You would think our dogs had never seen rain. As they were getting ready to go out they got to the edge of the door and you could almost hear the ‘screech’ as they stopped on their little paws. I said: “Get out!!! You need to pee.” They looked at me as though I was sending them into a minefield. The pit bull had the most expressive look – she hangs her head and looks up with pleading eyes that say: “but you don’t understand…it is wet out there. I will diiiieeee if you make me go out.” I told her to get her ass out and pee. She hung her head the whole way. Dogs. I don’t know what I would do without them.

Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘I think there may be a revolution’ edition

  • As my regular 17 readers would know, I am not a fan of summer. I hate the heat; it makes me sicker than I already am. I get heat stroke in like 5 minutes. Just going to the car and doing errands makes me want to lose my cookies. I am also not a big fan of the rain. It seems like it started to rain last November and has not stopped yet for any length of time. We had a long, wet winter. A cold, wet spring. Now, it seems like autumn has arrived without a spring or a summer. This weather is similar to late September early October. Even though I hate the heat and the sun I am starting to feel bad for my friends who adore the heat. I hope you at least get the month of August!
  • I am really getting impatient for Lion to drop. It is supposed to come in July and there are only 13 days left of July. I get it free for my Mac Pro, which means I should get it for my other computers. I love how Lion is going to bring more of the iOS system to the Mac. I suspect Mac purists may not like this evolution but it is the direction computer operation systems are heading. One of the things I like best about Mac OS X is that it is intuitive and easy to use. iOS is even easier to use so any integration will only make Macs easier to use.
Clio a week ago
  • Clio is starting to fade. She has been on Lasix and cardiac meds for almost a year now. She is at the highest dose of both. She is not coughing so that part is good. Lasix is hard on a dog’s kidneys but it is a necessary drug to keep the water moving out of her lungs so she can breathe. She is still eating although not as much which is causing her to lose weight. She is not in any pain, nor is she vomiting or having diarrhea. Vomiting and diarrhea are signs of kidney failure. The other thing that the vet told me could happen is that her heart would basically explode which would be a catastrophic death. So, as long as she is not any crisis we don’t need to make a decision. If/when she starts to cough we will immediately let her go.
  • We have decided that Deb’s birthday present is going to be a trip away for both of us. I score too!! We are trying to find a place that will take dogs, has luxury, maybe a dog sitting service etc. I think we are willing to go to Vancouver Island but not the Gulf Islands. Anyone have any ideas?

Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘stoned edition’

  • Last Friday after I had all that awesome dental work done, I came home and went to sleep. At some point in the evening, thinking I was lucid, I decided to set up a more professional Gmail account rather than shihtzustaff@gmail.com.[1] So, I created a grown up account based on my name. I directed all of my personal email there and promptly forgot what I had done. Now, I had 2 Gmail accounts checking my primary personal address at Shaw. Some emails came through but many others did not. I booked flights with WestJet and didn’t get a confirmation email. Other emails I did not miss like Wordrpess’s ‘postaday 2011’ inane suggestions. Finally, on Friday, it all came back to me. I went to the new address and there were all my emails for the week. Clearly, the dental office should prohibit people from doing anything on a computer after being sedated with triazolam.
  • I have to say this: ”I am fucking sick of the monsoons already!” It has rained so hard today; I will not be surprised if the North Alouette River has gone over its banks. It is not that I am desperate for the sun to come because I am not but all this rain is too much! I know I live in a rainforest and I just need to suck it up but that would be a Herculean task for which I am not prepared!
  • Speaking of WestJet – they are an amazing company. I have a hard time flying due to obesity because of PCOS. WestJet has a program called One Person, One Fare. What this means is that if you have a disability, medical condition or you require an attendant to fly, WestJet will assess whether you qualify for an extra free seat. Your doctor needs to fill in a form and then it is assessed. I had my doctor fill out the form and fax it in. I was told that I qualified within less than 48 hours! For our upcoming flight to Calgary, we will have a seat between us. I did as much for me as for Deb. With her MS she needs to be able to stretch and move a little bit. We will also not need to stress out about whether the flight is full and if we can get a middle seat blocked between us. I can also kiss away the bruises I have suffered when we are crammed into a full row. We always fly with WestJet and we will continue to be loyal customers.
  • Zoe’s personality[2] continues to amaze me. That dog is relentless and is exceptionally good at getting what she wants all the time. Her newest thing to do is to bark and paw at me constantly while I am eating. It does not matter what I am eating she is convinced that she should eat it too. The other night I was eating kali daal, made with black lentils, and she would not stop barking and pawing, so I gave her some and she liked it. The dog is F-R-E-A-K! Dinner consists of her barking and standing on my stomach while I am yelling ‘no’ and moving her off of me. Good times Chez Shihtzustaff! The funny thing is: we wouldn’t change her for anything! She is loved, adored and treated like royalty – as all Shihtzus should be!

[1] I have been trying to use a different interface for email. While I like Gmail, I find the website interface a bit clunky and I was looking for something a little more sophisticated like Apple’s Mail program or Postbox. However, I was running into problems in that the base Gmail address was showing up as the address. I don’t like to use that, as I don’t really want people connecting me in real life to my online screen name. I especially don’t want my mother to find my blog.

[2] It always seem strange to say that dogs have ‘personalities.’

Why I hate Spring Rain

We live in a rain forest here on the left coast of North America. And it rains. It rains a lot. It rains for months at a time in the winter. It also rains in the spring. Spring rain is quite different from winter rain and I can’t stand spring rain

In the winter it rains. Unless there is a ‘pineapple express’ in town, it just lightly rains. You need your windshield wipers, maybe a hat or an umbrella, but generally, you don’t get soaked. Sometimes it mists where it just seems like a light rainy coating is covering you and everything outside but again you can stay relatively dry.

Spring rain is wet. It seems to come down in buckets. Windshield wipers need to go at full speed and still you can’t see. Then it starts and stops. So it pours and then we are lulled into a fall sense of complacency. Then, it pours again. Personally, I would much rather have winter rain if it must rain.

At least we are not in Calgary, where it snowed, yet again!

Weather Rant

Ok, I am done. I have had enough rain. The last 2 days it has been like a monsoon here in lotus land. I get that we live in a rain forest but in all seriousness this has been the winter from freaking hell. It is so bad it is threatening to eat up spring too. This weather is closer to January than it is to April. At least it is not snowing where I am.

I think it is important to remember all the people for whom shelter is a real challenge. I complain about the rain and all I have to do in it is to walk to and from my car. I have proper footwear and warm coats if I want to wear them. Lots of people are not as fortunate as many of us. Winter is not over yet and the need is high.



Dispatches from the Swamp – the Quicksand Edition

Well it is day 2 of NaBloPoMo and I thought how better to celebrate than some updates from the swamp and a little rant by me.

Did you know that today has been proclaimed ‘Vitamin D’ day by the City of Vancouver? We all know that Vitamin D is important, especially here on the wet coast where it can rain from November through April? We all know we need to take Vitamin D but it seems that even the experts don’t know how much we should take. Apparently it is very hard to overdose on Vitamin D, which is good to know. However, I am wary of any of these health claims about vitamins, minerals, fibre etc., because, no doubt, in a couple of years, we will hear how bad Vitamin D is for you. So, Vitamin D, celebrate your day. I wonder how Gregor felt proclaiming today “Vitamin D” day.

Why does Dancing with the Stars keep trying to resurrect Rod Stewart’s career? Seriously, they seem to have him on every season. He is old and tottering and has lost his rhythm. He needs to just go gracefully and retire already!

Our shed is currently inaccessible because we have had so much rain that the mud has turned to quicksand. Hopefully everything will settle in a couple of weeks as the water moves to the back of the property. However, if news reports are true and we really do get the worst winter in 50 years maybe the shed will just float away, never to be seen again.

Back on to Dancing with the Stars, I wonder how the pro dancers put up with these stars? Some are whiny prima donnas who definitely need to be put in their place. I hope they pros are paid very well for doing this show. In other news, we have “Skating with the Stars” to look forward to in a couple of weeks!

I would also like to thank Hopcott Premium Meats for their generous donation of 50 pounds of ground beef to NPO where I work. This donation will help us to feed hungry people.


Well, the month of June has arrived in the lower mainland. Us locals refer to it more accurately as Juneuary. It is cold and it is wet. Our backyard (already in the flood plain) is completely soaked with pooling water once again. This does not bode well for getting the septic system fixed anytime soon. It has to dry out enough so that when Deb digs to the lid the hole does not fill with water. It is looking like August or September before it is dry enough out there for that to happen.

Thankfully we have mowed the lawns – front and back. The new ride-on did a great job plowing through 2-4 foot high grass. I can’t imagine how bad it would be right now if we hadn’t mowed. Now it will be too we for some time again. Hopefully the grass won’t grow too much in the interim.

There is one good thing about the rain – it beats down the allergens that cause my hay fever. Out here in Maple Ridge they hay…and I get real hay fever. I sneeze for hours on end until it feels like my head is going to blow up. I am also mocked ad nauseum for the noises I make when I sneeze. Noises which are completely involuntary.

Summer will arrive soon enough. Hopefully it won’t be too hot this year!