Ladies and gentlemen!

Right now I'm watching a circus outside our kitchen window - the neighbor kids are running around with bandanas on their heads chasing their own and our dog. Hero's having the time of his life, as usual. I wish we had a video camera.

 

Southern exposure

Turns out our pretty little girl dog? Has a bad case of PTSD from the vet's groomers. Seriously. For one thing, they shaved his ass, and this is apparently ├╝ber traumatic for the small friend. Seriously. He runs around from one place in the house to another with his tail tucked under, as fast as he can, and then when he reaches his destination he throws his ass to the ground like it's on fire so that no one or nothing can touch it. It'd be funny, if he weren't so bummed (hahahaha, get it - bummed?).

I think he's genuinely upset about losing all his fur. We hypothesize that he feels more vulerable now. Who can blame him, really - did you have any idea he was so scrawny? Me neither! Since last night, most of his time is spent curled in a little ball snuggled up against either Hubs or me. He won't even chew on a rawhide! He usually never gets them because of the resource guarding (he'll take your hand off if you come near him while a rawhide's in his mitts) so they're a hot commodity. You know it's bad when a rawhide won't bring him around.

On the plus side, I always wanted a Whippet and now Hero vaguely resembles one... we discovered he's quite lean and leggy once you kill the overcoat.

Bottom line (get it, bottom!?): Hero's tradition of unfortunate grooming episodes continues (if you had any remaining doubt after viewing yesterday's photo).

The kicker? The vet charged us $15 extra because she needed "reinforcements" during Hero's session. Our dog is so naughty we get billed for his lack of compliance! I'm guessing there's a wide berth given for bad behavior before it starts impacting your total, so he really must have been a handful.

Then again, you saw the bows. A case could be made that aggression was justified.

 

Who's a pretty?


Look who I found when I went to go pick up Hero at the vet's grooming service! It's a pretty girl dog!

If he could speak, I bet he'd have some choice words for his stylist.

 

A crash course in neurology

I just got back from a long weekend road trip to Missouri because Mookie (my dad) is in the hospital after suffering a stroke in his cerebellum, which caused severe vertigo and affected his balance center. We're expecting a full recovery, and hoping he'll be back to his history-professing, race-car-driving, motorcycle-riding self within a few weeks.

Talk about a shocker though - I don't know anyone in better health than Mookie (or so we assumed!) - he's still young, eats a healthy diet, has been exercising religiously for decades, and is a very active guy! If ever there was someone you figured would gracefully sidestep a stroke... Regardless, it's been a seriously crap week for him. And for me: there's nothing worse than seeing someone you love in the hospital. He's on his way to a reputable rehab program and was in very good spirits but despite all that, it was difficult to leave this morning.

Tomorrow I start my new part time job as a nanny to an adorable four month old baby boy and I've hopefully landed an interview for a full time position in my actual field of expertise (I know - you'd totally forgotten I even have one of those, hadn't you?)! I came home to a message on the voicemail. Other than that I'm exhausted, stressed, battling allergies, and up to my eyeballs in hormones. Anyone wanna trade?

 

Back

Today was my first day back to the gym. It was fabulous. It felt so good to walk through the doors of Lifetime Fitness, knowing it's sanctioned - OB approved! So long as I don't lose any weight my OB felt that reintegrating more rigorous exercise (other than walking the dog) into my routine would be healthy. Yay! It's amazing how 30 minutes on the elliptical and a couple of crunches made me feel more like myself than I have in months. Like a fog lifting...

Much, much happier. It feels great to be physically tired.

 

Mystery?

I think I've mentioned our neighbor kids before - S (6) and J (9) live next door and luuuuuuurve to play with Hero. They come over daily, ring our doorbell about nine million times, and smile big gap-tooth grins that are impossible to resist.

Yesterday, they brought this note over to Hubs. Turns out, there was an unidentifiable rusty white Mustang parked across the street. A bald guy (sources say) with a computer and a cell phone sat in the car and watched our house intently for several minutes. S and J thought this odd, so they snuck up behind the car to write down the license (otherwise known as "lisnis") plate number. This citizen police investigation, they reported, resulted in the suspect promptly leaving the premises.

Hubs and I aren't too worried about the strange voyeur, seeing as we 1) aren't in any legal trouble 2) don't owe anyone money and 3) aren't in the mob.

My favorite part about all this is the detailed case file, pictured above.

 

And so it begins

I met my OB yesterday morning and she's fantastic. She's very no-nonsense but in a good way. We talked about potential diagnoses, but her thought (and mine) is to get started on treatment assuming that anovulation is the main, and hopefully only, issue. She offered to run various blood tests but felt it overall unnecessary - she's content to treat and delay further testing unless the first-course therapy doesn't work for us. So... I start Clomid* and we see what happens. I'm glad she and I are on the same page. Namely, the page with ACTION scrawled across the top of it in big, bold letters.

(*I didn't mention the first time around but the Clomid cycles will be monitored cycles, so... lots of ultrasounds in my near future...)

Anyone with thoughts or advice on Clomid (namely, side effects?) please share!

I have no idea what's in store for us. But wherever this road leads I'm glad we're finally stepping off the sidewalk.

In other news, my friend C did some sort of a brief cranial therapy on Hero and now he's lying downstairs in his kennel (of his own volition) completely sedate and alarmingly calm. C's a licensed occupational therapist so I'm pretty sure Hero's not in a coma, but I've gotta say it gives me the willies. I should be thankful for the peace and quiet, but I'm a bit freaked out by the fact that my dog seems to have been body-snatched.

She wants to do something similar for Hubs, who has some serious problems staying asleep for more than an hour or two a night. For some reason I find the thought of her massaging his head a little funny. Although I'd like a head massage... maybe I should feign a sleep disorder.

I hate to jump around so much from topic to topic, but does anyone have any good, simple recipe blogs or sites they could point me in the direction of?

In another leap, my whole house is so organized now it's FANTASTIC! I've been desperately needing this. I have files for everything. I even have a coupon organizer and that alone gives me a major sense of well being. It's great to get up in the morning knowing that everything is where it should be (even if everything's not as it should be).

I'd better go check on Hero. This is very odd. I haven't heard a peep from the little fur nug.

 

Labeled

The label ought to read: "SERIOUSLY, DO NOT REMOVE THIS TAG YOU MORON!"

Because a simple stated "Please do not remove" sounds a little too much like a suggestion. They may as well write "Maybe if you feel like it and it's not too much trouble how about you don't take this tag off, mmmmkay?"

I'm talking about the interlibrary loan tag that came affixed to my library book. It was large and hot pink and awkwardly stapled into place, so of course I removed it. I have OCD. I needed to remove it, it was practically beyond my control.

Well, turns out that when they say "Please do not remove" they, um... well, they really mean that. Like, a lot.

Whoopsie.

So I returned my interlibrary loan book without the tag and now it's gone forever. No, really. It's lost. I've lost - permanently - a library book.

If you know me at all, you'll know this hurts my very heart. I love love love the public library. One of the first thing I did when we moved to Champlin from Boston was to locate and sign up with the public library. I think libraries are amazing places: you walk in, and they give you FREE BOOKS. If you love books as much as I do, you can't help but be truly appreciative. It's like Christmas any day of the week.

But still, that florescent pink tag bothered me.

So I ripped it off.

And now that book is gone. No one else can ever read it! (Small dramatization.) It's been put into a book sale because it sat in the lost and found for so long. Turns out, all library systems have different bar codes that don't cross-communicate. So that tag they place on the interlibrary loan book is the only method the library has for keeping track of it and returning it to its rightful home. When they can't do that, they toss it into the lost and found and eventually, into the book sale racks.

Now, the fact that so many systems are in place in order for me to have gotten my sticky little hands on that book in the first place makes me cringe when I think of how disrespectfully I then treated it. I think it's fabulous that you can walk into your library and get books, but it's absolutely fantastic that you can go online from your library and gain access to any other county's books too.

I offered to pay for the lost book, but librarians are so freakin' nice that of course the woman I spoke with assured me it was fine, not to worry. She did mention, with her hand gently placed on mine, that the tag specifically mentions not removing it. Despite her kindness I slunk out the doors and frowned all the way home.

So this is another cautionary tale brought to you by Elle Charlie. Those mattresses tags? The tags on your furniture and pillows? The ones that say "Do not remove under penalty of law"? Maybe don't remove them. I'm extrapolating out from my experience, but I will from now on not remove ANY tag that suggests otherwise. I think you should do the same thing. Out of respect. For the library. Do it for the public library, that beacon against illiteracy and inequity. All together now, say it with me. "For the libary!!!"

(Also, don't doggie ear your pages. It's just rude. Not that I do that... But if I did I would now stop, on account of my recent eye-opening experience. Just use a bookmark - it's better for everyone.)

 

There's a place for everything and everything has its place

After months of out-of-character piles of paperwork floating aimlessly around our household, I *finally* got our important documents organized and filed away. No more scrambling when we need to find the title for our cars or our most recent medical records. THANK GOD! I was starting to have trouble recognizing myself in the mirror. I guess it's good to relax my perfectionistic standards once in a while, but I was beginning to have an identity crisis.

That being said, I had a chance to go through all of Hero's paperwork (he has his own file box all to himself - a whole box!) and tally up just how much our little angel is worth, once you get out the calculator. We adopted him the very end of September, so we've had him for six months. Including vet bills, supplies, and the emergency animal behaviorist we had to employ we've spent $2300.

Are you gasping? Are you almost turning blue in the face from lack of oxygen? I was so shocked I practically fell off of my chair. Are you still in your chair?

Thank goodness the little scamper wasn't in the room. Although had he been, I think I would have looked at him in wonder and amazement more than anything else.

He was an absolute sweetheart all weekend though, and Hubs and I are cautiously optimistic that we're finding a way to leave peacefully alongside our furry companion. Considering we're into it for over 2 G's, that's a really welcomed change of tide.

 

How to

Something interesting I discovered last night is that Hubs and I differ in (among so many other things) one philosophy: what to do when you've gotten a cut (or in my case, a bite) that's left skin hanging off of it. Do you:

a: Remove the skin flap because, hello! That's soon-to-be-dead skin! If anything's going to cause infection, dead skin hanging (and rotting and festering) around your broken flesh is a likely culprit...

b. Leave the skin flap there. Presumably to "protect" said wound.

Now, I don't want to give away the right answer... :)

But seriously folks. I believe there's only one right answer here. I know it's painful and pretty nauseating to pull skin off a fresh, bleeding cut, but I think it's gotta be done. Hubs on the other hand thinks it's a fool's move.

What do you think?

I feel certain that one's take on this speaks volumes about him or her as a person.

 

“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” St. Thomas Aquinas

Thoughts:

  • My weekend retreat was interesting - I can't quite say how I've come out of it yet. It's a shame, though - there's so much great material that stemmed from this spiritual retreat, and yet I can't use any of it because really, that's so not what it's about. But it's too bad, because some of this stuff... I mean, I just couldn't make it up! It was absolutely perfect, like it jumped off the pages of a humorous short story and played out before my very eyes. I need to write about it, but I don't think I can do anything with what I've written. In fact, I'm quite sure God frowns upon using other people as the fodder for your jokes - or worse, the punchlines. That being said, I also plan to write about some of the powerful moments that affected the way I think about the propensity for kindness within human relationships. That might be okay to share.
  • (But seriously, if there is a God, He must have a wicked sense of humor because some of this stuff was just rich.)
  • I've been thinking of switching from Blogger to Wordpress - for those of you who have done it, is it hard?
  • Hero bit me last night and there was a lot of blood - his future in the Mac household is very uncertain. He is a Satan dog. Hubs now calls him Hero the Fang, or just Fang for short.
  • It's crap weather here this week, but it fits my mood: not depressed... just contemplative.
  • This job search is hands down the most frustrating experience I've ever been through. I'm struggling to understand it from a different perspective, namely that there must be a reason behind all this madness. If there is, what am I meant to be doing with my life while I wait to be gainfully employed (caveat: in a job that utilizes my education and professional skill)? A hint from the universe would be helpful. In the form of a pointed highway billboard would be most easily decipherable, but whatever you can give me...
  • At the end of the day I'm still a lucky woman - I couldn't have a better life partner for the journey.
That's all I got - hope everyone is surviving April Fool's Day!