My Dog Lexi And Me

Vanilla custard with raspberries, blueberries and slices of thinly cut kiwi fruit, a small chunk of fresh pineapple, flaky almond crust. Small bites spread over an hour with a blue glass of icy cold milk. A dessert fork, lights dim not glaring. A peaceful Sunday night dessert.

Fresh fruit tart with kiwi, raspberries, and b...

Monday is cold and biting, raining, sleet. No place to go, to rush out the door. My dog is downstairs curled up on the couch, she looks like a sleeping fox. She, apparently, has no energy today either, I try to take her out but she looks at me with disdain.


She will not go. We look at each other wisely, we agree we should all move together to a warmer climate. “Florida?” I ask her. “California she murmurs, less humidity.” I agree immediately.”Someday” we agree.

We sit on the coach as we do every morning. Her body and paws on my lap, my arm around her head softly scratching behind her rusty colored ears, in her favorite place. We talk together.  She tells me if we move she is scared to swim in the ocean, I tell her I totally understand. We will start very slowly until she feels comfortable or if not she can play in the sand. I wouldn’t force her to do anything, I’m not that kind of mom.

I never forced my children to do anything they didn’t want to do either, I just insisted on them having good manners and being respectful. They both are. I am so proud of your siblings, I whisper to the dog,and I am so proud of you.”  I let her in on a secret: “they will be home very soon to visit you.” The dog looks up at me, her eyes brighten with interest. She knows when her brother comes home he will rough house with her, she knows when her sister comes home she will get extra hugs and kisses, mostly in private.

Everybody says we should not feed the dog at the table

but we all do except for dad, he is the strictest of the family. I just need a soft, warm, mushy look and my hand is out. Sister sometimes slips too and gives in not to mention grandma who gives pieces of food all the time, even to the dog’s cousin where it is really NOT allowed. “But it makes him so happy” she says, calling the dogs boys when they are both girls. It’s a language thing.It makes us all laugh.

It is finally time to get out of bed and take a hot shower, whether I want to or not. It is so cold in the house, I am shivering. Nothing motivates me except the amount of days I haven’t showered. I have accepted/relented to Winter because I have no choice. I will stay in as much as possible, that is my coping mechanism. I can’t fight it, I may as well hide from it. I’ve given in.

Time does not stand still, not at all. It breezes past, its bitterness a step away from me. I like it that way. If I don’t have to go out, I won’t. If I can’t live in a warm temperature, I will make the temperature warm in my house. I will only go out when I need to go out. Tomorrow, I need an EKG, just a three-month check-up, no biggie. I will go and I will come back, happy to be home.  I will make a cup of tea with a spoon of honey

and I will appreciate that even more than usual. After that, I will sit once more, with my dog, lying on the bed and we will close our eyes, together. Nap time.

 

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Diagnosis: Anxiety

Anxiety Always

Anxiety Always (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You know that feeling in your stomach that makes your muscles clench but you don’t have a real stomach ache from eating too much and you don’t have a virus? That’s where anxiety starts for me. I’m literally writing this blog while having an anxiety attack and honestly, it’s not that easy to remain focused. Part of me thinks about throwing up but I’m trying to be calm, trying to breathe until I can’t do this any longer. I know you guys understand. That’s why I love blogging, for the people who read my blog. If you can’t relate to anxiety, I’m sure you can relate to other things I write about, humor, Pop Cop, my love of Food, Chocolate, Pizza (fine, with jam but only if the pizza is too dry) some of the ailments: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and having the energy of a dying tick. Actually, an ailing tick may have more energy than I do. I forgot a few other ailments like Imbalalnce and such but it’s pathetic enough as it is, I won’t bore you with more details. I bore myself as it is.

My husband and I are (and I hate these words) “empty nesters.” We’re also in the “sandwich generation” another over popular phrase that is used ad nauseum. Basically we are a married couple, we just celebrated twenty-five years of marriage and both our adult children are in college. I have my mom who is still alive and my husband has both parents alive and they still play tennis. Amazing.

Like many people my husband just got laid off from his job a few days ago. That’s stress provoking, people. He works doing computer stuff which is what I basically call it but it’s something like Software Product Development Management. I know nothing about it but if you do or know someone who might be able to help can you please have them get in touch with me?  I’ll send it to him and it would really be an act of incredible kindness, no matter where you live. In any case, I can’t change things, I try not to worry about them and in the end, things will turn out the way they are supposed to turn out.

About a week ago I had the mother of all anxiety attacks when my son turned 21, my husband lost his job and my mother, who was a little sad because all her friends were moving, decided that maybe she should consider moving too. It was a long day and a tough weekend.  We all know I’m not very good at change especially three changes in one day but after 24 hours I was much better. Breathe in, breathe out. Maybe that meditation class was worth the money after all.

I’m trying to do the best that I can, even writing this all down has helped me become last anxious. Having my dog Lexi, literally lying on my legs so I can’t move, her face close to me, makes me happy. From a crazy, wild puppy she has become an affectionate, loving girl dog. She knows that I need to lie down a lot and when I am home, she jumps up on the bed and cuddles with me.

The anxiety has lessened. I know there will be moments of panic but from now on, we have to take it step by step. I give thanks for what we still have. I will try to keep reminding myself of that, whatever happens will happen. Worrying about it won’t do me or anyone else any good. There’s a reason for everything and now we wait.

“Lucy, What Did You Do??!!”

Publicity photo of the I Love Lucy cast: Willi...

Publicity photo of the I Love Lucy cast: William Frawley (Fred Mertz), Desi Arnaz (Ricky Ricardo), Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz), Lucille Ball (Lucy Ricardo). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FitBit

FitBit (Photo credit: mrcd@sbcglobal.net)

I mean,  Lexi, what did YOU do? Lexi, my dog, may have two mommies who brought her home from the animal shelter but she does have a daddy who she lives with too and he got all Ricky Ricardo on her yesterday. For those of you who don’t know *I Love Lucy” maybe you can google this fabulous comedy set way back in the old days (the fifties)  when your parents were young. Lucy was always getting in trouble with her best friend Ethel and Desi, her husband would always catch her.

Desi/ Daddy was not too happy with Lexi yesterday, his face looked grim and he called Lexi “my daughter.” Usually we talk that way about our HUMAN children but this was different, quite different. Daddy came stomping up the stairs (never a good sign) his face, beet red, his vein bulging on his forehead, holding in his hand, what looked to be something small with threads. I had no idea what it was. It had been  thoroughly chewed so it was rather impossible to decipher.  Apparently, Lexi had jumped on the bed, reached over to the side table and quickly and deftly decided to have a snack. An expensive snack. She chewed right through Daddy’s: *”FitBit” that he wears around his wrist to keep track of calories, motion, and sleep. I know how much my husband loves this little techno gadget.

Apparently, I spoke too soon because, just the day, I had lunch with other mommy (best friend, Sarah) and I told her how proud I was that Lexi had matured. Oops, she decided to become impish once again. Oh, that Lexi has tricks straight up her paws. Of course, other mommy is practical and said to me: “Well at least she wasn’t biting through your skin” which she used to do, often. I think other mommy has a very good point but daddy was not too thrilled to hear THAT piece of reasoning. I did offer to put it the little gadget on his birthday list for May but he just grumbled waving the tattered material out for basically no one to see. At least she didn’t swallow it as she has with so many other things.

A puppy is a puppy until HOW OLD exactly? Because Lexi’s first birthday is coming up fast, it’s just right around the corner. I’ve always thought they were a puppy until one but given Lexi’s, umm, buoyant personality, I’m thinking, maybe it’s two? Does anybody know or is my dog just developmentally delayed? I’m not judging or criticizing here, just observing. You know how much I love naughty little Lex!

She’s really making our human children look like angels right about now. I’m sure they will LOVE to hear that. Lexi, do me a favor, stay out of Daddy’s technical little gadgets. Don’t eat them, play with them or touch them. I KNOW he left it out in the open but try to control yourself. One meal at a time, Lex, just take it one meal at a time. Oh, and please keep it to dog food, if you are good you know I will give you the occasional treat, okay?

*Property of the I Love Lucy show

*Property of FitBit corporation

Mountains Versus Marathons

Participants in the 2010 Boston Marathon in We...

Not Everyone Is An Athlete

Would I rather climb a mountain or run a marathon??!! Neither. I would rather watch someone climbing a mountain as I sat in a lodge holding my cup of steaming hot cocoa with melting marshmallows between my chilled hands. I cheer people on who are running a marathon. At the Boston Marathon I would stand on the street as the marathoners ran by and hold out orange slices or cups of water. I would yell encouraging things until I was hoarse. Nothing about me screams extreme sports (chronic pain condition aside.)

I give enormous credit to people who are athletic and love it, that must have been a missing gene in my family. We’re not athletes, we’re not even into sports. Forgive us, not everyone is athletic but in a way, I wish I was. Maybe this year (ok, next year, I can get myself in shape to take up SOME sport that I enjoy and am eager to do. For now, I have to force myself, especially in the winter, to take a walk and the only thing that makes me do it is my overwhelming love for our dog.

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22 Things I Have Done

Cover of "DVD Dance Pack Collection (Grea...

Cover via Amazon

Last week they wrote about what they have never done…this week write a list of 22 things you HAVE done. (inspired by Sellabit Mom) From Mama’s Losin’ It:

1) I saved the lives of baby bunnies by rescuing them from underneath the grass, brought them to the vet and they LIVED! I’m a bunny whisperer.

2) I have two great children (teenagers) whom I love, like and respect. (This is not to say they don’t drive me crazy sometimes)

3) I adopted a puppy from a shelter and it was one of the best decisions of my life; she’s nine years old now and her name is Callie.

4) I’ve been married to a great guy for the last 23 years. *Note: we DON’T live in Hollywood.

5) I’ve traveled to Holland,  Spain,  Aruba, Greece, Israel, Portugal…etc.

6) I didn’t get mad or annoyed at my husband at all when he was pick pocketed in Barcelona, Spain because he forgot to put his wallet in the “safe” pocket.

7) I finished a twenty-two mile (walking) marathon and earned money for charity, Walk For Hunger.

8) I’ve read many, many books and love reading. I support my library and was a Border’s addict. Damn, I hate that you are gone.

9) I threw up in first or second grade right before a play, didn’t tell anyone, cleaned myself up and went out on stage. “The show must go on.”

10) I gave my sister a 39th SURPRISE birthday party and let me tell you, she WAS surprised! (she wore a Mickey Mouse T-shirt to my house.)

11)  I forced my father, 18 years ago to let me take him to the Emergency Room on Father’s Day; it turned out he needed a quadruple by-pass operation and he lived for many years afterwards, I, quite possibly, saved his life.

12) When my son was 4, I surprised him with a Batman birthday party, with “Batman” himself appearing. Best party EVER.

13)  I worked at a major motion film company and we got to see free movies.

14) I murdered a goldfish by overfeeding him and I still feel guilty, Frank, I’m so sorry. RIP

15) I made memory books for my son, daughter, niece and nephew when they were 13 years old, using old photographs and collage and I made one for my father-in-law for his 80th birthday. A lot of work; a lot of love. Great outcome; love doing it.

16) I swiped a small tube of Elmer’s Glue when I was 6, mom marched me back into the store to apologize and pay. Ouch.

17) I saw Diana Ross in the elevator.

18) I bake the best banana raisin/chocolate chip bread in the universe. Ask anyone.

19) I once pooped my pants (as a grown-up) when I was very, very sick. I’m sure my children will be so proud.

20) I covered a shift as a favor to a friend and I met John Travolta, he smiled at me, it was about 30 years ago (do you think he still remembers me?! I guess not.)

21) I put grape jelly on pizza (and yes, eat it)

22) I have played the song “Someone Like You” by Adele at least 100 times.

Oprah And Rosie: It’s Not Me, It’s You

Photo © by Jeff Dean.

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Oprah and Rosie,

As tempting as it may seem, I am NOT going to turn on the television and watch you both again on OWN. I’m sorry but this was Oprah’s choice. I didn’t want her to leave and know many other people felt the same way. “You made your bed now……” You get the point…. All of a sudden Oprah is doing a “Life Class” I thought she was finished teaching on television? She did a Facebook chat, really? I hope this show isn’t going on the air because your OWN ratings are down, deep down in dog doo doo. It does seem like an amazing coincidence, no?

As you have taught us all it’s really alright to say you made a mistake. We understand. Hold your head high (not too high to appear infallible) and say  you tried but it didn’t work out as you had hoped. That’s what my son made me say to people after his first set of SAT scores came in. He made a great effort (well, he really didn’t study that much) and his scores were “less than he had hoped.” It’s okay.

As for Rosie, I really have mixed feelings, “cutie patootie.” I LOVED your show, watched it every single day it was on and supported you when you had a HAARURRMMGH  clash with someone. I stood behind you all the way kvelling in your sense of self and your values. Now? Not so much. I know you had emotional problems (really, who doesn’t?) and I’m glad that you feel comfortable  taking hormones (I didn’t want to chance that) but does that make me want to watch your show again? Sorry, no.  When you were with your first partner and all the kids were together and everything was, pardon the pun, rosie, I was there for you, wishing I could swim from your dock with and hoping you would help me with decoupage. I tried it on my own a few times and I did like it, but the thrill is gone. I admired your fire and your straight (no pun intended) shoot from the hip style. Nobody wants a dumb downed Rosie unless it’s the network executives. I liked the raw you but I am happy that you feel happier about yourself, bio-identicals and all. I was almost talked in to taking them but please be CAREFUL they do have risky side effects and a correlation for breast cancer in the future so please get checked often! I worry about you.

Ladies, it’s hard to go back, really it is. I don’t want to revisit an old wound. I really don’t watch much television at all anymore. I do have to say that Ellen Degeneres is consistent and kind and moved, no, slid into first place with sincerity and smiles and I’m sure a bit of strategy too. Four o’ clock is not the same as it used to be, it will never be the same. I’ve accepted that.

I wish you all the best of luck.  I think I will take my dog for a long walk on this beautiful autumn day. It’s too nice to stay indoors and watch television.

Love,

Your Old Fan

Driving Down A Dark Highway

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Image via Wikipedia

It was just a split second but  while I was driving, I totally wanted to pull a “Thelma and Louise.” Not out of excitement or adventure but out of despair. It really only takes that long to off yourself and the passenger beside you. The conscious part of me was saying “no” but the other part of me was just saying “what the hell?” I wanted to end the misery in my life and let go but I didn’t.

I am at an all time low so anything after this should theoretically get better. But, there is no guarantee; we could keep going down to a depth we had no idea existed. It still wasn’t an excuse to swing wide on a dark highway at night, put my foot down, accelerate and disappear. That’s not the way to go, to give up, to not fight the good fight to be alive when so many others are dying. You deserve to have a life, a happy one.

During that long stretch on the black highway I keep my brights on to keep going. Continuing to drive was automatic, I followed the white lines of the curves ahead slowly and steadily. When two cars came in front of me I was grateful. I never liked driving at night, I have no choice now. I don’t have a choice in a lot of things but that is still much better than some. After arriving back to where we are staying temporarily, I pulled my dog close to me and nuzzled into her neck. Her black and white paws, with tan freckles, reached my shoulders and she hugged me, she knew.

I washed some blueberries that I bought at the store today, fresh blueberries, with the varying shades of bluebirds. Other than fruit cups in fake silver bowls in diners, I hadn’t had fresh fruit in a long time.  I put them on the middle of the bed, on the white blanket, and liked the contrast. I fed a few to my dog who chewed them with utter joy.

I followed the noise to loud music and saw there was a wedding. I saw the bride, dressed in white with silver trim posing for pictures with her sisters and mother.  I wasn’t jealous since I had been a bride too many years ago but I was definitely envious. She was young and this was the start of her life; she looked so happy and everyone around her was giggling and shrieking in high pitch voices. Seeing a bride, my parents used to tell me, “brings good luck” so I lingered and watched from behind a corner.

Everyone is allowed a dark day once in a while. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t experience them. We all need to cling to the hope that tomorrow or the next day WILL be better. Suicide is not the answer. Hold on, hold on tight, cling to your own precious life. On this National Suicide Day, take it from me. DON’T DO IT.  If you need help, call somebody, anybody, the Suicide Prevention Center or a really good friend and pray for strength to hold on. Promise me, you will hold on tight.