Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Full of Grace

Two weeks of R & R after surgery.   I admit to being a total slug and enjoying it immensely.

The steri-strips have finally come off.  Wow, those things are itchy. Major relief.

Meeting Beaner’s new love interest who far out shines all who came before him. Or as her sister said “she is finally growing out of her shallow ‘must have 6 pack abs and dark hair’ to even be considered.”  Here’s hoping.

Removing my daughters from my family gym membership for a huge savings. Ever so slowly they are taking over their own bills and will gradually be out of my wallet.   

I just watched the movie 11.22.63 based on the book by Stephen King.  Well, I sort of watched it. It was extremely violent so I often left the room.  But this poem ended the movie and I was quite moved by it.  

We did not ask for this room or this music
We were invited in
Therefore, because the dark surrounds us,
Let us turn our faces to the light
Let us endure hardship to be grateful for plenty.

We have been given pain to be astounded by joy
We have been given life to deny death
We did not ask for this room or this music
But because we are here, . .

Let us dance

-  Stephen King

Today I am grateful for plenty.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


I am one of the few people I know who doesn’t mind the smell of skunk.  That was until recently when my dog got skunked in the back yard.  There is a big difference between the far-away, just passing through smell of road kill and having an up close and personal experience.  Wow, it gets right into your pores.

The first time it happened the weather was still warm and the windows all open. The overpowering smell of skunk permeated not only the dog, but all the rugs, curtains, and bedding. We took the dog to the groomer who gave her a special bath ($55) and began washing everything in the house.

We also called a pest control company who came and told us that it would cost $900 for them to set traps for 5 days, with no guarantees.  Thanks, but no thanks. We went and bought a trap ($35)  and got all sorts of advice about what to bait it with.  Every night we put out the trap at dusk and got up at dawn to an empty trap.

Unfortunately one morning we let the dog out before the sun was fully up and yes, she got skunked again. And this time, really bad.

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We left her in the garage until we could get an afternoon appointment with the groomer. (another $55) Fortunately we could walk to the groomer because putting the dog in a car was not an option.  The shop is in a small strip mall and I was not there 5 minutes before we heard fire sirens and the firefighters telling everyone to leave the premises.  Apparently my dog’s odor was so strong that someone in another shop thought they smelled a gas leak.  Yeah, not too embarrassing.

Home again and we began doubling our efforts to trap the skunk.  Apples, peanut butter, marshmallows, cat food.  We began trying them all and in different combinations.  And then one morning we looked out and saw the trap door was down.  Of course we had no idea what to do next because we certainly didn’t want to get skunked ourselves.  So slowly and carefully we approached the cage. (We couldn’t see in it because we were told to cover it with a garbage bag before putting it out.)  Martha tried poking at it with a very long stick and was convinced that we had caught something weighty, as opposed to the occasional chipmunk we found. But when I looked from a different vantage point I saw something with a long white snout.

Yes, we had caught a possum.  A possum with very nasty looking teeth.

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Honestly, we don’t understand why this is happening. We live on a very busy street in a very suburban setting, with a totally fenced yard, with a dog.  Why any wildlife makes our yard a home is beyond me.

Anyway, there was no way either of us was going to pick up this creature, or lift the trap door to let him out.  So another call to pest control to have the possum relocated. ($162)  

And the saga continues. Every night we set the trap. Every morning we look, both hopeful and terrified that we caught something.  As the days get shorter and the nights longer, my dog is confined more and more inside the house.  In fact, we are all being held prisoner and we are not very happy about it. Plus the house and yard still have a faint odor of eau d’skunk.  It’s impossible to get rid of.

Anyone know a skunk whisperer?  

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Full of Grace

Peachie came home the weekend before my surgery and stayed for a few days to help care for me. She is such a good kid.

So once again we were all together for our traditional apple picking and fall foliage hike. I love traditions and I’m happy to hold on to them for yet another year. I know it won’t last forever.

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Because a frost was coming everyone helped me close up the vegetable garden. What usually takes me days only took hours. This was the last of the harvest.  

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Surgery went well enough. Like trauma exposure therapy, I think I’ve now had so many surgeries that I have learned how to deal with it.  Anesthesia is still hard for me but I’ve learned how to cope with the anxiety of it and how to reduce most of the ill effects.

When my sister had her gallbladder removed some 20 years ago it was a 5 hour surgery. She had to stay in the hospital for 8 days, has a 10 inch scar down her torso and contends that it was the most physically painful experience of her life.  By contrast, my surgery was at 8:30 am, was about 45 minutes, I have 4 small incisions in my belly held together with steri strips, and I was home the same day at about 2:00.  I am both grateful and amazed at the advances in medical procedures.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Full of Grace

It seems that after a rather rough July/August, the universe has decided to make amends and present me with glorious moments and ear to ear smiles. First was being able to share the Adele concert with my whole family. Then as soon as I returned, I packed to take a short vacation with my oldest daughter. She had called to say she would have a week off between quitting her part time jobs and starting her first full-time, professional job where she would not accumulate vacation time for at least six months. Could we please do something relaxing . . .

  • So very grateful for the internet which allowed me to find incredibly cheap, spur of the moment, non-stop flights to Florida.

  • Being able to wake up to this every morning

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  • Spending one-on-one time with Beaner. Truth is, she is much closer to Martha than me, mostly because of the basketball connection. Having 5 days together, just us, was really fun.  And a little frightening - did I really need to hear about all those boyfriends???  

  • Kayaking through Floridian canals.  Beaner choose a paddleboard.

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  • And leaving Florida before the hurricane hits but not before seeing the sun set with a beautiful rainbow.  

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But lest anyone think my whole life is one big bowl of cherries - this past week I got so pissed off at my boss I wrote my letter of resignation. (I did not submit it . .  .yet), my dog got skunked for the 2nd time - yup, right after we finally finished washing all the drapes, bedding, walls and carpets from the last skunking, and next week I have to have surgery to have my gallbladder removed.  

Life.  Never a dull moment.