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Saturday, March 29, 2014

6th Birthday

Last month, J had his 6th birthday!  We woke up to snow, but it didn't keep us from celebrating!

J with his mommy.

Breakfast at Huddle House.

There was a scheduled karate camp that day, and J wanted to go.  (The birthday child gets a "drum roll" by the other kids if it's their birthday.)  

Afterward, it was time for a surprise movie date at The Lego Movie.  

J is trying to act all cool in this picture.  *Sigh.*  

J and his NaNa enjoying a game of air hockey before the movie starts.

Dinner was J's choice, which of course was at the Chinese restaurant where we are all known very well!

His Mommy and NaNa hurried back to the apartment to get the surprise party ready.  They had decorated while he was at karate camp.  J had been told that he wouldn't be having a party this year.  

The party was Lego-themed as well--primary colors, Lego cupcakes, and a few Lego gifts.

Naturally J got interested in his Lego Movie book....

Here his Mommy is telling him the story of his birth.

Group picture of those that were able to celebrate his day with him!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Chubby the Foster

We decided to jump into the world of fostering dogs!  At the open house for the humane society's recently acquired facility, I mentioned I would be glad to foster older dogs or ones that just need some extra TLC.  And about a week later I got a message from the organization that they had our first foster!  Chubby is a 6 year old chihuahua.  She's lived her whole life with her mom and sister and the 3 came in as owner surrenders together, but now they had been adopted out.  Chubby was having to spend her days in a crate in the break room of the humane society's current facility because it is so cold in the kennels.  

We had a huge ice/sleet/snow storm which stayed on the road for days and kept school cancelled for an entire week, so that kept me us from getting to Chubby right away.  But on March 7th we finally brought her home.  

We introduced ourselves with some dog cookies I brought along, and soon Chubby was comfortable with us.  That evening my mom, sister, and nephew came to visit.  I was worried she might be a snappy dog when she was scared, but she is great with new people!  She was cuddled up with J within just a little while of meeting him.  J brought a toy to welcome Chubby to the household.  

Chubby has settled in wonderfully!  The first night she slept in her open crate, but after that every night she has been in the bed with us.  She prefers to burrow down under the covers and lay up against one of us.  

She's very playful and full of energy, and she loves to run after her toys and retrieve them.

She did escape one time from our fenced backyard due to her tiny physique.  She just went out to the neighbors' driveway to meet their Yorkie though, and thankfully came right to me when I called.  Mr. GV has hopefully "Chubbified" the yard as of yesterday.  She loves to lay out in the sun and here she was enjoying the smells and wind in the backyard.  

Yesterday I received a message that Chubby has someone interested in her.  The lady has a teacup chi and I'm sure growing up with dogs her own size she would love a tiny friend to hang out with.  She is somewhat scared of Milo, which is understandable given his size and his energy.  She growls and bares her teeth at him if he gets too near or makes eye contact but she is now sniffing him and doesn't seem to mind laying near him, so there has been improvement after just one week.  

We have fallen in love with Chubby, but as of right now we are not planning on adopting her.  If this interested party falls through and she's here for a long while, we might not be able to give her up though! 

We want to keep fostering and we are afraid if we keep the first one we'll never be able to let any of them go, which will defeat the whole purpose.  Chubby is a healthy, young, active dog who has "prospects."  Right now there is a 12 year old feist who needs a foster.  Sadly at her age I'm not sure anyone (unless they are an oldie but goodie dog lover like me) will want to adopt her at her age.  So if she comes to stay with us she will most likely be here for life.  

Our first foray into fostering has been a great experience, and I highly recommend it!  For those of you with a love for dogs and cats who are unable to adopt due to financial reasons, fostering is generally a much cheaper way to get some doggy cuddles and kitty snuggles.  Many groups only ask that you pay for food and they take care of other expenses.  Check it out!  

Friday, February 28, 2014


Last weekend I decided to go play Bingo to benefit a local Humane Society.  We have adopted two dogs through this organization (Pearl and Milo) and we are hoping to get more involved in the future.    I won a game and got the one thing on the prize table I was interested in---a tote bag that advertises the organization.  

On Saturday we attended the open house/fundraiser for the new facility the same organization has recently purchased.  Their current building is not structurally sound, and this building could not have been available at a better time.  J got a paw painted on his face and participated in the coloring contest.  

That afternoon I ate at a local Italian restaurant for the first time, where I was able to get some pasta with marinara sauce, a salad, and some crusty bread.  

Ahem.  This is the purse that J picked out for me at a local store.  This also might be the ugliest purse I've ever seen.  

While the other two were browsing in another store, J and I hung out in the foyer area.  Here you can see J was enjoying playing spy with his Nana's binoculars.  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Wow, I didn't realize it had been quite so long since I posted.  I've been keeping busy, and here are just a few of the things that have been going on around here:

Our washer died on us after 8 years, and my husband left the decision of what new washer to get up to me.  So while I compared and made up my mind, I went to the laundromat for a couple weeks.  I didn't mind going, other than carrying out the heavy loads of wet laundry to the car.  I had just had a cyst removed off my back so it was tender when that area was pulled.  Other than that, I looked upon it as guilt-free reading time!

J picked up a bug and started showing symptoms the morning after his birthday.  Eventually it led to bronchitis, but other than an occasional cough, he is all better now.  He missed nearly a week of school, and spent some time snuggling with his Milo.  

And then I caught the bug too, which in me turned into tonsillitis, and a trip to Urgent Care on a Saturday, where a nice nurse practitioner hooked me up with an antibiotic and some good cough medicine.

My sweet Mr. GV gave me a wonderful box of Rose City vegan chocolates for Valentine's Day.  I thanked him, then asked him to just put it on my dresser.  (I was sick in bed at the time.)  However, the delicious chocolates inside the beautiful box have since been inhaled.  

We had planned an overnight trip away for Valentine's Day, but I kept busy with these little guys instead.

I did a little magazine reading while waiting for J in the car rider pickup line at school.

J unfortunately missed his Valentine's party at school while he was sick, but he did have a whole bag of them to bring home the next week.  He saw this one that says "Puppy Love" and immediately said he was going to give it to Milo.  It was so sweet.  He had been adamant that Milo get a Valentine.  

I had to throw out some food.  *Sigh.*  When you eat a lot of produce, it is easy to have waste when you've been sick or just busy.  We should just stop buying lettuce mix, as it seems that's what I mostly throw out.  But I did manage to rescue a bell pepper that got lost in the back of the fridge.  I cut it up and froze it, and we'll put it in chili or a couple other dishes later.  

I also had 3 wrinkly apples.  While the outside was not pretty, the inside was just fine.  I ate several pieces while on a car ride, then shared some with Milo.  After that the browned leftovers went outside to the critter feeder, where either the birds or squirrels will enjoy.  

One day it actually warmed up enough to take a walk in the park.  Milo was thrilled to get out and do some exploring!

And I gathered up more of my unneeded items from our spare room.  Here you see 5 more boxes of items going to the Goodwill donation truck.  It always feels so good to get rid of things you just don't need or want anymore.  Mr. GV even let me get rid of 3 of his coffee cups.  

I've been doing some reading too.  As you can see from the picture, I enjoy cozy mysteries.  I have a whole shelf full of ones to be read.  I do read some regular fiction as well, and the occasional nonfiction.  

This is the second in the County Cork books, a series by Sheila Connolly which I am thoroughly enjoying.  I won this one in a contest and promptly read it, then sent it on its way through Paperback Swap.  (By the way, if you are interested in joining Paperback Swap and put in my nickname as a referral (pheochrom), I will get a referral credit.  There's also an icon on my homepage you can click. And if you want to join but not click on my icon or use me as a referral, that's cool too.)  

Everybody pays their own postage to mail out on PBS.  I save and reuse the envelopes I receive my books in, which is of course a better use of resources, not to mention saves me money.  And I can tell you others do too.  The white one in this picture was being used for at least the 4th time.  

I hope you all have had a good January/February!  I know it's been a fun (ha) weather time for much of the US, those of us in the South included.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Christmas Food

This year I made an assortment of goodies for Mr. GV to take to work and share:  pecan bars, mud balls, chocolate chip cookies, and Rice Krispie/marshmallow squares.  

Chex Mix is a tradition around here, and I usually make a batch for Christmas, a batch for New Year's Eve, and then we are tired of it until next Christmas!

The cinnamon rolls from "The Joy of Vegan Baking", right before they were rolled up.  

J and I made Christmas sugar cookies this year.  I made the dough ahead of time and he helped in the rolling and cutting.  

They were really good!  I found some red and green sprinkles at Whole Foods that J could have (no red #40.)  

Santa even seemed to enjoy his cookies, and he drank all of his mint chocolate coconut milk!  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Christmas Activities, Part 3

This was our tree this year.  It's probably the smallest amount of presents we've ever had under the tree, but it was really just right.  There is also a wrapped didgeridoo for J in the corner that you can't see.  (And he loved it.)  Mr. GV and I decided on a new TV and couch this year as our big gift.  

Milo opening his gift of a green and purple squeaky stuffed dragon, which he loves to carry around with him.

Christmas Eve we went to Mr. GV's parents' house for a gift exchange.  

We spent the night at Mom's house, then forced the poor child to wait to open gifts until later.  It's really not fair, and we won't do that again.  Meanwhile we enjoyed homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  

J enjoyed watching his Mommy open her gloves he picked out. 

The aftermath of a child's Christmas.  

Breakfast for lunch!  Hash browns, biscuits, sausage, tempeh bacon, tofu scramble, and gravy, all vegan of course.  

J enjoyed getting to play with his cousin a couple times over Christmas break. They are 5 months apart and seem to be a lot alike in personality, so play well together.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Christmas Activities, Part 2

As usual, we went to the Christmas parade in our hometown.  It was freezing this year, and I was a little bit sick.  Mr. GV kept me warm by snuggling me close.  (My hero.) 

My favorite entry would have to be the guy who made his wrecker into Towmater.  It was just adorable. 

Of course for a child the best part is seeing Santa....and collecting the candy that is thrown out!  J left with quite a stash.  

Family selfie!  

After the parade, it was off to Mom's house to decorate her tree.  Here J is posing with one of the cats (Thing 1 I think) plus Casper the friendly pit bull.  

My Christmas cards that I sent out this year.  I found them at Goodwill early last year.  They each tell a story on the back about the animal you see, who lives at Farm Sanctuary.  

A few days later, it was time to decorate our tree at home.  J came over to help us out and Mr. GV made homemade hot chocolate for us.  Some Sweet and Sarah marshmallows, a dye-free candy cane, and some cinnamon on top, and it was perfect.  

J enjoyed sipping on his mug o' chocolaty goodness and listening to the Kids' Christmas station on Pandora.  

J and Mr. GV hanging this years ornament on the tree.  This year we decided on a bicycle-themed ornament, to represent our vacation which culminated in the Bicycle Museum of America, Mr. GV's dream destination.  lol

One day J helped me make wrapping paper, then we wrapped his Mommy and Nana's gifts from him.  

He was so proud of his gift wrapping.  He pretty much did it by himself, with a little guidance from me and some help with the tape.

J was chief decorator this year.  He decorated the entire mantle himself.  Notice we have 5 stockings this year.  He couldn't understand why he didn't have a stocking here at our house.  I'm glad he feels "at home" here but wanted to make sure he knew Santa only comes to the house he stays at Christmas Eve, so his stocking here would remain empty.  He was cool with that, so I let him pick out an extra stocking I had.  He chose the one that my high school Spanish teacher gave me when I was an aide in her class.  

Almost all of us.  Gabby the cat was not having it, as usual.

My favorite Christmas picture this year.  A dog and his boy.