Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter blues

It has been a while, but I have them this year. Perhaps it is the wonderful CD of Dad's slides that Shirley and David made. Perhaps it is just one of those years that the sadness just strikes. Good Friday, 28 years ago. Mom was gone. Here one minute, and gone the next. My then four year old was with her at the time. I remember it like it was yesterday. The bad thing about this happening around Easter, or Thanksgiving, is that I have two days that are bad. In this case, Good Friday and April 9th. Half of my life ago. I wish I could share all the good that I have in my life with her. She would be so happy for me. I wish I could have her ringside at just one show. At the finish line for just one race. At my side for one more cry. I'm not sure that she truly knew that she was my best friend the few years before she died. How much my son adored her. My biggest sadness was the knowledge that the kids would not remember her...and they don't. Daughter was only fourteen months, and son just two weeks past his fourth birthday. Sometimes I wish that she had been a bad Mom. It would be easier to get past these dates. She was a good Mom. Her life revolved around children. She adored all kids. We had so many plans following her retirement in the December before.

Now she is with Dad again. What a reunion that must have been. I sometimes wonder if he is better about remembering her birthday and their anniversary. I try hard to honor their legacy by living the best life I can. It is what we all want from, and for, our children. Oh how I would love to honor her by naming a someday champion pup after her...if only her name wasn't Thelma! So I go on and honor her memory the best way I can. It doesn't make the sadness go, nor does it help me enjoy Easter.

Perhaps I will hide eggs for the doggies on Friday.


Mom, I love you, and I miss you. Meet "Plum" your great grand daughter.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Attitude adjustment

This weekend was a full one. Daughter and grand daughters came for a visit at the peak of my crazy pre-show mode. An overnight visit. I tried to convince her to pick another time, as the insanity of making the 8am ring call (Yeah, right, my breed requires no grooming before hand) and my resultant insomnia the night before were not real conducive to people who really need sleep (as in infants, small children, and grumpy less than morning people...perhaps the entire population of "normal" folks). But come they did, and I was glad of it. The little Plumster is such a joy. Big huge smiles when they were needed most. Her big sister has always been a huge help and loves to do chores. Easy as can be, and loves the dogs. She spent my crazy times at the table engaged in crafts and art work. I have a beautiful picture of Kate gracing my fridge. I wasn't aware that my dog could actually walk on water, but I guess the grand daughter knew that as is evidenced above. (Note the big brindled ears, Kim. No coaching, honest.)
So, besides the dog bath, that was hastened by my six year old groomer's apprentice, I played on Friday. Saturday morning I rose at 4:30 and began the groom routine. Daughter helped and we got Kate looking pretty darn good. She was a happy girl until she got in the ring, then looked bored and miserable. (Kate, not the daughter.) Nice, but bored and miserable. That afternoon I worked out a strategy to change the attitude. (Kate's, not mine. Perhaps both would have been better, however.) She entered the ring the next time with pep in her step and a smile on her face. I entered with squeaker in pocket and the word "puppies" on my tongue. All the way around she was saying "puppies, there were puppies out there, Mom. Didya see those puppies? Huh, did you?" She made me smile. I know, that is the most important. blah, blah, blah...I received wonderful coaching and support from all this week. We have the best breed people ever. The absolute happiest moment of this weekend? Of course Kate would agree partly to this...the puppies! One handsome six month old boy got his first point with his young handler. I am not sure she understood the significance, but I wanted to cry happy tears for her. It will be fun to watch that pup grow.
So now I push forward. I really do want to keep going. Future plans hinge on finishing Kate. Thanks to all for the support. Thanks also for the grooming help.
I'm still in shock at what a small world this is. They are Shep's horses that George comes to trim when he trims Windy. Cue the song with the cutesy dolls dancing "it's a small, small world..."

Thursday, March 25, 2010


With daughter coming and an executive order to "have coffee" I decided to pick up a coffee maker when I went shopping. After reading the instructions (yes, I do indeed do that; thanks, Dad) I ran a couple of pots of water through it to clean out the plastic residue and I set the clock. Then I thought about how nice it would be to smell coffee when I awoke. I LOVE the smell of coffee. So I decide I will see how well the programming feature works and set it to brew a pot (very small coffeemaker, so no waste, Dad) as I awake. I am awake and wondering, "do I smell coffee yet" several times in the night. So in the wee hours I fall asleep quite soundly. Quite suddenly the alarm sounds. No, not my clock. My intruder alarms. The furry ones that are right at my head. "There is someone in the kitchen !" They are frantically barking as they walk about, and on, my head. "Wait a second...I think the intruder is making coffee!" sigh. New meaning to the term stop and smell the coffee...


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A busy week ahead

Where's Waldina? I love this picture that was taken at the Port Gamble lighthouse; one of our favorite places to play. (Click on the picture, but swallow any foodstuff first; totally unintentional and I didn't notice it myself until I downloaded the pics and looked at them.)

Bremerton shows this weekend. I will begin the rituals tomorrow.

The leg building goes on, thank goodness. The sore spot over my fibula is beginning to really be a buggar. I am hoping that I can get through two ring times with the leg staying attached. I really need to call the former shop today and see if the new liner can be picked up without them starting a new leg. I so hate conflict and am afraid that this time it will be unavoidable. Yet I keep trying. Next week I should be testing the new design and the tweaking will begin. I am excited beyond words as I have been unable to even walk any distance in this one due to the sore and to the fact that the liner is tearing more by the minute.

New goal? Hopping through airport security with leg on Xray belt. I saw where it had been done, so now I will be doing the same next flight. When pushed for details I was told that he didn't ask; just took it off, plopped it on the belt and hopped through. Cool!! No wait for the woman security guard. No frisking. Much easier to take off the leg than to remove shoes. Security gets nervous if asked as they don't want the risk of falling. So the solution is to not ask. Why had I not thought of that myself? The new suspension will not leave a bolt dangling from the stump. There will be no metal on my body. Now I will have to hope that there will be no small dribbles to slip in. It should be fun. Oh these little things that give me a big thrill. You complete bodied folks have no idea the games we enjoy.

So a beautiful day is dawning. The pool remains green until I do a check for polliwogs. (A request from three adorable kids who would really love to try and grow a frog.) The courting outside my bedroom window continues each night. I hope that I can present the kids with a cool science project. If no baby frogs then perhaps an anatomy lesson? I must get these loud frogs out of my pool area. Last night I was praying to the Heron God to send a poor hungry bird to come feast. Wouldn't THAT set the dogs off big time?!!

Off I go. Toenails to grind (no, not mine) and a house to clean. I cannot find the spare room and it is needed in a couple of days.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

On the road

The bulk of my Saturday was spent on the road. About eight hours. However, I would make the trip again today just for those few hours in between drives.

Kate and I went visiting. I wanted the two people that I admire most in the Cardigan world to give me an honest opinion about my girl. At the same time I was going to get a puppy fix that was beyond extraordinary. We pull up to a house that is straight from "House Beautiful." Koi Ponds and streams dot the landscape. Gardens in full spring bloom. And Cardigan corgis. Extremely fine Cardigan Welsh Corgis of varying ages. All are not only delighted to meet and climb on me, but also quite happy to welcome Miss Kate to the pack. What other breed would allow a stranger into their territory? Or perhaps it is this particular breeder's lines? I want one of her pups. No, I NEED one of their pups!! (Not to worry, is not in the budget.) I also was blessed to meet the patriarch of the line. At 14.5 and in distress I feel extremely honored to have been able to give him a piece of my heart. Knowing that he will soon be helped to the Rainbow Bridge was quite sad, but drove home our responsibilities as dog owners/lovers.

It was a joy to watch Kate. She still experiences some anxiety when I leave, but I think it is getting better and I think I need to push her a bit harder. As far as her show career, it will go on until she is finished, and she IS finishable. Her downfall is her topline, which I knew. She was as happy to greet everyone there...not just me. I'm not sure the others realized how huge that was to me. Not only that, but she was not the least bit jealous of me snuggling with the other dogs that were present. And of course, the doting on the pups thing is always a pleasure to watch. I do love my Katelan.

So I went to bed smiling and had sweet puppy dreams. There are always hours that can be spent around here working and maintaining the place. A few spent on the road for a day of Cardi-bliss? priceless


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gusts, trees, and living across the water

Yesterday my first born had his 32nd birthday. How is that possible? I remember it like it was yesterday...yet at times can't remember yesterdays. sigh. After attending the bike show, with birthday list in hand, I picked up something for him and when he called to say he had a break in the middle of the day I hopped the ferry to see him. It was toward 11am. We sat at the little coffee shop by the ferry dock and talked about our dreams and our passions. Really like what we have done for 32 years. His phone rings and the person on the other end informs him that the power has gone out at the office so the computers are all down. As he is talking I begin to notice the wind whipping up outside at the coffee shop. Signs straining against their tethers. Tree branches breaking and chasing cars down the street. Then the power goes out. I look out to Puget Sound and see massive white caps. Uh uh. No thanks. We went into the terminal to see if the boats are still running as the call comes in that the Hood Canal bridge is closing due to high winds. My cell phone rings. My neighbor needs to borrow the chain saw as there is a massive tree down on the road and she can't get to work at the Navy base. And yes. Our power is out as well. After purchasing my ticket I opt to go to the office with son and get the computers taken care of. The power is back on and the server needs to be re-booted. An hour or so later the storm has passed and I board the ferry for home. But I have no keys to my truck. And I have no key stashed on the truck. And I don't know for sure that I can even get home. Nice neighbor comes for me, takes me to pick up the spare key, and delivers me back to the truck. We stop at the toll booth and they call the other side where I did indeed leave my keys when buying my pass and discussing the white caps. In a bit I will be walking on to the ferry so that I can go pick up my keys. sigh.

There are trees down everywhere. The cabin has a small one resting on it's carport. It looks like there is no damage, but only removal will tell for sure. The house at the end of the road didn't fare as well. The tree that went down on the road was massive. It now lays in the creek that runs under the road. Impossible to harvest save for the eight foot section that was directly on the road. My property is covered in layers and layers of branches. The fence line is fine. The house and out buildings are all fine. The critters are none the worse for wear.

My day started before dawn. My assignment: enter the Danskin Triathlon. I sat awaiting the opening of the entries. I had been warned that it would close fast and I needed to be on the ball as it would be difficult to get registered. Done. Piece of cake. In fact, I entered twice. ARGHH! I never got the verification email, and when I checked the roster my name wasn't there (about an hour, or so, later) so I thought I must have missed the final "button." Back through all the steps and final screen says I was successful...but then so did the final screen the first time around. So I checked to verify. I am listed twice. I fire off emails to everyone and anyone that might have to do with registration. You see, I don't want to be any more than just one person. I have trouble reining myself in as just one person. Later that afternoon I got an email saying it would be taken care of and I am not the only one who made that mistake. I hope my double entry did not displace someone who wanted to enter...

So it is official. I am entered in a triathlon. I will finish the triathlon if I have to hop across the line. (You know this to be true, don't you?!) Am I insane? Yes indeed, I am. Ask my kids. Insane, and proud of it.

I must go now and get the next ferry over to get my keys. I have raked the pasture of the fallen limbs and contacted the realtor about the cabin. There is an open house this weekend and he probably wants to get that tree off of it before prospective buyers come see it. The dreams of living in the woods often don't include the reality. I think they really want to sell that cabin...and now there is one less tree that can fall on it!

My life makes me smile...for the most part.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Eight years

Four grandkids.

Four dogs gone.

Three dogs and one horse came.

Helping Dad to go with dignity, and missing him terribly.

Two relapses.

A miracle med and long term remission.

Dreams being lived.

Defying the experts.

THE vacation of my dreams.

Friends and family; and the lack of definition between the two.

Finding myself amongst the ruins.

I look forward to the next eight years...


Friday, March 12, 2010

Life in the fast lane

Have you ever noticed how weird things look when a virus settles into your sinuses and lungs? Have you ever noticed how weird YOU look when a virus settles into your sinuses and lungs?

Because I am the only humanoid that resides at this address, my moans and whines are giving a slightly different message than your's may give. Mine apparently say "woo hoo, I am ready to get up and play!" I learned three nights ago that groaning as I turn over for the umpteenth time, in the middle of the night, being unable to breath, having my brain oozing out through my ears, was NOT a good thing. Suddenly the short leggeds were ready to go. "But it is three a.m." I whined. The awesome pawsome then knew for sure that my two days of more than usual bed rest was suddenly over. It was time to go out, then time to eat, then time to go to the field...all in the next ten seconds. I yelled, I threw things. They quieted back down. My head was now splitting wide open from having yelled. Then I began to cough. At three in the morning. Not a good thing. I've had three kids...get where I am going with this? I can't possibly stifle the cough, and I can no longer pretend I am not getting up. I must get up, and I needed to do it sooner than immediately. Not only that, but there will be no hopping. I must take the time to properly put on the dreaded left lower appendage. The day began. Everything looked strange. Like it was running in slow motion and slightly skewed. The colors were even weird. (No, I took no meds. It was the pressure from inside my head.) Very strange. I wanted so badly for this to be over and done with. Because, you see, there was no one else to do anything besides me. For the most part I love living alone. There have been only about three times since I moved here, eight years ago, that I have wished there was another person on the premises. There have likely been many more times that the doggies wished it was so. To them I say "too bad, so sad."

Of course this past week my calendar was full. Something every single day. Reading the calendar, however, was next to impossible. I was incredibly thankful for those reminder calls; and for caller ID. As the reminder call came in I canceled the appointment. Slicker than...oh never mind. Forced to survive minute by minute I somehow managed to get some things done. The critters were cared for. The garbage made it to the street. The house is a mess, but I will deal with that today. No more whining. The dogs are asleep at my foot. The one in the bedroom. They are tired and didn't want to get up.

I have been here for eight years on Monday. That means that I have been officially on my own for a couple of months longer than eight years. Except for the couple of aforementioned times, it has been great. Strengthening in all ways. One of those times when it seems an eternity, but like it was only yesterday. I really should thank the former husband, but will wait until I get a chance at the SS. Then I will thank him for both. Really, I will.

So NEXT week, the training resumes; if the leg holds up. sigh. I have been walking on uhhhhh, thin ice? Because of the running the suspension sleeve is wearing out faster. The company that makes the liner is now insisting that the guy who built the leg redo the leg. They will no longer accept responsibility. I canceled the appointment to get that going. I was sick, and I realized that since we have been fighting with this for around two years he can build a new leg, but it will be covered by my insurance. NOT. I want the new company to build the sports leg, to be covered by insurance. So I got myself in a pickle. The appointment with the new company just got changed from Monday to Thursday as a guy from the mainland who has built three triathlon legs is coming in to consult and help get things going, and he can come on Thursday. I think I cannot go quietly into the sunset now and must essentially "fire" the old company, but really need a new sleeve to be able to hold out until the new leg is usable. In reality he should be building me a replacement leg for free since this one was never quite right, but I did sign off on it and we played this game for two years thinking it was the liner that was defective. Oh the messes I get myself into. If I could just sit in the darn rocking chair and knit all day I would not have these issues...

Song of the day? Nothing else would do, but

"It's Not Easy Being Green" Kermit the Frog


Monday, March 8, 2010

what an end

to the week it was.

Friday. I had a dinner engagement and, knowing I was going to miss my grand daughter's birthday bash the next day, loaded up the long tailed dog and headed out early to see her before heading south for dinner. Of course the kids were all adorable, especially since the weather was perfect and the cousins all got to spend some quality walking time with Kate, who adores kids and walked a mile or two around in circles in the cul-de-sac. It was quite cute. Miss Lil loved her hamster...the robotic kind. For a short time she was the star, and that is always good when you are the second born. I left in smiles, and in what I thought to be plenty of time to make the trip south.

Not!! I-405 South on a Friday afternoon. Not a great combination, especially since I left the Bothell area at 4pm. The commute person on the radio said that I-5 was in total gridlock, so I opted for 405 which was "only" gridlock through the Bellevue area. It took me 45 minutes to get from Hwy 520 to I-90 which is maybe 5 or so miles. Once I got past Renton and onto 167 it was a piece of cake, but my nerves were a bit frazzled by the woman riding my bumper through Bellevue. She laid skid marks two or three times by not paying attention. The motorcyclist in me firmly believes in having my personal, and safety, buffer. She was way into my space.

Once at my destination Kate got a chance to play with a bunch of tailed short dogs, including her favored ghost dog. She declared the house her's, yeah, literally. (Sorry about that, my friends. sigh.) an amazing dinner. Sensational evening.

The next day was my running class. Two hours of running. For me it started more as a fast walk. I was scared. Really petrified. By the end of the session I had successfully negotiated the track at a jog. It was huge. My muscles were cramping big time in both my little calf and my long side thigh. I was a bucket case on the way home. Over thirty years, numerous surgeries on both legs, and I was running again. I never thought it possible. I'm still sore, and still amazed. In ten minutes I am out of here for an appointment for a sports leg, or at least a consult for options and prices. After I will be stopping at the track for another try at running. I am hooked. and it feels amazing.

Sunday came the news that my sister's Livestock Guardian Dog Maddie had finally crossed to the Rainbow Bridge. She was an amazing girl with the best smile. I will really miss that smile. She had a long and good life. She has passed the torch officially to Titus the Great Pyrenees. They have suffered a lot of losses down on the farm. I remember all too well having dogs close in age and losing them all close in time. It was devastating. This is why I will wait until my two are five before going for a pup. It just hurts way too much.

So a new week begins and it looks to be a good one. My nephew called and told me about a bike show coming up this weekend. What better way to find out what will work for a crazy middle aged one legged woman than to get to talk with the manufacturer reps? It is also the Seattle Kennel Club show, which I will attend on Saturday. We aren't entered, but will cheer on our favorites.

Time is up and I must hit the road.

Life is awesome!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Life amongst the stumps

So now the corgi folks figure I mean doggies, and the gimp folks figure I mean "residual limbs." The folks around here likely think I will be writing about the bliss of living in the woods. So I will do my best to integrate all three.

Bathroom time. Yep, that sacred few moments that you feel should be only your's, but never is. From college times it was given up, and even post divorce and post kids on their own, it is still not mine. Today's cache? One tennis ball, one squeaky ball and one Wubba. And that was just from Henry. (Kate generally steers clear of the bathroom. The tub and shower are in there! Weird, since I usually bathe her in the trailer.) It went something like this: "Oh, she sitting, let me grab a ball for her to throw. Ball. Ball. Uh, Mom, there's a ball. Oh maybe she didn't see me. How about this very loud one that echos. She will see me then. Throw the ball, Mom. No? How about tug of war. I happen to have a wubba now, Mom. Mom?" All of this occurred on the trip for the number one. sigh. Yes, my pups are neglected. Did I fail to mention that we had JUST come in from a run in the pasture? Yep, that nice cool morning rain got me. We still put in about 15 minutes, but apparently that wasn't enough for dear Henry. However, that is his normal. He can be sound asleep; if the toilet lid sounds he is up looking for toys to bring. Perhaps it is his way of telling me I did well. That may be it. He is rewarding me for house training. Wow. I guess I have to stop yelling at him and telling him to go away. Instead I may move a toy basket to the bathroom. At my age I will get plenty of rewards., although I would prefer chocolate covered strawberries.

The saga of the leg is ongoing. I can see by the rub pattern that all the little tricks have not worked and this liner will not make the warranty time either. Something is seriously wrong and neither the manufacturer nor my prosthetist can figure it out. My health and welfare are at risk. I did buy some loctite to glue the bolt into place so I will have no more mishaps that way, but that certainly does not solve this other problem. I have an appointment with another company on Monday morning. It makes me sad, but I am at my wit's end. At this point the idea of even doing ten miles is a joke, let alone the sixty that I will be doing in September. Running? Yeah, right!

Last night I took the dogs out for their final trip before the lights were turned off. The neighbor dog was barking. Every once in a while it happens. Something gets her going and she starts a low rhythmic bark. None of us have a clue what she is doing. She used to play with the coyotes when she was young. Perhaps she is calling them. Perhaps the neighborhood bear is back in the woods. Perhaps she is dreaming. It is hard to know, but it creeped out my dogs. I had to drag them off the porch. I gave up trying to get them to produce and hoped they were going to make it through the night. I drifted to sleep listening to the dog's strange eerie bark. Then, of course, I made sure to wake her up when we were out at 0600. Pay back. It was all she could do to lift her head a wag the tip of her tail. The bugger. Truth be told, I am delighted that she is back there. I no longer put the little horse in at night, and knowing that she is guarding the pasture is comforting. Then again, it could be that Windy is tormenting the dog. I have no desire to tromp out there in the middle of the night and see. There's monsters in the woods at night...

I guess I have been sitting here too long. Scattered at my feet are a food dish, another wubba, an old sock. I see Henry's nubby tail sticking out of the corner that holds the toy box. He is so darn cute if only he didn't have that irritating bark! Such is my life. My life amongst the stumps!!