Sunday, May 30, 2010

Moving Out, Moving In, and Other Matters (Warning- this post's a doozy!)

Oh Google Images, you've done it again!
My blogging absence has been due to a massive influx of insanity. One part of this insanity is from yesterday when my roomie and I moved out of our cute bungalow midtown home into a slightly time-specific (think 70s) duplex in an even better midtown neighborhood. Why did we move you ask? Well.... naturally, there's a bit of a story behind that.
Our little bungalow home, while cute, and colorful, has a multitude of issues that took us to a breaking point. Well, to be fair, my roomie hit the breaking point more than me as I took refuge at Jon's nicer house. We always knew our house was leaky, but, when we discovered that the air ducts from the heating and air unit are leaking and providing heat and air in the attic; and the wood rot is so bad on some windows one can push a finger through it (plus the lack of proper insulation in the walls, attic, and the crawlspace being open) we had an explaination to our abnormally high gas and electric bills.
Then there was the smell and the sound of rats. This problem took us months to get our landlord to address as he kept insisting it was a 'mouse' problem and we just needed to spray. The oven since roughly November has smelled of burnt urine everytime we turned it on. Yes, that is as nasty and gross as it sounds. Later even turning the stovetop on to boil water would cause a foul smell. We mentioned this to our landlord in December, to which he said he'd replace it. Yeah, that hasn't happened. Don't even get me started on how bad things got, but, an exterminator was finally hired and confirmed we had rats. In fact, he said he could smell the urine as soon as he walked intp our house (can you blame me for being at Jon's?). So traps were laid, an attic door finally fixed (you don't want me to go into that whole expedition- you really don't), but, then came the smell of rotting dead rats and flies, and the monthly inspections we have to take time out on our schedule to take care of.
Yeah, we were ready to move. It's a big, big shame such an adorable house has been cheaply maintained! A bit of a remodel and some upgrading to make it more insulated would go a LONG way. Ugh. So there you go, we found a nice little, though slightly dated, duplex for about the same price with a landlord who has proved to be really responsive and helpful. On top of that, the previous tenants showed us their monthly bills. Let's just say we'll be saving money. I nearly fell over when I saw the electric in the summer!
I promise pictures to come soon. It's mass chaos over there. At least we had tons of guys to help make the move as smooth as possible. Yay for friends! Now onto the next bit of nasty business I've been dealing with....

Thanks to the cool artist who put this on and allowed Google to find it.
Work. In the past three weeks work has becoming nuts, even brinking on insanity. Last week I was so frustrated and upset at the various situations I was shaking!
Okay I should back up and explain huh? Keep in mind, I LOVE my job. I don't get paid a lot, but, I get friendly co-workers, understanding bosses, lots of flexibility in my schedule, and of course the joy of teaching kids music in turn for a modest salary. So the week before, while I was battling my infection, imgaine my surprise when I recieved an email stating, "As per your contract with MSPA you are required to work at the summer camps we are putting on". No one asked, no one talked to me, nada- just came out of the blue really. Huh???
First off I never signed a contract. I know, I know I should've and I realize that now. We're such a small business I think some of those more technical/legal ends sometimes get overlooked. Still, I don't recall being told I would be required to work at these camps. Which, okay, I did offer to help at some if I needed to- but did I get assigned one camp? Oh no... no no that would be civilized. I have to be at three camps. Each is a week long. Back to back. Two weeks I work 8:30am-12pm roughly. Not too bad, but, it will be tiring especially since my private lesson load is remaining the same! The other camp is from 8:30am til whenever I need off to go teach. So some days I'm going to start the day with 10-30 kids to herd and teach, then going straight to private lessons which sometimes end around 6pm.
Let's not even start into how I'll manage all of that, plus Leo's training, plus dance stuff. I'm going to be dancing at OK Mozart in the midst of all of this for pete's sake! On top of all of this there are my usual duties assisting my bosses and keeping things afloat at the studio. I don't know how this will happen. Just the thought of juggling it all and my blood pressure goes up. No joke.
That leads me to the next part of work related stress. Communications have all but broken down it seems. We rely a ton on email to communicate at my job, plus, weekly meetings with my boss so we're on the same page on a lot of things. The past three weekly meetings have been canceled for one reason or another. The emails have become inconsistent with my boss as well.
Except to tell me what I have to do. Oh a list I was given either from an email or through another person. Last week I was in charge of basically hiring a new piano teacher, her paperwork and getting it to the proper people, calling new students, trying to get teacher's summer schedules straight, labeling envelopes, etc etc. I also ended up making decisions that are out of my realm, but, only because teachers were left without answers and as I knew some thoughts of my boss on these matters I went ahead and made the call.
So I am extremely frustrated and stressed out. I feel completly walked over. I've tried to line up meeting with my boss to discuss the camps and the conflicts and issues it will probably cause for me, but, as you probably guessed, no dice. I am thinking that that a lot of personal stuff in her life has come up, as well as, concerns about saving money this summer have led to these decisions and the breakdown in communications. However, I would just like to talk things out, feel like someone who has value in our workplace- not just someone who will do it because I can.
Or maybe I should talk to another boss? I dunno. I'm rather lost how to approach this situation. However, I'm getting the shaft, especially with an added 20+ hours onto my workload for three weeks, with private lessons thrown in the mix! Sorry to unload, it's probably rather confusing. I have barely been able to keep track of things to be honest!
I am trying to make it work, but, I don't know how. I really would like to keep my sanity through June! It's a thing.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hang In There!

My dear awesome blog friends, I am sorry I have neglected you!! Turns out May decided to be a crazy month and throw up all sorts of work and personal situations. I am surrounded by stuff to do and I literally feel like I'm losing at an epic game of whack-a-mole. Please hang in there with me and I will try to get back to a more regular blogging schedule. I miss you all!
Lots o' luv,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

First Time For Everything Right?

Thank you Google Images for finding the perfect image for me
I got sick... again. Most of the bugs I've caught this year haven't been too severe and fortunatly they have been brief. But when I woke up this morning after a rough night of coughing, runny nose, headache (all this after taking an army's worth of otc meds) I knew I probably have a sinus infection and I had to get it taken care of before I ended up with bronchitis.
I went to the nearby Urgent Care. Yes, I know, but, when you don't have insurance and the ER costs an arm and a leg you have very limited choices. Besides paying upfront gets me 35% off the total cost, so, it's not too bad. Though to be truthful I am nearly 200 bucks poorer and that's getting the cheap drugs and the discount folks! God bless our wonderful health care system that I can't afford. Okay, okay 'nuff with the mini-rant. When the doc saw me and agreed I had a nasty lil' sinus infection on top of severe swelling in my respitory passages thanks to allergies. I like it when I'm right.
Sooooooo, on top of the usual script for an anti-biotic, I also recieved scripts for a nasal steriod spray and prescription strength allergy meds AND! a steriod shot in the keester. My first ever! (okay since I can remember and I can remember things from when I was 3 yrs) The nurse said I was 'a champ' when she administered the shot. So go me!
Alrighty, drugs in hand, lots of homeopathic immune help, and steriods... Should be good here soon.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Something Interesting...

Before I left for Tejas, I recieved an email that caught me off gaurd. Here's what it said:
I work for the company that is producing Mutual of Omaha’s “proud sponsor of life’s aha moments” campaign– visit to see what an aha moment is and the great real stories we filmed during the campaign in 2009. Associated to that, we have a 34-foot Airstream mobile film studio that is traveling the US on a 25-city tour to capture the country’s aha moments. We are headed to Tulsa on Monday, May 17th & Tuesday, May 18th, and would love to invite you to share a defining moment in your life – large or small. I came across your blog and think you would have a great story to share! You would just have to step into the Airstream studio for a few minutes and tell your story on film, which would be posted to We would love to have you if you are interested! We will be parked at Hotel Ambassador (1324 S. Main St.) on Monday, May 17th (11am to 7pm) and Tuesday, May 18th (11am to 7pm).Let me know as soon as possible and I can reserve some time for you, thanks!"
I haven't email them back and I'm pretty sure I won't. I don't know exactly why, but, I don't think my 'aha' moment is something I'm ready to share with people I don't know. Maybe, one day I will share it and perhaps I'll find a way to get it out there. I don't want my aha moment to be amongst others then to be promoted in a way that benefits a company. I have nothing against them, mind you, I just don't think it's the right way to get what I've experienced out there.
I do want to share with you though one of the biggest 'aha' moments in my life. Guess you could say the email did at least inspire me to do some deep thinking. I used to have a morbid, irrational, fear of failure. So bad that sometimes I wouldn't try my best at something just because I was afraid I would screw it up. When I was in college still trying to get my eating disorder and other related issues under control I left my family and dysfunctional, unhealthy life in order to gain control of my life, get it together, and start living. Unfortunatly, all those tumultuous events coupled my fear of failure led me down a path of academic irresponsibility. Without going into a lengthy drawn out story, I was very close to failing out of college.
Then something occured to me at the end of the academic year in 2006. A couple of situations came up and the proverbial lightbulb came on. I didn't have to be defined by my F's in school. I didn't have to live running away from trying my best. Working hard, putting in the effort (even if it wasn't my best in the moment), and doing everything I could to be successful would ultimately lead me to a better life and being a better person. Even if I fell flat on my face in the effort, I could get back up, and try again learning from what happened.
I got it. And so, I retook classes to get my gpa back up, and have sinced worked to do my best at all I try. I have always wanted to do my best, but, the with the fear of failure looming over me I was never able to access how to get to my best. When I falter, I learn, dust myself off, and try again. I am still a classic perfectionist and that will never go away. However, I don't have to run any more, I can face life and each challenge knowing that no matter what happens I will come out a better person for that experience.
Just my humble two cents in a little life lesson.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

And Back

So happy to be back! Missed my boys and my everyday routine. Though, don't get me wrong, getting out of the everyday was needed! I am too tired to type much up. Jon and I had a fantastic time in the Dallas area with our friends. I have plenty of pictures and stories to share. I will get caught up soon.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy 1/2 Birthday to My Beastie Boy

From this little chunk of cute puppiness...

To this big handsome guy (who has yet to grow into those paws)...

I'm heading out of town this weekend, so, I wanted to make sure I gave a good blog shot out to Leo who turns six months this Sunday. I can't believe I've had him for four months now, seems so much longer! I will miss him (and Louie and Mina of course!) this weekend, but, he's going to great puppy sitters and should get some great experiences with them.
Here's to Leo! Happy Birthday to my big, loveable, sweet lab puppy! Here's to many more months and all that wonderful love you will someday give to someone who will need you!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


10 years. I have waited and hoped and dreamed for good fromage blanc to come to Tulsa for 10 years. The last time I delighted in the creamy nuttiness of fromage blanc was, of course, in France. Being in Tulsa can have it's disadvantages and one of those, for me, was the fact I couldn't find fromage blanc in any of the speciality stores. Finally Whole Foods decided to start carrying it. First it was a California company which was so-so. Had the taste, but, didn't have the texture at all. No where close. I was disappointed, though I tried to like and enjoy it. Then they started carrying Vermont Butter & Cheese's version and it is nearly exactly how I remembered it. Add a bit of honey or sugar and I go to a rather creamy happy place.
It may sound dorky, but, I am really, really excited this stuff is in T-Town.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Five Seconds of Fame?

As some of you may or may not know, Therapetics was filmed for a possible segment on Extreme Home Makeover when they were in Tulsa. The episode aired last night and much to our disappointment the segment wasn't in the episode at all. However, the service dog who will become the young boy's partner was shown and that is very important and I'm glad they showed that!
When I got an email from my puppy raiser group saying they had a bonus clip on Extreme Home Makeover's website I took a gander. What do you know, Leo and I are in the background a LOT!! Here's the little clip where they show off some of Therapetics 'pros', the would be service partner for the young boy, and me flailing about in the background (I'm in the grey and Leo's climbing stairs).
So can I brag that Leo and I had five seconds of fame? I mean we weren't on tv, but, we're on a website ... ;-)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Because We All Need More Cute Dog Pictures...

At the end of a much needed lazy Saturday the dogs decided to pay far too much attention to Jon. With their tongues. Like the good girlfriend that I am, I took grabbed the camera and took advantage of his plight.

Look at Lou. Oh you know, Louie knows exactly what he's doing. Can you tell? At least Leo is young and doesn't know better. What a poor example Louie is setting here. Speaking of Leo- do you see how big he is. The growing will just not let up! Imagine that much puppy on top of you/in your face/good morning wake up call. Let me tell ya it is as much 'fun', and as heavy, as it sounds.

Don't ask me what kind of noise I had to make to get Louie's head to move that way. It's better to remain in ignorance and soak up some serious doggy cuteness. Not sure if Jon appreciates it though- he has some not so happy looks aimed at me right now. lol Meh, doggy cuteness trump boyfriend crankiness anytime, right?

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Week In Review

This Week I Have:
- Helped to manage a successful recital for the studio I work for. My students were awesome, btw, I was a proud piano teacher.
-Recieved a blog award (which I need to spread the love-promise I will get to that)
-Gained three new followers! Hi guys! Welcome!!
-Danced on and off for four hours Tuesday
-Nearly sprained my ankle
-Popped a bone out of place* after nearly spraining my ankle.
-Despite that jumped higher than I ever thought possible!
-Danced Wednesday in spite of the pain in my foot- *sidenote, learned about the bone 'misalignment' two days later.
-Started and finished or nearly finished a ton of projects at work.
-Picked up a virus along the way.
-Had a successful training class with Leo!
-Cleaned the house- yes while still sick, but, hey it had to be done.
-Ohhh... aannnnndddd signed a lease to a new home. Yes, that's right, my roommate and I are moving out of our cute bungalow house. And yes, you're right, I totally owe you a story about that! I promise it's a good one.
Yes, I have gone through all of this and NOT blogged about anything! Nothing other than a quick mention about Leo's progress. I am a sad excuse for a blogger! I apologize over and over and over and over again. Do know that I love you all and I want to share all that has gone on. I miss bloggin' and hope you have missed me a bit too.
Be back uber soon! Garunteed!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How's Leo Doing?

When my awesome Aussie living expat bloggin' friend Jessica posted a documentation of her trip to a Service Dog Organization in WA I realized that I haven't given you all a Leo update in forever! Please accept my sincerest apologies!
So how's Leo doing? Big for one! When the above picture was taken he was nearly five months old. At that point, he was 53 pounds!! Yes, he's bigger now (weight unknown, but, I'm sure we're near the 60 lbs. mark) and shows no signs of stopping. With said continual growth spurt comes puppy testoterone. Oh yes ladies and gents Leo's starting to be reminiscent of a pre-teen boy; headstrong and all over the place. Last week I felt as if he was in a constant 'butthead' state, as I like to call it. He whined when laying down at work, looked at me as if I was stupid when I gave a command, would play exceptionally rough, chewing on anything and everything (Nair for example) and so on and so forth.
Weeks like last week are tough for anyone who has a puppy who hits the 'butthead' phase of development. I think there was added frustration for me with Leo because when he gets all stubborn I worry he won't make a good service dog! However, I have to remind myself that many, if not all, puppy raisers go through struggles and phases with their would be service dogs. So, last week I gave Leo and me plenty of time outs and tried oh so hard to be patient!
To be honest, I don't know if we're free and clear of the 'butthead' phase, but, this week has been MUCH better. In fact, this very morning Leo opened and closed the refridgerator door three times! I was so thrilled with him! Every bit of praise I gave Leo made Leo so happy he nearly knocked himself over. Labs have these tails that are strong- I mean really strong here people- when that thing wags you have to keep your drinks and valuables away! So you can imagine happy tail equaled puppy hips going all directions. He was very happy too!
So in short Leo's big, Leo's still quite the puppy, and his training is coming along. He may not be doing everything I ask, but, we are definitely having some wonderful 'Ah ha!' moments. I think with lots of love and patience we might just get there.
ps- Stay tuned for another post about who I've picked for a blog award I recieved for the vivacious and awesome Sara Louise over at her blog! A big Merci to Sara Louise for this kind reward. And a big thank you to all who stop by my little corner of blogland!