accident · bed · falling · Golden Retriever · Kaylee · leash · pain · pulled · shoulder · sleep · sofa · Steven · yank

The Dog is Trying to Kill Me

I’m typing slowly today (not that I was such a whiz before) because my entire right arm is in pain after our dog tried to kill me last week. (I should point out here that I am right-handed, and if I’d had the leash in my left-hand, this wouldn’t be a problem.)

Kaylee is a 14-month-old Golden Retriever, very affectionate, enthusiastic, and way too full of energy. Last Thursday we were going to run some errands. I was walking Kaylee through the parking lot to the car when she spotted her favorite person in the world, Mike. Immediately, she dashed in his direction, yanking me along with her. What followed would have been a big hit on YouTube, had anyone been filming. I flew off my feet, into the air, and hit the wet, dirty pavement, face down, bruising my knees, & skinning my palms as I landed. The leash was jerked from my hand, and my right shoulder was felt as if it had been pulled out of the socket!
I hadn’t realized there were that many people outside, but instantly there were at least 7 neighbors around me, as well as Steven & Mike, all asking if I was okay, and exclaiming over what had happened. “Did you see how she flew? I’ve never seen a dog do that to a grown-up before!” I heard someone say.
As I cradled my arm against my chest, and headed back inside to change my now wet & dirty clothes, I reminded Mike “Do NOT give that dog any treats!!” Because this, of course, is why she loves him more that anyone else. Mike is the maintenance guy for our apartment complex, and in his storage room, keeps bags of expensive treats for all the dogs that he hands out like candy!
All the dogs adore him.
Later that evening Steven took me to the ER, where they told me I had an Acute Shoulder Strain, gave me some exercises & pain meds. Since then, I can’t lift more than I medium-sized book, and even that is sometimes painful. It’s hard to write; I can’t lift my hand above my head. Ouch.
If that was all, I wouldn’t wonder about the dog, but I’m starting to wonder. A month ago, she pulled so hard on the leash I fell down the stairs, and then a week later, she jumped on me when I was on a stepladder, knocking me off. If I see a shadow on the shower curtain, and hear the theme song from “Psycho,” I’m gonna know it’s her! I think she’s out to get me just because I won’t let her sleep on the bed. With me out of the way, she’ll have Steven all to herself, and can sleep anywhere she wants–sofa, bed, kitchen sink! Nobody will complain “That dog needs a bath!” or that she has toys all over the place.
So if I suddenly end up dead in an odd dog-related accident, you will all know it was no accident! Make sure the dog is prosecuted to the full extent of the law–and do NOT let her sleep on my bed!!
breast cancer · Colorado · exercise · goals · lemons · lessons · Michele · New Year · pain · realizations · Sarah Palin · Shel · Steven · yoga

Lemons and Lessons

I have to say, I’m not sorry 2010 is over. In many ways, that year sucked, big time.
I spent most of the year in pain with migraines, and various other things. As well, money was nearly non-existent, after Steven was injured at work, and then lost his job. By the end of the year, we had to move from our two-bedroom apartment into a much smaller one-bedroom, along with all our stuff, and the three animals. Instead of saving us money, we ended up owing our landlord for fees.
It seemed as if every time I turned around, 2010 was bitch-slapping me with another bit of bad news. I dreaded turning on the news, for fear I’d hear of another oil spill, hurricane or tornado, or god-forbid, a massive lay-off somewhere! Everyone I know has struggled through, either battling health issues, financial problems, or both. An optimists nightmare. I’m a glass half-full girl, but it was difficult to keep the glass from shattering during 2010.
But. (Yes, there is always a “but”)
Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.
Which means that in even though many things were awful, there were also many learning moments. I’ve learned that even when I have pain, I don’t have to be one. (I can thank Sarah Palin & Kate Gosselin for that lesson, in part. Never thought I’d be thanking them for anything!)
I’ve learned that if you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up. For me, that means if I want to accomplish anything, I have to get dressed, not spend the day in my pajamas, and actually leave the apartment. They say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we do it daily. My sister’s advice about building a habit in fourteen days was one of the best things I learned all year! (Thanks, Jolene!)
There were also many good moments in 2010, and I would be wrong if I neglected to mention them. After almost a decade apart, my best friend, Michele and I were finally in the same place at the same time, and our visit was AWESOME! She’s been battling breast cancer up there in the frozen north, and I’ve been missing her down here, so just being together in our home town, with her entire family, her wonderful kids & husband, was the highlight of my year. For a while I was able to forget everything else and just be happy. We talked, laughed, ate, shopped, cried, ate, laughed, giggled, and sang old Barry Manilow songs. We even stood in front of the mirror & did each other’s hair, just like the old days! Sharing the beauty of western Colorado with Steven was fabulous, too!
My nephew Max started first grade, was in three plays this year, and as far as he’s concerned, he was the star of each! Max and Steven have become good friends, and every time I hear Maxie call out “Uncle Steven!” in that joyous voice, my heart lifts!
Max’s big sister, Hattie Jo, turned 17 this year, and is amazing! Hattie is the girl I’d want if I had a daughter–she’s smart, funny, polite, and talented, beautiful. She’s a lot like me. Hattie has been my friend since she was born, and I love watching her grow into such an incredible woman.
Anyway. I’m rambling. This rough year has helped me to see how important my loved ones are. Memories and moments. Lessons and…something else that starts with an “s”…lemons?
Sure. Lessons and lemons. Because when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. And add some vodka. Then you have a party!!
I don’t make resolutions anymore– I learned a long time ago that I break those quicker than I break eggs for breakfast. I do set goals, and I’d like to share a few of them with you.
In 2011:
Re-read one favorite book a month, and write about it.
Make a scrapbook for my nephew Max.
Write a blog post twice a week.
Practice yoga daily.
Learn Vancouver’s bus system.
Read more; watch television less.
Exercise more.
Express my gratitude daily.
So there you have it. My goals for 2011. I’m hoping this bright, shiny new year will be a better one for all of us, with little fear of shattering glass, or throwing those lemons at anybody’s head! Happy New Year, everyone!
books · crap · crowded · epiphany · finances · hoarders · home · moving · rummage sale · selfish · Steven · stuff · tears · tiny flat · tools · understanding

This Isn’t a Home, It’s A Rummage Sale!

In the last month my entire life has shifted, not just physically, but in a rather spooky spiritual sense. Some background: it’s been a very rough year for us, as the gods of finances seem to be conspiring against us. Steven lost his job, and my itsy-bitsy monthly disability stipend just barely covers the rent. We decided to move to a smaller apartment in the same building in order to have enough to cover utilities, too.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, and a few days after, we moved the contents of our two-bedroom flat into a one-bedroom down the hall. a few things went into storage at my parents place, and more will go there eventually, I hope. More things must go. This place is tiny, and every bit of space is taken up with stuff–his desks & computer stuff, the amazing television & the sofa Dad gave us, my bookshelves & books, his tools, and boxes of stuff neither of us has been wiling to sort through or part with yet.

As we moved, I discovered three drawers full of my clothes that I’d forgotten about in the dresser I couldn’t get to in the closet. Now these are piled in the bedroom, waiting to be sorted. I must sort, because until I do, I cannot get to the other clothes! I was so angry at Steven when we moved, simply because I stood in the center of all this stuff, feeling like one of those people on “Hoarders.” All I could see were these endless stacks of crap, and I would start to cry & whine. Scared that I’d get crushed under a pile of old magazines & Philips head screwdrivers, I was tearful & not very nice to him. Looking back, I was being incredibly selfish, especially since he did 80% of the work for our move, including moving full bookshelves all by himself !

Fortunately, he is not only eternally understanding, he didn’t like the mess, either. After a day of rest, he began putting up shelves, and finding places for things, just so I’d be happy. We’re slowly settling in, and sorting out. I have to remind myself that it doesn’t matter where we are, as long as were together; I also have to remind him of that, since he’s not real thrilled with many things right now.

The whole purpose of this move was to save money, and that isn’t going to happen. Yes, our landlord screwed us with extra fees and took all but three dollars of our damage deposit! So even though I’m happy here in our rummage sale home, I’m pretty ticked off. And crowded. But happy. And home. Oh, and as for my big spiritual epiphany, there wasn’t one. But it sure got ya reading, didn’t it?

idiocy · money · moving · Steven · unemployment

Darkest Before the Dawn

Well this sucks.

Steven, my amazing boyfriend, has been out of work since about this time last year, when he injured his knee on the job. After months of medical leave & workman’s comp, and battling with the insurance companies, his time ran out, the hospital gave his job away, and he had to file for unemployment. They, of course, denied him. His appeal was denied today. For some reason, the morons over there seem to believe he quit his job voluntarily, even though he has given them proof of his injury, the paperwork from the hospital, everything, they turned him down.
For months he has been looking for work every day, and these stupid people tell him to go back to the old job for 7 weeks (or months, I was so annoyed I stopped listening), and then he’ll be eligible!
What the FUCK?!?!
Aside from just being incredibly stupid, amazingly annoying and downright idiotic, this throws our finances even farther into a black hole than they already are. The rent is covered, but paying the power & cable bill, not to mention putting gas in the car?! Forget it!
We’ll be moving soon from our palatial two-bedroom apartment to a luxurious one-bedroom. We’re lucky that the one-bedroom is just down the hall, so we won’t have to pack everything up. Of course, a big chunk of our things will need to be boxed and trundled over to my parents house, so my dad can complain about how there’s too much stuff in his garage already! Thank God for my folks.
The worst part of all of this is not that we have no money, or that we are being forced to move from the only home we’ve known as a couple. It’s the toll all of this is taking on Steven. Every day I see him sinking lower, and it breaks my heart. He is such a good man, a wonderful person, and he does not deserve this! Yet he feels that all of this is his fault, that he’s failed me. All I can tell him is that he has in no way let me down. In fact, he’s my hero. His desire to work & support our little family makes me so proud it brings tears to my eyes! I see his many talents, and I am amazed, and I wonder why he chose me. Money isn’t everything; love is.
This is why I know that though things are dark right now, the sun come out. Because we have each other, and love.