Archive for the ‘Abby-dogg’ Category

Purging

November 21, 2012

I’ve been slipping through the years
My old clothes don’t fit like they once did
So they hang like ghosts of the people I’ve been

-You Can Do Better Than Me, Death Cab for Cutie

The day I had to put Abby down, I thought about taking off work but figured after so much crying and reflection, it would be better to stay busy. I worked all afternoon and happened to have plans to hang out with Ern that evening. She lives about an hour-and-a-half south of me, so we sometimes meet at a Panera that’s halfway between us to chat and work on whatever crafts are currently occupying our attention. That night as I sipped on iced coffee and knitted, in the back of my mind I’d preemptively begun worrying about going home to an empty, Abby-less apartment. In fact by the time I actually got home, I’d worked myself up into quite a tizzy, thinking I would have a meltdown and cry for 100 hours and not be able to sleep and howl pitifully at the moon. When I finally walked through the front door, I felt a twinge in my gut but was determined not to obsess. Without a plan, I wandered into my bedroom closet, which was a HELLACIOUS mess, and dove into the disarray head first. That poor closet had been neglected for far too long and was full of stuff that needed to be sorted and donated. I ended up spending hours in there and the fruit of my labor was several garbage bags full of clothes and purses. As I’d been losing weight, I’d given some clothes away but was afraid to deliberately go through my entire closet and purge, thinking it akin to asking the God of Cellulite to smite me with hundreds of wobbly pounds. That night though, I managed to overcome my ridiculousness and let myself live in the present moment. It’s finally time to let go of all of this, I thought. Before I stumbled into bed, I hauled all the bags to my living room, planning to make a Goodwill run as soon as possible. But as it often does, life got in the way and my piles sat neglected for a few weeks until tonight when after a bit of straightening, I decided I had to get that stuff out of my apartment. I felt sort of melancholy loading the bags into my car, not because I’ll miss my clothes but because I got the courage to pass them on the day I lost Abby. That really good thing happened on a really sad day. Funny how life works, isn’t it?

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Bear

November 8, 2012

NaBloPoMo has been a bit of a FAIL for me this year but I don’t want to completely give up. I also don’t want to have to keep mentioning my failings at the beginning of posts when I’ve missed the day before. So I’m still trying but won’t bore you with excuses when I don’t hit the mark every day. Onward! 🙂

The other night I got giddy about the upcoming holiday season when I saw all of the Christmas ornaments at Target but then felt tears stinging my eyes because this will be my first Christmas without Abby. 😦 I had to put down my sweet, fluffy girl a few weeks ago. It was heartbreaking but definitely the right thing to do because her arthritis had gotten really bad and her senility was getting worse. I’d been trying to prepare myself for awhile but it didn’t make it any easier or less traumatic. Abby never liked going to the vet and would always be nervous and pace-y while we were there. I did not want her final moments to be like that so I did some research and discovered Curbside Care Mobile Veterinary Clinic. I am so, so grateful to have found them. It allowed Abby and I to be together in our calm, familiar environment at the end.

I miss her so much and am still adjusting to life without her. Like when I get home from work in the evening and realize I won’t get to see her big grin. Or when I make plans with someone and think, “I need to take Abbs out first” and then remember she’s gone. When I’m feeling blue, I just try to focus on how lucky I was to spend 15 years with such a wonderful creature. She changed my life in so many ways. Before Abby, I was afraid of dogs and hadn’t thought much about animal rights. I had no idea how amazing dogs are and how much they enrich our lives. I really do feel blessed to have spent so much time with her.

I snapped this picture a few weeks ago, before Abbs stopped being able to go on our daily walks:

Got Milk?

June 14, 2012

After bariatric surgery, you have to be extra careful you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals since you’re eating so much less and the way your body absorbs nutrients has completely changed. Trying to meet those needs has been especially difficult for me because I’m not a good pill taker – I gag and make a fuss. In addition to taking calcium pills, my doctor wants me to drink 3 cups of milk a day. I’ve never been a milk drinker but have found a combo I can tolerate (1% milk + sugar-free Hershey’s syrup.) To mix things up, I’ve been trying other non-dairy milks but haven’t found one I like. I’ve tried unsweetened almond milk & unsweetened coconut milk, both of which I like cooked in foods but not straight up. Next up, I’m going to give soy a whirl.

Moxy & I went to a free screening of Rock of Ages last night. It was cheesy in some parts but so well done. The music was an absolute blast. I was especially impressed with Tom Cruise. Who knew he could sing? He apparently turns 50 this summer and looks DAMN good for having been around for half a century.

And while we’re on the subject of celebs, can we take a moment to discuss Alec Baldwin’s fiance’s name? It’s Hilaria. How can he proceed with this union?? He’s funny. Really funny! And his wife-to-be is called Hilaria. COME ON! 😉

And here’s the latest from Instagram. Fun, striped Mary Janes I got at Urban Outfitters:
Mary Janes

A beautiful sunset I caught on a recent walk
Indiana Sunset

New-to-me – cute mini ‘nanas, which make the perfect snack:
Mini Bananas

A sweet, vintage crewel I thrifted for only $1.50:
Crewel

Sweet Abbs likes to hang out by the tub while I take baths:
Abby

Lately, In Pictures

June 9, 2012

I’ve been having fun taking lots of pics lately, which I share on Instagram. Here are the highlights:

I did some late night sewing earlier this week. I’ll upload a pic of the finished product, which was cute but wonky.
Late-night sewing

Blowfish’s recent blog blitz definitely got my attention. That coupled with a 25%-off coupon got me to buy these sandals. They are very comfortable but waaaay higher than I’m accustomed to so I’m a bit precarious. I already turned my ankle once, proving that I’m not meant to wear high shoes.
Sandals

At a recent appointment, the vet told me he recognizes some signs of senility in Abby. That hadn’t occurred to me but does explain some odd behavior. After bawling, I put on a smile and am just trying to make her remaining time happy.
Abby

Lovely hydrangeas I spotted while yard salin’ last weekend:
Flars

Flea market find I’m wishing I’d splurged on:
Clock

A beautiful fountain in an Indy neighborhood I love:
Fountain

Huhuhuhuhuhuhuhuh _in rear_
Sale in rear

Rough Weekend

April 3, 2012

You know what’s annoying? How it seems like there are certain shirts I absolutely cannot wear more than once without spilling something on them. And it’s always a shirt I like a lot. Like for example, this green number:

Green Shirt

I just splattered butter chicken all over it!

P.S. That butter chicken recipe is soooo yum & easy-to-make. I used chicken tenders so I didn’t bother marinating them and I opted for curry instead of the spice combo the recipe suggests. It also freezes beautifully, if you don’t gobble it up first. 🙂

Post surgery, I’ve found that I crave spicier, umami-er foods than I did before. I only get a few bites so I prefer tasty ones! Also I’m mostly eating vegetables, as they seem to be what my body wants. For breakfast, I’m loving MorningStar’s Veggie Sausage links with mustard. That may sound revolting but it hits the spot.

Let’s refocus on what brought me here in the first place – my need to vent about a tough weekend. My Dad had to be hospitalized for the first time in several years. I cannot imagine how demoralizing that would be, so my heart aches for him, even though some of his behavior has been extremely frustrating and counter-productive. I’m so worried about his deteriorating mental health and feel overwhelmed and unprepared for how to best care for him from a distance. Adulthood = hard. 😦

After a particularly sad conversation with my dad, I came home to find poor Abby stuck, sprawled out on the kitchen floor. She’d apparently fallen and accidentally pushed away the mat I have in place to help her get traction. She’s fine on carpet but just flails and struggles on slicker surfaces. It was clear she’d been stuck awhile, which absolutely gutted me. I felt awful for not having come home earlier and for not thinking to move her kibble & water to a carpeted room. Even when I helped her get up, she could barely stand or move. I’m guessing with her arthritis, she was staved up and sore from being in such an uncomfortable position for several hours. *bawl* My poor senior girl! We took a looong, slow walk and by the end of it, she was getting around a little better. Once we got back, she plopped down at my feet, heaved a big ol’ sigh, and sawed logs until morning. In the days since then, we’ve taken lots of walks and she seems back to her usual self but I’m ever-more aware that our time is limited.

The next afternoon, I was headed to meet B for lunch when I realized I’d lost my keys. After searching high & low, I found them outside next to a fresh pile of some random dog’s poo. I’d apparently dropped them the night before when I was clearing up Abby’s deposit. What a weekend!

I’ve been spinning my wheels lately working on a blog pitch to chronicle my post-surgery life. (As of last check, I’ve lost 85 pounds!) I have Friday off so I’m hoping to stop being a perfectionist & stop beating up on myself for taking so long and finish the damn thing then. I’ll keep you posted about what happens & hopefully in the meantime will be back here soon. Oh and one more thing: if you have the same kind of crazy as I do & suffer with perfectionism, check out Amber Adrian’s awesome, normalizing, solution-oriented Recovering Perfectionist essays & consider signing up for her equally-awesome newsletter. Today’s edition was especially helpful. Let me know if you’d like me to forward it to you.

Protective Pup

August 5, 2011

Abby has always performed these instinctual, protective rituals at night. Once everyone is settled into their sleeping quarters, she hovers until she feels her “flock” is safe and calm. Only then will she go to sleep. For most of her life, as soon as I got into bed, she would get her bone, hop up on the bed, and chew it until I fell asleep, after which she’d sleep too. When others would spend the night, they’d comment on her loud chomping noises but it was part of our routine so I never noticed. (B would always complain about the loud jingling of “her necklace” – hee!) These days, my bed is too high for Abby’s old bones so she just hangs out near the bed until she’s satisfied I’m down for the night.

When I first got Abby, I was still a youngin living with my Mom so we were both formative parts of her puppyhood. Even though it was only a few months before I moved out, my Mom had a special relationship with Abby. To this day whenever she’s around, Abby defers to her as the ultimate alpha.  My Mom recently came for a visit and while she was here, I slept on the couch so she could enjoy my comfy bed. This meant Abby’s nightly patrol was doubled. She went back and forth between the bedroom and living room, checking and fretting before she would rest. While I was sleeping on the couch closer to her level, I discovered she would only stop checking on me once my eyes were closed. There were a few nights when I couldn’t sleep so I just pretended so she wouldn’t feel like she had to keep checking on me. Feigning sleep with a grin on my face in the dark night reminded me how lucky I am to have shared a life with such a wonderful, loving creature.

While my Mom was here, she was kind enough to sort through my mountain of gallbladder surgery bills. I was so overwhelmed with the paperwork and amount I owed, I just started making payments, followed by rocking in the fetal position and quietly whimpering. I should note that because I had to have emergency surgery, it was much more expensive than it would’ve been otherwise. That combined with my multiple visits to the ER totaled over $30,000! I’m lucky enough to have insurance but my portion of that was over $5000, or at least I thought it was. My Mom found a TWO THOUSAND DOLLAR error in my favor! I called my insurance and the lady I spoke with was like, “Yeah, this was processed by a computer and it makes mistakes. You have to call.” Can you believe that?? Again, I’m grateful to have insurance but that is infuriating.

My birthday is this weekend, so I’ve got plans to relax and have fun with the gang. And before I go, here are 7 things I’m loving this Thursday:

This cute way to dress up an open cabinet:
Cabinet Skirt

Chic Ginnifer Goodwin:
Ginnifer Goodwin

This creative wrapping:
Creative Wrapping

These awesome retro skates:
Skates

This easy, yum party food idea – chocolate chips in raspberries:
Chocolate Chips in Raspberries

Annabelle’s adorable lamb:
Lamb

Dreamy Bora Bora:
Bora Bora

Movin’ Along

June 21, 2011

I can’t believe it’s almost July! Summers always seem to fly by but June has been especially busy with the MOM (Month of Movement) challenge. We’re talking about making it a SOM: Summer of Movement and keeping up the momentum through July and August. It’s a bit daunting but the rewards are so worth it! Even though it can be difficult to fit in a work out every day, I feel great physically and mentally and have a new awareness of my body and how I spend my time. Each day we log our activity in a Facebook group. I love sharing my experiences and reading about everyone’s ups and downs. There have been several times when I’ve felt lazy but the thought of the group has encouraged me to push onward. Some of us are exercising every day and others have different schedules, depending on whatever commitment they want to make. You’re welcome to join us any time; we’d love to have you! Drop me an e-mail and I’ll add you to our group. mymsie [at] gmail [dot] com

Edited to add my MOM entry for today:

  • Day of the month: 21st
  • Laps I swam: 50
  • Seconds I flashed my boob to 2 lifeguards before realizing what was happening: 5
  • Knowledge that my suit top no longer provides proper support: PRICELESS

Several of you asked about Abby so I thought I’d give you an update. After The Great Urine Collecting Incident of 2011, the vet said all the tests came back negative. I’d kept her urine in the fridge for a day (at the vet’s suggestion) before I could bring it in and was afraid that tainted the results. I collected another sample and took it to the vet immediately. The test showed she did have an infection, poor bippy, so I got meds for her. She’s doing better now. The arthritis has definitely slowed her down but she still seems happy. We go for regular walks and she usually gets frisky and runs a little each time. We’re still locked in a tense battle over the bathroom floor. Because it’s cool, Abby sleeps in there during the day but the slippery tile makes it difficult for her to get up. I’ve put down mats and rugs to give her traction but she continues to snarf them out of the way, preferring to sleep on just the tile. My stubborn girl!

Over the weekend, Moxy and I had a lovely date with B. A client gave him a gift card to beef mecca, Ruth’s Chris Steak House. He also scored tickets to see the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra perform Beethoven’s 9th, so we all got dolled up and made a night of it. None of us are big red meat eaters but the restaurant had plenty of other options. I had the sea bass, which was very yummy, with its lucious buttery, garlic-y Panko-topping. The service bordered on obsequious but we all understood that some people might complain if there wasn’t enough fawning.

After dinner, we walked to the nearby symphony. It was raining and Moxy and I were wearing dress shoes, so we couldn’t walk very quickly. B was cruising along in front of us and at one point looked back and said “This way bitches!” We often speak to one another in ridiculous superlatives so Moxy and I didn’t bat an eyelash but a guy walking past heard B and looked at him like he was the king of Indianapolis. Hee! 🙂

The symphony was wonderful and lovely, especially when the chorus joined for the Ode to Joy. Moxy and I also had a ball people watching the whole night. At dinner, we were seated beside an older gentleman with an attractive, MUCH-younger woman, who we ultimately decided was an escort. We were close enough to them to eavesdrop and carefully observe their body language. (Stalker alert!) Then we got into a debate about the industry of paid companionship. B was more sympathetic than Moxy and I, giving his standard “Look at the origin of the behavior” speech. What do you think?

Maybe if I blogged more often, my posts wouldn’t be so long, huh? More soon!

Tinkle Tale

May 20, 2011

Last weekend I was humbled by the indelicate task of retrieving a specimen of Abby’s urine. I’m sharing this because if you’ve been a reader for even a short time, you know how glamorous my life is and this is no doubt the kind of captivating story that keeps you coming back. Normally the patient, experienced vet techs get urine samples but Abby went on strike and refused to pee. She was probably mad because she thought we were merely taking a walk, when instead we were going to the vet. It’s right across the street from my apartment so we stroll over as it’s easier than loading her into the car, where she pants and chirps and sheds 10 layers of fluff. Now we’ve taken the walk enough times that she knows a certain direction equals vet time so the next time we go, I’ll probably have to tie a piece of bacon to a string and hang it in front of her face to coax her.

You’re probably wondering how one retrieves urine from a hound, so let me tell you. The vet gave me a fancy plastic tray with lots of convenient little divots for urine to pool in. You simply follow your pup and in one swift movement, thrust the tray under her booty as she expels. Because I’m a hard-headed eejit, I didn’t think that would work and why would I assume that experts knew what they were talking about anyway? Instead I tried shoving the tray in from the side. I anxiously pulled it out from under her to find only a few strands of booty fluff. This happened on a morning when a phone company technician was parked right by the potty area. The look he gave me as I performed the odd ritual made my face burn with humiliation.

The next morning I tried again using the technique the vet tech suggested. I had to sort of lift Abby’s big fluffy tail to get the tray positioned properly. She turned her head around and looked at me like, “What in God’s name are you doing woman?” but happily filled the tray with revolting pools of pee pee. I was so excited that I jumped up but then remembered the shame I’d felt the day before when I was being watched. I calmly looked around and saw no witnesses, after which I skipped inside to pour the specimen into a cup.

The reason I needed to collect urine was Abby had been begging to go out over and over, even when she’d already done her business. I thought she might have a UTI but the specimen revealed no problems. No doubt she was just torturing me for her own amusement.

This post can’t just be about piss so I’ll also mention that I went to the fabric store last week and was shocked to find that it had been totally renovated. I hadn’t been literally in months because I decided not to allow myself to buy anymore fabric until I used some of my stash. Still, I feel like I should’ve been notified about the changes and sent a detailed layout of the new floor plan so I could study it and not feel so at odds in what normally feels like home. The reason I broke my fabric store fast was to get embroidery floss for this adorable pattern, which I plan to hang in my bathroom. I’ve only ever cross stitched but the pattern Web site has great how-to videos so I’m excited to give it a whirl.

Edited to add: I feel compelled to come clean and tell you that I also bought fabric at the fabric store. I had seen this adorable pear print on Flickr & just couldn’t resist. And it was on sale! Do you see now why I can’t go often?

Pear Fabric

Why I Don’t Vacuum More Often

March 30, 2011

Abby and I had a fight last night after what shall henceforth be known as The Unfortunate Tech Suck of 2011. In the ensuing kerfuffle, I opened my front door hoping to air out the 10 tons of dust I’d just released into my apartment. She took advantage of the opportunity and sneaked outside. That wasn’t a big deal but she would not come back in, no matter what I said or did. I had to say the Serenity Prayer 7 times and eventually bent my will entirely to her ever-changing moods, knowing that she would soon relent and priss inside, which she did, followed by eying her treats as though that behavior warranted positive reinforcement. I felt bad getting upset with her because in the last few weeks, she’s really slowed down and it’s becoming more real to me that I don’t have much time left with my sweet girl. She started having more trouble getting around, unable to jump onto a chair she liked to snooze in and favoring her front leg. She’d also lost a bit of weight and seemed completely put-off by her kibble. The decline happened so fast and I was a complete wreck at the thought of losing her. I took her to the vet and ended up bursting into tears because my mind was full of worst-case scenarios. The vet started her on arthritis medicine and it’s helped tremendously. She’s been frisky and seems like her usual self but I’m still acutely aware that our time is limited, so I hate to spend it yelling at her to get her “fluffy booty inside right this minute!”

The whole mess started when I decided I had to dust and vacuum, lest my apartment be quarantined. I should mention that I hate vacuuming. Of all the chores, it’s my least favorite. I should also mention that a few weeks ago, during one of my all-too-infrequent tidying sessions, I noticed my vacuum wasn’t sucking up anything. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong and then suddenly remembered that my vacuum had a bag. I have no idea how or why I forgot that but I wish you could’ve seen/lifted the overflowing bag. It was beyond stuffed and weighed at least 10 pounds. (Moxy & Lean will vouch for me, as I saved the bag for them to laugh and point at.) I hadn’t changed it in at least a year and I think it’d been longer. I’m only telling you this so you’ll pity my feeble mind and truly understand the pathetic nature of my housekeeping.

With that in mind, last night I found myself vacuuming and came to a pile of techno-ephemera in my living room. I carelessly commenced to sucking up the dust bunnies in and around the pile and soon noticed I was sucking up a flash drive. My heart sank because I thought it contained all my precious pictures from the last 6 years, which had been miraculously salvaged from my old shithead laptop by my sweet and patient friend George. I turned off the vacuum as quickly as I could, but could already hear the scratching of bits and pieces being flung into the bowels of my vacuum cleaner. I eventually salvaged a tiny, very-damaged chip and a piece of the casing to the flash drive…which summarily informed me that it was just a random spare I had lying around and not the valuable memory-holding grail I thought it was. By this time I had already texted George 100 times and ripped the bag out of the vacuum cleaner, spilling dust and Abby fluff all over my living room.

Now of course the question is: where the hell is the important flash drive? I searched my office today and apart from discovering that it too is dusty and disorganized, I didn’t find anything. I have an idea where it is, but that brings me to another story and I think you’ve suffered enough for one day. More soon!

If I Could Turn Back Time

February 3, 2011

Remember a few weeks ago when I was excited for snow so I could wear my new boots? I would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize for that lunacy. Unfortunately it’s only now, 3 days into one of the worst winter storms I’ve ever endured that I’m able to see the error of my ways. We haven’t gotten that much snow but the ice? Oh dear God, the ice. Everything is covered in a sickeningly shiny sheet, so thick it doesn’t even break when I stand on it. The upshot is that my work’s been closed for 2 days and is again tomorrow but I haven’t really been able to enjoy the break because I’ve been fretting about falling, losing power (thankfully haven’t so far), and poor Abbs. She can barely stand to pee and poo outside. She already moves more slowly now that she’s 13 but today on the ice, she fell over and over again and each time my heart broke. I tried to explain to her what was going on but she clearly didn’t understand.

I haven’t had to keep her on a leash for years now. She generally stays pretty close to me wherever we go but she seems to enjoy the freedom especially during potty breaks. Because it’s so slick, I’ve had to start taking her out on leash so she can’t get too far away from me and she is NOT happy about it. She keeps lookin’ at me with these big ol’ doe eyes pleading, “Why am I hooked up to this dumb thing?” Poor pupper. On top of everything, her nails need to be trimmed. I’m hoping to take her to the vet’s tomorrow for a trim & bonus ear cleaning, which I’m sure she’ll love.

Once the sidewalks had been scraped today, I ventured out to get salt to sprinkle on the grass. It seems to be helping but it’s still all but impossible to move around. I am so grateful I have covered parking so I didn’t have to de-ice my car. I’ve also never been more grateful for all the people who scrape and plow when the weather is like this. I have a newly inflamed loathing for winter. Spring can’t come soon enough! Thankfully I was also able to hit the pool tonight and swim laps, followed by a fun dinner with the gang. I’m hoping to do some sewing tomorrow and even though we’re well into 2011, I still need to finish up my 2010 MymBOs post. More soon!