Friday, December 28, 2007

Let's End on a Positive Note, Shall We?

I really don't like putting a highly negative post on this site, it's just a downer every time I look at it. So I decided I need to write a positive post to make up for it.

It's snowing here. Not the crazy nasty storm we were suppose to get, but rather a slow, lazy snow that is kind of swirling around. It's been a very nice view out of my window at work all day today. Very conducive to sipping on tea.

Since doing my ride along w/ our police Sergeant, I'm not longer scared spitless of him. He came into dispatch today and I was actually able to hold a conversation and joke with him without shivering in my boots. I've also been much more confident in my work, which has been great.

Now that the holidays are over, I once again have the motivation to eat right and get more healthy. Thank goodness.

Both Nathan and I got several gift cards to Home Depot for Christmas, which is something we specifically asked for because our bathroom is in severe need of an overhaul. So next weekend we're hoping to head to Ontario (depending on road conditions) to pick out a new bathtub, shower surround, and sink to install. This, in turn, will force us to go work out for a while because we won't have a working shower and we'll have to use the gym showers.

We ordered Guitar Hero III for the Wii from Walmart.com the other day. It should be here between the 3rd and the 7th. Big yay there!

Our plans for New Year's keep getting better and better. Either we're going to stay in town on the 31st, go to Barley's for a bit, and head home at a reasonable hour OR we're going to see if our friends' cabin up at Anthony Lakes (the local ski area) is available and spend the night there on the 31st. Then, either way, we're going skiing/snowboarding New Year's Day. Sounds like an excellent plan to me, darn it!

I love how our blog page looks now. It makes me happy. I figured I needed to change it, since it's most definitely not Christmas anymore, but couldn't find a New Years theme that I liked. So it's a winter theme instead.

...and the more I look at that blue and tan together, the more I really want to paint a room some combination of those colors...hmmm.

Disenchanted with People

I try not to post too much negative stuff on here, but sometimes a girl just needs to unload.

What happened to caring about your friends, and thinking about how your actions are going to affect them? What's with all the drama? And why the heck are all my tried-and-true friend so far away?!

Last night, a friend of ours met Nathan and I at Barley's for dinner and some beer. It was suppose to be a girl's night, but that kind of fizzled when all the girls we know were either busy or out of town. It started out as just this friend and I, but the entire time they were complaining about how it was just the two of us, and saying that we needed to find more people. Ok, not a big deal...if this weren't the same thing this friend does EVERY time we hang out. After a while, you start to wonder if you're company just kind of sucks.

Finally I offered to call Nathan to come down until some of our other friends could show up. He got there, we played some darts, then this friend noticed that another friend of theirs was sitting at the bar. Our friend asked if we could go sit with her at the bar...cool, no big deal...until we got to the bar and noticed that there was only one free seat next to her. So instead of asking her if she would like to join us at the big table we had been at, our friend looks at us, shrugs, and accepts our "guess we'll go sit back over there" without question. So we left, which our friend didn't even notice.

Now let me say right here and now...I am not a needy person. In fact, I am incredibly independent. But if you're my friend, I do expect you to treat me with the same care and respect that I'm willing to give you. I called my friend on what they did last night, and their response was "I hope you find some friends who can give you all of their attention." Do I call every day? No. Do I try to hang out with you every day? No. Do I monopolize your time? No. All I ask is that, if we're hanging out together, you don't ditch me and make me feel like crap whenever the notion takes you. Doesn't seem like much to ask.

I'm tired of getting walked on. I've had a couple friends do the same thing to me, and I'm kind of getting the same thing at work. Well forget that. I'm done. If I work with you, I'm not letting you treat me like I'm incompetent or let you make me look bad. If you're a friend, I will stand by you and be the best friend I can as long as you hold up your end of the deal also. I understand that there are going to be times when we're not going to be at our best, I respect that and will be there if you need a shoulder or a drinking buddy, but I'm done giving people 5th and 6th chances to walk all over me.

Maybe I've been ruined by the fact that I've had some absolutely freakin' amazing friends who I would bend over backwards for and who would do the same for me. Unfortunately, those people live on the other side of the state or in completely different states. But what's the point in being friends if you aren't willing to care that much? I love my friendship with my best friend from college, Dani, because I know that she loves me enough to call me on my stupid stuff, and that she'll listen when I do the same for her. Granted, you're not going to come across a friendship like that very often, but at least I'm willing to try.

Ok, I feel a little better now.

On a more positive note, Christmas was good, if a little exhausting. But the time we started opening presents on Christmas night (not eve), I was ready to collapse. It was great to have my parents here and I'm hoping that maybe next year I'll have a little more time with them since I shouldn't be working Christmas Eve or Christmas day. The bed we bought is absolutely lovely, so incredibly comfortable. Nathan also got me a digital video camera (now I just need to learn how to edit and create DVD's) and a DVD player which is also a karaoke machine. Nathan and I stayed up until midnight on Wednesday playing with it.

For New Year's, Nathan and I were planning on hosting a party at our place, but we decided to cancel it. There's just too much drama going on in our group of friends, which we really don't want to deal with. So instead, we're probably going to just go down to Barley's for their New Year's party, and anyone who wants to can join us there.

I'm looking forward to 2008...hopefully it will be a much better year than 2007 was.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve!

It honestly doesn't really feel like Christmas right now, simply because I'm sitting at work and it's technically a business today today. So the front Sheriff's Office is open and my boss is here, which they won't be tomorrow. My parents are at my house right now, and tonight we're going to the Christmas Eve service at church, then having Chicken Fettuccine for dinner. Christmas morning we'll get up early, open our Santa presents, open stockings, having some breakfast, then I'm off to work again. After I get off work we'll having Christmas dinner and open the rest of our presents.

Our time in Portland was absolutely wonderful. We're very glad we drove over on Thursday night, it was so great to have the chance to spend two full days there with family and friends. We went directly to Nathan's mom's house on Thursday (we got in around midnight) and had breakfast with her on Friday morning. Then Nathan and Jan ran some errands while I finished up some work on the throw I made for Jan. Once that was done, we went into downtown Hillsboro to pick up some homebrew supplies for Nathan and my dad, picked out some beads for a necklace I'm going to make for Jan, and stopped to say hello to Jan's personal trainer Bruce. When we got back to Jan's house, she and I started on the ham dinner, while Nathan busied himself with playing some classic Nintendo games. Kate and Eliot showed up around 5 or so, we all had dinner together, opened some presents, and then Nathan and I picked up Johnny and Laura for a night on the town.

Our first stop was the Horse Brass, the closest thing you're going to get to a British Pup this side of the Rockies. I literally felt like I was back in London (besides not hearing any great British accents). We threw some darts, had some great beer (they had 24 taps from around the world), and enjoyed the chance to just sit and talk. At around 11:00, Laura and I decided we needed to move the party to Duke's Country Bar & Grill, because I always promised Laura I'd take her there when she turned 21. So we headed out that way, did some line dancing, and didn't get back to Hillsboro until around 3 am.

After sleeping in fairly late on Saturday, Nathan and Eliot went to Panera Bread for bagels for breakfast, then we all trooped out to Ger's house to do our Christmas thing with him. Once again, it was great to have that much time together. Ger, Nathan, Eliot and I sampled some fun beer while Ger and Kate worked on the prime rib dinner. About an hour before dinner was ready, Ger's surrogate daugher Katie showed up and we got to hang out before dinner was ready. After eating dinner, Katie and Nathan did dishes while Kate and I set up the family electric train set underneath the tree. And might I add that we were very impressed with out engineering skills! By the time we got done with that and opening presents, it was about 11 pm when Kate and Eliot hit the road back to Eugene. The rest of us stayed up for another hour or so having pie and visiting before I finally went to bed. The next morning, we got up early and hit the road back to Baker, thankfully arriving without incident.

The other big piece of new is that Nathan and I decided to put all of our Christmas gift money towards a new bed. The one we've been sleeping on is an old queen size we traded one of my friends for, since the full size we were using was just too small for us. Unfortunately, it was broken down and you had to have an egg crate AND a feather cushion in order to pad against the springs. So we've been sleeping horribly for about a year now. While we were in Portland, Nathan decided that we needed to bite the bullet, so my dad went down to the local furnature store here in Baker, did some haggling, and talked them down $70 from their "lowest price" for a queen size Beautyrest Plush Top, including delivery and pick up of our old mattress in the price. The delivery should actually be done by now. The mattress is one of those that has the individual pockets for each spring...it's the mattress in that commercial where the "scientist" drops a bowling ball right next to the bowling pins and never disturbs them...hope that works when Nathan does his usual violent turning in the middle of the night!

Later today, Nathan and my dad will be heading up to my parent's place on Pine Creek to pick up our 4 poster bed frame. In order to fit the large frame (we were using one of those shaky metal frames) in our tiny bedroom, Mom and I had to do some rearranging. I didn't think we'd like it as much the way it is now, but it actually makes the room feel bigger. We'll see how it looks after the guys get the big frame in there!

That's about it for now! Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Things I'm Thankful For...

...because I need to remember.



1) Tonight Nathan and I get to leave all the work and drama behind to head to Portland for the weekend to see my inlaws and have our Christmas time with them. We haven't seen them in a while, so it's going to be great to be able to spend some quality time together.

2) Also on our trip to Portland, we're going to see our friends Johnny and Laura. Johnny has been Nathan's best friend since grade school, and Laura is his fiancee. I haven't gotten to see them since...wow, it's been a REALLY long time, and I miss them like crazy.

3) My parents are getting to our house tonight, just a few hours after we leave. This means that we don't have to pay to put two dogs in the kennel at the vet for 4 days!

4) Even with how crappy of a day it was at work yesterday, the night ended well. After going to my work Christmas party for all of half an hour, Nathan and I met Brandie at Barley's, we had some fries and beer, got to talk with Tyler (the owner) for quite a while about his brew styles, and played darts. It was a good way to end a bad day.

5) I'm getting off work tonight at 6:00 instead of 7:00, which means we can get on the road earlier.

6) Even though my work situation kind of sucks right now and I have to do a ride along with the scariest Sgt we have, he had the decency to come into dispatch last night because he knew how stressed out I was about this ride along. Basically the purpose of this ride along is for him to tell me the concerns he and other officers have about my work. But he told me last night to relax, he isn't going to be mean, we're just going to go talk through some things, and he expect me to be as honest with him as he is going to be with me. It's actually kind of a relief to know that SOMEONE is going to give me some honest and specific feedback, for the first time since I started this job a year ago. Hopefully I can get through this 4 hours without crying.

7) My amazing husband...he's just the best.

8) It's snowing. Not so great for our trip tonight, but it makes me happy.

9) The stress about making Christmas gifts is over. I just have some little detail work to do, then it's into a gift bag and under the tree.

10) My house is clean. Not spotless, but definitely tidy. Having a messy house majorly contributes to me being highly stressed out. So that's one less stresser in my life right now.

11) As soon as we get to Portland, I'm done worrying about stuff. It's my mini vacation and I refuse to let myself dwell on things that I have no control over while I'm there! Actually, as soon as I leave work tonight, I'll be leaving all that behind, but there will still be the slight worry about getting to Portland in one piece. But Nathan's an excellent driver, so I'm not really worried.

12) I just found out that during the first weekend in February, I get to take 4 amazing Young Life girls to Campaigner's Camp at Wildhorse Canyon (the YL camp, not the casino). Two of the girls are definitely going and the other two are about 98% sure they're going. So far, there isn't a guy leader who can take any boys, so it's going to be just us girls. I'm so incredibly excited to spend the weekend getting closer to these girls. Campaigner's camp is different from normal YL camps in that it's all about going deeper in your relationship with God, while summer and fall camps are mostly about introducing kids to the idea of God. Three of the four girls went to summer camp at Malibu, Canada with me in June, so it's a big treat to get to take them to this camp. Plus, I get to go back to Wildhorse for the first time in about 3 years (geeze, has it really been that long?!). I spent a month working there for two summers in a row, plus the time I spent taking kids to camp there, so the place became like a home away from home and I've missed it terribly. I haven't been there since the new club house was built, or since they remodeled the "mall" to be housing for the monthly work staff. You can check out the camp website at www.wildhorse.younglife.org .

13) It's not snowing anymore...now we have some blue skies. But stay tuned, it may be snowing again in another half an hour. ;)

14) Our doggies continue to love playing with each other and Heidi is getting over her fear of people...she's even learning to play with toys, something she's never done before. Last night, she played fetch with Nathan!

15) It's snowing again...AND it's blue skies...as in, snow, coming out of a sky that really has no clouds in it. We have some freaky weather. I love it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What is Christmas All About, Anyway?

It's such a slow day at work today that I went onto the To-Do List blog to see what updates the author has put up in the past week. Her latest, "On Christmas Lists", put into words a lot of the mixed feelings and thoughts I've been having about giving gifts and what Christmas is really all about. She basically asked how her adult readers feel about making out Christmas lists for their parents, grandparents, etc. It's a very thought-provoking post, I recommend reading it. The link to the blog is on the left side of our blog page.

Here was the comment I posted with my thoughts and responses:

"The older I get, the more uncomfortable I become with writing out Christmas list. It seems so materialistic. To me, Christmas is more about bringing joy to the people you love rather than buying them a fancy gift. Because of that belief, I've started making gifts for family members rather than buying them. Not knicknacky stuff, but things I really work hard on that I think they'll actually use.

If I do shopping at all, it's either for my husband (we try to figure out things for each other that we would both enjoy having) or fun smaller things that I see which someone has mentioned really wanting/liking but weren't on their "gift lists". Some of the most fun gifts are the ones that come out of the blue but show that the person really considered what fits your personality.

Like a lot of other people, the hardest people for me to shop for are the family members that I don't like or talk to. How am I suppose to know what they would really enjoy if I don't even talk to them? And why are we obligated to get gifts for these people just by virtue of them being from the same bloodline?

As for gift cards...I've decided that I'm swearing off of them for Christmas and Birthdays (weddings are ok, I loved getting gift cards for our wedding presents). What's the point? A gift card doesn't say "I thought long and hard about something that would make you feel cared for." And if you have NO idea what the person would like, why are you getting them a gift?

Thanks for this post, it put into words the half-formed ideas surrounding gift giving that have been bothering me this season!"

This year, I think I bought (didn't make) gifts for all of 3 family members. And all of those gifts were things that I know they will enjoy. The older I get, the less I worry about what I am getting and the more I thoroughly enjoy putting a ton of thought into the gifts I'm giving my loved ones...and the less I'm willing to do gifts for extended family that I simply have no contact with. Why break the bank for people you don't talk to during the rest of the year, simply because you were born into the same family?

I've started feeling like we're looking at Christmas only as an opportunity to rake in all that stuff that we can't afford to get ourselves. That's not the point of Christmas! I really hope this didn't come across as self-rightous or anything, this all just got me thinking. Maybe I should swear off making Christmas lists. Or is it unfair to assume that just because I pay attention through the year to what other people mention they want/need, that they're going to do the same for me? Well tough, I'm tired of feeling like I'm contributing to Christmas being a primarily consumer holiday.

I'm done. Thoughout the year, I'll be asking family members if there are things that they would like, or will be listening for clues. I don't have a problem with putting in the extra effort to come up with something you would like without resorting to asking you for a predictable list that will take the fun and surprise out of it. If you don't want to put in the similar effort, that's ok. Seriously, it's ok.

I don't know where Nathan stands on this, so please don't lump him in with how I feel. He can come up with his own opinion on the matter.

Whew, I feel better now that I've made a decision on that. :) I really hope no one was offended or hurt, that wasn't my intention, I was simply writing down thoughts and clearing my head.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Getting in the Spirit

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both. It just depends on the size, shape, and wrappability (is that a word?) of the gift.

2. Real tree or artificial? Real. I have never had and will never have a fake tree. The only way I will ever get a fake tree is if by some chance our child ends up having a freaky allergy to Christmas tree.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually sometime right around December 1st.

4. When do you take the tree down? Usually right after New Years.

5. Do you like eggnog? Eeeew, nasty. Just the thought of drinking something with the word "egg" in it gives me the willies.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I would have to say probably when I got my first pair of really nice skiis.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yeah, my mom got me a really amazing nativity scene made by Willow Tree. I absolutely love their figurines, so I was super excited when I got home last Christmas from work and saw this set up in my living room...




8. Hardest person to buy for? Probably my mom's parents.

9. Easiest person to buy for? Nathan, because he is always very vocal about things that he wants. ;)

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I once got stationary with a big blue 'L' on it from some family members...that was kind of lame.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Crap, I need to finish that! Definitely mail.

12. Favorite Christmas Movies: White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, The Santa Claus Movie (the old one, not the one with Tim Taylor in it).


13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually the beginning of December, but I always have my eyes open for great gifts...then I just have to remember that I bought them!


14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not that I can remember. But I probably would if I got two of something neat.


15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Oh gosh...I think I pretty much like to repeat Thanksgiving dinner because it's so yummy. But Christmas cookies are good too. ;)

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Both...actually, we have a strand of multicolored, and a strand of blue lights on our tree, because that's just what we happened to have.


17. Five Favorite Christmas songs? 1) Baby It's Cold Outside 2) Away In A Manger 3) Carol of the Bells 4) Silent Night 5) Little Drummer Boy

18. Most Annoying Christmas song? Either 12 Days of Christmas or It's Christmas All Over the World...that's pretty presumptious if you ask me. By no means does the entire world celebrate Christmas. That just annoys me for some reason.

19. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home since I have to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I wish we could have our entire family over for Christmas but most of them aren't willing to make the drive over here.


20. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. Oh, and Rudolph, of course. Can't get very far on foggy nights without him! ;)

21. Angel or Star on top of the tree? I grew up with an angel, but Nathan and I found a cool 50's style topper that we both like, that is neither star nor angel. It's like this one, only ours is blue and white.



22. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One present on Christmas Eve, then usually the stockings, Santa present, and the rest of the presents on Christmas morning. But I have to work this year, so we're going to do stockings and santa presents in the morning before I got to work and then the rest of the presents after I get off work and we have dinner.

23. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Stupid people. Oh wait, that's all year long...it just gets more apparent during the holidays.

24. Favorite Christmas Apparel? I don't really DO Christmas Apparel.

25. What I love most about Christmas? Planning fun gifts and surprises for people. The older I get, the more I enjoy giving gifts rather than receiving them. And I love the time we get to spend with our family.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Relish ,Fudge, and the Christmas Rush

Every once in a while I get a craving for a burger from our In & Out (not part of the Cali chain, they got sued, funny story). So today for lunch, I ordered one. Now, those close to me know that I am a ridiculously picky eater. Part of that is that I don't like anything on my hamburger except cheese, ketchup, lettuce, and pink sauce if available. Well, today I forgot to put "ketchup only" on my order slip because we were busy. Completely forgetting this, I bit in to my hamburger and gagged...pickles, onions, relish, mustard, and tomato....NASTY! I hate relish.

Also in food news, one of our officers (who is pregnant and nesting, I believe) decided to make a basket of homemade goodies for the dispatch center and sheriff's office. So we now have a HUGE basket...platter....thing full of chocolate fudge, white chocolate fudge, peanut butter fudge, cookies, and rice crispy treats. Heaven help us.

And lastly, I am happy to report that I have ALL of our Christmas shopping done...except maybe one or two little things for stockings. Mom and I took a great trip to Boise this weekend and braved the Christmas Rush. It wasn't too bad because we avoided the mall until the very end of our last day. We spent two nights there in a lovely bed and breakfast set in a old Victorian house. We were in the Governor's Suite, which had a large room with a queen size bed and a small enclosed porch area attached to the room where you could watch tv in the evening (or play cribbage while sipping on Lindemans Framboise Raspberry Lambic, which is what we did). The only complaint was that the bed was rock hard. And by rock hard, I mean, it kinda felt like sleeping on the floor. Oh well, we had a great time.

The first night we went out to a great Thai restaurant called Mai Thai in downtown Boise. I hadn't realized how much Boise has changed. Downtown now has an amazing night life, with a lot of great restaurants, bars, clubs, etc. The second night we had dinner at a small Italian restaurant. We had a lot of laughs and it was wonderful to get to spend that time with Mom, just the two of us.

Other than that, Heidi is starting to really settle in, I think she and Bandit are starting to realize that she isn't going away and no, they don't have to get ALL of their playing done in just a few hours. I'm frantically trying to get some of my hand-made Christmas gifts finished before it's too late, and my next mission is to write our yearly "What the Labunski's Are Up To" Christmas letter that will go out with a family Christmas photo we took, unfortunately before we got Heidi. Oh well, life goes on, she'll be in next year's.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

In the Spirit of the Coming New Year

Things I Want to Do Before I Die (in no particular order):

*Visit every continent, including Antarctica. (3 down, 4 to go)
*Swim with dolphins...in the wild.
*Travel to Italy.
*Travel to Denmark and visit where my ancestors came from.
*Travel to Lithuania and visit where Nathan's ancestors came from.
*Own a vineyard, even if it's just a small one.
*Live somewhere other than the lower 49 states for a year.
*Get my masters in either teaching or theatre.
*Become a police officer.
*Build our dream house.
*Have at least one child.
*Go to a 2 week cooking school in Italy with my mom (requires a 2nd trip, of course).
*Adopt.
*Direct a play for a theatre company.
*Teach theatre to high schoolers.
*Work at a Young Life camp for a year.
*Participate in a fundraising marathon for cancer.
*Learn to build log furnature, and build a log bed.
*Perform as Eponine in Les Mis.
*Spend a week by myself in a cottage by the ocean, just reading and walking the beach. Repeat at least once every 2 years.
*Visit all 50 states (18 down, 32 to go).
*Go on a cruise.
*Win a photography contest.
*Go to an NFL game.
*Complete my family tree.
*Complete Nathan's family tree.
*Get my motorcycle endorsement and buy a Harley.
*Start or become involved in an Ovarian Cancer awareness group in honor of Marla.
*Open a wine shop like what Bella's use to be before it became snobby.
*Have a room/outbuilding where Young Life kids can come hang out whenever they want, complete with a rockin' home theatre.

That's what I have so far, I'm sure more will be added later.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Easier Said Than Done

I admit it, I had forgotten how exhausting it is to introduce a new dog into your home. And whoever says that having a puppy is harder than adopting an older dog has never adopted an untrained 7 month old dog. At least with a puppy, you can scoop them up in your arms while they're still learning. With a full-grown dog, you are lucky if you can grab their collar and hang on in time.

Don't get me wrong, I'm incredibly glad we adopted Heidi and I think she's going to be a great addition to the family. It's just going to take a lot of love and patience to get her trained and comfortable, not to mention to get us and Bandit comfortable with having another dog.

It just breaks my heart to see the evidence of Heidi's abuse...this morning, as I was leaving for work, I put one hand under her chin and one on the top of her head to pet her goodbye, and she instantly started cowering. It took me petting her for a while before she realized that she wasn't in trouble and wasn't going to get hit. If nothing else, that just makes me more glad that we took her in and gave her a loving home. Thankfully my friend Arly has two German Shepherds, so she's a wealth of knowledge when it comes to a breed that I have never personally owned.

Ok, first funny Heidi story:

Shortly after bringing Heidi home, she discovered my slippers by the front door and grabbed one to bring to me. I gently scolded her, because I don't want her to think she can chew on them. Then yesterday evening, while Nathan and I ran errands for about half an hour, Heidi was in the back landing with the baby gates closed and Bandit was in his crate. When we got home, Heidi was on the other side of the baby gate, roaming the house. Wake up call, we have a bigger dog now! Thankfully, all she did was knock over the garbage can...she didn't even get into the garbage, because the lid was still closed and nothing was strewn around the kitchen. Then, while we were getting ready for bed, Nathan asked me, "Weren't your slippers in the living room?" Yeah, why? "Because they're now sitting here next to my side of the bed." Are they intact? "Yes". Oh good.

The only thing we can figure is that Heidi was bored and decided to relocate my slippers to a more convenient place...right beside the bed. Now she just needs to learn which side of the bed is mine!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The New Addition

Ok, so I'm going to preface this with...Nathan and I did not wake up this morning and think to ourselves, "We need to be a two dog family!"

But now we are.

Introducing Heidi Labunski!




She's a 7 month old German Shepherd mix. Nathan had to go to the local Animal Clinic today to take pictures of the 3 dogs up for adoption, because the newspaper puts an ad in about once a week with pictures of the animals up for adoption. Well, he called me before hand and asked if I wanted to go along...heck yes!

So we go in the back of the clinic and meet a pitbull mix, a border collie, and Heidi (then named Chyna, pronounced China, not a big fan). The pitbull was completely unmanageable, the border collie was completely afraid of people, and Heidi was just such a sweetie that we both fell in love with her. So we brought her home. Tomorrow she goes back in to get spayed, and she is completely up to date on her shots.

Unfortunately, she hasn't had much training (if any) and we think she may have been abused by a man because she is more nervous around Nathan and is afraid of swinging things. But it's not too bad, and nothing some TLC can't fix since she's still so young. She and Bandit absolutely love each other and they've been playing non-stop since we brought her home this afternoon. I think they're just now starting to slow down...they're sure going to sleep well tonight! At this moment, they're both standing next to each other panting their faces off and not really moving...ha ha ha!

It's going to take a lot of patience on our end to get Heidi as trained as Bandit is, since we were able to start training Bandit at 5 weeks old and we're starting so late with Heidi. But it is worth it to know that Heidi is now going to have a loving home and Bandit is going to have a sister to play with. Heidi is such a sweet heart and absolutely loves to cuddle and give kisses. Not only that, but she seems to learn really fast...she's only been with us a few hours and she's already learned her new name. I think she'll be a great addition to the family. So wish us luck!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Go Beavs!!!

Yeah, that's right, the Beavs won the Civil War game tonight in double overtime!!!
You know the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words"?
Yeah...this is one of those pictures...HA HA HA!

This would be the picture of OSU trampling U of O...literally.
O...S...U...Oregon State FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!

Happy December!

Now we can be unabashedly filled with the Christmas spirit, without needing to show ANY remorse!!!

The decorating of the house still isn't complete, but I have all day Monday off, so I'm planning on finishing it then. I promise I'll post pictures when I get done!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Hark How the Bells! (or "You Know It's Winter in Baker When...)

Geeze, it's not even December yet, and we are thoroughly enmeshed in the Christmas spirit. On Wednesday, Nathan and I got our Christmas tree from my parent's property. Of course, what should have been a simple and quick outing turned into a two-hour long exodus when our dog took off chasing some of the deer that frequent my parent's "back forty". But we finally tracked him down (20-30 min later), found our tree (after much hemming and hawing), and got it home. Bandit, being wet and covered in burrs, got to ride in the back of the truck with the tree on the way home...a lot of cute pictures will be added, I just haven't had a chance lately to upload any photos from my camera.

While Nathan was back at work, I succeeded in getting the tree into the tree stand and into our house. I ended up having to trim some of the top of the tree off because it was taller than our 8' ceilings. After I got out of rehearsal, Nathan and I turned on Home Alone 2 (a tradition of Nathan's), made some hot chocolate, and decorated our tree. Our house smells SO GOOD! I used all the limbs I had to trim off (otherwise the tree would have taken up our entire couch area) to decorate around our nativity scene and various other places around the house. I honestly wish I could decorate like this year-round, but then I guess it wouldn't be as special. It's a good thing we got a big tree this year, because between Nathan and I we have a TON of ornaments. This is only going to get worse as my family has a tradition of my mom buying my dad and I a new ornament each year, and I've carried that on. Here's Nathan's ornament for the year:



Ha ha ha, and it's so true! Thankfully he got a kick out of it!


There are now huge piles of snow down the middle of all of the streets in Baker. These will eventually become large berms which will remain until we have a major melt in the spring. For those of you who are familiar with Baker, those piles are a welcome sight because they mean that it's truly winter! I actually missed those piles of snow when I was on the other side of the state. This morning marked the first appearance of the piles of snow. And yes Carly, I'll take pictures of Main Street for you. ;) Everything here is now covered in a couple of inches of snow and we're suppose to get even more in the next couple of days. Right now the sky is that steel grey color, so it looks like the entire world is encompassed in various shades of white.

Other than all that, life has been pretty straight forward. My days off were filled with decorating, attempting to pick up after the effects of decorating (still have a ways to go on that), rehearsals, two loads of dishes and four (yes, FOUR) load of laundry. But all that laundry meant that we got to sleep in clean sheets last night. Which leads me to my next, and last, point...

I firmly believe that one of the best feelings in the world is climbing into a bed of clean sheets/pillow cases after having showered, shaved your legs, covered yourself in lotion, brushed your teeth, and dried your hair. You're clean, your bed is clean, all the sheets are straight and not crumpled. It's lovely. If I had the time/energy/money, I think I would wash our sheets every day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

List Makers, Unite!

I've talked a couple of times on here about how I am more than slightly obsessive about making to-do lists. Well, I'm not alone. Here's a blog centered completely around making to-do lists:

http://www.todolistblog.com/

I absolutely love the post "Eight Surprising To D0 List Facts". I fit in 7 of the 8 points that she talks about, I'll let you guess which one I don't do. Oddly enough, a lot of people equate list makers with being anti-procrastinators...thing is, I am a HUGE procrastinator. It's one of the things I like the least about myself.

(short break: It's currently snowing...under blue sky. How...?)

The other post I loved was a couple of posts below the Suprising Facts post, entitled "110 Things to Do Before He Dies (Written in 1998)". I wrote a list like this a couple of years ago, and I now have no idea where it is. Maybe I should start again. Some people would argue, "What's the point of making a To Do Before I Die list when you don't know when your deadline is?" I don't think it's so much about accomplishing ALL of those goals before you die, as much as it's about remembering your dreams and reminding yourself to live life to the fullest every day.
If you couldn't tell, the makers of this blog just recently published a book entitled (what else?) To-Do List. I may have to track down this book.

3 Cheers!

Just had to share that my husband is amazing...
He just brought me a peppermint hot chocolate on his break!
He's a keeper.
Love you honey!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...

Between Nathan and my conflicting schedule, we just recently realized that there isn't going to be a day where we can leisurely go look for a Christmas tree until Dec 21st. And that's just not acceptable. It's always dark by the time Nathan gets off work on my weekdays off, I'm working this entire weekend, and next weekend I'm going to be in Boise for Christmas shopping with my mom. That pretty much limits the daylight hours where we are both able to go tree hunting. So instead, Nathan is taking an hour and a half lunch on Wednesday, and we're going to go up to my parent's property on Pine Creek to get our tree.

Here's our dilemma. We want to put our Christmas tree in the upstairs living room, where everyone can see it. But the way we have our living room arranged, the room is essentially cut in half, because it's very awkward to arrange it as one large space, seeing as the room is very long and narrow. One half has our two couches, the tv, and a book shelf. The other half has another dining table and chairs. Now if we put the tree in the half with the dining table, there's plenty of room, but it makes it very awkward for passing out presents on Christmas day. But if we put the tree in with the couches and tv, it will be fairly cramped, we won't be able to have a very big tree, yet it will be easily accessible for present dispersal. I guess we'll just have to see how things pan out once we actually get the tree.

Beyond tree dilemmas, we also have a dog dilemma. Bandit loves his doggy door, and I still fully appreciate the beauty of not having to freeze my butt off while he does his business. But yesterday Nathan put the baby gate up between the back landing and the back hallway, so Bandit could come inside without having access to the whole house, and then put one of his doggy beds in the landing for him to lay on...which Bandit then destroyed. We think he was getting back at us for delaying his dinner for an hour (Nathan brought me dinner at work). Not only were there bits of doggy bed in the landing, Bandit somehow managed to get a majority of the destroyed bed outside, through the doggy door. Maybe we should start calling the back landing The Bunker. Nathan took some great pictures, which I will add to this post in the next couple of days. You just have to laugh, because what else are you going to do? So now Bandit has to survive without the benefit of a blanket or bed in his Bunker. Oh, and did I mention he has started bringing his outside soccer ball in through the doggy door with him?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Countdown Ticker!

I just had to share my newest triumph...the Christmas Countdown Ticker!!! After using Arly's html as a starting point for the code for our blog, the layout is kind of messed up. Which translated into lots of struggle when trying to put the ticker onto our page! Every time I tried to place it at the top of the page, it somehow squished our posts into the sidebar on the left. When I tried to put it into the sidebar, it was too big and only showed half of the ticker. I seriously battled with it for about half an hour before I got it arrange juuuuuuust right. So now you have it. Our page, complete with Christmas Countdown! Only 29 days to go!

Boo HTML!

Now that I have a cramp in my mouse hand, I finally have our blog looking like I want it to look! YAY! As you can probably tell, I'm excited about this. I mean, I've only been working on it since about 10 am or so and I just now got it to where I want it. Did I ever mention that I hate html with a passion?! Ah well, now our blog is in the holiday spirit, and it's suppose to snow either tonight or tomorrow...don't worry Carly and Arly (hee hee, you two rhyme!), I'll post more pictures.

Big shout out of thanks to Arly for helping me figure out how to play with my blog html in order to have a more fun blog! And thanks to Carly for letting me steal her awesome background (not that she had much of a choice or knew I was doing it)!

PS...I've been listening to old Christmas music all day on live365.com...Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside! Happy Holidays!

Thanksgiving Weekend

Wow, has it really only been 4 days since Thanksgiving? It feels so much longer than that.

As hectic as our Thanksgiving was, the following weekend was the complete opposite. When I got off work on Wednesday at 6 pm, we immediately jumped into the car and headed to Burns, where my parents are now living. We stopped off in Ontario to run a few errands...I forgot about the hour time change and ended up only have 15 minutes in JoAnn Fabrics, which is NOT enough time to pick out fabric. We didn't get to Mom and Dad's until about 10:30 pm, and geeze was that a boring drive! The only thing that kept it even mildly exciting was the threat of a deer (or herd of deer) jumping in front of our car at any moment. The closest we came to that was a 4 point buck on the edge of the road...yeesh.

After getting to Mom and Dad's, we had a glass of wine and socialized with my grandparents for about half an hour before all of us collapsed. The next morning, the boys got up and went goose hunting while I slept in and then helped Mom and Nanna get Thanksgiving dinner ready. My mom cooked an 18 lb turkey for 6 people, which translated into to a LOT of leftovers...the best part of Thanksgiving dinner, in my opinion. After dinner, Nathan and I immediately got back in the car and drove home, getting back at around 10:45 pm, because both Nathan and I had to work on Friday. I think both of us were bored to death on Friday...no one called into dispatch because they were all still recovering from their turkey comas, and the paper was dead because they had already gotten most of their work for the Friday paper done.

On Friday night, we had a bunch of people over to our house for a mini-reunion. Seriously, the majority of the people there were people that I went to high school with, and who hadn't been at the same place at the same time for about a year, if not longer. Let's see, the guest list included: Nathan and myself (of course, it was our house), Anna and Matt, Corey and Emily (and their son Ian for about 5 minutes), Josh Bailey, Aaron Bailey and his wife Melissa, Chris and Lily, Carly and her baby Stella (thanks for stopping by Carly!), Brandie, Kenyon, Anders, Dom, Steve, Dana and Cale, Will H...if I forgot anyone, I am so sorry! So yeah, we had quite the crowd, and it was way too much fun to have at least part of the old BHS group there! Carly's baby, Stella, was way too adorable and so well behaved...when I took her down to the basement where there were about 15 people talking over music playing, she didn't wake up even once. Carly, next time you come to Baker, you should come by for an afternoon and we'll just relax without having so many people around!

At around 9:30 Friday night, I got a call from our lead dispatcher asking if I could come in the next day to cover for a dispatcher who was sick with the flu. This completely bummed me out because I was so looking forward to having a full 2 days to spend with Nathan, which never happens! I told her that if she couldn't find anyone else, I could come in from noon until 6 pm, but that I'd rather not. I don't envy her the job of asking people to come in on their days off! The next morning, we finally got it worked out so that I got to sleep in, and ended up not having to go into work. So instead, Nathan and I went out for brunch at the Oregon Trail restaurant (yum!), then went to Aaron and Melissa's wedding reception. After that, we rented two movies, crawled into bed, and were very very lazy. In fact, we even took a nap.

On Sunday, we slept in, were lazy again, had beer pancakes (SOOO good), I ran some errands, Nathan brewed some beer, had pizza from Paizanos and watched Die Hard 1, then went to bed. It was so nice to have such a lazy weekend at home with Nathan!

In other news, Nathan put a doggy door in our back door, so that Bandit can come and go as he pleases. Mostly we got it so that he can get into the back landing area (which we're going to close off with baby gates) and out of the below freezing weather we're consistantly having. But there are other perks to this doggy door. Before the doggy door, this was Bandit and my morning routine:

Lindy gets up sometime between 5:30 am and 6:00 am, gets in the shower, gets out of the shower, gets dressed, dries hair, curls hair, puts on make up, lets Bandit out of his crate, feeds Bandit, goes outside with Bandit and freezes her butt off while Bandit does his business, puts Bandit back in his crate, makes lunch, puts together snacks for the day, runs out of the door to work a little late because Bandit took his own sweet time eating and doing his business.

Post doggy door, this is now our routine:

Lindy gets up sometime between 5:30 am and 6:00 am, gets in the shower, gets out of the shower, gets dressed, dries hair, curls hair, puts on make up, lets Bandit out of his crate, feeds Bandit, tells Bandit to go outside, Bandit takes himself outside while Lindy stays inside the warm house and makes lunch, puts together snacks for the day, walks calmly out of the door to work while putting Bandit back in his crate, enroute to work on time.

Now we just need to teach him to go immediately into his crate after going outside and to close the crate door behind him. Ha ha ha! It's amazing the difference one little hole in the door can make!

And that, in a very large nut shell, was our Thanksgiving weekend.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Funny Photo

I was looking through one of my friends' photos online this morning and came across a photo that made me giggle. I immediately had to print it off and share it with anyone who happened to come into dispatch. They all laughed too. And now I'm going to share it with you. But before I show it to you, I have to tell you about a big event that recently happened in Baker that makes this photo even more halarious, not to mention appropriate.

A couple of weeks ago, a middle aged man decided that life held no futher allure for him and stood in front of a train that was traveling just outside of Baker. Here's the link to the story in the Baker City Herald:

http://www.bakercityherald.com/news/story.cfm?story_no=5464

Now remember how many times I've said you have to have kind of a twisted sense of humor in order to survive this job? Well here's where that twisted sense of humor comes in:


I still laugh when I look at it. Ah, good times.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

• First Snow of the Season!





Hello everyone! This is Nathan posting. I shot some pictures of the snow this morning and put them on Picasa for y'all to view. Here is the link...
http://picasaweb.google.com/labunskin/FirstSnow2007

• I put a couple above also though to encourage you to click above to see the rest •

Fun in the Snow

Last night it snowed. I think it brought out the kids in us, because both Nathan and I were so excited that we simply couldn't fall asleep. At one point, we went out to the front of the house to watch the snow fall and ended up having the first snowball fight of the season...I think it was around midnight or so. Hey, you've got to embrace your inner child, right?

A little bit later, I took Bandit out back to play in the snow. By this time, there was about 3 inches of show everywhere. Bandit had a blast, and it was absolutely halarious to watch him run around the back yard like a maniac. I ended up having to take him inside when he got so excited that he started barking...at 1 am. Oops. But while I was outside with him, I took some pictures of the pretty snow, since it is suppose to melt off in the next few days. So for those of you who are aching for Baker (cough cough Arly and Carly cough cough), here's a few pics of the first semi-big snow of the season!

The neighbor's tree...the picture doesn't do it justice.


Snow piled up on the back fence.


I liked how the snow stuck to the fence...don't mind the funky green color.


Bandit getting covered in snow.


The patio furnature covered in snow...we should probably put those away.


Bandit being a goober.


He kept eating the snow.

And now, the moment we've all been waiting for, the video of Bandit going completely insane in the back yard. Sorry, my camera doesn't have sound, but it's still pretty funny.


video

So there we have it. Our first night of snow. Obviously we had a blast with it!

Tomorrow night after I get off work at 6, we hop in the car and head down to Burns to have Thanksgiving dinner with my parents and grandparents. We'll get up early on Thursday morning, go goose hunting, come home, help with dinner, have an early turkey dinner, then immediately jump back in the car to come back home because both of us have to work on Friday. Friday night, we're having a get-together with a bunch of our friends. Quite a few of my friends from high school are going to be home for the break, some of them for the first time in forever! Then Saturday and Sunday are reserved for just Nathan and I. One of those days, we're hoping to go up to the Anthony Lakes area with Bandit and have a family snow day. So I'm really looking forward to the rest of this week. Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Good Morning!




Just thought I would share with you all what I opened the shades to this morning. I posted this mainly for those of you still living in the valley. I mean don't get me wrong; non-stop rain, traffic and crime share that special place in my heart. Actually that was a lie. If you don't think that waking up to sunny skies and snowcapped mountains is better than the convenience of an overpriced mall then I imagine you are doing just fine. I miss you guys though... but not enough to leave this paradise. Anyway, I went hunting again last Sunday with my father in-law. He shot a duck and Bandit jumped in the water and brought it back. I know that is probably posted below but I thought I would say it again because I am amazed and proud of my now useful dog.

Laters,
Nathan

Monday, November 12, 2007

You know you have a major caffeine addiction when...

"911, what is your emergency?"

"I have kind of a stupid question for you. Do you have a Starbucks there in Baker?"

"Sir, is this an emergency?"

"Well I told you it was a stupid question!"

WOOT!

IT'S SNOWING!!!!! A LOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just had to share. :)

Our Dog Isn't Worthless, Part II

Bandit has once again proved that he isn't completely worthless, which has made his momma so proud!

My parents came up this weekend to see the play (which is now over, sigh of relief). On Saturday morning, Nathan and Dad got up at the butt crack of dawn to go duck hunting, taking Bandit and Lizzie (dad's dog) with them. After a few failed attempts to get a flight of ducks to head their way, they finally scared up some ducks over the 203 pond and dad shot one down...into the pond.

Up to this point, the extent of Bandit's training consisted of retrieving a floating toy out of high-mountain lakes. We had yet to have the opportunity to let him retrieve an actual bird, so we had no idea whether he would agree to put a bunch of feathers in his mouth, let alone swim in icy cold water to do so. But as soon as they let Bandit out of his crate and pointed out the bird, he dove into the water, swam right to the duck, grabbed it by the neck and brought it straight back to shore. Not wanting to miss a training opportunity, Dad threw the duck back into the water and Bandit retrieved it again!

So there you go, our dog not only scents down and flushes birds, he's also an accomplished water dog! And as a result, we had some delicious asian duck salad for dinner that night. Yum!

Here's a great photo Nathan took of Bandit yesterday as he was testing out his photo gear for a shoot he had yesterday.



Not sure how Nathan got him to sit still long enough to take this. I know, it's kind of sad how excited we get over him, but until we have an actual kid, this dog is our child. And for all of his bad habits (being clingy, digging up the back yard), he's definitely a keeper!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Phone Call to Heaven

My father in law sent this to me and I just had to share with all of my Oregonian friends and family out there!
Phone Call to Heaven
A man in Savannah, Georgia, decided to write a book about churches around the country. He started by flying to Boston, Massachusetts, and started working west from there.
Going to a very large church, he began taking photographs and making notes. He spotted a golden telephone on the vestibule wall, and was intrigued with a sign that read, "$10,000 per minute."
Seeking out the pastor, he asked about the phone and the sign. The pastor answered that the golden phone is, in fact, a direct line to Heaven, and if he pays the price, he can talk directly to God. The man th anked the pastor and continued on his way.
As he continued to visit churches in New Jersey, Milwaukee, Chicago, Denver, Salt Lake City and around the United States, he found more such phones, with the same sign, and the same explanation from each pastor.
Finally, the man arrived in the lovely state of Oregon. Upon entering a church, behold: He saw the usual golden telephone. But, this time, the sign read: "Calls: 25 cents"! Fascinated, the man asked to speak with the pastor.
"Pastor, I have been in cities all across the country and in each church I have found this golden telephone, and have been told it is a direct line to Heaven, and that I could use it to talk to God.... But in 20 other chu rches the cost was $10,000 per minute. Your sign says 25 cents per call. Why is that?"
The pastor, smiling benignly, replied: "Son, you're in the Pacific Northwest now, and it's a local call."

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tagged Again

So, Carly tagged me to give you six things you dont know about me...I've literally been thinking about this all day long and still haven't come up with six things, but hopefully they'll come to me as I go along.

1) I'm a closet OCD. It isn't very bad and I try to keep it under control as much as possible, but every once in a while it sneaks out. One of the big ways that it hits me is counting things. When I'm bored, when I'm nervous, when I can't get to sleep, I count the most random things. My most regular thing to count is the dashes that make up digital numbers on clocks, to see how many dashes make up the current time. For example, right now it's 15:21...that's 14 dashes. The time with the most dashes in it (12-hr time) is 10:08...it has 21 dashes. I do this one a lot when I can't get to sleep. I also count steps taken from one place to the next.

2) I kind of a list maniac. I make lists for EVERYTHING. Chores, errands, shopping, goals, gifts, etc. If I mess up on a list, I start all over again, because I like my lists to look nice...that kind of goes along with fact #1. I get so much joy from crossing things off of those lists as I get them done. And if I'm going to be leaving the list for a while to come back to it later, I usually rewrite the list to only include the thing I still need to do, so it will look nice and neat when I get back to it.

3) I want to adopt a child. I believe that there are a lot of children out there that don't have loving homes, and that Nathan and I have more than enough love to give. I'm also very VERY against abortion (yes, I went there), so if I was ever given to opportunity to provide an alternative to a friend or kid in that position, I would gladly do it. Ideally, we would have our first child naturally, and then adopt one of the opposite gender a couple years later, but we'll see what happens. I don't know why I feel so strongly about this, since no one in my family has ever adopted, but I have several friends who were adopted.

4) I am constantly singing. If it's not out loud when I'm home alone or in the car, then I'm singing in my head. Sometimes I even mentally sing the random thoughts that are running through my mind. I'm really not sure how much other people like my voice, so a lot of times when I'm in public (like at Young Life and not leading songs) I will sing like I have no musical talent what so ever. But I absolutely love to sing, and there's never a song very far from my lips. I blame you, Ike.

5) The sound of chewing bugs the heck out of me. I don't know why, but if someone is chewing around me and there are no other noises to drown them out, it makes my skin crawl. It's just NOT an appealing noise! And the worst of all of it is gum! Not only does it make that regular chewing noise, but it also snaps and pops. It's even worse if the person thinks that it's cool to chew and pop their gum with their mouths wide open! Gross!

6) I get into a lot of different hobbies and do them constantly for a short amount of time and then move on. This probably drives my family nuts, but I get super into a lot of different things and then get distracted, busy, or burnt out on it. And then the worst part is that I feel guilty about it. It has kind of made me nervous to start up new hobbies, especially ones that take some sort of investment. And yet I keep doing it. Oh well, it makes me well-rounded, right?

There we go, not too shabby, eh what?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

It's WHAT time?!

So ya know that whole "Daylight Savings Time"? And ya know how that gives us an extra hour of daylight, not to mention an extra hour of sleep on the night it switches over? Well, I was really looking forward to that extra hour of sleep, especially with working my first weekend of day shift AND having 3 performances this weekend. Basically, I needed that extra hour of sleep. But here's the problem....

I forgot.

Thankfully, it was the "fall back" time instead of the "spring forward", or I would have been really hosed. As it was, I got to work this morning, put my lunch in the fridge, and look up to see my partner grinning at me and saying, "You forgot, didn't you." Forgot what?....aw *&$%! You mean I could have slept another hour?! Of course, everyone was nice enough to offer to let me go home for an hour, but I knew there was no point since I wouldn't be able to get back to sleep anyway. Plus Scott, the dispatcher I was relieving, was going to have to work a 13 hr shift because of the time change. So I decided to be nice and relieve him an hour early, since I'm getting off at 2 hrs early anyway. I just hope he'll be that nice to me some day!

But oh man, that extra hour of sleep would have felt soooooooo good.

In other news, our second performance of Anne Frank went amazingly well last night. Friday night's performance left a LOT to be desired, but last night kinda rocked. Things flowed so much more smoothly. The couple of actors who were forgetting their lines on a regular basis had worked hard yesterday to get their lines down and did a great job. And there were none of those awkward pauses where someone forgot their next line, filled with us standing up on the stage trying to look like we were suppose sitting on our thumbs staring blankly at each other. All in all, it was the most rewarding run through we've had so far, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we keep it up.

Speaking of the play, Carly mentioned to me that she saw my picture in the front page of the Baker City Herald the other day, along with some of my fellow actors. The reason I mention this is to tell you about a lovely little tradition our departments have. If you are a member of dispatch, the police department, the sheriff's office, or any of the many fire departments, and your picture is on the front page of the newspaper, you have to buy everyone ice cream. I think it's so you don't get too cocky. So, as my partner delighted in reminding me, I now have to buy ice cream for anyone who comes into dispatch...I see those little dixie cup ice creams in everyones future.

And last but not least...big news...we do not have a worthless dog! Which is highly exciting, because we were starting to wonder! Yesterday Nathan went out bird hunting with our friend Will and took Bandit along as a flusher. Until now, the only time we've taken Bandit out into the field has been with my dad's dog, Lizzie. The only problem is that having another dog along was a little distracting for Bandit, because all he wanted to do was either run or play with Lizzie...or both at the same time. But yesterday, being the only dog in the field, Bandit became a bird dog. Evidently he scented down a pheasant, pointed it out, flushed it, sniffed it out when Will shot it, and then flushed it again. Unfortunately, the shot size the boys were using was too small and didn't get the job done on the pheasant. But the important part is that Bandit is a great bird dog! Now it's just a question of whether he will retrieve when we actually down a bird. I wish I could have been there to see him work yesterday, it's so much fun to watch a dog's best instincts kick in like that.


The latest pic of Bandito with his favorite toy...what a ham!


That's all for now, stay tuned!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Looking Back

I know, I know...Halloween has already passed. But everyone is still talking about what they did for Halloween (me: slept, went to rehearsal, came home, slept) and the Halloween candy is still definitely in abundance. The more I hear my co-workers talk about what their kids did for Halloween, the more I realize...kids today have it so freakin' easy!

Around town, there were several events going on that allowed kids to safely (read: easily) get their candy. Starting early, the businesses on Main Street all have candy available, one of the retirement homes has a "party" where kids can get candy, and a couple of churches have a "Trunk or Treat". This means that kids can now hit up the equivalent of about 20 houses without leaving an area the size of approximately 2 Baker City blocks (which are smaller than normal city blocks).

Which brings me to my point...what happened to the old-fashioned tradition of schlepping yourself through multiple neighborhoods in town in order to EARN your candy?! Back when I was young enough to go trick or treating, we always went out, after dark, to several houses in various neighborhoods, just to half-way fill my little pumpkin bucket. We braved dark corners, possibly freakish people, and questionable decorations, possibly doing so in rain or even snow (not exaggerating)! We never had things like the Main Street businesses or "Trunk or Treats", where all the candy converged in a small square area.

Speaking of "Trunk or Treat"....anyone else find this even mildly disturbing? Don't get me wrong, I'm 100% positive that it's all on the up and up, and that it's a wonderful idea, but think about it. "Here little children, come to my vehicle trunk and get some candy!" (push, slam, evil cackle) For those of you who have ever seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, this brings to mind the Child Snatcher...you know, the stringy, long-nosed man dressed in all black that enticed the children with candy then trapped them in his jail cell on wheels. Yeah, kinda dark, but it makes me giggle.

Anyway, those are my last thoughts on Halloween 2007, I promise. I simply can't wrap my mind around the fact that it is already November, and that we have less than 2 months left in 2007...crazy! And can you believe I saw my first Christmas commercial of the season last night...it's not even past Thanksgiving yet!!!.......but that's a whole 'nother rant. ;)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Back to the Land of the Living

Last night was my last graveyard shift. Now I get to go back onto day shift for 4 months! Which is great, because I have missed my friends...you know, the ones that have started saying, "Lindy? Lindy who? Didn't she fall off the face of the earth?" I start my dayshifts on Friday, so I have 2 days to get my body back onto a "normal" sleep schedule. This should be interesting, because I've found that I have started having an incredibly hard time sleeping when it's dark out. It will also be interesting because this will be the longest amount of time on day shift since I started this job. Could be fun!

Also this weekend is the opening of "The Diary of Anne Frank", the play I'm in. It plays Fri-Sun at 7:00 pm, both this weekend and next weekend, at the Baker Extension Building. It's kind of surreal to be in a play again after more than a year away from the stage, when I use to be involved with at least 4 plays a year. It's also kind of odd to be on the stage with people who haven't had any formal theatrical training. I'm not saying they are better or worse than those who HAVE had this training, they just don't have the same tools at their disposal, and I can definitely see the difference. The one who is the most fun to work with is Camille, who is playing Anne. She just plays the role so incredibly well, she's a joy to watch perform. This is the first time I've been in a "community" play. It's definitely been a fun experience. Hopefully Nathan will be ok with me being in more plays in the future, because I've really missed it. Eventually, I would LOVE to direct a play, because I've always felt more in my element in the director's seat than on the stage, but until that opportunity comes along, I'm enjoying just being involved again.

So today is Halloween...and I have the night off. Granted, I will have rehearsal until about 10:00 pm, but I'm still excited that I have the night off because that means I won't have to deal with all the little twerps that are going to be out and about town playing pranks and causing general mayhem...right? Ok, maybe not. I thought last night was going to be the lull before the storm, that it would be a fairly relaxed night. Instead, we had several runaway juveniles, mulitple medicals, and an insane guy who just WOULDN'T GO AWAY! When I heard about our first contact with him right before I got on shift, my first comment was, "I bet we'll hear from him again tonight." How right I was. I think we got about 4 more calls on him. So having tonight off is exciting. But at the same time, there's the slightly twisted dispatcher side of me that thinks that it would be a ton of fun to be on shift tonight because of all the craziness that will probably happen...and it's a pity to miss out on all the fun! Ah, the twisted things we find entertaining.

Well, it's about time to do the press log, take out the trash, vacuum, and then head home. Hasta!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Halloween!

I absolutely love this time of year. There's snow on the mountains, there's a chill in the air, the leaves are falling, it's hunting season, and it's time for Halloween! And for the first time, I actually get to host a Halloween costume party. I'm so excited! The party is this Saturday night and there's SO much to do between now and then!

Thanks to Martha Stewart's website, I've found a bunch of great ideas for decorations, snacks, and drinks. I don't necessarily like the lady, but you've got to hand it to her, she's pretty crafty. Some of her stuff takes a rediculous amount of time, energy, and resources that I simply don't have, but once you sift through the fancy stuff, you can find some easy and cheap goodies.

Here's some of the ideas I've found:

  • Print out back images of rats, cut them out, and tape them on the walls where they meet the floors to look like rats are running through the house. (templates courtesy of Martha Stewart)
  • Print out mini black images of bats, cut them out, tape them to the inside of a lamp shade.
  • Carmel apples
  • Freeze water in a surgical glove and use that as the ice in the punch
  • Cut the tops off of small pumpkins, clean them out, put candles in them and place them on the front steps of the house as lanterns.
  • Shred cheese cloth and hang it from the windows to look like old curtains.
  • Cover all the furnature with white sheets to make the house look abandoned.
Those that know me best know that I am kind of obsessive about making lists. Before starting any project, I always list out the things that I need to do (clean the house, mop the floor, wash the dog, dust, do dishes, etc). I absolutely love being able to cross things off the list as I get them done. Then, if I have accomplished things on my list and am going to be leaving the list for a while, I re-write the list out, sans the things I've already done, so I have a neat and tidy list to come back to. Yeah, it's weird, I know. But it's the ONLY way I remember the zillions of things I need to get done.

Needless to say, I have a big ol' list of things I need to acquire/accomplish before the party. Thankfully, I have a couple of friends who have graciously volunteered to help decorate on Saturday before the party, since Nathan is unfortunately going to be at a Beav's game in Corvallis with his dad for the weekend. I'm already starting to whittle away at my list as much as possible. Tomorrow, Dana and I are heading to Boise to get our costumes, since Baker is woefully devoid of Halloween costumes. I'm planning on being Marilyn Monroe ala "Some Like It Hot". The blonde hair, the white dress, the red lips, the works. Dana hasn't quite decided what she wants to be yet, so it will be fun to help her pick out some costumes to try on!

I'm super excited about having this party at our house. It's the first actual theme party that we've had since our Housewarming Party in March, and I absolutely LOVE finding excuses to host big parties. I think I get it from my parents...I know for a fact that I got my "the more the merrier" mentality from them. And I just happened to have the weekend before Halloween off.

On top of the having the party, I'm also thoroughly tickled about having all weekend (Fri-Sun) off without having to travel anywhere. I have every other weekend off, and for the past 3 months or so, I have been traveling every single weekend I've had off. I've missed being able to go to the high school football games, hang out with my friends, spend time with my husband, etc. Even more exciting is the fact that the only time I plan on traveling in the next few months is the night before and day of Thanksgiving. Yay for staying home!

Oh, and I just have to say again how excited and thankful I am for the blessing of Carly and Shem's new daughter, Stella. It was a hard labor followed by a c section, but both Mama and baby are healthy and beautiful!

That's about it for now.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

October Babies

First of all, I just want to give a shout out to my friends who have had/are having babies this month. Three friends, in fact. The first is Cassie Steele (use to be Morrisey) who had her adorable daughter Jadzia Joy Steele on the afternoon of October 15th. Jadzia is absolutely beautiful. Congrats Cassie!

The second friend is Lynds Riehl, who I went to college with. She was induced on the 14th, but I haven't heard yet how little McKenzie is doing. Hopefully all went well with that family!

And the third is my friend Carly, who is being induced TONIGHT!!!! I can't wait to see pictures of Stella and hear that Carly came through the birth with flying colors. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you, Carlsons!

That being said, Nathan and I have decided that we're not allowed to have an October baby. As much as I think there need to be more Libras in the world, there are several reasons for this decision and I think you'll agree with us when you hear them.

First, almost half of my side of the family was born in October. And if they weren't born in October, they were born in February. Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration, but that's sure what it feels like! Adding one more person to the October group just seems a little silly to us. For Heaven's sake, it's starting to get hard to keep track of everyone with an October birthday!

Second, October happens to be baseball play offs. As the guy on tv has grown so fond of reminding us, "There's only ONE October". Nathan is an avid baseball fan and grows slightly frantic at the idea of having to possibly miss not just one playoffs game, but possibly many more after bringing the baby home. And I really don't want to have to get angry at him for running out of the room while I'm in labor to check on the score of the game! After all, stress is just suppose to make the process more difficult, and I don't think I need that.

Third, outside of my family, October seems to be a very popular month to have a baby. Why not January? Or August? Ok, I have to admit, it would be nice to not be in the end of your pregnancy in the hottest months of the year. But a month besides October would be nice.

Now that I've written all that, NO, I'm not pregnant! This was just brought on by 3 of my friends having babies this month. And if the time comes and it turns out we're going to have a baby in October, no, I'm not going to be angry. Amused, not angry.

Congrats again to those who have just had a wonderful addition to their families! If only you all lived closer!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Birthday Fun

Evidently the fact that I haven't written about my birthday activities has left some of my readers with a considerable amount of angst (cough cough Rachael cough cough) so I figured I'd take up some of my last couple of hours at work doing so.

My birthday actually seemed to stretch on for DAYS. Which is by no means a bad thing. Weekend before last, on Saturday I believe, some of our friends came over for dinner (my mom's world famous taco mix) before starting on brewing beer with my husband. Before dinner, my friend Brandie presented me with a present and a cake, stating that Saturday was going to be my early birthday since we had no idea when we would get to hang out again. So I opened my present from Brandie and Issac, we had dinner, ate some cake, and I ran off to work for the night.

Fast forward a few days to Wednesday night (day before my birthday). I'm once again at work all night. Nothing real spectacular happened, but we had some fun calls that night. The next morning (Thursday, my bday), I get home, say good morning to Nathan, make myself some tea, and then go into the living room with Nathan, who had decorated the room with a "Happy Birthday" banner and balloons. I opened my presents...lots of fun stuff including, but not limited to, Mel Brooke's "History of the World Part I", an electric blanket (I get cold sleeping by myself when I'm on night shift), and a Smith & Wesson Lady Smith .38 Special pistol (yay for having firepower against lions and tigers and bears while hiking, oh my)! I then went to bed and slept until around noon-ish.

At noon, I woke up, took a shower, started some laundry, then went into town to spend a little bit of my birthday money. I got a holster for my new pistol and a bluetooth headset for my cell phone, for when I'm driving. When I got home, I proceeded to pack for Arizona and get ready for work. At 5:30 pm, I met Nathan and some friends at Barley's for dinner...they got to drink beer, I didn't. Then it was off to work, where Nathan brought me home made cheese cake...YUM!

The next morning (Friday), I got off work at 7 am, jumped in my car, and drove to Boise to meet my mom for our flight to Arizona...but not before a quick stop and Barnes & Noble, an absolute must whenever possible. We flew to Arizona to visit my grandparents, had dinner at the Outback Steakhouse that night, and went to bed. On Saturday, Grammy, Mom and I went to Tubac, an artist village south of where my grandparent's live, where I spent the rest of my birthday money and we had lunch. Sunday was my Grammy's birthday, so we spent the day at Kitt Peak Observatory, an astrological observatory complete with the HUUUUUUGE telescopes. Pictures will be up eventually. Then it was dinner at a local italian restaurant, back to my grandparent's and (over 30 hours after last sleeping) off to bed.

Monday morning found us packed up, showered, and enroute to the airport, where Mom and I jumped on a plane home, only to get stuck in Salt Lake airport for about 2 hours before heading to Boise. So instead of being able to get home and take a nap before work last night, I got home at 6 pm and had to be to work at 7 pm. Thankfully, I now only have 1 1/2 hours to go before I get to crawl into my nice warm bed...only 23 1/2 hours after I woke up yesterday morning. You would think I would learn my lesson, but evidently not.

Thankfully, this is my last bit of traveling for quite a while. These last two months on graveyard have been brutal because every weekend I haven't been working, I've been traveling. This means that I haven't been able to stay anywhere near my graveyard sleep schedule, which is very tough on a body. The last weekend in October, I actually have the weekend off and get to stay home!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So don't ask me to do anything or go anywhere!

So there it is...my birthday "week". Nothing too fancy, but nice, none the less.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

You know you're a dispatcher when...

Every single one of these are true. Literally.

You know you're a dispatcher when...

1] You've ever had the urge to answer the phone by saying "Your local 411"
2] You applaud the dispatcher who was on the news last year for his comment to the unruly child's mother "Do you want us to come over and shoot him?"
3] You have the bladder capacity of five people.
4] You believe that 50% of people are a waste of good air.
5] Your idea of a good time is taking a good domestic call, an armed robbery or calling a pursuit.
6] You get excited and call every other dispatcher you know when you hear the state police screw up on the radio.
7] You would conduct a criminal record check on the parents of your children's friends, whom ever you're currently dating or anyone who is nice to you, if it were legal.
8] You believe in the aerial spraying of Prozac and birth control pills.
9] You disbelieve 90% of what you hear on the other end of the phone.
10] You have your weekends off planned for a year.
11] You pray for your relief to come in five minutes early because you have to go potty soooo bad.
12] You believe the government should require a permit to reproduce.
13] You refer to your favorite restaurant by the "nearest cross streets" to which it's located.
14] You have ever wanted to hold a seminar entitled: "Suicide...don't call me, just do it."
15] Your job description includes baby sitting the city (or county).
16] You ever had to put the phone on hold before you begin laughing uncontrollably.
17] You have ever been unable to dispatch officers on a call because the caller's name or the call itself is so ridiculous that you can't keep from laughing.
18] You think caffeine should be available in IV form.
19] You believe an officer is a hero only when he brings you in a 44oz. cappuccino.
20] People call you all hours of the night to ask you directions to strange places...and you know where they're located.
21] You claim to be a "communications officer" because it just sounds so much more important than a "dispatcher."
22] You get on the air to tell an officer to call dispatch so that you're not going over the radio when you warn him/her about the Tom Adam Robert David (TARD) they're about to encounter.
23] You do not see daylight from November until May.
24] You've ever referred to Tuesday as "my weekend", or "this is my Friday".
25] You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says, "Boy, it sure is quiet tonight."
26] You find humor in other people's stupidity.
27] You have microwaved the same meal more than three times in order to eat warm food because everyone in the city seems to know when you're trying to eat.
28] The better you are at your job, the more you get complained on.
29] You want the social security number and finger prints of anyone interested in your younger sibling or children.
30] You have a bumper sticker or tshirt that says "I love Cops" or "Dispatchers tell cops where to go."
31] Boredom at work causes you to keep a mentally handicapped person on the phone for hours just to listen to their stories.
32] You have ever given back a plate over the radio that returns to"Seymour Wehner" or "Sharon Peters" because the officers think it's funny to hear you say dirty words on the air.

I've never had a job where I've been expected to know so many random pieces of information before. Here's just a smattering. You need to know:

  • 12-code...this is our version of the 10-code. As in "10-4 little buddy, you're loud and clear." Only, someone decided that too many people know 10-code now, so we switched to 12-code. So when a new officer comes in and keeps accidently using the 10-code, we laugh at them.
  • The phonetic alphabet...but not the normal one that everyone else uses, the freaky one. Adam, Boy, Charles, David, Edward, Frank, George, Henry, Ida, John, King, Lincoln, Mary, Nora, Ocean, Paul, Robert, Sam, Tom, Union, Victor, William, Xray, Yellow, Zebra. Now imagine how hard it can be when an officer spells a name for you to run, using this phonetic alphabet. "First of Mary...Mary, Adam, Robert, Yellow". That's 3 different names used to spell out one name. Not sure what genious thought that one up.
  • Whether complaints called in are law matter (call out the calvary) or a civil matter (tell them to go whine to the courts, the cops can't do anything).
  • Ordinances: noise, barking, parking, littering, weeds, garbage accumulation, etc. Not to mention the differences between city ordinances and county ordinances.
  • When to page out just Baker Ambulance for the county medical calls, when to not page out Baker Ambulance for county calls, when to page out both Baker Ambulance and the rural ambulance for that area for county calls.
  • Which areas of the county are covered by which rural fire departments, and who to call about fires in the areas that aren't covered by any of the rural fire departments.
  • Which page to turn to the in the pre-arrival medical book while listening to a mother scream in your ear that their child is choking/not breathing/seizuring.
  • Which radio freqency to use depending on where our deputy is in our fairly sizable county.
  • The 50 different ways you can run a licence plate, driver's license, or name/dob in order to get as much information as humanly possible on the person your officer is out with.
  • The difference between Officer, Deputy, Sgt, Lt, Detective, Sgt Detective, Chief, Sheriff, School Resourse Officer, Code Enforcement/Community Service Officer, Canine Unit...and what each one does and does not do. More what they do not do, though.

That is just a small sampling of the practical knowledge we need in order to do our job. On top of that, there is the stuff they don't list in the job description. The stuff that makes our officers' jobs easier and keeps them safe. You need to:

  • Know which officers want a Dark House list printed out each night and which officers don't.
  • Know which officers use 12-code (I'm 12-94, "I'm a-ok" in layman's terms) and which ones still use Dispo codes (I'm code 4, meaning the same thing as 12-94).
  • Know each officer's voice by heart because most of the time, when they say their unit number, you can't understand what they said but you sure as heck don't want to ask them to repeat themselves.
  • Know which officers you can joke around with and which ones you need to be completely respectful with.
  • Know which officers want their phone messages immediately via radio, which officers want their phone messages emailed to them, and which officers want their phone messages both over the radio immediately and emailed to them.
  • Know which callers you can generally trust to give you the truth (about 10% of the population) and which ones are just blowing it out of their bum (90% of the population).
  • Have a working memory of every call you've received, as well as the calls that came in during your off-time that you read about in the call screens, so that you know what the officers are talking about when they come in and ask you about a call that happened 3 weeks ago.
  • Know where your officers are at all times, even though sometimes they forget to tell you that they have gone out somewhere and you don't know it until they go 12-1 (available, back in my vehicle).
  • Be able to picture the scene no matter where it is in the county.
  • Immediately know where the street/road that the caller is calling from is located, so you know whether it's a city or county call, or whether it's even in your county.
  • Know who is dating whom, who is recently broken up, who has restraining orders against them, who is living with whom, who is selling drugs, who just recently got released from jail/prison, who is on probation, who has their licence suspended/revoked/expired. You can look most of these things up, but sometimes the officers don't ask us to run them, so we need to know, just in case.
  • Know what we can tell people without getting ourselves in trouble and what we need to keep our mouths shut about.
  • Know which people are serious about their suicide threats and which ones call frequently just to get attention.
  • Know what a drunk and/or high person sounds like over the phone.
  • Have as much as possible memorized about each of our "frequent fliers".

Essentially, we're suppose to know everything. About everyone. This is something that, until recently, I was starting to think just may be impossible. I've seen my fellow dispatchers pull random bits of information on people out of the air countless times. Would I ever be able to do that? But tonight I did. One of our officers got lied to by someone trying to cover for a significant other. When the officer came into dispatch and told us about what this person said, I was able to remember a call that came in over a month ago that proved that they were lying. This may make it possible to bring the person they were protecting to justice.

Ok, so remembering a little bit of information really isn't that big of a deal in the real world. But that is the unwritten part of my job that actually makes up about 75% of what I'm suppose to be doing as a dispatcher. And tonight showed me that I'm getting there. I still have a long ways to go before I can be dubbed a "competent dispatcher". But I'm getting there.