The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley

Archive for February 2011

It has happened again, and this time, I thought I was done with this falling down business. 
Really?  (indulgent chuckle)
Not so fast, Poopwa.
A few weeks ago when it snowed so bad on February 2, I got up to take dog-and-friend out.  He is a 9 month old lab puppy and along with all that lab puppiness comes a newly realized great brute strength.
I came to know this brute strength intimately one fateful day when I put on a pair of boots, strapped the leash on the dog, and opened the door, only to almost immediately be pulled off the porch and onto the stair by way of my shoulder.  It happened so fast that I didn’t even knew I fell. 
I painfully get to my feet.
After brushing off my pride and putting it back on, we made our way around the yard on what is affectionately (ha) known as the “pooping perimeter”.  After Cooper finished off his business, I decided a trek down the driveway was in order to fetch our newspaper. 
Coming back with the paper, however, I managed to fall right on my back in a drift.  I must have looked like a turtle, fallen back on my big shell of a coat, arms and legs moving feebly, but not able to get up.  Couldn’t even blame it on the dog.
Fast forward to getting the mail at the post office in heels a week later.  Knowing I was at great risk for falling, I paced myself with mincing little steps and I was inches away from getting in my car and driving away, and it happened again.  I fell flat on my face before I knew what was happening, and it couldn’t have been when no one was looking, could it? 
I was asked by two different people who watched me fall if I was ok.  I could have had a broken leg and I would have dragged myself into the car and driven however many miles I needed to before I would have stopped to check the injury and staunch the bleeding. 
It took a week to get over how badly it all hurt.
Today, I took the dog out on his leash and we made it into the backyard with no problem.  Suddenly he spied a squirrel, and swiftly came around behind me running at a full gallop and before I could say “this is gonna hurt” I was flat on my back in the mud.  Curiously the first thing I thought was “Lord I hope no one saw that” and the second was “how’s my hair?”
I chained him to the stake so that I could stomp angrily up to the house and go into the bathroom to change my muddy wet pants. 
Looking out into the back yard, though, I didn’t see the dog chained and was terrified that he took off out of the yard, breaking the chain somehow.  He’s done it before.
My husband accompanied me this time outside to help me look for the dog, but Cooper was still in the yard.  (He actually did break the chain.)
As we walked into the back yard, I grabbed our new corded stake out tie to put it on the stake so that he could have 30 feet to maneuver instead of 10.
He seemed to adjust to the new weight of the tie out pretty well, so my husband grabbed a softball and lobbed it gently about 20 feet away.
“Get the ball, Cooper.” he happily yelled.
Cooper took off like a shot after the ball.  Looking down, I realize my foot is smack dab in the middle of a loop of chain, and as I am processing this alarming bit of information, the dog has pulled out enough lead that the wire burns itself around the side of my ankle and ONCE AGAIN, twice in one day, I’m on my back, mirroring an episode of Deadliest Catch where the guys catch their legs in the throw ropes of the lobster cages as they’re tossing them overboard.
Except this time I’m hurt, embarrassed to the point of tears, and do my best impression of a 5 year old as I actually burst into tears and run to the back door.

Lord, I hope no one saw that.
Damn dog.

Who would have such a name, you wonder.  Just hearing it makes me giggle.

My sister warned me when we were thinking of names for our black lab puppy that if we named him Cooper, we would call him Cooper the pooper.  Not a good idea, and she wouldn’t do it.

We named him Cooper just BECAUSE of that.  The variations on his name are endless.  At times he’s Sooper Dooper Cooper, Coop the Poop, or the Sooper Dooper Pooper.   Sometimes we call him Whiskey because he is a hard licker.  (haha)  Other times we call him Chewie because he has managed to learn how to vibrate his bark to sound exactly like Chewbacca.  It’s hysterical.  You almost forget how mad you are that he has to go out AGAIN when he makes that particular noise.

However, the most aggravating thing is the bells.  We have some bells on the back door, about 2″ around and hanging from a strip of country fabric from the doorknob.  Originally they were installed so that the momma of the family (that’s me) would know when certain young people were coming in at night.

Cooper is not as subtle.  He has learned that when he rings the bells, he gets to go outside.  Whether or not he needs to.  Whether or not he has been outside five times in an hour.  It goes something like this…

“but I still have to go!” (ring)
“I think I have to go!”  (ring)
“I want to smell some stuff, but I’m going to pretend I have to go!” (ring)
“now I just want to smell some stuff again!” (ring)
“I think there’s stuff I forgot to smell!” (ring)
“I’m bored!” (ring)
“I’m ringing the bells!” (ring!)

Seriously, the Salvation Army could have used him this past Christmas.

Despite all the bell ringing, we are having a blast with him.  He’s got such a personality and although he is a big doofus of a puppy, he’s a really good little boy.  The bells have actually probably saved our floors from terrible messes…Sooper Pooper messes.

As I sit here, it’s 10:46 pm.  Due to not only an upcoming trip to Mexico in March and a wedding to attend in June, I’m working very hard right now on eating right and exercising.  The thought of donning a bathing suit is giving me heart palpitations. 

For me, eating right is avoiding sugar and flour.  That, I’m not having a problem with, and my husband is not only supportive, but also following the same low carb diet with me.  It’s awesome to have that kind of buddy system. 

Exercising, however, has been another matter entirely for me.  Approximately 7 years ago (gasp, has it been that long?) I began the Atkins diet.  While doing that, I also increased my walking to approximately an hour a day, 6 days a week.  I lost lots of weight.  The exercise used to come easy to me. 

Now?  No.  Doesn’t come easy at all.  I have to force myself, like lots of you, to go to the gym or use the treadmill at home.

I do feel better once I’m done, I really do.  It’s just GETTING to that point that is the hard part.  Sometimes sitting on the couch sounds so, so much better than getting all sweaty on the treadmill.

Tonight, I walked on the treadmill for approximately 50 minutes.  Sometimes I would use hand weights and sometimes not, sometimes fast and sometimes slow. 

And now, although I do feel really good (and terribly proud of myself), I’m sore now.  The fact that I’m sore NOW is only a ghastly portent of things to come…tomorrow morning I”m going to be calling up House to borrow his cane so that I can get to work.  That is, if I can even move far enough to reach the phone.

This HAS to get better, right?

Ever since I’ve been old enough to perceive the world around me, I have had a horrible habit of laughing whenever anyone falls down.  I sincerely can’t help it.  Watching someone fall down the stairs, fall down while running down the halls at school, fall down while just plain walking…and I’m seized with helpless, weak kneed laughter. 
About 30 years ago, one of the biggest styles of footwear for women was enormous stacked heel shoes.   My mother had a pair of these shoes.  Sometimes she would take me, my sister and brother to the mall to shop, and inevitably, her heel would catch on something and down she would go, with her purse swinging around and rising in a slow circle up, up, up, and then crashing down next to her.  It always looked like it was in slow motion. 
And then IT would happen.
My siblings and I would have a case of the giggles so bad that we had to duck behind a rack of swimsuits or dress pants so that she wouldn’t see us.  My red faced mother would hiss at us all the way to the car.  Thinking back, I don’t ever remember asking her if she was ok.  Or if we did she was too embarrassed to appreciate it.  Probably because we were all laughing too hard.  (My poor mother.  What she put up with.)
Fate is fickle, however.  One year, when I was 19, I wore that same type of ill fated shoe to work as a legal secretary.  As I pranced into my building to catch the elevator, two ladies from the courthouse and I waited for a packed elevator to empty before we could get on.   They got on.  I however, caught my ginormous heel on the rug, tripped and landed on the floor.  In front of everyone.
Oh, it gets better. I was wearing a DRESS and panty hose.
I landed on my side, and it felt like two years passed before my right leg landed on my left leg, blocking the view.  In that space of time, half of Joliet got a good look at my control top part of control top pantyhose.  It was absolutely humiliating.  The ladies in the elevator were having a hard time keeping silent.   I so badly wanted to tell them to go ahead and laugh, because I sure would have.
Fast forward 25 years.  One month ago, as I raced up our wooden basement stairs, I hit the top one with my big toe and down I went, right onto the tile.  My left arm bruised, my knee bruised, my ego bruised.  You would think I would learn not to fly up the basement stairs, right?  Right.  Thank gosh no one saw.
Well, last night I was in the basement while helping my 17 year old with a persuasive essay.  When we realized Gray’s Anatomy was on, we raced (see where this is heading?) around the corner to run up the stairs.  However, hiding around the corner was my middle child (who I SWEAR has my sense of humor) who jumped out and scared the living crap out of me and my youngest.  Having such a running leap at the stairs, I was continuing up even while giggling, my knees weak with laughter until finally they gave out and at the top of the stairs, that big toe that won’t learn its lesson got caught on THE SAME STAIR and down I went, AGAIN.
Only this time, I had an audience of four.  And a full cup of coffee, which splashed up in a perfect, slow motion arc to drench my entire face, hair, and glasses with perfectly creamed coffee. 
Now if I had witnessed this of MY mother, I would have really been in trouble, because I would have been doubled over, wheezing with laughter…but I have to hand it to my teens…they didn’t laugh.  They were actually very solicitous and concerned and helpful.  My husband helped me up, and as I dried the Folgers off my face, I noticed both girls were shaking, had their hands over their mouths and their eyes were teary, and it looked suspiciously like they were laughing.
Nah.  I’m sure it was just a trick of the light. 
St Patty’s Day Cabbage and Potatoes, by Christine Collins Cacciatore
5 heads cabbage (allow one head per guest, at least)
2 lbs uncooked bacon, cut up
1 lb carrots, chopped
½ cup sugar
5 lbs potatoes, peeled and quartered
Also, and most importantly, personal fans and air freshener for the inevitable, foul odor to follow
Guinness beer and lots of it
First, put on a Gaelic Storm CD.
Cook in a well ventilated area.  This recipe is not for the faint of heart, so make sure you have an open window or two.  Fill a frosted mug with Guinness before you start cooking, just to sip on.
Using a very large stockpot, fill with approximately 15 cups of water.  Quarter the heads of washed cabbage and spread loosely in pot.  Finish up your first bottle of Guinness.  Throw carrots and potatoes into pot where ever you choose.  Don’t be arty-farty about it; this is hearty Irish food we’re talking about.  Open your second Guinness and pour a little into the pot, but not too much.  Why?  Because it’s yours.
Coarsely chop bacon into 2 inch strips.  Put on top of the carrots and potatoes.  Sprinkle the sugar on top of the whole mixture.  Sugar makes everything better.  Drink more Guinness.
Simmer for approximately 3 hours over low heat.  Using a lid on the pot is not only recommended, it’s a necessity to keep the smell out of your clothes while you’re cooking.  You may have been cooking cabbage all day, but there’s no need to smell like one.  You will be smelly enough later. 
While it’s simmering, have another Guinness and put another Gaelic Storm CD in.  They have seven, for crying out loud, just pick one.  Pretend you’re Michael Flatley and Irish dance your way around your kitchen.  Use your daughter’s old “hard shoes” and for crying out loud, put some pants on this time.  Remember, the window is open.  Have another Guinness.
This recipe serves as many as you wish, whenever you wish, but it’s best served on St Patrick’s Day with corned beef, fresh soda bread, Guinness, and a sense of humor.

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  • Mary Fran Says: Thank you for contributing to Sweeps Week! We make a great team. Maybe we'll collaborate in our next lives? SISTERS! lol :)
  • Mary Fran Says: What's better than a Baby Shower aka Early Baby Birthday Party? Baby's FIRST Birthday Party! (Although it's hard to call them "baby" by one! They grow
  • Ann Jones: I'll have to check it out, thanks for the heads up!