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What I Learned This Week – 10/5/14

This week I learned that taking in a hand-me-down couch & thinking “Oh, we will upgrade in a few years”, can totally turn into 10 years before you can blink an eye.

This gives you a little taste of our old couch.

This gives you a little taste of our old couch.

I knew our couch was old and worn. I had sewed it up myself on several occasions. It regularly had 2 dogs on it. No amount of Febreeze gets rid of that.

I was just always waiting for tax return time to buy a new brand new couch (we had never bought our own before). But then the money always went for something else. Maybe next year. And we went from having an infant who oozed all sorts of substances, to a toddler who was more mobile with his food. It just seemed silly to get something new that would just be old again instantly.

On a whim, we found a good deal & got a new couch Sunday morning.

It is very weird to sit down on the couch and not sink down into it a good 12 inches.



Only after we got the new couch did we realize how much our old couch bothered everyone around us. No less than 3 people close to us had very strong reactions to our old couch. None of them live in this house! One never even comes over!

My mom, especially, could not say enough bad things about the old couch, now that it was at the curb.

Which, I had worried about having to call the garbage men and make special arrangements to have it picked up. But then some kind stranger loaded it into his pickup and it was gone. Actually, getting the new couch home in my husband’s car had been much less troublesome than I would have imagined.

I guess the new couch was just meant to be…

Rating Hospital Rooms

I have spent a lot of time in hospital rooms over the past year and one month. In three different hospitals. In two different states. It seems only right to write a blog where I rate them, as my husband and I are constantly comparing them in our heads anyway.

Apparently the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital has been totally rebuilt and has only had the new building open for about three weeks. The room is a nice size. There is plenty of room for a crib, stroller, the sleep chair, and the obligatory rolling hospital table. There is also a couch that folds into a twin bed. In our twelfth floor room is a half-window which overlooks…a cemetery. Kinda morbid.

There is a super fancy multi-media TV system in the room. It lets you watch television, get on the Internet, watch a few pre-selected family movies, and watch videos on hand-washing. But you either have to use a keyboard to navigate it or the TV remote. If I am holding my son (which is all he wants after being sliced open), I can’t put a keyboard in my lap and it is hard to use the TV remote when it is attached by a cord to the wall—on the OTHER side of the crib. Also, there is Surround Sound. That makes it very difficult to watch TV while my kid is sleeping. Also, the speaker on the TV remote has static –very sad considering it is supposedly only three weeks old. And it is missing obviously useful buttons such as “mute” and “closed captioning”.

The fold-out couch has a design flaw where you can’t lay too close to the back of it. The bathroom is private with a shower, but it is made so that you could probably use the toilet and take a shower at the same time. The rooms also have a wall of windows open to the hallway. There is a curtain you can pull, but we all know that it is opened again as soon as the first nurse pops in. It makes you feel a bit like a zoo animal.

The Toledo Children’s Hospital can go either way. You can end up with a room no bigger than a closet—so small there isn’t even room for the obligatory rolling hospital table. So small it has a tiny shared bathroom, no shower.

You can end up with an average room, which will barely hold a crib, two sleeper chairs, a stroller, and the obligatory rolling table. It had a roomy private bathroom, but no shower. There was a shared parent shower available. Which can be very inconvenient if you stay multiple nights with your child.

If you are super lucky, you will get one of the new rooms at the Toledo Children’s Hospital. They have a full wall window, a couch that converts into a double bed, a bathroom with a tub and shower, and a large flat-screen TV. That room felt like a hotel. Especially since by the time we got into that room my son wasn’t very sick and the staff mostly left us to ourselves. OK. Correction, like a VERY EXPENSIVE HOTEL.

The most spacious hospital room I have ever had the pleasure of staying in was in the maternity ward at Bixby Medical Center in Adrian, Michigan, when my son was born. There was a hospital bed, obligatory rolling table, a small round dining table, two chairs at it, two rocking chairs, a fold out couch, and an entertainment center. At one point, we had an electric wheelchair and a wide wheelchair in there too yet. It also had a private bathroom with a shower stall.

You will notice that I only rated the rooms themselves, and not the service. I believe your service depends on who your nurse or doctor is and what their mood is that day. I have noticed that you can ask any employee at Toledo Hospital how to get somewhere within the hospital and they will not only help you, they might walk you there personally. At U of M Hospital, I have asked people how to get to the main cafeteria and where the billing department is. Both people said they would let me know…I am still waiting for that information.


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Pathetic Parker at the Lenawee Humane Society

To continue from last week’s blog, here is how Dave got her name. I always wanted a “dog named Dave.” I think it may have come from Laverne & Shirley, because Shirley would talk about wanting to marry a doctor, have a boy & girl, a house with a white picket fence, and a dog named Dave. I also always knew I wanted a girl dog, because that is what I was used to. In high school, I decided someday I would have a dog named Dave D. Canine, because it sounds like a real name & then I could scam credit card companies into giving a dog a credit card. I never knew what the D stood for until we got her. She looked like a dingo (australian wild dog), so that is what the D came to stand for. We started calling her Daveweena. So her real full name is Daveweena Dingo Canine.

After we had Dave for a little over a year and gotten her reasonably trained, my husband was itching to get a dog of his own. Unlike myself, he made weekly trips to the Lenawee Humane Society before finding the dog that was right for him. He found a noisy, jumpy German Shorthair Pointer named Archer. Archer had been a stray, so the Humane Society had held him for a week. My husband spotted him the first day he was available for adoption. I infamously said,”You like THAT dog?” I stand by that statement to this day. We took Archer in the room to play with him. He was overly friendly, trying to sit in my lap the whole time. My husband was sure that was the dog for him, so we took him home. He was renamed Parker.

Parker on duty

Once home, Dave walked around plastered next to Parker’s side for a week, trying to dominate him & get him to play with her. He is not a very playful dog. We have hardwood floors, and Parker did not lay down on them for over a year. We took him camping. He refused to lay down. However, he was very fond of the couch. It is interesting how the couch was a doggy no-no zone until Parker came along. As we couldn’t keep him off of it, Dave was then allowed to lay on it as well. (The rule of the house is that animals have to move if humans want to sit on it, though. Dave is the guard dog of the house. I always say that Parker’s job is to hold down the couch, because gravity is very weak right there:) Parker only got a month of dog obedience training, whereas Dave got 16 months. It shows.

We learned that Parker is actually very cat-like. He can go lay on the bed & sleep for hours & you won’t even know he is there. But if it is dinner time, watch out. He will start begging & whining like 2 hours before feeding time. He also goes out to the bathroom more than any dog I have ever met. Part of that is due to the fact that he can drink an entire bowl of water at one time. But I really wish he wouldn’t. He is so whiny, that our best friends who used to dog sit for us, have said they will only continue to watch him if they can freely complain about him. Needless to say, he is going to be boarded on our next out-of-town adventure.

Parker is a giant flight risk. I can’t count the number of times he has runaway. He finds an open gate or he skinnies out between the fence & the house. I find it truly unbelievable that I have a nicely fenced backyard & I still have to tie my dogs up on leads, because otherwise they will escape. Once Dave broke her lead & jumped over the fence, all in the time it took me to take a wizz in the bathroom. Parker usually runs away in the middle of winter during an ice storm. But he once ran away on the first hot day of summer & was found after swimming in a lake. (Ew, stinky dog). Once, that we know of, he has crossed the busiest road near our house. Just the thought of that scares me. I think one time his running away could be partially blamed on my friend who threw a Pure Romance sex toy party at my house. She was making everyone sample lotions & perfumes with pheromones in them. Parker was shut in the other room, but making a God-awful wailing. Shortly after I think he escaped & went looking for love. His dog identification tag is the best investment we ever made. We now have him microchipped as well.

Oh, and as soon as we got Parker & he leaped into the back seat of the SUV with no problem, that is when Dave said,”Well, hell. If he can do that, so can I.” We never had to lift her up into the backseat of the car again.

Parker’s full name is Parker Jo Buhdoo. “Buhdoo” is a great word that I believe my friend invented. You want the definition of buhdoo? Look at Parker’s picture from the Humane Society.

Parker today

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