Monday, December 7, 2015

Be what you would like to see

I don't know about you guys, but the crap on the news has been depressing me.
I am sick to death of all of the ugliness and shootings and bombings and hatefulness.
I'm also just worn out with all of the politics that we are constantly being bombarded with.  For the LOVE OF GOD, we have eleven more months of this crap before we get to vote...and then it is likely going to be reminiscent of the South Park episode where the kids had to vote on a new mascot and their choices were between a Douche Bag and a Shit Sandwich.

 
We are well into the month of December, and I have been struggling to pull my head out of all of the negative and get into the holiday spirit.  It has been an uphill battle this year.

 
Until yesterday...

 
I hang out with a fantastic group of women, the infamous (we believe) Funkalicious Alabama Kudzu Queens. I cannot adequately explain the number of times and the variety of ways that these ladies have impacted my life.

 
For the most part, we are a loosely regulated coalition of multifarious women. I say loosely regulated because our group's guiding rules are not very strict: 


  1. Pay our yearly dues.
  2. Don't do anything to get us arrested or get our children taken away.
  3. Show up as often as you can.
  4. Love one another.
  5. Support one another.
Multifarious because, well, we are.  Our ages range from early thirties to late sixties.  Our professions are extremely diverse: business owner, chemist, engineer, travel agent, nurses, controller, fitness instructor, interior designer, domestic goddess, etc. We are single, married, divorced; with and without children.
We convene monthly for our "liquid lunches" (that should be self-explanatory).  And several times a year, we try to use our many combined talents, resources, and just plain awesomeness for the forces of good.


Recently, a member of our group, Rebecca, became aware of a serious issue right here close to home. There are several families in our local community that have a difficult time providing food for their elementary school aged children on weekends and whenever school is out. Several organizations have been sending food home for these kids in backpacks on the weekends. However, Christmas vacation is on the horizon and these kids are looking at 17 days straight of no school breakfasts or lunches.
We (Rebecca) identified 16 families with a combined total of 38 kids that really needed some help. (Rebecca got with the principal & some of the teachers at the elementary school. The kids and their families we chose were vetted by the principal and teachers. Those of you out there in the education system know that it’s the teachers and school administrators who REALLY know the stories of the children in their care.) In a lot of cases, you have grandparents who have been thrown into the task of raising children on a fixed income…or single parents who are just struggling to make ends meet.
The KQs as a group decided to raise money amongst ourselves, as well as our friends and associates  to provide care packages for these families so that these kids will have something to eat while they are out of school for Christmas break. We each gave what money we could, several ladies put boxes out at their work places to collect items, and we put the call out far and wide for donations.
The response was fantastic.
We raised approximately $1800.

Yesterday, 6 of us out of the group met together to do the shopping for the care packages:
 
 

 

We bought non-perishable items such as: cans of ravioli, spaghetti & meatballs, breakfast bars, ramen noodles, Spam ( I have been assured that kids love this, even though I cannot stand the smell of it myself), mac n' cheese, apple sauce, fruit cups, juice boxes, etc. (we made sure not to get anything with peanuts!)  We stuck primarily to the stuff with some nutritional value...though we did include some chips...'cause everyone needs a little treat.
 

 



You know what really, really made my day?
While we shopped, we kept a running tab on what we were spending...by the time we had everything we wanted in the quantities we needed, we calculated we'd be about $16 short. The six of us shopping were just going to split the extra...but on our way to the register a lady stopped and asked us what we were doing...when we told her, she handed us a $20. God is truly shown in the kindness of strangers.

There wasn't a dry eye among us as we put that lady's $20 with the rest of our money and proceeded to check out.




At the register, we got another pleasant surprise.  Because we were spending so much and Rebecca was a "Plus" member, we got $10 back for every $500 we spent.
We hadn't calculated that in our original tally, and we had money left over.
So...we had a quick little conference...and we'll be getting each of the families a Christmas ham to go along with everything else.

Next week, we'll be getting together to put the packages together for delivery to the families.

This experience has finally put me in the Christmas spirit.
It has reminded me that there are good, kind, giving people still out there.
It has reminded me that there is more beauty than ugly out there.
And it has reminded me that if I want the world to look different I need to "Be What I Want to See" in the world.
A modern twist to "Man in the Mirror", I'm changing the "Chick in the Selfie"





Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Holiday blues

Last week, Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, tweeted about having an embarrassing encounter while on travel.  What ensued were hordes of tweets about the embarrassing things or awkward occurrences that others have had.  Jenny has an awesome following and the tweets they shared are absolutely hilarious.
You can see them here or here.

I attempted to tweet about one of my most disconcerting experiences EVER, but alas, my mortification is such that it cannot be condensed into a 140-character synopsis.
My story begins shortly after Christmas, some time in the early 90s.

Jeff and I had been out somewhere.  It was really, really cold and wet and nasty out and Jeff had gotten a chill that he couldn't shake...so he decided to hop in the shower when we got home.

Jeff: Marianne!  Come here!

Me: What? What's wrong?

Jeff (pulling the shower curtain back and tilting his left upper body out): Look at my left arm and chest!  It's all blue.

Me: Ohmygod!  Do you feel okay?

Jeff: I dunno...it kinda feels a little tingly or something, I think.

Me: Get out and dry off!  I'm calling an ambulance!

Jeff: No, don't do that.  Hold on.

Me: Hold on!  Hold on?  You could be having a heart attack.  How does your chest feel?

Jeff: Well, now that you mention it...maybe it does feel a little funny.

Me: We're going to the hospital!

Jeff: Well, don't call an ambulance, we'll just drive.

Me: You are NOT driving!  I will.

So he gets re-dressed and we bundle back into the car.  I drive like a bat-out-of-Hell lunatic to the hospital.  The whole way is like:

Me: How are you doing?

Jeff: I dunno.  I think I feel a little funny.

Me: Anything hurting?

Jeff: No.  But I think I might be a little short of breath.

More acceleration

I practically skid into the Emergency Room parking lot sideways, pull up straight to the door and go in and grab the first medical-type person I see: "My husband is having a heart attack!" They grab a wheel chair and unload him from the car.
I quickly slam into the first parking space I can find and race into the ER where they have him on a gurney and are taking his blood pressure and temperature.
Then a nurse comes up with a bag of  saline and tells him to take off his shirt and put on a hospital top so that she can start an IV.
She gets everything set and takes his arm to put the IV in...gets out an alcohol prep and disinfects the crook of his arm with it. She also rubbed the blue off.
She held the swab up  so we could all see with a look of "Huh?" on her face.
That's when it all clicked.
My grandmother had given Jeff a brand new Tommy Hilfiger shirt for Christmas.  It looked a lot like this:



Jeff had worn it for the first time that night in the cold rain.
He hadn't washed it prior to wearing it and the indigo dye had rubbed off on his skin.


Jeff and I looked at one another across that ER triage room as we both came to the same realization.
Jeff calmly took the blood pressure cuff off of his arm, the oxygen sensor off of his finger and changed back into his shirt.  He got up off the gurney.  As he walked past me, I handed him the car keys.  He never uttered a word.
I was left there to explain to the doctor and two nurses what had happened and to close out the paper work.
I am sure that it is a story that they still tell to this day.  Luckily, they were all chortling so hard, they didn't charge us anything for our whirlwind visit.
So even though Jeff was the primary focus of this tale of chagrin, it was still pretty embarrassing to have to apologize to the Emergency Room staff for not washing my husband's new shirt before he wore it.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The glaring facts about my household

Did you know that a group of cats is called a glaring?  I have enough feline population in my house to actually say I have a glaring.
In honor of National Cat Day, I'd like to formally introduce my brood:

First up, Kendall:


She's our oldest cat...somewhere around the 13-14 year old age.  She recently cost me a small fortune and the better part of my day off when I thought she was dying of terminal cancer that was bloating her body and causing her distress.  Turns out she was just fat and had a UTI.
Also?  Every time our daughter has had a boyfriend of any duration, when they'd break up and the guy quit coming around, Kendall would go into mourning and groom all of the fur off of her stomach.

Then there is Izby:



He was the runt of the litter of a feral cat living underneath one of Mileena's friend's house.  We got him when he was teeny tiny. Being the runt, he always had sort of a fragile constitution.  He is also incredibly bow-legged:
These days, he isn't such a delicate flower anymore.  He does have a weird fascination with the sticky sheets from lint rollers.  He begs for them.  Seriously.  He'll hear you using the lint roller, come running and meow at you until you tear off a sheet and stick it on his back.  At that time he will act as if his back end is paralyzed:






But after he's schlumped around the house dragging his back legs behind him for awhile, he stops and pulls the sheet off his back and eviscerates it:





Then there's Daisy Faye:


Isn't she precious?  Daisy only weighs a tich over 5 pounds, and she's two and half years old.  We just got her spayed because the vet really wanted her over 5 pounds pre-surgery.  Being such a dainty, sweet looking thing, you'd have no idea what a whirling dervish she becomes when you try to do anything besides pet or play with her.  Cleaning ears, clipping nails, administering medication?? It's about like oiling a running chainsaw.  I took her back to the vet's office to get her stitches removed and the vet was, "Would you like to hold your baby while I get these stitches out?" and I was all, "Hell no, I'm not paying $50 for this visit just to bleed my own blood, thank you very much." It took the vet and two techs to get the four stitches out.  I was the only one unscathed.  That was half a Benjamin I got my value out of.

Here's Daisy having a Maury Povich-style throw down for squatting rights to the world's most cherished cat-possession: a cardboard box.








Finally, there's Maxx:
Maxx is 18+ pounds of Laid-back dude.

And I mean LAAAAAAID back.

There are only a couple of things that get him riled.  One of the things that Maxx does not care for?
Hats.


Birthday hats get on his nerves...but he really, really hates hats that are foreign.  He is not one who appreciates the celebration of Cinco De Mayo...lemme tell you.



The other thing that Maxx cannot stand? (and that I cannot explain?  Because let's be honest, the hat thing surprises no one.  Cat in the Hat, my butt, Dr. Seus. Find me a tam o'shanter wearing tabby that is happy about it. I dare you.)
Anyway, where was I? Oh...Maxx's other peeve...the HVAC system in our house.
He goes around the entire first floor pulling the vent covers off:


I've even caught him attempting to pull apart the return grill.

Jeff's of the opinion that Maxx doesn't actually hate the HVAC system, but thinks that it is a potential escape route to the great outdoors.  He (Maxx, not Jeff) is very convinced that he is a wild beast that needs to poop in real dirt (honestly, the few times he's gotten past us and darted outside, he ran to the nearest bald patch in the yard and dug a spot and pooped. What's up with that?)  But since he is basically the color of smoke and shadows, we can't let him out or we'd never find him again.

So this is my clowder (that's another word for a group of cats).  Hope you enjoyed meeting them.







Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Doctor's Orders

The About 3 years ago, our Golden Retriever, Simba, (then only two years old) started having seizures.  They were very frightening, but were infrequent. 
 


The very first one happened in the peak of summer while playing his very favorite thing in the world: fetch the tennis ball.





(I wish that ANYTHING made as happy as a tennis ball makes Simba.)






We had been playing ball for quite some time in the middle of the afternoon on a hot-as-the-hinges-of-hell Alabama summer day...so when Simba started staggering and looking disoriented, we thought we'd let him over-do it and that he was having a heat-stress related episode.

A couple of months later, it happened when we were inside and nothing special was going on...we managed to bundle him in the car and get him to the vet's office...at which time he had completely recovered and the vet couldn't really determine what had happened.

As time went on, we managed to record an episode...we went back to the vet and they determined that he had mild epilepsy...not uncommon in goldens.  They put him on a six-month regimen of anti-seizure meds and told us to keep track of any episodes.  After six months, he had only had one very quick, very mild attack.  So we went back for his checkup and the vet said we'd keep him on this medication.
However, the cost of the medication had gone up significantly...when they gave us the 6-months supply, the cost had been about $70.  Now, a one-month supply was gonna run about $60 at the vet's office. The vet tech on hand suggested that I call around local pharmacies and see what their cash price would be.
I did...and CVS (where we humans in our family get our meds filled) had the lowest price...$16.29 for a month.
The vet gave me the written prescription and I dropped it off.  The pharmacy chick asked me what Simba's birthday was...I told her I wasn't sure on the exact date...but that he'd been born in November of 2010...so she tells me that she's just gonna put 11-01-10 into the system.  I told her fine...that I'd be by the next day to pick it up.

Next day, new pharmacy chick:

Me: I'd like to pick up a prescription I dropped off yesterday for Arensmeyer

PC: Yes ma'am.  Oh...you should know that your insurance didn't cover this.

Me: I know.  Simba isn't on my insurance.

PC: Oh. Okay.  Well, I need his driver's license number, because Phenobarbital is a controlled substance.

Me: Simba is my dog. He's also only five.  Either way, no driver's license.

PC: Well, I have to have a driver's license number.

Me: Why don't I give you mine?

PC: He has to be a family member.

Me: He's my DOG.

PC: But this is a controlled substance.

Me: Can you use my driver's license number if I say I'm his mother?

PC: Yes, but your insurance will probably still not cover it.

Me: (sigh) I understand.  BECAUSE HE'S A DOG. It's okay. Don't try to run it through insurance.

PC: I really am supposed to have some identification for the patient.

Me: (Heavy sigh) Well, he's a dog, so he doesn't have any identification.

PC: What is your son's Date of Birth?

Me: (Heavier sigh) November 2010.





Hope it's not this complicated every month.





Friday, October 16, 2015

My Friday Off

It started well enough.
 
Slept in 'til about 7:30, made a cup of coffee, went out onto the back porch with Simba to enjoy the crisp October morning.
 

Then I check my phone while I'm enjoying my morning java and see the text from Jeff that he sent to me.  He'd had to work today, and so was up early and fed the animals.  He also had to deal with cleaning up cat scat.  For the past few weeks, we'd been having some inappropriate bathroom (or lack thereof) behavior out of our oldest cat, Kendall.
Also...while she has never been the most petite flower in the garden, she had seemed to put on some pretty significant weight lately.
 
I gathered up my relaxing, coffee drinking paraphernalia and went inside to gather up the cat to take her to the vet.
 
I went in to the vet's office really thinking that he would tell me that she had abdominal tumors. They are common in cats her age (13), particularly tabbies.
Well, 3 1/2 hours later, a significant loss of hair by Kendall:


Yes, I wore yoga pants to the vet's office.  Turn me in to What Not to Wear...anything Clinton and Stacy would've put me in would have just been covered in cat hair too.

And a significant DECREASE in my bank account:

 
and the verdict came back...Urinary Tract Infection.
The vet WAS pretty certain that something was up with how large her girth was.  He sonogrammed for tumors and/or fluid, he even did a abdominal tap with a syringe...final diagnoses was TFA (The Fat Ass).
He gave me a prescription antibiotic ($56.44) and told me to keep her isolated with her own litter box until things were better.  He also suggested that I monitor her caloric intake while she was not eating with the collective. (To counteract TFA).
 
Since Mileena is away at college (probably won't be home until Thanksgiving) I decided to sequester Kendall in her bathroom.
 
For the past hour Kendall has been loudly singing the song of her people in protest of her incarceration.
The others have set up a vigil to show their solidarity in the face of this injustice.

 
I'm out $300 and the larger part of my "day off".
Sigh.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Collared






Now, I don't get political on my blog.  This is...99% of the time... a fun and goofy place.  And I don't want this post to be political, per se.  Even if it is about a politician....it's not about that politician's politics...if you get my drift.


But I do have to bring to your attention a very serious issue that the media seems to have largely ignored.  An issue that something has GOT to be done about.  Not just for the good of our nation, but for the good of mankind.


I'm talking about Hillary Clinton's horrible collar choices.


It's been an issue for YEARS, but her absurd collar facination reached its peak hideousness at this year's Iowa State Fair:








Who let her appear in public wearing this?  She's running for  the highest office in our great nation...doesn't she have a campaign manager or something?  The gingham print...I guess I understand because she was going to a state fair.  But what is with the gigantic neck hole bordered by a 4" tall stiff collar?  Is it so she can take it on and off without unbuttoning it or messing up her hair?

That's when I started looking at older photos of Hillary and realized that this affliction of hers for bad collar choices has been building for some time.

I think it started innocently enough.  Who among us hasn't donned a Mandarin style collar and found it flattering?



But then the collars started getting a little too stiff





And a little too high




And then the neck holes started to grow



Yet no one said anything and the travesty continued its downward spiral.


Don't you try a charming wink at ME, Hillary.  That collar is out of hand.


And you can't just put lace on it and call it "fancy" either.  You look like your neck is the center tier of a wedding cake.

I think it is about time that we, as a nation, demand that these collar atrocities cease.  Need I point out AGAIN that Hillary Clinton is running for President of the United States?  Do you know how much influence such a person can have on the fashion trends of the times?  Just look at Sarah Palin...love her or hate her, there's no denying the hair bumps that started appearing EVERYWHERE after she became the Republican VP nominee.  If we don't stop this collar aberration now...we will all be walking around in jackets that look like we're wearing a dog's cone of shame come election day 2016.

Also...I have a theory about from whence Hillary's collar pathos came.

I have read numerous accounts of how, when she was a child, the young Miss Hillary Diane Rodham wrote a letter to NASA, beseeching them to allow her into the Space Program.  She claims that they wrote her back telling her that women couldn't be astronauts and crushed her ambition for participation in manned (wommaned?) space flight.

I think that Hillary's crushed dreams of being part of a mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before created a deep seated unrequited longing.  A longing that has manifested itself in her poor clothing choices.

Observe and tell me I'm wrong:



































They allow women in space now, Hil.  It's time to let it go.
LET. IT. GO.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Baggage



I do not spend a lot of money on luggage.

I do travel a good bit, but it's usually on business and no one who knows me ever sees my bags.  All I care about is how much stuff I can get in it and how easily it rolls.
My current "go to" piece of luggage was purchased at Walmart about 10 years ago.  I like it because it has a pull handle and you can either roll it behind you, or you can roll it beside you...the wheels are "spinner" type wheels so they are multi-directional.  There's even a zippered expander for the main compartment.
I can get more stuff in this bag than I can afford for it to weigh. (Anything over 50 lbs will cost you more on most airlines).
I think I paid $48.95 for it.

Two weeks ago, I flew to Maryland on a business trip, and my luggage served me just fine.  Before I left, I had to get the lint roller and de-cat-hair the outside...because the cats LOVE my luggage. I got home from that trip and unpacked and then repacked to go stay with my mother for her knee surgery.

My mother says that my bag has to go.

She was hopped up on pain pills when I went down to the car and brought my bag up to the hospital room, and she was brutally honest with me.


Iz good to stand besides and sharpens your clawz


Iz also good to stand on top of and sharpens your clawz


On the other hand, you know how there's signs at the airport that tell you to look carefully before you take off with your luggage because lots of bags look alike? I don't have that problem.


Plus, no one is ever going to try to steal it.

She told me that my bag was an embarrassment and made me throw a blanket over it so the nurses wouldn't see.
I really had not taken a good hard look at it in awhile...because it was still functioning just fine.

But she may have a point.

I think my next luggage purchase will need to be a hard shell.



Thursday, September 24, 2015

The long and short of it


My daughter took my hand, leaned in close and looked me square in the eye.


"Mom." she said firmly, carefully enunciating her words. "I think it is AWESOME that you can fit into the shorts that you haven't been able to wear since the 90's. I. Am. So. Proud. Of. You."


"Awwww, sweetie, thanks! That means..."


"Hold on. I'm not finished.  I DO think it is awesome.  But I'm going to need you to do something for me."


"Huh?  What?"


"When you get home, I need you to take them off and throw them away."


"But why? I don't underst...."


"Mother.  Listen to me."


"Okay."


"Those shorts are corduroy. And faded. And well, they are just horrible."


"It's a narrow wale corduroy! I mean it's not like..."


"Mother, I swear to God, I will light them on fire right now."


"Fiiiiine.  I won't wear them again."


Are they really that bad?


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The eyes have it


Today...sometime about 8 hours after I put them on, I noticed that I was wearing the wrong pair of glasses.  I was wearing my daughter's, and to be fair, we have the same prescription.  I don't know how I got them, though, since she doesn't live at home anymore. Oooo...I wonder if I picked them up last weekend when her dad and I crashed at her place after tailgating in Tuscaloosa for 12 straight hours?

Anyway, the reason I FINALLY noticed they were hers is because they were bugging my nose and I realized that they were missing an eye piece.

I decided to go get my dollar-store reading glasses and scavenge the eye piece off of them.  So I get my little tool kit out and get the eye piece off of my reading glasses...then I realize I can't see well enough to put the itty bitty screw into the hole of the glasses that I apparently stole from my daughter when I stayed at her house last weekend.  Oh yeah!  That's why I HAVE reading glasses...I remember now.


So here's where I'm at now...I've lost BOTH of the itty bitty screws and now can't reattach the nose piece to either the regular glasses or my reading glasses.
I can neither see near or far.
How was your day?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Requiem for Rosie

Yesterday, my sweet 15-year old Lab Mix, Rosie died.  I had been really concerned about her for quite some time.  I mean...15 is OLD for a dog her size.  And she was missing a leg.



Here's a picture of her when she still had all of her appendages.

She and Mileena had been napping.  Rosie had just given her "sugar".  Mileena was all, "Ew, dog slobber!"
When Rosie was fairly young, she was hit by a car.  She survived the accident but had some significant damage to the nerves in her shoulder.  The vet begged me repeatedly to just let him remove the leg.  But I HATED the idea of her losing her leg.  So we went to great lengths to help her keep it.  Every morning and evening, I did rehab exercises with her.  And she did get to where she could use it to some extent...sort of like a crutch.  But she kept it scraped up...and then she'd obsessively lick it.  So I ended up ordering her specially made boots from Ireland:


I spent more on footwear for my dog back then than I did on myself.



And the vet put her on doggie Prozac for her OCD. (I know!)   Eventually, however, she got it pretty seriously infected and we ended up letting the vet remove it.
She never even missed it.  She was running around the backyard 2 days after her surgery looking A LOT happier than when she'd been dealing with her leg that didn't work too well.
Jeff even taught her to "air shake"...He'd have her sit, then put out his hand and say "Air shake!" and her little shoulder knob would make the motions like she was doing her shake.  She was very proud of herself.






She was a very happy dog.  She got along with all of the cats.  She was well loved by the other two dogs.  She was a very, very good girl.
In honor of her passing...I will share with you (for some of you...I'm sharing again) one of Rosie's finest hours.
I give you the story of: Rosie, Possum-Slayer!


Back in 2007-2008, my husband, Jeff, and I spent about a year taking his parents to Tulsa, Oklahoma from Anniston, Alabama for his dad’s chemo treatments at the Cancer Treatment Center of America.  (This was before CTCA built a center in Atlanta). His treatments were 6 weeks apart, and we took turns taking them.  Usually we would drive them, but one trip in early January, not being confident on how the weather would behave, and since we’re from Alabama and all we know how to do if it snows is buy milk and bread, we were flying.  This trip was an especially bad one.  It seemed like everything that could go wrong, did.  After three days in the land of chemotherapy we were on our way back THROUGH the Dallas airport with a 4 hour layover.  (I have discovered that you cannot get from Birmingham, Alabama to Tulsa, Oklahoma.  It is NOT DONE.  You have to sneak in from another city, like Dallas or Atlanta or Houston.)  Anyway, finally, at 8:00 pm we have landed back in B’ham and are ready to get our bags, get the van and head home…that takes ‘til about 9:00.  And of course it is POURING DOWN rain.  I am white-knuckling the steering wheel for the first 25 miles, when the rain finally lets up enough for me to call Jeff and tell him that I’m about 35-40 minutes away from home.
 
I get the in-laws home, and drive to our house.  When I get there, Jeff gets my bags out of the van, hands me a drink that he's already made for me and tells me that I should grab a book and Rosie, the three-legged wonder dog and go sit where I can hear the rain and unwind and relax a bit.  It’s about 10:30 by this time and I’m wound tighter than a spring.  “Don’t worry about anything, babe, I’ll unpack your bag,” he says.  So...I raise the garage door, get a book, my drink, and a camp chair and invite Rosie to join me in the garage as I start trying to loosen up. 
 
Pictured above: Rosie, the wonder dog, giving a terrifying yawn) 
I’m readin’ and sippin’ and starting to unwind a bit when out of the corner of my eye, I catch something moving.  I look up, and there is a POSSUM crossing the driveway.  Not a big possum, one about double the size of a squirrel, but STILL!!!  Are possums not the most skanky looking animals in the WORLD (or at least in the Southeast) or what? 

Well, Rosie jumps up and runs her three-legged self right out into the driving rain, runs around the car parked in the drive and then comes back WITH THE POSSUM IN HER MOUTH!!!  She’s trotting around in the driveway, getting soaking wet, when I holler at her (I want to say right here that I am a college degreed mechanical engineer, but certain circumstances cause me to revert to behavior such as HOLLERIN’) “Rosie, drop that possum RIGHT NOW!”  She opens her mouth and THUD!  Right in the middle of my driveway she drops the dead possum and comes back up the drive and into the garage.  I shoo her in the house, and walk to the bottom of the stairs and holler (I’m still in hollerin’ mode), “Jeff!  YOUR DOG has killed something!”  I then stalk back out to the garage and sit back down in my chair and look at the possum…it’s still in the drive, it’s fur getting all matted and nasty looking in the rain.  Jeff comes out and takes a look…he’s barefoot, because he had gotten up in a hurry to see exactly what was going on.  Then he actually looks at me and says, “Ah, I can’t get it, I’m barefoot.”  I put THE LOOK on my face and said, “Look, bucko, if you think I am going to deal with a dead, nasty BEAST after the three days I have put in…not to mention the NERVE WRACKING drive I just made, you are so, so mistaken.  I’m sure if you look it up, dead animals DEFINITELY falls under the “Man Duty” heading.  You may have been lucky enough to marry a woman who can put the gas grill together, but I am NOT taking care of a dead possum.”  I believe I had my hand on my hip by this point.

So Jeff shuffles barefoot back into the house (I hear him stop to praise Rosie for being such a “good girl, gettin’ that bad ole possum”) and up the stairs to get his shoes.  He’s up there awhile…maybe 10 minutes.  Then I hear him back in the kitchen looking for rubber gloves (wuss) and getting a trash bag.  I’m trying to read my book and sip my drink, but I keep looking up at the carcass in my drive.  Jeff’s still banging away in the kitchen after the rubber gloves (you KNOW he really wants me to come in and find them for him) when the possum TWITCHES!!  Creepy, unnatural, not healthy-like twitchin’…
"Well, crap!”, I say to myself,  “The only thing worse than a DEAD POSSUM in my driveway is a HALF-DEAD POSSUM in my driveway.”  I’m thinking that Jeff’s going to have to go to the shed and get the shovel and put the poor (but disgusting) thing out of its misery.  This is not going to make anyone’s night…not mine, not Jeff’s, certainly not the possum’s.  I stand up to go give him the good news, just as the possum raises its head…it looks around, gets to its feet, gives itself a good shake and then trots on off to the bushes.  The tip of its gross, pink rat-tail had just vanished under the boxwoods as Jeff comes out of the kitchen and into the garage.  He has donned his rubber gloves and has the possum disposal bag in hand.  His jaw is set as he gets ready to do his manly duty…and I have to tell him that the possum was, well, playin’ possum.  It had lain there mouth open, eyes glassy, fur matted in the torrential downpour for AT LEAST 15 minutes, and then just trotted off!!  We both go back inside, Jeff stripping off the rubber gloves…to be confronted by Rosie...who is in quite a state.  She is giving us such a REPROACHFUL look that I can almost hear what she is thinking which must have been something like, “I am a three-legged dog…do you KNOW how often I see any kind of action like that?  Not only do you call me OFF my possum, but then you let it get away.” I did the only thing I could do to make amends…I gave her some bacon and promised her I’d tell EVERYONE what a brave, brave dog she was for “gitin’ that possum.” 







R.I.P., sweet girl.  I will miss you.