Monday, December 26, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Chocolate Mint Cookies
Yield 3 to 4 dozen
* 3/4 cup butter
* 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons water
* 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
* 2 eggs
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 (4.5 ounce) packages Andes Mints
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar, butter and water, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove from heat, stir in the chocolate chips until melted and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
2. Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl, and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Roll cookie dough into walnut sized balls and place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, be careful not to overbake. When cookies come out of the oven, Press one mint wafer into the top of each cookie and let sit for 1 minute. When the mint is softened, swirl with the back of a spoon or toothpick to make a pattern with the green filling of the mint wafer. For smaller cookies, break mints in half.
Warning: Don't double the recipe. They're great cookies & they're easy peasy to make, but I got really tired of baking after the first 4 dozen. We have over 100 mint chocolate cookies. I only needed 36. Maybe we had 120 before I ate some.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
snowflake's story on petfinder <------
And today I got a thank you card with 2 photos of her in the mail! Seriously - two of the cutest pictures of this silly thing laying with her belly exposed. Little feet up in the air. They say she's getting better. She still sleeps a lot but that she got out and played in the snow last week!
The card makes me so happy I want to do a little dance when I walk by it.
Dog rescue community once again redeems itself. : )
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Do you lose your mind when you're left alone? Ok then, we can be sure we place you in a home with other animal friends so you never feel abandoned. Or do you freak out & get aggressive when other animals come near your food or your stuff? That's okay. You're probably best in a single dog home. There are lots of those. Do fast moving little kids freak you out? Ok, we'll keep that in mind too. Or in Fannie's case, do you crap on your mom's pillow when you're mad at her? Yeah, none of us are perfect. It's good to know that you're a weirdo before we get fully involved.
And now I feel good about the dog rescue process again. I'm excited to maybe someday help this group out with their fostering & event planning & fund raising. Like-mindedness is underrated.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
People like this are all over in the animal rescue world. It's awful. It makes me not even want to work with them.
When I worked with the greyhound rescue we had the same kind of nut job as a president. She scared away potential adopters left & right because she was high pressure and intimidating & often times down right mean. It was embarrassing. Fortunately since then that group has got a new president and the number of adoptions have doubled.
Get a grip, people. Yes you're doing something important but keep it in perspective. It's not as if you're saving the world and you're God's gift because of that. You're dealing with humans. They can walk away and get a dog elsewhere if you insult them.
No wonder these poor pups have been on petfinder for so many months. I feel awful for them.
So sad. Crappy day.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Here are the 4 I would like to adopt today:
I want to take all four of them and put them in my bed and watch tv. I want to put them all in my car and drive them to the beach. I'm embarrassed at my inability to pick a dog. Like I'm waiting for some devine signal. The dogs are all just waiting for someone to come get them. : (
Monday, December 5, 2011
Anyhow, I decided to do that because I've been depressed. Like my life is getting away from me. And although I didn't really expect it, I actually feel better. I think it might be because I'm no longer subjecting myself to an endless stream of selectively shared awesome parts of other peoples lives. That was a long sentence but I think you know what I mean. I'm not blasted daily with pictures of smiling babies and beach vacations. And suddenly I feel so much more present.
Don't get me wrong. I think facebook is good. Sharing the happy stuff in life is good. I just have some issues and have been in dire need of a reality check. I get confused & start to imagine that everyone elses lives consist only of smiling babies & beach vacations. And I start to think something's seriously wrong with me because I don't have these things. Maybe if people posted photos of their windowless cubicles and long commutes, I could realize that my own life probably isn't all that inadequate.
I mean, yeah, my life could be better, but it's still good.
Also, I realized pretty quickly that if I want know how someone is doing, I need to interact with them now. I can't just browse their page anonymously. And to interact with someone, I have to call them. Or write them an email, which requires that I have their personal email address. And this made me realize how falsely connected to some people I am. Real interaction with people is nice. It makes me happy.
And then the day after I quit facebook I went to a cat circus. Suddenly, for a moment, I really regretted quitting because I couldn't post any pictures to show everyone how great a real live cat circus is! It was hard. But I can post cat circus pictures here, right? Take a look:
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Farm animals stress me out because they aren't taken care of like house pets are. But I have to face the fact that from now until the end of time there will be farm animals. They will be trampled and branded and kept in boxes and will have to ride on semi trucks in sub zero temperatures. Even El Presidente couldn't stop these things from happening if he wanted to.
I am a sensitive person. That's a fact. : (
Monday, September 19, 2011
From what I understand, in the wild they like to rest on plants near the surface of little puddles, and this kind of simulates that. And he actually really likes it. As soon as we put it in his tank he swam over and sat on it. I feel like he's doing a trick for us and so I squeal and clap my hands for him. I am officially maintaining the most boring blog ever.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
...and he died.
Poor dude. This is upsetting. Having sick pets is always upsetting. Even when you've only had the pet for an hour. Apparently I will go to decent lengths to save pets. I even walked an extra 15 minutes carrying heavy stuff in 90 degree heat to go get him a frozen pea from the grocery store. (You see, we suspected he was bloated because he had been fed too much. This makes fish constipated, and they sometimes float sideways. On the internet they prescribe mashed up frozen peas for fish, to get them regulated and pooping again). But I guess we were too late.
See, sometimes fish, they play dead, and then they start swimming again. I'm pretty sure he's dead, but I can't bring myself to flush him until I know for sure, so I'll check on him again after breakfast tomorrow. I am hopeful.
Dang, Sushy. I thought you were gonna be our new little buddy.
Now what do we do?
Sunday, August 28, 2011
I got married. It was fun. It was beautiful. It went perfectly and I never plan to do it again.
Maybe I'll post a picture when I get around to going through all 700+ of them. I feel like that's more of a February/March job. Sorting through wedding pictures.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
I've worked really hard today. I'm not done with what needs to be done, but I never will be. It's beautiful out, and I need new shoes. I'm going to DSW.
Friday, July 8, 2011
But I know that's bull. You just have to work a lot harder to figure out that balance.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
So what is it that I want? I want trees and grass. I want a short commute. I want real friends nearby. I want people to play music with. And a practice space. Maybe a community of musicians who I could go and watch weekend after weekend. Like the old times. I want time to go and see these people and do things with them after my work day.
These things don't seem so unattainable. Yet, where are they? After 9 years here, I'm starting to think they're not in Chicago.
Detroit, now that is just an illusion. At this point in time it's still pretty depressing, so let's just keep it at that.
Is there any work for us in Seattle?
I need to figure this out so that I can start working on it and don't waste any more time.
Friday, June 24, 2011
If you are invited to something that requires an RSVP, you should RSVP. No one writes that to look fancy. No. They're doing it because they don't want to spend money on your meal and gifts if you're not coming. Also, when you decline, it's nice to say thanks for the invite. Someone made a decision to invite you. You didn't need to get that invite.
For our wedding, for example, there is a stack of invites that haven't been given out because we don't have room, yet only one person from my extended family has RSVPd. I know they know whether they're coming. But they don't care to tell me. Ugh. And for our shower tomorrow only one person RSVPd without being prompted. Ugh. I feel like such a chump because the person throwing the party just spent 2x the money & effort that was necessary.
So yeah. RSVP.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
But I'm still feeling like I'm missing something.
Maybe it's because I spend 8 waking hours sitting at a desk in a windowless building under flourescent lighting. And then I spend another 3 or 4 hours sitting in bumper to bumper traffic. And arrive home to my house on a street in the city with no trees or grass medians. But dang, I just want to touch a tree. I want to walk on some grass with bare feet after work. I want one of those guns that goes on the end of your garden hose and lets you make misty rainbows. I want to ride my bike on a sidewalk.
More than ever, I really just want to move to the suburbs and recreate the life my parents made for me as a kid. I don't know why that seems so far off. 4 or so more years of living in the city and it'll be done. I'm not alone now, and my other half is not ready to move out of the city just yet. Admittedly, he's got a pretty sweet commute with our current situation.
But if I were alone in life I would've moved to a place in the burbs with a yard long ago. And maybe it's for the better that life worked out this way, because the idea of me living alone in the burbs in my late 20's is really quite depressing. But when I do finally get there in my late 30's with a little family in tow, it'll seem like all that much more of a relief.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
If you know me, you know this girl doesn't know what to do with that rolling pin that's on the list. But I will learn.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Not to mention, tomatoes from the grocery store are terrible. I want to make my own.
I guess a birdbath wouldn't be a bad idea either. I spent 30 minutes watching videos of finches on youtube today.
But for a number of reasons, in the city we stay for at least 5 more years. Until then I'll supplement my life with planter boxes on my wooden deck three stories up. I think I can do better with the boxes this year. I can also make an effort to get home earlier to water them before Zach beats me to it. Maybe that's the problem. I don't think he understands he'd actually be doing me a favor by LEAVING them for me to take care of. New approach. I'll have to bring it up to him.
I forget when it's okay to plant pansies. Is it okay yet? Too early? Is it going to snow again?
Friday, March 4, 2011
I really just wanted something that was the same color as the current wall, but maybe a hair less saturated. I never thought it would be so difficult.
It's raining so hard and steadily. I'm supposed to be studying but I'm sitting on the bed and it's been a long week and it's all making me so sleeeepy....
I sure do miss my study buddy. Over Christmas break we would sit on the bed together for hours on end and she would only take breaks when Zach would come upstairs to come get her for walkies.
Tomorrow I'm going to finally take back all the aquarium supplies I bought in a fit of sadness the day after she died. If I am going to get fishies I need to think about it a little more. I need to be sure I have the right spot for them and our house has been a bit of a construction zone.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
But the world is churning out its demands as always. Moreover, I've got my hand in so many things that none of them are making progress. Nothing is moving forward. And this feels awful. It's got to stop. But I need help figuring out how. These are days when I really really really miss my little buddy. I know she wouldn't have the answers I need, but tonight I would have come home and held her and rocked back and forth until the shouting in my head had stopped. And she would have been happy about it.
I want to know when I'll start to feel a little peace again.
Here's a picture of the back of a Queen Anne's lace I picked this summer while waiting in a Meijers Parking lot to see some hot air balloons float over.
Queen anne's lace is my favorite flower..
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Today is Sunday. I've spent the whole rainy day home alone (I mean totally alone) and it sucks. I'm sorry but it's been over a week now and I just can't believe my dog is gone. I keep half pretending she's with my parents in Michigan and that I'll be going to get her soon. This is bullshit and I feel like it shouldn't have happened. Though there's nothing to indicate that we could've stopped it. God. I don't know. I'm so mad.
Just filed taxes for 2010 and it looks like the refunds will cover her medical bills. So, terrific. Really, I am glad for that although it would've been nice to spend that on our wedding.
I did spend some time hunting down songs for our wedding playlist this morning and that was fun. I should probably uh.. find a dj.
The last thing I really want to do right now is have a party, but Zach says that maybe in 5 months time I'll feel a little differently.
The title of this post is so dorky.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
I hear it's warm out today, though I've been in my windowless cube for most of it. Good for melting the ugliness away. I love snow when it's new, but this is the kind of thing that remains through most of March, so I welcome a good thaw:
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Last week I had ordered some special vitamins for her off the internet and they showed up in the mail yesterday afternoon. I will be going back to Paws to hand thse off these as well. I hope they can use them.
Tonight I'll drop off the chewy sticks she got for Christmas to the puppy downstairs. And some of her tennis balls. She was never into tennis balls anyway.
I've moved a couple small things in the house to make the gaping holes less obvious.
Things seem to be getting a little easier day by day and I don't know how I feel about it. Yesterday I cried about 7 times at my desk. Today only 2. Now make that 3. I need to shake the feeling that I'm forsaking her by having good days. The weather is going to be 60 degrees on Thursday and my pup would want me to still go out on a long walk without her, so I'll try to do that too.
I've been kind of throwing myself into researching fish tanks, and well, it does help a little. It's something for Zach and I to do. Fish. How cliche.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Once your pet has died, do NOT read any more about the disease. You will definitely read things that will make you doubt yourself. Stop. Stop. Stop. You read more than most people and probably knew more than the vets at that point. Yes you maybe should've contacted Dr. Dodds out in CA right away rather than waiting until we realized nothing was working, but as we knew it, the vets were doing everything correctly. You went with what you knew at the time. You had read so much already. Fannie probably would have never responded to the medications, but maybe the surgical procedures wore her out and made the battle end more swiftly. At the time you knew this was the pretty standard course of action and we had to do it to figure out what was wrong. I don't know. But you put a lot of thought into each decision that was made. You tried very very hard for her. Please stop researching now. You are only hurting yourself. You did not kill your dog. You did not kill your dog. You did not kill your dog.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
This is my nightmare: Fannie had severe separation anxiety for as long as we've had her. I worry that by having left her at the hospital for the last four days, we might have made her feel like we had abandoned her. I realize that if we had kept her at home I would be dealing with a different kind of guilt. If I'd not let her stay at the hospital I would've hated myself for not giving her the round the clock care and monitoring that she needed. So really, it was a no-win situation. I would feel guilty no matter what I did. But I still can't seem to shake the thought that during her darkest hours we may have broken her heart by leaving her. If she had passed without us being there, I probably would require mental help right now. I mean, maybe more so than I already do. It worries me so much that I feel like I might get sick.
But I just have to know that guilt is normal. I have to know that everyone goes through this. I need to hang in there and not beat myself up and keep making the right decisions to keep myself healthy.
Things that are making me feel worse today:
- Looking at photos (oddly enough, this made me feel better yesterday).
- Thinking of her last days (if I could erase this from my memory I would, but some images are burned into my mind now).
- Thinking of gathering up her things and letting go of them (even the awful princess costume).
- Throwing out her medicines.
- Thinking she might see these things happening, and think we don't love her anymore.
- Talking to her in my head.
- Writing her name in the tags field of this blog post.
- Accidentally dropping a piece of food on the floor and realizing I have to pick it up.
- Listening to any music. Seriously. Just stop it, world.
Things that are making me feel better today:
+ Talking to PAWS about donating her things to other dogs. They are willing to take them when I'm ready.
+ Cleaning my house. Seriously, I don't know how or why, but doing dishes and laundry are helping me. Not so much washing her blankets, but that had to be done too.
+ Watering my plants.
+ Browsing the animal rescue sites, knowing that there are other animals out there that need us. Dreaming of some day getting to the point where I could help another one. Wondering if that dog is out there already and just waiting for us to heal before presenting himself.
I'm also thinking it might be time to rescue some feeder goldfish again. I think it could be good to have them in the house. Watching them swim is peaceful & therapeutic. Their existence might make our house feel less lonely. And it could be helpful to get into the routine of taking care of them. Yes, I know goldfish die easily, but not so much if you put them in the right environment with the right amount of oxygen, and that is what I'd do.
Also, I should probably get dressed and leave the house.
Friday, February 11, 2011
I'm so thankful for the support we've gotten from friends. It has really truly helped us over these last two weeks. This is so hard and will continue to be hard for a long time I'm sure. I don't know what to do with myself.
I am so grateful that you held on and waited until we were with you. I am so grateful that you went peacefully and on your own. That was one last great thing you did for us and I won't forget it. I'm trying to take comfort in the fact that we did everything we possibly could to give you a fighting chance. I will never have doubts or regrets. You are by far the sweetest little thing I've known. Your love for me was so humbling. I never knew what I did to deserve for a little thing like you to be so crazy about me. I will try not to remember you as sick. We had a great five and a half years together. I will remember you as silly, energetic, docile, loving. I'll remember how great it was to get home from vacations and business trips and be reunited with you. And I'll remember falling asleep, you curled up at my belly as if we were spooning every night. I will remember waking up to your stinky feet in my face. I'll remember your kisses. I'll remember how your bald bottom would change colors when you were excited. I hope you know how much we all loved you. I think you do.
Please spend some time with Peanut. I think you will like her. She was also sweet and gentle. I can't wait to see you again some day. And please watch over Daddy and I as we try to get used to the fact that you're gone. I already miss you so much. Love. So much love.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
My baby. This is so incredibly hard. You've gone downhill so fast. Please turn the corner and come back home. They say it's still possible. We're doing everything we can.
I hope you heard me tonight when I told you that I loved you. That you're a good girl. And we can't wait for you to come home. Please get better.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Retesting in the morning.
They say she isn't eating. I bet she'd be more likely to eat if she could come home.
But we like that the vet wants to keep her to monitor her. He wants to see this Cyclosporine (medicine #6) kick in.
So do I. But I also want her to come home. I miss my dog. I know she misses us.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Fannie's donor dog's name this week was named Bianca. I wish I could write a thank you letter to Bianca and her owners.
I wonder what kind of dog Bianca is. I like to think she is a greyhound.
Doggie seems to be having another good day too. She spends most of her time in one spot, just observing. But she is taking an interest in things. Enough that she was up and around and underfoot a couple times while I was cleaning. I've never been so happy to trip over her. : )
Friday, February 4, 2011
Oh. The vet visit!
Not really knowing where to park the car and in all the excitement we accidentally ended up at the vet an hour early. The office was oddly quiet and he was able to spend lots of time with us. I think they even did a biopsy of a lump on fannie's back for free, just to rule that out as a potential underlying cause. And for some weird reason when we got there Fannie became kind of peppy. She managed to make a fool of us in the best way by not doing the wheezing we wanted the Dr. to see, and eating like a freaking pig when he put some special food in front of her. And better yet - her red blood cell read at 18%! That's 1 point better than the day after her transfusion! Granted, there's a pretty big margin of error on these reads from what I understand, but at least it's no 13% like on Saturday. This meant no transfusion for now! Fannie gets to stay at home with us!
My poor baby has been poked by so many needles in the last 6 days it's just awful. Unless her behavior takes a sharp turn for the worse, she doesn't have to go back for a full week!
Her mood has been pretty good today. She's still pretty weak right now and she will be for a while, but today her tail has been wagging and she perks up when we're in the kitchen. She chows down on the hamburger & rice that I made for her. And her nose is getting a little more wet. She's started doing her downward dog stretches before we take her out, and the silly girl, in all her weakness still managed to climb all the way up to her favorite spot on the top of the back of the couch when we were gone.
Here's hoping this trend continues!
Thursday, February 3, 2011
I can't believe this hasn't even been a week. I have to figure out how to be fully informed but not allow myself to be absorbed by this. It's so incredibly hard because the disease requires that you observe observe observe for every little fluctuation in her behavior.
I want to know what to expect. I'm terrified that this will drag on and on and fannie will spend more days feeling awful than feeling good. I'm worried that I will make the wrong decisions and try to prolong her life when it isn't worth living.
Anyhow, that doom and gloom aside, here's an update: This morning fannie couldn't hold it and she had an accident on the rug. This is expected. The medicines are going to make her have to pee constantly. Since she's too weak to get around much, I've been bringing her up and down the 3 flights of stairs with a small carrier that the neighbor lent us. It's been a lifesaver. As soon as we're able to get to a store I'm going to need to invest in one of these so that I can return this one.
A minute ago when I brought her upstairs I set the carrier down, unzipped it, and she just sat there for a few minutes, not wanting to stand up to walk out.
We have our next vet appointment at 4:20 today to check her blood levels. Good news would be that her levels have not dropped below 16. Anything lower than 15 would be stressful. Anything at about 13 or lower will probably mean she goes back to the hospital for another transfusion and has to be away from us for another couple days which is really hard on her. Based on the fact that the medicines haven't had much time to start working, and the rate at which her levels dropped from Saturday to Monday, I really expect her to have to go back for another transfusion soon.
I'm trying to mentally psyche myself up for the trek to the vet's office in a few hours.
Here is a picture of the front of our house yesterday morning. As of now, the street still hasn't been plowed and the city has no plans to clear our alley where our car is trapped.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Anyway, spending the night away from Fannie during the worst snowstorm I've ever witnessed was incredibly hard. With wind gusts up to 60 mph I pictured my poor sick, weak baby fighting to stand up outside, let alone do her business in the blustery snow.
Today for most of the day we were literally snowed in. Our street was impassable and our car will most likely be stuck in the garage in the unplowed alley for days.
We were able to pick up Fannie from the hospital this afternoon. We headed out on foot and by train, and came home by cab. The 8 mile round trip took us 3 hours.
But now we're home.
Even though I feel a little trapped & helpless with no transportation and the state of things outside.
I don't know.
Right now she's laying next to me in her sweater to keep her warm since her blood won't really do that job right now. Her breathing is a little labored and I'm trying not to let that freak me out, because the vets told us that labored breathing is one of the signs of a blood clot, and that for the rest of her life Fannie is at a high risk of blood clots, which we would not be able to do much about... and ugh. That was a long sentence.
I've been reading everything I can on Fannie's disease. I want to be a realist, but I want to know for certain that I've done everything I can for her.
I can't believe she's on four different drugs right now. I hate to think she may have to be on them for the rest of her life.
I can't seem to come to terms with the fact that I'm probably going to lose her to this disease sooner or later. Zach seems to get upset when I talk like this, but I'm afraid of being delusional. I need to be prepared.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I'm so glad we did that.
On Saturday her red blood cells were at 13%. By Monday they had dropped to 10%, which required a blood transfusion. At the emergency vet we learned a few more things:
1. Her bone marrow is still working, just not well enough. (That's relatively good news)
2. Fannie has a confirmed case of primary IMHA.
3. There's not an underlying cause. That's kind of harder news. If she had done something like eaten a penny or rat poison, we could've fixed her right up. Easy peasy. But this is not the case, and so it's going to be a trial & error roller coaster to get her back in working order.
She made it through the transfusion and her numbers are up to 17%. This is good. Now we wait to see if the medicines they give her will help her to maintain that level and get better.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia
Her red blood cell percent measured at 13% Saturday morning. For doggies, normal is about 40%. At about 10% they require dog blood transfusions. Basically, her immune system is attacking itself. It is confused and thinks that her red blood cells are bad. We've started her on an aggressive dose of steroids to suppress her immune system so that it might stop what it's doing. So far she's been lethargic & pretty much uninterested in eating. I hope that changes once the medicine starts working.
I spent much of yesterday crying, and most of today researching IMHA. From what I gather, the way she responds to the steroids over the next few days will make all the difference. I've read stories of doggies that make it a week, and stories of doggies that make it another 6 years after diagnosis. She may pull out of this and never ever need medicine again! Or she may need medicine for the rest of her life. Either way, we have an emotional roller coaster and some big vet bills ahead. She goes back to the vet on Tuesday at 5 to see if the medicines are working. Keep her in your thoughts.
Needless to say, I didn't get any GMAT studying in this weekend. So very sad.