Sunday, November 29, 2009

A date

I have not talked on here about KH yet. KH is a guy who contacted me a few months ago on a dating site geared towards those who are into fitness and exercise. I hadn't been active on that site in quite awhile since DA I read KH's profile, and he seemed interesting. He also lived in the area where I moved to, so I thought location would be good if anything panned out. I figured if anything, he could at least help show me around or let me know the good Asian restaurants in town.

When I originally began e-mailing him, I told him from the get go, I wasn't sure how much time I'd have for a relationship as I was in the process of closing on a house, moving, starting a new job, and dealing with Baxter's surgery, etc. He was quite understanding and said basically to take my time.

Since then, we've been e-mailing back and forth. I told him once I was here, I would go out to dinner with him sometime. After learning of some Asian restaurants in town from my personal banker who is half-Thai, I decided to ask to see where he wanted to go. On Friday night, I called and confirmed the date with him at a Korean restaurant which neither of us had been to.

The restaurant was great! My food was so spicy, I wound up having to take a break from it and take some of it home. He agreed that the restaurant was also good. We chatted about a lot of different topics--running, his kids, dogs, personalities, etc. It was a nice "get to know you" session. I don't hold any expectations, but just to see where things go. This is new territory for me as he is almost ten years older (does not look like it though), recently divorced (like since July), and has two young kids (aged six and nine I believe). It just brings a different dimension to any new relationship.

Relationships have always been a bit tough for me in terms of anything long term. I get these moments of excitement which is actually when I'm the most outgoing, but then after awhile, I fall back into my insecurities and worry about all those superficial things like looks, my body, how I dress, etc. There's other issues too which need to be more addressed fully, but that 's been on the back burner for awhile. Maybe, it's time to bring it to the front burner?

So who knows whether anything will pan out. For now, I'm hoping to just enjoy it.

Thanksgiving success

I must admit Thanksgiving went really well. I never know how these types of things events will turn out when there are many unknowns. I try to stay optimistic, but you just never know whether you are going to hit it off with the rest of the crowd.

Luckily, the rest of the crowd--there were a total of 10 of us, wound up to be pretty cool people. It was interesting, because the ages ranged from late twenties to almost sixty years, yet, we all got along well. Dinner, itself, was good, and the hostess, my realtor, said the "eggrolls were a nice added touch" I didn't think they were my best ones, but they seemed to be a hit, especially with the one vegan guest. I even sealed them with cornstarch and water than egg like I usually use.

The other interesting observation was that no one got seconds! Actually, I wanted seconds but felt too awkward to if no one else was. I was also the only one to eat dessert! I guess everyone else was filled up with alcohol, not that there is anything wrong with that, it's just not my thing.

Most of the evening, we all chatted about a variety of things. There were many "minds in the gutter" moments with jokes, sexual innuendos, and other wild thoughts. There was only one sort of bizarre moment when one guest decided to confess a secret. That led to an awkward hint of silence from the rest of us. It was strange that he shared this with people whom he did not know well, but at the same time, I guess could show he felt we were trustworthy to do so.

I soon left after that since it was starting to get late, and I needed to get back to the dogs. But overall, I'm very pleased with how the event went. Though I love my family, sometimes, these holiday dinners are easier with other people. Maybe it's less expectation or the fact they do not know your history with food and all. It was just a nice change of pace which further helps me to remind myself I can get through these experiences even if I have anxiety and fears beforehand.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A different Thanksgiving

It's hard to believe it is already Thanksgiving and only a month away from Christmas. Normally, the holidays make me feel stressed, and I do as much as I can to avoid them. Over the years, I've spent many holidays alone out of choice. I think I tried convincing myself that was okay, that I really didn't deserve anyone and just masked it as stress. This is not to say that stress didn't consume me, but there was another layer there I felt guilty about sharing with people.

This Thanksgiving was honestly not going to be that different until a few days ago. I found out my mom was not coming to visit, so I had decided to stay at home and do more unpacking. Then, in a bizarre sort of twist, my realtor asked me if I wanted to join her and 7-8 other non-related people for Thanksgiving. At first, I wanted to politely say no, but instead I decided to look at this as 1) a way to socialize more and 2) a challenge.

I look at this as a pretty hefty decision since the only person I know is my realtor. In general, I've never felt that comfortable with people I don't know, and even more so about eating in front of them. But I'm trying not to distress over it and look at it as a way to hopefully increase my social circle which is important in a new area. One good thing is that I know I will have actual food to eat since there will be someone who is vegan. This makes making eggrolls kind of tough when egg is used as a sealant I'm going to try to substitute with cornstarch and water which may or may not work. Otherwise, the vegan will just have to make the choice for himself.

Anyway, I'm hoping to have a good time and just experience the occasion as it is.

I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. I know the holidays can be tough, especially for those with EDs, but I hope everyone can prevail, meet new challenges, experience and enjoy the holiday.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Baxter is home!

I picked up Baxter from the emergency vet clinic this afternoon. The technician went over all the discharge instructions with me which was home nebulization, coupage, and oral medications. The biggest hurdle is in helping him stand up. I didn't think it would be all that hard. But damn, even though he has lost weight, "dead" weight can feel like a ton of bricks. So I'm hoping he can recover enough to at least go potty without too much assistance. I'm lucky this house has a ramp, but it is difficult carrying him back and forth. I guess I'll get a good arm workout this week.

Seriously though, I am glad to have him back, but I still worry a lot, just as any mother would. I hope none of you ever have to watch seizures. Seeing them and knowing you can't do anything tugs at your heartstrings. This goes both for humans and our fur friends alike.

On one positive note, my washer is fixed so the hoses do not drain. This could not have come at a better time.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


As this week winds down, I was thinking about how numbers impact our lives greatly. Since moving, I've had to open many accounts--electric, water, propane, bank, cable, etc. I can't tell you over the last few months how many times I've had to write my social security number which luckily I've had memorized since I was very young and received my first library card. I felt such pride in having memorized the number which identifies you for life.

There are other numbers that have always been important to me. One is my bank account. Currently, I have three, so I feel the need to remember all of them, especially for ease of online banking. I also have a tendency to remember credit card numbers, important phone numbers (some of these numbers go way back to childhood), certain passwords containing numbers, and of course we can't forget food related items. Right now, this week, I have also gained the most amount of keys ever--a whopping seven. Gosh, this makes me feel so important :grin: However, since they all look alike, I've had to look at the serial numbers on the keys to tell them apart until I can color code them.

When you think about it, it is amazing how so many numbers can float through your head. They become so vital to everything in life, and it can become overwhelming. Besides all my normal numbers I remember, when Baxter comes home (hopefully tomorrow), his numbers will be important in terms of labs and his weight.

There really isn't a point to this post other than a mere observation. Sometimes, I think if I was able to banish all food related numbers out of my head, I'd have so much more room for other numbers. This could be good or bad though, but no matter what numbers will always exist as a way of identification, a statistic, a lab value, a serial number, an amount of calorie, a placement, and many more things in life. Some will always be meaningful, while others will be meaningless. Some we can choose while others we can't. I just hope in time, some will have less meaning and just BE.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Baxter worries part 2

Baxter is still at the emergency vet. I spoke with them at 12:30 PM, and they said he was doing fairly well. At times he had lifted his head and looked around a bit, but at other times, he was very sedate.

They said he had a little vomiting this morning, so there was a concern of aspiration pneumonia. By the evening, he vomited more brown fluid. A chest x-ray revealed fluid in the right lung, so IV antibiotics have been started in hopes this will stop the pneumonia from getting worse. He also had a catheter placed since he has had limited movement.

I am optimistic he will pull through, but it is hard to watch your pet be ill. According to my vet, this probably means he will not be able to come home until Saturday. She'll be there that evening, so if he is still there, she can see him.

Though I know he is receiving great care, I can't help but be slightly stressed financially. Overnight there is easily at least a grand. With all the other expenses of this move, I feel horribly guilty for this extra burden (money, not Baxter). I'm also concerned that Baxter will continue to lose weight. He has lost almost ten pounds since April and is now under sixty pounds which he has not been since he was a very young dog. His muscle loss is very apparent, so he really can't afford to lose any more weight. And this is despite my efforts in feeding him more food.

Anyway, that is the latest on him. I hope his recovery goes smoothly and well. He is such an integral part of my life and his siblings.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More worries about Baxter

Today has been one of the most difficult times I've ever had. I don't think I've posted much on Baxter since after his surgery. He continues to have right eye blindness, hearing impairment, and confusion. It is better than two weeks ago, but his cognitive deficits are very apparent. I felt horrible for all the stress he has had with the surgery and moving. It does not help either that Daphne, my deaf white Boxer, has gone after him several times in what appears to be food related. Baxter has no clue what is going on at all.

Then, things became severely worse a day and a half ago. Baxter had a seizure at 2:30 AM. Though this was similar to his first seizure back in mid-September, it was worse from his previous two seizures. His recovery time was about an hour in a half before he finally fell asleep. The rest of the day he seemed okay, but last night around 8:45, he had another episode. He had two additional ones at 11 PM and 1:30 AM. At that time, I gave him rectal valium and called K., my new boss to know where the best emergency clinic was. She came right over and drove me there. I had him stay until a little after 7 AM. He was given a sedative and seemed to be sleeping. Then, around 10 AM, he had another seizure. I called the local vet (new vet) to get into an earlier appt. Luckily, they were great and allowed me to. There, he had two additional seizures with valium given to help sedate him.

During this time, we were both trying to get a hold of Dr. P., the UMN vet who did his surgery. My new vet also talked to a local internist as well to get opinions too. We both decided it was best to take him to another emergency vet place (better and more preferred than the one I went to last night--that one was just closer), so he could be closely monitored. He is currently there, heavily out of it from a loading of phenobarbital.

We eventually did get a hold of Dr. P. who was at first surprised about his seizures but apparently the human neurologist was not as that can happen in people. This is just the first dog they have had in the study to have this. The good thing is that it is likely not a regrowth of the tumor. We think it could be that his medication, zonisamide just isn't enough without the prednisone which we have been tapering (apparently prednisone affects the gene therapy) to be effective. It is likely he will have to have an additional medication. Right now, phenobarbital is the choice. It's not my favorite medication due to its side effects and liver toxicity, but at this point, we need to stop the cycle of the seizures and manage them.

This has taken such a toll on me today. I've cried off and on all day. I'm so tired since I have only gotten one real hour of sleep. My appetite has been heavily lowered though I did eat a small dinner and a snack. I'm stressed too with thinking about the costs financially. Right now, everything is just affecting me ten fold with so much going on. My new boss is luckily so understanding and wants to make sure Baxter is okay. It is relieving to have this and not to worry about having to take time off and such. She's currently out of town today through Friday, so I'm taking care of her dogs.

Overall, Dr. P. and the new vet are optimistic this will work. Seeing 7 seizures within 36 hours is very scary, and you always wonder about their suffering. I'm just glad I had some knowledgeable vets willing to work with me and look at all avenues of treatment. I'll keep everyone posted on his progress.

Moves don't always go as planned

Thanks for the congratulations on the house. There is a lot to be done, but it gives me many things to look forward to too. In terms of moving, often times, there is a "Murphy's Law's" type occurrence.

Last week in general was stressful with packing and my father there. He can be helpful of course, but I just didn't get quite as much done as I wanted. It was immensely beneficial that my mom came to help. We did get quite a bit of packing done, essentially making it 1 1/2 days of packing. I really do not advise this as it gets stressful. By the end, we were just throwing stuff into whatever we could find--boxes, bags, etc. It is truly amazing how much one person can accumulate in almost eight years. My dad kept telling the movers I really did not have much, but it turned out a lot more than they thought, though vastly shy of the 287 boxes my father had when they moved.

When the movers came--45 minutes late, I had to put the dogs outside which was stressful, especially on Baxter (I'll give an update on him in the next post). As the movers left, their truck would not start. Apparently, the battery became drained from the lift. Luckily, I had cables, so I jumped them.

At the house, they moved the boxes, and my parents and I started to unpack all the essential items. Again, the dogs had to be outside. Hank, Tovah, and Daphne explored their new yard and ran and ran. One person had to stay out with the dogs, because there was a huge hole from the removal of the hot tub and a 3 ft drop where the pool was. It took a total of 3 hours to unload the truck and about 5 to pack.

The first night went okay, though we soon learned the upstairs can get very warm despite the fairly low temperature in the house. Poor Baxter, he was really hot, so I took him out in the middle of the night which seemed to help.

My dad left the next day, and my mom and I went back to the other place to pick up the last of my items--again, more than we thought. My mom stayed until Monday morning, and then left to go back home. I started the new job that day, going over things that needed to be done, paperwork, etc. I've quickly learned there are some nice things about being "salaried" such as having a more flexible schedule. Since my new boss follows more of an academic model, she doesn't care where I am, ie home or the office right now, just as long as my work done. This is great as I'm transitioning into a new job, house, etc.

The only bad thing is that I'm beginning to feel a little stressed financially, because this move has been so expensive. I think I get paid for this week, but I'm not sure if it has to be held three weeks instead. I'm hoping once the job really gets going, I'll feel more at ease.

Again, thanks for all the support. Though this is a positive, life-changing experience for me, it is also a very difficult time. There are moments I feel overwhelmed with getting unpacking done, finding new doctors,scheduling meals, finding my way around geographically, etc. But at the same time, I've already met some great people here. I really like my new vet, so that is a major plus. The other workers have also been very nice too. In time, I'm sure things will feel more comfortable.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


This is a quick post to let everyone know I have moved into my new house. Boxes are everywhere! I think it is going to take months to unpack them. Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit. Seriously, I can't believe how much stuff I have accumulated over the years.

I will write more about the move and all, but I am utterly exhausted! This week is hairy since I started the new job today. My boss has informed me she is gone part of this week and next for Thanksgiving (I can't believe it is already here!) I will be taking care of her dogs this week. This leaves Saturday and Sunday to try to get really caught up on things. :sigh:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Official homeowner!

Yes, those are the words--"an official homeowner." Yesterday was the closing on the house. Of course, you hope for smooth sailing, but things do not always work out that way. My major snafu wound up being one unsigned disclosure by my mother's husband, something my loan officer should have done a long time ago. He did not tell me until two hours before closing! Was I pissed, you bet!

The deal with this was that he had forgotten than my mother (she is a co-signer) had remarried, so he needed a disclosure saying that her husband did not have any rights to the property. This was not a problem, however, getting this document to him was a hassle since he was in the midst of traveling. In the end, he was able to receive the document in an e-mail at the hotel and sign it. However, it had to be an original, therefore, he had to get it notorized and overnighted. What a pain!

According to my realtor and title agency woman, due to the new housing laws, closings have become a nightmare with one hag-up after another. I certainly was not any different. Be forewarned if you are getting a house any time soon. By the way, the first time homeowner's credit has been extended until June.

It was interesting at the closing, because this was the first time I actually saw the seller (had seen the husband once but not the wife who was handling most of it) face to face. As soon she we got there, she began crying. She had lived there since 1997, bought it as her first home in 2001, had her father live there until his passing, became married, and had two children. I could understand why she was emotional. There were memories made and left. She said that morning she did a video for her kids in the empty house, and it was really hard.

I could empathize with her feelings, especially with my last post. We both know these are steps for the better (with she and her husband, they will be living in her childhood home for a bit and then building a home), but it is still difficult. For me, there is a lot of excitement in owning my first home, but at the same time, all those jitters of uncertainty and stress too.

This closing was what they call a "dry closing," meaning I got possession of the house but the exchange of funds will be done today or at the latest Monday when that one document is received.

I'm happy truly, but I'll be happier when the packing is done, the movers come tomorrow, and I'm settled in.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

And moving along...

Well, after much debate, we have officially decided on Saturday as the big MOVING day. Part of me is glad it will be done then, another part of me is wishing for one more week to just "rest." But, that doesn't work so well when you really do need a paycheck. And in order for me to have that, I must be moved and start the new job.

Slowly, I've been getting things done, like getting cable set up, getting an estimate for the movers, speaking with the new vet, getting homeowners insurance, all those sorts of things. This is a time when I must keep moving forward and not procrastinate. Somehow, though my father came to help, it is slightly more difficult with him here. I can't really put my finger on it, maybe he just doesn't understand how hard this is for me.

I was thinking about that just today and it was beginning to hit me some of the things I will miss. I will miss driving home at night and seeing a group of deer, just standing and watching me. I'll miss the roads I've run on for so many years (some of the dogs I won't miss though) I'll miss the smell of fresh, country air. I'll miss the quietness in the night. I'll miss going to my favorite Asian grocery store. I stopped by there yesterday to pick up some stuff. I waved to them but didn't tell them I was leaving. I'll miss the Arboretum--a place of sanctuary with its colorful flowers and trees. I'll miss many of my clients whom I have gotten to know over the years. I'll miss the kennel, even though there were many not so great parts about it.

I want to be able to see these things one last time to have closure, to say my good-byes. However, that is likely not to happen simply because I do not have the time. And that saddens me not to have that.

Even knowing that the new move and job are positive steps, there is still a feeling of loss. I've tried hard to put that feeling of loss behind me, but today it's just caught up with me. I know it is only natural to feel this way with big change. But I'm afraid of missing it too much, like it is some sort of crutch. That feeling of uncertainty is blistering through my mind, wondering whether everything is really going to work.

It's like just when I'm finally moving past some of my fears, my fears just start bubbling to the surface again, waiting to paralyze me. I wonder with the move, will I be the same person or different? Will I retreat to my shell because it is safer, or will I extend my neck out to see what else is out there?

I know the first few months are going to be an adjustment period. I guess this is when the best approach is to to "ride out the wave."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Photos from Minnesota Trip 1

Along the way, I took some photos of where we were, what we did, and what I ate.

We stayed across the street from this cheese shop in Wisconsin. If you do not know, WI is known as "America's Dairyland" and is well known for cheese. Many call them "cheeseheads" affectionately. ;-) It really is too bad I do not like much cheese, as this would have been a great taste sampler. Here is my story of my cheese aversion if you have not read it yet.

In Minnesota, however, I did eat this wonderful veggie pizza from Pizza Luce. They use Rinotta as a substitute for cheese which is made from nuts. This place really catered to vegetarians and vegans, including gluten-free items, "mock duck, chicken, and sausage," and plenty of vegetables.

While in MN, how could you not stop by Mall of America, the largest mall in the US. It is quite huge with four levels, 400 stores, a large movie theater, and an amusement park in the center. The stores are mostly chain type, so nothing real specialized. I wasn't that impressed to be honest.

On the fourth floor, the Bodies Exhibit was there. It truly was pretty amazing to see the inner parts of an entire body from head to toe. I had forgotten until looking up the website that there has been a huge amount of controversy about the "ethics" of how these bodies were produced and are shown. Wikipedia does a nice job of outlining the controversy of the various body exhibits around the world. I somehow feel slightly guilty now as I am all about obtaining and preserving cadavers in appropriate ways, as well as giving consent.

Lastly, here are a few pictures of Baxter post-surgery. As you can see there are two incisions. The small one is where they had to take part of the zygomatic arch out in order to get to the tumor better. The large incision is where they had to cut to remove the tumor. It is like a flap, and luckily, they did not have to take out bone. Therefore, they were able to reclose the flap, otherwise, it would have been open. He still has some swelling on the left side but it does seem to be slightly better. His sight in his right eye is not there yet, therefore, he keeps doing left turns. His hearing is also not there completely. All of these symptoms should be transient, so I'm hoping within a week or two, they will have dissolved. The point at the back of his head is simply from loss of muscle. I'm presuming that and the more prominence of his spine are old age-related, at least that is my hope.

I keep saying with his head shaved, he looks more "Boxerish." My dad just says, "he looks like he has had brain surgery." I'll post other pictures as he is healing. The next two weeks are crucial in making sure he gets rest, is not very active, gets all his meds, etc. Then, his sutures will be taken out, and he will get his first dose of vaccine.

Oh yeah, and poor Baxter, had several other shaved spots on his body from the IVs and heart monitoring, etc. It will probably take a good 3-6 months or more for his fur to all grow back. Maybe he'll let me put more sweaters on him? :grin:

Still some major hurdles to handle

We got back yesterday afternoon. Baxter had a hard last night in the hotel, so he was much more content to be sleeping in the car. My other three dogs were glad to see all of us, though were not quite sure about Baxter. It will be an adjustment for everyone since not all his faculties are restored yet.

Baxter's surgery of course was the major concern. Now, it is his recovery, the new job, and moving. It's been an ordeal trying to finagle my parents' schedules to come here to help me pack and move. My father has decided to delay his flight until next Sunday. On one hand, it is good, on the other, I know he is going to be bored out of his mind. In some ways, I'd like him here to help with Baxter, but on the other, I don't know if he is capable since he sleeps in late, etc. However, at the same time, I've already spent one week with him with many ups and downs, so I'd hate have more "down" trends.

My mother may come out next week and help me pack, but that's still a little up in the air. I find I struggle a lot with them making the "sacrifice" to come out here and help me, but at the same time, suffering my own sanity. It's like taking away how I would really like to do things in order to "keep the peace" with everyone else. It's almost like if I want to do it my way that appears selfish even if this is my move and my life. :sigh: I'm sure everything will work out somehow.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Baxter's surgery update

Thanks for everyone's thoughts on Baxter and me. Baxter had his surgery yesterday (Thursday). Overall, it went well. Dr. P. said according to the post-op MRI, it showed all of the tumor to be removed. There may be a sliver left, but the vaccine therapy and his immune system should take care of it. The tumor itself was about 2cm and was taken to histopathology for grading.

Baxter stayed there overnight, and I saw him the next morning during visiting hours. He was up and moving around. He has swelling on the left side of his brain and some deficits in his right eye which should be transient. He was certainly glad to see my dad and me, though he was still quite disoriented.

I spoke to Dr. P., and we both decided we thought he could be discharged. We went over all the discharge instructions, and she gave me big hug when we left. She said she would be in touch soon with the biopsy report and would speak to my new vet who will be administering the vaccine which is made directly from his dead tumor cells, just like being grown in its own petri dish.

I have to admit, I was so impressed with UMN. Every doctor, nurse, technician I encountered was very friendly and helpful. The layout of the hospital was similar to a human hospital and really catered to easing the animals in care. Off bat yesterday, I saw three dogs with amputated legs. Alone yesterday, they performed 11 surgeries which did not count dentals nor emergencies. Today, they did at least five MRIs. Though I hate comparing to UT which I also think is very good, this place was awesome! I absolutely love Dr. P.and wish she could be my full-time vet! She was super friendly, great with Baxter, and took her time to explain everything to me and answer any questions. I really think this study is going to take off, and the word seems to be getting out about it. Their hope is to have a human protocol for brain tumor treatment using this model within a year.

We are now in IL. My dad decided to do a lot of driving today and wound up not taking any of the exits I suggested where hotels were. He finally stopped about 9:30 PM which was good for Baxter and me. But poor Bax, he was so thirsty and hungry and peed like three times in three hours. I think he has finally settled in for the night. I'm hoping he will make it through the night without getting me up. This week, my REM sleep has been so off within waking me up anywhere from 1:30-4:30 AM.

Tomorrow, will be the last leg of the trip home. It is tentative that my dad will fly back on Sunday. Though we've certainly had our ups and downs this trip (the last two days were better), I know he is going to sleep for like three days when he gets home. I know it has worn him out tremendously even if he does not want to admit it.

I just need to get through the next two weeks which is filled with new job, closing on the house, moving, meeting the new vet, and getting Baxter through the first stage of recovery. Whew, a lot on my plate!

Again, thanks all for your support. It's times like this when I need people in my corner who can give an understanding ear.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

In the cheese state!

We're on day three of the trip and in the cheese state, aka Wisconsin! I wanted to take a cheese picture sign but don't have a portable drive to this netbook yet. Unfortunately, cheese and myself do not have a good relationship, so it is doubtful I'll be buying and eating homemade Wisconsin cheese. I have thought about buying some for my landlord since for the past six years, he has always given me cheese at Christmas. He wouldn't get the joke, but I'd find it kind of funny.

Anyway, on Monday, we drove eight or so hours and stopped outside of Chicago at a Courtyard Marriott. I wanted to go some place else that I knew accepted pets for sure, but my dad wanted to be able to use his wife's Marriott's rewards points which only credits it by the way. And yep, they do not allow pets. This seems kind of odd to me, since they have such a cute little courtyard which would be great for pets. I was not happy with this hotel at all. It was way too hot in the room. Baxter was really uncomfortable and hadn't been able to get much exercise that day, so he was agitated. Every time I let him out, I had to be sneaky to make sure no one saw me. There was an area that was fenced and said "no trespassing, employees only," but I went anyway since it was late at night.

The next day, we drove to Wisconsin and visited a few of my dog trainer friends. A. gave me a jacket to have (she apparently has many due to living in WI) since I forgot to pack mine. We had a nice, late lunch at Olive Garden, visited their dog daycare facilities and house, drove through some pretty areas, and then drove a little further past Madison. We would have stayed with my friends, but there were a total of like 8/9? dogs, 2/3 birds, and a cat. It was only 2 of the dogs who were really loud, but I knew my dad would not have done well there.

The next stay was at the Holiday Inn Express which does allow pets, a definite relief for me. The room is a lot better too, and is probably where we will stay in MN as well. The trip, itself, had been going well except for a few hiccups. One is that my loan officer e-mailed me about an error with the disclosure I needed to sign ASAP, fax to my mom, and fax back to him. I did that yesterday, but then he sent me another one about the change in the loan amount he did not realize that again I needed to sign ASAP. I was a little peeved, honestly.

So this brings me to major incident two. I was out walking Baxter last night and decided to stop by the guest computer in the lobby and quickly print out the form to sign. Well, the printer was out of ink. I notified the desk person. She realized they did not have the correct ink cartridge and said I could e-mail the document to her to put out at the front desk. The e-mail didn't go through, so I waited. Then, she had several people checking into the hotel. Then, suddenly, I see my father come into the lobby with an angry look on his face. He saw me and whispered mean words of how selfish I was, how I have to do things my way, how I should have taken my phone, how I should have come to the room to say what I was doing, etc. He eventually went back to the room. I spoke to the desk person--she gave me a different e-mail which went through. She printed off the document, but later I realized part of the document had been cut off, so I couldn't sign it. Ugh! She said she would let me fax at no charge, but she is not there this morning. It won't do any good since I need to reprint the documents.

The rest of the night in the room, my father and I pretty much ignored each other. I ended up going to bed early since I was really tired. I just hate when he does shit like this. I agree I should have had my phone and probably went to the room to say what I was doing, but I seriously didn't think it was going to take that long as it should not have at all. I tried explaining this to him, but he just continued on about how I'm so ungrateful for what he and my mother does and how it seems like I treat them horribly compared to other people.

This is not the first time he has blown up. Actually, his trait of blowing up has happened my entire life. I just hate how one minute he is complimenting me on how he is so proud of me and the next saying what a horrible person I am. The mixed messages are tough, and there is always a conflict of emotions for me. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my parents dearly, but sometimes my dad's emotions are really hard to deal with. There's a lot more details about why he is the way he is, etc., but that's a post.for another day.

The other thing that is really annoying me is he keeps saying how I eat nothing, and this is untrue. I have eaten breakfast every day. I have eaten dinner every day. Lunch has been iffy at times, but I've snacked at appropriate times, etc. I've eaten a lot more in general than I normally do on any of these trips. Sometimes, I feel like going back to my starved ways, because that is obviously how he views me.

My only other gripe so far is that for whatever reason my skin has looked crappy now for like three weeks and my period is likely to start soon which just makes me feel edgier about everything.

:sigh: I hope the next leg of the trip goes more smoothly. Baxter's surgery is tomorrow at 7 AM. I'll post how it goes on facebook, twitter, and here in the hotel room.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Heading to Minnesota

This is going to be a super quick post. I'm headed for Minnesota today. Baxter's surgery is on Thursday morning.

Besides all the stuff with work, this weekend has been a bit tense and stressful. I had to pick up my dad at the airport. We seemed to have miscommunicated, and he could not find where I was in the passenger pick up lane. So instead of listening to me, he just yelled at me. Then, he got angry about the moving plan. He had decided to extend his stay until the 15th which freaked me out! The house closes on the 12th which is when I get possession. Theoretically, I can move in that day. I was going to move in like a week after, so I could get all my stuff packed and not feel rushed. My dad and his wife (she has moved 23 times, closed on 13 houses) had other ideas and wanted me to be moved in by that weekend. This was beginning to feel like THEIR move versus MY move!

This was horribly stressing me out, and he could not understand why I wanted to wait or why I minded to commute to my new job for a week or two. He finally settled down, and I think has decided to go back after we get back. It is a relief to me in some ways since he would be bored out of his mind.

Anyway, we are about to leave. Hopefully, I'll be able to visit a few dog trainers I know in Wisconsin on the way, but we'll see how things go. I'll update everyone from there. I'm very hopeful about this surgery. Please keep Baxter in your thoughts.