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?!