I’d been stressing recently about not having said much for a while, and then I was stressing about the stupidness of stressing while trying to remember why I was doing this (not out of any need to “journal” in the commonly used sense, but because sometimes I have things that are worth saying), when finally this morning it occurred to me that I hadn’t been journaling because I haven’t had that rare combo of grandly excited and three free seconds to breathe.
Now I’ve had the excited bits recently:
- a trip to the fair with artykim, complete with the best corn dog I’ve *ever* eaten… and, no, that’s not an oxymoron…a funnel cake COVERED in powdered sugar (which, yes, I did end up licking off the plate in the end… hey! it’s not like we were at The Tribeca Grill; all my favorite loop-de-loop, spinny rides; and to top it off a “take out” Monster Bag of cotton candy!!
- an Orange County Studio Tour with artykim — lots of amazing art; a foray into Yarns Etc. (where I managed to pick up yet another craft — needle felting! …still not sure about that one though. Very, very sharp pokey thing + Gina’s inherent clutziness = potential disaster. Haven’t managed to go through my finger, yet, but there’ve been several unintentional blood samples); lunch at Carrburritos; followed by
- Dinner with Greta and Jeff, followed by music at John’s
- plus some others which I’m sure I’ll remember right after posting this…
— a really amazing gathering this time. Great chemistry, lots of instruments (stand-up base, fiddle, mandolin, cello, several guitars), fabulous singers and fun songs (we did two I hadn’t thought of in a while: “For What It’s Worth”…(which I think of as “Hey, what’s that sound, everyone look what’s going down”) and the “Let’s Get Together” (“Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody try to get together, try to love one another right now”).
but I really haven’t had time (October was a bit of a rough month, for all the reasons discussed previously. Mom is doing much much better, and thank you thank you thank you for all your thoughts, prayers, calls and cards.).
Or, conversely, I’ve had time, but have felt I’ve not had much of interest to say.
Yesterday, though, I had a *perfect* day. And today I have the time, brain togetherness and caffeine to see if I can capture it!
First off, a trip to Greensboro to get hair cuts (both Jeff & I). We tried something a little new with mine, and I have to admit it looked fabulous coming out of his studio. Not sure yet whether I’ll be able to replicate it on my own, but even if I can’t, it’s still a cute cut.
On the way home from G’boro, I persuaded Jeff to find “Uncle Ed’s Fabric & Foam” which I’d seen a billboard for just outside of Burlington. We actually couldn’t find “Uncle Ed” (or maybe it was “Uncle Bob”? Either way there ware no Uncle-Aunt-Cousin-Step-Mother-in-Law-Type Fabric & Foam places to be found.
In an effort to salvage the crafting expedition (and justify having gotten off I-40), I pointed out a sign not too far off that said “Sewing & Crafts” or “Craft-n-Sew” or “Sew Crafty” or something like that (you get the picture… magic words in my vocabulary). As we got closer it became apparent that my Very Dear Friend Clarence (“clearance” to most of you) was visiting — wheeee haaa!
So this little shop looked like my studio, multiplied by a factor of about 43. Where I have one perilously teetering stack of trims (ribbon and lace and pom-poms and whatnot), she had 30. Where I have two rather disorganized milk carton crates of patterns, she had 20 falling-apart-at-the-seams cardboard boxes.
You get the picture. And all of it was 50% off!!! Buttons, trims, small bits like toggles… I walked away with *quite* the stash-enhancement. Jeff was a complete doll throughout this, and cut and logged all the trims I wanted (far more efficiently than I could’ve too)!
I was trying to be “good” and not get tons-and-tons, even though the prices were So Darn Good, so imagine my joy when, in the car on the way back, I was going on and on about what a good sale it was Jeff said “You bought more than you thought too…”
I said “huh?”
He said “Well, I padded everything. If you said you wanted three yards, I padded that a little and I actually cut — and you paid for — four. I figured you’d end up regretting it later, so I just went ahead and added the amount you really wanted.”
Damn. Now that ROCKS!
All of this, though, was not the most exciting bit.
Background, for those of you who’ve not known me since I was five ;-)
I have always, always, *always* wanted a pet (specifically a dog, but I’m way past picky at this point). I don’t think that wanting a pet is particularly unusual, really, but in my case there’s a complication: I am *violently* allergic to furred and feathered critters.
Cats, I think, are the worst offenders (sadly, as they’re some of Jeff’s favorites), and if I walk into a “cat house” (not in the loose ladies sense!) I can tell immediately and usually start sneezing (assuming no Allegra intervention) within 15 minutes. Even fully dosed with Allegra, I’m usually good for *maybe* 30-45 minutes before it starts to catch up with me.
Bunnies: nearly as bad as cats.
Dogs: not quite as bad as cats, but still I usually have a max. of 30 mins. undosed or 2-3 hours dosed (no contact, of course).
Guinea Pigs (or Penny Gigs, as I called them as a child): same thing.
Horses, Cows, monkeys (yes, I do know this for sure.. my Granny & Grumps had a monkey when I was little), goats, sheep, giraffes (ok, not sure about this one, but am willing to bet, based on experience)… all make me sniffle, sneeze, wheeze, tear up and hive. Not enough to kill me, I think, but enough to make owning any sort of furry pet Not An Option.
As a child, I compensated. Before it was decided that turtles had salmonella (I think? some “dread disease” at any rate), my brother and I got a pair of painted turtles in a terrarium one Easter. I did love my turtle, but eventually he went to the great-pond/dry-area-for-sunning in the sky and I couldn’t have another because of the fear of disease.
Mom and Dad also let me have pet frogs and toads, and to this day I have a soft spot for both of them. In fact, it was a severe aversion to “pithing” a frog (don’t ask if you don’t already know. It’s ickky) in Duke’s Vertebrate Anatomy & Physiology that sent me down to the Duke Marine Lab, as down there I could take Invertebrate Anatomy & Physiology, where the worst thing I’d have to dissect was a crab. (And they’re “good eatin’ ” — just joking. I wouldn’t eat a lab crab.) That all turned out for the best, of course, as I ended up loving my experience at DUML and going back the following summer to be a Resident Advisor for the Duke Talent Identification Program there.
Snakes and Lizards were right out. No way, no how, was Mom going to have snakes or lizards in her house.
I did have a pet praying mantis for a while and he was *really* neat… when we couldn’t find alive bugs to feed him, we’d put a bit of raw hamburger on a string and bounce it around in his terrarium so he could “catch it” and it would seem like food to him.
My turtle, frogs, toads and praying mantis were all sweet pets, of course, but not much for the cuddling really.
(fast forward. Please feel free to make appropriate sound track noises)
Yesterday, after sitting on the floor, digging through button bins for more than a half hour, the cutest little puppy1 (a Pomeranian) ever came over and sat down beside me. I told the puppy “Now, you know I’d love to pet you and love on you, but if I did I would sneeze”, and upon hearing that, the store owner called her (“Carly”) back to her.
I went through a little moment of panic when I realized I had eaten my last Allegra that was in my purse stash earlier during the week and that I’d been sitting on “dog floor” for a half hour already.
But the buttons. The buttons were still 50% off. Buttons & Bits vs. Sneezing & Fits? Buttons win.
(Jeff, BTW, was napping in the car at this point). I continued to rummage through the goodies, fully expecting to start with the sneezing any second and be forced to make an emergency evacuation. More and more time ticked by (and more and more buttons were added to my pile), and eventually Carly came back over.
“Well, I’ve been here 45 mins. [CUTE!!!!], sitting on the floor, where the dog [CUTE!!!] is every day, and I’m not sneezing yet [CUUUUUTE!!!], so maybe it wouldn’t hurt to give her a little pet.”
So soffft. Awwwww.
But I restrained myself and only petted her a little on the head. Then I went back to sorting buttons and hoping that I wouldn’t start sneezing.
Another 15 or 20 minutes later, Jeff woke up and came in the store. By this time I’d begun to wonder if, perhaps, I wasn’t going to react to this dog.
This has NEVER happened in my universe. I’ve played with some “hypoallergenic” dogs, like Westies, and things have been mostly fine until they got too close or licked me. Then WHAMMO! The dripping and hiving and wheezing would begin (and, of course, I’d be crushed, as one more hope for a puppy was shot down).
Now that Jeff was in the store (and could drag me out and to an ambulance if necessary), I ran the idea of letting the puppy lick me by him. I did have my emergency topical steroid cream with me, and worst case, I could be home in 45 and dose up on Allegra. By this time I’d also petted the puppy twice more and wasn’t really sniffling. (To be honest, I was a *tiny* bit sniffy; however, given the dust and whatnot on the buttons and trim I’d been handling, I was pretty sure that was not attributable to puppy.)
So, I let him lick the inside of my wrist. No hives. None. Not even a red splotch. I rubbed my face with the hands that had been petting the puppy. No more sneezing. No eyes redding. No badness whatsoever.
Furthermore, I couldn’t smell “dog” on my hands, which was downright freaky. As sensitive as I am to animals, I can smell them… in houses, on my hands (on the rare occasions where I pet them then immediately wash my hands), on friends (yes, on their clothes… particularly with cats). My hands did not smell like dog at all. They smelled a little bit like old buttons and floor, but no “dog.”
I was sort of in a daze as we were checking out…it’s like I’d stepped into another dimension where all the neat crafty bits were dirt cheap and I wasn’t allergic to animals. Truly bizarre.
On the way home I was making little excited noises and Jeff said something about the deal I’d gotten on the buttons & bits. I said “Oh yeah…that was amazing.”
“But I petted a dog and didn’t sneeze. And he licked me! And I was in the store for at least and hour and a half, wasn’t I? And I didn’t take Allegra!! And I sad *on the floor* where he is every day. And I didn’t sneeze or welt up or anything. It’s like a miracle.”
And, to me, it is truly like a miracle. I’m trying *REALLY* hard not to get my hopes up too high. Maybe Carly was some one-off puppy that I’ll never be able to replicate. Maybe the dust and old from the buttons cancelled out the puppy. Maybe … I dunno.
But I am excited. Next step: find a good/reputable Pom breeder (who has no other variables, like cats) and test via immersion.
(Whew. There was way more to the goodness of yesterday, including a class in bookmaking that I took at Art of the Carolinas from Karen Thomas, of Yatsutomo, Inc., whom I’ve seen on the Carol Duvall show many, many times, and whom I greatly admire. But I think I’ve temporarily run out of words.)
*Not* Getting My Hopes Up. Not.
1 “Puppy” in my vernacular can mean full-grown dog, especially if it’s cute.