Category Archives: The Dog

The Easter Buddy

Today was a busy day for the Easter Buddy.

Easter Buddy

He had to make his rounds and deliver presents.

Easter Buddy's pack

The Easter Buddy delivered presents to Grampie.

Easter Buddy and Grampie

And to Grammie.

Easter Buddy and Grammie

And then he ate some chocolate coconut cream pie.

chocolate coconut cream pie

Actually, he didn’t because chocolate isn’t good for Easter Buddies. But he did nibble on some ham and a little chicken as he rested from his labors.

The rest of us enjoyed this mouth-wateringly rich and decadent pie made with an almond meal crust (gluten-free) and coconut milk (dairy-free). Recipe courtesy of Elana’s Pantry.

So. Good. You gotta try it. Oh and it’s vegan, so it’s totally healthy, right?

Gone Fishing

I wish.

The last time I was fishing was at the Birthday Party x3. Seems ages ago now that I was sitting in that gorgeous sunshine crisping my back and casting out as the boat drifted lazily around the anchor.

Despite the advent of spring four days ago and the predictions of Punxsutawney Phil, that dirty little liar, this morning it was snowing. The sun did come out for a couple of hours in the afternoon, but I just walked Owen an hour ago and it was snowing again.

So, yeah. I’m not Gone Fishing.

What I am, mostly, is tired. Lately I am exhausted by the end of the day and, to exacerbate the problem, for the past three days I have endured headaches that are trying to remove themselves from my brain by exploding out of my eyeballs.

No, I’m not pregnant. I’m on a thyroid blocker and my T4 level has dropped into the low end of “normal”. I’m convinced this is why my energy is so low. What else? I haven’t changed anything. And I’m 35, not 85.

It’s frustrating because I have so many ideas for this blog, but I just don’t have the brain power or focus in the evenings to work on it.

Today, however, was a pretty good day. I didn’t end with a headache, so I’m hopeful that tomorrow I’ll be back on track.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a completely unrelated, but nevertheless entertaining Owen photo.

Owen Einstein 

You see, Owen has this pet pig. Well, he had a pet pig, but he tore all the stuffing out of it and strew it around the room. So, I took the stuffing and put it on his head.

Then I laughed uncontrollably while he looked to his daddy for help.

Disgusted Owen

Which he did not receive, I might add.

Let Your Sham Rock!

Top o’ the evenin’ to ya, me little leprechauns! For those of yer who ain’t out partin’ and drinkin’ green beer, this little messenger from the Ould Country would like to wish yer a Happy Saint Paddy’s Day!

St. Paddy's Day - Owen

Erin Go Bragh!

Neither T nor I are Irish, nor do we do much to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but I do like to dress up my dog. Because he’s cute and doesn’t bite me.

How about you? Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Down Dog

**NEW! I’ve added a survey section to Mowenackie called, “Tell Me”. You’ll find the current poll question in the righthand sidebar. Won’t you “Tell Me” more about you? Thanks!**

I love yoga.

My father got me into it about 12 years ago, before it was all the rage. He used to love to brag that he, a Parkinsonian, could do the full lotus pose…until he threw his back out doing it one day and had to have surgery. Still, I thought it was so cool that he was a part-time yogi and I wanted to be one, too.

It has served me well.

I’m a desk jockey, so in addition to the muscle atrophy of my Graves disease, my posture is also fighting the 10-hour-a-day-sit syndrome. It’s new. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

Doing yoga stretches me back out and helps me feel like a human being again. It gives me the ultimate body buzz. It derails the speed train that is my mind; it helps me think again. Rationally, I mean.

Did I mention that I love yoga?

Not that anyone asked, but if they did, I would highly recommend trying it (if you haven’t already). You can do it right in the privacy of your own home – another reason to love it! – and you don’t need any equipment. A yoga mat helps prevent sliding, but it’s not really necessary.

All set? Okay. Owen has agreed to demonstrate the aptly named “down dog” position:

Down Dog

See? It’s easy!

Okay, seriously – if you are looking for a place to start, here’s one of my favorite DVDs:

10-Minute Yoga

It’s broken up into 10-minute segments and you can mix and match as many or as few as you’d like, depending on your time, fitness and motivation for that day.

So how about you? Do you do yoga?

The Power of Negative Thinking?

Thanksgiving was rather interesting this year.

Turkey Dog

Turdogken

Traditionally, my family spends Turkey Day at my aunt’s house in Massachusetts. In true Italian style, there are at least fourteen people at dinner, which usually starts with ravioli appetizers and,  five courses later, ends with Sambuca and coffee beans.

We have a lot of laughs and tell a lot of stories and wave a lot of hands. We share who’s sick, who died and who was down at Oliva’s this morning. We kiss and hug and at the end we take forty-five minutes to “complete the circuit”, as my brother and I like to call it. In other words, say good-bye.

Leaving is a lot like going through the reception line at normal people’s weddings. Only it takes more time because people have to tell you how much you’ve grown, and like that. It’s all very overwhelming to those of the Anglo-Saxon persuasion. Just ask my husband.

But I digress. As usual.

Anyway, as much as I enjoy family holidays and our Thanksgiving traditions, I have to admit that I had been dreading this particular one for some time and for several reasons. Things are different now.

First, there have been five baby girls born into my family in the past nineteen months, which – coincidentally – is how long I’ve been married, as well as how long it feels like my husband has been away. (He’s really “only” been gone for thirteen months, but who’s counting? Oh wait, I am.)

Five. That’s a lot of babies. And there was every likelihood that four of them would be there on Thanksgiving. Now, I’m not a kid person to begin with, but when I haven’t seen my own husband in six months, the thought of having to smile and congratulate and smile some more, was very daunting. And downright depressing.

It’s not that I’m not happy for other people’s happiness. I just don’t want to be too close to it until I’ve got my wingman back at my side.

Second, I was dreading all the inevitable “T” questions and conversation.

Where is T?

Have you heard from T?

How is T?

When will T be home?

I do appreciate people’s interest and I know they mean well, but for some reason that I haven’t yet fathomed, these questions drive me batty. And none more so than this dreaded one that makes my stomach drop every time:

Will he have to go back?

<insert wild frenzied scream here>

I have just spent an entire calendar year without my husband. Worrying about his safety. Riding the rollercoaster of emotions. Sometimes I don’t want to face the next five minutes and you want me to think about another deployment? Can we get through this one first? Can I see my husband’s face so that I can remember what he looks like before you send him away again?

Thanks. ‘Preciate it.

For these reasons, I was dreading Thanksgiving this year. As it turned out, I needn’t have worried. About that anyway.

On Tuesday evening, which happened to be my parents’ 42nd wedding anniversary, my father was admitted to the hospital for acute renal something-or-other. Basically, his kidneys had shut down. No one really knows why, but between that and his Parkinson’s Disease, he wasn’t in the best of shape.

My mom called me from the road to say that dad was “taking her out” for their anniversary. Romantic devil.

The good news is that he’s on the mend and his doctors seem to think his kidneys will return to normal, or near normal function. In the meantime, they are rehydrating him through and IV and monitoring him, so he’s been given an extended stay – probably through this weekend.

And that’s how our Thanksgiving ended up looking like this instead:

Thanksgiving at the hospital

Our Thanksgiving

Was it my negative thinking that got us here? No, I won’t be so bold as to think I have that much influence on the universe. But for a few seconds I did have that old Catholic guilt about my pessimistic holiday thoughts.

But honestly, it wasn’t all that bad. My dad has a private room, so we were able to make ourselves at home. The hospital, as you can see, allows dogs, so Owen was able to join us. The cafeteria cooked a really delicious turkey dinner and for the first time in possibly my entire life, I got to wear sneakers on Thanksgiving.

It was very relaxing. We didn’t have to be anywhere, we didn’t have to cook anything and we didn’t have to impress anyone. We just hung out and enjoyed each other’s company.

Daddy

Dad and Pooh

This is my Daddy. Isn’t he cute? He’s such a good sport. Even after 35 years of Parkinson’s Disease, he always has a joke ready. He keeps the hospital staff laughing. I brought him my old Pooh Bear so that he wouldn’t be lonely at night.

My Brother

This is my brother, J. He’s a good sport, too. Owen sometimes bothers his allergies, but he wore his glasses instead of his contacts yesterday so that his eyes wouldn’t itch as much. Owen was grateful that he didn’t have to be left at home. Thanks, Uncle J!

Mommy

Mom and Owen

This is my Mommy. She may be the best sport of all. Life has handed her not one, but an entire truckload of lemons, yet she still manages to make lemonade. By the gallon. And usually for other people. She is a nurturer. Owen isn’t generally a beggar, but – as you can see – he knows an easy mark when he sees one. “Grammie” always saves a bit of turkey…or ham, or steak, or chicken…for her granddog. And he knows it.

Speaking of Owen, we also celebrated his “birthday” yesterday. As of Tuesday, Owen has been with us for one year. Grammie and Grampie brought him a present.

Yay present!

Yay present!

He waited so patiently while I opened it for him. Milkbones! Yum.

I just love him.

Me and Owen

My pally.

Owen was a hit at the hospital. He’s such a gentle dog that most people love him on sight anyway.

But the turkey costume helped.

Turkey costume

We threw it together in the morning. His raincoat, a little cardstock and some packing tape and viola! Instant turkey.

He was a celebrity. We took a few walks to cheer people up and they loved him. They started calling him “the turkey dog”. Nurses came out in gaggles to coo over him. People stood with him to get their picture taken. And Owen stood there wagging his tail, happily absorbing all the attention.

He’s a good sport, too. Poor puppy. He lets me get away with so much. But I think we put smiles on a few faces, so it was for a good cause.

All in all, not a bad day. I think sometimes it can be good to break tradition (not that we did it on purpose). It can be a learning experience.

All the same, I hope no one goes into cardiac arrest over Christmas.

Me and Dad

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bored Much?

Tonight when I got home from work, I walked in the door and was immediately greeted by this sight:

Shredded Dog Bed

What the hell?

We’ve had Owen for almost a year now. Every day when I go to work, I gate him in the kitchen with his bed and a toy.

He has never, ever touched anything that does not belong to him. I’ve left him alone with slippers and leather shoes. I’ve even left a plate of muffins wrapped up on the counter. He hasn’t touched it.

I can leave him alone in my car with a bag of dog treats or groceries in the back while I run into the store. He doesn’t touch them.

He’s almost too good to be true.

Until now.

shredded dog bed

Of course, technically, this did belong to him. I mean, it is his bed after all.

Was his bed, that is. Now it’s a heap of torn cloth and foam scraps.

dog bed destruction

Jackass.

Fairy Lights and Family Night

Once there was a girl who put her fairy wings on upside down. The other fairies made fun of her, so she decided to create another fairy that had upside down wings just like her.

She waved her magic wand and…

Owen and his Fairy Wings

Bing! Upside down fairy wings!

The girl’s wings were green and the new fairy’s wings were blue, but they each had glow necklaces to match their wings and they were very, very beautiful.

The Blue and Green Fairies

Beautiful!

And after they admired their wings from all different angles…

Side view

...like the side...

Back view

...and the back...

…they lived happily ever after.

But first, they went trick-or-treating with some friends.

     *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *

Owen loved trick-or-treating. We went around the old ‘hood with K, her kids, K’s sister (Laurie Loo) and her daughter (Little E).

Little E was dressed as one of Tinkerbell’s cohorts, Rosetta (red fairy).

Rosetta

Rosetta

Laurie Loo was dressed as Fawn (orange fairy).

Fawn

Fawn

What we didn’t know was that this, by default, made me Tinkerbell (green fairy) and Owen…

Silvermist

Silvermist

 We had unknowingly completed the set.

Once he got outside, Owen could have cared less what you called him. He was just so happy to be going for a walk, to be with people and, of course, to be the center of attention. He trotted joyfully next to Baby Blue, aka the Ghostbuster, and those two were the first to every house. While BB rang the doorbell with purpose, Owen waited excitedly to see who would come to the door, tail wagging with polite curiosity.

Once the candy was passed out, he was happy to move down the driveway and on to the next house.

Little E kept things interesting by yelling “Ga! Ga!” with her three-year old lungs at every stop. Each time Laurie Loo told her, “Say ‘trick-or-treat’!”, Little E replied matter-of-factly, “I’m going to say, ‘ga ga’.” And she did.

Here we are at the end of the trail:

The whole gang
Cheese!
And we are, clockwise from the left:
1. Me (aka Tinkerbell)
2. Baby Blue (not such a baby anymore)
3. K (the lone adult)
4. Laurie Loo (aka Fawn)
5. Little K (aka Gothic Ragdoll…and not so Little anymore)
6. Silvermist
7. Little E (aka Rosetta)
 
This is my adopted family. I grew up next door to K and Laurie Loo and was over their house so often that their parents called me their third daughter.
 
Looking at this picture brought that strangely home to me. We are just that: family. Sometimes we annoy each other, hurt each other and piss each other off …but we are bonded by many years and many memories…and by love.
 
Love you, Peeps!
 
Happy Halloween, everybody!