Sunday, September 30, 2012

Clean Slate Sunday: 9.30.12 edition

Sunday evening again. Time to reset for the week ahead.

I can hardly remember this past week. Partly because it was incredibly busy. But mostly, I think, because I haven't been sleeping well due to this chronic cough/stuffiness/wheezing thing I have going on. No worries - I'm not on my deathbed. I just sound like a 400-pound, three-pack-a-day smoker trying to run a marathon. And that's at 10 o'clock at night when I'm trying to go to sleep.

I wish I were kidding.

So it's time to call the doctor. Even though I have a sneaky suspicion that whenever I can get into the office this respiratory thing will magically disappear. Because that's what happens: I'm fine one minute, then I'm coughing up a lung the next. I kinda' already have it in my head that I have asthma or something similar (like ... I dunno, what's similar to asthma without actually being asthma?) and since it's been getting worse over the past few years, I'm pretty sure it is a result of breathing in the dust that exploded in my face when my car's airbag deployed in a crash in 2008. Or maybe not. Regardless, I need to do something about it, because this is a pretty crappy way to live.

I'll revisit the topic when I know more.

Incidentally, last night I had the best night of sleep I've had in a long time. So I elected to skip church this morning and stick close to home. I ended up making a long list and going to the grocery store. Not so close to home, but it was a necessary task and I feel good having it done for the week.

Miraculously there is nothing on my calendar for this week, except to help serve Sam's football team dinner on Tuesday evening, and then go to his game on Wednesday - and fortunately it's a home game. Hopefully my days don't fill in too much so I have plenty of time to work around the house ... because I have a never-ending list of projects to complete, along with the regular household tasks.

And puppy training. We mustn't forget the puppy training.

And holy smokes, it'll be October tomorrow! Wow.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Quick update.

I'm here! I feel like I have really neglected my blog lately - which mostly means family and friends who don't see my occasional posts on Facebook might not be as up-to-date on the goings-on of the Pipe Lifers as when I am blogging regularly. For shame.

Well. The business of life continues. Big highlight: Sam shot a beautiful 9-pt. buck during the youth hunt weekend here in Michigan. I will pick it up from the meat processor next week, and will take the head/hide to a taxidermist. We decided to have it mounted for him - Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas for like, the next three years, kid! OK, not really. But close.

And here's the "Pipe Life" part of the story ... Steve made arrangements to come home and take Sam out hunting over the weekend, but they didn't have any luck. Steve had to head back to Detroit Sunday afternoon, but Sam still had the opportunity to hunt that evening. His Uncle Tom took him out, and that's when Sam shot this deer. I was (and still am) so happy for our boy, but gosh I sure wish Steve had been here to be a part of it, and to see this beautiful deer. Especially since the same thing happened last year, except I was the one with Sam when he took his 4-point. Ah well. Thank God for e-mail and texts and the good ol' telephone.

In other news, Gunnar the puppy is growing like a weed. He is in that puppy "teenager" stage where his legs are long and lanky and he hasn't quite grown into those big ears. His fur is getting shiny - losing that puppy fuzziness - and he is so handsome. Smart, too. Almost too smart for his own good. Some days it's a darn good thing he's that cute. *ahem* And he and Ladybug are getting along splendidly.

A rare "still" moment.

Rachel has started another busy year of Girl Scouts (her Troop will be walking in the Homecoming parade tonight) and is looking forward to signing up for a rec basketball league soon. Sam is halfway through football season (he would want me to mention his team is 3-0) and while he's not getting as much play time as he would like, he is learning a lot about the game, about working together as a team, and his overall health is improving with all that activity.

There's so much more to mention but I said quick update, so I'll stop there. It's Friday and I have errands to run and stuff to do. Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Clean Slate Sunday: 9.16.12 edition

Here we are two weeks into the school year and I'm finally getting a handle on the whole routine again. Last week I had something going on every day in addition to having to pick Sam up from football practice every evening and attending his game on Wednesday, and by Friday night my brain and my nerves were fried. Fortunately we had an easy weekend and I was able to spend most of it at home catching up on a few things I had neglected during the week. Shoot, I didn't even get out of my pajamas on Saturday.

Now it's Sunday night and I am rejoicing in the calm and quiet. When the kids went to bed I turned off the lights and headed to my room, too. I have one dog snoring at the foot of the bed, a cat snuggled up next to her, the puppy asleep in his crate in the corner, and me with clean sheets and PJ's and my laptop. And peace.

It's been a while since I've done a Clean Slate Sunday post, but I would like to get back into the habit. Sunday nights have historically been one of my favorite times of each week - a time when we settle in early, prepare for the week ahead and look forward to new beginnings. My CSS posts began as a way for me to review what I had accomplished over the past few days and make a plan for the coming week. I need at least that much structure in my life. Planning is good. Lack of planning, not so good.

So I'm looking forward to the week ahead. It will be busy, but the calendar isn't quite so crowded as it was last week. I'm happy I will have a little more time to be at home taking care of business, doing some cleaning, and lots of puppy training. We're working on the basics right now: sit, stay, come, down, that kind of stuff. And continuing housebreaking, of course. It's been interesting doing all this with the puppy while still trying to accomplish some of those basics with a stubborn old hound dog who still has terrible manners. (Not for lack of us trying, either.) But for the most part it's great having two dogs in the house. They have become fast friends and they play and play and play until they wear each other out or we put them in separate corners, which is what usually happens. Only because we get sick of the barking. Because apparently chasing each other around the furniture, playing tug-o-war with toys or terrorizing the cats isn't enough. We must also make noise! Aye yi yi. We're working on teaching them to use their inside voices. But there again, we've been trying to get Ladybug to stop barking when told to for four years now. So far? FAIL. That whole hunting/barking thing is pretty deeply engrained in that one.

Anywho, I've been trying to get a picture of these dogs roughhousing over the past couple of days because they look so stinkin' funny. Gunnar pulls his lips back and shows those vicious puppy teeth, and Ladybug basically pins him to the floor by the neck. He pulls a sneak attack and nibbles at her hind legs, so she whips around and chases him until he squeezes into the space between the back of the couch and the wall (which will be impossible - or at least much tougher - for him in a couple months). I got a dozen pictures with two black-and-tan blurs, a couple videos with lots of barking going on, and this:

The panting puppy with crazy alien eyes, poised to defend himself against the howling hound.

It's a pretty accurate picture of our days lately. It's like the canine UFC around here. Last pup standing gets the peanut butter-filled Kong. Or something like that. Fun times.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A prayer for my children.

 Rachel, all color-coordinated and ready for the first day of school!
Big brother would not allow a First Day picture. So uncool, mom.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gifts of Sam and Rachel. Please watch over my children and keep them safe as I send them out into the world today. I pray they will be beacons of light to others. Guide them with Your hand and help them to make wise choices, have a positive outlook, and be respectful. Keep their minds open to learning, both from their books and through relationships.

Bless all the people who care for our children throughout the day: the school bus driver, their teachers and administration, the lunch ladies, playground aides and coaches. May they each have a heart for teaching, and lots and lots of grace.

Lord, thank you for the opportunity to be a homemaker. I look to You to help me make the most of my time so that at the end of the day I am focused on simply loving my children and giving them a comfortable place to call "home."

And thank you for the rain. May it be a sign of new beginnings and fresh starts. Amen.