Friday, June 27, 2014

Ackbar Has a Hard Week

The most disgusting thing happened today.  It's up there on my top 10 list of most disgusting things I've ever seen.  Possibly the most disgusting...but maybe that's because it's so fresh.  I can't stop thinking about it and repicturing it in my head. 

Ackbar has been acting upset the last few days.  I thought it was his stink following him around.  Today he came up to me and meowed and laid down in the middle of the floor.  His food bowl was full and he rarely meows, so I decided to groom him.  He needed some special attention.  So I was brushing him.  His back, right behind the tail is where he gets dirtiest and gets most of his matts because he can't clean back there.  I was brushing it really good, and some black stuff came out of his fur.  I wasn't sure if it was flea gunk or a scab.  He's had scabs back there before.  So I was brushing it to the side and looking to see if I could see his skin, to make sure it was all okay and I saw something.  It was round and tan and gross.  At first I thought it was a maggot that had hatched/was growing in his skin.  I've seen that in our barn cats growing up.  Gross, but not disgusting.  Then...I saw the legs.  It was like a hard tan shell with little black legs coming out of the side, like they were longer but the brown shell thing was growing over them.  It was about the size of a dime.  I realized it was a giant bloated tick!  Ugh.  I did the gross dance and called for my mom.  Ackbar kept on trying to rub against my legs.  Josh came outside and looked at it and said to pull it out.  No way! I was (and am now) trying not to puke.  I made him go get my mom.  She was reluctant because she was busy filling out a mailing form on the internet, but I was persistent and still doing the gross dance.  She got some tweezers (she, at this point, didn't truly understand the size) and came out and helped get it off him.  UGH. It was disgusting.  He had a big bloody hole on his back, and a giant clump of skin and furr came off with the tick.

I didn't see this part, thank goodness, but Josh stepped on it.  He said it popped and a bunch of black goo blood came out the side.

Ackbar is very thankful.  I am still traumatized.

Monday, June 23, 2014


What an exciting summer this is turning out to be!  And I didn't even get to make the pilgrimage out to Colorado with the rest of the cousins.  Someday, I will have money and a bigger truck and a camper and a paid vacation in order to do so.

And that someday may be sooner than I think!  (Think in 2 years, not 10). 

Josh is sleeping with Lilly right now and my parents are out and about doing their things.  So it's just me, for once.  Why is Josh home on a weekday? Shouldn't he be working?  That's what you'd think right? What with a job through a temp agency at Magna assembling car door handles, there's no time for breaks and napping with babies.  Well, last week he over slept and was 30 min late to work.  The temp agency said that that is a money waster for the company and told him not to bother coming in again.  What a depressing day!  Oh, he over slept because his alarm on the phone did not go off for some reason unknown to us.  Yes, it was raining, but it was in airplane mode to save battery, and it's worked before in airplane mode.  All I know, it was a blessing from God.

Yes, a blessing.  Because that night he got a call from Gerber, and they want to hire him in to general assembly!  What an exciting happy day!  This is and what I can only pray, will be his final "real" job.  They pay a living wage (after his probation period), give benefits, and actively try to keep their workers once they're in.  And you want to know what I think? I think it was his degree that he finished that set him ahead of many of the rest of the applicants.  I mean, he has 9 or so years of food experience that applies when you are making baby food, he has a bachelors in biology and chemistry that applies when making baby food in a giant plant, and he's ready to settle down in a job for a long time.  We heard that it's extremely hard to get into Gerber's and one guy stayed out all night in a car waiting for the applications to be handed out the next morning before they started online applying.  We heard this after Josh applied online, without the help of all my friends' dads who work there.  Boy were we surprised when he got the call for the interview.

I'm a little early in announcing this, I wanted to wait until he started and settled in, but I'm just too excited.  So, if something happens, don't be surprised or sad or judging.  I'm trying my hardest not to count my eggs before they hatch, so I won't relax until he's in in in.

And on that note, I have a phone interview this week for a position at Gerber too!  I'm not going to get into it because it's just an interview and one thing I've learned is you don't get a job until after the interview.  Plus, if I don't get it the position, that's okay I want to stay home anyways.

Which brings me to another happy realization.  I've gotten an interview for every job I've applied for since I've moved.  I think this is due to my Master's Degree.  I just can't believe it's paying off!  I didn't get the jobs because I wasn't the right fit for the positions, and I agree with that.  It's absolutely important to me that I get a job I enjoy if I'm going to be away from Lilly.  Plus, to get all religious on you,  I do believe God has a plan for us and that's why it's taken so long to restart our lives here.  He's not going to let me get hired in until it's the job he wants me to have. 

Now the best news, due to Josh's early termination, he gets to spend three weeks at home with me and Lilly before he starts!  See, God knows what he's doing, messing up our cell phones and all.  Just in case you were wondering, Josh unpacked a Darth Vader alarm clock to use.  Courtesy of his sister Ryan.

Now, I know you are dying to know the results of our car being fixed. is fixed!  Both doors open properly, the wheel is not going to fall off, and it has AC.  It's like a brand new car except for the smell and the cigarette burns from the last owner.  (Did I ever mention that the car looks like shit? Runs great, ugly as hell.)  I fixed the door handle and it was a lot easier than I ever thought it would be.  I took off the door panel, the door handle casing, unlatched the window openers and automatic locking casing, (in a different order than I listed) and replaced the handle.  I put everything back on, and the last step was to snap back in the handle casing.  It wasn't going in, so I gave it a good shove, and snapped out a plastic latch part I hadn't put in place properly! So there is now a big hole in it.  Yes, I broke part of it on the very last step.  It's okay though, it just adds to the broken plastic appearance of the car.

This morning I got up and the house smelled of sesame oil.  I didn't know when we cooked with it, but it was pretty strong.  Then I brought Ackbar his breakfast in the hallway, and it smelled even stronger out there.  How can that be?  I sniffed again and thought about it.  Our house smells not of sesame seed oil, but of skunk!  Pretty badly too.  Ackbar did not get sprayed, he smells delicious, like kitty cat.  So, as far as I can imagine, a skunk walked up to our house, said, Screw You, and sprayed it.  With his two, independently controlled stink sphincters. You should research skunks, they are quite amazing, and have the greatest chance of all animals of having rabies. 

Lilly is almost one year old.  She has gotten so big!  She likes to dance and crawl very fast while yelling.  She loves to go outside, but she is afraid of touching grass.  And leaves and tree branches.  She is afraid of barking dogs but not dogs that don't bark.  This morning she was terrified of a blue beach volleyball and screamed bloody murder when I rolled it at her.  We've worked her through that fear and now she can throw it away from her.  Lilly does not like going to sleep or changing her clothes or being forced to sit in her car seat.  She does like riding in the cart at Walmart and at the grocery store.  She loves grapes and strawberries and baby food pouches and drinking water.

Ackbar is coming to realize that his life is no longer as peaceful as it used to be and that it will no longer be so.  He sleeps on my dads chair, and Lilly crawls up and yells at him and touches him.  So he gets up and goes and sleeps on our bed. (It's his fault he chooses her nap spot as his own napping spot).  I bring her in to nap, and she yells at him and grabs at him there.  So he gets up and goes to sleep back on the chair.  She wakes up and finds him and makes him move once more.  Once, I put her on the bed (it was dark in the room) and I laid down next to her and there was something there.  I yelled in fear, and it turns out I laid on Ackbar.

This picture is from the end of May.  She is bigger now.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Adventures In Town

Well, well, well.  Summer is here.  It sure did sneak in.  Sometimes I'm not sure if it is or not.  I mean, the leaves are out, and it gets warm, but everyday I wake up and put on pants and a long sleeve shirt.  I think about last year when I would have been wearing my shortest skirts and smallest tanktops for about 2 months by now.  I suppose part of it is that there are so many mosquitoes here.  I can't go outside as much as I'd like and I can't set Lilly up in the shade because we will both be sucked dry by them.  And I'm one of those people who aren't (normally) bothered by mosquitoes!  For a while there Lilly looked like a little measles victim with all her little red dots.  Luckily they don't seem to bother her.

Yesterday was a hot and muggy day though, but it was Monday, and that means errands day.  I packed Lilly up and a big pop up camper porch tarp and headed into town.  First we dropped what I hope is a porch tarp for a pop up at the JNJ Online Auction building.  The tarp screen thing came from my MIL new used pop up camper.  She didn't want it, and I said, I can try selling it at the JNJ.  The JNJ Online Auction is like a We Sell It On EBAY story, only they have their own site.  They do all the work for me, even taking the pictures, and their cut is 2$ or 15%.  So we'll see how much I make.

Next it was Library Time!  There Lilly made friends with a really nice guy.  I feel like I talked to him in the library before, 6 months ago.  He LOVES kids and babies.  I remember him because he sets off my gaydar then and now, but he has two kids of his own.  That doesn't mean he doesn't have a husband, but I think he mentioned his wife last time.  Anyways, he's very personable and chatty and told me that kids just get better and more fun everyday.  Even through all the hard stuff and even when they grow up to be 5 and 8.  That's just what I need to hear.  Most people who comment on this topic complain about how hard kids are and tell me to enjoy Lilly while she is little and "easy" to take care of.  I agree with this guy though, Lilly does get more fun everyday and everyday the hard things get easier, and new things get harder.

We signed up for the Kids Summer Reading Program and I signed up for the Adult Summer Reading Program.  I've been asking about when this starts once a week for the past two months.  FINALLY!  I LOVE the summer reading programs.  I still use a coffee mug that says "Reading is Dino-mite!" with a dinosaur on it that I won one year.  Lilly wrinkled all of my papers for me.  That was very helpful.  Then she picked out a book on tape for Grandma, Beloved, but Grandma already heard it.  She helped me pick out a book too, Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit.  It was from the display of books that I need to read from for the Adult Summer Reading Program.

After the library, we went to the bank.  I was going to go in and tell them to stop sending me blank checks to fill out and use as unlimited credit money because what if they get into the wrong hands?  I don't like it.  But it was too hot and Lilly was missing her nursing and nap time.  Instead we went through the drive-thru teller and did our banking.

Last, we did the hardest part.  And you thought going to the JNJ Online Auction store was the hardest part!  Nope.  We went to my dad's mechanic and I had to get an estimate on fixing the car.  We decided to fix it up and drive it this summer instead of selling it as is and buying a new car.  I'm going to get the passenger door fixed so it opens all the way.  He told me he can pry the door panel out but it's going to scratch the paint.  I laughed at that.  No one will notice a few more scratches.  I'm going to get teh AC fixed because for some reason, I don't mind not having AC in Nashville...but here...oh no, I must have it.  I don't understand myself sometimes.  And finally, he's going to fix the bearings on the left tire, so it won't feel like the wheel is going to fall off.

But, wait, you ask, what about the driver's inside door handle? Aren't you going to get that fixed?  No, no I'm not going to get it fixed.  I'm going to fix it myself!!!  That's right.  I ordered the part for $4 and watched a video on YouTube.  I feel fully confident in my abilities to fix it up.  I just have to take off the door panel, switch out the handle, and then screw the panel back on.

And despite the heat, the lack of sleep and no milks, Lilly didn't cry once.  She loves adventures and going to town.