Saturday, April 28, 2012


This morning I was with Hilda when she was put to sleep. I have never done that before and had no idea of what to expect of myself or of her.  I am writing about this because I want to tell what it was like for me in case someone is contemplating it and unsure what to expect.

She has been deaf for some time, increasingly blind, very stiff, with loss of control of her hind legs and sometimes her front legs, her weight has fallen quite low and she has become pretty incontinent. Mostly what is worrisome is her anxiety.  She paces and sniffs obsessively, she has been barking and howling when we aren't home.

I made the appointment with the vet to consider prescription anti-anxiety meds.  But last night it came to me that I was doing the wrong thing.  It was time to let her go, not to turn her into a little zombie. Tom and I talked a long time about it.  I called the vet this morning to tell them of the changed reason for my appointment.

I made her eggs and bacon for breakfast and, even though she didn't like it much, I brushed her before we went. She didn't even register the big dog in the waiting room with us before we went into the exam room.  today was the longest she has let me hold her in over a year.  She was very stiff in my arms, looking warily around the room.  I verified the plan with our vet, a very kind man with dachshunds, too.  He came in with the sedative and said he would be back in about 5 minutes.

The strangest thing happened then.  Hilda went from being stiff in my arms to licking my face, leaning back, leaning forward, looking at me and licking me again.  She did this over and over as I felt her body relaxing in my arms.  She looked me in the eyes again and I saw her old self, she licked my face and settled with her head on my shoulder and fell into a completely relaxed state.  It has been so long since she has slept on me that way - this dog who loved to be in the lap of anyone sitting down.  It made me smile to think of her so much like she was and I was smiling when the doctor came back into the room.

The next step was to lay her on the table and administer the drug to stop her heart, it only took the briefest of moments and I knew that I had made the right decision.  It was so peaceful. Just what a sweet little dog like her deserved.

Friday, April 27, 2012


1.)  Just did a little chair dance with sound effects when I saw that John Irving has a new novel coming out next month.  I so love his books.  This while I have a new Ann Tyler waiting for me in my Nook.  Oh the riches of the Spring publishing season!

2.)  Speaking of Spring.  I provide this public service reminder:  When you put on that first slathering of self tanner, remember to wash well with soap.  I was very tired that evening and suffered the oddly stained hands for several days.  My legs looked pretty good, though.

3.)   Thursday was Hilda's Sweet Sixteenth birthday - it cost me $100.00.  Not because she figured out how to shop online or order Pay Per View but because she was lonely and barking and our grouchy neighbor would rather call the police than close his windows ( she is in our house with all of ours closed)
or call us on our cell phones, which we have asked him to do.  One more reason to move...
4.)  Jen on the Edge enlightened me to the eBay way to snag current styles shoes at discounted prices.  I am watching for the black and white ballet flats of my desire to drop under $80.00.  I had no idea that people had current styles on eBay -  am losing my shoppers touch!

5.)  We had such a mild winter here that I keep forgetting that it isn't even May yet.  I have gotten so many warm weather projects done already.  I refurbished my BBQ with new innards and scrubbed off the grease and crud.  I have planted a lime tree, a hibiscus and several herbs and annuals.  This weekend I hope to untarp my mosaic area and get to work making this:

Except covered with colorful tiles!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


It's one of those things women can't ever seem to get right.  Fashion dictates one thing, men desire another, surgery creates the unnatural. Medicine suggests we fit into the narrow lines of a chart, one look around the locker room tells us that isn't realistic.

This weekend I was sitting poolside with my sister and her daughter.  My sister is concerned that her daughter is too heavy.  Her daughter seems to be quite comfortable in her body.  My youngest daughter is heavier than I think she should be, too.  I struggle with talking to her about it.  What must it sound like to have an obese mom talk to you about your tummy?  I worry because I don't want her to go down my road, she worries because she is okay with how she looks - is that bad?

There are  girls trying to be super thin and also girls getting to be  fat.  The fat girls, because there are so many more of them than there were in the past, aren't getting quite as stigmatized.  They call themselves curvy which suggests they have chosen their look just as the skinny girls have.

This morning I heard about a study in the UK that 7 out of 8 women didn't feel attractive.  How sad is that?  I know that at my advance age and size I feel past being attractive, but I still have my days.  So when I think of all those young women out there not feeling pretty, it just makes me feel sad. 

There is something so wonderful about that feeling of being attractive - feeling young and alive that I still remember.  It gives a glow.  It is really about happiness.  If women are happy, it doesn't matter what their physical appearance is; how symmetrical their features, how big their bust or slim their hips. 

So that is the answer - not to take away our daughter's happiness with themselves.  Offer them the opportunities to make healthy choices and love them and nurture their happiness and beauty.

Friday, April 20, 2012


  I went into Marshall's last week in my quest to find some shoes to buy which will dispense with my desire for these J Crew flats which are just too expensive at $158.
I would wear them constantly. Really.

I didn't find any shoes but I did find a great purse that immediately became an object of desire.  At $130. I was equally put off.  But I just kept thinking about it. So I decided when I went back a week later for something else, if it was still there, I would buy it.

Not exactly the bag, but close. It has a couple of outside pockets and another band of white at the top.
 It was and I did. And I don't feel bad about it at all.

 I still want the shoes, though.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


It isn't as scenic as this, but each day I drive past a row of tress this color and each day they are fuller and more vibrant - Spring!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


This weekend I read an interesting story in the NY Times about the reality versus the common beliefs about cohabitation before marriage and the divorce rate.  More than half of us now live with our partner before marriage in the belief that it will be the best testing ground for the match. In fact, some young folks today refuse to marry unless they live together first.

However, this new study shows:

... that belief is contradicted by experience. Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect.

So that part of the study has been the headline on the news with very little else discussed.  But the study had more to disclose about the reasons people began their cohabitation - and that is the real explanation for the higher divorce rate.

...what researchers call “sliding, not deciding.” Moving from dating to sleeping over to sleeping over a lot to cohabitation can be a gradual slope, one not marked by rings or ceremonies or sometimes even a conversation. Couples bypass talking about why they want to live together and what it will mean.

What the researchers found was the couples had differing, unspoken ideas about what living together meant and over time their lives became more and more entwined (furniture, pets, friends) to the point that they married as a sort of default.  When marriage didn't satisfy it isn't because of living together per se, it is because :

What men and women do agree on, however, is that their standards for a live-in partner are lower than they are for a spouse.

Many young people in therapy wish they hadn’t sunk years of their 20s into relationships that would have lasted only months had they not been living together. Others want to feel committed to their partners, yet they are confused about whether they have consciously chosen their mates. Founding relationships on convenience or ambiguity can interfere with the process of claiming the people we love. A life built on top of “maybe you’ll do” simply may not feel as dedicated as a life built on top of the “we do” of commitment or marriage.

When Tom and I decided to live together there was a mixture of the slipping into it (he was broke and needed a new place to live) and the commitment to marriage.  We knew that was were we headed but  it was too soon to jump there.  I think it is important that couples really talk about the reasons they are moving in together.  It should be a step, not a slide.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Went to Costco today and went down an aisle I usually don't.  I saw lots of things I never realized that they carried.  The one that really stood out was sets of three reclining chairs, all attached to each other and labeled for use in your home theater.

Do people who have a home big enough for a home theater and  have the money to create a home theater actually shop for the seats at Costco?

I was so excited to see products from Maya Kaimal again - just love the Coconut Curry simmering sauce.  I am back to making dinner every night so I am on the lookout again for fast after work dinners. I picked up 2 roasted chickens hot out of the oven.

I was trying to get in and out before the mega-church next door let out and the store was swarmed by entire families headed for the samples; I was there once when it happened and I fled leaving my cart behind. So I didn't linger to see what the sign "For Hot Sleepers" was about!

The line for gas was shorter when I was leaving so I lined up for half a tank.  The price at our Costco is $3.97.  Most places around town are in the $4.29 range.

Oh, and the accident I had in the parking lot in December?  Finally got AAA insurance to take 75% liability for it.  The  take away from that battle?  Go up the management chain. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I thought following in the footsteps of an office manager who held the position for 8 years would be a challenge.  After all, I have never worked in this field before and there are a lot of very technical components to the work.  Plus she handled many things for the business that I have not had experience with.

What I did not expect was to walk into such a disorganized mess.  In part it was messy and dirty because no one had been doing the job or sitting at her desk for over 2 months.  There were over 700 e-mails in the inbox!

 I finally found a way to get onto Quickbooks because I noticed a handwritten notation at the bottom of a phone list and it turned out to be the password.  There are things tacked to the wall with push pins which make no sense and don't appear to be important - one was dated from 2008.

But the files.  OMG the files.  Pretty much each file I open has stuff that relates to the label and also a bunch of stuff which doesn't.  There are files full of mixed subjects with dates running from 2003 to the present.  And these are the files in the desk - I haven't even started going through the 4 other file drawers in the office.  The customer files seem to be in good shape, but the cabinet hasn't been purged since 2007.  So there is a project.

Today the owner and the project manager were out on an emergency call and they parked in a place where they needed to use their flashers, which ran the battery down.  They called AAA and found out that the previous office manager hadn't renewed the membership this year.  They missed another appointment while they were getting service for the truck!

I have been bemoaning the fact that I had so little to do at the hotel, and now I see project after project all lined up.  Kinda a good feeling!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


The new jelly fish exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium!  Go to the link to see amazing pictures.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I made it through the first week of working 2 jobs.  I was really tired by Friday.  I went to the gym and soaked in the whirlpool tub and steam room until my muscles were wobbly instead of achy.  That and 9 hours of sleep on Friday night revived me.

This week will be easier.  The person taking some of my schedule is available to work on Wednesday and Thursday, so those two days I will only be working at my new job.

With the extra funds from working so many hours I am going to hire in a housecleaning service.  Some women love to get a facial, a massage or a new outfit for a splurge.  I will always go for a professional housecleaning.  The luxury of coming home to a house cleaned from top to bottom (and not  by me) is just bliss.