Quicky Post – Back to Work…


Borrowed from: http://letsgreet.blogspot.com
Borrowed from: http://letsgreet.blogspot.com

So, yeah.  It is Sunday night, 9:30 p.m. and I have a pile of clean laundry on the couch next to me that needs to be folded and put away, a ginormous pile of laundry that still needs to be done upstairs, a broken washing machine (belt went out – smelled like a bad vacuum in our garage and the agitator is no longer agitating except to agitate me), a pile of grading still to do (even with the week off – I feel as if I accomplished next-to-nothing as far as grading is concerned…I HATE grading), a guest bed to remake for another house guest who is headed in this Thursday (after three house guests for a couple of nights and one that stayed four nights and just left today), a DD’s bed to remake after said house guest (even though she doesn’t sleep in her bed, I like the facade of it being made up for her each day), a 300+ competitor Rookie Speech and Debate tournament to plan for and host this next weekend, and only two more weeks until Finals (which makes that pile of grading oh-so-much-more daunting)!

The broken washing machine is a real pain in my you-know-what about now.  But, I’m just going to find another used one online and have someone come and haul this one away.  I may have them haul it, the horrible too-large-for-our-house footstool that I have stashed in my guest closet and some other crap we have in the backyard as well.  Or, maybe whoever brings another washer will take this one to repair and resell.  I am pretty sure replacing a belt would fix the problem, but neither me nor my husband has any patience for that, so I think a new washer will probably be just as economical for us.

On a positive note, I am NOT going to Ohio like I was supposed to this coming weekend.  Such a relief.  Even though all this stuff is happening, it would be 100X worse if I knew I were leaving town for five days starting on Thursday.  AND my husband’s birthday is Tuesday.  I’ve already scheduled a sitter and we’re going to his favorite restaurant for dinner and I’m going to surprise him by taking him out to our local casino afterwards and giving him $100 cash to burn.  Hopefully he can turn it into more, which he sometimes does (more often, he just loses it all, but hey, its his birthday).  But either way, we’ll have a good time.

So, that’s it for me tonight. I have to send out a bunch of flyers for that Rookie Tournament and our semester’s Speakers’ Showcase (oh yeah, forgot to list that – which is happening on Wednesday night) which will get 100+ audience members we hope!  Busy week.  Ready for semester to be OVER.  Totally over.  Grading done, classes done, moving on over.  I am teaching a Winter Session class starting January 5, so my break will not be long and if I don’t have the grading done early, it will be even shorter.  So, that is my motivation now.  Grade, grade, grade so I can have a full two weeks off of EVERYTHING having to do with school (well, probably a little planning will need to be finished for this crazy 14 day = a full semester winter session class…this will be interesting)!  That is my goal.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving last week!



Giving Thanks and Expressing Gratitude

Give thanks. Give life.


Thanksgiving was good yesterday.  Settling for simple definitely worked.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was very enjoyable.  My in-laws drove back a day early today because there was a big rain storm coming in (it is here now and we’ve had some much-needed downpours).  So, we now only have one house guest left (an ex-student of my husband’s who could not go home to Minnesota for the holiday) and it is blissfully quiet around here.

I did want to publicly give thanks for something very special.  For those who may be relatively new to this blog, my daughter received a heart transplant at 5 months old.  She is now 5 years old and is thriving.  Although we wrote a letter to the donor family, we never heard back, which I can understand.  But, I like to publicly thank that anonymous donor family and all donor families out there on these holidays when it must be especially tough to miss your loved one.  We are so very grateful that we have had five years with our beautiful daughter that we would not have had without that anonymous gift.  So, please, give a prayer of thanks or send out positive thoughts to all those who have lost someone.

If you have not already done so, please consider registering as a donor.  Not all children are as lucky as my daughter.  And many, many children and adults are waiting in a hospital room for the chance at a new, healthier life.  It is pretty simple to register – just visit Organdonor.gov and type your state in the upper right hand corner.  It will give you instructions for your state.

Thanks for reading, thanks for registering and thanks to our donor family for giving us the gift of life for our daughter.



Settling for Satisfied – Holiday Edition

Doh...I'm a Holiday hostess without the mostess.
Doh…I’m a Holiday hostess without the mostess.

I wrote just a short while ago about the concept of settling for satisfied rather than pursuing perfection and the holidays are a great time to put it into practice.  This week I am hosting 10 people (!) in our small home for Thanksgiving dinner.  I can tell that others are concerned.  They are concerned because they know me, know my house and know my cooking capabilities.  But, what they don’t know is my new approach to life – settling for satisfied.  And that will make it all so much better.

So, what does this all mean?  Well, first of all, I am not trying to be Martha Stewart for this hosting effort.  I will do my best to get the house cleaned up somewhat and I have decorated ever so simply with some Fall themes and simple Christmas items.  I am attempting to clear spaces of clutter to allow for a simple, but comfortable experience.  I am creating an incredibly simple menu and letting my sister bring a number of dishes that she is buying at Costco (saving on both prep time and space in my kitchen).  I am having my in-laws bring a large folding table and folding chairs instead of going and buying one for this one time event at my house.  I am cleaning the areas that need it most (bathrooms, living room and making the garage into less of a death trap as we may need to store some things out there for dinner) and leaving the rest as they are (including closets and the backyard, where we will be smoking a turkey, but I’m going to ignore the overgrown mess back there and solely focus on the smoker that sits right outside of our patio door).  I am making two of my favorite side dishes and either buying the rest pre-made or forgetting about it.  And that’s it.  I need to do some more grocery shopping and finish up the cleaning today, but I’m pretty much done with it all.  And I’m going to focus on enjoying the people not worrying about the perfection of it all.  Hopefully, everyone else will be okay with it as well.

So, what’s your plan for this holiday?  Are you stressed out about it being “perfect” or are you letting go of that and recognizing reality means imperfection?



33 Days of Christmas Movies and Television

Thirty-three days is a weird number I know.  But, this weekend I began officially watching Christmas movies, so I thought I might provide some reviews of them here on the blog throughout the month.  Many of them are likely to be kids shows since I watch TV with my 5 year old quite a bit.  But, after she goes to bed, I watch some of my own and there are some that I’m sure we both will love and want to watch every year.

So, today we watched the following:

Santa Paws: The Movie

santa paws

We’ve watched this one before and I’m sure we will watch it again.  My DD loves all of the puppy movies, so we’ve seen just about all of them.  I am a dog person and with Bella’s recent death, this movie was a good one to open the holiday season.  It is a cute story of Christmas spirit and the good that is in people.  Overall, I give it a thumbs up for the kid crowd and a definite maybe for the adult crowd – if you like dogs and cheesy Christmas stories, this is a good one.

The other I watched was Christmas Cupid.

Christmas Cupid Movie

I watched this because it was the first Christmas movie (well, other than one about race relations starring Billy Jo Cyrus, which I had to veto on principle) in my Roku search results for Christmas.  And actually, it was pretty cute.  It was yet another movie based on A Christmas Carol by Dickens and it was predictable and cheesy, but really it was perfect on a night when I didn’t want to think much about what I was watching and needed a happy ending.  I would not go so far to give it a thumbs up, but it wouldn’t be a thumbs down…more like a shrugged shoulders with a “eh, why not?”

So, there you have it – the first two movies in my 33 days of Christmas Movies and Television.


Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Notice

Five-Minute-Friday-newI am participating in Five Minute Friday (it has been far too long since my last FMF post) again this week.  This week’s prompt is “Notice”.  I encourage you to link up and write for five minutes today!


Sometimes it is hard to notice what is going on around us because there is SO much going on around us.  That is what I’m feeling right now.  I noticed (a little) that I wasn’t spending enough time with our dog – going for walks, cuddling up with her like we used to, going out and throwing the ball around…I had gotten too busy, too distracted by other things, too lazy.  And now, she’s gone.  I would notice her in the house, especially when my husband traveled (which he does relatively often), but not to the point where I really paid attention and appreciated it.  Now, my husband is off on a trip and I won’t have Bella around to bark at noises and serve as our protector.

We often fail to Notice what we have until that thing is gone.  I’m sad that Bella is gone.  But, I’m even more sad that I didn’t notice her more when she was here.

We will get a new dog.  We will certainly love that new dog.  And I hope that we will notice that dog and appreciate it throughout its life.  And I hope that it will also serve as a reminder to us to notice all we have around us – friends, family, our home, our cherished things, our cat and all that goes along with those things.


Thanks for the opportunity to share!


Dedicated to my Dog…

Iphone May 2011 002

I’ve grown up with pets.  I’ve had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, iguanas, rats, hamsters, turtles…we’ve really run the gamut.  But, dogs have always been my favorites.  And I’ve had some fantastic dogs in my life, but Bella – pictured here with my daughter a few years ago, has been a special one.  She is smart and sweet and totally protective of the little one there.

Bella Fall 2007 002 Bella Fall 2007 007

There she is when we first got her.  She was a cute little puppy and I knew she belonged in our family when the cat would snuggle up with her and let her chew on her ears.  She loved to go on walks, play with her toys and go for car rides.  She still loves those things.

A few weeks ago she started getting finicky about eating her food.  I thought it was just her being spoiled.  She would eat good stuff – cat food, chicken, table food, etc. but didn’t want to eat her dry food.  Four days ago, she started vomiting.  A lot.  And pretty consistently.  So, I took her to the vet.  They ran some tests and $250 later told me that they couldn’t find anything seriously wrong with her.  To take her home with some prescription IBS food and see if that helped.  The next day, it was worse.  We went back to the vet.  She was now dehydrated and losing weight.  They gave her a subcutaneous fluid treatment and me some meds to give her.  That night she threw up twice.  The next day she would not drink water.  We went back to the vet.  They admitted her and $1400 and 24 hours later we picked her up with a new thing of meds and instructions.


Another 36 hours have passed since I wrote that.  Another overnight stay.  Another $1000.  A couple of new meds and no new answers.  And tonight, I flew to San Diego and my husband had to take her in at 3 a.m. to be put to sleep.  She was suffering.  She was not improving.  We had done all we could.  The next step was exploratory surgery of the abdomen despite the fact they could see nothing in the ultrasounds or X-rays that would be causing a blockage and the symptoms were not really blockage-like.  Personally, I think she had cancer.  They named it as a possibility the first time I went in, but said it was a small possibility.  There was some abnormal appearance on the duodenum.  When they said cancer, it just seemed to click.

I hate that I wasn’t able to be there to say goodbye tonight.  I hate that she only lived for seven short years.  I hate that we didn’t do more with her – more walks, more swimming, more things she loved to do.  But, we loved her lots.  She slept with us, traveled with us.  She loved Bean and protected her and worried about her.  She loved playing with other dogs.

I am going to miss her a ton.  I’m incredibly sad that I was not there to say good-bye, but I’m more sad we couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her and fix it.  But, sometimes, there is no fix.  Sometimes there is no clear answer, only blurry choices seen through tears.  I love you Bella.  I hope you are playing in a big dog park in the sky and loving every minute of it.