Wednesday, December 31

2008: the year in review

Favorite movie: Cloverfield. I still think about it. Iron Man was quite entertaining as well, but not quite as thought provoking.

Favorite book: Heart Shaped Box. I didn't have time to read a lot this year, but I think this would have been my favorite no matter what.

Favorite music: Nothing. I didn't buy a single cd this year that I can think of.

The year started off with time suck #1 of the year, Buster. He is well chronicled on this blog. Buying a new building followed. The remodel of said building wins the award for time suck #2 of the year. And, then I got a new job somewhere in between all of that. There were other activities going on, such as putting a pond in our back yard.

Even though it was a busy year, we managed to have some fun. We took a family vacation to Chincoteague and Brian and I took a motorcycle trip to Berkeley Springs.

This has been quite the year. I'm glad it's over. Here's to a less stressful 2009.

Tuesday, December 30

impromptu vacation

I had a couple days off over Christmas and it looks like I'm going to do the same for New Years. I had already planned on taking Friday off. But, after sitting through two days of self-paced training and not wanting to do a 3rd, I'm taking tomorrow off, too.

Of course, I feel like I'm coming down with a cold so my time off might not be as fun as I'd like it to be. On the other hand, at least I'll have time to get some rest, if needed.

Saturday, December 27

december 26

Brian's sister and her crew came in yesterday so we went to Brian's parents for dinner last night. It was a nice evening despite the fact that most of her family has the plague. We got to open more presents, which is always good. We had some good wine at dinner, too.

There was supposed to be an extended family get-together there today, but since everyone is sick, it has been canceled. So, Brian's mom sent us home with a bunch of food. I won't have to cook until next week!

Friday, December 26

Thursday, December 25

chrismas day

Let's start by saying that Jake was still up at 12:30 last night, which is when Brian and I went to bed. At 5:30 this morning, he came into our bedroom and said that he couldn't sleep (apparently he had been up since 4 at this point), so he hopped into our bed and fidgeted for about a half hour before Brian kicked him out. We got up shortly after that and let him open his gifts. This year was definitely the most excited he has been about Christmas.

This afternoon was spent at my parent's house. My parents, brother, and grandmother were all there. We had a nice meal and then opened some more presents!

This evening, we're just hanging out and playing with our new toys.

Wednesday, December 24

christmas eve



For the first time ever, we hosted Christmas Eve at our house. We went to the 4:30 service at our church with Brian's parents and grandmother. This service is kid-friendly and had no sermon other than the children's sermon--yahoo! Besides that, I liked the fact that it was early. We always end up going to church at the end of our evening, but this was definitely better.

After that, we came back to the house and had dinner. I made lasagna, garlic bread, and Italian antipasto salad. I'm still stuffed and I didn't even think I ate that much.

Jake couldn't wait any longer so we exchanged gifts with Brian's family after dinner. We got some cool bar/wine and grill stuff, among other things. Jake got a Nintendo DS and we haven't seen him since.

Not long after opening gifts, my parents and brother stopped in for a visit. They brought Jake's second favorite gift of the night--a framed Sidney Crosby poster. Jake's a huge Sidney Crosby fan in case you didn't know.

Besides nearly knocking Brian's grandmother ass over tea kettle a few times, Buster fared pretty well for his first dinner party. Thank goodness we received his medication yesterday. I don't think I would have wanted to attempt this otherwise.

The rest of the evening everyone sat around, drank, and talked. Just your typical holiday. Now, I must go and finish the Christmas morning preparations.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 23

what a difference a pill makes

Last month, we finally gave up all hope on Buster and decided to medicate him for his separation anxiety issues. Our dog trainer did not think he needed to be medicated, but she does not have to live with him. So we talked to the vet, who thought we should give the medication a try. We have him on the generic version of Clomicalm. The stuff is supposed to take a couple of weeks to work, but we noticed a difference right away. The vet had us start him off on a half dose for the first two weeks so that any adverse reactions would be lessened. He did not have any reactions so around Thanksgiving, he went on the full dose.

Once on the full dose he was like a different dog. We still have to work on his separation issues (we were waiting for the medication to take full effect), but it has affected his daily life in a positive way as well. While he is still full of energy, he does not act out in the same ways he did before. He is generally calmer and does not bark anywhere near as much (his separation anxiety is such that he will bark even if not left alone--e.g. if someone leaves the house or sometimes just the room). We were afraid it would make him dopey, but instead it has made him almost normal.

At first, I thought there was no way the medication could work that quickly. I figured his new attitude had to do with the fact that he's now a year old and that we have given him more freedoms in the house. But, this theory was put to the test this week and failed miserably. Around 2 weeks ago, I renewed his prescription. After some bumbling on the pharmacy's end and then some on the shipper's end, we ran out of medication and the old Buster was back and up to his old tricks. It's unbelievable, actually. This stuff is supposed to take a while to exit your system, too, so I'm surprised that he reacted so quickly either way. Today, he's back on his meds and a little angel again (comparatively speaking).

Typically this medication is only given for a few months, which is enough time to do behavioral training and get the dog over the hump. But, given Buster's antics, there's a good chance he will be on them permanently. But, I'll tell you what, the pills aren't expensive and they make living with the dog bearable, so I don't have a problem with it either way it turns out.

Monday, December 22

the burden of proof

Whew! This was a long one. I've been reading it for almost 2 months now (though I did lose it for a week around Halloween when Jake put it in our pumpkin basket). Despite the slow reading, I did enjoy the book. It's just not what I'd call a "page turner". The story was quite good, though. It was one of those lawyer stories, but with less emphasis on actual court proceedings than what you might find normally.

I did receive some motivation to finish this book--the latest Stephen King short story book arrived the other week, so I knew I had to kick it up a notch. Guess what I'm reading next?

Saturday, December 20

get smart

On a whim I added this movie to our Blockbuster queue. I was running short on "family movie night" movies and thought it would do the trick. I wasn't particularly enamored with the movie based off of the previews, but I figured, what the heck? As it turns out, this movie was pretty funny. It had all three of us laughing out loud numerous times. Heck, we're still laughing today, so I guess could could call this a good one.

Tuesday, December 16

winter

I haven't been dreading winter quite as much this year as I have previous years. I think it's because I haven't had time to think much about it. Normally, winter is a slow time around this house. But, this year, since we were so busy with the office, it's "make up" time and that has been keeping me busy. I can hardly believe that next week is Christmas already and here I am still not quite prepared for it.

In my opinion, January is the absolute worst month of the year. The weather is always horrible. There's nothing going on. Everyone's sick. Usually I'm dreading this month from October on. But this year is different. The way time has been flying for me, January's practically over already.

That said, I guess it's time to start planning my 2009 garden tasks. I'll add it to the list.

Friday, December 12

christmas party

My work Christmas party was this evening. It was at that place behind the Gingerbread Man. Well, it's not the Gingerbread Man anymore, but that's what it was when I used to go out, so that's how I know it.

The party was ok, but nothing to get excited about. The food was so-so. The drinks weren't free, so we stayed until we ran out of money, which didn't take long. Our whole table left at the same time as we did so we didn't have to feel bad about ducking out early. I can't imagine the party was going to last very long, anyway because there was no music or anything planned for the rest of the evening.

So, I guess this marks the official beginning of the Christmas season. I managed to wrap up my cards this week. We have a bunch of Christmas stuff planned for the weekend. I am very far behind this year, but at least all of my shopping is done.

Wednesday, December 10

chiefs game

We went to a Chiefs game this evening thanks to our healthcare group at PDS. They were offering up some free tickets, so we took them up on it. All employees of PDS attended, plus Jake (for those of you who are counting, that was 4 of us total). The game was pretty good. The Chiefs won. There were no fights, however, much to the disappointment of at least 75% of us.

Anyway, it was nice to get some free stuff thanks to the business. Hopefully this won't be the last of it.

Saturday, December 6

the thin red line

We watched this movie last evening. All evening. It was 3 hours long. I did not realize that when I rented it or I might have passed. I do like a good war movie, but this one was just not up my alley. Besides being too long it had too many characters to follow and did not have enough of a plot. The other thing I did not like about it was the obvious stunt casting. It had people like John Travolta and George Clooney, who each appeared for one scene a piece. There were quite a lot of other stars in it that were in the whole movie, so I'm not sure why they did that with those guys. One positive to note, it was visually pleasing. A lot of nice camera work. But, I can't recommend it.

Wednesday, December 3

still busy

I'm so far behind from working on the office renovations that I'm still ridiculously busy each evening. Thanksgiving weekend was good, though. I pretty much wrapped up my Christmas shopping (thank you, internet). I really enjoyed being off those four days. I was in such a good mood until Monday hit and then it was back to work. I still don't have my Christmas cards done yet. They are only about 25% completed at this point. I've been trying to work on them this week, but haven't had much time. I guess I will have to remedy that this weekend. They do have to be mailed sooner or later...