Sunday, March 29, 2009

pamper me

This morning, before Jack made sausage and cheese omelets for breakfast for us, I spent some time out in the gardens in the gently falling snow, tidying up a bit, checking out the bulbs--some just breaking the surface of the soil, some full-leafed ready to send up blossom-topped stalks, some in full bloom bent under the weight of the end-of-March snow. After breakfast, shower, and washing of my newly-shorn hair, we watched racing, did a bit of laundry, enjoyed soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies, and played with the pup--wearer of the new polo shirt from Jr.

Next, Jr's girlfriend, Brandie, performed miracles on my feet in the form of a pedicure. Oh my. And now I have toenails the color of ripe bing cherries. Jr cooked a turkey breast with mashed potatoes and gravy and peas for dinner for us. With cheesecake from the factory for dessert, eaten while thoroughly enjoying a Heart concert on the high def channel on the high def tv. Those girls--Nancy and Ann--have still got something going on.

Even the migraine during (and for a couple of hours after) dinner that required a couple of hours in the dark cool place under my pillow, could not change my firm belief that today was the most pampered day I've ever lived.

Friday, March 27, 2009

a new girl in the crowd

I may have mentioned that Shilo had an ultrasound this week and we will be welcoming another amazing girl into the nest of grandbabies. I can hardly wait.

My mom called me after she learned of the new girl. She said that she was sure this baby was going to be a boy (because after all, that is what she wanted, a boy amongst all of the girls). I pointed out that it would be fun for the kids to have another girl to play with--Audrey and Breanne together, and Janey playing with the new lass.

That's when my mom said, "They are not kids. Baby goats are kids. They are children. I have to remind them of that all of the time at church. It drives me crazy how they call the children kids at church."

I paused for three seconds before saying, "Well, that is the way people talk nowadays."

And she said, "Well, it doesn't make it right. If you want children to respect you, you need to show respect to them."

And then she said she needed to go, she had things to take care of.

And I sat there, feeling a bit off, trying to figure out why her insistence that we all use the more proper "children" instead of "kids" when referring to our young 'uns was so unsettling.

And after a minute, I figured it out.

Did she seriously just straighten me out about R.E.S.P.E.C.T.??? Oh. My. Hell.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

oh my what a lovely weekend

this weekend i:

  • raked up four years of pine needles, which is the equivalent of eight really, really big trash bags full, which will all be sent to Stu's compost pile, because they will improve the ph of his soil.
  • cut back all of my perennials, which is the equivalent of another eight really, really big trash bags full.
  • discovered a nest under one of the ornamental grasses from last year, full of small white eggshells, likely a quail's nest, since i regularly saw parents with their young scurrying around the gardens last year.
  • ate dinner at hires' with cory, jessie, breanne and janey: big h burger, onion rings, diet coke, and a hot fudge brownie sundae, and two adorable girls who lovelovelove to be with their gramma, which is demonstrated by pats on the cheek and tugging on my hair until my face is touching her face and the longest kiss on the cheek i've ever received.
  • watched proudly as the drummer's group of kids in their flannel cowboy shirts and jeans and cowboy hats played spaghetti-western songs on their drums and other percussive instruments--think the good, the bad, and the ugly, and other familiar favorites--and the music was arranged by my drummer, as was the marching program.
  • felt entertained by little audrey as she played with the princesses and the doll house and after a bath, lotion, and into jammies, read book after book after book with her.
  • realized after friday night's gashing bite marks on my hand, and saturday's nearly-broken elbow by the chomping of her ever-powerful jaws, that when i was ready to keep her on her leash forever or maybe even buy one of those dog cages to keep her in, fell once again in total love with jojo when i realized she likes to smash snails after using those ever-powerful jaws to chomp them. yeh, sick, i know, but jeez i hate snails and she seemed delighted to find something new to chew on. win-win if you ask me.

Friday, March 20, 2009

the calendar says it's spring

7:00 am--18 March 2009

5:00 pm--19 March 2009

5:00 pm--20 March 2009


And, of course, some JoJo

Friday, March 13, 2009

memo to garden staff

Some random thoughts from the gardens this past week--

I think I spent less than 12 hours at work this week. I think I spent the rest of the hours either in bed or on the sofa wishing I was in bed. But, I'm pretty sure I'm on the mend now.

The new masthead is notification from my silver maple that spring is on the way.

I love the blogging. I love putting my thoughts down on paper (or apparently on the internet for the world to read), but more than my blog, I love reading other blogs because of posts like this one. If it doesn't make you smile, you need to see my therapist. (She's very good, so just let me know and I'll hook you up. You're welcome. But I bet the post will make you laugh.)

I'm rethinking my 2009 resolution ('keep hope alive'). Seriously, did I write that? Okay, maybe it's a good thought. But a resolution it isn't. My new 2009 resolutions are to: drink more water, forgo the daily burgers/fries/egg mcmuffins, eat fruits and veggies every day, exercise at least 30 minutes each day, and lose 40 pounds. Oh yeh, and fix the economy and settle down the world so we have peace. Because I'm probably just as likely to lose 40 pounds in the next three quarters of 2009 as I am to fix the economy and create a peaceful world. But that's my resolution.

JoJo update: Still sweet. Still pooping. Still growing. Not chewing on me quite as much, but still very sharp teeth. As evidenced by these photos:

Yes, that is JoJo chewing up the livingroom rug. I let her run free in the house for about half an hour yesterday and I think that's when she was overcome by the urge to chew off the edging and the fringe. She looks so little and sweet, huh. Do not be fooled. She is not little.

Monday, March 9, 2009

looking for the positive

I've spent the last few days feeling pretty lousy--brought home some influenza-type bug from DC that has laid me low. I'm hoping none of my family will get sick, but I think Jack's starting to sound like I did on Friday--you know that throat-clearing, ahem, ahem, sound that happens when you might need to cough but you just want to avoid it?

So rather than focus on:
  • the runny, stuffy nose, the fever, the big-dog-barking cough, the clogged ears, and the aches that I thought were a clear indication of my impending death, or
  • the weariness that makes it nearly impossible for me to get up even one more time to stop JoJo from chewing up my box springs, or
  • the shocked look on my 90-year-old neighbor's face as I raced from my house, in my nightie and shoes this morning in the snow, to make sure the gate on my crazy neighbor's fence was closed after JoJo dashed out the back door of the house and bolted through the opening in the fence between our back yards--the opening created by the boards that crazy neighbor removed last summer when he decided to 'fix' the fence--
I am focusing on:
  • how good peanut butter on toast can taste, and
  • how soothing a Jamba juice can be, and
  • how comforting a cat under the sheets next to me can feel.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Well, I'm back home. The big DC trip was:

  • great weather
  • nice hotel
  • DC
  • dull with occasionally interesting bits class
  • bumpy flights with lots of coughing, sneezing, farting (yes, I said FARTING) co-passengers
  • no sightseeing because the germies got me
  • not much food because the germies got me
  • camera sadness--forgot to pack one and I had the best view out of my hotel window
  • not one of my best trips
On another topic, did I mention that my mom dropped in unexpectedly (when will I realize that she is never expected, so I should always expect her?) She blew in demanding that I drop my pizza and soda and leash up JoJo so she could take us back to her house so my brother and his wife could meet JoJo. Let me just say that I put up a struggle, eventually got in the car with her (and JoJo, who was trembling furiously because she'd already been loaded into the car by that woman who shows up whenever the doorbell rings), survived a chaotic visit and drive home. Before we left my house, my mom casually asked if we had a copy of "Godfather II" because she'd watched "The Godfather" and part of "Godfather II" and wanted to finish it.

And speaking of JoJo. Holy cow does that dog love me. Every night after work, I go into the house, directly to her room (the laundry room with a gate across the opening into the kitchen) and pick up my shrieking dog. She shivers and shimmies herself all around me, licking and nipping and wagging at me. And then I spend the next hour or two, holding her, playing catch and fetch with her, and REMOVING HER TEETH FROM MY FLESH. Last week, she bit me hard once too often and for the first time, I got mad at her. I didn't hit her or toss her away or anything like that, but I did yell, "JoJo, NO!" And she attempted to get me again. That's when I got out the leash. Holy cow does that dog hate the leash as much as she loves me. Every other dog I've had would go nuts if it even heard a clinking that slightly resembled the sound of a dog leash. JoJo immediately curls up at my feet. She hasn't started to associate the leash with walking outside of the yard. Yet. For now, it's a pretty effective way to get her to settle down.

Not that she really ever settles down. A week ago, Jr was walking through the kitchen and JoJo, excellent cattle dog that she is, guided him in a straight line through the dining room and kitchen by nipping at his pants. Through a series of unfortunate events though, one of her baby canine teeth became lodged in his pants. I mean, really stuck. Jr continued walking, JoJo gave a little yelp, and after inspecting her mouth, we realized one of her teeth had broken off in Jr's pants and the part that was still in her mouth was bleeding. We were all stunned and a bit sick about it. But JoJo seemed unfazed the rest of the weekend.

Just before I left for DC, I noticed that JoJo had a bit of the runnypoops. Not much, so I figured she must have gotten into the cats' hairball control food (and by "hairball control" I mean "laxative included"). Unfortunately, it was more than a bit of catfood. Jack reported that JoJo had the diahrrea all week. And one morning, he heard her calling to him to open her gate and let her run through the house and moments later, she was by the side of the bed, having jumped the gate for the first time. As Jack proclaimed in an email to me later that day, "The JoJo threat level is red!!! We are on the highest alert level!!! Keeping all gates closed!!!" Apparently JoJo didnt' really figure out how to jump the gate so much as she just made it over the gate one time. We've had no more breakouts.

Yesterday, I decided it was time to get JoJo to the vet to check out the tooth, the poopys, and besides she needed another vaccination. The vet said she'd remove the baby tooth, give the pup her shots, and if I'd brought a stool sample, she'd check it. Who thinks to bring a stool sample for a puppy? A while later, after returning home and back to the vet with the stool sample, (which was negative--meaning, what, no worms?) I returned again to the vet to hand over $283 , pick up a handful of pills and such, and I expected, pick up my drowsy dog. I anticipated a sleepy, cuddly dog who would snuggle up to me on the couch while I ate cinnamon toast and sipped something soothing for my belly and throat. What I saw instead, was my sweet, happy dog, looking a bit loopy, trotting towards me, on her leash. What I heard was a roomful of pet owners, mostly big dog pet owners, who upon spotting my adorable dog, all, in unison, released the best "OOOHH!!! HOW CUTE!!!" that I've ever been a party to. Yes, I admit that her nearly constant need to chew off my skin drives me a bit mad at times, and I admit that I've totally sold out the cats when it comes to JoJo ("Hey girl, there's a kitty friend, go see your big brother and let go of my calf!"). But holy cow that dog loves me. She's good to come home to.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

there's a new feeling in this town

Or at least it feels that way to me. Did I mention I was headed to Washington, DC, this week? Yes, that's right, I'm in Obamatown for a couple of days of training--"Intellectual Property in Government Contracting." I can hardly wait. Seriously. Maybe something about attending a class that talks about 'intellectual property' makes me feel smart. Well, that and because, you know, I am. Smart.


The plane ride was exciting on takeoff, landing, and in between. Couldn't help but wonder if there were any geese in the area. But we made it safely. My plane this time was a 757. A nice, big plane with three seats on each side of the row, and lots of head room, even for the tall guys on the flight. I can't really explain this, but for some reason, I feel so much safer when I'm flying on a big plane, even though, in my somewhat logical mind, it only seems obvious that it is more difficult to keep a huge plane in the air than a little plane, which was confirmed today on takeoff and on landing. It must be hard to control one of those big planes. But there is lots of plane around you in case of emergency.

I was on the next to last row on the plane. Rather than get distressed at the thought of having to wait for all of those people to get off the plane before me, I just told myself, "Lucky girl, you are so close to the bathroom!"

I took a cab to my hotel. I love cabbies. They always start a conversation in one or two ways--where are you from or how about this weather? Today, it was where are you from and then how about this weather, compared to the weather where you are from. And then the conversation turned to Obama--how much work he has to do, what a hard job he has, what a good guy he seems to be. I told my friend, Eileen, that I would stop by the White House to tell Obama, "keep up the good work", and accept Michele's invitation to dinner with their family. And obviously, I'd stick around to play with the girls until bedtime. And stay in the Lincoln room, as long as it had at least as nice of linens as the Marriott I'm staying at.

Dinner tonight was cinnamon braised short ribs with butternut squash au gratin and pearl onions. And german chocolate mousse cake for dessert. Holy cow. I am going to have to walk to my class tomorrow. Thank heavens Eileen printed out directions from my hotel to my class.

These are the things I like about work travel:

1. Room service
2. Remote control control
3. No poop or pee to clean up
4. Starbucks on every corner
5. Increase in my intellectual property
6. Time for my JoJo-inflicted wounds to heal
7. As much freecell and scrabble as I want
8. USA Today puzzles pages

These are the things I like least about work travel:

1. No Jack
2. No grandbabies
3. No kids
4. No JoJo or kitties
5. I have to talk to myself instead of somebody else all of the time
6. I still have to do my regular work work
7. Eating alone
8. Not enough time to see all of the cool stuff that isn't in my home town
9. Oh yeah, I don't have access to the home computer network so i can't put together my new masthead as I planned to do on this trip