Friday, April 29, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

On things you really don't want to hear...

Imagine you went rock climbing last night with a group of friends. One of them happens to be your sister, and – for this particular climb – she is belaying you. You get about forty feet up in the air, and your wrists, fingers and forearms are crying out in agony. You make a final push to reach the top and touch the metal bar that runs around the ceiling. Now, at least, you can claim to have conquered this particular wall. But in doing so you have reached your physical limit and – muscles screaming - you turn and yell down, “Falling”.

To which you get the following response:

“Wait. Hold on. I’ve forgotten how to do this.”

Thanks, Amy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Like you couldn't figure out what I was talking about...

Dear Trevor,

I think the phrase, "they are going to ball him out" is a perfectly adequate description of what is more commonly know as "walking the batter".

Plus, the announcers were calling for a homerun, and I totally called that Anaheim was going to ball out Murphy on the first pitch. So there.


Maybe it is just me...

...but there must be better (and safer!) places to do homework on a computer than the crowded bed of a moving, beat up pickup truck.

Monday, April 18, 2011

More on the Woo...

As of this afternoon, the bandage is off, but replaced with this nonsense. Poor Gypsy has to wear it until the stitches and tube come out of her ear in 2.5 weeks. So far not fitting through the doggie door has been the biggest adjustment. Well, that and Trevor calling her his little pansy.


Speaking of the bandage, it came off last night. This sent both Trevor and me into a mild panic, because the post surgery notes clearly stated that the stitches and tube should stay covered to ward off infection. So, at 9:30 last night, I drove to the store and bought $30 worth of gauze, medical wrap and tape. If only I had known that the bandage was coming off today anyway, I could have saved myself a lot of stress and agony. This was one of several attempts at rewrapping the wound:

None of our (many) attempts lasted very long. All it took was Gypsy standing up and shaking her head.

After many tears (mine) and an attempt by Trevor to tell me it wasn't that big of a deal (which landed him on the couch for the night), I literately bandaged Gypsy's ear and then - using about $10 worth of medical tape - tied it down to her head. She looked like a mummy. Tragically, I don't have a picture of this (I was at my wits end), but the good news is that it lasted all night before coming lose. By then, the vet was open, Gypsy had an appointment and I couldn't get her there fast enough.

Thank goodness the bandage is gone for good. Trying to keep gauze on a dog's ear is an exercise in futility. I feel all stressed and bothered just thinking about it.


How I accidentally turned Lazarus into a zombie...

Last week in Sunday School we were supposed to teach the kiddos about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.

If there had been a word of the day, it would have been “resurrection”. We all but hit them over the head with it.

First we played a version of hot potato. The rules were the same as regular hot potato (i.e. the person caught holding the ball when the music stopped was out), with one major difference. Randomly the word “resurrection” was called, and everyone who was “out” was allowed to come back in to the circle. The kids really enjoyed this activity. The teachers would have enjoyed it more if there was a good way of ending it. After all, it is hard to find a good stopping point with all the constant resurrecting of old players.

We also had the kids draw butterflies by tracing the outlines of their hands on a piece of construction paper, and then decorating them.

This activity drew heavily on the kids understanding of the whole caterpillar-cocoon/chrysalis-butterfly cycle. The idea was to have the kids connect a butterfly emerging from the cocoon as being reborn or, you guessed it, resurrected.

Additionally, the kids read the Bible story about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, and wrote down their weekly bible verse. Basically: Resurrection, resurrection, resurrection.

Finally, it was my turn to teach. I drew a picture of tree in winter on the dry erase board, and asked the kids if the tree looked dead or alive. They all yelled, "Dead", so I asked them how I could make it look more alive. "By drawing leaves on it", they called out.

So, I had them come up and take turns decorating the tree. We only had one green, so the kids also drew lights, flowers and whatnot on the branches. We even had Steve the Squirrel, Tom the Turtle and a random butterly represented, although I am not quite sure how they came to be part of the drawing.

After the tree was finished, the kids returned to their seats and I asked them again if the tree looked dead or alive. This time the answer was, “Alive!”

Me: “So before we drew leaves and decorations on the tree it looked like it was what?”

Kids: “Dead! Like in winter!”

Me: “Exactly! And what do we call it when something is dead and it comes back to life? Like in the story of Jesus and Lazarus? Resur…”

Andrew (one of the kids): “…ZOMBIES!”

Me: “Wait, no…”

Other teacher: “Well, kind of…”

Kids: “Zombies! When something is dead and it comes back to life it is called a 'zombie'!"

Trevor: “[Shaking head] I am never going to think of Easter the same way again.”


I can only imagine what the kids told their parents later on:

Mom or Dad: “So, what did you learn in Sunday School today?”

Child: “Well, we played hot potato and drew pictures of butterflies and learned about Jesus turning Lazarus into a zombie."

Mom or Dad: “That’s nice, hon…wait. What?”

Yes. An entire post where I essentially talk to myself. Fantastic.

Wow. It has been over a week since my last post. That used to be the norm for this blog when I first started it (nearly) six years ago, but somewhere along the way I discovered that I tend to forget about things if I don’t write them down. The entire point of this blog-thing has always been to help me remember. I think it is fun to be able to go back and read what I was thinking about back in, I dunno, the fall of 2005.

Wow. 2005. I was twenty five then.

So, yeah. Basically, I put a lot of pressure on myself to continue to blog and keep up with what is going on TODAY so I can recall it later on. So, when I go awhile without posting, I feel the need to apologize to future me. Or at least make a list so I can (hopefully) remember to go back and fill in the gaps. Problem is: sometimes the post never happens and years later I am cursing myself for never posting pictures of a trip I took to New Harmony in the spring of 2009.

Sometimes I hate good ole procrastinatingly incompetent me.

And, no. Procrastinatingly isn’t a word.

This leads me to last week. It was a busy one with lots of ups and downs:

  • I am done gardening for the season. Well, almost. There are a couple of more things I want to get, but I am waiting for the butterfly plant sale in May. Whoever said lantanas come back in the spring was smoking crack. Mine are nothing but dead sticks.

  • My bat house is up! No residents yet, but I have my fingers crossed!

  • We painted the entire house. And by “we” I mean “the painters we hired”. It started out with needing to patch a couple of holes in the ceiling, and snowballed. We still haven’t recovered, and it may be awhile before art finds its way back on to our walls.

  • Went to a funeral for a soldier killed in Afghanistan. It was the first person killed in the war that I have ever had a connection to. I actually didn’t know Robbie, but I’ve worked with his parents for years. The service was so sad and so beautiful…there just aren’t words to describe it. Listening to his wife speak at the service made me want to go home and hold my own husband and never let go.

  • Gypsy’s ear continued to swell, and had to be drained. Oy vey. That dog, I swear.

  • Skipped the STRUT YOUR MUTT this year because Trevor had to work, but Alley and Haskell had a fantastic time at yesterday’s DOG BOWL. Woo-Hoo!

I guess there isn’t really a point to this here post except to say that you should expect back-posting. If, of course, you are lucky and I actually remember to do it. Sorry future me. At least this time you have a list even if I never get around to elaborating.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

An update on the Woo...

So, the hematoma had to be drained. It gradually increased in size over eight days until the ear flap was so heavy and swollen that poor Gypsy could barely even move it. The only good news in all this is that she needed to have her teeth cleaned, so at least I got a two for one deal.

Of course, all of this was of very little consequence to Gypsy on Friday. Let's pause for a moment to recount her "very bad day":

  • Woke up earlier than normal.

  • Not given breakfast.

  • Had to listen to Haskell and Alley eat breakfast (note: Just because you close the door doesn't mean I can't hear you!)

  • Taken to the vet.

  • Left at the vet.

  • Given bath.

  • Put to sleep.

  • While asleep, bad things happened.

  • Woke up.

  • Had to pee.

  • Mouth hurt.

  • Ear on fire.

  • No Mommy.

  • Become paranoid and started to whine incessantly.

  • Mommy would later learn that all the whining and paranoia was a side effect of the anesthesia.

  • Mommy would also discover that the whining and paranoia will take almost 48 hours to wear off (serves her right).

  • Mommy (finally!) came and rescued me from the vet.

  • Have a tiny accident in lobby because I still had not been given a chance to pee. Well, that and I was really excited to see Mommy.

  • Make it outside just in time to really let loose. Don't make it quite to the grass. Pee on sidewalk next to grass.

  • Embarrassed.

  • Still feeling loopy and miss judge the jump into Mommy's car.

  • Finally get breakfast.

  • Must not let Mommy leave my sight. Follow her everywhere.

  • Make sure Mommy knows just how really rotten my day was.

  • Have Mommy shove pills FIVE pills down my throat.

  • Sleepy.

  • Annoy Mommy some more.

  • Night, night.

  • Woken up so Mommy could take pictures of how pathetic I look.

  • Glare at Mommy so she knows I am not amused.

  • Nod off again.

  • Dream of chasing a squirrel.

  • Dream squirrel got away.


Just so everyone knows just how pathetic Gypsy really looked, I offer the following:

Poor Gypsy Kitty...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Master Bedroom: Before and After...


The original yellowy beige.

And after:

Trevor's thoughts on the new paint in the master:
"It is the color of a real adult's bedroom now."

Whatever THAT means...

Robbie's Funeral...

Arriving at the church.

I briefly mentioned in THIS POST that I had attended a funeral for a soldier that had been killed in Afghanistan. I never knew Robbie, but listening to all the stories told by his friends, fellow soldiers and wife, I wish I had.

I've known Robbie's parents for almost seven years. Ever since I started at the museum back in the fall of 2004. They are both amazing people, and my heart breaks for their loss. Sad doesn't even begin to describe it.

The service was beautiful (even in tragedy), and the patriotism awe inspiring. Hundreds of people came out and lined the streets as the funeral procession left the church and headed to the cemetery. Fire trucks created archways over Campbell Road with American flags hanging from where the ladders met in the middle. It is something I will never forget.

Leaving for the burial at DFW National Cemetery. The funeral procession was several miles long and stopped traffic on 75, 635 and 20.

Cover them over with beautiful flowers,
Deck them with garlands, those brothers of ours,
Lying so silent by night and by day
Sleeping the years of their manhood away.
Give them the meed they have won in the past;
Give them the honors their future forcast;
Give them the chaplets they won in the strife;
Give them the laurels they lost with their life.

~Will Carleton

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Squirrel Hunting, Alley Cat style...

Please note the delicately crossed front paws.
So lady like.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Another tale of woe starring the Woo...

Gypsy. Why is it always Gypsy?

It has been nothing but vet visits lately for my dear Gypsy Kitty Woo. The first was on March 18th for her annual appointment and vaccinations. At the time she had some irritation in her left ear canal, but not an infection. Thirteen days later, however, she had a full blown yeast AND bacterial infection in BOTH ears. Because she is special that way.

I see you...

Cut to yesterday morning. I woke up to discover Gypsy playing "alligator". Alligator is what I call it when Woo sits by the side of the bed and wills me to wake up with the power of her mind. All you can feel are her eyes staring at you intensely. But the second you open your eyes or otherwise aknowledge her presence, she strikes with a stealty liiiiiiiick before trotting away with a hearty "Ha Ha Ha".

This is one of her most favorite games. Which, of course, means it is one of my least favorite. It is especially unpleasant on Saturday's when I am attempting to sleep in. I think the fact that I hate it is Gypsy's primary motivation to keep playing. It is just more fun that way.

Look. I know you are awake. Feed me.

However, yesterday was a Thursday and I was having a particularly difficult time waking up, so I called Gypsy back over to my bedside and started petting her and rubbing her ears. The ear infections had seemingly cleared up, but I still wanted to have a look and see if I could detect any lingering discharge or faint odor of yeast. And that is when I first noticed The Ear Flap.

Gypsy's left ear flap was swollen and sort of felt like a hot water balloon. Strangely, she didn't seem to be in any pain, but, boy, was it enough to completely freak me out. So it should come as no big surprise when I tell you that not twenty minutes later I was dressed and Gypsy and I were on our way to the vet.

Which leads to the diagnosis...

Apparently, Gypsy has an aural hematoma. That means she basically ruptured a blood vessel inside her ear flap, and the blood has pooled inside it. But, shockingly, her hematoma isn't that bad.

Well, I should rephrase that. It isn't that bad RIGHT NOW. Which is to say that it could get worse. A lot worse. Especially, if we can't get her to stop shaking her head. And since there is not a really good way to keep a dog from shaking their head, there is a pretty good chance that we are all screwed. Especially if you factor in the fact that one of her ears is still fighting an infection. An itchy infection.


If the hematoma continues to grow (which it might), we will have to have it drained. A process which, according to the vet, we should hope to avoid. The risk of infection is super high, and it can take several weeks for the ear to drain properly. So please keep your fingers crossed that Gypsy suddenly ceases to be itchy and the blood gets reabsorbed by her body. That would be awesome.

I tried to photograph the ear in question, but I am not sure how effective the images are. As every woman knows, black is a very slimming color and, in this instance, it is hard to get a good feel for the ear flap turned water balloon. But here you go:

Gypsy's right ear. This is the usual width of her ear flaps.

This is the width of the ear flap with the hematoma.

It feels heavy and hot, but doesn't seem to bother Gypsy at all.

This is the underside of the flap.
You can see where her skin is a little red around the hematoma.

The tip of her ear.

Ear by ear comparison.

Thanks to the internet, I now know that you can bandage your dog's ears in such a way that they no longer shake when your dog does. Somehow I am pretty sure Gypsy would die of embarrassment if I made her wear one of THESE. That said, there is no telling what I'd do (to Gypsy) to avoid surgery. And she thought wearing costumes was bad!

Poor Woo.

Monday, April 04, 2011

At which point we learn that I am still a moron when it comes to technology...

Last night Trevor and I finally got around to watching ALICE IN WONDERLAND in 3-D on the new TV. I don’t know why it has taken so long. After all, we’ve had the TV since February.

And, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t all that impressed.

It wasn't the movie. The movie was fine. Much better than I expected, which is really saying something since the idea of Johnny Depp with red hair and green eyes makes me rather nauseous.

Have I mentioned that I am afraid of clowns?

Of course, it took me awhile to figure out that this particular movie was a continuation of the original tale of Alice in Wonderland. I kept thinking to myself, “How old was Alice in the book? I could have sworn she was a little girl. But she’s, like, 20 here. And about to get engaged. To some redheaded guy named ‘Hamish’. I am sure I would remember a name like ‘Hamish’. Was that character really part of the story? Could I have remembered the story THAT wrong? It has been a long time. Maybe Alice gets smaller AND younger when she falls down the rabbit hole? Hmmmmm. Maybe I should I ask Trevor? No, no he’d just make fun of me, and say something sarcastic like, ‘weren’t you an English major in college’ or something…”

This eternal dialogue went on for at least forty-five minutes.

I finally figured out that this was sequel when Alice made it to the Mad Hatter’s tea party and it was completely devoid of a discussion of “Unbirthdays”. Not that unbirthdays were a part of the original Lewis Carroll tale, but, boy, were they ever part of that old 1950s cartoon by Disney. “A very merry unbirthday to you! To who? To me? Oh, you!” For someone with a summer birthday, the idea of an unbirthday was tres exciting.

But, yeah. No unbirthdays in the Johnny Depp version. Despite that, and the weird almost-romance between Alice and the Mad Hatter (um, ew), though, the story was pretty decent.

No, no. I wasn't disappointed in the movie. I was disappointed in the 3D.

For more than half of the film, nothing seemed to pop. It was just flat, and well…all regular D. And a little out of focus. Not so much that I couldn’t follow the story, but enough that I noticed it and it was making me feel a little dizzy.

I initially decided not to ask Trevor about the sucky 3D, because – among other things – I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. I could tell that he thought the 3D was amazing, and was in total awe of watching Alice walk through the toadstool forest. But the longer I watched, the more frustrated I grew. We paid a lot of money for this bleeping TV, and it was supposed to play things in 3D! Granted, there was rarely a need to watch the blooming thing in 3D, but that wasn’t an excuse for the 3D to disappoint when you actually got around to wanting to experience it and all. Plus, the stupid glasses pinch your nose. If you are going to suffer around with something, it best be worth it!

So, finally, bubbling over in frustration and buyers remorse, I turned to Trevor and said, “Does this really look 3D to you?”

Trevor: “Why? Can’t you see it?”

Me: “To be honest, not really.”

Trevor: “You turned the glasses on right?”

Me: “[Long pause] What do you mean by ‘turn the glasses on’?”

That would be the moment I learned that the silly, nose pinching 3D glasses have an on/off switch.

And, yes. Once on the 3D glasses were turned on, the picture really was quite exceptional. Mesmerizing actually.

So basically I am still an idiot. Oh, joy.

(Stupid technology)