Congratulations are in order

June 27, 2008 at 5:44 pm (My Daily Life)

Last weekend we got the news that my sister-in-law, Krystal, became engaged to her long-time boyfriend, Nick.  I’m so very happy for the.

The had some time off and Nick proposed at the beach.

I have no details on what their wedding might entail or when it might be.  They both work such crazy schedules that they haven’t had any time together to think about that stuff.  But I know with Krystal’s organizational skills and her excellent taste, that whatever she chooses will be very special and very “them”.

And Nick didn’t do such a shabby job himself picking out this ring.  I think it’s gorgeous.

I believe it’s a center stone with pave diamonds on the band.  I love pave.  I do know he got it at Shane Co, and I congratulate him on picking out such a unique and fabulous ring.

Congratulations to both of them!!


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Back to Regularily Scheduled Programming

June 25, 2008 at 6:02 pm (Dog Update)

It’s come to my attention that in addition to the sporadic postings recently, they’ve all been rather heavy on the typing and light on the Lola.  And we know that Andrea doesn’t do well without regular Lola updates.  So I give to you….Lola.  Licking.

Doesn’t her bed look comfy thought?  It’s all lumpy and seems just right for snuggling small dogs.  And of course, it’s just not hers until she’s licked a big ol’ wet spot. But at least she’s no longer licking herself raw.  That seems to have cleared up and we’ve had no further problems.

And today I’ve discovered that my hair does not like the humidity.  It has become increasingly difficult to tame into any semblance of submission, and I have so much product in right now you would think the sheer weight on the follicles would keep it smooth.  But no such luck.  And after conferring with Andrea and my WorkPlace acquaintance in South Carolina, I’m convinced that the only way to keep the frizz at bay is to stay indoors with the air conditioning on.  As that isn’t an option, I will be experimenting with curly hair.  I don’t think it’s the most attractive look on me and I never achieve consistent curls, but it’s got to be better than the triangle fro I’m working today.

And to combine the original purpose of this post (dogs, in case you forgot already) and that hair related tangent above – I’ve been spending an hour a day brushing Spice out with the Furminator.  She’s been looking really shaggy and seems to be unbearably hot, and Tom refuses to let me shear her down to a cool summer cut.  What?  You don’t think she’s look cute in a Poodle clip?

I’ve spent three hours on her already and still have part of her belly to do and most of her pants.  She’s such a good girl, and I’m very gentle with the Furminator.  The brush is very similar to a sheep card and sadly, I find it kind of relaxing.  Except for all the dust and fur that ends up attached to me.  That part is kinda gross.  Anyway, we’ve been doing this on the deck and I leave Lola indoors because otherwise she barks and growls at every molecule and that in turn distracts Spice and makes brushing into an “ordeal”.  The only thing is, Lola hates that she’s indoors while I’m lavishing love and attention on Spice.  So she sits on the other side of the screen and talks to us.  Vocalization to the max.  Letting us know how she really feels.

Except for last night when she realized she could eat as much dog food, as slowly as she wanted, without any disruptions.  She seized that opportunity!

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I know you’ll be relieved to read this…

June 21, 2008 at 2:31 pm (Uncategorized)

I googled my bug bite last night because it was itching.  And it was so big and swollen that it was creating an extra ankle bump on my leg.  I love google.  I just wanted to know at what point I should be concerned about something that doesn’t look too bad, just itches and is swollen.

Turns out, I think I was bitten by a black fly.  You know, like the same kinds of black flies that bite horses?  The picture looked like my bite and it said that the females have sharp biting mouths that hurt (yep) and it can cause localized swelling, be hot to the touch, and itch.  A lot.  Yep, yep and yep.  I’ve never been bitten by a black fly before, but yowza! 

I applied some Neosporin last night which had a topical pain reliever and took two advil and that helped greatly.  It was much less red and not swollen or hot this morning.  Still itches like a some-of-a-beyotch, but I’m not scratching.

And since Chaps is officially out of his cooler blanket, I’m going to ask his owner if he has any fly spray, otherwise I’ll buy some.  I feel so badly for any horsies getting attacked by these flies.  Death to flies!!

In other news, I was supposed to get my hair done today but when I showed up, turns out my stylist has left.  Did I want the brassy blond in the back to do me.  Uh…HELL NO!  Sheri has gone to Fantastic Sam’s, I believe.  And while I would never knowingly walk into a FS and ask for a dye job, if Sheri is there, I’ll become a FS customer.  Never thought I would say that. 

And it is beautiful today, warm with a breeze.  But Lola is confined indoors because she won’t stop barking.  It’s bad, bad, I tell you.  What is her problem?  I did spend some time playing tug of war with her and she enjoyed that, especially since Spice wasn’t around wielding the Paw o’ Death.

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June 20, 2008 at 4:50 pm (Dog Update) (, )

Last night Tom and I were walking through the neighborhood with the dogs and I felt something just above my ankle.  I used my other foot to smack it, you know how you do when you have an itch but you keep walking?  Well, it was a bug!  And it sucking my blood, but it hurt and almost instantly started itching.  When I got home I was kinda skeeved out so I put some hydrogen peroxide on it and anti-itch cream.  Today it’s the largest mosquito bite I’ve ever seen.  The thing practically has a life of it’s own.  But as seeing how it’s not bothering me, it’s just really big, I’m not too concerned.  Yet. Do you think I might die?

Operation: Train the Dogs is progressing well. Have I mentioned this?  As a refresher, a couple of weeks ago, we were eating dinner inside the house when the dogs saw something outside they wanted to attack and ran full force into the patio screen. Spice knocked it off it’s track.  She was mostly surprised but Tom really yelled her for good measure.  It’s completely unacceptable for them to bum-rush the doors however, so I began training them to SIT and STAY while I open the door and only leave on my command.  If I see one movement to break the stay, I close the door and start over.  Spice hates when that happens and she never breaks a stay twice in a row.  In fact, she pivots and gives me her full attention the second time.  So that’s been going well.  Lola doesn’t sit.  Lola never sits.  I’m not sure anatomically she’s capable of sitting, but she does stand there and she’s very good about the stay part, which is the important part.  I think she’s really learned mostly from watching Spice.

However.  However.  Just this week I was reading out on the deck and the dogs were indoors because they kept barking and running the fence and totally annoying me.  Well, again they saw something and I hear some running toenails and all of a sudden, Spice comes out the screen door on the lower level! What the Frack?!  I hustle down there, yelling at Spice to “come here” so I could kill her, and there is a small opening in the corner of the screen where the material came loose from the frame.  Lola was still in the house trying to figure out if she should exit in the same manner.  Frankly, I’m surprised that Lola hasn’t been the leader in this misbehavior.  Anyway, Spice has now decided that she can come and go as she pleases.  Not.  I caught her again that night trying to figure out if she could do it without me noticing.  And then today I saw her use her nose to push the on the screen in the kitchen, trying to determine if there was a weakness to escape through.

Tom’s suggestion was to get a new slider door with a dog door built in.  I nixed that fast.  I don’t want them and their disgusting muddy feet coming in randomly.  I’m not sure how to fix this problem, but it all begins with reattaching the screen material to the door frame so there is no opening.

I plan on following up with my training by making them sit and stay inside the house while I walk outside and stand at the top of the deck stairs, and then release them.  Right now they take off like sprinters and are the canine equivalent of Slinkies going down the stairs.  And usually Spice tramples Lola so there is a lot of angry verbalization from Lola as they race out.  My hope is that if I’m standing at the top of the stairs, they won’t be able to build up the necessary steam to tumble down the stairs.  And if I do this all summer and fall, hopefully it will stick and this winter when it’s covered in snow and ice they won’t kill themselves.  I know they will always go down the stairs faster than is prudent, I just want to avoid broken bones.

I have a lot of time on my hands and enjoy a good challenge.  The dogs shouldn’t have tested me.

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Lola’s Trip to the Vet

June 13, 2008 at 8:54 pm (Dog Update)

I took Lola to the vet this afternoon.  Since Monday, she’s been licking parts of her body incessantly and it was driving me nuts.  All the time, lick, lick, lick.  And while she loves to lick the couch, she’s never been a dog that licks herself very much.  So I thought something might be up, and today when it hadn’t cleared up on its own and was getting red and inflamed looking, I made an appointment.

The vet and I ran down a whole list of possible causes.  I was worried it might be a bug or tick reaction, but she’s licking her left thigh and right forearm so it’s not a bite.  I haven’t bathed her or changed detergents, it’s been a while since we fertilized and we kept her off the grass, we’ve been here long enough for allergens to have bloomed, and we haven’t gone anywhere unusual.  Her behavior isn’t off, and Spice isn’t affected.  So the vet was at a loss, but there are symptoms to treat so we started with that.

The vet gave her a long acting penicillin shot and a steroid shot.  She said that if the licking didn’t stop or decrease tonight, I should come back for a cone tomorrow.  Thankfully, she’s licking less.  I do not think Lola would be pleased to wear a cone.  She acts frightened of the food bowl as is, I can’t imagine the dance she would do if she was wearing a cone.

As for Lola’s behavior at the vet, well, it was interesting to say the least.  First of all, you all know that Lola doesn’t like to be flipped on her back, and this was an incredible indignity to be flipped in front of a stranger.  The vet had to call in a helper as I held her against my chest, legs out, while the vet took the affected leg and the helper held the other leg.  Lola was very vocal – I heard lots of new noises.  She was getting pissed and letting everyone know, even the vet commented that she was a “talker”.  Right, you don’t want to know what she’s saying.  The vet complimented me on her weight, which isn’t my doing since Lola refuses to eat more.  But she thought it was a funny and true comparison when I called her my little market lamb.  She raised sheep as a child, so she got the reference.  And now I like her even more.

And lastly, the shot hurt.  It was the first time I’d heard Lola express real pain.  Way more painful than the microchip experience.  The penicillin, if you remember, goes in the butt just like the sheep and it stings.  And there was a lot of it.  Lola yelped, like “Dude! Hurts” but when she realized it was still coming, she got really upset.  She tried to bit the hand that was administering the pain, which was funny because have you seen her teeth?  They’re about 1/2 centimeter long.  But she survived and left the office with her arms wrapped around my forearm like a little monkey.  A vocal, pissed off, stressed out, itchy little monkey.

My course of treatment is to dab the area with hydrogen peroxide several times a day, which will begin tomorrow when I get some H2O2, and the trauma has subsided.  When she came home, all she wanted to do was lick the area that had been poked, prodded, sheared, and dabbed, so I had to bait and switch her with a pigs ear.  Always good to have those around.

Otherwise, she’s happy as a little barky clam.  No need to send the care packages or light candles, she’s much better already.  I’ll keep you posted.

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June 12, 2008 at 5:05 pm (My Daily Life) ()

Do you like the swirly color pattern in our yard?

For anyone who wanted a visual example about the greening powers of Weed and Feed, here it is.  The dark green grass has been feed and is happy…the lighter green grass is huungggrryyy and angry that it missed dinner by about 24 inches.

Tom got a fertilizer/seed spreader for the lawn mower, courtesy of Craig’s List, and several weeks ago he loaded it up with Weed and Feed and went to town.  Well, almost, as you can see.  I was watching the grass green up and grow tall as the weather finally warmed and pondered the interesting pattern that was developing in the back yard.  It dawned on Tom that he must have missed a few spots when putting down the fertilizer.

I guess the only way to remedy this situation is to get some more weed and feed and hand apply it to the hungry areas.  And in case you were curious, before it was mowed the only live dandelions in the yard were growing in the hungry path.

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CrackBerry Strikes Again

June 11, 2008 at 5:02 pm (My Daily Life) ()

Is complete dependence on a CrackBerry a generational thing?  How common is it among men of a certain age, demographic, career choice to constantly check for new messages?  If you were to plop all of them together in a ballroom and ask them to play ice breaker games, would they all whip out their CrackBerries and text each other?  Because I tell you, this is a sight that my grandparents could never have imagined in a million years….

Yes, that’s Tom, checking his CrackBerry on the lawn mower, while mowing the lawn.  Do you think this is a problem?  Just weeks ago, Tom said mowing the lawn was about the most fun he’d had in a long time (I assume he meant the most fun he’d had without me in a long time).  But yet here he is, feeling the compulsive need to check his email, or scan the newest Craig’s List postings for car stuff, or whatever he does on that thing.

Multi-tasking is a good thing, sometimes even enviable.  But these two things, mowing and CrackBerry-ing, just don’t seem to go together although I suppose you could argue it’s an extension of driving and CrackBerry-ing.  And I can’t cast any stones since I routinely cross-stitch and watch TV, which I know Tom finds absurd.

I just wonder why he can’t just drive around on the mower with a small dog in his lap instead?

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