Besides the tour we got several minutes of Shelly time (a precious commodity when she is entertaining), and it was swell to catch up with her. Sadly, though, she has not been in the best of health lately as she recovers from Shingles. I'd never heard of this very painful illness before last week when one of my clients told me about her mother suffering from it. It is very painful and takes weeks to recover. It's hard thinking of our ebulliently happy aunt suffering like that. She is such a sweet, thoughtful and fun person. Not that anyone else deserves it either.
Anyhow, the rest of the family started showing up and it was fun, fun, fun all day. We are so blessed, the Rock Star and I. Both of our families are really great fun to hang around with. Family news of note: the Rock Star's cousin and his wife, Laura, just announced their baby, due to arrive in July. They are magazine cover beautiful people with great personalities so soon the population will have one more Grade AAA individual to mix in with the rest. We are (I know it sounds cliche) very, very happy and excited for them. I'm ever so slightly jealous, but only because I am anxious to be able to announce our baby soon. Not this time though. We are starting on our 6th cycle of trying this month. If it works we'll know by Christmas.
Around 5:00 pm we snuck out to go visit my family and had some pie with Sister, BIL, Nephew, Mom, BIL's bro & Fiance & future Stepson. Twas all very nice and fun. I worked a bit on my sock but had to stop as I just kept screwing it up. Then around 8:00 we headed back over to Shelly's to play Dominos with the Rock Star's bro, his GF and his Mom. Lots of laughs (not to mention post-thanksgiving feast snacks) were had. We came home and let all the dogs out around 1:00 am and went to bed!! Whew!
Agatha the Bulldog is boarding with us right now. She is such a funny looking, sweet dog. She sneaks up on our bed when she can and then I have to go tell the Rock Star that there is Bulldog ass on his pillow. I think he's the lucky one, cuz there is bulldog slobber on mine. She went out for potties around 10:30 last night and when I got up to get ready and let the dogs out this morning she was all snuggled down in the Little Dog's bed and would not get up to go out to pee. She actually opened one eye to look at me, then squeezed it shut again and pretended to be asleep. I went ahead and left and asked the Rock Star if he would let her out and around noon he called my cell to say that he and his bro are going out for lunch and that Aggie still won't get up. She did the same playing possum routine with him. I got home around 1 pm and she still wouldn't get up. It's 2 pm and she is snoring out loud, showing no sighns whatsoever that she plans to drag her lazy bulldog ass out of bed today. OMG how I wish I was a dog!!!
After I took Mom home and got her settled I ran home and met the Rock Star and we picked his brother up from the airport and had dinner at his Mom's. It was nice. She has a very small efficiency apartment, but was just so pleased to be entertaining, especially her two fine sons at once. Her recovery from the gastric bypass surgery is progressing well. Maybe a little slower than she'd like, but it's all an adjustment process. She has lost 41 pounds so far and the difference is remarkable. Her face looks thinner and she can move around so much better. She is feeling really good and is getting off more of the drugs she was on. Her diabetes seems to be in really good control and she needs much less insulin.
After dinner at the MIL's we all returned to our home and the boys commenced to enjoyin' the "bro time". Beer and scotch and talk flowed. Many ATV stunts were pulled on the Playstation 2. I went to bed around 2 am and the Rock Star finally tumbled in around 3:30.
Tuesday was a rough day for me. I was exhausted from way too many late nites and I got up to drive Mom to her job and then did my round of dogs. I kept finding myself nearly in tears over any little thing and that is a sure sign of just too little rest. I laid down and took a nap which helped. Got up finished my dog day and picked up some groceries for fixing dinner. MIL came over and we all had a nice evening and I even got a little knitting in. She went home around 10:30, I went to bed around 11:45 and the boys had "bro time" til 3:45 am. The BIL's GF gets here tonite and since she is deathly allergic to animals and our house is filled with them (and all their hair) they will be staying at an Aunt's house. She can only stay a few days, and when she goes home, BIL will come back here for more "bro time". I'm glad. My darling husband really misses getting to spend any quality time with his brother and they both really enjoy each other's company. I'll do anything I can to let them spend as much time just hangin' out as we can manage.
A thought I've been having over the last couple of days is that it isn't bugging me so much to take time out of my life to help my mom. In the recent past (when I was deeply addicted to Ultima Online) I totally hated to be taken away from my computer. I don't play at all anymore and don't miss it either. It feels good, doing good for the people I love. I do miss not getting to read all the blogs I've gotten used to reading lately, but I'll catch up next week. I have my knitting in my bag with me all the time now and find time to work on it here and there and that makes me feel good. Having a portable obsession is much better than the obsession that kept me glued to my puter.
My reaction in crisis is to go all calm and business like, paying attention to all details, assessing situations on fly, making intelligent decisions, and trying to keep everyone else involved from freaking out. When the crisis is over, I go back to my safe, quiet home and fall apart. By Friday evening when it was all over, I was to the twitching stage. It happens to me when I've been holding too much together too long. I was resolved to relax and that is what I did. A long, hot shower was the first order of business. Comfy jammies and lots of hugs and understanding from my wonderful, perfect husband. Then I sat down to knit. I started a sock. My first one. I had "Learn to Knit Socks" by Edie Eckman and a fabulous web resource, Socks 101. I had the materials and I had the desire. By 2:00 am (I needed sleep, but I needed to knit more) I had a cuff, ankle and turned heel (my first ever) on my needles. And not many mistakes. I was proud and tired. But best of all: relaxed. I went to sleep. Saturday I knitted all day and did the foot, toe and wove the toe together. This (and a few other things) took me til 3:00 am when I went to sleep. Relaxed, still. and proud. and satisfied. It's a really cool feeling when you finish a project.
Sunday we went to Red Lobster (yuck) to meet my sister and her family for her birthday. Sister is married to the brother of one of my oldest, and dearest friends. He was there with his new girlfriend and her son. They announced their engagement. I'm very happy for them. It has been so wonderful watching him make his life into what he wants it to be this past year. He used to be obese and has lost more than 170 pounds on a medically supervised diet over the past year. Then he went out and started dating and found this woman and it's clear that they are very happy together. He has gone from loneliness to having a family, and I wish him just the most happiness he can stand!
Sunday evening found us cleaning house, madly, because today at 6:00 pm the Rock Star's brother will get here for the Thanksgiving holiday. His girlfriend will be coming on Wednesday. We got lots of stuff cleaned up and thrown away. I think the incentive of him coming got us started on the cleaning project that we've been working up to for so long. We want to remodel much of this old house, but have to clean out tons of the old junk first. It feels and looks so much better when it isn't filled with clutter.
It snowed a ton yesterday and a belt on the snowblower broke. Don't know when we are going to get all our walks shoveled this week, what with all the company and the holiday and that second sock I started last night. Oh and its invoice time again. Let the epic adventures in procrastination begin.
Wish I could say I'd gotten lots other things done, instead of writing...but I haven't. I've been very true to the nature of the Procrastinatrix... reading lots of other blogs. Wouldn't you know, though, that the day I go crazy and add a bunch of really, really cool blogs to my blogroll, the next day it had that weird hack/glitch and I have to enter them all again. Ach, weil...another thing to procrastinate on, eh?
That's it for now. Just wanted to shout out to those of you that tune in here. I appreciate it...and I'll get my blogging butt in gear soon. :D
*PHST = acronym for that tape of some famous skanky person doing something skanky with another skanky person. Acronomized to save my sweet little family oriented blog (bwa-ha-ha-ha) from showing up in any of the bazillion Google searches on the subject of skanky heiresses. Of course if anyone Googles "skanky" I'm likely to show up there...I can live with it.
I was in the bathroom this morning (doing the thing one goes to the bathroom for) and I realized how I take for granted a pack of dogs following my every move. My own dogs are the Big Dog, the English Mastiff. She weighs 150 lbs and stands almost a yard high at the shoulder. And the Little Dog, the American Eskimo. She is about calf height and looks like a miniature Samoyed. (this would be a good place to insert pics, eh? Alas my ISP is still being flakey...so maybe I'll edit them in later) I board dogs as part of my business and this week have a Weimeraner, a Yellow Lab and a Cocker Spaniel. Hokay, so I'm in the bathroom (a very small one with barely enough room for the essential tub, toilet, sink) and the Big Dog squeezes past the Cocker, Lab and the Little Dog to stand in there with me. It was a veritable sea of dogs and they were all looking at me expectantly. Talk about your performance anxiety.
I was reading a book this morning (k, right off that's a lie. I don't read much anymore, rather I listen to books on tape almost constantly, but anyway) and the author used the following quote to describe the main character. "He was wierd. Some people are born wierd. Some people achieve it. Some people have wierdness thrust upon them." I just thought that was funny as hell. What other adjectives can you think of to put in there?
Attractive personality. Sexy. Affectionate.
Shy and reserved. Bold and outgoing. Secretive Says everything thats on her mind. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling Home body. Loves attention. Hasty Drunken decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors Couldn't care less about home decor. Musically talented Not musically talented, lets leave it at that. Loves special things. Moody Shut the fuck up.
Cheap materials are a must as it has taken me 4 trys now to produce a decent roll. The first night I did it was hilarious, as I learned the value of a very (and I mean very) sharp knife. We have one...I just wasn't using it. Go figure. But before I got to the cutting stage, I found that the rolling is so much trickier than I thought it would be. All three of the rolls I made that night were very loose and fell apart OR were squashed out of all recognition by pressing with the knife instead of gently sawing. Oh yeah, and Nori (sheets of dried seaweed that sushi is wrapped in) must be toasted. To do this you turn on the stovetop gas flame and pass the Nori (held by tongs) over the flames til it changes from dark green to a bright green. There is no warning anywhere (package, internet pages I looked at, or cookbook) that this stuff is highly fucking flammable!! After starting several sheets on fire with the tong method, I thought I'd try the broiler method. What I got from the broiler method was a completely blackened, crinkled up, unrecognizable husk. I also found out that there must be something wrong with our smoke detector, because even tho the hazy smoke caused my dogs (who normally will brave any danger for the chance at a bit of food falling to the floor) to vacate the area, the device designed to tell me that I have created a brush fire in the oven remained silent. Now my dear husband on the other hand...well, it would be a funnier story if I could say he laughed and pointed, but he didn't, so I guess its not that funny of a story. Wait, yes it goddamn well is. The funny part is that we sat there and ate the mess.
So I've made (read: attempted to make) it for lunch every day for 3 days now and yesterday actually produced decent looking rolls that held together and everything. Woot!! Just so you know, once I find something I like, it takes a long, long time for me to get sick of it, so it was with real anticipation that I approached my lunch project today. Today was going to be the day of perfectly rolled sushi, I just knew it!!! I started the rice boiling, I toasted the Nori (wearing flame-retardant clothing and one of those welder's helmets, neither of which make my butt look big, btw), got out the crab-sticks, wasabi, soy sauce and sliced a perfectly ready to be eaten avocado into neat slices. The rice finished, I set it to cool for 10 minutes and left the room to listen to voicemail messages. I did a little bit of work (what a great fucking job I have *laughs triumphantly*) and returned to the kitchen to roll and slice the sushi. Something looked odd...hmmm, what was it? Could it be the guilty looking weimeraner (one of my guest dogs, I board dogs as part of my business) and the disappearance of the perfectly sliced avocado and all of the crab sticks? OMFG, can you believe the rat bastage ate (off the mother fucking counter, no less) the perfect avocado and the crab sticks? GAH!!!!!! Can I go without them? Hell no! That would be a plain old rice roll. Now, I love dogs (more than the average person, that's why I've been a professional pet sitter for the last 8 years) but man, sometimes I have to just totally stop myself from beating the living crap out of some of them. Seriously.
I decided the rice can cool a bit longer and I'll haul my pissed off ass over to the grocery store and hope they have an avocado ready to be sliced (here in MN we usually get them hard as rocks and wait a few days before they are edible). The kitchen was safely blocked from canine trespassing by not one, but two, count 'em two baby gates. Which were lieing on the goddamn, motherfucking, son of a bitching floor when I got back. The weimeraner and the cocker spaniel had enough sense to flee...but not my very own little American Eskimo dog, the Little Dog. She was enjoying toasted Nori. What the fuckin' hell does it take just to make a little lunch around here?!!? GAH!!!
Long story short (to late, I know), I toasted another piece of Nori and subsequently rolled and sliced three perfect rolls and enjoyed my lunch, thank you very much. I'm sure the sore throat (from yelling at the dogs) will go away by tomorrow. Oh, and in case you are wondering, no dogs were harmed in the making of this blog post.
Thank you. The end.
D'OH!! I'm in real trouble!!!
The link to the Church Sign Generator was shamelessly snagged from This Guy via Snarky Malarkey. The one above is what I made and you can click on the picture above to make your own!!! Too funny!!
Good Grub: mmmmmmm, sushi. We went out for sushi on Wed nite. I love sushi dinner!!! I never get enough. Kind of embarrassing to admit, but I can't stop thinking about how good that dinner was. Too bad its soooooo damn expensive.
So here are my picks (in no particular order) for this Blog it Forward:
Marmalade 7: She's a knitter, she has a lovely way of speaking plainly & she makes me think (in a good way). I also just totally dig the picture that is currently on the front page of her blog.
You've Reached the End of the Internet: Believe it or not, I was planning on plugging Zam's site before I found she'd plugged mine. Her Halloween post especially cracked me up! But I must warn you: She has been known in the recent past to post the lyrics to 80s songs and you may not be able to get them out of your head all day. It happened to me.
Poetic Champions Compose: Reading her site makes me want to buy the Buffy DvDs. It was the only show I really, really missed when I quit watching TV completely over two years ago. And she posted a picture of Charo recently. Took me way back to the days of watching The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson & Love Boat!!!
There you have it. I'm off to hit some of the links that others have posted for Blog it Forward.
The Bad: Got a call from Ozzie's mom this morning. I thought he was going to be ok, but I guess I was wrong. He really is deteriorating this week. Last night he wouldn't eat, even though she put meat and soup on his food, and this morning she had to do all the lifting to get him out. His legs have just given up. It's time. I'll go over there around noon to take him outside and say good bye and she'll come home from work today and take him to the vet to be put down. I've been crying ever since she called. He was one of my first walkies when I started pet sitting in 1996. Its the hardest part of my business...we get attached to them, and they all go eventually. He is a good old dog and he taught me things. He's one of those dogs who's not very loveable, but I loved him anyhow. He used to be a grouchy character that would go nut bar if he saw another dog or the mailman. He never really cared much if you scritched his ears, just wanted to walk and sniff and pee on every thing he could. He took the world on his own terms and never seemed to care whether anyone liked him or not. I can't begin to do justice to him and how I feel about him with my pitiful writing...All I can say is he was a good old dog. I'm gonna miss him.
The Funny: Ah the joys of blog land. Here I was all sad and I sat down to my daily reads and found this post on go Fish. Mac said, "One neighbor was talking about getting an electronic call from Bush about the local elections, begging her to vote Republican. She gave a little barky laugh and said she started screaming into the phone that she'd rather die and hung up on the recording. A bi-racial lesbian couple and a bevy of Bush haters -- these are obviously my kind of people."
and in the comments Emily from I don't think (another my my daily reads) said, "lesbian bush haters.... hmmm... there's a joke in there... somewhere"
Bwa-ha-ha-ha!!! Thanks for the laugh, Emily!! I really needed it.
I've been procrastinating on some of the tasks that I could be doing, since I'm stuck at home and that's made me feel a little better about today. hmmmm, procrastination as a stress reliever or (more likely) a stress postponer.
If the car gets going, I've got knitting group to look forward to tonite and that'll be fun. I'm about halfway done with my Harry Potter scarf and am really looking forward to learning how to make socks!!!
We went out running this morning (first time since going on vacation a week and a half ago) and I was doing really well, but then my foot started twinging, then actually hurting on every step, so we had to stop running. It's stupid to keep running and possibly make it worse, but it felt like a setback when I was so excited to get back on the program.
We rationalized our way out of raking up the leaves yesterday by hiring one of the tenants to do it for us. She asked when it had to be done and I said, "No hurry, anytime before it snows." Well, its snowing this morning...and the leaves aren't raked yet.
Turns out that if you leave the dome light in your car on for 10 days the battery goes really, really (I mean really) dead. I realized yesterday that I'd need to jump start it, but we figured we could do it as the Rock Star was leaving for work this morning. Couldn't find the goddamn jumper cables. He pushed my car with his Subaru to try to pop the clutch and that didn't work either, probly due to my ineptitude. Got the car pushed into a street parking space that may or may not be legal and he had to leave for work. I put out calls to all the people who may be able to jump me and then called my first client of the morning to tell her I would probly be late. She offered to come over with jumper cables and I accepted, even though it felt like a stone against my service provider's heart. She got all the way over here and we chatted merrily about the vacation and then I went to pop the hood and I couldn't get it open. Can you fucking believe that? Cannot get the damn thing open. In the meantime my cell is going nuts with all the incoming offers of help. In the course of trying to get out of the car to check the hood for the 40th time, and answer the cell phone, and the client offering well-meaning but useless advice, I dropped my garage door opener on the pavement and it broke into several pieces.
Did I mention it's snowing (and wet and cold) the entire time?
k, so anyhow, the client leaves cuz there's no way to jump the car if the hood won't open. By this time between two of my petsitters, all my walkies and visits are covered for the the rest of the day so that's good. The Rock Star says he's sure we can get the hood open and the car started tonite, but the question remains: Where the fuck are the jumper cables?
Just got off the phone with the Petsitter doing Ozzie (good old dog who has a lot of trouble getting up the stairs) and apparently he just can't make it up the stairs and she can't get him out for potty. Normally, I'd jump in my car and run over there, but I'm sitting here helplessly, while one of my people struggles with a poor old dog who needs to get out. The client is unable to get home til after 3 pm and that's too late for the dog. I'm terribly worried that he's taken a turn for the worse and this might be the end of good old Oz. I run a professional petsitting/dogwalking business, by the way. Oz has been a regular walkie (daily visit) of mine for 3 years and after I bought the business 4 years ago, I've had another dog walker doing him. I've been worried about his deterioration for awhile now, but his mom and I both agreed that he's getting enough out of life to keep trying...God I hope this isn't it for him. I'm tempted to say I just can't take it...but, well, I can take it. Just like I've been able to take it and move on with life when so many of my other dear canine friends have passed on.
Fuck, this is a crappy day.