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…and one more thing…

June 18th, 2007

The last few months have been bleak for me (if you’ve been reading me much, you knew this already). But I feel like I’m getting past it. Finally. And I’ve figured something out.

The happiest moments — you rarely know they’re the happiest moments when they’re happening. It’s only later when you realize “That,” you think to yourself, “That was happiness.”

The way the grass feels under your feet, and the way the apple blossoms look on the tree, early in the morning.

The way you are (were) adored by your dog.

You just have to grab ahold of life and love it, okay? Even when you hate it.

Hockey, Hockey, Hockey

May 12th, 2007

So many things I would like to blog about — such as…

* the PTA mom who said, “Good, do!” in our meeting today when I said, “one-more-thing-and-I’ll-shut-up-I-promise.” Nice! Way to open up the lines of communication. No wonder no one wants to work with you, honey. Damn. Speaking of work — THE PAID KIND…

* Work: Why It Just Might Be the Answer I’ve Been Looking For (lunches out with other adults! No one criticizing my food! People complimenting my shoes! The list goes on and on…) (more…)

Thursday Thirteen Ed.# 82: Thirteen Stupid Things People Have Said to Me Since My Dog Died

February 28th, 2007

I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven’t got the guts to bite people themselves.
— August Strindberg

He’s wrong. I do bite. And yes, yes, I know. People can’t help that they’re stupid.

(PS — By the way, all of these stupid comments were made to my face or over the phone. Not on the blog. You all have been incredibly supportive and kind. Thank you. You would think, since we don’t know each other in “real” life — most of us, anyway — that that would mean license to be flip, or rude or whatever. Maybe we just save our best manners for the people we don’t know “face to face.” We should save our best manners for everyone, because you never know what someone’s deal is. I appreciate you guys, and thank you. You mean the world to me.)

(PSS — Thanks to Carol and Beth for keeping Thursday Thirteen going.)

For my Thursday Thirteen, here are…

Thirteen Stupid Things People Have Said to Me Since Wacky Dog Died

13. He was really old, right?

12. He was neurotic.

11. Your dog was really neurotic.

10. He would have drove me nuts.

9. All of that chewing would have drove me nuts.

8. You’d better find a way to deal with it, because he’s gone.

7. He’s still lost? (This from a friend who got my message saying, “We lost the dog.” Apparently my sobbing into her voicemail didn’t tip her off.)

6. Yeah, Labs have problems.

5. I’m glad we have a small dog. Small dogs live longer.

4. You’ll be glad not to pick up after him anymore, I bet.

3. At least he was old.

2. It just seems so… sudden.

1. Was he even sick?

Yeah, I know. I need to keep my mouth shut. More secrets = more better, right? Less information = less hurt. Yes, in some cases. But when you’re crying for a week solid, and you still have to do things like go out in public to get your kids to and from school, people ask questions. And what a lot of people don’t know, because 1) it’s none of their business and 2) I keep it guarded like the dark secret it is — people know that my Dad jumped. (I wrote about it here.) But what I never tell people is — he took our dog with him and killed her, too. (Because what? It wasn’t going to damage us enough, with the suicide? He had to throw a little more damage in there? Thanks, Dad.) She was a black dog, and really sweet, with a white blaze on her chest. She looked like a miniature version of Wacky Dog. And I was just a little older than my daughter when it happened. So analyze that in your spare time.

Also, Wacky Dog was our last dog, and some of my sorrow is because of that. I love dogs, even the crazy-kooky ones like Wacky Dog, and I’ve never not had a dog. But my husband and I decided this a long time ago. He’s not really a dog person, and I cannot deal with this kind of grief and sorrow again. Not when I can have a choice in the matter.

A lot of people have said the right things. Not everyone is stupid. So I give you:

13. I loved Wacky Dog.

12. He was a great dog.

11. You guys were a great family to him.

10. It’s good that he’s not in pain anymore.

9. My dog will miss him — they were good friends.

8. He was the best dog.

7. He ruled.

6. You’re going to keep hearing him — and looking for him — for a long time. I am sorry to tell you this, but for me it was (two months, six months, or just a pause, and then, “a long time”).

5. This must be tough for the kids.

4. This must be making you really sad.

3. I am sorry.

2. I wish there was something I could do.

1. He had a good home with you guys, and you did all you could.

Deer Heads and Family Slides

January 1st, 2007

It’s New Year’s Day — happy 2007! I’ve noticed that everyone is writing up cool memes for the new year, listing out resolutions, talking about their plans for their blogs. None of that here at Wacky House, because I am in full party avoidance mood. This always happens to me before we throw a party. I get a bunch of stuff done ahead of time — cleaning, baking, cooking — then the day of I’m all, “Yikes. People are coming over in three hours? Whose idea was that?”

That’s usually when Hockey God swoops in and cleans both bathrooms (which he did), and sometimes does the dishes (I’m still hoping). And it’s when I decide to break out the family slides and re-organize them. You know. In all my free time. No, for real — we were looking for something fun to do with the kids last night, after we had pizza and watched the hockey game. (Do we know how to party over here or what?) I broke out the slide projector, turned an end table around so we could project onto a somewhat blank wall, and found the slides from my Mom’s family.

Way too many slides of Cows in the Front Yard (my grandfather ranched) and not enough of People Acting Goofy. Since I’m the oldest grandkid, and my mom is the oldest kid in her family, you would think that most of the pix would be of us, right? You would be wrong. My grandfather really, really loved his goddamn cows. Here’s one! It’s a cow in the back yard, trying to get in through the sliding glass door. And another — it’s snowing, and a cow is hovering on the front porch, between the house and the spruce hedges. Brrr. Cold cow! Go back to the barn! Here’s my grandpa, cooing at a cow. And my uncle, with a look on his face like he’s thinking, “Cows? WTF? I thought we were going hunting this weekend…”

My favorite pic: My grandma washing her hair in a bucket by the side of the road in Alaska, when she and my grandpa drove up there with their travel trailer for a fishing trip in ’73.

My grandma.

With her head.

In a bucket.


Another large group of slides are of my grandpa, waving various guns around, while he and my uncles are hunting. Ditto: uncles with guns. Ditto: uncles’ friends with guns.

So I’m thinking, “Why am I hanging on to these slides? They’re not of me. They’re boring. Except the bucket picture, which is frickin’ hilarious. Eastern Oregon is pretty and all, but damn, how many photos of ponderosa pines does one family need in the archives? God, I hate cows.”

Then I find a slide in the middle of this jumble, and it’s of my Dad and me. He’s teaching me to fish. I look about three in the photo. Aw. And one of me, holding my newborn sister. Aw. And my mom, looking gorgeous and young (!!! twenty!!! She and my Dad were babies when they got married — he was only 21.) Then I get to a box where it says (in my grandma’s handwriting): GOOD SLIDES. I think, “Hot damn, here we go.”

They’re of the “snow dell trip” “truck in ditch” and my baby sister, posing with two deer heads that my uncles stuck in a detergent box as a joke. (Successful hunting trip, from the looks of it. They must have been in jolly moods. These pix are pre-cow.)

Really, I think this is all you need to know about my family, the essence of who we are. Because truly, she meant it. Those were the GOOD SLIDES. I’m taking all of them, sorting them out in big plastic envelopes, and my uncles get these, my aunts get those, my sister gets the others; my cousins will get a batch. I took a hundred of them to Fred Meyer this morning to be scanned and put on a CD — $38 bucks! Not bad.

My question: What to do with the one of granny washing her hair? I’m thinking eBay.

Happiest New Year’s wishes for organization in your family tree.



Thursday Thirteen Ed. #70

December 7th, 2006

I can’t wait to get into bed with my husband at night. No, really. I cannot wait.


I Had a Bad Year in 1997

August 9th, 2006

“Ah, not a good year for your clan, huh?” a friend of ours asked my sister and me toward the end of 1997. We ran into him at a party. It was the first social event I’d attended in ages, other than funerals.


Happy Birthday, Dad!

May 25th, 2006

Today would have been my Dad-o’s 64th birthday. (He has been gone since I was 9. Too long. And the years just keep flowing along, and him being here seems like a dream from a million years ago.)

I used to get pretty freaked out on and around the day of his death. Plus, it was in April. And April? Worse frickin’ month in Oregon, even under the best of circumstances. It is wet and gray here in April. “April is the cruellest month,” yeah no kidding. Highest suicide rates, supposedly, are March, April & May.


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