Don't do it

When your daughter says, "can I use your iPod?" just say no.  Otherwise you'll end up with 47 photos of her face, a sampling of which you see here:

So even if it seems like a good idea.  Like she'll maybe do something educational or at least leave you alone for 10 minutes, DON'T DO IT!

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You know you're a Whovian when....


I watched Dr Who in college and recently started watching the new series on Netflix.  Sandis quickly joined in, becoming even more of an addict than I.  It all seems quite innocent, watching the Time Lord travel throughout space and time.  And it is.  Until your husband brings home a new coffee grinder:

But all you see a Dalek:

Don't even get me started on angel statues.

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2013 sucks, I want a do over

It's only January 10th and already I hate 2013.  Loathe it, actually.  2013, DIAF already!

I thought I would like 2013 because, well, I like the number 13.  And besides, what's not to like about a shiny, fresh new year?

Here's what's wrong, things have gone to hell.

Besides the things I've already blogged about, Tuesday while working  I locked my keys in the car and then ran out of battery in my camera, the replacement battery mysteriously absent from my bag.

Minor inconvenience in the scope of my year so far.  

Wednesday I found out that several friends are jumping ship from Loveland Options at the end of the year (some possibly sooner.)  They have very good reasons to do so, the administration is disorganized and lacking in communication skills, always has been, probably always will be.  Still, it leaves me in the awkward position of needing to decide what to do.  On one hand:
  • I don't like the non-communication and disorganization
  • they personally insulted a friend by not responding to her email request for information (which was not rude or anything of that nature.)  I would like to be loyal and leave with her but, well, there's the "other hand" further down, keep reading.
  • Sandis' best friend is one of the ones moving on from Loveland.  
  • If we stay, we'll be there with very few friends, kid or adult, and a super crappy location.  
  • The new policy that started this irks me, but that's a whole different rant

On the other hand:
  • I'm not thrilled with FtC Options either for various reasons and I don't really want to put the kids there.  I wouldn't be happy there either.
  • the kids freaking love, LOVE Options as it is.  
  • Stella has said that she does NOT want to go anywhere else.  
  • Sandis refuses to talk about it and says that I should just decide for her.  

On to Thursday.  What more could happen, right?

Don't say that, the universe takes it as a challenge.

Went to the doc before Christmas because I was having headaches, swollen lymph nodes, pain in my jaw and teeth.  Was put on antibiotics and that cleared up.  Fast forward to lovely 2013 and my tooth pain came back.  Nothing crazy, just a dull ache.  Went to the dentist today and will probably need a root canal.  Have another appointment tomorrow with a endodontist just to be sure. [Note: no, spell check, I do not mean tendonitis.]  I really don't mind the procedure so much as the cost of the damn thing.  Not that I love being drilled, it's just that I've been through it before and I can deal.  The whole thing pisses me off because I have already paid enough damn money on my teeth, and that tooth in particular.  It has a crown, why does the stupid nerve have die? And why when a nerve dies does it hurt so much? Shouldn't there be a marked lack of feeling if there is a dead nerve? And why do I have so many dental problems when BC (before children) I had not. one. single. cavity.

Also found out about some fun scheduling conflicts today.  Stella's 4H dance performance in June? Same day as Brian's big race in Wyoming.  Yes we were thinking we could go camping in South Dakota afterwards.  Guess that's not going to work out. The weekend we scheduled to go on our weekend in Santa Fe? Another big 4H event that they are NOT going to be happy we're going to miss.  Shit.  I planned that trip around the weekend the club leader said the event would be, but, she was wrong and now I'm in the awkward position of missing the one thing we aren't allowed to miss.  Fuck.

Ok Friday, I might not be ready for you.  Can you go easy on me? Please?

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2013 goals - update!


So, I've already started in on some of this year's goals, inadvertently. 

Take the kids on a trip.  We're going to go to Santa Fe for a weekend.  Got a Groupon deal for ~$100 for a suite for four people, two nights and includes a mini-kitchen.  We can drive down, enjoy the sights, not have to eat out all our meals, and GET AWAY.  Sure, it's not for long, and I do still want to get away for longer, but it will be nice :)

Paint the kitchen and living room.  Due to the fish tank debacle, I started painting the living room on Day 3 of 2013.  Not really what I was expecting, but hey, I'm counting it!

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After the holidays I shop the clearance sales.  At Target I found a sparkly word JOY with a cute little snowflake in the O.  I had been toying around with having a word to focus upon for 2013.  I'd not ever done this before but JOY was staring me in the face.  I need more joy in my life.  It should take the place of worry.  Of frustration.  Of the mundane.  Yes, joy would be my word for 2013.

So, how is that going for ya?

You've read about our dogOur fish.  Our water logged floor and bookshelf.  Those were days 1-4 of the year.

Day 5 I find out that a friend who I've known online for many years was killed in a car accident.  A woman who I've come to call friend.  A woman with 6 children, a husband, pets.  A woman who recovered from a devastating car accident that left her struggling through multiple surgeries to get back to approaching normal after 2 years.  It's hard for me to wrap my head around.

I'm having a hard time finding the joy in this year.

I know I need to look for the positives.  To focus on what I have.  And I will.  I need to get through this first. This stretch of death and sorrow.  I cannot turn on a dime and see the joy. 

Not yet.

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Pets in, pets out - Update

This morning I was lying in bed and Sandis came in, said, "come see," and walked out.  I followed her to the living room where I found a fish tank with no water.  No water.

I told her to get a bowl of water, which she did.  I squirted in some water conditioner and put in the first fish, The Doctor.  He started swimming.  I couldn't find the other two.  I started frantically pulling decorations out of the tank.  I couldn't find them.  Finally I saw the other two in a crumpled pile in the back.  I pulled them out and put them in the bowl.  They were floating.

I was bawling.

I started the massive cleanup.  Sandis was a huge help.  She did whatever I asked without question.  We soaked up gallons of water off the floor with towels.  Ran loads of fish water towel laundry.  The fish tank was on our cubby hole bookshelf.  Nine cubes full of books, games, craft supplies, etc.  The shelves had to be emptied, things salvaged, things beyond salvaging thrown away.  Once the bookshelf was emptied, it had to be moved so the floor under it could be dried.  This necessitated moving a bunch of other things so the bookshelf had somewhere to go.  It was a process.

During all of this, Stella got up.  We told her Bob had died but when she went to check on her, she was not dead! Bob made a miraculous recovery and as of tonight is doing just fine in the bowl with The Doctor.  TARDIS did not recover and was buried this afternoon by the girls.  :(

Downstairs from the water mishap, the ceiling is damp and some water dripped through.  On to my scrapbooks.  Of course.  Not too much but I haven't surveyed the damage yet as I just can't face it.  I don't think it's bad but still, I can't look yet.

Once everything was moved, I had the brilliant idea to paint the wall.  Yes, I wanted to paint the living room anyway and since the bookshelf/fish tank combo was moved away from the wall, why not?! Ok, lots of reasons why NOT but I did think it would be a total PITA to do it all again later. 

So, now we have one chocolate brown wall in our living room.  Tonight we bought some blue for the other three walls and will tackle that soon.

The floor is still drying. We have a new fish tank.  When Brian moved the gravel over he found the bottom of our tank was cracked diagonally.  Insane! I've never had a tank crack or leak before.  The time it does happen, it really does it up well.  Sheesh! In any case, tomorrow we should be able to put things back together.  Maybe start painting the other three walls. 

Maybe just sip alcoholic beverages and hope nothing else goes to hell.

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I'm not a New Year's Resolutions girl.  As I explained last year, breaking the resolutions is too depressing for me.  But, I can think about what I'd like to do without making it into a challenge that will mess with my mental health.

Last year, I decided I wanted to do 4 things, so how did I do?

  • Do some digital scrapbooking again.  - Yep, I did some of this.  Not a ton, but some.  I found I want to capture the highlights of the year and not every event anymore.  
  • Make more freezer lunches/breakfasts.  - Did some but not much of this.  Basically, we had egg sandwiches in the freezer a lot but nothing else really.  
  • Decide if I want to continue as Girl Scout leader next year.  - Definitely decided and no GS this year, leader or otherwise. 
  • Do some of this cleaning/organizing/decluttering . - Did some and am motivated to re-start.  It seems that January-whenitgetshot is the time when I organize and purge.  The summer, I survive as best I can.  Fall-year's end is holidays and birthdays and general craziness.  

Not too bad.  So what's on tap for this coming year?

  1. Knit more.  I've already got a head start on this with the Harry Potter Knitting House Cup on Ravelry.  A project per month minimum required for Jan-Feb-Mar.  Did it in Sept-Oct-Nov and had fun and actually got a lot of knitting done.  Now, to keep it up in the warm months....
  2. Take the kids on a trip.  I don't know where, when, how, etc, but I want to take them somewhere that is not a visit to family or a quick weekend camping trip.  It definitely needs to be somewhere outside Colorado.  It can certainly be camping, but the focus needs to be fun, exploring, learning, no agenda.  And family are welcome, but it isn't about visiting them, it's about the trip (like one year we went to Yellowstone and camped with Brian's family - that was lovely and a REAL vacation.)
  3. Get through this 4H thing.  Somehow managed to get 2 kids and 6 projects done in 8 months.  Sounds easy, right.  HA!Ask any current or former 4H family if that is easy.
  4. Organize some more.  I have an intense desire to purge.  The house is messy and cluttered, seems like we have too much stuff, no?
  5. Paint the kitchen and living room.  Strip out the linoleum and carpet in those rooms and the hall.  Paint and seal the floors.  I'm so tired of ugly, stained, dirtythatwon'tcomeclean floors.

Some other stuff I plan on doing:

  • Update the chicken flock - add some youngsters in the spring and purge some of the older ladies in the fall.  Might add a couple geese in the spring too.
  • Keep up on the blog
  • Continue on with our pseudo-organized homeschool schedule.  It's been working out to do math, ancient civ and writing twice a week, science once a week along with some other stuff thrown in for fun.  The kids love it all, except maybe math.  They don't hate, it's just not something they beg me to do, unlike the other three.
  • Some more digital scrapbooking.  I'd like to get a quick book done for each year.  Just 20-30 pages/year so that the years are adequately recorded.  After that, I can play and be arty :)
  • Keep reading. Set a goal of 52 books on Goodreads.  We'll see if I make it.  This past year I read 48.
  • Send holiday cards again.  I sent out cards this year for the first time in probably four years.  They even included a letter with pictures! It wasn't too bad, I need to make time to do it again.  I like feeling like I've reached out to friends far and near.  Spread a little bit of happiness.  Let people know that I remember and appreciate them.   

I guess that's enough to try and accomplish.  We'll see how I've done next year at this time :)

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Pets in, pets out

Pets In: 
Sandis has finally fulfilled her wish for a black moor goldfish.  She decided she wanted a goldfish and read every book under the sun about them.  She researched every last miniscule aspect of fish ownership.  She spent months saving her money and purchasing, bit by by, a home and decorations for her future fish.

We now have 2 black moors thanks to a very sweet boy and his mother who took Sandis shopping and purchased them for her as a birthday gift.  The fish finally have names, The Doctor and TARDIS.

Stella also has a fish, a calico telescope eye named Bob.  Bob was part of a deal struck with Sandis.  Stella could have a fish in Sandis' tank due to helping pay for certain decorations.  The fish had to be a telescope eye and not a black moor.  Why? Because, according to leading experts, and Sandis, regular goldfish can see and move better and would out compete black moors for resources.  So, it had to be a telescope eye, but not a black moor as that was Sandis choice.

Stella was 100% ok with the restrictions.

The Doctor and TARDIS.  Strangely, The Doctor is the larger one.  That TARDIS must be bigger on the inside ;)

Bob hiding in the corner.  She's come out from hiding after a few days of getting used to things. Yes, it is Bob and it is a she.  I've been told

The Doctor and TARDIS following each other about.

Pets partly out:

We have just one morning left of caring for one pup we're watching over the holidays.  About a week left with morning visits with another set of dogs.  Whew, almost done with the holiday pet sitting.

Pets out:

Done with all of the farm activities.  No more horses, etc to feed and the extra dog staying with us has returned home.  When I'm home for the day, I can stay home

And it is with great sadness that I tell those who haven't been on Facebook lately that Sirius Black Walter had to be put down yesterday.  It was a tough couple of days.

Sirius on his last walk.

Sandis saying goodbye

Stella says goodbye.

He was diagnosed with lymphoma back in October and has been pretty much fine since then.  He was on a steroid but acted like his old self.  About a week ago, he wasn't eating well.  Talked to the vet and upped the steroid a bit.  Couldn't go too high or it would cause internal bleeding, didn't want that either.  Things went downhill, and downhill quickly.  He went from not eating well to not eating at all.  Got him some canned food and he decided, well, that was worth eating.  At least for a day or two.  Then his lymph nodes swelled to double in size in two days.  Then doubled again overnight with not only the ones in his neck swelling, but those all over his body.  He started having fluid retention on his neck and face.  He was having trouble walking, breathing.  All of this in less than a week!

So we took him for his last vet visit.  He had just enough energy and happiness to wag his tail about going for a car ride.  He sure loved car rides.  Of course, he couldn't actually get into the car on his own, but once I put him in there, wagging commenced.

It was the right decision as he was so uncomfortable.  There was nothing, absolutely nothing more we could do for him other than allow him to suffer.  We'll miss our sweet, furry boy.

Thinking back on things since his diagnosis, I still think we did the right thing avoiding chemo.  Lymphoma is not curable, only treatable.  We may have given him a few more weeks or months, but not years, and how would those weeks/months have been? He had an awesome quality of life for his last few months (minus a couple days.)  It is still difficult and sad, but the choices were the best we could do for him.  Goodbye dear friend.  We love you.

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