Saturday, November 26


Another year, another Thanksgiving. It was looking a bit touchy this year, with Jake's surgery. But, he felt well enough to travel (mostly, I think he didn't want to miss out on dinner), so we went to my in-laws' house for dinner on Thursday. It was a doggy kind of Thanksgiving (my favorite kind). They have two dogs and Brian's sister has two, so there were plenty of dogs to go around.

Other than that, we haven't done anything to speak of over the break. I have all of these things that need done, but despite being home, I can't seem to accomplish anything. I think it's partly because I'm tired--I didn't get much sleep earlier in the week. And, I'm still sick--day 26 for those of you who are counting.

One thing I did do was my Christmas shopping. I started it yesterday and wrapped up this morning. It used to be my goal to be done with the shopping before Thanksgiving, but my new thing is to do all of my shopping Thanksgiving weekend. I still look for ideas throughout the year, but I bookmark them instead of making the purchase. We really have no storage in our house, so this works out well.

As for Jake, he's doing a lot better. He's already gone to PT twice and did especially great yesterday. He was feeling so good last night that he wanted to go out with his friends, but it's still a little early for that.

Wednesday, November 23

the surgery

Jake's surgery was yesterday. Things went well. He's in a lot of pain, but is doing better than I expected. Now, comes the hard part--he will be in physical therapy for a bit and won't be able to return to full activity until next summer.

Sunday, November 20


Brian was easier to convince about the cat thing than I would have originally thought. So, I sent my application in to the Humane Society of Somerset County and we picked up our new cat yesterday afternoon. She is a mostly white calico and her shelter name was Callie. We're calling her Sylvia. Jake came up with the name because he liked Silvio on the Sopranos.

Sylvia was spayed a few days ago, so we have not introduced her to the general population just yet. We did briefly introduce her to Buster this morning and she promptly swatted him on the nose, so now he's terrified of her. Lizzy would just chase her so no introduction will be made with her. For now, Sylvia has the back half of the house to herself. Once her stitches heal and she can make a getaway, we'll open the house back up and let the animals figure it out.

Sylvia is Jake's cat, so all of her stuff is upstairs in his loft. Though, as it turns out, Brian has quite a sweet spot for her despite not wanting to get another cat. In fact he proclaimed, "This is the one!" when he met her. She was the first cat we looked at so none of the other ones stood a chance.

Saturday, November 19


In my previous post, I thought my chipmunk post was missing, mostly because I thought the title was chipmunk. It turns out that it was entitled thief. Crisis averted. I will chalk this up to the fact that I'm on day 19 of my illness and haven't had a decent night's sleep all month. I guess I'm not technically sick, but I still have some lingering effects from the cold--namely, slightly stuffed nose, blocked ears, and a cough that mostly manifests itself in the evening, hence the lack of sleep. I'm starting to wonder if this will ever end.

Wednesday, November 16


Previously, we thought we had a chipmunk problem in the house. I would link to my post on the subject, but it has gone missing. Not sure what happened there. I've been having a problem when editing published posts--when I do this, it creates a 2nd post and makes one of them a draft. Then, I have to delete the extra post. I have to assume it's related to this (and now I'm wondering if I'm missing anything else. Oh, well.).

Anyway, we thought we had a chipmunk problem because something stole the contents of two bags of tortellini from our basement pantry. It seemed like a reasonable idea that chipmunks might have taken them for their winter storage. And, they may have. But, this morning, Brian was restocking toilet paper throughout the house and the toilet paper was all chewed up. This is mouse behavior for sure. So, we either have a different problem or an additional problem.

All I know is that this is the first fall in 20 years that we haven't had a cat and now we have rodent problems. I was never a cat fan, but I will take one over rodents any day. Now, to convince Brian.

Tuesday, November 15


Jacob is now an officially licensed driver. He took and passed his driver's test on Sunday. How did he do this on Sunday, you might ask? Well, he took a driver's safety course through Brant's Driving School as they do not offer Driver's Ed at Westmont. In addition to behind-the-wheel and classroom instruction, they also administer the driver's test. Sunday was the first day Jacob was eligible to take the test and he somehow managed to schedule his test for that day (even though they don't normally test on Sundays). We haven't seen Jacob since.

Friday, November 11

critical judgment

This medical thriller, written by Michael Palmer, starts off strong but ends on a weak note. It begins by introducing a bunch of patients with undiagnosable illnesses. The first two-thirds to three-quarters of the story was rather interesting--it dealt with a physician trying to figure out what was causing the illnesses (with a local manufacturing company being the prime suspect). But, then it ends with underground tunnels (again!) and government testing of biological weapons on unsuspecting citizens. Whew!

My rating: 3/5

Thursday, November 10

signing out

I'm so over Facebook. Unfortunately I have to use it for work, so I can't delete my account. And, I do like looking at the pictures of dogs that frequent my feed (thanks to the surrounding humane societies). So, I set my feed up to show just that. No more updates from people I barely know (or from ones I actually do know). I should have done this before the election--I've wasted a lot of ill will these past few months. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that I don't need to know what everyone is thinking.

Wednesday, November 9

the sickness

I have had the worst cold ever since last Tuesday. Thanks, Jake. Lucky for Brian, he has been able to avoid coming down with something.

Due to my symptoms, I haven't gotten much sleep in the past week. Brian was nice enough to go to Page Bedding and get me a wedge pillow so that I could sleep upright in bed, rather than on our recliner. But, unfortunately, that is not a cure for a cough, which I have been suffering from the past few days. Nor is cough syrup, apparently. I guess I will live, but I could sure use some sleep. Maybe this weekend...

Saturday, November 5

highly suspect

They are one of my favorite current bands, so we decided to go see them at the Rex Theater in Pittsburgh on Thursday. I caught a horrible cold earlier in the week, so things were up in the air till the last minute, but we made it there. 

Unfortunately, the band was pretty sloppy (and when I say band, I really mean the lead singer/guitarist), so that was rather disappointing. I've never seen a national act that played that sloppily before. They also didn't play very long--just a little over an hour.  And, now my cold is even worse than before (I blame it on the lack of sleep Thursday night). The place was full of Highly Suspect fans, though. At times, you couldn't even hear the band because the audience was singing so enthusiastically.

Still, I'm kind of glad we went because I do really like the band's music and if we would not have gone, I would have felt like I missed out on something.