Friday, August 14, 2015

Hot...Outside...Inside...Flash...Mississippi

I just really want y'all to know how hot it is...



I don't even care.





Mississippi Summer, Fall and actually, until January...add hot flashes...and don't talk to me.






Layla wants to come in as soon as she goes out.






Ok, you have no idea how so me this is...hot flash in the car...






Don't. even. care.






Air conditioning goes out...worse than the zombie apocalypse.






Please. Whatever it takes.






How the hell am I supposed to jump in the lukewarm pool water if the concrete around the pool is like walking on flames??






95 degrees, 100% humidity...107 heat index...and hot flashes!




That's me...I'm the one in the green.

"What a world! What a world!"

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

An Adoption Fail - That's Perfectly Ok By Me

As I was napping this past Saturday, my phone dinged.
I looked over and saw that the message was from a recent adopter who had chosen one of our long time shelter dogs (against my better judgement).  

I was biased in this situation because this particular dog is one of my favorites.  
Boomer used to have a DANGER sign hanging from his kennel, and everybody tiptoed around him.

When I first started volunteering at the shelter, I did the same...
until I saw our former president lean down at his kennel to pet him.

His response to her made me stop in my tracks.
His butt started wiggling from side to side, and that tail was going 90 to nothing.
His ears relaxed and his eyes softened.  She reached in his kennel, and he kissed her hands. 
She knelt down and whispered soft, gentle murmurs to him about what a good boy he was and how much she cared for him. 
As she stood up to move to another kennel, Boomer stuck his paw through his kennel at her as if to say, "Wait, don't leave just yet...please Mrs. Debbie...just one more kiss."

I've been around dogs my entire life.  I've never been frightened of them, but I do know there's a certain amount of mutual respect involved in a canine/human relationship.  I own a 106 lb. German Shepherd as well, so I think I'm pretty experienced.
Growling and snarling are warnings. They are not signs of a "bad dog."  
The dog is communicating with you that he/she is not comfortable and you are moving too close too fast.

But, when I saw Boomer communicating with Debbie in a very different way, I decided then and there that I would also earn his respect.
I respected Boomer.
I listened and responded patiently to his cues.  
It took some time, but I did it. 



However, Boomer is still a dog who needs special handling. Anyone new to the shelter has to earn his trust. He's not aggressive, just scared to death.


"Was that thunder??"

I was out of town when his adoption took place.
I didn't know about it until all was said and done.

I called the family and talked with them about Boomer, his needs, his behaviors in the past, his likes and dislikes, my success and failures with him, etc.  I wanted them to have full disclosure.

They kept him for 5 days.

I met the mom at the shelter 30 minutes after she messaged me.

They tied Boomer outside. (Against our adoption policy)
He had gotten tangled in the tie and bit the dad when he tried to untangle him.
I listened to the mom's story, asked lots of questions to help us continue to work with Boomer, gave her an adoption refund, and thanked her for returning him to us. 

After she drove away, my youngest and I gave Boomer lots of love, kisses, hands-on time with plenty of bacon treats.
Then, we took him out to the yard so he could run around and re-mark everything.


"I'm back suckas!"




"Hi, Mom.  I missed you."


My guy.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday...That Wasn't


I actually looked forward to this week's Top Ten Tuesday and even made a list for myself early.

Then work happened.


And, then I drove to Birmingham.

After bragging that Mom was doing so well this month, she spent two nights in the hospital due to a possible infection.  She's back home now and resting. Oy.

Please remind me not to brag next month.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Sunday Week in Review - #1


I like the idea of a weekly post...I like structure but fight against it at the same time.  
Yeah.

The Caffeinated Book Reviewer hosts a little Sunday check-in each week, and these posts are some of my favorites!  
I may miss somebody all week long due to my ever growing blog reading list.  
But, through a Weekly Recap post, I can see everything that's been going on everyday in one post! 

That I can handle.
So, without further ado, my first Sunday post.


Last Week on the Blog:

Saturday: Back to School 2015 - The Squirrel Edition


Next Week on the Blog

Tuesday: Top Ten Authors I've Read the Most
I've got several reviews that I have started, but bc of Leukemia caregiver induced ADD, I haven't finished. I'll try to get one or two of those off the ground next week, but I'm not even going to try and promise which days.
I've also got a "Links I Love" or "Reading instead of Writing" post started.
We'll see.


Fitness


I didn't attend any classes last week because Mom and I stayed pretty close to home.  I'm hoping to get in a couple of Spin classes this week though...and at least 1-2 TRX classes!
I love a good Strike class on Wednesdays as well...nothing like punching stuff to alleviate stress!


What I'm Reading

In the car: 

I just finished All Creatures Great and Small on audio in the car and just fell in love...unfortunately,I didn't get by  the library until the day I left Birmingham, and they had to order All Things Bright and Beautiful from one of the other Birmingham libraries in the system.  It's hard to follow James Herriot and a narrator with some of the most fabulous accents and dialects I've ever heard...especially with Susan Orlean's Rin Tin Tin.  I'm afraid this book would be one better enjoyed in my hands, with a pen or pencil for highlighting and annotating.  Susan Orlean adds lots of history and detail in Rin Tin Tin, but she is not the kind of narrator I'm used to :(
I will keep listening until I get back to Birmingham this week...we'll see what happens.


DNF

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

I gave Flavia 100 pages.  I had to push it to get there also.  I just didn't like it.
I'm difficult right now, and I know it.
I know a lot of people liked this series, but I won't be reading it.


In my hands 
(and usually waiting on blood results with Mom)

Still reading this chunkster...lots of annotations and underlining too.

E-read


I try to download things I wouldn't want to keep.
Generally, if I'm reading something on my phone, it's because I'm somewhere I need to escape and the ebook is my rescue.
I also take advantage of Nook and Kindle $1.99 sales, so I don't usually have the newest ebooks...unless it's Stephanie Plum ;P I don't keep that series, but I can't wait to get my hands on the next installment!
I read Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened on my phone via the Nook app.  I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life at a book.  Hopefully I'll get to that review next week!
Hopefully Waiter Rant will keep me laughing.


Two books that are calling my name enough that I might just buy them at full price!

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

You have no idea how much I enjoyed her first book.  I hope this one packs the same punch and makes me snort out loud in public places!

The Girl on the Train

I'm exhausted with people talking and writing about this one without me having any idea what they're talking about.  I gotta see for myself!

What I'm Living

I've got 2 days of Orientation type activities at work.
I hate these with a passion...my eyeballs almost roll out of their sockets just thinking of "dog and pony shows."
I will have to work hard on keeping my relaxing bitch face under control.

I'll be back at Mom's for a few days in between to prepare for the next round of in-hospital treatment. Hoping these days will be somewhat relaxed since the last few days have been ok.  Mom did run a temp last night so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Back to School 2015 - The Squirrel Edition

Oh yes, I'm another one of those parents who takes this picture on that first day! 
As much as I love to look back over them, I love seeing all the photos that come before and after THE official Back to School photo for any particular year.

For example:

BEFORE
Me: "Rea, why are you smiling like that? That isn't a natural smile."
Rea: "I'm smiling! This is the way I smile."
Me: "It's a fake smile! I want a real one! I guess I'll just have to do something really dumb to make you smile!"

 THE OFFICIAL
Rea: "Well, you won't have to do much!"
;)


Me: "You're quite the smartypants, aren't you?"


Me: "Don't look now, but Zeke is creeping on you through the glass on the front door!"


Layla: "Are we done yet?" 
SQUIRREL!
Me: "Done yet? You haven't even looked at the camera once!"


Rea: "You mean I have to wait on her to pose too?? I will be late for school."
Me: "Whose child are you?"


Rea: "Layla, I'm going to be tardy on the first day of school."


Layla: "It's ok! I'll tell your teacher about all the perky squirrels running around in the yard this morning! She'll understand!"



A girl and her dog.

Back to School 2015


Friday, August 7, 2015

Home Sweet Chaotic Home

Home.

Glorious home.

Soft, kind, peaceful home.

Soft until our new shelter manager called me 15 minutes outside of town to say a dog had been dropped off...a dog who was almost unresponsive...and the new kennel guy had left her there by herself.




Kind until the crabbiest/sassiest/poutiest mom sat entirely too near me at Parent Orientation.  




Peaceful until these two knuckleheads decided to compete for my attention...and a chewed up orange flipper.

 Zeke: "Look at me Grandma; I can go all the way around the pool and not even jump the fence!"


Layla: "Mommy, don't look at him!"





Oy.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Chemo Recovery Funnies

Good News!

Mom's numbers have finally started recovering this month!

Wahoo!!!

2 nights ago she dealt with excruciating pain in her hips, which we hoped meant her body was making cells...turns out, in fact, that her numbers took a huge leap! 

Mom's first 6 days of treatment are in hospital. Most of the time she feels ok during the treatment.
Usually around Day 10, she starts pretty steadily going downhill with Days 12-14 consistently being her worst.
Day 14 this month, Mom's numbers were 0.

Nothing.

Nada.

Nothing means no energy, no blood clotting ability, and no bacteria or viral fighting ability.

Nothing days are scary.

Since she spent more days in the hospital last month than out, we decided to try and take charge this month. 
Days 10-14, we kind of just hunkered down and watched tv.

It was a little boring...




But there are a few shows that get us through the boredom of isolation:

Two and A Half Men - I never watched this show during its regular run...and still have never seen any of the Ashton Kutcher season, nor do I care about the Charlie Sheen controversy.

BUT

This show is funny y'all!

Charlie Sheen makes this show...his sarcasm, meanness, and drunken behavior makes me fall off the couch.

Hot in Cleveland is good too!


Betty White is so hysterical that I can ignore these misplaced gif apostrophes!
The other ladies are funny too, but Betty White makes this show.
Her character Elka is so unlike Rose Nieland...and that mouth!


Big Bang Theory

My older daughters love this show and have seen every single episode.
I, however, had never seen any of the episodes until Mom's hibernation.


Sheldon makes me snort!!!!!
Yes, I'm fully aware I'm late to this party!


And last but not least...The King of Queens



Not sure who is funnier, Kevin James or Jerry Stiller.
Leah Remini is a hoot as well, and as a trio, they knock our socks off.


Any other recommendations?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday on Wednesday - Fairytale Retellings


First of all...
in the interest of full disclosure...
I ain't a fan of the fairytale.


Not at all


Seriously.

Soooooo....when I saw this week's topic for Top Ten Tuesday, I rolled my eyes. 

I did.

But then I started thinking about retellings that might be so different from the originals that they make the story BETTER.

Snarkier.

Darker.

Muahahahahaha!

Mindlessly searching the bowels of the Internet, I stumbled on some titles that looked at least worth looking into, including Dorothy Must Die, Wicked, Scarlet, and Insanity.  

I didn't find 10 I could convince myself to try and lost interest pretty quickly.  

Squirrel!



And, then I looked back over my list.

Dorothy Must Die.



Wicked





Scarlet



and 

Insanity



Maybe I should skip the fairytales right now.




Yeah.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

AudioBook Review - Walking in Circles before Lying Down


Walking in Circles before Lying Down by Merrill Markoe
  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio; MP3 - Unabridged CD edition (March 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400161460
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400161461
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 7.4 inches

Amazon Summary: Dawn Tarnauer's life isn't exactly a success story. Already twice divorced, the young Californian is too busy job-hopping to start a career, her current boyfriend insists on living "off the grid," her life coach sister perpetually interferes with incomprehensible affirmations, her eccentric mother is busy promoting the culmination of her life's work—the Every Holiday Tree—and her father is ending his brief third marriage while scheduling two dates for the same night. 
Dawn's only source of security and comfort, it seems, is Chuck, a pit-bull mix from the pound. So, when her boyfriend announces that he's leaving her for another woman, a despairing Dawn turns to Chuck for solace. "I should have said something sooner," Chuck confides, as he tries to console her. "Couldn't you smell her on his pants?" Dawn is stunned. It's one thing to talk to your pets, but what do you do when they start talking back? It's not just Chuck, either; she can hear all dogs—and man's best friend has a lot to say. The ever-enthusiastic Chuck offers his tried-and-true advice on the merits of knocking over garbage and strewing it everywhere, auxiliary competitive peeing etiquette, and the curative powers of tossing a ball. Doubtful of her own sanity, Dawn considers that, in the ways of life and love, it might be better to trust Chuck's doggie instincts instead of her own.


My Take:

Right now I'm reading stuff I don't have to think about...stuff I can take at face value and just enjoy...period.  I've struggled to find something that holds my attention for very long.
I grabbed this audiobook to listen to in the car on my way back and forth between my home and Mom's.  I didn't have high hopes for taming my wacky brain right now, but I really wanted to try.

The first part of the story was slow...setting up the characters, their lives, their personalities, etc. dry, ho-hum - I wondered if I had made a mistake.

To make matters worse, many of the other characters are about as likable as lint.

Dawn's boyfriend Paxton doesn't like dogs and makes them sleep in the hall - Paxton is "off the grid" DJ and gets mad when he thinks he's being interrupted...calling this guy a jerk is putting it mildly.  Worse to me was that Dawn put up with it.
Her sister is a nut...and not in the funny way.  An obnoxious, self-centered nut.
Her mom...seriously...no wonder Dawn has issues.
Dad isn't much better.

Once Chuck answers Dawn, after doofus-head Paxton dumps her, the fun began...at first Dawn thinks she's crazy...and tries to figure it out...once she finally lets go and starts truly conversing with the dogs, I couldn't wait to get back in the car to listen.

Chuck's answer to every problem - "throw the ball"

Pull off the road right here and throw the yellow ball.  It's right under the seat.  I'll bring it back so enthusiastically that I will break your heart with the pure delight I take from simple minded minutiae.  Wait'll you see the look in my eyes!! It's a gift that keeps on giving."

I so love Chuck's voice!!!  And his vocabulary!!!  Chuck saves this story just as he saves Dawn.  
An added bonus for me is that Chuck's voice is spot on for my oldest daughter's little pit mix Zeke.  All of our animals have voices.  We talk to them, and they talk back.

What??
Nothing at all wrong with that!

Zeke has been with us since my daughter traveled to Honduras in April, and we have struggled to find his voice...until Chuck!  
Once I made the connection between Chuck's voice and Zeke, I couldn't help but smile warmly every time Chuck spoke.  
Zeke is just about as hard-headed and sometimes mischievous as Chuck as well!

Are you blogging about me?

I loved that there is a rhyme and a reason for everything Chuck does...a logical explanation for the unexplainable in human eyes.  Chuck doesn't overthink, analyze, wallow in anxiety...he calls a spade a spade and spits it out.  I love it.  What an analogy for how we should handle life. 

“There’s two kinds of peeing,” he says. “There’s regular peeing, because you have to pee. And then there’s auxiliary competitive peeing. For acquiring an empire. I’m all about the real estate.” 


Merrill Markoe was a head writer for Late Night w David Letterman, and I will definitely read more of her writing!