Posts tagged ‘Ruby’

Barky Anniversary!

See that lovely girl over there in my picture?  ——->

The furry one? That’s Ruby.

She is the funniest little dog, overflowing with personality. And today is our anniversary. Two years ago, my friend Sue sent me yet another doggie personal ad. I had told her I might be ready to start looking for my next canine companion, and she had been relentlessly sending me doggie porn, but nothing had sparked my interest until I saw Ruby Tuesday. She was fluffy (one of my requirements) and totally smiling for the camera. I decided I should go take a look, so I rounded up my dad for a second opinion, and we headed off to the shelter.

She was sitting quietly in her kennel, watching, waiting. I asked if I could meet her, and she was a total doll. Smaller than I thought I was looking for, but cute as shit and super friendly. She had been abandoned at the shelter so they didn’t know much about her, but she appeared to have been well cared for. I was smitten.

“I want her.”

At the shelter

The nice people at the shelter explained that the people who had been there right before me wanted her, too. They have this kind of odd system where they make you call and leave a message the next morning to say if you really want to adopt. The people had to call by 10am if they wanted her. I could do the same thing, and be second in line. Great. I went home and tried not to get my hopes up. The next morning, I called and left a message indicating that I was still interested.

And I waited.

I thought I should hear within an hour or so if I was going to get her. An hour passed and my spirits started to sink. Of course the other people wanted her – why wouldn’t they?

When my phone rang a little after 11, I figured they were calling to let me know Ruby Tuesday had been adopted. Instead, they told me that the family ahead of me was planning on adopting both a dog and a cat, but when they found out someone else wanted Ru, they decided just to adopt the cat so I could have the sweet doggie. I almost started crying. We were meant to be.

“You can pick her up at 4.”

What ha?? That day? Going to see her was a total whim. I wasn’t prepared for a dog – no leash, collar, food, treats, bowls, toys! But no sweat, I had five hours.

I think we were both a little anxious when we made the drive home that afternoon. You never know what you’re getting into with a new dog. Hell, I didn’t even know conclusively if she was housebroken (she was). I let her sniff around the yard a little, then took her inside to give her the grand tour. She wasted no time making herself at home, immediately jumping on my bed with an expression on her face that said, “So obviously this is where I sleep. Would you like to join me?”

We spent the next several days settling into our new life together. I was concerned. I’d had a really special bond with Sylvia, my prior dog, and Ruby was so different from her; I wasn’t sure I was going to fall head over heels.

Silly self.

I am powerless to resist the fur babies.

Seriously. I am the cutest.

In no time at all she had me wrapped around her little paw. I can’t imagine not having my funny, snuggly, happy Ruby girl. There will be more Ruby stories another day. For today, happy anniversary, sweet baby dog. And to the neighbors….sorry about the sometimes excessive barking.  🙂




How you know you’ve found a good one

  • He brings you your favorite (and not locally available) cheese when he comes to visit. And he only got a glimpse of it once, for maybe 5 seconds, but he got the right one. And then he starts calling it Magic Cheese.
  • He tells one of your girlfriends that you’re the funniest person he knows.
  • He never complains about your dog being on the bed.
  • He drops in on one of your friends at work so they can meet. Wait. That sounds creepy. But it totally wasn’t, at all. She was the perfect person to do that to, and they both wanted to meet the other.
  • He makes your bed when you’re not looking, even though you never bother to make it yourself.
  • He loves your dog. And perhaps even more important, your dog loves him, and goes belly-up at his feet for a tummy rub.
  • He acknowledges that men are idiots. But doesn’t use it as an excuse for bad behavior.
  • He is interested in spending time with your friends and family.
  • His actions back up his words and vice versa.
  • He rubs your feet without being asked. A lot.
  • He thinks it’s funny when you crack jokes at inappropriate times…..like during sex.
  • He is a thoughtful gift giver. I don’t mean this in a materialistic sense. I mean he pays attention to what is meaningful and of interest to you and finds things that are special, will be appreciated, etc. Like Muppets DVDs.
  • He doesn’t hesitate to drop a well timed “Fuck you!” when you’ve been relentlessly flinging insults at his (poorly chosen) alma mater.
  • He lets you know easily and often that you are awesome.

Hold, please……

Omigod, I miss you! I have been too used up to get thoughts out of my fingertips in a coherent fashion and I need to rectify that. In the interim, I’m going to recycle, with apologies to those who have read this previously. Here’s a story that absolutely would have been on the blog had it existed when it happened. It’s an email I sent last summer at 3:27 a.m. to a select group of friends and family, then posted on Facebook later in the day. The subject line was “So much for sleeping…”


Oh. My. God.

So much for sleeping.

I woke up….not quite an hour ago. I heard a noise in my window, like a bug bouncing off the screen, but enough to wake me up. It seemed odd, and Ruby was awake, so I petted her for a few minutes, then settled in to go back to sleep. For some reason, my eyes were open, and I saw the BAT fly through. The bat that had been trying to get out the window, apparently.

Oh. My. God.

I behaved like any normal person would. I pulled up all the covers and wondered if it was possible to ignore it until it went away.

It was not.

I could tell it was flying around in the room outside mine. Every few minutes, it would fly into my room and I would react like a sane person in control of the situation. I yelled and flailed and pulled the covers over my head. I also freaked the hell out of my dog. All bark, indeed.

After a while, I decided I had to get DOWNSTAIRS. I have no idea why. It just seemed like a good idea to regroup, because I was sweating (shocking, I know) and shaking like a leaf and could not think. (I also couldn’t remember if light would attract or repel a bat, and I wanted to look it up on the internet, and I couldn’t do that from my bed, apparently, because I only had my phone and iPad available. Oh wait….) And in my head, for some reason, the bat would stay upstairs until I figured out how to deal with it.

I decided I needed protective gear. At this point, I had on just a tank top. Not having on pants was a great concern to me. My yoga pants were on the floor next to the bed, but I couldn’t reach them without getting OUT of the bed; apparently being IN the bed was some kind of safe zone (although no one told this to the bat, who flew in from time to time). I entertained the idea of pulling the king-size down comforter off the bed for said protective gear. Because that would allow me to run easily, right? OMG. Fortunately I remembered I had a small throw at the foot of the bed. Protective gear. I grabbed my phone, put the “protective gear” over my head, yelled at Ruby to go downstairs (she did) and ran. We immediately ran into the back yard.

Upon reentering the house and determining the downstairs still to be bat-free, Ruby camped out on the couch and I hid in the bathroom for a while. I left the light on in the bathroom, and went out to the living room to join the dog and see what was going on on Facebook. (I turned on the light in the living room at some point.)

For those playing along at home, the answer is ATTRACT. Light will ATTRACT a bat. (Which doesn’t make sense, because they’re fucking NOCTURNAL and come out when it’s dark.) I know this, because he decided to join us in the living room, the sneaky bastard. So not fair to invade my safe zone. I flailed and yelled. Hoping none of my neighbors heard the crazy yelling tonight. OMG. He flew away for a while. Lather, rinse, repeat. He came back at least twice. And I’m pretty sure he got bigger every time.

Then it occurred to me, perhaps if the light attracted him, and the lamp is next to the door, I could have the door open and he could just show himself out. With my protective gear on, I opened the front door and the screen door. Then I moved back to Ruby, who had retreated to the far end of the couch.

Nothing happened.

No bat.


Moths, though, felt free to come IN.

Closed the front door, went back to checking Facebook. Cute pics, Becca.

Notice the bat has reentered the living room. In amongst my normal screaming and flailing (now holding my iPad as a weapon, because I have shed my protective gear due to excessive sweating and the fact that wearing a blanket over my head now seems ridiculous) I try to explain the plan to the bat.

He retreats.

Open the door.

Retreat to couch with Ruby.

Bat enters the room, and thankfully, EXITS THE HOUSE.

Slam door.

Sit on couch.


A lot.

Curse all of you for being asleep.

Decide out of the goodness of my heart NOT to wake any of you (Dad), and to send you my long story instead.

Pretty sure I’m bat-free again, because during the entire time it’s taken me to type this, no one else has entered the room. Am I going to go upstairs and check? No. Am I going to sit upright on the couch and watch a movie (with the lights on) and hope I doze off? Sources say yes.

My crazy, mixed up verb tenses should indicate just how rattled I am. Gah.

Anyone wanna come over and drink?


Postscript: I did, in fact, put on my pants before fleeing the house. Also, as I was writing this, a loud thunk on the front porch made me jump out of my skin just when I was finally settling down. Newspaper’s here. Gah.

A love letter to my house

My house and I just celebrated two years together. The traditional and modern gifts for the 2nd anniversary are cotton and china, respectively, but we decided not to get each other anything. Instead I thought I’d write it a little blog post to tell it how much I love it. Him. Her. I’m not really sure. I think my house might be gender-neutral. Nope. I think maybe she’s female, now that I’m thinking about her. We’re close like sisters or best friends or an aunt/niece relationship. (OMG. I’m really weird, aren’t I? But I digress.)  Ok, we’ll call her “her”. We also call her “Wendy’s Fun House” on occasion.

Until moving into Wendy’s Fun House at age 38, I had never lived alone. Childhood, college, roommates, boyfriend/fiancé/husband. When my husband and I split, I moved in with my dad until I could get my feet under me. (For which I am eternally grateful.) My dad rocks and the first year or so (yes, I said “year”) was great. We generally get along really well, and he didn’t go all parental on me – no “When are you going to be home” or “Isn’t it a little late to be going out” or “That is what you’re eating for dinner?” And he made sure we always had grapes, because grapes are my one essential food.

Then the walls started closing in on me. I was still waiting for money from my divorce settlement that I needed for a down payment (not his fault). Dad & I had moved our office into his house, so the two of us were together 24/7. I was having chronic back pain due to the most uncomfortable little bed in the entire world. (No offense, Dad.) I was seriously starting to wig out.

Finally, finally the day came that all the pieces in my life fell into place and I was ready to start house hunting. My realtor Rena is also my aunt (and my good friend), so she understood the desperation of the situation, and promptly rounded up a batch of homes all in my target area on the south side. I had no idea what was on the market that I would be able to afford, and all my wish list items were negotiable; all I needed was four walls and a roof.  The very first house we looked at was a craftsman-style bungalow that was vacant and had been on the market for months. As we walked through it, I asked Rena to pretend like it was normal should I burst into tears. The relief I felt knowing there was just one affordable house that wasn’t a total crapsack overwhelmed me. There was nothing showy about her, and it’s not the most fashionable neighborhood, but it had all the minimum requirements and was in a solid block.

We looked at a bajillion other houses. Or maybe 10. Some that were very lovely. But at the end of the day we went back to look at the first one again, because I couldn’t get her out of my head.  Being vacant made it convenient to see. Minimum requirements? What was I thinking! She had the whole wish list: porch, wood-burning fireplace, a/c, fenced yard, garage (two stalls!), good space for my home office. Wood floors. Built ins. And the previous owners had nicely updated her: newer roof and furnace, rewired, updated kitchen, most windows replaced. A lot of the other houses I looked at were lovely, but none had all the things she had to offer, and most were significantly more expensive given their more desirable addresses. And after a few more visits, some negotiations, and a long closing process where I gave up both my ovaries because I don’t have a first-born to give to the bank (I kid), she was mine.

Home Sweet Home

 I was nervous. Maybe I had made a knee-jerk reaction and rushed into a decision in my panic to get out of my dad’s place. Maybe I had bitten off more than I could chew with a 91-year-old house. Maybe my neighborhood wasn’t safe. Maybe there was something wrong with the house – it had been for sale for so long – why didn’t anyone want it? Maybe I would hate living alone. Maybe weird noises would scare me. Maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe.

I moved in at the end of January 2010. Everything in the house was beige. Everything. Figuring it was easier to paint empty rooms, I enlisted the help of a tremendous friend and we painted the shit out of things prior to the move date. Yellow & purple kitchen. Soft green bedroom. Bluish gray living and dining room. Bye-bye beige (mostly). A whirlwind of moving and unpacking ensued. And suddenly, there I was, truly alone, my first night in my new house. I curled up in a little ball in bed whispering to myself, “This is mine. This is mine. This is mine.” I was so happy to have my gigantic, comfortable bed back. I woke up sideways across it. Smiling.

All those maybes – none of them came to fruition. I have loved living alone,

Our yard

especially with the addition of sweet Ruby Tuesday early that first summer. I have never been scared being alone in the house or startled by weird noises, not once (this does not include the bat episode – shut up). I have discovered I’ve slept with my doors unlocked, come home to find I left the back door open, and awoken to find I neglected to close my garage overnight. (Jesus. I sound like an idiot. I’m really a safety girl, I promise. Don’t tell my mom.) None of those user errors resulted in anything bad or scary. I adore my historic neighborhood. And the house. Oh, the house. I love her so much. The longer I’m here, the more I realize there was nothing knee-jerk in my decision to buy her. I don’t know why she was on the market for so long, but I can only surmise it was because she was waiting for me. We were meant to be together. She has all the charm and character I love in older homes, and yet somehow she has large closets. She has all my favorites growing in her lovely landscaping. She has a variety of hooks and pegs on the front porch for my growing collection of wind chimes and sparkly dangly things. She has something like 24 windows. (By comparison, the first house my ex-husband and I lived in out in Aboite had 7.)  My bedroom is light and airy and feels like a safe, comfortable haven. My office is cozy and bright, especially now that it features sparkly purple paint on the walls. And every night for the first month, I said, out loud, “Good night, house. I love you.”  I feel like we have an unspoken vow to take care of each other.

I know plenty of people think my ‘hood is sketchy. There is a liquor store two blocks away that is heavily armed due to frequent robberies. Two blocks and a world away. Members from the association welcome committee brought me homemade cookies. The first spring day that I was out on my porch, numerous neighbors came over to introduce themselves. Jim & Phyllis next door share vegetables from their garden. Jim shovels my sidewalk and sneaks my dog treats. I didn’t move into a sketchy neighborhood, I moved into the 1950s. And I love it. Much like I still tell the house on occasion how much I love her, I revel in the neighborhood almost every time I drive home from somewhere. I cannot imagine being happier anywhere than I am right now.

Happy anniversary, house. I love you so much. Here’s to many more years together.

525,600 minutes

I don’t generally make a huge deal about the flip of the year, but it is an easy time for a little reflection. Shall we?

2011 was rough for several of my friends, and I know they are happy to see it exit. I’ve had a year like that myself. 2008 was not so affectionately known in my world as The Year of Suck. And when 2009 hit the books, the best thing I could say about it was that it wasn’t 2008. 2010 brought some amazing milestones, like buying my house and finding Ruby and parting ways with my cursed BMW in exchange for the superiffic Optimus Prime, but it had some really, really awful times, too, including the devastating end of a friendship. So it was with mixed feelings that I showed 2010 the door.

Where are we now….I still think it’ll be 2014 before we get to the Year of Wendy, but 2011 was a step in the right direction for me personally: nothing really bad happened. J And I will take that. Sometimes status quo is a wonderful thing. I feel kind of boring, and I like it.

I did take the best vacation ever this year, a week in Ireland. I didn’t know you could be homesick for a vacation destination until now. My philosophy has always been to keep going to new places until I’ve seen everything (ha!), but I desperately want to go back to Ireland. The trip also brought the epiphany that I need to reorganize my priorities so I can travel like that more often.

Also this year, someone from one of those bad times mentioned above reached out to….apologize. Or something. But it helped alleviate a lot of anger I’d been carrying around, so we’ll take that, too.

I do set a few resolutions every year, and I’m trying to keep them less grandiose and more specific and realistic this time. That way I’ll feel like less of a grandiose failure when I forget about them. But something I enjoy even more than that is a new tradition my twin sister and I started last year. (For the record, she is neither my twin nor my sister.) Last January 1, we sat on my living room floor and wrote down the things that we wanted to let go of, then set them free in my fireplace. It felt really good, so we’re doing it again this year. Plus, you know, it’s fun to burn things.

My New Year’s wish for you (and for me): that 2012 brings nothing but happiness and laughter and health and good times. And a financial windfall. Yeah, that’d be good.

Two more years. Year of Wendy. Prepare yourself. J

(Random blogging observation…I have a really hard time writing without emoticons….)


“The holidays are hard.”

You hear that all the time. Especially for people who are sad or lonely or divorced or widowed or sick or some other life-altering thing. We see it in the movies all the time, so it must be true.

Even so, I was surprised (and felt appallingly like a cliché) when a gloomy cloud settled over me the first Christmas after my divorce. After all, I’m Jewishy – it’s not my holiday. Yet, I felt displaced. I no longer had any holiday traditions (or even ways to fill my time) and absolutely, positively everyone else was beyond booked. Duh, they were with their families, like I used to be, until I gave that up. It wasn’t even that I was missing my ex and his family, and their holiday traditions. It was more that the entire world was wrapped up in festive cheer and special celebrations and family time and I was not. It was lonely. I didn’t belong.

And it persisted in the following years. Today I thought I’d blog about it in some fashion, this unexpected melancholy. Then I realized….I’m not feeling it this year. I was sitting on my comfy couch under Fuzzy Blankie, with my snuggly Ruby Tuesday, in my cozy house, and I felt totally at peace. I could have been content spending the entire holiday weekend just like that, but I have new traditions now. On Christmas Eve my dad, grandma and I go to the movies and out to dinner. My dad goes through an elaborate exercise of mapping out movie times and calling every restaurant in Fort Wayne to see who is open and until when. On Christmas day, it’s round two of the movies, followed by dinner at our friend Rachel’s house, who has graciously welcomed our family into hers, and also makes a kick-ass meal. And a friend who is going through his own “displacement” is joining us.

And it’s complete as far as family traditions go – it has a touch of dysfunction! By the end of the two days, I am MAXED OUT on spending time with my dad and grandma. (Sorry, Dad, I know you’re reading this, no offense. Besides, I know you will be overloaded on your parent, so you can relate. J )

That’s not to say life is perfect and without its challenges and heartaches, because it’s not. But for today, life is good. And I’ll take that.

And on a complete tangent, please note definition 3 for melancholy. Eww. 

Merry Christmas! J