Friday, March 28, 2008

The Puppies are Out to Get Me!

I was chilling here in bed with my laptop, logging into the blog to write an entry about how generally good of a day it was, when suddenly Zoey curls up suspiciously close to me -- the kind of I'm-getting-as-close-to-you-as-possible-so-you'll-think-I'm-cute-and-forgive-me close. Two seconds later I smell that all-too-familiar eau de Zoey. She peed on the bed! And I had just taken her out an hour ago.

So, after taking her outside (potty-training sucks), stripping the comforter and sheets, cleaning them off and putting them on the porch to dry, and pouting about my newly-stained mattress, I am back here with my laptop. The puppies are, of course, sleeping sweetly beside me now, as though the thought of doing anything bad is completely beyond them. Cockers are notoriously hard to potty train (and we don't know that she had any potty-training in the six months before we adopted her), but Zoey is doing relatively well. She's generally a very good puppy (and about as sweet as they get.) Then there are days like today, when I come home to this:

Let me decipher this for you: Among this pile of destruction is one of the linen napkins from our dining table (not sure how they managed that one), a set of our decorative wooden chopsticks, Gearry's 2-CD culinary instruction set, and a couple sheets of math problems that I worked on while studying for my test.

It's part of having a puppy, and part of us refusing to put her in a crate while we're gone, so it's just part of life. But I'm kind of over cleaning up messes. You don't want your puppy to grow up, but at the same time -- you're ready for your puppy to grow up! (Yes, I attribute most of this to Zoey. I'm pretty sure she "starts things" and then Bailey probably joins in to help. My friend Tasheena at work joked that I should get a "puppy cam," like a "nanny cam.")

Since it's getting warmer, as soon as Gearry moves the planter from our back deck (the dogs like to dig in it when left by themselves... I mean, it's a giant dirtbox... if I was a dog, I'd LOVE to play in it, too) we're going to start leaving the dogs out there when we're gone during the day (with Gearry's and my schedule, they're only alone 3 days of the week... Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays). They'll like being able to watch all the birds and squirrels, enjoy the sunshine, etc., and I'll like not cleaning up messes (namely various chewed-up things we've accidentally left out) when I get home.

Alright, well, writing about my puppy adventures has kind of deterred me a bit from writing about my generally good day (nothing special... just nothing bad either) so I think I'm going to call it a night. Yes, it's 10:40 on a Friday and I'm only 23 years old... I should be out having fun. BUT... by some Fridays, turning in early IS fun!

Tomorrow morning I'm timing at the finish line for the IU, Dayton, Eastern Michigan regatta at Lake Lemon, IU's last home regatta of the season. Bright and early Saturday for this girl, as usual.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I passed. By a lot. I think I scored in the 98th or 99th percentile. I AM SO GLAD THAT IT'S OVER!! Now, it's just a waiting game... IU has to receive my official scores, which usually takes a few weeks to a month, and then make a decision. It's out of my hands now, which is kind of a good feeling.

Now I can go back to stressing about all the normal things I like to stress about in life :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Clinton '08!

I just got home from hearing Chelsea Clinton speak on campus and it was AWESOME. I've been a Hillary Clinton supporter since very early in this election, and even though I'm still dreaming of the day when I actually get to hear her speak, Chelsea was a nice compromise.

Unfortunately, I missed the last ten minutes because due to 1) low blood sugar and 2) the extreme amount of body heat from all those people packed into such a small area, I was about to pass out and had to make a decision: leave the rally a few minutes early or pass out in front of the former First Daughter, about 600 people and 10 television camera. I didn't "feel" like I was going to pass out; I literally was going to. Obviously leaving was the best choice.

Nevertheless, while I was there all of the issues most important to me were covered, so I left pretty satisfied. I think Hillary and I share a brain and a heart when it comes to the way we feel about the issues, everything from hate crimes to gender equality to the economy to the war in Iraq to education reform, etc., etc., etc. She's not perfect, of course. No candidate is, because it's just not possible. But she's about as perfect as I could ask for in a president, and I hope with all I have that people are able to look past their own prejudices and see the plan she has for our country. After what we've been stuck with for the last 7 or so years, ANYTHING would be an improvement. Our government is an absolute joke. But I think Hillary is the best choice to make the most improvement and hopefully turn things around.

I have a short video, but blogger is being a little ridiculous right now and won't let me post it, so I will try again later. I used my cell phone cam, so it doesn't have zoom. The person standing up is Chelsea Clinton and the guy with the microphone is Sean Astin, the actor from "Rudy," "Lord of the Rings" and "The Goonies."

Back to studying... more regular posting after my test is done on Wednesday, I promise!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Insane Couple of Weeks Ahead, Folks...

Monday, March 17th
-Uncle Larry's first of two surgeries
-Gearry's 26th birthday & St. Patrick's Day celebration

Wednesday, March 19th
-Uncle Larry's open heart surgery

Saturday, March 22nd
-Volunteering for the IU women's rowing home regatta

Wednesday, March 26th
-Praxis I exam (BIG DAY... four hour test that is pretty much the only thing standing between me and grad school.)

Saturday, March 29th
-Volunteering for last IU women's rowing home regatta

Ummmm... those are just the big standouts. Between working, volunteering at the animal shelter, studying and taking care of the furbabies, life is most definitely going to be a bit crazy. I'll try to update as much as possible, but no guarantees!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oh, Happy Day!

In the fabulousness of yesterday (sunny, 53 degrees), Gearry and I packed up the dogs, some supplies and some lunch and headed to McCormick's Creek State Park for a day hike. Bailey and Zoey are both so little, they can't walk for a crazy long time, but we managed to get in 3 or 4 miles before they completely pooped out (and us too, for that matter... those were some steep and rugged trails!).

We had a great time enjoying the walk, the weather and our Wednesday together, and I think the dogs enjoyed it, too. Lots of new things to smell and pee on. I'm pretty sure that's what they live for.

McCormick's Creek is no Spring Mill (still the best Indiana state park in my mind, hands down) but it has a lot of good trails and cool waterfalls. After our hike, we spread out some towels by our car and sat down to enjoy some french bread, organic dill goat cheese and fresh pineapple. Totally our kind of picnic lunch... tasty, fresh and no plates, bowls or utensils required!

Gearry and the puppies play by the water. Typically not a fan of water in any form, Bailey actually got in by his own doing and waded leg-deep. Zoey, of course, followed suit, since she likes to do anything her "big brother" does. Our goal for this summer is to get both of them warmed up to the idea of swimming in the lake.

The big waterfall at McCormick's Creek. All I could think of was how sweet of a swimming hole this would make in the summer. I just wanted to jump in! Of course, despite the glorious 53 degree weather outside, the water was probably just above freezing. I filled up a Nalgene for the dogs and about my froze my hand off in just the 20 seconds in was under the water.

Hmmm... somehow we both ended up wearing our old Mitchell sports sweatshirts. Gearry's is from 7th grade track and he still wears it all the time! Mine's from basketball sophomore year, and even though that was one of the worst experiences ever, the sweatshirt is still my fave.

Our pretty little girl, taking a break. We love both our dogs equally, but it is way, way easier to get good pictures of Zoey because 1) She's "apricot" and Bailey's black fur just blends into an unrecognizable blob most of the time and 2) Zoey will sit still long enough for a picture!

On Tuesday evening, Gearry's parents came up to the lake for dinner and to meet Zoey. Gearry made his amazing mushroom & spinach (plus chicken, for the meat-eaters) alfredo -- trust me, this is like no alfredo you've had before -- plus homemade garlic bread and strawberry-mushroom-balsamic tossed salad. Great food, great conversation and a great time!

Monday, March 10, 2008

I've Never Been So Glad to See the Sun!

Every single winter storm this season I've said, "I hope this is the last one!" After this weekend's nastiness, I truly, sincerely, absolutely HOPE it was the last one! It's March... when I think of March, I think of the trees beginning to bud, the sun beginning to urge everything into a nice shade of green, the air warming up a little each day with some nice t-shirt and shorts days thrown in there. When I think of March, I do NOT think of snowstorms. And cold.

The sun is shining brightly today and it's in the low to mid 40s, sparking in me a ray of hope. I love, love, love spring and summer. And maybe even fall. But winter... not so much. This week is supposed to be 40s and 50s, and even though we'll probably still have some pretty chilly (not to mention rainy) days, I'm not sure I've ever been quite so overjoyed about the change in seasons. Winter's hard when pretty much everything you love doing -- running, swimming, camping, biking, hiking, boating -- is based outside. Here's to many months ahead of doing all these things and just basking in the wonderful sunshine! *Clink clink* (That was my toasting glass).

My little family is doing great. Gearry and I don't see each other very often, but I am assuming he's doing pretty well ;) Stupid conflicting work hours. We make the best of Tuesdays, Wednesday and Sunday mornings, so I can't really complain too much. Zoey and Bailey are doing fantastic. They are getting along better than we could have imagined. Half the time they are "wrestling," the other half they are cuddled up next to one another, taking a nap (like in the first picture... Bailey's a little hard to see because he's so dark). There doesn't seem to be a lot of jealousy from either dog, so that is a pleasant surprise. Getting Zoey was definitely a good choice! And she's so smart... she's learning the whole "potty training" thing alarmingly fast. She's had one or two #1 accidents, but they've been few and far in between (and pretty much either my or Gearry's fault due to being slow to take her out) and *knock on wood * no #2 slip-ups thus far.

We are loving our fuzzy little teddy bear, and so is Bailey, so I'm very, very happy we went through with it. Except now I can't wait to leave work each day even more because I know I'm rushing home to my two little furbabies!

In other (and more important) news, my Uncle Larry's surgeries have been scheduled for Monday, March 17th and Wednesday, March 19th, at last report. Thanks to all who've asked about him. It's always a little scary going into these things, but I know everything will work out, and I know how blessed we all are that things have worked out the way they have.

Josh is home from Purdue for spring break (while all of his friends are in Cancun... he's a sad little guy) and I got to hang out with him some yesterday when I went home for the day to visit with the parents and introduce them to Zoey. He brought his road bike down from school, so we're going to try to fit in a couple (probably more like one) rides this week and coming weekend. Looking forward to breaking my bike out for spring... whoo hoo!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Meet Zoey!

Well, after six months of talking about it, Gearry and I finally went through with it yesterday... Bailey has a new sister! We've wanted to get a friend for Bailey all along and finally found him the perfect little sister, our beautiful new girl who we named Zoey (after finally convincing ourselves that we would not want to name a child this one day). Zoey is a 6 month old Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel & Poodle hybrid) and one of the happiest little dogs I've ever seen. She also has the softest fur you can imagine... it feels like cornsilk.

Here is little Zoey, the first time I met her. I volunteer at the Bloomington Animal Shelter every Saturday morning, and Zoey was the first thing I saw when I walked in this past weekend. What a nice way to start my Saturday! I've seen a lot of cute/fun/sweet/insert-adjective-here dogs since I started volunteering at the shelter back in October, but Zoey topped them all. There was something special about her, just like the first time Gearry and I saw Colby and Bailey. I snapped this picture and sent it to Gearry -- he had about the same reaction that I did, and he hadn't even seen her in person. Before I left that day, I let the staff know I might be interested and I took some time to play with Zoey in one of the empty education rooms. "Smitten" would be putting it mildly.

The picture above (Bailey using Zoey as a pillow) was just taken a few moments ago. Tuesday evening, we took Bailey to the shelter to do a "dog-to-dog interaction" so the staff could test how the two might get along. As long as they passed this "test" we had planned on taking her home that night, so we had our fingers crossed. It was a little iffy at first... Bailey actually seemed a little scared of her, which is very, very odd for such an outgoing dog. He was mostly ignoring her, again odd for him. But I think he was very nervous and overstimulated in the shelter (he was also a rescue, so I'm sure it brought back some bad memories for him)... after awhile he loosened up, and although their interactions weren't exactly warm, they were friendly enough for us to get the "OK."

By the looks of the above picture, however, you can tell that as soon as we got home, it was a different story. Bailey started acting like Bailey again, and they are getting along so well! They've been playing a ton, are learning to share toys and have been very receptive to each other. Whenever we take them for walks, they've already decided they like to be side-by-side. Right now they are both napping on the couch by Gearry.

We love our new puppy! We are happy with the decision (so far... heh heh) and Bailey seems to be, too, even though he has to share our love now (and probably isn't so happy about that part of the deal). We're trying to treat them as equally as possible, which is difficult when you're excited about a new puppy, but it's going well. Zoey is not yet potty-trained or crate-trained, so those are both big things we are working on... especially the potty-training. Sometimes it takes awhile for little dogs to catch on... and Zoey is also an "excited piddler," like when somebody comes in the door after being gone for awhile, so we have our hands full there. But it's worth it, and don't worry, I've invested in some super high-quality carpet cleaner: white vinegar and water... it really is the best for pet odors! She's a smart girl, so I'm hoping that she learns sooner than later!