Saturday, March 01, 2008

Betty's Story: Part 3, A New Home

So, I plan to be "brief" in the backstory parts 1 and 2.
Part 1, If you don't know how we "acquired" Betty - she ran into our backyard through a hole in the fence on Thanksgiving Night 2005. We decided to keep her after finding the original owner - a college kid down the street who sort of had things out-of-control with Betty. We renamed her "Betty" (she was "Joy" but didn't really answer to it - she was energetic and a little wild).
So ends, part 1 of Betty's story.

Part 2, begins with us keeping Betty and taking care of her up until March of 2008. The plot in the middle involves Betty escaping a few times, initially, until we figured out how to tether her down in the backyard and keeping the front door tightly closed. She would "rahr, rahr, rahr!" with Puck (open mouths gnashing teeth together - see photo) for seemingly hours on end on the dining room rug. She took over Puck's dogbed until we bought her her own... then she took over our bed until we installed a baby gate before the birth of Evie in July 2007 (she still sneaks in, however). Betty has been on road trips to North Carolina and stayed with other friends when we traveled. She has learned how to fetch a ball, sleep in the bathtub on rainy days, to "wait!" before rushing to her dinner bowl, to pee on command, and how to "go to bed!" while in our care. She has had 2 bad teeth extracted (just last week) but otherwise been in excellent health.
Betty, will be missed. I know we are are feeling the strains of a small house with too many legs so its hard to imagine missing her... but I know Puck will, eventually, when he gets lonely in this house by himself. And, I'll miss her when I am out back and anticipate a ball rolling in between my feet. And Evie will when there's no one to lick her outstretched hands. And, yes, even Rob will miss her when he has to go back to cleaning up dog poop in the yard because there is no one to eat any of it.

Part 3, (See photo of Kirby and Betty above - do you think she knows its another dog? ha ha!) We have gone back and forth and back and forth (endlessly) for over a year now. Do we or do we not get "rid" of Betty?
I really couldn't walk her the last part of my pregnancy (I could barely stand up without losing my balance as it was without having Betty pulling on a leash). And, I couldn't play ball with her (I couldn't even tie my shoes!). After Evie was born, it was too hot to play with her and it was really too much with the baby using all my energy. Then, after going back to work, it was too much to get home and make dinner let alone take a dog out to play or for a walk. Then, it got cold. Oh, *sigh* you see where this is all going, don't you?
Betty has slowly become more and more confined and crazy because of it. Her craziness makes us then lose our cool. We have been at breaking points far too often this past year. So, it was with heavy heart that I stop threatening and begin seeking a new owner.
I felt like - a failure.
I emailed everyone and emailed all my co-workers, nothing. I contacted the "Lab Rescue of Richmond" who offered a courtesy posting since she was not full blood Lab. Over a month went by with people inquiring but having no follow through.
Then E contacted me and wanted to meet Betty. She and her husband, A, came over to meet Betty last week Sunday. They excitedly talked about their 6-year-old Golden Retriever (boy) at home and how he's just like what I posted about Betty. A match made in heaven?
She showed me a pic of Kirby and its so funny to think that Betty will be going to a home with a dog that looks like Puck. A house like this one... only, with less stress, hopefully.
E and A played ball out back before taking Betty for a walk. If anyone would walk away from Betty, it would be her crazy ZIG-ZAG walk that would do it. Well, they returned unphased. Shocker!
We phone tagged and emailed all week long.
Today, Saturday March 1, I drove Betty over for a play date. E and A have an out-of-town engagement and asked that we keep Betty until next weekend. Sure, I thought, but let's make sure they even get along first before I sit and think this will all come to fruition.
E was out back with Kirby and she opened the wood fence. Pounce, pounce! Kirby was so excited! They ran and played! E and A's yard has big trees and is... HUGE! They actively play ball with Kirby so the lawn is a bit worn in the back - which is great for Betty! I'd hate to take her to a manicured lawn only to have her tear it all up.
Kirby brought me his ball (oh, it was disgusting!). He promptly dropped it and rolled on it. A tells me that Kirby will slobber all over it and roll on it till he has stripes of slimy dirt on his back. Excellent! Betty rolls and gets dirty, too! I can't believe the dirt doesn't make them cringe like it does me... this is fantastic!
Kirby apparently foams when he's excited. He worked up quite a lather before I left Betty in their hands for a few hours. I was very, very hopeful.
Upon returning, everyone was inside. This place is HUGE! Its a tri-level house complete with one big open living room (no coffee table in sight. There's just a big 8'X10' rug with couches against the wall). Apparently, Kirby likes his space. Perfect! They'll have a wrestling pit!
Kirby also has an orthopedic bed on each floor since tearing his ACL a few years ago and undergoing knee surgery. He eats organic food since mom and dad got scared with all the Chinese dog food issues last year. WOW, Betty will sleep and eat like royalty! I looked at Betty and thought of her flat, lifeless cotton dog bed in our dining room and how we throw lettuce on the floor for her to eat. Shit, will she miss us at all?
Betty walked to A sitting in his chair and wanted a face rub. Betty then farted. Great, now that she's going to clear the room - it will all be over.
Nope. E and A tried to figure out if it was Betty OR Kirby since he is apparently, stinky, too! Dear Gawd, could this be happening? Betty has found the PERFECT MATCH.
We talked about our lives a bit and found out that we were a bit of a bizarro world couple. He likes Superman and she's an artist. It really got more and more odd as the conversation continued but I'll spare you all, gentle readers. Let's just say that I might need to hang onto their contact info and see if we could hang out sometime in the near future.
Betty came over for a face rub before walking off into their sunroom (one last walk through). Kirby came over and sat on my foot and leaned into my legs. It was truly a great expirience. This place is a resort for dogs. Betty is blessed to go with these people, I mean this truly. E and A treat their dog like a true member of the family. They even really love having multiple dogs over for playtime (they are having a March Madness party the weekend Betty goes home with them because they are both Pisces with all Pisces friends! Everyone brings over their kids and dogs and whoop it up. I told them about the Aquarius Party... again, bizarro world!)
So, Betty and I decided to roll on out. On my way out I asked if they would change her name. They said no, they liked it. Good, I thought, she knows it and I like it, too. Then they said that they already bought her name tag for her. She's apparently all set up and ready to move on in!
Wow. Betty - you are one lucky dog who's life just keeps getting better and better with age, I swear.
Love ya Betts.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Aquarius Party

So, the boys, er-men, mistakingly wore matching outfits to the party this year (gasp! Can you imagine the horror of seeing another party goer in the same outfit? They should have called ahead...)
So, of course, we had to ham it up.

Alright, guys, all pile up on the couch.

Now, all serve Eric a beer like a bunch of dandies.

OK, enough of that.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Once again, giving myself no credit...

So, I worked this contract agency for a year thus earning enough credits to take one of their 2 day courses (or 2 one-day courses... or 2 of a 3-day course and paying the difference).
I decided to brush up on my very outdated skills by taking the 3-day course offered on DreamWeaver CS3. I was trained on DreamWeaver (if you can call it that) while in college. I then learned (on the job) GoLive. I used GoLive for years before having to relearn DreamWeaver. I'm essentially, self taught. I'm also very rusty with a basic level of understanding.
Well, at least I thought I was.
This class is, yes, designed for beginners. And, after having not actively used the programs in years... I thought it best to start from the beginning.
I am learning what the point of organizing the website is (DreamWeaver has all these great shortcuts like "root directories" that help keep track of things, etc etc... I am so very old-school that I have been ignoring such modern conveniences. This class is helping show me why that is stupid).
But the class. The class is filled with 4 mac users and 3 PC users... all of which are older than me (not that that is a bad thing, calm down out there my older readers). The class is comprised of the noisy two who haven't been to school in ages so they eagerly and excitedly chatter with the professers before class. They throw out factoids and "have you ever heard of's," to the point of being a complete time waster. And, once the class is truly ON... they get lost and jumble around. Or, worse still, they mess around and get lost while showboating or not paying attention.
I... am... drowning.
*more to come*, this story has more ranting left in it but my break time is up! back to class!*

So, the class did get more interesting into the 2nd of the three days. We actually began to learn the things that I wanted to learn. And, I found myself more engaged.
The 3rd day was also interesting but sprinkled heavily with more time wasters. I checked my email alot and began creating my own messes just to keep myself challenged (and awake).
One particular 40-something talked ALL THE TIME, "Oh! Wait... where did you go to get that screen? I don't have that button on my program. Nope, it doesn't exist. Oh, wait! Wait! Is this it here? Oh yes! OK, I got it now. OK, so then what?"
We'd all sit and wonder. Will she figure anything out, ever. And, will she shut the hell up.
OK, I don't think the others were as annoyed as me. I am now recalling why I used to get extra work from grade school teachers - just to keep me occupied. I get bored and irritated at the drop of a hat. Or, at the opening of this woman's mouth.
At one point, I actually blurted out, "Get it together (name withheld)!"
I mean, seriously. You aren't cute or entertaining. If I were PAYING for this 3 day course, it would run me $1300+.
That's a lot of dough to listen to your crap. Its not my fault you signed up for a class without knowing how to change a file name. Some obvious basics should have been covered before your arrival to this class.
So, in the end? I gave the professor glowing remarks EXCEPT a very low score for not controlling the class. I mean, he does need to say at one point, "Just try and follow along. We can catch up during the break so the class can keep moving."
Am I wrong?

I think I give myself very little credit until I meet "peers". I sometimes question my skill-set or talent level. I beat myself up a little only to then have experiences like this. I then I see how totally inept over half the people are out there. And then I feel good about myself. And then a little frustrated as to why I am still only a senior designer, ha! In time, in time.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Burnin' Bridges '08

Every year I make a resolution that's not always mainstream "norm". A few years ago it was to stop making fun of people. That last at least 2 weeks, maybe 2 and 1/2.
This year - Burnin' Bridges '08
I have the habit of keeping up with friendships that no one else would spend 1 minute on. I don't necessarily maintain them so much as I will make a friendship rise from the dead. Many of which, should stay dead.
Take ex-boyfriends, for instance. I don't make a habit of calling or connecting with them. I will occasionally drop an email just to see if they are alive, dead, married or divorced or if they ever amounted to anything since I left them in my wake. Why bother, you ask? Everybody asks. Even my last boyfriend asked but was later "happy" to know I would do the same with him years later. Some of that is changing this year, however, some bridges are best left burnt.
Its not just old dead friendships and relationships that I like waste my efforts on - its friendships that don't return the favor, to.
When I look back on all the people I have had actively call me, email me, send me a latter or stop by my house for a visit - its far less than the number of people I feel compelled to send a Christmas card to. Why the hell do I feel the need to give some of these people just 5 minutes to send this email or just $.41 to send this Christmas card when they don't give a lick to return the same amount of energy back my way?
I have discovered, through the power of passing a human out of my body in '07, that the number of people I haven't spent time & energy on came out of the woodwork to supply us with kind words, cards of congratulations, stop overs to meet the baby and home-cooked meals.
I plan to do a better job of giving back to the people who have given to me and if that means stealing back the 5 minutes or the $.41 stamp I waste on yet another almost dead friendship --- then so be it. Cause aren't friendships supposed to make you feel good not worn out from all the work?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Otto-Bots, Let's Roll!

Kelly and Eric's latest member of the family, Otto.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Drive

So, tonight we leave (hopefully,... ideally...) around 6PM.
Tonight, we drive to Stow, Ohio, to spend Evie's first Christmas with her extended Ullman clan.
I am currently at a photo shoot for work. Waking up this morning at 7:15 AM and heading in to this jobsite at 9:30AM.... its now 11:30 and I will be on the road halfway to my destination in 12 hours. Sheesh, we will be lucky if we roll in at 3AM.
Kill me now.
Evie, you will hear about the countless hours and insurmountable energy your father & I put forth during your childhood when you, someday, have kids of your own. It is, afterall, the circle of life that allows us to be able to tell you all the stories when we get old just like our parents are doing to us now.
I hope the traffic tonight goes easy on us!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Finally! New storm doors....

I have wanted new storm doors since the day we bought this place 3 1/2 years ago. The ones it came with were those aluminum doors your grandmother once had featuring (prominately) the initial of her last name in the center of some twisted filigree.
Kitchy and vintage, but also, not so great.
Anyhoo, I happened to come across some money and thought, "Hey! Fast and easy household improvement!"
From the beginning of October until just last week, I have been through:
1. Having our handyman measure the doors before we buy them.
2. Borrowing K's truck to buy them.
3. Contemplating returning a door with a ding in it (I kept it, it really wasn't that bad).
4. Waiting and waiting for our handyman to install.
5. Handy man installs... the front door only. Turns out, its 3" too short. I decide to return it and order a custom size instead. I then pitch a fit when I learn its TOO LATE once its already been installed. Our handyman offers to buy the door from us. Didn't he measure this door before we bought it?
6. I order a custom door for MORE THAN TWICE AS MUCH and I then wait for almost 3 weeks for it to arrive.
7. The new door arrives!
8. Our handyman informs us that he doesn't have time to install the new door and directs us to his friend, G.
9. G goes through a series of delays including, but not limited to: being sick, truck was broken down and busy.
10. I go freaking nuts with the patience waning and call our real estate agent to get a handyman recommendation. I call M, who she recommends.
11. M has to change the date once, but otherwise shows up within the week.
12. M has a helluva time with the back door resulting in having to dismantle the back porch and CHISEL part of the door frame out to make it fit. He spends 2 1/2 days installing the doors... $250 installation fee when all is said and done.

My initial project of an estimated $570 that was to be completed over 1 weekend became $1000 over 2 1/2 months.
All future projects are now on hold until 2009 when I can handle it again.

Back door
Front door
13. Almost forgot, G just called late last week to set another date and time to install the doors. Dumbass.