Is it silly to cry over a squirrel?

Dear sisters,

We were out for our Saturday morning family walk around the Capitol complex when Takk was distracted by something. We tried to keep walking, brushing it off as his usual weirdness, but then realized that he was in fact looking at a little furry critter.

It turns out that it was a young squirrel, not a tiny baby, but not fully grown, that had fallen from a tree onto the sidewalk. We hoped that the squirrel was just startled by the fall and by Takk’s antics and would climb back up if we left it alone. We continued walking, planning to check in when we got back to that spot.

Honestly, I spent the next mile making plans for my new life with a pet squirrel. As you do.

Phil’s vet tech skills and the wonderful vets at the clinic would fix the little squirrel up. Obviously, Fry would cuddle the little squirrel, and it could snuggle up in all my scarves, and Takk would try to play with it. I was completely prepared to be the crazy squirrel lady.

As we reached the spot again on our walk, we couldn’t see the little squirrel and assumed that all had worked out for the best. But as I crossed the street to be sure, I found that it was there on the sidewalk, still breathing, but not well. We made a few attempts to reach a local Fish, Wildlife, and Parks rehab center, but weren’t successful. Of course, the odds of them making a trip for a little squirrel were slim.

As a magpie hopped over and pecked at the little squirrel’s tail, we knew that the kindest option would be taking it to the vet to be euthanized. We found a box in my car and gently slid the squirrel into it. It squeaked in pain and fear as I tried to ease it all the way in. Both back legs appeared to be broken. Another squirrel chattered at us from a nearby tree.

I closed the box and walked towards the car… and started crying. I wish I could have explained to the other squirrel where we were taking this one, probably her baby. I wish I could have told the little squirrel not to be scared.

We took the squirrel to the vet clinic where Phil works, and the doctor working today took a look and agreed that it was best to put it to sleep.

My heart hurts. I know it’s just a little squirrel. I know that this is how nature works. But for a minute, I had a dream of a perfect world where every little furry creature gets to live a wonderful, happy life… and maybe we all get to, too.

Rest in peace, little squirrel. You were loved, ever so briefly, and hopefully made your exit quickly and without much pain. I guess that’s all we can really ask for.

Wishing life was fair,

Abby

 

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life on call

Sisters,

As you know, Phil is a veterinary technician. This career is another bullet point on his amazing and varied resume of metal fabricator, hog farm employee, summer camp maintenance guy, nonprofit assistant director, hardware store manager, community mental health mentor, special education paraprofessional, Lowe’s sales associate, baseball concessions hawker, and Indian Education tutor. He has attempted (and excelled at) so many different things. But veterinary care? The man is especially brilliant.

We have long known that Phil knows things. He just does. He knows things about things. Maybe that’s why he’s so good at so many jobs. But above all, Phil knows dogs. He is my dog whisperer. Seriously, he’s magical. He must be part dog. Or maybe he was a dog in a past life. It makes me a little jealous, because our dogs at home always love him, not more, but just a little differently than they love me. It’s this special deeper bond.

Maggie destroyed some of the first things I moved into Phil’s house before we got married. She was my dearest dog, my therapist, my best friend… but she was Phil’s best friend first and loved him as such.

 

wp-1475382624125.pngPhil and Takk are bros. We used to have this big chair and ottoman, and Takk would climb up there when Phil was sitting in the chair. We called it Chair Club for Men. Nothing makes my Buddy Buddy happier than hanging out with his pal Phil.

Fry is my dog. She really is. She is my baby. We cuddle in bed at night, especially when I’m a sucker and let her under the covers. And still, she has this different love and respect for Phil. In some bizarre scenario where she was forced to make a choice, I can’t help but think that she would choose Phil. She’d follow him to the ends of the earth.

Last spring, we visited Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah. It is our happy place and this was our second visit. While Phil’s mom and I visited all sorts of animal areas- cats, bunnies, puppies- Phil stayed in Dogtown. One day, he was invited to work with Eeyore. The caregivers informed Phil that Eeyore wasn’t going to like him: Eeyore was terrified of beards, glasses, and hats. Phil was the trifecta, so you can guess how Eeyore responded.

Yeah, he obviously didn’t mind Phil at all. Because dog whisperer. #justphilthings

Phil tells me time and time again of dogs at the vet clinic who are supposedly scared of men. Phil can almost always handle them without trouble. He has become the go-to employee for handling challenging dogs. A big highly strung dog that used to take a team to accomplish a nail trim? Phil can trim those nails by himself now.

Phil has recently been added to the weekend on call schedule at the clinic, which means he is responsible for Saturday morning appointments, lunchtime and evening medical treatments on Saturday and Sunday, and may be called in at any time during off hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for medical emergencies.

I am wrapping up this post at 10:30 on Saturday night. Phil was called in an hour or so ago. Just got the text that another call is coming in, so he’ll be there for awhile. I must confess, this on call schedule thing is new for me. It’s weird. It’s an adjustment. Phil has always been the living embodiment of “early to bed, early to rise,” so it’s odd for him to stay up late just in case (a little superstition from one of the doctors… if you can make it to ten o’clock, you’re in the clear).

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Tonight, as Phil left, he apologized for going. This bothered me. Yup, him being on call is weird. It’ll take a bit for me to adjust. I’ll never be a big fan of him leaving in the middle of the night. I’ll always worry about him being rested enough. In all fairness though, I’m not sure he’ll ever be a fan of leaving in the middle of the night either. But he is good at his job, and I never want him to apologize for that. So these sleepy dogs and I will make the best of it.

We’ll leave the light on for you,

Abby

You guys. I did the thing.

Dear Sisters,

People used to ask me if I was a runner. Apparently because all tall, slim people must run? I don’t know. Anyway, I am definitely not a runner. I hate running. What do I like? I like to bike, although I do it very seldom and for very short distances. I like to rollerblade, but my ‘blades haven’t seen the light of day in several years. (The level of dust covering the skate bag is rather impressive.) And, as we already discussed, I am learning to love my new mom-bod. But… I also know that I need to be more active somehow, as my current exercise regimen is…um…I don’t have one. And although I don’t mind weighing 10-15 lbs more than I used to, I would like to improve my soggy mid-section. It’s not just an appearance thing; two pregnancies have done a number on the muscles in that whole region, and I’d like to get them back working again. I have also struggled for a long time with maintaining good posture, and I’ve also got major muscle tension in my neck and back.

Enter: The MuTu System. A 12-week program led by a cheerful British lady that’s supposed to be just the ticket for folks like me. Today was Day 1. Will I make it all the way through all 12 weeks?? Here’s hoping.

Gotta go… Duty calls.  (Mama’s coming, Nataboo!)

Sara

Another Blog Post from a Teacher on Summer Break

Hey sisters,

So, we’re all teachers on summer break, to some extent at least, right?

R&R&R: Growing in intensity from June to August.

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I could write a post where I do the math, working out how many hours I work during the year and whether that balances out time off during the summer.

I could write a post about the fact that I don’t actually get paid during the summer, that the district withholds a portion of my salary and then returns it to me in the summer. I could explain that I got a lump repayment in June and won’t see a paycheck again until a month after school starts.

I could tell you that I’m still working this summer, that I’ve already taught at a two-week music camp and will soon be teaching at a two-week theatre camp, while also enrolled in two grad classes.

I’m not going to write that post. I mean, here’s one, if that’s what you’re looking for.

But instead, I’ll just say this. Do I get summers off?

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And you know, what? It’s pretty great. Today, I slept until 8:00 and then went out for coffee. I’m binge watching Law and Order.

And if you’re jealous, maybe you should be a teacher.

😎😎😎 #maybe #maybenot #letsjustsaytheydo

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Livin’ the dream,

Abby

 

“I think the rule is ‘don’t guess at that ever, ever, ever, ever….”

Dear Sisters,

I think I secretly thought that I would never in my life have to spend any time or energy thinking about my weight/shape/etc. I just always seemed to stay thin and light, no matter what I did, ate, etc. After Lydia was born, I was back in my pre-baby clothes in no time. I silently congratulated myself on having a body that was clearly intended to give birth to big, healthy babies, and spring back into shape as if nothing had ever happened. So when Natalie was born, I was confident that I’d be back in my regular clothes in no time, my body no worse for the wear.

Ha.

As it turns out, that was not exactly the case. From a weight standpoint, I really don’t care. Other than the fact that I’m cheap and hate having to replace perfectly good clothes, I’m happy to be a healthier (heavier) weight. What’s bugging me is that my stomach has not bounced back, and depending on what I wear, definitely still looks like I could be in the early stages of pregnancy. I realize this is a common problem, and I didn’t think it was really a big deal. I figured it would come back in time. After all, I’ve now given birth to two large babies, both of whom stayed past their due dates. Things get a bit stretched out. But within the last week, completely out of the blue and unprompted, two people have asked me if I was pregnant/when’s the baby due. UGH.

 

Le sigh… Now I find myself thinking about body image, wanting my daughters to grow up liking how they are made, blah, blah, blah, which, while important, is probably deeper thought than the situation warrants. I had the unfortunate coincidence of having two people make the same faux pas in a week’s time. They both probably feel really bad. And I can choose to forget about it and keep moving.

Except… The reason both of their comments bother me is that it’s something I’m really feeling sensitive about. So now what? My perfectionist tendency towards black-and-white thinking is ready to give up ALL THE THINGS – alcohol, unhealthy food, etc. – and do ALL THE EXERCISE. Which isn’t really the best approach. So I think instead I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing, learn to embrace the new mom bod, and see if I can get in some walking and biking this summer.

Please pass the nachos, and the bigger pants.

Sara

shhh…. it’s a secret.

We are not exactly gourmet around our house. Part of it is the kid factor, but most of it is simply that by the time we’ve both made it through a day of school, neither one of us has much motivation to cook. Recently we’ve survived by the grace of two grandmas who love to make and/or pick up food for us.

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One of our more brilliant life choices was motivated by this lack of…motivation. (I’m not even motivated enough to find a different word to use there.) And, like many great ideas, it was inspired by a book.

On Friday nights, we order pizza and have a SECRET PIZZA PARTY.

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I know, I know. Ordering pizza on a Friday night is not exactly earth-shattering. But hear me out. As a special treat, we eat our pizza downstairs, while watching some sort of children’s show. (Usually Clifford.) Well, OK, Lydia watches Clifford, and the adults goof around on their phones and generally chillax. The best part is that the decision factor is completely taken out of the equation. This is what we do on Friday nights. No thought required. Aaron calls or texts when he’s leaving school, I order the pizza using the handy “repeat my last order” button in the app, he picks up the pizza (and stops for a bottle of wine on the way), and ta-da! Dinner. Lydia thinks it’s a fantastic treat, and we love not having to muster the energy for a “real” dinner on Friday night. Win-win.

Stay lazy, my friends. Sometimes it actually turns out to be genius.

The Evolution of Dog Nicknames

Hey sisters,

First of all, both for our sake and the sake of the three people who may visit this site regularly, I feel the need to share our “no judgies” policy. In creating this blog, we were very clear that we are all leading fulfilling and busy lives, and while we enjoy blogging, it is one of those things that will get pushed to the back burner in favor of other priorities. So, I’m back after awhile… but no judgies, k? And with that out of the way…

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Our dog Maggie was named Maggie at the shelter.

Takk, however, was named Scuba Steve. We took this as a clear invitation to take him home, if only to change his name to something more respectable. So we went with Takk, the name of our favorite Sigur Ros album and the Icelandic word for ‘thank you.’

Yesterday, as I let Takk in from the backyard, I casually said, “hey Steve.”

Which got me thinking about the weird evolution of dog nicknames.

Maggie, for example, became Maggie May, then Maggie Moo, and eventually Mo Mo.

Other notable names for the world’s sweetest brown dog were Magdalynn, Magdalonious, and Snufflepupagus.

Scuba Steve, since coming home with us in 2009, has gone by (this is an incomplete list):

  • Takk
  • Takk Takk
  • Takk-a-doodle
  • Doodle
  • Doodlebug
  • Buddy
  • Buddy Buddy
  • Handsome
  • Pretty Boy Floyd
  • Turd Ferguson (it’s a funny name)
  • Dingus

Fry’s nickname Frybot became Fryboat after she developed a habit of setting sail in her dog bed at night: it would start the evening right next to our bed, but by morning it would be several feet away. We called the bed her Fry Boat but the name migrated to her and stuck.

The name I really can’t explain is Bickets. I call Fry “Bickets” all the time now. I think it started as a reference to scratching her furry bum and calling it “itchy bickets.” That’s the best explanation I can come up with.

Do you think the Oxford English Dictionary has the etymology for bickets?

Just don’t call me late for dinner,

Abby