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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Stubborn Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

'The apple doesn't fall far from the tree' is a saying that couldn't be truer when it comes to my dad and this little Honey-crisp. (Have you ever had a Honey-crisp apple? If not, do yourself a favor.)

How are we alike? Let me count the ways:  we're introverts, we love to read, and we're the best nap takers on this here side of the river. We're also practical, independent, stubborn and quiet; and with such endearing qualities as those, we're surprised that anyone married us.

Stoicism...another great quality I inherited. Not. A connotation of bravery, this word is simply a disguise for stubbornness!

I found out recently - after the fact - that my dad had major shoulder surgery. A three-hour surgery. I wasn’t surprised. This is his m.o. We find things out about him days later. His wife is under strict orders not to tell us anything, but somehow news leaks. She can't help it. And we forgive her.

I know my dad means well and doesn’t want us to worry, but mostly it’s because he doesn’t want to make a big deal and doesn't want to burden anyone.

I can relate.

When I was 7 months pregnant with Eric I woke up in the middle of the night with severe back pain and nausea. I knew something was wrong and if I wasn’t pregnant I might have tolerated it until morning. But what was I going to do, call my mom and wake her up? It was easier to just get in the car and go to the hospital. When I waddled in, hunched over and in obvious pain, the staff couldn’t believe I had driven myself, and one of them had to move my car from the emergency entrance. It turns out I had a kidney stone. I got myself a nice bed, IV antibiotics, an ultrasound to check on the baby, and by the time everyone was waking up the next morning I was on my merry way. (You’re welcome, Mom.)

Another time, when Eric was 8 or 9 and Larry and I were not yet married, I had an erratic heartbeat. Eric already had anxiety and didn’t need the added worry that something was wrong with his only parent, so I left him with Larry and drove myself to the hospital. I think we told Eric I was going to run an errand. After an EKG showed my heart was definitely skipping a beat, blood tests were run and I was found to have low potassium. After an IV, a shot and a prescription, I was home from my “errand.”

A couple of years ago I was bit by a dog at the shelter and needed stitches in my mouth. When I texted Larry that I was driving to the hospital, I should have figured he wasn’t just going to say, “Oh, okay, I’ll see you when you get home.”  But when he arrived with some yogurt I requested because I was feeling faint from hunger, and I realized the wait was going to be hours (eight, ultimately), I sent him home right away. There’s no point in BOTH of us waiting. Besides, the dogs needed to be fed and let out.

After surgery another time I got dropped off with some soup and crackers. I'll never forget Eric making his own sandwich for school the next morning. He was 5.  From my bed I heard, "Uh oh." Then silence. Then scurrying around. I hobbled out to the kitchen to find him using paper towels to wipe excess mustard off his bologna, the counter, the floor, the cat (kidding). By excess, of course, I mean the entire bottle. Somehow when he squeezed the bottle, the cap came off and the contents came out.  Everywhere.

Many of my "stoic" moments were from not having family in town after Eric was 4 and from being a single mom.  I didn't have a choice when Eric was 4 and I heard the sound of a barking seal in his room in the middle of the night. On the ground struggling to take a breath, he nodded yes when I asked if he wanted to go to the hospital. I was terrified that he'd stop breathing. In hindsight, why was I asking a 4-year-old what to do? Well, he was the only one there to ask! Thankfully (take note, first time parents), it's called croup and the breathing difficulty eased once his lungs hit cold weather, although the emergency room did give him medication.

So through a combination of life experiences and inheriting "not wanting to burden people" genes, I've learned to be strong, stoic, stubborn. Whatever you want to call it, it's annoying. 

Why is it annoying? Because when my husband hurts himself and wants me to go with him to Urgent Care and I say why can't you go by yourself and we get in a fight because I don't understand why he needs me to go with him because it's not like he's dying but he doesn't understand why I wouldn't go with him because that's what spouses do for each other even if it is just a paper cut or at least that what it seems like to me and after retrospect I figure out that just because I don't care if I go to the hospital by myself and always have doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't care if he goes by himself...that's why it's annoying. Because I don't want to be like that. Just because I'm a certain way doesn't mean it's right.

Dad, I get it. I really do. I get that we don't need to know when you visit the emergency room for something "minor" - a definition which is itself debatable. But if you ever need heart surgery or brain surgery, do you think you could let us know? Ahead of time?


Love, Your favorite apple

P.S. Between both of my parents, the stubborn-stoicism gene was bound to find me. After all, my mom gave birth to all 11 pounds, 3 ounces of me without an epidural. And a few years ago she fell down a flight of stairs in the middle of the night, severely breaking her leg. Not wanting to bother anyone and in denial about a possible fracture, she waited until the morning before calling my brother. She probably would have driven herself to the hospital had she not lived on the 5th floor and the elevator been broken. Why didn't she call 911 immediately? I have no idea what she was thinking.

Oh wait. Yes I do. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Woodchoppers' Ball 2013

Ever heard of a Woodchoppers' Ball? Neither had we. But sounding like something that should be on a Bucket List, it had to be checked out (and off).

How does one travel to a Woodchoppers' Ball?
On a 4-wheeler, of course!

Our friend Donna won Best All-Around pie for her lemon meringue! 
A band entertained the crowd.* 
So did the free moonshine samples.
A random cute baby smiled for my camera, and I used my friend's horse for a photo op of my own.

*"Woodchopper's Ball, also known as "At the Woodchopper's Ball" is a 1939 jazz composition by Joe Bishop and Woody Herman.  The up-tempo blues tune was the Woody Herman Orchestra's biggest hit, as well as the most popular composition of either composer, selling a million records. (Betcha didn't know that.)

A little boy mesmerized by the huge bonfire.
What is a Woodchoppers' Ball without chopped wood?
And what is a food buffet without a long line?

A tug o' war between Ellisville and Wildwood town folk.
A man put his horse before the cart. Good thing.
Kiddie potato sack races.
Our friends Jeff and Katie celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary.
 I was obsessed with the baby donkey and his little girl.

Jeff and Katie ready to ride on home. Yee-haw!
Someone started this event on their property years ago with 20 people, and this year there were about 300. 
From left: Me, Larry, Jane, Paul, Jeff, Katie, Donna, Mark

New for them this year was chicken shit bingo, which is just what it sounds like: everyone standing around waiting for chickens to poop on their number...what else?

Donna showing off her her prize-winning pie ribbon. (And that goes for your horse, too.)
They had the coolest catapult thingy for the kids.
The baby donkey lost his little girl for a minute. (I really, really want a baby donkey.)
Cute tractors. (Can tractors be cute?)

"Fried, baked, thighs, wings...I'm really not picky."

Attend a Woodchoppers' Ball....

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Our Month in Pictures - October

You know it's a slow month when I post pictures of myself with friends at a hookah bar. But it was such a fun experience. Have you ever been? My friend Katie is the best at making people do things outside their comfort zone. So when Katie, Jan and I had lunch at a Middle Eastern restaurant called Ranoush, we ordered things like shish tawuk, chicken shawarma, and baba ganoush. Then Katie insisted we try a hookah. I thought she was nuts, but all of a sudden the waiter was telling us the flavors and bringing the hookah to our table. We were cracking up.
"Is this even legal?"
"We're not really doing this, are we?"
"Take a picture of us!"

By the way, it's molasses, fruit flavoring (we picked watermelon and bubble gum) and a little tobacco. It's actually pretty good. It's like having dessert without the calories, since it leaves a fruity flavor in your mouth.

We ended up having the best time...eating great food, laughing, and trying something new. We even did a little shopping afterwards. Who would have thought lunch could be so fun. Thanks Katie! Crossed off "Experience a Hookah Bar" from my Bucket List.

My niece's (Larry's sister's daughter) teacup micro Maltipoo, Phoebe, came over for a visit. Stella absolutely adored her and was sad when she left.

KC, who wanted to eat Phoebe at first but eventually tolerated her for the hour she was here, had surgery last week to remove the mass on her back. It was about the size of a silver dollar, but to get clean borders, they made the incision big.

Biopsy results:  Grade 2 mast cell tumor
Translation:  On a scale of one to three - one as benign and three as malignant - KC's tumor is a two, and it's actually a low grade two so it's closer to a one. This means she's likely to get more masses, so we'll keep a close eye on her and remove any new ones right away. If it was a grade three they would send her to an oncologist. If it was a one it would be totally benign and they wouldn't worry at all. Her stitches come out on Wednesday, and otherwise she's doing great.

I wanted to share this picture I took of Stray Rescue pup Nelson Hull. He is just the sweetest!  Apparently Brett Hull found him somewhere and brought him to the shelter, so they named the dog after him. Nelson Hull must have been adopted already, because I can't find him on the website. I knew he wouldn't be there long.

My last enrichment dog, Phycox, is still available.

He's so sweet. I'm going to take a break in November. I can't stand having so many of my enrichment dogs still at the shelter. Madame Butterfly, one of my dogs from last year, is still there. So are Kiddo and Phycox.

And my dog for this month is Barry White...

Even though most of my former enrichment dogs are assigned new enrichment buddies, most people work full time and aren't able to see them as often as I did. Plus, I've made a connection with the dogs and feel I should visit them. That's four dogs worth of guilt right there!
So next month I'm not going to get a new dog; I'm going to focus on the ones I already have and just hope they get adopted. Soon.

Eric...remember him?
He had 16 points and 10 rebounds in his scrimmage yesterday in Tampa, FL. Larry and I are going to see him play in Ocala on November 13, and then he'll be home for Thanksgiving. 
He's doing well in school and has made friends. He likes his basketball teammates, but he's become good friends with guys on the baseball team and with girls on the volleyball and softball teams.
Yep, that's Eric in a shopping cart. 
I don't ask questions.

Defending NJCAA National Champion CF Men's Hoops 2013-2014 schedule set

The defending NJCAA National Champion College of Central Florida men's basketball team had its 2013-2014 schedule announced recently.
The Patriots will kick off their regular season home slate with a game against Pasco-Hernando on November 2.
CF's non-conference home schedule also includes games against State College of Florida-Manatee (November 5 and December 14), St. Petersburg (November 13), South Georgia College (November 16), Hillsborough (December 4), Pensacola (December 13), Palm Beach State (December 15) and Polk State (January 11).
From there, the Patriots kick off conference home slate on January 22 against Daytona State.
CF will have a pair of conference home games against FSC-Jacksonville and will face DSC and rival Santa Fe one time apiece at Patriot Gym.
The Patriots have five home games against teams that made the state tournament last season, with two of those matchups coming against Manatee.
CF rallied from a 23-point deficit to knock off SCOF 105-103 in Ocala last year, before rolling to a win over the Manatees in the opening round of the state tournament.
SCOF, along with another state tournament team from a year ago, Palm Beach State, will be CF's foes during the Florida Colleges Men's Basketball Shootout.
Meanwhile, the last team to knock off CF at home back in 2011, Pensacola, returns to Ocala for a game this season, as does Polk, a state tournament squad from a year ago.
As far as road games, CF will make out-of-state trips to South Carolina and New York for games this season.
The Patriots will face USC-Salkehatchie, a national tournament team from a year ago during their trip to the Magnolia State and will also embark on a trip to the Big Apple for the second consecutive year.

I'm going to make a separate post for this later because I have a ton of pictures, but today I crossed off "Attend a Woodchopper's Ball" from my Bucket List. 
Let's just say it involved tractors, chicken shit bingo, baby donkeys, pie contests, and moonshine samples.
Only in Missouri.

And I can't go without posting a picture of baby Will, who'll be 7 months on Halloween.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pee On My Roses, Swim In My Pool

Summer is over
the pool soon closes
next year the pups
can again pee on my roses
The shelter provides housing
vet care and food
but a pool and sunshine
can change anyone's mood!
Away from the chaos
away from the noise
a dive into the pool
to catch frisbees and toys
An hour or two
provides small bits of fun
shelter dogs know how to
show how it's done
After some play time 
back to the shelter they go
but not until kisses 
they give so we know
how grateful they are 
for the time that was had
and to remind us 
to be hopeful and 
 not to be sad
For one day a home 
of their own will be found
with a plastic pool 
or one in the ground
In their place in the shelter 
a new dog will be
and in my pool they'll swim
and in my roses they'll pee
As volunteers we know
what a difference we make
in the lives of shelter dogs whose 
sanity is at stake
All it takes is an hour
to give here and there
for a lifetime of love
of which we've got plenty to spare
When over the dogs 
we do make a fuss
We're not sure who gets more out of it...


or us?

Thank you, KC, for sharing your pool and my husband for being understanding :)

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