You know you're old when...

Even the loose hair you're pulling out in the shower is gray.

Going gray early runs in my family. My mother takes great delight in telling us that while her mother's hair was completely gray before her children were born, and therefore not because of her, Mom's hair didn't turn gray until after she had children.

Several weeks ago, my dad told my sister and I that if he was us, and we had gray hair early, he wouldn't hesitate to dye it. We very sarcastically thanked him for his permission.

Headache update, part 3

Honestly, there really is more to my life right now than these headaches. At some point, maybe I'll write about that stuff, too.

But for now, for anyone following this saga - I just heard from the doctor, and the CT scans came back normal. I scheduled an appointment for tomorrow to talk about the current medication, but at least one worry has been eliminated.

Headache update, part 2

For those of you following the headache saga...

I had my CT scans today. The technician said it would be two days before the doctor received the results, so I don't expect to hear anything until closer to the end of the week.

I'm finding that my headaches have distinguished themselves into two categories - the ones that are mostly an annoyance, and those that are really painful. The latter ones happen about 4-5 times a week. I've been taking the latest medication for over a week now, with no real change. In addition, each night just after I take it, my heart races, so that concerns me a little. Once my doctor gets my CT results, we'll schedule appointment, and I'll talk about all of these things with him. When I know more, I'll post it.


Can I whine for a minute?

It's my blog, so I guess I can, right?

My head really hurts right now. And nothing I'm taking for it is helping at all.

Headache update

Here's an update on the headache problem, for anyone who's interested.

I did see the doctor again on Friday, and he prescribed another medication to take just before bed every night. Unfortunately, it takes several days to really start working, so he gave me samples of something else in the meantime. The samples just don't work, so I've been taking Aleve for the really bad headaches (this weekend was particularly bad). The medicine I've been taking nightly really wipes me out - yesterday was kind of fuzzy, though today is a bit better. I still feel a bit like I'm walking around in a fog, but I don't know if it's because of the medication or the headache pain.

The doctor also ordered head and sinus CTs, and those are scheduled for Monday. He doesn't expect to find anything on them - the goal is really to rule out other causes, some of which are scary and some aren't. So, I guess we'll see.

In the meantime, I'm just grateful for those days when the only pain is a dull ache, rather than the sharp kind. That's what yesterday was like. Today is okay so far, but it's too early to tell for sure.

The biggest frustration, I think, is that I hate the way this messes up my plans. I usually look forward to weekends, especially long ones where I don't have a lot planned, because I can get some things done around the house. But that didn't happen this weekend.


I've had a headache at least once a day every day for the last month. I finally went to the doctor on Monday (thanks to Mom's insistence). He prescribed medication, with instructions to come see him again if I was still having headaches after three days. I thought I made it through yesterday, until the evening. So, I called the doctor again and have an appointment for tomorrow morning.

I'm just tired of these, and because they've been happening for so long, I'm starting to second-guess myself. What I would really like is for the doctor to find something clinical, something he can see, that would explain things. I guess I'd just like the validation. Bethany says I shouldn't want that, because if the doctor does see something, it's probably a tumor.

Neat decorating idea

I love Pottery Barn - not their products so much, as they're too pricey for me, but their catalogs, because they're filled with tons of great decorating ideas. I saw this one in the latest catalog, and I love it:

I would seriously consider doing this in my dining room (though it's already decorated, so really I don't need to), but I don't have that many cookbooks that are worth displaying. I keep thinking, though, of all of those inexpensive cookbooks I usually see in the front bins at A.C. Moore.

Regardless, it's an idea to file away for later. This page from the catalog is definitely going in my decorating idea files.


Dad bought a Shih Tzu, toy poodle mix. His name is Teddy, and my brother Jon is supposed to be his primary caregiver. No comment.

He's cute, and looks like a big furball. He actually looks pretty chubby, until you pick him up and realize it's all hair. He's also a snuggler, curled up on my lap even as I write this.

By the way, Kelli changed the spelling of Barkley's name. At least the name itself is sticking.

Here are photos of Teddy:

More puppies

Everyone is buying a puppy, apparently. Tonight, Dad is taking Jon to the same breeder Kelli used on Saturday. Mom doesn't really want a dog, I think, because she's sure she'll end up having to take care of it. And she's right, she will. Because there are times that my dad doesn't stand up every two hours, let alone take a puppy outside that you're trying to housebreak. So, mostly I feel sorry for her.

Dad's pushing it, because he says that with Kelli getting a puppy (Kelli lives with Mom & Dad), now is the right time. And Mom isn't actually saying no.

Among other things, this also means that I will be spending less time at my parents' house, since I can't easily take Dakota over there right now, at least not without carefully watching both dogs.

More photos

More photos, just because I'm in the mood to post them. Yes, most of them are of Jacob. He's the cutest person in our family.

Jacob "helping" Kelli wash her car (from this summer)

Jacob and Jon (my brother) heading out on a "secret mission"

Jacob sleeping - probably the only time he's quiet and still

Mike (my brother-in-law) at Christmas - and this is when he's not under the influence

Barclay - Photos

Photos of Barclay (with Jacob and with Kelli):


My sister, Kelli, bought a puppy today. His name is Barclay (we think - she still might change it), and he is a mix between a wire-hair fox terrier and toy poodle. At this point, Katie (my other sister) says, "Does that mean he's a terdoodle?"

Anyway, he's adorable, and so cute. I'll post photos as soon as Dad gets around to pulling them off his camera and onto his computer.

We tried to introduce him to Dakota, but it didn't go so well. Dakota has only been around large dogs, but is very timid and submissive. I wasn't sure how she would react to a smaller dog, and though Barclay was excited to meet her, she didn't share his excitement. As a matter of fact, she was terrified, and continually ran away from him and huddled under my legs. She whined and cried some, and even started baring her teeth, I think in fear.

So, I guess we'll continue to try to get them together for small periods of time over the next few weeks and see how that goes. But, the idea of adopting another dog is out for me, at least for now.

And after watching Kelli for the last several hours, and being reminded again of just how much work a puppy can be, I'm finding I'm actually relieved about that.

My poor puppy

So, Dakota is sick. Actually, she's recovering now, but she was throwing up. Her stomach was making so many noises the other night, it actually kept me up (and that's after I figured out where it was coming from - I thought it was the dishwasher downstairs). I called the vet, who thinks she probably had some kind of stomach virus (funny, I had one of those, too). Anyway, he instructed me to give her bland food (boiled chicken or handburger with cooked white rice) and, if I want, a Pepcid AC two times a day. We're skipping the medicine, for now, because she seems to be doing a lot better.

But, for the last two days, I've made my dog dinner. What makes this even funnier is that for the last two evenings, I've had take-out - fast food on my way to praise team practice Thursday night, and pizza last night with Mom & Dad. I haven't even cooked for myself, but I've cooked for my dog. I feel like one of those crazy dog owners, who changes her voice mail message to be the dog saying the owner is away.

More friends

I added a couple more friends to the list of blogs at the left.

Galen - my boss at work. This blog is mostly updated by his wife, Phuong, and is about his daughter, Maura. He has another blog, too - but I'm not linking to that.

Jillian - Another friend from work, and the only other woman on our team. We stick together. :-)

2005 Goals Review

Given that we're well into the first week of the new year, I figured it was about time that I actually get around to reviewing last year's goals and setting new ones for this year. Problem is, I'm still not sure what I want those new goals to be. I can think of lots of things I want to accomplish, habits I want to either establish or break, but I'm a big believer in a small number of measurable, attainable goals, rather than an impossible list. So, I'm still trying to narrow that down.


I don't think I ever posted formal goals for 2005. But, I did post a first draft of goals, and I buried another goal in a post about Dave Ramsey's baby steps and my status on each one. Here's the list of both:
  1. Continue to improve personal financial management. Work to pay down personal loans, then home equity line of credit, and build up savings. Live within a budget. I paid off the personal loans early in the year, and that felt wonderful. I decided later to focus on my savings, though I really didn't do that. I'm starting to now, though, and am actually really using a budget for the last four weeks (which makes it about 3 weeks longer than any previous budget). Basically, I stopped playing around - I wrote up a reasonable budget, and started using cash as much as possible. Big difference - and I think it's working. It also helps that I have good friends who are focusing on living within a budget, as well, so there's encouragement. It's hard to get that otherwise, as a single.

  2. Improve and create systems for managing my home. What the heck does this mean? Apparently, I didn't hold measurable goals in high regard a year ago.

  3. Work on follow-through - accomplishing what I plan to, making progress, finishing projects to completion. Again, completely immeasurable, though I have the general sense that I'm doing better at this.

  4. By January 2006, I will have an emergency fund with 3-6 months of expenses, and be contributing 15% to my retirement. So, this is measurable, but with no plan for how to attain it, it just didn't happen. No matter - I'm starting over (see #1).
There are also a few other key things that happened in 2005.
  1. I lost about 35 pounds, and made some changes to my regular diet that are still sticking, even though I'm not tracking my food intake the way I did.
  2. I started singing in church again, both special music and on the praise team. Both have been very rewarding, so I'm glad I'm doing these again.
  3. I stopped leading with Young Life at the end of the year. I won't go into detail, as this is probably a post in itself, but it was definitely the right decision.

These are not goals for 2006. These are thoughts about things I would like included in my goals. I'll work out the specific goals later.
  1. Health - weight loss, specifically working out on a regular basis. I think I need to come up with something really small and easy, and work myself up to where I'd really like to be. Right now I'm thinking this looks like 20 minutes on the recumbant bike at the gym on base, 3 times a week.
  2. Financial - I'm working on saving 3-6 months of expenses, but the goal date and actual amount I haven't figured out yet. I think I need to use the budget for several more weeks until I get a better of what is reasonable here. So, maybe, using the budgets and cash for daily expenses, is actually a good goal.
There are a couple other things floating around in my head, but I'm not ready to list them here. So, that's it for now.

More family stuff

Let's talk more about the weird things my family does.

I'm sitting here at Mom and Dad's house, relaxing a bit and starting the process of getting over this 24-hour stomach bug. Mom is working on the church offering, and Dad is making breakfast. (Breakfast, yes, and it's 2pm. That's another story). My sister Kelli is on her way home, because her boss closed the office early. She just called, I answered, and she asked to talk to Mom. She wanted her to put water on, so she would boil a hot dog when she got home.

So, definitely, my weird family is not limited to my dad.


I hate being sick, I really do.

I realize no one really likes it, of course, but when your head is pounding and you're worried about even taking pills for it because you might not keep them down, it's hard to think of anyone else but yourself.

After church yesterday morning, I felt a bit off, and just wanted to go be at home. But, things were better at home, and I even made dinner (it was good, too, although at the moment the thought of it makes me sick). Then, just as I was heading over to my parents to watch several episodes of the upcoming Stargate Atlantis season (Dad's friend has copies, since it already aired in Canada), my stomach started to really hurt. Sure enough, I spent the night on my parents' couch last night.

It's funny how I often I end up here when I'm sick. On one hand, it's nice having someone to take care of me. On the other, I feel bad that Mom gets stuck with the job, and try as I might to not be a burden, it's just hard not to. Add to that, the fact that I really don't want to get anyone else sick. I've been washing my hands like crazy, and cleaning up after myself as much as possible.

Luckily, today is one of Mom's days off from watching Jacob, so I don't have to worry about him being here.

The new year

It's New Year's Eve, and I'm at my parents' house watching Firefly. Actually, to be more accurate, my family is watching it. I'm playing around on the computer, and kind of half paying attention. I hung out with friends for a while this evening, but just felt like being someplace easy and comfortable for the rest of the night.

I'm thinking about getting another dog. I've been playing around with the idea for a while, and since Katie and Kelli are also thinking of getting a dog (each of them), it's been more a part of conversations recently. Still not sure if I'm actually going to do it.

I need to finish and actually send my Christmas cards. I haven't yet, mostly because I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do for a newsletter. But, in the end, I've decided not to do one at all. I figure, if I keep updating on a regular basis, a Christmas newsletter is a bit redundant. So, instead, I'm making small business cards with address info, including the blog address, and putting them in the cards instead.

At some point, I'm going to review the goals I set for last year and set new ones. More on that later.

Happy New Year, everyone.