Wednesday, March 01, 2017

It's not just another day

As some of you know, I have taken the position of "Campus Monitor" and "Crossing Guard" at one of my local elementary schools.

We are short a monitor and I was asked to come up with some realistic situations we could use to test the potential candidates during the interview.

Here is what I came up with. Tell me what you think YOU would do:

The following situations are taken from REAL case files of playground incidents at Blah Blah Blah Elementary. Please note that names have been changed to protect the privacy and safety of the innocent.

Case File #1029876543

"Julie" comes to you in tears. She says that her friends are being mean to her. Before you can ask a question, her friends rush up behind her saying the same thing. 

"Julie is being mean to us! She's not telling the truth."

You have three girls crying, talking louder and louder and the accusations are flying like a flock of birds in a tornado.

Before long, you have 38 other children crowding around, most of them curious about what's going on. Some children have other issues they feel are more important than Julie and her friends.

They say:

"Ms. Bertha, my ball is over the fence and my dad is going to kill me if I don't get it." or,
"Come look at this pile of sand I built", or
"I picked you a flower", (and really it's not even a flower. It's a stick with leaves on it), or
"I counted to 47 on the swings and "Junior" won't get off", or
"How much longer 'till we go inside?", or
"I pulled some weeds and now I can't breathe well"

Julie is getting pushed from behind from the crowd of children fighting to get your attention. Her tears grow larger and then someone reaches for your whistle....

What do you do?

Case File #1029376545

You have just helped a child up off the ground that slipped on the wet grass. You look at their pants and note that they are soaked. You call the nurse and report that "Justin" is going to need dry pants and a jacket. 

All of a sudden, there are 18 children around you offering to take "Justin" to the nurse's office. When you look up to say, "Thank you children. But "Justin" can make it himself", you happen to notice all the children on the field in the distance.

You are shocked at what you see. Your eyes grow larger and your mouth opens in horror. Children are jumping in puddles, splashing each other and picking up tadpoles and trying to shove them in their pockets. Some children have found pieces of garbage and are "transporting" hurt tadpoles to a Tadpole Recovery Area that another child has set up. 

Other children have taken off their shoes, filling them with water trying to make a Tadpole Fish Tank to take home to their moms.

When you look back at "Justin", there are 3 children taking him to the nurse. Those 3 children have ignored you. 15 have left to hunt for tadpoles because when you looked up at the field, they saw the panic in your eyes and wanted to check it out for themselves.

What do you do....

I think I've set up a pretty realistic scenario on what it's like on the playground.

Saturday, December 31, 2016


It's the end of the year. Yesterday was Trent's birthday.

Here he is at 15 (12/29/2016)

Here he is at 16 (12/30/16):

He closed his eyes (like he usually does) through all the photos of just himself. Here he is at 16 with his girlfriend, Alexis.

Can you tell a difference between 15 & 16?

He looks happier with Alexis. :)

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Here it is. This year's Christmas photo. I'm sorry I didn't mail any out.

I also didn't send out any of those fancy year end wrap up letters.

I asked the kids to write one up but they didn't. They started out with some ideas.

One of Kat's was:

Depression/Anxiety: Please send help

One of Trent's was:

Not another Walgreen's Christmas, please.

Have a great year. I can't wait to read all the notes next year of the exotic family vacations, trips around the world, dinners, expensive purchases, etc.

I can say that we are all so very blessed to have the eyes to read all of these letters.

Oh, and we are also very blessed that Erik still has a job and that we are slowly digging ourselves out of "that financial hole we got ourselves into".

Thank God!

Well, off to microwave some mini bagel pizzas for the kids' breakfast.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Chrstmas photos

This year was a lot easier. There was very little yelling or threats.

I feel like maybe after 13 years, the kids are finally getting it down. They know if they just be quiet and do what I ask, it's quicker for them and they can go back in their bedrooms and play on their phones. Or whatever it is that they do.

Here are some behind the scenes photos. 

I purchased the dog sweaters and the bed at Petco the day before. They were having a super cool sale and I have to say that Petco is my new favorite pet store. 

I'm in there every Saturday with Chloe. Everyone is always so nice and the trainer even works with Chloe a little bit when he gets a chance. She is getting so much better. In fact, she even has a home visit this weekend. 

I'm so happy to think that Chloe will wake up in someone's home on Christmas morning. Hopefully, she isn't too wild and crazy. She is sometimes like a bull in a china shop when she gets excited.

Here she is. Isn't she the cutest darn thing you've ever seen? We were at the Oro Valley Marketplace and they had a giant Christmas tree. I had her sit in front of it.

You can just tell from her face that she is excited, huh? She knows Santa is coming.

That's it for today.

What? You thought I'd put the official Christmas photo on?


It's not Christmas!

Here is a link from 2014 with links to other Christmas card photos:

Christmas past

I just realized that I don't have pictures from 2015 Christmas on there. That's because 2015 sucked horribly. Hang on....the pictures weren't too bad though.

Oh, wait. That's just two of the dogs. Hang on. I'm still looking...

Here we go. I did a collage of photos. I couldn't just pick one.

Yes, those were really on our Christmas card 2015. I had to yell to get them into position. Like I said, this year I think they understand how it works.

See ya later.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

First day of school photos, better known as...

...Trent still wants to hurt me for taking his picture.

Well, it's that time of year again. It's hot, it's raining and humid and it's BACK TO SCHOOL!

It was another boring summer. At least it was better than last year when Erik was out of work.

Kat and I did a couple of dog training classes with Shannon and Cherry.
Trent spent a lot of time in his room on his phone.
Kat and I went to Phoenix to see Twenty-one Pilots
Trent spent a lot of time in his room on his phone.
Kat also spent a lot of time in her room on her phone.
They both binge watched Supernatural on Netflix.
The three of us talked Erik into getting a pool.
Trent did some work with Jay being "toad boy" and "snake wrangler" for his classes. He made a bit of money.
We saw three movies: Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets, and Suicide Squad 
Trent spent time with his girlfriend.

...and I think that's about it.

Do you see Trent's face? He wants to kill me. I think he's still pissed at me from yesterday. Apparently I'm oh-so-embarrasing every time his girlfriend comes over. She was over yesterday.

and Kat? She's so impatient with me. It's like she's saying, "TAKE THE DAMN PICTURE ALREADY!" BTW, I see that eyeliner. It's something we'll be talking about when she gets home. Why didn't I notice it at 6:20 this morning?

Let's look back at 2009 when Trent was going into 3rd grade and Kat was starting Kindergarten:


Awwww! Trent doesn't look so mad and he is hugging his sister. When did this change?

Nope, not here. They're still looking pretty happy here. Let's go to 2011:


Ahhh, here we go! 2011 was the time of change. Trent is tired of my photo taking and Kat's hair has some color. She was going all black by 2nd grade.

Let's check out 2012 (by the way, this is taking me forever to go back and find these photos):

We're not touching or pretending to know each other anymore.


At least we're smiling.


Everyone looks tired and sad. :( I think Erik being out of work for so long took a bigger toll on everyone than we thought.

Here's the rest of photos from today:

This year all they wanted was band merchandise and black. I'm sure by the end of the year, it will be easy to tell which is the start of school pic and which is the end of school pic. Their shirts will be gray instead of black.

If you don't know this, I always take a picture of the first day and then on the last day of school, they wear what they wore on the first day.

Oh, and I just heard the bus roll by....gotta go. They're finally HOME!

Monday, August 08, 2016

I love this face

She was named Twitchtip when she first came in to PACC as a stray on 3/11/2014. The kids and I had made a list of names for the Evaluation Team to give stray animals. Twitchtip is a giant talking rat in a children's book, "Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane". She helps Gregor (a human boy) throughout the book until her death.

Around six weeks, she went to Pima Paws for Life on 4/24/14 for a Upper Respiratory Infection. After treatment, she came back and was adopted 5/24/14.

She had a name change to Chloe and a home for 2 years.

The owners returned her on 6/23, with a 25cm long laceration on her left shoulder. There are no notes (apparently) that explain how this happened. I'm assuming she was returned because they couldn't afford vet treatment. This happens, unfortunately, quite a bit.

She sat in sickbay at PACC while the shoulder healed and while there, she got ANOTHER Upper Respiratory Infection. After that was healed, she sat in the back kennels, nearly unseen, until they're sure she's over her infection. She was starting to get a little depressed being stuck in a kennel for so long with very little exposure to potential adopters. I couldn't stand to see her there anymore. She had been moved up front to the kennels with more exposure, but she had been passed up during 2 free adoption events. I think that sometimes when people see an animal has been there for awhile and there is no easy to find explanation as to why, they pass over them a little quicker.

I love those ears. I love her cute face. I think she looks like a cute rat when she smiles. I named her back to Twitchtip right away. She responds to "Twitchy".

She's all gray with the exception of a little white on her chest. She now has a Frankenstein type scar on her left shoulder. It would make great conversation starters!

She is also a leaner. If you're standing next to her, she'll lean on you.
Twitchy calm and relaxed on the floor

If you sit on the floor next to her, she'll want to sit in your lap.
Just her rear end.
She doesn't want to smother you.
Just be close to you.

When I call her name she looks like this 

She is horrible on a leash. She really is. She pulls and pulls but that's something we're working on.

You have to watch her closely when you go down the toy aisle in the pet store because she grabs what she wants and just takes it with her. I know this part for a fact. I've purchased a stuffed toy, a ball and a frisbee that she took off the shelf.

She loves to chase the ball and will bring it back to you. She won't give it up right away but as long as you don't try to pull it out of her mouth, she'll eventually drop it.

She loves ALL toys.
She doesn't beg at the table for human food.
She LOVES the water. We have a baby pool that she likes to sit in. I'm not sure how well she would do in a big pool.
She seems to be doing well in a crate.

You'll need a very secure back yard because we have discovered that she is a digger. She was put in one kennel in the evening and the next morning she was hanging out with her neighbor in the kennel next door.

She seems good with other dogs (most of them. She growled at one of my females) and we took her for a cat test today which she seemed to pass.

She also LOVES my 12 year old daughter and loves to cuddle with her.

She is so beautiful and really so mellow and well behaved. I know she will make a great addition to any family. She is available for adoption through Lifeline Oro Valley. 520-979-2282

Sunday, August 07, 2016

I loathe the dog park

The family and I got up early this fine Sunday morning to take pictures of a couple of new fosters for Cold Wet Noses.

We met at a new place (for me). Unfortunately, there wasn't any grass around so we ended up going into the empty dog park to give some time to the dogs to relax a bit before I started taking photos.

We were there for maybe 15 minutes and I got a few photos. A car pulled up with a dog and the foster knowing that her dogs were a bit reactive, wanted to leave before the other dog came in.

We got them leashed up and started heading out. I asked the gentlemen to please hold off coming in until we were out. He kindly agreed.

We got one dog out and then we started hearing the frantic barks and cries from a group of dogs that had just pulled up in a different vehicle.

Erik had the second dog, Oreo, and was still in the dog park when one of the dogs from the group that just pulled up got loose and started running towards Erik and Oreo. Erik closed the gate from inside the park. This loose dog was nearly frothing at the mouth.

What scared the hell out of me was that I looked and saw Kat standing at the opening of the first gate with her coffee in one hand and this 80 pound dog, barking, running and growling, coming right towards her.

Before I could do or say anything, Kat reached down with her one empty hand, grabbed the dogs leash and stood there. The dog wasn't looking at Kat but at Oreo and was still lunging and barking.

So there is Kat with a coffee in one hand and a scary dog on a leash in the other hand. The expression on Kat's faced never changed from calm. It was like she had reached for a sandwich. No panic. Nothing.

I got to Kat about the same time the owner did with his other two dogs (which were also lunging and pulling on the leash) . He said, "Don't worry he's friendly".

I just looked at him and told him how lucky he was that Kat was standing there and was able to grab the leash.

No "sorry".
No "thank you".

Instead he proceeded to take all three dogs into the park.

I asked him to hang on because we were still trying to get Oreo out. Before he went into the second gate into the dog park, I turned around to close the outer gate so we wouldn't have an escapee.

He actually looked at me when I did this and said, "Why bother? The dogs are all on a leash. They aren't going anywhere."

I wanted to kick him. Dude, your dog was just on a leash, loose and my 12 year old daughter caught him. Asshole.

Finally, we got Oreo out.

By that time, both dogs were worked up. Actually, all of us...dogs and humans were worked up. We tried to get some more pictures but we'll see how those end up.

At the same time, there was what looked like a mastiff/pit mix in the parking lot. He was HUGE. A tiny woman was trying to control him as he pulled her across the parking lot, barking and crying. She would try to stop walking when he did this. If he didn't stop crying and barking, I saw her do the ol' Cesar Millan finger punch to the shoulder with the "tssss" sound.

We left shortly after this. Even the foster mom I had met to take pictures of was stunned at what was going on. It was pure chaos.

In the car I yelled at Katrina for reaching for a dog that looked aggressive but still told her how impressed I was.

"Don't ever do it again", was the last thing I said.

I HATE the dog park.

Now I'm home and I need a nap because I'm mentally exhausted.

And here's a picture because pictures are important. It's Kat a few months back in dog class at The Complete Canine. Shannon is trying to sneak treats from her hand.

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