My Crazy Life – October 26, 2011 – “Nana May I”

Today was early dismissal and I picked up the grandchildren. Andrew had a fist full of reward certificates that he has earned for being good. He had several for “Eat with a friend”, “Water Passes”, and even one to “Eat with the teacher”, although he indicated he may let that particular one expire. He chatted non-stop while we waited in the pickup line for Cara.

Cara hopped in the car and took over the air space with her chatter. They were both in a good mood and bantered back and forth all the way back to the house. The dogs greeted them with lots of licks. Calypso hopped up on Cara and was taller than she is. She wanted that lick at all cost.

We eventually wound up on the front porch playing “Nana, May I”, our version of “Mother, May I”. I was evil today and decided to have some fun. I had Andrew duck waddling and Cara hopping. Then, I gave Andrew the instruction to pirouette six steps forward. After informing me that he would probably hate me at some point in the future, he complied (laughing the entire time.) Then, it was Cara’s turn. I instructed Cara to turn around (facing me as she was facing the opposite direction) and take five steps backwards. She had a frown until Andrew caught on and explained it. Then, she was all smiles. I do love this game now that I am an adult!

Hubby’s cousin owns the dry cleaners that we use. For many years, they owned German Shepherds, so as anyone would be apt to think, I thought the wife loved the dogs. That turned out not to be true and I almost gave the woman a heart attack! I stopped off on my way home from obedience class and went in to tell her I had something I wanted to show her. Thank goodness she was in the doorway about 20 feet away because when I opened the back door to the suburban, she let out a blood curdling scream that may have woken the dead in the cemetery down the road. She was freaking out. I was freaking out. Ryka and Calypso were freaking out. I didn’t know what was going on.

Turns out, she is deathly afraid of dogs, especially German Shepherds. I didn’t know. I felt so horrible. She told me that she never touched them and if she had to feed them, she put on gloves. She told me she would drive into the garage and they stayed outside. Hubby told me that they had dogs for twenty years. I just assumed that she liked them. Thank goodness, I did not bring them in with me. I had to calm her down and believe me when I say that she was screaming like a banshee (whatever that is.) Then, I had to calm the dogs down. What a nightmare!

Since today was early dismissal, I cancelled Calypso’s final lesson until Friday. That gives me two more days to work with her. WE WILL GRADUATE! Since I woke her from her nap this morning, she was pretty good on the leash, although her new thing is to hold the leash in her mouth. I am trying to break her of this habit, but at least she heels. I guess I should mention, she has no choice – it’s a two-foot leash! After making several rounds up and down the drive way, I made her sit (she must have been tired because she actually listened) and I took the leash off her. Once I released her, she then followed me for another lap before sitting in the shade.

Then, I decided to try something (I can never leave well enough alone.) I dangled the leash next to me while I was walking rather than tucking it into my pocket. It wasn’t long before Calypso took the bait – or the leash – and was walking along side me. I am concluding that she doesn’t mind listening so long she is in charge – or thinks she is – or maybe she is.

 

Donna

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My Crazy Life – October 25, 2011 – Dogs ARE like children

I know I probably seem like a broken record these days, as my life seems to revolve around the dogs. Obedience class and practicing the commands we are learning is very time consuming.

Calypso has such a stubborn streak! She actually reminds me of one of my daughters. From the time my daughter was very young – about the time she started to put together sentences – she would answer in a complete sentence to avoid saying, “Yes mam, No sir”, etc. You will get where I am going with this in a moment.

Before allowing Calypso and Ryka to come in, I make them “sit and wait” until I open the door and invite them in – after me, (same goes for going outside.) Ryka wants to come in and does not mind following the command, although she acts as if it is beneath her.

Calypso, on the other hand, has way too much pride and is very stubborn. She will walk up to the door and the minute I tell her to sit, she will look at me (with the look), turn, and walk away. She spent the morning outside by herself today, while Ryka had a nice, long, peaceful nap inside.

I normally let them come in while I fix their dinner bowls, but before they can come in, they have to “sit and wait”. Twice today, Calypso gave me “the look” and walked away. At least with a child, you have a chance – albeit a small one – of them understanding your words when you explain something. I am at a loss with Calypso, so much so that I bought one of Cesar’s (The Dog Whisperer) books! If I weren’t so tired, I’d stay up all night reading about the “miracles” that are going to happen once I apply his techniques! I wonder if he would consider a trip to bayou country.

This has been a very busy week. Saturday, Cara was invited to a classmate’s birthday party at the skating rink – it was roller skating – we live in South Louisiana. Mommy Jessica was trying to get things ready for a party celebrating her birthday and times were overlapping causing some conflict. I volunteered to bring Cara to the party.

Now that Jessica bought a house and has moved a little farther away, the kids have changed schools. This means that I do not pick them up for school anymore. I think Cara misses our drives to school because as soon as we were on our way, she wanted to play the letter game we used to play every morning on the way to school. Then, as we crossed over a big bridge, she was pretending we were on a roller coaster, which was another one of our games.

Once we arrived at the rink, and had her feet snuggled safely in her skates, she tried skating. It was then that I realized she did not know how. With a few little swishing moves, I was able to show her how to glide and off she went with a little more confidence in her abilities.   I loved to roller skate and was wishing I still had my roller skates. I remember taking my daughters skating when they were growing up. We always had lots of fun.

I managed to write three book reviews while watching Cara skate. She was so excited to learn how to skate by the time the party ended and definitely wants to go back skating. I hope that Katie-Beth still has my skates. I think I want to skate again! Cara also realized that Andrew would be too afraid to skate and said that he could just play the games instead. She certainly has her brother all figured out!

Now, to do some more ironing!

Donna

My Crazy Life – October 21, 2011 – Obedience School

Calypso and I have one more class before the teacher deems us ready to graduate or counsels us on participating in another session. I have learned to sit and stay, heel, go left, go right, and sit and wait. Calypso, on the other hand, is having a little more difficulty accomplishing the commands for more than a few moments. Her attention span rivals my attention span – about 5 seconds.

Calypso is very head strong and independent. She wants to do what she wants to do, when she wants to do it, and how she wants to do it. Does this sound at all familiar? As in – children? I have realized that raising dogs is quite similar to raising children. The same techniques work in both situations.

This week we practiced sit and stay. Calypso and I sat (she sat, I stood – not the other way around) by the front door of Pet Smart. She was not there to greet people, although I am pretty sure that is what she thought. She is learning not to be distracted and to listen to my commands. We still have a lot of work to do. Calypso was clearly under the impression that everyone who walked by was there to visit with her. She did not like having to ignore them.

We also walked up and down the aisles learning left and right. There is one section of the store where Calypso will sit and stay for as long as I will let her – the birdcage. She loves birds. And, with all the activity, she is never bored. Her head swings from side to side as she watches the little colorful birds fly around their cage. She gets a dreamy look on her face – and that is not good. “Me thinks she’s dreamin’ of a snack.”

I have to admit that both dogs are wonderful travelers. Pet Smart is an hour away and they sleep most of the way. I open up the back door of the suburban and they hop in – okay – sometimes they hop into the car. At other times, I have no choice but to haul their lard butts up with a good shove to get them in. Once in, they stay there. They will sit and look out the back window if a car is following us. When they get bored, they lay down until I have to stop. And, right on cue two heads with ears standing on end pop up and look around. It is also funny to look in the mirror and see two dogs looking back at you over the seat. When we enter the city, all of the colors and action fascinate Calypso and she likes to watch the world go by.

It is amazing how they have learned in such a short time, the track from the car to the store’s front doors. They are barely out of the car before they are running (or trying to) pulling me behind them.

I have been practicing walking each dog on the leash separately so I can work on different commands. This means one stays in the outside kennel while the other gets to walk. I began doing this because whichever dog is not on the leash picks at the other dog. This morning, I decided to let them have the distraction so we could work on distractions. That was an adventure.

Calypso was pretty good while I had Ryka on the leash, but when I switched them, Ryka did herself proud in the distraction department. She used to sit in the yard with her bone and just watch, but she has learned that she is free and Calypso is not and she has learned to take advantage of the situation. Ryka was running circles around us and then she would walk right in front of Calypso. Calypso does not not like being second dog so this did not go over to well, but it was a good lesson. As if that wasn’t enough, Ryka left for a second and came back with Calypso’s blue ball. At this point, I was trying not to laugh. Just as you would expect one child to taunt another with their toy, Ryka was taunting Calypso with her ball. Ryka likes her bone; Calypso is possessive of her ball.

Just as Calypso was lunging for the ball, I remembered we had learned a new command – leave it. I used it without thinking and Calypso left the ball alone. I was stunned. She listened! Yeah, Calypso! Obedience class has not been for naught. I consider it a success! (Even if we don’t graduate.)

 

Donna


Dogs at Play. Dogs at Rest.

 

 

My Crazy Life – October 12, 2011 – The Princess gets a Crown

Yesterday, something happened that I never in a million years – or at least in my lifetime – would happen. I received a crown. No, it was not made of gold and decorated with rhinestones (poor man’s jewels.) It is the same exact color of my teeth and has taken its rightful place in my mouth and not on my head (where, in my opinion, the crown should be.)

Turns out, my sassy mouth needed a little taming. The fact that I had two weeks to anticipate my crowning just about drove me crazy. I thought about what I should wear and what my acceptance speech should sound like. I finally settled on comfortable attire and said to hell with the speech. I decided that I would be humble (okay – I would make an attempt.)

I am deathly afraid of needles and my active imagination had the dental techs pinning me down for shots and then producing a huge drill that they hoped to use in my mouth. My dentist, the kind man that he is, anticipated my first question after he announced the news at my regular check-up, and had the good grace not to just fall on the floor laughing. You see, he knows me well. When I asked if there were shots involved and would it hurt, he offered to give me drugs (with a straight face, but I could tell the smile was there.) I declined and decided I would wear my big girl panties when the day came.

THEN, I scurried out to quiz the tech that would be helping and had her explain the entire procedure – twice. I have never been one for the unknown. Even if it gives me nightmares or scares the begeezes out of me, give it to me straight. Then, I will just close my eyes through the entire ordeal.

It actually wasn’t that bad. The doctor came in and gave me the shots to numb my mouth. He is very good. He massages the gums as he sinks the needle in and it deadens as it goes. I bruise easily, so my mouth is a little sore this morning, but that’s all. Then, I sat for a while and read until they were ready to start work. This is where my imagination went a little wild.

In order to put a crown on a tooth, the tooth is first shaved down – all around the perimeter – get my drift? For all my anxiety, and me this is torture because as he is grinding the tooth down, I am mentally following the instrument around and around the tooth and freaking out. Of course, the tooth is not that big to begin with and your mouth is only so big, but in my vision, there is a huge drimmel tool grinding a huge tooth – I told you my imagination goes wild! Just picture one of those dumb television shows where they depict the patient strapped to the table and the mad doctor holding the drill. There is where my active imagination took hold.

After the grinding process, which, in actuality did not take that long, he sprayed the tooth with a powder film. That felt a little odd – like someone had sprayed baby powder in my mouth. Then, the dentist took pictures with a little camera. The images where then fed into a computer program and I was able to watch as he created the crown. I was fascinated by this amazing technology. Once he was satisfied with the image on screen, the computer was programmed to make the crown.

After the crown was constructed, the technician then fit it onto the tooth and had me bite down on a carbon paper. The carbon spots left on the crown indicated where adjustments needed to be made for my bite. She took the crown off and worked with it until it was perfect. I could feel the difference with each adjustment she made and once it was completed, it felt like my real tooth. I found that part quite tedious, but only because I have problems sitting in one place for so long, and my short attention span was wearing thin. The crown was then polished, baked, and glued in place. The entire process, start to finish, was two hours on the dot.

It was an educational afternoon. The only downside was that the injections were around three in the afternoon and I could finally feel my mouth around nine last night. Hot cocoa this morning soothed the soreness from the shots and now I am fine.

Hubby gets his turn this afternoon. Turns out he has to have the crown on a tooth replaced and just so happens, it is the exact tooth I just had worked on; strange coincidence. I have to give him credit too. He came to check on me during the process to make sure that I was okay. That was very sweet of him. I think he was trying to stay awake too. He said he woke himself up with his snoring (I forgot to warn the receptionist.)

Did I mention that I am such a chicken; I had sealants put on all my teeth as an adult so I wouldn’t have cavities? Oh, yes! I did! I always say, “An ounce of prevention”. (I do know that someone else said it first!) Does anyone out there have a dental story? Let’s share!

 

My Crazy Life – October 12, 2011 – Superstitions

Superstition: an irrational, but usually deep-seated belief in the magical effects of a specific action or ritual, especially in the likelihood that good or bad luck will result from performing it.

One of my most favorite bloggers in the world is Totsymae. If her stories don’t make you laugh, well, then you just don’t laugh – at all – at anything. Her blog link is http://totsymae.com  She posted a story on superstitions the other day that I thought was quite amusing. We all have them whether we want to admit or not. Take a look at hers and then add your own. I cannot wait to hear what others are superstitious about.

 “Now, my mother, bless her heart, was raised on a good number of them. Born and raised in the south, what other choice did she have? She told my sister and me, years back, that she’d not instill those kinda thoughts by raising us on them. Yet, she ran down a list of them and I can’t get them out of my head. Naturally, I want to believe the good ones. Like, if your hand itches, you’ve got some money coming. Who wouldn’t want their hand to itch in that case?

 My great-grandmother said if you walked with one shoe on and the other off, it was a sign of bad luck. So you know I fear walking with one shoe on to this day? I tell you folks, I’m all discombobulated with these superstitions rattling in my head sometimes. Here are just a few of them:

·        A man needs to be the first one to come to your home on New Year’s Day to bring good luck. Let me tell you, folks. The then husband would get up on said day, do a little something out the doors and then come back. Now, I’d never heard tale of that ’til I married Then Husband. I never quite got that if he’s already in the house, why he had to walk out and come back? Wasn’t it enough that he lived there already? I’m not sold on this one. Shit, sometimes it’s good luck if a man leaves the house and never comes back.

·        On New Year’s Day, a meal of collard greens and black-eyed peas would bring good luck. See, the collards were for money and the peas were so you could have a discerning eye for the future. I think that’s how it went. Folks, I ain’t seen no more than I’ve always seen really. Only time and experience has helped me to know what’s good and ain’t good for me. I ain’t picked up no extraordinary psychic powers to this day. And money? I work, therefore, I get paid. Did I necessarily have to eat greens to know the paycheck was coming? Plus, I’ve never heard no lottery winner claiming to have eaten them some collards to win the jackpot. Shit, they just played the hell out of them numbers is what happened. This one I picked up from the then in-laws when I lived in Texas. It didn’t quite stick but I may have such a meal for good measure.

·        If your nose itches, somebody’s coming to your house. If you don’t feel like being bothered, you’d hate to have a nose itch but I’m telling you folks, every time that’s ever happened, somebody always ended up coming to my house.

·        If your ear itches, somebody’s talking about you. Then, I’d go to wondering who the hell could have me on their minds to be talking about me.

·        Laying a hat on the bed brings bad luck. That’s another one I learned through Then Husband. I don’t particularly have a thing for hats but with this in my head, I’m careful that a head scarf ain’t laying around on my bed, folks. I’m telling you, this shit’s got me all messed up.

·        Breaking a mirror will bring seven years of bad luck. I may or may not have done it but maybe one could curtail bad fate by eating some collards and black-eyed peas?

·        Dropping a dish rag on the floor will bring death to a family member. Folks, you should see me trying to catch a damn dish rag falling to the floor. A baseball player sliding to home plate ain’t got shit on me.

·        If you walk between two poles, your mama’s gonna have a big tit and a little one. This one I got from my cousins growing up. Now, you could correct the fate of your mama’s tits by walking back in reverse order. I was in elementary school when I was enlightened to this one and making sure I didn’t cut the poles. I think I used to check my mama’s tits from time to time too. Making sure I hadn’t screwed up her tatas and all.

 I’m sure I could call off a few more but will end it here. Maybe I should see what my co-pay is for therapy and get myself some help. So, any of you out there stuck with a few superstitions in your head? Show and tell, folks.”

 One of my superstitions is the one about not walking under an open ladder because it is supposed to bring you bad luck. My view on that is bring an open ladder. All my life I have been one to attempt to defy all odds. Under the ladder is normally where I can be found. Had I been under the ladder when Hubby and I were painting the house, I might not have ended up with a head full of yellow hair. I rest my case of this one.

I’ve broken so many mirrors that I’ve lost count. Maybe the superstition should be that if it breaks when you look into it, then some bad is definitely gonna be heading your way.

As for all of those people throwing salt over their shoulder, don’t let me passing when you do it. I just do not take kindly to having salt thrown at me, or on my shoes, or my clothes, or in my hair. Just sayin’.

In all honesty, I don’t know if I believe in superstitions. There have so many bad things that have come my way, I think they just come. I guess I never had time to give superstitions a great deal of thought.