And I’m telling you, I’m not going

Turns out, when your dog dies, your heater/ac dies, your surviving dog is suddenly old, your country elects a misogynist whose party wants to roll back healthcare (esp for women) over a woman who was 10x more qualified, and your teen idol dies, you kind of give up on blogging. The domain name is a bit of an embarrassment these days and you’re afraid to move the blog to the new one for fear it’ll break everything, hosting costs money, maybe you should just let it go.

Still here.

And then…someone tries to hack into it. AGAIN.

And you wake up. This hot mess of a website? THIS IS MINE. This is 14 years (okay, 12 if you don’t count the gaps of time when I didn’t post) of my life, painfully recorded for posterity, archive.org, and the five readers who aren’t my family.

Good things that happened in the last half of 2016:
In August, I started playing World of Warcraft again (maybe not all that good)
In September, I visited Dad in Florida
In October, we went back to Walt Disney World.
In November … okay November blew.
In December, we had a very lovely Christmas.

I also read 48 books. We tore down and rebuilt a tiny wall in our furnace room. I backed up 11 years of photos. I pushed myself at TNP (which isn’t so new anymore — I’m there 5 years this month!) and created a bunch of dynamic reports that filled in some blanks that we didn’t realize were blanks.

My 2017 planner.

Good things that will happen in 2017:
We are restarting our diet, which died when Max did. After a 10-lb gain over the holidays, I have 25-30 lbs to go.
I’m doing 31 days of yoga.
We are paying down our debts.
The dental implant process will be done and I’ll FINALLY have a permanent tooth in front.
Spring Business Trip! Beach days!
A new pupper in the summer to keep Ollie company.

AND I’M BLOGGING AGAIN.

Sometime over the next month or two, I’m going to try to switch this domain from ladygypsy.net to kimberussell.net, which will probably destroy half of my old links.

And now I’m going to hit publish and hope things don’t explode.

Happy New Year.

Max.

I’ve already shared this news on Facebook and Twitter, but couldn’t bring myself to blog it until now.

200?-2016

Max!

Our little Max died Thursday morning, July 14, 2016 at the age of 14-15ish. I was his for one month short of thirteen years. He chose me on August 11, 2003 and I brought him home a little less than a week later.

Let’s just say that Max wasn’t the most obedient dog in the world. He was super-smart and had a mouth crammed full of giant teeth – two factors which sometimes lead to trouble. After a very bumpy first year, he finally trusted that he had a forever family, and settled down. He fiercely loved WM, Ollie, and me and we loved him back.

I miss his grumpy growls. I miss his fangy smile. I miss his expressive ears. We three are gutted.

Max was diagnosed with Diabetes almost 2 years ago, and went blind shortly after that.

We took a trip to Seattle a week ago. It was the first trip WM and I took together since Max lost his vision in late 2014. He and Ollie were taken care of by an ace team of petsitters and pet snugglers. When we came home Wednesday night Max was happy and waggy. The next morning, he was gone by 10:30am. This only means to me that he waited for us, and I am grateful for that.

“You gave him many more years,” the veterinarian said to us Thursday morning as she glanced over his very thick medical file and I shakily signed the last paper. “You did good.”

2007

2007

No, Max was the one who did good. Max was with me through some of my lowest lows in those early/mid 2000s and snuggled with me as I rebuilt my shattered life. He welcomed WM without reservation and later became a fantastic big brother to Ollie. After his bumpy start, he warmed up to being pet by strangers, and was his most gentle with children — many of whom called him Toto on our walks.

Max moved house 5 times. He took road trips to Michigan. He jumped into the lake at Knight Park. He always had to pee. He liked mustard.

In a hotel room in Michigan. Smaller than my overnight bag. The chair was to help him get on the bed with me.

In a hotel room in Michigan. Smaller than my overnight bag. The chair was to help him get on the bed with me.

A few months after we moved into the house, WM and I were working in the garage and the backyard. We inadvertently left both the door to the garage AND the garage door itself open.

We were looking at our ravaged yard when we glanced toward the street and saw a brown terrier walking in the middle of it. “That poor dog looks a lot like Max!” I remarked.

SHITSHITSHITSHITSHITSHITSHITSHIT!

Max managed to navigate to the garage, through the garage, down the driveway and across the street. Dog owners of the year, right here. We were outsmarted by a blind, diabetic, geriatric dog who by then spent about 20 hours a day asleep.

And that, right there, was Max in a nutshell.

Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, my loyal mini-direwolf and tiny fangy beast: you will be missed by all who knew you.

Max - May 07

How to be a Woman book review

How to Be a WomanHow to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really freaking liked this book, which is a light commentary on feminism framed around events in Moran’s life as she ages from 13 to 35 years old. It’s cheeky and borderline rude in parts, but the observations are so wise. There are gut-punch parts and laugh-out-loud on the train parts.

I’m infertile, so the “Why You Should Have Children” chapter stung. But that’s my own hangup. The next chapter “Why You Should Not Have Children” helped, but it’s obvious what side Moran’s on. And that’s okay. Again, my own hangup. Sometimes good writing stings.

If you’re a capital-A Academic, you’ll probably prefer other books on the subject. If you’re easily offended, this isn’t your book. But if you’re a GenX woman who wasn’t a Women’s History major, this book is like listening to one of your crazy best friends talk passionately about feminism.

Somewhat relatedly, out of the 11 books I’ve read so far in 2015, 8 of them were written by women!

View all my reviews on Goodreads!

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