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What I Learned This Week – 3/4/18

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This week I learned that one inch can make all the difference in the world.

(Put your dirty mind away.)

If I had been just one inch further to the right when I put my foot down in my backyard by the broken fence, I would not have gotten a nail in my foot this week.

On the other hand (or foot), if I had been just one inch further to the left I would have had TWO nails stuck in my foot.


They were spiral nails too. Harder to get back off of again.

But it seems to be healing up alright. And I am thankful it was me, rather than my dog or my son, who could not or may not give me a clear answer on how it was healing and feeling OR my husband, who is on his feet all day at work.

Your past shapes you. It can’t be undone.

I Hate Nancy Kerrigan

Since the Winter Olympics are happening now, I thought this might be a good time to write this post. Otherwise, well, I will have to wait another four years for it to be semi-relevant.

In 1994, you all probably remember that Tonya Harding’s husband at the time paid a hit man to club Nancy Kerrigan in the knee, so that Nancy would not be able to make the Olympic team and Tonya would. The result was that they both made the Olympic team anyway.  Tonya qualified at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, and would go on to finish 8th at the Olympics that year.  Nancy went to the Olympics on a special “we-were-all-planning-for-her-to-go-anyway” pass. She only got silver and blamed it on her knee injury. In reality, she probably wouldn’t have done better than silver, injury-free. And I am not sure she deserved silver anyway.

That is the controversy everyone remembers.

Tonya Harding & Nancy Kerrigan

Tonya Harding & Nancy Kerrigan

Let me give you a little background on how figure skating got to be so popular in the mid-90’s. CBS had lost their contract with the NFL. They needed programming, specifically sports, to fill in their Saturday and Sunday afternoon programming blocks. They chose to put on figure skating, both amateur and professional, competitions and shows. So skaters and performances that had previously not been aired on TV were suddenly in my living room every weekend. My mom and I watched them all. The Olympics of 1992 came and went, putting the faces of the champions front and center on our cereal boxes and in our commercials.

The decision was made to stagger the Summer and Winter Olympics, so that they would no longer occur in the same year. In order to start this staggered cycle, the next Winter Olympics was moved up to 1994. So, the cycle of competitions that led up to the Olympics started again right away (Nationals, Worlds). Many of the competitors were the same, because it was only two years later. It was exciting to watch their skills develop and grow. To make matters more familiar, at the 1994 games there was a rule change that let professionals compete at the Olympics again. Many big names competed again, such as Brian Boitano, Victor Petrenko, and Katerina Witt, although none reclaimed their previous glory.

Now, while I love to talk smack about Nancy Kerrigan, I feel a little guilty doing it, because she was good friends with Paul Wylie. Wylie surprised many by winning the silver medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville. I had a huge crush on Paul Wylie. I even painted a picture of him skating in art class. (That is how obsessed I was with him and skating.)

Paul Wylie

Paul Wylie (The first celebrity I [did not] stalk on the Internet)

My mom and I even went to see Stars on Ice at the Toledo Sports Arena around 1992. I was so happy to see Debbie Thomas perform in person. She was always my favorite. I be she remembers that performance too. She sprained her ankle right in front of me. A few weeks later, she officially retired from skating to become a doctor.

And, this is all more figure skating history from a TV viewer than you probably want to know.

The fact that we are still talking about the rivalry between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding 20 years later is crazy. ESPN just did an interview with Tonya Harding about it. Neither of them would still be household names if it wasn’t for the incident. Tonya was very athletic and completed powerful jumps, but she lacked artistry. Kerrigan could skate around artistically, but often had trouble completing her jumps.  But that damn tape kept making the rounds, of Nancy whining “Why? Why me? WHY!” Man, that gets annoying quick. I realize it should not have happened. It gave both women an unwanted legacy.

Nancy Kerrigan on the cover of Newsweek

Nancy Kerrigan on the cover of Newsweek

The real reason I don’t like Nancy Kerrigan is because I believe her nicey-nice routine is all an act. I have never met her, of course, but I just believe that in uncensored moments she gets caught for the bitch that she is. I started this post with the event that the world still remembers. The following is the event that sticks in my mind the most.

My mom and I watched live the 1994 Winter Olympic Women’s Skating Finals in Lilehammer. We saw with our own eyes that while poor little Oksana Baiul found out she had won the gold and was falling apart, Nancy Kerrigan was waiting on the ice and making nasty comments, in a very unsportsmanlike way. Oksana was virtually an orphan, her coach having guardianship of her. She was only 16, from a poor country where she had nothing, and just found out she had a gold medal. Oksana was freaking out, rightfully so. All Nancy could do was make snotty comments about Oksana taking forever to fix her makeup.

#1 – Why would you ever say such a thing?

#2 – Why would you ever say such a thing with a TV camera in your face documenting it?

It only leads me to one conclusion–that that is her true personality, that she didn’t even realize how rude that sounded to shield it from others’ ears. It was like the whole country thought she was this sweet little princess with the blind mother. But I could see that she wasn’t. She felt she was entitled to a gold medal, and she was pissed that cute little Oksana had gotten in her way.

As this incident never gets mentions, I assumed the rest of the world had forgotten about it, except my mom and I. I was pleased to see it was mentioned in Nancy’s Wikipedia entry. It also mentions when she rode a float in the Disney parade and, with an open mic she didn’t realize was on, she made comments like “I hate this. This is so corny.” to none other than Mickey Mouse himself.

Oh, yes. It is sooo “corny” to get to be the guest of honor in a Disney parade and ride on a float wearing your Olympic silver medal.

Talk about not being thankful for the things you have.

I pity you.

What I Learned This Week – 4/28/13

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This week I learned that Crystal Bowersox is really nice. Last weekend I happened to be in Blissfield, Michigan (my hometown) for Railroad Days, and Crystal, whose hometown is Toledo, Ohio (very close proximity), happened to be dining at the same restaurant as my family. It was Lena’s Italian Restaurant. (Their pizza rocks. If you are ever in the neighborhood, check them out!)

Adrian & Blissfield Railroad, Railroad Days, Blissfield, MI

Adrian & Blissfield Railroad, Railroad Days, Blissfield, MI

RAILROAD DAYS, you might ask? I know it sounds dorky, but if you are interested in trains, then it is not. I was raised by a mother that when she rode me around on the back of her bike, we would stop for the train and wave at the engineer. When we were riding around in the car out in the country, she would race to the tracks for the train.


She would race up to the crossing, and then we would stop and watch the train go buy.

I do similar things for my 2 year old son, M, who is very interested in Thomas, and can identify most of the major parts of a steam engine.

Anyway, Miss Bowersox was eating with her family, including her son, who seemed very interested in my son. My family and her family chatted and she was nice enough to give me an autograph. I TOTALLY wanted to get a picture with her, especially since I had my brand new higher megapixel camera with me. But I was too chicken.  (Check out my new page of Celebrities I have met, called When Stars Align.)

It was totally awesome that she was there, because, well, no one famous EVER comes to Blissfield. I think the last time was when Little Texas stopped at the Blissfield McDonald’s in the mid 90’s.

Crystal Bowersox Autograph, 4/20/13

Crystal Bowersox Autograph, 4/20/13

I also learned this week that I am employable. I HAVE A JOB! It is only part-time, only pays half of what I used to make at my previous job, has no benefits, and is a further commute (by like 3 minutes). But, it is also only part-time, so maybe if my husband gets a full time job, I can still fit this job around his. And I don’t have to clean any bathrooms. And the button-down uniform shirt actually fits me better than my own button-down shirt I wear for interviews-go figure.

PARKER UPDATE: The Vet says he had good healing tissue, and she is no longer going to check his progress every week. We are putting prescription cream and aloe (alternating days) on his wound right now. After two times sewing up the wound (and it coming back apart both times), she is just going to let it grow back together on its own. Which means there is a big hole in his doggy armpit still, which I try not to look at. If we put a T-shirt on him, he can roam around the house (supervised) without his cone collar on.

Q.  What do you call a Pointer wearing a cone collar and a major injury?

A. Still a flight risk!

What I Learned This Week – 4/7/13

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This week I learned that squirrels are more evil than I ever suspected.  Just look at what one did to my dog!

The leg is still there, just heavily bandaged.

The leg is still there, just heavily bandaged.

Now, I do feel like I may have helped to manifest this. I did tell my dog, Parker, he should kill the squirrel in our yard. I even told him that if he got bit or scratched in the process, I would take him to the vet and get him fixed up. I also had a plan on Friday to go to the vet and purchase more heartworm preventative.

But, well, Parker impaled himself on a metal post in our yard in what I can only suspect was pursuit of a squirrel on Tuesday afternoon. A metal post that would not have even been there except we put it there to prevent him from escaping out a gap at the bottom of the other two fences.

The scene of the injury.  The squirrel runs up the tree on the other side of the fence.  The green post used to be straight up.

The scene of the injury. The squirrel runs up the tree on the other side of the fence. The green post used to be straight up.

I feel a little guilty. I did momentarily forget both dogs outside. But that was for like 10 minutes. Parker had been left outside unattended longer. (We have a fully fenced in yard. Not that that keeps my dogs from escape or mayhem.) And really, who expects their dog to crucify himself on a 4ft tall metal post?

Tuesday afternoon, my husband is just walking out the door to go to work. He attempts to let the dogs in for me. We discover that Parker has what is (let’s put this delicately) a giant hole ripped in his front right leg doggie armpit. I grabbed my first aid kit. My husband, who JUST started a new job as a temp and CANNOT be late stayed 5 more minutes. He helped me get the injury wrapped up, and put Parker in the car. (Dude, that dog weighs 60lbs. I can’t exactly cradle him in my arms.) I called the vet. They said the doctor was out on a call and wouldn’t be back for an hour. She made it sound like I should hang out at home for a few more minutes. Then she said I could come in if I wanted and they could pressure wrap it while I waited.

When I got there, she said my wrap job was good, so they just left it til the doctor returned. The doctor, without looking at it yet, said it would be 30-45 minutes and asked me if I wanted to wait or come back. She said she would give him something to make him sleepy. I waited.

I skipped laying my son down for a nap because I just couldn't bring myself to close the curtain on this poor, injured dog.

I skipped laying my son down for a nap because I just couldn’t bring myself to close the curtain on this poor, injured dog.

I could tell when they removed Parker’s bandages. The assistant came in and told me he ripped quite the hole in himself. Then she came back in and asked if it was OK if they did a chest X-ray, because the doctor was worry he may have punctured his lung. (He didn’t.) Then the doctor came in and informed me that my dog had tried to rip his leg off, but luckily he was unsuccessful and had missed the muscle, tendons, etc. He was lucky he had missed his main blood vessel (which apparently she could see beating). If he had clipped that, she said he would have bled to death before I could have gotten him to the office.

They ended giving him full anesthesia and intubating him. We were there for another two hours.

Now, you might think this is a lucky dog. But remember, he is also a determined, stubborn, entitled dog.

In order to not pull out the stitches, they wrapped his whole front leg to his body. Essentially, he is a tripod. Except, well, he knows his leg is still there and tries to get it out.

Thursday morning my husband took Parker to get a dressing change. By the time they arrived back home (approximately 20 minutes), Parker had worked his leg out. Back to the vet they both went. My husband arrived home a second time–with a dog who had 4 legs visibly showing. We went back the third time that morning, and got re-wrapped again.

This time we tranquilized him. Probably a little too much. The tranquilizer was to keep him from messing with his bandage or doing silly things like trying to get on the couch.

The vet also recommended greatly confining him. But my incredibly tired and exhausted husband didn’t get around to it. Or maybe he thought the dog didn’t need to be.

By Thursday afternoon, he was laying in front of the couch (an obvious play to make it up on it) and he had used his back leg to scratch at his bandage, exposing his drain. (Gross, I know. Sorry.)

So, I re-bandaged a drugged dog who couldn’t stand up as well as I could. He is leaky, but at least we didn’t have to take him back again.

By Friday morning, the dog had made his way into our bedroom. This is the furthest spot from the back door, where he needed to be taken out because he hadn’t been outside in hours and hours. So, using a beach towel as a sling around his torso, I half-walked/mostly-dragged him out the back door. After a brief rest, he did pee. (Ya!) After another brief rest, he ate and drank and took more tranqs. (Ya!)

On Saturday morning, Parker had another vet appointment. He was hobbling in on his three legs, all pathetic. He got as far as the lobby and stalled, as if he did not have another ounce of energy left in his doggy body. That is, until the resident cat walked by in front of him. He did a couple of lightning quick dives trying to get it, but only ended up with a face plant.

They decided to leave off his bandages because the skin was suffering from too much moisture and a lack of fresh air. So, he has his leg back, but is favoring it. We are to keep him tranquilized til his next appointment on Monday. He has a giant doggie cone collar on, but I was worried about him scratching his injury with his rear foot. My mom came up with an excellent idea to put a sock on his back foot to reduce the damage. He was a little more himself today.

There is a good chance he might have to have a few stitches redone where the skin is necrotic. I am worried about how concentrated his urine is, but that could be because his water intake and trips outside are way down. He is eating and drinking and pooping and peeing though, so I will take those all as good signs.

My 2 month old son seems jealous of all the attention Parker is getting. So is Dave, my other dog. I am just exhausted from being a caretaker. The dog is on 9 pills a day right now. And we have to keep his wound clean and dry and put Aloe Vera Gel on part of it.

I was originally going to give potty-training my boy another try next week. I think it can wait a little longer. Oy.

I saw the squirrel in the backyard today. It could have just been the light or his coloring or that he had just scratched his licey, flea-bitten body, but to me it look like he had a scratch on is side. It would make me feel better about all this damage to Parker if I knew he had least took a little hide off that squirrel.

Watch out, squirrel. Remember…I have TWO dogs.

What did I do to myself?!

What did I do to myself?!

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