Friday, December 31, 2010

This is for my dad

I stumbled upon the art of James Hance completely by accident, but I knew I struck gold after opening his page.
He is a incredibly talented artist, but I love his Star Wars stuff the most.

My favorite are his Wookiee the Chew prints. He turns Chewie into Winnie the Pooh and Han Solo into Christopher Robbin. Adorable!

I knew I had to buy something for my dad the minute I saw it so I bought two The House at Chew Corner books (one for me of course!) for Christmas.
Unfortunately buying prints back then was hard because you just had to email James and hope he got back to you, now it looks like you can actually add them to your paypal cart.
So I bought these three to test out the new way of buying (okay, not really, I just had to have them):

They'll be going in my office and probably future nursery.

Dad, I'm sure there are a lot that are catching your attention, but be sure to look at the Kessel Run in his cartoon works. Totally you.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas decor

I know it's after Christmas but I'm just getting around do doing this.

Christmas was pretty pitiful at our house this year, I wasn't in the decorating spirit because I knew I'd have to put everything away and I thought I'd have Enna's pups keeping me busy right around the time everything was coming down.

This was our Christmas tree this year, okay not really, that's a house plant that sits there year round. A Christmas tree sounded like a nightmare to me this year.
It always becomes a cat tree for Sophi and we usually end up picking it up 3 times and always fixing slouching "sophi nap spot" branches through out the season, I just didn't want to deal with it. Also John and I don't exchange gifts and gifts don't get put under the tree since Sophi rips off the paper so there was really no point to set one up. Yeah, I was feeling pretty grinchy this year.

This is my Martha Stewart moment. This is where I've hung cards for the past two Christmas seasons because I'm a freaking genius. Normally the ribbon goes all the way to the floor, but Sophi loves to rip it to shreds.
I use little push pins to hang the ribbon on the walls and then hot glue the bow onto one of the push pins. It's like a pretty present.
Then I bought the cutest, teeny, tiniest clothes pins and hang the cards on the ribbon. Again, I'm a freaking genius.
My sadly decorated fireplace. I didn't want to hang stockings because it would have just been Sophi's and mine. I haven't finished John's yet even though I've been working on it for 3 years now. I remember I have it in October, work really have on it until December and then put it away until the next October. I WILL finish it for next Christmas, along with the dogs.
P.s. I still hate this fireplace so much. I can't wait until we remodel it.
You didn't know that Jesus only had angels come visit him, did you? Well in my nativity that is the case. I just barely started collecting the pieces from the precious moments mini nativity and I didn't add to it this year. The pieces are hard to find since they're the ones that are only 2.5 inches tall. Eventually I'll have the whole set and actually make it cute instead of just setting it out.
There was also a 2008 Ballet West special edition nutcracker on the corner of this table, but Sophi knocked it off and broke it in half. Hence the shock mat.
As you can see, Sophi is like the Christmas destroyer. She swoops down like a Tie Fighter (Star Wars reference) and blasts the crap out of all my nice things. Why do I own a cat again?

Christmas lights weren't meant for us this year. The snow came too early and ruined our day after Thanksgiving tradition of putting up lights. We'll now be moving our tradition to October so we can get everything done. Also our blow up Frosty was put out but two weeks later he mysteriously "popped" (I think the neighbor kids popped him) so I put him away.
As you can see there is a space in our sidewalk lights, that is a burned out light. Three sidewalk lights have burned out this year, John replaced two and then the third one burned out and we said screw it.

What lights area missing this year: the whole tree, our blow up Christmas ornaments and Frosty.
What lights we added this year: around the door, the icicles, and inner door window lights that I didn't turn on for this picture. We bought more tree lights, but as you know, they didn't go up.
What lights we're planning for next year: net lights for our fence and big bush, lights for the pitch of our roof and chimney and possible mailbox lights.

So there you have it, our not so festive Christmas decor that will probably be taken down this weekend.

Monday, December 27, 2010

no pregnant puppy

We found out today what I've been suspecting for weeks. Enna's not pregnant.
I took the day off work (mostly cause I could) and we went to the vet at 8:50 AM and were out of there at 9:00 AM. No x-ray needed, but that's probably a good thing because it saved us $150. The vet didn't make us pay for her tummy rub (I love our new vet. After Makoa's freak out at Animal Crackers I was done. I don't care if they're cheaper) and he wants us to bring her in when she goes into heat again so he can do a fertility check.
I asked about doing A.I. next time and he said it only has about a 40% change of working so I guess that's out of the question. I really don't want to have to breed her again and I don't want to send her to Texas. Guess we'll see what our breeder says after John gets up the courage to call her.

I guess some good news is that we can get our guard dog puppy sooner now...we'll as soon as we have the money to pay for one. Also I can go to Cali sooner to visit Dana.
We're still sad, but when you have known for a couple weeks that your dog isn't pregnant the news isn't as big of a shock.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sour Cream Banana Bread + some Enna news

For the holidays I usually make baked goods for my co-workers and neighbors as gifts. This year I made a banana bread recipe that I'd never used before and it has become my all time favorite banana bread recipe.

Also for those scared to make bread because of the yeast, this recipe doesn't have any yeast!

Sour Cream Banana Bread


1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
3 cups white sugar
3 eggs
6 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking soda
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1.Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease four 7x3 inch loaf pans. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Dust pans lightly with cinnamon and sugar mixture.

2.In a large bowl, cream butter and 3 cups sugar. Mix in eggs, mashed bananas (I used my stand mixer and just cut the bananas in chunks so the mixer mashed them), sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix in salt, baking soda and hand mix in flour. Stir in nuts. Divide into prepared pans (make sure you only fill the pans half full or they'll over flow and create a big mess).
3.Bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (I had to bake mine for an hour and 10 minutes)
*the bread came out of the pans really sticky. I let it dry overnight on racks and then wrapped them in cellophane. My own loaves I slipped into big Ziploc bags and they became sticky again. I asked my co-workers and they said their bread wasn't sticky so I think cellophane is the way to store it. I also heard that it freezes really well*

The Enna news: She has an appointment Monday morning at 9 to get an xray to see if she is pregnant. Cross your fingers that she is and that she won't deliver New Year's Eve so we can go out with friends.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Anniversary part 2

Our anniversary was Wednesday the 15th and I was just taking my sweet time posting about it. Mostly because I could, there was no other reason.

We went to the Melting Pot for dinner. Neither of us had been there before, mostly because it is a pretty penny, but we decided to splurge...also John's company was paying so I wasn't going to complain. (John's got a bonus visa card and that's what we used, they really didn't say, "Hey, it's your anniversary! Pick somewhere pricey and we'll pay!")
This is the view from our booth. I'd go back to the Melting Pot just for the ambiance. The booths are really private and you can't see anyone else eating, it just has such a romantic vibe.

We got the Big Night Out meal, you get 4 courses for a hefty bill, totally worth it. You start with a cheese fondue starter with bread, fruit and veggies to dip in, then a salad that I passed on, then the main course. They bring this broth and add a kajillion things to it at your table then give you a kajillion dipping sauces that really need a color coordinated map to navigate through. Your main dipping items can vary depending on how much you spend, we went with lobster tail (John's favorite), duck, fillet mignon (my favorite), peppered steak strip, shrimp and chicken. All your meat arrives uncooked, you skewer it and put it in the broth for a few minutes to cook. Along with your meat your also get veggies, but I just stuck with the meat.
Next comes dessert, we got a creme brulee white chocolate with strawberries, marshmallows, rice krispies, cheesecake and pound cake to dip. It was heavenly. We spent about 2 1/2 hours eating, make sure you plan about the same amount of time if you go.

After dinner we strolled up to temple square where we had a horse drawn carriage waiting for us.
 Well it was waiting for us a half hour after we got to temple square, I booked it for 8:30 so I knew we'd have enough time to eat but we got there early so we wandered temple square for a smidgen.

So all my pictures kept turning out blury and I couldn't figure out why for the life of me, later I remembered that my camera has a night setting and that's why. Yes, I did go to college for photography, why do you ask? Enjoy the stupid pictures anyway!

This would be such a pretty picture if A) it wasn't freaking blurry and B) the light pole wasn't in it.

 These next pictures are from when we were on the carriage. Again blurry.
I was super mad at these people, it took me 4 tries to get this picture not blurry and on the only good picture they decide to walk in it. Thanks ever so much, stupid heads. If I had photo shop on this computer you'd be outahera!

If you squint your eyes and tilt your head a little to the left they don't look so blurry.

 In the end the carriage ride was only so-so. I don't know if it was just that our horse was super slow but we didn't go to the Gallivan's Plaza like the website said and there really aren't that many lights outside of temple square. Also our driver blabbed the whole time which equals not romantic at all. The reason why there's no picture of John and my face all squished together is because I felt rude holding the camera in front of our driver's face while he talked to us. 
After the carriage ride our driver talked with us for 45 minutes and every time I tried to politely end the conversation and leave he'd start up another topic. 
I'm glad we did the carriage ride because I had never been on one before, but I don't think I'll ever do one again. So not worth $50 bucks.  

So there you have it, our anniversary low down.
For gifts John got me a Kindle that I've mentioned to him that I wanted 235,765 times, he also made the nicest maple box to store it in. I'd take a picture of it, but Makoa is locked up in our room because John has a friend over and he'll start crying loudly again if I go in there.
I got John the most bad ass ring...if you're a carpenter.

The ring has blood wood and silver inlaid into it! yeah, coolest ring IN THE WORLD!!! I got it from an etsy shop called jewelrybyjohan. They have lots of cool rings, go look if you have time. I had the hardest time narrowing down choices and even now I want to go buy more, but I have to be realistic. John is a man's man and doesn't have a thing for jewelry.

Pretty good anniversary to celebrate our 3 years if I do say so myself.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Enna's name

Lately I've been thinking a lot about names, mostly because John and I plan on getting another dog (I know you think we're crazy, but if your house had been broken into twice you'd be considering a guard dog too). John is pretty set on a name he likes for a male, but I keep suggesting names for females since we can't agree on what gender we want.

I also have been reading The Lost Hero (on my kindle, more to come on that later) for my book club. It's all about Greek mythology and is written by the same author the wrote the Percy Jackson series (that I've never read). I love Greek mythology and know a lot about it so it's no surprise that Enna's name comes from it.

When John and I got confirmation that we were getting our first puppy we went to work trying to decide the perfect name. We wanted something Alaskan for obvious reasons but we wanted the name pronounced correctly and that was a task. We looked up name after name and loved how we pronounced them, but when we went to the Alaskan translation sites the name changed drastically. We were having a hard time finding a name we liked.
We decided that we needed to go another another way and veered over to geek mythology. I didn't want anything that was to recognized so we went to the main gods children. Persephone drew our attention, she's the Greek goddess of Spring (also Hades wife, but ignore that fact) and with our puppy coming to us on the first day of spring we thought that fit well. Persephone is also deemed Kore or Kora. Kora was the name for our dear puppy.

Kora didn't last long with us and when we were told we'd get her sister we knew we'd be having another hard time picking a name. Persephone doesn't have a sister, that would have made it too easy, so we dove into the myth even deeper, we wanted the pups to have correlating names.
In the myth Persephone is carried off from a field by Hades. The field is different in various local traditions, the Sicilians believed that Pluto (Hades) found her in the meadows near Enna. We had found our name, we're also probably pronouncing it wrong, but by this we didn't care.
Also Enna's registered name is 'PR' H.O.T. Enna's love for Kora, we definitely wanted to remember our first puppy and her sister and that was a perfect way to do so.
So that's our little Enna's name. Pretty interesting, I think.

For an update on Enna's pregnancy. We're still not sure if she even is. She's either 6 or 7 weeks along depending on what breeding stuck and I saw pictures of other dogs as far along as she's suppose to be and they were FAT. Enna looks the same as always. I was pretty convinced that she wasn't pregnant, but John called our vet to see what they thought and they said it was still too early to tell since she's a little dog. They say to give it at least one more week and then she really might be showing.
Who knows...we're still playing the waiting game.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I really might this time

Remember how like two years ago I said I was going back to school and didn't? Well this time I'm a little more serious about it.
I wouldn't say I love my job, it pays the bills and is alright, but they want us to make 5 year plans on how we'll move in the company and I just don't see myself staying in the science world. I'm just not smart enough, they start explaining tests to me and I nod my head like I understand, but really I'm thinking, "I have no idea what you're talking about, but if I nod then maybe you'll stop talking." (It's okay for me to talk about work, my blog's private :) )

So this got me thinking that I really should get into my creative side again and do what I love. I went to SLCC to speak with a counselor on how to get my credits to transfer and what classes I would need to take to either finish my associate of art or start a new degree in interior design. Worst experience of my life.
First off, parking at SLCC is a joke and I always feel stressed when I don’t really know where I’m going. Second, I had made an appointment with a counselor but I still had to wait 15 minutes to see one. Then the counselor was so unhelpful, all she did was print out the course description, throw it at me and sent me to talk to admissions.

Then before I left I realized that John had grabbed my wallet in the morning and didn’t put it back so I had no money to pay for parking or buy my lunch. Luckily the parking guy was really nice and let me leave but I still left feeling depressed and not excited to start school.

When I got back to work I explained to co-workers how disappointed my trip went and then it turned into how I just can’t seem to function in a “real” school since my creative brain gets bored. One girl suggested the Art Institute, I had thought about that school but in my mind I just kept thinking it wasn’t a good school and how no one would want to hire me if I went there, but I called the school anyway.
They put me on the phone with the interior design department and the lady talked with me for 45 minutes about my interests, my schooling, my hobbies. It was so nice! I actually felt like someone cared if I joined their school! I scheduled an appointment for John and I to go meet with them in person and take a tour of the campus.

Besides being 20 minutes late for our appointment it went really well. I asked (but made sure to put it as nicely as possible) if I’d be taken seriously with a degree from them and the guy told me that 91% of their students graduate and are working in their chosen field within 6 months. Also 21 students graduated from the Nevada location with a I.D. degree and all of them got jobs in their field within a year. It made me feel really comfortable and confident in the school.
Other perks: very small class sizes, students help their career field while in school (i.e. students from A.I. always design the Sundance Film Festival fliers), & they have a career department that helps you find a job after you graduate. Also I can get a bachelor's in I.D. at A.I and only an associate at SLCC.

I’m not fully in school yet, I need to fill out financial paperwork and talk about payments (right now my goal is to not take out any more school loans, we’ll see if that happens), but the next start date is January 10th. If I’m not ready for that then I’ll start in April. So hopefully this is more for real now 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Anniversary part 1 - the perks of being married in December

Last night was my company Christmas party which they held at the Grand America hotel. Because of this the Little America and Grand America gave discounted rooms for the night. We decided to book a room at the Little America because the Grand was $100 more and after looking at pictures and reading descriptions all you really got extra was slippers. Those better be the best slippers in the world if they're charging $100 for them.

The room was really nice. It had a big king sized bed, a sitting area with a chandelier, yeah I said chandelier, and a bathroom that was probably the size of our bedroom at home.
We were on the 11th floor and the view was amazing, you could see all the city Christmas lights and the lights off in the valley.

So there was a phone in the bathroom next to the toilet, I found this hilarious. I can think of a few reasons why there would be a phone there and I'm sure the front desk wouldn't want to be contacted for those reasons.

Our anniversary is the 15th and we'll be going to the melting pot and on a horse drawn carriage ride so more to come!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

John learns how to work the internet

We FINALLY got the money to replace our stolen items this last week so we've been trying to replace everything as quickly as possible before we use the money for something else (that's what happened last time).

Usually when a computer is involved I take over. John is a REALLY slow typer and usually doesn't know where to go. I had already started a spread sheet with some of my jewelry: what we're replacing it with, how much it will cost to replace, how much we were given and if we lose money on the purchase or come out on top so I thanked myself under my breath.
When we got down to the nitty gritty John placed himself in front of the computer and so a squabble wouldn't start about his lack of computer skills, I let him continue sitting there knowing that everything would take twice as long.

I read off the list of stolen items, cost of items and how much given from our Allstate letter to John and tried to hold in my rage while he slowly typed it into our spread sheet. We then decided if we were replacing it, what we were replacing it with and searched the Internet for the cost of the item. This is were my patience ran thin because I'd have to tell John "click that, hover over don't click it! Okay click the back button, hover this time, click on that..." it takes a long time. But we got it done.

John also learned how to use my favorite website, Amazon, which was pretty funny. I showed him where you click once you decide you want to buy something and he got very immersed in the process. Checking how much something will be after shipping took longer with him doing it because he had to check EVERY price :) but at least he was thorough. Then I made the mistake of mentioning to glance at the sellers approval rating to make sure you'll actually get the item. John thought this was awesome and took it to extremes. Usually I just glance at it and make sure it's above 90%, John had to click on each person to see how long they've been selling on Amazon and then read some reviews to make sure all were positive, again thorough :).

We have replaced 95% of our belongings now, most online and some in store. Some of the stuff we replaced with other items, like our wii has become an xbox360 kinect (that we ordered online so it hasn't come yet), jewelry with different styles and perfume with different smells (on a side note, I own 18 bottles of perfume and I didn't replace all my stolen perfumes. What can I say, I'm a connoisseur of scent P.S. Usher UR and DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom are amazing!).
It's going to be like Christmas when everything starts showing up! I'm the most excited for my replacement Tanzanite earrings, Alexandrite pendant, lime green lop top (thanks Dad!) and xbox (mostly so I can start watching Netflix again).

P.S. John's computer skills or lack there of and his immense interest in Amazon stays between us. You don't want to hurt his feelings do you?

Monday, November 22, 2010

more work in the dry bar

Yesterday we went to Lowe's to buy the mini fridge (finally) and the rest of the hardware to finish the bar. It was a nice surprise when we went to ring up the fridge and it was on sale so we basically got all the hardware for free.

looks pretty fancy right? 

While John was fighting with the carpet to get the fridge in we decided to tear out the carpet in front of the bar. We had left over flooring from the hallway so we decided to just use that. It'll be nice for food spill clean ups and water spills with the fish tank.
We laid all the left over flooring last night, John's going to buy the rest of the flooring we need after work and I get to try laying it by myself while he's at the Jazz game.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Signs that Enna might be pregnant or we're just imagining it because we want her to be...

  • Enna guards her food now. She never has before, but now Makoa hardly gets anything to eat. Which really isn't that bad because Makoa gained 5 pounds while staying with my in-laws and needs to drop the weight.
  • Enna has become a pig. Before getting her to eat was always a pain. She'd eat a few pieces of food and then wander off and wouldn't go back to eat. We set the bowl down with enough food for Enna & Makoa and she usually eats most of it.
  • Enna has become a super butt head. The other night Enna was sitting on my lap on one side of the couch and when Makoa went to climb on John's lap on the other side of the couch she ran across the couch, bit Makoa's face and then laid down on John's lap. She got scolded, set on the floor and not allowed to come back up, after I laughed at her of course.
  • Enna's waist has seemed to have grown by an inch and a half. This could just be because I don't know how to read a tape measure.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Flashback Friday - best day at Copperton Park

My sister found this picture and delivered it to me last weekend.
I've been smiling ever since. It's when John proposed on June 8, 2007 to me :)
I'm the most gullible person ever so when he said that his mom wanted us to take her camera to see if the self timmer was working I thought nothing of it. I'm use to people asking me camera questions because of my major so off we went to Copperton Park.

We had done maybe 5 pictures when John went to set the camera again. This time he took his sweet time getting back to the tree and I yelled, "hurry! you'll miss it!" I guess the ring box got stuck in his pocket but he got there in time for the camera to go off. :)

*how sad is it that John is almost as tall as me while he's knees?*

Sunday, November 14, 2010

bye bye tree

John has always hated our big maple in the backyard, I really had no preference until every storm another branch would fall down making the tree very misshapen.
(picture from when we first moved in)

The last snow storm knocked down the fifth branch and the whole right side of the tree was a disgrace so I finally agreed to let John cut it down.
He went to work right away, so happy to get rid of the tree he hates so much.
We'll have someone come and grind the stump down in the spring, but we figured it would be easier to remove the limbs without all the leaves on it and John needed a project that didn't cost any money :)

I'm sure my parents are groaning as they read this, never waste a good tree. Don't worry, we'll be adding nicer, smaller trees in the spring...once John and I can agree on the trees.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

going home

Garner is getting ready to go home tomorrow. Him and Enna decided that they weren't interested in each other Sunday night so that means his breeding vacation is done.
He's really a cute dog with the funniest personality. He barks at John if he thinks he's taking too long to fill up the water bowl or put his food down and he's not scared of Enna in the slightest when she growls at him not to take her toys.
He also head butts you if he thinks he needs attention from you and crawls right into your lap if it's nap time.

Although, he does think that everything is a chew toy, in fact worse than Makoa, so that won't be missed. Neither will he constant crying at night or jumping.

We'll be finding out if Enna has a bun in the oven the first part of December so cross your fingers for us!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fall Gardening

I finally got around to my fall gardening and it looks like just in time since it's suppose to snow Monday.
I had to dig up my Dahlias, they don't winter over here in Utah because it's just too cold.
I know they don't look at all attractive when out of the ground and not in bloom but they need to dry out before I store them away in saw dust for the winter. My only hang up is that they need to stay somewhere around 40 degrees and since I don't have a garage that makes it a tad tricky. They may be living under the stairs.
I also had to dig up my flowering shamrocks and peacock orchids to keep them snug as a bug for the winter.

While I was at it, I planted more spring bulbs because that's what gets me through the winter, just knowing that I have flowers ready to pop up in March.
 Baby daffodils - Minnows - so sweet!

 "60 days of tulips" - all different types so I can be surprised

 Bi-colored grape hyacinth - teeny tiny at 6" tall, perfect for borders

 Two types of Alliums, short and tall. I never seem to have great luck with these so we'll see.

 More hyacinths, who doesn't love hyacinths? They smell amazing and look beautiful.

This is all I have to tide me over through the long, cold winters here. I really live in the wrong state...

*All bulbs were bought from dutch gardens. They're kinda pricey but I had a coupon for free shipping*

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


To come back to a happier note then on the last post, I'm finally able to add pictures of the guest room and cabinets in the family room. For a while I didn't have access to a computer that would load pictures and then when I did I didn't have the camera cords to do so since they were stolen (who steals camera cords but not the camera, really?)

First off the guest room. Like I said before, I think it turned out fabulous and I love it. The lighting isn't too great in the pictures because we have energy saving bulbs in the fixture and I was to impatient to let them warm up :).
Speaking of light fixtures, I tried really hard to replace the one that's in the room now but after getting a broken light three times in the mail I gave up. We'll see if it ever gets replaced.

 Of course I had to get a husky pup in the room in honor of the first guest to stay in it. Too bad Makoa thinks that it's his toy and is always sneaking it out of the room to chew on.

Here are the gorgeous cabinets that John built. We picked out the hardware but haven't gone to buy it yet. We're kinda busy trying to make puppies.

Some things have changed since these pictures were taken. Nothing is sitting on the counter or the "fridge hole" anymore and the light fixture is no longer hanging from it's guts...even though that's still not fully installed yet.

Also because John and I can't go 2 whole weeks without doing some kind of house project we (meaning John) installed a new shower head in our upstairs bath.
This one was picked because it wasn't too expensive, served our needs and will eventually be upgraded once we expand our house.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Why "Dog Breeder" won't be on my next application

*WARNING - this post is long and full of breeding detail. Also please don't think of me as an abusive owner after this. It doesn't have pictures (didn't think that was appropriate) so I know that makes it harder to get through, sorry. *

Isn't this suppose to be easy? Dogs do this naturally all the time. Getting pregnant with the neighbors mutt puppies without your permission or letting any Tom, Dick or Harry mount them constantly. Come on, Stupid people do this! "My dog's cute, your dog is cute, lets make puppies without health checks or checking backgrounds!"
Then there's me. I think I have become an expert on the subject of breeding. I've bought 6 books, looked at hundreds of websites and asked my co-worker ex-vet tech thousands of questions. I think I know what I'm doing. Too bad Enna didn't do those same things.

We thought all was fine and dandy. John picked Garner up from the airport last Friday, he's sweet and bonded with us quickly. Makoa headed over to my in-laws and we were ready for the lovers to meet. All went to plan, they both thought the other was fabulous and Enna flagged (moved her tall to the side meaning she's ready to be mounted) and he went to it. Then the screech from Hell happened. You would have though she was being mauled by a grizzly bear. Of course Garner stopped once she started biting his face and looked at her like she had two heads. This went on a few more times and we decided that she just wasn't ready. But what else could she be? She was heading into week 2 of her cycle meaning that that's mating time.

Saturday John went to work and I was alone with the dogs, if I could see into the future I probably wouldn't have let them both out together while being by myself, but I was still in La La land about how this is easy.
Garner mounts Enna, she screams but by this time it was too late for him to turn back. I got down on the floor and held her into position like the books say and waited for the tie.
As far as I know only canines tie, meaning that after the mounting and humping the male then is swollen, the female clenches and he's stuck inside her. The male then usually dismounts and turns so that the dogs are rear to rear.This can last anywhere from a fraction of a minute to 20 with 10 minutes being the norm. Also during this time neither dog should move or complications can arise. The male dog is the only mammal that has a bone in his penis, if he is jerked too quickly the bone can break and then all is lost. He can't be put in a sling or cast obviously so a broken bone means no more breeding, I don't know if that means forever or until he heals by himself but I didn't want to go there.
If the female jerks to quickly away from the male he could be pulled out of her, hemorrhage and die. I really don't like the sound of death so I didn't want to head in that direction either.

Garner and Enna tie and Garner starts to dismount. I wasn't holding Enna tight enough and she freaked and started running away. I freak and try to grab her which makes Garner freak so he starts to run away also. The whole time I'm picturing broken bones and death. Finally after the dogs make a huge semi circle I carrel both of them onto the lap while almost yelling, "It's okay! Calm down!" over and over. The tie probably only lasted mere minutes, but it felt like a life time. After they separated I grabbed Enna and hauled ass upstairs. I grabbed my phone, dialed John's number and sobbed into the phone, "I broke him!! I broke him!! We'll have to call Barbara and tell her that her male can never breed again!" (have I ever mentioned that I'm a bit of a drama queen?)
After John got me to calm down and explain what happened he asked how the dogs were. Was Garner sheathed (did his penis go back inside him), was Enna bleeding or look in pain. No. Well they're probably fine.
He couldn't come home from work and I needed to calm down, everything would be fine.

Everything was not fine. I was convinced that we broke Barbara's dog and Enna was going to bleed to death. For the two hours I waited for John I text him over and over saying things like, "Why did we agree to this?" "I never want to do that again!" "This is too hard!"
By the time John got home I had calmed down but I didn't want to do any breeding for the rest of the day (or ever), I was too scarred. John told me repeatedly that we would have to try again even if I didn't want to because we had to make sure Enna got pregnant.

Sunday came and I tried to prolong the inevitable, keeping Enna locked up with me in the computer room. Soon Garner climbed the baby gate and I had no choice.
Because of Enna's screeching and face biting we had to hold her in place. This is where I don't want you to think bad of me. There was no other way this would happen (I did think of AI over and over, but it's too pricey) and the books say that's the way to do it.
John holds under her front legs and I hold her head trying to keep her calm. Everything is fine until he starts to penetrate. That's when she starts screaming. After the screaming comes whimpering and her looking up at me with the saddest blue eyes imaginable as if saying, "why are you doing this to me, you monster!" Breaks my heart.
Luckily ties don't last long, but on the other hand ties are needed for the sperm to travel so I worry that she's not getting pregnant.

If we've timed her heat cycle right then Sunday, yesterday and today are the days she's ovulating. Truthfully we could be far off, but dogs are hard to judge without getting expensive testing done so we wanted them to breed a few times to make sure that she got pregnant.
I dread the time when John says it's time. I crawl off the couch to kneel on the floor while he goes to get Enna, my stomach in twisting knots the whole time. We let the dogs jump on each other and run around for a few minutes until John grabs Enna signaling that it's time to start. I try not to be nervous since Enna can feel my fear and calmly tell her how good she's doing and that everything is okay. It doesn't help, she eventually screams and I try not to cry.
I keep telling myself we're almost done, but really I don't know. We have to keep going until one of the dogs decides the other isn't interesting anymore and won't mount/allow the mounting.

This is suppose to be the easy part, I'm not suppose to be getting stomach ulcers until the labor starts. Now I have more to stress about.
Is she pregnant? I won't know until 25 days later, that's the first time the vet can tell if pups are growing inside her.
Are the pups going to come smoothly? Is Enna going to be a good mom or decide she doesn't want a thing to do with the puppies after they're born?
Are they going to be born normal?
Can I keep them alive until they're out of the scary first days?
Can I find them good homes?

John wants to do this again, but he never worries. I on the other hand am a solid HELL NO. John says I'll want to once I see the sweet puppies, I say that I'll remember all this mess it took to get there and not change my mind. If we do do this again, it is completely against my will.

p.s. I never mentioned the after math of a tie. Enna becomes a mad women yelping, shrieking and barking while she squirms wildly in my arms. I don't know if she's trying to get away while I carry her up to her crate and just bewildered that we'd let such an awful thing happen to her. She then carries on in her crate for at least half an hour making the world believe that she is indeed dying.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

let the worrying start

I think my middle name should be non-stop and my last be worrier. That's all I've been able to do since Garner has come to stay, that and not sleep from his crying all night.
I'm so glad I have John around, he never worries so he keeps me stable...well kinda.

Just take deep breaths and relax, Nikki, everything will be fine!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

update: It's happening!

After more stress and hair loss, the flight is booked!
The male that is breeding with Enna is arriving in Utah at 1:50 PM on Friday.
How long he stays...not sure. His name...I forgot. How he gets back to clue.
But he's coming!!! Truthfully I never thought this was going to happen!

Look at this handsome boy! Enna's hunk of burning love for the next week or so. His name is Garner and I think I'm smitten. He's on his way to us as we speak, John will pick him up at the airport while I stay at work (not really getting any work done because I'm too excited to see him!)

P.S. I was sneaky at work and got this picture to load...a lot of work though (don't worry, I didn't do anything bad, I just had to use the "free for all" computer) so I really need to get my own lap top STAT!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dana, your room is done!

I really wish I could load pictures of the guest room. It came out better than I could have imagined! I doubted my design genius for the first time in ages while we were putting it together, but I'm glad I kept it to myself (besides the bedspread issue) and forged forward. Awesome, awesome, awesome I say! In fact, I want to change bedrooms now even though it's red and in the basement.
It's not totally done yet, we still need to take out the white door and window casings and replace them with pine, but that will wait until after Dana comes to stay (FRIDAY!!!).

The cabinet doors and drawer fronts are also on the bar. John did a fantastic job top coating them and I'm in love (with the doors and him, he's so handy!).
He's been a busy beaver the last few days, I gave him a list of things I'd like done before Dana comes. Install new shower head - check, fill all holes and dings in stairway - check, fill holes in bathroom with sheetrock - check (thanks for coming Dana so I can finally have that done, a year is too long to look at the innards of your house), reinstall light so it's not hanging from the ceiling by just the wires - check. ahhh, so nice to get my house back in order!

In other news, I'm 93% sure that Enna is starting to go into heat. My breeder will probably be sending the male to us a week or so after I inform her of Enna. So no more trip planning which is nice since we can spend the money on the house instead. Of course Enna had to pick now to think about going into heat so the little stinker can't come with Dana, Kumo, Makoa and I on all our off leash adventures.

*I may sneak over to some one's house to load pictures, the guest room is the bomb and needs to be shared* 

Friday, October 15, 2010

If we won the lottery

Since its John's turn to drive up to Idaho for Lotto tickets (he's in a group at work) I decided that I'd write about the list John and I have if we won.

If we won big in the lotto we'd (we talk about this often):
  • Pay off our house and do all the remodeling work that we'd like done.
    • As crazy as that sounds, John and I wouldn't move to a bigger house. We actually really like our house, property and neighbors. We would extend out the whole back of the house (top and bottom floors) 10 feet to get a bigger kitchen, a master suite and a bigger laundry room. We'd also add on a garage and re-landscape our yard.
  • Pay off John's truck
  • Buy me a Chrysler M300
  • Pay off all debt (that's just dumb if you don't)
  • Give some money to John's and my parents
  • Pay for an awesome trip for our immediate families to go on.
  • Invest the rest of the money
  • Still work and not live frivolously.
As you can see we'd try to not get too carried away, that's how people who win the lotto lose it all. Of course we'd buy some nice things, but we'd make sure to invest the rest of the money so our assets will grow. Truthfully I don't care about owning the best of the best, the money would just be nice so that we'd never have to worry about bills or retirement.

What's your Lotto List?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The vet visit that started okay but then ended in chaos

Enna needed her breeding exam done and Makoa needed shots. I asked my brother in law to come with me to the vet so that he could hold one of the dogs while I was working on the other and then drive them home while I headed off to work.
That Friday finally came, I got the dogs and Ben came to my house early so we got to the vet in plenty of time, everything was going smoothly.
The vet wanted to give Makoa his shots first so I handed Enna over to Ben and plopped Makoa up on the table. The first shot went smoothly, but then came bordetella. Makoa did NOT want that up his nose and started throwing a fit, I wrapped my arms around him and tried to hold him in place while the vet grabbed for his nose.
In the middle of this whole episode I glanced at my shoulder and noticed a pretty big spot of blood, Ben then saw blood in my hair and thought I was bleeding. He searched through my hair but found nothing, I then looked down at my shirt and I was covered in blood, Makoa blood. The vet had nicked a capillary or something while giving the first shot (happens all the time and really isn't that big of a deal) and in the bordetella ordeal it became splattered all over my white shirt. There went my chances of going to work right after.
I then let Ben take over (I'm not sure why I didn't have him hold Makoa in the first place) so that he could cradle Makoa making it easier to shoot the bordetella up the nose. By this time we were all stressed and Enna wouldn't stop whining so I knew her exam would be difficult.

The vet did his examining of her bones, hips, eyes, ears and lungs, but when it came to her heart he gave me an uneasy look and listened intently. He then told me that Enna has a heart murmur. I starred at him in disbelief, she'd been checked multiple times and I had never been told this before. He then wrote grade 2 heart murmur on her sheet. I wasn't all too pleased by this. At that moment I knew I'd be going somewhere else getting a second opinion. She passed the rest of the exam with flying colors.

I called another vet we had used the next morning and they got us in right away. The other vet checked Enna out and said that he didn't believe she had a heart murmur. Enna shakes when she gets stressed, nervous or excited which accentuates the song of her lungs making it sound like heart murmur. If I pet her head while he listened to her heart the shaking would stop and so would the sound. He wrote a letter explaining the situation for our breeder and we thanked him over and over.

I haven't gotten a clear answer from my breeder but I think from her emails that she believes that Enna is still able to breed. I might get the final answer once I send her the actual exam in the mail, but I haven't gotten to that yet. So for right now I think Enna still has the green light on breeding. She's showing signs of going into heat (not until AFTER Dana comes Enna!) so we might be making puppies soon!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chim-Chimney, Chim-Chimney, Chim-Chim-Caroo!

We got our chimneys cleaned last night since we use the downstairs fireplace religiously and I was fairly convinced that our house was going to burn down because the flue was full of soot.

The guy that came to do it reminded me so very much of John's uncle and I kept wanting to call him Steve. Truthfully, I'm not even sure what his name was.
I was sad because there wasn't any roof top dancing or singing, but both my chimneys are now spotlessly clean and we got commended on our good fire burning that kept our basement flue in such good order.

I guess unknowingly we are good fire people. We burn only hard woods since that's what John brings home from work, which burns cleaner and hotter so soot doesn't build up. We also burn our fires for very long periods of time which makes them extra hot (like burn all the hair off your body if you stand closer than 3 feet in front of it, hot) so it produces less soot. So I guess our house wasn't really at any risk to burn down because of soot build-up, but now I can burn fires knowing that my chimney is clean.

The upstairs fire place never gets used, but it got a good scrubbing too. I guess it was filthy, shame on you past house owners! My master plan is to eventually change that fireplace to gas (leave the one downstairs wood burning because I love the smell and popping sounds of burning wood) when we rip out the 1960's brick and update it to the 21st century.

Sooo...the pine paneling isn't done yet. Sigh. You would think that since John's life is wood he could actually measure, but I guess not (I will never admit to him that I said that so don't even try). We're half a wall short of the moldings and paneling. I REALLY don't want to glaze anymore so we've been procrastinating buying more, but I told John it has to get done this weekend because I don't want Dana to die from paint fumes while she stays with us.
The paneling that is on the wall, John's brother and I did while John was at work (I even used the nail gun, be proud!). We are very proud of ourselves because it looks freaking amazing! I'd post a picture but I don't have a computer that will let me. I guess you'll just have to wait until the finished project to see it...that is if I can find a picture allowing computer...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brad Paisley

So the crook stole our Brad Paisley tickets that was scheduled for the next day, which I could have lived with if it was just John and my tickets but I had bought some tickets for my cousin and sister (they were going to pay me at the concert so I'm out $60 unless my insurance will reimburse me).
I had to send Mary, my sister, a text letting her know, I even added a frowny face to express my sadness.
Brad Paisley would have been the little glimmer of happiness in the darkness that was our life.

Luckily my parents are wicked awesome and bought John and I new tickets and they were up grades from what we had bought.

My totally rad cowboy boots. Love, love, love them.

 Mary and Kelli waiting for the concert to start, I'm so glad we had seats so we didn't have to get there at 2:30 and wait in line until 4 to get good grass seats.

 I tried to sneak in John pictures, he hates to have his picture taken so I'd make up stupid reasons why I had the camera pointed at him. "I like the way the light looks through those trees behind you" "I'm making sure the lens is clean". The food in John's hand took a 40 minute long line to get, I hope it was worth it John, I hope it was worth it!

 People say we look alike, I don't see it ;) A girl asked if we were twins when Mary was in Jr. High. I'm so glad that her and I are friends now, all it took was not living together.

I wasn't pleased that the cotton candy was sticking to my fingers and they weren't even wet.

 The concert was promoting getting clean water to all 3rd world countries around the world, Mary would freak out every time Brad came on to talk. I had to keep reminding her that it was a recording.

 Justin Moore singing...he's really hard to understand in person so we (meaning the girls) just danced and goofed off while he sang.

 The girl in the white hat and pink shirt was a riot, she would have made a good drinking game. I don't have a clear picture of her doing it but every other word of the song she'd lift her right arm in the air and point at the stage.

 Brad Freaking Paisley, nuff said.

 He had so many guitars and switched them out in between songs. He even had one with a paisley print on it, pretty funny. If you don't know what paisley print is, hang your head in shame and go google it.

Towards the end of the concert he walked out to a platform just mere feet in front of us to "sing to the cheap seats" it was awesome!

The concert was so much fun and it was nice to be able to get away from the home robbery and just enjoy ourselves. I'm glad my sis and cousin came along because to be honest going to concerts with John is kinda lame (I never said that). All he does is stand there and sing whereas I like to goof off, dance and sing at the top of my lungs, I liked having people with me who'd do it too.
Brad, your shows are always a good time and you have the best stage graphics (next to RUSH).