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Miss Minnie

20160325_121041I spent much of last week babysitting my “grand puppy”.  Karina had a little vacation and I got the dog.

Like most things in life there are good and bad parts to having Minnie around.  The hardest thing to deal with is that Minnie doesn’t like Orion.  Perhaps it’s more accurate to say she doesn’t like it when Orion has my attention.  She’s also a little scared of him moving about in his wheelchair.

bunny

One night Minnie was barking, pulling tightly on the run. I went out to see what she was barking at. The bunny (not this one) that was tormenting her ran off when I triggered the motion detector. We grow them big and bold in this neighborhood!

Of course there’s another side.  When Orion is planted in place eating Minnie is right underfoot.  She is very much aware that the person most likely to drop food on the floor is Orion.  She’s pretty sure once it hits the floor, it’s hers.  (Minnie is a very food aggressive dog.)

I’ve got a dog run set up out the back door, so the whole in and out thing isn’t difficult.  Timing seems to be challenging.  Minnie has her moments when she’s in 15 min, out 15 min, in 15 min, out 15 min.  She also sometimes waits a little too long to ask to go out (and I’m not always quick to get to the door).   I mopped up a puddle or two over the course of the week.

On the positive side she and I took a walk every day she was here.   I like being out.  I like walking.  I just don’t, unless I have a good reason.  I’m not fond of walking aimlessly through the neighborhood, and I’m not motivated enough to go to a park or the lake just to walk.  It didn’t hurt that the weather cooperated.  I bundled up a couple of times, but we never had to walk in the rain (or snow).

walking the dog

walking the dog

When I look at the exercise I get when Minnie is around I think about how beneficial it would be to have a dog.  Then I remind myself that I’m trying to reduce my ties to external responsibilities, not add to them.  I could walk to the coffee shop (and write).   I could walk to the grocery store (as long as it was just a few items I needed).  I could walk to my volunteer shift at Gilda’s Club (even in dress shoes).

The thing I miss most when Minnie leaves is the company.  She goes and I find myself looking for her every few hours.  I miss the cuddles.  I miss her sleeping on the couch while I read a book.  I even miss the evening, going to bed, routine.  But not enough to need a dog of my own.  I am reminded that the best part of being a grandparent is that you get to send them home.20160325_071029

Baking

2014 - I skipped the popcorn for reasons that will become obvious.

2014 – I skipped the popcorn for reasons that will become obvious.

I haven’t done holiday baking for years.  It’s hard to make dozens of cookies when you can’t stand for more than 5 minutes at a time.  It’s impossible to make breads and sweet rolls when you don’t have the energy to do the kneading.

It seems odd that I would take on a project about sweets 5 months after a gastric by-pass.  But in my twisted mind it makes perfect sense.  If I’m seriously limited in what and how much I can eat I want what I choose to be exactly what I want.  If I take a bite of a sugar cookie I don’t want a grocery store bakery model.

My sense of proportion has changed too.  I don’t feel any need to make dozens of cookies for everyone I know.  Most of the people I know have 1. Dietary issues related to allergies  2. Weight concerns  3. General health concerns  4. Bake themselves – for the same reason I want to.  They know what they like!

So in spite of the surgery, and in spite of the car accident I decided I wanted to do some baking this weekend.  I trimmed the tree.  I gathered up groceries over the course of the week.  I spent some time cleaning too.  My cookie cutters haven’t seen the light of day in ages.  In fact, I discovered many of the one’s I remembered moved out with my daughter 3 years ago.

Minnie.  Isn't she sweet?

Minnie. Isn’t she sweet?

Thanks to the surgery and subsequent weight loss I wasn’t so exhausted from doing the prep that I couldn’t do the actual cooking.  I’ve had plenty of days like that.  It’s exciting just to be able.  But there was a small snag.  I had to babysit this weekend.  Karina’s puppy Minnie was over while she attended a conference.

Minnie could have been the one thing too many that put me over the top.  And I am definitely feeling like I may have over done it a little this weekend.  But the weather was crazy warm (it got into the 50’s!) which made putting the dog out at 4am a little less unpleasant.

What I hadn’t expected was for Minnie to be such a “helper”.  It never occurred to me to worry about the dog climbing up on the table.  I did wonder what she’d gotten into when I saw her with a nose full of powdered sugar, but thought I’d dropped something onto the floor.  However, she didn’t hide the evidence of my date walnut tart.

She really did eat the whole thing!  At least it's not chocolate.

She really did eat the whole thing! At least it’s not chocolate.

I guess I’ll have to find something else to bring to that pot luck.  I certainly won’t be tempted to eat too much.  Luckily I got most everything packed away before I took the tart out of the oven and left it alone to cool.  I’m just grateful Karina is the one who’ll have to deal with doggie diarrhea.  That I’m not up for.

Fiddleheads

It’s raining again, but there is a glorious greening.  I’m missing having a decent camera to catch the new growth.

Forgot to take a selfie, so...

Forgot to take a selfie, so…

I had a Mother/Daughter Mother’s Day.  Orion went off for Sunday with his Dad, as usually.  Karina and her puppy came over to spend the day.  She brought me brownies (and returned my favorite pie pan.)   She took me out for coffee and to the grocery store.  That may not seem like much, but her doing the loading/unloading/putting away was a real treat for me.  We also got some new planters and dirt for my tomato plants.  (They won’t go in for a few more weeks.)   Karina set them all up so they are ready for me when the time comes.

Where's Mom?

Where’s Mom?

She had a massage scheduled, so I also got to babysit the puppy.  Minnie is a sweetie, but she wasn’t quite sure what to make of it when Karina left her alone with me.  Eventually she settled down and we had a bit of quiet reading time.

Nice to have company along with a good book.

Nice to have company along with a good book.

I have so much to be grateful for with both of my kids.  I’m also grateful I got to see my own Mother last week for lunch and talk to her again on Mother’s Day.

This morning I’m of to do orientation for my volunteer gig (check out last week’s post for more about that.)  Then I hope the rain lets up enough for me to gather some fiddleheads for dinner.    MMMMMMM  the taste of spring!0512140850b

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