Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Of Mice and Men

Last winter, my mom was staying a week with us. She was helping out one of numerous times during The Medical Marathon of Margerie. Which maybe just happens to rhyme with surgery. We are returning home from some appointment when we decide to stop by this nursery (hey, another rhyme) along the freeway.

It is one of those funky places, with a 20-foot iron T-Rex sculpture out in front. We decide we just have to check out this place. We were amazed at the eclectic selection. They had statues of frogs inside pots, which were on top of benches, next to fruit trees. I found a miniature cast-iron stove with little frying pans for $11. We must have spent an hour looking around when we discovered a cute silver tabby cat, curled up in a sunny spot on a garden chair. Being cat freaks, we inquired. Gal working there tells us he came to them as a kitten. He was born feral in the wood pallets at the farm supply next door. One day the coyotes got his entire family. He migrated over to the nursery and the nursery owners fed and adopted him. He was reportedly a very mellow fellow and an excellent mouser.

Sometime later, Mom and I finally make it to the outdoor register. By that time we notice a white male rooster has joined the tabby cat on the chair. We remark how unusual it was for the two of them to get along so well. Gal says "Oh, that's because he raised him." Say what? The nursery owners had, a couple of years prior, brought a flock (or whatever you call it) of chickens to live at the nursery. One sad day, they came to work to find some coyotes had devoured all the flock but one little chick. After the tragedy, the chick started following the cat around. The cat probably felt bad for him, as his family had met the same fate. The chick grew into a rooster and the cat and the rooster remained friends.

The owner gal then told us about how one day she was moving a bag of potting soil, when a baby mouse ran out from behind it. She hears "Bawk, bawk, bagulpp!" And turns around just in time to see the rooster swallow up the mouse. "Best damn rooster I ever had" were her concluding remarks.

Now I am pretty sure this is a unique relationship between a male cat and a rooster. But the two of them were bound to screw up something! And I do get a chuckle about this story every time I look at that little cast-iron stove.

The Crappy Twilight Zone

I am really on a roll. Mostly because the person I am blabbing these ramblings to is not nodding off, or walking away or losing interest. That I can tell anyway.

I know most of us have had a surreal experience or two. I worked in a dental office for 10 years and we had our fair share of interesting times. But one sticks out.....can't believe it still.........

I should have known better when one day both offices happen to all take lunch at the same time. Everyone left the office except me. We had an office shaped like a giant U and the sides were mirror images of each other. My partner and I worked with 8 employees or so on one side, our landlord and his partner and his 8 employees worked on the other. I was basking in the glow of silence. No phones, no people, not even a sterilizer running. How much paperwork was I gonna get done?

Start paperwork while eating. Hear small rattling. Hear more rattling. What was that? Use my sonar to figure out it is coming from the bathroom. Open bathroom door and see the lid on the toilet rattling. OK, I don't know much about plumbing. Sure, I have stopped up a few toilets and jammed up a few disposals. But a toilet rattling all by itself is baffling. Lift up lid just in time to see the brown lava rising. Smelly lava oozes onto the floor and keeps oozing. CRAP!! (literally) The bathroom is about an inch higher than the rest of the office, which conveniently is carpeted. I throw open the cabinet with the surgical towels and smocks. Build a dam with the towels and smocks. Don't think they are sterile anymore. Trying to think of who to call?? No time as I hear the same noise over on Peter's side. Same story his toilet. Build new dam. Now I hear sputtering, splattering ALL OVER. Look- every single "operatory" (where each dental chair is) has a little sink, each lab (where you sterilize stuff) has a big sink. Each drain on combined 10 sinks is splattering crap water all over the place. I grab the instrument trays (look like cafeteria trays) and shove them in the sinks. Just about to catch my breath when I see the dams giving. Now, we do have mops and buckets. But of course they are across the courtyard in our other office suite. I run over and get them. On my way back I see Peter, who is not working today. He is dropping off some trash in the dumpster in the back of the parking lot. I yell as I run across the courtyard, in a dress, in heels, with a mop waving in one hand and a bucket in the other "Peter, emergency!! You have to come help now!!" In that split second, I can read his mind. That Marge has really lost her mind! And she seemed so normal!

He came over, the rest of the staff got back from lunch and we called ServiceMaster. Cancelled the rest of the days' patients. Turns out the city was working down the street and accidentally blocked the sewer line and it backed up into our office.

Now I want everyone to know this is probably the most heroic thing I have ever done. And no one really appreciated it at the time!!! Awww, the rantings of an unsung hero. Better luck next time Marge.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Package, the Gate and the Mercedes

OK, I have been thinking about how many "incidents" I have had in recent years. Well, the breast cancer takes the cake- lots of damage control and repairs there. I have also had run-ins with vacuum cleaners, loose dogs, washing machines, laptops, king snakes and assorted cooking disasters. Probably there are some more in my excuse for a brain, but they got swept into some dark corner.

But I can not deny that last week I really pulled a good one. As in lots of $$$$ and damage control. Simple as we received a box at the end of our driveway that contained the frame for a futon we ordered from Target. A friend was watching the kids for awhile (another no school weekday) and I was bringing home the groceries. See the box as I drive in. Brilliant idea of getting the box myself, since hubby rode his motorcycle to work. Complications: gate and steep, long driveway up to the house. Now I know most people think it is pretentious to have a gated/fenced property. We are really saving the neighborhood from our wild animals: the three dogs and the three kids.

Anyway, back to my brilliant idea. Park inside the gate on the steep hill, put on parking brake. Load box, heavy, but fits in the tail of the "crossover" Mercedes. Supposedly a cross between an SUV and a wagon- you decide. Hatch can't close, but I am just driving up the hill and figure that can't be a problem. Get back in the car, release the parking brake and gun it. You can see right now where this is going can't you??? No, I did not fly up the hill and burn rubber. Instead I skid back and slam into the closed gate. I try again and in the middle of gunning it, I realize I am in neutral. Now, I don't think I have ever put a car in neutral in my life. Why I inadvertently develop this skill at this exact moment is just... Murphy's Law or something.

So instead of being calm and rational, I throw it into drive and there is some friction in the back- but who has time to notice? Get up the house. Think about being in complete denial- but there are groceries that have to be unloaded. Look at the back of the car- just some carpet scraped up on the inside of the tail. Interesting. Then I see 4 of the cast metal spires from the top of the gate. Even more interesting as now they are in my car and no longer attached to the gate. How I am going to explain this to my husband? Well that is going to be priceless.

Long story short: he was completely understanding (I always tell him to know me is to love me), it will cost $700 to repair the gate, he glued the spires back on with Liquid Nails and we are blowing off repairing the car for now. So for the next 2 weeks (ordering parts for the gate) I get to realize what an idiot I am every time I have to get out and open/close the damn gate.

OK I think I am good on incidents for awhile.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ballet, Girls and Balls

My 4 year old daughter started ballet a few months ago. I am a reformed tomboy, so the art is out of my scope of knowledge. She tells me what she needs (shoes, wraps, leg warmers, etc.) and I figure out how to get the required items. She has an impressive attention span for her age. I watch her class and she is dialed in to the teacher's every command. Why I can't even get her to clean up her room for 5 minutes is beyond me. She can execute complicated ballet moves in a studio filled with kinda-not-paying-attention-little-ballerinas.

The other day she ran in and said "Come look mom! Wilbur (the cat) is doing a tendu!" I asked the child what in the world is a tendu was. She showed me- it is when you have your toe pointed and leg straight. I rush in to see the ballet performing cat and there he is on the carpet, licking his balls.

Now, this is a funny moment for sure. And heck, his leg was straight and he was pointing his toes. I have been designing tee shirts for precocious little girls. What a funny cartoon I could draw of this..... But I concluded I would better have a chance of selling a shirt with a cat licking his balls with a ballet reference to a guy, than the same to a little ballerina or her mother.

Such is life for me........................... :)

Friday, February 22, 2008

One big step for woman, one small step for womankind

OK, I am doing a blog. Why? My friend Hayley told me to that is why! People are going to read this? I am still grasping the very concept. I have participated in online discussion boards for several years now. This seemingly one-sided conversation is outside my comfort zone. But I figure it is cheap therapy and maybe a way to let my hair down. That's right- I can't let my hair down, because it has been Kramertized by chemotherapy. More on that later.

Today I almost had to do yoga. It is raining. I usually take the two dogs for an hour hike every day. Built-in upper body workout, as the two dogs weigh close to 200 pounds, and so do I by the way. Need to be more of a "master" as Cesar Milan would say. But I would miss the hour of semi-restraining the two beasts. So we lumber around the neighborhood, not perfect, but perfectly happy in our own way. Anyway, I almost had to break out the yoga mat when the sun broke through after lunch. I may even make it all winter without having to do the dirty deed that is yoga, that everyone seems to like except me.

Tonight my oldest child is in his school talent show. I have seen the auditions and the dress rehearsal and I can honestly say that elementary kids should not be holding talent shows. They just aren't very talented! Boo hiss, bad mommy. I am I am! I find it hard to not suppress a smirk when the group of boys play "We will, we will rock you!" with a few beeps and honks out of tune. I am not even going to mention the girl who spent more time picking up her batons than not. I guess I am sensitive to my own child's "comedy act". The kids were laughing. I guess I need to lighten up.

OK enough bitching! I feel better already. Now I am off to contemplate what "my favorite salad" is so I can make it for the pot luck tonight......................