Monday, January 31, 2011

It Can't Possibly Be Monday Already!

My weekend was a blur. I can't believe it's over already.

Friday morning I found out my car will not be finished until Tuesday. They are waiting for the last part-my bumper cover- to arrive and then it needs to be painted which takes even longer. *sigh*. I'm really hoping they are right since I'm so sick of my rental; it rides rough and doesn't corner worth a shit plus it's an automatic. It gets me to work though and I could be driving A's piece of shit truck with questionable brakes and an even more questionable starter.

Then I was rushing to get finished with work Friday since I had a 1.5 hour drive to take Nifty to another rescuer's home. Of course when you have to be somewhere you can NEVER get out on time. That meant rushing home and rushing around and that just increased my anxiety about her leaving.  A and I put a pillow over the console between the front seats and Nifty rode there comfortably and was petted and cuddled the whole way. Of course the only one stressed was me; the change is harder on me than on her. Nifty was cool as could be and just walked in that house and the next rescuer's house Saturday like she had always been there. Her new mama and I have been chatting as she gets everything ready for Nifty's arrival. She wants her to be as comfortable as possible. I don't think it's going to be a problem.

Last July we picked up some dogs from a breeder and then transported them south for their vetting. That day I met a tiny little mill mama named Jackie O. It was love at first sight as I watched her scoot on her belly and bury her face in the grass; nervous little tail wagging. Friday her foster mom, Joanne, left a message asking if we would be willing to bring her home with us; kind of a Nifty trade or consolation prize. LuLu is so timid and after 6 months in foster care she hasn't made much progress. She hoped LuLu could benefit from a smaller quieter environment and we have experience with this type of rescue. Joanne knows just how to work me (I've mentioned my love of LuLu many times) but getting by the "gate-keeper" is another story. A who had said no more fosters for awhile gave in surprisingly easy. I didn't really even ask (or beg); I just told her the situation and asked her opinion. So let me introduce LuLu (no drumroll please-that's way too scary).

She is 5 years old and the smallest creature in this house...even the cats look huge next to her. I would estimate she is only about 5-6 pounds and the smallest chin I've ever fostered but not the smallest I've seen. She scuttles from one dog bed to another and does all she can to avoid contact with us...except when food is involved. We've been luring her in with bits of chicken and fingers dipped in yogurt.

Saturday I dragged my tired ass out of bed to go help at an adoption event in the Twin Cities. I took 2 foster girls along for the marathon 5 hour event. It actually stretched into 6 hours (plus a one hour drive each way) and people were still approaching us as we were heading for the door. It was incredibly busy and I know I easily talked with a hundred people. As A has written about before, dealing with all those people can be a challenge for me but luckily talking about the dogs/rescue is something I can visit about all day. There was only me and one other rescuer there for our group so I literally talked non-stop the entire time. My foster girl Cassie was a standout; friendly and greeting everyone and she had a lot of interest. We don't do on-the-spot adoptions but one of our previous adopters (actually he adopted 3 from us in the last 2 years) showed up and took home a 4th. I'm happy to say that most people were asking "good" questions about the chins. I like that but then there are always a few that I think "You fucking ignorant asshole!".

It's fun sometimes just to listen to people because a lot of idiots lack a censor. Give them enough time and they will tell you everything you need to know. One guy was looking for a couple dogs to breed (duh, we're trying to get them out of the breeding cycle), a woman was visiting with me and her son asked if these dogs like to run away since their dog "runs away all the time". Okay, big red flag beacon flashing over their heads! I had one particular woman who became a pest and was actually a little confrontational. During our multiple visits she had told me she had returned one dog and had 2 others put down because she could not house train them. She kept pressuring me for a "guarantee" that one of our dogs would be completely housebroken and telling me another group had offered that guarantee. After 4.5 hours into the event and 4 conversations with this bitch, I finally (and politely) put the smack down on her. "Ma'am, I don't know exactly what you want from me, but I cannot and will not offer a guarantee that any of our dogs will be completely housebroken and any rescue who tells you that is lying. The only fully reliably trained animal is a stuffed one." She stomped off but I don't feel like it's any great loss.

As you can imagine, Sunday I spent my day in a vegetative state on the couch. Now It's time to shovel some snow so I can get to work today. I took the day off tomorrow for no particular reason...I just wanted to. Happy Monday to you all!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Not a lot of substance but a whole lot of pictures.

One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was a new negative/slide scanner. I've been scanning old negatives/pictures but my old machine was so slow. With this one I was able to scan over 2800 negatives in just a few hours over a few weekends. It has certainly been a walk down memory lane. There are the big vacations and special occasions that you remember pretty well. I have many of those pictures displayed around the house as well as photo albums full. The most fun part was finding all the forgotten moments; weekend getaways, day trips, nights out and just goofy times around the house. I mean, really what is the point of this picture.

I found a lot of pictures of us right before and in the beginning of our relationship. I look at my 23/24 year old self and remember all the turmoil of that time. Really, when we started dating I was a wreck...just felt lost, confused, unfocused and mostly alone. I was doing all the things I was "supposed" to do; working and going to school but then feeling like I was just floating along with no goal in sight. When I met A I found my other half as well as the person who became the rock of my life. For once this was a person that didn't "need" me to take care of them. I found a person I could totally relax with, let down my guard, not build walls. Honestly, that's what I do best. I have people in my life, but I find myself always keeping then at arms length; always a safe distance, never fully trusting or allowing myself to truly be known. I realize I do this. I'm always working to change these behaviors but I struggle with it often. I think I know the reasons why. Maybe it's just my nature.  With A those behaviors don't exist. She sees me as I truly am; moody, bitchy, bossy, no makeup, vomiting, crying and for some crazy reason she loves me anyway.

So here's a bunch of pictures of us taken in the early days on one of our first trips together. We had been together less than a year when we took the trip that was the real test of our compatibility - a 10 day camping/hiking trip. We slept in a tent, I fell down a hill, we almost got bit by a rattlesnake, A almost passed out while climbing, we froze our butts sleeping on the ground when it was 36 degrees and we had a blast. We didn't have even one argument...I would never make it through that now without getting a little bitchy.
Getting chased by a greedy "wild" donkey. 

Mt. Coolidge

Badlands of South Dakota

Mt. Rushmore

Waiting for dinner.

My nasty horse Eli. He constantly tried to bite me.

A's birthday decorations...

...and birthday cake.

Sylvan Lake

Top of Harney Peak-highest point in U.S. east of the Rockies.

Climbing the base of Devil's Tower

It's official that Miss Nifty has a new home in Boston. After living with us for 7 months, tonight is the last night she will spend here. Tomorrow afternoon she starts her journey east to her forever home. I didn't cry as much this time...maybe I got it all out last time I thought she was leaving. Yeah right! Who the fuck am I fooling. Tomorrow when I drop her off I'll cry like a baby when I say goodbye. When I'm home, this is typical Nifty behavior; always on my lap and giving kisses. Her new mama is going to be smitten when she finally meets her new baby.

Friday, January 21, 2011

"I see a bad moon rising..."

This morning when I got into my car Creedence was on the radio. It was a sign. Driving to work this morning there was a flash in the corner of my eye and then I hit something, HARD! All I could see were pieces of my car flying. I was able to pull over and got out to see the front of my car destroyed and then I looked down to see the worst thing...I had hit a dog and it was still wedged under my car. I was going about 60mph and it was a quick death. That's the one thing I can be thankful for because I don't know what I would have done otherwise. Bonus, it's also the coldest morning of the winter at a lovely -28 degrees. The sheriff came and while we waited for the tow truck, we stopped at houses up and down the road trying to locate the owner without any luck. That's the part that's hardest for me...there's no one to contact. My car...well that's really nothing more than an inconvience. I'll pick up a rental. I'll pay my portion for the repairs. I just can't stand to leave her lying on the side of the road like a piece of trash. I don't know if she had a name. I don't know if someone loved her. If I can't locate her owner, I'll just have to take care of the body myself.

A left work to come pick me up and then went back. I didn't go to work today. I wouldn't have been much good anyway. Instead I came home and hugged my babies extra close. So that's the end of my sad, downer post, but I learned something today. Did you know the towing company charges an extra fee if they have to remove a corpse? Who knew.

The first 3 weeks of this year have been busy. I think back trying to remember what we've been up to and I can't think of anything too spectacular. I've sat down to write several times and just can't find the words. We stay busy with rescue stuff. My Nifty is still here after her last adoption fell through but she now has an inquiry from Boston. I've been emailing with the woman and it sounds like a good match. Last weekend we went to my office Christmas party. It was a murder mystery dinner and we all dressed like famous characters and had to try to figure out who was the murderer. We had Judy Garland, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball, John Wayne, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and many others. A was chosen to be a police detective and I had to be Elvis. It was a easy costume for me to pull off. I just slicked my hair back and my glasses had the sideburns attached.

I'm not much of a drinker and really haven't had more than a glass of wine on several occasions since last summer, but I got caught up on the Long Island expressway; four and a half Long Islands plus my boss bought us girls "Screaming Orgasms" and we took shots of whiskey from his flask. Lets just say it's probably best that I'm a puker. I only cut loose about once a year but I'm banning myself from ever returning to Long Island!

Monday, January 3, 2011

I finally exited the cave...and a late holiday update

Today I made my first public appearance of 2011. I crawled out, squinted at that ball of light in the hazy sky that used to be the sun and prepared to re-enter the world after I spent a three day weekend holed up in this house in my PJs. Okay, okay, I did venture outside a few times and did go out walking with A, but I don't consider it a public appearance when I'm dressed like this and completely unrecognizable.

It was so damn cold and windy that we didn't meet up with one other living creature anyway.

I am a night person and these last few weeks I've easily slipped back into my night owl ways. I get the most accomplished during the evening and night...and do even better with an afternoon nap thrown in. So after a 3am bedtime, I dragged my sorry (and bloated) ass out of bed this morning to go to the chiropractor. That's the one thing I do every month that I love and I feel so much better afterward. I was especially looking forward to today's appointment since for the last 2 weeks it's felt like a knife was shoved under my right shoulder blade. A would massage the area and it would release then knot back up after a few days. I'm starting to think I may be the victim of a voodoo curse. I'll definitely be making several trips to get this one fixed.

A has been busy cooking out of her "Pioneer Woman" cookbook that she received for Christmas. Sorry SB, but she had it on her list. She did want me to share this picture with you though.
Disclaimer: The Finger is for Pioneer Woman

Last night she fed me potato and leek pizza with goat cheese. All I can say is I am one patient person and went into it with an open mind. It was tolerable...but nothing I think I would want very often. A appreciated that I was a good sport but I'm fearful of what I will be presented with tomorrow.
We had a nice quiet Christmas this year. On Christmas eve we had a small dinner and mom came with her pet (the boyfriend). They didn't stay too late and I doubt they had made it to the end of our street and we looked at each other and said "when do you want to open gifts?" The dogs had already been in the spirit for several days since they completely unwrapped one of my gifts and started 2 more.
I asked A if she was going to re-wrap them and she said hell no! We discovered Nifty was the ringleader so I wrapped the dogs' new stuffed toys and let them have at it. Nifty had a blast and completely unwrapped one without any help.
Christmas day we visited A's family and overall it was pleasant. Every year we ask A's mom to not worry about buying us gifts and every year she does. I opened my package first and found a black and purple tracksuit. Okay not the worst gift I've ever received. A opened her's and it was a matching tracksuit except brown and pink. I saw the immediate flash of horror cross her face and I muttered through closed lips "just say 'thank you' and I'll trade you when we get home." I did ask her to put on the pink just once for a photo and she was willing at the moment. Here's where that moment comes back to haunt her.
She looks like a pink nightmare.
And on this Monday evening I have just one last question...what the hell is up with John Mellencamp's hair?!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome 2011!

We rang in the new year at home. The weather made us change our plans this year; freezing rain, sleet, and snow. It just wasn't worth the risk traveling in this weather especially with the holiday drunks on the road. We were disappointed to miss meeting up with friends but there will be plenty of times to get together in the coming year.

We had dinner at home then bundled up to go out for our evening walk. Actually it was more like 3 miles of skating and slip-sliding along. We must be crazy to go out trudging around in this weather but I definitely feel better afterwards. At midnight we popped the cork on a bottle of champange, drank, kissed and then A went to lay down because her back was aching and I washed a dirty dog butt. What can I say, we get more wild every year. They say what you do on new year's is what you do all year and I certainly hope dirty dog butt is not a sign of times to come. Kissing A and champange...yeah as difficult as it is, I might be able to handle another year of that.

No resolutions either. This year I only endeavor to enjoy life and live for myself and my home family. I've been working to cut down on the un-necessary stress both external and internal. I'm coming to terms with the reality of my parents. I'm thankful for the all the positve and wonderful things in my life. As I read back over this it really does sound like resolutions, don't you think? These have been on-going things though and I'm not just starting today.

Whatever! Fine, just call these are my no resolutions resolutions.