Sunday, August 24, 2014

Triple Trouble

Oh, the trouble I get into after Hugh goes to bed...
We are what you'd call a blended family. There's me, and Willie and Poppy. And then there's Hugh and Snowball. I'd already snuck Poppy over to meet Snow a few weeks ago...
Neither were very thrilled with that arrangement. 

I thought I might have better luck with Willie. 
These two hit it off like long lost brothers.
"It's a big world out there, little buddy."
And then look who wandered in. Poppy. The middle sister.
I'm not even exaggerating when I say photographing these three together almost impossible. Poppy was being a total diva.
Snowball was having none of it.
Thought maybe they'd behave better if I got in the photo with them...
I try very, very hard to avoid using the word "retard", but seriously... Willie is kinda short bus special.
I gave up on trying to get the three of them to look at the camera. Snow was perfectly fine with Willie, but wasn't thrilled at all with Poppy being little Miss Priss in his house. Poppy just preened and ignored him. 

And Willie just looked like the lovable dumbass he is.

And, honey, Willie dropped his bone somewhere. I couldn't find it... might have rolled under the couch. 

smiles sheepishly

He's still got his sock monkey, though.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Christening

Oh sure, some fancy people christen their boats by breaking a bottle of champagne over the bow.
Photo by Hugh
Our method of christening the Someone Else's Problem was really much more fun!
So fun, we did it twice!
Hell, we might do it every day!
Photo by Hugh
She's a pretty boat, isn't she?
We didn't even make it out of the dock tonight. Neither of us were in any shape to steer the boat... our hands were too busy with other things.
Photo by Hugh
Maybe we'll get her out on the open seas tomorrow night.
Maybe not.
We certainly got her rockin' tonight, though.
And there were no shards of glass to scratch up her beautiful paint. Might be a stain of another kind, though...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall...

Life is a big old strange thing.

(Don't worry... there are naughty pics further down the page...)

One day... everything goes to shit. I mean horribly, horribly wrong.

And in the blink of an eye, it all turns around.

I had just such a week.

You see, on Tuesday night after work, I got a call from my dad that he was having trouble breathing and he wanted to go to an urgent care center. I rushed over and we went... the doctor gave him oxygen and he seemed to be better.

On Wednesday, they came and brought tanks and stuff for the oxygen and he freaked out over not being able to understand it and called me to come over and help. His stress level was through the roof and I was afraid he was going to stroke out, but I got him calmed down and all seemed well.

On Thursday, though, as I was leaving for work (a day when I had an event planned that I'd been working on for months and really had to be there), my brother called to tell me Dad's breathing was worse and he was taking him to the hospital. On top of that, my other brother was having his 2nd chemo treatment. I had to stay at work getting updates... everything from pulmonary fibrosis to COPD to pneumonia. I had to leave my event early so my brother could go get my dad's dog and put him in a kennel before they closed.

It was a bad day. A really bad day. One of those days where you just have to wonder... why go on? Everything is atrocious and I can't handle it. We also lost Robin Williams... and being a person who has depression, it hit me hard.

There was just so. much. shit.

You carry on, because you have to. People are depending on you. As I've said before, I'm an introvert and I had to crawl out of my comfort zone to deal with... people. Lots and lots of people. Strangers. Doctors, nurses, aides... I had to emcee my event. I was worried sick about my brother and his chemo. It was just everything... one giant conglomeration of shit.

Things started looking up on Thursday night when the pulmonologist let us know Dad's condition was caused by a reaction from another of his medications and that, though it's going to take a while, he should be fine.

But my dad is a worrier, you see... much like me. And I stayed at the hospital until he fell asleep. But in the meantime... holy hell. He worried about every tiny thing, from not having a comb to making me trace all the tubes and cords to let him know what they were hooked up to. I was exhausted and... just drained.

Oh... I forgot. On Tuesday night after the visit to the urgent care center, as I was lying in bed about to fall asleep, there was a huge POP and my apartment filled with smoke. Goodbye, air conditioning!

But then Friday came.

Friday, glorious Friday.

We had nothing but good news from the doctors. Dad was already showing great signs of improvement. My brother came through his chemo well. And... the icing on the cake... my horrible bitch of a boss, the bane of my existence, put in her notice at work.

Just like that... all of the stress... all of the angst... gone.

Just gone. Life, my dear friends, is amazing.

It's hard... god, there is still so much to deal with... getting Dad home from the hospital today, making arrangements for someone to take care of his dog for a few weeks, my brother started to have side effects from the chemo... but you know what? My entire family came together... siblings from out of town drove in, shifts were taken, chores divvied up. Not one single fight.

And through it all? There was this guy.
Every moment, I knew he had my back.
When I needed my mind taken away to our special place, he was there.
He made sure I was fed. ;-)
He was inside me... in my soul, protecting me.
There in the bad times... and there for the perfect moment that followed.
He worshiped me.
Cherished me.
Made sure I got plenty of protein...
He let me show him my adoration.
My appreciation for him... for just being him.
His methods of stress relief...
...were sublime. 
He gave me control. 
He loved me.
He loves me.
This past week was a rough one, baby. There were times that I didn't want to keep going. And you were there. And you are here now... and will be there tomorrow, and all my tomorrows. Words don't do it justice.. the depth of my love, my gratitude.. my joy at having you in my world.

Thank you, Hugh... just... thank you.

"You've Got A Friend"

When you're down and troubled and you need a helping hand
and nothing, whoa, nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me and soon I will be there
to brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name, and you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I'll be there, yeah, yeah,
you've got a friend.

If the sky above you should turn dark and full of clouds
and that old north wind should begin to blow,
keep your head together and call my name out loud.
Soon I will be knocking upon your door.
You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I'll be there.

Hey, ain't it good to know that you've got a friend? People can be so cold.
They'll hurt you and desert you. Well, they'll take your soul if you let them,
oh yeah, but don't you let them.

You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call, Lord, I'll be there, yeah, yeah,
you've got a friend. You've got a friend.
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend. Ain't it good to know you've got a friend.
Oh, yeah, yeah, you've got a friend.

~Carole King

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Under Pressure

I've had a rough few days.
Tell me again that I won't pose in a burlap sack...
Real life, not Second Life. Second Life is... simply perfect in so many wonderful ways.

And, honestly, real life isn't bad. I just have some worries... and those worries are leading to anxiety. Like, the kind of anxiety where your heart races and nothing you do will slow it down and it almost hurts.
You all know my brother has cancer. We had a scary few days after his first chemo treatment. He got very, very sick and was in the hospital for a few days. His white blood cell count was almost non-existent and he was so dehydrated his kidneys were shutting down.
But, he recovered from that. He's home and he's fine. WBC count is back to normal. His color is good. His hair was all falling out so he went ahead and got it shaved off... and his big bushy beard, too.

FYI... Great Clips does this for free. Corporate policy, it seems. And they made it a fun experience for him. I know it's not the swankiest place around, but remember that they do something very good for very deserving people. :-)
Anyway, my brother actually looks twenty years younger now. He's in good spirits and has his 2nd chemo this week. They're adjusting the doses and will keep a closer eye on him so he doesn't get so sick this time.

It's my dad that I'm worried about.
I got a call at work from him on Friday... right around lunchtime. He asked me to come over after work to take him to an immediate care center because he was having trouble breathing.

WHAT?! How about we don't wait and call 911 RIGHT THE FUCK NOW?!
He insisted it was just a panic attack. JUST a panic attack. I had my sister in law, the nurse, call and talk to him. You see, his doctor had given him some Xanax for this very reason... but he wouldn't take it.

I fussed at him.
And I hated doing it.

Because, you see, my father at age 85 has become a child again and I hate it. It was bound to happen... if we're lucky enough to have our folks live a long time, it's gonna happen.
He's a worrier by nature (sound familiar?) and he's not taking all this very well. And he feels very helpless. I do not like to see my father cry. It makes me feel very helpless.
He's worrying about everything... and I do mean everything. He's worried if he oversleeps. The man gets up at 4:45am to take his dog out and he's afraid he's going to oversleep and the dog will need to go pee. Mind you... the dog is sleeping. The dog doesn't need, or want, to go out. He wants to keep sleeping. My father has to wake him up to go outside.
He's worried because sometimes he doesn't feel like taking the dog for a walk a bit later... You see, they have a routine. First thing, he takes the dog out to pee. Then a bit later, they go for a walk. And after that? They go to the dog park. I tried to tell him that routines can be adjusted... that he doesn't need to take the dog out until the dog is whining at the door, which he will do when he has to go. And that he doesn't need a walk when they're already going to the dog park where the dog will run himself silly until he sleeps the rest of the day.
But that's my dad, the worrier. And he worries until he makes himself sick.

Life is strange... it just is. Think about it. My dad is very much like he was six years ago just after my mother died. He was able to snap out of it then. I'm not so sure he's going to be able to this time.
Six years...

Think about how much a human changes in six years... when we're born, until the time we're six years old. So much changes... we do so much growing in what is really a relatively short period of time.
We reach adulthood and nothing changes very fast for years and years and years. Our bodies and minds mature... and we stay in that mature state for decades.

And then we reach a point where things start changing rapidly again. But in reserve. And it's hell to watch.
My father's mind is still as sharp as it ever was... he hasn't lost a thing there. His body is a different story. It's breaking down. He was never a tall man, but now... he's tiny. His skin is bruised (he was always a klutz) from the blood thinner he has to take.
And while his mind is still sharp as a tack... emotionally, he's reverting to a child-like state. He just can't deal with life's normal ups and downs.
And it's tearing me up inside. He's worried about everything, and I'm worried about him. I never wanted to be a parent. I made the decision that the only children I'd have are furry ones. But I have no choice. I have to be the parent now. And neither of us like it very much.
So my father's panic attacks are giving me panic attacks. Since Friday, I've had several instances of gut-wrenching, gasping fear. The kind where my heart is beating out of my chest and it hurts. Where I can't catch my breath.
I fussed at Dad for not taking his Xanax. Maybe I need to heed my own advice and go see my own doctor.
Life, for all its wonder and beauty, is very hard sometimes.

"Under Pressure"

Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you, no man ask for
Under pressure that burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets

It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming, "Let me out!"
Tomorrow gets me higher
Pressure on people - people on streets

Chippin' around, kick my brains 'round the floor
These are the days - it never rains but it pours
People on streets - people on streets

It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming, "Let me out!"
Tomorrow gets me higher, higher, higher...
Pressure on people - people on streets

Turned away from it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don't work
Keep coming up with love but it's so slashed and torn
Why, why, why?


Insanity laughs under pressure we're cracking
Can't we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can't we give love that one more chance?
Why can't we give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love?..

'Cause love's such an old-fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure
Under pressure


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