December 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
Many of these blogs remind me that I’m still a humorous person. I want to laugh and I want to be funny again. Some are creatively inspirational and some just inspire me to live better.
4) Joy and Woe Makes me laugh every time I read it!
5) Bleubird Beautiful, laid back blog.
7) The Urban Poser Great Paleo recipes!
8) Against All Grain Great Paleo recipes!
9) Pinterest I’m obsessed with Pinterest for DIY tips, recipes, fashion, beautiful homes, and the list goes on and on and on.
10) And, to be honest, sometimes I just have to check out People.com, Popsugar and Facebook. Time wasters. I’m not sure why, but they can suck you in. I swear I don’t even know half my friends on Facebook or care about what they’re doing, yet I check it regularly.
December 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
Dear Universe or God or Guides or whomever it is that feels my energy, my thoughts and can make things happen, I’m having trouble talking to you each night before bed since my two recent losses. I prayed or wished or pushed out positive energy as hard as I could and yet I was ignored. None of my wishes came true. None.
I’m most angered by the fact that my dear Otis’s energy doesn’t come to visit me in my dreams. Where did he go? Is he mad at me for allowing the vet to kill him? I don’t feel him at all and I think I should. I thought that our energy changed shape, not that it completely disappeared for good. I find no comfort in anything. No thought can help me heal or feel good about his death. Well, only one thought, the thought that maybe I helped end any suffering he was experiencing or was about to experience.
I cry every night (and occasionally during the day). My ritual, my habit of putting ideas and wishes out into the universe still happens, but I cut it short. I no longer believe any of my thoughts or energy does a damn thing to help the world. I need to pray for my grandma’s shoulder recovery, but I feel you’ll just kill her. I need to pray for health and love to all my family and friends, but feel it will backfire. I need to pray for myself and my new unborn child, but we know how well that worked with Elias. It didn’t.
At least with Elias I was able to feel the energy and his wishes. I saw the future. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the early heads up nightmare you gave me about Otis just days before he died. I’m just sad that I can no longer feel much of anything.
September 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
I miss Otis. I think of him every day and every night. I cry for him daily. This blog is called All About Otis. I’m deciding whether to end it or continue. I definitely need to reinvent my initial plan for the blog. Not sure why I’m even writing this. Who cares?
I guess I may be a little sad, a little depressed. I need to snap out of it and reinvent every part of my life. I’m stuck. I think Otis’s death and Elias’s death are showing me how stuck I am. Showing me how much I’ve let myself go and given up on all the plans I had for my life. My passions have fallen flat. I’ve let too many circumstances prevent me from moving forward. It’s time. If I stay this way, I die this way.
September 12, 2012 § 2 Comments
I’m devastated by the loss of my sweet baby Otis. The events surrounding his death were unexpected. It was a typical Sunday. We played catch/fetch with the ball. He asked me for treats. He kept me on schedule. I worked out and was cleaning because we were having a friend over for dinner. Around 3 in the afternoon Jeremy came home after golfing with said friend. I was bitchy. We were arguing. Otis rang the bell to go out as he often did when we argued. Jeremy let him out.
Minutes later Jeremy called to me to come outside. Said it was Otis. I couldn’t have moved faster. I opened the door to bright red blood all over the patio and deck. Otis seemed fine. I looked him over and found no injuries. We hoped he’d caught a bunny or squirrel, but found no evidence of fur or guts. I brought Otis inside. He went to his rug in the living room. I heard him cough. He got up and came to me in the kitchen and coughed up bright red blood. A lot of it. We went outside and he continued to cough up a lot of blood all over the back yard while Jeremy searched for an emergency vet.
We immediately hauled him off to the nearest emergency vet. It was Sunday, so our regular vet was unavailable. As we waited to see the vet, Otis coughed up more blood, first in the waiting area and again in two different exam rooms. The vet did some tests and an X-ray. He rambled far too long about what Otis didn’t have, then said this was an emergent situation and we needed to get to a specialist. So, we headed an hour further north to the best in the Chicago area. The weather was horrible, the entire drive was through a downpour. Otis sat in the back seat, rested his head on the back head rest and looked out the window. He had a few coughing fits on the way.
At the specialist’s, they basically ran the same tests and more X-rays. The vet told us to prepare ourselves and that Otis would likely not make it through the night and if he did, he’d not make it to the end of the week. She didn’t exactly come out and say that though. I basically had to ask “are you telling us that Otis is going to die?” During this time Jeremy and I were waiting in an exam room while Otis was somewhere in the back. We cried and cried and cried. We wanted to take him home with us, but he would have likely choked to death on his own blood and we wouldn’t have been able to do anything to help him. Finally, we made the decision to let Otis go peacefully and humanely with us by his side to the end. We took him outside the facility for a little walk in the misty rain. We came back inside and cuddled and talked to him. He was normal. He was perfect Otis. They moved us to a private room. We cuddled and talked more. Me spooning my big dog. Otis pawing at Jeremy to keep rubbing him. He was himself. He didn’t cough up blood the entire time. I asked the vet again if she was sure? She shook her head yes. Otis gave her a kiss.
After hours of cuddling and loving him we gave the specialist the approval to administer his drugs. I wasn’t ready to let him go! He became drowsy from the sedative, then she began the lethal injection and there was no turning back. She listened for his heartbeat and said he’s gone. Oh my baby Otis! He looked peaceful, like he was asleep. I held him tight. He was heavy and solid. Such a big and beautiful beast. I wasn’t ready to let him go. He was only 9.
My body and chest ache only a little less today. I cry hard for him every day. I miss him dearly. My heart broken yet again this long, hot summer and my best friend is no longer here to guide me through the pain.
August 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
My best friend from Iowa came in to visit this past weekend. We had a great chatty time. I don’t know how my mom put up with us growing up. I can see now how it may have been exhausting to listen to us go on and on and on about pretty much nothing and everything. I could see in my husband’s eyes, he’d never seen me talk so much. Her visit was short. We stayed up too late Friday night because she didn’t get in until about 8pm. I made Ina Garten’s crostini for us to snack on while we enjoyed some wine. Before we knew it, it was 2:30am and time for bed. We had a long walk in the woods to go on, errands to run and finally a date with my patio and more wine and conversation.
Saturday morning, I was up by 7:30, but she slept in which was fine. She deserves it. She’s mommy everyday to five kids! We had our coffee and chatted. We went to the 3.6 mile trail, walked and chatted more. We came back for a quick oatmeal breakfast which was afternoon by now. We were dragging. Tired from the wine and late night, we skimmed off the “fun” errands (buying chalk paint and hitting some antique shops) and went straight to Trader Joe’s. She doesn’t have a TJ’s near her house, so it gave her the opportunity to stock up.
I’d managed to talk my husband into cooking for us that evening. Wrong move. Since he was up and out of the house at 6am for a golf date with his buddy, our former neighbor, I’d assumed he’d be home well before us to get started on the food. My plan was to come home from TJ’s and relax on the pretty patio, with the lovely weather, with my best friend and chat more about nothing and everything.
I texted him about cooking. He texted back that he’d want MG to help him prep. MG is the master of poppers and ribs. Yes, that was the meal we were to have AGAIN because it’s the meal my husband is really close to mastering himself. So, I say fine, MG can come over but I’m not there to entertain him. I’m spending time with my friend while he waits on us like I do when he has his friends over.
My best friend and I manage to get through a mobbed TJ’s and back. It was hard, we were tired and out of it. The only thing that was going to help was a cocktail or Bloody Mary. The Bloody Mary was out of the question because we didn’t have the ingredients and were too tired to get them. And, we’re both gluten-free and you can’t just go to any bar and get a real Bloody Mary. They’re all made of mixes with wheat in them! [There will be another post on the search for a gluten-free Bloody Mary another time.]
We arrive to find Jeremy alone, just beginning to prep the food! It’s 4pm. UGH! Where was MG to help? Well, he went home to shower and said he’d be over later. WHAT? He was only allowed to come over and help, we weren’t supposed to be entertaining MG.
I put the goods away and made me and my BFF a gimlet. We’ve both been watching a lot of Mad Men and we happened to have gin and lime in house. The three gimlets worked. We were feeling better, but we also had to help Jeremy prep the jalapeños. We do all of that, Jer gets them on the smoker and BFF and I decide we should drink some water for awhile because it was going to be a long night of waiting for our damn food. Smoking poppers, then ribs meant we weren’t eating anything until about 9pm. We of course had a few snacky things from TJ’s, but we were HUNGRY! This brings me to the other thing I told Jer when he said MG would be coming over. I said, make sure you pick up more food because we’re hungry and if MG is eating with us too, WE NEED MORE FOOD!
Next, I hear that Christopher (another neighbor) was going to hop the fence to have a beer with the guys. Okay. Whatever, just cook me my food.
So, BFF and I fill up on water and chat in the kitchen and suddenly some face is saying hi to me through the window. It’s Rikki! Christopher’s wife. She comes on in and of course I welcome her. She brought herself some snacks. Triscuits and cheese. Not that we can eat them because of the gluten which she knows about and maybe forgot. So now, I have to watch her like a hawk to make sure she doesn’t get Triscuit debris in any of the other food. And of course she’s drunk and all I can see are Triscuits flying everywhere. If you don’t have Celiac disease or aren’t gluten-free, you probably won’t understand this sort of obsessive stress.
A very long blog, shorter, Jer burnt the ribs. Like scorched the ribs. He said because he was being a host and getting everyone beers when the flare up occurred. Eh hem, this is why no one was supposed to be there except my BFF! We had the 16 poppers, but had to share with SIX adults. MG went home around midnight, I thought Christopher and Rikki would follow so I could spend time with my friend who was stuck talking to Rikki all evening. But no! Christopher stuck his iPod into our patio stereo and blasted crappy music, playing DJ. All I could think was, they’re going to go home soon, aren’t they? Nope. I finally said we were tired and needed to go to bed around 2am. BFF and I chatted for about 45 minutes after, went to bed. WOW, this post is long.
My point was it was supposed to be a quiet evening with a friend I never get to spend time with while the hubby waited on us. What we got was a loud evening with people I don’t mind, but didn’t need to see that night, a flooded toilet which leaked through to the basement soaking my clean, folded laundry, and a piece of furniture on the deck that I’d been sanding covered in grease from poppers and burnt ribs. What a mess!
My BFF left the next morning after breakfast.
August 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
Thanks to Annie’s persistence we met the other night for dinner. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to see her. I did. I enjoy her company.
I had a few bad weeks since we last met, back when I was likely still in shock. I’ve been unable to really do much of anything in public with people since that dinner. I couldn’t respond by email or text or phone to friends or family. I just didn’t want to. The energy it took to think about responding to people was draining. I had nothing to say except the things I already said, knowing I’d hear the same things I’ve already heard. It’ll get better and so on. I know it will get better, but I don’t want to hear it. I’m not sure why.
This is the first week in many that I feel most like myself or the new version of myself missing a piece. I’m grateful for this. Last week I was worried I was never coming back. Afraid the new me was angry, depressed and uninterested in anything going on in the world or in my own life. The new me barely had enough mental energy to go to the grocery store, run errands, cook dinner, or even shower and get dressed in real people clothes. All I’ve managed to do in this state are keep my flowers alive and eat a lot of jalapeño poppers. Too many poppers.
Jer and I split the poppers duties. Often he runs to the store to pick up ingredients we don’t have readily available. The prep and cooking time is long, but it involves us. I handle soaking the skewers and cleaning out the peppers while drinking a glass of very chilled pinot grigio. Jer mixes the cheese and spices, stuffs the peppers and wraps them with bacon. He then slides the skewers through, 4 poppers at a time. He also soaks the wood chips and prepares the grill. Because his job is messy, he misses out on drinking while prepping while I usually end up quite buzzed during the process.
He tends to catch up to my level of intoxication while the poppers smoke. We sit on the patio and admire the beautiful flowers I’ve managed to keep alive during the hottest summer ever. We talk. Sometimes we cry a little. Now we’re beginning to plan. Or I’m beginning to plan and he’s nodding along, unsure of whether to plan. But, we’re planning all the same.
Do any of you have great smoker recipes? We’ve only ventured into poppers and ribs so far. I’d love some feedback. Any healthier smoker recipe ideas would be welcome since I’d like to lose a little baby weight before, if we’re lucky, I put on new baby weight.
Smoked Jalapeño Poppers (by Jer)
12 Jalapeño peppers (the bigger, the better for stuffing), cleaned, leave seeds and membrane for heat
4 oz. Monterrey or Colby Jack cheese, shredded
1 package Cream Cheese
1- 2 lbs. Bacon (depends on if you used two strips to wrap poppers, we use 2 strips)
Wood or metal skewers
Mix shredded cheese and cream cheese. Spice to taste with cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper and paprika. Stuff gutted jalapeños, wrap tightly with bacon and slide onto soaked wood or metal skewers. We smoke them with a blend of hickory and apple wood for about 2 hours. DELICIOUS!
July 26, 2012 § 5 Comments
Little fucking bunnies have been eating my Black-eyed Susans. At first it was kinda cute. Bunnies are cute. They started trimming my huge overflowing potted petunias and I welcomed it. They’d pop out of the ground cover while we sat on the patio and we’d watch them fill their little bellies. I even encouraged them to eat some of our very pretty ground cover gone awry. Then suddenly the Black-eyed Susans looked less voluptuous. Stems were broken, flowers missing. What?
Last year the flowers struggled because they were being choked out by trumpet vine. Nasty, invasive stuff. Well, this spring and even now we’ve worked on keeping the trumpet vine in check and finally our Black-eyed Susans were back to their glory … until … the little fucking bunnies.
I began chasing them away which didn’t do much to hinder them. I encouraged Otis to walk through the area thinking his big dog-ness would scare them off. Just the other morning I asked Otis, standing hock-high in ground cover, to get a little closer to the Black-eyed Susans. A little bunny (hiding in that same ground cover) decided I was the lesser of two evils and leapt out, smacked my shin and landed on my foot before scurrying to the other side of the patio to hide in more ground cover. Bunnies are soft.
I say thank God for the little fucking bunnies because they’re cute and they make me laugh and piss me off at the same time, but most of all they’re keeping me busy. I have a purpose. I need to keep our damn Black-eyed Susans from being demolished to a bunch of stubby stems. I was really looking forward to the Black-eyed Susans lasting into autumn along with all of my other expectations for autumn and to lose them now will really piss me off.
P.S. Yesterday I went to Home Depot and bought some Rabbit Repellent to ward them off. It’s supposed to be safe and I think it’s working, though I did just chase a little fucking bunny off. I feel bad that I’ve ruined their food and have considered feeding them, but I know that’s not good for them. They need to be wild little fucking bunnies and figure it out for themselves. I just hope they stay away from the other flowers and veggies.
P.S.S. When I first saw the bunnies all I could think about was how close in size they were to my baby Elias. I desperately wanted to hold one as I did Elias. Empty arms. I resisted the urge because again, I know it’s not good for the wild little bunnies.
July 17, 2012 § 4 Comments
Do some yoga! I told myself, I’d work on being kinder to myself. Yet, when I sit here doing other things like writing or job searching, the voice in my head screams do some yoga! It’s kind of mean. Not encouraging me with a gentle do your yoga for the day kind of tone. Instead it’s demanding and demeaning. The tone, not the words, is more like do some fucking yoga ya lazy bitch! As though I’m about to fail once again at accomplishing the one workout goal I’ve set for myself lately. At first I thought I’d jump right back into hiit and tabata workouts and running and yoga. But, lately I realize none of that is gonna happen. It just isn’t. I’m not the same person I was … before becoming pregnant and delivering a dead baby. I lack the dedication and I don’t know, oomph, from before.
I know it’s only been a month and I’m still mourning in all the ways people mourn and maybe even some new ways never before mourned. I’d talk about some of them, but I’m sure I’d be committed if I did that, so I’ll keep them to myself until the coast is clear.