"What do you mean, you're out of Xanax?!"
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.
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!
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
No, that's not Carol Anne alerting us of poltergeists. It's copies of my book!
It's been such a long road but I just got my first shipment today!
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.
Let's save some senior dogs!
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.
Friday, April 25, 2014
I'm sorry that I've been so absent. Maddie's condition has been weighing heavy on my mind and I've been trying every conventional and alternative treatment I can to make her better.
I had to finally accept the fact that while she seemed to be making progress a few weeks ago, she started slipping again. Her cough had gotten much worse and I would wake up in the middle of the night to her coughing and fidgeting because she couldn't get comfortable. I would reach down and pet her and she would let out a little cry and put her head on my leg.
In the last week, she was unable to walk at all. I would stand her up and she would fall right down again. To see her sitting in her bed, she seemed happy and would bark hello when I got home or to beg for a cookie. But she couldn't walk. I carried her everywhere and she seemed in pain when I picked her up which she hadn't before. She cried when she tried to stand up because her body just wasn't cooperating. I walked her around the neighborhood in her stroller but I think going over bumps bothered her because she would cry when we got to the end of the street and so we had to come home.
I made the gut wrenching decision to let her go and I called the vet Thursday morning to make the appointment. I thought I had it together until the reception at the vet's office said "hello" and I just lost it. They were able to take us late that afternoon and since it was a sunny and warm day, we spent the afternoon outside on a blanket and were joined by the neighbor's small children. It was a beautiful last day together.
My friend Bobby was kind enough to take us to the appointment and he came in the room with me while we said our final goodbyes. Maddie loved her Uncle Bobby. For some reason, there's been a lot of turnover of the front desk staff at the vet's office and the new people seem pretty clueless.
This girl with multi-colored hair walked in, muttering an "I'm sorry" and then asked me how I wanted to take care of the bill. Maddie just growled at her which was hilarious because Maddie never growled at anyone! Bobby and I looked at each other and laughed through our tears. It was like Maddie was saying. "Hey! We're having a moment here."
I told them that I assumed that I would be billed like the last time and she walked out muttering "I'm sorry" again. The vet came in and apologized profusely for her asking me that and then said something about "lots of new people."
The vet and the vet tech were beyond compassionate during the whole process and my Maddie passed peacefully in my arms. She really was the inspiration for writing my book because she showed me how dogs live in the moment and all they want is someone to love them.
I was blessed to be able to be that someone, even if only for a short time.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
I know it's been a while since I updated you on my Kickstarter project. Yes, remember that project I started back in the fall??
For those of you who are new to my blog, I'm a huge advocate of senior dog adoption so I wrote a children's book about the joy of loving a senior dog. It follows the path of a little boy named Oliver to finding his new furry best friend.
It's taken far longer than I anticipated but I take the blame. It was a bold endeavor to think that I could focus on this during the holiday season and get it out in time for Christmas gift giving when the whole process was so Greek to me.
I had never worked with an illustrator before but Jay Schwartz was such a professional and so great to work with. He did a fantastic job interpreting my vision and bringing in some great suggestions to make my characters come to life even better than I imagined!
One the illustrations were done, it was on to the actual typesetting of the book. Again, I was clueless to the whole process so when my first proof came back and I was asked what I thought of the font, I had no idea what to compare it to so it took a while to get everything just right. I got my final printed proof in the mail today and it's FABULOUS!!
I'm so excited to get it in print and into the hands of my Kickstarter backers and the general public! At this risk of sounding boastful, I think it has a great message and I'm hoping that it makes people think twice before they choose their next pet.
I should have the books in hand within two weeks.
Sophie's beside herself with excitement!
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Look who had a birthday last week? My sweet Millie turned 12!
Of course, I don't know exactly when she was born but I go by the day she became mine three years ago. I adopted her right after my mother died because I needed another little old lady to care of. She is the happiest little girl, a far cry from the timid beagle laying on the floor of the county pound.
Happy Birthday, my Silly Millie!
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Since any sort of treatment for the mass in Maddie's chest seems illogical at this point, I've decided to focus on her joint pain and how it's limiting her mobility. I've started her on new meds, continued giving her joint supplements and added in the equine/dog supplement, all in hopes that she'll maintain some degree of mobility and decrease her discomfort for whatever time she has left.
It hasn't been working.
I thought it actually was for a few days but she's really taken a turn again since Monday. Today, she couldn't even stand up. Every time I lifted her up, she would fall down again as soon as I let go. She couldn't even stand to go to the bathroom. I took this picture of her before I took the other dogs out for a walk tonight. She barely lifted her head.
If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that I totally believe in spirits and signs and Divine intervention, for lack of a better term. Well, I've got a lot going on in addition to Maddie's condition so I've been feeling completely overwhelmed and stressed. I make sure to keep lots of tissues next to the bed, in the kitchen, on the coffee table, in my car and in my pockets for the tears that I can't seem to hold back lately.
As I was out walking with the dogs tonight, I felt something brush against my leg and I figured that I had stepped on a branch or something but there was nothing there when I looked down. I shot my head around to see if someone was watching me or something because it just felt "weird."
But there was no one, so we just kept walking.
When we got home about 30 minutes later, I went into the family room where I had left Maddie but she wasn't there. I assumed that she had tried to get up and fallen down, so I looked next to the armchair but she wasn't there, either.
She wasn't in the kitchen or the dining room, both which would have been a big feat for her to get to based on the obstacles along the way; hardwood floors, crumpled rugs and chairs to walk around.
Finally, I walked into my bedroom, which is on the opposite end of the house, and there was Maddie sitting up on my bed, just looking at me like, "Hey, where ya been?"
The fact that she was in my bedroom meant that she had to walk all the way from the family room, through the dining room, down the hallway to my bedroom and then climb up four steps to get into the bed.
She. Couldn't. Even. Stand. Up!
Shit. Where's my tissue??