Living Maintenance - Maintainers Weekly Chat June 2 - June 8




BillBlueEyes
06-02-2014, 06:09 AM
I've been out on my bicycle twice this weekend. Felt great to divert from my planned trajectory to go explore some yard sales and the open house for a newly renovated condo nearby. When I'm walking, I tend to stick to the path.

June means warm weather, right?


JayEll
06-02-2014, 07:13 AM
Here in Florida, June means it's summer already, with highs in the low 90s and lows in the mid-70s. And rain every afternoon. Steamy. This is the season where we stay indoors a lot.

A pair of red-bellied woodpeckers have set up housekeeping in a tree in our neighbors' front yard. The female is busy pecking away inside the hole, doing renovations.

Mudpie
06-02-2014, 09:28 AM
I went out without a jacket both days this past weekend (except for kayaking - needed one for that) and the weather is still gorgeous and sunny today. :yay:

Bill You've reminded me of another task - getting our bikes tuned up. I really like to ride on the trails in the park system near our house.

Good week all!

Dagmar :bike:


paperclippy
06-02-2014, 09:29 AM
Summer has come a little early here too. High of 86 yesterday and roasting sun! The humidity wasn't terrible at least. I sometimes feel like I've become a wuss by living here because where I grew up summer temperatures are regularly in the 95-105 range between March and October, but now 86 feels like I'm burning alive. :lol: On the other hand I now go out in short sleeves when it's 50 degrees, so...

Poor DH who hates sunscreen is going to be miserable because while he can take on the risk to himself of not putting on sunscreen, he's not going to take that risk with our kids. This means he's got to get "yucky greasy" sunscreen on his hands in order to get them covered in it. :lol: He claims even after washing with soap that he's still greasy. It's entirely in his head -- I use the same sunscreen and it's a non-greasy formula and washes off nicely with soap.

In other news, I didn't bring my breast pump to work with me today. Yesterday I made it all day without having to pump in the middle, so my last excuse for not exercising is now gone. We'll see how today goes. I caught a cold over the weekend so probably not going to do much other than walk a bit anyway, plus I managed to get blisters from walking too much in my sandals this weekend.

Also, A took her first steps yesterday! Now both girls have done it, though they haven't really repeated it. We will have walkers soon!

We made an appointment with our vet to discuss Carter on Wednesday and are trying not to think about it until then (beyond more vigilance than usual with him & babies). If there are no other viable options and we have to euthanize we will probably wait until next week so we can spend the weekend taking him to do all his favorite activities.

Shannon in ATL
06-02-2014, 10:37 AM
Andrea - love the gazebo you put the picture of last week. We put up a gazebo with a mosquito net last year. One warning - tie the sides back if you aren't using it or rain and wind can damage the netting. We learned that the hard way.

alinnell
06-02-2014, 11:05 AM
The weather here is cooling off a bit this week. And with that we also get wind. There are a few high clouds but nothing to cause humidity so we can still use our evaporative coolers. Last week it was too humid for them to work effectively so we had to turn on the regular A/C. I don't sleep as well with the A/C on as it gets too hot and then too cold. And it costs more. The longer we can use the evaporative coolers the lower our electric bill will be at the end of the year.

CalCounter1003
06-02-2014, 06:59 PM
Weather here in central Florida is super hot, humid and some rain storms to cool it off for five minutes. My DD says the weather is amazing in Monterey! Can't wait! I leave on June 26th. She loves the area. I thought she would end up staying in NYC after graduation but I can tell after five days out west she has other ideas! But it's wherever she gets a job. She tells me she has to start interviewing in Sept for her May graduation.

Jessica, they are going to be so cute running around together!!!! Such a cute age! My kids hated sunscreen but I was relentless. Florida sun is nothing to mess with and we are all fair skinned. They still burned occasionally, ugh! Especially faces even though I kept them covered.

Alison, never heard of an evaporative cooler. Looking it up!

alinnell
06-02-2014, 07:03 PM
Alison, never heard of an evaporative cooler. Looking it up!

Also known as a swamp cooler. They only work in very arid locales. They'd never fly in Florida!

neurodoc
06-02-2014, 08:27 PM
Jessica, I hate getting sunscreen on my hands, and I have fish-belly white skin that requires constant screening. I have been very happy with the new spray-on sunscreens for body, and use a stick (like Chapstick only bigger) on faces. Bonus is that squirmy kids hold still much better for these too.

Also, for what it's worth, Loki once again bit one of my sons (not hard enough to draw blood, but hard enough to hurt) when he approached too close to DH while the dog was lying next to DH on the couch. After much heartache and discussion, we have decided he needs to go, and I am now looking for a new home for him without children. Since he's never been a problem with adults, I don't think we actually have to put him down, but at age 6, he may not be adoptable :>(

paperclippy
06-03-2014, 09:20 AM
Andrea, sorry about Loki. DH and I have discussed whether or not rehoming Carter would be possible but given that he's 10 years old, disabled, and is neither friendly to other dogs or to strangers, it would be a really hard sell. I'm also not sure whether there are legal implications in putting an aggressive dog up for adoption. We are still holding on to a little bit of hope that the vet might find that there is something physically wrong with him that is causing his increased aggression, but mostly we are feeling really guilty about the whole thing (the "if I had just worked harder on training him," or "maybe if we kept him separated from the kids 100% of the time we could work this out" kind of thoughts).

ICUwishing
06-03-2014, 09:30 AM
Andrea, I'm sorry you and Jessica are both having to make these decisions. :(

Jessica - They haven't repeated the walking because they're gearing up to go straight to top-speed running. ;) My DS waited quite a while to walk, but walking only lasted him about a week. Then it was off to the races! I've been trying to keep up ever since ...

Beautiful weather where I'm at, also. It's wonderful being able to sleep with the windows open again! Hoping this is DH's last week in KY. I'm getting too used to him being gone. :lol:

Shannon in ATL
06-03-2014, 12:14 PM
Andrea and Jessica - :hug:

traveling michele
06-03-2014, 12:18 PM
Andrea-- I'm very sorry to hear about Loki and I hope you can find a wonderful home for him. When my mom passed away, we "inherited" her Yorkie. He hated living with us. He growled and snapped at everyone-- pottied everywhere-- it was awful. I had small kids, dogs and cats and he was overwhelmed. I agonized over what to do. We amazingly found an older couple that loved him. He went everywhere with them and as far as I know, it was a match made it heaven.

Jessica-- my heart breaks for you. Please know that you have done so much more than most people would have to try to make things work and you shouldn't feel guilty. It's only natural to feel guilty, but you can't have your girls at risk. I hope that someday down the road (if you do decide to euthanize Carter), you all will be ready to add another doggie to your family.

I had an interesting encounter yesterday at bikram yoga and I feel like I may have helped someone-- that's always a good feeling.... I also donated blood yesterday on my day off so I guess I did two good deeds. But, back to my story... I took a morning class and there was a new woman in class (several newbies actually)-- I noticed her as being very underweight and I wondered what her story was. After class she stopped me and we had a long conversation. She told me she's pretty much addicted to cardio-- doing cardio and running at least 1.5 hours a day. She said her body hurts and she feels like she's doing damage to it. She told me my body/figure was amazing and I was a "freak of nature" at yoga. It was humbling to hear that from a stranger. I tried to assure her that yoga is an all around great workout (cardio, strength training, etc) and I think/hope she's going to back off the gym and give it a try. I also talked to my yoga friend Sunday night-- we went to see Cee Lo Greene and Lionel Richie in concert!! She is quite thin and I know she does bikram most days plus runs. She also told me that she has body/food/exercise issues and we talked a lot about it. I guess I need to remind myself that no matter what someone looks like (thin, heavy, etc), I really don't know them internally and I should never ever think I do.

My own weight is now back down to where I want it and lower than it's been in a couple of years. The last time I got down this low, I thought I might get too thin (ha ha), and I allowed myself too many splurges/vacations, etc. I gained and had a heck of a time getting back down. I'm trying to remind myself that even if I got a few pounds underweight (which I doubt would ever happen), it certainly is easy to put pounds back on. My vacations this summer will certainly help with that!

alinnell
06-03-2014, 12:25 PM
Sending good thoughts to Andrea and Jessica. It's got to be such a stressful situation to know what is right to do. ((hugs))

canadjineh
06-03-2014, 01:27 PM
Hi all just checking in for a quick read....
We had a nest of Brewer's blackbirds on the back corner of our house under the eaves and have been watching it carefully since we don't want to remove it until the babies were fledged & out of the nest. Yesterday when I came home I saw what I thought was a chunk of steel wool in the grass of our side yard (my DH uses it all the time for work) and I went to pick it up, but when I got closer, it blinked at me! LOL, it was one of the babies and the papa bird was watching in the fir tree nearby.
I just stood there for a while and watched it then I did the "chirk" call that they do all the time here and the baby perked up and began "chirk"ing back - so did papa, getting a little excited and deciding maybe I was a threat...

I backed off and just watched from the porch as the baby flapped around and followed papa while he was hunting for dinner in the grass. Lots of "chirk"ing going on between the two and poor papa was kept busy feeding the little beggar. Later the momma joined in and they were so cute to watch. Not sure where the baby is today as I had supper to make, and police patrol to go out on last night. I hope he is OK and has learned to fly better by now. There are cats around sometimes so I worry a bit.

A little interlude with nature always gets me feeling happy inside.
Liana

CalCounter1003
06-03-2014, 06:25 PM
Michele, wow, that is sad about the over exercising. You must be a good listener!

Liana, love the bird story! How cute!

Sheila53
06-03-2014, 06:40 PM
Also, for what it's worth, Loki once again bit one of my sons (not hard enough to draw blood, but hard enough to hurt) when he approached too close to DH while the dog was lying next to DH on the couch. After much heartache and discussion, we have decided he needs to go, and I am now looking for a new home for him without children. Since he's never been a problem with adults, I don't think we actually have to put him down, but at age 6, he may not be adoptable :>(

I don't know if you're willing to work with him if you find it hard to rehome him (here's hoping that's not the case!), but this sounds like resource guarding, which can sometimes be a fixable problem. One of the ways to deal with this is using the nothing in life is free (NILIF) program. I had success with a resource guarding dog, but it can be pretty time consuming, which is difficult when you have work, family, etc. I definitely understand the heartache that goes into these decisions.

Mudpie
06-03-2014, 07:17 PM
I don't know if you're willing to work with him if you find it hard to rehome him (here's hoping that's not the case!), but this sounds like resource guarding, which can sometimes be a fixable problem. One of the ways to deal with this is using the nothing in life is free (NILIF) program. I had success with a resource guarding dog, but it can be pretty time consuming, which is difficult when you have work, family, etc. I definitely understand the heartache that goes into these decisions.

Could also be dominance due to no firm leadership so Loki is assuming the beta role- adults in the family are alphas so he's not biting them but is biting the subordinate (in his mind) children. Also quite fixable but takes time and work and co-operation from the whole family.

IMO it's always a good idea to think about the dog's training before getting the dog, rather than as an afterthought. Many dogs would be happier were their humans clearly in charge and giving them rules and boundaries to follow.

Dagmar

ICUwishing
06-04-2014, 09:01 AM
I've had to be the lone voice in the wilderness about not getting a dog, for the very reasons Dagmar cites. Absolutely dogs are marvelous companions and family members ... however, they require almost the same dedication as a child and there's multiple very good reasons I stopped at one kid. :D

I'm going to do something drastic tonight. I have been neglecting the pool and swimming since the state meet (last weekend in April). Tonight the team is doing a one-hour swim for distance. I committed to going. :eek:

paperclippy
06-05-2014, 10:49 AM
Update on Carter -- we met with the vet and had a very frank conversation with him. He said the behaviors Carter is exhibiting are classic separation anxiety and aggression behaviors. The outcome is that he gave us a two-week trial of an antidepressant to help reduce Carter's anxiety to see how much it can help. If it is a big improvement, then we can talk about long-term management of the situation. If it doesn't help at all, we will likely have to euthanize him as he is not adoptable. I'm hoping for the best right now. We gave him the first dose last night and this morning he came over to my side of the bed as soon as I woke up, which he used to do every morning but hasn't done in months. I know it's probably wishful thinking and meds don't act quite that quickly, but I feel like there is hope. FWIW the vet said he thought it was definitely worth a shot to try medication and that he wouldn't want to euthanize without at least trying this first.

In any case we will be checking in with the vet in about a week to update on how and if Carter's behavior changes. He was pretty candid about the fact that the medication may not help and because everyone responds differently to medication, it may make things worse instead of better, so we are keeping a very close eye on Carter when the babies are out and about.

In other news DH was planning to take the girls to a playdate with our twins club today. Hopefully it goes okay! They have been a handful the past few days since they're teething again. Somehow they went a whole year with no teeth and are now getting ALL of their teeth at once.

saef
06-05-2014, 11:20 AM
But, back to my story... I took a morning class and there was a new woman in class (several newbies actually)-- I noticed her as being very underweight and I wondered what her story was. After class she stopped me and we had a long conversation. She told me she's pretty much addicted to cardio-- doing cardio and running at least 1.5 hours a day. She said her body hurts and she feels like she's doing damage to it. She told me my body/figure was amazing and I was a "freak of nature" at yoga. It was humbling to hear that from a stranger. I tried to assure her that yoga is an all around great workout (cardio, strength training, etc) and I think/hope she's going to back off the gym and give it a try. I also talked to my yoga friend Sunday night-- we went to see Cee Lo Greene and Lionel Richie in concert!! She is quite thin and I know she does bikram most days plus runs. She also told me that she has body/food/exercise issues and we talked a lot about it. I guess I need to remind myself that no matter what someone looks like (thin, heavy, etc), I really don't know them internally and I should never ever think I do.


I can relate to this woman, as it's been a struggle with me to cut back on cardio from a non-negotiable hour daily to as little as 15 minutes on lifting days. Now my addiction is to exercise in general. I don't seem to acknowledge walking all day as "counting," either.

Watch that woman, Michele, as it's possible to become addicted to Bikram yoga, and for me, anyway, I just seem to replace one addiction or compulsion with another. Once, it was food -- now it's getting in exercise.

Yesterday I had a revelation and I'm going to try it: I'm going to give myself permission to be average, ordinary, to fail and fall short. My goal is to remove the "better than" from the "feeling less than so must be better than to be equal to."

JayEll
06-05-2014, 03:22 PM
Jessica, I think your vet's idea is a good one to try. Sometimes anxiety just needs to be dealt with with medication. I hope it works!

saef (whose name I must always type twice because autocorrect wants it to be "safe"), there is a lot to be said for being average and ordinary.

Back in the mid-1980s, a friend of mine held the opinion that equal rights for women was a silly campaign, because really good women could and did get to the top. She mentioned Marie Curie.

I told her, "We're not talking about geniuses getting ahead. There are always a few exceptional people one can point to. What we're talking about is your average, everyday, run-of-the-mill female engineer. Your typical, ordinary female chemist. Where are they?"

At that time and earlier, they were rare. Meanwhile, the guys who got Bs and Cs had good paying jobs in technical fields.

Society has advanced to where women are much more represented in scientific and technical jobs, as well as in medicine, research, and business. But I always keep in mind that women shouldn't have to be "exceptional" to get there.

I have noticed that my feeling of "less than," on those rare occasions when it comes up, have to do with my being female. No matter how well I perform, how much more work I do, how much I achieve, that is always going to be there. But really, it's only one more story in this make-believe world we live in.

ICUwishing
06-05-2014, 03:49 PM
Jessica, good to hear that you at least have something to try for Carter. Will keep my fingers crossed. Andrea - maybe Loki could try that too?

saef, that sounds sane. I used to try to be the best at everything I did - I'm finding that trying instead to be the happiest at everything is working far, far better. In some areas of my life, getting happy has brought far more "success" than extra effort ever did. Fave quote: "Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have." It's a worthy pursuit, IMHO. I'm also finding that there's a darn fine middle ground called "contented" that's working quite nicely. :)

traveling michele
06-05-2014, 05:35 PM
Watch that woman, Michele, as it's possible to become addicted to Bikram yoga, and for me, anyway, I just seem to replace one addiction or compulsion with another. Once, it was food -- now it's getting in exercise.



I thought of that too-- I hope she doesn't ADD bikram to what she's already doing.

Jessica-- I'm praying the doggie meds work wonders for Carter!!

Mudpie
06-05-2014, 06:31 PM
Becky I found that middle ground of "contented" years ago, after being either super over-achieving or a total slacker at various things. It's totally good to be satisfied with life. I don't constantly have to strive to be better, thinner, somewhere else, etc. nor do I have to beat myself up for not being good enough or trying hard enough.

Dagmar :cool:

neurodoc
06-05-2014, 10:06 PM
Becky, alas, I've already been down the medication road- our Vet tried Loki with Prozac last summer. It just made him sleep more but didn't change the resource-guarding. No, I've been talking to the Lansing Animal Placement Bureau- a volunteer-run dog rescue operation in our area that is an alternative to the local humane society shelter. The woman thinks she's identified a foster placement for Loki in another town, and if it works out, he'll be moving out on Sunday. I haven't told the kids yet since it may not happen. I know my middle son will be devastated (he's the only one in the family who's still super-attached to the dog).

Saef, I really respect you for working on that. Another way to put it, I think, is that you are going to work on accepting yourself as you are, not as who you should be, or wish to be, or others think you are. This is a very good goal. Have you ever read Geneen Roth? Her teachings may resonate with you.

CalCounter1003
06-05-2014, 10:39 PM
Jessica, hope it works! My DD got all her teeth around 1 also. My DS got them way before that age.

Saef, I can relate to trading one addiction for another. I'm addicted to my walking DVDs at the moment, feeling stressed when I go to monterey that I won't be able to do them. My DD said "mom! Why would you want to exercise inside when the weather here is so perfect?" Ummm because I love my routine!

traveling michele
06-06-2014, 10:15 AM
Totally non food/diet/health related question but need y'alls opinions.

If you were invited to a baby shower at a restaurant, would you assume the host(s) were paying for your meal? I'm totally unsure of the etiquette. One of my parent volunteers/friends is PG and another parent volunteer/friend and I are planning a baby shower for her. We have been debating a tea room (high tea) or at my friend's house (and we cook and/or cater). At first PG friend said it would just be herself and her two daughters so we thought we'd do the tea room. Yesterday, we started talking about booking it and she is now thinking there'd be about 12 people there. The cost of the tea is $25 (not including gratuity, etc) per person. I'm thinking the hosts are still responsible for the cost?

JayEll
06-06-2014, 11:27 AM
Gosh, Michele, I wouldn't assume so. Best to ask.

paperclippy
06-06-2014, 01:19 PM
Michele, I would assume the hosts were paying unless I was specifically told otherwise. If I go to a baby shower at someone's house, the host typically provides food, so I would expect a restaurant to be the same. That said, if they asked me to pay, I wouldn't be offended or anything (though I might be less likely to attend).

CalCounter1003
06-06-2014, 05:41 PM
Michele, I would assume the hosts were paying. In fact I hosted a shower 22 years ago at a tea room with a few friends and we did pay for the meals. I just saw on FB that the baby who the shower was for just graduated from college so thats how I know it was that long ago!

saef
06-06-2014, 07:50 PM
Michele, I'd ask, to save embarrassment later. Listen: I've got affluent friends who are extremely mindful of etiquette and order their stationery for thank-you notes from the same stationers that their parents and grandparents used. They'd pay. But I've also got far less-well-off family members who just don't think this way, & who'd think such a gathering is like spontaneously meeting up in a bar, where everyone pays for their own drinks.

Megan1982
06-08-2014, 09:55 AM
Michele, I would assume I would be paying for my own tea etc in that situation. I've been to a number of baby showers at restaurants, more than at houses actually, and they are always pay your own way.

traveling michele
06-08-2014, 10:26 AM
Interesting the mixed opinions. I think the other host and I have agreed to split the costs for everyone. Now I have to start thinking about baby boy decorations, etc!

Shannon in ATL
06-09-2014, 09:43 AM
Michele - I would assume no. I've gone to several baby showers at tea rooms and restaurants, the hosts have all paid for a few appetizers and non alcoholic drinks, and usually brought a cake, everyone else paid for their own.