Saturday, January 31, 2009

Kids Now-a-days...

Wow, the stuff they teach kids in school now. I never learned how to do this kind of stuff...then again, we didn't have computers back in the stone age, when I was in school...

AJ is in a graphic design class this semester. His first project was to make the likeness of a celebrity using only numbers, letters and symbols on the keyboard. Here is what he came up with. (They had to include a quote from the celebrity too.) For a kid that is not at all artistically inclined, I was pretty impressed. (And I promised him if I was impressed I would put it on my blog)

Friday, January 30, 2009

January sun and fun!

Ah! It is a lovely day in the neighborhood today. The sun is warm, the breeze is cool and the doggies are happy. All is good in the world.

After a short trip to a local dog park to meet up with
Val and her babies, we decided it was too warm to stay out any longer...(granted it was probably only in the high 70's or low 80's but coming out of the recent cold and on again, off again rain, it felt pretty hot.) We'd planned on having a little lunch together once the dogs were pooped, but instead of staying there, we opted to head home to my place, for a little liquid refreshment. No, not my favorite Malibu Rum...the swimming pool! Val stopped at KFC on the way, and picked us up some yummy,hot, fresh chicken. (Is there anything better? I doubt it!)

We ate, and chatted, and the dogs had a blast - running, swimming, wrestling, and, in Jack's case, barking.

It. Was. Awesome!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One of the cutest things ever!

A perfect fit.

I wanted to post this yesterday, but the day simply got away from me. Oh well, today is a new day.

It was one year (1/27/08) ago that our family became "complete". It was a rainy Sunday, an odd day to be sure, we'd had friends spend the night, and we'd had a very lazy morning. I'd been kicking around the idea of going to see some puppies that I knew were available, but I'd gone back and forth with the idea, because I knew that we didn't "need" another dog in the house. Jack and Jill were plenty to take care of, and with Harley coming to visit occasionally, sometimes for several weeks or months at a time, the house was always buzzing with some activity.

But as everyone can understand...sometimes it's not about "need", it's about "want", and I wanted to go see these puppies.

Once our friends headed out for home, it was a struggle to talk Hubby into going along with the idea of going out in the rain to see the puppies. He'd have rather stayed home and watched football. Bear had the rare Sunday off, and of course A.J. and Pickle were excited about going to "look" at the puppies. Just look. (Yeah, right) It was a rainy day, and we were tired of being couped up. "Just a little drive...just to go look..." With a twist of his arm, Hubby agreed, and into the car we scrambled.

The drive was a bit longer than we'd expected, with the rain coming down, and San Diego drivers being such experts on the wet roads. We finally arrived at the residence, (it was a tiny bit drier there than it had been on our drive) and saw a large yard with an outdoor pen and some of the most gorgeous puppies I'd ever seen. They were bigger than I'd thought they'd be, and at 11 weeks old they looked like polar bear cubs. Gorgeous, perfect, polar bear babies. It was love at first site, for all of us. Except Hubby. Of course he agreed that they were all gorgeous and perfect, but they were all boys. The only 3 left in the litter were male. Hubby wanted a girl puppy. You see, Jill is his baby. She lights up when he enters the room. They are surf buddies, they are snuggle buddies, he is her person. He wanted to get another girl. Needed to get another girl. A boy wouldn't do.

We stayed for about a half an hour, playing with the gorgeous rolly, polly white (and muddy) puppies. Each moment we were there, we fell more deeply in love. There was one that really stood out to us. The puppy with the lightest colored ears. A sweet snuggle muffin of a pup. We each held him, let him lick us, and kissed him back. But he was a boy.

We spoke to the breeder about the puppies, when she might expect to have another litter, how we would go about putting a deposit down on a female, etc., all the while, keeping our eye on the little sweetheart we'd all fallen for. The breeder was really anxious to sell these boys. After all, the older they got, the harder it would be to sell them. People that want puppies, want little, cute bundles of fluff. She told us she would cut the price -drastically. She knew that I was the organizer for the Golden Meetup group, knew that me having one of her puppies would be good for her reputation within the group, knew that her puppy would go to a very loving and safe home. She wanted us to take a puppy. Needed us to take a puppy. Hubby wanted a girl. We left, empty handed.

On the way home, when we were about half way, we decided to stop for lunch. Usually that meant a quick trip through the drive through and on our way we would go. Hubby pulled into a McD's. and parked.

Me: "Why'd you park?"

Hubby:"We should wash our hands..."

Me:"We washed our hands before we left the breeder."

Hubby:"We should talk about this puppy before we get all the way home."

Ah ha! A crack in the armour. He wanted to talk about the puppy. The boy puppy with the white ears. It was family discussion time. Hubby asked me if I wanted the puppy. "Yes" Was this the puppy I wanted? "Yes" He asked the kids if this was the puppy they wanted. A resounding "YES" of course. Then, he said, "We should go back and get the little guy." Apparently, he'd fallen in love from afar. He'd seen the sweet face, the lovable personality, the perfectness of the bundle of white (and muddy) fluff. I asked him if he was sure. He said yes, and that he didn't want to get all the way home only to have to turn back around and go back. He told me to call the breeder and tell her we were coming back to get the little white-eared baby. He didn't have to tell me twice.

We flew through our lunch and hopped back into the car. On the way, we tried to decide on a name. We tried to think of another "J" name to go along with Jack and Jill. Nothing came to mind. Then, out of the blue, Hubby stuck his pinky finger out to me. It was "pinky swear" time. He said, "3 kids, 3 dogs, no more of either, swear?" I stuck my pinky out, and we shook in agreement. We went back to names....we'd recently returned from a fantastic cruise all around the Hawaiian Islands with my entire family, in honor of my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. One of our favorite things to do as a family is to snorkel. Our favorite snorkel spot on the islands had been Kona. It seemed to fit, and sounded OK with "Jack and Jill." It stuck.

Before we knew it we were back at the breeder, had written her a check and were on the way home with our new little - freshly bathed- bundle of joy. Of course he puked the whole way home, but it didn't matter to us.

It's hard to believe it's been a whole year already. He is such a joy and has melded into our family seamlessly. It's hard to imagine the house without him in it. He is the perfect combination of rough and tumble, and sweet loving pup. He has the adventurous side that loves to explore and play and the loving side the cuddles up and snuggles and enjoys the closeness and warmth of sitting next to you on the couch, with his head resting peacefully on your knee. And yes, his face does light up when Hubby walks into the room.

He really is the perfect fit.

On the ride home.

His first meal at home. Such a sweet ball of fluff!

Exactly one year ago today.

Such a sweet big boy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Out in the evening

This past Saturday evening, I ventured out with my Photography group to Balboa Park. I was a little leery about how the evening would go, considering I'm still hobbling around with my numb leg (nothing new on that - still waiting for tests to be authorized...) but was pleasantly surprised that the group moved slow enough for me to keep up with. We got to the park just as the sun was getting ready to set. The buildings in the park, built for the Panama-California Exposition of 1915, were the perfect backdrop for some great settings.

Here they are-my first attempts at decent evening shots.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

An hour or two at the zoo.

Last week, in spite of my grumpiness and bum leg, I did manage to get out to the zoo with Bear for a couple of hours before we had to pick the up the afternoon carpool gang. I brought my camera, and managed to get a couple of decent shots.

Friday, January 23, 2009

When all else fails...

Flowers and my sweet pups can always make me smile.

Hubby surprised me by bringing home a lovely little bouquet of flowers for me last night. He knows I've been feeling blue, and these certainly brought a smile to my face.

The pups were so funny yesterday, trying to entertain themselves and keep busy. They romped and played, took several long naps, and finally got really "pooped" out for a while. Here are Jill and Kona taking a little snooze...

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Poor, bored pups. This silly numb leg of mine has got me feeling kind of down, and not up to doing much. Thank goodness they are all such good sports and don't mind a lazy day once in a while...they do look pathetic though.

Such a shame

Hard to believe he's been gone a year.
I loved him so much in The Patriot,
Monsters' Ball, A Knight's Tale,
Brokeback Mountain, and of course
The Dark Knight, just to name a few...
Such great talent, such a loss, so avoidable...
Such a shame.

4th Photo Tag

I was recently tagged by Tami over at The Miller Family Blog. I love Tami's blog, she posts lots of great pictures, and it's always fun to see what's going on with her and her family.

Ok here are the Rules....Go to your 4th album where you store your photos post your 4th photo in that album. No exceptions! Here is mine.

This was taken in my backyard on a beautiful summer evening. It's looking west at the sunset, through my morning glory. I liked it because I thought is showed a bit of "the silver lining."


(You have to tag four people)
(Anyone I didn't tag - please feel free to begin your own tag game!)

Valerie at My Boo Bear

K and S at Dugan's Barkery

Joey at Joey the Golden Retriever

Monika at An Australian in Florence, Italy - from G'day Mate to Ciao

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Politics and Religion

I am not a big fan of discussing politics or religion. I know that everyone has their own (usually very strong) feelings about both, and honestly, I just don't feel that either subject is worth arguing about. People will believe what they want to believe, and vote for who or what side they believe is the best, and that is fine and good. I don't put political bumper stickers on my car, or signs in my yard, and I don't believe that people should be judged if they do. I don't believe that one church or set of beliefs is better than another, and it's certainly not for me to tell someone that what they believe is wrong, simply because it differs from what I believe.
I am, however, intensely patriotic, as I have mentioned on several occasions before. I support our troops 100%, which has nothing to do with whether or not I agree with the wars we are involved in in the Middle East. Along those same lines, I will support our new President. 100%. I hope he is able to bring about even a small portion of the change he has promised. I hope he can help our country unite, and begin to prosper again. I wish him, his administration, and this glorious country of ours only the best for the future. My hopes are truly high, and I pray we aren't disappointed.

Brad Pitt and Fried Chicken

Is it really too much to ask to have my boyfriend Brad stop by our local Popeye's Chicken and bring me a couple of mild strips with ranch dipping sauce? I'm still pretty grumpy, and have had two doctor's appointments this morning and could really use a little "pick-me-up."
I mean seriously, after all I've done for him over the last 15 years, supported all of his films, and even sat through the painfully long, and horribly boring "Jesse James" flick of last year, is it too much to ask him to drop by, just once in a while? Heck, once in a blue moon and I'd be happy....just don't forget those chicken strips dude.

Monday, January 19, 2009

On my last (pinched?) nerve...

Just a semi-quickie update today as I am GRUMPY and have the patience of a...oh heck, I don't have any at all!

I went back to my doctor today, to try to figure out what is going on with all of the numbness I'm feeling. The pain in my leg is about 98% gone, which you would think is good news, only now it has been completely taken over my numbness. It is the strangest sensation. Like walking around on a leg that is "asleep" and hasn't get started to get that "tingly" feeling. Not fun. I can hardly feel it at all and find myself unsure of my steps. This can't be normal, hence the visit to the doctor. She says maybe it is just that extra pressure got put on it (my nerve) when the whole hamstring thing happened, but she also said that she is surprised that the hamstring pain is all gone so fast, and that maybe the numbness is blocking the hamstring pain. Sadly, she is as perplexed as I am, and has ordered further tests for me. Something about nerve conductors. Great....don't conductors deal with trains? Heck, I feel a bit like a train wreck that's for sure...I should get the approval for the tests in the next day or two and hopefully get scheduled to get in there and see what's going on...

Anyway, enough of that for now. It does me no good to complain.

I did see a cute (silly, stupid) movie today, "Paul Blart, Mall Cop." I took AJ and Pickle to see it since they had the day off from school in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It was as expected, a light hearted, goofball flick, where, for a change, the nutty fat guy is the hero. It was ok, and passed a couple of hours...was is worth the $11.00 per person they charge for movies now-a-days? Heck no! We did enjoy it though. I thought about doing a full fledged movie review of it, but as I mentioned I just don't have the patience for it.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day. Hopefully I can be a different dwarf...just not Sleepy or Sneezy, or Dopey...and I never really liked Bashfull....and then there's....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What a difference 2 years makes...

As I woke up this morning the date struck me. It was exactly 2 years ago today that we took our sweet Jill in to have her hip replaced. I'll never forget the anxiety and stress we felt, not being able to explain to the poor pup what was going on. Why she hadn't been allowed to eat dinner the night before, or been allowed to drink water when she woke. I knew she could tell that something was out of sorts, but I don't think she had a clue as to what the next days, weeks and months would bring. We took her in to the Veterinary Specialty Hospital, which thankfully is very near our house, and left her in the very capable hands of her surgeon. It was a long, agonizing day of waiting to get word of how she'd done through the surgery, but at last, in the late afternoon we got the call that we'd been waiting for. Jill had received a brand-spanking new titanium hip, and was resting comfortably. WHEW! What a relief it was to hear those words!

In a way it feels like only a couple of months ago that we went through all of that stress, both emotionally and financially, (titanium hips are very expensive, even for dogs, and not a penny of it was covered by our insurance) and then again it seems like a lifetime ago. When I think of all that we've done with Jill in the last two years it seems nearly impossible that it all could have been crammed into that short of a time.

I guess to sum it up I will just say that I am incredibly happy that everything went as well as it did, and we now have the healthy, happy pup we'd hoped for when we'd gotten her.

From stitches to running, swimming, playing in the snow and surfing - who can knock that?

Friday, January 16, 2009


Good Lord, I'm bored! There is only so much TV a person can watch in 4 days straight of being home and basically stuck in bed or on the couch. I. AM. OVER. IT. I need to get out and do something more than go to the doctor or run to school to pick up the kids. The problem is that as much as my brain thinks I'm ready to get up and get going, my leg seems to disagree. Stupid leg. The pain has subsided quite a bit, but it still doesn't feel good, and certainly is no where near back to normal. And my butt is tired. Seriously, I've got butt-itis from sitting so much. It's hard to get comfortable. My brain is getting mushy too. Lack of stimulation....The Price is Right, and all of those other silly game shows just aren't cutting it. HBO has nothing good on that I haven't already watched before. I did watch a couple of episodes of Tru Blood which is supposedly a grown up version of Twilight - but after two hours, I decided it wasn't worth investing any more time in.

What I need is a good juicy book to read, or something. I've finished all of the Twilight Saga that had kept me so entertained, and now I've got nuthin. And nuthin seems to interest me. I've got tons of stuff I could be doing, but just don't have the energy. Whatever...I guess I could go back and pick up Pillars of the Earth, that I was 700 pages into before I put it down. Even that doesn't sound good right now.

The poor pups have been sooo good these last couple of days. They got a treat of being able to swim for a while today, since it's been so nice and warm again here. AJ was home from school and played out back with them threw the ball into the pool, etc. and tried to burn up some of their energy. I think it helped a little. They also got some new bones to chew on to help keep them occupied.

OK, enough of my whining...until tomorrow!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

La La Land

I think I'm starting to feel a bit better. I think. My leg is now more numb than it is sore. Numb is good, right? At least I'm not in nearly as much pain as I was in yesterday. I'm sure the pain pills I'm taking have nothing to do with that....or the muscle relaxers...In fact, I'm feeling so good I think I could dance, or at least hobble to the bathroom without crutches. Thanks a heck of an improvement over yesterday.

Last night was horrible. One of my worst ever. I'd taken my muscle relaxer and pain pills at about 10pm, hoping they would kick in enough for me to get comfortable and get some sleep. I got up from the couch at about 11pm and headed for bed. Sparing the details, I will just say that it took me well over an hour to get comfortable and actually feel like I might live. Hubby kept asking me if I wanted to go to Urgent care, but I knew they wouldn't be able to do anything more for me. Nothing was going to change until the meds kicked in, which I think they finally did around 12:45am. I was finally able to lay down, get to a point where my leg wasn't killing me, and I nodded off. I woke back up at 4:20am hobbled to the bathroom, took another of each pill, and got back to sleep quickly. Thank goodness.

This morning I stayed in bed while the rest of the household was getting up and in gear for the day. With the help of the medication, I stayed in La La Land for quite a while, and it was such a relief to just rest, and not hurt. Bear finally came in and woke me up at noon! I can't remember the last time I ever stayed in bed that long, but my oh my, it felt great!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Off to the Doc.

Well, I wasn't lucky enough to escape a visit to the doctor for this miserable hamstring injury...I have an 11:30 appointment where I hope I can get some relief. I was really hoping she'd be able to call something in for me, so I could avoid a visit. No such luck. Apparently she is interested in seeing exactly how much pain I am in. Nice of her, don't you think?
Hubby dug through the medicine cabinet last night and found some pain meds left over from my foot surgery a while back. They helped dull the pain a little, but not much. I did manage to get a little sleep last night, thankfully, but the pain was no better when I woke up this morning.
The poor pups don't know what to make of all of this, and can't figure out why I won't get up and play with them, or go out back and throw the ball. They have been extremely well behave though, and I'm sure they can tell that I'm not feeling well. When I do manage to get up and hobble around, they come to me expectantly with a toy or a ball in their mouths as if to say, "Are you ready to play now Mom? Come on, we want to play!"
Not quite yet...
**Update** My doctor confirmed that I've got a seriously strained hamstring. Well, at least I know what I'm dealing with. I got a prescription for Darvocet and Flexeril. One is for pain, one is a muscle relaxer. Whoop-whoop! I'll be taking those babies as soon as I get home from picking up the kids from school.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hamstring HELL

Don't ask me how, but somehow I have managed to pull (?) or damage my right hamstring. It happened yesterday afternoon, and was somewhat noticeable, like a regular pulled muscle. As the evening wore one, the pain increased a bit, but was still nothing that some Ibuprofen couldn't help.

This morning, the pain was exponentially worse, and it has gotten worse throughout the day. Again, don't ask me why, but I waited until just a short while ago to call my doctor. I was actually at my doctor's office yesterday morning for a regular check up and everything was peachy. The rest of the afternoon was fine, kind of uneventful, until the pain kicked in. The only thing I can think that I did to cause this was to get out of Hubby's car funky, which sits much too low to the ground for my taste. I can't think of anything else.

I'm praying now that the doctor will call something in to the pharmacy for me. This is, seriously, the worst pain I have EVER been in. Much worse than my foot surgery in 2006, much worse than my Gallbladder surgery in 2005, much worse than my 3 C-sections, and all of the dental work I've ever had done in my life! And that's saying something!

If any of you have suggestions to help ease the pain, please let me know. I'll give anything a shot right now...the 800 mg. Ibuprofens I've been taking today don't even touch the pain!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A "God" Complex?

OK, so I saw this license plate ahead of me in line at Starbucks today. Does this guy think he is all that and a bag of chips? Or am I reading way too much into it? Your thoughts?

Bloggy Award!

I received this lovely little award from Tami over at The Miller Family. Tami and I have quite a bit in common, we each have 3 children, love our dogs (and husbands!), scrap booking, and gardening, among other things. Thank you Tami for the award - you made my day!

Here's the Friend Bloggy Award Scoop:These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award. Here are eight bloggers who I adore! Thanks to you all for always being the best blogging buddies a girl can ask for!!

And now, I shall bestow upon 8 of my most favorite blogs, this very same award...Here they are, in no particular order:
  1. Valerie at My Boo Bear
  2. April at April's Reign
  3. K & S at Dugan's Barkery
  4. Chris at Diet Coke Rocks
  5. Thor at Thor's World
  6. Paco and Mila at Paco e Milo...i nostri Amori
  7. Curt at While Walking Duncan
  8. Joey at Joey the Golden Retriever

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Playing Catch-Up, (not ketchup)

It's been a couple of days since I've really had much time to be on my computer... and actually I did have a little time yesterday morning, but our silly Internet service was down for a couple of hours. Needless to say I wasn't a happy camper!

This weekend has been busy and fun. Hubby and I were able to get several little household projects done, which always makes us feel good. The time sure flew by though, and here it is Sunday night. At least I have a little something to show for the weekend. (Which is more than I can say for our very own San Diego Chargers...there's always next year folks!)

Here is the pile of toys I did "surgery" on. They all needed some good stitching up.

Jack was very happy I fixed one of his favorite "babies"

I framed and hung (with Hubby's help of course) two of my photos from my recent photography group get together. We got rid of our old wreath of dried flowers that used to hang above the fireplace, and got some nice frames. Each time I go to a photo meetup now, and get some decent shots, I am going to blow them up and put them in these frames. Kind of like having my own little mini gallery.

I found some sheers to hang in the living room. We got new rods and tie-backs and got them all put up this weekend. I finally feel like the room is almost done.

On top of all of that, Hubby put up a new fan in A.J.'s room, got the lawn mowed and backyard work done. We let the pups swim and gave them a bath this afternoon, and I made a couple of awesome meals this weekend. (I'm trying really hard to cook smarter, and have the family eat at home more often. So far so good.)

All in all, a pretty darn good weekend.