Thursday, January 31, 2013

murphy's law

It is only when you haven't done laundry in awhile....when your laundry is stacked high enough that is exceeding the space available in the hamper....and it is only when your kid has done the same thing....and you also need to run a load of towels, is only then....

that your ancient clothes dryer breaks down.

Yay, me.   And no time to shop for new appliances any time soon, because I am booked all weekend.  I have no real desire to buy new appliances for this house (this happened at YeOldHouse).  I hope the weather stays good for a week or two. I might be doing a good amount of line drying!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

let's lighten things up a bit, shall we?

 Ponies in sweaters, anyone?

 If that doesn't make you smile, what will?!

To see the whole photo spread, plus a video of the ponies getting dressed, check out the Visit Scotland Blog.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

my yesterday

I'm assuming there's no one new here, but just in case....backstory:
I volunteer at a convalescent hospital, visiting people that do not get visitors. I've been doing it since I was in my early 20's, and I work with a volunteer organization that matches you up with a buddy for one on one visits.  Except that if you visit a place long enough, you end up getting to know at least a half a dozen other people and you stop by for visits with them, as well.  Right now my primary buddy is James, who I have been visiting now for almost 8 years. I also stop and chat with 5-7 other people while I am there. I visit on Mondays.

I did not see James last week, due to the holiday. MyFavoriteKid was off school, and we had a bunch of stuff to tend to, so it was 2 weeks since I had been at the hospital.   When I rolled into James' room yesterday, I immediately saw that he had a new roommate, and my heart. just. sank.

"Where's Melvin." (It was really a statement, not a question; it was clear what had happened).
"Oh, he died."
"And when did that happen?!"
"Ohhh, I dunno. A couple of weeks ago maybe."
"Why didn't you call to tell me, James!!!" (also not a question, really)
"I didn't think to."

You didn't think to.
James and I talked for a few minutes more about it, about how Melvin had died in his sleep without a peep. That the nurse had come in for some reason for James, and noticed on her way out that Melvin had expired.  I honestly couldn't believe that James wouldn't think to have told me. James knew I'd made friends with Melvin, and I had specifically expressed that if Melvin was not looking so great, I'd want to hear about it.   James' only response to my visible shock and upset was to ignore it entirely, and to state that he didn't like his new roommate very much because he called out for "George" all night long and kept him awake.

I had to excuse myself by lying to James and saying I needed to go to the bathroom, but honestly, I just stepped out into the courtyard and cried.  Through my tears, I kept looking at this big bush that had exploded with yellow daisy-ish looking flowers. They reminded me of Melvin so much.

I think Melvin must have showed up at the hospital around September.  As a volunteer, hospital staff can't tell you diddly-squat, but here's what I learned about Melvin after a few weeks of being friendly.  He was probably in his late 50's, maybe early 60's (but I doubt it).  He was dying of cancer, and was in a lot of pain; he told me the cancer was near his spine.  His brother came to visit him often, and took very good care of him, but I also saw a few hospice people sitting with Melvin from time to of them a nun.

Melvin had the bed closest to the doorway, farthest from the window....and when I first started saying hello to him, the curtain between the beds was drawn closed, so he couldn't see out the window.  I'd ask him if he wanted to me to open it so he could see outside.  The first week he said no. The second week, yes. The third or fourth week, he even asked me to do it before I could offer.  He said it cheered him up so much to be able to see the trees and flowers outside.  He must have finally started asking staff to do it earlier in the day, because after that, the curtain was drawn by the time I'd arrive.

In October, I had a potted plant left over from the admission table of our dance concert.  It was very vibrant, with shooting red flame-like flowers that spiked upwards. I brought it to Melvin, and he asked that I put it where he could see it. He knew what type of plant it was because he used to be a landscaper, and he talked for awhile about his favorite plants.  He talked about them with a love for the outdoors as if he was a custodian of nature.  I watered it every time I came in. After a few weeks, some stupid ass staff person had put the plant in the least accessible corner of his little area, with no light and no water, and it died. Luckily, I don't think Melvin could see it wither, as it was placed behind him.  Around Christmas time, I brought Melvin a Christmas Catcus, which he also loved, and the staff did the same thing with that plant, shoved it in the corner nightstand behind his headboard, but every week he told me how much he appreciated my bringing him living plants and taking time to say hello.

He kept asking to go outside and get fresh air, but I don't believe anyone ever took him. I have no idea what was up with that, but he was indeed horribly horribly week.  One day James said they weren't feeding him. I turned around and Melvin was laying there with his food tray in front of him.  He was trying to hold a spoon, and couldn't.  I asked him if he was hungry and he barely whispered a yes.  I fed him spoonfuls for the next 15 minutes or so, and he ate everything. He just couldn't feed himself, is all.  I can't blame the staff. They are ridiculously under staffed. I blame the hospital administrators. But that is a whole 'nother rant.

While I was feeding Melvin, I had this very warm and loving feeling rise up in me, and it manifested in my blurting out the total brain fart, "I don't think I've fed anyone since my son was a baby."

And a tear ran down his cheek.

I cannot even tell you how bad I felt. I apologized for making him sad, and told him that I totally meant it affectionately, and was so sorry.  He eeked out a whisper that it was okay, but we both stayed there, both of us crying while I kept feeding him mashed potatoes and "meat-surprise" and helping him wash it all down by holding a straw to his lips.  That was a very hard day for me. I cried all afternoon about it.  I knew we were both just sad's just so sad.  But that moment will always linger with me.

Melvin actually got a bit stronger after that.  He was looking good there for a while, although still in a lot of pain, and quite doped up at times, but every week we chatted and he was honestly just the sweetest guy.  I could go off on a whole tangent about our health care system and why we cant help people die with dignity, but that too is a whole 'nother rant.

So there I was yesterday, out on the patio, sobbing and looking at the yellow-flower-bush, which happens to be right outside of James' window.  The flowers were blowing in the breeze, and it sort of felt a bit like Melvin was waving goodbye.   I went back inside and James asked if I was mad at him, and I said no, just upset....but that I was very broken up about it, and needed to leave a little early.  Really, when it boils down to it, James not telling me is probably just how James processes loss.  He's only in this place because his wife died (because if someone was home to care for him, he'd be there). He's also had far too many roommates die over the 8 years I've know him, and it's a huge adjustment for him every time he gets a new one.

Before I left, the nurse assistant came in to check on James' new George-yelling roommate, and since she is a little loosey goosey and friendly, I thought I'd see if I could get more info out of her about Melvin.  She said that it was a little strange that he died the day he did.  She said that Melvin's brother had come that morning, and with some great effort, they got Melvin into a transport wheelchair and Melvin's brother took him out into the garden for a good long time.  They all thought Melvin looked pretty well that day.  And then it was around midnight that night when they noticed he was gone.

Gosh, I can cry some more over that.

I'm so glad his brother got him out there. It is so amazing what people will hold out for sometimes in their last moments. I've seen it over and over again. They wait for one last visit with someone, or one last thing to be seen or to be said.  I am so glad for Melvin that he got one more moment out in his beloved outdoors with the plants. And I totally know now that it truly was him waving his yellow flowers at me with a goodbye. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

a bit blue

I woke up this morning with a Downton Abbey hangover, feeling like I had actually lost a member of my own family or something.....and then got to the convalescent hospital only to discover that one of my folks down there had passed away.

I'm quite broken up about it :-(
Will write more tomorrow.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

pass me a hankie

I just watched tonight's Downton Abbey (no spoilers here...I promise. Well, not full disclosure at least, but if you've been living under a rock, I am indeed repeating the same hint they've been sharing on NPR this week, so if you don't want the hint, then move along). 

I'd already heard earlier in the week from a few NPR announcers that tonight would be a night for a box of tissues.  How right they were.  Rumors have been swirling for a long time now that someone from the cast was going to perish this season, and all week I was trying to guess who it was. This morning I woke up and knew exactly who it would be. It just makes the most sense for future story lines.  And I was right.
But I didn't want to be right.
It was so sad :-(

Sad...and very well acted, all the way around.
(I predict many more Golden Globes, Emmys and SAG awards, don't you?)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

snaps on saturday

I did take a "clear shot", but this fuzzy one is just so much more interesting to me!

my late Christmas gift, and an early birthday present

When TheMostImportantGuy asked me what I wanted for Christmas last month, I told him that I wanted him to get outfitted in a "modern fit" suit.  I told him that I wanted him to look like James Bond. Well, more specifically like Daniel Craig. 

Now, I don't mean that I want TheMIG to be someone he's not (I like him just as he is, thank you very much), but I mean that I wanted him to look as good in a suit as Daniel Craig does.

 TheMIG is a hot young guy....and he wears business clothes every day for work, and ones that are slightly out of date and a little too big.  Hopefully he won't mind me for saying so, but always sort of looked like he was playing dress up. The clothes were just too big and he wasn't wearing his suits, they were wearing him.  He was worried he wasn't trim enough (?!) for a more tailored suit, so he wore pleated pants and jackets that were a little boxy with wider lapels and standard fit shirts instead of trim-fit ones. I knew (having watched enough Tim Gunn and whatnot), that he would look smokin' hot in a trim suit.  I knew that a narrow lapel and flat front pants would make him look younger and more hip.

So TheMIG bit the bullet and went out trying stuff on and shopping around.  He ended up at this independently owned shop with this awesome old school Italian guy that had him outfitted in no time flat.  The suit was finally tailored this week, and TheMIG texted me the night he picked it up saying he saw himself in the mirror and thought he looked so great he did karate moves.  hahahaha!!

So, like I said, the suit was my Christmas gift....a little belated....and my birthday is on the 4th and we have a dinner date booked for Saturday the 2nd to go out for a birthday dinner all dressed up....but neither of us could wait.  So we went out tonight, too.

I couldn't stop giggling and grinning he looks so good!!
I'm going to have to keep setting up places for us to go where we can get dressed up!

Friday, January 25, 2013

should i be worried?

I have opted to have MyFavoriteKid's high school send me announcements by email.  Here is the subject line of one I received tonight reminding parents to keep their kids home if they are ill.

ACHS and the flue


Thursday, January 24, 2013

i win :-)

Quick hand(s) update:
~ Since jodi asked...yes, thumb split from cold weather has healed (well, it doesn't hurt...but it sure does look ugly). 
~ The sheet pan burn on the same hand, my right/dominant hand, healed up super fast, and I totally attribute it to my ancient chinese secret for burns, Great Wall Bran Ching Wan Hung.  This stuff is the bomb, and when I was in culinary school, my classmates used to beg me for it daily.
~ The cut on my left piny is still horrible.  I finally uncovered it to let it get some air. Well, actually, I was too sissy to even take the band-aid off.  DrMostImportantGuy had to do it for me.  It will be fine, but it's not a pretty sight at the moment. And it still hurts like hell anytime I brush up against anything.
~ I have a couple of big fat cat scratches on that same hand, thanks to GaaraTheToothlessKitteh, and then out of nowhere last night, the inside of the wrist on that hand took a scratch and started bleeding and I don't even know how it happened.

My hands look like crap!!  *sigh*
The rest of me feels pretty damn good though, so I'll take that!

In other news, it is with great joy that I tell you that I got TheMIG to start watching Downton Abbey. He'd seen a few minutes here and there coming and going as I was watching, but last night he started streaming Season One from the beginning and he watched three whole episodes!!  I am so excited.  I'm hoping he'll plow through Season One on Netflix, and then we can stream Season Two on Amazon Prime, and so far I have Season Three tivo'd at the house.  It tickles me to no end.

But wanna hear what made me even happier?! Today MyFavoriteKid came home today and told me that he got a perfect score on a test he took today in Humanities, and the only reason he got it right was because it was about World War I and he knew the answer from being in the room while I was guessed it....Downton Abbey.  hahahahaha

I WIN! :-)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

vintage me.

Typing still sucks. The burn is okay, but the deeply cut left pinky finger is not okay yet at all. Apparently yesterday's post freaked my parents out because they called me and gave me crap for not wanting to be taken to the emergency room. I had to stop by their house and show them it wasn't quite so bad. And it's not. But it's the tip of the pinky, and typing sucks. As does getting it wet. As does banging it up against anything, which seems to be all I do today.

Okay, so here's a pic to keep you entertained until I mend:

I don't know exactly when this was taken, but I know for a fact it was taken by then best girlfriend Pam, and I took one of her as well, and somewhere there is another photo of her and I together we had a passer by take for us. It was taken across the street from my apartment in Piedmont/Oakland.  I don't recall where we were headed.

I am thinking I was about 25 when this was taken, so I'd say circa 1992.

Red velvet body suit, layers of lacy sheer skirts, suede slouchy boots, and a woven vest.  And some giant earrings, and if that wasn't enough....hey, how about a hat??  Oooh, and I see that I'm holding red sunglasses.  LOL   I know it doesn't show well in the pic, but I find it hilarious that the brooch I am wearing pinned to my vest is a big giant fake engagement style ring with a big giant fake ruby set in it. Cracks me up.

Clearly I was in my pagan Stevie Nicks-ish earth mama phase of dressing, yah think??

special thanks once again to my parents who keep unearthing these little gems for you!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

sso much forr typfing

just cut myself pretty good in the kitchen, followed up shortly thereafter by burning the heel of my right hand realllly good with a 400 degree sheet pan.  hurts too much to even type this. burnt hand wrapped in ice filled ace bandage. knit night tonight oughta be interesting.

dont even ask how long it took me to type this.


Monday, January 21, 2013

because it's really hard to take photos whilst dancing...

Ok, kids. Fun times the past two Monday nights!  I'm taking a series of dance classes.  And since I have yet not figured out how to dance and take photos at the same time, I am going to have to give you some linky-linkies and filch some photos from the internet (and hopefully nobody will mind).

So, I have taken some workshops and classes before from Axis Dance Company, but it has been a very long while.  Well, I just happened to notice in their newsletter of a few weeks ago that they were hosting a series of master classes with Marc Brew.

I thought to myself:  Now, aren't you the lucky duck!!  

I had recognized Marc's name in the newsletter because I had see this video of his performance "Remember When" and just loved it.

Remember When from Marc Brew on Vimeo.

But I didn't realize that Marc had been commissioned by Axis last year to choreograph a piece for them. Mark is in town re-setting that piece, which he choreographed last year. The piece was/is called "Full Of Words", and it was nominated for three Isadora Duncan Dance Awards  (which is really big deal).  Now, because I'm not going to go all photo-filch crazy, please do click this link and you can see a really great photo roll the piece.  It's stunning.  But it's even better with the musical score. If you have some time, the complete video for Full Of Words can been viewed here.

I am finding this class to have some interesting challenges.  I'm a belly dancer.  When I perform with my troupe, it's on crutches.   The last few solo pieces I have choreographed for myself were on various levels of stools, also incorporating floorwork.  I am not a modern dancer;  I don't naturally make movements anything like what you see in the photos or videos above.  My movements are flow-y and round and soft, or if they happen to be percussive, which they sometimes are, those percussive movements are usually done in the hips.

None of that is what is happening in this series of master classes.

I found myself struggling through the improvisational exercises because I was using a wheelchair for dancing, which I don't do that often, and when I do, it's me by myself, not making contact with other people.  And I was really focused on making "not-round-shapes" like everyone else (who even knows if everyone else was even doing that though...I'm such a nut job.)   I was so busy working out those details, that I missed the point of the improvisational exercise which was pretty much to listen to the people you were dancing with.

Well, today I went back for round tow and danced like me.  Muuuuch better.  I enjoyed myself a lot more, and I learned a lot more, too.   One more class next week, and I am excited to go!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

this is just one of those days where it makes no sense for me to blog 365

I have not left time for typing and am totally exhausted!

I stayed up a bit too late last night, and then TheMostImportantGuy was up at 5am to head over to the meditation retreat at the zen center.  I woke when he did, and thought I'd fall back asleep, but did not.

My day was laundry, casting on for the pink shawl again, getting just as far as yesterday and then deciding my nupps looked wrong, so took it back apart. I started a hat instead, to break free of the bad lace mojo, and was modifying the pattern to spiff up the band a bit, and ended up goofing that up as well. 

I switched back to my all garter stitch project. Apparently that is all I am capable of at the moment.

I cooked a bit today, and this is really what I need to sit down and get typed out for you!  I'll give you a little teaser though:  I have changed my diet substantially in the past month, and today I mastered gluten free and sugar free blueberry muffins.  

The why's and the how's to follow....

Saturday, January 19, 2013

snaps on saturday

I am a member of the Knitspot Fall In Full Color Club (great patterns, lovely yarns), and this group also has one rockin' Ravelry Group "clubhouse"-chat-thing going on.   Knitters from all over the world!  We just  got our January yarn and pattern this past week.   Lookie:

Miss Babs Alpacacita 2-ply laceweight, 70/30 baby alpaca/cultivated silk
in the custom Knitspot colorway : Winter Rose
(and I've already learned that it is a dream to knit with)

So, over at the Ravelry "clubhouse" two of the ladies (one of whom I have met before at a sweater fitness class by Anne Hanson herself) commented that they were going to meet up today and get the project going together.  They are both of Sacramento, so I asked if I could crash they KnitALong, and they said yes :-)

There are 3 versions of the project to choose from:  an infinity scarf, or a flat scarf or stole.  Stephanie is doing the infinity scarf, and Carol and I doing the stole (except I am modifying the stole a bit and removing the lacy scalloped edging and replacing it the with straight edge that appears on the infinity scarf). 

We had a really good time, although little progress was made.  Stephanie had started hers yesterday but then had to re-start today.  Carol ripped and had to cast-on several times for some reason or another.  I got mine going, but the first couple of rows were a bear!  We were there for 3 hours (I'd say two of those were knitting, we ate lunch too), and I only got 4 rows done!  Nupps in the first row!  Pattern action on both sides! Gah!  And even though I could feel that I was sort of getting into the swing of things by the 4th row and was working faster, I then realized that the fabric I was producing was too flimsy.  I need to start over with a smaller needle. Poo!

So.  It's like I didn't really do much of anything.
Except make new friends, of course
Which is even better than a shawl. ;-)

Friday, January 18, 2013

barefoot in the kitchen

Ok, maybe I wasn't barefoot in the kitchen.  It's cold up here, plus when I'm jammin' in the kitchen, I usually wear a shoe for stability.  But I was in the kitchen today, to be sure! 

I am getting that CSA produce box delivered every week, and I have switched to the "veggie only" subscription, eliminating the fruit portion for now.   That means I have a lot of veggies to cook my way through every week.  I will be writing more over this long weekend about some dietary changes I have made recently, and what I am doing with all those lovely veggies.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

mini personal retreat?

So there is a 3-day retreat at the zen center this Friday, Saturday, Sunday.  TheMostImportantGuy is going to do Saturday and Sunday.

I'm not going.  Two reasons.  One is the dog.  We used to do these long retreat days and just leave the dog door open for Riley while we were gone. The problem with that is that the retreat runs from 6am to 9:30pm, and we live a distance the dog would have free reign in the yard from 5am until about 10:30pm.  And by free reign, I mean the dog is probably out there barking at shadows that look like racoons (or actual racoons, it turns out!).   I can't risk the dog being out there pissing off the BadMan neighbor, so what I've been doing since the shooting incident is to bring Riley and Teeny to the Doggie Daycare places, which also does overnighters now.  But I'm not ready to bring Riley there while he's still on meds from his oral surgery.

The second reason is that I have parental responsibilities with MyFavoriteKid this weekend, although most of the time what I'm really doing is driving him around.  He has a haircut planned for Saturday morning, then a band rehearsal Saturday afternoon, then he is overnight at a friend's house Saturday night.  I just have to get him to and from all these things....

SO! No go zendo!

I'm choosing to see it as my own little mini-retreat.  I've already cooked up a bunch of healthy foods for snacking on, and I'm going to try out a couple of new exercise videos I picked up.  I've got some knitting planned.  I may even take myself to see the movie that no one else in this house but me wants to see.  And  I need to do some blogging. Some real content blogging (because really. it has been sort of watered down here lately, hasn't it.)

What are you up to this weekend?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Sorry to do this, but I need to whine for a minute. 

I am ouchy!!!!

About once a month, or every other month, I get this crazy intense series of spasms in my SexyLittleLeg.  Nothing new, has been checked out, aint going away, I live with it.  But it's like being electrocuted for a couple of seconds, and then it's gone. It's intense. And it will do that all day every sporadically, and it hurts so much you'll see me gritting my teeth for no reason, or cursing like I have tourettes.

Well, I have had my spurt of spasms for the month....except that it started last night and hasn't stopped, and all throughout the night last night, it kept waking me up.  I had a full day today and got barely any sleep at all.  I am exhuasted.

Additionally, I have this one other thing driving me nuts. It's such a small thing, but if you are a knitter or use your hands as much as I do (like, I use them to walk), then you'll understand this complaint.  I have a split from the cold weather on my right thumb.  And it's killin' me.  Even typing this is not feeling so good.

SO.  I have vented.
Thanks for listening.  LOL

I'm going to get something soothing onto my hands now and tuck into bed, and hope that tonight my leg goes for a nice deep sleep, too!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

it's days like these that make me wish days like these were over, for cryin' out loud!

Well, here's an update on the next door neighbor at Ye Ol' House, otherwise known as the BadMan, or the jerkazoid that shot my dog Riley in the eye with a bb-gun.

There. There's your synopsis if you're new here, a refresher if you're not ;-)

I'm not pressing charges here, the District Attorney is taking care of that.  Today was to be the pre-preliminary trial with the actual trial being set for tomorrow unless a settlement agreement was made.   it's

So the DA offered a plea bargain today:
* The BadMan would need to change his plea from not-guilty to guilty, for felony animal cruelty.
* He would have to serve 30 days in county jail, but it would probably be commuted to 15 days.
* He would have 3 years of probation, including anger management courses geared towards animal cruelty, and at my request, the DA added a condition to probation that he would not be allowed to possess other firearms (which at present, he does...and they aren't bb-guns).
* He would have to pay restitution (the vet bills).

At the end of it all, his record would shift from felony to misdemeanor.  I'm fine with that bargain, although I have no idea if he and/or his attorney is going to accept it. And the whole matter was postponed until February 7th, so it's going to be awhile until I find out.

I'm having an interesting time of things. Every time there is a new date or a new development or a call from the DA's office, I get this very strange "deer in the headlights" thing going on.  I don't function at full capacity.  I move into some odd time warp.  I look up at the clock and time has passed and I haven't accomplished anything and I can't really explain where the time went or what I was doing. I also stop taking care of myself.  I forget to drink water or make a healthy meal.  Actually, I don't really forget, because at some point I see myself (almost at a distance) not taking care of myself, but I can't make myself take care of myself!  It's very odd, and it's exactly what I have been successfully working on in therapy....but it's a place I still slip into whenever I feel fearful. 

Honestly. I really just cannot wait for this danged thing to be settled. I know I'll always be a bit nervous having him right next door, but at least the proceedings will be over, and the buttons will be pushed less.

Monday, January 14, 2013

it's stuff like this that makes me wanna learn to crochet

An earflap hat left behind by one of the kids present at the New Year's Eve party (we found it under a chair)...let's start with a view of the front:

And now the back! Exposed brains! Ewww!  LOLOL

Sunday, January 13, 2013

no time for typin'

Ok, so maybe I am watching a little bit too much television tonight:

Golden Globes
Downton Abbey (season 3, episode twoooo)
Girls (season 2 premiere)

I'm knitting away on my humungous garter stitch project which I am hoping like heck I finish up soon because it's turning out to be so fashionable looking...and I'm so cold!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

snaps on saturday

Hanging out at our friend's new house, which happens to be in the same town as TheNewDiggs.

Totally cool house. Everywhere you look, something interesting to look at. Looks like they've been living there for 10 years, not 6 weeks (including some remodeling). Total opposite of our place, both in style and amount-of-stuffness.  Had so much fun, so much laughing. Hope we get to visit again soon!

Friday, January 11, 2013

the dive, improved

If you've been reading here for a long time, you might recall how much I loves me a good dive bar. TheMostImportantGuy and I seek them out any time we are on the road (which hasn't been much since the purchase of TheNewDiggs, but we still love 'em).

Well, there was a very divey dive bar in the east bay called The Ivy Room.  We didn't go there that often because, was almost a little bit too divey, if that is possible. And there were two other cool bars within the same block, so it just didn't make sense to go there. It was very dark and old, and sort of grimy.  It was really two store fronts that had been connected by way of punching a hole through the wall. One side had a bar, the other side had a small stage and a little DJ booth. I'd only every really gone there to see a couple of friend's bands play.

Tonight was Kimberly's birthday, and we'd heard it had been remodeled, so we decided to check it out.

Pretty danged nice!  Some of the updates looked a little HGTV, or they sort of reminded of me Restaurant Impossible (is there a Bar Impossible??), but wow, what a fabulous improvement! Very sleek and fun, with things like old mattress springs or re-bar turned into light fixtures. Cool!  There was a very mixed crowd filing in of all ages, which I thought was great (not sure what the later night drink crew is like...we left by 8pm).  The drink menu was full of interesting things like homemade bitters and muddled thyme, so how can you go wrong with that?!

Definitely the new spot for early evening drinky-poos!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

the poodle says hi

Silly, huh.  LOL

Riley made it home today finally, and he looks exactly the same (same bald spot on the arm). Poor dear.  His jaw was left in tact (woohoo!), only his bottom right canine had to be removed. Apparently it was an epic procedure because the tooth had broken off at the gum line and the vet had a horrible time extracting the remains.  He backfilled the jaw with some crazy grafting stuff (that's my technical description, might as well just call it Bond-O).  Riley had enough of being poked an prodded at, I am sure, because he bit one of the vet-techs this morning.  He is not like that at all normally.  He just had enough.  He's home now sleeping like a log.

I hope this is it for awhile. An expensive week at the vet!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

poooooor riiiiiiley.... in the klink.

I brought him in for his 9am appointment, and by then his tooth was looking ridiculously dangly.  It turns out that his canine tooth snapped off at the gumline, and was just sort of hanging there. The root of the tooth was still embedded in the jaw. The vet couldn't tell whether or not the damage was extended into the jaw bone, and planned to mildly sedate him and x-ray, then call me with a plan of attack.

It turns out that this took all day.  He had two emergencies come in right after I left, requiring much patchwork.  He didn't get to Riley until about 5pm, and at 8pm I got the post-op call.  The tooth was removed, the root was removed, and it was all back-filled with some magic bone grafting goop.  The jaw should be stable.  He was awake and doped up on pain meds and they were getting ready to feed him. I can pick him up at 10am.

You know I will be there at 10am on the dot.

After I left him, they sprung Gaara the cat from his dental surgery.  He's looking pretty great, if not a little silly (they shaved a section of his arm for the IV and he looks like a poodle).  He's tired, but has been lovey. 

But we're all missing Riley tonight :-(

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

dental day

Today was a no-fun-for-anyone-at-the-vet day. Myself included, and I am not even a dog or cat!

Gaara, the orange tabby, had to go in for oral surgery. It seems he has some strange kitty disease that causes kitty teeth to rot out of their heads. The doc said it was caught early enough that he only needed 8 (8?!!) teeth removed.  Today was the big day. Not a happy kitteh.  I did get a call from the vet tech after surgery though, and apparently it was not quite as bad as they thought, and they only had to remove 4.  I'm sure it will not reduce the bill much.  And poor Gaara had to spend the night in kitty jail.

But then there's the dog. Remember how poor Riley was attacked by a pitbull only July 4th, 2011?? (If you want some crazy drama, go back and read all of July, maybe even some of's a doozy)  Well, if you will recall, part of that attack included a portion of poor Riley's jaw coming undone.  That's right.  The front right corner of his bottom jaw was just sort of hanging there. His canine and 3 or 4 front teeth were sort of hanging in the breeze.  The emergency vet sewed it back on and hoped it would take.  There was always a question that he might lose teeth down the road, but it seemed to stick, and it's been over 18 months.

Well, it would appear time is up.  Or something new has happened. I can't seem to get the full story.  I picked Riley up from doggie daycare yesterday (he goes once or twice a week), and they said a couple of hours near the end there, he was "licky".  Like when a dog eats peanut butter, that sort of licky.  I didn't observe it myself, until I got him home.

Lick, lick, lick in the air. And then he spent a good long time lick lick licking the big scar on his side that also came about during the same dog attack.  We looked in his mouth, on his tongue, under his tongue, around his gums, and couldn't see anything stuck there. I check the injured jaw as best as I could for looseness, and I didn't see anything.

Until today, when I came back from dropping Gaara off for his surgery.  The canine tooth has turned gray and it is loose.


I am hoping like hell it is just that the tooth died and it is now loose. I am hoping like hell that the whole jaw isn't somehow loose (I'm sure not poking around and making matters worse!). I am hoping like hell that if he looses that tooth that it doesn't affect the structural integrity of the jawline.  I have spoken to the vet and since he is eating, and doesn't seem in pain, and is acting normal (aside from the licky-licky thing), that it didn't need to be an emergency visit.

I have a 9am appointment tomorrow, and Gaara is set to be sprung at 10am, so I have a hunch I will be exchanging one dog for another.

I am freaking out about it in all sorts of weird ways.  It's that deer in the headlights thing where I forget to eat and drink and take care of myself but have no problem watching 4 episodes of Chopped on the Food Network.  It's nuts.

Anyhow, hopefully tomorrow will be full of good doggie news. Please...cross fingers for us!!

Monday, January 07, 2013

such a beautiful moment

Tonight's sunset
 Mount Tamalpias as seen from Mare Island

Judy commented on yesterday's post: 
What is the brand/model for this "Carson"? I am looking for one and this looks excellent 

Judy, I did do some research and shopping around.  I was originally bent on getting one (of the many options) from Zojirushi.  It's a brand I know I can trust (I have the best rice cooker ever, and it's a Zojirushi), but after much research, I decided to go another route with the instant hot water heater.

My "Carson" is a "Secura 4-Quart Electric Water Boiler and Warmer AirPot, 18/10 Stainless Steel Interior SWB-43".    This model was at least 1/2 the price of the comparable Zojirushi, but more importantly, it has a stainless steel interior. There is something that just rubs me the wrong way about sipping on water that has been steaming in plastic all day.  It sorta gives me that "itchy BPA feeling" if ya' know what I mean ;-)  There is also a similar model, the Secura SWB-42, but I liked that the -43 had a third setting for water temperature.

Carson has been serving me since Friday, and I am in heaven.  I am drinking quite a bit of herbal tea right now, and it's just been the best thing ever.  MyFavoriteKid is pretty enamored with Carson, too.  MyFK is bananas about the instant ramen concept (as if ramen could get any more instant than it was in the first place!).

Happy brewing!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

my personal carson

Maybe I've posted this before:

...or maybe not.
But whatever. I am posting it today either way, in honor of sitting on my butt all day watching the Downton Abbey marathon re-running of Season II...and then watching the first episode of Season III! (at least while I sat on my butt I folded laundry and got some knitting done)

I am also happy to report that I have "my own personal Carson" here that really did make tea for me:

That's my new water boiler thermal hot pot instant hot water on demand thingy...which I have now nicknamed "Carson". hahahahaha

And I am in a deep state of adoration!

Saturday, January 05, 2013

snaps on saturday

A Prairie Home Companion in San Francisco for two shows!!

Oooo, when I heard it announced on the radio, I soooo wanted to go!  And because TheMostImportantGuy and I listen together occasionally, I thought he might like to go also, so I said to him....
Let's do it!
and he said...
and I said...

And so I didn't look into tickets :-(

At Friday's knitting group, the wonderful Sarah mentioned she was going with her family and that I might have an extra ticket, and lookie!! I got to go!!

It was the best :-)

Friday, January 04, 2013

teeny's personal sauna

Teeny has always spent her day following around the beam of sunshine that come streaming through the windows, but she has now discovered The Way Of The Heater Vent.


Thursday, January 03, 2013

somewhat cryptic post, as i am utterly exhausted

“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.” 
~~Benjamin Franklin

I don't know about the one in the middle (as it might be more up to my neighbor than it is to me), but this year I am working on the other two.


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

My dogs eat apple slices, pear slices, and the occasional carrot. But can you believe they were actually pestering me for.... fruit??! 
They were totally into it.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

the first photo i took in 2013

The aftermath of our New Year's Eve Party at TheNewDiggs, twenty-three people strong.  And that's just the sun room!  It was worth it though, and ohhhh how I love entertaining there! The house is no longer trashed, but after several days of cleaning, setting up, cooking, and then cleaning again.....I am trashed!

I hope you all had a happy and safe celebration.
More soon. I am exhausted and need to hit the sheets!