Monday, May 30, 2011

Yesterday, we went over to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse and had breakfast and took a walk. Sophie and Lucy were with us for the day as we had to be eyes on Sophie. She has managed to acquire a little infection in one of her incisions, silly girl.We've been giving her warm soaks and hydrogen peroxide and she is really suffering from  all of the attention. Not!
Check her out here with Stacy Nightingale and attendant, Pat:
Check her out; she's got them wrapped!
Tomorrow we will go to the vet for staples and stitches out and I CAN'T WAIT!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My former husband is in town. I don't like that. I feel that by his actions, he has given up the right to be in this beautiful place and that his presence here diminishes it. And that when he drives through the toll, they should stop him right there at the border and say, you are not allowed in the great state of Maine, you are not worthy.   (I'm sure it's just another this too shall pass issue, right?) Ironically, here is what Eckhart Tolle has to say to me today:
Through forgiveness, which essentially means recognizing the insubstantiality of the past and allowing the present moment to be as it is, the miracle of transformation happens not only within but also without. I'll get there one day, I know I will. But today is not that day! Ha!
So, anyhoo, on a much happier note, my good friends Stacy and Pat are visiting me for the long weekend. We started out our visit by going to the Alewives Festival. Yes, it is that time of year and the alewives are running. V. cool and if you have not seen them before, you must come out. There is nothing so sweet as small town Maine throwing a party.
Here are Pat and Stacy next to a section of the fish ladder. The fish ladder was originally constructed in 1807 and for the past 5 or so years, there have been lots of fundraising activities to help fund its restoration.  
Food, music, games and alewives
 Here are the alewives, attempting to ascend the 40+ feet from the Great Salt Bay up the fish ladder to Damariscotta Lake, back to their place of birth, now to spawn.
And here is their ultimate goal. Unbeknownst to them though, there are some very large bass waiting to gobble some of them up when they arrive. Ah, nature, red in tooth and claw . . . well I guess that isn't quite apropos of a fish but you get my meaning and it fits with
this guy! How awesome is this? Stacy and Lizzie carried away by the ginormous osprey!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

So, I am experiencing a sort of I-am-woman-hear-me-roar moment this morning. I needed more shelf space in my bathroom so yesterday, I bought some L-brackets at the hardware store, got out my drill, found some screws and two pieces of orphan wood and this morning, voila!
Yay for me!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Apparently a family of squirrels decided the lead flashing around my chimney would be a yummy treat this winter. I'm surprised I haven't seen their little corpses strewn about since I got home. It caused my chimney to leak all winter so I had a nice pile of soaking wet ashes when I got back and a rusty fireplace screen. The chimney guy was up on the roof all morning (to the tune of $650-oy vey) and because he had to plug in his saw, the back door stayed open. Such a gorgeous sunny day. Every time I turned around, Miss Sophie had snuck out. . .
 I caught her ankle deep in the creek once but other than that, she was content to bask. 4 more days 'til her stitches come out.
 Here is sunset from my house on beautiful Damariscotta Lake.
And, because I have been neglecting Miss Lucy lately, here she is in all her glory. Little old lady having a snooze.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

This calls for a celebration!

GOOD NEWS!!!!!!!!
Sophie got a clean bill of health today!!!!
Her fabulous surgeon, Dr. Guille, called today with the pathology report. Clean margins. She got it all! No chemo; just vigilance. Stitches and staples out in one week.
Thanks, everybody for your good wishes, your positive thoughts, and for caring about Sophie.

I can breathe.......

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hard to believe just one week ago, I was sitting in King Eider's Pub having lunch with proprietors, Sarah and Todd, listening to three guys jamming in the corner, making some really wonderful music. It reminded me of being in Ireland when people show up in the pub with their instruments and just start playing over by the window or in a corner of the bar. Represent! King Eider's - yeah! Unfortunately, there won't be a repeat of that today.
it was great to get out yesterday for a few hours. And what a difference a few days make. For one thing, the leaves were out! I was like WOOOAAAHH when I got to the top of my road. Wow. Pale springtime green as far as the eye could see. Here are some shots of my garden this morning. Everything pushing up out of the cold ground, looking for the elusive sun (and let me tell you, we haven't seen a lot of it since I got here.)
Sophie Update:
Doing well, as you can see. We might take a ride in the car today. She is sleeping 'til 6am now which I appreciate. Yesterday, my friend Sue came over for lunch and Sophie blasted through the screen door and ran to her car. I think she was a bit surprised at herself but that is progress when you compare it to a few days ago. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sitting at my window this morning, looking out at thick fog on the lake. Three old geezers in a skiff came ghosting in a few minutes ago, casting all around my dock, waving up at me and then back to the fierce concentration on their lines. Off they went. Next, two canadian geese paddled by, one in the front, one aft, a dozen babies between them, all in a line.
I've been living in a microcosm these last four days; nothing exists but Lucy and me and the sick little dog child, enveloped in mist and fog. I am not saying that in a negative way. It is quite cozy in our little cottage. We have our radio to keep us company. Oatmeal for breakfast, soup for lunch, flannel sheets. Lovely.
Having said that, I am looking forward to getting out of the house this morning for a few hours. And I mean reeeeaaaally looking forward to it. Critter Sitters is coming to watch Sophie while I go out for my annual boat inspection training (I volunteer at the boat ramp on the Lake in the summer), the grocery store and the bookstore. Woohoo!!
So, here is my girl this morning. She is doing well. She is able to walk on all fours now, for which my back is thankful. Her wounds look good although I had to soak the one on her neck last night. She is determined to get to that one. TMI? Sorry.
She is subdued but cheerful and getting that wicked look in her eye again which means that pretty soon I am going to have trouble keeping her quiet.
This is a picture I took of myself in my bug net a week or so ago. Yes, it is that time of year. I got my first black fly bite yesterday. Oooo, I detest them. And, speaking of bugs, I have seen these huge bugs looking kind of like mosquitoes and it took me a few days to realize, Oh! They ARE mosquitoes. Compared to the tiny ones in Florida, I didn't even recognize them. There is a reason the mosquito is the Maine State Bird!
And one last picture. Here is the lonely oreo. Those of you in the know, know what it is. It is just waiting for the summer and it's playmates to arrive.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

All is well

My cell phone has been ringing but coverage here has been iffy today. So, if you called, sorry I couldn't hear you and thanks for thinking of us and here is tonight's update:
 Foggy - seems suitable today.
 Pissed off. Why is SHE getting all the attention?
 Sad. But, occasional smiles and wounds all look good.

O heart, say it over and over, this too shall pass . . .

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bit of a rough night last night. The patient woke me up at about 1am and so I settled in with her on the kitchen floor. She decided it was time to get up at about 5am. Here is how we spent the night. This is not a happy face! I'm sure mine wasn't much happier.
All her wounds are on the same side which I guess is a good thing (?) except that when she tries to walk, she lists to one side and runs into walls. You can see the three areas, rear leg, tummy and neck, shaved and full of staples and sutures. Poor girl. They look clean this morning though, not inflamed or seeping. Good.
We're going to try for a night in the bedroom tonight. I'm holding half her pain meds until right before bed. Fingers crossed for more than 4 hours of sleep.

Lucy unfortunately is completely insane. Intent on getting and keeping my attention at Sophie's expense. I need somebody to come and take her for a long run. Anyone?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Those of you who have written or called about Sophie, thank you so much and apologies for not answering. Suffice to say that the girls and I are grateful for your love and support, more than I can say. So, here is a an update.

It was a godawful day.  The end.

No, just kidding (though not about the godawful, or should that be dogawful, day.) We got up this morning at 5:30 in the cold mist and walked for half an hour, getting ready for the day. Then, I put Sophie in the car  (she was like WHAT? WHERE IS MY BREAKFAST?? MOMMM?) I got Lucy in the house and fed her and snuck out while she was eating. (Abe looked in on her today - thank you Abe. What would I have done without you?)
We got to Portland Veterinary Specialists at 8am, where her surgeon, Dr. April Guille, assessed her and admitted her. Then began one of the longest days of my life.
Sophie went into Surgery at around 11am, I got a call around 12:30, saying they had found two more tumors and she needed more time, more anesthesia, more pathology, more money. OK, I say, anything, anything at all. They say it looks like she will have to stay over night. (I don't think so. I don't say anything but Princess Sophie will not tolerate a cage.)
Sure enough, I get a call on my cell at 3:30, saying we think she would be happier going home with you tonight. I knew it! It took three of them to carry her to the car and I thought, how the heck am I going to get her in the house . . . she cried and cried all the way home - enough to break your heart.
So, I managed to get her out of the car and then it took me half an hour to get her into the house with Lucy hovering like a frightened big sister.  Oh, she was like a drunk, weaving and sitting down and crying. Awful!
I got her into the kitchen finally, brought her bed in from the car and she . . . just . . . couldn't . . . quite . . . make it. I gave her some pain meds, brought her a pillow and she is still there. My poor baby.
You can see the one incision on her neck. That is nothing. Wait 'til you see the Franken-doggie pictures of the rest of her. Very scary.
The pathology will take 5-7 days and then we will know if she will need more surgery, or chemo or what. I'll keep you posted.
So, guess where Sophie and Lucy and mummy are sleeping tonight? Duh! On the kitchen floor.

Oh, and what did I do for the 9 hours she was there? Ok, first I went to the bookstore and spent money, then I went to the Mall and spent money. Then, I went to the pet store and bought her a beautiful new collar and leash (36 freaking dollars and she can't even wear it because of the wound!) (Mom: do not send me an email telling me how I can tell them I was not in my right mind and want to return it! I know.) Then I went to the sewing center - did NOT spend any money but only because that is when the vet called and I rushed out. Oh, and I went to Origins and had a free mini-facial and spent $100 dam dollars, then left the bag at the lunch counter, went back and got it a half hour later; then left it in Macy's, went back and got it a half hour later. And, let me tell you, that is a testament to Maine. People didn't keep it - they turned it in. The way life should be! Hello!
OMG And, here is what I ate today:  Ok, Starbucks tall skinny cinnamon dolce latte and a "reduced fat" piece of  cinnamon coffee cake (yeah, really??), a sleeve of smoked almonds, a hamburger at Rocket in the mall, 2 Lindt dark chocolate candies, another coffee from grandma somebody's in the mall, and 2 donut holes from Hannaford along with another coffee for the ride home. Gross.
And, here is what I am eating for dinner as we speak. Brown rice crackers and hummus. I am such a bonce, I do not have any wine in the house. oy vey
So, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I took Sophie to the vet and when I got home, I fed the girls and then I sat down and looked out at the Lake and suddenly - or so I thought -  I couldn't see it anymore. It was dark out. I must have lost a good three hours inside myself somewhere.

When I try to think back and remember myself as happy and positive, just living life and having fun, I can't see that person any more. And I can't actually remember feeling that way, although I know I did. Don't get me wrong, I'm not unhappy. I'm fine. My mom told me this winter that I am "subdued."

I've grown in the last two years, I know. Immensely. I feel more confident, more powerful, independent. Capable. Self sufficient. Fearless.

In the past two years, I have absorbed some losses. The loss of my husband. The loss of my good health. The loss of my lifestyle, the loss of my home.

But, those are nothing compared to what the girls and I face now. My beloved Sophie has cancer. We will find an oncologist on Monday and trust that our girl will be healed and live a long happy life.

My sister said OH S**T, WHAT NEXT?????  What next indeed. I simply can't bear it. At least not tonight. But, in the immortal words of Scarlett O'Hara, after all, tomorrow is another day. . .

Here is an ode to Sophie that Carla wrote years ago:

Oh Sophie
Wooden dock, glassy lake,
pines and needles for heaven's sake.
The sounds of birds across the way
call for me to enjoy this day.
This day's beauty and visions sweet,
distracted by what's at my feet.
Oh Sophie,
I try to enjoy the view,
but all I do is look at you.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Chris showed up at my door yesterday in his chest waders and he and his helper proceeded to put my dock in for the season. How did he know I was back? Small town. As you can see, the girls were involved every step of the way.

Sitting on the dock in the sun. Happy now.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I finished unpacking my car yesterday and was gratified to find a jacket and a sweatshirt. It has been in the 30's at night here and since the girls are incapable of walking themselves, I have to go with them. brrr  
You well might ask, Lizzie, why do you not go to your house and get some warm clothes? Well, first of all, it is my former house, and my former husband has told me that I need to give him 2 weeks written notice and that he must then be there to supervise (so I won't steal the silver, I guess.) I do not know why I was surprised by this behavior, considering how horrid he has been for going on several years now. 
And, I started to have the old familiar headed for a melt down feelings, crying and carrying on and why is he doing this to me, etc. As my friend Lu would say, Cancel That! She would also remind me of the following: 

This too will pass. O heart, say it over and over – out of your deepest sorrow, out of your deepest grief, no hurt can last forever – perhaps tomorrow will bring relief. 
This too will pass. It will spend itself – its fury will die as the wind dies down with the setting sun; assuaged and calm, you will rest again, forgetting a thing that is done.
Repeat it again and again, O heart, for your comfort; this, too, will pass as surely as passed before the old forgotten pain, and the other sorrows that once you bore.
As certain as stars at night, or dawn after darkness, inherent as the lift of the blowing grass, whatever your despair or frustration – this, too, will pass!

And, isn't this the truth. Oh heart, say it over and over. This too shall pass.

So, just when I hit "publish" for this post, these balloons came out of nowhere and landed right in front of me in the Lake. Purple and black.
Now, what do you suppose that means??

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Home again

Such a great feeling to drive into Maine and see this sign.
 Here is sunset over the Lake. I felt like I was the only human on earth last night. So quiet.
And today. This is what the Irish call "a fine soft day." (means foggy and rainy) Temperature was 48 when I woke up. I love it.
Maine, the way life should be.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We will all remember where we were and what we were doing when Osama Bin Laden was killed. For me and Stacy?  Duh! It was the day Jackson went missing!
Here is what happened: I had the car all packed up and Sophie was already onboard. Stacy brought her stuff out to her car and we were back and forth cabin to cars. All ready to go and, where's Jackson? So we called. And we called and we called and we called. We walked the area. We drove the area. Stacy talked to the neighbors. No Jackson. Two hours or so later, we finally deduced that he had been taken.
So, I left Stacy to call the cops, animal control, the newspaper, and I headed off to town to pick up some posterboard and magic markers to make REWARD signs. I wound my way out of our neighborhood to the highway and got up to speed. A mile or so up, who should I see but Jackson, trotting down the highway, cars whizzing by. I stopped my car in the middle of the road, put the hazards on, got out and scooped him up. Took him back to his traumatized mama.  It's a mystery as to what happened and Jackson's not talking. But, all's well that ends well.
So, I never got off 'til about 11am. We finally stopped outside of Hartford, CT. Could not drive another inch. Exhausted. Check out the girls.
Didn't make it to my family's house so I'll come back down to see them next week. Today, I am all about getting home to Maine: The way life should be!! I'm just waiting 'til 9am in the hopes of missing the worst of the traffic in Hartford. To me, getting thru Connecticut is the worst part of the trip. So much traffic always. I would not like to live here. toodles for now

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Springtime in Virginia is glorious. And in Maryland and in Pennsylvania. Cool and colorful and fragrant.

Sophie stops to smell the roses (well, onion grass)
So, I left the humid 90 degree weather in the Fabulous Florida Keys on Thursday (bye bye for now seeya next fall), spent the night at a surprisingly nice La Quinta outside of St. Augustine, woke to blessedly cooler weather, then drove for hours and hours and hours and hours through Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina and landed just over the border in Fancy Gap, Virginia. And let me tell you, there was nothing fancy about it. I stayed in a Days Inn where I kid you not; the sheets are made of something akin to sandpaper.  But oh the scenery. Did I mention glorious? And high temperatures in the 60’s.
I bypassed 95 this trip, feeling more competent about where I was going and not just doing what the voice told me to do (the gps, for those of you not in the know) and traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway yesterday. I love how as I travel north, spring gets earlier and earlier. Here in Fort Loudon, PA the redbuds and dogwoods are blooming, there are daffodils and tulips and violets and snowdrops showing off everywhere and the bright green leaves are just out on the trees. I am so lucky because I will get to experience this all over again when I get up to Maine.
When I walked the dogs at the crack of dawn this morning, I was fortunate enough to meet one of the locals. This is what he said to me:  yaller whinoted camaly noderahly fuhlamerahny. To which I replied, please don’t hurt me. No just kidding! Kidding! I just smiled and nodded. I have no clue what he said. He was standing outside a trailer that had to be older than I am by a lot, smoking a ciggy.

Ok, this is not his trailer but what a lovely vacation home this would make, right? Fixer upper.
Did I mention I am in the murder cabin again? You know, the place with the dead heads all over the walls? Eyes following you wherever you go. Creepy but the price is right and it is near Josh and Stacy, and the girls can run and run in the woods – a nice little break from the car.
And this is just ONE wall!
Stacy drove up last night and we had a late supper. Today, we’ll do our biannual shopping excursion to Chambersburg and Greencastle. (ammendment: everything CLOSED on Sunday! The little girl in the CVS said, they're pretty religious 'round here...nothin' is open.)
Here is the little cabin we stay at, with Stacy in her bathrobe playing Ma Barker on the front porch.

Life is good, isn’t it?