Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Head Cold

So ... let the winter 'bugs' officially begin their romp through my immune system - (even though we are technically a few weeks away from the first day of winter.)


Last year I had a grand total of 5 colds of various descriptions.  It was a record number for me for one season.  And just to top things off with a grand flourish, in April I got the flu despite getting the senior flu vax.  Spring was in full swing, sun was shining, flowers blooming, temperatures exquisite - and I was down with the flu.  Not a touch of the flu either (is there such an 'animal'?) but the full-blown 2 to 3 week variety that actually landed me in the ER at one point so we could get my swollen throat under control and avoid airway obstruction kind-of-flu!!!

Yeah ...  believe me, I was glad to see the end of that cold and flu season.

Fast forward to this merry month of December!

Symptoms began on Sunday and I chalked it up to allergies.  By Monday I was sure it wasn't allergies but the beginnings of a head cold.  Oh Joy!  It isn't even winter yet.  No fair starting early.  I kept going with my to-do list - except I cancelled my night out with friends.  Friends don't make other friends sick - especially when the friends you are seeing are all around your own senior age!

Today, Tuesday, I got up at my normal time and decided... hey, this head cold isn't advancing - it is just stuck in my sinuses.  It is pretty much the same as yesterday.  Great news!  Really!! I had breakfast and then decided to lay down for just a bit before getting dress.  I awoke at 12:30.  Yikes!  I got up, got dressed, had lunch and answered some email, and before you know it, it felt like nap time again!  Literally I was standing for about 15 minutes and sitting the rest of the time.  Another nap was ridiculous.  I cancelled today's activities.

I did think b*tching about this cold was not ridiculous.  So here I am.  I cancelled tomorrow's activities.  Being pro-active.

This minor cold counts officially as Cold #1 of the season.
One down, four to go.  
I think I will skip the flu this season. 
I wish I had thought of doing that last year!!

My 2019-2020 goal: Skip the Flu.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Getting in under the wire!

Here I am slipping off the November calendar into December without leaving a post!  I am fixing that right now.
November has had its ups and downs.  It started out UP!  Going into November I was eager for the coming season.  Winter is just around the corner!  My favorite season.  But then it began to slip.

It began with several sad announcements that always seem to come in threes: the death of a long time friend from cancer, the death of my mom's 94 year old Long Island friend who became my friend as well, and a second cancer diagnosis for another long time friend.  By the time we heard the third bit of bad news - I was ready to say "uncle."  Please, please stop.  My husband made the observation ... now that the generation before us is gone, we and our peers are the next in line - and I should get used to it.  Sadly true.  My mom outlived most of her friends and it was sad to watch.  It does, however, put perspective on how I spend my own time - shedding things that really don't make a difference in life and putting more energy into family and friends.   Simplicity in life still remains a value for me.  But being there when it counts for those you care about is worth the complexity it adds.  The friend with a second cancer diagnosis is a single guy with little extended family.  His friends will be pitching in to drive him to his treatments.  I will be on that volunteer list.

My physical therapy sessions continue but reduced to once a week.  Progress I guess.  The leg is now stronger.  Maybe too soon to expect the symptoms in my knee to be resolved.  But the exercises do make my leg feel better.  It is just frustrating to know that I will have to do these exercises (in both legs) for the rest of my life.  Falls for seniors are the #1 cause of hospitalization ... and in older seniors - #1 cause of death.  It was true for mom and it was true for her Long Island friend.  I have added a 5 pound weight routine for my arms to my regular exercise.  My grand baby is growing and gaining weight - although she is still a string bean - and I want to be sure I can continue to lift her.

My Christmas Tree and Esk's chair with Santa Cat!

Christmas preparation is well underway.  My daughter helped me put up my Christmas tree the weekend before Thanksgiving.  That is a record for me.  I actually dislike decorating the tree and put it off 'till I have no choice.  It is a small tree so there is no excuse for it.  And I do enjoy it while it is up.  Thank God for beautiful and helpful daughters.  Shopping is happening mostly on line so it is not too painful.  The next big goals are gift wrapping and party prep for a December 15 event at our condo for some friends - and finally, Christmas Eve prep for the family at our condo.  Christmas Day is usually a day of rest for me - but this year I will either be sitting in a chemo clinic with my friend or visiting my parents' grave site.  They both died within days of Christmas - so that is always part of my holiday.

And .... Ta Da!!!!  Big announcement.  My grand daughter, Eskarina, finally calls me "ga-ma" ... her version of Grandma.  It is music to my ears.  In fact, we had a sleep over last night and I got to hear that over and over and over again.  Ha.  I would be standing in the kitchen and she would be coming from the living room chanting Ga-ma, Ga-ma, Ga-ma, Ga-ma, all the way into the kitchen.  I, of course, came to meet her half way - asking what she needs.  She smiled up at me and just said "hi."  Its like she is making sure that this is the best word to get my attention!  It works and I love it!!  She went back home this afternoon and the house is like a morgue.  The quiet makes my ears ring!  She will be 2 in February ... the adventure is just starting!  Thank you God for giving me this grand baby!!

Knitting is happening at a snails pace.  Oh, I am not knitting slowly.  I am knitting fast and a lot, but the projects I picked were designed for thin yarn and small needles.  What ever was I thinking.  I won't ever make that mistake again.  All the knitting is done - except for one sleeve which is 25% done.  Then I have to add buttons, sew in the loose ends and block.  I'll make it but I hate the pressure.  It takes just one unexpected "something" to throw everything out out wack!

That pretty much sums up my life.  Hope all is well in your world.  I'll be back in December!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Difference

(Looks like this will be my October post - 
now that I appear to have dropped back to only one post a month.)

Time is passing at an almost incredible speed ...
While I seem to be slowing down at about the same speed. 

I am more aware of time passing than at any other stage of my life.   In all other stages I was just too busy with other things like jobs, and kids, and hobbies, and travel, and caregiving, and whatever - to ever seriously recognize the speed of time.  Now a lot of those things are behind me and gosh ... why is it passing so fast!!

At the same time it seems I am slowing down - naturally slowing in what I can physically accomplish, mentally juggle and emotionally handle.  In fact, although I still maintain a to-do list (a crutch for a brain that has a 30 second hold time), I generally don't feel obligated to spin my wheels getting that to-do stuff done.  I guess that includes blogging.  Haha!   I still want the list to exist so the items aren't lost into thin air - as so often happens, but I am comfortable letting them sit on that list for as long as it takes.

Ten years ago ... everything I just said would be characterized (privately - in my brain) as just crazy talk.  I would move heaven and earth to accomplish everything.  Now I find "heaven and earth" can wait ... I am busy doing ... well ... sometimes nothing at all - just rambling around in my own thoughts.

And then there is that image in the mirror.

My image has changed for sure when I look into the mirror.  I remember a time when that image got spruced up every single morning, with blow drying my hair, adding making up, and clothing myself in stylish clothes that suited my frame.  Now I accept the fact that my image is who I actually am - and I am not so hell bent on changing it.  In fact, that acceptance has been very freeing.  No matter what I do ... there is little chance I will be mistaken for someone 30 years younger.  So my focus is more how I feel from the inside out rather than the outside in.  Comfortable clothes, moisture cream for my skin and good sanitary habits are good enough.

Is it laziness on my part that I don't try to control all these things as I once did?  Or have I just managed to accept my current stage of life?

Still some of my peers resist relaxing into senior years.  I have watched a few expound on about "never give in!!" or "never give up!!" or "push back that clock"?   Believe me when I say I have seen a few versions of that kind of aging ... and is far from attractive.  If that is what they are going for - attractive - it is an epic fail.

There is a trite but true little prayer that comes to my mind more and more.

The Serenity Prayer 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

And there is the rub ... knowing the difference!

What are the things I care enough to make a difference on!  If I accept the natural limitations of my age like ... I wake slower, I walk slower, I heal slower, I think slower ... really, what is it that I don't accept.
  • Getting off the floor can be a struggle.  I don't want to be that person you see in TV ads that can't get up off the floor and needs an emergency button to call for help.
  • I want to move freely without discomfort.   I welcome PT and the regular leg exercises to keep myself walking on 2 legs (not 3 legs - a cane, or 4 legs - a walker.)
  • Endurance - easy to lose, hard to get back.  Yeah ...  a work in progress. 
  • I now call my "to-do list" a "suggestion list."  To-do lists are so over rated!  After all - nothing comes to a screeching halt if I don't do it.  (Gosh that was a hard lesson for my thick head to accept.)
  • And ... I encourage the reality that everything I have just said will probably change as years pass and I am ok with that!  
Is that grace in aging?  I don't know.  But I am spending precious (and speeding) time rambling around in my own brain at times to figure out if 'grace' is the right word.  I am also stepping outside myself just a bit and to observe my own travel through aging.  Accepting some things, pushing back on other things.  And figuring out the difference.
Knowing the difference!
I think that is my major accomplishment
 in this stage of life!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Angry White People - 8 New Rules

I am fairly critical of Facebook.  I still have an account, despite my sincere effort to delete that account several years ago (by the way, they may say they will delete your account at your request - but they lie.)  But sometimes I find really worthwhile things on this site.  This piece is one of those worthwhile things!  

KC Compton

Aug 25 · 7 min read

A few days ago I had a great margarita at my favorite Mexican restaurant, where I visited with the wait staff , all members of the family that owns the restaurant. La abuela doesn’t speak English, so explaining to her that no, really, that was all of the queso fundido I was going to eat and no, there was no problem, got a little complex. But with sufficient broken Spanish on my part and her grandson’s help, we got it sorted out — and enjoyed a moment.
A couple of days after that, I met a young woman from Ukraine whose English wasn’t great, but we managed to have an interesting conversation anyway. She told me she wants to start a YouTube channel for immigrants to share their getting-started stories. I told her it was brilliant — and I think it is.
Last week, I had a couple of medical tests; two of the technicians were Latinx, one was Chinese and the other looked as though he might have had a Viking up the family tree. My doctor is Japanese. My physical therapist is from India.
Yesterday in Target, a young mother wearing a hijab was checking out in front of me and taking longer than her adorable toddler daughter thought was necessary. The little girl started fussing and Mom was getting frustrated, so I played peekaboo with her until Mom had completed her transaction. As she was leaving, she mouthed “Thank you!” over her baby’s head.
Today, I went for a mani-pedi and the young technicians were laughing and talking in Vietnamese as they tag-teamed my fingers and toes. The one who spoke the clearest English asked me how long it had been since my last pedicure. I shrugged, rolled my eyes and she wagged her finger at me, scolding, “You come sooner next time…” and we laughed.
In the past couple of months, I have eaten food from at least six nationalities (go, Seattle!) and have had personal interactions with black people, white people, Latinx people, transgender people, Asian people, gay people, Jewish people, Hindu people, Christian people, Muslim people, unaffiliated reprobates like myself, male people, female people and people who have chosen not to pick sides. And probably a number of other categories I’ve forgotten by now because I don’t care. This is just how my life rolls in a diverse city, among a diverse community, with a heart that is richer for all of them.
I recently read a Washington Post article about the shortage of labor in Maine — where the population has now grown sufficiently old that the World Bank terms it “super-aged” — and the crisis they’re dealing with because there are not enough young workers to care for all those old people.
This imbalance is a harbinger of things to come for all U.S. states, the article said, but particularly for those who have fewer immigrants.
People from other countries have long filled the ranks of medical professionals and caregivers in this nation, but with harsher immigration policies and a public sentiment that makes the U.S. less inviting, the immigrant population will, predictably, dwindle. Not having sufficient professionals and workers to care for elderly people will be a social and economic catastrophe in a decade or less (it’s already happening in Maine and another dozen states). One of the recommendations for the future is to “reshape the workforce” and I’d bet my hat, ass and overcoat that will involve … you guessed it! … more immigrants.
I wonder how some of the horrible white people we are seeing on a daily basis these days insisting in the local Starbucks that the people a table away (who weren’t talking to them) SPEAK ENGLISH!!! or castigating the waiter in the MEXICAN restaurant where they were buying tacos (!!!) to GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM (“Unh … it’s my restaurant…”) are eventually going to deal with the fact that their lily white bum gets wiped by a foreigner or it doesn’t get wiped at all. That should be a day of reckoning, for sure.
I understand that some people are convinced — possibly by a 30-year diet of Fox and Rush — that they are the master race and every one not their particular shade of beige and of their particular pedigree should bow down and make way. If that’s the way they want to play it, OK, I guess. You can’t make people not be hateful. But there need to be some guidelines. These wannabe white separatists need to fully understand the dimensions of the narrow little world they’re condemning themselves to.
If I were named Queen for a Day, these are a few of the new rules I would hereby order for all those angry white people:
  1. If you don’t want immigrants to live in the U.S.A. and/or you think brown people of any type are your inferiors, you will be required to wear an indelible stamp across your forehead (not a tattoo, because we want you to have a change of heart) with a big, fat purple B for Bigot. If you are sporting this stamp, you cannot purchase anything brought to this country by an immigrant ever or made by a brown person. Food, clothing, jewelry, electronics … nada (or in English, for you, “nothing”).
  2. If you are wearing your required B-for-Bigot stamp and you become ill, you will not be able to access care by anyone brown or from another country, especially Muslim or shit-hole countries (is “shit-hole” hyphenated or one word? Whatever). You may die, but you’ll have the comfort of dying while being right about race.
  3. You have to give up any food that any immigrant group has ever introduced here. No Mexican food, no Chinese, no Thai hot, no sushi, no Indian buffet, no soul food — no nuthin’ but potatoes and whatever some Native American might be kind enough to cook up for you. They will retain the right to refuse. You cannot eat anything harvested by any immigrant ever. You will starve, but again, you’ll retain your righteousness on the way out.
  4. You will not be able to sell anything to anyone from an immigrant group or with skin darker than copy paper. If you’re a business owner or manufacturer or a tradesperson or … oh hell, anyone … you’ll notice the economic impact quickly because immigrants and brown people are, you know, drivers of our economy.
  5. You must relinquish all access to any music imported from any immigrant group or via brown people. This leaves … unh … gosh … hmmm … still thinking. Even bluegrass or old-time country are out because that came to us courtesy of that pesky Irish/Scot invasion and, even though these were my people and they borrowed heavily on the African traditions already taking root in the South, they were, you know, nasty immigrants. Certainly no blues, jazz, rock & roll, hip-hop, classical (all those Eye-talians, doncha know). Maybe you can listen to some nice Native American flute music, indigenous to this country, but again, you’ll have to rely on the kindness of the original residents of this continent and, frankly, some of them are weary of your bullshit.
  6. You will never be able to enjoy any electronic devices again — iPhones, tablets, laptops, PCs. According to the Census Bureau, despite making up only 16 percent of the resident population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher, immigrants represent 33 percent of engineers, 27 percent of mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientist, and 24 percent of physical scientists. According to the Partnership for a New American Economy, in 2011, foreign-born inventors contributed to more than 75 percent of patents issued to the top 10 patent-producing universities. Immigrants and brown people have been all up in the development of all of the electronic stuff for a long time, so … sorry. It’s not easy being racist. Buck up.
  7. Alas, no sportsball. Given the preponderance of players of color in basketball, football, tennis and such, no B-for-Bigot can enjoy the sportsball games anymore, either in person or on TV. They’ll have NASCAR … hockey … lacrosse, so that’s something. Bottom line, you don’t get to enjoy the fruits of other people’s labor if you aren’t willing to grant them as much humanity and value as you grant yourself. Very simple, actually.
I could go on and on, but you get the drift. So you go ahead and sit over there in your little whitey-tighty corner, wrapped in gauze and buffered from any encounter with anyone not on your list of approved races, ethnic groups and/or gender expressions. I haven’t seen this list, but I assume you’ve all gotten together and worked it out, right? Because you seem to have such a clear picture of who is and isn’t a human being entitled to the full rights and respect one gives to others, I figured you’ve put your heads together and gotten very clear about who’s in and who’s out. Oh… that reminds me of Rule № 8.
8. You have to spit in a vial and/or swab your cheek and get that DNA sorted out. I know I’m white because I did that and was quite disappointed that the results came back white-white-whitey-white — British Isles all the way, yo. I was raised being told that for sure we had a Native American ancestor (I feel you, Elizabeth Warren) and probably an African American one. So imagine my chagrin to discover I’m “pure.” You, on the other hand, may not know your pedigree and it’s essential that you do. If you’re going to be such a hate-weasel about racial purity, you will need to scientifically verify that you are actually pure. Otherwise we add the orange H for Hypocrisy stamp to your forehead. It’s gonna get crowded up there if you don’t lighten up.
Meanwhile, the rest of us are going to go about our daily lives, enjoying each other’s company, benefitting from mutual relationships, taking pleasure in varieties of flavor and music and accents and skin colors and ages and religions and hair styles and personalities different from our own.
Just being, you know, decent human beings who are grateful for each other’s presence in this delicious world we get to live in together.
K.C. Compton is a journalist living in Seattle. She has worked as a columnist, reporter and editor at newspapers throughout the Rocky Mountain region and is a former editor with Mother Earth News. Pronouns=she/her

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

What I remember - 9-11!

This is my 9-11 post from 2015!  I am repeating it again - as it is my only statement on this tragic day!  This is what we must remember. To remember only the sanitized patriotic images that float around the internet does a disservice to those who suffered and died!

This is what I remember!


Every anniversary of this terrible day the TV, the blog-sphere and social media is flooded with 9-11 remembrances.

I support remembrances.  We must remember.

What I don't support are the images that emotionalize, sanitize or minimize the truth of that attack.  Beautiful waving national flags, a tearful statute of liberty with the smoky towers behind her, the struggles of the heroes to save lives ... those images do not show the terror, the desperation and the horror experienced by the innocent lives trapped in those burning buildings.  To remember that day with vanilla patriotic images fades the stark truth.  It separates us carefully and gently from the actual ugly event.

I don't think we should do that.

This is the image
 we should hold in our minds.

 this man!

 that some people jumped to certain death
 rather than stay in the inferno of those buildings.

 that as our innocent citizens fell from the building
  they knew with certainty that these were their last seconds of life on earth ...
approximately 10 seconds ...
 that those on the ground below
 will never forget the terrible thudding sounds of bodies hitting pavement
one after another - over and over - about 200 times.

If this post makes you upset, uncomfortable, angry, or sad, then I have achieved my goal.

We must never forget the real images.
This is how we do honor to those who died in that attack.


Post Script:
  • My last blog post on 9-11 was September 2012. The title was Jumpers.
  • From the reading I have done - it appears that the New York chief medical examiner's office does not consider these people "jumpers."  Jumping indicates a choice and would imply suicide.  These people did not have a choice probably because of the force of the explosion, the fire behind them and the lack of breathable air.  Because of these conditions the deaths were ruled homicide.  It is a small but merciful distinction.   They most certainly were murdered.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

My Left Thumb!

Will I ever learn!  
Never, never knit to a Christmas deadline!

During the Stay-cation with my grand dogs I set a goal to finish the two kid sweaters I am trying to complete for Christmas.  With hours and hours of knitting time available, I felt this goal was do-able.  After all - my grand daughter's sweater just needs two short sleeves and 3 buttons.  My grand nephew's top down sweater was almost to the point where you split out for the sleeves.

And I have 10 whole days available!!  I can do this!!!

Sadly, my left thumb feels different.  For me lots of knitting does not create over-use problems in my hands.  I feel lucky ... especially when reading about the repetitive use injuries of other crafters.  But my grand nephew's project requires more left thumb effort than normal.  My thumb is a little cranky right now.

Photo Credit: Ravelry.Com
Designer's sample

The pattern is called Miracle Sweater by Nicole Montgomery.  I love the gender neutral look of the garment, the dense feel of the fabric created, the jacket-like style, and the unique stitch itself.  I also love that the proceeds of the purchased pattern are donated to a charity.

Up close Twisted Basket stitch pattern.
The first thing I noticed was that although the stitch was uncomplicated to create - for some darn reason "unknitting" the stitch (a function often needed to correct mistakes) was difficult to do.  I did several gauge swatches - to get gauge - but also to learn and practice unknitting the Twisted Basket Stitch so I could fix errors when they occurred.  I never reached a level of comfort in that unknitting effort for this stitch (actually not one single time.)

My progress to date.  Sleeves will need to be picked
up and knitting at some point.
Regardless, I was not deterred by that failure.  I started the sweater anyway, determined to avoid mistakes.  I, of course, made a mistake within the first 5 rows of the woven pattern and made the problem even worse trying to correct it.  So I ripped out those 5 rows and started again - learning from that mistake, convinced I would, at least, not repeat that particular error again.

And I didn't.  I made a different mistake!  You see, the stitches are stacked on top of each other in a very specific order.  Within 5 rows I made a stacking mistake - and one whole row along the back between the sleeve sections - was wrong.  And it clearly showed!  I couldn't unpack even a single stitch successfully and now I had a whole row of stitches that were wrong.  Damn.

So I made a creative decision to hide that row of errors under the generous collar by tacking the collar down so the wrong row can't be seen.  It was an option I considered before I made the error because the collar had a lot of "bounce" in it and probably wouldn't rest easily on the shoulders when worn without tacking.  Now that decision was finalized and it killed two birds with one stone!  Excellent!!

Second problem solved (without ripping out my progress.) I plowed on.

But there are limits.  At this point, if I cannot fix or hide an error that can only be corrected by ripping out, I will stop this project and choose another pattern ... I don't want to start completely over.  Finding this pattern took a lot of time at the beginning.  And I still like it.

When the third error rolled around (surprised? ... not me) I somehow miraculously managed to de-construct the stitch - and mostly get it right.  Right enough to be acceptable to the casual eye.  Not perfect, but acceptable.

Is that the end of the errors knitting this beautiful stitch?  No chance - the risk is still very very much there.  But if I can avoid the blinding frustration that grows with each error maybe I can avoid pitching this project deep into my trash can.  It wouldn't be the first time I pitched yarn, a partially complete project and the pattern into the garbage.

I secretly planned to maybe make this same sweater for my grand daughter at some point.  I really love the look of the stitch, and I love my grand daughter beyond all measure, BUT, no second sweater in this pattern for me - I also love my left thumb because without it - knitting would be very very hard.

Finally, there is one other small problem with this stitch.  Besides eating up a lot of yarn (which I was prepared for), it eats up lot of time.   A . LOT . OF . TIME.  In the picture above, the middle white markers show where I began 5 days ago.  Each day was about 4-5 hours of knitting.  That is 20 to 25 hours of knitting on a child's size 3T sweater.  While I was knitting the gauge swatch I could see it was time consuming - but I figured that as I got better with the stitch, I would get faster ... and I did.  But now I see how grossly off I was on time needed.  I still have 4 inches of body to do beyond the lower edge - and 2 full sleeves!

When I researched this pattern in Ravelry I saw comments like "beautiful," "worth the effort," "heirloom piece," and "appealing."  The other observations were "tedious," "time consuming," "patience needed."  All the statements are true.  My mistake?  I put more importance on the positive statements rather than the negative ones.

And my thumb?  It cramped a bit this morning.  A sign that I am pushing it too much?  You betcha!  So today I am blogging about knitting and not knitting - giving this vital appendage of my body needed for knitting - my left thumb - a day off!

Did you know that if you are a touch typist like me - 
the left thumb does absolutely nothing when typing? 

Monday, August 26, 2019

Stay-cation with my grand dogs

Well, here I am on another Stay-cation with my grand dogs ... and extended 10 day stay-cation ... and I am on day 5 as I write.

On a previous stay-cation with my furry grand babies I waxed poetic on how restful and free these stays are.

He is a little large to sit on my lap, but his head fits just fine.

Liv is even larger.  She seldom sits by me, except for the first 24 hours when she is feeling a
bit lost by the absence of her owners.

I sleep at my son's house, I stay until about noon each day, when I drive to my home (about a 20 minutes away) to check in on my husband and to see he has dinner - then I return back to the dogs around 5 or 6 to spend the evening till noon the next day.  During these times, the only things scheduled are making these trips, making dinner and maybe a load of laundry.  The rest of the time is mine.  Knitting, binge watching TV series and dog love.

Except this time!

We have had a few problems medical problems - dog medical problems - this time.

Olivia, Liv for short, takes these absences of her family very personally.  She is a rescue.  She has abandonment issues I am sure.  She gets diarrhea - sometimes bloody diarrhea - when her owners are absent on trips.  This time it was 'normal' diarrhea, because they started her on medications before they left - and - also an additional medication should it be needed.  It was!  This problem is under control and she is adjusting.  She loves grandma (me).  But I am second best.  She can take second best when she has no choice.  On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being a scuzzy scum-ball of a human who hates dogs ... I will be raised from my normal position of 2.0 to 1.5 by the time her 'parents' return.  She is also the smart dog.  Very very smart.  Scary smart.  So I will never be #1 because she will never forget her resucers!  My son and daughter-in-law.  She will never be abandoned again.  If something should happen to my children - I would take her!  But she doesn't know that.  Poor baby.  I am happy with being 1.5 in her life for this 10 days.

Now, Rags!  The total opposite of Liv.  He has never been abandon.  In fact, my son paid thousands of dollars for his little butt from the breeder - his little English Bull Dog butt!  He is a lot of things:  very self confident, very energetic, very determined, very stubborn, VERY Bull Dog!  Except that as a full blooded English Bull Dog, he comes with all the typical inherited English Bull Dog medical issues.  I arrived 5 days ago to dog sit.  He was fine.  Three days ago he was licking his paws.

The start of a swelling in his left foot between the toes.

I noticed a swelling between his toes on one foot.  He has had these before, Interdigital Cysts.  I also noticed that one of the face wrinkles was red and weepy - and not a pretty color when spread open.  Two days ago I got him into his vet - a family vet who knows us well.  Three feet had cysts - one foot was infected and his wrinkle was infected.  We left with an antibiotic shot - good for 2 weeks - ointment for the toes and face and instructions.  Orders to return in a week.  Today things look little better, but one of his feet had some bleeding.  It has stopped now but ...

So here is what he looks like when I am gone - visiting my husband!  Pretty sad!

It is the only way to keep him from licking his toes in my absence.

And when I return - there is much joy!

They have a very large fenced in yard where they can safely
run and be crazy.

So this Stay-Vacation has included some nursing duties!  Good thing I have previous medical training - and I am not shy of diarrhea, blood, or icky green fluid build ups in a facial wrinkle.  And I am as determined and persistent as he is ... He sees me coming with tissues and he knows its wrinkle dab clean up time - and he goes in the other direction!!  Ha!  Grandma the enforcer is on the job!

Where do I rate on that 1 to 5 scale with him?  Remarkably I am sitting in #1 right now.  He is a smart bulldog - a fact he keeps hidden.  He is a forgiving bulldog - a fact he demonstrates all the time.  He is not worried about being abandoned.  He doesn't even know what "abandon" means.  He looks better today!  'Looks' are all I have to go on - because he acts very self confident, very energetic, very determined, very stubborn, VERY Bull Dog - even with his problems! Haha!

I know I will slip to #2 when his mom and dad return.  I am ok with that.

A Solid #2
That's me!