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Today (Saturday) DH and I took Charley along when we ran some errands in town. Our first stop wasn’t an errand though. It was the Linear Trail that snakes around BigUtown. It was such a beautiful autumn day. Perfect weather for walking a dog and hanging out together.

After the walk, we tried out the new local custard place. Delicious! Charley got a cup of refreshing cold water after we got done eating cheese fries and custard confections.

We rented Expelled from RedBox last night. Insightful, thought-provoking movie by Ben Stein. I’d recommend seeing it.

Enjoy the pictures!

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Joyful

Posted on: October 27, 2008

I go this picture of Ginger tonight after I got home and let the dogs out. She looks like she smell something good in the breeze. (DH was in BigUtown marching in the homecoming parade.)

Had some technical glitches during the presentation today, but it still seemed to be well received. More to the point, it’s over. Now it’s time to turn my attention to the one in two weeks.

Charley’s vet visit this morning went okay. Turns out he has an infection in his ears (which I suspected.) We’ve got some goopy drops to put in them for a week or so. That makes two dogs in this house needing special care. (Maddie has antibiotics and pain medication for her leg. And we have to change the bandages each day. She’s got 7 staples in her leg, poor little thing.) It’s a bit like a animal infirmary around here.

The internet, phone, and cable are back.

Before heading back home today I stopped and picked up a cross-stitch kit I saw a few weeks ago when we were in HugeUtown. It’s a turkey and includes a pillow that the cross-stitch fabric gets inserted into. (That sentence was awful! But it’s late and I’m tired.) I started working on it tonight. Of course, I still have my knitting projects to finish. It’s that startitis setting in again!

No set-in-stone plans for the weekend. Tomorrow is homecoming at LittleU, but I’m not sure that we’ll go down for the game. We’ll just play it be ear. I can handle that.

Maddie went to the vet yesterday and had her sarcoma removed. It’ll be a week before we know the status of her alien being. Hoping it’s not one of the maligned ones. But she was her usual charming self and had everyone at the center wrapped around her little paws. Poor girl was hurting a bit in the evening and was groany/moany more than usual. Which earned her extra treats and loads of love. By this morning she seemed to be a bit perkier and I got a face full of kisses.

Charley slept for a few hours in the bathtub last night. It’s his new hiding place where it’s storming or the artillery is really going at it. It was the artillery this time. Eventually he ended up on the bed with us.

And Ginger is being her usual happy self. She was snoring away on her bed in the living room and we were giggling away on the sofa listening to her. Ginger is really our mostly stable, not-too-needy dog. I think sometimes she ends up getting the middle child treatment, so I try to give her some alone time when I can where she gets some special scratches and rubs.

On a completely different subject, if you’ve been trying to call us, our phone service has been out due to storms this week. We’re not sure what’s going on or when it will return. Hopefully soon because it also means our internet and cable is gone too. No cable?! We might have to read or talk to each other. *laugh*

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Stress mess

Posted on: October 16, 2008

Wow. Do you ever have one of those moments when everything just hits you all at once. I’m having one of those right now. It sucks.

First, our dog Maddie had a weird looking thing growing on her back leg. It got even weirder looking. We joked that she was going through some sort of asexual reproduction process and we were going to end up with a mini-Maddie. Didn’t seem to bother her, but it changed, so DH took her to the vet. Maddie has a sarcoma. Won’t know until next week if it’s benign or maligned. (Yes, I know that’s not the right word.) Had no idea how much this actually worried me. (I was out of town while most of this was going on this week.)

Went on a job interview. Don’t think I’ll get the job. But it made me realize how horrid things really are where I am even though generally I deal pretty well. (Except when I’m complaining here or pondering leaving.) Top it off with the fact that I’m torn about changing jobs right now because it would likely mean another big move. Which means weekends at home would be out because it’d be too far to travel. This isn’t the best time to be contemplating that. So I’ve got to figure out some way to deal with this crap as it is in a way that will allow me to stay sane and not get sucked into the petty silliness. Maybe I’ll start my own committee of silly walks to ease my tension.

And LittleU screwed up my retirement pay. It was supposed to have started coming out of my check back in June. We are required to contribute 5.5% of our gross. Not a huge deal until you double that for three months to get caught up. At a time when we’re now facing vet bills. Not to mention Christmas. This financial fiasco is the main reason I opted not to go to CA for a conference. Not a good time to have a huge outflow of cash. They were apologetic about it, but an apology doesn’t come with money attached. Ah…

Add all this to the stress of two upcoming conference presentations that I’ve had little time to prep for, unexpected travel that ate up my relaxed time off, and a failing friendship with someone and you get one messy, teary J. You know it’s bad when I look forward to my next dental appointment because it means I have a whole day off. (I take whole days when they’re going to numb my face because it takes me hours before I stop biting my cheek and drooling. Not a pretty sight to share with other people. And I’m always super-cranky because I’m biting my cheek and drooling.)

Thanks for allowing me to rant. Meditating is helping me keep it together more than this shows. And heaven knows that my problems are really quite small compared to people with real problems like illness and true poverty and war. On occasion, I lose perspective. (I’m working on it.)

Despite this stuff, the week has had good points. I got to see my in-laws again. Always enjoy spending time with them. It’s another home away from home. The drive back to KS was beautiful today with all the fall colors popping out. Found a couple new pairs of jeans that fit well (length and other places) which is almost miraculous. Came home to dog and DH love after my trip. Get to teach tomorrow. The weather is finally cooling a bit so it feels like fall is here. The interview helped me get a few things in perspective in terms of what type of job I’m really looking for. And I get to be on a panel this weekend for one of the library school classes.

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Withdrawel

Posted on: October 5, 2008

I can tell it’s past time for my weekly recharge of DH and dogs. I had to work this weekend. Usually I’d take Thursday and Friday off, but I decided not to go back on Thursday since I had a meeting and was planning to attend a conference in Wichita on Friday. (I didn’t get to the conference since I ended up being sick with a migraine on Friday.) So, I’m overdue for some home time. DH is off tomorrow, so it’s a bonus! Maybe we’ll get some golf in if it doesn’t rain. If it does, we’re thinking about bowling instead. Then it’s back to work for two days and I’m off again on Thursday and Friday since I’ll be working next weekend again.

Got a rejection on a book proposal a colleague and I put together. It was for a book about distance education. Not too disappointed about it since it wasn’t directly related to librarianship. There will be other opportunities I’m sure. And according to those who matter, I’m doing fine with my tenure requirements and shouldn’t have any problems meeting them. (It’s almost review time for me already.)

Watched a few good movies this week; Mrs. Dalloway, The Fountain, and The Painted Veil. I can safely recommend any of them. The Fountain was a particularly beautiful and moving film. Mrs. Dalloway was nice although I imagine the book is richer. I should probably read it, but I’ve always had a hard time reading Virginia Woolf. I loved the scenery in The Painted Veil. The ending was very sad though. Our public library doesn’t have a huge selection of movies, but there are some very good choices. And I upgraded Netflix to get 3 at a time again. Not having a cable is fine with me.

At some point I need to update my books on the blog. There hasn’t been as much reading this month now that I’m busier with other things. I finally checked out The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. The one thing I’m having a problem with is dealing with the books descriptions of Sitka and my personal experience. It’s a very fictional Sitka and quite colorful. I have to keep reminding myself it’s fiction. *grin* Other than that, it’s okay. I’ve also been reading Light a Penny Candle. It took me a bit to get into this book, but now I’m finding it hard to put down.

And although I’m not knitting as much, I’m still knitting. We were digging around in the basement a couple weekends ago and I came across a project that I’d started over a year ago. I ended up having to frog it and start over, but now I’m almost done. It’s a string grocery bag. It should end up small enough (when not in use) to carry in my purse. I also offered to make some mitts for someone and am deciding which pattern to use. I’ll likely end up making myself another pair for work. And I have plans to cast on this week for a felt pumpkin now that I finally got the needles I needed. You’d think with all the knitting needles I have now I’d never need to buy another pair. *laugh* I also still need to finish my second pair of socks. I’ve turned the heel already and am ready to start working on the gusset. The weather is finally cooling off enough that I’ll be comfortable wearing wool socks soon. Yay!

I’ve been finding some good vegetarian recipes. This week I had a good dish made with spaghetti squash. I also tried a stuffed pepper recipe. It was pretty tasty with beans, corn, and tomatoes, but I think the next time I make it, I’ll just cut the peppers and saute them with the tomatoes and garlic and serve it with rice and shredded cheese. (I kind of ended up with something like that anyway.) A whole green pepper was just a bit much for me. Now I’m anxious to try some things with eggplant.

One amazing thing I’ve discovered since cutting out meat is that I can drink milk with no problems. Interesting! In general, I also feel healthier and have lost a few pounds. Nothing drastic, but it’s a start.

(Written Sept. 1)

They’re not really things, but you get the idea. My daily life is enriched so much because I happen to share it with dogs. These pictures were taken as I packed my stuff and generally got ready to leave for almost two weeks.

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