Monday, September 29, 2008

Pay It Forward...

The childhood game of tag has gone high tech! Blog tag is running rampant around the Internet these days, and today I got tagged!! Thanks Angie!

So the rules are like this -- I have to tell you 6 random things about myself and then "pay it forward" to the next 6 unsuspecting victims, I mean bloggers!! So here goes:

1) Today is my birthday!! I am 21 today, hehe
2) I had an uncle with no nose (legit, it's true)
3) Angie may be addicted to Bath & Body Works "Coconut Lime Verbena", but I am fully addicted to "Vanilla Bean Noel". So much so that I have to stock up for the full year each holiday since it's only available Oct-Dec.
4) I am an only child (big surprise since I am a spoiled brat!!)
5) I eat at the SAME restaurant every Friday night (with a rare exception!!)
6) I am a sales person - and all the sales jobs I have had have been for food... candy, chips, beer and now, chocolate milk!!!

Yikes - that's harder than it looks. I mean, I didn't want to bore you to tears! If I have tagged you, here are the rules!!!
1. Link to the person that tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random facts about yourself.
4.Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged.
6. Let the taggers know when your entry is up.

So I will tag the following:
1) Rachel: I've raved about her $ saving blog, well now here is her adoption blog.
2) Charlotta Cum Laude: A long time college friend and HYSTERICAL person/blogger. Her blog is private during a job search, so for now, you'll just have to trust me.
3) Sarah: Wife of a classmate of mine (funny how you meet people, eh?) and all around funny friend.
4) Robbin: A fellow Michigander, single PAP who keeps me laughing through her blog.
5) Heidi: Waiting for her court date, so she needs a quick distraction!!
6) And finally, last but never least: Amy: My college partner in crime and sorority sister.

Enjoy all :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Spa See Ba"

Спасибо, Gracias, Merci, Bedankt, Danke, Grazie, धन्यवाद, Mulţumesc, Obrigado

To everyone for the well wishes and kind thoughts over the past week. It's been a trying week, but it truly helps to know that your friends are behind you. I am blessed to have each of you enter my life at some stage - even if our friendship has, at this point, only been "cyber"!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Any News Yet?

A few of the blogs I read have posted items on "keeping it real". I guess this topic could enter that field...

3 full months after my documents were sent to Russia, it's not uncommon for family and friends (especially those I don't see everyday) to ask "any news yet?" or "what's the latest?" or more specifically, "got the referral yet?". I have to say, I LOVE and at the same time, HATE these questions! I know that sounds silly and bratty and contradictory all wrapped up in one spoiled package.

This whole adoption business is a roller coaster of emotions. While my timeline is by no means the longest, there are families who for a variety of reason wait for years, with no major "issues" holding families back, it's hard to sit here and wait, wait, wait. It's frustrating knowing that there are (as reported many places) 600,000 - 700,000 orphans in Russia in need of homes and tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, here I sit. (I have warned you that I have no patience!!)

Watching other families celebrate their referrals is WONDERFUL, but it also brings home the realization that you are still waiting. Rumors fly on the adoption community forum message boards that some agencies are offering "instant" referrals for boys. The economy hits adoptive families too - and rumors are there are fewer now than "other times".

So please, keep asking the questions! I LOVE everyone showing their interest in my journey, but now you'll know why you may hear exasperation in my voice! It's not aimed at you, honest!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Good-bye, My Friend

Today I lost a wonderful friend. My little Russian Blue, Nougat, went to play in the catnip fields of heaven this afternoon. I am sure he was greeted by his old friend Gertie, who couldn't wait to see him again. I hope they are dining on their favorite treat, yogurt. My little Russian blue won't be here to meet my little Russian man.

Nougat came to me in 1997 after the passing of Snickers. Snickie's passing was sudden and left her companion, Murphy, and I missing an extra couple sets of feet in the condo. Murphy started his midnight howling in those days, and I knew I needed to find him a new friend. It was spring time and not many batches of kittens had been born yet - so believe it or not, I was struggling to find a new baby. I went to the local county shelter and they turned me down because I lived in a condo that would only allow us to have one pet. I finally located a pet store near me that had 3 kittens looking for a home. Against my normal judgement of not getting a "pet store pet", I went to visit - looking for a little girl. Before my eyes were 3 adorable solid grey kittens. One greeted me with such excitement that he ran up my arm and started nuzzling at my face. Sadly, this was a little boy kitty and I thought Murph would be better off with a female. I grabbed the female and went up to pay for my new kitty. Imagine my surprise when the man at the register says, "no this one is a boy too...". So I headed back and realized the one I really wanted was the nuzzler. And Nougat joined my family. We nuzzled for 11 1/2 years!

He was a wonderful cuddler, great pillow sleeper (hog) and all around mama's boy. I will miss you Mr. Nougat. Say hi to Gertie for me.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

True Hollywood Adoption Story

Do you ever watch True Hollywood Story (or THS for those "in the know")? If you do, you are likely aware of the bizarre "plot" line that accompanies most of the THS stories. Person X starts with nothing; struggles for their "art"; makes it big; finds drugs/alcohol/sex addiction; something tragic happens; redemption and happiness.
Oddly enough, after reading blog after blog, I have found a similar plot line in adoption stories. Sadly enough, it seems like right before many people's happy news of a referral/first trip or a court/second trip, something tragic happens in their family/lives. Typically, a close relative or pet passes away. I am BY NO MEANS making light of these scenarios. It is never easy to loose someone you love. Combined with the roller coaster of emotions that is the adoption process, I am surprised there aren't more meltdowns along the way.
So... get prepared, I have my own True Hollywood Adoption Story in the process. About two weeks ago, my 2nd oldest kitty, Nougat, started acting a little "wonky". That's a very scientific word, mind you. Years ago, he torn his ACL - just like a human can do, and ever since then he's been a HUGE mama's boy, but never really my social butterfly. But lately he has stuck to himself even more - hanging out under my bed or 1/2 behind the couch. So I took him to the vet and blood work commenced. His white blood count came back high - and she thought it was a virus. So he was on Clavamox for about 10 days and that ended Monday. She wanted to see him again after the blood work to see if it fixed things.
A couple of times over the last two weeks I have seen glimmers of the old Nougat, but he really still isn't himself. If I put him in bed with me, he'll purr and purr and purr. He still LOVES his attention, but he won't jump up on the bed or the cat window - seems like he has no energy. He hasn't been eating much either. So back to the vet we went today. She re-ran his blood work and the white blood count hasn't changed much at all, in fact some of the factors even increased. Her suspicion? Leukemia - not the feline (highly contagious) leukemia that they are vaccinated against, but the blood cancer leukemia. She did offer to hook me up with a specialist in the Detroit area, but I really can't see hauling this poor guy in the car all the time for 1.5 hours or so for kitty chemotherapy.
Her suggestion was to put him on some meds and see what happens. Prognosis? Not good. I'm spending my last time with Nougat. Not sure how long it will be, but it's happening. He even lost a full pound in the last two weeks since we were at the vet last. Not good on a 14.2 lb kitty. She assured me that he's not suffering - and in fact other than feeling not so peppy, he probably has no clue. So that's good -- if he was suffering I wouldn't have brought him home.
Keep my little grey boy in your thoughts. It could be a rough time for his mom!!!

ACL Surgery
On his window perch

Thursday, September 11, 2008

7 Years Later

It's hard to believe it's September 11th again. Where does the time go. Even harder to believe that it's been 7 years. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was living in Grand Rapids, MI, driving to Detroit for a meeting with some co-workers when the receptionist from our office called and told us what was going on. We tried to have the meeting, but obviously no one's minds and hearts were in it. When I reached home that night, I was shocked at how QUIET it was. I lived 8 miles from the airport in GR and was really used to hearing the planes.

Politics aside (I hate talking politics with groups of people because I think that everyone has their own views and isn't likely to be swayed), it was really nice to see the candidates attending the various memorials today. Like the days following 9/11, I found myself glued to the TV today watching all the various programs. Some of the channels (Discovery, History etc) have been running some great programs regarding that day and the events surrounding it. I can't get enough of those shows.

So, now I want to hear from you. Where you you that day? What do you remember? Do you watch the memorials/shows? Or is it too much?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Totally Unrelated to Adoption.... Need feedback!

Another household malfunction today! This time it wasn't the computer, nor the TV (which is still acting up), nor the light (but not the fan) of my bedroom ceiling fan but a necessary tool in this house.... the VACUUM.

Yes, with 4 kitties, the vacuum is my friend. And today, it started acting up. Acting up as in eating part of the carpet. No damage to the visible eye thank goodness, but instead of sucking things up, it started leaving little carpet poops all over. Very strange. I guess it is probably close to 8 years old - which really doesn't sound all that old to me in vacuum cleaner life. But, I have put it through the wringer with the multi-feline household. Not to mention when my hair was longer...

So anyway, here is where you come in. What vacuum do you use/recommend? Do you have pets? I am considering a Dyson... anyone have one? Thoughts?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Still Waiting!

Happy Short Work-Week! Since I am saving all my vacation for the big trips to Russia, there will be no more other breaks until Thanksgiving. Short work weeks are tricky. Earlier this week I felt like the world was moving slowly. Today, however I keep thinking in my mind that it's Wednesday -- and figuring out that it's Thursday keeps messing me up! Thankfully, I am starting to feel much better this week, however, I still have this lingering hacking cough. UGH.

Nothing major to report so far this week. I did receive a surprise phone call out of the blue from an old friend that I have known since about 1974! (Hi Pam!) She did a search for me and guess what -- she found my blog! How funny! I also start my 8 week aqua-aerobics class tonight. I am excited to start this as I miss my yoga classes. Although the prospect of getting in a bathing suit is rather scary! Wish me luck!