Monday, April 30, 2012

Bo Diddley put the Rock in Rock & Roll

When I left you last it was a really long time ago, and it is TOTALLY NOT MY FAULT because our network connection and phone were down for four days.  Also, I went to the beach.

Mr Diddly.  We aren't on a first name basis yet.  His mom calls him Bo.

JD and I went for a long walk on the beach and found a washed up dolphin.  Sadly, long past being saved.  Sniffle.

Joy had this game called Rummikub which I quite liked despite losing spectacularly.

Not losing as badly as me.  He looks smug, doesn't he?

Joy winning suspiciously well.  

John mostly is just playing to be nice.

I went to the beach, AND I saw a rainbow!

The Weeping Radish.  We stopped in for lunch.  The butchery was not obvious.  I hope they weren't butchering the cute goats out front.  I didn't see any goat on the menu.  But after my beer flight I might not have been reading that well.  The owner offered us some SPECTACULAR mustard to go with dinner, and we liked it so much we bought a bottle.  It's Lusty Monk brand.  We might have a mustard problem.
I love John and Joy.  It's a perk that they're at the beach, but I would have gone to Newark to see them.  (Not that they live in Newark.  They actually live (most of the time) somewhere super cool.  Newark is just the first awful place I can think of to go visiting.) They're fun and friendly and nice and all sorts of good things.  And awesome cooks.  We drank a lot of wine and chatted with Mr. Diddly and generally had a good time.

My ears started kinda hurting over the weekend, and they hurt rather a lot by the time we got home.  So I went to the doctor today.  I hoped I wouldn't get put on those antibiotics that make me sunburn.  The doc has hired a physician's assistant who appears to be sharp as a tack.  In a good way.  Turns out, I have TMJ.  Or I guess a TMJ flareup.  I already had TMJ and I thought it was being managed by my night time bite guard.  What had me so stressed out at the beach?  Were the scallops too good?  The happiness was too much to bear?  I laughed too hard?  That last is possible, actually.  John was cracking me up.

So now I'm supposed to take a lot of ibuprofen for a week.  She made me promise never to take it on an empty stomach because of some silly thing like "bleeding ulcers" or the like.  Sheesh.  I assured her that I would have a snack.  Also, I'm supposed to avoid chewy or crunchy foods for a week, ice my jaw, and... Shit.  There was one other thing.  This is what I get for not writing things down.  Oh!  Take antihistamines, in case allergies are contributing.

You know, it is quite uncomfortable to ice one's jaw.

I guess I'll be having a lot of oatmeal this week.  And tofu.  And other soft things.  I'm not really up on the soft food oeuvre.  I guess cotton candy probably isn't indicated.  It's delicious though.

PS JD called Verizon and our internet works again.  In case you wondered.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

State of the Schnorkie Address

"eArThworm has left a new comment on your post "Not a paean to Pizza Hut": 

OK, forget the pizza, HOW'S THE SCHNORKIE??? "

Well, since you asked so nicely.

The Schnork isn't doing so hot.  I took her back to the vet for her followup appointment, and she dry-heaved while we were there. Not an encouraging sign.  We got access to her food allergy testing results from 2010 and we're moving her onto a venison and sweet potato food (which is what Beauty is on).  So far she likes it.  I don't know yet if it will cause untoward gastronomic reactions or not.

Schnork trying to leave the examining room

I also asked the doctor (A new doctor, and a man.  There has never been a male doctor at this clinic since I started taking animals there in 1999.  But he seems competent and friendly.) to take a look at the Schnork's leg.  He is reasonably certain that it's not broken, and that her patella hasn't slipped.  He thinks she may have a torn ligament - either a new injury or a tweak of an old one.  He gave her an injection of anti-inflammatories and sent us home with more to give orally, and instructions to keep her quiet for 3-4 days.  Sure, YOU try to keep a yorkie quiet.  Even in the crate she has 3-4 strides (at least!) of room from side to side.  

She's too uncomfortable to just lie still and sleep for any length of time, so she gets up and moves around a lot.  I do have permission to walk her on the leash for visits to the outhouse, thank goodness, and she was walking great this morning.  By the time JD got home, she was super lame again.  He dosed her at probably 4 pm, and by 8 pm when I got home, she was still quite lame.  So I don't know how well these particular painkillers are going to work out.

It seems likely that if she has a torn ligament, we will just drug her (with the current drug, Metacam, or with Rimadyl) and let her be.  Her other three legs aren't supporting much weight, and she gets around quite well as a tripod.  Right now we're just kind of waiting to see if she heals with rest.

Schnork in jail

So that's how the Schnork is doing physically.  Mentally and emotionally, she's integrating pretty well into the household.  I have caught her licking Olli and Dori.  She's sniffed noses more with Beauty, but every so often she goes all chainsaw and shrieking, and poor Beauty's all "MY NOSE!  MY NOSE!" but so far I don't think they've actually hurt each other.  The possible exception is Beauty whacking the Schnork with her giant Labrador tail.  The Schnork takes exception to that.

She is completely gaga over JD and loves nothing better than to be less than six inches from him. I take that back.  Even more, she would love to lick him.  But he's allergic to dog spit, and he gets a rash if she licks him, so she has to settle for licking me.  I don't mind.
Soaking wet Schnork drying out under JD's t-shirt this weekend.  He literally gave her the shirt off his back.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Not a paean to Pizza Hut

JD and I visited what I think may be the worst Pizza Hut ever today.  He wanted to eat out and pizza sounded fine.  The actual pizza wasn't too bad, but the place needed to put up a "sorry, we're carry out only" sign on the door.

They didn't have a pizza buffet.  They didn't have a salad bar.  (Both were on the menu.)  They had a fountain soda machine, but our drinks came in bottles.  The waitress didn't mention the fountain soda to explain the bottles.  My guess is the fountain soda machine has been broken or unsupplied for so long that she had forgotten about it.  We speculated if we would be charged for "refills" as the price of the drink was included in the meal, but probably with the assumption that they'd be using fountain drinks.  I had to ask for a second bottle of water, but at least we weren't charged for it.  I had to wonder.  If they didn't even have tap water available.. was the restaurant's water connection shut down?

The salads came with two choices of dressing...  in single serving squeeze packs.  We were each offered a plastic wrapped plastic fork to eat with.  Not even a plastic fork and knife set.  Just the fork.

Although the waitress was somewhat friendly, or at least not overtly aggressive, I'd have to rate this as one of my worst dining experiences.  I mean, if you're going to have plastic ware in the dining room, at least make it sturdy plastic.

I didn't want to make JD nervous, so I didn't mention until after we left that the particular store he chose to go to is the one that gets held up all the time.  It was light out, we were *probably* safe..

Friday, April 20, 2012

Not a banner day

We had our first medical excitement with the yorkie today.  When I went to let her out of the crate this morning, she was feeling bad.  She'd barfed multiple times.  She continued barfing, mostly dry heaving, for the next hour.  In between she slept heavily.  Poor little thing.  I was concerned about her dehydrating quickly since she is only ten pounds to begin with.  I was still sick from earlier this week, and also was working, so JD took her to the vet.

They feared pancreatitis due to tender tummy symptoms, so she was admitted for bloodwork, IV fluids, and an xray.  They basically found nothing really wrong with her.  She's pumped full of drugs, no longer vomiting, but still miserable.  And her little hind leg is if anything worse.  Probably because she's been lying down all day.  It definitely gets worse without movement.

Me, I barely managed my day of telecommuting, then went upstairs with chills.  I fell asleep with comforters piled on me and woke up a couple of hours later, sweating.  It is starting to look like my weekend will not, in fact, be full of horses and hiking.  I'll be lucky just to get out to see the horse, let alone groom him and ride.

So, yeah, not my best Friday ever.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Indignant Schnorkie

This Schnorkie is a piece of work.

I called the vet's office today because she's been limping.  She doesn't complain, she just limps.  And it gets better with exercise.  Turns out that's a symptom of luxating patella, which is common with yorkies.  Also, she's had allergy testing and she's allergic to common foods - beef, milk, chicken, eggs, lamb, potato, and soy.  AND.  She has "collapsing trachea" which is another common yorkie problem.  It explains the snoring and sleep apnea.

Yikes.  How did she ever make it to ten years old?  Will she become one of those partially mummified ancient little dogs, tottering around with no vision, no sense of smell, and only one good leg? Probably.

We had a good week wherein she had no accidents in the house, but now we are back to lots of accidents.  Sigh.  It's a process.  However, her aggression level with Beauty has gone WAY down.  Beauty keeps trying to get her to play.  Princess isn't interested.  She is, however, interested in fetching.  My Lab mix won't fetch, but the yorkie will?  Whatever, it's hilarious to watch.  Yesterday she started collecting all the stuffed squirrels (of which we have three) on the sofa next to me.  I picked one up, and when she came back with the next one she saw me holding the first squirrel.  Her whole body jerked in shock.  "HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO ME?!" she practically screamed at me.  JD and I cracked up.  Ten pounds of yorkie = a whole lot of indignation.  I gave her the squirrel back.

When she brings the squirrels to be thrown, she isn't good about releasing them.  Unless you squeak the squeaker in them, and then it's like she's had an electric shock.   I am so amused by her and her squirrel obsession.

I think she was raised with many cats, as she has shown no aggression toward any of them.  And I caught her licking Olli.

Our petsitter of many years is going to come by to meet her.  I hope it goes well.  Princess is a pretty good guard dog.  She is far more alert and territorial than Beauty.  I don't think she could really hurt anybody, but she could gnaw your ankles pretty well with the teeth she has left.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My dream house has four kitchens


I kept hitting the snooze button this morning until I finally just turned off the alarm.  Half an hour later I woke up from a nightmare and decided to get out of bed.  It started out as a good dream - JD and I found a house we really liked (with four kitchens!  That's almost enough!) and that we were going to buy.  But for some reason we spent the night in it, and of course JD left early for work, so I was there alone and underdressed (with a yorkie peeing on the carpet) when the owner showed up with people to view the place.  The owner was unimpressed with me and my "But we want to buy it! "  protestations.

First world dream problems.

Once I woke up, I realized that I felt worse than yesterday.  My stomach hurt less, but my lymph nodes hurt more.  I made a command decision and called in sick, for real this time.  Not "I feel awful but I'm going to soldier on from my home office."  This time, I said I was going to go lie down.  Which is what I did.  After the nightmare sleep wasn't coming easily, but I stared at the ceiling, and occasionally read a book, and petted various animals.  Petting animals is a very healing thing to do when you feel like crap.

Around 3 pm I started to feel better, and I must assume that being super lazy has allowed my immune system to triumph over whatever bug was plaguing it.  (See what I did there?  I amuse my own self.)  So with another early bedtime I hope to wake up all normal-like in the morning.  But I'm turning my alarm off to make sure I rest as long as I need to.  I hope I feel good, anyway, because I have organized a social event for lunch tomorrow and I'd really like to go.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Four cats, two dogs, one sysadmin, and a spaceship

I was feeling a little cruddy today so I stayed home and worked.

Somebody flew a spaceship right over my house.

Other than that, I spent much of my day in this chair with a tiny dog on me.

And a cat to my left.

And another dog down on the floor.

When I finally retired to the living room after putting in my eight hours, Olli was gazing at the street.

Dori and the Shnorkie wanted to cuddle

And even Nazca came down to hang out

Monday, April 16, 2012

My day continued in the same vein

Picture this:

An undivided two way road, two lanes of traffic each way.  There is traffic in only one lane - the far right, going away from you.  You get in the left lane on your side, which is empty.  As you accelerate, a car pulls out of the right hand lane and makes a U turn from a dead stop, cutting you off.

That was my commute to work.  A car making a U turn (on a bridge, at a stop light, across three lanes) as I turned onto the road and started to accelerate.  I slammed on my brakes and managed not to hit him.

The driver?  A uniformed policeman in a county police cruiser.  Nice.  Way to go, PG County cops!  Holding up your reputation!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

It was a good day for pictures at the farm

The apple tree is in blossom out at the farm

The boys, post-prandially

Mystery posing for me

My goober

Wait! Come back!  Bring more cookies!

The way I see Pluto

How he really is

Hi Mom!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

All is well at the House of Crazy Animals

At some point in the last two days, the horrible beast settled down.  I don't know why.  All I know is she isn't piddling everywhere and shrieking at us.  Though she is occasionally barking at JD, and I have no idea what she's trying to tell him.

Thank goodness.  I was dreading the thought of living with a tiny demanding pee fountain.

She got her stitches out yesterday from her spay surgery.  In the evening I took her for her first walk with us, and we worked on not pulling on the lead.  She's been adventuring around the house on her own and so far I don't think she's done anything I wouldn't want her to do.  Our stairs are a bit steep for her - I've seen her slip going both up and down.  But she doesn't appear to be particularly dismayed.  Given her size I'm sure it's something she's faced many times before.

I guess settling into domesticity in under two weeks is pretty good.  It just seemed bad because of her first few days.  I'm starting to think the name Princess isn't such a bad fit after all.

I wished I had a camera with me this morning when I went upstairs to check on Princess's progress.  Princess and Olli posed on the stairs together.  I think it's hilarious that the dog's best friend in the household appears to be a cat.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Notice I didn't say anything about not drinking alcohol

I have had occasion to ponder, in the last couple of days, how very healthy I've been feeling.  I mean, yes, I am suffering along with everybody else in the region as pollen explodes off the trees.  And, in tandem with everybody I know, I've fallen (briefly) to the standard winter illnesses.  But I haven't been SICK sick, you know?  Not "I have to visit specialists and even they aren't really sure what's wrong" kind of sick.  Which, sadly, I have been multiple times in the last decade or two.

I don't think it's any one thing.  I think several things have come together to help me be a healthier person.  At that point I think we can call it "lifestyle".

So, not in order:

Yoga.  Yoga both relaxes me (which decreases my stress, which decreases susceptibility to illness) and strengthens my core muscles. Thanks to the latter, I haven't had a truly severe backache since before I first started yoga.  I used to have the kind of shooting, gripping pain that made just standing up its own special kind of torture.  I saw a chiropractor frequently, I had to wear a back brace often, and I was miserable to be around.  Now?  Remarkably bendy, and I actually notice the low level pain now.  Because I can.  It used to be shouted down by the hella bad pain.

Luck.  No car accidents, nobody donating this year's flu to me, that sort of thing.  Perhaps I would consider it lucky that I've never been in the right place to have children, as they seem to make all the parents sick all the time for the first N years.

Nutrition.  I don't know if my diet has improved, or just changed.  I eat a lot more salad than I used to.  I still eat too many preserved foods (hello, delicious chicken sausage) but I eat a whole lot more fresh vegetables and fruits than ever before.  And though I've never been a huge fan of vitamins, I now take a few that I think help me a lot.  B-complex, for instance.  D-3 (as I seem to be always low, despite my superhuman ability to sunburn.)  I'm not convinced how efficacious C is, but I take some.  Plus, digestive enzymes.  Digestive enzymes = I almost never have a tummyache anymore.  I heart them so much.

Marriage.  There's nothing like another person caring for you, and you caring for them, to improve your quality of life.  Plus, JD cooks all the time so I eat a lot more fresh home cooking than I used to.

Sleep.  I'd have to ask Mom if this was true when I was little, but I find that I "get by" on 8 hours.  I'm happier with 9.  I'm truly rested with 10.  I think I just plain sleep more than I used to, now.  I made it a priority to get enough rest.  I think it wasn't until I wasn't on a schedule at all, while thruhiking, that I realized that 10 hours a night made me feel great.  I'm a bit envious of those of you who only need 4 to 6 hours a night, but it's quite clear that I'm not a member of your club.

So, to sum up:  I'm a sleepy, well fed, lucky, stretchy, married woman.  And that works for me.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Is it still a baker's dozen if there's no bread involved?

I kind of fell off the wagon last month.  After a month of low carb, and cravings, and deprivation.. yeah.  I hit the chocolate pretty hard.    Not the bread, surprisingly.  But hell yeah the chocolate.

The time has arrived to start being good again.  I've gone back on the straight and narrow, in the hopes of being a little more narrow myself.  I'm already as straight as I'm getting.

So, back to counting calories.  I'm not actually eating any differently, but I'm dutifully counting.  I wrote down all the easter candy, and the beer, and the shrimp - coconut milk - bok choy creation that JD made for dinner.  And my spinach salad for lunch.  It's all written down and accounted for.

Whose idea was it that writing it all down would work well?  Because it's kind of a pain in the ass.  I'm not a joiner, but Weight Watchers holds a certain appeal in that at least I'd not be typing all the time.  I guess you're still counting, but you're only counting up to 20 or something.  Not 1500.

Anyway, I'm doing that.  Counting.  And trying to eat lots of fruits and veggies.  Wait, let me count.. I had 14 different kinds of fruits and vegetables today.  Of course, many of them were in a salad.  But it still counts.  I'm claiming it.  I'm sure those 8 slices of radish have had some kind of huge nutritional impact, and soon I will be glowing.  Especially if they were farmed in southern MD, down near the nuclear plant.

I've been hitting the gym, too.  I need to tweak my timing.  The tail end of my routine keeps intersecting with the beginning of some class.  This means that I have to bug out of the nice, private, wood floored, mirrored room where I like to work out, and set myself up in the hallway next to the water fountain to finish my workout.  Not private.  Not serene.  You know?

I need to make more time in my day.  I've been giving myself 45 minutes at the gym, and that just isn't satisfying.  All the exercises take a finite amount of time.  I don't want to rush them, as I get less benefit from weights lifted quickly than weights lifted slowly. And some things just can't be rushed.  (Hold this 5 times for 10 seconds each can't really be reduced to less than 50 seconds.)  Perhaps I'll develop gumption and come in to work earlier.  Perhaps pigs will fly.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

You have to try harder if you want a truly awesome sandwich

I felt sick last night and this morning so I've been sleeping a lot.  Lunch seems to have perked me up.  I hope the trend continues, as I have a ton of plans for tomorrow.  Hiking, an REI visit to spend my rebate mad money, and Easter dinner with the Cottinghams.  A full day, you must admit.

Lunch was at Five Guys.  I got their little hamburger and shared some fries with JD.  I also got a glass of real Coke, figuring that some sugar and caffeine would instill a little energy.  And indeed it did.  On my burger, I got pickles, grilled onions, tomato, lettuce, and A-1 sauce.  You may feel that I'm being unnecessarily detailed, but I have a point.  Why is Five Guys feeling so great about their toppings?  They're pretty much sitting back on their laurels because they have A-1 as an option, you know what I mean?

I feel that a sincere burger joint needs more options.  Like fried eggs.  And peanut butter.  Sriracha sauce.  Blue cheese.  Swiss cheese.  Brie.  Grilled zucchini.  Sliced apples.  Maple bacon.  Sharp cheddar. Tzatziki sauce.  Cucumber slices.  Buffalo sauce.  Bean sprouts.  Alfalfa sprouts.  Horseradish.  And so on.

I have strong feelings about sandwiches.

With the help of Coke (and refills where I used the drink machine in unintended ways to make a Hi-C seltzer and a lemonade seltzer) I have enough energy to do some stuff, so I reduced the height of the stack of paper on my desk.  And I started unpacking from my last trip so that I can be ready for my next trip (a dayhike tomorrow) and the one after that (an overnight next weekend.)  Hence my dining room looks as if a backpack has exploded in it.  An all too familiar sight, in this household.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Peeing: You know you do it, too

I sit before you today to talk about a very serious subject:  urination.

Everybody pees.  Humans are huge bags of water, constantly adjusting their fluid levels.  We are advised to drink at least two quarts of water a day.  Which means that unless you're planning to gain four pounds every day, you're going to be peeing OUT two quarts as well.  Exercise much?  You're probably drinking more, for multiple reasons.  Well hydrated muscles move more smoothly over each other.  Without more water, you cramp.  Without more water, toxins aren't smoothly moved out of your body.  So, more water!  But it's not sticking around.  You'll sweat some out, you'll cry some out (in lubricating tears if nothing else), you'll breathe some out.  But mostly?  You'll pee.

Okay, so I've pretty much established that peeing will be going on.  For everyone.  The men.  The women.  The children.  The puppies.  The frogs.  Everyone.

Why is peeing such a big deal?  We all breathe all the time, and that's okay.  There's no fine for breathing in public.  Even if you have bad breath.  Even if you have asthma and sound like a broken bellows.  Breathe as much as you want, pal, it's free.

But peeing?  Oh my goodness no!  That's private!  That's illegal, if anybody catches you!  Except that if you go in a public restroom, EVERYBODY knows what you're doing, can hear it, can smell it, can see you in the cracks around the stupid little door to your peeing cell.  You have to keep up the appearance of pretending to not know they know you're peeing, and they have to keep up the appearance of pretending not to know you're peeing.

You may wonder why this is on my mind.  Well, I'll tell you.

There is a class of people who, through the kindness of their hearts, will let hikers camp for free on their property.  For which, thank you.  We often need a place to stay, as we are a little bit or a lot homeless while hiking, depending.  But kind people, you forget that we are functional people!  You deny access to modern plumbing!  And then you get upset when people pee outdoors!

We are people just like you!  WE ALSO PEE!  It bugs me every time I hear that hikers are no longer welcome because one of them was spotted peeing somewhere.  What did people think would happen?  Did they think the hikers would somehow be able to hold it for the 36 hours they were spending in town?  For even 6 hours in town, if it involved a meal and adding a soda to that bag-of-liquids body?

Blind.  Or stupid.  But probably blind.

Anyway.  I gotta go.  For some reason I need to pee now.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

All days should be nice like today

Love seeing the moon during the day
It was a super nice day today.  Started at 3 am with a migraine, but drugs took care of that.  Outside it was shirtsleeve weather.  The kind where the air feels good on your skin and the earth feels good under your feet.  A vendor bought me lunch and I walked back to the office from the restaurant, feeling like I could walk for hours given the opportunity.  And I would have.

My day was kind of busy.  I didn't feel like I got much done.  Mostly I went to meetings.  Good meetings, though.

This evening was yoga.  Yoga teacher was once again feeling too sick to teach, but she got us a sub.  If she hadn't, I was going to suggest that we just practice some basic poses as a group.  I missed it too much when we didn't have class last week.  But, sub was there.  She was very, very different, in a good way.  She made me mindful of parts of my body that I don't think of much.  I felt very bendy and happy by the time we were done.

The little monster here at the house is trying to fit in, and we're getting there gradually.  Maybe a month before everything is settled?  In the meantime, we watch her carefully, trying to intervene before she breaks housetraining.  And making sure that if Beauty won't stand up for herself, the Beast at least realizes that she'll get in big trouble if she abuses her housemates.  We think it's sinking in.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Things in my day

It's almost like fall, with the different colors of pollen in the treeline.  Fall:  the other time of year when my head hurts.

This little beauty was right outside the door to my office.  Just a tiny little flower in the grass.  It's about the size of my thumbnail.

Yes, you are seeing that correctly.  There are BROCCOLI BITS.  In the WATER FOUNTAIN.  I almost went passive-aggressive all over somebody's ass, but I was really busy.  Not too busy to snark and take a picture, of course.

The Beast, here, is finally starting to figure things out.  Like, you don't have to bark all night.  And skwirls are fun.  And if you do your bidness out in the yard, people are nicer to you.  Also, like every animal ever, she has fallen in love with my husband and accepts me only as a poor substitute.

Monday, April 2, 2012

My dog is having an unnatural relationship with a sheep

This evening we managed to keep the little terror from doing anything awful OR making horrible sounds, which is some kind of miracle.  Also, she was being cute:

There is very little as ridiculous as a dog with a sheep for a head
She decided this old cat bed was just perfect this evening.  Unfortunately, it is heavily imbued with cat hair.  She is getting hairballs from it, I'm pretty sure.  That should be fun to deal with.
We don't care if she tears up the surface of that bed, so we're letting her do whatever she wants to it.  At some point I should probably remove the heating pad from inside it.  It's not plugged in, so she won't get electrocuted, but I'd like to be able to use it next year.

More importantly, Olli would like to be able to use it next year.

She is currently curled up in the bed with her head pillowed on the sheep, kind of moaning.  And shnorking.  She's a weird one, that dog.

JD let her in the living room to watch tv with him this evening.  She made several trips to various locations in the room to secure her stuffed squirrels.  She felt that it was important for them to be on the same sofa as JD while they all watched Star Trek together.  Those are going to be some nerdy squirrels.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Less barking, more pooping, more Star Trek

My world is a much better place today.  It's sunny, I got to see a movie(1) with friends (one of whom I never get to see because she is one of the hardest working engineers at NASA), and we opened a bottle of Clos du Bois merlot for dinner.  That's one of my favorite wines.  And indeed the only bottle of wine we had left, in the red category.  (Mom Forinash, we have a bottle of white left with your name on it.)

Also, the Dogwai has been much less barky today.  Though equally poopy.  And, sadly, pee-ey.

I left a message with the dog training place where I took Paige(2), back when she was incorrigible.  They corriged her right proper.  I'm certain that they can set one little Shnorkie straight.

Also, the Shnorkie (aside from some excretions) has been much easier to get along with today.  Yes, she wants to be right next to either me or JD at all times.  But she has at least agreed to be next to us away from the sofa.  We were getting pretty tired of spending all our time in the living room.

Current ideas for replacement dog/mop names:  Dogwai, The Beast (to go with Beauty).

Dogwai over there has decided that, like all dogs, she is in love with JD.  She likes nothing better than to be three inches from his foot.  Or less.  The only way I'm going to get "my own" dog is if JD leaves town for a couple of months.  Which is an option.  Although probably not in the near future, as I don't see us with a third dog.  Two dogs, four cats, and a horse is sufficient.  We already have to get the county hoarder's license for the six housepets.  Seven would be insane.  More insane.

After several months in a cage at the vet's, I guess she'll deal okay with staying in her crate while we're at work.  Between the stitches and her inappropriate excretions, there is no way that we're leaving her out during the day.  Not for a while, anyway.  Also, the cats are still unsure that the asthmatic mop which has taken up residence on the first floor is safe to be around.  Andy was finally driven downstairs by hunger today, but he resents it.  Both he and Dori were thrilled when I went up to take a shower today so they could get petted and made much of (by JD - I was busy showering.)

Dogwai pleased to be the center of attention on the sofa.  Also pleased that Star Trek TNG is on.  We adopted a Trekkie.
This week will be the first in a long time with no physical therapy at all.  If the weather holds, I'll get out to see my horse.  I might even ride him.  He won't know what's going on.

(1) We went to see "The Hunger Games".  I was able to read the trilogy recently courtesy of my friend Renee, who lent them to me over Amazon.  The movie grossed some outrageous amount on its opening weekend.  I noted that it differed from the books in a couple of important respects, but the feel was much the same.  I don't understand why they chose to gift the pin as they did.  It's a key element.  And some things would have been very difficult / expensive to film.  But nevertheless I was captivated, except for the point about an hour in when I had to dash out to pee.  It's a very long film.

(2) I miss that dog all the time.  Just like Playboy was a once in a lifetime horse, Paige was a once in a lifetime dog.  It took me a year to establish full dominance over her, but after that she was the light of my life.  She shared my bed (sleeping tight by my spine), my mandatory nightly walks, my one sided conversation.. she was a smart dog, and after training she used her powers for good.  As much as I miss her, I'm grateful to have had the chance to know her.  To know just how great a dog can be.  And look, now I'm crying again.