Wry Exchange

07-07-09, 2:08 am
Filed under: Home, hosting | Tags: , ,

  Sorry to everyone who still checks in with me.  Life has interfered with my writing since I’ve been home.  Let’s update:

BadLab:  Losing weight, and not so happy about it.  He’s turned into a picky eater.

GoodDobie:  No seizures, and insulin is up to 20ccs twice daily.  He’s lost his sight completely in the last week-10 days.   He was adjusting well, and BadLab has been fantastic about watching over him and helping.   Last Thursday, I couldn’t find GoodDobies eyeballs.   He was scrunching his eyes shut, and when I pried them open, all I saw was red, yucky, and empty.  (The third eyelid was up. duh.)   The vet saw him Friday morning, and found his eyes.  🙂  GoodDobie has severe conjunctivitis.  The vet said it looked like he was pepper-sprayed.  We think maybe he ran into some poison ivy in the backyard?  He has bacitracin ointment, and amoxicillin.  On the other hand, he’s back up to 84 pounds, and eating well.

Chef and Mrs. Chef:  Chef has car insurance, so they have some independence.  They’re getting better about not cleaning and organizing all.the.time.  The kitchen table has some clutter.  We convinced them we eat pizza in the living room.  The doggy toys are all neatly lined up, and I can’t find a few things that I’m certain are ‘put away.’  Husband likes to tease Mrs. Chef.  I brought back 2 weeks worth of hotel shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and soap to donate to a local women’s shelter.    I emptied my bag on the bathroom table, and she had everything lined up within 10 minutes.  I put my personal items away, and she re-lined up the travel sizes in order.  Husband moves them around on the table or pulls a few out of line.  They quickly return to formation.  She’s a sweet girl, and they are trying so hard.

WryDad:  Husband and WryDad are very close.  Husband called WryDad a ‘fucktard.’   I spoke with WryDad one night about 10 days ago. He didn’t say anything, WryMom never called.   Husband called WryDad from the hospital (next story) and WryDad said he was in the hospital for a few days, but ‘don’t worry.’   My parents took in a feral cat and her newborn litter around Easter.  They were taking the kittens to get fixed, momma cat didn’t like that.  She scratched and bit my father.  His doctor started him immediately on antibiotics.  The next morning his arms were bruised and swollen, with red streaks running from his fingers up his arms.  He went to the doctor who called the hospital for a bed.  WryDad was in the hospital for 3-4 days getting IV Cipro.  He just finished oral antibiotics.  I still haven’t asked about the cat.

WryMIL:  Husband isn’t close to his family.  He doesn’t see or speak with them.   It used to be because of abuse and hurt feelings, but now it’s indifference.  They will call Husband if they need money or something fixed.  A sibling called to say WryMIL was being lifeflighted from a local hospital to one in the big city.   We’re grateful she called.  Husband has spend much time at the hospital these last 2 weeks.   WryMIL had open heart surgery to implant tubes and wires for 2 mechanical pumps yesterday.  Her heart is quite fragile, and she’ll be sedated for the next few days.   It’s awkward.  Family members are crying, and I sit there trying to be invisible.  Husband sits a little apart from the family, but is cordial to them.

That’s my  update.


Culture Shock in my Home
06-21-09, 12:31 am
Filed under: Culture, Depression, Home, hosting | Tags: , , ,

 I am home.  I love home.  I missed Husband and the doggies.   Husband missed me, GoodDobie looks great, but BadLab is a porker.  I can’t feel his ribs, and he has a little pot belly.  No more rice and hamburger for him.  My baby Dell is here, with new innards.  I’ve been adjusting and installing today.

The other big news?  Chef and Mrs. Chef moved in with us.  They arrived a few days after I left.  Mrs. Chef had never been out of Chile before.  Chef was last here in August, and they married in April.  They’re looking for engineering jobs here.  They have lots of free time.  I thought it would be easier for Mrs. Chef to settle in without me around.  I want her to be comfortable here.  She’s adjusting well, and the dogs love her.

I returned home at 2:30am today.   (GoodDobie jumped all the way up to kiss me.  He hardly ever stood up even when he was healthy and strong.)  I walked in, and the changes were staggering.     The kitchen, and both living rooms.  Our house is over 100 years old, and we have 2 living rooms.  I assume one was once the parlor.   The upstairs bathroom and third bedroom were rearranged, too.   Anyone who knows me in real life knows I am oblivious to a lot.  I don’t notice things.   For me to be exhausted and notice all the changes was a surprise.  I still haven’t been to the basement.  Can’t take the shock.

Husband requested they not ‘clean’ his office, toolbench, our bedroom, and the third bedroom.  I use the third bedroom to keep my clothing and ironing board.   They haven’t touched the first three areas, but ‘my’ room is all rearranged.   I had clothes in different piles on the headboard/bookcase to sell on eBay, donate, or be mended.  They are all ironed, damp, and folded nicely on the bureau.  The shelves were cleared off except for junk, my scarves moved, the ironing board moved, and everything rearranged.  Apparently, she likes to iron.  She irons everything, including washcloths.

The bathroom door was closed, shower curtain closed, handwash in the bathtub, 3 scatter rugs on the floor, tp hung backwards, and blinds slanted differently.   I know it sounds petty, but we’ve lived in this house for 30 years, and Husband grew up in this house.  It’s all different.   I emptied out my travel cosmetic and bathroom bags onto the small table in the bathroom.  She lined everything up in neat rows. 

We’ll skip the kitchen and backyard, but my bookshelves.   My bookshelves.   Husband built a wall of bookshelves in our front room.  I have them arranged just so, and they’re accented with photos and tchochkes picked up from our travels.   I regularly purge books by moving them to the attic or donating.  I’m anal enough about the books that they’re arranged down to Chile-travelogues, Chile-language, and Chile-history.  I have Spanish dictionaries on one shelf, and all other languages on another.  Half of the shelves are nonfiction reference and travel, and the other half is fiction and art books.   The books are now arranged by size.    “Diving in the Caribbean” is now next to a Diane Arbus photography book.    I don’t see my little piece of the Berlin Wall anywhere.   “Lamb” by Christopher Moore is next to “The Book of Nothing.”  The photos, boxes, and decorations are all rearranged. 

Most women would probably feel violated by someone going through their clothes or makeup, but the books are what killed me.    I want to move it all back into place, but it would hurt her feelings.  Thankfully I have an appointment with the wacko doctor on Monday.

Pre-Owned Dobermans are Tough
05-11-09, 12:40 am
Filed under: Home | Tags: ,

 GoodDobie is a good, used Doberman.   We adopted him from Hand Me Down Dobes out of Columbus, Ohio.  They have volunteers all throughout Ohio and nearby states.   The dogs range from puppies to senior dogs.   The dogs live with foster families, and tested for behavior with small children, cats, and other dogs.

GoodDobie is between 10 and 12.  Our 5 other Dobies have lived to age 10.  We’ve only had him three years.  He didn’t recognize us last night, and backed away when we came toward him to bring him in the house after peeing.  Husband grabbed him and carried him in.  We think he was remembering his old families, and was afraid.  He had a good, strong day today.  We’ve upped the insulin to 12 units, and lowered the phenobarbital to ¾ of a tablet.  We didn’t have anything to lose by playing with the dosages.  We don’t want seizures, or a zombie.

I made doggy food for him yesterday.  5lbs of hamburger, box of barley, half a box of rice, frozen asparagas, and frozen broccoli all cooked.  He enjoyed it all but the broccoli, but BadLab loves broccoli.  He also has hardboiled eggs for treats.

Dobie Drugs
05-07-09, 10:23 pm
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Poor GoodDobie is whipped.  He had a seizure yesterday morning and last night after his shots.   With the vet’s blessing, we cut the insulin in half.  This morning he had a seizure before the shot.    It’s taking him longer to become himself each time.  He sleeps long and hard after the seizures.  We got Phenobarbital today for him, and he’s a happy, drunk little monkey.  No seizure tonight, but we think his eyes are going. 

We are not ready to have the ‘quality of life’ discussion, but we are both thinking of it.   He has 20-22 good hours daily, and we’ll see how the Phenobarbital works.   He’s been romping in the house, and running around chasing BadLab outside.  He’s eating and drinking well.

BadLab has been a wonderful protector.  He helps GoodDobie, and alerted Husband to this morning’s seizure.  He goes out with GoodDobie, and stands watch in the backyard.  He sleeps touching him. 

The vet isn’t sure if the diabetes and seizures are related.  He’s asking specialists.  The strangest thing is after the insulin injections,  GoodDobie starts humping BadLab.  He’s not a humpy dog, it’s really out of character, and he’s not good at it.  BadLab doesn’t care.   He’s happy to play.

04-07-09, 10:53 pm
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 I haven’t written about our dogs for a while.  GoodDobie and BadLab love that Spring is here, and regular walks have returned.   We went for a long walk last week, and I wore them out.  Too ambitious, too fast.  BadLab will be nine in November, and GoodDobie is between 10 and 12 years old.  GoodDobie is from a rescue group, so we don’t know his exact age.

GoodDobie went to the vet today, and goes back Tuesday.   The poor guy started falling apart last week.   A typical Doberman lifespan is 10 years old.   Our dogs always get sick on Friday afternoons.  I’m convinced they do it on purpose since it buys them a few days to see if they really need to see the doctor.   GoodDobie has a hard lump under his eye.   He let Husband look inside his mouth without flinching, and it’s not tender at all.  He’s also been drinking tons of water, and wants to go out all the time.   His body shape is changing, and he occasionally won’t life his leg or squat when he ‘goes.’  

Part of it is arthritis, and we’ve started him on glucosumine and chondroiten.  The vet said the drinking/peeing could be related to the arthritis.  (I didn’t quite understand that, but really wasn’t paying attention after we discussed the lump.)    The big thing is the sudden lump.  He has antibiotics for the next week, and Tuesday he goes for blood tests, X-rays, and hopefully a pulled tooth under anesthesia.  The vet is concerned the tooth isn’t abscessed since it doesn’t hurt, smell, seep, or anything.  

Whatever happens, we know he is happy with us, and we’re thrilled we adopted him.  He isn’t in pain, just a bit embarassed about peeing like a girl.    It will be tough to leave him at the vet’s, we don’t want him to think we’re dumping him off like his previous owners, and BadLab will go nuts without his buddy even for a few hours.  We can sit and wait in the parking lot.

Is This a Joke?
03-20-09, 1:45 am
Filed under: Exchange Program | Tags: ,

 A girl emailed me last night asking for help.  She lives nearby, and wants to be an exchange student next year.  

 She’s late, we are too far along in the process.   She completed her application in December, and sent it to Fearless Leader.  Fearless Leader acknowledged receipt, and told the girl she’d let her know where and when to go for her interview.  She’s still waiting.  She’s called a few times, and has been told ‘soon.’

We can go a few ways here.  It’s a prank to see what I’ll do.  It’s a trap for me somehow.   Ms. Fearless Leader is losing it, or just wants to kill the program.

Husband and others say it’s too late.  I’m inclined to say it’s not her fault.  The student did what she was supposed to do.  She has missed important training sessions.  I would be willing to train her one-to-one.  She shouldn’t be penalized just because ‘we’ screwed up.  We need more information.

Every time I think we hit bottom, we find another level.  I’ll see China by the time this year is over.   Another outgoing student is coming home for family illness reasons.  

And people wonder why I just like to hide in bed with BadLab and GoodDobie.    They both puked this morning.  We think I walked them too far yesterday.  GoodDobie is probably 12, and BadLab is 8½.  At least they didn’t barf in bed.

Attack Balloons
01-15-09, 12:44 am
Filed under: Home | Tags: ,

 Badlab jumped in the shower with me when I had my eyes closed to wash my hair this morning.   So I washed his hair, too.  It’s been a while since he has hopped in the bathtub.  I think it was because of the killer attack balloons.

I filled the bathroom ceiling with mylar balloons today for Husband’s birthday.  He gets up, and goes in the bathroom in the dark.  All the ribbons hanging down got him.   It had to feel like cobwebs all over his face.  

When I pulled the balloons into the hall later, both dogs ran like hell.  I don’t think either one has ever seen a helium balloon before.    I also filled the floor of the downstairs powder room with black balloons.  I didn’t plan on putting them there, but Badlab went nuts when I started blowing them up.  I gave him one and he played with it for almost an hour before it popped.   He held it gently in his mouth, but ran all around like a puppy.  GoodDobie was up in bed, toys are beneath him.

Husband had a good birthday, with many good wishes from around the world.