BACKGROUND

Thursday, August 30, 2007

In Stitches

**WARNING: GROSS PICTURE INCLUDED**
What a day. It started early this morning when I let our dogs out into the back yard. Bam, our foster dog, had taken to attacking our little shih tzu dogs sometime back so we always keep them separate from one another when we let them out, feed them, and so on. Bam started this behavior a couple of months after he got here. Prior to that, he was fine with both Chip and Norman, the shih tzus. It is perhaps a jealousy thing, a dominance thing, or some other thing alltogether. In any case, it is very important for us to keep the dogs apart. I had not gotten rid of Bam prior to this incident because he would make a wonderful dog for someone with female animals or no other pets. I wanted to give him a chance to find his place in this world.

This morning, I made a big mistake. I accidentally let Chip and Norman out when Bam was in the back yard. I just wasn't thinking. Bam proceeded to pick Chip up by his chest and bite into him. It was a violent, brutal attack. I rushed out and tried to pry Bam's jaws off of poor Chip who was terrified of course. In the midst of this, I was yelling for Dear Husband, but he was in the shower and could not hear me. Bam bit my right thumb and I finally managed to get him to release Chip, who promptly scampered into the trees in the back yard.

At this point, it's important to state that I did all the wrong things to break up this situation and that is why I got hurt. A good site about breaking up dog fights the right way: How to Break up a Dog Fight.

It was frightening. I was left with Chip's blood and my own. I had a gash in my thumb and several superficial wounds on my right thumb and both of my hands. Chip had a bit of blood, not much, on his back, but appeared to be ok. I still made a vet appointment for him just in case. This happened around 8 a.m. and I got him into the vet at 11 a.m. Poor baby. Turned out he had puncture wounds on his back and had to go under anesthesia to have drain tubes placed there so as to prevent infection of the lungs from the wound. He is on antibiotics for the puncture wounds

We also found out that he has an issue with his eye from his recent surgery to remove the tumor above his eye. He has a corneal ulcer apparently, caused by his inability to close the eye fully thanks to the scar tissue from that surgery. He was given an ointment for the eye. He will need another surgery to correct that problem. The vet is doing some research to determine the best way to proceed. Chip has had quite the year medically speaking.

I went to the doctor myself at 1 p.m. and had to have three stitches in my thumb to close up the gash. It hurts, but it will be ok. I have antibiotics and some pain meds should I need them. I was able to get Chip from the vet early this evening and he is resting comfortably. Our little guy is tough. I wish he didn't have to be.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Catching Up


I have some catching up to do. I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since I last wrote a blog. Here's a quick rundown of what has happened that has kept me from the world of blogging:

Friday, Aug 17: I caught the cold my nephew had. By Sunday, it had turned into a mild flu complete with body aches, exhaustion and all those other fun symptoms that accompany the flu. I felt like death warmed over.

  • Monday, Aug. 20: Drove to Castroville, just outside of San Antonio. It was four very long hours for me as I was really feeling the effects of the flu at that point. I had promised my dad I would bring nephew to see him.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 21: Spent all day at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Lots of walking around in the heat. Not good for someone with the flu.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 22: Dinner with relatives in San Antonio.
  • Thursday, Aug. 23: Drove four hours home arriving at 1:30 p.m. Had job interview at 3 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 24: Spent all day at Six Flags Splashtown in Houston with nephew. Again, not good for someone with the flu.
  • Saturday, Aug. 25: Got up at the crack of dawn and drove 3 hours to Victoria for my first M.A. class. Got home around 5:00 p.m. and drove nephew to airport for his 6:06 p.m. flight. We MISSED the flight. ARGH:( We got stuck in a traffic jam, which is unusual for a Saturday. Called tons of airlines to see if I could get him on another flight out. No dice. Paid $50 to change his ticket to the next morning.
  • Sunday, Aug. 26: Dear Husband took nephew to airport at 7 a.m. for his 8 a.m. flight. He got on the flight and made it home safely.
Sunday was a wonderful day! I finally, finally got the rest I needed. I'm still getting the rest I need as I am still sniffly and tired since I pushed myself way too hard when I was in the middle of being really sick. Monday was a restful day, I didn't even leave the house and I got a lot of things done that needed to be done at home. Today, I am going grocery shopping and running a couple of errands and then coming home to rest again. I can't believe how much sleep I need.

In-between all of this, I had not been sleeping well AT ALL because I was sick and couldn't breathe, plus I had the whole too hot/too cold thing going all night. Thankfully, I've gotten some good sleep the last couple of nights...and mornings. I'm still feeling tired, but getting better. Now, I've got to go make that grocery list.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Overnights

So my nephew is sick with a bad cold. I always have a variety of cold medicine on hand so I was prepared and did not have to run out to the store for anything. I was quite proud of that, thank you very much. But then I started to wonder about the reaction of the OTC medication with a prescription he is currently on. So I called one of the 24-hour pharmacies in town and asked the pharmacist.

Now, here's the thing: I called around 10:30 p.m. and it's a Friday night. I was on hold for a good 10 minutes until the pharmacist came on the line. I have to wonder - are there really that many people getting prescriptions filled at 10:30 on a Friday? What is it that would keep the pharmacist busy for that long at that time of night? Was there some sort of rush on Zoloft and he had to get the secret stash out of the safe in the office or what? Or maybe he and the pharmacy tech were playing "doctor" in the back room. They have the white lab coats already, might as well go for it, right?

I am sure the pharmacist was really busy and backed up from the day shift or something. I know pharmacists work hard as do all of the people who have overnight shifts. I once did an overnight shift at the front desk of 24-Hour Fitness. It is SO HARD to stay awake through the shift for one thing and doing things that would normally distract you from the time doesn't help. Things like reading just make you even more exhausted even if it's a good book.

On a completely serious note: THANK YOU to the pharmacists who work the overnight shift. You truly are a lifesaver to those of us who have questions at 10:30 at night and need an answer right away. Your service is appreciated.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Downpour of Chores

I'm frustrated right now. My left shoulder is hurting, probably from all the laundry I've been carrying to and from the laundry room. My nephew's laundry multiples in the middle of the night. It just breeds like rabbits apparently. I do laundry every single day and most of it is his. I would make him do it himself, but he's at day camp all day so it makes sense for me to toss it in while I'm at home.

In between loads of laundry, I take care of the rest of the house, which involves sweeping and mopping on a daily basis and vacuuming the living room just as often. I make sure that the dogs are taken care of with enough food and play time. I also do the dishes, which multiply just as much as the laundry. It's no help that we had a massive downpour of rain today as well as flooding. This means our backyard is a mud pit and the dogs bring it in with them and run all over the carpet. Sigh. I seriously want to replace the carpet with wood flooring so I can at least clean it with relative ease.

Doing all the general housework is on top of getting other errands done like grocery shopping, making dinner, packing lunches for my nephew to take to camp, and my own personal errands such as catching up on correspondence and e-mail. And I swear if my nephew doesn't stop the constant chatter I may have to...well, I guess I can't put in print what I want to do because of those pesky child abuse laws.

I think I just needed a rant/vent session. Thanks for listening (or reading in this case).

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Midnight Ramblings

I can't believe it's almost Thursday! Another week is coming to an end and it has flown by faster than the Concorde. My nephew, S, is still in day camp and seems to really like it. He went to the Houston Museum of Natural Science today and really enjoyed it. He picked up lots of souvenirs and was excited to show them to me.

I've been really busy this week. I met up with a friend at Starbucks on Tuesday. We had met at the gym when we were on the tread climbers next to one another. We've been trying to connect for months and finally got to do so. I'm having lunch tomorrow with a group of women I know. It's nice to reconnect with everyone.

In-between being a social butterfly, I've been doing mounds of laundry and getting other errands done like working on legal cases I've recently taken on and taking Peanut for her first grooming appointment. She is growing up so fast! She's lost the parts of the puppy stage that involve chewing and running around like crazy, but she's retained the excitement at seeing me when I come home and getting a new toy. I thought that I would be upset when she grew out of the puppy stage, but instead I find that I just love watching her grow and change and do new things. It's amazing how much a dog can be loved, but it makes sense. Peanut is always happy to see me, she knows when I'm upset and will come over and lick my hand as if to comfort me, and she's just so sweet and fun to play with. It's rare to get that kind of care, concern and companionship from any biped.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

D'oh!

It's been a busy week. On Sunday, I took my nephew S, and his friends from down the street, K and M, to the movies. S is 13, K is 12, M is 11. We had lunch at McDonald's and then went to see The Simpsons. It was a cute movie and good for the kids as well as for me. There was definitely some adult humor that the kids missed, but there was enough kid humor that it was good for everyone. The whole jaunt cost me about $75 though. D'oh!! Next time, they only get one thing at the concession stand.

We made it through the week with S and there have been very few problems. Last night, we had a couple of discussions in regards to lying and being respectful to us and others. S has never really had any sort of discipline in his life and he's been allowed to get away with very poor behavior choices. That is not something I allow in my home. It's been an adjustment for him, but Dear Husband and I stand our ground. We are loving, but very firm and that has helped to make things smoother. S will be here for two more weeks. I suspect that we will have a few more rounds with him in regards to his behavior, but I know that it won't be a real problem because we are strong in how we deal with him. We have some fun things planned for the remaining time he is here. I look forward to that.

Next week is going to be a big week for me. I'm starting my Master's program on Monday. I've received one of the books I ordered for the program and I am going to dive into reading it this week. I am used to having to read ahead and be prepared to discuss the material on day one of class. That is the way it works in law school. You get the syllabus ahead of time and you better come to day one of class ready and able to discuss the first set of assigned reading. With the Master's, that is not the case. It's really going to help me having been through law school because I am used to reading ahead so it's not strange to me to do that.

So that is life for me these days. BUSY, BUSY! But I like it that way. Nothing like being busy to feel alive and accomplished.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Getting Friendly

Today was a day spent with friends. I slept in again, which I could get used to really fast. I then had lunch with K, a friend I made from the job I quit. K very sweetly told me how upset she was when she found out I was gone and how she misses me. It was nice to hear that.

After that, I stopped by the home of my friend, A. She is married to Dear Husband's best friend. A is awesome, she always has good advice and is one of the calmest people I know. It helps to have someone like that in your life. I followed up that visit with a visit to my friend Brandy from a job I had awhile back. I hadn't seen her for quite awhile, but we text message and e-mail to keep in touch. It was nice to see her and chat in person. She is the friend who knows EXACTLY what I've been through with certain job situations and she's just so upbeat. I love her for that and many other things.

And then, there is my best friend Britt. She sent me a link today to an article about dealing with workplace difficulties. It was a good article. The funny thing is that my dad and K sent me the same article too. It's so awesome to know that people care and want to help me in any way they can.

I feel SO good today. It's a continuation of the wonderful feeling I had yesterday. I am surrounded by amazing friends who are really family to me. All of life's storms can be weathered when you are surrounded by friends who really, truly love you. I am lucky and what's even better is that I know it.

Breaking the Surface

It's been an interesting week. I quit my job yesterday after realizing that there was no possibility of my being happy in the position. This decision came after a difficult meeting with a manager and co-worker. The job was full of negativity and disillusionment on the part of many of the people there. I've seen worse in the workplace and I've seen better. A dear friend of mine who has been in the working world for many years says there are no good workplaces; all employers are jerks. I'm sure there are some exceptions to that, but I am starting to put some stock into the theory. In any case, I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and ready to move forward. I have some VERY good leads on jobs that I am excited about.

This was truly a great day. I slept in, met a friend for lunch, got my hair cut, and got in a great workout at the gym. It's great to feel so refreshed and excited about the future and all that is coming up. The other day, I ordered the books for my Master's program and I can't wait until they get here so I can start reading them. I know, that sounds strange, but I am so ready to dive in.

In other wonderful news, my best friend got a job!! She's been looking hard and all her effort has come to fruition in the form of teaching 6th grade. I am SO, SO excited for her and VERY, VERY proud of her. She is awesome. I talked to her last night about my job stuff, her job stuff, and general stuff. It was a good conversation with laughter and fun. Thank God for friends.

Tomorrow, I have lunch plans and I will be getting a facial. I have a lot of errands to run as well. I look forward to checking things off my list. I feel SO great right now. There's nothing like knowing I'm moving in the right direction. It's like being underwater and finally getting to come up for air. I've broken the surface!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

It's Essential


I have a new addiction. I am absolutely hooked on iTunes Essentials. It's crack for music lovers, I am telling you. I have the iPod Shuffle. I use it at work to tune out co-workers who shouldn't be allowed to speak...ever. I also use it at the gym to keep me going on the treadmill. In other words, it's essential (there's that word again) to my sanity.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend mentioned iTunes Essentials to me when I was on the hunt for some new music. Basically, iTunes has put together a bunch of songs in various categories. For example "Morning Motivators" is a collection of songs to get you going in the morning. They have the same thing for afternoon and evening. You can find everything there from "'40s Pop" to "Portland" which is songs either featuring or somehow related to the city of Portland, Oregon. They have songs for a lot of major cities. I spent two hours the other night going through all the music and practically went broke filling my cart with stuff I love. They are always adding to it as well. I can see how this could be big trouble for me.

In other life news, my 13-year-old nephew is staying with Dear Husband and I for three weeks. He can be a difficult child - his start in life was not the best it could have been. He was born to my brother and his wife who were 19 and 17 respectively at the time of his birth. Both were drug addicts during and after his birth. My mother has been raising him since he was 8 months old. His doctors now suspect he may have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). What's interesting about him though is how intelligent he is. He's been tested and it has been determined that he is extremely intelligent, beyond his age group. The problem is not his intellect, but rather his behavior. The FAS and lack of discipline throughout his life has produced a child with some issues to say the least.

However, day one has been fine. Dear Husband took him out for lunch and to the range to learn to shoot safely. I went grocery shopping and spent our life savings so we can feed this kid for the time he is here. I don't know how parents don't have a second job just to pay the grocery bill for teenagers.

I have faith that the rest of the time he is here will go just as well as day one. I know there will be some ups and downs, but I also know that Dear Husband and I can handle it.