Showing 1 - 10 of 12 posts found matching keyword: kelley
Thursday 3 August 2023
In its entirety, the text message from my aunt reads
Hey, Have you been ducked?
Of all the things I could have possibly guessed she meant, one thing that definitely did not occur to me was this:
Apparently, placing a rubber duck on someone else's Jeep as a "compliment" has become a thing in 2023. Great. One more thing to dread.
The primary reason I leave my house as rarely as possible is because I don't enjoy interacting with other people. I don't mind that they exist, you understand, because I appreciate that many of those people make the amenities that make my life more comfortable. But I don't want to have to talk them. And I certainly don't want them to put anything on my vehicle.
That feels... invasive.
So if you want to trade petroleum-based products with other likeminded duckers, be my guest. But please leave me and my Jeep out of your water sports, people.
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Wednesday 24 May 2023
In hindsight, the biggest problem of my frequent blog posts complaining about the misguided preponderance of the poop emoji in unnecessary consumer goods is the undesired side effect of friends and family thinking that I actually want to encounter more of it.
For example, this is an actual gift that I received this past Christmas:
I will protect the anonymity of which of my mother's sisters thought this would be fun for Walter, but I will tell you that it's the same one who gave me a dancing
For the record, please do not buy things for me with the poop emoji on them. In fact, don't buy anything for me unless I explicitly ask you to. There's too damn much crap in this world already.
Also for the record, what inspired today's post (in addition to a desire to clean out my pictures folder) was the discovery of a poop emoji mousepad at Big Lots. Who needs that? Seriously. Who uses mousepads anymore?
Friday 28 April 2023
I go out of my way to be kind of a dick to people in the hope that they'll leave me alone. I do this even to my own family, especially my Mother's sister, Kelley.
My aunt has a very soft spot in her heart for dumb animals, which is why she has a house full of cats and tolerates a handyman who is literally too stupid to use a shovel effectively. Because I'm so much trouble, Kelley had this handman bury her most recently deceased cat. But the location he selected turned out to be full of tree roots, so he dug only a shallow hole and covered the shoebox coffin with a thin layer of dirt and a paving stone.
Can you guess where this is going?
In the night, another animal detected the decaying corpse's scent and dug it up. But not fully. The excavator didn't have the strength to remove the whole cat from the box. Kelley later discovered the dead cat's head emerging from the ground, like something from Pet Semetery. (And yes, there were maggots involved.)
Desperate for help, she bit the bullet and called me. So my strategy of being a dick ultimately resulted in my having to dig up a dead cat and re-bury it properly. In the rain.
As a reward for my hard work, my aunt gave me this:
Please click for sound.
Lesson learned. From now on, I'll be twice the asshole!
Sunday 15 January 2023
Less than a week after walking out, Dad's back in the hospital under orders of his new kidney doctor. Looks like he'll be there a while, too, which means I'm responsible for taking care of his poodle, Rambo, for the duration.
That's not too bad. Rambo is an old boy who spends most of his time napping, and Henry and Louis are appropriately cautious of Rambo's ill-temper. The most I really have to worry about here is whether my back can sustain carrying 65-pound Rambo up and down the stairs from my bedroom to the door outside a few times a day.
The bigger problem is that this also happens to be the week my mother and her sister have gone out of town to a veterinarian conference in Orlando. (No, neither one is a vet. This is just what passes for a vacation opportunity in post-COVID America.) So I, who am also not a vet, am also tending to Audrey and Kelley's 3 dogs and 4 cats (and to a lesser extent, 2 goats and a Shetland pony, though that mostly just means trips to Tractor Supply for Neigh Nibblers and Saddle Snacks).
Splitting my time between my house, Kelley's house, and the hospital has proven challenging. I may have bitten off more than I can chew. Some of these dogs are just going to have to take care of themselves.
Fortunately for all of us, I think they're more up to the task than I am.
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Saturday 2 January 2021
For Christmas, my aunt gave me a Libra 2021 Calendar ("Personalized Daily Horoscope Presented by The International Astrological Alliance, a Leading Resource on Astrology and The Zodiac").
Personally, I have never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful force controlling everything. But maybe that's because I've never been exposed to someone who really understood it all. Reading the back of the calendar, it says that "Libra can be possessive, smothering, insulting and sarcastic." If that wasn't written for me, I don't know what was.
Yesterday, on the first day of the year, my horoscope recommended that I should hang out with friends so that I could meet "someone who brags about every little thing." That doesn't sound like fun, but hey, maybe because I now know about it, I can avoid it, right? Thanks, horoscope.
On the other hand, today's entry reads:
Wedding bells may ring for many Librans in love. Others might get engaged. You can also meet interesting people at the wedding reception of a friend.
Um, I thought this was supposed to be personalized. Not only does that not sound like me or anyone I know, it also doesn't seem to have anything to do with 2021. Doesn't my horoscope know there's a pandemic on? "May ring"? "Might get engaged"? "Can also meet"? I've read things in cookies that were more definite and useful.
But maybe that's just one bad entry. Rather than throw it out, I've decided to hang the calendar in the most appropriate place I can think of: in my bathroom over my toilet. May the stars continue to be my guide in 2021.
Wednesday 2 December 2020
2020 killed my dog.
July beat cancer for the first time in 2016 after having her toe amputated. She beat it a second time when she had a portion of her ear removed in 2019. This past July, she had a mammary tumor removed. Three times seems to be the limit.
In late October, she got wobbly in the legs. We crossed our fingers that it was a spinal problem. She initially responded to treatment, but she took a turn for the worse about two weeks ago when she lost even the ability to stand with assistance. It was downhill from there.
So long as she was lucid and had an appetite, I felt it was my duty to support her however I could — I couldn't justify killing my dog simply because she had become inconvenient. But I realized late last night that we had probably reached the end of the line. (I'll save the gory details except to say that cancer can be a real bitch.) I had her euthanized this afternoon, and she died in my arms.
For the better part of the past decade, July had been my shadow. Her sister, Victoria, wanted to be near me; July *needed* to be near me. She followed me everywhere and complained to whoever would listen when she couldn't see me. I can't blame her. Who else was she going to get to take her for walkies or hand her a slice of pizza?
I already feel like I'm missing something when I walk into a room and don't hear the tappa-tappa of toenails trailing behind me. I keep looking for baby, and she's not there anymore and never will be again. That will take some getting used to.
Thanks to Kelley for bringing her into my life and thanks to Mom for being a substitute Walter when necessary over the years. Thanks to her vet, Jeff, for helping me keep her around as long as we did. (Fourteen years is a good, long life for a standard poodle!) And especially thanks to July for doing your best to make 2020 bearable for as long as you could.
I loved my girls.
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Thursday 28 November 2019
My contribution to Thanksgiving dinner 2019:
It's not just the first apple pie I've ever made from scratch, it's the first pie I've ever attempted. Turned out well, too. The recipe came from the Better Homes and Gardens Complete Step-By-Step Cookbook (1978). An oldie but a goody.
I'll have to raise the bar next year, but in the meantime, my next goal is gingerbread men for Christmas. I'll keep you posted.
ADDENDUM 1: I used Honeycrisp apples. Mom already had some Honeycrisp she wasn't enjoying as eating apples, so into the pie they went despite Friend Robin (and the recipe) calling for Granny Smith. (In fairness to the recipe, Honeycrisp wasn't introduced to the market until 1991, so it would have been real odd for a 1978 cookbook to recommend them.)
ADDENDUM 2: Leaving dinner, my aunt Kelley asked for "a small slice" to take home with her. As I started cutting what I considered a small slice, she shouted, "Not that small!" The piece that she ended up taking was not what I would call small, but I guess Kelley knows what she's doing. She's the lawyer, after all.
Wednesday 28 November 2018
My aunt's contribution to our Thanksgiving feast included stuffing, chocolate ice cream, and three dozen sugar cookies bought from the Kroger bakery.
The others ate the stuffing and ice cream. I ate the cookies. All of the cookies.
To be honest, I ate too many cookies. I don't know what Kroger put in them, but each was more delicious than the last. I. Just. Couldn't. Stop. Now I'm going through cookie withdrawal.
I thought I was through the worst of it when Mom went grocery shopping today... and returned with another three dozen cookies.
"I came around the aisle," she said, "and there they were, the only cookies on the table. The last batch. They wouldn't have been there if I wasn't supposed to buy them and bring them home for you."
So that's my Mom, who thinks that fate is trying to bring me and cookies together. Fate is not the boss of me! I'm an independent, rational, strong-willed individual. I can resist the allure of a basket of sweet, sweet sugar cookies.
DAMN YOU, COOKIES!
Tuesday 4 April 2017
About a zillion posts ago, I posted a pic of my grandmother's newspaper wedding announcement. At the time, Cam asked for a pic of my grandfather to accompany it. Never let it be said that Walter doesn't follow through! (Eventually.)
Okay, I confess. That's not just my grandfather, and this certainly isn't his wedding photo. This is three generations of his family circa 1979. From left to right, that's my grandmother, my mother, Trey, my grandfather, and my aunt Kelley standing in the backyard of my grandparent's house. I still haven't identified the dapper little member of the Lollipop Guild in the front row.
(This reminds me of a true story: not too many years after this, I attended a Georgia State University initiative for "gifted" children on Saturday mornings. A local magazine ran an article on the class. I was mentioned, described as a snaggletoothed youngster who wore a fake watch. I cannot deny that I had snaggleteeth, but my Mickey Mouse watch worked just fine, thank you!)
I'm guessing that my father was the cameraman. He was big into photography back in the day. I have no idea why the family was framed so far to the right. That's bad composition technique. Visual scanning tendency in Western culture leads the eye naturally to the bottom right of an image, so you should balance the composition by keeping focus away from that edge. Sorry, Dad, but not everyone is cut out for art school.
Thursday 12 May 2016
I had a poodle cartoon scheduled to run today, but sometimes life interferes with your plans. Victoria died at 5:25 AM. Her overtaxed heart gave out.
On Monday, April 25, Victoria collapsed at the end of her daily walk, so I took her in to see her vet the next day. He heard a "crackle" in her lungs, and given that I had noticed an occasional cough over the weekend, he prescribed a regimen of amoxicillin antibiotics. The next day, when her blood work came back from the lab showing a deficiency of thyroid hormone, we started her on levothyroxine treatment. But things only got worse.
The following Saturday, Victoria woke me up with a heavy, rapid breathing. Not exactly panting, but close. I took her back to the vet to see what could be the matter. He thought the likely culprit was the amoxicillin. It's rough on the stomach and common allergic responses include heavy breathing. Over the next few days, she didn't improve, so I stopped that treatment. When she still didn't get better, I stopped the levothyroxine, too. (It can have similar side effects.) Neither of these actions helped her.
By now, Victoria had no appetite and very little energy. So the vet called for radiographs of her heart and lungs on Tuesday, May 10 to see if he could find something we were missing. He did.
Her heart was abnormally enlarged and her lungs were filled with fluid. This was bad. Very bad. There were two possibilities: either the heart was causing damage to the lungs, or the lungs were causing damage to the heart. He scheduled an echocardiagram for the next day to figure out which possibility was the one hurting her. It turned out to be possibility three: a tumor.
Victoria had surgery to remove a mammary tumor last June. They just cut it out. That wasn't an option here. Honestly, neither was much of anything else. The tumor was aggressive and had already done a lot of damage. The fluid in her lungs wasn't actually in her lungs: it was serum that had leaked from her blood vessels into her thoracic cavity because of the bad pressure the tumor had created. Her whole circulatory and respiratory system was breaking down fast. Chemotherapy was the only treatment option for the tumor, and given the type of tumor and damage already done to her body, even that wasn't really an option. So I did the only thing I could do: I took my dog home to die.
I was told to expect that she wouldn't survive two weeks, so I tried to make her last days special. I gave her a haircut because she typically appreciated that sort of personal attention. (She lay still, but I know she loved to be touched.) I took her for a ride in the Jeep to pick up her favorite food, pepperoni pizza crust. (She refused to eat it, but I could tell that she enjoyed the smell.) And at night, I let her have the best spot in the bed: mine.
She didn't get to live out those two weeks. Sixteen days after her initial collapse and not even 16 hours after her ultimate diagnosis, she passed away beside me on the floor. She'd gotten up at 4:40 AM struggling to breathe. I lay down with her until long after her heart finally gave out. She took my heart with her when she left. I loved that dog.
Thank you, Kelley, for finding her. Thank you, Mom, for giving her to me. Thank you, Jeff, for trying to save her life. Thank you, July, for being so patient with your Sister until the end. Thank you, Victoria, for brightening my life for the past 7 years.
The poodle comic scheduled to run in today's space will be seen tomorrow.
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