Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Losing it on a Tuesday

Yesterday was tough. Tough, tough, tough. I came home from work and things seemed fine. My doggie-girl was waiting at the back door when I walked in and greeted me with her normal enthusiasm. We sent Rico off to his men's softball league double-header and ate dinner.

I had a half of an heirloom tomato (Rainbow was the variety, I think, and it was a lovely orange on top with a great hue of red on the bottom) and a cuke that I'd picked up at the Ada Farmer's Market on my way home. And two slices of Kraft American Cheese and a handful of oyster crackers. I don't know why I added the crackers, or the cheese for that matter, craving salt maybe? It's an odd combo, I know. But I'm like that. If I'm making myself dinner it's usually an odd combo of things that may, or may not, go together (usually not), because I'm choosing from whatever is in the house that I don't have to cook, and appeals to me at that particular point in time.

(I'm pretty sure Rico hates this -- I want what I want, when I want it when it comes to food -- unfortunately this means I can't tell him in advance what I want to eat for dinner -- so it makes it really hard for him to plan meals. He loves to cook, but I'm just too ... what's the word I'm looking for???? Not picky really ... not demanding really (ha ha ha ha ha ha, yes I am

(All I can think of is that I'm a pain in the ass!) :)

Is that too much information? I'm thinking that if I tell the story then some of the stress and anxiety of it will dissipate. Anyhoo ...

I shared my cheese slices with the two cats and Killer, because everybody was begging to share, and I sat at the bar and read the Redbook that has that hottie from NCIS Los Angeles on it with all his kids. (His name escapes me right now, which is crazy because I totally love him and NCIS and L.L. Yummy.)

Anyway, I'm eating and paging through the magazine and I think I hear whimpering, but I'm not sure. A few minutes later I heard it again, but the cats were nowhere in sight and Killer was laying on her bed in the living room. Hmmm. Odd. Maybe Killer is dreaming again, and lord knows she makes all kinds of noises when she's in never-never-land.

A bit later I gather stuff together and I head upstairs to chill and read in bed (it's been a tough week already, and it's only Tuesday) I'm at the top of the stairs and I realize Killer isn't following me. That hardly ever happens. Odder still is the fact that she's standing down in the the middle of the living room and she won't look at me when I call her. She's twisted sideways a bit. Huh. That's a bit freaky. I don't like it. That's just not how she is. She's my shadow. My big Rottie baby-girl. She's always right there waiting for a butt rub or a belly rub

As I head back downstairs I'm hoping she just needs to go outside (even though she went out when I came home). I get progressively freaked when she still won't look at me, and when I try to heard her towards the stairs she whines. Oh-oh.

Now, I know I can overreact when it comes to health issues (in my family that's called "weak-but" -- I pretty much get queasy and feel like all the blood has left my head -- that's why my sister is the nurse and not me). This issue is one I'm totally aware is a problem for me. But Killer is getting up there in dog years, and Rico isn't home to tell me that I'm overreacting. And I'm getting pretty uptight. Really uptight. But I don't want her to realize it because, you know, I don't want her to freak out.

I'm saying "Keep calm." in my head but I'm nowhere near calm.

Killer is a dog, right? So she can't tell me what's wrong or where she hurts. But something hurts (in addition to my heart, because I can't stand for her to hurt) so I start examining her arthritic legs to see if it's one of those. Nope. Is something in a paw? Nope. Has she broken a nail? Nope.

I run my hand over the lump on her side that the vet assures me is just a fat nodule that happens as dogs become older and older. It's bigger than I remember it being (or am I just imagining that it is?). Nope, that doesn't hurt her.

I run my hand over her stomach and whatever you call the rest of the doggie-underside (it can't all be stomach, can it?). Nope.

Nothing seems to hurt, but CLEARLY something hurts. She still won't look at me. She still won't move.

In typical my overreacting fashion I assume something is terribly wrong. Surely she's burst an organ and is bleeding internally. Her eye's don't look right. She's got some terrible new icky-looking sticky goo on her teeth. Her body is shutting down and there's nothing I can do to help. And the vet is already closed. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! Can you tell I'm panicking?

Oh boy am I. It's a freak-out-fest.

I force her to go up the steps, because if she's going to die I want to be able to lie down and hold her while she does it, dang it. So now that both of us are whimpering we're in the bedroom and I STILL can't get her to lay down. And then I start to cry. And pray. And tell myself to get a grip for Pete's sake. Even as I'm telling myself I'm being ridiculous I'm sobbing (and trying not to sob only because I don't want that to be here last memory -- mommy sobbing and freaking out).

Basket. Case.


And Rico is still playing softball. We're a mess, and he doesn't even know it. I could call my brother (who Killer belonged to before she came to live with us), or my Dad, or my sister the nurse -- I know they'd all answer their phones, and they'd help me figure our where to take Killer. But she's my responsibility. My baby-dog. I should be able to help her. So I call Rico, who I know doesn't have his phone with him BECAUSE HE'S PLAYING BALL, you dumbass, M.

You know he won't answer. But he should know. And I try not to sob as I leave a message. I'm not totally successful. I figure he won't even get the message, because his phone is crap like that.

But you know what? He got it. He came right home. And by then I was calm(er) and Killer was laying down -- still whimpering and pawing at the ground, and still with the sad eyes and the icky teeth goo -- but laying down). And then he did all the same things I did. I'm not so much of a dumb-ass-worthless-in-an-emergency after all (well, yeah, I am -- but I didn't feel quite so bad then).

And then he looks at me and says, "I wonder if this has anything to do with her eating animal crap outside the other day." Oh. That's right. That would give you a tummy ache, wouldn't it? (And by the way WHY IN THE HELL do dogs do that kind of crap?-- pun intended). Why-oh-why would you eat deer crap, or raccoon crap, or whatever kind of crap you can find in the woods? Why?

What do we do? We get her outside to go potty. We took her for a ride in the car, because she LOVES doing that. And then Killer and I took Rico up the road to the sports bar that sponsors his softball team and we dropped him off to celebrate their win and relax. We headed home, Killer and I. We sat in the driveway outside (because she wouldn't get out of the car). We (I) rearranged the cars so that I could park Killer and her car in the garage in case she didn't want to get out all night. I'm a freak show. I know this.

There was more... but you get the gist. Today she's doing better. She got up to go out when I got up and left for work. Just like always. Yippee! She ate breakfast. Yeah! She went for another car ride and Rico got what he needed to make her hamburger/rice/yogurt stomach fixing combo that the vet recommended. (FYI, she sat in the car for an hour after they got home -- only getting out once her food was cooked and ready to eat).

She greeted me at the door when I got home from work just like always. Thank God.

Her little stub of a tail is wagging a bit. She's eating. I need to take a breath. Inhale. Exhale.

It's time for me to go pet my dog. I'm SO happy to do it

P.S. That NCIS L.A. star is Chris O'Donnel (Duh!). Again, yum.
P.S.S. Thank goodness for spellchecker.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mid-century Modern Lust

I can't get it out of my mind. The furniture. Oh, the furniture. Even though it totally wouldn't go with my house. For Pete's sake we live in a farmhouse-style house in the woods (Ha! Freudian slip there... I actually typed "weeds" rather than woods -- which is so, so appropriate this summer season. Our landscaping is a disaster. Weeds, weeds, weeds everywhere. Wouldn't you think having someone home full-time would make a difference in how housework and yardwork gets done?)...

What was I saying before I got so distracted? Oh, yeah. I can't get the furniture at D's out of my head. I'm seriously lusting after it -- even searching Craigslist for it -- though I know full well that it wouldn't go with our house. I like an ecclectic style and all, but it would really be a stretch to fit this chair in my living room and have it look right. But holy smokes it's comfy, and so stylish. Lust.

And then there's the pedestal coffee table that's surrounded by the cutest little pedestal stools. It's the "puzzle table" because it's the perfect place to do a puzzle. No hard corners to jab you in the side as you're reaching over to grab a piece that you need. No table legs to smack your legs on as your reaching. I can TOTALLY see this fitting into the lower level in front of my IKEA bookcases. I could put together puzzles to my hearts content. I even have a french door right there --so the light would be similar to the setup that D has. Total lust.

And the little stools, did I mention the little stools? Four perfect little stools surround the puzzle table. Just the right height for my 5'0 tall self. Perfect.

Of course, at D's this ensemble rests on top of a mamoth shaggy hooked rug -- and I wouldn't go there -- but the rest of it. J'adore. Yo quiero. Please.

I fell in love with another mid-century item in college. My freshman dorm was based on a concept of 6 rooms clustered around a shared lounge area -- called "clusters" -- and Dykstra Hall was stocked with Herman Miller furniture (donated, I'm sure, since it's in the hometown of the Herman Miller empire). We had Eames Aluminum Group chairs that we oh-so-comfy. They were in a very unfortunate color of bright orange a shade -- which may have been all the rage about 20 years before I got there -- but you couldn't see the color when you were cradled in it's comfort. Maybe if I got it in tan I could sneak it in somewhere?

One thing I wouldn't want from my college dorm rooms' "cluster" would be the odd conglomeration of pieces that made up a sectional of shorts when pushed together. These pieces were an unfortunate shade of brilliant lime green, and we had three pieces that formed an outside curve (which looked quite odd when pushed against a flat cinder-block wall). It was a cluster all right.And when you combine that and the orange chairs with the darker-but-still-bright-green-scratchy-polyester fabric Chicklet loveseat? Oy!

Of course I didn't take any pictures of the room, so I can't show you exactly how invigorating the color scheme was. These pics don't do the color scheme justice -- they're just too, too tame. But interesting, don't you think? Don't get me wrong, I don't want either of the sofas. Just the chair.

And the puzzle table and stools.

And the mesh chair.

None in orange. ;)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Do you have stuff that you just have to have with you to feel comfortable? Or am I alone in that foible?

When I leave the house there are things I just have to have in my bag:

- kleenex: yes, a Kleenex pocket pack of tissues makes my list. You gotta love having allergies, and there's nothing worse than listening to someone sniffle constantly because they don't have a tissue (or am I the only one with that pet peeve?)

- lip balm: it's all in my head, I know, but I just gotta have one or two with me or all I can think about is how parched my lips feel and how badly I need some lip balm)
- eyedrops: usually two kinds of eye drops, because one would just not be enough; everyone knows you have to have the super-sticky kind of eyeball re-wetting eye drops in addition to allergy eye drops, right? The kind without preservatives is a must for me, so ReNu it is!
- a book: or two books, because who wants to be stuck somewhere without something to read? Not me. And carrying two books is just in case the one you're reading ends up being a dud. There are so many books out there, so why continue reading one that doesn't capture your interest?

- sunglasses: my eyes are sensitive to light, so I've almost always got sunglasses on if I'm out of the house. If I don't have them on I'm surely squinting or dealing with weepy, watery eyes. Love that! (Not.). I'm really am loving the purple Lucky Brand sunglasses got at Ada Eye Care this summer. Thanks Dr Davis, for stocking some cool stuff.

Those are my essentials -- or all of the essentials that are mentionable without crossing the "too much information" line. How about you? What do you just have to have with you. Is it your cellphone or crackberry? Is is your iPod? Or something more basic like antibacterial cleanser? I know we've all got our own quirky take on what's essential. How about you?

P.S. Other bloggers point this out, so I will too: I'm not getting anything for mentioning or endorsing these items. They're just what I like.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Do you have your tennis shoes on?

The captain of Jason's co-ed team stopped by the bleachers tonight asking me "You've got tennis shoes on, right?"

"No, Joe, I'm wearing flip flops (on purpose, because I'm no fool), sorry!"

Hee hee! I've learned that if you go to a co-ed softball game with your husband you'll eventually be asked to sub for a female who is a no-show or one who is running a bit late. I'm not going to get suckered into that. I stopped playing 15 years ago when my eyesight started changing. So my flipflops are the footwear of choice on game days. Sneaky, sneaky.

A lot has changed since I used to play, and there are new challenges to be faced now:

I'd need eyeware to play. Nowadays I'm near-sighted so I'd need to wear prescriptive eyewear to have any hope of seeing the ball coming at me. And I've noticed that even when I have glasses on my depth perception is "off". So while I don't have any problem with the idea of catching a ball -- been there, done that for years -- the issue is I don't have any confidence that I could "find" the ball in time to catch it.

I'd need armbands to play. The lovely tennis-elbow-in-both-elbows diagnosis means that finger motions and gripping cause pain in both arms. So batting and throwing would both be difficult. If I were to wear the ever-so-attractive armbands I would look like a total dork, but beyond that, it would only help a certain amount. I'd still be paying the price the next day for abusing the injury.

I'd need oxygen after running the bases (if I even made it around the bases). A serious lack of exercise would make it a challenge to run the bases. Given that I've got "the girls" on my front side and "baby's got back" on my backside there'd be a lot of huffing and puffing and jiggling and wiggling going on.

It's not about getting old so much, it's about getting out of shape. And my current shape has some issues: laziness, and too much time in a cube. It'd be like sending Big Bertha out there. :)

I tried to stretch this photo so you'd get a "Big Bertha" effect,
but my image manipulation skills are sadly lacking when
working on Rico's laptop. Sorry.

And I don't want to be Big Bertha. I've got to get on that. Get up and get moving. Yup.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Room with No View


A warehouse space converted to an office.

Cubeville, awash in tan-wrapped fabric and an array of slightly discolored plastic trim pieces holding it tight.

A frosted skylight.

(What in the name of all that's holy made them think FROSTED was the way to go?)

No natural light.

A walk to a window in another department to see outside.

(Because standing outside the Marketing V.P.s office to see what the weather is like is such a great idea.)

Home again.

A momma and two baby deer outside my bedroom window eating my "Great Expectations" hosta.

Night creatures chirping.

A gentle breeze blowing in the screens.

Greenery outside every window.

Cats and dog gathered 'round.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

10 Things I Loved About Vacation

In no particular order:

-enjoying the lovely, warm Lake Michigan water and playing in the big waves with the kids

- reading on the beach under my umbrella

- falling asleep to the crashing of the waves hitting the sand

- walking only 30 steps to the beach (and having only a handful of those steps involve climbing stairs)

- playing Frisbee with the dog at the waters edge -- she totally loved it, and romped like a puppy

- afternoon naps (or hiding in the shaded camper reading and enjoying the view of the sunlight hitting the waves or the beach grass as it was blowing in the wind)

- playing double solitaire and listening to the boy's music (and singing) and seeing some killer dance moves

- walking the sandbar to the far end of the beach with the girl, spinning stories about who was doing what in the beach houses we wished were ours

- going to the soda fountain for a chocolate malted or a raspberry sorbet (and plain vanilla for the dog)

- putting together really tough puzzles, and fighting about who gets to do the edges

Friday, August 13, 2010

Back from two weeks at the beach

Lovely. Really.

Nothing beats two weeks relaxing on the beach at Lake Michigan. Great weather. Warm water (mostly), which was a huge improvement over last year's frigid water week. Lake Michigan was seriously cold last year the week we were there-- we could barely stand to put a toe in the water last year it was that cold. Thank goodness there were no HUGE storms that turned the whole lake over just before our vacation this year.

It was perfect for reading on the beach, swimming, feasting with family, and doing a little bit of exploring of the local scenery. How many families make multiple visits to a soda fountain that's been around since the 1880's? Ours. :) Yummy!

More later. Tired, tired, tired. And lots of laundry to do.

Thank goodness Rico and I agree that we can wait until tomorrow to unload the camper -- even it it means we have no pillows to sleep with tonight -- because, of course, they're in the camper. We'll have sweet dreams of our vacation at Karamu anyway, pillows or not.


I'm so thankful we had another opportunity to spend time at Diane's haven on the lake in Montague. I love Lake Michigan.