Saturday, February 28, 2009

Now what

Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harp-string, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
Who shall gather the smoke of the dead wood burning?
Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?

It's over. I started to become depressed. I went back on Lamictal 4 days ago.

Now I'm manic.

So the box of Lamictal is in the closet now, and I have no way to combat this.

I said very ugly things to Rich tonight.

This afternoon our kid yelled at us because we were raising our voices at each other. Awesome.

I'm lost.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Grief Causes Migraines

<------- Emma at my old apartment, Summer 2004

Back then Emma could still get on the sofa. Hell, back then Emma could vault my best friend's sofa from behind it with no running start.

It is a sad thing when an animal becomes elderly and senile. It's even sadder when that ends up causing low level resentment among those who live in the house. 

This past weekend Emma took a snap at Livvie. She made no contact, but she scared the daylights out of Livvie, who burst into hysterics. Things had been coming to a head for quite some time, so I made the call to the vet. My appointment was for this morning at 930.

On Tuesday afternoon while Livvie was working with her speech therapist she brushed Emma with her foot and Emma snapped at her again. 

A general vet estimate of Emma's age had her pegged at around 14 years old. That means she was 8 when I found her on the side of the road on April 1st, 2003. She's never been the nicest of dogs; she tried to kill the first vet tech she encountered, we always had to cross the street when other dogs were approaching, she bit me, she snapped at my cousin's daughter's face, she DID bite the face of the son of one of my best friends, she attempted to bite Rich... but dammit, she was mine. When I lived on my own with her some things were just easy to work around. You know? Manage the situation. I learned to manage my situation with Emma quite well.

Regardless of how crotchety she was, she was huge into snuggling. This is why it really upset me that her failing mind and body basically deteriorated in time for Livvie to be born and become mobile. I would have loved to be able to snuggle with this dog while Livvie ran around and played, but Livvie has a tendency to launch herself at you when she wants attention, and that would have been begging for a bite. So the baby gate became a barrier between the two of them. I kept it open sometimes throughout the day if I was there and supervising, but if I left the room Livvie was in the living room and Emma was in the kitchen and that was that. Even when I was supervising I was a nervous wreck during the day, waiting for Livvie to accidentally trip over Emma and get bitten. They seemed to have an understanding of sorts, as Livvie really did her best to avoid Emma and gave her a wide berth, but shit happens, you know?

I learned to manage the house soiling issue to the point where Emma had not gone inside the house for over a month. And then the vacuum cleaner phobia developed. I vacuum, she shits. I managed that by taking her out on the deck and hooking her to the heavy metal table while I vacuumed, and then walking her afterward to let her poop. See? Easy.

The failing body though, could not be ignored.

I counted the other day. Her legs went out from under her over a dozen times. Despite chowing down as heartily as she always has, she was becoming painfully thin. In fact, this morning she weighed 28 pounds. 9 less than her standard weight, and 16 less than when I found her 6 years ago. I lifted her out of the back of the Ford this morning and she weighed nothing.

She walked into things in the dark. Like the cars. And she would get lost, on leash, coming back to the house.

And then Rich took her out to pee the other night and she fell down all 4 steps.

So yes, it was time. The vet told me not to feel guilty. She said it happens to everyone when there's no acute health crisis happening. Things will happen, but then there will be a good day or series of them, so the decision is postponed. She also informed me that in her opinion I absolutely had to put safety first. 

It doesn't make me feel like any less of an asshole though.

So it's unbelievably quiet here now. Apparently the constant falling and scrabbling throughout the days made quite a bit of noise. The whining at 345pm for dinner at 430 is no more. 

At 415 my vision started to go. The tunnel vision began and it was followed by the auras. I haven't had a migraine since last summer, but it was coming fast and furious. I called the doc and got permission to take my meds. There's no other reason that it could have happened.

So is it grief or guilt that causes migraines? I guess both.

Please send good thoughts to my beautiful, loving, grumpy girl that she'll enjoy the Summerlands. In her world she's the only dog. There are plenty of tuna sammiches to steal. The world is hands extended to pet her constantly. And there are no kids. Unless they're calm ones who like to pet.

I'd like to add though, on Tuesday for the very first time Livvie walked over to Emma and very gently stroked her down her back. She did it three times, looking to me for approval. Emma tensed but remained still the entire time.

Thank you for that Emma. As far as ending memories go, that's an important one for me to have.

Rest in peace gorgeous girl.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Feel the love...

Far more dynamic and entertaining:

But this is more pure:

Livvie was introduced to the Beach Boys today, specifically to I Get Around. We were driving home from the grocery store and it came on the radio. I immediately opened the window (it's 70 degrees today) and cranked the volume. I looked behind me and there sat my kid in her car seat, grinning from ear to ear, dancing in her seat.

Yeah, it makes me feel that way too.

I like the Beach Boys ok enough. They were pretty damned talented, and they're totally emblematic of the American Era during their time period. But that SONG. That song is perfection. I don't believe anything else they ever recorded can touch it.

Robert R. McCammon said it best:
I stopped. Just couldn't walk anymore. That music was unlike anything I'd ever heard: guys' voices, intertwining, breaking apart, merging again in fantastic, otherworldly harmony. The voices soared up and up like happy birds, and underneath the harmony was a driving drumbeat and a twanging, gritty guitar that made cold chills skitter up and down my sunburned back.  
And what that song did for me today was make me forget about our crappy economy for 2 minutes and 14 seconds. It made me think about eating water ice with a tiny wooden spoon on the front steps. It made me think about splurging on gas money and driving to the beach with my kid. I smelled Coppertone. I smelled seaweed and fish. I felt the Vitamin D of the sun penetrating my skin. 

And it reminded me to open the window and breathe fresh air.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Reason #9564 to have kids

I just taught Livvie how to hog call.

"Sooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! Pig pig pig!!!!"

Look out Letterman.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

4.5 Years and I'm still not Countrified

The night before last I took Emma out back to potty in the dark. And when I say dark, I mean it is VERY dark out here in the land of no street lights.

So we're standing in the center of the yard and I'm waiting for her to pick a spot. 

Just as she starts to squat, a deer walks out of the woods and into the yard to our left.

That's right. There's a dog and an above average sized human female in the yard, and the deer walked IN.
So I squinted. Yep, there was a rack.

The deer took a few more steps forward.

I whispered, "Emma pee. Pee Emma. Go. Go go go. Done? Come on. PEE."

She finished peeing, and I hauled ass, calling over my shoulder, "We're leaving! Okay???"

I have TOTALLY seen this on TV. These things don't screw around.

Am I a pussy? Probably. But the first winter I was here I had walked Emma into the subdivision next door one night, and as we turned a curve we came up on a buck with a full rack. He looked at us for a second and then snorted. Loudly. One hoof scraped the ground. We ran.

Sunday, February 01, 2009