Monthly Archives: March 2006

Time Marches On

Last night after work, Hubby and I were in the backyard playing in the snow with Blacky and Luci and I noticed that Luci seems to be all legs.  They were chasing each other through the snow and it seems like she’s almost as tall as Blacky these days.  Geeze, I remember when we first brought her home she had these huge paws and we wondered how big she was going to be if she had paws that size at 8 weeks.  Now we’re wondering how big she is going to be with legs that long.  I know that puppies grow and that they don’t stay little for long, but, yikes, this is happening way too fast for me. 


Then I realized that Blacky’s 7th birthday is April 1 and I couldn’t believe that he’s going to be considered a senior dog.  How can that be?  He still loves to run up and down the length of the yard for the pure joy of running and he loves chasing Luci around the yard.  I took a good look at Blacky last night and realized that he has gray hair around his mouth.  Yikes, he is getting old.  When did that happen?! 


But the thing that really got me to thinking is that I recently discovered a radio station that plays "oldies" and they are playing DISCO . . . which was popular when I was in high school.  I haven’t quite figured out if I’m sad that disco is coming back as nostalgia music or if I’m sad that I enjoy listening to that particular station.  


So then I started thinking about some other things . . .

  • I’m going to my 25 year high school reunion this summer.
  • Hubby and I started dating 24 years ago.
  • Hubby and I will celebrate our 22nd anniversary on April 2. 
  • Smokie (my cat) is going to be 16 years old in May.
  • We’ve been in our house for 16 years this fall.
  • Jr. (my stepson) is 33 and T (my stepdaughter) is 32 (aarrgghhh!)
  • My oldest grandson is 15 and my youngest granddaughter is 10.
  • My oldest sister passed away 9 years ago. 
  • My father-in-law passed away 5 years ago. 

Okay, now, I don’t feel like it’s been 25 years since I graduated from high school.  I can’t believe that I’ve actually been married to the same man for 22 years.  Or that the kids and grandkids are as old as they are.  When did all this happen?  I don’t remember becoming a responsible adult. 


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Weather Fibbers

Since Sunday afternoon the weather geeks have been predicting a big snow storm.  Heavy snow advisory with accumulations of 4 to 6 inches of snow.  Sent everyone into a panic and had the stores packed last night.  Yes, I was in the stores, too, but I needed dog food for Blacky.  I can honestly say I bought just what I needed and I left.  Too many crazies out on the road.


Anyway, I got up with Luci at 4:00 this morning and there was no snow, no sleet, nothing!  Well, darn!  The snow was supposed to start at midnight.  Told Luci that if we went back to bed, maybe there would be snow when we got up at 5:30.  Nope, still no snow and they downgraded the accumulation to 1 to 3 inches.  Well, double darn.  No snow day for Mommy.  Guess I better go to work. 


The snow finally hit . . . when I was a little more than halfway to work.  (I have a 45 minute commute to work every day.)  Roads got slick fast and the salt trucks/snow plows hadn’t been out yet.  And I’m driving Hubby’s precious F150 truck – which is not a 4 wheel drive.  Figured it would be better to brave it into work and then wait for the salt trucks/snow plows to clear stuff off.  Maybe I’d leave early if it was still snowing this afternoon.  I white knuckled it all the way into work and was never so glad to see the parking garage in my whole life. 


The snow stopped about 11 a.m.  Now it’s just slush.  They just issued another snow advisory.  Sorry, guys, I’m not going to believe you until I see the snow falling again.  All I ask is that it please start snowing after I get home from work today.  I don’t know if either Hubby or I can stand the strain of me driving the truck in the snow. 


I really miss my Contour.  I know I was safe driving in the snow in that car.  It had front wheel drive and would trudge through any kind of snowstorm.  I just hope the Focus realizes the big shoes (tires?) it has to fill when it comes to driving in the snow. 


Well, back to checking out the latest weather and traffic reports.

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It Must Be Monday

Had to take the doggy mobile to the dealer today.  Took it to Mom and Dad’s yesterday for Little Sister’s birthday party and Hubby heard a noise.  A growling noise on the right front of the car.  Said it sounded like a hub bearing or a brake caliper that was stuck.  We got it back home, Hubby took a quick peek and said that it smelled like the brakes were getting hot.  Great.  Just made the second payment on it and there’s already something wrong.  Luckily we still have about 6 months left on the factory warranty so whatever it is should be covered by the warranty. 


Hubby drove the car to the Ford dealership because I’m a nervous wreck driving a car when I know there is something wrong with it.  I drove Hubby’s F150.  I adjusted the seat for my short little legs.  I forgot to move the seat back when I got out.  Hubby cracked his knee like he always does when I forget to move the seat.  It wasn’t a pleasant drive home.  I promised to ALWAYS remember to move the seat back when I get out of the truck. 


Had to drive the F150 to work.  Not a bad deal except for the parking garage.  I don’t like parking garages and I don’t like parking the F150 in tight spaces.  Luckily, I talked one of the parking garage guys to park the truck for me.  


We’re supposed to get some serious snow/ice/sleet stuff here tonight starting at midnight.  I have to stop at Wal-Mart and the grocery store on the way home tonight to get dog food and some other snow day supplies.  They’ve been talking about this storm since last night, so I bet there won’t be much stuff left to get by the time I get off work.


The good news is that Luci is starting to sleep through the night.  I didn’t have to get up with her at all over the weekend – even when the ambulance went screaming down our street at 3 a.m. Saturday morning.  It woke her up, but she went right back to sleep without having to get up.  However, she did want to get up for the day at 7 a.m. yesterday because she could hear the birds singing.  I couldn’t blame the little girl for that so we got up and she was outside terrorizing the birds and generally running amok by 7:15.  I put on some water for tea and read my paper.  She would come in long enough to eat, get a drink of water, make sure we were still there, and grab a toy to take outside. 


Just got an update on the doggy mobile.  Hubby’s first thought was right.  It was the brake caliper sticking.  They’re going to replace it, the right front rotor, and the brake pads.  And it’s all covered under the warranty.  Yippee.  Thank heavens for a warranty.  I probably won’t get the car back until Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, but at least it’s not going to cost me anything. 


On that happy note, I’ll get back to work.  But first, I need chocolate!!   

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Saturday Morning

What a week.  The first week I’ve worked all five days in a while.  Let me tell you, by yesterday I was really dragging.  
We’ve been letting Luci sleep upstairs on her little doggie bed this past week.  I’m giving Hubby’s idea a try . . .and it’s not been good so far.  No, she’s not using the potty in the bedroom – she’s getting up after about 4 hours of sleep thinking that it’s time to play.  The really funny part is that she goes to Hubby’s side of the bed to see what he’s doing so it’s not like he’s sleeping through the night, either.  I hear her tail banging against the wall and hear him talking to her, so I get up and take her outside.  She’s very good about doing her business, coming back in, and then going back to sleep.  The whole event takes less than 10 minutes, and I don’t have any trouble going back to sleep myself, so I shouldn’t complain.  She’s going to outgrow it and she won’t be a puppy much longer.  I guess I should just enjoy it while I can.  
Today is my little sister’s birthday.  L is 20 months younger than me and we fought like cats and dogs when we were growing up.  We shared a room, we shared clothes, we even had the same haircut when we were in elementary school.  She is a very tidy person and I’m not so tidy and she was always upset with me about the mess in our room.  At one point, my mom put a piece of masking tape down the middle of the room to make each of us our own side.  Just like on The Brady Bunch.  Bad thing was, my side had the door and her side had the closet.  We realized that we had to compromise in order to live in that room.  We get along great now.  She lives in the little town I grew up in about 20 minutes away from me.  I see her alot, but not as much as I’d like.
Not much on the schedule today.  Have to buy a birthday present for L and for my sister-in-law R.  They have birthdays within a week of each other and we’re having the family birthday party for them tomorrow at my Mom and Dad’s house.  That’s always big fun.  Eat lots of food, eat cake and ice cream, and visit with the family.
Also have to get doggie food and some other stuff at Wal-Mart.  And get lunch for Hubby and the guys he works with.  Hubby can’t get out for lunch so I volunteer to get lunch for him and the other guys on Saturday.  No big deal since I’m usually out doing errands anyway.
Time to get moving . . . 

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Joyful Things

My mood is better today.  After my pity party yesterday, I realized that I can’t make T do anything and that she’s going to make whatever decisions she wants about her life.  She’s 32 years old and has that right.  I have to respect that, even if it’s painful for me to watch.  


So, I decided to look for things to brighten my day.  Here’s what I found:


The sun was shining on my way home.  It was chilly, but it wasn’t nice to feel the sun on my face as I walked to the parking garage.


I passed by a local high school on my drive home and happened to see a little league team practicing.  It seemed odd to see the little kids playing baseball in their winter coats, but it sure was cute.  That put a big smile on my face. 


Luci and Blacky were happy to see me when I got home.  After they did their potty business, they both ran up to me and gave me puppy kisses.  Nothing better in the world after a long day at work than puppy kisses. 


Played fetch with Luci and Blacky.  Luci chased the balls and Blacky watched me throw them.  Every now and then he’d take one away from Luci and run away from her with it.  His version of "keep away" I would suppose.  Then the neighborhood cat came into the yard and Luci lost all interest in fetch.


Cooked hamburgers and French fries for supper.  Not on the grill – once the sun went down, it just didn’t seem warm enough for me to be cooking on the grill.  Tried to talk Hubby into cooking them on the grill and he said he doesn’t  cook on the grill until it’s at least 60 degrees.  Big, home cooked hamburgers and a big bunch of fries.  Comfort food that doesn’t take a long time to cook.  


When it was time for bed, I put on my just-out-of-the-dryer warm jammies and got into a nice warm bed (thank heavens for heated mattress pads!).  I lay there for a little bit listening to Hubby and Luci snoring before I fell asleep.  


I was in a much better mood by the end of the day and I woke up this morning with a completely better attitude.  Even if Luci did wake up 30 minutes before the alarm went off thinking it was time to play. . . . and Blacky decided he wanted breakfast.  To see those two beautiful faces looking at you first thing in the morning – how can you be upset about that? 


The sun is shining again, the birds are singing, and spring is around the corner.  My mood is better and I’m going to have to work at it to make sure that it stays that way. 

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My Two Legged Kids

It’s a beautiful day – the sun is shining, the spring flowers are trying to bloom, but today I’m in a "mood" about one of my two-legged kids – the stepkids.  I’ve been a part of their lives since they were 8 and 10 years old.  During their growing up years, we had the usual "evil step-monster" relationship, but things have gotten better as they’ve gotten older.  They’ve told me at times that I’m as much a Mom to them as their real mom.  I know that I’ll never take the place of their Mom, nor do I want to, but it’s nice to know they think of me that way.  I think of them as "my kids" and I love them with all my heart. 


Anyway, the mood I’m in today is because of T – the daughter.  To borrow a phrase from Dr. Phil, she’s running her life into the ditch and all we (her family) can do is  wait for the train to wreck so that we can be there to help her pick up the pieces of her life.  It’s very painful to watch someone you love – especially your child – make decisions about their life and the life of their children that you don’t agree with or decisions that you know are wrong or just plain stupid.  It’s especially painful because she has three kids that are having to pay for the stupid/wrong decisions that she’s making.


I’m sad because I can see the havoc that she’s bringing to her own life, the lives of her kids, and the life of The Ex.  I’m dumbfounded that this intelligent 34 year old woman can’t see the mess she’s making of her life.  I’m angry that we have to keep going through this drama all the time.  I’m worried about how all this is going to affect the grandkids as they grow up.  As surprising as it might sound, I’m worried about the toll that this is taking on The Ex.  Hubby and I and Jr. live over 300 miles away so we don’t see the day to day drama, but we’re aware of the situation and The Ex gives us updates from time to time.  T lets on that everything is fine and doesn’t tell us anything that’s going on until there is major drama.  The Ex lives in the same city as T and has a daily dose of the "continuing saga" that has become T’s life.  To be fair to The Ex, she has done everything in her power to get help for T, to get information about available resources for T, and to just generally be there any time and every time T and the kids have asked for her help.  Sometimes T is appreciative, sometimes T thinks that The Ex is a pain in the butt and should leave her alone.  In defense of The Ex, she’s just being Mom and trying to protect her child – even if the child is self-destructing. 


So, I’m trying to find joy in the other parts of my life.  Like I said, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the flowers are trying to bloom.  When I get home, I’ll have two doggies and a Hubby to give me love and affection. I might even fire up the gas grill and have the first burgers of the season.  Maybe that will help brighten my mood. 


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Thunderstorms, Mud Puddles, and Sleeping Through The Night

I’ve discovered that one of the joys of raising a puppy is experiencing all the "first" things with them.  First snowfall, first bath, first rabbit chase – that kind of stuff.  This weekend Luci experienced her first true springtime thunderstorm.  I started to hear thunder about 4 a.m. Sunday morning and I figured it would wake the dogs, too.  Blacky hates thunderstorms and woke up when he heard the first clap of thunder.  Luci heard Blacky get up and she was up, too.  She didn’t seem afraid of the storm, she thought it was time to play.  We are continuing our experiment on letting Luci sleep upstairs with us, so she was in the bedroom, too, when the storm started.  Since she was up, I thought I’d try to see if she’d go potty in the rain.  I’m in my jammies, tennis shoes, and winter coat with an umbrella trying to get Luci to go potty.  She didn’t mind the rain, but she didn’t like the thunder.  She did her business and back in the house we went.  After I dried her off, she couldn’t get upstairs fast enough.  She wanted to play, but I sat on the floor with her and managed to get her back to sleep in about 5 minutes.  Took Blacky a little longer to calm down, though.  He sat next to Hubby’s side of the bed for a while and then came to my side of the bed.  After about 10 minutes or so, he calmed down and went back to sleep, too. 


We got up for the day about 4 hours later and that’s when Luci discovered mud puddles.  With all the rain, the back yard looks like small patches of grass in a sea of mud.  There are a couple of places that had mud puddles in them . . . and those are the places that Luci just had to explore.  And since she loves playing in water she couldn’t resist them.  Luckily I was able to convince her it was time for breakfast and she abandoned the puddles for a little while.  By the time she went back out later in the morning, the yard had dried up a little and the puddles were gone.  Now we have to be careful that she doesn’t dig in the mud.     


Hubby and I had a conversation over the weekend about putting Luci in the crate when we aren’t home.  I understand his position and he understands my position.  He doesn’t think it’s fair for a house dog to be in a cage – especially since Blacky has run of the house.  I just want to make sure she doesn’t chew up everything in the house if we leave her alone.  She’s still a puppy that likes to chew things and keeping her in the crate is for her own good.  I’m trying to prevent her from getting into trouble by chewing.  So we compromised.  During the day when we’re at work or we are gone for more than 2 hours, she will be in the crate.  At night, she is allowed to sleep upstairs with us on her little doggy bed but we keep the bedroom door closed so that we can hear her if she gets up in the middle of the night and needs to go potty.  So far the sleeping with us thing has worked – except for the storm she slept through the night all weekend.  The goal is to eventually let her have free run of the house just like Blacky – which I don’t think will happen much before her 1st birthday in September.  


So all in all, it was a good weekend. 


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