Friday, May 27, 2022

Friday, May 27, 2022, MN

Thank God I have a whole package of giant pee pads and lots of baby wipes on hand. I lined Frisco’s bed and tucked him in last night and I heard him moving around a bit at 3:30 and found that he had peed, so I cleaned him up, changed the pad and tucked him back in. He was still sound asleep at 8:30 this morning.  Same thing - cleaned him up and changed the pad under him. He has no objection to me picking him up and carrying him (he has never liked to be carried) and his legs are giving him no support - he immediately collapses from a standing position. He doesn’t appear to be in pain or anxious, as he has eaten and taken treats and water and he is not panting.

I was able to get an appointment with the Vet for x-rays but the person I spoke with seemed to think that since he has tested positive for Lyme disease (it can lay dormant in the body) in the past and his symptoms kind of sound like that - if that rings true, he could be treated with antibiotics.  She is going to discuss that with the vet when she comes in and we will see how that goes.

When the Vet checked Frisco out, she determined that it probably wasn’t Lyme disease as that causes some weakness me stiffness in joints but not total collapse or loss of control. Her thoughts then focused on general weakness internally - the heart murmur, possible kidney failure, and his age. X-rays and blood tests could be run to determine what is going on, but my focus has always been that he have quality of life.   So I decided that today was the day to put him to rest.  I know that he wasn’t comfortable being unable to walk on his own and he put his total trust in me and allowed me to carry him everywhere for the last two days. He died at 12:30 this afternoon, I was right by his side and reassuring him what a good a dog he is and how much I love him.

That little dog was loved by so many people and they are coming out of the woodwork to let me know.  I tried to collect my thoughts this afternoon and this is what I came up with - subject to future editing.

Fifteen and a half years with this little guy have left a mark on me that I will never forget. He is the first little dog that we ever had and he stole my heart immediately.  His job was to keep Mike moving, but he and I ended up to be the best of walking buddies.  He has comforted me through hard times and been by my side in all of our travels.  He made friends with lots of people and their pets - had the best of manners and was allowed in homes of family and friends who weren’t really that fond of dogs.

He lived up to the many names that he had through the years; Scruffy, Dude, Frisco, Frisky, Buddy, Frisky-butt, Osama Bin Frisco, Muttley, Dog, etc. 

Since the day that he rescued us from Wonder Dog Rescue in San Francisco in 2007, he has been:

🐾  A constant traveling companion

🐾 By my side through thick and thin

🐾 The best friend I could ever have and friend to many others

🐾 Loved me unconditionally

I will miss:

🐾 His sniffing under the bathroom door to check that I am ok

🐾 Being my shadow whenever I left the room

🐾 Sleeping next to my bed

🐾 ’The stare’ to let me know that he needed or wanted something

🐾 Picking the goodies out of his food before eating the kibble

🐾 Making sure that he got a treat after every trip outdoors or a nail trim or ear cleaning

🐾 The endless supply of blonde hairs that marked where he had been

🐾 His messy blonde Mohawk

🐾.   His watching over me from corners

🐾 My walking and hiking companion 

🐾 His eagerness to be friends with everyone, as long as they weren’t in the Pit Bull family or 

             were small critters that moved quickly

 I have been blessed with fifteen and a half years of his company.

I went to be with Jill and the girls tonight and it helped me to dry the tears for a while.  Of course, they are hoping that I get another pet. Charlotte went for a sleepover with her friend Betsy, and I asked what they would be doing at the sleepover and her reply was “the usual sleepover stuff; watch romance movies that are rated PG13, eat lots of junk food, and stay up until midnight”.  She posed for a photo with her sullen look and her big girl suitcase that I bought her for their Mexico trip  - my 10 year old teenage Granddaughter. 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Thursday, May 26, 2022, MN

After getting home from a couple of days of camping on Tuesday afternoon, Frisco and I walked to the pet store for some treats, I took him out for a potty break that night, he was limping a bit and I carried him in and he hasn’t walked since.  On Wednesday morning, he kept stumbling so I carried him downstairs and back in the apartment, he sat staring at the wall and then he slept for the next six hours.  I decided to see if I could get him in to see the vet and they had an opening. Everything checked out, just age related issues.

We headed straight to Ben’s (he is in San Francisco on a business trip) where I spent the night and got the kids off to school in the morning.  I met the twins at the bus stop and while they were having a snack, Charlotte and four of her friends came in - she told me that Wednesday was ‘play with friends after school day’ and Jill agreed to it, so I sliced a bunch of apples for them and they went downstairs to hang out.  Norah, Camille, and I made Rice Krispie treats while Jill worked on dinner and we had a nice evening together.  The twins put on a cute singing and acting show for us and then it was bedtime, they read to me for a while before turning in for the night and I hung out with Charlotte for a bit before bedtime.  They have become so independent and have the daily routines down so well that all they really need is a goodnight hug and some Grandma or parent love.

This morning, I was awake at 5:00, got up at 5:30 and Jill had already left for work (the reason she needed some extra help this morning).  I carried Frisco upstairs and as soon as I set him down at the top of the stairs, he kind of collapsed and peed on the rug.  He has slept most of the day and his legs can’t hold his body up.  He is eating and drinking, goes potty when I carry him outside but he still hasn’t tried to walk.  I think the issue might be in his right leg but his hind legs are wobbly too.  I decided to observe him until tomorrow morning and then will have X-rays done if there are no changes.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Tuesday, May 24, 2022, MN, WI, MN

I was packed up and on the road by 10 am Sunday morning, heading for the KOA Campground in Hixton, WI to hang out with Patty and Jo at a cabin for a couple of days.  I decided to take the scenic route on US 10 that took me through Hastings and the small towns of Prescott, Ellsworth, Mondovi, and Oswego. The tree covered hillsides were beautiful with varying shades of green and the road was hilly and curvy - a very enjoyable drive with hardly any traffic.  Patty and I arrived about 1:00 and the cabin wasn’t quite ready, so we headed down the road to Kal’s Korner Bar and hoped to catch Jo before she took the turn to go to the campground. My signal wasn’t strong enough, so my text didn’t go through and we crossed paths - she checked into the cabin, then met us for a drink before going back and settling in at the cabin.  

The cabin is so cute - a full size bed in the main room, table & 4 chairs, a tiny kitchen with microwave and fridge, full bath with shower, and a small room with twin bunk beds.  Outside, there is a swing on the porch, a nice patio with table, chairs and a grill and a fire pit in the yard. It was just perfect for the three of us.

Once we all got settled, we headed out to Hatfield for dinner at a supper club but neither of the options were open on Sunday (that’s not what their websites told us) and we ended up at the Depot Saloon in Merrillan. We had a nice meal but we all had been looking forward to a supper club.

Back at the cabin, we started watching a movie but our endless talking prevented us from knowing anything about the story. We were all settled in bed by 10:00 and Frisco had been sound asleep for a couple of hours before that. 

The sun was shining on Monday morning and we were able to have our coffee on the patio and decide what our plan for the day was going to be. A road trip to some of the small, neighboring towns in search of girlie shops, tasty goodies and antiques would do it.  We drove to Fairchild and found nothing of interest, on to Augusta where Jo was quite familiar, as that is where her grandparents and aunts and uncles lived and she spent lots of time there as a child. We had a light breakfast at a small restaurant that was once the Red Dot Cafe, where her Uncle Carl met up with his friends every day for coffee.  We drove around town and stopped at The Wood Shed where beautiful Amish furniture and household items were sold.

On to Osseo to an antique shop and then to the Norske Nook - you can’t go to Osseo without a stop there, as they are known for their delicious pies - where we each got a piece of pie to take with us and Pat and Jo couldn’t resist buying Lefsa and I couldn’t resist getting a jar of Swedish Lingonberry Jam.  Our last stop of the day was at a couple of antique shops before heading back to the cabin.

We sat outside and played Farkel, had snacks and cocktails and got a fire going. The smoke like Jo way too much and she finally gave up and went inside.  Pat and I stuck around until the logs were burned down, took Frisco for a walk, then played a few games of Uno before going to bed. We didn’t even make it to 9:00.

What a fun couple of days! Just what the doctor ordered and we plan to do it again one day.  It was a perfect location, an easy 2-hour drive for all of us.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Saturday, May 21, 2022, MN

This weekend is Bloomington’s annual garage sale weekend, so I have stopped at a few, of course. If you know me, you know that I love garage sales. My best find was a cute leotard and summer shorts for the girls. 

Our weather turned back to cold and gray the last few days but we have been spared from the hail that other nearby communities have gotten.  The flowering trees are fully blooming now, smelling so good, and causing allergic reactions to my sinuses and eyes.

These interesting clouds caught my eye the other day.

We had a meet and greet for our new manager, Nikki, yesterday and she seems like a good fit for us. She is full of smiles and seems happy to have gotten this job.

Today, several people from my community teamed up and went to the city’s compost distribution at Moir Park to get free bags of compost.  The city recently started its compost collection service, takes the organic waste that they pick up to a Native American operated facility in Shakopee where it is broken down even further and bagged up for use by residents.  We ended up with 18 bags of beautiful, rich soil. 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Monday, May 16, 2022, MN

The last few days have been quite eventful and full of activity. I met with Ben for our usual Saturday walk along the 9-Mile Creek (the water is raging and flowing over the shoreline) and then Norah came home with me for a sleepover. Before we went home, we browsed the art gallery at the community center and she was able to see the works of Leah Yellowbird that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, then we went through the car wash and stopped at the $$$ store before going home. 

We watched the “Mitchell’s Versus Machines” movie that was cute, then had a marathon bedtime UNO challenge.  I won one game and she won the long one that went back and forth several times before she got the advantage and won the game.

On Sunday morning, we walked to the hardware store and stopped at Caribou Coffee for a fruity beverage before Ben came to pick her up.  He invited me to dinner, so I made a coleslaw and then went to their house and watched him prepare a lovely dinner of grilled chicken and mint sauce, grilled broccoli, and brown rice.  He is such a great cook and enjoys every minute of it - and I enjoy it because he cooks things so differently from my way of cooking. The twins served us all ice cream cones for dessert.  It was a busy, very enjoyable, beautiful weather weekend.

The flowering crab trees on our property have opened up and these are the views from my windows.  I love it!
Bedroom View

Living Room View (perennial gardens on right)

Today was busy too, starting with a haircut appointment where I let Shirley get creative and I went much shorter - I’ve gotten so tired of trying to keep my hair styled and the wind blowing it around was driving me crazy.  The style is much like I wore it years ago.

This afternoon, I picked Lois up and we headed to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum where we walked the paths and enjoyed the brightly colored tulips, the flowering Redbud and Azaleas and each other’s company.  We had lots to talk about!

So many varieties of tulips! Here are a few.

Genevieve, the artist that teaches classes her each month, dropped off the projects that we made last week - clay vases (she threw) that we decorated and then she fired in her kiln.  This is the vase that I did - and it was so nice of her to fill it with pretty flowers. She is so nice and fun to be around!

Friday, May 13, 2022

Friday, May 13, 2022, MN

Happy Heavenly Birthday to my brother Rick who would be turning 68 today. And now I’m going to rant a bit about the scourge of alcoholism and how it just drains a person of a quality of life.  His story is a sad one. From his teenage years when he started drinking until the time he died, alcohol was a priority to him. I think Rick’s scars went way back to his childhood when he was only 10 years old and Mom died and when our family broke up the next year - he went to live with our cousin Fran and her family. Although they loved and cared for him, something just wasn’t right and he resented that placement through the years.  

When Rick met Nan, he fell madly in love, they were married, bought a nice home, and had their sweet daughter Monica.  Unfortunately, he struggled with holding down jobs because he would party too hard and not be able to make it to work, he would be me argumentative and that would cause problems with his marriage and family life. That took a toll on the relationship and any stability that he had in his life - and eventually led to divorce and many years of homelessness on the streets of Madison.  He was never able to accept responsibility for his actions and found ways to put the blame on others.

My brother Randy rescued him from his life on the streets, got to him to Springfield, MO and in a treatment program where he uncovered the Rick that I remembered as a young man and he stayed clean for a long time. Rather than move to a group home after a year of sobriety, he chose to have an apartment of his own and eventually started drinking again, spending all of his $$$ early in the month and being broke the rest of the time - yet he always found a way to get booze.  His life started to really deteriorate after a throat cancer diagnosis and treatment - he didn’t follow instructions, missed treatments and appointments and the cancer never left his body.  A few years later it was back and eventually took his life on March 26, 2018.

Yesterday morning, I went with James, our Maintenance man, to Home Depot to purchase plants for the flower pots in front of my building (he had the credit card).  He bought hanging baskets and soil and I loaded up on flowers.  When we got back home, I proceeded to plant and this is the end product.

We have gone straight from winter and temps in the 50s to summer. The trees have turned green over the last weekend I’ve been noticing lots of flowers starting to bloom.  

Monday, May 9, 2022

Monday, May 9, 2022, MN

We did have a lovely, sunny day on Saturday and I returned to the paper craft garage sale that I went to on Friday with Judy.  I had purchased a paper storage box on Friday and liked it so much when I got home that I decided to go back to see if they had any more like it.  I was able to get one more of the boxes so all of my paper can be organized and kept in one place now. I had a conversation with the lady who was having the sale and I mentioned to her that Judy organizes the “Cards for a Cause” group in my building and they may have some materials to donate to her after the sale.  This sale was amazing, as the person had so many scrapbooking, card-making, paper quilling, and embossing supplies and tools - it might have taken up the same space as that in a large box store.  I did find some specialty (hand-made specialty) paper and a rotary cutter for my card projects.

I met Ben at Harrison Park and we walked the 9-Mile Creek Trail while the twins were at gymnastics. Yoshi got to explore the creek and Ben and I got to watch a large deer foraging in the woods.  I spotted this crazy perfectly coiled vine that went up the side of the tree trunk from the ground to the treetop.

And some beautiful patches of Bloodroot - this first wildflowers that I have seen this year.

Back at home, I started back at cleaning up the plantings in the front of my building and then Kathy came by as she was returning from a walk, and offered me a beer.  So we sat on the bench in the sunshine and enjoyed the beautiful afternoon and were later joined by Deb.  While we were there, a chubby, fluffy tailed raccoon scurried around the back of the shed, spotted Frisco who was tied to the bench, then turned around and ran right in front of us until he crossed the parking lot.  That was exciting!  It is sure nice to have some girlfriends to chat with.

Mother’s Day started out cloudy and rainy but ended up being fairly nice - the sun peeked out now and then and it was cool but not cold.  I made a batch of Rice Krispie bars to take over to the family and then joined them for an afternoon of yard cleanup and planting and a few games of Uno with the girls.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Friday, May 6, 2022, MN

Spring has finally come to my little corner of the world and we have had sunny, warm days. We may even see 70 degrees on Saturday. 

My car was due for an oil change and I took it to Eric’s Repair on Tuesday morning. It cost me $52 and their overall safety check showed no issues other than that the tags on my license plates were to expire this month.  I had actually sent in the renewal shortly after I got it back in March, so when I got back home I checked online and saw that it was received, processed, and mailed to me on March 24 - but it was sent to the wrong address. I’m sure that I included a change of address but that was apparently overlooked.  A trip to the DMV office in Burnsville yesterday got it all straightened out and I was in and out of there within 15 minutes.

While I was waiting for my oil change, I walked to the City Hall building and picked up a map of the Bloomington hiking and biking trails and since I had plenty of time, I walked through the galleries.  There was a display by Leah Yellowbird in the main gallery that I really enjoyed.  She does very intricate beadwork on canvas and detailed acrylic paintings.

There was also a gallery with art from local elementary school kids that was pretty amazing also.

It got warm enough that I could go outside and do some cleanup in the perennial garden along one side of our property that can be seen from my apartment.  A couple of residents, Karen and Lee worked a lot out there last summer and it is in pretty good shape and needs just a bit of cleanup.  The early bulbs like tulips and daffodils are just getting started this week.  I also did some cleanup I. The front of our building. More to come, as I have volunteered to plant the flower pots out front too - that will probably happen next week.

Yesterday, after talking with my neighbor, Leslie, about Cinco de Mayo, we decided to go out for Mexican dinner and we went to Boca Chica in St Paul. It was nice to share a meal and have some good conversation. 

Monday, May 2, 2022

Monday, May 2, 2022, MN

I just woke up from a two-hour nap - can’t believe that I slept so long in the afternoon but then last night seemed like I was awake a lot and was pretty restless.  Ben and Jill had an 8:30 appointment this morning, so I got there a little before that and saw that the twins got to the bus on time. When Ben got home, we took Yoshi for a nice walk. The weather is still cold and gray, at least it’s not raining as it was for the last two and a half days.

On Friday morning, I put the ingredients for beef stew in the slow cooker and invited Deb to join me for dinner.  There was a going away gathering on our community room for our manager, Sherry who is moving on to a new job after 12 years here.  It was a nice get together. Now, I’m hopeful that her replacement is someone we all can appreciate.  Deb and I had a nice dinner and chat, then we headed out for a walk but the cold wind made us turn around and call it a night.

I’ve been meeting up with Ben on Saturdays for a walk while the twins have gymnastics but that wasn’t happening because two of Charlotte’s friends tested positive for Covid so they kept them all at home even though their tests came out negative.  

I received the order that I placed for a ring that has a stone made from Mike’s ashes. I am happy with the result - here is the photo. Dang, my hands look just like my Grandma’s did when I was a kid.

I went and had dinner with the family last night to celebrate my birthday and Ben made Bun Cha - Vietnamese meatballs that were served with rice noodles, parsley, mint, butter lettuce and topped with a flavorful Nuoc Chom sauce (fish sauce) and optional hot sauce. Dang, it was good and I get to have more for dinner tonight.  To top it off, they gave me a pretty pair of earrings and we all had yummy carrot cake for dessert.  Camille and Norah folded the napkins pretty and set the table and Camille did the serving.  They sure are sweet - most of the time.