Thursday, November 28, 2013

Mouse's last day

When I got home from work Tuesday night and Mouse didn't greet me at the door, I knew something was wrong.  When I went into the living room and found him wedged in a corner and stuck in a pile of poop, I knew it was time.  I helped him up and outside, did a quick cleanup and went to let him back in, only to discover he'd fallen again because his back legs wouldn't support him.  I got him in, but he didn't want to settle on his bed, so I checked it and discovered it was soaked with urine.  That was when I called the vet and scheduled the appointment.

I spent as much time as I could with him that evening, petting him, talking to him, scritching behind his marvelous, soft ears.  Little Miss Piggie Pie demanded her share of the attention, of course, but I managed to send her off with a toy.  I sang his song to him, and fed him treats, and tried my best to let him know that I loved him.

Wednesday morning I got up, helped Mouse outside, gave him his pain pill and settled him back on a clean bed.  Then I called off work, and the two co-workers with whom I spoke were very sweet and sympathetic.  I did some work for Mom I'd brought home, and eventually it was time to get dressed and go to the vet.  I discovered that Mouse had once more lost control, and frankly, given what all is in my trash can right now, I'm glad it's freezing here.

The vet had squeezed us in after a surgery, since they were closing early, so Mouse and I waiting in the surgery prep room while the doctor finished up surgery on a Goldendoodle.  The vet tech I spoke with claims that Goldendoodles get stupidity from Goldens and bad hair from Poodles.  Mouse wanted to leave, and it broke my heart to see him trying to walk out and knowing that he wasn't leaving ever again.  I petted him and cuddled him and told him how very much he'd meant to me, and finally it was time.

Dr. Mark came in, and I helped the vet tech get Mouse to lie down, and then I petted his head and crooned silly things to him and stayed with him until he was gone.  Then I took off his collar, said my goodbyes to the hospital staff, came home and cuddled Little Miss.

Mouse was with me such a short time, but he was so sweet and silly that I couldn't help but love him.  I'm glad I got him his own set of bowls so he didn't have to eat from hand-me-downs, I'm glad I got to see him bounce like a low-rider, I'm glad he got one last snow and one last visit from Mallie, and despite the sadness I'm feeling, I'm glad he could come to live with me.

The name on his records is Amos, and sometimes I called him Mouse, or Amouse, or Amoos,e or Mr. Mouse, or Mr. Moose, but I always used his "real name" when I sang to him.  It's probably blasphemous, but I don't care--just replace one word in the following song with my dog's name, and you'll know what I sang:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Did I miss a holiday?

Because it appears that today is Try to Kill Your Pack Leader Day.  First Zeus uses chemical warfare on Mallie and this morning Mouse made me fall.  

As you know if you read this blog regularly, Mouse is a 14 year old yellow Lab.  He's got severe arthritis in his hips and back legs, and lately he can't climb up the two concrete steps that lead to the back door.  I've been going out and helping him back in while looking for a good, reliable ramp that doesn't cost a fortune.  

This morning, I let Mouse out, and ten minutes later walked out to let him in.  I was behind him, not really doing anything other than bracing him against a backward fall when in a sudden burst of energy, he surged up and over both stairs and into the house, and I fell forward.  I'm not entirely sure where my feet were, because I've been having sporadic episodes of MS foot drop.  I landed on my hands and one knee, so now I have bruises on the heels of both hands, some nice road rash on my leg and an knee that screams at me when I ask it to support my weight.  Oh, and my shoulders hurt like hell.

Could we please consign this holiday to the circular file?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Oh, duh...

Yesterday I lost the whole day to an allergy attack with sinus headache--the only thing I managed to do besides sleep and sneeze and whine was to vacuum the breezeway.  When I was falling asleep, I remembered the days when I enjoyed, not housework, no, but the feeling of accomplishment that comes when the housework is done.

Despite my general reluctance to give any of my money to large, sprawling charitable organizations, one of my colleagues is currently battling breast cancer, and when Mom said she was interested in charity walks, I signed us up for this one.  While we were en route to the walk, I talked to Mom about how yesterday reminded me of how, back when I was depressed and un-medicated, the simplest things caused me to give up and turn into a slug.  I told her that I think it might be time to bump my Lexapro dosage, and so I'll be sending an e-mail request to my neuro tomorrow.

The walk was nice--2.8 miles around the University of Akron campus, which has changed a ton since I was there.  It was quite chilly, but the sun was shining, and thankfully someone took our picture before the walk started, because I was a sweaty wind-haired mess by the end. :P

An ordinary but still rather revelatory Sunday in the life of me.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

My groundhog's back!

And she is driving Little Miss Piggie Pie crazy. :D


Checking to see if the coast is clear!


Ignoring the stupid dog...


still ignoring...


heading out after a hour or so of noshing.

Super Saturday

Mom picked me up at 9:30, and we went to the Ohio Mart at Stan Hywet.  The gate didn't open until 10, and we got there at 9:45, but instead of sitting in the nice dry car, Mom wanted to go stand in the wet grass by the gate.  So we did, and I started my looking and shopping with damp feet. :P

As always, there were many lovely things to look at, and I totally lost my heart to a panel that was a wood-burned picture of Severance Hall over stained glass and a whole collection of adorable Christmas and Halloween houses made of paper.  I found Christmas presents for my nieces, for Mallie & Jay, and for myself I got some dark chocolate with pumpkin pie spice and three used books.  Mom met the brain behind Thistle Dew, and got some of her gorgeous Soap in a Coat* for holiday gifts.  I met the woman who owns the new candle store on the upper end of my street and found out why the store is always closed when I drive past and found out when it is open.  We looked at, but did not buy, jewelry made by crocheting wire, faux concrete garden decor and lots and lots of other things I would happily have spent a fortune on.

Oddly enough, we didn't see anyone either of us knew this year.  Usually we get stopped by someone who knows Mom, most often a former client or a former student.  It's a good thing we didn't, because it was very warm, and while I might not have any new lesions, I do still have MS, and I was a sweaty, red-faced mess by the time we finished at 12:30.  We got Kettle Corn for Dad and The Awesome Nacho on the way out, and then Mom asked if we could please go to lunch at Aladdin's.  I was reluctant because of the aforementioned red-and-sweatiness, but we went and had a quick but nice lunch.  Mom dropped me off at home and I had a shower and then took a nap.

When I woke up, I fed the dogs, got dressed and headed to Casa de Senior Jammies for dinner with the family.  Mom made a wonderful dinner as always--standing rib, roasted green beans, garlic mashed potatoes, salad and corn.  Before dinner, I learned that a bear had attacked my brother's family**, resulting in a burn on Lady Margo, a broken pinkie for Jeeves and a sprained toe for The Awesome Nacho.  They had quite an eventful week!  Jeeves requested that someone get him a beer while he was getting some medical tape out of the car for the Nacho, so I got one and even opened it.  I handed it to him when he came in, and the following dialogue took place:

Jeeves: "Oh, you got me a beer--how nice!  Thank you."

Jammies: "You're welcome."

Jeeves: "Where's the glass?"

Jammies: "Bite me."

The Nacho, from the family room sofa: "Did she just say bite me?"


During dinner, we talked of shoes and ships and sealing wax, but got on to the subject of glasses, and Jeeves mentioned that he needs reading glasses and he's noticed that his distance vision isn't as good as it used to be.  Dad took him into the kitchen to try the eye chart on the pocket door***.  The verdict was that Jeeves needs bifocals, and after he moaned a bit about getting old, I reminded him that my baby brother is balding has a very high forehead and now my middle little brother needs bifocals, so however old he got, I'd always be older. :P  I also stunned him with how close I had to get to the eye chart to read it without my glasses.

The original plan for Saturday night was to attend the Hudson High School Parade of Bands, but given a very busy morning for all of us except Dad, that was given up.  When I left, Jeeves had gotten out the movie screen and was lobbying hard for an actual slideshow to give his boys the full experience, complete with the smell of burning dust, the click of the projector, the sight of a few slide in upside down and the potential for jumping in their seats at the noise of a bulb burning out.  I just hugged everyone and headed home.

*Soap in a Coat is a handmade lavender soap covered in hand-felted wool for both scrubbing and bubbling.
**No actual bears were involved, but it makes a better story.
***No, I do not know why my father put up an eye chart on the back of a pocket door.  He's weird.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Yup yup still alive in here!

There hasn't been much that's both noteworthy and post-to-the-blog-worthy lately.  Little Miss Piggie Pie is still a brat but a very sweet one, Mouse is doing amazingly well for a nearly 14 year-old Lab, work is good, the family is good bar some health issues, and I am fine.

Of course, the more interesting work is the less I can talk about it, but Mom gave me a raise for my part-time gig. :)  Oh, and my MRI on Thursday showed no new lesions, which given that I've been off the Copaxone for over three years is pretty damn impressive.  The lesions I do have are inactive, so basically the MS is in remission, which is good enough for me.

The best and biggest news is that Mallie is coming to visit with me for a weekend in November!  Maybe we'll have a birthday party for Mouse.  Or maybe we'll just eat good food, read books and yak.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

All Hail Rusty!

That would be the owner of the auto shop where I got my second opinion this morning.  It's also the auto shop where I got both my brakes and my exhaust fixed for under $300.  I had to move some money out of savings, but I saved a thousand bucks I didn't have, so I feel like I came out ahead.

Also, note to self--have Steve do your oil changes, but never trust him with an estimate for anything more complicated!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

*le sigh*

So after Mouse scared me to death with his pacing and panting and we did the flying panic run to the vet hospital, the Tramadol has worked freaking miracles and while his foot is still paralyzed and/or numb, he's back to bouncing when I get home, and mostly eating okay.  I wish Tramadol were this much help for the e-bro of my e-sis!

I had an appointment today for an oil change, and although I have an appointment elsewhere on Saturday for a muffler estimate, I told the mechanic that yes, he could give me a quote on the muffler.  He poked, prodded, hemmed and hawed and finally told me I needed a complete new exhaust system AND all new front brakes, and it would be around $1300.

Rationally, I know that if I go to a brake place and to the muffler place, it will probably cost less than that, I'm thinking it won't be much less than that, and considering I've got about $250 in savings right now, I'm feeling particularly depressed about money tonight.  Do I want to pour $1300 I'd have to borrow into a 16 year old car, or borrow a whole lot more to buy a new one?

*le sigh*

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Whatever it was, it happened fast...

Yesterday morning, I was on the breezeway enjoying a cigarette and a book.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a very fast shadow pass over the birdfeeder and Little Miss Piggie Pie went bonkers.  Assuming it was a squirrel, I set down the book and looked just in time to see a black cat drag itself out of the boxwoods and run off.  As near as I can tell, the cat made a jump for a bird, missed and landed in the bushes, then LMPP started vocalizing and the cat ran off.

That has been the most excitement my life has had in a month and I'm fine with that.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Noisy Butt Mutt

I don't know anything about the first six months of Little Miss Piggie Pie's life.  She was only a baby when she was dumped at a shelter three days after Christmas and 7 months after her birth.  But judging from her performance the last three evenings, I have to conclude that she was forced to watch endless streaming marathons of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Every evening after dinner, a cute little brown bunny hops up near the house, and nibbles on the wild strawberries and crabgrass that pretend to be my lawn.  Personally, as long as little brown bunny is not eating my plants, I'm content to live and let live.  Little Miss Piggie Pie, on the other hand, wants little brown bunny to GO AWAY and she is not shy about yelling this over and over again in Dog.  Little brown bunny somehow knows that Little Miss Piggie Pie can't get to him, and he is utterly unmoved by her noise.

Either that, or he's deaf.

Or he really does have nasty, big, pointy teeth.

Whatever, the bunny is having more relaxing evenings than I am. :P

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Busy day

Since today was the only day in all of July & August Mom & I could work together, I was at her house and working on accountings at 8 a.m.  I also took my laundry, because my dryer has had it, and the eggs and coconut to make macaroons.  Mom & I worked steadily until 11, then I took a break to bake.  Unfortunately, Mom was out of sugar, so I had to run up to the grocery store, but I still got 4 dozen macaroons done in time for a late lunch.  Then I went back to my computer and got the forms done for her to take in and file tomorrow.  Then I ran out of energy, loaded up the car and came home and took a nap.

The macaroons are for a Probate Court tradition--each person brings treats for everyone else on his or her birthday.  It's certainly practical, because no one person gets stuck repeatedly baking cakes or cookies or buying bagels.  Mom says it's just like hobbits giving presents to others.  Since the judge is allergic to wheat, macaroons are perfect.  Any vegans in the office can just suck it, however. :P

My dryer is 47 years old, and despite a nagging feeling of disloyalty, my sheets were so hot when I took them out last week that I finally decided to bite the bullet and just replace it.  It's had at least two new motors, several full clean-outs, and two years ago, Dad removed the drum and re-painted the inside.  So it's time.  I got a no-frills dryer from Lowe's, and they're going to call me about delivery.

Both of my brothers called to wish me a happy birthday, and that just put the cap on my day.  Now I'm going to go take a cool shower and read the book Mom loaned me.

Monday, July 01, 2013

First of the month

There's a prayer from the Book of Common Prayer that my dad has always liked:

Almighty and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from Thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against Thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us.
I was thinking of it today, because the first of the month in the Accounts Department means publishing and approving accounts done the preceding two months followed by sending notices to people who have failed to file accounts, inventories, certificates and reports in the preceding months.  So I spent my morning commending those who have done those things they ought to have done, and chastising those who have left undone those things which they ought to have done.

It certainly makes the day go quickly!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Courthouse snobservations

To the attorney who walked out of the court with her lighter in one hand and a cigarette in the other, I hope you weren't trying to preserve a poker face for your client, 'cause that's a big tell.

To my co-worker, just because your minimal makeup routine includes different products than mine does not mean I am less natural or more fake than you.  You're just jealous because I don't need mascara. :p

To the lady walking into the courthouse today--throwing a blazer over a mullet-skirted print gauze dress does not make it appropriate court attire.

And to the jerk silverback attorney who decided he'd quiz me about the judge's health, FOAD.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Not bad for a chick with a migraine!

Which appeared yesterday morning when I woke, ugh.  I did absolutely nothing but sleep yesterday. :(

Today, however, I have:

Changed the sheets on the bed
Trimmed the lilacs, the butterfly bushes, the boxwoods and the evergreen bushes,
Vacuumed the hall carpet
Written and scheduled tomorrow's post for Bubbles & Baubles
Loaded the dishwasher
Made chili chicken

My arms are still quivering from wrangling the trimmer, and it's a light one!  Tomorrow will be all inside jobs, cleaning and vacuuming and laundry and, ugh, putting clothes away.  I do have some lavender plants to get in the ground, but I can do that early and then get on with staying inside where it's cool.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I don't know how you're doing because you don't update your blog.

So said Captain Crossword when I talked to him on the phone last month, and it made me face something I've been ignoring.  I have been avoiding this blog, not because anything is wrong in my life, but because I felt blocked on writing about the end of the Disney adventure, and I wanted to finish that before going on to anything else.  So to un-block myself, here's a summation:

The last full day of the cruise was great.  The half-day at Hollywood Studios was nice, and a random guy called me "The best single-serving friend of the day."  The day at Epcot was half-okay, half-not for reasons I won't go into.  Princess Minnie was comped a pair of Disney princess sweatpants and SuperDonut got a set of bongo drums.  I liked the luxury of the Contemporary American resort where we stated, but hated the muddy colors and all of the shapes.  I flew home to eight inches of snow on my car and a dog with vestibular disorder.

The new job is still good.  I feel as though I'm getting a brain workout every day, and I'm still making mistakes but trying not to beat myself up about it.  I'm also trying to get back into a more professional look clothing-wise.

Little brother, I promise to be better about updating.  In the mean time, have some garden pictures:

One of my azaleas:


My double-flowered lilac:


Heliotrope in pots:


A classic lilac:


"Sensation" lilac


Monday, January 07, 2013

Disney Adventure Day 3, December 23, 2012 (Day at sea)

Today's post has the pictures mixed in with the text, and since there are lots of pictures, everything is after the jump.


Sunday, January 06, 2013

Disney Adventure Day 2, December 22, 2012 (Cape Canaveral, Florida)

I woke up early, but sadly, did not remember to credit The Doctor with the continuing existence of the world—all I wanted was coffee.  Fortunately, it was available in the hotel’s gathering area well before the breakfast buffet was set up.  When I went to Mom and Dad’s room and knocked very quietly on the door, Mom let me in and after we’d talked for a bit, she told me that the Crossword-Mathgeek family was planning to have breakfast at 8:30, so I said I’d come back and join them.  However, when I went to get another cup of coffee, Jeeves and Superdoughnut were already having breakfast, so I joined them instead.

Breakfast was decent—the pineapple was good, the toaster was slooooow and the yogurt was Dannon, but I got plenty to eat and either the meds or the previous night’s salad solved one of my problems.  J  Jeeves made a Publix run and bought out the pharmacy aisle because Lady Margo woke up with a sore throat, and Mom had to get her bathing suit out of the car, but we all managed to get our stuff together and get on the bus for the Disney terminal on time.  Just as Dad was grumping that bus was supposed to leave at 11:15, it started up and we pulled out at 11:20.

Getting to the terminal was very quick, but since Mom and I did our online check-in late, we were not in the same boarding group as the rest of the family.  They all got to board at noon, while we had to hang around in the terminal until 1.  When they did call group 25, Mom and Dad and I managed to sneak on board behind another family and not be announced.   Dad kept saying he wanted to put his bag down and Mom and I kept telling him the rooms wouldn’t open until 1:30.  Rather than try to find the rest of the family, the three of us went to lunch at the Enchanted Garden, which is an extremely lovely restaurant.

After lunch, Dad and I both went to take naps.  We did get some family time, because all four rooms are in a line, and our verandas all line up.  There was a lot of talking back and forth, and that stayed true for the rest of the trip.

For some reason, I hadn’t turned off my cell, so what woke me was that ringing, followed by the message tone when I didn’t find the phone fast enough.  I looked at the caller ID, expecting that someone from the family was trying to wake me up, but instead it was the woman with whom I’d interviewed for a court job a week ago.  I GOT THE JOB!  I start on January 2nd, which gives me the 1st for getting Mom’s office set up for her return.

I knocked on the connecting door between my room and my parents', and Dad was still napping, but Mom came to the door and I told her, then I went down to Jeeves and Lady Margo’s room and told them.  We all went out on the balcony and when I saw that Dad was on his balcony, I said, “Hey, Dad, who are you looking at?”  He said he didn’t know, and I said, “The newest probate court employee, that’s who!”

This time, we had the early dinner, so we all met in the hallway and headed for the Royal Court.  I’m not sure what happened, but I ate a really yummy bowl of French onion soup, had a Lemon Drop martini, took about four bites of my salad with goat cheese and knew I was going to be sick.  I excused myself from dinner, took the elevator up and made it back to my room before tossing my cookies.  I brushed my teeth, sat down and rested for a bit, then went back downstairs to see the tree lighting.  Mom was in her room reading when I got back upstairs, so we talked a little bit, then she fell asleep around 9.   I wasn’t going to buy internet service on this trip, but I had to go online and tell everyone about the job, so I bought 250 minutes. I managed to stay up until almost 10, and after a last smoke on the veranda, where I saw a lighted ship traveling away from us, I snuggled under my big poofy coverlet on my big poofy mattress and fell asleep.

Pictures of my room and the Towel Animal du Jour (a swan) after the jump!


Saturday, January 05, 2013

Disney Adventure Day 1, December 21, 2012 (Akron and points south)


Like a good little traveler, I was up and moving early.  I had my two cups of coffee, brushed my hair & teeth, put my toothbrush and meds in my carryon, put the coffeepot in the dishwasher and started it, and headed out the door. 

Because it was so cold that morning, I wore black cargo pants, fuzzy socks, fuzzy black & white leg warmers from Sock Dreams, a black t-shirt, a white cotton shirt, a black jersey cardigan and my navy “spring” windbreaker.  It was very cold and very dark when I left at 6:15, and the roads were icy.  I was lucky in the first half of my trip, because I was right behind a salt truck, but once I got on 77 South, I was on my own.  Thankfully, traffic was light, so I did a steady 60 mph, and only had one scary moment.  Somebody thought I wasn’t going fast enough, so he or she passed me on the right and then zipped back into the middle lane, cutting me off.  My only thought as I tapped the brakes was “If I die, I hope my family goes on the cruise.”

Clearly, I didn’t die, and I made it to the airport in time to park and take a shuttle in and go through security and get to my gate just as they were boarding. J We took off a little late after de-icing, and arrived in Charlotte at 9:30 instead of 8:40, but the flight to Orlando wasn’t leaving until 11:25, so I had time to walk the entire length of the airport, buy a yogurt on the verge of sentience and what I thought was a bottle of water but which turned out to be Sprite. 

The woman Mom had hired to cover the phones had tried to call both of us,  but since I was the one who turned my phone back on first, I was the one who got to tell her that if she was sick, she should go home.  Eventually, Mom called me, and I told her that, then asked if the Jeeves-Margo family were in fact flying from Charlotte to Orlando with me.  She said yes, but their plane was landing around 11.  :o

Thus I spent the next 90 minutes both worrying and wondering why my carryon bag was so darned heavy.  I finished one book and started another, and was in the last group to board the plane.  I was chatting with my seatmate and worrying, and they were just about to close the door when I saw my family heading down the aisle.  Yaaaaay!  They were all flushed and a little breathless, because they had run from the same terminal at which my flight had arrived (reserved for “small airports” like Columbus) after being late owing to de-icing.

After that, the 90 minute flight to Orlando was a piece of cake, and we arrived only about 30 minutes late.  The Crossword-Mathgeek family was at baggage claim 5, and the shuttle was going to pick up their party and then come to baggage claim 20 and get us.  There was a joyful reunion and then a 1 hour trip to our hotel in Cape Canaveral.   During the trip, there were several different conversations going on.  At one of those natural pauses when everyone was quiet at once, the driver drifted over some rumble strips, and little Princess Minnie yelled “Road farts!”  This is one of the many lovely sayings passed on to the next generation from Grampa Scary Bear.

Mom met us in the lobby, we all got check in and dumped our bags in our rooms and then gathered in Mom & Dad’s room for snacks.  After some discussion, we decided on an early dinner, which we had at a decent tourist trap called Fishlips.  At dinner, Captain Crossword announced that Bookworm Mathgeek had gotten the highest possible grades in her two MBA courses for that semester, so we all raised our glasses to her. Then we went back to the hotel and celebrated Super Doughnut’s birthday in Mom and Dad’s room.  Mom had gotten vanilla ice cream and a personalized cake, and because we were in a residence hotel, there were plates and forks in the room.  Captain Crossword did a killer dance to “Ice Cream and Cake” and then was begged to repeat it 3 times until he was captured on video.  Even though it’s been 20 years since show choir, my little brother still has the moves.

After ice cream and cake, Mom took me on a drugstore run, as I was constipated and painfully bloated.  She came to my room to pick up some bills I'd brought for her, and that was when I discovered that my carry-on was so heavy because I'd brought the two pounds of mixed nuts that arrived at the house after Mom and Dad left!  I happily handed over the nuts and took some OTC meds and read in my room for a while, then just happened to visit the fire pit for a cigarette at the same time Annabel, Captain Crossword and all four kids were visiting.  It was a gas fire in a huge stone surround, and while pretty, it wasn’t really something that encouraged sitting around it.  Plus, we’d apparently brought some chilly Ohio weather with us, as it was 57ยบ F when we landed and kept dropping.  I went to bed early, after taking a long hot shower and watching 2 episodes of Say Yes To The Bridesmaid’s Dress. *blush*  

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Hi honeys, I'm home!

There will be a ton of pictures and stories from our Disney adventure, but I'm home safe and sound.  Mouse has Vestibular Disease, so my poor old man has to be helped outside to go potty and then back inside and he's not interested in eating, but his tail still wags for me and he's still sweet as pie.  Today was a whirlwind of stopping by Mom's house to check the voice messages and print some bank statements and tomorrow I start a new job, as an auditor for the Summit County Probate Courts Accounting Department.

Despite the snow and the mess in my house left by moving 20 houseplants into the kitchen, it's good to be home!