The Gladiola Conundrum

It was Oakley’s last day at the day care center before it closes and he starts full days at the new one. I decided to do a big-haul shopping trip since I won’t be getting over that way with the same frequency.

Started the trip at Costco, then on to the Whole Foods that’s across the street. I wanted to get Oakley’s teacher a token of gratitude, such as flowers. Just inside the door, gladiolas stood proudly in their buckets. I chose one bunch for Ms. Judi, a vibrant earthy red-orange, and one bunch for me in a more ethereal lavender. I didn’t think anything of it at first, but a couple of aisles later near a Labor Day promotional display, I realized that I had just bought gladiolas.

Gladiolas+Labor Day=impending autumn. Write an equation and solve for summer’s entirely too-short visit. For some reason, several radio stations played “Cruel Summer” during my travels yesterday. The last endless winter had robbed us of a good piece of spring, rendering us all logy and crabby and vitamin D deficient. The cloud of the doggy day care center’s closing had cast shadows over the landscape, too. Hubby and I were only able to get up to the Ren Faire once this summer due to his work schedule and the endless tasks required to get his mom’s house on the market.

So here we are at Labor Day. Changes and time cannot be stopped. I felt like quoting Sheldon’s line from “Big Bang Theory” when he pitches a hissy about Leonard’s and Penny’s engagement leading to changes in the housing situation, shouting that no one was moving and nothing was going to change because he didn’t want it to.

Unfortunately, I don’t control things, a hard truth learned in my life. I decided that Ms. Judi needed a bottle of wine to go with the flowers. For a moment, I toyed with getting some for myself as well, then decided not to since it’s four points a glass. I like my Shiraz, but not that much.

Perhaps the circumstances are beyond control, but the choices made in their flow and ebb aren’t.






I’m Too Lazy to Find My Copy of “The Great Gatsby” So Bear With Me

There’s a scene toward the end of The Great Gatsby where I believe Jordan comments that life begins again when everything gets crisp in the fall.

I’m not trying to wish time away, believe me, but when I walk outside and feel as if I’ve been hit in the face with a hot wet beach towel, I have moments of doing so. The half-hour morning walk with Oakley left me limp from the humidity. I’ll have to settle for the next best thing in the egg department: the hens at the farm where I usually buy mine have wilted in the coolest spots in their enclosure with spread wings, and are too hot to lay eggs.

Storms are en route, though. Some are saying this afternoon, a real possibility when the heat indices hover around 100 and the humidity is ridiculous. Others say tomorrow. I look forward to them, welcome them.

It’s a stay in the moment type of week. We have the last day care day at the place where Oakley’s been going the better part of his life before it goes out of business this weekend. A party’s been planned for staff, owners, and dogs the Sunday after Labor Day. Hopefully it will bring closure as we all make this transition. We all know that change is the constant in life, but did it have to be due to one person’s massive selfishness and greed?

Oakley will be four on Saturday. We just did an early birthday treat run to his favorite store, the mom (no pop) one that’s a little drive. He gets adored by the staff, greets the store cat whether or not he wants to be greeted, and charms other shoppers. And we get to support the shop owner and a small local biscuit bakery. It’s all good.

And when the weather breaks, it will be even better.


The Hard Part Is Over

Not just different, but on the list of things I swore to all that I hold sacred I would never do.

I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting this morning. I’ve tried everything else this side of a gastric bypass (which don’t work as well as they want you to think in many cases). So I’ll give this a try.

In the past, the program had seemed pretty judgmental and rigid with labels such as “legal” and “illegal” for the foods with an emphasis on the processed. But now, it’s evolved to where WW gives the member the framework with which to make the healthiest choices whether he or she chooses a frozen meal or something created in their own kitchen. It also breaks the longterm goal into manageable chunks: a 5% goal, a 10% goal, and stickers for five-pond losses.

So I went. I weighed in (not pretty–20 pounds more than I thought that I’d gained back), and the leader gave me my tracking booklet with the evil number in it, and the daily point allotment. Then she said, “Sweetheart, you just did the hardest part. It’s all downhill from here.”

I’m not alone in this, both in terms of the WW community support, support from Hubby, and my friend who went with me and suggested this.

So we’ll see what happens.


One Weird-A**ed Week Later….

This was a weird a**ed week if there ever was one. Here’s hoping that next week is a little calmer.

Monday, Hubby returned to his mom’s house near Detroit for another round of work to get it ready to go on the market. He drove right into the aftermath of a storm that dropped five inches of rain in a ridiculously short amount of time. Any other day, it would have taken him five or six hours to get there. Not this time. Road closures due to flooding pushed him pretty far out of the way, and it took closer to eight or nine hours. When he finally pulled up in front of the house, he noticed that all the neighbors were outside. To a home, everyone had at least three inches of water in their basements. Even his mom’s, even after the money spent on new water lines last summer to avoid this nonsense.

Monday also brought the news about Robin Williams. If you don’t know, please Google it–I am one story away from losing composure again. The outpouring of stories of his kindness (work on behalf of the homeless, supporting differently abled athletes, always ready to say “hi” to a fan) have not failed to amaze me. I hope that he and Christopher Reeve have caught up with each other.

Tuesday, still processing Robin and talking Hubby through his angst over the house. Wednesday brought the news of Lauren Bacall’s passage. Sad, but not of the magnitude of Robin’s passing. I always liked her. Even in my childhood, I had a deep voice, deep enough to mess with telemarketers who thought that I was my father, and hearing her made me feel better about it.

Sometime this week, a shooting of an unarmed young man in a St. Louis suburb lead to peaceful demonstrations that spun into riots when local law enforcement decided to play G.I. Joe and pull out unnecessary heavy artillery. Journalists were harassed as well. It took pulling the locals off the case and sending in the state highway patrol to regain order. Hopefully, all investigations will go smoothly and swiftly.

Things started leveling out yesterday. I made a run to a local drive through for a gyros. Oakley was with me. He found the whole drive through concept fascinating: Mom yells into a speaker, then we pull around the corner to a window  and they hand her a box with food? COOL! He had the same look on his face as he gets when we go to day care or for walks with his aunties on Saturday.

Today I went on a spontaneous breakfast with a friend. I’m still full, even midafternoon. That was a fantastic omelette, and hopefully a sign of a better, calmer week ahead.

Doggy Day Care Dilemmas, or #FirstWorldProblems

Yes, I know, I know. In a world where passenger planes get shot down by rebels, where small children can’t find refuge from bombing raids, and the US government is by and for the corporations and no longer by and for the people, pet care is not on a lot of peoples’ screens. I know that. When I watch the news or see headlines on Facebook, I feel as if I am drowning in some vortex of evil. We have taken to watching screwball comedies on Netflix rather than the news to stay half-sane.

The evil became personal a couple of weeks ago. After some 18 months of legal battles, the owner of Oakley’s day care center and sleepover camp lost her lease. The landlord refused to honor her right to demand a renewal because he wanted to sell the building without a tenant in it, even a tenant with a profitable business that was an asset to the community,and the judge sided with him because of the vagueness of the contract. Since no other place would rent to her, she goes out of business at the end of August. Mr. Whiplash has no idea what he’s done in the name of greed and inconsiderate behavior; therefore, I release him to the whim of karma.

Anyway…Choosing her center was easy. Oakley’s trainers sent their dogs there. Under her care and the interaction with dogs of different ages, he blossomed. This new one was a little trickier.

One place I considered is the same distance in the opposite direction from our home. Lovely, but the area that one is in involves driving on wide open roads in winter. After this last winters’ automotive ice follies, not an idea that I relished.

Another place was seriously short staffed, and the one handler had to kennel the dogs because he couldn’t keep an eye on all fifteen. It had the types of kennels seen in ASPCA ads. I grew very cold. Oakley would not be comfortable in one of those. No. Even if it is five minutes from my house. Just no.

I checked on the web for other places: this one affiliated with the vet’s office that damn near killed Orion–no. That place had very reasonable base prices, but it was an extra fee for paying attention to the dogs, and giving them meds if need be. Forget that.

And then I remembered that a couple of years ago, one of his student teachers, one who had worked with him in his most challenging times, had opened up a small boarding and day care center at her home about ten minutes from mine. Flexible hours; Saturday care by arrangement; rides home no problem if I work an event that will keep me until six. We went for a tour. Oakley gave Ms.R. a leaning and patting, then sniffed around her yard, and took off running with his new friends.

I think I know where we’ll be going on the first Wednesday in September.