Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Girl

I know you've heard of a pig in a blanket, but how about a dog in a blanket? This is our little fur-monster in a photo taken just a few minutes ago. She is nothing if not spoiled!

This past week has been a little rough for our poor puppy. On Monday she had to get six teeth pulled. It's a little annoying because when we asked about her bad breath this fall, they said we should possibly consider getting a dental done because of her age (she's 9) but not to worry about it too much. We switched over to the specialty dental food at that time and went on with life. Despite the more expensive food, the bad breath persisted. This was not only unpleasant to endure, but I could just tell Ditto wasn't feeling the best, which made me sad. We did indeed schedule the dental cleaning, as soon as we were able to come up with enough money. She went in Monday to have the procedure done. For dogs, even routine dental work is done as a surgery, so Michael and I were both a little nervous when we dropped our baby dog off Monday morning.

As it turned out, everything went fine, if you count having six teeth pulled as fine. Obviously they needed to come out...the vet apologized and explained that there really was no way to save the teeth. They had no explanation for why this happened, other than old age. It's a little hard to understand because we have always fed her dried food and taken good care of our puppy. She's been on antibiotics since she came home, but she is definitely beginning to feel better. Starting around Thursday she wanted to play again and ever since then her energy level has continued to increase. It sort of seems like we have the old Ditto back...our playful, hyperactive Jack Russell Terrier. In retrospect, I can see that she must have been in a lot of pain, which we were just chalking up to her getting older. I feel really badly about that, but I suppose hindsight is always 20/20...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A season of hope...

My blogging buddy, Sarah posted an awesome "word cloud" that she created using this web site, which, for lack of a better description word, is just plain cool. Anyway, I followed her lead and made my own word cloud from only the words I could remember off the top of my head from the inauguration ceremony today. I like the result...and I think "hope" pretty much sums up this momentous, historical day for me.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Deep Freeze

As I type this, the temperature outside is 12.2 °F, which actually seems rather like a heat wave. This past week, Michigan has been experiencing a deep freeze. Temperatures in the neighborhood of -13 °F for several days in a row, which makes the wind chill temps somewhere in the neighborhood of -23 °F depending on the day. So cold that cars won't start and 50-year-old men were found frozen to death outside their homes. Bitterly cold. We know how to handle winter here in Michigan, but this was winter like we rarely experience. We made it through the week relatively unscathed not counting the dead car battery and my husband's frozen mustache. Needless to say, he was pretty freaking cold when this image was taken. This was the morning our car wouldn't start.

It certainly could have been worse, but I'm glad the arctic front has moved past for now.

We have had a lot of snow so far this year. Many days of digging the cars out of the driveway in the freezing cold. You can really see how much snow there was in the photo below...much more and the car would have been buried.

Our most recent big snowfall was about a week ago and it was a rather beautiful one. My parents live on 4 acres of land not too far from us. I had the chance to get a few pictures while visiting with them last Sunday:

And last but not least, a haphazard image of the bird's nest in our front yard. This catches my eye every time I come and go. I love the way the nest keeps collecting snow almost like a cone.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Smartest Boy...

...or one of them anyway!

My nephew got his ACT scores back late last week and he got 34 out of 36 possible points. That puts the kid in the 99th percentile nationally, WOW! I told him my superior influence during his infancy and young childhood made all the difference, but I don't think he believed me. He's a great kid and this is great news...he will probably be able to attend any college on which he sets his sights. I am very proud!


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Not Just Re-usable!

This year is bringing about some changes at our house in terms of environmental friendliness. For years now I have been sick of plastic grocery bags. Stores always give way too many of them relative to the amount of groceries, and the things seem to quickly multiply and take up too much space at my house. Still, despite my knowledge of how bad they are for the environment, I've never taken the initiative to do much about this least not until now. I decided to finally buy myself some re-usable bags and it was a very smart purchase! Not only are the bags re-usable, they are also practical, and adorable! The set I bought contains five bags that fold up into a tiny little carrying case. They are ~ twice the size of a regular plastic bag, AND they're cute...what more could a girl want?

Here you can see one re-usable bag with a grocery bag on top and then the four other re-usable bags and carrying case. I'm excited about my next trip to the grocery store for the first time in years! I even think our store gives a little money back if you bring your own bags, so it's a win-win situation.

This is a photo of the carrying case that holds five re-usable bags. I included the pen so you can get a sense of the scale. This is tiny and could easily fit in a glove compartment or purse. I actually think I'll remember to bring them to the store with me because they're so portable.

We've also got a new thing going in place of plastic sandwich baggies. For Christmas Michael asked for "wrap-n-mat" re-usable sandwich bags, and several of them showed up in his stocking. These little treasures are also great! They fold up into the size of a sandwich and can also be used as an eating surface. I take my lunch to Eastern every day and it's nice to have this barrier between my food and the tables in the lounge. Prior to this little addition to my lunch hour arsenal, I used to spread out paper towels, or try to hold my food the entire time (you never know what's been on those tables or how long it's been since their last bath!) so these have been really handy. Oh, and did I mention they are also easy to use as cute as a button? :)

I'm sorry but I think everyone should have at least a few of only regret is that we didn't have both of these products sooner!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Sweet Sisiters

I did this photo shoot for my friend back in late October. Hard to believe it's taken me this long to get these photos finished, but it's true. These girls are so sweet, and so photogenic...I always love the resulting images of them.

Friday, January 02, 2009

So Much to Say...

2009 is here, which is still blowing my mind a little if I'm being honest. Where has all the time gone? This holiday season has been particularly busy, full of family gatherings and things to do. I had so many great ideas for what I would do with my time away from school and now the hourglass of my Christmas break is almost empty. I still have a few days, and if I'm productive I can make good use of them, but still...I won't get nearly as much done as I had hoped.

There is so much I wanted to write about and I haven't even been a good blogger lately! My younger sister and I had a crazy trip to Indiana two days before Christmas where we got stranded in an ice storm on the back country roads of Indiana. We ended up staying over into Christmas Eve because the roads were so horrible. I had an entire blog entry in my mind about this story but now it's fizzled somewhat.

There has just been so much in such a short time:
  • The birth of my newest niece, Lydia Grace
  • Christmas preparations including getting our tree and decorating the house
  • The 2nd birthday of my now two-year-old niece, Ava Marie
  • A Christmas party for my nephew, Nick, who was visiting from Indiana
  • The crazy trip to IN to take Nick home in time for other holiday functions
  • Christmas with Michael
  • Michael's 37th birthday, which included a big family dinner at our house
  • Our family Christmas
  • Our 12th wedding anniversary
  • New Year's Eve Celebrations
  • New Year's Day Family dinner
Not to mention all the preparations, present wrapping, cooking, cleaning, and effort that went into all these parties and celebrations. Not that any of this is fact quite the contrary is true. I'm just a little overwhelmed by how much there's been...and how much other stuff I haven't gotten done. My next semester starts in three more days and as of right now, it's scheduled to be my craziest semester yet with 19 credit hours. Alarm bells are ringing in my head!

I know I just have to slow down and do what I can...not worry too much about the rest. My mantra lately has been "be where you are" and I'm trying to carry that all the way through. Still, there were friends I wanted to catch up with, hobbies I wanted to dip into, chores and house projects I wanted to work much I wanted to do that I simply didn't do over this break. It's a little overwhelming to say the least. 2009 has started with a bang!