Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Well, I survived. It was.....fine. That's the best word I can come up with, I think.

Non confrontational people are perfectly fine to spend time with, as it happens. Because there aren't any, you know, confrontations.

So after two years, we show up at the kids place, everyone hugs (! yes! Hugs! Even me!), says hi, and....that's it. We have a perfectly normal day hanging out. Weird.

I thought there was some coolness directed my way, but it wasn't too obvious.

What happens next? Who the hell knows. At one point when we were briefly alone, my sister in law leaned over to me and said, she's heavily medicated these days, it'll be fine.

I guess the trick will be keeping them at a reasonable distance and not getting sucked into expectations for future obligations.

I did fail in my one goal. I had decided my goal was to call my inlaws something. After ten years of marriage, plus 3, nearly 4 years before that, my in-laws still expect me to call them Mr and Mrs. So yesterday I decided I was gonig to walk up to them and say, Betty, FRank, nice to see you again.

I chickened out. Got by 4 hours without calling them anything. Fail. Maybe next time.

What do you call your inlaws?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

doomsday Wednesday

Tomorrow: the in-laws.

Yep, you read that correctly. And believe me, I'm not happy.

My husband took the dog's passing hard. As did the in-laws. At one point, my mother in law e-mailed that she would call except she was crying too hard. (pu-leeeze). Losing our little dog before Christmas sort of seems to have crystallized losing his family for my husband, is all I can figure.

We had been tentatively making plans to get together with his brother, brother's wife, and 5 year old in this week between Christmas and New Years - meeting in an inbetween city at a children's museum, which we have done before. My husband has been setting this up with his brother, and yesterday turns to me and says, what do you think if others are there. Others? Yeah, my parents. And probably my sister. As as aside, my - I don't know - disgust? rage? wearied annoyance? has lately been focused on this sister of his. I'm sick of all of them, of course. Seriously, my little guy is one year old, and there's been more crying over the dog than missing a full year of the little guy's life. And the sister? The last time we heard anything from her was the shrieking cursing phone call as I was being prepped for c-section. And now she's just going to be there at this family get together?

Bleah. I hate this. Knew it was coming, wish there was a way to prevent it. I feel like I'm just facing the inevitable, though, with no way out. Don't go, and I leave my kids in their clutches. Don't go, and feed into more drama. Go, and suck it up.

Monday, December 21, 2009


We had to put our dog down on Friday. It was horrible, absolutely horrible. It was just on Tuesday that we learned she had cancer, after nearly 2 months of being frustrated by what had been diagnosed as a UTI that wasn't responding to antibiotics.

This dog picked me back in 1997. My husband and I had been dating for about 18 months at that point. So our little westie mix had been there through nearly it all. As a rescue dog, she'd been through a lot in her life prior to us, and it would actually do a disservice to her strong, more than slightly warped personality to pretend she had been a perfect dog. She was as flawed as we are, but at her core, sweet and loving. You might look at her and think fluffy dog, but she was tough, and strong, and determined, and fierce. She could tackle tough trails in rocky areas with the agility of a mountain goat - this was no fluffy dog.

Living in a big urban area, we have the best resources available to us - three pet hospitals fully staffed with top specialists. Our regular vet practice had been working on the UTI issue, and finally said it clearly wasn't a UTI and referred us to a specialist at a bigger vet hospital. That practice spent an entire day (yeah, the $$ added up quickly) figuring it out. We couldn't make any decisions without information. On Tuesday, they prescribed an anti-inflammatory and said it would either help a bit and buy us some time, or it wouldn't, and it likely wouldn't. And that vet called us every day to assess how things were going. Unfortunately, that vet wasn't working Friday, and by the afternoon we decided to take her to the hospital closer to our house, the one I had originally used. We needed more info - our dear little dog was hanging on, but by the slenderest of threads, and we needed to have her examined to make any decisions.

And that vet did an exam and ultrasound, and came back to our holding room and said, this sucks. Yes, she is alert and responsive and relatively happy. And, she will stay that way, until her extremely swollen bladder bursts, and she is in terrible pain. We were seeking the middle ground - the point when you know it's time. This particular form of cancer offers no middle ground - a moderately uncomfortable but fairly OK dog, or one who is in terrible pain. No gradual decline, no point where it was clearly time, until it was beyond clearly time. And, after we asked, the vet said if it was her dog, the time was now. We didn't want to have the regret of putting her through agony, so the decision was made. And it was extremely peaceful, and it was the right decision, and it was hard. The sedative caused her to burrow into our arms, and the final mixture took only a second or two to act.

And we miss her terribly.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

another thing

Well, my sinus infection is slowly clearing, thank goodness.

But now we're turning attention to another member of the family - the dog. I've had our little westie mix, rescued from the pound, since 1997. She's always been a handful - a rough life before us left some scars that have shaped her personality. But she's been a good, sweet dog, too.

She's been having troubling urinating for a good while now, and was diagnosed with a UTI that wasn't responding to antibiotics, but today found out it's aggressive cancer, with no treatment. So we're looking at days, maybe weeks. I'm trying to think of a way to wrap this up with a profound thought, but I'm drained today. We've told the four-year old that our dog is very old and very sick, and that she had a good life with us but that she will die soon. I think that's all we can do. Any words of wisdom?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

a break

Just checking in after a little bit of a needed break. Yes, sick again. Still. Endlessly.

Let's recap - came down with a nasty cold Halloween weekend, totally lost my voice, gained terrible cough. Three doctors and perfectly clear lungs and airways, but a cough that sounded like I'd been a smoker for 50 years and was in the final stages of lung disease. Complete with the little hack at the end of the racking cough to clear out the throat (One of my grandfathers smoked - I sounded just like him and wondered if I should start carrying a handkerchief to wipe my mouth like he did.) It was bad. The last doctor prescribed a zpac, just in case, which normally I hate but this time I was desperate. And I felt sicker after the zpac, and my nose got into the act. Last weekend was awful, and by Monday and Tuesday I felt like someone was trying to drive stakes through my head and out my eyeballs, so Tuesday I saw yet another doctor, who heard something rattling around in my lungs, but wasn't too worried, but gave me a prescription for a ten day round of antibiotics for the evil sinus infection.

Usually when I get a sinus infection, I get the antibiotics, take the first pill, and feel immediate relief. Well, it's Sunday, day 6 of this round, and I am still congested and still coughing, though finally I can see health on the horizon. I AM getting better. Just slowly.

Due to the blinding glare of the computer screen, I've barely been online, and it was kinda nice. But I'm ready to re-engage. And write slightly more interesting posts than the history of my sinuses. I promise.

Friday, December 4, 2009


You'd think I'd have a lot of thoughts about Tiger. And I guess I sort of do, but mostly I don't. And I think that's a good sign, actually. Famous cheating spouses no longer are no more like knives to the gut. (though John Edwards you're still majorly on my shit list).

You never really know what happens between two people. What arrangements they've made, what deals they've struck, what blind eyes are turned. His wife does seem to have been surprised, maybe, to have lashed out the way it seems. And for that, I have quite a bit of empathy for her. Others have said it far better than me, and I won't link around because it's everywhere, but Tiger's image has been burnished to the point we all thought he was squeaky clean. Maybe a bit of a perfectionist temper, but otherwise clean and wholesome goody two shoes. I absolutely do think differently of him. Not just that it's clear he's as human as the rest of us. But also, I do think we need a bit more shame for when people are exposed - he isn't an honorable person. He isn't a decent family man. He is not the man he projected himself to be. He is far, far less.

What do you think of Tiger these days?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

no card

Well, I just sorta gave up on NaBloPoMo, didn't I? I don't know what happened - just got on vacation and the bedtime routines were disrupted and I was (am) still sick with this lingering cold and so tired, and there just never seemed to be time. So no posting. Oh well. I'll catch up.

So we got home after a long day of driving on Sunday. My typical task is to go through the mail, so after little guy was down and the car mostly unpacked I went through it all. And interestingly enough, no marker of the little guy's birthday. There had been no calls or messages on the day itself, not ever from my husband's brother.

My husband saw my rifling through the stack of catalogs and said, yep, nothing. I asked, you checked? And he said yeah, went through it twice to be sure. Nothing.

I'm dreading heading into the holidays. We have no plans for Christmas - no way we are driving again to my parents, where my sister is going, and my brother is headed to his in-laws. So it's just us. We actually get kind of bored with just us, I hate to say it. I successfully avoided the inlaws pre-THanksgiving. I hope their silence has pissed off my husband so we avoid them this Christmas, too, but I doubt that'll happen. Hmmm.