Saturday, September 27, 2008


In case you don't follow Heather's blog, My Supernatural World, pop on over and read her post on The S Word.

Excellent, Heather!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Apollo

My pup is 1 today. He was neutered Wednesday, and this is how he spent his day:

Poor thing. He's on "bed rest." It's difficult to keep a border collie on bed rest. It's even more difficult to keep TWO on bed rest.

Both are recovering well, but not too happy about their collars or their more-than-usual time spent in their crates. Makes me sad, too, but I'd rather they heal than get infected. Plus, it's vet's orders.

We didn't get Apollo until November when he was 9 weeks old. I'm sure we'll celebrate adoption day, too. Today's birthday treat was a nice, juicy bone for each boy.

Daily Math Review

I cannot remember how I found this site, but I really wanted to share it here.

Awhile ago, I posted that I wanted something for math practice, and I chose Calculadders. We don't do them on a daily basis, but the upper levels are a nice refresher/practice.

Somehow, I found this site: Daily Math Review. For 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, you can download the files and have a lovely math warm-up or as they call it daily math review. There are seven problems per day, and the cover grade-appropriate skills.

Best of all, it's free.

You can print out the worksheets and answer book.

Worth a look and a save if you have youngers and like daily review type stuff!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Panic Attack

This morning we had to drive an hour and 15 minutes to get Apollo and Tesla. I had to stop to buy dog food and a new office chair for my aching body. We were hurrying, and left the house. I had not eaten breakfast, but did have two cups of coffee. Typically my coffee is half caf. I make it that because I don't want a full caffeine hit.

Right as we get into the car, I feel woozy. I figure it was because I hadn't eaten. We had to drive to Bob's work because he took our van by mistake, and I had to swap cars. By the time we made it a mile and a half, I told Thomas I felt funny.

We drove through McDonald's. I got an Egg McMuffin so I could get the protein--greasy, high-fat, but protein nonetheless. I also got a Diet Coke.

So as I'm driving, I just felt uneasy. Five miles down the road, I started envisioning my Dad. Yes, the scene at his kitchen table. The scene where we were sitting, I looked up, and his head was bobbing, he was unconscious, and in the throes of a heart attack. That scene played over and over and over in my mind. I couldn't get it to stop.

Driving down the road further, I had to roll the window down. I needed fresh air. It was raining. I still had to have that fresh air hit my face. About 15 miles after I started, I pulled in to a gas station. I took 1/2 of a Xanax and called my husband.

When Bob answered the phone, I started bawling. I hadn't recognized it until the very moment that I spoke with the love of my life. It's amazing to me that I didn't recognize what it was: I just had the fear I was going to pass out like my Dad did.

Bob told me to walk around, get some oxygen in my system, and let the Xanax kick in. I did. I went in, used the restroom, and noticed I was shaking violently. I bought a pack of gum, because I always feel compelled to buy something when I use a restroom.

Thomas and I walked around outside for about 15 minutes. The Xanax started to kick in. My shaking subsided.

The symptoms were: woozy feeling, impending doom--I was just sure something was going to happen, and the shaking.

I finally felt safe to drive. (BTW, my doctor informs me the only concern with driving after taking a Xanax is falling asleep. It's not a case of driving under the influence. If I take a whole Xanax, I do fall asleep. That's why I cut several up and have half pills in my bottle.)

We made it to the big city, bought the dog food, got an office chair, which thankfully the nice cute young man (I'm officially old now, those twenty-somethings are young!) put it in the car for me.

We then drove 20 miles further to get Apollo and Tesla. Apollo had a raging ear infection! Poor thing, I had no clue. So we have medication for that. Both dogs came through their surgery just fine. Both dogs were fitted with Elizabethan collars because they were licking like crazy. Both dogs look absolutely miserable and pathetic in those collars!

Thomas sat in the back with the boys on the way home. The dogs went straight into their crates and slept. They were pretty tuckered out.

Thomas had a birthday party to attend, so by the time we had the dogs taken care of, and I had talked to my sister about Dad's estate, it was time to get back in the car and drop him off. By this time I was almost shaking again -- not from a panic attack, but from a physical draining in my body that made it feel as if I could barely walk.

I called Bob and asked if he would pick Thomas up at 5, so I could lie down. Bob said he was working until 5:30. I did something I normally don't do. Normally I am fully supportive of Bob and his work, because it is of utmost importance. This time I just started bawling when he told me he couldn't. I don't know where it came from.

I was an absolute wreck today.

Bob called back 15 minutes later and told me he'd go get Thomas and just go into work early tomorrow morning. With that great news, I wiped my tears and put on my jammies. Then I discovered that Aunt Flo had come to visit.

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. That big panic attack I had in Denver, where I ended up in the hospital overnight, had a couple similarities to today. One was lack of eating. I've read low blood sugar can bring a panic attack on. More importantly, I have learned that I am prone to panic attacks at the onset of my menstrual cycle.

I was really shocked by it, because I've been feeling a lot better. The recent contract on Dad's house had me a little emotional, but overall I've just been more myself lately. This panic attack this morning came from left field.

So, tomorrow I'll make an appointment with my doctor. It will be a good six weeks before I will be able to get in. I am going to keep a daily diary of my mood, physical symptoms, sleep cycles and period-related issues so I am fully prepared.

I hope that we can find some kind of relief. This was scary to me. I'm sure it scared Thomas a bit, but I tried not to let on other than I felt woozy.

We ended up not getting any school done today. However, Thomas has agreed to have a make-up day on Saturday, bless his heart. He did do biology with his Dad tonight, while I slept.

What a sucky day.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ah, Nuts

My precious boys are getting neutered today. Apollo will be 1 year old on the 26th -- what a birthday present! Tesla is 11 months. Our contract with the breeder stated we had to wait until they were a year old before neutering. There's evidence it's healthier to wait. I emailed her and asked if it would be okay to get the boys done at the same time, because recovery would be easier if they were both recovering at the same time. She agreed.

Bob and Thomas got up at 5:30, left the house at 6:30 and had he boys to the vet by 7:45. The vets here, there are two, are worth the drive.

We pick them up tomorrow. I imagine I'll be calling a couple times this afternoon to see how they're doing.

It sure is quiet without our border collies here!

Thomas is taking a nap until 10:30 and then we'll get busy with school.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Last February, I bought some text books on eBay. About the time I was expecting them to arrive, my Dad called and asked that we come to help him with his surgery. If you've been reading my blog, you know the rest of that story. Before we could leave for Denver, we had to wait for the mail man. On March 7th, the car was packed, the dogs were leashed, we were ready to walk out the door. In fact, we were out the door, watching down the street for our friendly letter carrier. When he arrived with our books, I tossed them in the school room expecting to look at them when I got home.

When we did get home from Denver, April 3, I didn't even think of the books. I left them sit. In fact, I didn't look at the books until a few days before we started school.

And when I finally opened them up, 7th and 8th grade texts with teacher's manuals and lots of other accompanying stuff, I hated them. Not what I wanted. I think they're great for Thomas to sit and read, because he actually loves to sit and read science text books. However, they weren't what I wanted to teach. Why? They're integrated science, and I that's not how I wanted to focus on our science.

Bob and I sat down and discussed, at the very last minute, what we should do for science. This is the area Thomas excels in. We discussed the typical high school plans for science, biology, chemistry and then physics for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade. We hemmed and hawed and finally decided to follow the same schedule for 7th - 9th grade.

So then we needed to find a text book. It didn't take me long. We chose Power Basis by Walch.

Bob and Thomas started Power Basics Physics--was it last year, or the year before? They liked it, Thomas learn a lot, but they stopped mid-way through because Thomas didn't have the math skills yet. We'll use it in 9th grade instead.

We got the biology stuff last week? I think, but we are going so slow that we haven't had time to start. So tonight Bob took pity on me. Thomas was begging to start biology, and I promised I'd start after dinner. (It helped that the neighborhood kids weren't going to be home tonight!) Bob volunteered. And the boys snuggled up on the floor and read three sections. And then they discussed and discussed and discussed. Thomas tends to ask a lot of science questions that I don't always know the answer to. Luckily, Bob does.

They spent an hour together all cozy.

Thomas is wrapped up in an ugly orange and brown afghan that my mother made when I was younger than he is now. I used to play with that and wrap up in that when I was a kid. No one wanted the afghan, and I couldn't stand for it to be donated, so I took it. To be fair, I don't think the afghan was ugly when she made it, but I barely like orange and I don't like brown, and I don't like them together. lol

Still, it was nice to see my Mom, who has been gone 15 years now, included in school. She would have liked that.

With Bob's help tonight, I can gladly say that we accomplished everything on our school list today. Now only if I could get everything done on my personal to-do list, but that's another story.

Even the cat joined in on their fun.


That's how we'll be this winter.

Yesterday, I wrote a check for $2,000 for a down payment for our new furnace and air conditioner. Upon completion, we'll owe another $4,000. We'll get some good rebates, which will help.

We believe our furnace is original to our house, which was built in 1976. We had a new air conditioner put in three or four years ago, but it has been nothing but problems. I've spent hundreds of dollars getting it fixed. We really had to debate getting a new AC, but we figured it would be cheaper in the long run.

Our new furnace is very efficient. Without getting the specs out, I can't remember the numbers, but it's going to be so much better than our current. The installer swears our gas bill will go down this winter. That remains to be seen.

We're also getting an air cleaner. That wasn't specifically in his written estimate, but when he was at the house yesterday, he told me it was included.


It took us a long time to save up for this. It will be very nice to not put it on the credit card. Of course we'll be flat broke again, but for once we did something right.

I'm dreading winter. Minnesota winters are hard because there's not a lot of sun and it gets so nasty cold. However, I'm thrilled we'll be nice and toasty this winter! And cool next summer!

Monday, September 22, 2008


I have been fascinated with the recent harvesting and canning sprees that I have been reading in the blog world. I am kitchen challenged. That kind of thing intrigues me, sparks some childhood memories, and makes me envious.

I recently asked a good friend about her canning, and she explained how she started and what kinds of things she canned. I was just taken with it. Except the part that it's hard on your kitchen floor. lol

It piqued my interest so much, I got out my Ball Blue Book out and peaked at it.

It all seems overwhelming to me and gives me fear that I may end up poisoning my family.

However, last night I found a website that was very helpful for me, the kitchen challenged wannabe. It's called Pick Your Own. Let me just say, with a title like that, I immediately thought of my nose. That's something I could do, but that's not what they mean. lol

I spent an hour last night perusing their website. It took me back to childhood, with mom making currant jelly. She used wax to seal her jelly, not the lids, though. Her currant jelly was sooo good.

It got me to really thinking I'd like to try. Obviously I've had this interest before, as I have had that Ball Blue Book for a long time. This website helped me because it gave directions, had pictures, and recipes, and great details.

I think I'm going to talk to Bob about starting up our garden again next year. Tomatoes are so expensive, and I use lots of tomato sauce, paste spaghetti sauce and cubed tomatoes in my recipes. I could start there.

I think for Christmas I'm going to ask for one of the canning kits from their website (which is actually linked to an outside link.) I might also take a peak down the canning aisle at Wal-mart the next time I go.

I shouldn't be afraid of the kitchen.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Saturday Thomas and I got up really, really Early. One of our neighboring cities was having their annual city-wide garage sale. I have gone every year since I have lived in Minnesota, and always had a wonderful time. (Except when I went with friends who ran out of money and wanted to leave early.) Every year we come home with some really cool stuff.

The city usually rents out their fairground buildings and there were tons of sales inside. This year, only two small buildings were rented out. That was disappointing. We went to sale after sale after sale and they were duds. We came home with two books, one for Thomas and one for me. I spent a whopping sixty cents.

Upon arrival home, I ran to the computer. We had a verbal offer on my Dad's house. The contract was supposed to come in yesterday, I was to print and sign and scan and email back.

There was no contract.

I checked email a million times yesterday. Nothing.

I have to say, I got really disappointed and blue last night.

This morning, Tesla woke me. He was in Thomas's room, whining. Bob was up but hadn't taken the dogs out yet. It was 6 a.m. I got up, put the puppies out, and called down to Bob to check my email. Imagine my surprise when he said, "IT'S HERE!"

The contract didn't come in until late in the evening, and the realtor emailed it after 11 p.m.

Please send good vibes or say a prayer that this goes through. We need closure. The sale of his home, especially in this market, has been a huge worry for my sister and I.

The realtor told us yesterday that everyone uses regular-sized paper now, so I'd be able to print and scan the contract. Lo and behold, the contract is legal size. So I have to see if my printer will even print legal (I know it will, at least I hope) and then I will have to find someone with a fax machine. But first, I have to go buy some legal-sized paper. This all needs to be done early, as the contract expires at noon. I called our grocery stores at 6 a.m. and they assure me they can fax.

So much for sleeping in on a Sunday morning, but what a good reason I can't!