November 28, 2014

The next day

It's the day after Thanksgiving. We had a lovely time with family, playing cribbage and eating and putting my bees to bed for the winter. And today, we went to Best Buy for a few minutes and bought a TV for the kitchen. I cleaned the house a little and mostly, did very little. It's felt a little indulgent and wasteful, but also, so necessary. Tomorrow, C-man is an altar server and I'm reading. Otherwise, we have no commitments. My brain and mental health are thrilled.

November 25, 2014

Break time

Today is my Friday. As in, it's the last day of my work week. Thank goodness, because I can hardly stay awake today. I need the break.

November 24, 2014

Old habits

Missing Harry is so much harder than I thought it'd be. The old habits are so hard to kick, and each one is a reminder of what we've lost. I've had to stop myself when I've passed the bathroom and reached to close the door so he wouldn't lay down in there. Or wiped a tear when the last few bits of my dinner were thrown into the garbage. And as I left the house this morning, I started to reach for the box of treats and had to remember there was nobody to give them to. I've missed a lot of dogs in my life. But this one is so, so different.

It probably doesn't help that I'm sick - I slept through 3/4 of the Packers game yesterday. C-man and Beerman are feeling it, too. Or that the weather is that dark, gray, rainy snowy yuk.

I'm glad we have most of the week off. We have parent-teacher conferences today. I work tomorrow, but the boys are off the rest of the week. It'll be good to lay low, recover, and be together.

November 21, 2014

1/26/02 - 11/20/14

1/26/02 - 11/20/14

Heartbroken doesn't begin to describe us right now. My whole body aches for this sweet, sweet puppy. The dog who came to us as an abused, matted, wormy, dirty mess and was (justifiably) petrified of people. The dog who we soon learned had an enlarged heart with a hole in it who vets didn't think would live past 5. The sweet, sweet dog who beat all odds almost until the end.

He stole our toilet paper
He rubbed his post-breakfast and dinner face all over my couch
He woke me up with a sloppy kiss if I was sleeping too long
He jumped for joy over just about anything he liked
He howled at the coffee grinder and fire trucks and when he was happy
He hated thunderstorms
He loved tummy rubs
He hated the regular baths but was one of the groomer's favorite dogs
He chased the squirrels and raccoons and rabbits
He told me I was pregnant when I was too quick with the test reading
He waited only so long for us to finish dinner before insisting he get his share
He loved the park and getting dirty
He loved little white fluffy dogs
He loved his naps and puppy dreams
He loved us unconditionally

And we loved him more than we ever thought we could. Because in the end, he somehow enlarged our hearts, too.

May his days be filled with never ending cool waters, chewies, soft pillows, tummy rubs, soft toilet paper rolls, and the infinite joy that he gave to us.

November 20, 2014

Polysemy and twelve other things

  1. Polysemy is my latest word I really enjoy. It means a word that has many meanings. I've found particular joy in it, because it clearly explains how people can have such different visions when they hear the exact same thing.
  2. I'm trying to figure out how to organize our kitchen so that it's usable. This is not my strong suit. I need someone to come and organize me.
  3. I used my Ninja blender for the first time last night. C-man wanted a smoothie. It worked great. I am pretty sure it's the first time I've owned a blender that worked.
  4. There is no snow in sight, but wow, am I in pain.
  5. Harry continues to decline. We're managing him with pain meds, but our time is incredibly short. It's so awful saying goodbye this way.
  6. I need to get C-man some wrestling shoes. Just one more thing I never thought I'd say.
  7. Today is cookie Thursday at work. I love cookie Thursday.
  8. I'm so glad the work week is almost done. It's been a long one.
  9. I should probably order more floor tile so we get it to do the entryway before it goes out of style. Because that'd be my luck.
  10. Next week is Thanksgiving. And teacher's conferences. I don't know which I dislike more.
  11. The good news is I'll finally put my bees to bed for the winter. I just need to take the liquid sugar off Beatrix's hive and replace it with a hard candy sugar board as an emergency store for winter. And then it's a hope and a prayer they make it until April.
  12. I love that the pope is raffling off his gifts to give the money to the poor. It's almost as good as him building the showers for the homeless. This pope gives me so much hope.
  13. I need to think of something fun for us to do locally next week on our days off. Yippee for vacation days!

November 19, 2014

Appreciating now

My life has suddenly quieted. And while still in disarray, emotionally with worry about Harry and physically with our kitchen that can't seem to cross the finish line, the quiet is so good for my soul. Last night, I put some things away in our kitchen, and realized about half of every box we took out of the kitchen we don't ever need to put back again. That cleansing feels really good. And while the rest of the world seems hell bent on rushing toward Christmas (the amount of Christmas swag and music at work is bordering on nauseating), it has been a good reminder for me to stop and appreciate now. One cup of coffee at a time. One hug at a time. One breath at a time.

November 18, 2014

The little things

My goal today is to not drop two full glasses of water on people. It's really about the small things, sometimes... Like sweet morning kisses from Harry. And a fully grouted backsplash in our kitchen. And not a single football game to be watched today. And just the overall quiet that the cold and snow brings. Sigh.

November 17, 2014

Feeling sad

  • Thankfully, the Badgers won big. C-man was absolutely thrilled with his experience at the game, and was asking this morning when they were going to go to their next game.
  • I felt like I totally wasted my weekend on doing laundry and being sad.
  • The kitchen backsplash is getting grouted today. We need the cabinet maker to show up with the remaining doors, some electrical panel to show up to be installed, and some trim. I can't wait to unpack our stuff into the cupboards and use it like a real kitchen.
  • And that's all I've got for today.

November 15, 2014


Harry has bone cancer. It was confirmed by the vet yesterday. Having been down this road before, we knew that was going to be the diagnosis before he even went in. But somehow, that doesn't make me feel any less devastated.

November 14, 2014

Backsplash Friday

Today I'm celebrating Backsplash Friday. (Which apparently will also be Backsplash Saturday) Ladies and gentlemen, this seemingly unending project is nearing its end! And with that, I leave you with a photo of a sunset on the Indian Ocean.

November 13, 2014

Thursday Thirteen

  1. Harry is in terrible pain. I don't know if he injured his leg, or it's just swelling, or something else besides age is wrong with him, but he couldn't put weight on it last night. I so, so, so hate this. He has a vet appointment tomorrow to learn more.
  2. As the temperatures are falling, the boring weather talk is increasing. I almost can't take interacting with people because of it.
  3. We have water in our kitchen. I got ready this morning, made and drank my coffee, and not once put on my winter coat. It was glorious.
  4. The knob on our oven isn't right, and we can't turn it to broil. It may require moving the range, which means they can't put the backsplash up. It really is always something.
  5. C-man got contacts last night. When we were home, he got one out, and got incredibly frustrated with the other, so I had to do it for him. I'm hoping he gets the hang of that quickly, because he sure did get frustrated quickly.
  6. C-man and Beerman are going to the Badgers game this weekend. I have a whole day to myself. There are so many possibilities, I don't know where to begin.
  7. I got C-man a UW jacket to wear, which he now will not take off. Guess who is getting a Marquette jacket for Christmas!
  8. Last weekend one of my bees stung me in my neck. My neck was then swollen and itchy for a few days. That's gone away, but the skin that was itchy is now all rough and gross. So strange.
  9. I'm getting my hairs cut tonight. Which is a little weird, considering I'm growing this mop out. But it will be nice to have it shaped up again.
  10. I think I have what I need to take our annual holiday photo this weekend. One day they are going to let me take a normal, happy, family portrait. But that's not this year.
  11. I've been trying to get into Instagram because it seems to be the platform du jour. But I can't quite do it. I love photos, obviously, but crappy, overprocessed photos make me irritated more than anything. Until I found mortenordstrom. His photos of Denmark are stunning. And now I really want to go there.
  12. In a day and time when so many strides are being made against slut shaming, why do we talk about overly enhanced, disgusting celebrities? Teaching my child to respect others, especially women, is increasingly tough when women voluntarily pose in such ridiculous situations.
  13. The good news of the last few weeks is that big butts and scrunchies are back. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm hot!

November 11, 2014

You had one job...

Needless to say, I'm getting a new island countertop. Because of course it couldn't be right the first time around.

November 10, 2014

So it's Monday

At least the Packers beat the Bears last night. That was fun.

In other news, I want to claw my neck off from that bee sting this weekend. I literally have a red neck. I suppose I should put on some Conway Twitty and just make it legitimate. Apparently I'm slightly allergic to honeybee stings. Damn.

My kitchen countertops come tomorrow. Sweet Jesus, there may be an end to this project!

November 9, 2014

A day at the farm

Yesterday, we headed north to the farm to see Grandma and the bees. I added a candy board, quilt, and top entrance to Amelia's hive.

A candy board is sugar and water that is put in a box, and then left until it dries out and hardens. That is their emergency winter food, since liquid would freeze in the low temperatures. There is a hole in the bottom for them to enter and exit. And the boxes for the candy boards have upper entrances built in, so the bees can enter and exit even when the snow gets a lot higher this winter.

The moisture quilt is the ventilation box (top one below) that we attached canvas to the top and bottom, and then put wood chips in between. The rule is, a wet bee is a dead bee. Since they keep the queen at 96 degrees, the heat goes to the top, and then once it hits the cold, rains down on the bees. The moisture quilt is supposed to, in theory, stop the raining.

Beatrix's hive had eaten all the sugar syrup I'd left, but Amelia's hadn't at all. So I took Amelia's sugar solution and added it to Beatrix's. (While they got all nasty at me and one very un-politely stung me in the neck. Ouch! What I'd intended on being 30 seconds rearranging a box on the hive meant I needed to get suited up.) I added the moisture quilt to Beatrix's hive, but will wait until we go back there on Thanksgiving to add the candy board.

What started as a simple love for honey, has turned into quite the adventure. Two more weeks, and the hives will be put to bed for the winter. And then it's a hope and a prayer that they make it through until next year!

November 7, 2014

Solid week

School photos and a report card came home last night. 7 As and 4 Bs. For the first time ever getting grades, I thought that was totally respectable. We celebrated with some powdered sugar mini donuts from Menards, (What's up with Menards selling absolutely EVERYTHING now? Honestly - they sell brats next to Tide next to windows!) and a new Packers fleece blanket (I needed fabric for my bee moisture quilt I have to build, so that was an easy win.) It's been a pretty solid week for this one.

And now, the weekend. Ahhhh...

November 6, 2014

And Bob's Your Uncle

  1. I was checking out at Menards and they had a case of Toblerones sitting there as an impulse buy. (I know! At Menards!) Well, I bought. And ate.
  2. I have to winterize my bees this weekend. That means I need to get to the fabric store to be able to make a quilt for moisture absorption.
  3. The new kitchen fridge has an ice maker in the door. We're now having a household war over crushed vs cubed.
  4. I have so many thank you notes to write this weekend. I'm incredibly behind!
  5. Apparently I get some crappy prize for fundraising for the Jingle Bell Walk. I really wish they'd keep the money. Isn't that the point, after all?
  6. The other day I'd said something, and then said, "And Bob's your uncle!" She thought I was nuts and had to prove to her it was a real saying. I didn't realize that was so obscure.
  7. The NFL has three games playing in London next year. I can't even describe how ridiculous I think that is.
  8. It's a back-to-back-to-back meeting kind of day. It's better than being bored, I suppose.
  9. Harry is getting older by the day. What was easy yesterday is more difficult today. I give him Rimadyl every night now. I just want to snuggle him nonstop. I hate this.
  10. I got C-man's sign up sheet for his altar server schedule. I can hardly believe my kid is going to be an altar server.
  11. Report cards come home today. It's the first time C-man gets letter grades. He's incredibly nervous. Poor thing.
  12. I bought a wreath from a Boy Scout who called the house. I know I'm supposed to pick it up from somebody's house in November, but I'll be damned if I can find the paper I wrote the information on. I'm going to trust they'll call me when it's in.
  13. C-man has to bring a couple of cans of corn to school for the homeless shelter's Thanksgiving meal. Really? We can't do better than cans of corn?

November 5, 2014

Burn baby, burn

The kitchen is ever so slowly progressing. But progressing it is. The refrigerator is installed and the water hooked up, 70% of the cupboards are together (Note to self - buy handles for doors), the range is working, and the hood is hung. More lights arrive today, and most importantly, counter tops arrive next week Tuesday, after which the lighting and plumbing and back splash get finished.

In the meantime, there are loads of pallets and cardboard for Beerman to burn on the weekends. He does love that.

I need to get my act together and build the quilts for my beehives. I have to get up there this weekend and close those hives down for the winter so they survive!

November 4, 2014

Proud Mama

Last night was the end of year football banquet. We ate some really terrible food, and then sat through the presentations of the 8th grade, and the 7th grade, and the 6th grade. And then the 5th grade coach got up, said some nice words about the season, and called each boy up front to be recognized as a part of the team. Until there were 5 left. These 5 were the award winners. Trophies were presented to the MVP of the line, offense, defense, and whole team. And then, there stood my child with a nervous smile on his face, not sure where to look as tears welled up a little in his eyes, and the coach started to talk about him.

The coach explained that his own motto is "No Quit" (Seriously, it is - it's even on his license plate), and described the importance of working hard and persevering. And then he started to talk specifically about C-man. About how his nickname quickly became the Muscle Hamster (cheers from the whole team erupted at that) because he is smaller than most of the others, but made the key play or disruption whenever they needed him to. (Even in practice when they were just trying to get their offense to learn a new play). He talked about how C-man is not the fastest or the strongest on the team, but never once gave up. And how because of that, he was unstoppable. He said some more incredibly nice things about C-man, and then called him up to be presented with the very last award of the entire night - the "No Quit" award.

So much hard work, and such an amazing lesson for this one to learn at a mere 9. He was practically floating off the floor with happiness and excitement. And I couldn't have been happier for him.

In a related note, the wives of the coaches gave me a gift certificate to a local restaurant to thank me for all the photos of the season. I was surprised and touched. A pretty good night for the house.

November 3, 2014

For the days when Advil isn't enough

Yesterday was the Jingle Bell Walk/Run for Arthritis. And it's because of days like today that we walked and raised money yesterday. My hands are blowing up, and it feels like my head is, too. Oy.

Somehow, I have to get through a day at work and a football banquet. (What DOES one wear to a football banquet, by the way?) But I'm happy for C-man and this football banquet. It'll be a good way for him to say goodbye until next season.

In other unrelated news, the kitchen is moving along. The stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher are in place and working, the tile in the mudroom is laid and grouted, we have the rest of the recessed lights ordered (holy balls were THOSE outrageously expensive!), and the countertops are scheduled to be installed on 11/11. Things are starting to get real in here!

November 2, 2014

We jingled with bells

Today we walked along the lakefront for the annual Jingle Bell Walk/Run benefiting arthritis. The sun was shining, and it was a lovely walk with my family. I am feeling incredibly happy and blessed.