Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Sense of Shame

We had vet appointments today. And its really nice that our vet, in addition to making house calls if you schedule far enough ahead, has morning hours on Saturdays for those of us who have to work during the week. Scooter needed his thyroid blood test, and Vixen was due for her 1 year check up and shots. Bruce dealt with the dog, and I got the pleasure of taking care of kitty. It wasn't so bad at first. We tricked her into the carrier by distracting her with dangling shoe strings for a few minutes, and then scooped her up and shoved her in before she knew what was happening. It was so funny....Omen saw what was happening and did a sudden disappearing act. She just went for her shots last month, and apparently she remembered that carrier.

The ride to the vet wasn't awful. Vixen was making these long, pitiful meows, and it made me sad, but she was basically ok. Bruce and I both decided that the drive to the vet (a 5 minute ride) always seems like an eternity when we have unhappy animals in the car. Of course the office was crowded with people just like us, trying to get in as many errands as possible on the weekends. We had to wait a while, but Vixen seemed calm enough in her carrier. They finally put us in a room together. There is a cat room and a dog room, but Scooter had to go in the cat room with us. It didn't take long to draw blood from him, and then Bruce took him outside to walk around while Vixen had her check up.

And that is where the shame comes in. My kitty, my precious, sweet little darling cat that we love and spoil and cuddle....she behaved so badly that I could barely believe my eyes. The minute that the tech tried to take her out of her carrier she started hissing and spitting and making this low, rolling growl that sounded like an animal possessed by Satan. It took 2 people to hold this petite little 8 lb. cat down on the exam table to get her shots. Her eyes were huge and unfocused and her face was drawn up into a snarling mask that didn't even look like my cat. I was embarrassed. I told them that I had no idea why she was acting like that because normally she was a really sweet cat. I am not sure if they believed me. When Bruce took Omen a month ago, she was scared, and she meowed a lot, but she didn't go crazy like that. Oh my Lord! Does anybody else have a perfectly nice, well behaved pet that completely loses it at the vet?

Anyway, its over. And Vixen is back to normal again. She has slept a whole lot today, and I am not sure if its the shots that are making her feel bad or if she is just exhausted from her hissy fit today. Maybe both. The good news is that she doesn't have to go back for 3 years now. Or that is what the vet told me. Maybe they are just saying that so they don't have to deal with her again anytime soon.
I am not sure I could blame them for that.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Possible good news?

So, we THINK that perhaps Stephen got accepted into the PhD program of linguistics at Purdue. The tentative part is that it was listed on his status update on the website as "recommended by program". By all accounts and by everything Stephen has heard or can find out, it means he is in. We are proud and excited, but are holding off on any huge celebrations until he gets official word. Which should be soon, like within the next week or so.

Of course, he has applied to several schools and this is the first to respond, so nothing is final, even if he IS in. He also applied to UNC Chapel Hill, George Mason Univ. near DC, and to some school in Spain, but I can't remember where that was. Apparently not every school offers a PhD in the fields of linguistics that Stephen is interested in, so his choices were limited. He can't get anything beyond his masters here at ECU. The program in Spain is a one year masters program, so he would actually be earning a second masters, and also have the opportunity to be fully immersed in spanish enough that he hopes to become fluent. So...? Who knows where the kids will end up? Spain would only be for a year, and while I would miss him and would definitely have to go visit, it would be such a good experience that I will try to control my selfishness.

I think the kids would also love to live in the DC area with so much to do, so many museums to see and all of that, but they are somewhat put off by the extremely high cost of living there. Indiana? Well, I have no idea what that would be like. I have never been there so I can't say. Its all pretty exciting though.

And as for Erica, she made the first cut in the Department of Defense grant program, but hasn't heard anything else yet. Apparently they are slow, so who knows when she will know something. She has narrowed her graduation time down to maybe a year...??
She thinks so anyway. Her committee said 6 months, but Erica is very doubtful about that. If she doesn't get the DOD offer, then who knows where she will end up. She has always said she would love to do her post doc in Europe. Joanna, her boss, has made it clear that she will have no problem finding a job, though. So thats wonderful to hear. All my kids are sprouting those wings and taking off for parts unknown. College was "away", but close enough to drive to. Indiana, Europe...?
Not so much. And while I feel a pang of sadness that I might be so far away from my beloved cherubs, I can't help but feel excited for all the opportunities that are opening up for them. I will be supportive of wherever they choose to go, as long as they all recognize that I WILL be visiting as often as humanly possible. LOL. Scary, but true. Thank God for the internet though. We can always Skype and keep in touch....yay!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Blessed are Tuesdays

Blessed are Tuesdays. At least every OTHER Tuesday! That's the day that Ana comes. She is a really nice lady who comes in to clean for me. I can't tell you how much this helps me out. I can't believe I didn't do this before now. Well, except that with 2 kids in college we couldn't AFFORD to do this before now. But now that I know just how wonderful it is, I hope it lasts forever and ever, amen. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have Ana in every single week, but thats pushing it. I am just counting my blessings to have her as much as I do. There is something about walking in the door after a long, hard day at work and seeing the whole place sparkle, and shine, and it smells oh so fabulous. So clean. And its clean all over all at once. Do you know how hard that is when you are working a full-time job? To get it all done at one time? To have every single room in your house clean? Because before Ana, it was a piecework job of vacuuming a little bit here and dusting a little bit there whenever the opportunity arose. So frustrating.

The other nice thing about having Ana's help is that we are forced to do a full house pick-up at least every 2 weeks. Ana cleans, she doesn't pick up and put away things. She wouldn't even know where to put all of the personal things away. At first Bruce had trouble with the distinction between "picking up" and actual "cleaning". He accused me of cleaning for the cleaning lady. But now he gets involved with the Monday evening routine of putting jackets away, sorting through the junk mail, picking up stray dirty socks, putting tools and computer parts away (with my husband, tools and computer parts, and papers manage to collect all over the place....table tops, counter spaces, you name it. If its a flat surface its fair game for any of those man-toys). Its nice this way. It never gets so far out of hand that its overwhelming when you are forced to sort through it all at least a couple of times a month so that Ana can get to the stuff that needs cleaning.

So, I ashamed to say that we have NOT made it to see Johnny Depp's "Alice in Wonderland". You would think that as much as I have looked forward to this movie, I would have been there for opening night. But Bruce worked on Saturday. And we have both been fighting off some kind of crud that involves a sore throat, sinus problems, and all of that unpleasantness. I really didn't feel up to it this past weekend. Its been weird, this crud thingie. It seems to come and go, and linger and get better than pop up again and again. Its not a flat on your back, I am so sick I want to die kind of thing, but it does make us feel exhausted and yucky. Stephen came over Friday evening to see us, and he made the statement, "Are you EVER healthy?" It stung a little, but this winter its been all too true. I am feeling better now, but Bruce is kind of battling it today. How are we going to get rid of this bug? I think I will replace our toothbrushes. Isn't that supposed to help with situations like this? I don't know. If that doesn't help, I may call in an exorcist next because this crap is definitely evil. LOL. But back to Johnny Depp (as all things should automatically go back to involve Johnny), we are thinking we might try to catch an afternoon matinee one day this week. If we can ever get off work early enough, that is. Weekdays are so much nicer, so less crowded. Maybe tomorrow...?
Wish me luck.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Missing Her

I miss my daughter. I haven't seen her since Christmas, which was a little over 2 months ago. It feels more like 2 years. She has just been so busy lately, but she is going to go to Puerto Rico with us next month, so that is something I really am looking forward to. Its rare to get all of us together in one place anymore. I know thats the natural progression as kids grow up, and people get busy with their jobs and their lives. And while all of that sucks on some level, it also means that my kids are out there busy being productive members of society, and for that I am both proud and grateful.

When Erica was in high school we used to go out on Saturday mornings. Not every weekend, but a lot. Sometimes we did normal shopping at the mall, but other times we did this kind of thrift store treasure hunt, and that was a whole lot of fun. You can't go do that with an actual "need" for anything specific. But if you have the time to browse and really look through the stuff you can sometimes find some cool things (like an Anne Klein skirt new with TAGS for 8 dollars). You can't beat that. But no matter where we shopped, it always included lunch out, usually at this chinese buffet that we really like. We still go there whenever she comes home and we have a chance to go shopping. Our time is too short to go on those leisurely junk shop hunts anymore, and we usually do more of the "normal" shopping when we get the chance to go out. But lunch? That is always part of the deal.

Some weekends I did the shopping thing with Stephen...but it was different. He didn't love shopping unless it was at Barnes and Noble or Office Depot. For some reason he could (and still can) browse through books and office supplies like Erica and I do with shoes. Or purses. We would maybe go to the mall a couple of times a year when he absolutely needed clothes, but he would go in, pick out multiples of something he liked and be done with it. Our shopping always included lunch, though. His favorite place was this Mexican restaurant that used to be really good, but the last few times we went had gone downhill quite a bit. We have given up on that place, but a couple of new Mexican places have since opened, and those are really yummy. But the point is that although shopping with my son was a completely different experience than shopping with my daughter, it was still fun. A time to chat and relax and just enjoy the company.

Those were the "good old days". Or I like to remember them like that anyway.
I'm pretty sure that it wasn't all smiles and laughing and shopping with 2 teenagers in the house, but its funny how the bad stuff fades while the fun things become the memories. I guess it really is a good thing....or we might never ever all get together in one place again. Erica said something a couple of years ago that actually rang true. She said that family get-togethers are always much more fun in theory than in reality. HAHAHA....I know. Its a fact. But I still hope we all have a grand ol' time in Puerto Rico together.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunny Sunday

We have finally had a beautiful sunny weekend...Yay! I tried to sit out in the sun yesterday afternoon. I put on a pair of shorts, grabbed a book, and headed outside.
I made it for about 5 minutes, but the wind was really chilly. It wasn't quite shorts weather just yet. Today is supposed to be warmer, so maybe I will attempt it again. The book I am reading is "Dear John" by Nicholas Sparks. The movie just came out, but I won't see it until I finish the book. I am really enjoying the fact that its set in North Carolina in places that are familiar to me. I am only about a quarter of the way into it. Don't tell me how it ends....:)

So, my laptop ended up being unfixable. It works just fine, but the wireless connection died. A computer that won't get online? Worthless as far as I am concerned. We headed to Best Buy to see what was available. I ended up getting one of those teeny little netbooks. Its so cute! It will fit into a (larger) handbag. Very portable. Bruce considers it an abomination, as he is all about "bigger is better"...LOL. But it does everything that I need it to do, has excellent battery longevity, and weighs about 2 lbs. Perfect. I have been playing with it all weekend to be absolutely sure that it is what I want, and it is. I love it. It will be great for taking on trips to download pictures from our camera.

I feel like there are other things that I wanted to share, but at this moment I can't recall any of them. Hopefully I will do a little better this coming week and not go so long without posting. If only my brain would work!!! LOL.