Tag Archives: Family

Duncan — Back By Popular Demand

I have been remiss.  A bad girl.  No treats for me.

Yes, it’s true.  Today I was reminded that I haven’t posted any pictures of Duncan recently.

You remember Duncan, don’t you?

Toy Basket

Here he is right after we brought him home, sitting in his toy basket.

He doesn’t quite fit inside it any more.

No Room!

Duncan is quite camera shy.  We get loads of pictures of his butt, which, in my opinion, is not his best feature.  The face doesn’t stay still long enough for photo-ops.  Apparently, he will never run for Congress.

But the little guy has had quite a good time.  He is love, played with, pampered.  He has even had a vacation at the shore.  Here he is on a rocky beach in Maine.  When the rocks are wet, looking for Duncan is very much like playing Where’s Waldo.

When the rocks are wet, looking for Duncan is very much like playing Where's Waldo

Got any Sushi?

Now, let’s see if I can do this.  I took some video inspired by Will of Marking Our Territory, alerted me to a fast and easy way to destroy my iPad.  So naturally I tried it!

And I uploaded my very first YouTube video.

Shit, I’m a rotten videographer …. but I’m a great dog mom!  How many dogs get $300 dog toys?

Anybody got an extra iPad?

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Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Dogs, Duncan, Fashion, Health and Medicine, Humor, Pets, Wild Beasts

Monsters’ Throwdown — A Blogger Book!

As a person with Crohn’s Disease, I have seen my fair share of toilets, and my experiences there have been memorable.  And sometimes life threatening (especially if Goliath was involved).

And while I fully expect to die on a toilet, I was not born in one.

The same cannot be said of Eleanor Tomczyk, who writes a terrific blog called How the hell did i end up here?  If you don’t already know Eleanor, go on over.  She always brings a smile, makes you think, makes you laugh.

The story of her life is written up in her memoir, Monsters’ Throwdown — from her disastrous beginnings being born in a toilet, through her triumphs.  Eleanor always managed, somehow, to keep her head above water.

Monsters’ Throwdown will make you cry, make you laugh, make you thank your lucky stars that you didn’t have to go through what Eleanor did to just survive.  But Eleanor did much more than that — she thrived.  And we are all the better for it.

Monster's Throwdown

Available at Amazon — which, coincidentally, is where I got this image.

In today’s world, where racism has become, once again, less hidden, Monsters’ Throwdown is a book worth reading, and its lessons of survival, people helping people, love and triumph leave me very hopeful.

The book is available in paperback and on kindle through Amazon at this link.

Well, what are you waiting for???????

 

 

 

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Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Books, Childhood Traumas, Family, Humor, Taking Care of Each Other

Angel/Demon

My mother used to caution me:

“Be careful what you wish for,” she’d say.

“Why?” I’d ask.

“Because you might just get it.”

Her response usually baffled me.  As a kid growing up in what I thought was abject poverty (ummm, not even close), I felt like I never got what I asked for.  Or if I did, one of my four siblings had used it first.  Or “it” didn’t really live up to my expectations.  Or getting “it” not precisely what I expected.

Getting what I asked for always held a surprise.

You know what?  Mom was right.  And it is just as annoying now as a grownup as it was when she was right when I was a kid.

You guys know that recently I got what I asked for:

A Puppy! !!!!!!

Yup, here is an update on Duncan, that fluffy little guy who gave us such a scare last week when we brought him home.

You know what?

He came with teeth!  I knew that he would, but I had forgotten what it felt like to have razor sharp puppy teeth inserted into my arms.  Or my legs.  Or, during one memorable cuddle, into my nipple.

He came full of energy!  I knew that he would.  But I had forgotten just how much.  And how much energy went into those teeth.

He came determined to destroy my house.  I knew he would.  But I had forgotten just how many times I can say “no — chew on this”  during a single hour.  4,682 times to be exact.

Yes, this is a brief Duncan update — he is doing great.  He is full of mischief, sharp teeth and a desire to rule the world — or at least the household.  John, Jacob and I are holding our own, but it is only a matter of time before Duncan realizes that he is King Duncan.  And while none of us would ever murder him, I’m not sure I want Duncan to know that just yet.  At least not until he loses those teeth.

Who you gonna believe? I’m an Angel. (Well, except when I’m a Demon.)

 

Thank you all for your concern about the cute little guy.

I really did get what I asked for.  And Mom?  He’s wonderful!

 

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Dogs, Duncan, Family, Huh?, Humor, Out Damn Spot!, Pets, Taking Care of Each Other, Wild Beasts

Blame Duncan if I Didn’t Respond to Your Comment

Thanks, everybody, for all the nice comments about Duncan.

Sorry if yours was one of the comments I didn’t answer.

You see, I was afraid.  Afraid of what was happening with Duncan.

Yup, things didn’t start smoothly at all.

Twenty-four hours after bringing our new son home, we were at animal emergency, with a dying puppy.

We don’t know what happened or why, but he developed a fever of 106.3 degrees — dogs are normally 99-102.  Our puppy was sick, and possibly dying.

If I am ever reincarnated as a dog, I want to be my dog.  I’m not quite sure how I can work that out, though.

Anyway, Duncan was admitted, treated with antibiotics and IV fluids (at great expense).  We left him last night, certain that he was going to die.

Thankfully he didn’t.  He spent some more time with our own vet, closer to home, this afternoon before we brought him home early this evening (Monday).

So far, Duncan is acting very much like a puppy — he plays, eats, poops and pees.  We are keeping a close watch on him.

I will never let him see this picture of himself during the interval between the ER and our vet.  Because I fear he’d die of embarrassment.

"This is Embarrassing"

“This is Embarrassing”

When I texted this photo to Jacob, he responded:  “When did we switch to Dish Network?”

Everybody was saying sweet things about Duncan — and I just couldn’t answer when I didn’t know if he was going to make it.

We have no idea what caused the problem.  It may be a bacterial infection, a virus.  It could be all kinds of things.  Tests to possibly determine what caused it would have cost $THOUSANDS, and we opted to treat, rather than investigate.

So far he is doing OK.  Keep your fingers crossed.

 

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bloggin' Buddies, Dogs, Duncan, Family, Pets, Taking Care of Each Other

Crikey! Say “G’day” to Me New Mayte!

OK, I wanted to be clever.

Sorry.  That’s not going to happen.  Nope.  Not today.

I wanted to write something that would make you wonder.  That would keep you at the edge of your seat.  That would make you laugh with joy along with me.

Nope.

Instead, I’m just going to introduce you to me new mayte.

Duncan

Duncan

 

Duncan is a rescue puppy — a mixed Springer Spaniel/Australian shepherd.  He came to us through a program that finds homes for the pets (and their pets’ progeny) of deployed service men and women.  John’s sister found him on-line, sent me a link to him on petfinders.com, our application flew in and it was approved right away.  All of this happened on Monday.  Since then, we’ve been in a flurry of activity getting ready for a puppy.

I’m absolutely possible he will be an angel.  Always.

I will probably be a bit scarce around these parts for a while!

 

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Filed under Diet tips, Dogs, Family, Humor, Mental Health, Pets, Taking Care of Each Other, Wild Beasts

What’ll I Do?

“I have to believe,” Dad said smiling, looking across the table at the lot of us.  By an amazing coincidence (school vacations) we had an unplanned family gathering — all seven of us, plus respective spouses and grandkids there in Florida at the same time.

It was bitter-sweet, though, we all knew would be the last with all of us together.  Mom was fading quickly.

The laughter and individual conversations and one liners quieted down as we all expected Dad to give a toast.

“When I look at all five of you,” Dad paused, smiled, put his arm around Mom, “I have to believe … that your mom and I — are at least first cousins.”

The crowd roared.

My Dad wasn’t much for sentimentality.  He was a wise-ass, and a very funny man with terrific comedic timing.  But in his heart he was a romantic.  And he loved those sappy, romantic songs from the 1930s and 1940s.  Of course he did, he fell in love with Mom when she was singing them.

Actually, Dad wouldn’t tell me how he met Mom.  Well, he told me how they met many times.  A different story every single time I asked, with the more outrageous ones coming out if Mom was in the room.  It became a wonderful game for the two of us.  How he met the girl of his dreams.

“Dad?  How’d you meet Mom?”

“One day I found myself whistling a happy tune, turned the corner and saw her and figured out why I was whistling.”

“Dad?  How’d you meet Mom?”

“Who?”

“Dad?  How’d you meet Mom?”

“I was just walking down the street one day, and she chased after me.  She never DID let me go.”

“Dad?  How’d you meet Mom?” I asked when I was hospitalized for the first time.

“She was singing in a show.  She was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen.  So I went back stage.”

I don’t really know if that was the real answer, but I suspect it is.  Because Dad always had a soft spot for those old torch songs.  And he loved to hear Mom sing them — which she did with such style, even if she was washing dishes as she sang.

So here, for Dad and his lady, is one of Dad’s favorites.  I can remember him telling me the story of Irving Berlin and Ellin Mackay.  They fell in love but her father disapproved, and sent her off to Europe.  He wrote this song and married the girl.

Happy Father’s Day to my Dad, to my Husband (a wonderful Dad) and to all of you Dads.

(And Frank?  You guessed it — John HATES this song!)

 

 

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Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Dad, Family, Holidays, Mom, Taking Care of Each Other

Connections

My sisters and I never saw eye to eye; rather we heard heart to heart through our telephone receivers.  We lived a good distance away for most of our lives.  And so our connections, close as they were, were nearly always via long distance calls.

The ear pieces on the phone grew increasingly warm and comforting with each laugh, each tease and each word we spoke.  We spent hours on the phone, twisting the curly, stretched cord around our body parts, spilling out our hearts and our triumphs and our woes.  But there is no record, no evidence, and sadly fewer clear recollections.

So I made up some memories.

*     *     *

I began to question the wisdom of this trip as soon as the line went dead.

The call Thursday night was unexpected.  Sam and Dave – customers from the burger joint I’d worked in back home — had tracked me down in Boston.  I’d left home six months earlier, and was surprised that the guys had found me.  They had said they were in Boston often and promised to look me up – but so had a lot of people.

Six months away from home hadn’t been nearly as fun as I expected my “coming of age” to be.   I hesitated to admit that I was lonely and would love some company.  But I hadn’t even thought about Sam and Dave – forgotten them, in fact.  Well, I barely knew them to begin with.  Sam was tall, blond, nice smile.  A well done hamburger with fries; Dave was shorter with shaggy brown hair that he often pulled back.  He liked his cheeseburger rare with onion rings.  Both drank Coke.  One of them drove my favorite car, a 1974 Datsun 240Z.  Blue.

“Great, we’ll pick you up Saturday at 10,” one of them said.  Was it Dave?  He and Sam were on separate extensions and kept finishing each other’s sentences like an old married couple.

“Yeah, Steve gave us the address along with your number.   See you Saturday!” said the other – Sam, I guessed.  And then they hung up.

They didn’t leave a number so I couldn’t call them back.  For that matter, they didn’t leave their last names.  First names, a car (cool as it was) and burger preferences.  That was all I knew.  Yet I had just agreed to spend the weekend with them at the Cape.

At only 19, I hadn’t done too many stupid things with guys yet.  So I called my older sister, Judy, 24, who had.

“This is ridiculous,” I told Judy, pacing back and forth across my tiny apartment like a bobcat in the zoo. “I can’t possibly go.  I don’t know who they are.  And I can’t possibly call them back – they didn’t leave their number.  They didn’t leave their last names.  They didn’t even tell me where I just agreed to go.   God, this has all the makings of a Hitchcock picture.”

“Are you Tippi Hedren or Janet Leigh?”  Jude roared at her own joke.  “You’ve known these two cute guys for three years and never went out with them?  Either of them?  Or both of them – together?” she teased.  “God you’re boring.  You’d be Doris Day in a Hitchcock movie.”

“I’m just going to have to talk to them when they get here on Saturday.”

“Ok,” said Jude, swallowing her laugh. “You’ll talk to them on Saturday.  Good plan,” she burst out again, “especially because you can’t talk with them before that because you didn’t get their number,” she said, gasping for breath.

I began to relax.  Somehow, when I told my troubles to Judy, they stopped being problems and became situation comedy.

“You’re a huge help.  I’ll call you back next time I need abuse.”

“Anytime,” Judy said, hanging up.

I spent Friday at work bouncing between laughing and worrying.  I didn’t pack.  Of course I wouldn’t go with them – I didn’t even know their last names!

At 10 am Saturday the doorbell rang.  “Shit.”

“We’re here,” Dave or Sam said through the intercom system.  Another reason not to go – I couldn’t keep them straight.  I buzzed them in, and took a deep breath.  I still didn’t know what to do.

Did it take an hour for them to climb the two flights or were they upstairs in a flash?  Suddenly I felt queasy.  “Oh God,” I thought as I shut the bathroom door, “what would Judy do?”  I sat on the toilet for the longest time, trying not to panic.  At last, I smiled, shrugged and said “oh, what the hell.”  I walked back into the main room and said “I’m not quite done packing, but I’ll be just a minute.”

I threw a bathing suit, a change of clothes, and a couple of other things in a backpack.  “There’s just one thing,” I said, smiling at my dates,  “I’d love to drive the Z.”

*     *     *

Me, Judy, and Beth, a while ago

 

*****

This is a reposting.  Today would have been my sister Judy’s Earth Day Birthday.  I wish I could call her up and give her grief.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFy7-XuCN2w

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Birthday, Family, Health and Medicine, History, Taking Care of Each Other