Friday, March 29, 2013

River's Big Day Out

Despite waking myself up coughing every few minutes, I rolled out of bed all too early Friday- as is becoming all too common.

Tim & I loaded up River and headed to Concord, North Carolina.  There was a dog show going on at the Events Center and along with that was a health clinic.

I thought our appointment was at 11:20, but it was actually at 11:00. Oops.  Add to that the 20 minutes we wandered aimlessly trying to find the clinic and we were significantly late when we showed up. 

Thankfully, the ladies running the desk allowed us to wait and the doctor and her assistant were kind enough to go ahead and take us around noon.

River had to be coaxed in to the door- she hates small, confined places.  And mailboxes.  She's a nut.

We watched as an echocardiogram was performed.  Basically, they were looking for any arrhythmia or problems with the heart.  The "ear test" went off with out a hitch, but I don't think I breathed the entire time we were looking at her heart on the screen.  I'm pretty sure the most traumatic part for River-butt was when the vet tech clamped her mouth shut with his hands so the doctor could listen to her heart beat.

Finally it was done and we got the results- our baby girl is 100% normal!  Her test results will be sent in to OFA and she will become certified as having a healthy heart!

This means...wait for it-

River will be entering a breeding program!  Ok, breeding program sounds a little grand for my plans, but River, her "sister wife" Sienna and an adorable little mini poodle I happen to know named Biscuit will form the trio for KW Kennels- Breeding Small, healthy Goldendoodles.

Yes, goldendoodles.  There is a market out there for these dogs and my kennel partner and I have very carefully selected healthy dogs with excellent temperaments to meet the needs of those wishing to add a "doodle" to their families.

I'm very, very excited, as River will be bred very soon.  She will be coming back to raise her litter here- I can't wait!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

*cough* *hack* *sniff*

Well, it happened.  Just as winter drew to a close, just as the worst of cold and flu season passed- guess who came up sick?

It caught up to me Sunday, when I awoke with the terrible feeling that I had swallowed a thousand imps in the night and they were all stabbing me with their red hot pocket knives- in the throat.

Still, the show must go on- and go on it did.  I crawled my way out of bed, tossed on some clothes and headed to the second day of the NCRBA Rabbit Show- through the rain.  The relentless, freezing cold rain.  I ended up winning a Best of Breed, but didn't stay for Best In Show because I felt so terrible.

I woke up Monday and my skin was hurting.  Oh joy.  I powered through most of work and then went home a little early. Tuesday I called out sick- I woke up with those imps back in my throat.


Today, Thursday, I am facing a different set of icks.  The congestion is breaking up, leaving my already much abused throat even more sore, each cough setting it on fire again.   I hate being sick.

So that helps explain my blog silence.   I haven't done much, other than sit around and feel sorry for myself. 


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Crocheting Excitement

I just placed a large order online for various sizes of safety eyes! Those are plastic eyes with locking backs that keep them from coming out of whatever material you put them in.  Once they arrive, I can continue with my crocheting and begin to build my inventory for the craft show I want to do this summer.

My plan is to have an inventory for the show, but also see about starting a facebook page and selling via it as well.

Unfortunately, I'm stuck until those eyes come in.  I have been to all the craft stores in town and can't find one that sells the size I want- they are all much too big.

The sad thing is scarves won't be in demand in the middle of the summer.  I really enjoy making those.  Oh well, I can channel that energy in to making washcloths I suppose.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Book Update

Slowly but surely I'm getting closer to the end of the book- I'm working on "the beginning of the end" as we speak now.  After that, it's more edits, then I'll be ready to get a few folks to read it cover to cover for continuity and understanding.

Then it will be time to start Book 2- as well as shopping around for publishing options.

It's a very scary thing- writing a book.  You pour a lot of yourself in to it.  Even if it isn't written about you or people you know- or even your world, you created those characters, situations,'s very much one of the hardest things I've ever done.  I think I've put my roadblocks in my own path because I want this book to be perfect.  I have to accept it won't be perfect, but it will be the absolute best I can make it.  I will do justice to my characters.  If it works, it works.  If it doesn't, I will try again :).


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's Mine!

Not my actual car.
It's mine, it's mine, it's mine!

Today, the check cleared for our final payment on one of the cars!   We ended up paying it off early (the last payment was due in August) and I am so excited!

Once we get the title, we can drop the insurance down on the car for an additional savings- which means we can snowball that car payment (once I pay our savings back for the loan it gave us to pay off the car) and the insurance savings in to hitting another piece of debt harder!

I feel like we are finally on our way! I have dreamed of the moment we'd have this car taken care and be able to move forward.  I'm so thankful we'd been paying a little extra for the past few years as well, as it helped us "cash out" even earlier.

I just had to share my joy!  It feels so good to be one step closer to my goals.


Monday, March 11, 2013

To Garden or not to Garden-

I'm having a major dilemma on whether to garden or not this year.

Part of the problem is I hate to weed- hate it.  Our lawn care guy (church provided, sigh) mows so that the lawn clippings fly into the garden, making the problem worse.

Last year we put down black plastic, which killed the onions.  We lost two tomato plants to an ant invasion.  The tomatoes were very small on the plants that did survive.

We don't own a tiller.  We have to either rent one, or depend on the kindness of others to get our garden place tilled.

However- I love making fresh salsa, and having hot banana peppers for summer sandwiches!  I love feeding the excess produce to the chickens and giving it away to friends. I love the satisfaction of growing something myself!

So what to do, what to do.  I need to make a decision quickly, it's warming up here in North Carolina!


Friday, March 8, 2013

It's Better Than Good-Enough, It's Great- (12 Months of Christmas Post)

Nothing gives me more pleasure than to see someone's face light up with something I've made.  Cookies? A nice meal? A handmade scarf? I love it.

Any other time of year, we love to give things we've made to people we love, or have them give something to us.

Why is it that around Christmas, that nasty little voice makes us second guess ourselves?

"That isn't good enough."
"Oh, so you made presents? Tightwad."
"You're so weird and different for not just buying things."

Let's rethink these for a second:

"That isn't good enough."  No, it isn't "good enough"- it's better.  You made something that is 100% unique.  Even if you used a pattern or followed a recipe, there will never be the exact same item out there ever.  It's better than good-enough, it's GREAT!

"Oh, so you made presents? Tightwad."  You only spent untold hours in planning and making an item.  You only spent the cost of ingredients or materials.  You only put your love in to every stitch, stroke or stir.  You gave up your free time when you could have been napping, watching tv or just staring out a window.  What a scrooge you are to put your love and so much thought and effort in to a gift!

"You're so weird and different for not just buying things."  How dare you not just toss out a few bucks and get something "just to be done with shopping"? You truly are a weirdo for overthinking a gift that could make someone smile.  Be like the rest of the world and just buy something poorly made that will break in 6 months and will be forgotten before the wrapping paper is thrown away.

I love homemade gifts.  Last Christmas I received a handmade Christmas ornament from a friend and I am in love with it- every time I go to trim my tree, I will think of her.   Had she given me a $25 gift card to a restaurant, that would have been appreciated, but forgotten as soon as the meal was over.

One of my favorite gifts from my little brother ever came three Christmases ago.  He was a poor student in Nashville.  Come Christmas, he gave me a stocking full of Coke Rewards caps, a small Rottweiler stuffed animal (I love rotties) and a bag of these delicious sugared nuts a place in the Mall in Nashville sold.  The nuts were shared around the family and eaten quickly, the stuffed puppy is collecting dust somewhere and the coke rewards caps have all been redeemed- but I will never forget when I saw all those codes.  It's silly, but it showed me that he really stopped and considered what I like (saving money!) and spent his time collecting them for me.  It wasn't done in a rush because he needed to check my name off his list.   In a few more years, time will cloud the memory and the nuts and stuffed puppy will be forgotten, but I don't think I'll ever forget how much thought and effort he put in to a silly stocking full of drink caps.

So no, his gift wasn't just "Good-Enough".  It was Perfect.


Catch up on all the 12 Months of Christmas posts here.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I got lost in my own bedroom last night.

Sadly, it's happened before.

I was sleeping and in the dream that I didn't know what a dream, I was standing in our front hallway and someone cut their hand wide open.  We're talking blood gushing EVERYWHERE.  Apparently my panic in my dream translated too well to my body, because I leapt out of bed to get bandages to help the friend- only when I opened my eyes, the room was pitch black.

It took me several minutes to reconcile that I wasn't where I was supposed to be.  Meanwhile, three steps away from the bed, I was utterly lost.  I recall hanging on to the dresser at one point (right beside my bed) and trying to convince myself I wasn't in the front hallway, I was in the bedroom.  In my mind's eye, I still saw the hallway, knew that I had to be there because that's where I last "remembered" being.  Meanwhile, my brain is feverishly trying to figure out what the dresser is and where it fits in to the hallway, what the bath towels are- anything I touched, it tried to contort in to something else.

After stumbling around in just a few steps, I finally was able to calm myself and recognize enough of the signs of sleepwalking that I knew I could go back to bed.  Thankfully I was easily able to find the bottom of  the bed and I gingerly (and blindly) walked myself back to my spot and crawled in.

This has happened off and on forever, even though I haven't caught myself sleepwalking in a while. It's very bizarre to know what you are doing and to see it, but not be able to stop yourself- I usually have to play out several minutes of whatever is going on until I can convince myself to go back to bed.  Sometimes I can do this without waking Tim. Sometimes, I'm not so lucky.  I sit here now, fully awake, and wonder how my motor skills were fully functional, but the reasoning was not.  I can still feel the panic of knowing someone was badly hurt and needed help, but not being able to make it to the bathroom (right off the main hall) to get towels to help.  Add in getting lost in the dark, in a familiar place and it's even worse.  I knew that if I walked too far, I'd have trouble finding my way back to the bed.  Perhaps it was some small part of me trying to keep me safe.

Oh well, thankfully that was the only episode of the night- and no.  It never occurred to me to call out to Tim for help  (turning on the light, etc). In my sleepwalking state, I was alone. And lost.  In the dark.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bath & Body Works Freebies

Like their offer on Facebook and get a coupon for a free 0.24 oz. Eau de Toilette.  The offer is good through March 8.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Sam's Club Membership Discount

Thinking about a membership to Sam's Club? Now would be the time to buy.

Go here and check out the deal on living social.  You get:

• $45 ($79.84 value) for a one-year Membership package
• $20 Sam’s Club gift card and $19.84 in food-service vouchers
• Food vouchers valid for an Artisan Fresh Rotisserie Chicken, a 16″ Artisan Fresh Take-and-Bake Pizza, and two boxes of 6-, 12-, or 24-count Artisan Fresh Cookies ($19.84 value)

It's like paying a little over $5 for a year membership.