Tag Archives: Puppies

Sucker Punched

tuckered emmylouA few weeks ago, I fell for no good reason and landed on my knees.  The impact was such that I’m quite sure I left an impression in the concrete sidewalk.  One knee was torn up and developed a horrendous scab; the other swelled to the size of a softball.  Both of them astonished me with their cries of pain.

The pain took my breath.  For a good four days, I couldn’t stand or sit or walk or lie down without pain so intense I was reminded of labor.  The pain wasn’t baby-producing intense, but it did provoke the same sort of awe.

This week, I got news that sucker-punched me.  No.  Nobody died.  My relationships are all intact except maybe for the relationship I have with myself.  For several days, my self-esteem has been crying out with the same level of pain as did my knees.

I have decided to get over it.

Today, I spent my time in the much neglected garden doing triage.  I didn’t get as far as I had hoped due to the electric lawnmower dying, but I accomplished much in getting my equilibrium (and self-esteem) back.  The puppies frolicked in the warm spring air and I tended to tender plants while guiltlessly executing weeds and banishing leaves.

Gardening season is upon me.  I much prefer the awe of an Appalachian spring over the awe of surprise pain.

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Filed under May 2015

The Winter of My Content

march snow 034The past four days have been an adventure.  Between Wednesday night and Thursday, I found 10 inches of snow outside The Barn.  With great glee, I celebrated the announcement that a certain community college was closed both Thursday and Friday.  At my place of employment, this means we are also closed and I don’t have to burn vacation days due to heavy snow.  It doesn’t take a lot of snow to trap me on the hill and nearly a foot was way overkill.

We had eight inches of snow over the President’s Day weekend.  I ended up with a full week off of work.  It was a lovely respite, but I did nothing but sleep, eat, read and watch Downton Abbey.

I had big plans for these four days off, but as John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.”  I seem to be in major nesting mode – I want The Barn to look as wonderful as I think it is, so a thorough cleaning was in order.  I also was looking forward to cooking.  After not cooking for most of the past ten years, I’m suddenly interested in it again.

march snow 003Day 1 of my four-day weekend, Thursday, I did some triage cleaning (Chez Barn was/is a Superfund Site) and finally finished putting all the Christmas stuff away.  Yes, yes.  I know, March, but, hell, it was July one year. I’m ahead of schedule!  It was so nice having my living room back that I wallowed in that room and admired the gorgeous snow and sunshine out my window.  It was very Dr. Zhivago-ish.  I also made the starter dough for a new sticky bun recipe.  I’m on a quest for the perfect sticky bun.  The potato soup I made for dinner was spectacular!  I could win a soup contest, my potato soup is just that good.

Friday morning, I woke up with a head of steam to clean and bake.  I turned the starter dough into finished dough and had it set to rise when the power went out at 9 a.m.  I trundled my butt-that-doesn’t-need-even-a-single-sticky-bun-much-less-a-dozen down to my folks’ house to see if they had power.

march snow 057They didn’t.  But they had a fireplace and the hearth proved a perfect spot to make old-fashioned percolator coffee.  After visiting with them for awhile, I took the big camera out for a photo shoot of Ma Nature’s glorious handiwork.  I tromped around Onafork and took some stellar photos, some mediocre, and some just bad.  (See the gallery below.)

When I returned, I called Appalachian Power and reported the outage.  I was told it would be repaired at 10 p.m. Sunday.  SUNDAY!  I was miffed.  One cannot clean and bake in a cold, dark house with no electricity.  I mean, really, it already looks like I clean in the dark.

potato soupBy the afternoon, The Barn was getting cold – 55F, to be exact.  I trundled back down to my folks’ after defrosting the windows of my car and cleaning off the snow.  I wanted to be ready in the event of an emergency.

We all sat around drinking coffee, laughing about how we were out of wood and having to burn old software manuals, and eating the leftover potato soup I made on Thursday.

Software manuals put out a great deal of heat.  We were comfortable and told stories.  Eventually, I went back home to sleep.  I have a heavy down comforter on my bed as well as a heavy bedspread.  I was confident I would be warm enough.  And I was.

march snow 006Saturday, I went back down to the parents’ house, because the only way to be comfortable in my then 42F house was to be in the bed.  One can only stay in bed alone for so long.  Plans were made for them to go to a hotel.  I decided to stay here and tend to critters.  By that time, we were down to broken furniture to burn in the fireplace.  A cheesy “wood” chair made in Yugoslavia doesn’t burn nearly as well as do software manuals.  Surprise, surprise.

Nonetheless, I was all zen and accepting of life’s curve ball when I discovered I had left my car running, ran the battery down and my phone was down to 10% power.  The only way I had to charge the phone was the car charger and that wasn’t going to work with a dead battery.  I lamented on Facebook and my friend/contractor sent his son over to jump my car.

I have been so blessed with the people in my life.  My boss texted me often to see if there was anything she could do to help.  Other friends called.  My Facebook world fretted about my well-being.  I don’t know what I ever did to deserve the friendships I have, but I’m very grateful.

at my parentsSaturday evening was spent in a haze of wine and contentment.  It would have been nice to have had some music, but, alas, I was short of that perfection.  I left my folks’ house at about 11 p.m. and returned to my toasty bed.  If nothing else, I did get a lot of sleep.  I drifted off convinced that the power company was lying to me and I would wake to power on Sunday morning.

Well.  I woke up this morning and I still didn’t have power.  Zounds!

Back like a boomerang, I went to my parents’ house yet again.  The fire had gone out and I couldn’t get that Yugoslavian chair to light to save my life.  Besides the cold factor, the more important problem was that I couldn’t make coffee.  I have a serious coffee addiction.  It was a dire situation.  After about an hour, in walked my parents with coffee and sausage biscuits.  Again, I was suffused with gratitude.

And then the power came back on, well before 10 p.m.  There was great celebration and I returned home to bake and clean and blog and upload photos and do laundry and put emergency light sources away…and…and…

It’s been a wonderful day.   The sticky buns turned out a tad gummy, but recipe tweaking should take care of that.  The house is still a mess and laundry isn’t even half done, but I am happy and content. These days  it’s good to be me – the winter of my content.  Contentment may well be the best state of being.  I know I’m certainly enjoying it.

 

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Filed under March 2015

Frauleinen Gertrude Von Whomper

jeremyandtrudySo, a week ago Frauleinen Gertrude von Whomper left us.  She’d been diagnosed with an enlarged heart and heart failure in December.

trudyandmeI was a wreck just before Christmas.  I was afeared her diagnosis was a death sentence and it turns out it was.  I knew her death would take a toll on me and annihilate my son.

Trudy, as she was known, was my birthday present 12 years ago.  She was a red dachshund and a spoiled brat.

She was our second dachshund.  In a tragic accident, I ran over Frauleinen Stephanie von Whomper. I seriously did not know if I could live through her death.  I grieved and I grieved hard, especially as it was my fault. Stevie was a Cracker Jack and I mourned her hard.

After a few weeks, we couldn’t stand coming home to an empty house any longer and we “rescued” Willy the Italian Greyhound from a local pet store.  Six months after that, I was ready for another dachshund and Trudy came to our home from a trailer in South Point, Ohio.

trudybratAs dachshunds are wont, Trudy was independent, needy, spoiled, and a complete delight.  She had the prettiest eyes.    She and Willy bonded.  They were quite the pair.  More importantly, she and my son bonded.  It was the Great American Love Story.

A few years ago, my son called and said, “Yo, Mom.”  Any conversation that starts with “Yo, Mom” is to be taken very seriously.  As it turns out, he was working up the courage to ask me to let Willy and Trudy come live with him in Charlotte.  He really wanted just Trudy, but she and Willy were a bonded pair.

Chef Boy ‘R Mine and Stevie had been very close.  We got Willy because he couldn’t handle another dachshund.  When I wanted to bring Trudy home, he said, “Whatever.”  Who knew that she would become the most important creature in hi life?

They fell in love with each other almost immediately.

As it turns out, I was ready to let Chef Boy ‘R Mine have the two dogs.  It was the right time and they were better off with him than me.

Trudy went into heart failure a week ago today.  My son had to make the horrible decision to have her euthanized.  Evidently, he tried to call me in the moments of grief but it was late.  I was sleeping and didn’t hear the phone ring the four times before it went to the answering machine.

I hate that I wasn’t there for him.

We’re going to miss Trudy.  She was something special.  My heart just aches.

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Filed under January 2015

Happy Day of the Dead

The Beautiful Babette and Doug

The Beautiful Babette and Doug

Today I’ve been reflective about all the changes that have occurred in the past few years – chief of these the loss of Doug, my partner, and The Beautiful Babette, the sweetest Shih Tzu of all time.

5834854826_53e1ba9362_z (2)The Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations are joyous affairs. While reflective, I was also happy in my memories of Doug and Babette today. It’s been long enough that it doesn’t hurt to think about them. I like the idea that they might be walking among us today and tomorrow. I hope they’re together and I hope they think of me as fondly as I think of them.

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Filed under November 2014

Emmylou

EmnyLou 012I am just as pleased as I can be. I have a Dachshund puppy.  Yeah, yeah, I know I said I wanted to wait until spring, but we all knew that wasn’t going to happen.

I searched Craigslist, the entire eastern seaboard and much of the Midwest , for a puppy to no avail. It wasn’t until my early morning, not enough coffee, attempt in which I misspelled Dachshund and found a female puppy about 40 miles down the road in Kentucky at a price I was willing to pay.

She’s a beauty. I had thought I wanted a red, smooth hair Dachshund.  What I have is a coal black, smooth hair Dachshund.  She’s black velvet and midnight giggles.  She’s just perfect.

I am so happy.

EmnyLou 040And so is Phoebe. So far Emmylou (she’s a blue, Kentucky girl) has played with Phoebe’s toys, eaten Phoebe’s food, monopolized Phoebe’s mom and pretty much made herself at home.  Phoebe is all smiles.  I suspected she needed a playmate and I was right.

Dachshunds are special creatures. Nothing snuggles like a Dachshund.  And they make these cute little sounds and they’re just so damn cute.  I very much have a case of puppy love.

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Filed under October 2014

A New Puppy?

Trudy and Me

Trudy and Me

I’m thinking of getting a dachshund puppy. I’m awfully glad there are none for sale in the area right now, because my puppy fever is alarmingly high.  I need to think this through and I need to wait until spring because training will then be easier.

I spent the weekend dog-sitting, Dolleigh, for my parents. Phoebe had such a good time even though Dolleigh just tolerated her.  Having Dolleigh love on me as only a dachshund can was a delight.

When I was making the decision to get Phoebe, I vacillated between a dachshund and a Shih Tzu, finally deciding on Shih Tzu because they’re lower maintenance dogs and I felt I needed that for my life at the time.

Willy and Me

Willy and Me

As it turns out, I’m not sure Phoebe is as advertised. She was supposed to be a half Shih-Tzu, half Maltese mix which means she should be much smaller than she is.  She only vaguely resembles a Shih-Tzu.  She exhibits herding behaviors, runs in circles, and is not the couch potato her supposed breed should indicate.  As a point of fact, she’s pretty high maintenance.  I believe her mama had a dalliance with an Australian Shepherd.

I wouldn’t trade her for the world, but after dog sitting and seeing how much she enjoyed having a companion, I’m wondering if a second dog wouldn’t be good for her, too. Lord knows, there is nothing more fun than a dachshund puppy.  I would be in a constant state of delight.

I’ve had two dachshunds in my life. The most recent, Trudy, now lives with my son who is ridiculously in love with her.  I didn’t feel like I could stand between a boy and his dog once Chef Boy ‘R Mine had the ability to have a dog in his life.  So off Trudy and Willy, the Italian greyhound, went to live with him.  The two of them are unable to be separated.  They’re a bonded pair.

The other dachshund, Stevie, was the best dog who ever lived. She died in a tragic accident that was my fault and I still mourn her.

Stevie

Stevie

I’ve always said two dogs are easier than one. I do adore Phoebe, but she is usually much too busy to spend much time giving me lovings whereas dachshunds live to bestow affection upon their humans.  I crave a little furbody next to me.

There are downsides, of course, the expense and the irritations of puppyhood – chewing, house training, socializing. However, I think the decision is made to get a dachshund puppy.  Let’s hope I can wait until the timing is optimal.

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Filed under October 2014

Morning Sounds

2400 sq. ft. and here we all are

It’s a dreary Saturday morning.

The sound of the gentle rain on the roof and that of a snoring, old dog are comforting.

dolleighI’m on the sofa. Next to me is the old, snoring dog that I’m taking care of while my parents are out of town.  Dolleigh is snuggled underneath the sofa throw and seemingly content.  Behind me, on the back of the sofa, is Izzy, my black and white cat.  She, too, is sleeping but without the snoring – she’s far too young for such indignities.  Maggie, the old champagne-colored cat, is sprawled on the coffee table in front of me.  While old enough, she is quiet in her sleep.  Perhaps her cat nap isn’t deep enough. Phoebe, my somewhat Shih Tzu puppy, is nestled against me.  She is not sleeping.

Phoebe is jealous – the first sign I’ve seen that she is even a little bit territorial about my affection. She loves Dolleigh and this whole dog-sitting thing is a great adventure for her, but nonetheless, she does what she can to distract me from loving on Dolleigh, an impossibly fat and affectionate dachshund.

Dolleigh, in her old age and rotundness, invites affection. When I pet her, she lifts her muzzle to give me kisses.   She stays close to me, unlike Phoebe who is usually too busy with a toy or a cat to snuggle with me.  But with Dolleigh here, Phoebe is bestowing great gifts of affection and staying very close to me.

2400 sq. ft. and here we all sit.

IzzyIt is a gray, gloomy day, but, still, it is beautiful. The damp causes the changing leaves to glow in the mist.  I’ve sat here, loving on pets, and drinking coffee for several hours while staring out the atrium door to the backyard.  It’s just that kind of day – one that provokes a lazy stillness.  Later, perhaps, I will curl up with a book and read between my own cat naps.

This is a three-day weekend for me. I feel quite comfortable at the idea of spending this day doing nothing of any import.  It won’t surprise me, however, if I turn into a whirlwind of activity and tackle some household projects.

It’s that kind of day too– one pregnant with possibilities, but no agenda. I may wallow in the comfort of this sofa or I may tackle the disorganized mess of this house.  Either way, I’ll be steeped in contentment.  It’s just that kind of day.

2400 sq. ft. and here we all sit. I know if I get up, so will the animals.  All of them will follow me to whichever room I go.    If I do turn into a whirling dervish of activity, all of them will make their way back to the family room where they will continue to nap and snuggle with each other.

Whatever it is I end up doing, I think I will do it without music or television. I am loving the sounds of this rainy, dreary Saturday.

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Filed under October 2014