And Then There Was None

I haven’t written in two weeks, but that’s because it’s been a crazy two weeks to say the least. If you follow me on Twitter, then you’ll know what this is about.

Tucker went back to his foster mom today.

He was a wonderful dog, and we fell in love with him instantly, but, unfortunately, he had a prey drive, and was taking it out on Jersey.

After the first night, and the first snip, I thought he was just adjusting to her.

After the first attack, I thought maybe I was mistaking play for fighting.

After the second attack, I started to have doubts.

After the (thankfully only attempted, as I had him on a leash) third attack, all within 2 weeks, Paul and I made the toughest decision of our lives, and decided to return him to the rescue group.

I’ve been crying all week, so today, when it was actually time to bring him back, I was much more composed that I thought I’d be. And actually, I probably wouldn’t have cried at all; I was at peace with the decision, except for the fact that Paul was crying when I got in the car.

Stoic boyfriend crying never helps.

We will heal. Jersey will prosper. Tucker will find a new home.

But there will always be a tiny, Boston Terrier sized hole in our hearts.

Bye, Little Buddy, Mommy will miss you...

Welcome Home, Tucker

He’s had a busy afternoon, full of car rides and PetSmart and new smells, but Tucker is home with us and a full-fledged member of our family and we couldn’t be happier! Welcome Home, Tuckleberry Finn!

I made myself right at home on the couch

I met my sister, Jersey. She's a little scared of me, but I don't mind her. Mom and Dad are keeping their eyes on us.

Happiness is a warm couch and a family that loves me!

Massage

I’ve never had a massage. I mean, a real, professional massage. Not to suggest that I’ve gotten massages from random homeless men on the street, but I don’t consider Paul rubbing my shoulders when they are sore a massage.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that Paul and I have some time off together at the end of the month, and briefly considered going away together, but decided that it might be better to have a “stay-cation” and do some fun local things. One of the things I suggested was getting a couples massage. Paul, of course, immediately poo poo’d it.

I was a little upset that he so quickly shut it down without giving a reason why. I have a funny feeling it has to do with, how should I put this, the small amount of hair growing on his back. (I’m over it.) But he would never admit that. It also upset me that the only suggestion he was making was to take a hot air balloon ride with our cat Jersey in a top hat.

Seriously.

He was serious.

About the cat in a hot air balloon.

So she could “see the world”.

In a top hat.

So today I researched some massages that I could go to myself. And my area of Northern New Jersey has what appear to be some nice spas. But since I’ve never had a massage, I don’t really know what I’m looking for. Do I just want a regular Swedish massage? Hot Stone? Aromatherapy?

And then, there is a spa nearby that has “Pacific Massages” and let me tell you, they sound delightful! The Lomi Lomi! The Jamu! They sound so tropical! I LOVE tropical! I have a tattoo of a hibiscus flower on my foot! That should surely get me a discount, right??? Massages with coconut oil and ylang-ylang flower essence and aloe, oh my!

Granted, these cost $120 for an hour, but I’m sure, somewhere in the recess of my mind, I can rationalize that it’s worth it, right?

And that’s the thing. I RARELY treat myself. I do my own nails. I get my hair cut twice a year (if that). I use coupons to get make up once a century. I buy shampoo in bulk. So really, I could go out and get myself a massage.

So, since I know I’m 99.999999% likely to talk myself out of it, could you please share your massage experience, what you’d recommend, and remind me why I need to pamper myself a little?

Thanks! Happy Tuesday!

Mother’s Day and Financial Planning

Hidey-Ho! I’m off again this Monday, as I worked pretty much all day Saturday, so it’s very nice that it’s 11am and I’m still in my PJ’s and have spent the past hour reading up on my favorite bloggers. I have to say, I’m a bad blog reader. I have about 3-4 blogs that I enjoy reading on a somewhat daily basis, but I rarely comment. So I’m that stalker that knows about your life, but you don’t know me. I guess I just feel like, what I have to say, about 12 people have already said, so what’s the point? But then I get sad that no one comment’s on my posts, so it’s a vicious cycle of blogging-self-hate.

But, I also recognize I went for, like, 3 months without a single peep! And honestly, it’s ok. Sometime’s life get’s in the way of our best intentions, right? And I don’t HAVE to blog every day, because some days I don’t have anything to say.

Also, and I’m not sure who you are, but whoever is reading this random little foray into my life, thanks! I’ve had a surge of traffic on this site, which is odd given my absence, but I appreciate it and hope I can keep you entertained!

But now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, onto the topic at hand: Mother’s Day! I must say, I had a very delightful Mother’s Day, despite the fact that I did not get to see my own Mom. On Saturday, in between my time at work, I stopped off at Target to pick up Mother’s Day cards for practically every woman I know: My Mom, Paul’s Mom, Paul’s Grandma, Pau’s Mom from the dog, Paul’s Aunt from the dog, and LaLa, as she is an expectant mother. I also thought it’d be nice to get LaLa a iTunes gift-card so that she can buy music for her labor playlist, as that is apparently all the rage (when I told my mom about it, she was quite dumbstruck at the thought of listing to music while in labor). I had called over to LaLa to see if she was home to drop off her card, and she wasn’t, so we made plans to go for a walk in the park in between our houses early Sunday morning.

I should also mention, for the sake of chronological order, that Paul and I talked about the Big P (proposal) on Saturday night and he a) indicated that it would take place within the next 6-months (too long! do it tomorrow!) and b) fished around for my ring size. And by fished around, I mean be blatantly asked me what size ring to get. And I blatantly told him. Because I blatantly tell him every day to just go buy a Cracker Jack box and wipe of the plastic ring and ask me already.

But I digress.

So Sunday, which was absolutely GORGEOUS here weather-wise, starting off by meeting LaLa in the park. She is delightfully round and oh-so pregnant at 27 weeks, and I reveled in watching her walk around the park with her hand on her belly, supporting and caressing her unborn child as we lopped along. After our walk and catch-up (because I had not seen her since MARCH 12TH! So see, it wasn’t just my blog that was neglected these past few months!), she left and I decided that this was a perfect moment to RUN. Like, outside. To prepare for my Warrior Dash. Which I’ve become recently aware is going to take me 10 hours in my present state. So I ran. I ran so short a distance. But I ran.

Anyway, I returned home and spent a glorious couple of hours on the couch with my baby. She even posed for a Mother’s Day Photo Shoot:

I called my mom and she delightfully recounted her visit to Home Depot wherein her and my Dad bought a new grill. A large one. So that “when all the kids are home there is enough room on the grill for all the food.” God Bless Them, that happens about twice a summer, but I’ll happily be their excuse for a shiny new grill.

Paul came home and we, like the naive young couple we are, went to Stop&Shop to buy flowers for his Mom, Aunt, and Grandma. Only it was Flowerocolypse at Stop&Shop and it looked like a super villain had blasted all the flowers to death. But we managed to find 3 plants that looked ok, and headed back home for our Mother’s Day Extravaganza!

We went out to dinner with Paul’s parents, Aunt, and Grandma last night to a little Italian place and it was rather delightful. After dinner, we headed back to our house for desert. We were downstairs at Paul’s Aunts, just chatting and spending time together. At one point, Paul’s sister called, and one thing lead to another, and Paul ended up bringing down his Mac so that Grandma could Skype with his sister. It was actually adorable to watch Grandma be completely shell-shocked to be able to talk to her granddaughter!

After Paul’s parent’s left, we ended up hanging around talking to his Aunt for another hour. And we began talking about retirement savings. Well, basically, Paul will be able to retire and I won’t. As we speak I’m in my meager account online, and for the love of Pete I don’t understand. As it stands, I personally don’t contribute to my retirement, but my employer does give me a free 5%. This is because I’m still paying off my hefty student loans, so until they get a bit smaller, I’ll just take the free money.

But, she did suggest that we talk to a financial planner. Because, you know, we’re grown-ups, and want to do things like get married, but a house, and have kids. So it’s probably a good idea for us to plan our finances, instead of just sticking our fingers in our ears and going “la la la as long as we’re paying the bills we’re ok”. So my question is this: what are you thoughts on financial planners? How do they work? And what kind of things will I need to inquire about?

So, with all that said, I have laundry to do and an oil change to go get. Happy Monday!

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Another Fuzzy Alarm Clock

Tee. Hee.

Hi. I don’t really need to explain do I? I’m just going to go with it. When I write, I write. When I don’t, I don’t. As a wise mid-90’s musical about NYC proudly proclaimed: Take Me or Leave Me!

So I suppose I’m due for about 3 months of updates on life.

I guess the most notable thing is that work as been OK. And by ok, I mean reasonably tolerable. My secretary left mid-March to go work in another office, and I think my boss realized that she could choose to either work with me or against me.  Thankfully, it appears that for the most part, she has chosen to work with me. She has even COMPLIMENTED me in the past few months on my work. Needless to say, my jaw hit the floor quite a few times. We did a search for a new secretary and for the past 3 weeks have had a young man who graduated from the school a few years ago behind that desk. So far so good.

With that said, tonight is the first night in MONTHS that I’m actually cooking dinner (turkey burgers and fries, as per Paul’s request). I’m actually blogging from the kitchen counter as I let the burgers cook on the Forman because, a) the thoughts of what I wanted to write were in my head and I knew if I waited I’d forget, and b) I have a laptop, so why I insist on keeping it on the same end table next to the couch I’ll never know. The point of that rant is that I’ve been crazy-busy at work. Lots of long hours and multiple 12-hour days have added up and taken their toll, but the end of the semester is near and the glory of summer is upon us, bring with it 9-5 work days, 4 day weeks, and not a single snowflake in sight.

Let’s see, what else had happened in the past three months? Paul and I signed up for, along with Kay, G, and Queens for a Warrior Dash in June. I earnestly signed up (again) for Weight Watchers back in February, shortly after my birthday, and gave it the old college try for about a month, but then my secretary left and the 12-hours days hit and McDonald’s was oh-so convenient. But, I do get on the elliptical about once a week, which is more than before, and once the semester ends I can devote an honest to goodness 3 days a week to working out, and really I just want to finish the race, not have the best time. And I think I can do that.

Paul and I finally painted the living room/dining room last weekend. I had a 3-day weekend due to the glory of Easter, and we took advantage of that and I spent 4 days painting away. It’s not a drastic change from what it was. The room went from industrial white to Linen. If you glance at the walls without looking at the trim, you think it’s white, but it’s actually a greyish beige upon further inspection. And I must say, we did a pretty damn good job. And it only took us a year to do it.

That’s right, folks. As of, well today actually, Paul and I have lived together for an entire year. And we still like each other. In fact, we still love each other a whole lot. My sex drive still isn’t that high, but it is entirely due to stress and tiredness than lack of wanting, and he understands. Our two-year anniversary is a short 30 days away, and I’m hoping a shiny ring turns up sometime soon. I know a MAJOR consideration on his part is money. He wants to have a certain amount in his bank account before he buys a ring. But it’s coming soon. Because lord knows that I’ve been dropping lead bricks in the disguise of hints for a while now. He will when he’s ready, but I wish he’d be ready yesterday (oh, and that Royal Wedding didn’t help, especially because I was MADLY in love with Wills when I was younger, pre-Baldy McBalderson…)

But, I do have to say that despite the fact that we aren’t engaged yet, that isn’t stopping us from becoming parents! We are currently in the process of adoption. We’re actually supposed to have a home visit on Monday. We’re hoping for a beautiful baby that’s both black and white and already house-trained. Yup, we’re rescuing a Boston Terrier! We found a great rescue group that serves our area, and have been going through their adoption process. They’ve called Paul’s Aunt, our landlord, for a reference, done a phone interview, and the next step is for someone to visit out house. She was actually scheduled to come today, but had an emergency and will be coming on Monday. After that, if we are approved, we will hopefully be matched with a dog in the next few weeks! I’ve already started clipping dog food coupons in anticipation. How will Jersey react? We’re not sure yet, but two things are on the top of our priority lists with getting a dog: a) the dog is documented as getting along with cats, and b) Jersey was here first and will always be my Bubby Princess Kitty Kat.  It will be a new challenge, but one that I’m open to and excited for, and hopefully will all work out, plus it’s coming at a time of year that I feel good about, and know that I will have the time and opportunity to get used to a new fuzzy alarm clock waking me up in the morning.

So, no promises that I’ll write again soon. It could be tomorrow, a week from now, or 3 months, but know that, with a couple of exceptions and moments of anxiety, I’m doing fine and so are Paul and Jersey and no matter what we will continue to be doing fine. Great even. Amazingly: Happy.

P.S.- Except for the phantom bagpipes I was hearing today that makes Paul think I’m going crazy. Follow me on Twitter for the whole story on that!

Gift Giving

So I’m pretty excited about all the gifts I’ve bought people this year. I think I did a pretty good job of getting people things that they will like/use/appreciate/love. Granted, that’s if Jersey doesn’t eat their presents in the next week and a half. For a little cat, she sure likes to wreak havoc on Christmas! (As I type she’s under the tree chewing on the ribbon on the gifts… but hey, at least she’s not in the tree!)

Anyway, let me share with you what I got everyone (except for Queens, who may read this. Just know, I’m SUPER excited about what I got her and I know she will LOVE it!).

Paul

Despite the fact that he “ruined” Christmas by guessing this, I’m still super excited about getting him a dart board for Christmas. (I was so set on not giving him any hints this year, so one day out of the blue he goes “did you get me a dart board?” I was caught so off guard that I couldn’t keep a straight face! I proceeded to cry hysterically, hyperventilate, and basically freak out, until I calmed down and realized Christmas is about more than the gifts, despite what this post suggests…)

 My parents have one in their den, and Paul has always enjoyed when we play when we are down. He’s been asking for a dart board since we moved in together, so I wanted to get him one. Now, I could have spent $29.95 at Sports Authority and gotten an “English Style” board, but that’s not the kind my parents have. You see, in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area, “American Style” darts are more popular. It’s called American style because the game you play is called Baseball and is based on, you guessed it, American Baseball. Here’s a link to what the dart board looks like. I got him the wooden one, not the paper, and I also bought us 6 darts. I’m excited to get it and put it up in our spare bedroom. Someday, when we actually have people over, we can play!

In addition, he also will receive: Yahtzee (to beef up our game stock), a beard trimmer (and nose hair trimmer mwah ha ha), a manicure set (to discourage him from biting his nails), and Christmas boxers. Granted, when I write it down like this, it looks like I’m trying to change his personal hygiene habits. But really, he needs a new beard trimmer, and I get the benefit of not seeing stray nose or ear hairs! And the manicure set is more of a gag gift, really.

My Parents

For my dad, I got him a new wallet/money clip thingy. To be honest, my mom bought it for him with the intent to have either my sister or I give it to him, so I bought it off her. She lives with him, and we don’t have the tightest relationship. But he will like it and go “very good” when he opens it like he does every year.

For my mom, my sister and I split buying her a photo scanner that she’s been asking for. She wants to be able to take her old photos from when we were kids (before the digital age) and scan them on her computer. I don’t blame her. There are tons of pictures from when I was a teenager that I would love to put up on Facebook, so I will reap the benefits of that as well. In addition, I picked her up a Christmas Wreath Yankee Candle, which is her favorite. She thinks it smells the most like a Christmas tree, and I have to agree.

In addition, my sister and I also split getting them together a new Scrabble board. My parents are kind of obsessed with Scrabble, and play, on average, 2 games a day throughout the entire summer. They play outside by the pool and their current board has become super faded over 4-5 summers of use, so we decided it was time for a new board.

Paul also got them something from him: a monogrammed wine stopper and monogrammed stone coasters, the kind they like. (Last Christmas Paul and I got them a wine chiller, the kind you put the bottle in and it cools it in about a minute. This year, my dad had me buy a Rabbit corkscrew on behalf of him. It kind of makes my parents seem like their winos, but they really aren’t!)

My Sister, Kay

Kay is getting a new set of scrubs (she works in the lab at a hospital in Maryland) from me and Paul got her and her boyfriend, G, a new Mario game for the Wii. G is also getting a Nerf gun from Paul and I. (Also, Paul is getting a Nerf gun from Kay and G! Kay and I thought that would be funny. Paul wants one to shoot darts at Jersey. I told him that’s animal abuse but we couldn’t resist. He’ll get bored with it after a day and Jersey will be fine.)

Paul’s Parents

We got the In-Laws a device that allows them to stream Netflix on their tv. They have the Netflix subscription, but they don’t have the gaming system that allows them to stream right on the TV. This will allow them to do so.

Paul’s Sister

I have no freaking clue what to get her. Paul got her a scarf and a CD. I’m open to any and all suggestions, but I don’t want to do a gift card. She lives in DC, Paul is of no help, and I don’t think she’s my biggest fan. My price point is about $20-$25. Ideas?

Paul’s Aunt and Grandma (who live below us) 

This weekend I bought Grandma a very warm and fuzzy scarf and glove set. I went with cranberry red because every 89-year-old should spice things up once in a while.

For his aunt, who is also our landlord, I also have no clue. Paul and I will go in on this gift together. I was thinking of a Barnes and Noble gift card (she has a Nook) and/or an iTunes gift card (she just got a Nano), but it’s soooo not personal. But Paul, God love him, is no help in the idea department on this one either. Thoughts? She’s in her late 50’s/early 60’s, unmarried, lives with her mother, has a dog and works as an Admin for a large financial firm.

La La and Freckles

Again… I think I used all my ideas on my family. They live right around the corner, and La La is infamous for not doing things because they cost too much. I was thinking of getting them a gift certificate to a local restaurant and maybe the movies so they can have a date night (which they don’t do often), but I have to be careful. To cover 2 people to go to the movies up here, that’s $22, plus to cover their dinner… it would put me over budget. We’ll see. I have a few more days to figure that one out.

Queens

Let’s just say, it’s preeeeeeetty!

The Pets

Jersey is getting a bumble bee toy. Rufus (Kay and G’s Alaskan Malamute) is getting a large rawhide bone. Spooky (Paul’s parent’s Westie) is getting a small rawhide bone from me and doggie stairs from Paul. And Biscuit, (Paul’s’ Aunt’s Yorkie) is also getting a small rawhide bone.

Co-Workers

Christmas Cookies. Really? Do you think I’d go above and beyond for my boss? Nope. Homemade Christmas cookies are a fine gift if you ask me!

~~~~~~~

And that’s it! I’m really excited to give everyone their gifts this year. I’m excited Kay and G (and Rufus) are coming up for the weekend. I’m excited that Paul and I get to spend our first Christmas in our new home together. And I’m excited that I get a whole 11 days off of work.

I really do love Christmas!