It certainly puts all of my moans into perspective - Alice is a real inspiration. She has a blog of her own which is getting a lot of attention at the moment, and rightly so!
Thursday, 9 June 2011
It's been absolutely ages since I last posted, and not because there hasn't been anything to write about, I just haven't gotten around to blogging!
Well my friend Taj visited for 10 days, which was lovely. We had a really good time - we went to the Grand Canyon and Sedona, then we did lots of stuff around Phoenix...
- 4 malls (she wanted to do lots of shopping)
- Phoenix Zoo
- Massages (I still had my gift card from my hubby for a 1.5 hour massage)
- Went to sit by the pool at Onel's apartment complex
- Yappy Hour at a really nice hotel/resort (for the Humane Society)
Taj left on May 2nd and on May 3rd my Mum and stepdad arrived, so there wasn't much of a gap between visitors! They stayed in a gorgeous resort, though, so hubby and I had the house back to ourselves. With my Mum and Stepdad we did the following:
- 1 mall
- Phoenix Zoo
- Spent a day at their resort in and by the pools
- Bearizona, a drive-through wildlife park in Williams, AZ
- The Grand Canyon
They also went horseback riding in the desert, which they really enjoyed. As you can see, we had a busy time with all our visitors!
I have to say, once everyone had left, it felt really weird. I think because since I moved here at the beginning of September 2010, I'd known they were coming in May and it was something to look forward to. Once they'd left, I just felt kinda empty. We don't have any other visitors lined up at the moment, although my friend Tamzin and her family are hoping to visit us next Easter when we'll hopefully have our new house. That's not set in stone though, of course.
I was feeling a bit down for a couple of weeks after my Mum left, but I'm back to normal now - whatever normal is, anyway!
We had a big problem with the pugs a few weeks back, their fighting suddenly escalated and it got to the point where we had to do something to sort them out. It was either get a dog trainer involved, or we'd have to consider taking Gracie back to pug rescue. The latter was something that filled us with dread, because we really have bonded with her (we've had her since early February) and we'd hate to have to part with her now. Also I'd feel so guilty because she'd have to go through the whole thing again - she was pretty messed up when she came to us, obviously confused because her original family had surrendered her, and I don't want her to go through that again! Besides, she's not really the 'problem' dog. Anyways, to cut a long story short, pug rescue recommended a dog trainer so we've hired her. So far we've had our initial consultation (which ended up being about 4 hours!) and one of our six training sessions (they're supposed to be 1.5 hours a time, and again she was here for close to 4 hours - just as well it's a fixed fee, and not hourly rates!). We still have issues with them but we're better able to handle them now. Hopefully by the end of the 6 weeks things will be a lot better. If not, well the fee covers any training the dogs might need for the rest of their lives, so we'll just have to have the trainer back again!
We've been told by our realtor that we should be hearing something about the new house in the next couple of weeks hopefully, so fingers crossed we'll get it! It's been over 2 months since we made the offer and because it's a 'short sale' these things take forever to go through - they haven't even accepted our offer yet! I just hope they don't try to raise the price or mess us around some other way...
Our pug Suzie has to go to the vet this afternoon, I think she has a stye on her eye, poor thing! Hopefully it won't need anything too much to treat it. I'm thinking maybe some ointment or drops or something. Also, hopefully it won't be too expensive either - last time she was at the vet (for a UTI) it was $132 (about £80). Actually now that I think about it, considering her 2 weeks of antibiotics and the testing etc, that's not too bad is it?!
I'm on a diet at the moment - I started on Monday May 30th so today is day 11. I finally bought some scales last Tuesday so Tuesday is now "weigh day". I weighed way too much last Tuesday... I don't really want to say here, but I don't think anyone reads this so I might as well! I was 209.4 pounds. I'm 5ft 8" and I have a big frame anyway, but even so, it's very bad! So I weighed myself again this Tuesday and I'd lost 1.5 pounds, I'm now 207.9 pounds. I was kinda disappointed because I was hoping to lose 3 pounds a week, but I think if you want to keep the weight off you're supposed to only lose 1 to 2 pounds a week so if that's the case, I'm right on track.
I've been very good and haven't broken my diet at all, so it's just a case of keeping up with it really. Ideally I'd love to lose 40 pounds but I definitely need to lose at least 30 I think. I'll feel so much better if I do it, and look much better too. If I keep losing 1.5 pounds per week, that'll be 6 pounds in a month, 12 pounds in 2 months, 18 pounds in 3 months... It'll take me 5 months (well 20 weeks, anyway) to lose 30 pounds... Yikes! That all depends on whether something else gets in the way of my diet, though. I can't say too much right now but we may have some rather exciting news in the not-too distant future! :-)
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
This morning I was getting ready to take the dogs for a walk when hubby spotted a little chihuahua-type dog walking past our house, alone. I went out with a leash hoping the little dog would come to me but of course he/she was scared and kept going. I followed him for a minute and called for him a few times but although he did turn around and look at me, he didn't come. I couldn't get near him so I headed home, collected our dogs and put some stuff in my bag - a Ziplock bag with some kibble in, a bowl, a bottle of cold water, an old collar and a leash. Woefully optimistic even though I knew the chances were that even if I saw the little guy again, the chances of me getting near him (especially with our 2 dogs in tow) were very small. Well, I didn't see him again. I wish he would've known I was going to help him, but he had no reason whatsoever to trust me, I know that. Who knows what kind of experience that dog has had with humans... Had I been able to get hold of him, I would've brought him home to our house, put him in the yard with Suzie's old crate out there, given him food and water and figured something out... I guess we'd have taken him to the vet so they could scan for a microchip, and then go from there. At least he would've been safe. I truly hope that he'll somehow be OK, safe from harm and that he will eventually be rescued by someone decent who will take good care of him. It breaks my heart that he's still out there, alone and scared. Poor little mite. I'm not a religious person, but if there is anything out there watching over us, please protect that little dog and all other strays. While you're at it, please protect all the poor animals who are abused by people every single day. :-(
So, good luck little chihuahua-type dog. I really wish you would've let me help you but I understand why you were scared. I hope you'll find a caring person to help you very soon.
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
Yesterday I managed to get all of my housework done, despite feeling really rubbish. I feel better today - I got up just after 6 this morning and made us coffee and breakfast, then took the dogs for a walk. When we got back I went and sprayed the weeds in the front yard and pulled the huge weeds in the back yard (there were some smaller ones that I sprayed too). Fed the dogs and then since then I haven't done a great deal! I made us lunch and then had an afternoon nap. I feel a bit more refreshed now so that's nice. I just need to do the dishes and that's my housework done for the day. I guess I'll have to do the dishes again tonight after dinner though, but I need to do them now too otherwise I'll have too much stuff to fit on the drying rack! Oh well. :-)
My friend Taj arrives on Friday evening! I'm really excited to see her, it's been ages! The last time I saw her was just before I left the country, I think the actual date we last met up was August 31st, so it's almost 8 months now. I'm really looking forward to seeing her, I think we'll have fun! :-)
I am a little apprehensive about her staying here with us, though, but mainly because of our dogs - she's not a 'dog person' so I'm not sure how that's gonna go! She knows we have the 2 dogs of course, I just hope it's not too much of an ordeal for her. I guess if it's that bad then she'll probably check into a hotel. Other than that, I'm not really concerned about her staying with us because there's no way she could be as much of a pain as my Dad was when he was here!!!
Speaking of my Dad, yet again we're playing that stupid 'game' where he was supposed to call me last week, didn't call, and now since Sunday he's been emailing me with no mention of it. Great! I guess this is how it's gonna be then. He's even got 3 weeks of vacation from work right now, and clearly doesn't have the time or inclination to pick up the damn phone and call me. Fantastic, huh? I mean, last week he wasn't working, this week he isn't and next week he isn't. He clearly isn't planning on calling me this week, either, because I replied to one of his emails saying that Taj is arriving on Friday and we're going to the Grand Canyon on Sunday, and he said "have a good time at the Grand Canyon". I don't really know what to do, because we had a big falling out over this before and I thought that that would make him realize he should call me when he says he will, but it obviously hasn't had any impact. I mean, after that falling out when he said he'd make more of an effort, he didn't even manage to call me one single time when he'd said he would. Now it's going on again. So to be honest I can't be bothered to say anything about it, because there's no point is there? The way he's going, we'll be estranged soon. I've only been gone for less than 8 months so as far as I'm concerned, if he's this bad already what will he be like in another year?
However I think about it, it makes me feel like shit. I mean, "it's just the way he is", "he just forgot", "he obviously doesn't care enough to call" - either way, it's not really good enough. It's not even like he's called while we're out, because our phone shows missed calls and if he had he'd probably have left a message - which he hasn't. So he hasn't called at all. No doubt he's just gonna wait for me to call him, so I hope he's prepared for a long wait. Next time I have something I want to tell him, I'll refrain from calling. I find it so disrespectful that he continues this behavior especially now that he knows how much it upsets me - that's the worst part of it. What am I to infer from that, please? Yeah - he's obviously not bothered enough about upsetting me to change his behavior. Nice.
Monday, 18 April 2011
This morning I got up 2 hours later than planned, because I didn't sleep very well and I felt crappy. I took the dogs for a walk and now I have a busy day ahead...
1. Feed the dogs
2. Do the dishes
3. Clean the kitchen
7. Mop the floors
8. Clean the bathroom
I guess I should probably have some breakfast, too. I'm so not in the mood for all this housework today! I'll probably feel better for getting it done, though.
Friday, 15 April 2011
Exactly 6 months ago today, hubby and I got married! Friday October 15th, a beautiful day in so many ways. I'm sure before we know it we'll have been married 10 years, we're really happy together and the time has flown by so far!
I love him more than anything in the entire world.
Tonight we're going out for a lovely meal to celebrate our half anniversary :-)
This is one of our favorite wedding photos...
Thursday, 14 April 2011
So, on Monday morning hubby called his Dad at work and arranged for us to go see him when his shift finished. It turns out we were right - his Dad didn't agree with any of the crap his Mom came out with, he said that she'd brought it up on their way home from our house that night and he told her that she can't go to someone's house and impose her beliefs on them. He actually told her he feels sorry for her for thinking she can do that! He had no problem whatsoever with what happened that night, and certainly doesn't agree with the "you're uninvited" thing or the "we won't ever come to your house again" bullshit either. As for the dogs not being welcome, he said she must've just said it to get at hubby. He also said that she should've said the same thing to Dave (hubby's brother) because she's being very selective with her criticisms. He said he'd talk to her and that she's being silly.
Last night hubby got a call from his Mom - she didn't apologize or anything, she didn't mention anything to do with what she said on Saturday. She then proceeded to invite us over for dinner this Saturday - to which hubby said, "We can't, we've already been this month, remember?" and she replied "Can't you just come anyway?" - er no, lady, can't you "just" apologize and we'll take it from there? She also then asked if we were taking the dogs with us to the Grand Canyon when Taj is here, because apparently she'd look after them for us if we wanted her to. Well, again, can you first apologize for all the bullshit that came out of your mouth?
So, we're not going on Saturday. Dave is coming here for dinner, but she thinks he's going there - that's not our problem. She should've thought about the consequences of her bloody diatribe before she spouted that shit, we never told Dave not to go over there. She said they were having other people over for dinner this week so I assumed nobody was invited, then hubby told us we're uninvited apart from once a month so whatever! Her loss, not ours. All this just because we don't say grace in our own house? Nobody stopped them from saying it, but they can't expect people to participate in something they don't believe in when they're in their own house! In their house, yeah, we participate but not in ours. I don't see why that's a problem anyway. The thing she really needs to apologize for is saying it was both her and their Dad who thinks all of this, when he has no such opinions - he thinks like a reasonable person, in fact. It's not exactly a little white lie, that's the kind of thing that could really damage our relationship with his Dad if we weren't so inclined to go and speak to him ourselves. She obviously didn't think we'd do that, and I bet she was pissed when she found out we did, but if she hadn't lied in the first place we wouldn't have had to. Plus, that's his Dad we're talking about - he has every right to speak to him, and so do I for that matter. She really thought she could just call and act as though nothing had happened... How silly is she? She at least needs to apologize, and since that's not happening then I guess we'll just keep our distance.
Yesterday, the woman who's selling the house we offered on got out of hospital so she's signed our offer. We paid the earnest money too, so now we're waiting to hear something from her bank. Hopefully they won't mess us around but who knows? At least things are moving along now, it's a good sign. :-)
The whole thing is stupid, but
Sunday, 10 April 2011
Everything that happened last night is really bothering me. It could be a coincidence but I was feeling pretty sick most of this afternoon, to the point that I had to go and take a nap. I felt really queasy. Maybe it was nothing to do with 'the situation' but I don't think it was helping much either. I really feel quite low about it, which is surprising in a way because it's on a par with how I felt when I fell out with my Dad and this isn't my real Mom we're talking about - yes, she's my mother-in-law, but she's not my actual Mom. Anyway, it's taken me by surprise just how upset I feel about it all. Hubby is feeling the same way, I can tell by the look in his eyes.
I chatted with my BIL on Facebook earlier and he said that his Mom is being "fucking retarded" and that if she speaks to him about it he'll tell her that she's the one causing the problems, so that's good I guess. Hubby is going to call his Dad at work in the morning and tell him that we need to go and speak to him - I really don't think he knows about this, and he's gonna start wondering what's up when we don't show up for the next few months or however long she wants to drag this out. We're both in agreement that her saying we're only welcome now once a month, rather than once a week, is enough to keep us both away indefinitely. Neither of us would feel welcome there now as things stand, so we won't be going. I think that my FIL will be very interested to hear all of this - of course we're aware that talking to him could backfire, he might well know what's been said and there's a chance he agrees with her, but we both want to hear it from him if that's the case. I seriously doubt it, but we'll see. I really don't believe that he knows what she said about our dogs - he loves them to bits and looks forward to seeing them, there's no way he doesn't want them to be there when we are. I still think my MIL was grasping at straws when she made that statement - she said it to hurt hubby (or us - surely she's not stupid enough to think that hubby wouldn't tell me, I'm his wife FFS) and when I spoke to my Mom this morning she said it sounds as though there's some jealousy issues and for whatever reason she's taking exception to the fact that hubby has his own life now. I mean, it's been many years since he moved out of their house, he's been self-sufficient for a long time, long before we got together, but something she said to hubby last night just smacks of jealousy: "You've got your own life now, it's time to pull back" or something along those lines, well that just makes me think that for some reason she's jealous that he doesn't need her as much now. It's sad really because she's his Mom, of course he needs her, and so do I. If she wants to push us away she's doing a bloody good job of it, and as my BIL said, this kind of thing can't really be undone.
We went for dinner at the in-laws' house this evening, and I thought that we had a nice evening. However, on the way home hubby told me that his Mom had been mad at him over something that happened when they came for dinner last Friday! Basically, hubby's brother and parents came for dinner at our house and his parents are Jehovah Witnesses (JWs) so they say grace before meals. Well, last week hubby and his brother started eating while they said grace. I sat there quietly waiting for them to finish saying grace before I started to eat. I didn't think any more of it, nothing was said, nobody seemed to be the slightest bit bothered by it. Well, tonight after we ate at their house (and all observed their saying of grace) she took hubby into another room. I assumed they were talking about house stuff or something. She actually was telling him how offended she is that he didn't wait for them to say grace before he started eating. She said it's even worse because he did it in front of me, and he's basically showing me it's OK to disrespect his parents. If she'd actually paid attention she'd have realized that I waited for them, so hubby's actions didn't influence mine. Also, her other son did exactly the same thing as hubby and she said nothing to him. She told hubby that they don't want to come to our house again because of it. He tried to reason with her and told her that he didn't try to stop them from saying grace, because he wouldn't do that, but he didn't want to say it. Also, it's his right to not be religious - just as it's their right to be religious. She kept going on about how he was so disrespectful and how he should respect them, which by the way he does, and he said that they should respect our choice to not be religious. Of course she doesn't see it that way. Then she threw in his face that she doesn't like us taking our dogs to their house! This, after hubby's had Suzie for 15 months now and has always taken her with him when he's gone round for dinner which is usually once a week. When we got Gracie we called and asked if it was OK to bring both dogs and she said it was great! So now, she's completely changed her tune and apparently we're disrespectful for taking the dogs with us. Also, she said that we're only invited once a month now instead of once a week. Talk about blowing everything out of proportion!
When we got home, hubby called his brother to ask him if he'd been given the same talking to - no, not at all, nothing was said to him! Note that when we've all been over to my brother-in-law's house, the same thing has happened - hubby and BIL haven't observed grace. So why is it OK in BIL's house but not ours? As I said, nobody stopped them from saying grace. I do feel as though it should be optional, we're not in the least bit religious so when we're in our house we shouldn't be obliged to say grace.
Another thing that's pissed me off is that for the past 3 or 4 weeks, she's brought up my weight. It started when her brother and sister-in-law were in town and apparently her SIL said that I'd lost weight. Now bear in mind that I'd previously only met them once before - at our wedding - for that one day. So, the following week she brought it up when we all went out for a buffet - she asked me, in front of everybody, if I was trying to lose weight, because I didn't eat an excessive amount. She said that her SIL had said she thought I'd lost weight. I was really embarrassed by her saying all this, I could feel my cheeks going red. I said that I wasn't on a diet or anything. Since then she's brought it up a couple more times, including tonight. She said, "Have you lost weight?" and I said "I don't know, we don't have any scales..." and she said again that her SIL thought I'd lost weight - I said, "She only met me once before" and she said "Yeah, she'd only seen you in your (wedding) dress before, not normal clothes" - I was having to bite my lip because to me that sounded like she was saying I looked really fat in my wedding dress. Gee, thanks a fucking bunch! Then, she added that she didn't think I'd lost weight. The whole time I was just wanting to say, "Why the hell is this even up for discussion? Just because I'm not skinny doesn't mean that my weight is a topic of debate for anyone to get involved in! What are you trying to say, exactly, when you repeatedly bring this up? Are you trying to make me feel like shit?"
Of course, I didn't say any of that. I hadn't even told hubby any of this, and as I said it's been going on for weeks now. When he told me all this about how she thinks he's so offensive etc. etc. I told him and let's just say, he's not very impressed with her.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not skinny by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm also not morbidly obese. I have some meat on my bones and I could do with losing some weight, but not too much. Anyway, the whole time she's known me I've been about the same size - so why is it an issue now? I don't like to be too touchy about things like this but when someone repeatedly says something like this and it's completely unwarranted - i.e. she brought up the subject, not me - it starts to feel a bit personal and to be perfectly honest I am getting offended now. So, rightly or wrongly I've asked hubby to tell her how I feel about it next time he speaks to her, whenever that may be. We won't be going round in the foreseeable future, because frankly even if they do invite us over neither of us would feel very comfortable there at the moment. It would be really awkward.
Regarding the dog situation - I really think she was grasping at straws, because hubby made a valid point. If she really was pissed off with us bringing the dogs with us every week, I'm sure she would've at least hinted about it sometime before now. Also, my father-in-law loves the dogs to bits and I'm sure he looks forward to seeing them every week. They have loads of different dog treats in their cupboard - and they don't have a dog! And we're seriously supposed to believe that they honestly don't want us to take them round there? I can honestly say that my FIL would be very disappointed if we stopped taking the dogs with us. Anyway, either way, we won't be going round anymore so I guess it really doesn't matter.
I would like to hear my FIL's take on the whole situation, though - she made out that it was both of them who were seriously offended, but he said nothing and acted perfectly normally the whole night - and he's not the kind to keep his mouth shut if something's bugging him. In fact, I think he would likely have said something at the time. The fact they stayed at our house a couple hours after dinner says to me that it wasn't as big a deal as she's making out. But, if she wants to push her son (and me) away, then so be it.
Saturday, 9 April 2011
It's a wet, grey day in Phoenix! It's raining on and off, and it's supposed to continue that way for the rest of the day and into this evening. It actually makes a nice change, really. Most of the time it's warm and sunny with blue skies, so a grey drizzly day is quite refreshing!
We had a lie-in this morning, Suzie woke us up at 6.30 so we put the dogs on the bed with us and they eventually went back to sleep. We got up at 9.40 - positively late for us, even for a weekend! It was nice, but I do feel a bit groggy now because of waking up and going back to sleep a couple of times. Oh well! It's not as though we're doing much today. I think it might be a movie day - there seem to be a few decent-ish movies on TV, so that'll keep me occupied for a little while!
I need to go to trusty old Target at some point, poor Gracie has allergies at the moment and she's scratching lots. She's on Benadryl 3 times a day (luckily we got the Target own version which is exactly the same, only $4 for 100 so that's great!). Anyway, we're also having to put shirts on her to stop her from scratching herself too badly - her skin was getting raw where she was scratching, so it does help to put a shirt on her. I think I'm gonna buy a pack of baby shirts from Target, she's gonna need a few because all the scratching inevitably results in holes. There's no point spending $15 on a dog shirt, when I can probably get 4 or 5 baby shirts for around that price. Well, I haven't looked into the prices, but I'm sure they're a lot cheaper than dog clothes anyway! She probably needs either a 12 or 18 month size, I'm thinking the 18 month will be better because it'll fit looser. Pugs are hard to buy clothes for because they're broad shouldered and dog clothes that are meant for their weight range and length are usually too small around the shoulders. Ordinarily it wouldn't be an issue because we don't dress them very often, but Gracie seems to feel the cold a lot more than Suzie and with her scratching because of her allergies, it's the only thing we can do to help (apart from the Benadryl of course). Gracie actually seems to love wearing clothes too, she gets all wiggly and happy when we get them out for her. Suzie? Not so much. Apart from the gorgeous pink polka dot dress she wore to our wedding, she loved that one!
Gosh, the past few days I've spoken to lots of my friends... Wednesday I talked to Taj, who arrives here on April 22nd, and I also talked to my Mom and Dad for a while to tell them about the house and my unexpected tax rebate. My Aunt Dorothy also called, so I spoke to her for a bit too. Thursday I talked to Tamzin, Debbie and Rochelle. It seems to happen like that - I don't get to speak to anyone for ages and then in the space of a couple of days I speak to loads of people. I kinda would prefer it to be more spaced out but hey, what can you do? I guess it just happens to be when people are free - I'm free most of the time, but they're all busy!
Oh - good news, the government shutdown has been averted. Hopefully there will be no disruption while Taj, my Mom and my stepdad are here! :-)
Friday, 8 April 2011
Wednesday evening while we were at the dog park, we got a call from our realtor to say that our offer on the house has been accepted - the listing agent has confirmed that any other offers they might receive will be treated as back-up offers, so unless we back out we should get the house! Yay!!!
Of course with it being a short sale, the bank has to approve the price (again). It's all a bit silly, but that's the way it is. Hopefully they won't mess us around - we just want to buy the house, after all! Right now they're not getting any mortgage payments on it, so hopefully they'll just be glad to have a genuine offer from someone who is definitely good for the money (us!). We'll see, anyway.
Some not so good news - there's a US government shutdown looming, which if it goes ahead will start at midnight tonight. All the national parks would close, including the Grand Canyon... Well, we have 2 sets of visitors coming in the next month and we're supposed to be taking them there. My friend T arrives 2 weeks today, and we're supposed to be going to the GC on Sunday April 24th... My Mom and stepdad arrive on May 3rd and we're supposed to be going to the GC on Friday May 6th... Fuck! Now obviously this shutdown (if it happens) will cause a lot of other problems, but I know T, my Mom and stepdad would all be really disappointed if they couldn't go to the GC. Sure, they will probably be here again sometime so could visit it another time, but it's gonna be one of the highlights of their time in Arizona. So I'm really hoping the shutdown either doesn't happen at all, or that if it does, that everything is up and running again before April 24th!
This morning I felt like absolute crap... I don't think I slept very well last night, and I had a lie-in this morning for a while but kept getting disturbed by Suzie so when I got up at 8 I had a really bad headache and also period pain. Great! Well, it was my day to clean the house (I aim to do it Monday, Wednesday and Friday but this week I did it Tuesday and was supposed to do it again today). Well, I really didn't feel like doing anything at all. I forced myself to, though, because I would've been really disappointed in myself if I'd left it. So I changed the bed linen, did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the dogs' water fountain, tidied the house, dusted, polished, vacuumed, mopped and then I cleaned the bathroom. After all that I had a nice shower - I sure needed it by that point! I feel much better now that the house is beautiful again! :-)
Then I made us lunch, and now I'm relaxing after taking some painkillers which seem to be kicking in now, so that's good.
Oooh, we have cupcakes! We got them last night at Albertsons - they were $1 for a 4-pack, so we got 2 packs! How bad is that?! Sooo good though, yummy cupcakes! :-)
Wednesday, 6 April 2011
We're still waiting to find out if our offer has been accepted - all signs are good, there are no other offers and since we've offered asking price and we're good for the money we should be OK, but until we're told that for sure we're not getting too excited.
I logged onto my online banking this morning to check my UK account and found a nice surprise - I got an impressive tax rebate! I had to send the tax office a form saying that I'd left the country, and it said "you may be eligible for a tax refund" - well, I got a lot more than I ever expected! I called them and found out why - my last employer had me on the wrong tax code for the entire 3 years I worked there, so I was overpaying quite a bit in tax. Anyhow, it's probably better to get it now because I don't have a job and with us buying a house (hopefully!) we could use all the extra money we can get. I also owe hubby money from when he paid off my loan for me before I moved here... So I won't be keeping much of it, but it's still good! The money can go towards our deposit for the house :-)
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
OK, so now we're waiting to find out if our offer on the house has been accepted. I can't stop thinking about it! It should be accepted I think, we offered asking price and they previously had a buyer who "wasn't able to perform" (makes them sound impotent! haha) so I think they'll be glad of the offer really.
Our realtor just called and told us they're trying to get ahold of the listing agent to check that they've received our offer (they should have done, but so far the realtor hasn't been able to speak to them). Obviously this is going to be a waiting game and I imagine it'll be quite stressful at times, but hopefully we'll be lucky and not have too much trouble. We're aware that it's going to take several months to complete, and with the house being a short sale the owner's mortgage lender will probably take a while to agree to it (we're hoping they'll be reasonable but who knows?!)
Our realtor told us to be cautiously optimistic, which I think is how we both feel anyway. We're excited but anxious, because we know nothing is set in stone yet and it may not go through. We'd be really disappointed if we didn't get the house, because we both love it to bits, but I'm trying to keep in mind that if for some reason it doesn't work out, there will be other houses that we'll love too. Still, I really hope this is the one!!!!!
I've been busy again today, got up before 6 feeling like crap (didn't get enough sleep!) and made us breakfast and coffee, took the dogs for a walk, did the dishes, tidied up, did laundry, dusted all over the house, vacuumed everywhere but hubby's office, mopped all the tile floors and finally cleaned the bathroom. The house looks fantastic again, yay! :-) Then I made hubby some lunch, and now here I am goofing around on the internet... again.
I think I should make myself some lunch now!
Monday, 4 April 2011
We may just have found our house! I don't want to say too much but in the morning we'll be putting an offer in... Hopefully we'll be successful! It's a gorgeous house in a great neighborhood, it doesn't need any work doing to it and it's a really good price. Fingers crossed!
So, my Dad finally called me today... Only 2 weeks later than he was supposed to! He didn't mention that, of course. I think he just wanted to moan about having a cold, to be honest. I didn't say anything about how he was supposed to call me weeks ago, I can't be doing with that anymore - what's the point, after all? I told him we've been looking at houses, he sounded quite surprised by that (I don't know why because he's known for ages that we want to buy a house this year... I think he just doesn't listen to me).
I told him that there are lots of photos and videos of the girls on Facebook (he has an account, which he evidently doesn't use) and hinted that it's a good way to keep in touch as far as videos and photos go. I doubt it'll make a difference, though - hints are never going to work if telling him something outright doesn't make a difference, right?
To be perfectly honest our conversations feel strained at best - I don't think we really "connect" these days. I think there's resentment on both our parts - I resent him for being terrible at keeping in touch and because of all the wedding stuff, and he resents me for leaving the UK. I think that sums it up pretty well, really.
When he does call me, which is pretty rare, it's usually just to complain about things: his neck, his cold, his job... I always get the sense that he's waiting for me to say something, but there's nothing I can really say - he moans about everything all the time, he doesn't do anything to help himself, and I've said everything I can say a million times over now! I think sometimes he's waiting for me to say something like "I miss you so much, I wish I'd never moved" - but I'm happy here, and although I find it hard at times being away from everyone "back home", I could never miss anyone as much as I used to miss my hubby while we were apart.
Why are families so weird?!
Friday, 1 April 2011
This morning I got up at 5.35, made breakfast and coffee, walked the dogs and fed them (Gracie wouldn't eat anything - that pissed me off!). Then I did the dishes, did some laundry, changed our bed linen, dusted, vacuumed, mopped and then cleaned the bathroom. I also cleaned the dogs' water fountain. I cleared the yard of dog poop too. Then I made us lunch, and now I need to do some more dishes and put the other ones away. I'm tired!
We're going to look at some more houses today, there are 4 we're supposed to view this time. Hubby is finishing work an hour early (he didn't take his lunch break) and we're meeting the realtor at one of the houses right after that. Then this evening the in-laws are coming for dinner. It's 92ºF right now and it's going to be 97 later - it's too hot! It's going to be hot for a while, I think. We're in April now and it's not going to cool off now, not much anyway. That means walking the dogs early every day, before it gets too hot for them (and me!).
Last night I had another driving lesson, it was my first one since Sunday. It went really well, I ended up driving for about 4 miles on a main road and didn't do anything wrong! I shifted gear fine every time, I obeyed the speed limit and I didn't drive too far to the right of the lane! Hehe. I also had some traffic lights to contend with, and stopped behind a car without getting too close. I also got a good start when the lights changed, so that was good. I didn't get all stressed out - I think I'm getting the hang of this driving business! :-)
I drove us to our local supermarket on the way back, and parked in the lines albeit at a funny angle! Then I drove us home, the long way, so I didn't have to make any left turns, haha! I enjoyed it, it was a good confidence boost because I did good and that was by far the furthest I've ever driven on a "big" road so it showed me I can do it and everything is fine. :-)
Thursday, 31 March 2011
OK, well we hoped to look at houses on Tuesday as I wrote in my last post. Our realtor was supposed to call hubby around 4 p.m. but she didn't, he texted her and asked if we could look at houses and she said she wasn't free until Friday. We've felt for a while she was messing us around, and we didn't think we'd ever end up seeing any houses if we waited for her all the time. So, hubby called his mom who knows a husband and wife realtor team through church, and she gave him their details. He called and left them a voicemail and they rang us back within a couple of hours, and hubby gave them the info about what kind of house we're looking for, our price range, etc. Yesterday the guy came to our house at about 3.15 p.m. to pick us up to view houses! Yay! We finally looked at some houses! We saw 6 in total yesterday, and a few were a definite "no" - one was in a very dodgy area and pretty run-down, one had loads of water damage on all the ceilings and was generally in bad shape, one had been ripped apart for termites and had a tree out front with the roots probably going into the foundations of the garage and house and one had power lines right next to the house, had a very very old A/C unit and needed a new roof - and was definitely overpriced! There were 2 houses we really liked but they'd just received offers on them and we're not ready to make any offers just yet, we need to look around a lot more. It was interesting anyway, it showed us what to look for with regards to potential problems and we found it to be quite an experience! We're hopefully viewing more houses tomorrow afternoon, then the in-laws are coming round for dinner (hubby's parents and brother too, so our little house will be a bit cramped but it's OK!)
When I last spoke to my Dad, 2 weeks ago tomorrow, he told me he would call me "next week" (so last week) - guess what? He still hasn't! Now don't get me wrong, I'm not exactly shocked, but come on! For fuck's sake, this is getting ridiculous! He knows how much it annoys/upsets me when he does this, and still it continues. I guess he'll never, ever change. I'm still not going to call him though, because why should it always be me making the effort? More to the point, why should it always be our phone bill getting run up? So no, there won't be any calls from me.
I'm being a good little housewife, I cleaned the entire house again yesterday and I'm still doing the dishes after every meal which makes it a much more manageable task! I washed the doggy beds yesterday too, and today I've done more laundry. I'm going to clean the whole house again tomorrow, it works out well because that's when we're having the in-laws over for dinner, but I was going to do it anyway - Monday, Wednesday and Friday are my full-on cleaning days now. That gives me Tuesday and Thursday "off" but I still do other things around the house, just not a full clean. It also leaves weekends free, because that's when hubby is free so we can do things together. I'm finding it to work really well, the house always looks great because there's never too big a gap between thorough cleanings and it keeps me busy. On a Friday I have a couple extra tasks, I clean the dog water fountain and change our bed linen in addition to dusting, vacuuming, mopping and then cleaning the bathroom. Hubby's only "job" around the house is to be in charge of the fish tank, i.e. do the water changes. He doesn't mind doing it, it's not like he has to do anything else housework related after all. He's really happy with the way things are now, and so am I! I love being able to take pride in our house every day, it's not a fancy house but it's clean and tidy and it's our home for now :-)
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Hubby got an email from our realtor last night, she now has her computer back virus-free and found hubby's emails which had somehow gone into her junk mail. Hopefully we might be able to look at some houses when hubby finishes work today at 3... Fingers crossed, anyway.
When we went to get our mortgage pre-approval, it was based on 20% down which is what hubby wants to do. Our realtor has now said she doesn't understand why we don't want to just put 3.5% down, like most first time buyers. Well, that'd be because we'd end up borrowing a lot more and our monthly payments would be higher, and hubby has saved up so what's the point of not putting down 20%? It makes more sense to us to put more money down and have lower monthly payments - otherwise the mortgage will be crippling us! 3.5% is fine for people who haven't got savings, but it seems daft to only put that down when you do have the money there!
The dogs had a fight this morning, it was the first time in a while. Neither of them was hurt, hubby grabbed Suzie as soon as she started and then I got the spray bottle and used it on them both. It didn't have any effect this time but I think it's because I didn't get it in time - it was on the dining table and I was in the living room area, so it took me a little longer to get it. All's well now though, thank goodness.
I took them for a short walk just before 9 a.m. - it was already 70ºF then, it's going to be 83 today, then 86 tomorrow, 92 Thursday, 95 Friday... yuck! This is spring? Damn!
I'm not exactly looking forward to summer in the desert, it'll certainly be an experience... =/
Monday, 28 March 2011
Around 3.15 p.m. we got a call from the vet - they'd finally got a urine sample from her (she refused to pee for ages!!) and it was clean - which means that the antibiotics have worked and she no longer has a UTI! Yay!!! Her antibiotics won't be done with until Friday morning, but at least she doesn't need another course of them :-)
This morning I made us coffee and breakfast, did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen... I fed the dogs, hubby medicated them... Then I dusted, vacuumed, mopped and cleaned the bathroom. I also did a bunch of laundry too and put away all the clothes I washed yesterday.
After all that I had a shower and then we took Suzie up to the vet, they need to try and get a urine sample and see how her UTI is responding to the antibiotics. I hope they manage to get a sample! The house feels really odd without her here, it's not nice. I miss my baby!
When we got back from dropping Suzie at the vet, I took Gracie for a quick walk so she could do her "business" hehe, and now I'm home and I've done everything that needs doing already... I'd finished cleaning the house by just before 9.15 a.m. so I was pretty productive today.
Tonight we're going to the filming session for Suzie's agility class, I hope she does well this time because they're going to put it on the internet! Hopefully she'll get a little bit of practice time beforehand. I know a few of the other people were going to take their dogs for a half hour practice session yesterday, but we didn't go. It would've been another $10 which isn't bad at all, but we didn't arrange to do it. Oh well, I'm sure it'll go fine.
Well, I'd better make us some lunch. Soup and sandwiches! I'm really hungry, it's almost 5 hours since we ate breakfast (at 6 this morning) so we're ready for lunch even though it's not even 11 a.m. yet!
Sunday, 27 March 2011
I had another driving lesson today, which went pretty well. At one point I had some idiot in an SUV tailgating me, even though I was actually driving slightly over the speed limit. That pissed me off - I slowed down and gave them the finger! Oops. I probably shouldn't do that, but it worked, they backed off. I'm not gonna be bullied into driving faster just because some impatient tw*t behind me can't tolerate the speed limit! Some people... jeez!
I'm doing much better with changing gears and my confidence levels are higher now too. I'm getting used to driving on the big roads - it's still daunting to me but I just need to keep doing it and eventually it'll be second nature.
After my lesson we went to get some groceries, then came home. I've been doing some laundry and prepping for dinner tonight, we're making green curry so I've chopped up the onion and red bell pepper, and the chicken. We're taking the girls to the dog park in around half an hour, so when we get back dinner shouldn't take too long to make. I've also done the dishes twice today already, after our pancake breakfast and just now too. I'm really trying to keep on top of the housework at the moment, it's easy to let things slide sometimes and I end up getting mad at myself so I'm making a concerted effort to be a good little housewife. I'm still not sure it's really who I am, but I'm trying to give it a chance. I do want to provide a good home environment for us, I can't provide for us financially right now so it's the best I can do really. The thing is, I could get a random job doing something rubbish, and I don't want to put people down who do those jobs because I think people do whatever they have to do in order to live, but I don't need to work right now. In some ways I feel guilty about that, but then at the same time it's not really anyone's business but ours. Hubby is happy with our situation, and he likes that the house is kept nice without him having to do anything around the house. I can also take care of the dogs so he doesn't have to worry about them while he's working. Basically what I'm saying is that this works for us - so I don't know why I feel guilty sometimes. I'm just not used to being unemployed yet, I guess!
We still haven't seen any houses yet, I really hope our realtor gets in touch with us soon (i.e. tonight or tomorrow) to set up an appointment with us. I don't want to sound harsh, but if she doesn't then I'm considering hiring someone else. Our lease on the house is up in 8 months and we want to find somewhere soon to get the ball rolling!
Saturday, 26 March 2011
We were hoping to look at some houses today, but those plans fell through. Our realtor isn't available and her computer has a load of viruses on it, so she's waiting to get it back. For some reason the emails hubby sent her over the last couple of days didn't get forwarded to her Blackberry (maybe they went in her junk mail?) so she hasn't been able to research the house listings we sent her yet. So maybe tomorrow, or sometime during the week we can start looking at houses properly.
Not sure what we're going to do instead today, we took the girls for a walk and that's it so far. I'd really like to go somewhere and do something, but I don't know what. I don't have any money right now anyway, and hubby can't think of anything for us to do either. We can't leave the dogs for too long because we're having to crate Suzie when we're out, just in case the dogs fight.
Tonight we're going out to a buffet with the in-laws, so that should be good. We're gonna take the dogs to their house and leave them there (Suzie in her crate) and then we won't have to rush home to feed them and give them their meds (Suzie needs her antibiotics at 8 p.m. and Gracie needs her eyedrops, joint supplement and antihistamine!!! Too many meds to keep track of, but we're managing!)
So, what to do? Hmmm...
Friday, 25 March 2011
This morning I got up with hubby at 5.50 a.m. (he starts work at 6) and made us coffee and breakfast. I also did some laundry and changed our bedding. Around 8 a.m. I gave the girls their breakfast and their meds, then did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, tidied the house, dusted all over, vacuumed everywhere, mopped all the tile floors, cleaned the pugs' water fountain, cleaned the bathroom, cleaned the sliding door in the living room and cleared the yard of pug poop. Then I took a shower and hubby took me out for lunch at the local Thai restaurant which was a lovely surprise!
I might need a nap now, I've been on the go non-stop for 7 hours now! :-)
Also - the dogs are doing much better now. We've started using the water spray bottle again with Suzie which is a good deterrent and stops bad behavior in its tracks! Yay!
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
On Friday my Dad emailed me so I called him. He said he would call me sometime this week, so again, we'll see. I think if/when he doesn't call, which is likely given his past history, I should just ignore him and not bother telling him again how annoying it is when he does that. I'll just wait to hear from him in another 3 weeks or so, and keep it inside. I mean, I've told him enough times now how much it upsets me when he doesn't call me when he's supposed to, so if he continues to do that then I'll just assume he doesn't care that he's upsetting me.
Also on Friday I was involved in the rescue of 2 dogs found wandering in my neighborhood. I was walking Suzie and Gracie just after 9 a.m. when I saw these 2 dogs walking towards us, and a guy walking a bit behind them. I assumed they were with him, but he asked me if I knew whose dogs they were. He'd first seen them at 8 a.m. in his street, and he'd been tracking them ever since. He'd called the Humane Society and they said they would send someone. In the meantime I kept an eye on the dogs and he went knocking on doors to see if anyone knew the dogs. We thought they'd maybe escaped from someone's yard or something. The guy brought some dog food and water out for the dogs, but they wouldn't go near either of them. Basically they were really skittish and you couldn't get close to them. Neither dog was wearing a collar. They were 2 shelties, they looked pretty well cared for and I don't think they'd been loose for very long. I borrowed the guy's cell phone to call my hubby, and he came to get our dogs to take them home. He also googled a bunch of different shelters and rescue organizations and started calling around, with no luck. At 10.15 a.m. I called the Humane Society again, and asked when someone might get to the dogs. The guy I spoke to was pretty rude and informed me that they would "try to be there by 3 p.m." - I told him we were trying to keep the dogs away from the 2 very busy main roads, and the dogs likely wouldn't still be there by 3 p.m. and he said, "What do you want me to do about it?" - I said that we didn't want the dogs to get hit by a car and he asked if they'd been hit yet so when I said "No, not yet" he also responded with "What do you want me to do about it?" - well wouldn't it be better to rescue the dogs before they got hit?! What the hell?!
The guy who'd found the dogs originally had to leave to go to work, so I stayed to keep watch over the dogs.
Hubby got in touch with a different organization at 11 a.m. who said it would be 6 to 8 hours before they could come. Brilliant - it'd be getting dark by that point! He also called AZ Sheltie Rescue, and left a message.
A lady rode by on her bicycle and I stopped her and asked if she recognized the dogs - she didn't, but she stayed with me to help. She called her sister and she came along too. We were trying to keep the dogs in a safe section, away from the roads. One of the women called the cops to see if they would send anyone, I ended up speaking to them over the phone and they told me someone would be dispatched very soon, as in it would be the next call to be dispatched. They took my (hubby's) cell phone number (I had his cell by that point) and they called me right back to say they wouldn't be able to send anyone after all because the dogs weren't attacking anyone. I was gutted.
One of the women who just moved in to a house opposite where all this was going on brought me a bottle of water out, because I'd been there for ages! Hubby brought me a sandwich, some chips, a Pepsi and a bottle of water too. I hadn't eaten breakfast because I'd been planning to have it after our walk, which would've been around 9.30! I was pretty hungry by that point.
Around 1 p.m. the dogs started trying to make a run for it, we tried to stop them but they got away. They were so scared, it was awful. I wished they would just realize we were trying to help, but obviously they didn't know us and had no reason to trust us. They ended up running right across one of the main roads, and almost got hit by traffic. The ladies on the bicycles followed them but I was on foot and didn't know what to do. I ended up walking around the neighborhood once more, not expecting to see the dogs again but hoping they might return to the area. I spotted one of the ladies on her bicycle and one of the dogs was there too - yay! I kept an eye on the dog, watching him go up and down the green belt. I tried throwing him pieces of my sandwich, thinking he might be hungry, but he ignored them. I walked all the way down towards where the dog was, under a bridge that goes under the road. I saw another neighbor and talked to her for a bit, we watched the dog from a distance. I got a voicemail from AZ Sheltie Rescue, saying they'd send someone local out to our location. Hubby called them again to tell them our current location.
The dog then moved back the other way, to where the 2 dogs had been originally. I'd left the rest of my sandwich by a tree when I'd started following the dog, and he stopped by the tree for a while so I figured he was eating my sandwich - he ate the whole thing, which was good, at least he wouldn't be hungry. Then he ran off again. At that point I couldn't really do anything so I reluctantly went home, defeated. I was really worried about the dogs, they were now separated and probably panicking like crazy. When I got home I realized I had pretty terrible sunburn - my face, apart from where my sunglasses were, was really really red, my arms were too and so were the backs of my legs. When I'd left the house the UV index was low, and only planning to be out for 30-40 minutes I didn't put any sunscreen on. Damn! I was pretty upset about the dogs, I really thought they'd get hit by a car or something, and the fact they were no longer together really upset me too. When I got home hubby called AZ Sheltie Rescue again to let them know the dogs had bolted and we didn't know where they were now, and he called the Humane Society and Animal Control to tell them the same. No point having them spend time coming out when the dogs were no longer there...
All day Saturday I kept wondering about the dogs, hoping they'd be rescued by someone else. I didn't see any posters in our area, I half expected to see a "missing dogs" poster but didn't. If I had, I'd have rung them and told them what had happened, and that a lot of people had tried really hard to help but to no avail.
Then on Sunday we took the girls to the dog park and lo and behold, there were 2 posters saying "Found - 2 sheltie dogs" !!! Yay! I took the details (Craigslist listing and email address) and checked it out when I got home - and it was those 2 dogs, and they were both together and safe. Thank God! I emailed the woman and it was one of the ladies who'd been helping me out, the ones with the bicycles (sisters). She told me that they'd got one of the dogs cornered in one of their neighbors' yards, so trapped it in there, then a few hours later around 6.30 p.m. they'd found the other one too and taken it back to the same place to reunite the dogs. I was so happy to hear that! The lady whose yard the dogs were in kept the dogs overnight and in the morning Animal Control came to collect them. The women who eventually managed to catch the dogs got in touch with AZ Sheltie Rescue and they've agreed to take both dogs once they've been evaluated at the shelter (standard procedure). That evaluation takes about 3 days. Neither dog had a microchip and as they had no collars there's no way to identify them. Poor things. I suspect they'd been abandoned, nobody so far has come looking for them and it's been 4 days now so you'd think if they have an owner they'd be frantically searching for them.
Anyway, it's good to know the story of these dogs will have a happy ending - someone will love them again, hopefully they'll get re-homed together and have a lovely new family. It's nice to know my 5 hour effort wasn't in vain, too! :-)
On Sunday we took the girls to an APARN fundraiser, PugStock 2011! The theme of the event was, of course, hippie! We went to a farmers market on Saturday and a lady there sells loads of tie-dye stuff, she didn't have anything for dogs but she had lots of baby T-shirts. We asked if we could try one on our dog and she was happy for us to do so - we ended up with 2 shirts for the girls, both 18 month size! They fit great. Only $10 each, too - much cheaper than "proper" doggy clothes!
We had a great day at PugStock, and I think APARN will have made quite a bit of money. They adopted out 7 pugs that I'm aware of, hopefully more adoptions will follow soon. The lady who'd been fostering Gracie before we took her was really happy to see Gracie again. She said they had another 6 pugs being surrendered that day, it's so so sad. They can't adopt them out quick enough - it seems as though for every pug they adopt out, they get another 3 or more! I wish we could take another, but we can't. We're having trouble with Suzie at the moment anyway, she's getting quite aggressive with Gracie at times and we've had to break them up a lot lately because Suzie's trying to fight Gracie. It's horrible, but we're hoping it's a phase that will pass. We took Suzie to her agility class last night and she started acting up there too, with the trainer's dog! How embarrassing... The class finished at 7 p.m. but Wendi, the trainer, stayed behind with us for 45 minutes helping us with Suzie. She showed us a few techniques which really seem to work well, we've been using them since we got home last night. We're going to sign Suzie up for an obedience class too, we'll sort out the details next Monday when we go back for the agility filming session. It's embarrassing because Suzie is so cute but she can be really nasty at the moment, and it's really not cool. She's never shown any aggression towards other dogs, or people, and for it to start now is just horrible. Wendi was saying that she's at that age where things like this do start to happen - she's 19 months. We need to nip it in the bud ASAP, which we're trying to do. The obedience class should help too, we'll learn a lot. The situation with Suzie and Gracie is escalating, it's making Gracie reluctant to eat again and she was doing so well - last week I noticed a big improvement in her general attitude, she seemed to be settling in well and she seemed happier generally. Wendi agreed with me that this could be part of the reason for Suzie's aggression - before last week, Gracie was depressed and very submissive, so Suzie probably didn't feel at all threatened by her, but now Gracie's coming out of her shell so to speak, she does perceive her to be more of a threat. This morning when I gave them their breakfast, Gracie took a while to start eating (long enough for Suzie to finish eating before Gracie had really started) and then Suzie went for Gracie so we had to remove Suzie from the situation. Gracie was really worked up by it, though, understandably. I couldn't get her to eat after that, I tried for 25 minutes and she wouldn't eat. Poor Gracie. It's so frustrating! We just need to persevere with Suzie, making sure she knows we're the boss and not her, and we just need to be consistent. She's turning into a monster!
Thursday, 17 March 2011
Our gorgeous little pug-pug girl Suzie is sick! Poor little girl. She has a urinary tract infection (UTI) which seemed to start late afternoon yesterday. She kept needing to go potty a lot more than usual, and when she was peeing (or trying to pee) she was squatting for ages, which is unusual for her. She woke me up at 3 a.m. today, wanting to go potty again (this is also unusual for her) - she peed for ages (or tried to) and when she came back in I noticed some blood... :-(
We managed to get her an appointment at the vet this morning at 10, and I tried to get a urine sample from her beforehand but was pretty unsuccessful (I ended up with all of about 3 drops in a tupperware box! Hardly enough for them to test!). They tried to get her to go potty so they could get a sample but she wouldn't; we tried again but she wouldn't pee for us either. So, they examined her and gave her an antibiotic shot and we now have a 15-day supply of antibiotic capsules for her. She'll need one capsule every 12 hours, which shouldn't be a problem as she doesn't mind medication normally - we'll put the capsule in a blob of peanut butter and if past experience is anything to go by, she'll love it. :-)
Hopefully she'll get better very soon. I hate it when she's poorly...
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Last Thursday I bit the bullet, so to speak, and went to the DMV to apply for my learner's permit. I kind of expected to fail the test, but somehow I got 86% (I think 70% is a pass) so I got the permit. The whole thing took like 15 minutes from start to finish - I was impressed!
So hubby has been teaching me to drive in his car. I must admit, my first lesson was quite scary as I obviously didn't have a clue. I found myself wishing that he had an automatic instead of a stick-shift (or manual, whatever you want to call it!) but he has a 6-speed stick-shift, so it's tough!
I've had 5 lessons now, almost every day with the only exception being Saturday. So far we've only been in an abandoned parking lot, which is a good place to learn for obvious reasons. I manage to start and stop most of the time without stalling or burning the clutch (although it does happen sometimes - I'm getting better though!) and I can change gear fairly smoothly most of the time. I started learning how to reverse yesterday, which I can do alright most of the time but I'm struggling a little with turning the wheel the right way - I'll say I'm going to back up and turn right but I end up going the opposite direction! I'll get there soon, I think. It's not as difficult as I was expecting, on the whole. I'm quite enjoying learning. I haven't been on any "proper" roads yet but I did drive us to a neighboring in-use parking lot (next to the one I've been learning in) and park us there... far away from any other vehicles! I parked in the lines though, straight, which is something a lot of people around here appear to struggle with! (either that, or they're too lazy since the spaces are pretty big and you can park badly and still be in the lines!)
Yesterday we went to our bank to start the mortgage process. We have a friend at the dog park whose mom is a realtor, we met her a couple of weeks back and she gave us her business card, so as soon as we get the pre-approval notice from the bank (we should know by Friday) we can set up an appointment with her and go and look at some houses properly! So far we've only looked from the outside, but we've found some promising looking houses in nice areas for very good prices (less than we can afford, so that's a good thing!)
Oh yeah, and the whole thing with my dad is still not really resolved. He called me last Monday and started telling me how busy he was the previous Wednesday (he'd told me the week before that, that he would call me either the Wednesday or Thursday, and didn't). I tried to have a normal conversation with him but he kept going on about how tired he is now he has the dog and how busy he was that Wednesday, blah blah blah, and I had to point out that his failure to call was hardly a one-off! I mean, it happens without fail every single bloody time he's told me he'll call me! I didn't raise my voice or anything, but I told him that when he repeatedly doesn't call it really upsets me and it disappoints me every time. Now, my dad can't take any criticism whatsoever, so he had to get all sarcastic with me and the tone of his voice really pissed me off. He said, "Shall I call you back on Wednesday when you're in a better mood?!" and that infuriated me - I replied, "I knew you would try to turn it around onto me, sorry, bye" and hung up. Now I know that hanging up isn't nice, but it was either that or I would've told him exactly what I think of him and his bullshit. I probably would've said something like I'm sure if you needed to make a call about the orchestra, you'd remember to do that. Obviously we all know where your fucking priorities lie, seeing as you missed your only daughter's wedding for one of their bloody rehearsals. See? Hanging up was probably the better option, although I think I'd be justified in saying that to him because it's clearly true.
He emailed me on Tuesday, apologizing for not calling and saying he would try to be better about calling me when he says he will. I replied and said that I was sorry for hanging up on him, but I was very upset. I basically repeated what I'd said on the phone. He replied again, saying that he really misses me and it's really hard for him knowing he won't see me much now that I'm living in the US. He said he was glad that hubby and I are so happy together. The whole thing sounded very final to me, and I guess it was because even though I wrote back that same day he still hasn't been in touch again. I wrote that I missed him too, and that I've been here 6 months now and although I'm very happy with hubby it hasn't been easy for me all the time, and it does feel as though a lot of people have forgotten about me in those 6 months. I also tried to make some "conversation" writing about his dog and our dogs. I don't want to be petty, but since I was the last person to make contact I think he should be the next one to do so, by email or phone or whatever. I also don't really want to make the call myself, and since my last email went unreturned I'm loathe to email him. If he really does miss me, surely his actions would reflect that. If you miss someone that much, you must think about them occasionally and you'd think that you'd make the effort to do what you said you would.
So, I don't know what the situation is now. I don't know what to think anymore. I think I just have to get on with my life, and if he doesn't want to be a part of it now then I'll just have to accept that.
A week ago I spoke to one of my good friends, R, on Skype. She couldn't believe his attitude - that's to say, she believes it, but she's also shocked by it! She doesn't understand why he would act this way either. I told her that I think he resents me for leaving the UK, and I also told her how he's always accused me of "being stupid" whenever I've done anything. One example is that we booked our wedding at the end of May last year, for the middle of October. At the time we booked it, I hadn't had my visa interview, but things were moving along with the whole thing and we went ahead and set the date because we'd already chosen the venue we wanted and they didn't have many dates left so we wanted to secure one. Also, it meant people would have adequate notice and be able to make arrangements to come to our wedding if they wanted to. I phoned him to let him know and he basically told me I was stupid for setting a date before I got my visa. He then spent the next 2 months being incredibly negative about the visa and saying that I might not get it. I knew there was a chance of being denied, of course, but we didn't have any "red flags" in our case and I thought the chances of a denial were slim. Guess what? I got my visa. I was also in the US 6 whole weeks before our wedding. I think my dad was 'secretly' hoping that I would be refused the visa. It's not so much of a fucking secret when he made it pretty damn obvious that he wanted me to be refused it. I don't want to be awful because I know it must be hard for parents if their child emigrates, but my mom made it clear she would miss me but also that she was incredibly happy for me too. She told me the day before I left that she knew I was doing the right thing, that she would really miss me but she knew hubby would take good care of me and that he's a lovely guy. My dad wasn't exactly so selfless. If he wants to get into an argument about me effectively choosing my hubby over him (which is pretty ridiculous) then he can go and look at his own actions when he got with my stepmom, and how he believed every single lie about me that came out of her mouth. I chose to take a chance, a risk if you like, by emigrating to a whole different continent, 5,500 miles away from where I'd lived my entire life. I knew it was the right thing to do, but it wasn't easy to leave everyone and everything behind either. Some may view my actions as selfish, but those people can get stuffed quite frankly. It was selfish of certain people to make me feel guilty for my decision to start a new life and be happy, in my opinion.
I've been meaning to update my blog for a week now, but I never got around to it. Anyway, for now, I can forget all the stuff about my family - there's a far more serious event going on right now in Japan. On Friday, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck, swiftly followed by a devastating tsunami. As I write there are more than 4,000 people confirmed dead and over 8,000 people still missing. In addition to the earthquake and tsunami, and mostly as a result of the latter, there are very serious problems with one of their nuclear power plants, Fukushima. There have been numerous fires and explosions in various reactors (4 of the 6 reactors they have on site, I believe) and the immediate vicinity has been evacuated due to the hugely increased levels of radiation present. This is now day 6 of the crisis, and it seems that every single day there are multiple worrying developments occurring. As if the Japanese people didn't have enough to worry about with the damage from the earthquake and tsunami, now they have one of the worst nuclear disasters in the history of nuclear power unfolding at the very same time as they are trying to locate survivors and get much-needed supplies to those who are without food, water and electricity. The last I read there were 50 workers battling to stabilize the situation at Fukushima, pumping in sea water in an attempt to cool the reactors. These people, nameless and faceless to the world's population as their details have not been released, are true heroes. They're literally risking their lives for the greater good of their country and the world. There's been much speculation about the possibility of radioactive fallout reaching the west coast of the US, of which a good amount I'm sure is irresponsible reporting and nothing more than scaremongering... However if the situation deteriorates further it is possible that we could see that happen. We're in Arizona so not exactly far from the west coast, and I must admit, I'm pretty concerned about that possibility. I mean, if the radioactive material can make it from Japan to California (about 5,000 miles I believe) then it's not beyond reason that it could reach us in Arizona, it's only another 300 miles or so. Phoenix to San Diego is 355 miles, so a drop in the ocean really. I don't want to be one of those hysterical people, but I also want my family and I to be safe. Hubby and I have obviously been talking about this and I'm really not sure what we'd do if it transpired that it was going to happen. I mean, yeah, we could load up the car and head east, but where to? And how long before we could return home? We have the two pugs to consider, we'd obviously take them with us as there's no way we would ever abandon them, but where would we go? Also, how would we even know how far the radiation was going to reach? We could head east only to encounter the exact same problem. So I think we'd probably stick it out here, although that would be very scary. I guess we'd just be some of the unlucky ones. It does worry me though, because we're planning to start trying for a baby soon, in the next 4-6 months, and something like this could really prevent that from happening. I know I must sound selfish right now, and I must stress that my primary concern is for those in the disaster zone - and the rest of Japan of course. I honestly don't know how they're going to get through this awful time. I hope they manage to, it's so devastating to see what they're going through. This disaster truly has been a triple whammy, first a huge earthquake which the reactors actually survived, then the tsunami which, apart from obviously killing and injuring a lot of people and destroying their infrastructure, has flooded the reactors' cooling systems causing at least partial melt downs in a number of nuclear reactors. I don't want to ask the question "How much worse can things get?" because I suspect they can indeed get much worse. The whole world really has to hope and pray that it doesn't become a full-blown nuclear disaster. I'm not religious by any means but I'm hoping beyond hope that things will improve, which right now doesn't seem too likely.
Monday, 7 March 2011
I've just about had it with my Dad. I seriously don't understand him, not at all. He never contacts me when he says he will! What the hell is that about? It's upsetting, it's unnecessary and it's really fucking thoughtless.
Same old same old - I called him on Thursday February 24th, as I said I would. He told me he would call me "next Wednesday or Thursday" - so, that's last week. Has he called me? Has he hell! This same situation plays out again and again, but each time it makes me more and more angry with him.
Now, there are people who say "It's just the way he is, he's not going to change" - maybe so, but just because the way someone acts is "the way they are" doesn't make that behavior acceptable. He knows for a fact that it really annoys me when he doesn't call as he says he will, because I've told him about 3 times now. Yesterday, he sent me a textless email, a photo of my stepmom and their dog. The title of the email was "(stepmom) and Benji on her birthday!" - well, for one thing, I don't particularly want photos of my stepmom, she's hardly my favorite person! Secondly, yesterday was not her birthday, today is. When he sent the email it was 8 p.m. UK time so the time difference doesn't even make it her birthday! I responded to his shitty email with the following:
It's her birthday tomorrow. You didn't call me when you said you would, yet again.
Last time this very same situation happened, he sent me an inane email the day after he was supposed to call me, with no mention of why he didn't call or anything. I replied to that one with the following:
Monday, 28 February 2011
I've been meaning to blog for a while now but never got around to it. I guess I didn't really have anything that important to say!
The saga of Gracie the night monster continues... Last night was horrendous, she wouldn't stay in bed and she was pacing around our room, so hubby let her out (again) and she went potty. She hadn't done anything when he took them out before bedtime, though - how annoying! Then she seemed to settle, but at 2am she was whining and scratching on my side of the bed. I let her out again - she peed. Again, why she couldn't have done that either of the previous two times we'd let her out, I don't know! Then again she woke us at 5am. Jeez! I don't know what her problem is, but she definitely doesn't like night time. She just won't settle. We have a problem virtually every night and it's doing our heads in! I would put her out in the hallway overnight but she would still whine and cry and then she'd start scratching the bedroom door, so it wouldn't help much. It's infuriating! She wakes us probably as many times as a newborn baby would! (I'm not comparing having dogs to having children, by the way - I know it's completely different but at least you expect a baby to wake you through the night!)
Yesterday we searched online for houses for sale within about 10 miles of our area. We made a list of some of them and went to drive by them, to see what the areas were like and if the houses looked worthwhile making an appointment to view. Of course, you can only tell so much from the exterior, but it was more about location and whether the areas had a good vibe about them. We've ruled out one house for definite, because in order to get to it you have to drive right by loads of really run-down trailer parks and boarded up houses - it didn't exactly feel safe round there! The house itself and its surrounding neighborhood seemed nice enough, but it was almost as though the housing estate was built in amongst all these dodgy trailer parks! It just didn't have a good feel to it. So we didn't waste our time - at least we've ruled some in and some out, which is what we expected to do really. It's going to be a learning curve, that's for sure. We're pretty sure we know what we want, for the most part - our main requirements are as follows:
- 4 bedrooms or more
- 2 bathrooms (or 1.5, 1.75, whatever!)
- 2 car garage
- good air conditioning
- nice location with good access to the freeways and good amenities nearby
In addition to that, I'd like to have a laundry room as we do now and it's really nice not to have to do laundry in the garage (in Phoenix it's way too hot in the summer to spend much time in the garage, since they generally don't have A/C!). The laundry room isn't absolutely essential but it would be nice!
We saw one house which looked nice but it was literally 3 doors down from a big elementary school - that kinda put us off. I mean, we're wanting to have children soon so for that reason it would be good, but traffic would be crazy at school start and end times and there were signs up saying no parking between 7am and 4pm - so you couldn't even park outside your own house! That wouldn't be so much of a problem for us because we'd park in the garage or on the driveway (depending on if we had 1 or 2 cars and if we had enough space in the garage for both) but if we had guests that could be very problematic. We ruled that one out.
There were a couple of really nice neighborhoods we looked at and we want to make appointments to view those houses, so we effectively ruled some houses in! Quite a variation in prices, going from literally as little as $85,000 to $135,000. We could go higher but we figured we'd start out low and see what we can get - in this economy there are a lot of nice houses going for cheap, so we may as well try and get one for as little as we can. We don't need a flashy house, after all! The 4 bedroom requirement is partly because hubby works from home so he needs an office, we need a bedroom, we'll need a nursery when we have a baby and it would be nice to have a spare room. Also, we're planning to have at least 2 kids so when that happens maybe we'll forget about having a spare room and they'll have a room each. We'll see! Neither of us wants to move house again for a long time, so we need to make sure we buy the right one and one that's going to be big enough for us and our expanding family! :-)
I got a message on Facebook this morning from hubby's sister in Florida, asking if we're going to be attending her daughter's high school graduation in June. Maybe it's because I'm not American and I don't "get it" but really? It's over 2000 miles away! It's a high school graduation! I spoke to hubby about it and told him that since his sister didn't come to our wedding, I don't see why we should go all that way for a high school graduation! I'm pretty sure that weddings are a bit more important than graduations, right? Surely they are! Anyway, I've never met his sister and although I would like to, we're not going to be able to make it regardless. Hubby's vacation time doesn't re-set until July, he only has a few days left at this point and he's wanting to take them soon; we're wanting to buy a house and so him taking unpaid leave isn't really an option; I looked at flights and the cheapest I could find was almost $1000 return for the two of us, which is significant when we're going to need a deposit for our house and moving fees etc. Hubby's parents are going, he said they'll probably be driving - so we could go with them if we had the time, but if we were going to go it would have to be by air because we don't have enough time to drive there and back! Also, we'd have to find someone to look after the dogs and they'd probably have to go into kennels for a few days - I'm not keen on that idea, and it adds more expense! A couple of people we know from the dog park offered to look after Suzie if we went away, but that was before we got Gracie - with 2 dogs I'm sure people would be more reluctant to make the same offer! Plus, I couldn't impose the night monster on anyone - how mean would that be?!
So anyway, I told hubby's sister that he doesn't have the vacation time and we're trying to buy a house so taking unpaid leave isn't an option right now. I still don't see why we should make that effort to go all that way for a silly high school graduation when she didn't make the effort to come to our wedding.
Monday, 21 February 2011
My green card arrived on Saturday! Yay! Not bad really, 9 days after my interview - can't complain at all! It feels great to have it, it's a big milestone. Now we can relax until November 2012, when we'll have to apply to have the conditions removed. Because it's a marriage-based green card, they only issue the card for 2 years - then you send in more paperwork to have the conditions removed, and you get a new, 10 year green card. In 3 years time from now I'll be eligible to apply for citizenship, so I'll most likely do that when the time comes - it'll save a lot of hassle!
The weekend was a bit miserable weather-wise, really. We had a short hail storm and quite a bit of rain Saturday, then yesterday it rained again. It's pretty big news here when it rains - it still makes me laugh. By UK standards the rain really wasn't that big of a deal, but for the desert I guess it was a lot!
I cleaned the whole house on Friday, then hubby's brother came round for dinner so I cooked pasta. The house looks a mess again now - seriously, having 2 dogs rather than 1 makes a big difference to the state of the house. I'm gonna clean again tomorrow I think.
Tonight we're taking Suzie to her first ever agility class! We got the idea last week, that she might enjoy it and it would be good for her. I found a class and emailed the people who run it, and there's a class starting tonight which is a 5 week course. It's only for an hour each time, on Monday evenings. I think it'll be fun! We'll probably get laughed at by the other people there for bringing a pug to an agility class, but I don't see any reason why she couldn't be good at it. She's clever and she learns quickly, and she's got lots of energy. It'll be cool to see her do that! I'm taking my camera along, of course. :-)
We haven't been sleeping well these past 2 or 3 nights - Gracie has been acting odd, barking at something (no idea what) and getting out of her bed constantly. She comes to the side of the bed and whines, and when she's not doing that she's going under our bed. Weird! Hubby got up early this morning at like 4 a.m. to try to let her outside, thinking she needed to go potty - nope! I don't know what her problem is!!! I'm knackered now, and I'm sure hubby is too. I might take a nap, actually!
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
I emailed APARN and told them that we hadn't been made aware of Gracie's health issues, and the lady apologized profusely - it was some kind of oversight. I can see how that kind of thing could happen, but at least now they might just be extra careful to make sure potential adoptive 'parents' know of any issues a dog may have before they go ahead and adopt.
I joined a pug forum and got some pretty good info from people on there who've experienced the same problems with their pugs, and they recommended starting Gracie on joint supplements called Cosequin DS. I searched around online and the best price I found was $39.99 for 132 chewable tablets. Petco have the whole range on sale if you buy online, but even then they were charging $44.99 for 110 of the exact same chewable tablets, and $52.49 for 132. It was worth the extra time to find them for less, especially as the regular Petco price for that pack size is $69.99!
You're meant to give one a day for 4-6 weeks and then you can reduce it to half a day after that initial period. That means 132 tablets will last for at least 7 months, so it's worth the expenditure. Especially if this stuff is as good as everyone says it is - it's meant to be great for dogs of all sizes and ages. If it helps Gracie's knees then it's worth it. Her patella did actually luxate for a short time last night, she jumped off the couch while we were eating dinner and started limping. It went back in after about a minute though. She didn't yelp or anything, but I can't imagine it would be a comfortable sensation! If this stuff is as good as it's meant to be, then hopefully it will help to prevent, or at least delay, the onset of arthritis. It should arrive either tomorrow or Friday hopefully, I paid for 2-3 day delivery.
Yesterday when hubby finished work we took Suzie and Gracie over to the dog park. We arrived at the same time as one of our friends, who has a pug and a French bulldog. All was well until Jester, the Frenchie, got mauled by a bloody pitbull. The most horrific thing about it was that nobody could get the damn pitbull off of him - it had half Jester's head in its mouth and it was shaking him like a ragdoll. The pitbull's owner was screaming "choke him!" to the guy who was with her, because despite screaming at the dog and hitting it to try and get it to let go, it wouldn't. I didn't actually really see the attack because we were a little way away and there were loads of people gathered around, trying to get the damn dog off of poor little Jester. To be honest I was trying to locate Suzie as well, for a short time I couldn't see her and I was panicking like crazy. Gracie doesn't venture far from our side so I knew where she was. When the dog finally let go, poor Jester had at least 3 or 4 puncture wounds to his head, neck and shoulder. There was one at the base of his ear that I think had gone through the skin of the ear. It was awful. Considering how prolonged and vicious the attack was, I think he actually was very lucky. The pitbull could've ripped his ear off, he could've even killed him... It's just so scary.
Our friend was in shock, she was pretty calm but you could tell it was the shock doing that to her. I'm not surprised - I'd be a total mess if that happened to one of our girls. The fact that there was nothing she could do probably made it that much worse, too. Luckily someone had some peroxide in their car, so he went and got that to put on the wounds. One of the guys there called the cops, and there was a huge commotion with a lot of people yelling at the people with the pitbull because a dog like that doesn't belong in a dog park! Especially when the dog park is in 2 separate sections - small dogs and large dogs. Well, Jester certainly belongs in the small dog side. The pitbull should never have been in that section - in fact, he probably shouldn't even be on the big dog side. At least if it had attacked a bigger dog, the dog being attacked would have probably had more of a chance. I'm still shocked about the whole thing, really. It's just so horrendous. Our poor friend, she must still be in shock over it. I'm glad I didn't really see the attack - the sounds were bad enough. I knew it must be really bad if the owner was yelling "choke him!" - you wouldn't say that if it was minor, would you? The fact that nobody could get the dog to stop is the scariest thing - I know that not all pitbulls are bad, of course; I know they get a particularly bad rap - but when they start attacking there's really very little you can do. I'm seriously considering carrying hubby's baseball bat with me when we go to the dog park from now on - there's no way I'm going to stand by helpless if a vicious beast goes for Suzie or Gracie. I was angry enough on the two occasions that little bastard pomeranian attacked Suzie, and although I think that dog is capable of doing some serious damage (particularly to her prominent eyes) it's nothing compared to a pitbull. At least you can grab the little fucker and throw him if you need to - he's a nasty piece of work but he's small and light enough that you can pull him off relatively easily. A pitbull is a completely different entity and it really doesn't take much for one to severely maul or even kill a dog, big or small. The people with the pitbull's owner were trying to justify the whole thing - well, I'm sorry, but there is no justification. Jester was no threat to a dog that weighs at least 5 times what he does - he's 23 pounds for fuck's sake and he's not vicious! I'm just glad that Jester is OK. I'm sure he'll be in quite a bit of pain, and there's gonna be bruising under there, but the bites themselves look fairly superficial. I guess that being alive and not too severely injured is a good outcome when you've been attacked by a pitbull, anyway.
When the cop eventually arrived, after what must have been around 30 minutes (even though the dispatcher told the man who called that it was a 'priority' call!) the people with the pitbull had long gone. I asked the cop myself what you're legally allowed to do if a dog is attacking your (or another) dog, and he said, "Don't even worry about that, just do whatever you need to do to stop it" - good! So I think the baseball bat idea is probably a good one. I know it's more likely to be effective in a situation like that than shouting or hitting the attacking dog with your hand, anyway. I'd hate to have to hurt any dog, but I'm sorry, if it's attacking my dog, or another dog, then I damn well will.
Funnily enough, on Monday (the day before the attack) there was a man in the dog park with a handgun in a holster on his belt. At the time I thought it was a little odd, only because he's the first civilian I've actually seen to carry a gun even though I've been here over 5 months now, and also because I thought it was strange to carry a gun to the dog park - well, we could've used him yesterday! I don't like the thought of hurting a dog, but really what else could you do to stop such a vicious attack? The other thing is, that there were some little kids in the dog park yesterday - I know people say pitbulls only attack other dogs, but with a dog like that which nobody could control, how do you really know? I bet the police would've arrived quicker if it had attacked a person - of course they would. I hope those stupid people never come back to the dog park, and if they do then that bloody dog best be in a muzzle or left at home. I said as much to the owner - I told her that if her dog had attacked one of my dogs, I would not be as calm as our friend was. I said that dog does not belong here, and if you're going to take it out of the house it needs to be under control and have a muzzle on. I didn't shout at her, she was hysterical too, but it's something that better not be repeated because I swear, if that had been Suzie, and they tried to justify the attack to me like they did yesterday, I would go ballistic. It just doesn't bear thinking about, I'd be devastated if Suzie was attacked like that (I say Suzie rather than Gracie because Gracie doesn't go far from us, but Suzie does, and I think Suzie would be more likely to be in the situation Jester was in yesterday - but of course, if it happened to Gracie I would go crazy too).
I don't want to stop taking the girls to the dog park, because I know it's good for them (especially Suzie, because she plays and runs like crazy every time we go) but it's made me quite reluctant to want to take them without hubby being with us. I already was reluctant, actually, but now I'm even more so. If anything like that were to happen to Suzie or Gracie, I'd never forgive myself (even though it wouldn't be my fault!).