Naked Legs + Cheesy + Burn

I’ve been meaning to sit down and write a post for days now. I even drafted one the other night but never got around to publishing it. I look back at it now and it no longer seems relevant.

Funny how life changes. I used to have time to blog everyday. Now I’m lucky if I get it in twice a week. But I do think about it a lot and some day I’ll figure out how to work it better in to the routine. Until then, you have to suffer through another “random updates” post (I feel like I’m cheating when I write these).


The big guy is recovering well from his surgery last week. He got the bandage off yesterday which helps him move around a bit more freely. 


You can see that his whole back leg is shaved. I feel embarrassed for the guy, having half of his hind quarters exposed for the world to see. I hope it grows back soon.


You can’t see the incision. Heck, I couldn’t even find it! CJ had to point it out to me (it’s on the inside of the leg). The stitches are actually on the inside of the skin so you can’t see them at all. Amazing what they can do these days!

He’s getting around well and can do stairs again. We still have to walk him outside on the leash, even for potty time, just so that he doesn’t try to take off after a rabbit or something.

Isabella was trying to help Samson be extra comfortable so she started putting blankets over him. He just laid there and let her do it.


I think he quite enjoyed it actually.


And then she brought over a pillow for him.


And then CJ joined in and wrapped the blanket up around his shoulders.


Gee, Samson’s not spoiled at all.


Yesterday afternoon some of us gals went out for another team outing. We went to a place where you can either bring your own flower pot or buy one there (which is what I did) and then plant flowers as a group! It was a lot of fun and now I have one pot ready for the backyard (need to get going on the rest of them). I don’t have a pic to show as part of the deal is that you leave your pots there and the owner takes care of them for a couple weeks to make sure they survive the shock of being transplanted. I’ll post one once I pick it up though!

I did however buy this guy from her shop.


He’s a little mosaic turtle with spoons for the head, tail and legs. I thought he was super cute. There’s a little ladybug on the other side too!


I told Isabella she could name him and right away she decided to call him “Cheesy”. I gave her a questioning look when she said that and she immediately responded with, “What? Cheesy’s a good name Mommy…”

And so it is.

For now I have him inside, next to the buffet.


See him at the bottom of the pic, tucked in amongst the “plants”?


He may get moved outside one of these days, I haven’t decided yet. For now, he’s chillin’ inside with us.


I got my first sunburn of the season on Wednesday. I was literally outside for 1 hour and got this:


Yes, it hurts as bad as it looks.


What can I say, I’m fair-skinned and go from white to red and back to white again. I will never be tan. I’ve finally accepted that over the years but I’ve definitely had my share of bad burn experiences.

The worst one was on a canoeing trip down the Niobrara river. I forgot to reapply and my whole body got scorched but my tummy worst of all. I blistered and literally had to peel off skin from there every night for weeks.

There was also a bad one on our honeymoon. I was good the whole trip, and then let my guard down on the 2nd to last day. Ended up with a bad burn on my thighs. My skin was so hot, that it turned a frozen washcloth from ice cold to warm in less than 5 minutes.

I try to be careful though and I promise I’ll put some sunscreen in my purse to have with me at all times, just in case.


I leave you with these images of Isabella.

Here she is helping me buy food and treats for Samson.


And sound asleep in the car:


There are angels among us.

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The Dude is Back

I mentioned the other day that Samson had sprained his ACL and was supposed to “lay low” for a while.

Guess what – he didn’t.

Typical of a lab, he forgot about his pain, got all excited and tried to run, “tearing the hell out of his ACL” (that is literally what the vet said).

So he had to have surgery yesterday.

They did a procedure called a TTA which basically puts implants in the leg to correct and stabilize. Doc said Samson did great and they found no signs of arthritis in the knee. He does have arthritis in both hips which is what was forcing him to adjust and put more weight on his knees, hence the tear.

I picked him up today and brought him home.


Poor guy.

You can see they shaved his fur off from the hip all the way down the leg and he has a big old bandage on it, which is solid like a cast.

He is starting to put some weight on that leg which is good. Doc said he’s a strong boy and will heal up like a champ.


Getting him home was interesting. He couldn’t figure out how to lay down in the back of the car but yet I didn’t want him standing in case I had to hit the brakes hard or make a sharp turn. With the bum leg he wouldn’t be able to stabilize himself and could fall. I fought with him for 10 minutes to lay down and he wouldn’t. So I buckled him in standing up and just drove like a grandma.


He seems a bit out of it still. Laying down doesn’t seem comfortable yet. I think he really wants to lay on his right side but can’t because of the big bandage. Laying on his left probably hurts the hip. So he’ll wander around for a bit, looking lost, and then finally get tired and plop somewhere. He’ll figure it out eventually and after 4-6 weeks the leg will be good as new again.

Isabella missed him and made him a welcome home gift. Here he is laying with it.


Apparently that’s an airplane.

We moved his kennel down to the first floor so that he wouldn’t have to go up and down the steps every morning and night. We also have to take him outside on a leash every time he goes potty. We don’t want to risk him taking off running and tearing the ACL on the good leg.


It’s so nice to have the big guy back home. Even though he was only gone for 2 days, we missed the heck out of him.

Our checking account is a whole lot lighter but he’s worth every penny.

Welcome home dude!

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Samson Stories: Thief

Samson and I have a morning routine. Samson is big on routine. He’s a Labrador – OCD is in his blood.

Here’s one example – for meals we have Samson sit on a rug in front of the sink while we get his food ready (and by “ready” I mean dump 2 cups of chow in a bowl). We then put his dish down in the designated area and release him. If that rug is not there (if we’re washing it or Isabella is using it as a blanket) he refuses to sit down. He just stares at us incredulously like, “Are you kidding me? You want me to sit on the cold tile floor? Where is my rug? I WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS TREATMENT!” Or, if someone is standing on it washing dishes, he looks at them like, “Dude, you’re on my rug and it’s mealtime. Step. Off.”

samson kitchen


Our morning routine starts when I get back from the gym. I grab 2 dog treats (half of a milk bone along with something soft like Beggin’ Strips or Pupperonis) and bring them upstairs with me. I let Samson out of his kennel and he follows me in to the bathroom. I put the treats on the counter and then make him sit on the rug.  He gets the milk bone after I get a kiss.

At this point, any of you non-dog people out there are going – ew, gross, this lady is weird. She makes her dog kiss her. Every morning. For a treat.

You better your sweet bippie I do! Dog lovers unite!

Samson hates it. Or pretends to. In fact some mornings he flat out refuses. So he pokes my face with his nose and we call it good.

I then jump in the shower and he lays down on the rug (again, if there is no rug there, he refuses to even come in the bathroom. He’s special). When I get out of the shower, I find him either like this:

morning samson

(I’m always amazed at how he can get his large 90 lb. body to fit all curled up on one rug)

Or like this:

samson br2 

At which point I squee over how cute he is, snuggle his fuzzy face and then throw him another treat.

This is where the mystery begins.

One day a couple weeks ago, I couldn’t find the 2nd treat on the counter. Turns out I had accidently thrown it in the trash. Don’t worry I dug it out. Hey, this dog will eat flies – he can eat a treat from the trash.

Then a few days later the treat was missing again. Only this time I couldn’t find it in the trash or anywhere else. I searched high and low, then gave up.

The next day it happened again.

At this point I thought I was losing my mind. How could I be misplacing all these treats? Was I going to find a whole arsenal of them in a drawer or something one of these days?

Then I figured it out. Just call me Nancy Drew.

Yesterday I put the treat on the counter, per usual, and hopped in the shower.


I noticed it was gone as soon as I stepped out of the shower 10 minutes later. That’s when I realized that all this time, Samson had been jumping up on the counter and helping himself while I was showering! The little sneak! Not sure why it took me so long to figure this out but I guess it’s because he never usually does this type of thing. We can leave chicken sitting on the kitchen counter and he won’t touch it. He’ll stare at it and drool a lot but he won’t touch it.

Until now. I think the new house has brought out the puppy in him because he’s doing all kinds of things we thought we had moved past – like taking Isabella’s toys, running like a mad dog around the dining room, and now, stealing food.

So our morning routine had to be modified. I still bring the treats up, but now I put them way on the back of the counter, behind all the lotions, soaps and olive oil. What? You don’t keep EVOO in your bathroom? Huh.

Tomorrow is Doggie Day Camp. Hopefully that’ll get some of the stink out of him!

Tailgating and The Hunt

In honor of tonight being the first night of the regular NFL season, I decided that Isabella and I would have a tailgate party for dinner (CJ was gone running volleyball tryouts). Our version involved little bowls of finger foods set out on blanket in the living room.

I told Isabella to gather up her friends and sit on the blanket, er towel, and wait for me to bring out the food. She eagerly complied!

photo 1

Here’s what we had: chicken nuggets, hot dogs, crackers, cheese, carrots, grapes, cookies, edamame and apples.

photo 2

Isabella thought it was great fun! She actually gasped when I set the tray down. By the way, we had Samson locked up in his kennel for this ordeal otherwise the food wouldn’t have stood a chance. More on him later.

photo 3

Clifford even bellied up to the bar!

photo 4

Our little self portrait filmstrip.

photo 5

picnic 1

picnic 2

Once dinner was done, we headed outside to explore. When I got out there, I found this:

samson dig

Normally those bricks are lined up nice and neat, with the drain laying on top of them. Oh and that hole in the back isn’t usually there.

Guess who thought there was a small animal inside the drain that he must hunt down and dig out at all costs?


Yeah…this guy. CJ had warned me about it. Samson’s big hunting party had occurred some time during the afternoon so now he’s not allowed outside unless accompanied by an adult, until a little landscaping can be done to fix the mess he made.


Now it’s time to head back upstairs and finish watching the game, while I sort coupons in my new coupon holder. I know, step back! You only wish your life was as exciting as mine! Maybe with a nifty coupon organizer, I’ll be more effective with couponing and can save us a little more money!

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What Goes Around…

Today started out fairly normal. I got up, took Samson to Doggie Day Camp, and went in to work. Normally Samson does DDC on Tuesdays but because I had training yesterday, I switched it to Wednesday. Today happened to be Luau day at DDC so it was all decorated in a Hawaiian theme and they were going to take each dog’s picture. Fun!

The first order of business when I got to work was to get breakfast. I was STARVING (what’s new?) and it just so happens that the café at work has the best hash browns. I swear they’re laced with crack or something. OMG. I needed a decent breakfast because at 8:30 I was scheduled to donate blood. The Red Cross comes in to work every quarter and I try to donate each time. When I finished they gave me a sticker and some Oreo’s. Hell yeah!


Around 10:45 a.m. I got a call from DDC that Samson was peeing blood and had been doing so all morning. She made sure to say that it wasn’t just a little blood either, but a lot. My heart sank. What if it was cancer or something? She wanted to know if they should take him over to the veterinary clinic or let him keep playing. Um, well, let me think. Yeah, perhaps taking him to the vet is the best option here. She said they’d call back when they knew more.

A few minutes later I headed out to lunch. Was going to meet up with an ex-coworker. I was driving down the street when my phone rang and it was the vet. He started telling me about Samson and my phone kept cutting in and out. I got distracted and didn’t notice the cop waiting up ahead where the speed limit changes. I slowed down as soon as I saw him but it was too late. He pulled in behind me and turned on the lights. Perfect!

I pulled over, still talking to the vet and trying to answer his questions without causing an accident. The cop came up to my window and I had to put the vet on hold. Yes, that’s right, I had a police officer outside my window, ready to write me a speeding ticket, at the same time that I had the veterinarian on the phone trying to tell me why my dog was peeing blood.

Needless to say I was a little frazzled.

I gave the officer my driver’s license and he told me to sit tight. As he walked back to the patrol car, I returned my attention to the vet. He asked for permission to run an urinalysis, which would cost about $125. That combined with the antibiotics they’d almost certainly have to give him would bring our bill to $230. I told him to go ahead. Samson is worth it.

Just as I hung up, the cop came back. He glanced in and made a snide remark about me being done with my phone call. I told him my dog was in the hospital and I was talking to the doc. He shrugged and proceeded to tell me I was going 49 in a 35 mph zone, which would be a $75 ticket. That plus the court costs would take the final total to $125. He then said something that surprised me.

“I see you donated blood this morning.”

I had totally forgotten I was still wearing the sticker. I nodded yes and then he said, “Well, given that, you probably aren’t yourself. Plus it seems you’re having dog problems. So, I’m going to give you a break today and let you off with a warning. Let that be a lesson to you.”

Yes sir! I happily signed the warning ticket and went on my merry way. Phew! I guess he took the sentiment of the sticker seriously and decided to be REALLY nice to me!

As for Samson, it turns out he has hemoglobinurnia. There are many causes but the vet thought in his case it was due to “vigorous movement of the bladder during extraneous exercise that lead to the rupture of the mucosal layer beneath the urinary bladder and causes a passage of blood with the urine”. He also had a mild UTI. So I picked him up, along with some special luau treats, medicine and a very high bill, and we went on our way. But not before they gave us this picture of him at the luau!


He doesn’t look to be suffering too much!

He came home and peed for like a good solid minute, but there was no blood in it that I could see so I think he’s on the mend. Right now he’s laying on the couch, passed out. Poor dude. I’m glad it’s nothing more serious and that he’ll be back to normal in a few days.

Let this be a lesson to all of you: it pays to donate blood – it can get you out of a speeding ticket!

(P.S. This is my 3rd time being pulled over for a speeding ticket since I started driving. I’ve never had to pay a single ticket. The first time was when I was in college in Cedar Rapids and the cop let me off because I had a Nebraska driver’s license and his grandma lived in Nebraska. The second time, I sent in my money and a few months later my check was returned to me because they never got around to processing it. And then today was the 3rd time. Now that I’ve said that, I’ve jinxed myself. I need to go find some wood and like body slam myself against it.)

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