I’m finally posting something on this blog which has become a repository of status updates. It’s New Year’s Eve, I’m sick, and there’s not much else to do besides be all philosophical and stuff. Pete thought about going out to kirtan, but decided not to hassle with the roads. So he’s taking a nap right now. The kids are out having fun, as they should be. Peter and Rachel are together (how cool is that?) and Giulia is at a UW hockey game.
Ludwig has been hanging out with me and doing a pretty good job avoiding all my used tissues.
So, 2010 was fun but now it’s almost over. What about 2011?
- Get my physical issues worked out, already. I’m taking iron and a megadose of vitamin D, and my thyroid dose was bumped up. I’ll have another blood test in about 3 weeks. I feel like I’m on my way, despite this virus making me feel like my sinuses are filled with balsa wood. (Related: Get the excess weight off.)
- Read some actual books. I read hundreds of online feeds, but I rarely sit down with actual paper anymore. Gotta fix that.
- Yoga. Meditation. It certainly can’t hurt anything.
- Celebrate the 25th wedding anniversary. Make it awesome, creative, and don’t break the bank.
- Ride my bike. I’d like to say “2011 miles in 2011,” but that might be setting myself up for failure. I only have a 2-mile commute to work.
- Finish my knitted blankets. Lizard Ridge and Mitered Squares. All I need to do with one of them is sew stuff together, but it’s languished since around 2006.
It’s a start, anyway. And I did manage to wear a skirt every day of 2010, so I know I have the ability to follow through.
eah. The site is a victim of social networking. I have fallen for the allure and ease of 140 characters and instant updates. My writing chops are mutton chops. Blah blah and all of that, and more.
So, in the interest of connection, I’m posting some links that are far more reliable for affirming my continued existence. (On this particular plane, anyway.)
Besides Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, I also have two tumblelogs:
If you are on Ravelry.com, look me up. I’m iheartyarn, because — as you probably know — I do heart the yarn.
here are different species of laziness: Eastern and Western. The Eastern style is like the one practised in India. It consists of hanging out all day in the sun, doing nothing, avoiding any kind of work or useful activity, drinking cups of tea, listening to Hindi film music blaring on the radio, and gossiping with friends. Western laziness is quite different. It consists of cramming our lives with compulsive activity, so there is no time at all to confront the real issues. This form of laziness lies in our failure to choose worthwhile applications for our energy.” – Sogyal Rinpiche
signed up for the October Mondo Beyondo course, and it feels like I’m already jump-starting my life. Sometimes all it takes is one small step to get me excited and engaged again.
Here’s one of the items from my list (not everything on it is “visit Australia” or “stay on a houseboat”): knit 100 hats. One of my classmates pointed out that I could start that one right away, and she was right, because I actually have a hat on the needles as we speak.
So I registered a domain name: hundredhats.com. For now, it’s a blank page, but I think Hat #1 will be up there by the end of the week.
aily Drop Cap is the latest cool thing I’ve seen, and I’ll probably use them often. Maybe it’ll get me to post more often.
A few things that have happened:
- Moon is off to college. I didn’t cry as much as I thought I would. She’s doing beautifully and we’re super proud of her.
- Peter has become rather awesome to be around. I don’t like to say too much about my kids because of their privacy and blah blah blah, but I figure that’s pretty much says it.
- Ludwig has one less eye than he had when we adopted him. Exactly two weeks ago, I was taking him for his evening walk, and he stopped to pee at a wooden fence. (Privacy fence, not enclosed fence.) There were three barking dogs behind it, but I was used to them barking pretty much every day, and I noted that they were chained up. Two were small dogs, one was a rottweiler. Well, the rottweiler ran up to the fence, stuck her snout underneath and grabbed Ludwig’s face. She tried to pull him under, but the clearing under the fence was only about 4-5″ or so. Long story short, she pulled his eye partially out of the socket and it ruptured.
- The resulting surgery was $1,520. Ludwig is doing very well and is still his sweet self. We humans are a bit more traumatized. And we walk on the other side of the street now. The rottie’s owner is not willing to pay any of the costs because she’s been told she has no legal responsibility to do so. That’s another story, but life goes on.
- I have a crappy cold, but I’m still glad sweater weather has arrived in Wisconsin.
- Natural thyroid medicine has become very difficult to procure. I’ve been off it for a month or so, but my chiropractor gave me a supplement that includes some thyroid in it.
- My in-laws are in Europe. Someday when I travel I’m going to be one of those crazy dog ladies who brings her pomeranian into the cabin with her.
Tomorrow is registration day at the high school. I can hardly believe it’s already time for that. Peter is going to be a sophomore, and it won’t be long before he’s old enough to get his learner’s permit. (I’ve mentioned that his half birthday takes place right around when progress reports arrive. Awesome! More incentive to get a good start this year, am I right?)
And in two weeks, we’ll be back home after moving Moon into her dorm room at U of M. I’m sure we’ll be in tears during the drive home, but oddly enough I’m in a much better place than I was a year ago. Probably because it’s all happening, instead of me stressing and guessing about what might be going on in the kinda-distant future. I know she’s going to be fine. I think I ought to be fine, too.
Seriously, it’s so strange seeing her friends leave one by one. Today we mailed a care package to the first of her friends to go off to college. Moon spent Monday baking four different kinds of cookies, something like 300 total. We’ve been enjoying many of them. She dropped off a bunch at her boyfriend’s house, too.
But there are departures every day, whether we realize it or not. My very dear ALF lost both her parents this summer, less than three weeks apart. ALF is my almost lifetime friend, and obviously I’d known her parents for just as long. It’s a shock, and I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like to be in her shoes. She has been in my thoughts pretty much round-the-clock, and my heart goes out to her whole family. I so admire her strength. There have been other huge challenges for her this summer, ones that would put me over the edge.
Our biggest issue right now is that there seems to be a mouse residing in our house. A smart mouse, that is not cooperating with our efforts to corner it in a humane trap. On the up side, we’ve cleaned out some cabinets that hadn’t been touched in a while.
Anyway, I’m just popping in to say I’m still here. So goes it.
Amused by the subject lines in my spam box.
- Potion for agressive banging!
- The bigger the tool in your pants is, the bigger man you feel.
- With a bigger tool you can break not only hearts but also splits.
- conjured up! fly to Uzeda, if you would save my very reason.
- You need more blood to make your penis bigger?
- Your social status will grow with a more serious watch.
By “watch,” I’m assuming they mean “penis.”
According to Moon, this was her best birthday ever. Which I hope she’ll be able to say every year from now on… happiness increasing on a yearly basis, that would be cool.
I can hardly believe it was 18 years ago that I was in a state of euphoria after completing the most difficult (and nerve-wracking) physical task of my life, rewarded with a jaw-droppingly beautiful newborn girl. (If you didn’t see this picture four years ago, here it is again.)
It’s a privilege and a joy being her mom. She is one of the best people I know, and I’m not even being biased. (I mean it.) A few more pictures. (The cake was delicious, by the way.)
The Daily Om for today, Moon’s 18th birthday:
Permanently Parents: The Changing Nest
Once individuals become parents, they are parents forevermore. Their identities change perceptively the moment Mother Nature inaugurates them mom or dad. Yet the role they undertake when they welcome children into their lives is not a fixed one. As children move from one phase of their lives to the next, parental roles change. When these transitions involve a child gaining independence, many parents experience an empty nest feeling. Instead of feeling proud that their children have achieved so much—whether the flight from the nest refers to the first day of kindergarten or the start of college—parents feel they are losing a part of themselves. However, when approached thoughtfully, this new stage of parental life can be an exciting time in which mothers and fathers rediscover themselves and relate to their children in a new way.
As children earn greater levels of independence, their parents often gain unanticipated freedom. Used to being depended upon by and subject to the demands of their children, parents sometimes forget that they are not only mom or dad but also individuals. As the nest empties, parents can alleviate the anxiety and sadness they feel by rediscovering themselves and honoring the immense strides their children have made in life. The simplest way to honor a child undergoing a transition is to allow that child to make decisions and mistakes appropriate to their level of maturity. Freed from the role of disciplinarian, parents of college-age children can befriend their offspring and undertake an advisory position. Those with younger children beginning school or teenagers taking a first job can plan a special day in which they express their pride and explain that they will always be there to offer love and support.
An empty nest can touch other members of the family unit as well. Young people may feel isolated or abandoned when their siblings leave the nest. As this is normal, extra attention can help them feel more secure in their newly less populated home. Spouses with more leisure time on their hands may need to relearn how to be best friends and lovers. Other family members will likely grieve less when they understand the significance of the child’s new phase of life. The more parents both celebrate and honor their children’s life transitions, the less apprehension the children will feel. Parents who embrace their changing nest while still cherishing their offspring can look forward to developing deeper, more mature relationships with them in the future.
Ludwig is on an antibiotic and a painkiller for the post-surgery infection. His appetite hasn’t been the best, but that’s partly because he also is going to need some dental work. At least he is AWESOME for the vet. I ended up taking him back today, because he has been coughing on and off most of the weekend. It seems to help to take him for a walk or get him barking (which pretty much only happens on walks), but last night’s coughing fit sent me back to the vet.
Partly because I’m feeling cruddy, too. Getting hardly any sleep didn’t help my condition. Anyway, Ludwig was hacking and sneezing, and it sounded so awful that I got up at 3 am and held him while patting his back for an hour straight. I already hadn’t slept much because Moon was up late and I was doing the mom-can’t-relax-until-kids-are-also-in-bed thing. I mean, she was only in the living room chatting on her computer, but I was stressing anyway. I think I slept for about an hour pre-Ludwig’s cough, and then drifted a little until it was time to get up for 6 am step aerobics. Ha! Ha! I literally couldn’t move. My voice was raspy. But at least Ludwig had stopped coughing.
I stayed home from work and tried to rest. I called the vet to see if there were any appointments available. Long story short, Ludwig has bronchitis, which likely started as kennel cough (he hadn’t had that vaccine for some reason). He had x-rays, and is starting a second antibiotic. We also can use a cough suppressant as needed. Since the cough is productive, we’ll probably only use it at night.
One more thing. His right (AKA only good) ear has a yeast infection. The vet cleaned it as well as possible, and prescribed ear drops to be given twice a day. The two antibiotics ought to help with that, too.
Poor guy. The thing is, he is so good-natured that you wouldn’t know anything was wrong. He doesn’t act like he’s in any pain, but he must be. Maybe he’s so used to it that it doesn’t register.
So I need to write up a schedule as soon as my brain is working at full capacity again. Or even partial capacity. I rested this afternoon, but what I really need is a full night’s sleep, in the dark.
Since I just celebrated another year, it’s only fitting that I went through my entire collection of blog posts to spruce it up for greater consumption. What I learned is that most of it is boring enough that I shouldn’t worry about real-world friends/family finding it and eagerly reading every word. I made a bunch of stuff private (mostly mom-type musings that I know my kids would hate having out there now). Some stuff is actually missing, which is no big deal. I’ve given up on trying to remember every detail of my life. I’m a sporadic diary-keeper.
I do have some pictures, though. In other news, fireworks are scheduled for tonight. I’d rather have them on the real 4th of July, but apparently it will save a lot of money to not have to pay overtime to all the cops and fire fighters who will need to be on duty while the controlled explosions are taking place.
Hey, it’s my birthday. My family picked out a pie from Hubbard Avenue Diner for me, and we’re going to Quaker Steak & Lube. Par-tay.
Ludwig continues to be a source of joy, and I can’t imagine getting through this past week without him. Yesterday we visited the vet. He completely enchanted the staff, earning extra treats, lots of attention, and the privilege of wandering all over the office. Several people offered free dogsitting. And he got to meet a friendly collie, which made me wonder if he kind of misses having other dogs around.
Ludwig rarely barks, but the other day at the park he saw two yellow labs and started vocalizing at them. We weren’t sure whether he was being friendly or freaked out. Now, though, I think we need to find him some canine friends. He does enjoy his valkies, and barks while prancing around in circles whenever one of us reaches for his leash.
Anyway, the vet said his incisions appear to be infected, so we’ve started antibiotics. Ludwig also has some fairly bad tooth decay, so we’ll be getting his teeth cleaned as soon as the other stuff clears up. Otherwise, he’s an awesome 10.8 pound bundle of love and fur.
We made it through Friday, although it was very difficult with many tears from all of us. The doctor could not have been more wonderful with his bedside manner through it all. Foxxi was in a good mood until the end, especially because we treated her with all her favorite things. Moon made popcorn for her. We took her outside and set her in the grass. She was even pleasant while Moon and I took turns taking photos holding her.
Letting go is so difficult. Saturday morning was strangely quiet without Foxxi there. Pete felt it the most, because he is the first one out of bed and had many morning routines with her. We had an appointment to meet a shelter dog in Illinois — I had seen him on Petfinder a few months ago and (uncharacteristically) emailed to find out the rest of the story. He was scheduled for surgery, and I wanted to make sure he was okay. It turned out that the vet had wanted to keep him as the clinic dog, and the foster family had become attached and was planning to keep him permanently. With so many potential families for him, I felt better knowing that he’d get the love he’d missed out on when he was neglected. (So neglected that an ear infection was left untreated and resulted in his entire ear canal being removed — that was the surgery he had needed.)
Well… as we were going through our excruciating last days with Foxxi, I received an email saying that the foster family had decided Happy (his new name, as the original owner had never bothered to give him one) would be better off in a less chaotic household. Which meant he could be ours.
So yesterday morning, I was really unsure if we’d be able to do it. I told everyone that we could meet him, and make a decision in the new few weeks if we weren’t ready so soon. Famous last words…
As we left, we saw this photo.
And when we met, his friendly face won us over right away. He’s still recovering, and needs TLC. But he’s spunky and cheerful and just what we needed. This morning, when Pete was doing yoga, Happy thought he was playing and licked his face during downward dog. He loves car rides, lap sitting, and pretty much everything else.
We’ve named him Ludwig von Happy. And we’re calling him Ludwig, Happy, Happykins, Sweetie, and whatever other terms of endearment come to mind. I have a feeling Foxxi would be totally okay with this. She trained us to be dog people, after all. (Full photo set is here.)
I’m coming out of the woodwork a bit. Actually, I’m kind of going through my old posts, making some of them private, doing a few minor edits and so forth. After being careful not to use real names on this site, I’m toying with the idea of connecting it with my other online personas (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). The kids are older now, and things have changed since I started this up in 2003. (The first available posts are 2004, though… I lost a bunch of stuff transitioning servers or something at some point.)
I am leaving some of the dumb stuff, but deleting other stuff that is excruciating boring or generates a WTF? reaction. Not that I think anyone will read my ancient history, but one must be careful.
Anyway, time for a quick update. This one is about death. Today, we lost two very public figures: Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. One was expected, one was sudden and shocking.
Tomorrow our family is going to experience a much more personal loss.
Our corgi, Foxxi, has been steadily declining for the past few years. The decline has become much more rapid in the past 10 months. This spring, genetic testing showed that she has Degenerative Myelopathy, a condition that affects German shepherds, corgis and boxers more commonly than other breeds. Her symptoms have been textbook. We noticed a weak back paw, which eventually turned into two weak back paws, and weakness spreading up her torso and into her front limbs.
This past month has been bad. She can no longer reach her food and water without help. She can’t move herself, and whines when we walk from room to room… she can’t follow. She wets herself and can’t move away from the puddle. She poos in the house, or even as we are carrying her. She still tries to do her business outside, but can’t always let us know she needs to go. She hasn’t had a walk in a year. She can’t drag herself anymore.
Yet she still smiles, and she still has an appetite. Which means she still is getting some joy from her life.
That has made this decision very difficult. Tomorrow we are letting her go. We are giving her extra treats and trying to make her last week as pleasant as possible. (It’s tough because she doesn’t enjoy petting and tends to bite because she’s paranoid about being touched. She tolerates being picked up and moved, thank goodness.)
When we came home from work today, Foxxi was on a towel, in a puddle. I picked her up, cleaned the mess and took her outside. Pete helped me wipe her down with cat shampoo. As he was doing that, I told her, “One more day, baby.” She turned her face towards mine and gave me a lick on the cheek — something she never does anymore.
I’m choosing to take it as a sign of her acceptance. I think she’s tired of her immobility and lack of power, and ready to move on. I hope we can all take comfort in that tomorrow.
Foxxi is our first family dog, and gave us a lot of joy over the years. She has been feisty and difficult at times, but we’ve loved her well. And I think she has loved us back.
I generally like to crank up the songs I like, but here are a few I *have* to turn up to 11.
Immigrant Song by Led Zepplin
The beginning needs to be loud by default.
Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen
I know all the words, and I sing them like I believe them.
School’s Out by Alice Cooper
It is THE escape anthem.
I’ve been in the biggest blogging slump ever. Ever. I think Facebook and Twitter are to blame. It’s so much easier to post 140 characters, and I get way more feedback there than I do here. My knits are on Ravelry and Flickr. And most of all, I feel like I can’t really say much about my kids, as they are teenagers and VERY PRIVATE about things.
Really, the whole reason I started writing online back in 2003 (or whenever it was… this isn’t my first blog, but most of my stuff is here) was to have some sort of journal for myself. I’ve been that kind of person on and off for my whole life. Somewhere I have stored a collection of half finished paper diaries and blank books. Scrapbooking filled that need for me, too, until I got so far behind on my pictures that I kind of gave up.
I’m in limbo about My Perky World, I guess. I do have a lifetime hosting agreement, so it doesn’t cost much to keep this stuff out there. What do you think? Who here isn’t already my Facebook friend?
From Tami Kieves today:
As a coach, I’m in the business of helping people get answers to their most pressing decisions in life. Now, it’s not uncommon for a client to come or call and say, “I like gardening, playing the cymbals, hiking in the backcountry, helping people, and learning about color theory, healing energy techniques, and Russian Poetry. So how do I put that all together?” Then they pause and wait for their magic answer. They will be pausing a long time, I assure you.
I will tell you what I tell them. You don’t have a thousand different directions. The mind has a thousand directions. But your heart has only one or two. You don’t even have a decision to make. It’s already been made and encrypted within you, like the rhythm of your toes soft padding on the floorboards and the delicate, determined map of your fingerprint. It’s just there, strange as the moon, yet familiar as your breath.
Remember, the mind likes to window shop. It fancies the life in this boutique, then wants to try on the boots in another. But the soul invests all of itself. It’s not as casual or as distracted by fashion, sales, promises or ease of acquisition. It’s not interested in possibility. It pitches toward destiny. That’s why you will never know a sense of ease, even when you come up with answers, unless you choose to listen to the answer that will take away all questions.
This is great stuff. If you want to read more, go here.
Posted on Caroline’s fridge. Whoever Caroline (and Jack) are, you know they have to be awesome.
Next entries »
It’s all about cool, crafty things… artist profiles, unusual crafts, tutorials, and more. I have all 10 print copies. Unfortunately, they’re ceasing print publication but are still on the web at craftzine.com.
This is the only “women’s” magazine I’m willing to read. And I read every issue cover-to-cover.
Lots of clever household-type projects, and fun columns such as the monthly MacGuyver column. I’ve heard they’ve changed ownership and staffing, though, so the jury is out as to whether I’ll keep subscribing.