Suzy & Spice

a pinch of this, a dash of that

Archive for January, 2008

Hell hath no fury like a dog scorned

Posted by Suzy Taylor Oakley on January 30, 2008

I was writing a post tonight, but it was taking too long and it got late, so I’m sending you to The QC Report. Read Monday’s post. If you have a dog, you’ll get it.

Posted in dogs, family, inspiration, nature | Leave a Comment »

Do not adjust your set

Posted by Suzy Taylor Oakley on January 25, 2008

I’ve changed my page theme again, so if you are just catching up on old posts, don’t read Tuesday’s and vote (but do read the P.S.). That day I mentioned the blue theme, and now I’ve gone purple. Thought I’d better say something or people just now reading Tuesday’s post about blue and Sapphire will think I’m colorblind — one of the few traits I did not inherit from my dad.

Posted in geekiness | 1 Comment »

My clean-shaven hubby

Posted by Suzy Taylor Oakley on January 25, 2008

Bruce and I are having a lot of fun with his new blog (and my nearly new blog). It has given us another thing in common. For years, one of our more frequent topics of conversation has been computers. We’re both kinda techy-geeky.

He has more knowledge of the underbelly than I do, but I’m the one with the most software and the newest computer (because I have freelanced for so long and have had to adapt to different scenarios).

I have lots of pix of him in my iPhoto library, so he had to ask me for one for his About Me page. He didn’t like the one I chose (he doesn’t like the clean-shaven look), so I told him I was going to post it on my blog. He said that was fine, but he did not want to use it as the one that would stay on his site in perpetuity.

I have to admit that on the rare occasion that he shaves his entire face, it takes me two or three days to get used to it, but it’s my favorite look. His best feature is his smile, and I can see it better without all those whiskers!

So, as lame as it is to write a post just to show you this picture, that’s what I’m doin’. Most people don’t get to see his whole adorable face! So …

Here he is … my clean-shaven Brucie. Ain’t he cute?

clean-shaven Bruce

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Trying out a new theme

Posted by Suzy Taylor Oakley on January 22, 2008

Time to play with backgrounds and fonts. Tell me what you think about this theme. Besides the fact that blue is my favorite color, I just like the name of this one — Sapphire.

Until I have time to learn the intricacies of CSS, I will live within the boundaries of the themes coded by more serious geeks — no customization for a while. Someday I’ll create my own. Meanwhile, tell me what you like or don’t like about this set-up. (My first thought is, this one tells the date I posted but not the time. Don’t like that, for sure. Only because I’m obsessive about details. No comments from you, D.J.!)

Post your comments below.

Suzy

P.S. My honey finally started a blog. See Brulog in blogroll at right, or click here. His first topic is a good one. You’ll see. 🙂

Posted in family, geekiness, inspiration | 3 Comments »

It’s a dog’s life

Posted by Suzy Taylor Oakley on January 10, 2008

When I created this blog in October, my dogs were part of the inspiration for the title — along with the spice cookies I was baking that night.

Salsa, who came along first, is our bigger dog (14 pounds). Pepper, who came a few months later and was already named (we were her third human family) is our itty bitty teeny tiny dog (4 to 5 pounds, depending on how many times she has suckered me for treats that month). Their names went so well together, and Salsa is so hyper (she’s a terrier — Manchester, we think), The Spice Dogs just seemed to fit.

I have a post-in-progress called “To all the dogs I’ve loved before,” but it will be a two-parter and for posting when I have time to give each dog its due, and to scan and upload the pictures. I started out talking about dogs my family had when I was a baby (or when my mom was pregnant — I’m not sure which) and am working my way up to our Spice Dogs.

Which makes this post kind of stupid. I’m writing about what I’m going to post “someday when I have time.”

But I haven’t posted in a week, and our dogs are hilarious (to us at least), so I just had to mention them today. After all, they are most of the reason this blog is named Suzy & Spice. They do add spice to our lives (more than we want sometimes).

So, to whet your appetite, here is a picture of Pepper (or, more accurately, Pepper’s butt), who has taken to sleeping under her bed instead of in it — apparently she’s warmer there. She is a burrower, and since Bruce has been sick we’ve been trying to get her not to burrow under our covers so much. So we keep her bed on top of our bed.

peppers_butt_400x281.jpg

BTW, she’s a min Pin, and that little stubby thing is her tail (you can barely see it). Her pencil-thin legs are to the right.

She’s weird, but she’s ours.

Posted in dogs, family, inspiration, nature | Leave a Comment »

10 years of wedded bliss (ok, maybe not bliss every minute — but bliss now)

Posted by Suzy Taylor Oakley on January 3, 2008

wedding_kiss_010398

Ten years ago today, Bruce made me his bride, and we have had very few dull moments. It’s kind of strange, but the last year or so has seemed like history repeating itself …

We had a small wedding planned for Jan. 3, 1998 — just family (including the justice of the peace, who was my brother’s father-in-law) and two good friends (my matron of honor and our photographer, Barney, who didn’t charge us for any of it). My brother’s house, complete with Christmas tree, fireplace and white poinsettias, provided the cozy setting.

I had never dreamed of a big wedding, even when I was a girl, so the preparations didn’t cause a lot of stress. We spent less than $1,000 on everything — rings, dress, veil, suit, license, flowers, cake. My mom handled the flowers and the cake (both provided by friends), and even the punch — she suggested raspberry, and I said OK even though I didn’t care for raspberry. I just wanted things to be as simple as possible.

Things were sailing along, only 11 days to go. Then I got a call at work — the afternoon of Dec. 23 — about my dad.

We got to the hospital five hours before he died, but he was really already gone before we arrived.

Christmas was never going to be the same.

And the wedding? My brother gave me away. I walked on the wrong side of him. I barely remember the ceremony. I couldn’t tell you what the cake looked like. I was numb.

That was 10 years ago today.

Nine years ago, a couple of weeks before our first anniversary, Bruce spent 16 days (including Christmas) in the hospital. They diagnosed him with Crohn’s disease.

He came home with an IV needle in his chest. By our one-year anniversary, I had learned how to hook up the battery-powered pump that fed him via total parenteral nutrition (TPN). By Feb. 1, he had graduated to baby food. By March 1, he was back at work full time. He had another hospital stay in early 2004, and he recovered more quickly that time. But his little body would never be the same.

Fast forward to Dec. 3, 2006. We lost Bruce’s dad, an Army Air Corps veteran who had served his country honorably as a young man but could not beat Alzheimer’s in his 80s. We went to California and buried him in a national military cemetery on Dec. 7, the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

After that, Bruce was ready to forgo Decembers for a while.

In early 2007, my sweetie began getting sick again. For most of the year, he battled the Crohn’s. He was in the hospital in late May, again in late June/early July … and in December.

Over the past year, we haven’t celebrated birthdays, anniversaries or holidays the same way as usual. In fact, we’re no longer sure what usual is.

I have a new job that — along with battling the disability insurance people, caring for a sick husband and just trying to get through the holidays with a bit of sanity — has again made me numb on many days.

But Bruce and I have never been closer. Having never walked in his shoes, I cannot say that his illness has been a good thing, but I see aspects of it as blessings in disguise. We’ve spent more time together this year than ever, and our appreciation of each other has grown. We have battled common enemies (illness, bureaucracy, financial hardship, dog poop), and we have grown extremely close.

Tonight I came home from work, apologized for not buying him a gift — or even a card — received his apology, and drove to Burger King for a buy-one-get-one-free deal that we had a coupon for. Our 10th anniversary is a big deal, but failing to buy each other gifts or dine out — no big deal. We ate the burgers, then crawled into bed to watch holiday bowl games, content just to be together.

It sure beats hospital food.

wedding_marked_010398

Bruce is taller than he looks here. He is slumping to show off where I “marked” him.

P.S. Happy birthday, Judy.

Posted in family, food, frugal living, inspiration, money | 3 Comments »