Friday, December 31, 2010

A holiday ode to my kids

Twas about a week after Christmas
and all through the house
the hubby and I awake in bed
laying there as quiet as a mouse

We were silently appreciating
our house full of discord
we knew it would soon be over
and all would be bored

Our teen and adult age children
and all of their friends
filling our home with chaos
we wished would never end

Slamming doors, laughing voices
stomping feet on the stairs
smells of 2am pizzas cooking
carelessly filling the air

Night after night of sleep interrupted
waking to a house in disorder
A grocery bill that makes your wallet cringe
and a laundry pile like no other

But all these things I cherish
there's no need to pretend
I realize my children will be grown soon and gone
my only wish is that these times would never end

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Yes, I can hear you now.

I've been really bad about blogging lately.
Actually, I've just been super busy.
I do want to give you all a quick update on my surgery and say Thank you for all the prayers, well wishes and comments.

My surgery on December 1st went well. I expected a lot of pain but other than immediately post-op, it wasn't near as bad as I thought it would be.

I did have a few surprises.
The first was the complete deafness in my ear. I had severe hearing loss in that ear before the surgery but I was surprised at the difference.
I had about a week of total deafness.
It was weird.

I also didn't realize that it could be up to 3 months before I'd have my hearing back to normal levels.
Silly me, I guess I was so worried about pain, dizziness and healing time that I forgot to ask about the actual "hearing" part.

I was also surprised by the weird taste in my mouth.
I guess that is a complication of middle ear surgery. The best way to describe it is the taste of a really old piece of spearmint gum
that or sucking on a spark plug.

It's gross and makes everything taste funny.
You'd think I'd give up eating and maybe loose a few pounds,

I had a pretty cool experience on December 19th.
That was the day of my oldest daughters graduation from college (woo hooo!! I can't believe I didn't blog about this!)
I was driving home listening to the radio and suddenly something popped in my ear and I could hear better.
Not just better
I could hear my voice outside my head for the first time in years.
It was huge!
And exciting!

And guess what I did?
yep, I sang!
I sang to the radio the whole way home!
And it was glorious!
not my singing
but the fact that I could do it.

I went to the doctor a couple of days ago and had my hearing formally tested.
I was surprised to find out it's almost at normal levels.

I wanted to do a little dance.

I'm still getting used to my "new hearing".
I forget that I don't need to pick the right seats or position at a table.
I forget that I can use my left ear to talk on the phone now.
How cool is that?

Only one little complaint.
I'm back to wearing ear plugs at night for the Hubby's snoring.

He did have his surgery (as agreed to) for his nose.
The Hubby was a hockey and soccer player in his younger years and broke his nose several times.
He also had his nose fixed before but broke it again afterwards.

It was a solid mess.
So solid that he couldn't breathe through it.

I remember our first dinner date.
He sat chewing with his mouth open during the whole meal.
If I hadn't been so mesmerized by his beautiful eyes, I would have put a nix on the whole thing right then and there.
I thought he was extremely rude.
Little did I know, he was just trying not to suffocate.

So anyhoo, He had surgery on the 21st (see, I have been busy) and it really hasn't affected his snoring that much.
Actually, with the plastic stints they have sewn into his nostrils, he kinda whistles now.
A combination whistle snore thingie.

And I can't sleep.
But I can hear.
And I'll take that any day!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Time To Sing Again

I have finally given in.

After years of complaining (my husband and kids), insults (my teens), and embarrassing moments (the list is way to long),

I broke down and scheduled surgery to have my hearing fixed.

I have mentioned my hearing loss in past posts.

I usually talk about the benefits of being deaf in one ear and having a mild to moderate hearing loss in the other.

~not having to wear ear plugs to bed anymore to block out the Hubby's snoring.
~not hearing the trains or loud teens or puppy's ringing bells in the middle of the night.
~the wonderful excuse to use on my teens "I never agreed to that! I must not have heard you correctly!"

When I was diagnosed with Otosclerosis in my mid 20's it didn't really bother me.
I was just having trouble hearing what some people were saying (I thought everyone had suddenly taken up mumbling just to annoy me).

Over the years it has slowly progressed.

I remember asking my ENT doctor how I would know when I was ready for surgery.
He said "You won't but you're family will let you know. Your hearing loss will drive them crazy."

Such wise words.

If I can judge correctly, I'd say my family has been ready for at least 5 years.
But I'm just chicken.

My solution?
Just don't go to the doctor anymore.
See what I mean about chicken?

But there comes a time when it all adds up and you get tired of it.

Tired of not feeling included in conversations.
Tired of your kids rolling their eyes every time they have to repeat what they say two or three times.
Tired of always having to consider where you sit in a lecture or where you stand in a group of people.
Tired of putting a smile on your face when you have no idea what someone just said and in your mind you are going through all the possible things you can say instead of "what?" or "pardon" or "sorry, I didn't hear you" (it gets really old).

I guess what I'm saying is the bad is finally outweighing the good.

There are things that have also "snuck up" on me, you could say.
Things that had changed over time that I didn't really notice.

A big one is being able to hear my own voice.
It's difficult to explain (and I could be explaining it completely wrong) but I think it is because I can no longer hear my voice through my ears effectively so mostly, I hear myself in my head (no, I'm not hearing voices in my head-I know what you're thinking).

I guess the best way to put it is, that I don't sound like myself.

I think that is why I have slowly stopped singing.
I used to love to sing.
In choirs, in church, in the car while listening to the radio.

But I feel like I don't trust what I sound like
and what I do hear, I don't like.

I will be having my stapes bone removed and a prosthetic device implanted on December 1st.
And the first thing I look forward to doing is singing again.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

the basement project

The Hubby and I have been talking about finishing the basement.
We've been talking about it since we moved in
a year and a half ago.

Hubby has finished the basements of all our previous houses.
He's a do-it-his-self kinda guy.

Paying someone to do something he can do himself would drive him crazy.
Or at least that's what he says.
I've never witnessed it.
He has ALWAYS done everything himself.

But with the amount of time he is working here in Chicago, he hasn't had the time.

And I was getting sick and tired of getting sent to my room.

That's what usually happened when the kids had friends over.
Trying to not be the hovering mom can feel like punishment sometimes.

So we decided to do a "temporary fix".

He painted the floor with that garage floor paint (with sprinkles- just like a party).
He hung painters drop cloths to separate the storage and workshop areas.
Then we unpacked all our old basement furniture and junk.

Notice on the left that Tony has taped a goal on one of the drop cloths.

We bought a used pool table off Craig's List.
and set out the old foosball table.

The only other thing we bought was a used mini fridge from the Hubbies work.
And now we've decided that this might not be so temporary.
It's sure is nice not having to worry about kids wrecking the basement you just spent thousands of dollars finishing.
We've had some experience with that too.
Like when one of them spilt a giant glass of chocolate milk all over the new carpet down stairs and "forget" to tell anyone (but somehow realized it was a good idea to move a chair over the spot to cover it). Then they do nothing about it until we all start to notice this horrible smell coming from the basement.
Anyhoo, everyone has been spending a lot of time down there.
Everyone, except Ace.

Ace still finds the kitty litter box to be full of treats that are too tempting to resist.
To him, this is just an unexplained torture.

Life is so unfair.

Friday, October 15, 2010

my new friends

Everyday I take Ace to the small park behind our house.
Right now it's our favorite place to play Frisbee.

For me, it's my favorite because it's so close.
For Ace, it's because he always has an audience.

He's kind of a show off when it comes to playing Frisbee.

The park is always busy with all kinds of pee-wee soccer, football and lacrosse practices.
And the siblings of all these pint sized athletes like to play on the play ground equipment.
They also like to watch Ace.

The louder they clap, the higher Ace will jump.
Sometimes he likes to catch the Frisbee and then circle the group of kids before he brings it back to me.
Like he's saying "yeah, I'm awesome!"

There are two very cute little girls that are always there.
They have long curly black hair and bright blue eyes.
They are twins.
Taylor and Riley.

Try as I might, I can't tell them apart.
I've spent weeks looking them over, talking with them, trying to find something to distinguish them from each other.
Last night I finally asked them
"Taylor?" I said.
"I'm RILEY!!" she corrected me with a roll of her eyes for the hundredth time.
"Riley, do people have a hard time telling you and Taylor apart?" I asked.
"No body can tell us apart," She said proudly with her cute little lisp. "even my mom and dad can't tell us apart."
"You're mom and dad can't tell you apart?!" I was amazed. I'd never heard of a mom and dad not being able to tell their own twins apart. "So how do they do it?" I asked, hoping for a clue so I could use the information for myself.

Riley started to pull at the collar of her sweatshirt "See. This is how they tell."
I looked closely at her neck "Oh, you have a birth mark or something?"
She looked at me like I was crazy "NO! Pink! I always wear pink and Taylor always wears Blue!" I look over at Taylor who was pulling down her sweatshirt to reveal a blue t shirt underneath.

A little later I asked them both how old they were.
"We're 4." they said. "How old are you?" they innocently asked.

I paused for a moment. This could be funny to let her guess. But the last time I let a 9 year old guess my age she guessed I was 79. That was when I was in my late 20's. Now a days it doesn't seem like it would be as funny anymore.

"Well, I'm 41." I said honestly.
Taylor (or maybe it was Riley) swallowed hard as her eyes got big. "Wow!! That's really old!!" she said with her little lisp that I didn't find so cute anymore.

"Well, not really." I said more for my own sake than hers.
"How old is your mommy?" I was thinking I could put age in a little bit of perspective for them.
"My mommy is 10!" said Taylor.
"Oh really?!" I said trying to hold in my laughter. "And how old did you think I was before I told you?"
"We thought you were 5!" they lisped in unison.

Did I mention how cute they are?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hello, My Name is Tori and I'm a Yo Gabba Gabba! addict

I'm waiting...aren't all you other addicts supposed to say "Hello Tori." ?!

Well, okay then.

Actually, I'm not really an addict.
I only watch it when I'm babysitting the twins.
It's not like I watch the show by myself or anything...

I don't!
Stop judging me.

I will admit, the first time I saw the show I thought it was the most awful thing I'd ever seen.
Worse than Barney.

And it scared me a little.
It seemed to have some kind of weird hypnotic powers over the twins.

I remember it all so well....

The twins were around 4 or 5 months old.
They were both crying.
I grabbed the remote to find something to hopefully distract them.
I stop on this program because of the weird name.

It was like a magic baby switch.
Suddenly, they were silent.
Mesmerized in fact.

They still are.

Every time I turn it on they stop and watch every minute.
And I can't figure out why.
At first I started watching it with them to find out what grabbed their attention.

I compared it to other kids shows.
I thought maybe it was the music or the bright colors flashing here and there.
But lots of other shows are colorful and filled with music.
And the twins could care less.

Maybe it's the weird creatures.
Even if you haven't seen the show you've probably seen them without realizing it.
Muno (the big red guy with one eye) for example, was featured in a Superbowl commercial for the Kia Sorrento "How do you like me now?" playing in the background. (love the sock monkey get a "MOM" tattoo sewn on his arm!)

I've given up on trying to figure out why kids love it.
Now I just enjoy watching it with them.
Well most of it anyways, some of it I still consider weird.

I'm a huge Alternative Music fan and I'm guessing that the writers must love Alternative Music too because they have featured some of great bands on the show.

I love seeing who they get to come on and the cute songs they sing.
All with a little "life lesson" of some kind.

Some bands that I've seen...
Jimmy Eat World...."enjoying a beautiful day with my best friend"
The Shins..."sometimes you win, sometimes you's okay to try again"
MGMT...."look around is everywhere"
The Roots...."love and appreciate your family"
Ting Tings..."Happy Birthday song for Brobee"
The Salteens...."I'm so happy"
I'm from Barcelona...."just because it's different, doesn't mean it's scary...try new things"
Hot Hot Heat..."time to go outdoors...enjoy the sand btwn our toes, smell the flowers, see the trees, play in the garden hose".

and some groups I've never heard of until I saw them on Yo Gabba Gabba (who knew I'd find new alt music to listen to by watching a kids show!)

here's a couple.
Chromeo...."wash your hands"
The Mates of States..."no one likes to be left out...everyone offers something new"

There there is a Live Yo Gabba Gabba show touring around. They have had some groups that I hope will show up on the show sometime soon (Dinosaur Jr. and Cold Wars Kids to name a couple).

They also have a growing number of celebrities who make appearances on the show.

Jack McBrayer and Paul Scheer make recurring appearances doing knock knock jokes
Jack Black (a total must see episode...just to see him in a DJ Lance Rock orange outfit!!)
Amy Sedaris as the tooth fairy (although a mighty scary tooth fairy, if I must say!!)
Elijah Wood (teaching us a dancy dance)
Sean Kingston (also teaching a dancy dance)
Rhys Darby (from Flight of the Concords-a show I'll always LOVE) instructing us on how to pretend to be a robot!

And one of my favorite parts of the show with Mark Motherbaugh (The co founder of Devo). He does a recurring art segment that's very cute (and weird).

Check it out.
I won't tell anyone you did.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pete's Promise

Yes, this a new post about Perennial Pete. If you are new around here and want to read more about Pete then just type the word "Pete" into the search over on the right side of my blog and you can read all about our adventures.

A couple weeks ago, Ace rang his "go outside bell" before my alarm went off.
The Hubby elbowed me awake.
He mumbled "Ace is ringing the bell"
and I automatically stumble out of bed.

There are two reasons The Hubby can get away with this.
One, because I don't hear anything when I sleep so he has to elbow me
and two, because I'm too confused when I first wake up to argue "it's you're turn".

Anyhoo, I noticed the sun was just beginning to rise when I opened the front door for Ace.
The sky was a pretty hue of oranges.
I was appreciating this through my one open eye and with my forehead plastered to the little window next to my front door while I waited for Ace to do his doo-doo.

As he trotted back up the sidewalk towards me, I opened the front door
that's when I heard it.
It was a rooster crowing.

Ace walked past me while I shook the sleepiness out of my head.
I was sure I must be hearing things.
I waited a few minutes but didn't hear anything else.

Figuring I was just sleepy or maybe loosing my mind, I went back to bed.

A couple of days later the same scene played out.
Bell, elbow, muttering, stumbling, doo-doo, door, rooster crowing.
But this time that old rooster crowed a few more times.
And I smiled.
It's always a good thing when you realize you're not crazy.

So later that day as I was driving out of the neighborhood, I looked over at Pete's property.
And there it was, just as Pete had threatened or promised or prophesied.

A chicken coop.
And a bunch of chickens running around his yard.

It's not a giant chicken coop (like the neighbor said he planned to build) and his property is fenced so I don't see anything wrong with some chickens.

I will admit, I'm a little scared of chickens.
The Hubby and I have friends, who used to have chickens.
This couple told us some stories of their crazy and aggressive rooster.
They were even afraid of their rooster who would chase them around (even on the lawn mower).

So I blame Dave and Juliane for my fear of chickens. :)

So imagine my surprise the other day when I found chickens wandering down the road towards my house.
Thank goodness I was in my car.
With the twins.
Because I had to resist the urge to run them over.
I didn't want to scar the twins.
And make them afraid of chickens for the rest of their lives.

And besides, I'm kinda enjoying that rooster crowing every morning.

Friday, September 24, 2010

"My dog is an agility class flunkie"

Yes, it's true.

And I've been in mourning for the past month.
Not really. Just taking another blogging break.

So yes, Agility Class Number 3 was our last.
Ace was officially kicked out, banished, expelled....
or as the trainer tried to put it nicely in her email "not welcome back".

Class number 3 started the same as the last two.
Even with 2 separate hours of Frisbee chasing, Ace was a hyper mess going into the building.
He jumped and twisted on his leash, growling randomly at the other dogs.

We did "crate training" again for 20 or 25 minutes.
Ace had made a little progress but not much.
He spent most of his time pacing and watching the other dogs.

We then moved onto "the tunnel".
The trainer held our dogs while the owners went to the other side of the tunnel and called them through.
Ace was at the end of the line watching all the other take their turns.
He would jump and spin on his leash and then look back at me as if to say "let me go! I want to try!"

It was finally Ace's turn.
I handed him off to the trainer and went to the end of the tunnel.
Before I could even finish calling his name, Ace shot through the tunnel.
I reached to grab his collar and he immediately dodged to the left, just out of my reach.

Ace ran straight over to the German Sheppard puppy.
Remember how I told you about the puppy that barked non-stop from the beginning of class to the end?
I've also mentioned before that Ace doesn't like it when dogs bark. He avoids them at parks and on walks. I've noticed he looks at them at times like he's puzzled by them. He sits there and tilts his head to the side and then looks to me as if asking "why is he making so much noise?"

Anyhoo, Ace bolted over and attacked the barking German Sheppard puppy.

I ran over and grabbed Ace as fast as I could, pulling him off the now yelping puppy.
The puppy's owner was knocked down in the process.
The trainer was there by my side in an instant.
"You never told me your dog was violent!" she blurted out accusingly.
"He never has been!" I said.

After apologizing profusely and inspecting both dogs (no injuries)
Ace was banished off to the corner of the room to calm down.

I was shocked (and extremely embarrassed)!
"Ace! What is wrong with you?!!" I wanted to grab him and give him a good shake so he would snap out of this crazed dog guise.
He just continued to jump and pull on his leash with what seemed like "let's do it again! let's do it again! that was fun!" attitude.

The trainer allowed us to give it another try at the end of the class.
"Are you sure?" I asked while I watched the other owners step defensively in front of their dogs or literally pick them up in their arms.

Ace tried again to cut quickly and slip past me.
But there was no way that was going to happen again.

After apologizing one more time to the German Sheppard puppy owner, I went home defeated and exhausted.

The Hubby and I talked that evening.
I told him I didn't want to do the class anymore.
I didn't like the way Ace behaved when we were there.
I didn't trust Ace while we were there.
I'm not sure I trust Ace at all anymore.

I got up the next morning and decided to email the trainer and let her know we wouldn't be coming back.
But there was already an email for me in my inbox when I logged on.

She was very nice. She explained their "no violence policy".

I totally agreed with everything she said.
But it still sucked.
It's hard to explain.

Have you ever been ready to break up with someone? You're actually on your way to "end it". And then suddenly, out of no where, they dump you.

And now, all you feel is how bad you want that person back?

That's kinda how it felt.

She offered a couple "private instructions" to make up the difference in the money I spent.
And we did those.
And Ace was his normal self.
Perfectly behaved.

I figure, at least she knows that I'm not some irresponsible dog owner. One that never bothered to train her dog.

Ace continues to learn new tricks.
When a dog walks by our house, Ace sits quietly in the yard and watches them walk by.
When we pass a barking dog on our walks, Ace still looks at them like they are crazy but other than that seems to ignore them.

I have had him off leash to play Frisbee at the park by our house.
We always have an audience of clapping kids and a maybe a couple of adults with dogs here and there.
Ace ignores them all. He is completely focused on his "job".

My reasoning for the classes in the first place, was to give Ace some physical and mental outlets.
I'll just have to do something different.

Just so this post isn't a complete "downer" I thought I'd share this video my cousin, Kristin sent me.

This will never be Ace.....and I'm okay with that.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

what a dud

Well, I've been putting off writing this blog because there really isn't much to say.
I've looked at last Monday's class from every possible angle to find some kind of humor in it...
but I've got nothin!

Ace was still his hyper self.
The hot dogs and cheese helped him focus a little more on me and my commands but not much.

We spent the first HALF of the class focusing on "crate games" again, which Ace refused to participate in.
He still wouldn't go anywhere near his crate.

The trainer told us not to push him.
She suggested maybe we try to lure him with treats to sit next to the crate.
So we spent the next 15 minutes trying that.
With little success.

The trainer then asked if the person and dog next to us could borrow our crate because hers was a little to small for her dog.

So we let her.
I thought for a moment it might be like when my kids were little...
You know, when your kid has no interest in that one toy until you're in the middle of a play date with that friend who seems like "super mom"--she has the best behaved kids and always seems to say the right thing-- and her kid picks up that one toy and now your kid wants it like nothing he's ever wanted before and is throwing the temper tantrum of a life time just to embarrass you to high heaven...

But no.
Not Ace.
He didn't seem to care that much.

He actually jut sat there and watched the other dog sitting locked in his crate.
I swear Ace had a look on his face like he was thinking "SUCKER!"

So, after another 15 minutes of just sitting there, we finally moved on to our next exercise.

This one the trainer holds the dog and the owner runs off calling the dog.
The dog is supposed to chase after his owner and we grab them.

Something to do with safety.
I've never had issues with Ace not coming to me.

You can imagine his excitement after just spending 30 minutes "sitting" while having massive doggie stimulus coming at him the entire time.

The trainer held Ace and I think I took about five paces and Ace was on me.
He jumped up as I bent over to grab his collar and he hit me right in the upper lip.

So now I'm bleeding.
And I'm trying to hide it while I get back in line.
Luckily, the quick swelling stanched the bleeding.
Now I just have a big fat lip.
I'm thinking maybe smiling would make it less obvious.
So that's what I did.

The trainer probably thought I was having a great time because I stood there with a stupid smile on my face.

We did a few more exercises.
None of which Ace "wowed" at.
(excuse my grammar).

So that was about it.
Nothing exciting to report.

This is how I found Ace the next morning....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Agility class round 2...the plan of action

Ace has his second agility class tonight.
If you missed the horrible play by play of the first one click here.
I'm feeling a little better about tonight.
Mostly, thanks to all your supportive comments on here and facebook.
But also, because I have a plan of action.
I think it's a pretty good plan.

#1. Three rounds of Frisbee today followed by a long swim in the dog pond.

#2. Coating myself with many layers of bug spray (going extra strength with lots of Deet).

#3. Packing "extra special" treats for Ace which are...

*pieces of hot dog (He loves them but they usually upset his stomach...but I am willing to pay the price of disgusting doggie doo-doo duty the next couple of days to achieve complete attention from Ace).

*also piece of cheese (thinking it might counter act the hot dog laxative affect)

#4. Considering rubbing hot dog juice from the package all over my body.

#5. Bringing Tony with me to help. He will be in charge of treat handling and poo clean up (he just doesn't know this yet)

Wish me luck.
I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ace's first agility class

Ace had his first agility class on Monday.
I was super excited.
I was sure it was gonna be great.
It wasn't.

Actually, it was pretty awful.

Knowing Ace's level of "hyper-ness", I decided he would have his normal exercise, plus a little extra for the day. I hoped this would tire him out and he would be calm for instruction.

I underestimated the amount of exercise he should have to keep him from getting over excited when he entered a huge pole barn full of dog agility obstacles, 6 other puppies (one who constantly barked the entire time), and fine grey sand-gravel loaded with doggie smells.

I'm pretty sure I could have ran him for 12 hours straight and he still would have acted the same. Which was like he had never been on a leash before and had never heard a command in his life.

He pulled me around the building to investigate everything, jumping and twisting when I tried to correct him.

He seemed to forget that I even existed. This from a dog who stares at me constantly and won't leave my side, ever.

The instructor could obviously see me struggling.
"Let him smell around" she said.

Like I had a choice.

There were so many things in that building, not only set up, but hundreds of things leaning against the walls, it would have taken Ace days to smell them all.

He kept lifting his leg to mark and I kept yanking his leash and saying "no". I was pretty sure that wasn't allowed.

The trainer finally called us all in.

There was a collection of chairs set up at one end and some of the other dog owners were sitting there with their puppies sitting or laying quietly at their feet.

There was no way Ace would do that. He was still jumping and spinning trying to get away. I ended up standing next to the training while she addressed the class.

She talked (what little I remember of it) about rules and such.
Then Ace took a big poo in front of the whole class. (yes, I did take him potty before!)

"Perfect timing for me to talk about puppy clean up" she said. I still felt like an idiot while everyone watched me try to open a poo bag, bend over to pick it up, all the while Ace jumped and twisted like a crazy animal.

Then we went around the room and did introductions.

That's when I noticed that Ace was by far the oldest puppy there. Most of the puppies were 12-15 weeks old. The closest to Ace was 6 months (he was the one sitting perfectly at his owners feet).

For a quick moment thought "Ace is too old for this class". I had emailed with the trainer back and forth. Telling her Ace's age and the classes he had attended. I would realize how stupid that thought was by end of the first instruction.

It was my turn to introduce Ace.
"This is Ace. He's one year old and he's a Border Collie." I said while Ace continued to flop around on his leash like a fish on a hook.

"And you got him from a rescue?" the trainer seemed to be leading me somewhere.

"No....from a breeder...." I said a little confused.

My mind immediately thought "it's the 'Chicago thing'-- like I see at all the dog parks. Everyone seems to get their dogs from a rescue." I'm feeling like I'm being judged again because I paid money for a full breed dog.

Until she asks "how many weeks have you had him?"

"Since he was six weeks old" I answer.

"Did you realize what you were getting into when you decided on that breed?" she asks.

"yes...." I'm really confused now.
She didn't ask all these questions to everyone else....

And it hits me like a tons of bricks.
She thinks because Ace is acting like insane-crazy-never-been-on-a-leash-absolutely-no-training-dog, I must have just got him.

Or that I'm an idiot.

I'm leaning toward the later.

"Do you provide a channel for all that energy?" She asks.

Now I'm a little offended.

"Yes, if you call an average of two hours a day of exercise at either the dog park, playing Frisbee, or walking a channel." I say.

I want to tell the class that most days people compliment me on how well Ace is trained.
That he knows sit, stay, heel, wait, leave it, go left, go right, to name a few.

That he will walk off leash around my neighborhood and I don't worry about him running into the road because he will do what I say...even if a bike or a bunny goes by.
That he knows the names of tons of toys.

That he can operate the electric windows in my car.

That he knows which way I'm going to throw the ball by just the turn of my shoulders or by a small point.

That he can perfectly time and catch a Frisbee flying at all speeds and angles (which is my excuse for continuing to throw a Frisbee like I've never seen one better training for Ace's catching skills).

But I don't say anything.

I'm sweating now, covered by doggie drool and a layer of that fine grey gravel dust.

And I notice that I am being attacked by mosquitoes.
There's probably only a dozen mosquitoes in this well kept barn but for some reason they always find me.

"Time for a potty break" the trainer announces.

Guess who won't go?

I'm pretty sure Ace is saving up.
He's already figured out what obstacles he plans on marking.

I'm losing patience at this point along with about a quart of blood to the mosquitoes.
"Go potty Ace!" I command.
He gives me that look.
You know the "make me" look.

And I would have if I didn't start worrying about my hemoglobin level.

Instead, I tell him "if you so much as lift a leg help me Ace!!"
And we head back inside.

The trainer tells us we will be watching a video on "crate games".
We are all supposed to sit in the chairs and watch the video.

Everyone settles in.
Except Ace.

He has decided he wants to play with the 6 month old super-well-behaved-I'm-perfect-puppy.

Ace crouches head down, rump up and gives him the Border Collie stare.


The puppy won't even acknowledge Ace.

Ace wags his tail a little and gives a playful little yip.

The puppy eyes are on his owner, sitting perfectly waiting for the next command.

Ace tries again this time he moves a little forward and puts a paw on the puppy's hind leg.

This time he gets a response.

Only it's not from the puppy, it's the owner giving me a dirty look.

I resist the urge to stick my tongue out at her.

Mostly because Ace has decided to find other well behaved dogs to bother.

Needless to say, I have no idea what the video said.

We were directed over to our crates. The only time we use our crate at home is for when we leave Ace. He will go in his crate occasionally to take a nap on his own or to stow a toy. And just in the past couple weeks we have been leaving him out of the crate when we go somewhere.

The trainer tells us to put our dogs in their crates.

Ace immediately sits and refuses to budge. Nothing I can do will get him in there. He won't follow a treat in there. Not even his Frisbee.

I'm at the end of the line of crates and by the time the trainer gets to me all the other puppies are going in and out of their crates and playing their "crate games".

Ace has his heels dug in.

The trainer tries all the things that I have already tried. She then tells me to pick him up and put him in.

Imagine trying to put a cat in a bucket of water. Ace wiggled and arched his back. He flailed all four legs out. After a couple of failed attempts of trying to shove an insane shaped dog into a well behaved shaped dog sized hole, the trainer says "stop".

"What have you done to him? Have you been using his crate as punishment?" she says in an accusing tone.

"No! Never! The only time we use it is for when we leave him. He probably thinks I'm going to leave him here!" I say while wiping the grey muddy sweat off my face.

"Well, I've never seen a dog so upset!" she says in her I-don't-believe-you tone. "You'll have to work on this at home!"

Yeah sure. whatever.

We did a few more "exercises" that all made me look equally as horrible as a negligent dog owner.

I went home exhausted, dirty and defeated.

My only hope is that next week Ace adjusts to all the stimuli and "wow's" them all.

But I won't be holding my breath.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Do I have bugs in my teeth?

Ace has lots of behaviors that I would call "quirky".
As he gets older he seems to get "quirkier" (is that a word?)
I'm beginning to think I could fill a book on his "quirkiness"

I know it's a Border Collie thing...
or at least I think it is.
I don't have that much experience with dogs.

Take riding in the car for example.
Ace loves riding in the car.
Yeah, I know, most dogs do.

It's what he does when he's in the car that is "quirky".

Most of the dogs I see in cars are either sitting there calmly
or they have their head hanging out the window.

Not Ace.

If the windows are closed, Ace paces.
In the backseat.
Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.
you get the idea.
It's nonstop.

If I open both back windows (his favorite)
he sticks his head out for a minute
and then runs over to the other one and sticks his head out for a minute
and then runs back and forth, back and forth.

I thought that if I opened just one window he would stay and look out.

Nope, not Ace.

he will stick his head out the window for a second
then paces back to the unopened one.
And he goes back and forth over and over again.

The only way Ace will not pace is if we are on a two lane road where cars are speeding past us in the opposite direction.

He will stick his head out the window and chomp at the cars that rush by.
Like he's biting each one.
The more traffic the faster he chomps.

His attempt at "herding" cars?
I don't know, but it definitely brings lots of laughs to whoever is riding in my car.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

it's a tough job, butt somone's gotta do it

The twins that I babysit showed up in these little outfits yesterday.

I thought "how cute" and they kinda remind me of something
not sure what it is...

but then as the day wore on I noticed a problem that seemed to go along with these outfits.

Do you see it?

how about now?
(sorry, that's a little too obvious)

Yes, for some reason these outfit caused a battle of the crack.
One that I ended up fighting all day long.

I don't remember having to yank up baby britches over and over ever before.

Butt...that's what I did all day yesterday.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The first day of the rest of my life....well, maybe

I may have mentioned just a few times how I struggle with ADD.
okay, more than just a few times.

Usually I talk about my ADD while making fun of myself.

Or how it has affected how I handle a situation.

Most of the time I can find humor in it.
But I've noticed (and my family has too) as I get older it's getting harder to deal with and not so funny any more.

I wasn't officially diagnosed with ADD until my oldest son Bud was diagnosed.
I was around 32 (I think).

I had never considered that I might have something like that (did we even have that diagnosis when we were kids?).
Up until that point, I had struggled through school, I was unorganized, forgetful, a horrible reader.

I figured that I was just stupid.

When I heard the doctors describe what ADD was and how it affected Bud, I started to notice similarities in the way I had struggled and was continuing to struggle.

I ended up going to a specialist and getting tested and diagnosed.
My doctor put me on Ritalin.

It was like a miracle drug to me.

For the first time in my life, I read a whole book.
Actually, that's when I fell in love with reading.
I read constantly trying to make up for so much lost time.

I noticed I was more organized and able to finish tasks.
I didn't forget things so often.

But I hated the way the drugs made me feel.

This was right around the time that we were going through another major relocation for The Hubby's job.

I let my prescription run out.
Didn't ask my new doctor for any more.
I learned some new coping mechanisms.

And have been getting along "okay" since then.

Well, those coping mechanisms aren't working so well anymore.
I think it has something to do with getting older (oh joy!).

So I broke down and went to the doctor and asked her about getting on some meds again.

She wanted me to be retested to help choose a medication that is right for my symptoms.
Turns out the severity of my ADD is off the charts....hmmm. that explains a lot!

So today I start on my new medication.
I'm excited to see how these new meds work for me.
I'm excited to be able to concentrate for more than 10 minutes on one thing.
I'm excited to not forget to pick my kids up from school anymore.
I'm excited to see if I can get a little more creative.

Don't worry, I'm sure there will still be lots of blog posts about how I screw things up, look at things a little off and make lots of mistakes parenting.

I'm not expecting miracles here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How can it be?

Tony has gone and grown up.
In the span of 30 minutes.

He left the house today my baby
and came home a young man.

All due to a haircut.
Well, not really.

Sure, he's had plenty of haircuts before,
but I think there's this magically age
(usually around 8th or 9th grade)
where one day you look at your child
and suddenly you see a young adult.

With my 4th baby it just seemed to happen with the removal of about 5 pounds of hair.

I clearly remember the day I noticed Nae had changed over night.
It was the summer before her 8th grade year.
We were sitting in an auditorium for 8th grade orientation.
I looked over at her and thought "Holy cow! I see a woman!"
And I couldn't take my eyes off her.

And she noticed.

"Why do you keep staring at me?!!" she whispered.
"I'm not." I said nonchalantly and turned and tried to focus on the lady speaking.
That lasted all of 2 seconds and I was staring again.

"Will you stop?!!" she hissed.
"What?" I tried to pretend I was looking at something else that just happened to be over her shoulder.

She didn't buy it.
Mostly because I kept gawking.

But hey, I went through 38 hours of labor!
I figure I'm entitled to a little gawking.

Can I have an 'amen' ?!

Anyhoo, of course, I'd love to prove my point by sharing "before and after" pictures of Tony.
And of course, being the teen that he is, he refused to let me take a picture.

I could go up and take one of him sleeping....

Please note that I am showing great restraint right now.
Yep, I'm a good mom.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

how The Hubby and I met

The Hubby and I are celebrating our anniversary today.
We've been married 20 years.
In honor of our anniversary, I thought it might be fun to tell you the story of how we met.
Plus, I'm not a real mushy person (meaning no love poems here).
This seems more my style.

Our story begins the fall of my junior year in high school. That was the year my sister, Alex, left our home in Holland, Michigan and to move in with my dad and step mom in Kalamazoo (about an hour away).

One Friday evening I arrived in Kalamazoo for a regular weekend visit. My step mom was busy making dinner and asked if I could go pick up Alex. She told me Alex was over at Matt's house.

Matt was Alex's new boyfriend who I had never met.
I didn't bother writing down the directions or his address. It seemed pretty simple and figured I could remember.

I pulled into Matt's driveway. The garage door was open so I walked into the garage and knocked on the back door.
I waited a minute or so and then I knocked again, a little harder this time. I could hear music blaring on the other side of the door and I figured they must not be able to hear me. After another minute and still no answer, I knocked again, a little louder this time. Waited some more, no answer, so I banged my fist on the door as loud as I could.

Before I can finish knocking the door flies open and simultaneously the guy opening it yells impatiently "WHAT?!!!"

Oh, this is where I should mention that he is soaking wet with nothing but a hand towel clutched around his waist.

For a very long second I'm standing there, my fist still in the knocking position. The only thing that moved was my jaw dropping open.
I quickly put my arm down (and close my mouth) and try to remember what I'm there for.

I blush, stammer a couple incoherent words and then ask if Matt is home.

Naked Hand Towel Guy is blushing too.

All over I notice.

Naked Hand Towel Hot Guy tells me I have the wrong house. That Matt lives across the street and a couple houses down.

Now I'm feeling really stupid.

Naked Hand Towel Hot Guy With Really Nice Legs must be able to tell how uncomfortable I am.

He starts rambling.
He tells me how he is good friends with Matt.
How he thought the knocking was Matt messing with him.

I start rambling too.

Telling him who I am.
That my sister is dating Matt.
Where I'm from.
My social security number.

Naked Hand Towel Hot Guy With Really Nice Legs And The Most Beautiful Eyes I've Ever Seen makes some more small talk and then points me in the direction of Matt's house.

And I leave.

A little dazed and confused.

We ended up running into each other again later that night.

It turns out Naked Hand Towel Hot Guy With Really Nice Legs And The Most Beautiful Eyes I've Ever Seen Plus Really Great Hair has a girlfriend.

She must have heard the story of our meeting.

I was guessing by the way she glared at me.

But that didn't stop Future Hubby* and I from becoming friends.

*I will call him this now because if I continued to add all the other adjectives for his appealing characteristics as I got to know him better to "Naked Hand Towel Guy"...well, we could be here forever.

And he turned out to be a wonderful friend.

Over the next couple of years we had a lot of fun hanging out. He was always there to make sure I was doing okay.

He showed up at the hospital when Nae was born and I was all alone.

If I heard a motorcycle pull up outside the little apartment Nae and I lived in, I knew it was him stopping by to see how we were doing.

he sold this to pay for my engagement ring. that's when I figured out he must really like me

When my sister, Alex passed away he listened to all the endless talk I did about her and comforted me when I cried.

We started dating not long after that. It only took 3 years after that awkward meeting in his garage.

Hubby says he can still remember what I was wearing that day (he IS the ultimate "detail guy").

And for once, I can say the same.

It was a towel.

A green one.

Or maybe it was blue?

Friday, July 16, 2010

missing my blueberries

I'm headed back to Kalamazoo this weekend.
Nae is a bridesmaid in a wedding.

I can't decide what I'm more excited about....

seeing a bunch of friends I haven't seen in a while



I have been waiting for Michigan blueberry season since February
That's when I ran out.

Every year I freeze a bunch.

I eat them every morning in my oatmeal.

Mac and the Hubby love blueberry pie
I make a lot of those
they will fight over them.

Tony likes it when I boil the blueberries down and make a sauce for his pancakes.

I haven't found blueberries here in Illinois like the ones back in Michigan.
Maybe other states have ones just as good.
I just haven't had them.

Blueberries that are huge and sweet.

This year I've decided I will bring home 40 pounds.

Sounds like a lot but we'll see...

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ace and the electric fence

This spring the Hubby and I installed an underground electric fence around our yard.

As I've said before, our yard is the size of a postage stamp but I wanted to be able to let Ace out and not have to stand outside with him while he does his "business".
It was a long, cold, brutal winter. Well, not really but when you're potty training a puppy it's miserable standing out in the snow.

We asked one of those name brand underground electric fence companies to come out and give us an estimate to put one around our yard.

It was thousands! We said no thanks. A friend told me how they installed their own so we decided to do it ourselves.

The Hubby did lots of research on line and picked one that suited our needs.
Installing it wasn't fun but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

I carefully followed the directions to train Ace to the fence.
It only took once.
He got his first "correction" (the word electric fence manuals use that's supposed to sound more humane than the word "shock") and he never went anywhere near the fence (or anywhere near the treats I used to lure him to the fence) again.

Actually, that's not completely true.
He will go near the fence, for a good reason.

And there are two good reasons that live next door. Bob and Sue.

Ace loves Bob and Sue.
They give him wonderful treats.
They always stop to rub his belly.
They have a dog named Tucker that Ace loves too.

When either Bob or Sue comes by Ace chooses to get near the line of the fence.
But he does it in a curious way.
I always laugh when he does this and today I had my camera to catch Bob coming home from work.

first the tail starts going back and forth...

then he gets flat on his belly....

all four legs out to make himself as low as possible....

and he "army crawls"....

very slowly....

Bob thinks that Ace is trying to crawl under the fence.

almost there....

saying hello...

getting ready....

for the belly scratch!!
I love you Bob!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ace's new trick

Something is going on with Ace.
I'm not sure what it is.

All of the sudden, it seems, he is a genius dog.
And I don't say that to brag.
It's just a little eerie.

He seems to be absorbing massive amounts of information.
You can see it in his eyes.

And preforming new tricks.
After just showing him once or twice.
Several tricks a day, in fact.

Even the commands he obeys while at the dog park amaze people.

Yesterday morning I picked up his paw and said "Hi-five Ace" and slapped his paw against my hand.
Then I put my hand up and said "Hi-five Ace" and he did it exactly like I showed him.
On the first try.

I was pretty amazed.
I had tried to teach him "shake" a while back.
He just looked at me like I was an idiot.

I shrugged, maybe "Hi-five" is cooler so he's willing to do it.
We practiced it a few more times.

Later that day, after I had showed everyone and their grandma Ace's new trick, Nae came home.
I thought she'd get a kick out of it.

"Watch this" I said all excited.
I knelt down in front of Ace.
"Hi-five" I commanded.
Ace just looked at me.

"Hi-five" I commanded again.
He continued to stare at me.
And I swear, all of the sudden, I saw impatience in those eyes.
Along with a little embarrassment and defiance.

Hey, I've had 4 teens, I know that look when I see it.

I sat there with my hand in the air "hanging" (yes, it's even awkward with a dog).
And Ace continued to stare at me.
Then he looked over at Nae.
Then back at me again with the same impatient-embarrassed-defiant look.
As if to say "Enough all ready! This is the lamest trick ever! How many times are you going to force me to do this? It's embarrassing!"
I'm sure if he could have rolled his eyes, he would have.

He never did preform "Hi-five" for Nae last night.

But he has done it for me today.

I'm pretty sure he is humoring me.
It was a pretty stupid trick after all.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

how people find my blog (ie. weird google searches)

When I started getting more serious about blogging someone kindly told me about Site Meter. It's a service that helps track visits to your blog.

I have the most basic level of this service (which is the free-you can spend money and find out a lot more!).

Site Meter lets me see how many visits I have per hour and per day. How long visitors looked at my blog and how many pages they looked at.

Sometimes I can see the country, state and city the visitors are from.
Sometimes I can see how they were referred to my blog.

What has been fun is seeing what words people type into google and end up here.
Sometimes it can be a little confusing (and disturbing)

I thought I'd share a few with you today.
Some gave me a chuckle and I hope they give you one too. (and there's nothing else going on today...)
my comments are in red.

~"I'm gonna blow my diet on vacation and die" (I know that feeling)

~"I got disowned now what do I do?" (it depends...if it was your teen disowning you then I say're doing something right!)

~"I lost my high school yearbook and now I can't find my mojo" (poor guy, I'm quite sure they didn't find any mojo here)

~"how to get back at your friend who is a *%#@&$!" (Yikes! I don't think I've ever talked about that before!)

~"the mission has failed, tell Sally I love her" (is this a song lyric or something?)

~"how to disown my daughter" (kinda sad)

~"all i wanna say is that we are going down" (hmmm. lyric again?)

~"things that make me angry" (does this have something to do with parenting teens?)

~"are doughnut trees real?" (uhhh, DUH! of course!)

~"that blog people like in kalamazoo" (I'm flattered but I'm sure not everyone in kzoo likes it, probably just my dear friends)

~"what's that foul odor is Kalamazoo?" (gosh, I glad I'm not there to smell it)

~"skinning a Kenyan goat and cutting up a Belgian sheep" (now that's a little scary!)

***and my all time favorite!***

~"Are there any cool people left in Kalamazoo?" (I know quite a few, actually.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

a quick pizza puppy tale

I was told by a couple of my readers that they miss my Ace stories.
So here's a little puppy tale for you guys.

I'm still calling Ace a puppy.
He's not quiet 11 months now.
And I have to blame his escapades on puppyhood.
Otherwise, it's just bad training...which would be my fault.

Anyhoo, this escapade involves pizza.

One of the things my family really misses about kzoo is the pizza.
See, there is no cheap pizza around here.
And I'm cheap (there I said it).

When you have four kids who eat a ton, and usually have a friend or two over, who also eat a ton, feeding them pizza can make any wallet cringe.

Needless to say, since we moved here we haven't order pizza very often.
It has become a treat.

At this stage in our household everyone has different work schedules so most nights dinner is usually set out and you eat when you can (if there is any left when you get home).

It was a busy Friday night and everyone was coming and going. The Hubby and I were the first to eat and left to run some errands.

After that the story gets a little hazy.

No one wants to take the blame for being the last one home.
The last one home is supposed to put the food away and put Ace in his kennel.
And somehow that didn't happen.

When the Hubby and I got home we found empty pizza boxes. Some on the floor, some still on the counter. Along with greasy puppy foot prints every where.

And a very guiltily looking Ace.

Everyone was pretty mad. Especially me. I'm usually guaranteed leftovers since none of the kids like mushrooms on their pizza.
Not this time.

Ace was pretty thirsty that night and I grudgingly had to get up a couple times to give him water and let him out.

But what really made me mad was the next morning.

I'm sitting on the couch enjoying my morning cup of coffee when I hear Ace chewing on something.

I look over behind the coffee table and see Ace finishing up a piece of pepperoni and mushroom.
He doesn't notice me watching him because he reaches his nose under the chair and pulls out another piece.
And happily continues his picnic.

After searching the living room I found three separate "stashes" of pizza under chairs and couches. Most of which was the remainder of my pepperoni mushroom pizza.

Well, at least he know how to savor a good pizza.
ps...I just looked on google and saw that mushrooms are toxic to's been a couple weeks, he should be okay...right?

Monday, June 28, 2010

where's the delete button on this thing?

I was invited to a lovely garden Bible Study last week.
I was invited by this nice woman that I met at one of the dog parks Ace and I visit.

I was telling Mac about it the other day and she asked me who I went with.
"Kathy" I said.
"Kathy who?" Mac asked.

I got nothing.

And adding to my distress, it seems the harder I concentrate on what I'm trying to remember, the father it gets sucked back into the depths of my murky mind.

She told me her last name the day I met her.
She said her last name when she called me.
I heard her last name a dozen or more times that morning while people introduced themselves to each other.

What is it with my memory?

It wouldn't be so frustrating if there was this general forgetfulness for all things.
But what really drives me crazy are the things that I do remember.

Completely useless things.

Like my address and phone number of the house I grew up as a little girl.

Or the word for word conversation of an old high school boyfriend pointing out my "flaws".

Or pretty much every annoying song from the 80's. (and some 70's songs....who needs to know all the words to Copacabana anyways?)

Things that I wish I could just delete.

You know make some room up there for the important stuff.

If anyone out there knows how to do this please let me know.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

21 years ago today...

Today is the anniversary of my sisters death.

I'm thinking about her a lot today.

I have some new readers since I wrote this post in October so I thought I would just re-post it.

My sister Alex <--click there

Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

learning from my kids

A friend of mine keeps reminding me that I need to "live in the moment".
See, I'm a bit of a worrier.

I know I shouldn't.
I know it doesn't help anything.
I know it takes away my joy for today.

But I still do it.

I won't even tell you the things I worry about.
It would be too embarrassing.

But I will tell you that most of my worry revolves around my kids.
What mom doesn't.
My kids are healthy and happy right now.
That is huge.

So today I choose to live in the moment.
And not worry about what might (or what I know will) happen tomorrow.

I will enjoy watching them making their own choices.
Having fun.
And maybe I can learn to follow their examples....

Monday, June 21, 2010

why I love Cedar Point

I just got back from my annual trip to Cedar Point.
My brother and I have been going there every year since 1979 (I've only missed a couple times).
We are both roller coaster fans.
Not over the top kind of roller coaster fans~ otherwise we'd probably be going to other parks just to ride different coasters.

Both of us have been to other parks, but there is something that keeps us going back to Cedar Point each year.
For me, other than number of great coasters, it's the sentimental feelings I get from going there (another aspect of my warped sentimentality?...).

Jason and I always have fun reminiscing as we walk around the park.

Remembering the year the Gemini opened. The thrill of that huge wooden coaster. Racing friends in the other car and reaching out over the tracks to slap hands. Laughing at how everyone ducks their raised hands when you go under that one set of tracks that you would never really touch anyways. How we had to wait in line for 3 hours for a coaster that you can now walk right on.

Or the year the Top Thrill Dragster opened.
If you don't know about this coaster, it's called a "Strata Coaster" because it is the first coaster to top 400 feet (420 ft actually), and it has a hydraulic cable launch system that launches riders from 0-120 mph in less than four seconds. It takes you into a 90 degree climb up a hill, twists you 270 degrees and drops you down the other side to hit 120ish miles a hour again. The whole ride last a whopping 17 seconds. Here's a little video of it.

Anyhoo, my brother and I had just entered the park and we were at the base of the ride watching it (it's even fun to watch). The coaster launched and went into it's climb up the hill. As the car climbed the hill you could tell it wasn't going fast enough. It didn't make it to the top of the hill it just hung the on there for a second and started falling backwards. My brother and I both started screaming thinking that we were witnessing some horrific death scene you see in the movies.

We didn't realize the coaster did this sometimes (actually quite a bit the first couple of years that the coaster was getting it's bugs worked out).
But we laugh about the terror we felt that day.

We also like talking about the rides that aren't there anymore. Like that round ride that you stood against the wall and it spun and the floor dropped down and you just hung there.
It had a metal floor and a hose nearby...I have never seen so many people throw up on a ride as that one.
Ah, the memories.

Every year we wonder if the park splurged and bought new uniforms for the kids working there. And every year the answer is 'no'. I think they have had the same hideous blue and red jumpers since 1979. I have never seen an employee that actually looks good in it.

Maybe they make them wear them to cut down on the kids fraternizing with each other.

People watching is always fun at Cedar Point. Every year I think that I have now seen it all, only to be shocked by something new the next year.
Kinda like going to Walmart or the county fair but because of the water rides inside the park there's even less clothes.

A couple other things....the roar of the coaster as it goes once a year treat of an elephant ear....

But my biggest reason for going every year is spending time with my brother.
I can honestly say the thing I look most forward to is hearing him giggle as we go down that first big hill of a coaster.
It's the same giggle as when we were kids.
I actually close my eyes and take it all in and suddenly I'm a preteen again and life is simple and carefree.

Monday, June 14, 2010

another one of those "duh!!" moments with Ace

I admit, I make a lot of stupid mistakes with Ace.

Usually, it's something I decide to do without thinking it through completely.
And most of the time, I have some lovely image in mind of how things are going to go that are completely unrealistic.

Call me naive.

Like the time I thought it would be fun to take Ace to one of Tony's track meets.
I saw a lot of dogs at the first one that I went to.

In my mind I pictured Ace sitting there watching all the kids run around, Tony bringing his friends over to show off his cute dog. A nice, peaceful day sitting on the grass with Ace beside me, instead of him being locked in his kennel while I was away.

Problem is, Boarder Collies are herding dogs by instinct.
There happens to be a lot of kids "running around" at a track meet.
um. yeah.
It was like torture for Ace (and me as I struggled to restrain him).


I could give you quite a few other examples, but I won't embarrass myself.

But I will tell you my "duh-moment" this weekend.
There was a dog show in town.

Nae went and saw it the day before and said a lot of people brought their dogs to watch.
I thought it might be fun to bring Ace.

This is what I pictured in my head.
Ace watching the show.
Taking notes.
Thinking to his doggie self~"hey! I bet I could do that!"

then we'd go home and he'd be eager to learn a bunch of new tricks.
(I'm kidding...please tell me you know I'm kidding)

There were lots of cool this.

or this (look at the height on this one!)

Instead our time at the show was chaos.

The hubby fighting to hold him back (the picture doesn't do it justice)

I'm pretty sure Ace thought he was going to a new dog park and couldn't figure out why we wouldn't let him off leash so he could go play with the other dogs.

People were starting to look at us funny.

Ace was actually flipping in the air and twisting on his leach as he tried to get over there.

The Hubby did get him to settle for a few minutes and watch.

but this lasted just long enough to take a couple quick pics.
by the end we were all hot, sweaty, and exhausted.
I'll just add it to the list of my duh moments.