Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Monday, July 31, 2006

Tex creek wildlife area...


This weekend, Joe & I took Schatzi for a trial run camping in preparation for our Altmiller family reunion next weekend. Joe picked out a tent so we could car camp (and save on gas) instead of pulling our tent trailer with the truck. Can I just say, car camping is SOOO easy compared to backpacking. You set up the tent and then you are free to hike WITHOUT any heavy packs, come back to camp to eat, sleep in, and so forth. What a lazy, enjoyable weekend! Well, not for Schatzi..she had a great time playing in the tall grass. :)

We set up camp Friday night after work. It was my first time to plan the whole camping trip and, while well-planned, was not quite perfectly executed. In the chaos of hurrying Joe to get out the door and manage Schatzi's pre-trip potty, I forgot to load the water and the mosquito repellent. So, we stayed Friday night and drove the hour home on Saturday to retrieve the much needed supplies. (A quick shower, too!). Then, we drove to Palisades Reservoir to explore some hiking trails. Schatzi did so well in the car...it gave me hope for our long car trip ahead. That evening, we took Schatzi for a short hike near camp. She wasn't sure that she wanted to venture into the sagebrush, but after I carried her over the first bush and told her we weren't turning back, she decided it wasn't so bad after all and soon smelled some birds and decided she loved hiking after all. Joe snapped a picture of "his girls" on the hike.

Sunday, I slept in while Joe visited with a Fish and Game volunteer. The volunteer, an elderly gentleman, said he was surprised to see us out there...apparently, the "roads are so bad" that no one ventures out to the area very often. We both thought southern Idahoans must be pretty spoiled with their road quality because all of the roads were much nicer than the logging roads we used to drive in Northern Idaho. After breakfast, we packed up and took a drive to Mesa Falls and then back to home for a lazy evening, watching "The Benchwarmers".

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tony & Laurel's wedding





Better late than never...I have some pictures of Tony & Laurel's wedding, which I blatantly stole off of their website. :)
The one on horseback is was taken on their honeymoon...it was too cute to pass up. Other pictures are of my favorite wedding guests... :)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Not-so-lonely in Idaho Falls....

So, just a quick post today as Schatzi and I are chilling in the living room, getting ready for puppy class in a little while. Nothing super exciting today...more unpacking the office (will it EVER be done?...I don't think so because there is so much organization in the office that needs to be done), some cooking, making weekend plans to possibly go camping and working on teaching Schatzi how to fetch (which, by the way, is promising).

EXCEPT...one exciting thing...I had lunch with Nichole, a fellow classmate who lives in Rexburg (about 20 minutes from Idaho Falls) and her cute 3-year old, Bailey. I recently email Nichole and told her I was thinking about her since she had a miscarriage in April. I also told her that I'd had a miscarriage, too, and, in my experience, it was hard to find people to talk to about it; people didn't really understand if they hadn't had a miscarriage, too. She emailed me back and asked if we could have lunch together. We went to a little bakery/sandwich shop and chatted for about an hour. It's the first time we've ever really talked, but it was nice to talk about our experiences, school, southern Idaho, camping...you name it. Whoo hoo! Now I have a new friend AND a classroom buddy. There IS hope for Idaho Falls after all.

Hopefully, a more exciting post tomorrow...with some pictures of the newly unpacked office and Anne's visit.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Weekend fun


This was a fun weekend. I'll start with the pictures of this cute little guy, Thomas Chase. Thomas and his mom, Mandy, came over to our place for iced tea and then stayed for rootbeer floats later in the evening. Mandy, who is 9 months pregnant with baby Ben, enjoyed a little (very little) time off while Thomas
played with some wooden animals with me...

...and played the guitar with Joe. (His dad, KC, is in basic training in Georgia right now). Then...home to bed. Having a toddler over keeps us on our toes, but is oh-so-fun! :) He ran around with Schatzi, dug in the sandbox, examined Schatzi's freckled belly, and even sat in my lap to read a book for about 5 seconds.

Saturday, Joe, Schatzi, and I ventured down to the Greenbelt along the river to check out a local art show. It was hot, but great fun and good socialization with Schatzi. I came away with some great pottery for a birthday present and Schatzi got to meet and play with several dogs, kids, and friendly strangers. I think a few people thought Joe and I were hard-asses for making our puppy walk instead of carrying her, but it was great leash training. By the end of the afternoon, Schatzi was sitting to greet people, nipping less, and was tired enough that Joe and I felt safe to leave her at home alone...outside of her crate! We took the opportunity to go on a date, saw "A Prairie Home Companion" (which both of us thoroughly enjoyed) , and did some window shopping downtown at a music store and a backpacking store. As we walked the hot streets of Idaho Falls, a car full of teenagers pulled over with an unusual request. They said they were on a scavenger hunt and needed a picture of two people kissing. (I guess we must have looked happily in love!). We were happy to oblige and they snapped our picture and away they went. It was a fun way to end the day...and feel a little more like a married couple instead of just two tired puppy owners. :)


Friday, July 21, 2006

puppy pictures






Per Rae's request, we went outside to our courtyard and had Schatzi's first photo shoot. It was a good time to practice the command "Watch!" (to get your dog to look at you and wait for another command). Oh, there are so many exciting things in the courtyard...bugs, bones, sandboxes to dig in.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Drug coverage...

Just wanted to get the word out to anyone who might need this information. I read this this morning from my AANP SmartBrief, regarding drug coverage for the uninsured.

"Help the uninsured get a quick start on Rx savings Patients who lack prescription drug coverage and are not eligible for Medicare can determine in minutes if they quality for the free Together Rx Access Card by calling 800-250-2839. Most cardholders save 25% to 40% on more than 300 prescription drugs and products, as well as a range of generics. E-mail amyniles@aol.com to request a supply of cards for those who may be eligible."

A few final touches...


Okay, I promise this is the end (until we move on to the upstairs next time!), but I really feel like you need some close-ups of details to get a better feel for our home.

So, of course, there are lots of photos/snapshots (although, I've tried to limit them to balance with Joe's dislike of clutter). One of my new favorites is this one of Noah (see far left on bookshelf) with his unhappy face. :) An old favorite rests on an end table...that's Joe & me in the blue frame at our first dance together (we were both younger and thinner then!). Finally, the wooden bowl is a souvineer from our honeymoon (handmade in Belize) and filled with carved wooden animals I collected in high school.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Accident-free day...whoo hoo!

Yesterday was a completely successful day housebreaking Schatzi. No accidents AND she's peeing and pooping in the right spot in the courtyard about half to two-thirds of the time! :) The right spot thing is a big deal because we have limited grassy areas in our courtyard and the rest is pavement. She likes to play and lay down in the grass (and dig in the dirt flower bed, but that is a separate issue), so that leaves the pavement as her toliet...yuck! But, we are getting there.

Unfortunately, all this excitement of our progress was promptly erased after she howled in her crate off and on for 2 hours last night. (I think we're not so popular with the neighbors any more). I don't get it...she LOVES her crate. She naps in there all day and goes in without being asked. She's had no problems at night until last night. I was so alarmed, I went down to check on her...sure she had gotten stuck in the door or something. Turns out, she was just lonely and wanted to sleep in my lap. After I left and put her back in her crate, she started howling again. Long night of frustration, short night of sleep...have to keep reminding myself of the progress we are making.

Monday, July 17, 2006

River adventures...

So, the advantage of having a husband who works for the Idaho Water Resources Department is that he knows the cool spots on the water to hang out on. And, that is precisely what we did on Saturday...loaded up Schatzi (and her huge crate!) into the car and went for a drive to a little stream near Chester, ID. There's a bridge there with a rope hanging off it for kids to jump from (...where are there mothers???!?) and two little sandy, shady beaches just upstream.

Schatzi got her first water experience. She wasn't quite sure what to think...the water was a little cold! So, Joe took the leash, while I waded out to my ankles. After awhile, Schatzi saw me and came bounding out into the river. After a few bounds, she realized she was standing in the cold water and panicked, scrambling for the nearest dry land. So, her first experience was less than positive...coupled with a bath when she got home. :( We'd practiced getting into the bathtub (without water, lured by peanut butter) the day before, so when we got home, I called her and she bounded into the tub...only to find water in the darn thing! Again, she was less than pleased...but, to her surprise, survived her first bath. Joe kept busy keeping her inside the tub while I scrubbed away.

The picture of me was taken with a wide-angled lens (in the hopes of catching a squirmy puppy somewhere in our field of view) so there is a bit of distortion (yes, my head is big, but not THAT big!). I used a different lens for the picture of Joe, which I thought turned out nicely.

Two great weddings on the same day!



This is a bit belated, but thought I should post a picture of the wedding Joe went to on July 8. (I was in Seattle at Tony & Laurel's wedding...between the baby and the puppy, I forgot my camera! Fortunately, Joe remembered his). DJ & Melissa Newman got married in a western-style wedding (okay, a barn!) in Oregon the same weekend. DJ was a groomsman at our wedding and a fraternity brother of Joe's. When we lived in Genesee, we were lucky enough to have him as our neighbor. I was EXTRA lucky when he proposed to Melissa and she moved to Genesee, becoming my favorite neighbor of all time. It was great to have a girl who dropped by, reminded me to go on walks, watched American Idol with me...I miss it!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Such demanding readers!!




All right, you people. Here's the story...we moved and I can't find my SD card. Found the camera, but no SD card. I actually have a couple of them floating around somewhere, but God only knows where. So, until then...you'll just have to rely on the kindness of Mrs. Rae Niculescu for photos. Rae and Andrew came over for a fun, chaotic, puppy-filled evening at Kevin & Amy's last weekend. It was great to see them both and to pump Andrew for puppy-raising tips as I was quite impressed with Sophie's manners.

Here are some puppy pictures and some baby pictures of my favorite godchild (Noah looks pretty peaceful, but you should see him when his Ninang--that's Filipino for godmother-- holds him...he really loves that! :).

So, faithful readers...I PROMISE to keep looking for my SD card and post some pictures of our new home soon. If all else fails, I will resort to film and scan them. (See the lengths I go to to keep you guys happy? :).

Monday, July 10, 2006

a baby Brittany... :)

You'll have to excuse my long absence, but it's been a busy week. Last week, I was in Lewiston to work and take call at TriState for the whole week, which is enough to keep any sane person busy. But I guess I decided I wasn't busy enough because I decided to pick up our new Brittany puppy a week early and just add to the madness! I thought it would be great to get to know her and spend a little time with her, but after I "borrowed" her from the breeder for a few hours, I decided I wasn't ready to give her back just to pick her up the following Sunday...so, I brought her home to my mom's. (Let me just say this here...without the help of my mom and my grandparents, Schatzi would have had some long lonely hours in her new home. So, thanks guys!).

Although it was a crazy week to bring a puppy home, I thought it would be helpful for the two of us to get used to each other before we endured a 9-hr plus car ride home back to Idaho Falls. So, last week, we worked on getting her used to her crate and started the long, arduous process of housebreaking (it's not as easy as the books make it sound!). Schatzi even got a test run for a road trip when she accompanied me to Seattle for Amy & Kevin's anniversary and Tony & Laurel's wedding. She wasn't sure she was going to survive the trip, though...she howled like I was killing her all the way to Washtucna, but after that, she decided maybe she would go ahead and just take a nap. She woke up later and chewed on a Kong (a chew toy filled with puppy chow) and was pleasantly quiet until Seattle. Whoo hoo! Some sort of success with the training.

I apologize in advance...my blog will be pretty puppy heavy these next few weeks. That's about all I'm doing these days...oh, and taking a summer class (I ALWAYS seem to forget about THAT!). That's all for now...when you're housebreaking, you are on quite the schedule and I'm about due to let Schatzi out again. Then, we're off to the vet's office for her first shots. :( We'll see how it goes.