Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Good, The Bad and The Gag Reflex

I absolutely adore my younger brother.....hence the title. He loves Clint Eastwood movies and one of his favorites is The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Not a personal favorite of mine, but he and I have enough movies that we do agree on that we can see past this one. LOL
So most nights he will call me and we will sit on the phone and chat over what the day was like, or an upcoming movie we both want to see like (INSERT SHAMELESS MOVIE PLUG HERE) An American Carol, which by the way looks like it will be HILARIOUS (and may I just say it's about time somebody gave conservative America a chance to verbally and visually smack around the OBNOXIOUS and ARROGANT Michael Moore in his own media of choice, the silver screen....but I digress)! One of our absolute favorite things to do is to watch Red Sox games on the phone together. Yes I said on the phone...we live about 25 miles away from each other which isn't really that far at all, we could watch it together in person easy enough, but there's a unique bonding that takes place when you watch it over the phone. I can't really explain it...but it's become our thing and we both enjoy it immensely. Last year my favorite part of the entire World Series was sitting up until far past my bedtime each night and screaming excitedly (not an easy feat when you want to raise the roof and jump up and down but you don't want to wake your husband who's sleeping in the next room....but somehow I managed...lol) into the phone as we watched our Bosox knock out the games like tipping over bowling pins. I am so thankful, not just for the brother sister relationship we share, but also for the friendship we've developed over the years.
So all of that to say.........I had stayed home from work yesterday because of a migraine and a fever and had felt pretty crappy all day. Ben had lovingly doted on me before he had to go to work and then called and checked on me during the day. Sarge kept an ever watchful guard on me all day long just in case the evil chipmunks that are trying to get into the house for the Winter decided to invade and try to carry me away. Of course he also dutifully checked to make sure that my reflexes were not being affected by my headache by periodically bringing me his squeaky monkey to throw.
As evening came my headache was finally subsiding and Rog made his nightly call to me. As we chatted and watched a tv show together I realized that even though I hadn't felt well all day and I could have scrathed the day off as a really bad day and just generally felt sorry for myself, I really COULDN'T. How can it be a crappy day when I'm surrounded by people (and a mini marine) that love me? Yeah I felt crappy....but how I feel doesn't determine the course of the day....it's just how I FEEL....feelings are fickle. So this morning even though I still felt pretty crappy I woke up and decided that no matter what happens today will be a great day.

Ohhhhhhhhh WAIT..............I almost forgot........we covered The Good, we covered The Bad....what about The Gag Reflex?

So as I'm laying in bed this morning for my final 5 minutes before having to get up and I'm listening to the radio and deciding that no matter what comes my way this is going to be a good day.......Ben came running into the bedroom, "Fran, come quick.....Sarge threw up under my desk!"
Sooooooooo I jump out of bed.......and go into the office where my sweet Marine is standing halfway across the room and shining a flashlight under the desk and saying, "EWWW..it stinks.." (I don't know about you...but so far in my life I don't think I've ever encounterd vomit that DIDN'T stink...however this particular one brought back memories of Peter Pan...Beth you know what I mean!) It was at this moment that I was about to respond when suddenly the boy was behind Ben and began heaving again....(Of course, we temporarily forgot..our little fluff has a thing for barfing in twos because just once is never enough...he might miss a chunk) Immediately we went into fight or flight mode "Grab him! Get him into the hall!! QUICK!!(we got to the hall...still no barf) QUICK, get him to the kitchen if you can...less mess!!!" So with tiny white paws dragging behind him Ben ran to the kitchen and dropped the boy in a heap then ran across the room as if he had just deployed a grenade. Meanwhile the pitiful little fluff who by this point had been so upset with the whole ordeal, and slinked over to lean up against me for comfort, decided that it was too much for his bladder that was still waiting for his morning potty break and as I stood comforting him decided to pee instead of barfing. **sigh** Not just a piddle....not just a puddle....no....this was the equivelant to Lake Michigan......
So as I stood there amid a husband scrambeling for paper towels, a dog with soggy paws looking at me with eyes that begged, "I'm sorry mom, I didn't mean to..." and a headache making an appearance for the third day in a row I had to choose. (This is the stuff Excedrin commercials are made of...WHY haven't they called me??) Moments ago I had decided that no matter what this was going to be a good day....did I MEAN that? Tick....tick....tick....tick...the moments passed.....yes, this is covered under my "Anti crappy day" policy.
Yeah you heard me....I'm sorry, but life just ISN'T bad....stuff happens, inconvenient and sometimes frustrating stuff...and sometimes nasty stuff too...(I did NOT feed him whatever that was..EWWW....) but is that enough to say life sucks or this day sucks? No.....not really..........not at all actually.......it's still just STUFF. There is STILL ALWAYS going to be too much to be thankful for. The same head that has a fever and headache is the same head that holds all the great memories of the past and hopes for tomorrow and the same nose that smelled that vomit is the same nose that enjoys the smell of apple pie baking, and the same dog that puked and peed is the same dog that lovingly wakes me up when Ben tells him to "Go wake up mommy". The same things that register the bad things also register the good things. ALWAYS. So I choose to focus on the good and be thankful in spite of those bad times....life is just too good not to.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm wet mom!!

Ok, so here's the skinny....our little fluff boy is spoiled....or as my mother likes to say, NOT spoiled, only food spoils......so then I guess he's just HIGHLY FAVORED! LOL.
Well he has become very accustomed to certain things we do for him and without our realizing it, when we deviate from his normal routine, he notices it.
He loves water....odd for the kind of dog he is I'm told, he's a miniature American Eskimo. Apparently however he thinks he's some sort of fish....he loves to play in the water, so much in fact that over the Summer we had to get him his own kiddie pool which he spends HOURS in and now that the warm weather is coming to an end the tub has become his new pool. When he's done however I usually dry him off with his very own towel instead of letting him rub himself all over the grass outside (He's pure white...have you ever seen a grass stained dog? It's ugly, man...) or the furniture in the house.
So this morning It's POURING outside...the neighbors are building an ARK!! I took him out for his morning tinkle and then a few minutes later we went back outside because he was ready for his BM. When we finally came back in I proceeded to finish getting ready for work. He likes to come in the bathroom with me so I didn't think anything of him sitting next to the tub as I got ready to do my hair. Finally I heard him stand up and I turned to look at him and he was standing in front of the towel rack. He looked at me then looked at the bath towel and bumped it with his nose then looked back at me. It was as if he was saying, "MOM, I'm WET..did you forget about me??" I stood there amazed for a moment at how smart he is. When I told Ben we just smiled in proud parental amazement. So I went downstairs to get his towel out of the laundry while he waited patiently in the kitchen for me, and came back upstairs to dry him off. After that he was happy and ready to go back to playing with his toys. LOL...and people wonder why we dote on the little fuzzboy.

The Birth of a Mini-Marine

So I grew up in a pet loving family. We always had a pet of some sort, whether it was one we had rescued somewhere or one we had purchased. Over the years we had everything from fish, birds,dogs and cats, to a duck and a horse. It was just normal to have a pet. The constant however was always a dog. Regardless of what other pets we had, we always had at least one dog in the house. When I moved out on my own I considered getting a puppy, but financially and time wise I just couldn't do it. It wasn't that bad though, my roommate at the time had a big gallut of a dog and three cats so even though they weren't mine, they would hang out in my room enough that I felt like I had a pet.
When Ben and I got married though I just assumed it would be a short matter of time before we introduced a little fuzzball into our home. By then I had developed an allergy to cats however so for the sake of survival it now had to be a dog, but no big deal, dogs are more like family anyway I thought so that's a better choice. Well, my dear husband had other ideas. He had never owned a dog...oh he liked them...to a point...but too many people whining about how hard they are to care for and how much time they take had soured him to the idea. He was convinced that owning a dog would forever change the dynamics of our life and we would never be able to do ANYTHING we wanted to do again. Thus began the long 71/2 year journey of showing him that while it does change your life, it changes it for the better. Thankfully I'm a pretty patient person with these such things. So over the years we reached milestones like, "They're cute" and "maybe oneday" then we moved up to, "If we had a little more money" and "I wouldn't mind getting a pug...they ARE cute". Still however he just wasn't ready to take the plunge. So me being the person that I am, I continued to pray...oh I had been praying all along, but now I really kicked it into overdrive. "Lord, please show him that having a pet won't take away from our life, but it will just enhance it." Then I began noticing a strange chain of events. Suddenly, hurt animals began coming into our life. My husband, although a tough and proud Marine, is a tender hearted gentle man, garnering him the nickname "Gentle Ben" from many of our friends. Well the first little visitor we had was on our way home one day. As we pulled down our street we noticed that one of the little chipmunks who lived in our backyard was crawling slowly and having trouble crossing the street. I had Ben pull over the car and I got out to inspect him. It wasn't obvious at first, but I had an inkling that he had been hit by a car. I ran back to the car and dumped out my makeup bag and went back to get him. We dove headfirst into animal field medic mode to try and save him. Unfortunately by 9pm that night, Chip was gone. My husband didn't know what to do as I cried so he hugged me and admitted that he had really hoped he had made it. A few months later, it was a squirrel that had been electrocuted while trying to cross a transformer. He lasted even less time. The big one however was the week of Christmas 2007. As we sat at work a bird flew into the window behind my desk. All of us office workers came over and checked on it thinking it was just stunned and would be ok. After an hour though we realized that something was wrong. Her wing was broken and she couldn't fly away. Peanut came home with us that night. She was a young cedar waxwing and she immediately took to life in our home. She had no fear and as we nursed her that night she hopped onto my finger and stared at the computer monitor as I worked online. She was a complete joy and every morning and night we would spend hours talking to her and letting her hop around. We decided to get her a giant cage and rehab her at home until we could release her in the Spring. She had become an integral part of our already happy little home. Then on Christmas Eve something happened..we noticed she had become quiet. We talked to her and let her out of her cage to hop around like usual, but she just looked at us. By that night she took her last laboured breath as I held her, sobbing. That was a hard blow for Ben too. He had grown to love her too and we talked about how much we missed her for weeks. He had come to realize that having a critter to care for didn't hinder our lives at all..it just enhanced them.
A few months later we got an email from Mike. A friend's daughter worked with a woman who was abusing her dog. It was a puppy that they had gotten because it was cute, but had no idea how to care for a dog and finally before they permanently did any damage to the dog, she decided to get rid of it. Immediately the email went out far and wide looking for a home for the little thing. We work in an office of animal lovers so I immediately sent out the alarm. As it happened one of our co-workers had a sister who had a house full of pets and wanted him.
We agreed to have the dog stay at our house and then have another friend who does animal training take the dog and de-program him from the abuse before sending him to his new owners.
When the car pulled into our driveway the next night and my husband saw his little ears, eyes and nose peeking over the dashboard however, he was in love. Do to an unexpected turn of events, in a few days Ben announced to me that he loved the dog and we needed to adopt him..... and Sarge (named by daddy Ben) came home to live with us and officialy became a Babij.
Now, I fully realize that we're partial to this little ball of fluff because he's our boy, but I do believe he's the smartest, sweetest and most entertaining little dog ever.
From begging for his favorite food lettuce, and learning to wave his paw at us when he wants something, and asking to be dried off when coming in from the rain (which is another story for another post) to his addiction to dryer sheets and empty toilet paper rolls. He's been a joy in our lives and now we can't imagine life without our little mini-marine.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

In the beginning......

So what exactly do you include in a blog anyway? Well from all of the ones I have seen it’s a little of this and a little of that. I’ve seen blogs with recipes, blogs with family photos, blogs with decorating tips, blogs with vacation adventures, blogs with happy stories, blogs with sad stories, blogs that were romantic, blogs that were comical, blogs that were political, blogs that were religious, blogs that were famous and blogs that were not, and blogs about blogs…. It would seem that the world is crazy about blogs.

What will this blog be like? Well……….maybe a little bit of all of those…. I think my life is average and probably pretty boring, but for some reason the people all around me seem to think otherwise and keep telling me I need to share it with the world via blog. Hmmmm………Ooooooo-kkkkkkk…..

So then, now that we have decided what this blog will be about….where do I start?

OY! Another conundrum…..what would make a fitting first “official” blog entry….something deep and inspiring or something comical and light. Should I go into a long diatribe about where I came from and what life was like growing up in the South? Should I share the adventures of living in New England….or what life is like being married to a Marine who is obsessed with hot peppers….? There’s humor to be found in being a dog mom however….as well as why Dilbert, Get Fuzzy and Pearls Before Swine are my favorite cartoons……. On the other hand, I could possibly elaborate on my personal feelings as to why a Starbucks should be on every street corner in America and why raisins are evil incarnate.

There are just too many things to consider here. I may need to take an Excedrin and think this over. Perhaps I’ll go kiss Ben, pet Sargie, read the comics and have a cup of coffee while I decide.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Your Guide to Who's Who In My Life

Well.....since this blog will be about family, friends and my life in general, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce the regulars you will be hearing about most often.

Ben ~ My sweet husband (a.k.a. The Bear, My Sweet Marine, Benny Bear, My Knight in Shining Armor, Studley Do-Right or any variation of the five)
Sarge ~ Our dog (a.k.a. Sargie, The Boy, Mini Marine, The Fluff, Fuzzbuster, Shortie, and The Poof, Fuzztoes or any variation of the eight)
The Deathstar ~ The company my husband and I work for. I have no intention of making this blog a rant of any kind so my referances to this will be limited.
Beth ~ My best friend and soul sister for 22 years. (a.k.a. Sis, Betharooni)
The A-Team ~ Beth's family that can be read about by following the link "Alcablog" in my section titled, "The Nouns" (a.k.a. Sean, J, and Rowdy)
Lori ~ My second best friend for over 10 years (a.k.a. Loolabell)
David ~ My younger brother (a.k.a. Rog)
Mom ~ My mother
Momchu ~ My mother in law (a.k.a. World's best MIL, world's best shortbread cookie maker)
Tatu ~ My Father in law
Mike ~ My brother in law
NL ~ Our Church
Isaiah ~ The ministry we work with to feed the homeless and low income (a.k.a. Isaiah 58 Outreach)
The Cottage ~ Our home

Well, these are the main players in my life on a daily basis, all others will be introduced as they are mentioned.