Heartened

The whole kit & doodle!

I’m planning to adopt

Doggies! LOL

This has nothing to do with human adoption, sorry! I’m going to gush on about the doggies hubby and I are going to be adopting next year. Here’s a few pictures of the breed to whet your appetite.

This is a Goldendoodle pup. They are a cross between Golden Retrievers and Poodles.

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I really like the coloring in this one – it seems to be a cross between an apricot and a red.

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Look at that face!

Goldendoodle

Awwwwwwwww

Goldendoodle_3

Hubby and I plan to bring two male Doods into our family next spring. Even though we’re looking for a rental house right now while we become familiar with our new area, we don’t want to bring home the boys until we have a house (of our own) with several acres for them to romp on. I’d prefer at least 4 acres, lots of room for them to run and play.

We are absolutely in love with this breed. We’ll be looking for two males (litter mates), preferably F1B generation. The F1 generation is a cross between a pure retriever and a pure standard poodle. An F1B is a backcross between an F1 dood and a pure standard poodle. Poodles have hair, not fur, making them more hypoallergenic. That’s not a problem for hubby and I, though. I just like the “curly shag” you get with an F1B. Some breeders have begun to cross two F1’s making an F2 generation. That’d work for us, too. In actuality, I don’t care as much as it sounds like I do – I care more about the personality “fit.”

I love poodles and I love retrievers – a Doodle is the perfect mix for us. Typically, I’m big on rescues – like our cats were both rescue cats. Every dog I had growing up was a rescue as well except one – and we only got him because he was the runt in an AKC line that no one really wanted. We did, though, and I loved him dearly.

So for once, I’m going to go the totally selfish route. The Doods will probably cost around $3,000 for the pair and I’ll gladly pay it. The funny thing is, I don’t even feel remotely guilty about buying from a breeder. It’s funny because I’ve always been vocally AGAINST most breeders. Fortunately, I’ve been able to spend a lot of time learning about reputable Doodle breeders. Because they are a relatively new breed, it seems breeders and such are very well documented.

Doods are extremely social dogs. They thrive in an environment where they are “part of the family.” They are generally easily trained and obedient yet playful. They don’t take well to being left alone for extended period of time.

During the years we were driving all over the country for hubby’s job, our cats went with us. We have a wonderful soft-sided dog crate in which we’d place their beds, litter box and food/water. We’d put it in the back of our van or blazer and they’d curl up in their beds and happily snooze the miles away. Even though we won’t be traveling for his work anymore, we still enjoy traveling for vacations. We have an “if we can’t drive, we don’t go” attitude for the most part. Keep in mind, given enough vacation time, we would drive to Alaska without a second thought! LOL It’s not that we’re not interested in international travel. We will do some on a limited basis. And in those circumstances, we have family/friends who would house & pet sit. But our pets are family, we like taking them with us. That’s not going to change once we get the Doods. They’ll learn from puppyhood to be good passengers.

One of the breeders I’m looking at is in Ohio. They’re a few hours from us which is great – we’ll be able to drive down and “meet” the sire and dam and “meet” the litter before they’re ready to come home. I’m looking forward to that. I’ve actually sent a letter to the breeder asking for more info because I want to be totally educated about the breed before we bring them home. I’m hoping the breeder will be open to us making a visit this summer to meet the sires and dams and spend a little time with their newest litters.

I find it strange that you can actually SHIP a puppy? This boggles my mind. Even if we went with a breeder across the country, there’s no way I’d let my Doodbabies be shipped on an airplane! I’d happily drive out to pick them up and drive them home. At least this way, they become acclimated to being in a car from early on.

Hubby and I are already talking names. Here’s a few candidates. Feel free to make suggestions!!! Remember, we’ll be bringing home two brothers. And they’ll lean towards the apricot, red, cream colorings.

Londo & G’kar (Lonnie and Jack) – from one of our favorite shows, B5.
Banichi & Jago (Bean and Yaggie) – from one of our favorite book series, even though in the book, Jago is female.
Xavier & Zander (Zave & Zand) – just two names we like.

I know we have a few others but I’m drawing a blank right now! I’ve got doodle brain, what can I say? LOL

Wilson8mths2rs

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March 7, 2006 Posted by | Family Life | 17 Comments

Some happy personal news

I’ve mentioned before that I travel with my husband for his work. We’ve been doing this for years. We were on the road so much traveling from plant to plant that we ended up selling our house and putting our things into storage. We could not justify paying a mortgage on a place were “visited” only a few weeks a year. Ever since then, we’ve lived in extended stay hotels and driven anywhere his company sent us, trucking our cats and personal items along with us. It’s been crazy.

The most recent facility he was sent to was located on Southern Michigan right at the Ohio border. The closest extended stay hotel was in Ohio, so that’s where we’ve been since last fall. Now, as a matter of ethics, let me explain that hubby was contracted to work for a company who was working in the plant. So the plant is NOT his company’s customer. In his field, that’s an important distinction.

The other engineers at the plant made it known to my hubby that the facility was looking for an in-house engineer like him and that they would really like to see him put in for the position. We discussed it at length – I was definitely attracted by the idea of finally being able to settle down in one location again. And I’ve come to really like this area a lot. We would live near the plant which is in a totally rural area but have a number of bigger towns/cities within a reasonable distance including Toledo, Detroit, Ann Arbor and Adrian.

They made him an offer today – at a considerably higher salary than he makes now, “technically.” I say technically because right now, he ends up working, on average, 65 hour weeks. With the new job, he’ll make the same amount – for 40 hours a week. A normal life! Plus, the benefits package is incredible – medical, dental and vision for next to nothing per week. 3 weeks paid vacation. 5 personal days. 5 additional personal days for the week between Christmas Day and New Years, along with all the normal holidays – Christmas, New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc. Benefits don’t kick in for 90 days, so the company will pay our COBRA to continue our current coverage until the new coverage kicks in. And they’re giving him a stipend to cover the post of his boots and safety glasses. All total, in his industry, this is a dream position. And it’s the kind of position you keep until you retire.

He is putting in his 2 weeks notice today. His current company has a history of firing people as soon as they give notice. The new company is ready to have him start Monday if that’s what happens. Or in two weeks, whichever works out.

So I’ll be house hunting this weekend! I’ll find a rental house for now. There are many in the area. Once we’ve had time to get more familiar with the area and where we want to live, I’ll begin house hunting in earnest.

It’s so stupid, but I’m sitting here grinning from ear to ear just thinking about getting all my stuff out of storage and moved into a house again. No more hotel rooms! Wheeeeee!!!!!

February 17, 2006 Posted by | Family Life | 2 Comments

Amazing how a simple phone call can make you stupid happy

Don’t get too excited, this isn’t about adoption. LOL

I just got off the phone with my best friend T. Read the previous two posts for background.

I’m on cloud 9 over here, grinning like a Cheshire cat.

What is of primary importance to me is that despite my foolish behavior, he still loves me, is still the same friend he always was. It was as if no time had passed at all, we picked up where we left off aside from having news to share – like he’s going to be an uncle in about 3 weeks. I’m blown away that his little sister is going to be a mommy – in my mind, she’s still a young’un. LOL She’s not, she’s about 26 now. I mean, I “knew” her age of course, even when we were still talking day in and day out – I just didn’t think of her as being old enough to be a mom, which of course she is and has been for a long time! His dad and mom (in particular) are excited about becoming grandparents – I’m excited for all of them. And since they know the baby is going to be a boy, Auntie Heart is going to go do some shopping this weekend! Whee!

There was other news and sharing, of course, most of it personal.

Talking to him, I felt safer and more secure than I’ve felt in a long time. When he finally reads this blog, he’ll know the exact moment in our conversation when that safety and security came flooding back. It’s one of those ritual-like things I mentioned in an earlier post. It was such a relief for me. Physical, emotional, mental – total relief. I feel like this enormous weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

I’m going to bed now. Happy. Going to bed happy, that’s a good thing.

February 11, 2006 Posted by | Family Life | 1 Comment

He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me

In my last entry, I blogged about my self-created drama with my best friend. Well ladies & gents, he wrote back. And he still loves me.

Did you ever have someone you were close to and you had a really special “uniquely yours” way of communicating the specialness of your relationship? Some cutsie words, a little ritual, something? We have one of those things – well, several, actually – but a special way of saying “I love you” that is uniquely ours. It’s rooted in a typo. LOL That special phrase conveys a lot of sentiment in two words – it says “I love you, I care about you, you are important to me, you are my best friend, you are irreplaceable, there is always room for you here, you are part of me in a very real way.” And he’s still signing his letters to me with it. (Those are good tears, by the way)

I called hubby to tell him, he’s thrilled. He knows how much I’ve missed T. I said, “he still loves me” and he said, “I knew that.” He’s happy, I’m happier. LOL

So I sent T a sort of rambling email back. I told him about my search, about this blog, about my new friends here. I told him that I was afraid to give him a link. I said:

I want to share my blog with you but I'm afraid to. Stupid, isn't it? It's not because I'm afraid for you to know how I feel about things, after knowing each other for so long, it's a little late for that, isn't it? LOL I'm afraid you'll be hurt because I haven't talked about you. I'm not good at talking about you because it meant talking about me and admitting my mistakes. I got good (unfortunately) at talking "around" you. But it meant that there were things I didn't blog about because in order to do so, I'd have to also explain why you aren't here now. So I just kept that stuff to myself. Which makes progress hard since you were so central to everything in my life.

So I just kept telling myself I'd "deal with it tomorrow." Notice a pattern, here? Tomorrow turns into weeks, months and a year really quickly.
Then I started telling myself you were better off not having to deal with my shit. "No more bullshit." Well, I'm mired in it. Except now it's totally personal drama, not of someone else's making, not of someone else's influence. It's the worst kind of bullshit there is, the kind that takes a lifetime to accumulate and I don't know how long to wash away. So I told myself I was doing you a favor by sparing you from it. Smart, huh?

I think he’ll understand that. I also told him:

Those are actually probably the hardest – the time when it is hardest for me to just shove the sadness away and pretend it's not there. It's always there, every time I think of something I know I should be sharing with you. Which basically means every day. Is it worse knowing you did nothing to deserve this? That it had nothing to do with you "doing something" to make me pull away? Knowing that I have it in me to isolate myself so completely to the exclusion of all else, including my best friend? What kind of friend am I and why on earth would you want that kind of friend? That's what I wrestle with and what makes it easy to stay silent, hidden, away, where I don't have to face the music. I've gotten far too good at that.

I know I’ll eventually give him a link to this, because I can’t not do that. I can’t keep all this from him, nor do I want to. I need him to know all of this. I’ve needed that for a while. I’ve missed him so much, missed having his support, missed having him to calm me down and lift me up. I’m feeling so relieved tonight. Now I’m sitting here hoping he’ll want to call later. I want to hear his voice.

February 10, 2006 Posted by | Family Life | 2 Comments

I am supposed to be sleeping

I am supposed to be sleeping, but it is 1:20 in the afternoon and I’m awake.

I have a best friend. I want you to know that I have a best friend. I have known him for, what, -counting backwards– shit, this seems impossible, almost 10 years? Holy crap. Wow. Seriously, you’ve no idea how mind blowing that is. Ok, anyway. My best friend, I’ll call him “T” was the best man at my wedding. My husband had no issue with this, he and T immediately hit it off the first time I introduced them and became fast friends. T is also “an ex” of mine. Seriously. Hard to imagine in hindsight but at one time, we actually thought maybe we’d build a life together. Uh, 10 years ago we were both really young. Yeah, that’s it, that’s the ticket.

By some miracle, that relationship evolved into an extremely close friendship. I confided things in him I never would have even considered telling anyone else. The passion died (more like, we euthanized it deliberately) and what was left was this warm, loving friendship which I’ve never felt with anyone else. He is a “big brother” (though younger than me by 4 years), best friend, “hold-me-when-I’m-scared-and-make-the-monsters-go-away” kind of person, all rolled into one. I want to be clear, I have absolutely no romantic feelings for him whatsoever. This isn’t a case of “me thinks she doth protest too much,” this is a case of people seem to be unable to fathom that one can have an extremely close, emotionally intimate friendship with someone without it having romantic strings or overtones attached. Imagine your dream version of a big brother – someone you can lean on, someone you can count on, the stereo-typical non-husband protector. That’d be T. And I am his little sister.

Here’s the catch: I haven’t spoken to T in almost a year. This is 10% the fault of a conflict between the email server I was using some time ago and 90% my own fault.

I’m sitting here crying and in fear because I just sent him an email, and I have no idea how he is going to respond. What’s my response to these feelings? Blogging.

I only started realizing a few months back that I have this twisted pattern of behavior – rejecting before I can be rejected. In the course of my life, I’ve played this scenario out with pretty much every person I’ve ever known. There were two exceptions to this: My husband and T. Somehow, and I’m not really sure how, last year I allowed it to play out with T. Things dragged on and off for a few months with me making a few attempts to reach out, him answering and me dropping the ball again. I’m not sure what sort of response I was hoping for from him – I’m not sure that any response save flying across the country and planting himself on my doorstep would have gotten me to stop playing games. I’m not even sure THAT would have been enough.

As most of you know, my behavior has nothing to do with him. It has nothing to do with anything he did or didn’t do – the gods know that man has the patience of a saint. And I swear to you, he has never once in our entire relationship tried to hurt me in any way. That’s not to say I’ve never been hurt, I have, but not because of something he did (though at the time I certainly “enjoyed” blaming him back when we were still involved).

He and my husband are nearly identical in their loving, sensitive, sweet kindness. Ladies, I’ve had the corner on “good men,” let me tell you. I have been blessed to have been loved by three amazing, incredible men in my life. Hubby and T are two of them, J is the third. Only one I married was hubby, and that was (and is) for the best for all of us. It is no surprise that the three of them became friends, they are very much alike and have in common all loving one very lucky girl at one time or another. Instead of that being a divider, it became something which united them. If there is anyone in the world who has always looked out for what was in MY best interest (even when I wasn’t doing a good job of it), it has been the three of them. J is another (good) story I’ll get into some time, but not right now.

So why did I blow it with T? I have absolutely no idea. I don’t know why I stopped pursuing when emails were bouncing with weird rejections from AOL. I know that T wasn’t “rejecting” me – I know it was a conflict between AOL and my (then) service provider, that he wasn’t even seeing what I sent. I certainly had T’s phone number. Why didn’t I call? His mom and I were always close, it’s not like I had to be afraid of calling his parent’s house! Why did I just keep letting it go, putting it off, procrastinating, telling myself “I’ll do something about it tomorrow” until a year had passed? I don’t know! It was utterly irrational and stupid behavior which made no sense on any level.

I happened to log into the email account I used for a long time. I hadn’t done so in months. I found an email from T, from Christmas, sending Christmas wishes and love. I debated, “Do I respond? How do I fix this?” And what did I do? You guessed it. Nothing. Not a thing. Not a fucking thing. I sat there, stared at it, and got too scared to respond.

Today I logged back in again. This time there was an invitation in there from Vonage. T uses Vonage and apparently tried to invite me to sign up for it as well. Now mind you, he did this almost 2 years ago as well. We were still speaking back then. So I looked at this invite and wondered, “Did he just invite me again? Is he trying to reach out? Or is this just something the Vonage system generated because I’m in their files somewhere? Did he initiate this on Feb. 9th like it says, or is this Vonage just cycling through the names of people in their database who never signed up for their service?”

I don’t know the answer to that yet. What I did know was that I was not letting one more day go by without responding to him. So I replied to his Christmas email.

I am afraid to go look and see if he has responded yet. I know he probably has not. It has only been a few minutes. I’m terrified. I have missed him every single day. I have a wonderful picture of him and my husband from my wedding day which I look at all the time. My two favorite men in the world, standing together looking quite handsome on my wedding day. I love that picture, I even carry a copy in my wallet.

I’ve missed him so much, I can’t even begin to describe it. Especially as I’ve been going through all of this adoption stuff. T doesn’t have to “get” adoption, he “gets” me. He has always “gotten” me – sometimes even having to explain to my husband why I am a certain way. And somehow this works for all of us, I don’t know how. They were always both so sure of their place in my life that it seemed to never even cross their minds to be threatened by each other. T knew I would never be involved with someone who could not handle my friendship with him, that I would never give up our friendship for any man. Hubby knew that no man could ever be to me what he is, that there is no one in the world who could take his place as the love of my life. So instead of feeling threatened, they felt love for each other even separate from their love of me. With their personalities, they’d have been friends even if I hadn’t been in the picture. I know damn well that I am the luckiest woman on earth for having been loved by these guys.

So how could I risk that? How could I let that friendship go, even for a moment? How could I not move heaven and earth to stay in constant contact? How could I allow myself to cut him out of my life, even for a day? How could I?

I have a best friend. The question is, does he still consider me his?

February 10, 2006 Posted by | Family Life | 2 Comments