Category Archives: dogs

Murphy and Molly: A Walk in the ‘Hood

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I was sick all last week; didn’t go to the doctor’s until Wednesday, but I wasn’t sure what I had.

So of course, I felt the symptoms Sunday night and increasingly through Tuesday. My youngest, Thing 3, was home with me on Wednesday when I went to the doctor because his first course of antibiotics were overwhelmed by his infection and his fever returned. So at 1:15 on Wednesday, when my doctor asked me to say “ahhh” and then she looked down my throat, she didn’t need to swab me, I had strep throat. Thanks, T3.

The irony of all this was that for three days straight, my throat became increasingly worse: the tightening, the pain and the swelling were almost unbearable, yet I didn’t believe I was sick. I felt like my entire body was resting in one of those mechanical blood pressure machines. But my b/p was fine: 115/75, so I’m not sure what the sensation was, but I do know what I was doing emotionally, it was what I had done for most of my life whenever I’d get sick: keep it together and just keep going.

As a child, I didn’t have much opportunity to be sick; too much was going on already. I was sick a lot, in fact I had sore throats all the time. The yoga practitioner and chakra-aware part of me tells me that it’s my 6th chakra and that I was having issues with expressing myself. I felt I couldn’t express myself. I felt, intuitively, unsafe in expressing myself. More on that later, in my “fictional” novel to come one day this decade.

The amazing part of all this, was that when I went in to the doctor, and she didn’t need to swab me, that I was instantly relieved. The pain went away: INSTANTLY. I don’t know if I can make this clearer. When she said, “strep.” I felt no pain. No tension, no compression, no illness, no symptoms. All the sensations I’d been confronting, all the discomfort I’d been internalizing, all of it vanished. I don’t know how to explain that. Other than to say that my body / my illness had been affirmed. My body had been “heard.”

She explained to me how she knew (other than the obvious: she was a trained professional): a throat with an allergic reaction (pollen, etc.) looks sort of gray and slimy; a throat with a virus looks sort of pink and fleshy; and a throat with a strep infection looks red and beefy. Beefy. Like a sirloin on the hook, I guess. All I know is that my throat felt like it was hanging on a hook and had the shit kicked out of it by the Italian Stallion. My lymph nodes, all of it, were a giant swollen mess. I don’t have a normal 98.6˚ body temp, I’m more of a 97.8˚ girl, so when I hit 99˚+ I have a fever. Just before my appointment, I had 100.8˚, so we were on.

But this post so far, has nothing to do with what I saw this morning on my first walk with The Murph in a week. A walk we’d been unable to take because I’d been so sick. I will share those images and moments with you now, because it’s far more interesting than my boring old throat and amazing discovery about my health being affirmed once I was diagnosed.

I am the sole walker of the dog here, other than my beloved, who takes him out at night for a quick stroll to the neighborhood fire hydrant for Murphy’s nightly sniff and pee. Today, the weather is unseasonably cool (it’s 50˚ in May in D.C.!) and everything with roots is verdant and healthy and happy. But first, I want to show you my breakfast.

i have been having poached eggs lately with a slice of artisan garlic bread. the eggs have been quite expressive lately. today, they were decidely confused.

i have been having poached eggs lately with a slice of artisan garlic bread. the eggs have been quite expressive since i’ve taken the time to notice them. today, they were decidely confused. last week, my egg winked at me… see the next picture.

sassy egg. i believe it's flirting with me.

sassy egg. i believe it’s flirting with me.

I think I will do a whole series on my expressive poached eggs. I believe it’s the Fiesta Ware that makes it more … “American.”

Ok… enough! Here’s what we saw today:

canada geese and their babies.

Canada geese and their babies.

And then those geese thought they were all badasses when we walked away, so Murphy (being massive and toothed and genetically engineered to want geese in his mouth) said, “I don’t think so…”

see daddy goose getting all fresh with my camera? he's all hiss / sip / hiss / sip...

see daddy goose getting all fresh with my camera? he’s all hiss / sip / hiss / sip… and that baby goose on the right looks like he’s saying “yeah! what daddy said. nyah.”

(I’ll get to Murphy telling them off in a second — one more shot of those cute-for-now baby geese)

aren't they precious? next week they'll be gangly and ugly and still stupid, but not nearly as endearing.

aren’t they precious? next week they’ll be gangly and ugly and still stupid, but not nearly as endearing. trust me: those geese grow up to be dicks. they’re all like: “we don’t see you. do you have bread?” me: “no bread, but i do have a dog that i will let kick your ass if you snap at me again.” (They disfigured a toddler, maimed him actually because he got too close, took part of his finger clean off.)

So then daddy goose gives Murph some backhiss, and mother goose is saying, “You tell ’em Percival,” and Murphy’s all like, “Percival?” That’s so STUPID. WOOF YOU! STUPID WOOFERS!” His fur didn’t even get puffy; he hates the geese. I think.

really? say that on the grass, geese. i will chase you back into the water and laugh when you can't hiss back on me on this grass. here. THIS grass. Woof.

“Oh, really?! I don’t think so. Say that on the grass, geese. Then I will chase you all back into the water and I will laugh when you can not hiss back at me me on this grass. here. THIS grass. Woof. stupid geese. These are my teeth.”

The best part of all this is that the geese have no clue I’m holding back this 83# monster because I don’t want him to kill anything. They think he’s afraid of them (or I think they think that, which is really odd because I have better things to think about). So when they start to get all chest-puffy with him, I let him do a two-step tug on me toward them and they comPLETEly freak out, start honking and flapping and generally fall apart emotionally and Murphy does this thing, it’s so funny, it’s like he says, “Yeah. I thought so. Losers.”

I’d decided we’d made enough of an imprint on those babies to leave us alone in the coming months. When I make the fatal error of going for a run without my trusty Golden, those geese will chase me and freakin’ snap at me. Not so much with Mr. Fluffyface, they mind him quite well. Thank you, Darwin.

Next, we saw our favorite old truck.

isn't it cute? i've never seen it move. but someone drives it because... well, it's clean.

isn’t it cute? i’ve never seen it move. but someone drives it because… well, it’s clean.

Then after that, there’s this house across the street from that truck with an AMAZING peony garden. If I were half as impulsive as I thought I was, they’d all be cut down and in a vase in my kitchen enveloping my home with their amazing scent.

see? oy.

see? oy.

I ventured closer and took a whiff of this bunch:

it was glorious. I can't wait for my peonies to open soon. they're in the shade, so it takes them a little longer.

it was glorious. the police found me in them thirty minutes later. I can’t wait for my peonies to open soon. they’re in the shade, so it takes them a little longer.

Once I woke up and was released on my own recognizance, we started back home and just when I thought I’d seen enough beauty for the morning, THIS hit me:

serious? it's out of focus a bit because the energy coming off the combination was too much to handle, even for my schmaltzy iPhone 5 camera (which is pretty good, by the way).

serious? it’s out of focus a bit because the energy coming off the combination was too much to handle, even for my schmaltzy iPhone 5 camera (which is pretty good, by the way). no, it was breezy. rain’s coming in.

So … that was it. It was just boring old boring old when we walked home and I released Murphy to his own backyard:

we like it here.

we like it here.

The good news is that the antibiotics are working and I don’t need to work so hard to keep it together, man. I was astounded by that release though.

Oh, and I’m over here today too at Peevish Penman doing everything I can to offend a reader enough to leave a comment. 🙂 (hint, hint.)

Thank you.

Tuesday Morning Press 23 — Prophylactic Parenting

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It sucks in this day and age, when kids turn “pastries” (the last time I checked a pop-tart on its own was a weapon of mass construction) into guns, or West Virginia or New York State, that we have to be extra vigilant about items brought in for Sharing Day.

But in an obvious effort to cover my ass, I am sharing my letter to the teacher (while ccing the administration and my husband that I sent at 9:04 this morning) to let both of you know that while I agree with all policies to protect the children, sometimes a kid’s imagination needs its assurances as well.

Good morning Mr. Schautzenklampfer,

I just left the school after writing you a note to apprise of the fact that Thing 3 brought in what he calls the “staff” of whom I believe is the wizard Gandalf from Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.”

Essentially, it is just a piece of falling limb (about 4.5′ long) from a tree in our backyard with a blue Lego ball placed between the fork of the limbs by packing tape.

I left the note affixed to the packing tape and placed the staff behind your desk, to inform you that I wanted to make sure that I was doing my best to perform within any school policy regarding any “weapons” on campus even though it’s not a weapon, it’s a piece of wood with a Lego ball “suspended” from the fork of the limb. I also left commentary that if you need to have me come up and get the staff to please do call me. Again the staff is behind your chair at your desk, it is not available to Thing 3 or openly available to any of his classmates. The front office staff (Yanosh Greenblexter) and the temporary substitute teacher is aware of the situation and that I was leaving you a note.

Upon my leaving the classroom, Thing 3 realized that today is not his “sharing day.” But after I left the note and staff behind your desk I just figured that if you needed me to come get it you would let me know.

Thanks,

Molly

So what to do now? Do I sit by the phone and wait for the call that my kid has been suspended? Do I rail against the tide and fight for change of insanely fearful adults who’ve forgotten that childhood imaginations are places of wonder and security and safety?

My kid’s about as apple pie as you can get. Here’s a pic of him yesterday feeding grass to our dog. That’s right, he fed our dog grass. … Well, see for yourself:

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So now I wait.

Thank you.

UPDATE 9:43am from Mr. Schautzenklampfer:

Hi Molly,Thing 3 can share today instead of on the 16th. No problem! Thanks for taking the time to explain and keeping us informed.

-Heinrich Schautzenklampfer

Phew! Now I can go to yoga with my cell phone off. 🙂

No, Mom. I didn’t take the toilet paper

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This is how living with my gorgeous golden retriever can be.

My oldest, Thing 1, would like me to make mention of the thematic irony of the photo: the lighter side of the image is the truth, the darker side is the guilt. Do you see him hiding behind the chair? He did not want to stop.

Funny, that 83-pound ball of fur. We do love him so.

Happy weekend!

Thank you.

Ps– here is Murphy’s first post ever: The Places I Go and Then Have to Leave