Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bernice update

A few days ago, I mentioned that Bernice is having some health issues. Well, things are going pretty well. The veterinarians think the lump on her chest is something called a hemangiopericytoma. The bad part is that it seems that it's a type of cancer, but the good news is that it doesn't have quite the danger factor of what we usually think of when someone says "cancer." It doesn't usually metastasize. Instead, it tends to remain in its original site and grow there. The downside is that it not only grabs the tissue behind it, but these things often recur after they're removed.

Now, the really good news is that today's x-rays showed what they expected. It hasn't spread. In fact, the vet who met with us today (this is a multi-vet practice) thinks the surgeon may be able to get every bit of it out. We sure hope so!

Tomorrow she goes back in (and, believe me, she's not liking all of these trips to the vet!), and they'll do an echocardiogram, in order to get a better handle on the heart murmur they're hearing. Apparently, it's a slight murmur, so they think it's just a matter of seeing if there's something cardiac developing. If there is, they can medicate her to minimize issues in future. Not a big deal, and her heart looked good on the x-rays (no enlargement).

We expect her to have her surgery next week. And then Marc and I move into a cardboard box, because we'll have to sell everything to pay for Bernice's care! ;) Okay, maybe not, but this is costing a lot of money! This girl is getting better medical care than most people get!

Now, for no other reason than that this is a Bernice post, here's one of my favorite photos of her...

Isn't she pretty? :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

If they owned American cars, I'd be worried

This brief story on tonight's NBC network newscast apparently is meant to raise concerns about the people who will be helping to oversee the attempts to rescue the Detroit automakers, because they don't own American cars (and some don't own cars at all).

So why am I supposed to be concerned? They aren't blindly taking their business to American companies when better quality is being offered elsewhere. And some apparently manage to get by without driving a car. *gasp* Probably commies! *insert eye roll here*

Honestly, I'd be more worried if they drove Cadillacs. Then I'd have to question their judgment!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Just don't have the energy for a proper blog post

I'm sure there's plenty I could blog about. I really should, but I'm just too tired to think about a post with some substance. Bernice has been keeping us busy--and eating up money we really can't spare--with trips to the vet. She has been getting various tests and will soon have an echocardiogram to check out a heart murmur. After that, she'll be having a lump removed from her chest. All of this is costing a fortune, but we have to take care of our girl.

Jeff paid a visit this weekend. Yesterday, I did some grilling, and Marc made other tasty things to go with the food I grilled. We also drank more than our livers really needed and hung out in front of the fireplace.

Today was a relatively unproductive day. Jeff went back to Manhattan. Marc made a fabulous pecan-crusted chicken for dinner. Right now, we're watching Amazing Race. This inevitably leads to a reference to one of the dogs on the floor in front of me as the Amazing Moose (Moose being Mandy's chief nickname). This then leads to the song Amazing Moose. Since you don't live in the insanity of our world, I'll share the lyrics...

Amazing Moose, How Sweet the hound
Who plays with Dodger Lee
She's mostly black
But also brown
And goes outside to pee.

Yes, that's the kind of silliness that comes with life in this house. :)

Okay, time to go back to goofing off.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A productive day to cap a fabulous weekend

The weekend was great. Without getting into the sordid details, I'll say that this was one Valentine's Day (and weekend) that really was terrific. For two guys who usually have no interest in celebrating this particular holiday, that says a lot!

But far more important than the weekend fun was today's visit to Marc's surgeon. As you may recall, Marc had some delicate ear surgery done about four weeks ago. Today, the surgeon did a follow-up and loved everything he saw. Marc's healing has gone extremely well, and his hearing is progressing well.

After that good news, we had a very busy day today. We made one shopping stop in Manhattan, since we were there anyhow, then we rode the train back out to the Island. Once here, we stopped by the house, then took a lens to Nikon in Melville, because it isn't working right. It's an expensive lens, so I can't just chuck it because it stopped working right. Unfortunately, the folks at Nikon told me the repair would be over $300! But I really don't have a better choice, since replacing the lens would cost a lot more.

After that, we came back here to pick up Bernice and take her to the vet. It may be time for her teeth to be cleaned again (they told us to hold off when she was there a few months ago, since they weren't quite dirty enough at that time), plus she has a lump on her chest (long-time readers of this blog may recall that she's had lumps removed before... she's our lumpy girl) and a hot spot that she won't leave alone.

The vet who saw her today (it's a multi-vet practice) thinks she has a heart murmur, and that's something new. Something like that is a worry, of course. He wants her to come back Saturday to see if he stills hears it then (apparently, these things can be transient). If it's there Saturday, she then has to go for an echocardiogram, so they can decide if it's safe to put her under to remove the lump from her chest (and clean her teeth, as long as she'll be under).

On top of that, he doesn't like the feel of the lump. He says it doesn't move as freely as a lipoma should, but we're not going to worry yet. She's had a very similar lump before, and it was fine. It had to be removed, but it was harmless.

All in all, not the best visit (and vet stuff makes the lens repair look cheap!). So we go back Saturday, and we'll see what happens from there. Bernice is only 11 years old, and all of our dogs have been told we need them to live in good health to at least 50 or so, so this crap has to stop! *sigh*

So our weekend was fabulous, Marc is doing well and the day was productive, but Bernice's status is a worry. Life goes on, but I hate for one of our pups to have more issues. I sure hope it all works out well, because one of our pups having health issues is crushing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day

A figurative fly on the wall might expect me to say that I love Valentine's Day, because we had a great day and an amazing night! But I won't credit that to Valentine's Day. Of all of the "Hallmark holidays," this is one of the most irritating. (And before anyone tells me it's an old tradition and wasn't invented by Hallmark or their ilk, yes, I know, but I still think of it as one of those types of holidays.)

People who are truly in love don't need a special day to show it. They show it every day, in their words and actions. That may sound sappy, but it's true.

And as far as sex goes, if you need a special day to get some, something has gone wrong. I'm not saying we're as active as we were when we were a new couple (some things just can't be recreated), but we still have a good sex life. If I had to wait for a particular holiday for anything to happen, there would be other things to worry about!

But it's not just about sex, right? It's about romance! *gag* Puh-leeze. Getting people to buy a diamond or roses or whatever isn't romance. It's commerce.

Okay, I'll stop. Thank you for letting me vent my annoyance. Now I'll go have breakfast and, after that, I'm going to "be romantic" with my husband. Yes, even though it's not Valentine's Day anymore. I hope that doesn't break any rules!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I love seeing my tax dollars doing things like this...

Stories like this make me smile. Justice being visited upon thieves and murderers (or those who, at the least, threaten murder) is a very good thing. In this case, the results are there for all of us to see.

The subject of our little story is this group of men (and don't they look nice with their hands up?)...

They fired on and tried to board the Indian-flagged ship Premdivya. Unfortunately for them, they didn't just have to contend with the crew of the Premdivya, since the crew sent a distress call that was answered by another ship in the area. This one...

That is the United States Navy cruiser USS Vella Gulf. While the pirates brought their rifles, the Vella Gulf brings things like this to a fight...

Actually, the Vella Gulf didn't need to use her guns or missiles. Instead, to quickly get to the scene and deal with these thugs, a helicopter was launched. The crew of the helicopter fired a few shots to get the pirates' attention, and that was that. The pirates are now in custody.

Despite the debacles of recent years (one big one, in particular), I still believe this country is a force for good and justice in this world. Today, we get to see one little example of that.


A few years ago, when I was commuting into Manhattan, there was a billboard near the tracks with a Navy ad that I thought was terrific. Looking online, I found this image from the ad campaign:

Now that's a slogan that really captures the noblest of the Navy's goals!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Personal DNA quiz

Will pointed the way to the Personal DNA quiz. I don't usually like online quizzes, but Will is a very sharp guy, and I was intrigued by this quiz. It turns out to ask a lot more questions and go a lot deeper than most such quizzes (or so it seems to me).

Having completed the quiz, I find the results quite interesting. I'll be particularly interested to see what Marc thinks.

You are an Advocating Analyst

You are an Analyst

Your attention to detail, confidence, sense of order, and focus on functionality combine to make you an ANALYST.

You are very curious about how things work, delving into the mechanics behind things.

Along those lines, how well something works is usually more important to you than what it looks like.

You find beauty and wonder mainly in concrete, functional, earthly things.

You are very aware of your own abilities, and you believe that you will find the best way of doing things.

Accordingly, problems do not intimidate you, as you believe in yourself.

You trust yourself to find solutions within the boundaries of your knowledge.

You don't spend a lot of time imagining how things could be different—you're well-grounded in the here-and-now.

It is important for you to follow a routine, and you prefer the familiar to the unknown.

You prefer to have time to plan for things, feeling better with a schedule than with keeping plans up in the air until the last minute.

If you want to be different:
Try to embrace the imaginative, creative part of your personality more often.

Try moving beyond the things that you find comfortable—open yourself up to a broader range of experiences.

You are Advocating

Being social, empathic, and understanding makes you ADVOCATING.

Some people find being around others exhausting—but not you! You are energized by spending time with friends, and you are good at meeting new people.

One of the reasons you enjoy conversation as much as you do is that you often learn about yourself while talking things out with a friend; you realize things about your own beliefs while discussing them with others.

You have insight into what others are thinking and feeling. This ability allows you to be happy for others, and to commiserate when something has gone wrong for them.

You are highly compassionate, and being conscious of how things affect those close to you leaves you cautious about trusting others too hastily.

Despite these reservations, you are open-minded when it comes to your worldview; you don't look to impose your ways on others.

Your sensitivity towards others' plights contributes to an understanding—both intellectual and emotional—of many different perspectives.

As someone who understands the complexities of the world around you, you are reluctant to pass judgments.

If you want to be different:
While it's important to think about others, don't forget to take some time for yourself, and occasionally to put yourself first.

Take some time to spend with a few close friends; although it's difficult to find people to trust, it's worth the effort.

When you have great ideas, it can be hard to relinquish control, but it can also feel good to take the pressure off and enjoy someone else leading the way.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Whoopie Pies

Last Sunday, we watched a sporting event on TV with some friends. We were going to their house and said we'd bring dessert. Marc decided to make a dessert called Whoopie Pies. Here are a few shots from the production line...

I got to the bowl of filling a little late to get a good shot

Marc got the recipe from a book I bought him a while ago. The end result was wonderful, like most things Marc makes.

And, just like this, a few dog photos...

Bernice guarded the couch while the Whoopie Pies were being made

Dodger maintained order in the kitchen (of course, he had no interest in any food that might hit the floor!)

This last photo isn't even a good quality photo, and it has nothing to do with the rest of this post. I just like it. It's so Dodger...