Thursday, March 16, 2017

The right thing to do

Every year our neighborhood has an annual garage sale. This is the day our neighborhood becomes the Indy 500 and Black Friday. Seriously.

It's a day I dislike. And this last year's was the worst. 

I was enjoying a quiet morning and was asked by a friend if there were any furniture deals. So instead of enjoying my coffee on the screened in porch, I jumped in my Jeep to scan the hood. I admit, I was curious to see how many neighbors were participating - as participation has decreased significantly. I grabbed my coffee, phone and purse. I was wearing cruddy shorts and a shirt I had slept in - and dumpy old flip flops. No shower, too - as it was a beautiful day and was going to hit the pool later.

While driving, I noticed cars were double and triple parked, on the wrong side of the road and running stop signs.

I don't know why, but happened to look at at the only open "spot" for a car in the street. I thought I saw a sock or something in the spot - away from the curb. But it wasn't a sock - it was a lifeless kitten. And a van was coming and trying to park in the spot. And possible over or worse, on the kitten.

I jumped out of my Jeep to help the kitten. I remembering thinking to myself, "what are you getting yourself into?", but jumped out any way. I left my Jeep in the street and towards the kitten.

But before I could pick it up, I watched a boy go up to it and KICK the kitten “it’s practically dead, any way”. The boy was with his mother, who had an issue with me yelling at her kid. Of course, no issues with her kid KICKING a kitten. I swooped up the kitten and asked if the kitten belonged to anyone there. Desperate for help, I yelled to the people buying and selling at the garage sales. And neighbors turned their backs – literally.

By now, I was blocking traffic for the garage sales. I jumped in my Jeep and a car came at me, honking to back up, and out of their way. I was so full of emotions at this time, I could have lifted that car like the Hulk. By now, I've had it with jerk people. I jumped out, with the kitten - and yelled at the guy driving. He was clueless but figured the wrath of a crazy lady holding a very small kitten wasn't worth the argument.

So I now have this little kitten at my chest and he's not looking OK. And all of my animal lover friends are gone - no one was home to help, including my husband. He was biking and luckily had his phone. I frantically called him for help. We thought it was best to take the little guy to a vet that was close by for help. But things got worse.

I've never been to this vet. I'm wearing dumpy clothes and I'm emotionally a wreck. The waiting room was full of people and their pets and no one would help me. Finally, someone from the vet came by and I told her my situation. She wanted me to fill out papers and just didn't give a damn that I was holding a very sick kitten that has been kicked. I gave her my ID and my credit card and begged her to take the kitten for some help. An older lady next to me told me I could go ahead of her dog's appointment. I said I just needed them to help me and it wasn't my kitten. She then offered me a $20 to help. I declined her help and thanked her for her kindness. I said it wasn't the money, I just needed help looking after the kitten. The vet tech came back with the kitten suddenly. I just knew I was going to have him put down. Nope. She said it was a girl and she was fine, just dirty and skinny. I told them it wasn't mine and didn't know what to do. They suggested a humane society in the next county. So I left, calling my husband again, and started on my long drive to a humane society that I didn't even know their location.

My husband pleaded with them to help, as they don't take surrenders on weekends - and certainly not from people out of county. The kind lady finally gave in - so I drove there holding the kitten to my chest the entire time.

When I arrived, I was told to not bring the kitten inside. I was asked to drive around the back for the surrender. A volunteer vet tech took my kitten and was shocked it was so little. I told her the story and she promised me she would do what she could.

I went back to the front office. I knew other organizations charge to surrender animals - and I was not charged. The right thing to do was to make a donation.

I was in the waiting room along with a family. They obviously were adopting a small animal. I asked the young girl if it was a kitty and her mom said she had saved her money during the summer to get her own kitten. They were handling their paperwork and the girl had cash in her hand. So it hit me.

I told them I wanted to pay for her adoption. I told them this humane society helped me today. And that a boy had kicked the kitten. You know what the young girl did? She donated her money for MY kitten that I had just surrendered. 

I drove home a mess. Sad for the kitten. Mad at that boy, neighbors and the vet. Grateful that the humane society helped. And impressed that a girl paid to sponsor my kitten. I hope that little kitten makes it and gets a protector like that young girl soon.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jim and Dory

A couple of months ago I received a letter. It was from one of my "little grandma friends" that I've met vacationing in Florida.

My parents winter in Florida, so naturally, if my husband and I are invited - we go. To put it simply, it is 17 degrees in NE Ohio in January and it is NOT in SW Florida.

One of my favorite things to do in Florida is visit the other vacationers. This means while at the pool from 9am - 3pm, one does not just put on headphones and ignore others. Nope. My family "visits" and talk to friends at the pool. This could mean on the WAY to the pool, sitting AT the pool, while IN the pool, etc. As for me, I have found some dear people from all over the US that return to the same condo complex year after year - including Jim and Dory.

Dory sent me a hand written letter letting me know that her husband, Jim had passed. Jim got sick and died rather quickly. He was one of the nicest men you would ever meet. He was from NJ, but you wouldn't know it. He had NE Ohio roots and he would reminisce about working near where I live. He always had something good to say about the Browns and my beloved Packers.

Just about every nice day in Florida, Jim and Dory would come to the pool around 2pm - around the time my family was done for the day. We referred to them as the "night crew" or the "second shift". But I would always look for them at the north end about that time. Jim always had a smile on his face. You could hear him coming as he used a walker. I used to tease him that his sneaking up on the ladies days have passed. He would always say that it was their fair warning so they could run away.

Jim would often swim, while it would have to be near 90 degrees for Dory to get in the water. On a day that most of us would consider hot, she would wear long pants, sleeves and a hat. She used to tell me she's had plenty of sunning in her days. Jim's pool uniform included a bucket hat and always a white, short-sleeved, terry-cloth zipper cover up. If you didn't hear him coming, you could spot them coming, easily.

For the past 10 plus years, for about 9-14 days, in January/February, this was our routine. I would often visit with Jim and Dory under the veranda. They told me lots about the family, their losses, their home, etc. We would also see them in church and they always got "gussied up" for mass. They were a very handsome couple.

I've written to Dory twice, and she has written back. I'm sorry she will not be vacationing in Florida this year - and I will miss our talks. And I'm sorry Jim is gone. I will also miss his walker coming down the walkway to the pool.

My vacations in Florida won't be the same without them there. But I'm glad I got the chance to know such a sweet couple. Rest in peace, Jim.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I'm Aquaman

Aquaman was, and is still is, one of my favorite bad asses of all time.

My first exposure to Aquaman was on the Saturday morning show, SuperFriends (1973). Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman & the Junior SuperFriends (lame) were also on the show - but my favorite was Aquaman. Most kids liked Superman or Batman best. And of course, girls thought Wonder Woman was cool - but not me. This tomboy was all about the blonde dude who could talk to fish, whales and dolphins. He could swim better than anyone AND he could breathe underwater. Total. Bad. Ass. I loved the design and lettering of his name, the colors of his uniform and I even accepted he had a wife (Mera, spoiler alert - she dies). I used to think it would be cool to be AquaLad - but decided it was best to pretend to be the king, himself. Besides, AquaLad was lame. I suppose my love of Aquaman was a precursor to my fondness of Disney's The Little Mermaid, Ariel. But let's face it, Ariel is cute - and Aquaman can beat up her dad, King Triton.

I remember playing Aquaman in the pool as I attempted to swim like him. I tried my best to hold my breathe as I sat at the bottom of the deep end, too. (I also pretended that the shark from Jaws would come out of the deep end filter if I swam over it) so it's safe to say I was prepared if he did so because I would send the shark my Aquaman rays to go away.

Years later, I found Aquaman comic books and bought some cheap ones in college. I still have them - all nicely, protected in their plastic sleeves. I recently tried to sell them and found they are worth some good cash - but "only to serious Aquaman collectors" and "good luck" was my feedback from the local comic book owners. So they're still in the basement. It seems I'm still the only one who thinks he's the coolest and a total bad ass.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

More: Things you can buy me

For some reason, most of these "things" are shoes... 

Monday, April 28, 2014


This makes me laugh. It especially reminded me of snorkeling. I like to say I'm brave, but I'm not... especially when seaweed touches me. Yes, I'm a wuss.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Six thousand bucks

$6k - what can you get for $6000? A nice down payment for a car. My half of the mortgage. A wardrobe on TLC's What Not to Wear show, with $1000 to blow in NYC. A really, nice cruise. A loaded Mac. I could go on, but I won't, because I spent $6,000 on, wait for it... a tooth.

Here's how I blew through $6k: A really bad and former dentist extracted my wisdom teeth in 2007. (yes, I KNOW I should have done that when I was under my parents' benefits - yes I KNOW how much that costs, blah blah). So my wisdom teeth erupted late - in my fourth decade. Not my fault I'm a late tooth bloomer.

I go in for a cleaning and wisdom teeth removed - and I get the "hey, let's remove that old, terrible silver filling near your wisdom tooth - #19 - you're already numb". Idiot me, says "flhalhsure" though the numbness and cotton stuffed in my mouth. Not only did that terrible dentist keep my silver from my old filling, he replaced it with a white, resin composite filling... that our insurance doesn't cover. Add $150 for that nifty, new filling to the bill.

Two weeks later, I am in agony with an abscess the size of Mt. Rushmore near my fancy schmancy white filling. Dr. Butcher takes the sickle probe and POKES Mt. Rushmore. "Yep, you need a root canal". My response, "isn't that the tooth you just filled - #19?", to his answer "it was a really deep filling and it must have failed." Eyes roll and pretty sure I groaned. Not to mention the irony of all the work he just did that tooth. The one that wasn't bothering anyone - except him.

I get the price of a crown and they quote a reasonable price. (I wouldn't really know, as I have only had three fillings with zero crowns). Maybe we do have good insurance, and that it just doesn't pay for white fillings? Nope. The day of my root canal is when I see the ENTIRE bill, right before I get in the chair. It is half of what I was quoted, because it didn't include... the root canal - only the crown. And to insult me even more, he wouldn't take off the $150 he just charged me for my fancy schmancy filling that was only 2 weeks old. This new crown of mine is "lifetime guaranteed... in very small print, as long as you keep us as your dentist". Uh, ok.

I hated my crown. Hated it. And it was a short relationship, as I made the mistake of chewing gum - it cracked that new crown right off... along with my tooth stump that was above the gum line.

Crown #2 (it was free, dontcha know?) also involved a metal bar being screwed into one of my roots - as Dr. Jerk needed something to attach this crown to. I don't know about you, but having a metal bar inserted into you isn't cool.

 My hate for crown #2 didn't last too long, as I eventually needed (free!) crown #3. Hate. Hate. Hate. It is time to leave this jerk and move on. So we eventually separate from Dr. Doom and get a new dentist (whom we love).

Here's the fun part. My jaw started hurting right after I leave Dr. Dickwad. My new dentist sends me to an endodontist - an expert for root canals. This guy tells me it has failed and had never been done correctly. At least I decided not to let him open up crown#3 to tell me that (for $400).

So crown#3 needs to be removed by a surgeon and I need a bridge, an implant or I can look like a hillbilly. Bridges are a terrible option as they would be grinding down "virgin teeth" next to tooth #19. It will fail in my lifetime, too. So implant it is - (of course, our insurance pays for ZERO). An implant is a titanium screw with an abutment and crown - fun times. Here I am right before surgery. I look happy, don't I?

I should have been an oral surgeon. They make loads of cash and have really good drugs. Mine was really great, and removed tooth#19 and also did a bone graft. Stitches, Vicodin and eating Spagettios for me. Check me out all swollen and looking like a hillbilly.

Months later, I had my implant inserted (screwed into my jaw) by my surgeon - and had to wait months to heal. Here's a close up of the screw in my head. It's bad ass.

Once it healed, my dentist got to place an abutment and crown#4 (NOT free, but pain free). Here's a cool shot of what my implant looks like above the gum line.

Look at my neato abutment post ready for my new crown.

After one year, and countless sitting in dentist chairs, I have crown#4 in the spot that was formerly known as tooth#19. My last images looks the same as my first, doesn't it? Nope. Much healthier, but I am out $6,000 out-of-pocket from when I let Dr. Buttwipe take my old, terrible silver filling. NEVER let your guard down when your dentist is more tan from always vacationing in Aruba and has season floor tickets to the Cavs. And floss. You can never floss enough.