Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve with

Sadly, I did not get a package of goodies delivered to my door this Christmas.  But my boys did!  This month they tried the Wellness CORE Grain-Free Protein Bars Salmon and Whitefish with Pomegranates Recipe Dog Treats from Chewy.  Since Chico has cancer, I'm much more picky now about what I feed him and these protein bars seemed like a healthy choice.  The chi's received a 5.5 oz bag to sample.  
Each treat is only 16 calories (for those who may be watching their waistline), they're 100% natural, and made in the USA.  Not only are they grain-free, they're also gluten free.    
When I first opened the bag, a VERY strong fish smell assaulted my nose.  I don't care for fish and I didn't care for the smell of these bars.  The smell seemed to turn Shiver off too, and he wasn't interested in trying a bite.  Chico immediately began to shake all over with excitement though and whined because I made him wait a moment so I could get a picture of it.  Once Shiver saw Chico enjoying a treat, he came begging.  He ran off under the bed with it and Chico ran into the bathroom.  Once he saw me with a camera, he hid behind the toilet while he ate.  Silly boy!  

Shiver and Chico both give this 4 paws up for a total of 8 paws.  I'm tempted to knock it down a paw for the smell, but they both did seem to enjoy it so I'll leave it at 8.

We were not compensated financially for this post, but were provided free samples of dog treats in return for our honest opinions.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Merry Monday

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!  Mine was quite nice.  Santa was very generous this year, as he usually is.  Knowing this could be Chico's last Christmas, I brought him and Shiver with me to hang out at my mom's for the day.  Shockingly, Chico left my mom's beagle alone all day.  Chico loves my mom's beagle and tries to show that love as frequently as possible, so that's kind of surprising.  

What did Santa bring you?  One of my favorite gifts this year was a solar angel for the garden.  I took it out to the yard right after I got home.  It immediately lit up which surprised me and it was so so so pretty!  I tried sticking it in the ground and apparently pushed too hard and it broke, which made me sad.  I now have to find another one just like it because I don't want to make my mom feel bad that I destroyed it ten seconds after I got it!  Ugh!

What a difference a week makes!  Last Monday I commented that I have no job prospects.  Well, I have an interview today and another one tomorrow!  They're both only temporary and don't pay very well at all, but it's money and it's experience.  Plus they're both an opportunity to network more and hopefully find an even better job, so I'm just trying to remain positive about it.  Both jobs are seasonal so if nothing else, it might be an opportunity to come back and work in the future.  One job would be full time and the other part time.  If those don't work out, I've been invited to attend two different workshops after the New Year.  They're both free and another opportunity to network.

I noticed recently that I lost 5 followers in one day.  I mentioned it to Lynne and told her I felt bad to have lost so many at once.  She said she lost 4 followers the same exact day and we wondered if maybe it might be a Blogger thing?  It seemed suspicious that we both lost several on the same day.  Has anyone else noticed that they've lost several lately?  Lynne also said that some of her newer followers don't show up in her followers list either.

Flipping through my Wreck This Journal recently, I came across a page that I thought would be fairly easy.  I feel like it's an epic failure though!
The page says to collect pocket lint and glue it there.  I decided to use laundry lint collected from the dryer instead and saved it from a couple of different laundry sessions.  I printed out a stencil thinking I'd just follow that and it would be so easy to create something cool.  Have you ever tried to cut lint from the laundry with scissors?  It doesn't work very well!  I finally ended up just tearing it.  My glue was like 20 years old (not really, but old nonetheless!) and didn't want to squeeze out properly.  Oh well.  It was fun all the same.  My lint is on the right, the stencil is on the left so that you can hopefully figure out what it's supposed to be.

Monday, December 21, 2015

What's Your End of Year Review Like?

I can't believe Christmas is on Friday!  Where did the year go?  With the end in sight, it's made me reflect on the past year.  There were a lot of highs - I graduated from college and participated in a life changing leadership program.  There were a lot of lows - Chico was diagnosed with cancer and I still have no job prospects almost 8 months after graduation.  I met a lot of inspiring people and got to do a lot of amazing things.  Overall, it was a year of growth.

I will never regret going to college in any way, shape, or form.  I didn't just learn stuff from textbooks, I learned a lot about myself.  But I thought that finding a job would be so much easier with a degree and I'm finding it's actually been harder.  I was living off a maxed out credit card for a little bit, then cashed out a very small retirement fund from an old job.  I used that to buy a laptop and a cell phone thinking that my paycheck from the nonprofit job that I've been waiting to start would replace the money I spent.  I was about 90% certain that I had the job, only they emailed me on Friday to say that they decided not to fill the position.  Now I'm freaking out because my tiny retirement fund is almost gone and I'll be right back to living on a maxed out credit card again very soon.  I'm hoping 2016 will bring some much needed peace and a job.

Thank you to everyone for the kind comments regarding my decision not to give Chico the chemo treatment.  I worried people might be judgmental, but everyone was so supportive.  I go back and forth several times a day still, but in my heart I feel like it's the right decision for him.  I'll do everything I can to make sure his last days are happy and filled with love.  For right now, at least, he's doing well and takes advantage of extra cuddle time.  He'll let me know when it's time to go.

I don't know what kind of plant this is, but I've been waiting for it to bloom since I got it back in February!  The first bud took what felt like a century to open and I was so excited that I had to share it!  There are 3 more much smaller buds that will hopefully open up soon.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Snow Flurry Fury

Baby, it's CCCOOOLLLDDD outside!!!  The snow was coming down heavily last night as I drove to my mom's house for dinner and didn't let up much at all by the time I went home three hours later.  It didn't stick, but it made it difficult to see and the roads were slick.  Fortunately I live fairly close to mom and made it there and back safely.  Today it's super windy.  I'm just very grateful I don't have to leave the house today!

I got a new laptop last Friday!  I love it, but can't believe how different it is from my old one.  It's taken some getting used to.  It took forever and two long phone calls to get the internet set up on it, but we got it figured out.  I spent the weekend playing around with it a little more to feel more comfortable with it.  I also finally got a cell phone.  When I went to get it, there was a guy who kept asking what happened to my old phone and didn't seem to grasp that I didn't have one.  I really could not afford the laptop or the cell phone but I think I may have a new job soon and I'll need both if I do get it.

A very cool thing happened when I was at the store.  As I walked towards the computers I saw a large group going from one laptop to another as a store associate went through all the differences between them.  I didn't pay much attention to them as I walked around them to get to the area I wanted to look at.  After I had chosen my computer, I turned around and saw the large group again. and that's when I realized what was going on.  There was a young girl there getting a laptop from the Make-A-Wish Foundation!  I stood there for a second or two watching them, but didn't want to seem like I was staring so I left and walked towards the registers to pay for my stuff.  I'm glad I got to see that though.

I finally got to talk to the oncologist last week.  Surprisingly, he said that Chico's chemo would last the rest of his life!  I thought it would only be like 6-8 months or something, but no...  When I asked how long it would extend Chico's life, he didn't really have an answer but he did say that it tends to work better when animals have lower white blood cell counts.  Chico's are off the charts, so I asked if I should consider not doing it then.  He said it wasn't unreasonable to want to try it.  My next question was how long Chico would have if I decided not to do anything at all.  He replied that all dogs are different so he really couldn't say.  Chico could be fine for a few more weeks, a few more months, or even a year before showing any other symptoms of the cancer.  The chemo and blood work would probably be about $200 a month.

I've thought about it a lot and I think I'm not going to do the chemo.  As much as I want to, I don't know that I can afford $200 a month for the rest of his life.  It wouldn't be fair to start him on it and have to stop it because I can't afford it.  I felt awful having to open a GoFundMe account and felt like I was begging for money.  Plus he's so little and I worry that the chemo would be too difficult on him.  I want his life to be filled with love and happiness for whatever time he has left.  Thank you to everyone who contributed to his fund, it was a huge help and I will never forget your kindness.

The cell phone came with an awesome camera, 1000x better than the one on my iPod!  Shiver thinks that I've been talking about Chico a little too much lately and that it's his time on the blog now.  So here you go, a picture of the handsome Mr. Shiver!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Wreck It Monday

Flipping through my Wreck This Journal reminded me of how much I enjoyed doing the stains in this post.  I chose to do something similar this time.  The directions said to drip something on the page and close it.  I found some old paints from when I did ceramics a bazillion and 87 years ago and started with the yellow.  I liked the effect, but thought it might be fun to add in another color.  So I dripped brown paint on one side and green on the other, closed the book tight, rubbed it good from end to end and side to side a few times, opened it back up and waalaa...  
While certainly no masterpiece, I'm happy with it!  I thought the brown would have spread over both pages more, but I'm kinda glad it didn't - just makes it that much more interesting!  

Sorry the top one is sideways.  I didn't feel like fixing it. Because I'm lazy like that.  
In other news, I called the oncologist last week to ensure he'd gotten Chico's blood work results from the vet.  He wasn't available, so I left a message.  He finally called back Friday afternoon when I was out running errands and left a message.  He said it was good that the results hadn't changed because it meant Chico wasn't doing worse.  I think Chico's treatments will be roughly $200 a month, but I'm not sure how many months he'll have to continue them.  I still have questions that he didn't answer so I need to call back.  The oncologist doesn't work everyday, so I won't hear from him until Wednesday at the earliest.  

My laptop still doesn't want to charge.  :(  I've only tried a couple of times and got frustrated with it, so I've been using my ancient PC.  It isn't conducive to reading blogs because it freezes up frequently and takes forever and day to load pages sometimes, so I've only visited a few of you here and there.  I'm super hopeful that Santa might bring me a new laptop for Christmas, although I'm not really expecting him to.  I'm just thankful I at least have the PC because I'd go crazy without being able to go online everyday.  

Monday, November 30, 2015

Chico's Latest Update

Winter is here and the roads are getting nasty.  Rather than driving 60 miles two towns over, I felt it best to have Chico's bloodwork completed at our local vet's office, which is probably 5 miles away at best.  I took him in last week and was able to get his results back in about half an hour.

Everything was exactly the same.  There were no changes whatsoever!  I was really shocked because Chico had been doing so well!  He's gained weight, his sores have healed, his hair is growing back.  And yet his white blood cell count is sky high.  This was so not the news I had wanted to hear!  I know the steroid is only treating the symptoms and not the cancer, but I truly thought he would be doing better!

The vet reminded me that his office doesn't offer chemo treatments, so anything further regarding Chico's cancer will all need to come from the oncologist's office.  The vet did give me another refill of the steroid meds, at least.

So that's where we stand as of right now.  I haven't decided what to do from here.  I would love to get him the chemo treatments, but I don't have the money.  There really isn't anything closer where we could go for his treatments, and the roads are just going to get worse as winter progresses.  At the same time, he's my responsibility, which means I need to do all I can for him.  My heart is breaking for him.

In addition to the steroids, the groomer place where he gets his nails trimmed recommended green beans for his dry skin.  I've just started giving him a little bit of ginseng too, which is supposed to help kill cancer cells.  So far he seems to be tolerating it well.  He only gets a little bit each day though because he's so little.

My laptop has decided it doesn't want to charge again, so I haven't been able to get around to say hello.  Anyone wanna buy me a new laptop for Christmas?  J/K  I need to fight with it some more and hopefully get it charged up again.  And then I'm not going to move it from there unless I absolutely have to!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Wreck It Monday

Lynne was kind enough to send me a Wreck This Journal recently and I wanted to play along.  She usually does her posts on Wednesday's, but I'm doing mine today since I do Wordless Wednesday.  I don't know how often I'll post these, but I'm sure I'll do at least a few here and there.

The stain log looked fun and easy enough, so I started with that one.  Because I knew I'd quickly forget what the stains were, I decided to notate each one.  I made a mess with the Pepsi and accidentally poured it all down the side.  Oops!  Some of the stains are barely visible in the pictures (like the beer and eyeshadow), but are obvious in person.  If you have your own journal, you should join in the fun!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November Chewy Review

My boys can't get enough of  And who can blame them?  I'd love a company who sent me free treats to review and provided great service too!  This month we ordered the True Chews Premium Jerky Cuts dog treats.  We were sent a very generous 12 oz. portion which will last the chi's for awhile since they generally only get one treat a day.  They're nice and soft too, which means even Chico can eat them with his bad teefs.  I cut one peice in half, which they're not happy about.  They think they should both get one full piece each and every time.

As you can see from the bag, they're made with real sirloin steak!  They do not contain corn, wheat, or soy.  Even better, they're made right here in the USA, so you know the ingredients are safe.  All my boys care about though is just that they taste good.  The way they gobbled them down, I can attest that they apparently taste delicious!
I was bound and determined to get some pix of the boys enjoying these since the last few reviews I wasn't able to catch them quick enough.  Between the poor quality iPod camera and the fact that Chico would not stay still, this is the best I could manage.  You can see him here with half a treat in his mouth, trying to get away from Shiver.

A 12 oz bag sells for $11.99, or you can get a 22 oz bag for $19.99.  If you set these up for autoship, they're even cheaper!  Plus you would never have to worry about running out.  The boys give these 8 paws up.  Thank you, Chewy, for allowing my chi's the opportunity to sample these.

We were not compensated financially for this post, but were provided free samples of dog treats in return for our honest opinions.

Thank you for the continued contributions for Chico's cancer treatments.  I counted out his pills yesterday and he has about a two week supply.  I'll call next week and make an appointment for another blood test.  I think he's doing better since the sores are completely gone and his lymph nodes have gone down, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that his white blood cell count has gone down.

(c) Copyright 2010 Zany Dezines. Premade Layout from Zany Dezines.