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The Ramblings of a Seamstress, Gardener, Chicken Keeper, and Housewife

Proof of My Adventures (and Misadventures!)

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OK, so I didn't exactly realize how long it's been since I posted here. I intended to hop on and vent about last week, but since it's been literally months since I updated you on all the latest and greatest, perhaps that's where I should start.

We got the house. The foundation guy said the damage can be stopped by fixing the drainage issues that caused the problem. From there, we can put in a steel I-beam and never have to think about it again. We will be working on all of that in the next few months. As far as the electrical goes...so far it hasn't been an issue. My dad has seen it and wasn't worried, so I'm inclined to let that slide for now. We moved in during the last week of May, and we're loving it!

We put in a lot of work fixing the place up, and I'd have to say it's coming along nicely. Here's a rundown of what we've accomplished so far:
Installed new kitchen plumbing, including sink, supply lines, garbage disposal, and faucet.
Installed new kitchen counter.
Installed new showerhead.
Routed all drains.
Replaced leaky valve on the water main.
Refinished hardwood floors in 3 rooms and the hallway.
Trimmed up the mess of vegetation in the yard (thanks again, Dave!)
Cleaned all remaining carpet minus one seldom-used room.

We also threw the housewarming party. Turnout was lower than expected, but we still had fun. We're now planning a September Birthday Bash, since it seems half the known world was born in September. Should be even more fun. :-D

Took my 'vacation', and it was just what I hoped for.

So, that pretty much brings us up to date. Now for my vent on last week. Just to keep things in perspective, I think I'm going to create a timeline (yup, I'm a dork.)

6/27: Ben hops on petfinder.com and finds the perfect puppy - a shepherd/lab mix female, 2 months old. He goes to visit her (she's at Animal Control.) Some white trash looking guy who got there immediately before him puts a hold on her - he has other dogs and has to prove that they have up-to-date rabies vaccines. Ben is told he can come back at the end of business tomorrow and get her if she's still there.

6/28: Ben and I go to the shelter - she's still there, and we adopt her. She has to be spayed and microchipped, so we won't actually get to take her home until Thursday.

6/30: Ben picks up the puppy from the vet. She's adorable, and not slowed down a bit by her surgery. We still haven't decided on a name yet. The cats are appalled that we've brought an intruder into their midst.

7/1: Payday!!! My check is direct deposited, but Ben's still come in the mail. Neither his paycheck nor his expense check show up. Sometimes they come a day or two late, so we're not overly concerned. Night #1 of the housewarming party. Not a huge turnout, but it's one of those really great cohesive groups that has a lot of fun. We dig it.

7/2: Still waiting on the paychecks. Ben's parents come to visit during the day. This is the first time they've seen the house, and I think they like it. They don't stay long. Later, people start showing up for the party. We have about the same number as Friday, which is much, much lower than expected. Many people who said they'd definitely be there went MIA. Overall, I'd have to say I was disappointed. If I hadn't expected so many more people, it would have been a great time. Ah well, such is life I suppose.

7/3: The puppy is officially named Sidney, which somehow evolved from this: playful biter -> vicious -> Sid Vicious -> Sidney. Someone decided to steal the stereo out of my car during the night. I'm perturbed, but I figure the laugh is on the theif - my stereo was so janky that it was way more work to get it out then he will ever get back in money paid for it. Still, it sucks to have no tunes in my car. My Dad and stepmom come to see the house - this is the first time they've seen it since the night we closed on it. They are also impressed. We have a quiet afternoon grilling out with friends.

7/4: I have to work. :-( I weasel my way out early and get home before noon. Ben and I have a nice quiet afternoon together. The mail doesn't run since it's a holiday, and hence no paychecks.

7/5: Still no paychecks - we're starting to get worried. Our first house payment is due, and we need those checks to pay it. In fact, I've already mailed out the payment! This could be bad. Sidney has an upset stomach. She's not eating much, and she's thrown up. We figure she ate some plants that don't agree with her.

7/6: Still no paychecks. I'm worried enough that I call the Post Office - any mail that has our old address on it will be delayed 5-10 days while it's rerouted to our new address. We thought Ben had changed his address with his employer in time to avoid this, but evidently not. I ask if I can go the the processing center where rerouting is handled and just pick up my mail there, and I'm told that's not possible. Something about they have no way of knowing where exactly it is, or what portion of the rerouting process it's actually in (it may be out for delivery, or otherwise unattainable.) Our only option is to wait for it. Sidney is obviously sick - she' hasn't eaten any puppy chow, and I watch her drink water, then immediately throw it back up. She looks bony, like she's starving. When Ben gets home, we take her to the vet. She's diagnosed with Parvo, a very serious viral condition that damages the immune system, the digestive system, and the bone marrow. We're told that it's possible she can beat it, but she has only a 25-50% chance. The best treatment option is hospitalization, which is about $1000. The other treatment option is to take her in daily to receive subcutaneous fluids (to keep her hydrated), antibiotics (to keep any other diseases from affecting her weakened immune system), and anit-nausea medication (so we can try to force-feed her liquids and liquified food.) We're told that she'll probably get worse before she gets better, and to expect to see diarrhea, more vomiting, and possibly blood in either one. This disease is very nasty. The vet's office is kind enough to hold my check until Tuesday. We stop on the way home and get pedialyte and cottage cheese (part of the bland diet the vet recommended.) She does not take well to being force-fed, and absolutely hates the white rice we try to feed her. We get her to hold down some pedialyte, then go to bed.

7/7: We wake up and try to feed Sidney more pedialyte and some cottage cheese. She's still hating every second of it. I come home on lunch to do the same thing, and she throws it all up. I'm close to my breaking point - she's obviously in pain, and she's resting her muzzle in the water dish like she wants to drink but can't. She probably is worse off now than when I first got home because of the effort it takes to vomit. I call the vet and ask if there's any way I can bring her in early for her treatment. They say yes, but it will cost more because I can't come get her until after I get off work for the day. We can't afford a hospitalization fee in addition to the treatment fee. Kevin comes to stay with her until I get home from work. She looks worse every time I see her, but I try to rationalize this - the vet said it might get worse before it gets better. Just before we leave for the vet, she has diarrhea. She couldn't even get up off her blanket in time to get to the door. She looks miserable and embarrassed. I wipe her off as best I can and put her on towels, then head out for the second treatment. She looks a little more comfortable with fluid in her, but she's still having diarrhea. This time the fluid absorbs much faster than before. We get home and try to feed her some - she keeps down a little, but seems to want sleep more. We decide to let her rest. I check the mail. No paychecks. I call the mortgage company and tell them our situation - there's nothing they can do, but they do say that often it's several days before a check clears. I try to be hopeful. I go downstairs to do some laundry to wash Sidney's blankets, and the washer starts gushing water all over the floor. Something inside the washer is leaking, because it can't just be an easy quick fix like reattaching the supply lines. Ben looks at it, but can't see where the problem is without taking everything apart. Sidney is crying in her sleep now, not the kind of whining you'd expect to hear from such a small puppy, but a kind of low moaning that breaks your heart. Ben is afraid she's close to dying (and so am I) and he doesn't want to leave her alone. We try sleeping on the floor beside her, but it's just too uncomfortable. She gets up one more time and doesn't make it to the door. We take her outside, and she is too weak to try walking to the yard. I bring out a blanket and Ben carries her back inside. She is really in an extreme amount of pain now. Part of me is amazed that so loud a noise can come from such a weak little puppy. She won't stay on her blanket, but she can't get up to walk anymore, so she kind of drags herself onto the newspapers surrounding her. I can't watch anymore, so I leave the room.

7/8: Sidney died during the night. We wrapped her in some blue fabric and Ben buried her. I had to work, which was a good distraction. Still no paychecks. The mortgage check clears, and our account is hugely in the red. I find myself wondering if fate is trying to screw us.

7/9: We go to Valpo for Aaron's bachelor party. Our friends are kind enough to spot us food and entry to the strip club. It's very nice to get away and chill out. We both really needed it.

As of today, 7/12, we're still waiting on the paychecks. The HR for Ben's company is researching things from their end, and we'll know tomorrow if the check has been cashed by someone else or if it's still in Post Office hell somewhere. Then we'll have to decide whether we want to have them reissue the pay this Friday along with the paycheck already coming, or if we want to wait and see if it comes in the mail.

Ben and I have officially survived our Worst Week EVAR!!!