Poop Patrol

Theron’s been having some serious breathing problems.  His tongue’s been turning purplish.  Even my cousin Dustin noticed it when we were home…. I say that like it’s shocking… but Dustin’s a dog person, so that’s not shocking… The fact that someone who’s seen Theron 3x in Theron’s life would notice that made me realize I wasn’t just “imagining” it worse than it is.

Last week when we got back to Virginia, I set up his annual visit for August, and figured I could always bring him in before that if I got more worried.

He’s been coughing for a few months… almost like dry heaving.  And for a really long time he’s had spells of extremely heavy breathing that we attributed to his hips bothering him.

I just couldn’t shake the feeling something was wrong.  Not only was all that going on, but he was having doggie diarrhea (Gross I know!) daily for about a week and a half… which is not normal for him.  I had been trying to be frugal like the Husband and not bring the dog in more than we had to… but I couldn’t do it.  I told Hubs I was bringing Theron in because he was worth more to me than the vet bill.  I stood my ground…  Hubs said he was surprised it took me so long to bring him in!!

We had an appointment on Tuesday at 11:30.  The doggie doc was alarmed at the breathing problems and the blue/purple tongue thing.  She said that he was not getting enough oxygen.

He went off to X-Ray… and when they came back there was what looked like a piece of metal in his esophagus, a lot of debris in his stomach (looked like cat litter), and a lot of infection in his chest cavity.  The vet decided to send the X-Rays off for a second opinion before treatment.

The radiologist surmised the piece of metal was actually in the top of Theron’s GI tract and should pass.  The infection in his lung cavity area was probably causing the breathing problems and needed to be treated.  The cat litter hopefully would pass.  He got an antibiotic and something to help with his stomach issues.  The vet also asked us to check his poop for evidence of stuff passing.

Wednesday evening, when I walked him, I found some shale-like rocks in his ummm remnants… So I am hoping that’s what the metal object was… and I’ve been finding kitty litter in his ummm remnants….

I also think they neighborhood probably has voted me sketchiest dog owner… because I mean honestly… who sits there and feels up their dog’s poop (It’s in the bag, I’m not doing it with my bare hands thank you very much)…. and then looks joyful at discovering stuff in it?!?  WEIRDO!!!

We’re hoping that his breathing will get better and he’ll pass all this junk in his stomach….  Keep your fingers crossed!!

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. ~G.B. Stern

Today I am trying to focus on the good, and letting Hubs process all my (I-want-to-move-home) issues and how he feels about them.  In light of that, this will be an edition of Thankfulness Thursday!!  Hooray!

  • I am thankful for these fur-faces…  Smores only LOOKS mean, I think she’s mad because I’m not letting her eat more houseplants today.  This morning she got sick off of them and Hubs had to clean it up… Oh yah, I’m thankful Hubs found the cat puke not me!!
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Smores – The Mean Faced Defender of the House

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Lazy Dog Bones

  • I’m thankful for having indoor (working) plumbing… This summarizes it quite nicely.

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  • I am psyched that I remembered to charge my mp3 players yesterday… One is fully loaded with audio-books, the other is currently kickin out some Bob Marley… Either way… Theron’s walk in a few is going to be much less boring!!
  • I am thankful for the gym equipment in our basement.  I would really like to ignore it and not work-out… but that’s not doing anything for my health. 😦  So thank you gym equipment for removing my excuses, I sure do hate love you!
  • I am SO AMAZINGLY thankful for Hubs’ body accepting his new medication.  Generic 30 day supply = $11.45… making a three-month total $34.35 (Yes, I did store away my math brain when I left the bank… I used a calculator to calculate that…. pathetic!)…. The same meds in their non-generic form… $579 for a three-month supply.  Ouch!!
  • I’m thankful for people who can understand my plight, and are willing to offer support.  Life’s easier when you don’t feel alone!!
  • I’m thankful for Tommie Copper.  His little gloves make my hands stronger and more resilient… I have them in size small, and they seem the right tightness, but the fingers are not quite long enough… Phone call to them today for sure, but even if it’s my only option, it makes a WORLD of difference!!!
  • And finally, I am thankful for my dishwasher.  Said hands can’t handle doing all those dishes.  Hooray for modern conveniences.

What are you thankful for???

Fresh Tracks Farms Vineyard and Winery

Whilst on vacation, we had a “transfer” day between my in-laws and heading up to stay with my side of the family.  It landed on a Wednesday.  Tuesday evening we had dinner at Jon’s aunt Carolyn’s house and they had been talking about a winery just outside of town.  So on our way out of dodge Barre we stopped at that winery.

I’ll admit, if we didn’t have a family connection, we might not have been as apt to plan this into our trip.  Jon’s cousin Jordan works for the farm, and he gave us a bottle of their Little Piggy Pink Rose as a wedding gift.  Jordan’s parents had a 50th, I mean 25th birthday bash there this past year, and after looking at the pictures, I got it in my mind to stop and visit.
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I’ll admit we’re not HUGE wine snobs, but we’re picky about wines when we taste them.  There are a lot of lovely lovely Virginia wines… We haven’t really loved a lot of the Vermont wines we tasted so far.  I was a little apprehensive about what all the wines at Fresh Tracks would taste like, but it was so close and dog-friendly, so we just bit the bullet and stopped for a tasting.

I AM SO GLAD WE DID!
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The wines were excellent.  I found them to be crisp and clean while still being complex.  I enjoyed them more than most of the Virginia wines we have sampled!!  Almost all the fruit is grown in Vermont.  With the exception of the pinot grigio which was grown in Cali.
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We loved-loved-loved the Vermont Rose (bought a bottle!) and the Frontenac Gris (bought another bottle!)… They were stellar.  We also sampled the Little Piggy Pink and the American White.  They didn’t have Digger’s Dance, La Crescent (which Jon’s aunt said was great, and I had really been looking forward to!) or the apple dessert wine.

It was a gorgeous facility… Theron loved it!!
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My only complaint is that the girl who was working that day was not very attentive.  A wine tasting of four wines shouldn’t take an hour when there was only us and another couple in the facility.  We kept almost feeling rude when we would have to remind her to pour the next wine.
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You can check out the website… Or stop in if you live in the area!  I bet it would be amazing during foliage season!!!  It was $4.50 for the tasting, and we kept the glasses.  That was steeper than I would expect to pay for a 4 wine tasting, but we were on vacation! 🙂  All and all, it was good and we plan on visiting again to try their Digger’s Dance (hopefully, fingers crossed) on our next trip home!

Unresolved…

I’m feeling lost.

This happens EVERY.TIME. I go home to visit.

I come back and am lost.  I feel lonely and empty and like something is missing.

For the longest time, I thought having found my wonderful match in life, that all I needed in life was him.

We are so very good together.  We’ve spent the last 7 years being each other’s every little thing.

Doesn’t that sound heavenly?

Doesn’t that sound pressure filled?  Doesn’t that sound, unbalanced?

For the longest time, I thought it was wonderful.  In fact, it still is quite wonderful.  We built a very strong and wonderful relationship that far exceeded my hopes for myself, and for us.

But when I go home I get this feeling… and each time I feel it stronger…. We could move there and we wouldn’t have to be alone…  I wouldn’t feel like I had this big gaping wound to heal each time I returned to Virginia from Vermont.  I wouldn’t have to spend weeks to months healing myself and settling myself back to being here.

I wouldn’t have to choose to let that wound be or to keep my marriage happily intact.

I spend a lot of time fearing that the  time will come when I can’t just force that feeling away.  That a time will come where I can’t just make myself happy here to keep us happy.

I live in fear of it.  Right now, I feel it trembling in my heart…  I can’t calm it.

That fear that will pervade until I am able to talk myself into this being “where we’re supposed to be”.

It’s easy to stay here, where we are, where we have a nice home and Hubs has a nice job, and he’s happy.  I’m relatively happy to, for the record.

It’s hard to imagine staying where we are…

Where I am most responsible for the household, and the idea of throwing children (if we end up so blessed) into the mix is suffocating.  Staying here, where we won’t have family to help share the burden… It’s intimidating.  It’s hard to imagine the potential that our (potential) children might not grow up spending a lot of time with their grandparents.  As mine were/are some of the most important people in my life, I feel it’s just plain WRONG not to give my children that option…

Staying here, it’s hard to imagine this cycle each time we travel home…  How many times can I ask to move home, and be shot down without it eating away at me completely?  How many times can I keep pushing this down, and keep pushing on?

Generally in my “healing process” after visiting,  I think going home to visit is part of the problem.  If I don’t go home, I can forget about it.  Keep burying it deeper and deeper until I can pretend it doesn’t exist.

I mean, that’s the same process I use to be “happy” here in the first place.  Each day I bury my sadness a little deeper, and I use that to catapult myself back to the land of the living.

If I just keep it all buried deep, I won’t say things to Hubs that will rock the boat.  I won’t push him to something that might make him unhappy, no matter how unhappy I might be.  I think deep down he thinks I’ll always be a little unhappy.  And maybe he’s right.  As soon as I think “maybe he’s right”, that’s when I know I’m starting to give in to him.  Give in to letting myself be less happy so he can stay here and nothing has to change.

This issue seems to grow bigger all the time.  I don’t know what the resolution is, or if there is a resolution.

I guess I just needed to vent.  I can’t make this decision for both of us, and I couldn’t live with disrupting his life to make me happier if it’s not something he wants… So I just say a little prayer each day hoping we can find a compromise, or a resolution…

This heat…

I know lots of people who spend all winter bitching about the cold… Hubs is one of them…  But for me, the oppressive, humid, hotness of the summers here are worse.

If I don’t walk the dog by 8 am, it’s just not happening!  For him more than me…

It will look gorgeous out, but the only way to enjoy the outdoors is an early morning hike or a sunscreen-slathered kayak trip…  Or I suppose at a pool if you’re lucky!

And I feel this way from June-September…

Then it gets cold and Hubs feels the same way about the cold from December-February.

That means I have one more month of misery over the weather a year than he does… I think that earns me some bling. 🙂

To get stuff done outside is a delicate dance with the sun and heat.  I had to walk the dog first thing, and Hubs is weed-whacking (weed-eating for you Southerners), edging and mowing right now… then we’ll quickly quickly eat something for breakfast and then run outside and try to weed our gardens while the sun is still on the front side of the house.  As soon as it gets too hot, it’s done.  😦  My poor chard is so tall and glossy and pretty… and so very close to being choked out by weeds.

Wish us luck and hope we don’t get heat stroke!!

Kitchen Gadgets

I am a total dork.  I often narrate my adventures in house-making in my head.  Or have conversations, as though I am interviewing myself on some swanky TV show.

For example, today after my morning session I got home and was starving.  I wanted to make a smoothie, and I wanted to make a big enough batch that I could send some smoothie back to work with Hubs after lunch.  So I took out coconut flakes, frozen bananas, frozen triple berry mix (THANKS MOM!), yogurt, 3 big leaves of Kale (THANK YOU KITCHEN GARDEN), and some water… and I could BARELY put the lid on the blender.

I thought to myself Mindy, this is folly… There’s no way you will blend this.  

But I wanted the smoothie so I tried… and failed.  And smelled blender engine smell… I suspect a new blender will be purchased soonish. 😦

But I had all the stuff together, what was a girl to do?!?

Then I had a moment of inspired genius…. THE FOOD PROCESSOR… my oh so beloved food processor… My kitchen gadget I couldn’t wouldn’t want to live without….  I took her out, and spatula-ed all the smoothie ingredients over, and turned the food processor on to level 2…. 

Worked like a dream!!!   I have two fabulously thick and delicious smoothies… Mine’s almost done and Hubs is chillin in the fridge. 🙂

As I was marveling at my resourcefullness and declaring undying love for my food processor, I started interviewing myself…

At first I was thinking of a list of kitchen gadgets I could not live without… but as I thought about it…. I realized there are ones that I really could do without but they make things more convient versus which ones I truly would be up a creek without…

Here’s my list.

Convenient but could do without:

  • Blender
  • Egg slicer
  • Toaster oven
  • Waffle Iron
  • Omelet Pan
  • Crockpot
  • Rice Cooker
  • Bread Machine

Necessary!:

  • Kitchenaid Stand Mixer
  • Food processor
  • Dishwasher (Okay, it’s not a true kitchen tool, but with massaging, my hands require a dishwasher!)
  • Knives, cutting boards, etc.

What are your gadgets?