Tag: pets

Charlevoix lighthouse as seen from the water.
Charlevoix lighthouse as seen from the water.

Six Month Recap

You will have noticed that I haven’t blogged in a good long while (duh). I’m trying to get back into the habit. It’s harder than I thought it would be to just get started. I’m faced with the decision – just pick up from here or try to recap the last six months? Bill says he didn’t realize how much he counted on my role as family historian until I stopped blogging. I guess I might be sorry in the future that I let the last six months’ worth of happenings slide by without mention.

I also stopped writing at Beyond Megapixels and put the site on hiatus (the content and archives are still up, though). Until just a couple of months ago, I hadn’t picked up my camera since we were at the cabin in January. I’m finally getting back to photography for pleasure, but I really burned myself out on all the freelance stuff I did last year. So I’m just now coming back around to thinking about looking for some more freelance writing and photography assignments.

Yes, glaring signs of depression. I’m back on Wellbutrin and I’m working through things, and I’ve been feeling quite a bit better lately. Well, with the exception of some stuff that I’ll get into in a bit. As you (or at least long-time readers) can probably imagine, the destruction of our Maine plans really hit me hard. So it took me quite a while to work my brain back around to the realization that things, in general, are good. My life is blessed and I’m enjoying it. I love the new job (well, I’ve been in the position a year now) I have at AcronmyCo, and I got a promotion earlier in the year. It’s nice to be appreciated.

So. To get caught up, you’re getting bullets. Sorry, I know you hate that.

– Okay, let’s just get the heavy stuff out of the way first. A few months ago I went to the doctor because of a pain I was experiencing in the lower right side of my abdomen. Signs didn’t point to appendicitis, so I was advised to… ahem… “eat more fiber” and that was pretty much that. A month later I went back again. I still had the same pain, and her advice didn’t resolve the problem. So they took an x-ray, didn’t find anything wrong other than trapped gas (sorry, TMI), and I was sent on my merry way. Then during my annual physical a month later I mentioned that I was still experiencing the pain in my abdomen, and the doctor finally sat up and paid attention. An ultrasound was performed, and come to find out I have a baseball-sized cyst on my left ovary. On the opposite side of the area causing me pain. Which is a puzzler.

So, I was instructed to go to my OB-GYN for a consultation. They scheduled me for some blood work and a CT scan, and determined that the whole shebang needs to be removed. Cyst, ovary and all. It’s a complex cyst, which along with the size (10 cm) is a slight cause for concern. But the bloodwork came back absent of tumor markers, and they scheduled me with a regular surgeon and not an oncologist, so that’s good. So! That puppy is getting removed on August 20th, after which I get to enjoy a two-week convalescence.

I also had a mammogram during the course of my physical. They had an “inconclusive” result for my right breast, so I was sent to another lab for a deeper scan and an ultrasound. After a PAINFUL hour of squishing, pressing, and manipulating, the doctor reviewed the results. They found a small lump that was cause for some concern, so I get to have a biopsy on August 15th to check THAT shit out. I know they tend to be overly cautious about these things, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Still, what the fuck, body? Time for the 40,000-mile tune-up? (You know, because I turned 40 in July. Heh.)

So! Other than the bullshit of having to go through surgery, and the minor EEEEK! going on in the back of my mind, I’m confident that everything will be fine. It’s just… man. You know?

– Robert and his fiancee Jenna got married a few weeks ago, and we headed out to Cheyenne for the wedding. They asked me to be their photographer, which was a great opportunity for me to keep my camera in my hands. We were really excited about seeing our Wyoming family, and seeing Robert – especially since we haven’t seen each other face-to-face in almost two years. So, I have a new daughter-in-law and a new granddaughter! Robert’s new in-laws are lovely, lovely people and made us feel like we’ve all been a family for years.

As usual, we had a blast traveling with Amanda. She’s seriously one of our favorite people, in addition to being our daughter. We ate too much and may have possibly caused some consternation for the good people of Domino’s during one late-night pizza delivery order (I’ll only show the video to a select few). We had a lovely cook-out at Robert’s new in-law’s house and enjoyed the effects of the storm that rolled in.

Wyoming Rainbow

We enjoyed another cookout with Bill’s side of the family, though part of that visit was spent in the basement when the tornado sirens went off. I was all, “HOLY SHIT.” Everybody else was all “Eh, happens all the time.” Meanwhile, Bill was wandering around outside LOOKING FOR THE TORNADO.

Anyway. Wedding photos are here. Here’s on of my favorites:


– Bill and I went to Michigan back in June for Aaron and Michelle’s wedding – he was a groomsman and I was the matron of honor. That whole wedding weekend was AWESOME and was the reason I finally started taking pictures again. We hung out in the lakeside village of Charlevoix and their wedding was held at Castle Farms which OH MY GOD. WHAT a place to get married. We stayed together with over twenty people in a rented house within walking distance of the village. We played Cards Against Humanity every night, and frequented the Bridge Street Taproom so often that we became regulars in the short time we stayed there. The ceremony and reception were absolutely stunning – beautiful in all its details and so very much fun. It was truly depressing to have the party come to an end, and Bill and I VERY MUCH didn’t want to go back to Arizona when it was time to leave.

All of the photos that I took are here, and here are a few of my favorites from various sources (alt text indicates the photographer):

But oh... those summer nights!

By Darrell Christie Photographyt

Photo by Ray Weidman

Photo by Ray Weidman

– I turned 40 on July 20th. We spent the day at Aaron and Michelle’s, swimming and eating cake. I purchased tickets to see Jersey Boys (for the third time), and the show was last night. AWESOME, as usual. Umm… so, yeah. That’s all I have to say about turning 40. Huff.

– Michelle, Amanda, Liz (Aaron’s mom) and I had an overnighter at the Junipine Resort in Sedona in May, for a girls-getaway-slash-bachelorette party prior to Michelle and Aaron’s wedding. Our cabin overlooked Oak Creek, and it was so lovely and peaceful and quiet. I loved being able to fall asleep listening to the creek. We went on a booze-and-munchie procurement run, rocked out to a playlist with multiple personality disorder, ordered room service and teased the poor delivery boy, and caused low levels of mayhem. The trip up was marred by a fender-bender on the highway (Michelle was driving, HI STRESS NICE TO SEE YOU), but nobody was hurt and the car was still drive-able, so we didn’t let it slow us down. Then on the way BACK we discovered a branch of Vom Fass hidden in a corner of Tlaquepaque which we were TOTALLY geeked about. I thought the closest store was in Jackson Hole. So, yeah. Stocked the hell up on Sour Cherry Vodka, various whiskies and rum.

– We traded the Dodge Ram in for a Ford Mustang GT on Mother’s Day. No need for a 4×4 truck when we’re not moving to Maine and we already have a Jeep. It’s a FUN car, and it’s been so long since we HAD a car that the novelty still hasn’t worn off. Weird to have to sit down into a vehicle, rather than climb up into it.

– My niece Sable (my sister’s oldest, and only daughter) came out for a visit in late May. She lives in Maine but was on a US tour, of sorts. She models and had gigs in Boston, New York, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, and California. She stayed with us for almost a week, introduced me to Vegan food that wasn’t disgusting, and just kind of chilled. On the last day of her visit she and I drove up to Sedona. We had a prolonged lunch, shopped a bit, and then I dropped her off with a friend of hers that happened to live in the area. They road-tripped it to California the next day. It was great to catch up with her – we haven’t had the occasion to just spend one-on-one time together, since I moved away from Maine when she was just a toddler. SMART kid, and having the time of her life.

– Bill, Aaron, Michelle and I got dressed up all fancy for no particular reason and had dinner at House of Tricks in early March (food decent, service AWFUL), followed by drinks and dessert at Rula Bula.


– Bill and I had a Valentine’s Day to remember. We both decided to really go all-out for each other. Bill spoiled me by having flowers delivered to me at work the day before Valentine’s, then a huge box of gourmet chocolate covered strawberries delivered on Valentine’s day. I re-created our “pizza on the roof” date (one of the first dates Bill and I had was when we sat out on the roof of my house and shared a pizza – I thought I’d written about that before but I can’t find an entry on it). I made him stay downstairs while I set the scene – a blanket, a few pillows, a dozen candles, a pizza, a bowl filled with ice and beer, a couple of snifters of whiskey, and my iPad with a new “Valentine’s Day 2014” playlist. When it was almost dark outside I lit the candles, then lead Bill upstairs. I’d taken the screen off of the window in the guest bedroom and he was mighty confused when I told him to go out the window. Then he saw what I did… and I’ll just say that it was a great surprise and a rousing success. It was a beautiful night and a wonderful memory.

– In early January we continued the tradition of renting a cabin in Flagstaff during/around the holidays. Aaron and Michelle joined us for a couple of nights, and Amanda stayed a couple of nights as well. It was a repeat of the previous visit with a lot of lounging in front of the fire, playing inappropriate card games (Cards Against Humanity in this case), eating and imbibing.

Amanda is the Dog Whisperer:


Okay! I think that pretty much catches us up. Everything else that happened is mostly minutia – work, being grown-ups, hanging out with friends and family, playing with the pups. Bill and I head to Indy next week for our annual MotoGP trip which we’re REALLY looking forward to. Long time readers will recall the dude we always meet there – though he’s put his online persona on hiatus and doesn’t use his real name on the ‘net. Didn’t get to see him last hear since we had to cancel the Indy trip after the whole Maine Moving Debacle, so we’re doubly excited this year.

Oh! And I heard from my ex-husband last week – a voicemail, thankfully, left on my work phone while I was at lunch. First time in ten years. Psycho nutjob now accuses me of stealing his identity and opening up/racking up credit cards in his name. THE FUCK? Why am I still on his radar, and why does he automatically think of ME when something goes askew in his life? Apparently I’m hard to forget.

Further details forthcoming as the situation unfolds. Hopefully, that voicemail is the beginning, middle and end of it.

Leave me comments! How are YOU?


The days are slipping by with frightening ease.  I’ve decided to record just plain old day-to-day stuff with the thought in mind that every day, no matter how benign, is worth remembering.

Piper is running around the house right now wearing a diaper decorated with pink polka-dots.  The shelter thought she was spayed when, in fact, she is not.  We’re calling her “Piper Diaper” and “Diaper Genie” and cackling in a mean way.  Ah, the things that entertain us on a quiet Thursday night.

Speaking of entertainment, I have latched (later than the rest of the world, it seems) onto the phenomena that is The Piano Guys. Watch their videos. They’re entertaining. They’re funny, and talented, and approach their music in a very unique way. I’d love to see them in concert, but we’ll be on vacation in Maine when they’re in Arizona. To make up for that I bought their CD/DVD combo.

This video made me particularly happy. Old people are awesome.

We had leftover Chinese food for dinner, and were happy to eat it. We’re not big fans of leftovers, but this new place that we found delivered EXQUISITE Sesame Chicken and House Special Beef, not to mention their epic egg rolls and crab puffs. So, we ate the same stuff two nights in a row with enthusiasm. I do believe I have discovered the reason that I’m not a size two. I have a feeling, though, that if I were skinny I’d just be miserable. I’d rather drink beer and eat egg rolls and sigh at the condition of my non-flat belly, than self-righteously sip water and eat lettuce while resenting the seductive smells that are coming from everyone else’s meals.

It’s barely into May and we’ve been running the A/C, at least some of the time each day, for a couple of weeks now. The nights are beautiful, though, and we sleep with the windows open despite the fact that the obscenely cheerful birds wake us up at the ungodly hour of 4:00 a.m. It’s hard to get grumpy at them without feeling a bit like David Tomlinson’s “Mr. Banks”.

Speaking of grumping at a cheerful creature, Zoe’s perpetual and insistent joy of mornings is really nerve-wracking. She mews, and meows, and chitters, and churrups constantly as I get ready for work. Bill typically hollers from downstairs (where he’s enjoying his morning paper and his cup of coffee and his routine and his QUIET DAMMIT), “Will you SHUT THAT CAT UP?” So, I figure, I should give her something else to do with her mouth other than make sounds with it. So I cup a handful of water in my hand, and dump it on her head. The theory is that she’ll spend the time cleaning herself, and will therefore cease and desist with her chatter. The method kind of works, but not in the manner I figured. She meows, I dump water on her, she shakes herself off and stalks to her food dish and crunches on dry food. Every single time. I have no idea why this triggers her to eat, rather than sit and indignantly clean herself. Eh, whatever works.

In which I rock the parenthesis.

I have commandeered the term “douche canoe” and am currently using it for my own nefarious purposes. Which, thus far, have all been aimed at my husband. A total of seventeen times (or thereabouts, it’s not like I keep a running tally in a notebook I have on my person at all times or anything. ::cough::) in the last four days alone. Which, come to think of it, was why I needed a new and unique way to describe his behavior. I’ve over-used “asshat,” the use of “queerbait” has negative repercussions in this PC day and age (along with just about every other moderately-offensive yet endearingly-intended derogatory term of my 80’s childhood), and “nutbag” just doesn’t have the same ring.

I’d love to provide a link to precisely the exact entry that a blogger that I read recently used it, thereby sparking my instant love of it. But I can’t remember who that was (the extent to which that sentence was TOTALLY screwed up is astonishing). I know I left them a comment telling them I was commandeering the term (though, since it has its own definition in the Urban Dictionary, any perception of copyright theft is heretofore null and void). So, hey, Temerity Jane? If you see a search call in your stats that contains the words “douche” and/or “canoe”… um, yeah, hi. That was me. (Aside: See what I did there?)

(Aside #2: Maybe I heard it from Marie?)


And THAT, my friends, is the pithy and entertaining entry that I’ve been storing up for the last week. Other things that have been going on:

– I got a new lens for my birthday (also, it was my birthday). I took fifteen pictures of my pets, including this one:

big buddy!

And this one:

Obligatory Oz photo

Aaaaand this one:


I was going to post a picture of a sunset (this one), but motherfucking WordPress and motherfucking DreamHost don’t jive with each other and keep giving me a 404 error every time I try to insert media. I had juuuuust enough patience to deal with it with the three pics up there but ran out when I got to the fourth. I swear, I almost HATE posting on my blog since I ported (or rather, Jennette ported) my crap over. It doesn’t work worth shit now and frustrates the goddamn fuck HELL out of me. Everything is so FRIGGIN’ slow it times out more often than not.

(Also, this is NO fault of Jennette’s and the ENTIRE fault of DreamHost, and why my blog won’t play is beyond my limited abilities to comprehend. DAMMIT.)

– I had a dream about Heather. She and I were riding the train to Chicago (though the town we ended up in looked suspiciously like the Lewiston/Auburn area of Maine). We stopped off on Market Street (is there such a thing????) and had cherry cobbler (her) and coconut cream pie (me) at a soda fountain. Then we went shopping and Heather liked some chick’s shirt and the chick belted her for asking where she got it. And then we forgot where we left Heather’s car. And apparently also forgot that we took the TRAIN. So. There’s that.

– We watched a crazy ton of racing and ate a crazy ton of pizza.

– That freelance job I mentioned here came through and it’s all official now. So, thanks for the crossed fingers!

– I downloaded this (as well as the first issue) and you should too.

– I went to see Harry Potter with Robert and Amanda and Amanda’s boyfriend. At 10:50 pm on a Sunday night. In 3D. There were only, like, seven other people in the theater. It was FRIKKIN AWESOME.

– Could I HAVE any more post tags?

So!! What’s new with you guys?

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