Friday, April 24, 2009


It's Friday morning, and I'm already predicting this won't be one of my most productive days. I'm exhausted from all the work I did last night for Tick Remediation 2009.

It all started last week when Branden found a tick on my dog Jock. (He's the one on the left in the picture there.) He removed it, and we didn't think much else about it. Two nights ago, I was watching a movie (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, if you must know) on the couch. After it was over, I got up to tuck the corners of the slipcover back in (it NEVER stays in place)...and found a tick, right there on the couch! EW EW EW EW!!
That was IT for me, and I do mean IT. I stripped the slipcover off the couch immediately, and threw it and the blanket into the washer. Then I made a Plan of Attack.
Plan of attack began last night with a trip to Petropolitan, our favorite (and only) downtown pet shop. I talked to the owner, Chris, for a while and he pointed me in the direction of the flea & tick shampoo I'd want. After a quick stop at the grocery store to pick up vitamins and kitty litter (unrelated to TR '09), I headed back home and steeled myself for what was ahead.
Bathing dogs really isn't that big of a deal, normally. Pepper is actually pretty good at it, from his years as a show dog. Baths for him used to mean showtime, so even now he's pretty good about complying. Jock, on the other hand, has never enjoyed getting wet, and last night was no exception. After struggling with him for a bit, I finally got him into the tub, and then it was a battle of wills to keep him there. Once he got wet, he was mostly resigned to the fact that he was stuck there. Then the fun part came...the part where I had to leave the shampoo on for 15 minutes. Of course I knew I couldn't trust him to stay put, so I stayed right there next to him.
Let me tell you, toilets do not make good seats for 15 minutes. But I did get some reading done while I thwarted his attempts at escaping. When it came to be Pepper's turn, he was a bit more cooperative and mostly resigned to the fact that he had to stay there, soaking wet, until I said it was time. He even laid down at one point. Probably thought "Might as well make myself comfortable."
After the dogs were taken care of, it was on to the rest of the house. I already had the dog bedding in the washer. I went ahead and filled the sink with dishes to let them soak while I tackled the floors (we wash our dishes by's a water conservation thing that Branden started, and it gets the dishes cleaner than our dishwasher can anyway). On to the floors...I hauled the vacuum cleaner down the stairs and vacuumed the entire downstairs, including the hardwood floors. Got a lot of dog hair cleaned up too, so that was an added bonus.
After all of that, plus doing the dinner dishes, I was ready to crash. I landed on the couch (still sans slipcover...Branden agreed to put that back on for me), and enjoyed the root beer I had purchased earlier at the grocery store. Phew! What a night!
The upside of all this is that it offered a tiny little glimpse into how I might be as a parent, and I'd say I passed this test. I was pretty proud of myself after all was said and done. I know it's small in the grand scheme of things, but I felt good about it.
In other news, Branden's ACL surgery is next Wednesday, and it looks like he'll be off work until at least May 11. I know he's going to get bored & restless around the if anyone has any suggestions I could pass along to him of things he could do while laying around, feel free to post them in the comments! Note: We don't have cable TV, so that's just a slight challenge.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Belated Easter Post

I'm finally getting around to sharing the pictures from our trip to Midland last weekend. It was a great and relaxing vacation. We left Thursday evening, and were there almost three full days before we headed back on Sunday evening. Without further ado, here are some pictures from our trip!

Jock and Pepper, hangin' out in the back seat:

On the road:

Niece Haley, throwing down a rhyme (Yo!):

We had the pleasure of going out to the movies, thanks to my father-in-law's bunch of free movie tickets. It was also little Haley's first movie. At the age of 3 1/2, she did a wonderful job of paying attention and behaving. The movie was Monsters Vs. Aliens in 3-D. Here are Branden and I in our groovy glasses:

Haley, before the movie:

A big storm moved in while we were watching the movie. This huge tumbleweed was waiting for us in the driveway when we got back:

Sunday morning, it was time to go hunt Easter Eggs. Haley was ready!:

The Hunt:
Victorious! Haley found all 25 eggs. Me, Branden, Haley and her mom/Branden's sister, Rae:

I'm a big fan of quality family time, and that's precisely what this trip provided. I'm very lucky that I married into such a great family. My in-laws are all wonderful people, and they welcomed me with open arms on my very first trip to Midland, exactly three years before this one. I'll never forget my introduction to the parents of my then-boyfriend of only three months. It was his dad's birthday, and Rae had me carry the cake in to his parents house. Our visit was a surprise - and imagine the surprise when I pressed the cake a little too close to my chest as I carried it up the steps, and walked in to meet them with icing on my boob! It couldn't have been a more perfect introduction!

Harry Potter contest!

Super exciting announcement alert!
My friend Smash is hosting a "Harry Potter Revisited" contest over on her blog, Great Books and Fresh Coffee. I'm not going to repost all the instructions, so you should just go check it out on her blog! And if you decide to participate (which you should, you way should, because the prizes are Awe.Some.)...please tell Smash that I referred you, because I myself am also participating! And no, there are no advantages to be a friend of the blogger. I'm on even it's every HP Fan for themselves! Ready...and...GO!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

We have a date!

A surgery date, that is!
For those of you who don't know, my husband Branden tore his ACL on November 18 of last year. He was on duty at the time, as a bike officer for the Downtown Safety Patrol. Something like this:

(That's him on the left, actually, in a promo photo taken before November 18).

The injury occured when he was struggling with a homeless guy who decided he wanted to be beligerant. The dude started swinging at Branden, who was wrestling with his heavy glove so he could get to the trigger on his pepper spray. Long story short, Branden moved wrong while trying to keep the guy off him, and POP! His ACL tore clean through, like this:

The injury couldn't have been more clear-cut - he was in uniform, in the line of duty, and has numerous documents to back up his case, including a police report, a Safety Patrol report, a pre-employment physical, and a doctor's report from that day. And yet, it has still taken almost five months of wrangling with worker's comp insurance (a pox on your house, Texas Mutual!) to get this surgery scheduled. I could go on and on, but let's just say that the journey included innumerable phone calls between Branden, his doctor, his local insurance contact, and a claims adjuster out of state. And multiple denials of the claim...he counted three or four total, before finally getting approval two weeks ago. It's been a hot mess, but the end is in sight.

Oh, what's the date, you ask? April 29.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Midland trip...a Preview

Branden and I made the trip out to Midland to visit his family for Easter. We left after work on Thursday and got to spend almost three whole days there, which seemed like a luxury after some of our previous in-and-out quicktrips. We had a great time, and I have several pictures to share, but I don't have time to post them tonight. Instead, I'll leave you with this teaser video of our niece Haley making a card for her GrandPoppy's birthday, which was Friday. Isn't she a doll?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Haven't said much lately

As I told one family member who was requesting more frequent blog entries, I'm not much on blogging unless I feel like I have something to say. Often, my life feels pretty routine, so I don't bother to post. But how am I to know what might be interesting to you, dear blog readers? So herein follows a list of what I've been up to lately.

1. Reading. Lots of that. Right now I'm enjoying Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty, having just finished Sloppy Firsts earlier this week. They're fun books, and though it took me a while to get into the first one, I'm hooked now and I can't wait to keep going. There are five of them so far - yay! I love it when I can really get invested in a character or set of characters and follow them through time.

2. Watching Amazing Race. I just discovered that CBS has full episodes available online, and I'm already caught up to the broadcast schedule. This has been a really fun season, with lots of good teams I felt like I could root for, and so far none that I really hate. I think my favorite team is Luke & Marge, and my favorite task has been one from the very first episode - hauling 50 lb blocks of cheese down a steep hill. Hilarity.

3. Celebrating. My work-friend Julia is getting married tonight. (YAY!) I was in charge of putting on her work shower. I had some great help, and together with my team was able to pull off a wonderful celebration, with a "Dish Ran Away with the Spoon" theme, stemming from the fact that her new last name will be Spoon! We had spoon decor of all types, and for part of her present, I went out and found every single spoon they had registered for and bought them all! Along with that, I have also attended a "Stock the Bar" shower and her bachelorette party, which was last night. I wasn't able to stay out late, since I had to work today, but it was great getting to meet and hang out with all her wonderful friends from all over the country. I know her wedding tonight is going to be wonderful, and I'm really excited to attend.

Of course, I've done much more with my time than just those three things, but those are some highlights. Sorry for the lack of pictures...hopefully my wonderful narrative will be enough to sate your appetite for Courtney-news. 'Til next time...