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Confucius Mom, words of wisdom

There are words of wisdom that Mom’s pass on to their children, like don’t stick your tongue on the frozen pump handle or don’t eat the yellow snow. As we get a little older we understand how important these little bits of wisdom are.  Now my kids are just now getting these little bits of wisdom but I am not sure I am the best person in the world to give them as I am a learn as you go kind of person.  Now not all of my information comes after the lesson has been learned but no one listens to Mom any way so I am not sure if it even matters.  Now I have been reminded lately that the kid’s learning curve may need some work.  Such things as: If you put lip balm on and rub it under your nose to help moisten the chapped area from blowing your nose to much, make sure it’s clear not red.  Never walk in the hall way without turning on the lights first; Dogs leave presents.  Turn the beater off before lifting it out of the bowl. Make sure when you get in the van it’s our van.   They may look the same but big difference between salt and sugar.  The milk has an expiration date for a reason. Never throw water out of the window of a moving vehicle.   If you hear the hissss the gas is coming out and yes that is the smell of burned hair. The word Dog on the box of cookies should have been the first clue they were for the dogs. Here we don’t eat a bowl of whip cream with a dollop of pudding on the top. Whip cream is not a flavor of ice cream. Do not open the dish washer until it has stopped and Vitamins will not cure a headache.  Now it only takes a split second to overcome the horror of such lessons before I bust out laughing, that makes the sting of learning a lesson that much harder.   



Car chasers

As I am getting ready to log off my computer and go home for the day the phone rings, It's the girls begging for a ride home from the Library because its only half a mile out of my way home. The big lesson in our house is Mom is not a Taxi, you get a bus pass, so use it. Now it does not stop them from asking which turns into begging because I always say no. Today was a crummy day we had a quarter inch of ice this morning and closed the schools. The girls went to the Library to study which made me proud because they did not stay home and watch endless episodes of Koren soap operas. I decided I would cut them some slack and give them a ride home. Now along with the ride comes my, be responsible and don't make me wait out front or I will leave you there, speech. Now I really don't know why I always give this speech because they have all learned that I will leave them if they make me wait on them, and know to be where they say they will be, on time.
The Library dose not have an entrance on the main road you must take the side street from the main street to keep traffic from backing up.. The girls standing inside the Library door can see the van way before I get to the door, so I expect them to run out to the car as I pull up. As I turned on to the Library drive I see my kids all over the parking lot going in different directions. I never made it to the front door as they all saw me and came running.  They are all laughing as they jump in and say "Mom do you see all the red cars"? I give the parking lot a quick once over and did see several red vans and said "ya what about it"? We thought they were all you and start chasing them till we saw the butt and no NAKEDK9. Now it all makes sense as all the van came one after the other, the girls are running around trying to read license plate to see which one was me. This was worth a dinner out as I ran this scene over again and again in my head all the while laughing at the girl. They're starting to act like the damn dogs, chasing cars.


Cherry red anklets, What color is your socks?

I am not sure about the rest of the world but I do have days that I can convince myself of many things, these days start early in the morning when I am not on my game. I'm sleepy and not focused and the only thing I can think about is coffee and a bagel. Then the problem of what to wear, I am not a shopper so there for my wardrobe is small and I need to wash my cloths at least once or twice a week or I will run out of clean cloths. As I muttle around the house looking for cloths I let myself believe that the cloths I have picked are Okay and no one will care as long as I am clean and neat. Well as I have learned that is not always the case. I only had one sweat shirt to wear and it was a bright pastel pink and the only pair of jeans was my big comfy high water mom jeans. The problem then lies in what color socks will go with this as I am out of dark colored socks. My choices are limited so I picked cherry red ankle sock. I was completely aware of the mistake as I drove to work and the calves of my legs are freezing because of the gap between the socks and pants when I sit down. And again I tell myself I will just be sitting at the computer and no one can see my feet under the desk. Just about lunch time a group of my co workers come into my office to talk and I have my back to them so I swirl around in my chair and we start talking business. I get myself comfy and lean back in the chair and cross my legs as we talk. I catch a couple of them looking down at me feet, I am again reminded of how badly I am dresses. I just deal with the stupid choice of clothing and know I am clean.  When I hear the sarcastic comment I am sure I would have use if it where me. "So did your dogs dress you this morning"? I am real sure I will not wear that combo again.  


Lessons Mom must learn

Lessons in life all come with consequences even when the lessons are used on you as a double lesson. We have a rule that if you take food or order food you have to eat it. This one does come back to bite me every now and then, but the kids have upped it and trumped that lesson with you had better pee when the car stops because I am not stopping every 30 minutes for some one to pee. Hold it or don't drink.
We are on a two day road trip transporting dogs, we stop for breakfast on the way home at one of the Souths brand name breakfast sit downs dinners and order a big meat, egg and potato kind of breakfast that comes with the never ending cup of coffee and mega sizes orange juice glass. I have a caffeine headache from hell as it has been over 24 hours since my last injection of caffeine and I am taking advantage of the never ending cup of coffee. The kids are busting at the seams from the food and now are trying to finish off the mega juice one by one they all head to the ladies room like good kids knowing how bad it will get if they don't.  One of the girls who's eyes are truly bigger than her belly and has over a half of glass of juice, starts in lets go mom. I pipe up, are you going to guzzle that down while I pay or would you like a little more time to finish it before we leave. Now she is ready for me and dose not miss a beat with the come back. " Mom do you really want me to drink all of this? you know I will have to pee every 5 minutes ". Now I have to ask myself, do I want to  stop every 30 minutes for this kid to pee as she has the bladder of a walnut or toss the 5oz of juice in the glass.  So my dilemma is convenience/consequence or waste not want not??????  Okay get in the car and lets go.. I had to listen to that one for miles.


Cold, knees,dogs and kids

We are just now starting to get the cold winter weather that is normal for Michigan; the last two years have had strange weather patterns that have the weather outside of the norm.  I have bad knees and the cold weather is starting to have the agonizing effects on them.  I run the stairs at the house a hundred times a day and some days that can be plural.  With the agony of doing stairs with crappy knees makes me start thinking outside the box, making 5 trips into one, that sort of thing. I start yelling upstairs to the girls and even make them run the stairs for me. Now I can only get away with them running the stairs for me, just so far before they call me on it.  I really try to save those times for total emergency running.  Hey I need coffee…… 

Last night I had to take a nap before I could catch my second wind and get things done; now I truly did not think I would take a three hour nap but it is what it is.  It’s now 9:30 PM and I am getting into high gear and do not want to be bothered when I hear rustling going on in the kitchen. The girls are? Who knows where, and the dogs are free; so up the stairs I go to find out who is in the kitchen.   Damn dogs are on the counter so I chase them out of the kitchen and shut them in the living room.  Back down the stairs to just get comfy in the chair when I hear Archie screaming because he is lost in the living room and wants to go into the kitchen. Blind old dogs are very demanding when the want something.  I pick up the speed a little because he could be more than lost in the living room as his cries get more desperate.  I get into the living room and he has gotten stuck between the chair legs and cannot figure out how to get out. He keeps bumping one leg and turning and bumping another so this totally confuses him and sets him into panic mode screaming.  I freed him from his chair leg incarceration and go back down the stairs now the limp has taken over. I am down there just long enough to get back into the swing of things when I hear more rustling going on in the kitchen. I am in no mood to run the stairs so I yell out “are there kids in the kitchen or dogs”?  The reply comes back sarcastic “it is your daughter not your dog” Okay now that got a laugh out of me.  A short time later the sound starts again, “are there kids in the kitchen or dogs”?  Ma, what the hell, It’s me!  I yell back “I don’t want to keep running up the stairs so can you guys stop eating for the night”.  Now it’s late and I hear the sound one more time but I resist the temptation to yell again, when I hear, Ma your dogs are in the kitchen. Well I guess I am done working tonight, I just need to get the damn dogs and go to bed.  


Can't fix stupid

After slipping on the ice yesterday my aches and pains where wearing on me today, so I took this afternoon off to do a little R&R with out the kids at home. As my car pulls into the drive at home the Southern sun was flooding into my front kitchen window were I could see Gertrude laying on the island range sleeping. Now this is norm for the dogs to get up there to sun themselves but she had fallen  asleep and her head all the way to her front shoulders was hanging off the side of the counter. Good thing she has a healthy ass because that was all that was holding her on the top of the counter. As the car passed the window I noticed she did not move so I thought wow I can get a picture of her I grab my phone (as if I know how to take a picture with damn thing anyway) I snuck back out front to the window and she in fact did not know I was home. As I fumbled around trying to figure out how to take the picture the phone suddenly dings, low battery and shuts off. Now I am proud that I have made it this far and was not detected by one dog so now I think I can sneak into the house and get the camera that is on the kitchen table; I can get the picture after all. Some days I amaze myself, with the idiotic thoughts that come into my head and I act on them. I put my purse down and take my coat and shoes off on the patio and work my stealth opening door talents, and find that I am still not detected; now the game is on I am in deed going to sneak up on this dog and get a picture. I get up to the top step in full view of her hanging off the counter when (creak goes the floor),  the sound sent her into motion but not knowing what end was up she done a two and half gainer off the side of the counter and hit the floor. I was frozen because reality just set in , she could have killed herself. As she hit the floor she did not miss a step as she gain her presents of mind and went into her big dog home protector act. Now as fast as all of this took place she is standing in front of me barking her head off and in every other room of the house the intruder alert went off. all I could do is laugh and keep my knees together as to not pee my pants. So much for R&R and trying to sneak up on the dog. What Hell could I have been thinking.


It was a long ride home

We had the Chi boys for almost two years waiting for the perfect family to take both boys.  My girls were in love with them and would often beg me to keep them.  When I told them that the boys may have a forever home they did not believe me. They just thought that it was not going to happen as many have tried to adopt them but something always fell through.  On Friday one by one they called me at work to see if we were really going to take the boys to their new home.  It is hard to not get their hopes up and yet be realistic about if the home does not screen well the dogs come back with us.  I mostly just reminded them that this is what Mom does rescue, foster and rehome the dogs.   When I got home the mood was not warm and fuzzy it was almost a little hostile, but I did not want to read anything into it.  We picked up Beatriz who came home for the weekend at the bus depot and started are trek to the new home.  About half way down to the new home they started in, " I hate you " You ruined my life" I will never love another dog" The ugly drama was getting thick when one of the girls said " I'll make Max bite me and then they won't want him. There was no end to my ranting till we arrived at the home.  With a stern reminder it was a long way home in the dark walking.  We entered the home to greet the most wonderful family, the Dad had been working his fingers to the bone trying to finish up the fenced in area with a doggy door entrance for the two boys. He only needed to add a porch to cover the steps to keep them dry from rain and snow.  I must admit it was a wonderful area for them to play and take care of business.   The girls were very good and got the family to promises lots of daily pictures and updates for the girl.  Then a couple went to the car, I imagine so no one would see their tears. We said our good-by's and left.  The sobbing was unbearable to me.  I felt so bad for them because again I have adopted out a dog that they fell in love with.  In their minds I need to adopt out my dogs because Cabot pisses off everyone just entering the room.  Archie is just plain old and Chiquita only love me. Weezie is going blind and no fun to play with anymore.  Gertie is the only one they care about and there is only one of her.  We had a few words and then the agonizing silence for over an hour. I can handle the verbal banter but the silence cuts me to the bone.  It always amazes me how one minute I want them to hate me and not speak to me, ahhhhhh the peace and quit. Then the next minute I wish they would yell at me. How does one tell them that yes the dogs are foster dog and the dogs must find a new home?  It’s hard enough in English to explain this to kids even get worse when they speak a different language.

Yes Darling there is a Santa Claus

When the girls arrived they were so naive and sheltered from the Western world it was easy to make them believe in Santa Claus.  I told them all the same things I heard as a child, about, yes he looks like Santa but it is just his helper and yes he has hundreds of helpers. I had them sit down and write Santa a letter there first year here. They worried that they could not speak or write English and Santa would not understand them.     I ensured them that he spoke many languages and could read their letters. It was so interesting to watch them think of what they wanted for Christmas when they never had a Christmas like ours. After the first Christmas I was presented with the question if Santa speaks all languages why doesn't he come to their country. Some quick thinking on my part: “Well did you ever write him a letter?  Their response was no one told them that they needed to so they could get presents. In my sarcastic sense of humor I said “there was nothing I could do about that”.  So now if you write he knows where you’re at and will bring presents. The next Christmas came and English was better so the letters became more detailed and wish list was much longer, and need I say the cost of said list was going to bankrupt me. I assumed that at any given moment some kids at school would learn they believed in Santa and promptly tell them it your parents.  The girls were skeptical last year but replacing the souvenir snow ball from Split Rock Light house which was a feet all of its own , got me one more year with them still believing at their ages.  Maybe I was just more proud of myself for the ability to keep them believing. My oldest daughter many times came close to telling or letting the cat out the bag as it were.  When asked why she did not write letters to Santa she replied he does not like me. Not the answer I would use but it worked. The other night we had another, is there really a Santa Clause conversation.  When the older one says I don't really believe in Santa anymore and then the youngest piped up and said “ya, I know you ate the cookies and drank the milk last year”.  I quickly reminded them I don't eat sweets but the swiftness of her reply was as if she knew what I would say and was ready with a comeback of, but you drink milk and Uncle Jimmy likes cookies.  OK ya got me there. My rebuttal was not to be heard and she just knew it was us.  After a long pause she said “If I put some poison in the milk and cookies I will know who Santa is because they will be sick.” The laughter grew as images of a dead Santa laying in the back yard and my brother hanging over the porcelain god of the wash room flashed through my head. I still have not admitted to the truth but they tell me they will write a letter again just in case.


Senior watch

The pain that comes with the loss of ones pet is felt in many different degrees as does the loss of a human loved one. We all grieve in our own ways.  I try never to minimize people who grieve different than me, we must all do what we need to, to survive those times of pain.
I am now dealing with the impending end of my second senior dog in less than 2 years. Archie is my first Chinese Crested dog and the one who got me started on the journey of my life. He is a rescue dog and the dog that hooked me, hook, line and sinker on the breed. I had him in my arms a total of 5 minutes when I knew there was never going to be another breed for me. I learned a lot about myself with him as my guide. He opened my eyes to a world that called to me to help. He in fact changed my life for ever. I feel so blessed that my life was impacted by this little dog in ways that have made me a better person, opened my mind,heart and soul, showing me that life does start after 50.
I watch him daily as his body deteriorates. He is not sick he is just older than dirt itself. He has no weight and when I pick him up it feels like a jammie full of Popsicle sticks, I can put my one hand completely around his neck and his legs are so stiff they don't bend much at all. When he bends over to get a drink his  back feet come off the ground as his head is too heavy and makes him off balance. His back feet, half of the time skid along behind him and then they start working as if he just remembered they where back there. His one remaining eye is going totally blind as he is loosing his ability to see shadows.  He walks along bumping into things and falling into the water bowl. We block of the stairs now so he won't fall. He has took a few good tumbles down the stairs; he gets up shakes it off and at the same time shakes himself off balance and falls again. He likes to sleep in front of the heat vent and he sticks his face directly into the air being forced out and up his nose. He then goes into a fit of sneezes that ends with him beating his head on the wall and vent till I am afraid he will knock himself out.  When he starts I have to run over and grab him away from the wall to keep him from hurting himself.  He walks around and find himself in a corner or facing the wall and just stands there for what seems to be an eternity. I pick him up and turn him around and he goes right back to putting his nose on the wall again. He bounces off  things like the ball in a pinball machine, and his annoying  bark that sounds like a bugle crossed with a Beagle. In the middle of the night when he wants in his chair or out of his chair the sound will bring you straight out of a dead sleep.  I started letting him sleep upstairs so I can sleep but every now and then he will get into the water dish and start howling like the devil is after him. I run up the stairs and turn the light on and there he is standing in the water bowl.  I take him out dry him off and put him in front of the heater again and go back to bed. He eats everything including his own poo. I gave up worrying about his eating habits.  He could get to the garbage and we had to harness him up when we left the room to keep him out of it. He can not get on anything any more and can't open the cupboards as he has  become so weak.  But he snaps to attention when one of the other dogs try to mussel in on his food he will bite them if they get close enough to him.  He can not chase them or move quickly to get them they have to be in front of his teeth or he can't get them. But he keeps the snapping teeth going so no one even tries to get close. He will bark and whine when someone is in his spot or he wants something.  This little guy just is not giving up, his body is almost gone now but his love of food and other things keep him going. He is 17 and his decrepit body looks like a horror film but he still is full of life and everyday I look at him, laugh at him and know how lucky I am to have the old boy.