Monday, August 26, 2013

One year later...

We've now had Glacier for one year. (We've had Brody for five years but he's been breeze since day one.) Despite her bumpy start in our home, she's become just as much a part of our lives as Brody! The two of them make us laugh daily - what more can we ask for?

She no longer requires going to doggie day care. Phew! We were glad when that ended because at $25/day, it adds up quickly and made one of my jobs not really worth going to. The solution was a dog door. 
She uses it about 1.2 million times a day and absolutely loves the freedom it affords! She and Brody still have traffic jams when the call of the wild (aka squirrels) is sounded but they haven't managed to damage it more than bending the aluminum track a bit. Winter will be interesting with this new feature.....

Glacier has grown out of chewing on things... for the most part. Occasionally there is a temptation greater than she can deny and she must must must chew. Luckily it's usually paper and usually nothing valued. Although... 
recently I came home and found one of A's books on the patio... chewed up. To be fair, he'd left the book on the floor in front of "her spot" by the door so it was really kind of fair game. Luckily it wasn't an heirloom and he was able to salvage the book minus a corner of the hard cover and the dust jacket. 

But, a year into it, now that we have figured out her personality (still people shy), we adore her and so does Brody. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Burning the candle...

We got home from vacation what seems like ages ago (two weeks Thursday). We unloaded the truck and A went to bed by 6pm so he could jump right back into a series of "triple doubles" (double shifts three nights in a row) that night at midnight. I went back to unofficial work at 9pm that night mentoring a colleague through a difficult situation and then back to "real" work the next day with one of the worst weekends on call that I've had in my 2.75 years of working there. By Sunday vacation was a distant memory and we were both ready for another one... but we just had Monday in store for us. Is it worth it?

The working isn't so bad. You just get in a groove and do what you've got to do. The hard part is realizing that two weeks later, A and I just sat down for only the third meal that we have shared together since vacation... and now he's in bed so he can go in for his third double this week. Is it worth it?

We have dreams. Big dreams. Farm in Maine. Summers in Alaska. Convertible Mustang. World travel. The lottery doesn't seem to be cooperating and although I've been courting Publisher's Clearinghouse for the past two years, it doesn't seem like a viable means to our end (but I'll keep at it!).

So... in 11 years when A retires and our dreams become reality because we've worked hard to be debt-free and live our lives together in financial bounty, it will be worth it. At the moment... with the lonely dogs circling my ankles and a serious lack of cuddle time with my sweet husband as of late... "worth it" just seems like a mirage.

My summer job is almost over. I just got a raise at one job (the job I was planning to quit sooner than later and now it will be very hard to just walk away). I just got a BIG raise at another very part-time job. I'm in line to most likely pick up another part-time job that pays quite well which will give me the breathing room to shift some work commitments and possibly make life a little more manageable on my end. As for A's schedule... we never know when the over-time will kick in (like now) or dry out. When it dries up, those base pay checks can feel very very lean so it behooves us to work like mad while we can.

Is it worth it? It damned well better be!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I'm not that into shopping for clothes. It's not just about things not fitting but it's about gathering items you like, going into a dressing room, undressing, trying on things that may/may not fit, putting clothes back on, going back out to find different sizes or styles, coming back in and taking clothes off... And so on. It's just an irritation that I can tolerate for about two cycles before I quit. 

I also typically don't like to clothes shop with other people. If I try on clothes (which, with my smaller body I now need to do as my size estimator is way off and in my head, I'm still bigger than I really am) or if I can't find what I'm looking for and want to go to another store, I feel like I'm holding up my shopping partner. I really don't like feeling like I'm inconveniencing other people. 

A is a REALLY good sport and if I'm in the market for something specific (wedding outfit etc) he is great about coming along and giving me feedback. Last year when I needed a last-minute pair of jeans he came to Macy's with me and sat in the dressing room while I tried on jeans. We didn't think anything of it as it said "fitting rooms", not "ladies fitting rooms" but when we came out some lady bit into him ad chewed him up and down about how she wasn't comfortable having a man in the women's dressing room. My matter-of-fact husband simply said "Show me where it says 'women's'"and when she stumbly bumbled he smiled at her and said "Have a nice day" and walked away. (I was a distance away laughing. I'm probably a bad person... Oh well.)

So... Short of 6'2" A sneaking into every dressing room with me, I've come up with the perfect shopping partner scenario... And it involves the camera on my phone. 

I leave my loved ones to do their own things while I go through the drudgery of trying on clothes. When I find an outfit that I think might work, I take a photo in the mirror and text it to them. "Them" is really either A or my dear friend 300 miles away in Maine. I usually get immediate feedback and nobody is sitting in the waiting area/hot car/hiding under a cloak in the women's-only fitting room. They can go about their daily business and I can get shopping done with a second opinion. Yay!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Outdoor art...

My friends recently built a house (coincidentally, on the coast of Maine) and B has spent the past year or so making it their own with clever, creative touches often including re-purposed or upcycled items (like the salad bowl light fixture that I covet!). One of my favorite things that they have done is to build an outdoor shower using mismatched old doors. 

I had the pleasure (as announced to me through the window by the 7 year old as she stood on the toilet resting her elbows on the sill over my head during my shower and chattered with me) of being only the second person to have showered out there. I'll admit that I quite enjoyed the view of their back yard and surrounding woods through the clear glass panes and unfettered screen door. However, after Alex enlightened me about the lack of privacy from above, I looked around and realized that although the view to the back yard is lovely, the view from the kitchen door down into the shower is... revealing. 

Later, after A was informed of the residual soap on his neck by the helpful 7 year old from her perch in the window, B and I decided to undertake a quick art project before we had to hit the road to address at least some of the privacy issue (which we are still chuckling about!) Luckily my ever-crafty friend has a ton of supplies so we pulled out some brushes and paints and started painting window panes. (How she's going to rig a privacy screen between the window and the outdoor shower remains to be seen but I imagine she will come up with something!)

Their family quite enjoys collecting sea glass so she made a painted sea glass mosaic on her side. She only did from the shoulders down so as to preserve as much of the view as possible. 

On my side I painted a pseudo-Cape Cod beach scene. I don't LOVE the finished product but it's not bad for a quickie painting. The water, sky and sun came out close to my vision but the sand/water interface and the wave peaks aren't quite what I had in mind. (A tells me I'm too critical of my art... Yup.)

My side faces the aforementioned kitchen door so I opted for a solid design. B's side faces the once-a-month-propane-delivery-guy possible peekaboo so less privacy is really required. 

B had also purchased some fun outdoor vinyl to add some privacy to the screen door. When it's done, it's going to be a funky, eclectic piece of art in the yard!

The best part? An hour and a half of gabbing with my dear friend while enjoying the sunshine. (We love to do projects together!) Even if she decides she doesn't like the designs and scrapes them off to start again, that's okay with me because the fun was in the bonding! As a matter of fact, it might be fun to change the scenes on the panes now and then!

Friday, August 9, 2013

12 Years - Who's Counting? Us!

For many years we have been very clear and focused that when A reaches his full pension age (on his 55th birthday), he's retiring and we are moving north. For quite some time, we thought we would move back to VT but in recent years we realized that the coast of Maine is really where we want to be. Ocean. Open land. Mountains. Friends. That's the plan!

We just returned from another lovely, relaxing, gorgeous Maine vacation and with only 12 years until retirement (not that we want to rush the next 12 years - they will go fast enough if the last 10 are any indication!), we are a little giddy that we can actually start thinking about where exactly we want to be. The plan is to buy a piece of property in a few years and then take our time to build a house. Then barns. A garage. Add animals. Yay!