September 16, 2010

where I'm at

A steady rain commenced at 8:00 am today, and has not stopped for five hours straight. Relentless. And because I am crabby that I can't be home to snuggle in bed and knit and watch a movie (rain-appropriate activities), I have had two cups of tea, one cup of coffee, one sesame bagel, two butter pecan cookies, and one chocolate chip muffin in protest. I anticipate a sugar coma anvil to come crashing down on my head at any moment.

September 14, 2010

goodbye to a friend.

You pet people out there will hear me when I say: Charlotte, my childhood dog of over 16 years passed away today, and it's tough news to take.
16 years is a long time for a pup, and she had declined a lot recently--deafness, harsh arthritis--and when she lost the use of her hind legs yesterday to some mysterious ailment, my family knew her quality of life had about run out. And I'm grateful she didn't end her life in pain or in fear. Because she was a runner, always had been, and none of us would have been surprised if it was a speeding car on a dark street that took her out in the end.

She was the dog to make me into a dog person, and planted the joy I feel from a dog's burst of excitement every time I come home. Because, how great is it that they are excited every damn time, whether it has been 10 minutes or eight hours? Such a simple and pure affirmation, with no bias or tinted motivation.

And despite that tendency to squeeze through any and every hole in our ragged fence, leading us in a frantic and frustrated chase, I loved her and her craziness. One of the many times she ran away, a day care down the street called to say they had found her, and told us not to worry because the kids were giving her water and graham crackers.

She was a companion and a reassuring presence in every way a dog should be, especially for a kid stumbling through adolescence in the most insecure ways. Dogs are uncritically, unapologetically and enthusiastically loving, and it was good to have in my life then-- and hopefully I'll keep a dog in my life as long as I can.

Love you, sweet girl. You were a great one.

September 6, 2010

Superior Susie lurks in the wings

What, did you think Negative Nancy was my only alternative personality? She's not even as vocal as Bitter Betty. Superior Susie makes mostly silent appearances, as most judgy critical inner voices do.

In this instance, I'm a little worried that she could turn up since I'm not convinced she has just yet. Here's why: I am all for thrifting. I think our consumerism is out of control (both in terms of overpricing and volume), and I think we're remarkably wasteful the minute we can afford to be so. Thrifting just makes so much more sense in terms of giving products a few more go-rounds instead of sending them straight to landfills.

There are a handful of things I can't bring myself to buy at thrift stores: anything faded, anything that qualifies as an undergarment, shoes that can't be easily cleaned. What I wonder about is when (if?) our money situation changes for the better (because 'paycheck-to-paycheck' is about as minimal as it gets), if my perspective on thrifting will shift with our income. That is to say, it's easy to support it right now because our options are slim. I can let out some Superior Susie chatter, but really, I'm not making much of a choice or a sacrifice. And I hope once it becomes an actual decision to be made, when I could afford new things if I wanted, I'll stick with my convictions where I can, and not prove myself a hypocrite.

But I WILL buy new shoes.