Monthly Archives: February 2015

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:

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.

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.
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.

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.

However, I may now be paying for that ride, and for the fun dancing that I did on Saturday night.
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.

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. 🙂

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.


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!!


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