Sirens went off about 1:45. Dogs howled. After 10 minutes or so I got up to check the radar. I have "the Dish" until I get cable on Wednesday-so there is no point in turning on the TV. The Dish doesn 't like wind or rain or birds pooping on it.
Weather.com radar does show a strong storm with a good hook echo about 20 miles north of here, moving rapidly to the N, NE. So, why the hell is MY siren blowing? The hook is near my cousin's house, but she lives in the country so there are no sirens waking HER up. Should I call? Probably not. So again, why is MY siren blowing?
Here's the deal weather peeps. If I can log on, pull up the weather radar and see that the storm is away from here, headed further away STILL-why can't you? I do understand the storm warning was for Oklahoma County. Oklahoma County is one of the biggest (in terms of land area) counties in the nation. You'd think in 2008 we'd have our disaster grid a little bit more refined.
Yeah, I'm grumpy. My beloved Dottie is dead, my other dogs are howling. Uncle John is not doing well and I was asleep and not thinking of ANY of that until the genius at the fire station down the street said "hey, let's blow the siren and wake a bunch of people UP". Now I am thinking about it, and yeah, that pisses me off.
The cat, is, however, delighted. She's dozing on my shoulder, snoring softly as old kitties often do. My head is resting on her rump while I type. But frankly, I'd rather be sound asleep, blissfully unaware of disasters unfolding 20 miles to the north.
I spent last night holding Dottie, and this morning I held her while the vet put her down for....for what? For good? Sorry, I don't feel all that good. Forever? I know that isn't quite true either.
I spent the long hours with Dottie pressed to my chest, heart to heart, hoping that hers would just stop and I would be relieved of the decision. But, this morning we had long eye contact and she reminded me of my duty.
I carried it out as best I could keeping her close to me, calming my mind, letting her go not in fear but in love.
The pack amazes me-they howled all night long, but this morning paid her very little mind. It really was like "Dead Dog Walking". They had already accepted it, so, sitting at the vet, I tried to as well. Dottie rested her head on my shoulder, just glad for the closeness, as she was throughout the previous night.
Dogs, at the end, seem in no great hurry to go, nor are they reluctant. Dying is pretty much in the same category with going out in the backyard to pee, nothing to get excited about. Of course, maybe the lack of excitement is partially due to the fact that they don't feel very chipper sitting at death's door.
I, on the other hand, am pretty much a basket case. My energy now is so wrung out and distraut that the other dogs keep giving me sideways glances-sheesh, pull it together, what's the big dealio? I mean, come ON, we sang a lovely death dirge all night long, we said goodbye, she left-now there is breakfast to attend to and then a nap.
Somehow they know the difference between gone and not coming back, and, oh, say, gone to be neutered. I don't think they sense where she IS, as much as where she isn't-in this world of shape and form with us.
I didn't bring her body home. Cody and Oliver are diggers, and my emotions aren't up to what would happen next. The newly vacated the life form that was formerly Dottie would have treated the remainder like a lovely chew toy, and I'm just not evolved enought to accept that. Maybe if I had spent more time staring at the sad little white body, I would have progressed to the same level as the dogs.
Like them, I get it-Dottie has left the building. But, I am not a dog, I am a human, and I feel her absence as a loss, not just as something that is. I do think the dogs have the right idea, I'm just not there yet.
The answer is so easy, i really think I said Aha! or Wow or something. You let go, not when you can see (with the rational mind) but when you can FEEL the cost of what hanging on to useless things is doing to you.
If you are hanging on to something-an old hurt, a pile of clothes, a grudge-flip things around and ask yourself "what is it costing me to keep this and could I replace it if I needed it later?"
Uh, I'm talking about mourning my snakes, but I suppose it could work for any loss. And saying it's over doesn't mean saying I'm over-just that I'm over with grieving.
The boy is a pinstripe, the two girls are clowns, and trust me, you don't wanna know what I paid. But they put my project about where it would have been if everyone hadn't died, maybe a little further.
These are ball pythons, which the majority of my snakes were. I'm going to focus on the original project (messing with reduced patterns and brown tones). So with a little cha-ching I've gone from wayyyy back to square one two years ago to the present.
Now, I was going to say that moving on doesn't mean that I didn't love my other snakes and yadda yadda, but that makes absolutely NO SENSE because the snakes didn't know or care if I loved them or not, even when they were alive. And now that they are NOT-I know energy goes on but I have absolutely no idea where they are now. I just don't have a clue.
And, I'm finally ok with that. Beasts don't sit around and worry about what if what if what if what if what if. They just move on, in this world and the next. What I DO know, is that they are not here, and I miss them. Enter the three musketeers.
One of the things I've missed about my former pals is how I could sit with one, calm my mind and get to a point of knowing much easier than I can do without a snake handy. I'm hopeful that the new trio will be just as skilled at mind melding. If not, well, there is another being headed for 49th street, but I will talk about him more tomorrow. He's quite a handsome fellow.
The pain of loss, when it is over? I was really pleased with how I'm moving on in my life, making new strides, keeping a stiff upper lip, and today, reading about a clutch of new eggs, the pain of losing my snakes ripped through my heart with almost new vigor.
I've been talking about new breeding projects and I can most times I can look at new stock without crying. But today, all the unfulfilled possibilities of what I lost came over me again. I wasn't mourning the loss of the inviduals this time, it was the loss of what we would have created. 4 of my girls would have been bred to my beautiful mojave-2 of those girls I raised from little worms...
Every snake in my colony was handpicked for one trait or another, nothing was extra, nothing was wasted, only now it seems it was all a waste. All that time, all that money, all that caring.
Of course, it's only wasted if you don't learn from it and move on. But I feel I have, only the pain just won't go away. I didn't really realize how happy I was with the snakes and how much of ME I had invested in them.
Yet, when I try to look at new ones, my heart breaks all over again. Is it guilt? Am I blaming myself? Well, sure, it WAS my fault. I should have had back up heat in Oklahoma. Now I do. But I just can't move forward.
Grief is just the weirdest thing. The more you try to wrap your head around it the worse it gets, yet letting it be doesn't help much either.
Yet, it does end. I've had other losses I no longer grieve over in an active, really hurts right now way. I think the difference must be that they have no relevance in the present moment. Now is when there would have been eggs-so maybe that is what is bringing the loss forward into the present.
Ahh, I see now. I'm keeping the grief alive by projecting a future that cannot be. I really am the one bringing it into the current time. I really do have to let go, and leave my darlings in the past.
Still not green here yet, but looking at some photos from last year, I realized that even the sight of green grass cheered me up. So, here's a bit to share for all you winter starved people. Alternately, you can look at the dogs if you don't like grass. I try to include something for everyone.
Oliver was pleasantly surprised to be hugged and carried alone out of the dog room this morning. His delight quickly turned to dismay as we loaded into the car. At the vet, he was cautiously optimistic.
I don't normally do cross posts on my blog because the tone of one blog is completely different from the tone of the other. But if we are lucky, lives do cross paths, and so perhaps should blogs.
The vet is competent and I know my little buddy will be fine, but any surgery is a risk and worrisome. It's times like these I know for sure, for absolute certain, if the house were on fire, I'd grab the dogs and go. Nothing else really matters much at all-together we have everything we need.
The rules:1.) Write a six-word memoir, post it on your blog (add an illustration if you like).2.)Link to the person that tagged you in your post.3.)Tag five more blogs with links. 4.) Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.
I was here Then I wasn't
(Does a contraction count as 1 word or two?)
I did what I could do
Wow, 6 words and both memoirs have the word I in them twice. Such ego.
Maybe it was all a dream (ok, I like that better)
or how about
Returning to consciousness, see you later!
Anyone who sees this entry and wants to play, leave a comment and post away. (it's a reverse tag you'll tag my blog and the comment will link to yours).
I thought I was finally cracking up-but then I realized I must have posted my last post after midnight. I meant for my Wednesday post to be a lighthearted diatribe on the joys of a subway sandwich.
I love my lapband, but it does not love bread. So, today, on the eve of my fill, I decided to take advantage of my empty lapband and enjoy a subway sandwich. It was Daddy's idea to go to subway, I was just there yesterday (for a salad) but I really wanted to give that bread a try. Once more for old time's sake.
It was heaven. It required a bit of chewing, but it went down without too much fuss.
What's really interesting, at least to me, is that it didn't trigger an immediate and unquenchable reaction so snosh down and ton of bread products. I really thought it might. It was good, don't get me wrong, but other than wanting to write about it, I have no desire to sit and think about it any more than that. Coming from someone who used to crave subway, that's a big change.
So many of the things that used to be "problem foods" are really not. I've gone from a sweet treat every couple of days to maybe every couple of weeks. I will throw out ice cream because it gets old before I finish it.
I pretty much have complete honesty with myself now. I know when I'm at the grocery store if something might be a problem, and if it is, I don't buy it.
At subway today, I ate until I lost interest, and left the rest. I came home, recorded the meal (I'm tracking food right now) and didn't have a feeling either way about it-it was just lunch, with my father, and it was nice, but not a cause for triumph or defeat.
These are all positive, healthy changes. I sometimes forget my own advice about acknowledging your own accomplishments, so I decided to do so today.
I was blabbering on about health goals vs. weight goals on a site where I offer support, and suddenly WHAM, I actually heard what I was saying-but in a larger context.
Goals are just one more thing we use to try to control things in our lives. Only like religion, or politics or anything else, sometimes the form, the rules, the DOING takes over the true meaning of what we were trying to accomplish in the first place.
When I went to Grad school I yakked about "practicing goalessness" but my own ego was caught up in the coolness of how that sounded, so I never really did it. I always wanted that fame or fortune. That really no longer appeals to me, but as a writer and quasi artist, I do crave the connection that comes from writing or art.
I do think we need goals as well as boundaries and limitations to function in today's world or any world for that matter. But I wonder how much of what we do really holds us back?
Is there anything in our lives we really couldn't do without? Most of what we have will pass anyway in time.
Dottie is dozing in my arms while I type this. (Fortunately she's very small). But there was a time in my life when I was truly convinced that if she were to pass, I would follow, because I couldn't imagine wanting to be in a world without Dottie. Now I have a whole pack of dogs I love, and I think Dottie is happier being the queen of the pack rather than the focus of my world.
And I know, that one day she will pass from this form, but I also know that she will go on-because we have always been together and always will be.
In the face of the eternal, what is one goal, no matter how big a goal that is? No more or no less than one dog.
I'm finally beginning to realize how my legendary Scorpio focus can hurt as well as help.
According to Echardt Tolle and Lao Tse, I will remain stuck until I surrender to my stuckness. Completely accept that I am frozen and that is the correct and only way to be. I think I'll drink some coffee while I practice surrender....
No profit, but it turns out Sol, our good neighbor, wanted the car, so I let him have it instead. My goal in buying it was just to make sure that a good, low mileage garage maintained car went somewhere where it was needed and appreciated. It did, and I don't need it, so alls well that ends well.
Right now there is a young starling warming up in my dog room. It happened like this:
I decided to take a can of hairspray I never use down to Mom's house and get a cup of coffee at the same time. Mom was coming back from her walk and said "there's a baby bird that was in the street, I chased it into Harvey's yard".
I went to investigate and there was a young, fully fledged but unable to fly starling huddled up in the yard. I picked him up and carried him over to the magnolia tree, but he was too cold and frightened to hang on, so he fell onto the grass. I put my hand down, which he now knew was warm, and he hopped right up.
So, I went back, bird in hand, to collect my coffee and Mom went into a flap about disease and bird flu. I said "I'll be right back" and took the bird down, deposited it in a snake tank in the new "dog room", washed my hands and went back for coffee.
I really think the bird is Ok, it is just cold and frightened. I'll give it some dog food in a bit and check the weather. It may need to stay a day or two till it warms up. I gave away the chicken cage, but I can makeshift something for it if need be AND I have the avairy/snake exercise pen I built on the front of the house, so it can practice flying before it heads out. See how things work out if you let them?
1. The first hole I dug for my doggy dooley septic system was over the cellar-so I had to dig another hole. Can't have doggy septic seepage in the fraidy hole. (Okie term for storm cellar).
2. I decided I did not want to buy a body bugg super movement tracker gadget thingy because I doubt once I finish losing weight I would want to keep up the service. Just too expensive. 10 minutes later I bought my Mom's car that used to be my Uncle John's because I didn't want Daddy to trade it in. It is a 1990 something (I think) and it has less miles on it than my new truck.
3.I had to fill up the septic system hole with water to test the drainage. While I was contemplating whether or not to cover it, Lily fell in. I covered the hole.
4.I did not go on a horsey excursion with a friend today because I didn't want to open up that issue for me again. I got a small lecture from mom on not getting out and doing things, and that it IS possible to see an animal in need and not bring it home. (I don't believe that last part).
5. The cat is draped around my neck while I type this-she just farted.
6. I discovered every green thing in my front lawn is weeds. I do like clover, but I realize now it is a weed and people pay to have it removed and probably don't like my rampant clover field. Since I like my neigbhors better than I like clover, I sprayed the clover.
7. The man behind me shared his plans for his gourd garden and offered me all the gourds I wanted to make bird houses out of. I told him I'd share my veggies.
8. I used the twist ties from my new garden hose to string together bamboo poles and make uprights for my veggies.
9. I have no earthly idea what I'm going to have for dinner and it's 5:14. That's how I roll.
10. I decided what to make for Easter Dinner-reservations.
Find Mom's keys-done. Go visit Uncle John-still undone. I'm going in a few minutes. I've got to get a grip on the Uncle John visits-I procrastinate and mope around all day, and I don't know why. I really don't MIND going to see him. Often, it cheers me up.
It is actually probably just a convenient excuse to mope and procrastinate, and I need to give that one up. It isn't honoring my Uncle to use him as a procrastination excuse. But I have enjoyed a relatively quiet day after several days of hustle and fuss. So, thank you Uncle John!
Yesterday I drove my Mother to Waco (about 5 hours) so that she could have lunch with an ex neighbor of hers. This was my idea. Coming back, we stopped in Gainesville and stayed the night at a hotel with a heated pool, where we did water aerobics and sat in the hot tub.
I've taken many long trips for silly reasons, and picked many hotels for the pool or the view or whatever, but I've never done that with my Mother before. And you know what, I'm glad I did.
Now I've picked up the dogs and I'm off to water aerobics, but I wanted to wave hi hi hi to everyone.
I was listening to "The Power of Now" by Eckardt Tolle on audiobooks. I really love the whole audiobook thing by the way. Focus...I was listening to the Power of Now as I lay in bed and suddenly a feeling came over me. Hot and clammy and shaking. I started to get a little excited, believing that this was IT, the Cosmic Orgasm where I become enlightened.
Sadly, I soon realized it was a hot flash, and that I hadn't taken any estrogen since falling ill and puking up anything that I put down my throat. Worse, I was out of the cream the doctor gave me as a premarin alternative, so muttering an "I'm sorry" to the nameless mares I took some premarin.
It was an enlightenment of sorts. It does explain the funk I have been unable to shake, despite being on a full dose of Prozac again.
This is the second time a hot flash has overtaken me in a somewhat spiritual moment. The first was at a Catholic Mass. I tried to join the church, but apparently arguing with the parish priest about sex and marriage is not viewed with pleasure. I've often wondered if some of those middle aged evangelical types are mistaking hormones for the hand of God.
What if the witches of Salem where just suffering from early menopause or Polycystic Ovaries or something of that nature?
Our bodies are deep mysteries even today when we know so much about them. We are so quick to blame events on deities or supernatural things, yet orgasms, hot flashes, giving birth-these are all powerful experiences unto themselves. For that matter, so is a good meal or a good dump.
I'm watching the cat snooze on her shelf (the one she knocked all the stuff off of and claimed) in the sun. She doesn't sit and marvel at the atomic forces that bring the heat down from all that distance, she just enjoys the sun. And she may be closer to God that I am.
I'm currently logging food/exercise intake on Fitday. I bought the at home version, but there is a free version at www.fitday.com (Sign up for the free one and you'll get a 10 dollar coupon for the for pay one). This peace sign is the average make up of the last 7 days-no booze-it would ruin the design. The daily make up varies-and I've been shrinking my blue section (carbs) so th next 7 days might not seem so pretty, but the hippie nerd computer geek health nut in me really likes this screen shot.
There is something about putting things in a chart that makes it less threatening-that's probably why we do it for executives all the time.
I just had a strange conversation with my Mother. (how suprising is that). But I mentioned in the context of something else that "I have fought depression all my life even as a child." and she countered with "I never noticed you being depressed as a child.". I wish I had been rendered speechless but of course "Do you think I just woke up, hit puberty and tried to kill myself one day?"
For some reason, Mom and Dad were very much in to "we had it tough and the younger generation is wrong" mode today. I wasn't quite sure what they needed to hear from me, but I didn't feel like denying or rewriting the story of my life to suit what they wanted to hear.
So I just sighed and said "depression is a physical illness that responds to chemicals and is usually a long term and lifelong thing. I've always had it, and I always will, I just need to learn to handle it." Mom spoke up "actually, it's a mental illness, that's what it IS" and I agreed but added, "it has it's roots in the physical chemistry of the brain"...she ammended-"Body and brain are related.".
I took that opportunity to change the subject. Whew.
Mom talks a lot and bitterly about her father and how awful he was. Again I'm not sure how I'm supposed to respond. Do I need to say I'm sorry or that I'm glad my parents weren't that awful? It's one of those conversations I'm just not sure of. Maybe, as awful as he was he did the best he could. But somehow, some way, a man long dead is still creating anger that, while not directed at me, I feel. And I think the only way to end it is not to get angry myself.
Long ago acts of cruelty have no power of me. I will not react to their echos.
Sometimes my life reminds me of an engine with a clogged carburetor. I finally get it to moving along and then choke, chuggle, pop, pop, it slows again. I'm working on unclogging my mental carburetor, but it's seldom that straight line graph of progression that I covet.
I've been in Oklahoma 7 or so months and I've already reverted back to grease monkey metaphors.
Still, I have this unshakeable belief that I am doing what I should be doing, even though I'm not at all sure what the grand scheme really is. I'm still amazed that "going home" is soooooo far from what has become my comfort zone.
Mrs. W, breeder of the yet unamed lovely, Prissy, Dottie and the belated Millie, Fancy and Dollie, is undergoing surgery today-a masectomy. If you stop by and are so inclined, I would appreciate a prayer or good thought in her direction. She has given me and my family a lot of little bundles of joy over the years, and I'd kind of like to keep her around.
Today is Mom's shopping day so I went down and made lunch for Daddy-Cuban Bean Bisque. I don't know if he liked it or not, but it was nice to spend time with him. Mom and I will go to Water Aerobics tonight-tomorrow is an Uncle John Day. I'm being a bit more organized in how I spend my time and it's helping.
I'm going this afternoon for a trim/frost job on my hair-keeping it uber short means it always looks ok whether I do anything to it or not. Can't say it affects MY mood, but it keeps Mom mollified.
My neighbor, the ones with trailer who sweep the entire street on garbage day, admired my bike rack and went and got one for himself. THEN he got a part to attach it to the back of his trailer when he pulls the trailer. I was so tickled-he gave me the order form for it-40 bucks and I can use the rack I already own and know how to use. It's the little things that keep me happy. But more than that, it made me feel like a trailer/biker person.
Yes, that is looking for external things to feed my ego-but I do want some things in common with our fellow earthlings. The cool thing is that the bikes/trailer are authentically me-things I have/do just because I like them.
The same holds true with my dogs. There is a covet factor in there, to be sure, with some of the dogs. I've wanted the merle and the brindle chi's for years, but honestly, I don't love or value them any more than the mongrels that share my house. In my mind, they are all destined for great and wonderful things-be it as teachers, visitors of the elderly, or companions on the road.
It's funny how we humans invoke such powers and dreams into everything we touch. But dang it, LOOK at Oliver, there IS greatness and good in that scruffy face.
Stupid tornado hit right during my favorite show. Ever try to watch TV with 7 dogs howling to the storm sirens? No matter, dish went out. They'll recast it tomorrow and I'll watch it during the snow storm that is forecast.
This little girl was born from a dead dog-her mother went into labor and died. http://poidogz.blogspot.com has the complete story, or rather the story up to now. I just thought it fit well with my whole rising from the ashes riff, so I included it here too.
Before I got sick, I wrote a Monday challenge regarding nature, and now that I'm all better, I'm spending more time outside, playing in the dirt. I want to be in touch more with nature, and less in touch with material things, shoulds and should nots.
Some people rise from the ashes on the backs of Phoenixes, maybe I'll climb to the stars on a beanstalk. This is not very likely because I don't have any plans to plant beans. I'm more of an eggplant, cucumber, squash kind of girl.
Repurposing the snake racks into raised beds is a good idea, really. BUT, moving that much dirt into the backyard is going to take time and some wise pacing.
I'm taking the next two weeks to work on my house, my body and my soul. I think I actually had that slated last year between what was then now and when I got back from Florida, but evidently my body and soul needed more work, and my house surely did. Only this time, I really do believe that stuff like that matters. It has value, regardless of whether or not a check comes in the mail.