Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Former Envy

When I was 6 years old, entering 1st grade, I excitedly stood out in front of my new classroom.  I was going to have Miss. Gomes for 1st grade.  I had previously attended kindergarten at this same school the year prior and lived down the street so this school and I were well acquainted. 

Standing near the door of the classroom was another 6 year old girl who was crying. I asked her what was wrong.  She said she was new to the school, had just moved here from Michigan and she was scared.
I quickly tried to make her feel better.  By the time we entered the classroom she was no longer crying. 

We became best friends that day.  Her name was Nik.  She lived with her mother and father.  Her mother had been married previously so Nik had 2 half siblings who lived with their father back in Michigan.  She was her father's only child so he doted and spoiled her. 

The first several years they lived in a townhouse complex we called "Regency".  Her complex included a pool and a hot tub.  I was so jealous.  I didn't live in Regency. I lived in a modest 1700 sq ft house down the street from Regency and we did not have a pool or a hot tub.  We only had 1 car too, which was an old Buick that overheated.  Nik's parents both worked and had two cars. Her mother drove a Ford Mustang and her father had a Cadillac.  Later her mom purchased white Stingray Corvette similar to this one.  When we went places Nik and I would take turns laying in the back section.  This was at a time long before seat belts were mandated.

My parents still had the same Buick that overheated.  #carenvy

Since Nik was an only child I spent lots of time with her and her parents.  I'd often go out to dinner with them, which I loved. My parents rarely went out to dinner.  We'd have sleepovers at each others house.  We were tight as thieves for a couple years.

Nik vacationed in Hawaii with her parents. 
My parents took my brother and I to my Grandparents house in Folsom, CA.  #vacationenvy

In 3rd grade I remember a handball game where we got into a verbal disagreement.  Words were spoken and we called each other out to fight.  Literally, "I call you out".  She came to my classroom to pick me up so we could go fight, but she came with another girl.  I was very concerned the other girl was going to help Nik beat me up. Make no mistake, I knew I'd get beat up.  I was very chicken and afraid to fight.  Nik was much tougher than I.  So in the end I got scared and told my teacher. Nik ran home and called my house to apologize. We were friends again.

At age 9 we both started swimming on swim teams.  I wanted to be on the same swim team as Nik, but my parents had joined a swim and raquet club that had a swim team, so I had to be on that team. Nik team was much larger and a more prestigious swim team than mine.  After a year I quit.  She went on to swim in college and the Jr Olympics.  #swimenvy

One day we were sitting in our classroom in 6th grade when the office secretary came on via the intercom system to verify if Nik was in fact in the classroom. "Mr. Anderson, is Nik XXX in class today?".  Yes, he replied. We all looked over at Nik.  10 minutes later the same thing.  "Mr. Anderson, are you sure Nik XXX is in class?" In unison the entire class chanted YES.  We all looked over at Nik again.  Awkward. At the end of that day mom was there to meet us, which was unusual. Nik had after school care over the years but my mom wasn't one of them.  In 6th grade I believe Nik just walked home on her own, but on this day my mom was asked to come get her because apparently, someone called one of her parents that morning saying they had kidnapped Nik. They were able to describe her clothing from that day, and said they wanted a ransom.  Thankfully nothing bad happened and it was totally false.

Soon after the false kidnap incident, Nik's parents bought her a dog for protection.  Not just any dog.  They got her a wolf for protection.  Yes, a wolf, as in wild dog.  Her dog, named Lobo, was a wolf breed with some Shepard in him so he'd be trainable.  The problem with a wolf is they don't bark.  They whine with a sort of crying sound.  They also howl.  The non-barking thing  I  guess was overlooked by her parents, however, when Nik answered her front door with a huge wolf beside her, you know that the person on the other side was intimidated. Lobo stood over 6ft tall on his back feet. He was soo cool. 

 I had a 15 lb cockapoo.  #dogenvy

When Nik was younger her dad promised her a Camero when she turned 16.  I remember him telling her this promise. Her dad stayed true to his promise. Not only did she get a Camero, but he gave her a Camera with T-Tops. 
Do you know what I drove when I was 16?  A 1972 Datsun that belonged to my father.  Remember those cars people? No, well alrightythen.  # carenvy

Her parents divorced around high school.  She said they should have divorced sooner, but they held on for her sake. 

Over the years we lost touch, but thanks to the social networking we all know and love, we reconnected many years ago.  I attended her daughters 1st birthday while she was pregnant with her 2nd.  I got to see her parents again after SO many years. 

Sadly, a few months after the party her dad died suddenly of a heart attack.  She was so close to her father. I mean, really really close.   His loss devastated her. 

Like many of us, her adult life isn't what she'd hoped it would be.  Her marriage is rocky.  They separated, he moved out.  They're working it out and may get back together.  Her father is gone.  Her mother lives with her but not out of choice. 

This person who I envied all through childhood no longer has a life I envy. My life isn't all that great mind you.  On any given day my marriage is rocky too. But the big change from childhood to adulthood is she no longer has something I want.  I love and adore her and certainly wish the best for her. I'm just happy to say I no longer Envy Her. 

I think I turned out okay on my own.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Spell Ricochet

I know your all dying to know how I did in the Spelling Bee. All (none) of you. 

Well, I did very well thank you.  I managed to go thru a few rounds with some easy words like
and maybe one more

Then they gave me Ricochet. 

I could not even visualize the word.  I wasn't even sure RIC was right! LOL  I got to RICOshae which I knew was wrong but I had to say something
I was not the first one sent away. In fact, there were 13 contestants (I was 007) and many were disqualified before me. 

So GO ME. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spell WHAT?

My company is having a Spelling Bee to raise money For the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Part of the arrangement is your supposed to donate a certain number of hours of vacation (4-16) to enter the Spelling Bee, which will then be donated to the cause.  Our company goal is $100K. 

My vacation hours are in the negative.  With all our shut down days in 2009 and 2010 as well as vacations in 2010 I can barely keep enough on the books. 

I guess there weren't a lot of participants so my friend running the event asked if I'd participate.  I'm sort of known around here as someone who gets involved. I was willing, but told her of my dilema of no vacation hours.  She offered to donate hours in my name.  Sweet! 

Unfortunately, I'm an okay speller but not great. They are kinda cheating and gave us the looong list of words in advance. On top of the list says "Beginner Words".  Hah!  Beginner words?!  I can read these words easily enough, but spell them?! I'm doomed.

I have one night to study, not that it will help. I'll be nervous in front of everyone and forget everything. 

At least it's for a good cause. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Busy weekend

This past weekend I was SO productive!  I'm very proud of myself.  I'm by nature very lazy.  I have my energetic moments like everyone else, but as a rule I like to relax on weekends. Okay, everyday. 

Saturday I kicked ass on my neglected backyard. The tomato plant was out of control. It's got branches (or are they limbs?) everywhere, taking over my pathway. I trimmed some away, mostly the ones cascading over the lawn which the Rental Dog dog was peeing on. 

I picked up dog doodoo, mowed the lawn, cut away dead rose buds, had spiders land down my shirt.  Oh yes I did.  I pulled out a dead rose bush, and just overall ROCKED.

Sunday I picked apples off our apple tree and made apple crumble with my girls. It was delicious. My neighbor told me my apples are Golden Delicious. I gave her a bag of them which is how she knew.  The tree came with the house and sits on a very HIGH part of our yard on top of our retaining wall. See it below?  You can actually access the apples easier via the sidewalk on the side of our house.

And to top off my fabulous weekend, I rode my bike part way to work today.  Go me!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Life is short

Last night and today I went to funeral services for a co-worker.  He was a 35 year old son, brother, cousin, nephew, friend, husband and new father.  I can't go into a lot of details because, well, I don't know many of them to be facts yet.  There is a lot of hush hush around what happened. I'm not so naive that I don't know what silence means when your talking about how someone died, but to know this guy you'd never believe it.  His wife spoke and referred to him many times as "sweet".  He was definitely sweet.  Always cared about others first. I sat in the same cubicle row with him for years. He and his wife adopted a son just 2 days old, who just recently turned 1 year old. 

I'm thinking a lot about mortality. Mine and my children's.  It's not fun. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'm sorry....Cleaning my dogs teeth will cost how much?!

Two weeks ago my husband took our dog who is a small 12 lb Lhasa Poo, Rosie, to the vet to have her paw looked at. She'd been messing with her paw for awhile and it needed tending to. They gave her a couple routine shots which were past due, lanced the swollen part on her paw and gave us some antibiotic pills. They looked at her teeth and said she needs a cleaning. Turns out small dogs, even if you brush their teeth, have dental problems.She's 3.5 years old.  We only feed her dry food because I heard wet food causes worse teeth.  There is debate on dry vs. wet by the way.  We feed her good food too.  She eats wheat free, meat is the 1st ingredient, Wellness Brand (or similar brand) dog food. 

I called and made a dental cleaning appointment for today. I take her in.  They ask do you want to add a heart worm test. Sure.  Do you want her bordetella vaccine. Sure. Okay, here is your low estimate.  $850.33!!!!  High Total estimate $981.33!!!! 

Are you serious??  For a dogs teeth?!  Not happening. Honey, I don't even have that much left on my credit card right now after all the dental work I'VE had done lately.  (another post to be written later). 

She apologized and I apologized, then Rosie and I walked out. 

How can it be so much money?  She's a dog!  I have the detailed estimate in front of me.  Let's look shall we? 

Dental Adult Dog Up to 8 years old:
Prep Profile (tests to make sure she's okay to be put under anesthsia).........$81.00
Anesthesia 1st 30 min ............$153.00
Anesthesia Each Add 15 min..........$118.50
Dental Prophy+Fluoride..............$99.25
Extract Tooth Minor...........$33.00
Antiobiotic injection...........$33.50
NSAID w/premed inj............$46.50 (what is this?)
Catheterization IV.................$51.50
Fluids Intravenous.................$17.00
IV Pump...............................$18.50
Oravet Dental Sealant Apply..........$20.25
Oravet Home Care Kit..................$31.31
Dental Vacc #1............................$24.50 ?(????)
Bortadella vaccine.......................$25.50
Heartworm Test..........................$35.02


What sucks is that her breath is bad because she does need her teeth cleaned. How many regular (not rich) families can really afford to pay for their dogs teeth to get cleaned when it costs SO much?   On a regular basis mind you. It's not like she won't need this done again 3 years after she gets them cleaned. 
I feel bad for her.  I feel bad for us.  I want to do the right thing, really I do, but we can't afford it.  I love Rosie to death but she's a dog, not my child.  I'd scrape the money up for my child but sadly, Rosie falls into the Pet category.

Dental cleanings for dogs need to be cheaper.  Whose with me! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Whip it good!

My husband took this great shot of my youngest daughter Shawna in Beaver Creek at Calaveras Big Trees over Labor Day weekend. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Laughing NOW

This morning on the way to school I was telling my daughters a true story that happened when Paula, my oldest now 9 years old, was an infant.  It was mortifying at the time and scary as hell, but thankfully we can laugh about it now.

Paula was 2.5 months old. She didn't crawl or roll over yet. She was a preemie born at 34 weeks so we'd already had our share of surprises and scares up until this point. I really didn't need anymore excitement where she was concerned.  She would show to be behind in most milestones until she hit about 2 years old.  She's very bright and one of the tallest in her class.  You'd never know today she was a preemie. 

But, I did something awful that I'm ashamed and embarrassed about.  Here it is. 

Paula and I were home alone together.  It was time to feed her.  Due to her awful acid reflux (common in preemies) she was on a special formula (Enfamil AR) which was thicker than others so I needed to go make her bottle.  She also took Reglan to speed up her digestive system and Zantax for the reflux.  I laid her on the couch kitty corner, like diagonally. 

I'm in the kitchen mixing her formula and medicine when I hear a THUD.  I paused.  What was that noise?  A couple seconds later I hear her crying.  Was that her hitting the floor?!  I run into the room and yes, my sweet baby girl was lying on the floor. She'd fallen off the couch!!!  What a horrible mother I am!!!  I can't believe I let this happen.  What if she has brain damage!  What if I've ruined our child!  So many things went thru my mind at that moment.  She calmed down eventually. I checked her over. On the outside everything looked fine.  I needed to get her checked out but I didn't want to call the pedi and say I just let my 2 mos old fall off the couch.  I can't be THAT mother. 

She'd apparently wiggled herself to the end of the couch where her lower half became heavier from hanging off the end of the couch making her body fall off. 

Paula had a rash on her face. I decided I'd use that as my excuse to bring her in. Then while she's being looked at I can casually mention the fall incident.  Yeah, cause it's a casual occurrence.  Just shoot me now. 

We get into the doctors office and one of the many pedi's is examining her skin. I really don't want to tell him, but I have to. 
Yeah, so doc, um.....this morning she kind of fell off the couch. 
You know the look he gave me right?  Can I just climb into a hole? 
That must have hurt. How far was the fall?  2 feet?
Yeah, probably.  I'm cringing. 
He checks her body and determines she's fine.  THANK GOD!

I leave hoping I never ever ever get him as her doctor again.  There are 6 doctors. Surely there is a chance I'll never have to see him again. 

I call my husband and tell him what happened.  You what he says?  "I'm glad it was you and not me."