Sunday, March 29, 2009

Oh Girl ! !

Diamond is seven in human years. According to one chart, that makes her over 40, like me. Though according to that chart if I were a 48 year old dog, that would put me over 200 in human years.

Seven year old Diamond experienced trouble maneuvering stairs and though she has been on joint care tabs since coming to live with us, she also re-developed a pronounced and persistent limp.
Danielle took her to see Vet Mary who prescribed a two week regime of Rimadyl chewables to address the apparent injury to Diamond’s right rear knee joint. Vet Mary directed us to continue the joint care tablets. Further, we were instructed to limit D-dog’s movements by removing stair climbing and to de-motivate running for two weeks.
Diamond quickly understood that she was to be carried like the diva she is, up and down the stairs, so that part of the regime has been a snap to institute and maintain.
De-motivating running, however, has proven a challenge.
Merely three days into her two week regime, we wouldn’t throw her soccer ball to chase so she threw it herself.
Despite our best efforts, birds, squirrels, leaves, and blowing paper were all working in concert motivating the pup to scamper around like a two-year old.
Even her up on hind legs, “Aren’t I the most adorable pup you’ve ever seen?” dance continued.
Diamond sees Vet Mary again on Wednesday. Hopefully the cold and snow (yes, snow) will keep the birds and squirrels scarce over the next few days. While we can keep her from climbing any steps and can keep her from dancing (so much) we can certainly use the extra help in de-motivating the running.
I can’t help but marvel at how she wears her over 40 crown.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


A woman I have not met face to face, but with whom I've maintained a relationship for quite some time now and who i am honored to call my friend as recently suffered a tremendously devastating tragedy. I can't divulge the details, mostly out of respect for her privacy but also because I find it hard to even type about it without breaking down into a puddle of tears. I've cried much for her and her family this past week. I've cried much for all the families who have suffered in a similar manner.
I don't talk much about my art. My art mostly exists in a past I would rather forget. The forgetting hasn't worked out very well. In the spring of 1979 after a year and a half of classes, I submitted an application and portfolio to the art department chairs of the liberal arts college I attended. The purpose: to declare drawing, painting, sculpture or textiles as a major area of concentration. After flip flopping between painting, drawing and sculpture, I settled on painting. My application and portfolio was deemed worthy, but for a multitude of reasons, I was unable to return to school in the fall of 1979. I haven't forgotten the worst parts of my past and though much of the art from that time was sold (before I could take pictures) or destroyed, some of the art from then lives with me today.
Though relegated to the background, a bit player in the theatre of my life since 1979, art has continued to have a voice. Beyond my healthy appreciation for the art of others, there have been a helping hand with kids' artistic projects, illustrations for a church cookbook, scant artful touches into various aspects of life and living over the years and the execution of some rough doodles for my personal enjoyment and release.
A couple of years ago I talked about getting "out" more. Part of that getting out was to re-acquaint myself with art and the art all around me. I've done some, not as much as I would have hoped, but some. I'm still, however, on the getting out bent and art is definitely a part of the journey.
I am reluctant to talk about my art. I am as reluctant to share my art. I'm not sure why. Perhaps I'm muddle-minded about what my art says to (or about) me, what it says to everybody. Perhaps it is some kind of fear.
More and more, I find that part of my process for dealing with tremendously devastating events like the one my friend just suffered, involves art. My doodles, rough as they are, provide a soft place for my tears to land, a place that could turn the ugliness of tragedy into something else a little less ugly.
Dear OTC, you are on my mind, in my heart, and the tip of my marker.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Mom Survey

By way of Trop, and Hahn, and also Maria. With no further ado, my daughter's responses:

1. What is something mom always says to you?

Danielle, move your shoes!

2. What makes mom happy?

Reading a good book, and when she can, hang out with her children.

3. What makes mom sad?

When I disappoint her...well, when anyone she cares about disappoints her.

4. How does your mom make you laugh?

Tells funny stories.

5. What was your mom like as a child?

She was super quiet!

6. How old is your mom?

Soon to be...49

7. How tall is your mom?

5 feet 7 inches (ish)

8. What is her favorite thing to do?

Play Scrabble

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?

Wouldn't know, I'm not around.

10. If your mom became famous, what would she be famous for?

Best selling author!

11. What is your mom really good at?

Drawing, sketching, sewing, I mean double-dutch, she's good at a lot of thing.

12. What is your mom not very good at?

Sometimes is isn't the best chef.

13. What does your mom do for her job?

She does the accounting and is a manager @ a music company.

14. What is your mom's favorite food?

Not quite sure, she's on a diet. I don't know if she really likes that stuff.*

15. What makes you proud of your mom?

All of the things she has overcome in her life & her great optimism about life.

16. If mom were a cartoon character, which would she be?

mmmm...50% Marge Simpson & 50 % Rosie (from The Jetsons)

17. What do your and your mom do together?

We have traveled together. We try new foods, go to festivals and of course, we drink together.

18. How are you and your mom the same?

We look alike (well that's what other people say), we are sarcastic, which I learned from her.

19. How are you and your mom different?

I like men 99% and women 1% and she likes only women!!! hahahaha

20. How do you know your mom loves you?

She does a lot for me and my pets. If she didn't love me, she wouldn't help me and teach me. Plus, she tells me.

21. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?

I don't know, uhm...library?!?

*I don't eat diet food, per se. I've added a wider range of fruits, vegetables, spices, and preparation methods. Many Some of these have not met with Dani's approval, so she presumes that I don't like them either. It's an adjustment, but I'm enjoying the adventure and the results!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Oh What a Morning

This morning was one of those mornings. The kind of morning that has a body awaking at 5 and deciding to take said body out for a spin on the bicycle. Three miles later, invigorated body is poised to take on the rest of the day. Then sun comes up and oh. my. gosh, what a beautiful morning it is shaping up to be.

The kind of morning that inspired, "forget your troubles, come on...get happy" I'm sure.

In honor of the bright, bright, sun-shining day, bright outlook,and the joy at having the energy (& agreeable weather) to ride this morning I offer this game I lifted from MLC. Like her, I'm not tagging. Y'all know the drill.

Five names you go by:
1. Mom
2. Deborah
3. Miss Debbie
4. Debbie
5a. ‘cuz
5b. Aunt Deborah

Three things you are wearing right now:
1. eyeglasses
2. slacks
3. shoes

Three things you want very badly at the moment:
1. Her back in my life in that way.
2. A new kitchen –a fridge and dishwasher w/do for now.
3. whatchamacallit bar.

Two people who will probably fill this out:
Beats the heck outta me, feel free.

Two things you did last night:
1. hugged two cats and an ailing pup.
2. took a picture of my daughter’s dildo necklace

Two things you ate today:
1. bacon
2. brown sugar /raisin bread toast

Two people you last talked to on the phone:
1. son
2. mom

Two things you are doing tomorrow:
1. riding bicycle
2. notifying customers of old credit balances, hoping they claim them by placing orders.

Two longest car rides:
1. Chicago to Oh. Mah. Gosh Greenwood, Mississippi
2. Chicago to Flint, Michigan

Two of your favorite beverages:
1. Milk
2. Citrus (or lime) vodka, lemon seltzer water & jalapeno stuffed olive, or two.

Oh yes I can make it now, the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow I've been prayin' for
It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)Sun-Shiny day*

Not quite, not totally, but at the moment, the sun is shining and that is good.

*I Can See Clearly Now

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I took a couple of days off for a mini-vacation weekend. Some weeks ago when I thought about taking this time off it was with the intent of going...


Instead, I found myself doing what I could to avoid remembering. Worked pretty well until early this morning when the memories smacked me hard. Historically, when I've been there, Sunday was the laziest of the lazy days. As the time for me to leave was drawing near, we chose this day to lounge, usually in bed. One of us rose to make the special Bailey's laced coffee and we would sit and sip. Eventually, rising later into the morning to prepare and eat breakfast. Often retiring back to the bedroom for more lying about, watching movies, laughing, and talking.

Even with the specter of my departure hanging over us, I loved Sunday.

In fact, throughout our time together, Sundays had been our best of the days.

However, the mid-March mini-vacation 2009 was full of a pantry clean sweep, a few long, leisurely walks, a bicycle upgrade and then a couple of spins on the newly upgraded bicycle, shopping for ingredients and then trying a new recipe, roasting, broiling and boiling a week's worth of food (maybe?), that is to say, maybe a week's worth what with the bf factor and all, taking myself to see a movie, getting stuck in a throng of folks waiting to see the river get greened, getting stuck in a throng of post-parade people, getting excited enough to run with the helicopter and squirrel chasing diva dog, with a little bits of reading, writing, and drawing peppered in-between.

There is another mini-vacation planned for later in the month. That time there will even be a Wednesday in the mix. I haven't sketched out all the goings on yet, but I'm sure I'll be banking on more of the same with a bit of yard work tossed in to help see me through.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We Know of Each Other

She is not that kind of friend. She is more of an acquaintance. She was a co-worker many years ago. Briefly, I was her boss. We had a cordial relationship, but nothing I would categorize as “friends”. Yet, when the employment circumstances forced us to part ways, we traded email addresses and said we’d keep up, the way folks who worked together companionably do.

Like many of the others (the company that employed us went through a monumental change and 90% of the staff was laid off) who danced this ritual, the expectation was that after a few emails, perhaps a holiday greeting or two, new lives would emerge and communication wane.

Not Joan. A decade later and Joan still emails. To say that Joan and I have nothing in common would be the understatement of the millennium. Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. We do in fact, both wear glasses and we’re both women. Soon, we’ll both be in our fifties, though I think by the time I’m in my fifties she’ll be in her sixties. Or at least, knock, knock, knocking on that door.

Our dance, Joan’s and mine usually begins, “Hi Debbie: I haven’t heard from you in a long while.. " And that would be because we’re not friends and certainly not confidantes. And yeah, she has always called me Debbie despite my gentle prodding when we worked together, Deborah. She continues, “write you this little note to find out if you are okay and what is going on with you.”

A little background, I get one of these haven’theardfromyouinalongtime emails every 5 or 6 weeks. I reply with a short, friendly or rather cordial update of the current surface factoids of my life. In my reply I inquire in-kind and get zilch in return, until another 5 or 6 weeks. That is unless she’s in the middle of a crisis with her “man friend” or in possession of gossip concerning another former co-worker that she's itching to spill.

She finishes, “I am okay. Please write soon and let me know what is going. God bless you, Joan”.

As previously noted, my replies are short and to a particular point. Given that we have very little in common, there is little in the way of quid pro quo and I'm rankled by the write soon directives, I should probably refrain from replying at all.

But I do, mainly because she has the number (and extension) to the job. She will call if I don't reply. I know, she's done it. Trust me when I say, addressing Joan's sporadic emails is a more palatable exercise than conversing with Joan on the telephone.

Be that as it may, I am of the mind to re-assess my approach to one Miss Joan.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Guess What?

It has been a year. A YEAR! Can you believe it? Last year daughter was all atwitter about dressing Pete, the cat. As you may have guessed Pete has been able to resist any and all of D's efforts to dress him, as has his nephew, Buttah. The boys, as has been mentioned before get along famously and use their awake times very constructively. I was told yesterday that D came home to find many of their various toys strewn about the dining room. In fact, since the new diets (we have all taken steps to reduced our respective girths) there has been a marked increase in destructive active behavior. Then again, it may not be connected to the diets at all. It could be two-year old Buttah and now three-year old Pete just getting even more comfortable with each other and their surroundings. We are certainly getting more and more comfortable with each of them.
Cheers & Catnip to Mr. Pete, The Cat. THREE today. YaY !

Sunday, March 08, 2009

It Rained All Weekend Randomness

I wasn't surprised by the "L" ending. Nor was I particularly disappointed, since I saw it coming long ago. I was disappointed before, however I'd gotten over it by tonight.

The rain was totally insane Saturday and today. Totally.

Diamond does not like walking won't walk in the rain, so taking her to do her business was a bit of a trial. We got in three good walks between downfalls.
My blood-pressure registered within the normal range for the first time in three years today.
I feel like I took 525,600 steps over the previous 7 days. My pedometer battery died, so who knows, I may have. Perhaps.
I felt myself shrinking with each step. Or was that somethin...oh, nevermind.
Friday evening I participated in an event. I met some women. Lesbians. Woo Hoo.
It was fun and I'll be looking for more of the same. Has anyone seen "Water Lilies"?
I've been trying to hook up with some local walkers but so far no luck. Maybe that luck will change with the time.
I have two vacation days scheduled for this week. Loooong weekend coming. Woo Hoo
My mom hasn't liked any of the supportive living situations. The search continues. She'll be signing a new lease for the current apartment, so no move for at least a year.
People I don't know are following me on Twitter. I wonder if they think I'm somebody else?
I don't Tweet (is that the term?) very much. I wonder what they saw that prompted them to follow?
Speaking of following on Twitter, how is that different from stalking?
Who do you think killed Jenny? Do you even care?
We're 8 (very nearly 9) days into March. Mad Yet?
And just so this doesn't end with a question....I'll get on the scale in the morning. I'll know then if all those steps had any impact beyond what I felt in my thighs, knees and lower back.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Commuting With A Zit Picker

The morning commute is more times than not a routine hustle and bustle of folks making their way to work, school, court, or wherever. Once on the train (or bus) you are more times than not surrounded by the usual suspects. You have folks talking on the phone, reading (a newspaper, magazine, work or school report, summons or whatever), there are folks playing with various devices, the sit and stare crowd, or the slump and sleep group.

Now and again you are graced with the zit picker.

This morning’s zit picker proved herself on a mission. It was clear from her ministrations that it was not only her zit that nagged her psyche. She went from picking at the zit to scratching her head then back to the zit. She rubbed her cheek (zit was on chin) then back to the zit. Her hand went to her nose and I thought, “oh noooo, not a nose picker too!” but no, she just rubbed, scratched her nose, then back to the zit.

This morning’s zit picker even went under her coat and down into her shirt to scratch her breast or tug her nipple, not sure which, then back to picking the zit. A mission.

Once permanently distracted from my own reading material and the music streaming into my ears, I began to work up a horror tale of the zit being picked to the point of popping. The popping prompted the spewing of zit juice. The zit juice spewed on and on, until the car started filling. People startled awake and alert. There was screaming. There was general panic and total mayhem. We all nearly drowned.

Then it was time for me to get off the train.

Monday, March 02, 2009

May I?

Preface: Any resemblance to persons, places or events is purely coincidental.

The wind whips about my head at gale forces. I wait for a bus at an un-sheltered stop, no edificial barrier against the un-tamed winds trying desperately to stand firm against the beast. The wind begins to bite.

Lacking any defense, I seek refuge inside my mind.

Not surprisingly I find her there. More specifically, I find her spot there. That soft, supple, delectable place just behind her left ear weaves a memory, conjures the taste of vanilla in the recesses of my mind.

The taste so potent, the hunger so present I’m prompted to growl back at the howling wind.

I recall lying in the folds of the comforter, enveloped by her embrace. My lips nestled upon her skin, resting in my favorite place. Our bodies not yet completely silent from the last hurrah were beginning to settle when deliberately, I allow my tongue to find her spot once again. She whispers a mild protest, I return an urgent plea….may I?