Friday, August 27, 2010

Puppy Love and Post Office Woes

Earlier this week Adolfo's dog, Bailey, came and stayed for a few days. She was in town to get spayed.

When she left, Bowser was really sad. I think he was a little smitten.

John and I went to the post office to send this card priority mail because we were also sending Adolfo the blood pressure medicine he left in our bathroom. I waited and waited and waited for Adolfo to say something to me about the card or to thank me for sending him his medication. Nothing! But then almost two weeks later, the package was back on our porch. Non-deliverable due to Insufficient Address. WHAAAAT???!!! John called Adolfo and read the address from the package to him over the phone. Adolfo's response was "I don't understand - that's my address!" We made a complaint to the post office but they said they couldn't do anything for us without seeing the address we wrote on the package. By the time they got back to us with that totally unhelpful response, I had already sent the package with a friend who happened to be driving up to visit Adolfo that weekend. Adolfo called me when he opened the package - he totally loved the card. :-)

Some things have been bothering us lately regarding the receipt of our mail-
Our mail has been arriving later and later every day and things that I order using 2-day shipping have been arriving 3 or 4 days later. I remember I once ordered a DVD for a class using Next-Day Shipping. According to the tracking info, the package went from New York to Dallas the same day I ordered it. The next day it went from Dallas to Nacogdoches where it apparently sat for FOUR days before I got notification in my post office box that it had arrived. By then, I had already rented the movie and started the essay I was writing on it.

Is it me or is the Nac postal service just not cutting it?

(Interesting movie, by the way: Lucia, Lucia)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thank You!

At the beginning of the month, I recommended a book on our Garden blog. Yesterday, a copy of it arrived in the mail! We don't know who sent it to us - there was no evidence of who bought it on the packaging or on the receipt, but whoever it was, Thanks so much! It really made our day!
You are the coolest!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kingwood - Bowser and the Pool

Picture Post!!!

On Saturday we headed out to Kingwood to see John's family, where Bowser got to spend more quality time at the pool -

Family Portrait
Bowser is a really fast swimmer now and we are just so proud! Check out this fantastic form!
Here he is taking a little break.
This is what you would see about 97.3% of the time if you were watching Bowser in the pool. When he's not being held by John, he's chasing John.
Here he is beginning a chase. I LOVE watching Bowser leap into the water!
We think that Bowser comes after us because he's trying to save us. If we're just sitting on the pool steps, he'll stick his face under and try to lift our arms out of the water. He barks like mad if we swim away from him, and if we're not careful, he'll leap into the water right on top of us. One thing I wish we had gotten on video was when Bowser leaped into the pool right on top of me while I was trying to swim a lap. I've got a little nick under my eye where one of his claws got me. Totally didn't see it coming.
He swims right up to John and John takes him into his arms. It's so cute, although here Bowser looks a little tired...
In this pic, John was really excited about Bowser having looked at the camera for the previous pic. I think it's funny that in neither pic are both of them looking at the camera.

Kudos to Karen for taking pictures. We had a really fun time and are going to try to get to Kingwood more often to visit. It's so nice to get the heck out of Nacogdoches every once in a while and visit with family. We're so lucky to have people so close by.

On another note, I would have posted more pics/videos of me, but my swimsuit top kept riding up and exposing the bottoms of my boobs!!! My top is either too small or I'm tying it in too much of a hurry. Tips, anyone?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Squid

Together, John and I have about a billion art supplies that will probably see the light of day only a handful of times each year. And that's sad. I'd like to change that.

John busted out one of his sketch books months ago to draw out plans for the Kitty Palace (stay tuned...) and it's been sitting on the dining table ever since. He pulled out markers last week to organize our chore chart (stay tuned...) and they have been sitting on the dining table ever since. We've been watching a lot of Planet Earth, Blue Planet, and the Life of Birds lately, thanks to Trey and the SFASU Steen Library. Sketch Book + Markers + Never-ending Cycle of Amazing Wildlife on Film =
The Squid

It's not much and it will probably be a while before I produce anything worthy of a frame, but I think it's a fun start. I've never done anything with markers before. I might do a whole marine series using just marker. We'll see.

Chris, maybe I'll finally get you that painting after all!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What's making you itch?

My friend Jacob likes to call me while he's on long road trips to keep him company. In fact, that's about the only time he ever calls me (:-|) but still, like the better friend that I am, I listen. The last time he called he told me about some rash that he had developed on his arms, legs, and tummy. It itched like crazy and the doctors said it was some sort of contact dermatitis resulting from an allergy. They couldn't tell him what kind of allergy, but a cortisone shot seemed to help. The rash came back, however, and Jacob was tired of itching and feeling self-conscious about his blotchy appearance. I was appalled that the doctors hadn't suggested that Jacob look closer into what he's coming into contact with on his arms, legs, and tummy. If it's contact dermatitis, his arms, legs, and tummy are all coming into contact with something that he's allergic to.

"Jacob," I said, "What are you using on your clothes?"

Sorry Bounce, but it's time to bounce!

We recently gave away a pretty full box of Bounce fabric softener. Not because we're especially generous or because we didn't particularly like the scent - This stuff made me itch like a mutha!

At first I had no idea what was going on. I was minimally itchy on my arms, back, and tummy. I was INCREDIBLY itchy in the crooks of my arms, the back of my neck, and along my waist and bra lines. It wasn't until I was folding three loads of laundry piled up on the bed that I figured it out-

I was organizing, separating towels from jeans and such, when I just started sneezing uncontrollably and my arms started to itch. And then I saw it. That single seemingly innocent sheet of biodegradable cationic fabric softener.

I eyed it for a few seconds before picking it up with the very tips of my fingers. I brought it to my nose and took the smallest of whiffs. An involuntary wrinkle of the nose and squinting of the eyes led to one massive, head-splitting sneeze. Ding, ding, DING!!! Enlightened, I dropped the dryer sheet and joyously exclaimed, "John! I think I'm allergic to the fabric softener!!!"

John actually wasn't surprised. We were really happy to figure out the source of the abominable itch but as it turns out, some of John's family have had similar reactions to this very fabric softener. But it shouldn't have taken me so long (weeks!) to figure out why I was itching. It should have been obvious that the itch was coming from my clothing. The obvious course of action should have been to examine what was on my clothing!

It's so easy to ignore what's right in front of you when you let yourself get bogged down with what you have to do, when you have to do it, how much time you have, how much it will cost, etc. The lesson here is that sometimes the priority should be to just stop for a second and pay attention to what your body is telling you, whether the message be in the form of an itch or a pang or even drier skin and hair. If I hadn't been so focused on "getting shit done" and if I had been more focused on solving the problem that was making everything I did more of a chore, I might have been able to perform my duties much more efficiently and comfortably- and I might have been a much happier person throughout the process.

John and I have had a very stressful summer. There's so much to do in so little time and with too few resources. Just thinking about it all is exhausting and much too counter-productive. From now on, our resolution is to think not about how much there is to do, but what we need to do to get it done and how we're going to do it, one step at a time. We'll keep you posted on how we bounce back!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bowser and the Pool

Bowser here. I had SO much fun at Grandma & Grandpa's house while my parents were away! I got to swim in the pool again! I'm a much better swimmer now because I've pretty much got the hang of not sinking. The trick is to keep moving. If I stop running in the water, my butt starts sinking and then the rest of me goes down with it. AND I know how to get in and out of the pool! You have to use the steps. It's hard to get back out of the pool if you don't use the steps. I can't do it without the steps. And guess what - I can stick my WHOLE FACE under the water! I can, I can! My daddy likes to swim under me and trick me but sometimes if I put my head under the water, I can look for him under the water. Haven't figured out how to get to him when he's under there, though. Not sure if I want to.

Turn on the sound for these videos! Turn up the volume, too!!!!!
The woman talking in the background is Grandma. She was our videographer!

I'm so awesome at jumping now. Watch me as I go for this ball -

I like for everyone to stay close to me in the water. I hate it when Mommy or Daddy swims away across the pool. I yell at them to come back and if they don't, I go after them. When they're both swimming away from me, I start to feel really conflicted and I don't know who to swim after. Usually I pick Daddy, though. He's mostly my favorite. When Daddy yells at me, Mommy is my favorite. Here's Grandpa trying to sneak away from me. I know your tricks, Grandpa. I know your tricks.

Here's a blooper video from when they were trying to film me.

Swimming made me really good at stuff. When we got home, I was able to jump on Mommy and Daddy's bed! I had never done that before! I'm so strong now! And Mommy and Daddy said I'm lighter because the pool water bleached me. I haven't noticed. I could get used to hanging out a pool, though. Ever since we've all been back at home, I have been BORED OUT OF MY MIND! Swimming tires me out so much. I want a pool, I want a pool! Tell Mommy and Daddy to get me a pool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa for taking care of me and letting me swim in the poooooollll!!!!