Friday, January 28, 2011

A Heads Up For Dog Lovers

'"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." ~ Roger Caras

See that little brown dog over there on the right?  Jack (dog of one hundred or more nicknames) is amongst the best things in my life.  He's a smart, lively, funny and loveable little guy who sleeps curled up in my bed with me every night.  And as of today, he's a  diabetic.  Did you know that dogs can get diabetes?  I didn't.  But I'm finding out a lot more than I ever wanted to know. You know what's even worse?  I may have contributed to it. He was overweight.  I definitely contributed to that. Most domesticated dogs don't feed themselves.  The symptoms?  Well, oddly enough, he started losing weight.  Quickly.  He lost 4 1/2 pounds in a month.  That's a lot for a 16 pound dog.  Then I noticed he was drinking a lot of water, and not suprisingly, peeing a lot.  I took him to the vet for tests.  Lots of tests later, I got the diagnosis today. So life will be a little different for us from here on out.  Insulin shots twice a day, every day, and watching everything he eats for the rest of his life.  I'm pretty sure eating people food made life worth living for Jack.  He would eat anything.  Seriously.  Anything.  Grapes, lettuce, bananas, oranges, ketchup, raw onions or garlic...anything that fell on the floor. I never saw him not eat something.  And boy does he love bread! None of that, anymore.  But I try to remind myself that it could be worse.  The vet tells me that most dogs with diabetes go on to live relatively normal, and normal length, lives.  So I'll have to be careful, and I won't be able to leave him alone for more than a few hours from here on out, but he should be okay.  So, knowing how many of you out there that have dogs that you love - a heads up.  There are half a dozen breeds that are more inclined to become diabetic.  While I do know that Miniature Pinschers (which is what Jack is) are one of those breeds, I honestly don't remember what the others are.  I stopped listening to the veterinarian at some point.  If your dog ever starts losing weight for no reason, drinking a large amount of water and then urinating large amounts, get his or her little butt off to the vet.  You just might be catching diabetes in your beloved furbaby early.

Jack and I spent most of the afternoon at the vet's office today. This is how he looked by the time we got home.  I pretty much feel the same way...

He is one tired out little guy.  I haven't told him yet, but he has to go back tomorrow.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What fun!

"The best research for playing a drunk is being a British actor for 20 years." ~  Michael Caine

I had a very fun weekend! Saturday night the bf and I went to a party being given by the production company of the movie he's been working on.  It wasn't the "wrap" party, so we expected it to be just the crew people and their significant others there. Fun, but not a huge deal. So imagine my surprise when one of the film's stars showed up!

Michael Caine - one of my all-time favorites! I didn't get any pictures because I didn't have my camera, and I think it would have been considered in bad taste to take pictures at a private party.

I didn't actually talk to him.  I get tongue-tied when face to face with any sort of celebrity.  But he did touch my hand (well, okay, that was accidental) and he smiled at me! I did see him talk to many other people - including the bf - and he definitely seemed like a genuinely friendly guy.  Mr. (or should I say "Sir"?) Caine's wife was there as well and she was stunningly beautiful.  And despite his quote above, he wasn't drinking.

Then on Sunday we went down to the Riverfront and checked out the Arctic Sunrise, an ice breaking vessel belonging to Greenpeace.  Ironically, before Greenpeace chartered it, the Arctic Sunrise was a sealing vessel.  I learned that fact on the tour, which was full of interesting facts, history and fun artifacts.

My apologies for these small photos.  If I make them larger they become blurry, and I wanted you to be able to read the bumper sticker in the control room.  It says "I brake for whales".  

Greenpeace was making a presence in Wilmington to help in the ongoing fight we've had with a cement company that wants to build a cement plant here, as well as to talk to officials about a nearby power plant that is currently burning coal, but where plans are in place to convert to natural gas in 2013. I was heartened to see how many people showed up to support Greenpeace, and I was happy to wait in line for a good 45 minutes to take the tour.

Throw in some yoga, dinner with a girlfriend on Friday night, a little couch time with a movie (The Other Guys with Will Farrell and Mark Wahlberg - funny!), the bf and furbabies, and popcorn, and brinner* on Sunday night and you've got a very nice weekend.  I hope you had a good weekend too!

*brinner = breakfast for dinner; we had omelettes with cheese, spinach and

Thursday, January 20, 2011


"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily. " ~ Zig Ziglar

As I mentioned the other day, I am so enamoured of how the Living Room looks after painting it, that I decided to paint some other rooms (maybe all the rooms!)in the house.  So I went out to Lowe's, found a beautiful very, very light, almost white, shade of gray/green, called White Sage that I loved. Last weekend I started the cut-in work, but was called away to numerous other activities before I finished.  All week long after work I've had yoga, chores, or other things to keep me busy, so I haven't had time to get back to it.  Then yesterday I came home from work to find this:

My sweet, firstborn lovely was at the house and decided to finish painting for me while she waited for me to get home from work!  What a nice surprise!  Turns out she's a really good painter.  She said she finds painting relaxing work.  I think she takes after me for that, because I think so too.

So here is my tiny, little, only bathroom in all her newly-painted glory.

I'm going to change out that metal switch plate cover for a white one asap!

Monday, January 17, 2011

In peace...

"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr
Jan 15, 1929 - Apr 4, 1968

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What a difference!

"Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need. "~   Sarah Ban Breathnacht

I have finally started, and finished, painting the living room.  You may remember I mentioned some time ago that I was contemplating painting the room white, after many years of having yellow to gold/beige colored living rooms. After much searching, I found the right white for me.  And here it is:

The little paper mache dog in the background is one of my favorite possessions, made by my youngest many, many years ago.  It's Jack, scratching his ear!

Jack loves having his picture taken! Isn't he handsome?

I can't seem to keep the dogs out of the picture!

I am loving how much brighter this room is.  I already bought the paint, and I'll be starting on the bathroom, next!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

High hopes...

"I suspect that even today, with all the progress we have made in liberal thought, the quality of true tolerance is as rare as the quality of mercy. " ~ Frank Knox

Gabrielle Giffords, Rep (D) Arizona

I know that all of you have heard about the shootings in Tucson.  Many politicians and members of the media have mentioned that rhetoric coming from certain individuals may have been the impetus for this act.  And they may very well be right.  But, as Jane said the other day,on her blog, smallbutcharming, this is not a political blog.  So I'm not going to address any of the possibly political aspects of this tragedy, here.  I just want to say that this might be a good time to begin hoping that this horrendous act, committed by what is obviously an emotionally ill young man (how did he get a gun?! oh yeah, no politics here...okay, never mind) will, at the very least, start people thinking about how one's words can affect one's (and maybe even someone else's) actions. Maybe this awful incident will convince people (one  person?) in the media and political circles to rethink their rhetoric and look for more compassion and tolerance in their words instead of using it as just another reason for arguing and verbal attacks? Maybe?

My heart goes out to the families of those who were lost, and my best wishes for a full recovery to those who were hurt.

I think of the following as words to live by:

"Watch your thoughts because your thoughts become your words. Choose your words because your words become your actions. Understand your actions because they become your habits. Study your habits because they become your character. Develop your character because it becomes your destiny. " Quincy Jones

Monday, January 10, 2011

Baby, it's cold outside!

"And finally Winter, with its bitin', whinin' wind, and all the land will be mantled with snow." ~ Roy Bean

We're under a Winter Storm Advisory until tomorrow morning, because of this:

My little cottage at 9AM today.  Now, two hours later there is an additional 3 or 4 inches!

After he stopped growling at the snow coming down, Jack figured out he loved it!  The other animals, not so much.

So glad I'm not a fish!

It's beautiful, as long as I'm inside.  I've lived in North Carolina for 20 years now.  In those 20 years it has snowed maybe 5 times. This is our second time this year, and the third year in a row. Anybody who doesn't believe we are dealing with Global Warming must be living in a different world than I am.

Hope y'all are staying warm!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

what I did on my Christmas vacation...

"The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!" ~  Buddy, "Elf" (the movie)

Christmas Eve (I know, I know, it seems like months ago already, doesn't it?) was spent cooking and baking in the kitchen with my two lovelies:

Pretty cute!

Can you tell these girls are into fashion? This is a snowwoman cookie decorated with a zebra print dress!

Although we missed the rest of the family in California, we had a great time with lots of singing and dancing (mostly by me, while they rolled their eyes). Christmas Eve dinner was Vegetarian lasagna for most of us, Vegan lasagna for one of us, and a beautiful wilted spinach salad with pears for all, and a dessert of toffee-apple pie with (regular and vegan) ice cream.  Yum.

Christmas Day consisted of gift opening (along with oohing and ahhing), a lovely breakfast,  more cooking, eating, singing, dancing, movie watching, many rounds of dominoes, and this:

Relaxing! While wearing the elf slippers my girls gave me a few years ago.  I LOVE them, but only wear them a few days a year!

The day after Christmas one lovely went home and the other consented to stay at our house and watch the dogs and cat for us while we drove up to Maryland, to see the bf's family.  What is normally a 8 1/2 hour trip became a 14 1/2 hour trip because of this:

The first part of the trip was spent on an interstate that hadn't been snowplowed yet (Snowplows? We don't have snowplows in southeastern NC!).  It was one lane down the middle of the interstate, in about 8 inches of fresh  snow, at about 20 miles an hour.  Took us 4 hours to get 100 miles.  We just kept telling ourselves "well, at least we're not traveling with little kids!"

When we finally got to Frostburg, there was a little bit of old snow, but nothing falling, although the thermometer said 18 degrees.  Next morning it said 11 degrees. I can honestly say I have never been in that kind of cold, and I was in no hurry to do so. Needless to say, we spent most of our time indoors, talking, laughing, and playing board games, in the bf's mother's cozy, lovely home. (I have serious house envy for that house! I wish it hadn't felt so...weird to take pictures of it, or I would do a whole post on that house.)  At the end of the week we packed up and went home, a much easier trip than the one going up, and just in time to receive shipment of the bf's Christmas gift to himself:

Maybe I should have "staged" this photo? I am now trying to decide what to do above and behind the TV - any suggestions?

We spent New Years Eve eating fish tacos in front of the above, surrounded by warm and loving (and, judging by the amount of begging going on, starving - just kidding, they're always like that) furbabies, and counting our many blessings this past year.  I know it wasn't an easy year for a lot of people, but for us it was a pretty good one.  Also, I kept annoying the bf by jumping up to stand in front of the tv and say "look how much bigger their heads are than mine!"  It is a big tv.

Although I haven't had time to post, I have been visiting all my favorites and it appears that a good time was had by all, although aren't we always glad when it's over? I've heard many people say that this year was the most relaxed holiday they can remember.  I'm not sure I can put my finger on why it is, but I feel exactly the same way.  It was truly a happy, relaxed time, and when I came back to work and my "normal" life I felt completely rested and recharged.  I'm ready for 2011!  I know I'm late, but Happy New Year!  I wish you all much joy!

**Note:  The reason I haven't posted all this week is because I got a new computer for Christmas (Thanks, Babe!) and it's taken me this long to figure it all out and to get photos uploaded! Hopefully I am now ready to go and will stay on track now!