Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hello World! I've really had my nose to the grindstone this past month. Honestly, there just aren't enough hours in the day.

We've been working diligently on schoolwork. So far, (knock on wood) we are on target to finish up 1/2 of our workbooks in December. Hooray! If we keep up this pace, we will definitely have a long summer. :)

Weekends have been filled with "honey-do's". I've actually taken to making a list and checking things off as they are completed. No room for slacking here my friend. Just been trying to get things organized. No major projects, just unglamourous tasks that need completing. Such as, purging filing cabinets, winterizing yard, transplanting annual plants to new flowerbeds for the spring growing season, trimming shrubs, replacing outdoor light fixtures, etc. (Snooze fest!) Sorry, told you it wasn't exciting stuff. The boys ride bikes or play basketball as we grown-ups work. Ah, to be young again. Or single, is what Ricardo is probably thinking. LOL! Ricardo isn't a project planner like yours truly. :)

Speaking of Ricardo, the new job is going well so far. The first paycheck cleared- so we're off to a good start. :) He is having to build a credit/collection program from the ground up. So, he has his work cut out for him. Meanwhile the company is burning thru money like crazy, so he has to get it coming in quickly. So, it's exciting and stressful at the same time. But when things get too crazy, he can take a moment to collect himself and gaze out at this:

Nice view huh?! He gave up having an office with no view at his old job for a cubicle with a view now. I'd take a great view any day. How about you?

I've been hitting the weights pretty hard again. Building up some muscle tone. At least I hope that is what it is. The number on the scale isn't changing much, (in fact some days it's more than the day before) but I'm starting to see some nice definition from my efforts. I say it's from the weights, may be from all the dang digging and planting I've been doing. Ricardo is playing tennis 3x a week. But now that it is no longer 105 degrees out, we've been walking together in the evenings twice a week for 45 min-1 hour. I really look forward to those outting's to reconnect and just be sans kiddos for a minute. Does that make me sound horrid?

We watched a WONDERFUL family movie on FMN (family movie night) a few weeks ago. "Hachi : A Dog's Tale" A true story about a dog's love and loyalty. So beautiful! I highly recommend it.

And has anyone else watched/ become addicted to Nip/Tuck? I started downloading it on my pc off netflix. I allow myself to watch 1 episode a day as a little treat. I still have to squeeze my eyes shut during most of the surgery scenes; but the show itself is really good. Anyone else seen it? Anyone? Buehler???

Well gotta get dinner served, oldest off to church youth group, Ricardo off to tennis and take youngest with me to find a new dog bed this evening. A thrill a minute I tell ya! Will put posting on my list of things to do again soon. Or after reading this you're probably thinking..."don't bother, I can fall asleep on my own. Really!!! " LOL!

Daily 3:

Grateful for my family.
Grateful for our home.
Grateful for the release that exercise brings. Amen!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My New Favorite Kibble

You know, I like to share the latest and greatest things that I've discovered. So please allow me to present my favorite new dog food. Not that I've partaken of it. I mean to say, let me present my dogs' favorite new food and the many reasons why I too think it is fabuloso. Behold:


1. My dogs don't just eat it. They INHALE it! They are so busy devouring it, that they no longer do the eat and stroll around the house bit. You know, leaving bits of kibble throughout the entire house for you to step on with your bare feet or smush with your shoes. But maybe that's just my dogs. Or more accurately, my Mastiff Harlow, with the severe underbite. But I digress.

2. All natural. If we befall upon hard(er) times, I feel good knowing that I can eat way healthier than we currently are, just by pouring some of their kibble in a bowl and adding some milk!

3. Ella's allergies and itching-GONE in less than a week.

4. NO upset stomach or intestinal distress from switiching over to this brand. None. Nada. Zilch.

5. And lastly, tho not most insignificantly, the poo. What can I say about the poo?!!! Except, it is soooo condensed and compact and healthy looking! And trust me if you la poop scoop after 2 large dogs and one mini me pocket pet, you really come to appreciate petite, dainty poop!!!

So, if you have a pet with allergies, or a finicky eater, are wanting a healthy dogfood or just want a new cereal for the breakfast table, I highly recommend Blue Wilderness Salmon Flavor Dog Food. Salute!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

'Deadliest Catch' stars reportedly quit the show - MSN TV News

'Deadliest Catch' stars reportedly quit the show - MSN TV News

Oh ,Say it ain't so!!! The heart and soul of the show- I miss you guys already!!!

Endings and New Beginnings

Today is Ricardo's last day at his current job. Tomorrow he starts fresh with a new company. We all knew it would happen sooner or later. The writing was on the wall. In big ol' graffiti block letters.

Let me get you caught up to speed. Let's review the time table, shall we:

21 days ago Ricardo interviewed with a company who found his resume online. The interview went well.

19 days ago, the company requested permission to do a criminal background and reference check on aforementioned husband.

16 days ago the aforementioned company asked the aforementioned husband if he would work for them. Husband said he would consider it and get back to them the following day.

15 days ago, on the day that Ricardo was to give his decision, his current boss called him into his office for a "meeting." The shit met shinola. "Disagreement" "Discussion" those words would be understated. Things were said. Things that cannot be taken back. Things that could perhaps be forgiven over time, but never forgotten.

Ricardo up until this point didn't know if he really wanted to take the new job. He honestly prayed for God to give him guidance in his decision. For a sign if you will. God delivered. The meeting was a sign alright. Message received loud and clear.

So, 14 days ago Ricardo turned in his resignation. Which leads us up to today. The final day of his 2 week notice. Out with the old. In with the new.

Tomorrow he will fly to Los Angeles for 2 days where the company has an office. After that he will be working locally, with occasional travel. The job is 25% travel. They have offices in LA, Texas, Australia and the Philippines. Anyone want to guess which location he will be jaunting to the most?......

That's right! The Philippines! He will be in charge of hiring a staff over there and monitoring them. Interesting. Very, very interesting.

So, we shall see where this new fork in the road leads. It could be an absolute great opportunity. Or not. Guess time will tell. I'm trying to be supportive and optimistic.

I'm also trying to get everything organized for his new job. New clothes, shoes, luggage. Which means I've been busy ordering needed items and doing up laundry for his first trip to sunny California. Thus the lack of blogging. Between being supportive wife, mother extraordinaire, and Teacher of the month, there hasn't been a lot of down time.

Change can be scarey. But, change was definitely needed in this instance. I'll try keep everyone updated on how things are going as I know more.

Now on a much lighter note.....

Many of you have wondered and thousands have asked: "Stac, WHY on earth don't you have a cooking section in your blog?!"

Exhibit A:

The sheetcake. (Pronunciation: substitute short i rather than long e sound.)Sadly, no tampering of photoshopping was done. This is the actual cake BEFORE anyone had eaten any. Honestly, my baking skills are so subpar, my slogan should read : Stacy D Briefing- Home of the Ugly Cake! I'm free for catering your next Birthday party or shindig. Let me know! :O

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What a day!!!!

I'm going to try to describe the type of day we've had. Try. Let me just preface it by saying we are suffering the backlash of Hurricane/ Tropical Storm Hermine. Torrential rains moving thru the area. We've gotten 6.92 inches of rain so far today. Another 1-2 inches are expected. Pouring buckets. Big ol' buckets. Winds 30-40mph. Quite breezy to say the least. Got your mental picture? Okay, I'll proceed.

Despite the weather, it was Maestro's day to be groomed. Luckily, I didn't have to venture out. We have one of those services that come in a van right to your home. Quick. Convenient. Safe....Or so I thought.

At the end of the grooming service, the grooming van somehow popped out of gear. Started rolling forward towards our row of Arizona Cypress trees and the neighbor's fence behind it. The groomer jumped out of the back of the van, hopped into the front and got the van put in park with just inches to spare. Closely averting disaster. Yet, not fully.

In his haste to stop the vehicle, he left the side door open. Maestro jumped out of the moving van and took off running. In the rain. The torrential flipping rain.

I get a knock at the door. Instead of being handed my dog, I hear: "Maestro jumped out of the van and has run off!!!" Oh, you have no idea.

The feeling of fear for your pet. The feeling of deja-vu having lost a dog once before in similar weather conditions and never having found him. The feeling of utter dismay because you thought having your dog groomed in your driveway was perfectly safe.

I ran out of the house full throttle and started calling and searching for him. I search for 15 minutes before returning to the house. I figured at this point, I should really check back in with my unattended children. Make sure they are doing okay. Notify them what was going on. Give them specific instructions as what to do in my absence. And what not to do. Oh yeah, and put on some flippin' shoes and grab a rain coat. OY! I can't even do justice as to how wet I was. Although, I barely noticed with all the excitement.

I grabbed some shoes, my rain coat and called Ricardo to come home and help in the search. I notified Home Again Pet Recovery, as well as the neighborhood via e-mail. Then, I grabbed Ella and took her out in the torrential rain. Thinking that if Maestro could see or smell her, it might give him a sense of security and flush him out. Although, Ella is a wonderful dog, she is not a bloodhound. She got his scent took off after it, and then quickly lost it. Guess we won't be signing her up for search and rescue work anytime soon.

I could go on and on about what happened and all the chaos that ensued. There was the groomer, me, my husband, Ella, and the groomers boss who traveled 30 miles from his home to join in the search.

2 1/2 hours later. Maestro was found. The boss man found him wedged between 2 fences. I can't even describe it. He definitely found a semi safe haven. He was still exposed to the elements, but not prey to larger dogs or other danger. Nope. He had found himself a snug hideout. Not enough room to walk back and get him out. We once again had to use Ella to give him the courage to walk towards us. It took an additional 15 minutes. He was scared, shaking and hunkered down in absolute fear. Finally, after much cajoling, he came towards Ella and me. And we grabbed him. Although, holding on to him was a difficult task indeed. We were all wet. Not to mention caked in mud.

With 2 grooming vans now on sight, Maestro went back into one for a re-bath. And now that Ella was dripping wet and sloshed with mud and muck, she went into the other with the owner of the grooming service. I could only hope that there would be no further excitement upon exiting the van. But at this point I didn't dare place a bet. Who would have thought that a van could pop out of gear and a dog would jump out of a grooming van to begin with?!

While this additional hour of grooming was taking place, Ricardo and I took our turns showering as well. He had to get back to work. I had to sit down because my legs were shaking so bad, I didn't think I could stand much longer.

It's been an hour since all the hub-bub concluded. Maestro has quit shaking, as have I. But we are both just toast. What a day!

The outcome of the story was a happy one. Anyone who has ever lost a pet knows it doesn't always end this way. I'm thankful. Grateful beyond belief. And relieved that no one was hurt as well. Needless to say, the grooming (and regrooming) for both dogs today was free. But having our pup home safe and sound, not having to tell my children we might not find our dog, or having to tell them he was hurt, that is PRICELESS!!!

Today's Daily 3:

1. I'm grateful for all the help in finding our pup.

2. I'm thankful that all of my pets are microchipped in case the unexpected (or unbelieveable) happens.

3.I'm grateful that I stayed calm, cool and collected during this ordeal. I amazed even myself.(I'm not sure if the groomer knows just how grateful he should be... but he should be reaalllly grateful) Had the outcome been any different, all my future posts would have been from a prison cell.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Got Wood?

In our quest to replace the flooring thru-out the house, we have now completed our second room. Hooray! We do one room at a time. We have 18 months to pay it off interest free. Then, we start on the next room. I have tabulated that it will take 9 years to complete our home. But, who cares. It's only time. And it helps build patience. And character. :)

Anyhow, the lucky recipient of room makeover #2 was Ol' Blue Eyes. I didn't get before shots. (Of course.) But here are shots of the freshly laid floor:
Here is a sample of the dust that accumulated on the ceiling and walls (as they did all the sawing of the pieces in the room instead of outside. Oy-Vey!) :
I cannot tell you how LONG it took to get all the dust up. I had to vacuum the walls people! Yet, it was worth it I must admit. But, don't take my word for it. Have a gander for yourself:
Viola! I'm so pleased and thankful. And Blue Eyes is over the moon excited by his room. Poor Baby said nothing of having to wait 3 summers with dark gray paint splattered on his old carpet from his Mom's "oopsie mishaps" while painting his ceiling. But, I digress. I'm amazed at how much better his allergies are as well now. No carpet to trap dander, dust, etc.
Anyhow, that's our latest renovation project. Check back in anther 18 months for the next room make-over. :)
*Oops, forgot my daily 3* So here goes:
1. I am grateful to spend everyday with my children.
2. That I get to hear the most beautiful sound in the world daily- their laughter.
3. That my children still think it's cool when I dance with them instead of humiliating. :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What does this Symbol Mean???

I saw this on the computer yesterday. It asked "Do you know what this symbol means?" So I thought about it. I came up with several possibilities. Do you know what it means? I'll give you a minute to guess....................................................................................................................................................

It is on all 2008 or newer vehicles and it is SUPPOSED to mean low tire pressure. Who knew? (Guess those amongst us who drive a new vehicle. LOL!) Now, we all know. Please share: What were your guesses? In the spirit of full disclosure, here's mine:

My 1st thought was: "Hmmmm, it reminds me of the stomach of the guy off the Operation Game." Cause it looks like a stomach with an exclamation mark in the middle. Don't you concur? (Or perhaps that's just what I saw on MY ink blotter...;)

My second thought was "It could mean I'm sooo full it hurts!" (Cause it definitely looks bloated. Don't you think?...again, maybe it's just MY interpretation, as I often feel like this) Then, I laughed and thought: ..."Warning: Gas Ahead!" Or maybe it is a public service announcement of some sort....Let's see: A symbol for bloating, exclamation mark....I've got it: "PMS AHEAD!!! THE NEXT WEEK WILL BE HAZARDOUS TO EVERYONE AROUND YOU!"

By this point the real answer didn't even matter anymore. I was just totally enjoying the possibilities. I'm just like that. Easily amused. Or a dork. pOtAtO/ pa-tah-to . But at any rate, I'm now thinking: can you IMAGINE the possibilities I could conceive at a therapists office with their ink blots?! (Soooo couldn't take that seriously.) A shrink's dream/nightmare (given their sense of humor or lack there of. I'm guessing the latter.) I can just hear it now as they lead me away in my nice, crisp, white jacket: "Stac, I now pronounce you, certifiable. Imaginative. Humorous. Yet, nuts just the same!" ;)

Today's Daily 3:

1. I'm grateful for the ability to find humor in things that other's don't, wouldn't or shouldn't find funny.

2. Puffy white clouds on a clear day. Beautiful!

3. To have known the love of several excellent dogs in my lifetime.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Things I Enjoyed this Summer...And the Beginning of the Daily 3

As the summer comes to an end, I thought I would share how I spent some of my "off-time."
I started this book in April:
I finished it at the end of May. I must admit, at the time I was struggling to focus and finish it. But, I'm glad I did. Truly a life changing book. If you read it and apply some of the changes she suggests, you will be amazed at the difference in yourself. Honest. I feel so much better. Better than I have in a long time. All because I can relax again. Whew! It feels great!
And because I am soooooo relaxed, I could enjoy a few other fun reads this summer like:
I'm a nerd. If I like a book, I'll read it over and over. I read this one last summer as well. I pulled it out again this summer...and it STILL had me laughing out loud. If you are looking for a fun read-give this one a whirl!
Another book I found so intriguing:

One Thousand White Women. It is based on "what if." What if the government had traded 1000 White Women to the Indians in exchange for 1000 horses and a peace agreement back in the day. It is written in diary form. I really enjoyed it. Very thought provoking. And the characters will stay with you long after you close the book.
Speaking of books in Diary form:

Excellent! A woman who has been abducted for a year and is trying to get her life back. She narrates thru sessions with her therapist. Not a lighthearted read; but a good one. Makes you realize how strong the human spirit and the fight for survival is.
And if the thought of being abducted doesn't scare the crap out of you enough...

READ THIS ONE!!! Holy crappers! I'm forever nervous about being "in the system" now. You won't EVER look at donating blood the same way again. Promise! :)
Now this has nothing to do with any of the above, except I like them and wanted to share with you.

I don't like gummie candy. At all. But THESE are really the bomb! I actually look forward to taking them every morning. And secretly wish I could have more than two. :)
And for some more not so guilty pleasure:

I buy these at our local health food store. They are a nice alternative to chocolate cake, brownies, and muffins. So when you want to indulge a little, you can. Not like the real thing mind you; but, not bad. Not bad at all.
So there you have it. A short list of things that I spent my summer indulging in. Just thought I'd share.
And for a final note:
I'm going to make a change on this and all future posts. In keeping with my de-stressing way of life and for appreciating all that I have in my life- I will begin listing 3 things that I am grateful for that day at the end of every post. Big things or small. Just my way of reflecting on, and acknowledging all I have to be grateful for. So here goes...
3 Things I am Grateful for Today:
1. That my family and myself are all healthy, happy and together.
2. The absolute, complete feeling of a relaxing sanctuary that my bedroom brings me every day.
3. The hummingbirds that come to my yard thru-out the day. Truly beautiful, graceful, fun creatures to watch and enjoy! Well Done Big Guy-Well Done!

Monday, August 16, 2010


Ricardo can now add 3 more letters behind his name, CCE. He got the results back on his exam today. All those months of studying paid off. He passed. Hooray! Now he joins the elite crowd of fellow business pros who have this certification. (I think it is less than 10% of credit professionals who have this certification-But don't quote me on the exact number...cause numbers are Ricardo's biz not mine. :)

Anyhow, "The Board of Examiners" sent his test results to his office. They also sent him a plaque to acknowledge his achievement. As well as e-mailing his boss to let him know what Ricardo accomplished . (Although, I'm sure his boss will once again not give kudos where kudos are deserved. But I digress.)

So here's to you Ricardo to celebrate all your hard work and success! "Well Done! Woof! Woof!" Your family thinks your great with or without all those letters behind your name. Salute!