Friday, October 28, 2011

We Interupt This Productivity for an Oliver Moment...

I am SUPPOSED to be cleaning my house and baking granola bars and folding laundry...

I DID sleep until nearly eight o'clock, which is three hours after my normal rising hour...

I DID get my hair colored.  My hair has gotten so long that this ordeal has turned into such that I can not plan to accomplish anything else for a good hour and a half while I'm diligently coloring my grays... 

Instead I must sit in my Grandmama Dolly chair and read a book...

I'm pretty sure God wanted me to have dark auburn hair instead of dark brown with silver highlights...

After washing that gray right out of my hair I decided I'd better tackle the mountain of laundry that has overtaken my living room...

I was in Popcorn's room putting new sheets on her bed, complete with an electric blanket.  That girl is seriously attached to climbing into a toasty warm bed when the first sign of chilly weather is here...

That girl is also wearing shorts and a tank top and it's a whopping 60 degrees outside...She's  "not cold," but I guarantee you she will be nagging me to crank up the thermostat when it's time to climb in bed...

Anyhoo, Popcorn let Oliver in the house as I was making up her bed.  He sauntered down the hall, fluffy black tail swishing back and forth.  He sat on his haunches and gave me a good long glare.  I continued to work...

This disgusted him, so he let out a long, plaintive "mrrrroooow..."

I looked at him and said, "Give me a minute here Flufferpants.  I'm putting fresh sheets on the bed for you and your servant Popcorn."

He laid down and continued to watch me with narrowed eyes and tail swishing lazily from side to side.  Of course he made sure to thump his tail each time it hit the ground so I would understand the level of royal offense he was feeling...

I neatly tucked the blankets in, complete with hospital corners,  fluffed the pillows and gingerly picked His Royal Fluffyness up to put him on the freshly made bed...

"I know it's a lot to ask, but could you please refrain from grooming yourself right now?  This bed is nice and fresh, and I'd appreciate if I could go one day without spying giant tufts of fur all over it."

He sniffed and swished and sniffed and swished...

He eventually hopped gingerly down on the floor NEXT to the bed and dismissed me...

At least I'm taking it as a dismissal.  It could be disgust that I'm not doing something about the mounds of clutter in this bedroom...

Either way, I'm staying out of his way for the near future...

Oh, and I've decided that every single post must have excessive dot dot dots, just so my Gentle Readers may understand that I have not completed one single thought, but my brain is racing ahead of me anyway...

And now I'm off to run around like a mad woman straightening the house lest my husband show up and think I'm not deserving of the title "Trophy Wife."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Puppy Antics...

It's raining today.

And it's my day off.

And there are no fantabulous deals at Homeland.

So I'm sitting on the couch sipping hot cocoa laced coffee and not feeling guilty for doing nothing...

Well, I'm feeling guilty about my thighs, but that's irrelevant.

The obvious answer to that dilemma is homemade banana and pumpkin bread...

I decided to delay that spurt of productivity by sharing some puppy antics with you...

Aawww!!  Look at that picture of innocence!

Too bad it was directly following a wild chase through the house by Popcorn who was endeavoring to save a baby bib I had stored in a cabinet under our bar that was made specifically for her by one of the leader of my MOPS group...The strings were dangling out after I had dug through the cabinet looking for my fall napkins...

The chase lead to this:

So, after much crashing and banging and excessive yelling by everyone present she decided she should lay docilely on the floor to prove her overall cuteness.

Oh, and what about this sweet little snapshot I took last night?  Well, Brent had decided it was bedtime.  Chesney refused to lay down next to him on her pillow case and sack out with him on the floor.  (This is their normal 8pm routine, followed by me waking Brent around 9:30 and telling him to put his puppy to bed and come to bed with me.)

Well, as I said she did not feel like going to bed at 8pm last night.  Instead she was rolling around on the floor, getting into everything she shouldn't get into, and generally getting on his nerves as he wanted to go to sleep while watching the timeless Halloween classic "Lost Boys" on Netflix...

He scooped her up and shoved her in her crate.  And she proceeded to yelp and whine and whimper.  She did not WANT to be in her crate when the living room lights were still on and the family was still awake...

So she endeavored to keep the girls awake, and was quite successful!  They yelled "SERIOUSLY!!??  She is keeping us awake!"  So, I broke the rules and let her out of her crate where she walked directly to Kelsey's bed and promptly squeezed between her and the desk and went to sleep. 

I think Brent was slightly annoyed by her choice of sleeping partner...

Since it is raining, and I'm off work.  The dogs are in the house with me.  Chesney is getting a tad rambunctious.  I am trying to teach her that playing rough is not allowed in the house...Kelsey is not doing an adequate job of discipline, which is clearly her job...

I mean part of the family's argument when begging me to get a new puppy was that we needed a puppy while Kelsey was still young enough to "train" her...So far Kelsey is gleefully joining in games of tug of war with stuffed animals (dog toys, thankfully) and wrestling matches directly at my feet...

I lost my patience with their antics this morning and yelled in my best "I've had it" mommy voice...

"That is ENOUGH!!  Kelsey!!  GO TO BED!  Chesney!  Go AWAY!!!"

They slunk out of the kitchen and plopped down on the carpet, gazing woefully at me like this:

But it did not make me feel guilty.  Not one little bit.  Instead it inspired me to stop any pretense of productivity and write a blog!

And Chesney has decided that all is forgiven and she is running maniacally around the sofa I'm sitting on, weaving under the table the lap top is sitting on, behind the sofa, then behind the recliner, and between the end table and wall where she knocked the lamp off just two days ago.

Lord help me, what was I thinking when I decided to surprise Brent with a puppy???

Oh, but on a brighter note:  I hung some chimes from the door and have been using her nose to ring them each time I take her out...She has rang them THREE times this morning and went outside to potty!  I'm finally getting trained...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Perhaps We've ALL Been Mislead

Things are...


NOT always as they appear...

For example, a picture of a vicious dog attack could in fact simply be...

A picture of my dog playing with Brent's puppy...This would in fact be the same dog that patiently allows aforementioned puppy to hang from the skin folds of her neck while she is attempting to walk away...

And can we not all agree that there must be some level of humiliation even in the dog world involved with skin folds on the neck?


Another misleading picture could be this:

Well, perhaps it's not misleading precisely...  Perhaps instead it is a simple statement that was quite true in 1968...

You see, in my eagerness to go camping with the fam, I decided to go two days ahead of my husband...  I arrived a little after noon on Thursday, and my brother agreed to help me set up my camper and my nephew offered to help, but he mostly ended up watching in that special way that 16 year old boys can "help" while not really knowing what to do...Of course he willingly fetched lots of items for us!

As we were attempting to slide out the last bed, it was giving me some difficulty, and I couldn't get the final brace for the canvas to come into position.  I called Brent to ask if perhaps I was opening it out of order...You see, 1968 pop up tent campers must be erected in a very precise order...

As I was on the phone I was attempting to raise the brace and


The darn rivet broke...

And David vanished in to thin air....

No not really.  He looked through his tools for the random bolt to repair the rivet (you can see the bent hinge and newly replaced bolt attaching it to the sliding part thingy that brings the bed out...

Of course he DIDN'T have a bolt so I had to make my dad go with me into town to buy a bolt to temporarily replace the rivet...

And then I realized Brent forgot to throw the jack in to brace the tongue on.  Of course I improvised with the spare tire and a log that previous campers had left behind...Which did not prove as stable as a jack designed to hold it in place...

Oh!  And did I forget to mention that the ground jacks that hold up one half of the camper tend to slip now???

That was exciting when the girls were fast asleep and I was trying to quietly slip into bed...

They did not wake up, but I was immediately afraid the whole thing was going to capsize...

This post has many dot dot dots, no?

Well, on that note, I'm done for now.

Oh, except you simply must go over and read Dawn's post on what you must do while on fall break...

And then you must mentally realize that when she says you look for pearls in clam shells you must picture this child:

And she is pulverizing clams with a stick and finally throwing them on the concrete to bust them open in an effort to discover pearls...

I am glad the SPCA was nowhere around when this was going on...

And I'm glad my mom had a hair dryer in her camper as the very FIRST thing she did was fill her rain boots completely full of mud in her quest for clams...We had to hose them out, and strangely rubber boots with a fabric liner take FOREVER to dry...


Of course she filled them with mud AFTER she got her only other pair of shoes completely caked in mud.

I'm sure you're all quite shocked any child of mine would be up to such shenanigans...

I'm quite sure she gets it from her father.

I'm glad you agree.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vicious Dog Attacks, UFO Sightings, and Mr. T

We had an adventurous camping weekend.

Studmuffin had to stay and work on Thursday and Friday, so I decided to bravely go forth with our 1968 Apache Eagle pop up tent camper and join my family for Fall Break... And it broke...  We won't go into the details today...But it's safe to say that little girls never stop needing their daddies to come rescue them!

I have so much to tell you, but I'm tired, and I have tons of laundry to do, and I discovered my washer is leaking, and my hair is smelly, and did I mention I'm tired...

However, here's a quick sneak peak:

We had vicious dog fights.

We had UFO sightings.

And we had a close encounter with Mr. T...

But I'll let Dawn tell you all about that!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

He's Still Workin' On Me!

Remember this children's song?

It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,
the sun and the moon and Jupiter and Mars.
La la la I don't remember all the words!
But He's still workin' on me.

You don't remember it?  Strange.  Especially considering how thoroughly I just described it to you!

Well, it took Bookworm just a few days to make her solar system. Her daddy used all of the self restraint he possessed and lent minimal assistance.  I assure you this was a very big challenge considering this is the same man who once declared:  We will NOT have a red back splash.  It is too much work to paint the red evenly!

And then I promised to paint the bead board.

And so he agreed...I painted maybe two square feet of primer on the bead board, and he looked at me and said:  Give me the brush.  You are not doing it evenly.

It was primer for the love of Pete!  I didn't realize it NEEDED to be even!

So, he let her do all but a small bit of the work...

And this is the result!

Oh wait!  That's not the result!  Dag nab it!  My secret it is out.  But, hey do you see the lovely little fall display I have buried next to Popcorn's jacket their on the right?  Chesney actually leaves that thing alone.  Now that the scarecrow is gone, that is.  She is quite determined to eat every scare crow she encounters.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who has a mysterious explosion of shoes, socks, jackets, lunch bags and back packs every single day.


Tell me I'm not alone.

Mind you, this is not the solar system either.  This is just an example of puppy paraphernalia strewn threw the living room while the culprits lay in blissful slumber.  I am just wondering when I lost complete control of my house.  Do you realize that when my kids were babies my house was spotless?  It was!  Truly!  I was a cleaning and cooking machine!  Every single day I mopped and ran the vacuum.  I washed dried and folded laundry promptly.  I cooked dinner nearly every single fact it was usually completely prepared except for the actual cooking by 3:30 while the girls napped... and I vowed to never let my kids sully their palates with carbonated beverages, high fructose corn syrup or french fries...

I have failed in nearly all of those endeavors in the past eight years.  Of course I snapped out of the post partum depression about eight years ago...  My housework has slowly slipped down hill ever since.

Who knew post partum had an up side?

Why lookie there!  I finally got around to showing a picture of the solar system!  And nary a mess is in sight!

Who says my house is a complete and utter disaster?

Three words:  Location, angle, and sweep (as in your arm across the counter to pile all clutter against your lovely red backsplash.)

Here's another view.  If you click on the photo and enlarge it, you will see that there are two more planets than there used to be in my day.  Yep, that little tiny dwarf planet on the far right is Eris.  And the little brown dwarf planet in the asteroid belt is Ceres...And not only does Saturn have rings, but so do Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus...Uranus and Neptune's rings are made out of thin sheets of plastic she cut to fit then wrapped around the planets.  She is clever, no?

And here's the clever girl herself posing for "just one picture" before heading off to school.  Good thing this turned out as she was quite adamant about the one picture only.

She gets that from her dad's side of the family, I'm sure.

This picture is purely gratuitous.  I wonder what on earth Chesney is dreaming of?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

That is Just so Granola

I remember when I was in a clinical rotation at a Columbia Hospital in Arlington.  I don't remember the entire gist of the conversation, but I do remember one of the nurses looked at me and said with a look of utter disdain "Your school is just so granola."

I was young and idealistic and had no idea what she was talking about...

As I got out of the ivory tower of nursing school and in to the real world, I realized what she meant.  However, I also remember how jaded and bitter every single nurse that I encountered at that hospital was.  Seriously, they all hated their jobs.  How sad.  That is the only hospital where I had nurses tell me, "Change your major while you still can."

 I think perhaps if they had a puppy napping on their kitchen floor while they provided nourishing food for their family, their cranky factor may have decreased...

If you know anything about me, this post began as expected...Completely unrelated to the point of the post...Just random thoughts that were circling my brain as I was involved in the endeavor this post truly relates to:


Color me excited!

I have a friend at work who occasionally brings oatmeal bars to work.  His mother makes them, and they make him think of the Oatmeal to Go bars by Quaker.  I love those bars.  I do not love the price involved with them, since they never last more than a day.

I asked him for the recipe, and he brought it to me.  I joyfully tackled it last week.  I have tweaked the recipe to suit our family's tastes, but the bare bones of the original are still there.

The beauty of this recipe is that it assembles in mere minutes, requires only two bowls and a spatula to assemble, and it is good for you!

So, without further ado, here it is!

Molasses Oatmeal Bars

In a large bowl combine:

2 c old fashioned oats
3/4 c flour
3/4 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c chopped pecans
1/4 c sunflower seeds
1/3 c toasted wheat germ
1/2 c golden raisins

In a small bowl combine:
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c honey
3 Tbsp molasses (spray your spoon with vegetable spray to make it slide off easily)
1 large egg

Add the molasses/honey mixture to your oat mixture.  Simply stir this with your favorite red spatula.  I promise, red spatulas work best!  I am so convinced of  this fact that I own three red spatulas and one lime green...The lime green, while it is visibly appealing, just does not seem to do the job properly.  Therefore all reliable research indicates that red spatulas work best!

Use the back of your red spatula to spread and press firmly the granola mix into a greased 9x13 pan.  Will you hold it against me if I tell you that I used my 9x11 pan because I still had a few bars left in my 9x13 from a previous batch?  I just couldn't be bothered to take out the last three bars and then wash and dry the pan...

Place in preheated 350 degree oven and bake 18-22 minutes.  Remove when edges are starting to brown.  Let cool on wire rack about 90 minutes before cutting...


Oh!  Are you wondering what that little peek of blue orb is on the right side?  Well, that just happens to be Popcorn's solar system model.  That will be a post for another day.  I tried to take a clever photo of the granola bars with her solar system in the background...

However in that same background you could see my three bags of recyclables lying on the dining room floor so I would not neglect to drop them off in the morning...And you could see the piles of crafty stuff on my dining room table...Not to mention the piles of junk I "need to sort through" on our hutch.

That was just clearly too much clutter to include in one post...

I mean I'm all about being real, but even I have limits!

So, when I deem the background tidy enough to show you pictures of the solar system I will post photos of her masterpiece...Granted the background will be tidy while everything outside of it may very well be chaos.

But I'm totally okay with that!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

And Then I Saw These Shoes...

We are going camping in the near future.

At a lake...

And every year when we go camping my youngest gets her shoes wet.  I know!!  It is shocking.

In the not so distant past she asked me for rain boots.  "She doesn't need rain boots.  It doesn't rain here," her dad stated quite sternly.

Have I ever mentioned that man is the rain on my parade?

Anyway, as I began making my list of camping necessities (last year we forgot our skillet.  Try cooking eggs and bacon with no skillet, I challenge you.  I ended up having to bum my brother's electric skillet off of him...Which if you understood anything at all about my brother you would see the sheer irony in HIM having something that I needed to borrow.)

Did I just digress?  Imagine that!

So, I was making a list.  I made a note that perhaps I should buy socks as Bookworm only has about four pair that fit properly, and there is nothing worse than wet feet...

Which made me wish we had rain boots for the girls...

Which led me to nagging my husband to let me BUY rain boots for the girls...

Which led me to checking out for boots and Halloween gear...

Which led me to finding Bookworm's Wednesday Addams costume for twelve bucks, and Popcorn's Indian costume for $20...I only needed to spend $18 more to get free shipping...

Of course I decided to throw in two pairs of rain boots.  However, as I went to check out, I realized the boots may not get here in time...

So, I removed the boots from my list and instead ordered Popcorn a super cute pair of winter boots that are only $8 more than I was going to have to pay in shipping if I did not buy them...

Of COURSE I bought them!

Sadly, I sitll did not have rain boots....

I loaded Popcorn in the car and drug her to Goodwill...Where she was horrified at the used shoe smell and racks of clothes organized by color...

Sadly, Goodwill did not have my Morticia costume, or even a black witch dress I could improvise with, and they did not have one single pair of rain boots...

We headed to Target...Except before going into Target I decided to run in to TJ Maxx and see what they had to offer...

No, they did not have rain boots for children.  But they did have a cute sweater dress for Bookworm and a lovely sweater for Popcorn and an adorable black pea coat with hot pink lining for Popcorn!  As she pointed out her current coat is from first grade.  Now that she's in fourth grade, she apparently thinks she needs one that actually reaches past her forearms.  She is just so needy.

We meandered over to the fitting rooms to try on a variety of shirts for Popcorn, and Popcorn was even trying Bookworm's dress to see how it might fit on her sister...

 As you can see, our guess was pretty good!  I think I may have to forbid her wearing it due to she looks entirely too grown up in it!  Of course, if I do perchance crumble and let her wear it, she will be wearing leggings and knee boots.  Which will probably only add to the grown up look, but at least she won't look like she's wearing a mini dress with those long skinny legs!  Can't have my daughter trampin' around at eleven years old, now can we?

We decided on the clothes and as we left my eye caught sight of these:

They were only $49!!!  These Dansko's sell for like $150!  Granted, I'd been saving for a pair of Barefoot Merrel's, but I simply had to buy these! 

And so I did.

Oh, and for anyone who may not realize:  These are for work.  Considering I'm weary of wearing the required navy blue scrubs every. single. day.  I'm quite excited to have something with definite personality to wear! 
After splurging on unplanned purchases we dashed on in to Target where I bought the two pairs of rain boots the girls had picked out online...

By the way, did I mention that I was doing all of this on a tight schedule?

Did you know that people tend to spend more and impulse buy more when they are on a tight schedule?

And to think that before I left the house today I was stoked that I was actually going to have cash left in the clothing envelope this month!

Oh, and here's an image of Barefoot Merrells.  Yes, they are purely frivolous.  Which is why I've been yearning but not buying them for nearly a year now.  They look and feel exactly like my high school track shoes...Which is perhaps why I want them, but I'm not really sure I have any glamor associated with track...Click here to read about my illustrious history as a track star.  But, even if you can't be bothered to read about my humiliations, here's a picture of the shoes I'm unsuccessfully saving for!

Friday, October 14, 2011

You Can Stop Worrying About Oliver

 Why look at that pretty little thing!  Isn't it cute how her the way her hair grows on her snout makes it look like it's wet?

We had friends over for dinner last Saturday night.

After the OU game of course because we do not have a large TV, and I do not watch sports.  I take naps or chat during sports.  The talking has lead to the loss of two friends...At least I assume it was the talking during sports events as these two friends invited me to a girls night during an OU game, but were annoyed when I talked in the car while the game was on.


They have not asked me to a single event since...

Moving on.

So, we had friends over AFTER the game.  We celebrated a victory with Mexican pile on.  (There's never a bad time for Mexican.)  And then we celebrated an even more with a rousing game or 5 of Sequence.  (Our lives are on the cutting edge of excitement, I'm tellin' ya!)

We had to play five games as the winner had to be best of five....

The ladies won.  Of course...

It was pouring rain on Saturday night.  /this meant that four fifths of our menagerie was in the house...

Kittens in the doll strollers.

Kelsey in her bed.

And Chesney all over the place.

My friend said, "I never see Oliver."  I told her not to worry because although it had been pouring rain a good portion of the day, I had seen him a few minutes before their arrival strolling down the street.  Dry as a bone.  "Oliver goes where Oliver wants to go."

Kelsey is forever going to be raising young.

Wednesday I had the day off.  After taking the girls to school, I came home to do some much needed housework...And instead wasted two hours trying to figure out how to hook my DVD recorder to record off of our TV.  We ditched Dish, and are officially on antenna TV.  While this is no skin off of my back, it is a problem for Survivor.  Sure I can watch it the next day on my computer, but that screen is even smaller than our TV!

Anyway, I finally realized that our DVD recorder is so old, it simply can't recognize the channels, and I would need to get a converter box for it to be able to record digital TV.

Dang the government and their insistence on wasting tax dollars by requiring all TV be digital.

But the point of this post is not my lack of ability to record Survivor since that heathen network moved Survivor to WEDNESDAY after ten years of being on THURSDAY and I am in choir on Wednesday...

The point is that I realized on Saturday that people the world over are obviously chewing their fingers to the bone worrying about Oliver and his well being. 

"What does he think of Chesney?" 

"How has he handled the kittens?" 

"Did his hair grow back to it's former glory after you brutally shaved him for the summer?"

Oliver decided to come in the house on Wednesday.  He came in right before Chesney came in.

Chesney gamboled over to him with greetings of cheer and puppy licks.  He smacked her firmly in the face about four times.  She let out a giant yelp and ran away...

And he laid down on the tile and took a nap.

And there he remained until I woke him with my workout.  He got up, glared at me, and sauntered over to Kelsey's bed where he laid down.  And took another nap...

Well, after my defeat at the hands of a DVD recorder, I was so emotionally and mentally exhausted, I decided I needed a nap myself!  I forced myself to put away the five loads of laundry I had folded on the couch, turned the Netflix on to Wallace and Grommett, and laid down for a nap of my own. (After all, I needed a place to lie down for my nap!)

I woke up to find Oliver napping in the love seat catty corner to me.  (Catty corner.  Heheh.  I crack me up.)

I finally kicked him out when I went to pick the girls up for school, over 6 hours since he had first strolled through the garage door.

So, clearly April and the rest of his fans the world over can rest easy.  You need not worry about the safety and well being of Mr. Flufferpants.  He seems to be holding his own.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

And Then It Happened.

I just read a post over at Best of Fates.  I recently discovered her.  Can I say she's hilarious?

Anyway, Megan posted pictures of her jumping on a big platform thingy...

And she was mocking herself about falling down.  Isn't it always the MOST fun to laugh at people who are laughing at themselves?

Anyway, all I could think of was "Wow.  I really need to pee.  If I was jumping up and down right now, I'd totally pee my pants."

And then I remembered that today at work I was giving a puny cough on my way to the break room...One of my coworkers joked about it.  I said, "Well, I've needed to go pee for like two hours and finally have time, so I don't dare cough too hard."

And then I remembered that this affliction is all my sister's fault.  Many many moons ago before the time of my child bearing, Dawn said, "Stop it!  You're making me laugh so hard, I'm going to wet my pants!"  And I laughed because I had heard that saying but never really understood that it was a real thing.  Nor did I understand that my sister could suffer from such a horrific malady.

And then she said, "Just wait until you have kids.  I am so going to laugh at you."

And then she did.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Getting Voluntold

Let's begin with a definition, shall we?
Voluntold:  v Being volunteered for something by a spouse or significant other that you were totally unaware of.
Example:  My wife voluntold me that I was going to coach our sons soccer team.
On Friday I was sitting in our break room hating myself and enjoying a cinnamon roll.  Hating myself for the wasted empty calories, but relishing the rich ooey gooey goodness with a stout cup of black of coffee.

Our doctor came into the break room with a soda in his hand and a to go box from the doctor's dining hall.  "I am going to have to leave.  My wife just called and I need to go home and get her then bring her back to the ER."

"Oh no!  Is she okay?"

"She's fine, but she called me crying because her back hurts so bad.  She never cries.  She's been complaining a back pain for a few days, but now it's unbearable.  I walked to work today, so I have to go home then drive her here."

I immediately said, "Do you want a ride home?"
"Would you do that? It's only about five blocks.  Is your car near by?"
My coworker Jared said, "It's just in the south garage."  We all park within a small range of each other, and there is a bridge that leads from the garage to an entrance one floor below our department.

"I would really appreciate that," and Dr. G continued to look directly at me.  Probably because I was the one who offered to give him a ride...
I promptly turned to Jared who was standing just behind me and gave him a look...

Jared only betrayed his start by a small blink.  He immediately said, "I think I have my keys on me, but let me grab my wallet."  

When Jared returned to work later that afternoon I said, "Sorry I just voluntold you to take Dr. G to get his wife.  But I figured guys should drive guys..."

He laughed and said, "No problem.  I caught on pretty quick when you turned and gave me the look.  I'm not always so quick.  Then when I dropped Dr. G off in front of his apartment he said, 'You are waiting and will drive us right back?'  Suuuure!"  

Poor Jared.  He was voluntold to chauffeur the doctor to his house by me, then voluntold by the doctor to act as ambulance service for the doctor's wife!

By the way:  Last I heard she was okay.  Probably kidney stones. Ouch.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Good Morning Sunshine

Chesney has added an entire new level of busy to my morning.

Of course I've decided to compensate for this new level of busyness by hitting snooze on my alarm three times every morning...

Because I'm all that's wise and prepared.

Wouldn't you just love a recap of my Friday morning?

Well, I won't go into extended detail, (at least I'll try to not go into extended detail but that is very hard for me.)

But point one is this:  When Chesney scratches at a door, even if it's the cabinet door in the kitchen it may perhaps mean that she needs to go potty. The whimper should have perhaps been my second clue to this situation.

Also, although I may consider myself all that is wise and timely, and even if I have allotted ten extra minutes in my morning to do a quick review of spelling and science with Popcorn for her exams, if I dash outside to check the dog bowl for water, I must also check the ground.

Because it is apparently inevitable that I will step in fresh puppy poo and track it all the way from the back door to the kitchen.


So much for ten extra minutes in my morning!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Memories Light the Corner of My Mind

My youngest daughter is funny. She is funny in a purposeful way, but also funny in a totally unintended way too.  I was reminded of this little tale by my supervisor the other day...

When Popcorn was in Kindergarten, we were in the process of moving back to Oklahoma.  Brent had already came to this state in March, and we had decided that I would stay in South Texas, letting our kids complete the school year, as he was going to be living in a travel trailer, and we didn't know exactly where we were going to live.  We didn't want to put them in one school for the final two months of school, then change to a different school the final year.  This was hard and we ended up pulling the kids out of school at the end of the year and home schooling them...Of course, we made that decision when Oklahoma had only two weeks of school left, and Texas still had nearly a month, so I use the term loosely...Read here "no curriculum but we read books and colored every day and did math papers.  Oh, and we went to the zoo at least three times a week because we were living in a travel trailer, and I wasn't working, so the zoo was free since we had a pass and I would pack a lunch."  Did you ever think you'd hear the words "PLEASE don't make us go to the zoo again, Mommy."  I heard it over and over.  But I was going insane in that trailer, and there is only so much time you can spend on the campground swing set and playing ping pong with a 6 & 7 year old before you lose your mind...

However, this story actually takes place BEFORE we had moved here. 

Back stories with a person this verbose are unavoidable.

It was Mother's Day.  My beautiful children insisted they make me breakfast in bed.  The made toast with peanut butter and honey, a bowl of cereal, and a pot of coffee.  They used nearly the entire can of coffee for one pot.  So it was good and strong!

As we prepared for church Popcorn informed me we were eating out for lunch.  We were on a very tight budget as we were paying for Brent's trailer park rent plus our normal household expenses and I had stopped working so I could be the sole care giver for the kids.  I evaded saying that I would probably just make us a quick lunch.  Popcorn was having none of that! "No, Mommy.  I'm taking YOU out!"

So after church we loaded into our van and she instructed me to head to Dairy Queen.  There we ordered our regular food, me a cheeseburger with everything and fries, and the girls each got a popcorn chicken meal.  When it came time to pay Popcorn turned to me and whispered, "Mom!  I need your debit card so I can pay for lunch!"

And she took my card and happily swiped it.  She proudly handed it back to me and said, "Happy Mother's Day!"

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Signs of The Times

I'm observant.  I notice people.  What they are wearing, their hair, their overall appearance of health.  I tend to spontaneously make diagnoses as I'm out and about based on skin tone, fingernail health and the shape of their hands and chest...The list goes on.  I like to watch people and see how they act, and wonder what they are doing, where they are from and what sort of lives they lead.  I like to try and guess if the mom stays home or if the grandma is raising her grandkids, or if that dad who is buying groceries with kids in tow is going to get home with any real food...

Like I said, I'm observant.

Except when I'm not observant, and then I'm just narcissistic and wrapped up in myself.

I'm sure that is an astounding revelation as I write a blog that is all about me.  Clearly, any narcissism I have is minimal...

I went grocery shopping on Saturday evening, and while I had not planned to coupon (and believe me if you're using "coupon" as a verb it takes extensive planning) my husband had suggested I run to Crest for all but the toiletries we were in need of.

As I walked into the store I saw an in-store coupon sheet that had a giant sign on it "One flyer per customer and one coupon per item listed per day."  I chuckled at the sign, remembering a lady who walked right in front of me at Homeland the other day and took every single in store coupon flyer.  And she didn't even let me have one!  I just stood their and stared with my jaw on the ground.  In hindsight, I wish I had said, "Seriously lady?"  However, Crest has a lovely greeter who hands you a cart and stands right by the coupon bin, so I doubt they have that issue.

I happily picked up the flyer and perused it.  It looked to have some pretty good deals, but until I saw the price of the product I was unsure.  I also was unsure if I could stack the coupons in the flyer with manufacturer coupons, so again I was skeptical on it's worthiness, but decided to compare as I shopped.  I was pleasantly surprised to realize that the coupons were usually on two items, but if you used the coupon, your second item would be free.  For example Kraft singles were two dollars and the coupon was for two dollars off two packages of Kraft singles.

I joyfully pulled my handy dandy scissors out of my coupon organizer and clipped out the coupons I decided to use as I bought my originally planned items.

As I clipped my coupons I could not help but notice the number of people who were buying the exact item I was, but not using a coupon.  I felt compelled to point the coupon flyer out to them.  A few of the said "thanks" but others felt coupons were too much work.  Even if the flyer was right in front of them and the item was on sale! 

I also noticed the large number of families carrying multiple competitor store flyers around, deciding which store had the best price and whether they should wait and go to Homeland in the hopes that they could get some good double coupon deals, or debating if Walmarts chicken breast would be cheaper after the coupon was factored in.  Granted, I'm fairly new to couponing, but I promise the amount of people with plastic shoe boxes and binders full of coupons is astounding.  Take a gaze around next time you are in the store.  You might be surprised.

 If you are ever in the downtown area the other thing you might be surprised to notice is the alarming amount of homeless.  I drive under the interstate on my way to work in the downtown area every day.  As I am driving, the homeless are starting to get up from their beds under the bridge.  They each have their own little space between the bridge beams, and they are usually getting up and stretching or straightening their beds as I am stopped waiting on lights.  There is also an empty lot just north of the underpass, and the other day I noticed a man standing up in the Johnson grass and diligently combing his hair.  Another day I saw a man and woman walking with their arms around each other as they left the little underpass community.

As I mentioned yesterday I went to a resale shop and grabbed some clothes for the girls.  Two of the shirts I bought were from Old Navy and still had the tags on them, but I only paid $2.99 for them.  I even noticed some jeans from The Buckle with the tag still on them.  They were $8.99, and way too big for my girls.  I didn't buy them as I have no desire to store jeans for two years in the hopes that the super skinny jean will still be in style when one of my kids can fit them.

Today as we left gymnastics Popcorn begged me to take her to eat Chinese.  I was resisting her, saying that her father and I had already discussed tonight would be leftover night, and she could have a sandwich or hot pocket or burrito if she didn't want leftover lasagna...My husband called and suggested that next week we start swapping off who takes Popcorn to gymnastics and make Thursday a little date night with the kids.  I decided to make the plan effective immediately, and I wheeled into a little Chinese place in a nearby shopping strip.  I had skipped lunch at work, and though I'd stuffed my face with cookies, a handful of goldfish left from my daughter's lunch and a few almonds when I got home, it did not satisfy my hunger. Skipping lunch tends to do that to me.

As we left the shopping strip I noticed that there were sprinklers going in all of the flower beds.  The wind is blowing 25 miles per hour and the water was running down the driveway.  I find that shameful when we are in a drought that is showing no signs of any significant relief.

So, I really had nothing to say.  Just lots of observations. 

People are desperate to save money, while others can't even be bothered to take advantage of a deal when it is easily within their grasp.

There is a serious drought going on, and I can't help but shake my head at the folks who have maintained immaculately green lawns.

Some are selling clothes on consignment that have never been worn, while just twenty minutes away others have built themselves a little village under the bridge in downtown.

P.S.  On a totally unrelated/irreverent note:  Every time I type in couponing, blogger spell check suggests coupling...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What I Did vs What I Should have Done

I got an unexpected day off today.

I immediately started thinking of all the things I should get done...Especially since I am hoping to pick up  a shift tomorrow to make up for today's lost shift.

As soon as I get back home I'm going to:

1.  Clean out my closet.
2.  Clean my bathrooms. 
3.  Paint my toes.

The list goes on, but I am too tired to think of much else.  After all, as you can guess by the blog title I didn't accomplish anything on my "should have done" list.

I was in the mood to shop.  Strange, as I never want to shop.  Of course the mood would strike me when I'm short a shift.  I decided to make a trip to the local consignment shop where I combed the racks for decent yet cheap clothes.  I left with three pairs of jeans, three shirts and a black sparkly dress.  All for my kids, of course!  And best of all I didn't even spend thirty dollars!

But that's not even the best part!  While there I got a great idea for a craft!

Yes, I the official noncrafter saw a craft idea and said, "I can do that!" 

Yay me!

After I left there I went to Walmart to purchase a new brush for a certain child who has a bit of a temper.  The kind of temper that leads to throwing things.  And perhaps breaking them.  Apparently the child threw her brush on the ground a few weeks ago when dealing with some particularly nasty tangles and the handle broke off.  She has been bumming off of her sister ever since.  This morning I realized that this sharing of the hair brush was adding to the rush of trying to get out the door and to the bus in the morning.  Originally I had decided she could just suffer and not have a brush, but for obvious reasons that didn't work.  By the way:  I am certain that no members of my family can relate to the urge to throw something when they are particularly angry.

So, I ran to Walmart and I got a new brush, plus the gift that I had signed up to bring for the local children's home gift drive.  While there, I decided to peruse a certain department to see if they had what I needed to make my craft.

And of course they did.

So, I came home and I made a practice version of the craft idea...

Guess who already has her gift idea from the heart idea for the family gift exchange?


Oh, and for anyone who is confused, my family has a tradition of exchanging homemade gifts at Christmas.  I both love and hate it.  Love the thought of getting a gift that someone crafted with love.  Hate the thought of having to come up with a gift that is not food...Because I could totally do food every single time.  But then everyone would always know what to expect from me...

And that would lead to disappointment, and the fervent hope that they don't get Andi's gift.  Again.

So.  I have an idea for a gift.

And I think it's pretty good.

But I can't even share a hint of it on this blog because my family reads it!  I am simply bursting to share my idea!

Seriously?  I just succeeded in keeping a secret for an entire month, and now I have to start all over again, and it has to last until Christmas?

I am so in trouble.

Car Conversations...

I laugh.


And I laugh LOUD.

I can't help it.  My family is really funny.

As we were driving to Tulsa on Saturday we had two hysterical conversations.

"Babe!  There is a giant blue gorilla in front of David Stanley Chevrolet!  Let's go there and buy a car right now!"

"Sorry.  We can't go there until they add a giant inflatable crocodile."

Truly Gentle Reader have you ever in your life bought a car where they have a giant inflatable?  And why is it so often a gorilla?  I would like to see the statistics on improved car sales directly proportional to giant inflatable gorillas.

We were listening to Bookworm's iTouch.  We had it plugged into our car stereo, and it was on random shuffle.  Popcorn was singing along to one of the songs from her new Selena Gomez album.

"Do you already know all of the songs?"  I asked her.

"I know every word to every song on this CD" she stated proudly.

Not missing a beat, her dad added "And yet your math facts elude you."

Monday, October 3, 2011

If I Only Had a Brain

I am about to attempt to tell you a work story.  It is a story which could be very complicated and difficult to portray if you aren't a part of the medical field.  But if you will just suffer through and try to see my sheer idiocy, I think you will appreciate it.

This week we have been taking care of a lady who has been in the icu for over two weeks now.  She suffered a hemmorhagic stroke and the neurosurgeon went in to clip the bleed. After surgery she was completely unresponsive.  No reflexes noted.  Her eyes are open but they jerk around, never really seeing anything.  She is on a ventilator, and she initiates breath, but is unable to fully breathe on her own. Her heart is stable.  She has a giant tube coming out the top of her head to drain the excess fluid off, and she has a pressure sensor in there to monitor her intracranial pressure (referred to ICP from this point on.)  She also has staples across half of her head where they went in to do the surgery on her brain.  Her feet and hands are cold and mottled, and her limbs are limp with no muscle tone response noted when you move or reposition her.

This is all very horrific sounding, I know.  It is horrific. Especially when you factor in that the patient's family is English as a second language, and they keep thinking she's going to get better.  I don't see how she's going to get better after two weeks of no response, but I'm not God and that's not my decision to make.  Instead, I just feel terrible for them.

Here's a news flash for you:  I hate  brains.  I love things to do with the heart and cardiovascular system.  I get it.  I specialized in it right out of school, and while neurologic issues have never been completely unavoidable, since I've been in my current job they have been few and far between.  Imagine my joy when I realized on Monday that I was going to have to bring this patient from the intensive care unit to our department and monitor her while the doctor did a cerebral angiogram, which is basically a study of the vessels in her brain.  I got a quick and dirty inservice from the patient's nurse about her drains and what they meant, and especially that her ICP must not get above 20, and her drain needed to stay at the level of her ear.  If the drain was repositioned during transport and was above her ear, it wouldn't drain.  Too far below the ear, and it would drain too fast.

How do I spell stress?  B-R-A-I-N.

Monday we did the procedure with no hitches.  We injected some medicine directly into her brain that was supposed to improve blood flow to her brain. I was annoyed to learn that we would be bringing her back daily until she gets better.  

So we had to bring her back on Tuesday.  On Tuesday I went with one of my nurse friends for our department, and we had agreed to tag team her. I was feeling pretty okay with it, as the previous day had gone fine.

Well, of course by the time I moved her to our table and got my monitor hooked up, and the respiratory therapist put her on a portable ventilator, her ICP had climbed to 28.  "Well crap."  But then as I looked through her chart I realized that it said to notify the doctor if the ICP stayed up more than 10 minutes.  So I waited a bit.

Her ICP didn't budge...I lowered the still didn't budge, nor did it begin to drain.  I started to sweat.  Profusely.  I was so glad I had another nurse assisting me, and our plan was for her to stay with the patient and do basic care, and I would fetch anything she needed, or call the ICU nurse if she had a question, or whatever needed done...

I paged the neurosurgeon, Dr. X.  We will call him Dr. X as his last name has no less than 11 letters and like 5 syllables, and even after talking to him like twenty times I am still not sure how to pronounce it.

So, Dr. X calls back.  I inform him of her ICP, her blood pressure, her heart rate, her oxygen levels, and I even was able to tell him what her medications were running at.  I was mentally patting myself on the back for having facts, even as I felt sweat trickling between my shoulder blades.

"What is her ventriculostomy pressure?"

Now, this doctor has a pretty strong accent.  I was pretty sure I'd misheard him.  Because it sounded like he said ventriculostomy, and I was pretty sure no such word existed...So, I said, "Excuse me?"

"Ventriculostomy pressure.  What is it?"

"I'm sorry.  I can understand ventricul something or other, but that is all."

"Ventriculostomy.   Ventriculostomy.  Ventriculostomy.  What is the pressure reading on it?"

Okay.  So he DEFINITELY said ventriculostomy.  Which I still felt pretty sure was not a real word.  "I'm sorry sir, but I'm not sure what you mean by that."  I'm pretty sure that instilled all sorts of confidence in my roll as this patient's care giver.

"On the monitor, what does it say her ventriculostomy pressure is?"  Okay.  He just keeps saying the same thing over and over.  Apparently it's real.  And he expects me to know what it is, and what to do about it.


"Sir, I'm sorry, but the only pressure reading I have is off of the Camino, and it says her ICP is 28."

"But there is another monitor coming out of her head.  Do you see it?"


"No sir.  I only see the Camino pressure monitor and her drain.  I will call the ICU nurse to come show me what to do."

"Wait a minute.  Aren't you a nurse?"

"Yes sir.  I'm a nurse, but to be honest I'm a PROCEDURAL nurse, and while I had Scott give me a quick and dirty report on how to care for this patient, he never said the word ventriculostomy to me."

He then informed me that he had ordered her drain clamped, and that the ICP had probably raised due to the stress of moving, and I simply needed to open the ventriculostomy during the procedure and leave it open for one hour after...

There was that darn WORD again.

So I called the ICU nurse.  And it turns out that the ventriculostomy is the drain that I was calling a DRAIN.  Because that is what the simple folk call a drain for your brain...a drain.  He showed me that he had clamped the drain off the day before, so no matter how low I moved the drain, it wasn't going to lower her ICP.  Oh did I mention that I all but put that drain on the floor trying to drop her ICP?  Did I mention that by this point my scrubs were soaked in sweat under my lead apron?  I told my nurse friend that while I felt incredibly stupid, at least I'd probably never have to meet Dr. X face to face.

Well we opened the drain, and low and behold the ICP dropped to the normal range, and we were able to complete our procedure.  After we finished up Dr. X, the neurosurgeon showed up...At least I guessed it was him.  He was in a doctor's coat, and he was unfamiliar to me.  I could totally tell he was looking for me.  I decided to take the bull by the horns.

"Hi!  Are you Dr. X?"  Sound cheerful and nonchalantly confident Andi.  Then he will decide that while you may be a ditz at least you're friendly...

"Yes, I am."

"I'm Andi.  I was the nurse on the phone with you earlier.  I'm so sorry for the misunderstanding earlier.  I don't want you to think we don't know what we're doing here.  Except I have never dealt with one of these before.  So I guess that means I really don't."  And I smiled my most winning smile and I gave a little lighthearted chuckle.  Could you just shut up?  Why must you blabber on when you are nervous?  Or happy?  Or sad? 

"No problem. I'm sorry too. I thought I was speaking with the ICU nurse, so I was wondering how you didn't know what the monitors were for."

I was so relieved that he wasn't angry, and surprisingly nice but still relatively sure he thought I was a nincompoop...I decided fleeing was the smart thing to do in this situation...I gently lead him to our control room where I introduced him to our doctor, and headed back to the intensive care with the patient. 

Of course I ran into Dr. X again before I was gone.

Blast it all!  Must this man suddenly be everywhere I have to be?

And I began to blush and sweat even more profusely than I already was..."Hi!" I decided to keep up my light and friendly facade.  It wouldn't do at all for him to realize I never wanted to see him again.

"Hello.  I wanted to apologize about not realizing where you were earlier..." And he proceeded to take me back to the patient bedside and explain that the ventriculostomy pressure was monitored by a bedside monitor in the ICU, so I really could not have told him that reading as the monitor wasn't with me.  And he took the time to explain things to me in a much better detail than the nurse had.  And I was able to understand him easier face to face.

That made me feel much better.

And a little bit less of an idiot.

However, I still hate brains...

On a more positive note, I found out that as of January first two neuro interventionalists will be coming to work in our department, and that all of us have to go through special training to know how to care for brain injury patients.  I can only begin to guess the sort of ego that comes with a person who is willing to work on brains by inserting a catheter into the artery in your groin and working their way to the brain...And I can only guess this will lead to more interaction with Dr. X...

Oh, wait.  That is actually TERRIBLE news.  Blast it all.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

So I Needed a Quick Recipe for Eggless Muffins.

Tomorrow we have an old/new doctor coming.  Old because he was at our hospital before...New because now he's working there full time so we won't be sharing doctors with 3 other hospitals...

So, as a "Welcome to Saints" gesture my supervisor and I discussed bagels and fruit.  And coffee.  He is a coffee freak, much like me only he consumes way more than I do.  And he is a vegetarian, so that limited what we were bringing.

I had been thinking about this fact (the food issue) off and on all weekend.  Not enough to actually DO something about it, but still it was in my brain, bubbling to my attention once in a while, but I would swat it back down and cuddle the puppy.  Or take a two hour nap.  Or spend three hours getting groceries.  For the record, other than several gallons of milk I had not bought one grocery item in 15 days.  We were a little low on a few things...

And completely out of some things like conditioner, soap, lotion, and deodorant for myself.  So, considering I didn't want to be a smelly frizzy haired person (more so than usual, that is) I decided to drag myself to Walmart and Crest on Saturday evening.  I had not planned enough to coupon like normal, so there are no tales of glory for me to share with you today.

Anyhoo, back to subject matter:  I was helping at children's choir Sunday evening, and my supervisor sent me a text that she was going to Panera to buy bagels and should she buy a fruit tray...Well, my sixth sense of frugality jumped to the fore and I texted her right back that I would make blueberry muffins (I had bought a big batch of fresh blueberries from the reduced for quick sale bin) and she could bring some fruit...

Then I got home and remembered the whole vegetarian thing.  I texted to ask about eggs.  I knew he drank milk and ate cheese, but was uncertain of the egg status.  Of course he doesn't eat eggs.  And while I was tempted to say "Oops, sorry you made a bad decision to not eat meat, even though you wear leather shoes" I decided that was not the nicest decision.  So I googled "eggless muffin recipes" and "how to substitute for eggs in baking."   I perused several recipes, and settled on the two I'm about to share, with some alterations.  I am giving you the altered recipe of course. 

I think they are both going to turn out well.  They are lovely in their pans.  I was a tad concerned that the muffins call for no salt, but the batter tasted great, so I hope the muffins do too!

Eggless Blueberry Muffins
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour ( I’ve been trying to use more whole wheat flour so I use 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup regular)
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 2 tsp. more
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 Tbs. melted butter
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Heat oven to 350. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Combine flour, sugar and baking powder in a medium-size bowl. Stir in milk by hand and melted butter. Fold in blueberries. Fill each cup 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Eggless Blueberry Coffee Cake

  • All Purpose Flour - 1 cup
  • Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/8 tsp
  • Unsalted Butter - 3 tbsp
  • Sugar - 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup
  • Mashed Ripe Banana - 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla Extract - 3/4 tsp
  • Milk 2% - 1/2 cup
  • Vinegar - 1/2 tsp
  • Fresh Blueberries - 1/2 cup
  • Brown Sugar - 2 tbsp
  • Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
  • Pecans - 1/4 cup

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a square pan.
2. In a bowl combine all the dry ingredients... flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a small bowl combine the topping ingredients... brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans.
4. If you do not have buttermilk on hand, then combine the milk and vinegar and set aside for 5 minutes.  This is a substitute for buttermilk.
5. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until well blended.
6. Add the bananas and vanilla extract and blend.
7. Add the dry ingredients and milk to the butter/sugar mixture in 3 parts, starting with the dry and ending with the dry.  DO NOT OVERMIX!
8. Fold in the blueberries.   
9. Pour the batter into the baking dish.  
10. Top with the cinnamon-pecan topping.
11. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  I baked these 25 minutes exactly.
12. Cool before cutting into squares.  Be careful, this cake is extremely soft.

So there you have it.  Tomorrow I'm on call, and I plan to make Brent a fabulous cheese cake.  I bake him one every year for his birthday.  I'm sort of kicking myself for that two hour nap when I could have been working on his cake.  A cheese cake is not something you can assemble and have completed in an hour like I did the two above recipes...
Oh well.  Who needs sleep?  It's not like we're getting much anyway considering somebody's puppy is awake every two hours to go potty!

P.S.  It is now Monday morning.  I had made a few extra muffins for the girls.  They are good, but I find them a little sweet.  I will let you know about the coffee cake tonight.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

CLEARLY We Do Not Have Enough To Do

Studmuffin's birthday is the 4th.

He is hard to buy a present for.

He is hard to surprise.

Oh, and here's another news flash for you:  There is approximately 1/8th of a nanosecond before my thoughts come vomiting out of my mouth.

Clearly it is a mystery why I can never surprise the man...

So this year I did the unthinkable.  The unatainable.  The unBELIEVABLE!!!

It all began about two months ago.  He had began speaking in earnest about getting another Brittany.  Instead of having a panic attack which was my first instinct, I got onto this new fangled invention known as the internet.

And I did some research.  Then I emailed him links such as this one:  Brittany Spaniels.

And then I emailed a link such as this one:  German Short Hair Pointers.  Because this was his second choice of dog.

And while I truly loved Holly, our previous Brittany, we simply could not keep up with walking her eight miles a day, and neither could we realistically be with her all but a few hours a day, which is what I kept finding as recommendations for keeping this breed of dog calm...Basically the opposite of her.  Oh, she was the perfect dog when we were home.  It was when we were off to work that she ate the wiring to the air conditioner.  Three times.  And it was while we were at work that she chewed up the stairs to the pool.  And it was while we were at work that she chewed a hunk out of her giant rubber indestructable dog bowl.  And it was while we were at work that she decided to dig under the fence and eat the pool filter...

So. Holly no longer lives with us.  She has been gone over a year now.

And Studmuffin and the girls were scaring the living daylights out of me by earnestly searching for a new Brittany puppy.

I stated quite emphatically:  Do NOT bring home a puppy without me first approving it.

And then I did more research.  His goal in obtaining a dog is that he wants a hunting companion.  Since I lost three birds the last time I went hunting with him, I could not even use the excuse that I would bird dog for him...I decided to do research on dogs that were bred for hunting, and decided that we needed either a lab or a golden.

Then one night he said, "I do NOT want a black lab.  Everyone has a black lab."

So. That narrowed my search.

And then I learned something else.  Golden Retrievers are not as easy to find as a labrador.  At last I found some Golden puppies that were available October first.  Bingo!  The girls and I schemed that we would pretend to go birthday shopping on the first, when in fact we were going to have to drive to Tulsa to meet the breeder who was flying out puppies that day.

And my children kept the secret for three whole weeks.  Seriously!  They did not breathe a word.

Of course, my husband did the unthinkable and one day last week he said, "Hey, the weekend of the first is the OU vs Ball State game.  They will cream Ball State, so the tickets are cheap.  I thought we could take the girls to a game finally."

Of course I panicked and was completely unable to come up with any reason why we couldn't go, other than, "Umm.  I think I may have plans that weekend."  And then the girls started chiming in that it was indeed impossible for us to go to a game that particular day.

And Studmuffin tried to manipulate us into telling him by pretending to have his feelings hurt that we were all keeping secrets from him...

But we stood firm.

And at some point he decided that I was surprising him with new sofas...

Because that would clearly require a two hour drive one way to pick up.  And there is obviously no way I could get a new sofa within a 120 mile radius of our house...And obviously every man wants new sofas for his birthday.

So, at 6:30 am this morning we began our drive to Tulsa.  And he nagged and tried to guess all the way there what we were doing.  I had asked him to throw in tie downs for his pickup.  And he grabbed a wrench and tossed both hitch balls in too as a precaution since he had stated "You realize that my pickup bed will only hold one sofa."  To which I replied, "Your pickup has a hitch."

And none of that was a lie...

So we drive drive drive, and when we finally got to Tulsa I said, "Hey I saw a sign back there for a Quik Trip off of Exit 222.  Just pull off of there, and I will take a quick bathroom break, then I will take over driving."

Now, I had planned to meet Dan, the breeder at the QT.  He had said he would be there between 8:00 and 8:30, but he would take a nap while he waited.  He didn't want to worry about me hurrying and getting into an accident.  He said he would be in a Suburban on the west side, and he would be napping...

I had planned to pretend to go into the bathroom, then when my husband went in I would go back out, grab the dog and pay for her, then promptly return to the pickup...Only Dan wasn't there.  I went into the bathroom and texted him.  He had been fooling around at the airport because he figured there was no way I would arrive before 9.  He was exiting as he replied.  I saw a suburban with a definitely friendly face pull up, and handed my husband all of the drinks and headed out the door...

I practically ran to the Suburban.  I threw the cash in his face, and tried to nonchalantly tell him to shut up the chitter chatter and just give me the bloody dog so I can surprise my husband...

Unfortunately the I don't want to be rude but shut up and hurry up scheme didn't work...And the girls and their dad came strolling out of the QT just as I was scooping up our new little bundle of joy.

But he was definitely surprised!

So, here she is.  Our brand new puppy, Chesney.

I took these photos with my phone and didn't realize that the girls had set it on a weird setting.  I have no idea what that color is about.

However, I think you can still tell that she is adorable.

Studmuffin decided on Chesney because she is a dark color for a golden.  Which is why I picked her.  The breeder had photos of the litter online, and I picked the one with the darkest coat.  Studmuffin decided she is almost a chesnut color...

Ain't she sweet?  Remind me of how sweet I think she is when I am ranting about all the stuff she has chewed up.

I will end with a few picks that I snapped the first few minutes we had her home with us.

 Oliver:  What on earth is THAT thing?

Chesney:  Why hello giant fluffy creature?  Can I lick your face?

And Oliver promptly smacked her three times across the face.  Which I did not catch on camera.  But one can for sure say this:  Chesney may NOT lick Oliver's face.

She was playing with a ball here.  I am a terrible photographer, and I missed it.  Also, I'm impatient, and too busy watching life in real time to think to snap it with a camera.

Her new collar is itching her neck terribly.  She kept having to stop her wrestling with Kelsey to scratch her neck.

Chesney wants to play.  Kelsey wants to sniff her bottom for about four solid hours.  Or days.  However long it takes for her to decide whatever decision bottom sniffing leads to.

And that is all the photos I have for you for now.  Next time perhaps I will move off of my bench on the cool shady porch and take some real photos.

But I can't make any promises.

Oh, and the reason we needed my husband's pickup was that I had bought a Great Dane kennel from a friend at work.  Since we have a fence up, but it isn't completely done, I was afraid there may be a few places that weren't puppy proof.  As it turns out, I think she can only sneak out at the curves of the gate, and that should only last a few weeks.  But regardless now we have a nice wire kennel to put her in should the need arise!

And one last note:  The kittens (which look less and less like kittens every day) are hiding from Chesney.  They need to take a page from Oliver's book and smack her around now, or they will have two dogs chasing them up the tree instead of just one.