Helping Hands or Room For Two More

I was supposed to make a cake today. Well actually yesterday except yesterday was a day of lupus treatment which meant nothing else got done.  Not to worry though, I decided, because the cake is easy to make to,or row is another day.  Except we are at to,or row and my hands struggle to work.  Simple directions are not all that simple to follow today.

Still a cake needed to be made and while the four-footed one likes to help I can’t say for sure that she’d be able to manage all the measurements and such.  Enter Beloved.  He can follow directions and measurements rather well.  He may not have planned on making the cake, but he was willing to do so.

Actually he was willing to do whatever it took to save flour from being wasted.  Or perhaps it was after the second egg hit the floor that he felt the need to step in.  At any rate making today’s cake became, well a piece of cake once two helping hands stepped in.

The mess was cleaned up, the cake was made, dishes were washed and all was good.  Because I had helping hands, which meant tomorrow still held promise of making cake instead of a phone call of regret and potentially disappointing people.  This is a relief because all too often my over enthusiasm for things combines with lupus in a way that is full of regret and disappointment.  But not today, not with helping hands.

Long, Slow Cold or Waiting On The Weather Change

It’s cold outside, no two ways around that.  For this reason the four-footed one is spending more time indoors.   This means the four-footed one has some limits on what she can do because she’s  in a smaller space.   She’s not super  happy about that.  Of course she’s not super hap about the cold weather either.hl

When I stopped off for some of my favorite activities (blood draws and scans), they had to use heated towels on my arms and hands.  Just to get the blood.  And I was bundled in layers.  So it was cold, cold, cold out there.  Consider it thickened if you will.

Thickened blood doesn’t go up the needles well.  This meant spending more time than anticipated getting the stuff finished.  It also meant having purple bruises.  Not exactly the look I was going for, but considering how cold it is who’s going to see them anyway?

And when I got home, the four-footed one wanted to go outed when all I felt like doing was curling up and getting a rest.  But outside we went, only to run back in for a new game it’s the four-footed one.  Finding the toys she decided to hide throughout the house.  I hope it warms up soon!

Habits, Routine And Lessons Learned

Some people says it takes 21 days to make a habit, others say 90 days are required to form a habit. The four-footed one says it takes as long as it takes, and that may be dependent upon a number of things such as the environment and the feedback she is receiving.

For example, if she receives a nice reward in the form of food each time she does something, and the food continues to be a favorite item to consume, she can learn the habit in less than 21 days. (Yes I know she is a dog, but stick with me.) If she receives praise for what she is doing without any food reward she may never learn the habit because she isn’t getting enough back in return for what she is being asked to do.

The past 2 weeks she has created her own morning habits. After she has gotten out of bed and taken care of the call of nature she seeks out her breakfast. These are all things she has done for a year now. The new habit is that after breakfast is finished, she wants to be picked up and snuggled for an hour or so (depends upon the weather and how much real estate of the bed she managed to acquire at night) while she catches a morning nap.

This habit of hers just started the one day when she approached a chair I was sitting in and put her front paws on my legs. Once I picked her up she settled down into my lap and snuggled in for warmth. (It was a bit chilly in the house.) And she promptly fell asleep for roughly an hour. The next few days were repeats of that first day. After that she’d switch it up with Beloved being the morning snuggler now and then, but by 14 days she had found her new morning habit or ritual. And to be honest, it isn’t one I’m all that inclined to break.

Higher Into The Air

When I was young I loved to jump.  Trampolines were a favorite because of the height I could get in addition to being forbidden by my parents.  My mother was positive I’d bounce off the sides and land on my head.  My father did not want to have to deal with unnecessary broken bones.  I never could get him to explain what might constitute a broken bone that was necessary.

So trampolines were a daily part of my life, but bouncing on the bed?  Sure.  Provided my parents weren’t aware.  My mother again had fears of me landing on my head and my father was concerned about a broken bed.

While I may have outgrown my trampoline needs, and certainly no longer jump on my bed because I am not going to buy a new bed when the one I have is perfectly fine, I have never lost my thrill for heights.  Perhaps we outgrow certain things, like jumping on beds while we don’t outgrow our desire for higher places.  And this may be why the four-footed one has not, as yet, out grown her need to bounce on the beds when she thinks we aren’t looking.  Of course the odds of her breaking the bed is relatively low.  The odds of her getting hurt bouncing off the bed, about fifty-fifty due to her need for air.  And thus I have become a bit of my mother without ever wanting to be.

Exotic Indeed

There is currently a hedgehog up against the table leg.  This isn’t a little hedgehog either, it’s bigger than my head and has a tendency to grunt when touched.  And do t mind the salamander dangling off the arm of the chair either.  It’s totally harmless although I read somewhere that anything with bright and lurid colors is poisonous.  Pretty sure this one isn’t, and I’ve never read anywhere that orange, yellow and aqua meant you’d be dead if you touched it.

No we haven’t started an exotic zoo or animal collection.  Unless you count the new toys for the four-footed one.  She tends to acquire the most bizarre toys because those tend to be what she picks out.  And yes I know, we probably shouldn’t let her pick out her toys from the various shelves in her favorite stores as often as we do.  Even if just for the fact that the house is looking a bit like an exotic stuffed dog toy zoo.

I think the one that finally made me realize we may be getting a bit overrun is when I awoke to a giant hairy spider sharing my pillow with me.  Just beyond that was the four-footed one, snuggled up against the many-legged creature.  Beloved doesn’t think that waking up next to a giant hairy spider should be a place to say enough.  We shall see if he changes his mind when he puts on his shoe given that I know there is a multi-segmented caterpillar in his shoe.  A hard and cold caterpillar.

The Dragon

When he was younger, Beloved walked down the back of the dragon and all the way out to tip of his nose.  I have no clue how he, or anyone else for that ,attend, knew the dragon was male, but if that’s what THEY say then it shall be.

Beloved wants to walk down the dragon’s spine and to his nose again.  Only he isn’t sure if he can do it in four hours.  That’s down to the nose and back again.  Because if he can’t do it in four hours he will be stuck on the dragon’s head for roughly six hours waiting for the tide to shift so he can make his way back down the dragon.

Not that he is opposed to spending six hours on the dragon’s head, provided that the weather is good.  He would just rather not spend six hours in drizzle, or rain and let’s not discuss the wind.

I’ve decided to stay off the dragon and instead enjoy the view from afar so that I can see the whole dragon or at least the portions of it that are above the water.  I’m not up for walking down the spine out to the tip of his nose and back again in under four hours.  Especially since the dragon spends a lot of the time with a nice mist surrounding it.

 

Say Cheese

Is it possible to have too much cheese?  I suppose it depends on who you are.  In my world the answer is no.  Beloved and I adore cheese and so the answer is a resounding no.  Throw in the four-footed one, although she has never actually had cheese, but she likes the smell of it.

Now it is possible to have too much cheese all at once.  As in you have so much cheese that if you ate cheese for every meal for several days you’d still not be able to make a dent in the cheese supply.  And I say this because we are currently at full cheese capacity.

Perhaps you’ve had this happen as well.  You buy cheese,you have people come over and they bring fruit and cheese platters and suddenly  you are at full cheese capacity.  So you come up with different ways to incorporate cheese in your meals.  You get creative.

Cheese becomes the go to for snacks, and is featured in several different ways for the same meal.  And still there is cheese to just eat just in your hand as cheese.  Because who doesn’t love that?  But if we get more cheese we may be in a state of excess!

Shaking

Apparently there is a chicken in a barn.  Who’s? Barn?  What barn?  Mine barn?  Doubt it.  I don’t have a barn.  I’d like a barn, of sorts.  I’d like animals, which would result in the need of a barn of sorts.  Or another house.  For the animals.  Just so we’d have enough bedrooms.

And let’s be clear here all of my animals would be pets.  Pets that are part of the family.  Pets that are loved and spoiled. So yeah Jerry Lee Lewis, if that’s the type of barn you were singing about then perhaps I get it.  But it probably still wouldn’t really be a barn.

But sure, there’d be a whole lotta shaking going on.  As well as running and resting.  Eating and jumping.  Because let’s face it, play time is super important.  So is rest time and eating time.  And cuddle time.  Let’s not for get about that.

So if there is shaking happening it’s from needing to shake out fur.  And wonderful shaking that happens from laughter and play.  Yep that’s the whole lotta shaking I’m talking about.

Who wouldn’t encourage that type of shaking?  Certainly not I.  Nor Beloved.  Not ever.  We’d be right in the middle of it all!

Resting Easy

The four-footed one is a master at curling up into a tiny little ball and falling into a nice sleep.  I have been envious of this skill for a while now.  Well not so much the curling up into a little ball.  Other than when I’m in severe pain.  Then and only then do I want to curl up into a wee ball so I can roll around like an armadillo.

It is, instead her ability to fall asleep that I’m envious of. She can sleep regardless of where she is.  Guests in the house?  No worries she can still curl up and be dreaming.  In the car?  Again, curl up and let the sleep come. Visiting friends?  If there’s a place to curl up, she can sleep.

Me?  I can’t sleep if the sun is up.  Unless I’m very sick.  I can’t sleep on trains or  planes or any place public.  Hospitals are a nightmare for me because they expect you to sleep, but there are strangers walking in and out of you space. It’s public.  It’s just not possible.

I struggle to sleep in hotels, other people’s houses.  It isn’t because I’m not sleeping in my own bed, although that helps.  Rather it is a number of things that get in the way.  For some reason all of that seems public or unsafe places to sleep.  Regardless of how tired I am I struggle to sleep or find pleasant dreams.

Ah to curl up, to dream, to sleep.  And so I still try.  Maybe if I turn around three times before I settle down…

Wiped

Some days you are the windshield of the car, other days you are the bug hitting then windshield of the aforementioned car, which by the way is moving when you hit it. But these days I’m beginning to feel more and more like the window wipers trying to clean up the mess after the water has been spritzed onto the window.

If you have ever driven a car at a high rate of speed when it’s hot outside, sunny even, and there are lots of insects know the mess I’m talking about. And if you have ever tried to use your window wipers on to clean that mess up you also know what I’m talking about. The bug splatter tends to get smeared further along the window.

You get desperate as a driver, so you push for more water to hit the shield and try to play the fun game of get the wiper speed just right so that it doesn’t leave such horrible smears. And you continue to do this until you realize it’s all in vain. The window cannot get clean that way.

You realize you will have to stop off at a service station and use their squeegee thing to clean the window, or even better, hit the car wash and power those bug bits off the car. Because if you are like me, there have been times when you haven’t been able to get the window cleaned in time. And the sun bakes the bits of bugs more. Magically those bug bits seem to become part of the window, never fully removed, and always in an annoying place. But that’s another story.

As I was saying, lately I’ve been feeling like the window wipers on a clean up duty that I’m not really suited to do. I have tried to alter my approach and speed as well as my technique all to no avail. The mess remains, taunting me about my inability to manage such a small thing. It should be so easy and yet for a million and one different reasons easy it is not.

Maybe you are like me, like those wipers, trying to keep up with the demand for things when you aren’t’ really the right tool to clean that mess up. I’d suggest waiting for a good rain or a car wash to do the proper clean up, but I know that your life is probably like everyone else’s and there just isn’t always the luxury of the car wash nor is there always the possibility of a good rain.

So if you have any tips on how to not become a worn out wiper blade, one that is ragged and demotivated, not to mention exhausted, I’m all ears!