Friday, October 30, 2015

One Long Week

And one long post to tell you about it.

So. My vet woes continue.

On Tuesday evening, Big (my beloved German Shepherd, for anyone maybe not aware) started acting weird. He's just kind of weird in general—all my animals are (my influence, I'm sure)—but Tuesday night it was multiplied and intensified. He was agitated and restless and couldn't lay down for more than 30 seconds before getting up to pace some more. He climbed on the couch and laid down, and then began the dry heaving.

Only it wasn't really dry heaving because an insane amount of drool was just falling out of his mouth. But anyway, he was attempting to vomit without any luck of getting anything out of his system.

After about 10 minutes of this, the decision was made to take Big to the emergency vet because everything he was doing were classic symptoms of a little thing called Bloat.

In the event that you're not familiar with Bloat, it's a disease where the dog's stomach will flip or twist or both. It's a time sensitive issue that will result in the dog's death if not treated in time.

So we bundled up Big, put him in the car and tracked down an emergency 24-hour veterinary hospital. Because I would rather they had told me nothing was wrong before laughing me out of the office than take the risk of his condition actually being Bloat.

But they didn't laugh me out of the office. They did x-rays and confirmed that his stomach had, indeed, twisted, and the only treatment options were Super Expensive Surgery or humane euthanasia.

We opted for the Super Expensive Surgery. I am so very grateful that we were in a financial position that allowed us to take the Super Expensive Surgery option. I was not ready to say good-bye to my boy. Truth be told, I will NEVER be ready to say good-bye to my boy. I understand that I will have to someday, for he will not live forever, but I wasn't prepared for it to happen on Tuesday night. So if there was a chance that this surgery could save his life, we were going to do it.

Well, we wen't going to do it. We didn't go to veterinary school, but you know what I mean.

Now, I'm sure this has been made clear upon multiple occasions on this blog, but in case it hasn't, I am the dog mom from hell. I'm the dog mom who's so involved with her dogs that she correctly diagnosed Bloat within ten minutes. Which is great if you're saving your dog's life, but is probably less great if you're, say, a vet tech at a 24-hour emergency veterinary clinic and your job is to tell me to go home and leave my dog in their care. If you're curious, it went a little something like this:

Vet Tech: All right, you can go home now.
Me: Yeah, you'd like that, wouldn't you?
Vet Tech: Very much.
Me: Too bad—I'll be camping out in your waiting room until my dog can come home with me.
Vet Tech: That will be days.
Me: I hope the chairs are comfy. Unless, of course, you'll let me stand in the operating room and then the recovery room. Would you? I'll be real quiet and just stand in the corner, I swear.
Vet Tech: Please go home.

The Man finally got me to leave by reminding me that I had another dog and two cats who also needed my attention. So I went home and paced until the doctor who did perform the surgery called me at 1:30am to tell me that Big had made it through surgery and stood a good chance to survive the night. (Amazingly enough, this did not make me sleep better. Or at all.) Because the problem had been caught so early, there was no dead stomach. (Also, learning the phrase 'stomach death' could be applied to her dog, does not help over-involved dog moms sleep, either.) The doctor promised to call me again later in the morning to give me another update.

That update consisted of, "He's doing well, and if he continues to do so, he could probably go home on Thursday." And then, when I pressed for details, the doctor added, "You can call as many times as you want to check on him."

Challenge accepted.

The vet techs I spoke to were all very, very polite and professional and reassured me each and every single time I called that Big was still marching down that road to recovery. But I imagine that on the inside they were more like this:

Me: Hey, it's me again.
Them: No shit.
Me: How's my dog?
Them: You know, when we told you you could call as many times as you wanted, we were just being polite.

I told you, dog mom from hell. That's me. I make no effort to deny it.

It was determined that Big—after eating, normal bowel movements, and repeatedly breaking out of his recovery room and walking around as though he owned the hospital (also, my influence, I assume)—could come home Thursday afternoon. One would think, after being told that I could finally bring my dog home, that I would have been pleased with this news. Instead, I was more...suspicious.

Me: You're sending him home because he's healthy enough to do so, right? Not because I won't stop calling you?
Them: He's healthy enough, we swear.
Me: Really?
Them: Oh no! The hospital is going through a tunnel! We're losing you! *click*

So, Big came home with a foot-long surgical incision, five different medications, and a Cone of Shame the size of a satellite dish (he gets great reception.). We have to keep him calm and quiet and sequestered in a small area to help protect his stitches, which will be removed in two weeks. This means that I am, once again, restricted to working only when Big is asleep, which obviously happens, as I was able to write a blog post roughly the length of a David Foster Wallace novel. (Just don't ask how long it took to write...)

But it's okay.

Because I still have my boy.

But please, oh please, oh please—let this be the end of our vet visits for a while!

Monday, October 26, 2015

List Maker

Today, I am taking part in the Listing Fest, hosted by Bish Denham and the ninja captain himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Participants are asked to create a list 5-25 items long. The topic is completely up to the blogger.

After signing up, I went through several possible list topics, but ultimately decided to go with a list of...

My Definitive Ranking of Firefly Episodes

(Please note that I love each and every single episode of this show. And in the interest of time, I shall limit myself to one or maybe two favorite quotes from each episode.)


Harken: You fought with Captain Reynolds in the war?'
Zoe: Fought with a lot of people in the war.
Harken: And your husband?
Zoe: Fight with him sometimes, too.


Simon: So, what are we doing?
Kaylee: Oh, crime.
Simon: Crime! Good! Okay. Crime.


Kaylee: Wash, tell me I'm pretty.
Wash: Were I unwed, I would take you in a manly fashion.
Kaylee: Because I'm pretty?
Wash: Because you're pretty.


10. SAFE

Zoe: Captain will come up with a plan.
Kaylee: Well, that's good.
Zoe: Possible you're not recalling some of his previous plans.


Mal: The next time you decide to stab me in the back, have the guts to do it to my face.


(this was a double episode, so I'm giving myself two quotes here.)

Mal: I believe that woman's plannin' to shoot me again.
Jayne: Here's a little concept I've been workin' on: why don't we shoot her first?
Wash: It is her turn.


Zoe: I know something ain't right.
Wash: Sweetie, we're crooks. If everything were right, we'd be in jail.



Wash: Little River just gets more colorful by the moment. I wonder what she'll do next.
Zoe: Either blow us all up or rub soup in her hair. It's a toss-up.
Wash: I hope she does the soup thing. It's always a hoot, and we all don't die from it.


Mal: Help me find our man.
Kaylee: Is that him?
Mal: That's the buffet table.
Kaylee: Well, how can we be sure unless we question it?


Jayne: I'll be in my bunk.

(and just one more...)

River: No power in the 'verse can stop me.


Wash: We gotta go to the crappy town where I'm a hero!



Kaylee: Catalyzer on the port compression coil blew. It's where the trouble started.
Mal: Okay, I need that in captain dummy talk, Kaylee.

WHY OH WHY did Fox have to cancel this show?

All right, I have to go now. Between reliving my love for this show and last night's episode of The Walking Dead, all I want to do now is this:

See y'all next time...

Monday, October 19, 2015

Last Week Today

Last week, the Gator Girl was in the cone of Shame, Big was dealing with a medical condition of his own, and I was one the verge of running away and changing my name. This week, both dogs continue to be on the mend, but one of the cats has developed a medical condition of her own.

I didn't have to call the vet last week, though, so I at least achieved that goal. I'm thinking, however, that I'll have to call the vet this week. I'm pretty sure I have a personalized ring tone in their office now. That cash register sound—ca-ching, ca-ching, ca-ching!

I do have another cat, and if she develops a medical condition next week, I really will just run away. Though, I have to admit that it's been extremely considerate of my animals to limit their issues to one pet per week.

But things are supposed to come in threes, right, so this should be the end of it. Right?


In other goal-related news, I did achieve my fitness goal (walk/run/bike at least two miles per day). I only earned a cookie one day, however, so I'm going through a bit of cookie withdrawal. It's not a pretty sight. I'll keep the same goal this coming week, and try to earn more cookies.

Which leaves the writing goal.

If you'll recall, last week, I was three (five) scenes away from being finished with my never-ending WIP, Second Nature. I decided to cut the two scenes about which I wasn't sure—at least for the time being. Perhaps in rewrites, I shall decide the novel cannot survive without them. But, it can for now. That got me down to three scenes without any parenthesis.

I worked on one of the three remaining scenes, and it is technically finished—meaning there's no INSERT SOMETHING HERE notes—but I just...I don't think it was particularly finished well. There's, like, a 99.9% chance that it'll have a pretty decent revision in the revision stage.

So, here's my question...Can I count it as being finished? Can I say that it's good enough for the first draft and move on to the next scene? Or, because I have such doubts about it now, do I have to take it off of the "done" pile and throw it back into the "to be finished" side of things?

(Note: I'd really love someone to tell me I can count it as being finished because otherwise, I didn't complete a single scene last week. If you can do so sincerely, that's just an added bonus. Like whipped cream on your hot chocolate.)

The other two scenes are Big Important Scenes. One of them is that scene that many of Effigy's readers ask me about. As in, "For the love of *insert deity of choice here*, please tell me that *name removed for spoiler-avoiding purposes* is going to die in the next book!"

The answer is yes, *name removed for spoiler-avoiding purposes* will die in the next book. Well, at least *gender removed for spoiler-avoiding purposes* will die if I can figure out how the write the damn scene. And I haven't been able to do that yet.

My brother was instrumental in helping me work out the tone of the scene. I just haven't found the right words for it. Yet.

The other scene is otherwise known as THE VERY LAST ONE. I haven't figured out how to write this one yet, either. (Obviously. Duh. Geez, that was dumb.) The way Second Nature played out, my original plan for the end is now obsolete, and I require something to take its place. I've brainstormed a few new ways the last scene could go, but I don't know if any of them are right, or if I need to come up with something else.

Somehow, I feel compelled to re-use this gif:

So, that's what's going on in my neck of the swamp. What's going on in yours?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Office Space, The Sequel

In the majority of my posts for the last six months, I have spent a not-insignificant amount of time on this blog vocalizing my...not-love for various aspects of Florida. (seriously, lizards—go live in someone else's mailbox. The neighbors are tired of listening to me scream.)

So today I thought I might tell you about something here in Florida that I quite actually love. A lot. Something I wouldn't have if I hadn't (gulp) MOVED TO FLORIDA.

My office.

Our first walk-through of our house was done via Skype. Our realtor showed us one of the bedrooms and said how she thought it would be a great room for my office because it had these two great windows that would offer me inspiration. I agreed with her until she showed us the other room. It only had one window, but the closet was freaking amazing (translation: I could fit a bookshelf into it) and I laid claim to it then and there.

I totally made the right choice. Because I have the most amazing office space now. I mean, seriously, I am completely spoiled by this room.

After the movers finally showed up, my office looked like this:

I didn't have a desk, either. My old desk was one made of that pressed particle board stuff, and every mover we spoke to said the same thing: it wasn't likely that it would survive the move. I guess pressed particle board stuff has a tendency to explode. Not, like, a literal explosion or anything. It just won't survive, I guess, unless it can be broken down enough, which my desk could not be.

So anyway, the point of that little detour was that I had to get rid of my desk.

It took a while to find a suitable replacement, but I finally found one I liked at IKEA. (As an added bonus, I got to make my first trip to IKEA!) It took three days for The Man to put it together (I'm really no help in these situations), but I really like the finished product:

Next came the Big Ass Storyboard. I had to hound The Man for a while to help me put it up (I'm guessing he was still traumatized from the IKEA desk experience) but he eventually caved.

You can also see my other storyboard in the above photo because—that's right—this room is large enough with enough useable wall space that I no longer have to hang my story-plot storyboard in the dining room. (And The Man rejoiced heartily.)

Of course now, I have to use a step ladder if I want to make adjustments to that top level, but I just kind of think that makes it even cooler.

The last picture I'm going to share with you today is the last wall in the office, otherwise known as Bookshelf City...

The sad/impressive thing is that that's not even all of my books. There's still, like, 8 boxes I haven't yet unpacked. Because I need more bookshelves. Or, according to The Man, fewer books.

But I've chosen the former. I just don't need the negativity inherent in the latter.

And that's going to do it for me today. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Life Goes On

I didn't get much done last week. The Gator Girl had a medical issue that required constant supervision. As well as the cone of shame:

So basically, my week was spent saying "Stop it. Stop it. Don't do that. Stop it. No, don't! Why? Why did you do that! Stop it!" over and over and over again. I was only ever able to write when the Gator Girl was unconscious. If you're familiar with the Belgian Malinois, you'll know that they're seldom unconscious.

Seriously. I'm pretty sure in the next Mission Impossible movie, Tom Cruise will have to keep a Malinois calm and quiet. And not just any Malinois—my Malinois, who's an OCD-ridden, anxiety-prone basketcase with a couple extra shots of crazy.

Thankfully, she's better now, and needs far less supervision...just in time for Big to develop a medical issue of his own. You know, the kind that requires one to say, "Stop it. Stop it. Don't do that. Stop it. No, don't! Leave it alone!" 500,000,000 times a day. Of course, he's deaf and can't hear you say those things, but this house has never lacked for throw pillows.

The good news is that his medical condition does require less hands-on hovering than the Gator Girl's did. Also, he sleeps a hell of a lot more than the Gator Girl (Everything does. Including sharks, I think...), so perhaps this week I can get some more work in.

I am three scenes away from being finished with this draft of Second Nature. Five, if I decide I absolutely have to have those other two scenes I was thinking of adding, but that's all. Just three (five) scenes. They're all started; I just need to finish them.

Which leads me to my goals for this week:

1. Finish those three (five) scenes.

Nothing more to be said about that.

2. Walk/run/bike at least two miles every day.

My reward system: If I hit five miles in a single day, I can have a chocolate chip cookie. If I hit ten miles in a single day, I can have a jumbo cookie, like the kind they sell in the Publix bakeries around here. If I only hit two miles, I can have the satisfaction of having done something healthy. And such satisfaction it'll be.

3. To not have to call the vet.

I have spent so much time and money there since the big move, that they'll be giving me my own parking space soon enough, and sending me a postcard from the lavish vacation I've paid for. Here's hoping that Big's current medical condition fulfills our quota for a while. (But as he still has an un-diagnosed kidney condition, that's not likely.)

Happy Monday, everyone. See y'all next time.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

This Is Not A Simulation...

..This is a post about Simulation, the latest release from author Tara Tyler. It's the sequel to her novel, Pop Travel, which made me terrified of potential future travel means. This time around, she's making me terrified of the future in general...and I love her for it.

Let's see what Tara has for us today, shall we?

Take it away, Tara!

Not-So-Extreme Makeovers
I'm here as the lazy housewife today and I'm talking about adding excitement to your life without doing anything drastic.

Personal appearance - a freshen up on the color and cut of your hair makes you feel like yourself again, doesn't it? Then we get home and no one notices (especially if you live in a house full of oblivious boys, like me) If you want to shake things up and get a little extra attention, add a jazz of color - that isn't in the blonde to brown family. Pink, purple, blue, green, red - I've been seeing it more and more on the kids. Some are even dipping their hair in kool-aid to achieve the color without the hassle and expense of a beauty parlor, and it works! But I see it all the time at book events and in pics on adults, too. It's very "in" and not a bad way to express yourself, if you aren't afraid to be the center of attention!

Also, trying a new shade of lipstick or eye shadow will bring compliments and comments - "There's something different about you!"

Accessorize! - new jewelry or a new purse and definitely new shoes will make you feel like a new woman. And it doesn't have to be expensive, just cute. I get compliments on my no-name stuff all the time, and that makes me feel like a million bucks!

On the home front - here are some suggestions to freshen up your home decor without remodeling or spending too much money:

  • move the furniture around - this is also good for the wear patterns on your rug.
  • paint a room or just one wall
  • one new art piece or bedspread or vase - just one thing can change the look of a whole room
  • change out photos and rearrange or use new frames
  • add green with plants, real or fake
Do you have any not-so-extreme makeover suggestions? Do tell!

Thanks for giving me a seat on your couch, MJ! I always love to come over to visit. I appreciate you offering.

by Tara Tyler
Release Date: Sept 14, 2015

In 2082, androids are an essential part of daily life. Some are helpful, some would make better toasters, and some are so human-like they're creepy. Back in Atlanta, Detective Cooper's latest client has him searching for her boyfriend who she thinks was replaced by a simulation, an illegal clone android. The guy also happens to be a popular new congressman.

As if the case wasn't frustrating enough, Cooper keeps crossing paths with his ex, FBI Agent Geri Harper who's looking for the same guy. As Cooper closes in, Geri is kidnapped. But when she resurfaces in Washington and goes on a killing spree, he knows it isn't her. Now under suspicion himself, Cooper must find the real Geri to prove her innocence, not to mention hunt down the powerful villain behind it all. Never a dull moment.

SIMULATION delivers more technology, more intense action, more humor, and more, distinct new characters. Come along for the ride.

Available Now!
Amazon ~~ Barnes & Noble ~~ Kindle

Tara Tyler writes sci fi and fantasy action-adventures from her little corner of the world in Ohio as she tries to keep up with her three boys and coach husband. Always making time to write, she sometimes puts off chores and lets laundry pile up... hence, she's also the Lazy Housewife, offering advice and tips to other gals out there trying to do it all without going crazy. She and her housewife friends blog at The Really Real Housewives of America.

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