» Archive for May, 2009

Skipper-Dee-Do-Dah, the June Bug, and questionable hobbies

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 by kara

Life is fun with a houseful of dogs.  Each of them has distinct and unique personalities and they’ve all offered us tremendous amounts of affection and entertainment, as well as occasional doses of alarm and repulsion.  Take Skipper-Dee-Do-Dah, for example.  Skip is our buff male cocker spaniel, who is also known as “KipKip,” “Poos,” “Poopoo Bear,” and “Pooser McPooserstein.”  He’s a very serious little fellow who’s recovering from a pretty serious mommy addiction, but he’s occasionally given to flights of fancy–although those are still pretty rare.  Most of the time he mopes around, waiting for Mummah or Daddy to love him up, and pissing and moaning when anyone else gets attention.

One thing Kip does particularly well is hunt bugs.  Skip is a champion bug hunter.  He has no qualms regarding the size of the insect; whether his quarry be a pill bug or a June bug, his pursuit is equally intense.  He also has no regard for danger, and will hunt either a cave cricket or carpenter bee with the same verve.  He has a great deal of pride in the hunt and the kill, and relishes eating his conquests.  :::shudder:::

Spring is a particularly enjoyable time for Pooser because of all the bug wildlife activity.  So many little exoskeletons to examine!  So many little legs to crunch!  Ick.  So anyway, a few nights ago, we noticed Kip down at the foot of the deck steps, eating June bugs off the wall.  *sigh*  Whatcha gonna do?  Just like Gigi REFUSES to come in as long as she has a rabbit cornered under our little shed out in the back yard, KipKip hates to let Nature’s Bug Bounty go to waste, and he won’t come in while there are any bugs left within reach.

Eventually he got tired of this ‘fishing in a bucket’ activity (or he got a full tummy, I’m not sure which) and came back up to be let in, along with all the other furkids.  Rick let everyone into the house, and KipKip came prancing in to the dining room like a little crazy thing.  He tore off, lowrunning down the hall, and we hear him back in the computer room, rolling around and snarling to himself with joy and being nutso like he does sometimes after a fulfilling potty break.  Or so we thought…

Rick goes down the hall into the computer room to investigate, and I hear him say “Skipper!  LEAVE IT!!” And being a concerned mother I go to see what Pooser McPooserstein has acquired.  I’m curious (and concerned!) because our house is pretty much dogproofed and I can’t imagine what Kip could have that would inspire Rick to the panic level I hear in his voice.

I peek into the computer room to see my bemused husband restraining Poo with a hand on his collar, and a small, dark…something…lying quite motionless on the carpet.  “Did you HEAR Skip?” Rick asks me, pointing at the June bug.  I said “Yeah, sounds like he was having quite a lot of fun playing with his little friend.”

I go to the hall bathroom and fetch a Kleenex with which to remove the poor little bug, and Rick (for some reason) releases the Poo.  Well.  Before I can collect his ‘kill’, Poo zips back in like a shot and snaps up his little June bug friend, chewing him with quite a lot of relish and some more prancing around.  We were all suitably grossed out, except for Poo, who was very satisfied with hisself.  Poo’s position as the resident bughunter has been reaffirmed.

I guess I should be relieved that he only likes to hunt and eat bugs.  I’d be pretty freaked out if he caught mice and brought them in to snack on at his leisure.  I’m still dreading the day he catches a bee, however.

“Things I worry about less as I age”: Fashion vs. comfort

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009 by kara

I’m having lots of value shifts as I age.  Well, not only am I having them, I’m becoming more aware of them.  It’s very important at any age, to be open to changes in values and ideas.  Here’s No. 6:

In my youth, I’d wear something that was uncomfortable or a tad shoddy if it LOOKED good on me and was in style.  Back then, ‘comfort’ and ‘durability’ were words that I applied to work boots and furniture, not clothing.  But now I’m less concerned with whether my clothing is fashionable than if it fits and is comfortable.  As I age, I have come to appreciate quality and comfort in clothing more than whether it is au courant.  This is particularly true with regard to shoes.

I have wide feet, hyperelastic arches and I weigh much more than I should.  Therefore many fashionable shoes are dreadfully uncomfortable, if not downright unwearable, for me.  I found out last summer that my penchant for cute, inexpensive little rubber thong sandals was actually damaging my feet–they don’t offer enough support and the bones in my ankles kept sliding out of place, causing me pain.  So I’ve had to accept the fact that I must care for my feet and choose sensible shoes.

Thank goodness for Merrell shoes.  Their Jungle Moc is tremendously comfortable, and offers perfect arch support at the exact place I need it, and they’re cute.  But they don’t always work with shorts and they’re a tad expensive for us right now, which means I have to find something else that will offer support and not make my wallet cry.

Our chiropractor introduced me to a removable arch support which immediately makes many shoes much more comfortable, and at only $32 a pop, they make it possible for me to wear cheap sneakers and not end up walking like I’m balancing my body weight on bloody stumps at the end of the day.

Don’t get me wrong–in my youth, I often wore painful, impractical shoes for the sake of appearance.  There were the 3 1/2″ spiked-heel pumps which made my weightlifter calves look like carved artwork, and there were the teeny, darling little butch black leather engineer boots, complete with ankle strap and lug soles (which should have been comfortable but weren’t because they were too narrow).  Those, along with my black leather motorcycle jacket and black Ray Ban shades, made a breathtakingly tough outfit (costume?) and I ignored the cramping muscles in the bottoms of my feet because I enjoyed the drama of that whole ensemble way too much. (I actually frightened a lady at a rest stop near Flint, MI when I stomped into the ladies’ room wearing this getup.  I was in a hurry due to a really full bladder, but she might have interpreted my urgency for aggression, because she grabbed her purse and shot out the door when I ran in.  I felt bad, then I laughed.  The memory still makes me grin.)

I wore darling little white Keds to celebrate springtime back when they were fashionable, even though their complete lack of arch support made my feet audibly groan at the end of the day.  And I wore darling little sandals which had similar structural defects–and similar collateral damage–all in the name of aesthetics.

But it’s now more important to me to be comfortable and to preserve my body’s fading integrity than it is to look cute.  My body is changing and so are my values,  and at the age of 40 I can accept that without too much sorrow.  Please don’t think, however, that I’ll only wear orthopedic double-wide Velcro slippers–I’m just lots more careful to find shoes that fit and save the fanciful things for special occasions.

Manolo, a blogger I admire, has devoted his blog to shoes.  Recently he wrote about aging from a woman’s perspective, and he recommends shoes as a panacea.  Go check out The Shoeblog of The Manolo, and have a grin.