This story’s about
a Boxer, named Joe.
A puppy whose owner
kicked him out in the snow.
With his little pal, Pepper,
they wandered the streets,
looking for friendly faces
and something to eat.
It took three weeks to find
a friendly new home
with plenty of food
and plenty of love.
They took time settling in,
feeling safe, feeling loved.
And a new furry four-legged
pal, Tigger the Dog.
Warm bed, and full bellies
and playtime with balls.
This new home of theirs
really wasn’t bad at all.
But the Boxer, named Joe
still felt hungry sometimes,
tucked into his crate,
or just lying around.
He’d pick up the closest thing to his mouth
and he’d chew it, and chomp it,
and swallow it down.
Soon the house was filled
with little pieces of things.
A half-chewed lamb,
a bee with no wings.
The desk lost a corner,
the chair was half gone.
No matter how safe he was,
Joe kept chewing on.
Month one he devoured a dog bed
Month two he had eaten toys, desks
Month three Joe ate through a leash, coat, collar
Paper towels, blankets,
sticks and stuffed bears.
Dog brushes and combs,
a sleep mask and shirt,
a dozen more dog beds,
lots sticks, heaps of dirt.
Joe kept on chewing
no matter how much we yelled.
This hunger inside him
would just not be quelled.
Time-out didn’t work,
or peanut filled treats.
The chewing kept going.
He just liked to eat.
And as frustrated as we were,
in our half eaten home,
we just couldn’t get rid of him,
no matter what he’d done.
Because Joe was our dog,
as silly as he looked.
And no matter what he ate.
No matter what he broke.
He was forever ours,
cause our stupid hearts had spoke.
So this is our family now,
three dogs, mom and dad.
Chewed up furniture, lots of drool,
but hey, we’re not mad.
Cause family is family,
Be it big, messy and furry.
Every family is different.
And this one is merry.
This holiday season,
Please take time to enjoy,
all the little silly moments,
your fuzzy seconds of joy.
And if you happen to have
a moment of doubt,
think of Pepper and Joe
and how love won out.
Six months ago I went out the front door with the dogs for a quick walk about the yard.
Six (ish) hours later, Husband brought me back in the front door in a splint with three broken bones in my ankle, a prescription for heavy drugs, an appointment with a surgeon for the next morning and a new appreciation for my Husband.
Seven weeks ago, that surgeon pronounced me healed – though Broken Ankle and I dispute that every day. Sure the bones are healed, my plates and screws are settled in to their new home, the scars beginning to soften. But my muscles, my ligaments, they would disagree. And disagree they do – loudly and frequently. Add to that my lack of mobility and his cheerful "You're healed." couldn't be further from the truth. I’m so dang slow that when I walk with Husband, we can't hold hands because even at his slowest pace, he ends up dragging me, shuffling along.
My new normal is random mystery shooting pains that bring about sudden limping that I’m sure to others look like I’m putting my acting training to use. I promise, I’m not. It really is the only way I can walk these days – "good step, good step, ah fuck, limp, limp..."
Sure I can walk downstairs now alternating feet but only if I’m holding onto a rail for dear life. I can move things about the garden while wearing my steel toed work boots but only if I stop after an hour, mainline pain killers and put my foot up for three. I still can’t get Broken Ankle to bend enough to put on a boot but I’ve added one more pair of shoes to my rotating outfit - bringing my total to three. My very un-fancy twelve-year-old Keen’s are still my mainstay shoe of choice. Winter is going to suck.
Tomorrow is my last day my beloved red temporary handicap placard is valid. I will now have to limp from parking slots much further away from any shop. With the coming ice and snow, I dread each step. On the other hand, I’ll be less likely to be judged by the blue handicap placard folks who scan my body for injury to determine if I’m worthy of the spot. Which is funny because I’m the dumbass who will pull off my sock to show you my scars at anytime. Consider yourself warned. I’ll show you my scars without asking. I need you to know I’m still broken despite my outward health. Just be thankful I didn't feel the need to do this with my hysterectomy scar.
I’m officially that person that can feel a storm coming on and will tell you about it in the aisle of the grocery store. Broken Ankle aches with the cold, a deep throbbing ache that radiates up the calf and cannot seem to be soothed. Not even with my constant whining and tears. I baby it constantly, rubbing oils on it to break up the scaring and ease the pain, covering it in decorative socks that make me look like a pirate. Heck, I even found a tattoo sleeve and wore it to a party as an impromptu Broken Ankle warmer with my fancy dress. I’m sure I came off as way cooler than I am in real life. I’m totally considering a full leg tattoo when it all stops being tender. Surprisingly, Husband is on board with this.
Speaking of Husband, as wonderful has he has been during this ordeal – and it has been an ordeal - he still can’t touch Broken Ankle. He has never liked feet and the gnarly scar isn’t tempting him to change his mind about them. He might like to force hug me when I’m fighting with him but I can shut him down by pulling Broken Ankle and shoving it in his face.
If I’m looking for a sliver lining, that will have to be it. Three broken bones, one plate, eight screws, six months of angst, a foot that will never be the same size or color again and I have an automatic out of any fight for the rest of my marriage.
Going to call that a win.
Since I don't feel like/want to post old gross pics, here are a few Broken Ankle posts with pictures. The titles are unintentionally connected. I mean, that I was on heavy drugs and came up with that kind of throughline, well, that's just awesome. It's the little things...
My. Right. Foot.
So. Dang. Gross.
Yesterday was… all the feelings. At once, on top of each other, fighting to be felt. Which made me nauseous and sad and dizzy and … well, feel all the feelings.
But yesterday I was with two of the people I love. And Brother called and made Mom and I laugh. And Husband and Mom and I went out to lunch. And the sun was shining and the sky was blue and the birds were singing. And I have a new Jack Reacher book and a warm house and comfy couch and time to read it.
AND it was five months to the day since I Broke Ankle and I spent time in the garden moving mulch and Broken Ankle hurt but ache/sore/muscle/swollen hurt not stabbing/must inhale lots of drugs broken pain.
And then there was Joseph.
Joseph has a peculated mass on his elbow that keeps catching on things and bleeding - usually all over the white couch or rug. Earlier in the week I tried one of my butchered socks but he kept licking it down his leg, getting it caught on his foot and doing this wonky walk to get it off. So I tried the vet’s suggestion of a t-shirt. I went with one of Husband’s long sleeved one because of where the mass is on the elbow. It was not the best choice.
Because, as you can see, Joseph was not in the least impressed with my ingenuity.
Even after I rolled up the sleeves a bit, he shot me that look of disappointment that makes you want to hug him, even when he is covered in drool and smells like poop.
And while I was trying to take this picture of Joseph, I spotted a Coyote in the backyard which Tigger the Dog also spotted. So, I took this picture and sent it to Husband. The Coyote is at the back of the cement pad trying to win a starring contest with a doesn't know any better dog.
And while I was sending the picture of TTD threatening the Coyote through the window, Joseph suddenly decided the t-shirt was some sort of creature attacking him and FREAKED OUT.
Like did this massive hop-shimmy-wriggle-jump thing, with eyes bulging and weird groan-moan noises freak-out thing all over the den to get the evil t-shirt beast off. In the process knocking over a large plant pot, slamming into the TV and causing Mom and I to laugh so hard that we cried.
My quick solution to keep the blood off the carpet resulted in dirt ground into the carpet, a slimy TV, a traumatized dog and a reality check. Life keeps on going. And life can still be funny. All you need is a batshit crazy dog and a t-shirt.
Get on that. It really makes the pukey dizzy feelings go away.
Ooooh wee have I been quiet on here. Not that I haven't had lots to say. On the contrary, I've had too much to say. I've started several dozens posts - some lie dormant on my computer, some still spinning around my head - but none of the words have been perfect. None of the brilliance that spews from my angst has been able to perfectly express my feelings. My raw, painful, angry, frustrated feelings.
And there is so much sh*t on the Internet, in the news, in the air, what is my part in that? Do I really need to add my voice, my raw, painful, angry, frustrated feelings, to the masses of negative blurts? What sort of contribution am I making to the world if I do? There is so much that is icky out there, why fill that bucket with more?
So I've been quiet here and verbally volcanic at home. My jaw is clenched at night I dream of monsters and toothless attackers and crying babies and thunder – though that last might be the popcorn I ate just before bedtime fighting with my stomach to stay...
The random blurts about my life with Husband, does that further the human race or hold it back? I mean, really do you really need to know about the current disaster going on in our house right now? Is your life incomplete until you find out about how utterly horrible it is that the folks that make Husband’s toiletries have discontinued the line he uses and we had to spend an hour in Target last week testing all possible replacements.
Change is not good when it means listening to the pros and cons of a smell – for. an. hour. Even if it is in my happy place.
And the possible replacement ‘smell’ - which is something called Island - has a coconut spice bouquet that is blending in the most horrible way with the smell of death that the dogs are tooting after eating whatever was in the yard.
And speaking of dogs, Tigger the Dog fended off a coyote the other day. Barked the sucker off the property to the other side of the crick to stand staring, threatening to come back when she wasn’t looking. And then it did come back this morning while TTD was asleep on the dog bed in the sun. Is that really news that will make your morning move?
Is it necessary for you know, for me to share that the surgeon has said Broken Ankle is 100% healed. (Or heeled if you’re me trying to be funny.) And how totally disappointed I was with his lack of celebration for all I’ve accomplished. Learning to walk again is hard, ya’ll. Where was my blue ribbon for that race? How about a certificate for a free dance class or a list of places to hike in Nashville or a discount for a tattoo that will cover the Halloween scars that line my ankle? He could have at least given me a lollypop. I mean, Broken Ankle paid for his summer vacation and braces for his kids.
Also, Doc, if I’m healed, how come the sucker still hurts when I walk or when I drive or when the weather changes to thunder and lightening or when I’m just sitting about and the freaking Pain Tourette’s kicks in for no damn reason? How come I can’t walk down stairs unless I turnaround and go down backwards, reassuring myself the whole way that I can do it? How come the stupid Right thing is still swollen and a whole different color from Left thing and the only thing that makes it feel better is a freakin’ leg warmer thing that I’ve cobbled together? And when oh when will my tippy toe come back on that side? Screw doing Ballet, I want to be able to reach things on the top shelf again.
Yeah, Doc, healed, my ass.
As you can see, just lightness and joy over here… So, until I figure out how I’m contributing to the positive, I’m going to keep my negatives to myself and just be present in my very small world for a while. The mom is coming into town tomorrow and I’ve got stories to listen to more than once, tippy toes to practice, nature to stare at and candles to light to try and combat the smell of Hawaiian death… It’s the little things, apparently, that smell the worst.
Last week, while I was still in California, Husband listened to a Podcast while he was painting the hallway with the author of this book; The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Program to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness by Prof. Steve Peters.
He has not stopped talking about it since. According to Prof. Steve, (and now Husband), we have three parts of our brain: The Human, the Chimp and the Computer. The Human part operates by thinking through all consequences before acting while the Chimp acts impulsively and uses totally emotional thinking. Either the Human or the Chimp programs the Computer and follows either agenda depending on how it is programmed.
The bottom line is: when your Chimp and Human agree on what to do ‘no problem’, but disagree and Chimp wins as the most powerful and therefore ruler of thought and action.
Apparently - and I’m paraphrasing what I heard Husband say - the reason everything I do is wrong and irritating and emotionally is because of my inner Chimp and I need to get my Chimp under control.
Since I’ve been back, Husband is constantly telling me that my Chimp is the reason I did that or said this or ate whatever. My Chimp is why we ordered that damn fried ice cream at his Fifteen Years in America celebration dinner the other night when we were both already full. My Chimp is why I yelled at the dogs yesterday when Tigger The Dog wouldn’t get her nose out of the chipmunk hole and Pepper the Wannabe Cat got too close to the edge of the yard where I’m sure the Coywolf is lurking and Joe Boxer smeared his drooly face all over my butt. And that damn Chimp is why I’m having a hard time believing I can do what I want to do and what he thinks I can do and should do but I’m not doing.
He brings that damn Chimp up in every single conversation. Every. Single. One. Which resulted in this, um… discussion yesterday that was, according to Mr. Expert, 100% Chimp driven.
ME: I’m feeling fragile right now. I just want you to leave me alone.
HUSBAND: That’s just your Chimp telling you to say that. You need to be in control of your Chimp.
ME: Leave my Monkey out of this!
HUSBAND: It’s not a Monkey. It’s a Chimp. That’s your Chimp getting angry.
ME: My Chimp is a Monkey and my Monkey is telling you to shut up!
HUSBAND: But if you let the Monkey’s anger control you –
ME: My Monkey is getting very angry at your Monkey trying to fix me and wants your Monkey to get the fuck away from me and leave me alone.
HUSBAND: (While attempting a hug) You’re in control of your Monkey. Tell it what to do.
ME: AAAAH! I TOLD YOU TO LEAVE ME ALONE! I DON’T KNOW WHY YOU CAN’T JUST LISTEN TO MY MONKEY? MY MONKEY NEEDS SOME TIME TO JUST DO WHAT IT’S DOING AND I TOLD YOU THAT AND YOU DIDN’T LISTEN AND THAT’S MAKING MY MONKEY SADDER AND STRESSED OUT AND MY MONKEY DOESN’T LIKE YOU RIGHT NOW BECAUSE YOU WON’T LISTEN WHEN IT TOLD YOU TO LEAVE ME ALONE SO LEAVE ME ALONE!!!
ME: My Monkey says to GO AWAY RIGHT NOW OR IT'S GOING TO START CRYING...
Husband left me with the three dogs, my damn Monkey and Broken Ankle to sit on the couch with and finish our pity party.
It’s good to be home.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me