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We have been very busy at our house lately trying to get everything ready for the baby to arrive.  We decided that since we needed new carpet (didn’t think pink carpet was appropriate for a baby boy), that it was the perfect time to have new interior doors and trim-work installed.  Apparently the previous owners of our house were very rough on things, doors were scratched up from their dogs, some of it had been painted sloppily etc.  And so the preparation began… moving all the furniture around, packing up some items to store temporarily in the basement.  Pretty much everything has been shifted around.

The construction work officially began Friday (April 17, 2009) morning.  About a month ago Annabelle was diagnosed with Cushings disease and the medicine to control that can cause loss of appetite.  I had noticed the day before that Annabelle seemed to be acting a little strange.  She didn’t really want to eat unless I coaxed her.  I gave her a piece of my apple and she barely ate it (usually she scarfs down fruits and veggies).  The next morning, Friday, she didn’t even come out of the bedroom.  Normally both dogs get up as soon as I do and follow me into the bathroom to get petted.  Eventually she came out and slowly wandered into the living room.  I invited her to sit on the green chair- the only chair they are allowed on- and she just looked at me.  Eventually she hopped up there but then she wouldn’t move for a while.  I noticed she was very lethargic and just looked kind of yucky, but wasn’t sure if she was sick or if she was scared because of the construction.  She would not eat anything.  I called the vet on Friday and explained everything to them.  They agreed that she was probably just scared because of the construction and the furniture being moved around.  She only ate a few carrots and some popcorn on Friday.  

On Saturday morning she looked about the same and still wouldn’t eat all day, barely even eating carrots, which are one of her favorites.  Her eyes just looked so sad.  Sunday morning she still looked really bad so we decided to call the emergency vet.  They said to bring her in right away.

Jay got ready and took her in while I stayed home and prepared for an open house and then our baby shower which was that afternoon.  The only thing I knew before the shower was that Annabelle had an enlarged spleen and really low red blood cell count, it was 20.  After the baby shower Jay told me what they found.  Apparently she has some immune anemic disease, called Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia.  This is a very serious disease and she only had a 70% chance of surviving. 

I was devastated.  Annabelle is my baby (well both dogs are my babies).  She is only 10, how could she be so sick and possibly leaving me already?  We’ve only owned the dogs fo 3 years, we got them when they were 7.  She is such a good dog.

Annabelle stayed at the hospital overnight Sunday where they administered fluids, steroids, and an immune suppressant medicine to keep her immune system from destroying the red blood cells.  Monday morning I picked her up and transported her to her regular vet.  Overnight her red blood cell count had slightly improved, going from 20 to 23.


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This morning my husband opened a piece of mail from Fifth Third Bank in regards to our home equity line. They said that according to a market study of our area, the value of our home has been significantly lowered. Because the value is lowered, they are lowering the amount of money available to us through the equity line. This doesn’t really affect us because we have never really used the equity line, it was just the mortgage loan that worked for us when we bought our home.

We have known for a while that the value of our home is declining, however last year the auditor significantly raised the tax appraised value of our home, at least $20,000 higher than the home would ever sell for. I did all the paperwork required, submitted recent comps, and even met with the REALTOR who works at the auditor’s office. They would only agree to lower the value of our home by a small amount.

Now I know that our city, county, and schools need the tax money to continue operating, but it just doesn’t seem fair to be paying taxes on an amount that’s higher than our home is worth. Is it being unrealistic to expect the auditor to use fair market value? I thought I had learned at one of our sales meetings at the office that the tax appraised value is usually lower than the fair market value of a house. I know they can’t adjust the price of every home every year, but if we did sell our home this year at an amount that is way lower than the tax appraised value, would it be adjusted for the new owner?

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There was an interesting article in yesterday’s newspaper about the 4 different types of shoppers. 

The Primitive (or compulsive) Shopper

The compulsive shopper is driven by anxiety.  They aren’t worried about what they’re buying, as long as they are buying.  The compulsive shopper will go home after their shopping binge and hide the packages.  They also prefer to purchase a certain item, like shoes or clothing for women, or electronics for men.

The Neurotic Shopper

The neurotic shopper shops excessively, looking for the perfect item.  They will plan their shopping around something they need or want.  The neurotic shopper is looking for the “perfect” or “particular” type of something, like a particular style of sweater.  This shopper will buy several items, bring them home, try them on, then either return them all, or pick one.  They tend to return things. 

The Psychotic Shopper

The typical psychotic shopper is represented by a person who appears to be in “manic” phase who went on a shopping spree.  This type of shopper is commonly mistaken as a compulsive shopper. 

The Normal Shopper

The normal shopper saves their money and plans their purchases.  They understand the ideas of delayed gratification and saving money for big ticket items. 

So, what kind of shopper are you?  I am probably a neurotic shopper.  I will usually have an idea of what I want a certain clothing item to look like and then I will hunt and hunt until I find it.  During my hunt I will buy clothes along the way that would kind of work and then return them later.  I often find myself getting disappointed when I can’t find exactly what I want, or if it doesn’t fit right. 

I recently was shopping for a dress to wear to my company’s holiday party.  This usually wouldn’t be such an ordeal, except that I am about 3 months pregnant making it harder to find something that would fit and meet my expectations.  I wanted something that was holiday-ish with some sparkle to it.  I went to every store in town that I normally would buy from- Sears, Target, Kohls, JcPenneys, Macys, Burlington etc.  In my shopping process I purchased several items which I later returned.  I’d find a dress and think, well this isn’t really what I want, but I guess it will work.  I finally went back to Sears to return something and took one more look at their dresses.  They must have got a new shipment in!!!  I found several new ones to try on and finally found one that satisfied me.  Sigh.  Ok, so it was still a little too big, but at least there is room for my belly to grow.  I won’t even talk about maternity clothes- that might take another 5 paragraphs.  Who do they design those after????

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Just wanted to share some photos from this year’s Football Hall of Fame parade. My husband had a minute of fame on tv… the Pepsi people sat in our row to be interviewed about a new Pepsi product and you could see my husband on the screen. We all got Pepsi t-shirts and a sample of the new product!

These people were awesome!

I’m sure all the kids loved seeing Elmo float by!

Was your doctor or nurse on the Aultman float?


Overall it was a really nice parade. The bands were all really good this year, especially the big purple army (Jackson)- had to throw that in there as my mother in law is always teasing me about Jackson because they live in Perry.

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How Do Dogs Know?

I went to Petsmart today and got some new bones and toys for my dogs. When I got home, I took them out of the bag and held them up so they could see them. One of the toys happened to be a stuffed dog and when I held it out Angel immediately jumped up and tried to take it from me. I find it amazing that shesomehow knew that the toy was for her! How do dogs know the difference between a stuffed dog toy and a regular stuffed animal if we don’t squeak it?

To test this, I just went and got one of my stuffed animals and held it out to Angel. She sniffed it and just looked at me. Dogs are amazing animals! Now if I could only teach them how to clean the house.

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Life is Short, Eat Dessert!

One day I had a date for lunch with friends. Mae, a little old ‘blue hair’ about 80 years old, came along with them—all in all, a pleasant bunch. When the menus were presented, we ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups, except for Mae who said, ‘Ice Cream, please.
Two scoops, chocolate.’
I wasn’t sure my ears heard right, and the others were aghast. ‘Along with heated apple pie,’ Mae added, completely unabashed. We tried to act quite nonchalant, as if people did this all the time. But when our orders were brought out, I didn’t enjoy mine. I couldn’t take my eyes off Mae as her pie a-la-mode went down. The other ladies showed dismay. They ate their lunches silently and frowned.

The next time I went out to eat, I called and invited Mae. I lunched on white meat tuna. She ordered a parfait. I smiled.. She asked if she amused me. I answered, ‘Yes, you do, but also you confuse me. How come you order rich desserts, while I feel I must be sensible?

She laughed and said, with wanton mirth, ‘I’m tasting  all  that’s  possible. I try to eat the food I need, and do the things I should. But life’s so short, my friend, I hate missing out on something good. This year I realized how old I was (she grinned). I haven’t been this old before.’

‘So, before I die, I’ve got to try those things that for years I had ignored. I haven’t smelled all the flowers yet. There are too many books I haven’t read. There’s more fudge sundaes to wolf down and kites to be flown overhead. There are many malls I haven’t shopped. I’ve not laughed at all the jokes. I’ve missed a lot of Broadway hits and

potato chips and cokes.  

I want to wade again in water and feel ocean spray on my face. I want to sit in a country church once more and thank God for His grace. I want peanut butter every day spread on my morning toast. I want un-timed long distance calls to the folks I love the most. I haven’t cried at all the movies yet, or walked in the morning rain. I need to feel wind in my hair. I want to fall in love again. So, if I choose to have dessert, instead of having dinner, then should I die before night fall, I’d say I died a winner, because I missed out on nothing. I filled my heart’s desire. I had that final chocolate mousse before my life  expired.’

With that, I called the waitress over.. ‘I’ve changed my mind,’ I said. ‘I want what she is having, only add some more whipped cream!’   ;

This is my gift to you – We need an annual Friends Day! If  you get this twice, then you have more than one friend.. Live well, love much & laugh often – Be happy.  


Be mindful that happiness isn’t based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we love and respect. Remember that while money talks, CHOCOLATE SINGS!  

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I’ve Come to Realize….

That I am not perfect, nor will I ever be

That no one is perfect, nor will ever be

That my house might always be just a little bit messy

That I will never be as skinny or pretty as I want to be

That my husband might always be disappointed in my budgeting skills

That trying to live within your means sometimes hurts just a little bit

That my main role model growing up is most likely to blame for my lack of budgeting skills

That my husband may never be ready to have a baby

That growing old isn’t as cool as you thought it was when you were a kid

That time flies by before you realize that you never took the time to cherish things

That my memories of my childhood seem to have faded

That the people who once made you happy can also make you sad

That obstacles in our life come and go, but friends and family help you through it

That one day our parents may come to rely on us to take care of them

That life threatening disease is scarey and real

That if I don’t take care of my body now, I may be in big trouble when I’m 80

That one day I will lose people that I care about and it will hurt A LOT

That the uncertainty of the future is overwhelming at times

That someday I may be left alone

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