Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Finding Joy Despite a Shitastrophy

Yesterday was, as another blogger has called it, a shitastrophy.

I had a dog coming to groom that I dread. She's probably a sweet dog, but she doesn't like her annual shave.

There are actually a lot of dogs who only get an annual shave (I have two) in early summer and some of them are comfortable with the process. Maggie, not so much.

The first time I groomed her it was an all out wrestling match and I almost wished I'd taken her owner up on his offer to stay and help. Generally, however, I can negotiate the process by continually talking to her, and watching her very closely. Unlike most other dogs, she doesn't signal her intent to bite by licking her lips or touching me with her teeth -- she snaps like a snapping turtle. I dread her coming from the time they call until after we're done.

When she arrived for her appointment, I discovered my long-term rescue, Pedro, had wallowed his way out of his cage Sunday night and wrecked the grooming parlor. There were papers, towels, and shredded cardboard scattered everywhere and multiple surfaces had been marked. Pedro was recaged, the mess cleaned up, and then I discovered Pedro was having an attack of nerves. Nerves in a dog frequently lead to poop. Repeated poop.

Before the morning was over I'd cleaned up Pedro's poop twice; he had destroyed another cage by shredding the pan in the bottom; I had to bathe Pedro because after he pooped and wore himself out destroying the cage, he had to lie down for a nap; and I identified the probable source of Pedro's angst as the French bulldog who sounded like she was being killed by torture although there was nothing in the world wrong with her. She was relocated to another location and Pedro was napping happily nearby as I finally tackled the "snapper spaniel."

After all that, I grabbed lunch (literally, I made a chicken wrap and practically swallowed it whole), dumped a tank of Roundup (not crunchy, but I'm using what's on hand first) on the weeds overtaking my sidewalks and chicken fencing, and push mowed the yard (no self-propelled, I do push mow the still grassy part of my 3/4 acre yard).

Oh, I hadn't mentioned before that I'm occasionally crazy active?

Well, I wound down after that with a dip in the pool (above ground, don't think too ritzy here) and fixed a cold supper for hubby and I. That was probably the high points of the day.

With a day like that yesterday -- humorous now, but at the time it was rubber gloves and gagging -- I need my Tuesday fix of joy. Who doesn't?

1. A tiny box turtle. I remember as a kid my dad picking up box turtles out of the road. It was a regular occurrence. I think he mostly drove by and picked them up from the door, and I'm pretty sure they got relocated out of their territory because we didn't know about such things. But he saved them from death on the asphalt and I'm prone to doing the same, even turning around to go back, although I try to just move them across the road. After dropping E1 at school, I noticed a turtle shaped blob on the busy road near my home and turned around to check it out. It was probably the smallest box turtle I've ever seen and it delighted two little girls for short drive to the point I let it go in a quieter area.

2. Falling into the aforementioned pool. Yes, it's an ultraframe, above ground temporary structure, but it's 16x4 and a step up from the little easyset one we used last year. I bought it used, it works with my existing filter and saltwater treatment system, and it doesn't leak. Since we managed to do it level, if we decide it's large enough we may go permanent above ground with decking and save enough on the installation to pay for the deck.

3. Fig leaves. Despite the cold winter and the hurt it put on so many plants in our area, my little fig tree is finally putting forth leaves. It did freeze back to the ground, but there is life.

4. Finally getting up one roll of the fencing we got last fall to enclose my garden and extend the chicken's range. Of course, we're only half done, but it looks good and it was funny watching my less intelligent dog run into it repeatedly last night in the dark. Seriously, I heard this strange noise and there he stands, and then he does it a couple more times and stands there at the corner. Eventually he figured out how to go back around the end.

5. Bottle feeding a baby calf. I'm helping tend critters at a friend's house while she's gone to the beach (she did the same for me) and feeding the baby calf may be the high point. The calf doesn't care that I'm a stranger. I've got her bottle and she's eager to eat.

6. An evening with friends. I spontaneously (as in informing my husband after the fact) invited a couple over for dinner, serving up steak, a new potato salad recipe, and cherry cobbler as my part of the fare. The evening was delightful all around.

7. Mastering my five-speed. It has been years since I regularly drove a five-speed. My little Miata has given me a few quirks. I've only killed it once, but was regularly skipping third and hitting fifth, but I seem to have overcome that challenge. I even barked the tires changing gears the other day. Silly, but it made me smile.

Take a moment... What made you smile this week? Yesterday? Treasure it to get through the rough spots. Capture it, if you can. Remember, that even if today is a shitastrophy, or the week seems full of hardships, there are reasons to smile if you look for them.


  1. Yeah. Cleaning up nervous dog poop is always better looking back on the experience! Way back. I'm so glad you emerged from your appointment with the 'snapper spaniel' with all limbs intact.
    You definitely had a day! Thank you for sharing it with us! :)

  2. Angela,

    Bottle feeding a calf made my heart melt a little...I can feel the warm, silky muzzle and hear the lapping!

    Saving turtles? Hubby and I have done this many times and now our children are carrying on the tradition. LOL

    And you've got a 5-spped, too?! Isn't it just fabulous?! Like riding a bicycle...one never really forgets...I've smiled so many times since putting my little gal on the road last Friday...thanks for yet a few more smiles! :)

    and Pedro takes "shitastrophy" literally, huh? ;)

    Hugs, Journeyer!!

  3. Just reading about your day made me tired! I love the delight the baby turtle inspired on the baby human's face! Great photo!

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  5. This is a slower day? Sounds like a wonderful life (except for the dog poop of course)!