First Day of Christmas Vacay

Zoey and I made yet another drive up to Oregon yesterday, this one very smooth until the last hour and a half of sheeting rain and fog.  Yikes!  Passing those huge trucks when mostly blinded is no fun.  But we made it.  If I could manage to get my act together and leave earlier in the morning versus noon, that would help.  Maybe one of these days.

Today, I got up at the crack of dawn (well it was 7am but it was pretty dark!) and hung out with my little niece, V, who is now three-years-old and finally willing to let me play and read to her with her parents not around.  So fun!  And they appreciated a little free time to get ready and do a couple chores.

Then, I took Zoey on a walk and went to work out at the athletic club (part of the family business).  Before I left, I got really pissed off at Zoey when she knocked down the baby gate I set up to keep her downstairs.  Getting angry backfired on me, though, because then she wouldn't come when I called and I had to chase, cajole, and finally bribe her to come downstairs.  Then tonight I noticed she peed a little bit next to her crate.  I did not leave her for more than 2-3 hours at a time today and she goes several hours at a time without peeing at home.  What gives?  Anyone have insight into dog behavior as to why this might happen?  Because apparently my brother found a pee spot last time after we left, too. :-(  She's usually such a good dog, but I guess she's really accustomed to her routines maybe.

This afternoon, I met my family for lunch and they gave me a few gifts for my birthday, which was nice.  I need to decide whether I will get a pedicure or a massage tomorrow - which would you choose?  Very much looking forward to it!  And I was also given a pair of workout/running shoes and nice dress that goes well with boots.  Then I spent some time with my Mom driving around running errands and chatting.  She was a little altered by the pain medicine, but I was really happy to have the opportunity to hang out with her.

My sister, brother, sis-in-law, nieces and nephew and I finished the day going to a Duck basketball game, which they won in overtime to Santa Barbara (non-conference game).  Rode home in the back seat between my nephew, E, an oldest niece, J, laughing and singing Christmas carols.  A very full and fun-filled day!


Christmas is coming...

My birthday is tomorrow.  It is also the last day of my class.  I am giving a Final (no fun) but also buying cookies as a treat for my students and kind of to celebrate my birthday.  Tomorrow night, I plan to attend my InterPlay theatre group and maybe go for a drink with a couple friends afterwards.  Then, Wednesday, I am going out with a small group of friends to a birthday dinner at a cool looking Italian restaurant in my new town of Alameda.  After dinner, the plan is for a hot beverage, Christmas lights, and maybe even a little caroling.  In this moment, it feels like too much to do activities on both Tuesday and Wednesday, but I am going to go with the flow - it's my intention to do that more - and trust it will all work out.

Wednesday and Thursday are days to wrap presents, make hot fudge, and grade Finals.  Then, the plan is to drive up to Oregon Friday if the weather cooperates.  I am also fine with waiting until Saturday but hope I don't have to wait any longer than that.  I gave Zoey an early birthday gift of a dog bed, which she LOVES.  She had been using a smaller pink dog bed I got her when she was a puppy but it had become too old and worn out.  Plus this one is more comfy.  She looks so cute in it, doesn't she?

One of my Christmas gifts this year is a recording of an interview I did with my Grandma and Grandpa, about 10 years ago.  If you remember, my Grandpa passed away last year and my Grandma passed away a couple years before that.  As I mentioned, they were like second parents to me, and my Grandma and I were especially close.  The interview reminded of me of that, of how comfortable we were together and how we just "got" and accepted each other.  A wonderful feeling that I miss dearly.

I appreciate having the interview to remember but had been afraid to listen to it for fear the tape would break.  I finally had it made into CDs and am giving copies to my aunt and uncle and cousins.  I think they will like hearing it, even though it a bit slanted towards me and my Mom (birth mom), since I was the one doing the interviewing.  My Grandma cries once during the interview talking about my Mom - it's amazing how the grief over losing my Mom seemed to stay with her and my Grandpa for their whole lives.  Of course, that was one thing that we shared (the loss of my mom) and likely added to our closeness. 

Though my Mom (step mom) and I don't really talk - I've reached out but she doesn't seem to want to connect right now - I have been thinking of her often and sending prayers.  I have also done a couple of things "in her honor," like the care package I sent a while back, recently hanging the art tiles they gave me last Christmas in my new bedroom, and getting the special Campbell's Soup napkins (my Grandpa worked for Campbell's Soup) hemmed that she was going to finish but couldn't because of nerve damage in her fingers due to her treatments.  I also bought all the supplies to make her a special Christmas card, and I hope I can find the time and energy to complete it.  I guess I can work on it in Oregon if need be, but I know from experience how difficult it can be to get stuff done there.  If I leave on Saturday, maybe I can get it done Friday.  Anyway, I'm trying to do more practical actions "for her," if that makes sense, because I want to at least be doing something

I am really worried that they will be telling us bad news when I go home.  My brother asked my dad about the scan my mom was going to get to see if the immunotherapy treatment was working, and he said it had been rescheduled or something.  Then my mom and dad left for a trip to Arizona, which seems kind of odd timing.  So, I'm scared but want to be as present and loving as I can be through whatever happens.  Of course, I am also looking forward to seeing everyone and spending time with my nieces and nephew.

Well, I better go put the finishing touches on my Final.  Sending good wishes to you all.



I am in a no good, very bad mood today.  I think in part because of hormones and in part because I taught an all-day class yesterday, the last couple hours of which were pure hell.  One of me, 25 of them, all trying to create and enter educational plans into a system that was locked up and refusing to cooperate.  After consulting with my supervisor, I finally just had them turn in their plans on paper and spent much of this morning entering them into the system myself. 

Then, my "housemate" (technically my housemate but more like landlord, as he never stays here) J, stopped by completely unannounced.  I realized he tried to send a text 10 minutes before that didn't go through.  But, regardless, it's like he doesn't register my feelings; like they don't matter.  He bursts in the front door with his partner, yelling "HELLOOOO" in a really boisterous way, with lots of energy that he doesn't reign in, even when he sees that I am sitting at the table working (unshowered, in grungy sweats) and am clearly caught off guard.  Then he keeps bustling around the house being bossy and directive and not listening to me.  Grrrrr! 

I feel sooo tired and depressed.  Definitely not in the mood for this housewarming party we are having this evening.  Maybe I should go work out; that might help.  I have had an injured/out of place shoulder/upper back injury since before Thanksgiving, so haven't been working out.  It has slowly been improving, and I think I could go today.  Either that or take Zoey on a long walk.  Something to try and rise out of this run down funk.