Monthly Archives: November 2006
It’s been sunny with highs in the 60’s for days now. No rain. Cool at night, but no frost. Just enough of a temperature change to play havoc with poor Blacky’s arthritis. He always has a hard time when the weather changes . . . . and does much better when the weather picks a temperature and sticks with it.
I go out at lunch and walk around downtown and look at all the holiday decorations. It is a little odd to be listening to Christmas carols and looking at beautiful window displays wearing only a light jacket. I go home at night and play fetch with Blacky and Luci in the back yard until they are so tired they can’t run anymore. It’s been really nice to go out with them first thing in the morning and not be freezing my you-know-what off.
Anyway, as happy as I am that we’ve had this wonderful weather, I know that we are going to pay for this big time later on this winter. I’m afraid that the snowstorm that hit Washington State and is meandering its way across the United States is going to do something horrible to Ohio. With my luck, it’ll hit either during the morning rush hour or the evening rush hour and I’ll have to drive in it. I hate driving in snow/ice/sleet. These snowstorms never happen in the middle of the night when I’m home snug in my bed listening to Hubby and Luci snore. If I’m home, then I can call the boss and tell him I’m taking a two hour delay or a full snow day – it all depends on the amount of snow and whether or not the road crews can get the salt down and make it safe for me to drive 30 miles into work. Thankfully, the boss understands my fear of driving in snow/ice/sleet and doesn’t complain when I wimp out.
Snow, ice, and bad driving conditions are all part of living in Ohio. It happens every year like clockwork. I’ve been here all my life, you’d think I’d be used to it by now. Nope. Not at all. So I worry every time that the word "snow" appears in the forecast.
However, there is one person in my household that is looking forward to – and even wishing hard for – a good snowstorm. That would be Hubby. He spent his growing up years in California and only got to see snow when they went up to the mountains. He didn’t get to do the snow fort thing. Never had school cancelled because of snow. Poor deprived little kid. He’s been here in Ohio for about 35 years now and he’s still as excited as a little kid when it comes to snow storms.
I just know that he’s going to get his wish. Excuse me while I go check The Weather Channel.
I had a lovely long holiday weekend. I’ll write about it later. There is one thing that happened that has had me scratching my head in wonder and laughing at Luci’s latest chewing incident.
The weather here the last few days has been fabulous and Luci has spent a lot of time in the back yard. She spent the weekend chewing sticks that she got from Hubby’s wood pile. She also spent some time sunning herself on the deck. She chased squirrels and birds from the yard. Nothing out of the ordinary for Luci.
At one point on Saturday morning, I went outside to check on her and saw that she had one of the "Beware of Dog" signs in her mouth. Now where did she get that? I did a quick check of the yard and saw that she had torn down one of the signs, tore up the piece of plywood that Hubby had attached the plastic sign to like it was shredded wheat, and had pulled the sign away from the board and was attempting to tear it into a zillion pieces. Yes, I had to play chase the puppy to get the sign away from her.
My first question was how did she get to the sign in the first place? This particular sign is the only sign that’s fastened to the inside of our chain link fence. I guess she must have finally noticed that it was there and decided that she just had to have it for herself.
My next question is . . . What does it mean with the dog destroys the "Beware of Dog" sign?
Since it’s Thanksgiving, it’s only fitting that I do my Thursday Thirteen of things I’m thankful for . . .
- My health. I haven’t had a major migraine in a while and I haven’t had a gastritis attack in a really long time. Life is good.
- Hubby’s health. Yes, the upset tummy stuff a week or so ago turned out to be a bug. We still have to be careful about his bad back, his colitis, and keeping up with the bloodwork to monitor his cholesterol, but overall he’s in good health for a guy his age.
- My happy marriage. Even though he makes me crazy sometimes, I can’t imagine what my life would be like without my Hubby. It really doesn’t seem like we’ve been together for 24 years.
- My family – my parents, my siblings, the brothers-in-law, my sister-in-law, the nieces and nephews, my MIL. They make my life interesting.
- My grandkids. They are God’s reward for surviving the ugly teenage years with the stepkids. I’m amazed at how fast they’ve grown and at what wonderful individuals they are.
- I have a good relationship with Jr. Life with the stepkids hasn’t always been easy, especially during the teenage years. Things are much better now with me and Jr. He introduces me as his mom and I’m happy to call him my son.
- The doggies. Of course they are on the list. My life would be so boring and empty without them. I love seeing their happy faces every morning . . . even when they get me up at 5:30 a.m. on a weekend morning.
- My job. I’ve often said that my job is the job I dreamed of when I was in college. It’s a small office so there aren’t any of the office politics and other problems that I discovered (and suffered through) when I lived in cubicleland.
- Hubby has a job. Right now he’s not too happy with that job because one of his co-workers has been out for a while with some heart problems and all the guys are working a lot of overtime. Hopefully, though, that will be changing soon and Hubby will start to like his job more.
- My house. I got up at 7:45 to let the doggies out and the sun was shining in the kitchen window. Yea, it’s a little dusty and I need to sweep the floor, but it’s my house. Hubby saw the ad in the paper and told me he had found my dream house. He was right.
- The Doggie Mobile. It’s a perfect car for hauling the dogs around. And it’s perfect for my long commute to work each day. The little 4 cylinder car gets great gas mileage.
- No drama on Thanksgiving day. No fighting with The Ex. No drama with the in-laws. It was a lovely day with a quiet uneventful dinner.
- My blogging buddies. I’ve met some really nice people since I started this blog. I’m grateful for them and for everyone who reads this little space about me and my doggies.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
I’ve got absolutely nothing worth an entire blog. Just a bunch of little things that I could somehow wrap together . . .
The Big Game was this weekend. Yes, that one. The Ohio State – Michigan game. The hoopla was pretty intense all through the state. I managed to talk the boss into having a "casual day" in the office on Friday and I got to wear jeans and my Ohio State t-shirt to work. Everywhere you looked on Friday and Saturday, everyone was wearing scarlet and grey. Then there were the few sad folks wearing Michigan blue. I went to Saturday evening Mass and missed a good part of the game. Hubby stayed home to watch the game, but got so nervous that Ohio State might lose that he turned the channel after the first quarter and could only watch the game for a few minutes at a time. His theory was that they did well when he didn’t watch and messed up when he did. Yes, I’d say he’s more than a little superstitious.
The weather has turned colder, but at least it’s stopped raining. I did manage to get the mud room floor cleaned on Sunday afternoon. That lasted about 15 minutes. Then the dogs decided they needed to go outside to potty and immediately started tracking mud on the floor again. Hubby had the brilliant idea of spreading the towels I use to wipe the dog’s feet on the floor and have them walk on the towels to keep the floor from getting dirty. Brilliant idea I tell you. Worked like a charm. Until the dogs decided that they didn’t want to walk on the towels. I highly recommend that you buy stock in Pinesol and/or Clorox because my Clorox Ready Mop is getting a serious workout.
I always thought that Blacky was the doggie that OCD. He has a routine, he knows his routine, and he doesn’t like to have his routine disturbed. I think he’s passing that tendency to Luci. Normally, I park the doggie mobile in front of the house, but last night I parked in the driveway. Hubby wasn’t home and I was going to the grocery a little later, so I just left the car in the driveway. Luci spotted the car in the driveway and thought that we had visitors. She drove me nuts running back and forth from the deck to the front door. When I finally figured out what she was doing, I went and moved the car to it’s normal spot. That silly dog wasn’t going to stop running in and out the back door until everything in her little world was back to normal.
Wow . . . maybe the ranting blog would have been the better choice . . .
Blacky has the most gentle soul I’ve ever seen in a dog. He’s never deliberately misbehaved ever. Never dug in the yard. Never rushed out the front door. Never messed in the house. Never chews anything he’s not supposed to. He’s loving, obedient, and eager to please. He’s a perfect dog. He’s also a very active dog. He loves to run for the pure joy of running. He’ll play fetch until he’s so out of breath that he can’t walk another step.
His activity level, though, dropped off considerably about the time that Luci came to live with us. I figured it was because of the sudden loss of Goldie and the emotional mess that I was during that time. Then, not two weeks later, we introduce this little bundle of energy that completely took over the household. He adapted well to all the changes (which surprised me because Blacky normally doesn’t do well with changes to his routine), learned how to be the Big Brother instead of the Little Brother, and learned how to stand up for himself when Luci invaded his personal space or interfered with "his" time with Mommy and Daddy.
The one thing that never really quite bounced back was his activity level. It seemed like he was happy to sit on the sidelines and watch me play fetch with Luci, or wrestle on the floor with Daddy. We would try to get him involved in what we were doing with Luci, and he would be interested but I could tell his heart just wasn’t in it. I wondered if it was a combination of his age (he’s 7½ now) and his arthritis, but he wasn’t having any problems getting around. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. In the last few months, though, I’ve noticed that he’s getting more active. He’s more willing to play fetch with me. He’s romping through the back yard and wrestling with Luci. They’re chasing each other though the house. He’s not just sitting on the sidelines anymore. It finally dawned on me what was going on. Blacky was watching out for his little sister. It was like he knew that Luci was just a little puppy and that he had to be careful around her. He was waiting for her to get bigger so that they could play together. He’s realized that she’s just as big as he is now and that annoying little puppy is now somebody that he can play with.
I watch the two of them running and playing in the back yard and it makes me very happy. My boy dog is back to his normal happy self. Watch out, Luci, I think Blacky’s about to give you a run for your money.
Ever have one of those days when you just don’t what to be at work? Or maybe just not doing whatever boring thing you are doing at work? I’m working on the 2007 budget projection and finishing up the October monthly financial reports. I’m about to lose my mind working on these numbers. In keeping with my Thursday Thirteen tradition, here are 13 things I’d rather be doing right now. . . .
Sitting on a beach in Hawaii with Hubby, drinking a rum, and coke and watching the surfers. Sure beats being here in Ohio where it’s cold, dreary, and raining.
Sitting on the couch at home drinking a coke, eating popcorn, and watching "The Lake House" with Blacky and Luci. Hubby bought me the DVD for Sweetest Day and I haven’t been able to watch it yet.
Christmas shopping – it’s less crowded if you go during the day during the week when everyone else is at work.
Working on my cross-stitch. I don’t think I’ve worked on a project since Luci came to live with us. I haven’t been able to sit down for more than 5 minutes at a time in over a year.
Taking a nap. No explanation needed.
- Cleaning the floor in the mudroom. Yes, I know how awful that sounds but if you could see the floor of the mudroom you would understand. It’s been raining here for the last two days. The backyard looks like a swamp and Luci loves to romp through the mud.
- Wandering through a bookstore looking for interesting new books to read. Again, something that I haven’t done much of since Luci came to live with us. It’s that "not sitting still for more than 5 minutes thing" that I mentioned earlier.
- Reading a good book.
- Surfing the internet without worrying about the boss catching me or the zillion things that aren’t getting done because I’m wasting time on the internet.
- Going grocery shopping. One of my most favorite things in the world to do is to grocery shop during the day . . . while everyone else is at work and the shelves haven’t been picked over.
- Playing fetch with Blacky and Luci . . . only if the back yard wasn’t a swampy, muddy mess.
- Baking cookies. Nothing better than the smell of fresh baked cookies in the house on a dreary, rainy day.
- Snuggling on the couch with Hubby, eating the fresh baked cookies, and watching trash TV. Maury, Oprah, Jerry, any of the judge shows, Ex-Treme Dating . . . I’m not picky.
Now I’m even less motivated to finish this budget stuff. And now I want cookies.
Don’t think that I’m a bad wife by hoping that what Hubby has is "just" a flu bug. There really is a method to my madness. Right before Hubby’s 50th birthday a couple of years ago, he had his first colitis attack. It was a horrible, painful, completely-out-of-left field kind of experience for both of us. The attack was so bad that it became one of those "you need to get me to the ER now" events. Hubby never asks to go to the ER and if he’s begging for a shot to stop the pain, then you know it’s bad. Over the course of the next few months he and I learned more than we ever wanted to know about colitis and the workings of the lower digestive tract. We were lucky that Hubby’s colitis wasn’t severe and it responded well to medications. With the meds and a minor change in our diets, the colitis went into remission after about 6 months and he’s been off the meds and symptom-free for about 2 years.
At least we’re hoping he’s still in remission. Hubby’s been having some tummy trouble the last couple of days and we’re trying to figure out what it is. Is it something he ate? A bug that’s going around? Or is it a warning sign of something worse? Right now we’re trying the "wait and see" approach to see what happens next. He’s been complaining of some pain – not as bad as the earlier attack, but bad enough to have both of us worried – and he’s making frequent trips to the bathroom again. This has only been going on for a couple of days and we’re wondering if it’s just a bug or if we need to be worried about the colitis coming back.
Poor Hubby. He’s grumpy because he doesn’t feel good. He’s afraid to eat anything because it might trigger an "episode" and the things that don’t trigger an "episode" are "too boring" to eat. So here we are, a week before Thanksgiving . . . . and if it is the colitis coming back he’s going to have to spend the holiday season eating bland, boring food. Add to that the possibility of the specialist wanting to do "that #@^*(!% test" again. That’s what Hubby calls a colonoscopy. Hubby hates having a colonoscopy. I hate when Hubby has to have a colonoscopy. For Hubby the only good thing about a colonoscopy is that I promise him a large Frosty from Wendy’s after it’s all over. Then there’s the meds and the follow-up visits with the specialist. Bleck, bleck, bleck. It won’t be a very happy holiday season for us.
See why I’m hoping that it’s "just a bug" . . .
Wow, that was certainly a fun week. I had 2,199 visits to my space before I was featured on MSN Spaces. As of a minute ago, I had 8,852 visits. Oh. My. Gawrsh. In one week I had twice as many visitors than I had during the first 9 months I’ve been writing this blog. All I can say is wow. That many people read about me, Hubby, and the doggies. I’m a little sad that I didn’t get more comments. I think I might have gotten a max of 10 comments a day. You’d think with that many people stopping by during the day, more people would at least say hi.
I do promise that I will visit everyone who did say "hi" this week . . . . I’m looking forward to reading the blogs of the people that took the time to give me a message.
I was very surprised that I made the MSN Home Page yesterday. I checked on my stats and saw that they were going through the roof, but I just figured that it was because it was the weekend and more people had time to surf. I can’t begin to tell you the butterflies that I got when I saw "Blogging about driving the dog mobile" on the "Also on MSN" section of the home page.
It’s been fun. Thanks for all the wonderful attention and the positive comments. I hope you enjoyed your visit to my little space. And ya’ll come back now! I promise that it won’t be boring . . .
The saddest part of my father-in-law’s funeral was when the representatives of the Army folded the flag that had been on his casket and presented it to my mother-in-law. Even though I had been crying through most of the ceremony, I really broke down when they knelt down in front of my mother-in-law, handed her the flag, and started the "On behalf of a grateful nation," speech. My father-in-law served in the Korean War as an Army Staff Sgt. and had even been awarded a Purple Heart for wounds he received during battle. I thought it was very sad that the only time that anyone says "thank you" to a service man/woman is after they are dead. That’s when I started sending cards to my dad and hubby for Veteran’s Day. I thought they would think I had lost my mind, but I really didn’t care. I wanted them to know that I was grateful for their service to our country. Believe it or not, they have always been touched by the cards. Mom has told me that Dad looks forward to getting the card every year. Hubby normally makes fun of me for buying cards for every event, but he’s never once made a smart-aleck remark about his Veteran’s Day card.
I don’t really know much about the time that each of them spent in the service. Just the basics – service dates, where they served – but no real details. . . .
Dad served as a Marine during Korea. He joined the service around his 19th birthday and only served one tour as a Marine. I think they "respectfully requested" that he not re-enlist after his first tour of duty. Like I said, I don’t know a lot of the details but I do know that he went into the service as a buck private and came out of the service four years later as a buck private. His stories are probably not something that he wants his daughters to hear, but I imagine that my little brother might know some of the details. Someday I’m going to ask him if Dad’s ever told him any of his Marine stories. What I do know is this – Dad was sent to Korea and fought at the Chosin Reservoir. He survived the battle, but got a really bad case of frostbite and was sent back to the States. He served the rest of his "hitch" stateside. But you know what they say – Once a Marine, Always a Marine and that applies to my Dad. He has a whole room full of Marine stuff. Hats, statues, plaques, books. You name it, he has it. He even stands and salutes whenever he sees the Marine Corps band playing in a parade. Mom tells a story of when my sisters and I were little, he would play his marching records and have us girls marching through the house behind him. Semper Fi, Dad.
Hubby served in the Navy during Vietnam. Hubby was having a little bit of trouble in high school and thought that joining the service would keep him out of trouble. He dropped out of school between his junior and senior years and joined the Navy. He was stationed on a destroyer that was supposed to go over to Vietnam, but his orders got changed at the last minute and he spent his entire time in the Navy on a tug boat in San Diego harbor. Again, I don’t know a whole lot about Hubby’s time in the Navy except for some stories about trips to Tijuana and raiding the freezers of the battleships they would bring into port for extra rations. I am proud of him for volunteering to join the service during a time when volunteering wasn’t such a popular thing to do. Like my dad, Hubby was "respectfully requested" not to re-enlist. Seems that when Hubby was younger, he had a little bit of trouble with authority figures. Especially Ensigns that got an officer’s commision just because they went to college and the Marines that ran the brig. I’d love to get him to open up and tell some of those stories . . . .
Like I said before, my father-in-law was a Staff Sgt. in the Army during Korea. He was wounded during the same battle as my dad. Although Father got an actual wound. He was diving into a fox hole to get away from the Chinese soldiers that were shooting him and took a bullet in the baby toe of his right foot. Yes, you read that right. The baby toe of his right foot. Father often said that if he was just a few seconds slower, the Chinese would have killed him. And like my dad, the wound to his toe wasn’t enough to get him out of the Army, just enough to get him stationed stateside for the rest of his tour of duty. Father thought about re-enlising, but he when he learned that he could do the same job he was doing in the Army as a private citizen and make more money, he decided not to re-enlist. Like my dad and my hubby, Father never told a lot of stories about his time in Korea or in the Army. Although he would tell stories about liberties in Japan . . .
So here I sit, the proud daughter of a Marine, the proud wife of a Sailor, and the proud daughter-in-law of an Army grunt. And yes, I told them thank you yesterday. (I said a prayer for Father during Mass last night . . . I hope he heard it!)
Goldie, the yellow lab that lived with us before Luci arrived, was a typical girl dog. Never dug in the dirt and didn’t like to get dirty. Didn’t particularly like baths, but would behave herself while being groomed. Liked to wear bandannas. She never made a mess – got out one toy at a time and would even put them away sometimes. I called her my girlie girl dog. There were only two things that Goldie did that were not very ladylike. Snoring and biting her toenails. When I got Luci, I thought she was going to be the same way. Boy was I wrong!
Is it possible for a girl dog to be a tomboy? Luci was born on a farm and spent the first 8 weeks of her life being a farm dog. I don’t know, but maybe that has something to do with it. To look at her, you’d think Luci was a gentle ladylike little dog. She’s a little on the petite side. Smaller than a regular lab. Long skinny legs. Sweet little face and the most beautiful bright brown eyes I’ve ever seen. But she is certainly anything but ladylike. Luci likes to splash in mud puddles. She digs holes in the yard so deep that Hubby and I think she’s trying to dig to China. She hates to wear bandannas or the little scarves that the groomer puts on her after a bath. If you aren’t paying attention, she will pull if off her neck and try to eat it. She loves to play in the water and can’t understand why she has to behave when she gets a bath. I don’t know exactly how badly she misbehaves at the groomers. The groomer will only tell me that Luci is "quite a handful" or "has a lot of energy today" when I go to pick her up. (I feel sorry for the groomer and I always give her a big tip.) Luci’s always running at top speed when she’s out in the yard. She will crash headfirst into the back door is she’s been scared by something in the back yard. She cuts the corner by the fridge a little too close when she’s running to the front door when Hubby comes home from work, crashes into the food dishes and spills dog food all over the kitchen floor. She walks away from the water dish after getting a drink of water and will dribble water all over the floor. Sometimes she uses our pant legs as napkins.
Sometimes her antics are a little annoying. Like when she’s stomping through the mud puddles and I don’t notice her feet are muddy when I let her in the house. Or when she brings in a dirt clod she found in the back yard and drops it in the middle of the living room floor. Or when I’m all dressed for work or church and she drools on my pant leg. But most of the time I’m rather amazed at how she is unlike any dog I’ve ever owned. She goes full speed ahead all the time. We thought that a lot of this was just puppy enthusiasm and that she’d outgrow it as she got older. But it’s not happening . . . and I don’t think that it’s in her personality to let it happen. To be honest with you, I’m glad. If she was a girlie dog then the name Lucifer Raphael wouldn’t fit her.