A blog about "nothing"!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"Flaming Turkey Wings....."

Anyone else remember that Pizza Hut holiday commercial? (Something tells me that if Gwen is reading this, not only does she remember it, but she’s humming the tune as she reads this!) I bought a turkey breast that was way to big. Not that I picked it out, Lee got it where he works, and I wasn’t thinking clearly when he said it was around 8 pounds. I took half of it to my mom’s for our dinner, and what was left stayed with her so she could make turkey salad with it. However, I still have several pounds of turkey left, and I’m trying to think of good things to make with it. I cut my section up in to thirds and froze two of them, had turkey dinner leftovers on Friday for my lunch, and today I decided a salad with cubed turkey sounded good. Lee got his all put together, just waiting for the French fries to finish, and I thought it looked so nice, I decided to take a picture. Please keep in mind that food photography is not my specialty, but doesn’t it look yummy??
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I still have a piece of turkey left that I’m uncertain about what to do with it, but I’m sure I’ll think of something. Wonder how wedding soup would taste with turkey?

I’ve been busy this weekend trying to get things ready for Christmas. I decorated the champagne colored tree I mentioned in my last posting, and boy did it ever turn out nice! Here are several pics of the finished product:
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And a close up:
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I participated in a Christmas ornament exchange on a bulletin board I frequent, and this I what I got:
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Aren’t they adorable????!!? I haven’t decided if I’m actually going to put them on my tree, or if I’m just going to find a nice place to set them in my house for the holiday.

All this activity has me worn out, and Laney is tired of following me around. Maybe I should take her hint?

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Less than two months---eek!

I can't believe that Christmas will be here in less than two months. The past year certainly flew by, but where to??? I've started working on some stuff, have a bit of shopping done, got together with friends to make Christmas cards, and have some decorating ideas for this year. One of those ideas includes a new tree. Not just any tree though.......

I had a wonderful 1st grade teacher named Helen Chisolm. She was one of those people who was made to be a first grade teacher, she had the perfect personality for the job. Unfortunately for me, I was sick a lot in first grade, so I missed a lot of school that year, and as a result, didn't get to participate in everything going on. However, the one thing that I do remember was Christmas that year, and in particular, the tree that was in our classroom. Mrs. Chisholm brought in one of those silver trees that were made from aluminum, very much a 60s/early 70's kind of thing. I've since found out that you couldn't put any lights on them because of the risk of electrocution which is probably why they probably didn't catch on. Nevertheless, I remember it distinctly and thinking at the time that it was the most beautiful tree I'd seen in my whole life (nevermind I was all of 6!). A couple of years ago I saw one in a store front and I was immediately taken back to first grade and admiring that tree from my desk.

The past couple of years have seen an increase in the number of non-traditional trees available, and I'd seen some silver ones here and there, but they were always great big ones. I'm not a great big tree gal, I hate messing with anything very big, so I just put it on the back burner. This year though, I decided I wanted one seriously, and have been looking at online sites, checked out area stores, and no luck at all finding anything in the size I wanted that was worth spending the money on.......that is until today. I stopped in the nearby Family Dollar just on a whim, hoping maybe they would have something. I saw white, pink, and wait.....what is this???? Okay, it's not silver, but it's called champagne. Hmmmmm..........looks shimmery like metallic, for $15 I'm willing to take a chance on it looking like Charlie Brown's tree. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, and that champagne is actually a combination of silver AND gold tinsel type material (suddenly I can hear Burl Ives singing as a snowman). I LIKE IT!!! Plugged in it's really super sparkly, and best part is it's only 4 feet tall, so once I set it on a table, it will be perfect. I have red decorations for on it that we got at Ikea, I'll just have to figure out a table cover that will accent it.
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Laney was having fun checking it out, she tasted it too. She thinks it's just her size! All I know is I feel like I'm in first grade again :)
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Monday, October 19, 2009

One Year Ago....

Last year about this time, things were really yucky around here. Hard to believe how much things changed since then. We were ready to leave for our vacation/20th anniversary celebration at Disneyworld when I took a nasty fall, hitting my knee really hard and scraping it up. Funny part was the knee wasn't really the issue, but I didn't know that until I'd walked around every park at Disney and got home, and my foot started turning interesting shades of black and blue--after a trip to the doctor, discovered I also had sprained my ankle and stretched the tendons/ligaments out as far as possible without tearing anything--eeeekk!!! I hobbled around as best I could for several more months as it healed, but it wasn't pleasant.

Right after we got home was when we realized how sick Gilligan was, what an awful decision to have to face right after coming home from vacation. I still miss him terribly, but I know that what we had to do was for the best. A year later and it still makes me cry.

Then we had the whole sick puppy/Christmas/basement full of water fiasco. Throw in some of the worst winter weather we'd had in ages and stir--yuck, yuck, yuck. Finally, somewhere in the new year things finally started to turn around at long last, and overall it's been a pretty good year. Found my fun little car, went on an awesome vacation (the first we've taken in the summer in years!), got a lot of odds and ends done on the house, the Steelers won the Superbowl and numerous other little things. Sure, there were bumps in the road, but it seems to have all worked out. Keeping my fingers crossed that it stays calm. As I often say, boring is good. I'll take a whole lot of boring right about now.

The weather folks are predicting a much gentler winter for us. I sure hope they are right, my arthritis doesn't deal with it very well. We're not off to a very good start, we've had snow already (EEEK!) but it didn't hang around. Still thinking I would like to move to a warmer climate though. I guess we'll just have to wait and see............

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Road Trip!

Everything is finally starting to calm down, got my mom out of the hospital and in to her apartment--big accomplishment! She is doing much better and likes her new place very much, unfortunately she isn't as mobile as she would like to be so she's not getting out to meet her new neighbors, but as her foot heals, she thinks she is going to have a lot of fun.

We managed to get in a 3 day road trip too, the main purpose of the trip was to see how Laney would do. One of the main things when we were deciding on a breed was size and portability because we really wanted to be able to travel with whatever dog we chose. We had managed a ride of two hours without any problems, so we were hoping we would be fine for something longer, so we rented a cabin about 5 hours away. She passed with flying colors and had a great time. Here is a picture of our home away from home:
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We had a nice three days away from all the stress and so forth at home, doesn't Laney look like she's having a good time? She got a lot of walkies in, she was one tired little girl when we got back home!
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On our way home we took a little side trip to Mill Run, where Fallingwater is, but also home to a small wind farm. I was thrilled at just how up close and personal we could get to them. Don't the cows look thrilled?

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This particular wind farm has 10 turbines, all in the middle of a field. We shut the car off to see if we could hear anything and all that we heard was a faint "woosh" from them. I don't quite understand how anyone can find anything wrong with these, it certainly beats the alternative ways to generate electricity that put off all kinds of pollution and other environmental issues. After doing further research, I found out about another windfarm in West Virginia--with 44 turbines!! Time for another road trip ;)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Alive and Kicking!

Been missing in action for a while, but had a lot going on, so lots to tell! After all the Fourth of July stuff was over with, it was time to concentrate on getting ready for vacation. This had to be one of the best trips to Ireland we've taken and we couldn't complain about the weather at all either, we didn't see much rain to speak of (even though they kept forecasting it) until the very last day and by the time it started, we'd managed to do all of the things we had planned and were back in our rooms packing to leave. We saw lots of interesting things, met a lot of interesting people, but you know what I was fascinated by???? This................

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Yes, a wind turbine! Just south of where we stayed the first couple of nights was a wind farm of 18 turbines. I was in awe and made Lee go back to look at them a couple of times. After we got back from vacation I searched for them on the internet and found out all sorts of information about them as well as other wind turbines/farms and also found out that there is a good sized wind farm just a couple of hours away from here in the Allegheny mountains--so guess where we are going sometime in the next couple of weeks??!?!?!?!? I think the technology is awesome and the fact that we can generate electricity with minimal environmental issues makes it that much better.

Not too long after we were home, Laney celebrated her 1st birthday. Where did the time go???? It seems like just yesterday we brought that silly little puppy home with us, and now she's all grown up. We had a little party for her, as you can see she wasn't thrilled about her party hat I made, but she sure liked her presents!

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Just a week after we celebrated Laney's birthday, my mom ended up in the hospital, and she's been there since. She's diabetic and developed a severe ulcer on her foot. If all goes well she'll be out next week, but the timing couldn't be worse as she was in the process of getting her stuff ready to move in to a new apartment, so needless to say I've been on the go quite a bit over the past few weeks, organizing the move, running back and forth to the hospital and just trying to keep up with the day to day stuff at work and home. I'm whipped!!!

The hospital stay, while not the most enjoyable thing in the world has had some interesting benefits for us--we got permission to take Laney in to visit, and it has been a tremendous learning experience for her. She's gotten used to the automatic opening doors, an elevator and assorted noises she doesn't hear at home. As if that wasn't enough, she's made two new friends as well. A couple of nights ago we had her in to visit "grandma" and she was getting a little restless, so Lee took her for a walk around the transitional care unit. All of a sudden this woman came running out of a room to catch up with him, and as it turns out, Laney looks just like the sheltie that she and her husband had, but they had to make the awful decision to have him put down last year. She asked Lee if he would bring her in to see her husband, and he said he would--when Myles saw her, he got a big smile on his face. Turns out he fell and broke his leg and will be in for two weeks, they have recently moved here from Florida and don't know a lot of people at this point. They spend part of the year in Florida and will now be spending the other part of it in Pennsylvania only 20 - 25 minutes away from our house, so they would like to get together with us once he gets out of the hospital. Laney seemed to immediately know that he was a dog person, she even tried to get up in to the bed on her own, something she doesn't even do with her grandma! We promised him before we left for the evening we'd bring her in a couple of more times. He told us that seeing her made his whole night which made us feel really good and also confirmed something we've thought about doing all along--getting Laney her Canine Good Citizen certification and training her as a therapy dog. We weren't sure until she'd matured a bit if she would ever be calm enough and after seeing her around the hospital, I think it's a good route to pursue. Whether or not it will work in the long run is still up in the air, but I'm sure as heck willing to try, especially after seeing how just a couple of people have responded to her.

Hopefully once things calm down I will be able to keep up with the blog a little better and update everyone on Laney's latest adventures. Till next time--ta ta!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mommmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! (sniff, sniff)

Laney here (sniff). I've not had a very good weekend (sniff, sniff). Friday night after mommy and daddy got home, daddy took me out to pee and I got stung--WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! IT HURT!!! Daddy said he didn't see what actually got me, but he heard a buzzing and all of a sudden I was rolling on my back, chewing at my paw. Of course I was, it was hurting! He took me in and mommy cuddled me while they looked at it and they got the tweezers and took what they think was the stinger out. Later on that evening I was still pretty upset about it all, so much so that I had an accident on the rug and managed to get it all over me--ewwwwy. Mommy said I was a mess and called me poopy puppy. (sniff, sniff).

Today she decided it was time for a pedicure and in the process she trimmed one of my toenails too close and made it bleed. It hurt a little bit (sniff) but not nearly as bad as when the nasty bug got me. She kissed me on the forehead and got a tissue to clean up the blood. After she was done with my pedicure, she brushed me and then gave me a bath. Boy did that bath feel good!! Then she snuggled with me some more and I got her all wet, but she didn't care, she was just happy that I didn't give her a hard time after everything else this weekend. Now I don't smell like poopy puppy anymore!
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Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope everyone has had some time to remember what today is all about. My mom and I went to the cemetary earlier today to put flowers on my grandma's grave. My grandma was a WWII veteran, and we were speculating if she's the only woman buried in the military part of that cemetary. One of these days when I have more time I'm going to walk around and see.

It's been a busy weekend, but that certainly wasn't in the game plan. All we had planned going in to this long weekend was the dog show yesterday. That all changed on Saturday when we went out to lunch. We discovered a car at a dealership on the way that we were interested in and decided to stop and look at it. 4 hours later the car was ours! We'd been talking about getting another car, I sold off my little sports car 2 years ago and we just hadn't bothered to get another.

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Isn't it pretty? The previous owner must have really babied it, we couldn't find a scratch on it anywhere, and even though it's a 2006, it only has 14,000 miles on it! This is a change in company for me, I've been a Honda girl for the last 25 years, and technically I still am since we also have our Accord. This will be our spare car, the "fun" car since Lee has a vehicle provided by the company he works for. I think Laney will look so cute riding in it, I need to get her a doggie seat belt.

I've always been a car freak. My first car was the worlds ugliest thing, a 1973 Volkswagen station wagon, baby poop yellow as my friend used to call it. I then traded it in on the worst vehicle I ever owned, a 1979 Dodge Omni. I didn't have it very long before I decided to get rid of it and traded it on my 1984 Honda Civic CRX. I still remember when my friend Nancy and her boyfriend took me car looking and I saw the one on the lot, it was love at first sight! Unfortunately I had to order it, the wait about killed me, but when they called me to tell me it was in, my friend Mikki and I had to go see it. I remember it had dirt all over it from being transported (this was when Honda's were still imported from Japan and not made here), but I was so excited I didn't care. I drove it for 6 years until the engine blew on it, a very freaky incident. I couldn't get it fixed because I couldn't get another engine to put in it, apparently they had become very popular in auto racing and the race teams grabbed up everything they could get their hands on. Reluctantly I had to purchase another car, a 1990 Honda Civic Hatchback which turned out to be one of the best cars we've ever owned, we put over 225,000 miles on it before we got rid of it, and I have a feeling it would still be on the road if two owners later the kid hadn't wrapped it around a tree.

I replaced it with a 1995 Honda Civic Coupe which I had until two years ago. 4 years ago I fell down our basement steps, breaking my ankle and tearing the ligament in the process. Because of the ligament damage, I had a terrible time getting in and out of it because it sits very low to the ground, and I had visions of landing face flat in a parking lot somewhere. It was a hard decision, but I sold it to a friend of mine for her daughter who was going off to college, and she loves it, so I at least know it went to a good home.

I like my 2002 Honda Accord, but I have to admit that I feel like a school teacher when I drive it, the college in the town I work for has tons of them on campus, I think it's part of the job! It's a great car though and we plan on keeping it for at least a couple of more years. However, it's nice to have something sport again too. I told Lee that the Accord is our "grown up" car and the Mini is the car to drive when we feel like being 20 again. Ah youth!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy Spring!

I've been terrible about keeping up with the blog, if it weren't for Laney it might never get done! It's been a busy couple of weeks, and then when I did try to get in on our main computer, it wouldn't let me, so a little more time went by.

Laney is still growing, but when I had her at the vets a couple of weeks ago, he said that she is just about done, if she grows much more we won't really notice it all that much. She's 15 pounds now and he said that she's just right for her size. Now the challenge will be keeping her from getting fat since she's a little eating machine.

She got to meet a dog cousin two weeks ago when we went to my brother's house, my nephew and his girlfriend were there with their Japanese Chin, Maddox. Laney wasn't sure what to think, Maddox just wanted to be friends. They did manage to stay close enough together long enough for me to get a pic of them with Lee. Let me just say that she was tired after all the excitement of visiting a new house and a new friend and slept the whole way home!(a 35 minute ride)

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Laney with Lee and Maddox

Laney turned 9 months old on Mother's Day. It's hard to believe that she's almost a year old, and even harder to believe that she's been with us now for 5 months. Time sure does fly by!
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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

Hi everyone, Laney here! It's been busy around here so mama and I haven't had a lot of time to post. Nothing very exciting, just the usual stuff. I turned 8 months old yesterday, so mama took some pictures of me:
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I've heard mama and dad talking about a big trip they are going on in July to a place called Ireland. I haven't heard anything said about me going with them though. I don't know if I should be afraid or not! Hopefully they'll take me, but if they don't, maybe they will bring something back just for me.

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Is It Really Spring???

Warmer weather is finally here, hoping that it's here to stay. Been a busy couple of weeks around here, Laney has recovered from her surgery just fine. I had two Wisdom teeth out, not fun, but went pretty well over all. Now it's just a matter of getting things cleaned up around here from the long winter.

Laney turned 7 months old this week! This is a cute picture I took of her last weekend.
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Lee and I went to see Cirque du Soleil's "Saltimbanco" last weekend, it was a fun afternoon. We had seen "La Nouba" when we were in Florida in October, and while it wasn't quite as showy, still a very entertaining show.

Bring on the daffodils and tulips!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Dirty Deed is Done.......

and Laney isn't very happy with me. But it had to be done. That's right, yesterday she went for the big surgery and has officially been spayed. I felt so bad when I dropped her off, thinking "my little girl has no idea what she is in for." When I picked her up, she wouldn't look at me the whole way home. She's fine today and has been eating like crazy, so I guess I'm forgiven, but she sure knew how to make me feel guilty. She actually had a busy day, she was also microchipped, got her last shots for the year and had two contrary baby teeth pulled. As long as she doesn't have any problems, she's good until this time next year. Now it's just a matter of keeping her calm for a couple of days--yeah right!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Be Mine!

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HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY EVERYONE!!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Winter of Our Discontent

This has been a bad winter, probably one of the worst in the past few years. All the problems that go along with it make it that much worse too, Lee fell this past week while taking Laney outside, I darned near got my car stuck in the driveway and now this morning we discover water dripping in around the window in the family room because of ice backup. Just keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't do any serious damage. We noticed while investigating that mess that some of our raingutters are gradually coming off too, fortunately that is something we were planning on replacing in the spring or summer anyhow. Ah, the joys of homeownership.

As a kid I was a snow bunny--my friends and I lived to be outside doing something, anything in the snow. Sledding was the most common activity as we live in an area with a decent amount of hills. One of my favorite memories is the day my friends Paul and Brenda and I, inspired by watching way too much Olympic coverage, decided to see if we could ride one of our runner style sleds the whole way down into the village, all three of us on the same sled. I guess we'd watched a bit more of the luge and bobsled competitions than was healthy. We started just a little past my house and one by one, each of us jumped on and we managed to ride about 1/4 mile down the road before we couldn't go any further. By the time we walked back up the hill on the slick road, we were too tired to try it again, but we were proud of the fact that we did it. I was really surprised a couple of months after Paul's tragic death, talking to his widow about some of the crazy things we had done as kids and she brought this whole thing up, apparently he'd told the story to his own kids and remembered it as well as I did. Funny the things that stick with you.

Another good memory I have involved the neighborhood kids after what was probably one of the worst snow storms this area has ever seen. The winter of 1977-78 was a really bad one, makes this year look like nothing. My mom had always joked that our school district was run by Eskimos as we rarely ever missed a day of school due to bad weather. That particular year we missed at least 5 days. A couple weeks after Christmas my mom took me shopping with the money I'd saved so I could get a new coat. Monday morning came around and she was debating on even sending me, but I insisted I wanted to go so I could show my new coat to my friends. Mom waited with me for the school bus to come (something she NEVER did) and asked the bus driver what he thought about the roads. His comment was "if that was my child, I wouldn't put her on this bus." Needless to say I stayed home, and as it turned out they ended up sending everyone home early anyhow. And then the snow started. It snowed and snowed and snowed--it finally got to the point where the snow plows couldn't even get through anymore and we were literally snowed in. When the snow finally stopped, they had to come in with highlifts to get through it was so deep. Somewhere around here I have a picture of all the neighborhood kids afterwards, sitting on top of this enormous snow mound. We all had a blast, playing in all that snow, while I'm sure our parents grumbled about all the things I grumble about now as an adult. The ride to town that week was very odd, it was like riding in a tunnel made of packed snow.

Yesterday at work someone came in to my office and said that we were possibly in line to get 20 inches of snow early in the week. The thought of that makes me shudder, I don't relish the thought of trying to dig out of all of that, but I couldn't help but have a flashback to the winter of 77-78. Too bad the runner sled was lost when the garage caught fire, but maybe I should have the camera ready just in case Brenda and I get the urge to crawl up on a snow bank........

Friday, January 30, 2009

Enough of this white stuff!!!

Laney here! It's been a yucky week here. Mama and Dad aren't feeling well this week and then to make things even worse, more of that white stuff has come down this week--LOTS more. I used to think it was fun to play in, but now it just gets stuck on my paws and it hurts. Dad always feels bad for me and holds my paws in his hands to try and warm them up, but they are still cold. What happened to that green stuff that used to be on the ground? Will I ever see it again?

I'm working hard on learning sit, just when I think I have it down, I get distracted and forget. I promise I'll try harder.

Over at Joss and Jess's blog, they posted cute pictures of them sleeping and then challenged all their doggy buddies to post their sleeping pictures. Since I'm very careful to never let Mama and Dad catch me sleeping, they don't have any pictures like that, but here's one of me very tired in bed with Dad, and I have control of the remote!
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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Relief in Sight

Still cold here and supposed to be that way most of the coming week, but there is an end in sight. At least this week is supposed to be in the 20's instead of the teens or single digits and by next week the 30-40 range. I hope that's how it happens too because if we have anything higher and all that snow melts all at one time, we could have serious flooding problems in the area. The weatherman said the other day that an average winter for this area is about 29 inches of snow and we have already received 56 inches and there is still technically two months of winter left!

Laney had a big week, she FINALLY got to meet Lee's mom and dad--she had a lot of fun playing with her grandma and grandpap. We went on Tuesday for dad's birthday and then again this morning when we went to get the Sunday paper, took some donuts with us and had a nice little visit. I think they really miss having a dog around, but not enough to go and get another one. This falls under the same category as grandchildren--fun to have visit, but nice to be able to send home ;)

She also lost several teeth this week, we must be at the peak. She even lost one in Grandma's slipper, she discovered it when she went to wear them--OUCH! She's also learning to sit, I think we need to add something else to her repetoire because she's getting bored with it and a little grumpy when you keep asking her to do it. I think if we had something to alternate it with, she'd be a little more enthusiastic.

Here are some recent pics, she is growing way too fast.
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Hoping next week to extend her ride in the car time to a half hour, perhaps we will go visit Aunt Susan and Uncle Randy and let her meet some cats!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Snow EVERYWHERE!!

It's me, Laney again. This time I asked nicely and mom said that I could post so I could show you the pictures she took of me in the snow. We got another 6 inches last night so now I can't get through it at all without help.

Here is dad and I after I did my business. He was nice enough to dig me out a path to get to the poo zone. At the rate it is snowing, he is going to have to dig it out again or no one is going to get to it:
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Mom said she wanted a picture of me in the snow, so dad THREW me in to the snowpile!!! I had it up my nose and all over me. Darn him anyhow!
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After I got myself all cleaned off, dad and I posed for a picture.
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Ways to Annoy a Puppy

This past week has been a trying one to say the least. We've had snow out the wazoo, and the temperatures have been unbelievably cold. It's finally getting back to normal (or at least close) but with all this white stuff on the ground, one tends to get a really bad case of cabin fever.

Poor Laney, she unfortunately is stuck in the house with us and has been our subject of entertainment for the week. First we glued her ears so she looks more like a sheltie than a fox. She was really a good sport about it, but a week later I need to do it again as they've started to come undone and I have a feeling this is going to be an ongoing thing as she is teething like crazy, losing two of those big teeth in the back just yesterday. Here's a cute pic of her right after the ear gluing:
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When we did get a break in the weather, Lee and I managed to get somewhere for lunch last weekend. We got to the restaurant a little too early and needed to kill some time, so we headed to the nearby pet supply place where I found these adorable little PJ's for Laney, and I thought they were perfect since they had little sheep all over them. However, from the look on her face, I would say that she didn't agree with me :
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She forgave me enough to sit with me for this picture yesterday. I guess she's a good sport afterall. Until later today when I glue her ears again.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Two Cents!

Hi, it's me, Laney! When Mama wasn't looking, I decided to take over her computer and post my own stuff on her blog. She hasn't had a whole lot of time to do much on the computer because I keep her busy, but when she does use it, I pay VERY close attention and see, I learned how to use it.

Yesterday she made a big deal out of the fact that I'm 5 months old and she took a whole bunch of pictures of me. I don't mind posing, but by the time it was over with, all I could see were stars. Here are a couple of my personal favorites:

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I've been hearing her say something about taking me to puppy skool--I wonder what that is? And that she is going to work on teaching me to sit. And something about gluing my ears? My ears are on my head and I haven't lost them anywhere, so I don't quite understand why she wants to glue my ears.

Yesterday it snowed really, really hard here, Dad said something about 12 - 14 inches. All I know is that it's almost as tall as I am and I can jump in these big piles of it and get completely covered. It's a lot of fun until it gets stuck in my hair--owieeee!!! Thank heavens it melts and then I'm fine. Maybe mom can take some pictures of me playing in it today so I can share those with everyone?!

Uh oh, I think I'd better go, I think I hear her coming and I don't want to get caught. I'll write more later. Now to figure out a way to lay a hint about those snow pictures...............

Miss Laney

Here she is--this picture was taken around Christmas. She's such a good little model ;)

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Happy Belated New Year!

Yes, it's been more than a month since I posted last. Let me just say it's been a busy month and one I don't care to repeat anytime soon! (or at least most of it) December is hectic to begin with and with all the monkey wrenches thrown in, it was just a plain out pain in the butt. But it's over with now and I can hopefully sit back and reflect without screaming too loud.

Everything started out okay. We hadn't had a very good start to November if you all remember and most of the rest of the month was spent reflecting and thinking towards the future. It seemed like most of the conversations that Lee and I had were about puppies, what breed, when to get it, who to get it from, etc, etc, etc. I'd been in touch with a lady in New Brighton about sheltie puppies for several weeks, when I discovered that there was someone closer by who actually had a litter for sale immediately. Even though we weren't 100% sure we were ready we decided to go have a look and fell in love immediately with the last puppy she had left, a little girl that we ended up naming Laney. Neither of us were prepared for just how busy a sheltie puppy can be and keep in mind it had been 12 years since we'd gone through puppyhood. All of that energy had us exhausted to begin with. Then the real fun began....

Laney all of a sudden quit eating her food. I wasn't terribly concerned at first since I knew she was teething (she was nearly 4 months old when we got her) and this frequently happens. But slight concern turned to panic when she started vomiting uncontrollably and then had diahrrea. A trip to the vet was in order and it turned out that while she had nothing contagious, she still had to spend the night to get her fluid levels back up to par. The vet decided that it was either a virus or being stressed from the changes involved in a new home and got her all straightened out, but we were two very worried puppy parents at that point. I don't remember the last time I was that tired.

Still on schedule to get Christmas in order, I kept plugging away at things. The weekend before the holiday I had all kinds of plans of things I needed to get done. Friday night I was headed to the basement to do a load of laundry when I made a horrific discovery--5 inches of water in the basement! We'd had some very heavy rains and apparently our drains weren't working right. My nephew David to the rescue with his portable sump pump, but we still had to figure out why it wasn't draining as our furnace, washer/dryer and hot water heater are all in our basement, and I wasn't about to put all that expensive equipment in danger again. We had a company that specializes in drain clogs come out and after two days of playing with it, they came to the conclusion that it was collapsed somewhere and would probably need to be replaced. Okay, fine--but finding someone to do that kind of work the week before Christmas? Next to impossible. And wouldn't you know it, the day before Christmas, torrential rains again, so I ended up staying home from work so I could run up and down the steps every half hour to plug the pump in to keep things from drowning. I hate to think how much water we would have had down there if it weren't for David's little pump! We managed to limp through and in the meantime, a friend of a friend who does drain excavation came and looked at the whole mess and said he would start New Year's Eve. $2800 later we now have a new drain (keep in mind $500 of that is for the wasted work on trying to clean out the darned thing) and a dry basement. Hopefully with this new drain and regular cleanings we won't ever have to deal with all of that again.

Sitting here typing all of this out made me think of what an expensive month it was as well over and beyond the regular Christmas expenses. $300 for the puppy, $100 vet bill, $750 worth of fence for her play area, $400 for decking that needed replaced to the play area, $500 drain not-cleaning bill, $2300 drain replacement--EEK! Merry Christmas to us, I guess I should look at it as doing our part to keep the economy going?!