Tag Archives: Shaun

TCP Here: My Ruined Holiday, and Mom’s Happiness


That’s me.  ‘The Christmas Present’.  I’m writing the blog today.  You probably know me as “Christmas” but I hate that name.  I am not a holiday.  All the other dogs call me TC. I’m trying to train my pack of bipeds to do the same thing.

I stayed at this dog sleep-away camp.  It’s HUGE.  There are lots of toys and other dogs and games.  They assign a biped to each ‘play group’ (What’s wrong with the word “pack”?).  We have sprinklers to run through and our own swimming pool.  We get to bring our own beds too.  Nice.  It’s not gender separated.  I got to hang out with two Papillon sisters.  How great is that? And the smells?  KILLER.

I was having a perfectly wonderful holiday, then tall mom came and made me leave.

Tall mom talked out loud to bipeds I couldn’t smell…Brian, Steve, Thelma, Louise, and Harvey Fierstein…? No clue.  She squeezed me to death and dripped water on my head.

Then she sat on my couch and fell asleep.

(BTW, tall mom you need to take a shower.  Seriously.)

I sniffed. Aunt Daisy was here. My nose told me short mom was here now, but she smelled wrong. Like the stuff tall mom uses to clean my private tub. Ew.  Hurt my nose. Short mom was asleep in the pack bed.  I woke up tall mom and led her to the pack bed (took forever…have you noticed bipeds are rather dense?) and politely asked to get up. Once up, I went to find out what happened to short mom.  Whoa.  She’s PURPLE. I think she got into a pack fight.  She has a lot of bite marks.  Yow, that musta hurt.  I licked them all.

I tried to remove all the burrs stuck to her, but that made her yelp, so I quit.

All they want to do is sleep.  Pretty boring, but (yawn) maybe I am a little tired from camp.  Someone has to…protect and serve….ZZzzzzzzzzzz


Technical Difficulties, Hospitalization, and a Lonely Brain Cell

Meet Brian.

Brian is the one remaining brain cell that is manning the command center.  He’s lonely.

When a brain cell fires in the forest, and no one receives its electrical impulse, did it really fire?

I get to talk like this. I’m still in the same clothes I wore when I left the house on Tuesday.  Today is…Friday.  I can count on one hand the hours of sleep I have had since Tuesday.

Shaun went into San Francisco for a ‘procedure’.  She was supposed to be in, done, out, and two hours later, snoozing in the backseat while I was driving north back over the Golden Gate bridge.

There was a complication.  The minor discomfort not only did not go away, it increased to The Expert yelling give-her-morphine-now level, and Shaun was suddenly desperately ill.

This is where the technical difficulties come in, technically it is difficult to post without a computer, one lonely brain cell, and find humor when one is scared [curse]-less.

She is going to be okay.  She’ll be in the hospital for a week, minimum, according to The Expert.  More like 11 days, he said.  11 days in which she can’t eat or drink liquids. Period. Not even a sip of water.

I’m less scared now, so Brian The-Brain-Cell and I are hanging out, waiting to find sleepy again.  We passed sleepy about a zillion brain cells ago.  Shaun is stable, safe, and attended to by a world-class team.  Kind of like House (the TV show), if House was real, minus the attending sociopath.

There are some moments that will seem absolutely hilarious once this is over, because, well, they are hilarious.

Most of the time, I’m simply awed by the care and kindness of strangers.  “It’s my job”, one nurse said, when I thanked him.  Yeah, it’s his job, but nearly every single person she’s come into contact with cares deeply about her welfare, health and suffering.  They are looking for who is in there, not at a patient.

I won’t be posting for a while, and wanted to let you know why.  If I do post, please forgive me. (That’s a disclaimer!)

To Daisy, Bella, Lily, and Alice, THANK YOU.  You are the best friends EV-er.

One of the humorous moments:

I’d been awake almost 3 days straight, and Daisy was driving me home.  Translation: after a long work day, in the middle of moving into a new house, Daisy was subjected to a looooong drive in which Jane had no working brain cells.  I never shut up, and I have absolutely no idea what I said.  Toward the end, I know I was expounding on theories of what makes street lights change from red to green.

Aside to Daisy: I figured out what makes them change! It’s not timers or pressure sensors in the asphalt.  You need to wear a tinfoil hat with antenna, and the Martians will pick up on your distress and redirect the electrical impulses of the traffic light. Voila.  Green lights all the way.

Virtual Vacation: Mendocino, California

Shaun has a fist full of Elite Cards from companies in the travel industry.   Her job requires business travel, she gets to keep the points.  We wanted a mini vacation.  A Saturday/Sunday vacation.  Thanks to Hertz points, we rented this…

…for the whopping sum of $1.18. (For those outside the US, that’s less than one Euro.)

It had less than 100 miles on the odometer. We set out to fix that, and drove to Mendocino.

If the pictures look vaguely familiar, Hollywood filmed the TV series “Murder, She Wrote” (starring Angela Landsbury) here. This is, uh, ‘Cabot Cove’, located in ‘New England’.

If you’re expecting gorgeous men and women in minimal spandex, on warm beaches leaning against surfboards, you’ve been brainwashed by Hollywood (Baywatch) into thinking the entire coastline looks like southern California.  For the horsey, this is comparable to being unable to differentiate a donkey from a Clydesdale.  They’re both good, but very different.

My thrill of the day: there was rattlesnake grass everywhere, one of my favorite wild things.  You’ll recognize it when you see the photo!

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In Memorial

Shaun’s Mom

10/27/1920 – 04/03/2010

Shaun’s mom was a gifted water-color artist.  We’re lucky to have some of her work.  She was skilled in all sorts of crafts and made wonderful things for family and people in need.  She had the gift of being strong-willed and capable of getting things done: her life was dedicated to her family, her art, her community, and her church.  Many things got done.

She had a quirky and lightening quick wit. Once, while attending a fancy gala, an appetizer of frog legs was placed in front of her.  She looked at them for a moment.  Then she picked them up and made them dance the Can-Can across her plate.  In a ballroom full of elegant invitation-only dinner guests.  We won’t say where exactly, let’s just say we are not ruling out The White House.  Her companions were horrified or in stitches.  (It was something a good wife just did not DO in the 1950’s. The etiquette!)  What made it even funnier, is she was known as the person to follow: if other guest were not sure how to handle their cutlery or a situation, they were advised to watch Shaun’s mom, as she was always proper.

This leaves me with an image of a vast sea of  elegantly appointed tables, elegantly dressed men and women, at a State dinner, making frog legs do the Can-Can.

She will be greatly missed by her family, her church, and her community.

This is one of my favorite personal photos of her: she looks every inch a queen.

We will miss you.

Be Careful What You Ask For…

The Universe is so dang literal.

In a moment of frustration, I threw up my hands, and asked the universe: “Geeze, could you give me a break?  Just a little one?  I’m not asking for anything big here.”

The universe is very obliging.  Note to self: when asking the universe for assistance, do NOT give any advice on how it should assist.

I was hoping for a little humor, a nice day, a pleasant surprise.  In all fairness, it forked over all those things, except the pleasant part.  Picky picky.

It gave me a break.

I deserve to be in the Guinness book of World Records.

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The Girl Scout Motto: Part 1

Be Prepared.

I was a Girl Scout.   We earned badges in different subjects, to be well-rounded in our preparedness.

For those of you outside the US, the Girl Scouts is a kind of girls adventure club where you learn useful stuff  like how to make footstools out of tomato juice cans.

We were prepared for any extreme footstool emergency.

The Cold War was on.  If the Russians pushed the big red button first, you could count on US Girl Scouts to rush into a massive civilian relief effort to replace all the annihilated footstools.

For those of you who are instantly up in arms at my mildly sarcastic tone, please realize I’m speaking only from my personal experience as a G.S. in the 1960’s.  I had to learn the proper way to cut a sandwich, so the bread didn’t condense at the point of impact.  For the benefit of (cough cough) my future husband.

The Girl Scouts have come a long way into modernization, and I seriously doubt there is still an award for making a good white sauce.   Or that you can earn points for vacuuming the Scout Leader’s home.  I think you have to know CPR now.  Much more useful for nuclear emergencies.

That motto though, it sticks with you.

A case in point:

Bella, Daisy and I got all dressed up and went out to dinner to celebrate our birthdays, which are reasonably close together.  Makeup, dresses, glitz and glamour.  (We love not recognizing each other.)  There were beautifully wrapped gifts topped with that lovely chiffon wire ribbon.  Mine was knotted, with a bow over it.  I couldn’t get the dang ribbon off to save my life.  There was a pause, then we all simultaneously start rummaging in our elegant handbags.


For our knives, of course.

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The Importance of Planning a Good Panic

By now, you all know I have many…eccentricities. (That word sounds so much nicer than the phrase: “Jane is a whack”.)

This summer, I had to face one of my personal worst case scenarios.

I am unfazed when using a tile saw with no safety on the blade, hurtling around the arena on 1200 lbs of I don’t THINK so, or relocating the skunk family that chose our house to move into, and believed we were the hired help the estate agent threw in for free. I’ve stuck my bare arm into a pitbull fight, and more frighteningly, successfully navigated health insurance phone tree mazes, and resolved disputed claims in our favor.

What could possibly be worse that THAT?

Being lost.

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