Yo ho ho and a bottle of… kibble

In the continuing saga of “old dogs are old,” Licorice has done her level best to fill the void Duncan left behind. (Understand that by “void” I mean “need for expensive trips to the vet.”) I mentioned before that she had some accidents in the house (unusual for her), but—in the immortal words of Billy Mays—WAIT, THERE’S MORE.

One day this summer, and honestly I can’t even remember when, now, Licorice started limping. She was favoring her back left leg. We’ve always joked that Licorice is part gazelle due to her impressive vertical leap, and because she is an old lady now (you never really know with a rescue, but between her assigned birthday and assumed age, we think she turned 15 this August) we figured perhaps she had leapt off the bed or the couch and landed a little wrong. I hadn’t witnessed anything like that, hadn’t heard her yelp or cry, but we figured that must be it. I pointed it out to Otto when he got home that day and we agreed to wait and see how she was the next day. Maybe it would get better on its own!

HAAAAAAAAhahahaha. The next morning, she’d stopped using that leg altogether and was refusing to bear any weight on it. Off to the vet we went! read more…

Well that was quite a summer

I did not mean to leave you with the depressingness of Duncan’s demise for quite so long. I apologize. We had a rough week there and then gradually settled into being able to reference and talk about him fondly and without tears. It helped that Licorice has taken to having periodic accidents in the house (SHE IS JUST TRYING TO HELP) and Monkey loves to proclaim that it’s “The ghost of Duncan!” peeing on the floor. So. Who knows? Maybe it is Ghost Leaky Duncan. I feel like haunting us with puddles would be on brand for him, honestly.

And then… the second half of the summer seemed to rev up into turbo and WHOOSH it came and went and now it’s over, I guess. Which is also weird.

In addition to my own stuff, it was pointed out to me by one of my children (three guesses and the first two don’t count; one reads the blog obsessively and the other says “what, you still have a blog?”) that I haven’t updated on Offspring Shenanigans in a VERY long time, so I guess I’ll do some of that, too.

[And just to save us all some time, NO, we did not get another dog, we are not getting another dog anytime soon, and if you suggest that what I need is a puppy, I will suggest that what YOU need is to get bent.] read more…

Not undead after all

I don’t know how to ease into this so I won’t. Duncan is no longer undead, he’s just regular dead, now. And it feels shitty and morbid to put it like that, but I don’t think he would mind. If Duncan could’ve spoken English I like to believe he would’ve cussed like a sailor and been very blunt. “Listen, I’m 207 fucking years old now. I can’t hear. I can barely see. My brain’s going and I piss everywhere and when you let me go, don’t pussyfoot around it and say I ‘passed on’ or ‘went forever to sleep’ or anything. Just say I’m dead. But also remind everyone that I was a legend because I cheated death for years.”

I can’t know for sure, of course. But that’s what I think he would’ve said. And then (as long as I’m predicting what my dog would’ve had to say about his own mortality) he probably would’ve reminded me that he was dying and and really, really liked cheese, so why wasn’t I inserting some cheddar into his mouth right then?

It was just a few weeks ago that I was updating here and assuring you all that even post major-seizure or stroke or whatever that horrible event was, Duncan continued to be utterly undead and unbothered. Sure, in the days and weeks that followed we watched him like a hawk, but other than being a little unsteady and a whole lot leaky, he seemed fine. I mean, as fine as he ever was. read more…

Because we are all old

I swear I didn’t mean to pop in three months ago, mention I was horribly depressed, tell a story about dog poop, and then disappear again. That’s what happened, but it wasn’t intentional. My intentions are always more like “I’ll post this and then I’ll get back to updating regularly, and with less angst” because hope springs eternal. Then life happens. You know how it is.

The bad news is that it’s been three entire months AND I’m not really even sure I would know how to live a life that is free from angst, so—intentions or not—my plan, such as it was, is not salvageable. Then again, if you come here, I feel like you’re okay with the angst (and generally pretty patient with me wandering off for months at a time).

The good news is that SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED and SO MUCH OF IT IS STUPID that I am now here, back again, ready to share. Will it be anything interesting to you, a presumably normal human who does not view life as a combination of a Twilight Zone episode and a marathon you most definitely did not sign up to run? WHO KNOWS! I’m going to talk about it, anyway, because I am most definitely not a normal human (not in a “I’m not a regular mom, I’m a cool mom” sort of way, but in a “my entire personality is just a collection of various trauma” kind of way).

Ready? Buckle up! Trigger warning: lots of medical stuff to follow, including some doggy stuff. read more…

Panic at the disco, but no disco

Hello again! Happy over-a-year-of-our-new-hellscape, and I hope you sensibly celebrated by getting takeout or something. I, apparently, decided to celebrate one year of lockdown by telling both my regular depression and my seasonal depression to hold my beer, and then proceeding to plunge into the pit of despair for most of February and March. I remained as sensible as possible during this time (which is to say, not at all) and every week got online with my therapist and defended my ridiculous behavior as if it was all totally normal and fine, because no longer talking to anyone or doing anything was PERFECTLY LOGICAL because I was just TIRED and also EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE felt objectively true so obviously that was why I was crying so much. And then when she would sigh at me I would just shrug and say it’s fine, whatever, everything’s fine, whatcha gonna do, it is what it is.

I am an utter fucking delight (especially while depressed).

ANYHOODLE, I would love to tell you that’s all over now and I’m good, but that’s not quite true. I am better than I was. I am still not great, but Otto is no longer looking at me like I might spontaneously combust at any moment. While trying to quantify it the other day, I explained that I had been moving through a giant vat of peanut butter during the worst of it—sticky, heavy, and very constricting—and now I am in a vat of Jell-O, instead. I am not unimpeded but at least things are a little bouncier than they were. ALSO I got my first coronavirus vaccine shot, and I think that helped my mental state a lot more than I realized it would (even though it made me pretty ill and I am not looking forward to the second one). read more…

What I did on my winter vacation

Hello! How’s everyone holding up? How are we handling… you know… everything? Still hanging on? Good, good. Us too.

Today is day 7,391 of the plague, right? My hair clippers—which I’ve had for so long I really don’t know how long I’ve had them—started making a really weird noise when I used them last month, and after giving Chickadee and Sunny haircuts while they were visiting (more on that in a bit) I discovered that I’d given Sunny terrible razor burn on her neck while I was tidying up at the end of her cut. I felt awful. (She, true to form, was all, “It’s fine! No big deal!” because she is a doll.) I fell down a rabbit hole of reviews and price comparisons and after hemming and hawing for a few weeks, ordered a (higher-quality) replacement set. I got them out for the first time yesterday to give Otto a back-to-school haircut and HOOBOY those new clippers are sharp and powerful and so much better than my old ones, I was legitimately excited and exclaiming things like, “Oh my God, these are amazing!” and “I cannot believe how cleanly these cut!” And then this morning as Otto got ready for work I admired my handiwork and again commented, “Man, those new clippers are AWESOME.”

This was when I realized my already-tenuous grasp on real life might be unravelling. I mean, yay for decent clippers, but this shouldn’t be the most exciting development of the year. Still, here we are. Hair clippers are the best part of 2021 so far. Wheeee! read more…

Do you know the muffin man?

Hello! My oh my, so many exciting things have been happening lately! Just kidding. Nothing is happening. I mean, I assume SOMETHING is happening SOMEWHERE, but not here.

The biggest news from my universe is that—after months of meeting over Zoom—my book club has resumed meeting in person. Before you gasp and clutch your pearls (and, really, I admire those who put their pearls on with their stay-at-home sweatpants), let me hasten to add that we are meeting outside, all well-distanced, and with serious discussions of literature punctuated with both giggle-fits over things having nothing to do with the books we read AND leaves falling in our hair and coffee. It was so windy at our last meeting, I swear at least 50% of the conversation was “You’ve got a leaf….” accompanied by gesturing and being echoed around the circle like we were all playing some weird telephone/charades hybrid.

My book club, by the way, is better than your book club. I knew maybe 3 of the women when I joined, years ago, and have since gotten to know and adore many women I never would’ve met, otherwise. Plus we are not above, say, giving an endless amount of shit to the one who showed up in nice clothes and wearing MAKEUP like the world wasn’t ending around us. And Ashley is in my book club (read her, if you don’t already) and Kris is in my book club and Kris is also gluten-free. Back during the Normal Times™ book club was a monthly potluck brunch and Kris and I could always bake safely for each other, and now that everything is upside down we sometimes drop baked goods off at each others’ houses. read more…

This is definitely not a casino

Long ago and far away, there was some debate as to whether our house contains a casino, and adorable little-kid word mix-ups aside, I think we determined that no, it does not. It never occurred to me that the day would come when I would also have to determine whether or not this here blog contains a casino, but apparently while I wasn’t paying attention, that became a thing.

Confused? I was, too. Allow me to explain. Sort of.

You may have noticed (har har) that I don’t write as much as I used to. My time and energy has turned more to other things, like sewing masks and dealing with people on Poshmark who want to pay $4 for a $200 coat and such. (Don’t be jealous of my glamorous life, yo!) I may have let a few things fall by the wayside, such as installing updates on Ye Olde Blog.

And so one day I randomly decided to look at my traffic (famous among dozens!) and discovered that there were incoming links to the blog which were redirecting to gambling sites, and although they were definitely using my site address, they weren’t anything I’d ever created and I couldn’t FIND them anywhere because my entire knowledge of WordPress would fit into a Dixie cup. read more…

Your package is running late

My father texted me yesterday, and I need you to understand that my father only types on a regular keyboard with two fingers, so texting—even worse—is for him a laborious and unfathomably slow process. I knew it must be something very urgent.

He texted to say I need to blog to “protect his sanity.” I was tempted to let him know I’ll miss him if I’m all that’s standing between him and the brink, but instead I told him I’d try as soon as I had some time. Because, you know, time is weird right now. Also I was on a Zoom meeting when he texted, so technically I did NOT have the time right then. (It was a Very Important Board Meeting. I don’t know who the hell thought it was a good idea to put me on the board of anything, but mostly at those meetings I spend a lot of time nodding. They’re getting their money’s worth outta me, hooboy, mostly because the board is unpaid.)

Anyway, that left me trying to figure out if I had anything of interest to blog about, and the answer is not really, but when has that ever stopped me? Exactly. At the very least, I can mine my children’s experience for blog content, like the old days. Right? Sure. read more…

Important critter updates

We’re rather like a nature preserve, over here, if you like your nature preserve with a motley assortment of dying plants and high-strung creatures, that is. I thought before telling you the new news, I should probably cover some old news. Good old news, even!

1) We have not had a recurrence of any car mice. Thank God.

2) Nor have we had a recurrence of any possums in the pool. (In fact, there hasn’t been anything of note in the pool for a while, or maybe Otto is just no longer telling me, which would also be fine.)

3) Despite the fact that we are rapidly coming up on a year from Duncan’s “maximum life expectancy is a year past this diagnosis” vet hospital odyssey, he continues to enjoy life, food, and the pursuit of new and interesting places to pee in my house. Because he doesn’t understand English I love to explain to him how he is the worst dog who ever dogged, and no one likes him, and if he doesn’t stop peeing on my floor I am going to make him into Duncan stew. Otto—Mr. I Don’t Want Pets—gets very upset when I do this. Duncan just wags.

It’s been a pretty good time for critters ’round here, is the point. read more…

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