Thursday, February 27, 2014

R.I.P., Barkley, Magnificent Beast.

I'm sad to report that this week my friend Brigid has lost her beloved Barkley.

I heard the news earlier in the week, and I mulled the enormity for Brigid, and thought of my own experience and grief at having to make the tough choice to let an aged pet and friend go, and the horrid thought of future such things.  I wept the whole while I was reading Brigid's lovely tribute in the link above.  Barkley is so woven intrinsically into the warp and weft of Brigid's writing that I know we who find her inspiring will always see his threads in her whole cloth. 

There are those who say we anthropomorphize dogs, and I know I'm guilty to an extent, but I don't think that's entirely accurate. I think dogs make us better than we are. They bring a frank joy and enthusiasm to everything that flies in the face of cynicism and ill humor.

I always say that one of the best traits of a dog is how simple are their pleasures, and how they don't complicate a day with the kind of meanness with which people so clutter up and sully their days. They don't waste time worrying about mortality, taxes, or sub-par kibble. Their unquenchable exuberance is inspiring, indeed.

So today, Brigid, and in the coming days as you try to form the grief of Barkley's loss into a manageable mass, I hope you are blessed and greatly comforted by fond memories of his true essence and of his joy you shared with myself and countless others. You gave him a wonderful life, and he was so happy to do the same for you. Wouldn't have wanted it any other way, I'll bet. xoxo

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mochi & me

She likes to sleep on the pillow, precocious thing that she is!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: Mochi on the mend

Nice to see how quickly the wound tidied up once the sutures came out on Wednesday. She's all bouncy-bouncy as ever, again, and seems the happy girl she ever was before. I love her so. Chuy and Praline are sweetly indulgent of her puppy-style sparring, too. Good doggies. 

Happy birthday to my sweet Mother!

Thanks for all the love and support, Mom, and I hope your birthday is lovely!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Mochi-wiener's peachy keener!

Mochi's sutures came out last night and she is in fine fettle. All the pups are updated on shots and hopefully there'll be no need for unplanned visits to the vet anytime soon. Glad to have my happy pups in good health.  

School is brutally difficult, but I'm working hard and holding out hope.  Counting down the weeks. Three more weeks then spring break. 

Sorry so scarce!

Got Mochi's sutures out tonight, and the pups are all up to date on shots for the year. In a month or so I'll herd them back to the vet to start the rattlesnake shot series. 

Through thick and thin, thankful format sweet wee houndies. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

To His Coy Mistress/smoke 'em if ya got 'em

To His Coy Mistress
Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love's day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
   But at my back I always hear
Time's wing├Ęd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
   Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

Andrew Marvell (1621 - 1678)

A very romantic, sexy, bawdy traipse, this poem is, and yet a slyly crafted revelation of the author's  urgency. Marvell was one of the Metaphysical poets and a contemporary of John Donne (Death Be Not Proud) who had a few pulse-quickening verses of his own. It's a bit insulting, really. Was the poet THAT charming to be around? Maybe he had malodorous breath and the lady was merely being polite rather than coy? We shall never know, since Marvell wrote the history and His Coy Mistress could have been, oh, anyone, or may never have been at all.

When first I read To His Coy Mistress some weeks ago, the verse was a delight and an absolute revelation.  That one can couch such abject sensuality and rude impatience in such polite and wheedling tone is a marvel, indeed. Did I say pulse-quickening?  Brainy is the ultimate hotness.

Where was I?  Oh.  Yes.

When I first read this I chuckled several times as I made my way through the text.  Brilliantly structured and layered with manifold meaning, this confect is the verbal manifestation of a croissant, I think.  This also called to mind (if memory serves, but I just had a glass of champagne, so don't hold me to it!) the verse of a 19th century poet - either Baudelaire or Verlaine - in which he chides the object of his lust for hanging onto her virginity(that old thing!), as she'll soon be worm food in the grave and may as well not have a bothersome thing like virtue hanging about.  I find that approach crass and laughable, though I do see the point.

By brooks too broad for leaping
    Those light-foot boys are laid
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
    In fields where roses fade
A. E. Houseman

It's all just repetition on a theme, as man is a giddy thing.  Love, though, is still worth having, in its many forms, and not just of the romantic stripe.  Love for dear ones and darling pets is one of the few profound and worthwhile things a person can do.

I hope you've had a lovely Valentine's Day and have spent at least a tiny portion of it in celebration of people and pets you love.  I took a nice walk for a couple of miles with my sweetheart, and it was a clear, bright night, and the Pleiades were in view. Maybe that's why the poetry Muse descended.

May you have the sweetest of dreams.


In defense of a perfume habit...

I waxed enthusiastic recently with a fellow perfumista about the glories of a fine fragrance. Someone walked by and made a barely-veiled nasty comment about the silliness and wastefulness of such things. 

Looking at it in absolute terms, yes, I have some expensive perfumes. My major bottles were purchased with bonus money and as a splurge with a small portion of tax refund, so I haven't racked up debt because of my habit. 

There is some variance in different atomizers, but on average, it's about 1/3 mL/spray. If the bottle is 100 mL and cost $100, that's about .33 per wearing. My fragrances are strong, so I only spray one time. My perfumes are beautiful to me, make me happy and harm no one. In honesty, though, I have some perfume that comes out to about $1 per spray. It makes me VERY happy. :) I also read extensively on the subject and I'm very cautious about buying a bottle- my collection is small, but nice. 

I don't watch TV, so I don't bother with cable, which I imagine would be about $2 a day for basic.  I've pared down to 1 or less visits to Starbucks a week, so I'm not sporting a huge expensive coffee habit-- I drink cheap at home. 

I do buy expensive shoes a couple times a year, but I'm not a woman who buys a $20/$30/$40 pair every week or month, so that balances out. 

My point is that I'm thrifty in most ways and feel quite happy with my level of comfort, and that the spartan measures offset the indulgence of the perfume habit. 

In contrast, the person who made the comment is a heavy smoker. I celebrate their right to their smoking, but I'll bet they spend more than $1/day on their habit. Just saying there's more than one perspective on it. It is wrong-headed to think that perfume is a self-indulgent waste in comparison to many other things people don't bat an eye about spending money on. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

The North American Ginger-Snouted Sock Monster in her native habitat

Huzzah for icy roads!

School delayed until 10. Yay. So I have no lectures today. Meanwhile, Mochi is snug under the cover, and Praline is nestled down between Mochi and my leg. Praline mostly seems to prefer being out in the open so she can tackle any threats. 

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: Mochi on the mend

Mochi is improving daily. Chuy and Praline have been very sweet and careful with her, generally, and Praline has even been quite deliberate in stepping around rather than on Mochi in bed. The wound looks to be healing well, and she is acting more playful every day. So happy to have my whole little pack together. It's terrible to get a fright, but it's always good to remember to cherish time with everyone you hold dear, including your furballs. Praline, Chuy and Mochi bring joy to every single day of my life. :)

Friday, February 07, 2014

During the beauty of winter...

...I find old hymns particularly stirring.  This is a marvelous setting of the text set by Robert Robinson in 1757 to the popular tune Nettleton.  I love the old Shaker hymns and find them deeply stirring and comforting. The interplay of the voices makes for a whole cloth that weaves magical breadth into the tune with its peaceful minor mode.  I hope you'll enjoy this beautiful arrangement.

I had no idea HOW silly...

I've figured out what happened. Yeaterday morning Praline jumped high on some furniture and a flowerdy hat of mine fell to the floor. I walked into the room(thank goodness I saw this) to find Mochi merrily munching the hat ornament. I rushed Mochi to the vet, expecting their X-ray to find nothing, but just in case. Good thing I did, too, because she had ingested an entire wired spray of blossoms. Scamp!

I feel idiotic and so disappointed in the whole thing. Had her home from surgery by the end of the day. She is resting and seems on the mend. Looking forward to my pup being more plucky again. 

Meantime, I need to do a serious sweep of my house for stuff that would damage a little digestive tract. *sigh*

I'm so thankful she's going to be okay, though. 

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Thursday again, already???

As of end of class yesterday, the semester is 1/4 completed.

This is an endurance test. Who persists, wins. 

Tuesday at clinical I wore a pedometer and I walked nearly 4 miles.  I realize walking 4 or 5 miles in a day is not extraordinary, but it is great to walk around that much at work. I've been in sedentary jobs for far too long, and I feel so restless when I have to sit in a chair for long bouts of time. Generally, I can calm that restlessness with donuts and other fried foods, but it's a bad combination, bad diet + sedentary =  *_*
So, yeah.  The extra walking is great. Feels good and useful to be so active.

My first two tests were not stellar, but I made solid, passing grades, so I'm content and resolved to do better.  I didn't feel as prepared as I would like (I rarely do), and I want to find a way to turn that dynamic around. I should be more solid with the material, so that's going to be my angle. I detest the feeling that I'm likely to fail - shouldn't a person feel more confident of what they are putting on their answer sheet? Surely this is not the norm?  I don't believe you can be a good nurse and only suspect you got the answer right.  Oh, wait! Maybe that's why nursing school is so damned difficult!

It's bloody cold here- 10 degrees.  I'm going to do something silly today, if the roads are passable and I can get out.  Was going to sleep late but woke before 8 anyway.  I'll start off today by commencing on my clinical assignments due over the next two Tuesdays. Monday night I started on Tuesday's assignments at about 7pm and I was up until 1AM with those(and had to be at clinical by 6:45). Ugh.  The upside to that is my professor said my Nursing Diagnosis of a virtual patient was excellent, where I only heard her say "very good" to one other on the same subject, so that was a good pat on the back.  Still, I don't want any more late nights. I have enough trouble getting to sleep and sleeping through the night.

The dispatching job seems to be going well and then at turns it seems overwhelming.  The person training me seems impatient, which adds to the sense of pressure.  I do know the call/activity volume has been extraordinary on 2 of the last 3 shifts I've worked, and I'm hopeful that I can get some experience when it's not a constant barrage. I realize that the activity is sporadic, and that ultimately, this think-on-your-feet experience will inform every other job I ever had. The learning curve is pretty brutal, though.

One way or another, I'll get by.  The important point is that one quarter of the semester is complete. If I can just keep running long enough to make it to that next telephone pole...

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: snowed in and snugglesome!

Mochi and Chuy love their sweaters. Mochi flounced in the snow, taking mouthfuls as she frolicked. The world is draped in white, and it's very peaceful and pretty. 
Last night was my first 12 hour shift at the PD and I stayed far more alert and awake than I expected to do. The weather stared in earnest before 3am, and I got off at 6am. One of the lovely police officers scraped my windshield, and I was home in bed with pups within a handful of minutes. Winter is better with snuggly pups.