Tuesday, January 31, 2012

When All Else Fails....

....get on your knees and pray.

This makes me laugh.  I was eating popcorn
and he just sat there like that with his big paws doubled up.

Sadly, his prayers weren't answered. 
He didn't get a bite.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Perfectly Full Weekend

Jordan flew in Saturday for a 4 day visit.  Her office is closed for the week after recouping from their busy season.  But Chris, the husband, had to stay behind for work....so we have Jordan all to ourselves.

We met up with my sister and her family on Saturday evening for a delicious dinner at Yard House.  We've eaten at Yard House in Scottsdale and now have one of our own here in Houston.  Yum.  Everyone came back by the house to meet Harry.

"He's HUGE." ....they all exclaimed. 

Sunday, I attended a baby shower for my sweet co-worker Ally, who is due in March.  It was the perfect beginning for what turned out to be a perfect day.....ending around the firepit with all of my children at home.  ahhhhh.

The baby shower was held at a 150 year old cottage....the home of one of the mom-to-be's cousins.  The hostesses outdid themselves with the decorations and the food.
It was cute overload.

The shower was actually held out doors and we were certainly blessed with perfect weather.  It was the blue skies...no clouds...just a slight breeze....hovering in the mid 60's kind of day.  Perfect for an outdoor gathering.  (Are you sick of the word perfect yet?)
There is nothing better than baby shower food and cake.


Later, Chuck grilled steaks and after dinner
we all grabbed a blanket and headed out to the firepit. 
The PERFECT ending to the weekend.

The baby shower party favor was a baby jar full of jelly beans. 
I brought home a couple for Jordan and Will. 
 Harry stared hard at that jar. 
He could eat that jar like it was Fritos.

Just so you don't think this is a Harry Blog,
 I'm throwing this picture in. 
 I have a plate collection hanging on my back fence. 
And believe it or not, they are holding up to the rain,wind and sun.

Do you see who is being loved on?  Yep.
His ears feel like velvet...so I forgive him for eating umbrellas.
We will keep him in chew toys 'til death do us part.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sweet Destruction

Harry is the sweetest, largest, slobberiest dog.  We are falling in love.  He has the cutest face and has kicked up the "activity level" in this empty nest.

But.............and this is a huge BUT....

So far he has eaten/destroyed 2 umbrellas, his dog bed ($100.00 and only one week old), a wicker basket, the padding in Dixie's dog bed,  mail left out on the counter, a jacket and my desk calendar. 

And a piece of frozen chicken and frozen spinach in a ziplock bag.  I had taken this out of the freezer to pack in my lunchbag. I left it on the counter, then went to take my shower.  Came back and saw spinach on the floor.  Frozen chicken and ziplock bag gone....except the zipper top of it.  Apparently he didn't like the frozen spinach.

My bad.  I shouldn't have left it out.  This is all new to me.  I don't think like this. 

I would have taken pictures of this destruction, but I was sweeping up the messes with him still wanting to play with the torn bits. We are learning to clear the counters but it's hard to teach us old dogs new tricks.

Looking for obedience training classes or a shock collar.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tear....Like Rhymes with Bare.

Yesterday at work, it felt like there seemed to be a film across my right eye.  It just suddenly became noticeable.   But it wasn't in my eye, it was inside my eyeball.  The faint may want to leave now.  As long as I was busy, I could almost forget about it.  But it didn't go away.  And while I could tell it was inside my eyeball, I kept blinking thinking I could make it go away.  Imagine looking in a foggy mirror.  I could see but it was very filmy. 

Then I sneezed really hard.  This will be important later.

When I got home, I headed in to the dark living room to turn on a lamp....and saw flashing lights in my peripheral vision.  Very quick flashing lights lasting only 2 or 3 seconds.  Then Chuck walked in the back door and I thought ....oh, it must have been a reflection of his headlights coming up the driveway.  This is called denial. 

Change in your eyesight....like new floaters or showers of black things and flashing lights is an indicator of a retinal tear.  How do I know this?  Because it just happened to a good friend of mine not too long ago and she called and told me the details and I listened.  And while I normally hear symptoms of some weird disease and then immediately experience them...having myself dead and buried within the month, this wasn't the case here.  I just remembered her symptoms, and when the "flashing lights" happened, I knew.

So I got up this morning and knew I needed to call the opthamologist office.  Mention the words, "flashing lights" and they see you right away. Numbing drops, eye exams and 3 hours later waiting for the Retina Specialist, I had laser surgery on the tear in my retina. 

The orange matter is the retina. That little hole that the arrow is going through?  Well, that's a tear (rhymes with bare). The laser is shot around the tear to seal it off to prevent fluid going through the tear and causing the whole retina from pulling away.  Like in this picture. 

The surgery was quick and just a tad painful like a "headache." At one point, it felt like a brain freeze sensation.  I sat on my hands so I wouldn't make a quick movement and hit the doctor guiding the laser machine.

What caused this?  Oh, hard coughing, SNEEZING, constipation, heavy lifting, eye trauma, or NOTHING.  Yep, nothing can cause it....just part of the aging process.  Happens to about 5% of us.I did sneeze really hard yesterday but it was way after the huge, cloudy floater appeared.  Still, I wonder if that had anything to do with making it worse...as in "flashing lights" a little later.

And that cloudy stuff I see?  Blood inside my eye.  When the retina tore, it was near a blood vessel. It doesn't look like blood, it looks like a cloud.  And while my retina tear has been repaired, the huge floater may take months to dissipate...because it's actually blood and has to dissolve back in to your body.

For the next 2 weeks, I have to be very careful... no heavy lifting, no sudden jerking motion, no heavy exercise.  So sounds like I won't be seeing any of you at the gym.

And the doctor said eat all I want and absolutely no hanky panky.

Okay, maybe she didn't say that. 

PS....I can make a little joke about it now, but I was extremely scared this morning.  I worked hard at staying calm and brave today.  Drops numbed my eye, but I had to calm myself with no valium...just prayer.  If  these symptoms happen to any of you, do not delay in getting to the doctor.  If it hadn't have been for my friend having this happen to her, I wouldn't have put 2 and 2 together with my symptoms.  So I'm thankful for her ....not for her having this happen....but for sharing her story with me so I was able to get help.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Joke's On Us

Do you ever get the feeling that you may be the brunt of someone's joke? 
Or as soon as you walk away, you are being laughed at? 
 Perhaps, you just have S*cKeR written across your forehead.
  Yeah, that's us right now. 
I feel like we gave the workers at the vet's office
a good laugh yesterday. 

Chuck picked Harry up from the vet after he was neutered yesterday.  
He was given all of the instructions for giving meds...
what to look for in case of complications...
and one more thing...

Told we must keep the cone on Harry for a week.

Good one!  I feel sure they laughed while watching Chuck drive away.

It's probably only needed for a couple of days at the most
but they instructed us to keep it on A WEEK.

He attempted to go out the doggie door no
 less than a hundred times last night.

When Chuck got up this morning, the cone was off
and Chuck couldn't get it back on
 because of Harry's strong desire to keep it off.

By the time Harry's
 pain meds  kicked in,
 I was up and able to get the cone back on.

It hasn't even been one day yet.

And we're all worn out.  It hasn't really slowed him down
but he is running into everything...including me, the doors, the walls. 

Yep.  This is surely a joke.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Let's Get This Over With...

I've done something very impulsive and embarrassing.  I'm a little ashamed.  My stomach hurts.  Still feels unreal.  I need to get it off my chest.  So here goes.......

I answered an email for a lost dog who needed a home or he was going to be put down. 

And this wasn't the first one I answered.  It went something like this:

  • 12/28/11 - A friend posted on fb that a young yellow lab needed a good home.  I couldn't quit thinking about it and responded.  Long story short...it didn't work out.  Thank you, God.  For reeling me back in.

  • 1/4/12 - A friend at work says she needs to find a home for the lab mix that showed up at her house a few weeks earlier.  I start asking questions...it's looking promising until she says the dog is a digger.  Thank you, God.  For bringing me to my senses.

  • 1/4/12 - I receive an email from a friend of a friend of a friend who needs to find a home for a 6 year old Golden Retriever named Hunter. Oh, my goodness!  This is why the other two didn't work out!  God wants us to have a Golden Retriever.  Chuck and Will are beside themselves with excitement!  Chuck tells me to respond to the email quickly! Bless his heart, he has wanted a big dog again ever since we lost our beloved Golden Retriever, Brandy, at the age of 14.  It's been 6 years.  This dog is 6.  Will makes the connection and says "it's meant to be."  The owner says she will bring the dog to our house on Saturday morning at 10:30 to meet us.  Apparently she is interviewing others so we have to look great. 

  • 1/7/12 - Everyone gets up early.  The house is spotless.  We are all showered and dressed and burning candles to make the house more inviting.   We are ready to meet Hunter at 10:30.  It's now 10:20.  10:30.  10:45.  11:00.  Noon.  We've been stood up.  The look on Chuck and Will's face is devastating.   Total disappointment.  Okay, God.  What was that about? 

  • 1/7/12 to 1/10/12 - I am talking to God non-stop about my impulse control and thanking him for covering for me.  We need a big dog like we need a hole in our head.  Thank you. Thank you.  Please help me with my impulse control.  Please do not let me see another email about a lost dog who needs a home.  Another BIG dog.  Whew.  That was close.  God, you are mighty to save.

  • 1/10/12 - An email about a lost dog is sent to all the residents of my neighborhood.  One of our neighbors (that we don't know) found it wandering and picked it up.  She has a friend who's a vet and will keep it in his kennel for a couple of days but then it will be sent to a shelter.  The shelters are all full and it looks like the dog will be put down. Her email pleas for someone to save him from death. 

  • 1/10/12 - Dear God, is this a sign?  Is this the one?  Because how weird is it for me to have 3 large dogs come to my attention within the last 2 weeks....not work out......and now this 4th one?  It's a sign, right?  This isn't impulse....this is YOU.  Right?  I respond to the email..."We might be interested."  Hit send.  Praying someone else already took the dog.

  • 1/11/12 - The writer of the email calls me and says we are the only ones (out of 200 homes) that responded.  Another sign, right?  I talk to her and ask her to have it checked for heartworms.   See this isn't impulsive because I am thinking straight....and it's responsible.  I don't say yes right away...can't be impulse.  Her vet does the test, it comes back negative.  She calls me back.  I ask for directions to the vet.  I call Will.  He goes with me.  The vet has given the dog all of its shots and I pay the bill.  The first time I see the dog is when they bring him out for us to take home.

  • 1/11/12 to now - What have I done?  He's huge.  He drools.  He's as big as a bear. He's about a year to a year and a half old Border Collie/Black Lab mix.  Very healthy.  Very klutzy.  Very, very large.    Will and Chuck are in love.  I am trying hard not to be.  Dear God,  Send me a sign that we did the right thing.  Fast, if you will.  He's drooling on everything.

Meet Harry Pawter.

 Harry's new bed.

Up until Friday, we weren't sure we were keeping him.  Chuck, in his laid back way, said, "let's just give it a few more days and see how he works out."  Me, in my very uptight way, said, "I don't do limbo...if we're keeping him, he needs a bed, otherwise let's get rid of him now!"

I said this.  Then looked at Will and Chuck and their sad, sad faces.
So we got a bed.

I guess we're keeping him.
But if the owner comes forward,
I would do the right thing.

Still waiting for God to verify.

Dear God,
What has she done? 
Love, Maggie

Dear God,
What has she done?
Love, Sadie

Dear God,
Thank you for tennis balls.
Love, Dixie

Dear Mama and Daddy,
Thanks for the big bed and huge chew bones!
  You rock.
Love, Dixie

Dixie is not budging out of Harry's bed. 
In fact, growling at him. 
 He backs away.

10 pounds can move 60 pounds.

Harry loves his new boy.

If ever a dog needed to be named Bear, it's this one. 

Working on Ballet First Position.

He sees a "big, black dog" in the fireplace. 

He barks for the next 10 minutes at his reflection. 
 It's on my last nerve. 
Chuck has the giggles.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I ♥ Valentine's Day!

I ♥ Valentine's Day. 

 Well, not so much the day but the decor. 

 The reds and pinks and cards and 's. 

By the way, I learned how to make that
♥ heart from here thanks to Pinterest.

This was a gift given to me by my friend, Julie.  A 5 x 7 piece of paper covered with cute scrapbook paper with a vintage card mod-podged on to it...then put in a frame. 

If you're reading this post, I ♥ you, too.

Can you tell I'm excited about learning how to make a ♥?

Dragging Christmas Out

We celebrated Christmas with Cameron on the 29th...after she got off the big ship that she was on Christmas Day.  There was a lot of hanging around just waiting for her to get here. Once she arrived in port, she took off for Cleveland, Mississippi, for a couple of days.  So we waited and waited.  Her packages were under the tree........just waiting.

 Is she here yet?


 Cameron, like me, rarely has her mouth closed in pictures.
Of all of my children, she is the one who talks as much as me. 

Whatever you do, don't interrupt her or she has to go all the way back to the beginning of her story. 

Cameron adopted an endangered animal...a white owl...for Will. 
 She got the stuffed one and put it in a bird cage for him...along with the adoption papers. 
 There is a Harry Potter connection here somewhere
but I've never read the books so I'm not exactly sure what it is.

Oliver enjoyed the gift opening and the trash that followed.

There is a cat in this picture somewhere...can you spy him?

Chuck videoed and I sat there and tried not to take the tree down.
I work hard at relaxing...I really do.  But it's so hard for me.
In my head, I'm already moving on to the next thing.
I mean, this was the 29th of December.

But the Christmas was left up until we got back from Mississippi after New Year's.  And I lived through it.  Even while listening to my sister-in-laws talk about
how they put all theirs' away the day after Christmas. 

God knew what he was doing when he sent Chuck my way.
  Laid back doesn't even begin to describe how relaxed and easy going he is.   
Give him a t.v. and a chair and he has no idea there's a tree in the room.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

F.F.F. 2011

Forced. Family. Fun. 2011.  Check.

 Back from our visit with Chuck's family in Mississippi.  I do love those people, but that 9 hour trip, non-stop eating (mostly cream cheese based dips) and sleeping in a bed not my own, takes a toll on this old body.  I am exhausted and more than a little thankful the holidays are over. 

Believe me, I'm sure the relatives feel the same way.
We made them drag Christmas out until after New Year's
because we couldn't get there any sooner.

We spent New Year's Eve at a hunting club
where our brother-in-law is a member. 
I was a little hesitant because "hunting" sounds like "camping."
But I could not have been more impressed.
It's near the Mississippi River...and the lodge was so nice
 and our accodomations were wonderful.
 We ate and danced the night away. 
Great food, great dancing, great accomodations.

Lots of stuffed animals.

Me, kitty and Beth.

Our room.
So NOT camping.

A porch stretched across the entire back of the lodge.

The view from the front door of the lodge.  The cabin in the background belongs to my brother-in-law.  It now sits empty and full of mold after being flooded last year in the Mississippi River flooding.  The lodge we stayed in was also flooded but has been redone since.  He probably can't rebuild because he would be required to raise it 9 more feet to insure it again.  Such is the life of those who love living by water.  I can certainly understand now why he loves this "camp" so much.

I could never be a hunter, but I could see myself hanging out here.
  Out in the middle of nowhere. 

 Quiet.       Peaceful.       Muddy.

New Year's Day was spent at my sister-in-law's home. Where we ATE.

Back Row: Bro-I-L Charlie, Cousin Pam, Sis-I-L Beth, Me, Chuck,
Cousin Gale, Sis-I-L Elizabeth, Bro-I-L Michael
Front row: Aunt Betty, M-I-L Margie

This was the picture of all the elders...well, anyone that was not a kid.
  The two in front are over 80. 
And they got down on the floor for the group picture.
  We ran out of room for the camera shot and someone told them to get down in front
...as a joke...and they did. 
 And yes, they got back up.

Assistance was offered and refused. 
 They said they could do it themselves....
just give them a few minutes.

And they're up.

80's the new 60.

Back Row:  Pam, Beth, Chuck, Gale
Front Row: Tres, Anna, Taylor, Michael, Brigham

This group is all related by blood.
 Hackney blood.

There are several more cousins not here this day and they were missed.

My sister-in-law has a beautiful home out in the country.
  She is a little obsessed with Ole Miss.
  This is her master bathroom. 
#49 has a huge fan.  And this fan has a huge #49.

We headed home on Monday and I was back at work today.  The Christmas tree is dismantled but not all put away yet.  Piles and boxes of Christmas decorations are waiting to be put away.  Sadly I know that in a blink of an eye, I will be getting those boxes back out before I know it.  Years seem to jump from Christmas to Christmas.

Stay in the day.  Breathe.
Make 2012 a year to remember.
Listen for Him.