I knew that the first week back from vacation was going to be crazy but little did I know the week would present so much chaos. Are the stars and planets not lining up correctly or is it just after affects from the full moon? Really! So at risk of boring you to tears (and honestly remember this is kind of my journal/venting anyway) here goes (yes I'm behind publishing this because I have to get pics off my camera).
Work of course was nuts. Still some reeling from the recent changes AGAIN but mostly me getting a project kicked into gear that I'm working on and that has kind of been well moving like sludge. Lots of meetings and some technical writing required and this week will be telling as to if we have a prayer of this getting done on time. Of course then I smarted off about not hearing anything for over a month from our service center about "problems" and boom - 2 were sitting in my inbox when I got back. I can safely say I am NOT bored!
Last Sunday Mom and I got busy and started removing the loose rocks from an area behind the house. They've been there for years and I was tired of having to pick up dog poo from the and having the poodles scatter then hither and yon every time they ran through them (not good for lawnmower blades). So shoveled them out, removed the windmill and pump (for now) and picked up the landscape fabric. The plan is to straighten out the edge where it meets the lawn and still in the planning stages for what will happen in that spot. Was thinking just pavers and be done but now am toying with the idea of a water feature of some sort (of course I could just put in pavers and plop Epic's swimming pool there but what fun would that be). You know Mom and I always have to have an outdoor project to work on!
Then the plumbing crisis of the week (what is it with me and the "water gods"?) was the faucet in the kitchen that honestly I have been limping along, decided not to work. After a week of using the bathroom sink (the dishwasher still works thank God) we have it back to limping along and yesterday I got under the sink to find out what it would take to remove it and replace, only to find that the sink drains are also rusting and leaking. Nice! So off sink and faucet shopping we went and today I'll be calling plumbers to get estimates to fix that and hopefully my bathroom faucet as well. I've found the sink/faucet combo for the kitchen and am going to need their guidance in what to use on the tub. I've said for 20 years that the biggest issue I've had with this manufactured home was/is the plumbing - now I'm just slowly needing to actually get it replaced. Excited about the new sink for the kitchen and after measuring 8 different times I think with a little counter trimming it should fit just fine. As for the tub, would be nice to be able to use it again (my big garden tub) and am hoping we can find a faucet with a shower attachment (my shower is separate) so I can use that tub to bath the big dogs instead of the cramped spare bath (okay it is summer and they get done outside but still).
On Tuesday I had a wonderful opportunity to meet up with yet some more dog friends from TX. Sterling's sisters' owner and her best friend were making a huge tour of the SW and NW part of the country while also picking up her new puppy from Sterling's breeder in N. California. They made a special stop here in Helena so we could meet face to face and I was so thrilled to meet both of these neat ladies and have some brunch with them! I also got to meet the 7 dogs they had with them, 2 of which are Sterling's sisters and of course the new puppy (ahhh puppy breath). For as many miles as they had all put on (they started out in Midland TX) everyone was in good spirits. Markie and Diva were quite a surprise in that they are so much smaller than Sterling!
Wednesday brought a FB post (I have only been popping on FB to view notifications and was very glad I did) that the same ladies had been in a head on car accident only 2 hours from Helena (they were heading to the Black Hills next stop). Wednesday night and Thursday were spent frantically trying to get information, make sure someone could get to them and get them funds. The accident was horrific but I am happy to report that all humans and dogs, except for one that is missing, survived. A true MIRACLE as the van they were in caught fire after the crash and burned to the ground. It was a harsh reminder how fragile life really is and little things....as in they weren't able to save ANY of their possessions in the van and now all are gone in the fire. No phone, no id, no money, one lost her glasses on impact and couldn't see, no clothes and they were in "tiny town MT". They are blessed to have amazing friends and family (and some pretty amazing strangers in MT too) and as of today one is back home in Midland and the other is recovering in Billings at the hospital with her son by her side. There is still one dog sadly missing but the others are back in TX as well.
Thursday morning (yes, the fun never ends) I received a call from my Mom that Magic was not doing well. Not eating, lethargic and wouldn't take his medications. I got a vet appt scheduled for him and headed home. He was curled up, not very responsive and the blue tongue was back! So I "pilled" him to get his meds in him (we normally put them in a treat and Mom isn't keen on forcing them) hydrated him a bit and waited for our appt. Meanwhile Auntie Adele came to do massages and some JSJ and that also seemed to perk him up a bit. He still wasn't 100%, the vet wanted to do followup bloodwork anyway so in we went. He's still a bit rattly in his right lung but better, bloodwork showed we could increase one of his meds and she put him on another round of antibiotics. He wasn't nearly as bad a a few weeks ago but I am hoping this isn't something that occurs on a regular basis!
Saturday Mom and I went up to Great Falls and spent a few hours at the dog show up there and then off to do some thrift shopping and even a stop at the mall (their mall actually still has stores in it!). We left our boost to the economy and had a lovely drive to boot. The dog show was great fun as I've not seen a lot of those folks in years so we also got in quite a bit of socializing. I also found this amazing metal artist from Fairfield (not too far from here) and picked up this cool poodle garden stake to add to the metal dog sculpture area out front. She does all freehand work and I'm hoping to get her to do a chinese crested one for me in the future. Talented young lady indeed. I also was able to meet the newly accept to the AKC breeds - a Pumi (Pumik is plural), see my friend Jeanine get her very first conformation "major" on one of her puppies out of her very first litter and her very first Breed-by Exhibitor major points (smooth collie). That was pretty cool to get to share in that (yes it is sort of a big deal for you non-dog show types).
Yesterday I got to meet up with another new friend (this seems to be the year for it) and fellow blogger Linda of Linda's Lens. She was here to see her son be ordained as a new Catholic priest! How cool is that?! I have read her blog for quite a while as she posts amazing photos from her hiking and skiing in the NW (she is from Portland) and other areas she visits. She had mentioned on her blog I believe last year that they had been here in Helena when their son became a Deacon. I mentioned if they got back here again we should meet. So she took time out of her amazingly busy family schedule this weekend to have coffee with me. Now if that doesn't make the world seem small enough, as we were visiting we discover we were raised in the same town in SD - Rapid City. In fact she was just a year behind me in school on the other side of town! C.R.A.Z.Y! I highly encourage you to check out her blog!
Meanwhile my Mom has been busy in the yard and we were thrilled to see the first hummingbird last night! As it turns warm again I see more time spent in my improved pergola space too. So nice to sit back there and just relax!
Needless to say I was more than happy to see the week over with and hopeful this week will be way less "uneventful" and as a total side note, here is my first ever attempt at painting (from camp 2 weeks ago). Yeah I won't be doing anymore of that! haha