Sunday, January 04, 2009

Getting back in touch after being out of it for so long...

Because I'm feeling lazy today, I'm borrowing from a post I made last night to a listserv from which I've also been absent for a while...

*stretch* I feel like I've been hibernating. My flat screen monitor went belly up in October. I just came in and saw a swirl of colors drifting across the screen. Fabulous. Luckily, I had a gigantic, bulky monitor that came with the computer and which I never bothered to hook up because, well, I had the flat screen. Ahem. Unfortunately, the huge monitor was too big for my puny desk. Since I wasn't ready to get a bigger desk, I hooked up the huge monitor and plunked it on a chair so I could at least read blogs, even though I couldn't comfortably type. Okay, that story's pretty boring, but it does explain my initial absence somewhat. Then life just got busy.

Working at a church during the holidays is CRAZY. I love it, but the holidays were completely full of activities, charity schtuff (making food boxes, etc.) and tons of other things. I'm sorta glad work has settled down for now, so I can catch up on basic tasks. What else is new? Oh, my dogs had FLEAS yesterday. I bathed them within an inch of their lives, picked dead/drowned fleas off them (GROSS, I know!), brushed and dried them...and took them to the pet store to get more flea drops and spray to dose them with. (I'm ordering more Advantage on 1-800-PETMEDS, which is cheaper than Amazon and definitely cheaper than the vet, but am using pet store stuff for now.) I'm hoping I caught everything soon enough; I didn't see any fleas last week, so I think these were a recent thing. You have no idea how much this skeeves me out. *shudder* I'm silently freaking.

In other news, the kiddo signed up for baseball today, and I bought a copy of Baseball for Dummies so I can converse intelligently at the pro and Little League games this season. Bring on the hot single dads. (What? Who said that?) ;^)

Christmas was very nice. For the first time in the past few years, I felt able to really enjoy the holiday. Last December was the worst, when I had to go to the urgent care and subsequently the shrink to take care of what had become more or less a protracted panic attack. This year I was able to relax and really have fun with the kiddo. We went to a grand Christmas musical show in early December, then made our somewhat traditional visit on Christmas Eve-Eve (!) to the Hotel Del Coronado to see the giant tree, let the kiddo open a couple of gifts, and have dinner. Usually there's ice skating on the beach (a temporary rink), but it had rained that day and the rink was closed. Nonetheless, the kiddo loved the two small gifts I brought for him to open; we played the card game together, and he hugged the stuffed dog he'd been begging for after seeing it in a deli gift shop. Upon unwrapping the dog, he gasped and asked, "Did you get this for me because you knew I'd been wanting it?" When I said yes, he leaned against me and sighed, "Well, aren't you a sweet mama!" I'M TELLING YOU, I COULD HAVE DIED. Anyway, we then wandered downstairs in the beautiful hotel to look around, eat ice cream (his idea - it was FREEZING outside!), and have dinner courtesy of my first-ever Christmas bonus check.

I initiated this little hotel tradition a few years ago because the kiddo spends all of Christmas Eve (the whole day) with his dad and comes home around 11:00 a.m. on Christmas Day, and then we head off to my parents' house around 1:00 p.m., so our pre-Christmas hotel visit is a way for us to get a little relaxed Christmas time without any other pressing engagements. We weren't able to do this last year because of my panic attacks, so I was especially thankful for our visit this year.

Let's see...what else? My little dog, Suzy, turned nine this year. We've had her for over a year now, and sadly I've decided she would be much better off with a retired woman who stays home a lot, is willing to dote on her, and would be willing to take her along on some trips. The kiddo and I are away at work/school (and too much these days, and Suzy is miserable. She cries all day long when we're away. I even taped her and played it for my co-workers, who found it hard to believe such horrible sounds could come from a teeny animal. My dad thinks one of the women on my folks' street might be interested in another little dog, and she fits the profile I'm looking for, so I plan to visit her the next time we're in town. I met a mom through the kiddo's school who might also be interested, so I'm keeping her in mind also, but I'd prefer to place Suzy on my parents' street if possible. I mean, how perfect would that be? I want to make the transition as smooth and as much of an improvement as possible for Suzy, and she will never go to a shelter.

Our other dog, Slider, ran away when I was visiting my parents last month. What a booger. The gate to the backyard was open, and someone inadvertently let the dogs out. I was in tears, driving around the neighborhood, hoping he hadn't wandered out to the busy street and wondering how I would tell the kiddo if anything happened to Slider. My youngest sister and her girlfriend and my dad were also out looking for him, and my other sister and my brother were already on the roof (putting up Christmas lights), so they tried to check out the area. Finally my youngest sister discovered Slider in a pen on someone's lawn. Some dog lovers had found him and placed him where we could see him! They even put food and water and a rug in the pen to make him comfortable. Needless to say, I brought them a bunch of dog treats, toys and a card later that day.

New Year's Eve was quiet around here. The kiddo and I started to watch Elf at 8:00 p.m., but he fell asleep ten minutes into it and I carried all 66 pounds of him up to bed. I dropped off around 10:00 p.m., then awoke at midnight because Slider was repeatedly jumping on me, then running over to the front door and alerting. He must've heard some firecrackers that I couldn't hear. Suzy couldn't have cared less, of course. On New Year's Day, the kiddo decided we should go out to breakfast and then see Bolt, so that's what we did. :-)

Hmm...last month I did an art project with the kiddo's 2nd/3rd grade class, and it went really well. We talked about the theme "artists depict winter," then talked about the word "depict," then talked about what images come to our minds when we think of winter. Our project was a crayon/watercolor resist, so we also learned the word "resist." It was awesome! The kids drew pictures with white (well, mostly) crayons, then painted over the drawings with black or blue watercolors. Most of the kids drew snowmen and presents, but the kiddo drew the two of us walking the dogs in knee-deep snow. How cute is that? (Okay, I'm biased.) Now I need to figure out a project for January. This art docent gig is a blast! to check for fleas. Yes, I'm obsessed. As you might imagine, the dogs do not enjoy being unexpectedly flipped over to have their bellies scanned for critters. I'll be back, though, I promise.

I wish you all a wonderful 2009!