Archive for the 'Madison' Category

On October 29, 2012, we met Sandy.

The wind was worse than the rain.

Tim took BlackJack outside during Superstorm Sandy, because he was afraid of the wind.

Poor little BlackJack was afraid to go outside due to the wind. Daddy saved the day!

Until somewhere around midnight. We had lost power about 2 p.m., so, with not much else to do, we went to bed fairly early. Just after midnight, we awoke to banging on our front door. Our neighbor had waded through the rising water to warn us that our street was flooding. The water was already heading up our driveways. Tim went out and moved our car up onto the front lawn, where it was a bit higher than the driveway. Within a very short amount of time, we realized the water was still rising, and the car was again in danger of being flooded. Tim moved the car once again. This time, it was as close to the house as it could get (within inches of the outside wall).

Over the next hour or so, we went from the front door to the back door, closely watching the progress of the flood waters. We also began moving things inside the house to higher surfaces. We were literally surrounded by water; at its peak, it was within mere inches of entering the first floor of our home.

Tim decided that we would go up into the attic if the water started coming in. I was not sure how we were going to get the dogs–let alone ourselves–up through the tiny access hole to get into the attic. Fortunately, the water finally began to recede.

It was too dark to get any photos of the period when the water was at its highest. Below are some that I took the following day.

Our street flooded after Superstorm Sandy.

Our street is out there somewhere, under approximately two feet of water.

Another view of our flooded street after Superstorm Sandy. Three of the four cars seen in this photo were totaled due to flood damage they sustained.

Another view from our “bay front” home. Three of the five vehicles seen in this photo were totaled due to the flood damage they sustained.

Our flooded driveway after Superstorm Sandy.

Our driveway is just beyond the grass in this view–under water.

Man in raincoat and waders, walking through the flood water on our street after Superstorm Sandy.

Brave guy!

Men in a canoe, paddling up our flooded street after Superstorm Sandy.

It’s not every day that you see a canoe going up your street!

Superstorm Sandy was quite an experience. One I hope to never face again! School was closed for two weeks. We were without power for eleven long days. In the scheme of things, we were very lucky. So many people lost everything. In comparison, we were just temporarily inconvenienced.

After this experience we’ve even thought about installing a security system with features like water sensors that can help detect flooding in the house. Optional features such as these sensors can be found on sites like and although they might not be able to do anything miraculous (like stop a hurricane) they could always help alert us to when water is creeping up in places of our home where we don’t want it.

Not to mention, flooding can occur in your home even when it doesn’t involve a natural disaster. Pipes can burst or water sprinklers go off or even sinks and bathtubs can overflow. So even if it’s not Hurricane Sandy damaging your home with overflowing water, it’s good to be prepared.

More photos to follow!



End of the Week Catch Up

January 19th, 2013
Posted in BlackJack, Career, College, Dogs, Family, Health, Home Stuff, Life, Madison, Pets, School, Tim | Comments Off
Madison 1-11-13


I can’t believe it’s been one week today since we said goodbye to our sweet “Mooch” (aka Madison). I miss her every single day, and I know that Tim and BlackJack do too. There is comfort in knowing that she is no longer suffering, and has joined my sweet Gemma over the rainbow bridge. The sadness I feel is for those of us that she left behind. There will never be another dog like our  Maddie Girl. Tim took the above photo (he’s got skills!).

My first class of the semester went well. The professor did a PowerPoint presentation with some general psychology information, and it reminded me why I love psych so much! If he posts the slides, I will share some of them here so you can see what I’m talking about. The rest of this class will be online (whenever someone gets around to making it accessible–time is wasting here, people!), which should be helpful, because it’s one less class I have to get to on a certain day, at a particular time.

I would like to find a job that will work around my crazy class schedule (which won’t be easy), because I am only available during very narrow time frames (and how many employers want to deal with that?). Even something where I could work a few hours every week would be helpful. Tim busts his ass every day, and I want to pitch in. Of course, part of me thinks that’s a totally insane idea, because I literally spend hours and hours (and hours) on school work every day (even when I’m not in class). Basically, if I’m not doing the good ‘housewife’ stuff, I am studying. There is no free time. If I add a job to that, I’m really going to feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. I’m going to take it one step at a time. Keep my eyes open for an opportunity, and then I can always give it a shot. If it’s too much, and my other responsibilities begin to suffer, I will have to make the necessary changes. All I can do is try!

Tim and I are in the process of trying to decide whether we should shell out the $ to get our old car back in shape (it needs quite a bit of work), or, if we should cut our losses and buy another car. It would be another used vehicle, so, I feel as though we would be taking a bit of a gamble on what may be wrong with it. At least with our Toyota, we have a fairly good idea of what its issues are. Decisions, decisions…

I’m still dealing with the cold that I first came down with on Christmas Eve. It’s a sneaky bugger (pun intended), because I start to feel better, and think it’s gone, only to have it rear its ugly head all over again. And again. Think I’m on round three (or maybe four), hopefully this is the last one!

So, how was your week?


Saying Goodbye

January 12th, 2013
Posted in Dogs, Family, Life, Madison, Pets, Tim | Comments Off


March 2002-January 12, 2013


Today, we said goodbye to our sweet girl Madison. Her abdomen was filling with fluid again, making her uncomfortable, and causing difficulty breathing. She was falling asleep sitting up, presumably because it was not comfortable for her to lay down. Her back legs weren’t working very well, so she had trouble making it up the step to get into the house from the backyard. She hadn’t eaten normally in about three weeks–this is not the “Mooch” we knew and loved. The kindest and most loving thing we could do for her was to end the suffering.

However, it was very difficult for Tim and I. Our hearts are hurting, and we miss her terribly. Poor little BlackJack seems very confused, and keeps looking for his big sister. They were very close.

I adopted Madison from the SPCA in March of 2002, at eight weeks old, shortly after I had my sweet German Shepherd, Gemma, put to sleep. I had decided that getting another dog would give the kids and I something positive to focus on, and, hopefully help us heal after our loss. And she did! I’ve never met a friendlier, more loving dog; and I have been around dogs all my life. If anyone has doubts about dogs from shelters being less than amazing, I can tell you that’s absolutely not true! Maddie got along with every creature–two and four-legged. She put a smile on my face every day for the last eleven years. There will never be another dog like her.

Her passing was peaceful, and Tim and I were at her side. Petting her and telling her what a good girl she was. Now she is at peace, no more discomfort or pain.


The Rainbow Bridge
Inspired by a Norse legend

By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.

For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.

For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.

The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.

March 2002-January 12, 2013
Forever in our hearts.

Madison and me at the vet on New Year's Eve

Madison and me at the vet on New Year’s Eve

This is a not-so-Wordless Wednesday this week, because I need to talk about our sweet Madison (aka “Maddie,” “Maddie the Mooch,” “Maddie Girl”).

Over the last couple of weeks, she has not been acting like herself. When she stopped inhaling all of her dinner several days ago, we really started to get worried. Then, her abdomen bloated terribly, and we knew there was a problem.

Unfortunately, I was convinced that we were going to lose her, so I put off making an appointment with the veterinarian (yes, I know that was the wrong thing to do, but I was scared). Tim sprung into action on New Year’s Eve–naturally, all of the veterinarian offices were closed–so we took her to an emergency clinic.

They were wonderful. The doctor said he is fairly certain that Madison has a tumor somewhere, that is causing a build-up of fluid in her thoracic vertebrae.  Maddie will be 11 years old in March, so, based on that, the doctor said that trying to locate the tumor (which may or may not be cancerous–and could be anywhere), and having her undergo surgery, just isn’t a viable option. We thought we were coming home without her that night.

The doctor said he could drain the fluid, and that would relieve the symptoms she was experiencing. So, we were able to do that. Sadly, we don’t know how long it will take for the fluid to build up again–and it most likely will.

I adopted Madison from the SPCA when she was only eight weeks old. We weren’t together for about seven months, after my ex-husband and I separated, and before we brought her here to live with Tim and I, in April of 2007. I can’t imagine life without her. She is the sweetest, friendliest dog I have ever known. Her constant mooching and “tail of destruction,” used to be annoying. Now, they are welcome sights.

Tim and I will do whatever we can to make what time she has left with us as comfortable and enjoyable as we possibly can. I know it’s selfish, but I hope that we have her with us for a long time to come. I’m not ready to say goodbye to my “Maddie Girl.”

Skeleton of a dog

The thoracic vertebrae is the area where the doctor believes the fluid is coming from.

Family photo: Tim, Stacey, Madison, and BlackJack.

Happy sixth anniversary to the love of my life…my snugglemate!
I love you–and our life together.

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