Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The BOOMIES are coming! THE BOOMIES!

Last night we had a pretty strong thunderstorm blow in around 11:30 PM.

Normally, when it comes to thunder, both Gypsy Kitty and Haskell are Grade A wimps. And this storm was no different. Gypsy left her dog bed (located in the corner of my room) for the rug closest to me and my bed. When the loudest of claps thundered overhead, she’d put her front paws up on my mattress and stare at me as if to say, “It's thundering.”

Knowing that thunder really freaks her out, I’d pet her head and reassure her that everything was okay. She was safe and dry inside the house, no worries.

Haskell, on the other hand, was a different story all together.

Normally, when it thunders, Haskell abandons his bed in the guest room for the security of “being closer to mommy”. But last night, Haskell decided that his bed was just too warm and comfy to leave.


Haskell: [From his bed in the other room] “Squeak!”

Me: “Hasky, baby, it’s okay. Why don’t you come in here?”

Haskell: [Frustrated sigh as if to say, “But my bed is so nice and warm!”]


Haskell: “Squeak!”

Me: “Seriously. Just come in here.”

Haskell: “Whimper…”


Haskell: “Squeak! Squeak!”

Me: “I’m not coming in there! If you are scared, you can come to me!”

Haskell: [Softly, as if begging…] “Squeak?”

I finally did get up to check on my dog – mainly, to make sure there wasn’t anything preventing him from coming to me. There wasn’t. Although, he happily wagged his tail when I walked in as if to say, “Finally! Now, will you sit with me until the storm passes?”

Little bugger.

Monday, March 30, 2009

And to think I paid for this...

Because I am a glutton for punishment, I had another evil vein procedure done today. On BOTH legs. They focused on the area around my knees.

And six hours later? Yeah, I can barely walk. Hurts. Bad.

I literately just shuffled to the bathroom like I was 108 and missing my walker. Combine that with the support hose (and the fact that I can’t shower until tomorrow night) and you have one super-sexy Deals on Wheels. This is the kind of stuff romance novels are made of. If only Trevor was around to get the full effect…

Oh, and did I mention that they asked me to avoid all anti-inflammatory meds until Thursday? Yeah: FUN! I’ll try to avoid gnawing off my legs between now and then, thanks.


Sunday, March 29, 2009


What my sister said when she saw the color I was considering for her bridesmaid dress.

So, yeah. The wedding plans are going well…

Is it just me...

...or does the idea of purchasing (and eating) unrefrigerated cheese dip from the Dollar Store turn your stomach?


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Planning a wedding is completely overrated...

Is there a reason why bridal magazines do not publish ideas for weddings a season or two in advance? Because looking at spring color palettes does nothing to help me plan for a fall wedding.

Also, I found a color scheme I absolutely fell in love with back in October. Tragically, one of the shades is no longer “IN”. Six months ago, there were several cute bridesmaid dresses in my perfect color. Now, there are NONE.

And while I am on this topic, I would like to encourage everyone who sells clothing for bridal parties (i.e. JCrew) to keep your dresses and color options available for more than three months. I don’t care if my colors are “so last season”. I’ve always been (at least) a season behind. Why should my wedding be any different?!

I’m going on strike from wedding planning again. Trevor and I totally should have eloped! Vegas and an Elvis impersonator are looking better and better...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

But PINEAPPLE doesn't even rhyme with GRAPEFRUIT…

Kind hearts are the gardens, Kind thoughts are the roots, Kind words are the flowers, Kind deeds are the fruits, Take care of your garden And keep out the weeds, Fill it with sunshine Kind words and kind deeds”
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Three cheers for TEAM GRAPEFRUIT! for raising $655.00 for the SPCA of Texas!

Hip! Hip! Hurray!

Hip! Hip! Hurray!

Hip! Hip! Hurray!

Technically, we raised closer to $1,000, but a number of people (yes, several) accidentally donated or registered in support of TEAM PINEAPPLE or TEAM WATERMELON.


I guess I need to come up with a less confusing name for next year…

All the money went to the same great cause, though, so I really can’t complain.

Thanks to everyone who contributed and made the annual STRUT YOUR MUTT a success! Gypsy Kitty is especially grateful - without the SPCA, she may have never found her "forever home"! SPCA alumni are the very best(est)!

Woo Hoo!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I never claimed that walking was my forte…

El Paso is beautiful. But you know what isn't? A bloody toe.

That's right. Ew.

I did this walking to the morning session. I've been taking the stairs between floors, since the elevators...well, suck. Anyway, I somehow I managed to open the stairwell door ON my poor toe (because I am talented that way), and take a hunk of flesh out in the process.

Then, the blood started to gush, because that is what happens when your skin springs a leak. And, of course, there wasn't a band aid in sight. But since I was walking around looking for one, I managed to leave a trail of blood in my wake (something I didn't realize I was doing until a young, male conference goer pointed it out in the stairwell).

The conference people didn't have a first aid kit, and the only thing the front desk could offer me was an alcohol swab and a band aid the size of a freckle. They did, however, offer me some Kleenex so I would stop bleeding on their carpet.

Finally, I found a case of eight band aids and a small tube of Neosporin in the hotel gift store for the bargain (!) price of $13.50. But it was either buy the expensive stuff or risk needing an emergency transfusion in the lobby.

Needless to say, I missed the first conference session this morning. It took forty five minutes and five band aids to finally control the bleeding. But the free time did give me a chance to return my boss’ early morning phone call. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “Hi. It is [Deals].”

My Boss: “Oh, hi. Why aren’t you in a session?”

Me: “Yeah, about that…I hurt my toe on the way to the session this morning, and it took awhile to find a band aid.”

My Boss: “You what?”

Me: “Hurt my toe. To be fair, it was bleeding a lot.”

My Boss: “Oh. Bad enough to skip the session?”

Me: “Well, I thought so. And I dripped blood on the hotel carpet, so I’m assuming the hotel appreciated my immediate attention to the problem as well. I’m all set to go to the next session, though. And this break gives me a chance to call you back and catch up on my work emails and telephone calls.”

My Boss: “Oh, okay. That’s fine. You are alright, though, yes?”

Me: “Yep. Bleeding is under control right now. Just a small gash, but it bled a lot. I’m blaming the fact that I chose to wear a skirt today. It threw off my walking game.”

Maybe if the skirt I was wearing looked more like this:

My toe wouldn’t have ended up looking like this:

Note: These two pictures were taken about 5 seconds apart to give you a better idea of how badly the little sucker was bleeding.

Sigh. Poor toe.

If only the conference included sessions on how best to open stairwell doors without injury, I’d be all set.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

El Paso...


This blog entry is coming to you directly from the city of El Paso, Texas. Home of many yummy things – very few of which I can actually partake in thanks to my Lenten vows.

Anyway, I’m here for a conference. A museum conference. I know what you are thinking: EXCITING (not!).

Actually, it IS pretty exciting. I enjoy this particular conference, and have been looking forward to attending this one for the past year. Until things got exceptional hairy on the other side of the boarder, we were supposed to be visiting some of the museums in Juarez. Sadly, that is no longer the case. But, hey, it got me to El Paso. A city I probably would not have otherwise thought to visit – especially not for museum going.

We got to walk around last night and visit three museums and the public library. And I have to say, I was quite impressed. So many Tom Lea’s! Granted, Tom Lea was from El Paso, but still…very cool.

The conference hotel is nearly one hundred years old. It is a beautiful structure, but is in need of some renovations. The elevators aren’t reliable, for one thing, and I won’t be the least bit surprised if one of them breaks before the end of the conference and ten of my museum colleagues are temporarily trapped inside.

Then there is the issue of my room. On the surface there is no problem. It is big, with a king sized bed and all the comforts of home. And other than being located right next to the elevator and having a drippy sink faucet, it is quiet and I slept fairly well last night.

But then this morning happened.

I can hear 95% of everything that goes on in the hotel room that backs up to mine. Well, no. That’s not really the case. A better way of saying it would be that I can hear 95% of the goings-on in the neighboring hotel room’s bathroom. This morning, I was rudely awakened by the sounds of my next door neighbor’s 6 AM bowel movement. Fun. This experience was only heightened by the fact that I could also SMELL everything that was going on in addition to hearing it.

Tragically, a brief inquiry at the front desk did not yield a new room, so I am stuck in this one until Friday. I can only hope that my pooping neighbor checked out this morning, but I doubt I am that lucky.

Le sigh...

Monday, March 16, 2009

“Acting rational” shouldn’t apply when dealing with machines…

My coworker sent this to me today because I was seen “negotiating” with the museum’s printers earlier this afternoon. Apparently, there were some similarities.

I just don’t understand why the d*mn printer always decides to get all passive aggressive and evil when I’m desperately trying to get something done in a timely fashion. Stupid Murphy and his idiotic law…

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


TEAM GRAPEFRUIT! is back and better than ever!

Last year, the members of TEAM GRAPEFRUIT! raised $1,360 for the SPCA of Texas - exceeding our original fundraising goal of $1,000 by over $350! How awesome is that?!

Help us do it again by supporting TEAM GRAPEFRUIT! You can help us in several ways:

  • Donate to TEAM GRAPEFRUIT!

  • Join TEAM GRAPEFRUIT! and help us fundraise.

  • Support you favorite canine member of TEAM GRAPEFRUIT! by donating on their individual page.

  • Send a check in support of TEAM GRAPEFRUIT! to:

    SPCA of Texas
    2400 Lone Star Drive
    Dallas, TX 75212

Gypsy Kitty and Haskell thank you in advance for your continued support!

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
~ Anatole France


“You don't need to be a rocket scientist to say this looks fishy.”
- Cindi Canary


From: C.
Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 7:21 PM
To: Deals
Subject: Lucy the Cow

You might want 2 check on her.


From: Deals
Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 11:06 AM
To: Melissa
Subject: Lucy...
Importance: High

I got a cryptic email last night telling me to check on Lucy the Cow. I don’t recognize the email address that sent it. The subject was “Lucy the Cow”, and the only text in the body of the email was, “You might want 2 check on her”. There was no signature or anything that would hint at the identity of the sender. Obviously, I am concerned. Is Lucy okay? I’ve been trying to call you all morning, but you aren’t answering the telephone!

A very worried,


Since I still haven't heard anything back, I am assuming the worst...

Monday, March 09, 2009

Here's to hoping that something is better than nothing...

You will have to take my word for it, but before my neighbors had their two children temporarily removed, from their custody there were loads of toys all over their yard. I used to accidentally run over a plastic action figure or rubber ball from time to time if it was left in my driveway.

In a matter of days, however, all evidence that an individual (or two) under the age of four lived next door is now gone. It's bizarre. Trevor was the first one to notice this phenomenon. I find it disconcerting.

Chase and Jane Doe are also keeping weird hours since the kids left. I'll hear them screaming at each other in the driveway at four or five in the morning as they are trying to get their car started. They will still be gone when I leave for the gym, but will be home by the time I return around eight. What could they possibly be doing? My guess: Nothing good.

I also keep thinking about the last time I saw Jet about a week and a half ago. Bert and I were preparing for our camping trip in my garage (sorting through food, counting gallons of water, making sure we had enough sleeping bags and tents for everyone, etc.) when Chase and Jet came outside. Chase started neurotically locking and relocking his car, and Jet announced that he could see “the bad lady” in my garage. The “bad lady” apparently being Bert.

But Jet didn’t stop there, though. When I walked back to Bert’s car to get grab the rest of the water, I clearly heard Jet say, “Look, Dad! I see the n*gg*r! I see the n*gg*r!”

I stopped short and just stared them. Oh, how I wanted to give them both a piece of my mind! But what could I do? Jet isn’t even four years old yet. Such language has to be learned somewhere, and I’m guessing it isn't at day care.

Chase’s constant locking and unlocking of the car door suggested that he was going through one of his hyper-paranoid phases. I knew yelling at him would get me nowhere (Chase confessed to my handyman two weeks ago that he was a bi-polar heroine addict. That coupled with the whole Chinese Throwing Star incident makes me a little nervous for my own safety) but it was still hard to suppress my rage.

I know foster care isn’t a picnic, but it has to be better than living with the alternative, right? I just hope the state doesn’t give them back. If they do, I will have totally lost faith in the entire system.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Only in Texas...

Because nothing says "HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY" like buying a gun on layaway at your local Thrift Store...

(I totally took these pictures today, too. Talk about planning ahead! Mother's Day isn't for another two months!)

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Last night, in the span of less than an hour, the following things occurred:

  • My neighbors had a fight in the driveway (the kids were temporarily taken away by CPS late last week, so to say it is a little tense next door is a gross understatement).

  • Bert got locked out of her apartment. Trevor and I went over to sit with her while the locksmith did his thing (being a woman on a dark night with a strange man can be scary!). On our way over to her house, she texted that the locksmith was harmless and came prepared “with headgear”. Trevor thought this meant that he had a Bluetooth in his ear. I thought he was sporting orthodontic equipment. Sadly, all Bert meant by "headgear" was that the locksmith had a headlight. I found this slightly disappointing.

  • My sister tripped in the attic of her apartment, fell approximately 15 feet through the sheetrock and landed next to her bed. If she had fallen five inches more to her right, she might have been impaled by her bedpost. If she had fallen backwards instead of forwards, she would have fallen two stories down to her living room – most likely killing her. Thankfully, she escaped from this ordeal with only a couple of bruises.

Here’s to hoping for a boring Thursday evening! I could use a quiet night on the couch with no drama or near-death experiences. I see a 9 PM bedtime in my (VERY near) future!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Camping by the Colorado...

This weekend was spent camping on the Colorado River in central Texas. The trip had been planned weeks ago, and everything went smoothly - well, except for the weather. And by "weather", I really mean the wind. 35 mile an hour gusts creates a lot of angst over whether or not your tent will still be where you left it when you return from a hike or a fishing excursion. It was also freezing - something made all the more uncomfortable by the gusty winds that ripped through the camp (at least when you weren't tucked safely away in your toasty sleeping bag). Be that as it may, though, the camping this weekend was fun for all those involved. Well, at least most of us. Only Haskell was a tad bit unsure of the whole experience.

Just like last time, Haskell was horrified by the whole "camping" thing. I'm pretty sure he thought we'd been evicted from our house, and we were all tragically doomed to live forever in a tent. The lack of a snuggly Orvis bed and a temperature controlled house did not amuse him at all. If it hadn't been for Bert and GS's mad skills in the camp kitchen, Haskell might have called the SPCA and filed a report with doggie protective services.

But enough about Haskell, here are some of the pictures:

Filed under: Waiting for the right combination…

Ch√Ęteau de Deals, Gypsy Kitty and Haskell. Night one…

No one ate better than my two doggies…

Leading Bert astray…

The river was a little on the low side…

The look Haskell gave me when we were being verbally assaulted by coyotes the first night…

Haskell camps in style. Doggie bed roll and his blanket…

Gypsy, on the other hand, preferred MY sleeping bag…

Trevor, like usual, had “other plans” this weekend and couldn’t go camping. I’m starting to think he sides with Haskell on the whole “sleeping on the ground” thing.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

On Charla, Pico and Bob...

The odds weren't very good, but within an hour of hanging up these flyers around my neighborhood, this dog (named "Charla") was reunited with her owners.

Trevor and I had found her on my street drinking out of a gutter after church last Sunday. She was clean, in good health, knew how to "sit" and walk on a leash - all signs of a dog with a home. But making FOUND DOG signs is almost like playing the lottery. Very few lost dogs ever find their way back home. And in this economy, many dogs are being dumped or intentionally set loose because their owners can no longer afford to keep them.

Cases in point: Right before Christmas, a little Boston Terrier made his way to my front porch. He had worms, mange and wasn't in overall good health. My neighbors (not the Toolsons) took him in, and put up FOUND DOG posters in the neighborhood. A lady called about him, but she wasn't his owner. She had found the same dog just a few months before, and reunited him with his family - a family that didn't really seem excited to have him back, and did nothing but chain him up in the backyard and ignore him. She told my neighbors where the little dog lived, but recommended against returning him. To make ourselves feel better, though, we hung FOUND DOG posters up and down the former owners block to see if they cared enough to even call about their missing pet. They didn't. The little dog (now named "Pico") is now a permanent resident in my neighbor's house. His previous health issues are now a distant memory. He is living the good life.

And then there was Bob last spring. He was tied to a tree on Abrams next to a sign that read "Free Beagle". A friend of mine picked him up, and brought him to my house. Normally, I would have taken him in, but one of my dogs was sick. Instead, we found a place for him that night, and got him a reservation at Operation Kindness the next morning. I don't know what happened to Bob after that, but he disappeared from Operation Kindness' website over the summer, so I am assuming the little guy was adopted.

Even though both Pico and (hopefully) Bob have moved onto to better lives, it was still gratifying to know that there are dogs out there that simply get lost. They have happy homes, but get out of yards or houses accidentally. Their owners, frantic with worry, are out there looking for them. It is, after all, some what rare that FOUND DOG flyers posted on neighborhood utility poles actually work. But when they do, it makes it all worth it somehow. It gives me hope, at least.