Random & Expensive Stuff

My week has been crazy.  Here are a few snippets….

Mother’s Day was good for me.  My husband always does a stellar job of spoiling me on that day.  He got me my favorite donut for breakfast, took me to brunch and we went shopping with the kids.  He also made dinner and did all the dishes.  The finest moment of the day, however, was his discovery of an app on Facebook that allowed you to generate your own Top Gun call sign.  Did you know Mother’s Day also fell on Top Gun day this year?  I didn’t even know there was a Top Gun day, but I was thrilled to share in it.  And for shits and giggles, I made the decision that for the entire day, we could only address each other by our new Top Gun call signs.  I was “Boom.”  Dan was “B.A. Baracus,” and Bryce was “Hoser.”  That one was my favorite!  Bryn was “Cat,” which she loved because cats are her favorite animal.  We laughed and made fun of each other’s names all day.  It was magnificent.

U2 at The Forum

This past Wednesday, my husband was invited by one of his vendors to attend the U2 show at the Forum, here in Los Angeles.  I have never seen U2 in concert.  To be honest, I’m not a huge U2 fan.  The last time I was actively interested in one of their albums was back in the 90’s.  I’ve always liked U2, they just haven’t been on my bucket list of bands to see live.  I didn’t want to go.  The show was on a school night and I wanted to wear sweat pants, sit on the couch after helping the kids with homework, order sushi for dinner and go to bed super early.  I suggested Dan take a friend and make it a guys night out.  He said, “I like you.  I want to spend time with you.  You are my wife, and I want to take YOU to the show.  You have to see U2 perform live at least once in your life.”  Well, isn’t that sweet?!  So I went to the show.  And I didn’t regret it.  It was amazing.  Even though I only knew about five songs on their set list, it was an incredible night of visual and musical artistry.  I love rock music, and they did not disappoint.  I even almost cried, twice.  Almost.

My refrigerator died slowly this week.  It was fifteen years old and the compressor went out.  The repairman said it would cost around $600-700 to fix it, and even then I would be lucky to get another 3 years out of it as other essential parts started to wear out.  He recommended that for that amount of money and the age of the machine,  I should research and look into purchasing a new unit.  Thankfully, as we are approaching Memorial Day weekend, everything is on sale.  So Dan and I went to Home Depot last night to start looking.  When I told the Home Depot sales guy that I was replacing a unit that was fifteen years old, he looked like he was going to choke on his tongue.  He informed me that the refrigerators today are just not made the same, and I should not expect more than a ten year life span for any new unit we buy.  I wish I could say that surprised me.  Maybe it’s because of the technology, but products just don’t last as long as their older generations.  We keep finding ways to make things cheaper, less durable, more disposable, yet they cost more.   Anyway, an hour later, I left with a receipt for a new refrigerator that cost twice as much as my old one, and will die in half as many years.  Good times.

Minnie

Also this week, my cat had what I believe was a seizure and scared the hell out of us.  We had gone to bed, and as I was laying there half asleep, I hear what sounds like two of my cats wrestling their way across the floor.  I sit up and look around the dark room to see the shadow of one cat rolling around uncontrollably.  Dan jumps up and flips on the light to find our cat Minnie scrambling around like she’s trying to run away, but half her body isn’t working.  By the time I got my hands on her she was panting so hard her tongue was hanging out of her mouth and her pupils were severely dilated.  I was worried she’d had some kind of a stroke and was going into shock.  Dan took her to the emergency vet, and initially the vet suspected she might have had a blood clot.  A few hours later, a round of blood work, two x-rays and a bill for $600, we had no definitive answers.  Dan brought Minnie home and by the next day she was fine.  No coordination issues, no lingering side effects of whatever had caused her body to go hay-wire the night before.  And did I mention it cost $600?  As Dan would say, “Fucking cat.”

I’m looking forward to this next week, and no unexpected surprises.  No emergency vet visits, no last minute late night rock shows, and no appliance apocalypse.  This is Boom, and I’m out.

Good News, Bad News

It’s been too long since my last post.  I’ve actually started and discarded several posts.  I can’t seem to finish one, either because my thought runs out of steam, or I just feel like I’m rambling about something no one would really be interested in.

So, instead of an organized essay of sorts, here are a few things that have been on my mind lately…

14045999_1168043969905338_3983056748036945361_n1Politics.  (Insert a deep, prolonged sigh, accompanied by an eye-roll).  I know everyone has talked the election of 2016 to death, and I’ll be honest and say that I’ve written and deleted this paragraph at least three times.  I’m over editing myself because this topic is so polarizing and divisive that I hesitate to even discuss it.  Generally, I don’t discuss politics with many people.  And I’m breaking my own rule here, but I feel so strongly about this that it almost hurts to not say something.  To say anything.  It hurts to stay quiet.  So, very carefully, I will say this…for those of you who voted for Donald Trump, well, I hope that works out for you.  For those of you who didn’t vote for Donald Trump, well, hold on to your butts.  In a few days this shit is about to get real.  Time will tell if he has what it takes to be an unconventional yet effective President, or if he is truly a man-baby-twitter-whore who can’t find his ass with both hands unless Kelly Ann Conway draws him a map.  And for all of us, I think this election cycle has been a great reminder of how a democratic society works.  We all have a responsibility to be involved, no matter what side you align yourself with.  We can’t wait for others to do the heavy lifting.   Whether we understand politics or ignore it because we’re intimidated by what we don’t understand, we  all have an obligation to participate.  Congress takes advantage of your willful ignorance, and apathetic people are easily manipulated.   So get involved.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Whether it’s in your community, local or state government, get involved. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what issues matter the most to me so that I can take steps to participate and do my part.  I hope you will too.

In other news, I got a job.  That’s right!  This girl got a J.O.B.!  After six years of being a stay home mom, I am officially employed again.  And you know you’ve re-entered the workforce when you have to disclose on your job application that you were technically arrested in 1992 for Disturbing the Peace, because that shit is a misdemeanor and stays on your record FOREVER.  It’s ok though, because they hired me anyway.  I’ve been really bored since Bryce started first grade.  I volunteer a lot at the school, but I had a few days a week where I just felt like I was wasting time and brain cells.  And apparently the universe agreed that I was ready to go back to work and just handed me an awesome opportunity.  A friend of mine owns a music publishing company, and they have hired me as a part-time music coordinator and personal assistant.  The company creates and licenses music for movie trailers!  How flipping cool is that?!  It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before and I’m having a blast learning this whole new industry.  So, thank you universe!

img_0181My dog Mavis, who is now nine months old, won’t stop shitting in the house.  It’s making me crazy.  It’s like she’s decided that she’s too good for grass.   She pee’s outside, no problem.  Then she comes to the door, runs upstairs and poops on my bedroom rug.  I refuse to let this dog believe that she can just drop heat anywhere her little heart desires.  I am the alpha in this house!  She spent the morning in her kennel because she pooped on my rug after she had already gone out this morning.  Mind you, my entire house has wood floors.  When she poops, she always uses the rug.  When I came home I went to let her out.  In defiance of being put in her kennel she refused to come out.  img_0178Fine.  She can just stay there.  So she did.  Then a few hours later I came home again and pulled her out of the kennel and took her outside.  She pee’d, then wanted to come back in.  But I know her game.  I made her stay outside.  She tried to wait me out.  She even sat there shaking and giving me her sweet little sad eyes.  Oh, she is such an actress!  It took about fifteen minutes, and I swear she huffed at me, then walked to the grass and pooped.   Ha Ha!  Today I am the winner!

I miss books.  I’ve been so busy between the holidays, kids and my new job that I haven’t read a new book in months.  I have several in my kindle that need my attention, but if any of you have a good recommendation I am always looking for new books.

That’s about it for me.  My life goals for 2017 are set.  Community service, learning a new industry, becoming a dog whisperer and reading more books.  I think that’s a good list.  What about you?  I missed a lot of New Year’s posts in the past two weeks.  I’d love to hear some of your resolutions and goals for the year.  🙂

Smoke Detectors Save Lives, Until You Beat Them Off the Wall with a Broom Handle

13133388_1073988239327584_5538104568739403685_n1I had a moment today where I was dangerously close to completely losing my shit.  No, that’s not true because I actually lost my shit for a tad bit at one point.

Around 12:30pm today my smoke detectors started going off all over the house.  There was no fire, but they wouldn’t shut off.  For an hour they were screeching their life saving song without cease.  For an hour my dogs barked, cried and shook involuntarily from the horrible noise that was hurting their ears and scarring the hell out of them.  At one point, my little Mavis just let loose and started pooping everywhere.  The noise literally scared the shit out of her.

It’s amazing what that kind of noise can do to you in an hour.  My heart was racing, my blood pressure was up, and I had this weird anxiety that I couldn’t calm even though I knew my house wasn’t on fire.  The noise was deafening, and grating, and it felt like it scrapped every fucking nerve in my body to the point of absolute insanity.  For an hour.

I googled what to do when your smoke alarms malfunction like that.  The internet said the most likely cause was dust in and around the censors.  Most of the detectors in my house are about 18 feet up the wall because we have vaulted ceilings in the upstairs bedrooms.  The only ladder we have is a ginormous beast of a thing that is difficult for me to carry and maneuver.  I couldn’t get up there to take the detectors down, so I drug a step-ladder and my vacuum cleaner all over the house trying to suck the dust out of the detectors with the attachment wand.  It didn’t work.  I tried to call the non-emergency line for the fire department hoping they could send a guy out with a ladder to take them down for me.  All I got was voicemail.  Can you believe that?  The fire department sends you to flippin’ voice mail if you don’t need to call 911!  When the fire department failed me, I actually resorted to trying to beat the damn things off the wall with a broom handle.  I had reached the breaking point and would have risked putting multiple holes in the walls to make that god-forsaken hell noise stop.

I finally texted my next door neighbor and begged for help.  Thank God he was home.  He was my knight in shining armor, and instead of a horse, he rode in with his bright and shining ladder.  He took all the detectors down for me and we both enjoyed a moment of blissful quiet.   When he left I was so happy I almost cried from the relief of it.  It actually took a few hours before I started to feel the effects of the physical and mental stress dissipating.

So I want to send a world-wide thank you to my neighbor, Mike!  Thanks for being home, thanks for having a ladder, thanks for saving my sanity, and thanks for being such a great neighbor!  🙂

Priorities, and stuff.

Don’t pay the ransom!  I escaped!

Just kidding.  No one would kidnap me.

Since my last post over a month ago, life has been ridiculously busy, and clearly I’m not good at finding the time to write while managing all that must come first.  For example, I’ve already been interrupted ten times in the last seven minutes since I sat down to write this post.  At this rate I’ll be lucky to get three posts up this summer.  In the past six weeks or so we’ve had my son’s Kindergarten graduation, a new puppy, our annual vacation back home to the Midwest, my wedding anniversary and my mother-in-law flew in to spend the 4th of July weekend with us.  It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s all been good.

FullSizeRender (1)And I know what you’re thinking….”Did she say she got a new puppy?!”  Yes, and she has taken up the bulk of my time and attention since she joined our family.  I didn’t mean to get a puppy.  I didn’t want a new puppy.  We already have three cats and a large dog.  But the universe sort of thrust her at me, and when the universe hands you an adorable little baby like that, well, you just can’t hand it back.

This is Mavis.  The last week of school while I was waiting to pick Bryce up, another mom from our class showed up holding this adorable little baby girl.  I took one look at her and my soul screamed, “Mine!”  I immediately asked the mom if she had gotten a new dog and she explained that her cocker-spaniel had “accidentally” mated with her sister’s Chihuahua.  The IMG_0086result was four of the most adorable Chi-Spaniel (that’s apparently what they’re called) babies you have ever seen, and they were giving them away to good homes.  Done!  I took a picture of her with my phone and texted the photo to Dan.  I took her home with me that day.  And now I remember why we decided we were done having kids.  She is adorable but exhausting.  Having a new puppy is just like having a new baby in the house.  I can’t turn my back on her for a second.  One second she is my Sweet Mavis, and the next she is Mavis the Destroyer.  Potty training sucks.  My only consolation is that when she’s FINALLY potty trained, I’m getting all new area rugs.

FullSizeRender (2)

I don’t usually post personal photos, but I think we look hot in this picture, so Happy Anniversary to us!!

Everything else seems a bit trivial in comparison to Mavis.  Our vacation back home was good.  I love the Midwest, I just can’t live there full time.  But summers there are heaven.  My anniversary was awesome, until it wasn’t.  Dan and I had tickets to a private chef’s table dinner at our favorite ocean-side resort.  Twelve couples enjoyed a five course gourmet dinner over-looking the ocean.  We had yellow-fin tuna ceviche that had been caught that morning off the coast of San Diego.  We enjoyed freshly caught and prepared lobster and other fresh sustainable foods that had been grown on the property of the resort along with wine pairings from a local vineyard.  It was fantastic.  We made some new friends and enjoyed drinks and live music in the hotel lobby bar after dinner.  And then I had to haul ass back to our room and spent the rest of the night praying to the porcelain god.   It wasn’t food poisoning because nobody else got sick.  It wasn’t alcohol because, sadly, I wasn’t drunk yet.  Whatever caused it ruined my night and I’m still a little pissed about it because when I get to eat food that amazing and that expensive, you bet your ass I want to hang on to it.  I need a do-over.

Now that life has returned to a normal speed for me, I’m trying to play catch up.  I’m reconsidering my rule about not posting my personal opinions about politics and/or religion on social media.  The world is going crazy and I might need to talk about it.  We’ll see.  In the meantime, I look forward to stalking all the blogs I’ve neglected over the past month.  I’ve missed you guys!  🙂

See!  She was meant to be my dog!

See! She was meant to be my dog!

Happy Mother’s Day…mostly.

WORLD-S-OKAYEST-MOM-Women-s-T-ShirtsHappy Mother’s Day world!

Today my family gave me the most wonderful, relaxing morning.  They spoiled me with lovely cards, perfect gifts and my husband made breakfast with mimosa’s AND cleaned it all up.  I took a leisurely shower and took my time getting ready for my special day.

And then one of the cat’s threw up in my freshly washed hair.  I guess she decided I needed to be reminded that I am not a Queen, and just a mother, after all.  😉

Minerva and the Not-So Magic Pee

Meet Minerva.  AKA, Minnie for short.  IMG_0001

She’s the newest member of our family.  A little over a month ago my husband was walking our son to school, and along the way he found this adorable kitten on the sidewalk around the corner from our house.  She was dirty, covered in fleas, but very friendly.  They stopped to pet her and when she was still sitting there on his way back home, he decided she needed his help.  He brought her home and made signs to put up around the neighborhood indicating a lost kitten had been found and gave his contact info so her owner could come and claim her.

In the meantime, he took her to the vet and had her checked out to make sure she was healthy.  He had her bathed, flea dipped and had the vet start her kitten shots since we were unsure if she’d had any vet care.  The vet estimated her to be about six months old.   When he got home I said, “You just spent $200 at the vet on a stray cat.  Are you sure you aren’t planning to keep her?”

IMG_0027The truth is that Dan has always been unable to walk away from an animal in need.  And I really do love that about his personality.  If he can help someone, or save an animal, he will do it.  No questions asked.  And the other motivating factor is that this kitten likes him.  She claimed him from day one for her very own.  We have two other cats and Dan rescued them both.  Lucy shows a decided preference for our daughter, and Linus prefers me above all others.  Dan is tired of cleaning litter boxes and saving the lives of animals who then don’t give a shit about his feelings.  He saves them and then they shut him out.  But not Minerva.  He decided to work from home the day he picked her up off the street and I don’t think she left his lap for several hours while he worked.  She loves him and has grown more attached to him over the past several weeks.

It’s been about six weeks now and no one called to claim her.  So Dan named her after Minerva McGonagall from the Harry Potter book series.  About two weeks ago, Minnie went into heat.  I had forgotten that female kittens could start their heat cycles as early as six months of age, and she’s about 7 1/2 months old now.  It’s been years since I’ve had an intact female in the house, and believe me when I say that I now realize why vets and breeders encourage you to spay/neuter your pets as quickly as possible.

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She loves to lay in the sink.

The past two weeks have been…..stressful.  She yowls at all hours of the day and night.  Like, she is literally singing the song of her people.   She’s constantly making some kind of noise and she makes these chirpy bird like sounds.  I read on the internet that she’s trying to identify and call a mate.  I’m thanking God the weather has been cool and we’ve had the windows closed, otherwise my house would be surrounded by male cats.  And she’s started scent marking!  OMFG!  I thought only male cats did that.  And our other female, Lucy, who was fixed years ago is not having any of it.  She is mad as hell that Minnie is trying to mark over what she considers to be her territory and she is aggressively attacking Minnie at every opportunity.  So between the constant sex calls at all hours, trying to prevent this kitten from peeing all over my house, and heading off or breaking up serious, fur flying, claws drawing blood cat fights, my patience is worn thin.

Dan took her to the vet to have her fixed the day after we realized she had started the heat cycle, but they wouldn’t do the procedure until she was finished.  So we’ve been living in cat hell for two weeks.  And last night it got worse…

Don't let that sweet face deceive you!

Don’t let that sweet face deceive you!

At 3am, I woke up suddenly when I rolled over from my stomach and felt my pajama bottoms were wet on the back of my thigh.  I reached down and touched my pants and there was a circle of something wet.  And it wasn’t a little wet, but saturated.  I smelled it and it was fucking cat pee!  I jumped out of bed thinking Minnie had pee’d in the bed.  I started frantically feeling around in the dark trying to determine the extent of the damage, but everything was dry.  I woke Dan up but he couldn’t find the mess either.  Cat pee does not magically appear on your person, so there had to be a spot on the bed, right?

Nope.  That little shit pee’d on me while I was sleeping!  Dan said, “I think she was trying to mark you as her territory.”  And I said, “Well, I am not fucking flattered!”

She gets fixed on Wednesday, and Wednesday can’t come soon enough.

The Cat Who Lived

IMG_4876

Lucy has resting bitch face.

Meet Lucy.

Lucy is my daughter Bryn’s cat, and she’s three years old.

My husband, Dan, rescued Lucy as a four week old kitten.  He found her abandoned in the parking garage by his office.  She was trapped behind a security fence without food or water.  He heard her crying, and being the animal lover that he is, he went to investigate.  His rescue efforts included contacting security to open the fence and then chasing this scared kitten through the garage and underneath a car to retrieve her.  I remember his phone call that day so clearly.  He said, “I can’t take her to a shelter.  She’s so small.  Can I bring her home?”

So, Lucy became a part of our family that day.  She was tiny, malnourished and covered in fleas.  Dan saved her life and brought her home to us.  And that was probably the last time Lucy let Dan love on her.

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Lucy is a one person cat, and her person is Bryn.  She claimed Bryn for her own, and it has been so for now and all time.  They do everything together.  Sleep, eat, homework, you name it and Lucy is right there by Bryn’s side.  When I wake Bryn up in the morning for school, Lucy helps.  She will lick Bryn’s nose, or sometimes she will just lay right across her face when I’m trying to get her up.  It’s very sweet to see them together.  Best friends.

IMG_4869For all her love and sweetness for Bryn, Lucy is a bad girl.  She has a terrible habit of eating things that aren’t food.  She especially likes hair rubber bands and tearing up and eating these black foam rubber mats that lay underneath my treadmill.  The mat is about an inch thick and protects the hard wood floors from the heavy equipment.  Every few weeks I will find a pool of cat vomit with chunks of foam rubber matting or hair ties.  I’m always shocked that she manages to puke it all up without hurting herself.

About three weeks ago, Lucy became very sick.  Like, projectile vomiting dark green bile from her stomach sick.  We were immediately concerned about an obstruction so we took her to the vet.  They did abdominal x-rays but didn’t find anything.  Everything else was normal, so they treated her for dehydration and sent her home.  Three days later she started vomiting again.  Back to the vet we go.  She wasn’t eating or drinking and it was obvious she was dehydrated again.  The vet hospitalized her and did two more rounds of abdominal x-rays over a 24 hour period.  The radiologist who reviewed the x-rays observed an area of the her small intestine to be somewhat enlarged and recommended an ultrasound.  We transported her to another vet’s office who had the staff and ability to do an ultrasound, as well as emergency surgery if it became necessary.

Lucy 1We were right.  She was obstructed.  The ultrasound revealed that there was something in her small intestine and other things in her stomach that should not have been there.  The vet recommended emergency surgery right away.

Do you want to know what abdominal surgery on a cat costs?  It costs about $3,300.00.  And this is in addition to the $1,800.00 we already spent at the other vet.  What would you do?  How do I put a price tag on the life of my daughter’s best friend?  How do I say this cat’s life isn’t worth $5,000.00?  Those were the choices we were left with because without surgery, her intestine would have ruptured and she would have died.

If I didn’t have the resources, this would be a different post.  If Lucy was a fifteen year old cat diagnosed with terminal cancer, this would be a different post.  But I did have the resources, and Lucy is a healthy three year old cat with something stuck in her belly.  So, after I drank half a bottle of wine and ate a HUGE piece of Coconut Joy cake for dinner to calm myself down, we gave the vet the thumbs up and off to surgery she went!

The vet called us after surgery and told us they removed a piece of the black foam rubber from her small intestine.  They also sucked some other debris out of her stomach.  When we picked her up, they sent home the offending object, and I was shocked to see it was a piece of foam rubber about two inches long and an inch wide!  How she got that down her throat without choking to death is unbelievable!

Lucy 2

See that three inch incision on her tummy? Scars are cool.

Lucy is one very lucky little cat.  And based on her new loving personality since she’s been home from surgery, I think she knows just how close to death she came.

Meet Lucy.  The cat who lived.