29 June 2013

Shaddow's Fading

My lil girl, my first pup, is soon to be twelve.  I got her when she was a two month old eager puppy, tumbling after her mother and her one other sibling who was not yet spoken for.  She was a soft fuzzy black sweet thing and her mom appeared to be a lab, tho I was not exactly sure.  I really didn't care.

So I scooped up the wriggling mass and took her home.  She followed my every move and slept lots.  That was troubling to me, an inexperienced doggie companion; that she slept sooooooooooOOOOoooo very much.  I knew babies slept lots, so it only made sense that a baby~dog would sleep lots too; but that much?

However she seemed happy and healthy, so I didn't worry overly much.  After we'd spent a few days together, I decided to call her "Shadow" cuz she either was at my heel, dogging my every step, or she was just under the edge of table, in its shadow, sleeping.  The doof I was seeing at the time {omg, such a huge ass mistake that, but thankfully short~lived...being "together"; tho the way he lived, I wouldn't be overly surprised if he himself didn't see his thirtieth birthday} had a leather collar made with a lil brass plate on it and misspelled her name.  So "Shaddow" she became and has been and will always will be.

Shaddow has been my constant companion {with the exception of the two months it took me to track her down with the doof 'napped her and then left her with his crackhead friends who then gave her to some methheads after she retrieved the neighbor's koi from his pond~~she's a lab, who loves water, and retrieving is her thang}.  So after I got her back to health {she'd been in a cat carrier, in a junkyard, scrunched up in her own feces and ammoniac urine...it still makes me sick, poor baby}, she and I resumed our relationship.  I promised I would never let anything like that ever happen to her again.  She remained a sweet, gentle girl; would stick close to me, but never did like lots of human contact after that.  She likes to be close, but not actually touching.

For the first half of Shaddow's life, we lived on a large farm.  I'd rented a small place on that farm and so she had lots of room to run and explore.  There were several ponds and being a lab, this suited her just fine.  The other folks had dogs, so she had lots of playmates.  She loved the nightlife and would go out and check out all the critters that roam nocturnal.  She was safe and happy.

I met my husband in December 2008, he fell in love with her too.  She had already started to have a lil problem with stiff joints.  So he built her a bed to replace her sofa.  It's a low frame that fits a toddler's crib mattress, so she's got room to sprawl out.  We moved to his place, which sits closer to a highway, but she has amble room to roam and she's smart about the road.  She had no problems adjusting.

She often greets my husband with puppyish hops and lots of wriggles.  It's one of the high points of his day, coming home to such an enthusiastic welcome.  Shaddow's been our big girl, as we now have a lil girl who has learned how to remain sweet from Shaddow's example.  Sophie will be three and we've had her since she was ten weeks old.  She is a chiweenie, tho favors the dachshund line in appearance.  Shaddow's been a good big sister to Sophie.  A great companion to me, a loyal friend with a big forgiving heart, and a wonderful first dog for me to have had.

Shaddow is aging not so well.  Her earlier trauma has had its toll.  Her joints are stiff, she moves slowly and awkwardly.  Her growth had been stunted, so her proportions are a bit off and now she is almost swaybacked.  She also has tumors throughout her body that are growing at a fast rate, one is pressing against her throat.

Most of the time, Shaddow seems to be happy, content to live and sleep.  She goes out and basks on the cement parking apron.  Or over in the soft field.  Comes in and climbs into her bed.  Sighs.  She eats, gets her treats, lays out on the porch.  Comes when called.  Sprawls next to me, on the cool tiles.

But I can tell she won't be with us much longer.  She's fading.  Sometimes she seems to be fading faster than others.  Sometimes I can still see her bouncing puppyish aura, happy to see her humans, happy to feel the fresh breeze, happy to get the treat.

But she no longer plays with Sophie.  She no longer wants to be bothered with the hustle and bustle of company.  She no longer roams, making her rounds to visit others.  She takes longer to stand from the prone, supine, or sprawled positions.

She whimpers now.  From time to time.  She seems to be in pain.  Now and then.  And I keep watch, because when it's time to say goodbye and let her go, I want to be able to send her on her way with love.  But I don't want to do that too soon.  But I want to be fair and do it on her time table, when she's ready.  But will I know when that is?  Will I be able to do the right thing by her and not hang onto her presence selfishly?

Shaddow's fading.  Fast.  Too fast for me.

25 June 2013

Pail of Paint

This past week, it was a busy one for the family.  My husband's youngest son and his wife came to visit.  She is six months pregnant with their first child, a lil girl whom I wrote about a few entries ago {Suthern Belle}.  They are moving into a new home, which has some planting plots in the backyard, so she's going to be able to raise a bit of garden with veggies and herbs.  Plus when they left yesterday, they took a blueberry "bush" {it didn't look bushy, but in a few years, it will}.

Also, my husband's eldest son's wife returned for the fastest visit ever, and managed to squeeze a defense in there too!  It was a successful defense of her dissertation, so congrats to Dr. Daughter~in~Law!!  Yea!!!!

We had a lil cook~out with the above folks, plus the new Dr's parents and my husband's mom and one of the other siblings {my husband's youngest, the baby, who isn't such a baby anymore, 25yrs old now}.  The following day, my husband's oldest {35yrs old} and her family were here for a bit to visit with her brother.  So of my husband's five adult children, four of them were represented this past weekend.  The one who was absent was sorely missed {my husband's middle child, is also his middle daughter, as he has three girls and two boys}.

One of the things that Suthern Belle's mom and I did was go to the local "paint your own" studio.  The one downtown was closed, so we went to the new one out closer to the college and a lil bit trendier.  The staff was helpful, the ceramic selection was good, and there were plenty of various glazes to go with too.  So I would return there again.

Long time readers may remember that last summer I painted my "fire in the bowl" piece.  This year, I painted my Sky Bowl.  That's what you see here.

Also pictured is a small piece which is actually brown rather than the red it can appear in this pic.  Brown and blue combined are one of the pairings that Suthern Belle's mom likes, so I thought she might could use this as a caddy to hold her used tea~bag when she sips her mug of peppermint.

That is, if she doesn't use her own lovely creations pictured here as well!

17 June 2013


I've been procrastinating in a major way.  In fact, you could say that I'm a master procraster!  But here is the first third of the repair project.  After I get the other hexes joined into strips and the strips joined together; then I will go a~tuckin' and a~weavin' in the ends of all the joining yarn and such.  And then I'll post a pic of the finished project.  But here is the project at one third done!

Oh yeah? Well, Spec This!

So this afternoon, I wrote to my lovely daughter {yes, I claim her, I share her with lots of others, but she lets me claim her, so I do!} the following:

"...is irregular painful period part of the whole perimenopause thing?!? is it? cuz i wanna rip my uterus out, inflate it, tie it shut with my fallopian tubes, and use it as a floatation device while i am drowning in pain...oh good times, good times them..."

Then my husband brought in my new glasses which have arrived in today's mail.  They are my progressive multi~focals.  I think I'll adjust just fine to them.  I have a pair, pictured here, for everyday wear {mostly indoor}.  And I have a second pair with gradient tint so that I can see outdoors with out scrunching up my entire face into one big scowl so I can get the best squint possible.  Often I would forget my shades until I was already blinded by the sun.  So this time, I am hoping having the gradient tint will prompt me to actually WEAR them when appropriate.  I used to wear gradients at all times, cuz the glare from the text book page would give me a friggen headache.  As a grad student who was taking max hours, teaching, researching, using computers, and blah blah blah...it was important to be headacheless as much as possible.  I got waaaaaayy off topic here, the point is, got the glasses and I'm a happyish camper.

Except for the friggen hellishness that is commonly referred to as "cramps".  I got the front cramps, the back cramps, and the side cramps.  The side cramps are something that I've been introduced to within the last two months.  Oh yea!!  Lucky honored me!  Yea!!  A new type of seemingly unreachable pain!  Yea!!

And there is this sorta weakness, nervelessness, numbness, tinglies that make my thighs quiver and jump.  Ya know that sorta buzzed~numbness that you experience after that initial sharp pain when some asshat delivers a knuckle punch {and why the hell do they think that's funny?!?}?  That's the sorta feeling I have from the waist down.  I think it's lack of blood flow cuz all the blood in my body has rushed to my lower torso.

So I finally admitted defeat and took something a bit stronger than a handful of naproxen sodium, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen.  It's kicked in.  I still have the pain, but now, I don't give a shit.

Our Girls

I love watching our girls sleeping; they relax so thoroughly that it's soothing just to see that.  Shaddow, the black lab, does this zen breathing that is so rhythmic and deep that I can feel my own breathing slow in synch with hers.  It's most peaceful to be with them.

07 June 2013

Creature from the Black Lagoon~1954

"It's a man in a rubber suit.  We know it's a man in a rubber suit.  YOU know it's a man in a rubber suit.  BUT it's a very well made rubber suit"

06 June 2013

Look, ma! I knit it myself!

Yeah, so I've been knitting for awhile, about two years now.  Sometimes I try different techniques, new stitches, strange fibers, etc.  I had some donated fuzzy stuff, mohair, that I had designated for knitting into items for charity {that's why the woman donated her yarn to me, so that I would then pass it on as shawls, blankets, hats, sweaters, scarves, etc}.  I started to tinker with the incredibly soft thin yet warm yarn and thought, "aha! I'll make a wrap with this here odd and end bits for some lucky lady."

Well as you can see, that is NOT what happened.  Sometimes things take their own paths and what they start out as, is not what they end up being.  In this case, I ended up with an old fashioned ornament that I most likely will applique on to an afghan that is a muted solid color.  Hopefully, it will make some lucky lady happy.

New Hair Cut, featuring my natural undyed/unpermed hair

So this picture is probably the last time you will see me wearing these glasses.  Cuz I've two new pair ordered.  Why?  Well, turns out those twitches I've been experiencing around my left eye are not nervous tics, caused by stressful situations.  Nope, I just found out I am in need of bifocals.  I'm getting those progressives, the no~line bifocal which is actually more of a multifocal than only two.  If I can get wear these with no problems, in the long run, progressives will be better than glasses with lines marking clear delineations.  Cuz eventually I will need to have not just the two prescriptions for close and distant work; but also my eyes will need assistance with focusing on mid~range work {like with the computer screen and such}.

Aging aint for sissies.

My love, my husband, the dapper dude

Every girl crazy bout a sharp dressed man

This past Saturday night, my husband took me to see Pops in Pink.  The Breast Heath Care Clinic has been directing this annual event for three years now.  Several of the Starkville Community Theater members set up their karaoke machine and entertained us while we nibble food and visit with friends.  The proceeds go toward helping women who cannot afford screenings and diagnostic measures, as well as helping to offset treatment of breast cancer.  So $38,000 has been raised in just three years, thru events such as this.  That's damn good, at any rate, but especially for our area.

It was a lovely evening.  While it was a bit warm to start, the back yard of the Modern Mississippi Homestead Center got much cooler as the sun set.  The lawn was lighted with strings of tiny lights, the round white tables were set with roses and napkins, the dog mingled with the attendees, the chickens and pigs provided further ambiance, and my sweetheart held my hand and sang along with the country program.

I'm a lucky gal.