Wednesday, April 22, 2009


About two weeks ago, I went to wake Misty up for her afternoon walk and found that the left side of her face was completely swollen, so much so that her left eye was swollen shut. Luckily, the vet was still open - they closed in an hour. I threw Mickey and Misty into the car, dropped Mickey off at Tom's work and flew to Bilmar Small Animal Clinic in Great Barrington, about 20 minutes away. As I drove like a bat out of hell on the curvy mountain roads, I pondered everything that could possibly be wrong with Misty. I decided that the swelling was caused by her disastrous teeth. Anyone who has been around Misty will know that she has killer breath. Our vet in the city used to knock her out and clean her teeth once a year. He finally stopped doing it because he said she was too old to put be put down and put through that torture. Subsequently, her teeth got worse and so did her breath. I knew someone in Kansas City once whose wisdom teeth became absessed and her whole head blew up like a balloon. I was certain of Misty's diagnosis. My suspicions were confirmed by the vet. He presented several options: give her antibiotic and do nothing, test her blood to see if she could be anesthetized and if she was healthy enough, knock her out and take out the absessed tooth, or take out all of her diseased teeth so that she wouldn't have to go through this again. It could mean removing 8 to 12 teeth. After conferring with Tom, we both agreed to have all diseased teeth pulled. So, last Friday, I took her in first thing in the morning and Tom picked her up after work. She ended up having 14 teeth pulled. Can you imagine??? She was very groggy for a couple days and probably in hideous pain, but less pain than she was in before the operation. She slept even more than she used to, and I did give her some pain killers to help her rest. But as you can see from the video below, she's back to prancing around the yard. And her breath is like a spring bouquet. Well, not quite. But you don't smell her coming two rooms away anymore!

Before the Snow Disappears

Well. The snow HAS already disappeared, thankfully. I guess the title of this post should be "Before Summer Arrives". This is another post of catching up.

With my skiing post yesterday, I meant to include some photos and video of Mickey and the one kindergarten classmate that took ski lessons with him. His name is Jackson and he has skied before. If you watch the video posted yesterday, you'll see a boy who holds his arms out in front as if he were holding ski poles. That's Jackson. His mother designs beautiful jewelry. These are two very tired boys.

And here are a few snapshots of Mickey and Jackson before the snows at a harvest festival.

There are a lot of things I like about our yard, many of which lie in my imagination and will be realized as the years go by, but one reason that exists now is the built-in sledding hill. The hill was a bit rough this winter with stones, and boulders, and jagged sticks poking out of the frozen ground making going downhill a bit perilous. Oh yes, and a well kind of stuck right in the middle of the sledding path made going downhill a bit harrowing, but we all survived. As you look at the photos and videos, note the hills of snow covered dirt. In upcoming posts you'll see all those hills have disappeared.

One Sunday while I was at work, Mickey was joined on our sledding hill by kindergarten classmate, Anna Marie.

I'm too tired to flap my wings and legs!

Can we go in and have hot chocolate?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gone with the Win - ter

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, just been busy with life. And writing a blog is just like exercising, it's fun while you're doing it, but if you stop, it's hard to get going again. My personal trainer used to tell me that if I ever did get back to lifting weights, I would make gains faster because I had been there already. I don't know how that translates or relates to returning to writing my blog. I think it doesn't, it's just evidence that I'm tired and have stayed up too long past my bedtime. But I'm so far behind with my posts, I'll never get caught up and then I'll be posting winter's stories, photos and videos in the middle of summer. And that's never good.

So here I've posted a video of Mickey's last days of ski lessons. It's a long video because it contains videos from the last several lessons. I know. Home movies. Boring. But I'm a proud Daddy, so nothing's going to stop me. As I put this video together I was struck by how much he progressed not only from one week to the next, but from one trip down the slope to the next. I can only imagine how much more he'd progress if we were to have taken him to the slopes between lessons. Tom and I have promised him that if he wants to ski again next winter that we'll take lessons too so that we can all go skiing together. I never thought I'd hear me say that, but there you are.