Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy (almost) 2009!

What are the chances that everyone at tonight’s New Year’s Eve potluck will think that I actually made the spinach and asparagus that I picked up this afternoon at Central Market?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Special thanks to the wonderful guy behind the food bar thingy that physically hand wrote out directions for the reheating of the veggies (which is Trevor’s job, by the way).


Maybe my New Year’s resolution should be to learn how to cook? Only problem is that I’ve tried in the past, and cooking really is not my forte. I actually burned water once. Technically, I think I burned the pan, but it was still alarming. Trevor’s great in the kitchen, though, which is the real reason I’ve agreed to marry him (it definitely isn’t because of his bathroom etiquette, after all).

Happy New Year, everyone!

On threes...

Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers about Moo. It’s been a hard couple of weeks. I guess things really do come in threes. In 2008…

…we lost three long time family pets:

  1. My horse, Eddie.

  2. Polomo the bird.

  3. Sweat, little Dolly.

…we lost three loved ones this fall/winter:

  1. Andy Hanson. Close family friend and photographer.

  2. Trevor’s cousin, Tim.

  3. Moo.

And then there is my sister, Amy, who has lost a close friend of hers, her dog and her grandmother all in a span of about three weeks.


Hopefully, 2009 will bring happiness and joy in the wake of so many tears. But everyone wear their seatbelts just incase, okay?

Love to you all,

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Like it was meant to be…

Two days after you died, there she was. A porcelain Penelope.

I gave her to Mimi. I thought you would have agreed that that was where she was meant to be.

And this should have been obvious to me...why?!

I found out this morning at my post-op follow up that support hose are much (MUCH!) easier to put on and off when wearing rubber gloves.

Something that would have been good to know, say, A YEAR AGO!

Better late than never, though, right? Sigh…

Sunday, December 28, 2008

And from Pest, Worry Wart learned all she needed to know...

Moo on Thanksgiving Day 2008

Moo died early this morning. She was 98 years old.

We all thought she was doing better. The staph infection was clearing up, and I thought she’d be released from the hospital today or tomorrow.

My dad called me at 7:14 this morning to tell me the news.

The last time I saw her; she gave me a big smile and told me to have fun at the ranch over the weekend. I promised to visit her with a camera full of pictures when I returned.

I left Penelope on her bed to watch over her while I was away…

Poor Moo. I miss her already.

Friday, December 26, 2008

When unexpected guests pop in for the holidays…

Sarah Palin was discovered in my father’s front yard late last night. So, being the good people we are, we invited her inside to partake in some of the Christmas festivities...

Here she is posing in front of the Christmas tree…

Trevor was thrilled to finally make her acquaintance
(he has found her attractive for years now)…

Of course, he couldn't resist trying to give her a kiss…

Haskell, a stanch Democrat, spent a lot of time barking at Sarah.
If he hadn't been so scared of her, I'm sure he would have succeeded in driving her out of the house…

After a few drinks, Sarah whipped out the reindeer antlers.
Who says Republicans don't know how to party?

Now, if we could only figure out who dumped Sarah in my father's front yard, we could get her back to Alaska...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Doggie Christmas Photo Shoot...

As you can tell, Haskell is the only dog that enjoys being stuck in front of the Christmas tree and having his picture taken. Gypsy and Alley, as usual, are less than amused...


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pictures with Santa Paws...

According to NORAD, Santa has already started his journey!

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!


Story Number One:

    This morning, I had my greater and lower saphenous vein in my right leg closed. This involves making a tiny incision around my ankle and running a catheter up the vein. Then, the vein is slowly burned closed with a laser. Pretty cool considering this procedure used to be done by literately ripping veins from the body.

    Anyway, I was awake for the procedure (although the two valium and the local anesthesia do make one a little loopy), and was surprised when I suddenly smelled something burning. This odor alarmed me – especially since I didn’t remember the smell from the first procedure last January. So, I asked the doctor about it:

    Me: “Um, is something burning? I smell something burning.”

    Doctor: “Oh, really?”

    Me: “Yeah. Don’t you? It is really strong. I can even taste it.”

    Doctor: “No, only you can smell it. It is very normal, though. As the laser is burning the vein closed, the ‘smell’ is being carried through your blood stream, which is why you can smell and taste it. But we can’t at all. Sometimes we might get a whiff when we remove the catheter at the end of the procedure, but not always. Out of curiosity, what does it smell and taste like?”

    Me: “I dunno. Kind of like a combination of garlic and exhaust.”

    Doctor: “Well, that’s a first! I don’t think anyone has ever described the smell as ‘garlicky’!”

Story Number Two:

    My grandmother, Moo, is in the hospital with a staph infection. Yesterday, we all went to have holiday communion with her, and today Mimi and I stopped by after my vein procedure to check on her. Both times we loved on her and gave her kisses.

    As we were pulling into my driveway (about 45 minutes after leaving Moo at the hospital), Mimi’s phone rang. It was one of my grandmother’s nurses calling to let us know that anyone visiting Moo needed to wear a mask and gown because her type of staph infection is highly contagious. A piece of information that would have been good to know, say, an hour and a half BEFORE we got it.

    Of course, staph lives on everyone all the time, and – generally speaking – only those with compromised immune systems come down with infections like the one my grandmother has. Most likely the risk is one of us exposing her to something else – not the other way around. But still. Not cool. Especially with all the reports on the news nowadays with young, healthy people coming down with invasive staph infections after manicures or a trip to the gym.

    Sigh. Poor Moo. Now will all look like alien doctors whenever we drop by to say “hi”.

    (Do say a little prayer for Moo if you get a chance, though. She’s 98 years old, and infections like these are never a good thing for someone her age. Plus, she’s probably going to have to spend Christmas in the hospital, which is never fun.

    Anyway, all thoughts and prayers would be greatly appreciated. She's a dear, sweet lady. Granted, I'm biased, but she's worth it. I promise.)

Story Number Three:

    Gypsy Kitty is afraid of my support hose. She keeps sniffing my leg nervously, and when I have to hike up the hose (which happens frequently) she runs from the room and watches from a safe distance 20 feet away.

Story Number Four:

    Chase keeps staring at me. And not in a friendly way.

Story Number Five:
    Yesterday, I had a chocolate craving that could not be satisfied. It was disgusting. To remedy this, I ended up watching TLC’s documentary on the world’s fattest man. For the rest of the afternoon I was convinced I was next, and vowed to never eat again.

    Of course, I promptly broke this promise at my mother's tamale dinner/holiday party last night…

Sorry, if this post is a little unorganized. I’m still a little woozy from the drugs this morning, and my first pain pill is WAY overdue.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Saying "Goodbye" to Miss Dolly...

Sweet Little Honey Bear...
(who always smelled like a corn tortilla when dirty)

We had to put Dolly to sleep this afternoon.

She was fine on Saturday, but got sick sometime during the night early Sunday morning. By Sunday afternoon Dolly had declined so much that Amy decided to rush her to the emergency vet. Dolly’s body temperature was below normal and she was acting like she was in shock. The emergency vet took some blood, ran some tests (including x-rays) and ultimately recommended that Dolly sleep in an incubator at the E-Clinic until Monday morning (at which time she could be transferred to our regular vet).

Amy called the vet periodically on Sunday afternoon and evening to check on Dolly. Around midnight, the report was that Dolly was perking up, but seemed to be “achy”. The vet recommended a round of pain medication.

By the time Amy picked Dolly up at the E-Clinic early this morning, though, Dolly’s achiness had turned to pain. Excruciating pain. Our regular vet had to muzzle her just to examine her properly.

Still thinking that it was the onset of some sort of invasive infection, our vet recommended Amy take Dolly to a diagnostic clinic in Grapevine. Once there they performed an ultrasound, and discovered that Dolly had an insidious kind of cancer. Her abdomen was riddled with tumors – one of which had all but rendered her spleen unrecognizable. The prognosis was grave, and the vet had to issue more than twice the normal amount of pain killers for a dog Dolly’s size just to get her through the procedure. The poor, little dog was suffering, and the vet recommended euthanasia. There was nothing else anyone could do.

We made the decision to transport Dolly back to our regular vet. They had been treating her since Amy adopted Dolly from the SPCA back in 1996, and it seemed right that she pass away there instead of the diagnostic clinic near the airport. Plus, it meant that we all got to spend a few more precious moments with Dolly without all the doctors and nurses. Dolly never liked them much anyway.

Of course, all too soon we arrived back at our veterinarian’s office. They took us upstairs to a private office/examination room. Dolly was thirsty, and drank two small bowls of water. Amy tried to offer her a cookie, too (Dolly always loved treats), but she wouldn’t take it – only sniff it halfheartedly.

My mom, Amy and I all took turns saying our goodbyes to her. We told her she was a good dog and that we all loved her. She raised her head and tried to thump her tail for us. We told her that she’d never have to take a bath again or visit a vet – that it was nothing but food, fun and frog hunts where she was going. We assured her that we’d all be back together again…one day.

We stayed with her until it was all over – until she was gone. Amy stroked her ears and I held her paw. It was peaceful and quick. Dolly left this world at approximately 5:45 PM.

Today was a sad day.

Frog hunting at the ranch (a favorite pastime)...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Lights On Crack...

I've blogged about this before, but the lady who owns the house has apparently added close to 100,000 MORE lights:

This is what happens if Trevor keeps moving the car when you are trying to photograph the house (it's kinda' pretty, though):

Happy ALMOST Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


My next door neighbors have taken to covering the hood of their car with a blanket at night.


I have nothing else to say.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Random Question…

Do you clean out your bellybutton? If yes, how often?

And, no, I won’t tell you why I am asking. Believe me, you are better off not knowing.

On frozen brains and ice…

"Nothing spoils a party like a genius."
- Elsa Maxwell

While getting dressed for work this morning, I overheard the following conversation:

Chase: “Jane! Get the kids into the car! Do you want them to get frostbite and die?”

Jane: “I’m trying!”

Chase comes outside, cigarette in hand, and watches Jane trying to maneuver Jet and Savannah into the backseat. Not bothering to help her or close the back door to the house (which is wide open), he jumps into the driver’s seat, turns on the car and starts violently pumping the gas while the car is in park. The car dies.

Jane: “What’s wrong with the car?”

Chase: “Jane! Are you stupid? It is seventeen BELOW zero out here! Nothing works when it is this cold!”

Jane: “Oh. I didn’t realize it was THAT cold. Wonder how your mother got her car to work this morning?”

Chase: “She had to wait for her car to warm up. It can take hours. She – like me – knew it was going to be cold today. We watched the weather last night.”

Jane: “No you didn’t. You were with me.”

Chase: “Well, it is COLD out here, isn’t it?! Doesn’t take an idiot to know that it is almost twenty below zero outside!”

Of course, it was really only in the mid twenties this morning. Cold? Yes. But not seventeen below zero. Maybe in Montana or North Dakota, but not Dallas.

Finally, after swearing and banging on the car for 20 minutes, Chase gave up and went inside. The last thing I heard him yell before slamming the backdoor was, “Jane! Did you turn off the f**kin’ heat? It’s freezing in here!”

Maybe if you didn’t leave the backdoor wide open for half an hour, the heat would still be INSIDE your house. But what do I know?

My neighbors drive me crazy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The weather rollercoaster (or why everyone is getting sick)...

The weather in Texas is bipolar.

Yesterday, it was 79 degrees. We missed tying an all time high temperature by 1 degree.

Today was a completely different story. I awoke to temperatures in the low 30s and a bitterly cold wind. It is currently 26 degrees in Dallas (14 if take the wind chill into consideration), and we’ve had some issues with freezing drizzle this evening (as is evident by the sheet of ice now covering my back deck).

I saw very little humor in the ice situation until I witnessed both of my dogs run outside, slide across the deck – legs and paws frantically spinning in an effort to grip the slick surface - and fall off on to the grass. It was like watching a real life cartoon! True to form: Gypsy is now afraid of the deck and will only stand on it long enough to walk to the edge closest to the door and jump off.

Tomorrow, the temperature is supposed to rebound into the 50s, and it should be close to 70 by the weekend. But on Sunday, another cold front is scheduled to arrive, which will knock us right back down to the 20s and 30s.

Sigh. At least, it sort of feels like Christmas around here half of the time (when I'm not walking around the lake in mesh shorts and flip flops like I was yesterday, that is)...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

And it smells yummy, too!

At least inside my house, anyway. We tried to decorate the outside as well, but the outside electrical outlets have never worked right since my neighbors plugged their house into my tree a couple of years ago.

Trevor and I purchased our very first Christmas tree, and decorated it yesterday afternoon with ornaments and lights purchased at a post-yoga CVS run.

Actually, to be honest, it really isn't a Christmas tree at all. It is a potted Rosemary bush that has been trimmed to look like a Christmas tree. So, not only does it get us into the holiday spirit, but we now have an ample supply of one of the necessary ingredients needed to make Rosemary Chicken. Yum.

Now, if Alley would only stop trying to steal the plush ornaments off the bush tree, we'd be all set.

The stockings hung by the chimney with care
in the hopes that Santa Paws soon would be there!

Friday, December 12, 2008

And to think he used to be a street dog…

So, as previously mentioned, it got cold this week in Texas, and no one was more alarmed by the abrupt temperature change than Haskell.

On Tuesday night, the wuss refused to go outside. And, when Trevor finally forced him out the door, Haskell just stood there on the deck watching the snowflakes fall into his eyes, blinking a lot and looking put out. We couldn't even get him to pee without one of us accompanying him out to the yard, and standing there with him while he relieved himself on the closest potted plant or bush. I swear: that dog takes “pathetic” to a whole new level.

I knew I was still in trouble when I awoke on Wednesday morning to the local meteorologist announcing that the temperature was still hovering in the low 20s with a wind chill around 12 degrees. Still, I figured Haskell would be eager to go outside after breakfast to complete his morning business. And he was, too...until I opened the door and he suddenly changed his mind. I made an immediate move to grab him and force him out, but Haskell anticipated it and made a speedy retreat back to his bed in the guest room. He even let out a wimpy growl/squeak noise when I tried to drag him out of it five seconds later.

As a last resort, I tricked Haskell by getting out his favorite winter coat and putting it on him (Haskell LOVES clothes). He was so proud to be wearing his blue jacket that he didn’t seem to realize that he was outside until I closed the door behind him. Poor guy. He was totally duped.

If we ever move to Colorado, Haskell is screwed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

For all those that claim that animals don't have feelings...

NOTE: The following video is hard to watch, especially for animal lovers.


Monday, December 08, 2008

Footage from a traffic camera overlooking a busy freeway in Santiago, Chile captured a dog performing a heroic act — pulling an injured friend from oncoming traffic.

The video, from Azteca America Colorado, shows an injured dog lying in the middle of a freeway after being hit by a car, while a rescue dog dodges traffic to run to its side. The rescue dog then drags the severely injured canine across lanes of traffic as cars swerve around it.

No motorists stopped to help either dog, but a highway crew arrives at the end of the video.

The translation of the announcer is as follows:

"These images seen from the surveillance cameras show a very common situation with our overpopulated highways. It is normal for us to see dogs run over. In the video, we can see this dog fighting for his life because he was run over by the vehicle.

"What is very touching is to see the very heroic actions of this other dog who is trying to pull him to the side of the highway. We are going to keep seeing things like this until we find a solution to the dogs living on the streets."

Although, I am devastated that the injured dog did not survive, I love the heroism of the second dog. He literally risked life and limb to pull his dying canine buddy to the relative safety of the highway shoulder. In a country like Chile, where stray and animal overpopulation issues are a big problem, dogs injured and killed by cars is probably a frequent sight.

Not that it doesn’t happen here in the U.S. It does. Every day.

While sad, the beauty of the video for me is this:

At least in his last moments of life, the mortally injured stray knew someone cared and he wasn’t alone.

May we all be that lucky...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


While I was on the phone this evening with Melissa, Trevor decided to turn on MANSWERS on SPIKE TV.

Seeing a bunch of women jumping up and down wearing nothing but teeny weenie string bikinis, I accused Trevor of watching porn. But, no, no. It wasn't porn, but a “scientific” experiment to determine the answer to the all-important question: Do boobs bounce on the moon?

Not ten minutes later, Trevor jumps up and runs (yes, RUNS) to the TV because another very important question was being posed: How can you tell a man from a woman?

For most of us, the answer to this question may seem obvious. But not for Trevor (and the regular viewers of MANSWERS).

According to the show’s “scientists”, you can tell a man from a woman by examining the length of their fingers. Supposedly, a woman’s index finger is always longer than her ring finger.

After digesting this particular piece of information, Trevor returns to the couch, inspects my fingers and declares that I must be a man.

Yes, that’s right: A MAN.

Apparently, I need to adjust the parental controls on my TV to save Trevor from himself…