Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Moving In

Gosh, it's been a month since our last post! Time is just zooming on. 

This is the only Before picture. This is our living/dining room before we moved in. We have a little patio out those sliding glass doors. 

Now comes the boxes. 

The wall to the left is the kitchen. This is on the opposite side of the room from the patio.

Look, the pile shrank a little!

The "guest" room or storage for now.

Did we mention the boxes?

This is our bedroom. See the mattresses? 

More boxes

These were taken two days after we moved in. Slowly unpacking.

Our patio is on the western side of the house so it gets ALL the afternoon sun. 
Mom put up a pop up tent for some shade. 
The patio is completely fenced in which is good.

It's been a challenge to fit our stuff in this house, that's for sure. Although we donated and sold and gave away oodles of stuff, it's still been tricky to find a place for the stuff we kept. Mom would really love one more room, but this will have to do for now. 

Honestly, after two months, we still aren't completely moved in. However, we won't unpack every box anyway. The plan is to sell our Norfolk house, rent for a year then buy a place. So no need to unpack the Christmas china when we'd just have to pack it back up again. Besides that, the china cabinet is too full of the stuff that won't fit in the kitchen to hold the Christmas dishes. 

Eventually, she'll sort through all the remaining boxes and decide what can stay packed. We need to get the room set up as a guest room because we know we will be having guests before the year is over. Plus, mom really wants to start sewing again. She's got to find a place to put all the stuff first!

Next time (hopefully not a month later), we'll show you the Sarasota Small Dog Meet up!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Our journey begins

After a chaotic six weeks of packing and cleaning and purging and more packing, we left Virginia on January 28. Mom cried as she said goodbye to the house. She'd been there for 12 years. Many pets had come and gone in that house. We were raised in that house for 9 years. If mom could have moved the house with us, she would have.
All our stuff was crammed into this trailer. It was packed up and picked up on January 23, almost a week before we left. Mom had an air mattress and coffee pot, stuff she could pack in the car. It was a fun week (not really). The trailer is 28' long, but we only used 17'.

Our house was about 1900 square feet, plus a mechanical room and a big shed and a huge yard. Our rental is 1000 sf with a 10'x10' fenced patio and a teeny patch of grass. We had to get to rid of so much stuff. Mom made big donations to Dress for Success and Eggleston Services (local non-profit) plus many trips to the dump. Some of the stuff we were sad to let to, but mom was thrilled to donate all her heavy sweaters and coats! 

So that Saturday, we left. Two pugs, one kitty and one human, off to a new adventure! 
We stayed outside of Savannah the first night and made it to Florida the next day. 
Required dorky picture with the sign. 

We stayed in a hotel Sunday night, so mom checked in and took Marmalade (our kitty) inside. Marmie does ok in the car, but she'd rather not be in the car. Then we took off to explore. 
This is the outside of our rental. It's a duplex (they call them villas here).  

There's a palmetto shrub (we think) on the corner. 

Mom then drove from our villa to her job, just to see where it was. Amazingly, her job is blocks from the Manatee River and the Riverwalk! So we decided to take a walk!

 This is the eastern end of the Riverwalk.
 The Manatee River and one of the bridges.
Look at all the palm trees! 

Lounge chairs and sun shades.

The city across the river is Palmetto. 

Look at this plant! Isn't that gorgeous? So vibrant in January!

Another picture of the plant. This was outside our hotel in Bradenton. As a plant nerd, mom is in heaven with all the new ones to identify. 

Next post, moving in !

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Loving it here!

It's warm! The sun shines every day! Mom is so much happier here. That's a big deal for sensitive dogs like us. We are happier and more relaxed because she is! 
Here's a few teaser pictures to whet your appetite! 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Mom got the best Christmas present this year. She got a new job!

We are moving to Florida at the end of January!

We'll be moving to the Bradenton area. It's between Tampa and Sarasota. 
After the holidays, mom will go down there to find us a place to live. 

We're spending Christmas packing and cleaning and painting! And loving it!

Once we get settled, we will post again. Probably won't post much before that since we've been so good at regular posting WITHOUT a major life change. Ha! 

We wish all of you a wonderful Christmas and even better New Year.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Home and loopy

Mom is home and ok. Didn't need a total rotator cuff repair which is great news. Still have some recovery time and rehab to go. And lots of pain meds. Loopy pain meds.
More when mom is up to it.

Saturday, August 13, 2016


First, cute pug picture to ease you into this.

The verdict is in. Mom's having shoulder surgery on August 29. The MRI showed a partially torn rotator cuff (50%). However, the doctor couldn't tell if it was torn badly enough for a total rotator cuff repair because the tear goes under the bone. There's a bone in the shoulder called the acromion. Mom's is curved downward, and it's been tearing into her cuff. Her's is a Type II.

The surgery will be to shave the bone down to stop it from tearing the cuff. If the tear isn't too bad, it will heal with rest and therapy. If, when the doctor gets in there, it's worse than she could see on the MRI, mom will have the rotator cuff repair surgery too.

Best case scenario, mom will be home from work for 2-4 weeks depending on how well she heals (and how compliant she is with rehab). Worst case, 6-8 weeks off work because mom has a standard transmission car. Fortunately (depending on how you look at it), she's been working so much without any time off, she has at least 9 weeks of paid time off saved up. Plus, she earns at least 2 days off each month, even when she's on leave. So, we'll be ok as far as treat money!

Our Nana is flying up from Texas to stay with us for a while since mom won't be able to drive for a while. That ought to be fun. Nana is a total sucker for sad pug eyes and should be good for extra food! Plus, mom will be on pain meds and won't know!

So mom has two weeks to get everything ready. Scrub the house top to bottom. Is the house ever clean enough for a Nana? Probably not. Especially since mom has been basically crippled since February, things have seriously slacked off. Not like she was a stellar housekeeper before. Anyway.

Mom's making 6 weeks worth of dog food for us, so you see where her priorities are! She has bought a few new undergarments and dresses that she can put on with one arm. She's going to make and freeze food for her too. Nana won't be able to stay the whole time. One, she has her own life and her own dog and our grandpa. Two, despite pain meds, this house is not big enough for two large personalities like Nana and mom. And us. And no cable like Nana is used to. Mom won't be able to be a good hostess like she tries to be when Nana visits. Nana will be a mom. It's hard to be mothered when you are 42 and very used to doing things YOUR way and taking care of yourself. It will be hard for both of them.

BUT it will be good practice (and maybe a clear indicator) for when mom and Nana and Papa eventually all live together somewhere else. When we move and they move. In a few years. But having separate spaces, not on top of each other. And not during a crazy election season. Thank pug we don't have cable!

Deb has offered some survival tips, but we are open to more if you have any. We are working on a thingamabob to help mom open jars and bottles with one hand with a friend. Looking for an electric can opener that's easy to use with one hand. Mom's ambidextrous, so this won't be as hard on her as it has been on others. She spent last weekend in a sling to see where the problems would be. Baby gates will be tough. Bottles and jars as mentioned. But she can wash and comb her hair, take a shower, brush her teeth. Sweeping is out. Boo hoo. ;)

So if you have any hints, please let us know. As always, we would appreciate any prayers, good juju and positive thoughts for a speedy recovery and good attitude.

One last cute pug picture to cleanse your palate.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Super wordy post

Apparently, we can only blog once every six months. Here's a picture of a merpug to apologize.

Look, life hasn't been going so great for mom. We pugs are okay. Well, Tallulah has had some med changes, but overall, we're fine.

This is supposed to be a fun pug blog, and we don't want to bring everybody down. However, we do want to explain our absence some.

The last 18 months has been really hard.
We lost two kitty siblings in the same weekend. It was traumatic, and our remaining kitty has had a hard time adjusting to being the only one.
Mom is not in her PhD program any more. She failed her exam. Six years and sooooo much money gone. This shook the foundation of her being and made her question her life. Completely changed the course of what she thought the future was supposed to be. When your whole life was based on an assumption and that assumption turns out to be wrong, what are you left with?
In February, mom's shoulder and neck really started hurting. She gets care from the VA (disabled veteran) for some things. After months and months of waiting (and finally a threat to go to the media), mom finally got an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. Last week. There's a strong possibility that she has a torn rotator cuff and will need surgery. So that's been fun.
Since June 2015, she's been doing her own job and another person's job. That person retired. Then she got a third person's responsibilities in January 2016. She was promised a raise and someone to help with all this work in February. In June of this year, she found out that was a lie. Then the person who promised the raise tried to get her fired. She still has her job, but it was scary.
With all this work turmoil, mom decided it was time to look for new work and move. That means taking a hard look at our house and fixing it up. We had our contractors and a realtor come through and give us an estimate on what it would cost to upgrade our 120 year old house to compete with the brand new houses in the neighborhood.
It would take $50,000. And the realtor said that even with those upgrades (and stripping out all of the character out), we wouldn't be able to sell the house for enough money to cover the cost of the renovation plus the mortgage. Our contractor and the realtor agreed that it would be better if we didn't do the renovation at all. Put some money into curb appeal, scrub the house top to bottom, clear it out and sell it as is. The new houses are new with open layout, blah blah blah. Our house is old. It has walls. It has original features and quirks. Thank pug for an honest contractor!
Hearing that was a relief, actually. Going through the house with the contractor made mom cry. The contractor recommended (against her own *personal* taste) that we paint all the woodwork white, that all the walls be painted beige, that the solid wood, handmade cabinets be painted too. When you sell your house, you are *supposed* to depersonalize and let go. It's one thing to paint your blue walls to a neutral color. It's another to paint real wood (not crappy plywood) cabinets, crown molding and doors.
So that's what we're doing. We had the front porch and back deck painted. A new storm door and the porch railings fixed. The house was pressure washed and the window frames were painted. Inside, mom has been going through stuff. She's made several trips to the dump, thrift stores and recycling center. She has even more to go. We have nearly 1900 square feet of house plus a shed crammed with stuff. Plus a bunch of outdoor stuff like patio furniture. The plan is to reduce the amount of stuff we have so we could move to a smaller apartment with a storage unit.
Oh, and mom's teeth are cracking from clenching her jaw. She's been to the dentist three times in a month. Got another appointment next week. They fix one abfraction and another pops up. She's gone through four over the counter mouth guards since January. She has to get a cavity filled then she'll get fitted for a professional one that will hopefully last longer.
That's pretty much the lowlights of the last year and a half. There have been other smaller dramas, but those are the biggies. It has not been fun.

BUT, here's what we're doing about it.
Mom is applying for jobs. Many jobs. In other states. There's one in particular that she really wants that starts reviewing applications after August 15.
When she gets home from work, she does about an hour of sorting of stuff (usually). She has a lot to go (hasn't even touched the shed or the holiday decoration boxes), but she is making some slow progress. Even with one working arm.
She had a MRI last week on her shoulder. Her appointment is August 11 to see if she needs surgery or not, but we're hoping she gets in earlier. If she needs surgery, our grandma will come stay for a while. Fortunately, mom does have lots of vacation time from work. The doctor thought if she needed surgery, it could be scheduled in two weeks. Rotator cuff surgery recovery seems to be about 6 weeks.
So while mom is home recovering from surgery, she can use that one good arm to sort through stuff. She may not be able to lift a box, but she can sort with one hand into keep, donate and trash piles. She  may be able to pack a little too. She can definitely paint a wall or trim with one arm, at least for a while.
When mom does get that new job and we do move, we'll be ready. We hope to be out of here by Christmas. Earlier if possible. But moving in the summer would be miserable. Moving after she recovers from surgery would make a lot more sense. October would be great.
If you pray, please pray that mom gets the right job for her. We have faith that God has a plan, and we want to follow the plan. It's not knowing the plan that makes mom nervous, but that's the point of faith, right? So maybe just pray for us in general.
We are going to try to blog more. No promises though because obviously we haven't kept them in the past. It's hard because mom is working 10-11 hours a day then coming home to work on the house. Then applying for jobs. But she'll try.
Also, if anyone wanted to visit us in Virginia, you should probably schedule it soon. Paws crossed, our guest bedroom will be full of boxes in a few months!