Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Boo Boo Monkey The Kitty: A Story In Pictures

So we went and got ourselves a kitty. Boo Boo because she is a lovey . . .
And Monkey because she has the craziest, longest, skinniest little monkey tail. Here she is admiring McLean's flexibility:
Here she is letting McLean test her collar for durability:
Here she is letting McLean rearrange her hair:
And here she is sniffing McLean's fragrant diaper:
Here she is getting ready to give me the old Head Bonk:
And here she is watching football. Bad kitty!
Again with the fragrant diapers:
And here she is checking out her monkey-ass in the mirror:
It is pretty apparent thus far that she is McLean's cat. She definitely prefers him, perhaps because of his short stature, or perhaps because she was the nurturer of her litter.

Sammy has been extremely good around her, though Boo Boo's tail still puffs up a bit when he comes into the room.
She has already dropped a couple of deuces into her little catbox and has made herself thusly at home. We are thrilled with our new family member.
For more sweet, socialized animals in need of homes, go visit Sante D'or in Los Feliz -- they were awesome!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Julie and Julia

I don’t exactly know what this post is about, except to say that I think I am leveling out after the trauma of the past two weeks.

I had my mommy book club meeting tonight, and we were reviewing Julie and Julia. Somehow the conversation always turns back to our babies and I find myself wondering what on earth these beautiful, thoughtful, considerate, brainy women could have possibly been like before procreating. Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I go back and forth. Wouldn’t so-and-so have been SO much fun to go out to the clubs with? Oh, and this one has SO been through the ringer with family shit. And then there’s the other one, who had this amazing career as an ….. well, it doesn’t really matter.

I know for me, I was a completely differently animal – never gave two shits about vaccines, pesticides, whole organic foods, chicken stock versus chicken bouillon, breastfeeding versus formula,.

But something happens to you when you have a child that is so unsettling in the way you look at every single little interaction you have with the world around you. I’m not saying that people who don’t have children don’t understand – far from it. I just think that when you have crossed the threshold into the area of having someone else be the center of your universe, be that your career, relationship, your pets, whatever, you consider all the consequences so very more delicately. And that is such a precarious way to live. But I share it with so many. There are so many people on the earth now, and every single one of them has a mother.

One of the topics that came up a few times tonight was the lack of tolerance me and my ilk now have for violent or horror movies. I think it comes down to now seeing every person being killed on the screen as somebody’s baby – some woman out there duked it out with her hormones and her uterus and her vagina and her relationship and her gag reflex and her job and her health care situation and her sleep cycle and her very sanity for ten months (nine months is some kind of effed up urban legend, bitches!) to pop out that human being that she loved and cherished and would die for, and here it is being blown up to smithereens for our entertainment. That’s just so screwed up, y’all. Can’t do it anymore. Not even a little.

And while I always tell them that I am not a joiner, the truth is I came to this mommy group because I was isolated and needed companionship with my own kind, and we all know when we are together that there is something more at work here. We are a community of people who understand each other in profound ways, even if we are only very recently acquainted.

I came home tonight to a quiet house. Sammy, sitting in his bed, looked at me like “Well, where you been, beotch?” and we had a little snuggle. I felt comfort knowing that he had been alert and keeping an eye on things in my absence. I did my usual thing of going to McLean’s room and looking in on him, listening to hear his breathing, putting my hand on his back. And then wanting to just give thanks that things have worked out the way they have. They haven’t always been necessarily to my liking, but they fit my life perfectly. And that’s fine for now. I have to put my trust in a Higher Power and know that things are being taken care of, whether I control it or not. And that no matter what happens, I will be given the strength to handle it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sammy

Well, I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. Or sooner.

We have another dog.

I was all fine for waiting. It didn’t seem appropriate to run out and get another dog after everything we have been through in the last couple of weeks. But the stark, cold absence of any furry creatures in the house became too much to take. The grieving process of our loss became too much to take, and at some point, you have to stop crying. You can’t keep telling the same sad story anymore, and you can’t keep living in receipt of sympathy, no matter how depressed you are. And ultimately, we decided that the best way to honor what an awesome, special, one-of-a-kind dog Rufus was (and Babe was, as well) – was to give another rescue dog a home. So that’s what we did.

We got the info through a friend, who got it from another friend. A dog had been found on the street and the owners no longer cared for him and kept him chained up in the backyard. Fed him hot dogs as his main source of food. Yeah, stupid shit like that. Derek and I sat down and discussed it. Was it too soon? Or was this a good way to help us recover and move on? We chose the latter.

I explained to Larry, the guy who found the dog, that we would take him in, but after our recent run-in with a two-faced rottweiler and subsequent heartbreak over losing Rufus, if this dog shows any signs of aggression whatsoever, especially toward our son, he’s out. Understood.

We’ve had him five days now. Aside from being ridiculously cute, this dog is doing everything in his power to not blow it with us. He is smart, and has learned the rules fast, and is nervous about breaking them. He’s still young and puppy-ish, so he really wants to play. But his main joy comes just from being able to BE IN THE HOUSE WITH US. Just being in the bathroom while McLean has his bath (he dropped his Kong in the tub tonight, trying to get McLean to play with it), or watching me put laundry away or do dishes – huge major fun stuff for him. He just wants to be involved. He’s doing great on walks and quickly learned to not pull on the leash. Now he walks through the neighborhood like we are in a dog show. He loves when I pet him, especially his face, muzzle and ears, and of course, loves the leg-shaking belly rub.

He knows what “no” means, and I’m teaching him some commands already. When he gets the command right, and I tell him “good boy, he’s a GOOD BOY” he wags his tail furiously.

He is still on probation until we can really trust him around the baby, but it’s pretty apparent we are in love with this dog already, and that the feeling is mutual. And he is helping us heal.

We had to change his name. The previous owners called him “Hennessy”. Um, douchey to say the least. I wanted to name him Larry, after the guy who found him, but Derek vetoed it, and instead opted for Samuel L. Hound Dog.

I told him fine, as long as the “L” stands for “Larry”.

Thank you, Larry, for bringing us Sammy. You are now our friend for life. And thank you, Lise, for sending us the e-mail about our newly adopted special friend. If not for you, we probably never would have known about him.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

R.I.P. Big Brown Dog, ???? - 2009


God, I don’t want to write this post. I would rather be doing anything other than writing this post. But I have to get it out of me and move past this horrible Stage 1 of grief for the sake of my sanity, my sleep, my little boy I need to be present for.

Our Big Brown Dog is gone. I have had pets before, loved them intensely, and lost them for various reasons, usually old age. The loss of this one goes so far beyond the pain of the others, for various reasons. But mostly we just weren’t ready for the shock of him leaving us so soon.

A few weeks or so ago, I noticed he just wasn’t that enthusiastic about his food anymore and was losing a bit of weight. He was still eating every day, so I didn’t think much about it. He was still very active, going on hikes and long walks with me, and of course, always engaged in his favorite activity of squirrel-chasing. But he seemed a bit down, and I chalked it up to his being lonely without another dog in the house. We adopted a second dog, and within the first two days, it was apparent she was not a good fit. Rufus watched her like a hawk, especially around McLean, and seemed to be extremely territorial with her when he has never been like that with other dog visitors in our house. The other dog lunged at McLean threateningly when he crawled too close to a toy she had claimed as hers. Then she full-on attacked Rufus over another tennis ball toy in the backyard and a horrible fight ensued. Derek managed to break it up with the garden hose on full blast, but she got Rufus pretty good. His ear and cheek were torn up and bleeding profusely, and I took him to the emergency room vet, planning to take the new dog back to the rescue guy when I returned that night.

Over three hours later, the vet told me my dog’s wounds were going to be fine, but that he was in kidney failure, and had been for some time. He would have to stay overnight to get fluids into his system and flush out the waste products from his bloodstream. He ended up having to spend three nights and four days in the hospital, hooked up to an IV. I visited him every day and walked him, promising him I would return for him when it was okay to bring him home, but he didn’t understand. The staff told me he cried inconsolably for hours after McLean and I left.

When we brought him home, antibiotics, antacids, special dog food, etc. in tow, he was ecstatic, and we had hope that after some much-needed rest and ridding him of the kidney infection, he could lead a normal life and we would monitor his kidney levels. But it wasn’t to be.

The first few days, he slept a lot, ate a little, and was just generally happy to be home, following me from room to room. Then a few days later, he refused to eat anything. I tried every food imaginable. He never peed in the house. He never cried or complained. McLean kept going into Rufus’ bed and laying his head on Rufus’ head in sympathy. He didn’t understand why Uncle Rufus seemed so sad.

The unbearable heat and smoke in the valley were taking its toll on our cabin fever, so I took McLean to the mall to play in the little kid play area. We came home an hour or so later, and Rufus was curled up in his bed, and he was gone. I think he waited for us to leave so I wouldn’t have to see him die. Because that’s the kind of dog he was.

Rufus was so much more than a dog to us. He came into our lives so serendipitously. You know how everything happens for a reason? The only reason I moved into that tiny little apartment in the middle of Crack Den, Venice, was to pick up Rufus. He was the first big thing that Derek and I did together. We shared and loved and adored Rufus before we even shared living space.

The day we moved out of that place before taking possession of our new home in Encino, Rufus had been in the backyard while our stuff was being moved out of the apartment. When I brought him in so the landlord could inspect the place, Rufus sniffed every corner of the empty place and cried hysterically. He knew we were leaving, but he thought we were leaving HIM there, too. He cried and howled and stayed glued to my side until I finally loaded him and Babe into the car to make the trip over the hill to our new house. He was so excited in the new place, he could hardly contain himself. He loved his new house and yard so much, but mostly he just loved that he was with us. As long as he had us nearby and knew we were okay, he was okay. But if I cried, Rufus cried with me and it killed him if he couldn’t fix what was wrong.

One day while walking him and Babe in our new neighborhood, this older man in a nice car stared at us as we walked down the street, turned his car around and stared at us again. I was getting creeped out when he finally pulled over and asked what kind of dog Rufus was. “I don’t know,” I answered. “He’s a rescue.” The guy looked wistful and sad. “I had a dog looked exactly like your dog,” he said. “Bull mastiff. Had that dog fifteen years, and it was the best dog I have ever had in my life. Broke my heart when he died. I hope you know what you’ve got there.” I reassured him I did, that he was an awesome dog and we loved him very much. But I had no idea how little I appreciated him.

It sucks how guilt plays such a huge part in the grieving process. When I was pregnant with McLean, Rufus figured it out when I was a couple months along, and frequently would sniff my belly area and then look at me and whine excitedly. In the beginning it was cute, but as my pregnancy (and hormones) progressed, Rufus became more protective and anxious, following me not just to every room, but to every part of the room I was in. I couldn’t take a pee without him supervising, and as everyone knows, you pee about ten thousand times a day when you are pregnant. I became so annoyed with him. I was hanging around the house more than I was used to, very sedentary, taking up so much more space than I was used to, and here was this big dog constantly underfoot. It was like he couldn’t wait for that offspring to pop out of me so he could play with it, but my god it drove me nuts! I remember that still, very small rational voice in my head telling me “Someday you are not going to have this dog anymore, and you are really going to feel like shit for being impatient with him.” But I didn’t listen. And it’s things like that that I think about now that he is gone.

Coming back to the house is a dreadful experience now. It’s like my own home seems an unfriendly place now that there is no Rufus on the other side of the front door, butt wriggling, happily whining that I am home safe and sound, making me feel like the biggest, most important person in the universe.

It sucks having visitors come to the door now, too. He would growl and bark with suspicion, until it was determined that the person was a loved one, and then he couldn’t wait to shower that person with the warmest, most loving welcome imaginable. He was overflowing with happiness and love for friends and family, but all intimidating “Don’t Even THINK About Effing With My People, Jacko, You Just Keep Steppin’” to all others – salespeople, gardeners, UPS guy, etc. He had the absolute best radar of a person’s or another dog’s intentions I have ever seen. And if you were planning on hurting one of his loved ones, well, you would have to go through him first, bitch. I no longer feel safe. And my house doesn’t feel like a home.

I feel like vomiting a lot and I don’t sleep well at night. I can’t stop thinking about him and how he probably was suffering toward the end, but was being brave and still proudly doing his job. It kills me that he died alone, and that I didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye, rub his beautiful, soft ears one last time and tell him that though I didn’t tell him nearly often enough, I have always loved him and always will. It kills me that when we buried him, I had to cover up his sweet, handsome face that even in death looked sweet, like he was only sleeping. I can’t imagine the pain of this ever becoming less, much less going away. I have moments where my higher self reminds me that we were so lucky to have him for the time we did, because he has changed us for the better. McLean got to have him for his first dog, a big meaty hunk of a hound who was so excited to welcome him into the world, would have died for him and never got jealous of him, though he had every right to.

It’s hard for Derek and I to comfort each other right now, because neither of us can be strong for the other. We are struggling with the same painful loss.

There’s some quote that goes something like this: “Every day I strive to become the person my dog thinks I am.” That’s what I’m taking from all this. I’m sure we will have other dogs in the future, and they will be wonderful, and I am going to strive to be that amazing person that Rufus saw in me. And somehow go on and accept that our pets are not meant to out-live us. It sure hurts when they go, but it is inevitable.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Before/After

I love a Before and After. How I love thee, let me count the ways. . .
Recently I was on a girly-girl trip with Rhonda and Bunnie involving much liquor, sun and smut mags (Us, People, Life & Style, etc., you know the ones at your hair salon, bitches!) I love when they show celebs before plastic surgery and then after and critique the work that was done (it's usually BAD). Call me shallow, but it is an in-your-face reminder (pun intended) that money can't always buy you beauty. And that, along with several beers, snack foods, and a pool equals fun, my friends.
I love the Before and After of a good makeover. It always reminds me of the transformative powers a woman has; how all she need do is flick a little makeup here and there to emphasize the good and downplay the bad, and this can make her go out in public and feel like a new person and thus, have a fantastic day. Every little step, every little transaction, every little exchange becomes magic. I don't know how, it just does.
I really love the Before and After of weight loss photos. Even though most of them are ads for herbal supplements that will turn you into a mouth-chewing, jittery insomniac with an attitude and fake orange tan and shoulders up to your earlobes and weird dried out hair and shot-to-hell adrenal glands, I still get a little inspired to step up my exercise program and shed some extra poundage because MAN it feels good to slide into those old jeans you haven't worn in forever, even if you can no longer wear them because the acid wash is no longer au currant, who cares? It feels awesome. Which reminds me, I will do my own personal physical before and after when I feel I have gotten to my "after" post-baby body. Hasn't quite happened yet, but I'm working on it. And man, that ain't easy in the valley heat. I'm far more inclined to lie around the house than run around the house if you know what I mean.
Which brings me to another beloved Before and After: Furniture. I have always far favored used, worn in, beat up furniture much more than anything I could get new at Ikea or BB&B or whatever. I'm the same way with jewelry. I want the piece to have had a past life before me or I'm just not interested. And since I am now the mother of a small chil'ren, I don't really have the time or energy to scour the flea markets and antique spots that I once did, so I kind of let the pieces find me. It's sort of a hobby, sort of an eco-passion, sort of a thing I do to keep from going completely mental.
So here are my latest transformations, and unless you are a Decor Whore (I totally ripped that off from Rhonda and fully intend to use it as the title of a used furniture decorative blog one day) you may find the below quite boring. But if you are intrigued, do continue.

I recently ran out of bra storage space. No, srsly. When you get pregs, your boobs change size. Then when your milk comes in, they change size, then when you have the baby, they change size again, then when you lose weight, but your boobs don't, they change size again. Obviously, you don't want to throw all these freaking bras out since hi, they cost money, but you can't hang them on the walls as some sort of feminist art statement either (well, I guess you CAN, but they are usually nude or white color, which is just sort of not very aesthetically appealing or conducive to any kind of relevant artistic statement), so.... You need to store them for future use. So. . .
I went into our garage and found this. This used to live in my grandfather's bathroom (before he passed, may he rest in peace). I had some sort of sentimental attachment to it because it was my grandfather's and thought, hey, it could come in useful someday. To store. Nuclear waste. In it. Or something.
You can tell it lived in a bathroom because A) It is shit brown; and B) It has this crazy orangey/red linoleum top to resist moisture, I guess.
So I took the thing, gave it a good cleaning, slapped a couple coats of girly lavender paint on it, and threw a very light sprinkling of glitter (it doesn't show up in the photo -- I wanted it very slight). I glued some adhesive mirror tiles purchased from Michael's on the front, and slapped new drawer pulls on it that are dark purple crystal. And here you go --

I wanted to do some more mirrors on the top part, or maybe decoupage, but decided I kinda like the way the goofy orange/red linoleum surface plays off the little necklace hanger I have above it. So I left it alone.

Then, there was this drunk/batshit crazy/overmedicated/weird woman who lived down the street. One day, she advertised (via spray painted words on her garage door) that she was moving and having a garage sale. Man, I wanted to be at that garage sale. Mostly out of curiosity. Why was she moving? What kind of weird shit did she own? But I was busy that day and never made it, and the next day, this poor, sad chair was in front of her house.
I dragged it home, like some forgotten, abandoned, weather-beaten beast. I hosed it, sanitized it, spray-painted it, and put a cute pillow from Tuesday Mornings on it.

A couple days later whilst stroller-pushin', I spied the chair's sad, forlorn loveseat relative also kicked to the curb.


That too got dragged home by its ass and sanitized, sprayed, and decorated with pillows from Ross. Now, it is my favorite cushy place on the whole patio.


Then we come to this little funky item. This is a milk can that Derek pinched off Grammy's estate on one of our trips there a year or so ago. It definitely has an adorable, old school quality, but you can't quite shake the feeling that the can spent a bad weekend on the street corner of Crackville and Ghetto, so. . .
. . . after a good hosing, I spray painted it purple. Why purple, you ask? It coordinates with the morning glories that have taken over our yard, and just kinda sits there and looks cute.


So there you have it. My Before and After's. Be sure and tune in for the next episode of Not-So-Queer-Woman's Eye For the Effed Up Furniture.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Having A Bat Moment


Okay guys.  My boredom was reaching critical levels.  Not so surprising, being a stay-at-home mom.  It is a very noble pursuit and not an easy job by any stretch, but srsly, has to be the most. Boring. Job. EVAR.  There are so many surprises in any given day as far as your little one changing and developing and growing.  But at the same time, there are no surprises in any given day.  You get up early, go hiking, prepare, administer and clean up after three meals, change a bunch of diapers, vacuum up dog hair, unload the dishwasher, rinse and repeat the next day.  There’s just not much room for variables, and certainly no real brain activity.  When you are used to a much faster daily pace, the lack of stimulation can be jarring.  And the monotony of it was really starting to threaten my sanity.

Until today.  Which shall henceforth be known as Bat Day.

Daddy is home today, so I left the wee one in his charge while I trotted off to Hollywood to meet up with Shannon for a hike.  I had always wanted to do that bitchin’ Hollywood sign hike, so that is what we did.  Not such a great day for views as it was pretty overcast, but the actual space really is special and kinda magical, and it was nice just to do it and get caught up with Shannon. 

On the way up the hill, she motions to the Bat Cave off in the distance.  “The Bat Cave?” I ask, “like from the TV show?”  Yes, THE Bat Cave.  She said she could show it to me if I want, it was just a short drive from there.  Of course I agreed.  If you grew up in the 70s, you loved that show too, right?  We headed back down and drove over to the site, parked and walked up. 

There was the mouth of the cave in all its ominous glory, a tunnel actually.  But this is not how it looked on TV.  There were a couple of crappy tables set up with a bunch of crap sitting on them.  Nearby sat a handmade sign that said “GARAGE SALE – BAT CAVE.”  There were a couple of little cameras set up.  Oh neat, somebody’s doing a student film, I thought.  That’s cute.

Then I heard the voice.  That voice.  If you watch Family Guy, you know that voice well.  I looked at the guy standing behind the shitty garage sale table from whence the voice came, and in an instant knew that this was a cosmic moment whose magnitude would not likely be realized until much later.  I turned to Shannon.  “Holy shit, dude.  That’s Adam West.  Standing there.  At the mouth of the friggin’ Bat Cave.”  We stood there in giggly silence for a minute, looking at each other, looking at him.  Was this really happening?  Did we stumble on some peyote spores in the air and were having like a spiritual bat-hallucination of some kind?  It was all too enormous to contemplate.  Like visiting Buckingham Palace and bumping into Prince Charles.  WTF?  You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack.  And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile.  You may find yourself at the Bat Cave standing next to Bat Man.  And you may say to yourself, Well, how did I get here?

Shannon asked one of the guys nearby if we could walk into the tunnel without getting in the way of their shot.  The guy said they were finished shooting, so we walked toward the tunnel.  

Mr. West was looking at us.  Now, for having lived here my whole life, I haven’t had that many celebrity encounters, and the ones I have had, I really didn’t want to be that douche who runs up and is all like “Hey man, I really love your work, is Brad Pitt really cool to work with?” blah blah blah.  But it was SO hard not to run up to him and throw my arms around his neck and tell him how much I love him on Family Guy.  How much I loved him as Bat Man.  Just how generally friggin’ AWESOME he is. 

And just then, in that sweet, half-whispery, semi-unhinged Adam West voice of his, he asked us, “Can I interest you in a little vial of bat dirt?”  Shannon and I were giddy.  Are you kidding me?  

We stood at the garage sale table and chatted with him about the various junk items that were present.  Shannon told him she hikes there all the time, "But you're never here!" she says.  She asked about the little black box with the big red button on it.  “Is this how you got in and out of the Bat Cave?”  He smiled and replied, “No, this is the ejector button I used to eject King Tut from the Batmobile.”  I noted a box of used socks on the table.  “Are these genuine Bat Socks?” I asked.  “I wasn’t aware that Batman wore Hanes.  That’s nice to know.”  He chuckled.

Holy shit.  We were chit-chatting with Batman about Bat Junk at the mouth of the Bat Cave.  How did I go from flat-lining valley mommy to this moment?  It's as if the House Maven gods took pity on my sorry domestic ass and threw me a friggin' bone.

We ambled along into the tunnel for a look around.  I asked Shannon if I should go ahead and gush and tell Mr. West that he is my favorite part of Family Guy.  She said yes, I should.  So we headed back out to do just that, but he was gone.  Vanished.  Into thin air.  We hadn’t even had the presence of mind to take a picture of him.

But the memory of my Bat Day, well, I will have that forever.  It reminded me that there are still fun surprises in life, and for that, I need to remember to be grateful.

We got back to the car and I picked up the phone to call Derek.  “Dude.  You are not gonna believe what just happened.  Are you ready to be SOOOOOO super jealous?.......”

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Poor Big Brown Dog





He’s the only dog in the house now, and thus, the only object of McLean’s tight little grabby fist.  Feel for him, people.  He is showing so much tolerance and patience.  It’s not easy being constantly squealed at and tugged at by a tiny little person with Larry David hair.

I call this one the "Chuck Norris thigh-choke-you" maneuver:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

R.I.P.


I don’t think it’s really dawned on me yet.  One day she was here.  Today she is not. 

It happened pretty fast.  She was a little clingy last night, but nothing really out of the ordinary.  Then this morning at 7:30, she came into our room and was foaming at the mouth and breathing weird.  I called the vet and said I was coming over with my pug.  By the time I brushed my teeth and wrapped her in a towel and got to the car, she was starting to go.  She died in my arms before I could even start the car.  She had been trying to tell me goodbye, and it didn’t occur to me that she was dying.

Babe has always been there.  She was a tough little monkey and nothing wrong ever happened with her physically, at least until two weeks ago when I took her to the vet for her arthritis.  Since giving her the anti-inflammatory meds, she’s been a lot more mobile and was even going for walks again.  But I realized this morning after I stopped crying, after Derek buried her in the backyard in her favorite lurking spot, after I changed my clothes where her bladder had emptied out once I got out of the car – she has been dying steadily since she lost her hearing about six months ago.  See, Babe always had to be part of the action.  She loved to be involved.  Put goofy outfits on her, take her picture, let children tug on her ears and loose funny skin – she was in heaven as long as she got to be close to you.  Losing her hearing took her away from all that and really confused her.  It depressed her.  Turned her into a ghost.  She really hasn’t been the same since.  So in a way, I’m kind of relieved.  She wasn’t physically suffering, but her larger-than-life personality was suffering, and that’s just as bad if you ask me. 

She had a really good life.  A woman from Little Angels Pug Rescue happened by her one day, tied to a stake in some asshole’s backyard.  She was skin and bones and had been flea-bitten so badly, her skin was infected all over her body.  The woman offered the guy $50 to take Babe off his hands and nursed her back to health, in spite of her own small children and three other dogs in the house. 

When I saw Babe at the adoption fair that day, she was my dog.  I took her home and put some meat on her little pug bones and walked her constantly – her big joy in life.  She squealed and screamed when she was happy, which was often.  She moved with me five times one year after my divorce and was always a trooper.  Back before old age caught up with her, she could hike just as long and hard as the big dogs as long as the weather wasn’t too hot. 

She loved me.  Even when I wasn’t so nice to her.  Even when she took a backseat after the baby was born and she was no longer The Baby.  She never resented him for it.  She loved to walk up to him on his little play mat and sit next to him so he could reach out and grab her dog tag and not let go.  She was such a good dog, and I don’t think I will realize how great she was for awhile after she’s been gone.  It doesn’t seem real yet.

I had grand plans today of washing her bed, but it still sits there and I can’t seem to bring myself to do it.  Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Things I Never Imagined I Would Hear Myself Say...

...until I became a mother: 

1. “No honey, we don’t want your foot in the poop.”

2. “Oh my god, is it 9:30 already?  Cripes, I have to go to bed.”

3. “Okay, go ahead and give your junk a good grab before I put your diaper back on.”

4. “I took a shower today AND bought groceries.  By God, I am freaking WONDER WOMAN!”

5. “Honey, please let go of Mommy’s skin.  She needs it on her face.”

6. “Okay!  Let’s go drop off the poop in the toilet!”

7. “Oh man!  I got poop in my hair!”

8. “Another poop?  It’s only 10 a.m.!”

 

Things I never imagined I would hear myself say in the last eight years:

“Baby, take a good look at that man on the TV.  Listen to how smart and confident and wonderful he is.  He is our President now.  You're an American, honey.  Be so proud."

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy New Year!

Ah, Christmas/New Year's visiting Grammy was so nice.  And because we always have to have one goofy photo to end the serious family photo session, and someone had the poor judgment to let that goofy photo be procured on our camera, I thought it would be fun to post it here.  Yep, my in-laws are a very serious bunch, but I love 'em.

And yes, that charming lady in the middle picking her nose is our famous 104-year-old Grammy, Elsie McLean.  If you don't know why she's famous, google her ass and get wise, I'm sure.  Cripes, she's even on Wikipedia!

So while in the Burbank airport on the way to Chico, I bought a few magazines to help kill time and among them was this most horrid of rags, Star Magazine.  But the cover advertising the best AND WORST beach bodies gave me hope at making me feel better about the sorry current state of my own sugar-overloaded gelatinousness, and so I purchased it and brought it to Chico.  Now, Grammy is a smart cookie and a total lady, and reads (no exaggeration) about a book a day, does crosswords, plays Bridge, golfs three times a week and still has time to make persimmon cookies, chocolate cake, and then waffles for everyone's breakfast.
So it came as kind of a shock while we were all playing Mexican Trainwreck one night to look over and see that Grammy had very quietly finished her novel, and with ancient ninja-like stealth, had picked right past the Glamour, the Sunset, the Allure, and gone straight for the much smuttier reading fare.  And read it cover to cover.

Recipe for a long life:  Tons of golf, lots of salt and black coffee, not listening to doctors, and, as it turns out, Tara Reid's cheesy butt cheeks and the latest on The Hills' dipshits.  Who knew?