Um…hello?

Wow. I half expected to see cobwebs hanging off the page and all when I logged into this site today. Needless to say, it’s been a while.

My life exploded.

Nope. That isn’t right. It deflated. Everything that has happened has been a long time coming, but I really wasn’t expecting it to end the way it did (my relationship, that is). Or as suddenly as it did. It was sort of like a bouquet of cut flowers – they are dying from the get-go, but you don’t really notice they are wilting at first. And you can always sort of pick out the early faders to keep the vase looking good. But then one day, you go to add some water to it and wham. All the flowers are dead, petals everywhere and that’s it. It’s done.

Immediately following the sudden deflation of my personal life, I acquired three tiny kittens. They were around three weeks old – eyes open, ears just opening, definitely nowhere near being weaned. My neighbor found them at a job site and they couldn’t be left where they were due to construction. No sign of momma cat and he knew a shelter would have put them down. So, sucker that I am, I said, “Bring them here.” (It didn’t help that he sent me a picture of them – all three solid white fuzzballs).

Rooty (named so because he loved to root around), Patch (named because we thought he might lose an eye; thankfully, he won’t), and The Princess (she just is). Initially we had all sorts of issues. Fleas,eye infections/ulcers, dehydration, and  terrible constipation. The constipation was so extreme that I had to be taught by my vet how to give them kitty enemas at home (don’t ask – thank the skies it is over). Now everyone is healthy with the exception that both Patch and TP are going to need reconstructive eye surgery. They both have eyelid agenesis (coloboma). Essentially they are missing part of their eyelids. If they do not have the surgery they will go blind even with eye drops administered every few hours ever day of their lives. So, for now they get drops every 2-3 hours and three times a day also antibiotic ointment to stave off infections from the irritation from dryness and their fur rubbing against their eyes. In the spring we’ll do the surgery. Now if I can just get TP to wean.

Then there is Moo. The same weekend the kittens showed up, she decided to grab the brand new bottle of her allergy medicine off the kitchen counter and eat it. A 30 day supply. She almost died. Phone calls to the ASPCA animal poison control hotline, a trip to the emergency vet, and a very scary couple days. She is fine now and I am much more careful about putting everything away.

There’s my list of excuses. I have been mentally shutting down the past several months, but this past month in particular has been close to full-on hibernation. I’m working on it. Picking myself back up. Getting into a new routine. Don’t even get me started on my lack of eating and the poor nutrition of the crap I do eat. Maybe tonight I will be able to make myself cook something. Maybe in another few weeks I will even have the energy to think about exercising again. At least the thoughts are there…the actions will follow.

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Stagnation

The weight-loss part of my journey seems to have come to an utter stand-still. While I am definitely getting more fit and I feel fantastic, my pant size is not dropping much, if at all. My weight hasn’t changed in weeks (outside of normal daily fluctuations) and that is frustrating. As much as I am trying not to focus on the number it does still need to come way down. The good news is that though my waist size hasn’t gone down, my legs and arms are getting thinner! My jeans are getting loose in the legs again which makes me very happy.

Other happy news – I got a promotion! Though, I don’t really like to call it that since I had to apply and interview for the job. So, I got a new job! I will be a team manager and will continue reporting to my current manager. Our group is growing and will be divided up into three teams – my co-workers who got the other two manager spots are very, very deserving of them and I am excited to get to work with them in our new leadership roles. The toughest part of this new role will be that my team will be nationally located, whereas the other two teams are regional East and West teams. I haven’t worked out details yet, but I think it will mean adjusting my “office hours” to slightly later in the day – 9 to 6 or maybe even 9:30 to 6:30 to make myself more available to all time zones…at least while we are hiring and training.

The best part of the new job is less travel (eventually). I will only be required to travel approx one week a month, sometimes two. That is all after we are done with training new folks – during that time I will probably travel more, but in a different capacity so that makes it easier. I will get to continue to work from home which is another big plus. Eventually I might get to a point where I can start doing some volunteer work that I’ve been missing out on, or at least get to attend weeknight events that right now I cannot.

The “bad” work news I got today was that I did not pass my certification exam. Back to the books for me. At least now I know what to expect and where to focus my studies. And again, with my new job I will have a better schedule to work in the study group calls that are on Tuesdays and Thursdays (those were my travel days and I missed out on a lot of the meetings this past time around). I am still very bummed though – I really expected that I would pass this thing. C’est la vie.

Mom and Sister are coming to visit the week after next. I can’t wait! I miss them both tons and am excited to have a “girls” week of hanging out and drinking beer and wine and catching up on the randomness that is part of being family.

I am still seeing my trainer…and I still love working with her! Less travel is going to make it easier to get into a better routine of hitting the gym on my own and it will also help facilitate eating better. The timing is perfect and will hopefully help me break out of this stagnation I’ve hit…we’ll see.

I still owe y’all the fish taco recipe too. I will post that this weekend. I promise! For May I have promised myself that I will be more careful about what I eat (and how much)…fish tacos are always a win for that!

Family. Crazy weather. Dogs. And a laptop.

The past week and a half I have been down in the Houston area…I was so excited to head that way because typically this time of year it is in the mid-sixties to lower seventies. Ha! Not for me. This trip I managed to experience on of the only winter storms they’ve seen in ages. Rolling blackouts (which affected my hotel), ice, snow, freezing rain. It was a cold mess.

Thankfully, I managed to get out-of-town just before the worst hit and head out to my aunt and uncle’s house for a weekend visit. (That visit almost didn’t happen due to frozen pipes at their well pump – no water.) It ended up being a fabulous time! Friday we hunkered down and spent most of the day reading and hanging out due to some snow and freezing rain. But Saturday and Sunday ended up being gorgeous, sunny, and warm. We did some shopping (mostly window) in a couple small towns, ate fabulous homemade meals, and had fun talking and watching music concerts on DVD. I also got some good snuggle time in with my furry doggy cousins.

The rest of the trip was unremarkable (more work) and I finally got back home Tuesday evening.

Yesterday I got the Mockingbird back (my laptop). Good as new – aside from adjusting some of the power-save settings, I haven’t found anything amiss or out-of-place. *whew* Now, assuming I don’t have any identity theft issues from someone there stealing my personal info (I don’t actually think that will be a problem, but it does cross one’s mind when they require your log-in password to do a hardware repair), things should be good to go.

Neil will be home this weekend which makes me happy – in an unfortunate, last-minute request, he was sent out to Seattle for work this past Monday. Even worse, he has to fly back out there again next Monday for a different conference. I will be glad when he’s back home…it is tough enough when just one of us is traveling. Of course, as soon as he is back from that trip (and I return from Dallas that week), my dad is coming to visit for several days…then I have another trip to Dallas…then Neil has some event in Georgia that following weekend…and the week after that he and I are headed to Florida for vacation (a sort of bittersweet vacation since it should have been my big race). March is going to seem so slow and boring after February.

After I am back from FL, I also need to get started on some serious yard-work. I still haven’t gotten the raised garden beds built. I need to do some shrub pruning. And I need to think about maybe planting some flowers this year. Thankfully my mom will be out to visit in May and can help me decide what to use for edging around all the planting beds and also make a final decision on whether or not to use red rock as ground cover in them. I am leaning toward ‘yes’ due to the easy maintenance once it is all down.

For now, I should quit rambling and go get some work done. It is that time…reports, reports, reports (in addition to our regular review duties).

Itty Bitty Kitty

I think Danger Girl doubled in size the two days I was away this week! She can no longer squeeze into the desk cabinet via the air vent in the back. She is hitting the “insane kitty” stage…racing around like she’s lost her little mind; attacking everything (real or imagined). She attacked my toes around 3am. She’s cute, but the next few months will be sleep deprived, I think.

Everyone else is adjusting well. Except for Bonnie. Her new mission in life is to get outside (and I think away). Thankfully, so far it seems she just runs out to take a turn around the house and come back in the opposite door. While she is inside, though, she is good with the kitty.

No photos for this entry…I’ve been slacking lately. And also still need to get the photos from my trip home sorted and posted. Maybe I’ll get to that this afternoon. For now, soon, I will be going into town to get my hairs did.

365 Photos

Friday was a gorgeous day here – the temps got up into the 60’s and it felt like Spring was here. Of course, it was just a tease, but still, a nice break from the cold weather we’ve been having. The sunrise was spectacular – the clouds that brought the rain yesterday and today were starting to roll in. Unfortunately, the dogs needed tending to first so I missed the truly spectacular light and colors for my photo:

Still, this one didn’t turn out too bad.
Yesterday was a lazy day. I am still trying to unwind from my stupid, crazy week. Last night when I finally crawled into bed, I spent some time reading (re-reading, actually) one of my favorite authors: F. Paul Wilson. He does fun sci-fi meets sleuth/mystery books. I adore the characters that he has created and really like his story-telling style. I need to see if the newest book in the series is out in paperback yet and I also need to look into reading his other books. Also, the small book underneath is “A Dog’s Life” by Peter Mayle. For my dog loving friends, it is another fun read…and this one didn’t make me cry. I find it particularly funny, also, that it is about the author’s dog, and thus he makes fun of himself and friends when talking about the dinner parties that Boy’s people throw. Really, y’all should read it.
And I even remembered to use my foot cream last night…the winters are so amazingly dry out here. My mom used to tell us stories of growing up in Colorado and about how dry it got. Having spent the majority of my life in the Northwest where it is continually wet, I had no concept of “dry” weather until I moved out here. Now I understand. And let me tell you…in the summer, just because it is humid, doesn’t mean that you don’t still have dry skin. I am plagued year round now. If you want to know what the tube says on it, you can click the photo until you get to my Flickr page where I transcribed it. It is one of my favorite philosophy brand quotes.

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365/8: Moo

Moo's knee just doesn't seem to be healing right. She was doing so well after her surgery…right up until the kennel. I am having such huge guilt about not just staying home with her. In my gut I knew I should, but at the time there was guilt that the trip was my present for Christmas and that I would seem totally ungrateful and whatever if I didn't go…

I can't win for anything it seems.
At any rate, Moo is using her leg even less now than before her surgery. The swelling has become visible…there is a lump on the inside of her knee. The Rimadyl was making her barf, so I am not sure of there are any alternatives the vet can offer or not. Mostly, I just don't know what to do for her. She is obviously hurting and not feeling well, and yet she is still the sweetest dog with her snuggly love and wanting to play and hang out with the people. 
The past couple days she has been really restless – I imagine she is bored out of her mind with me being sick and sleeping all day long. And yet she's been (mostly) so good…chewing on her bones and just hanging out nearby. Tomorrow we are going to try to get her over to the vet to see what they can do for her…or rather, Neil said he would try to get her over there since I have an 8:30am car appointment. 
There is always something, isn't there? Oh yeah, and I think I have a broken tooth…that will be addressed next paycheck.

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Random Ramblings

It is another gorgeous, sunny yet cold winter day here. However, I noticed this morning that there is a winter storm watch for my county…apparently they are expecting snow storms to come through tomorrow. Crazy! Usually we don’t get our frozen precipitation until much later in the winter. Guess I should go look for my boots just in case.

Work is still work.

Moo stayed with Neil this week while I was gone and was mostly a good girl! At Neil’s she has to sleep in her crate because his house is not Moo-proofed…so there she usually really freaks out in the middle of the night. Our solution was to move her crate to the garage (it is a finished, insulated garage…plenty warm and protected for her). This seems to have worked. He told me she barked a little right at first, but then settled down and he didn’t hear her all night. And there were no accidents in the morning. She did get into the food bag and chew up one of her zip lock bags that I pack her food in. Luckily, there was no food in it.

For whatever reason, she still gets up in the middle of the night to go outside. I’ve been trying to work with her on this by giving her a really long potty walk before bed and then insisting on her going to lay back down when she does wake me up/ignoring her when she is just being whiny. My concern is that the couple times that she has listened and has gone to lay back fown, she has also gotten sick. I am not sure what is up with that – maybe she has an upset tummy from her antibiotics (it has only happened after her surgery)? And I know if she REALLY has to go, she lets me know by grunting and getting up on the bed if she has to to get me up…so now I don’t really know what to do. Some nights she hasn’t woken me up and there have been no problems.  Last night I don’t know if she tried (I never heard her), but this morning there were three barf spots in the living room. *sigh* Thankfully, I haven’t cleaned the carpets yet. That is on the agenda for Saturday. I guess I will just keep trying to get her to sleep through the night and will continue to clean up barf as needed.

Bonnie’s new trick is to sneak out the front door when it is opened and then dash around the house to come in the back door. I am guessing she wants to go outside, but also doesn’t really want to be left out. LOL However, I am learning that if you chase her then she keeps going and doesn’t come back in for awhile. Bad kitty.

Moo’s knee is healing really well…at least the incision is! And she seems to be feeling pretty chipper, so that makes me happy. Sadie is her usual playful, happy self too.

Now I am going to go see about some lunch…

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