All posts by Ann

About Ann

Painter, jewelry-maker, graphic designer, dingbat font creator, imagineer, progressive, liberal, Wisconsinite by birth and later by choice, dog and cat mom, sushi-lover and foodie.

I’ve Got To Start Utilizing These Gifts

I suspected the “royal” baby would be a boy. And I also suspected his name would be George. Why oh why didn’t I place bets in Vegas?

OK, that settles it. I told myself that if it would be a baby named George, that’s what I’ll call my next Pug, assuming it is a male and assuming it is young enough to not already have a name it responds to.

Dream with Lucifer Sam

I dreamt that Stan and I were traveling, I think it was in the Camry, but it seemed dark green. We had both dogs, Jasper and Lucifer Sam. We stopped somewhere, and Stan let both dogs out of the car, unleashed. I was mad because he didn’t have a leash on them, but he grabbed Jasper’s harness, and I wasn’t too worried about Lucifer Sam wandering off.

It was very strange because usually when I dream about the dead, like Tim or my dad, I don’t have any realization in the dream that they are dead. There’s no “hey, what are you doing here?” moments. But it was different with the Pug. In the dream, I felt like I was awake (even though I was asleep and dreaming it), and having a dream while I was waking, and I realized the pug was dead. As he was wandering around, he walked into a shallow running stream and lay down in the stream. It seemed as if he was hot and was trying to cool himself off. This disturbed me in the dream because it indicated he was uncomfortable. I also made some sort of comment to Stan that it is unusual for me to have a waking dream where I have the dead come back.

There’s so many layers to this I am trying to figure out. And if he was walking around, why did I know he was dead? Very confusing.

I do remember he was extremely black with no grey fur, and with no tumor. Like he was in the prime of his life.

Lucifer Sam, January 5, 2003 – July 9, 2013

Lucifer Sam on his final day. "Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky."
Lucifer Sam on his final day. “Now there’s a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.”

Lucifer Sam on his final day. “Now there’s a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.”

Words cannot describe the black hole in our hearts that his leaving us has created.

The last days of his life he was no longer the happy dog he used to be. It was time to let him go.

Mothers Saying the Dumbest Things

1) The mother of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev going all Cleopatra (Queen of D’Nile) on the interviewers, claiming her sons are innocent of the Marathon Bombing. Yes, she knows everything. She goes over to Dagestan while her son is in college back in the USA and she knows what’s going on in his life. Ya sure.

2) Barbara Bush when asked if Jeb should run for Pres. Although you need to give her credit for not wanting another Shrub in the White House, one of the things she says in her justification of Jeb not running is “…there are a lot of great families…” implying, there are other great families from which to cull the future president of our country.

A lot of great families? What about a lot of great PEOPLE?

This just smacks of the old money, old family mentality. None of that new money (Clintons) or new family (Obamas) riff raff. Keep the well-heeled and manor-borne in office. But Let’s give someone else a chance besides Jeb. There are plenty of good families. Old families. Yes. More old money in power. Gaah.

Sad News for Lucifer Sam

He has terminal cancer. Earlier this month, both of our dogs started coughing a lot, probably some virus they caught at a dog play (they were both vaccinated for kennel cough). Wondering if they were fighting infections as well, Ann felt their lymph nodes. Jasper, our Boston, felt normal, but Lucifer Sam’s right lymph node seemed swollen. We took him to our vet where they took a fine needle aspirate of the lump, but the results were inconclusive. They sent us to the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Hospital, and discovered that he had a malignant melanoma which had started behind an upper molar and spread to his lymph node. The molar was removed, along with a bit of jawbone surrounding it, as well as the lymph node and some surrounding tissue. Unfortunately, the margins of the excised area were not clean, meaning that cancer cells were left behind, and will most likely regrow in the near future as this is an aggressive form of cancer with a poor prognosis.

He spent two nights in the hospital, where he recuperated very well and probably won the hearts of the people there. He is at home with us now. We take him back to get his stitches removed next Tuesday. Each day he gets better and is more active. Even the first day he came home he tried to spin for his food as both he and Jasper do (we didn’t train Lucifer to do this, he just taught himself, and Jasper learned from him). But we realize that even though he may come back to normal and make perfect multiple 360s before every meal, that will be short lived with this horrible disease.

The doctor at the UW told us that Chemotherapy does not respond well with this form of cancer. The other options are an experimental vaccine which is very expensive with only a 20% rate of success, and radiation therapy, which sounds like a horrible ordeal to put a 10 year old dog through. We will try to give him as much comfort as possible in his final weeks, months. or wishfully, years. Stan is concocting dog biscuits for him that are high in anti-oxidants (made with Aconia berries) which might inhibit cancer growth.

We will remember the fun times at Pug get togethers and dog parks, where he happily joined in on running herds of Pugs with his “squeakbarking” and his constant food begging when anyone brought out the treats. We’ll remember how he loved to travel with us when we went to Colorado, like all the dogs we’ve had. And mostly we’ll miss his velcro-ness, a constant companion to Ann when she tried to work during the day (sometimes having to extract him from her side and relocate him to a different place to sit so she could work) and to Stan on the couch/futon in the evening, loving to snuggle under blankets.

It seems too brief of a time to have had such a wonderful dog. It was February 17, 2003 when we lost our first Pug, Hieronymus. And only May of 2010 when we lost our first Boston, Plato. This is too short of a timespan for hearts to heal. If Lucifer Sam hadn’t come down with a cough and Ann hadn’t felt his throat, the progression of the cancer might have been worse.

We do not know how much longer he will be with us, and we will appreciate every remaining minute of his life.

Odd Dream with Animal Farm

Very weird dream, lots of detail, but hard to remember the sequence of events, so here’s just snippets:

In a motel with people. I can’t remember Stan, but I remember another guy, short, brown hair, much younger than me, no idea who it was. We were at one point sitting very close to each other and I put my arm around him and start petting him, but it wasn’t romantic, more like the way I’d pet my dogs. But I didn’t want it to get romantic for him. I remember being on a bus and traveling through what looked like travel promo pictures of Northern Africa…Morocco…minarets and palm trees, but lots of lakes as well, which was odd. I loved all the water. We had to deliver stuff to some place, some stuff wrapped in pink styrofoam insulation sheets. I have no idea what we were delivering. I was driving the bus and when I pulled into the place we were supposed to drop off our load, I couldn’t stop the bus. I pulled up a driveway and kept applying the break, but the bus kept inching ahead very slowly, so it went up on the curb. Then I had to maneuver it to prevent it from smashing into a building. It was very strange.

I also had a strange wild animal that was very friendly. I don’t know what the animal was. It was maybe cat-size, but definitely not a cat. I was in a building that had this wild animal farm around it. There were sheep and the sheep were being herded by some animal. When I went outside of the building, the sheep were running into us (us being the nameless people I was with) I took the other animal that was friendly and tried to carry it with me, but it got wild and wanted to escape.

DREAM: The Velvet Underground Vegetable Spread

Stan and I were in front of a house, looking in. Although it seemed like it was the beginning of some “House Hunters” show, and we were only looking at a house through the the eyes of TV and not part of the physical experience, it changed and it was like we were right there staring inside the house through a large front window. The house seemed like a ranch house that had major remodeling throughout many decades. The kitchen was large and faced the front. All kitchen cabinets were painted brown/light beige in a glossy oil paint, covering all imperfections and many other generations of paint jobs. It was nasty. I don’t think I could ever live in a house with painted kitchen cabinets. I noticed some strange plumbing under the sink, like really old pipes from maybe the 19th century. They too had been painted beige. Nothing in the kitchen was arranged in a normal kitchen layout. The olive green stove was next to the olive green refrigerator on the opposite wall as the sink and other appliances. There were some strange appliances that I didn’t know what they were; I assumed they were trash compactors or some handyman’s desk with drills and widgets. The washer and dryer were also in the kitchen, plus a microwave atop a dishwasher. There were no tables or chairs for sitting down on.

Then people started to appear; older people, not quite aged parents age, maybe more like 65-70 years old or so. But still old enough to have a goofy sense about them. Some older guy seemed to want to offer us some food, and brought out some vegetable dip from the fridge. He said laughingly that it was “Velvet Underground Vegetable Spread.” I thought that was hilarious, and took the plastic tub of spread from him, lifted up the top and spoke into it, “Lou?” Then I said, “Maybe there’s some John Cale in it.” (Get it? Cale? kale? vegetable? Weird how one can make jokes/puns in one’s sleep) But the old people were all being very noisy and didn’t hear my joke. Then Stan tries to say it louder, like “Maybe there’s some John Cale in the vegetable spread” in hopes that would make the old guy laugh. Unfortunately, the guys were old gits and although they were probably the age of the surviving members of the Velvets, there’s a strange sort of age disjointedness that goes on amongst people that they only seem to know about music that preceded them, not music that was created by their generational/chronological peers. Especially music that was as obscure as the VU was at the time they were listening to music in their younger days. These 65-70 year old people in the ugly beige kitchen seemed no different than how I remember 65-70 year old people from 40 years ago.

Then I find the cardboard box that the “Velvet Underground Vegetable Spread” came in and take a look at it. No where on the box did it actually say “Velvet Underground,” so I had to wonder where this guy was coming from, the guy who originally said that. But the box did say something weird. It had the name of my street as the brand or style something. It said “W_______o Street Vegetable Spread.” I went to show it to Stan, telling him that the story gets weirder and weirder.

More About the Paul Ryan Post Below

I have been away from WiFi for over a month…long story, my dad died and I was tied up dealing with a very difficult situation which I will write more about later….maybe.

I received a comment to the previous post by supposedly a young, very young, woman that she thinks Ryan is hot as a vampire and that “he’s got her vote.” Because I was not able to approve it or reply to it in a timely manner due to the above, I will simply state that I sure hope her raging hormones means she is a minor and too young to vote.

You do not vote for a political ticket because you think the candidates are HOT. To what I hope would be most of us, this is obvious. Unfortunately, I fear this attitude is more prevalent than it should be. Need I state that this is not a beauty pageant. Too many people, I am afraid, are going to be voting against their best interests because they think this liar is handsome.

Oh, and as far as a vampire? He has the widow’s peak, but he doesn’t even rate. He’s what we would call a “who bit that one?” type. To Stan and I, Paul Ryan looks more like a Chicago gangster from the 1930s. (Welcome Dustbowl 2012) We nickname him “Mugsy.” I actually felt a bit guilty vamping him up here because it’s an insult to vampire-type guys. But I thought the suck metaphor was appropriate.

The Annual Pig Card Argument

Every time we go to King Soopers in Fort Collins and present our Pig Card (from Piggly Wiggly) at the checkout, they will not accept it. Dude, Piggly Wiggly IS Kroger, just like King Soopers. We go through this every year, them telling us it won’t work, we insisting it’s worked in the past. When we finally persuade the to run it through, they finally run it through, they’re silent. Hmm.

Checked the receipt and we got $16.27 in Sooper Coupon Savings. There’s our Pig Card “not working.”

Next time, it’ll be the same thing all over again.