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Dogs on Thursday

Finally feeling rested after a whirlwind weekend. The laundry is done, dishes washed, clutter (sorta) cleared away and today Sabu went to the groomer for a bath, blow-out and pedicure -

12-11-14 SabuI swear, this dog draws a crowd wherever she goes! There was a line at the checkout and people started piling up behind us. Sabu went into full on Performance Mode and had the ladies eating out of her hand. None of them had treats, but this dog is an eternal optimist.

“What a beautiful dog!”

“She’s so white! You must spend a lot of time grooming her…”

“Look at those freckles! How adorable!”

“What a good dog!”

And on and on. Here’s the truth, folks -

  • Sabu is a Bad Dog. She does all sorts of Bad Dog Things every damned day. You got to see her at her best – desperate to get away from the sadistic ladies in the grooming room. She’ll do anything to get out of there and ten seconds after the doors shut behind us she’ll be up to her usual antics, probably pulling me off my feet.
  • She IS white. Today. Probably tomorrow, too, but not much longer if she rolls in something foul or otherwise messes herself up. She’s not a Girly Dog and prefers to be dirty. Lucky for me most of the hard dirt falls off with no further intervention and she doesn’t matt up if I hold her down and force a brush through her coat every now and again.
  • I do not spend much time grooming her because she is a Drama Queen and it would be quieter if I actually disemboweled her instead of just torturing her with a slicker brush. She won’t let anyone but the cat groom her tail and brushing her back legs is accompanied by growls and evasive maneuvers. I pay the ladies at the groomer to clean her up and they are worth every penny!
  • She will eat everything she finds that even remotely resembles anything edible. Half rotted, unidentifiable substance on the pavement? Yup. Poo of any kind except her own? You betcha. If whatever it is makes her vomit, she will happily scarf it down again if it’s still fresh. She likes to help out around the house by cleaning out the litterbox, too. Yup, she’s That Dog. Preventive measures have been employed at home but taking her to someone else’s house is always an adventure.
  • You cannot leave food unattended for even a second or it will disappear. You know how most people have a “5 second rule” for food that gets dropped on the floor? The 5 second rule does not apply if you have a 2 second dog! If you want to eat that food, better keep it on your plate and don’t turn your back on this dog. She doesn’t counter surf, but anything left lower than that height is fair game in Sabu’s book.
  • She has no sense of loyalty when out on a walk. If she gets away from me she will run off, chasing anything that moves and jumping on people. Oh, eventually she comes back, but never at my request.
  • Her car is her bat cave and she will defend it at all costs. It’s embarrassing. There she is, sitting in the back seat (the whole back seat, as is her right) looking out the window, posing so cute and someone sees her and approaches the car, talking all high-pitched and cutesy. Sabu waits until they’re within three feet and then goes all Cujo, clawing at the window, fangs out, snarling, barking and looking like a rabid maniac. Scares the shit out of people. So far, to my knowledge, she’s only made one person actually fall down, but still…

She came to me with issues and for the most part we’ve overcome them, but she is far from the Good Dog she plays in public.

Sigh. I still love her, though.

Freckles!

unnamed

 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 11, 2014 in Dogs

 

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Share Your World – Week 48

2014 is almost over but Cee is still going strong with her Share Your World challenge.

This week’s questions:

What are your favorite toppings on pizza?

Chicken, roasted garlic and spinach. Red sauce is far superior to white sauce, and a thick crust is best.

I want to learn more about …

Everything. Except football because that shit is boring.

What are three places you’ve enjoyed visiting?

Manhattan, Mazatlan & my Home Town – I’ve been away for over 20 years so it’s visiting now :-)

Do you prefer eating the frosting of the cake or the cupcake first?

I prefer the cake itself with only a little frosting. Strange, I know, but too much sugary frosting gives me a belly ache.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last weekend was the last Craft Faire for the Sweatshop Girls, and while I’m very pleased with how well we did I’m ready for a break and looking forward to a restful weekend.

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2014 in Memes, Share Your World

 

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So glad the weekend is over!

I am so tired today! The show went pretty well for the Sweatshop Girls and we’re all happy that it’s over for this Season. We’re gonna take a week off and then get together to plan our next move. Stay tuned…

The Boy and I went back to his apartment early on Saturday to get it cleaned up and habitable again. After five nights with Mom, he was looking like his old self again, sarcastic sense of humor back in evidence and his eyes clear. Constant pleas to take a shower had finally worked their magic and he no longer smelled like the barroom floor on Sunday morning. Couldn’t get him to eat as much as he should have, but at least he was hydrated.

He was not looking forward to going home. Neither was I, to tell the truth. I was hoping it wasn’t as bad as I remembered but fearful it would be worse.

I won’t go into details. It was filth like I’ve never seen. It took seven hours to haul out the trash, wash the walls and carpet and haul two full shopping carts worth of empty bottles and cans out of there. I’m not even exaggerating. I wish I was.

We went shopping for the essentials, including a floor lamp – there is no overhead fixture in his room and Mama can’t have that! If he can see the dirt he will clean or I will know the reason why. We bought hangers and a dirty clothes basket and talked about organization and what I expect to see when I go back up this weekend.

We talked about how and why the room got to be in that condition and I’m not as worried as I was about his state of mind. At the first sign of backsliding, however, he will be placed under house arrest (my house) and will be flogged with righteous indignation and The Rules of his childhood that he so hated until he begs for mercy.

He was ashamed that I insisted on getting right in there and cleaning and worked as quickly as he could so I wouldn’t see some really nasty things. I just don’t even have words.

Anyway. His room is as clean as bleach, soap and water can make it, when I left there was no alcohol or empty containers in the place and there was food in the fridge. We’ve been in contact by text and phone every day and will continue to be into the foreseeable future.

He has printed out his resume and is riding his bike around looking for another job. His financial position is fine, provided he gets a new roommate and a job by the end of the month.

Sigh. I’m glad it’s over but so sorry for the experience. Mama Bear has been awakened and her cub better keep his shit together or face my wrath…

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2014 in Family, The Boy

 

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Detoxed and ready to roll

It’s been a long week and I am tired. The Sweatshop Girls will be in Albany at the Willamette Event Center peddling our wares if you’re in the area.

The Beast seems to have made a full recovery – he’s back to his usual self, making me wonder if it wasn’t alcohol poisoning on top of not enough sleep or food that sent him over the edge. He has no obvious signs of withdrawal (and I’ve been looking hard!) and his appetite has returned.

This episode has certainly driven home the fact that I need to be more involved in his life, no matter what his preferences might be, and you can bet this will not happen again if I have anything to say about it.

He’s been concerned about this little “vacation” because he needs to get a new job ASAP and sort out his roommate situation. Tomorrow morning I’ll be taking him back to The Big City where we will take care of business.

I texted Brian, the roommate, to let him know what was what and make sure he doesn’t think I’m crazy, based on my behavior on Monday. Because H has regained his sense of humor, although he doesn’t read this blog, here’s a comparison between him and his roommate.

H on the night in question -

Jesse Pinkman. Please tell me you know who this kid is...

Jesse Pinkman. Please tell me you know who this kid is…

Actually, H looked worse, but I couldn’t find a picture horrible enough. The baggy pants, beanie, totally out of it expression, loose layers of coats. Jesse at his worst.

In contrast, Brian, the roommate -

Tom Keene from The Blacklist. If you know the show, you know who he turned out to be...

Tom Keene from The Blacklist. If you know the show, you know who he turned out to be…

Bizarre! They would never live in the same space if they hadn’t been thrown together by the apartment management office.

Anyway. All is well. Mama Bear is not done whipping her cub yet, but at least he’s traveling in a straight line :-)

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2014 in Family, The Boy

 

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Intervention

I haven’t written much here about my son, for good reason – his story is his to tell – but the events of yesterday negate any further silence. Buckle up, this will be a long one.

H (sometimes referred to as The Beast or TB) has been living in The Big City, on his own for just over five years now. Getting him out of the house and motivated to live his own life was not easy and maybe I’ll toss in a bit of that story as events develop, but leave he eventually did, off to live his Dream Life with his best buddy, B, away from all the rules and regulations life at home entailed.

Life seemed to be going well for him for awhile – he had a good job, an apartment he shared with B and B’s fiance, M, and the bills were paid on time. The Family gave him cash at the Holidays but he refused any and all assistance, keeping up a cheerful demeanor and insisting that he was doing Just Fine.

B and M moved out, got married, had a baby and that’s where I think things started to fall apart.

Last year about this time H lost his job. He said it was because he was late to work and someone else had to open the restaurant for him. While I don’t have the facts, I believe he was drunk or hung over and that’s the real reason he was fired. What matters is that he was hiding his drinking and The Family helped him with bills while he looked for a new job. We didn’t give him much because he swore he was on top of things and didn’t want our help.

We thought everything was fine, and maybe it was. He and I have been close in the past, but our schedules have been opposite for awhile and we haven’t talked as much as we should have. I should have been a more involved Mama, but he was adamant that he was a grown-up and was just fine on his own. Life was peachy. Life was good. His job wasn’t the greatest but he had money and clothes and didn’t need me to stop by for a visit. Red, Flags, I know, but ya gotta let a baby bird fly, right?

On Thanksgiving I went by his place to pick him up to go to dinner with The Family. We had texted the night before and he said that he’d worked a 14-hour graveyard shift and might be sleeping when I got there. I rang the bell, called his phone and knocked for half an hour before giving up. I texted him (his voicemail box was not set up yet) to call me when he woke up and that was that. I was irritated, but he sleeps soundly and maybe he just wasn’t up to dinner. This was 11:00 AM.

He finally called at 5:00 PM and sounded like shit. Claimed he was sick, very sick. I asked how much he’d drank and he laughed me off and wouldn’t give a straight answer. Not being able to verify his story, I lectured him about staying hydrated and to call his Mom once in awhile and rang off.

Cut to yesterday afternoon. He called me, sounding very unlike himself. Said he didn’t tell me he loved me enough and he really wanted to call just to say, “I love you.” Said he’d called Grandma, too, and alarm bells began ringing in my head.

I was at work and the connection was bad, so I headed outside to see if the reception was any better. H talks very fast and quietly so it’s hard to understand him even in person but I got the gist. As I was talking to him Mom started calling me, so I knew this was something serious.

H started to ramble and say that he hates his life and doesn’t know what to do and apologizing over and over for “everything he’s put me through,” admitting that he’d lost his job, on and on, pretty incoherent and I finally just asked if I should come up there and get him, bring him back to stay with me for awhile for a change of scenery.

That stopped the conversation entirely.

“You’d do that?” he asked.

“Of course – I’m your Mom! I’ll leave right after work. Will you be okay until then?”

We chatted for a few more minutes and I became more worried. He sounded very unlike himself, crying and, well, suicidal. He was so moved that I would drive up and get him. I was debating calling 911 to get someone over there but he seemed to calm down a bit when I promised I would come.

I told him I was on my way, hung up and dialed Mom. She was packing a bag but reluctant to drive to The Big City in the dark. I told her I was on my way and would call when I got eyes on the situation.

The car was full of stuff so I had to make a quick stop by the Studio where I told Awana what was going on and Sabu and I hit the road.

As I was stopped at a red light I checked my text messages and saw – “I’ll leave the door open in case i cant get to it.”

WTF?!?!?!? Almost lost my shit right there. Tried to call B to see if he’d go check on H, but the number I have is no good. Texted back – “K. On the way.” Hoping he’d see it and not do anything rash.

The entire ride my mind was flipping over the possible scenarios and what I should do in each case. I was really hoping I wouldn’t be dealing with a body. Or a situation that would require a hospital stay. I was loaded for bear in any case.

I bounded up the stairs, rang the bell and waited about five seconds before trying the door. Locked. I knocked and heard footsteps inside. The door cracked open and a handsome, bearded and bespectacled face peered out. I’d found myself a genuine Hipster! WTF he was doing in my son’s apartment was not readily apparent, but I had no time to think about it.

“I’m looking for H,” I said, pushing my way forward.

He had the gall to block my way and say, “I don’t think he’s here right now.”

“I’m his Mom and he better be here,” and I pushed my way inside.

Taking a deep breath, I knocked and then opened his bedroom door. It was pitch black inside, the only sound a very faint wheezing. My heart was in my throat, I can tell you! I reached for a light switch, but there was none. I couldn’t see a thing but my Mama taught me to be prepared, so I whipped a flashlight out of my pocket and shined it around the room while calling his name.

He was passed out in an office chair, head back, headphones on. He was very hard to rouse, finally coming to a groggy consciousness and looking around himself like he wasn’t sure where he was. I was worried he was going to need a trip to the hospital but he soon came to enough to realize that his Mom was standing in the middle of the wreak that is his room.

Beer cans piled three feet deep on the floor and stacked on every horizontal surface. Cigarette butts spilled everywhere. Food wrappers tangled into mounds of filthy, stinking clothes and who knows what else. One hole in a wall, the closet door off its tracks, the bed a greasy, nasty mess. Every surface coated with a sticky residue that turns my stomach just to recall.

He began to cry and apologize profusely, standing on unsteady legs, swaying and telling me that I shouldn’t be in his room – it was too awful for me to see. I asked him to step out into the living room where there was light so I could see his face and he kept turning in circles, telling me I shouldn’t be in there.

Sigh. It was so very sad. He started thanking me for coming for him, that he didn’t deserve such a sacrifice and so on – the typical things drunks say when they know they’ve fucked up and can’t bear the thought of themselves any longer. Sadly, I know this place all too well – his father is an alcoholic and drug addict. This is all deja vu for me.

I told him to pack a bag, that I wanted to talk to his roommate for a minute. Poor Brian! He was obviously not prepared to face an upset Mom on this night. I quizzed him, trying to get a handle on how long H might have been like this, how often it happened, etc. but Brian has not spent much time with H – their schedules are opposite and they aren’t friends; he found the place through the manager’s office and had only been there a couple of months. Was, in fact, planning to move back to California in a couple of weeks. I got his number and promised to send some cash ASAP to be sure the rent and bills are taken care of. He was a nice guy, understanding, or faking it very well.

Somehow I got H to pack a bag with the things he HAD to have, bundled his blankets into a paper bag and got him downstairs in one piece. He seemed to be waking up, but he was not in good shape.

The ride down the freeway terrified him. Living in The Big City, he rarely rides in a car, preferring to walk or ride his bike. The alcohol-fueled paranoia only made the trip more bizarre for him and it was hard to get him to talk about anything else.

By the end of the ride he was sounding more normal and I was in full on Mama Bear mode. He WILL be attending AA meetings. He WILL disclose his financial situation. I WILL be taking him back to clean his room and there will be no arguing about it. I WILL be making a key so I can get into his apartment in future if he doesn’t answer the door. He WILL be in better contact with The Family in future.

The smell of stale booze was so strong I insisted he take a shower and put on come clothes I had stashed in the closet. We set off immediately for the laun-dro-mat because there was no way any of his nasty things were going to be inside my trailer!

He was still pretty out of it, but talking like a human being, so we had a long conversation about drinking and alcoholism and his genetic predisposition for being an alcoholic and drug addict. I did everything but take a hammer to his head and he admitted that he has a problem and totally fucked up.

He thinks the drinking is mostly situational – when he and B get together they drink, but he also drinks when he’s alone. Riiiiiigggggghhhht. Sounds like classic alcoholic justification and I said so.

Anyway. He’s here with me for the time being. I have to work today, so I left instructions for him to eat whatever he thought he could hold down and drink as much lemongrass tea or water as he could. I called at lunch time, hoping he was asleep (he didn’t sleep at all last night) and had a little chat. He doesn’t want to go to an AA meeting alone but there isn’t an open meeting tonight, so tomorrow it is.

I just hope this change in his routine will get him back on the straight and narrow and enable him to get a grip on his life. If I can swing it, I want him to see a doctor and have some blood tests to make sure there isn’t anything serious wrong with him and to see a counselor of some sort – he said some very disturbing things about not feeling like himself and “freaking out” about his life.

I’m just thankful I was able to dash up to get him – if I was still with the narc it would have been impossible.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story…

 
18 Comments

Posted by on December 2, 2014 in Family, The Boy

 

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Back in the saddle?

Faithful Readers:

I know it’s been awhile since I posted. I’m not gonna apologize ’cause that’s just lame and a lie. The truth is, I have a Medical Excuse for my lack of blogging energy – Vitamin D deficiency.

I made an appointment for a general physical back in August. Because I am a New Patient at the clinic down the street from my office I had to wait until last Tuesday to get in to see the doc.

I’ve been feeling run down and generally out of sorts for a couple of months, but it’s always like this as Winter approaches, so I didn’t think too much about it. On Wednesday afternoon the nurse called and said that everything looked fine except my Vit D levels and I was to get myself over to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription she’d phoned in ASAP. It was for 50,000 whatever units (the horrifically high number sort of froze my mind for a few seconds) of Vit D and I was to come back in 3 months for new blood labs. The “or else” was not stated, but very evident in her tone of voice.

“Oh, dear,” I thought, “is it really that bad? Should I worry I’ll drop dead at the Craft Faire this weekend?”

The pharmacy, of course, had no idea who I was or why I was there – they had no record of a prescription phoned in on my behalf. It being the day before a Holiday Weekend and after office hours at the clinic, there was no hope of getting the prescription sent again.

Taking the bull by the horns I purchased an over-the-counter dose of Vit D, something quite a bit less than the 50,000 units of whatever the nurse mentioned. Surely that can’t be right?

Anyway, one long weekend later, I can verify that the Doc does, indeed, want me to take 50,000 IU per week of Vit D. My blood test showed a level of 14.4 whatevers. It should read somewhere between 50-100. Oopsie! Quite a bit low, eh?

The situation is being corrected. In the meantime, low Vit D does explain my general apathy and low spirits. Vit D is not found in many foods and I haven’t been taking any sort of supplement. Sunshine in Oregon in December is not something I want to be exposed to, even if it could be found, because of the biting wind associated with the life-giving rays.

All this to say I’m back and feeling better. My energy level is up and I feel more like myself. Just in time to Deal With Some Shit. More on that later…

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2014 in right?

 

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Share Your World – Weeks 45 & 46

Things have been a little busy around here so you’re gonna get a two-fer today. Thank you for stopping by for the latest edition of Cee’s Share Your World Challenge.

Last week’s questions:

What is your favorite color? 

Reddish Orange. Anything on the warm side of the color wheel, actually. The cool colors do nothing for me.

color-wheelIn what do you find the simplest of joys?

Simple comforts bring me the most joy. A hot cup of tea sipped under a hand-made quilt on a cold day. A bubble bath in a claw footed tub. The first pot of potato soup of the season.

Would you prefer a reading nook or an art, craft, photography studio?

Studio for sure. A reading nook can always be carved out of any corner :-)

What is at least one of your favorite quotes?

“Not my circus, not my monkeys.” No idea who said it, but it perfectly sums up my philosophy about crazy/disordered/lazy people and the drama they try to rope others into.

This week’s questions:

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you sleep? 

A horizontal surface. Srsly. I’m like those dolls with the movable eyes – lay me down and my eyes close and I’m asleep. I would prefer an absence of bugs and vermin but would likely fall asleep anyway.

Music or silence while working?

For brain work, silence. For physical stuff, music, suited to the task – something rocking if it’s a hard job, something classical if the job requires fine motor control.

If you were to move and your home came fully furnished with everything you ever wanted, list at least three things from your old house you wish to retain?

Granny’s old chrome & Formica kitchen table

table

This color, very similar in shape

Granny’s old Army trunk bought new in 1942 -

il_570xN.303988101

Very much like this one.

And the two folding kitchen chairs I restored last Summer -

100_3295I don’t really have anything else that might be classified as “furniture…”

What’s your least favorite mode of transportation?

Anything that runs on diesel fuel. The smell nauseates me.

That’s all I have for today. We’ve been having some very cold weather and it’s kept me busy and tired all the time. I’ll have a Real Post up soon-ish. Probably.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on November 19, 2014 in Memes, Share Your World

 

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