Chocolate and Candy and Juice…oh my!

Once upon a time, a lovely little girl came to visit her Great Aunt.  The child was ecstatic about coming over to play.  Auntie had fluffy puppies and lots of different toys and books.  However, on this particular day, something strange had happened to the child.  She was not her normal self.  What evil had possessed her?  I’ll break it to you gently…Sugar Rush.

I, the Great Aunt, was having a lovely Saturday hanging out with my niece and her daughter.  No one else home, but us three females and the excitable dogs.  Wee female (who is almost 3 years old) was running around chasing puppies or stealing their toys to get them to chase her.  This would lead to an exhausted child and tired puppies later in the afternoon.  After all the excitement with the bow-wows, the fur balls went for a nap and the happy toddler went running off to the playroom.  All was well in the world.

Side note:  My entertaining habits  

Visitors to my humble abode will always be greeted with my big smile and some degree of food.  It could be nibblies like chips, pretzels, or nuts.  I could kick it up a notch and include crackers, kobasa (kielbasa?), and cheese.  If you are an appetizer lover, then the whole day’s meals might include mozzarella sticks, jalapeño poppers, or even homemade pizzas.  If children are my gracious guests, I am the person that “healthy” parents avoid.  I like having chocolate for the kiddies and candy bracelets.  These yummy chocolate covered pretzel sticks called Pocky!  Ok, you get the idea.  I’ll admit it.  I want the kids who visit me to have fun and enjoy the sugary treats.  My great niece was glad I did too.

After a spell in the playroom, mini niece came and grabbed one of the Pocky and started chomping down.  “Mmmmmm, nummy,” she said, as her eyes sparkled with joy.  I gave her a chocolate coin too.  For lunch, there were grapes, strawberries, hot bread, kielbasa, cheese, fishies, and other crackers.  A nice snack medley.  After the fruit and veg, the little cherub snatched a few more Pocky sticks.  I figured she looked thirsty so I gave her some watered-down apple juice.  “Mmmmmm, nummy,” she said again.  I was on a roll.

The playdate wore on and it was time for my wonderful guests to return home.  We sat around for a bit so the bambino could chillax.  I gave her a candy bracelet as a nice parting gift.  She had never had one before.  I showed her how to bite it off the elastic.  So proud was she.  Success!  And what do you think I heard?  “Mmmmmm, nummy.”

The clock struck two.  Visiting hours were over.  Time to pack up and head out.  One more visit to the bathroom to empty the bladder before going home.  Little one started whining as she sat on the edge of the toilet seat.  Uh oh.  Auntie to the rescue!  I brought back a lovely board book called BooBoo.  She sat there on the potty and mommy began reading about BooBoo the duckling.  We waited to hear the tinkle in the water.  What happened next was quite unexpected.

Mommy started reading, “and then BooBoo…” which trailed off because her daughter did the head butt move toward her mom and, through giggles, said, “ahhhh-Boo.”  More giggles.  A repeat of the head thrash and more, “ahhh-Boo.”  Her rocking back and forth increased in speed.  Mum warned her that if she kept it up she would fall into the toilet.  Like a psychic prediction, her daughter’s butt hit the water as her head went back to prime for another head thrust.

We were evil adults.  We laughed at her.  She was displeased.  Mommy salvaged her wet bum from the depths of the toilet bowl.  We removed her wet t-shirt (while trying to stifle our laughter).  “Ahhhh-Boo,” I said, leaning in to her.  That got the giggles going again.  Then she darted, naked, out of the bathroom and ran to the opposing wall.  She slowly turned around to run back to us.  Her legs weren’t working properly.  The child was swaying side to side trying to walk a straight line.  Our little cutie-pattootie was on an official sugar high.  My niece looked at me and laughingly said, “she looks like a mini drunk.”  Yes that was it!

A sugar rush very closely resembles someone in a drunken haze.  Let’s compare:

Adult drunk on alcohol:  Finds everything funny and laughs at everything.  Will suddenly start crying.  Loves to run around naked, if possible.  Inability to walk a straight line.  Holds the wall for support.  Usually ends up in the bathroom to…let’s say…hug the bowl and eject booze from stomach.

Toddler drunk on sugar:  Finds everything funny.  Cries if falls, but can quickly forget pain because everything is funny.  Runs around nude.  Cannot run or walk a straight line.  Runs to wall for support.  Ends up in the bathroom (ok slight difference here) …to finish potty.

See?  A lot of similarities.

In case you were wondering, our fairy tale has a happy ending.  Great Auntie’s house of sugar treats is still standing.  Chocolates and candies are ready to be given to visiting children.  The sweetness will flow through their veins.  They will run around and laugh hysterically; giddy with happiness.  After the sugar rush ends and their super human powers abate, the crash will be large and the sleep will be deep.  The sweet little, exhausted, sleeping cherubs.

Yes, all children who visit know that there will be chocolate and candy and juice…OH MY!

P.S.  No old woman gets thrown into the oven (like the story with nasty little Hansel and Gretel).  The oven is used only for good, like baking cupcakes and cookies.  Now that’s a happy fairytale ending.

Nobody cares…

I’m getting closer to my 50’s.  Yes, I refer to actual my age.  Many women prefer to lie about their age.  I am happy to be alive and well (health-wise) and LOVE telling people how old I am.  Why?  I don’t see why I should be shy or ashamed.  My real life eye wrinkles prove that I am a happy person because they are proof that I smile a lot.  The blue veins in my legs are a showcase of days when I gained waaaaay too much weight.  My whole body presents a story of my life.  To be honest, my absolute favourite parts of my body are: 1) my super-huge toothy smile and  2) my kaka-brown cow-eyes.  Why do I bring these items up?

Growing up in an environment of European descent was not easy.  There were many ways that you could be deemed unacceptable in regular society.  For example, I was diagnosed as near-sighted when I was 8 years old.  I remember going for the eye test and hoping that I wouldn’t “fail” the test because my parents would be disappointed. In the end, it was determined that I needed glasses.  I was actually ecstatic and elated and super pumped!  I even recall my eyeglass case…it was orange and there was the fuzzy head of a teddy bear on it.  I felt special.  That lasted for two days until I returned to school.  I was the only “four-eyes” in my class.  Yes…I could finally read everything on the chalkboard at the front of the room, but I was also a “loser”.  This eyeglass thing didn’t get any easier in other public domains.

My visual impairment made friendships awkward too.  My mother told me that I should not wear my glasses in public.  Why?  Wearing glasses at my young age meant I was somehow disabled.  Silly?  Absolutely, but at the time I believed my mother because she was my parent and she knew best.  At least that is what I was led to believe.

We would go to church every Sunday.  I would take my glasses off before entering.  Going up for communion was about following others so being visually impaired was no big deal.  The problem I encountered was when people thought I was ignoring them.   They would wave to me and I could really only see blobs of colours.  I appeared to be looking right at them, and yet, I myself could not actually see them.

For those who were forward, they would ask me why I ignored them and I’d make up some excuse (not mentioning the glasses).  For those who did not inquire, I became known as a very high and mighty, self-absorbed snob.  I found this out from friends after the fact.  Why do I bring this up?

It seems that our daily lives are always being judged.  Nowadays, they might even be recorded.  You never know when someone will be holding a “smart phone” ready to video or photograph whatever you are doing.  It seems that people are more concerned about recording the next “viral” video instead of thinking about how this could affect a person’s life.  In the end, I wonder…who cares?

No one really cares.  No one really cares about your life or what you are living.   No one really cares if you are happy, sad, disgruntled, ecstatic, etc.  That was generalizing, but in truth, if you are super happy, most people don’t want to share your happy news.  Why?  Most people are focusing on hardships and don’t want to hear about how good your life is.  “Misery loves company” and most would rather share woes.  Our society deals with sarcasm and belittling others to make themselves feel better.  Does this sound like a harsh judgement?  Perhaps, but oftentimes it seems that people would rather rally around those with problems than with those who are having a fantastically great life.

Perhaps I am just noticing this more often than I used to.  It could also be that I have decided to find what is good in my life instead of focusing on what I am missing.  This shift in vision took me a good two years to finally accomplish.  Why?  It’s not as easy as you think.  Here are some examples:

You wake up in the morning and the first thing you think is:  “Crap I have to get up and go to work.”  I would wake up, take a deep breath (which I can happily do) and literally tell myself to think of something positive.  So, I would say, “Wow!  I am so happy to wake up and breathe and enjoy another day of life!”  Corny?  When you start it, it does feel weird, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.  How do you re-program your thinking to be positive instead of negative?  It’s a conscious effort of changing what you are thinking.

  • Awwwww, it’s raining again! – NEGATIVE
  • Yay!  The flowers will grow and bloom; my garden will grow! – POSITIVE

Challenge!  Write down your negative thoughts and then try to find the positive.

  • My car is a piece of junk…becomes…I am grateful to have a vehicle to drive.
  • I hate my job…becomes…I have a way to pay my bills and this is only a stepping stone to my new and better job.

You can do it!  You can find something good!  (If you get stuck…look at pictures of puppies and kittens, or any other baby animal.  You can’t be grumpy after that!)   While you are on this journey of discovery and appreciation don’t think about what others are saying about you or thinking about you because you know what?  Nobody cares!

Fuzzy Wuzzy…was NOT a bear

With my new career change and my new life, it’s nice to have something that remains constant.  Something that is familiar.  Something that I love.  Something that I can come home to and know it will be there for me.  Always happy to see me.  Always there to greet me.  Yes, you would think that I am speaking about my beloved “Wiseguy” husband.  It could be my handsome man, but sometimes he works nights and he is not there for me upon my return.  When he is not home, I have two fuzzy wuzzies that are always super happy to see me when I get home.  I have two fluffy puppies (until they get haircuts), but no matter how challenging a day I have had, their wet noses and wagging tails make me melt and forget about any trials and tribulations.  This is the story of how the first fuzzy wuzzy came into my life.

I hated dogs.  Period.  Yes, my early years, my teen years, my early adult years, I hated dogs.  Actually, I didn’t hate them, but they terrified me!  I always thought they were going to jump on me and wrestle me to the ground and eat my face off.  How did I get this insane conception?  No idea.  For years I just new that all I had to yell was, “Go home!” and they should go scurrying off.  Did it always work?  In most cases.  So, how did an anti-dog person suddenly become the owner of, not one, but two dogs?

Whilst Wiseguy was working nights, I was alone and wanted company.  I told him I wanted a dog.  He laughed. He chuckled.  He chortled (oh yes he did!).  With the comment of:  “You hate dogs.”  Yes, he was right.  The reason I began thinking I wanted an animal was something a friend said. He had just become the new owner of a German Shepherd.  I told him I could never visit him because I was terrified of dogs.  He said quite simply, “Oh, I don’t like other people’s dogs but I love mine.”  That got me thinking.  Yeah.  If I trained my dog then I would love it.  Wiseguy still thought I was crazy.  Even worse, I told him I would call my dog Barney.  Well, he poo-pooed me every night.  I kept going to bed at night wishing that I could have my Teddy-bear dog.

I wished for a tan coloured little pooch with little dark eyes.  I knew it should be a him and not a her.  I just felt it was right.  (I have these wonky extra-terrestrial powers I think).  So, imagine my surprise when after about 4 weeks my stepdaughter called, super-excited with this news:  “You aren’t going to believe this!  I got an interview at a pet store.”  Well, now you see how my hokey-pokey magic wish powers just seemed to come to fruition.  What happened next?

After a week at the new job, I decided to visit her and see how she was liking her new job.  She was always incredible with animals and this was a perfect fit for her.  I told Wiseguy that I was going to visit her and asked if he wanted to come along.  Sure.  So, off we went.  We arrived and Princess was super happy with her job.  FANTASTIC!  Suddenly, my eyes locked on this little furball.  He just sat there.  The other pups scampered around him and he just sat there.  Princesses’ sister (who also worked there) asked me if I wanted to hold him.  Hold?  Him?  I have held over 100 children, but 4-legged creatures…never!  She brought him to me and put him in my arms.  He sat there.  He didn’t move.  He didn’t bark.  The anti-dog.  I was amazed at this 10-week old teddy bear.  They had a little room that you could sit in to get to know one another.  I placed my little furball on the floor and he WENT NUTS!   He was scurrying and jumping and yipping and I didn’t know what to do!  Wiseguy was laughing at me (justifiably).  He came in and rescued me.  How?  He picked up the foot long fuzzy and placed in my arms where he promptly relaxed and just let me carry him around.  I fell in love with this little cutie.  What happened next?

Barney came home with us except he was renamed Waldo.   Like “Where’s Waldo?”  Wiseguy is great at naming people (children) and animals. Fuzzy wuzzy…has kept me sane.  At first I used to call Wiseguy and cry.  I had never had a pet before and suddenly I had this 6 lb furball biting me and scratching and whimpering and barking.  It was a learning experience with a puppy, but I did survive.  Waldo (now 8 years old and I like to call him Fabio).  He knows he is beautiful.  When his hair gets long (part shitzu-part poodle) he needs a haircut(e).  (lol!  My own funny.)  Biblically he is like Samson (and Delilah if you need to google).  When his hair is short (that is his “Baldo” phase) he is “sprite-like” as the 10 week old that I met. No matter what, Waldo aka Baldo aka Fabio is special.  Why?

Where’s Waldo?  As a dating profile I think he would say:  Hate baths, but love long brushes.  Hate squirrels, airplanes, ambulances.  Love robust trees. love waldo XOXO

P.S. I am beautiful and fuzzy but I am not a bear.  I am sure you bears are jealous! Love Waldo.  aka Waldorfson

Puppy love…

Let me tell you about puppy love.  Her name is Lucy.  Bet you thought I was going to talk about young love.  Although crushes and the youth dating scene is quite intriguing, I am going to tell you about my puppy love. 

I have two puppy loves.  Waldo, my first puppy is now 4 and Lucy is 3 years old.  Both are shi-poos.  We call them “puppy” all the time because they are small.  Well, actually, Waldo is over 20 lbs, but little Lucy is a meer 10 lbs.  My story shall continue with puppy love Lucy and all the excitement in her life to date.

We got her at 7 weeks when she was just a wee, bitty furball.  Her little, hairy body was white and her head was covered in black hair.  Very funny because whenever she sat down, she looked like a defective snowman.  From the first visit to the veterinarian, we heard that her one leg was clicking and we could operate later to have it fixed.  (Well, she runs like the wind now and our theory is, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.)  After 3 months of having Lucy at home, I noticed one day that her eyes were watering.  Hmmmm, that was odd.  I monitored it and by the next day it got worse.  We decided it was time to visit the vet and see what was going on.  Well, our usual vet was on vacation so we booked an appointment with one of the other doctor’s.  He provided me with some eye cream for her and home we went. 

So, I put this cream in her eyes, poor wee puppy.  I did this for 3 days and it didn’t seem to be getting better.  Not better at all.  We went back to the clinic and our regular doctor was there.  I told her about how I was taking a picture of Lucy running at me and I noticed that her lips were swollen and her eyes seemed like they were bugging out.  The vet handed me a few sheets of paper and said, “She has strangles.”  What the heck is strangles?  Well, she explained that strangles is a rare disease that some puppies get.  Basically the immune system goes into overdrive and if not treated, will actually lead to strangulation of the animal.  We collected our new set of pills and took puffy, puppy Lucy home again. 

Now, with Waldo, I took him to puppy training classes so he could learn to play and become a good dog.  Poor Lucy.  She was quarantined.  Her meds were so strong because basically they were killing her immune system so that her immune system wouldn’t kill her.  We were told NO being around other animals.  NO walks because she could pick up infections from the grass where other animals had been.  Poor Lucy.  So, I packed up my little 3 lb puppy and tucked her into a soft padded square lunch tote and carried her around outside so that she could see the world and hear its sounds so that she would get accustomed to them.

Three months passed and therapy was over.  YAY!  Now we could go for walks and do other fun things.  Lucy was not a good walker.  She could walk but would zig and zag between my legs and get wrapped up in Waldo’s leash.  And she barked…endless barking and barking and barking and barking at anything that passed her.  I think she has supersonic hearing.  She will start barking at nothing and then 2 minutes later we will see a bus drive by.  Well, I guess with all her other ailments something must work well.  Oh, did I mention that the reason why her eyes were always watering.  We heard from the vet that her bottom eyelashes are turned inward instead of outward so her tear ducts are constantly working.  Uh huh.  That’s the Life of Lucy.

Well, our little puppy love survived all those ailments.  She loves to play fetch.  She loves to jump around and have fun.  She loves to cuddle.  Monkey Breath calls her “old man” cause her face does look like that of an old man.  We like to call her Fang too because her underbite (yup, she has that too) leaves her one canine tooth jutting out.  Quite funny to see.

Right now, little Lucy is in surgery.  Yes it’s true.  I found her little butt swollen yesterday.  How it happened I have no idea.  Back to the vet.  This part is quite icky gross so I’ll let you read it if you would like the details.  Swollen anal gland.  Her’s ruptured.  ‘Nuff said.  So, now she is having surgery.

I am sure that in the future there will be more visits to the vets for Lucy.  Call it intuition or déjà vu.  There is one thing that amazes me about this furry little 10 lb wonder.  No matter what kinds of ailments life throws at her she always bounces back.  She runs and plays and enjoys life.  I know that animals can’t complain, but I don’t see her cowering in a corner and giving up on life.  Most of us have been through tough times in our lives where we just want out of the world and curl up into a ball and feel sorry for ourselves.  My puppy love is always loving and cuddly no matter how she feels.  When she barks she is invincible.  Every moment is enjoyed.  Even while sleeping, you will oftentimes find her on her back with her belly in the air.  Now that’s comfort.

Five years ago I would’ve thought anyone crazy to have such strong feelings about their pets.  Now I’m part of the crazy club of dog owners and loving my puppy love.

Pet Project

My childhood fears were numerous.  I honestly don’t know how I managed to have so many phobias, but, boy oh boy, I drove my mother nuts with all the things that scared me.

Besides the usual arachnophobia, I feared grasshoppers (yes, they jumped at me and I was sure they were trying to poke my eyes out).  I was also beyond terrified of dogs.  From the big local Doberman on the street corner to the wee little Pomeranian.  I would hear a tinkle of the dog tags and I would almost pee myself with fear.  I crossed many a street due to roaming dogs.  These were the thoughts in my head, “I am terrified of dogs.  I will cross the street if I see any dogs.  Dogs are scary.  Dogs bite.  Dogs will rip me limb from limb.”  Pretty dramatic thoughts right?  Back in those days, I was kind of lucky in that many people did not have dogs.  None of my relatives had dogs either so I was pretty safe.

As I got older, it suddenly seemed, everyone had dogs.  My father-in-law (FIL) had beagles.  I tried to pet them to get over my fear, but as soon as they decided to jump on me to greet me I freaked out and ran.  So much for that plan.  We visited my sister-in-law and there were two dogs there.  As soon as I saw them, I froze.  Same thing would happen anywhere we went to visit.  I would ask Wiseguy to check with people we were visiting, to see if they had a dog.  He would forget to ask because, well, it was stupid to be afraid of dogs!

Now….move 10 years into the future.  Here I am watching tv with my TWO dogs.  Yes, I am the owner of these vicious mutts….Waldo (where’s Waldo?  haha) and Lucy (or Lucifer as we affectionately call her).  They are shi-poos.  I know, sooooo scary.  How did this come about?  After the kids moved out, and Wiseguy started working nights, I started telling him that I wanted a dog.  He looked at me like I was on crack or something.  Why would a woman, obsessively fearful of dogs, want a dog?  I explained, I didn’t want a dog, I wanted a puppy.  Cute, small, fluffy.  Nice logic right?

The story of dog ownership continues like this…The Princess called me happily one day to tell me that she got a job!  Yes, she was so excited!   “It’s at the pet store!”  The Princess LOVES animals.  Pet store?  ZING!  Hellooo karma!  Wiseguy and I went to visit her after she had been there for about a week.  She loved her job!  Suddenly, Wiseguy noticed this calm, little, caramel-coloured puppy with a tuft of hair in his little face.  He was just sitting there, staring at us.  He was a little teddy bear.  After two hours of me holding little puppy (while wandering around the store) we walked out with Waldo puppy and a bunch of other stuff to make our new puppy happy in our home.

Training and learning how to properly take care of a dog was a challenge for me, a not-ever pet owner.  Now, I am so happy to have two dogs in my life.  I am so grateful for their excitement whenever I get home.  My pups (dogs) jump on me (one is 20 lbs and the other is only 10 lbs).  They give me slurpy lick-kisses.  They cuddle with me.  They really are a joy for me.  They make FIL and Wiseguy happy too.  The amount of love and loyalty they show is just unfathomable.  Even little Kennie is excited to play with the “ogs”.  Kennie is very articulate about that.  She calls to them as any good trainer would:  Addo!  Ushi!

I now totally and completely understand why people love their dogs.  If anyone sees my dogs and get afraid, I understand.  I just hope that one day they will conquer their fear.  It’s worth it.  “Waldo…Lucy come!  Love you puppies!”

Waldo (sitting pretty)

Lucy(fer)