Monday, May 24, 2010

Ready to relax for a few hours

It's been a crazy last five days or so. I'm emotionally and physically spent at the moment. I plan on doing a whole lot of nothing tonight and, hopefully, tomorrow.

It all started on Thursday of last week. I was having one of those days. 99% of the time I love living in Hawaii and the isolation of being on an island in the middle of the Pacific (and additionally working from home) doesn't bother me. But for some reason on Thursday I felt . . . stuck. I wanted to be able to call up one of my non-Navy girlfriends and meet up at a bar, have a few beers, shoot the breeze and chill out. I just wanted to get out of the house. To hang out. To spend some time with friends.

And as quickly as the desire to go hang out with my friends swept over me, so did the recognition that it was impossible. The friends that I wanted to hang with aren't here. I love Zac. I love spending time with Zac. But that's the thing - I spend almost all of my time with Zac. We both know that we occasionally drive each other nuts because we spend so much time together. Even when we socialize with other people, we're still together. It's either me hanging out with Zac and his single friends, or it's Zac and I hanging out with another Navy couple. Especially since Bernadette left, I don't have anyone that I regularly see without Zac being there too.

This is the long way of saying that on Thursday of last week I wanted to ditch my husband and go hang out with my not-affiliated-with-the-Navy-in-any-way friends. And when I realized that I had no where to go and no one to go with, I got really crabby. So Thursday wasn't a great day.

Thursday was also the day that I started dog-sitting for a friend. (A Navy wife and Bernadette's heir apparent. Since Bernadette's name was changed to protect her, I shall refer to this friend as "Claudia".) Claudia's father had passed away and she and her family were going to the mainland for the funeral. I offered to watch her two dogs for the long weekend. I have interacted with her dogs many times, and I didn't think there would be any problems having them stay at our house with Toivo and Zoe. Alas, I was wrong. The short version is that after cleaning up the "territory marking competition" between her dogs and mine [multiple times], and not getting any sleep on Thursday night, I ended up taking the dogs back to her house and spending the rest of the weekend dog-sitting from there. (Claudia gets back tonight.)

On top of dog-sitting this weekend, Zac's cousin, Cressy, came out to visit. She came in on Friday and left for a neighboring island today. We spent Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday showing her around Oahu, all while making regular stops at our house to let out Zoe and Toivo and Claudia's house to let out her two dogs. All the driving, plus the exertion of hiking and swimming and hosting wore all three of us out. Zac and I had a long conversation yesterday afternoon about how worn out we were and how we were starting to get on one another's nerves. We had a great time with Cressy and we'll get to see her again next weekend when she comes back to Oahu. Hopefully Zac and I will be a little less stressed when we see her.

I think it was just too much at the same time - hosting and dog sitting. But you don't always get to plan life. Sometimes things happen all at once and you just have to roll with the punches. All I know is that I'm glad it's Monday evening and the only thing that's in my immediate future is "Wheel of Fortune".

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The simple joy of being able to stand up from the couch

About three weeks ago I tweaked my back at kickboxing. I didn't think much of it when I woke up sore the day after the class. I routinely feel a little stiff the following day. But that day I was particularly sore and the soreness continued for a couple of weeks. At one point the pain was so intense that I couldn't do much more than lay on the couch. Simple things like putting on jeans, feeding the dog and going up stairs were pretty much unbearable. (Upside - I couldn't unload the dishwasher for a few weeks and had to leave that task to my dear husband.)

After a couple of weeks I realized that my back wasn't getting much better so I finally broke down and scheduled a doctor's appointment. My rationale for not getting an appointment earlier was this: "They'll tell me it's a pulled muscle, to take some ibuprofen, and put some heat on it." So I went to the doctor and she told me, "It's a pulled muscle. Take some ibuprofen and put some heat on it." Shocking, eh? The doctor did have me perform a few leg raises to pinpoint the source of the pain to make sure it wasn't a pinched nerve or anything. She gave me a prescription for some ibuprofen and also took the opportunity to teach me what class of pharmaceuticals are okay to take during pregnancy. (No, I'm not pregnant. But in case it ever happens I'd like to know what I can and can't take.)

The doctor also prescribed me some muscle relaxant that I was supposed to take at night. I didn't take it the first few nights I had it. Truthfully, I was a bit anxious about taking it. I don't like the idea of a drug that is supposed to render you unconscious. (Well, more like sleepy, but you know what I mean.) I am wary of taking a Tylenol PM so the idea of an honest-to-god muscle relaxant worried me. I didn't want to feel groggy or loopy or . . . off. It's just not my thing. Maybe some folks like to take a muscle relaxant, chase it with a glass of wine and pass out but not me.

Finally on day three of having the pills on the nightstand (and after some scolding from my mother who instructed my husband to firmly remind me that "Your mother told you to take them") I broke down and took a half a tablet before bed. The dosage on the label read 1/2 to 1 tablet per dose and I decided starting with the lower dose was best. I took it and then laid there in bed, waiting for the room to spin or strange psychedelic dreams to start. Color me surprised when I woke up in the morning with no ill effects from the drug. I've continued on the ibuprofen and 1/2 tablet of muscle relaxant for the last four days and, wouldn't you know, today I was actually able to bend over to pull up my pants when I was getting dressed. Progress!

On the Zoe front - she's slowly worming her way into our hearts but there have been a few hiccups along the way. For one thing - she doesn't know any commands. So whereas Toivo will sit, stay, come and lay down as we instruct him to, Zoe looks at us with this glazed look. It's going to take some work with her too - she's easily distracted by everything. Getting her to focus on anything for more than a nanosecond is a chore. I think even Toivo occasionally rolls his eyes at her.

Zoe is crate trained, so she's used to being in her crate at night and while people are gone from the house. We wanted her to be roaming the house free at all times, like Toivo. She's been great so far - only one accident on the first day. She doesn't seem to want to sleep upstairs in the bedroom on the floor with Toivo at night. Maybe she will eventually. She's really friendly and sweet tempered. Unlike Toivo, who is content to be on his own 23.75 hours a day, Zoe gets antsy without attention. During the day every hour or two she comes up to you demanding to be pet for a few minutes. She isn't as vocal as Toivo, but she's starting to make more noise. She was absolutely silent the first 24-48 hours. She also is one of those dogs that eats her food lightning fast and will eat any other dog food left out and unattended. This poses a problem as Toivo is a grazer. We'll fill his bowl in the morning and he'll snack on it throughout the day. We're going to have to figure out a way to keep Zoe from devouring Toivo's food as well, otherwise she's going to end up as one rolly-polly pooch.

I took her and Toivo to the dog park yesterday for the first time and she played well with the other dogs. Well, for the time she actually spent interacting. Like Toivo, she spent much of the time at the park on her own - smelling all the interesting smells and investigating the entire park. It must be a Finnish Spitz thing. Too cool for school or something. At least she followed Toivo to the gate when I called to Toivo that it was time to go. I had been worried that I was going to have to chase her around the park, trying to snag her, but apparently she realized that Toivo is part of her pack and should follow him.

Overall, I'm glad we got her. Even though it is going to take some serious patience to get her into our routine, she has certainly made things more lively around here and she really is a sweetheart. Hopefully now that I can bend at the waist again(!) I'll be able to work with her and she'll become a little more obedient. Until then, Toivo, Zac and I will just have to sigh and roll our eyes a lot at her.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sesame Street: Lena Teaches Grover To Say "How Do You Do?"

I loved Lena Horne on Sesame Street. I was sad to hear of her passing.

I just thought I'd share some of her goodness.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, I present . . .


With her new family! (Zoe is the one with two good eyes, on the left.)

Zac, with Zoe and Toivo.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Ombudsman, unemployment and Zoe

Unless you all want to read about grocery shopping or rearranging furniture, I don't have much to write about . . .

I'm taking an ombudsman training class starting tonight and continuing for the next four nights. For those that aren't familiar with the ombudsman role in Navy life, they are usually a spouse of a sailor at a particular command. The ombudsman's job is to be a communication point between the command and the families. From what I hear the position is more involved when you're the ombudsman for a ship or on sea duty. When you're at a shore duty command it's pretty easy for the sailor to get information to the sailor's family - after all, they're usually home for supper. When the sailor is deployed ombudsmen can supply information about benefits, resources and other topics for people. Even if the ombudsmen don't know the information first hand, they have the training to know where to find out the answers. That's what I'm interested in - the information. I'm okay sacrificing a few nights to obtain it.

I'm sort of unemployed at the moment. I wrapped up my part of the project last week. At that time I reached a point where in order for me to continue to work on the project I would have to be granted access to some of the company's secure programs. My supervisor is in the process of seeing if I can be granted access to those programs. It might work, it might not. I'm waiting to hear how it turns out. I'm hoping that I will be granted access, but I wouldn't be surprised if it took a while. Things don't always move swiftly when it comes to big companies. If I don't get access, then I guess I'm really unemployed and will have to do some job hunting again. For joy.

I realized last night that as long as Zac and I have been together (literally together, as in our time in Oklahoma or here in Hawaii) Zac has never seen me work outside of the home. (Again, literally outside. I've been working from my couch.) It seems strange to me that he's never seen me get up in the morning, get ready for work, leave for 8.5 hours, and come home again, tired from a 40 hour work week, because that's who I consider myself to be - a full-time, office worker. These last 18 months in Hawaii (and four months in Oklahoma) are the anomaly, not the norm. I do think he will be in for a bit of a shock if/when I do get a full-time job outside the home and suddenly I only have two weeks of vacation to take a year. All that flexibility that he and I both enjoy will be out the window.

Lastly, it looks like Zoe will be arriving on Friday. I'm hoping that everything goes smoothly and we'll be able to pick her up directly after her arrival. Then I'm hoping that she gets along with Toivo. Lots and lots of hoping.