Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mr. Moulton

I talked to the Health Department guy again. He didn't even bother going to the house again today. He told me that he talked to the "complainant" and she said "there's only one pile out there" and he informed her that this is not a violation, so there was no point in his even going there.

So I said "Do you think she'll just continue to complain, even if I am cleaning the yard every two to three days?" And he said "Yes - that's the impression I have." So he's not worried about it.

Again we say in a loud and clear voice - there is NO violation! And he said, in reference to her continuing to call, "Don't worry. I will endure."

He's a nice guy, this Mr. Moulton. I cannot, however, say the same about her.

Thank you, Jesus - and Lord... give me strength!

Enough is Enough

This whole thing with my Neighbor has gone far enough.

No. Scratch that - it has gone WAY past "enough" and straight into "completely ridiculous" territory.

I got a call from the Health Department again this morning and it went something like this:

Mr. Moulton (MM): Hello Mrs Puhl, this is Thomas Moulton with the Health Department again. How are you today?

Me: I'm doing alright, how about yourself?

MM: I'm doing well. Hey listen, I had a voicemail waiting for me when I came in this morning, again. Would it be possible for you to just clean up every day, now?

Me: Well, I actually cleaned it up everyday this weekend, but my dog does still have to go again, even after I've cleaned it up. I even cleaned it up yesterday, so there's barely a pile back there from when he went this morning. I am not able to clean it up daily while my husband is away, as my schedule has been pretty crazy, but I do clean it up as soon as I have the chance, so I'm not sure why she's called again.

MM: I understand. That's fine. We will need to come out again and take another look.

Me: That's totally fine. Actually - I'll go ahead and leave what's out there so that you can see what it looks like when she calls and complains. There's barely a pile - I'll call it a pile and a half, because he spreads it around sometimes when he's not done, but that's really all. You are welcome to come and take a look, and pleas feel free to call me at work. The number is... [insert work number here]. I should be at that number in about an hour, and then all day.

MM: Thank you for your help, Mrs. Puhl. There was no violation last time I came out, but I will be taking another look today.

Me: I understand, and if you wouldn't mind also working with the HOA regarding the matter as well...

MM: I've spoken with them, and they've just requested a copy of the report.

Me: Great. Well I look forward to hearing your report later today. And please do let me know if I can help in any way. Again, I do clean up whenever I can, especially since we talked last - it hasn't gone more than 2 days before being cleaned up.

MM: Thank you Mrs. Puhl. I'll give you a call when we've finished the inspection and report.

Well - not very exciting (he's a very enthusiastic man *pretty sarcastic on that one, by the way*), but you get the point. There's no violation, but they are following up again, anyways.

What kind've got me was that he just started with a "Can you just clean it up everyday?" Umm... no. The whole point of the matter is that she's trying to dictate how we handle our backyard. It doesn't work that way. We are homeowners. She can't dictate to us, just as we can't dictate to her, what is done in OUR property.

This has gone far enough. She's gotten smart enough not to say anything to me, but if I know her like I think I do, she won't be able to keep her mouth shut long enough. And you'd better believe that the next time she says anything to me, she'll get not only a piece of my mind, but a nice visit from the police for harassment. It may sound something like this:

Neighbor Lady (NL): Blah blah blah

Me (M): You know, you are being very silly about this whole matter. And I'm not tolerating this any longer. I've been patient with you and tried my best to be a good neighbor, but it's just not enough for you. We will not be pushed and bullied around. We live here now, and we will be living here for a long time. I don't come and complain to you about everything you do that I don't like, and I CERTAINLY do not call the HOA and the HEALTH department about the things I do not like that happen in your home and in your private backyard. This whole thing has gone far enough and I will not sit back and take it for another minute.

NL: (probably trying to cut me off, though I'll keep talking and not let her stop what I'm saying) blah blah blah... wah wah wah...

M: *walk away, even if she's still talking, and call the police*

Yes. It's very simple. And very short and to the point. But I have had it. I am done. Everyone involved is now tired of the situation. The HOA has no further interest in the matter, beyond keeping things documented, as they have informed her that we are NOT in violation. The Health Department has informed her once already that there has been no violation, and will probably have the same report later today. And they, too, are just tired of the situation.

I don't know who else she can call. She's got nothing. She's been told by ALL of her avenues that she's got nothing. And yet she presses on. I've had it.

I may look young and seem innocent, but when I've had it - stay clear. And that's the point I've reached today. The funny thing is that I'm still having a good day. I laughed when I got off the phone with Mr. Moulton, and I even laughed on the phone with Keri from the HOA. It's still a good day. And it will stay that way because she's got nothing.

But I tell you what - it may be a different story for her, today.

I have a question for you - why are people like this? I mean seriously? Why do people make it their goal in life to make other people miserable?

I'm just SO done with all of this.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Fraggle Dilemma

If only there were such a Halloween Costume...

I just can't find it anywhere! Perhaps I should just settle for this one:

But it's just not the same. *sigh

Friday, September 26, 2008

My Husband Rocks Friday.

That's right, baby!!

It's that time again - and it still rings true: My Husband ROCKS!!

This week, My Husband Rocks because he's so so excited to get to talk to me for even just a few minutes at a time (not to mention that he gets to finally SEE me in just 2 weeks)! He makes me feel SOOO excited (not that I need any help with that, really).

He's just the best. He gets bummed when I answer the phone and give him a "Hey - can I call you right back..." and then when I do call, it's like he's a kid at an ice cream truck having buy-on-get-one-free day, or something.

I love my baby, and I miss him SO SO much! I think this time away from each other is really helping us appreciate the otehr MUCH more, again. I think a lot of times, we lose sight of that, as married couples, and it's important to remind yourself why you love them and why you were SO excited to marry themin the first place!

So to all of you who get to sleep next to your husband every night, and get to hug him and tell him you love him... please do. For those of us who can't would give anything for the opportunity, right now. Just enjoy it for us... for me...

I love you, Mcstudly!!

MHR Giveaway

BTW - there's a giveaway in progress over at the original MHR site, here: http://honestandlasting.blogspot.com/2008/09/my-husband-rocks-giveaway.html

So make sure you check it out!!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fall Fashion Fever

Am I the only one who gets it?

Not only do I LOVE the fall season, but I LOVE fall fashions (weather my budget agrees with me, or not)! I am addicted to SHOES, but am not allowed to buy any, unless I already have an outfit to go with them... because trying to buy things in the opposite order never works for me, and I'm stuck with these awesome shoes I can't wear.

So I've already got my eye on a few things, and am hoping to have my wallet on them as well, as soon as I can find a place to shop that carries clothing which actually FITS me the way it's supposed to!! (I'm not bitter, or anything)

But I thought I'd let you all in on a bit of my dilemma, when it comes to clothe shopping.

I am a pretty small girl.

*NEWS FLASH*, I know... but seriously... I'm not teeny tiny, but I am on the smaller end of things, with a smaller chest, longer legs, and I still consider myself an average sized person (unless I'm "undergarment" shopping, but I'll spare you that drama and detail).

I am also 22 years old.

*SHOCK AGAIN*.... yeah yeah yeah... bear with me. This means that I no longer want to dress like I'm in high school (not that I dressed all that well back then, but you get my point).

This brings us to my dilemma: finding clothes that FIT properly, without having to buy clothes that add to the misconception that I'm freaking 12 years old.

Okay - I am glad that I'm on the smaller side of things, DON'T get me wrong, but do you have ANY idea how hard it is to shop? To just find a simple pair of jeans that fit me - that aren't butt/skin tight, too short, crotch-cut-low, hoo-hah huggers, or on the flip side of things - mom style high cut, baggy on the "abdomen", or oddly colored... it's like IMPOSSIBLE!! And like I said, I'm pretty average sized - as in I know lots of people that look to be about my size or so, but I can't seem to FREAKING find out where they buy their FREAKING jeans, without having to pay $80 per pair!! And I'm almost to that point, but now I'm running into this problem - even places like Banana, Express, and Ann Taylor don't sell my FREAKING sizes!!

And don't even get me started on the sweaters and tops/coats/jackets. I absolutely LOVE them ALL, but again they're either too short, too baggy, too "old", too hoochie, or too stupid expensive.

I sware - if I had the money (or the even REMOTE ability to sew my own clothing), I'd start my own fashion line and make my OWN clothes. I just can't take it anymore and I can't be the only girl with this problem!

I'm sorry. I hear people say all the time "Oh I'd LOVE to have your problem", and what have you, but it's so frustrating! Just ask my husband... he thought I was exaggerating, but then he went shopping with me... I believe I tried on at LEAST 15 - 20 different styles and pairs of jeans between a few different stores, and none - count them: NONE - of them fit me. And see some of the CUTEST outfits, and get the most AWESOME ideas for clothes, but still... nothing. My mother and I were at Goodwill last Friday night, and I tried on at LEAST 10 pairs of jeans (and at goodwill, you know that's a TOTALLY huge variety of styles and sizes and what-have-you), but none... NONE of them fit me. And I don't mean like they kind've did, but I didn't like any of them, no - I mean none of them fit me properly.

It's just something I have to get over, but it's so hard. I see other girls that seem to be my size or at least close to it, and I LOVE their clothes!! But then in reality, they're either not really my size, and I just have a distorted inability to estimate that kind of thing, or they paid like 5-million dollars for it (obvious exaggeration here, people) and I both possibilities suck!

So I've resorted to trying to shop in European-esque stores like H&M and what-not, but I don't like skinny jeans, and I'm no 8 feet tall, which apparently they all are (according to the "regular" length pants, anyways). I'd LOVE to go into stores like United Colors of Bennetton, but I don't think I'd even be able to afford to breathe the AIR in that store. So I'm stuck drooling at the clothes in the window as I walk by... sullen and depressed at my "luck" in finding clothes.

Am I seriously the ONLY one with this problem? Or is there a widespread epidemic that no one seems to care about...

Woe is me.

Mr. Health Department

Well, just to update you guys - the guy from the Health Department finally called me back. We had all of a 2 - 3 minute conversation, and as it turns out (put on your shocked face, for me witht his one) I'm not in violation of any Anne Arundel County Health Codes.

Blah Blah Blah

Long story short, our suspicions have been confirmed. She's off the wagon, and I'm sitting very comfortably in compliance with HOA and County rules and regulations.


Ain't it good to be proved right, sometimes? Wow... it feeld good.

Now this doesn't mean that I'm in the clear. I'm sure she'll try something else, but at least I've been advised in what to do, should that happen again. I'll plan to keep you in-the-know about my crazy Neighbor Lady and this whoel thing hopefully blows over, but for today... let's just rejoice in knowing that things are ok.


NL Update

So... either she read my post and took some valium, or my experiment is working.

The Neighbor Lady (NL) won't so much as look at me (which is fine by me, while this whole thing blows over), much less try and talk to me. She hasn't spoken a word to me, or tossed me a glance since our last encounter.

I did, however, come home to a nice business card sticking in my doorway, yesterday, from a man that works for the Health Department... this should be interesting. But alas, I called and he was "out in the field" until this afternoon. I will definitely update you one where THAT conversation should lead.

But before I even got to my stairs, I was greeted by Grace (our 80-year-old, work-out loving old lady OTHER neighbor that sold me girl scout cookies the other day) and a nice hispanic gentleman that didn't speak much English, both standing and waiting for me. (Grace is a special kind of woman, but she's at least nice about it, for the msot part) She introduced me to Francesco (you can't make this stuff up, people), and informed me that he does odd jobs around the area and would be willing to clean up my back yard, becuase "Janet's really been fussing at you about that, lately."

Me: "It's actually all clean. There's nothing back there."

Grace: "Then what's she been fussing at you about?"

Me: "I don't know..." *shrugs shoulders

Francesco: *puzzled look of non-understanding de eengleesh

[slapping my own hand "not nice, Sarah... that was not nice to say!"] You'll have to excuse me, being alone causes me to talk to myself more... even so far as punishing myself for saying mena things... MOVING on...

ANYwho, I'm still waiting to hear back on what the Health Department has to say about my back yard... and while I wait, I'm still mid-experiment.

My sister helped with the idea, really (Thanks, Ape!), and so far, it's seemed to work. Amazingly enough, when she can't SEE the poop, she can't seem to smell it, either. Hmm... interesting...

I have a little "poop jaw", as I like to call it, and I just grab his little piles, when he's done making them, and move them under my deck, into a corner she can't see. When it piles up enough, I will clean it up, but this is REALLY just to prove that there is NO problem with my backyard, except that she can't STAND to lok over into our backyard and see a pile or 2 or 3 (which there is NO law against, mind you).

I will keep you updated along with the progress of the experiment, but so far, so good. HOWEVER, he did have a little... umm... "gooey" pile this morning (I'll spare you too many of the details), and as any dog owner knows, you may as wel not even TRY to pick it up, if you don't have to, until it's nice and... umm... hardened. So - there's a LARGE possibility that she may say something to me this afternoon, but I've already been advised the call the police, should that happen. I just REALLY REALLY hope it doesn't come to that.

*crossing fingers

I think that's enough of an update, for now. For those of you who are squeamish, I apoligize for the gag reflex I've conjured up in you today. I will try to spare you in the future...


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dog Poop and Valium

McStudly and I just moved into our new home about 3 weeks ago. Actually - I believe it was exactly 3 weeks this past Sunday.

Well, without going into too great of detail with you guys, let's just say we're not getting along well with a certain neighbor of ours.

Other than this lady, everyone in the neighborhood is fantastic - really! They are super nice. Willing to help out with anything, and easy to talk to and just hang out with through the nice weatehr we've had lately.

But this lady... oh my goodness! I am trying my hardest. I really am - but for some reason, she's got it out for us (from the mouth of another neighbor). You see, she's not too happy that Austin leaves his little "piles" in our backyard. Now, before you jump to any conclusions, please keep in mind that I clean the backyard every 2 - 3 days (and by clean I mean pick up and hose down).

Well, when I got home yesterday, she approached me for the third time (3rd in person, but 5th altogether) int eh three weeks we've lived here.

Let me pause for a minute and tell you that everytime she's approached us, we've gone out of our way to clean the yard up right away, even if we'd just done it the day before, because we're trying to avoid a neighbor war. We're also VERY nice and polite with her (I know, right? HUGE surprise!).

Back to the story-

She approached me yesterday all flustered and upset. I did my VERY best to ignore her. I saw her by her car when I got home, so I filled my hands with things (to look preoccupied), went to check the mail, and looked down at the mail the entire time I walked EVER so slowly up to the house, but she stopped me in my tracks by stepping in front of me.

For the most part, the "conversation" went something like this (I use that term loosely, because it was more like a trial):

Neighbor Lady (NL): all huffy and puffy like "I just want you to know that I called ProCom again [our HOA management] and the Health Department about that back yard of yours. I just can't stand it anymore. I had company over this weekend and it was just horrible..."

Me (M): very calm and with hands filled, so unable to portray any body language "Ok. Well, I've talked to the HOA and my lawyer, and they've both advised me that we're not in violation of any regulations, so -" cut-off... and this won't be the last time...

NL: raising her voice, now "YES you ARE in violation. I know that for a FACT! You have had a pile out there ALL day and it's just horrible!"

yes, you read that correctly - A pile...

M: "He went this morning jsut before I left for work and I didn't have time to clean it up, I'm sorr-"

NL: yelling, now, and for the rest of the conversation "That's just NOT acceptable! You have to clean it up just like EVERYBODY else in this neighborhood! We all clean up. I don't let my cat go out there and crap all over the place!"

umm... cats are usually litter-box trained, btu whatever, lady... just... whatever

M: "Well, our backyard is considered private property, and we clean it up whenever we get the chance. I'd app-"

NL: pointing around the court "ALL of this is private property and everyone else cleans up after their dogs! You need to have respect for your neighbors! That dog got you kicked out of your last place, and I'm not going to stand it here! I don't have to live like thi- I will NOT live like this!"

M: "Well, I'm sorry, but we're not violating any regu-"

NL: "YES YOU ARE! And I won't stand for it! he got you kicked out of your last house, and you won't be able to get away with it here, either!"

M: "That was an agreement between us and our Landlord, and-"

NL: "Well, I'm not your landlord!!"

M: "No ma'am you're not, and I'd appreciate it if you'd stop harassing us about this, so that I won't be forced to seek further legal action with this matt-"

NL: "THIS ISN'T HARASSMENT! I'm your NEIGHBOR and you have NO respect for your neighbors!"

M: "I'd appreciate it if you'd stop talking to me like this."


M: "I'm sorry, but we're not violating any regulations according to the HOA and-"

NL: "YES YOU ARE AND I WON'T LIVE LIKE THIS" *queue slamming door

WOW! Yes - it went something like that. Holy goodness!

Well, needless to say, I went inside and BALLED my EYES out to McStudly. I can put my foot down when I have to, but I am trying SO SO hard not to give this lady any leverage against us in anything. And I held in SO much frustration that I just caved in to tears and incoherent-like talked to McStudly about what happened. He told me to go call the HOA and document everything else that had happened, so I did, but the guy was gone for the day, and so was his assistant. I left a message with the front desk, and she marked it as urgent.

So now we're here: I talked with the HOA Assistant to our comunity this morning (unfortunately for her, she's very familiar with the situation, as I've spoken with her about it before) and she advised me that apparently, the lady has called MANY times about the situation, even yelling at THEM over the phone, and they have told her that we are in compliance with all regulations, as well as all bi-laws, and that she needs to leave us alone.

And since I've now asked her twice to leave us alone, the HOA had "advised" us to call the police, should the issue happen again. I couldn't quote the lady, but she pretty much said 'there's nothing further we can do, beyond what we've already done. We've told her that you guys are in compliance, and to leave you alone, and if she doesn't, then can only suggest that you call the police. If it does come to that, please just send us a copy of the police report and we'll keep it on file here, so that we're on the same page as you through all of this. And if it shoudl come to you having to file a peace order, just, again, send us a copy, and we'll keep it on file as well. Just try to keep us informed about whatever is going on, and we're sorry you have to deal with all of this, but it is harassment, and you have every right to call the police. You should not have to put up with that.' Something along those lines.

So here we are. Not only did I clean up the back yard AGAIN last night (I cleaned it up after she approached me - with company over - on Sunday afternoon) after the incident, AND again this morning... hosing it down each time. If she approaches me regarding this today, I may not jsut call the cops, but... hey - does anyone have the number to the Crownsville Mental Insitution?

So, Yeah. I think she needs valium. All in favor - say "Ay!"

Monday, September 22, 2008

SNL Skit

I just wanted to share this - too funny. They did SUCH a great job with the impressions - it is TOO funny!!

http://widgets.nbc.com/o/4727a250e66f9723/48cd3b64ddb82bd0/48cd0cf97d529c95/be940ef3" id="W4727a250e66f972348cd3b64ddb82bd0" height="283" width="384">http://widgets.nbc.com/o/4727a250e66f9723/48cd3b64ddb82bd0/48cd0cf97d529c95/be940ef3" name="movie"/>


Here we are - it's Monday morning, and I'm only partially dreading the week, for a change.

Why, you may be asking yourself?!

Because I started my new job today! I'm super excited!! The lady I'll be training with and eventually working along-side is this super sweet older lady. And I actually get my own desk/cubicle area. WOOHOO!! Isn't that awesome? Yes... yes it is, you should be telling yourself. (If you knew anything about where I worked, you'd be jaw-drop-excited for me, right now)

But other than that, I have an entire week in front of me, and not really many plans, if any (if I have plans with you this week, please let me know, because I can't remember anything right now, ha ha).

It's going to be a good week.

PS: I know I missed "My Husband Rocks Friday" last week, but in all fairness I don't have a computer outside of work, so... I think I should get a "pass" on that one. But just to make up for it - My Husband Rocks, because he knows how to deal with me when I have emotional breakdowns over a stupid shower curtain rod... (don't ask) and start sobbing to him over the phone late at night. The poor thing... never saw it coming.


He's so fantastic. I love you, McStudly!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


So... I get to make dinner for Brittany and Jason, and their parents, tonight. They just had their beautiful baby, Tessie Leigh, and we're all helping them out by bringing them dinner so they can just relax and enjoy her. :-)

I'm excited. I wanted to mix it up and make them something different - so, I put my meatballs in the crockpot last night, and mixed my secret sauce together with it. And it smelled SO good when I got up this morning (and tasted yummy, too!). So they are having Meatball Subs for dinner.

I hope they like them (if you're reading them, and you don't... let me know, now, and I've got a back up for you!! I don't mind eating my meatballs all by myself - they're yummy!). But hopefully it'll be 'Mighty Good'. ;-)

But all this thinking about grub has not only made me hungry, but it also reminds me of the Lion King's Timon and Pumba. Remember how they used to show down on those little grubs?

Good times... good times....

Friday, September 12, 2008

~ My Husband Rocks Friday ~

Yep, that's right... here comes the bandwagon and I'm HOPPIN' aboard!

Why, You may ask? Becuase my husband totally DOES rock!! (Been there, done that - tee hee, and bought the t-shirt... literally!!)

Unfortunately, McStudly has been sentenced to "90 days no wife". For what? Well, for being in the Air Force, and being good at what he does. Nothing against the Air Force, but I WANT MY HUSBAND BACK!! It hasn't even been a WEEK, yet, and i"m looking everywhere for deals on cheap flights to GA!!! ha ha

But seriously - my husband rocks. And this week, it's because - he's admitted that he can't do it without me. It... as in life... It's been less than a week, and he's already told me SO many times that he needs me, and doesn't know how he did it before.

BUT mainly - he rocks this week, because he calls me at LEAST twice a day just to check on me and see how I'M doing.


I just want to hug him. :-\

Foot In Mouth Disease

Here are six reasons why you should think before you speak - the last one is great!

Have you ever spoken and wished that you could immediately take the words back? Or that you could crawl into a hole? Here are the Testimonials of a few people who did:


I walked into a hair salon with my husband and three kids in tow and asked loudly,

'How much do you charge for a shampoo and a blow job?'

I turned around and walked back out and never went back.

My husband didn't say a word...he knew better.


I was at the golf store comparing different kinds of golf balls. I was unhappy with the women's type I had been using. After browsing for several minutes, I was approached by one of the good-looking gentlemen who works at the store. He asked if he could help me.

Without thinking, I looked at him and said, 'I think I like playing with men's balls'


My sister and I were at the mall and passed by a store that sold a variety of candy and nuts. As we were looking at the display case, the boy behind the counter asked if we needed any help.

I replied, 'No, I'm just looking at your nuts.'

My sister started to laugh hysterically. The boy grinned, and I turned beet-red and walked away. To this day, my sister has never let me forget.


While in line at the bank one afternoon, my toddler decided to release some pent-up energy and ran amok. I was finally able to grab hold of her after receiving looks of disgust and annoyance from other patrons. I told her that if she did not start behaving 'right now' she would be punished.

To my horror, she looked me in the eye and said in a voice just as threatening,

'If you don't let me go right now, I will tell Grandma that I saw you kissing Daddy's pee-pee last night!'

The silence was deafening after this enlightening exchange. Even the tellers stopped what they were doing. I mustered up the last of my dignity and walked out of the bank with my daughter in tow. The last thing I heard when the door closed behind me, were screams of laughter.


Have you ever asked your child a question too many times? My three-year-old son had a lot of problems with potty training and I was on him constantly.

One day we stopped at Taco Bell for a quick lunch, in between errands. It was very busy, with a full dining room. While enjoying m y taco, I smelled something funny, so of course I checked my seven-month-old daughter, she was clean. Then realized that Danny had not asked to go potty in a while.

I asked him if he needed to go, and he said 'No'. I kept thinking 'Oh Lord, that child has had an accident, and I don't have any clothes with me.' Then I said,'Danny, are you SURE you didn't have an accident?' 'No,' he replied. I just KNEW that he must have had an accident, because the smell was getting worse. Soooooo, I asked one more time, 'Danny did you have an accident?'

This time he jumped up, yanked down his pants, bent over, spread his cheeks and yelled 'SEE MOM, IT'S JUST FARTS!!'

While 30 people nearly choked to death on their tacos laughing, he calmly pulled up his pants and sat down. An old couple made me feel better,thanking me for the best laugh they'd ever had!


This had most of the state of Michigan laughing for 2 days and a very embarrassed female news anchor who will, in the future, likely think before she speaks. What happens when you predict snow but don't get any -

We had a female news anchor that, the day after it was supposed to have snowed and didn't, turned to the weatherman and asked:

'So Bob, where's that 8 inches you promised me last night?'

Not only did HE have to leave the set, but half the crew did too they were laughing so hard!

Oh my word... I've been there SO many times! (to those of you that weren't there, 'How would you punish your pet monkey if he misbehaved?')

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm Overwhelmed

McStudly has only been gone for 1 day. 1 measly day, in the sea of tons of them (1 down, 89 to go), but somehow, I am already overwhelmed.

Mainly - it's Austin. I love my dog. I really really do! And he's a good dog... for the most part. But McStudly had this way with him (I personally think he slipped him treats, etc, behind my back to earn the affection) that had him eating out of the palm of his hands (figuratively AND literally, that is). McStudly would say it, and Austin would probably do it. There were days when he was even hard-headed with him, but it wasn't nearly as often.

So here we are. It's just me and Austin. And he's been doing pretty well. I've taken him for walks for the past two days straight, and it's helped his energy level a good bit. But this morning, it got pretty ridiculous. Let me essplain...

Today, I got to sleep in and wait for the cable guy to arrive (you know how they give you like a 4 hour window?). This morning, I got up around 8, let Austin out and fed him, then he went back into his crate (trying to keep with his usual schedule) and I went to the couch for a little morning nappage until the cable guy arrived at around 0950.

He came in, introduced himself, and come to find out, he actually lives about 2 or 3 doors down. Small world, eh? Well, I show him where we need the cable box set up, and where the spare bedroom is, for the 2nd box (that we get for free, I might add, thanks to Verizon promotions), and on the way up, I warn him about my "ferocious" dog being in his crate, in order to prepare him for the obnoxious whining he would undoubtedly be privileged enough to hear for the next 3 hours straight.

Upon seeing Austin, he sticks his hand in the crate to pet him (and Austin pretty much molests his hand) and tells me, I'm okay to let him out of his crate because he loves dogs and wouldn't mind him. I warn him that he's quite the puppy, still, and let him out. He is great - no jumping, just listens perfectly, and goes right outside to potty. And for the next hour, he's fantastic! He makes instant friends with the cable/neighbor guy, who says he also has a lab mix (Austin's favorite kind of friend - just ask Luke), and pretty much stays with him while he works... just watching... like an angel dog.

As the guy takes trips outside to his van to retrieve supplies, Austin sits at the front door, awaiting his new-found-friend's return. I decide that it's time to give the cable/neighbor man a break, and shut the door to the basement (where he's working), keeping Austin upstairs with me. And he just continues to be the sweetest dog! He actually layed on the floor in the kitchen while I did dishes (he looked like he was depressed that his mom wouldn't let him play with his new buddy, but I figured he'd get over it). So, I get dishes done, and decide I might as well head up to take my shower while the cable/neighbor man was working in the basement (yes, ladies, I locked all possible doors between us), and I let Austin back down to visit with his new friend, again. All seems well in the world as I slip in to take a nice long (though I've taken much longer) and relaxing shower.

I finish my shower and get dressed. Brush through my hair, and decide to go check in how things are progressing. The cable/neighbor guy is in the spare bedroom hooking up the internet, and I head down to look for Austin. Well, the genius cable/neighbor guy left him outside (totally fine, and probably the best idea). But the NOT so genius side of my cable/neighbor guy left the friggin outside door open, too! (one question, dude - are you a COMPLETE moron, or do you just have episodes, occasionally?)

So picture this, as best you can. I slowly open the door to the basement to find the stairs almost COMPLETELY covered in mud and wood chips. Austin is about 5 stairs down, looking up at me like a man caught gorging his face in the back room of a restaurant. I can practically hear him saying "oh crap" in typical Austin voice fashion. As if reacting to what's about to happen, he attempts to run out of the door I'm standing by into the house, but he's blocked. So, he takes of running outside. Good choice, moron. Good choice.

I walk outside, stomping like a 6-year old who's been told "because I said so", and just GLARE at my dog and all of his glory. Not much to my amusement, there are two gigantoid holes in the pretty small garden plot on the right side of the yard. Austin is cowering in the opposite corner, so I choose, if only for the time being, to let him cower in fear as I begin clean-up.

I start by grabbing the rake, and shoving most of the dirt back into the holes, then use the pooper-scooper to pick up the wood chips and place them over the poop-like-mud, patting down in hopes that it will settle and never be touched again. Then I turn my sights on the inside. I started out using the pooper-scooper to pick up the big pieces, but resolved to use the broom instead (which ended up being way more efficient anyways). Starting at the top of the stairs, I use the broom and begrudgingly sweep all of the gunk (minus the now caked-in mud, mind you) to the floor, and then sweep all of it out the back door.

By this time the cable/neighbor guy has returned to the outside and kind've laughs out an "uh oh". Umm...Yeah, buddy. Ya think?!

Fast forward about 15 minutes. It's time to put Austin in the crate. He's done enough damage for one hour... and I've had enough! So I go get his treat (seems to be the only way I can coax him into it on my own) and I start the taunting. But he goes and lays on his bed like "Look, ma. I'm being good!" I give him a little piece of it, then tell him to go get in his crate, but he returns to me a blank, sarcastic stare. This and other similar taunting methods drag on for about 10 minutes, until I FINALLY have him running upstairs (thanks, in part, to cable/neighbor guy being up there) and he JETS into the bedroom. I go to chase him out, and he cuts out through the bathroom and JETS back downstairs. You've GOT to be kidding me!

Well, I get him back upstairs, again, and he tries the same thing (stupid me - left the doors open!), but this time he's caught off guard as cable/neighbor guy tries to help me out, a bit, by blocking his escape route down the stairs. So I GRAB him by the scruff of his neck (just like a pissed off momma dog would... minus the teeth, that is) and SHOVE his butt into the crate... throwing his treat at him (he's lucky I have awful aim). Completely and totally ticked off, I command "Now, STAY!" (wow, mom... that was really powerful. He's locked in a crate and you sure showed him by telling him to stay! I bet he's not going anywhere... realll nice).

I didn't even look at cable/neighbor guy, because I felt like a complete idiot, with my soap-opera-ish "AND STAY OUT!" remark punctuating the hour of horror.

So... Anybody want a dog for a week? Don't feel bad. I didn't figure you would.


I need a vacation.

Friday, September 5, 2008

This, That, and the Other

T - 3 Days and Counting. So that means I only have 3 days left with my love, and I'm stuck here... at work... doing nothing.


Oh well. I guess I'll get to see him tonight and all weekend until he's gone, right? He'll be sick of me by the time he pulls away. AS HE SHOULD BE!!

On to other topics - I got a new job! I'll be starting in a few weeks, and I'm super excited. PLEASE pray for me as I make this transition - that it will be as exciting of a job as it seems, and that I'll be able to handle the change even while McStudly is gone for the next few months.

As for prayer - please keep us in them, if you will. I have a feeling I'm also going to need an extra dose of patience as I try to manage things around the house by myself, to include our super-spunky dog, Austin.

I know I can do all things through him who gives me strength, but NO where in that verse does it say those "things" will be easy!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Looming Sadness

So we got word today that McStudly is being sent on a 90-day TDY. This pretty much means he goes away for 90-days, and I'm stuck here. Alone. By myself. Husband-less. All for 90 days.

I know, right? How ridiculous is that!

Anyway - we're about 98% sure at this point that he's leaving Tuesday... as in this coming Tuesday... as in 5 days away.

Way to kick me while I'm down, world!! Way to go!

April is planning a chocolatey-goodness/caffeine-filled, movie-playing, drown your sorrows kind of Tuesday night at my house, with me. That's what sisters are for, right? So all you other ladies out there, prepare for many-a-Girls' Night at my place. I gotta fill the time with something!

Basically, what I guess I'm saying is - THIS SUCKS!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Who What When Where WHY

We unpacked the kitchen last night (thanks to Jamily), so that means we're officially moved in, right?

WRONG! Because we still have a BAZILLION other boxes to unpack. BUT I was finally able to cook dinner last night, and it was SOO yummy. Spaghetti. It really hit the spot.

Little by little we'll be unpacking, but the most frustrating part of it all is that I can't find anything! It's insane!! And having a little sister who labels boxes with the words "Random Stuff" doesn't help, much (why even label it, then?)! But at least she still helped out. Thanks Bekah and Mandy!

And My mother and Sister totally cleaned the new place before we moved in. It is SOOO nice not having to worry about what kind of germs and funk the other person left behind. Thanks Momma Bear and April!!

And then there's my Dad and McStudly (and Jonas!) - the heavy lifters... the muscle. A BIG shout out to the movers and shakers! You guys were awesome. Thank you, Papa Bear, McStudly, and Jonas!!

So there will be updates and pictures in the near (hopefully) future. And be sure to pray for our sanity as we sort through everything and try to find room for it!!

Love y'all!