Lions and Tigers and ……

…… dogs!  Oh My!!!

This post goes under the file of “Never a dull moment in my life”.
I hope you enjoy it.

Yesterday I flew from freezing-your-nose-off-in-20-minutes-New York, to Houston.
It’s cold here in Houston.
Well, cold in Houston-terms.
Which means less than 40 degrees.

Anyway, I’m going to share with you the oh-so-lovely experience I had on the plane.
I’m just going to paste and copy it from Face Book, which is where I posted it as it was happening.
Grab some cocoa (if you’re in the cold section of the U.S.), and settle in to read a post about something that could only happen to me.
And to this lovable creature:
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My first post:

Ok, rudest woman EVER next to me on the plane. She looked at Gracie, then me, and said, “A dog?!” Then looked at her husband and repeated it louder. I said, “They’re allowed on planes.” And she said, “I know they are. I don’t like dogs and I’m NOT sitting next to one!” I said, “You won’t be next to one, she’s in a kennel, under the seat.”
She went up to a flight attendant and insisted they give her another seat. Her husband is sitting across the aisle from her and said that he’d sit here and she said, “That’s not the point!”
I have no idea what her point is. The flight is over sold and someone is coming on board to talk to her.
Oh, she just said she wants ME to be moved! She said, “Why should I be the one inconvenienced?!”
I’m going to go ballistic momentarily.

Yes, every word of that is true.
Within a matter of minutes I had over 30 comments on that post. By the end of the night there were 70.
To say that my friends were outraged would be an understatement.

Here’s the next post:

They basically told her to seat down and deal with it. Her husband is now sitting next to me and she’s going on and on about “she has the right to have the dog on board”, mocking the woman who told her that. She keeps saying, “What about MY rights?!”
I wish they’d just kick her off.
Excuse me, I need to order another Bloody Mary.
Ugh!!!

I never got another Bloody Mary, but I did manage to get a couple of glasses of wine. I should’ve just asked for the bottle.
This post generated over 30 comments. Many friends were hoping that I’d get placed in first class because of this trashy, classless woman.
So I posted this next:

She’s also with a teenage son.
And this is first class. She had them check to see if someone (me) had been upgraded and didn’t deserve to sit here.
I have on headphones and we’re leaving so that’s all … for now.

When we landed, I looked at my FB page and couldn’t believe all of the comments. And I broke into a huge smile as I read all of the p.o.’d comments. My friends had my back. Yes, in a virtual way, but it still felt good. Really good.
Widowed people need to know every once in a while (or more often) that they’re not alone in their feelings.
And I was clearly …… not alone.

Just landed. Her husband was also an ass. I’ll write more later …… I just wanted to say that you guys are the absolute best. Thanks for having my back. You made me smile.

I got home and went through three months of mail, got Gracie situated with food and a clean litter box (which she has mastered 100%, Whoop!!) before crashing for the night. Little did I know that there were an untold number of people waiting with baited breath for my next post.
This morning a friend posted this:

I woke up and checked fb to see if there was the “rest of the story” about the mean people and the pup. Oh my gosh woman, wake up and finish the story. I can’t handle the suspense!!

Unfortunately I hit the ground running this morning and didn’t get on the computer until almost 9:00 p.m. tonight.
I had no idea that I was leaving so many people hanging!

Here is the last post about the “incident”:

Holy moley, you people are impatient!!
So sorry that I didn’t update …. it’s 9:00 pm now and this is the first time all day I’ve been on the computer. And I haven’t unpacked my suitcases yet!!!
OK, here’s what happened next (though I should save this for a blog post!):
After the United spokeswoman told her that there were no other seats and she could switch with her husband, the woman said something nasty about Gracie. The United lady told her that the dog was beneath the seat and would stay there. Insane-lady said, “It had better stay there!”
Do you know how much I wanted to reach down, grab Gracie and throw her onto that woman’s lap?!
My love for Gracie is probably the only thing that kept me from doing that.
Truly.
Her husband sat next to me. Now, in most rows of first class, there’s a small square of floor space in front of you, a larger rectangular space in the middle, and a small square of space in front of the other person.
Gracie and her kennel were in my small square place. My purse/bag was in the larger space, but not taking up all of it.
When he sat down, he looked at my bag and said, “Can you move this and put it above so that I can put my foot there?”
Now, here’s the deal: this guy was maybe 5’4″, and tubby. And that’s being kind.
There’s no way he needed any of that space for his foot, but I bent down, squished my bag to the side, and said, “There. Can you put your foot there?”, knowing full well that he could. He put his foot in the space and that was the end of that. His foot never made it to that space again. And, she leaned over after that and said, very loudly, “Do you have enough room for your feet??!!”
Picture my eyes rolling to the back of my head.
He and I never exchanged another word. As soon as we leveled off, he got up to go to the restroom. As soon as he came out, I got up to go so that he wouldn’t have to get up again to let me out. (Because I’m just that thoughtful of a traveler — even when your wife is a totally insane monster).
As soon as I left the row, Gracie started whining. I had no idea she’d be able to tell that my feet were gone, but she did. Someone else was in the restroom so I had to wait. And she got louder and louder. One of the flight attendants said, “Oh, she as separation anxiety!”, to which I replied, “Yes, she does. I’m trying to hurry.” I was probably out of my seat for a total of 2 – 3 minutes, tops. It was the fastest restroom break ever.
When I came out, he was complaining to a flight attendant, about how he was a million-mile flier and this was a terrible experience. He went on and on about how first class travel just isn’t what it used to be and how horrible it was that United really became Continental with the merger. Funny, he’s the first person I ever heard say that …. everyone else around here says that it’s too bad Continental had to become United.
Anyway …..
He went on and on for quite a while, saying they were on vacation, and it’s just too bad that most airlines don’t have a “real” first class anymore. He tries not to fly on United as much now. Lucky me to get that family on one of their few flights.
They were spending the night in Houston and flying on today …. I didn’t pay enough attention to hear where. At that point I had my headphones firmly in place and was ignoring them.
When we landed and everyone stood up, the woman behind me leaned over and said, “Where’s the dog?”. I pointed under the seat in front of me. The couple across from her leaned over and asked, “Where’s the dog?” The people in front of me turned around to see the dog. It was hilarious. I picked up her kennel, put on the sling I carry her in most of time, took her OUT of the kennel and placed her in the sling. People went nuts. They were oohing and awing. Even people from a few rows back in coach. That woman had made quite a loud scene.
The woman behind me leaned over and said (English was not her first language) …
“They are both bitches!”
People came up to me as I walked through the terminal towards the luggage area and commented on Gracie and those idiotic people. It was hilarious.
I knew that Gracie would be the topic of a few car rides last night.
I could see those bozos on the opposite side of the luggage carousel, and they kept staring at me … or maybe at Gracie, but I ignored them.
So there you go. The rest of the story.
It’s no Paul Harvey story, but it’s mine.
Thank you again, all of you, for being so irate for me.
It meant a lot.

So there you go.
Never a dull moment.
I have to tell you that I really did consider taking a picture of this broad, but just didn’t care enough to do it.
Her husband seemed to be trying to calm her down and get her to be a bit quieter in the beginning, but she kept claiming that she had every reason to be upset. Her teenage son didn’t say much during the whole thing, though I did hear him say to her (once she sat next to him), “Mom, I can’t even tell that there’s a dog over there.”
She ignored him.

I’m not sure why these kind of things happen to, or around me, other than to keep all of you entertained.
And if that’s the only reason, then I’m happy to oblige.
:)
And for all of my tennis friends out there, and you know who you are …… I’m glad that I didn’t have to go all “Hold my hoops!!!!” on her.
I totally would’ve won.
Totally.

Happy Monday, Peeps.
:)

What Better Way ……

…… to celebrate VD than hanging out with your daughter and her BF, eating delivered Indian food, and watching “Big Hero 6″ (another Disney movie in which the parents are, of course, dead) and “The Theory of Everything”.

Oh, and Gracie, too.
:)

It’s been a busy couple of weeks since I last posted. I went to Tampa for Camp Widow East last week, and it was terrific. Of course, I think they each get more terrific each time we do them, but then, I might be a wee bit biased.
It was great to see old friends and make new ones. It’s always hard to say good bye, so this time I didn’t have to say it too many times.
That’s because I left in a hurry on Sunday.

My flight was scheduled for Monday, but, as in all weather-related news with United, there was much ado about nothing.
But they sent out notices that there was a good chance that flights would be cancelled on Monday, due to an incoming storm Sunday night.
So I changed my flight from Monday morning, to Sunday afternoon. And I did this from the hotel pool.
Which then threw me into full on packing/showering/checking out mode. I had about 30 minutes to do all of the above.
And I did.
Because I’m that awesome.
:)

Of course the storm didn’t hit NY, but dumped everything on Boston.
Sorry, Boston.

I knew that if I changed my flight (and paid the difference, because, yes, they charged me for that) the predicted ice storm would not appear.
City of New York ….. you’re welcome.

While in Tampa last week I accomplished a first …… I rode a Segway.
And it was SO fun.
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However, I may now be paying for that ride, and for the fun dancing that I did on Saturday night.
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The DJ was great and the dancing was fun, as always.
But my back is screaming its opinion of all that moving around.
At least, I think that’s why the stupid sciatica has reared its ugly head.
I’m hoping that it shuts up soon, especially during my flight to TX tomorrow.

Speaking of Texas …… Son #2 is moving to Austin next week. I’m very excited for him, even though I’ll miss having him at home with me. But it’s going to be a good move for both of us.

That’s all for now.
It’s time to load up on NASIDs and hopefully get some sleep.
See you from the Lone Star State next time.
:)

P.S. Here’s a shot of all of us weeping widowed people from Camp.
:)
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The Day is Done ……

…… and  we  she survived the groomer.

On Thursday I was told that it would take two hours.
This morning, when I dropped her off at 11:00, I was told to pick her up between 3:30 and 4:00. Four and a half to five hours??!!
Holy cow! I didn’t say much, just passed over her treat bag that they had told me to bring so that they could bribe coax her into holding still.  She was so nervous that she wouldn’t take one from me.
She’s a lot like me …… definitely not a stress eater.

Since it was going to be such a long appointment, I decided to get some errands done and see a movie, which I did.
I finally saw “Still Alice”. Now, I read that book a few years ago and thought it was very good, though very disturbing …… to me. And depressing.
So, it’s taken me a while to be able to see it. When I know that a movie is going to be horrendously violent, horrifically depressing, or anything that touches too close to home (dead spouses and such), I don’t just run out and see it the first chance I get. I have learned that I need to be in the right frame of mind to see a movie like that.
Some people don’t understand that, and seem to get frustrated over it, but that’s not my problem. I know my mind …… and my heart. And I know that something like that can send me into a tailspin for a few days, and trust me …… tailspins aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
So if I wait until I’m in a mood to see, and deal with it …… it’s all good.

I’m glad that I had read the book, so I knew what to expect. And really, the main reason I went was to see Julianne Moore’s acting. She’s nominated for an Oscar (which she well deserves) and I wanted to see her for myself.
So I did, and I’m fine.
No tailspin.

It’s the same thing with “American Sniper”. I’d like to see that. But the time hasn’t been right. Knowing the end beyond the end, makes the thought of this much worse.
Also, my father-in-law was a Marine Sniper in WWII. He was shot on Okinawa …… by a Japanese Sniper. Ironic?
I think he spent the better part of 2 years hospitalized and recuperating. He was told he’d never walk again.
But the man is nothing if not stubborn.
(Yes, all six of my kids have a double dose …… ALL of them. Sigh ……)
And he showed them.
He not only walked but farmed his own land for decades. He’s still living on the farm and still putters around out there, though I think he leaves the harvesting to his youngest son. By the way, he’s almost 88 or 89.

I know that I have totally digressed from my original post, but I’m going to digress some more. Just because I think this is a great story.

One day, back in the old days when we had only 4 children (I think. We could’ve had 5 …… maybe.), my in-laws were visiting us down in Texas. I had an appointment to take one of the kids to see our pediatrician. On a whim I asked my FIL if he’d like to come along with me.
Now, you have to know that I have no idea why I did that. I didn’t make a habit of asking him to accompany me anywhere, and if I had, he most likely would’ve said no.
But for whatever reason, I asked …… and he said yes. So we loaded up the one kid (I have no idea which one and it’s not relevant) and off we went. We got out of the car at the office and started walking up to the door.
My FIL read the sign on the door, listing the doctor’s name and said, “Hmmmmmm, ___________. I wonder if he’s any relation to the surgeon I had in the war?”
Now the doctor’s last name was not a common name. So I asked him where that would have been? He couldn’t remember exactly, but knew it was either on the ship, where he was for a very long time, or the hospital in California, where he ended up for a VERY long time.
Suddenly, I remembered that our doctor was in the Naval Reserve, which I told my FIL. “Yes”, he said. His doctor had also been in the Navy.

Now, I knew that our doctor was older, but I didn’t think it was possible that he was THE doctor we were talking about. But I told my FIL that I’d ask him once we got called back.
They called us back and I took my child while my FIL stayed in the waiting room. I don’t know if he was just reading or if we had brought more than one child (though I don’t think so) and he was watching him.

When the doctor came into the exam room, he started to examine my child (which I really think was one of the boys). I cleared my throat and did my best to not sound like a stalker …… and asked, “Was your father in World War II?”
He stopped looking at my child and looked at me.
“Yes”, he said, kind of cautiously.
“Was he a doctor in the war? Either on a ship or in California?”
At this point the doctor was looking quite suspicious of me. Yes, we’d been patients for a few years now, but I guess none of his others had asked about his private life before.
“Yes, he was. Why are you asking?” he said, warily.

“Well, my FIL was a sniper in WWII and was shot on Okinawa. He had surgery on a ship and after several months he ended up in a hospital in California. He said that his surgeon’s name was ________. Your last name.”

He stood up straight and just stared at me for a minute. I wondered if I’d have to perform CPR or something, which would’ve been a bit awkward, since I hadn’t taken a CPR class since I was pregnant with Daughter #1.
His prospects, should his heart have stopped …… did not look good.

Thankfully, he finally looked at me rather incredulously and said that yes, his father had indeed been a surgeon on the USS _______ (if you expect me to remember that then you obviously don’t know me very well), AND in a Naval hospital in California.

He asked where my FIL was and I surprised him with, “In the waiting room.” He could hardly contain his excitement as he followed me back out to the waiting room and met Jim’s dad. Yes, his father really was my FIL’s surgeon/doctor who cared for him back in the day. Way, way, WAY back in the day.
And our pediatrician was over the moon about that. He loved it.
From that point on he always asked how my FIL was when he saw us, whether that was in the office or in a grocery store.
He told his dad about meeting my FIL and his dad always asked about Jim’s dad whenever they saw each other.

I ran into our old doctor sometime last year. We are past the point of pediatricians and he’s long since retired, but he still knows me and stops to inquire about Jim’s dad. He told me that his father had passed away in the last year, but that he always asked about his former patient. He loved the story of us putting two and two together and realizing that it is, indeed, a small world.

There you go.
A wonderful, poignant story.
And it’s true.

And with that …… I shall leave you with before and after pictures of my adorable, precious, precocious puppy. :)
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Look at all of that hair in her eyes!  This is a couple of weeks old, so her hair was even longer that that this morning.

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And Voila!  She has eyes!!  She can see!  And she looks a whole lot smaller and weighs less than she did earlier in the day.
She’s just as feisty though.  And is chewing on everything she can get her teeth on.  Though it’s a bit more difficult now because she’s lost her bottom baby teeth.  She’s now gumming everything to death!  ROFL!!

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I hope you all had a good weekend.
Stay warm.
Or cool.
Whatever floats your boat.

:)

I Know They Don’t Mean to ……

…… but people can be SO freakin’ insensitive.

Thursday night I went to see this show:
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It was cute and fun …… but my heart just wasn’t in it. My sweet friend, Amy had just lost her beautiful 15 year old son. I hadn’t even wanted to leave the apartment, but figured it would be good to get out.
A woman behind me whistled and shouted out during the entire show. The show was ok, but it certainly isn’t even in my top 20. And it was not whistle-worthy, let alone shouting-appropriate.
During intermission she was standing in the aisle, next to my seat, carrying on about what a terrific show it was and what a great time she was having. I was reading the Playbill when she suddenly leaned over, very close to my face and asked, rather pointedly, “Are YOU having a good time?”. I knew that she asked because I wasn’t carrying on and on about it, nor overly clapping.
For about a second I debated on telling her, “A friend of mine lost her son tonight, so NO, I’m not having a particularly good time, thank you.”

But I didn’t. She was clueless. But she also needs to stop and think before she does something like that.
We never know what the person next to us, or in front of us, is going through. We have no right to question their enthusiasm, or any other emotion.
We just need to stop.
And think.

In other news …… it is flippin’ cold here!! It got down to 17 degrees early this morning. It was so cold that I didn’t need to sleep with my window open and it was still 67 degrees in my bedroom when I got up.
So, for one of the first times ever …… I turned the heat on in there.
It’s that cold.

Tomorrow I’m taking Gracie in to get her first grooming. I’m really hoping that she still looks like a precious puppy when I pick her up. I don’t want a “grownup cut” on her … just a trim.
It’s also the first time I’ll be leaving her somewhere, although it’s only 2 hours or so.
I wonder if they’ll have to give her a sedative?
Or maybe me?
:)

On Wednesday I’m leaving for Tampa and Camp Widow West. It’ll be nice to see everyone, especially friends whom I haven’t seen in too long.

I’d like to say that I’m looking forward to going, but my heart is hurting. When that happens it’s hard to “look forward” to much of anything.
I wish that I could go to Texas and be there for the funeral. I know that my friend won’t really know if I’m there or not, but it feels like I should go.
I checked flights this morning and the news wasn’t great. There’s another storm heading this way so I could very well end up stuck there, when I’m supposed to be leaving from NY on Wednesday.
Finding that out made me cry.
So for the next few days, my body will be in NY, but my heart will most definitely be in Texas.

There are so very many things I don’t understand. Like how a person can seem perfectly fine one minute, and then die a day later from bacterial meningitis, or an aortic dissection.
And why truly good people die, people who would’ve made such a positive impact in our world, while truly evil people live.

But even though I know that I’ll never understand those things, and many more, I will trust God.
I know that He’s led me to this point in my life.
I know that He has a plan for me, even though I sometimes think that this plan sucks.
I don’t have to understand everything, but I’m allowed to question. I’m allowed to cry, scream, and beat my fists upon the floor.
I’m allowed to be human.

And I know, that even in my humanity …… no, because of my humanity, my Father loves me unconditionally.
And that love has been with me in very dark caves, and through the Valley of Death.
I know that it will be with me as long as I live …… and after.

Even those days, like today, when I question Him.

We Survived ……

…… Snowmageddon 2015.
A misnomer, if you will.
Or even if you won’t.
:)

So yeah.
The storm of the century has moved onward.
And upward.
And left a much smaller impact than was anticipated.
This is exactly why I never took cover during a tornado warning while I was growing up.
Me thinks that weathermen/women doth forecast too much.

The worst part of this massive snowpacolypse is the dang snow plows.
Yes, they do an amazing job of clearing the streets.
All night long.
And when a street doesn’t have a great deal of snow on it, the scraping sound of that blade on cement sounds like a plane landing.
Right outside your window.
Sweet dreams.

Here are some pictures I took throughout the day/evening as the great Blizzard of 2015 barreled its way towards us.
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So yeah, it’s over.
But it certainly was an adventure.
If you watched the non-stop weather warnings and press conferences.

Tonight I braved the snow and headed to the theatre.
And I did not fall.
Whoop!
It was 26 degrees when I left, but it didn’t really feel that cold.
Not to me anyway.

When I left the theatre it was 23 degrees. Not much colder but the wind had picked up and it was very cold. Like 11 degrees cold.
And it certainly felt like it was 11.
But again …… I did not fall.
Score one for me.
I’m not sure who I’m competing with, but I’m ahead and that’s all that matters.

In other news (because there’s almost always other news, isn’t there?), I am on week three of an elimination diet. The goal of the diet is to get rid of inflammation in your body.
And it’s a pretty drastic way to go about it.

For three weeks (this one’s for you, Mom —-> “Thrrrreeeeeee weeks! And when thrrrrreeeee weeks are up …”) you can’t have any dairy, meat (except for turkey and chicken), wheat, oats and almost all other grains, processed food and chemicals, sugars, pretend sugars, oils (except for olive mostly), juices and …… alcohol.
Yep.
And it’s just as fun as it sounds.

Actually, it hasn’t been too bad …… except for the last couple of days. I’m getting bored with the limited diet. You can have all fruits and veggies (though less of the starchy ones), mostly unlimited. You have to eat three meals a day and two snacks. And each time you eat, you have to have a specific proportion of protein to fruit and/or veggies.

You can find info about the TQI diet (To Quiet Inflammation), also known as The Abscal Way, here.
The woman who came up with it also published a “cook book” to go along with her book. It’s very small and pretty limited, but it has a few really good recipes.

So you endure that for 3 weeks, and then for 2 weeks you start introducing foods to hopefully see which one(s) cause the problems.
This diet has a large amount of great reviews by people who’ve done it. It sounds like it really works for most people.
As most of you know, I’m not like most people.
Sigh ……

I haven’t really noticed a difference yet, so I may stay on the elimination phase a week or two longer.
And then again, I may not.
:)

Next week I head to Tampa for Camp Widow East. I’m looking forward to it, as usual.
When I get back from Camp, I’m unpacking, doing laundry and re-packing for a week long trip to Houston.
I’ve been missing Texas a lot lately.
I know!! What’s up with that?
It’s not the cold and the snow …… I love that and will certainly miss it when I leave.
But I’m ready to spend some time back home.

Although I’m not ready to have to deal with a dead refrigerator and a dying dishwasher.
Yep, the fridge stopped working.
Goody.
I have no idea what the problem is, but I’m guessing that I’ll be buying two new appliances.
I’m trying not to scream.

Hopefully Son #2 will be able to get a repairman to come over and, very hopefully, fix it.
Please, God.

Speaking of Son #2, he’s moving to Austin at the end of next month.
I’m excited for him and, truthfully, a little excited for me.
But I’ll certainly miss him.
I like his company and I’ve really appreciated his being there when I’m not, to pick up the mail and keep things mostly in order.
It’ll be very different when he leaves.
I know I’ll feel sad, but it will also be nice to have the house to myself. And I’m looking forward to turning his bedroom into a nice guest room. That will keep me busy for a while.

After I get back from Texas, I unpack, do laundry and then re-pack and pack more. Five days later Son #1 and I are going to Spain.
Madrid, specifically, but I’m hoping we can also go to Barcelona.
For those who are on the new side here, he went to school there for a semester and really liked it. I went to visit him and I fell in love with Madrid.
He decided that he wanted to go there for his vacation this year, and he asked me if I wanted to come along with him.
I know!!
I’m excited.

Gracie will probably be fully traumatized by the first of March.
But then we’ll go to Texas for a couple of months so hopefully I can coax her off of the ceiling in that time.
I’m not taking any bets, though.
In the last few days she has started letting me leave a room, or go into the bathroom and shut the door (!) without having to get up and follow close behind.
Of course she is.
Because I’m leaving on Wednesday.
Poor Daughter #3, who’ll be left behind to puppy-sit.
I don’t know about her, but I just LOVE to hear the ear-piercing screams and whines from my dog …… said no one ever.
Again, poor Daughter #3.
I may have to bring her something from Florida.
Like a puka shell necklace.
Ha!

I guess I’d better close and publish this post now. It’s almost midnight and sleep has not been a close friend of mine for a couple of weeks. I seem to stay awake until at least 3:00.
Ugh.
But hopefully it’ll come earlier tonight.

So good night to all (or good morning/afternoon if that’s when you read this).
Hopefully you’re all safe and warm if you live in the northeast.
Oh, I hope the rest of you are safe, too …… you’re probably used to being warm.
:)

Picture ……

…… catch up.

Here are my pics from December. If you hated going to your Aunt Mildred’s house and looking at her vacation pictures from the Ozarks, you’d best skip this post.
Don’t say you weren’t warned.

I’m going to post most of these without comments because …… well, I have a high regard for your level of intelligence.
Mostly.

This is Gracie sleeping next to my stuffed raccoon (I love you, Angel!).  As you’ll see later, she has a love/hate relationship with it.

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These pictures are from an old inn/restaurant the women’s club went to the day we went to Goodspeed Theatre to see “Holiday Inn”.  I thought it was a very cool place.

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A few of the houses in town:

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On the way home we watched the movie on the bus.  :)

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This was a protest after the police were cleared for killing Eric Garner.  It got bigger as it approached Columbus Circle.  Had I known about it earlier I would’ve joined them.

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See?  Love/hate.  She didn’t know that I was in the room:

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“What, me?  Nothing.  Nothing at all, why do you ask?”

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My friend, Lisa, came for a visit.  She’s just a wee bit in love with Gracie.  She seems to have that effect on people.  :)

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One of her very favorite toys …… a pooper scooper (UN-used!).  She loves to show it who’s boss.

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This is what she wears when I take her out in the cold:

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This was Sting’s show, and he was in it.  It was just kind of “eh”, but it was cool to see/hear him.

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BTW, that’s him in front.

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And that’s him left of the red head.  Your left, not his.

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This was a 1,000 piece puzzle that Daughter #3’s boyfriend and I put together.  Cool!

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Our first snow!

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First haircut.  She absolutely LOVED it!  (Can you see the sarcasm actually dripping here?)

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Waiting for the elevator before a walk.

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I have no idea what she did to earn that.  Or how she stole it.

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Another trip to a vet, this time here in NY.  She got another antibiotic and FINALLY beat that kennel cough.

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I gated the tree to keep her away from the pine needles …… because she’s more goat than dog.  It ended up being essential to keep her from eating the presents.

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Daughter #3 multi-tasking with two babies.

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Son #2 playing with Little Bit.

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My favorite picture from the entire holiday:

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Haircut #2 with a real electric razor.  She loved this experience JUST as much as the first.

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Doggie jail.  And her, trying to eat her way out.  Fierce AND part goat.

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The Museum of Natural History:

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A cool-looking fire station:

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The morning I left for California this was the temperature.  That night it got down to 9.  Degrees.

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Daughter #3 sent me this picture of Gracie in her lap, with the caption, “How long till my mom comes home?”

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A belated Christmas present.

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Columbus Circle

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Pooped at the end of a typical day:

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Heat escapes from the head, right?  :)

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In a mall.  See, it’s not just me.

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That’s all of the pics.
For now anyway.
If you’re still with me …… you should find a good book.
Seriously.

OK, I need some advice.  So don’t start that book quite yet.
Gracie has a serious case of separation anxiety.  It’s really bad.  She seemed to be getting better before I went to California and now it’s worse than ever …… and I came back!!  I thought they were supposed to feel better when you do that.
Now I can’t leave a room without her right at, or on, my heels.  Or whining if she can’t jump down to follow me.
I haven’t gone out as much on this trip because she screams when I leave the apartment.  And I do mean scream.  It’s ear-piercing.
How do I get her over this?  Is there a magic pill or injection for it?!  (Notice that I didn’t say “bullet”).
OK, I know there’s no pill or injection, I was joking (and I still didn’t say “bullet”).
If you’ve experienced this, or know someone who has, please give me some advice.

And, on a completely unrelated topic …… getting older sucks.
Remember how I used to have so much trouble with my right shoulder, until I had surgery?
Well, now my left one is hurting like a …… let’s just say it’s very painful.
And here’s the thing:  I didn’t do ANYTHING to injure it!!  Except for sleep on that side.
No kidding.  One night while I was sleeping (I’m a side sleeper but I switch from one to the other throughout the night.  Yeah, I am SO well-rested every morning.  Dang, there’s that dripping sarcasm again!), it started throbbing.  And it hasn’t stopped since.
So I haven’t been able to go to a barre class or play tennis since December, before the stupid sciatica hit me.   And we just got up a group of women to play tennis each week.

I’d like to scream but I don’t think it would do much for Gracie’s anxiety.
Or help my shoulder.

Well, it’s time for me to get ready to walk down to Times Square.  I’m going to see “On the Town”.
After taking something that’ll help my shoulder withstand carrying a purse, which only has a wallet and a water bottle in it.
And, hoping that the show is entertaining enough to off set the complaints that might be filed due to the blood-curdling screams that’ll be coming from my apartment.
Wish me luck.
:)

So ……

…… Christmas was good.
Really good.
And though you might not believe it, most of the time you would’ve been hard pressed to know that there were 9 people, a baby and a puppy in the apartment!
In fact, there were a couple of times when one of us noted how quiet/empty the apartment was.
That’s NY for you, Baby!!!
So much to do and see that your apartment doesn’t get cramped.
:)

All of the kids made it safely.
Son #3 had a slight hiccup with United Airlines and ended up spending in the night in the Dulles Airport. After which he informed me in no uncertain terms that he in now done with that airline.
I didn’t pay too much attention.
I couldn’t blame him, but I still didn’t pay much attention.

Which made him all the more happier when, on his way home, his flight out of here was delayed/cancelled because the pilot didn’t show up for his shift that day.
To that I have to say this: Karma is a bitch, man.
:)

It all worked out in the end. After several hours the found someone else and he did end up making his connecting flight out of Chicago to Oklahoma, so all’s right with the world.
As long as I don’t book him on United ever, ever again.
I told him that as soon as he had enough cash to buy his own airline tickets he could buy whatever he wanted, but until then, I would continue to go with the best deal.
Then he said, “Fine, I’ll start buying my own.”
Which makes one (or maybe just me) ponder: Where does he think that money will come from? Will it float down from heaven? Will he sell even more plasma??
Oh well, it’s grand to be 20 and oh-so-wise-to-the-ways-of-the-world.

Little Bit did pretty well, for a three old that was totally out of his element. He was a bit fussy at times but he was also chatty and laughing a good deal of the time. He’s such a joy to hold and talk to, especially early in the morning, which seems to be his favorite time.

The kid is growing by leaps and bounds. I think there may have been some items I purchased a few weeks ago that he never got to wear because he’s suddenly busting out!!
But that gives me a good reason to go baby-clothes shopping, so whoop!!!!
He did a great job on the planes and gave his mama some stress-free flight time. I was happy for both of them.

Gracie is doing well and still has my heart wrapped around her little stump of a tail. Mostly.
I’ve got to find out out to train her to stop nipping at everyone with fingers. Especially her two year old friend that Daughter #3 takes care of. He LOVES Gracie and she loves him back with equal abandonment, but she just can’t control her “love bites”.
Help.

OK, I’m going to end this now so that I can go to bed. I’ll go ahead a publish it, but I’m hoping to come back to it and add pictures and stories in the next day or so.
So please ignore all typos.
Please.

Happy New Year, Peeps!