Monday, November 20, 2017

A Special Time of Year

Human:  Do you know what Thursday is??

Blueberry:  Apple Pie Day!

Human:  Actually, it's Thanksgiving.  But yes, there will be pie.

Blueberry:  Thanksgiving?  Does that mean I will be thanking you for giving me all of the apple pie?

Human:  It means I might be thankful enough for you to share a little bit of pie.

Blueberry:  Your inability to share a decent amount of pie with me will surely impede my ability to be thankful.

Human:  Perhaps I should make a Blueberry pie instead?

Blueberry:  I love all pie!  Wait, what?  Does that mean what I think it means?

Human:  Mwahahahaha!

Blueberry:  That is not in keeping with the Thanksgiving Day spirit.  Don't lean too far into the oven, human...

Human:  Just don't try to assault me as I am eating

Blueberry:  As long as you share properly, we will have a peaceful Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  May you eat many fine things, but not in excess.  Nobody enjoys a vomit-y Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Deep Thoughts by Blue Berry

"I think it's high time someone came up with a dog bed made out of cheese accessorized with a bacon pillow.  What's the hold up, humans?"

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

WW 11-15-17

Over on Pooch Smooches Jackie does a great job coming up with a Pup and a Plant captions with Rita that crack me up!  I thought I would give it a whirl.  Sadly, I have less talent  and this was all I could come up with.  

I'm not really sure what this plant is, but Blueberry loves that it smells like dog whizz.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Deep Thoughts by Blue Berry

I wish I could talk.  That way, when we are hiking in the desert in the dark of night, I could look behind us and then shout, "CLOWN!!!" and take off running.

I bet my human would be able to run really fast.  Or else she would stand there in horror and soil herself.  I think either one would make a good memory and we could laugh about it later.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Week is Finally Over!

"Let's go - the weekend is here!!"

Just a short update - the wound is doing so much better.  It is pink now instead of an angry shade of red.  Hurts way less than before.  Woo hoo!  Thank you, Lord!  

I know that it was such a little thing.  But when I was going through this, I googled and googled and could not find anything relating to what I had - which was something small.  All I could find were these horror stories of huge gaping holes being covered by something that looked like a barnacle and plastic surgeons and long recoveries.  So I posted about my experience in the hopes of helping someone else know what to expect (although hopefully their experience is less painful).  I am still waiting for culture results - although at this point I am getting better and it only matters because I'd like to know what it was! 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Another Wound Update

Since my surgery, I have been running a low grade fever off and on and in general, just not feeling well.  I did have some yellowy stuff coming out of the wound, but that's normal, right?  It wasn't a ton.  But the pain was concerning.  You know that deep pain you get if you have like an ingrown nail that gets infected - it's like that - only on my forehead.  I didn't bother calling the doctor since I knew I had an appointment coming up this week.  And I really thought she would tell me it looks great and everything I was experiencing was normal.

When I got there - they were all cheerful - and asking how it was healing.  And so I told them about the low-grade fevers, pain, and yellow gunk.  That sure wiped the smiles off their faces.  (hahaha - I know how to sober a room)  The doctor then did a culture swab of the area - which, by the way, hurt like the dickens!!! I'm sure under normal circumstances it wouldn't have bothered me, but given that the site is most likely infected and painful to the gentlest touch - that swab was like having someone rub at it with a brillo pad.  

And the suture removal?  Well, at one point I asked if blood was running down my forehead and she told me no, that was sweat.  She asked if I was nervous and I told her no - it was just so painful.  I do remember seeing black dots near the end of the removal.  And then she was done and my vision cleared.  But, man, that was unpleasant!  Again, probably due to the infection.  

She sent me home with antibiotics, mentioned that I may have impetigo and the results from the culture would be back in a couple of days.  I looked at impetigo pictures on line and I don't really think I have that.  Don't children get that?  And their pictures look way worse.

This was my wound before my post op appointment.  Still looks angry.  And very painful.  (And in case anyone is wondering - I took great care with this site as I did with all the biopsy sites and followed the directions for wound care I was given)

This is after the sutures were removed.  It looks so stern.  (hahaha, wound humor)

"I insisted my human end with a picture of me because let's face it, the human's forehead just looks gross."

WW 11-8-17

Scenes from an early morning hike.

"Hey!  Stop with the pictures and let's go!!"

"I'm gonna get you!"

Monday, November 6, 2017

Deep Thoughts by Blue Berry

Does anybody remember Jack Handey from SNL and his deep thoughts?  I thought some of them were hilarious.  It occurred to me that Blueberry may have some deep thoughts of her own that she would like to share from time to time.  We hope you enjoy this.

"I think a fun thing to do is to eat a tripe treat and then immediately after, sneak up on the human and lick her neck.  And then when she screams and runs away, chase her down and lick her some more.  Tripe...it's the gift that keeps on giving."

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

WW 11-1-17 - Skin Cancer Update

Warning:  If you are squeamish - you may want to skip this post.

This will be a wordy Wednesday.  I had my surgery for my basal cell yesterday.  Not a pleasant experience.  I am a bleeder and for the record:  it's very disturbing to smell your own flesh burning when it is cauterized to try and stem the flow of blood.  I had to go home with a pressure bandage because of the copious bleeding.  

The red dot is from my biopsy.  Mostly healed.

This is yesterday post-surgery.  And yes, the pressure bandage became adhered to some of my hair and yes, I lost a little clump of hair when trying to remove it.

This was this morning.  It looks very angry, no?  My forehead was lifted up to close the gap so I guess in a way I received a forehead lift.  Although, the pain isn't worth it and I don't understand why anyone would willingly have that done.

Blueberry was annoyed with my tossing and turning last night and ditched me for her dog bed on the floor.  Zero nursing skills.  She also bumped her nose against my bandage pretty hard.  Another nursing fail.

It hurts to speak, to chew, and to laugh.  There's just a lot of tension in that area and it feels like most activities are pulling at it.  The good news is - within a week I should be mostly healed.  

❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤  "I still love you, human.  Just keep the treats coming."

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Mud Stops Here

We revisited the Mud Run site yesterday and ran into more obstacles for B to play around in.  This is what happens when Blueberry assumes the next puddle will be mostly water and it turns out - it's not.  Before I had a chance to stop her, she had plopped into the ooze and I could tell the mud was pulling at her paws because she had quite the time getting out.  When she made it out - she kept shaking herself and this human had mud splatter all over her.  

I always know when Blueberry is having a LOT of fun on our hikes because she'll do something on her own that I haven't even thought about.  As soon as she saw this stack of straw bales - she ran to the top of it and stood there like this to pose for me.  

She is at eye level with me (I am about 5'4") and I was a little concerned she might leap to the ground from the top bale and I tried to lure her to the bottom one bale at a time - but she was feeling very spunky after her mud bath and leaped down anyway.   I exclaimed - "You are 77 years old!  You can't leap down like that with your bum knee and hips!"  She didn't seem to care.  It wasn't graceful but she didn't seem to be in pain and swaggered in glee the rest of the hike.  (although I did give her a pain pill later that night)

"What do you mean I am getting rinsed off?  You don't appreciate my new look?"

You can kind of see in this picture just how filthy she was.  I had to use two large bottles of water to rinse that mud off before she got in the car.  She didn't seem to mind.  She was still on her mud high.  But when I had to finish cleaning her up at home - well, it was like it was the end of the world.  Such drama.  Like I was pouring acid on her instead of just regular water.  

However, I think if we had to rate our hikes so far this fall - this would probably be #1.  It was so much fun for both of us!  

Monday, October 23, 2017

Weekend Mud Report

It was the annual Family Mud Run in my town this weekend.  I never go the actual day, but I do take Blueberry the following morning before the mud holes dry up.  It's always fun and exciting for her to have a mud puddle to play in - a rarity in the desert.  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Importance of Sunscreen

"I don't need Doggles, I can just squint"

I finally called earlier this week for my skin biopsy results.  Two biopsies were benign.  One was a basal cell.  I'll have to have it excised in a couple of weeks.  Stitches in my forehead in time for Halloween!  

For those interested...melanoma runs in the family.  I was also one of those fools in the 80s that enjoyed "laying out" with baby oil and tin foil to try and get as much color as possible.  Didn't matter to me if that color happened to be lobster red.  I even hit tanning beds a few times and burned then too.  If you look at a checklist for qualifications for having the potential to get melanoma - I am definitely a poster child.

Soon after the family member was diagnosed, I took myself to the dermatologist for a skin exam.  Full body.  Oh yeah.  Just when you think the lady town exam is bad - well, if you've ever had anyone give you a good looking over with a bright light and magnifying doohickey - you'll think that other exam is a piece of cake and less humiliating.  During that exam, I mentioned a growth on my wrist that had bled off and on for at least a year.  It was biopsied and came back as a basal cell.  I had Moh's surgery for that one - which was less awful than I thought it would be.  Compared to the other people that were in that waiting room with me - mine was a walk in the park.  They had these huge gauze bandages over different parts of their faces!  It was gruesome and I sat there waiting, thanking God I didn't have one on my face.  If you don't know what Moh's is - look it up sometime - or don't.  Probably, don't.  It isn't pretty.  But hey, what surgery is?

I guess after that surgery, I kind of thought it was all over.  That was the extent of my brush with cancer.  And I didn't want another ridiculous bill for another surgery for something so small.  So I delayed going back to the dermatologist for yearly exams.  Plus, after a few years, my derm retired.  And I used that as an excuse for a while.

I really don't spend a lot of time in the sun during the peak hours of 10-4.  I do early morning hikes or late evening ones.  I avoid the sun because well...Arizona.  And I hate having to put on sunscreen.  Although since those 7 years ago with my first basal cell, I did manage to  get burned a few times without even realizing it.  

Fast forward to about a month ago when I was getting my hair trimmed and as I sat in the chair, I looked in the mirror and saw what appeared to be a zit.  I'm sitting there thinking to myself, "That bad boy is going to get popped as soon as I get home."

Well, upon closer inspection at home, I realized it wasn't a zit at all (this was the one time I was actually disappointed I didn't have a zit) - it was a mole!  A new mole.  I did what anyone would do.  I Googled "getting a new mole after 40" and to my surprise, learned that if that happens, and if you have the history I do and the close family member with melanoma - you need to get it checked out.  So I called a recommended dermatologist and to my horror - they didn't have a long wait for appointments!  I was thinking - okay, I will call and they will schedule me for 3 months down the road, no biggie.  But they saw me that very same week.  They actually had an opening the day I called but I couldn't deal with that so I put it off for a few more days.  I really liked her - very down to earth, yet professional as well.  I only pointed out the one new mole but did admit it had been 7 years since my last skin exam so I had to endure another full body exam.  I admit I was a little blind-sided that she did 3 biopsies on me.  I guess I wasn't expecting that - even though I had a feeling that the new mole was going to be trouble.  

And so now, here I am.  With another basal cell.  Not life threatening.  Some people even like to ignore them - but, people, it's still cancer.  And it still grows under the surface even if it looks insignificant on the surface.  So I will have it removed.  And I will start to wear sunscreen.  And stop driving around with my window open and my left arm exposed to the sun.  My chances of getting more basal cells is high.  My chances of getting melanoma also increase.  

I feel more educated now and having a basal cell on my face definitely emphasized the fact that I need to make sure my skin is protected.  I'm sure that having my dermatologist cut into my forehead - a procedure for which I will be awake - will also make me more cautious. 

So, there you have it.  Not life threatening at all.  And I know a lot of people would tell me that of all the cancers to get - basal cell is probably the best one.  As if there is such a thing.  And I agree - to an extent.  But it's still someone cutting into me.  And it probably won't be the last time thanks to my foolish choices in my youth.  And watching someone die from melanoma makes me take this whole basal cell thing more seriously than some might understand.    

Now, I just have to find a sunscreen that doesn't have a smell that makes me gag...   ;)  I wore some the other morning on a short hike with Blueberry and I just about choked on myself the whole way.  

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WW 10-18-17

"What's that smell?"

"Oh...that's probably me."

Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday Musings

Blueberry's look captures how I feel about waiting.

I have been waiting since the end of September for biopsy results (for me, not for Blueberry).  The waiting has been challenging.  I am trying to focus on scripture to get me through this.  I know that whatever the results - it isn't something that will kill me.  It's just the waiting for a clear answer so I can move forward with whatever comes next. 
I guess the takeaway for me is that Jesus is with me through the waiting and beyond.  I can't add a single hour to my life by worrying over this.  But being the control freak I am, it's a hard lesson to learn.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Monday, October 9, 2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Blueberry vs Blueberry's Human - Turkey Edition

This edition is all about the different ways dogs and their humans can sometimes be turkeys to each other.  I'll go first, because, well, I'm the human, so there.

Human:  Aahh, fall.  What a great time of year, right?  Especially in Arizona when we are no longer facing sizzling temperatures and it's actually cool in the middle of the night instead of 90 degrees.  I love and I hate it.  I love the coolness.  What I don't love is Blueberry tricking me into thinking she has to go out at 2 am to urinate and ends up just sitting there in the middle of the yard, taking in the night air.  

Blueberry:  I'm glad you mentioned this.  This brings to me to the point about YOU being a turkey.  I was sitting outside the door, ignoring your pleas for me to hurry up minding my own business and you actually used your foot to try and prod me along!  

Human:  Yes, but when I prodded you, you tricked me into thinking you were going to get things going and you moved 20 feet away and SAT DOWN AGAIN.   


Human:  Okay, we are both getting a little riled so maybe we need to stop now.

Blueberry:  I am not riled.  I simply do not think there is an issue with a little 2 am stargazing and night air sniffing.

Human:  Yes there is!!!  Some of us have to work for a living!

Blueberry:  Oh, don't worry about me, I can sleep during the day.

Human:  I wasn't talking about you!!!

Blueberry:  Why is your face all red?

Human:  ...

Blueberry:  Okay, um, I guess we should conclude today's Turkey Edition until my human has had a chance to compose herself.  I think someone needs a nap...

Monday, October 2, 2017

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Teaching an Old Human a New Trick

"I hear banjo music..."

"Can I eat this?"

"What do you mean, 'NO'?"

**Blueberry's Disclaimer:  No banjos were chewed during this photo shoot.  Although I cannot promise that there won't be chewing in the future if it is left out of the case.

**Human's Disclaimer:  No dogs were made to squeal like a pig during this photo shoot.  

From the human:  I have always wanted to learn to play banjo and finally bought one recently.  I am attempting to teach myself.  Thankfully, Blueberry has not run off or howled during any of my practices.  She simply lies down at my feet until I am done.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Monday, September 25, 2017

Wide Load

Could our lower halves look any bigger?  Yikes.

Blueberry says, "I hope this doesn't mean we are going on diets.  These pictures are not indicative of our true weights."

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Prehibernation Exam for Pistachio

"Uh-oh, the 'claw' is behind me!"

Pistachio wasn't thrilled with his trip to the vet.

Pistachio hid his head under his grass after the embarrassment of having his weight and age discussed (he's 31 and his weight is perfect!).

"I am glad that is over with, human.  I would advise you not to attempt tricking me with a treat to lure me out of my burrow for a vet visit next year.  I will have ALL winter to think about ways to retaliate."

"What do you mean tortoises don't have to get their temperatures taken when they go in for their exams?"

"That is a bunch of hooey.  I'm going to pretend I am a tortoise the next time I am at the vet's office.  I'm going to need a disguise..."

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Pistachio Takes on a Train

I bought that train for the sole purpose of seeing what Pistachio would do.  I saw a meme last week that showed a tortoise with a toy train doing almost exactly what is pictured here.  Gotta give credit where credit is due.  I don't actually know who created that meme - but it was fun and their caption read "And there were no survivors.".    

I am only sorry that I did not get footage of Pistachio running over the train.  He trampled it to get to the dandelion greens I had hidden behind my back but he sniffed out.  Clever boy.

P.S.  No tortoises or tiny people that may or may not have been inside the train were harmed.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Blueberry Eyes

"Please share your cheesecake with me."

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Goodbye Summer

I know, it's still technically hot - but when the days of heat warnings and 90 degree temps at 2 in the morning are over - it's cause for celebration and means that early mornings open up once again for hikes.  Blueberry will now sing a song for you:

"On the trail again
Just can't wait to get on the trail again
The life I love is dodging cactus with my friend
And I can't wait to get on the trail again.

On the trail again
Goin' places that I've often been
Smellin' things that I hope to smell again
And I can't wait to get on the trail again.

Just can't wait to get on the trail again
The life I love is dodging cactus with my friend
And I can't wait to get on the trail again."

Thank you to Willie Nelson for giving us the original version and inspiring me to use my own words to his tune.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Differing Views

"I've never had dandelion greens before..."


"I can't even look at them.  Take them away."

"Hmmm...snow peas...not bad."

"Dandelion greens are the best!!!"

Pistachio proceeded to eat a bundle and a half of dandelion greens over the course of 2 days.  I finally found something on the Approved List of Foods (by AZ Game & Fish) that he actually LOVES.  He almost ran me over to get to them.

Pistachio's Best to Worst Food Ratings:

1 - Dandelion Greens (his new favorite)

2 - Butternut squash (this one is more of a treat and not good for him to eat a lot of but he does dig it.)

3 - Bermuda grass (always a crowd pleaser and in plentiful supply)

4 - Carrot greens (This rates a so-so as I offered him a carrot green first and he ate a little, but then sniffed out the Dandelion Greens I had nearer to me and high-tailed it over to get what he considers the good stuff.  I tried to give him the carrot greens again, but he hissed at it and went after the dandelion greens again.  Message received.)

5 - Water cress - He spit it out.  Roger that.

P.S.  I gave Blueberry a more species appropriate treat after the Dandelion Green experiment failed.  I think the disappointed look on her face says it all.  

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Random Pictures to Close Out August

"I make these glasses look good, human"

"I'm not really sweaty - I am just glistening from the sprinkler"

It becomes more and more challening to duplicate cute ideas I've seen on Pinterest to send to my nieces through the mail.  I am rather pleased with how these turned out (and btw - I only saw a picture of something similar that included an actual snail - perhaps only my second project where I didn't need step by step instructions)!  A little clay, a little food coloring, some felt, homemade mini envelopes and tada!