Posted tagged ‘falling down stairs’

“Only very brave mouse makes nest in cat’s ear.”

March 28, 2017

The morning has been a strange one. First off is the scary part. Halfway down from upstairs, Gracie started sliding on the steps. She panicked and started scrambling on all fours for a paw hold. She was five steps from the bottom of the stairs. I grabbed her halter and held on then lifted her to a step where she was able to gain control. The whole time I held her my back was screaming. She weighs 62 pounds. I felt every one of them, but Gracie was able to stand and make it down the stairs without falling. She was even eager to go down the outside stairs.

The second weird event was the finding of a mouse, not dead but wounded. I was on my way into the dining room which I saw it. It was the fattest field mouse I’ve ever seen. It couldn’t have run away so I’m thinking it waddled, which makes me believe Maddie got it. This must be the mouse which has been living in my cabinet, my pots and pans cabinet, where I occasionally store packages of food or crackers.  Last week I went to get the bag of potato chips I had put there a few days earlier. It had a couple of chewed holes. The Equal box which had had about 30 or so packets was empty. The corn flakes were gone. There hadn’t been many, but now there were none. That cabinet is due to be cleaned, and I was going to put a trap inside it. Now I wonder. Kudos to Maddie who is seventeen. As for that mouse, it is outside where I tossed it, still alive at least for the meantime.

I haven’t ever been afraid of bugs or snakes. I know a few people who squeal at the sight of a spider. That makes me want to slap them and say get a grip. In Ghana, I was introduced to scorpions and centipedes. Both took me a bit aback, scorpions because they bite and centipedes because of their appearance and the possibility of a bite. They are not really bugs, but that’s for another time. My favorite looking insect is the praying mantis. It, of course, had its own movie: The Deadly Mantis. The giant mantis had been frozen in the Arctic ice cap but was dislodged by a volcano’s eruption. Terror ensues.

Today is cloudy. What a surprise! Rain is predicted, another surprise, but it will be warmish at 44˚. I have some inside chores today, enough to keep me busy for maybe twenty minutes then I’ll need a nap.

“Winter dressing is all about having chic outerwear.”

March 16, 2017

Last night I was freezing though I was only outside for about 5 minutes. It was Gracie’s last trip before bed. She sniffed the air, checked out a couple of sounds and walked around outside the fence. She didn’t seem at all inclined to do her duty. I begged. She ignored me. I begged again. She sniffed the ground, but that was it, no squatting. It was the end for me. I brought her inside. We went to bed. She slept the whole night, but I got up once.

When I was a kid, my room was upstairs on the left. The bathroom was also on the left. The stairs were a quick right turn from my room. In the small hallway outside my door was the dirty clothes hamper and the linen closet recessed in the wall. When I was 10, I walked out of my room and turned right. I fell down the stairs. You’d think the sound of me falling would wake someone up. It didn’t. Either I fell quietly or my family slept like the dead. That is an important memory for me, a milestone of sorts. It was my first fall down stairs, the first of many.

Yesterday we didn’t go to the dump. It was because of the weather. The dump is generally cold, and if it is a windy day, like yesterday, the dump is as cold as Siberian steppes. The wind whips and freezes you to the bone. This morning I brought the trash to the car. I decided to bite the bullet and go despite the cold, 33˚ which will be the high today.

My front yard is still covered in branches from the huge pine tree branch which fell on the lawn. The small stones from my front parking space are on the street and in the garden. They were moved around by the plow. My back yard has several different size branches lying where they fell during this winter. One skinny pine tree breathed its last. Another leans and its future is doubtful. Winter is harsh.

“You can’t get too much winter in the winter.”

March 5, 2017

Last week Boston set a new record warmth for the end of February. On Friday night the record for cold set in 1896 was broken. In the space of less than a week, we went from spring to deep winter. When I took Gracie out front to go to the bathroom on Friday night, I can’t remember ever feeling as cold, and Gracie was so cold she peed on the run to the front door. I took her out a couple of times more, but she wore her wool coat, and I was bundled against the cold. Gracie was quick each time. She deserved those treats when we got inside the house.

Today is sunny, a beautiful day if you’re sitting in the house looking out the window. It is 27˚, close to the predicted high of 29˚. The low will be 13˚. I have a couple of errands to do in a bit including the dump which I avoided the other day because of the weather.

When I was a kid, I remember watching Don Kent, the weatherman. Back then the days were fair, cold, snowy or rainy, the sort of description looking out the window might bring.  Nothing was all that specific. Some weather maps were on the wall while others were on large sheets of paper. They showed the whole country and gave current temperatures. Predictions were maybes.

Yesterday the Peace Corps volunteer living near Bolgatanga, where I had been, posted the current temperature and the high and low for the day. It was currently 99˚. The low was predicted to be 95˚ and the high 109˚.

Gracie just needed to go out so I went down the back deck steps holding on to her collar. I held on as she won’t go down the stairs alone; she is afraid of falling. With me, she goes down the stairs quickly and then runs into the yard. She doesn’t mind going up the stairs so I can leave her alone outside. Her back right leg slides. I’ll have the vet check what is going on when Gracie has her health visit. I do wish I had some sort of a dog bootie with treads.

I am spoiled. My house is cozy warm in winter and air conditioned in the summer. I’m living the good life.

“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.”

January 21, 2016

This morning I was up at the crack of dawn, around 6:30, as I had a dental appointment at 8. I hate that alarm. To wake up to it again was jarring. It was almost a leap out of bed reaction. I tried to ignore it but couldn’t so I got up, got dressed, retrieved my papers and had a cup of coffee which salved the pain.

I got home around 8:30, had more coffee, finished the crossword puzzle then went back to bed. I sleep another couple of hours.

I have a tale of Miss Gracie and ice, but the story has to be from my perspective though I’d love to know what Miss Gracie thought.

On Tuesday night, the little snow we had turned to ice. I didn’t realize how slippery it was when I let Gracie out. She slid on the top step right outside the door and kept sliding to the stairs where she tried unsuccessfully to get her footing. I tried but couldn’t catch her so I watched helplessly and afraid as she lost the battle to get her footing and tumbled and rolled down the last 4 or 5 stairs. When she hit the driveway, she rolled a couple of more times. When she got up, she was almost falling from one side to the other. I yell her name over and over as I made my way down the stairs as quickly as I dared, got to her and held on to her for a while. I then held and walked her to the stairs. She didn’t want to go up, and I totally understood, but we had to get into the house. I lifted her to each step with my arms around her body and her legs on the stairs. For the last few steps she was okay by herself. She ran inside and I was quick to follow. I checked every bit of her, but she seemed fine. I wasn’t all that fine. I was still scared after watching that fall and her tumbling. I think the leaning from side to side when she first got up was from her being dizzy with all the rolling. I gave Gracie her treat then she turned around and went right back outside and down the stairs to the yard. I figured she wanted to finish her business, but I found it amazing she wasn’t afraid to go down those stairs again.

I immediately hauled the bag of paw friendly deicer up from the cellar and tossed it on the two steps outside the door and the stairs to the yard. The next morning, I could see the sun and the deicer were working their magic when I let Gracie out. I expected her to be sore and limping but nope, nothing. She was perfectly fine. That whole incident was terrifying for me as I had to watch and could do nothing, but she seems just fine for which I am grateful.

Usually I spread around and talk about many things, but today had to be Gracie’s day.

“And falling’s just another way to fly.”

January 18, 2015

I am not crazy. I swear I saw a bit of sun this morning, but it is gone, replaced by clouds and rain. Then again, maybe the sun was an illusion, like an oasis sometimes is, but the weatherman did predict rain, heavy at times, for the Patriot’s game this afternoon so I shouldn’t have been surprised by yet another grey, damp day.

My house is always quiet this time of day. It is when the three animals have their naps. Fern is in Gracie’s spot so Gracie is sleeping on the afghan on the floor. Maddie is on her chair. Fern is curled in a ball with her face hidden. I woke up at nine and so did they. I can’t think of what could be so exhausting in three hours that a nap is necessary. When I was growing up, Duke, our Boxer, wasn’t allowed on furniture, but he managed to sleep on the couch at night when we were all upstairs. We never did catch him as he’d jump off when someone was coming down the stairs. My father mellowed over time, and my dogs always slept on the couch when I’d visit. Shauna loved my dad and always slept right beside him with her head in his lap while he watched TV. My dad always said he’d like to come back as one of our animals because life would be so good.

Yesterday I fell down but only the last couple of steps. I was bringing down two very heavy bins by sliding them down the stairs, but they got away and knocked me down and into a table. I’m not really hurt, but I do have a bump the size of an infant’s head. It looks gross and is getting blacker and bluer by the minute. I’ll have to change the sign, the one which says No Accidents for however number of days. The count starts all over again. At least this time I was almost at the bottom of the stairs. After a bit, I took the bins down the cellar and managed to make it without falling. I think I’m getting inured to pain.

The first time I remember falling down the stairs I was ten so this is not a new thing for me. Falling is habitual. That first time I needed stitches, another time I broke a bone in my shoulder, once I broke teeth and fractured a bone in my face, but those are the only major injuries. Bumps and bruises don’t count.

In my next life, I’ll live in a ranch house.

“No matter what happens, travel gives you a story to tell.”

May 12, 2014

Today is already warm, and the cats have found the sun streaming through the door and are stretched out on the mat. Gracie is having her morning nap and is noisily snoring. As with Pippa Passing, “All is right with the world.”

I fell when I was in New Hampshire. The soles of my shoes grabbed the stair rugs, and I was most careful until I wasn’t. My left foot stepped down but my right foot stayed put. As it was unexpected, I went down hard, hit the door jamb with my face, scrapped my foot and wrist and slammed both of my knees. My glasses flew off and one lens went into hiding. The glasses saved most of my face but the left cheek and over my eyebrow hit the wood. Today, two days later, my knees, especially my left, are still painful. Getting up from a sitting position is the worst, and I do yowl a bit but I’ll survive.

Falling isn’t new for me. I started when I was around four or five with a fractured wrist, got a sprained ankle when I was a bit older, fractured my shoulder, fell down the inside stairs and the outside, knocking myself out both times and badly sprained my ankle again on the mat by the front door. There are probably more, but those are the highlights.

I had a wonderful time in New Hampshire, but I was glad to get home.

When I was a kid, we went on very few stay-away vacations. I remember Vermont and the huge white house with the porch. It was across a rural highway from a lake. We had to be watched when we went swimming as there was a drop off to deep water not that far from the shore, but there was plenty to keep a kid busy in the woods and in the stream running by the house. I remember the time in Maine, in Ogunquit, at the smallest cabin in a host of cabins. I remember seeing naked people sleeping on a blanket in the dunes, how cold the water was and how boring the vacations were. The vacation to beat all vacations was to Niagara Falls. That was the first and only time we stayed in motels. I remember it all: the falls, the Eisenhower Locks, Lake Ontario, Madam Tussaud’s and eating at McDonald’s.

I am forever thankful for the vacations when we stayed home. My parents took us to museums, and I am still attracted to museums wherever I travel. Beaches, learning to body surf from my father, my mother’s packed lunches, and learning to skip stones are some of the best memories of my childhood.