Life socked us one.

You know, the last time I posted to this blog, I was staying home for three weeks because of the Coronavirus stay home order. I wish my problems were that simple again.

After the stay home order, which was partially lifted around April 15th, I went back to work. Since then, I’ve worked steadily. I also have bought a house and a dog since then.

My house is in Nampa, and is a 3 bed 2 bath single family home with a yard, a garage, and a shed. I love it, it’s all my own. I worry about paying the mortgage and stuff because I spent more than I wanted to, but I don’t regret buying my house. I saw an article somewhere that said something like 55% of new homeowners that have purchased a house since the coronavirus started regret their purchase. I’m not one of them.

I found my puppy listed on Facebook in a rehoming group. She was just 3 days old when I started talking to her original family. I met her at 4 days old, and over the next weeks I visited her as often as I could. I took her home on July 31st at 5 1/2 weeks old. She was born on June 22, and she’s a Pitbull/German Shepherd Dog mix. I named her Dagny, which means “new day” in old Norse. She is a delight and a disaster all at once.

My mom came to see me at the end of July and stayed with me until the first part of September. We were mostly occupied with making sure Dagny didn’t hurt herself or bring the house down around us, seeing as Dagny is very “busy” – my mom’s word for it. She’s always up in something, chewing on something, whatever.

At the end of August/beginning of September, I took a trip to Portland to visit my dad and see my friends. I took Dagny with me (and mom was with me as well), and it was a great time. Lots of quality catch-up convos with my friends. I’ve missed them.

Then it was back to life as normal. Paying the bills. Being annoyed by people at work. Overspending on my budget like I know better not to do.

On the 28th, my mom went into the ER for a severe headache. When they finally got to her, the ER doctor asked her some questions and ordered a CT scan and blood work based on her symptoms.

They found a brain tumor.

I went from Boise to Portland and have been at the hospital nearly 14 hours a day every day since. We learned a lot about her tumor and brain surgery in the past week. Her tumor was about the size of a lemon, and they did surgery on the 1st to remove it. The surgery was a success.

Now she’s recovering from the surgery and has some weakness on her left side from surgery on her right temporal lobe. We’re waiting on the biopsy results, and for her to feel steady enough to be released from the hospital and go home.

The biopsy results are the problem. If the tumor is benign, we’re pretty much good. If it isn’t, we’re in trouble. Brain cancer can be aggressive, and is rarely cured. People with brain cancer have a relatively short life expectancy, even with chemo and radiation.

I’m a practical person. No one lives forever, and I’ve spent my life with companion animals who I love and die on my regularly. Many people have parents who die young, and most everyone’s parents die before they do. It’s the circle of life and all that. But, I don’t think any one is ever ready to lose their parents. Especially when you’re close to them.

I’m putting the cart before the horse here, because we don’t have the biopsy results yet, but I’ve had strong indication from mom’s neurosurgeon that the results aren’t going to be good.

Which means my mom likely has brain cancer. Not just a tumor or a temporary inconvenience or anything simple. It means I might lose her sooner rather than later. I’m trying to tell myself to stay calm, to take one day at a time, to take one step forward. But I’m also trying to prepare myself for my mom to die a potentially hard death.

It’s so silly to me that my worries a week ago were about me wanting this random thing I didn’t need and didn’t have the money to pay for. I want it to be a week ago. I want my mom to not have brain cancer, or even a brain tumor. I want her to not have to try to do PT to heal the connections in her motor functions. I want her to have full range of vision instead of a permanent visual deficit that will keep her from driving again in her life. I want my biggest worry to be where we go on our next vacation, not to be if we even have time for a next vacation.

This type of thing has never hit home before. My family is relatively healthy. Even the cancer scare with my grandfather was relatively minor to me, because he always seemed fine and they never did brain surgery, you know? It was scary, sure, and still kind of is because his immune system was compromised. I have family that died, but I was too young to remember the worst parts of it. I have an uncle in a nursing home but it seems to me that he’s relatively “fine”, just that he’ll live out his life there.

But this is my mom.

Time will tell, I guess, what happens. And I know I’ll get through whatever it is. She will want me to. But I’m scared.


The last day I worked was March 23rd. It was a normal, if slow, work day. Then, I went on my normal weekend. On the 25th, the Governor of Idaho issued a Stay Home order, closing all non-essential businesses and telling people to stay home unless exercising or doing essential tasks. Based on the fact that, while there is a lot of debate about whether or not pet grooming is an essential service, it is generally listed as being non-essential, I chose to stay home.

I feel a little betrayed by my coworkers and my company, because Petco is using a loophole in the laws and has remained operational, including grooming services. Petco as a store is an essential business due to the fact that they sell pet food. However, because grooming is in the store, they’ve remained operational in all states, unless they’ve been directly shut down by the government – the cops or the CDC. Before we were given the Stay Home order, my coworkers and I asserted that in the event of such an order we would be shutting down, because grooming is not an essential service. I kept my part, and stayed home. I’m riding my COVID-19 pay (something that Petco was nice enough to set up) and my PTO, and going stir crazy sitting in my apartment watching endless amounts of TV. I’ve also been feeling irresponsible and alone – irresponsible because I could be working, and since I was 14 I’ve worked. Alone because not one of my coworkers kept their word. It wasn’t a binding promise or anything, to stay home when they put the order in place, but… there’s definitely a lack of solidarity, me missing weeks of work and them continuing to work. It doesn’t lend to a sense of being a team. Also, I haven’t heard from any of them other than a question to use my supplies and when I was coming back (delivered from the store leader through my salon leader). It might take a while for my feelings to thaw after this.

Since I chose to shelter in place, I’ve watched NCIS, Young Sheldon, Frozen II, The Witcher, and am currently working my way through Lucifer. I’ve been working through my National Cat Groomers Institute syllabus as well, and I finished re-reading the Emelan books by Tamora Pierce and the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. I started Harry Potter, but it hasn’t seemed to take my interest, along with the cross stitch project I’ve been working on for 2 years now and haven’t gotten very far on. I’ve gone on 2 walks and checked my mail 3x, and I ordered delivery yesterday. We also had a Google Hangouts dinner conference call on Sunday with my parents and grandparents, which was nice. Other than that, I live on my couch and eat my food supplies I had stockpiled before sheltering in place.

It’s a very boring life right now, but I feel like it’s my civic duty to stay home because I can. I hate it, I’ve been ruminating on it, but I made my decision. I’m entertaining myself by trying not to overeat and keeping my apartment clean just because it gives me something to do.

I hope this doesn’t last more than 3 weeks and I can go back to work soon.


Life is Moving


Since we talked, things have happened, even though my last post was about 2 weeks ago.

I took my first NCGI test, and passed it with 100%. I’m now working on studying for my next test, the Health and Anatomy test. It has 50 questions, I get an hour to take it, and there’s lots of technical terms like Rhinotracheitis and Panleukopenia, with symptoms, causes, treatments and vaccines to go along with them. I’m thinking about taking it on the 18th but I haven’t scheduled that yet because I’m a chicken and there’s a lot going on.

I also got a mortgage pre-approval! They approved me for up to 275k, which is far more than I want to spend because the mortgage is around $1475 and that’s more than I want to pay. However, I am now actively searching for a house. I’m finding things mostly in Nampa. but also a few in Middleton and Boise. My main concern is my commute time to work and family members, and how big that decision is. For some reason (that I know others also have), I’m freaking out about buying the house. What if I make the wrong decision? The wrong place, the wrong time? What if it’s a terrible idea? What if by waiting just a little I’d have a better opportunity?

The last time I bought a car, I had buyer’s remorse. Not because of the car, but because if I had thought clearer about it I wouldn’t have bought an older car with an added on warranty on top of the rollover amount I needed financed from my old car. I would’ve bought a brand new car plus the rollover funds and paid the same, for a better car.

I’m worried about similar issues with a house. I know that’s what John (real estate agent) and Shayn (mortgage broker) are for, but I’m also worried about prices going up if I wait, my income going down, paying the lease severance if I jump early (my lease is up in September), etc. I’m looking at $2200 for breaking my lease, plus a down payment of $5550 for the house I’m currently looking at, plus closing costs. Eek! But homeownership… my ultimate goal. Owning, investing, building equity.

I’m going to go look at a house tomorrow. I’m going to talk to Shayn about the numbers and John about buying now rather than later. I’m going to be patient (<= LOL) and work it out. Drive around Nampa, see how I feel about it.

Deep breaths, sleep, patience, planning.

Woohoo! Done with Recipes

So I’ve been updating the recipe book to finalize it for the last time and then start a new, in progress file later (though, it often feels like I’m the only one who adds to it anyway. It’s like pulling teeth or herding cats, whichever you prefer, to get my parents to contribute). I’ve been working on this in my spare time since January, and it’s now the end-ish of February. I spent my whole stupid weekend finishing, but with the exception of the things my mom still owes me, I’m done with it!

Now, I have to get to the cat training stuff. I don’t want to. I want the knowledge but I’m scared to take the tests, to put in the work. A lot of it is the cost of those things. They’re expensive. I have to pay for membership to NCGI ($60 now, $35 per year after), then I have to pay for four written tests ($65 each, $45 retake if I fail), plus the proctoring fees, which is $45 PER TEST at BSU. The coup de gras is that I recently inquired about Personalized Private Instruction (PPI) to complete my final 5 tests, which are the practical tests that I have to take in person with a certifier through NCGI. There are also fees for those, not to mention that it’s about $600 PER DAY for an estimated 4-5 days of PPI, which includes the certification tests to wind this up. Now, once I do all of that I will be a Certified Feline Master Groomer (CFMG) forevermore, as long as I maintain my NCGI membership. But damn, that’s a lot of money up front. I want the knowledge more than the certification, but if the knowledge comes with the certification, then why not? I’m still in talks with the PPI person, but IF I do that, it’ll be in September.

I’m nervous about buying a house. The single reason is the market. It SUCKS. Housing costs have risen so much that I doubt my ability to afford it, and I make $22 ish dollars an hour. Unfortunately, since I’m single income I don’t have a large cushion. I’m going to do the paperwork so the mortgage people can do the math, but I’m not hopeful anymore that I’ll be able to make this work, which SUCKS. I don’t want to be subjected to constantly rising rent costs in a scenario where I have to sign a damn lease every year in an apartment that builds no equity. I don’t want a condo where I have to pay HOA fees. I don’t even want a house where I have to pay HOA fees. I want a little patch of land with a small-ish house on it where I can pay for a reasonable mortgage and be satisfied with my building equity and my forever home paradise. No rules other than my own as far as what’s done to MY house. All mine. It’s almost time to do the paperwork (In theory I can do it March 1), but all the things I see about $230k houses being $1200 mortgages and there’s almost nothing on the market for lower than that? I can’t afford that on my own. That’s more than I pay now. My hopes aren’t high and I’m not feeling good about that. Who knows, maybe there’ll be a miracle.

That’s it, three issues in my life that are dominating right now. The recipes are still on there because while I’m done with what I can do, it’s not really finished yet. There are about 30 recipes that still need work, I just don’t have them yet.


2.5 Years.

The last time I wrote to this blog, it was at a different URL. Since that time, I moved to Minneapolis Minnesota, lived there for a year and a half, and then pulled up stakes again and moved to my hometown, Boise Idaho. I’ve adopted 2 cats, lived in 2 different apartments, and traveled to 6 different countries (Scotland, Holland, Canada, the Bahamas, Haiti, and in the USA). I’m going to turn 30 years old this year.

In Minnesota I was nearly always alone. I got to revel in my independence and do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Mom visited for a couple months and I had other friends around, but for the bulk of that time I got to be selfish. It was nice, if a little isolated. I won’t say lonely because I wasn’t lonely, just alone. I like spending time with myself.

In Idaho, I’m almost never alone. There’s always something to do, someone to see, somewhere to go. I’m not sure how much I really like it, but I am grateful that moving here has enabled me to spend time with my Aunt Reola and Uncle Bruce, and see my Grandma Rene and Grandpa Jim on a weekly basis. I’ve also been able to spend time with my Grandpa Larry and Grandma Pam more frequently than I saw them before. Since I moved here in September of 2019, I’ve had visits from Jamie, Casey, my friends Micah and Nicole (who passed through on their move to Missouri), as well as my parents. I’ve never been in the thick, so to speak, of my family for such an extended amount of time before. If I’m honest, it’s overwhelming. I feel such a pull and obligation to be there for my family that I feel guilty for doing anything else. This isn’t a rational emotion, and it’s not one that my family has given me. I just simply haven’t figured out how to deal with those emotions yet. For me, the social do-si-do of visiting with people I have rarely seen throughout my life takes a lot out of me, despite the fact that I enjoy having the opportunity to do it. The people I know best cause the least amount of anxiety, but I feel as though my family has a filtered view of me because of the limited contact we’ve had with each other throughout my life. In a lot of cases, I get the sense that I’m still 5 years old to them, rather than a grown 29 year old woman with my own flaws and strong opinions about things. Of course, I’ve also always kept certain opinions to myself, because why rock the boat? I am a liberal person. I am not a religious person. I am the most non-spiritual person I know. However, I never state those opinions to my family because most of them are conservative believers in a higher power and I never wanted a lecture or the disapproval that may follow me sharing my opinions. So, some of my anxiety is the pressure I put on myself to be the person they think I am – regardless of how inaccurate that impression is.

I plan to stay here because it’s where I’m from, where my roots are. I plan to grow enough as a person to not be an anxious mess with the obligations I’m placing on myself to be the person I think my family sees me as. I plan to stay here so I can put down professional roots and rebuild a client base here like I had in Portland. I also plan to be a Certified Feline Master Groomer if I can ever get off my procrastinating butt and start taking the tests.

I also recreated this website on a new URL, and created a professional website so that I have somewhere to put my thoughts, personal and professional. I have no idea if they’ll stay active, and if I had to take a guess, it would be that they won’t. But for now, they’re here and shiny.