Good humor makes all things possible.
-Charles Schultz-

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
-Shakespeare-The Merchant of Venice-

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

where there's a will

A friend shared this story with me today: last weekend her son married a lovely girl in a meadow in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The bride had lost her beloved father when she was a teen and was very sad that he would not be able to walk his little girl down the aisle on her wedding day. Her stepfather of ten years had the honor of escorting the bride to meet her new husband at the altar. My friend noticed, as he went by in his tuxedo, that he was wearing a pair of rough brown cowboy boots. She thought it might be about the meadow, but later that day she was told the real reason. Those were the bride's late father's boots. Dad walked her down the aisle after all.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Along came a spider

A few nights ago the cats and I were watching reruns on cable when an incredibly large, blazingly fast spider raced between me and the tv. Far from brave, I am the designated family spider eliminator, as all of my children sob and shrink and run when confronted with even the tiniest, slowest, shyest spider. I have a game plan in place: QUICKLY get between the spider and the hiding place and QUICKLY whack it with something before I overthink the process and miss my opportunity.

But THIS guy was way ahead of me. It took a moment for my misfortune to register and by the time I got to my feet, confused cats spilling onto the floor, he had scuttled under the couch. I never had a chance to pick up a flip flop. Aack! I swept the broom blindly around under there, feeling ridiculous. Did I really think he'd grab on and ride out into the room where I'd have a clear shot at him? I spent the rest of the evening uneasily in the furthest chair, afraid to take my eyes off the couch. I pictured him sneaking around behind the furniture, tiptoeing stealthily up behind me, and droppping gleefully onto my throat. He knew I'd kill him unless he killed me first. I went to bed, miserably aware I might not live until tomorrow.

Then last night, while I was occupied in my bathroom, something horrifying moved in the dim bedroom. Oh yes. The spider was coming to find me. He was inches from the bedside table, and if I didn't get over there quick with a flip flop, he would escape, so help me God, UNDER MY BED. With one second to spare I grabbed the only available weapon, a squirt bottle filled with not-very-deadly rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and the magic killing ingredient, a few drops of dish soap (Hey, it does a good job and it's really cheap). I aimed and pulled the trigger but unfortunately the nozzle was on springtime spray instead of laser blast, so I only dampened him and probably made all eight of his eyes sting, but he had enough steam to stumble blindly around the lamp base and behind the headboard. In a panic--he was getting away--I continued to mist him with bathroom cleaner, but then he disappeared. UNDER MY BED.

Aside from realizing that I need to use the vacuum attachment to suck up the dustbunnies back there, I now know there is a massive, dizzy, desperately angry (but sanitary) spider somewhere under my bed, who may or may not have succumbed to the effects of homemade bathroom cleaner. If I could lift the bed and look, I would. He could kill me tonight. Or not.

I don't think this living alone thing is working out so well.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The teeth post

Well, the deed is done. My old failing bridge, the third incarnation in thirtysix years, is history, and in its place are two thick titanium posts, a pinch of powdered cowbone, and a handful of sutures, mostly covered up with an ill fitting temporary partial denture and decorated with a big fat lip. I've had cuter weeks.

The surgery went as expected, mostly. My surgeon, Dr P, implanted the posts, I dutifully got sick, and now I look dreadful. The bonus (isn't there always a bonus?)is that when I got home and recovered enough to feel around with my tongue, something was very wrong with one of my teeth, an innocent bystander caught too near the drilling and chiseling. A decent crown broke apart--the whole rear surface sheared off, and the bottom corner was gone. As I said, I've had cuter weeks.

I went back to see Dr P, who said the tooth was fine when he left the room, implying that something happened to it while I was sleeping off my anesthesia. He wasn't having any of the old retail adage 'you break it, you buy it'. Since he got all the money I have, now we have a problem. Tomorrow, I go see my reliable longterm dentist, Dr Z, so he can weigh in with his opinion. I may need to wait until January when the new teeth get attached to the posts, so the whole set will match. He also has to do something with the partial, which at this point is so thick my back teeth don't even touch. Soon I will be ready to eat chewy food but am hampered by the shortage of teeth with which to chew. I will also be counting on him to strike some sort of deal with Dr P.

On the homefront, A. replaced the punctured garbage disposer and also defragmented this laptop and struck a peace agreement with the router, so I'm back on the couch where I belong. His meager salary: a batch of cookies and some lunch. I win!

So that is the whiny story of having my teeth pulled, as promised. My nightmare wasn't too far off the mark, but I am still hoping for a happy ending. In the meantime, I really need to have a flatter lip and some mealtime options by Saturday, when I premier my new puffylipped, snaggletoothed look at work.

Postscript: Today, Dr Z took care of the wonky partial, smoothed the ragged crown, and assured me that I would not be charged for the damages. I love Dr Z. I see a light at the end of the tunnel. Its a long way, though, until January.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

And you shall have no pie

A few nights ago a little kitten appeared outside the screen door, peering in, sending indoor cat Joey into a panic. I assumed a neighbor had acquired the kitten and shooed him away, and all was well.

Until the next night. Kitten number one, the leader of the pack, had returned. With his brother and sister. People might get ONE kitten. People do not get THREE kittens. What happens is, I get three kittens that someone with no soul delivered to my neighborhood with no mother, no luggage, and no address. My feline problems were about to escalate.

They were very hungry, of course, and because I couldn't NOT feed them, I fed them, and they were pretty happy about that. Also, they were adorable. There are no nonattractive kittens. Kittens have to be cute to insure the survival of the species. No one really wants cats but because of the impossible sweetness of baby kittens, we enthusiastically bring them home and later, when they are grown and no fun or worse, we have become attached to them and decide they might as well stay for the next ten or twenty years because that's just how horrible it is to take them to the shelter, which is the only way to rid oneself of an otherwise healthy, but no fun, cat.

Well, there are two other ways. One is too gruesome for the average person to contemplate, even someone who really does not care for cats. The coward's way out is to drop them off in someone else's jurisdiction, consoling themselves with the boneheaded notion that SOMEONE ELSE would love to have as many cats as possible and what do you know, here come three more! Lucky! Thus solving their cowardly cat problem.

After I fed the poor little babies and put the old cat-carrier under a tree so they wouldn't get rained upon (of course it just HAD to rain), I had to wait until the humane society shelter and I had overlapping hours. In the meantime, three pairs of big round eyes followed my movements as I came and went inside my cozy home with my previously acquired cats, studiously avoiding looking at them until I couldn't stand it any more and went outside to pet and cuddle them. My cats (grown, minimally fun, not chosen by me but here for life) had absolutely nothing to do with the kittens and only went in and out through the front door or hid in my room. They were terrified. Once when the back door was open Lottie came tearing around from the front porch, jumped wildly over all three and landed inside the house. I wonder if they were worried about being replaced? Not idle fear--these kittens were seriously cute, and my cats left cute somewhere in the misty past.

But I, reluctantly possessing a few shreds of character, hurried home from work, stuffed them unprotesting into the carrier, and delivered them to the grim reaper. I mean the animal shelter. I would love to believe that because they are so darn sweet people will be fighting over who gets to claim them. I know, however, that spring kittens are as numerous as spring pollen and their chances of finding a loving home are very slender. At least, while they await their uncertain fate, they will be together, dry, fed, and ignorant. Kind of like the folks who scattered them in my alley.

Please, please, neuter your pets. If you don't see why this is important, drop off a batch of babies at the shelter and you might change your tune. And now I have to go get the empty dish from the backyard and try to remember a time when my cats were featherweight balls of fluff and mischief. They hope I can.