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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dakota's First Weekend Part 1

Hi Dr. Marvin :) ... we haven't been taking MANY pictures, but THIS is the FIRST and most important picture!  This was taken on Sunday ... So far I could say "Hug" as I tapped on my chest and he'd stand up leaning against me for a good pet, and I tried about the same when I was sitting down - just said, "UP!" And, UP he indeed did jump just like a jack rabbit!  So this picture is the first time that he was up in our lap.  He does like to ride in the car/SUV and in Rich's SUV I've been sitting in the back with him with Katherine in the front talking with Rich and Dakota will lay his paws/face in my lap.  We're REALLLL attached!  I am having trouble now sleeping - I've been up for about 3 hours and it is only 4:45 am.  Just soooo much to be excited about!  
Right now Katherine and Rich and Dakota are still sleeping - just Missy has gotten up with me.  The Missy/Dakota story is going to be one of the really best stories!  AND, there are a lot of them!  We did put the gate up in the laundry room to keep Missy's stuff safe from Dakota - and for sure he did check them out though he's not a grabby eater.  There are CERTAIN things he still likes!  When he came in and first met the cat - there was like a half a room distance and they knew each other was there, but just turned the opposite direction.  There was a lot of that going on, but the bottom line is that Dakota doesn't search out the cat - and will sometimes spot her and go the other direction, but in general - it is Missy who is approaching Dakota - AND while he's lying down, she has even come up and touched the tip of his tail with her nose.  She doesn't seem to mind he goes in the kennel at night, but so far, we have not heard him growl or bark at absolutely NOTHING!  It's pretty amazing how quiet he is.  Like he seems to know right now it's not time to be up yet, so he's not whined or given any indication of wanting to be out of his crate.  AND, at night time - about when Rich and we retire to the bedroom, we just say crate - and of course while carrying his bedtime treat - he will go into the crate, turn around to get his treat and all is GOOD for the night!  He's really amazing
Rich seems to prefer if we didn't need the crate, but oddly enough I am siding with Katherine where I like to know where he is at all times.  When he first came on Friday - he had a bowel accident in the house and then the next day there was a leg lifting incident.  I think that I'm going to write these up as just not knowing the house rules, but we're trying to be real preventative as to getting him to the right place at the right time.  It seems like yesterday when we were out, he wasn't concerned each of three trips where he had an opportunity to go, but then when we came home, he went out to the bathroom and did his thing right away.  Last night he paced a little by the door - again he isn't barking at all ... and it was about 40 minutes after his dinner, so I took him out.  He first didn't want to go down the back porch steps, so I had to just leave him and close the screen door.  I came out of the sunroom and closed the sliding door between us so he could barely see us.  So he looked at the empty space for about a minute, then he went down the stairs and peed, AND THEN Found a nice spot in the yard and did the other thing.  We were soooo proud of him.  We waited a minute or two for him to "feel the victory" then we went out to get him ... He was happy as a lark to come back in and it seemed we'd reached some kind of communication that when he went out back we expected him to go before he could come back in - AND it was a bit stifling out yesterday so we didn't keep him out long.  

I'm still afraid that if we didn't notice it was about time, he would use a piece of furniture or wall corner, but we're going to count the small victories as we get them!

It has been a whirlwind with Katherine and Dakota here.  We were on time for picking up Katherine (waiting at the O'Hare Oasis) for her call especially because we knew her plane was going to be 15 minutes late.  We had a little trouble finding her, because she had been upstairs at Departures where we were downstairs and not understanding where she was at, but we finally found her and we DID give her the biggest hug!  I had already decided that Katherine was going to be in the front seat so we could sit with Dakota - and that seems to have worked out just fine.  Dakota is not much of a "licker," but he's cuddly!  We got home to Rich's roast and we all got settled and had a good time.  Katherine is like an EXPERT conversationalist - and through the weekend we found that she can talk "fishy-language" with Rich - WooHOO!!!  How often does a person find that, and in the meantime it gave us a chance to just ogle our puppy!  Katherine says he's 15 months old.  So we're going to give him the honorary birthday of May 1rst!  We were thinking May ... 5-1-14, and then it was 5 am, so we figured it would be a good time to get in the shower!  It worked!  

I'm now officially up, showered, and dressed ALL before Dakota, Katherine and Rich!  AHA! More writing time - I've been missing my computer connection - AND, while we were officially up we started the coffee.  Maybe that will get a couple early birds up OR we might get MORE writing time.  Dakota hasn't really woken up yet where he is standing or standing and whining or anything, so we're figuring he wants to sleep in some more.  We are getting him REALLY tired - especially for still being a puppy.  How long is a dog a puppy?  Hmm, just thinking now that Katherine called him an adolescent or a juvenile - Maybe!

The last couple of day’s people have been getting up around 7 am - so we'll see what happens now AND we'll see if Rich set his work clock.  Ok, ok so where were we!

Hmm, thinking we're still back at the first night.  Katherine is teaching us that if we say "Crate!" Dakota scoots over there.  Sometimes if Katherine gives him "the look" he scoots into his kennel too.  She has a raised eyebrow like Rich and if she says a word or two or grumbles, Dakota knows he's doing something wrong.  She says that he's testing us out to see how far he can get and then sometimes Katherine is looking the other way - like when he jumped into our lap.  She said that he had never done that before.  Hehehe INCORRIGIBLE!  

Katherine puts him in his cage for more than we would naturally.  Like if he's misbehaving or if she sees that he's not listening because he's over-tired, then "In he goes!"  He doesn't seem to mind it though in the least and sometimes he goes in there by himself.  He really does seem to already know that it is his space.  

Talking with Katherine in-between everything has been soooo gosh darn good - that part is just incredible.  She's everything we dreamed of and more.  She's sunny and sparkly all rolled up in one and has had soooo many experiences!  She's lived in Wisconsin, Texas, LA, Denver AND South Dakota.  Everything is plum full of experiences!  She's like one of those women who are God-given gifts to humanity and she's been SOOOO patient with us.  You know that list we made together - you and us?  She sat patiently with us as we went down the entire list until we both knew all our questions were answered.  We had started the list in the sitting room comfortably in the recliners, and then we finished it out on the patio.  Oh, and she helped spray for the bees that were still out so that was pretty good - though the area probably has to be sprayed each time AND we ran out of bee spray.  Dakota DID get his time outside, but it was only the once because the indoor temps have been so much better.  This morning when we woke up, we saw this note from Emergency Services...




340 AM CDT MON AUG 25 2014











Ok, we're back here again at the other end of the forecast.  Wikipedia says, "The heat index (HI) or humiture or humidex is an index that combines air temperature and relative humidity in an attempt to determine the human-perceived equivalent temperature—how hot it feels. The result is also known as the "felt air temperature" or "apparent temperature".  SOOO, we looked up Sandwich, and it says on a different weather system - "...Hot and humid today... Very hot and humid conditions expected today with temperatures forecast to rise into the low 90's with humidity across northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana. These temperatures combined with a very muggy air mass with dew points in the mid 70’s will result in afternoon heat index values between 98 and 104 degrees.

AHA!  That will give Katherine something to talk about when she goes home!  OMG I just looked at weather in HER area.  Right now it is 48 with a high expected of 68 and the humidity is only 82% MUCH nicer!  I can't believe it - we're getting 92 degrees and their high is only 68?  It's like a FREEZER zone!

She'll be glad to get back to DECENT weather.  Ok ... we got a LOT more to write about ... thinking this note is going to continue past the time we get home after dropping Katherine at the airport.

Ok ... you heard the part about Katherine going over the written material and how great THAT was!!!!  It helped to have a REALLY sound discussion on everything we'd been concerned with ... some of the concern had naturally passed because we'd figured out answers as we went, but the big thing is that we could talk about anything.  I know we were both getting tired at the end, but I feel we really got our money worth from the experience with Katherine throughout.  Before that, we'd had a REALLY busy day.  We had let Dakota out to go to the washroom, and then I think we concentrated on talking talking talking WITH Coffee!

After we got something to eat and all we went outside and took on the scooter.  Dakota got it really fast, but there was experimenting too like how long the leash should be, pacing, where he should stand, etc.  It's going to be worked into a fine piece of art, but it was a GREAT start.  Dakota can easily go on the scooter's fastest speed and the few times we saw him loose, he was REALLY rabbit fast!  He's got very strong bouncy legs that make him look like a cricket!  Katherine started walking and then running with us.  She's really strong ... she's had a couple decades as a fitness instructor.  Boy!  I don't think we knew that about her, but you should see her hoist a full bag of dog food WOW!

We went out on the busier street right away and this morning will be the third time.  Traffic has been going fine around us, but we still have to get the flags on her to feel more comfortable.  I hadn't known after Rich put them on - that if we turned the chair they would snap off.  Lesson learned!  Dakota has a tougher time on the busier streets, but we are both feeling our way along.  It's a little more confusing to him with Katherine running because he wants to keep her pace or run next to her, or at least take her running into account.  It's going to take some time, but Katherine gave us the clue that we have to start looking around and appreciating our experience rather than worrying because the dog will pick that up.  All along she's had to remind us that we have to be the leader of the Pack because Dakota needs a Pack leader.  From Everything I read I know she's right, but sometimes it’s hard.  Sometimes we don't know our or his limits - like we're much more afraid we should be taking him to the bathroom and Katherine is encouraging us to not worry about it so much.  She said dogs don't have to go NEAR as often as humans.  I guess, for example, I am used to going RIGHT before I leave for your office, then when we get there, and then when we leave, but Dakota can do that whole trip without having to stop.  Yesterday in fact as mentioned previously, he waited to get home, even given the experience of three stops.

After the first walk and cleaning up and such, Katherine and we and Dakota were off to Walmart to pick-up our OWN Prescriptions!  Can you believe THAT!!!??? I used the walker and all went PERFECT!  AND, we did get the 90 day subscriptions.  Thank you for arranging that.

AHA!  We here the garbage men AND Rich's alarm trying to wake him up.  I think he might be fighting Monday morning.  

Pswhoo BACK!!!!  It's now about 3 pm.  After Rich got up, then Dakota got up and then Katherine got up and everything was full forward.  We'll talk about that more later down the line, but the general drift is that we have had a very nice day, Katherine is by this time probably just getting back to Rapid City SD, we've been home for about 2 1/2 hours and have had lunch, spent more time with Dakota (and Missy), took a little nap, checked in online and am now ready to sit down awhile and write again - just that much more to write about.  I think it's going to take to the end of today before I get everything in, and I'm guessing at this point that I will take a while to think through it all, but will also post in our blog.  This is the comprehensive "report," but we like to think right now with the focus of us telling you.

Ok, so if we go back to Saturday morning, we were at the point of going outside with Dakota and first circling the block, and then going down the busy street.  Everything balanced out and after a certain point; we turned around and headed back to the house.  After I get back from everything, I am letting Dakota out on his 20' chain in the back yard so that he understand that is his bathroom space.  Katherine was great ... we started walking together and then she started running alongside us going faster, and then we kept pretty good pace, but got a little ahead of her, but not much.  After we came in (collecting our dog too), we made sure he had breakfast and there was always between everything quite a lot of talking - sometimes surrounding our life with Dakota and sometimes, just a heck of a lot of interesting stuff that we were learning about each other (Katherine and us).  Each of the three mornings, we got up and showered and dressed before others were moving and sometime in there Katherine and I had cereal both at the same time.  She's a lot more creative than us in trying different cereal and coffee combinations.  She's SOOOO cool!  After she was dressed and after we had gathered our minds - it was a hard task ... AND after we'd settled some money regulations with Rich, we took off for our first adventure!  

The first stop was Walmart to pick up OUR OWN PRESCRIPTIONS!  I think we might have started to say this before, but everything worked really well.  We did bring our walker and Dakota walks very nice besides it.  We were next in line, so there wasn't any hassle, but we were comfortable with Dakota and being able to sit down.  We got a little confused when the woman was talking to us about the medicine, but I don't remember why.  Just remember her asking if she should get the pharmacist and we said no.  We weren’t doing her words well.  Katherine asked her where the dog items were and the pharmacist was able to direct her, but we still couldn’t hear her words, because we were already thinking about having to navigate somewhere we didn't know.  And things got really messed up.  Katherine figured it out though. 

We got a few things in the dog aisle.  Katherine did most of the scouting because we were too dazed at all the stuff in our vision.  We just stopped in the aisle and Dakota lay down next to us and Katherine did the harder work.  We ended up getting a few things at Walmart and a few things at the next stop Pet Smart.  I'm not sure at this point which place we got which items.  AND, the drive was very concentrated ... like I'd never driven to Walmart and parked there and I had to put in directions to find the Pet Smart Store in Yorkville, even though it was off the same Rt 34.  I didn't know how to do the turns.   When Katherine asked for help at Pet Smart and in checking out, it seemed that all three personnel were really not very intelligent.  The one lady kept pacing back and forth looking for someone else, and then she tried to converse, but couldn't remember the name of a city she'd visited in SD so she went on and on holding attention while just stammering.  Then the lady she got put her face into her electronic gizmo and was like floating on clouds, gave us no indication what the hell she was trying to do, and then wasn't able to give us any information after we stopped her because she was just in a bad snow drift and the cashier - almost as bad.  I think at one of the stores, Katherine talked to some people for us, because what we are finding already is that everywhere we go people ARE drawn to Dakota.  At one of the stores - like THREE people in the main aisle just stopped to smile at him.  The one person at one of the registers had a baby, and we couldn't do the conversation so we walked ahead and Katherine finished it for us.  We just couldn't concentrate on talking and having the dog and shopping and trying to get out of there.

The kinds of things we got?  Hmm, think we got a 20-25 pound of really good dog food, some "greenies" for his teeth AND some of his favorite bedtime snack that are like chicken strips.  We got a regular "leash material" collar and a matching red leash - about 6 foot, and then we got a prong collar, because Katherine was sure that he needed it for discipline.  She put the prongs around my wrist and pulled, but surprisingly enough - they actually felt good - there was no feeling of pinching our skin or anything.  She talked often about us making corrections if he didn't do as we asked and that was probably the hardest part was to be making us ALWAYS seem authoritative, because as you know some parts are and some parts aren't.  We're still working at that though.  She says that Dakota NEEDS us to be the pack leader so he knows what to do and that he is more than anything wanting to please us.  Its soooo cool!  Anyway, we also got an animal to play with and a little ball on the bottom of a heavy cord for tug of war.  

So far, we can't get him to play with anything or pick-up the large rawhide bones that Rich got him, but when Katherine got out of the shower, she found that Dakota had brought her his one (of three) large bones and placed it next to her suitcase.  She figured that because he didn't want it, he wanted her to take it home to his friends.  I loved that thought!  The other two will probably go to Maury's two dogs, and maybe in that process we could get Dakota to pick one up to chew.  We are just not counting on it.  He's very sensitive in eating - doesn't gobble, but can sure take down those chicken treats AND a LITTLE soft rawhide.  I'm thinking I might bring that package to you and you can treat him when he gets to your office.  We also got a new double bowl set for eating/drinking, and we got some shampoo and we got some spray to take care of toileting problems in the house.  Oh, and we got a sparkly tag that you put in a machine and it puts our information etched on the tag.  Katherine had us put our name and phone number.  She said not to put the dog’s name because you don't want anyone finding the dog - knowing it and feeling in a position to take rights over it.  That was good thinking.  All you want is for them to call you so you can pick-up the dog.  I'm thinking that is probably about it.

We did get from Katherine a saddle vest for Dakota that states he's a service dog - and a portable water bowl, and some patches and identifications for both Dakota and Us (our pictures and names), and then on the back there is a copy of the ADA rule stating what people can ask you about your service dog and their right to access premises.  There was other paperwork and certificates – and Dr. records we got from Katherine too – the other was in an folder.

I'm looking down at Dakota now ... he is back lying next to us.  This time though, he has fallen asleep stretched out with his muzzle laid over both of our soft purplish/gray shoes.  I guess he's breathing us up, though we wish we could have left a better impression than stinky shoes!  He's really tuckered out...

I don't know if I said yet, but we took him on longer and longer walks each day.  Not by much, but by some.  We added a space at the end of our busy street walk where we are walking around the perimeter of the mobile home park.  That gets him back into more familiar comfortable surroundings, and again we end the trips in the back yard.  He's doing SOOOO well!  Katherine said that when he walks next to us in any form (scooter, walking, or walker, but especially scooter), he is really proud of being there.  He's being very much a dog and a well-cared for dog at that.  I'm so happy to be feeling that we're doing it the right way.  I asked about what it was that he does during the day, but I think we're really figuring that out ... basically, he sleeps near us when he's got down time, and then he is ready to go when we get up to move, and especially when we call him over to put on his prong collar and leash. He's ALWAYS ready to go and likes to sleep by the door too!

The last time we took him out - just before sitting back down to write, he was pacing in the kitchen area and he whined, so we took him right to the door asked him if he wanted to go out (repetition) and then as before we left him out there and came back in and then just spied on him.  AND, sure enough ... he urinated and pooped and then stretched a bit and relaxed before we let him back in.  He seems to appreciate the good dog pets he gets and is excited to be back in the air conditioned house and WITH HIS People!  He's doing GREAT!  He doesn't bark at all so I'm glad he's at least whining, just I have to look for it so there is no accidents.  Katherine says the two he had were just in getting accustomed.  When he walked in he didn't know what to do.  

Oh ... he didn't like that ... Rich got up from where he was working at his chair, talked for a few moments, put on his shoes and left for a few grocery items and a trip to his mothers.  Dakota is still fretting a bit because he didn't take him with.  Poor kid - he was meant to be on the go!

We made some popcorn and emptied the dishwasher, but everything is in pretty good shape.  I did find Dakota though reaching in through Missy's door in the gate to check out her food stash.  Lucky we pushed it back because he had his whole neck AND head in there!  He eventually though went back to finish up some of the food he'd started at breakfast.  There ... we're back, Rich is gone and Dakota is now lying by the door.  He likes it over there like Lady because of the cold air vents, we think - and now he's probably waiting for Rich.  Rich is doing real well with the dog.  When Dakota walks over to him, if Rich's hands are free, he will give him a real nice pet, but then he's like - ok, go on now!  On the Saturday - after he'd had the accident I cleaned it up and Katherine took him outside and left him, but she gave him too much leash by putting one attached to another, so when Rich came home, he saw Dakota was attached to his leash, but he was sitting out in the middle of the street like he was starting his own street gang!  Hehehe - needless to say Rich brought him in! 

Friday is happening - TODAY is Dakota DAY!!!!

Friday, August 22, 2014 @ 12:24 pm

Hi hi … this is us.  And we’re down to the last few hours before meeting Dakota and Katherine.  This will probably be a short note in that I need to do just a few more things at home here before we go in three hours.  We have to finish folding the load of clothes still drying, and we have to steam the clothes that are already done.  We started with a list this morning of things that had to get done – and they are all set. 

We picked up the general clutter in the house (6 min), picked-up dishes and ran the dishwasher (3 min), cleaned both bathrooms (15 min), swept the kitchen, dining and Desk area and then washed and buffed it (24 min), we made the bed and picked-up the bedroom (6 min), through one load of wash in (now it’s the last stages of drying) (5 min), swept the breezeway (6 min), charged the scooter (2 min), took out the kitty litter and garbage (10 min), and cleaned off a few extra things normally sitting on our cupboard (7 min).  Again just need to finish folding and steaming clothes which should take about an hour and we’ve got 3 hours to do it …. SOOOO if I didn’t write so much, I could put in an hour or two on sewing.  Just we don’t know if we have that kind of concentration. 

Right now is another break and we broke out some ice water and need to chill out a bit … There done AND we took our medicine about a half hour early.  We also did a quick scrub on the fridge shelves.  All the little things stick out at you.  When we were in the kitchen earlier, we washed also all the appliances and made sure the garbage can itself was clean.  We do a pretty good job with that because I hate scuzzy garbage cans.    We also dusted or washed down the living room furniture and especially the glass coffee table where Rich sits.  I think he really needs something under his glass – because there’s always a mess on the glass table top.  Hmm, make note of this for future.

Right now?  Let it go!

I’m getting scolded by Missy and I’m not sure why … she already got me to do an extra 15 minutes petting in the recliner.  So she either wants some more of that, or to know why I put her food dishes in the dishwasher!  Hope she settles down.  Maybe she knows this is her last day of cat freedom where she alone owns the house.  Maybe?

We’re back but only for a little bit.  It’s 1:30 pm now.  I just finished folding the dryer load.  All the time in-between was spent with Missy on the couch AGAIN being petted.  When I got up to do the dryer, she went back to her new bed on the bench seat in our bedroom.  I think she’s feeling better.  I think though too maybe she knew I was the one that needed to pet/hold her.  She’s still trying to convince me that we don’t need a dog.  Too late Missy!!

Rich just came in to take his shower.  He had been working the whole time out in the sunroom.  I’m not sure if he opened the windows, but we’re thinking it’s a lot nicer in the house than outside.  We haven’t been out to investigate the bees today.  It is going to be how it will be … we’ll still try to peek, but in general its causing a lot of headache and I’m trying to ignore it.  The ONLY thing I have to do for the next two hours is steam clothes.  We’ve had the music on from Sirius on the current top 40 music recordings.  It’s different and I periodically do this because I like most of the music and it is new.  We thought it would help relax us while petting Missy, and then it would be a better transferal to the sewing room for the steaming because we have the Sirius there too.  I don’t know why this chore is so hard … it’s always the last one to do, but I will be out of nicely steamed clothes tomorrow if I don’t get it done AND Rich has ALL three jeans in there so he will for sure need some of the clothes.  I think he’s planning to do work around the house tomorrow and then go out to Chris’ for Jaxson’s birthday party, and then Sunday we’ll go out to Chicago.  Don’t think there will be much time for him to work outside then – SOOOO I don’t think he’ll be buried in it.  I’m excited that he’s going to be working on the back section of weeds – that’s a big section and I would be excited to pieces if he could do it.  I don’t think he’ll get it all done, but it is a great idea TO have done!  You know?

Hmm, went outside and the bees were still there … so I sprayed the patio area … I’m not sure if that is direct enough, but it’s about all I could do in frustration.  We’ll have to see if that does anything by the time we get home.  I hate to kill the bees, but I can’t tolerate them in our relaxation area.  Well actually we have other areas to relax, but that’s one of our favorites right now.  You Know? 

Oh oh … back to me – the “Ya know?” person.  Yikes. 

Rich is getting out of the shower.  I’m going to see if I can scare a conversation out of him, otherwise I have no excuse than to go back to the steaming.  I figure if I don’t get to it … the worst thing that could happen is that I might have to do piece by piece as we need them – would only take a few moments.  I know I should and I could AND we have time to do it.  Just being really resistant.  Maybe I will do you a favor and try to talk about something else other than that.  Hmm?

Ok, we’re about 75 minutes before leaving and I’m DEFINITELY not able to do steaming.  I did leave a note with Linda.  I wouldn’t be able to do a conversation with CS even if she were interested.  I don’t know if she went home today or is still at the hospital.  Hope she’s going to be ok.

Katherine called from the airport.  She says that Dakota seems to realize that what he is going through is new and he’s been excited and very interested in what is going on around him.  Katherine had to be there a couple hours early, but she said she always has a book.  I don’t think I could read right now either.  Just too much going on.  We’re a bit frustrated with our Internet … it is out again and it’s frustrating not to just have FB to go through.  I guess I could do it on our phone.  Let me see how that feels.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dakota just a Day Away!

Thursday, August 21, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

Shoot Shoot … it looks like we’ve gone by another month+ since really writing and for sure none of our writing is being very prophetic.  *sigh*  BUT, Here we are again for another round.

I’m thinking we are probably close enough in time that we should be taking our 1 pm medicine.  Why don’t we agree to agree and go do what’s necessary, hmm? 

Ok, good … and we started the dishwasher and got ourselves a tall glass of ice water.  We’ve just recently finished a turkey lunchmeat sandwich.  Eh, not the best, but it counts as lunch so we’re choosing to be moving on. 

There’s so much stuff on our mind that even though I know that sewing is an option and a GREAT option, we’re going to dedicate ourselves to writing for a while and not the kind of writing that has a whole lot on cleaning.  That’s what we did yesterday, but many of the recent writings have been going to Dr. Marvin because we’ve been working on some of our more private relationships with people and we are trying to be cautious of what goes up on the Internet about it.  There are some general notes of where people we love most are …

  • Rich is at work and will stop at the grocery store on the way home
  • Linda is still out on her anniversary vacation with Tony in Michigan
  • Maury is working, dating and we’ve been enjoying every other weekend opportunities to be with his girls and their dogs
  • Joe and Cari have about 7 weeks left of their pregnancy with their first son – WOOHOO date October 11!
  • We just talked to Thom yesterday and had a very good conversation – he’s thriving!
  • We saw Austin last week and have been figuring out the cartoon Happy Tree Friends ever since ;)
  • CS is in the hospital following a fourth surgery in about a month and a half on her shoulder
  • We visited my Mother late in July and that turned out real well
  • Dr. Marvin has been in and out of the office – but, remains one of our favorite forever people
  • AND we pick up KATHERINE AND DAKOTA at the airport in JUST OVER 24 HOURS!!!!!!

Ok, there’s the rough draft J

We’re back to listening to Sarah Brightman and all is pretty gay!  We had to stay home from our session with Dr. Marvin today because we were pretty overwhelmed.  He pointed us in the direction of having to ground ourselves – hence the sewing, but we are really going into a new phases in our life and this should be commemorated with some words – whether wise or not.  The big transition of course is going to be having Dakota as our Service Dog.

We don’t know all of where we left off before, but it was decided on the way home from MN that the cost of traveling to SD on our own – two days there and two days back, plus hotel, food, etc. would be more expensive than just asking Katherine to fly down as she had with one of her other customers.  So, we checked on the average price and talked to her AND she was game, AND her plane is coming in tomorrow (Friday) at about 5:30 pm at O’Hare.  SOOOO excited!  At first she was going to come in two weeks from now, but she was worried over all the care she’d be going through at that time with the twelve puppies that were born to her two of her dogs last month and so the time was moved up and we couldn’t be more excited.  I think of the group of us Dakota will probably be the most calm!

We talked to Katherine this morning too and it was a great floaty conversation.  We talked a bit about her trip with the other client and her Great Dane.  That gave us a chance to think what it might be like for her and us in a few days.  We’re trying not to second guess and place the other customer in front of us as someone competitively better for whatever reason.  The fact of the matter is that Katherine is very non-judgmental and is coming to see us FOR uniting Dakota and us for a lifelong work engagement … Ok, and he’s going to be OUR DOG!!!!  This is a very big deal – and, WHOOSH!  There it goes again, but here’s Anns flying in the clouds again! 

We went over a few things like how it will be when we meet and what Katherine eats for breakfast and drinks – Iced tea!  And, yes, she will bring a few treats for Dakota the first night.  We know he likes some special chicken treats as he’s getting in the kennel at night.  I know he’s used to being in the same bedroom as Kathryn so that will be different for him, and he’ll be right outside our door.  We got a kennel for him a week or two ago … it looks like this.

(see above) 

It seems to be in just the right spot and we’re happy AND Rich is like tolerating so that’s good enough for us.  Missy liked the soft synthetic sheepskin bed in his kennel, that we got her her own bed too … just its smaller.  She is LIVING on that thing now!  Who woulda guessed!?

I’m thinking that Dakota is going to like it here, just he has to get used to a few things that Katherine didn’t think would be a problem.  For example, instead of getting to roam free in her yard, he is going to have leashes in the back and front.  I think they are each about 20 feet and should then at that length keep him from going in the yard.  I’m really sure we don’t want that.  Maury came out last week when he brought the girls and he fixed it so that we could have three leashes in the front and three in the back.  That’s so we’d be ready for when we had all three dogs staying overnight.  Not all the time, but periodically on the nights the girls might be over.  Just want everyone to be happy.  We’ll get another set of dishes for Dakota Saturday when we go out with Katherine too, but for Friday night he can share with the other dogs that won’t be here.

There was another problem this last week or two in that we were having more small bees in our patio area and Rich was saying it was because of the flowering bush in our corner, but yesterday we sat on our scooter about three feet from the patio border and were realizing that at that distance, we weren’t getting buzzed, but that they were hovering around my blue comfy chair.  We studied it a little while before realizing that they were going up in a section of the part of our house that stands out about a foot or so – the double windows.  We asked and Rich did his best with spraying – though he ran out of spray because he’d used the can earlier.  I will go out again today and study the situation to see if its gotten better.  ALL summer we’ve been dreaming of being out in our front yard with OUR dog!  To not have that space for Katherine and us and Dakota was driving us crazy.  BUT, we’re hoping the problem is now fixed.  Again we will see.

Hoping so!!!

So where were we otherwise? 

Hmm, definitely talking about Dakota and Katherine being here!  We had made previously a schedule for all concerned over the weekend.  Basically, we will leave here about 3:00 pm to pick them up at the airport.  Their plane comes in about 5:30 pm.  It will take some time to get through, but they will pick up their baggage and we’ll meet them outside the United area.  Yup they will be the ones with the dog!  I know we’re going to have to go around and around until they get there, and we don’t know if Katherine will need to or will find a corner of grass for Dakota.  We know he won’t eat or drink before getting there, so she said to bring a bowl of water with us.  AND, we said we’ll have a bone J  You know … Like getting Leah!  Hmm, did we spell that right?  ANYway…  If we don’t get a spot for him right away we said we could stop by at a gas station and give him a few minutes to take care of his business. 

Katherine said the arrangements should be the same in that they will be given a space by the bulkhead where there is more room for him to be laying down.  She talked about him again being an ambassador for people with service dogs.  Some people say they don’t want their service dog touched, but both Katherine and I have a more open perspective on that.  He will always take care of me first, but there is no reason people would not be invited to pet him.  I want them to know he’s a good safe dog.  I think it will be part of my being out in public.  In the past we have wanted so much to be invisible, that we were tripping over ourselves not to leave foot prints.  It’s going to be different and we’re going to have to depend on our general pride over our dog so that it is ok when people approach us. 

Katherine also says that he has a yellow/greenish vest that will suggest easily that he’s a service dog.  I’m going to be so proud of him.  I brought up the subject of not knowing what to say when people ask what he is needed for.  It’s one of the two questions businesses can ask – the other is “Is he a service dog?”  Dr. Marvin suggested that we tell them he is to help us with our anxiety levels and Katherine added that the dog senses chemical and heart rate changes so he will know we’re feeling anxious possibly before we will and he will use those times to make us feel better.  We aren’t exactly sure how it is going to feel, but we imagine him putting his head on our lap so we can rest and pet him and in that way more easily ground ourselves.  He would have been very useful today as we are floating around.  Helps to be concentrating now … just feel like we’re pretty highly jacked at the time – WITH no drinking!

Maybe we better be moving on … the next part is that Dakota and Katherine are going to be driven home to our place.  We’ll ask Dakota if he wants to use the bathroom out back, but our goal is to get him out for a walk or two around the block with our scooter.  I do know the part where he and she come into our house and get the tour, and by that time Rich will be tending to his crock pot dinner.  He’s going to make pot roast with potatoes, onions and corn on the cob.  Hmm, we should think about maybe going out for dessert?  NOOOO … too much.  Maybe we’ll have to talk to him about that.  Maybe something simple like ice cream OR Carrot cake!  That’s my favorite and it IS like a birthday!  HMM?  We’ll see … maybe Rich is already shopping?  Yesterday he was going to have me go with and hope we’d get me an electronic cart, but it didn’t happen.  Thinking maybe today?  I’m still in our pajamas.  Yup, pretty spacey today. 

Anyway beside talking which we plan to do ALL the way home from the airport, we’re pretty much going to try just settling everyone in with a routine or two.  Katherine said that she goes to bed early and then gets up I think around 5 am, but we might get some patio time too if the bees are gone.  I’m soooo hoping so.  I just keep going back to my image of him lying next to us or on the grass as we sit and stare at the corn field or our Kindle.  This is the happy family feeling we’ve wanted for so long.

The next morning, we are going to have a walk – hopefully out on the busier road so we can go farther, and then we would like to do some yard work with Dakota – in learning how he does things like sit and stay and such.  We need to know a little more about discipline and how to go about training him to do new things.  We want to see Katherine doing it.  And, THEN after he’s worked for it, then we will have breakfast and THEN we will go to a pet store – rich says Oswego – but it looks like PetSmart in Yorkville is closer.  It looks like about 12 miles or 20 minutes.  Not too bad all considering how small Sandwich is J

The idea of going to the Pet Store AND with Rich’s credit card is that we’ll get the things Dakota needs and Katherine approved.  We’re going to look to make sure we have the right leashes, dog and water bowls, big bag of dry food, treats, and bones.  I still think we need a few things for the bathroom part.  We’ll see what they have.  We also want a few toys.  We have some tennis balls and a Kong, but we want a tug a war toy, and some special treats for training him.  I think Katherine works with praise more than treats, but we’ll have to go over that too.  I know the optimal is to train the dog not to need the treats, but I’m not sure of the learning curve.  I think that’s pretty much it at the dog store.  I will go there with the walker.  And, that will be Dakota’s first introduction of it.  Then we will go to one of the local diner’s – probably 34. We will then be at home and do some home training, or if there is enough energy, we will take a walk on the nature trail.  Or at the State Park.  I will have to do that with the stroller though so it won’t be a very long trip … just enough to get Dakota and us used to getting in and out of spaces with the walker and me having to sit and rest and such.  I will also like to have a longer lead so he can play a bit while we’re there.  I want him to also work on coming to me when I call.  Later that night then we want to take him to the Mexican restaurant in Sandwich which is better class than the diner.  Hmm, Rich also suggested the train restaurant – Bull Moose.  I have to admit that be my favorite choice … it’s the restaurant I like the most.  We’re not sure of the space.  Katherine talked about having the dog beside the table or bench.  Just have to make sure we don’t distract anyone or the waitress.

I would like to go on another scooter walk with him in the evening.  I don’t know how he or Katherine are going to feel about the bigger street and traffic.  Rich did fix the flags on my scooter, but then he has to fix them again.  He didn’t tell me we couldn’t move the seat and the things snapped off.  The story there is that we called the local county sheriff and he said it was against the law to bring the scooter on the road, but then he said that it was ok and that no one would ticket us or anything, but to be the safest we could, we would need to get a couple reflectors and two 6’ flags.  That seemed like pretty good advice.  One of my worries such as spooking me or the dog was the worry about the side of the road and what Dakota would be walking on – mainly are we going to have pebbles.  Katherine will have to tell me about surfaces and dog feet.  I know that some dogs have booties, but we’d like to avoid that if we could.  We get the idea of walking our dog a lot because of Cesar Milan’s information about exercise, discipline and then the affection.  We want a dog in very good shape and we want him to be proud of us too.  Part of that is learning to work as a team.  I want to take care of him, and to have him take care of us.  We're going to be a team!

We took a few minutes to have a popcorn break and we were looking for service dog safety signs – like something to put up on 29th Road in front of our house.  Pretty sure that kind of thing would have to go through city council and I don’t know what the precedent is.  Maybe we’ll stop to figure that out later.  We have to make sure that Dakota can handle the busier streets as well as us.  I think it’s going to be spooky with fast cars passing us, but he still needs to take the walks and as stated elsewhere, people and bikes move on the roads so this is in the same category.  Site lines are good around here long empty farm roads – with crops.  Just a little nervous here it’s going to depend on what Katherine says. 

Back to the schedule though … I think we got caught up until Saturday night.  I want each of the time periods to end where we are sitting outside on the patio.  We will change locations if we have to, like maybe sit out back on the back porch, but we’re hoping for the front yard where the chairs and table are. 

Oh yes – we forgot about one other thing – Maybe Saturday afternoon – we could go to Walmart.  Katherine had suggested the local grocery store and that is where Rich shops for groceries.  The trip will involve taking my walker and I think it is going to be hard unless we cut down on the amount of space covered.  It might be better to skip the State park and do that trip instead.  One of the big deals of having the service dog is being able to go to real stores again.  We might go there to pick up some medicine … that might be a good deal.  I think that the pharmacy is closer to the front of the store.  Good thinking you!

And, then on Sunday – we will do more of the same with walking with the scooter before breakfast and after dinner.  Our treadmill won’t be in on time to see that through.  But, we’ll figure that out later, there is a lot going on.  The middle of the day stuff is to go with Rich, the scooter and all to Chicago.  I want to walk on the lake paths up near where we used to live.  I’m ok that the dog park would be too much, but we also asked Rich to take Katherine through the city up north to Foster Park, and then come back on Lake Shore Drive.  I think it’s one of the most beautiful parts of Chicago.  I don’t think we’ll have enough time to go to observation point, but that would be a bonus.  I also asked if we could go to UIC where Dr. Marvin is.  We are going to have to use our walker there because we will have to stop and check if Dakota needs the bathroom before going into the appointment.  Obviously, there won’t be an appointment on Sunday, but we can do the walk and come in at the back door.  I am barely able to walk the distance in the walkway and we’ll have to use the walker because of the time where Dakota might be sniffing.  We’ll be going in earlier than normal from now on.  BUT, we want to show Dakota the path so he’s ready when we go by ourselves with him to Dr. Marvin’s on Tuesday.  We’ll have to learn things like going in and out of doors.  AND, we’ll probably feel self-conscious.

After that we are planning to go to Connies, but there might be somewhere else.  It seemed like a big open place – kinda fancy, but not excessive.  I’m really hoping that we are going to be able to go into places without too much problem, but we’re still thinking we should call ahead just to make sure there isn’t any issues.  Maybe a consideration would be to write a local something in the newspaper on service dogs so people in Sandwich have some warning.  I’ve never seen anyone else with them, but again I don’t get out much.

Monday morning will be the same start, but we will have to leave around 9 am to get Katherine to the airport.  Her plane leaves at 12:30 pm  She won’t have Dakota so it should be easier for her, but it is still going to be very emotional leaving her and I am thinking that both Dakota and Us are going to be a little depressed and maybe scared because it will be easier with Katherine than the striking out of our own, but I know it is time – because after all … here it is!

That’s as far into the day as we’ve come.  We should probably take a small break and take our shower so we can go out for the mail, or scooter ride around the block and to check on the bees.  That be the plan then right?  I will want to come back and talk about a little more, but lets get this out of the way … that be a good Ann.  J

OK, BACK!!!  Hmm, maybe not such a big deal for you, but we’re feeling better J

Should get those clothes steamed though sometime.  All our regular shirts are in the steaming pile.  I’m tempted to go outside before my hair dries, but maybe not … I don’t want to draw negative attention.  Just feel like being outside.  We’re real anxious about the bees.  We have to calm down all over again.  Hmm, maybe we should have a service dog?!!  Hehehe ok, you don’t be going silly on us!

There have been a few other things happening in our life, but most involve the people we’d just noted before.  There was a day out with the quilting girls – though my sister was out of it because of her operations.  We had brought Isa with us and that turned out to be really nice.  Sometimes she was attuned to me or the group members, and other times she was on her own.  It seemed she liked the attention of the women the best.  And, she seems like a real organizer.  For a while the twins played, good and bad twin and Isa was in the position of a teacher and she had to correct the situation while the twins gave her some extended trouble.  Isa brought her Barbie dolls and shared them with Ainsley who had come with her mother Emily and her new sister Adley.  She did pretty good, but you could tell that sharing was something she was working on as someone nearly three!  Isa remained patient with her and when the time came – was able to hold Adley like the others of us.  She did really well and was confident.  The room situation was perfect in that they’d gone up in class and gave us the suite with an extra living space for only $99.  That was a great deal and it was directly across the hall so the supervision of Isa being in one part or another was good.  We had her leave open the door when she was in the private room.

I think the thing that happened next was that Isa got very excited at being there and desperately wanted to come back.  I got the feel from the others – mainly the twins and Linda and it seemed they were ok with the idea, but there was more of my attention that went to keeping Isa engaged than in some of the looser gossip stuff we usually do.  I’m thinking this was ok, but there is a feeling of loss for it too and I’m thinking the others would agree.  It did work out though in that while I was taking extra time with Isa, Linda was getting more time to talk to the twins about the things going on in her life, we’d already shared with her through our day to day talks.  So this was nice too.  I could listen again, but I think by nature we as people are always looking for something new.  We and Isa talked to her father, and he talked to her mother, and it seems its been agreed that we can take Isa again … although it will be during her mother’s weekend.  I feel really good that both Maury and Lauren trust me to have Isa for the weekend out of state.  It’s a very big deal and an honor I will live to keep.

Isa and Ame were here this last weekend and Ame is still working on the Scalemates – the stuffed animal she’s learned how to make.  She’s made two and one other animal and has given them to friends.  She has an event coming up in about a month and she wants to have a stuffed scalemate for each of her friends, so she, Isa and us went back to JoAnn’s.  It turned out the fabric for each was only $1.75 per each 1/4 yard so that was a lucky break.  Ame stayed preoccupied with it the rest of the weekend and came out for meals, but otherwise was on the phone, listening to movies and cutting patterns.  She’s got a good sense of it.  Isa was out in the LR between my computer and the TV.  We also worked on her big heart button project.  She had to let it dry overnight and didn’t get back to it, but it was moving on its way.  Me on the other hand spent more of my time between cleaning up and preparing spaces to sewing.  It was a great sewing weekend because everyone was busy. 

A couple days before the girls got here, Austin was here too!  We used most of the time talking or being on the computer.  He’s got certain videos we watched with him and we also watched him playing video games.  It’s been suggested that I don’t have to be with him so closely, but its been something that we look forward to in getting to know him better.  He likes a constant conversation and it is very enriching even for us old folk.  His mind and enthusiasm for his interests are fascinating.  Just it’s high energy and sometimes we’ll ask for breaks to sit back and put our feet up.  Now we really realize why parenting is for younger folk!  Everyone seems to be enjoying Rich’s cooking and we’ve been helping with that, setting table and cleaning up afterward.  I think there is still a lot of eating between meals, but mostly because Rich has some good stuff sitting around.  One of the days with the girls – we cut apples for Rich so he could make one of his pies.  Everything has been like that all along – real nice.  AND, we feel good about the accommodations.  All the grandchildren seem to feel at ease with the house and the private spaces we give for them.  That would have never happened back in the day of the apartment - Just feeling pretty blessed with the space.

We did spend some of the girls’ time with Rich too.  He was outside working on the weed bed in-between the short shrubbery evergreens in the front yard between the yard and patio.  I helped break down weeds and dirt and then he got about half the covering and red mulch down (behind the brick he laid).  He was able to keep the stands for the leashes in their spaces, but popping through the bark and it looks and feels just right.  There is no doubt there will be lead mix-ups as the dogs are coming between the posts and each other’s leads, but we’ll do the best we can.  The main thing is that we can be out with the dogs even though we don’t have a fence.  Not perfect, but doable.  Now if we can get some GRANDCHILDREN outside we’ve got it made!

There were two trips – one each day with Ame and Isa and the Scooter around the circle.  Ame controlled the dogs and I think she was disgruntled to have Isa and us there and walked quickly in front of us, but we all tried to adjust.  She’s at that very independent age and I think is ashamed of older or younger people.  Maybe 20’s and 30’s people she can take, but the rest?  Eh, could take or leave Hehehe.

With Dr. Marvin, we’ve been coming in and out of things.  He had two sessions that he had to miss and some of our sessions we were at home.  Things that are affecting us now is all the social situations, especially with family and friends we find ourselves in.  Each time we go through a kind of debriefing to go over the fun stuff and the stuff we’d like to improve.  The diet has taken a second seat this last couple of weeks while he was gone and all the visiting was happening.  I have to get back on track, and after about 36 days of being conscientiously signing into MFP (My Fitness Plan), we went off track and we’re still at 1 day now.  The exercise equipment has been paid for although we are still going to be paying the lower 2/3rds credit on the card for a while.  The recumbent bike was supposed to come in Friday or Monday, but interfered with plans for Katherine, so we rescheduled for Wednesday.  We didn’t want to interfere with bringing Dakota in to meet Dr. Marvin on Tuesday.  The other equipment – the trucking place hasn't called with the treadmill yet.  I’m thinking pretty soon.  Little disappointed in Israel the guy from the Fitness place.  I don’t think he put in the order until the entire thing was paid – not the 70% deal he had stated.  Maybe he doesn’t have any pull with that kind of thing, but he’s avoided me both times we’ve called asking for him.  Didn’t expect much more, but it all has to pull together for us.

Rich has been on our case, because we’ve been off our calorie counting and weighing in and marking the foods we ate.  Maybe we should start again?  Let me check that out.  What do I remember today? 

There, that wasn’t too bad was it?  We recorded the food so far today and a little note about where we are psychologically … just have to continue where we can.  Speaking of … our hair should be dry enough to brush out and then go do the mail/scooter ride/check bees.  We can’t be afraid of not getting dressed.  Hopefully we work on this harder than Dakota to get us out.  But for now … it’s 3:17 pm and we’re going to knock it off the done list.  I think we had started to say before that Rich has been real upset that we’re off and feels that we’re going to waste the cost of the equipment.  We can’t buy into his doubts, but then we’ve got to excite us on our own goals.  We can be healthier, right?


Drat!  We still saw 2 bees, but didn’t stay out long because it was starting to rain.  One was by the water bottle and the other was by the chair we use to put our feet.  Didn’t see any around the blue chair directly, but after we got back to the garage we did call Rich and reminded him to pick up more bee spray.  I don’t think there was much he sprayed in if they are still out there.  I also reminded him since he didn’t pick up my earlier message of what we needed for Katherine.  He seems a little grouchy.  Said something about paying more for the dog than he had on himself for three weeks, so we just changed the subject.  He was only supposed to buy a SMALL bag and a bone THAT was it!  Katherine and I were to do the rest.  Maybe he got that confused?  *sigh* 

I don’t know that he’s going to be super excited that not much happened here, but it still looks good from yesterday – though neither the sewing or steaming happened.  It takes a long time to write a post!  The dishes did get cleaned and that’s the biggest deal for the day.  We’ll help him with groceries and then it should be ok.  Just can’t handle all the grumbles.  We’re doing our best just to balance our mind so that it processes without going in crazy circles.  You know?

I saw the neighbor Jerry outside, but he was consumed with his mowing and didn’t look over to wave hello.  The lady with the really nice yard though said hello so that was nice.  J  Nobody else was out and it was warm and muggy.  That’s all we can say for it, but glad we’re dressed and showered before Rich came home.  I guess he didn’t need me to do Walmart shopping since he was already there, and we’re frustrated, because if it is raining, he won’t do the front mulch like he promised.  I guess neither one of us saw into the rain – though it was coming down pretty good this morning.  That could have been a hint!

There wasn’t too much in the mail, but Rich got a $3,800 check which is always nice.  Money comes in and out for business, but coming in is always good!  He couldn’t tell me when he was coming home – he probably didn’t want to think that hard because he was frustrated.  He could have avoided that by listening to the message I left MUCH earlier!  HMFP!

Ok, let’s not go getting an attitude.  We are pretty much … what you see is what you get Katherine!  I feel bad, but then we’re too out of place to be doing much around the house so that even emptying the dishwasher right now feels too much.  It got quiet when we muted the Rhapsody to talk to Rich too so maybe in general we are just working hard to avoid things at this moment.  Feels like a lot of pressure all of a sudden.  Maybe that’s because we know Rich is going to be a lot to deal with.  *sigh*

Ahh she is singing Ava Maria.  That gives one a chance to rest peacefully. 

I probably will swipe the dust in Katherine’s room.  That would be a good deal too, right?

Right back.

Ok, done.

We shut the garage door too.  We didn’t think it was raining that much, but Rich said we should shut it and we’d been avoiding it.  *SIGH*  We don’t do well with these transitions.  It’s almost 4 pm.  Maybe before Rich comes home we should take our extra anxiety medicine.  That’s a good idea.  BRB

Hmm, done and we emptied the dishwasher.  It usually only takes a few moments.  Gotta get used to that I won’t actually die with labor.  Besides lifting the heavy plates, it’s not even hard labor, right?

Hmm, popcorn on the floor.  Think we won’t wash the kitchen floor, but we will sweep it again.  We always include the dining area and the Desk area.  Good Ann’s!  Tomorrow we’re going to make the bed with one of the quilts too.  That always is nicer for guests.  Think we’re going to do the fish quilt though – the first artistic one - not the one with deers.  Hmm, Rhapsody went off again … guess it is now raining more, we can hear it on the roofs.  Good thing we shut the garage door.  The windows in the sun room remained shut all day.  Have to stop worrying, have to stop worrying.  We did all the right things AND we didn’t go over with our eating today either.  That should make Rich happy.  I don’t think he cares very much if we felt accomplished in writing out our thoughts.  I think he’d think it was wasted time.  Maybe he wouldn’t be that harsh, but he WOULD think I could take less time with it, but then it wouldn’t be what it is!  AND, we haven’t written for over a month.

We ran into another Multiple today.  I hope I didn’t further confuse the situation.  I thought she was the one responsible for Mosaic Minds, but I’m not sure what led us to those thoughts.  She was a little crumpled in her statement of Astraea.  It sounded like she knew them, but she commented on herself as being just a garden level trauma-based Multiple.  It does then sound like she knows of that movement just isn’t identifying herself as a part of it.  It didn’t look like she necessarily regarded them highly.  It’s not enough to start or stop a relationship.  I do like meeting Multiples, just they usually tend to be very busy people with a lot on their agenda, and we are between agenda’s at the moment.  It will be so interesting to find how our life changes with the addition of Dakota.  I’m pretty sure we made the right decisions all along, but now the last day without him, we realize too we’ve taken on a lot of responsibility and as a system – it’s not one of our higher ranking abilities.  You know?

Hmm, just touched bases with FB for a minute and had seen something for Jim – then we wrote him because we’re feeling so many off-balance type emotions, and he had on his site a connection to someone named Nina Simone, so I listened and it was soooo nice and Jim mellow – it was like getting the hug from him that we were looking for.  Life is funny that way, you know?

Oh oh … I must be the part that says – you know?  A lot!  Hide girl hide!

We’ve kept up the Mind Map most of the day while we’ve been writing (on the other screen).  We haven’t really been looking at it, but we’ve been feeling its presence.  I don’t know what or who it is that is so much interested in it, but I think because of all the odd emotions, it is serving as another anchor.  It is something we want to go back to, but it was a lot of work.  We have to balance it with Dakota, Domestic Goddess, Dr. Marvin, sewing, reading/writing and anything else.

Lucky we took our medicine… 


We're back again.  We've been having trouble sleeping so have been up for the last hour.  It is now 11:11 PM.  We thought we'd add a short note before posting, and the try to crawl back to bed.  We know Rich ALWAYS lets us massage him when we're feeling out of sorts.

When Rich got home this afternoon, we did help him with the groceries, but it took about an hour to get him past being grouchy, and then for some reason he thought he'd wait to eat dinner until he got things done.  But, that meant I had to eat alone - well, he was in the room with me, just not eating.  He said he wanted to get outside and finish the work before he got tired.  That made sense in its own way since he's been getting to tired after dinner to do much else.  So, after I ate and we both finished his show, we both went out.  Rich did the work, and we just tried to stay quiet and observe.  He finished putting in the last few bricks and then filled the area with plastic bags and then put a couple more bags of mulch over it.  He didn't like the extra leashes being out when not in use by Maury's dogs, so he took those off their posts and he gave me the task of sweeping the patio.  That seemed to make sense, but we're always in a rush when needing to stand so we were like move, move!  Not mean like but we had an agenda.  Then from our scooter that was parked on the lawn we watched Rich sit down on the patio.  He had sprayed for the bees again before we swept and i seemed there weren't any out.  SOOOO, we sat down on our comfy blue chair and rested there for a good while while talking to Rich.  It was SOOOO nice, did I say that enough?  I love our view of the area in front of the patio being open and facing the corn fields.  Tonight because of it being overcast it seemed surreal, which was kinda cool on it's own.

We watched one more show - both shows tonight being "The Artful Detective" which is Rich's favorite new show right now although it appears to have been on for quite a few series.  After we gave him a massage until we fell asleep, but woke up about 1 hour later and now is now!

There ... finally conceded to needing a bottle of water.  Our thirst wasn't going to go away.  Can't help the feeling that we are hot.  I wonder if Rich turned down the air.  I feel it's a bit stifling.  Yup yup ... he had turned it up.  We both play with the temp trying to get it right. When we went out for the water we found it was still muggy in the sunroom.  Maybe now we'll cool off.

All our mind is on the dog right now and having Katherine and him here tomorrow.  Maybe it would help if I put together a short list of things to do before 3 pm when we leave for the airport.  I'm HOPING its going to be a shortlist.

  • Pick-up general things/clutter in the house including folding LR blanket (6 min)
  • Pick-up the dishes and run the dishwasher after lunch (3 min)
  • Clean the bathrooms (10 min + 10 min)
  • Sweep the kitchen/dining/office floors (8 min)
  • Make the bed and do one last load of clothes (4 min and 3 min transferring/8 min fold)
  • Steam the clean clothes that have been through the wash yesterday (1 hour)
  • Sweep the breezeway (6 min)
  • Charge the scooter battery (2 min)
  • Kitty Litter and garbage out (10 min)
  • Clear last few things on the Kitchen counter (6 min)
I think that is about it, but we'll add to it if we think of anything.  So far we are up to about two 1/2 hours of work, but of course there will be breaks in-between.  There that makes us feel better.  Half the job is getting the steaming done.  We did all the vacuuming and deeper cleaning on yesterday so am feeling pretty good on time.  We should be able to get it done in 3 1/2-4 hours in reality with our up and downs for the bad back, so we should be comfortable taking it easy until 10 am - MAYBE jump start the laundry, dishes and a few other things.  I think we're going to be excited to see things get ready for Katherine AND Dakota.

If there is any time left over ... it SHOULD go tomorrow to sewing.  That seems to be the lost art of Ann.  

OH and we have to take a shower, get dressed and go out for mail/scooter ride.  AND, maybe check out the front patio again for bees.  Rich said they might not have been out because later in the day.

So now that we're being all organized it's really a matter of how do we slow our brains down enough to fall asleep.  Thinking we might take one more of the anxiety medicine.  Be a good deal to sleep tonight, right?!

Ok, let's try this sleep thing one more time.

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Introducing Dakota - 1st Weekend, 1st Week!