Friday, December 31, 2010

Bring on 2011!!

What are you doing this New Year's Eve? I will be partying it up with some friends at Jon's. Baked brie, raclette (I got an awesome Swiss made grill for Christmas), fondue, and a chocolate fountain (borrowed, we weren't going to splurge for a rental) are all on the menu. Of course, there is to be wine and after dinner liquors, and any other beverages our friends may bring. As I've told many people we're sending off 2010 and ringing 2011 in style.
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In random Oklahoma weather news, yesterday the temps hit 70, there was a tornado warning in the middle of the night, it's windy this morning as a cold front is beginning to move through, and tonight the temps are supposed to drop into the 20s and apparently a winter weather advisory has been issued for later tonight.
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I guess Oklahoma wants to send off 2010 and ring in 2011 with some flair too!
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Happy and Safe New Years to you!! May 2011 be filled with many joys and triumphs. I look forward to the new year and I count myself lucky to have so many friends willing to ride along. As the French say, gros bisous!! See ya next year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Blog-versary!!

My little ol' blog is two years old today!! Woot, woot! Last year I totally forgot about the blog-versary until about two weeks after the fact. I decided I wasn't going to miss it this time around.
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Two years. Gosh it feels longer than that! I've been so lucky to gain some fabulous friends through this blog and I am beyond grateful for each and every one of you who come here and read my musings. You guys are the best!
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So while there will be no wild parties to celebrate this occasion (I am though hosting a fab New Year's Eve shindig tomorrow) I am celebrating in my heart you guys who make this blog possible. I've enjoyed all the 'conversations' we've had and hope for many more if you don't mind. Here's to another blogging year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 'Hangover'

A cute picture of Tibby, napping on my legs, and demonstrating perfectly what I've been up to.
No, I am not suffering the effects of a holiday bender. Just,the fatigue and lack of motivation to do and go places that the end of Christmas brings. I have practiced Irish dance, and kept some of the house clean, so, it's not as if I haven't done anything. Just a whole lot of laying on the couch, not thinking, and yet still having a weird feeling that I need to go to work- like tomorrow. I'm not going to lie, this is nice. A recovery of sorts, time to appreciate the finer things in life like not having to be somewhere or get something.
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Hope you all are having a lovely post-Christmas recovery too!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Very Merry Christmas Indeed


I was going to have a cute picture of Tybalt during his first Christmas, but, he's not cooperating (make no mistake though, he's still cute). So here's me! In glasses to boot! Aren't you all feeling special. Seeing me for one, AND in glasses. :-P At least, the tree looks great.
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Okay, enough of that. I just wanted to jump on here and say I hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas filled with love, peace, and good memories. I was so blessed to have a good one this year, nothing spectacular, but, yet one where I finally felt in sync with new and old traditions. An one where I consumed copious amounts of very yummy food. Now to enjoy "A Christmas Story" and some hot drink. Merry Christmas to you, my dear and most loved, friends!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Twelve Christmas Memories: Part V

1997. This was the first Christmas I spent without my grandfather Pap. Just a little over two weeks before Christmas he passed away from cancer. He actually lived with us before his passing. To say it was difficult is mild, but, what I had to go through was nothing compared to my mother who was with him every minute she had and then some. One day I may get around to posting about that time, or the day he died.
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Pap always came to our house, no matter where we lived, for Christmas. When my great grandmother was alive he flew in on December 26 so he could spend Christmas with his mother and then our family; my brother and I for the longest time fretted about what would happen if Santa didn't get our letter explaining why he needed to come a day later to our house for Christmas. After my Nana passed away he was at our house before Christmas day. I loved Pap, so his arrival for the holidays always made me happy even if it meant my bedroom would be commandeered as the guest room and I would sleep on the couch. I would often go up to my room and peak to see if he was awake. The man had some saintly patience to put up with me.
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The Christmas without Pap stands out, not because it was sad, but, because I felt an even stronger conviction to celebrate the holiday to its fullest. I was sad he was gone of course. Yet, in that typical fashion I knew he would want us to remember him and live our lives and celebrate. He even said so, in so many words, before he died. Though we didn't spend Christmas day together we did so much before he died that it was almost as if we had two Christmases that year. I will never forget my mother wheeling him out, while I was practicing, from his room so he could hear me play Christmas music on the piano he had bought me. The look on his face will never, ever leave my memory.
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I felt sad today remembering this time and other difficult Christmases, but, then I realized how much strength I had even after Pap passed away. I watched him battle cancer, with such integrity though he was in a so much pain and the emotional side of facing death, I can't even imagine. His last gift to me was showing me how to be brave and strong, and how to find goodness and happiness even amongst the darkest of hours. Thank you Pap, though you are gone, you continue to teach me more and more. One of the most amazing gifts any person can give another.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Twelve Christmas Memories: Round IV

A little piece of this year's Christmas tree. It's a real one which is so exciting for me! First real one in a LONG time.
If you haven't been able to figure this out, know that I freakin' love Christmas trees. L-O-V-E them. It's odd as I do not have decorative inclinations when it comes to the house any other time of the year. Whip out a Christmas tree and I'm all about making that sucker look good and sparkle. I sometimes think I was a raccoon in a previous life- I really dig shiny things sometimes. I think trees in the home, for me, is that idyllic symbol of Christmas. Something that we all gather around and have many happy moments with the gift giving and all that. And, no matter where we moved we always had our tree at Christmas time to make me feel not so far away from family and friends. That's how evocative a Christmas tree is to my memory banks.
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One Christmas when my family gathered around to decorate the Christmas tree a major argument broke out. Full on verbal assault. My mother was probably tired and worn out from her job (she was working in an elementary school while dealing with a slew of major health issues), my father was likely worn out from traveling during most of the week and having to come home to project after project and my brother being the combative type wasn't having their negativity. What a combo!! Naturally I tried to settle the argument a role I took up many times for one reason or another. Heck I don't even remember what that particular argument was about. It was one of many pointless angry battles that would sometimes go through the house like a terrible wildfire that I couldn't put out.
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Things reached a point where my parents and my brother wouldn't have anything to do with one another and no one was in the mood to decorate the tree. Except me. My father scoffed and said, "Fine do it yourself!!" And so I did. Lights and all. My brother came in later to help me out what was awesome as it was a really tall tree. I think this Christmas memory sticks out because despite conflict I still clung to traditions and the ritual of making Christmas special. I put the Christmas movies tape in and went to it, bound and determined to get our tree sparkling. Later that determination to find something, anything to be happy about with Christmas would serve me during some difficult Christmas seasons. Let's face we all have a couple that definitely didn't turn out the way we wanted. I've learned to be okay with that as those not so great Christmases help to make the next ones more special.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Little Interlude

Mina on top the Ann Taylor box (my gift). What can I say? The cat has good taste.
Yes, I know, I am not writing more Christmas memories. I will continue those I promise, after all I have until January 6th (Epiphany signifying the last of the 12 days of Christmas) to get all those Christmas memories in there! This is just a little update what I've been doing lately. The current Christmas memories I'm forming right now if you will.
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I have been taking care of lots of Christmas business since I went on break. I am happy to report that the load of shopping with Leo in tow was not only successful in terms of his training and present getting, but, actually fun. I know, Christmas shopping in major stores and a mall a week before Christmas doesn't seem like it would be fun, but, people seemed more friendly and happy to see Leo in the stores. That and I was given wide berth thanks to the service dog 'attatchment'. Made things a lot easier for me.
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Today I'm taking care of a sick boyfriend and getting things cleaned up around here. I'm happy to report, this house is almost as clean as pre-sick, worn out due to work me! Woo hoo!! Okay, the laundry still needs to be done, but, there are enough clean clothes to keep going. Presents have been wrapped, a Christmas activity I love to do. In fact, I used to be the 'family wrapper' of sorts. Not only could I wrap gifts well, I also had a horridly messy closet and under bed where the little treasures could be hidden until I got around to wrapping. In fact, one year I managed to hide wrap an industrial sized car jack that weighed God knows how much. Fun story, but, not an feat I'd like to repeat any time soon.

Louie and Leo tired after lots of playing. I'm pretty sure, Lou likes having us around all day.
Baking activities will be commencing Thursday at Jon's parent's home. After the scare Jon's mother had last week (hospital visit, but, all turned out a-ok) we are making sure to spend plenty of time with her this season. I plan on baking chocolate and chocolate and peppermint macarons and palmiers and maybe make another from scratch pumpkin pie. I will also be getting a visit from my brother soon too. This is turning out to be a great Christmas for me despite all the busyness of work. There's a real tree, many decorations, lots of music and Christmas movie classics, and a sense of happiness at the thought of being around loved ones sharing food, laughter and good times. I'm feeling quite lucky and blessed this season and I hope you are feeling the same too.



Saturday, December 18, 2010

Quickie

This isn't a post persay, but, I just wanted to share this link with you all. My friend The Pliers told me about a blog and the community around it who are doing some great things to spread Christmas cheer to people in need. Please stop by The Bloggess and read all about it. And, if you're able to help please do. If not, then just spread the word. This is what Christmas is about guys and Lord knows we need to bring attention to how much goodness and good people are out there in the world don't you think?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Twelve Christmas Memories: Round III

At first I wasn't sure which Christmas memory to share next. Then today at school it came to me. My teacher friends were talking about a particular student expressing that she and her family were probably not going to have Christmas this year as they didn't have much money. My friends being awesome, bought her some gifts to take to her so she could have a Christmas. Then I remembered about the year that Christmas almost didn't happen
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I lived in Iowa for two years back in the early '90s. In fact, I lived in an over 100 year farm house on a working farm (we rented). There were lots of cows around and more corn than I care to think about. When I say we lived in the country I mean country. Our nearest neighbors were a mile or more away. We lived in this house because it was halfway between my father's work place and the small city where my mother worked. My father eventually got fed up with his position and quit. I know this wasn't a decision taken lightly, but, I can't help but think he didn't realize how hard it would be to find work.
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Months stretched on, my father was on unemployment and I even remember going with him to pick up his check. That check and my mother's teacher salary was barely enough to keep our family going. I remember not being too worried about the lack of things around the house, but, I do remember being worried about them. My parents seemed to be worried most of the time and when Christmas rolled around their concerns seemed even heavier. Being an oblivious 11 year old I didn't really think much of what all they could be worrying about.
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We had Christmas and I remember thinking it was odd Santa gave my brother and I more candy in our stocking than usual. Typically, we had lots of goodies and a bit of candy. I also recall noting, that there weren't a lot of gifts either. Years later my mother told me that that Christmas happened because of her teacher friends and my grandparents that year. In fact, we almost didn't have a Christmas that year. I still to this day don't know who helped us at my mother's school, but, I really wish I did because I would love to give them a hug. Talk about the true embodiment of giving.
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Please allow me a quick post story shout out. To all those who provided for my family thank you. To all of those who give a little to charity, or a surprise gift to someone who doesn't have much, or just being kind towards one another thank you. To the teachers at my school who give to those students who don't have much, thank you.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Twelve Christmas Memories: Round II

This one should be entitled, "The Year I Learned Peach is NOT a Christmas Color." Oh yes, peach. My family moved around quite a bit growing up, and while we lived in Michigan we had an annual tradition of going to Frakenmuth, Michigan a Bavarian town that had Christmas everything- I would only go to that Santa as he was the only one who had a legit beard, thus, he must have been Santa. I L-O-V-E-D this place. I even pushed through a stomach flu once so we could make our pilgrimage to this town; which my mother oh so appreciated when I threw up chicken noodle soup all over the bathroom floor of a lovely Bavarian restaurant. But, I digress.
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Because Frankenmuth had Christmas everything there were tons of beautiful, high quality ornaments you could purchase for your tree. One year my mother found this beautiful angel for the top of our tree and she bought it. Unfortunately that angel 'inspired' her to make our Christmas tree more, 'designer' like what you would see in a catalogue or on display in a store front. Now, to be fair, I'm down with themes and color schemes for a tree, but, what horrified me the most about my mother's inspiration was that she was going to decorate the tree in ONLY sage green and peach decorations and a few neutrals that would not conflict with the main colors.
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Thus, the Christmas of '88 none of our traditional, much loved, and some [poorly] handmade ornaments were not permitted to be on the tree. I was angry. Like, really, really upset. Sage green balls, peach ribbons, [peach and green themed] floral pattern bows??? Seriously, I think the word that would best describe my state of mind was disgusted. That wasn't Christmas at all!! How could you have a tree like that and call it a Christmas tree?? Oh people you have no idea how I suffered that Christmas because of my mother's themed tree. Me, a Christmas junkie already at the tender age of 7 could not even look at that tree with any sense of magic and wonder. And folks, I loved me some Christmas magic and wonder. I still get that feeling even at the hardened old age of 29 when Christmas season comes again. Even my grandfather's much anticipated annual Christmas visit (I adored that man) was marred because of that tree.
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Mercifully, we never repeated the designer Christmas tree look again. Oh my mother still persisted in using the green and peach stuff, but, over the years those decorations broke, got torn, lost in moving etc. I still to this day will never forget 'The How NOT to Decorate a Christmas Tree Christmas.' Today my tree decorating ritual must include nostalgia, hot chocolate and marshmallows, and sometimes old and loved decorations (the few that I have).
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Not that I have an opinion on the matter or anything. ;-)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Twelve Christmas Memories: Part I

My blog/FB friend Michelle Fabio, from the fabulous blog Bleeding Espresso, inspired me to blog about twelve Christmas memories as she had back in 2007. I don't know if I have twelve worthy of being blogged about, but, as I think my blog needs some life breathed into it (ie: I need to blog more!) I figured what the heck?
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And away we go...
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My earliest Christmas memory is from when I was just four years old. My family lived in Yukon, Oklahoma (home of Garth Brooks for anyone who knows who that is). My father's family lived (and still resides) in California while my mother's was mainly in Oklahoma and Texas. That Christmas we, along with my grandfather Pap who lived in Texas, took to the road and made the nearly two day trek to California. Just one thing, we did it in a bus.
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To this day I hate traveling in buses.
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We made it, more or less intact. I remember being so exhausted and then very overwhelmed by the sheer number of people when we got there. My father has three sisters and another half-sister. Add a spouse and a child or two, my family, and my grandparents, there were more family members there than I had ever seen! I singled out my Aunt S and cousin M as the people to stick to- like glue.
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I don't remember the Christmas presents so much as the activities and misadventures during that time. One night during the mass bathtime, that was neccessary with so many small children running around, being that I was the only female cousin my age I actually attempted to use the toilet in the fashion that my young male relatives, and brother, did. I was not successful and quickly corrected that said technique does NOT work with girl parts. Please keep in mind I had just turned four and I really, really didn't know any better. I remember sleeping in a big room with my cousins and waking up before everyone, seeing one of my aunts, but, my sleepy mind thinking she was a bear walking quietly amongst us. I remember the cats around my grandparents house that was in the woods near Yosemite National Park.
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I think that Christmas will always be about the experience of being somewhere new and being around family that I had never seen in one place. I remember them and all the new and sometimes strange things they did and this big woodsy place in California where we all had gathered. My first Christmas memory, which is appropriate as I love going to new places and being around people gathered together to celebrate and/or just appreciating being around one another. I think that Christmas set a tone that has always been around my whole life.
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What Do You Say?

Today I had to report child abuse to my principal. Obviously, for privacy reasons, I cannot go into any details whatsoever. I can say that I'm very, very shook up by this, as hearing what I did today stirred up many memories of the fear I lived in as a child. It's good to face things for sure, but, wow the pain I felt back then and feel now for that kid is hit me harder than a Mack truck and is surprisingly acute. That said, I'm an adult now, not a scared child and I know how to deal with these emotions. That little one on the other hand, does not have any of those luxeries.
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I don't know what to say really. However, if you're the type that believes in prayers, good thoughts/vibes, and all that please send some that kid's way. They need help and I hope that somehow, someway good things will happen for them soon.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Little Shout Out

To these two gorgeous people.
To this crazy nice guy.

To this precocious and sweet child.

To this amazingly strong young lady.

Four dancers, one teacher. They all went to DC this weekend for the Southern Region Oireachtas (o-rock-tahs, a major Irish dancing competition). Lots of competitors and even more pressure. If you score high enough there not only to you get bragging rights, but, a chance to go to the National competition, even the World stage.
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Every one of these dancers not only did well enough to make it to the third round (roughly half of the competition), but, they all scored high enough to qualify for the National competition to go. I couldn't be prouder of all of them. The young lady broke her elbow two and a half weeks ago and competed in a cast- she's going to Nationals. The crazy sweet guy has had to make major changes in his technique- he's going to Nationals. The precocious, sweet kiddo has learned hard lessons about motivation and worked even harder to improve- she's going. My gorgeous friend has worked her tail off and pushed through many doubts and moved up thirty places from last year- she too is going.
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Then there's my gorgeous teacher who has worked so incredibly hard this year, not only with us dancers, but, also in hopes of passing the difficult TCRG examination.
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Not only did she bring dancers up to be able to go to Nationals, but, also passed the TCRG (only 30% do at a time!). Now we are about to become our own school and we're so excited. So, I had to give a shout out to my friends who have worked incredibly hard and long for this. They are so deserving of a little bit of attention!



Saturday, December 4, 2010

Robitussin and Christmas Movies Help to Make the Season Bright..

I'm sick. Again. lol It's almost ridiculous actually. I think this is the fourth time I've been sick this semester! I knew, going into my new job, that the first year (and even the second) one works at a school they use up all their sick days and then some. I have been told that I will not get sick after this immune 'boot camp'. I know they're right, I do. Just right now, feeling a little pessimistic. ;-)
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I do feel a bit bad about so many posts centered around being sick or having a hard time at work. I promise, my life is not all sickness and hard moments. Things have been great, but, very busy. Irish dance is awesome, though I am working really hard right now (in between illnesses) to improve which of course comes slower than my perfectionist self wants. Then there's Leo who's training is coming along great despite this horrid teenager phase, Louie who is as sweet as ever, Mina who reigns supreme, and the newbie Tibby who is getting ridiculously cuter and sweeter with each passing day. Of course, Jon's still around working and beginning to actually think about fixing up the house to his liking. In between all of that I've been out with friends, had my productive moments, and so on and so forth.
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So you all see, I really do have a life outside of illness and work! lol I think I'm still adjusting to keeping it all in balance and then getting around to post about it. But hey, it'll come with time and more experience right? In the meantime, I'll be thinking happy holiday thoughts via the classics (Rudolph, Charlie Brown, etc), the vacation that's coming up, and thanking the makers of over-the-counter and homeopathic medicines which are keeping me quite mellow and content right now.
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ps- Please don't hold any typos against me. Decongestants make me a bit... foggy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Surely It Gets Better

I seriously believe this is what is in store for me this December
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Just as my body begins to heal from November's 'trauma' December has already handed me some doozies. You remember how I mentioned December at an elementary school means staff and faculty go into survival mode? Yeah, it's true. Soooooo true.
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I won't bore you with the stories of the misbehavior and other issues that came with the first of December. Though, the 2nd grader peeing all over the bathroom wall is a good one. I just felt the need to go 'DEAR GOD HELP!!' on my blog. I hope you all don't mind. I really do love you all and I hope this month won't be full of 'Holy crap, today was....' entries.
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That said, I made NO promises. ;-)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Complicated

Why oh why do things have to be so... ugh... complicated? I'm not talking about the holiday in of itself. In fact, Thanksgiving was great and I was excited that I could eat a meal for the first time since 'the incident'. Then in the middle of the night my Thanksgiving dinner was not settling on my stomach so well. I was up for two hours in stomach pain, then my body decided to hit the eject button. Though I felt a bit better, I could barely eat the next day so I went back to my magic man of a kinesio/chiro to see if I could get any relief.
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He checked me out and sure enough it wasn't just inflammation of my rib cage and abdominal walls I also managed to develop a hiatal hernia (click on the link for all the great details if you want them). In short, part of my stomach decided to take a trip upward into my esophagus. Oh yeah, you know it is as 'fun' as it sounds. Blech.
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So no I wasn't so busy with Thanksgiving I forgot to post, I was in pain and exhausted, and kinda cranky with it all lol. Good news is it's not a serious injury, just an annoyingly uncomfortable one. Add that I have to eat tiny portions, deal with acid reflux, and I have become one not so pleasant person. I haven't had a full meal in over a week. My blood sugars hate me right now.
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Here's to this week... may it be filled with good recovery, larger meals, and kids who won't decide to take their frustrations out on my poor stomach.
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ps- Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving or at least a Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Follow Up

Today, not even a full three months into this job, I had to fill out worker's compensation paperwork. Cuhrazy. After a night of not sleeping well, and continued discomfort and swelling due to the pain in my side thanks to the incident where my stomach was rudely introduced to a student's shoulder I was told to go and tell the principal what happened. My boss is uber cool and was very kind to me about the whole deal. Seriously, I feel bad and kinda embarassed that a second grader managed to do some damage. We talked to the student to explain to how their actions, though not a punch, still caused me pain. The kiddo felt bad and I made sure to point out how we were still friends and that we can move on from here. The child was actually taken home due to their actions. I felt bad, but, I'm hoping this ordeal can be used to help the child. To be honest, I'm not angry because this particular case is heartbreaking and I dearly want that kiddo to get the help they deserve so they'll have a fighting chance at having a decent future.
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Anyways, after that little talk I began filling out paperwork with our health assistant. Upon completion of said paperwork, I had to head to a clinic immediatly ( I did not loose any pay thank goodness) to get checked out, mind you all of this with Leo in tow. I got chest x-rays taken and no surprise there wasn't anything broken (I mean I'm pretty sure the pain would be a bit more intense if it was!). The verdict? My rib cage and abdominal wall have suffered contusions and strains. Just like what my magic of a chiropractor/kinesiologist said! That kid really did hit the sweet spot. So, 'real' medical science has verified I'm going to be uncomfortable for the next few days and to not overdue it as tearing of this area could be bad. Wee haw.
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Well, at least the swelling in my abdomen will likely keep me from overeating Thanksgiving Day! See? There's always a silver lining.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It Was Bound to Happen...

I work in a school with a varied student population. That said, we have some students that resemble the younger, more hopeful, version of the kids in the movie "Dangerous Minds". Sometimes, and I hate to admit this, it's like we're watching ticking timebombs. We hope we can diffuse or at least lessen the severity of the inevitable, but, we accept there is only so much we can do for these kids though we try to help and use every [sometimes limited] resource at hand.
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With that in mind, I knew one day I would end up in an altercation with a child. Today was that day. Back from a two days out due to the stomach flu, I come back ready to go, and I get bodychecked by a student who didn't like my [not really that bad of a] reprimand for pulling another kid's shirt in the cafeteria. This student got up, yelled how he didn't do anything, marched towards me and planted his shoulder square in my stomach. Now mind you he's tiny and there wasn't a lot of force going into this bodycheck. So imagine my surprise when I felt intense burning pain in my stomach that lasted for over six hours straight.
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Welcome back!
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I went to my chiropractor who also deals in kineasology. Apparently, the tiny second grader managed to hit just the right spot bruising my stomach and diaphragm a bit (having a sore stomach from my virus probably didn't help anything there). No real harm done, just some soreness and mild discomfort which will require some ice, deep breathing, and maybe a return visit to make sure everything stays in place.
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To say I'm ready for Thanksgiving break to begin is an understatement lol. And to think, all the teachers have told me it just goes downhill from here as the winter/Christmas break nears. Oh goodie.
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Help?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Adventures In Raising Leo

Don't be fooled, this sweet face can mean trouble.
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After yesterday's blog post I left to Owasso, got lost thanks to road construction, but, made it to my new hairstylist there. Normally, I wouldn't go so far for a simple haircut especially while recovering from a virus, but, my friend and stylist rocks my hair like no other so it's definitely worth any commuter related troubles.
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After my stylist touched up my highlights (yes, I highlight, keeps my hair from going two toned when there's not so much sun outside to lighten my hair's natural highlights) I looked at my phone and saw a call from Jon. Odd. Right as I was about to call him back, he called me. I knew immediately something was up.
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Leo in a fit of boredom and lack of rawhide bones decided to climb into the bathtub and look for something to gnaw on. The object he selected was a razor- one of those cool five bladed ones that shave a man's face really nice. Jon managed to catch him doing this, fished out the bits of blades out of his mouth, BUT, two blades were not accounted for. Merde.
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Several frantic phone calls later, driving back to Tulsa in about 13 minutes (after my hair was finished, at least Leo had good timing), picking up Jon and Mr. Chomps-A-Lot, and driving to the south side of Tulsa in less than 15 minutes, we arrived at the vet clinic where Leo was whisked away to the back right away for x-rays. I told Jon if Leo had to have surgery AGAIN I would lose it. I swear I was suffering a bit of PTSD sitting in the waiting room of the vet clinic wondering if Leo would be OK. I was taken back to June when I waited anxiously at the emergency vet clinic to hear if Leo's leg was ruined forever.
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Fortunately, just like June there was good news. Leo wisely did not swallow the blades. So, no surgery, no recovery period, and no further set backs. Though I am still in the process of forgiving Leo for the minor heart attack I went through, I am beyond relieved that we have once again dodged the worse case scenario bullet.
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Let's just hope we don't have to do any more bullet dodging. Right Leo??

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Le Sigh

My dearest friends, (if you're still out there) I owe you blog posts. Too many to count! I don't know what's been happening lately, but, to say my life has been hectic is a major understatement. Just in one week I've been to Arkansas and back, had a birthday, worked on getting a big present ready for my dance instructor, had a friend get injured, go to the ER, and have surgery (she's fine btw thank goodness), had work, and to top it all off managed to get a stomach virus early Thursday morning that I'm still getting over (today it just feels like I have a yucky cold).
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When did life manage to get so busy?! Hope you all are well!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Things That Make Me Smile

Yummmmm....
Leo (and I's) birthday is five days away, but, as two other Service Dogs in Training have had recent birthdays to celebrate being around for a year Madoc's mamma decided to bake a cake and bring dog goodies to celebrate at today's class. I was so surprised and delighted and more than happy to help eat up that delicious cake. Afterall, it's really not to early to start celebrating is it?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

They Call Me...

Sorry! I promise I didn't forget to name Newbie, just got a wee bit distracted and didn't get around to telling you all. I do have a variety of good excuses I promise! ;-) So without further adieu....
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Drum roll please....
His name is Tybalt!! Most of the time we call him Tibby or Mr Tibbs (in our best Sydney Poitier accent of course!). Jon thought of his name as I wanted a good Shakespearean name that I could also get a cute nickname from. Tybalt was mentioned and Jon's theatre training reminded him that there was a Tybalt character in another play who was known as 'The Prince of Cats'. Perfect.
Tibby, has totally fit in around here. It's almost as if he's been here from the get go. Mina and him play extremely well and while he's still a bit jumpy when the dogs get revved up, he doesn't mind the dogs being near him as long as they're pretty calm. In fact, Louie loves his Tibby especially at night when they both like to get on the bed to sleep. Louie can even groom him a little bit! Soooo cute. Tybalt is a great addition, he's healthy, growing well, and handles most situations with ease. Love, love that I found this little guy and he has become a great member of my little 'family'.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Desperate Times...

I knew it would come, I mean how could it not? Working with small children one is bound to pick up a bug or two. Intitially, I blamed my fatigue and headache on PMS, started taking some evening primrose oil for that I realized I was getting a bug. The sniffles are in full swing and so is my mini-pharmacy of homeopathic and over the counter remedies. I definitely need more sleep, but, I'm thinking I may have caught it in time. Which is good, very, very good.
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That said to clear up the sniffles Jon and I decided on Indian food tonight. And what do you know, the bottle of Ghost Pepper sauce Jon bought on Amazon showed up at his house. Being known for its off the charts capsaicin searing qualities I put two drops of it in my Indian food, hoping that would help clear up my head a bit.
This has warnings on it... seriously
It worked, well I'm afraid. I only put in two drops in it as a little goes a long, LONG way. My lips still feel as if the top layer of skin was chemically 'peeled' off, though... which is an interesting sensation. What can I say? I like the spice and I love to breathe through my nose even more. Though I'm sure the smell of this stuff would make most tear up I can say that the burn didn't bug that much! Which either makes me a mutant, just plain weird, or insane. Or maybe a bit of everything?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Good Intentions

I was going to blog about my Halloween weekend, I was. I had some pictures taken by my phone (as Jon needs his camera at work... darn it... bye bye nice camera for a bit) and some witty commentary all ready to go. What prevented this from happening you wonder? Waking up. Mind you it wasn't a horrible day, it just was... a Monday.
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In short, today I have/did...
Woke up thirty minutes late.
Forgot breakfast.
Forgot my phone at home.
Left various items in classrooms at my job.
Dealt with Leo's butthead/stubborn moments all stinkin' day. I hate [dog] adolescence btw. Hate. It.
Forgot to lock the door to the teacher's bathroom. Guess how I figured that one out?
Did I mention I work with kids while going through all of this?
Came home to hungry and thirsty kitties, one little one so hungry he nearly knocked all of the food over.
Realize the dirty laundry will take over this house if I don't get on top of it NOW.
Manage to not seal a Ziploc bag properly thus causing Amish friendship bread dough to ooze all over the counter, and the floor, and of course on me..
Come to the conclusion that a post about the Halloween weekend was not going to happen, because dang it I wasn't in the mood.
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Hope your Monday much, much better than mine. As for me, I'm going to drink some wine, fold some laundry, and hope that the world will leave me alone tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oktoberfest Part Two

Post Performance Celebrations:

ie How to Enjoy Oktoberfest After You've Sweat Five Pounds Off



What better way to celebrate a fun performance than to get your German on, and drink some beer and have some good times at Oktoberfest. Ok, so I'm not technically German and I wasn't in a dirndl, but, I was in spirit!! Meghan and I felt the need to show our German-ness posing next to the beer stein. It's a bit kitchsy, I know, but, that dude on there is rockin' his leiderhosen like no other. How could we resist?


There are a lot, and I mean a lot of smiles after a performance. Especially, when you get to hang out with your friends to eat, laugh, and celebrate. Susan and Meghan so graciously posed in front of the tent we performed in to show how many good vibes were going on. Oh and yes, beer, there was plenty of beer to help with that; for the adults of course! I know what you all were thinking ;-)


Even the little ones joined in the good mood vibe. That's what I like about Oktoberfest, everyone seems to just be having fun. Sitting down, eating, drinking, watching the entertainment, or in some cases joining the entertainment (ie The Chicken Dance), and just enjoying the atmosphere.


How could I not put this picture up? I ask you... how?!?


The food at Oktoberfest is AWESOME! This strudel is heaven in a box. I never knew heaven came in a box, well other than one that contains decadent chocolate pieces, until Jon and I bought this strudel from one of the vendors. Oh.My.GAWD. It is soooooooooo delicious. The only thing that would be better than this is eating it in Bavaria. But, hey I'll take what I can get.

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I would say my only complaint about Oktoberfest is the fact we only get plastic, disposable, cups to drink our beer from. While we do get to keep the pitchers (sorry, don't know how I missed taking a picture of that- oh wait yes, I do... I was drinking beer from it) I do wish we had the actual mondo steins being carried around by servers like the original Oktoberfest. Because of the puny servings I did have to two fist it at one point.

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Which btw, do you know what kind of looks one gets when one is wearing a private school-esque skirt carrying around beer in each hand?? Too bad I didn't have an extra hand or I would show you what kind of looks you get when you're walking around in that get up beer hand in hand.

Love these people.


"Hey sweetie, what do you think of Oktoberfest?"

"Must have bigger beer containers!"

See even the young ones are on board with me here!

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Ok, ok I kid I kid!! Please no angry emails alright?

Irish dance instructor + Post performance high + Beer = Hilarious modern dance interpertation. I nearly peed my pants I laughed so hard.


You can only imagine the bladder induced stress I had when she struck this pose.

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Really, what more could one ask for? Great times, good laughs, tasty food and drink, wonderful friends, all at a fantastic festival. Now that's a way to spend your time after a performance.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Oktoberfest Part One

The Performance

Tulsa's Oktoberfest is a big deal around this area. It is run by the German American Society of Tulsa (GAST) and is in fact considered one of the best Oktoberfest's in America (somewhere in top 10... something like that). It lasts five days, it is extremely well attended by Tulsans and people from all around, there's loads of entertainment for children and adults, good food, bands and entertainers from Germany, as well as local groups (like my Irish dance school), and from other states. Like I said it is a well-run big deal and I think Tulsans are rather proud of this little fest. Follow the links for ore info about the origins of Oktoberfest via Wikipedia, and the Tulsa Oktoberfest.
Okay so after that little info filled paragraph onto the dancing! Or as I preferred to call it, 'Dear God we have to dance for an hour???' time. We danced in one of the smaller, 'family friendly' tents (yes, I know, but, it is America after all folks). Sunday is a pretty tame, 'low-key' day for the fest, but, still the tent was packed and the same went for most of the other tents I saw.
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GAST took very good care of us and even provided water and beer (woot!) for us! That said, the man in the above picture totally felt me up. Yeah... old man, in German garb, feeling me up pre-performance equals eww, but, it also means I have a funny story.


Jon was kind enough to tag along and take LOADS of pictures. These are some of the good ones of the performance. I will write up another post about the after performance fun. Oh and there was fun, but, I promise not TOO much fun. ;-) So sit back and enjoy the pictures and my random commentary about what we did.


This is why Irish dancers wear bloomers aka kick pants under their skirts. If we didn't have those there would be quite a bit of errrmmm... yeah.
You wanna know what I was saying during this break? 'Omg I am soooooo sweaty- ha! I need a towel!!' I was dripping!! And this was after just one dance. To be fair, it wasn't nearly as bad as the Scottish Games, but, it was hot enough.
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Better than too cold I guess. At least the warmth keeps your muscles warm which does help keep your legs limber. Can you tell I'm trying to keep positive here? Good, just wanted to make sure.

Did I mention I love the fact we have a guy dancing with us now? He's so uber cool, from Canada, and a talented dancer. Guys get some really cool moves in Irish dance. Makes me wanna be a guy sometimes... well, at least when dancing. On top of the cool moves, they don't have to worry about the need for kick pants and tights. Almost makes it worth it right there.

One thing I love about our performance was the diversity in ages and abilities. That little one above is only six years old and she is so talented! She was the youngest and the oldest is over fifty. Very cool and motivating to share a passion for something with so many people from different backgrounds.


Hey look!! My turnout is getting better. Woot, woot!! I've been working hard on the building up my technique. While I certainly didn't dance my absolute best yesterday, I can see signs of improvement in places. Always nice to see some progress!


My instructor K.t and my good friend on stage together. They are extremely talented and downright lovely people. Side note: I want my K.t's legs. They are gorgeous!!

One of our younger dancers injured their toe, but, still wanted to be part of our Oktoberfest performance. So, instead of dancing she played some fiddle music with her sister. SO cute! Even though the sound wasn't always on (there were a lot of sound issues actually) the audience was very generous with their applause. And we dancers were grateful for a bit of a break too! It was a win win for everyone!

There were moments during the performance I got to dance and kinda be in charge of the younger dancers. Go me! You see that look on my face above? Yeah, that's me thinking. I had to call out what to do to the other dancers while dancing!! That was almost too much multi-tasking for my brain, but, hey a challenge is a good thing right? We stayed together really well and that's all that mattered.


The hazards of dancing with little ones though? They forget sometimes! It's cute though and in fact they could probably just stand there on stage and the audience would still eat it up. So while it can be a bit stressful to make sure a kid knows what to do on stage (and worry about them not doing it), it never ends up being a real ordeal as they are cute and up there trying their best. That's what really matters!


This is just a cool pic. That's all I have to say about that!


We ended our performance well despite a mondo big mistake, but, hey when it's onstage it's not a mistake right? So I rolled with it and I don't think the audience could tell anything went wrong. Performances can be hard, especially since we never get enough rehearsal time due to the fact we don't have our own space/studio yet. It takes a lot of focus to remember what is coming up next, it requires telling the younger dancers what's coming up next, etc, etc. However I find dancing up on stage is a good experience for me personally to work on getting over my stage fright and use it as a constructive way to improve my dancing.
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All in all yesterday was fun. Even with little mistakes and issues like the sound cutting out during a dance (and coming back on in the middle of my dancing which was 'fun') I think the crowd enjoyed it and we were happy to have been able to have a bit of fun onstage.




Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tee Hee

Ok so I dance for an hour at Oktoberfest today and it was tiring, hot, and sometimes really long. That said, it was really fun and the good times had after the dancing were fantastic and made the hard work worth it. More to come tomorrow!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Post-Script

I was going to find a picture of a person running with joy out of a building as that is what I felt like when I began my fall break yesterday. As I was searching Google images I remembered what annelise put on her blog the other day, the image above. Then I got to thinking (dangerous sometimes I know)... Despite how I am, at times, overwhelmed at what I see and feel due to my job and everyday life, it's good to be reminded of what I have. To pause, and think, and simply be grateful for all the wonderful things I take for granted sometimes.
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With that in mind, the image above, just seemed like the better picture to post.

Thanks go to Anna Walker who filled me in how to post this image in such a way it all shows up!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Exhale...

Crud, I can't upload some goofy and appropriate picture for how I feel right now. Darn you Blogger and your need to maintain your website!! Okay so onto why I wanna upload some funny picture I would've found on Google: Today at 2:30pm Central time I began my three day fall break (it'll be like a five day weekend with how things lay out). This week, a three day work week essentially, has felt like the longest week I have worked at school since I began my job. I went into this last day of work thinking that it would be a successful day if I and the faculty/staff made it out alive and the kids didn't burn the school down it would be a successful day.
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Thank God, we made it.
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While this week was agonizingly long, the previous two weeks didn't make it any easier. We've had a kid bring a BB gun to school (yeah, don't even get me started on the drama that ordeal entailed), particular students hitting other students and staff on a regular basis, a few getting suspended, a pre-k student, yes I said pre-k meaning the kiddo was no more than 4 years old, was expelled for screaming obscenities to the teacher while wielding a pair of scissors, in-house suspensions, regular fights on the playground, the usual daily quibbles and issues that come up day after day, and so on and so forth. All the teachers, administrators, and staff- all of us have been completely fried. Of course, the students just pick up on the mania and it feeds and continues the craziness. It's a vicious cycle. And I'm breathing a serious sigh of relief knowing it has been broken thanks to the Powers That Be putting in a fall break that I don't get paid for on the schedule.
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At least for now.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Name Game

Too cute for words sometimes.
First off thank you all for the support! Louie is fine, he had some seriously bad bacteria in his GI tract (don't ask what had to be done to find that out), but, we have meds and he's practically back to his old self. Leo doesn't seem to be having any issues, so, knock on wood all is well around here. Phew!
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So here are some recent pics of Newbie, mostly taken from my phone, hence the lower quality. I love, love this stinkin' cute putty cat. However, I cannot for the life of me decide on a name. I was going to go for Gambit, but, when I started calling him that it didn't 'feel' right. I've tried the ones you all suggested, but, again not feelin' it. Sooooooo back to square one I go.
What cat chills out in the waiting room at the vet's office surround by large dogs who are curious about him? Newbie, that's who.
I have issues about making decisions. I will sometimes send a waiter back back two or three times before I decide on something to eat. It's sad actually. Though, I have been lucky with pet names recently... My friend named Mina, Louie came with his name and it fit so nicely I couldn't call him anything else. Leo was named by a foundation who donates money to Therapetics. The last time I had to name a cat it took me four to five names to finally settle on Skittles. She was a good cat... I miss that cat.

Louie loves to play with Newbie. Leo hasn't quite learned to be as gentle as LouLou though. I'm sure he'll figure it out at some point.
Anywho, back to Newbie's 'nameless' status. I think part of the problem is when I was born my parents took two weeks to name me. That's right two weeks. They were arguing about the name order actually, as they settled on two names they liked, but, couldn't agree what order was best. See, they expected me to come out a boy, so they were a wee bit unprepared. Finally they flipped a coin to decide on the order- my mother won. The reason why they resorted to a coin toss was because the hospital called them to let them know if they didn't pick out my name asap my legal name would've become Baby Girl (my last name) on my birth certificate.
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I'm convinced I'm doomed to be indecisive about names thanks to this situation in the very early days of my existence.
Chillaxin' in the back of Jon's Prius. Forgive the mess, we were running a lot of errands that day.
I do not look forward to having to name a baby btw. I mean I can't even figure out a good name for this fantastic kitten. He didn't hiss or yowl in the car or at the vet's, just found places to chill out and purred when he was petted.* Ahmazing. He's playing with Louie and Mina like they've been best buds forever. It's so sad I can't think of a fine name for such a great kitten. Oh and Jon's no help at all, as he 'doesn't really care' what I name him. Gee honey, thanks.
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*sigh* This may take awhile.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Overload

My gawd, it has been ten days since my last post! Egads (I've always wanted to use that word in a blog post) that's too long. I'm sorry my awesome blog friends I promise I haven't forgotten you. I also promise that there has been MORE than enough stories for me to blog about. So what's my deal you ask? Exhaustion. Pure and simple
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I don't know how children manage to collectively go nuts, but, they do it and at my school they do it with a dash extra crazy topped with loony. Yes, I realize they all mean virtually the same thing, but, that is the best description my fried brain can conjure up right now. Last night I went to bed around 9pm. The extra sleep did me a world of good as today I've had one child throw a fit for a solid twenty minutes during lunch, I had to break up two near fights in another class, watch another employee show off a students teeth marks on his arm, and at the end of the day I discover that my friend and co-worker has to have a brain scan to rule out an aneurysm. To top it all off Leo was hyper and Louie's having explosive diarrhea all over the house and I must get him to the vet pronto. Oh not to mention there's the concern that what Louie has Leo may get so I gotta keep an eye on both of them and keep Therapetics informed of what my vet says Louie has.
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Aren't you jealous?
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That's just today people and there's still over eight hours left until the end. And just to let you know today is a pretty good example of what's been going on since last week. One thing after another. It's just nuts and I'm very run down by it all.
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So, I have to miss Leo's training, but, I'm hoping to get my dance class in as I just need something to take my mind off of all this craziness. In exactly one week I'll get to be on fall break and I'm hoping to recoop some of my energy and sanity for that matter.
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In the meanwhile, I'm working to get back into the blogging groove. I have pictures of the new kitten (yes, I kept him), Leo at the fair (no mullet pics though boo!!), stories about this that and the other all ready to be posted. Just bare with me, I'm getting there!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Little Surprises

You see this guy? Yup, that's a kitten. And yup, he's sitting in the little kitty cube of fun that I own. So, yup, SURPRISE! I've adopted a kitten. I found him Saturday night. He was outside a friends basement apartment and didn't run when I picked him up. In fact, he purred. And it was pretty much all over at that point. My friend thought there was a chance that a neighbor was taking care of him (along with a gob of other neighborhood outdoor cat), but, I couldn't just throw him outside and check in the morning if he'd back. I took him home and my friend hasn't informed me that he belongs to someone else.
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So, as I said, it seems I've adopted a kitten, or him me... you never know with cats. ;-) He's adorable, sweet, loving, low key for a kitten, is already beginning to tolerate the dogs and knows to leave my cat Mina alone until she's full accepted his presence (she'll get over it soon enough). He perches on shoulders, curls up by my face when I'm in bed, give kisses, and purrs every time I approach. I've already made an appointment with my vet and Jon is already talking baby talk to him. I guess he's staying put! I know I can deal with it, but, I've been wanting another cat for a bit now so... kinda biased.
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The only problem is a name... what should he be named? Right now he's 'Little Guy' and that just doesn't roll off of the tongue nicely does it?
Thoughts? What does this name should this cute, loving, sweet face be called?


Saturday, October 2, 2010

R&R??

Remember when you were younger, and when it was Saturday came around all you had to worry about was the what television programs to watch and/or where you were going to hang out with your friends? I know I do, though it seems like eons ago. Now that I'm working more my Saturdays have transformed into days where I am excited, yes excited, to clean house and get things in order. I have developed some kind of weird neurosis about having the house cleaned up before Monday.
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However, the past two weeks I haven't felt well at all thanks to the outrageous levels of ragweed and other allergens in there air. No kidding folks, it has been BAD. My roomie had to go to four pharmacies to find Zyrtec as so many people are desperate for relief that the stores can't keep that product stocked. Even Jon started suffering symptoms and the beginning of an infection and he rarely gets so much as the sniffles because of the pollen count. Anywho, thanks to constricted airways and a puffy face I wasn't exactly feeling up to cleaning. Now things got done here and there to keep the house from completely going to pot, but, it just hasn't been in any kind of order as I and Jon and my roomie have all felt lethargic and ill.
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Well thanks to better living through chemistry (ie antibiotics, Zyrtec D, and steroids) I'm feeling my more alive and motivated to get things done. Today my Saturday will not be spent laying on the couch, it will be spent getting this place cleaned up and even some practicing in. I'm actually very anxious to get through it all. Is that sad?
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And in the spirit of full disclosure here I will show you all what I am up against. Brace yourself folks. Please don't judge me and this house of yucky. If you are sensitive to pictures of what messiness looks like please look away now and do not return to this post. Okay you all have been warned!
Exhibit A: The laundry. Keep in mind this is before sorting and before all the laundry was moved to the basement to get washed. Laundry is one of those things that will never, ever end and I've come to accept it- to a degree. I still LOATH folding laundry though... that may never go away and I may have to come to accept it too. It a process I'm working through. They need a 12 step program for laundry I think... would help some of us out there.
Can you guess what clothing items are clean and which ones are dirty on the washer and dryer? I can't. Seriously, I have no clue on that one. If you have any thoughts do share!

Exhibit B: The Kitchen. This will be Jon's project for today. Lucky him!! I am really spoiled though. Jon cooks most of the meals and cleans up the kitchen. Though, he can take awhile to get to the dishes. It drives me nuts!! He has gotten better about it so I can't complain too much. Oh and before you click on this picture (I don't recommend it though) do know that all those black specs around the sink are coffee grinds. We won't go into the incident that caused them to be everywhere. Just understand that there is a legit reason for it and that is not little mold spores you're looking at.

Exhibit C: The Floors and The Dogs. My boys, ohhh how I love my doggy boys. They are so sweet, fun to be around, cute, loving, etc, etc. They are also the main culprits in creating a never ending trail of fur and destruction of toilet paper and toy remains on the floor (see picture below). I used to vacuum more than once a week, then I got a bit lazy these past couple of weeks and boy was the floor showing signs of neglect! Absolutely disgraceful, no excuse really. Cleaning the floor will be a major part of today.

Why did SpongeBob deserve to die?? SpongeBob lovers, I apologize for the graphic display of his tattered corpse. But scenes such as this (fur balls, toilet paper, shredded toys) are all too common around here. It's almost like the laundry in that fur balls are almost always on the floor. It's almost enough to make me give up keeping up with it, but, since my slight tendency towards OCD cannot tolerate looking at dust and fuzz tumbleweed I will take care of it! Just waiting for the medicine to open up my air passages for me to fully commit to cleaning and breathing while cleaning. It's the little things.

Well, at least some of us around here will get to lay around. Hope you all are having or had (for my friends in Oz and Asia) a Happy Saturday! I know mine will be happy once all this is DONE!