Monday, January 30, 2012


What a difference a day makes. 48 hours ago we had just gone on a great family run. 24 hours ago I had Rogue out in the house playing Moe Mouse fetch while Sean ran to the store. I should have had the first inkling that something was amiss when he didn't want to eat his dinner. But, he'd been cooped up all day while we took the kids on their first Aunt and Uncle adventure to Evergreen Air and Space Museum.

As the evening got later, Rogue got odder. He wasn't interested in eating and soon became obvious why. He didn't feel good and threw up, not once, but twice. We all decided to call it a night. He then had accidents and incidents all night long, keeping Sean busy taking him in and out, while I cleaned up in between when necessary. It made for a very long night and an unhappy and sleep deprived family. With the light of day came the realization that we had one sick puppy on our hands. I had to go to work and Sean called the vet and made arrangements to get him in right away.

The basic consensus was he wasn't in great shape. He had a fever and was quite pale. He also was demonstrating a lot of abdominal pain. Sure enough, a phone call several hours later confirmed. He had another blockage and they wanted to do surgery immediately. The difference this time though, the prognosis was very good. So, off he was sent into surgery while we waited to hear what they found and how it went.

Meanwhile, I came home from my day at work around 5:30. Longing to work off the intense stress of the day I decided to hop on my spin bike and get started. I opened the office door and was meet with the steamy island tropics. Wait a minute, I'm not in the islands which can mean only one thing. Our frickin water heater is leaking again! One slide of the closet door and feel of the carpet was all it took to confirm my years of TV detective training. I called Sean who was luckily already on his way home.

Channeling the long held advice of my father, he tried the simplest thing first. A quick trip to Bi-mart and $1.49 later the unfortunate truth came out. It was not in fact the simplest thing. No matter, we'll call in the plumber a.k.a. the brother in law Stafford. Armed with two beers and his plumbing reference book the boys quickly solved the problem. The solution unfortunately was that we need a new water heater. This one is toast.

Seriously? An emergency dog surgery and a toasted water heater in one day? Do I look like I'm made of money? Seriously?

The silver lining in all of this is that my wonderful sister lives one block away so at least I was able to trek over to her place for a shower tonight before bed. I had no idea what I was going to do about that if not for her. Now Sean starts the quest to find us a water heater that we can get quickly and still afford to bail our dog out of the hospital later on this week. I know in the grand scheme of life this stuff is small potatoes, but in the scheme of Ross life, it's huge and we really could use a little break or two.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Rare Sight

Today it was a beautiful sunny January day. It was still cold, but that didn't stop Sean and I from getting in a beautiful 3 miles.

It seems like we haven't had much quality time together lately, so it was an especially great run.

Thanks Sean for a fantastic and rare treat!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Yesterday a brand spanking new Walmart opened in the town I teach. The locals have been talking about it for months. Their eyes gleaming with anticipation of dancing smiley faces knocking down prices every day. Clearly an important day in the history of "their" town.

So important in fact that we had parents pulling their kids out of school early to go to the Grand Opening Celebration. Apparently Walmart trumps education.

And we wonder why we can't pass the state tests.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Beware of the bargin bin!

When we were young my sister used to tell people that my parents bought me from the sale table at Payless Drug Store for nine dollars. She followed it up with declaring "but God made me." What initiated this conversation escapes me at this stage of my life but at the time it was the best insult her seven year younger self could summon. Turns out it was a pretty good one.

This has stayed with me all my life. Not because it hurt my feelings. Even at the time I remember thinking this was hilarious. It has often been referred to over the years, usually in reference to my shortcomings on something as a "well, you get what you paid for" kind of follow up and rationalization. It is funny, and one of my favorite things she ever said.

Today I had a follow up PT appt. My knee has been acting up again and I can't get my damn lazy butt to kick in regardless of how hard I will it to. Considering I'm sort of training for the Corvallis Half again, this all concerns me. I asked Shawn if I had become one of those annoying clients who come in with this and that and always have something to complain about. Not at all she assured me. She said she wanted to put me through a battery of tests to see if she can figure out what is wrong. She said when someone has different nagging things in the basic area I do that often the actual cause is something entirely different.

She put me through a whole host of exercises which honestly to the outsider appeared like a sobriety test. Now hold on there I know what you're thinking, but no, I've never had a sobriety test. I do however watch all legal based shows so just back off. I raised my hands and balanced, leaned forward, backward and sideways. I was deep squatting, mid squatting and did every yoga pose known to life. She measured, hummed and said "interesting" about a million times. In the end she said "I think we've got it."

Basically, I have a whole section of my body that isn't doing it's job in the proper order, if it's doing it at all. She said it is a problem with the communication from my brain to my body and it is a sequencing problem. I'm a whole host of misfires from my mid back all the way down to my hips. Because my connections aren't picking up the line, my lower back and left leg are picking up the slack, handling all the balance and movement for my entire body. Apparently at some point, they rebel over the responsibility.

We now get the tedious prospect of retraining those dead links to work again. Sound exciting? Oh yes it is. I get to practice rolling over from front to back and back to front without the aid of my hips, legs or abs. Only my upper body can do the work.

Clearly my brain to body connection stopped when I was an infant. Isn't that when you learn to roll over?

My Corvallis Half training is on hold for the moment. My running allowance is limited to 2-4 mile runs until we get this fixed and my runs result in pain free after effects.

I hope my sanity doesn't go in the mean time, although I'm not sure that's intact anymore anyway.

The moral of this post? The next time you see a cute kid on the sale table of your local discount store don't make eye contact, just keep right on walking.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Step One!

I've always heard that admitting you have a problem is the first step towards healing. Sounds easy enough, although admitting it in the first place can be tougher than one thinks. However, this week I realized that I have a problem. I've not only got too many irons in the fire, but I've also come to the conclusion that I think I have ADD.

I'm notorious for starting something and then getting distracted and not finishing it. I've run empty wash loads of laundry waiting for the soap to mix and getting distracted. I've left the milk out, left flat irons on, had my lunch eaten by the dog and generally created my own havoc in my house.

Normally I can manage it ok myself and while things tend to take me much longer than they should, I eventually get through it all. Now however, it's getting out of hand. I don't know quite what the tipping point was, but I've gone a little off track lately.

I'm currently working full time with the most challenging class I've ever had. It's all I can do to stay one step ahead of them and I'm not confident that I'm getting all the information into their heads that I should have by now. Testing season is already upon us and with that comes the inevitable panic feelings.

Add to that the fact that I'm in grad school still. Not fun. The class this term is much more interesting but a ton of reading! I spent the majority of this weekend working on catching up before the next week assignments show up.

I've completely fallen off my weight loss and exercise program. It was the first thing to get tossed out when I started feeling overwhelmed. Funny how the things I need the most are the ones I give up the quickest. I need to learn to prioritize my sanity.

I can't help but wonder if I could get things done faster if I could just quiet the brain, focus the attention and for once finish one damn thing that I started. Even as I sit here I hear the buzz of the dryer and remember something I wanted to look up online and realize I didn't make more ice in the freezer.

I think I've become one of those kids at school that drive me nuts. If only the parents would medicate I always think. Hmm, take care of yourself lady.

My name is Tracie and I'm a.......

Hey! Squirrel!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Great Escape

For my birthday last week Sean surprised me with a weekend get away to Cannon Beach. I hadn't ever been there and now I wonder how that could have ever happened. The trip itself took almost 3 hours which was kind of a bummer on a Friday night. By the time we go there we almost qualified for late check in and only got to enjoy a few hours of our first night there.

However, the place we stayed was amazing. It was called the Blue Gull Inn and it was an adorable row of little cottage like houses or duplexes in our case. It had a huge living space with a gas fireplace, a real Jacuzzi tub,separate bedroom and full kitchen. It was just about a block away from the beach too so it was easy to get to the sand. We only made it down to the beach once because it was pretty stormy and actually started to snow while we were there.

The town itself is absolutely adorable! There were great little shops, tons of galleries and two brew pubs. Top that off with donuts and the best coffee shop I've ever found and it was one successful weekend.

My favorite part was the fireplace. I'm already trying to figure out how we can afford to put one in here!I forgot how relaxing those things can be. A quick flip of a switch and you have instant atmosphere. Why I didn't have Sean take a picture of me relaxing in front of the fireplace is beyond me. I could refer back to it whenever my real life starts kicking in again.

Anyway, we got to see snow, we spent a weekend just relaxing and refreshing and having a great time in a place I've never been before.

Will we go again? Oh hell yes we will. Cannon Beach is in my new top 5 places to visit as often as possible. We need a little break from real life to keep us grounded!

All in all this birthday rates a 10! From the perfect day itself to the culminating great escape, I loved every minute of it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

We are not alone.

Funny how four little words can take the weight of the world off one's shoulders. That's how we felt today after taking time off work and driving 90 minutes to the dog shrink.

Yes, you read that right. Rogue is in therapy. Up until now, it was too embarrassing to say out loud. Rogue has for some reason turned on Sean. It has been so tense in our formerly happy little family that we found ourselves avoiding even being home.

Turns out, there are lots of people in this world (or at least the greater Portland area) that have the shameful little secret of having a dog with "familial aggression." So while our friends and family may still find us crazy, there are others out there who know our pain, understand and are walking through their own version of hell to try and fix it. Too bad there isn't some way to start a support group for all of us.

So after almost two hours of talking time, we have a place to start, some reading homework and a lot of behavior modification. Mostly on our part!

So here's to mental health for both humans and canine in the family. Because someday I'd like our family portrait to look like this again!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hello 43!

Today I turned 43. It was a very good day.

I think I'm going to like it here.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Here I go again!

This morning I drug my ass out of bed at 6:45am on a Saturday. This was after drinking and eating too much and staying up past midnight partying with some of the best friends a girl can have.

Why did I torture myself in this way you ask? Why to head to the organizational meeting of the Corvallis Half Marathon training group. I don't know why I'm so drawn to doing this event again, even though it took me weeks to recover last year. I just am. Maybe it's the friends I made. Maybe it's because I know if I have a training plan and fork over money I will follow through.

Either way, I'm glad I did. The four plus miles we did this morning felt great and I'm happy to be back.