Thursday, May 28, 2009

Somebody's Got Some 'Splainin' to Do!

Today was pretty much craptastic from the get-go. The drains in my driveway and inside the garage were blocked with maple keys and mulch that had washed out of the flower beds, so after a night of heavy rain, the garage flooded to a depth of about 4 inches before I managed to get out there and squidge around clearing the drains. There wasn't much in the garage that could be spoiled by muddy water, but my folding chairs got drenched and I can't even wash them and set them outside because it's still freaking raining.

On my way into work this morning, I discovered that some genius at ODOT thought that 8 a.m. on a weekday would be a perfect time to close the center lane of one of the main highways leading into Cleveland. A 35-yard lane closure backed traffic up seven miles and I wound up having a stress headache and being more than an hour late to work.

When I finally got to work, I discovered an error in the index for the book I was planning to build early and discovered that two of the people not in Cleveland that I nonetheless work closely with and like very much are both taking the voluntary separation offer and leaving in the next year. :(

The drive home was hideous, with lousy visibility and slow driving. The garage had drained, but to quote Jeff Foxworthy, "It stinks very much bad in there." However, I discovered a box in front of my side door from Blue Ridge Daylilies, containing a Big Foot lily plant. I haven't decided where I will plant it, but I will put the stepping stone Bigfoot and I made in front of it, wherever it goes.

Thank you very much to whoever sent this, and please 'fess up.

Confession received--it was my lovely friend Mouse from the Lush forum. Thank you, my fellow gardener who is also owned by furkids! <3

The dog I looked at is meeting a family today, so while I am sorry that I missed the opportunity, I hope she finds her forever home.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In which we taunt an International Toe Porn Superstar

Spunky hangs out here and there are pictures here and here.

As an international sock-porn-writing superstar, I felt the need to mock and then out-do Spunky's pedicure (that orange-red is so last fall).

First I tried Nfu.Oh's #65, a silver holographic:

The holo is mesmerizing close-up, but doesn't really make me smile while I'm doing my water-walking or when I'm taking a bath or wearing sandals at work, so that one only lasted about a week.

I decided that if I was going to outshine Ms. Spunky, I needed something creative, clever and cute. I remembered a conversation between two fellow BPALettes, Yvaine and Girlygirl, and decided to try what the latter called "a fruiticure." I used OPI Holy Pink Pagoda, FingerPaints Art Dealer Teal-er and China Glaze Evening Seduction.

Awesomest toenail polish I have ever had!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

How to have incredibly smooth yet furry legs

In a warm shower, scrub legs with a clean-rinsing sugar scrub, such as Julphia's Whipped Sugar Scrub or Skindecent's Body Buffer. Rinse well.

Cover legs with shaving cream or bath butter. Shave with a good razor (even if it's not the one you loved for so many years). Rinse again.

Scrub a second time with an oilier scrub, making sure to scrub your heels and toes. Rinse very well.

Finish your shower, and before drying legs completely, smooth on a body glaze, massage bar, dry oil spray or body butter.

Wrap a towel around yourself and run to answer the phone. Tell the siding salesman he's an asshole. Hang up phone, turn around and trip over needy dog in the middle of blowing coat. Ta-da! You now have the smoothest, furriest legs around.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Aquatic Snobservations

Before the snobservations, one big cheer for the older man in my class who's there every single Saturday, doing the exercise the best he can manage before he has his second open-heart surgery. Yay Bill!

To all of the older ladies: if you've got fat on your back, don't wear a low-backed swimsuit. I'm not slamming anyone for being overweight, and I know that most of us have batwing arms, but I don't want to watch your backbacon jiggle when you're walking in front of me.

To some of the younger ladies: there is a difference between body art and white trash tattoos. Body art is exactly that, art. It's executed with skill and clarity. You should have saved up and gone for one good piece instead of getting ten or twelve blurry things that look like '90s clip art.

To the yakkers: it's nice that you're there with a friend. I enjoy Monday and Wednesday night classes just a little bit more because my mom is there with me. You will notice, however, that we do not walk slowly next to each other, so absorbed in chatting that we can't make room for faster people to walk around us. You make me want to channel my inner Jack Butler and yell "Pickups to the south, drop-offs to the North!"

To the lady who spent Wednesday's night's class humming: JUST STOP IT! That was so incredibly irritating I can't even think of something scathing to say. Save it for the shower!

To the skinny fake-blonde with the fake tan: I'm a petty, petty person, and I loved that you got turned away from the class when you showed up ten minutes late and were told you can't join the class when everyone already has their heart rate up. Oh, and I if I were you, I wouldn't wear a hot pink bikini, or any bikini for that matter, until I lost that little potbelly. I notice you haven't bothered to try to join us again, so good luck.

And to my beloved mother: I am doing this class three times a week, and I'm proud of myself. It's the first exercise program I have ever stuck with. I go even when you can't, and in two months, the only class I've missed was the night Stormdog died. Please do not nag me any more about lifting the weights you gave me for Christmas (and let's don't get started on my feelings about that) or adding in more and tougher classes at the Nat. I swear, the next time you say something, I'm going to splash water all over that what-color-is-your-hair-anyway 'do and yell something reminiscent of my horrible adolescence. I love you, but don't push. Please.

And in the non-snobby vein, I love this class, and I love that everyone gets out there and works his or her hardest to do what the instructors ask of us. Whether we're a big galloping herd of a class or a small but mighty one, I've never seen anyone who isn't trying. Yay us!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thank you all

for the love and support. I suspect I'm still a little bit in denial or something--I haven't cried at all since Monday night, and I feel sort of insulated from everything. Littlefoot didn't eat anything between Monday night and Thursday morning, but he's back to being his chowhound self. He's not straying more than six feet from me, not even to go sleep on my bed, which used to be his favorite spot in the world. Tomorrow, I have to go pick up Stormdog's ashes before I go to my water-walking class, and then I have to decide where I will keep them.

Probably in the study, because that's where I am most of the time, but I could also just move them around to all of the sunny spots in the house throughout the day.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who has supported me in this.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bigfoot’s Last Day

Monday, May 11, 2009.

I stayed home from work today to be with Bigfoot and so he didn’t have to spend his last day in a cold concrete basement. I let him sleep in, offered him a breakfast he didn’t want, and made sure to massage behind his ears every time I passed him. The morning was quiet, and I did laundry and archived books, and Bigfoot mostly slept.

Around 10:30, I decided to make the concrete stepping stone with his pawprints, so I got out my bucket, the concrete mix, my letters for imprinting and started. I think I got the concrete mixed correctly, so hopefully it will come out of the mold tomorrow. I let the poured concrete sit for 30 minutes, then put it on a flat pan and carried it into the bedroom, where Bigfoot was sleeping. I picked up one of his paws and placed it in the center of the stepping stone, and Bigfoot woke up and was not at all happy. He pulled his paw out and glared at me. I tried again and this time he got up and left the room, leaving little concrete footprints on the floor.

I picked up the pan, followed him into the kitchen, smoothed out the marks and put the pan in the middle of the floor. I got the pig ears out, and bribed Bigfoot while I tried to make him stand on the concrete. What I have are two blurry impressions that won’t look very much like pawprints to anyone else, but will always remind me of how stubborn and self-willed my darling dog was. Plus, there’s some dog hair embedded in it, so if cloning ever become inexpensive…

After he’d finished his pig ear, I cleaned off his paws and let him go outside to sulk in the sunshine for a while. When he came back in, we both took a nap. I laid down on the floor beside him and rubbed his belly and his ears and told him how much I loved him.

At 4:30, I took a quick shower and put Bigfoot outside. When I was clean and dressed and made up, I let him in and put Littlefoot out, then I put Bigfoot in the car. I let Littlefoot back in and gave him a treat to distract him, then headed out with Bigfoot.

About halfway to the vet’s office, Bigfoot got himself wedged between the back seat and the back of the driver’s seat and couldn’t turn around. I stopped at a gas station and freed him, then went on to the vet hospital.

I took the urn Megan made in with me, intending to leave it and ask the staff to give it to the crematorium guys.

I let Stormdog have a nice long sniff around the yard of the hospital and then took him inside. The two receptionists working tonight were the two I had always gotten along best with, and I got hugs from both of them. Stormdog got Bil-Jac treats, and Missy offered to send the rest of the box home for Littlefoot, but I declined because he’s always on a diet.

Dr. Bob wasn’t in, as he’d had a 103 degree fever since Thursday, but Dr. Mark was there, and I trust him. He and the techs were pumping the stomach of a dog who’d eaten most of a chocolate cake, so Bigfoot had time to sniff around the lobby and I had time to show Ellen and Missy the urn. They recommended I not leave it, but they offered to transfer Bigfoot’s ashes for me if I can’t cope with doing it when they come back from the crematorium. I put Bigfoot on the scale, and his weight was 62.3 pounds. That sounds big, but at his healthiest, he was 80 pounds, so it’s a big weight loss.

Dr. Mark came upstairs and said hello to Bigfoot, then led us into the smaller exam room. He asked if I was okay with doing the shot upstairs rather than down in the surgery, and I was very pleased to avoid the surgery. I described Bigfoot’s recent symptoms, including the lethargy and what seemed to me to be partial paralysis. Dr. Mark said he was pretty sure Bigfoot had canine degenerative myelopathy, which is progressive and incurable. He also said the only good thing about it was that it’s not painful.

I sat on the floor next to my Stormdog and held him across my lap and in my arms. Missy came in and stayed with us as the tech swabbed Bigfoot’s leg with alcohol. I told him over and over how much I loved him as Dr. Mark slid the needle in and depressed the plunger. I laid my cheek on the top of his head and my right hand over his chest and just told him what an amazing, wonderful dog he was until I felt his heart stop. Dr. Mark warned me that there would be a final gasp, and there was. Everyone left the room, and I sat there with Bigfoot in my arms, petting the velvet fur and breathing in his scent. One of the many things I loved about him was that he never smelled bad unless he was soaking wet, and the smell of his fur was always warm and clean. Eventually, Ellen and Missy came in and put him on the stretcher to take him downstairs. I kissed him goodbye for the last time, and came home.

After hugging Littlefoot and letting him know how much I loved him, I got online and looked up CDM. I found one website stating unequivocally that CDM is the canine version of MS, and although Wikipedia was more restrained, it sure looks like it to me. Right to the end, Bigfoot was with me in everything.

Goodbye, darling dog. I will always love you.

RIP, my heartdog

Thunderstorm, aka Stormy, aka Bigfoot.

January, 1994 to May, 2009

Friday, May 08, 2009

When you can't nap, bubble-wrap!

Okay, it's silly, but it broke the tension when my cubicle neighbor was having a wretched day with one of his books. He had just said that he was trying not to throw his pen at the window, so I offered him some bubble wrap I had for a package for a friend. All I had was just the kind with the little bubbles--he had a piece of the industrial-strength stuff in his desk, and he took a few minutes to pop the last of them and he went back to wrestling with his book feeling at least marginally better, either from the silliness or the destructiveness.

Not even bubble wrap could keep me from coming home today with a severe stomachache. Bigfoot continues to have one step forward, two step back days and two of my coworkers are making me nuts, and this stupid task force I'm on is complicating what should be a very simple process into something with its own website and forms and all sorts of silly hooha.

Other than water-walking tomorrow morning and working for Mom on Sunday, I will be spending this weekend quietly at home with my dogs. I'm so frazzled I can't even remember what clothes I wore to work today and if I put on perfume!

ETA: I want to thank everyone for the love and support. It helps.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

And juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust to make a liar of me...

Bigfoot is frisking around like a puppy (granted, a puppy with lousy hips), asking for thirds on dinner, picking playfights with Littlefoot, jumping up on the bed to soak the comforter with doggy-scented rainwater and rolling over for bellehrubs.

I love seeing him like this, but now I'm really damned if I know what to do.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Second thoughts, third thoughts, fourth thoughts...

Bigfoot hasn't been a happy dog for a while now. He's not obviously in pain, he's not crying any more than usual, he's just extra quiet and sort of resigned. I've made an appointment for Monday evening with Dr. Bob, and there's a pretty good chance that I'll decide to have my heartdog put to sleep. I still keep worrying, though, that I'm doing the wrong thing. I don't want to tie him to life if he's ready to go, but if he's not ready, then I will be killing one of the best things that has ever happened to me. And it's not as if I can change my mind when it's done. I'm so scared that I'll do the wrong thing for Bigfoot.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

So pastoral...

It is, of course, gardening time. I would be posting nine zillion pictures of my garden if I hadn't loaned my camera to Vintage Attorney for the weekend. This lack of a camera is also why I have not followed up on my toenail polish challenge to Spunky, the Queen of Toe Porn. As soon as I have my camera back, though, I plan to show that there are prettier polishes out there and no one needs to settle for orange.

Yesterday was busy but fun. Doc joined me for water-walking, then we sat in the whirlpool (not the hot tub) for a bit and yakked. After we'd dried and dressed, we went to an AutoZone parking lot, where I handed the fugly old ceiling fan/light fixture from the study to a gentleman who handed me $25 in cash. After that, we went to Mariachi Loco for lunch, and then to Temptation Nursery. I used the cash from the ceiling fan to buy two Snow-in-Summer, three Munstead lavender and a Purple Dragon Lamium. I will be going back to TN repeatedly over the summer, as I need more lamium, more lavender, some foxglove and whatever else I can afford. Doc has to go back too, because she didn't have her checkbook and TN doesn't take plastic. She's planning to follow in my footsteps and take her mom there to pick out a Mother's Day present anyway, so that's good.

On the subject of my title line, recently I looked out the back door on a sunny day. As those of you who have visited me know, the back yard sweeps down to the north property line, and although it's mostly weeds, it is very green at this time of year. As I looked, I could see a fluffy thing peacefully cropping the green grass under the bright blue sky. It was a scene that demanded the music from a Ralph and Sam short. If anyone knows the name of that piece of music, please let me know--I'm pretty sure it's by Grieg, but can't remember and can't find the name!

Anyway, the fluffy thing eating grass was not a sheep, but my beloved and not all that smart Littlefoot.