July 30, 2010

STOP LOOKING AT ME!


As I mentioned yesterday, my trip to Fabulous and Exotic Delaware (...) was actually a good, productive one.

But three days of traveling, migraines and very little sleep = Crankypants McGillicuddy for yours truly.

I'm fairly certain I told T to "bite me" at one point last night before I passed out.

(Sorry, honey.)

What made me happy this morning: Looking through my phone and finding this picture I took of my room service Wednesday night. (Because these are the moments you want to capture for all of eternity.)


Do you see how the salt & pepper shakers, not to mention the ketchup and mayonnaise, are teeny weeny, and yet the food itself is HUGE beyond all reason? (That cheesecake was ridiculously good.) And that I had my own little vase of flowers for ambience? For some reason, all these things made me happy.

(Incidentally, I had to beg and cry and moan to convince Room Service to make me that grilled cheese sandwich, since it only existed on the kids' menu. As I mentioned, sick WP = regressing to childhood, which apparently includes whining to perfect strangers until I get my way.)

I really need to convince T to start buying everything in miniature (and to set up a special telephone hotline so he can bring me food on demand) so I can replicate this joy on a daily basis.

But first, I need to apologize for calling him a poopiehead for absolutely no reason.

(Did I forget to mention that the poor man cleaned the whole house while I was gone, just so I could come home to lovely, fresh-smelling awesomeness? I know. I'm a horrible wife.)

Anyway, here's to a great weekend filled with lots of Zs, a fair amount of groveling and the banishment of Crankypants McG. I hope it's great for you, too. :)

July 29, 2010

Well, I am.



Just line up at the door to dunk your chicken fingers of lameness in my ear.

After a harrowing day of travel (including a semi-scary side trip to a semi-ghetto-Wendy's in a semi-sketchy Philly shopping plaza) I pitched my karaoke idea to 36x37 on our drive to Wilmington Tuesday night.

Her immediate response?

"HELL YEAH, we're singing karaoke!"

(She's awesome.)

The plan: Attend our all-day meeting (which actually turned out to be extraordinarily productive and positive -- miracles do happen!), do happy hour with coworkers, grab dinner and then hit a karaoke bar with as many brave coworkers as we could guilt into joining us.

I warned 36x37 that my repertoire is firmly entrenched in the 80s power ballad wheelhouse, with the occasional zigzag into Etta James territory. She notified me that she specialized in throaty Motown classics.

This had the making of a fantastic evening.

By 5:00, however, despite the surprisingly-fruitful meeting, I knew I was in trouble. I'd been nursing a worsening migraine all day, and it had finally hit full force: Waves of nausea? Check. Thousands of tiny knives stabbing me behind the eyes and at the base of my skull (and everywhere else on my head and neck)? Check. Desire to saw off my head to exact some relief? Double-check.

I braved happy hour, ate a few chips and felt a smidge better. But as soon as we started walking to the car to head to dinner, I knew the jig was up.

36x37, in her infinite wisdom, suggested we just go back to the hotel, order room service and call it a night. (She's smart.)

By the time we got back to the hotel, I was convinced I was dying. I called T from the fetal position on the bed, in tears -- the kind you cry when you're little and you have to throw up and you just cry because...throwing up sucks, and you just want your mom to stroke your hair and tell you you can stay home from school and watch soap operas and eat saltines and drink ginger ale that she only buys when you get sick.

(I regress when I get sick; I'm not saying I'm proud of this.)

So there were no sing-y fun times. At least not on this trip. Lame sauce.

But now that I know 36x37 is game, it is ON. And when this goes down, I'll make sure you all get to share in the Bon Jovi/Temptations goodness.

July 28, 2010

"Here I am...in...Delaware."


Why in the world would I go to Delaware?

Easy. I have to.

My friend 36x37 and I are headed to Wilmington for the next few days, to meet with a big group of our coworkers for an all-day meeting (...) and, most likely, office dinner hijinks.

My personal goal? To somehow convince 36x37 that we NEED to sing karaoke while we're there. It's just a lucky guess, but I'm thinking the Olde DE may require us to make our own fun.

If I succeed, I swear on Liberty and Independence and the peach blossom (Delaware's motto and state flower, respectively) that I'll post video evidence.

July 27, 2010

Two nights in my kitchen

Oh, readers.

As many of you know, the road to my kitchen is paved with good intentions, tears and the smell of burning.

(I promise I will share the pesto story soon, Metacognitive Musings.)

So when I announced last week that I intended to make something with artichokes over the weekend, I absolutely intended to do that. And you responded with encouragement and some truly amazing- and scary-looking recipes, most of which required me to work with actual, whole artichokes.

Friends, I'm a wuss.

So my first confession is that I drifted RIGHT by the produce section and snagged a jar of marinated artichoke hearts. But even if it's cheating, I'm still trying something new, right?

And then I found this recipe on CookingLight.com:


And I thought, "Perfect! It sounds easy, it includes nothing but things I like, it's relatively healthy..."

So. Sunday was the day. We spent the morning and early afternoon lounging around, then at 6:30 (when it finally dropped below 90 degrees) I realized my flowerbeds were in desperate need of weeding... Two and a half hours later, dirty and exhausted, I realized I didn't have any feta cheese. So I collapsed on the floor and whined until T made me a Lean Cuisine.

Yesterday at work, I felt guilty all day. Here I promised all two of you who read this blog a triumphant recipe reveal! So I left work, hit Le Krog and snagged the requisite feta.

And it was ON.

Then I realized, as I do EVERY TIME I COOK ANYTHING, that I was still missing a few things because I hadn't read the recipe closely enough:

  • Israeli couscous (substitute: regular old Near East couscous; this one wasn't as tragic, as the larger Israeli couscous looked like dried tapioca and/or fish eggs and kind of creeped me out)
  • Vegetable broth (substitute: chicken broth; there's already chicken in it, no bigs, right?)
  • Two jars of artichoke hearts (substitute: one jar of artichoke hearts; I briefly considered halving the entire recipe, but then I remembered who I was and that this would involve math)
  • Not onions (substitute: onions; for some reason I thought there were onions in this recipe, and then I didn't want to waste the ones T had already lovingly chopped for me)
It all looked so innocent, just sitting there on my counter:


Something else I didn't anticipate -- sundried tomatoes need to be rehydrated. If you think this should be a no-brainer, you're probably right -- especially because it's STEP ONE OF THE RECIPE I had sitting RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. I somehow missed it and had to stop sauteing the onions.

Yes, I sauteed the onions that weren't supposed to be there. And then, in a fit of inspiration (otherwise known as "where things usually go awry"), I sauteed them and the chicken in the marinade from the jar of artichoke hearts, chopped up the hearts themselves and threw them in the pan for good measure. Sure! Why not?

So. Tomatoes: Rehydrated. Parsley: Harvested from my herb garden (yay!) and chopped. Onions, artichokes and chicken: Sauteed, apparently. Couscous: Couscoused. Feta: Feta-y.

Mix all, say a little prayer and serve:


T came to the table while I was eating (he would eat NOTHING in this recipe except maybe the chicken and onions):

T: "So? Good?" (He's a man of few words.)

WP: "The fact that I'm eating it with a serving spoon should tell you all you need to know."

It was, in fact, sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good.

For once, my kitchen "innovation" (and apparent lack of attention to detail) paid off!

Next up (well, sometime): WP tries to stuff...something. Probably chicken breasts. Stay tuned. I'm sure it'll be a disaster.

July 23, 2010

Artichoke recipes: You gots 'em? I wants 'em.


I'm tired of staring longingly at these beauts in the produce section, blushing and then running away quickly because I have NO idea what to do with them.

I mean...this thing is gorgeous, green and pointy, but...it doesn't look edible, people. I've had artichoke hearts, of course, and I hear tell you can do...something...with the leaves, but for the life of me I couldn't tell you what.

And I certainly, in all my kitchen-challenged glory, have never tried to do anything with them myself. Not even the old standby spinach-artichoke dip.

Now is the time. I'm facing my fears. This weekend? I'm trying to make something with artichokes. And I want to make one of your recipes.

The rules:
  • It has to include artichokes (duh), either fresh whole ones or canned hearts (the latter is probably cheating, but...baby steps)
  • It can't include celery (Why would an artichoke recipe include celery? I don't know. But if there are any, I shan't be making them. Celery tastes like crying)
  • It can't be too complicated (due to aforementioned kitchen-challenged-ness; this includes any recipes that require me to strain anything through a cheesecloth and/or use a candy thermometer)

Got a recipe? Lay it on me. I'll post pictures of the results (and any limbs lost in the process) next week.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

July 22, 2010

NBX Vol. 2: Bacon, Mormons in love and disturbing cat poetry


Quite a few of you let me know you're totally down with this new feature, and maybe even find it kind of fun and awesome. Please feel free to continue expressing your delight. :) Woohoo! Onward!


(What the heck is this?)


  • Most awesomest blog name: Africansbacon (All one word, because of course it is. This blog appears to be about a youngish family in Africa working at some kind of school. I have no idea where the "bacon" reference comes from. It actually kind of creeps me out, so maybe we're better off not knowing...)

  • So-ugly-it's-fabulous-est blog layout: Green Family (This was a hard one this week. I chose this one because the colors and patterns made my already-bad migraine even worse, but the kids are adorable, so I sort of feel bad bagging on it. But now I'm over it. :))

  • Most random blog post title (and/or title that lends itself the best to double-entendre or horrible puns): To Whom it May Concern - "Yeah, I said man fast" (This really intrigued me, such that I really tried to figure out what it could possibly mean before I read the blog entry, ala "Eats Shoots and Leaves": "'Yeah,' I said. "Man! Fast!" or "Yeah, I said 'man!' fast." or "Yeah, I said 'Man Fast.'" Turns out it's the latter: the author wants a break from dudes. I think we can all empathize.)

  • Most engaging overall blog (for better or for worse): The Roberts Family (This Mormon couple posted their entire (extremely thoroughly-documented) relationship history on their blog as a he-said/she-said. I found it alternately fascinating, kind of cute and disturbing. Also a runner-up for the so-ugly-it's-fabulous layout award.)

  • Wild card: Most disturbing blog/post(s): CrazyMumma - "Leo" and also "Talking to the dead about your own death" (...yeah. So the author says right up front that her blog is kind of grim, dark and ugly with regard to subject matter. Mmyeah. At least she knows her wheelhouse, and she's sitting snugly (and grimly) inside. I read the first one and my thought process went something like this: "Hm, this lady is strangely expressive and a titch overly-dramatic...wait, what?...um...oh, maybe she means...oh. No. She's cuckoo-pants.")
(Let me know if you come across an awesomely-awful blog that must be shared!)

July 20, 2010

Nocturnal visitor

(I just realized that this post title kind of sounds like a euphemism for my period or wetting the bed or something. For the male and squeamish among us, be assured: it isn't either of those things.)

We live in the country.

The sticks.

The boonies.

T and I both grew up in the country, and after a few years of living single in the city and then as young-marrieds in the suburbs, we decided to return to our roots. The reasons were many, but in truth, almost all of my desire to live in the country has to do with three things:
  1. Seeing the stars on clear nights
  2. LOTS of peace and quiet
  3. The sights, sounds and smells (for better or for worse) of nature and/or wildlife

We have the first two in spades. It's absolutely lovely. We have an especially great view of our back deck, and all of our neighbors, while very nice, are thankfully far enough away that we can't hear each other without shouting.

As for the wildlife, up until now our experience has been limited to the occasional rabbit's nest, your usual flocks of birds (shudder) and one unfortunate rat-in-the-garage incident that I'll tell another time to give it its proper due.

Then Saturday, T and I walked out the front door to walk the dogs, and saw this on the side of the house:


Do you see how he's looking at me?



A tiny tree frog! On our house! Peering up at me with tiny, tree-frog eyes! LOOK AT HIS AWESOME FROG TOES!

(I love frogs.)

Much to T's horror, I immediately scooped him up in my hand, and he hopped tentatively up my arm before launching himself desperately back onto the side of the house. (I tried to get a picture of him in my hand, if only for scale, but the little dude wouldn't stay still.)

Last night, we again venture out front to walk the furry ones, and we see...FIVE tree frogs clutching the siding desperately.

T believes this means we are infested. I choose to believe that word has spread about how awesome and one-with-nature we are.

Let's just hope word doesn't spread to the arachnid community, because nothing shatters the quiet solitude of the country like a grown woman having a panic attack and throwing pots, pans and appliances at a tiny, scuttling evilness.

July 19, 2010

Moments That Remind Me I'm Old, Vol. 1


Conversation overheard between two young girls, about 9 years old, at the public pool this weekend:

Girl #1: I love these Silly Bandz!

Girl #2: OMG, me too! {Yes, she actually said "O-M-G."}

(Pause)

(Girl #1 steals a glance at a group of 9-year-old boys getting ready to vault off the diving board)

Girl #1: I have to do something about this.

Girl #2: For real?

Girl #1: Uh, yeah? Totally? I can't just, like, sit here or whatever!

(Girl #2 fist-bumps Girl #1)

Girl #2: You go on, girl!

(Girl #1, bolstered by these words of encouragement, walks slowly by the group of boys, makes eye contact with one of them and exchanges shy smiles, then scurries, giggling, back to her friend.)

***********

When I say moments like this remind me that I'm old, I don't mean that I can't remember being a "tween" and acting this way around boys.

In fact, I remember it so well, I had to turn around in the pool to hide the fact that I was giggling to myself.

What made me feel old? The moment I realized that my last "tween" experience happened more than TWENTY YEARS AGO.

Gah!

I pick up my walker with the tennis balls tomorrow.

July 16, 2010

Fresh, minty begging

I am, and always have been, in big, juicy, heart-palpitating lurve with mint and chocolate.

Graeter's Mint Chip ice cream? The stuff of dreams and tiny, big-eyed puppies. Suh-woon.

Andes Mints have always just been kind of...there. Your waiter brings them to you with your check after dinner. Your grandma carries them in her purse at church. They've been around since 1950.

They just seemed...boring.

So I probably hadn't had one in at least 10-15 years. I had kind of forgotten that there WAS mint-chocolate candy out there. (Peppermint Patties don't count, at least in my book. Yecch. I don't feel as though I'm skiing through the Alps so much as taking some waxy, vaguely-chocolatey medicine.)

But then I happened to be in a gas station recently that was selling them 5 for 9 cents. The random pricing was so very random that it piqued my interest. So I grabbed a handful.

And they were so very tasty, albeit tiny, that I decided to write an equally tiny post about how much I loved them.

So I Googled them and therein discovered there's a whole world out there of love and celebration for their awesomeness. Andes mint brownies! Andes mint drinks! Andes mint S'MORES! These are my people!

Since, as some of you know, I am a terrible cook and my kitchen cries real tears of shame, I think I'm going to have to get creative. As in, begging someone who's more of a kitchen rock star to make me some Andes mint brownies.

65 Roses for Marcia? What do you say? Just promise me you won't put goat's milk in them. Well, at least the first batch. 36x37? You know, my birthday IS coming up... :)

July 15, 2010

Welcome, new blogger!


A very, very warm welcome to a new blogger, Running Chatter!

Ms. RC is one of my very good friends from college, although we actually got to know one another after we both graduated.

Some things you should know about RC:
  • She's a runner (doy), and a very dedicated and enthusiastic one at that!
  • She has some of the most beautiful hair I've ever seen (seriously, RC: I totally covet your hair).
  • She's smart, thoughtful, funny and a GREAT listener.
  • All apologies to my other friends with children (your children are all BEAUTIFUL), but she is the mother of two cherubs. I'm not even kidding. They are straight out of Central Casting for "beautiful blond child with giant blue eyes."
  • She's married to a man I've known since I was six years old, and went to school with all the way through college. Random? Yes. Even more random: He watched me get hit by a car once.
  • Her blog is already one of my faves.

Aside from personal e-mails, I hadn't had a chance to read much of RC's writing up until now.

I will now say: It was worth the wait. Her recent post about fathers and daughters was simply beautiful, just for one example.

Don't believe me? Well, even though you should totally trust me because I have excellent taste, you don't have to take my word for it. :) Check her out for yourself!

July 14, 2010

New feature! Next-Blog-xtravaganza

Those of you with Blogger blogs (and those of you who read them) may already be familiar with "Next Blog," a teeny-weeny link waaaaaaaaay up in the top navigation bar.

Click it, and you'll be magically transported to...some other blog. (The term "next" seems like a misnomer, since clearly Blogger blogs aren't in some kind of set order, and you'll never get the same blog twice -- well, unless you're in one of those 1 million monkeys with 1 million typewriters scenarios, and then I make no promises.)

When I've run out of things to read on the blogs I already follow regularly, I often randomly click through to see what bizarro weirdness I can find. And while there are a LOT of similar blogs out there about extremist politics and exercising, there are also some blogs out there that are 1) awesome, 2) bizarre as all hell, 3) barely written in recognizable English, and 4) some combination of those three things. (Disclaimer: There are also extreme-political and/or running blogs out there that fit into all of those categories.)

So, since it's always fun to learn about new blogs (and since we're going through some stuff at the WP camp and I'm in need of some easyish blog topics), I've decided to create a new semi-weekly feature:

Next-Blog-xtravaganza!

Try to contain yourself. (Super-cheesy graphic to follow with subsequent entries.)

Each week (or thereabouts), I'll use Next Blog to visit 10-25 new blogs, and I'll share with you, the eager reader, the winners in five categories (as judged solely by me, of course):
  1. Most awesomest blog name

  2. So-ugly-it's-fabulous-est blog layout

  3. Most random blog entry title (and/or title that lends itself the best to double-entendre or horrible puns)

  4. Most engaging overall blog (for better or for worse)

  5. Wild card (a new category of my choosing, depending on the blogs I visited that day)

So, in honor of bloggers everywhere...or something...I now give you my inaugural offering:
  1. Most awesomest blog name: i will destroy you (kind of a cool artist/comic book dude with an awesomely-named blog)

  2. So-ugly-it's-fabulous-est blog layout: LGB: Long Beach Airport Spotting and News (the plain dark-blue background and white/bright green text makes me think of the old DOS programs; not so nice on the retinas, ye-gads)

  3. Most random blog entry title (and/or title that lends itself the best to double-entendre or horrible puns) : HeaRts: Blog entry title, "Hellow Wellow!" (I don't know why, but this made me laugh for five minutes)

  4. Most engaging overall blog (for better or for worse): Don't Eat the Baby (also awesomely-named, but it was so much fun to read that I thought I'd feature it here)

  5. Wild card: Most disturbing profile photo: Vicarious Moses (also a runner-up for best name, but seriously? This photo? And how great is it that he calls himself "Alvin 'The Tiger' Moses"? I love this guy.)

********

Do you like this? Hate it? Think it's pointless? Let me know. I'll more than likely keep doing it anyway, but at least I'll know if you hate it. :)

July 13, 2010

The cutest of boys


That's Murray's back he's using as a pillow. :)

July 9, 2010

Green! Stuff! Update!

When I first began my foray into hopefully NOT killing green things for one season, things looked promising.

I had five planters full of robust, healthy, flowering awesomeness, several flowerbeds' worth of flourishing greenness and a bucketful of misguided confidence.

And my good friend Two Pretzels, in her infinite wisdom, challenged me to showcase my wares in a month's time.

Well, it's been several months since last we left my green growing things, and reviews...are mixed.

The yellow flowering hanging baskets I turned into planters are, surprisingly, flourishing!


As long as they get water, they bloom constantly and are vining their way across the rocks with abandon.

Shannon: 1; Plant Curse: 0

The tiger lilies I got from our massage therapist last year finally bloomed, and are (as I keep telling T, because it annoys him) growing like gangbusters!


Two points for me.

Of the two big planters full of flowers, I planted one and T planted the other. One of them is a total rock star; the other looks as sad as...Lindsay Lohan's eye makeup.

Want to take a gander at which one is mine?

Life:


Death:


If you guessed that the amazing, bountiful #1 is mine and the scraggly, depressing #2 is T's, you would be...correct! Against all odds, I have become a winner in the game of Plants! So even though one of the planters is dying and sad, I am still ahead.

I wish I could have taken this next picture about a month ago. The dill and chives (and the parsley, for that matter) were so huge, they were falling out of the planter. What, you don't see them in this picture?



Oh, that's because they're NO LONGER THERE. It's hard to see in this picture, but there are now two gaping holes where the dill and the chives used to be. We got so much rain (and apparently our non-existant drainage system was a big fail) that the entire planter flooded, and everything started to rot.

So, I dug the two big holes for added drainage, and transported the rotting herbs to these sad little pots:


Since I took this picture (over the weekend) the dill (far left) has turned to toast. The lavender (middle) and the chives (right) are hanging in there, but it's touch and go. At least I got to make a bunch of awesome dill sour cream dip before the massacre.

Overall, I'm calling this one a draw. Which, since other years I've killed absolutely EVERYTHING, I'm saying still means I've come out on top.

Suck on THAT, nature! We are friends and you know it!

July 8, 2010

The wide, weird world of the office atrium

Alternate title: You do know we can see you, right?

I work for a large corporation, and the building where I work (one of many around the world) is huge. Enormous. At any given time, it houses about 8,000-10,000 employees. It's a sea of cubicles, and you and a friend could easily work there for years without running into one another.

And instead of being your typical high-rise, it's...a low-rise. It's no more than four floors high at any given point, and I've been told it's about the same length as the Empire State Building lying on its side.

The result: We have this great, open, skylighted atrium running all the way through the center of the building, connecting all the different wings and hosting a Starbucks, a bunch of other little shops and common seating areas.

Employees use those common areas to take a break with a co-worker, take a personal call, meet with potential new hires or just chill for a moment. All perfectly appropriate.

However.

Some employees don't seem to grasp the concept that, not only is this a public place where people can, in fact, see you, it's also WHERE YOU WORK. It's an extension of your office. Unless they work in another location, your boss and his boss and her boss could walk past you at any time.

And yet, I saw these things in the atrium JUST YESTERDAY:
  • A woman in a chair, with her shoes kicked off, in the fetal position, sleeping. Possibly drooling.
  • A grown man picking his nose and then looking at it intently before wiping it on his pants.
  • A girl wearing a cutoff sleeveless shirt and much-too-tight pants that showcased her belly rolls (again, this is a corporate office), while YELLING at someone on her jewel-encrusted cell phone.
  • Three people high-fiving each other and laughing hysterically and loudly, then leaping over a group of chairs to go back to work.
  • Three 30-something men playing hacky-sack as they walked from Starbucks back to their wing of the building.

I don't work for Google, or a dot-com start-up, where we have pinball machines in the break room and our employers encourage a sense of whimsy when traveling around the building. This is a global financial corporation. Where, presumably, professionals work.

If you only went by what you see in the atrium, you'd think this was the mall, where people just come to hang out.

Or possibly the circus. Because I also saw these things in the atrium yesterday:

  • An 80-year-old lady wearing red high-top sneakers and a flowered hat.
  • A man with a handlebar mustache and a red armband (I think he'd just finished giving blood, but he could have been one of those old-timey weightlifters).
  • A woman in a purple velvet pantsuit.
  • A lion tamer.

OK, I'm probably lying about that last one. But the other ones were absolutely true. And I'm almost positive I saw a dancing bear in the gift shop. Or maybe that was one of the tech guys.

July 7, 2010

It's a cruel, cruel summer

I just had one of those summer weekends that make people write nostalgic novels about summer weekends.


We had nowhere to go and nothing to do. So we did whatever we wanted.

It was so, so hot, every surface wavered.

On the spur of the moment, we decided to check out something we'd normally avoid like the plague: the public pool. We were the only non-children-toting people there, and it felt like we were playing hooky from...life. I can't remember the last time I played catch in a pool with a bunch of friends and gave absolutely no thought to when I had to leave. Because we didn't have to. We could stay for hours and make fun of the teenagers trying to impress each other and eat SpongeBob ice cream bars without a hint of shame.

It was fabulous.

We played cards, we had great conversations, we built a bonfire, we watched fireworks from miles away, we looked at the stars, we ate charred marshmallows.

Sleeping late, lolling lazily in bed trying to decide what to do that day, coming in from the heat and laying in front of the fan.

No makeup.

No work.

If I'd been asked to create my perfect weekend, I still couldn't have done it justice.


And yet.

You know that feeling when you wake up from a wonderful dream, and you're smiling and you sigh and roll over...and you feel it. Something isn't right. Something happened, something's wrong, you can't remember because you're still half asleep, but it's right on the tip of your brain...

And then you remember. And as nice as the dream was, your stomach is in knots all over again, remembering whatever it is that's wrong.

Wednesday night, we felt a lump under Bubba's chin. It was big -- as big as a peach pit. So big we wondered how in the world we hadn't felt it before. Our vet is on vacation, so we debated. Take him to the emergency vet? We already have an appointment for both dogs on the 9th. Let's wait.

Friday night, we found one by his shoulder. This one was bigger than a golf ball. We debated again. Is there any way this was here before and we just didn't notice? Is there any way this is something...normal? But we knew. It wasn't there before, and it wasn't normal. And whatever this was, it was happening really, really fast to our small, sweet, happy baby dog.


Saturday morning. In the back-up vet's office.

The look on her face.

She gave me a hug.

I cried all the way home.

We won't know anything for sure until after the 9th, when we get more tests done. So we tried to stay positive. We went swimming. We played cards. We had great conversations, most of them not about dogs, and we tried.

But it was always there. On the tip of my brain. And every time it was medicine time, and Bubba took his pill like a champ with a Goldfish cracker chaser, and every time I thought, "Does he always sleep this much?" and every time I scratched his chin and felt the peach pit -- it was right there in front of me.

But I'm trying to push it back. Until we know for sure.

Two words: Lympho sarcoma. Much too ugly for my precious baby.


Keep us in your thoughts, please.

July 3, 2010

Party Leftovers

Last weekend, we had a party.

We aren't normally party people -- we're more the let's-play-cards-and-maybe-sit-by-a-bonfire kind of people -- but some occasions demand a break with tradition.

Two Pretzels -- and the whole Pretzels crew -- was in town! So we found ourselves with a houseful of a lot of our favorite people in the world, including Trophy Life, Metacognitive Musings, their families and a whole bunch of our friends.

What followed was one of those great summer days: the adults drank Trophy's awesome mojitos (well, what didn't end up behind my fridge, anyway), the kids (eventually) frolicked in the blow-up pool one of our friends generously brought along, and everyone ate waaaaay too much food. And sometime between setting the grill on fire, drilling through two giant pans of cheesy potatoes and sort of half-heartedly watching the World Cup, we talked 'til we were blue in the face.

It was awesome.

There's just something about having so many people you love in one spot. To just look around and see nothing but faces of people who are awesome. It just made my heart...happy.

At the end of the day, T and I were so tired, we just fell into bed. And when we ventured out the next morning, we were anticipating a HUGE mess. (Which would have been fine -- parties are worth the mess!) What we learned: We have really neat friends. Almost none of them missed the trash can, and outside of the sticky puddle behind the fridge (ahem...Kat...), there was almost no evidence they'd been there at all.

Then I spotted, on the living room coffee table, some unfamiliar sunglasses. A few e-mails later, Metacognitive 'fessed up. Despite my offer to ship them to her (they're pretty cute sunglasses, plus I was concerned for the safety of her peepers), she declined and just asked me to hold onto them until the next time we saw each other.

Clearly, this meant she wanted me to put them on my dogs and then take pictures of them.

And thus, I give you:


Bubba Badass...



...and Murray Mutha--shut yo' mouth!


(In retrospect, this was a long way to go to show you some pictures of my dogs wearing sunglasses. But it's a holiday weekend. And, come on...they're cute. So...just deal with it. :D)

(Also, have a great weekend.)

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