Max and the watermelon

I wanted to post this in reply to another blogger’s post (that would be BiteyDog ๐Ÿ™‚ ) but I couldn’t figure out how to do that, so here you go:

Yup, he picked it himself

My Max was a therapy dog, and one of our favorite people to visit was a 94 year old lady named Anna. She always had watermelon, and she always shared with Max. I like to think they’re sharing watermelon in Heaven now.

So we (I) decided one summer to plant watermelons instead of flowers in my garden. I had male and female plants, sold to me by the guy who owned a little nursery and was trusted by everyone when it came to advise on growing pretty much anything. As time went on, I started seeing little baby watermelons, but mostly they would disappear before they got bigger than baseballs.

I live in the country. If you plant fruits and vegetables, be prepared to share with the critters. I didn’t begrudge them a few, but I did hope to get a few for us!

My lawn swing is behind the house, the garden is in the front. I spend most of the summer on that swing, I love it out there. Max was most often off leash, he rarely went beyond the front yard and never beyond the boundaries (except when the neighbor dog was in heat and then he lost his mind).

I had let him out to do his business and told him I was going to the swing. He would join me on the patio and happily lay at my feet while I read or knitted my way through the summer days. That day, I had gotten comfy on the swing, when around the corner of the house came Max, vine in his mouth, happily carrying that watermelon. He plopped down, watermelon between his paws, and gave me that big smile. He was SO proud of himself!

So I took his picture, laughing my head off. Then I took the watermelon from him, much to his annoyance, took it inside and cut it up, and shared it with him. (The rinds will cause cannon ass in dogs)

And there you have it, the story of Max and the watermelon. Still makes me smile. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Princess Bride and a shot in the back

Yesterday I got the second shot in the back for my unrelenting sciatica issues. This was actually two shots, more targeted to the actual areas causing the difficulties. (L4 and L5 if anyone cares). The first one gave some relief but not enough, so my darling doctor decided this would be a better solution. I hope she’s right, I really want to get back to my walks.

They told me that I might (probably would) feel some weakness in my legs for the next couple of days. I was good getting off the table, walked to the room where the nurse checked me out and got changed, then sat with her while she went over everything. When I stood up, my leg went wonky. As in, oops, that isn’t holding me up wonky! The nurse grabbed my arm, I got steady, she walked me out to my BFF, who took my arm and walked to the car with me, refusing to let go even when I felt that I was steady again. I did tell her that I kinda liked walking arm in arm with her – we’re so terribly cute together sometimes. ๐Ÿ™‚

While I was being shot, the young man doing his fellowship with my doctor said, as they always say, “you’re going to feel a pinch.” Pinch? Dear boy, that was a jab. They had to jab me several times to get around the arthritis that also gives me fits – have I mentioned how much fun it is getting old? After the third one, I said, “you do know that’s not really a pinch!” My doctor said, ‘what does it feel like to you?” I said, ‘A STAB!” She said she didn’t think patients would respond well to being told, “you’re going to feel a bit of a stab!” Out of my mouth came, “I do not think that means what you think it does!” referring to the word “pinch.”

She paused and then said, “PRINCESS BRIDE!” Gotta love a doctor who gets a Princess Bride reference! Then we had a lovely chat about our favorite movie – the most perfect movie ever made, by the way, which served as a nice distraction from the continuing stabs.

Today my legs are drunk. My body feels okay, but my legs are drunk. It’s a very strange feeling and one they told me to expect.

I also spent most of the week dealing with a cold or something (see early post in which Peachy tried to kill me) So I sounded like a frog still yesterday and was fulling expecting the mask Nazis to descend on me at the clinic. Not. One. Word. was spoken about it. Are we FINALLY out of this madness?

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Waitin on a video

That sounds like it should be a song title.

I made a video today for my Managerial Acccounting class because while they can understand the High-Low method and how to solve for f and v, they can’t figure out a Contribution Margin income statement.
(See why their heads fall off?)

I sound like a frog at the moment. It all started when Peachy tried to kill me.

She didn’t plan to – I don’t think she did anyway. I’m pretty sure she would have told me. If you knew her, you wouldn’t find it at all odd that I say that. “I’m planning to kill you next week,” from Peachy, would be akin to the Dread Pirate Roberts saying, “I’ll kill you tomorrow.” **

She made a delicious cake called a Tuxedo cake. Perhaps it’s named for the tuxedos I expect all the gents to wear at my funeral. Except for those wearing kilts and playing bagpipes – I want Amazing Grace on the pipes and the kilts to be swinging. It’s quite heavy on the chocolate. Chocolate, that amazing stuff that hates me equally as much as peanut butter hates me.

I ate three bites of this delicacy and passed the rest of my slice to another person. In the middle of the night, it struck. I woke up with the worst migraine I’ve had in years. Apparently spending the entire next day in bed allowed every random germ to make its way into my bedroom to see if I was available for infection.

Sunday I got up with no more headache, except for the inevitable migraine hangover, and a fierce sore throat. Dragon claws were being sharpened in there.

It’s slowly morphed into a voice that sounds like a frog and a lingering tiredness. And a definite lack of appetite. It’s what we used to say was “something going around.” That was back in the good old days when we didn’t test ourselves for non-existent symptoms.

Meanwhile, the video is uploading and I have no enthusiasm for grading so here I am. Randomly writing about nothing much. The second Wallaby will be completed today. This one was more fun than the first, only one mistake, no ripping out, the directions are not terribly clear in some places but once you’ve run through it, you can figure out what to do. I’ll take a break from knitting and make another scarf next.

It looks like Summer is almost over. My second least favorite season begins. I wouldn’t mind Fall if it weren’t getting cold, and living in the woods with a man and a dog means the leaves are constantly trying to come inside for dinner and I’m constantly trying to keep them out. The same goes for mice and spiders but the Bear is in charge of removing those things from my presence.

There’s an obsession with Halloween where I live. I don’t get it, it’s already started – actually started back in August – it’s as big as Christmas and after 20 years I’m still baffled by that. Maybe it’s because we don’t get trick or treaters, we live way too far out in the country, with a driveway that goes through dark woods, to attract any kids. And the early start to the “celebrations” makes me tired of it by the time it actually arrives.

I’m getting another shot tomorrow. I’m kinda surprised they’re going to do it, since I told them I have a cold. I’m kinda wondering if they’ll make me take a Covid test when I get there. THAT will make me mad. My BFF is gonna be my driver because, well, she’s my BFF! That, and a couple of other things that happened today made me realize that while my blood family is miles away from me, I have built a true and loving family right here. And the wonderful thing is that this family of mine all care about each other as much as I care about them. (Even Peachy, when she isn’t trying to kill me. )

random image of tuxedo cake – Peachy’s was prettier

**random Princess Bride reference

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Wallaby Number 2

This is fun! The first was fiddly , this one was much smoother and I really enjoyed it. The next two are already planned . ๐Ÿ˜‚

Ignore my feet. ๐Ÿ˜
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The houses we build

I was talking to my niece the other night and she said something that made me stop and think. Talking to this niece is something I treasure, she cut me off for several years. I have this thing where I tell the truth and I don’t really care if you have “anxieties” and “anger issues.” Those are your problems, not mine, and I won’t walk on eggshells because you won’t deal with them. When her dad passed away last year, we reconnected. I do love the child – okay, she’s 40 so she would laugh at me calling her a child – and I told her when we talked at the funeral that while we don’t always like each other, I will always love her. At any rate. I digress.

She’s grieving. She’s the youngest of six and has lost her dad at what is really a pretty young age. I remember saying to my oldest sister when my mom died, when she told me basically to get over it, that she should be grateful for the years she had with my mom and to remember that I didn’t get that luxury. (My sister was 15 years older than me) I asked my niece about her sister. Her sister, T, is also several years older than K – don’t ask me how many, I have too many relatives and I honestly stopped keeping track because I’m at the age where they’re all still kids to me. T is grieving so hard that her life has basically stopped.

It’s been almost a year. No, there’s no timeline for grief. However. I was brought up by a woman who taught us to suck it up and get over it, no matter what. (She frequently told us that sympathy was in the dictionary between shit and syphillis and if we wanted it, go look it up.) I apparently have inherited her impatience with this (among other things). At this point, the unending grief feels like wallowing. (I know, I’m a cold hearted bitch. However, calling me that assumes I have a heart)

Conversations tend to circle around “How is T doing? I’m so worried about her! She won’t get counseling! (This is part of my impatience with her.) ” It seems that the rest of the family has been forgotten in the shadow – the spotlight is on T and she won’t give it up.

So I asked K how SHE was doing. She said she was grieving, of course, but had accepted it. She said she refused to build a house of her grief and live there.

I paused for a moment. I told her that was a very profound statement. She didn’t seem to agree, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

We all build houses and live in them. My house was built of distrust and betrayal and it took the Bear to tear down the walls and let love move in. So many build houses of anger, of fear, and refuse to leave them. I love this visual. I’m starting to look at people and events and think, “what made you build your house this way? What happened to you?”

What built your house? Are you happy living in it or do you want to tear down some of the walls and let the sun in?

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When you hurt

And you have a high energy dog, life can be really really difficult.

My hip went out the other day. The day before my last physical therapy visit for the sciatica, the hip decided that nope, not gonna be healthy, not having that shit here! I managed to get it under control, and then yesterday it went out again.

Today is a round of exercises and rest. I have a referral for a chiropractor and I will call tomorrow if it’s still messed up.

Meanwhile, I have a lawn swing that I love – but can’t get out of if I sit on it for more than a few minutes. It’s beautiful outside, and I don’t dare go out because Bear isn’t home and I don’t want to be stuck out there till he gets home.

We also got word that the doggie virus that went around last year is back. It’s highly contagious but not fatal (sound familiar?) to most dogs, if they’re healthy and have no underlying conditions. (Sounds REALLY familiar!) Maverick was home for about 8 weeks last year because of this. One of his friends picked it up at the dog park (why do people still go to those places!?) and Maverick picked it up at the local park where we walk. They shared because caring is sharing, right? Daycare closed down for two weeks while everything got sanitized, new air filters installed, and all dogs were 2 weeks clear of symptoms.

Two weeks after he started back at daycare, Maverick came down with it again. So did several other dogs, and then the owner got Covid, and everything got shut down for a few more weeks. On the advice of our vet, Maverick was home for a month. We did go to the park, he doesn’t get near enough to other dogs to be spreading anything – I thought about masking him but he wasn’t on board and I believe in freedom of choice, so he was mask free.

It wasn’t a fun time. I was teaching five classes, he was bored, we couldn’t really go anywhere – and he’s not great about riding in the car for long, so even rides were out. But we managed.

When I picked him up on Friday, I learned that this virus is going around again, to the point that the dog warden actually closed a daycare and kennel in another town. I was told to keep Maverick home if he shows any symptoms – and of course, I would do that anyway. The point of all this is that we’re not going to go anywhere where he might pick this up. He was not in the least bit sick, he sneezed and had a runny nose for a few days, got a course of doxycycline and that was that. (Yes, he also had gotten the kennel cough vaccine, it does nothing against this) But he was bored and when he’s bored, he drives me nuts.

Yesterday and today we didn’t go for a walk. Yesterday, he could be outside all day and I managed the swing, and a straight chair and it was okay. Today I could barely walk when I got up. He is, according to my friends, “so inuitive!” Really? REALLY????? I’ve managed to get him outside – where he stayed for about half an hour – and then back in. He is currently pouting in the laundry room. I am currently feeling guilty and also in pain.

I’m too old for this.

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She’s a bad influence!

My neighbor is 87 years old. We all call her “Momma Joan” because she’s everyone’s mom, or grandmom, or great-grandmom (to the most adorable baby ever born.) Every now and again, I take her shopping with me, because she no longer drives so she doesn’t get to the fun stores that I love. (Hobby Lobby)

Yesterday I had to run some errands, so on a whim, I stopped at Momma Joan’s and asked if she wanted to ride along. I wanted to go to Hobby Lobby for a legitimate reason – to get a to-go cup for Bear to take to work since I can’t find the 7,000 I know we have. (This is why I hate to get organized, I can’t find a bloody thing) She wanted to get a PickMeUp pen for her diamond art, so she was happy to ride along. Of course, we had to peruse the entire store after we found Bear’s cup and her pen.

There were three carts full of yarn, marked down to stupidly low prices.

The last thing I need is more yarn.

I can’t resist a bargain, especially if it’s yarn.

Momma Joan is a bad influence. “Ohh, that’s a pretty color, you could make R a hat!” In my cart it went. “Oh, that would make a nice scarf! Hey! We should make scarves and hang them on trees for anyone who needs one this winter!”

I’m also a sucker for helping people who need a hand up. (Not a handout, there’s a big difference)

Several balls of yarn landed in my cart.

Today I pulled out one of them, a lovely burgundy color, and started a scarf, because I think that Momma Joan has a really good idea. I got about 6 inches done while sitting on the lawn swing, thinking about life. (Life has been weird the last few days) So if you live near me, and you need a scarf this winter, you might just find one hanging from a tree.

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Thinking, learning, reading, writing

I think the shot is finally working but I’m afraid that saying much will jinx it. Let’s just say the pain is manageable and not so constant and there might be an end to this particular tunnel of pain. Or maybe not. I fully expect it to come roaring back, laughing like the demon I picture it to be. (It felt like talons digging into my leg, hence the demon image) (Demons are not allowed in my house but every now and again, one tries to sneak in. Nasty little fuckers) (Sorry, Kristi’s Ma)*

I’ve been reading a ton – as usual. One of the people in this Facebook reading group that Peachy got me to join reviewed The Real Anthony Fauci – Robert Kennedy. I’ve been working on this book for awhile, it’s very interesting but also very heavy, and the print is rather small and tight in the hardback copy so I can only manage a few pages before my eyes don’t want to co-operate any more. However, I’ve read enough to know that it’s extremely well researched, and while you may not agree with his conclusions, I think his approach is without reproach. (I did that on purpose)

Another member of the group dismissed it out of hand as “GOP progaganda, written by a crazy conspiracy theorist.” I asked if she had read it. Her response was that she didn’t need to to know it was all lies. Well, that’s one way to open yourself up to knowledge, I guess.

I like to read lots of things. She asked if I would attend a KKK rally to “learn about it” after I commented that you really can’t learn if you close your mind. I said no, but I’d read about one. And really? A KKK rally is comparable to reading a book that might question your beliefs? Just turn a few pages, lady, don’t go burning crosses! Geesh!

While lying on my table at physical therapy and doing what is colorfully known as “the dead bug” exericise, I overheard the next pt and patient discussing the current variant of the Rona and how safe they feel because they’re vaccinated. Part of me wanted to rise up and tell them I wasn’t jabbed and feel incredibly safe but when they started to worry about monkey pox, I knew it was a lost cause. And since revealing my status might make me miss the after therapy massage, I decided to just zip it. I can’t find it in myself to be worried about monkey pox, just can’t.

This is the last week of classes. I have two weeks off, during which I’ll be madly creating content for a class I’ve never taught online before. Seven weeks of the firs session and then I’m unemployed. The joys of being an adjunct, you aren’t guaranteed a class each semester. Keep your fingers crossed that the powers that be suddenly realize they need me and give me a couple of classes. I’m not really concerned, something always turns up.

Today is the 30th anniversary of the death of my favorite sister. I was thinking about her this morning – I often think about her but more so today than normal. She wasn’t perfect, she was by no means a saint and the two of us fought like sisters on more than one occasion, but, unlike some of my other sisters, there was never a doubt that she loved me more than almost anyone else in the world. She was 6 years older than me. She promised me when we were kids that she would never ever go anywhere that I couldn’t go with her. I think after 30 years I’ve forgiven her for going to Heaven before me, and I live on the promise that I will join her there one day – because Betty never made a promise she didn’t keep. *For my dear friend Kristi, I’d bet money that your mom and Betty are going to be having some good laughs at our expense, I think they will like each other immensely.

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I got the shot

No, not THAT one!

I tried to find a gif that would fit in here about how I’m anti vaxx and wow, the only things that came up were about how crazy the Covid anti-vaxxers are. Proganda,anyone?

Anyway. I got a steroid shot to hopefully ease my relentless sciatica pain. I have a very low pain threshold. My 10 is my husband’s 4 – which drives me nuts because how the hell does that numbering system make ANY real sense? “What’s your pain level today, Susan?” Apparently, “It’s at kick you in the nuts if you ask again” is not an acceptable answer. Don’t ask me how I know this.

Sciatica can hit in many different ways. My sciatic nerve is being annoyed by a problem in one of the discs – they were tossing around letters and numbers and my brain went “Satan!” after a bit. Mine is an ache that goes from my butt to my ankle, with random shots of pain that feel like electric shocks that go down my thigh, stop, think about it for a few seconds, during which I think it’s done, and then slam fingers with sharp nails around my thigh and knee before laughing like a maniac and proceeding down to my ankle.

In other words, it fucking hurts.

I’ve been dealing with this for about three months. My doctor, who is a lovely, funny woman, I adore her, sent me to physical therapy. This has been 18 visits at 3 times a week with little improvement.
“What’s your pain level today, Susan?” “Punch you in the face if you ask again” is also not an acceptable answer, by the way. My PT is a nice young man who does mean things to me and makes me do things I don’t want to do. I consider this elder abuse, by the way.

So today was the shot because therapy ain’t working well. I’m surprised that my back actually feels better. I’m still having the thigh and knee cramps but it isn’t an instant cure, it should take a few days to start working, I’m staying hopeful that it works. I’m not good with pain and I take it out on eveyone around me – my normal lack of patience is increase by ten or more. So keep your fingers and toes and paws crossed, my friends!

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The inmates are running the asylum

This is long but worth the read:

and this:

and this:

I am so angry and heartbroken that we’ve done this to the elderly. I am livid that we’ve done this to our children. These are the people we’re supposed to protect. How could we let the elderly die alone, without the touch of a loved one? I spent the last years of my parents’ lives with them, 24/7. I held my father’s hand when he took his last breath.

There is no force on this Earth that would have kept me from him. When my mom was in the hospital, and I refused to leave, Nurse Rachet threatened to have security remove me. I told her they damned well better be armed and prepared to use force, I was not leaving my mother. A few hours later, they brought me in a cot.

It astounds me that we fell for this. It astounds me that we were so easily cowed that we let our PARENTS suffer, the people who, for the most part, would have done anything for us. There is no way in HELL my parents would have let anyone tell them they couldn’t see me if I was sick. There is no way in hell anyone would keep me from my family.

Why didn’t we all rise up and refuse this shit? I am heartsick.

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