10 pounds down 32 pounds to go!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"You're an embarrassment to Nature. Ya know that?"

One hundred and twenty dollars later we have water. The well line froze wednesday and Matt stayed home so we could spend all day swearing and running hot water through the pressure washer. We finally got it flowing and left it dripping ( I absolutely swear I left it on) and this morning it froze again. Matt was already at work this time so he called in his dad and brother to hook me up. They just left and the water is once again flowing. I've left two taps running this time so the well will probably be dry before it has time to freeze again. I have a few things to clean up downstairs from the great well line debacle and then I'm going to take a nap. Puppy and I are both beat from today's activities and we're both starting our afternoon naps. Gosh, how many times have I posted that lately?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Calm, assertive, terrified he's going to choke himself

When we brought puppy home we were so unprepared we had to stop at walmart for puppy supplies with the new puppy drooling and freaked and waiting in the car. If you think you're going to visit an adorable puppy and not come home with that puppy, you are crazy. So for heaven's sake do yourself a favor and ask the breeder what kind of food they're eating before hand...you can always take it back. We were unprepared in other ways too so I ordered the first season of the dog whisperer on netflix and we waited to be enlightened. I got the first disc and there were a lot of episodes and pretty much they're all the same. Not that I wasn't touched by that snarling chihuahua in the first story...the one with the inexplicably large dog penis...that was very touching. They're all touching but pretty much the same, be calm and assertive and lead the pack and teach with the neck strap thing.

We're only having a few problems, pretty much barking at the kitty which causes hissing from the kitty and then more barking. I'm anxious to get this problem solved before he's big enough to get at all her high ground safe spots and also so she can have a normal life again...sort of. Since he's still a baby I had hoped we could correct the behavior with distraction and word commands. The word commands have actually started to work, but only after the problem occurs and really I'd like it to not happen at all. He's already doubled in size and yesterday he jumped at her when she was in my arms...so today we're trying out the leash thing.

I turned his leash around and he's wearing it above his collar. We have still had some barking but it's really been much better than the other mornings. We had morning treats almost right next to each other and there was no fighting. The peanut gallery has been telling Matt that she has to assert her dominance and blah blah and it's not that I think they're wrong but she's a quarter of his size now and he needs to learn to ignore her before it's a huge problem and not just annoying. When he learns to ignore her properly then I'll pull out the spray bottle and teach her about hissing at the puppy. I have seen them peaceful together enough times to believe that it's possible for them to co-exist with the right boundaries. But seriously, I'm not watching any more dog whisperer, can't take anymore...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Urban Legend

I love buying dog toys. I liked buying the little sheep so much that I bought a larger sheep to be his friend. His, uhh, very close friend. I'm trying not to be a dog spoiler, I've only bought him a few toys but we got several as gifts and he is drowning in things to kill. However, I think we really need one of these...probably the jackalope but they're all fun.

I just finished watching the PBS special about Fat from a few years ago. I really liked it. It wasn't all "lose the weight or the fat will kill you", it was very balanced I thought. I feel like I sometimes get stuck in these ruts like "life doesn't start until you're skinny" or "if you didn't eat that one thing you'd be thinner now". I thought things would be easier with no job and tons of time and I never really considered that I wouldn't make losing weight my number one priority. I have had other priorities and that's ok, I don't have to be on a seek and destroy mission 24 hours a day because that isn't something I can keep up forever.

I've been getting a lot of compliments lately, about how I've lost so much weight. I have gained since my last birthday and that's been really upsetting me...how much time I've lost. That's what it feels like, time lost. It's been a very big year in my life and all I can think about is how much I weigh. Do I want to be remembered for trying to lose weight my whole life or for something more important. Sometimes I do think that there is nothing more important and sometimes I come to my freakin' senses and realize there is more to life than that.

Knox is really helping me with getting more out of my life. I have more to think about than what I'm eating for lunch and I have a better reason for getting out every day. We watched a Nature documentary about dogs last night and I feel even more passionate about developing his little furry life. We're making play dates and taking classes and deepening our commitment to each other. Puppy doesn't care about how fat I am as long as I keep up with him and I can so why am I feeling so down. I honestly feel that if I didn't worry so much about what I'm not supposed to eat and concentrated on the things I can do my life would be better. I don't know if I can turn it off, the thing in your head that tells you no and yes at the same time but I'm going to try. I'm going to concentrate on living for awhile. There seems no value in telling yourself you're going to have a good day and then one thing goes wrong and you decide it's a bad day and you start over again. I've done it long enough so I'm just going to take myself off that track for awhile. We're going to run and hike and have fun and move on and see what happens. I'm taking a vacation from my brain and food. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

wash day

Everybody got baths today. Knox took it much better than the Chairman, he can be bought with treats but she has no price. I love how skinny her legs are, I forget it's just the fur that makes her look like a tank.

Friday, January 23, 2009

"a skirt that goes down to the floor" "I bet that skirt's been down to the floor"

Today I had my first interview since I got laid off. I hadn't thought about that until I got the call last night. Last night for a this morning interview...but then you can't say no to a nun. It could be a fun job, a fun oh my god is this hard job but a fun job none the less. I called my sister after "the call" and asked her what you wear to see a nun and she said "a skirt, a skirt that is below the knee". So I wore a wool skirt and my kick ass boots and she said I present myself very well. She's a very kind nun, definitely the sort of nun you can work for. I was really apprehensive about going but it turned out to be really good for my self esteem. I should get dressed up and go scouting for compliments more often.

Exercise here has been sort of hard lately. Puppy is terrified of the road and the snow is now too deep for us to hike. I suppose we'd both get plenty of exercise going about fifteen feet but it might break both our spirits. The snow is so deep and fluffy that he just sort of paddles through it. Which is amusing but also sad. He runs up and down the solid plowed banks but if he falls into the soft snow he's stranded. Matt has had to haul him out a few times, it's like fishing for puppies.

Everyone is sleeping and I feel like I should be using my time better but everything I would do is so loud and I think we all really need a nap. I should probably take a nap too, take advantage of the quiet time. Actually that sounds awesome, peace out.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"I think you have a problem with your brain being missing."

The animals are sleeping within 4 feet of each other, thanks mr. obama! Things are very slowly getting back to normal at home, for which I am grateful because the left half of my face is still numb FOUR hours after my dentist appointment. FOUR HOURS LATER. The dentist highly recommended I stick to a liquid diet until full feeling returned and since he is the dentist that provided the most thorough numbing sensation I have ever not felt I trust his recommendation completely. I have been sticking to soda and tea and I'm running out of liquids which provide nourishment sans chewing and I'm starving. The screwed up blood sugar could be the reason for all the capitalization.

I'm rocking the same weight which I should find as a success because the last two weeks have been a little crazy plan wise. Crazy as in there have been no plans at all really. Like today, I've known I was going to the dentist this morning to have drilling and such done for two months and yet I made no plans for soft foods or the like...so instead I had about three days worth of calories in soda and sweet tea...make that a day and a half...you miss your mouth a lot when it's tingly and missing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"that's what she said"

I would like to announce to the world a very important discovery I made yesterday, doing pilates on a hardwood floor SUCKS and then you die. I died yesterday of hardwood floor pilates. My spine is maimed, permanently. And I couldn't watch the inauguration because I don't have tv so we listened to npr and it was awesome and I totally loved michelle's gloves. That's the best observation I can make that won't cause tears. Seriously, they cut to a group in chicago singing "this little light of mine" and I couldn't stop crying. It's tomorrow now and I still want to cry thinking about it. If I didn't have a puppy trying to eat my toes right now I'd probably be in a ball in the corner. All I can think about is how there were no tomatoes being thrown or newly inaugurated presidents getting into their bullet proof cars during the traditional walk and speeding off to the white house like a kid who lost his ball. I feel so much better already just having heard the ex-presidential helicopter flutter away into the distance. That was the best thing I ever heard on the radio.

Monday, January 19, 2009

"Everybody stop getting shot"

You know, it's a wonderful thing to wake up to take the puppy out and see that it is 13 degrees and not -13 degrees. Last week we'd spend all morning looking forward to the noon high, 6 degrees...8 degrees and then watch it dip back to -20 by dinner. This whole above zero thing is a welcome relief. I don't feel cold at all now when I go out side, this is a tropical vacation in my brain. Of course, in exchange for the warmth we have received also the snow. Oh my god the snow.

All year when it rains here everyone says "just think if that were snow it would be 50 feet" well, if this were rain we'd be gathering two of every animal. As you can see, the snow is now deeper than the puppy and he's not so sure about it.

Our meal budgets are going so well we've decided to get a new tv in the oh my god circuit city is closing sales, no not really. I imagine I'll prove too cheap to actually buy one, but we have been talking about it for awhile. Clearly we don't need one, but it seems like the time to check them out. We're thinking about setting up a downstairs exercise area using the old tv, somewhere the pupster won't eat my pilates mat. You see how it's a positive tv purchase rather than a sit on your butt tv purchase. It's a tv purchase for good instead of evil, obviously.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"brick by brick she's building a madhouse"

oh, coupons indeed. coupons can be great until you find yourself saving bundles on things you'll never use and didn't need in the first place. I do use coupons but I have a rule to only ever clip them for something I would normally pay full price for. Everything suggested are things we, being I, already do. I stock, I do tons of home made and we don't usually throw anything away (except for today because I made some refried beans a while back and I burned them something awful and I was forcing myself to eat them even though beans only cost 52 cents a bag but holyshit are they gross and I needn't suffer for 52 cents a bag so in the trash they went).

I'm not really worried about the 50 dollars a week. I know I can do it because I have done it many many weeks in a row. I'm simply nervous because I've never been so broke that I couldn't have some leeway with food. We're not so poor that I can't stock up on things or buy organic milk and yogurt, we're just practicing economy. I made a list of the costs of our meals and there are quite a few that come in under the dollar twenty I got from my equation freeing up some money for fancy expensive meals, maybe even two dollars.

I'm trying to school Matt about the food budget because it's never been his money before and he seems to think I can do everything I've been doing and spend less. We spend almost ten dollars a week on ice cream and butter and juice, all things Matt's need that Amy's don't and I could spend less on generic and margarine but when I suggest it he says, no. So, there's a lot of schooling to do. Not to say that we don't do generic, it's not about the generic because we do buy a lot of generic and he was raised on generic and powdered milk and margarine. He's not being a snob, he has crohn's and some foods make him feel better than others and it's certainly cheaper to be healthy and eat healthier food than to pay for doctors. I just have to lay things out carefully. If we want two gallons of ice cream and real butter we will have more meals with ground beef instead of steak and more chicken thighs instead of breast.

It means nothing to me because I don't eat any of that food, except for the butter. Most of my meals are already under the $1.20 per person per meal, because they're vegetarian. Little does Matt know he will be eating more vegetarian dinners for the sake of his ice cream. Life is full of sacrifices. I'm actually rather glad I wrote about this. I was feeling really nervous about the money, oh my god that's not enough!!! but when I looked up the costs of most of our foods and did the math it's really no problem at all. I'm so glad I did the research, I feel so much more calm.

money isn't everything until you don't have any

Matt and I made a decision in December to start living off his paycheck in January even though I'm still getting unemployment benefits. It has become apparent that a new job won't be easy to come by and it will be good for us to practice living within the means we will have when my unemployment runs out. It is very, very tight, but not un-doable. We wrote down everything, as you do, the fixed monthly bills, the monthly amounts of yearly bills, budgeted amounts for the unfixed bills. Pretty much that last one is food, for people and pets, and sundry items from walmart or target.

Obviously the puppy adds to our budget, food, toys, grooming supplies...he and the meow have to get by with 20 dollars a month each. Vet bills aren't included so this will be an out of savings issue once my benefits run out. There is no allotment for clothing so I can't change sizes at all, not that this is terribly likely, until I get a new job. There will be no new movies or books purchased, which is what the library is for anyway. I'm really fine with all of this, up to here. I've lived with tighter budgets while actually working so at least I have time to cook and garden and the possibility for paying work to improve things.

The part that worries me is the grocery section of the budget. I've always tried to spend around 50 dollars a week, which is what we've budgeted for the present. The difference is that in the past if there was a sale or something to stock up on, I did it with no problem because I really did have the money. Now, for all practical purposes I do not have the money. Stocking up is what makes it possible to live off of 50 a week for two people for three meals a day for seven days. I have staples and a full freezer and so the 50 bucks goes mostly for milk, eggs, juice sort of things...and produce.

It's very close as it is and Matt would like me to fit things like garbage bags and toilet paper in to the 50 dollars a week. I'm a little worried about that. With no paper towels or the like, 50 divided by two by 7 by 3 is about one dollar and nineteen cents per meal. That's cheap. Really, really cheap. Possibly cheaper than I am capable of being and if we do need toilet paper that week it might be what we're eating for dinner two nights a week. I'm a little worried about it but Matt isn't because he doesn't do the grocery shopping. Although last night he ran out of ice cream and it's not in the budget to buy more because he asked me to get some vacuum bags this week. Maybe it will be a practical lesson in home economics for him and I'll get 10 dollars more for charmin.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Oh my god, we've been robbed!"

We really must sort this out before puppy is big enough to a. rest his head on the table or b. eat her in one bite. The meow has hardly set paw on the floor this week. She spends all of her time on the table, or the breakfast bar watching the puppy bark at her. The vet wasn't responsive to my suggestion of pet prozac, maybe you have to work on being friends for more than one week before you get narcotics. Shame.

As per being robbed, everything we own is in the garage. Well, most everything. We have moved all the things we care about that puppies can destroy to safer location. Books, dvd's, some furniture...there isn't much we care about but it is easier to move them than to be upset about their destruction, plus the space! Our living room has been getting smaller and smaller since we moved in and it's nice to put some things away. I don't need every book I had in college at my fingertips and Matt doesn't need his smelly, dusty 1954 encyclopedias next to the couch...not that I hate them with all my being or anything. I would love a clean empty house if I didn't also love things so much. Life is so hard.

Speaking of things that are hard, I did my fancy job test thing today. It was painful. Not the test, the process. An hour we sat there doing nothing while mr. how did I get this job tried to find papers and maps and pencils. We sat for another half hour and then the test was half an hour. Half an hour for 28 questions. I sat for 15 minutes waiting for the time to run out and the people on both sides of me didn't finish. But it doesn't matter because you ONLY HAVE TO GET 10 RIGHT! That's a 32 percent average. I know for a fact that I got every single question right, so I better get a frickin' offer.

Monday, January 12, 2009

"it's not a prison, it's just a country"

I love January in blogland. So many new faces, inspiring and supporting each other...the humanity. It's always a gamble as to how many will stick it out but I'm hoping for the best. We all hope for the best and work for the best, why not be positive about all the new comers. I'm working on positive, positive is the word of the day, or the week or whatever. I'm going to be positive about the fact that my diet is better than ever but I'm slowing gaining, I'm going to be positive about the puppy trying to eat the floor, I'm going to be positive about this job thing I'm doing on wednesday. It's governmenty and temporary, but lucrative and fun sounding. Matt and I did the budget thing this weekend and yes, we can totally survive on his pay even with a puppy that eats the floor but it will be no fun at all. Better than death and plague but not something to look forward to. I must step up the job thing even if it's a crappy job. Sigh.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

songs I run to that make my friends cry, volume two

The first list was so popular, what with the mocking, that I decided to up the ante. These songs are, if possible, even more loathsome than the first set and yes I love them even more. It's simply shocking that no one wants to run with me except my dog.

Sweet Child of Mine

it's getting Hot in Herre so take of all your fur...


David Duchovny

# 41

Thursday, January 08, 2009

"Don't worry. I made bail."

Today I applied for a job, i ordered a pair of expensive boots to keep my paws dry when I take the pup out for tuckeration, I made some red velvet cupcakes and I weighed in at my previous low weight (thank christ). I didn't tucker the pup enough though because he's finally paying back the kitty for all her hissing his first day home...he will not stop barking at her. Without provocation even, so rude. We seem to have gotten the chewing under control. All of my favorite things are covered in towels because he seems to like that nasty spray. It looks crazy in here. I'm moving all the books and things I can't hide or cover and soon we'll be stuck with a spoon and two magnets on the fridge. What can you do.

Clearly I need to keep him outside for longer, which will be good for both of us...thus the boots. I went with a pair of sorel's, what do you think? I'm hoping they're as waterproof as they say because I've soaked through my plain old leather boots every day this week. I looked at Bogs too, which are definitely waterproof but stylin' in a different way and a few of the reviews said they're too warm over 40 degrees. I wanted something waterproof to go from winter snow to spring mud but I might just pick up some of those cheapie plastic rainboots for the spring. Something you can ride hard and put away wet, because they're so damn cheap you just don't care. Footwear opinions desperately sought.

Nothing is really new in this new year. I don't feel any different knowing it's 2009. I'm trying to get an action plan together with some goals and all that and I need to work harder on it. Cooking and cleaning takes a lot of time but I don't think my house is any cleaner or the food any better than when I had a job so what the fark am I doing with my extra hours? I hate the feeling that time is being wasted away, hours and days and weeks of my life with nothing to show for it. Today, in addition to my list above, I made several important phone calls about paperwork things that need to be settled. Accounts I need to close and meetings I need to set up. Matt found me a master gardener's class to take this winter and he's been asking me every day did I call. I finally remembered and they're sending me an application. I still feel sort of in a holding pattern because a lot of these things don't start until spring, particularly the gardening.

Gardening isn't something that comes naturally to me, not really, but it's one of the things we're going to do to offset my joblessness. One, we can grow a lot of our own food and that will save money and be yummy, and two if there's enough excess of the right quality we'll join the farmer's market and sell it. We've ordered about twenty new trees for the orchard too but that's sort of a long term plan. We'll be planting cherries and pears, peaches and some black walnuts too. There's something else but I just don't remember. I'd like to add some blueberries...indestructable bastards that they are...but I'm not sure where I want them and they can be difficult to relocate. You leave a snip of root in the earth and you'll have a full crop next year...tasty though.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

"Quick, it's a big hairy one"

Right now everyone is happy and purring or chewing rawhide or blogging, it's a good day. I had another low weigh in today which is awesome. Last night Matt had a bowl of ice cream and I was so close to joining him until I remembered that hey, today was lower than yesterday and I really don't want that ice cream anymore. It was a good feeling, the almost like how a normal person might feel about food feeling. That feeling, that not eating something I don't need is better than eating something I don't need feeling, is a turning point and I know it. I'm really happy to have something in my life right now that isn't about food or exercising or dieting, just living.

The pupcake keeps me busy focusing on things that aren't important, like what's for lunch or how I don't have a job. It's all about watching him be happy, and playing and keeping him safe. I know he's not a baby in the sense of being a human baby but it's still a life changing experience watching him explore the world and learn things and be so happy to see me. That's really the best part of this puppy thing, the so happy to see me part. When he falls asleep the first thing he does when he wakes up is look for me, if he can't see me he comes to find me and then we cuddle. My soon to be 100 pound dog is going to be a sissy mama's boy and I love it!

We went to visit the puppies thinking we'd leave a deposit and come back next week. The whole way there all I could think of was whether this was a mistake or not. When we got there and met them and met his parents and his breeders we fell in love. I know this is going to make me sound like a crazy person but the pup's mother's name is Aurora...my mother's name. Call me nuts but I think that was a sign that this was the right thing to do and so far it feels right too.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

"You work for a gaping asshole"

Today I had an unexpected lowest since before christmas weight of 181. All that chasing the puppy and being too busy to eat has been good for me. Tomorrow I have the second of my required unemployment meetings, which I'm looking forward to. At least now I know it won't be an inquisition. They know there's nothing around and they really are just trying to help, even if it isn't all that helpful to me they do mean well. That's my positiviry for the day, otherwise I'm frickin' tired.

I called Holly to tell her about the puppy and she said "it's going to be so much work" and it is but it's not awful. He's the best puppy ever, she says after two whole days, but really he is. There have been no accidents, he learned how to climb the stairs in a day and we're working on down the stairs and he's getting very good at sitting. We play and sleep all day and it's just getting better. Yesterday, when I was wheeling him around Petco because he was afraid of the doors, he was the sweetest baby ever and everyone loved him. He was nice to everyone who said hello and interested in all the dogs. When he gets better at walking on a leash we'll go again and sniff all the dogs, won't that be a day to remember!

Monday, January 05, 2009


My sister just told me that one of the jolie-pitt babies is named Knox. No one else has mentioned this and I had no idea. Is this a reason to change his name???

Still life with puppy

This is the pupcake awake. Cuddling with bob the dog. We've had a pretty good day so far, interspecies relations aren't going too badly, no one's bleeding, and puppy is having a well deserved nap.
Sleeping is his favorite, at least today. Nobody slept much last night and everyone's having a nap right now, except me and Matt...poor frail humans.

The chairman, you see, doesn't think much of the proceedings and has kept to high ground, not that I can blame her.

Today was a big day, we drove out to petco for hard to find puppy food and an insane amount of toys. There is simply no point in scrimping on toys, tiny things to gnaw on is imperative to chewing redirection...which is why I spent 96 dollars at the pet store. That and treats. Can't train without treats and we're already working on sit. Actually he sort of came with sit, it was one of the product features, but making him sit for us is a bit different. He's done it three times today with tasty marrobone treats to follow, he's puddy in my hands.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

the general and the dictator

Meet the newest member of our family, Knox.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Likes long walks in the park, sheep.

I have been mia because I have spent every breathing moment the last few days on petfinder.com. We're dog shopping. Well, I'm dog shopping and Matt is saying "oh, he's cute" when prompted. Matt was planning to get me a puppy for my birthday but it didn't work out, so he got me the first season of the wire instead. Fair. We've been looking since my birthday when we had the revelation that this is a great time to get a dog, when I have unlimited time to work with him or her. There is a puppy I am going to visit today at the humane society and there is a dog in tennessee I have inquired about. His name is Sarge and I love his soft eyes and the fact that he is eating a sheep in the picture. He's one of the underground fur road pets that are moved up north from southern kill shelters. The stories will kill you with their sadness, if you don't want to end up with 15 dogs don't read their bios...it's like a movie of the week in your living room.

I'm very excited about the new member of our fur family. It'll be nice to have a non-judgemental jogging partner. I'm considering him/her our newest piece of exercise equipment. If you don't use your treadmill it won't pee all over your floor. Is that positive or negative reinforcement of the humans? Anyway, I'm really looking forward to having a furry buddy. Meow just won't jog with me, won't even wake up from her nap when I ask her...lazy.

"Get a dog" was actually on a list of things to improve your health in the new year I saw some where, which I feel really conflicted about. It's great to have and love a dog but it's not like picking up a case of slim fast. Having a dog is great for your overall health for all kinds of reasons but it's not a quick fix or for people who don't have the right life style. I think linking pet ownership with the short lived new years dieting and health frenzy is despicable. More dogs with half-hearted owners who mistreat them and dump them 6 months later. Aaargh to that.