Tag Archives: family

The strangest dream: the incredible, growing house

photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

One of the (few) things I like about Facebook is that it shows me things that I’ve posted on the same day over the years. It’s interesting to see old photos and status updates.

Today, though, what popped up was a link to a blog post I’d written in 2009, on an old blog, in which I chronicled a dream I’d had a few nights before. I keep a dream journal and often read through it to see if I can decipher messages I’m trying to send to myself. I’m a vivid dreamer and I’m convinced my subconscious talks to me when I sleep.

So when I read the post from seven years ago, I didn’t remember the dream at first. I apparently never wrote it in my journal. But as I read the post it came back . In detail. I could see the rooms, feel the furniture, and I remember the tone of voice people used when they talked to me.

It’s an interesting enough dream to share again. There’s a message in there somewhere, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it comes as the holiday season kicks off. A quick note: I’ve changed or eliminated the names of some people and edited out a few random comments I’d made at the time. But otherwise, here is the dream:

* * * * * * * * * * * *

For some reason, in this dream darling husband David and I had been given a huge, mansion-like house. It had a ground floor, three floors of bedrooms, and then an attic. Cassie, David and I set ourselves up on the third floor, with lovely, huge rooms, big windows, and lots of sunlight and beautiful antique furniture. Continue reading

50 thoughts on turning 50: #27 We are the sum of our ancestors, at least when it comes to fear

Turns out that if you scare the bejeesus out of a mouse, its offspring will be afraid of the same things.

Turns out that if you scare the bejeesus out of a lab mouse, its offspring will be afraid of the same things.

I remember, many years ago, watching an episode of “Touched By An Angel” in which the angel Monica is counseling a young girl brought up in difficult circumstances who is fearful that she’ll go on to live the same life her parents led. Monica assures the girl that just because her parents before her made bad choices in life, it doesn’t mean she has to follow in their footsteps.

“We are not the sum of our ancestors,” says the soft spoken Monica.

I wrote that quote down (as you know, I’m a quote junkie) and have mused on it often over the years. We are not the sum of our ancestors. Or are we?

According to a study out of Emory University, researchers have used olfactory conditioning to study whether or not fear can be passed on genetically to offspring. In other words, if your great grandmother had the bejeesus scared out of her by spiders, does that explain your own spider phobia? Continue reading

Happy New Year – yes, we’re all still here and yes, it’s still madness

Bailey, honing her pillow unstuffing skills

My blogging efforts in the last part of 2011 were lame, I know. I was overwhelmed with sick dogs, barking dogs, fighting dogs, slow computers, and the need to focus writing energies where the money was.

Which means I’m once again chasing page views. From covering “The X Factor” on m Beliefnet blog to my new adventure covering animals & faith at Patheos, I’ve been trying to fit in required writing and researching while managing the dog situation. Which, quite honestly, has consumed almost every waking moment. (And even the non-waking ones; I had a dream recently in which actor Dylan McDermott came over to adopt Bailey. I’m still waiting for him to show up.)

Bandit, not to be outdone, proves he can still unstuff a dog bed and chew a shoe faster than a speeding bullet

So here we are at the start of 2012 and you’re probably wondering how we all are. Well, I’m sitting here trying to type a slow laptop, with no mouse because Bailey has dumped yet another cup of tea on the table where I’m working. I also have very sticky “y”, “n”, “e” and “t” keys, thanks to spilled tea and Murphy stretching his claws out on the keyboard. Yes, you can remove a laptop key but they don’t always go back on so easily.

 Bandit is barking, Bailey is at my feet ready to spring into action should Bandit bark at something interesting. Scout is lying in the kitchen, saving his energy for a round of b-u-b-b-l-e-s, should the opportunity arise. He’s still here, winding down a bit. In fact, we had a rough night.

In fact, I’ve had a year of rough nights. I estimate that from January 22, 2011, when Bailey came home with me, to December 31, 2011, I had maybe 5 full nights of sleep. And that’s a generous estimate. My nights allow for 1 – 3 hours of sleep in a row (that’s the max; since Scout got sick we average about 2 hours at a time). First it was a new puppy who was a wild animal in her crate and needed to go out every few hours until she was potty trained. Now, it’s a sick dog nearing the end of his life.

We still, thankfully, have our daily “Sleepy Nap Time” but I can’t lie on the couch for more than a half hour because it kills my back, hip and knee. I think that’s from that very graceful tumble I took down the stairs a few months ago. My feet slipped out from under me, I went airborne, and WHAM! Landed on my tailbone. I think I whammed my hip, too, so that when I was out with Bandit a few weeks later and he bolted after a cat – he rarely does that, so it was clearly a very special cat – I twisted my ankle. Ta da! Pain in the back, hip and knee.

But I had a really, really grand bruise on my butt for a long time. I mean, Guiness Records worthy in size. Which of course proves that having a grandly padded ass can really be a benefit. Because had I actually been in shape, I most definitely would have broken something.

So you can see how it might be difficult to be creative with all of the barking and fatigue and constant distractions. But on the bright side, Scout – who was given 30 days to live last May – has had 7+ great, normal months, outside of the need to pee every 2 or 3 hours every night. So it’s been a worthwhile trade off.

There you have it: things are pretty much the same as the last time we met. We’re still looking for a home for Bailey – you can read more here. We’re hoping Scout stays as healthy for as long as possible, and when his time comes he goes peacefully in his sleep. (God willing) And I need to go now, because Bandit has stolen my shoes – again.

Daddy and Murphy whack a bat (no goggles required)

Blech.

Yay for the hunting team of Daddy and Murphy the cat! When I was going up to bed, I heard a familiar screeching in the foyer and saw Murphy had trapped … well, I didn’t actually see what it was but I knew from experience that the screeching was a bat.

Blech.

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a bat at the Funny Farm, at least that we know about. Darling husband didn’t know where he’d stashed his standard bat whacking uniform: gloves, a tennis racket, uniform from a county jail smuggled out by an inmate and given to David as a joke, and goggles.

But in bat whacking, time is of the essence, lest the critter escape inside one of the bedrooms and hides in the dark somewhere. Then no one sleeps for weeks. So in this case, there was no time to suit up. A badminton racket and a cat would have to do. Murphy had the bat cornered upstairs, so darling husband followed and after a few seconds of whacking (and pouncing by Murphy), the bat was dead.

Bat awaiting transport.

It is now in our freezer awaiting a trip to the county health dept, where they track whacked bats for rabies.

Ta da! Just another day at the Funny Farm.

Gay marriage legalized in NY

Last week, New York State legalized gay marriage. I don’t know that anyone doubted that it would eventually come to pass, New York being a bastion of liberalism. I confess that I don’t really know how I feel about the new law. But here are some of the things I ponder:

1) Yes, the word “marriage” does have religious meaning for me, so I struggle with pairing “gay” and “marriage”. But even more at the forefront of my dilemma is that the word “marriage” has lost its religious meaning, even for religious people. The divorce rate in this country is astronomical, so I think that unless those who are rallying for “traditional marriage” get their own acts together, the debate over “gay marriage” is a moot point.

2) Just for the record, marriages in the Bible usually involved more than one wife and/or lots of concubines. So the word “traditional marriage” needs to be tempered with “American traditional marriage”. Just saying. Continue reading

It’s been a long, long week at the funny farm

It was a tight squeeze for the dumpster delivery guy getting that thing up our driveway. Notice the hedge.

I just woke up from a nap, and trust me, I needed it.

All week I’ve been dealing with the dogmobile and the mechanic. The Jeep needed to be inspected but the “check engine” light was on. So the mechanic turned it off and told us to drive it to see if the code would turn off .

Trust me, this was not my idea.

On Tuesday, David drove the car around and brought it back; codes still pending. Over the next three days I put more than 300 miles on the car and went to the mechanic’s about 8 times before I finally convinced him (and you know who, who thought this was a good idea) to just fix the dang thing. Then once it was fixed we had to wait until the code cleared. Another 100 miles or so and several trips back and forth yesterday. I finally told the mechanic to just fail the inspection and give me the stupid 10 day extension letter because I was not coming back today.

That’s the condensened version, trust me.

At the same time, we’re having the garage roof fixed, so the dumpster was delivered this week and the roofers have been here all day today.

The dumpster delivery guy broke our outside light backing up his monster truck; it’s a tight squeeze up the driveway so I’m not surprised. But I was surprised when, after he told me he broke it, he said I might want to sweep up the glass so the dogs don’t get hurt. Kinda thought maybe he should have done that.

And the dogs have been giant pains in the rear end today, barking at the roofing guys.

I took them (the dogs, not the roofers) for a nice long walk on the Erie Canal path, hoping it would tire them out so we could come home and take a nap. (You can see more pics on the Bark Around Town blog.)

Scout and Bandit on the Erie Canal path

They seemed good and pooped out when I got home. But no luck. They’ve still barking every 5 minutes at everything. And I can’t just let them out to roam around the yard (which would help; they’d just sit around and watch the guys on the roof), because of the mess in the yard, which won’t be gone until tomorrow.

The good news is that the Jeep has passed inspection fair and square, with no jerking around the system. And despite the barking, I did get a nap. In short 10 minutes spurts. Because while the dogs were barking at the roofers, they were also barking at the neighbor’s lawn guy, who has a penchant for trimming only one side of the hedge, leaving both long, ratty branches intact and clippings all over our side of the hedge.

See the hedge before in the dumpster picture. Maybe the lawn guy thought there was so much going on in our yard we wouldn't notice he didn't finish the job and left the clippings.

But  tomorrow starts a new week. Yay. All I can say is that I’m glad I bought three bottles of wine last night. Because I think I’m going to need all of them.

PS: My daughter just called me from the mall and asked me if I would, and I quote, “throw her black fleece in the wash” so she can wear it tonight. Yeah, I’ll get right on that. Because what I really want to do right now is laundry.

Ah, hunting season! Arrows, antlers and all things camo

Darling husband and his mule deer in Wyoming

It’s official: hunting season is here.

Today is opening day of bow hunting season here in Rochester, a day that’s been eagerly anticipated by darling husband and his friends and family. His cousin Christine lamented this week that she wouldn’t see her husband for the next couple of months.

She’s got it good. Hunting is on my darling husband’s mind 365 days a year.

Officially, hunting season is just a few months out of the year. In reality, though, it’s a year-round activity that includes planning food plots, planting food plots, managing food plots, studying deer habits, scouting perfect tree stand locations, hanging tree stands, organizing hunting equipment, walking the land, and getting together to talk about hunting.

And let’s not forget the countless hours spent pouring over the Cabela’s cataloges, ordering stuff, trying out stuff, sending stuff back, and getting new stuff. The customer service reps for Cabela’s deserve a gold star and a big bonus for dealing with darling husband’s inability to make a decision and stick with it.

As much as I  joke, I understand the obsession with the activity. Some men play golf, some play poker, my husband likes to be in the woods. At least we get a tasty meal out of it.

What I don’t get is the need for all of the stuff.

Take a look at one wall of darling husband’s hunting room, or as our daughter calls it, “the kill room”: Continue reading