365 days ago on Sunday, January 22, 2012, I was thinking about how an old friend had been dead for 6 years from driving drunk and getting in a one car accident. Upstairs, my husband Todd was sleeping off the effects of passing out drunk the night before. If this had been a once in a while occurrence, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. But it wasn’t; every single night Todd drank until he passed out, and he had been doing this since he was in his early 20s.
Weekend mornings were usually spent with me waiting and waiting until Todd would finally get up, usually between 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm. On Saturdays he works at 5:30 pm, and Sundays at 5:00 pm, so it didn’t leave much time for us to spend together. If we had plans to go somewhere or do something earlier, Todd would be hungover, groggy, and kinda mean.
Todd says that the physical benefits from not drinking have been the most notable. He’s not hung over, has an appetite, doesn’t get headaches, isn’t sweating out alcohol (ugh, our sheets at night!), and isn’t dehydrated anymore. He feels like he has more energy now, and recognizes that he’s less irritable than he used to be.
I asked Todd if it’s easier now to not drink, and he says that on most days it is. But he still has those moments when he feels like he wants to drink, but to get through them, he tries to divert his attention. If that doesn’t work, he talks with me, or talks with his very good friend, who is also a recovering alcoholic.
On January 25, 2008, Todd quit his 10 year addiction to marijuana in order to date me. I have zero tolerance for people who do drugs, and a relationship with me was more appealing to him than sitting home smoking a bong. Quite frankly, I was so naive about drugs that I had no idea Todd even did pot! Back then, alcohol was still a part of our lives; Todd was a bartender, and I would sometimes imbibe. In the United States, drinking is an accepted social pastime. In fact, since Todd and I don’t drink, we’ve found that we’re looked at as the odd ones.
I’ve never been much of a drinker. Alcohol seems to affect me twice as much as other people, and I didn’t like how I felt the next day. I also didn’t like losing control of that much of myself. The last drink I had was on our wedding day, 09.10.11, and maybe twice since then I’ve felt like I’d like a drink, but it wasn’t a big deal that I didn’t indulge and have a drink. Plus, when Todd was drinking, the whole “fun” of drinking alcohol was gone for me. Once Todd quit, I knew that I would be his #1 supporter, so why not quit too?
Why am I telling you all of this? First of all, I have Todd’s permission. I told him I was thinking about it, but I didn’t want to do anything that would make him uncomfortable. He told me to go for it; maybe it would help someone else who was thinking about making the commitment to quit drinking or doing drugs. That’s the kind of guy Todd is! Todd has a massive amount of willpower when he sets his mind to doing something. Not everyone has this, and maybe for someone else, attending Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings will be what you need to succeed. There is no shame in that, if that’s what you need. At least you’re doing something for yourself!
The picture at the top of this post is the embroidery piece I made for Todd to commemorate 365 days being sober. I included 122 French knots since he quit 01/22 last year. It’s now hanging on our embroidery wall, and it’s meant to be a pleasant reminder to him of how far he’s come. This picture below is of the tattoo Todd got when he was in the mid-200 days being sober. The picture on top is how I see it when I’m looking at it. The picture on the bottom is how he sees it when he looks in the mirror. It reads, “Reach for the sky, not the bottle.” It’s inspired by Chuck Ragan‘s song, “Nothing Left to Prove” off of the album, “Covering Ground.” It’s a love song about getting things done, sung to the one he loves the most. That’s what Todd and I are all about.
Here’s the video of, Nothing Left to Prove” by Chuck Ragan.
I’ve posted a lot about Zuzu, our Chihuahua. She’s 3 1/2 years old, and she’s been with us since she was 6 1/2 weeks old. Included in our menagerie are Mina, a 9 1/2 year old Lab/Pit mix , and Karma, our 10 1/2 year old long-haired black cat.
Karma developed some problems with vomiting and licking the fur off of her belly. I took her to the veterinarian, and she was diagnosed with depression. She’s gotten pretty chubby at 15.5 lbs, and she had also started licking the fur off of her back, resulting in some little scabs. The vet recommended a course of antibiotics, an antidepressant, and a prescription weight loss food.
Food becomes something of a vicious cycle in our house. Mina wolfs her food down quickly. Zuzu is a bit pickier, and she will munch on hers throughout the day…unless Mina becomes super motivated to climb over and around furniture in order to get to it, wherever we’ve “hidden” it for the day. This then causes Zuzu to go eat Karma’s food in the bathroom (that’s blocked from Mina with a baby gate with cat door). So Karma meows to us all the time because she’s hungry since Zuzu ate her food, since Mina ate her food. Karma started gorging on food when we’d give it to her after she cried. See? Vicious cycle.
We came up with a plan where we’d block off the stairs leading to the second floor of our townhouse, and the downstairs would be for the dogs, upstairs for the cat (when we’re not home). That quickly became problematic since the opening to the stairs is wider than a doorway, which is what the baby gate fit. Karma was squeezing through the side to come downstairs, and Zuzu was squeezing through to go upstairs. Only poor Mina was stuck where she was supposed to be!
So, the baby gate went back to where it was, and Karma’s food went on the bathroom counter. The vet said this would be okay because it would also force Karma to exercise a bit.
Back to the medicine Karma needs to take. I’ve had cats in the past, and, from time to time, they needed pills or liquid medicine. It’s not the easiest thing to do (unless you’re a professional!). But I have never met a more willful cat than mine! Todd and I tried five separate times, wasting seven pills total, to give Karma a pill, and not one time was successful! Karma literally SPIT at us. Not “hissing and spitting” like a cat does, I mean, gathering up a bunch of spit in her mouth and forcefully expelling it from her mouth! The liquid antibiotic is easier to give her (but not by much).
With pill #6, I crunched it and mixed it into some tasty wet food. I put Karma’s food on the floor of the bathroom and left her sniffing it. I got Zuzu’s and Mina’s food ready, and Mina was right there to eat it. I called for Zuzu, but she didn’t come. A light bulb went off, and I ran upstairs…to walk in on Zuzu polishing off Karma’s food. She was very proud of herself, and was strutting around. I called her a “bad girl” (several times), and went downstairs to make Karma another antidepressant pill meal.
After I finished scooping, microwaving, and mixing, I got to thinking about what Zuzu ate; a 50 mg pill meant for a 15.5 lb cat. Zuzu is only 4 lbs. I called the vet, just to make sure, and was told to bring her in as soon as possible. I took Mina out, got us ready, and set off. My husband suggested I induce vomiting and not mess with the vet. That was out of the question – I can’t handle throw up!
At the vet, I checked in, went to the exam room, and waited for a couple of minutes. The vet came in, I explained the situation, and got a big scare. A pill with that high of milligrams on that little a dog is very bad. Like “It could kill her bad.” The vet told me that I did good by getting her in so quickly, and she would need to take her to induce vomiting. That was the last time I saw her (until the next morning). I thought I’d get to take her home that night, but Zuzu needed to be monitored for seizure and heart attack. I didn’t get to say goodbye to her.
I held it together the best I could while talking with the vet, but I did start to cry. I did something really stupid, by apologizing to the vet for crying. I’m still trying to figure out why I did that. Why wouldn’t I cry?! The vet told me I’d get to pick her up at 8:00 am the next morning. I walked out to my car, and started sobbing. I cannot imagine living my life without Zuzu in it. And to know that she could die because of my stupidity was like a knife through my heart.
It was a stressful and sleepless night for both Todd and I. Poor little Zuzu was in a cage in a strange place, with other animals who were hurting, without the comforts of home. 8:00 am came, and Todd and I were pulling into the parking lot while the vet on duty was calling me to fill me in on Zuzu’s status. She was doing well, and wasn’t exhibiting any signs of neurological damage. I was told that my quick actions in bringing her in quickly helped to prohibit the drug from getting too far into her blood stream. It was cold comfort since I knew it was my fault.
All told, Zuzu was given a shot to induce vomiting, had charcoal put in her belly, was given some other kind of shot to counteract any damage, had an IV catheter in her little arm (they shaved her little leg!), and was given fluids.
It was a joyous reunion when I finally got Zuzu back in my arms! We were all tired, and after lots of kisses and cuddles, we took a nap. Zuzu slept most of Saturday and Sunday, and was only slightly more active on Monday. By Tuesday she was back to her old adorable self.
The guilt I felt over this whole experience has been all-consuming. Writing about it has helped me to feel better, but this experience will stay with me for a long time.
After all this, we still haven’t been able to give that cat a pill!
I started the Futurama Pixel People cross stitch by Wee Little Stitches three times. The first, I started months and months ago, and I messed up on one of the people, adding an extra row. The second time, Zoidberg’s white lab coat was stained by the red floss of his hands. The piece below will show you that the third time’s the charm!
I stitched the cast of Futurama for my son, Logan. He likes Zoidberg a lot.
My husband, Todd, often describes himself as the black sheep of his family, so when I saw this pattern on Urban Threads, I knew I needed to stitch it for him! Since he does so much for me, I wanted to give him a surprise Random Act of Crafting, so I had to do this when he was at work.
I used a fluffy black floss for the sheep body to give it more of a sheep-like look. I used linen fabric for this project, which I hadn’t worked with before (I bought it for this project, that I haven’t yet started…). I like the finished look, but I didn’t really like stitching on the linen. The pattern didn’t show through very well. I didn’t realize I would need to press harder on the stylus to make the carbon paper leave a better impression. This meant I needed to draw in parts of the pattern with a pencil after I had moved the carbon paper away. Linen is a lot more like aida cloth than cotton, so the weave was looser and bumpier, which means I was fighting over where I’d insert the needle.
To finish off the piece, I hot glued jumbo rick rack to the outside of the hoop. Since the rick rack was so big (It being jumbo, and all), and the hoop was so narrow, I folded over the rick rack and glued it to the front. I think it looks pretty neat. I could have painted the hoop, but, am I the only one who doesn’t like doing this? I mean, it looks good, but it is such a pain to paint a hoop! I need to research if hoops come pre-painted…
I used this photo light tent to take the picture. It’s the first time I’ve used it since I got it for my birthday. I also got this light tent at the same time, but when I picked it out, I didn’t realize how big 2′ x 2′ x 2′ would be! I like this smaller one, although I have a suspicion that the smaller, the better when taking pictures with this smaller tent.
Have you seen the “dog shame” pictures where owners put a sign with their dog’s offense around their neck? Yeah, so after discovering ANOTHER hole in the carpeting (that was brand new when we moved in), I decided to make one. I present to you Zuzu, Digger of the Carpeting. We’re so not getting our security deposit back…