Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Puppy Rescue

It was an exhausting day at school.  I don't know what got into the children, but I was so exhausted I didn't even want to work out...and lately, that's saying a lot.  I was drinking a Stella with a Tylenol chaser after walking Bear, dinner simmering, when my daddy called. 

Usually a call from Daddy means an invitation to dinner out.  Not this time.
 "What are you doing?" he asked. 
"Uh, nothing really." 
"Can you go help your mother?  I'm on my way home, but she's there with Beau and his head is stuck in the fence." 
Yikes! "Yeah, I'm out the door right now."

I ran out the door and into the car.  My parents only live about 5 minutes away. 

After tailgating an elderly gentleman in a blue pick up who clearly didn't know I had an emergency, I screeched  to a stop in my parents' driveway.

My dad said the dog was caught in the fence, so on my drive over I have been imagining the scenarios where I extract the little fella from the wooden privacy fence that surrounds the yard.  I wasn't quite prepared for what awaited me.

My mom sat on the couch holding the dog and the decorative, fleur de lis iron fence that they have around a flowerbed.  Beau was squirming and squealing a little...partly in distress, partly in joy to see a new person in the house. 

I flopped on the floor in front of the problem and immediately saw why my mom was so worried.  The fence is quite sturdy iron and in curls, several of which are now curling into Beau's neck. 

I looked up at my mom.  "I know it's cliche, but let's grease him down and see if we can slip him out."  She agreed on that plan and away I flew to get the cooking oil from the kitchen.

FYI, it IS as cliche as it sounds.  It will deliciously cook your food, but it will not extract a curious puppy from an iron prison. 

Ok, what to do?  What to do?  It didn't help that every time I looked at his pitiful little face, I started giggling.  It was serious, but very funny, in a way. 

I asked myself, "What would my friend Tim do?"  Tim is a man of action and has two mischievous dogs.  I decided that the only way to get him out was to bend one of the bars back.  Now I needed a tool to assist me in that endeavor. 

I flew out the back door and into the pool house where my parents have their plants for the winter, and Daddy keeps his tools.  The palm goosed me a little as I squeezed past and grabbed some pliers. 

I landed back in front of the puppy predicament and then had to decide what part of the fence to try to move.  I decided on the top piece and began pulling.  Beau wiggled and whimpered as I worked. 

It didn't take too long before I had pulled enough on the piece for him to just roll his giant puppy head right out.  He shook his floppy ears several times and Mom picked him up and hugged him. 

I took him to the kitchen sink and gave him a quick bath to get the oil off of his head.  He was a little indignant, but no longer oily. 

He seems no worse for the wear, and seems to actually enjoy the attention he received.  Mom and Dad are quite relieved.  Their little bundle of joy is safe to play another day.

So, I may not have made any great strides in education today, but I saved a puppy.  So there.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


I just took down our calendar from 2011.  It was on the inside of the pantry door, so I hadn't paid much attention to it.

As I took it down I looked at each month and what was chronicled there.  I still can't believe sometimes how much God trusts us with.  Sheesh.

January 2011

Pretty low key, actually.  Rose Bowl watching party, Jiggle Butt 5k with Julie, English conference in Galveston.  Brian's last treatment was in December so it was a waiting game until March when he had his scan to tell us whether he was in remission.

February 2011

By this time my grandfather had been in the hospital since the day after Christmas with cellulitis in his leg.  This would develop into an ugly staph infection that he ultimately would never really recover from.  But on February 5th he had another birthday.  This time we had to meet as a family in the hospital waiting room with cake and presents.  We were also out for a week for snow days from school and the Super Bowl in Arlington was just ruined.  Hee hee.

March 2011

We missed a very wet Mardi Gras because back in the fall of 2010 when it was time to make those plans, Brian had just been diagnosed.  We felt that he wouldn't be very comfortable jammed in with all the party goers.  On March 17th, we got the news we were waiting for...REMISSION.  We declared it Brian's new birthday (as well as my nephew's 5th birthday) and celebrated the rest of Spring Break. 

April 2011

On the first, like a cruel joke, my mother had a procedure that told us she had stage 1 uterine cancer.  Here we go again.  Brian is healed, so now we get another curve ball.  My birthday and Mom's birthday pass; the next week she is in the hospital for another surgery.  But at least that got rid of the cancer.  Brian worked a lot of overtime, but we were saving up for Australia by now which was just a few months away.  Brian celebrated 20 years with the police department.

May 2011

May passed pretty smoothly.  Brian took his two best friends to Police Week in Washington, D.C. to meet up with his other buddies from around the country and around the world.  My grandfather was still in the hospital/rehab in Ft. Worth, and I was feeling worse every day.  Every day I struggled to have the energy to teach.  I thought it was just the crazy year I had had.  That's what I get for thinking.  Finally right before Mom and I left on the cruise, I went to the doctor.  Feeling silly for going just because I didn't feel good, I was soon vindicated because it turns out I was very, very anemic.  Oh goody...iron pills.  Mom and I went on the cruise not knowing what June would bring.

June 2011

Brian finally heard from my doctor and they were panicking #1 because they couldn't find me and #2 based on the blood count they had done on the last day of school, I was bleeding internally somewhere because my iron levels had not improved at all after two weeks of treatment.  I was in the gastroenterologist (how do you spell that anyway?)  two days after I got home from the cruise...scared out of my wits.  A week after that I have a endoscopy/colonoscopy combo to confirm I have an ulcer.  No more Excedrin candy for me.  But once my ulcer was healed, my headaches pretty much stopped too.  A vicious cycle stopped.  Whew.  Less than a week after that we left for Tahoe to see Brian's family.  We had a great visit and even got to see a bear for the first time!  Who can resist trout, I ask you?

July 2011

Still on the mend, I went to Texoma to camp with the exchange students.  But my grandfather who had fought so hard to stay with us, decided it was time to go with my grandmother at last.  His memorial was July 28th.  And just like that, we didn't have our grandparents anymore.  Still doesn't seem real. 

August 2011

Brian and I triumphantly celebrated our second wedding anniversary on the first.  We returned to the Lightcatcher where we were married.  The first day of school was the 22nd.  The Grape Stomp with my girlfriends at the Lightcatcher was the 27th and despite the desperate heat of this summer, we had a great time.  On August 31, Brian and I left on a jet plane for Sydney, Australia. 

September 2011

We had the time of our lives in Sydney for 10 days.  It was such an amazing trip, and I can't believe that I am lucky enough to have stood on the beach on the other side of the world and petted a koala. 

October 2011

Brian, my brother and I went to Arkansas to the Blues Festival to see our family.  It was David's first time in Helena since he was 7 or so.  It was wonderful to bond with another branch of the family.  The Rangers made it to the World Series again but again couldn't close the deal.  We carved pumpkins as a family. 

November 2011

Thanksgiving was the highlight.  Brian's parents were home from Tahoe and joined us as did my Mexican brother, Luis.  David and I couldn't resist taking him for Black Friday shopping at 5 am.  He enjoyed that but the Cowboys game even more. He finally made it to Jerry World in person.  He loooooveees the Cowboys.  Well, no one is perfect. 

December 2011

Brian celebrated his actual birthday on the 11th.  David and I bought Mom and Dad a beagle puppy for Christmas and had quite the adventure in the process.  Winter Break was much needed and thoroughly enjoyed. 

So now, Brian and I begin to plan out our adventures for 2012.  Looks like Scotland is on the agenda for vacation.  Mom and I are going on another cruise...this time with proper suitcases.  Mardi Gras is back on the calendar for next month. 

Looking forward to all of it and having a great year with friends and family.  Here's to 2012 and making it through 2011.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Random Thoughts

All of these thoughts are more like Facebook posts...but I've had so many at once, people might wonder about me changing my status every thirty seconds to get it all out...so here goes!

Random Thought #1:  It was with great joy I started a load of workout clothes this afternoon after my run.  That means I have been workin' hard!

Random Thought #2:  I may be addicted to technology--officially.  I carry my smart phone, my iPad and my Kindle Fire around the house with me. I am typing this on the laptop...

Random Thought 3:  Connected to Random Thought #2....I couldn't get through my workout now without my Kindle.  I started this week by reading a book as I ran...now I have moved on to watching episodes of The Big Bang Theory.  Laughing out loud helps me gauge my oxygenated capabilities...

Random Thought 4:  Connected to Random Thought #3...I really want Chinese food tonight for dinner after watching The Big Bang Theory.  Fortunately, Brian didn't have a problem with that, and connected to all of the above thoughts, I can eat a little more as I worked out and didn't waste calories on crap at school. Whoo hoo!

Random Thought 5:  This one makes me a little sad, but it was revealing.  I don't laugh much at work anymore.  I laughed a lot today with students and with friends and it felt so good!  I believe I will work on that again tomorrow.

Random Thought 6:  I feel better each day, physically and mentally.  I hadn't realized how much I missed my treadmill. 

Enjoy your evening, friends!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Trying to Understand

I had planned an amusing little entry tonight about working out; it's going very well these days. 

Instead, as I logged on to the computer, I saw a headline about an armed 8th grader killed in Brownsville by police.

My day at school wasn't a piece of cake, but it was a helluva lot better that everyone's in Brownsville today.  I ended my day in tutorials with 3 eighth grade girls visiting me; I taught them last year and they were begging to come back to my class, as they do every time I see them.  I am always flattered, but I have to say after reading about this student today, I am savoring it more than usual. 

I have taught middle school for 10 years.  I am the wife of a dedicated police detective.  I am reeling.  I have so many questions.  Why?  What made that boy (because no matter how "mature" they think they are, they are just boys in 8th grade) feel he had no other way to make someone hear him?  And the worst part is, because of the choice he made to point the gun at officers, we will never know any answers.

That officer will never forget this day.  Not if he lives to be 100 years old.  I hope he will take comfort in the knowledge that he did what he had to do to go home safely tonight and to keep the other children in that school safe.  I'm sure it's little comfort.  He will have no more answers than the rest of us.

To my students and other young people I say--you have people who love you.  No matter how bad it may be at home, teachers at school will listen to you.

Real weapons have real consequences.  Leave them alone.  Period.

Know that no police officer wants to harm you; they want you to follow the law and they want you to go home safely each night.  They have the same desire for themselves, as do their families. 

Your teachers, principals, custodians, counselors, librarians, and lunch ladies would not come to school each day if they didn't love their work and love you.  School is supposed to be a safe place for everyone.  We must take of one another so that remains true.