I think I over did things yesterday.
Happens. Felt good, felt better getting a lot of things done. Nice not to be cowering under a blanket and hurting.
I did laundry and discovered that the cat (the one who decided to use her teeth like a stapler and my arm as a ream of newsletters) had used three corners of the basement as a washroom. The smell was repugnant.
I cleaned that up. When I went down to put clothes in the dryer the smell had abated so I’m hopeful I got it all cleaned up.
I roombaed a few rooms (love the roomba!) and mopped. While the roomba did its thing I took the dogs for a walk. I managed to stay upright the entire time, much to their evil chagrin. I’ve discovered another quality of snow on our walk.
I’d always assumed that slush was something made by cars running over the pretty slow transforming it into that half frozen gunk. I was surprised to discover that slush could fall from the sky. It came down as stinging snow with a few big flakes thrown in there and ended up on the ground in growing puddles of gray melange.
Still we got to inspect the neighbors already installed Christmas lights. Kind of dull to look at Christmas lights during the day but we enjoyed it. We have some lights here. I’m inspired to string some of them outside. The house isn’t in a place where anyone could see them except us. I don’t mind that much.
After mopping the floors I shoveled snow. I don’t think my technique has improved much from last year. This slushy stuff was heavy, still slick but had the added bonus of being wet enough to sneak inside my shoe. I got the walks and car home shoveled, cleared the drive way in a sloppy way and kept the gates cleared.
Snow: My Friend, My Enemy.
I got some interesting emails yesterday.
The first was from the animal rescue service I used to foster puppies for. I still feel grateful to them for trusting all those great dogs to me. That I got to meet a couple of great people who adopted my dogs was a sweet fringe benefit (one of them, a couple I’m fond of, is having a baby any day now!!).
Early in November they had to send out a message. They were flat broke. They couldn’t rescue any more dogs. I find it odd that the city and county still charges a rescue group money for dogs that the government is planning to cruelly murder.
This was distressing. They’re in the midst of doing all those crazy desperate fundraising things, selling coupon books and junk like that.
Yesterday I got another email from them. The group won a contest to become “America’s Best Animal Shelter”. Which is sweet in and of itself. I like a few people in the group quite a lot and was pleased for them. The best part was that the title comes with a $10,000 prize! This pleases me most. My best friend in the group already emailed me that this meant at least 1,200 dogs would be rescued! And she already had 20 picked out.
Seems semi-miraculous. I’m counting it a one of my Christmas presents. Over a thousand dogs I no longer have to worry about!
I heard from one of my kids. He asked me “if I minded all the pain”.
If you don’t know the kid or understand a coach’s relationship to his athletes that might seem like an obtuse and even weird question.
This kid, he’s a man now but my issue is that I almost always think of them first as kids, had a rougher time of it then most. He played right tackle for me. He was excellent. Part of our first National Championship team and was an important part of that team.
He was going to get thrown out of school. Not for conduct but because they’d decided this big kid was mentally retarded. This surprised me quite a bit. I didn’t think a mentally retarded kid could learn his assignments for me quite so well.
Fortunately for him one of my coaches was dyslexic. He recognized the symptoms and had a similar experience when he was in school.
With the assistance of my friend we were able to get him tested. The kid was dyslexic. We managed to keep him in school. He did so well he got accepted into a pretty prestigious University. He did pretty well there too. Then he was diagnosed with Crohns Disease.
Being the sort of dummy I am I’d never heard of it. I figured something I’d never heard of couldn’t be that bad. (Sometimes I am such an American.)
When I next saw him I was surprised. He’d lost at least 50 pounds of muscle mass. He looked sickly. He was in and out of hospital but he was still managing to keep on top of his studies and with the bare minimum of concessions from his prof’s he was not falling behind his class.
He was stoked because Anastasia, the blues pop star, also has Crohns disease. To her credit while she was on tour she visited kids in the hospital with the same disease.
It finally came that the kid was going to graduate university. I was as proud of him as I’d ever been of any kid. All that was left were his finals and he was pure confidence about them.
Then I got the call that he was in hospital. His bowel had ruptured and he had certainly developed peritonitis.
I visited him in hospital while he was having surgery. Most of his old teammates were there. Some of them had taken it on themselves to contact his school and set it up for him to take his two remaining finals after he got out of hospital.
Another kid had driven the kid’s mother to the hospital so she wouldn’t have to take the tube. All of them were very solicitous of her.
I was proud of them all, proud of the kids who had grown into good young men. A bit dismayed that I’d never noticed it before. I put it off to the beauty and integrity of the game I loved that they had all played to the best of their abilities.
My kid survived the operation. He survived the entire ordeal. He graduated with a BS degree and started to work. He’s living the life he’s dreamed of.
I remember him giving me a lift once from the ;leukemia hospice, shortly after his operation. We shared hospital stories and he showed me his colostomy bag . . .
When he wants to know “if I mind the pain” I know what he’s asking and why. I only want him to be alright.
There’s plenty of times you have to be tough in this life. I hope its not too often and not ever now for him.
After reading yet another email about how I could love animals and not be a vegetarian . . . my friend got home from the first day back at work. He was sleepy.
I tired to start a fire in the fireplace. It didn’t go well. I burned up most of the paper designated for recycling and a couple of those camphor smelling “fire starter” blocks and nada. I managed to burn all of the wood up but never got it to burst into pretty warm flames.
If I were a cave man we’d all be eating cow sushi and grinding beans between our teeth.
I did get a good high quality smolder going on. Lots of good smoke and little heat . . .
To celebrate I had to go out and continue shoveling newly fallen slush.
I think I was a California kid for a reason . . .
The dogs enjoyed it although they were, as usual, disappointed I didn’t slip and fall down.
I didn’t watch the cruddy football game. I watched a South American movie called Tres Dias. An odd Sci-Fi thing. A meteor is going to strike the planet earth and its a dead lock that no one will survive.
At first it was pretty interesting as it told the apocalypse completely through the eyes of a small Chilean village, with fuzzy TV pictures and suicides. (All the communication satellites are not out, planes are crashing as the earth magnetic poles getting skewed.) It was interesting but then it got silly.
The prison guards abandon their posts and all the prisoners escape. One brutal convict decides that the last 3 days of his life should be used to get revenge against this guy and his mother in this little village. Its sort of dull as a thriller. Especially after it was being so elegant in its depiction of the small and bewildered people trying to grasp the enormity of their mortality.
I went to bed relatively early. Good thing. I was up at 5. The gentle dog was barking at something outside. Turns out it was the cat . . .