Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Judge Nurse Rudee

Too lazy to change the channel, I watched the defense of Michael Jackson's physician, Dr. Murray, place the blame of Michael Jackson's death solidly on the deceased's shoulders.


Yes, I agree, Michael Jackson seems to have had a monster addiction and was a tortured soul, but as a medical professional myself, and one who has opened countless bottles of Mother's Milk propofol, I still don't know of any reasonable reason why propofol or versed would be used outside of an ICU, emergency room or surgical suite, and then only with the utmost scrutiny that machines, monitors and trained staff can provide. What his physician did is not what most medical professionals would reasonably do in a similar circumstance. In addition, I know many doctors often change specialties, but what in God's name made this man think he could be all things to one man: a cardiologist, psychiatrist, addiction specialist and anesthesiologist? Me thinks the color green played a big role.

Plain and simple? The doctor should be glad I'm not seated on his jury, for no matter how much blame his defense places on Michael Jackson himself, in my mind, the doctor is guilty of medical malpractice at the least, and I believe, manslaughter. There is no gray area here, as--and here's that pesky little point again--he did not behave in the manner most medical professionals (his peers) would and failed, failed, failed to meet the standard of care. That my friends is how you measure the actions of a medical professional.

If you listen to any of this trial, keep in mind that, yes, Michael Jackson was the master of his own destiny, but then so was his physician. Personally, I wish he'd just plead guilty and save us the circus his trial is sure to be.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Life's Good? It's better with blinders

This crazy dog loved wearing Sara's blinders. He walked all around the room, tail nubbin' wagging, while gamely trying to find us without sight.

I think not. Let me explain.

About a year ago, or back when we moved into this house, we went out and bought all new appliances. I wanted the Maytag fridge with french doors and the freezer on the bottom. Well, Home Depot took my order and my money, then called me right before expected delivery to tell me I couldn't have that model right then and there because Maytag was unable to complete the order. I would have to wait 3 weeks for the item I wanted. To compensate for the inconvenience, they offered me an LG model that was more expensive at less than what I was paying for the Maytag.

Fool that I was, I took the deal and for awhile all was OK. Not great, but OK. The unit made ice and kept things cool, but the doors were a little wonky. They don't shut automatically, but the unit does alarm if a door is not closed. The freezer door does not alarm.

Over Labor Day weekend with my house full of visitors, the fridge saw a lot of action and someone left the freezer door ajar overnight. I woke up the next morning and closed it--the contents were still frozen, because in addition to the ice maker, there were bags of ice in there so that acted like a 20 cubic square foot cooler. By the next morning, the unit wasn't working again because, according to the LG service rep, condensation had built up on the motor. LG's solution was to unplug the unit for several hours then just like that, plug it back in. The magic worked for a day, but there was still significant food loss despite my efforts at saving the contents. Two days later, I awakened to the same problem. Error message 67 and a fridge full of contents that were not cold anymore.

Once again, I lost food. I unplugged the fridge, vacuumed every nook and cranny, opened the freezer to let it air out and cleaned and dried every crevice there, too. I shut the ice maker off so moisture was not an issue. When I was certain enough time had elapsed and you could eat a meal off the fridge itself without fear of food poisoning, I plugged it back into the outlet. Magic again, the solution worked until two days ago when the damned thing went on the fritz again.

He's so funny, but I bet he wasn't happy I had to toss his raw treats because we lost refrigeration. What he doesn't know won't hurt him.

Rinse and repeat the above steps. Plug it back in and it works. One day later, this morning, it's not working and I want to take this just out of warranty refrigerator out back and shoot the damned thing. This month alone, I've lost about $200 worth of food products and a lot of time moving, cleaning, plugging and unplugging this appliance. I have a service person coming, but he's all booked up until tomorrow, because, of course, nobody services LG around here because they're too expensive to fix.

Life's Good? I think not. What I wouldn't give for never having to call the lonely Maytag repairman.

Phooey on you LG.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pity paws

Whenever the dogs I've had would get heartworm tests, they'd come home with a bandage wrapped around their paws. We'd always tell them they had a pity paw, because boy could they milk that bandage for all it was worth.

Lately though, it's me with pity paws. Last Monday, I sliced my index and middle fingers of my left hand during my attempts to cut through the first butternut squash my garden produced. The cut on my middle finger could have benefitted from a couple of stitches, but I was technically working and couldn't spare a trip to the urgent care center. I applied a steristrip and bandage and called it a day. Knitting all week has been tricksy.

Today...well today I pulled the beouf bourguignon from the oven to stir and add some vegetables. I replaced the foil and went to grab the pan lid, completely forgetting I had only moments before taken it out of the 325 degree oven. Of course, my fingers were slightly wet and my skin sort of sizzled on contact. I burned my right thumb, index and middle fingers.

I think I should officially change my name to Grace, or better yet, Calamity Jane. Everything I touch or do seems to be loaded with danger. I am not going to tell you how I fell off my Dansko shoe (just the left shoe) last week and nearly wrenched my shoulder while falling soundly on my ass. That would be a shameful retelling of my less than elegant comportment. With two pity paws and five injured digits, it looks like knitting will be impossible for a few days.

I may need to make an investment in industrial strength bubble wrap for a bit, or at least until the moon is aligned with Mars or some such nonsense. I hope this phase passes soon.

Friday, September 23, 2011


One cookie missing. Another missing a bite from the edge. Two guesses, and the first two don't count as to who the cookie thief may be.

For months I've been putting up with those lazy contractors next door. It's been one delay after another for them. I heard that the work there is coming to an end soon, so I've not been complaining about their late night sawing, hammering, drilling and occasional swearing. Last night, they were still at it at midnight which annoyed the hell out of Leo. There's light at the end of that tunnel, but fear not, we have our own slew of contractors getting ready to descend upon our own home.

In fact, one is here today.

He--his name is Sean, but for some reason, I keep calling him Matt--is installing a whole house fan on the upper level of our humble abode. Even when it's cool outside, it's always warm indoors. We're hoping the fan will help cool the house down and lower our energy consumption. In the process of this install, Sean is evicting the squirrels rats with bushy tails that have had the gall to set up house in our attic. Prior to this, we couldn't evict them ourselves because there was no attic access. He's also beefing up the insulation while he's up there. As I write this, there are two gigantic holes in the upstairs ceiling and dust is everywhere.

When this project is done, the basement waterproofing event will start and then the real fun will begin. We've had so much rain this month that the ground is saturated. There is nowhere for the water to go, so much like the squirrels, it makes itself at home in my basement. I'm always down there killing spiders, mopping up water and emptying the two dehumidifiers that run full time. In the process of putting in new drain tiles, this group of contractors will destroy drywall, built in cabinets, the shower in the bathroom, the tile floor in the living space, my bank account, and likely, my sanity. Matt, I mean Sean, will put it all back together.

I hope they all work faster than the guys next door.

In the meantime, I'm trying to keep busy with projects of my own. Working with yarn that has no dust on it, yet, I'm knitting a chevron baby blanket. This is Rose's fault. She posts a link and like sheep following the shepherd, I click on it. Before you know it, my needles are busy knitting wonderful things.

This project is just right for warding off the chill of autumn.

If you guessed this is the cookie monster, well then you'd be correct. However, he denies everything and only says, prove it...there were no crumbs leading up to him.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Taking time

I've been neglecting this blog for weeks, and worse, I confess I've been neglecting myself. We have our hands full over here working full time and managing five homes, and while Mr. Larger Than Life is gone, the remnants of his and his wife's time here on earth need sorting. Urgently.

Stuff. It's everywhere.

So that's what I've been doing. I go over there in the mornings before work and on my days off, too. Rachel and I were there for 5 hours today and now that it's 8 PM, I've only now put dinner on and opened a brew to try to relax. I've been doing this for weeks and weeks and weeks and feel like I've not made a dent at all. Truly, the above photo represents less than half of what I've uncovered. The remainder was already in full view.

It's feels like it's pouring on us right now, but truth be told, this was our rain storm last Sunday.

Next weekend, I'm calling in sick to my personal life and taking some well earned time off. Hell, I may even drag my spinning wheel up to the yarn store for spinning circle. I haven't done that in ages and ages.

Or, I'll take a hint from the neighborhood kids who take great joy when it rains bucket fulls on them.

If nothing else, I'm going to look for a rainbow when I feel it's raining on me. Or if I'm lucky like I was last Monday night, I'll find two.

Try as I may to keep caught up with your blogs, or write a bit on my own, I find I'm not able to remain that way for long. Please pardon me while I'm rearranging tchotchkes and dust. I'm sure sometime soon, likely after the estate sale, life will resemble something akin to normal around these parts.

Next weekend, definitely, I'm going to be outrageous and spend a little time unwinding.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Give them an inch and they'll take a mile.

Who, me? I'm not naughty.

We had an incident with Leo a couple of weeks ago. A friend came to the door one night--someone not known to Leo--and when I opened the door to let him in, my friend grabbed me in a bear hug. Leo's fierce protective instinct surfaced, and he bit my friend. He thought I was being attacked. It was terrifying because the only indication he was biting were my friend's yelps of fear and pain. The dog was silent with no snarling or growls indicating he was not happy with this type of greeting. It all took place in seconds and seemed surreal. For two days in a row preceding this kerfuffle, two Direct Energy people walking door to door had come to my home. When I told them I wasn't interested and to please not come again, they became loud, obnoxious and verbally aggressive toward me and this upset my dog, but that's a story for another day. I don't know if this had anything to do with why he was suddenly so anxious at the door or not, but I have to think that with as smart as he is, he had linked the presence of people at the door with a threat. This was new and never seen before behavior. If I had any qualms about my dog falling on a sword for me, I think he answered them. It's just that I'd have preferred he demonstrate his ability to protect if the threat had been real and not perceived.

I swear, it was that other dog in the mirror. He's the naughty one.

Of course I was horrified that he bit my friend, and can intellectualize this all I want, but the truth is, my 80 pound dog is not as well trained as he should be. I'm thankful the person he bit is a friend and not a pizza delivery guy or the mail carrier, because if it came down to carrying home owners insurance or having a dog, I'd be compelled to keep carrying the insurance. Or at least that's the position of my bank.

The morning after this event, we got on the phone to find a trainer. Enter Heather, who has now been to our home once to work with us and the dog. In one session, she gave us more insight into the beast who shares our home and into our own behaviors that have allowed him to lapse into being such a naughty boy. We've taken the path of least resistance with Leo, which I believe is human nature and we've lapsed into allowing him to be the alpha dog.

What makes you think I have a domineering mindset?

Well, no more. He gets worked with each and every day now, and in one week, I can see a difference in him already. Lucky for us, he's incredibly food oriented. He's doing much better on his sit-stays, and coming when he's called, instead of completely ignoring me. I've taken to carrying treats on me at all times to get this beastie boy to listen.

Someone needs to supervise my brother, the grillmeister.

Per Heather, we need to identify the treats that really entice him and differentiate the ones he'd consider beneath him. So far, I've been able to tell that he loves real meat, with cheese as a close second, but truthfully, he would be just as happy with a tiny piece of kibble. She calls them 1 star through 4 star treats. The dog is happy with any level, but was over the moon when I roasted meat and bones in the oven for beef stock. He adored the scraps, but really had to work hard to get them.

What? It was cold in Detroit this morning...about 46 degrees to be exact, and we're not talking celsius.

Leo, and more importantly, his humans, will be working with Heather once a week. She thinks he has fabulous potential and coming from someone who lives with Dobermans and understands their quirky nature, that's good news. She gave us hope that Leo is trainable and can fit into our community and home safely.

Oh, and the crate has resurfaced. Just in case.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

There's more room in a broken heart

Or so Miss Carly says. I tried so hard to stay away from the media blitz surrounding the 9/11 anniversary. I did OK last night, choosing to watch the University of Michigan pull a rabbit out of hat instead of talking heads and reruns of videos that I still find so disturbing.

After the game, I watched the History Channel program on the building of the new World Trade Center and the memorials. I felt a documentary better suited my mood. I shed a few tears when the architect spoke of his vision with the water falls built in the footprints of the twin towers.

Today I skipped around a few channels, landing always on a news station where the memorial was being broadcast in the background, but news anchors were front and center putting their own and personal spin on the memorial. I switched around for a more solemn station and found one where nobody was speaking, except the family members reading names. I began to cry at the sheer enormity of souls lost, the palpable grief of their survivors and the circumstances of that fateful day. As names were read, they were also displayed with their ages next to them and sometimes a photograph. As it did this day ten years ago, the utter meaninglessness of their deaths and the youthfulness of those lost shocked me. As I listened to their names, the sentiments of those reading them and watched water fall down the walls of the monuments into the deep abyss of the fountains, I felt grief anew.

I don't personally know a soul who was murdered on that day, but I know a part of my heart was broken for them none the less. I hope and I pray that their loved ones have found peace and clarity in the years that have passed us by.

It seems I need to plan a trip to New York sometime soon. I simply have to see this sacred site with my own eyes.

I wish you all peace on this very solemn day.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Let me sum up

Apparently it's been awhile since my last post. I didn't mean to ignore this site, but I was too busy on my vacation to do anything more than sleep (when it came), clean, shop, cook, eat, visit with family, rinse and repeat. I packed a month into a mere 6 days off.

Mareseatoats came to town last Friday and we had an impromptu 4 day family reunion that culminated in a cookout on Monday with about 20 or so guests. It was great fun, even if the weather was not cooperative (cold and windy). Saturday night was kind of quiet, and sort of stormy so we elected to go see The Help. What a moving motion picture. I never read the book, but it's now in my Kindle's line up. To me, the sign of a great actor is whether or not they can evoke emotion in me. Bryce Dallas Howard made me angry. What a bitch she was in that movie. In my opinion, she kind of got what she deserved for being so evil and bigoted. When I got home and googled the actress, imagine my surprise when I realized she was Ron Howard's daughter! Really? She was such a bitch and I was appalled she could really be the daughter of a great American icon. She was that good as Hilly. She must of got the bitch chops from her mom, because I know they didn't come from her dad. Acting chops? All him. I liked the movie so much, I think I could go see it again.

Sometime on Sunday, I downloaded the Catkin shawl pattern and Mareseatoats and I went shopping in my yarn studio for the right yarn. I settled on Bearfoot in Moose Creek and Dream in Color's Smooshy in Chinatown Apple. They're pretty together, but now--about 45 rows into this pattern--I'm not so sure I'm happy with the mohair content of Bearfoot. Sara thinks she likes the colors together, so I'll persevere. Maybe.

Mareseatoats went home on Tuesday and I went back to work yesterday. It was a fast 6 days off, but nice to have my siblings together for the weekend. We haven't had a Michigan reunion like this since my mom passed away...five years ago today. Maybe that's the real reason I haven't posted in so long, but she's been on my mind all week. We all miss her, and welcomed the opportunity to talk about her and reminisce a bit.

Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I'm off to catch up on your sites now.