Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween/Pageant Class/NaNoWriMo Eve

We won't be home tonight to hand out candy.  Wednesday nights are set aside for Cotton's "pageant prep class" as I like to call it.  I believe the real name for the class is Conformance Training.  We are quickly learning that the show dog world is quite different, so we are trying to prepare our little man as best as we can.

But when I mentioned where we would be this morning in a staff meeting, my brother replied with, "Oh... so you are one of THOSE dog parents..."

To which I replied, "It's for his own good.  If he doesn't win a Championship, then he doesn't get to keep his testicles."

And that pretty much ended the meeting.

However, it is true.  If Cotton doesn't win some accolades, he won't be deemed fit for breeding and then we will be required to get him neutered.  If he wins, he gets to be a stud.  That should be some good motivation for him.

So tonight we will turn our porch light off and go try to teach Cotton how to properly stand and run around in a circle.  My main goal is to teach him to take a treat from my fingers without trying to bite my hand off.  The kid acts like he's never been fed in his life.

But Taylor wanted to say, "HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!"

I want to dress the dogs in their costumes to take them to the class.  Phil says no.  We'll see who wins this battle.  :)

And tomorrow starts NaNoWriMo and my quest to write at least a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.  Yesterday, I nervously e-mailed Ashley, kind of freaking out because I didn't really have any kind of a good idea or plot.  But by the end of the day, Ashley had sent me a couple of links and a little pep talk plus I was able to come up with a basic idea that I liked.  Freak out avoided.

This morning the idea kind of evolved.  I know have a plot, sub plot, and resolution all in mind.  And I think I have the main personality traits of my main character floating around in my head.  I should probably write all this stuff down before I sneeze and forget it.  So now I am just super excited for tomorrow and to start writing!

However, I'm guessing blog posts will be a little harder to come by during the month of November.  Partially because I will be trying to put approx. 2,000 words down a day for the novel.  And partially because last November was a little emotional/nerve wracking for me.  Unless you want several recaps about how much I can't believe that that was only a year ago blah blah blah.  Ok you'll probably still get one of those.  And I'm guessing it will be on Thanksgiving, since that is the anniversary of when I got my biopsy results.  But no one really reads blogs on Thanksgiving anyway.


My idea is to post some exerts from the novel during the month while I am writing it.  Is that super boring?  Not a good idea?  Or do you want to read parts of the book as they are coming out?  I won't be editing as I go (per NaNoWriMo rules), so it will be a little raw.  But it could be better than radio silence.  And it could definitely be better than the crap I am writing currently.  :)

So let me know what you think about that.  I will try to share my main plot either tomorrow or Friday.  If you're thinking it will be a fantasy vampire 50-shades kind of romance... you'd be totally correct.  Not.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cooking Crazy

For some reason I am still not totally aware of, I got it in my head that I wanted to cook enough meals for two weeks this last Sunday.

I think it started when one of my coworkers brought me a bag full of teeny tiny green bell peppers.  There were a ton of them.  And I didn't want them to go to waste.  But I also didn't want to eat nothing by bell pepper food for an entire week.  So I decided to make some things and freeze them.

But while I was at it, I should just make the food for the week too, right?  Totally.  And since it had been nice and rainy in the Willamette Valley lately, I should totally make some soup from scratch, right?  Oh of course.

So after some recipe research, a trip to the store and an encounter with the rudest check-out person EVER at Safeway (B!*%# tried to charge me for sweet onions when I bought yellow onions and for two red onions when I only bought one and then argued with me when I politely pointed it out), I was finally ready to cook.

I made Roasted Corn and Potato Chowder for lunch.  The recipe is from HERE and it was SO GOOD!!!  Easy and definitely worth it.  Trust me.

Then I made Stuffed Pepper Casserole (aka I chopped up some the bell peppers and mixed them with the filling, put it in a casserole dish and covered it with cheese).  It's in the freezer.

Then I made a tray and a half of chicken enchiladas.  In the freezer for both of those.

Then it was time for some Philly Cheese Steak Casserole.  That recipe is from HERE.  I doubled the recipe so we could eat some Sunday night and freeze the rest.  It was pretty dang tasty.  And according to the recipe, only 260 calories per serving.

What I didn't do?  Make my mom's Swedish Meatballs (even though she's Norwegian).  I also curiously didn't have any sweet items on the baking agenda but that's probably because I bought out Mrs. Field's the other night.  Oh yum.  And I plan to make some of Danielle's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies and some Lemon Bars this week.

Fatty party of one?  Yup that's me.

But seriously I make some good Lemon Bars.

Of course it will take me a few days to recover.  My feet are still killing me.  It probably wasn't the best idea to cook for like 6 hours straight.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Puppy Days

It seems that Cotton has discovered his puppy-ness lately.  Overall, he is a pretty good puppy.  He really hasn't destroyed anything.  He hasn't been much of a hellion.  He's learning to listen.  Has stopped biting (at least biting me).  And he is still pretty snuggly.

He's also developed some new skills as of late:

-  Discovering he is tall enough to drink out of the toilet.

-  Losing 4 teeth in one day.

-  Sitting on Taylor's butt.

Plus one of his canine teeth is coming in before the baby tooth has fallen out.  And the baby tooth is solidly in there.  Apparently in the show dog world that is a big NO-NO.  It can sometimes really mess up their bite (so we hear).  So today, Phil gets to call the vet and get his recommendation.  The likely scenario... Cotton will have to go in to have his tooth pulled.  :(


Good things he's so cute.

Friday, October 26, 2012

On a Jet Plane (Part 2)

And now for the thrilling Part 2...

By the time we park and take the shuttle to the airport, there is a HUGE line for security. Piece of advice... Don't travel on a Friday afternoon. Just don't.

Once through security, we head to the gate because at this point, we know we will miss our connection. They had put us on another flight so we rush to that gate. I don't know if it is because we were later getting there or what, but they didn't have a seat for us. In the meantime, we convinced them to put us on a flight that night into D.C. We were planning to drive up there the next day anyway to see some of our friends, so it would better than spending the night in Chicago.

We get one our original flight to Chicago and it was a relatively nice flight. We hadn't gotten a chance to grab any food to bring on the plane other than beef jerky and some water, so it was a nutritious meal.

When our flight lands in Chicago, we checked on the flight to D.C. since it was supposed to take off before we landed. I had been delayed, but was scheduled to depart any minute. The employee said we needed to hurry.

Small problem... It was in a different terminal.

Cue Home Alone and Home Alone 2.

Phil and I began sprinting as best we could through O'Hare airport. And the sprinting included me begging the people on the moving sidewalk to walk faster than afternoon saunter speed.

Seriously??? What is with people at airports walking like it is an afternoon stroll? People have flights to catch! Either walk faster or get the #%*& out of my way.

We make it to the gate and by some miracle, the plane hadn't left yet everyone was on board but they were waiting for one passenger (the perks of being a mileage plus member I guess).

After 5 minutes on the phone, we had our tickets and were boarding the plane. The passenger they were waiting for boarded right behind us.

I whipped out my phone and managed to book us a hotel room in the 3 minutes we had before we pulled away from the gate. It seriously could have been an AT&T commercial.

It was after midnight when we landed. I got us a rental car. By 1 we were checked into our hotel and STARVING. At two in the morning we found an open McDonalds and had our second meal of the day.

And that concluded one of the more hectic travel days I have ever had.  We get to do it again at Christmas time.  This time definitely without the puppy and with much lower travel expectations.  I have 8 weeks or so to mentally (and physically prepare).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

On a Jet Plane (Part 1)

So here's what happened when we tried to travel with Cotton. I wrote this while on the plane home and no matter how hard I tried, it was wicked long.  So you get it in two parts instead of one giant novella.  You're on the edge of your seats already, I can tell.  

You may remember I mentioned the trip briefly in this post. Well... Things didn't exactly go as planned. To say the least.

We left Friday afternoon, but I knew early in the day that things were just going to be difficult. Phil and I left the house later than we had planned for some errands by like 45 minutes. Then we went to go get my blood drawn (normal TSH stuff).

Since we got going later than I had wanted, we missed getting to the lab before the rush. I got to have a lovely 30 minute wait to get my blood taken. Then they finally call me back and did the whole needle prick "well I can see the vein and feel the vein but nothing is coming out" business while constantly moving the needle around.

Sound like fun? Yeah it wasn't.

Things were turning around after we dropped off Taylor. We decided to take Cotton to the park for a bathroom break/walk when it started raining. My shoes got soaked. So we made an emergency pit stop at Target for a cheap replacement.

I still hadn't eaten at this point (thanks to the blood draw procedure) so I was getting a tad (or a lot) on edge. I don't function right when I am hungry. We grabbed some food and headed to the airport with Cotton.

Once we arrived at the airport, we headed to the cargo area to drop off Cotton. As we walk through the door, I get an email from United. Our flight was delayed. By an hour and a half. So the cargo people start explaining how that delay makes the connection in Chicago an illegal connection for cargo and now they can't take Cotton because he might miss the connection and get stranded in Chicago.

I can't even think about how much I would freak out if Cotton was stranded somewhere without me. Let's just move on.

So now what do we do?  That flight out of Chicago was the only one that Cotton could go on. We don't have enough time to drive him home or to a kennel. But putting him in a situation where he could get stuck without me wasn't going to happen.

Phil hops on the phone with the pet cargo people (aka sat on hold for 20 minutes) while I called my mom. Maybe she can come get him and then take him to the breeder for boarding? It really was the only option we had because while Phil sat on hold, our flight was delayed again.

{Cotton entertaining himself while Phil tried twice to talk to the pet cargo people}

Then Phil gets hung up on by the pet cargo people and I thought he was going to lose it.  It's probably a good thing they weren't there in person.

I decided to make an executive decision... Cotton wouldn't be coming with us to Virginia.

We dash back onto the freeway, meet my mom at a Target located half way between her house and the airport, rush into to Target to get dog food and some bowls so Cotton can eat, give Cotton to my mom quickly without me losing it and crying hysterically (I wasn't prepared to leave him), and head back to the airport.

My mom seriously saved the day.  I only cried twice.

Tomorrow... Part 2.  Cotton wasn't the only one that missed the connecting flight...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


We got in late last night (or technically this morning if we want to get into semantics) from Virginia.  By some miracle of miracles, I managed to make it to work by 8 o'clock this morning.  I fully anticipate a 7:30 pm bedtime tonight.  That is... after I get in some snuggle time with my pups.

I'll go into details tomorrow, but basically plans didn't work out the way we had hoped and Cotton didn't get to make the trip with us.

And I managed to only cry about it twice.

While I wasn't mentally prepared for the separation, maybe it was better this way.  I didn't have time to agonize about leaving him.  Maybe that was best.  But I sure did miss my little monster.

We will be reunited tonight after dinner and I can't wait!!  Although I am anticipating that he will be mad at me for leaving him.  No worries... we are stocked with plenty of treats.  He will be lousy with spoiling.  Like any man, the way to his heart is through his stummy (stomach + tummy = stummy, since he is still little).

So off of just about 5 hours of sleep, I am doing my best to cheerfully make it through the day.  I'm ready for some puppy snuggles.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I'm gonna be a writer

A couple of days ago, I read THIS post from Ashley at Calmly Chaotic.  She wrote about a website that challenges you to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November.  I commented on Ashley's post, saying that I had always wanted to be a writer and that she should totally do this.

Ashley e-mailed me back and we basically decided we were going to do this together.  Keep each other motivated.  And I am SO EXCITED!!!

When I was little, I always wanted to be a writer.  I started writing a few books.  They pretty much all sucked and were variations of other stories I had read.  Nothing really creative or new.  I did get a few chapters into a book about a pioneer girl on the Oregon Trail.  It was probably the most original I ever got.  My grandma read it and told me it was REALLY good.  :)

Lately I have been having a hard time getting motivated to write blog posts, so writing approximately 1,667 words per day will prove to be a bit of a challenge.  However... I think I can do it.  I really WANT to do it.

I still don't have a killer idea (although I did have a pretty crazy dream last night that could serve as inspiration), but maybe getting the words flowing will help foster a decent idea.  Or who knows... maybe that really weird dream I had will turn into a good idea.

My goal is to just get through it with some kind of novel that has characters and a plot (I like to set the bar real high).

I think Ashley and I can do it.  :)

PS- This post contained 282 words and I think that included the smiley faces.  I've got LOTS of work to do.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cancer Costs $$$

Tuesday was kind of a frustrating day for me.

I have written probably 3 blog posts about this, but Phil never wanted me to publish any of them.  And I agreed with him.  They sounded whiny.  So I am going to try and do this without sounding like a whiner.  Even if I want to be.

Cancer (and other health problems) hit you on multiple fronts.  There's the obvious "Am I going to die?" angle.  I think I've hit on this plenty.  Then there's the whole "Is my cancer going to come back?".  I know I've talked about that one.  There's the strain going through a health crisis puts on your relationships with others.  I haven't really talked about that, partially because it still affects me.  Even today.

But the last angle it hits you on is the "WTF I have to pay how much?!?!"

Because cancer on its own doesn't suck enough... you end up having to pay A TON of money for it too.  (Ok not everyone.  Some people, like my Father-in-law, have kick-a$$ health insurance with super low deductibles and out of pocket maximums.  I do not have that type of insurance).

I won't go into the details.  Let's just say my neck scar is the most expensive accessory I own.  By far.  Like by a lot.

I think people forget about that one.  People kept telling me that Phil and I should take a nice vacation to go relax once my cancer stuff was done.  I would love that.  Except we have no money for that because cancer is SO EXPENSIVE.  It feels like I will never be done losing money for my cancer stuff.

One of the unexpected expenses we had very early on (right when I found out I might have cancer) came when we had to cancel our trip to Georgia last Thanksgiving.  We had bought travel insurance, but as it turns out... travel insurance blows.

I thought I had FINALLY gotten all of my paperwork together and then they told me I needed more information on my physician's form.  Which meant I had to go back to my old endo.  And even thinking about going back to her office and relying on them to do something correctly almost gave me an anxiety attack.

The guy from the insurance company tried to sound sympathetic when he asked me if my biopsy turned out alright.  I thought to myself, "Is that even a question he can ask me?"  And he did an okay job of faking feeling sorry for me when I replied that yes, I did have cancer.

Now I am waiting to see if I can recoup some money.  It depends on my old endo's office (who often couldn't schedule my appointments and didn't get back to me about test results).  So I wasn't feeling really great about it when I went to pick up the form I needed from them yesterday.

To my wonderment and surprise... everything was filled out and correctly.  It was as if hell had frozen over.  Pigs could fly.  The Earth was off its axis.  Of course the first time that office does something correctly, it was once I wasn't a patient there anymore.

So now it is back in the hands of the insurance company, who I am imagining will do everything they can to weasel their way out of paying me.  But it is worth a shot.  It's a drop in the bucket, but a drop none the less.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

6 months out!

Today I am 6 months out from the day I swallowed some poison known as Radioactive Iodine and stayed in my Dexter Room.

In a way, it feels like it was longer than 6 months ago.  But then it feels like it was just a couple of months ago too.  (I blame having to have ANOTHER scan and tests done for that one.)  Memories of chugging as much water as my stomach could handle, peeing at least over 2 hours, and then flushing the toilet a bajillion times just stick with you.

Plus the whole warning of "DON'T TOUCH ANYONE OR ANYTHING AND ESPECIALLY STAY AWAY FROM PREGNANT WOMEN AND BABIES" and as well the gentle reminder that I would need a note to go to the airport or I would set off their alarms kind of freaked me out.

I feel like I am entering a strange season right now.  It is so easy to remember back to a year ago, when everything was just starting.  This time last year, I was taking Synthroid in the hopes that my nodules would shrink, not knowing what the next year would bring.

It took the almost the entire month of November for my endo to finally do my biopsy that I had wanted in August.  Thanksgiving this year is the anniversary of when I got my biopsy results.  November 22nd.  And that was probably the worst Thanksgiving I have ever had (and hopefully it will always be the worst).

I pretty much wished December and Christmas away so I could get my first surgery over with.  I spent New Years praying my pathology results would come back benign.  And then 9 days later, found out I really did have cancer.

It amazes me how much has happened and how different things are now to how they were a year or even 6 months ago.  I mentioned that the other day and my sister jokingly replied with, "Oh get over it.  It's in the past."  It wasn't funny.

When you are in the middle of something big, it is hard to see just how huge it really is.  And I don't think it has hit me until now just how much crap Phil and I went through during the last year.  I know some people brush it off because it is "just" thyroid cancer.  But people die from thyroid cancer.  The fact that we went through it, came out stronger, and will most likely be ok... I don't know I guess it is just sinking in for me.

I have a feeling this holiday season is going to be a very different one for me.  And Thanksgiving will have a WHOLE new meaning.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jeffrey's Life Plan (Part 2)

A couple of weeks ago, Phil and I went to dinner with my parents and Jeffrey.

On our way home, Jeffrey asked me a totally random question (which isn't unusual for a 9 year-old I suppose):

"Nat, what do you think of the name Jade?"

After a couple of years of trying to have a baby, we've talked a little ad nosium about baby names.  So much so that names that I LOVED when we first started, I now can't stands.  But I'm a little opposed to most jewel names, just in general.  They either sound like a stripper (thank you The Hangover) or an old lady.

Examples:  Crystal and Pearl

So I shared these feelings with Jeffrey and then asked him why he was asking me this.

He replied, "It's going to be the name of one of my daughters."

See... he's planning to have 6 kids with his future wife (for which he is currently on the look out for.  Watch out 3rd grade girls).

The other names he has picked out are Jayden (so there will be a Jade and Jayden), Cayden, and Josh.

He also thinks he could go for the name Hayley, since there is a girl in his class that he thinks is cute.

I informed him that telling his future wife that he wanted to name one of his daughters after a girl he found cute probably wouldn't go over well.  Call me crazy.

I also asked him if his wife got any say in the names of their children.  He'd already thought of that.  His plan is to ask any girl he dates once they hit the 6 month mark either what she thinks of the baby names he's picked out, or what she would choose for their possible 6 future children.  I'm guessing if she doesn't agree with his, it's a deal breaker.

Phil informed Jeffrey that by the time he starts dating, that conversation will at the very least freak himself out, let alone the girl.

At least Jeffrey's got life figured out.  Hopefully his future wife can get on board.

Monday, October 15, 2012


I found my domestic side this weekend.  I knew it was hidden in there somewhere.

I made Jenni's Split Pea Soup.  In all honesty, we didn't actually get to eat it last night.  I started it too late, so it wasn't quite done at dinner time.  I had the same problem the last time I made lentil soup in the crock-pot.  But the good news is that I have dinner all ready for tonight.  And it made the house smell REALLY good.

I made Danielle's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I took them to Canasta Night at my brother's house.  Between the four adults and three kids (because Jeffrey had a sleepover with his cousins), we managed to eat like 18 cookies.  They were G-O-O-D!  And I made them with whole wheat flour, so we can pretend like they are healthy.  :)

And I made my co-workers' salsa.

{This may be the crappiest Instagram picture ever.  I love all the crap in the background.}

Two of my coworkers make this wonderful smokey salsa and they usually bring in some jars for everyone to test out.  Give free feedback, basically.  So one of the coworkers gave some of us the recipe.  And enough tomatoes from his garden to make a double batch.  And the peppers.  And step by step instructions.  So basically he did everything but hold our hands through the process.

It turned out pretty well.  Not as smokey as the stuff my coworkers have made, but that's ok.  It is still delicious.  Serve them with some Juanita's and it is perfection.  :)

I also found a cuddle buddy and a nap while we had a little Harry Potter movie marathon.

{I was really tired.  And so was Cotton}

All in all, it was quite a nice weekend.  I'm not sure I'm ready for the hustle of another week.  But I'd better be.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Random Recap

I had topics planned for all of my posts this week and I only wrote 2 of them.  This wasn't exactly a "planned" post, but this week has been weird enough, that I was given enough crap to put together a random recap.  Lucky you.

-  Because I have "gotten" to have so many medical things done this year, I have also been given the privilege of paying a TON of medical bills.  Oh joy, I can sense your jealousy.  I had been putting off paying the last of them for a couple of months (just because I was tired of saying good-bye to my money), but finally starting getting scary letters so I had to do it.  I paid the LAST of them in August.  It was a painful and liberating experience.  But I was extremely miffed when I went through the mail the other day and found ANOTHER bill.  And I was especially upset when I noticed it was for a bill I had already paid!

So I called the company to sort this whole thing out.  I was prepped with my indignation, payment receipt, and credit card statement, but was caught extremely off guard when a breathy woman speaking very softly answered the phone.

Since I could barely hear her, I was really hoping that she would transfer me to someone else.  But as the conversation went on, I realized that this woman could also have doubled as a phone- youknowhwat operator.

It made it very uncomfortable when she said, "Mrs. Janney what can I do for you?"

She wasn't able to figure out my bill and promised to call me back this week.  I'm not looking forward to it.

-  As I mentioned earlier this week, my father-in-law will be starting oral chemotherapy for his Liver Cancer in the next week (hopefully).  As a part of the visit with the oncologist, they were given a great deal of information regarding the chemo, as well as advice and tips on dealing with probable side effects.  Because it is supposed to cause sores on the feet, it is recommended that patients receive a good pedicure prior to beginning treatment.  I believe the theory is that smoothing out the skin on the foot and moisturizing it will help minimize the sores.

Now that you have all vomited in your mouth, I will continue.

I'm sure it isn't a HUGE surprise to anyone that my 62 year-old, southern born and bred, engineer father-in-law isn't thrilled at the prospect of getting a pedicure.

Phil and I have decided we will be paying for and scheduling his pedicure for him.  It gives him fewer escape routes that way.

-  Cotton has decided he is part cat.

His new favorite perching spot is the window sill.  But he gets a little freaked out when he can't immediately get out of the curtains.

-  Phil knows I am a 5-year-old...

He packed extra candy in my lunch for me this week.  Gotta love that man.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A New Day

As it turns out, my retail therapy worked.

And in case you were wondering, I only bought one pair of undies with inappropriate words across the butt. I know you were super curious.

This morning, Cotton woke up 3 minutes before the alarm went off.  Only 3 minutes.  It's usually like an hour and a half.  So 3 minutes early was completely welcome.  I hopped out of bed and decided I wouldn't do the usual and crawl back into bed after he did his business.

I was going to get stuff done.

-Got ready for work
-2 loads of laundry
-Unloaded the dishwasher
-Re-loaded the dishwasher
-Made my lunch
-Made Phil's coffee
-Made cinnamon rolls (ok they were just Pillsbury, but still.)  I was inspired by Misty.  :)

Basically I got more done this morning for work at home than I have at home in the last week.

So when I woke up my husband before I left for work, the house was fairly cleaned and smelled really good.  I'm hoping that means he will get a ridiculous amount of work done today.

Hopefully I will too.

Happy Thursday everyone!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Retail Therapy

Today was a rough day.

I woke up feeling... irritable.

Like REALLY irritable.  And even though I tried to shake it, there was no shaking it.  The only thing that can cure this kind of irritation is sleep.

And maybe some shopping.

Which is why I plan to flee to Victoria's Secret this evening.  Am I the only one that thinks buying new underwear is the best thing ever.

This shopping trip is kind of practical as well.  After all, it's been so long since I have done laundry at home (Phil isn't allowed to do anything around the house right now) that I am starting to run out.  Buying new underwear STILL requires laundry (because HELLO it is gross to wear new underwear without washing them first).

But who are we kidding?  This is really just rationalization for my retail therapy.

I'm really hoping to find some undies with completely inappropriate sayings on them (NOTE: if you click on that link, it isn't porn.  I promise).

You know what else they sell at VS?

Yup...  you guessed it.

Sweat pants.

Oh man my husband hit the jackpot.

At least I didn't buy the footie pajamas I saw at Target this weekend.

If my husband were attracted to me in these, we'd have problems.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Adventures at the Dog Park... AGAIN

Now that Cotton is fully vaccinated (and no one can pester me about Parvo anymore), we decided to take our doggies to the Dog Park.  We've had some interesting trips to the dark park (see HERE and HERE).  And this trip did NOT disappoint.

It started off all innocent and cute.  Cotton was playing with some dogs, which he was VERY excited about if you catch my drift.  But then things must have gotten scary because while he was on his back, his little pink parts went away and he peed all over himself.

He's a puppy genius.

Then, it took a turn for the weird when a seemingly normal thirty-something man walked over to us and decided to show us how cool it was that he could have his giant dog run full speed at us from across the park.

After that he began asking seemingly innocent questions about Cotton.

What kind of dog is he?

How old is he?

Then they turned slightly offensive.

Brittany's are pretty high energy, did you guys have any idea what you were getting yourselves into?

Since Brittany's are a hunting dog, it's basically a travesty to not hunt with them.  Are you going to hunt with him?

Phil then explained that once he finished his degree, he planned on trying to teach him to hunt.

Oh yeah a degree.  I have one of those.  My degree is in Biochemistry.

Like we were supposed to be super impressed by that.

Then we explained that we had done research and we liked a lot of the characteristics Brittany's had.  Such as they are easy to train, excellent family dogs, great around children.  And they have lots of energy.  We wanted a dog with some energy.

Buying a pure-breed is really a stupid thing to do.  Was he expensive?

The problem with pure-breeds is that they are all inbred and therefore quite stupid.

After I tried to explain that Cotton wasn't inbred (we have the lineage papers to prove it) I got...

No.  They are all inbred.  That's how breeding works.  I know these things.  I have a biochemistry degree.

He's not all Brittany anyway.  He must have another breed in there too.  He doesn't look enough like a Brittany.


After he finished bashing Cotton, he turned his sights to Taylor.

Did you realize when you adopted her that you were getting a pit bull?  That's a pretty White Trash thing to adopt.

Have you had any problems with her being violent?


I don't need to defend Taylor.  She's pretty much the best dog ever.  I told her she is never allowed to die.

He also explained that he bought his dog out of the back of a van for $50.  And his dog was so sick and flea-covered that he had to spend a ton of money getting him healthy again.  But we are White Trash for doing research about our dog and going through a breeder that did this breeding for her own pet?  Ok... I see that logic.

Sadly, I know there are several other things he said that I left out.

Thankfully at this point, the dogs were both VERY tired and we had every excuse to head home.

The dogs had a great time.  We were only extremely offended.

At least I didn't get fondled this time.

Monday, October 8, 2012

update update update

Thanks so much for your kinds words on Friday.

I got an update from Phil Friday afternoon.  It was the kind of update that required a phone call because there was a LOT of information.

It started with Phil telling me about the intern that was supposed to be helping him with part of his dissertation.  He quit.  That officially put him on my ish list.  Phil has spent so much time showing him how to do things and putting together a step-by-step procedure for him.  And then he quit.  I just LOVE that my husband ended up wasting time showing him how to do it and then he didn't even stick around long enough to actually do the task.

Then Phil told me about his dad.  Long story short, he will be starting chemo right away.  There is only one chemotherapy drug available for Liver Cancer and it is in oral form.  It has some different side effects compared to the more typical chemotherapy.  The main side effects are extreme fatigue (makes sense), some  stomach problems (no details needed), and sores on the palms of the hands and bottom of feet (which is really weird and sounds painful).

He'll start on half the normal dose and then have some tests done to make sure his heart and thyroid (hey I know that word) are functioning properly.  The medication is six week on, two weeks off.  And he should be just starting when we go visit them this month.

Hopefully he has an easier time with the specialty pharmacy than I did.

I was relaying this information to some of my friends this weekend to which they replied, "How does Phil handle all of this?" and then they started listing all the craziness that Phil has had to endure.  His brother dying.  Moving across country.  Dad with Cancer.  Wife with Cancer.  Finishing a PhD.

And he's not a huge jerk, totally stressed out, weigh 300 lbs, or addicted to anything.

It's more totally the opposite.  Once again, I am totally in awe of him.

I'm such a jerk, I didn't even make his coffee this morning.  Bad wife.

Phil and I agreed Friday was a FULL day.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Pic and Dads' Health

Cotton sometimes gets confused he is a dog and not a human.

This isn't what I meant when I said "sit".  Silly boy.

No big post today.  My dad had an Angiogram this morning.  Eventually turned out fine, but between going to dinner with him last night and then getting up early to be at the hospital this morning (plus being a tiny bit anxious about my dad having any kind of procedure), I'm a little sleepy and light on words (lucky husband o' mine).  You could say I'm a daddy's girl.

Now we just need to find out how Phil's dad's oncology appointment went today and we will all caught up (health-wise for the padres in our lives).

Have a great weekend!!  Stay healthy people.  :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Last night, my mom and Jeffrey came over for dinner and to watch the presidential debate.  The 9-year-old wasn't as enthralled with watching two men talk about the economy.  I bribed him with my puppy.  And it worked.  Kind of.  But what was interesting about the evening was that I really enjoyed it. 

When did I get so old? 

I was extremely interested in listening to what each candidate had to say.

I won't get into my personal politics on the blog.  I know that everyone has their own unique view on things based on their backgrounds and life experience.  Personally, I think I fall somewhere in the middle.  I recycle but don't compost.  I work in a science field and am a Christian.  I am pro-choice AND pro-life.  I like elephants but look better in blue.  You see where I am going with this.  I agree with aspects of both party platforms.  And I would bet that is where a lot of the country is as well.

I have a real problem with people at each extreme of the spectrum (liberals and ultra conservatives).  Mostly because they seem to think that anyone that doesn't share in their opinions is an idiot, which isn't true.  And I think that mentality kind of has hurt our country over the last decade.

Since I live in Oregon, my vote really doesn't matter (blue or red).  That's one of the wonders that is the electoral college (outdated in my opinion but that is another debate at another time).  It would take nothing short of a miracle for Oregon to be anything other than a blue state.  The one benefit of this... we've had very few presidential election commercials lately.

No matter which candidate wins, hopefully the next four years will show a positive change in the economy (please please PLEASE) and the ability for BOTH parties to work together for the betterment of the country and not just their individual party (side-eye Tea Party).

Now I'm going to have some chocolate milk (like a mature adult).

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

In a Funk

I got a wretched night's sleep last night.

You read that right... it was wretched.

And my current state of sleepiness and fatigue is combining to leave me with a... weird feeling.  Do you ever get those?  Days when things just feel off?

Exhaustion, stress, and anxiety are all mixed together, leaving me with an uneasy feeling that I definitely need to shake.  And it really doesn't help that time feels like it is standing still at the moment.

And my poor husband is left to deal with the numerous texts and e-mails I have been sending him, describing the feeling and asking ridiculous questions.  High maintenance much?  Maybe a little at the moment.  It's ok... He says I'm worth it.

In an effort to distract me from my current malaise, he sent me this picture:

Taylor resting her head on Cotton.  For once.  It's usually the other way around.  More proof that she actually likes him.  The jig is up girlfriend.

And no... he isn't bigger than her.  Optical illusion.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Scenes of Late

Here's a random collection of scenes over the last few days.  You're welcome in advance.

Since the Beaver game was on a channel that we poor people don't get, we were forced to venture out into the world to watch my beloved Beavers go 3-0.  Where's the best place to do that?  Buffalo Wild Wings, of course.  Have you had their soft pretzels?  SO GOOD!!!

Unfortunately the Duck game was also on that night (although it was on ESPN), so there happens to be a fair bit of green and yellow in that picture.  And per the usual Duck fan behavior protocol... they were grade A jerk-faces.

Cotton managed to get himself smelling especially stinky, so he got a bath.  And since Taylor is a jerk and  enjoys watching him get tortured (even though getting a bath is her second least favorite thing immediately after getting her temperature taken), she sat in the bathroom and watched the entire thing.  Then she was confused when she didn't get a treat.  What's a good way to remedy this so she gets a treat?  Taylor gets a bath too!!  And this time, Cotton watched.

Turn about's fair play, Miss Taylor.

And I thought this was the cutest thing ever:

He's already got a thing for the "Ladies"... Get it?  It's Lady and the Tramp.  Man I am funny.

And finally, I now brew my own personal coffee at work.

My mini french press that I've had since probably college.  It's amazing what you find when you clean out your cupboards.

Monday, October 1, 2012

I suck

I'm feeling pretty much like I suck today.

It could have something to do with the fact that I have a cold.  And you'd think after everything I have been through in the last year (fine needle aspiration, two surgeries, and a month of being hypothyroid) that I could handle a little cold.  But I am being such a huge baby about it.  It's even worse since I know that I really don't feel that bad.

I'm taking full credit for the fact that Shannon is no longer taking sponsor.  It totally is my fault.  I took my sweet dandy time getting back to her, which I'm sure she truly enjoyed.

And after looking at Jes' recap of the Color Run, I have realized I stand like a turtle.

Plus I realized this morning that I SUCK at turning in paperwork.  And it is costing me a lot of $$.

Example 1:  Phil and I got new glasses last summer and the glasses place wouldn't actually bill our insurance, but they did give us all the paperwork so we could do it ourselves.. I was double covered, so I would have gotten ALL of my money back.  But you only had a year to do it.  And I just didn't do it.  Awesome.

Example 2:  The rebate stuff for my contacts is sitting right by the bathroom at home.  Everything I need for the rebate: the form, the receipt, the prescription... everything.  Still haven't done it.

Example 3:  Phil and I had to cancel our trip to Georgia at Thanksgiving last year for obvious reasons (my neck biopsy and finding out I probably had cancer).  I had purchased travel insurance because I knew this was a possibility.  When we cancelled the trip last year, I got all of the paperwork together and filled out (including the physician's form) so we could get our money back.  But I never sent it in.  In my own defense, we could have used the tickets anytime before the beginning of September, so I was holding out hope we would be able to go on a trip.  But we never did.  I submitted that paperwork this morning.

UGH... I HATE when your own personal faults smack you right in the face.  My inability to pay bills and turn in paperwork is really beginning to annoy me.  It is definitely something I am going to change.

Man I suck.
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