Monday, May 31, 2010

I am alive...

but just barely. Apparently right after my last post my health took a turn for the worse. I have been battling allergies and whatnot for the last week or so and didn't really think too much of it. I guess this is supposed to be the worst year for allergies in like 15 years or something. Yay.
Sparky had a little cough that I ignored, and apparently he passed it to me.
Well, lucky me. Due to my horrid allergies and asthma and ignoring my sickness... I got bronchitis and a sinus infection. It knocked me on my ass. I am not really sure how I made it through school on Wednesday and Thursday because I honestly do not remember those days even happening. I know I remembered to turn in my master's homework on Wednesday... but other than that I don't know what happened.
Thursday (I think, it could have been Wednesday), after school, I went to the minute clinic at CVS and got some antibiotics. They really helped. I actually remember what we did in class on Friday!

Friday was my dad's 66th birthday, so I went to my parent's house for lasagna dinner. It was yummy. I don't have any pics.

Saturday was my dad's family reunion at my parents' house. I didn't last too long there. I guess being sick requires getting a lot of sleep, which I have not been doing. My mom sent me home to go back to bed. So I did. It was glorious.

Sunday I was supposed to go to the Indy 500. My "mom" in my sorority is engaged to the guy who was in the #2 spot starting the race, Will Power. I was excited to get to see him race, and hopefully win. I didn't go to the race. I stayed home and caught up with all the cleaning and laundry I had ignored all week long. It was a good thing I didn't go because it ended up being the hottest day in history at the race track. I don't do well with large crowds or extreme heat so it would have been miserable for everyone around me if I had gone.
Sparky took his mom and dad to the race instead. It wasn't such a good idea to take them either because of the horrible heat. They ended up leaving half way through the race and taking a taxi cab to where their car was parked because Sparky's dad was not looking so good. Sparky thought he was going to have a heat stroke. I am happy to report everyone is okay now.

So I guess this Memorial Day we are going to just "straight chill" as Sparky says. Sparky slept in. I woke up with the barking/crying puppies. I had them fed, cleaned their area, made myself breakfast and was parked in front of my new favorite show by 9:00am.

I need to write an assessment real quick so I can fill in the last parts of one kid's report card. (The kindergarten report card is standards based, so for every single kindergarten standard I have to give a grade. Since I teach a k/1 split I pretty much just teach first grade so I don't know if this one kid knows all of these kindergarten skills. The rest of the kindergartners work at a first grade level anyway so they obviously have mastered all of the kindergarten standards.)
The kids have one day of school left and then there is one teacher day. After that, I have to pack up my classroom AGAIN for the third year in a row. I am getting really tired of packing it. Hopefully my next grade/school placement will last longer than one year!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I have a new favorite show.

9 By Design.
This show combines my favorite things. It was made for me. A show about a design couple who favor modern, clean, sleek lines (no chotkies). But here is the best part.... they have seven kids! That is right. Seven. I love it! My two loves. Children and design. Ahhh. Of course, their parenting "style" lacks a bit (as in they correctly refer to their youngest twins as 'terrors' but who made them that way? Can we say discipline?). Their children also have odd names. 12 year old Wolfgang (Wolfie), 10 year old twin girls Tallulah and Bellamy (I kinda like Bellamy's name), 8 year old Breaker (again, I kinda like Breaker's name), 4-year old twin boys Five (the number) and Holledar (Holly), then baby Major. I spent the first episode of the show trying to figure out why Holly was always dressed in boy clothes... until they referred to 'the boys.' Oh.
The oldest four children seem to be very well behaved and well rounded children. The twin boys are ridiculous. They need some strict discipline and structure. They scream, don't listen, and are WILD.
I absolutely love their style. They have great vision for taking horrible spaces and transforming them into sleek, shining new gems. This is definitely a show you should TiVo. Check out the Bravo channel and look for 9 by Design.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I just read...

It was great. I read it in a day. I downloaded it for free from Barnes and Noble the other day (apparently I just got lucky because it was only free for one day). I began reading Angie's blog a looooong time ago. Well, not that long. She hasn't been writing it for that long, but for a while now. Her story was sad, inspiring, and uplifting at the same time. Her husband sings in the Christian band Selah.
I got it just because I had been reading her blog for so long. I thought I would read a sad story and be uplifted, like reading her blog. I was wrong. It was so much more. Reading about the loss she experienced with her sweet little Audrey was like reading about the suffering and loss those with infertility struggle with. Hers was much worse (I am guessing) because she had this actual life inside her moving around and growing. She knew her baby was not going to live, but she still carried her to full term. She had to explain, over and over again, that she was having a little girl but she was not going to live here with us on earth. I cannot imagine being forced to endure that pain daily due to the outward sign of her pregnancy. Those of us with infertility can just walk around and never be obviously bothered. At least I have never had anyone walk up to me and ask me why I was not pregnant. It may hurt me to see different things, but the rest of the world doesn't know.

Anyway, I was able to relate to a lot of what she talked about in the book.
Also, apparently she has always struggled with horrible anxiety. As you know, if you read here regularly, I have depression. Anxiety and depression are old pals from the army. They go hand-in-hand and cause many of the same problems and have similar symptoms (at least I think they do). I have recently struggled with what depression really is. Is it the devil (I feel silly even saying the name "devil") attacking my spirit? It sure feels like it. I have noticed in the past year that when I am having a horrible "episode" if I pray to God, it goes away. I am not sure why this would happen if it was not somehow related. I tried it once out of desperation. The depressed feeling was closing in on me and there was no way out so I just begged God to make it go away. And He did. Now, I pray before it gets that far. Angie put it best here:
I can feel my fingers getting numb, my vision getting hazy, my breathing quicken; and I know it is upon me. But I believe now, years later, that this voice has a name, and he lurks in the shadows, waiting to devour. I feel that I have been in the midst of spiritual warfare as I have walked this path, and I have constantly had to silence the enemy with the only word that can. I utter the name of Jesus as I get into bed, as I cry in the night, as I sense the evil that Satan has tempted me to believe (p. 189-190).
I think I have said so before, but I really feel silly even mentioning Satan. I feel like I am in Harry Potter and I am mentioning He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named (Voldemort). I am far more comfortable mentioning Voldemort's name than the name of the fallen angel (do you like how I evaded his name there?). Anyway, spiritual warfare is mentioned in the Bible and I believe that the Bible is true, therefore there must be spiritual warfare. I just don't ever hear people talk about it. If Satan was even there tempting Jesus, who was God Himself, how much more is he going to tempt the rest of us little peons? Hmmm....

Rant. Consider Yourself Warned.

WARNING: If you have nothing against teenage pregnancy, you should probably not read this.

My 19 year old cousin got his girl friend knocked up. Great. Nothing like having a cousin from a dysfunctional family to find some girl and get her knocked up while he works at a BBQ place making minimum wage. Wonderful.
She is having a baby shower tomorrow. You know what I would like to send? Condoms. And a pack of birth control.
My cousin lives with his dad. His girlfriend (I guess now his fiance, because that is just the natural next step) lives with her mom. They cannot even afford to move in together in some really cheep apartment, because they both make minimum wage.
I am clearly not going to go to the shower because, if you know me in real life, you know that I have a hard time biting my tongue. I am sure she would complain about being uncomfortable or mention the sleepless nights she will have and I will completely go off on her. Or she might mention how excited she is to have a fun little baby to dress up, and I will go off on her. Because babies are not just a fun little thing to have around to play with. Get a doll for that.
However, since my cousin's mom got me nice gifts for my recent wedding, I feel I should reciprocate by getting a present to send with someone who can  keep their thoughts to themselves. So I checked the registry.
Dumb, dumb, dumb idea.
The girl (I have never met her, she may be very nice) registered for fun, cute little pacifiers that say "stud muffin" and "mute button." These would be adorable things to register for if you were having a baby like God intended. If you are married, have planned and really want children, are financially able to care for a child... please, register for all the fun, cute stuff your heart desires! I know I will!
However, if you are a teenager who "accidentally" got pregnant you forgo all rights to have fun cute stuff on your registry. You are only allowed to register for boring practical shit. Like burp cloths, and cheap diapers. Even her practical stuff is top of the line. Instead of just asking for diapers, she wants the pure and natural organic huggies. Oh, and just four bumgenius cloth diapers. I am all for cloth. I plan on using it myself someday. But you need far more than four diapers to use them. You need about 24 (if you only want to launder ever 2 days). Ugh. I am sure I wouldn't even think twice about any of this if I approved of the pregnancy. And I know it is not my place to grant my approval. But I am not exactly rational and I don't really care. Like I said at the beginning, if you think teen pregnancy is fine... go elsewhere.

Also, I am out of my medicine. And one of my puppies (Amelia) peed on my down comforter. Ugh. I'll write something more cheery later. I'm off to buy a huge crate of generic non-organic diapers from Sam's Club for my cousin's baby.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Introducing Amelia and Animal!

The puppies slept very well their first night home. But they didn't go to bed in their crate until about 1:00am and then I was so nervous that they were going to pee everywhere that I got up with them at 5:30am.

Sparky wanted all sorts of horrible names for Animal. Animal was, by far, the best choice. His other suggestions were: Crank-Shaft, Axel-Rod, Jarvis, Ajax, Lucius... you get the picture. Animal was his favorite muppet growing up. It was so much better than the other options so it stuck for the puppy formerly known as Pattycake. In case you do not know who I am talking about I have chosen to add some images/clips for you. You are welcome.
Regular Muppet Animal: Baby Muppet Animal:

The little girl puppy likes to explore. A lot. Sparky decided she should be Amelia, after Amelia Earhart who loved to explore the sky. Whatever. She really is a little princess because she thinks everything is about her.

I came home after work and they were perfect! They did not attempt to knock over their gate and nothing was torn up. They went potty only on the newspapers. All was good.
I cleaned up the floor and placed wee wee pads down. Smooth transition from newspaper.

Second night home the little princess, Amelia, was very barky and whiny. Sparky decided to let them try sleeping in our bed. They were all over the place. They tried sleeping by my feet, and my knees, and my elbows, and on top of my head, and by my back. It was really annoying. I finally put them in the kitchen and went back to bed around 4:00am.

Last night I put Gaby's old round bed in between Sparky's pillow and my pillow. When they tried to crawl out of their bed, I made my "don't do that" sound. They slept peacefully all night. I took them to pee at 4:00am and then at 6:00am they were ready to play. I put them in the kitchen to play so I could sleep a little longer.
They have been sleeping and playing all day. Such good puppies. They are completely wee wee pad trained. They just don't seem to understand the peeing outside thing yet. I am working on it. So far, we are accident free!! The only accident we have had was when I was ignoring them so I could get dressed. Oops.

The Day We Got Our....

PUPPIES!!! On Wednesday, right after school, I called a pet rescue center in Louisville, KY to inquire about the two little Lhasa Apso puppies featured at the bottom of my last post. They were very wary of me. Here is kinda how the convo went:
Me: Hi, I am calling about the Lhasa Apso puppies you have on puppyfinder. Do you still have them?
Them: Yyyeeeessss. (very slowing and hesitantly) Do you have any children?
Me: No (bitterly).
Them: Have you ever had a puppy before?
Me: Yes. I got a Lhasa Apso puppy 15 years ago. He just died.
Them: (Audibly sighing with relief) Good, so you know what is involved with this kind of dog with all of the grooming and their temperament.
Me: Yes, I do.
Them: To adopt any of our animals you need to go through an application process. You need to fill out paperwork and provide three references, which we will check. If anyone else lives with you, you need to bring them with you when you come to see them. We are open until 7:00 tonight and you can begin the application process at that time.
And some more stuff, but nothing too interesting.

I immediately called Sparky and he said he was leaving his school immediately and would meet me at the Barnes & Noble parking lot (about half way between our two schools). He then remembered that he forgot his wallet at home that morning, and after the drilling I got over the phone, I figured we better get his wallet in case they need photo identification or something.

We were still unsure whether we wanted to get one puppy or two. So we were going to ask the professionals when we got there.

We got to the place about 6:00 and were taken to a small room where all five of the puppies from the litter were rolling over each other. I quickly spotted the one named Pattycake and I held him. Apparently Sparky made eye contact with the one named Sheena immediately and it was "love at first sight." (Gag. She already has him wrapped around her little paw.) Unfortunately, Sheena was already adopted by some people. Ugh. I tried to find a second favorite. It was difficult. Did I want the other girl "Diva"? Or did I want the cute little shy boy with the same coloring as Sheena?  The fifth puppy has the same coloring as Pattycake and is really pretty, but he was clearly the leader of the pack. He was very rambunctious... or as Sparky calls him, "the rabble rouser." I have no desire to battle with a dog, so he was out of the question.

There was an older couple in the room with the puppies when we got there. They were just there to play with the puppies, they weren't buying any. We asked them about one vs two. They said two was the way to go. They had previously had one Lhasa by himself and it was fine, but they currently have two and it is so much easier. They play together, cuddle, and keep each other company when they have to leave the house. The people running the place agreed and said we could get either two boys or a boy and a girl, but not two girls because they will fight.

We told the people which ones we wanted, emphasizing that we really like Sheena if the adoption with the other people doesn't work out. Well, guess what! They couldn't get a hold of the third reference. They also had already left two messages with the people to let them know that their reference wasn't answering. No calls back. Sparky asked if they would like some back up numbers in case our references don't call back. So I wrote down every name and number in my cell phone!
Sparky then asked about how long the process takes because we drove over 100 miles to see them. The lady was really nice and said she would call our references right then!

She talked to my friend Katie and all went well. (Thanks Katie!) Then she called Sparky's friend. Ugh. He thought she was a prank caller.
Them: Would you give Sparky and Sarah two puppies?
Dumb friend: I wouldn't give him a 6 year old Rottweiler! (And he went on)
Them: Oh, then we can't let him take these puppies.
Dumb friend: Oh, you were serious? Who is this?
Apparently they all got a big laugh and it ended up okay. Lucky for him, or he would have regretted it...
I think they then called my friend Cassie but she didn't answer.
They then called Dr. Bizzari, my principal. She is an animal lover in the extreme. However, last Thursday she had an emergency appendectomy and hasn't been in school. She didn't even know that my dog died or that I was looking at new puppies. I am sure she was royally confused. I cannot wait to ask her on Monday.
Cassie saw the missed call and called them back. She answered their questions and all was good. (Thanks Cassie!)

She said we could have them right away. She inserted their microchips, put them in a crate, gave us two nylabones, two toys that smell like their litter, two bags of puppy food, and all of their paperwork. She even strapped their crate into the car for us.

We got home at 11:00. That gave me just one hour to unload the puppies (I wasn't expecting them to be able to come home with us today so the house was not ready) and to submit my homework for my masters. It was due at midnight. I got most of it in on time. I hope the professor goes easy on me!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Well, Hell must have frozen over...

because Sparky sent me flowers without dirt attached! He has brought home flowers for me several times. The first time, he brought free flowers left over from the HHCC plant sale that I could put in the garden. The second time, he brought home some tulips in a pot, so I could plant them later. {sigh}
But today he called a flower company and had them deliver a beautiful bouquet to my school. Love.
I was going to attach a picture of the little card that came with it, but I realize it says Sparky's real name. He would not like that and I may ruin further opportunities to receive flowers. :o)

As I was uploading these photos I found the very last pictures I ever took of Gaby. I thought I would include them here.

These two are of Gaby enjoying a dental bone I got for him at Kroger in a pack of 7. One for every day of the week. They were guaranteed to brush his teeth. They must have done a really good job because the vet commented about what wonderful shape his teeth were in. (The red is a "flavor strip" not blood)
This next one is Sparky's favorite. He (and Gaby) were playing with my iPad and this was their creation. Please note Gaby's excellent drawing skills in his self-portrait:

You may think I am horrible, but I have begun looking for puppies. Gaby brought so much love to my life and Sparky and I pretty much revolved around him. We are now orbiting around nothingness. I have found two pure-bred Lahsa Apso puppies that were born in an animal shelter from a poor dog that was rescued from a puppy mill. They are in Louisville. I have sent them an e-mail to see if they are still available to get this weekend. Here are some mug shots of my two favorite:
I REALLY love Pattycake. Not his name though. That will have to change. Sparky is rooting for Lucius (blegh) or Gaby 2.0. Gaby 2.0 is way too long and implies that he will have Gaby-like traits, which we cannot guarantee. I just need something snuggly to begin filling the Gaby shaped hole.

Monday, May 10, 2010

It is with a heavy heart....

...that I type the words, "Gaby died."
My mom went with me to the vet today. The vet said he had serious issues with his spinal cord, causing him to be unable to support his hind quarters. She could give him steroids, which would make his poor eyes even worse, and pain killers and it might make him feel a little better. If not, he would need surgery and very extensive medical care to ease his pain. The other option was to put him to sleep.
After watching him struggle to walk toward me this morning I knew that Gaby was in serious pain. Additionally, I have been able to feel Gaby's spine clearly through his skin lately. I figured this was due to a loss of appetite. The vet told me that those were slipped disks causing more pain to my poor dog.
I held Gaby close while she gave him a sedative shot. He did not like it. Not at all. In fact, he tried to bite her. He has never reacted like that to a shot. But being blind and nearly deaf, his other senses are heightened and he is more skittish.
He soon was feeling very woozy. I held him and rocked.
When the vet came back in the room Gaby was practically knocked out already just from the sedative. As soon as she started injecting the pink stuff into his little leg, his tongue flopped out. Just like kids do when they play dead. Lahsa Apsos have such long tongues.
The vet stood there with her stethoscope and listened for his heartbeat to stop. He was very peaceful. I know he was in so much pain before. There isn't any more pain.
We buried him in my parent's back yard. I never thought I would be able to hold a dead dog. Even while taking Gaby to the vet, I had no idea how we were going to get him home. But watching the whole procedure, it felt like he was really just sleeping. So I wrapped him in the blanket Sparky and I got him for Christmas, and held him. I got to my parents' house and rocked him. He was still warm. He held him far longer than would be deemed appropriate. But he was so peaceful. The weight of his warm body was just what I needed. When Sparky finally arrived we put him into a different blanket, in a bag (so animals won't smell him and dig him up), and into the hole. 
But now there is an emptiness. Inside me and inside my house.
I gathered up his little clothes. His blankets. His toys. His little bits of leftover bones. His bowl still half full of food he hadn't eaten. His beds that were scattered in nearly every room of the house. I put it all in the garage.
I still keep looking for him. While I type here on the computer I am used to him sitting at my feet. So before I shift positions, I keep looking down to make sure Gaby isn't there. When I walk in the front door I look to the white chair, his throne, where he always waits for me. I even stepped in a puddle on the kitchen floor and immediately took my sock off, because normally puddles mean pee (this one was just a melted ice cube).
I miss him. I miss him so much it hurts. But I will go on and it will get better.
Over time I will stop looking for him. I will get used to sleeping with only Sparky. I will stop longing to hold him in my arms.

You might be wondering why I am posting in the middle of the day, Why aren't you at work, Sarah?

Well... Over the weekend Gaby began losing control of his bladder. (Either that or he is just being a pain in the ass. I am betting on the former.) I went online and purchased some doggie diapers so I can stop cleaning the carpet every five minutes. Of course I opted for the free shipping which takes 5-9 business days and I needed something NOW.
So I looked around and found out that disposable doggie diapers are expensive! They cost $11.97 for a pack of 12. That is about a dollar per diaper. I would rather pin a dollar around his groin than pay for those. So I went to Target and got their baby diapers on sale for $6 for like 32 diapers. Much better. I cut a little hole for his tail and strapped the bad boy on. He really didn't seem to mind it. Except his little bit was just outside of the diaper's reach. Ugh.
Back to Target I went. I bought the next two sizes up, just to be on the safe side. I try the largest size on him. They fit! As long as he doesn't move. When he moves, his little bits pop out of the top again.
So I had to get creative and turn the thing sideways. It isn't pretty, but it works.

So this morning I wake up and get dressed, like always. Then I pick up Gaby and take him downstairs to go potty. I put him down on the floor and he fell over. He couldn't hold up his back half. His front legs seem to be just fine, but his little back legs tremble and give out.
I tried getting him to walk toward me and it was the most pathetic, tear inducing, event I have ever seen. He wanted to walk to me so badly... but he couldn't.
I had to pick him up and place him in the mulch to go to the bathroom. He could barely squat his little legs were shaking so much.

So I called the vet. They cannot get him in until 2:00. I am not sure why they don't think this is as important as I do. Clearly this is a medical emergency and they should clear their schedule for him. Duh.
I went to work and asked for an afternoon substitute through my tears. They decided I should probably just take the whole day.

It's a good thing I was there and the sub was running late because first thing in the morning we had a fire drill (And they are having a tornado drill this afternoon at 2). It took me about an hour to type up my plans and the children in my class were little angels and told me they were very sorry about my dog.

Now I am sitting at home, forcing him to snuggle with me just preparing for the worst case scenario.
I don't know what I am going to do without Gaby. I got him when he was a little puppy when I was in 5th grade. He is 15 years old now. That means I have had Gaby living with me for 3/5 of my life (that is way more than half). He has been with me through so much and has always given me his unconditional love. When I am sad he knows and comes to crawl into my lap. He sleeps with me at night, and snuggles during the day. {sniffle}

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Motherless Mother's Day

My mom is in Chicago today. Taking a segway tour of the city. So I cannot focus my energy on her today. I will wait until tomorrow or some other day.

So I think of me. Because I am selfish like that. God has put the desire of children in my heart and nothing I can do will change that. I think because I was diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 19, that is where I see the beginning of my road with infertility. The doctor told me it would most likely be very difficult for me and I saw each passing period as one more lost opportunity. I endured surgery and treatments long before I was married. Even before I met, fell in love, and married Sparky. I don't think of this as 6 months of infertility... I see 6 years of struggling with this knowledge.
So until it finally happens for Sparky and I here is a little poem that perfectly sums up my thoughts right now:

There are women that become mothers without effort,
without thought, without patience or loss and though
they are good mothers and love their children,
I know that I will be just as good a mother.

It will be not because of genetics,
or money or that I have read more books but because I have
struggled and toiled for this child.
I have longed and waited. I have cried and prayed.
I have endured and planned over and over again.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have
appreciation are those who have struggled to attain
their dreams.
I will notice everything about my child.I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and
discover. I will marvel at this miracle every day for
the rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night
to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort,
hold and feed him and that I am not waking to take
another temperature, pop another pill, take another
shot or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be
crying for me.

I count myself blessed in this sense; that God has given
me this insight, this special vision with which I will
look upon my child that my friends will not see.
Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a 

child that God leads me to, I will not be careless
with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured.
I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter,
neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain.
I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my
own body.

I have been tried by fire and hell many
never face, yet given time, I stood tall.
I have prevailed. I have succeeded. I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from
their pain in order to save myself discomfort.
I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.
I listen. And even though I cannot make it better,
I can make it less lonely.

I have learned the immense power of
another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that
moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and
when life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion
that only comes with walking in those shoes.

I have learned to appreciate life.
Yes I will be a wonderful mother.

~Author Unknown

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I need to modify my 101 in 1001...

...because I used my embroidery machine money to buy an iPad. And I love it. It was totally worth it and I have no regrets.
Ahhhh. I got a film to put over the touch screen so it won't get ruined and I got a silicone cover thing so I can throw it into my purse like a ginormous phone. If it had a phone app I could be like a modern-day Zach Morris!
I got this bad boy Thursday after school and I wasted no time downloading apps to my new friend. Then I crossed off another number from my 101 list by creating my school and home calendar on the calendar app on my new iPad. Nice. (If you really want, you can click to see what we did at school Friday.)
I also added the kindle/bn reader/ ebook apps so I now have a virtual library:
I love that the pages are in color, look like pages being turned when I turn pages. If I click on a word in the book a little dictionary definition pops up, I can also highlight, take notes, and other stuff I haven't figured out yet.
I feel like a five year old with the coolest new toy. I even took it to school on Friday to show off to all of my friends. Too bad the teachers don't have Show and Tell, or I totally would have shared.
And just in case you are thinking of buying one but don't want to part with your money, check this out. I was making some tea last night and this was on my tea bag:
Clearly, being a teacher, and buying electronic gadgets, I will never be rich on earth. Now I can use my new technology to download the Bible, and all of the Beth Moore Bible studies I want to read. I can carry 25 books around with me while only weighing a pound and a half.


My flowers are blooming! I love perennials. I plant them once, and they keep coming back. I really have no idea how you can justify buying any other kind of plant when these exist. Who wants to plant the same flowers year after year after year? I would much rather plant once and enjoy forever.
When I first bought this townhouse the previous owner had a different idea about "perennials." I guess he took the idea of plant once and enjoy forever a little too literally, because I am pretty sure the shrubs had not been trimmed. Ever. They grew so huge that they covered an entire sidewalk and additional flower bed that I did not know existed.
To help illustrate my point I made a pretty picture for you.
Here is the before:
And here is the after (NOT my woodie van):

Well, Sparky hooked a chain around each one, hooked them up to his cargo van (classy) and pulled them out. Three dump truck loads later... I had a workable space.
(Please ignore my recycling bins, I am just glad Sparky remembered to set them out on the correct week. Also, unless you want to pick my weeds for me, don't look at them either. And that small thing centered between the two closest arbors is actually a plant. It is supposed to be a hydrangea bush.)

The only plant (other than the arborvidi) that I kept was this strange looking thing. It is weird in the winter when it is naked, but looks really cool this time of year:

Overdue Post- Cinco de Mayo

     I totally meant to write another post the day after my "scoots" post. No one wants their most recent post to be about poo. No one. Apparently I have had a busy week!
     I am going to begin by going back to May 5th. Cinco de Mayo. This year marks the fifth year anniversary of our family friend, Barb, going to be with Jesus. It was painfully evident that it was time for her to go when she did. She was in so much pain from her colon cancer that all I can do is thank God she did not suffer in extreme pain for long. When she started to go downhill, she went quickly. Right after she passed I was fortunate enough to see the subtle smile on her face. I know she would have loved to stay here on Earth for a while longer to see her two daughters get married, see the birth of her granddaughter Raegan, and to meet all future grandchildren. Since she had to go, I am happy to know she is in a better place watching everything from above.
My mom sent me red carnations, Barb's favorite.
     To celebrate Cinco de Mayo (not Mexican independence day, but the celebration of the Mexican army's victory over the French in the battle at Puebla, Mexico in 1862). Strangely enough, this holiday is not celebrated anywhere in Mexico other than Puebla...yet we Americans celebrate it. Very odd. I guess the point of celebrating is because since the Battle of Puebla there has not been an attack on the Americas by any European military force.So to celebrate being American, Sparky and I did what all good Americans do on May 5th...we went to a Mexican restaurant! We went and ate at 6:00. Perfect timing. We had about a five minute wait. When we were leaving at about 7:30ish (we had to get fried ice cream) there were so many people there they spilled into the street.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Scoots

That is what Sparky calls diarrhea. (Speaking of diarrhea, why is it spelled that way? It is ridiculous.) Poor Gaby has had the scoots for the last two days because I switched his dog food. He has such a sensitive tummy, the poor thing. I got him some new food, and he didn't like it so he stopped eating it. So I had to get him his old food, and he is so picky that he actually picked out the pieces of new (old style) food from his bowl and refused the eat the other stuff. This resulted in the scoots.
On the bright side, he was very snuggly and cuddly. He then would suddenly leap up and begin crying as he "scooted" all over the carpet. Lovely. (Basic H2 works well on carpet stains.) He did this several times. The final time was about 4:00am. It smelled so horrible that it woke me up.
To prevent more stains during the day while I was at school I had to barricade him in the kitchen on the linoleum. The opening into the kitchen is extra wide, so of course I cannot just use a baby gate like a normal person. I got to do this:

This is a huge piece of plywood wedged up against the two walls on either side of the opening. Holding it in place is a heavy filing cabinet, a trash can, and a chair. Trust me, if I could have piled more stuff in front of it, I would. My dog is houdini. He can escape nearly anything.
Here he is when I got back from work. He got one piece of wood down, he flipped over his bed, flipped part of the rug, and knocked the hand towel off the stove. You can see the little guy in the corner. He is blind, so he was staring at the oven instead of me. Poor guy. 

Fortunately, he was a good boy while I was at school and I have not had to lock him in the kitchen again.
Sparky and I went to Barnes and Noble because...well, that is what we do... and guess what we saw!
That's right folks!  A double rainbow! The first one is obvious, the second one is much more faint, but I can still see it. I like to think of this as God's sign that he will not forget me while he is knocking up everyone else in my school.
Oh yeah, another teacher is pregnant. With twins. (But she had in-vitro so in my warped infertility stricken mind, she "deserves" her twins because she had to struggle to get them. So, I am happy for her instead of purely bitter. Don't try to understand my thinking, I am complicated.)
Also, because I just learned of this teacher's infertility, she was able to refer me to her fertility clinic in Indy. She is going to call some people for me. I love her. Finally, someone IRL who understands. Ahhh.