17 March 2016


 We're replacing the doors and trim in the house to a more craftsman style. It's a project that has been on Robert's to-do list since we bought the house but other projects and funds have delayed it. He has spent months mocking up the trim and redoing it and just as many months debating the style of doors he wanted. I would have preferred my kitchen counters replaced but I know this will be an improvement too (just not as better as new counters! I hate that thing. So much!) and is a cheaper project.  I've been just letting him do most of the deciding, though the third (or fourth?) revision of the trim style is the last one. Dammit, that looks good too just leave it already. (I like do this last version the best.)

We have three pocket doors in the house, two in our bedroom for the closet and the bathroom, and one in the kitchen. They are being replaced as well to match.

Robert has replaced all of the bedroom doors and the kid's bathroom door (ours and Adam's pictured here) and the closet pocket door.  The master bath door is all that's remaining and it was waiting because of some roller smoothness issues discovered with the closet door.  He removed all the trim around the door a few days ago.  When closing the door, if you're not careful, the door can swing out a little bit and get caught on the wall.  You can't open the door from inside the bathroom when it's stuck because there's nowhere to grip to pull the door towards you the few millimeters it needs before you can slide it back into the pocket in the wall.

I've gotten stuck in the bathroom like four times already. 

16 March 2016

Growing Like A Puppy

The last time I was able to put Chewie on this scale. Taken on March 1, 2016, and allowing for his wiggling we got his weight at 10 lbs 12 oz. 

These were taken today, March 15, 2016. He has had his first vet visit now - last week where he was 13 lbs 8 oz - and we estimate him closing in on 20 lbs.

We still all adore him. (Except for Yoda and Simba, the former not being interested and the latter deeply suspicious of his intentions.) Especially Leia who watches out for him and comes to us any time he is whining in his kennel.  We started covering his kennel because the heater vent would blow on him and wake him and Leia has repeatedly removed the blanket so she can make sure baby is okay. They play together all day long. Chase, keep away, tug of war, and especially wrestle. 

He can sleep through the night, but he isn't doing it on a regular basis. Unfortunately. And he likes to get up and beg for breakfast between 4 am and 6 am.  During the day he really likes to curl up and nap on Carus's bed while she is doing school work.

Potty training is going well... for the most part. I can be in charge and he won't have a single accident and then I put someone else in charge and 5 seconds later he has piddled on the floor.  While at work the other day he peed on my pillow on Robert's watch. His cues aren't always in a timely manner - he has peed while whining to be let out in the same second several times.  But he is only 9 weeks old so I'm not expecting the world.

In related news, Robert and I are going to buy a carpet shampooer. 

09 March 2016

Clever Title

Hmm, how to start this post?  I mean, I used all my creativity up on the title already, what is left for the rest of this? 

Things are going.... well, they're going somewhere. Half the time I feel like I'm doing okay and the other half of the time I feel like I'm struggling to breathe. I keep forgetting my doctor gave me a prescription for anxiety meds and I have a full blown anxiety attack before I remember.  

I joined a group on Facebook that is dedicated to cleaning tips and tricks on a recommendation from a friend after asking about front load washers and dryers.  It's a large group so you can get a lot of input on types and brands of W&D (as well as vacuums, detergents, soaps, etc). After a few weeks in that group though, a few things:
1) Some of those ladies are CRAAAAY-ZAYY about keeping their house clean; to the point where they have an actual breakdown because hubby didn't rinse his plate before putting it in the sink. 
2) For about a week I felt really guilty about my house, but then I realized: it's not that bad overall and it could be worse and I'd rather be doing all the other stuff I do do and things I never find time for than obsessing over it. 
3) The insistence that husbands are unable to clean up after themselves and are therefore referred to as another child is epidemic and sad. Expect them to be an adult and help out and they will. Also, stop referring to grown ass men as children. Yes, they can be as much of a pain in the ass as kids; however, they are still not kids and are capable of a lot more than they are sometimes given credit for. It also seems that a lot of them know the trick of doing a half-assed job the first time asked so they won't ever be asked to do it again.  Also, if they do something differently than you, but the end result is the same - suck it up buttercup, it's not how it gets done just that it gets done.
4) I still don't know what washer and dryer I want. Front load or top load? If I go with top load - with or without an agitator? What brand is good? WHY IN THE HELL DO THE COOL ONES HAVE TO COST SO MUCH?!

Adam will be turning 18 this year. (I know, right?!!?!?) Every now and then Robert and I remember this, or realize that he will (theoretically) graduate next year (he's on track to graduate but shit happens and I'm not trying to jinx anything) and we will be floored for a few seconds while contemplating the HOLY SHIT-ness of it all. 

Like now. I just realized what I typed out and had to focus on breathing for a second. 

My boss was even floored the other day when I said something about his 18th birthday this year. I've been working at Providence for 10 years this August so yeah - time flies when you're not looking. 

Anyways - he turns 18 and I realized that he can 1-can vote for the first time this year, 2-vote in the primaries which for Oregon take place in April, and 3-will get to vote for president for the first time. I made him register to vote but won't force him to vote. He doesn't know who he'd like to vote for beyond, "NOT Trump!" I'm right there with him. 

Carus has started working - sort of.  She is working off some of Scout's boarding fees by working at the barn 3 days a week.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday she is to feed dinner to all horses (11 horses and 1 mini horse), check and fill waters in all pastures and stalls, and clean 5 stalls in addition to Scout's. I'm helping too because I can't just sit around waiting for her to be done while twiddling my thumbs.  She is very excited about it.


Adam tagged along for Donkey lessons this week too.  He became friends with Tess, which wasn't too hard as he had a scratcher and some grain. Carus is still making friends with Bailey who is making Carus work for her friendship, though they did graduate to donkey driving which was semi-successful.  Adam might have some interest in driving donkeys too. He's being a bit shy about whether or not he wants to learn how. 
(There is no sound to the above video - the rain hitting the barn roof was too loud so I muted it.) (Stupid Oregon is still raining. LOTS)


Chewie is still a puppy and all the puppy work that comes with it, but he is starting to understand potty training and he can sit on command.  Most of the time he will also stop chewing on something he isn't supposed to be chewing on when I say leave it. Most of the time. He doesn't like me reprimanding him either. He got his first shots today - 13 lbs 8 oz. He is growing quickly.

In this video he was trying to convince Wilbur to come down and play. Wilbur has no interest. He doesn't poof up or hiss or swipe at Chewie, but he will walk away when he's done with the puppy barking and bouncing and trying to bite his tail. Simba, on the other hand, flat out Cats at Chewie, though he Cats at Leia too. He might consider Yoda a cat as he just ignores him. 

24 February 2016

New puppy

Introducing Chewie Sir ChewsAlot Chewbacca, III

Photo at 6 weeks, 7 lb 8 oz and growing fast.

In case you missed the news on Facebook (and all the puppy videos and photo spam I've been plastering all over it) we got a new puppy.

He came home February 13th and has been keeping us busy. The kids are helping a lot with taking him out to potty and playing with him (and keeping him from chewing on things he shouldn't). He's a good puppy, learning very quickly.

His desire to chew on EVERYTHING quickly earned a nickname of Chewie while we debated for 2 weeks about what his name should be.

We went through so many names, but we kept coming back to the nickname Chewie. So voila.

It's hard to get a puppy to look at the camera while being still on a scale.

Yoda doesn't care for him (he doesn't like little animals), Simba is not cool with him, Wilbur doesn't care, and Leia started out nervous but now plays with him and worries when he is whining.

Thanks Robert for help wrangling my model. 

14 February 2016

All about the weekend

My weekend has been great.

I started out with a riding lesson on Tucker. I left feeling really happy with myself. I wanted to work on my balancing and having better control of my seat, and my steering. Tucker is a smart horse. He figures out what the pattern/routine is and then anticipates the next move and tries to cut corners so he makes me work to keep to what I say we're doing and not what he thinks we are doing. One of the exercises my trainer had me doing was riding without stirrups. Definitely used a few more muscles doing that - especially when I started doing it at a trot. I'm happy with the sore muscles I have today; let's me know my work paid off.

After my lesson, I picked up Robert and we ran errands, did some grocery shopping, got some lunch, and hung out together.

Then, Saturday evening Robert and I went and picked up our new puppy. He's really little still, but mom weaned them a little over a week ago so they were ready to go to their new homes earlier than planned (they were thinking at least another week). (This is earlier than puppies usually come home, but I didn't want him to be all alone with his siblings going home this weekend.) We surprised the kids with him; they knew we were getting a puppy, they just didn't know we were getting him so soon.


Leia and Yoda have been slightly afraid/weary of him (omg, what is that thing?), but at my 5 am wake-up Leia started to play with him. He tires out pretty quickly still so just when she was really getting into it, he sat down and promptly fell asleep. Robert had the next shift at 7:30 am and the household was up not too long after that. 

The kids have been in charge of him most of today (Sunday), with Robert and I as supervision. Carus is already pretty good at noticing potty sniffing cues. She has insisted on being on night-watch with him and has put his crate in her room already. She says he's her puppy. 

He doesn't have a name yet. We can't all agree on one. Robert likes Rex, I like Tater (as in Tater Tot) and I keep calling him Buddy, Carus likes Tater but also would like something else, and Adam has been wanting to continue the Star Wars theme we have and go with Luke or Kenobe but no one else is really feeling those names. We'll figure it out and for now it's okay because I don't think he'd come when called. Have any name suggestions? 

10 February 2016


Carus cut her hair! Like 6 weeks ago, but I'm lazy on this updating the blog thing lately. It's been shared on Facebook and Instagram though so if you follow me there this is old news.  It is stinking adorable. It's also weird cause it hasn't been anywhere near this short since she was a baby. But she loves it and that's what matters.

We colored it this evening.  And for a change my blog will get the news the same day as my Facebook did. Ha!  Better photos to come later when we have sunlight (and hopefully those will make their way here too). It's a deep purple-ish red and how it colored based on where her natural hair was at the roots and the previously colored hair, it has a nice graduation of color from red to purple to a deep wine color. 

In other Carus news:  Scout and Carus attended their first show of the year - Shaggy Days.  It was rainy and muddy because it has been raining for 5 years straight up here. No, that was not an exaggeration. We're soggy.  Fields have flooded and the roads are littered with POT HOLES so much so that trying to avoid them when driving will make you look like a drunk driver. The show - it was good. A long day, of course, because now that she has a taste for showing she wants to do as many classes as possible and that means we're there until the end of the day. She's no longer a Novice; she has advanced to Intermediate level in 4H, which means a bit more difficulty and a bit more competition.  The Showmanship pattern threw her (and others in the same competition group) for a loop by asking them to show their horse on the off-side (show from the right side of the horse when usually they show from the left). Several kids, including Carus, expressed their panic over it, but in the end they all stepped up and did their best. Carus placed 7th in Showmanship which was a little disappointing for her, but she felt she did her best and was happy with it.  In her other classes, all riding classes, she didn't place and got really frustrated by the end of the day. It's hard for us watching too because we will think she did better than some of those placing. We're a bit biased I'm sure, but also, we're not the judge who is looking for certain things and at certain times in the class. Some of it is what is going on when the judge is looking or not looking. Either way, there is stuff for Carus to practice on before their next show near the end of March. After the show it seemed that Scout developed an abscess in his hoof, and I got another lesson in horses. Man, that was some fun stuff. *sarcasm*

Lastly on Carus, her new 4H group is doing a fundraiser.  Since they are a new group this year, there are no funds from last year carrying over. We're starting fresh.  If you're local, we're collecting soda cans and I'll come pick them up. If you're not local and would still like to donate, please let me know. We have a banner to pay for that we bought (using credit of one of the parents) for a Holiday Light Parade in December that we will also use as part of our decorations for Horse Fair in June.  The kids would also like matching team shirts and sweatshirts, and we'll need more decorations besides the banner for Fair too.

Adam performed in a play at the high school. It was their annual Shakespeare play; this year they did Midsummer's Night Dream. And they were AMAZING! Adam played the Duke of Athens.  He makes a great king. I didn't get any photos of him in the play, unfortunately. So enjoy a photo of Adam and Robert in light up glasses that Adam got from one of the basketball games. He enjoys the heck out of band and playing at school sporting events. He's also started a D&D club at the school and is having fun playing that after school once a week and online every weekend.

First semester grades have come out. Carus has As, meet expectations, and exceeds expectations (As are for her high school classes, the other weird grades are for her middle school classes).   Adam has mostly As, a B, and an F. He has a problem with not turning in his work. He does it, just doesn't turn it in. Weirdo.

We have been lecturing him and grounding him for a couple years, and he still occasionally "forgets" to turn in work so this time we didn't lecture him. He was not expecting to get an F at all. He usually can just skate through his classes with very minimal effort so I think he was a bit surprised to find out otherwise.  He was also so disappointed in himself. He knew he messed up and he asked what his punishment would be. We asked in return what we should do since we didn't feel what we have done has worked. He didn't know what it should be, but for about 2 weeks now he has not gotten on his computer, nor asked to get on his computer.

My teenager grounded himself from his computer. This cracks me up to no end. I think Robert and I will just see how long he feels he needs to be grounded. I'll take bets if you want to guess when he'll give out.

As for Robert and I - work is still work, his back issues are still there, and we're doing what we do. Nothing exciting here.

12 December 2015


I've been wanting to get back into writing on my blog more often or even regularly or something. I feel the writing could be beneficial to me - like getting things off my chest - but I'm feeling really self-conscious about it.

What if someone reads it and then thinks I'm stupid or crazy or insane (no crazy and insane are not the same thing) or hates me or blah blah blah.  Who cares?! It's not like I'm going to get a Pulitzer prize for my blog or anything.

I was mostly freaking out about some friends from Facebook being linked over to the blog and then they can judge me on things I want to write about (but haven't because of this possibility) or things I have written and they don't agree with or something. And some of these friends are beneficial to the kids too so I feel doubly obligated to make sure they like me. Yes, I know that's crazy - but it doesn't take me into the bad kind of crazy so I'm okay.  I unlinked blogger from Facebook so now my audience is down to whomever comes to this site - which takes effort and not a lot of people do it - or those that get it emailed to them - i.e. family and they have to love me no matter what. Haha people, jokes on you!

Some of what I want to write about but haven't is the drama that surrounded Scout and moving barns at the end of this summer. We switched because of reasons - just reasons that I won't bore you with them - but it was stressful. The first barn (barn A) was a bit further from us which kept us from going out as often as we did before and/or wanted to go out, but he was full care there so we didn't have to go out which was a pro and a con, and he was not liking it all that much so we switched again. He probably would have settled in eventually because he's a pretty chill guy, but all in all I was rooting for the next suggested change.

That move put Scout at a barn much closer to us (barn B). He's now on partial care and we're out there at least 5 days a week to muck his stall, fix up his grain, and hang out with him. But it's closer and I can get there in 10-15 minutes depending on the route I take and whether or not a road is flooded.

To add to the stress of barn changes (keep in mind this is all new to us and I like to plan and FREAK THE FRICK OUT when I cannot plan) I attempted to switch Carus's 4H groups. We were not happy with the main leader of the group - who this year was going to be the only leader of the group - and wanted a change, but the proposed change I found (really hard to find other groups accepting new members apparently) was closer to barn A and with the move to barn B it wasn't a good idea so we stayed with the old group.  Then, last month, people at barn B invited Carus to join the group they're starting up.  Her and a friend were in 4H as kids and now they have kids old enough to join and screw finding an established group and dealing with the drama there when we can start our own! (Ohmygod, the drama that can go down between the parents of 4H kids and the 4H kids - WOW - it's mostly the "adults" with the drama.)

We made the switch and I freaked out about telling the original group that we were leaving, because 'what if they hate me and take it out on Carus', which was completely irrational and I know it but still my anxiety level is max lately and nothing brings it down. I'm working on it. A week after I told them I was leaving the leader decided she's closing the group so the remaining two girls in the group had to find other groups too. Yes, this leader's flakiness is the reason we weren't happy - how'd ya guess?

Carus will be riding at least once a week with at least one of the other group members, which will be great for her to be able to connect with them and become friends - actually, she's already practically besties with the girl that's about her age (group is staying small so far with two girls, 14 and 15 and two boys, both 11).  Add in the fact that we won't have to worry about hauling Scout anywhere for meetings which will be at our barn, which saves loads of time and stress and means that even if weather isn't ideal for trailering Carus can still go to a meeting.  We're really excited about this new group and it's opportunities.

Robert and his back issues have continued. This last surgery has seemed to help a bit more than the first, but he's still not 100% and that annoys him which in turn annoys me because I have to put up with his cranky ass. I'm trying to be supportive of him and the whole situation but dammit sometimes I just want to shake him and yell and scream and cry and blame him. It's not his fault his back is messed up but still...sometimes it would be easier to blame him than be supportive. For better or worse, right...  It would help if the insurance company would stop screwing around and approve the things they need to approve or settle and we can stop dealing with them/waiting on them to do anything. The bureaucracy of it is MAD.DEN.ING!

Adam is doing well, but he's getting closer and closer to graduation and being an 'adult' and still isn't sure what he wants to be when he grows up (which I understand because I fell into my career and sometimes I would love a change but don't know what) and I worry that I'm failing him because I haven't helped him find his path.  Carus knows she wants to go to Stanford (closest Ivy League school and she thinks she will be able to go for free - they have a free for families that make under a certain amount) and that she wants to be an artist (illustrating shows and video games). Adam doesn't even have a field he leans towards. I could see him as a history teacher, but he says he doesn't want to deal with kids ("kids suck" and "they're a pain in the butt")(he really empathizes with his teachers and what they have to deal with). I could also see him as a writer, but he doesn't want to write. So beyond those suggestions I don't know what else to tell him. Go take a few classes at college and then decide?

I don't have a conclusion for this, but I was right in that this helped... feeling much less anxious now.

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