawnna graciously agreed to foster Coal on a longer-term basis, and asked if we could call the vet back to get his records (for immunizations, etc.) Cindy obliged – and the vet faxed everything over. Unlike people medical records, apparently you can just send the whole kit & caboodle – and lo and behold, there was another (GA) number on the paperwork! Cindy called it – and it went through to the owner’s mom! Who was beside herself and told Cindy that her son and his wife LOVED that dog, and she would alert them immediately. Sure enough, they called, arrangements were made, and Coal went home that very night! Big smiles reportedly abound, and the only request that was made was to UPDATE HIS COLLAR. (I would have also suggested a surgical snip-snip, but that’s probably not my bidness.)

For a short time, I was afeard we’d have ourselves back up to three dogs, and at one point, Coal was sitting pretty on the back deck, begging to come into the house. I saw James behind him, with an equally hopeful look on his face. Yes, he was well-mannered, and a sweetheart, but no, I wouldn’t let him in. I’d watched that dog attempt to mark every bush, tree, and blade of grass in the back yard, long after he’d run out of “ammo”, and I could only imagine what would happen INSIDE the house. After all, it was Tripper’s error in judgment that fateful day he lifted his leg on our comforter and got his balls moved to the top of my to-do list! So I like to think that Coal’s reunited with his family, and his fellow dog, and he’s probably already put the weight back on that he lost at our “spa” – what with the massive exercise of playtime, and no people food.  Truly an all’s-well-that-ends-well.

But I do still wonder when a puppy might wander into our lives…heh.

Just Breathe

So, fair warning. Yes, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted, and yes, I’ve written about 30 different blog posts in my head. So many things I’m thinking about, so many things I’d like to say, some of which I shouldn’t, some of which I won’t. I had been thinking, OK, let’s get back in the swing of it, put the thoughts to keyboard, and had planned on writing something today.
Just not about this.
Fair warning again. It’s so gross.
I got some things done this morning, met a rep for lunch, and went to the grocery store. Got my car washed, filled up Mimi with gas, and headed home. I’ve got a lot of work to do this weekend, but I’m also looking forward to my evening out with knitting peeps and having some laughs. I decide to leave Mimi in the drive, as that will make it easier to get the groceries in, and after all, I’m heading back out later.

None of this is interesting, or of note, or even that different. I push open the door, the alarm warning goes off, the dogs greet me, and I walk through the breezeway and into the dining room. I am carrying as much as I can, and it’s funny how your brain multi-tasks: Make sure dogs don’t go out into the garage (as they could get out of the house or, more likely, attempt to eat all the dog food out of its bin.) Have a very short amount of time to get to the alarm, which we don’t have right by the door on purpose, so don’t dilly dally. Note that answering machine is blinking. And through all of this, Olfactory Gnome wakes up and starts sending up red flags. Alert! Alert! Something smells…… and something smells …… BAD.
Then I see it. Because now I’m across the dining room and about to enter the kitchen, only it is a mine field of dog diarrhea. One main source, but there was some travelling and then some tracking to boot. The smell is overwhelming and the alarm is still going. I think, “Do I tell the alarm company when they call that I just couldn’t cross a river of dog shit to turn it off? Would they accept that?” I think, no, I have to turn this off and so I do my own version of a Highland jig through our kitchen, screaming “BACK! BACK!” because Tripper is now eagerly following behind me and I all can think is we’re both expanding the cleaning area exponentially. I get the alarm turned off, the dog has retreated, and I repeat my jig back across the tile, breathing through my mouth.

Somewhere, in the recesses of my mind, Philosophical Gnome asks the question, “Which would you rather clean up? Dog vomit, or shit?” Well, duh, the answer is neither, but I’m going with vomit. Unless it’s just hardened overnight poop, which is unpleasant but nothing compared to the chore ahead of me. I get the rest of the groceries in the house, shut the garage door, and strip down to skivvies to handle the worst of it. (After all, nobody needs their clothing dragging through it to boot.) Paper towels everywhere, and copious amounts of plastic grocery bags. Yes, they may be evil but lord help me, this is why they’re on earth. I get out two trash bags. The Swiffer Wet Jet, a huge stack of mop pads, and I tackle it.

Partway through, I realized I sounded like Darth Vader trying to say the word “Halal.” (Hey, we don’t know if Darth needs his meats butchered according to Muslim law.) For to just breathe through one’s mouth is not enough – the stench was so horrific. I was trying to block my sinus passages with my tongue, which leads to very raspy, labored-sounding breathing. hhhhhhhaaaaaaaa….lllllaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllhhhhhhhhh. The anal-retentive chef from SNL has nothing on me. Everything is multiple-bagged, and then I mopped. And then everything went into another trash bag, while I still hhhhhhhhaaaaaaalllllaallllllllhhhh’ed around and took the trash to the garage. I’m dripping with sweat, I shoo the dogs outside while holding back dry heaves, and get the rest of the groceries put away. My phone’s ringing, I’m having a Silkwood Shower in the sink, I get a candle lit to put on the stove, and finally sit down in front of the fan to cool off.
Only to hear a huge clap of thunder roll overhead.
Dogs are hurried back into the house, and I throw my top back on, because remember? Freshly washed car sitting in the driveway. At this point? I can’t be bothered with pants. Yep. I did a SWAT-team-esque run to my car (only potentially being in-sight of someone driving by for all of 3 seconds) to get it put back into the garage before the heavens opened up.

Which, fifteen minutes later, they have yet to do. I didn’t need to crouchingly shuffle to my car half-dressed, but I did. And I didn’t really care if someone happened to drive by at that exact moment.

Basically? This is my life. I have a lot of good things in my life, and I’ve reflected a lot on the past year, over these past few weeks. Losing my job, almost a year ago, was really shitty. It was also really good. I haven’t done all the things I thought I’d do in that time, but I also haven’t gotten sick, had stupid office politics/turmoil with people clawing to climb over you or tear you down. Did you notice that first one? I haven’t gotten sick. No cold. No bronchitis. No walking pneumonia, for the first time in many, many years. I miss a couple of my clients, and I miss not worrying about money as much, but there’s really very little to miss about my former job except a couple of friends. The limbo, sometimes, gets to me. But I’m not all that different from most of the people out there. I noticed there’s a Facebook group making the rounds, “Be kinder than necessary, because everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle.” and it’s really true. These aren’t easy times. When stressed and/or depressed, it’s even easier to feel overwhelmed and hopeless. And alone. But we’re not. So many people are riding this same current, and so it’s those moments of connection, we need to make them and find them and enjoy them. Because when I was at the grocery store, the checker asked me to put the big sign on the end of her checkout stand, that said “THIS LANE CLOSED”. I did, making sure I put it right on the spot where the belt wouldn’t grab it. Helping someone out. So imagine my surprise, as I’m finishing up paying, I see this very old lady in my peripheral vision, standing next to me. I look down, and she’s got items on the belt. I actually did a double-take, like, WHa? I swear I put that sign there, nobody’s supposed to be behind me, and I look at the checker, who’s looking at me and has seen my whole WTF reaction. I raise one eyebrow at her. She starts giggling. My eyes shift over towards granny, then back to her. Oh yes, the sign was there. Granny just decided to say “Fuck it” to the sign and what was anyone going to do? I don’t have to say a word, my face says it all. The checker is shaking her head, she gets it too, and is shaking with laughter. I’m chuckling, still with an eyebrow hitting my hairline, and we went on from that moment. That moment, those are the moments I seek in life. When we can look at each other and just laugh because there’s no point in getting mad, there’s no issue of race, or religion, or age, or income, or anything, it’s just fucking funny.

And when the shit gets too high, just take off your pants, light a candle and breathe: Hhhhhhhaaaaaaaa….lllllaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllhhhhhhhhh.

In The Air Tonight

Tripper, unfortunately, still spends more time getting into trouble when left to his own devices. Tonight I ran out to get Thai carryout, and when I got home, the paper towels I had placed over my bowl of tomatoes were shredded into pieces on the kitchen floor. Little fucker. (I love mint beef salad, so I order it with extra dressing, and pour the whole thing over two enormous tomatoes that have been cut into wedges. Nom.)

One of the things we’re remaining consistent with, as pertains to Sir Tripper, is keeping him in his crate at night. He loves to bark up an alarm at anything, so keeping him confined reduces his exposure to shifting light, shadows, the sounds of cats outside, etc. It’s bad enough before we go to bed that our reflections in the large dining room window send him into Freak The Fuck Out mode.

But.

There is this one thing he’s taken to doing, smack in the middle of the night, and it sounds like a small prison riot. We’re not sure exactly what he’s doing, or if he’s even awake while doing it, but as I crawled back into bed after one of his clangy outbursts, I had the funniest image in my mind: he’s performing a Phil Collins-esque drum solo out there.  There’s banging and scrabbling and the sound of furious paws of fury (but no throat noises or barking), it lasts about two minutes (just enough to really wake you up) and then all is silent.

Maybe he’s having a Michelob Light, the night did used to belong to them…. At least now, when he wakes me up, I half-grin at the situation.

And, as a child of the 80’s,  I have several heart-mind-humor associations with Phil Collins – but one of my favorites is a piece done by Starlee Kine.  If you’ve never heard the episode “Break Up” on This American Life, go stream it and enjoy.

Circle of Life

Well, this is not an easy story to tell. But I’ve managed to tell it a few times now, and I even see the humor in it – hell, part of my brain even saw it in the moment, so I’m going to give it a go. If you’re exceptionally tender-hearted, then I suggest you go look at chinchillas and come back another day.

For those following on all fronts, you might have seen some exasperated plurks/tweets earlier this week (Tuesday), in which I screeched about a particular bird that was making a ruckus outside, so loudly I wanted to go and shoot it. Said bird kept up the racket all afternoon. When James came home from work, he noticed it, and decided to investigate. Turns out? We had two baby ducklings hanging out by my herb bed, and he got a small net and a box, and scooped them up.

I immediately changed from “goddamned bird” to “omg! SQUEE THEY ARE SO CUTE!” and while he went off to look for the momma duck, I tried to pick them up in the box. Fleet little creatures, ducklings are, but eventually, I scooped one up and delighted in its softness, beauty and fluff.

Tripper, meanwhile, walked by and saw the other duckling and went, CHOMP, and scooped one up in his mouth. Horrified, James and I both screamed at him, he dropped the duckling, I put him back in the box – where he died, 15 seconds later.

Fuck. My. Life. James took the dogs inside, and I removed the duckling from the box, and burst into tears. Now, see, most people, at the very beginning of this story, where I say, “Two baby ducklings…” have an instant transformation in their expression. They know. They understand, the doomed nature of ….. Nature. But not me. I think everything can be rescued, everything can be saved, just work hard enough and everything turns out alright. And so, suddenly, this dead duckling exploded into a personification of all the stress and angst with job-related things, that no matter how well-intentioned or hard you might be working, a giant black lab can come along and just pluck you out of your existence.

I pulled myself together, put the (now lonely) duckling in the box, and went inside.

Somewhere in the next fifteen minutes, a small case was made (again) for chickens. If we had a chicken tractor, we could just throw the duckling in there, and he’d be fine. We discussed options. Keeping said duckling, raising him. But I searched online, and there wasn’t a lot of hope or options there. Plus someone made the point that one duck is a very lonely duck. We still have a goodly number of feral cats around, and those probably created this very predicament in the first place. James boiled it down to two choices – he could take care of things, or I could take the duckling, try to find a pond with a duck family on it, release the duckling, and hope for the best.

I put some paper towels in the bottom of a Costco-sized Contadina Tomato Paste box, put the duckling inside, and into the Murano we went. James advised me to drive along Blue River Road, which truly is a beautiful stretch of asphalt tucked away in the city. I’d never been on it, so after veering off Bannister by the Federal Complex, I found the road and headed south. There were parks, and even some ponds, but I couldn’t spot any ducks, and even though there were cars parked in places, I also couldn’t see any people. Because it felt pretty isolated, I didn’t feel completely secure just getting out and tromping around. So I kept going. And going. And going. Until I got to Blue Ridge, and then I knew I had to start heading back towards home. I drove up Holmes, and spotted a great pond – but no ducks. And there was a strange woman parked there and the signs said “No Trespassing”, so I continued to look. I figured I wouldn’t be able to just roll on in to a golf course, but then I thought – Mt. Moriah! Yes! Cemeteries often have ponds, reflecting pools, etc. And as the sun inched towards the horizon, I found myself rolling through the placid hills and then – yes – there it was. Two large pools of water. I made my way towards them.

The good thing about hanging out in a cemetery is that nobody really pays attention to you. Most of the people there are dead, and the ones who are alive are focused on one or two spots. It’s a serene place, and I actually used to study in cemeteries in college, just to find complete isolation (and I was in my Harold & Maude stage).  So I drove around, waited for some people to leave that were nearby, and approached the pond furthest from the grave sites. No ducks, but there were a large number of geese. Birds of a feather! The ugly duckling. Surely, these feathered relatives would take on a lonely duckling.

Now, again, a good percentage of you have changed your facial expressions. I’ve watched it happen this week, again, at this point in the story. But I didn’t know. I know geese can be territorial, but I had no idea they’d be so discerning that they’d immediately know this ball of fluff was NOT of their species, and would proceed to peck him to death.

But that didn’t happen. Because that would have been pretty horrifying for me, yes, and I would have probably gotten into a goose fight and I really cannot imagine how that might have unfolded, except I probably would have been brought home to my husband by the South Patrol and asked to never enter Mt. Moriah Cemetery again.  Yet, tragedy was still inevitable, though I didn’t yet know it.

I released the little duckling within a dozen yards of the geese. He immediately turned and started running back at me. I thought, “OH SHIT, he’s already imprinted on me and now I’m going to HAVE to take him home and raise him, there is no other option.” Except he kept running. Past me. Towards the car. OK, dude, you really wanna go back with me, hm? No. You want to run away from me, and we’re going around and around and around the Murano.

I did stop and think, well, I’m in a cemetery. People who are grieving do crazy things. If I don’t do this TOO long, it will just slide by and people will not come over here to figure out what in hell is going on and why this fat lady is going around and around her car with a large Contadina Tomato Paste box, scooping at the ground.

Pretty soon, the duckling figured out that the same run/hide/evade experience could be had by just going around and around the back wheel.

We did this for fifteen minutes.

Finally, I gave up.

I told myself, “Ok. I’m going to get in the car. He’s on the inside of the wheel, so I will edge forward very slowly, and he will either be adopted by the geese, he will wander off on his own, or – worst case scenario – I will run over him, but at least it will be quick.”

And I look in my rear-view mirror, fully expecting to see a wandering duckling.

Nope.

I ran over him.

Of course I did. If we were going to sustain this giant emotional snotball of a metaphor, OF COURSE I HAD TO RUN OVER THE DUCK.

I just shook my head. Went home. James came in from the yard and said, “So, how’d it go?”

I replied, “The only way it could have gone, really.” And cried in his arms.

See, I know. I KNOW this is funny in a tragi-comic sort of way. But at the same time, I marvel at my naivete. My desire to fix and solve, a desire that is untouched by reality. I don’t think I would change that part of me, there’s enough inside me that is jaded and bruised and sharp. But oh how it stung.  I thought of how the circle of life is sometimes just a car wheel.

And then, changing subjects after telling this story last night, I (completely unwittingly) said, “So! Extra Virgin is SO good. I had duck gizzards!” and everyone collapsed around me in hysterics.

Circle of life, indeed.

Today…

…is brought to you by the letter “J”, the number “3” and the color “Orange”
Afternoon Snack

Since my unemployment has coincided with the school year, we’ve opted for after-school snacks instead of packing James a lunch in the morning. It’s been rather fun, and I intentionally made this one orange-themed. (Those mandarin oranges are from Aldi’s!)

Also, let’s talk about carrots. I’ve given up on the pre-fab, uber-convenient so-called ‘baby’ carrots. It seems that the manufacturer has taken to including more water in the bag – because the absence of water made the carrots, in my words, ‘dusty’. But now the water? Makes them slimy. I hit the wall when I had to return a huge tub to CostCo, and then the next week, saw the same sort of slimy water on a regular 2# bag of the carrots. Irritated, I decided it was time to get back to my proverbial roots. Back in the day, carrots required a modicum of work. It’s not that much, really, and I’ve always enjoyed the ol’ peeler. And you know what? Way more flavor. Way more moisture. Carrots the way they always have been, and we’d forgotten that, in the ease of bagged, shaped, finger-sized convenience. The first carrot I peeled reminded me of how my dad would whittle a screwdriver-shaped carrot for me, the strips left behind destined for salad. A contented crunch.

Bonus? The dogs love carrots, too, so they get the ends, which they excitedly chomp on while watching to see if more are going to be tossed their way.

Random Orts

1. My hand is on fire from thinking I would be impervious to jalapenos. I simply was holding them, as I cored and de-seeded over 100 of them. Later, I filled them with cream cheese. Next up, drenching them four times, freezing them & then storing them for spicy treats this winter! And a note to self to get some smaller gloves, because that was my other excuse – the ones we have are terribly floppy and not fun to wear for two hours. But then having your hand En Flambe for 10 hours is probably less desirable. Lesson! Learned!

2. Whoever writes for Grey’s Anatomy is well-aware of grief and how it ‘works’. I’d saved up this season to watch and the season premiere was like hitting yourself repeatedly with a tire iron. But it’s nice to be able to smile and nod and just get it, when I’m done crying. The oddest triggers still surprise me…. flipping on the radio to hear Bob Dylan and sobbing for fifteen minutes, deep abandoned sobs, as though it were new and fresh and brutal all over again.

3. Interviewing is reminding me of dating. Except it’s not really acceptable to drink during them.

4. The dogs are scrapping with each other sporadically as they adjust to life without Suzy. James and I just hit little jagged edges of grief, like catching your t-shirt on a nail, stopping you short. We miss her. I think the most charming thing she did, and it usually happened close to dinner time, or when she’d been alone for a while, was if you pointed at her with both index fingers, and said endearingly, “Who is the Suzy?!” over and over, she would curl her lips up and smile at you. The week she died, I tried to say it to her and I ended up bawling my head off, and then lying down on the floor with her and holding her. That’s what I did in the vet’s office, too. You know, there are points in your life, when you reach an age, and you endure things, that you just don’t give a good goddamn about how you look or what other people think. So in all my largesse, I laid on that cold tile floor with her, and then I walked out, carrying her collar and leash, doing the Ugly Cry as a waiting room full of people looked at me with some degree of fear in their eyes. The other sweet thing she did when we first moved in to the house was BedCheck at night. The Chessie in her gave her the instinct to guard, and she would patrol around the house after the lights were out, just to make sure everything was in order. She was the Suzy.

5. There have been positives that have come from my unemployment. Realizing and recognizing the enormous network of people out there that I have. Re-connecting with some awesome people, some of whom are in the same boat. Meeting new people, too. I’ve gotten a couple new friends and it just makes me marvel, that something that felt so wrenching could have so many positive off-shoots. Now the challenge is to find a new path and new environment that’s healthy and balanced. It’s fun to think about.

6. Brussels Sprouts. I am so excited for them to be in season. Roasted, with bacon & drizzled with balsamic vinegar? Heaven on earth!

7. Sunshine. Blessed, blessed sunshine. It was so dark and gloomy for so many days, I was having flashbacks to February in Minneapolis. It got so bad one year, a local company took a bunch of employees up in an airplane above the clouds, just to give everyone a dose of light. I hope it sticks around – I love a good rainy day or two, but I also love Fall sunshine….

8. Typos. I work my butt off to avoid them, but sometimes, even with the best of intentions and proofing, they just happen. And since our knitting guild is moving around right now (the current location is up for sale), we’re meeting at a couple different libraries this month and next. In an effort to be helpful, I updated the monthly reminder that goes out a day early, with the revised locations. Only, instead of “SHAWNEE library”, I missed the “S”. Which meant I sent out a notice for everyone to meet-up at the HAWNEE library. I’ll just have to channel my inner Austin Powers for tomorrow night’s meeting….yeah baby.

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