Blog of a Million Dreams

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dog Illnesses

I checked my yahoo! account (since I'm searching for activities to do that will delay the job search) and found an email from Dogster.

Apparently, they want me to learn about the 5 most common canine health problems.

Now, I was surprised. Because, my informal surveying and gut instincts (based on what I've seen from neighbors, family and friends) tell me that the most common canine illness (hands down) is.....

1) Obesity. That's right. Fat Americans are making their dogs fat. You just have to take a short stroll around your neighborhood to see pudgy Poopsy walking pudgy Rover 'round the block.

2) Lack of exercise. I cannot tell you how many dog meetups I attend where the dogs are clearly out of shape. They pant and drag their feet and loll on the ground. Many of these dogs can't even make it around the walk before appearing winded...and their owners don't think it's problem because they are struggling to tromp around the block as well.

3) Fleas. Lots of fleas. And some ticks. Yeah, I am currently avoiding some good friends because their house is flea infested and they don't want to do anything about it. And whenever I visit, my dogs get fleas from them.

4) Poisonings. Dogs eat anything. Hell! Some dogs even eat their own crap. So, I'd expect that dogster would put this on the list.


5) Now I'm stuck. I don't know what is the last most common canine complaint. Maybe dog allergies? Better known as mange?

On too the article. Do you know what Dogster lists as the most common ailments? I was waaay off....
1) Ear Infections (#1...who knew?)
2) Skin Allergies...okay I got that one...I put it down as #5 but at least I got it...
3) Pyoderma/Hot Spots (isn't that the same as skin conditions?)
4) Gastritis/Vomiting (that's just like poisoning, right? I mean, if your dog is vomiting...maybe it's 'cuz of poisoning)
5) Enteritis/Diarrhea (see above)

Well, maybe I wasn't as far off as I originally thought. And here's the thing...most of these ailments can't be prevented from vaccinations. So, why do all these vets push numerous, unnecessary vaccinations, many of which we later find out cause cancer in our pets.

Seed Me, Baby!

I was watching some talk show the other day (as I do fairly often now, being out of work and too broke to go -oh I don't know- on some fabulous vacation to Cancun or Hawaii), when I saw some anchor...I think it was Good Morning America...talking about ways to make money from home.

One of the jobs she mentioned was freelance writing. So, I thought, "why don't I pick up a little moola writing short articles for some website."

So, I've registered for and wrote my first article this morning. It was an article about pet gifts.

Now, I'm supposed to see if the article is approved and, if so approved, I will earn the mighty sum of $30.

Hair Dye Part II

I kept the highlighting/hair dye on for too long. Now I have an orange stripe on top of my head that doesn't really match the rest of my hair.

It's not that bad, but it's bad enough that I keep thinking of putting my hair up everytime I look into a mirror.

I think, as soon as I get another job, I'm going to sail into an expensive salon and get my hair done properly.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hair Dye

I've decided to highlight my hair.

Usually my mother gets on my case about not spending lots of money on an upscale, expensive hairstylist.

And she is right because my hair is pretty thin (okay, fine) and there's a lot of it and a bad cut and bad highlight really stand out.

But there is no way I'm spending the money I spent in my twenties on my hair.

It's just too much.

So, I cut my own hair or go to a Beauty School (Beauty School haircuts are $10 instead of the usual $60 and up around here) and I dye my own hair.

Why? Because it costs upwards of $200 (Yes, I typed double 00's and it wasn't a typo) for a decent highlight in this valley.

Versus, if I just purchase a highlighting kit at Longs (or CVS or walgreens) for $8 (sometimes even less if it's on sale), and do it myself, my hair might not look gorgeous but it looks better than no highlights (which is the alternative).

So, here I sit, with globbed on hair dye, hoping that this dye job will look okay.

Monday, January 18, 2010


It's storming right now and so I can't take the dogs out for their morning walk. Lulu refuses to go in the yard and Big H pretended to go out and pee (he hid behind some bushes and then ran back into the house). I'm waiting for a let up so I can walk them outside but it's not happening.

In the meantime, I'm trying to gather up some energy to do some de-cluttering. I started a little bit yesterday, but once I got to the yarn I was done.

Now, I have started another blanket and it's wool...a cream and black and grey striped. I think I'm going to give it to my Mom and Dad.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Not Buying It.

I'm almost through reading Judith Levine's book, "Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping".

The title is fantastic. The idea is spectacular. Can you go a whole year without shopping?

Sadly, the content seems to have very little to do with the actual title.

Full Disclosure: I'm a single parent living in the most expensive part of the country. 95% of my salary goes to my mortgage (6 years ago it went to my rent). How did I do it? Buy a teeny townhouse for half a million dollars? By not buying crap. I don't go to Starbucks, I cut my own hair (Youtube has great how to videos) and I shop at thrift stores.

So, I was very interested in reading this book. After all, I could probably try to go a whole year not buying the little things I know, the special items at the grocery store that look so appealing and you get them home and they're not. Or those thrift store shoes I had to have. And maybe I could start a garden or make more handmade items.

This book is not written with me in mind.

The book is written for a very specific audience. It is written for a left leaning, shopoholic without sound reasoning skills. Sadly, there are enough people around for whom this book might work. But they won't pick it up. You know who that audience is; the Starbucks buying, credit card loving, subprime mortgage buying, SUV driving, out for dinner every night, preachy, guilt-ridden yuppie. The person who is the first to rant and rave about global warming and ecology...but provides enough trash to fill a landfill in a month--that throws out more than a 200 unit apartment complex--the person that fires up an SUV and hires a gardener to spray the whole block with a leafblower. The kind of person who wouldn't know a rake if he/she stepped on it. Yet, assauges that guilt by railing against immigration reform and, although paying that gardener next to nothing throughout the year, throws a twenty his way for Christmas.

Her book makes no sense and is a rant against Bush and right wing policies. I think it is supposed to be anti-consumerism, but I often found her arguments to be just the opposite. I don't think the author truly understands her premise. However, the book is so poorly written it's hard to tell just what Ms. Levine thinks.

In fact, having plowed through most of this book (which I got from the library), I really think the author's problem(s) run much deeper than just shopping. I suspect a low I.Q.

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Friday, January 15, 2010


I love Craigslist.

It's how I learned of Leelu...She was featured under Pets in a link to "Dogs In Danger". I got her 2 days before the shelter was going to put her down.

Craigslist keeps me up to date about rents, who/if anyone/ is accepting renters with pets, real estate, activities...and, of course, my favorite-of-all-times-link...."Best of Craigslist" with hilarious postings pulled from all the 'normal' postings.

But Craigslist is saving my ass right now.

I'm selling stuff I've had for years, in an attempt to clear out the garage.

What I find interesting, however, is that I cannot begin to understand what sells and what doesn't. It doesn't seem to have bearing on price, quality or's just completely random that someone will log onto Craigslist, see my posting, and say, "I must have that double burner Coffee Pot with aromatic freshners attached!"

What have I sold so far?

Four bags of designer clothes for $30.

An Ikea Bookcase for $10.

A Boogie Board that I have had since I was 19 (painful to let go, but I had to....) for $30.

An Office Chair for $20.

A Sheet of Mirror for $10.

What hasn't sold? a printer/fax, a designer mirror, a vintage vanity....

And so much more to move out of the garage....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Michael Pollan

If you remember, I reviewed one of Michael Pollan's books in an earlier post ("In Defense Of Food"). Now he's on the ABC morning show, Good Morning America, with another book.

His new book is called..."Food Rules: An Eaters Manual"

Accroding to his interview with George Stepanopholous (sp?), Pollan claims we all should;

1) Eat Your Colors....not artificial colors. Eat food of different colors so that you have variety in your diet.

2) Shop the periphery of the grocery store (do an end run, make a circle around the store) to avoid processed food. Fresh, real food is around the edges of the store.

3) It's not food if it comes through the window of your car. Duh!

4) You can only eat junk food if you make it yourself (it's a pain in the ass to make)

5) Treat treats as treats but it's okay to to splurge once in awhile (not all the time though)

All this seems pretty common sense to me. And, even though I do sometimes visit the middle of the grocery store, it's usually because I'm baking something and need vanilla or flour or some sort of ingredient. I prefer the edges of the store because those items taste better!

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to Piss Off Your Neighbor

On Monday, my neighbor Petrina showed up at my door with her dog.

Previously she had mentioned in passing that she was going out of town this week and stated (not asked, actually stated) that I would look after her dog, Muffy. I told her she needed a backup plan.

On Monday morning (8 a.m.) when she showed up, I had my two dogs on leash and was about to take them out for a walk.

"Oh, no worries, " she chirped, "Muffy has already gone potty, so she can just stay at your house while you go on your walk."

"When are you coming back?" I asked, pissed off that she was dumping her dog on me when she has a 26 year old son living with her perfectly capable of dog walking and feeding. When I suggested she have him look after the dog, she said he wasn't nice to her dog and it was too much to ask of him. He doesn't work and he doesn't pay her any rent. But he apparently is so busy being lazy that he can't take care of a dog.

She said she was coming back Friday evening. And that she talked to the neighbors on my other side and if I couldn't take care of Muffy, that I could drop the dog off with them.

"Fine." I said, obviously unhappy.


When I came back from my dog walk, I found that her dog had crapped all over my carpet. Obviously the dog was not walked and clearly had not gone potty. Pissed off I called her right away.

"Hellooo" she chirped when she answered her phone.

"Petrina, you did not walk your dog," I said. "Muffy has crapped all over my carpet. You cannot believe how much she's pooped. I don't think there's any way I can get it out of the carpet."

"Well, just shove her back into my house..." Petrina sputtered. "There's nothing I can do about it."

"Just leave her in your house? I thought that Gabriel (her son) can't handle a dog..." I said...

"Look, I can't do anything about this, I'm in line here at the airport and going on vacation." Petrina screamed at me. "Nothing I can do. Thanks for sharing."

And on that lovely note, Petrina hung up on me.

This is a true story and an actual conversation. Can you believe anyone would expect to speak that way and still have favors (for free) done for them? The only excuse I can possibly think of is that Petrina is currently popping prescription meds and clearly needs some mental help.

For the rest of the day (until the neighbors--Petrina's backup plan--came home from work), I slowly simmered.

Then, around 6 pm, I took Muffy to the neighbors. Who informed me that Petrina had asked them to help me, but that they weren't the back up plan.

Livid, I took Muffy, all of her accroutments, and stormed over to Petrina's house. After banging on the door, Gabriel (her 26 year old son) opened the door.

"I'm done." I said. "I can't do three dogs. Here's Muffy, she's yours to deal with now."

I handed over the dog, leash and turned my back and went back to my house. I have yet to see the dog, but I'm sure she's fine. My neighbor, however, is no longer my friend.

Friday, January 08, 2010

New Year, New Res...


I decided to reread my posts on my blog from the last couple of years. Because the alternative is cleaning my house or applying for yet another job. And rereading posts is slightly more appealing.

SO...I went to January 2007 and read about Sally Lieber (seriously, who is she? Does anyone really care anymore?).

THen I went on to read my Jan. 2008 postings. It's kinda hard to read with 2 dogs rough housing next you. If I was a better dogmomma, I'd make 'em stop. But they are so cute!

Anyway, Jan. 2008 lists my resolutions for the year. Some of which I fulfilled. I installed hardwood flooring. I went on a vacation.

But, the fact is, there was quite alot on the list that never materialized.

So...I"ve decided to redo my goes...

Resolutions for 2010;

1) Find enough income to pay the mortgage for this year and next.

2) Finish the kitchen. Put in a cabinet where just a hole exists and install shelving underneath the half cabinets lining the kitchen walls.

3) New carpet. Oh, yeah. This current carpet is gross.

4) Fix the upstairs bathroom. Scrape off the peeling paint on the ceiling and repaint. Spackle the holes in the walls and repaint. Adhere new tile on the floors.

5) Have another child. Or reconcile with the fact that you are not going to have another 'chile.

6) Take 6 vacations.

7) Start a couple businesses.

8) Buy property in the country.

9) Finish writing your book. And publish it.

10) Go back to Germany. And visit Paris and Spain. And Argentina.

11) Get your dual citizenship already, before it's too late. Or at least figure out if you can.

12) Keep your dogs happy. They deserve to be happy.

13) Buy a houseboat. And live on it a few months out of the year.

okay, I know these are weird resolutions. I don't care. They are my resolutions and I can put down whatever I want. If you don't like 'em, start your own blog and list your own resolutions.

It Was 2009....

I also found so many great thrift finds!

I love the idea of using old copper pots and pans as plant holders. I also found some simple, but lovely, bowls to hold my plants.

One of my favorite finds though, was a 1960's (or '70's) kitchen spice cabinet...that I got for $6. I use it to hold tea.

It was 2009 Part III

I finally finished the blanket I was knitting (started it in May and worked on it off and on throughout the year). I sent it to my brother and his wife for a wedding/Christmas/New Year present.

It Was 2009 Part II

Days at Half Moon Bay with friends and family.

One of my favorite times was the time I would take Big H and Leelu to the beach and walk them along the sand.

I think it was the first time Leelu had ever been to the ocean. I took my exchange student as well, and it was the first time he'd seen the Pacific Ocean.

The pier is one of my favorite places to go.

It Was 2009

I've been struggling for my first 2010 post. I wanted to include pictures of everything from this past year.

But my card reader (for my digital camera) was missing. I tore the house apart looking for it for weeks. Finally I've realized either my exchange student took off with it (he borrowed it a few times) or something else happened to it (who knows? maybe it found it's way into one of the bags I've schlepped over to the Salvation Army as a donation).

I went to Target to buy a new card reader. They didn't seem to have any and the clerks either don't speak my language or don't understand what a card reader is...

So, FINALLY, I broke down and went to Walmart. Walmart, which just days ago (before Christmas) was teeming with merchandise, now has empty aisles. I know that people weren't buying all that crap, so now I wonder....but onto the card reader...Walmart actually had I can download...and here goes...