Sunday, September 14, 2014

Working Up Some Thankfuls

I'm too tiiiiiiiired to write a Ten Things of Thankful list! I don't know what's wrong with me this week, but I am EXHAUSTED to my very core. Last Saturday, we were at a volleyball tournament all day in another town. Tuesday night, volleyball in another town. Thursday night, volleyball in another town THREE HOURS AWAY. This Saturday, volleyball tournament in another town.Why does riding in a car and sitting in bleachers watching volleyball exhaust me so much?

Gratuitous picture of Ruby, because I love her.

This is also one of those weeks where it isn't as easy to find thankfuls as it is in other weeks. And instead of a traditional list, I'm going to use the Sandy Ramsey method and incorporate my thankfuls as they come along in the story of my week. 

Last Saturday, Emma had a volleyball tournament in Springfield, an hour away from home. The girls have certainly played better, but they still got third place and had a fun day. My son also goes to college in Springfield, so I picked him up from his dorm and forced him brought him to watch his sister play a few games, then we went out to eat. My baby boy is really growing up; he bought dinner for the family (he actually has more money than any of us, as he is being paid to go to school and then some).

Monday evening, my daughter was dealt a crushing blow. I picked her up from volleyball practice at 6:00. I could see something was wrong when I saw her face as she approached the car, and the moment she got in, she burst into tears. It seems a girl on the varsity team wasn't playing well, so the coach moved her to junior varsity. That seems fair enough, but in moving her, they gave her Emma's position. Now, if Emma hadn't been playing well, I could understand it, but she has worked hard and played very well; in fact, her stats have been so good, they have been in the local paper after every game. One of the coaches told her it wasn't anything she had done, but somehow, she is the one being punished. She is now sharing a position with another player, which now punishes THAT player as well. It's very difficult to understand, for her and for us. And when my child hurts, I hurt. And she hurts.

Tuesday night, though, while playing her new position, even though she was sad and hurt, she got out there and rocked it, including getting 14 service points in a row. IN A ROW! And her stats made the paper again. But still, she doesn't have her position back and is only playing half the time, through no fault of her own. It's really hard.

One thing positive occurred for her this week in volleyball; she and two other friends on the jv team were asked to play in a varsity tournament on Saturday. Now, the reason extra players were needed was because over half the varsity team was taking the ACT and couldn't be there, but the good news is she was one of three asked to play from her team, so perhaps this whole debacle of losing her position will all turn out okay.

Pancaking to get the ball. Not sure it worked this time.

My dad had surgery in August to remove a (recurring) growth from inside his bladder. What at one time was something that was not terribly concerning took a turn when the doctor told him there were some cancerous cells within the growth. Treatment will be in the form of immunotherapy with a drug containing a live virus related to the germ that causes TB inserted by catheter directly into the bladder, at which time the body's own immune system will attack the cancer cells (I Googled it). The drug is kept in the bladder for two hours, then the plug is pulled, so to speak. For the next 6 hours, anytime he goes pee pee, the toilet has to be cleaned with bleach, due to the live virus. This will be done weekly for six weeks, and my 82 year old mother gets the joy of wielding the bleach bottle. (I recommended he work on his aim, and he said he would be required to take care of business from a sitting position.) Hopefully, he will sail through this, especially since the poor man has been diagnosed with type II diabetes and pancreatitis within the past two and a half years.

Emma was nominated for sophomore homecoming attendant. She was also nominated last year for freshman attendant. It was a wonderful honor to be nominated not once, but twice, especially since there are approximately 300 girls in the class to choose from, but she didn't win. And while she is not devastated, she is a little disappointed, especially given how the rest of her week has gone. 

Holy cow, that's a gloomy week! I sound like such a Sad Sack. Let's see, I went to my monthly oncology appointment this week, and all appears well. I got to don the beautiful paper gown for a breast exam, and who doesn't love doing THAT? (Me, that's who.) 

What could be better than a
 selfie in a paper gown?

I rode to Rolla for volleyball Thursday afternoon with the parents of one of Emma's teammates. We had a great time, stopping at the World's Largest Gift Store (I call bullshit on that one, but we still had fun poking around in there). Their daughter got hit in the eyebrow with another teammate's elbow (total accident) five points into the first game, splitting it open and causing much blood to spill. Luckily, there were two doctors and a nurse practitioner in the audience, and she was butterflied together and seems to be healing nicely. And has a great story to tell. 

I leave you with what was supposed to be a video of a bat flying down the hallway at preschool. I spotted it hanging from the ceiling right outside my primary classroom, which is located right across from the sanctuary. I kept to my usual M.O. of running down the hallway screaming "BAAAAAAAAAT!!!" until Mr. Doug comes to the rescue. But rather than the bat being knocked down with a broom (GENTLY - don't get your animal cruelty panties in a wad) and swept outside, this one decided to fly down the hallway, stopping on the floor outside my pre-k classroom. An unsuccessful attempt by Mr. Doug to sweep Mr. Bat into a bucket caused the bat to take off and fly up and down the hallway while I peeked out my pre-k classroom door, slamming it, screaming, every time the bat flew towards me. I THOUGHT I was videoing Mr. Doug as he swung at it with the bat, unsuccessfully, as the bat mocked him by dodging the broom, but it seems I forgot to push the "on" button. When I thought I turned it OFF, I actually turned it on, recording a video of the floor and lots of audio of me arm chair quarterbacking Mr. Doug's attempts to capture the bat. He was finally successful, and Mr. Bat was released outside (where he probably flew right back up to whatever hole allows them to get inside the attic and then, occasionally, find their way into the building). 

It's not too late to link up YOUR Ten Things of Thankful. Or there's always next week....

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Friday, September 5, 2014

First Days, Birthdays, and a Contest!

Cutting to the chase. This is the Ten Things of Thankful and these are the things I am thankful for this week:

1. Rain, rain, glorious rain! We are so dry here, as is a lot of the country, and we got steady, heavy rain that began in the night Monday night and continued most of the day Tuesday.

2. The first day of preschool. Tuesday was the first day for my primary class, Wednesday was the first day for my pre-k class. Prepare yourself for preschool stories.

Me (to 4 year old who was pulling at her britches): What are you doing? Are you okay?
4 year old: Fixing a wedgie.

3. A quick-thinking assistant teacher. Bat sleeping in the hallway yesterday morning ended up being a bat swooping and flapping up and down the hallway. My assistant teacher Janet shut the door when she heard there was to be a bat removal (said removals usually going fairly smoothly, with the sleepy bat swept out the door with a broom to fly away OUTSIDE). I looked out the little window in our door to see the bat flying up and down the hallway. Had she not shut the door, I would have walked right out of the room and into a flying bat's path.

4. Prizes! I forgot to include this the past two weeks, but I was the WINNER, WINNER, WINNER of a contest sponsored by Beth Teliho to guess what personal disaster might befall her when she went on vacation with her family. I had the winning guess with loss of bladder control. Sorry, Beth, that you peeing yourself turned out to be a thankful for me! I received an envelope in the mail some time thereafter, although NO ONE IN MY FAMILY BOTHERED TO TELL ME IT WAS THERE. And inside I found lip balm and a nifty pair of socks, both of which my daughter stole (which is why we call her the 100 lb. raccoon).

5. Ruby. She has missed me this past month while I had to spend so much time with the pooping, peeing, darling foster puppies, and she is all over me like bark on a tree.

6. Volleyball. Tuesday, all three teams lost their games, but Thursday, the Freshmen and JV teams both won - yay! And Emma made the stats in the sports section of the paper for both games, recording 12 digs for Tuesday's game and 11 digs for Thursday's. 

7. Two birds, one stone. The volleyball tournament will be in the same town where our son goes to college, so we will get to see him. 

8. Mysteries! I came home from preschool today to find a delivery from UPS on my doorstep, and it was for ME! Inside was the biggest bag of candy pumpkins I have ever seen. Did I say big? GINORMOUS. 4.5 pounds of delicious, sugary candy pumpkins. With no note. No return address, except for a partial address in Texas. 


Maybe I should make THIS a contest? Whoever figures out who sent me the candy pumpkins gets a prize from ME! Because I want to eat them, but, well, anthrax.

9. Birthdays. Because today is mine. And I may get older, but no one can make me grow up.

10. New schools. Our high school students have made do with makeshift facilities for three years, since the May 2011 tornado destroyed the high school.  This week, the new school finally opened, one week later than scheduled (seriously, how many multi-million dollar building projects get completed only one week beyond their scheduled completion date?). It is spectacular! The Joplin Eagles are finally in their nest!

Tell me happy birthday, enter my contest*, and then link up your Ten Things of Thankful post with us, below. 

*PLEASE. I really want to eat those candy pumpkins!

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Teaching An Old Dog A New Trick

Last month, on a total whim, my daughter and I decided to foster puppies from the humane society.  My reasoning was this:

1. The crawler on the tv screen during the morning news said the humane society had a great need for fosters for cats and dogs.

2. Our three cats would not tolerate it very well if we brought in foster kittens, besides the fact that the fosters might bring a kitty illness in that ours could catch, even if we kept them in separate parts of the house.

3. It would be really hard to give up kittens that we had fostered, because we are cat people, but puppies? We could give up puppies. They're cute, but we don't want a dog, so we wouldn't have a problem when it was time to return puppies for adoption.

We got our puppies, two of them, shepherd/great pyrenees mixes from a litter of six, on August 2. We named them Audrey and Olivia, because we thought the names they got from the humane society were stupid.

You could have put the sum total of knowledge we had about taking care of a puppy (let alone TWO of them) on the head of a pin and still had room to etch War and Peace on the pinhead.

We tried our best to housebreak them. We gave them a reward every time they pottied outside. They rewarded us by pooping and peeing all over our family room floor.

They got sick. REALLY sick. They both had coccidiosis (a single-cell parasite that attacked their intestinal tract). They both had kennel cough. Olivia was sick enough that I thought she wouldn't make it. Twice.

They chewed any and everything.

They occasionally had accidents in their crate, requiring baths and cleaning of the crate first thing in the morning. In the early days of the coccidiosis, one of them pooped in the crate in the night. Squishy poop. They got it on themselves, of course. Then, taking it to another level, Audrey apparently dipped her tail in it and painted poop all over the inside of the crate. 

And I asked for this.

But after four weeks of puppies, four weeks of alternating between enjoying them and wishing they were GONE, of cleaning up poop and pee off the floor, walking them at all hours, napping with them in our laps, playing with them, cursing them for chewing our flip flops, and worrying about their health, we fell in love.

Then it was time to return them to the humane society for transport to the rescue group that was going to find homes for them. A rescue group 500 miles away, where we would never see them again.

The manager of the humane society told us the name of the group where they were going, as we stood there crying, turning our babies over to them. She told us she cries every time she sends her own fosters off for adoption.

My daughter and I said one last goodbye to the puppies, gave them one last hug and kiss, then walked out the door and stood on the sidewalk in front, hugging each other and sobbing. On the drive home, we talked about how we could never do this again. It was too much mess. Too much heartbreak. Too much everything.

But the next day, I contacted the rescue group and asked if we could be kept informed about how the puppies were doing. I joined their Facebook page. And yesterday, their pictures turned up on the Facebook page, along with those of their siblings.

And now I get it. I get what fostering is all about. 

Look at these six puppies. Four of them stayed in a kennel at the humane society, because there weren't enough foster families to take them in. Ours were loved and nurtured and maybe spoiled a little. Can you tell which were our puppies and which lived at the shelter?

#1 is Audrey, #6 is Olivia. Look how perky they are, how bright their eyes! 

We did a good thing. It wasn't always easy, but we did it. 

Will we foster again? Yes. (Shhhh! Don't tell my husband or the three cats.)

Are we sorry we didn't keep them? Nope. We are not dog people. Not entirely sure we are PUPPY people, but we are foster people.

Are we going to cry again next time? You betcha.

Help an overcrowded shelter in your area and be a foster parent to a dog or cat (or puppy or kitten or two or seven). 

Want to read the rest of our adventures in fostering? Read Puppy Tails, Part 1, Puppy Tails, Part 2, and Puppy Tails, The Final Chapter.

This post is an entry for this week's Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop with the prompt:

Talk about one thing you learned last month.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Twice the Thankful in One Weekend

Yes, I'm doing a second Ten Things of Thankful this weekend! Mark it on your calendar; it's only happened once before (but I can't let Zoe be the only one to do it every week). 

1. Even though school hasn't started yet, fall sports have! Volleyball started this week. Our first game was supposed to be a home game in the new high school, but since construction wasn't completed, we had to play at one of the middle schools. This was rather disappointing for the girls, but there was a big turnout nonetheless. Freshmen, JV and Varsity teams all lost to Carl Junction, a formidable opponent, but the JV team lost the least, if that makes any sense at all (it does to me).

2. Open House was scheduled for Thursday evening, but we had an away volleyball game that night. Since the girls wouldn't be able to attend, arrangements were made for the girls to get a tour of the new school on Wednesday afternoon, given by one of the coaches and one of the principals (who also happens to be the dad of two of the players - helps to know people).

This place is AMAZING. New practice
field being completed behind the girls.

This is why we didn't get to have our
first home game at home.

3. Preschool Open House was also this week. I got to meet my primary class kids on Tuesday morning, and my pre-k class kids on Wednesday morning. We're going to have a fun year!

4. You know that phrase "Politics makes strange bedfellows"? Having puppies in the house has done just that for Pete and Fletcher. Not usually so chummy, I caught them spooning in my (unmade) bed.

5. Thursday night, the volleyball team traveled to Neosho with wins for both JV (it was a whoopin') and Varsity.

6. Not only are there two referees in volleyball (one up on a ladder, one on the floor), but there are two line judges, who stand at opposite corners of the court and, well, watch the lines. Usually, they are parent volunteers (I HATE doing it, as I have a tendency to let my mind wander and miss calls. In? Out? Ummmmm.... Plus, people yell at you if they don't think you made the right call. I'm entirely too thin-skinned for that). The line judges hold a red flag (up for out, down for in), and I got completely distracted by one of the judges at Thursday's game, thanks to the way he held his flag while waiting to make a call. I'm thankful I can crack myself up so easily.

I guess they were out of red flags and had
to give him a big pair of red underpants instead.

7. We picked up the College Boy at school on Friday afternoon and took him with us to the lake for the weekend. We hadn't seen him for two and a half weeks, and that is just too long.

8. When we arrived at the lake house, there had been some rain in the area. When the sun broke through, there was a magnificent rainbow. My phone camera could not do it justice. We could see the entire thing, from one end to the other. What a beautiful piece of God's work!

9. How awesome is it that we can keep in touch with old friends via the internet? I enjoyed talking to a couple of very old, very dear friends this weekend, and it was just what I needed.

10. I've thought about my foster puppies all weekend, but I haven't cried. I think that's moving forward.

It's not too late to join our hop! Seriously, I managed to write TWO thankful posts this week; surely, you can write ONE?!

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Puppy Tails: The Final Chapter

My foster puppies have gone, off to the rescue group to find their forever homes. And I miss their little furry faces so much! NOT ENOUGH TO HAVE KEPT THEM, but enough to have me in tears, going from nearly 24/7 with them to seeing them off, never knowing where they're going or how they are faring. 

To try to keep myself from crying myself into a monstrous headache, my Ten Things of Thankful is going to list ten reasons I am thankful they are gone.

1. No more getting up first thing in the morning to take them outside to potty. This was their favorite time of the day to go out, and I had to stand there for-FREAKING-ever when I needed to be inside, getting ready, while they rolled around and played and fought over sticks.

2. No more scratches on my arms or nipped fingers while trying to snap on the leashes, especially in the morning when they needed to GO.

3. Puppy stank. You can bathe them, but they will always smell like puppies. CLEAN puppies, but puppies, nonetheless.

4. It took much finesse to keep them from plowing through old piles of poo in the yard (the girl who SWORE she'd clean up after them outside did it once, the second day we had them, and never again, leaving it entirely up to me). 

5. We'll no longer be taking walks around the block and avoiding the house down the street with the ginormous acorns on the sidewalk that the puppies couldn't resist picking up and crunching, meaning we either had to hold their heads up with the leashes or pick them up and carry them past the acorn mine field.

6. No more puppy pee and poo on the floor! We could come inside from doing both, and one or the other, or BOTH, puppies would squat and unload on the floor. No warning. We've gone through a dozen rolls of paper towels and gallons of floor cleaner.

7. No more sick puppies! The poor things had more than their fair share of puppy squirts, plus kennel cough, and there was a time when I thought we were going to lose Olivia - twice. I don't want to brag, but I am REALLY good at curing puppy squirts, in case you ever need to know. The secret is to feed them canned pumpkin. I don't know why it works, but it does, and they love to eat it. 

8. I can take my flip flops off and not have a puppy immediately carry them off and chew them. Both puppers just love a good flip flop; they're easy to carry, easy to chew.

9. Speaking of chewing, no more gnawing on my coffee table legs, fireplace hearth, toes, shoelaces, or any other of a number of items that do not improve with the addition of tooth marks.

10. No more incessant barking when they are inside their crate and want out! They were tireless barkers, especially Olivia.

See? So many reasons to be thankful they are gone. No more puppies running through the house, chasing each other, rolling and playing, fighting over the same toy or stick. No more puppy faces looking up at me expectantly, waiting for a treat for going potty outside. No more "puppy speak," where they talked to each other. No more warm puppy curled up in my lap asleep while I write. No more wagging tails and cheerful yips to tell me hello when I return to the room. No more watching them play tug of war with the Bone of Contention. 

If I'm so glad to see them go, why is there a lump in my throat and tears stinging my eyes?

Goodbye and good luck, my little pupper girls! I hope we gave you a good foundation to be loving pets for two new families. I know you'll miss each other when you are adopted, but you'll be okay. You're tough, both of you, having started life as puppies that some asshole dumped, living at the humane society, so timid that you and your siblings, all six of you, hid under your bed much of the time. Ahhh, my sweet pups, I'm going to miss you so....

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Goldilocks Moments, Preschool and Puppies

Blink. Week over. Time for Ten Things of Thankful.

1. The puppies. The puppies are finished with all their antibiotics and are healthy and growing. Which leads me to...

2. We finally have an "end" date! I love these little puppers, but they have ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE about being housebroken. None. Nada. Oh, they're all about getting a treat when they potty outside, but they go indiscriminately inside the house and don't give a rat's ass about it. And they're QUICK. Rarely can I catch them in the act. But anyway, they are going on Monday to get their puppy makers out, then they'll come back home with us until Friday morning, when they go to their rescue group and find wonderful homes. 

3. Hardwood floors. I often hate having nothing but hardwood floors, but when you have puppies who see no difference between inside and outside, then hardwood floors are mighty nice to have. I rolled up the area rugs that were on the floor already, which is one of the smartest things I've done since the puppies came to stay with us.

4. My sweet Ruby girl. She is not a bit happy about the puppies (none of the kitties are), but she is holding no grudges about it. 

5. It was back to preschool this week, with meetings on Monday and the rest of the week spent cleaning every shelf, table, chair and toy in our room, plus decorating it for back to school. Even though I love summer vacation, it's time to get back to a routine.

6. Lists. Especially when almost all the items are crossed off. 

7. I fell down today, making it the THIRD TIME this week, if you're keeping score. (Read about the first two times right here.) The thankful here is that I didn't get hurt, and if you could see the bruises on my leg from fall #2, you would understand the importance of this Thankful. 

8. When I first started teaching preschool (14 years ago), the chairs in my classroom dated back to the 1980s and had plastic legs and were a little too short for my tables. They were replaced a few years later with nicer chairs with metal legs and all was good. We kept a few of the old chairs to keep in the art, science and math centers. When I got a computer in my room, we used one of them for the computer chair, and all was well. This morning, I was trying to print a parent handbook for our class and was having trouble with the printer (as usual). Because the floor is carpeted, the plastic legs of the chair don't scoot, so I did what I do every time I have to move the chair when I'm sitting at the computer: I raise up slightly and lift the chair just off the carpet and set it down again before setting my behind back in it. Only this time, I didn't lift it high enough, and instead of moving the few inches closer to the printer that I was intending, one of the legs caught on the carpeting, snapped off, and dumped me flat on my ass on the floor. The Thankful in this is, blogger that I am, as I sat sprawled on the floor with a broken chair under me, laughing uncontrollably, I had enough presence of mind to tell my assistant teacher, Melissa, to take a picture. As we laughed until we cried, she took the picture, then bolted out of the room to the bathroom before she wet her pants. As soon as I was able to stop laughing long enough to get up from the floor and find my phone, I texted Christine the picture, because she, of all people, would understand best.

My Goldilocks moment.

See? Flimsy chair. 

9. Fall sports have begun, starting with football! Tonight was our first game, it was 95 degrees at game time and far from football weather, but we won, and it was a fun night.

10. Okay, the high school isn't quite finished yet. And school starts on Monday. The decision was made to postpone the first day of school for the high school only until Sept. 2, giving the construction workers one more week to finish up the inside of the building. (This was announced at a press conference at the new building which I accidentally barged in on while helping a teacher friend move boxes into his new classroom.) This means that Emma will be home next week to take care of the puppies while I'm at work. 

Moving French stuff into the new school.

Taking a selfie with the owner of the French stuff. 

I could have listed a dozen more thankfuls this week. How 'bout you? List yours and link up.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

If I Stumble, If I Fall

My entire life, I have been known as the family klutz. I trip across perfectly flat floors, fall up stairs, run into door frames (hell, run into doors), crash into cabinet doors that were left open (yes, by me), and step into holes. I stub my toes, knock my shins into corners of furniture, and catch my toe in the covers when getting up and fall out of bed.

For example, when I was in high school, I ran in the house one evening while out with friends to get something out of my room. Our house was a split level, with the bedrooms up six steps from the living room. There was a wrought iron banister on the wall on the right side, similar to this one:

As I ran up the stairs, my purse strap caught on the scrolled end of the rail, yanking me like a dog on the end of its chain and slamming me into the wall face first., where I collapsed onto the stairs in a heap.

Another example: I was home from college for the weekend. Never much of a morning person, I had staggered out of bed and was heading downstairs in my stocking feet. (Note: different house than previous scenario. This one had a full staircase, going straight down, ending in a tiled entry hall with my parents' bedroom to the immediate left and the front door straight ahead. This is important to know.) The steps are carpeted, and as I stepped on the second step from the top, my feet went out from under me and I fell back, landing on my ass and bumping all the way down the staircase, all 14 stairs. I picked up quite a bit of speed as I got closer to the bottom, and as I hit the bottom, my mother opened the door to her bedroom, just in time to see me shoot past, slide across the tile, and crash into the front door. To her credit, my mother did manage to ask me if I were okay while laughing hysterically (I was NOT - I cracked my tailbone).

Here's another one: I was living in Nashville, getting ready to go to Atlanta for the weekend. I was packing my suitcase, playing loud music and running back and forth between my bedroom and the bathroom. On the floor, just outside my bedroom door, was a good sized box filled with old clothes I was planning to donate. I had to step slightly to the right as I went out the door towards the bathroom so as to keep from running into the box and had been doing so for several weeks. But one time, ONE TIME, as I ran out of my room towards the bathroom, I didn't step to the right. Instead, I rammed my little toe on my left foot right into the box. My toe bent entirely the wrong way and I fell down in the hallway, pretty sure my toe had been severed (it had not). But it WAS broken, turning very black by the next day and making the wearing of shoes unbelievably miserable. But I soldiered on and continued on my trip to Atlanta, because I was just that stupid awesome.

There are more, but you get the idea.

This morning, with my daughter upstairs asleep and my husband off to work, I was bringing up plastic tubs of preschool files and books from the basement to take to school with me (back to school this week, getting the room ready for preschoolers to arrive after Labor Day). Our very old house has a very old wooden staircase that goes down to the basement. At the top of the stairs is a tiled landing, then there are two steep steps up on the right side of the landing that lead to the kitchen (to the left) and a hallway to the living room and front door (to the right). As I carried a tub of books up the basement stairs to take to the car, I didn't lift my leg high enough, caught the edge of my flip flop on the first tiled step, and fell down hard. HARD. Fortunately, the tub of books broke part of my fall. The steps are tile with metal strips along the edge, and I hit the edge of the top step with the side of my knee, the second step with the side of my shin, and I don't know what with the top of my foot, but it hurts like hell. I laid on the floor, crying and feeling sorry for myself and hoping I hadn't broken anything (apparently not, but I do have some dandy bruises and swelling and my leg hurts in three different places whether something is touching it or not). And I learned that Ruby is no Lassie, because she was there when I crashed to the ground, then poofed her tail and took off.

Worthless, but PRECIOUS!

This incident, in itself, is bad enough. But the night before, I was bending over, reaching into the puppy crate to pull out their food bowl, leaning on the edge of the bathtub for extra support (because I was thinking safety first), my hand on the folded bathmat that was draped over the side of the tub, when the bathmat took off across the edge of the tub, taking me with it and causing me to crash my shoulder into the puppy crate, scaring the puppies silly and causing them to run out of the room. (By the way, my husband and daughter were in the next room, heard the crash, and only hollered to me to see if I were okay [I mostly was] but otherwise didn't get up to check on me.)

I have no spectacular ending to this story, because I fear it hasn't ended yet. I will fall again. And run into something with a body part. Or have to go to the ER because I cut myself making a bat cage (a story for another day).

When I told my daughter I didn't know how to end this post, she gave me a suggestion, so I'll go with it.

"Emma is super cool."

The end.