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Funk-a-fied

I was just checking out a friend’s blog, which hasn’t been updated since March and realized that I’ve been a bad blogger, too.

It’s been hard to get motivated.  When Taxy died, I went further into the funk that I was already in and didn’t feel motivated to do much at all.  Taxy was with me for over 16 years.  She was with me through a divorce, several moves, a few additions to the family and her sweetness never stopped.  She was always the sweetest, gentlest girl.  She really came out of herself when Calvin died.  I miss her every single day, especially at bed time.  She always curled up next to me and purred me to sleep.  Thank goodness for Nia.  I had to get out of bed and get dressed and leave the house in order to take care of her.  The walking really does help keep the blues at bay and it’s getting me into shape.  Slowly but surely.

So far, Spring has been pretty good.  The weather has been great with the exception of a few very cool, rainy days.  But everything needed a good drink and I read that the warm and then cool and then warm again weather has been great for perennials and bulbs.  It seems to have worked in my yard.  Last year the irises came up but didn’t bloom.  This year lots of them bloomed!  I was so excited to see the first one!  Unfortunately, my camera decided to crap out on me just when it was Nia’s turn with the graduation cap at Beginners class, so I don’t have pictures of my lovely irises.  I planted a cherry tomato and an Ultra Sweet tomato plant in containers.  So far, they’re thriving.  I planted a few basil plants, too.  I’ll be thrilled to make Caprese Salad with my homegrown veggies.  I’ve got a hanging fuchsia and some dahlias in the front.  It looks nice, if I do say so myself (and I do).  It’s wonderful to put some color all around.  I’m trying to get the hub to put the lights on the porch but other than that, it’s ready too.  Two of my friends came over to watch the Idol final (YAY Kris!!!!!!!!) and we had drinks and cheese on the porch before it started.  It was lovely.

I’m still job hunting.  It’s hard not to be discouraged.  I found a fantastic job Sunday and have been hunting for someone who knows someone at the company.  I don’t expect a lot but I think that having someone put a good word in for me would at least get my resume to the top of the pile.  I’m sure it’s a very large pile because it really is a great opportunity.  Good old Facebook!  A friend of a friend knows someone at the company and hopefully my resume is on the way towards the top of the heap.  I am a true believer in networking and I’m crossing my fingers that it will work out for me once again.  You have to work harder at getting the job then you do once you get the job!  I wish this recession would hurry up and go away.

Nia is thriving, thank goodness.  She’s very smart and very cute and very stubborn and the combo is almost lethal.  We do pretty well with most of the commands but “off” seems to be a problem for us.  Who doesn’t melt when a puppy jumps into your lap and kisses you?  Well, my mother for one…and my mother-in-law for another.  There’s a senior housing complex down the street and a few of the men that live there adore Nia and their knees are pretty bad so they like for her to be able to jump up.  I’m sure there’s a way to train her to know the difference but we’re still being trained, too.  We’ve discovered doggy daycare.  Whomever invented it is a genius!  It’s almost like a drug.  I drop her off in the morning and when I pick her up in the late afternoon she’s exhausted.  It’s wonderful!  She has a great time and everyone knows that a tired dog is a good dog.

I’m so glad that Spring is finally here.  It was a very long Winter and Spring started out pretty badly, too.  Spring is all about rebirth and in some ways, I feel that way about myself this year.  As if I’m coming alive again and feeling like my old self.  It started with playing in the dirt and has grown from there.  I had a lousy Summer last year and would like for this one to be better and I know that I have to put more effort into making that happen.  I’d stopped reading for a while.  Oh, I’d read magazines and a book here and there but not the way I used to.  This may not seem like a big deal to some but if you really know me, you’ll understand.  I would say that it was a huge sign of depression.  I’m normally a voracious reader and I have the loaded book shelves to show for it.  I just couldn’t get psyched for it.  Then a friend suggested an author that I hadn’t heard of and I’m reading again.  Like I used to…at least five books at a time from the library and it feels great.

I’ve been through a lot of changes in the last few years…getting married, buying a house, turning 40, losing a job that I’d had and loved for several years,  friendships changing…ending…growing stronger, watching two of the sweetest, most devoted pets die.  Those things can’t happen in such quick succession and leave you untouched.  I still feel funky now and then…more so than I’d like but I keep reminding myself that it’s been a tough year…two really, and things are and will continue to get better.  I’m luckier than a lot of people right now and I have a lot to be grateful for.

My sweet little Metaxa passed on this afternoon.

How much heart break and loss can I take?  Stay tuned…cuz I’m not sure either.

closeup

Rain rain go away

It’s raining again.  I know that April showers are supposed to bring May flowers and when walking Nia I can see the flowers getting ready to bloom.  There’s a senior housing complex down the street and some of the residents have gardens in front of their apartments.  You can tell that these ladies have a real talent and passion for their gardens.  Their gardens are beautiful and I always pause to see what’s getting ready to bloom.  The crocuses (croci?  crocus?) are in full bloom and it looks like the daffodils are next.

The other thing I’ve noticed in cruising the neighborhood is how few of my neighbors recycle.  Most stick a few milk jugs, cardboard and newspapers into their bin but I can see cans, water bottles and other recyclables clearly in trash bags and trash cans.  Some people even put electronics out on their curb.  A)  You have to recycle electronics separately because the trash collectors won’t take them and B)  Do we really need an old vacuum cleaner or coffee maker sitting in a landfill until the end of the Earth?  My city makes it very easy to recycle.  We have curbside pick-up and we are not required to sort.  I’m tempted to knock on my neighbors’ doors to explain how easy it is to recycle.  It’s actually easier because you don’t have to take the trash out as often.  DH is all for that 🙂

Nia is thriving despite our mistakes.  They haven’t been too serious but we’re apparently lacking in the house training department.  To be fair she doesn’t always give a warning sniff before she pees so that makes it extra challenging.  We try to solve this by taking her out more often then she probably needs.  We’re also spoiling her because we don’t make her pee and poop in our yard.  We walk her around the block.  She’s especially fond of pooping in the senior complex.  We get some nasty looks but I make an elaborate show of whipping out the blue poop bags and picking up after her.    That’s going to have to change because of days like today.  It’s raining “lightly” and will become steadier as the day goes along.  She’ll get a walk tonight when it slows down but for today she’s going to have to squat her fluffy little butt down on our grass…or stay in the kitchen all day.

She’s doing pretty well in her Beginners class.  Nia is very smart and picks things up easily but it’s mayhem during the class.  There are five other puppies and it’s very loud and distracting.  We hired a trainer to come to our house when we had Ivy and the class is a lot different and it’s harder to figure out what to do.  I’m practicing as often as possible but her attention span isn’t that long.  I know her it will grow as she matures.  She’s got one foot into doggie adolescence which isn’t pretty but I’ll take it every day over people adolescence.

Nia is going to be spayed on Wednesday.  I don’t think it will have much affect on her energy level but it is one less thing to worry about.  I’ll have her micro-chipped then, too.  The chip has to go under the skin between the shoulder blades and the needle that is used is very thick.  It’s about the circumference of a pinkie finger so we’ll take advantage of the fact that she’ll be under.  My cats didn’t flinch when they were chipped but I did!  I think it’s very important to have pets chipped even if they don’t go outside unsupervised.  You never know what can happen and I’ve heard about lots of happy reunions for lost pets and their people thanks to micro-chips.

I’m really supposed to be cleaning and doing laundry and shopping for bday gifts for DH.  That in itself is infuriating because he doesn’t have any ideas for what he might like for his bday, not even for a gift card.  Men.

I hope you have a great weekend!

I believe that the three readers I have know about what happened with Ivy.

Sunday, we went to Middleton to look at a 4 month old puppy and came home with Nia.  Nia is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.  She’s called a “fluffy” because her coat isn’t straight.  This means she cannot be bred or shown, which works for us.  I’ve been agonizing over whether or not it was too soon to bring her home and last night it dawned on me that if I didn’t have Nia to care for, I’d be wallowing in bed or the couch all day in my grief for Ivy.  Tuesday morning, all I wanted to do was pull the blankets up over my head and cry for Ivy but Nia had to go out and eat, etc.  I miss Ivy like crazy and really want my dog back but I also want Nia to grow up to be a good dog citizen and a great companion.

I have a new respect for new mothers.  Taking care of a puppy is hardly as much work as taking care of a baby but compared to Ivy, it’s still overwhelming.  It’s been 33 years since the last time I’ve had a puppy and my mother did most of the work, despite vows of cooperation made by my brother, my father and myself.  I told my mother that I had a new respect for her AND think that maybe it’s a bit of payback.  Nia is very smart but she doesn’t always want to potty when we want her too.  By 8pm I’ve just about lost the small amount of patience that I posess.  I know she’s just a baby and it will get better.  She’s actually right on the verge of puppy adolescence.  She’s also teething right now.  I know teething messes with babies big time.  I wonder if it does the same for puppies?  I’ve got a few books on hold from the library and am waiting for them to hurry up and get to my library.

Nia and I took a walk this morning and she peed AND pooped.  I never would have imagined that I could become so excited over pee and poo!  I’m not doing anything special to train her how to take a walk and she’s still doing very well.  She’s all over the place but didn’t walk in a circle around me once this morning.  I’m such a proud mum.

Nia

Nia

We love you Ivy.  You were the best dog and best friend.  My heart is broken.  I will always, always love and miss you.

Sick as a dog

Not me, my dog.  Ivy has bronchitis.  Poor little girl.  I noticed shallow breathing Tuesday morning and got her to the vet.  After a chest x-ray (cha CHING!) the vet showed me all of the fluid in her lungs.  He also pointed to her full stomach which was a good sign.  The vet said that she picked a germ up somewhere and the only place that could have been is Petco.  Ivy is a jerk to other dogs so we don’t have any close contact with them, she doesn’t go to a groomer, daycare or a kennel so it had to have been Petco.  She loves going in there but that’s not going to happen anymore.  We got some Clavamox and set up for another x-ray (more cha CHING!) in two weeks.  She was feeling pretty lousy Tuesday and Wednesday and stopped going up the steps by herself.  It seems to take too much out of her.  Yesterday she seemed a bit more herself but her breathing hadn’t improved  so back to the vet we went.  She hadn’t gotten worse but he agreed that she wasn’t any better and prescribed a bronchial dilator.  Surprisingly, the pharmacist didn’t blink when I went to have the script filled.  I’d had a prescription filled for one of my cats and I got the third degree.

The vet also prescribed a humidifier or hanging out in a steamy bathroom a few times a day.  I’m opting for a steamy bathroom.  She doesn’t care for it very much, especially since I’ve thwarted any trash or litter box raids.  We hang out and I read aloud.  It’s too soon to tell if it’s helping.  The dilator is making her pee like you wouldn’t believe!  When I went downstairs this morning, earlier than normal, she was standing at the door waiting for me which never happens.  I took her out two hours later and it was obvious that I should’ve taken her out sooner.  I guess I’ll have to take her out every hour, like a puppy.  It’s a good thing I’m home or we’d have puddles all over the kitchen.  It’s very difficult to listen to her breath.  I don’t know what I’d do if I had children!  I’d worry myself into insanity, I guess.

I’m gearing up to watch the Oscars Sunday night.  I always say that I’m going to see all of the nominated movies before the Oscars and it never happens.  I saw The Wrestler and thought it was going to be nominated but it wasn’t.  It should have been!  At least Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei were nominated.  I hope they both win, they totally deserve it.  I loved the movie.  It was rather bleak but I thought that Mickey Rourke was incredible.  His performance really moved me.  I will see all or most of the movies eventually.  The Independent Spirit Awards are on Saturday and I love to watch that, too.  It’s a lot more casual than any of the other award shows, it’s fun and slightly insane.

Time to take Ivy out for another pee.  Couldn’t she have picked a warmer time of year to get sick?

This is going to be a hodgepodge blog especially since I’m a tad secluded due to unemployment.

I really should’ve posted a blog during the week of Jan 20th.  I couldn’t come up with the words.  I watched the Inauguration from the time they got to the White House in the morning until the last dance and the last ball.  It was an exhausting and exhilarating day.  I couldn’t help but weep when President Obama was sworn in.  What a moment.  I had a friend over that night and we watched the Obamas first dance.  I started getting teary again and turned to her to apologize only to see that she was teary, too.  It’s heartening to have an eloquent President again.  I know he has a long, hard road ahead of him but I am much more hopeful about the state of things than I was 6 months ago.

Thinking about the Inauguration makes me remember something I read in a FB friend’s 25 Random things.  The number one thing on the list was that this individual isn’t registered to vote and the first thing I thought was, you’re proud of being apathetic?  My second thought was that this person feels that they are so very smart and educated but I can’t think of anything more ignorant and less educated than choosing to ignore what’s happening in the world around you.   I truly feel that it is every Americans duty to vote once they’re of age, especially women and minorities, who’ve fought to the death for the right to have a say in their world.  Not voting is like flipping the bird at the Minute Men, Suffragettes and Dr. King.  I admit that I lost some respect for this person over this.  It’s more because they seem so proud not to be registered to vote.  I don’t care if you’re for the other side as long as you’re for something outside of yourself.

So part of this “seclusion” is due to the shitty weather.  I know that I live in New England.  And I also know that I moved to the ” snow belt” with my eyes wide open but this is ridiculous!  Ivy and I are going stir crazy!  I can’t give her a real walk due to icy sidewalks that haven’t been cleared.  And it has been damned cold!  Right now it’s about 15 degrees with a -4 wind chill factor.  For those of you who don’t know, the wind chill factor is how it FEELS when you’re outside.  Yay.  Ivy doesn’t mind the cold but I do!  I’ve been taking her out on a 30 foot leash so that she can run around the yard and tunnel through the snow drifts.  We stay out until I can’t feel my face and feet.  It’s not really enough for her but it’s better than nothing.

One of the things that I’d get to talk about if I had more human contact is why can’t people leave Michael Phelps alone?  So he smoked a little weed, big deal.  I’m sure he’s not the first Olympian to do so and I’m also sure that he won’t be the last.  He’s a kid!  I believe that he’s embarrassed that the picture was published and if I were he, I would find the person who took and sold that photo and beat the ever living shit out of them, but it’s not like he was shooting up and he wasn’t competing.  He tested clean throughout the Olympics and that’s what matters.  I guess things are slow out there in the news.

I’m trying to stay positive about the job market but it’s becoming more and more challenging.  I don’t mind being home but if we’re ever going to get ahead in life, I need a job and one that pays more than minimum wage.  One of my friends suggested that I just try to get my foot in the door and work my way up.  Sure, I can do that but I’ve already done that twice and really don’t want to have to go through that again.  I’m willing to pay my dues but there has to be someone out there willing to pay for my skill set.  I won’t work for “cheap” but I will work hard.  I still feel lucky.  I’m not in danger of losing my home, I have great health benefits thanks to a hard working husband and we’re both healthy and happy.  That’s a lot to be thankful for.

Last but not least I want to shout out to my fabulous friend Michelle.  Her kindness and love are incredibly appreciated and I know will be returned over and over again.