Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Moments of Kurka

How does one so little take up an entire bed? How many holes does the backyard need? How can such a small ball of fur bring so much joy?

Kurka does not like it when Mama types at the computer. This act does not bring enough attention to the spoiled little sweetheart.

As I write, there is a puppy on the back of the couch, standing on his hind legs, and reaching around my neck on both sides with his fore legs. Warm puppy on my neck is a great feeling as December's wind chills the view out the window. I guess I can put up with the boy trying to chew my hair out of the bun it is in.

I love how he wants to touch at all times. I love when he decides to hide his treats around the house and then whine when Mama gets a little too close to the hiding spot. I love that he still can't figure out how to jump off the bed or on it, but when he forgets his fear, he can do it just fine.

I love watching him run, watching him figure out how to get in his favorite spot, and watching him wake up from a deep sleep. Listening to him dream (and kick me in the process!) is joyous.

Kurka makes my world a wonderful one.

Monday, October 26, 2009

"What part of 'give me a treat' don't you understand?"

Puppies can turn your life upside down! In the past couple years, I've gotten extremely bad at updating this site. My apologies. I cannot bring myself to just "end" blogging, but I also find it hard to put the discipline back into it as I once had. Heck, I joined Facebook and then realized that the status updates go away after awhile and got really mad at the service (well, not really mad, just disappointed) and stopped posting for over a month.

But back to Kurka. He's adorable. He's wonderful. He's a bundle of trouble and he brings a world of joy. He's a handful and the main reason my plants didn't fair so well this past summer. Kurka demands attention and gets it - rightfully so.

He is almost 7 months old now and about 14 pounds. The woman I got him from said he's be 10-12 pounds. I didn't believe her and guesstimated 20 pounds on my own. Which I'm more than okay with.

Kurka has been neutered and had his dew claws in the back removed. He has a chip in his neck in case he ever gets lost and he has plans for trick-or-treating this Saturday night.

He's smart too. Crazy smart. He picks up a new trick just about every week. Since we started working on tricks, he has added Sit, Lay Down, Sit Up, Shake, and Speak to his bag. He's doing okay with High 5. Crawl, Play Dead, Roll Over, Whisper, and Tell Me a Story are in our plans for the next month. As I type this, I might add Don't Chew on Mama's Scrapbook Supplies to the list. But he does know Give Kisses!

I mentioned crazy smart right? About a week and a half ago, I had a cold. Just an annoying sinus thing going around, but the stuffy head gave me a headache. The little bundle of joy decided that was the time to play with the loud toy that is two heads/balls attached with a plastic rope. Both heads have a squeaker in them. My head hurt and I said, "Kurka, let's pick a different toy. This one is too loud." He sat down with the toy and proceeded to rip the squeakers out of both heads! He hasn't done that to any other toy. It was an odd coincidence, but one that made Mama proud.

Kurka has started wearing bandannas now. It is really cute! Today is a new purple bandanna. He has inherited some of Taco and Chip's old items - the new dogs at "Grandma's" don't really do much playing or traditional dog activities. That's unfortunate, but the consequence of being rescue dogs who never got a chance to play as puppies. Kurka is helping each of them out of their shells. Tonight he tried to get Annie to play tug-of-war with a toy. She didn't really get the game, but he tried and tried!

I mentioned inheriting items from Taco and Chip. On Halloween, Kurka is going to be a cowboy. He's wearing Taco's old costume, the one that Grandma made years ago. We're going to put Annie in Chip's old costume too and take them around the block.

Kurka reminds me of both Taco and Chip. He'll do something every day that brings them back into my mind. I love him on his own and I love him more for helping remind me of memories I had almost forgotten.

It is life changing to have Kurka in my home. I love him more than I could ever describe and think he's the best decision I ever made. Hopefully I'll keep up with telling stories about him here.

I hope all is well in the blogosphere. Sorry I've been distant and I hope I'll find a way to reignite this passion. Until the mood strikes again.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Bullet Points of Kurka

Simply put, my life has been changed. Having Kurka here has impacted my existence so profoundly. Right now, I'm typing, but he's next to me, half on me and half on the giant penguin pillow, and he's chewing on a bone.

Everyday, he surprises me with something else. These are just a few of the things he has done that made me take a moment to smile/reflect/jump for joy inside:

  • Play hide & seek under the couch
  • Figure out how to sit on the back of the couch to watch outside
  • Learn how to go up and down stairs at Grandma's
  • Find 2 headless baby rabbits in Grandma's backyard
  • Find an unborn bird under the tree in our yard
  • Discover that his name is Kurka
  • Get the ball and bring it to Mama over and over
  • Bound through the high grass in the backyard
  • Hunt for bugs and various other small animals
  • Pick a favorite sleeping spot on the bed - between Mama and the giant pillow
  • Steal shoes
  • Cuddle in the morning - "Mama, hit the snooze button please"
  • Find mazes in the basement to explore
  • Steal socks (& underpants)
  • Bark at Mama when she's in the shower
  • Understand that "breakfast" is in the refrigerator
  • Start to comprehend "No Bite"
  • Watch airplanes fly overhead
  • Chase moths & catch them
  • Dig holes in the backyard
  • Enjoy riding in the car with his head out the window
  • Not enjoy getting shots at the vet (good while there, not happy when he was tired later)
  • Chase Pepper, Annie, and Daffy at Grandma's
  • Give millions of kisses to everyone he sees
  • Figure out how to escape the backyard and follow Mama to put the trash cans out
  • Let Mama know when he needs to "Go Outside"
  • Go through the doggie door at Grandma's if you hold open the flap
  • Eat raspberries, grapes, and gooseberries off the vines at Grandma's and Grandpa's
  • Make Mama put a fence around the lilies before they were all destroyed
  • Take one quick chomp and destroy Mama's wireless mouse
  • Wake up Auntie Dana with kisses
  • Play with Duckie, Chicken, Rope, Sheep, Monkey, Frog, and Squirrel
  • Make a bed for himself out of a blanket

Life is good.

Monday, June 08, 2009


Kurka had his first visit with the doctor today. He checked up all good - he got an A+ because he was good for weight, temperature, coat & skin, eyes, ears, nose & throat, mouth, teeth, gums, legs & paws, heart & lungs, abdomen, gastrointestinal system, urogenital system, anal sacs, and dietary. (Never thought I'd find a way to talk about anal sacs on this site.)

He is five pounds three ounces and the doctor said he should get to sixteen to eighteen pounds in the next seven months. We go back in two weeks for some shots (additional vaccines, etc). He's only got a few months left of being a true boy - in September he'll be neutered and get a microchip.

Doctor sent Mama home with a folder full of pamphlets and checklists.

Kurka is getting better with house training. As long as I pay attention, it's fairly easy to know when he needs to go outside. He has figured out what outside is. Once he gets on the grass, he relieves himself quickly. He makes Mama really proud. Mama sounds like an idiot - enthusiastically stating, "Good Boy! Outside! Potty! Good Boy Kurka!" There is clapping and excited bouncing involved too. Yeah, having a puppy makes your IQ rise!

He is slowly adjusting to Mama's schedule. Well, Mama is adjusting to his too. It's just after 11 pm and he's looking at me and his little eyes are saying, "Mama, why are we not in bed right now? Hmmm?"

My vacation is over. What a bummer. While I know there are great things at work tomorrow, I'm going to be hurting when I leave Kurka at home. Coming home from work will be a happy moment for me!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Kypka Andriyovych

It's pronounced, "Kurka." In tradition with true Sheepsheadians, it follows the Chicken Conspiracy rules. Although he's super brave, he is being named Chicken.

Actually, Kypka Andriyovych means Chicken, son of the warrior. He's growing into being adventurous.

Since picking up the little guy last Tuesday, we've had a few accidents in the house, but many more celebrations when he went outside. He has found that the couch is his favorite place in the house, but sleeping next to "Mama" is fabulous!

Say hello to the joy in my life:


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Puppy Love

After a long drive with a great friend, I am home, sitting on my new couch, watching a movie, and have a cuddly baby on my lap.

The little guy is tiny! He's absolutely adorable, sweet, and lovey. He looks at the TV when there is a louder noise and he is quite interested in the picture.

He is stunned by the backyard. It's a little big and we got home as the sun was setting, so we'll see how daring he gets tomorrow to explore a little more than where I'm standing.

His prance as he discovered the living room was priceless. He came around the corner with a wagging tail and a big puppy grin.

DM and I got to meet his mother and father. He's rat terrier, Jack Russell terrier, Wire Fox terrier, and a little T-cup poodle thrown in for good measure. He has black and white patches all over and little spots on his legs.

It was fun picking him up. The woman who we got him from had about 50 dogs running around the place, but she was nice to them and very passionate about each. A little overboard (read, "Crazy,") but she let me have him.

I'm in love!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Finally breaking down and joining the bandwagon & REALLY exciting news

I did it. Not entirely sure why, but I did it. I joined Facebook. With 24 hours passed as a member, I still have no clue what I'm doing on there, but we'll see. It's interesting at least.

But this is what I really want to talk about. It's in the works and official. I've adopted a puppy!

He is a mixed breed - mostly rat terrier with some wire terrier and toy poodle thrown in for good measure. His picture online is very adorable - his head is bigger than his body!

I will pick him up from the shelter the first week of June. He's in Wisconsin right now and my vacation is approaching quickly. My new priorities include puppy-proofing the house! I have to consider names for him and I'll be flooding this site with pictures very soon.

I can't wait!

Monday, May 18, 2009


Time to wake up, time to stretch, and time to grow again. Spring is here after what seems to have been an exceptionally long and hard winter. The grass is green, the trees are full of leaves, and the sun is shining.

Yesterday, Dana and I got up early (she was over for the weekend) and met my mom at her house. From there, we headed to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market. We wandered up and down the 5 sections of the market, looking at the stalls filled with beautiful flowers, vegetable plants, and home grown goodies. We came home with a car load of items needing to be planted.

Scott joined us at my house and Dad was shortly behind. Mom brought dinner for all (Spanish hamburger, chips, and sweets). Dad and Scott worked on my new fence - getting it all ready for a special furry one that I will soon pick out and have join me. I worked on getting the lawn mowed which is a big task! The garden was raked and prepped (thanks Dana!) and we planted the green bean seeds. In about 51 days, I should have a great crop of beans. The lilies are coming up, the peonies are growing strong, and the tomato plants are in the ground. Gerbera daisies are in a pot just in front of the garage, a new fern is making its home in the shade behind the garage, and the annuals are filling the side of the house with color.

As of right now, I am sitting in the backyard under the umbrella, listening to music, and enjoying the fragrant smell of lilacs in the air. The breeze is mild and the sun is strong and warm. The firepit is awaiting its first use and the wood pile is stacked between the two pine trees.

Life is good right now. I know I've missed writing and I've missed reading. No promises as to when I'll write again, but I haven't given up on this site completely. Reviewing the posts, I see it's been over 2 months since I last wrote. It was cold then - the furnace was working overtime. It's not cold now. I love the changing of the seasons.

My plans today involve torture - I have a dentist appointment in 40 minutes. In the past 365 days, I've been to the dentist way too often - over a dozen times. A little over a month ago, I had an emergency arise. A molar decided to cause me some trouble, resulting in an emergency root canal on a Saturday morning. Pain pills were prescribed and two days later, an antibiotic was given to knock out the infection in my jaw. Three days after that, another set of pain pills (different kinds) were prescribed and a different, much stronger, antibiotic was prescribed. After a week of fear and pain, relief was given as the new drugs did the trick and the swelling that went from my chin to my throat by ways of my jaw finally subsided. That was not a happy week.

My plans after the dentist are simple - go to Mom's house for dinner and a bit of shopping. The work week starts tomorrow and I'm helping someone out, so I'll be at the office for 6 days in a row. But then I get two days off, work 4 days, and find myself on vacation. I need the break!

I hope all is well. Spring doesn't last long in Minnesota and I plan on enjoying what I can. Summer will be here soon and many more days of gardening are waiting ahead.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dads are Great

A typical Monday finds me heading to my mom's house for conversation, dinner, and a bit of television. That wasn't this typical Monday. Mom is out of town for work and instead of heading to her house, I spent the day with my dad.

My dad is terrific at teaching me how to do things around the house. For example, when a good deal comes around and you get a new stove for $10 but it is a gas stove and your prior stove is electric, Dad knows how to find the right pieces at the hardware store to pipe the gas up. He has all the fancy wrenches and even had this pipe glue stuff that makes the pieces fit tightly together.

Dad also knows how to help pick out some fancy new (I cannot believe I'm going to type this) window treatments for my living room. The awful curtains are gone - well, they will be once Thursday comes along and the garbage truck makes a visit. Dad suggested pulling a Scarlett and making a dress, but even she couldn't turn these curtains into a fashionable getup. That, and the fact I don't wear dresses.

Dad did forget one thing today. While working on the pipes, he turned off the gas to the house. We shut off the furnace and thermostat while the gas was off and that was good. After he turned back on the gas (main line to the house), he told me he turned the furnace back on.

He did, sort of. Dad turned the power to the furnace back on and turned the thermostat back on. After 4-5 hours and layers of blankets, I tried to figure out why the temperature of the house kept dropping when the furnace was supposedly on. That's when I discovered that the gas was turned off to the furnace.

We're supposed to get quite a bit of snow tomorrow (Tuesday). The forecast was 6+ inches. Not looking forward to that much white fluff, but at least it's not that cold out.

Hope all is well.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

[Insert Title Here]

I opened my email the other day to find a note from Joe wondering why I've disappeared (again - I'm getting really bad at this). No promises, but I'm not giving up on this blog yet. I hope to write more and maybe this time I'll be able to follow through.

One thing that will help will be the shiny new laptop I picked up last week. I shouldn't have to restart 7 times to get a program to run. This new system has more RAM and runs a heck of a lot faster.

On a serious, sad note, I have been dealing with some unfortunate family events. On January 30, my godmother, Cheryl, passed away. She lived with Crohn's disease since 1967. My mom is broken hearted over it and I miss her very much. Cheryl was a wonderful woman who loved animals, always made anyone feel welcome, and loved a good story. She is missed by many.

The next day, January 31, my grandfather passed away. He had been battling lymphoma for 2 1/2 years. He was surrounded by his children and my grandmother when he passed. I spent much of the week with my dad, my two aunts, and my grandmother.

During that same week, I was doomed to the unpleasant experience of food poisoning. DM and I went to eat and chat one night at a local restaurant and I spent the next day realizing how awful a day could truly be.

It was good when I returned to work but busy. February was a short month to begin with, but missing the first week of it for bereavement put me way behind. I've caught up now that it's March. Thankfully.

The first winter in the new house has been great. I'm learning how to stay warm with blankets and sweatshirts (trying to save a few dollars in the heating costs). My snowblower likes to work a little more often now and I had the experience of finding out what happens when there is a newspaper buried in 6 inches of snow and you accidentally run it over this past Sunday. If you're curious, the end result will be you in the garage - freezing and cursing as you try to cut the newspaper out with a knife. Yes, next time I'll dig in the snow before I run the snowblower again. Yikes!

I cannot wait until the snow melts. In the spring, I'm going to finish off the fence and add a furry friend to my life. A puppy will add adventure to my life. I'll probably have a lot more stories to share when there is a puppy here!

I'll try to update a little more often. Hope all is good in your lives. It will be good to visit everyone.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Passing of Time...

Some years seem uneventful when glanced from a distance - I can remember much about 2005 (good, bad, good, bad, good), but there are few noteworthy moments from 2006 and 2007. Yes, they had a couple of wonderful trips and memories made, but those are just a few days of each year. 2008 has proven to be a memorable year.

As far as finances, I'm much poorer at the end of this year than when I started. Buying a house will do that to you. I'm much richer in my home life though - having a home will do that to you as well. I love my house, truly, madly, and deeply. I'm thrilled that my basement holds heat and my scrapping area is cozy and inviting. I'm adoring trips to IKEA for fun, albeit tricky, bits of furniture that have come to adorn my rooms.

I found that I enjoy gardening this year. Walking outside to check the green beans put a smile on my face each day this past summer. Mowing the lawn isn't even that much of a chore - self-propelled lawn mowers are a blessing. The spots of dirt next to the steps were perfect for flowers and walking around the farmer's market picking them out was a happy experience that I loved sharing with my mom.

At the beginning of the year, I made a couple of goals. Not New Year's resolutions, but just goals. I wanted to buy a house (check!) and I wanted to FINALLY finish my degree. Eleven years after graduating high school, I found my self a college graduate. The look of pride on my dad's face when he held my diploma was worth all the extra work on projects and stress of poor learning groups. I have yet to decide what to do with the degree, but I made it. In a few years, I may consider graduate school - if only to say I did it. It is weird not going to class (online) anymore, but it is also nice to have completed my education.

In the late summer, our family lost a beloved family member. Our dog of 16 years, Chip, left us and I'm still having trouble with that fact. As odd as it seems, I've been very private with how much this hurts. Losing him is probably the closest I've ever come to depression and I'm still in mourning over him. Mom got another dog shortly after - a beautiful female Corgi who needed to be rescued and deserves a happy, loving home. She is a darling - a princess to say the least - but she is not Chip and I don't have a connection with her like I did with him. Chip was the happiest, nicest, and most selfless being I've ever known. He had such joy in just being able to make you smile - I admired that and will always miss him. It is just really hard knowing that I'll never hold him again and never get to scratch his back again.

During the year, I went to the doctor a couple of times for this shoulder pain I've experienced for the last year and a half. What a waste of money that was. The second doctor, the one who actually bothered to do x-rays, prescribe some muscle relaxants, and refer me to a physical therapist was slightly more interested in the problem than the first guy (who may or may not have been 12), but none of those things actually relieved the pain. I'm coming to believe the problem may be a side effect of spending 6 days a week in a bowling alley for my high school years. The type of injury I'm experiencing would make sense, but I still have no clue how to make the pain disappear. I have a funny story to share about my mom's advice, but it is more suited for a post of its own. Pretty soon.

Work has been work this year. Nothing really exciting, but that's how life can go sometimes. Our department is constantly changing, which can be interesting, but also can be tedious. There are moments that make me proud and moments that don't. I don't have much else to say about the work front.

Vacations brought opportunities for pretty pictures this past year. In March, DM and I headed to Duluth for a couple of days. We managed to not lose any fingers or toes to frostbite, but we may think twice next time we decide to watch a sunrise over a frozen Great Lake when it is below zero Fahrenheit. Yeah, we're crazy.

In September, I went on the second annual trip with my mom. We stayed a little closer to home this time and found ourselves in Chicago for the week. Chicago is a great city - lots to do and see. I was thrilled with the trip and enjoyed spending the time with my mom.

I hope that 2009 brings happiness to everyone. Life has wonderful moments that we need to appreciate and savor. I wish moments that take your breath away in a positive surprise. I hope for days that stand out because of wonderful moments to each person. Best wishes for 2009.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Just in case I don't get a chance to post again before the holiday:
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!

Not much has been happening here this past week or so. I put together my dresser from IKEA and I'm thrilled with it. I finally have a nice storage space for towels, sheets, and blankets.

To help put my dresser together, my dad gave me an early Christmas present. My old cordless drill died (the battery wouldn't charge anymore) and now I have a shiny new drill! It's pretty cool and I just know DM will drool over it a bit.

As for shopping, I'm sort of done. I think I have gifts ready for most everyone, but still need something for a pretty great friend. It's a small Christmas this year - that's what happens when you buy a house.

We're supposed to get another couple inches of snow tonight. I'm not sure if I want snow or if I'm hoping for the snow-free winter. No snow tends to mean extreme cold. Well, at least I've learned how to use my snowblower. It only takes about 10 minutes to clear the sidewalk/driveway when it works.

Oh! This was a nice surprise. Saturday brought us quite a bit of snow again. Before I woke up, my parents and Scott stopped by and shoveled my driveway! It was a nice, sweet thing for them to do and really made my day. I have a pretty cool family.

My Christmas plans include wrapping like mad on Christmas Eve (after work - I'm really hoping my dad's presents show up on Christmas Eve!). On Thursday, I'll get up, call Dad, and head over to Mom's for family time and wonderful food.

I hope everyone has a happy holiday, full of happy moments, and positive memories. Best wishes to all my friends!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I have overcome the challenge of my snow blower! This afternoon, I woke to find about 2 inches of snow on the ground. "It will work. It will work. It will work." I chanted this to myself as I headed out in my multiple layers of clothing and hoped that I could get the machine to work for me this time.

The chanting worked! I got the machine to run and not die 2 minutes later. Within 10 minutes, I had the driveway and walkway cleared. Nice! So, I'm proud of my accomplishment today.

Let's hope this trend continues through the winter.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Layers. Yes, layers are good.

I am snow blower challenged. We got about 2 inches of snow (maybe less - doesn't sound like much to say 2 inches, but it is still enough to have to clear the driveway and walkway). When I got up this afternoon, I figured I needed to go out and clear some snow. I got the snow blower to start up and then it died. Then I started it again, tried to move it forward and guess what? It died. ARGH!

After a 1/2 hour of shoveling snow and freezing the small areas of exposed skin off my body and not being able to see ANYTHING because my sunglasses fogged over and then froze, I went back inside to remove the massive amounts of clothing required to spend 30 minutes outside doing manual labor. Could that sentence be any longer? Hmmm.

Here's a secret. When it is negative 8 below Fahrenheit with a windchill of negative 20 or 30 or something (I think the news said negative 33, but it didn't feel quite that cold), fashion is no longer a concern. I went outside with three pairs of pants on (long undies, pj bottoms, and jeans), three tops (pjs, long underwear, and a hoodie), my leather jacket, two scarves, ear warmer headband, a knit hat, and the hood of my sweatshirt. Oh, there were gloves involved too. I could barely walk, but there I was doing MANUAL labor because the machine that is supposed to make my life easier has decided to only work when my dad is here because it is mean to me. It is a conspiracy.

Why can everyone else make my snow blower work except for me? Seriously, I'm nice. I'm a good person. Work dang it!

Mom and I went to IKEA tonight. I was pleasantly surprised to find a 6 drawer chest that will fit nicely in my room so I have storage space for extra sheets, towels, and other stuff. Plus, it will give me a nice place to display items such as picture frames (which I got MORE of at IKEA - I may have an addiction).

I hope everyone is staying warm. I'm going to grab another blanket and bundle up while watching a movie.

Howling Wind

It is snowing outside right now and the wind is creating drifts of cold, soft, white. My first winter in this house is starting off well. Mom gave me a snowblower - it is a small one but one that should do the job for a narrow driveway. Tomorrow morning will be a good day to give the machine a workout.

I can't believe how close it is to Christmas. I'm not ready at all. I do have a small tree in my living room - it's only 3 feet high. It's sitting on an end table and is lit up in blue and white. Bowls of large ornaments are around the house trying to make the place a little more festive. I need to go shopping and figure out what to get my parents. It is going to be a scaled back holiday this year, but I'm sure it will be great to spend time with family.