Friday, September 28, 2007

Death and Taxes

The old saying is that there are two things in life you can absolutely count on..death and taxes. The taxes part we get used is an every day thing that we expect and ignore. The other one, however, you never get used too. Sadly over the past few months my friends, family and I have experienced death too much. This year has been rough for us all.

I just returned from my 3rd funeral in 3 months. This time it was my grandmother. My poor mother has buried her sister and mother in this time. Pretty sh$#&y if you ask me. This was my first funeral in which I was involved in all the planning from start to finish. I realized that being a funeral director is a lucrative albeit heartless profession. From my experiences, you have to be very old, have silver hair, shaking hands, the desire to look at dead people all day every day, drive slowly and disobey all traffic laws while leading a string of bleary eyed people. I don't fit the bill...well except maybe the traffic law part but he broke the rules I usually obey! But the 9,000 dollar funeral bill seemed a bit much ..maybe that is just me. And the worst part is that all 3 funerals were held at the same funeral home..kind of a cruel joke almost. It is sad when you don't have to be shown the bathroom or the candy jar ..hehe.. and I had actually discovered the most comfortable chair in funeral parlor A, that the 'no food or drinks' was really just a suggestion b/c they weren't going to tell the family that just paid them 9K they couldn't have their lattes and 8 hours in a room with cut flowers is long enough to make my eyeballs become sandpaper and my sinuses fill with goo. yeah..8 hours in one place for the 'viewing'..times 3 funerals...the soothing colors of mauve and tan now make my stomach turn. Not to mention I have differing 'opinions' about certain things but had to grin and bear it for my mother and family. Then while in the funeral procession friend Susan (remember from the Atlantic City trip) lets me know her sister had passed away that morning. It wasn't unexpected but neither was my grandmother..that doesn't really make it easier. That makes 5 people in the past 6 months.
But it doesn't end there...
There have been multiple four legged deaths over the past few months. Most have been documented on my blog but some haven't.
As Kristen said..2007 can't be over quick enough. Both our lives have changed dramatically due to various events this year that weren't fun or easy.
We have had a few shining moments this year ..Stanley and Cali were much needed and came at the exact right time for each of us. And we have had a lot of fun and lived well. And we have played our part in helping many many greyhounds find their forever homes!
I guess everyone needs a gut check occasionally..I had a pretty long run without a funeral. And I had not lost a beloved fur kid since my horse died 2 years ago.
But enough is enough.
Well, enough sad talk. Had to spout off a bit..and if not here...where?
Hug your kids, family and friends! Luckily I get to leave now and take a greyhound to their new forever home...the road to recovery begins! ;-)

Monday, September 24, 2007

In and Out

Belle went to her hopeful forever home on Saturday. I think she is going to be very happy with her new family. We bought a new bed at Costco on Friday (I am worse than Imelda when it comes to dog beds). And everyone wanted the new fluffy bed. Belle got dibs since she was leaving the next day.

Then Dana got a turn..Cali was in for a little bit but prefers the matter how fluffy the beds are. ;-)

Then Hemingway got dropped off. He is a very active 3 year old boy who came up in the haul with Belle. So his new owners have only had him 3 weeks! They just needed a sitter for the night so he joined us for a while. He was very goofy and teeny..the size of Cali!
He played hard...and he slept hard!
Then my parents came for a visit (we are now at 11AM on saturday was busy!). We went to the first of the Oktoberfests in Richmond and had some good beer and wursts! My mom brought her Shih-Tzu..Truflz..don't ask why he is named that. But he is cute.
Then we got Lindley for a few nights. She is owned by Brian Shaunesy and is 8 years old. She is really quiet and very sweet.
And Cali liked the shot of got of Truflz so she stuck her head through. Luckily she didn't get stuck.

And then it was time to kill the stuffie!
Then Sunday night we were watching football (GO COWBOYS!) and I came in to the living room to find this..not staged. This is our friend Rob and Jason with the girls.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Weekend warriors

We went to Lewis Ginter last week for their Fidos after 5 event..that was a lot of fun. And talk about great weather! You can see a bunch more pictures on Amanda and Gyeong's blogs but I have a few. Here are Amanda and Kenney enjoying the event.
And sunset at Lewis Ginter...very pretty.
Now..I have an aversion to physical labor. I only do yard work a very few weekends out of the has to be the perfect temperature and humidity. At least I admit it..right? So this weekend we decided to redo the front yard. It was 75F, blue sky and beautiful! So we spent the entire weekend outside redoing the landscaping. Now..we have lived in the house for 2 years and planted nothing, mulched sparingly and really done nothing with the front yard. There was a 8 foot oak tree planted by the developer that needed to go (don't worry..we replace it!). So it took Jason 4 hours of swinging a pick axe to get that thing down, roots and all!
Then the tree got cut up in to bits and loaded in the mean wagon. Poor wagon..we abuse it so. Off to the landfill..mulch the tree will become!
Then we go to a local nursery and buy a bunch of perinnials (remember..i don't do this often so they have to come back every year). We plant a crepe myrtle and 6 different perrinials in the front flower bed, a few plants in the beds in front of the windows, edge everything with composite edging and mulch! WEEKEND WARRIORS!!!
Of course, the dogs hated it. They weren't able to be with us so they had to stay at the windows and doors. Cali slept on the front mat and everyone else would jump up at the slightest sound! Here are Cali, Belle and Dante wanting out!
Dana is happy to take over an open window...we don't get opportunities to open windows often!
And we still have Belle..she is doing soooo well. She has been very easy. Her personality has come out and she is a sweetheart! And her skin is getting is still flaky but the open sores have gone away. And she has gained some weight! I talked to someone tonight who is interested in hopefully she will be going to her forever home soon! She is comfortable living in a home I think!
Basking in the sunshine!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Southern Loving

I sounds like some kind of froofie drink or an Alabama stripper's call name. It isn' is my foster. I don't usually rename them..but I just couldn't yell..come on Lovin' out the back door. My neighbors already think I am weird enough. So we call her Belle it is easier and it fits the theme. She is very sweet and has finally started coming out of her shell. She is skinny and has some skin issues..but she loves belly rubs!
She has a very cute face..
And finally has started to run to the door when I call her name!

We still have the Alfano's crew..they are pretty used to being here so we don't have too many issues with them. They love to play and now that it doesn't feel like a sauna outside, they are able to run around. This is Tristan taking the lead with Cali, Belle and Sara on his tail! Jo and Dana (hidden behind Jo) are confused. ;-)

Here is Dana-Roo watching from the sidelines..this was 2 seconds before she darted down the stairs to join in the fun! She is sooo pretty!

And of course..Cali. She loves to play with the tennis ball..

And what would my blog be without a gratitous Cali shot..this is how Jason works. Sick..on many levels. And yes..she is giving me the 'He's mine..." look. I am getting used to it. She smells she is so rotten.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day! We had some friends over for some brats and wine. I don't have any pictures. Gyeong might have some on his blog. He felt fine the next day...unlike some of us so I am hoping he got some good shots of the dogs!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

All for the cause

I know I have said we had a lot of dogs before...I didn't mean it. I thought I did..but I was wrong. ;-) We are watching the Alfano dogs this week..FloJo, Sara and Tristan. I have pictures of them in past blogs. I am also watching Wolf..the Alfano's were watching him last week and his owners are coming home on Sunday. So we have him for a few days. He is a sweet 8 year old boy.

Then today we had a haul of 15 dogs!!!! 10 of them had homes..which is just awesome. With the recent closure of tracks in Florida, the situation has gotten dire. Tracks like SOKC (Dana's) and JCKC (Cali's) take the brunt of these closures..those that don't make it to these 'off-tracks' meet an uncertain fate. And those that do make it too these tracks..have the same uncertain fate. Once they are at these tracks, their racing days are numbered. We call them 'end of the line' tracks. Adoption groups around the country help ease the burden and take dogs that have no where else to go. So today, we pushed the limit and came out great! Here are some of the dogs walking in to the bath house very early this morning
Everyone getting their bath..they were full of fleas, dirt and nastiness..
Here are some waiting for their turn with the soap!I think this was Where's my Spice..but she was a CUTIE

Then we brought home our foster, Southern Lovin...what are you supposed to call this one? We named her Belle. I will get better pictures of her this week..but after batheing for 3 hours and getting up at 6AM..I am tired!
We also brought home Apollo for a few hours. His new foster mom picked him up this afternoon. He was a big lover! Such a sweet handsome boy!So if you have been doing the math while reading realize we had 10 dogs for a while this afternoon. A familiar shot is below..but the only people are Jason and I! From bottom left is Shiloh, Dana, Sara, Jo, Apollo, Belle, Cali. Dante is on the recliner. Tristan is not they aren't all in there!!!
We also went to a Wine festival today to benefit the Richmond SPCA and took Cali and Sara. They are great Ambasa-dogs for the greyhounds. We talked to egads of people and everyone just thought they were beautiful! They are definitely worth every bit of effort!!!! Now..time for a nap!