Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Enough Already

I spent my Monday off in the kitchen. The Squeeze and I were having my old buddy and 'best babe' Mary and her hubby over for dinner, so after spending a small fortune at the grocery store I chained myself to the stove and began cooking.

The menu for the evening would be some cheese and paté and other nibblies while we sat about and chatted and drank some wine, then onto the main course of lasagna and Caesar salad, followed by a dulce de leche cheesecake and whipped cream for dessert. Several times through the lasagna-making process, I thought, 'why didn't I just buy a frozen one?'. But, I cook with love. And probably better ingredients. While the sauce simmered for a couple of hours, I began working on a pot of jumbalaya to take to work for our lunches this week.

The afternoon wore on, and eventually I had the lasagna prepared and resting in the fridge, the jumbalaya cooked and portioned out into containers, and the bacon and croutons cooked and ready for the salad.

I packed Stella up and took her to the pet food store that our former neighbour manages so I could pick up another huge bag of Stella's food to get us through the next month or so. I reminded her of the invitation to The Squeeze's party that we never heard back from her about. Turns out they were away on vacation and got back the day after the big party. When I told her that we got married at the party she screamed with excitement, came running around the counter and gave me a huge hug. Eventually Stella and I got over the volume of the scream, paid for the food and headed back home.

When we returned to the house there was a message on the phone from my sister-in-law. "Dave, we just got back from Dad's doctors' appointment. Call us back." I forgot that he had a meeting with his oncologist and a GI surgeon about possibly doing surgery on a hiatus hernia that was causing pain when he ate. After trying to call my sister-in-law back several times and getting a busy signal, I managed to get through. It turns out that my father's cancer has spread to his liver. He is having another scan on Friday to check out his bones and brain because he's been complaining about back pain and headaches. They aren't able to do any more radiation for whatever reason, and the GI surgeon said that they can't open him up to fix the hernia at this point. "I wish we had better news for you," the doctor said.

So again, now we wait. Hearing that from my sister-in-law was quite a blow. Part of me is crushed, and a part of me is in denial and doesn't want to face what this means. I'm dreading what we'll learn next week. My father is pretty much resigned to the fact that he's going to die soon, and he's quite fed up with the chemo and radiation and doctor's appointments he's been going through. As he says, "What a waste of time." I think he's ready to go, but I'm not ready to let him. I'm still sitting here waiting for a miracle.

Needless to say, I wasn't completely present for our company, but I did enjoy the visit and the opportunity to have dinner together. My mind just drifted onto other matters. I'm still in a fog of disbelief, and I'm waiting to wake up and find this has been one of my weird dreams.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Puppy Trials

Stella, our five month old Boston Terrier, has developed a late night and early morning ritual. When we go to bed at night, we bring her up on the bed with us and snuggle with her for about half an hour or so. Just until the last person awake (usually me) is about to drift off, then we put her in her crate a few feet from our bed for the night.

In the morning, the first person up (usually The Squeeze) takes her outside to do her bidness, brings her back inside and puts her food in her dish. Some mornings she'll eat the food before heading upstairs, some mornings she just runs up without eating. Her goal in coming upstairs is to get in bed with me and snuggle until it's time for me to get up.

It's just so cute having her nuzzled up close, snoring away, that I've been tempted to not put her in the crate at the end of the day. The thing that's prevented me from letting that happen is the fact that The Squeeze and I outweigh Stella by about...oh, a ton, and one little turn from us in the middle of the night would spell certain doom for her.

Now I have another reason not to do it. The Squeeze took Stella out Monday morning, and she sprinted back up to snuggle with me right away. Only an hour or so after she came back in, I was taking my shower when The Squeeze walked into the bedroom and discovered that Stella had peed right below the pillow on my side of the bed. This was rather out of character. She's been doing great with the housebreaking, and I can't recall the last time she's had an accident in the house.

So I stripped the bed and threw the sheets and the miraculous no-seep mattress-protecting underpad in the wash. Luckily she didn't get the comforter, because I usually have to take that to the laundromat due to its size. That night The Squeeze and I made the bed and had a nice fresh bed to sleep in for the night.

Last night as we were getting ready for bed I heard The Squeeze yelling from the bedroom. I left the bathroom to see what was going on. Stella peed on the bed again. I had just taken her outside less than an hour prior. This time she got the comforter too. This was just after 11:00pm. Again, I stripped the bed and lugged the soiled bedding down to the laundry room and began washing. I even decided to jam the comforter in as a second load instead of letting it sit there wet on the basement floor. It fit fine. I wonder why I wasted so much time and money at the laundromat in the past.

The Squeeze had moved us into the guest room for the night, but it wasn't until after midnight before I joined him. And there was no pre-crate snuggling that night. And there wasn't any post-pee snuggling this morning either. I don't mind having clean sheets on the bed, but twice in two days. Come on.

I'm pretty sure I'll cave on my new "no dog on the bed" rule as early as tonight. She's just so darned cute, how can I not cuddle with her? I'll just say "piss on it" and hope she won't take it literally.

On a somewhat related topic. Tonight the pup graduates from Puppy School. I want to get her into more classes to fine-tune her training, stop the jumping up and pulling on the leash. My goal will be to be able to walk her down the street without a leash and know she won't go from my side. Wishful thinking?

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