Saturday, August 30, 2014

Dog-sitting instruction manual

.. written by my daughter Dani.  I am watching my grandpuppy Rue, for the weekend.

Drop off: 8/29 around 12pm
Pick up: 9/1 around 10pm

Morning (whenever you get up):
-Outside! Rue will poop and pee
-Food: One scoop

Evening (‘tween 4 & 6):
-Outside! Rue will poop and pee
-Food: One scoop

Bedtime (whenever you go to bed):
-Outside! Rue will pee
-She is used to sleeping in bed with people
If you prefer, you can put her in a room with some pillows or blanket; she’ll be fine—maybe a little cranky but fine

Commands (allegedly):
-“Rue, sit” + point finger at floor
-“Rue, off” + point at where you want her to go
-“Rue, stay” + stop signal with hand
-“Rue, come” + good luck with that
-“Rue, do you wanna go OUTSIDE?”
-“Rue, TOY! Rue, where’s your TOY?” + enthusiasm
-“You gotta bring it here” (re: toy)
-“Do you wanna go to BED?"
-“Rue, where ’s the money? Where’s the money, Rue?” + weapon

Dog is staring, whining, and stomping at you: Let her outside
Dog is staring, whining, and stomping at you: Ask her, “Rue, where’s your TOY?” repeatedly until she brings it to you. Throw it.
Dog is staring, whining, and stomping at you: Sell her on Craigslist
Dog is barking: Sorry she just does that and we’re working on a patch for it but it probably won’t come out until Rue 6.0
Dog’s breath smells: Give greenie
Dog needs to stop doing something: Clap once loudly, say “Rue, NO” OR make a guttural “EHH” sound like a buzzer on a 60’s game show (see: Truth or Consequences)
Dog is annoying: Give rawhide
Dog is annoying: Hypnotize with petting
Dog is annoying: Let outside
Dog is annoying: Maybe you aren’t a dog person. Try harder
Dog seems excessively itchy: Give 1/2 a benedryl wrapped in a bit of American Cheese
Dog is sick: Call vet: Palatine Family Pet Care - 847-496-5387, then call me
Dog is sick and vet is closed: Take to closest animal hospital, then call me

Or just call me. Or text me. Or something. Enjoy! Thank you!

PS: Rue does not like: Loud beeping sounds, getting wet, when you blow in her face, most other dogs, most dry dog biscuits, and Nancy Grace.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Yeah, I did.

Did what?  Skipped Maxine for 2 weeks in a row and didn't worry about it.

Felt a bit bad, but didn't worry.

Things have been busy, and sad, and adorable too.

I lost Norah, my full figured beauty of a cat.  She wasn't quite 12 years old and although she had kidney disease and I was giving her fluids at home - I wasn't expecting anything so dire so soon.  But, kidneys decide when they are going to stop working sometimes, Norah wasn't feeling well, wasn't eating and wasn't going to get better.  Her last day was spent out on the deck relaxing, having ice water (she loved it) and a bit of milk, something she didn't get very often.

She was a sweet natured and gentle girl, and I will miss her mightily.

Work has been a bit crazy lately, with my job description changing almost daily it seems.  But the thing that keeps me most occupied is this - these guys -

So ... sad, busy, and adorable.  All these reside in my home right now.  The only thing that is certain now ... is that nothing will remain the same.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014

And here they are!

Meet Thelma Emmett and Louise!  It's not a high quality photo but it is the first picture I took of them when I put them into my car to take them home.

Today they went to the vet for the first time and were pronounced ADORABLE by the vet techs there.  Did you know that even people who see cats and kittens every day for a living - still "squeeeeee!!!" when it comes to babies?  Yeah.  

Sweet.  Welcome, babies!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

Saturday, June 21, 2014

In pursuit of the perfect comfort

Thirty pounds down and I still find myself trying to find ways of eating my favorite comfort foods - without actually doing it.  Well that's just crazy!  But for me this is a huge change!  It would be lovely to be able to eat ice cream, but be satisfied with just a 1/4 cup. But no, if I have even that much my heart pounds, I have hot flashes, I feel nauseated and 30 minutes later - it has completely emptied itself from my system. Quickly.  If you know what I mean.  Sorry.

Have to change this way of thinking!!
But I asked for that.  For me - my love of all things sweet has been my downfall my whole life.  So this is aversion therapy for me.  If my knowledge of how bad this stuff is for me doesn't get me to stop - then really uncomfortable physical symptoms should.  It's called dumping syndrome - and it's one reason I chose this particular surgery. I know myself well enough to know I wouldn't stay away from sweets if left to my own devices and I had to make sweets punishing for me.  Sounds harsh but I'm stubborn.  It's been 2 months and I am still sticking my toes in the dessert waters, thinking - oh I'll try just a little of this .. !  Don't know what's wrong with me but my drive for sugar is strong.

It's a slow process undoing a lifetime of bad eating habits.  But I am working on getting plenty of protein, taking my vitamins, walking for exercise and finding new ways of doing everything "food".  I will say - if this is successful for me - it should be successful for others who have a sugar addiction because no one self-sabatages like I do.  SHEESH!

BUT - so far, so good.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Saturday, June 14, 2014

It's been a long time.

It's been a long time since I've written a 'cat' post.  Riley passed in November, so it's been a while now.  Jake passed in April of last year, over a year now since that sweet little girl left us.  Norah and Abby don't get along well, partly (mostly?) I think because Abby was never socialized with other cats or humans - and just can't make friends.  Norah I think, misses Riley.  Until he got sick in the end, he used to cuddle with her and now Norah doesn't have a cuddle buddy.

Meet Emmett.

I found Emmett on Instagram, a little boy whose Momma was a stray rescued while pregnant by a nice lady who lives about 4 hours from me.  There were 4 kittens born, 2 girls and 2 boys.  Emmett - known as Aspen caught my eye from the moment I saw him.  When he is fully weaned I will be making the drive to get him.  

He has a brother I am tentatively considering as well.  But since I made my daughter promise to never let me have 4 cats again, I am only considering.  I am totally over-thinking the whole thing - what if Norah rejects Emmett and then he has no one?  But if I bring home 2 kittens, will they only bond with each other and still leave Norah out in the cold?  No way of knowing.  

But Emmett.  Isn't he the cutest thing?  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

No it's not Monday, and my name is not Maxine.

I've been stalling.

Mid-April I had gastric-bypass surgery.  The lap band was removed, my stomach made smaller and my intestines rearranged. Kind of major. But in some ways it was easier than the lap band.  Still, since I haven't been here except on Mondays for quite a while, I didn't really want to come back with well - this post.  But
right now - it IS what's happening in my life.

When you go in for this type of surgery, there are many things to consider.  It's not reversible like having an appliance put in that can be removed.  This is forever, so you'd better want it.  And I did, I do.


It's harder than I thought.  Not the actual physical part, of course not, this is ME we're talking about. Intellectually - oh I got this.  I have it handled.

Emotionally?  Hmmm.  Another story.

When someone is an emotional eater and uses food for comfort and reward, and that person is medicated for depression to start with, what is going to happen when you take that comfort and reward away?

Yeah.  So I'm not horribly pull-the-covers-over-my-head depressed.  But I am sad.  And that makes me feel a bit pathetic since I know how lucky I am to have been able to have the surgery at all.  Many don't have that option.  Like - yeah feel sorry for me because I miss cake.  Ugh.

So yeah, I might be writing about this journey a bit.

If you'll have me.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Divorce is serious. business

But .. consciously uncoupling?


Some celebrities are so much more enlightened and evolved as human beings than the rest of us, they even divorce better than we do!

Gag.  Just gag.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014

Are you changing your passwords?

There are some sites where I have had the same password for YEARS.  No lie.  Then you hear about all this
identity theft, security breaches at departments stores, millions of credit card numbers stolen .. it's frightening!

So, I finally bit the bullet and started changing the important passwords.  The less important passwords will be changed more gradually.

Do you worry about it?

Mostly I really haven't.  But lately I've gotten several emails that look SO authentic, asking me to sign on to various accounts, for all kinds of reasons.  Most banking sites, PayPal, etc - will tell you - we will NEVER send you an email asking you to click on a link to sign in to
your account.  So when I get one of those emails, I marvel at how
real they look.

Remember the days of misspelled, badly written emails trying to convince you to reply with personal information?  Those are still around, but these days there are many more sophisticated fakes coming your way.  Don't do it.  Even if the email address it comes from looks real, don't fall for it.  If you think your financial institution really needs information from you - go onto their site the normal way, NOT using your email.

And start changing your passwords.  Unfortunately - you need to make them HARD.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Saturday, March 1, 2014

So about that sleep thing ...

Sleep is not over-rated!  Now that I've had my new cpap supplies for a couple of weeks - oh my gosh I feel like I can think again!  Not as well as when I was 25, but hey - you can't have everything.

If you experience overwhelming sleepiness and fatigue during the day, I'd recommend an app called SleepAnalyze.  A sleep disorder may not be the cause of your issues, but why not find out?

You put your phone next to your bed and it listens to you sleep.  It is sound activated and records whether you toss and turn, snore, or talk in your sleep. You can set a delay if you don't fall asleep right away, or watch TV before bed.  You can even have it play music for an allotted amount of time before you want it to start recording.

Before my new supplies arrived, I used the app one night.  There were well over a thousand "interruptions", mostly snoring and snuffling and some coughing. The sounds .. ugh!  Embarrassing.  Two nights after starting to sleep with the cpap again, there were 0 "interruptions" during the night and about 400 after I took the mask off at 7:30 in the morning and then slept in for another 2 hours.

Analyzing your sleep is only a first step if you need help.  After that you would have to have your doctor send you for a sleep study which can be pretty expensive if you don't have insurance.  But if you suffer from some kind of sleep disorder, I truly hope you can have the testing to confirm it - and to treat it.

Sleep is a wonderful thing when you can get it, and I hope you can.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Losing 2 cats last year was tough.  I wanted something .. wasn't sure what .. a photo collage, a little figurine .. I didn't know.  Something.

Click on the pic to see it bigger

This is my something.  Had it made by Organic Rust Creation on Etsy.

Can you say excited?  I think it's beautiful.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sleep. I can hardly wait.

When I moved almost 2 years ago, I stopped using my cpap machine. There wasn't a reason, really, just a new place and new routines. After a year I knew I needed it and started to use it again but I needed a new mask, new tubing, etc.  And going back to the lung specialist just to get new supplies was unacceptable to me, it's a racket. Come let me listen to your lungs and sign off on some new
I TOTALLY sleep better this way.

Not using the machine for the last 9 months or so, my ability to concentrate has deteriorated. Multi-tasking is next to impossible and during the weekend all I want to do is sleep.  Getting nothing done around my house has become the norm and I am desperate for a long and restful sleep.

Finally I decided to contact the cpap company - they had me on record as a customer (through the lung specialist) and after checking with my insurance said I qualified for all new stuff!  Well yeah!  I have never gotten new supplies since getting the thing about 3 years ago!  And I didn't have to go to the doctor.

I imagine this avenue was available to me all along, and I just didn't know it.  But honestly at this point - I'm not looking back at what I didn't do or should have done - I am just thinking about sleeping.

Seriously, I am giddy thinking about it!  Like the dying man crawling across the sand in the desert toward the oasis - all he can think about is that water.  All I can think about is a good night's sleep.

Kind of sad, really.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The day the snooze died.

I am a notorious snoozer with my alarm clock.  I play games with myself, my clock is never set for the right time, and I hit the snooze the same number of times in the morning, every work day, and get up at the same time - and it's really much earlier than my clock says.  I know it, but in my sleepy brain in the morning, I can't quite figure out what the real time is so I get up, not wanting to take a chance.

Crazy, I know.

This morning, my snooze died.  My snooze button has been getting harder and harder to use - press down in the middle .. no .. on the right side .. no .. left side of the button .. wiggle it .. it was starting to defeat the purpose of using the snooze button.

This morning - it would not turn off.  My worst nightmare - turning off my alarm before I actually have to get out of bed.  But I did it this morning.  Then of course I set my cell phone for the time I wanted to wake up - and promptly went back to sleep.

Tonight I unplugged my old, tired, dusty little alarm clock and replaced it with another one I had laying around.

Goodbye old friend.  You played my games with me for a very long time, you humored me, yet still woke me as needed.  The other alarm clock will never quite be the same as you.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What's in a name?? A LOT when it's YOURS!!

My last job, within the first year (of 25) I had abbreviated my name out of self-defense.  Had this
conversation today, and last week, and the week before that ...

Me: Hi, this is BetteJo calling from (lalalala).  May I please speak with So&So?
Other person: Sure.  I'm sorry, you said your name is Bette?
Me:  Yes well, BetteJo, actually.
Other person:  Okay Bette, hold on and I will find her for you.

Will someone explain to me why, when I give my name, when I even give it a second time - specifying that it is actually different from what the person is calling me, they STILL shorten my name????

With the new job I thought, okay, I will give my real name a try.  We will see what happens.  I mean - with kids being named things like Apple and Bronx, how hard is it to get someone to say BetteJo?

Pretty doggone tough, apparently.  So apparently I have to go back to -

Me:  Hi, this is BJ calling from (lalalala) ....


Monday, January 13, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Over it!

Cold.  Record cold.  Went into work this morning, against my better judgement.  Saw a car that had hit a wall on the expressway, another with a fire truck and ambulance along side.  There were several cars pulled over with flat tires when I got to work there weren't nearly as many cars as usual.

Giggled with the younger co-worker who literally had pajama pants and tights under her dress slacks, as well as 2 fleece jackets under her coat.  COLD.

Still, you're there - you work.

One of the bosses decided we needed to have a call at 4:30 (I generally leave at 5:00) which lasted till 6:00.  6:30?  It's a blur.

Out to my car there was my boss (not the one who who arranged the call) in his car, cranking and cranking but not starting.  We tried to jump it (by we I mean HE) and that didn't work.  He decided to let me give him a ride home since it's close to where I live and at the point - he realized he had lost his keys.  The car wouldn't start, it was well below zero - he'd already been outside longer than advisable and his keys were missing.

Ai yi yi.

Meanwhile, my daughter was stuck in an Amtrak train with her husband, hours from home on their way back from her mother-in-law's house.  The train immobilized by snow drifts and God knows what else, information has been scarce.  They started giving people free food which is never a good sign.  At
Except it was at night and there was more snow
and we were coming from the opposite direction ...
least they were warm and were apparently able to charge their cell phones because Dani had been texting me a good part of the day.

Back at my car, my boss decided to just go home.  Leave the car there and go home to his warm house where he had another car in the garage.  So I drove.  A mile away from the office was a car nose down in a ditch where he had obviously parked his car precisely on the grill - with his back end up and flashers flashing.

We stopped.

Boss-man (I am protecting his identity so he will not be incredibly embarrassed by losing his keys in the space of 6 square feet) went and checked with the guy - he was okay, triple A was on the way - thanks.

On our way again.

Slow and steady, Boss at his house and me at mine, and my daughter and son-in-law - still stuck on a train.  By that time they were waiting for a tow - they had already been towed backward for a while, were hoping for another tow - um - anywhere.

I am tired, it's been a long day.  But how do I sleep when it's beyond frigid outside and my daughter and husband have been stuck on a train for over 12 hours - on a trip that should have been 4 to 5 hours, tops?  Argh.

So.  How's your day been??

** Update - Sometime around 3:00 am they managed to get the train to a station where Dani and Dan were put on a bus bound for home.  All told - after the 1st reservation was cancelled on Sunday, the train leaving late on Monday morning, being stuck, bused, driving from the train station to pick up their dog - they made it home about 8:00 am this morning.  See details here!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sunday, January 5, 2014

And it's snowing again.

It IS pretty.
                If you're looking at it from the inside.