Dec 31, 2008
Dec 30, 2008
We arrived at the airport right on time. Everyone who knows me knows that I'm rarely on time. I'm either early and irritated that I'm the only one on time or always late. But I was exactly on time this once!
Nola and I walked into the new terminal and it was actually NOT where we should have been. It was the ticketing area. It was quite a journey getting there actually b/c we had to cross this crazy busy street with people pulling their suitcases and other travel garb. Nola freaked but I reminded her that D was coming so she was somewhat with it mentally. We got into the inside area though and she lost it. As I was looking at the arrival/departure board that has the shiney colored digital letters she pooped. Right on the floor. I see her and wait for her to finish, open my bag, collect the poop, hold poop in one hand, use other hand to search for HandiWipes (best things ever), scour the floor, deposit poop and used HandiWipe into garbage. Now, I look up see ALL of the people in there looking at me so I sheepishly act like I'm really embarassed (which, for the record, I am not), I thoroughly cleaned that floor and was a well prepared dog mom, but I walked over to the patrol man and asked about the flight. I HAD to make up some reason why I was in there. All he said to me was, "Ma'am, dogs are not allowed in the terminal."
He helped me see on the board of shiney colored digital letters that the flight that I knew was here was indeed here. It was a sight. I was too proud to tell him I had NO idea that the baggage claim wasn't in the same place as it was on the opposite side and that I was lost and had no intention of being in the ticket area. Luckily, not too long after that D called and we found him. Needless to say, we won't be using that terminal again.
Short story: He's here, yippee!
Dec 27, 2008
Dec 26, 2008
Dec 25, 2008
We've been busy visiting family, baking, and enjoying time together. Sadie, my sister's foster dane who is deaf came to spend Christmas Eve with us. After a long day of eating, we're at home relaxing and enjoying an evening of movies, pajamas, popcorn, and chocolate santas!
Six month old [giant] Sadie came to visit!
Dec 23, 2008
With everyone scampering around shopping and such, I'd like to offer a reminder of what Christmas is about... from none other than Dr. Seuss (well, and the Grinch).
"And the Grinch with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags. And he puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from the store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more." -Dr. Seuss
Dec 21, 2008
Dec 20, 2008
Tomorrow is another day. See you peeps in the new day.
The flight that was supposed to have arrived last night has still not made any progress. What's worse is that there is another storm coming through tomorrow morning so if he can't get out of Boston tonight then it will be at least Tuesday before he could try again... and with that he says he would just wait and come the following week (what?!). Boo!
So I'm waiting... and it's not so fun. Anyone have fun things to do while you wait? At least I'm at home waiting but... I've already cleaned the house, washed everything that could possibly be washed (yippee thanks to my wonderful new pantyhose clad dryer!), run the dishwasher, vacuumed, wrapped presents, bathed Nola, wet-jetted the floors, called mom, knit three scarves, cleaned the counters, shredded old bills.... ugh. I have pay-per-view coupons but there aren't any good movies on.
I did find a neat article from AKC. Check it:
AKC Survey Finds Dog Owners Willing to Kick Caffeine Addiction for Canine Affection
[Monday, December 08, 2008]
- Current Economic Woes No Competition For Americans’ Dedication to Their Dogs -
A survey conducted this month by the American Kennel Club® shows that despite a tough economy, pet owners are willing to sacrifice many daily luxuries to provide for the needs of their canine companions.
[New text from D: "The flight attendant 4 flight isnt here until at least 1030 cuz of delays so they r trying to find another." This is good news considering! Now, back to waiting...]
Ok, re: the AKC article. If you have a dog, read it. I'm interested in your thoughts.
Dec 18, 2008
Thanks to Christine's brilliant post, I went to Lowe's, bought a bucket, patched the sides with pantyhose and made my own vent. And guess what, it makes my laundry room really cozy! So, thanks Christine!
I made sure to put lots and lots of duct tape around the hole in the wall though. We all remember the Mr. Squeakers incident. And by the way, I am not sure he really existed. I bought a live capture trap and filled it with cheese and peanut butter but no Mr. Squeakers. Never heard of again, no left over droppings, no more squeaking, nada. So... we're still on the look out but I'm hoping he left when he heard me scream. :) And that's okay with me. I like him better when he's away.
Be sure to think of me when you're washing and drying your clothes. You just don't know how good you have it. Meanwhile, I'm having to run the dehumidifier while the dryer vents in the house because I have poorly installed windows so the moron builder had to buy me a dehumidifier so mold wouldn't grow.... don't even get me started there. Just know that my house is super warm from the dryer vent and the huge dehumidifier that is running nonstop. If you're chilly, stop by, we'll warm you up in no time! And bring your dirty clothes while I'm still on the laundry high!
PS, send some up and keep your fingers crossed... Caveman's flight is due tomorrow evening but an awfully big snow storm is heading its way to Boston so his flight may be bumped to Saturday (boo!).
Dec 17, 2008
I'll start with something totally and ridiculously simple!
.... you know those shoes Crocs? If you're like most people (which you may not be, but if you are...) you either love them or hate them. Since I'm not actually like most people (haha) I am impartial. But if I had to choose a side, I'd say love. But only because of my use for them. I bought them because they were popular and everyone had a pair. Really, I hated them. They were too wide, too big, and no, they were not the "most comfortable things I'd ever put on" my tootsies. AND I tripped over them because of the material they're made of...
So why do I love them? Because, if you have a dog and don't have a fenced in backyard (like me!), these shoes make the best outdoor bedroom slippers ever!
They're perfect because I can wear my big comfy wool socks that don't fit into any regular sized shoes, they slip on and off easily, and they are easy to rinse off if I accidentally step into any doggy piles that someone didn't pick up. I wear my crocs when I take Nola out in the morning and evening so they stay by the door. Also, in case you're interested, they now have crocs with a winterized lining of fluffy fleecy stuff. I don't recommend the wool socks and the fluffy fleecy stuff, but maybe that's another Wednesday! :)
Next Wednesday is Christmas Eve... Merry Christmas!
Dec 15, 2008
Dec 14, 2008
So I know I've posted my tree, but now I'm showing you ALL of my Christmas pretties. Well, most of them. I left out my giant stone Saint Nick and my soapstone nativity because they just didn't photograph too well... I'll try the nativity again because it's gorgeous and I got it in Africa several years ago... and I keep it out year round because yes, it's THAT gorgeous. Anywho...
To the left is my Charlie Brown tree I told you about. It's so sad but oh so cute! This photo had to be cropped since Nola's "waste" bags are kept here temporarily and it was cold yesterday (too cold to walk 30 feet to the dumpster... don't give me that, we've all been there!).
Finley didn't want to feel left out... this is his Christmastime hiding spot.
Dec 13, 2008
Last night I kept the lights on the tree plugged in while I was waiting for Britt to arrive. It was such a pretty glow from my bedroom with the sparkly ornaments. I loved seeing it in the dark. Britt's flight was due around 11:30 PM so I decided it would be a little after 1:00 AM before I saw her... it wasn't until 2 that she showed up. Geez. After we took the dogs out and chatted we finally collapsed at 3 in the morning. I got up around 6:45, took Nola out, came back in, and slept 'til 9:00. Oh it was so nice!
Nicer than that was having a single dog house again! I finally have my house back! It wasn't that bad but oh man are those doggies demanding! If they're not whining, they're eating something, if they're not eating something, they're pooping. Everyone is tired and happy!
I picked up my Christmas cards this morning and can't wait to get them out. Meanwhile, I'm freaking a little bit because it occured to me that Christmas is a little more than a week away. How on EARTH did that HAPPEN?! I ordered the last online ordering bit of my gifts yesterday and am just about done. NO idea what I'll get for the parents but I'm sure I'll think of something.
Did I mention I got my hair cut yesterday? Uh-huh, about 7 inches off! Our conversation went like this:
Hair person: "How much did you want taken off?"
Me: "About three inches."
Me: "Um, are you done cutting?"
Hair person: "Yes, did you want to go a little shorter?"
Me: "Could you?"
Me: "Hmm... "
Hair person: "More off?"
Me: "Yes please."
So... that's how 3" turned into 7" ... it's cute. A lot more layer than I'd anticipated but that's okay. It will grow. I keep forgetting that I've had it cut so when I go to look in the mirror for whatever reason I'm still a little surprised to see my reflection. This makes me laugh. But I understand if no one else does. :)
Dec 11, 2008
Dec 10, 2008
Well...then it occurred to me that I didn't have king sized sheets. Yep, went to Linens 'N Things and bought a set for $22.00 on top of my $14.99 ridiculously-expensive-piece-of-foam-strip. So.... safe to say, challenge is corrupt. It was a nice thought. And did I mention that I bought a Hershey bar at the grocery store? I needed a little pick-me-up after I realized I'd broken the rules.
I called D to tell him about my mishap with the challenge. His response, "Oh, well I had a coffee on Tuesday." WHAT?! Yeah... nice. Thanks for telling me on TUESDAY... After I so politely refused a homemade (HOMEMADE) cookie from the most awesome baker at our office.
Awesome baker: "Cookie?"
Me: "Can't, thanks."
Awesome baker: "Really, are you okay?"
Me: "Yeah, D and I are doing a $1/day challenge and we also can't have sugar."
Awesome baker: "Hm, well are you suuuuurrre, I made them last night..."
Me: "Uhuh... come find me next week, bring fudge."
So, yeah. I turned down only the BEST cookies ever and he had COFFEE?! Crap. It made me want to go find a coke. I'll wait. I do have some self control.
What we did realize with this little mini challenge though, is that we really didn't need to spend much money. I did buy some crackers for $.60 on Monday because I had a headache from the beastly puppies and needed something to take a giant 800mg ibuprofen with... otherwise, I spent no money.
We decided that we'll do a real challenge sometime in January and we'll limit ourselves to spending $10 at the grocery store on food for the week. Or something like that. It may change. Who knows...
Dec 8, 2008
My sweet Nola on the other hand poops three times a day and has the smallest, perfectly shaped poop pieces, cuddles, plays on her own, and is quiet. Always. Roxy brought me a nightlight yesterday. She'd been chewing on it. Great.
Titan has destroyed two toys, luckily they were his own. I hid Nola's. I know him well. They bark if they hear anything and it's so loud that my head has been throbbing for the last three hours. These two beasts are also used to going out to poop (yep, again, that makes time #7 for Titan) sometime in between the hours of 2:00 and 4:00 AM. That also does not happen at my house. Thankfully they have been wonderful in their crates at night, and they smell good because I gave them a bath yesterday. They are great dogs but when you're used to one, it's not quite a walk in the park.
***(One really great thing I've learned having Titan here is that because he was Nola's first buddy ever (aside from her littermates of course), she isn't food aggressive with him! They've actually shared licking a spoon and a bowl together! This is a HUGE thing!!!)
I've mentioned Compassion International a few times but I don't think I've really discussed my involvement with them. Over the past fourteen years (yep, it's really been THAT long!) I've been sponsoring children. I've sponsored with various organizations (World Vision, Christian Children's Fund, Children, Inc., Children International, and some other small ones) but, Compassion is the one I've stuck with all of these years (my friend Elizabeth introduced me to them). I currently sponsor several children with Compassion and one with World Vision (because I've sponsored her since they were only $15/month!). I can tell you all sorts of positive things about each org and I can tell you some things that I like best about each. When it comes down to it though, Compassion is the organization that wins in all levels. Their commitment to the children and families with whom they work, their donors, and their integrity is far and beyond other organizations.
While I love each of "my" children, I'm closest to Hilda and Clara Mae. Hilda is from Guatemala and Clara Mae is from the Philippines. I've sponsored them about four years. I also write to a child named Princy from India. She has another sponsor but they are unable to write to her so I do that part. I've been writing to her since 2003 and have received over 50 letters from her! Hilda, Clara Mae, and Princy are my best writers and always ask lots of questions. Clara Mae recently wrote to me by herself for the first time. It was really funny because she said something about how she imagined my face when I read that it was her writing the letter. I thought it was so sweet!
I'll write a post about each child later... If you've ever thought about sponsoring a child, do it! (Want to read about other people's experience with Compassion?) Don't wait until you have more money, it will never be the "right" time. Do it when you feel you're lead to do so (like, now!). :) And spare yourself the homework, I've already done it! Although, do be sure to research whatever organization you choose as there are a lot of things to consider. Email me if you wish! (By the way, most organizations have photos of children waiting for a sponsor and you can search for a child by age, country, gender, birth date, orphan status, HIV/AIDS affected status, and more!)
So if you think you're stretched on money, think about others in our world. As I'm completing day 1 of the challenge (I'll post about that separately), I've been reminded of how stretched I think I feel sometimes, when in reality, I know nothing of what it is really like to be stretched financially.
John 6.35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Psalm 46:1-2 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea.
Psalm 31:24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.
Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
Psalm 22:19 But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.
Psalm 29:11 The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.
Philippians 4:7 The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your heart and mind.
Psalm 56:11 In God I have put my trust, I will not be afraid.
Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you...for I am your God.
Isaiah 40:29 He gives strength to those who are weary.
John 14:27 My peace I give to you.
I'm copying everything here because I think these are great passages to read for comfort and you never know when you'll be in need. Today I pray for Joyce and her family. They lost all of their material belongings. I can't even begin to imagine what that must be like. Thankfully, no one was home during the fire so they are all safe. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
Dec 7, 2008
Here are the rules:
-Prior weekend grocery spending can be no more than $20.
-Gas, tolls, and regular monthly bills that are due, not included.
-$1/day can be just that or can be $3 one day and $4 for the remaining days.
-No coffee, soft drinks, or refined sugar allowed.
This probably doesn't sound so bad, and it may not be, but we're going to try a much more difficult challenge of $1/day in the next month or so that will be just that, $1/day. Mostly it will be food since neither of us are able to ride our bikes to work. This is a prep challenge to see how we can do. The idea is to familiarize ourselves with what the rest of the world faces each day. Since more people than not live on less than $1/day, we're going to put ourselves in the higher income bracket and assume we do indeed have $1/day. We'll be posting updates about how it's going so be sure to check back in with us! Caveman has some sort of training and an interview (yay!) this week so he may be a boring blogger but I'll get updates and post from him!
Join us! It should be a fun and sorta easy way to get in the habit of frugal living!
Dec 6, 2008
Dec 5, 2008
Dec 3, 2008
I have some things to post about soon... including The Great Escape: Keep it Simple Challenge (which, for the record, we've pushed back and are obviously not doing this week!) and my favorite dog things. Til then, bear with me as I ramble about my crazy week.
As a complete side note, last night when I ran into the mall to pay a department store bill, I was happily greeted by a person who was standing beside the door, ringing a bell and collecting money in a red pot. I hate this. Not because it's giving, because I enjoy giving. But I hate it because every time I walk past them, I feel like my lack of giving is being judged. I hate it because I feel guilty for NOT giving despite the fact that I still GIVE... just not to that particiular organization. I hate it because of the way it makes me feel when I don't give. It shouldn't be that way. Giving should be an enjoyable experience. I wish they'd find another way of fundraising. Maybe it's just me being selfish... yes, again.
Ok, I hadn't planned to get all serious today. I have a pile of paper on my desk that has to go somewhere, but instead of tackling that, I thought I'd blog for a bit. Now I have a string of thoughts going through my head but, lasagna calls so have a happy Wednesday!
Dec 2, 2008
-Yesterday was World AIDS Day.
-WAD is an international day of awareness.
-I'll spare you the facts, Google "World AIDS Day and stats" to learn more.
-Instead of a day, we observe this event with a week of activities.
-Back in August (at our regional conference), we met DeVondia Roseborogh.
She found out she was positive at age 32 with a t-cell count of only 19 (normal is 500-1500). After only five years of being positive DeVondia founded her own nonprofit and has been changing lives all over the state through various programs and speaking engagements.
We had her come speak last night and she's awesome! We took her to lunch when she arrived and had a great time. She certainly has a story and a message for everyone. After the speaking part of last night we all shared a meal thanks to Sr. Santiago who made the most fantstic Puerto Rican food ever!
Today we passed out red ribbons, stickers, condoms, and tshirts on the university campus. We had about 300-500 students stop by, they had to answer one correct question in order to receive their tshirt. I was shocked by how little they knew about HIV and AIDS. I learned that I take for granted that I work in this part of public health and hence tend to know a lot about it... I wrongly assume that most people know at least a little bit. But all in all it was a great day (aside from the freezing temp!).
Tomorrow we have a panel discussion with four people living with HIV, a doctor, a church leader, and a person who is affected but is not infected with HIV. Should be an interesting night. We prepared goody bags for each of the panelists to thank them for their time, I hope they like them, they're fun!
Thursday, we'll be doing rapid testing on campus. This will be the first time we've incorporated testing in the week of events. We typically save big events for National HIV Testing Day [Week] or to do on their own so it should be interesting to see how many people we have come out.
I have lots more to write about but this will do it for World AIDS Day [Week] stuff... It's only Tuesday and I'm already tired... great week so far though!
And for anyone wanting to do something about HIV/AIDS around the world - check out Product Red. Just keep in mind that your dollars will go MUCH FURTHER by contributing directly to an organization as these products only send up to half of the amount to the cause. I think it's a great concept but I worry that the advertisting dollars to get the campaign off to a roaring start could have been spent directly on HIV/AIDS projects. We'll see how it all ends up in the long run. It truly is a great idea and I have a few Product Red things but only because I liked the product, not because I wanted to give. If you just want to give, give direct. If you want something to buy, but Product Red! :) Happy WORLD AIDS WEEK!