Archive for category family

Desert Mirage

I am currently in Las Vegas, because I am an idiot, or a masochist, or both.  There is just no good reason for a person with Summer SAD to “vacation” in Las Vegas in June, but that’s what I did.

My husband had to come here for business, and because he is always extremely busy with his start-up, I decided to come on out with him. He’d be too busy working to spend time with me, but the drive to Vegas and back would give me more time to hang out and talk to him than I get in the average week, so it seemed well worth it.

Until it was 106 fucking degrees in the fucking shade and the fucking hotel room won’t cool the fuck off.

I used to spend parts of my summers in Vegas. My grandparents lived here when I was a child. Mornings would start early to get some good play time in before it got too hot.  My grandfather would walk me to the local playground so I could play for a little while before the metal slide got literally too hot to use safely. Then we might walk over to 7 Eleven for a Slurpee. If I didn’t get a Slurpee, there would probably be coins left on the ledge outside the house for me to get something from an ice cream truck later in the day. They sold the house when I was 8 years old and left Vegas for a cheaper town in the middle of nowhere Nevada to retire. I drove by the house yesterday. My grandmother would be horrified to see the condition that the current owners have it in. The huge sagebrush field that I explored is now completely littered with 2 story suburban cookie cutter tract homes. Overall, it felt surreal to be there. I had planned to call my father while parked out front, but decided I didn’t really like it there, so I meandered on my way.

I stopped at a store to look for a new purse (my current one is falling apart) but had no luck with that either. Upon exit of the store into the overbearing heat, I headed back to the car when I sign across the parking lot caught my eye.

Rita’s Ice Custard Happiness

Ooh, ice custard. Do I want that?
Of course you want that. It’s happiness.
Well, yeah, but should I have it?
What “should”? It’s happiness. Go get some happiness.
It probably isn’t any good. It’s probably too expensive.
It’s Happiness, it says so right in the name, plus The Beatles say Rita is lovely.
I don’t think it is the same Rita.
Whatever, come on, people are always accusing you of being too negative. Go get some happiness. Be a person that deserves happiness.
Fuck you.
HAPPINESS
Serious, fuck you. Alright, fine, I’ll go get some fucking happiness.

So I drag my heat exhausted ass across the hot black top toward Rita’s Ice Custard Happiness. So. Hot. I have to walk around the building when I get there, the sign was on the back of this little section of strip mall that is floating out on the street side of the parking lot. I pass the Subway that is next door, and get to the front of Rita’s Ice Custard Happiness and am greeted by a “Coming Soon” sign.

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Indy

Indy and the Kid and London

16.5 years ago we brought home a puppy from the German Shepherd Rescue. She was my husband’s first dog ever. We got her before our daughter could walk, and she helped to raise our daughter. Indy was a very sweet and a little neurotic. She was family, and we loved her very much.

This week we had to say goodbye to her. She was damn old for a dog of her size, and she lived a very good life, but I still am very sad. Our daughter, who doesn’t remember a day without her, until now, is totally devastated.

Indy and the Kid

The house feels so different without her. I miss her. She was such a good dog.

Hearth

I’m so fucking busy this week, I don’t even feel like I have enough time to grieve. It’s just a tight ball of pain and loss and sadness sitting like a rock in my gut, and I just need to keep on keeping on.

Really, it isn’t even about the time to grieve, it is about having the space to grieve. It is about having the space to just be left the fuck alone, collapsed on the floor sobbing and snotting until I am a desiccated lump. Maybe next week.

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When It Rains

Today I took Indy and Watson to go visit a friend. The friend has a big interesting yard with lots of things to smell, and since Indy spent time there before she developed CCD, she still recognizes it and gets a lot of stimulation out of being there, without any anxiety from being someplace unfamiliar. It is a nice safe dog park experience for her, where we don’t run the risk of running into a dog who might knock her over.

She even has a boyfriend next door. There is this sweet looking husky mix who lives next door, and they interact through the chain link fence, and he likes her and whines for her attention and she plays flirty little games with him, as if she is young again.

Today Watson wandered over the the chain link fence to meet the strange dog. He made friendly puppy body poses, but the other dog was suspicious of Watson. The other dog felt a bit territorial. So, he hiked up his leg and peed on the chain link fence. Except, you know, chain link fences are more air than substance, so mostly he peed on Watson.

“Eew, no. Watson, don’t just stand there. Stop peeing on my dog. Come on.”

Watson sniffs the chain link fence, and takes a step back, so the dog circles and lifts his leg and pees on the fence, and Watson, again.

“Nooooooo. Don’t pee again! Watson…”

Unluckily for me, dogs don’t mind being peed on as much as I might hope they would, so Watson had a great day, despite, or perhaps even partially because, he was peed on three times.

The afternoon was spent with dogs running and playing and sniffing and exploring, and finally I made my way home, to walk right into an educational clusterfuck.

See, one of the things about the online charter school is that they help educate students by locking the students out of their curriculum whenever the student does something it deems a lockout offense. For instance, if they fail a quiz, they are unable to move forward until they’ve spoken to a teacher and figured out what the problem is. In theory, this sounds kind of reasonable, but since the teachers often take a long time to respond, it really slows things down.

On Wednesday evening the kid spectacularly failed a chemistry quiz from the future. She finished her lesson, and the online program served up a quiz for a completely different lesson, that she had not yet been exposed to, so she didn’t know any of the answers. She guessed her way to a 42%. She couldn’t NOT take the quiz, because once you start the quiz, you have to finish it and submit it, or you automatically fail it anyway.

She immediately sent an email to her mentor teacher and her in person science teacher, because she already knows that they respond more rapidly than the online teachers do. She sent screen shots proving that she had not been given the correct quiz (in case it was a one time glitch), but of course, nobody replied until Thursday morning. The local teacher reported the problem to the online school, looked at the content of the lesson, and gave her a quiz that actually quizzed her on her current lesson material. She got a 100%. He then submitted the corrected grade to the online people.

By this morning, the online school still had not unlocked her chemistry class, so she still couldn’t do her chemistry work. At that point the local teacher stepped in an unlocked it for her, even though that is not the “procedure”. She was left unable to work on her class for more than 24 hours.

When I arrived home today, she had been locked out of ALL of her classes. Her teacher sent her an email telling her she would be locked out because she hadn’t turned in a form (where we initial a calendar saying what days she was doing schoolwork, even though the online program actually keeps track of all logins and the amount of time spent), but she had turned in the form on Monday. She was working on schoolwork, so she didn’t get the email until a half hour later, at 4PM, and by then nobody would reply to her phone calls or reply to her emails. This leaves her unable to do any schoolwork for the entire weekend. She started the school year late, so she is “behind” on schoolwork. Meaning, she is doing more than the required standard student minimum each week, but she is not currently at the point she should have been at had she started on day one and been completing the minimum each week. She is on track to complete everything by the end of the semester. Each day she is locked out makes a big difference, because then she has less days to cram this extra work in to. Plus, she has a friend coming in from out of town on Monday, whom she hasn’t seen in more than two years. Without being able to work this weekend, she basically cannot spend time with her friend on Monday.

It sucks.

That is what I walked into the door to discover, as I directed her to try emailing different people, and I emailed and tried to call people, and basically just frantically tried to get her back into her school program before the day was totally gone and there was no chance.

We had no luck, and finally she sat dejectedly down next to Watson for comfort. She snuggled her puppy and told him how frustrated she was. Then she said, “You always come back from his house smelling so doggy.”

“Oh,” I said, “he got peed on.”

“What?”

“Yeah. Three times.”

“You couldn’t have told me that before I hugged him?!”

“I was distracted by all your school stuff.”

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Finally Friday

It’s been a tough week in the dog world. Not my own dogs, they are fine.

In the rescue world, things have been a bit rough. It is difficult. It is worth it, but difficult. I try to focus on the worth it part, but some days are harder than others.

What else is up? It has been warm, and almost all the snow is gone. The backyard is a complete and total swamp. I don’t want Indy and Watson to run around back there, because that is a disaster.

Indy got her bloodwork results back. She is in really good shape for her age. Good enough that she was cleared for dental surgery. So, that is where she is today. I am nervous about it, not so much because I fear something will happen during surgery (although, of course I will be anxiously awaiting the call that says all is well). I am mostly nervous about starting some kind of chain reaction.

I give Watson things that are meant to be chews that last a while, and he quickly consumes them. Back to the chew shopping. Apparently, I have another power chewer. I’m not surprised in the overall scheme of things, but I am a bit surprised to have this issue at 12 weeks with the items I’ve been offering him.

This weeks puppy class was again good, but Watson got less play time in because the other pups there were so small, and he was a bit of a bull in a china shop. Still a great learning experience for him, but it burned less physical energy. Luckily, I have a play date scheduled for Saturday with some big dogs.

My mother is back for another visit, to help me with some things and mostly to help me with Watson while I get stuff checked off my To Do list. The timing for adopting a puppy was less than excellent, so part of how we came to the conclusion we could manage it anyway, came from her willingness to come back to help. Watson clearly recognized her when she walked it the door. It was so adorable. He likes people in general and is always excited to see new people, but he was just beside himself with sheer wiggly waggy puppy happiness to see the woman who bottle fed him so many meals. We didn’t know whether he would recognize her, but he did.

I might have created a twitter account for Watson. Great. I’m becoming one of THOSE people.

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Happy Tails

Our Fosters from Ms Tori on Vimeo.

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