ideas, memories, musings

Going down the ever treacherous path called Memory Lane…

Fair warning… this is a stream of consciousness post that tackles many seemingly unrelated topics. Proceed with caution.

Bill is away again, so I’m left to my lonesome self. I usually teetotal when he goes away, but I had a beer when Bill made me lunch yesterday. Then I had another one last night while I watched The Boy in the Plastic Bubble on YouTube, starring John Travolta, Robert Reed, Ralph Bellamy, and Diana Hyland. I’ve seen that movie many times, and it’s always entertaining. Last night, it was strange to watch it, because I suddenly realized just how long ago I was born. I was about four years old when that TV movie aired in 1976. Now I’m 51, and all of the trappings of my childhood seem hopelessly antiquated.

It may seem strange that I’d be watching a 70s era TV movie, especially since I’ve seen it so many times. I love old shit like that, though. I’d rather watch campy crap from the 70s and 80s than most of what’s on TV today. I guess that means I’m really getting OLD.

The Boy in the Plastic Bubble actually has some personal meaning to me. I grew up during the era in which there were a couple of boys who lived in “plastic bubbles”. One was Ted DeVita, who had aplastic anemia and died in 1980. The other was David Vetter, who was born without a functioning immune system (he had a condition called SCID–Severe combined immunodeficiency).

David Vetter was less than a year older than I am, so he was one of my peers. He passed away in 1984, when he was just 12 years old. If he’d been born today, he never would have had to spend years in a bubble. Today, we have the technology to treat SCID with bone marrow transplants. Vetter himself had a transplant, but the bone marrow he received from his mother was infected with a dormant Epstein-Barr virus. It activated after it was transplanted and he wound up with a devastating form of lymphoma that killed him very quickly.

When I was in high school, I actually knew a guy who had aplastic anemia, like Ted DeVita did. I didn’t know him very well; he was a popular guy who played football, and football players weren’t interested in me. But everybody pretty much knew who Mike Haury was, back when we were in high school. To this day, he is memorialized at my high school. I believe there is a tree planted in his honor, as well as a weight room that was funded by people who wanted to memorialize him over 30 years ago. I found a new fundraiser online last night in Mike’s honor, by people who wanted to update the weight room at our high school, originally built in Mike Haury’s memory. In our day, the weight room at our high school was located in a boiler room. Mike’s death from aplastic anemia had led to the creation of a proper weight room. Too bad he never got to see it or enjoy it.

I remember Mike Haury went to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, the same place where Ted DeVita spent most of his life. I remember Mike died on December 7, 1988, and I remember how his death was announced to us in school. You could have heard a pin drop. I wonder if Mike had to stay in a “plastic bubble” during the last weeks of his life. Mike’s cousin, Neil, was in my high school class. Neil left us in 2000… a victim of suicide.

Years later, December 7, 1988 would be significant to me for a different reason, when I moved to Armenia to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer. That was the day a massive earthquake hit Armenia, destroyed buildings and infrastructure in a couple of northwestern cities, and ended 25,000-55,000 lives. About 130,000 people were injured. In 1995, when I arrived in Armenia, there was still a lot of wreckage and debris left from the earthquake. They hadn’t had the money or manpower to fix anything, what with the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, and all. It was still there in 1997, when I left Armenia to go home to the United States. I’m sure by now, things are different. I’ll find out in a few weeks, when I go back to Yerevan for a visit.

Today, Armenia has other problems, to include the struggle over Nagorno-Karabakh– an enclave known as the Republic of Artsakh by Armenian natives. This is a part of the Caucasus region that has historically been populated by ethnic Armenians. Back during Josef Stalin’s reign in the 1920s, as he was forming the Soviet Union, Stalin decided the land should be part of Azerbaijan. Things were, on the surface, peaceful during the Soviet years. But when the Soviet Union fell apart in December 1991, so did the surface peace in Artsakh. Armenians and Azeris have been fighting over the land ever since.

A few days ago, the Azeris seemingly “won” Artsakh, as Armenians agreed to stop fighting, and now hundreds of Armenians are fleeing Artsakh to the mainland. They fear ethnic cleansing, which is understandable, as Armenians have faced genocide in the past. As I was reading about this situation, it made me realize just how profound one man’s legacy can be. Not long ago, I read a book about a woman who fled Latvia, as it was becoming part of the Soviet Union. The woman’s story included a lot about Josef Stalin, and how his disastrous and cruel policies ruined and ended a lot of lives. I couldn’t help but think of that story as I read about how today’s Armenians are still affected by Stalin’s policies. I suspect we Americans will someday see Donald Trump in much the same way.

This situation actually affects me, in a weird way, not just because I used to live in Armenia and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer there, but because of my husband’s work today. He works for the US Army here in Wiesbaden, for a department that does work with countries in Europe and its environs, including Armenia. This situation with Azerbaijan– largely caused by Russia’s distraction with the war in Ukraine, and Vladimir Putin’s affinity for Azerbaijan’s current leader– affects Bill, because the US military is now working with the Armenians.

A few weeks ago, one of Bill’s colleagues actually talked to me for a couple of hours to get some perspective on Armenia and its people. When Bill told her about my experience in Armenia, she was quite excited, as she doesn’t know much about the place, and former Peace Corps Volunteers, especially those who were in Armenia in the 1990s, are in short supply in these parts.

As I sit here thinking about that, I realize how my time in Armenia and my marriage to Bill, both seem to have come about entirely by cosmic chance. I remember how I felt like I was wasting my time in Armenia back when I was there. Now, it seems like I was supposed to be there. And maybe I’m meant to be where I am today, here in Germany, doing exactly what I’m doing now. I’m sure it will fit in the long run. It always does.

Last night, as I was about to fall asleep, I started reading early blog posts on this incarnation of The Overeducated Housewife. The earliest posts on this blog were made when I was using a different blog layout, so some of the posts need to be edited. Some of the posts were also password protected and/or made private, because back in 2019, my privacy was being violated. That’s why I moved the blog in the first place. As I was reading those old posts, I was reminded of how totally mentally fried I was at the time, and how angry I was. In fact, just before I started writing today’s post, I read an old post of mine that inspired today’s

The old post from 2019 is very profane, and also kind of funny, because I was legitimately VERY ANGRY. Some people might think my reasons for being so angry were petty. Maybe they were, in the grand scheme of things. I look at what Armenians from Artsakh are dealing with right now, and I realize that my issues with our ex landlady were not really that earth shattering. And yet, I remember feeling very frazzled and upset during that time, so much so, that I wrote this very profane, sarcastic, and frankly quite funny post in my blog. And that post led to today’s post, which has left me with some rather profound insights…

The main reason why I was so very angry on August 30, 2019 is because, yet again, I was being unfairly judged by someone who doesn’t even know me. Months after I left her hellhole rental house, ex landlady was in my head, mainly because we had decided to fight her legally, rather than letting her just take our money. Former landlady– fixated on her petty bullshit and hunger for money– determined that I’m some kind of worthless, filthy pig. She treated both Bill and me with extreme contempt over a couple thousand euros. She expected us to be perfect, which no one can be, while she blatantly did things that were illegal. She brazenly tried to steal from us, as she accused US of stealing and personally insulted us (especially me), to boot. I was PISSED, and determined not to let her get away with it.

Making matters worse is that, through her lawyer, she was making defamatory accusations against us the day before we would lose our beloved Zane forever. We spent what turned out to be his last full day alive answering her ridiculous false accusations and threats, when we should have been loving our beloved beagle family member, who meant so much more to us than she ever could. The reality of how we spent Zane’s last day made me even more determined to make sure she was forced to pay.

In the end, we didn’t let ex landlady get away with what she was doing. She did have to pay us. It wasn’t easy or painless, but she did pay. I was glad she paid, and it was definitely worth suing her, but we would have preferred not to have to go the route we did. Because, in spite of her erroneous perceptions, I AM NOT A BAD PERSON. I just want to be treated fairly and live my life in peace!

Quite often, when something like this comes up, Bill and I simply let the other person have their way. Fighting over money often isn’t worth the hassle. We are usually big fans of the “pick your battles” mindset. But, this particular fight was more about our self-respect, and being tired of being bullied, harassed, and abused by someone who feels entitled to act like a complete cunt, with no repercussions whatsoever. Sometimes, the answer to such behavior is a hearty “FUCK YOU!” And that is what ex landlady got. Now that I think about it, it’s probably what people in the future will get when they try to pull that kind of shit with us. Because most people get to a point at which they’re no longer to roll over for obvious bullshit, which is what this was.

Still… that bullshit is NOTHING compared to what a lot of people go through. Just reading this blog post and thinking about some of the folks I wrote about today makes me realize that we’ve been pretty lucky. We mostly have to deal with bullies and narcissists. Not that dealing with narcissists isn’t painful, because it is… But once you realize what and who narcissistic people are, you realize that they’re basically empty shells of pain. And, just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, you always have the power to go “home” again… All you really have to do is click your heels and walk away. Sometimes it does feel good to give them something to remember you by, though… ๐Ÿ˜‰

As you can see, when I’m alone, I do a lot of thinking. My thoughts often end up on a straight path, where one thing leads seamlessly to another. Before I know it, I have a long string of seemingly unrelated thoughts and memories that somehow fit, that I feel compelled to write about… much like my seemingly worthless and highly unorthodox existence seems to fit in implausible places. Here I am, an “overeducated housewife”, writing these blog posts when I could be doing something “useful”, like working in a cubicle somewhere, driving a teenaged kid to an activity, tending to an elderly parent, nursing an injury of my own, giving someone a baby shower, or attending a fundraiser… normal things all of my old friends seem to be doing.

Things I always thought I would be doing with MY life… But that isn’t how my life has gone.

A lot of people seem to think I’m a silly, amoral, feckless twat. I’m pretty sure that was former tenant’s and ex landlady’s collective impression of me. They didn’t know me. They never took the time to get to know me. They never cared, because they were not interested. That’s fair enough, I guess. I do wish if that was how they felt, they’d at least allowed me to be strange in private.

They didn’t realize there’s someone worth knowing, deep beneath the surface of my loud giggles, weird jokes, copious flab, and profanity… someone strong, who loves fiercely, feels deeply, thinks constantly, and deserves basic respect and simple regard. The people who casually dismiss me, or make a habit of dismissing anyone else, really, ignore those basic truths at their own perils.

Well… today’s post is a rambling toxic creek of different stuff. If you managed to wade through it, I do appreciate the effort. Like everyone else, I hurt sometimes. I have a very long memory, and a long history of people treating me like trash. I don’t have the type of personality that handles that kind of treatment with much grace or patience, hence these weird blog posts that some people think make me seem “unhinged”.

I’m not crazy, y’all. I think I’m just kind of fed up with everything. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Being fed up means I have to empty the bins. Because I’m not an OCD nightmare like ex landlady, I don’t scrub away the shitty residue. When things start to stink, I have to flush. So that’s what today’s post is.

Time to move on with the day. Got to fold laundry, walk Noyzi, play guitar, and buy more beer. So, until the ‘morrow, I bid you all farewell.

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music, obits

Come Monday… a little tribute to Jimmy Buffett…

The featured photo is a screenshot of a photo I took in Key West, Florida, over Labor Day weekend in 2010.

I was pretty surprised the other day to read about Jimmy Buffett’s passing. I didn’t know that Jimmy had been ill. I get the sense a lot of regular people didn’t know he’d been ailing, although the singer-songwriter Stephen Bishop had posted on Facebook that he had a friend who was dying and he was going to pay him a last visit. Someone asked Stephen, who is very engaging on Facebook, if it had been Jimmy he’d gone to see. He confirmed that he did visit him on Friday and sang him a song, but he also had another friend (it turned out to be Gary Wright, of Dream Weaver fame, who died yesterday morning at age 80) who was dying that he planned to go see. Sir Paul McCartney also reportedly visited Mr. Buffett and sang for him one last time.

We sure have lost a lot of music legends this year. It’s reminding me a bit of 2016, when a whole host of amazing performers passed away in a short period of time. As a music fan, it’s sad for me, but I imagine it’s worse for those who know these luminaries in person, especially if they’re around the same age.

But yes… lots of great singers from my growing up years are moving on to the next big thing, whatever it is. I’ve been reading so many tributes to Jimmy Buffett, some from fellow celebrities who knew and loved him personally, and some friend my friends who loved him from afar. I have quite a few friends who were devoted Parrotheads and were genuinely distraught at the news that Jimmy Buffett’s rare skin cancer (Merkel cell) had turned into lymphoma. In Gloucester, Virginia, where there are many boats and people are decidedly southern, Buffett’s music was a natural soundtrack.

I always enjoyed Jimmy’s music, although I never managed to make it to any of his shows. I did have the chance to go a few times, but I think I was overwhelmed by the idea of so many people partying when I’m focused on the music. I’m not one for big crowds. However, so many of my friends went to his concerts and had a marvelous time. My college suitemate was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi, which is also where Jimmy was born. She happened to be there this week, as her beloved aunt who still lived there passed away. Apparently, my friend’s family lived in Jimmy’s old neighborhood and knew his family. She was really gutted to hear that Jimmy Buffett had joined her aunt on the other side.

As for me, whenever I hear Jimmy Buffett’s music, I’m reminded of being a student at Longwood University, a small school in a rural area, where, at least in the 90s, there wasn’t much to do but party. We played a lot of drinking games with Jimmy Buffett’s music in the background. It always reminds me of being in the South, which is, like it or not, my home… even if it is overrun with MAGA cretins. There was a time in my life, though, that I loved the South very much. I equated it with good times, southern drawls, laid back fashion, fattening food, fun music, and easy living. I still have those nostalgic memories, and Jimmy Buffett’s music is the perfect soundtrack for it.

Maybe it sounds strange to mention this, but when I heard of Jimmy Buffett’s skin cancer turning into lymphoma I was reminded of our last two dogs, both of whom had mast cell cancer (a type of skin cancer in dogs) that eventually turned into lymphoma. In fact, both dogs were diagnosed at this time of year– and one died just a week later on August 31, 2019, while the other got chemo for five months and died in the spring of 2023. I don’t know if skin cancer becoming lymphoma is a common thing in people, as it is in dogs, but it did cross my mind.

I guess Jimmy’s death from skin cancer one more reason to be very careful when you’re out and about in the sun, especially if you’re fair skinned. Bill had his first dermatology exam this year, because of some suspicious looking stuff on his skin. It turned out he’s okay. I probably should break down and get an exam, too. Maybe encouraging people to use sunscreen and get checked for skin cancer could be one more thing Jimmy does for humanity, besides writing gentle, poignant, funny, and comforting anthems for the world.

Anyway… I did enjoy a Margarita on Saturday, remembering Jimmy’s music, and how it made my youth better. Some of his songs never fail to make me smile, especially the live versions. I know it’s not the same as being there in person, but I can tell by the roar of the crowd on those live albums that Jimmy was one hell of an entertainer. He wrote books and ran restaurants, too. In fact, Bill and I had the chance to visit his Key West Margaritaville outlet, over Labor Day weekend in 2010. Naturally, I enjoyed a Margarita there.

From our trip to Key West, ages ago…
Of course I had my Margarita in a hurricane glass…

And below is one of my favorite Buffett songs, ever… This one always makes me laugh.

Jimmy says he wrote this song with Glenn Frey… and now they’re probably partying up in the heavens.

And no tribute would be complete without this infamous song… ๐Ÿ˜€

I heard this so many times when I was in college… but I didn’t heed the suggestion until 8 years after graduation. ๐Ÿ˜€

I do like the music, but those crowds are insane! He made so many people happy, though! It just seems like the world is a dimmer place without a little Buffett in it. He had such a tremendous gift for spreading the fun to everyone. That is such a rare thing. So I can see why so many of my friends are so sad to lose Jimmy. He was one of a kind.

All weekend, I’ve been thinking about whether or not I wanted to do a musical tribute. I decided today I would try one of Jimmy’s songs… So here it is. I hope a few people like it.

I figure it fits, since today is Labor Day…

As a child of the 70s and 80s, it’s hard for me to see so many great singers from my youth passing on. It’s a grim reminder that I’m no longer a spring chicken myself… especially as my sister, Sarah (who is 8 years older than I am), and I have both seen members of our high school classes pass away recently. In her case, the person was her first boyfriend when we moved to Gloucester County in Virginia, back in 1980. In my case, it was a guy I knew because we shared a lot of classes. I don’t think he liked me very much back then… and probably never thought of me again once we graduated. But I was sure saddened and surprised to see that he’d been ill and passed away at just 51 years of age. I guess these things are just a reminder not to sweat the small stuff or take things for granted. Because, before you know it, it’s time to move on to the next big thing yourself.

Somehow, it seems fitting that Jimmy Buffett would pass away on September 1. His music has always epitomized summer and good times to me… and especially Labor Day weekend, which is also special to me, because that was when Bill and I realized we were in love, back in 2001. So, wherever Jimmy is, I hope he’s at peace. His music will always bring back golden memories for me… and remind me of home. May God bless his soul.

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dogs, healthcare, music, YouTube

Looks like Arran is going to get another chance…

A couple of days ago, we got the news that Arran’s lymphoma is B cell type. This is somewhat good news, as B cell canine lymphoma typically responds better to treatment than T cell lymphoma does. The sickness that results from B cell lymphoma is also not necessarily as severe as T cell lymphoma is.

Mood music for this. Fantastic instrumental of a classic gospel song.

Our original plan was to let Arran live out the rest of his days and try to keep him comfortable. But last night, after speaking to the vet, we decided that maybe we should try chemotherapy with him. Although he is an old dog, he’s still very much alive and vibrant. He still wants to play, take walks, snuggle with Bill, and eat. He’s really close to his tenth anniversary with us. That would take place January 12, 2023. I would be thrilled if he could hang on for that long.

Canine chemotherapy is not like it is for humans. It can cause some side effects in dogs, but it’s not nearly as awful for dogs as it is for people, because the dosages of the medicines are much smaller and work more to suppress symptoms than effect cures. Arran is already about 13 or 14 years old, which is why we originally thought we’d just let him pass. But he really seems to want to live. Last night, we went down to the weekly market for about 45 minutes. When we came back, Arran was dancing around, welcoming us home. He jumped up on the bench with Bill and snuggled with him. He simply isn’t ready to die yet.

Watch Arran… he doesn’t act like he’s about to die.

Our 20th wedding anniversary is coming up on November 16th. We were hoping to do something special, but if Arran is getting chemo, we can’t very well send him to the Hundepension. So, last night, I made a four night reservation in Ribeauville, France, which is one of our favorite getaways. We know the guy who owns the apartment. He’s very dog friendly. We’ll just bring the boys with us. If we manage to go on this break, it will be Noyzi’s first time going anywhere with us. That apartment in France will be good for that. I can cancel without penalty before October 16th. Hopefully, Bill can get the time off, and both dogs will be able to travel. We’ve been to Ribeauville so many times that I don’t care if we just hang out in the apartment. We’ve already seen a lot of what’s there. I just want some wine and macaroons. If we go to Alsace, we can get some French goodies and be somewhere else on our big day.

I’ve often mentioned that my dogs teach me new things all the time. That is definitely true, as based only on Zane’s experience with lymphoma, I would assume that it’s always a dreadful, devastating disease for dogs. But even though lymphoma killed Zane very quickly, his death was still much better than the deaths our other dogs have had. And in Arran’s case, it looks like we can even forestall it for awhile. Statistics show that CHOP therapy for canine lymphoma, if started early enough, can help 80 to 90 percent of dogs achieve temporary remission, especially if they have B cell lymphoma, which is what Arran has.

We’re not expecting a miracle. I’d just like him to celebrate ten years with us. And again… he obviously WANTS to live. Look at him!

This was just yesterday.

The vet says he will need to be catheterized, which could be a problem if he can’t tolerate it. Then he will have nine weekly rounds of chemo, then it will go to monthly for up to a year. I don’t expect him to last a year, but who knows? He might surprise us.

We’ll see what happens. I just want, for once, to be able to do something when canine cancer strikes. Maybe all that will happen is the vet will get more experience in treating cancer in dogs. That’s worth something too, isn’t it? And an added bonus… my Mini Cooper will finally get driven again, and Noyzi will learn how to entertain himself at home, as I accompany Arran to his appointments.

Fuck cancer. This time, maybe we’ll put up a fight.

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condescending twatbags, dogs, good news, music

Arran did fine! I think he was determined to come home…

I know there’s so much in the world I could write about today, but I’m just not ready to write about things in Ukraine, the MAGA cult’s desperate attempts to hang on to relevance, Lizzo’s awesome flute playing, or Trump’s ridiculous bullshit. Today, I want to write about our sweet Arran, who apparently did fine at the Hundepension.

Bill went to get Arran and Noyzi last night at the appointed pick up time. I’m sure he was nervous about what he was going to find out when he got the boys, or the condition Arran was going to be in. But, as it turned out, Arran did fine. He had diarrhea one day, and wasn’t all that interested in his food that day. After that, he was more like himself. He does look like he might have lost some weight, which he needed to do anyway. For so many years, Arran was a very fit dog, but in the past year, he’s put on some weight. It could be the cancer doing this, but it’s nice to see him with more of a figure, even if it’s temporary.

Bill said Arran really liked the male caretaker at the pension– someone we don’t know yet. The pension has recently changed ownership, although the same staff is there. I get the sense that the old owner is up there in years and ready to retire, and maybe he sold the business to someone younger who worked there. I don’t know, but I’m grateful that they took good care of our boys. Noyzi absolutely adores Natasha. He goes nuts when he sees her.

Both dogs were excited when Bill showed up, and it took a few minutes to get them on leashes because of the reunion happy dance. When they got home, Arran was running around the house, rubbing against all the furniture, no doubt marking it with his scent. He ate some food quite eagerly, said hello to me, then jumped up on the bed for a nap.

Obviously, Arran still has cancer, and he’s going to probably get test results today. That will determine what, if any, treatment he’ll get. We’re both thinking we’d like to make him comfortable, given his advanced age. What that will mean remains to be seen. He’ll go see the vet tomorrow. I know we don’t have much time left, but it made me feel so much better to see that he did okay during our trip. He’s our little ass kicker, much like our old dog, Flea, was.

This morning, Arran even got up with Bill and ate all of his breakfast. He went outside, did his business, and is now sprawled out on Bill’s side of the bed, sleeping. He’ll probably come in here in a few hours and ask for a walk. This is the most bittersweet part of having a dog in your life. For years, he’s rewarded us with loyalty, devotion, and undying love for us. It’s a privilege to make sure he ends his extraordinary, but too short, life in the best way… for as long as it takes.

And actually… now that I’ve written about our amazing Arran, I do want to make a statement about Lizzo and her crystal flute performance. I managed to hear the whole thing yesterday, and I thought Lizzo played beautifully. I am excited to see her igniting passion for music in young people. At least one of my friends reported that thanks to Lizzo’s historic turn with a 209 year old crystal flute, once owned by President James Madison, her daughter wants to learn how to play the flute. That is priceless!

I think she plays quite beautifully… better than I do, anyway.

It saddens me to read so many awful comments about Lizzo– everything from body shaming to comments about how she’s a “mediocre” flute player and shouldn’t be allowed to play such a “special” instrument. That flute was meant to be played, and Lizzo is far from being a “mediocre” musician. I think the issue is, a lot of uptight, conservative, white people want to see people like Lizzo kept down in what they think is her “place”. They should all go fuck themselves until they’re dead. Check out some of these disgusting reactions!

Why is she wearing that! I think itโ€™s great that sheโ€™s proud of her obesity but now Iโ€™m blind!

There are many great flute players who have never even touched that instrument. Why her? She is at best mediocre. This instrument should have been left alone. It’s an American heirloom, a gem, that should be where all other historical items belong – protected and preserved.

Special talent? Ummmm you know thereโ€™s thousands of kids playing this in band right?

BUT THE DISRESPECT SHE GENERATES IS NO FUN AT ALL. KEEP YOU KIDS AWAY FROM HER!!!!

Have some class and stop twerking all the time especially with a classy peice of history

And it goes on and on… People have the right to their opinions, of course, but I think it’s sad that they have to show everybody how awful they are on social media. Personally, I thought Lizzo was amazing on the flute. I don’t follow her career, but I have a lot more respect for her now than I might have before I heard her play that flute. She made a positive difference for a lot of people– especially young people. So the assholes who think she shouldn’t have played the flute should all go play in traffic. Preferably nowhere near where I live, thank you VERY much.

Now to get back to my travel blog… I’m about halfway done.

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blog news, dogs

My Sunday “mental health” day with Bill and the dogs…

I decided to take yesterday off from writing, mainly because last week was pretty emotional. A week ago, we learned that our beloved Arran has lymphoma, and will likely be leaving us soon. The fact that Arran has cancer isn’t necessarily a shock, nor is it a shock that he will eventually leave us, especially since he’s between 13 and 14 years old. This is something that happens to every living thing at some point. But the timing of this is tough, since we’re going out of town on Wednesday and returning next Monday, and then Bill has to go on a couple of business trips. Arran saw the vet Friday, and they did more blood work. Some of his values actually improved since last month’s tests. But I can feel his lymph nodes getting larger, and he just wants to rest all the time. Except, of course, when it’s walk time. He does still enjoy his walks, and he will still eat, as long as we offer something tastier than plain kibble.

We also had rainy weather yesterday, which made going out kind of unappealing. Bill ended up making brownies and I downloaded some new software, which I was trying out yesterday. I also couldn’t think of anything to write about. Or, maybe there were things to write about, but I couldn’t be arsed to write about them yesterday. Instead, I just wanted to hang out with Bill and my dogs. Arran is such a unique character– complex on so many levels. He is selfish, cranky, and possessive, yet so loving, loyal, and sweet. So yes, it’s been hard to realize that our time with him is going to be ending in the near future.

We did go out on Saturday. Finally saw the optometrist, and updated our prescriptions, which we really needed to do. Wiesbaden had two fests going on, so we walked around those, and had some lunch. The featured photo is from the Fall Fest, which is always fun, especially since, for the past two years, we haven’t had it due to COVID-19.

I wish we could postpone our trip out of town, but to do so would mean losing a large bundle of cash and having to fight an insurance company to get reimbursed. Plus, we are engaging in some necessary business by visiting our dentist, and both Bill and I are in need of a change of scenery/break. I need one more than he does, since I don’t take business trips. Or… maybe I don’t need a break, in terms of life or death, but I really want one. This trip will be to a beautiful hotel with great food… I just hope we can enjoy it. We will be two hours from home, so if anything happens with the dogs while we’re out of town, it won’t be too hard to get back to them and take care of things.

As I was writing this, Arran came into the room. He used to get up when we did, but now he sleeps later. Generally, when the sun comes up, he saunters in and asks to go outside. He does his business and has his breakfast. Now he’s come back up here and parked himself behind my chair, where he’ll stay until he decides he wants a walk. It occurs to me this morning that nothing has really changed, other than knowing that his time is limited now. But actually, that would be true in all cases, since we never know when we’ll die. According to Embark, Arran canine age is the equivalent of a person in their mid 90s. But, for someone in their 90s, he still gets around pretty well, in spite of the lymphoma. He’s still gorgeous, too.

I think Noyzi can tell Arran is ailing. For one thing, dogs have a fantastic sense of smell, and we give off different scents when we’re sick. I’m sure that’s true for animals, too. And there’s a different energy, too. Arran isn’t as cranky when Noyzi is around, although he hasn’t completely stopped barking at him when he gets too annoying. Noyzi also did something very interesting the other night. We had a rare thunderstorm, and Noyzi was obviously scared. He came down to the dining room, where Bill and I were, and sought comfort. At first he came to me, because he prefers women to men. But then, he crawled under the table, which is usually Arran’s domain. Then he stuck his head on Bill’s lap, looking up at him hopefully, as if to ask him for reassurance. That was the first time he’s ever done that, and it’s a big sign that he trusts Bill. Given that he used to pee submissively when Bill would take off his belt, this is a HUGE deal.

Noyzi needs comforting.

The vet thinks Arran will be fine while we’re gone, if not a bit less energetic and hungry than usual. When we get back, he’ll have another appointment, and she’ll decide whether or not to give him prednisone. Having seen what prednisone did for both Zane and MacGregor, two of our dogs who have since gone to the Rainbow Bridge, I think it would be helpful for Arran. I don’t think we’ll do chemo for him… but that decision will be final when we learn what type of lymphoma he has. I hate this, though. I feel like we should be doing more, even though Arran doesn’t seem to be in any serious distress right now.

I also spent yesterday plowing through my latest book. I will probably be ready to review it tomorrow, as it’s not a long book, and I’ve managed to get a lot of it read in a couple of sittings. I’ve even been reading it aloud to Bill, since it’s about Donald Trump, and Trump intrigues and disgusts him as much as he does me. Maybe I’ll even review it today, since I don’t have any pressing chores to do. We’ll see…

I did have a chance to record a new song yesterday. It will eventually be used in a new video that will be posted at a later date. And here is a video I made today, but this one is not the one I did yesterday.

A deep cut Carpenters tune from 1971.

Sometimes, one just needs a day to do nothing that requires a lot of brain power. I can’t say that I didn’t do anything yesterday, since I did buy new software and try it out, and I did so some recording. But it was good to take a day off of blogging. I don’t think anyone minds… or even really noticed. This is especially true since I disabled the Facebook page. I obviously had people who were following the page without officially following it, looking for new posts. While it would be nice to have more readers, I’m pretty happy with having some high quality folks reading and commenting, and not looking for a reason to be negative. There’s a definite downside to popularity.

Anyway… I don’t have anything else to add to this post. Maybe I will later. Like I said, I don’t have pressing chores to do today.

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