Sleep, Beautiful Sleep

I got to sleep until almost 10 AM today.  R was home and kept the dogs quiet for me.  It was the best I’ve felt in months and I pretty much hit the ground running.  Fed the dogs and fish, got dressed and drove through Starbucks then came home and started cleaning.  All the laundry is done and put away, house is cleaned, errands run and even got to sew for a bit.  Mended one item and ripped the lace off a valance I washed from the kitchen window that I’m going to redo tomorrow.  Then I have some appliques to finish up for a friend, dog toys waiting to be constructed, then 3 purses and a tote bag to make.  Looking forward to being creative again now that my stress level is coming down and I have more time to spend on something I want to do instead of what I have to do….big difference in so many ways.

I haven’t even been making any appointments lately because I’ve just been too stressed to add anything else but I did finally make a hair appointment for this week, and I will need to take Fancypants in for her yearly checkup, shots and blood work for a dental cleaning.  I called the nail spa today but my tech was still on vacation so I’ll have to follow through on that at a later date, too.

It’s been gradually getting better for me since Daisy’s been gone.  I’m feeling better and have more energy though today was the first day I really felt like doing anything creative.  I hope that only improves.  The pack is feeling much more peaceful, too.  They seem to be back to their old selves, quiet, happy and loving; I’d almost forgotten it could be this way.  Three months ago we had 9 dogs, now we’re down to 6 for the first time in years and years.  I NEVER want to feel that way again.  I like helping the animals but I can’t do any more fostering; it was killing me.  My blood pressure was spiking, I was having headaches and just felt like screaming at times.  UNCLE!!!!!!!  I have to take back my life or lose it; there’s no in between at this point.  I’ll love all the fur-babies I have but won’t be bringing any more in for my pack to deal with.  I never realized how unfair it was to them until now, or how unfair I was being to myself.  For a bit I felt like such a failure but I was really pushing myself much too hard; it’s a wonder it lasted as long as it did.  R always tells me I have a soft heart and a hard head.  In this case I have proved that all too well.

Daisy’s Being Adopted!

I got the call at 1:10 this afternoon that Daisy has been adopted.  I’ve washed up and packed her belongings, medications, toys, bones, etc., and will have her there by 10 A.M. tomorrow.  So happy for her and for us!  She will have a wonderful family where she is the only dog and will have all the attention and love.  She won’t have other dogs yapping and snapping at her all the time and won’t have to be crated for anything anymore.  That will put us down to Bandit and 5 Chihuahuas…and that’s the last of our fostering days.  We’re done for good now.  Too tired, too old, too worn out and used up to foster any more.  I’m still interested in animal welfare but will have to find another way to contribute.

I got some doggie stuff cleaned out and reorganized today when I started washing and packing for Daisy.  Did a few loads of laundry, blankets, dog blankets and harnesses, too.  Tomorrow I’ll try to vacuum again and see how fast the hair piles up without Daisy adding to the mess.  She and Bandit seem to be the biggest contributors to the piles of hair which accumulate in, on, around and under every damned thing in the house and car.  It’s 100+ degrees in Texas this time of year; I’d shed my hair, too, if it’d keep me a little cooler.  I’m so looking forward to having my life back and shrugging off the load of stress I’ve been under lately.  It’ll really be a pleasant and welcome change.  Now I can go see my grand-kids away and near, and I can get back to my sewing again.  At last!

It’s been a good day with lots of good news and lots of phone calls.  I’ve talked more today than I have for the last 6 months!  It’s good to know I’m loved, though, so I’ll deal with it.  I’m just not the out-going type and tend to live mostly in my head—and like it that way, too.  Tomorrow, once I drop off Miss Daisy, I should be able to pick up my life where I left off and go merrily along……I hope!  LOL  Paws and fingers crossed!

Productive Day–Tired

It was Monday, so R went back to work.  That always means I get a lot done (without him around under my feet LOL), and I did.  Ran errands, made phone calls, worked on an embroidery design for a friend (software, not stitching yet), business on the PC, bleached my teeth and washed all the blankets in all the dog crates.  Then I went through 2 closets, tried on clothes, packed up 3 bags for donations, then went through the container of extra dog blankets and cleaned those out (now the lid closes—imagine that!).  After that I washed our clothes.  The last of the colored load is still in the dryer as I’m too tired to finish tonight.

The new AC is fab-u-lous!  There’s actually times when I have to turn off the ceiling fan in the living room or put a sweater on to keep from adjusting the thermostat.  And I can actually leave a little outside light coming in most of the day without cooking us.  Wow!  I’ve felt better since it’s been in, too.  I feel like I have a little more energy, maybe because I’m not fighting the heat and humidity, too.  On to the patio cover next and it’ll be even cooler in here!  Yay!

Took my sleeping pill already so I’ll close because I can’t spell now.  This must be a strong one!  G’night, all!  I’ll try to type something sensible tomorrow.

 

Vista II

 

Done now?

Done now?

The rest of the fish are in now.  I’ve bought about 49 fish altogether (5 types/colors) and we’ve lost 2, but we have babies swimming around in there this morning who look to be about 2 days old, so I think this configuration is working.  I still want to get more black mollies but I bought all they had and will have to wait for another shipment.

We finally got our new AC installed yesterday.  They started at 8:30 AM and left at 6:30 PM.  They will have to come back to replace the vent covers but that’s only supposed to take about an hour.  It is so nice in here now since this system adjusts the humidity and the temperature, so even if the temperature is higher it still feels cooler and more comfortable.  I’m so glad it’s finally over and is one less thing I have to stress about.  My stress level has been so high the past 3 months that I actually think my ulcers may be recurring; I’ve been hurting off and on for the past couple of weeks.  May be time to do something different in my life.  Hopefully Daisy will get adopted next week so I can have my life back again.  It helps to be able to get out of the house from time to time but I haven’t had that option since May.

I just dropped Fancy off at the groomers so she can get spruced up for the summer.  With all her hair it looks very uncomfortable in the Texas heat.  I had to crate the dogs all day yesterday since workmen were here 10 hours.  They only got to get out, stretch their legs, get a drink and go potty once then had to wait until 5 PM to go again.  They were very patient even in the heat and the stress of PEOPLE IN MY HOUSE!  Every time the door would open they would all go crazy barking and you just cannot have a conversation in that cacophony.  But as the day wore on they quieted down easier and faster as they got used to the routine.  I had ceiling fans going everywhere but it still went over 80 degrees inside no matter what I did.  They were hot, panting occasionally but not harmfully hot with the air flow (I was there with them all day).  I felt so sorry for them having to be confined but it worked out.  R and I figured that once they got their freedom they would be ecstatically exuberant; instead they took it in stride.  Of course I was not going to cook dinner so R took them out in the yard while I made a run to Sonic.  Then I fed them and they were as if they hadn’t had any stress at all during the day.  Just when I think I understand my dogs they do something completely unexpected!

Today we go back to laundry: bed linens first, then clothes and dog blankets.  I don’t think I have enough energy for anything more strenuous.  Right now the dogs are sleeping and all you can hear is my fingers on this keyboard.  We are getting new neighbors next door so all the dogs in the neighborhood are on high alert.  I’m trying to keep mine quiet so the doggie door is temporarily closed.  It’s too hot to go out there anyway, right?

 

New Vista

New tank configuration (so far)

New tank configuration (so far)

Click for movie

Today I took the next steps with the new fish tank.  I added decorations, ran new air lines and re-piped what was there that wouldn’t fit with the new design.  All the fish are alive and happy; I’ve seen no problems with anything so far and have really enjoyed watching them explore their new abode so energetically.  Next on the schedule is to add plants. Then, if all is still well it’ll be on to buying more fish.

Today I ran errands, worked on the fish tank, cleaned house and took my mom to her doctor’s appointment.   The yard people cut the grass, business was conducted; flowers were sent to the funeral home for tomorrow.  Most memorable part of the day was watching the fish; they’re are so soothing that it’s easy to lose track of time while watching them.  I didn’t even turn on the TV until time for the news and I never missed the noise.  When R got home he took me to dinner.  It was a pleasant night and now all are in bed except Daisy, Zoe and me (and I’m the only one of us still awake)…and we will follow soon!

Goodbye, Blondie

 

Blondie in better days

Blondie in better days

We never knew if Blondie was male or female, just that he was very light colored, not albino but lutino, so the name seemed to fit whatever sex it was.  Since our last Oscar fish was named Antoinette and we assumed (or were told–don’t remember now) that she was female, Blondie became male.  We always called him Blondie-man when we spoke to him, as in, “hiya, Blondie-man.  How’re you today?”.  What kind of idiots talk to fish, you ask?  Just our garden-variety type of idiot, I suppose.  We talk to the dogs; why not to fish?  We had him about a year, give or take, but he was never a happy fish like Antoinette was.  He didn’t like the tank and was always trying to jump out which caused a lot of damage to his dorsal fin.  He didn’t like pellets, flakes or any other offerings we made except for freeze-dried shrimp or krill, which, of course, is the most expensive common food we can buy locally.  He would allow us to talk to him and would look at us like he knew who we were but toward the end he seemed afraid of us.  He hated it when we moved his plants when we siphoned the gravel.  Most times he would just tear it all up again.  And they were plastic plants because he would eat any real plants we put in there.  Sometimes when we had been gone for a bit, when we got home Blondie would have moved the plants and the gravel into his own configurations.  He would have his snits when nothing pleased him and he would totally ignore us.  I don’t think he ever figured out that we were the ones who fed him so he felt fine about being rude (“I’ll show those fools I don’t like being tampered with!”).  He was a beautiful fish but he’s the last Oscar we’ll have.  They need bigger tanks and someone with more expertise than we have in order to keep them happy, I guess.  Antoinette was always happy and would eat whatever we fed her.  She and Blondie were polar opposites.  As usual, I’d like to take the blame for his unhappiness but he may have had genetic abnormalities from just being so albino.  From what we’ve read the albinos have a lot of health issues so this may have been a lot of the problems we saw in raising him.  RIP, Blondie.  You’re the end of an era…

And the beginning.  When he died yesterday I had to move fast to get him out of the tank; I couldn’t wait for R to get home from work because if I turned the filter off I’d lose all the good bacteria.  So I did what had to be done then siphoned the water out of the tank down to the gravel.  It was full of medications so I couldn’t put any new fish in there until it was diluted well.  I put in one new filter pad and turned the filter back on and let it circulate for about 4-6 hours.  When the temperature stabilized I went to PetSmart and bought 20 new fish, a new heater and 3 new TI’s.  I set it up about 4 PM yesterday and so far all 20 fish are happy campers.  If we don’t run into any issues in the next few days I’ll add to the stock, put in decorations, etc., but even though my water parameters are perfect I don’t want to miss anything that could cause dire consequences in our fishy equilibrium.  I find a lot of peace in watching the fish tank but must admit I miss our Blondie-man swimming back and forth.  He was hard to miss with his size.  I’ll just have to make do with a new vista now.

 

Daisy 0 Fly 1

After the dogs were fed this morning I loaded up Daisy, went through Starbucks then drove to Friendswood to pick up some dog medicine.  When we got there, there was a big male dog in front of the clinic.  Daisy went into “I must protect my mama” mode, so I had to roll the windows down some and leave her in the car.  I’ve never left any of them in the car before but she was in the shade and I just had to go to the counter, pick up the medicine, pay and leave, so I left her there for those few moments.  When I got back in the car there was a fly buzzing around the interior.  No problem, except Daisy (and Bandit) are bug exterminators.  She lunged at the fly (and hit her nose on the windshield) and I thought she got it because it wasn’t there anymore.  That’s when I thought of the title: Daisy 1 Fly 0.  But when we were almost home here came that same fly zipping around our heads as if to say, “Na na na na na!  You can’t catch me!!!!!”.  I had to smile because with the heat in the car once we got home the fly will not survive.  And it really will be: Fly 0 after all.

Blondie is still sick and I still don’t know if he’ll survive, but the swelling has gone down and he appears to be healing, but he’s still not eating so may starve to death before he heals.  I just finished doing a water change and adding more medication.  I fed him some flake food but it’s not really a favorite of his so he’s not likely to eat it.  We’re still watching him for signs that he’s going to survive, or not, but hoping for the best.  Edit: Rest In Peace, Blondie.  He didn’t make it through the night.

I’ve finally caught up on most of my To Do list so took this time to just sit down at the computer and write.  I’ve got dog blankets in the washer and 5 more crates to do.  Hopefully I’ll get the energy to vacuum at some point today but it’s not there now.  I could use a nap but probably won’t get that either, but I’m finished with errands until tomorrow so maybe I can just get a break.  Wish me luck!

Blondie

Left Side

Left Side

Right Side

Right Side

Poor Blondie is still ailing.  When I tried to feed him this morning he got spooked and bashed his head into the gravel (hence the bleeding on his left cheek).  Poor guy!  We did 5 days of antibiotics and salt addition and he’s no better and still not eating at all.  Today we went to the pet shop and bought 2 more antibiotics, did a 60% water change and dosed him up with different medications.  We’ve been checking on him every hour or so.  He still isn’t eating but doesn’t seem to be losing any weight, which is weird.  His right jaw is swollen and really looks ugly; don’t know if we’ll be able to save him this time.  He’s never been this sick before but we’re running out of options.  This morning we talked about euthanizing him but I couldn’t, in good conscience, give up before I tried everything I could no matter what it cost.  So here we are…don’t know if he’ll still be with us tomorrow but we’re fighting with him.  Can’t tell with a fish if he’s in pain or suffering but the swelling may be slightly less tonight.  Fingers crossed.

Wasn’t a bad weekend and the weather has been gorgeous.  Went to a wedding yesterday then R went out of town to visit his ex’s family overnight.  Spent today messing with the fish tank, the dogs, the yard and flower bed.  Watched a little light TV and now all are in bed except me.  Got most of the laundry done, bed linens changed, etc.  Tomorrow I have some errands, chiropractor and Mom to the doctor, finish financing for the new AC system, etc.  Still I’m tired, not sleepy but feeling peaceful.  Had another “JoJo Time” moment tonight; still missing her and the pack is still morphing but calming down somewhat.  Think I’ll finish up “computing” and prepare for bed.

 

How Rude!

The last AC man neither called nor showed up.  I waited an hour then left to buy groceries; I saw how dependable he was just from his actions, or lack thereof, today.  Waiting on one last estimate to come via email but I think the decision is made already.

Wore my new shoes again today and found myself in Kroger’s not limping or hurting at all.  I think we have a winner here!  It wasn’t a bad day; I even got time to reload a laptop and work on another.  Daisy slept on the ottoman in my office most of the time and, since Mimi had acted up, Miss Mimi was in her crate asleep.  It was pretty peaceful and felt great to be able to do something I wanted to do again.  Mimi was on a tear most of the day and evening.  She ended up crated a total of 3 times; not exactly a stellar performance, I’d say.

Our Oscar fish, Blondie, is sick.  He’s not eating and has sores on and in his mouth (probably why he’s not eating, huh?).  He doesn’t look good at all.  I added salt to his tank and some antibiotic this evening.  Hoping that’ll start to fix him on up.  He’s a beautiful fish and the only one we have right now.  If he goes it might mean the end of this tank.  I’d really like to get a hexagon so it’d take up less space but I need this big tank for an Oscar so it stays as long as Blondie does.  I have some photos of him but I guess I’ve already backed them up externally so I’d have to connect a drive to find them.  Our last Oscar fish, Antoinette, was a ruby red Oscar.  Blondie is a lutino, or almost albino but has some orange color on him.  Oscars are very personable fish; they’re easy to humanize because they are so expressive.  We’re always putting words in his mouth for him.

It’s midnight and I’m finishing up the last laptop.  Time to take my sleeping pill and call it a night.

 

 

Mama!

Zoe has officially adopted a new mama since Jolie’s passing.  I’m not completely happy with her choice or her copied behavior though because she has chosen Mimi to copy.  Remember Mimi?  Mimi barks at the other dogs when they get rowdy or play too close to her.  Mimi barks when she hears the smallest of noise.  Mimi bites other dogs and people (other than us—-any more).  Mimi chases the big dogs out the dog door when they get on her nerves.  Why Zoe idolizes Mimi now is very confusing except that Mimi weighs more and is bigger than the other Chihuahuas, and it was Jolie at the top weight that used to set her apart for Zoe.  Jolie was a crotchety old canine woman who had always been an only dog and wanted to continue in that fashion when she came to us.  But to Zoe, Jolie was the one she cuddled with, followed around and, I guess now, emulated the most.  Jolie would growl at the other dogs when they got too close but never with Zoe.  Zoe was her golden child, and even though she never groomed her or sought her company, Jolie allowed Zoe to be in her space whenever she choose to be there.  I guess “mama” has many definitions.

But now, Zoe is picking up Mimi’s bad habits.  One of the things we reprimand Mimi for most is jumping at the other dogs when they play, make noise or do anything else she disagrees with.  Now Mimi AND Zoe bark at the other dogs.  It’s frustrating!  We have Mimi on calming medication twice per day to calm her down enough to survive the pack and now Zoe is emulating her!  Crap!!!!  Just what we need!

Today I bought shoes…one pair for $156 (the most expensive shoes I’ve ever owned!).  I did manage to wear them from the time I bought them and wore them out of the store at about 10:30 this morning until about 10 PM tonight.  My foot hurts some but it’s not unbearable, so I’m making some progress.  Had another AC repairman out today for another estimate.  The last one comes tomorrow and we’ll make a decision.  I’ll be so glad!!!!!  I also went to the chiropractor, PetSmart, CVS and Starbucks.  Got home a few minutes past 11 just in time to finish the laundry and do a little cleaning before the AC guy was due to arrive.  He was a little late but by now I don’t care if they show up at all.  Our decision is pretty much already made.  These guys have all been pricing themselves out of business anyway.  I’d be surprised if any of them are going to beat the vendor we’re trending toward.  I just want to get it over with.

Tomorrow I’ll probably hit the grocery store and Starbucks then hang around the casa and wait for the last AC man.  I have some computer stuff to do and I want to start toward doing some sewing again if the hounds will allow me some time without killing each other.  Daisy has an adoption application pending so we may get some peace again soon.  Wish her luck!  I met the family and they genuinely seem like a good place for Daisy.  We’ll find out soon.  It’ll take me hours to pack up all of Daisy’s belongings.  LOL  She’s amassed quite a lot of “things”, a dog bed, multiple blankets, harness, leash, 3 medications, etc.  Diego has been adopted, too, to a family who loves him dearly.  That’s how all animals should be, loved and cared for completely.

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