Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankfulness

As I get ready to head over a river (well, a man-made lake) and through some woods, I wish all of who still happen by these parts a happy thanksgiving. May your day be a good one, and may you not be alone, unless that is what you want. And most of all, I hope you can find at least one thing to be thankful for. I know I get down at times, frustrated by various things. But I am thankful that I can be thankful. 


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Jagoffs are everywhere and perception is reality.

Last night I watched, on live TV, some jagoffs smash the windows of several businesses in Ferguson. I saw even more people steal bottles of liquor. My suspicion is that most of those thugs don't care about Michael Brown or his family. Some of those same criminals would have probably at least vandalized businesses even if the grand jury reached a different conclusion.

So thanks to those idiots (and I really want to use a stronger noun), people are painting the entire town and/or supporters of Brown with the same brush. And perhaps as unfortunate, their actions may discourage peaceful protesters. And most unfortunate, there will be those who say (and have already done so on social media) that the actions of those criminals somehow prove that Michael Brown was a thug and that his killing was justified and/or the officer who killed him did so with reason. 

All of this because some goons committed multiple crimes. And I bet if you asked them if they felt bad for what they did and how it tainted perceptions, most would not care. 

It makes me so sad, how the actions of a few can have such far-reaching effects and so greatly affect perceptions. You go to WVU? You must like to burn couches! You are a Ravens fan? You must think it is okay to hit a woman. You are a Republican? You must hate the poor. You are a Catholic? You must think it is okay that priests molest boys.

Racism and discrimination are still happening. Police brutality still exists. People commit crimes. And sometimes people get it wrong.

Be thankful if you are not on the giving or receiving of end of any of the above.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

I may hate furniture shopping even more than I hate going to Walmart!

Our couch and leather recliner in the den are pretty much destroyed, thanks to Sadie, who never met a piece of furniture or carpet that she did not want to dig at. I never much cared for the couch anyway, and it is almost 13 year old, so we decided to replace both of them.

The hubs had this brilliant idea of getting a sectional with a cup holder feature in between one of the love seats. I am not a fan of those, but I gave in, mostly because he had me sold on the chaise. Yesterday, while J and I were at my mom's, he went to a furniture store, found a set he liked, and emailed me a pic of it, which included a chaise. I liked it okay, so the three of us went to see it today.

I was expecting to be in and out of there within 30 minutes. We went over to the set, and I liked it  better in person (though still did not love it). But once he sat on the chaise for a couple of minutes, the hubs realized it was not as comfortable as he thought. Worse was when you reclined the chaise (which I thought was cool), you were left with a gap in the cushion where the small of your back would be.

So we looked at many other sets and pieces of furniture. J and I found a nice one, with a chaise large enough to fit both of us. I was sold, and even willing to spend more money, until the hubs measured it. Unfortunately, our den is an odd shape and quite small; we basically have 8'x8' to fit furniture. This long chaise would pretty much give us a foot between the end of that and the TV. Maybe. So we examined many other possibilities, and we still could not come to a decision.

I suggested going to another, typically more expensive, store, against everyone else's wishes. Turns out they were right: This store was advertising prices of 50% off. But with that discount, most sectionals were still between $1,500 and 3,000. Which means they were regularly priced between $3,000 and $6,000. Who would pay $3,000 for a loveseat?! (Unless you were wealthy, of course.)

By this time, we had been gone for close to two hours, so we stopped at a local Mexican restaurant for lunch. That was our third and last time at that place, let me tell you. Over 30 minutes into our being there, when our drinks were empty and there was no sign of our lunch arriving, the server apologized for the slow service because of a large party. That info would have been nice from the get-go, or at least 15 minutes earlier. Once we got our meals, he never came back to check on us. And when we got our bill, I almost choked--the guacamole and sour cream I had asked for on the side/as an extra cost $5.50. That was more than half the cost of my lunch. When I gave the server our credit card, I told him that I wish he would have told me the cost of those things when I asked for them, as I never would have gotten them (I did not notice them as an upcharge on the menu; Mad Mex, which I love, charges $1.50 for guacamole; sour cream is free upon request).

Not particularly happy, the three of us tried another furniture store, which was just about as expensive as the second one. So we headed back to store number 1. We decided to get a reclining loveseat with the console/drink holder, and then find a coordinating second love seat. After about 15 or 20 minutes, we thought we knew what we wanted. Then the hubs explained to me that the second loveseat would actually be in front of the "fancy" love seat; the two pieces would not be shaped like an L, as I had envisioned. Thinking about how silly that would look, I said to forget it. Then hubs had another idea: What if we got the reclining loveseat and then just a chair and ottoman perpendicular to that? At this point, close to four hours after we had left home, I did not care if we bought bean bags. So we found a red (!) reclining leather chair with ottoman, that would at least not be in front of the loveseat, and we ordered it and the fancy loveseat.

I don't love either of them. What is worse (for me) is that we can now seat fewer people (two on the loveseat, because it has the console in between, and one person on the chair) as compared to the four or even five we fit on our couch and recliner before. And I would have loved to have spent that money on five other things.

But I just could not stand it anymore. I had to get out of there, and we had spent so much time that I hated to come away with nothing.

Walmart: You are looking better and better.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The little things still get me (but I'm doing okay)

About 72.5 hours removed from saying good bye to my dog and I am getting through it. 

As I have said over and over, I did not think it would be that/this hard. But I did not have much to compare it to.

Waking up Tuesday was pretty bad, just knowing I no longer had Sadie. It was so sad peering down the steps and not seeing her there, either waiting on the other side of the gate or sleeping beyond the gate in the living room. Of course the gate wasn't up either. And there was no dog to take out or feed, yet we still could not leave on time.

I managed to get through work on Tuesday, not without tears a few times. I was glad a coworker suggested lunch out. I cried even then. But by mid-afternoon, I was able to get on Facebook and post a small tribute to my dog. I cried on the way home and several more times that evening. I was dismayed, for some reason, that I left my bedroom door open, when I had felt so sad about not having to close it when I left my room that morning. I swore I heard Sadie a few times; I did look for her once or twice. Most of the evening was a blue. But I did hug my kid really hard a few times. :-)

Yesterday was better; I could actually talk to coworkers. My eyes welled with tears just a few times. Choir was a good diversion. 

This morning, unlike the last two, Sadie was not my first thought; she was my second. Progress. Later in the morning, the Western PA Humane Society, which is where we adopted Sadie (née Shorty) from, posted a pic of a dog who looked a lot like Sadie. That was sad and weird, and for a brief minute I decided that we had to get another pit bull. Soon. I am mostly over that. Mostly.

I think I have gone several waking hours without crying today. Progress!

I feel bad that I practically scoffed at people who seemed so upset at the death of a pet. I get it now. I guess when a dog is part of your life for over 12 years (longer than I've had my kid), it makes sense that you would be greatly affected.

I know I will be okay, although I am sure I will miss Sadie for quite some time. But I know I am not alone.



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I did not think it would hurt this much.

Two months ago, I started a blog for/about our dog Sadie, just after we found out she had cancer. I was hopeful writing would be cathartic; I was particularly concerned how J would handle it and thought if nothing else, it would give her a chance to write happy things about our beloved dog.

As with a lot of things, J started out enthusiastically, but in time, she did not have much to say. Plus school got in the way. 

But I managed to write a good bit and post some good pics. I hope to continue it for awhile. 

But just 23.5 hours removed from Sadie's death, I am still devastated. I never would have guessed it would have affected me this way.

Sure, I'm a crier, but as been documented here, I cry for strange things. Not for my own wedding or birth of my child, but for strangers on TV. I definitely cry for tragic events (9/11, in particular), but I also cry when I see certain commercials. I did not cry when my aunt or Bri's grandfather died a few years ago, yet every year when I see Penn State THON canners canning, my eyes well up.

I was sure I would cry when Sadie went, and I have teared up a bit this weekend, particularly Sunday night. But I did not anticipate the gut-wrenching feelings that would ensue once she was gone. I got home last night and cried for almost an hour. It felt as if someone was sitting on my chest. I kept saying her name. It was unimaginable how much I had missed her. I would stop for a few minutes (TV was a good distraction), but start back up. J cried a bit, but God bless her, went back to studying for her math test. 

I spend the night at my mom's about once a month (it used to be every other week), and I would kiss Sadie good bye, but not necessarily miss her (though I always asked the hub about her when J and I would call to say good night). So how could it hurt so much so soon?

Probably 14 or more years ago, a coworker at my last job sent an email titled "Unspeakable Grief." In it she said her dog died. I thought the title was dramatic and profound, but I could not relate. Yet that title was burned into my memory, as I often wondered if I would someday feel a similar way.

So many years later, I know now just how she was feeling. Because I can't really speak about it. I don't want to talk about it. I can write about here, because no one will talk back to me as I write these words. I have yet to answer texts from well-meaning friends. 

And I cannot bring myself to get on Facebook, which is amazing for me. Sunday night I posted a funny pic of Sadie; a friend commented on it, asking how Sadie was doing, and I commented back that she was not well and that we were saying good bye the next day. Friends that happened to read that comment posted a lot of thoughtful and supportive comments, but I could not bring myself to acknowledge them. Maybe when I get into work, I will feel differently.

I so just want to stay home today and feel sorry for myself, but that will do no good. And thankfully I am busy at work, so hopefully that will help. But I dread walking in there. Because my coworkers know what was going to happen. And as soon as the first person says something, I am going to cry. And let me tell you, waterproof mascara apparently does not mean tear-proof. Or maybe you can cry only so much before it fails.

To anyone out there who has lost a pet and felt the heart-crushing loss, I now understand your pain.

And I so very much wish I did not.