Saturday, November 19, 2011

Unanticipated Farewell

Things don't always turn out the way you thought they would.

We finally decided it was the right thing to do to try and get Ted and Connor in to see the "real" vet. When we got Carly we had the mobil vet come to the house and try and see them. He ended up giving them their shots from an arm's length as they were both hiding under the couch. It worked. But it was time for JC to go in to get his shots anyway and Ted and Connor's three-year rabies was up as well. We'd had success in getting Ted into the carrier when we had the scooting/anal gland issue a few months ago. We figured we could use somewhat of the same stategy to get Connor into one. And that was pretty much the case. Trap in a corner, confuse with a towel, shove into carrier, endure wrath of evil kitty glare.

So we got all three cats to the vet and had back to back to back appointments. JC went first because he's easy. And a picture of perfect kitty health, viral blip in April notwithstanding.

Then came Connor, pretty much because his carrier was on top of Ted's. He did really well for not having been to a vet in years. We kept him under the towel for the most part, but he didn't scratch or even squirm too much. We learned that he had severe dental problems. This explains all the drooling and bad breath. I had suspected as much. We decided to leave him overnight so they could sedate him the next morning to check him out better.

Ted's exam was much the same as Connor's. Didn't struggle too much. His mouth was less severe, but still bad enough that the vet wanted to get a better look at him as well. He also needed his anal sacs expressed again, which she opted to wait to do until he was sedated.

So we went in with three cats, came out with one.

The next morning Adam called me with the vet's news. They had put Ted under first and once they were able to get a better look at the situation, it was so much worse than they had originally thought. We had gone into this thinking all he needed was a good cleaning. Turns out all his teeth were pretty much shot, hanging on by a thread. He had terrible gum disease. Would need all his teeth extracted at some point. Was probably in a lot of pain. He was also a lot older than we'd been led to believe. When we adopted him back in 2007 the shelter said he was about a year and a half old. That would make him five or six now. Try ten. Twelve. He was from New Orleans so who knows what he got into down there after the floods. The vet said he was pretty much a feral cat who'd been living in our house for four years.

So we had a few options: Take out the six worst teeth and see what transpired with the rest (estimated cost $800 now, much more as the rest of the teeth cracked or fell out.) Take out all his teeth now (didn't even bother to get this estimate.) Accept the situation for what it was, pretty much hopeless both financially and in terms of quality of life for Ted, and do what was the hardest: let him go. Even the vet agreed it didn't make sense to do nothing and surrender him to a shelter as they'd just put him down immediately anyway since no one would adopt him in his condition.

It was probably the most heart-wrenching decision we've had to make. Knowing that Connor had been initally estimated to be in much worse shape than Ted, letting Ted go meant we'd have to let Connor go as well. We didn't have a lot of time to make our decision - Ted was already under and they couldn't have more than one cat out at a time. So we had to do what we hope was best for the cats.

They put Connor under pretty much just to confirm what they had previously suspected and it was apparently about seven times as bad as Ted's had been. And his real age was more like fifteen. So that outcome kind of wrote itself.

Of course all of this was going on while I was at work. Adam called me, conferenced in the vet tech. I had to go out to my car for awhile to talk things through with Adam. While Adam called the vet back to tell them our choice about Ted I went and told my boss what was going on and that I needed to leave for the day.

We didn't go to see them. By the time I got home they were probably both gone anyway. And I didn't want to see them like that, really. We got Adam's dad to pick up our carriers and the blankets we'd left with them overnight. Neither of us could imagine going back to the vet's office yet.

It's been rough. I miss them. They might have been categorized as "feral" by the vet, but they were our cats and very much ingrained into our daily lives. I miss Ted hanging out with me in the bathroom. I miss Connor walking in front of my face while I'm trying to type on the computer. I miss Ted being my neckwarmer/pillow while I watch Molto Mario while eating breakfast. I miss seeing Connor conked out on the mouse pillow.

We were also worried about JC. He'd never been in the house without these other two around. The first night they were gone he seemed to mope a little. We jumped the gun a little and actually brought a kitten home on Thursday but neither JC nor Carly were having any of that so it went back the next morning. We felt bad about that - it was an awesome kitten, but it wasn't right for our existing cats. JC seems to be dealing with it pretty well. We're wondering if maybe we overestimated how close he really was to Ted and Connor. I know those two were best buddies, and maybe JC was just on the periphery of that. He's eating, sleeping in the bed with us, playing. So unless he starts to get bored or looks like he wants another cat around, we're going to stay with just the two.

These things keep circling in my brain:

1) Is this whole thing our fault because we didn't take them to the vet regularly? If we had gone before now could we have prevented this? This is what's really killing me... the guilt of not knowing if all this was present before we even got them.

2) I hope we made our decision for the right reasons. I'd hate to think we did this because of the money. We had no idea things were so bad - we didn't know they were in pain, though they almost certainly were. I take some comfort in the fact that the vet said she would have done the same thing if they were her cats.

3) I'm so mad at myself for not saying a proper goodbye to either of them at the vet's office. When we left them there overnight I stayed out in the lobby with JC while Adam the the vet tech took the other two back to the kennel area. It really never occured to me that I'd never see them again. They were taken there to get rabies shots for goodness sake!

4) I hope Ted and Connor were happy for the four years they were with us. Who knows what kind of life they lead before they came to us. All I can wish is that they felt loved and safe while in our house.

5) I'm kind of glad that if it had to be one, it had to be both. I don't think they'd have wanted to be apart. They were such good cuddle buddies.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Week in the Life of Martha

5:15AM – alarm goes off. Adam works at 6am these days so it’s an early start. Although I was up at 4:45 to put Carly in the cat room. Luckily I seem to be able to fall back asleep easier these days. I roll over, re-set the alarm to 5:45 and go back to sleep.

5:45AM – alarm goes off again. Time to get up and feed the cat – Carly gets a quarter can in the morning and a quarter at night. She knows this and gets cranky if I stall with her food in the morning. I also unload the dishwasher – I did a lot of baking yesterday so I have more dishes in the sink that I want to get going before I leave for work. Go to the office, check my email, then head to the shower.

6:35AM – clean and dressed, it’s back to the kitchen for breakfast. Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs. Yum. I channel surf while I eat, ending up on “Molto Mario”. Mmm, pasta. Ted climbs up on the couch behind my neck and tries to eat my hair. Connor jumps up to hang out right before I have to get up. Poor kitties.

7:00AM – start the dishwasher, kiss Adam goodbye, bring in the paper, and off to work. Boo for being dark out at 7am…and boo for NPR pledge drives.

7:15AM – got a decent parking spot this morning. There seems to be a 4 minute window where you either get a spot close to the doors or you have to walk a mile. My boss is on vacation this week but I’ve got a whole list of projects. I tend to get bored if I focus all my brain power on one thing so I find myself bouncing back and forth between two or three things for most of the morning. Keeps me awake.

10:00AM – mmmm, chocolate. I have been overindulging on the mini twix bars, for sure.

11:45AM – time to head home for lunch. Man, it’s windy out.

12:00PM – I’m unsurprised to walk in the door and see all the kitties lined up in the sun in the living room. What a life. Soup for lunch. But I hate how the carrots explode in the microwave. So annoying. Watch my DVRd Pop-up Videos while I eat. I’m so excited that they brought the show back!

12:30PM – a few peanut butter cups for good measure and it’s back to work.

12:45PM – I somehow managed to get a spot directly in front of the door. Score!

2:30PM – OMG. Need caffeine. Machine Hour Rates are not the most stimulating topic.

4:15PM – calling it a day. Head home to make dinner before going to bell rehearsal.

5:00PM – kitty feeding time. They have internal clocks that never fail. Also, they hear the chiming of the clock on the wall and know it’s time for food. They stalk me from the time I walk in the door until the time I set the food down in front of them. Pavlov anyone?

5:15PM – dinner time. Turkey paninis. Quick, easy, yummy.

6:00PM – off to bells. The Breezewood highway exit is open again (yay!) so it shouldn’t take so long to get there anymore.

6:30PM – as much as I enjoy the company of the ladies in the bell choir, it’s a never ending struggle to keep from sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong regarding music choice and technical performance details. We’re getting deep into Christmas music already.

7:45PM – rehearsals theoretically go until 8 but I can’t remember the last time we actually lasted that long.

8:15PM – back home. Adam’s up in Green Bay as Dave apparently got his key stuck in his door lock. This gives me time to catch up on some of my DVR shows that Adam can’t stand. I’ve been recording the new Rosie O’Donnell show and I’m still undecided. I fast forward through some of it, but I think I’ll keep it on the list for a little while longer.

9:00PM – kitty pit stop for Carly, time for PJs for me. After brushing my teeth I go back and clean out the litter boxes. Carly’s very proud of her latest addition. Didn’t even bother to bury it. *sigh* Settle into bed, even have some cuddle time with Ted before Adam gets home.

10:00PM – lights out. Nighty-nite.

5:15AM – alarm goes off. I get up this time and take Carly to the room and feed her. She was especially obnoxious last night – I think we were up two or three times.

5:45AM – alarm goes off again. Check my email, then head to the shower.

6:35AM – Breakfast - Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs again. What can I say, I’m a creature of habit. Mario’s making a pasta/cauliflower dish today that looks good. Maybe I’ll try and find the recipe…

7:00AM – Off to work. Looks like the pledge drive is over. Woo!

7:15AM – Parked right in front today! Amazing. They’ve started decorating for Halloween in the office this morning. Black netting with some fake spiders. Someone comes by and says, “oh, that’s cute!” and one of the ladies here says, “it’s supposed to be scary, not cute!” Ha.

11:45AM – time for lunch. Have successfully not killed any people from sales & marketing this morning. Sometimes it’s a challenge.

12:00PM – JC is totally wound up today. He’s chasing his own tail, Ted’s tail, and generally terrorizing Connor. Lunch today – Lean Cuisine – Honey Chicken. One of my favorites. I especially like the peas.

12:30PM – Back to work.

12:45PM – A little bit of a walk to get back today. Not way out in converting, but not right in front either.

4:15PM – Heading out. Got to make a quick stop at the bank before heading up to Darboy for IMA. We went to an online credit card payment system this year, but I still try and have some cash with me in case people show up unregistered. We also have a 50/50 raffle that operates on a cash basis.

5:00PM – Setting up my registration table. I always tend to be the first person here.

5:45PM – Dinner – chicken and fish. Simple food, but very good. I love when our meetings are at the Darboy Club. They’re so easy to work with. Got a bit of a late start because there was some confusion over the dinner start time… should have verified when I called in the headcount, although not really my responsibility. Oh well.

6:20PM – Speakers tonight are talking about servant leadership. With my position in the organization I end up at every meeting and I hear every speaker whether I’m interested in them or not. It’s both a blessing and a curse.

7:20PM – we’re trying out a new format this year with just one hour of CPE. This means the meeting is over earlier than usual. We’ll still have a board meeting after the regular chapter meeting is over, but I should still be home before 10PM!

8:30PM – Gah… board meetings always go long. Finally heading home.

8:50PM – home reached. Do some dishes, clean some cat boxes, then head to bed. Catch up on some Pop-up Video since Adam’s snoring away before I even lay down.

10:00PM – lights out.

5:15AM – alarm goes off. I left Carly in the room around 5 this morning so I just reset the alarm and roll over.

5:45AM – alarm goes off again. Put away some dishes, computer time, shower time.

6:30AM – Breakfast - Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs again. Thought about doing Special K, but the puffs won out. Watched a few segments of yesterday’s Rosie show. Fran Drescher was on.

7:00AM – Off to work.

7:15AM – I think I got the same spot this morning as I had yesterday.

9:30AM – I have such a headache I had to take my contacts out. Not sure if it’s related to the weather or hormones. Either way, it SUX. Very hard to concentrate when all you want to do is rip your eyes out.

11:45AM – time for lunch.

12:00PM – Nary a sign of the kitties – kind of reflective of the weather. Dreary and rainy. Good day to stay in bed and sleep. Good call, cats.

12:30PM – Back to work.

12:45PM – Wow, there are a lot of cars in the visitor lot. Wonder what’s going on?

2:15PM – still have that headache. Not as bad now, but even chocolate isn’t helping…

4:15PM – call it a day. Why is it so yucky out? Boo, Wisconsin weather. Boo.

4:30PM – Adam’s at the gym so I wait to start laundry until he gets home since I’m assuming he’ll have some stinky clothes to be washed. I do laundry twice a week – Wednesday and Sunday – because Adam’s got big clothes and I’d rather do a few smaller loads than a whole bunch at one time. In the meantime I watch some Pop-up Video.

5:00PM – start laundry quickly before the swarming cats get their desired food.

5:05PM – time for people food. Tonight’s menu: Greek Meatballs with gnocchi. I’m not sure what exactly makes them “Greek.” It’s just beef with onions, allspice, cinnamon, oregano, and parsley. Browned and then cooked in some tomatoes. The gnocchi are homemade – I made a huge batch a few weeks ago with my new ricer. We reheat some of the apple slump I made on Sunday for dessert. That’s a great fall recipe.

6:00PM – Catching up on some DVR shows – Conan, NCIS. Flip the load of laundry to the dryer.

7:00PM – Adam retreats to the bedroom to watch the first game of the World Series. Too bad the Brewers didn’t make it. Would have been sweet to win the Super Bowl and World Series in the same year. Oh well… I finish up my Pop-up Videos and the Rosie from yesterday.

8:00PM – whoops, totally forgot about the laundry. Now I get to fold it on top of Adam. Time for the rest of the Wednesday night tasks: garbage collection, litter locker cleanout, fridge cleanout, dishes. I usually do my menu planning and shopping list but I didn’t get to it.

8:30PM – I watch the Rosie from today while Carly takes some time in the cat room.

9:15PM – bedtime prep, kitty retrieval.

10:00PM – lights out.

5:15AM – alarm goes off. Get up and feed the cat.

5:45AM – alarm goes off again. Put away some dishes, computer time (Happy Birthday Dad!), shower time.

6:30AM – Breakfast – We tried the new Pillsbury frozen breakfast biscuits this morning. Bacon and Egg. They’re ok – I’m kind of weirded out by the square-shaped eggs. Not sure I’d get them again. Maybe if they’re on sale and I have a coupon… Mario was making some kind of braised chicken this morning. And buccatini. I like buccatini. It’s fun stuff.

7:10AM – Off to work. Running kind of late. I blame the blender. And the fact that I overfilled it. Made my knock off Starbucks Mocha frappuccino using splenda, almond milk, and sugar free chocolate syrup.

7:25AM – even though I’m late I still got a pretty good parking spot. Maybe everyone’s having problems this morning…

11:45AM – time for lunch. Ugh. It looks like it might snow. The horror!

12:00PM – Ted was on me like white on rice today. Jumped up on the couch behind me almost immediately. Lunch today was pasta and homemade sauce. I haven’t bought jarred pasta sauce in ages since Adam got a recipe from Mark that he really likes. And I can never say no to pasta…

12:30PM – Back to work

12:45PM – Ugh. Not only did I end up far, far away, but it’s raining. A cold, cruel rain.

4:25PM – calling it a day. I heard murmurings of snow around the office earlier but I sure hope they were kidding.

4:40PM – home. So dreary out, but no snow!

5:00PM – kitty feeding time. I totally hate the whiney meows…

5:15PM – people food time. Tonight’s menu: Scrambled Egg Burritos. Bacon, cheese, sour cream, scrambled eggs in a tortilla. I also added some southern hash brown potatoes and some onions. Good stuff.

5:30PM – DVR time. Harry’s Law, Law and Order: SVU

7:15PM – Adam’s making a Culver’s run – Andes Mint Avalanche. I do dishes while he’s gone.

8:00PM – Adam retreats to watch ultimate fighting or wrestling or something. I go in the office and take care of next week’s menu planning and grocery list. Adam works on Saturday morning so we’ll be doing our shopping Friday night instead.

8:45PM – Wow, that took way too long. It shouldn’t be that hard to come up with six things to make. I did end up finding the recipe I saw on Molto Mario earlier this week. We’ll see how it is. I head back to the living room to watch Project Runway.

10:00PM – Oh, come on! Eliminate Anya already! Boo! Kitty retrieval, bedtime.

5:15AM – alarm goes off. Get up and feed the cat.

5:45AM – alarm goes off again. Put away some dishes, computer time, shower time.

6:40AM – Breakfast – Back to the puffs. Watched the After the Runway from last night. Still annoyed that they kept all four designers for fashion week.

7:05AM – Off to work.

7:20AM – Lots of empty spots this morning. Everyone must have taken the day off…

10:30AM – I think my leg heard me last night when I said it was doing much better and I probably wouldn’t reschedule the chiropractor appointment I had to cancel a couple weeks ago when I was knocked on my butt by a cold. It’s been aching all morning.

11:45AM – time for lunch.

12:00PM – Leftover pasta today – added some peas for some veggie goodness. Oh, and lots of pepper.

12:30PM – Back to work

12:45PM – I’m in the exact same parking spot as when I left. Amazing. And I even got stuck by a train on the way back.

2:30PM – Friday afternoons are always a struggle.

3:30PM – heading home. Got a lot of stuff to accomplish tonight.

3:45PM - home - and pretty much turn right back around to go shopping. Down to Oshkosh to the outlet mall to look for new shoes for Adam (no dice.) Back up to Neenah. Dinner at Cy's Asian Bistro (so good!), grocery shopping and Piggly Wiggly and Pick and Save, then back home.

7:00PM - feed some very hungry kitties. Then catch up on some Pop up Videos before calling it a night.

9:30 - lights out a little early today. So sad...

5:45AM - Adam wakes me up to tell me he's going to the gym. Crazy man...

7:00AM - alarm goes off. I get up and go have breakfast. Any guesses as to what it was?

8:00AM - Adam works today 8-12 (overtime!) so I'll be doing the rest of our weekly shopping by myself. Getting a kind of slow start today. I don't get out the door until almost 9.

9:00AM - Walmart, gas, Copps, back home.

10:30AM - making chili. Adam's got ribs is in the Nesco already. It's a busy kitchen day.

12:00PM - Adam's done with work, I'm making lunch. Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo. Just Fettucine minus the shrimp and alfredo for me.

12:30PM - Back out into the world - to World Market (mmmm, New Age), Menards, Vitamin Shoppe, Dicks Sporting Goods, with a stop at Culver's for good measure.

2:30PM - home. Tried to watch Paul but it was awful so we gave up after about an hour.

3:40PM - remembered I was supposed to be making a few other things today. My knockoff Hot Pockets (both sausage and bacon varieties) and a big batch of Santa Fe Turkey.

5:00PM - Kitty feeding time. Adam eats some ribs and then packs the rest up to take up to his grandma. She's wild about them.

6:00PM - totally bumming around flipping between the Cooking Channel and reruns of Friends.

8:00PM - into PJs. Adam's watching the World Series and the Badger Game. I'm zoning.

10:15PM - lights out.


6:00AM - Carly wants to go in the cat room. Fine. I leave her there.

7:00AM - alarm goes off. I get up, feed the cat, and find out what Adam wants for breakfast. I've got some leftover sausage from my hot pockets yesterday and some potatoes I cooked but didn't eat so I scramble some eggs and throw it all together. No sausage for me, no potatoes for him.

7:30AM - read the paper, watch some ID. I love that channel.

8:15AM - time to do the weekly cat room cleanup. Vaccuum, deoderize the boxes, clean out the water dish. Good stuff. Adam's also doing the weekly vacuuming for the rest of the house.

9:00AM - shower time.

9:30AM - there are a few things you never want to hear. "The cat pooped in the bed" is one of them. Argh. Since Adam has this severe aversion to bodily matter the cleanup falls on me. Gross.

10:00AM - Adam's on his way up to his parent's house with our comforter. They have a huge washer and dryer and it doesn't fit in ours. I've started my Sunday laundry as well.

1:00PM - Supposed to be leaving to go to Dad and Cheryl's for their "Ciao Italia" party but the dryer just finished so I'm going to fold laundry first.

2:40PM - Finally arrived at the party. Traffice was nuts and there must have been an accident just north of OO because we were at a standstill for like 10 minutes. I guess this is my definition of "fashionably late."

6:20PM - heading back home. Yummy food eaten, but I stayed away from the wine. :)

7:45PM - back home. That sucked. It was a trifecta: construction, torrential rain, and cloud to ground lightning. Woo.

And there you have it. A week in my incredibly boring life.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


This year we're spending our anniversary in Milwaukee - staying at a fancy hotel we got for $6.66 a night thanks to airline miles (and hoping that price isn't some kind of bad omen...), going to a Brewer game with fancy seats that have wait service, and eating at THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY.

Guess what I'm looking forward to most. ;)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

For Real this time

Totally complete, including the shutters:

and an Adam Paalman™ original house number plaque:

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Oscar Update

Finally updated the list over there. Doing terribly. Without Netflix remembering all the titles and forcing me to watch them I find that when I go to Redbox I tend to pick stupid movies instead of the "masterpieces" on the list. Case in point: the DVD sitting on the table and that will be watched when I'm done posting this? Gnomeo and Juliet. I mean, come ON! *sigh*

No One is Safe from Political Ridiculousness

Even Simon's Cat has to deal with the recall campaign ads. I'll be SO GLAD on August 17th...

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Move That Bus!!

Not the fastest transformation ever seen,

but finally, what was blue:

is now green:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cirque de Squirrel-é

...and the crowd goes wild

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thoughts on wisdom teeth surgery, one week out:

1. Sedation dentistry = awesomeness. I don’t remember a thing. I do still have quite the bruise at the IV site on my hand, but I can deal with that. Waking up wasn’t too bad. I was kind of dizzy and seeing double most the way home, but I didn’t feel nauseous at all.

2. Sorry Mr. Garrison, but drugs are good. I was given prescriptions for heavy-duty ibuprofen and Vicodin. I’ve relied mainly on the Tylenol. I’m really not too impressed with the Vicodin. It just makes me really hot…

3. Being able to eat nothing but ice cream isn’t as great as it sounds. As much as I like potatoes and ice cream, I’m over the mushy food thing. The first few days were terrible. That Ensure stuff is totally disgusting. Who even drinks it? It’s so thick and sweet. Just awful. Surprisingly Ramen noodles went pretty well over the weekend as long as I chopped them into itty bitty pieces. I attempted to eat some chicken on Sunday and that was a mistake. I’m up to overcooked pasta and soup now. And Culver’s French fries (yay for floppy fries!) My dietary restrictions have definitely made it easy to resist all the junk that’s been showing up at work this week. But man, I’d kill for a hamburger… or really anything with protein. I find it hilarious that on the paperwork they sent home with me they suggest eating macaroni and cheese on the day after surgery. Ha! And then they warn against Doritos. I won’t be eating Doritos for a long time still… Actually I don't even like Doritos...but anything Dorito-like is off the menu for a while.

4. It sucks being a side sleeper. The first couple of nights I had to sleep on my back, propped up on pillows. As much as that annoyed Carly (she kept sliding down the pillow), it annoyed me even more. I’m a dedicated side sleeper. I usually start on my left side and alternate each time I get up at night. (Hello OCD.) I haven’t been able to sleep on my right side at all since that side definitely got the worst of it and is still sore pretty much 24/7, drugs be damned.

5. Cat are cuddly. Ok, kind of a cop out “duh” bullet point here, but there’s nothing better than looking up from your drugged haze and seeing all kinds of kitties keeping you company. I spent a lot of time in bed the first two days and I usually had one, two, or three furry companions. They say cats can tell when you’re feeling lousy and they tend to hang around you more then.

6. Roads around here SUCK. Driving is still kind of painful. Every bump jostles my jaw around. It doesn’t help that the roads are full of dips and bumps and holes and dents.

7. Tea does a body good. On the day of surgery I was supposed to change the gauze in my mouth every hour and a half or so until it was light pink. I kept up with that but I just would not stop bleeding. Not too surprising really – I have a history of being a gusher. After work Adam went back up to the doctor’s office to get more gauze since we were burning through what they gave us that morning pretty quickly. He came home with some teabags which he proceeded to stick in my mouth. (Wow, does that sound DIRTY out of context or what…) Apparently there’s something in tea that’s supposed to help with clotting. It was interesting… kind of like brewing a really strong cup of tea directly in your mouth. And it seemed to work – it got the bleeding stopped enough that I could take the gauze out overnight.

So that's the main stuff.

This has been the longest week ever. I cannot wait for the day I wake up and don't have an aching face. And two in the afternoon is my new least favorite time. It seems that's the time my jaw decides it's done for the day and it just kills me until I leave work. I think there's something with the AC that bothers it.

Given the choice again, I don't know that I would have had this done. The teeth bothered me occasionally, but it was really not a big deal. The main reason I went through with it is because the teeth were all falling apart anyway and with how teeny my mouth is it made more sense to just rip the suckers out than try and fix them.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy House-iversary!

Four years in, another year, another handful of cash gone. Or maybe four handfuls. This year we were plagued with a variety of issues. Some due to the age of the house, some due to the stupidity of the builders and former owners, some due to lapses in our luck.

I had mentioned in the recap post last year that Adam had started on a bathroom in the basement. Here's the finished product:

Nothing too fancy, but useful for sudden bathroom urges Adam may get while working in his shop. Or when we're stuck in the basement for the ten millionth time because of tornadoes.

We also got a steam cleaner this year. With four cats, accidents are a part of life. It was much easier to clean the carpets with this thing every once in a while. It works great.

We were forced to buy a new vacuum cleaner as well. For some unexplainable reason the power cord of the one we had just fell off one day. Uncool...

Toward the end of the season last year our lawn mower crapped out. The engine seized or something. Of course it was past any warranty period and to fix it would have cost almost as much as just buying a new one. So we bought a new one:

At some point our programmable thermostat died too. Not sure what happened there, but one day it just didn't work. So we had to replace that.

A trip to Door County necessitated a wine fridge purchase:

My love of buying in bulk necessitated getting a vacuum sealer:

(PS - it's awesome!)

More random electrical activity resulted in a new light fixture in the hall bathroom:

and a new ceiling fan in the dining room:

Unfortunate gravity issues resulted in a new exhaust fan (with a light!) for the master bath (the old one literally fell out of the ceiling):

and a new sump pump. Again.

We invested in a sleeper sofa to replace the guest bed that we disposed of a while back.

Adam built me a new desk since the one I had was precariously leaning:

We got new screens for the bay window and the big window in the master bedroom. Pet proof screening and hopefully bug deterrent as well.

After someone stole the top half of our mailbox on Easter Sunday we replaced it with one that's bolted down.

And that's the big stuff. We did other minor things - put a new showerhead in the hall bathroom, replaced the curtains in the living room with vertical blinds, moved the dryer vent after it blew open and exploded lint everywhere, replaced the ice maker hose, tore down part of the shop wall to waterproof a leak. It's neverending.

Coming up: Thanks to a freak hail storm in April and a particularly generous insurance adjuster, our entire roof, siding, and gutters will be replaced in the next month or so. Our blue house will soon be a green house.

Nothing else planned, but you never know what will break next.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


What kind of milk do you buy?
Skim, definitely. Haven't had anything else in years. Although recently I've started buying Silk for my occasional morning Starbucks Mocha Frappucino rip-off attempts. I seem to be able to handle real milk on cereal but if I drink it straight up or in a smoothie it makes me sick. Weird. The thing with Silk though is it's got the same consistency as 2% milk - thick and slimy. Not so appetizing. I can't even imagine what whole milk is like - chewy?

Unrelated photo: JC playing peek-a-boo

Friday, May 27, 2011


What was the longest flight you’ve ever been on?
I've been transatlantic to France twice. First in 1998, second in 2003.

The 1998 flight seemed much longer than the 8 or 9 hours it was because we flew Detroit to Paris on KLM (Northwest.) This was before all the cool technology with video screens on each seat back. I was bored. And the food was scary. And we got bumped on the way back in Detroit. Hello jetlag!

The 2003 flight also seemed very long. This time it was Atlanta to Paris on Air France and while the airplane was 1000 times better, I was in a window seat in a row of three and the girl next to me must have had a yeast infection and wasn't wearing any underwear. I was thisclose to barfing by the time we finally got to the gate and into fresh air. The flight back was much better this time...except for that 12 hour layover in Atlanta where I had to try to make my brain work to get a ride to the hotel that the travel agent had set up for me...that sucked.

La Tour et moi (1998):

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Do you think you could ever go by your initials rather than your first name?
One of the ladies at work does call me MP I guess it might work. ML? Not so much.

Unrelated photo: Here's the newest cat toy - a bird feeder right outside the bay window in the living room. Aaah, nature!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


How much does your cat weigh?

Not sure about Connor - he's a skinny thing,

but JC is 11 pounds six ounces,

Ted is 15 pounds,

and Carly, the trouble child, tips the scales at... well, now a lady never reveals her weight.

(a lady also probably doesn't lay like that, but what can you do?)

Monday, May 23, 2011


from that's my answer!
Do you listen to the radio or your own collection of music more?
I listen to the radio when I'm in the car - usually NPR because I'm a nerd. WIXX if they seem to be stuck on boring political topics on 89.3. At work I have my iPod playing a weird mix of Britney Spears (and her pop ilk), Van Halen (and their 80s hair band ilk), and Scottish bagpipe music. At home I listen to iTunes when I'm working on something on the computer.

Totally unrelated cat photo:

Thursday, May 19, 2011


In the past few weeks I’ve started posts but they always descended into something I figured I shouldn’t publish. Between work, the weather, and life in general, the past month plus has been a little rough. Things have happened, but I’m not going to bother to recap. Doesn’t really matter. If it did you would have asked what was up already.

So (un?)fortunately for you, that haiku I wrote about taking a cat’s temperature rectally will never see the light of day.

But I figured I should at least get one more entry in before the world ends on Saturday…

Saturday, April 02, 2011

In a Rare Moment of Companionship...

(Or perhaps sleep-induced tolerance) I give you Carly and JC, fellow loveseat nappers.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blah (and kitties!)

Adam commented that it had been a few weeks since I posted anything here. True. Lack of motivation, inspiration, subject matter.

Whatever lame excuse you want.

So, instead I'll post some cuddly kitty pictures:

Two kitties squished inside a kitty. It's mind-bending! (or not)

Kitties cuddled up in the warmest spot in the house - directly in front of the fireplace.

And our new sleeper sofa. In the time it took me to walk from the office to the kitchen and come back with the camera, Connor had already installed himself on the new sleeping surface.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Fox Cities PAC - the New Season

The PAC announced their new season this morning - see their brochure here.

As current Broadway Across America season ticket holders we got priority renewal treatment and a discount for early-bird renewal. When we saw the line-up for next year it was pretty much a no brainer.

On the docket:
October: Billy Elliot
November: Les Mis
February: Million Dollar Quartet
March: Mary Poppins
April: West Side Story

We stuck with our third-tier Wednesday night box seats. Should be fun!

It's kind of funny - Jane (from bells) and I were talking about this on Monday and when we named the shows we'd most like to see come to the PAC hers was Les Mis and mine was West Side Story. What luck!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Year Ago...

For whatever reason, we lost a great person.

On the one hand, it's hard to believe it's been a year already. But on the other... let's just say it's been a long year.

I knew him for such a short time - only a handful of years. But what a wonderful person he was. So welcoming, so non-judgemental. He did his best to make me (and, I'd imagine, everyone) feel at home in a place where at times I feel like such an outsider. I can't imagine what it's like for those who knew him for so much longer, for their entire life.

I'm not particularly religious, I readily admit that I go mostly for the bell choir, and it's a testament to the kind of man Fr Mike was that he was able to affect my life so much in such a short amount of time. Fr Jim is a nice guy and seems to genuinely want to make a difference at St. Mary's. But it's just not the same.

Monday, February 21, 2011

2011 Awards Season: Toy Story 3

My Comments:
So cute! I remember the first one, I vaguely recall the second. This one seemed to have a lot more layers than the first two. Oh, what ten years will do! Oh, and Mr. Pricklepants? - bwahahahaha. Lots of great new characters. There were some sad moments. There were some hilarious moments. There were some risque moments when I had to double check that yes, this movie was rated G. I'm thinking the Pixar people hoped some things went over the kids' heads. Anywho, well done again Woody and Buzz.

My Grade: A

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

29 on 2-9

So what is that... a bronze birthday or something? I say it should be celebrated, although I suppose a great majority of the population would never experience it...


Today is my birthday.

Today I get to participate in a full physical inventory - the third one we've done in the last 6 months.

Today I get to go to work early.

Today I get to bring in cookie bars for everyone. Adam made them. He's awesome.

Today I get to crawl around the warehouse trying to see tiny numbers on pallet tags.

Today I get to sit in a conference room with a laptop and five or six other people, trying to reconcile inventory counts.

Today I get to tell everyone I have to leave at 4:30 even though I'm sure we won't be done yet.

Today I get to go out to dinner, although I still haven't decided where we're going yet.

Today I get to see "Wicked" for the second time. It should be great.

Today I get to go to The Bar and drink for free. Not that I will. But I could. Ok, maybe just one.

Today I get to make my last claim that I'm not 30 yet.

Happy Birthday to Me.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

2011 Awards Season: The Town

My Comments:
Not the most boring plot ever, but I was still kind of bored. That and I couldn't help having Vicky Cristina Barcelona flashbacks the whole time. Sorry, but Rebecca Hall needs to work on her acting. And Ben, I'm pretty sure the people of Boston don't say "F***" so much. Really unnecessary. Overall, not a terrible movie, but not really my kind of thing. Too much gratuitous swearing and gunfighting. Oh, and the fact that Jon Hamm showed up automatically drops it half a grade. Cannot. Stand. Him!!

My Grade: C-

Caturday: Go Pack Go

Even Ted's getting in on the team spirit thing.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

** Random Thoughts **

** Yes, woo, Packers going to the Super Bowl. Seriously though, I'm already tired of hearing about it. And it's still a week away. Gah. **

** Power outage at a plant with 23 blown film lines? Damn near catastrophic. Only thing worse? Fire. **

** For the first time ever we have to pay more taxes to the Federal government. State pretty much offsets, but still. Boo! **

** I heart Nicki Minaj. The best skit last night on SNL was because of her. **

** I manned up and scheduled my wisdom teeth extraction surgery. June 9 @ 8am. Double boo! **

** Wicked in T-10! **

** I'm over this winter thing. Groundhog - you better not see your shadow... **

2011 Awards Season: Inception

My Comments:
It took about two and a half weeks for us to get around to watching this movie. Not only is the thing two and half hours long (grr!!), but we were both sick for awhile and my brain was having enough trouble trying to comprehend how so much snot could be in my nose. I didn't think I'd have the ability to try and understand a movie that was hyped as very confusing in that condition.

All in all, I don't know what all the fuss was about. Maybe I totally missed something, but once it actually got to the plot it wasn't that confusing. Intriguing, yes. But confusing? I don't know. Christopher Nolan always makes really great movies with lots of awesome special effects and thought-provoking plot points. But it's not like this was The Matrix or something. I STILL don't know what that one was all about...

Anywho, good movie, not sure it's the best yet since I've seen so few of them so far, but I was definitely impressed.

My Grade: A-

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Nominations this morning added a whopping 12 titles to the list:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
I Am Love
The Tempest
The Way Back
The Wolfman
Tron: Legacy
Iron Man 2
Another Year

Argh. I might start eliminating stupid categories like sound editing...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

*test pattern*

Sorry for the dead air here. I'll be back soon. Between unexpected travel and a double whammy flu/cold epidemic it's been a rough couple of weeks.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

2011 Awards Season: How to Train Your Dragon

My Comments:
This was a really cute movie. Not a very original story overall, but excellent presentation. Not sure it would be too good in 3D or IMAX - probably ended up making a whole lot of people sick.

Best line of the movie: "Thank you for nothing, you useless reptile."

And is it just me, or does Toothless look a little bit like Carly?

My Grade: A-

Friday, January 07, 2011


Today an era ended. An era with grandparents.

My grandfather passed away a year ago this last December. My grandmother left us this morning.

I don't have a lot of pictures of either of them. We've always lived so far away, my grandfather almost never left the house and in the past few years my grandmother's health has prevented her from travelling as well. I can't find anything from the past few trips in that direction. The last photo after the one above from Lori's wedding is this one, from my brother's college graduation.

Holy cow, we were all so young.

But time keeps marching, and so must we. I'm sure my grandparents are happy to be back together again.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

2011 Awards Season: Green Zone

My Comments:
I don't think I can fairly comment on this movie since I didn't really watch it. I watched the beginning, got bored, and got my book. Kind of like what happened with The Hurt Locker. Must be a war movie thing. I looked up every once in a while when something exploded, but I really have no idea what the plot was... except for there were no WMD. Uh, duh.

My Grade: DNF

Monday, January 03, 2011

Million Word Monday: Carly Roasting on an Open Fire

Carly recently decided it wasn't enough to just lay near the fireplace...

Nope, she had to be right on top of the action, candle garden be damned.