Monday, February 27, 2012

What in the duck have I gotten myself into??

Ok, so it's actually a Cardinal, not a duck...but STILL! I decided to start on the new cardinal cross-stitch piece last night, since I finished the other and I was itching to begin this one. Oh, my. Not only are there 16million different thread colors, but there are a ton of thread variations....use one thread here, use 4 there, use 3 there. And, when you do this one here, use one of this color, and one of that color, and....oh em gee. I made it through about 100 stitches last night. I haven't had a chance to work on it tonight, but as soon as I finish this post, I will start again.

This is what it will look like when it is done:
It's actually pretty big, at 15x9 inches.

This is how far I got:


Sunday, February 26, 2012

XXX and a pain in the ass O!

Just finished a cross-stitch piece I've been working on for a few weeks now. I had a blast with this one, but I have to admit, the "O" was a HUGE pain in my ass! I'm SUPER happy with the way it turned out, and can't wait to find a rustic looking frame for it! I'm finding that I really enjoy the ones with words...I think it's because I like the way they "pop" off the material when you backstitch them. Anyway, just wanted to share a quick update of it, so here goes:

I'm going to start on a project for the Nature Center next. It's by far the largest piece I've ever done, and I really hope it doesn't turn me off from stitching. I have a few other ones I can pull out if I need to take a break. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Where to go from here...

This week I have really been struggling with some emotional stuff. I touched base in my last blog about the need to sort out some feelings in regards to letting some relationships/friendships go, or finding a way to rekindle them. It's proven to be a lot harder than I thought it would be.
There are some relationships that I just can't seem to move past, even if we haven't seen each other since long before I moved to Indiana. I can't figure out what it is about them that is making me hold on for so long, other than maybe I'm just caught up in the "idea" of what they were. I'm sure with time I will figure it all out, but at this point it's almost like losing a loved one...I'm mourning their losses, and it's hurting more than I thought it would.

That being said...

Yesterday was Valentines Day, and for the first time since I was 15, I didn't have a Valentine. I actually did better with it than most probably do. I've always thought it was important to show those you care about how much you care throughout the year, and not just on one day. I'm not going to lie though, it is always nice to get something small, even if it's a homemade card or a sticky note, on Valentines Day. It was strange this year not to have any of that. I do always get the kids some candy, and a small gift, and this year we went out to dinner together. When we got home, we finished watching Breaking Dawn 1, and worked on a puzzle together. It was a nice way to spend the day, and evening.

So I've recently rediscovered how much I enjoy cross-stitching. It's kept me away from the computer, which is something I was addicted to for a very long time. I am someone who LOVES the outdoors, and hiking/sightseeing, etc. However, I am also someone who hates winter. Therefore I would shut myself inside until May each year, waiting out the snow and cold temperatures. Yesterday I did get out and do a little hiking at our state park, mostly to clear my mind. I had to drop a Snowy Owl off at the Nature Center for when Brad returns from Cuba. So, I just extended my stay a little, and walked a trail. I'll admit, it seemed a bit odd doing that on my own, but I did enjoy it even in the cold.

Today I've managed to do nothing more than some cross-stitching and a little cleaning. I've also done a lot of soul searching. I just need to find me again, and I'm not sure how. The next few months should be an interesting journey for me.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Letting things go...

Kids and I are on our "Mid-Winter Mini-Vacation". I had to work around having to pick up a Snowy Owl for Brad at Pokagon, and visiting my parents. So, we chose to stay in Marshall, Michigan, which is halfway in between. We got a "kids suite" so that there was plenty of room to sprawl out.

So Friday I get word that some friends, Tim and Samantha, are pulling through my town of residence, on their way to purchase a vehicle. We met up for lunch, and in that conversation, discussed the up-coming snow storm. They offered to caravan with me, if their schedule back matched up with my departure schedule. Things just sort of fell into place after that, and the next thing I knew, we were a 3 car caravan, hitting the highway. I was in the lead, Samantha was in her new trailblazer, and Tim was behind her, driving her old car. Things got bad very quickly. We were hitting the highway right as the storm was going through, and we were going to be traveling right along with it. Between the snow, the ice and the insane winds blowing us all over, it was slow moving to say the least. Somewhere just my side of Kalamazoo, I happened to look in the rear view mirror, just in time to see Sams new truck spin...and spin...and spin. I tried my best to pull over right away, the ice putting a bit of a damper on that plan. I finally managed to do so safely. Or as safely as "on the side of the highway in the middle of an ice patch, in the middle of Snowpocolypse 2012, can be. There were angels watching over us, and especially Sam, because she never left the roadway. We decided the safest thing to do is get off at the next exit, and give her time to catch her breathe, slow her heart rate, and decide what to do next. We chose the "stay off the highway" option, and it was a good one, because from news reports later, it only got worse as the highway went on. I carvaned with them all the way to their house, stopped by my parents to de-ice my headlights, and proceeded on to Marshall. What should have been a 2 hour drive, ended with 6 hours on the road. It was a LONG day.

Today the kids and I went to Angola and got the owl. We went to a few of our favorite locations, and then headed over to Battle Creek for dinner. I haven't had Mancinos in several years, and it's something we don't have back home, so I had a craving. The kids really enjoyed it too. After that we did a bit of shopping, and headed back to the hotel to swim, only to find out the pool was too full of chlorine to enjoy. So, we are back in the room, relaxing now.

I was supposed to meet up with a friend that I haven't seen in 7 years tonight. Due to situations out of my control, that didn't happen. I didn't really expect the wave of emotions that came along with these plans falling through. I'm sad, I'm disappointed. I realize there is nothing I can do about it, and I'm certainly not pouting about it, but it's almost like "mourning". I am forced to realize that my life has taken such a different path. Things have changed SO much since I have left. People that I could always count on to "be there" have moved on and developed different lives, no longer putting a second thought into my visiting. Moving to Indiana was a good decision for us, but I never expected to lose so many relationships along the way. I've developed a LOT of new relationships that are incredible, with some incredible people...but there are one or two that are just really hard to let go of, and tonight proved that to me. I guess it's time to do a little soul-searching within myself and figure out how to either A: redevelop these relationships, or B: learn to let them go. I just don't know which one I have the strength to do right now, as they are both going to test me.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

ahh, to blog again...

So yesterday, I headed my behind to Michigan City to visit Hobby Lobby. I wanted to get a few more cross stitching items, and our local Michaels SUCKS for supplies. Hobby Lobby was frustrating, because they didn't have a lot of the things I needed. But I got a few super cute kits, and a pattern I kitted myself. It's going to be my biggest piece to date (it really isn't that big), but it's a Fall pattern, so I have half a year to finish it. That should be enough time, right? I also got a few bird ones that I want to make for the Nature Center. I don't know if Brad will even hang them, but perhaps if I have a purpose for them, I will be a little more likely to stick with

Kids and I went to dinner at Noodles & Co last night. I am totally in love with their Steak Stroganoff. We went to Walmart afterwords to get Valentines cards. We had a good time just hanging out. Unfortunately, I have to work tonight. I really am starting to hate my shifts at work, because I never get to see the kids. And I feel really bad now that Brad is in Cuba, because there is nobody here at night with them. I was hoping to escape this weekend with them, but nobody at work is willing to cover my shifts or trade shifts with me. I'm getting really frustrated with it all.

Nothing on the agenda today, other than work. I'm fighting a migraine, so not even in the mood to get out of bed. Hopefully it goes away soon, and I can venture out to the grocery store so the kids don't starve while I am away.

I've made friends with a girl at work who recently moved here from South Bend. I know what it's like to be the "new one" in town, and we just seem to have hit it off. We were talking over dinner the other night about her love for cows, and my love for squeeky cheese. She has never had it...OH EM GEE! So, tomorrow I am picking her up from work and we are heading over to Fair Oaks Farms. I may take Caiden along too, as he has never been. I'm really looking forward to the trip!

Will update after the curd haul!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Not for the weak tummied...

You have been warned. At the end of this blog, there will be photos posted that are NOT for those with weak bellies. You can't get mad at me if you choose to continue...

So at some point yesterday, while I was getting ready for work, my Geo got into a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I can only guess that one of the kids snuck into them, and in an attempt to not get caught, hid them where the dog could get to them. And get into them she did. So much so that she turned the bag inside out.

My first thought was "great, diarrhea". And I didn't want that on the floor, I took the dogs to work with me. (At this point, I wasn't certain which dog had done it, so took both) My fear wasn't that they would get super sick from it, just that it would be MUCH easier to clean up at work, since I work at an animal hospital, and the facility is designed for just such this thing. (hose, metal grates, and troughs underneath = much easier to clean than carpet)

Geo is a window dog. She LOVES to ride in the car, and even when it is 10 below, she likes to hang her head out the window. This time, she curled up on the seat and didn't move. I knew right away it was her who had gotten the chocolate. Dakota has an iron stomach, and can ingest ANYTHING without side effects. I wasn't sure how Geo was going to handle it.

About an hour after we arrived at work, the vomiting started. LOTS of vomiting. Chocolate everywhere. She "dropped" right before my eyes. Her eyes dilated, her skin began to sag, she was drooling, eyes watering...and her fur just didn't look right, which is always an indicator when she doesn't feel good. I went and spoke with Dr. Brooke about it and she offered to look at her.

Turns out, Geo ingested what could be a fatal amount of chocolate. Now I was scared. She is an old girl. Best we can guess is that she is at least 9. She has had a previous back injury that left her paralyzed for several months. She didn't need this too.

One of my co-workers, Erica, offered to ingest Geo with the 250ccs of activated charcoal that the doctor ordered. All I can say is thank God for Erica, and that Geo was a good patient. It ended up not being too messy, and I was thankful Geo didn't make Erica wear it, because I already felt bad enough.

And then the puking started. Lots.and.lots.of.puking. Who knew dog stomachs could hold so much? Not this chick, that's for sure. There was more chocolate in the vomit than charcoal, and if there was any blessing in it at all, it was that the puke smelled just like the chocolate, so the cleanup wasn't near as bad as it could have been. Aside from the staining charcoal.

Geo was now on "seizure" watch. I decided to take her home with me, because then she would have overnight supervision. Once we got home, she kind of went downhill again. She was pacing, whining, hiding (have since found out that this is due to the caffeine in the chocolate). her heart rate got up near 160, but never to the 200bpm the Dr. told me to watch for. I was up at least every hour peeking on her. I had set her up a nice lined bed next to where Brad sleeps, and she stayed there. She threw up a few more times overnight, but nothing like what she did at work. I was terrified, and was certain she wasn't going to make through the night.

This morning, I woke to check on Geo. She had managed to get herself up on the back of the sofa, which was something she couldn't do last night. She was sound asleep, but when I woke her, I noticed right away that her eyes looked a million times better. Her breathing wasn't as fast, and her tummy not as sore. Unfortunately, Chocolate Toxicity can re-present itself for several days after the ingestion point. So, we aren't out of the woods yet. But I am really hoping that this means she is strong enough still, to pull through this.

Our little shelter beagle is turning out to be one hell of a fighter, over and over again.

And now, for the people that are fascinated by medical things like I am....the photos. For those that aren't, look away now.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

For when he unto, a nothingness became...

I remember that line, from a poem my mom once wrote. Couldn't tell you how many years it's been since I read it, but for some reason, that one line always stuck with me. I can't remember much else, but that has seemed to discover a way to stay locked in my brain. Weird.

I haven't blogged in FOREVER, and it honestly has been driving me nuts. No internet connection at all at home anymore. One of the kids told me that it was requested of the neighbor to lock their internet so I could no longer use it. Oh well, so be it. I now have no television, no internet...and I've watched every movie in the house at least a dozen times. I'm slowly losing my mind, and to be honest, any will to do anything. I can't job search/apartment hunt, without internet. I can't afford the gas to be driving all around doing it in person. And from the sounds of it, my federal tax returns may be garnished (whatever they call it) for unpaid medical bills. I'm in a funk, and it doesn't look like there is much of a way out of it.

Not much else is going on in my life, to be honest. Still working, still loving my job, still not making enough to survive. Caiden turned one yesterday, and it got me to remembering when he was born. The day he arrived, we got hit with one hell of a blizzard. We were snowed in at the hospital for nearly 4 days. It took us forever to get home, because the snow went higher than the car we were driving. It was insane. Yesterday, on his first birthday, it was nearly 60 degrees out. Beautiful day! We didn't have a party planned for him, it's just too hard with my current living situation, and finances. But will get together soon for cake, presents, etc.

Brad leaves this weekend for Cuba for 2 weeks. While we don't talk, or do anything together, it is going to seem odd without him here. I can't help but worry about him while he travels, mostly given where he is traveling to. I'm sure he will do fine, as he has made this trip before, but I do wish him safe travels, and can't help but be a bit jealous of his getting to go again. Especially because he is going to be traveling to a Sea Turtle nesting site....OMG, I SO want to see that!

Anyway, hope all of you are well, can't wait to be able to blog a bit more often. It certainly helps clear the mind. Not having someone in the home to "release my thoughts" onto, I guess I sort of came to depend on blogging them out!