Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Our appraisal has come and gone, thank goodness! Although I never did get the house completely in order, the lady said it looked great, took a few pictures, made some measurements and left. Strangely enough, the fifteen minutes she was here was a bit of a letdown given that I had prepared for it for a whole month. For something that took over my life for that length of time, she should have stayed and celebrated with me!! Oh well, several good things did come out of the cleaning spree. First, I actually put a major dent in the task that has hung over my head for years. Secondly, I am feeling much better about staying home now that I'm accomplishing something meaningful. I have vowed to stay on top of it each week so that it will never become so overwhelming again. And lastly, we can actually have people in to visit for a weekend or just come over for dinner. Or open the front door when the pizza is delivered instead of going out through the garage.
In the meantime, my other half has been in contact with a person who rescued a Golden Retriever from a shelter on the day it was to be put down. She had gone in to adopt another breed but couldn't leave this little guy to his fate. She took him home with the intention of immediately giving him away. My other half apparently saw her offer to adopt him at the same time she posted it. They began emailing about a week ago, and she has promised us first chance at adopting him. Somehow, this all managed to go right over my head since my head was buried in the stuff I was cleaning. I can't decide whether it is a good idea or not, but if the dog ever makes it to our home, he'll be here to stay! The five-month-old puppy is a white-blond, smallish male. He was dropped off at the shelter overnight with no information. According to his rescuer, he has obviously been abused and is frightened of almost everything. My heart is telling me to go for it, of course! Staying at home gives me the best opportunity to work with him to overcome his fears. But four dogs? Well, I guess if people can have four kids, we can have four dogs. Hubby drove over an hour to see the puppy last night, but didn't bring him home. I think that was just a waste of gas, if anyone asks me. We had several calls and messages asking if we got him, so it seems he has told everybody about getting this dog. However, when he went to pick him up, he said he wasn't quite sure about it. I think he just doesn't want to overwhelm the other three dogs we already have! He's worried about how they will react. I don't think it's going to be a problem, since each time we bring one in, the rest just smell him/her and then go back to what they were doing. They are so accepting of another pack member. So, hubs is going back tonight to get the dog. Waste of gas. And of course, we've already named him. What does that say? My hubby worked for a short time for the NY Yankees and has always been a huge fan, so that is how we got started on the current names. We've had Yogi and Berra (brothers), Maris, Guidry and now....drumroll....Munson! He was the catcher when Guidry pitched for the Yankees, so it seemed like the name to choose. I'm sure I'll be posting about Munson soon.
As I said, I'm really feeling good about things right now. I had felt guilty for so long about staying home. But my employer has decided to let me do the bookkeeping at home, and I got a call last week from someone who wants me to work in her boutique a few days per week. And I'll probably soon have another baby to love and train.
Bookkeeping, boutiques and babies. Sounds pretty good to me!
(Image used is entitled "Coming Home" and is by everydayeros at Etsy.)
Monday, April 26, 2010
It's official--summer is here! We had our first thunderstorm a few nights ago, and that is the signal that the heat is upon us and that summer has arrived. From now on, we will be getting them very regularly. At least two or three a week. Boy, do I miss the snow. I hate hot weather and humidity combined. Walk outdoors and sweat. No mercy. Remember the movie "Body Heat" with Kathleen Turner and William Hurt or "A Time to Kill" with Matthew McConaughey and Samuel L. Jackson? Remember the characters always looked like they had just taken a shower with their clothes on? Right. Oppressive heat is depressing.
Berra, one of our Golden Retrievers, is thunder-phobic. Well, he's actually loud noise-phobic. Fireworks will freak him out, too. We have tried a lot of natural things to keep him from being so anxious. At one time, we thought about giving him anti-anxiety meds, but the storms come up so fast, there isn't time for the meds to take effect. Poor thing. He tries to get inside of my skin. And at a mere 120 pounds, he's a bit too big to manage easily. He's taller than me when he puts his paws on my shoulders. He doesn't do that often, but when there is a storm, he is all over me. Normally, he's a perfect gentleman. He and Yogi were brothers. We saw all the puppies being birthed and picked out the two of them several days later. Well, my hubby got to pick out Yogi. Berra picked me. He was being held by someone as I walked past to go look at the pups. He howled or something when I passed him by, so I think he was trying to get my attention. When I backed up and started talking to him, he talked right back. He still does. He makes all kinds of sounds, and I swear that he understands English. He always obeys me, no matter what I say! He even understands body language. All I have to do is raise my eyebrow and he's doing whatever it is that he wasn't doing the first time I said it. Sadly, we lost Yogi last year to bone cancer. Goldens are prone to all kinds of cancers, and I think we've had about half of them show up in our dogs. So far, Guidry is not showing any signs of illness, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that she stays healthy. With our pets, we've dealt with heart failure, an intestinal blockage that required several feet of intestines being removed, a brain tumor (preceded by an eye being pushed out and having to be removed), spleen cancer, and the gum, eye and skin cancers that Maris has had, along with Berra's epilepsy. I think God just keeps sending these special babies to us to care for and love. I'll never forget the day we went to pick up Toby, who had the intestinal surgery. He had been at the vet in recovery for a week. We visited him every day. When we went in to pick him up, the receptionist/admin person said to me, "Oh, I am so very sorry." I almost fell down, thinking that he had died. It was touch and go for a few days. However, she was talking about the bill! She told me it was the biggest bill they had ever had. A week at the vet, meds, and surgery that required four doctors. After she handed me the invoice, that's when I fell down. There are a lot of people who wouldn't want to spend big bucks on their pets, but we wouldn't do it any other way. They are our children, our family. Can't just chuck 'em when they get sick. But many people do that as well as lots of other things that are even worse. Thank goodness for animal rescue clubs. We have loved all the puppies we got, but our last two are rescues and all the more special.
Well, I don't usually listen to the radio, but when the thunder started, I cranked up the volume on a top twenty station and let it drown out most of the noise. I heard Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, Timbaland, OneRepublic and a lot of rappers. I say all that because now all I can hear are those songs. So with that, let me say:
Hey Soul Sister, Imma Be going for Carry Out, so don't Telephone me. In My Head, All The Right Moves will get me to Sexy Chick fastfood. I just hope I can Breakeven and it won't be a Replay of last week's financial fisaco. Well, Tik Tok, Whatchu Say, Meet Me Half Way and we'll Breakaway. Blah Blah Blah...
(The first image is a detail of a work entitled "See It Coming" by ZoeDockery at Etsy. The second image is of the entire hand painted quilted silk wall hanging. Beauty.)
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Well, one of the hardest things I've had to do in awhile is past me. We did decide to have one of our rescue dog's eyes removed. I've posted Maris' story earlier. After talking to both our regular vet and the vet eye specialist and taking all factors into consideration, we opted to have it done. Maris went in last week for same-day surgery and needed only one or two days of recovery before she was back to being (mostly) herself. We had this same procedure done years ago with Taylor (who left us not too long after his surgery), and his recovery took two very long and difficult weeks. We didn't know it at the time, but he had a brain tumor that had started pushing his eye out. The surgery was performed by our regular vet, not the eye specialist. Not that our vet didn't do a great job, but sometimes a specialist sees something that a non-specialist wouldn't. That's why they are specialists, no? We were worried that Maris' recovery would be painful and difficult. There tends to be leakage both from the eye as well as the nose as a result of this surgery. Maris had one day of leakage that was bloody. After that, it was the "draining" type of leakage, and it lasted about two days. She has managed beautifully, probably because she had already lost sight in that eye. And the specialist assured us that all of the cancer had been removed. By the end of last week, she was already chasing her brother and sister around the yard and was starting wrestling matches with them. She has a mean left jab. However, I've been curbing those matches because until the stitches come out, I don't think there should be any roughhousing!
I'm so relieved that we made the right decision. I didn't want to lose her yet. She is truly an angel. When hubby went to pick her up, the specialist and the assistants said that Maris was the sweetest dog they had ever had in the office. Our regular vets and their assistants say the same thing. Maris is gentle and hesitant when greeting anyone, but she always greets lovingly.
I think if I were almost deaf, had one of my eyes and half of my lower jaw removed, a fingernail taken off, a cancerous lesion on the back of my neck soon to be removed and been rescued after almost a month of neglect (including no food or water), I doubt I could be sweet. I think I would not greet the world lovingly. I would most likely be required to wear some sort of warning sign.
Or probably several at one time so that no one would fail to get the message...
(Top two images are resin bracelets found at sisicata at Etsy. The last image is found at BoingoJennie, also at Etsy.)
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Now that I'm back to my usual good-for-nothing self after my tornadic, frenzied cleanup, I think today calls for a tea party. I've been neglecting Dorothy and Alice far too much lately, and they are pretty peeved about it. All work and no play just isn't their cup of...well, need I say it?
So today is devoted to sipping tea and enjoying time with friends. And what do I find but that things are out of control! Dorothy has been doing so much research on hormone replacement for me that she believes she has lost her brain and needs to find the Wizard. Oh dear. She's helping me since I continue to doubt those questionable little pills. We discussed yet again the need to consult someone who can thoroughly explain the difference between my current hormone treatment and the bioidentical hormone therapy. I've already given the boot to the phyto-hormones since my history indicates they will be of little use to me. Alice, meanwhile, has been rather distant since I failed to make it to the theater to see her latest movie. She is also miffed due to the rather blah reviews it received from the critics. Apparently, no one consulted her on the cast or storyline. I tried to explain that while it might be a story about her, it wasn't her story to claim, i.e., she didn't write it so why would anyone ask her opinions. That did not go over well. And since she is madly in love with the Mad Hatter, or rather the Hatter from this movie, she is quite disappointed that...oops, bad form to reveal the ending, right? Ah, well. I obviously have been out-of-touch for too long. I didn't realize that they needed me so much. I had thought that they were here for me.
I guess we are all here for one another, no?
(Image used is entitled "A Cup of Tea Solves Everything" and is by whatnikkimade at Etsy.)
Friday, April 16, 2010
Most people say time flies when they are having fun. For me, time flies even faster when I have an unpleasant chore, maybe because I wish the time away. I simply cannot believe that it's been two weeks since my last post or that I have done one thing and one thing only in that same time. Clean. Clean and then clean some more. (Yikes, big lie there. I'll explain in my next post, hopefully sooner than two weeks from now!)
For the last five or more years, my schedule was so full that I had very little time for cleaning. On the weekends I was exhausted from doing too many things at one time. As usual, I said yes to too much and needed to learn to just say no. In between the stuff I was doing were several emotional upheavals (are there other kinds in my life??) that created their own stress and exhaustion. And at some point within the last few years, I had gradually started that winding down time of life known as menopause. While some women may have been prepared for the changes, I was not. I have always had fatigue that resulted from monthly hormonal changes, and this was as bad if not worse. Suffice it to say that if I was at home, my preference always was to rest rather than clean. If I did any cleaning, it was minimal.
Funny how things can really pile up. One day there is that day's mail on the counter, then suddenly there are weeks' worth just sitting there. Not to mention the things emptied out of my hubby's pockets each night as well as the stuff I brought in each week from the many projects I was working on. It was so much easier to move the piles upstairs to keep them out of sight. Of course, there came a point when the piles had to stay downstairs because there was no room upstairs. And laundry? Piles of dirty laundry versus piles of clean ones. Did I mention that I don't like to use the washer on a lot of items and never use the dryer on anything except linens? I have four clothes racks that are labeled by color and are constantly in use. Move the dry clothes off the rack onto the sofa and start the whole process over again.
Imagine how completely embarrassing this is for me to reveal. Now imagine how it was to actually have anyone see it. No one, and I do mean no one, was allowed to come in my house for the last five years. One friend did see it because she took me home after a surgical procedure, and at the time I could have cared less that she saw it. Later, however, I was truly mortified. My other half's family were sending him articles about how to deal with hoarding. As angry as that made me, I still did nothing about it. I knew I wasn't hoarding, and he really didn't think it was either, but he wasn't certain. The few times I did try to work on the house, I got so overwhelmed that very little was actually accomplished. There was too much to do in such a short amount of time.
Which brings me to what has kept me away for two weeks. We are refinancing since I haven't been working and contributing to household expenses. At some point, there will be an appraisal, and that is what ultimately motivated me to get to work. The first week was almost a full-time cleaning event. Almost round the clock since we thought that the appraisal was going to be "any day now." Unfortunately, I got so tired that the second week has been more part-time with rest periods in between and an early quitting time. I am happy to report that things are looking much, much better! I have managed to get all but one room in decent shape. Not completely clean, but I will go back and do more if I have time. I saved the worst room for last. Actually, I started upstairs and worked my way downstairs, so it just happened to work out that way.
Anyway, that's what I've been doing, and time has flown. I have purposely not taken time to look at anything online, knowing how I have a tendency to spend hours bouncing around in space. No reading since I usually start and finish a book in a single sitting. And definitely no tea parties! No, I forced myself to focus on the cleaning. Now I know why an annual spring cleaning is recommended. Otherwise, stuff, both necessary and not, just piles up and becomes overwhelming. And although it took a TV show ("Hoarding" on AandE, I think) and several chats, my hubby realizes that I'm really not hoarding, just holding onto and collecting things for all my artistic endeavors. I'm not sure, but I think he based his decision on the fact that in the show there were lots of dead creepy critters underneath all the "stuff" that was shoveled out. Thankfully, I didn't have to use a shovel, and I am happy to report that no critters were found during my cleanup. Well, except for the three that kept taking the trash out of the bags and playing with it, making me wonder if they shouldn't go in the bags, too!
I also thought about hiring some help at first. This crew looked interesting and did have a shovel, but I couldn't find any recommendations, so I just said...
(Image used is entitled "Mule Day Cleanup Crew" and is by PhotoAmerica at Etsy.)