Monday, July 27, 2009

Thankful for a Solid Recall...

One of the last items on yesterday's list was to take little bean for her walk. Weather has been crappy, family in town and she just needed a walk.

On our walk, I smelled it...the unmistakable odor of skunk. My skunk-dar immediately went up. Anyone out was probably really annoyed by me shining an LED flashlight in their face.

As we were nearing home, we passed this one house with a lot of trees...something told me this was a prime hiding place for a skunk. The spirit moved me to shine the blinding light under a tree, and what did I see...evil beady eyes staring back at me. Minor feelings of panic overtook me...and I gave Chelsie a panicked "Chelsie, COME". She came running right to me...and we crossed the street, avoiding the skunk. After breathing a sigh of relief, lots of praise and pets followed. God bless her recall.

Back to work...girls gone. We had a great last day, which included another shot out on the boat. Both girls did amazing on the wakeboard, we were so proud of them. More pictures to come.

Happy Monday and have a great week!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Vacation - Day 3

So, vacation day 3...what a day!

First order of business was mowing the grass. It rained so much on vacation day 2 that my grass was super long - and it is supposed to be less than pleasant tomorrow. That being said, mowing was a necessity. Cousin Michelle volunteered to help, so I took her up on it. Mowing responsibilities at her house are that of the gardner, but today, it was all her. I loved having the help, it took half the time, and it looked great.

Second order of business...getting the girls up on a wakeboard. As you all know, my friends Amy and Gerrie are very generous with their boat. So they took us out...and both girls did awesome. Both popped right up out of the water, and we had them going up and down the river within 15 minutes! It was so fantastic to watch them - they had such a great time and were so proud of themselves for doing it. It was so great to watch them not only stand up and do it, but to watch their confidence increase. We were all incredibly proud of them. For more pictures, see my facebook page.

As is custom, we went to El Vaquero when we were done. Aunt Becky and Uncle Bill came and picked up the girls at the dock before we were done, and they went off to their annual slumber party at GAB and GUB's house. They were so excited to tell my parents about their experience...and were excited that GAB and GUB were taking them to dinner, as they had worked up quite the appetite!

Tomorrow, Michelle and I will enjoy a little shopping time on our own, before heading to Marysville for a family dinner - tacos and the "thing" that Karla makes for dessert. The "thing" actually might be one of the best desserts I have ever eaten. We always ask Karla to make is this salty sweet strawberry jello thing that is freakin amazing..I have not tried to make it, because I am not sure I could ever make it as good as she does...

All in all, another great vaca so far with cousins...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vacation - Day 1

Um, ok - does anyone know what the heck is wrong with the weather in Ohio this July? We have the coolest July on record so far. I am really annoyed by it, honestly - it is literally going to rain for the next 5 days! Puts a real damper on Cedar Point and boating plans. It has been raining since 4PM this afternoon...the only thing I can think of at this point is what fun it will be cutting my grass when all of this is done... one of vacation did not start until after 10AM. It was so wonderful to sleep in. My cousin and the kids got her Tuesday night - we went to dinner and somehow, our car happened to detour at Graeters! It has been an early morning, as they had a 6AM flight out of Sacramento, so all were exhausted last night. Because the weather was crappy, we hung out with John, Karla, Kaitlyn and Conor all afternoon, and then headed to Texas Raodhouse for our annual dinner there. After that, off to agility for some COURSES! The girls love to watch Chelsie's agility. Poor Chelsie had a rough day...all this activity in her house - and 2 babies. She got stepped on by Kaitlyn all day, and at 4PM, walked into the bedroom and pretty much passed out. To add insult to injury, she did not get breakfast until 10:30...cuz mom was tired and needed to sleep!

Tomorrow's plans include a trip to Polaris...hopefully, I can find some freakin are a few photos from day 1. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Monday's Top 10

Top Ten For Monday, July 20, 2009:

10. My ear drum has officially healed and all is well. Another hearing test today revealed my ear is functioning as it was designed to function! (notice I did not say I can hear everything)

9. I got to see my cute doctor today...

8. My brother utilized the $8 part I bought to fix the shower drain in my bathroom and I can shower in my own shower in the morning!

7. Another day has passed with no major cash outlays required...phew.

6. Productivity at work was off the charts.

5. All my flowers are in bloom right now.

4. I got to hang out with 2 of my good freinds tonight on the boat...and then talk to another great friend tonight as well! Luv ya Amy, Gerrie and Adrienne!

3. I learned to do a surface 180 and board on my "off side" leg today...boarding on your "off side" is best done with only one hand on the line and I did it, by gawd!!!

2. I am on vacation after tomorrow....because.....

1. My cousin and her kids will be here to visit for the rest of the week!

Can Tuesday top this?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More Prayers Needed

After enjoying a brief 5 day stay at home, little Gabby (my friend Kristin and Gio's baby) has unfortunately had to return to the hospital. She has been back in for over a week now, and according to Kristin it "looks like they are there for the long haul". She has not had a good week - her liver is still leaking from her previous surgery and they went in to try and repair that yesterday. The doctors were hoping that would heal on its own, and unless they can stop the leak, her previous surgeries will not help her long term.

Please keep the Sapio family in your thoughts and prayers and celebrate the health of those you love.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Good Samaritans good luck continues. Tonight, about 1/2 mile from Cemetary Rd on 270 my tire light comes on. The little monitor showing which tire was low doesn't come on, so I was like "Whatever". That lasted for about 10 seconds. I was getting off the freeway anyway, so I pulled into the lane with a long line of cars - it was the driver rear, so I opened up the door when I stopped and heard the hiss of the air leaving the tire. My inappropriate words slipped out...but at that point, I was just hoping I would have enough air in the tire to make it to the parking lot of Home Depot in Hilliard. I did.

So I call AAA, they tell me sometime in the next hr they will be out - no biggy, I am not on the freeway, which is all I care about this point. I call the Honda dealer to make sure they have 2 tires in stock for the car - I knew I needed 2 new ones anyway, and thank god it was one of the ones I needed replaced that I flattened. Meanwhile, 2 people pulled up and asked if I needed help. I turned the first one down, but the second guy changed my tire and I was on my way. Get the car to the dealer, realize I need an oil change too, ask them to take me home and then I am good to go (Honda dealer 5 min from house and they have a courtesy van). About 8:30, service dude calls and says I need new front brakes. Really? What is another $200 at this point...$500 later, I was out of there.

So suffice to say, I am not sure what else could happen at this point. My savings are significantly less than they were 3 weeks ago, but lets face it:

1) I can't get up in the morning and wonder if I am going to have hot water
2) It is the middle of July and in this household, AC is not a luxury, it is a basic necessity
3) I need to operate a safe car

I thought it was incredibly nice of the people that stopped to offer to help. I didn't want to unnecessarily take anyone's time, which is why I turned the first guy down. The second guy said it was ridiculous to wait for AAA, that he would have it taken care of in 15. He was right - and I thanked him profusely. Proof there are still good people in the world.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to change my luck, I am open at this point....

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Reflections of a Year Gone by....

One year ago today, my life took a path I never thought I would walk in my life time, especially in my profession. Hard to year ago today, I was laid off.

As I sit back tonight and reflect on now and then, I know I am very fortunate to have the job I have and work with some really great people. I also know I am fortunate to have family and friends who supported me along the way. I wish I could say that all of those awful feelings assoicated with being laid off had gone away, but there is part of me that will never be the same.

So much has happened in this last year, both personally and professionally. Some things have been easier than others, some things have left a permanent mark. I have made some good decisions and some not so good decisions. Some days I am at peace with those decisions, some days I am not. I guess all of these things can be chalked to the good old road of life.

If someone would have told me a year ago I would be where I am now, I am not sure I would have believed them. Maybe it is the Lord's way of teaching me to have faith and believe that things happen for a reason. If one more person had said to me "when one door closes another door opens" I might have screamed - easy to say until its your face the door closes in. :) But like everything else in life, things seem to have worked themselves out. I have realized more than ever that the battle I fight daily is not against outside forces, but against myself and my need to be in control of everything around me. One year ago today, I felt as though my world had fallen apart, that everything I had worked so hard for was all gone in a matter of 5 minutes, with no opportunity to stop it. Throughout my entire life, I have always managed to maintain a certain level (all right, probably off the charts level) of control over the big things in my life, but all of a sudden, I was forced into a situation completely out of my control. I managed not only to land on my feet, but to "stick my landing" as they say in gymnastics.

Through this all, the lesson I want to learn the most from is to let go and have faith that things will work out around you - and truly be at peace with this concept. I am not sure what is more important at this exact moment - the concept or being at peace with the concept. I may not travel the path I envisioned for myself and for you adventurous types, this is probably Ok with you. But for you type A planners like me, the road less traveled is a scary place, and I have learned that sometimes, you just have to suck it up, buckle your seat belt and hang on - eventually you will get there. Some days I am at peace with this theory, other days, I go back to wanting the roadmap of what my life is going to look like.

Through all of this, I know I have so many blessings to be thankful for - most of all, my readers - my dear freinds and family who have supported through this process unconditionally. I am grateful for each and every one you. Thank you for always being there to help me get on the path I need to be on - whatever that is.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Back to Recover...

I hope everyone had a very safe and happy 4th of July. Chelsie and I had a very busy one, and both of us are exhausted.

Our weekend started on Thursday afternoon - with a three hour nap. I was supposed to take all day off, but I had things I wanted to get done. My boss gives us the afternoon before every holiday off, so we broke in our long weekend with a on the couch, bean on the floor.

Although Friday was sort of a crappy day here, I braved the waters of the Scioto River to work on my wakeboarding skills. No major face plants, broken ear drums or anything like that to report. We celebrated the holiday here afterward by grilling some yummy steaks.

Fast forward to Saturday, when my friends Amy, Gerrie and I packed up all the pooches and took them down to Hocking Hills for a six mile hike. Chelsie LOVED it..she was a great little hiker. There were a few spots where we could let them off leash into the water...seventh heaven for my little water beast. The weather was overcast and actually rained at a few points, but we were in trees so the weather was perfect for a hike. All three dogs passed out in the car...and my little bean slept most of the day today. Headed to Uncle Joey's after for a BBQ and then came home and passed out. Cold....until 9:30 this morning.

Imagine how excited I was to change a load of laundry this morning and find that some plumbing from my master bath was leaking. My inappropriate words came out, and I headed upstairs to call for reinforcements. My dad came up and diagnosed a problem with the shower $8 part has been purchased and he and my brother will put that in later this week. Until then...I am showering in the bright, cheery "happy bathroom".

After leaving my dad when we left Home Depot, I went out to blow off some steam on the water. No spills or anything...but there were some idiots out there. I came close to what would have been a nasty spill once...I am still working on getting comfortable with my weight on the "toe edge" of the wakeboard - you literally have to lean back over your back shoulder, almost off balance to get your edge into the water. Any slight wobble and I let go because I still can't regain my balance with my body in that position - YET. Well, on one run, as I go out to the left of the boat (in my awkward position), out of the wake, I see this idiot flying by on my left...and realize I am in a very bad place for me - about to go through his wake in a position I am not yet comfortable in. I realize what is happening and try to get back behind my own luck. Thankfully, it was somewhat of a controlled crash - there was traffic ahead and this guy was trying to pass us to jockey for position ahead...moron. Lucky for him I was ok. My boat driver was ticked. We did our usual Mexican and Margaritas...and then I came home and mowed and cleaned my car. Last load of laundry about to go in and I need to look at one thing for work before I crash out...I am sure it is not surprising that the dog is already crashed...

I hope everyone had a great weekend!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Chelsie's Good Deeds

Last night was our visiting night...we were able to be a little more flexible and stay as long as necessary, as we are in between sessions of agility class.

Our visit last night was an extended one - nearly 2 hrs. It was one of those nights where there were actually about 5 completely empty rooms, but it took us nearly 2 hrs to get down the hall. Lots of people wanted to see her, she was behaving appropriately and we had nowhere else to go (except to our nice COOL house) so we stayed.

The biggest change I have noticed in Chelsie's visiting is that she is much more content in laying quietly while I visit with the patients after they have pet her. Usu sally, she is pretty agreeable to her "chair" command for awhile, but then she sometimes gets antsy and wants down. I have noted that when she wants down, she has become much more obedient in her "Lay and Stay" command, often resting her head on her paws. I put her where the patients can see her, which for them, seems to be as good as being able to pet her. They often ask questions like how long have we been doing this, do we go anywhere else, what did we have to do to get certified, etc. They often comment about what "a good dog" she is...and I really can't disagree! A story they always get a laugh out of are her "trash tales" and "sink surfing". My little girl likes trash - she likes to take it all over the house. I have also come home on more than one occasion to silver ware in the middle of the living room floor. We have addressed these issues by having a heavy stainless steel trash can and not leaving ANY dishes in the sink.

Last night, one of Chelsie's favorite nurses, nurse Marilyn, started talking about Mr. Koslow - or "Kos" as they called him. I wrote about him what seems like many moons ago. Recall Kos had terminal cancer - he was in Dodd recovering from a stroke. He had throat cancer and could not talk, and the only way he communicated was through writing. Thankfully, the stroke impacted the left side of his body and did not take away his ability to communicate. He loved Chelsie and Chelsie loved him - she would sit and let him pet her for as long as he wanted. Marilyn told me last night that Chelsie made a difference in Kos's life. I am sure he has passed at this point, and talking about it last night made me tear up.

Today is another kind of crappy day here...I was going to take the morning off (my boss gives us the afternoon before every holiday off) but being as it is crappy, I will probably just do some leisurely work on my couch. Next week is NUTS - I noted that this morning as I looked at my calendar. But we are not thinking about that - instead, we are thinking that tomorrow is going to be lovely while wakeboarding on the Scioto River! Will probably do that Saturday as well, and then a softball tourney on Sunday in Dayton.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th!

Nicole & The Chelsonator

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


...on the day where it probably hasn't gotten about 65, we have a working AC!!! Although it was 74 in the house when we got home this morning, it was a sticky, humid 74. The unit is currently blasting cool air throughout the house, and it is a small piece of heaven.

The replacement process was a very loud one...this created many issues for little bean, as she could not settle down for her nap. The nap she is currently taking will be short lived, as tonight is our hospital night. I am sure the both of us will come home and collapse in the nice, cool breeze...maybe after I take a nice hot shower!!!

Oh the joys my little piece of paradise continues to provide...