Monday Morning Dino

Monday, November 24, 2014

My poor Dino has a had a rough couple of days.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We here in Cleveland got socked with snow followed by an ice storm. I took him out for a walk on Thursday and when he came in, he was limping. I looked at his paw and it was all red and inflamed between the pads. He wouldn't let me touch his paw and he howled in pain. My sweet Dino never complains about anything.
 
So I made an appointment to take him to the vet that day. My  new manager was SUPER understanding and let me leave for an hour and half to take him. When we got there, they took him in the back and I could hear him just wailing in pain. It was awful!
 
When the vet brought him back, he said that he thinks he has a puncture wound which could have been caused by the ice. He told me to keep and eye on it and he gave me pain meds and antibiotics. Dino being Dino still barked his head off when he smelled another dog in the waiting room.
 
"Ms. Starr, would you mind taking Dino to the car and then coming back to check out?"
 
Ahhh...the life of a beagle mom.
 
The swelling has gone down but he's still limping so there might be something actually impacted in his paw. If it doesn't get better tomorrow, I'll have to take him back for x-rays.

Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sundays are my Secondhand day. I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I re-post a "vintage" entry.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel. So funny to read this again. My little stinker hasn't changed much!


"Monday Morning (Peanut) Dino"

Original post date: August 15, 2011

So...about Peanut Dino.

Much like an overweight person who watches the Food Network, I spend my lunch hour perusing homeless Beagles on Petfinder.com. I just can't seem to stay away. On this particular day, I came across this ad:



Peanut is approx 4 years old , neutered and up to date with shots as well as heartworm and flea control . We have been hoping his separation anxiety would subside with time but we have had him a year and seems to have gotten worse . We also have a baby on the way and it's just too much for me, and I don't have the time and energy he deserves and requires. He is excellent with kids of all ages and other dogs. His temperament is actually very laid back (until you leave )! lol He would probably do best with someone who doesn't work long hours or not at all. Let me know if you can help ... i'm running out of time and cannot bear to take him to the pound : ( Tracy

He needed me! Now, I was torn because it was so soon after Bern and I almost felt like I was betraying her. And the dynamic with Millie and Vinny seemed to be working so I didn't think I should rock that boat, either.

Well, then I went to see him and it was all over. He was TOO cute for words and when I sat on the ground, he climbed into my lap and put his head on my knee. Game over.

Knowing that he had separation anxiety (like Bernie did when I first got her), I did all the things that I had done for her.

Comfort Zone plug in:


"Pheromones emitted by animals through their skin and glands are natural chemicals that help them to communicate with others of the same species. When your dog or puppy senses the pheromone, he feels secure and comfortable, reducing his fear reactions and his urge to act out destructively through chewing, excessive barking or house soiling."

Bach's Rescue Remedy for Dogs:

RESCUE Remedy® is the #1 natural reliever of everyday stress. It is a blend of five of the 38 Bach® Original Flower Remedies and is proven to be as helpful with animals as it is with people. For an immediate calming effect in any tense or stressful situation, or when your pet needs help overcoming a variety of emotional or behavioral problems.

Creature Comforts CD:



Just Chillin CD:



Since work has been so stressful lately, I took one of the CD's to work with me but it ended up being a little awkward when I tried licking my balls during a meeting.

I was armed and ready for Peanut Dino!

Or so I thought.

The first night, he chased poor Vinny ALL NIGHT LONG.


"Wake me when he stops chasing Vinny."

I thought, oh boy, he's got to go back. But Vinny being the cool cat he is, put him in his place and told him how it was gonna be.



Now, Vinny's even sleeping in Peanut Dino's bed.


"What's that, Dog? This is your bed? Ha! You mean, this WAS your bed."

Day one of being alone, Peanut Dino went into my pantry (with a broken latch on the door) and ate a entire box of Trader Joe's dog cookies and a bag of Beneful treats.

Day two, he knocked over the kitchen garbage and tore the grill off the bottom of the refrigerator. And his collar was nowhere to be found. I still have no idea where it is so he's wearing Bernie's girly collars.

Day three, I drove up and only saw Millie in the window. When I opened the door, I heard a distant, Woooooooo....Wooooooooo....

He must have been sniffing behind the door in my wardrobe room and locked himself in. This is what the window in the room looked like:



I thought to myself, well, at least he didn't chew on my clothes or shoes.

Day four, here he is in the window as I drove up.



And if you look closely, there's my Born sandal on the window sill behind the couch. So much for not chewing my shoes.



Day five, I bent down to kiss him and thought, hmmmm....he smells like chocolate. When I went in the kitchen, there was hot chocolate mix all over the floor.

There's no way he's four years old. If anything, he's two. His behavior is way too puppy like. I wasn't sure if I could do this but he's so darn cute and cuddly when he's being good that I guess I'll keep him. He seems to be keeping Millie young and maybe he'll liven me up, too!


Not again!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Okay, I know it's not Secondhand Sunday, but I bit my lip again today and decided to share the history of my lovely (?) bite with you.

Published July 9, 2009


I was eating an apple tonight and bit my lip. In the same place that I've bit my lip at least three other times today and twice yesterday. I know people who occasionally bite their lips or tongue. I, on the other hand, do it constantly because my bite is so misaligned. I've even considered having my jaw broken and reset.

When I was young, the dentist suggested that I get braces.

"There's nothing wrong with her teeth, Jean, we aren't doing it," my father argued.

"Maybe there is, though," my mother replied.

"Ridiculous! They're just trying to make money. Crooks!"

Here's a picture of me as a child.



My parents were both Depression era babies and still think a loaf of bread should be a nickel. My mother isn't as bad as my father who thinks everyone is out to screw him. When I told him about Bernie and how much the tests were to diagnose her, his response was to get a second opinion to be sure the vet wasn't just trying to make money off us. Crook!

My father's frugality brings us back again to my continually swelling lip caused by my ridiculously uneven bite. I've always been a voracious masticator so it generally doesn't take more than one chomp to do damage. Once, I had bitten down so hard that I thought I was going to pass out from the pain of my self-inflicted wound. My lip swelled so large and turned so purple that when I went to work the next day, I lied and told everyone that my neighbor's dog had bit me. Woof.

Each time this happens, I touch my finger to my lip to check for blood, mutter "son-of-a-bitch" and then hold my finger out to gaze at my latest DNA sample. My father will still argue to this day that I have beautiful teeth because I never had braces.

Yes, I am glad that my teeth look relatively normal from the outside since all the damage lies inside where no one can see it.

Sort of like what happened to my soul. Thanks, Mom & Dad.

How sweet the sound

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I've always been mesmerized by crickets. I look forward to late August when they start singing their beautiful melodies that lull me to sleep. I even have a "cricket" option on my sound machine. 

Now there's additional proof of just how amazing their melodic harmony is. I just turned around and saw Dino standing at the door, head tilted to the side. He likes it, too!

Take a listen~


Well, hello...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I can't believe that it's November and that I haven't posted anything since July. I've had a challenging 4 months, to say the least.

I think I told you that I went off my anti-depressants last year around the time I left my job at the hospital. I struggle with wondering if that was such a great idea. I've gone to some very dark places in recent months and that hasn't happened to me in a really long time. I was working three jobs: Hallmark a day or two a week(yes, they pulled me back in), the senior home health care place every Saturday and then my part-time weekday job as an office assistant.

To say I was miserable would be an understatement. I LOVED LOVED the weekday job; the people were awesome and the hours were great. The pay? Not so much. Which is why I had the Saturday job. But it became increasingly stressful and the hours sucked. I had to leave my house at 7am and I got home around 5:45 or 6:00. The dogs were crabby, I was crabby. Lose-lose.

The kicker came when one Saturday, a caregiver called me and she was noticeably upset. Her client, a hospice patient, was admitted to the hospital a few days prior. On this Saturday, the caregiver called to say that the patient was actively dying. I asked her how she herself was doing and if the family had been called. She hesitated and starting quietly crying. The children had been called but they were choosing not to come. So this 78 year old woman was dying as she held the hand of a stranger who was crying into a phone. I sobbed when I hung up and had to compose myself before I could take the next call. I knew I had to make a change. I wasn't just physically tired, I was emotionally tired.

I had no life. I worked six days a week and on my day off, I was too drained to want to see anyone. I started actively looking for something new and even applied for a few administrative positions at hospitals. (Oh, no, she di'int!).

I did.

But then I knew that I couldn't go back to the stress that I had before and I started thinking about what would be "fun" but also pay me a good wage and keep my stress level low.

I found it!

In college 20 years ago, I leased apartments and I LOVED it! It was so fun to meet new people and help them find their new home. The downside was that it was six days a week while I was in school full time and trying to have a relationship. Something had to give.

So, long story short, I started a job last Monday at a luxury apartment complex that's 7 MINUTES from my house. I can even come home at lunch to let the dogs out.

And listen to this! The luxury apartment market is so strong that they just finished construction on a new building an another phase will be completed in August, 2015. Who knew??

The first week revealed a little drama but, you know me, nothing that I can't handle. I'm playing nice-nice for now but if the one person who works there (there's always one) doesn't change her attitude, I'll need to show her how to play nice in the sandbox.

 



It's a great job with full benefits. Bye, bye Obamacare. Which, by the way, I love. But I digress. That's another post. Oh, and did I mention that in the initial phone interview, she told me that they are always looking for talent that is willing to relocate to other areas. Guess where the other areas are?

South, y'all!


I was super tired last week because even though I was working 40 hours a week spread over 6 days, it's different to go back to 8 hour days. I actually fell asleep on the couch three times!

I hope to catch up with you all as soon as I settle into this new routine. xoxo

Monday Morning Millie

Monday, July 21, 2014


"What do you mean, you're out of Xanax?!"

Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Sundays are my Secondhand day. I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I re-post a "vintage" entry.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel.


"Do you see what I see?"

Original post date: August 27, 2013




I'm a self proclaimed Gladys Kravitz and for those of you who don't know who that is, she was the nosy neighbor on the television show Bewitched, that ran in the late '60's until the early '70's. Gladys was always peeking out her window to see what was going on in the neighborhood. 


I do the same thing. 

If there's a car I don't recognize parked down the street or I see a police car's lights, I grab one of the dog's to "go for a walk" so I can see what's going on. We used to make fun of my mother for being like this but I guess the apple didn't fall too far from the tree. 

And the fact that I watch far too many crime shows doesn't help things and it just points my imagination to the worst case scenario. I stopped watching these types of shows after Starsky and Hutch was cancelled and only recently started watching them again.

I used to think Starsky was dreamy and my sister had the hots for Hutch. She even bought David Soul's album. The things we do for love. At 12.

 

I was in my family room on Sunday when I looked up and saw a man just past my property line, bent down in the bushes and digging. There's a field behind my house so it's not that unusual for people to be there playing baseball or soccer.

But there were no games going on.

"Oh my GOD! He must be burying a body! And in the broad daylight. He must be on drugs."

I called Millie, threw a leash on her and  "took her out for a walk." 

I slammed the back screen door, hoping he would be startled and take the body somewhere else to be disposed of but he didn't hear it. He was on the far left side of the property so we walked along the far right side.

As we got closer, he stood up and I heard "beep.....beep....beep.....beep"

"Oh my GOD! He must have a bomb! Why does he have a bomb in broad daylight? Maybe he buried the body and now he's going to commit suicide by blowing himself up!"

There's a large patch of overgrown bushes at the end of my yard and so, Millie and I hid behind them and very slowly peeked around the hydrangeas, eyes wide open so as not to miss any details that I would later be reporting to the police.

This is what we saw.




Um.....never mind....

Ch ch ch changes...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Okay, I'm not sure if anyone is left out there listening anymore but lots has been happening! Here are the highlights. 

  • I quit one of my three jobs (Hallmark store) but started working more at one of the others. I now work about 35 hours a week, although, everyone still thinks "I'm SO lucky because I only work part-time." Well, not really..
  • I hired a "professional" to format my book for publication on Amazon. I got lots of quotes from all around the world but decided to go with the 'Murican.
  • Big mistake. She kept submitting completely wrong versions to me and told me "I'm not a mind reader", even though I gave her the jpg's of the illustrations, the text in a Word doc and PDF sample of EXACTLY how it was supposed to look and it SO did not.
  • Three weeks later (my fault for waiting so long), I told her I didn't have time for her to keep trying to get it right and that I wasn't going to pay her. 
  • She disputed it, escalated it to arbitration and then deleted all the evidence of her shoddy work before the arbitrator could see it. Duh.
  • Did I prevail? Oh, yes I did! Booyah, bitch!
  • Hired a guy from Romania who did the formatting correct the first time. Oh, and did I mention that it only took him an hour and half? Here's the link:

He Chose Me on Amazon

  • I've been busily (is that a word??) sending copies of my book to shelters and rescues and I've been getting great feedback! I took a copy in to show co-workers and ended up selling a bunch.
  •  I'm super excited that this Friday I was invited to do a guest blog for a national senior dog organization, The Grey Muzzle Organization! They raise money and distribute it, via grants, to animal welfare organizations and rescue groups. All of their money is raised through public donations and goes toward helping to build programs around the country that meet special needs of senior dogs. The post will be on their website's blog and their Facebook page. I'll share it with you on Friday!
  • I've lost 15 pounds! Still have a ways to go but I've tossed my fast food habit and I'm back at the gym 5 days a week. Baby steps...
  • I have a new hairdo. See selfie below. Sorry it's so fuzzy. I think I have the one iPhone with a crappy camera. Hey, look! My chubby cheeks ain't as chubby anymore!
 

 
  • Last, but not least, this past winter killed me with all the stinking snow and I've decided to make a MAJOR relocation move next year! I have to get all my ducks in a row so that's why my goal is next year. Some may call it a mid-life crisis (I just turned 48) but I call it a fresh start. You'll hear more about this as the year goes by.  All I'll say is that I'm moving south....
 
I promise to catch up on all of your blogs this week! I've missed you guys!

Monday Morning Millie

Monday, June 9, 2014

This is Millie doing her best Liam Neeson impression.

"I don't know who you are and I don't know what you want. But I will find you. And I will kill you."

Monday Morning Vinny

Monday, June 2, 2014


"I'm just gonna lay here until it's Friday again."

They're here.....

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

No, that's not Carol Anne alerting us of poltergeists. It's copies of my book!
 
 
 
FINALLY!
 
It's been such a long road but I just got my first shipment today!
 
Yippee!!
 
I'm really pleased with the way they look and the quality of the book! We had a little shipping headache. I was supposed to have them last week, which would have been perfect since I didn't have to work all weekend and could start shipping them out but the important thing is that they're here now!
 
I have a Facebook page and just set up a Twitter account so I've been running a presale and have sold a handful. I've reached out to some shelters and rescues prior to donating the book to them but only a few have been responsive at all, which is a little disappointing, but that's ok! There's always the next shelter. Sadly, there are hundreds around the country.
 
A few friends with children have suggested contacting schools and since I talk about the book everywhere I go, the nurse at my doctor's office even suggested the pediatric department of hospitals. I never would have thought of that so I'm contacting some old colleagues from my former life to see if that's an option.
 
I may be biased, but I truly believe that this is a special message that needs to be shared. However, as with the whole publishing process, it's trial and error as I muddle my way along.
 
If any of you are interested in purchasing a copy, the link below will give you the special 10% off pricing that I have set up for the next 30 days for shelters and rescues. The price is already reflected.
 
 
AND...if you're so inclined, you can follow me on Twitter or Facebook.
 
 
Let's save some senior dogs!

Monday Morning Vinny

Monday, May 19, 2014


"Wake me up when it stops raining. I have chipmunks to kill."

Rain, rain go away

Thursday, May 15, 2014

It's been an absolutely CRAZY weather week here. It seems like every morning when I turn on Good Morning America, there's a story about the weather in Ohio and quite often, it's been Cleveland specifically. We've had lots of thunderstorms and even had a few tornadoes touch down.
 
I've always been completely fascinated by the weather and I would love to be a storm chaser if I wasn't such a chicken. I could watch shows about hurricanes, tornadoes and other weather phenomenon for hours but I have to admit some of this weather coverage feels like overkill even in severe weather. If I heard them say, "You better grab your family, head to the basement and hunker down" one more time, I was going to scream.The same thing happened in the winter when there were threats of winter storms and only a  few times did the actual weather live up to the hype. Yes, it snows. It's Cleveland, for God's sake! In this day of mobile weather alerts and the internet, stopping all programming to listen to a local weatherman track a storm cell feels like talking to the little boy who cried wolf.
 
There's not much that I hate more than driving in the rain. Even more than driving in the snow so I was pretty upset that I had a doctor's appointment on the other side of town in the late afternoon during the midst of all these warnings and watches. I checked in with the non-stop coverage and decided to give myself some extra time to drive what should have been a 35 minute trip. Lucky me was just entering the freeway on-ramp when the skies opened up with hail and rain and suddenly, traffic was at a standstill. About an hour and forty five minutes in (about 20 miles), the roads were dry and clear. I had already missed my appointment time by now but I figured I would go anyway and just make a new appointment. It must have been my lucky day because they said they would see me. Yay! My ride home? 30 minutes.
 
There were numerous reports of flooding and many residents lost belongings from water coming into their homes. I'm very fortunate that I had no storm damage to my home and the worst I have to deal with are pets with cabin fever.  
 
Here are some photos from the week posted on a local news site.
 

















Monday Morning Dino

Monday, May 12, 2014

 
Wearing this silly tie IS your Mother's Day gift!

Blogger Template created by Just Blog It