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.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Shiny Polyester

When I was 11 and my sister was 6? 7? (I can't seem to remember our age difference), my parents plucked us out of our teeny tiny hometown of Ottawa, Illinois.

I remember looking at the back window of the car as we drove out of town. I was crying and promised my self that I would be back one way or the other within 6 months.

I was only 11. I was naive. What did I know?

This was 1980. If you do the math right, you'll get my age.

I hated school once I got here. I never was able to make friends and I was an outcast because I didn't wear designer jeans or Nike shoes. In fact, I was made fun of even more because a lot of my clothes were sewn by my grandmother.

I remember the first day back to school after Christmas. I loved Grandma's clothes and there was one special outfit that she had made for me that Christmas I thought for sure would make me popular with accepted by the girls and boys.

The boxes arrived by UPS and my mother would have to wrap everything in Christmas paper. Grandma smoked and all sewn items/gifts were wrapped in dryer sheets to soak up the cigarette smell.

Mom said that I was allergic to cigarette smoke, but just a few years later, I found out that was just one lie I was told. I had no problem smoking cigarettes at 15. Sheesh!

Christmas morning came and I unwrapped the gifts from Grandma. All beautiful! But like I said, there was one special outfit and it kind of looked like this:

It was all three pieces!
In white!
In shining polyester!

Oh, you didn't think I was talking about the dress, did you?

No. I received this gorgeous 3 piece white polyester suit. And I couldn't wait for Christmas break to be over.

The first day back to school was a day I looked forward to. However, I was hot. I mean really hot. I had still not acclimated to the weather and was still wearing shorts to school in December and felt perfectly fine. I'm used to snow and freezing cold. This polyester suit was hot!

I was sweating before I even got to school. I think I wore a pair of clogs with this outfit. Not too sure about what shirt I wore underneath but it didn't matter. I was lookin' good with my white polyester suit, my over sized framed glasses with the rhinestone "H" on the bottom right lens and my clogs.

I threw my backpack down next to the door of my class when my teacher walked out and saw me.

She looked me up and down and said, "Oh, Heatherrrrrrr". I took that as a compliment but looking back on it now, I think it was a warning.

She was probably thinking it but couldn't say it, "Oh, Heatherrrrrr, you are so going to get your ass kicked."

She smiled and I smiled and said, "My Grandma made this for me!"

I don't remember her reaction.

I do remember the snickers and the giggles and the pointing and the "God, you're so ugly" comments from the kids in my 6th grade class.

But for some reason, this time it didn't bother me. I would get my ass kicked years later for something else but I knew at this time that I looked good and that someone loved me enough to take the time to make this beautiful specimen that reflected the 80's.

I was smokin'!
I was an 11 year old in a shiny, white, polyester, 3 piece suit.
When I think about it today, it's a nice memory and I miss my grandma.

Monday, February 01, 2016

House of Circles

time to get up
the kids are going to school
erik will take care of it
good bye mom
good bye
love you
have a good day
lock the door
time to get up now
the dogs need to pee
you need to clean
you need to do something
apply for a job
watch a movie
clean the house
mop up pee
not qualified for job
see therapist
get out of the house
go shopping
don't buy anything
no money
do i want to work here
i will miss the kids
i will miss the dogs
i won't be able to clean
i won't be able to make meals
i won't be able to sleep
go to next store
i don't want to work here either
why did i go to school
dogs fight
order pizza
go to bed

Monday, January 18, 2016

I really hate this time of year

It seems to me that most people start the new year with hope and a fresh start.

Not me.

It's my birthday month and I start to reflect on all the crap that went wrong the year before, the goals I didn't reach, how much more I weigh and how much more I can carry on my shoulders from this point forward.

I try to define myself and feel like I never can.

Yeah, it's not a happy time for me but I've never been that happy type of person.

If you're looking for sunshine and rainbows, move along to another blog. If you're not looking for that, I'll just remind you that misery loves company.

Every time this year, I am relieved that Christmas is over but at the same time I kind of miss it. It's always so stressful and I almost HATE every. single. second. of December.

"Next year it will be better".  I say this every year. I don't even think we listened to any Christmas music this year. Was I that busy?

The older the kids get, the less they need me and I don't know what to do with myself during the day when they're not here. Sometimes I just don't get out of bed. For days.

I've stopped cooking. I have 48 cans of soup in the pantry and there have been no complaints. No one misses my cooking so why should I bother?

I keep buying scrapbook supplies but haven't created anything in quite awhile. I'm not sure why. My newer scrapbooking material sits around my bed like a protective wall. All I want to do is sit down and create something but there is this invisible force that prevents me from doing so. "I'll do it tomorrow" is my usual saying.

I got a Cricut Explore for Christmas and I finally figured out how to use it and made Katrina a Chappie shirt.

So that's about the only thing I've done this year. I know it's only the 18th but I'm already feeling guilty for not doing much with the machine. I have intentions. That's all I have. Lots and lots and lots of intentions.

You know what is even worse? I haven't been to the shelter in a month. Maybe more. I have no desire to go back. I can't look at the animals' faces and I can't watch them die. And right now, burying my head in the sand feels a lot better than going in and dealing with the animals and some of the people that help them.

But, I know how I feel after visiting the animals. I mostly feel refreshed and rejuvenated and I really need to get my ass down there and walk a dog or something.

I also know I need a job. I was very disappointed when my seasonal Kohl's job was just that: Seasonal.

I took it harder than I thought. I spent a week sulking in bed watching every Girls episode on HBO.

At the end of the week, I got up and applied on-line to Tuesday Morning. I go there once a week so I thought that would be a good job for me. I was rejected within 30 minutes.

Oh, and lets not even start about the whole vet assistant/vet tech thing, OK? I still haven't decided if that was a mistake or not. I LOVED school and I graduated with honors but finding a job has been tough. There are also many aspects of the job that I don't think I like. My teacher warned me several times that I would need to grow a thicker skin.

But with even graduating with honors, I wasn't allowed to volunteer any of my newly learned skillz at PACC. They didn't want me in anywhere in their clinics. THAT stung. Badly. Very badly.

I remember sitting in the guy's office at PMI back in August 2014 and he asked me why I wanted to be a vet assistant/tech.

"Well", I started, "I want to educate people on vaccinations, spaying and neutering. I want to help the working poor keep their dogs healthy and loved".

"Oh!" he said. "You want to do God's work." I looked at him and blushed. I just wanted to help. Looking back on that conversation now I think, "I was so fucking naive". How could I be so naive at my age? How was I duped into thinking I could do something so remarkable?

I had been to Dog Patch, I had worked the SOS desk, I had worked at PACC and with rescues. I went to school to learn how to help.

I think I just want to put that on the back burner for awhile. Maybe there is something else I can do with animals. I applied at Petsmart today as either a cashier or dog bather.

I also applied at Hallmark as a merchandise re-stocker. I think I would be good at Hallmark as long as I don't read the cards. Some of you know how easy I cry, right? I'd probably get tears all over the cards and then I'd be fired for that.

Erik and I are still trying to catch up from when the UofA fucked us over so badly, leaving us unemployed for 7.5 months. I haven't even written about it and I'm not sure when or if I will. 

False rumors of our financial situation made the rounds through the family and horrible assumptions were made. I was caught off guard by one of the most insulting and degrading letters I've ever received. I answered the letter but Erik never allowed me to mail it.
We'll see what happens for 2016.

Sorry I'm in such a crappy mood.

I got it all out so maybe tomorrow will be better.

You know, fresh start and all.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Neon makes me want to wrestle

Yesterday I had my "annual" gyno exam. "Annual" is in quotes because it was actually longer than a year. I guess it had been 15 months. I knew it was time when Walgreen's wouldn't refill by prescription for my stupid birth control pills but had no idea why. All they could tell me was that it was under "Waiting Physician Approval".

I remembered that last year I couldn't refill until I made an appointment with the gyno for my annual. I was already late because who the hell remembers to fill their birth control pills when they're not having sex anyway? (Just because I'm married means nothing. My husband has quite the intimate affair going on with his computer. I'd rather sleep.)

So I called the OBGYN and demanded that they (please) stop holding my birth control pills under hostage. I'd make a stupid appointment. The nurse said she'd call them in but of course, it never happened so then I'm a week late starting the pill.

I called again, this time a bit angrier. I remember I had to do the same thing last year. I vowed this year to never go back to this OBGYN again. Never.

I make it to my appointment 10 minutes early. I still have to fill out paperwork even though I've been going to the same damn place for 15 years.

They call my name, they weigh me, I sigh in disgust and then I'm shuffled into a room with sexy bedroom furniture. There are plush, purple velour seats and I can see the outline of the person's pant seam that sat there before me.


I was given a purple silk robe with delicate embroidery and told that it opens in the front. Considering the sexy furniture and now this silk robe, I was afraid that maybe I was at the wrong place. However, I looked a little more at small pile of fabric on the table and there was the same paper blanket that they have every year sitting quietly next to the purple silk. I sighed in relief.

I took every thing off and like everyone else, folded my underwear and hid them in the pants. Does everyone do that? I thought what would it be like if I just acted like I was at home...threw the pants on the chair, the underwear on the floor, the bra hanging from the doorknob. I wasn't in the mood to test new grounds so I just left my clothes neatly on the plush velour chair and wondered what kind of outline my folded pants would leave.

I put the robe on, sat up on the table and waited and waited and waited. The robe was hot and I was sweating. Thank goodness for the paper blanket so I could wipe the sweat off.

Finally she came in. She did her thing and then we talked. I asked her when she could rip my ovaries out and she said she wasn't going to do that because I would have a difficult time with the hormones and stuff. (I'm only adding that part because my mother asks me EVERY SINGLE YEAR, "Why don't you ask them to rip out your ovaries?")

I asked her if there was anything I could do about my constant weight gain.

"Well, at your age", (shit is always going to be bad when people start out with that phrase) "it would be best to exercise 1 hour a day at least 6 days a week. Do you exercise now?"

I found myself staring at the wall as I answered her....

"Well, I've exercised in the past and it never does anything. Consistently, I mean. I've consistently exercised and (turning my head back to her so she doesn't think I'm lying) I lose no weight."

This is totally true. I have poly-cystic ovary syndrome and while I'm thrilled I don't have a mustache, as that is one of the symptoms, I cannot lose weight. This is why my mom asks me EVERY SINGLE YEAR, "Why don't you ask them to rip out your ovaries??"

"Hmmmm", she puts her manicured hands on her slender waist and I know she thinks I'm lying. "Why don't you join a gym? How about hire a trainer? It will really help your depression, too."

"All great ideas but the last time I was in a gym, I got incredibly sick. I'm really good about washing my hands but I no longer want to ever work out in a gym again. Besides I like to be at home when I exercise. Really, I totally wash my hands all the time."

This is really because I am way too self conscious to bounce around in front of anyone.

And really, hire a trainer? Can I use my EBT card to hire one? Who the hell has money for that? Oh, I know! Doctors! That's who.

She just looks at me, chin in hand and kind of tilts her head and starts to say something but I interrupt her.

"Ok, I'll start back (I really emphasized that word) on an exercise routine." God knows I have plenty of videos and motivational music to do something. I could even walk a dog here and there.

So, while I'm at Target today I'm walking around and saw a sign that says 40% off athletic bras. Well, heck! That's my biggest problem. Controlling my chest while exercising is half the battle. I bought the brightest (and actually largest) sports bras they had.

The bright neon colors will motivate me. I know they will. A couple weeks ago I bought some fancy neon stars decorated workout pants.

Holding up the pants, I asked my coworker, "Don't these pants just make you want to RUN?!"

She just looked at me.

But now I have a set.

A set of neon, fun, you-know-wanna-work-out, work-out outfit.

I'm now wearing the neon and I feel really good. I even bought some actual athletic type socks to make it feel more official.

I'm going to get out of bed here any second and start working out. I'm just on a Girls marathon since finding out the Kylo Ren is kind of a babe and that Adam Driver's previous work was on Girls. I have to watch every single one (while eating vegi straws) and then I'll work out.

In my neon. So watch out.

Oh, and here's a picture to capture your attention if you see this on Facebook....

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