Sunday, September 26, 2010

The (other) dog ate my homework

How quickly we forget, or block, those inconvenient memories.

Our six month old puppy is a chewing fiend these days. His adult teeth erupted at once a couple of weeks ago. They're all in, but he still thinks he's teething.

He has shredded his bed, the wall, three leashes and his toys. He would shred his sister if she didn't bite him on the legs. All for love, of course.

This evening Ricky gave Winston a new toy - a stuffingless snake with three squeakers inside, guaranteed indestructible. The squeakers would continue working even when punctured. Winston loved the new toy. Note the past tense. It took Winston about ten minutes to chew through the snake and pull out the first squeaker. The squeakers do not work once their ends are chewed off.

Watching "The Amazing Race," we left him in the kitchen to destroy the rest of the snake. I should have paid attention to the cessation of sound. Going to check on him, the snake, minus the second squeaker, had fallen over the gate. He was happily occupied eating the workbook from our Dave Ramsey financial class.

(The snake and the 2nd squeaker is re-placed in this picture.)

I made the mistake of setting the book on the kitchen desk. Winston can reach the kitchen desk. I have been warned. Perhaps Winston was concerned we might start cutting back on doggie treats while following Dave Ramsey's plan to become debt free.

Don't ya' love me?

Thursday, September 23, 2010


What I've done since September 8........

Helped my daughter celebrate her 25th birthday, with a trip to the jewelry store to pick out charms to replace those she lost along with a bracelet her friends gave her when she finished chemotherapy nine years ago. That makes for a great celebration, along with (Ricky) making her a traditional Balthrop birthday cake - a yellow cake with cooked fudge icing. We sent her home with the cake intact, much to Wiley's complaint.
Garrett, Wiley & Lindsay (Garrett helped give the original charm bracelet.)
Open house at the high school - checking on Wiley's teachers, grades and behavior. His history teacher returned to me the toy airplane confiscated earlier in the day. Sigh. Boys.

Met my 6th grade boyfriend, my first kiss, for coffee during his two hour layover at DFW airport. We only knew each other for that one school year. I found out he really liked me when he gave me a fancy Valentine's Day card signed "Love, Robert." We corresponded - with snail mail - through college. He spent the night in our Chicago apartment one time when he was passing through. (On a cross country motorcycle trip, he stopped in the south side of Chicago to call us and ask for directions. It's a wonder he's still alive.) Bottom line - hadn't seen him in about thirty years. That was fun. I am old.

Attended two high school football games - we won both games and the band did great.

Kept up with America's Got Talent. I only missed voting on one episode. I'll defer further discussion until I've been to the AGT Live Show on October 13. I can't wait - singers, dancers, magicians, illusionists, daredevils and acrobats, oh, my!

Watched Wiley play soccer.

Started our symphony season ticket series. We used to do that, pre-kids. It's been a while.

Finished my September 15th work. September 15 is a big deadline - the final deadline for corporate, partnership and trust returns. I'm averaging 70 hours a week September through October 15, the final deadline for individual tax returns.

Had my first official colon follow up. Not much to it - I just needed advice on how to deal with the rumbling and grumbling. We're trying some different things, but the bottom line is that recovery takes TIME.


Closed on our house refinance, dropping from 5.375% to 3.75%. That will help us be done with the whole thing in just a few more years.

Worked around the clock the last six days finishing up (an hour ago) the tax returns for an individual client who is running for Governor. So sometime in the next couple of days his tax returns are going on a public website.....with my name on them. Talk about pressure! He is someone I really admire, but unfortunately can't vote for, as he does not live here in God's country.

About God's country - went to the high school homecoming parade.

Met as part of a newly organized financial management team that is going to work with high net worth clients. It required some preparation, but all in all went well. I wondered what I could possibly add, but when you live long enough, you just end up knowing stuff that other people don't know. And I've also learned that if you speak clearly, others assume you know what you are talking about! I am used to high profile work, but it's usually done anonymously from the comfort of my home office. I actually had to bring the suit out of the closet this time.

Went to my daughter's in-laws' anniversary dinner across town.

Had a CT scan with contrast dye to make sure there are no cooties. And I thought I'd already had every test run. I knew I was in trouble when, at scheduling, they started asking me if I liked apples or bananas or berries. Try none of the above. They found a mocha flavored barium cocktail that I drank the night before, then again the morning of the scan. $650 later, I'm waiting on the test results.

The worst part, besides lack of sleep, is being on a reading kick with Ricky. We're reading through the same series of futuristic murder mysteries - crime solving by a sexy, rich and talented married couple. He's one book ahead. So lots of justification going on between us. The house is a wreck, meals are spotty, work is on the edge - but we're living it up vicariously.

And no, this is not me and Ricky.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

10 Two-letter Words

Feeling sorry for yourself? Wanting some of the handouts others seem to get?

If It Is To Be,
It Is Up To Me.

- Paul LePage, Candidate for Governor of Maine.

For a little personal motivation, check out the short video of his life story on his campaign website.

I think I'll put the pedal down and get my September 15th work done without complaint.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Brian stopped by today to pick up a few things and get a haircut - going from the "hawk" look to a number two buzz. As I cut his hair on the back porch, the dogs chased each other. Brian is still amazed that we have not just one, but two family dogs.

I snootily preferred cats over dogs for decades. I was woefully misinformed.

Our cats lounge around, tear stuff up when no one's looking and take over entire rooms. They only come around us when they want something or it's the middle of the night and they need to check in.

Our dogs play. They prefer to play with one of us. Next best is playing with each other knowing we are watching. Right now they are having a blast playing in the rainy back yard while Ricky is home base on the patio. They want to be with us or asleep. And they sleep in their beds.

Teenagers vs. toddlers.

Enough said.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Easy come, easy go

Lately, more people have been asking how I'm doing.

It has been three months since my colon surgery. It is fair to say I have made a complete recovery.

That doesn't mean there aren't one or two lingering "issues," some of which may linger for the foreseeable future, perhaps the rest of my life.

According to my surgeon, cut upon colons stay a little cranky, and mine certainly is no exception. The silver lining is that I can permanently retire the bathroom plunger.

I can live with that.

(And if you haven't scheduled your colonoscopy yet, what are you waiting for, my friends?)