Thursday, June 21, 2007

how doth my garden grow?

Very well, thank you!

I feel like I can finally stop to enjoy it now. I am aware that gardens take time & maintenance, but at least I'm not killing myself digging holes, removing grass, aerating soil, mixing in good soil, etc, etc.

I can't even tell you how much I love having my own house. The inside still doesn't quite feel like home, only because I keep changing my mind on paint colors, haven't hung any family photos, & still need to get most of my belongings truly organized. But right now, this time of year, when it stays light well beyond the time I've fallen asleep (happy Solstice, by the way!), and the days are suddenly warm enough to leave the house in the morning sans jacket, I crave being outside. I need it. I let my house get dirty (and pray we don't have unexpected visitors) and put off doing things I know I need to do, just so I can be outdoors.

Before, Honey & I would go to the beach as often as possible & now I am so content to just stay home. I was always a homebody, a nester, but now it's downright ridiculous. I love my yard & its emerging gardens. The front lawn may still need grass seed, but I am so happy to sit at my bistro table & listen to the rustling leaves of my honeysuckle tree. My honeysuckle tree. Do you have any idea how it tickles my insides to own a tree with pink blossoms?

The super cute birdcage on the bistro table I got from Joann's for about $7. Honey couldn't understand why I would buy a birdcage just for decoration. He is usually understanding about my purchases, but this one he just couldn't get on board with. Boys.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

parenthood (no, I'm not pregnant)

How do parents do it? See their children in pain, I mean. Porter is laying on my office floor, crying in pain, and I am crying along with him. It makes me ache to see him in such obvious pain & discomfort.

I called our vet yesterday to make sure Porter's progress was on track, and he suggested that we might need to be working him a little harder. Porter will apply light pressure on his leg & foot, but if he has his way about it, he'll just hobble about on 3 legs. The key to this surgery being successful is for Porter to use his leg right away so it will heal properly.

I took him for a slightly longer walk last night, and on the way back, he laid down in the middle of the road. I had to literally pick him up off the ground, and then apologized to him the rest of the way home. Later on, we did his physical therapy, excercising his leg's range of motion as you would if a human had hip surgery, and it was clearly bothering him more than the previous night. Adam worked his leg, while I tried to comfort him & keep him from wriggling around. When Porter's cries & yelps started to escalate, I made Adam stop. I just couldn't take it anymore.

We have a follow-up appointment this morning with Dr. Taylor, and I think that well help ease my mind that we are doing what we should in terms of his recovery. I of course fear that we're either working him too hard, or not hard enough. Adam & I did let Porter know that we paid good money for that hip, and he damn well better use it! We'll have none of this 3-leg hobbling nonsense.

Monday, June 18, 2007

the diagnosis

Below is a post I started last week & never got around to finishing:
Doodles has a bad hip. I knew something was wrong before I even saw the vet. I was looking over the itemized bill in the waiting room, and saw there were several x-rays taken. Dr. Taylor had originally said he thought he would be able to tell if there were "growing pain" spots with one x-ray, so the fact that they took 3 had me worried.

When Dr. T told me Doodles has a bad hip, I asked him if he was serious. I don't know why I would ask such a thing, except that I never think big news (good or bad) is real until I repeatedly ask for confirmation. Once it sunk in, I started to cry. I didn't realize just how much I loved Doodles & how I would do anything in my power to make him feel better. $2000 for surgery? No problem. Set me up on a payment plan.

In simple terms, his hip bone didn't form properly, so instead of being nice & round like his left hip, his right hip bone is more flat & square & does not fit into the socket like it should. Dr. T spent probably 30 minutes with me, explaining his x-rays & our options.

Honey & I have decided to have the recommended surgery, which will cut off part of his hip bone and during the healing process, it will form a new joint. The alternative is a total hip replacement, but since Doodles is still young (9 months) and is relatively small (56 lbs), the vet felt the femoral surgery is the best option for him. The risk is that the sciatic nerve runs through the area, and there is a small chance of permanent nerve damage in his right leg. If that does happen, we'd have to amputate. But at least we'd still have Doodles.

I am so thankful that we chose Doodles from the litter because if he had stayed with a sled-dog musher as many of his litter mates did, I am sure he would be put down rather than have the surgery. As Dr. T said, he's never going to be an athlete now, and no dog musher would spend the money to have his hip replaced if he wasn't going to be able pull a sled. Have I ever mentioned that before? That Porter came from a litter of sled dogs? He comes from a very good bloodline, but because Alaskan Huskies are in a sense, mutts, they cannot be AKC registered. Not that that matters to Honey or I. When the opportunity to get a Husky presented itself, we thought he/she would be a perfect fit for our lifestyle. And he really has. We have a Husky that actually COMES BACK to us when we let him off-leash, which from what I understand, is a rare quality in a Husky. That means he loves us!

Last night, Doodles was whimpering, I thought, in pain. When I realized he was whimpering at his leash laying on the floor by the ottoman. I asked Honey (rhetorically) if he thought Doodles wanted a walk, and that was all Doodles needed to hear. At the sound of the word "walk", he had jumped off the ottoman, picked up his leash, and laid it in front of me. Porter does not understand that he needs to take it easy.

While we were walking him, it was impossible to not analyze his gait, and I feel so horrible for not knowing that his leg was messed up. All this time when I said ~ That's right, Porter! Wiggle that ass! You own the sidewalk! ~ really, he walked that way because his hip bothered him. The reason he stands knock-kneed, because his hip bothered him. The reason he ran front-leg-front-leg, back-leg-back-leg instead of front-leg-back-leg, front-leg-back-leg was because his hip bothered him. How shitty do we feel for not realizing this sooner?

* Okay, so this is about where I left off *

We tried not to dwell on the fact that Porter was having major surgery in less than a week. It was a gorgeous weekend. A day so hot that I was grateful for the breeze. I worked in the garden & took a nap in the sun; Porter joined me even though he was so hot, his tongue hung out of the side of his mouth. He also hung out with Riley-cat. He did his best to forget about Thursday.

Doodles had his surgery last Thursday, today being Monday. Dr. Taylor called me after he finished the surgery, and said that it went perfectly. He wouldn't know if there was any nerve damage until Porter got up & moved around a bit, but he felt confident that everything was just fine. To say I was relieved was a major understatement. I couldn't stop smiling. I called Honey, and told everyone at work.

Porter had to spend the night at the vet's office, so Honey & I went to dinner to celebrate Porter's successful surgery. Then came home & put together our new compost bin. Yes, we are just that exciting. Ever wonder what your married & childless friends do for fun? You can stop wondering. We put together compost bins. And talk about our dog.

The following morning Dr. Kramer, another vet at the clinic, called to say Porter was carrying his leg as they would have expected him to, and that he was even putting light pressure on his foot. Horray!! Again, to say I was relieved was just a huge understatement. I called Honey, and I could hear the relief in his voice.

It was a bit of a shock seeing my little Doodles with half his ass and his whole back-right leg shaved & the 4-inches of stitches. It makes me ache when he cries out in pain, but overall, he's doing really good. And getting stir-crazy. He kept us up for most of last night whining. Oh, the whining. He'd come into our bedroom, rest his head on the edge of the bed, and cry. Not in pain, just in boredom. When I told him to go lay down, he would sulk down the hallway with a big harumph! I couldn't help but giggle at him. It's so hard to take him seriously when he gets sassy, and believe you me, that dog can sass.

We took him for his first walk post-surgery tonight, and he pretty much just hopped along on three legs.

He's starting to get awfully sassy again ~ we just got into a sass-fight ~ so I think we're going to take him for another stroll around the block. Wear that little bugger out. Plus, we're supposed to make sure he's using his leg otherwise he'll just get used to being 3-legged. My little tripod.

He actually fell asleep in this position last night. How cute is that. Okay, I know that's probably way more than your fill of Porter pictures, but I just love him so. I used to take hundreds of photos of our cats, now I take hundreds of photos of my dog. Bet you can't wait 'til I have a baby.

goose bumps

Jeru's right, have some tissue at the ready. This guy gave me goose bumps & brought tears to my eyes. His talent is absolutely phenomenal.

dad's little tricks

One of my favorite websites/blogs is Post Secret, and every Sunday they rotate out the secrets for a new batch. This Sunday's secrets are particularly sweet & funny, dedicated to all the dads out there. I loved reading about the little things dads said to their kids, especially this one. I am sure that if we had outlet malls in Juneau, he would have said this very thing to me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

geeky questions

So I'm wondering ~

What size are your photos when you transfer from your camera? It seems to take FOR-ever to download photos into a post, & I just don't have the patience for that. I'm sure it's just because the photo size is too large; I don't think it's my laptop as we just got it in December & it's pretty speedy.

What photo software are you using? Photoshop? It's on my wish list, but am currently using the crappy software that came with my printer. Also on my wishlist is a new printer/scanner because I broke the glass scanner piece in a fit of anger. Yes, I know I have issues.

I consider myself fairly computer literate, but not when it comes to photo editing, and basically anything to do with the web. I havn't even figured out how to add a photo in the title to my blog without it being HUGE!

I've got a couple things to post on my sad, empty etsy site, but have putting it off because it takes so damn long to upload my pictures to my blog, I fear it will take just as long on etsy.

Oh, one more very important question ~ all the amazing photos on everyone's Inspiration Fridays, are you taking them from the magazine's website, or are you scanning & downloading?

Thanks ladies!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Doodles update

Doodles is at the vet, awaiting x-rays on his back legs. We saw the nicest, nicest vet yesterday, Dr. Taylor, and as it turns out, all 4 of Porter's legs are hurting him. Dr. Taylor said it was most likely (and I can't remember the actual name for it) growing pains, but that it can be quite painful & last for upwards of 8 months. I always wondered how Porter felt in his body because man, that dog grew fast! If it is growing pains, and that is the condition Dr. Taylor said we were hoping for, I guess that answers my question of whether or not it hurts his bones to grow so rapidly.

So, I will try to make it through today without crying, but it's not looking so good.

Monday, June 4, 2007

BIG news

I'm going to be an Aunt! My baby brother (Bucky) & his fiance (Michelle) are going to have a baby. HOLY CRAP!

He said ~ Michelle's going to have a child. I thought he was joking, like they were getting another dog or something. Then when he said he wasn't the father, I really thought they were just getting a dog. It was obvious that I wasn't getting it, so I think he finally said something like ~ for real. And I must have said for real-for real? about a hundred times, which is the same thing I said when Honey proposed to me.

Bucky couldn't stop smiling if he tried. Michelle seemed to me to be in shock still, but she said she just doesn't show emotion. I think I'm still in shock! Honey blurts out every couple minutes ~ isn't that crazy?! They're going to have a baby!
My mom must be on top of the world right now. I know she has been desperate for a grandchild since we've all (all 2 of us) left the nest. My dad on the other hand, keeps telling me that he's too young to be a grandparent. Whatcha gonna do now, dad?? :) And mom ~ you & Mike can't move now! HA!

I always knew Bucky would have a baby before me. Even though he's 8 years younger than me, he made most milestones at an earlier age than me. It was a running joke in my family that he would move out of the house before I did. Keep in mind he was 14ish when the joke started. He did move out at a younger age than me, he was a homeowner before me, and now he is HAVING A BABY before me. In the unspoken competition between my brother & I, I totally lose. *sigh*

Seriously, he's the most mature 23 year old I know & he has grown into the most loving, generous, funny, handsome, honest, hardworking, trustworthy brother & friend that I could ever ask for. He & Michelle will make amazing parents. Congratulations, you two! And as Honey says ~ We get Michelle forever!

While we're on the subject of babies, I will say that Honey & I talk a lot about them. Yesterday, for example, I asked him if he thought we might not ever have kids & he said he didn't know. Since I often feel the same way, it's not like I could be mad. I mean, I'll be 32 in August, and the older I get, the more I think I may never have a child. Some days I'm totally okay with that because truth be told, things are pretty good the way they are. The other days....I can't imagine not having a child. It would just be this empty hole in my life. A huge, gaping hole.

As I'm writing this, Honey said he wondered if Porter's leg is bothering him. He said he's noticed for the past couple weeks Porter's been walking funny. I take Porter to work with me & spend virtually every waking moment with him, and I didn't notice that his leg was bothering him. Some mother I'd make.

At any rate, poor Doodles had been wimpering since we got home from our walk at the Mendenhall Glacier, where he spent an hour & a half running his heart out with 2 other dogs. He seemed fine then, but I thought maybe he had gotten something stuck in his foot. I held Porter's head in my lap while Honey examined his back-right leg. We have never heard such noises out of Doodles' mouth. Honey barely moved his leg, and Porter yelped, growled, squealed, and then buried his head under my arm. My poor baby. I ached because he hurt & I couldn't help him. We gave him some pain meds we had left over from when he scratched his eye last month, but he still yelps everytime he gets up.

It's moments like those, moments when I cry because my dog hurts, that I think my need to have a child outweighs my enormous fear that I will suck as a mother. Of course, if I have a baby now, it will only look like I did it to keep up with Bucky. ;)

Saturday, June 2, 2007


I just had to share that I'm so happy to have some new visitors! Ladies, I swear one of these days I'll get some crafting done & post some photos so I actually fit into this world of crafting & cottage blogs that I so admire. Once the days hit above 50 degrees, I spend as much time as possible outdoors, and creating a garden in our new home has me fairly preoccupied. You really have no idea how inspirational it is to read your blogs, though. To see the photos of your homes, what you've created, and to know there are so many like-minded women out there really is amazing.

Now, you might be thinking ~ This girl pees with the door open & then posts a photo of it. I am nothing like her! To clarify, I normally tend to "rush the process", and I don't even have any magazines in my bathroom. Honestly. I, too, tend to wait until I'm about to pee my pants before I finally make it to the bathroom. There are just too many other things I'd rather do than sit & pee. So it only makes sense that when I was looking at the broken piece of the gourd bowl (purchased via mail order from the Body Shop when I was 16 & got my first checking account) gingerly held in place by nothing other than my will, & that I have been meaning to super glue back on for about 4 months now & really didn't see it happening anytime soon, I was compelled to turn the bowl around. I just couldn't look at the broken, cracked piece any longer. This of course meant that the fancy soaps had to be rearranged to be facing the correct direction. So, you see, it was all perfectly innocent! Not that I'm not completely neurotic, but a girl can pretend.

If you're not convinced yet, here's another tidbit for you. A few weeks ago while Honey & I were making the bed, I practically screamed STOP! at him because he was putting the pillow in the pillow case with the tag facing OUT. Really, can you imagine? The tag facing out and not all the way tucked inside the pillow case where I can't see it? Who can live like that?? Certainly not me. Anyway, the beauty of that little bedtime moment? Once Honey realized what my "emergency" was, he understood that I NEEDED the tag inside the pillowcase, and he still loves me!

Sleep well, Honey. I love you. (photo circa 5 minutes ago)