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A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle: August 2012

A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle

"I cast my lot with a Marine and where he was, was home to me." ~ Anonymous.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Life's Little Tests: Well, F You Life!


Somedays, I look at Life and say, "F You."  Last night was one of those days.  Last night was one of those tests that the universe lays at your feet, unexpectedly, waiting to see if you will pass or fail. 

I've had a migraine the last two days and I really wish trepanning was still an accepted medical practice because at this point, I'm pretty sure I really DO have a demon in my head that is trying to kill me.  That demon has had me stuck in bed sleeping the last few days because my doctors office can't get me in until NEXT Friday and my neurologist can't get me in until the end of September.  What a slap in the face.  So, I've been grumpy and ouchie for two days... and nauseous, did I mention nauseous?

I came downstairs to find my husband with a bag of my favorite bagels in hand and some candy.  For some reason I tend to crave sweets when I have migraines.  I can only eat them when the nausea subsides, but it's a weird thing I've had all my life and my husband knows this.  So, bagels and candy for dinner it was.  Then he said the most AMAZING thing:  He got a call from a friend of ours and the police department that he really wants to work for is hiring again.  Our plan had been for him to get on somewhere else and then transfer since this department has been on a freeze for YEARS with no end in sight.  AWESOME!

Then comes the test: The day he needs to be testing for this department....   Dramatic pause.... is the day of my Tough Mudder.  Because life doesn't want things to be easy. 

Now, I will tell you very honestly, that my husband picked the absolutely worst possible way to handle this situation.  When he announced the date, I asked if he realized what day that was.  He said, "Oh, man, what are the odds?"  Then launched into how excited he was for himself and how it was fate and blah, blah.  He completely ignored the pained look of disappointment on my face as I realized that this was not something he could blow off, but that it meant that I would actually be running the Tough Mudder ALONE.  As in, no one to drive me down there and sooth my jitters, no one to take before and after pictures, no one to meet me at the finish line and hug me, not caring that I'm filthy, and be proud of me for finishing... No one at all.  

That is an intense disappointment.  It's not that I'm not happy for him.  But come on! At least pretend you are being sensitive to the fact that your wife is now facing something that is terrifying her in her sleep with sheer determination and now she has to do it alone.  But no, he didn't even register the fact that this was going to be something that pained me, even if I was also happy for him in the same breath.

So, life threw this test at our feet.  We are passing, but with a C average at this point, both unsure of how to be excited for ourselves and sad for each other at the same time.  Sad that the Mudder is not something we will be experiencing together, but both excited for the opportunity that that day is presenting us.  

We have both been preparing for this (our separate events) for a long time and both want it so bad we can taste it.  But we can't be there for each other.  He will have no one waiting at home to hear how it went, what his scores were etc, and I will have no one at the finish line to bask in the glow I will be beaming simply for not giving up... 

F YOU Life!  What a jerk move.  

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

First I Love You's

When things get tough in my marriage, as they will, I think back to the first time my husband told me he loved me... Reluctantly.  The story makes me smile and makes other laugh.  It's the kind of story that reminds me of why we are together, why we make the perfect fit.  It is also the type of story that shows others why we will never be suited to be married to anyone but each other.  What other woman is going to think reluctantly admitting love feelings is endearing?  No one.

Marriage is a tough situation no matter how you slice it.  I once had someone tell me the best quote  about how to make a marriage work: You are married to someone for the better part of your adult life.  You will always love them, but you can't expect to be "in love" with someone for that entire time.  Remember why you love them and make it work until you fall back in love all over again.

It's sound advice.  I often joke with a friend of mine that I love my husband, I just don't like him that often.  :) But our first I love you's help me remember why I love him and want to fall in love with him over and over again for the rest of my life.

My husband's family owns a house out on an island.  They built the house on the beach long before anyone cared about beach front property, long before anyone wanted to live in that area (now a very fancy pants type area) and they have kept the house all this time.  Family members have lived there for ages.

When his grandmother was still alive, she owned the house, but wasn't living in it anymore.  She offered to let him take me to it for a weekend a way.  Our FIRST weekend away.  So, we packed up and made the trip to this lovely, quaint little house on the beach.  Made even more lovely by the fact that it's an unassuming house among mansions on the beach.  His family never felt any need to make it anything more than what it already was- perfect.

We walked the beach and collected rocks.  We laughed and sat by the fire in the living room in the evenings just talking.  No TV, no phones, nothing but us.

The morning we were to return home, we were laying there talking.  I have no idea what he said that spurred this moment, but I looked him in the face and said, "HA!  You love me!"  He said he didn't.  I laughed and teased him, "Oh yes you do!  I can tell! YOU LOVE ME!"  To which he reluctantly admitted, "Ok, so what, I love you. Big deal."  If that doesn't just make you feel all warm and mushy inside, then you must be made of wood.  HAHA!

At this moment, he looked at me and said in his most accusatory voice, "Well, you love me too." Which I did and I told him so, much more willingly than he bestowed his love feelings verbally on me.

He then kissed me sweetly and thought it would be very romantic to nibble and suckle my bottom lip, which he had never done before, so I did not actually expect this and had already started to move my head away from his.  This resulted in the largest, bluest, fattest lip you have ever seen.  I spent the rest of my day, in love with my boyfriend and unable to kiss him because I had to ice my big, fat lip.

I think fondly back on that day and remember who we were when we met, how we fell in love and how we knew we were perfect together because not another woman on the planet would think that is the most perfect first I Love You, as I do.

What is the story of your first "I Love You?"

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PS- Stay tuned next week!  I am starting a bi-weekly Deployment Series, during which I'm featuring some AMAZING stories from some pretty wonderful Milies in the community.  :)  First post goes live Tuesday Sept 4th.  Subsequent posts will be Tuesdays and Thursdays each week.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Why I Run


If you aren't aware that I'm running the Tough Mudder in exactly one month from today, then you must be new to my blog, FB page, or Twitter account, and we are not very good friends.  Mostly because my whole life is consumed by this event, so I may or may not have mentioned it few times, or 100 times, on this here blog.

I've had so many people ask me how I got started, how do I stick to my program, why do I want to do this.  My answer is going to be deep and thoughtful, so I'm sorry.  I'll try to end it with a snarky comment to balance it out.

If you have been reading my blog for very long, at least for most of this year, you may well remember that I started 2012 depressed and having a very difficult time in my marriage.  I had not hit my goals in life, I felt lost and confused and sad that I was looking back and realizing that I didn't find meaning in much of anything anymore.  I have since stopped whining much at about all of that.  Not because I magically fixed my life, but because what I needed was an escape.  And I found that.

A friend of mine who does mud runs each year announced that she was going to do the Tough Mudder and was looking for someone to do it with her.  I had no idea what it was, but said I would.  I looked into it and thought, "I already agreed.  And damn it, I'm going to do it."  I will be turning 30 next year and I'd love to have something super amazing that I can say I did before I could not longer call myself a 20something kid anymore. What I discovered was that training gave me a place that was just mine.  I put on my running shoes and what I do next is between me and the pavement.  I can run away from my life, I can run towards my goals, I can run to spite those who said I couldn't do it.  But I can run.

Now, I have the amazing benefit of being what they call a "neutral runner." This means I can wear crappy shoes, run on any terrain, and generally be the laziest trainer in the world and still better my times and never get a shin splint.  This has made me a pretty lazy runner in a lot of ways.  But, for the first time in life, I can be good at something with no effort.  I studied for hours every day before and after school when I was getting my degree.  I have to work hard at just about everything I do in my life.  I have very few things, if anything really, that I can call myself "a natural" at.  But running, well, I'm a natural.

I got pumped about the event at first.  I was thrilled to see the crazy things I would have to do.  I had my husband running it with me and a group of friends.  Running through fire? Well, that's pretty terrifying, but I'll have all this support, right? Nope.  Everyone bailed.  Not a single person stuck with it, including my husband.  And he has not been all that supportive.  He doesn't disagree with my running the event, but I have found him to not care about it at all.  But you know, that has added fuel to my fire.

When everyone dropped out, I looked around and realized I was all alone.  I was running with my friend, who is helping me train (but never agreed to do the event) and said, "F* those guys.  I'm doing this anyway."  And she said, "Good for you.  You've worked so hard already."  She then made an amazingly generous donation to my Tough Mudder charity page, because she saw it too.  This event is not about how fast you finish, it's not even timed, it's about finishing.  It's about testing your mental endurance, just as much as your physical endurance.  It's about walking up to the starting line with a group of strangers and saying, "We are all in this together." And it's those strangers who are going to help you climb that wall and run through those electrical wires.  This is not your typical event... And I am not your typical runner.

I have stuck with my training because I am going to show everyone what I am made of.  I'm not weak, I'm not a quitter, and I do not always have to be the girl who smiles and laughs and is super non-threatening.  I am a force to be reckoned with.  I have found something in my life I can do that doesn't take effort to love.  I have found something that I can put my heart into.  The trail I run doesn't care how fast or slow I go or how often I have to stop and walk.  I'm not letting anyone down if I don't cut my time this week, or if I set too high of a goal and can't reach it.  The pavement I pound, doesn't groan and grumble, it gives way to let me just be.

And when I run, I can put my headphones on and for that brief moment, for those 5 miles, it's just me.


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PS.  SNARKY!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Out of the Loop

I often feel silly, but I am so beyond "out of the loop" when it comes to pop culture these days.

I had no idea that the Cookie Monster song parody was, in fact, a parody, having never heard the original.  My husband is the one who informed me of that one.  I couldn't figure out why everyone was posting video's of military members parodying a Cookie Monster song.  I know, so uncool it's not even funny!

I also didn't hear about Price Harry and his Vegas exploits until I read about it on another blog, I don't actually pay any attention to TMZ or other gossip type sites.  Nor apparently, the news, FB or any other source of this tib bit of info...

I'm ashamed to admit that Jersey Shore had been on the air for YEARS before I knew what a Snookie was and I still don't think I understand what GTL means... I kind want it to be the abbreviation for a city, but I don't think that is right...

And the shameful admission of the day: I had no idea who Justin Beiber was until it was shameful, I still have no idea what song Rheanna sings (she IS a singer, right?) and Katy Perry released her first hit single the year I got married and I only discovered her and who she was about a year ago.

What can I say, I'm not that hip.  I'm also not that interested.  I don't look down on those who are, there was a time in my life when I was a pop culture wizard and belonged on the game show that VH1 did due to the fact that I would have been unstoppable.  But, times in my life have changed.  I'm not into fashion, I've never cared much for makeup and now, my pop culture savvy has officially dropped me into the "shameful to admit and slightly embarrassing" category.

If I start posting pictures of myself in frumpy librarian sweaters, collecting animals and otherwise showing signs of no longer being suitable to be in public, please feel free to start a website dedicated to harshly judging me.  Oh, and please tell me!  I don't want to topple over the line of slightly unhip, to full on whack job.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Bloody Mary's Count As A Salad and Other Silly Things I Tell Myself Link Up


As always, Forget the Dog, Not the Baby and I are thrilled to have you here!  Bloody Mary's Count as a Salad and Other Silly Things I Tell Myself was the collective work of the two of us when we realized how often in our lives we justify things to make ourselves feel better.  These can be big things or small things and can be important or silly, it doesn't really matter.  You can click the picture above for more details.

This week, I would like to share a rather funny story for the link up.

The story is called "The Beer in a Bag Incident."

What is "beer in a bag"?  It was the brain child of my drunk husband at our annual birthday bash.  We get a keg every year and the rule is that the keg has to be empty or I will not let my husband convince me to get one the following year.  This doesn't mean it has to be emptied and the beer consumed on the premises.  We encourage people to bring growlers and other containers to take beer home to consume later.

Well, one of our friends forgot their growler and while standing in the kitchen, my husband has the most genius idea: We'll put the beer in a Ziplock bag.

This is where the Silly Things I tell myself comes into play.  This is not a Silly Thing I tell myself, but a silly thing my husband told himself, and has refused to accept is not accurate to this day.

Upon being questioned by me, as I insisted that this was NOT a good idea, my husband had this to say:  "In the commercial, they put spaghetti in the bag and hold it upside down and it doesn't spill.  Beer is practically the same thing."

Yes, Beer is the same things as... Wait... Spaghetti?

So, my drunk husband put a gallon of beer, I will repeat, just in case you think I might have type that incorrectly, my DRUNK husband, put A GALLON of beer into a gallon sized Ziplock bag, sealed it and handed it to an equally drunk friend.
Moments before disaster struck...
When she was attempting to leave and drunkenly put her shoes on at my front door- Well, I have a hazy recollection of exactly how it happened.  What I do remember is standing at the top of my stairs, anxiously watching her stumble, unable to get her foot into her sandals.... And then I said, "FFFFF***************KKKKKK MMMMMMMEEEEEEE!!!!!" As as I watched her turn the bag sideways in an attempt to steady herself and saw a GALLON of beer spill onto my entryway.

I'll spare you the details of clean up, but luckily for me, the entry way is tiled and we were able to get everyone's shoes out of the way before the beer spread.

My entryway smelled like stale beer for a week!

So, the Silly Things I Tell Myself lesson of the week is: No matter what your drunk husband tells you, beer and spaghetti are NOT practically the same thing, putting beer in a Ziplock bag is NOT sound logic and the plan WOULD NOT have succeeded, no matter what.

Be sure to link up with your Silly Things this week, or feel free to judge mine on your blog.  Either way, link up!  Kristle and I look forward to seeing your posts!  (Don't forget to grab the link up picture!)

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Perceptions

How do others perceive you VS how you perceive yourself?  That is a question that has been on my mind for ages.

Check out my post on Homefront United Network about Perceptions.



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Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Life in Pictures: The Things I Need to Hear

"Stress is believing that your present circumstances will be your future existence"- Unknown 

Some days, I have to remember that what is going on right now will not last forever. 












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PS. Don't forget to enter the giveaway!!! Click HERE for details and to enter!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Inexpensive Dog Chews (In Honor of Furry Fridays)



In honor of Furry Fridays:

If you are like me, and I sincerely hope you aren't, you have three dogs who are crazy.  Oh, and who can chew through anything, get bored easily, and drive you nuts!

Though my youngest pup is not a strong chewer, my male Doberman and my Min Pin can chew through chewies in no time and have destroyed every Everlast product on the market.  They also chew through Kongs, but those last the longest.  However, they don't want to chew on the Kongs unless there is something inside.  With a pup who has food allergies, and three that are chewing me out of house and home, I had to get creative with how I handled this situation.

After throwing tons of money down the drain on every product imaginable, from deer antlers (which my male literally chews into pieces, then tries to eat), to edible chewies, to Tuff Toys (which my female Doberman destroyed two of in one day!  And those suckers aren't cheap!), I finally threw my hands up in frustration and decided to think outside the box.

And here's what I came up with:

What you need:
1. Some form of plain white rice.  I usually just make extra when we are having it with dinner, but you can do whatever is least expensive.
2.  Some form of chewing item that can be filled with food and frozen.  I have a variety of sizes and shapes of Kongs (and I have little ones for the Little One, don't worry.)
3.  A can of wet dog food.  It can be whatever you want.  Since you aren't feeding this as a meal, try to get a tasty flavor that your pup will see as a treat.  I chose the least expensive brand at the Commissary that met my dogs food allergy requirements. 
4. A bowl to mix it in.  It is even better that you mix it in a bowl that has a lid for storage. 


Mix the rice (I do a couple cups) and entire can of dog food.  The portions are really up to you.
Stuff in Kong or other fillable toy. 
Freeze.
Give as treat when pups are driving you nuts, or to keep them busy while you vacuum so that they don't bark their little heads off.  When frozen, it is much more difficult to get out of the toy and keeps your pups much busier, for much longer, than simply giving them a toy or chew. 

This will store for a decent period of time, but be sure to keep an eye on it and toss it as soon as it's yucky.  I also sometimes heat the mixture up so that it gets a little soggy and stuff it in the Kongs and just hand it over.  The sogginess makes it harder to get out of the toy, even if it's not froze, but frozen is better. 

Since I have three dogs and some very big toys to stuff, I use an entire can of food and this mixture in a fairly short period of time.  I usually have it for about two weeks since they don't get these every day.  You can opt to use smaller cans of food and make less if you have fewer or smaller dogs than I do.

Either way, enjoy the little bit of sanity this will buy you in a pinch!  :)

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PS: Don't forget to enter the giveaway!  Click HERE to see the details! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Contest and Giveaway Time!!!!

As promised I'm announcing my giveaway and contest!

Thank you to everyone who has been reading!  I am officially at more than 200 GFC followers, which is amazing!  And I have over 70 FB likes.  Who knew anyone would give a crap about the random stuff that comes out of my brain!

So, without further ado I give you:

The Contest:



I was contacted by a company called Man Crates.  They specialize in "crates" that are just for the man in your life... Or, for the super cool tomboy like me. LOL!  Either way, I checked out their products and they have a crate for any man's fancy! 

They are currently having an AMAZING contest for Military Service Members.  Nominate a Service Member and, if chosen, that person will receive a super awesome Man Crate! You can only nominate someone once.  They can be active duty or reserve, or retired, and DO NOT have to be deployed to be nominated. 

Man Crates was started about a year ago in California and they currently estimate that nearly 5% of their orders go to APO/FPO addresses!  They really want to get those numbers up because a portion of the profits from those sales get donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.  

One of the ways to enter the giveaway will be to nominate someone for this super awesome contest! But if you don't want to enter the giveaway, but still want to nominate someone, click HERE, but seriously, who doesn't want to enter a giveaway?
*** I was not compensated for endorsing this giveaway.  I simply think it's a super neat idea. :)

As a big thank you, I would also like to give you guys some really cools things:

Handmade with Love has been kind enough to offer a $5 credit to her shop!  I have order things from her in the past and adore everything she has!!!  Check out her blog This is Me; Consequently and send her some love! She is a fellow Milspouse and has a wonderful outlook on life.  :)

She is also offering 20% off to all of my readers!  Just use AGIRL20 at checkout. 

I ordered a similar print to this one, but blue and it's so beautiful!  She also has wonderful jewelry and handmade hair bows! 


SewSteff has also been kind enough to sponsor this giveaway.  She makes everything by hand and has the best stuff!  I have become aware that so many of the people who read my blog are mothers (and fathers) so Sew Stuff has offered a lovely Car Seat Canopy Cover!  I have recently gotten "reusable" paper towels from her and LOVE them!  I encourage you to check out her Facebook page and see what other fun stuff she has to offer!

This is the Car Seat Canopy Cover she has up for grabs!


I have recently gotten "reusable" paper towels from her and LOVE them!  I encourage you to check out her Facebook page and see what other fun stuff she has to offer! 

There will be two winners, one for each prize, so be sure to enter as often as you can! :) 



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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Conflict Resolution

I have spent the better part of my adult life working in some form of job that deals with the public.  After years (seven to be exact) in customer service, I have learned A LOT of things about dealing with anyone who claims to be human and have human emotions.  The fact of the matter is that most people just want to be heard.

They don't care if your hands are tied, or what kind of discount you will offer in return.  They don't care if you smile nicely, or if you laugh at their jokes.  What people want to to know is that you heard them.  This means that the easiest thing to do in any conflict is to listen.  And listen hard.  *Most* people will tell you exactly what they need to feel better.  What they usually need is to know that you understand.

This is not to say that those who are expressing their feelings are not without a role to play.

So, when you are at work and having issues with a co-worker, it is NOT helpful to say, "I hate you, you are an A**hole."  It is even less helpful to leave anonymous letters in your co-workers boxes in the mail room telling them nothing specific about what is upsetting you.  If you are unable to specifically say what is upsetting to you, the person you are upset with lacks the tools to change, better accommodate you, or otherwise be a better co-worker in return.  And it furthers to destroy your cause if you are unwilling to put your name on it.

I have learned more about how to deal with irritated and otherwise difficult people in my time in various customer service type positions.  And one thing I have learned is to listen, and understand that no matter what is going on in my life, there are things going on in others lives too.  This was a particularly hard thing to do while my husband was deployed.  Though, I tend to lean on the passive aggressive side of the behavior spectrum, one thing I do not take kindly to is being provoked.  But when my husband was gone, EVERYTHING provoked me.  I was a walking, talking, sad, angry, raw nerve that could turn weepy just as quickly as angry without any notice at all.

I spent a good deal of my time hiding to prevent my inner most thoughts from becoming word vomit.  It also means that I spent a lot of time practicing that little thing we call patience.  I found that the one and only time I spoke my mind was in a situation that it was the least called for.  It is 100% not fair to tell a woman who is complaining that her husband has worked late for the last 2 weeks this: "Well, at least your husband comes home everyday.  I haven't heard from mine in 10 days and don't even know if he is alive."

I may or may not be paraphrasing... But the point it this:  In her life, in her situation, what she was going through was tough.  It was not fair, nor my place, to try to force her into my life and my situation.    That is not me listening to her.  I didn't hear what she needed and had never spoken directly of my situation and how difficult it could be.  That means, she did a great job of telling me what she needed and I did a piss poor one of telling her what I needed.

My point is, that we cannot always know what others are going through.  We can't always understand and we are failing miserable as humans trying to care for one another when we fail to think of the very real person on the receiving end of our statements.

So, when I walk into work for a meeting and find an anonymous letter in my box, my heart sinks.  Not just at the idea that someone might have been hurt by something that I have said or done, but at the idea that this person is failing so miserably at their end of the conflict that there will never be any hope of being able to resolve it.  What we will be left with, will be much of what myself and that poor woman during my deployment were left with : two sides of a conflict that can never be resolved unless we are both willing to see the other person's side so that we can listen to what we both need and meet in the middle with understanding.

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*NOTE: 1.  I have said this before and I will say it again, I think it is cowardly to leave anonymous messages for anyone, blogger or co-worker.  If you need to speak your mind, be willing to put your names to the statements.  2.  I brought the letter to my Shift Lead and my actual boss, both of whom have assured me that there have been NO complaints about my behavior and they feel the statements in the letter were false.  Though I'm still hurt and sad about the letter, I'm trying to tell myself that the letter has no merit.  My shift lead actually asked if I was sure the letter was for me, due to the fact that it didn't sound anything like things I would do, nor have I ever done while working at my job.  It was not actually addressed to anyone, so I can hope it wasn't meant for me, but don't actually know who it could possibly be meant for.  I do not feel any of my co-workers capable of that type of negative behavior... But, I also can't think of a single person who would write such a letter, so I could be wrong. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How Clean is YOUR House?

In case you hadn't guessed, and I'm sure you have, I'm a bit of a neat freak.  Call it my way of controlling an otherwise chaotic world... Or call it plain 'ol good sense, but I like to keep my house clean, organized and otherwise neat.  This doesn't mean I'm crazy, nor does it mean my house does not look like a disaster zone on occasion, or maybe every weekend when I'm at work.  It does mean that I have three dogs and hate pet hair, so I strive to keep a home that would not make me want to vomit were I to not live here, but be visiting.  (Yeah, I'm aware that dog hair being gross to a vet tech is silly, but it's true.)  This means I wipe my counters, vacuum and generally pick up more than I have a social life! It also means that I finally got a new vacuum.  I liked our little vacuum, but we had purchased it a few years ago for an apartment.  And when you only spend $50 on a vacuum, chances are, it's only going to last a year, not the three that I've had it.  But who am I kidding, it hasn't been working well in over a year.

I convinced my husband to use a gift card we had been given to a local hardware store to buy a vacuum.  I had no idea what to get, but all of my friends rave about their Dyson's.  I can't really afford one of those, and the Kirby that is three times the price of a Dyson is even more out of my reach.  So, what's a girl to do?  We bought a vacuum that independent tests say picks up pet hair better than the Dyson Animal.

We bought it and took it home and I performed this little test:

I give you:  The Reigning Champion- The Eureka that cost me less than I pay for gas.


I give you:  The Contender- The Eureka Pet that test say is better than the Dyson Animal and cost less.



The first thing I did was empty my old vacuum and clean the filter the best I could.  Then I vacuumed my dinning room and living room, going over the dogs favorite places to lay twice.  

 This is what I got when I was done:

Not bad, right?
Well I went over the same areas, paying some special attention to the dogs favorite spots, but not being as in depth as I was with my little green guy. 

This is what I got: 


If you are not thoroughly grossed out, and equally impressed, keep in mind that the cylinder on this vacuum is nearly two times the size of my little green one.  My new vacuum is a full sized up right and my old one is a much smaller vacuum that is really not made for major cleaning anyway, but it still grosses me out that I got that much crud out of my carpets. 

Imagine what I'll get out of my couch!


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* I was not paid to endorse either of these products.  Eureka doesn't even know I exist.  I simply wanted to share what I got when I vacuumed because I was impressed and grossed out all at the same time!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Depleted

I am worn out after a rough weekend at work.

Probably not going to be doing a link up this week.  :( And I will have to announce the giveaway, how to enter, and the prizes another day.

I'm so sorry, but I just have nothing left today.

Stay tuned for the giveaway announcement and another really fun contest.


Fingers crossed tomorrow is a better day...


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Friday, August 17, 2012

Ever Seen a Dog CT Scan?



In honor of Furry Fridays, I have decided to share with you the pictures I took of my dogs CT scan.  :)  Being an employee sure has it's benefits and one was that I can take pictures of things I do to my pups!

Many of you know that my pup has been having issues.  I blogged a few weeks ago about my broken phone and how it broke when my dog was having something done and I needed to be reachable in case he needed surgery.  Well, the long and short of it is that our not quite 2 year old male Doberman has been having some intermittent limping.  We've tried meds and restricted activity, but he continued to limp.  The next step was to CT (CAT Scan) his elbows to see what might be causing the problem.  We did x-rays, but they didn't show anything and there are a number of things that don't show up on rads that can show up on CT.  So, he went in and we put him under and did a CT.

The pirate is the radiologist and "Jason" is our radiology technician.  
First we put him under, then we wheeled him out to our CT machine, which is so big that we had to put it in a trailer in our parking lot.  Pirate and Jason are working to get him in the best position, then they tie him down (gently) so that he stays that way.

This is my boy up close.  You can see he has all of him monitoring equipment places to not interfere with the scan, but so the anesthesia technician can continue to monitor him.  He feet have tape wrapped around them so that they can use the tape has handles to keep his legs in that position.  He remains fully intubated during the process and the scan. 

Then they cover him with a blanket to keep him warm and slide him in to the machine so that they can take a quick snap and see if he is in the best position. 

He was not, so that girl (one of our surgery departments anesthesia techs) is checking his vitals while Jason scootches him a bit to get his elbows just right. 

And now we scan.  Keep in mind that we are actually behind a closed door with a window that we use to see through.  This allows us to be out of the radiation area but still able to monitor him.  All of our anesthesia equipment is actually outside of the room from my dog.  The big white tube up see in the middle of the picture is connected to his breathing tube and is actually running through the ceiling into the other room so that we can adjust his anesthesia without having go be in the room.  The monitor on the table is facing our window so we can see his heart rate, blood pressure and other parameters from outside the room. 

And this is a picture of my boys elbows!  The really white parts are the bones in his forearm and elbow and the darker areas are his muscles.  :)

I personally try to never run anesthesia on my own pets, but I do enjoy watching the procedures they get done.  And I've never gotten to see a CT in action on a pet.  When I was at WSU, I ran anesthesia for them, but the set up was such that I didn't get to see what was going on behind the curtain, so to speak.  

Pretty neat, huh?

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PS.  In case you were wondering, he was diagnosed via CT with having moderate sclerosis of his right elbow.  This is a fancy schmancy way of saying he has arthritis.  No idea why, but for some reason his poor little joint is rubbing together.  We are doing stem cell therapy, new medications and keeping our fingers crossed.  For the stem cell therapy, they harvest them from his shoulder, grow them in a lab, then inject them into his elbow.  I did not get to get pictures of that.  :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wedding Card Album

So, I've been spending a lot of time on Pinterest.  Well, that's a lie, I spend hardly any time on Pinterest, for some reason it takes you all DAYS to pin new stuff, so really, I'm only on there a few times a week. HAHA!  That said, I've found a number of neat ideas to rip off and make my own.

My latest project in the "I'm Practically Martha Stewart" series is a Wedding Card Album, which I awesomely got the idea for from I Love Farm Weddings.

What you need:
1. Cards you received for your wedding
2. A paper Trimmer
3. Some form of cardboard or super stiff paper, and paper to cover it with (optional)
4. Mod Poge and sponge applicator 
5. Scissors
6. Something to bind the book- I chose ribbon, but rings or string will work just fine.
7. Single Hold Puncher (not pictured because I forgot)

If you are going to make a cover like I did, you will need to follow the first few steps.  If not, skip to the third picture down. 
Step 1.  Trim your cardboard (I used an old shoe box) to the size you desire.  I trimmed mine based on my wedding invitation.  Then you will take the paper you want to cover it in and fold the edges around it.
Step 2. Note the creases.  Trim the square that results off of the paper so that you get what you see in Step 3. 
Step 3. Place cardboard back into center of paper and use Mod Podge, or glue, to adhere paper edges to cardboard.  Then punch holes in the side using hole punch (I discuss this more later).
Note- The shoe box was orange on the outside, so I chose to cover the orange with paper. Keep in mind that whatever side you glue the edges to will be showing when people look at your book, unless you choose to cover both sides.

Once the edges of the paper are glued, cover the back with Mod Podge.  I chose to do two coats.  I used the shiny finish, but you can choose to buy matte finish if you would like. Once the back is dry, cover the front.  This will protect the surface and whatever you put on it.  I chose to glue a wedding invite to the front, but you can do what ever you want.  Be creative.  Be sure to allow both sides to completely dry before putting your book together. 

These are my finished products.  I used a hole punch to create holes in the cards.  I use the first card as my guideline for the others.  I made my holes 2 inches apart, but choose whatever distance you like.  You can choose to not have a cover, as the first picture shows, or to create a cover, as the second picture shows. I then threaded some ribbon that I used in my actual wedding through the holes and tied it.  I also chose to vary the sizes, not put the cards in the book by size.  I think that makes it more interesting to flip through. 

Here are some variations and ideas.
I also made a bridal shower book.  I used an invitation from one of them as a cover and did not make a hard cover to glue it to.  I just let the card be on it's own, right on top.  I followed the same guidelines for the holes, then used metal rings to bind it together.  I purchased the rings at an office supply store for another project and happened to have pink ones that look adorable.  The second picture is just to give you an idea of what the insides look like.  I did not save the envelopes from our cards, but if you have them, I think it would be great to have those in the book too.
The third picture on the bottom is to give you an idea of how I dealt with small cards or tags.  I had a number of people send us their gifts in the mail via our registry at the various stores we chose.  These people put their well wishes and kind words in small gift tags, as did a few of our friends who chose to forgo cards all together and just do a gift.  I simply put two of them next to each other in the book and put just one hold in the top so that I could still read them, but the balance of my binding was still ok. 


I hope you enjoy giving this project a try!

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