To Dog, or Not To Dog? That Is The Question.

OUR SUPERMODEL WHIPPETS

OUR SUPERMODEL WHIPPETS

My brother has already told me I’m crazy…NUMEROUS times!  He’s been telling me that for years, and I’ve never paid attention, so why start now, right?  On the other hand, I think one of those voices in my head has started telling me that I’m crazy, too.  That one is harder to ignore because it never goes away.  So help me if you can. 

ALEXIS - ALL GROWN UP

ALEXIS – ALL GROWN UP

I’ve written quite a lot about Maritza and Zoey, our two Whippet daughters. I focus on them because our human daughter insisted on growing up, moving out and having a life our her own.  Just when I got her all housebroken, too!  So now, Maritza and Zoey are our little girls, and we’ve spoiled them WAAAAY more than we ever spoiled our human daughter.  I don’t think that makes us bad dog owners or bad parents, because we actually knew that Alexis would go out into the world, so our disciplinary tactics were enforced to make her ready for the challenge.  And she’s taking the world by storm so it looks like we did good!  On the other hand, we knew the whippets wouldn’t be leaving us, so we’ve coddled them…a lot.  What the hell, I might as well admit it, they are 2 spoiled bitches…and Steven made them that way.  There…I said it.  He’s a doting doggy daddy and can’t be trusted to ever say no.  His girl dogs…and girl daughter, now that I think of it, have all trained HIM to cave on the first hug, kiss or doggy-eyed grin.

So for long term readers, you probably know the back stories.  But for newbies, you’ll just have to do the research.  Luckily, I’ve become “link-happy” since I’ve learned how to include links in my work.  So for anyone to lazy too do the research using the old Dewey Decimal System (as usual, kids, GOOGLE IT), just click the links and you can catch up. 

IMG_0074In May 2011, I posted an entry titled “Dr. Zack and Nurse Missy” about our cocker spaniel kids, Zack and Missy.  They stood guard over Steven through his chemo and radiation, making sure he was watched while I was at work.  They were part of his recovery and my sanity.  It was a trying time when we lost those loveable fur balls and Steven and I were both heart broken.  As a matter of fact,  it took me eight months before I could write about their passing.  When finally did, I still blubbered like a baby.  Although I couldn’t blubber for long since we already had Maritza and Zoey running around needing attention. 

It took me much longer to get to the posting about our life in between Zack and Missy and Zoey and Maritza.  (By the way, the Z-M-Z-M initial thing was purely coincidental…how’s that for a kick in the butt?)  But when I say Steven went crazy without dogs in our house, I mean that VERY literally. IT WAS TERRIBLE FOR A WHILE!

ZOEY & MARITZA TAKING ME FOR A DRAG.  WHERE WOULD # 3 FIT IN?

ZOEY & MARITZA TAKING ME FOR A DRAG. WHERE WOULD # 3 FIT IN?

With all that being said, let me just yank your leash back into line and let’s get back on topic. We’re talking dogs, we’re talking nuts and we’re talking about getting another Whippet.  I’ve done all the calculations.  I know that this great, big, beautiful, new king size Tempur-pedic bed is the most comfortable bed I’ve ever had.  And one more Whippet will have me out on my ass, sleeping on the floor.  I know there is plenty of room when the girls are curled up into cute little balls cuddling under the covers, but somehow when they fall fast asleep they expand with all fours straight out like Barbie’s arms and stretched to full capacity, they take up more room than I do.  And Whippet World is roomy for Zoey and Maritza, but I don’t know if we could squeeze one more in there when we’re away.  And I’m damn sure not going to let them run free in the house!  I’ve seen Zoey jump almost over the kitchen counter when they start playing tag.  And Maritza has the tendency to chase Zoey so fast that they can’t stop quick enough to avoid crashing into the kitchen cabinets.  If they were left to roam free without human supervision, I’m sure my homecoming would involve an emergency trip to the vet!

THERE WOULD BE MORE ROOM FOR ME IN THE BED IF SHE JUST BENT HER LEGS!

THERE WOULD BE MORE ROOM FOR ME IN THE BED IF SHE JUST BENT HER LEGS!

Of course, designer dogs means designer dog food…at $50.00 a bag.  And we’d need it 1/3 faster if we got another.  And the heartworm meds, and the vet trips and dog park admission and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  I know all the reasons why we SHOULDN’T get another dog.  And there’s only one reason why we should.  Because I WANNA.  

I can justify a puppy so easily.  I can even convince myself that I’m doing it for the good of the girls.  But the truth of the matter is that I want just one more chance to mold a puppy into the dog of my dreams.  And what better time to do that than now, when I’m “between engagements,” so to speak.  Why not spend some of this unemployed time doing something that might be stupid, but sounds like fun?  

    ZOEY IN HER FORMER LIFE...WITH SNOW!

    ZOEY IN HER FORMER LIFE…WITH SNOW!

    Zoey came to us as a loner.  She’s adapted quite nicely into our family.  But she still has times where she reverts and retreats when Martiza gets too clingy.  She just recently took over the guest room as her own, so she likes to go to her room…ALONE.  Not very Whippet-like, but we have no idea what her first 2 years of life were like.  We do presume they were not the best, because sometimes I think she’s still worried that this will all come to an end and she’ll have to sleep outside, in the rain…which is what she tried to do the first night we had her!

    RUNNING AT TOP SPEED

    RUNNING AT TOP SPEED

    Maritza has more energy and spunk than a whole army of Cocker Spaniels.  I can take them for a 5 mile walk and she still needs to run the yard when we get home.  She’s gotten good at jumping, and the backyard birdlife now knows not to fly under the 8’ fence line unless they want to end up in a shoe box getting buried next to the squirrel who didn’t get the memo.  Maritza needs to run, and it’s no fun for her if she doesn’t have something to chase.  But if that something isn’t faster than her, then it better be of the same species if it wants to live!

    SAFE HAVEN - WHIPPET WORLD...SEATING FOR 2

    SAFE HAVEN – WHIPPET WORLD…SEATING FOR 2

    I want to see all my girls happy.  I want Zoey to feel like she can come out of her room without being needled by the little latin spitfire, but I want Martiza to have a play mate.  And I think I just want a puppy.

What the hell is wrong with me?  Should I get another Whippet?  Should I get a MALE this time?  Should I get another breed?  Should I just get my head examined?

What to do, what to do?  To dog, or not to dog?  That is the question.  Do you have an answer?

 

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OOPS!

SPACE COAST CANCER CENTER OFFICE & TESTING CENTER - TITUSVILLE, FL

SPACE COAST CANCER CENTER OFFICE & TESTING CENTER – TITUSVILLE, FL

A full week has gone by and we’ve been sitting on good news, waiting for the last bit of confirmation to come in.  But the confirmation is still not here…and the good news I’m sitting on is tickling my butt.  Therefore, I’m going out on a limb and telling you WOO HOO!  It looks like the score is Harp’s 1 – Lymphoma 0 !

However, even pros screw up once in a while.   I consider us pros at this cancer thing…yet we overlooked a couple of things which added to this latest little snafu.  So, I’m going to share with you beacause I always hope that you can learn from our adventures down Lymphoma Lane!  And to reassure you that even after 8 years, we still overlook the obvious sometimes. 

I’ve previously written about The Holy Grail of Cancer – Steven’s LIVESTRONG binder that holds all his test results.  Normally, he totes that 20 lb. sucker (which not an exaggeration, BTW) every time we visit a doctor or lab.  He was feeling so positive, or herniated…I’m not sure whichon the day of his CT scan that he left  the book at home. Upon arrival at the facility, we found that the CDs of the December scans at Cancer Treatment Centers of America were not copied for comparison in “the system”.  In layman’s terms, this means, “We ain’t got ‘em.”  (Let’s count this as OOPS! #1 on our part NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOUMENTATION AT HOME.)

BANANA + BARIUM = YUMMY SHAKE?

BANANA + BARIUM = YUMMY SHAKE?

Steven threw back the barium second shooter and promised that we would get the CD to the oncology office for a courier ride back to the testing facility as soon as we could get back home to pick it up. At this point, I could see that my afternoon was shaping up to be a taxi service, since Steven was now full of barium and his bladder would be bursting…and radioactive…by the time all this shuttling was to happen! 

We hurried home after the test and I did a touch and go, and then headed out, CD in hand, for the rendezvous.  I made it seconds after the courier arrived for the hand off, and I assumed all was good.  (We’ll count this as OOPS! # 2, because we all know that when you “ASS-U-ME” you make an “ASS” out of “U” and “ME”) 

Either Steven or I should have called to make sure the comparison of tests was going well.  Here’s another helpful tip:  When tests are done at two different facilities, they don’t always have compatible equipment, which means they can’t read one another’s work.  YOU need to stay on top of that, because THEY won’t.  And, I guess I have to take this as OOPS! #3 on us. ALWAYS REMEMBER: if you forget OOPS! #1- #3, you’ll just keep on racking up the OOPSES! from there.

IMG_0131So last week we showed up for Steven’s appointment with Dr. Sprawls expecting to have this great news, with all kinds of backup to prove that we’re beating the crap out of cancer.  We got the good news, but not all the backup, which feels like hitting the jackpot on a slot machine without the bells and whistles and coins flying out.  We’re thrilled, but a little let down, too.  Again OOPS! on us for not confirming that all the test results were received by the doctor, in time for our appointment.  We should have rescheduled if we wanted the balloons, fireworks and champagne corks popping.  But we didn’t, so……….

Allegedly, the test results from the scan will be available for us today.  But sure as shit, if I wait to post this, something else will get in the way.  And I don’t want another “OOPS!” in my column.  So let’s just go with, “HOORAY” for today.  Steven feels great and seems to be way healthier than he’s been in years.  And as soon as I can see the written results of the CT scan from I’ll report back. And if I don’t get right back to you, well… OOPS! #5.

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I’D LOVE IT IF YOU SIGNED UP FOR MY E-MAILING LIST!  IT’S JUST YOU AND ME, BABY!  I DON’T SHARE MY TOP SECRET SUBSCRIBER LIST WITH ANYONE, SO YOU WON’T GET JUNK OR SPAM OR FOUND IF YOU’RE IN WITNESS PROTECTION!  I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW WHEN I POST A NEW ENTRY.  SUBSCRIBE HERE  

 

A New Day, A New Look

BARIUM - THE BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS

BARIUM – THE BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS

A new wardrobe is a neccesity…even for a blog.  I’ve been blogging around lately, and I’ve seen a lot of looks that I really like, so I decided to update my style.  Let me know what you think, but if you disagree…well… you’re just wrong!  But, thanks for playing my game!

It’s been a lazy weekend here at Harp House.  Steven had his CT scan on Friday, and after he chugs those two giant banana barium shakes, he usually feels a little bloated and tired!  Go figure. Meanwhile, I’m wondering if I should be wearing a tin foil hat to bed.  If anyone wants an idea for a Christmas gift for us, I’m thinking a Geiger Counter would be the big winner.  We’d definitley use it twice a year to make sure Steven’s not kissing me with radioactive lips!

We’re going to see Dr. Sprawls on Tuesday to get the results of the scan.  Til then, don’t take any plutonium nickels!

I’m Proud To Be An American

OLD GLORY

OLD GLORY

It’s July 4, 2012 and I hope everyone is enjoying this patriotic holiday celebrating truth, justice and American Way.  Here in Satellite Beach, we have a tradition that starts on Flag Day in June.  From that day until July 4, volunteer citizens arrive at at dawn at the Civic Center / City Hall (usually on foot – small town and all) to help carry out and display 50 American Flags that line the landscaped area in front of our town’s center.  Then at dusk, we traipse back over to collect the flags until the following day.  

When the tradition first began, Steven and I used to volunteer several mornings each week, and then Steven would often get a call to run over and help take them down in the evening.  Now, there are so many people who want to help that we’ve bowed out to let the newer residents take our places.  But I still get a tear in my eye and a knot in my chest when I drive by City Hall and see all those flags waving in the breeze.  It is both heartwarming and inspiring. 

IT'S 5 O'CLOCK SOMEWHERE

IT’S 5 O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE

So today, while most Americans were enjoying a holiday from their jobs, Steven and I were working our asses off on a home improvement project.  Actually, Steven worked his ass off…I only worked off one cheek.  But it should count as equal because my one cheek is the same size as his ass, right?  Now, I’m trying to rehydrate with quarts of ice water and a martini chaser, because the olives replenish the salts lost in sweat.  (That makes the martini a medicinal thing.)  And, I’m reflecting on how free I am.  I’m free to work on a holiday, and free to collect unemployment while I search for work on a work day.  I’m free to consider all the possibilities of what I want to be when I grow up.  Albeit, again, I’m still quite free to branch off into yet another direction and have a new adventure.  In what other country are people able to have all of that?

As crazy as it is, I’m free to make my husband take on a pretty physical painting job, two days before the CT scan that will let us know if his pesky little cancer cells are trying to make another play for the end zone.  I’m free to assume that it will all work out and I don’t have to worry about the cancer overshadowing the painting project, and I’m WAY on board with that thought.  And I most happily free to take all of my freedom for granted most of the time.  It is part of my world, always has been and always will be..sounds just like Anderson Cooper opening up about being gay!  Is it like that in other countries as well?  I’m guessing, not so much!

So the train of thought, or the martini, made me start thinking about my Grandma.  My mother’s mother was Hungarian.  She came to this country, speaking Hungarian, and having to learn a whole new world and a whole new way of doing things.  And she did.  So my Mom could be American.

ZSA ZSA GABOR

ZSA ZSA GABOR

Grandma had a Hungarian accent that was funny to me as a kid.  Mom’s name is Marion, but Grandma ALWAYS called her Mariska (Mud-dish-ka) and Aunt Irene was ALWAYS Iranka (EE-rain-ka)…or at least that’s what it sounded like to me.  I remember the first time I saw Zsa Zsa Gabor on a talk show.  She sounded just like Grandma, yet I could never imagine Grandma wearing tons of sequins, with big bleached hair and thick false eyelashes and carrying on.  But they could have come over on the same boat!  And as a kid I was both amazed and expectantly accepting that you could be anything when you grew up…even if people could barely understand you.  

My parents and I lived with Grandma and Grandpa for a while before I started kindergarten.  So I have some vague and probably incorrect perceptions of the immigrant lifestyle.  My Mom and Dad were completely American, and there was never any question or confusion in my mind about what I was.  I can remember Mom listening to Grandma in Hungarian, but answering in English.  There were a few words I remember clearly.  If Grandma asked if I wanted tojás (toy-osh) for breakfast, I was getting egg…scrambled.  

I was Grandpa’s little shadow and used to hang out with him as a little one.  Grandma use to call him Ember (Em-Bare) and I always thought that was how you said Andrew in Hungarian.  I was a teenager when I discovered it meant “man” or “husband”.  That’s a little window into the old country, huh?

PIG FEET JELLO...FOR BREAKFAST?

PIG FEET JELLO…FOR BREAKFAST?

I called him Pop and we were kind of partners in crime.  I can’t ever remember him saying “no” to me, so he was was great to be with.  He drove a bus.  He worked driving a trolley, which I don’t remember, but I do remember him modernizing to be a bus driver.  He had the early, early shift, so even on days off, he was an early riser.  And if I was awake, I would be at his side.  I’m horrified to remember that we used to sneak this thing called kocsonya (ku-cheen-a is how I remember saying it.) for breakfast.  Grandpa loved it, and I loved him, so we ate it together.  I gag now thinking how the heck they could let me eat pigs feet jello.  I swear.  I ate some kind of clear aspic with a congealed red covering from the paprika (pap-ree-kash)…with smoked piggy feet sticking out in the middle of the bowl.  And we used to fight for the feet.  EWWWWW!  I’m a freakin’ American.  WTF?

If I was Aesop, I’d be looking for the moral of this story,   and I’m gonna go for it.  I love being American.  I love that I’m free to follow whatever hair-brained scheme that I might come up with for the next part of my life.  I love that I’m secure in knowing that we have wonderful doctors and medical people taking care of us.  I love that I even though I graduated from college, my daughter is still smarter then me, with a masters degree and a better wardrobe.  And I particularly love that I don’t have to eat pig feet jello.

Happy…happy…happy 4th of July!

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I’D LOVE IT IF YOU SIGNED UP FOR MY E-MAILING LIST!  IT’S JUST YOU AND ME, BABY!  I DON’T SHARE MY TOP SECRET SUBSCRIBER LIST WITH ANYONE, SO YOU WON’T GET JUNK OR SPAM OR FOUND IF YOU’RE IN WITNESS PROTECTION!  I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW WHEN I POST A NEW ENTRY.  SUBSCRIBE HERE