Thursday, June 16, 2011

Conan O'Brien's Dartmouth Commencement Address

Too bad we didn't have anything like this at my graduation from the University of Denver...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

De-Skunking Shampoo

Well, it's official. Breck has been sprayed by a skunk for the fourth time. As is typical, it took place late at night. Fortunately I think she and the skunk are both getting a little familiar with their confrontations so she wasn't hit too badly. You'd think they'd both learn their lesson. She should leave him alone and he shouldn't come into back to our yard.

Needless to say my de-skunking shampoo has come to the rescue once again. And no, it's not tomato juice. She has some white fur, which would stain. Plus it's not as effective. I think technically the recipe should be:
  • 1 qt. hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1-2 tsp dish washing detergent
  • Water can be added to make the mixture go further.
However, in the panic of the moment I never measure any of it. Last night I must have made the perfect combination of the three ingredients (it was very close to a paste) because she doesn't smell at all any more.

Important to note:
  • You should not premix this recipe in advance and store it for future use. The combination of ingredients creates a reaction which will cause a buildup of pressure and possible container explosion over time. Additionally, the fresher the mixture is the better.
  • If you have any cuts or scrapes on your hands it will burn! 
  • This recipe will quickly tarnish silver so remove all jewelry.
  • Avoid contact with your dogs mouth or eyes. This will be hard to do as that is usually where the largest concentration of the oily spray will be located. After all, dogs lead with their nose when attacking. For these areas you can put Scope mouthwash on a cotton ball and rub near the eyes and mouth. Blow air onto the area as you apply so that you can disperse the burning chemical fumes away from these sensitive areas.
  • Rinse thoroughly. I finish up with one regular application of doggy shampoo to ensure any harsh chemicals are fully rinsed out.
Good luck and hopefully you'll never have to use this recipe!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Tearful Goodbye

Yesterday marked one year since I'd seen my dad in person. I was on an extended Memorial Day vacation visiting my family in Denver. It was a great last trip to have with him. We walked the Bolder Boulder with my sister and relaxed by the pool with friends. Upon the completion of my trip my parents dropped me off at Denver International Airport and we began our extensive, tearful goodbye process. I was always afraid that each hug and kiss goodbye could be our last. My dad was born to be a dad and my mom was born to be a mom. Not only did they not get annoyed with my overzealous hugging, but they reveled in it. When we decided we'd gotten to the point of ridiculousness I gave two last hugs to each and walked inside. Only to stand just beyond the automatic doors waving until they were out of site. I don't regret anything about our last in-person goodbye, except that it was our last. Knowing this I would have unfeasibly hugged him forever.

While it hasn't been a year since his death yet, I seem to be marking each and every single anniversary I had with him as I go along. There are some people who can't bare the pain of thinking about their lost loved one more than they have to. I'm the opposite. I consider supressing my feelings an insult to his memory. This is a thought I have of my own grieving process and don't judge or think wrong of how other people cope. Within my family alone we are all over the coping spectrum. I just think of the painful tears I shed on a regular basis as the least I can suffer through to keep him alive in me.

Last night, while sobbing through The Band Perry's "If I Die Young" for the 100th time, I told my husband, "No matter how great my day is or how much fun I'm having in that moment, there's always an underlying, gutwrenching feeling that all is not right. Something is wrong. Something will always be wrong." And it's true. Something will always be missing from my life. I can't help it. I can never get to the point where I am worry free and fully relaxed. Sometimes I recognize what that feeling is. Sometimes it's so far in the back of my head that I don't know what it is that's bothering me, but I know that it's there.

I liken it to the average person by saying, "It's like when you know you're worried about something and you have to sit down and run through everything going on in your life to figure out what's gnawing at you."

Except that this gnawing feeling is permanent. At least so far.