Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Off to New York City

I'm off to New York first thing in the morning, so I won't be posting again until Saturday. I'll fill you in on the conference when I return.

Have a great week!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Rainy Sunday

It’s been raining off and on all day. I was planning on working in the yard again today, so I’m really glad it’s raining because my back is killing me from bending over and pulling weeds yesterday. I know it’s good for me and the flower beds do look better, but OUCH!

Anyway, instead of pulling weeds, I worked on some things I needed to do inside like trying on some more clothes I haven’t worn in a while. Since I lost weight and went down 3 sizes, I’ve slowly replaced my old wardrobe with clothes that actually fit me. But I have this rule – 1 thing in, 1 thing out. So I was behind on getting rid of stuff and my closet was beginning to get full.

Trying on clothes that are too big for you is fun! Especially when you can remember how tight they were a couple of years ago. I can now wear things that show my shape because I have one I’m not ashamed to show. I got rid of all of my broomstick skirts with the ever-expanding elastic waistbands, all the one size fits all clothes and all the baggy shirts and pants. I’m stylin’ baby!

I have to stay this size or get smaller because I don’t have any more fat clothes to grow back into. I now have 2 big bags full of clothes and shoes to take to our local donation station. The only thing left to try on are all my shirts and sweaters. If it rains again tomorrow, I’ll do it then. If not, weeds beware!

Trying to keep my mind off my manuscript and the conference!

Have a Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Yeah for long weekends!

Not much to say today. It’s been a long week filled with board and committee meetings, mailings to investors and minutes – taking and transcribing. I’m pooped.

My third draft is finished. I thought it was finished last week then did some minor revisions based on some late feedback. Now it’s out to another person who’s never read it and possibly to my little sister if she agrees to my terms. I asked her if she could be as unbiased and unprejudiced as possible.

Yes, I know it’s totally impossible. However, she’s really intelligent and is a published author and I would value her input – if she can forget I’m her sister and many of the people I’m writing about are also her relatives. As I said – it’s totally impossible.

However, I love her dearly and will probably allow her to read it even if she doesn’t agree to my terms because she’s the only one in my family who even remotely understands me and the only one who knows about this blog.

(She said no! She's incredibly busy right now and said, "There is no emotional energy left. The thought of reading your draft just plain scares me. It took me about 2 weeks to recover from the last time. That period of my life was a nightmare. I don't want to relive it right now. I know I am letting you down, and I am sorry. I just can't be objective."

I love my little sister!)

I’m anxious to get this last bit of feedback because I leave next Wednesday morning for New York and my writer’s conference. I don’t know if I’ll try to pitch the book or if I’m ready to query anyone. I hope the conference will help me determine that. I really want to learn and meet people. It will be good for me to jump out of my comfort zone for a couple of days.

Sunday I’m going to read it one more time to make sure I haven’t missed any glaring grammatical or typographical errors. In the meantime, my house and yard are calling for my attention and my dogs look like they could use a good cuddle.

Me too!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Suggestions wanted

From the post below, you can see that my life on most days is pretty routine. I'm looking for things to spice up my life - quick and easy things to do just to add a little spark here and there. I need some fresh ideas, so let's see if anyone out there can come up with something original.

Remember, it has to be quick, easy and inexpensive!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A day in the life

6 a.m. – Clock radio (rock music) blasts me awake (actually 5:50 a.m. because I know myself so well).

6:05 – Stumble out of bed in a stupor. Give Rosie a tummy rub and gently place her on the ground. (She’s almost 14, has arthritis and short little legs. Despite the doggie steps at the end of the bed, she needs help these days.) Head for the bathroom and sit on the toilet.

6:10 – Still sitting on toilet. (Didn’t really need to go, just needed a few more minutes to wake up.) Revise time back to 6:00 according to clock in bathroom. Strip and jump in shower.

6:20 – Out of shower, drying hair, etc.

6:35 – Get dressed. (Have clothes arranged in closet so last thing I wore goes to end of rod and everything moves up each day. Too much work unless you have a slider rod!)

6:45 – (Fast dresser because of system above) Upstairs to change doggie papers, water and fill food bowls. Eat my own breakfast and take my vitamins.

7:00 – Back downstairs for teeth brushing, make-up and last minute adjustments. Give Rosie medicine. Say good-bye and out to car.

7:15 - 7:20 – On the road with country music in car. TRAFFIC!

7:45 – 8:00 – (depending on traffic) Arrive at work, fire up computer, get coffee and start working.

9:30 – bathroom

10:00 – more coffee

10:30 – bathroom

11:30 – bathroom

12:30 – bathroom then lunch

1:30 – bathroom (all the while working of course)

4:30 – 5:00 (depending on when bosses leave) Leave work

5:30 – 5:45 (depending on traffic) Arrive home, check mail, change clothes and take Belle for walk

6:15 – fix something to eat

6:25 – take food downstairs and turn on computer. Check favorite websites and blogs. Write, read, cross-stitch or whatever I feel like doing.

10 – 10:30 – bed

Yes, my life is incredibly exciting. And, yes I do have that small a bladder.

And yes, I still miss Miss Snark.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Miss Snark Withdrawal - Day 2 - slowly coming to terms

Had a really busy day at work today, so not much time to mourn the end of the blog. Sigh!

Have to think of other things now to get this off my mind. At this time next week, I'll be packing for my trip to New Yawk Sitty for my writer's conference. I'm a nervous Nelly about this. Not because of the conference - because of the city! I'm a country girl at heart. I like the wide open spaces in the suburbs of Seattle. It's what I call country with conveniences.

I signed up for one of those 2 pages 2 minutes workshops. So now I'm stressing over my 2 pages. I have a 2 1/2 page opening on perspective before my first chapter. It's good - I think! So, do I submit the first 2 pages of that, or the first 2 pages of my first chapter? I'm going to send them to some of my friends and ask which one they like better - which one draws them in. Damn!

It probably doesn't matter. They'll probably laugh me out of the room. At least no one will know it's mine until after they have read and commented. That way I can just slip out the door quietly before I have to confess.

Anyway, I did come up with a new drinking song for the Nitwit's Lounge. Everyone sing along now!

(To the tune of "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean")

Our Snarkie turned off her computer.
Our Snarkie has faded away.
Her minions are lost and so lonely.
We're still checking back everyday!

Bring back, bring back,
KY we're down on our knees.
Bring back, bring back,
Oh, bring back our Snarkie please!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Miss Snark Withdrawal – Day 1

I thought seriously about developing a 12 step program for withdrawing from my addiction to Miss Snark. I went on the AA site and looked at their 12 steps in hopes of plagiarizing some of them with minor modifications. Too much work. Thank dog I’m not an alcoholic!

When I gave up smoking over 30 years ago I did it cold turkey. I was an absolute bitch for several months, and not very pleasant for many months after that. So I decided cold turkey is not the best option for my personality. I did only check her site about 5 times today though. I’ll try to cut down gradually.

I know they give drugs to people with serious addictions. So far all my friends in the medical profession don’t seem to feel this addiction to Miss Snark’s blog is drug worthy. Twenty five years ago I was growing my own. All my old dealers from back then are probably dead or incarcerated. It sucks to be old and straight at a time like this.

If you think it’s bad for me, you should see my girls. They adore Killer Yapp. Every time I leave the computer they click over to Miss Snark’s site to see the picture of KY now posted at the top. I swear I heard them both sigh the last time they saw it.

I suppose it will get better as time goes on. I’m trying to be optimistic and looking at all the other blogs I enjoy. I need a hug.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Miss Snark Goes Dark

Yesterday I learned that my favorite blogger, Miss Snark, was going dark. There would be no new posts, no more questions answered, no more clue guns fired at hapless nitwits. I was distraught.

I started reading her blog in January when I was working on the second draft of my manuscript. It really opened my eyes to the reality of the publishing world. It made me realize how little I knew and how naïve I was. I was a true nitwit.

I finally had the nerve to ask a question in early March and was shocked and thrilled when she answered – not unkindly. Then I entered her Ides of March writing contest and was overjoyed to be named best suck-up. Considering there were 194 entries, I was ecstatic to be recognized in any way.

We shared a love of George Clooney, although I think for different reasons. I never go to movies and have only seen a few of his on TV. It’s his humanitarian agenda and the fact that he’s also a liberal Democrat that I admire. Methinks Miss Snark was just looking for a booty call with the sexiest man alive. (Okay, I wouldn’t turn him down if he asked!)

Over the course of the last 5 months, I checked in daily to glean information that might help me be a better author. I learned so much from her – basic things about writing, querying, grammar, postage, agents, conferences, gin, and what not to do. She became a familiar friend and I looked forward to seeing what unsuspecting nitwit would be trampled beneath her T.Rexual heels of stiletto snark next.

Now she’s gone. Yesterday I couldn’t write about this because it made me so unhappy. It brought all my abandonment issues up and made me cry and swear. My dogs were appalled. I knew I needed to mourn the end of her blog and gain some perspective, so I didn’t blog at all yesterday.

Today, I’m calmer. I understand that she is a busy literary agent – the kind I hope to land someday. She has a life and a business and running her blog must have been incredibly time consuming. I truly appreciate the time and wisdom she gave us poor nitwits. It helped so much and I am so grateful.

Here’s what I posted in her blog:

Dear Miss Snark;

Yes, I am still a nitwit. But I’m not as big a nitwit as I was before I started reading your blog in January.

I will go to my writers conference at the end of the month and instead of assaulting all the agents and publishers present and attempting to convince them why they NEED to represent me, I will sit quietly, listen, observe and learn.

The third draft of my manuscript is finished with a minimum of passive voice and without overusing the words that, just, really, very and all the other oft repeated unnecessary ones.

I will refine my query, identify and research agents in my genre and query widely. I will not take rejection too personally and will use any comments to make my query letter and manuscript better.

All of these things, plus many others, I learned from you. You have no idea what a great service you have provided to us and how very much we appreciate it. I respect your decision to retire from your blog but do hope you will consider posting occasionally to let us know how you are doing and to provide any tidbits of wisdom to make us better writers.

I won’t take you off my list of blogs I check frequently.

And, I will miss you.

And I will miss her!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Questions that haunt me

A friend recently sent these to me and they really made me think!

Can you cry under water?

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

Why do you have to "put your two cents in".. but it's only a "penny for your thoughts"? Where's that extra penny going?

Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

What disease did cured ham actually have?

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up like every two hours?

If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you naked anyway.

Why is "bra" singular and "panties" plural?

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?

Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?

If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!

If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

Why do they call it an asteroid when it's outside the hemisphere, but call it a hemorrhoid when it's in your butt?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


People are really interesting. It seems that many people don’t take the time to really think about things before they voice their opinions – especially if it might require them to think outside the confines of their comfortable little boxes. Rather than consider material as a whole, they pick pieces they agree or disagree with and express their “learned” opinions. They take things out of context or their minds stop processing the minute they run into anything that challenges their conventional wisdom.

I’m not innocent in this. Sometimes I catch myself indulging in this narrow minded form of recreation. This is why when writing or blogging I always attempt to put my thoughts into a separate document and read through them a couple of times before I put them into the final form or post it on my blog or as a comment on another person’s blog. Also, I try to re-read the original post so I don’t make a nitwit of myself.

Life isn’t flat and black and white. It’s full of color and dimension. Everyone sees the world from their own perspective. Because they don’t agree with you doesn’t make the other person wrong.

My advice: before you express your opinions make sure you know what you’re talking about.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I signed up!

Taking a leap of faith here! I signed up for a writers conference in New York at the end of the month. I didn’t think I could go because we originally scheduled a board meeting for June 1st, but it was moved to the 14th, so now I’m going. I’m registered for the conference and have my airline reservations. Now I just have to find a place to stay that won’t cost a mortgage payment. I wonder if they rent park benches overnight?

I’m going because I want to learn more about the business. My manuscript is almost done. Just doing some minor expanding and polishing. I want to hear what the experts have to say before I start querying and hopefully submitting. I want to know if it’s truly ready or if I need to do more.

I’m a total novice in this industry and although I’ve been doing lots of research on the internet and in the library, there’s nothing like hearing something from the source and listening to the questions and answers to truly learn. I don’t want to be a nitwit. I want to go, talk to the experts and listen.

The agenda for this conference appeals to me because it includes information about life story writing, querying and other basic industry information. Many of the conferences seem to be too fiction oriented for what I’m doing.

Plus it will be nice to have a quick vacation in New York. The city intimidates me – all cities do. It’s good for me to push the limits of my comfort zone. Now that I’ve made the commitment, I’m excited.

Do you think it’s too early to pack?

Saturday, May 12, 2007


The tea is over. It was a smashing success and we raised a lot of money. However, I didn’t have time to do my magic to make my “homemade” brownies look homemade. I was in a hurry and didn’t get to the damned store on time. So, I just said to hell with it and took the German chocolate brownies (and they were unbelievably delicious) to the work party this morning in their original store containers – unembellished.

I plopped them on the counter and just pretended everything was fine. A couple of the women looked at me like I had 2 heads. How dare I bring store bought goodies for the tea - no matter how delicious they were!

Over the years – thanks to my family – I learned how to handle criticism, in mass quantities. So I just ignored them and started doing my part to help prepare for the tea. One of the other women, who is also single and has a life outside this organization, came up to me and said she wished she had the guts to bring store bought stuff and next time she would. Ah, a convert. Come over to the dark side my dear!

Then a couple of our newer members came in with purchased goods. Of course, they were given the benefit of the doubt. They were new after all. The seasoned veterans figured they could take the newbies aside later and set them straight. I noticed they already covered my containers with boxes of homemade stuff! Hmmmmm!

But then my friend, who just turned 75 and is like a mother to me, walked in and threw her store bought goodies on the counter. She proceeded to tell everyone in range – in a very loud voice because she wanted everyone to hear – that she is damned tired of baking, her husband is dying of cancer and at her age from now on she would only be baking when she felt like it – and today she didn’t feel like it! Woohoo!

So, I pulled my brownies out of the pile and loudly announced that this would be the norm for me from now on because I didn’t have time to bake. Oh the daggers from those beady little eyes of the baking class!

Anyway, the tea was wonderful, the company was great and thank God it’s over!

And, everyone LOVED my brownies!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Happy Dance Friday!

Woohoo! It’s Friday! Doing my happy dance!

Tomorrow I’m going to a high tea. In fact, I’m hosting a table. That means I have to bring a table cloth, dishes, teapot, serving crap and all the rest. I like these things because they only last for a couple of hours and it’s fun to visit with everyone. Plus it’s about the only time my good China ever sees the light of day.

However, some of the other women involved – other hostesses and the chairwomen of the event – are a little overzealous in their enthusiasm. I’m a really good cook, but I don’t tell anyone because then they expect me to cook for them and I only like cooking for people I choose to delight with my culinary talents.

We’ve been having these teas 2 times per year for several years now. These women assumed that since I was hosting a table I would be making goodies for the buffet. WRONG! You should have seen their faces when I said I would be happy to BUY something. Quel Horror! (or however you spell it) Listen, you can get some pretty nice and tasty treats at Costco or at the Top Foods bakery. Could I make those treats? Sure if I had enough wine and valium.

But I don’t want to make them. I work from 8 to 5 five days a week, have a house and yard to take care of, am an aspiring writer and enjoy having some down time occasionally. They have time to make all these goodies. I have the money to buy them.

Anyway, a couple of years ago the anvil dropped on my head and I realized that what they don’t know won’t hurt them. So now I go to the bakery and buy the goodies. Then I rewrap them to make them look homemade. Brownies are perfect for this. I get these extra gooey fabulous brownies that come in 2 inch squares, cut them into 1 inch squares, throw a tiny bit of flour on the bottom to make them look like they just came out of the pan, arrange them in a plastic container (with wax paper for that extra touch) then take them with me.

Everyone raves over my brownies and asks for the recipe. I always tell them it’s an old family recipe. I just don’t tell them which old family.

Anyway, pinkies out everyone! Cheers!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Still Waiting

It’s one of those odd days. I’m restless. This is a sign I’m about to start writing again whether I have feedback from the other 7 people or not. I actually started through the manuscript and made it through the first 32 pages. I added a table of contents and made some minor additions.

It really has helped to not look at it for the last 2 weeks. I like it so far and feel better reading it this time than ever before. There are some parts that still need a little beefing up, but the hardest part is over.

I almost wrote this as a novel with a pseudonym. I thought it would be an easier way to tell my story and possibly less damaging to some of my relationships. But I needed to just tell my story and that meant it had to be a memoir. I’ve decided if it turns out to be a mistake and no one wants to represent me, I’m going to take the darkest part of my life and turn it into a fantasy - a comedy with a happy ending.

In the meantime, I’m diligently researching agents who represent memoirs and have a pretty decent list to start with. When the manuscript is ready I’m going to start querying 10 per week. Hopefully someone will like it before I run out of legitimate agents to query.

If not, I’ll try fiction – me happy with a boyfriend!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Pooh on you, haiku!

My disappointment knows no bounds today. I didn’t even get a mention in Miss Snark’s Thomas Pynchon birthday haiku contest. Granted, my entry wasn’t great:
Gravity’s rainbow
Against the day of Pynchon
Chums of chance float by.

After I saw it on her site, I thought I should have said:
Gravity’s rainbow
Against the day - Pynchon and
Chums of chance float by.

However, it still wouldn’t have been as good as the ones she chose. I’ve never written a haiku before so this was a real challenge for me. I actually Googled Pynchon to get some ideas. Oh well! Sour grapes!

In one of my recent blog entries, I accused my dog Belle of being the doggie fart queen – the one who can clear a room with her nose numbing farts. However, I may have to rethink this. Last night Belle wasn’t even in the room when I had to quickly pull out the can of air freshener. She was walking in, but I’m wondering if perhaps Rosie is the culprit.

The worst farts always come at night – just as I’ve settled into my chaise lounge or hunkered down in front of the computer. They both like to be close by sleeping in their spots, so it’s hard to tell which direction the fragrance is coming from. There’s only one way to verify this. I have to lock myself in a room with each of them individually and wait. This is not a chore I look forward to!

I still think it’s Belle. It’s hard to believe Rosie could snore like a jet roaring overhead and do killer farts at the same time. She only weighs 22 pounds!

My life is so complicated!

Monday, May 7, 2007


My manuscript (3rd draft) is out to 8 friends/acquaintances for reading and critiquing. I don’t expect a professional analysis from any of them. Basically I’m just looking for what’s interesting/boring, where I’ve said too much/too little, areas for expansion/deletion and if it’s interesting enough to hold their attention. I’m not too worried about typos or grammar and spelling, but did ask them to check for any glaring errors.

One person has already responded. She said it was amazing – it made her sad, made her laugh and made her think. Of course, she’s a really good friend, so I have to take that into consideration but it made me feel good to hear it because she wouldn’t hold back if she had something negative to say.

I haven’t read it for almost 2 weeks now. When it’s out for comments, I like to give myself a break from all those memories to regain my perspective and objectivity – or as much objectivity as you can have when writing about your own life. I do jot things down – ideas for additional material or thoughts to enhance what’s already there. There aren’t as many of those this time. I think I’ve covered things pretty thoroughly – or as thoroughly as I’m willing.

It’s a fine line between what will truly enhance the story and make it more understandable and what’s just there for the shock and awe. I don’t want to have to stun and possibly upset others with some of the things I did just to make people read my book. I want them to read it because it’s well written and has something to say – something that will touch them and make them think about their own lives.

In the meantime, I’m diligently researching agents who handle memoirs. I’ve gleaned information from Agent Query, Publishers Marketplace, Absolute Write, Writers Beware and Preditors and Editors. I’m checking each agent on the list and their websites to see if they really do represent memoirs and if they have experience in the genre, and to be sure they’re legitimate and have good reputations. It’s an interesting process. My master’s was geared towards statistics and research, so I enjoy doing it. I’m a secret geek!

And, I’m waiting for the feedback from the other 7 people. I hate waiting!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Shape up!

Sunday! It’s lawn mowing day in the beautiful PNW – or at least in my neighborhood. Some people attend church. We heathens mow our lawns. I really used to dread this ritual because I had a cordless electric with an 18 inch cut whose battery was on its last leg. I have a fairly large yard, so it used to take up to 3 days to get it completely cut because it would run out of juice and have to be recharged so often.

So, I bought a new mower – a bigger, better cordless electric. It’s more powerful and has a 19 inch cut, so it’s really fast to cut the lawn now and I can do it all in one day. This is wonderful!

However, the damned thing is a lot heavier than the old one was and I have a hilly, uneven yard. The first time I used it, I thought I was going to have to hire someone just to push it around the yard! I was sweating like a pig!

But, that was about 3 weeks ago and I have since been going to the physical therapist for my back. She is torturing me with upper body strengthening and toning exercises and, much to my complete surprise – it’s working! For an old broad in her 50’s, I’m starting to look pretty buff!

The best thing is, when I mowed the lawn today I practically whipped through that chore. Not even a bead of perspiration crossed my brow.

I am not a workout queen, or princess, or lady-in-waiting, or whatever. I’d rather watch someone doing it on TV. However, this has really emphasized the benefits of the agony my therapist is putting me through and the walking I’ve been doing for the last year.

So, next Sunday when I’m out there again, I’ll remember the benefits of my PT’s words, “Shape up and quit whining!”

But I'll still silently call her a bitch!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Ah, Saturday morning!

Slept in until almost 8 – that’s REALLY late for me. Had my shower and first cup of coffee, put a load of laundry in and now I sit waiting for the person who plans to try and pry some money from my securely sealed wallet by giving me a bid to paint my house that I just can’t refuse. Oops. He’s here. More later.

So, I’m getting my house painted this summer! I’ve been agonizing over this for quite a while because I thought it would be too expensive to have it professionally done and well, I just didn’t want to do it myself. The perfect solution just dropped into my lap. Last week, this young man skateboarded up my driveway, knocked on my door and asked if I wanted an estimate on having my house painted. Why not? He wrote down my information and skateboarded away.

I received a call from a very polite young man – the skateboarder’s brother – and we set up a time for the estimate today. He left a packet of materials on my porch a couple of days later and I learned that this is like an internship. He’s a college student in the construction management program at the U and this will be his summer job – managing crews and painting houses.

Today, the very polite young man arrived and provided me with a very thorough and detailed estimate of the work. It’s going to cost just under $3,000 including tax. I have a 2 story house that hasn’t been painted in probably 20 years. That’s a really good price because it included power washing the house, scraping, sanding, caulking, priming and painting. Apparently, because they are students and this is a learning experience, they don’t have the overhead associated with most businesses and can basically charge cost plus a small profit margin. And, an expert will be supervising.

This makes me very happy! First, I’m getting my house painted – a job that really needs to be done. Second, it’s not going to cost me an arm and a leg. I can afford the price. Third, I’m helping provide experience to a college student. I like helping students. This is a mutually beneficial situation.

I like it when perfect solutions just appear when I need them. I like helping other people.

Today I’m happy!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Going to the Dogs!

The things I do for my dogs! As you can see from their picture, I have the cutest dogs in the world. They rule my house. I just pay the bills and run all their errands for them. Because of my cancer, I wasn’t able to have children – which is a good thing because I probably would have killed them and been incarcerated by now. Anyway, dogs are far more suited to my personality and temperament.

My older girl Rosie, the cute little tan Lhasa Apso, is nearing 14 and her health is slowly going down hill. She showed the first sign of aging when she refused to go for any more walks with Belle and me. She sat at the top of the stairs, splayed out like a Sphinx with her front paws crossed, and stared off into space as I called her. I could almost hear her saying “Is someone here? Did someone say something?”, as I yelled at her to get her ass down the stairs.

I tried carting her around in a basket at first so she could get some fresh air, but she hated it and started hiding from me under her favorite red chair every time I went near the front door. So, I gave up.

Next she started walking like an old lady. She’s always had bow legs because of a minor birth defect in her right wrist, but the limp was becoming very pronounced. The vet recommended a glucosamine treat. She now gets them twice a day and seems to be walking a little better. KaChing!

Then she acted up at the groomers. I tend to think the groomers were partially at fault because Rosie is a very sweet girl – even to kids. However, the girls at the vet’s office recommended a new groomer who was good with “older” dogs. Now she and Belle go there every 3 weeks for pampering. She likes them and walks in happily. KaChing!

Of course, she also has chronic dry eye for which the vet has given her medicated eye drops – twice a day. KaChing! And, gooey ears for which the vet has given her ear drops as necessary. KaChing!

But wait. There’s more! She developed a skin condition that turned her belly almost black. The vet (who recently bought a new Lexus – Hmmm) diagnosed her with a thyroid condition. Now she takes pills – embedded in her glucosamine treats – twice a day. KaChing!

The worst thing is the little incontinence problem she has developed. My dogs have a doggie door that leads to my deck. Rosie has no problem going out on to the deck, but she refuses to go down the flight of stairs to the yard, so she poops and pees on the deck. I can handle that. I keep a box of tissues handy to pick up the poop and flush it down the toilet, and a spray bottle of Simple Green to wash off the urine.

However, she refuses to go outside when it rains. So, she found a particular spot in the dining room in front of the sliding glass door to the deck where she goes so she won’t get wet. I’ve tried everything to persuade her to not do this. However, she is very stubborn.

So two rugs later, I moved the dining room table into one side of the living room (thank God it’s a big room), put down a waterproof tarp, and covered it with newspapers. She is content to go there and never misses. My job is to make sure the papers are fresh every day and to pick up the poop as provided. I always know when it’s been provided because of the lovely odor that wafts through the house. Did I mention how many cans of room deodorizer I go through because of this and Belle’s penchant for farting? KaChing!

Needless to say, I don’t have much company anymore unless they are extremely understanding and total dog lovers.

It’s a good thing I really love my dogs. My life would be simpler and my bank account fatter without them, but there’s no substitute for the unconditional love they give me.

I have gone to the dogs!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

I blotched it!

Current Spam Count = 792 (Solution working well)

My face doesn't like the ingredients in the majority of products on the market that will supposedly make me look younger and gorgeous. I learned over the years to stick to Olay because apparently they don't use some ingredient that makes me break out like some splotchy faced drunk.

However, occasionally I get stupid and veer from the few safe products I can use. I was really sick a couple of weeks ago and obviously it affected my ability to think because one night when I was putting some miracle cream on my feet, I decided if it would work on my feet it should work on my face. After looking at the list of ingredients - mostly aloe - I slathered some on my face. It felt cool and tingly and smelled very nice. In my delusional state, I thought it even made the lines and wrinkles that have begun to settle into my face look less noticeable. Wow! It works. So, I used it for the last couple of weeks.

As with all of these products, sometimes it can take a few days for the full effect to become evident. Today, I woke up with red splotches all over my face and neck. Now, if I worked from home, this wouldn't be a problem. I would just hide and wait for the reaction to subside and return to my old regimen. But, NO. I work in an office with 50 other people.

Most people would cover their splotches with make-up, but I can't do that because I haven't found anything I'm not allergic to. So, I'm sitting at my desk hoping most of the people here are too busy to wonder why I seem to be having a sustained hot flash.

The point is, foot creams are made for your feet and should not be used on your face. Occasionally I'm an idiot and must be reminded of that fact to prevent me from continually engaging in stupid behavior.

Lesson learned - until next time!