Summer Solstice, advice needed, and a bunch of other random bits of my enthralling existence

Happy Summer Solstice. Yes, I know, Solstice was yesterday, but I was celebrating and did not spend much time on the computer. Actually, that is a lie. I forgot that yesterday was Solstice because I had no idea what day it was–as far as I’m concerned, the first sign that summer is truly underway. I was out running some errands and noticed a sign announcing the Summer Solstice Celebration at the Arboretum, so I called up my friend Linda, who happened to be available (another sign that summer is truly underway: spontaneity), and we joined what must have been at least a thousand other people at one of our city’s most beautiful parks to ring in Summer. Linda had radical back surgery in January and rotator cuff correction two weeks ago, so we mostly stayed put and let the drummers and dancers come to us, although I did walk the length of the park to see what else was happening. Okay, that’s also a lie. I was looking for the bathroom, as pregnancy for me is, at this point, one long series of trips to the ladies’ room, but I did get to see the festival in its entirety on my journey. I also ran into some friends–first Joy and then Molly–and proceeded to run into them again and again throughout the rest of the evening. Linda and I also ran into some kids we’d both taught–J. and C.–and they spent most of the night with us. It was a great evening, and it reminded me that I don’t take enough advantage of my city, its parks and culture and special events. Note to self: one cannot spend an entire summer in one’s lounge pants and a tank top pajamas on one’s screened porch ogling the birds, rabbits and chipmunks.

The highlight of the night was the Fire Dance. I attempted to photograph other things throughout the evening: dancers and drummers, fairies, goddesses, cute little kids with face paint and angel wings, but I wasn’t using my flash and the twilight was a little too filtered to capture much more than a series of blurs. Not so with the Fire Dance. I played around with settings and finally settled on manual continuous exposure, which I think was a good decision considering the results. I’ll let you be the judge:

Fire Dance slideshow


I could really use some advice from all you dog people out there. Here’s the situation: Suzanna has an ear infection, which is, I have no doubt, a result of her flea allergy. She is on flea prevention treatment–Frontl*ne–but she’s been scratching miserably, just like she does when she gets bitten by a flea. So yesterday when I picked up her heartworm medicine I asked the vet on duty at the Animal Wellness Center how exactly Frontl*ne works–does it repel fleas, or does the flea have to bite the dog in order to die or be repelled. Much to my dismay, the latter is true. I tried to explain that this is not a viable option for Suzanna due to her allergy. The vet’s response: “Well, you could always use a flea spray on your carpet.” Eh? Is that supposed to keep fleas from biting my dog who lives outside during the day?

I have not always used Frontl*ne. For years I used Advant*ge, and it seemed to work–no fleas, no itching, no red ears and belly. The Wellness Center recently stopped selling Advant*ge and switched to Frontl*ne because it was “a better product.” I assumed it worked the same way, as the application process was the same, but apparently I was wrong. Now my poor dog is miserable. I think we have conquered the ear infection with an antibiotic that smells like hair permanent solution and must taste horrible, but she swallows it right down, and with positive results so far. But it obviously does not do anything about her flea allergy, or her fleas for that matter, and I’m at a loss. The vet told me the other topical products were all the same, that the fleas had to bite to be affected, so buying anything else was pointless. I’m not sure I believe her.

That’s where you come in. I need flea and allergy advice, stat. Suzanna is quite patient, but I can tell she’s uncomfortable. I am willing to try whatever you suggest. And if anyone is interested in two tubes of Frontl*ne for dogs 26-50 lbs., email me your address and I’ll send them to you–they are of no use to me.


In other news…

…I will never shop at my local S*ears again. On Tuesday afternoon I saw, on the shiny concrete floor of America’s oldest department store, the biggest cockroach I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Seriously, it looked like The Bug from “Men in Black.” I abandoned my purchase and left immediately, because what if this mutant creature had deposited offspring in the pockets of the shorts I was going to buy? It was crawling toward the tool section when I fled; I think it was planning to make off with a nail gun and some tires. Watch your back.

…and speaking of bugs, I was nestled in my bed last night, all ready to flip on the TV and fall asleep before the intro theme music to “Will and Grace” finished playing, and that’s when I spied the spider on my ceiling. We’ve all been there. First we rationalize: well, as long as it stays there it’s fine. Then we think: but what if it does move? What if it falls? On me? While I am sleeping? And bites me? Then we are wide awake, so immediate action is our only hope for sleep. I have vaulted ceilings, and the spider was, of course, at the very highest peak, so I fetched the retractable ceiling fan duster from the linen closet, an object I had used just a few days before to kill a wasp in the skylight in my kitchen. If you’ve ever tried to squash a spider with what is basically the handle of a 10 foot-long feather duster, you know it’s hard to achieve just the right hand-eye-handle coordination. The spider eluded me. Then it started crawling down the wall. Toward me. I ran for the obligatory massive wad of paper towels (so the spider wouldn’t touch me, of course), and struck and flushed the intruder in a matter of seconds.

You should know I’m not usually this squeamish and girly about bugs, but there’s a place for bugs, and that place is not inside of S*ars or my bedroom.


And finally…I have finished my mix CDs for the Crazy Mixed Up CD Group. I’m listening to the final cut as I type this, and I think it’s safe to declare the CD ready for distribution. Look for it in a mailbox near you early next week.

8 thoughts on “Summer Solstice, advice needed, and a bunch of other random bits of my enthralling existence

  1. Oh wow. Those pictures are amazing!!! It sounds like you had a wonderful solstice. I wish I had celebrated it, but all I did yesterday was spend the day in bed. Of course, that was lovely, too, so I guess it all worked out. But the firedance looks splendid.

    I wish I could help you on the flea issue, but we don’t have fleas in Utah, so I got nothing for you. Ooooh, how about you move to Utah? That sounds perfect. You can live in my basement and Susanna can play with Oliver and Oscar and I won’t care if you live in your pajamas all summer cause that’s all I’d wear if I were allowed.

    Really, I think it’s the perfect solution.

  2. I will take that Frontline off your hands, if you want… we don’t have much of a flea issue in Brooklyn (at least not my dogs) but we do it as preventive anyway.

    Happy to hear from you and glad you had a good solstice!

    And can’t wait to hear your CD!

    totally in my pajamas right now even though I have to go to JB’s for dinner later

  3. Lurker here. You might try benadryl for your dogs flea allergy. One in the morning and one at night. Just 25mg (I think – it’s just one pill) should help. It has worked wonders for my dog. He had chronic ear infections and red skin until we started benedryl. He’s down to about 36 pounds and he still gets a whole pill twice a day. He’s been on it for years. The vet says its the same thing as the allergy meds they were prescribing him, only much, much cheaper. It may make her a bit sleepy until she gets used to it.
    Hope this helps and she gets some relief!

  4. Great photos!

    You’ve ruined S*ears for me forever. Forever. Gah. It’s ok, I never bought anything there except for vacuum cleaner filters.

    I love this new cd almost every week thing!

  5. I’m not a dog owner, but . . . I have friends who are. They dote on their dogs, and one of the things they do to keep them pest-free is to rub Avon’s original fragrance Skin-So-Soft on their coats daily. Makes them smell lovely, too.

    Other dog-owning friends have added powdered brewer’s yeast to their dogs’ chow to render fleas aversive to biting the dog. Could be effective as long as it doesn’t render Suzanna aversive to her chow. Have you ever taken brewer’s yeast? Ick! Good luck.

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