But I can still make a DAMN fine cup of coffee!
Thanks to my Cuisinart espresso maker, I make a “wake you up with a kiss and a slap” cup of DELICIOUS coffee. I don’t futz with the milk steamer. (Here’s a shortcut for you — thank me later.) I fill a shot glass with flavored creamer, nuke it for 45 seconds, and there yuh go, pardner!
I am generally up before Gail in the morning, so I try to have all the fixings in place so I can poot out that first cuppa coffee for her within minutes of her arising. I fear what would happen otherwise.
We have a dog infestation. They’re everywhere. You go to the kitchen and get yourself a cup of coffee? BAM! There’s a dog in your chair. And if you notice, she is doing everything in her power NOT to look at me. Because if Raven LOOKS at me, then she must acknowledge that I WANT to SIT in my CHAIR. If she DOESN’T look at you, then she can claim culpable deniability — however that works in “dog politics.”
But, eventually, I reached my chair, put down my coffee cup and asked her, very politely, to “get down.” Which she did. Instantly.
She hopped over to the couch, plopped down and put her face on the arm of the couch and gave me THIS look.
Now, I’m generally hardened to this sort of thing. I’m not easily affected by the dirty looks I get from my dogs because there are so many of them I get every day.
But for some reason, this look cried out for attention. So I pet her, stroked her fur and told her what a good girl she was.
It wasn’t enough.
Raven wanted a kiss.
A Dad does what a Dad has to do!
Our other dog, the German shepherd (or Dingo, we’re not really sure) Shiloh remained above it all.
Or below it.
It’s a Saturday morning at the Schmalfeldt Dog Ranch, where temps are forecast — again — to reach the 100 degree mark.
I hate summer!
I had a great night’s sleep, but I got a late start this morning cuz I overslept! (I know, 7:20 am hardly seems like “oversleeping” to many of you, but I’m usually up by 6 or 6:30.) Had to hurry out here to do my morning e-mail sorting for the Patient Recruitment effort at the Clinical Center… deadline, 7:30 am. I was a little past deadline. But nobody died.
See, the thing is… it rained last night.
Our brave and noble German shepherd, protector of life and property, has now become afraid — of RAIN! The sound of rain outside sends her into panic mode. And when she’s sequestered for the night in Doggie Gitmo (where she must sleep because poop and pee are easier to clean off linoleum than carpet), she tries to climb over the gate, knocking crap over as she does so.
I came out at a little after 10 and brought down the voice of doom. That’s when I saw that there was ALREADY poop on the floor. This dog had JUST BEEN OUTSIDE, had shown no inclination to poop. (“No thanks, I’ll just poop on the floor after you go to bed. More comfortable that way.”)
Gail — gentle soul that she is — came out to clean the poop, and decided to sit with Shiloh until the storm passed. She ended up sleeping on the couch all night. So there was no Raven (our border collie — or black bear, I’m not sure) flapping her ears at 5:30 am to indicate the need to use the yard to wake me up and I slept straight through.
So, I’m alllllll refreshed.
It was four years ago today that Shiloh joined the Family Schmalfeldt.
My sister “who must not be named” told us that her daughter’s boyfriend had a puppy from a German shepherd couple, and there was only one left. Raven, still a young adult at that time, was very needy. She followed me and Gail everywhere demanding constant attention. So, we thought, if we drove out to Wisconsin and bought this puppy, Raven would have a companion and they could play with each other. Funny how that worked out.
When we were at “she whose name I’ve forgotten” house, we went to bed that night with Shiloh in her crate. Shiloh did not LIKE the crate and made these ungodly noises that no one has ever heard being made by a puppy before. We let her out of the crate and she took that as her excuse to climb all over the bed and play and try to look through the blinds out the window and jump on us and bark, so we decided… to hell with trying to sleep. We got in the car at about midnight on the morning of July 3rd and started back home.
Gail and I divided the driving (she sat in the back with Shiloh until I needed a nap, then she drove while I sat with Shiloh).
When we got home that afternoon, Raven looked at Shiloh with an expression that said, “What in God’s name are YOU???” That turned into barely masked hostility. She never did anything to hurt the baby, but Raven wanted NOTHING to do with her. Shiloh, for her part, was as bold as brass and scared of NOTHING. (This is the same dog who is now cowering under my legs because the neighborhood idiots are setting off fire crackers.)
Until the next day, when suddenly Shiloh was Raven’s baby and she wanted to take care of her.
When our vet first saw Shiloh a few days later, the first thing she said was, “Oh, sweetie. Don’t worry. You’ll GROW into those ears!
A lot has changed since that time. And as far as giving Raven a companion, they BOTH follow me and Mom around demanding that SOMEONE throw the damn ball.
We love our girlies!
Gail is at the store. I have a black border collie at my feet, using my right foot as her pillow. In the absence of any outside stimulus, I would be perfectly content to sit here and stare at a blank screen. All day.
I’m not sad. I’m not happy. I’m nothing. Flatlined. My brain seems to be just kinda occupying space in my skull. Last night, I had particular difficulty speaking… getting stuck on syllables, words coming out in a rush. That’s not so much of a problem today.
Parkinson’s disease. My lifetime companion.
Gail is my soulmate. She’s my OTHER lifetime companion. She’s gonna come home with chicken. Did I mention that?
Really enjoyed my interview with Warren Krech at KWOS Radio in Jefferson City, Mo. yesterday. Total books sold since then? Zilch. Zip. Zero. Maybe I’m just a shitty writer with nothing interesting to say.
Not that I’m hung up on selling books. I’d love to make a less-than-embarrassing donation to my PD charities. But if folks ain’t interested, then they just ain’t interested.
If Parkinson’s disease happened only to attractive redheads with knockout gazongas and the disease caused uncontrollable nymphomania, betcha THEN it would get some notice. But most of us are old, a lot of us can’t hit the ball out of the park anymore (wink-wink), we’re twitchy, we drool, we talk funny, we walk funny, we remind people of their own impending death.
Try writing a funny book about THAT!
(Oh, wait… I did. It’s available here.)
Where’s Gail with that chicken?
Did my 20 minutes on the bike this morning. Still have to do my PT walking/balancing exercises. And the Wii Fit is a naggy little bitch if you miss a couple days, so I suppose I’ll have to do some of THAT, too!
Up at about 6:30.
Take pills. Losinipril and Metoprolol for blood pressure. Stalevo for PD. Zoloft to keep from jumping (very slowly) in front of a bus. Prilosec, because it works.
Check work e-mails.
Open the Patient Recruitment/Public Liaison mail folder.
Toss out the spam, divide the “good” e-mails to whoever is supposed to get them for that day.
Check out blog to see how many dropped by during the night. (Take a few minutes to get over the disappointment.)
See if I sold any books overnight. (A couple more minutes to get over the disappointment.)
Make cappuccino for Gail. Make cappuccino for me. Drink said cappuccino.
20 minutes on the exercise bike.
Plant myself here at the computer and put out fires as they flare up.
Take 11am Stalevo.
Plant myself here, record podcasts, put out fires as they flare up.
If things are slow, do my Wii Fit workout.
Take 4pm Stalevo.
Watch Law and Order reruns.
Have a glass of wine.
Watch the Daily Show replay. Then Colbert rerun.
Have a glass of wine.
Take nighttime pills. 2mg of Klonopin to stop the nighttime screaming and slapping and kicking. Ambien to get me to sleep in the first place. Dulcolax to make the following morning less of a blood festival.
Go to bed.