Sunday, August 28, 2005

A day of baby shopping

No change with E. She's still the same.

We didn't get our 4D sonogram done. With our luck, of course the stupid ultrasound machine broke while we were sitting there waiting for our turn. We were both so upset. I don't know if we're going to get one done now. It's kind of pointless since E probably won't be awake enough to watch it. We're going to get to see the baby for the rest of our lives...the whole point in doing this was so SHE could see it.

But the day yesterday wasn't a total loss. We completed our registries at Babies R Us and Target, and when we were at Target, we bought our crib, changing table, pack and play, and a crib mattress. I also picked up a breast feeding book at Babies R Us, a listening device to hear the baby at Target, some black frames at Target for the Finding Nemo prints that my friend E in Florida sent me, another framed wine label for the kitchen at Kohl's, and a new mantle clock at Things Remembered since ours was just not working anymore. I feel a lot more prepared now to be a mom.

Today, I'm hoping that we'll spend the day working on the house. P doesn't want to just live over at his parents' house right's very sad and mostly all she does is sleep right now anyway. I'm sure he'll go over there tonight and see her. He said it helps to stay busy and distracted and whether we like it or not, life will go on after she is gone. We have a lot to look forward to, and E wouldn't want us to just get mired in grief.

I better get busy. I'm going to walk the dogs and then get started with painting our new baseboards that we exchanged our old ones for. One of the MUST-DOs on our list today is major grocery shopping...I can't believe we haven't done it in over six weeks.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


P got a call yesterday at work that his mom's condition is deteriorating rapidly and she is shutting down. Can't speak, can't eat, can't walk. We rushed right over there to be with her and with the rest of his family.

They brought in a hospice bed last night to move her into soon, and in a few days, they are going to bring in a hospice nurse to monitor her vital signs, but it doesn't look like she is going to last very much longer. Her mother died in the same manner, and the time line after this happened was about a week. She has good color and looks very beautiful, but she is losing weight quickly and just looks so frail and weak.

We are still going to do the 4D ultrasound just in case she wakes up long enough for us to show it to her, but no one is really hopeful.

I know it doesn't help matters to be angry, but I am SO ANGRY at my brother and sister in law, R and M. These are the ones that just had a baby a few months ago. Since my niece was born, hardly anyone has seen her, including my MIL, and last night when my brother-in-law M called R to tell him what was going on and suggest that R find someone to cover his shift at work, not only did R not do it, but there was no sign of M either. And M's two other kids barely know my MIL. They live less than twenty minutes away. It just makes me SO ANGRY that SHE had the choice to let her kids know their grandmother...something my kids will never ever get the opportunity to do. All they will hear is our memories of her. And it makes me so sad to realize that there is no hope and all the things that we will never get to do again with her. No more holiday dinners. I'll never make her any more special desserts. She'll never see our house or our dogs. She'll never get to see her youngest daughter get married.

And all any of us can do now is just wait for the end. At least she has some sort of a sense of humor left. She woke up last night briefly before P and I got there and when she saw the family all sitting in the room with her, she asked, "Am I dead yet?" It made everyone chuckle. Nothing brings us all together faster than something like this, that's for sure.

I know that she's ready. She's been ready to go for a long time. And it'll be such a relief to know that she's not in pain and not suffering anymore. It's the rest of us that aren't ready.

Thank you for all the prayers and good wishes. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The good, the bad and the ugly

What a whirlwind last 24 hours this has been.

The good: Our exterior is now painted. Click here if you want to see befores and afters. The painters really did a beautiful job and we are SO pleased with the colors that we chose.

The bad: My brother-in-law M stopped by last night to see the house, so we thought, but actually came by to tell us that my mother-in-law had an MRI, the cancer is worsening, and they've decided that they have done all they can do and are recommending stopping the chemo. They aren't giving a timeline, but have said all they can do at this point is make her more comfortable. P and I are distraught, of course. I really can't talk about this intelligibly right now, but I'll write a longer entry about it later when I've collected my thoughts. We are doing a 4D ultrasound this weekend to share with her just in case she doesn't make it long enough to see the baby.

The ugly: The painter, in the process of repairing our siding underneath our new kitchen window, penetrated a pipe with his nail gun. WHILE I WAS IN THE FIELD. It was very ugly. He is just darn lucky that it was on an exterior wall and not inside the kitchen or else there would have been bloodshed.

That's all from here. Over and out...we're off to Lowe's to deal with the baseboard issue.

Monday, August 22, 2005

My new kitchen

I spent a good part of the weekend working on setting up this website for ease in looking at all the pictures. I hope you enjoy it.

The Remodeling Journey

Please let me know if you see any errors that I've made or proofreading errors.

Update on where we are to date:

-flooring is completely done
-painter started today on the outside
-no blinds or drapery hardware up yet in kitchen or dining room
-trims are drying for the kitchen; we'll install them on the counters as soon as we can
-we had some problems with the paint on the French door...still working on that

And the biggest problem of all came when we started installing the base in the dining room. We realized that five of the fourteen lengths we bought do not match. We called Lowe's and they think it's some sort of manufacturer's defect, so we have to return them and repaint them when we get the matching ones. Grrr.

Alert for people that I chat with on chat engine hasn't been able to sign on to AOL for several days. I'm trying to get it fixed, but it's slow. I'll be back online as soon as I can.

Enjoy the website and let me know what you think! We've worked SO HARD on this's such an amazing thing to see how far we have come!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Something fun for a Sunday

Every muscle in my body hurts. I'm tired. And I have SO much to do today. Why aren't there enough hours in the weekend? I need a three-day weekend, and it's just not happening until Labor Day.

All we got finished yesterday was the shoe in the utility room and the baseboards and door casing in the kitchen. That's all? No, of course, it's fabulous, but I was really hoping we'd get the baseboards in the main area done. They are, at least, painted, but it just takes a lot of time to cut them, get the angles right and put them on. My poor husband is working his little butt off trying to get them done. I guess when carpenters work, they work in teams just for this very reason.

Anyway, the utility room is completely finished. All we have left in the kitchen is the finishing trim on the counters (we bought three pieces yesterday to cut and spray with high-gloss spray paint), putting up the blinds and putting up the drapes, and that room is FINI. Of course, it'd help if we had time to go grocery shopping now so we could eat at home. I'm hoping that we can run out today and do that...I'm SO tired of eating out. I don't care if we go to Wal-Mart at midnight...I want some stuff to be able to make lunch tomorrow.

But since it's already almost 10:30, P's asleep in bed, I have a lunch date, he has to go over to his parents' house to visit, and we probably won't get started until around 3, I'm going to call and postpone the carpet cleaning until later in the week. We're just not ready yet.

Something fun now! I haven't done one of these in a while. Stolen shamelessly from a mama lama...I think most of you should know me pretty well by now, especially if you've been reading since the beginning, but here's more stuff about me...

1 . What time did you get up this morning? Alarm was set for 9:30; I actually dragged myself up at 10:00.
2 . Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds.
3 . What was the last film you saw at the cinema? The Revenge of the Sith.
4 . What is your favourite tv show at the moment? Six Feet Under, which has its series finale tonight, and Entourage.
5 . What did you have for breakfast? I'm embarrassed to admit that I ate the leftover half of my piece of cheesecake from Saltgrass last night. It just looked more appealing than my cinnamon Life.
6. What is your middle name? I don't actually have a birth middle name. My mom didn't have one when she was born, so she thought that her daughters shouldn't either. Whatever. I use my maiden name, which will be kept a secret for identity purposes. Sorry. It's a pretty white bread name though.
7 . What is your favourite cuisine? American food...I'm a total meat and potatoes girl.
8 . What food do you dislike? Pico de gallo, brussel sprouts, asparagus, tomatoes, salmon...there are a lot of foods that I don't care for.
9 . What is your favourite crisp flavour? Sour cream and cheddar. I'm assuming we're talking about potato chips here.
10. What is your favourite song? Just Like Heaven by the Cure.
11. What kind of car do you drive? We own a 1999 Honda Accord, a 1999 Ford Explorer, and I get a 2005 Dodge Magnum from my company. I drive the Magnum.
12. Favorite sandwich? I like roast beef with provolone on French bread.
13. What characteristic do you despise? People that say they are going to do something and then don't do it.
14. Favorite item of clothing? My black velvet flip flops that I have been wearing just about everywhere except to work.
15. If you could go any where in the world on vacation? A European tour.
16. What colour is your bathroom? Well, you've seen them! My master is light blue and my hall bath is light green.
17. Favourite brand of clothing? Old Navy.
18. Where would you retire? Oregon or North Carolina.
19. Favourite time of day? Evenings.
20. What was your most memorable birthday? My parents gave me a Sweet Sixteen pool party.
21. Where were you born? Ithaca, New York.
22. Favorite sport to watch? College basketball.
23. Who do you least expect to send this back to you? No one. I stole it!
24. Person you expect to send it back first? Same.
25. What fabric detergent do you use? Gain.
26. Coke or Pepsi? Diet Coke.
27. Are you a morning person or a night? Evening!
29. Do you have any pets? Five...two Labs, Katie and Simon, and three cats, Gabrielle, Taylor and Moira.
30. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? My kitchen is almost done!
31. What did you want to be when you were little? A doctor...I wanted to make lots of money. Now, no possibility...I suck at science and I wouldn't want to deal with all the bureaucracy.

Okay, so that's all from here for now. I'm going to get ready for my lunch date and another long day of getting to know my house.

One really great thing that I realized last night...we were out to dinner with friends and talking about the house remodeling. The lady was telling me that her daughter was in the process of selling her house and buying a new one, and I said, before I even really thought about it, "Oh, I wouldn't sell my house now for anything." Did I really say that outloud? It's TRUE! I love my house now! I want to stay for a long time! And the best part was, P agreed!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Welcome to the world, Colin!

I got a call early this morning from my best friend S in North Carolina advising that her sister E's son was born this morning at 7:57 am by Caesarean section. Eight pounds. That's a big boy! Anyway, mom and baby are doing great and my friend said that her entire family was crying they were so happy. Congratulations, E and K!

I am happy for another reason this morning. I woke up at 5:30 am this morning because I couldn't sleep...had to pee constantly and very uncomfortable. So I put the time to good use, got up, and finished setting up the website for the remodeling pictures that I've been talking about the last few weeks. It's just too hard to continue to load them onto my Photobucket account and bring them into my blog, and I've got so much web space with Verizon. This will be better. I already gave a friend at work a peek, and she confirmed that it looks awesome. So, y'all be patient just a LEETLE while longer, and I'll post the link.

The really awesome news though is that my wonderful husband remembered about ten minutes ago that when we bought this house, we walked through and photographed the ENTIRE thing before we started moving anything in. Including the bathrooms, which are the two rooms I really wish I had before shots of. Oh, I can't believe I forgot about that!!!! We did that for expressly this purpose...because we were planning on remodeling. He was reformatting the computer to give to his sister, so he's going to pull it in later tonight and we'll retrieve all those photographs and I'll add them to my website. Trust me, you really can't appreciate what we've done with those bathrooms until you saw the train wreck that they were before. I've said it before and I'll say it again...I'm fortunate that I have vision when it comes to houses or else we never would have bought this place!

The house stuff is progressing nicely. The vinyl guys came yesterday and finished the utility room, which looks great, but even better, they repaired the damage that Philip created. You seriously can NOT tell there was a rip there until you put your nose to the floor and squint with the sunlight on it. They did a great job. However, they refused to install the rest of my stairnose since they are "vinyl installers, not wood installers", so I have a repair guy coming this afternoon to finish that up. Painter is coming at noon on Monday to start the outside (must take before pictures) and the carpet cleaners are coming at 9:30 on Monday. Last night all we did was put up all the artwork in the kitchen, mount the Dust Buster we bought on the wall of the utility room, and I put away a lot of stuff in the nursery. This kid is going to have a lot of clothes. I also ordered a piece of plate glass for the top of my dresser to protect it.

Today is baseboard day. And speaking of which, I need to scoot out to the garage and get started putting the second coat on those baseboards. It's going to be a busy weekend!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Job Anxiety

The reason why I'm up so early today is because I'm having a little anxiety about work.

I think I have mentioned before that we have a large loss team at work that I have been thinking about putting in an application to join for about two years?

Our large loss team is excellent. It's the cream of the crop of adjusting. They are seriously treated better than ANY other office in our entire country. This is no secret. Right now I'm handling losses between $35,000-$100,000, and they basically handle $75,000 and up. Same thing as I'm doing now but just bigger houses.

Here are the advantages:

-significantly more money (it's three salary grades above what I am right now)
-all expenses paid, including DSL, phone, fax, post office box, none of which is paid for right now...I'm paying for my own phone line, DSL and fax machine so I can have the privilege of working from home
-completely virtual (meaning that there is no office to report to and I would be strictly working out of my house)
-guaranteed one claim or less every ten days, meaning no more of these calls at the end of the day with "Well, we have a small fire, no one else to take it, can you go? Oh, you can't go, well, too bad, you're going anyway"
-more freedom with adjusting and less restrictions
-more settlement authority
-more help, meaning that they have a central processing unit in Los Angeles to take care of any supplemental payments down the road
-I get to keep my company car
-no more of this overtime nonsense; I work when I want to work and however many hours it takes to get it done, whether that be twenty hours or sixty hours
-I get to collect Frequent Flyer miles which I can use for personal trips, which is wonderful considering that I have family and friends all over the country who probably would like to see my daughter without having to travel to Big D

Sounds great, right? Just like what I'm doing now but with serious perks.

Now, here's the disadvantage...and this is why I've been thinking about it for two years. The territory is much much bigger than the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex that I'm handling now. The states include Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Mississippi.

Which means that potentially, every ten days or so, I could be out overnight.

P and I have discussed this at length for MONTHS, even before I got pregnant. We decided before I got pregnant that me making this move to large loss would be the best thing for us given the perks that come along with it and the fact that it is a virtual position and completely home-based. Granted, I don't want to be traveling, and that's what I've contemplated it for so long, but I really feel like everything else I would get out of it would be worth a few nights away from home a month, and if P is on board with it and willing to give a little extra to support me doing this, all the better. If you remember me talking about him, my old teammate, E, left to go to large loss last summer and did it right after his wife had a newborn. I've been keeping close tabs with him ever since he went, and he said that he absolutely LOVES large loss and that if he had any idea it would have been this good, he would have left a long time ago. He's not traveling as extensively as I would have expected (hence why I have kept tabs on him) and says the work load is incredibly easier. Every week he's calling our office asking if we have any work for him so he can stay in the Dallas area, which is very encouraging.

Okay, so fast forward to where we are now. I decided about a month ago to go ahead and let the large loss people in my area know that I'm finally interested in coming on board with their team. They've been actively courting me ever since I got back from large loss school in October 2003. (My office sent me to learn how to handle the big losses better, which is when the large loss team started dangling the carrot.) The last time they approached me about it was about a year ago when the guy took Queenie and I out to lunch to ask us about joining. Queenie of course told him that she had no interest in joining because it wasn't the career path she wanted (she hated the field) and I told him that I didn't want to join until I had gotten my family started. I emailed the guy, R, a month ago to let him know that I was interested and to keep me in mind, and he immediately responded that he was so happy to hear that and asked if I would be interested in doing their mentor program while I am waiting for the baby to be born and breastfeeding afterwards...basically from now until I am ready to make the transition. What that would entail is that they would pair me up with a general adjuster who I would talk with, ride on claims with, go to their zone meetings with, and who would just kind of "show me the ropes" so that I am ready to go when I am ready to apply.

I told him that I would want to do it, and went to talk to my managers. My immediate supervisor, K, could really care less. In fact, I think he was happy to hear that I wanted to leave. I think he enjoys the kudos that he gets from supervising a high performer, but doesn't like actually doing it because it means reading my claim notes (which are long) and listening to me complain when I don't like how things are going. My office manager, B, was happy to hear that I was ready to move on to the next step and was not surprised that I was ready to, but really wants me to be a supervisor instead. Um, let's see...lose my car, make not much more money, and have to go to the office every day. No, thanks.

Yesterday, I get an email from R, the zone manager, telling me that they have me on board with their mentor program and that he's talked to B. I'm all set, and they assigned me to E to mentor with, which is perfect since I trained with him when I joined the midloss team in 2003. We get along great and we're friends, plus he's here in the Dallas area which is even more perfect.

So I'm happy. I'll come back from maternity leave, and as soon as I get things kind of settled with my daughter and get into a routine, I'll put in my application for large loss and if they have a position open, that'll be that.

Here's where the anxiety comes in. Please note that I'm basically not working at my office at all right now; I go up there maybe once a week at best, but I'm not up there to hear the goings on and the gossip, and of course, K isn't sharing anything with me.

I had lunch yesterday with a few of my trainees that I have trained, including the girl that is reportedly going to replace me when I go out on maternity leave. In the course of the conversation, they break it to me that my office is basically acting like I'm gone already.


I know they are probably just preparing for my departure and making sure that we have people in line to take my place, especially since I could be starting my maternity leave anytime in October given that my daughter is measuring ahead right now, but it still makes me very nervous, given that I haven't even applied yet! But apparently everyone thinks I'm a shoo-in given my extensive experience. I even talked to my old boss yesterday (pre-Queenie) who left our office to go to large loss and she said the same thing. My office manager, B, even said when I met with him that large loss has called every so often over the last year asking if I'm ready. (Would have been nice if he had shared that tidbit with me!)

So we'll see. I'm sure I shouldn't worry and just concentrate on getting through the rest of this year and bringing a healthy baby into the world, but it's a worry on my mind.

On another note, things with the house are moving right along. My predictions that we'd have contractors here every day are coming true. Yesterday the kitchen guys came to finish up, but forgot to bring the stuff to build the windowsill (shocker, I know!) so they have to come back today and do that. But they did install the dishwasher and range and put up the kickplates on the cabinets and the molding at the top, so I have a fully functional kitchen once again! I even made dinner in it last night! It wasn't much of a dinner since we haven't gone grocery shopping, but it was still good. And we installed the baseboards behind the refrigerator and on one wall. The contractors helped me move the china hutch into place, so I loaded that up. It's going to have to be moved again though when we do the baseboards. I also touched up the posts with paint where the guys scratched them during the floor installation.

After that, we were done. We are both SO tired from all this work, and just went to bed. A lot of this work will be done this weekend, and all we really have left is painting baseboards, installing them, putting up drapes and blinds, hanging pictures, and moving furniture around. We did decide (after a lot of wavering) that we are going to refinish our dining room table, so we're going to hopefully start working on that this weekend. My dining room looks great and I'm getting to really see my beautiful wood floors, but I'd kind of like to have somewhere to eat on other than just standing in my kitch!

We put the Soft Paws on Gabby last night, and she took to it WAY better than Taylor did, which was surprising to me, but I guess it shouldn't have been. Gabby has been with me since college...she has moved with me to a million different apartments, has been with me through the wedding, P, the new cats, the dogs, etcetera. Why I thought she would be fazed because I stuck some vinyl thingys on her claws, I don't know. After I put them on her and fussed over her, she laid beside me and ignored them.

The real test will be MOIRA!

So that's the status. Thanks for coming by, and especially for reading my work babble. It's so nice to have a blog to come talk about this stuff in.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The beauty of wood

Things are really starting to come together. The laminate guys finished tonight around 6 pm, informing us that they would be back later in the week with more stair-nose for our step down into the living room since the store didn't order enough apparently.

What a shocker. What IS it with these contractors not ordering the right materials or the right dimensions or ordering them on time?

But the floors look ABSOLUTELY freaking beautiful. I can't believe how gorgeous they look. These floors are what I envisioned when I decided to make the switch to laminate three years ago. They are truly truly beautiful and the guys did an excellent job.

The window guy was the first guy to finish and be paid in full today. He was slow as molasses considering that he only had to replace two windows, but I guess I'll cut him some slack since he was working alone. The windows look wonderful as well...very clean and white, and most important, they are intact, not broken and not leaking, a vast improvement from what we have. P's putting up our new blinds right now in our master bedroom. Tomorrow the kitchen contractors are going to put a window sill in and then we can put up those blinds and the drapery hardware.

What did I do tonight, you might wonder? I painted baseboards. All of them for the kitchen to be exact plus the shoe molding for the utility room. They are all painted and drying and ready to go tomorrow. Tomorrow night I'll do the baseboards for the main areas.

Our next refinishing project is going to be our dining room table. We have been debating for several days on what to do...salvage our old one or buy a new set, and after P did a little research online, it turns out that we can buy new nude legs for it, which would be much cheaper than buying a new table, and then we can buy four raw chairs to stain to match. Better! So that's what we are going to do, prontissimo.

Fun times right now....and I mean that in all sincerity. Now that I had my breakdown and things are moving on, I can really start to enjoy the nesting part of all this.

Oh, and we finally found a rug for the kitchen. We found a gray, white and black one at Target, and then I ordered a super-cushioned one online with a Paris theme to it. So we're all set.

And next weekend (not this one but next) we have designated as baby registering weekend!

Flooring catastrophe

Another minor setback yesterday...two of them actually.

The vinyl installers showed up yesterday to do the kitchen and utility room floor installation...only one problem. The store didn't order enough flooring to do the utility room. What a surprise.

Then, this even worse, we tore the vinyl in three places when we were moving our big refrigerator back into place.

I'll spare the details, but it wasn't pretty. We were both very upset that this happened.

It's not the end of the world, I know, but the fact that we had our new floors installed for less than six hours before we tore them was very upsetting to this pregnant lady.

Fortunately, we talked to the store this morning first thing and they said that they would go ahead with the laminate installation today and then on Friday when the guys come back to finish the utility room, they will repair the damage. We are fortunate that these guys are excellent vinyl installers. I can't even see the seams where the floor pieces meet, even though I know they are there because I watched the guys do them.

But it's going to be okay. The laminate guys are here now installing our wood floors and the window guy is here installing the windows. It's going to be very noisy here today, but from what I can see so far, these guys are rocking and rolling and going very fast. I was quite upset when I thought that everything would have to be put on hold until the end of the week when the new piece of vinyl came in for the utility room, not to mention if we had to order a whole new piece to replace that portion of the kitchen! But that appears not to be the case.

And then the kitchen contractor is coming back tomorrow to finish up the kitchen. In the meantime, we're going to be busy busy busy painting lots of baseboards.

On a different topic, the Soft Paws came in yesterday that we ordered for Taylor, and so far they seem to be a huge hit. We got her hot pink, and they are so cute...they look like little fingernails. She doesn't seem to be too bothered by them just yet. She tried to bite a few of them after we put them on, and licked a bunch of them, but we distracted her by playing with her and after a little while, she just forgot they were there. We woke up this morning to find one on her scratching pad, but it didn't have any chew marks in it or anything, so I think she probably just tore it off when she was trying to scratch. We're going to put them on Gabby tonight. I think Gabby won't mind them at all. The real trick will be Moira...I anticipate QUITE a bit of sulking, even though they will definitely look the cutest on her since she's so dark. After all of them have them on and we see what sizes we need, I'm going to order more of them in different colors. I'd like to have each one with different colors so that when one loses a tip, we don't have to wonder which cat is missing a nail.

Anyway, that's the status from here. I'll post more later.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The completed dresser

We finally have the dresser done and sitting in the nursery. It came out really well!

Image hosted by
Image hosted by

Not sure if you can see the hardware close-up but the top small drawers have shell and starfish pulls and the bottom longer drawers have seahorses. It's very fitting for a Finding Nemo nursery!

Today was a very busy day as I knew it would be...we slept in really late, and then went to eat some lunch and then shopping (again) at Lowe's, The Container Store and Target. We got all of our baseboards and moldings, our blinds for our kitchen and master bedroom windows, our breadbox (I finally found one I liked!), new address numbers for the back of the house so our painter can just take off the old ones, a curtain rod for the kitchen window and a simple black cotton valance for it.

Tonight we were rushing to get the kitchen done. I got a voice mail from the flooring people that they ARE coming in the morning to do the kitchen and utility room floors, so we have to be ready...and the kitchen is fully unpacked. I can't believe how much more space I have now that I have bigger cabinets and more of them. We added cabinetry above where the refrigerator will go, above our new microhood, and then of course, our pantry is gone and replaced with a floor to ceiling cabinet. It's amazing. I feel like I barely have anything. It was so much fun though playing with all my new toys and organizing everything. Everything looks really good in our kitchen. I'm SO glad we picked a monochrome theme! And I absolutely ADORE my new flatware and my new cutlery. I might have to set up a website just to show pictures of my new house and my new stuff!

That was all we got accomplished. Nothing on the table, nothing on the painting, nothing else. We're both tired. P got the prints framed for the kitchen so they are ready to go tomorrow.

The thing that would really make my day is if the window guy showed up with the windows to install them. Tuesday would still be okay, but tomorrow would be awesome.

I can't wait to see what my new flooring looks like. It's been so long since we picked it out, I almost have forgotten what it looks like! P can't remember either. All we can remember is that it looks like stones.

Funny pregnancy aside...when I was walking through Lowe's today, the baby started kicking me and I put my hands on my tummy to rub it. An employee stopped me to ask if I was in labor. Can you believe it? I just died laughing and said, "Boy, I sure hope not!" But the fact that she thought I was close to the end is kind of I look that big? To me, I look very can I possibly get bigger? Well, I guess skin stretches and bones break, eh?

Tune in tomorrow...

Friday, August 12, 2005

Au revoir, old kitchen; bonjour, new kitchen!

When we woke up today, I had a honey-do list all set for P to work on today while I moved things back into the kitchen.

He suggested we go shopping instead. Hey, I can do that! I have a shopping list TWICE as long as the honey-do list!

So with coupons in hand, we hit Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, Michael's and Kohl's.

What a fun day. We bought a ton of kitchen stuff that we have been waiting to buy until we got our new was awesome. And we got some great deals with our coupons and with the sales. We bought a new flatware set, a new cutlery set, a toaster, seperator bins for our new flatware, a seven-piece canister set, a new dish rack, black and white dishtowels, black oven mitts, a new cookie sheet set, ceramic trivets for the counters, bins for dog food to put in the pantry, and (this the most fun) art for our walls in the kitchen. I swear, I feel like I'm moving into a new house!

We had decided when we picked our color scheme for the kitchen that we would hang black and white prints and art on the wall, but would wait to decide on a theme until we saw what was out there. It turned out to be "Paris and all things French", a theme I never would have anticipated, but it was either that or really fat chefs or black and white florals. We picked up three black and white photographs of city scenes in Paris and some inexpensive frames at Target, some painted city scene plaques at Michael's, and two "floating" framed wine labels worded in French. It's all very cool, and I can't wait to see what it looks like all hung up.

The two things that I am having QUITE a time with finding are a chrome breadbox and a new kitchen rug. The breadbox I am going to check one more place (Lowe's tomorrow) and the rug...well, I'm not sure yet what we're going to do on that one, but none of the places we looked today had a decent selection of kitchen rugs, as hard as that is to believe. work today on the house. We shopped instead. While that was still fun, we have a busy day tomorrow. My big goals for the end of the day tomorrow are to get the rest of the kitchen moved back in, finish the dresser and move it into the nursery, organize the nursery a tad, move the dining room table into the garage and make a decision on what we are going to do with it (I have a feeling it's beyond saving thanks to Taylor the destructor), and get the kitchen and utility rooms ready for flooring on Monday. We are also going to hit Lowe's, buy our baseboards, and hopefully get it painted, but we'll see how tomorrow goes.

I'm slowly falling in love with my house all over again. Ah, the romance of Paris.

I have running water! And a microwave! And an Insinkerator!

One step closer. The guys came back today and did some more work...we now have a fully functional sink, garbage disposal, and microwave/oven hood. No trim yet, windowsill, toe kicks, cove base molding, dishwasher or range, but I guess I understand their reasoning for that...only makes sense to finish all that AFTER the floors go in Monday. I guess.

But I sure was looking forward to cooking on my new range this weekend. *pout*

But it's all right...we have plenty to do as it is. I came home tonight, installed the rest of my wall plates, and put the new salt and pepper shaker set and spoon rest that I bought at Target on the counters. Has anyone noticed just how much stainless steel stuff there is out there right now? Yikes. We are SO in luck. We almost bought a new breadbox too, but decided to wait and check Lowe's and Bed Bath and Beyond first.

Finally, for the first time in weeks, I feel like things are starting to go my way. Finally. We picked up the piece of glass we ordered for my new desk today and it is a perfect fit and looks great. I went by Michael's on the way home and discovered that they have an incredible selection of black and white art that is way more affordable than the dregs on Ebay. We found an exterior painter yesterday that gave us a bid on repainting the house which is about a third less than what I anticipated...AND he can start the week after next. My floorers are coming Monday morning. Our windows should be here Monday morning. My dresser is going to be done by the end of the weekend. I got a GREAT baby gift today from my package full of pink clothes for my daughter. It was a beautiful day here today in big D. For the first time in over a week I don't feel like a bloated whale. My people at my claim today were a tad dopey, but otherwise pleasant to work with. And P and I both got bonuses at work!

What a great day!

I promise, pictures soon...we are going to discuss buying baseboard on Sunday and getting it painted so we can install it next week and then call for our carpet cleaners. I can't WAIT. I can really see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And it's BRIGHT!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I have a kitchen! With cabinets! And counters!

Oh, I never thought I'd see the day.

The contractors came and dropped off a ton of boxes yesterday with our cabinets, and today, they arrived bright and early to install them. And THEN they built my countertops!

Seeing it and the look on my husband's face when he came home tonight has almost been worth what this man has put us through over the last three weeks. Almost.

The kitchen, seriously, looks BEAUTIFUL. More beautiful than I ever imagined. I can't wait to see how it looks when they are all finished tomorrow. I will be gone tomorrow on a claim, so I will just have to come home and be surprised, but apparently they are going to go to Home Depot to get all the "extras" that they need and then will be coming over to install the sink, faucet, garbage disposal, range, microhood, and then to put the finishing touches on. The floors are confirmed for Monday and Tuesday (I talked to the flooring company this morning) and the window guy is supposed to come Monday or Tuesday, whenever the windows come in. Then the contractors will come and finish up by installing our cabinetry toe-kicks and some molding for the bottom, and then it will be up to US to finish next week with the baseboards, paint touch-ups, moving all the furniture back into place, setting up the new pieces of furniture that we bought, and just in general, getting things organized. Going through something like this is seriously like moving into a new house. It's weird.

Oh, I am excited. The end is in SIGHT! I would share a picture, but I don't want to ruin the final effect. It's truly amazing...and a miracle. My poor kitchen is like a phoenix rising from the ashes!

On another unrelated note, I got a call from the owner of the vet place that the thing happened at with Taylor, abjectly apologizing for the way that I was treated and sincerely apologizing for everything that happened. She also said that she has declawed several older cats and would be happy to discuss doing it with me if that was the route that I wished to pursue. I thanked her for calling and told her how much I appreciated it, but that I had decided to pursue other options.

Work is fine. I got my first claim today in two weeks, and I have SO enjoyed having the last two weeks of peace and quiet to catch up on stuff. It's been heavenly!

I'm sure I've got other stuff to report, but nothing quite as wonderful as the status of the kitchen, so I'll leave you with that and go eat!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

No declawing

What an awful morning this has been.

I restricted Taylor's food and water last night. I woke up at the crack of dawn to drop her off for the declawing. This is after I went down to this vet in person to make sure that they would do the declawing on older cats a month ago. I'm not a declawing fan at all, hence the reason why I didn't do this when I got these cats about ten years ago.

Fifteen minutes after I get home from dropping her off, the vet calls me to tell me that she won't feel comfortable declawing Taylor since she is nine years old. She tells me that the oldest cat she has declawed is four years old and that cat had a very long recovery time due to his age. To make it worse, she then proceeds to tell me that some cats have chronic pain for the rest of their lives if they are declawed later in life. She said that if I am adamant, she will still do the surgery, but she would strongly recommend against it, and if I did want to do it, she would want to do pre-operative bloodwork in addition to the bloodwork that they already do, keep Taylor overnight while they are waiting for the results, keep Taylor another night to recover from the surgery, and then if she does Gabby and Moira (a big if), she'd want to put them on catheter IV drips while the surgery is going on since they are older so their blood pressure doesn't plummet. Oh, and yeah, the total cost of the declawing for all three cats would double to $1,200 from the original $600 that I was quoted a month ago.

All because I didn't do this when they were six months old because I was afraid of the pain it would cause them and didn't have the money to do it then. I got Gabby when I was a sophomore in college and Moira and Taylor after I first moved to Texas when I was 21. Who has that kind of money when you are a kid and just starting out?

Well, it was quite the scene on the phone with the vet. I had started crying on the way to the vet when Taylor started meowing, so it didn't take long for me to start crying after the vet was telling me about all the possible complications. P finally got on the phone and talked to her, and we decided to cancel the surgery. Even though these cats are making me a little crazy right now, I still love them to pieces and wouldn't want them to go through unnecessary pain, have trouble walking for the rest of their lives, and (this would be the worst) develop weird personality problems because they don't have their claws. All three of these cats are VERY nice and sweet...I don't want them to start being nasty or bitchy because they have pain when they walk.

After that, I got very angry, and just went down there, picked up Taylor (who was very glad to see me), canceled my appointment for Katie that I had made for later that day, and pulled all of my medical records. I had just recently switched to this vet after they told me that they would have no problem declawing cats as old as mine, and after this whole scene, I decided that they didn't deserve my business. We're going to find another vet in our town that will be happy to take care of five animals for the next ten years or so. We were with our last vet for nine years.

So, declawing is out. Next time I own cats, if I ever do again, I will get them declawed as kittens, and that's the end of it. Lesson learned.

Next alternative...and there aren't Soft Paws, which are basically little vinyl caps that you put on your cats' claws and it will keep your furniture from being damaged...kind of like a leather sheath on the pointy end of scissors. It is much cheaper than declawing...a six month supply is $17.95, and it's painless, so I guess we're going to give that a try. P had said that he heard something about a surgery that could be done somewhere where the tendons to the claws are cut so the nails won't grow, but I can't imagine that we could have that done somewhere where the cats' age won't be a factor.

Anyway. Thanks to everyone for the supporting comments about declawing. I appreciate it. We're just going to investigate other options at this point and in the meantime, I'll continue to trim their claws and hopefully the Soft Paws will work so we can start replacing the furniture that the cats have ruined.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Destroyer #1 is losing her claws tomorrow

I have had my cats now for a long time. I got my oldest cat, Gabrielle, when I was a freshman in college eleven years ago, and my subsequent kitties, Moira and Taylor, when I moved to Texas in 1996.

Ever since I have had them, I have vowed never, ever to declaw them, citing reasons such as that I don't want them to be defenseless if they get outside, I don't want the dogs to bully them, and especially...because I just didn't want to. I have put up a good fight. All three of them sit very still (okay, not really) and let me trim their daggers from time to time.

But as time goes on, and we are having to replace furniture, window treatments, etcetera, it's getting rather old seeing our cats turn their noses up at the expensive scratching posts that we buy for them and make beelines instead for the ultra-expensive scratching posts also known as OUR COUCHES.

So let's sum up (and don't let their innocent faces and excellent posing ability fool you):

Destroyer #1: Taylor
Image hosted by
-Accolades of Destruction: the legs of our dining room table, the sides of a double recliner long since retired to the dumpster, and the sides of our current couch and loveseat
-Irritating Claw Habits Other Than Destruction: jumping on your bare back after you get out of the shower and clinging with her claws, kneading on you when you are trying to sleep, patting your face and thinking it's cute while trying to ignore the winces of pain on your face

Destroyer #2: Moira
Image hosted by
-Accolades of Destruction: the sheer curtains in our office, the sheer curtains in our bedroom, the blinds in our bedroom soon to be replaced when we get a new window, the blinds in our living room that were replaced a year or so ago, our carpet, many a scratching post, and our king mattress that she has deemed her personal little hiding place (hence the reason why this picture is an old one and not a new one)
-Irritating Claw Habits Other Than Destruction: kneading on ME constantly when I'm trying to stitch (she doesn't do it to P)

Destroyer #3: Gabrielle
Image hosted by
-Accolades of Destruction: the carpet, the old paint on the walls of my office, and she's hard at work on the new paint in my office already
-Irritating Claw Habits Other Than Destruction: kneading on me when I'm trying to go to sleep (see all they all do it at varying times?)

As you can see, Taylor is by FAR the most destructive and the most annoying, hence why she gets the privilege of getting to go first tomorrow. I am taking her in first thing in the morning to have her front claws removed. If all goes well, Moira will go next week, and then Gab the week after. I'm not worried about the dogs messing with them...the dogs, unlike the cats, know their boundaries and respect not only our things but also the other members of the house which include the cats. (We just can't ever leave them home when we go on vacation. Ever.) And in that same vein, I know that the dogs will be great with the baby...I don't have the same faith in the cats, especially since Taylor has that face-patting thing. We don't want to get rid of the only option I see is to declaw them.

Wish us luck!

Oh, you're probably wondering what happened today with the contractors? Same old song and dance...they didn't show up, P called them, and L pretended like he never told me that he'd be here Monday, and that I, the hysterical pregnant homeowner, misheard him AS USUAL. At this point, nothing that man says fazes me anymore. Supposedly they will be here in the morning. We'll see. I am just not optimistic anymore.

Still working on the dresser...the main part of the dresser is completely done, I sanded the last four drawers, conditioned them and stained them with coat #1, and then put coat #2 on the other two drawers and the small drawers. Tomorrow I'll put coat #2 on the rest of the drawers, and then when they are all on the same schedule, I'll start the top coats. I'm definitely getting the two in one stuff for the dining room table. Everything looks great...although I realized tonight that the seahorse hardware that I bought for the long drawers doesn't fit the pre-existing holes, so I'm going to have to do a little repair work on the drawers. It's a close fit though, so it's not a big deal. Nothing that a little wood putty and creativity won't fix!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The BEST gift from my father-in-law

Image hosted by

What a surprise this was. We loaded up all of our leftover garage sale crap yesterday in the two cars and drove out to my in-laws' house in south Dallas to drop it off since they are planning on having a big church sale in a week or two. As soon as we get there, my father-in-law, F, asked P if he would help him go move some furniture that one of his clients was donating to the sale. (F is a contractor.)

Next thing I know, P is calling me to tell me that they are going to be late because it is raining, but not to leave because they have two beautiful hardwood cherry desks and he wants to see if I want to buy one of them. Considering that my old desk was a very beat-up old particle board desk that I got from P's boss at work as a hand-me-down when I first started to work from home, I of course agreed to stay. It turned out to be several hours, which I filled by eating lunch, visiting with my sisters-in-law and mother-in-law and aunt-in-law (is that even a concept?) and just in general hanging out.

It was SO worth the wait, as you can see. Not only did I get THE most beautiful desk, but my FIL wouldn't think of me paying him for it since he got it for free as well. We stuck it in our Explorer and now it is my new workspace! It's finished. It has a very high-gloss finish. It has about twice more drawer space. And it is six feet long as opposed to five feet long. I LOVE IT! The other desk was the same length but it was twice as wide, and since I just really don't need that much space, I opted for this one. I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT!

In case you don't remember, this is my pitiful excuse for a desk that I had before, so you can see why I'm ecstatic about my new baby:

Image hosted by

We looked at Lowe's tonight for new hardware, but the pulls are four inches apart and apparently they are non-standard, so I'm going to order some new ones on the internet when I get around to it. I'm not really in a rush since these look better than fine. I also sent an email to a glass company here about getting a glass furniture top for this desk since the finish fingerprints very easily. But it is really beautiful and I love it!

And...since I had quite a few requests, I got P to take a picture of my burgeoning Buddha belly. *sigh* I know I've got a baby in there, but it's hard to see my body getting bigger and bigger. And note to self...never, ever, ever, enter the dressing room at Target again while pregnant.

Image hosted by

Sadly, we did not work on the baby's dresser as planned today. Our original plan when we got up this morning was to come back around 2 or 3 after visiting with my inlaws and get busy on the dresser, but we didn't leave their house until 6 and then by the time we drove back up north to our part of town, stopped for dinner, and then stopped at Lowe's and got the desk unloaded and moved into the office, it was 9:30 pm and we were both way too tired to work on the dresser.

But tomorrow is another day. For now, I'm just psyched beyond belief about my new piece of furniture!!! And it was FREE!

I do have to admit though, we are really getting into the furniture refinishing routine since we seem to have it sort of down now. I think after the dresser is done, we are going to move the dining room table out into the garage and start on it. We were discussing buying a whole new set now that our chairs were sold with the nook table, but we really love our table, and if we can sand out the cat claw marks from Taylor in the legs, I think we're going to stain it a nice dark brown and get some nude chairs to stain to match. And then there's the bookcase, which I would like to get stained for the baby's room.

We're also discussing sanding down our dressers and nightstands in our bedroom and painting them with black enamel. I don't think either one of us has the energy to sand those babies down, and they will take forever since the finish is a super-high gloss. I think we'll be happy if we just sand off the top finish enough to allow paint to adhere, paint them black, and replace the hardware. I know I sure will be.

The contractors are supposed to come tomorrow, and quite honestly, I'm not optimistic even though L promised that they would be done by the end of the week. I just have this feeling that I'm going to be disappointed if I cling to that hope. P even agreed with me that he has a feeling we'll be calling the flooring installers around Thursday to reschedule. I guess we'll see. Keep your fingers crossed for us. I'm DYING without a kitchen.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The big sale

Today was the garage sale, and I am wiped out. What a day! It feels like it was forever ago that we woke up and started putting things out.

All in all, I'd say the sale was a huge success despite a few minor snaffoos. We got rid of everything big, although we got pretty desperate at the end and started slashing prices, and we netted $367.50, which is more than we anticipated making for sure.

But there were a few things that could have gone better for sure…some our fault, some not our fault.

The number one thing that we didn’t do that we seriously erred in judgement on was to wake up at seven am and get started instead of six. We put out signs last night that our sale was starting at nine am this morning, and thought for sure that two hours would have been enough time to get everything out there and ready. We were right thinking that two hours was enough…what we were wrong in was advertising that it starts at nine. People were driving by at 7:30 ogling the stuff that we had out, and by eight, we were beating them off with a stick. We finally gave in and just started the sale early and kept pulling stuff out from the kitchen and throwing it on sheets, but because it was SO crowded and SO crazy, one of us had to stay up at the front monitoring the sale and taking money and the other had to pull stuff out. P was the better one to stay up front since he speaks much better Spanish than I do and the majority of our clientele was Hispanic and very skilled garage salers (ie, hagglers), so I hustled as much as I could and pulled stuff out. But we didn’t pull some of the stuff out of the garage on time and completely forgot about our breakfast nook table until about 10 am.

We also realized at the end of the sale when we were packing up that we had a thief in our midst. We had a Dirk Nowitski bobblehead out that we were going to try to sell for about $10, and we realized at the end of the day that neither one of us remembered selling it to anyone. Someone must have waited until we were both very distracted and slipped it into their bag. Oh, well. Live and learn. Why someone would steal that, I have NO idea.

I also forgot to put on sunscreen OR wear a hat, so I’m now sitting here in my robe typing this with a Noxema mask on to cut the burn. Nice.

But everything big sold. The breakfast nook table was the last thing to go and we ended up having to throw our matching chairs in with it to get it to sell. We now have no dining room chairs. But it’s all good…we wanted to buy four matching ones anyway. We sold our living room coffee table, my old stereo from when I was in high school, our VCR, our TV/VCR combo, our baker’s rack, and our patio umbrella within the first two hours, and a LOT of stuff just went really fast.

The funniest part about today BY FAR was our electric range. That was the one thing that I was having trouble getting out to the front, and P couldn’t lift it either. At first he was saying, “Just put a sign out and we can show it to them in the back” but I knew if we did that, we wouldn’t sell it. So I finally went back there, lugged the thing onto a dolly and pushed it up to the front.

Arrgh, I am woman, I am STRONG!

About a hour after I did that, this little Jeep with four high school seniors drives by and one of them gets out and walks up to us. I can tell she has a purpose, so I ask her if she’s looking for something specific. She proceeds to tell us that she and her friends are participating in a church homemade go-cart race or something of that nature that night and their theme is chefs and cooking, and so they want to buy our range AND our dolly for this. We just died laughing when they told us this, but considering that no one else had even shown a glimmer of interest in it, we knew we were either faced with taking less money than we wanted or not selling it at all. A few people commented that they were worried that the range didn’t work and we had no way of hooking it up to show them that it did. So we sold it to these high school girls for $25. It was such a relief to see it go down the road.

We also had another funny moment with this woman early on who bought my pots, pans, CD rack, ten-year-old microwave and some other little things. She was eyeing my stereo system pretty intensely. I explained to her that it did work and that the only problem with it was that the second tape deck didn’t work. We wanted $20 for it. She kept trying to talk me down saying that it was old, inoperable, etcetera, but I held firm…a replacement system with materials of like kind and quality would have easily been $200, even though it was old, and it was a Sony. She haggled with P pretty strongly…and then this other guy walked by and said that he would pay full price for it. It was pretty funny…at least for us. I don’t think she was too happy.

I was really shocked that not many of our clothes sold. We sold our jeans pretty fast, but everything else, even when we started slashing prices, just sat there. And out of the six keyboards, three printers, two sets of computer speakers, two CPUs, two monitors, and numerous mice, we sold ONE printer. Oh, well. We're going to donate everything to America's Computers for Kids. Everything non-computer related is going to my in-laws to contribute to their garage sale.

Anyway, it was a big success, the kitchen is now empty again, the garage is empty, and all is well. P and I are now going to go out to dinner and celebrate!

Friday, August 05, 2005

The eve of my very first yard sale

I've never had a garage sale or a yard sale before, so this is going to be quite an adventure. I remember my parents having a garage sale when I was young, but I must have been around seven because I don't remember it very clearly.

P is kind of in the same boat....his parents are packrats, so he never has had a garage sale either.

But I think we are ready. We have everything labeled except for the clothes, and our plan for the clothes is to sort them onto sheets tomorrow labeled 50 cents, $1 and $2. Everything is sorted according to price and bagged up as much as possible. We have $40 in quarters, singles, fives and tens in a box to make change. Our signs are already up advertising that we are having our sale tomorrow from 9 to 3. All three vehicles are crammed into the driveway in the back. And even better, there are FOUR other garage sales going on in our neighborhood tomorrow, so we should get some excellent traffic.

If we clear $250 tomorrow, I'll be ecstatic. I'll settle for at least unloading the big items. If I had to pick one item that I want to get rid of no matter what, it would be our old electric range. But one thing is for certain...NOTHING is coming back into the house. After we wrap up the sale in the afternoon, we're putting everything in the cars to take it down to my inlaws on Sunday to contribute to THEIR garage sale. It's either that or Goodwill.

Anyway, wish us luck...this money is going straight to our remodeling budget. Everything is really starting to come together. L and I came to blows again today (this time over the windows) and we ended up hiring another contractor for those, and thank God, he's going to order the windows on Monday. They should be here the following week. L's guys will be here all week long doing the cabinetry and countertops. And next Monday and Tuesday we are having our floors installed. After that, we just have to move everything back into its correct place, do our baseboards, and then the last final step will be to call the carpet cleaning guys to come do our carpets and the exterminator to spray for critters.

Our kitchen looks like a moving truck right now with all the boxes and stuff. It's nice that we are at least putting the space to good use.

The pregnancy is going fine although more than a few people have commented that it looks like the baby is growing exponentially, including me. My belly is just getting bigger and rounder every day. And I decided tonight at Target that they really should have a sign up above the fitting room entrance prohibiting women with child from trying on can be very detrimental for your mental health! The baby is moving a lot, and it's getting harder and harder every day to move faster. P is starting to see what I was talking about earlier this summer. I'm so relieved that the heavy painting and work is done. After the house is finished, I'm spending more than a few weekends relaxing and shopping, that's for sure.

Time for bed...we have a big day tomorrow! I'll come back tomorrow night and post with how the sale went. Pray that we get a lot of people that just LOVE my taste and want our junk!

And let me ask this question...just how did P and I accumulate SIX keyboards in the nine years that we have been together?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

My first really uncomfortable pregnant day

I woke up yesterday morning laying on my back JUST like all the books tell you not to do and with the most uncomfortable pain right between my ribcage. My first thought was that my daughter had shifted positions and was laying in a weird position.

I immediately shifted to lay on my side to take a little of the pressure off. It helped, but unfortunately I couldn't stay in bed all day.

I got up. I got ready for work. My trainee drove me to Decatur so I could lean the seat back. I was sluggish and slow walking around my fire. Thank GOD my trainee was there to measure or I'd still be there measuring that house.

I finally get home after being pretty much winded ALL day, even from simple conversation, and call my doctor.

She says, via my nurse, that it's gas, that the baby is pushing all of my organs up and thus the gas pressure is up. She tells me to take Gas X and literally call her in the morning.

Desperate for some relief and something to take the weight off my dia-whatever, I call a friend from work and we head for the local natatorium to swim for a while, which did help quite a bit. It was much much more comfortable afterwards.

But I have a feeling that this is a sign of things to come. Walking across the house today to let the dogs out winded me. I already told my office, and I think they are going to start easing up on the field least, I hope so.