Thursday, February 25, 2010

Filled with Worry

About a week ago last year, I lost my dear, sweet Izzie.  It was a sad time.  Losing a pet is hard.  Dare I say it can be just as hard as losing a person.

Then Riley starting having seizures.  We gained control of them, then lost it.  Gained it back, the lost it even more.  We're finally at a place, with 2 different meds, that we've gained control again.  Oh happy day.  Now she just needs to lose a few pounds.  As does her mom... x10

So I'm sure you can understand my concern when I got a call that Riley was acting weird, out of the ordinary, not normal.  Like the dog didn't even react when you tease her about going on a walk or getting a treat, which she normally gets uber excited about.  But no, she's slow, unmotivated, not eating (dog food or treats), tired, and wanders to random places within the house and yard.  My thought, she ate something from the trash that the dogs tipped over at my parent's house yesterday while we were all at dinner celebrating Kaitlin's birthday.  Can a dog get food poisoning?  Her tummy is a little bloated, and she has flu like symptoms.  

So I called the vet, explained her symptoms, and asked if they thought I should bring her in (mind you it was 7:20pm).  They said that emergency hours now start at 7:40pm (random time) and just walking in the door will cost $150 (I live a good 15-20 minutes from the vet, so I'd likely be paying $150+).  They said just to keep an eye on her over night and if she doesn't start perking up to bring her in in the morning, they open at the ungodly hour of 7am.

If you think about it and have compassion towards family member pets, please put Riley in your prayers.

Now, if you excuse me, I'm gonna go cuddle with my dog and make sure she's ok...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Help! Opinion/Thoughts Needed!

I have a problem.  It's not a big one.  It's not a small one.  It's an overwhelming one.  And I want to simplify!

Here's the thing.  I currently have 3 blogs.  That's right 3.  I have this on, Practicing Patience, as well as a receipe blog at A Pinch, A Dash, and A Splash and my photography blog, Courtney Ann Photography.  Ideally, I'd like to combine them all in some way.  I haven't played around too much, but I want it to be easier for my readers (Hi Reader!) to keep up with me and not have to click around to 3 different pages. 

So here's where I need your help, do you prefer a) links on the side to click and take you to the different blogs, b) tabs at the top to take you (a la P-Dub style), or c) would you prefer that I just combine them all into one blog? 

Please comment your thoughts, opinion, or vote.  Thanks!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ten for Tuesday

I look forward to Tuesdays, and Ten for Tuesday.  Mainly because that's about all I'm posting right now.  That will change, mark my word, I just can't promise when. 
  1. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
    Seriously!?!  I have to pick one?!?  How about a few favorites...  Favorite ice cream from an ice cream parlor: Coldstone's White Chocolate.  Favorite full fat from a carton:  toss up between Ben & Jerry's Half Baked (or is it Everything But The...?), Chocolate with Peanut Butter swirl (or "ribbon"), and/or Starbuck's Caramel Macchiato.  Favorite low fat from a carton:  Dreyer's - just about all the options.  Favorite nonfat:  FroYos baby!  Nope, you can't tell at all that I like ice cream.  Can you?
  2. What is your earliest memory?
    Oh great!  A memory question!  I don't think I could honestly answer this one.  Most of my "memories" are conjured up by remember a picture that I then remember the story behind.  I wish I could remember when I held the puppy upside down.  I have a picture of my aunt holding me while at Catalina Island, I was maybe 5.  I don't remember that moment, but from that trip I do remember playing mini golf and a staircase in the condo where we were staying. 
  3. What is your earliest memory of a dessert?
    Ok, who keeps bringing up memories?  I don't remember my earliest dessert.  I love dessert though.  And I've got hips and thighs to prove it!
  4. Do you have any recurring dreams?
    Nope.  Random dreams, yes.  Recurring dreams, no.
  5. Have you ever dreamed about dessert?
    No.  Probably the only time in my life when I'm not waiting something sweet.
  6. What is one thing (aside from a cell phone or computer) that you cannot go the entire day without? pillow, aka sleep.  I value my sleep.  It wouldn't show though being as it takes me forever to get from not in bed to in bed at night.  I really need to work on that.  My pillow and I need longer cheek to cheek time.
  7. What is one dessert you could go your entire life without ever having again?
    The "diet" cake from the cruise last year.  BLAH!  Diet?  Try cardboard cake!  And fruitcake, although I don't know if I've every actually had it (bad memory, remember?).  I think I have, but I couldn't tell you for sure.  I'm positive that I don't/wouldn't like it though!
  8. If you could go on vacation tomorrow, where would you go? (Assume someone else is footing the bill, but within reason…so “the moon” won’t work.)Right now?  Somewhere warm, sunny, and tropical.  Bora Bora or Fiji maybe.  Or New Zealand or Australia.  And since someone else is footing the bill, can someone else suffer the consequences of my over indulging of food too?
  9. If you could have any dessert tomorrow, what would you have (assume someone else is buying it for you. Within reason though, no “gold sprinkled ice cream cones.”)
    A Napoleon from Gayle's Bakery in Capitola.  Pastry layered with raspberry sauce and a homemade whipped cream.  Oh....  So.... Good....  I haven't had one in forever.  Maybe it's time to take a trip to the coast for a day...
  10. What was your first impression of your significant other? If you’re single, what was your first impression of your best friend?
    Single here!  My best friend, well, her parents lived across the street from my grandparents (now my parent's house).  So when I would visit them I would always end up at Rylen's to play.  Then my family moved in and we got older and more mature and were involved in church together and school and weekend neighborhood hide and seek games and through college and boyfriends and work and even living together and marriages and now babies.  We've been bff's ever since...
  11. What is your first impression of dessert pizza? (Personally, I think it’s weird. I love dessert but I don’t want any on my pizza.)
    I love a good dessert pizza.  Duh, it's dessert!  Something with a good cinnamon crumble and sugary icing on top...  yummm...!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ten for Tuesday

Wow!  Is it Tuesday already?  Can it be Friday already too?  I'd really like that!  Here ya go...

  1. If you could open any type of store/place of business (money is no obstacle), what would you open?
    Hummm...  Here's a few ideas...  -A bakery, a bakery with yummy unique sweets that are well presented (aka not boring looking).  Although I don't want to be the sole baker, I want to be able to mingle with the customers and see the sheer bliss on their face when they bite into the delicious baked good.  Or... -A shop similar to anthropology with vintage, unique, shabby chic items.  Maybe use etsy crafters as the vendors.
  2. If all jobs paid equally, what occupation would you want? Why?
    A house wife/mommy.  Although, I've seen studies done that if you calculated the hours put in and the degree of the "job" and the number of tasks to be completed that the annual wages of a stay at home mom would be up in the 6 figures.  So, it's time for me to find someone wealthy and go from there...  Just kidding, money is everything.  If I had to choose an actually paying job that I would pay well, it'd be a photographer.
  3. If you could be any animal in the world, what would you pick? Why?
    Oh my goodness... I don't know.  What's a good "swiss" animal, one that is neither the prey nor the predator?  On that is cuddly and cute.  How about a pet dog to a celebrity?  At that point I wouldn't even care if I were a mutt 'cause I'd be well taken care of.
  4. If offered one “service” free of charge, which would you choose? (chauffeur, maid, personal shopper, chef, etc.)
    How about a house servant (although I don't like the word servant but it best fits the description)?  This person would clean AND cook AND get my mail AND fluff my pillow.  Ok, they don't have to fluff my pillow.  But they will have to get my mail.
  5. What is one habit, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to break?Biting my nails...?  Even though that goes in waves.  Or, snacking throughout the day.  Or insisting that I have dessert every night.  Ok, I know that's 3.  Pick the best one and go with it.
  6. What is one thing that no matter how many you own, you still love to buy all the time?
    Chapsticks/lipglosses.  I always have no less than 6 in my purse at all times.  1 in my coat or jean pocket.  And a jar full of them in my bathroom.  It's an addtiction.  I need help.
  7. Out of all the game shows (past and present), which would you want to be a participant on and play?
    If I were a totally geeky, brainiack, Jeopardy.  If I were a semi geeky, brainiack, Who Wants to be a Millionaire.  If I wanted to play a game more based on luck and not on brains (ok, maybe a little strategy), Deal or No Deal.  
  8. If you could play the lead role in any movie that’s already been made, which movie would you pick?
    Lead role?  You mean I can't be an extra?  This gal is not meant to be on the stage under the hot, bright lights; she's meant to be behind the scenes directing.
  9. Name 5 things on your bucket list (things you want to do before you die).
    Forgive me, there will be a lot of traveling before I kick the bucket... 1) Rent a villa in Tuscany for a family vacation.  2) Visit all 50 US states at least once.  3) Go to Greece.  4) Attend at least one event at the (summer or winter) olympics.  5) Be able to cook instinctively without needing recipes.
  10. Which one of your birthdays was the best? What did you do that day?
    I'm gonna share a little secret with you...95% of the time I get gypted out of a "proper" birthday celebration.  It's always been that way, so now I don't know how to handle it when people want to actually do something for my bday.  Hence my dilemma for this coming May; I'll be 30, I want to do something semi-big to celebrate, but I for once don't want to have to plan the entire thing or have it cost me, the birthday girl, a bundle or money.

Go visit Chelsea over at Roots and Rings.  Yesterday she made a big announcement...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Motivation Monday - Destiny

Hail Ball!

It's been a few weeks ago now.  I know so much for getting and staying caught up. 

A few weeks ago it rained.  Poured really.  (sorry the picture is quite blurry, but you get the idea, plus it was taken sans flash)
(picture with flash. it was just starting to hail)

Then it hailed. 
Hailed so much it was like a thin layer of big snow. 
Hobie.  Well, he loved the rain/hail/wanna be snow situation.  The other dogs...they hid from the cold/thunder/lightening/rain/hail/wanna be snow situation. (picture of my parent's deck)
 Now, if only I could figure out how to get the 150 consecutive pictures into a time lapse video of that dog...

And by the way, we found out that a free mute who turns how to be semi high maintenance must be hand dried and brushed everytime he gets wet (which happens to be on a daily basis because Hobie likes to get in the pool when it's 43 degrees outside) to prevent matting.  He just got a haircut, he looks like a different dog, but he's mat free.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ten for Tuesday

Yea, Ten for Tuesday time!
  1. Fill in the blank. Sometimes I wish my life was more ______.Oh boy.  This question could go so many different ways.  The way I want it to be.  Complete.  Spontaneous.  Affordable (as far as being able to do what I want, like travel and not have to work a normal 8-5 job).  
  2. How do you cure the hiccups?It's a secret.  Next time you have the hiccups I'll tell you.
  3. What are three of your favorite indulgences?
    Sephora makeup
    1/2 Fat, Slow Churned Ice Cream
    Peanut Butter M&M's
  4. Where is the most exotic place you would like to travel to? The most mundane?Exotic:  Anywhere outside North America, perferrably Greece or Italy.  Mundane:  Anywhere to visit family.
  5. Does having your time planned out stress you or relax you?Both.  It all depends on what is on my planned list.  If it's a lot of big things and I feel crunched for time to get them done then I start to stress, but it's manageable stress.  I'd stress if I didn't have things planned out either though.  For the most part, I am a planner.  I love lists.  I love crossing things off lists.  Overly planned anything stresses me out though.  To the max.
  6. What are your favourite fabrics to wear?Soft cotton.  Sweat pant cotton materia.  Flannel, as in pj pants.  Whatever that material that a lot of shirts are being made from lately, the softly, thin, flowy stuff.
  7. Do you sleep through the night?
    I used to sleep like a log.  Not so much any more.  With Riley and her seizures I'm up whenever I hear her moving.  The noise of her scratching her neck sounds very similar to the noise of when she seizes.  Now I just need to start going to be early enough to get a full 8 hours...
  8. When you were younger, what did you think you would be doing at this age? How close is that to what you are doing?
    I knew I wanted to go to Cal Poly like my parents and my aunts and uncles.  I had no concept of actually graduating, I just knew that after I was a big kid (high school) I wanted to move on and go to the school that most of myfamily went to.  I don't remember what occupation I wanted.  (mom, help me out...)  Probably a teacher or a nurse.  Maybe I wanted to be a mommy.  As I got older this was the plan: 1) graduate high school, 2) go to Cal Poly, 3) work on my MRS degree, 4) graduate from Cal Poly, 5) get married within a year or 2 of graduation, 6) be married a few years before starting a family, 7) be a stay at home mommy or work from home.  So far I've completed 1, 2, 4, and I'm working on the "work from home" part of 7.
  9. What has surprised you most about growing up?
    Growing up too fast was not a good idea.  It's not a given that you get a real job then buy a house.  Or that you graduate from college and get married.  Things haven't gone "according to my plan" but that doesn't mean that I haven't enjoyed the life I've been given. 
  10. Are you good at keeping secrets?Yes.  No.  Depends how big the secret is.  Sometimes I even forget what the secret was, other times I have to consciously not tell the secret or make it obvious that I have one.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

How to Get Out of Friendzone

I'm one of those people that just about always has a crush on some poor dude.  It's a natural thing to crush on someone, right?  (Although, surprisingly, right now I'm actually not crushing.) Having a crush on someone is fun (the thrill of the unknown, butterflies in your stomach when he calls, emails, smiles at you), but it's also stressful. Not knowing if the object of your crush returns your affections.

Get Your Vote On

My brother is engaged.  We all know this right?  Well, he is.  To a wonderful woman.  Seriously, I couldn't ask for a better sister-in-law.

Well, they caught wind on a contest that Crate & Barrel is putting on (through me, 'cause I take care of 'em).  I would really appreciate it if you vote for them.  I know that they would really appreciate it too!  So read their little love story and show them your own love.

 It just takes a few minutes to vote, and if you already have an account with Crate & Barrel, then it'll take less time. 

Thank you!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Dreaded Month

I'm not a negative person.  I strive to be positive, to not be a "negative nelly".  To see the glass half full not half empty.  Negativity gets you no where in life, so why not just be positive?  That's my thought.

Except for the month of February.  February is the month that I like the least.  Is it ok to have a least favorite month out of the year?

I dislike February.  I detest February.  I hate February.  I loathe February.  I..., well, you get the picture.  And do you know why?

Because February is full of hearts and mushy lovey-dovey junk.  Stuff that brings awareness to all single people out there that says, "Yes, you ARE alone.  You don't have someone to share hearts and mushy lovey-dovey stuff with.  You are, once again, dateless, flowerless, stuffed animalless, chocolateless (although my thighs are thankful for that), and loveless."

I know "loveless" maybe be a bit extreme, you know what I mean though.  I know that there are people that love me.  I have a wonderful family and great friends and love and appreciate me.  I know that the God of Love loves and cherishes me.  I know that I'm supposed to show love, because that's the greatest commandment of all, love one another as Christ loves me. (John 13:34) 

But I can't help but wonder, when is the God of Love going to send the emotional, physical, spiritual love that I so long and desire?  When will I get to rejoice for the month of February instead of want to hide in a corner? 

Now, for the next 24 days, I have to try to put on a happy face and make it through the month.  Which is hard, because this negative attitude affects just about every aspect of my life.  Work, at home, with friends, etc.

Alright, that's enough outta me!  Stepping off my little soap box and moving on with my day now.  The sooner the day is over the sooner the next day comes the sooner the month is over!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Uses for Old Things

I love a useful tip just like the rest of 'em.  So here's a handful that hopefully you'll find useful too.
  • Repurpose an old frame for a vanity tray that’s pretty as a picture. Place a piece of colored paper or fabric inside as a finishing touch. (Very shabby chic!)
  • A Twister game mat makes a spot-on tablecloth for a child’s birthday party: Sticky spills and icing wash right off.
  • At a party, stash ice in a colander set on top of a bucket or a bowl. Water will drain out, and guests will get only the solid stuff.
  • Stop searching high and low for hair clips and elastics: Store them tidily on an empty TP tube.
  • Pick up interesting cardboard coasters at restaurants and bars you visit along your travels. Punch a hole near the edge, thread some ribbon through, and voilĂ : homemade gift tag.
  • Chalk is a moisture absorber: Tie up a few pieces in cheesecloth and store them with your good silver to slow any tarnishing.
  • Vegetable oil will put a shine on leather shoes. Use a damp cloth to remove any dirt, then run a soft cloth with a drop of oil over the surface to (literally) add polish.
  • Transform a six-pack holder into a condiment tote that’s ideal for summer picnics.
  • Forget unruly plastic bags that seemingly regenerate under your sink. An empty tissue box keeps them neatly corralled and ready for use.
  • A giveaway shower cap becomes the perfect wrapper for shoes when traveling, preventing them from dirtying clothes packed in your suitcase.
  • Brand anything as yours―books, binders, Tupperware, a stapler―with a return-address sticker. (Use all those free ones you get in the mail!)
  • A clever way to keep straight whose drink is whose: Mark each glass with removable window decals.
  • A supermarket bag, tightly secured with a rubber band, will keep a brush (or roller) moist for a day or two in between painting sessions: the end of dried-out bristles.
  • No more worries of camisoles and sundresses slipping off hangers when you wrap the ends with rubber bands.
  • A binder clip serves as a key chain/money holder you can clamp to your waistband for a purse-free morning walk.
  • Save a countertop with an old mouse pad turned trivet. (Make sure it has a nonplastic coating.)
  • No more oops! moments when painting, if you cover doorknobs and hardware with aluminum foil. (This would have been good to know when I was painting antique doorknobs 2 years ago!)
  • That straightening iron works on more than rambunctious hair: Use it to press between buttons, where a regular iron won’t fit.
  • When traveling, eliminate clunky bottles for nonprescription meds from your purse by popping the pills into a contact-lens case. (Good idea!  I have about 15 spare contact cases floating around.)
  • Who says a towel rack has to be the dedicated realm of, well, towels? Mounted over (or under) the kitchen sink, it can also hold a collection of cleansers.
  • A clear hair elastic binds blooms together for a better arrangement in a wide-mouth vase. Stretch the elastic around the stems, then let the flowers fall naturally.
  • Make no-mess pancakes with the help of a ketchup bottle: Pour in batter, then squeeze out precise portions.
  • Why pack with Styrofoam peanuts when you can pack with popcorn (plain and air-popped). No air popper? Be sure to cover the item with a plastic bag. (Safe for the environment too!)
  • Warehouse your shoes in an empty wine-bottle carton wrapped in pretty paper. (An excuse to buy more wine? OK!)
  • An unused glasses case makes a convenient storage spot for beauty items on the go.
  • A lemon works to remove tough food stains from a plastic or light-colored wood cutting board. Squeeze on the juice of one half, rub it in, and let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing.
  • Slide bobby pins onto a hem to hold pleats in place as you iron them. (If only I ironed...)
  • Change dirty water in a flower vase by using a turkey baster to suction up the liquid without disturbing your arrangement. Add fresh water directly from the tap.
  • Silence cabinet doors that slam with cork sliced into thin disks and glued onto the inside corners.
  • Give Easter eggs a year-round use (and save on resealable bags) by filling them with snacks like crackers or Cheerios. (I love fishes 'cause they're so delicious...)
  • Cut down on the amount of potting soil needed by crumpling plastic bags to fill the bottom of a deep pot (just be sure that you don’t cover the drainage hole, if there is one).
  • Organize bills―arranged in the order in which they need to be paid off―in an unused napkin holder.
  • A paint chip strip makes a dandy place card: Cut off a length of two colors, then fold.
  • Bridge the gap between too-short stems and too-deep vase by sliding on trimmed clear plastic straws.
  • Shower-curtain hooks provide sturdy storage for heavier items, like purses.
  • Attach a magnet to the inside of a metal medicine cabinet, and you can promptly pluck tweezers (or nail clippers) when needed. (Oh!  Good idea!  I'm always losing my tweezers.)
Got any good tips to share too?
Tips from Real Simple.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

Last week I did a giveaway for my 3 year blogiversary.  Wow, 3 years!

Time to pick a winner.  I know I told you I'd do it over the weekend.  Well, sorry, I was too busy going to IKEA, church, and taking a nap.

First I'll write down the entries on a post-it...
Then I'll fold them up...
And lastly I'll pick a winner...
Yeah Mandy (I can't remember, but Mandy's blog may be private)!  This was Mandy's entry...
"Me, personally... i love your updates on life! I love getting to read about what's been going on with you and how God has been working through your life!

I also love your scenery photos- you're SO good at those and I love getting to see where you've been :)

But most of all, I love that your blog (&mine) have reconnected us!"
I agree! 
Mandy, you know how to contact me (e-mail, text, call, stop by, comment, facebook, etc.).  Pick a method and let me know when you'd like to pick up your jar of Santa Maria.
Don't worry folks, I plan on doing more giveaways this year.

Ten for Tuesday

Have you thought about doing Ten on Tuesday?  I think you should!
  1. What is your favorite travel destination spot?
    Tropical.  Anywhere tropical.  Or anywhere historical.  I enjoy the mountains, but I don't like all the dirt and nature that comes with it.  Don't get me wrong, I love nature, I love God's creation.  I just don't like it all over me and my stuff.
  2. Cats vs. Dogs.
    Death to the cats!  I'm a dog person all the way.  And unfortunately, cats know that, that is why they feel it necessary to "spread their love" all over my front yard, on my car, even occasionally on my front door.  It's disgusting.  And I have a pellet gun loaded and ready to use.
  3. Do you believe in fate?
    Fate like luck?  No.  I believe in a God that has a plan for every single person.  I also don't believe in coincidences.  I believe that everything happens by and through the God of the Universe that has the power to make things happen, even the seemingly impossible.
  4. Do you believe in karma?
  5. Everyone has a unique laugh.  Do you like yours?
    I have a unique laugh, in fact, I hardly make any noise when I laugh.  You can see me laughing and my shoulders shaking, but you won't hear much noise.  Honestly, my sister is the same way.  Get us going and it's a silent room of laughing so hard you cry.
  6. Is love really all you need?
    The Great Commission is to love one another.  I don't think there is enough love in the world.  If there was I don't think we as a whole would have as many problems as we do.  The evening news would be full of kittens (death to cats!) being saved from trees, not reports of shootings or war.  In a perfect world God's love would be enough and we wouldn't feel the need to "earn" love from other sources.  It's a concept that I'm trying to work on, but it's hard.
  7. What's your take on the whole 2012 scare?
    What's the 2012 scare?  Yes, I'll be scared in 2012 because I'll be turning 32, which is closer to 40 than I am now.  That's scary!
  8. If you won a million dollars and had to give it all away, who would you give it to? (Family and friends not included.)
    Oh, good one!  I would give it to my church first and foremost.  I would give a portion of it to Compassion International.  I would give some of it to local organizations that are reach the community for Christ.  This is hard, there are so many good organizations out there that are biblical based and are sharing the love of Jesus and spreading the world.
  9. Do you believe in God/religion/the power of prayer?
    Yes.  I've seen the power of prayer in action, so it's hard not to believe in God and the power of prayer.  Do I believe in religion, like organized religion?  I agree with Chelsea and the word religion/religious.  "I'm a religious person" is just too vague to me.  It's like saying "I'm a republican/democrate" or "I'm a (insert horoscope sign here)." 
  10. What New Year’s Resolution do you always make but never keep?
    Exercise more.  I do fine with the "lose weight" ...until the holidays hit. I know I'd do better with the "lose weight" if "exercised more".  Stupid cyclical circle!