Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Next Step

Last Friday I finished my summer class (an independent study). With my grade posted today I am officially three credits closer to my master's degree. In just a year-and-a-half I've completed 30 of the 33 credits required; no wonder I'm so tired.

My next (and last!) class doesn't start until August so that means for the first time in a long time I have some free time—no homework or due dates to stress over. So yesterday I made a blueberry pie:

I figured it was necessary.

Of course having free time doesn't mean I don't have anything to do; it just means when I don't want to clean the house now I don't have nearly as good an excuse for putting it off. And there's that ironing I haven't done in, uh, ages... And last but not least there's that job thing. Oh yeah, that.

As I've always said, I didn't go back to school for my health—I did it to catch up with the field of technical communication so I could get a job. And not just any job—a good job that I would enjoy and be challenging and utilize the skills I have. That's always been my goal as I labored away on reading and projects and everything else being a full-time graduate student entails. And now I'm done. Yes, I still have that last class left, but I'm done being a full-time student with no time to think about anything else. So, after I've taken a little time to relax without feeling guilty (well, try to do that, at least), and catch up with things around the house, I'm planning on starting my job search in earnest. As they say, searching for a job is a full-time job; now I'll finally have the time to do it. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I don't know what it is about exercise but I seem to avoid it. Don't get me wrong, I love feeling exercised, I just don't seem to like the process of getting there. (I also like having a clean house but I'm not so keen on actually cleaning it.) Numerous times over the past year I've told myself I'm going to get into a routine and really be serious about it, and just as many times I've had a ready excuse not to do it. Granted, over the past year that's usually been because of school, so it's also been an accurate excuse, but given how much time I waste on other things I'm sure I could have fit in exercising if I'd really wanted to.

It's not like I don't have any good reasons to exercise, either. I've had back and hip problems off and on for a while and my body usually feels like a pretzel, and I know I have fewer problems (and feel less pretzel-like) whenever I exercise.  Last year I was diagnosed with osteoporosis (something I am way too young to have, might I add) so I know I need to exercise to keep that at bay as well. Hubby even bought me some weights a while back, which I really ought to use more than I do. (My plan was to use them while I watch TV, but quite frankly I hardly ever just sit in front of the TV.)

This time of year I even have the opportunity to swim. Our subdivision has a pool which we pay to use as part of our homeowner association fees. Last summer I found out the pool is open for adult lap swim before it officially opens for the day, so I took advantage of that and swam in the morning when I could. The pool opened a month ago and I'd planned on doing that again this year, but somehow I just couldn't get myself motivated to do it again—until this week. I've gone twice now and even though I'm horribly out-of-shape I definitely feel better so hopefully I'll keep it up. I usually try to go around 8:00 or so and I usually have the pool to myself, which is really nice.

So we'll see how long this lasts. On the bright side, I've got less than two weeks left of my summer class so when that's done I'll finally get a break and really have free time to exercise (and no excuse not to). On the other hand, I'm hoping to get a job sooner rather than later, and when that happens I'm not sure how exercising (or anything else) will fit into my daily routine, which will take some getting used to after having a rather unstructured daily schedule for so long. Guess I'd better enjoy exercising while it lasts.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It's a Miracle

His name is Moe.

The weekend was tough. Little Guy did quiet down and seemed to get more used to things after the first night. We have a dog house on our deck that our dog never uses, and Little Guy took to it and made it his, spending most of his time in there when he wasn't walking around. He slept there (he's a very sound sleeper) and was warm and safe. He also stayed in there and stayed dry when it rained Monday night and Tuesday; unlike our dog who ignores the dog house and stands in the rain and gets wet.

He didn't bark as much as when we first brought him home but he did whimper sometimes, particularly when he woke up from a nap and was disoriented, I think. When I heard him I'd go outside to pet him and reassure him, then he'd settle down for a while again. Naturally, I got pretty attached to him and the thought of taking him to the shelter to let him die there got harder and harder, even though I knew it's what we had to do.

We took him to the shelter yesterday, getting there about 45 minutes before they closed. They scanned for a microchip and didn't find one, as we'd suspected. But then a miracle happened: When hubby was giving them the information on where we found him we said we lived in a subdivision and they asked for its name (every subdivision around here has a name), and when hubby said it the shelter worker said he thought the owners were in earlier looking for him. He went and got a flyer that described the dog and specifically mentioned they lived across the street from our subdivision. His name is Moe, he's 16-years-old, and HE HAS A HOME. While we stood there the man called the owners and told them we'd found their dog. We weren't going straight home after dropping him off or we would have taken him home ourselves, so we ended up leaving him at the shelter and his owners came out and got him. It was getting closer to closing time by then and I wasn't sure they could make it there fast enough that evening, but the shelter worker said since they knew the owners were coming they'd stay open a few minutes late for them (which they did).

So "Moe" wasn't starving when we found him after all; he was just thin because he's old. He's a very good eater and likes his food—and what we fed him was different than his usual—so that's why it seemed like he was hungry all the time. His toenails were long because his owners hadn't trimmed them during his last bath, it turned out, and they knew they needed to be cut. The shelter couldn't give the owners our information but we had theirs, so when we got home a couple hours later we stopped by their house to meet them. They were so thankful and appreciative. And there was Moe, in his own house, lying on the carpet next to the couch. When he saw us he came up to us wagging his tail, obviously recognizing us, then he settled back in his spot while we talked to his owners. Apparently we found him right after he wandered off on Saturday; if we hadn't taken him home maybe he would have wandered back home on his own after all, who knows. His owners had each thought he was with someone else in the house and they didn't realize he was missing until Sunday morning. When they realized it they called everywhere putting out a search for him, though if there were flyers we didn't see them in our neighborhood when we were walking our dog over the weekend. Thankfully, and amazingly, we connected with them through the shelter 25 miles from our home; a county shelter that is about as far away from us as it can be and still be in the same county.

Of course I'm relieved and overjoyed that Moe's story ended this way. A simple tag on his collar could have avoided a lot of anguish on both sides; they said he's had tags before and lost them, and a phone number written on his collar had faded off. But he did have a microchip: Apparently it was farther up on his shoulders and when they scanned for it at the shelter when we were there they didn't run the scanner high enough to find it. His owners said when they picked him up they scanned for it again—higher this time—and found it. The bottom line is Moe is home now and will live out his life where he belongs: With his family that loves him. Praise God.