note to self…

5 07 2009

bla1So now that it is after 1 a.m. and the date is actually the 5th (what I should be drinking) of July, I’m going on record that today was NOT the best of days.

Actually as far as that goes, it’s been a rough week for the Bear.  Early last week I was pretty convinced that I’d come back from the “southern” portion of my chore list and find her gone.  Not like taking a vacation but like joining Billy for a long walk in the clouds.  She had come in from outside one morning and let out a couple of uncharacteristic yips that caught our attention.  As the next two days progressed she barely moved – unless of course her leash was lowered from the peg where it hangs then suddenly it was if nothing was wrong.

I was wracking my brain for some signs that I’d been missing about her general health.  Could it be arthritis?  How could she have gone down hill so quickly with no signs.  I remembered giving her the monthly heartworm meds and flea prevention but she’d been on those all her life and never seemed to cause any problems.

As I was out hanging laundry on the deck the other day, I looked over and noticed her ID tag that hangs on a little ring along with her rabies tag and license – I went to pick it up and found that it was so jammed into the slats between the deck flooring that I couldn’t get it out.  It took two of us, two screwdrivers (not the kind you drink) and a good yank to get it loose.  I think maybe she’d been laying down – it got stuck – and she pulled herself loose and almost broke her neck in the meantime.

Two days later – she’s been acting just fine…until the stupidiest day of the year.  Yeah yeah yeah – I know, leave me all the comments you want but explain to me what in God’s green earth do fireworks have to do with Independence Day?

This morning on Facebook there were a number of comments about upset canine friends and I snarkily stated that MY dog just quietly asked to go to her kennel in the basement and would be there without a problem for the duration.  What a stupid thing to say.

I decided to let her out before going to bed.  Afterall, the worst of it all was over.  We live close enough to downtown that we feel all the big displays rattle the house.  It is also true that we live in a neighborhood that is particularly fond of this holiday and it seems to me that many households spend a good deal of money on fireworks.

As I opened the basement door, I had a horrible realization.  This year was NOT like every other year.  She had done everything she could have done in her KENNEL – and was sitting there looking terrified.  After cleaning up THAT mess and making her stay in the kitchen – I thought it was over.

No…at least two more messes requiring the laundering of rugs later…I am typing this.  Tell me that the fun is over??  Tell me that people will stop lighting firecrackers at 2 a.m. for no good reason??

Next year – if Old Dog is still around – I am going to set a calendar alarm for the 4th and set her up at one of the Doggy DayCare / Hotel deals and let them clean up the mess.

familial jet lag and a new kind of fiber

19 02 2009

img_30362It’s 2:30 a.m.  I went to bed as soon as “Lost” was finished with another episode of its “Lostiness” as Best Boy calls it.  The Dr. had beat me to the punch by a mere 15 minutes but he was already gone.

After three weeks in time zones on the other side of the globe, sleep is a very delicate thing.  They say it takes a day per hour of change if you spend more than a few days anywhere to re-adjust back to your normal sleep pattern.  Thus, I have a hard time sleeping when he first gets home because I’m afraid that I’ll wake him up with the slightest movement.  Even though I was good and tired having not slept well last night, I laid there awake for almost an hour before the four-legged started barking.

The winds are strong tonight and that could be reason enough for her to prefer kenneling in the basement.  That wasn’t the issue.  She had wild eyes and was almost talking to me by the time I got down the stairs.  She had to go out.

I caught her snacking on tinfoil nabbed from the garbage can a few days ago.  Out she goes into a howling storm in a desperate attempt to find enough vegetation under the snow to graze on, attempting to soothe her insides.  What goes in must come out. It looks like someone has Bedazzeled her poop.  The glints and glitters are illuminated by the flood light shining into the back yard.  Why are dogs so dumb?

Once she’s back inside after “dumping out” (I liked “John from Cincinnati“), she does find her way to the kennel cave.  But I’m wide awake and I don’t dare climb the stairs again to find my nice warm bed.  The Dr. is on the road again tomorrow for a weekend trip and he deserves any attempt at decent sleep.

So I wander the vast internets and make some amazing new discoveries (Sweet Juniper!). About the time I quit this foolishness, the Dr. will be on his way down the stairs to make his morning coffee.  Thus bringing me back to what I do when he is gone – I’ll probably be asleep on the couch for the next 48 hours.

I wonder too, if I’m not sleeping because my progeny are in very labor intensive creative pursuits this week.  It isn’t easy to sleep through the birthing process and I become very aware when they are in production mode with real live deadlines that have dollar signs attached to them.  I know we are strangely connected that way – more than “normal” families.  Something I know but can’t explain and don’t talk about much for fear of sounding like a total freak.  But there I’ve said it. Celtic blood runs deep.

I guess none of us are much different than Stupid Dog.  We just have to wait for the passage of time and things to work through our systems…jet lag, tinfoil or the creative process.  Some things just can’t be dumped out on demand.


1 12 2008

img_38322The head of food purchasing at the hotel I used to work at was nicknamed “Swiss”.  I never knew his real name – everyone always called him Swiss.  He was raised in Switzerland and much to his delight when he learned we had gotten a Bernese Mountain Dog (also known as Swiss Mountain dogs) – he told me stories of the Berners he’d grown up with.  “Smart dogs, these, smart dogs.  My dad would tell the dog which cows to bring home and the dog would bring back just those cows.”

I don’t attribute that kind of brain power to Bella.  Much has certainly been lost since she really isn’t a working dog.  However, there are things still hard-wired in her DNA that can’t be denied.  She is never happier than in this weather.  She begs to go out at any opportunity to gulp up mouth fulls of snow.  She’ll put her nose up against your knees and push back so hard it will knock you off your feet if you don’t set yourself against it.  That is how they move cattle around.  And they love to pull carts – so it is the exact opposite of walking nicely on a lease.

I’ve been thinking alot about what makes some people one way and others so completely different.  One isn’t wrong – the other isn’t right, but different as night and day they are. Two opposite ends of the spectrum.  We don’t have to look any farther than our own siblings to see distinct differences, let alone the families of our in-laws!  Isn’t it curiouser and curiouser?

What makes a person love to wander around art museums and others Nascar?  Some enjoy the Symphony when the only “songs” others hear are on TV commercials.  How does a soul get developed?  What IS it that makes us all tick? How does one develop a passion for something that seeps out of every pore of their being while others appear to be oblivious? What is happening inside one who weeps at viewing an incredible sunset?   It would be infinitely easier if we were given an instruction manual to accompany our relationships. Lately, I find myself in this musing place most of my waking hours, pondering such conundrums.  


Not all hard-wired preferences are pretty. Take for instance the gift left to us by our resident mouser who was just doing what she was born to do.  

Most days we like that gray-furry who is quietly snuggled on the back of the couch or keeping our feet warm rather than having to imagine her in hunt mode being all cruel and fangy. She is both things.  She is not one without the other.


We’ve also taught her to fetch the “rings” from the tops of milk jugs and she’d play for hours if we’d let her.  So maybe we can teach old cats new tricks…maybe we can teach people things they aren’t hard-wired for.


Today I’ll take the good with the bad – the sweet kitty that kills tiny little mice and the dog that would rather be sitting outside in the snow than quietly curled up on her bed.  

One of the great mysteries of life – living in tension with our four legged beasts as well as the two legged ones.

talkin’ turkey

26 11 2008

Somehow I’ve always related Thanksgiving with a time that I do a year-in-review.  Maybe it is to prepare me for those unexpected “let’s share around the table something you’re thankful for…” situations I so often find myself in.  I know it makes more sense at the turn of the new year but I can no longer account for how my brain works or doesn’t for that matter.

This has been one busy year…but don’t I feel like that every year?  All I had to do was to go back through my iPhoto library and email account to see what has been going on in the previous dozen months to remember.  Alot has gone down – some good, some not so good, some hopeful and some really depressing.  It really is easy to get sidetracked and just focus on present circumstances (like the call 10 minutes ago from the car repair shop advising of a $1000 fix). That is not a place for my creative brain to dwell if I need energy.  

So where have we been…what makes me hopeful…what am I thankful for – even if it is being thankful just to be done with something:

A magical night when the gypsies came to sing.




The hope of a movie to make and options on book rights secured…even if there is no money in sight yet.  Just the dreams can be enough. ‘Coz that’s what Dot&Cross boys have taught us to do.


A relatively quick and “easy” time at hospice.


Uncertain days ahead but certain of the task at hand.


Hundreds of thousands of miles traveled across some of the most dangerous places on the planet and safe returns with pretty little baubles in hand.




Not more than four visits to the hospital..maybe a couple more between all of us…but none that kept us there days and days.

Shadows that aren’t scary.



Lots of songs and movies “in the can”.


Very unsexy but necessary house repairs on a foursquare built in 1905.


Days that Bella gets a bath.


And the courage to jump into the raging river of the internet in my own little lifeboat called “1eyedmonkee”. 

For these few things I’m grateful and for the ones who share the journey holding me up.  There are a million more things I’ve failed to mention…but what will I blog about for the days and minutes to come if I tell you everything right now?