Train Thoughts – Dog and Husband Edition

Raise your hand if this long weekend took all the initiative out of you?


It is summer in my head and all I want to do is play outside, wear flip flops, eat pudding pops and in general, shirk responsibilities. Alas, I am 35, not 3 or 5, so I need to do something productive every now and then. Forming a fully thoughtout blog post just isn’t in the cards quite yet, so I thought I’d bring back Train Thoughts. I haven’t done this in awhile. Enjoy!

Noah1. A bunch of y’all asked about Noah due to my passive aggressive Facebook notes about dying dogs last week. As a reminder, little dude has degenerative myelopathy. He’s shown symptoms for over a year, but it’s gotten pretty bad in the last month or so. Early last week, he was really dragging his hind end, so I started getting nervous. (And by nervous, I mean full-fledged basketcase.) Over the five days since, he’s improved and is mostly hoping around on 3.5 legs or so.

Of course I’ve spent too much time reading conversation boards and online articles about the topic, which got me worried that we wouldn’t know when was the right time to put Noah down. My only lifeboat came in the form of this article that told me to write down the five things he loves to do the most and decide how many of those things does he has to do every day to have a good quality of life.

2. Noah’s five favorite things:

  • Running to the door to greet a family member
  • Playing fetch
  • Batting clean-up under Eggroll’s high chair at meal time
  • Eating and drinking his own food
  • Pooping.

Yes, I am considering the last one one of his favorite things to do. Or maybe not a favorite, but a requirement of a happy dog. When your back end doesn’t work, it makes getting outside and folding yourself in to a C-shape difficult work.

So far, I think Noah is at about 4 out of 5. He doesn’t come to the door to greet anymore. Or, I guess he does, but he takes so long to get up from laying down, we’re already in the house with coats off and bags put away before he gets to us. Sad.

Moral of the story – I don’t think he’s going away tomorrow, but I don’t know if he’ll see Labor Day. This will be an interesting summer.

2. Related story – Noah’s AWESOME vet had a sudden heart attack about two months ago, so we are dealing with this disease blindly now. We do have an appointment with a new one in a couple weeks, but the last guy was so good, I’m a little gun shy.

3. If I combine points #1 and #2, I get to thinking about what are my five favorite things to do that would be necessary for a good quality of life. I think it goes a little something like this.

  • Eat chocolate at least once a day
  • The ability (and time) to brush my teeth first thing upon waking up
  • Feeling sunshine on my face more days than not
  • The option to think creatively
  • Receive hugs and reassurance from Randy

What are your five things?

4. You’ll note there is nothing Eggroll-based in #3. That’s not to say time with her isn’t one of my favorite things. It is! But some day girlfriend is going to go out into the world and may not come home to mom every night. I need to prepare myself for those days. Maybe “be able to think about Eggroll and smile” could be on the list. That could entail memory loss, which is scary.

5. I’ve had a bunch of wacky dreams this weekend in which dad was alive. He had been in an accident (different accidents in each dream), but was healthy. He just didn’t remember me. In one of the dreams, he went on to start a new family. Man, that was heartbreaking. Didn’t help that Randy left me in that dream. (Because any time I dream these days, it includes a new way Randy leaves me…)

Us in Chicago6. I forgot to put my wedding ring on this morning and I’ve spend the whole day feeling naked. My hand looks weird unadorned when I’m in real clothes, but its more the reassurance of looking down and knowing Randy’s got my back. When the rest of the world goes crazy, I know I can count on him. Dude knows how to read me. When I’m laying on the hard tile at 2am with Noah because I feel like that world is going to crash in tomorrow, he knows to give me a hug, but let me be. When the biggest centipede in the history of centipedes attacks me in the shower and then retreats into Randy’s towel, Randy doesn’t get mad at me for running out of the room. He just laughs and goes in to shake out linens himself. My hero! Having Randy around makes me feel safe. Hence the “nightmares” of him leaving me.

7. Gosh, I’m weird.

Another Mad Men Finale Review

By now, if you care, you have read no less than 30 recaps of Sunday night’s Mad Men finale. Here is one more to add to the pile.

This show has captured my heart and mind for the past eight (!!) years. I have been fascinated by the writing and the attention to detail. Not to mention the fact that it seemed like a dramatic interpretation of my mom’s growing up experience. Mom being Sally. Betty and Don my grandma and grandpa. I went to bed Sunday night 90% satisfied. There was only one story line (well, and a half) that totally missed it’s mark for me. More below.


My short review – it was perfect. Which goes against pretty much every critic review I could find. Here’s one from Huffington Post. The author is MUCH more well-spoken than I, but we disagree on pretty much every point.

My long review –

1. Peggy and Stan

No, no, no. Does this woman look like she needs a man?

Peggy Olson

Photo Credit to Vanity Fair

Hell no!

She hasn’t found love through this whole show. Why do we waste her last scenes watching her find romantic comfort from her best colleague? She already is going to have a hell of a time at McCann, but with an interoffice romance? I can’t imagine that’s going to help her case. Given that this finale was more of a snapshot of lives going on vs. a true ending, I feel like we could have gone on without this storyline. Were we subjected to it simply because Peggy needed a final story? Maybe.

P.S. This review doesn’t like Peggy and Don’s last scene over the phone. For me, it was perfect. In episode 1, scene 1, Peggy needed Don. Around season 4 or 5, Don needed Peggy. Now? They are both ready to go on without the other. Perfect.

2. Holloway Harris

Randy and I had to rewind this part of the episode. “Wait, what did she call the business?” You go, Joan. You don’t need Roger. You don’t need the other sugar daddy. You don’t need Peggy. You don’t need a fancy apartment or a cutesy secretary. You need mom to take care of your son, someone to answer your phone, and a second to catch your breath between being dumped and taking an important business call. At first, I was going to write this whole post about that moment. All it took was a deep breath and girlfriend moved on to business. On the surface, Joan has had the guts (and lingerie) of steel this whole show, but she’s gone from bad decision to bad decision on the man front. Finally, she’s figured out she don’t need no man to move up in this world.

3. Pete and Trudy

Ugh. Trudy… Not only are you going back to the man who F-ed you over for years, but you’re letting him take you to Wichita. You look DAMN GOOD in the last scene, girlfriend, but I imagine you’ll be bored to tears and/or a true Mad Men era alcoholic before Tammy gets to kindergarten.

Pete – it pisses me off that you win. Again. Why do these guys always win?

4. Don and Everybody Else

Jon Hamm Yoga Smile

Photo Credit to AMC

I’ll be honest… It took reading a bunch of critic reviews for me to understand that the smile on Don’s face was not yogic enlightenment, but thinking of the biggest commercial of all time. (Or was it?!?) You know what? That’s ok. Even as a yoga teacher, I’d be lying if I said sitting cross-legged, trying to breathe through the leg cramps was NOT where I normally come up with my creative ideas. For me, it’s usually what to make for dinner. Good for him for coming up with something big. (P.S. If you want to know more about how it really happened, this article from Time is interesting.)

Other critics are unhappy that his revalation is an ad and not a new way to think about his relationships. To which, I say p-shaw! Don has never cared about his kids in a little league coach and kitchen table conversation way. Why start now? He will never truly give his full heart and soul to a lover. Critics wanted him to come screaming back to New York once he heard about Betty, but I think that would have disappointed me. He is no longer her husband. He is barely in the kids’ lives. If he walked away from what he thought was his dream job, why would this be any different?

Finally, why did we hear Don’s monologue through the mouth of another actor? Because we had to. When Don opens his mouth and speaks eloquent words, they are to sell us cigarettes or slideshow equipment. He does not speak to share true feelings. Hell, even when he once again confesses his sins, this time to Peggy, we’re all “yeh, yeh, get on with it…” back on the couch. For being so good with words to sell stuff, he couldn’t be more of a failure for using them in real life. Congratulations to Leonard, our phenomenally vanilla stand-in for having more color, more verve, more emotion, more “YES, THAT’S WHAT I WANT TO HEAR” that our attractive, high-level ad exec “hero”.

So that’s me. What did you think about the episode?

Mother’s Day In Photos

I was told we could do whatever I wanted on Mother’s Day. Here’s what that looked like. Thank you Eggroll and Randy for another great Sunday. I love our adventure days! And weekend naps…

Happy Mother's Day 2015!

Making Breakfast for Mama

Anodyne Coffee and Merch at the Milwaukee Public Market

Sweet Moment

Milwaukee Public Market on Mother's Day 2015

Having fun at Betty Brinn Museum

There She Goes


Who Goes There?

My Girl

God, that is one cute kid.

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all my mama friends! Y’all are the best.