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Showing posts from 2016

Welcome

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"Tap your heels together three times and think to yourself, 'There's no place like home, there's no place like home.'" - Glinda the Good Witch

Please join me in welcoming our new girl to her forever home. We have decided to call her Glinda. Grover is in love and they get along famously.

We are adopting her from Boxer Rescue.  She is between two and three years of age. She came from a neglect situation but has been in a wonderful foster home for the past few weeks. Glinda is very friendly and sweet. We adore her already!

New Year's Eve, it seems, is the perfect time to tap your heels together three times and find yourself at home. Welcome home, Glinda!



Christmas

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I can't begin to tell you how many times I've sat down to write in recent weeks. I only managed to spit out two measly blog entries in December. December was a rough month. We never dreamed that we'd lose both of our dogs in 2016, and we are still reeling from Gretchen's death. I also lost my aunt Maureen at the very end of November. She lived in Texas so of course I didn't see her frequently, but she was a wonderful person and I'm so sorry her light has gone out.

So, I have had lots to say, most if it being downright pedestrian in nature, but the words haven't come. I can't let Christmas go by without a mention, though!

We've been pretty busy in recent weeks. We just fostered our first dog for our local humane society. I attended an orientation at the end of November and was asked to take an eight-week-old puppy the same day. We had her for three weeks and now she has been spayed and adopted. Lucy was a sassy little lass, and I'm so glad we go…

Read carefully, because I'll only say this once

A few weeks ago, the three of us packed up and headed out of town right after Thanksgiving. We had made plans to meet some friends (and their three kids) at a water park resort. Our families have been friends for a long time and in fact we are planning a 20th wedding anniversary trip with them in the summer. They got married just a few weeks after we did.

Our rooms at the resort were not yet ready when we arrived on Saturday. However, we were informed that in addition to the water park passes we would receive, our Groupon package included free passes to the indoor amusement park just down the hall. We decided to go to the amusement park first and kill some time until our rooms were ready. The first ride I spotted was a huge Ferris wheel. I don't think I'd ever seen an indoor Ferris wheel. I mentioned to my family that I wanted to ride the Ferris wheel at some point. I was also interested in the go-karts.

Most of the members of our group decided to hit a ropes course first. Wh…

G'Night, Gretchie-Goo

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We lost our Gretchie girl today. She had been sick for a while and we just couldn't bear to let it go on any longer. By the time she died, she hadn't eaten in days and just looked miserable. I bought her a fluffy new pillow from Costco a couple weeks ago and she had scarcely left the pillow for days.

When we adopted Gretchen nearly eight years ago, she was skin and bones. She had been abandoned in a house and had not had a proper meal in a long time. Determined to make up for lost time, she promptly got chubby. We affectionately called her Fat Gretchen and sang, "Whoa fat Gretchen, bam-a-lam" to the tune of "Black Betty." Later, she slimmed down a bit but the nickname mostly stuck.

Gretchen was around two when we adopted her, and I had high hopes of competing in obedience and agility with her. I took her to lots of classes and her main response was: "No." She just wasn't having it. She did earn a CGC (Canine Good Citizen) certificate, but on…

Thanksgiving

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I'm so full that I can barely find room for the vodka-cranberry that's sitting in front of me. Where there's a will, there's a way, though.

We had a quiet Thanksgiving with just the three of us. The kid and I took Grover to a Turkey Trot this morning. We signed up for the two-mile "Dog Jog." (They also had a five-mile run.) He pulled on his leash like some deranged Husky on the Iditarod, but I think it helped to wear him out a bit. Later, my husband took him out for a run. I think Grover laughs at our futile attempts to wear him out.

As far me, I cooked all day once I got home from having my arms pulled out of the sockets. I generally enjoy cooking, so I didn't mind. I got a little over-zealous with my menu, but I did manage to make everything on my list:
Tofurky Mashed potatoes and gravyCashew mac & cheeseGreen bean casseroleCornbread dressingYeast rolls Two different desserts
Everything was vegan, of course.  My husband is not vegan so I did pick up …

A Star is Born

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Most of my friends have heard this story about 50 times, but I still like to tell it. When the kid was two or three, I pulled her to our neighborhood park in her wagon one sunny afternoon. It's about a 15-minute walk. As we rounded the corner for the final stretch towards the park, my daughter spotted some people on the playground.

"Oh, good," she said. "People will see me."

When we attended one of her show choir concerts last week, I was struck by how comfortable she looked on stage (and keep in mind that show choir involves singing and dancing). The auditorium was packed, as it was a choir invitational with lots of groups performing. As I watched her singing her heart out and executing the dance moves with confidence, I thought, "Oh good, people can see her."

I have noticed how much her confidence has grown after a year in the city choir and a season in show choir. She even helped to lead a hymn at church last week!

She was a nervous wreck while awa…

The Good, The Bad, and The Whatever

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See this knucklehead?  The one who's chewing on the lid of his toy box? He got kicked out of doggie fun camp yesterday.


Yep, kicked out. Or, more accurately, not allowed in. I had this big idea to start taking him to doggie daycare so that he can run around with other canines and wear his ass out. You see, now that it's dark when I get home from work, I'm much less inclined to walk him than I was during the summer months. Meanwhile, Grover's trotting around the house, scanning every surface for shit he can get into. He's started pushing open the garbage can lid and fishing out whatever he can find. He was pretty disappointed this morning when his big prize was an empty bag of frozen vegetables. Joke's on you, sucka!

Anyway, he's just a handful at this age so I thought it would be good idea to get his ya-ya's out. I mean, even if I could walk him at night, I'd have to walk him to clear to Israel before he'd be even a tiny bit worn out. So, I thou…

Grrrr

Last night, after work, I went to the gym and hit the elliptical. When I came home, I took a shower and watched Netflix. I did not want to see the election results - at all. I peeked at CNN once, saw that Trump was winning, and went to bed. When I woke up this morning, I picked up my phone and checked CNN. "Fuck."

You won't be surprised to know that I voted for Clinton. Was she my first choice? Nope. I was a Bernie supporter. I had actually hoped that Elizabeth Warren would run - I thinks she's amazing. I would have voted for her in a heartbeat.

As is the case with many Americans, my religion does factor into my politics. As a Unitarian Universalist, I affirm (and do my best to adhere to) the Seven Principles, some of which are:
The inherent worth and dignity of every person.Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all Social justice is very important in my religion. UUs fight for prison reform…

Late October (bonus: no mention of the election)

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Many apologies for the lack of blog posts recently. You know how I hate to keep my reader waiting.

My stad visited last week. He flew in from DC and we had a great time. I was eager to show him around town (he hadn't been here before) so I dragged him all over the place: a hockey game, a stadium tour, and an improv festival. Oh, and Red Robin. He was a good sport about the flurry of activity, and even agreed to carve a pumpkin for Halloween. He's flown back home now, but he's got lots of bruises to remind him of the trip. Every time I turned around, Gretchen and Grover were wrestling IN his lap as they fought for a spot.  My stad's visit was the most exciting thing to happen to my dogs in eons.

Let's see . . . what else is new? I had some Weight Watchers momentum going for a couple of weeks and then I lost it. I tried teaming up with another member so that we could encourage each other, but it hasn't worked out as well as I'd hoped. Maybe neither of us is r…

Grandma, what big eyes you have!

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My mom made this year's Halloween costume. Grover is playing the wolf/grandma. I bought him a granny wig but the jerk won't wear it.  It took about 43,000 treats just to get these photos.

Happy Halloween, ya'll.



#choirmom

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Sometimes I see parents huddled on the sidelines of a soccer field on a blustery Saturday morning and I think, "Oh, thank God my kid doesn't play soccer." My girl doesn't play soccer or volleyball or basketball. Nope. She sings. And sings and sings and sings.  She sings so long in the shower that she sets off the smoke alarms with the volume of steam cascading out of the bathroom.

Lately, I feel like I spend all of my time driving her to rehearsals, driving her to performances, keeping track of rehearsal/performance schedules, and making sure she's wearing the right stuff to the right performance. She's in two choirs - a girls' touring choir (representing our city) and a show choir at school. For the past six weeks, the show choir has been rehearsing four days a week. Fortunately, the touring choir only rehearses on Sundays, but the duration will increase a bit as we get closer to the big concert in December.  My mom is flying in for that show - she is go…

It's good to be . . . employed

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When I arrived at work last Wednesday, I saw a meeting request from my boss as soon as I logged in. Mandatory company meeting at 8:30 AM. The new guy in my department asked me, "What usually happens at these company meetings?"

"I wouldn't know," I said, "Because we've never had one."

At that point, I basically knew what was happening - the company was being sold. All the signs had been there - closed-door meetings, sudden changes in routine and policy.  As I sat at my desk and waited for the meeting to start, I felt rattled. I'd been through this sort of thing before and it's scary. I remembered a friend telling me about a local insurance company that hauled everyone into a meeting and then packed up their desks while they were in there. I nervously IMed back and forth with a co-worker: "Do you think we'll have to pack up our own desks?" I asked.

When the meeting started, we all sat in the conference room and stared at a Powe…

Looking up

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AAAAB+.  Those are my daughter's current grades. I felt it was only right to post that update because she is not too happy with me for telling people that she had missing assignments.  One of her friends mentioned it at school and I guess she was pretty embarrassed. I realized that I do need to be more careful about the information I share about my child. She is getting older now and is more aware of these things. I do like to reach out to other moms for support sometimes, though. I have known the same group of May 2005 Babycenter moms since, well, 2005.  These are the same moms with whom I compared notes about when to start my infant on cereal. As parents, we often experience the same challenges at roughly the same time. The good news is that my daughter is not the only one who has struggled with the transition into middle school.

Now that I know she needs more hands-on help with keeping her organized, I am trying to do just that. She is caught up on missing assignments now. I am…

Transition

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ACFF.  Those are my daughter's current grades. I am beaming with pride, as you can imagine.

So yeah, the transition to middle school has been pretty rough. I've started forcing her to choose her fashionable ensembles the night before each school day in a desperate attempt to make the mornings a bit less chaotic. Not that it helps. She frequently leaves without breakfast, running out the door like Dagwood Bumstead. I thought she was faring okay academically, though. Thought.

As I'm sure is the case with most school districts, our district posts attendance, assignments, and grades online. I've had access to this parent portal for years.  However, it was seldom used in elementary school. I mostly just logged in when I needed to add money to her lunch account. I decided to log in on Monday and have a look-see.  It's a good thing I don't have a heart condition (yet). Here is what I saw: five unexcused tardies for science class, failing grades in two classes, and 11…

Meet Me in St Louis, Louis

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The kid and I just got back from a long weekend in St. Louis. It was our first visit to the city.  We journeyed there (8-hour drive) to spend time with my sister and her family. They drove up from Oklahoma for a dirt bike race. My brother-in-law and my nephews compete in such things.

The kid and I left town on Thursday evening. I wanted to leave earlier but had to wait for her to be done with show choir rehearsal. Other than stopping for a quick dinner at Noodles and to get some gas in the middle of nowhere, we basically drove straight through.  We arrived at our hotel room at about 10:15 and quickly tucked ourselves in for the night. Well, not before fighting over the TV for a bit, because you know how I love watching tween shows over and over.

On Friday morning, we got up and made plans to drive into the city (we were about an hour and half away from St. Louis). The kid had breakfast at the hotel, but I was holding out for something better. It was pouring rain when we hit the road. …

Closure

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Last Saturday, my family and I attended a fundraiser for Boxer Rescue. It was the 16th annual Boxer Bash, and I had worked at the first 15. My friend Vicki and I first dreamed up the event back in 2001 (she founded the rescue and then the two of us got it up and running more formally). A Boxer Rescue organization in a neighboring state hosted a similar event, so we took their idea and put our own spin on it. It was our first big fundraiser. Over the years, the event has grown considerably, sometimes generating as much as $20,000 in revenue.

I left the organization last year after 15 years of service. I have to admit that it was a painful time for me. I felt that I had to move on (for lots of reasons) but at the same time, I truly felt lost. The organization had been a part of my life for a very long time. I loved helping dogs. I loved hanging out with my Boxer-loving friends. I loved feeling like I was making a difference for animals in need.

Within any volunteer organization, you'…

Unauthorized OJ

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The new school year is going about as well as you'd expect . . . assuming that you were expecting mornings replete with screams of "LEAVE ME ALONE!" and evenings filled with "I know it's only the fourth day of school but yes, I forgot my math book."  (And then, "LEAVE ME ALONE! YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME!") It can only get better, right?  Middle school starts a lot earlier than elementary school, and I knew it was going to be a rocky transition. However, she doesn't really have a choice. It's not like I have the luxury of quitting my job and home-schooling her. She's gotta suck it up.

There are some bright spots, though. I think the kid is learning to be more independent.  She takes a bus to/from school.  However, if she stays late for an after-school activity, she has to catch a city bus. She did that last week for the first time so now we've cleared that hurdle. I'm not really sure how much independence to require from her at thi…

Parenting: Funnier Than You'd Think

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If you're a parent, have you ever had one of those moments when you think, "Wow, I am kicking ass at this parenting thing!"? Granted, such moments are few and far between, but I had one earlier.

My daughter and I have had a rough couple of days. She went to a sleepover Friday night. Her dad was scheduled to pick her up Saturday morning. He told her repeatedly that he would pick her up at 11. However, he could not remember the exact address.  He called her, texted her, and even attempted to Facetime with her. I tried those things, too. She was not answering. He drove over to pick her up and could not find the house. He gave up and came home. Meanwhile, she persisted in not responding to any of our attempts to reach her. Finally, I logged into her iCloud account and used the "find my phone" feature to send a ping to her phone (which apparently works even if the phone is set to vibrate). She heard it and called. By that time, her dad and I were livid. She said she…

Middle School

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Miss Rolls-Out-of-Bed-at-Noon got up at 5:30 this morning.  She's starting a whole new adventure in middle school, and has to catch a bus before 7. We went to the school's open house on Tuesday and walked the full route she'll need to take from class to class. I confess I am a little worried about her time management skills - she has just three minutes to get from class to class, some of which are fairly far apart. It's an exciting time, though. She's anxious to meet new friends, track down old ones, and join some activities.

My main question is: when, exactly, will my little peanut grow into her backpack?