Sunday, December 30, 2012

End of the year hike

We started 2012 with a hike (that I never blogged about) Millcreek Pipeline trail, January 1, 2012

So we decided to end the year with a hike, Uinta's Yellow Pine trail, December 29, 2012

We were invited snow shoeing with John's sister, Melanie. We took Enna and Makoa, Winston stayed home because of his unsure footing. It was a beautiful day full of sunshine.

Let me rant just a little here. I love taking our dogs with us on outdoor adventures, but I try to follow the rules. When we pulled into the parking lot, a group was letting their 5 dogs run around while they got ready. This made it very difficult to get in without hitting one of them. The rule is to keep your dog leashed up in the parking lot and I feel like this rule should be followed no matter how well you think your dog listens.
It's not a hard rule to follow and following it means that you won't be the one that ruins it for everyone else. End rant.

We let the crazy group get way ahead of us so we wouldn't have to deal with them and then trekked up into my favorite mountains.

There was SO much snow! Most of the trail was packed down from others before us and made for easy walking once you got used to the snow shoes.

John wanted to see how high his shoes would hold him up so once we got to an open field he took full advantage of it. Of course the dogs followed, but soon Enna decided it wasn't her cup of tea and came back to me.

When we got to the end of the packed down snow we decided that the view just wasn't good enough and we headed up higher, blazing our own trail.
This is where Enna became unhappy. The snow was pretty deep for her and she HAD to be behind John so the trail wasn't flattened out. She bunny hopped through the deep stuff and would curl up in a ball when we stopped moving.
Not a great picture since my finger was over the camera lens, but you get the idea.
At one point we stopped in some pretty deep stuff and she curled herself up onto the back of John's snow shoe. Normally I require Enna to walk. She may be little, but she's tough and has a lot of energy. After this I could tell she wasn't having fun so I broke my rule and carried her a little ways. 

 Mt. Timp in the distance.
When we finally stopped the views of the distant mountains peaks were stellar and the blue skies to die for. I made Enna walk down since the snow was packed again. She was happy to not have to hop through the drifts.

It was a wonderful hike and I'm so glad Melanie invited us to go. John and I will be buying our own snow shoes now because we really enjoyed it.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hulu Plus ... again

You know how a few months ago I was raving about Hulu Plus? Well our opinion has changed a tad. Hulu's service has been having a hard time streaming through our Xbox meaning it stops every few minutes and buffers. I know it's not our Internet speed because Netflix has no problems.

I contacted Hulu to figure out how to get this fixed and they gave me a long, involved list of what to do. One item was even setting my Xbox back to manufacture no.
We didn't want to give up on Hulu since we really don't want to pay for real TV so we've been watching it on my laptop. The set up is comical to say the least.
It does get to be a pain when I need to use the laptop for Itunes or any other computer related activity, but we're staying up to date on our TV shows (okay we're always a few weeks behind, but they're in our queue!).

So my opinon of Hulu Plus has dropped a little and isn't as fantastic as I orignally thought.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Crock Pot Potato Soup

After my first job I only have a half hour to eat before leaving for my second job so I like to use the crock pot often. Here's a recipe that never lets me down, I always have the ingerdients on hand and is always tasty. Using a crock pot bag makes cleanup a breeze.

Crock Pot Potato Soup
3 - 4 slices bacon
1 onion, finely chopped
2 (10.5 ounce) cans condensed chicken broth
4 - 5 large potatoes, cut in bite sized pieces
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan
(spice measurements are guessed because I never measure spices)
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of red pepper flakes (too much and it will be too spicey to eat)
1/2 to 1 cup milk

Cut potatoes into bite sized cubes and place in crock pot. Pour in chicken stock, add spices and cheeses. Layer bacon over everything. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.

Once cooked blend up 2/3 of potatoes (or all if you don’t want any potato chunks) and all of bacon in blender or food processor. Pour back into crock pot and add milk until desired soup consistency. Garnish with more cheese when serving. (Adding more bacon on top will make it very salty)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

November's block of the month

I got up at 6:30AM on Saturday to finish this one before my class. It was pretty easy and went together smoothly.

We were told in our class that Floyd & Lizzie's won't be doing block of the month next year. I was pretty bummed until I talked to a girl at work who asked if maybe I'd be interested in teaching my own for co-workers. I have to work out a few details, but I'm looking forward to that. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Winston - not good news

Over the last week we haven't seen an improvement with Winston. He seems to be losing feeling in his right side. We noticed with his back leg first and over time he seems to be having problems with his front foot. He always hold it up when standing and if something is close to him he will lean again it, usually it being John or I.

We've stopped walking him because he's dragging his front right foot minutes after we start and the top of his nails are getting scuffed up. He was suppose to wear a neck brace for two weeks, but we took it off him after a week because it wasn't doing any good and just causing me grief with potty breaks.

John and I haven't talked about what we're going to do. John didn't want to talk about it over our weekend anniversary because he knew I'd be in tears. We'll be talking about it soon.

We did give Winston a bath the day before we put the neck brace on. I knew it was going to be a fight to get him into the bathroom so it had to be a night when both John and I could do it. John put on Winston's harness and while holding onto the sides or the harness, dragged him into the bathroom while I walked behind Winston so he couldn't backup if he decided.
Then John lifted Winston's front and back end into the tub where I put on his halti and attached him to the tub. We shouldn't really be using the halti, but I needed a way to keep him in the tub and once his halti is on he's usually an angel and won't fight me.
He was just fine in the tub and stood patiently while I bathed him. I changed into a swimming suit because I always end up soaked.

Once done I wanted him to step out of the tub on his own. He wasn't a happy camper about it.
He did eventually step out on his own and seemed much happier to be clean. Everyone else was pretty happy that he didn't stink anymore.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

5 whole years

John and I have been married 5 years today. Some days it feels like 2 weeks and others it feels like 2,564 years.
Numbers divisible by 5 are supposedly a big deal, but John and I screwed that up by going to Cancun last year and this year we spent all our money on Winston. Because of this I though that this year we wouldn't do anything major, so I was surprised when John out of the blue one evening started listing off prices for things. We had a little money left in our savings so John thought that we needed to do something.

We talked about going to Vegas to see a Cirque Du Soleil show, but that was vetoed pretty quick when we decided that we didn't want to spend another minute in the car and flying was more than we wanted to spend. Then we tossed about the idea of staying at a nice place downtown, fancy eating out and possibly a show. Finally John had the idea of buying season tickets to a playhouse, something we ALWAYS wanted to do, but never had to money when it was time to buy. We both decided that that was exactly what we wanted, celebrate our anniversary all year long with a nice dinner the night of.

So 2013 will be the year of the shows (as long as the world doesn't end in 6 more days):
  • We have season tickets to Salty Dinner Theater, a fun little traveling group that we went to last year. We go with my parents and everyone has a grand ole time. We recommend Joe Morley's if you choose to take in a show.
  • At Ballet West we'll be seeing The Nutcracker tomorrow, Cinderella in February and Aladdin in April. We got a good deal where we basically get The Nutcracker free.
  • We'll be seeing Les Miserables at Pioneer Theatre (their season tickets were more than we wanted to spend, but we wanted this show) on May 30th with killer seats. So so so excited!
  • And finally we bought season tickets for Hale Center in West Valley. We went to South Pacific at the Orem Hale Center to decide which theater we wanted to go to. West Valley won out because Orem is so far way for one and the stage is just so awesome at west valley.
Today we'll probably take in a movie and enjoy some time together at home. After the Nutcracker we're going to go to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse for dinner.

Now I get to brag about how awesome John is, I'm never mushy so you can put up with it for one post:

  • John gets up the second his alarm rings so he won't wake me up at 4AM. He then gets dressed in the dark to let me sleep.
  • He's unbelievably easy to live with. He's very clean and always puts things away after he's done with them and clothes get put in the hamper. I'm by far messier to live with.
  • He's easy to cook for since he likes all foods. Not once in our marriage has be complained about what I made. He always eats it thankfully.
  • He makes dinner for me on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays so that when I get home from my first job I can have something to eat before my second job (yes I have a second job, it's not even worth talking about).
  • He always puts laundry away because he know it's a hated job of mine.
  • He never complains about the never ending amazon packages that end up on our doorstep.
  • He loves the pets just as much as I do. When he thinks I'm not looking he'll even cuddle up with the cat.
  • He's such a hard worker. Some weeks he'll work 60+ hours and never complain once.
  • He's very handy, if he doesn't know how to fix something he'll learn. He's spent many hours with my dad to learn auto mechanics.
How in the world did I get so lucky? I love that man so very much and I'm glad to call him my best friend. No one else would fit with me or put up with me quite like he does.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A couple steps back

The last few times of walks it was just me walking Winston so I wasn't really able to see how he was walking, but I did know that he still wasn't very graceful.
Last night John came with me and walked Winston so I could watch him. His walk is just terrible and I feel like it's getting worse. It's like he doesn't bend his right back knee so he swings his hips very far left to compensate. I will be taking a video and sending it to Dr. Durkes in the next few days.

Because of his walk I went into worry mode and watched Winston like a hawk last night, then finally around 8:30PM I sent Dr. Durkes this email.

Hi Dr. Durkes,

I'm writing the email instead of calling because I think if I call I'll forget to tell you everything that I want to tell you. We got the gold beads done on Winston on the 29th of October and his brace came off the Monday before Thanksgiving. I have seen some results, he stands faster, doesn't slip on the hardwood floors anymore, has more energy and more vocal, but I'm worried about what I've seen with him lately.

He's licking his back feet constantly and when walking he throws his right back leg out so he swings his hips far left to compensate and can't stay in a straight line to save his life. I can send a video of this in the next couple of days if you'd like to see. He also will start dragging his front feet if we're out more than 10 minutes. He still isn't good with the stairs and will need help getting back up, he'd much rather sleep upstairs on his bed anyway. I'm just wondering your thoughts.

I got a reply this morning saying that we need to put a neck brace back on for a couple of weeks (guess I should get that bath done then. I didn't find a place without ramps to the baths and I haven't forced the issue at home yet because I didn't want to jar his neck while he fought with us to get him into the tub. But Winston is stinky and needs a bath badly) and if we don't see improvement in a week then we'll put him on a small dose of prednisone. Mickey had/has to take the medication so I was aware of it and I'm thinking it will come to that.

Winston does have an insane amount of energy when walking so I really hope that that's a good sign. Last night he even charged a wooden fence to bark at the dogs behind it which he has NEVER done. I wasn't a fan of course and it took John and I to pry him away. I'll have to figure out a way to keep him more in control and still be able to use a harness. I'll probably ask K9 Lifeline since they're the ones who trained us with the Halti, which we loved and would still be using if we could.

I'll post the video of him walking soon. I really wish that we would have remembered to record him before the gold bead procedure like we were going to and a week after the procedure I thought I had recorded him, but instead I was just taking pictures.

The picture does show that his hip swings far, but it seems to be worse now and a video is always better.

Last night I was so depressed. Even after all the talk of not getting my hopes up is seems like I have. I was on the verge of tears all night while I watched him. Sleep also didn't come easy to me, but it never does when I have worrying on my mind.
This morning I'm feeling better, but I've talked myself into low hopes again. I just keep telling myself that if he stays stable then everything will be fine. That the procedure was worth it even if it doesn't work because at least we know we tried, I could never live with myself if we just gave up.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas stocking

I started John's Christmas stocking 4 years ago, no lie. I would work on it from October until January until my hands would ache and then I'd put it away until I remembered about it again the next October.
Why all the work? Why not just buy one from Target? Well my Christmas stocking was cross stitched in 1991 by my mother's aunt and I wanted to keep the theme, I just didn't think it would take me as long as it did. Also my stocking hangs left so John's had to hang left (stockings that hang left are a rare occurrence in the retail world, but it does seem like most cross stitched ones do). 

About the second year into the project Sophi ripped up the cross stitch instructions so I had to buy a whole a new kit just for the instructions, so I have a brand new kit available if anyone wants it.

I didn't want to do french knots where told so I replaced them with seed beads. I think it looks so much better.

 I have a small kit to finish for the dogs that should only take me a few months :), but I am looking for another regular sized kit to buy ASAP in case it takes me another 4 years to finish it might be ready for when we have a baby.