Spotlight Hour: Second Edition!

Name: Rubio
Nickname(s): Rube, Reuben, Blind-o, Soft-a-dog, Cloud dog, Reuber, Little squish

Origin of name: Once upon a time, Mama G got a dog, a little girl. A little black and white shih tzu. This dog was named Erubielle (in honor of "late" Oakland A's DH Erubiel Durazo) and lovingly referred to as Rubi. A short while later, Mama G's Papa, G-pa D, got himself a little black and white shih tzu boy and named him Rubio to make the two a fantastic pair: Rubi and Rubio. A short while after that, G-pa D gave little Rubio to his FAVORITE granddaughter and grandson-in-law.

Age: 2 years and 9 months
Weight: 11 pounds

Tricks: Spin, Twinkle Toes (backward spin), High Five, Sit, Down, Kisses

Length of time spent blind: 10 months
Times he's had to move since he went blind: 3

Best friend: Amanda (me!)

Favorite food(s): Dog food, pepperoni, oatmeal, roast meat, lunch meat

Least favorite foods: Popcorn, olives

Hobbies: Sniffing his way around the house, eating, sleeping (snuggled up as close to mom as he can get), playing with Rom, enjoying a good ol' raw hide, walks

Medical History: In his short life, Rubio has had to endure a broken leg, broken tail (had to be docked), blindness, and THE WORST HAIRCUT OF ALL TIME (so sorry, bud). Yet he is still the sweetest little dog you'll ever meet.

We are so blessed to have this wonderful little guy in our lives.


Dog-gone Spell Check

I did work for PBS, but I'm not biased when I say that I think Word World is the greatest kids' show on TV. Everything in the show is comprised of the letters that spell what the character or item is. The letters B-A-R-N make up the big red barn. The letters P-I-G morph into a friendly, pink pig. And, obviously, my favorite is the D-O-G.So, Geoff and I were at the Dollar Tree the other day, perusing, as we do. On the toy aisle, I spied up ahead, a dollar store knock off of the Word World toys. Initially I was excited, because I think they are AMAZING. Upon closer inspection...I realized why the literacy rates are diminishing in the US...
Now, for pictures of a real dog - complete with haircut! (Rubio will be coming soon!)


Are you interested?

Fargo Weather: currently 27 degrees and cloudy (feels like 16)

I know I haven't blogged much over the last few days...but I have been out of things to say. Okay, well, I'm always full of stuff to say...I've just been out of interesting things to say. Or at least that's what I thought. But I thought wrong.

Interesting fact #1: The Passat broke down.
Interesting fact #2: I found a website where I can buy seasons of House for $13 each. Seriously.
Interesting fact #3: My doggies got haircuts. They look fantastic. Pictures are sure to follow.
Interesting fact #4: Geoff had his first job interview - let the job-getting begin!
Interesting fact #5: A neighbor was nice! She introduced herself to my dogs, told me how cute and well-behaved they were. That felt good.
Interesting fact #6: I took my first support call at work. I'd also like to state that it was a success. I felt like a goofball, but the client seemed pleased.
Interesting fact #7: Diet Mountain Dew mixed with Crystal Light grape juice is the most wonderful concoction of all time.
Interesting fact #8: We were able to get all caught up on Dollhouse. I can't believe the series finale is coming. It's a fun show.
Interesting fact #9: We will be getting internet in our apartment soon, so my ability to blog will be more reliable (other then typing the blog at home at night, praying the open internet connection will work long enough to e-mail it to myself and then press "publish" at work).

I was really shooting for an even 10...but 9 is all I got.


Come Close


I'm going to tell you a secret. I don't know how to make a friend. It's been a VERY long time since I had to actually DO anything to make a friend.

Since I started college it was easy - become friends with the roommate. Done.

Since I graduated college it was easy - become friends with the coworkers. Done.

Since I got married it was easy - become friends with the hub's friends' wives.
Since I moved to North Dakota - not so easy.

Okay, okay, I know I've only been here for a wee short time and haven't really even had a chance to meet anyone, let alone build a friendship...but I'm afriad I don't even know how. Where do you find friends? Is anyone else out there looking for friends or does everyone already have friends? What if I'm not as awesome as I think I am?
It's a big, scary world out there. Who knew.

P.S. Weather - currently 28 degrees and sunny (feels like 17)


So Far in Fargo

Top 10 things about Fargo so far:

1) The swanky names of the gas station-marts: Loaf n' Jug, Stop n' Go, Kum n' Go, Cheetah Mart, Stamart (pronounced Stay-Mart).

2) 10 minute commute to work.

3) 12 minute commute to the airport.

4) Listening to the way people say, "no, way" and "oh, yeah." We try to get people to say it as often as possible.

5) We have a loft...in our apartment.

6) Paid heat and hot water.

7) The Wal-Mart greeter. He rocks.

8) Chilly weather that gives me the perfect excuse to don my snazzy snuggie.

9) The mind-boggling hilarity of watching Rom run to the deepest snow he can find to "do his business."

10) Wearing jeans to work.


Trouble in Potty-dise

Current weather in Fargo: 20 degrees and clear. Feels like 7.

I want you to know first and foremost: I am a good pet owner.

I also want you to be warned that in this post I say pee 3 times and poop 6 times in this post. Not including the times I just said them.

I'm not perfect. My dogs aren't the best behaved dogs in the whole world, but they are darn amazing. I've never been anything but a renter, so I know some of the basic rules of dog etiquette:

1) keep barking to a minimum
2) pick up your dogs' poop
3) vacuum and sweep regularly so your house never smells like dog
4) you might like it when your dog jumps up and licks you...but no one else wants this to happen. Keep you dog at bay.

So, perhaps this is why the latest string of potty-tastrophies has me all twitterpated.

We moved into our apartment on Wednesday, December 30th. We take our dogs out to "do their business" regularly. We always pick up and discard the poop. The pee, well, that's just left to disappear. However, in the always-below-freezing weather that is Fargo, ND, pee doesn't just disappear, it becomes little yellow pee-sicles. Apparently these yellow pee spots on the snow are very distressing to the neighbors and management because I came home on January 2nd to find this:
Fantastic. Pick up your yellow snow. Seriously? Okay.

So, I give in. When possible, I scoop up my dogs yellow slush and discard it with the poops.

So, this morning I'm out with the dogs. As they both start their sychronized pooping, I reach in my pocket to pull out my baggie to collect said poop. No baggie. Aw, crap (no pun intended). I do, however, have my car keys, and a car full of trash, perfect for picking up poop. So, I pick up little blind Rube and towing Romulus behind me we trek over to the car. On my way there, a neighbor drives by with her window down. She leans in my direction and I think, oh, maybe she's gonna say hi! No one has really said hi yet.

"You're gonna pick that up, right?" she yells out the window, much more a statement then a question.

"Absolutely" I call back, my I'm-prepared-to-be-friendly-and-say-hello-back grin still plastered on my face.

And I'll tell you right where I'm gonna put it....


Spotlight Hour!

Current Weather in Fargo: 16 degrees, feels like 16 degrees and cloudy.

Now, onto today's spotlight:

Name: Romulus

Nickname(s): Rom, Rombo, Rom-a-dog, Rombone, Rombo-dilly-dorg, Romster

Origin of name: Romulus of Romulus and Remus, the legendary brothers who founded Rome. Not Romulus as in the planet in Star Trek...although, if you choose to see it that way...

Age: 7.5 months

Weight: 11.5 pounds

Tricks: Spin, Sit, Down, Stay, Up

Favorite Color: Whatever "mom" is wearing.

Best Friend: Rubio
Favorite Food(s): Marshmallows, Popcorn, Carrots, Dog Food, Meat

Hobbies: Chewing on anything, carrying clothes around the house, snarfing down food so Rubio can't steal it, warning mom and dad of "stranger danger", car rides, long walks on the beach, short walks in the snow, medium walks in the summer (pretty much any type of walk will do), staring at mom/dad while they eat until they give me little tastes (who can resist this face?).
Fears: The vacuum. The treadmill.

Near-death Experience: At the tender age of 8 weeks, Rom came down with the deadly virus Parvo. Parvo carries a mortality rate in the 70s. He had to be hospitalized for 6 days.

Anything else you wanna know?


Getting Settled

Current Weather: -19, feels like -29.

Well, usually I'm a "don't-sit-down-'til-it's-done" kinda gal. However, given the fact that it took a 24-hour drive to and from CA, a 20-hour drive to get to Fargo, 2 days to find an apartment, one day to move in, and then I started work...unpacking kind of fell pretty far on my priority list.

Tonight, however, I started attacking it. Geoff and I got the living room set up a couple days ago...but the room had also become a receptical for stuff. Ya know...the stuff the accumulates when nothing has a home yet? Oh yeah, that stuff.

Tonight I cleared it out and took some pics. I also finished emptying out any boxes that were still in the workout room. Then I spent 40 minutes working out while I wrote my menu and grocery list for the next week. It's so awesome having the ability to work out in my apartment! Woot! I also have some pics of the bathroom. It's pretty big (pictures of bathrooms ALWAYS suck, have you ever noticed that?).

The job is going well. I was telling my mom today that it's a little hard for me to go from being the expert at my old job to feeling like an idiot at my new job. I guess it's just incentive to work really hard and become the expert here! :) Everyone is great and I'm so excited to learn more.
That's all for now. Just a quick update. I've got some fun posts coming up, though, that you won't wanna miss!


I've Been Tagged

Well, I don't usually do stuff like this. However, my cousin tagged me, and since I was the only person tagged who had an official title (I'm proposing that 'My amazing niece Marissa, who just returned from the Middle East bearing love and fun and a sweet scarf for me' is a description and not a title; 'The Cousin', however, 100% title, baby) , I must acquiesce.

The instructions are to list 10 things that make me happy, do at least one of these today and then pass along to 10 other bloggers. Easy 'nuff.

1) The hub. He is, easily and unequivocally my perfect match. Doesn't make him perfect, but it does make me very happy.

2) Those little dogs of mine. Rubio and his perseverance despite his blindness. There is no cuter, sweeter, softer, kinder, more lovable little guy in the whole world. Anywhere. And Rom, he has added a whole new dimension to our lives. He's rambunctious and sweet, speaks his mind, and gives Rubio a chance to be a dog when the play together.

3) My Amanda-friend. I really think you only get one or two friends who become more then than. AD is more then my friend...and someday we will live close enough to each other to spend TONS of time together.

4) Cardio. I can't remember ever feeling worse after a good, heart-pounding workout. I've got my treadmill all set up in my new place! I'm ready to go!

5) My fam. My mom, dad, bro and SIL are the best support group around. And, perhaps, the most hilarious.

6) Red Vines and Diet Mountain Dew. Sure, the sugar in the red vines probably offsets that fact that I'm drinking diet...but it doesn't diminish how each of them are so fantastic.

7) Efficiency. I used to think I was a patient person. Turns out...I'm not. Getting something done quickly, efficiently, and excellently makes my soul happy.

8) Winter clothes. I'm adapting to the Fargo chill (currently 8 degrees, feels like -11), but I already owned 3 wool coats (white, tan, black), 2 down coats, 10 scarves, 2 pairs of leather gloves, etc...cuz they make me feel snuggly.

9) G-chat. No explanation needed. Google makes my world go 'round.

10) Shopping. Obviously.

Today - I've had Diet Mt Dew, I'll get some cardio in on my treadmill, I've already mastered the art of the G-chat, and I'll love those doggies when I get home. I wish, oh, I wish I could go shopping...but there are a plethora of reasons I cannot. Perhaps I will touch on them later (i.e. the woes of the missing wallets!).

I tag:
1) Mama G
2) Geoffrey
3) Stephanie D
4) Steffanie
5) Amanda E
6) Latissa
7) Katrina S
8) Liz
9) Jen
10) Matty G


New State, New Job, New Year

Current weather in Fargo: -23, feels like -23 (in case you are wondering what -23 degrees feels like, it's cold. But not so cold you can't go out and take care of business, or, at least not so cold that you don't.)

I know I haven't been able to blog enough about our adventures, and inquiring minds want to know (mostly mom). So, here's a quick recap.

1) When apartment hunting in Fargo, it is your best interest to be pet-free. If you must have a pet, one is apparently the only acceptable number. We found only 4 apartments that would let us have our dogs. Fortunately for us, one of them was awesome. So we snagged it up (pictures later in the post). P.S. When someone asks you if you are "committed to keeping both your pets" it is hard not to bop them on the head.

2) When unloading your moving truck in Fargo, it is helpful to have the assistance of anyone who will help, in our case that was 6 of my Allegiance co-workers who took time to help us haul all our stuff in 5 degree weather. They rock.

3) When unpacking boxes of stuff in Fargo, be aware that everything is going to be frozen. Solid. This includes canned goods, dish soap, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Do not expect to be able to cook anything your first couple days.

4) When ringing in the New Year in Fargo, I highly recommend a delicious dinner at Famous Dave's followed by Martinelli's and Welch's Sparkling Grape juice enjoyed in your brand new apartment with your hub and dogs. P.S. Don't let the dogs drink and drive.

5) When first moving into your apartment in Fargo, make sure to stock up on the necessities.

Just in case you think I moved those items to the door to make it seem like that's all I had, here's proof.

So, all in all, things are going great. It's cold outside...but with the right clothes on and the right attitude, it's really not that bad. Even the dogs are making do (although doggy shoes are definitely in their future). To hear it all from Geoff's perspective, visit his blog here.

Now, here are a few shots of the apartment, I'll post more once we are unpacked and our stuff isin it: