So much going on lately... so much to write about... I hardly know where to start.
First, I'll mention that my grandfather died two years ago. See this post. And now my grandmother is probably dying. We were all surprised that she lasted past Mother's Day and past my grandfather's "death day," May 10. Perhaps she will surprise us more, with a miracle, and heal herself and rise from her death bed to live another 10 or 20 years. More likely, she will continue to decline and eventually die from the kidney infection and kidney stones that are currently inoperable because she is too weak.
This breaks my heart. I'll write more later about it. Right now, I just can't manage it.
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My uncle, the one who lives in Japan not all that far from the Fukushima nuclear plant, came to visit. He was cleaning out his storage locker in L.A., where he and his wife placed all of their stuff before moving to Japan nearly 20 years ago. He has paid to store the things all this time, but has finally decided it is time to part with most of it, and quit paying for the past. He rented a truck and brought me his piano and some other items that he wanted to "keep in the family," as well as a few boxes of papers and memorabilia that he asked me to store for him indefinitely.
It was great to see him. He is as much fun with kids as I remember from my own childhood, and my kids absolutely loved having him around.
He is also having marital problems and spent a lot of time while here talking with my mom and me about the issues in his marriage.
This also breaks my heart. I'll write more later about it. Right now, I just can't manage it.
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We got a new dog about 6 weeks ago. Another St. Bernard. She is about a year and a half old, and absolutely beautiful. We got her from some folks who were about to have a new baby and said they just could not handle a big dog, too. Particularly a not-very-well trained one.
She is housebroken and sits on command. But when we got her, she had a terrible habit of jumping up (not a good thing for an 80-plus pound dog, who will be 100 to 140 pounds when she is full grown).
Within just a few days at our house, she mellowed out considerably. She loves that she can go in and out as she pleases. She loves that she gets lots of love and affection from all four of her new humans, plus gets to play with two other dogs. She has quit jumping up and instead sits next to you and looks up with the sweetest brown eyes ever. You just can't help but pet her, and I swear sometimes she purrs like a cat....
She was somewhat neglected by her former owners -- they left her in their small back yard a lot, and never took her for a walk. I had to buy a "head collar" to control her; a regular collar was not workable at all -- she is far too strong and pulls way too hard, and she resisted all efforts to keep her from simply taking off to run where she pleased. But she is getting used to walking with some slack in the leash, and enjoys our fairly regular outings.
She still has some issues. She barks at lots of people, and most dogs, when we walk her. She is just trying to be friendly, to get their attention.... but it is scary for them, and other dogs tend to get offended. We are trying to train her not to do this, but it takes time, and patience, and it is hard.
Just had her spayed yesterday -- had to wait until she was out of heat to get it done. Can't believe the former owners didn't do it, as they stated that they had no intention of breeding her, even though both her parents were registered purebred Saints.
I'll post photos and write more later.
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Work is busy, too. A good thing, after last year's fiasco of clients who didn't pay and slow business. I think the economy is getting better. More of my clients are paying, and there are more of them this year.
I'll write more later.
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Just wanted to give you all a quick update. I'm not gone. Just busy... and somewhat preoccupied with sad news and puppy training.