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Friday, November 30, 2007

A Helping Hand

Ian and I went to a craft day with our homeschool group today. It was good to get out of the house and have our minds on something other than missing Lucy. Ian made some Christmas ornaments with some help. One of them I had to make because it was all glued together with a glue gun!
When we got home I saw in my email that someone on freecycle had posted that they needed help to get presents for their children for Christmas. So I decided that I must have things around this house that would make good gifts. I had Ian look through his toys for things that were still nice that he could give to the little boy and I hunted for things for the little girl. We're getting a nice stack of things. Nothing like helping someone else to make you feel better. We'll probably take the things to them tomorrow or Sunday. I'm glad God sent this my way, I needed a little project to think about others rather than feeling sorry for myself.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Saying Goodbye

I didn't want to get up this morning. I had a hard time going to sleep last night and this morning I just wanted to hide under the covers. I think I just didn't want to face the day and taking Lucy to the vet. I did get up and we took Lucy to the vet. Colin had to carry her to the van and out of the van at the vet's office. The vet looked at her and told us what we already knew, she wasn't doing any better. In fact, she was worse, she was weaker than she had been on Monday and still very congested. He told us that since her congestion hadn't responded to antibiotics or steroids it was most likely a tumor.
The vet asked us what we wanted to do and we make the difficult decision to have her put to sleep. We cried and petted her and said goodbye. We didn't stay in the room while she got the shot, that was just too much for us to handle. Ian petted Lucy and told her he loved her. He still hasn't cried. I'm not sure he completely understands. We told him that she died and he has told us that he's going to miss her. I told him it's okay to cry if he's sad. I think Colin and I have shed enough tears for all of us.
Colin was going to ride the bus to work, but I asked him to drive us home. I was crying too much to drive and I didn't want to face our empty house all by myself. I was right, it was hard to be in the house and know she wasn't going to greet us. All her things were right where we left them.
Silly, goofy dog. We only had her for about a year, but she sure stole our hearts. I think it was love at first sight. I still remember going to see her at the animal shelter. I had Ian with me and I took her outside in their get acquainted area. She climbed up on the bench with me and snuggled up close. She wanted to be loved. I'm pretty sure that if someone had told me that she was old and dying that I wouldn't have wanted to take her home with me, but I wouldn't trade this past year with her for anything. We've learned a lot. I know more about dog food than I ever thought possible thanks to Lucy's allergies and picky eating. I learned it takes about two seconds to fall in love with a dog and a lot longer to heal after they're gone. I learned that my house is big enough for a big dog, if it's the right big dog. I hope this past year was the happiest one she ever had. We're going to miss Lucy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rough Day

Today has been a rough day. We woke up with high hopes for Lucy, only to have them dashed late in the morning when she collapsed outside in the yard. I had talked to the vet clinic a couple of times this morning. Once because her breathing was so labored and once because she had started throwing up, which isn't good at all because she's hardly eaten a thing since Saturday.
I did get her a little more prednisone which seems to ease her breathing a little bit. The vet was out of town, so I couldn't get much help.
I had some errands I had to run in Olympia, so I left Lucy in the kitchen not knowing how she would be when we got home. I ran my errands, got Colin and we had a little dinner. We took Ian to Awana and found a very nice someone to listen to his verses so that we could head home to see how Lucy was doing and if she was still with us. She was. This dog is a fighter. She is frail and weak, but she's hanging on. Tomorrow we go see the vet in the morning and I'm afraid we might have to make a very tough decision. Do we keep treating her or is it time to say good-bye?
On a much lighter note, I have to share a little funny from the mouth of Ian. He has been learning Psalm 23:1-6. There's one part that he has been mispronouncing and it is such a cute little mispronunciation! Instead of saying "you annoint my head with oil." He's been saying "you annoy my head with oil." Ah, to be six again!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sick Doggie

Lucy has been sick lately. She hadn't been eating very well, which isn't that unusual for her. She developed a stuffed up nose. Then she stopped eating and drinking. We decided it was time for her to go see the vet.
This meant we had to find a new vet as I vowed never to go back to the one that tried to send us to the doggie cardiologist last year. I made some phone calls and found a vet that could see her right away in Elma.
I had to help Lucy in and out of the van as her back legs are pretty weak. I took her into the clinic and they looked at her right away. She most certainly has a sinus infection so they prescribed an antibiotic. The vet thought she looked closer to 12 or 15 rather than the 5-8 the animal shelter and other places had told us. He also couldn't hear any heart murmur! How crazy is that? I still think it might have been her dog food. If the dog food could make her incontinent why couldn't it mess with her heart?
Anyway, she's had two doses of antibiotic and she has started drinking water again and she's nibbled at some turkey. She needs to start eating better. Poor thing, she's a skinny dog to begin with, this doesn't help that at all.
Hopefully, she will start doing better soon. We're leaving for Hawaii in a week and our neighbor is going to watch her. I don't want her to be sick while our neighbor watches her.

Friday, November 23, 2007


I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving. I know we did. For Thanksgiving I made cranberry relish, four pumpkin pies, green bean casserole and baked stuffing. We took all this plus some cool whip and apple punch to Colin's parents' home. There were 38 of us there. We had 3 turkeys and 1 ham, four varieties of stuffing, a host of salad choices. There was a lot of food! I took lots of pictures and I think everyone had a very good time.
We brought one of Ian's cousin home for a sleepover. When we got home we had a lot to unload and we had the boys help us. Ian's cousin carried in our leftover cool whip. I asked him to set it on the counter and I would put it in the fridge. Ian decided that he would jump in and open the fridge. When he opened it he yanked on it and out flew the extra pumpkin pie I had kept for the weekend. A little less than half of it slid out of the pan onto the floor and had to be thrown away. Ian got a talking to about doing what he is asked to do, not what he wants to do.
My very sweet husband battled the cold and the darkness this morning and faced the after Thanksgiving sale at JCPenney to get a Christmas present for me. He got me an under the counter cd player and radio. It will be nice to have some counter space back.
Today we have to clean up the garage and the house and I have to get back to decorating the Christmas tree.
Today is my dad's birthday. Happy Birthday Dad! He's in Branson, MO having fun at Silver Dollar City and going to some shows. They had Thanksgiving at a restaurant down there. Dad told me it was very good and I'm sure my mom enjoyed having some turkey she didn't have to do any work to get. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Good Gifts

Today I signed Ian up for a craft day through our homeschool group. He'll get to make about5 or so crafts that are supposed to be suitable for giving as gifts. I'm really excited. This is the first year that Ian has decided that crafts are fun. This is good news for me because I love crafts!
Thinking of Ian making gifts for Christmas reminded me of when I was a little girl.
When I was in grade school I was in Brownies and then Girl Scouts. We would meet after school and honestly I only have a few memories from that time, but this one is very clear. I must have been in 3rd or 4th grade and we were making gifts to give to our family. We made two things, a recipe card holder and a braided rope wreath. The recipe card holder was very simple to make, it took a block of wood, some fabric, a clothespin and some glue. The wreath was trickier, you had to braid three pieces of rope together. I didn't know how to braid so an older girl helped me and taught me how to braid. It was hard work for me. I finished braiding and we looped the rope (sort of in a clover shape or a pretzel with tails) and added some pretty holiday ribbon. I was very excited about my gifts. I knew just who should get which gift. One would be for my grandma and one was for my mom. I gave the recipe card holder to my grandma and the braided wreath to my mom.
Just a few years ago my mom was getting ready to throw out that little wreath, but I rescued it. We got to talking about that Christmas and my mom admitted that her feelings had been hurt that I gave the recipe card holder to my grandma and the wreath to her. I asked her why that would hurt her feelings. I guess it was because my mom likes to cook and she probably thought that I would have given her something for when she was cooking. Looking at the two gifts, I probably did pick the opposite person of who most people would have chosen to give the gift to. My grandma did use the recipe card holder, but probably not as long as my mom would have. She probably would have liked the wreath better.
I realized that my mom didn't truly know what my gift had meant. I explained to her that while both gifts were nice, I had saved the one that was difficult, the one that took true effort on my part, to give to her. I saved my good gift for her.
I think we can be like that with the gifts God gives us. We ask 'why did you give me this? I wanted something better than this.' We don't recognize the gift as being good. Honestly, sometimes the gifts are difficult to deal with, having cancer, being unemployed, losing someone we love, they aren't what we would call gifts. Later we recognize them as gifts. We see where the path of our life changed. We see the people who need our experience to get through one of their own trials.
Learn to recognize the true gifts in life, if we can see them for what they are, what a blessing.

Monday, November 19, 2007

It's Beginning to Look like Christmas

I know it isn't quite Thanksgiving yet, but around my house, it's beginning to look like Christmas. The sounds are there. I've started playing my vast collection of Christmas Cd's. The sights are there. Colin got our artificial tree down and set it up and I have started putting lights on it. We also have watched two Christmas movies with Ian. We watched Elf and then we watched Muppets' Christmas Carol. I've already wrapped presents to start getting ready to ship to Kansas. Ian has already seen most of his gifts (I believe I blogged about his sneakiness earlier).
Why am I getting ready so early? We are going to Hawaii for a week in December. We did that two years ago and I remember coming back and feeling like I had lost a week and didn't have enough time to get ready for Christmas. It felt very rushed and it wasn't how I wanted to feel at Christmas. So this time, I am starting early. I want to enjoy my beautiful tree more than a week and a half or two weeks. I want to watch my favorite old Christmas movies (we didn't get to them last year and we were at home the whole month!). I want to read Christmas stories to Ian while he snuggles next to me. I want to actually complete my Christmas cards this year and get them mailed. So this year I am having a very Merry Thanksgiving as well as a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Mixed-Up Field Trip

For the past month and a half I had been planning a field trip for our home schooling group. Keep in mind that I've belonged to our home schooling group all of two months. So did I plan a simple field trip?? Oh no, not me, I got ambitious. I coordinated a field trip where we rode on an Amtrak train to Seattle, went to the Seattle Aquarium and rode the train home. Fifty-three people signed up, including my family of three.
Finally, the day had arrived for the field trip. We were so excited. Ian had been asking for weeks if it was time for the train field trip yet and here it was! Our train was scheduled to leave at 10:30 am, so we planned to be at the train station by 9:45. We made it perfectly on time and people from our group were already starting to arrive. I checked people off on my passenger list and happily waited for the train. We had asked the volunteers at the station a few questions (it's an unmanned station except for volunteers). They were friendly and answered our questions. They told us the train would be there at 10:37.
At 10:15 one of the volunteers found me and told me that the train had experienced some mechanical difficulties and that it had not left Vancouver, WA yet. The trip between Vancouver and Olympia would take the train an hour and a half and we didn't know when it would leave.
I made a general announcement to the crowd of our less than wonderful news. We had several options. We could wait, drive to Seattle, ask for a refund or try to reschedule. The time frame would now also affect our reservation with the aquarium. I decided to call Amtrak and talk to the Schools on Trains person who had helped me schedule our trip and see what they had to say. That took a while and while I waited on the phone we came to a general consensus. We would wait for the train. Rescheduling just wasn't feasible because of the time of year, Thanksgiving, Christmas and my trip to Hawaii. One gentleman offered to trade me places for my trip to Hawaii! Ha!ha! Thankfully, the volunteer confirmed that the train had left the station in Vancouver at 10:30 and it should arrive in Olympia around noon.
So we all left the station to grab something for lunch as a lunch in Seattle was out of the question now. One family did decide to drive to Seattle so they could enjoy a lunch at The Old Spaghetti Factory.
Our train arrived around 12:15, which is when we would have originally arrived in Seattle. We had contacted the aquarium and they told us it wouldn't be a problem. Finally, we were on our way. The trip to Seattle went quickly, there was so much to see out our window. We saw a lot of Puget Sound and all the water. Ian got to see several different kinds of trains, freight trains. He even told us he saw some piggyback cars. Smart boy!
Before we knew it we were in Seattle. Colin got directions to the free shuttle that would take us to the aquarium. By now it was raining, but we walked the couple of blocks to the stop and saw that the next shuttle wasn't due for 20 min. Colin called the bus company to see how many people could fit on the bus (after all, we had 49 people going to the aquarium). They advised Colin that we would have to break into three groups to be able to go on the shuttle, but they said we were only five blocks away from the aquarium. We had one set of grandparents that couldn't walk the distance and decided to wait for the shuttle, but the rest of us decided five blocks wasn't that far, so off we headed for the aquarium. Five blocks sounded easy. In reality, it was more like 10 blocks. 10 very long blocks in the rain, but we made it. Of course, by the time we got there, the shuttle was just arriving and the grandparents told us that including them, there were only 5 people on the shuttle. Oh well, we got our exercise!
We paid our admission to the aquarium and headed inside. We took a group photo and headed off our separate ways to explore. One of the first exhibits we saw was a tidal pool where you could touch the sea creatures. Ian touched a starfish a couple of times and so did I! Ian decided he was very brave to do something that daring! He talked about it almost non stop in the van on the way home.
We had a great time at the aquarium. We saw clown fish, a huge oyster, sea horses, seals and sea otters and a whole bunch of tropical fish. We had to stop in the gift shop and there Ian got a book (Curious George visits the aquarium) and a sea horse thing that will expand in water.
We rode the shuttle back to the train station and this time our train pulled in early and we were able to board ahead of time.
We had such a great time even though almost nothing went according to our plan. Still, no one got angry or upset. We just took things in stride and ended up having a fantastic time!
I can't wait for the next train trip!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I see I haven't shared how Bunco went last Friday. Let me tell you, I had so much fun! First of all, I didn't get lost! That might not sound like a big deal to you, but it was dark and rainy and I was going to someone's house that I had never been to. Those all add up to a situation where it's easy to get lost, but I didn't! I arrived a few minutes early.
We had lasagna for dinner and some yummy snacks. The crab dip was my favorite. Then we played Bunco. There were 11 of us and I just barely knew one person there, but it didn't matter. We all played the game and talked and got to know each other. I ended up having the most wins! We all brought prizes so after the games were over, we got to choose which prize we wanted to take home. I chose a bath set that was Pomegranate and Pear. It smells yummy!
I have my prizes pretty much set thanks to my At Home America stuff that I got for bazaars and then changed my mind. I am already looking forward to the next Bunco night in December!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thursday Morning

It feels like I have been away forever. The fact is, I was only gone a few days. I spent the last three days at my friend's house watching her three children so she could be at the hospital with her husband. He had hip replacement surgery. I am happy to say that he's doing pretty well. He got to go home yesterday afternoon.
I am tired!!!! The kids did a pretty good job of behaving, only a few disciplinary actions needed. Three days with four children and dog (who isn't exactly thrilled to be in the garage all day) is tiring. Of course, I'm already tired most the time anyway. I think a lot of people were praying for me while I was watching the kids because I felt a little better, but last night weariness set in.
This morning Colin found a message from Group Health telling me I had new lab results. I finally have the results from my second batch of thyroid tests. My T4 is fine and my T3 is high. I'm not sure what that means. I'm sure I will have to pursue the answer. I would really like it if I could find a doctor that actually contacted ME when I had abnormal test results!
I guess that's about all I know right now. Tomorrow night I am playing Bunco! I can't wait. It's going to be fun!!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Ongoing Saga of Feeling Crummy

Well, I know I haven't said much more about feeling crummy. I had my thyroid test and that came back normal. I saw my doctor and talked to him about it and he ran a bunch of tests. So now I know that I don't have Lupus or Rheumatoid arthritis. My blood counts are good and none of my tests showed anything.
My symptoms are like a checklist for thyroid problems. Seriously. I looked online and did a little research and I matched almost every symptom. Pair that with the fact that I've been dealing with this thyroid thing for 10 years and I'm still thinking it's my thyroid.
So I did a little more research and found some interesting information on a more comprehensive blood test to check my thyroid. So I emailed my doctor to ask about that and he emailed me back that same afternoon and told me that he had ordered that test for me and all I have to do is give another blood sample. So that's what I'm going to do next week. We'll see if it shows anything or not. Either way, I'll know for certain if this problem is my thyroid or if it isn't.
I really hope they find something because then, they could fix it. I am really tired of being so worn out from nothing. It's a big bummer!