Category Archives: pets

I got the Fever

In our family, we often talk about how various family members get “new car fever.” You know what that is. The urge, that grows to a need for a new car. Symptoms include driving by car lots, looking at car sites online, and eventually grow to stopping at the dealers and test driving cars. Severe cases result in, well–a new car. Whether you need one or not.

I don’t have new car fever. I’m perfectly happy driving my silver beast. But I got the fever. For a number of things. Right now, I’m wallowing in “new dog fever.” Yes, there is a sweet doggie living at our house. But she is the grand-dog, and she will be moving out when her boy graduates, gets a job and a new place to live. She’s not MY dog. I was perfectly happy getting my dog fix from the grand-dog, until my daughter got a dog.

She called to tell me about picking her new doggie up. Her name is Pretty, and she’s a pit bull/German shepherd mix. I’ve heard all about how the grandboy wanted to climb in the back of their mini-SUV to ride with her, and how 10 minutes after they got home, he got down in her face and asked “You want to chase me?” I have heard how Pretty met Orm the guinea pig and just sniffed him.

I even got a phone call this a.m. to hear how the doggie and the piggy wanted to play with each other. Fer realz. Guinea pig jumped out of his cage while Momma was getting hay. Doggie sniffed piggy. Doggie went down in a “play bow”–the dog’s invitation to play. Momma wasn’t sure whether Pretty wanted to play with Orm like he was another dog, or like he was a toy, so she put the piggy back in his cage. Still, when Pretty comes to sniff him, he comes to the door like he expects her to give him a treat…

Anyway, all this talk of dogs had me going through Internet sites looking at the doggies available at local shelters and rescue groups for adoption. They are so CUTE. I want one so BAD. But I want a dog I can let in the house, and as long as we’re renting… Sigh.

So, yeah. I got new house fever too. And spring fever–it’s time for it to be warm again. Okay, it’s still January, but flowers start blooming in February in Texas. The neighbor’s jonquils have been blooming since Christmas.

About the only fever I don’t have is the fever to write. I am procrastinating SO bad. I spent yesterday unpacking my new printer and getting it installed. I spent this morning re-reading the last 3 chapters I wrote so I’d be in the story. Tomorrow, I HAVE to start writing. The desk is (mostly) clear. The printer’s installed. The blog is written (this one and the one at the To Be Read blog for Friday). I have no more excuses. Need to get started.

Yeah, I know all the tricks of the trade. I just have to do them.

On Writing, Blogging, and Editorializing

Now that I’ve written the title to this blog post, I’m not sure what I wanted to say about those topics. Let’s begin with this one: editorializing.

See, my dayjob is at a newspaper. I’ve always been a newspaper reader, even before I got to college and majored in journalism. I tend to read stuff in them, and then–many times–want to argue with the things I read. Which is kind of a lot what bloggers do. But see, being on staff at the paper, I can’t write letters to the editor. However, I CAN write columns. (They’re not actually editorials, since I’m not an editor, but merely a lowly editorial assistant.) So, I wrote one this week. About reading books–recommending that if people want to escape from reality a little while, movies are fine, but books last longer and have a lower cost-per-escape-time ratio. They’re trying to muscle me into writing a column more often–but I don’t know if I can stand once a week. I’ve done that, and sometimes I wrote some really drivel-y drivel. It may be “occasional.” Like whenever I think of something I want to write about.

Blogs are sort of like editorials for everyman. Letters to the universe, instead of the editor. Sometimes they’re read by millions–or thousands. Sometimes, they’re read by friends and family only. Hopefully the readership of this blog runs into the dozens. :)

Blogs are like editorials that people can write instant rebuttals to in the comments. The technology makes it easy for flame wars to get going, because people can just pop off. And there are no editors to clean up their grammar and turn their gibberish into logical sentences. (I’ve cleaned up a LOT of letters. What people mail/e-mail in looks a lot like some of the blog comments. Only less coherent, some of them.)

Let’s see–so I’ve blogged about editorializing. And blogging. So. Writing. Peh. (It’s like Meh, except more puffy, with a P.)

I’ve been making fair progress on the writing, since my realization of what the opening scene should be. Even though I have been smacked in the head with another story that has insisted on being written. I write the contracted book during regular writing-work hours, and have been writing the other one during the hours I would ordinarily be reading or watching television. (My current Netflix movies have been waiting for 2 weeks for me to watch them.) So I’m not taking away from the Official Book. It’s actually been working pretty well. This other one–I’m not even sure it IS a book. It might be. So I’ll see where it goes for a while. Even though I feel guilty, I’m doing okay on The Book.

Well, except for today. Today was a bust. First, I took the granddog to the beach for a walk, and even let her off the leash. She ran and chased the birds into the surf, and ran and ran, and did Not run off across the jetty, or bother the 2 people on the beach, and when she got tired, she came back and let me put the leash back on her. And because she chased the birds (seagulls and willets) into the surf, she got all salty and sandy. So I gave her a bath when we got home. (Mostly because she was stinky to start with.)

Except Dolly didn’t want a bath. She so didn’t want a bath, that she pulled out of her collar (which she didn’t do on the walk). I had to pick up wet, salty, sandy, stinky dog and Carry her to the hose/shampoo. She is not a particularly large dog. But she ain’t no toy poodle either…

She got her bath, though. Then I went inside and took one. Between the walk, the dog bath, my bath, the laundry, and all the other sundry things I had to do, it was getting late, I was feeling cranky, so I didn’t write today. There. I confessed. Sometimes I skip a day writing, even when I’m on deadline. I am hoping this will help … clear my palate. Or something. I think I’m about to run down with this side-writing thing. Right now, it’s feeling very Mary Sue-ish, so if I can’t fix that, it may not turn into a book. And I have A Book to write.

One I am liking, actually. I like how it’s going. I need to go back and tweak some of the early stuff so it doesn’t erase the conflict, but I think I know now how to do that now. Harry needs to shut up. He’s a talky kind of guy, (Some guys are–my oldest grandson is getting in trouble at school for the exact reason his dad used to–talking too much… ) and he believes in laying his cards on the table–but he doesn’t need to lay out quite so many of them. And he needs to be just a tad more aggressive.

Speaking of grandsons–they didn’t get to come last weekend. Just their dad. So all my boys–the fella and the two sons–had a boys’ day out and went Gulf fishing for the day on Friday. They caught two meals worth of vermilion snapper, which is not the same as red snapper, which is not in season. I’ll post a picture of the fella’s ginormous red snapper he caught. The youngest caught a 28-inch amberjack he had to throw back, because amberjacks have to be 32 inches to keep them. But the snapper was excellent. They invited me, but…

So. There you have it. Opinion, and news. What more do you need?

Mini adventures & random thoughts

Went back out walking this a.m. on the beach. Did not take the dog. The weather was cloudy and windy, and a bit rain-spitty. But I wanted to walk on the beach, so I drove down, rather than spending so much time just walking up there and back. I climbed down the stairs at a place where one of the stair rails was broken off the concrete stairs and three-quarters buried in the sand. The part that wasn’t buried stuck out of the sand at an angle, like some drowned spar.

Anyway, where I climbed down, they hadn’t put any additional sand down. They’re replacing sand washed away by Hurricane Ike, but hadn’t done it yet in that area. However, they’d piled sand up on the other side of the next jetty, clear to the top of the jetty. I climbed up on the rocks, from “my” side, but I wanted to walk down by the water, where the sand would be harder packed, and–well, the sand is piled up so high, it makes a little cliff. Higher than I wanted to jump down with my wonky knees. So I walked down the jetty to where the tide had washed the sand down.

Except it had washed the sand underneath, between the rocks, and not on top of the rocks, and when I was standing on what I thought was sand over rock, turned out I wasn’t. I was standing on sand with a hole under it. And my entire left leg crashed through the sand into the hole between the two big jetty boulder/rocks. Next thing I knew, I was sitting sprawled on the sand-covered jetty, with my leg down a hole. Didn’t hurt me. Had on long pants and walking shoes and socks. The sand made a kind of cushion, so no bruises. Just a big surprise. And a lot of sand down my leg, in my sock & shoe.

But getting up and down those jetty rocks was a lot of work. So I hiked down to the next set of stairs –past the next jetty– and climbed up and walked back to the car on the seawall. And got rained on, a bit. It’s cloudy and windy, but not cold, today. Until the Gulf washes more of the sand down, and makes that edge not so cliff-y, I’ll probably stick to seawall walking for a while…I do need to go take a picture of it, though, so you can see what I’m talking about…

Now, we come to the random thoughts section:
I did see 15 pelicans flying out to fish. And did I mention that the seagulls have their black heads back? It will soon be the season for seagull love…

The boy and I watched “300” again last night. And there was a scene with a bird sitting on an abandoned spear (from one of the dead, I think). And when the bird flew away, it made a seagull cry. Except–seagulls can’t sit on spears. Their feet aren’t right. They’re webbed. So they can’t perch. They can sit on pilings and broad flat posts and roofs and stuff, but they can’t perch. It would be like a duck perching on a narrow branch. Ain’t gonna happen. So now, I’m criticizing the birds in movies. (sigh)

Took Dolly to the vet this a.m. after my walk. Turns out, she not only has allergies like the rest of the family (her “white” eye is really sensitive), but she has a wonky knee like her Gigi. That’s why she limps sometimes, because her kneecap keeps sliding out of position. Knees, not hips. We got ointment for the eye–it got infected from the allergy irritation–and shots, and she’s in great shape otherwise. She was SO excited at the vets. Wanted to sniff at all the smells and play and sniff and play and… I think she scared an elderly dachshund’s elderly owner, running up to sniff and play. The dog was a little affronted, but the owner looked alarmed. So we took her out the other way. Dolly, not the dachshund.

Went to see TWO (2!) movies this weekend. Taken and Push. Liked both. Becoming Jane and Hancock came in from Ntflx. Jane came in twice. I reported that it hadn’t come (they mailed it from Houston, and it didn’t get here in a WEEK. I can drive to the far side of Houston in 2 hours…)(Plus, we got the other movie, watched it and mailed it back before the 2nd Jane came.) so they sent another one. And now I have 2. I will mail it back. I have enough clothes to fold for a movie watching marathon tonight.

I have written 7 pages so far of HARRY & ELINOR FIGHT MONSTERS. I am going to attempt to write this on the computer. We will see how it goes. If I don’t get my page count up, I may go back to the longhand…except that I probably wrote a LOT more pages than I have left, since I started, and started over, and over again multiple times. When I write that in longhand, I still have the scratch-outs to show that I actually wrote more. I am saving some of the deleted bits–and have already used some over again–but it’s still not as much as the saved. Anyway, I’m getting to the more exciting stuff, so maybe it’s going okay…

Dolly’s Adventures at the Beach

This is how uneventful my life is–when Dolly the granddog has better adventures than I do. Of course, I wouldn’t want the adventures she had.

Last Friday, when the weather was shirtsleeve warm (today it is butt-freezing, let-Dolly-hang-out-in-the-laundry-room cold), we ventured forth for a walk on the beach in the fog. She was a very good doggy walking down the street to the light and waiting for it to change. We crossed Seawall and proceeded east to the stairs where we usually descend and walked back the other way to the jetty, which had been transformed by a huge pile of wet sand into a ramp from the street to the beach on either side of the jetty.

Huge dump trucks were driving up and down it, and down the beach to the west of the jetty–which is much narrower than the east side section because more of the beach got washed away over there. They were replenishing the beach, starting down at 61st St. Given the trucks and the narrow beach, I turned Dolly around and went back to the wider part of the beach. And, foolishly, I let her off the leash so she could run. She ran up and down the beach a while, mostly in the (cold) water, chasing birds, until she decided (apparently) that she could catch the birds that flew out to sea by running out to the end of the jetty. She ran about 3/4 of the way out, and then Jumped Off The Jetty Into The Water!

Deep water. Over her little doggy head. Where people get swept under and drowned every summer. She did not fall. She jumped. So I’m trucking fast as I can (running! Me!) to reach the jetty, even though I can’t go in after her, but maybe I can reach out and grab her from the rocks or something. Meanwhile, I’m watching the little white doggy head at the top of the water. She couldn’t climb back onto the rocks of the jetty–they were too steep, so she swam along the side of the rocks toward the beach, swimming, swimming–I could still see her head. And then legs! White doggy legs. She was standing up and out of the water.

So then, what did she do? Crossed the jetty where all the trucks were driving back and forth. By this time, I’m almost at the jetty, so I climb up to see over it, and I see a pair of headlights in the fog driving toward me…with a little brindle-and-white dog running as fast as she can in front of it. She hauled doggy butt back to me, and wouldn’t go anywhere until I put that leash back on her. We are both agreed, no more adventures for Dolly. If she wants to run, she can go run with her boy.

We were both pretty worn out by this time, so we climbed the stairs and crossed the street and went home. Whereupon Dolly went and hid from me in the garage because the last two times we went walking at the beach and she got in the water, I was mean and awful and gave her a bath!

I gave her a bath this time too. It’s not good to leave that salt in her fur. But I thought it was pretty funny, how she tried to hide from me. I think I hurt her feelings, because she wouldn’t come out and play with me the rest of the day. She has now forgiven me, though, because I let her in the laundry room when it’s too cold outside.

I am getting my new computer today! Yay!! And I am going grocery shopping for Christmas.

The writing is still going. I may be almost through the romantic black moment to be ready to begin to resolve it and get into the fantasy black moment and big battle and stuff. This book is the hero’s story, I think, more than the heroine’s….

Time–never enough of it…

Help! It’s December!!

And I haven’t done any shopping! I’m not ever sure WHO I need to shop for… I need to call a sister. Or the brother. Or somebody–and figure out what we’re doing. And then figure out when I can shop.

In other news, I am Closer to the End than I thought I was! I started the black moment this morning. I still have to resolve it and fight the big battle and stuff, but We Have Reached The Black Moment. YAYYYYY!! I really might actually, maybe, sorta, (crossing fingers and knocking on wood) get this book finished on time.

Of course, as I type things into the computer in my second draft, I am discovering all sorts of driveling crap I need to cut out. Some of it I’m able to cut out as I type in. Some of it is going to take printing out and laying pages out next to each other to see what I need to keep and what has to go. And it may not be as much too long as I fear…

Thanksgiving was good. We had a house full of family and friends. The boy’s girlfriend’s sister and roommate got to come. (The girlfriend came too.) The other boy’s girlfriend got to come, but only after the grandboys had to leave. We did get them for a few days. They got to play in the COLD water at the beach. Unfortunately, their father took them to the beach in their good clothes, not remembering in time that boys + beach = Wet Boys, no matter what they’re wearing or how cold it is. (The air wasn’t too cold, just the water.) We ate lots of yummy food–all the dishes that have become traditional musts in our family (sweet potatoes with honey-lime glaze, turkey and cornbread dressing, green beans and carrots with bacon and garlic, buttermilk pie and cheesecake)–and lay around a lot. It was wonderful.

And now, Christmas is upon us. The boy’s last final is tomorrow, and he’ll be home soon, will start classes in town next spring. So he can take the granddog to the vet. Dolly the granddog has probably just strained her leg with all the running and jumping she did while the grandboys and boys and girlfriends were here, but she’s still limping more than a week later, so I’d like to get her checked out just to make sure there’s nothing else to worry about.

I had to go buy her a sweater/sweatshirt, because she won’t come in the laundry room to get warm. She’s too afraid of getting in trouble. And her fur is too short to keep her warm. The store had Harley Davidson sweaters and camo sweatshirts, but they were all too small to fit a pit-bull mix dog. The only sweatshirt they had that was big enough, the one that I got, is bright pink. She likes her sweater too. The first time I put it on her, she had that “What are you doing to me?” attitude. The third night I went out, she sat down and put her head in it herself. She’d figured out it helped keep her warm. It doesn’t freeze here–or hasn’t–but it gets darn cold. When I get my computer back from the shop (or get the new one), and I can download pictures again, I will post a picture. A brindle pit bull in a bright pink sweater is tres amusing.

Now, I just have to figure out what to get for the people in the family. Help! I have a book to finish and I have not shopped!