Monday, February 20, 2012

Counting The Days....

It's Presidents Day!  The greatest holiday.....  in the 3rd week of February.  It's not even the greatest holiday in February as Valentine's Day kind of kick's Presidents Day's butt.  Though this holiday is a celebration of our nation's history and heritage, there really isn't anything that remarkable about it.  Are there any special Presidents Day traditions?  There aren't any of them that I am aware of.  I guess the closest thing that comes to a Presidents Day tradition are cherry pies and that isn't even that big of a tradition.  Cherry pies are a Presidents Day tradition because George Washington chopped down his father's cherry tree and couldn't lie about it.

One of the things that becomes a little bit of a tradition concerning Presidents Day for me, is that I really start to notice that the days are becoming much longer.  This afternoon as I sat here at the kitchen table working, I noticed that at 5:30PM and the sun was still fully in the sky and not yet even near the horizon.  Slowly but surely spring is coming and the days are getting longer!

With that thought in mind it made me think of a number of special things to which I am counting down.  During this time of year it is always easy for me to become depressed.  The weather is traditionally crappy, there aren't any major holidays taking place, the days are short and the nights long and February has a lot of difficult anniversaries for me.  To keep myself from focusing on those things and the things that depress me, I instead like to think of upcoming events that are going to be fun and joyful.  On top of that I am a huge numbers person.  I tend to count everything, keep lots of lists and just remember lots of things to do with numbers and dates.  So tracking the number of days until special event A or special event B occurs is just part of who I am.  Here's a list of things that I am currently tracking and how many days until they occur.

Event:                                                                               Number of Days Til Event:
Second and Hopefully Final Back Surgery                                            8
Start of Daylight Savings Time                                                             19
St. Patrick's Day and the Big Beer Blast                                              26
Arrival of our "Special Package" - more on this later                            29
Start of Spring Break and Flight to Costa Rica                                    33 
Estimated Start of Kitchen Remodel                                                    49
Flight to Reykjavik, Iceland for start of Summer Vacation                    138

So these are the main events that I have planned and scheduled throughout the spring and early summer.  There will be a lot of other things taking place in the June time frame for which I don't yet have dates.  There are numerous 14er climbs that are planned with several groups I have joined in the last several months, along with weekend camping trips and hikes.  There will be lots more on those events later.

As for the arrival of my "special package"... In the future I will write a whole blog entry about this.  But it is something for Zack and me.  It will help us with a lot things and will make Zack potentially one of the happiest kids around.  I'll talk about this more sometime in the future.

We have had a slow and low-key long weekend.  My life continues to be haunted by the pain of my back injury.  Depending upon what I am doing on what day, I sometimes need to take a day or two to recover from the amount of pain incurred.  My trip for work last week took a large amount out of me and hence Friday and Saturday were recovery days. 

Saturday however was marked with a significant amount of upheaval for us as our dogs got loose and did an extended tour of the neighborhood.  Sometime on Saturday morning during their daily going on with Maggie the dog next door, Lex or Finn managed to knock one of the slats in the privacy fence loose.  They knocked it away enough so that they were able to get through the fence and roam throughout our neighbor's yard.  Unfortunately, our neighbor's yard is not entirely fenced and they were able to get free.  I left them out sometime around 1:30PM or so and we didn't determine they were missing until after 2:30PM.  So they potentially had an hours head start upon us.  This was not good.

While I took off in the car to ensure they hadn't gone to County Line Road or C470, Zack began a methodical search of each of our neighbor's yards.  After about 15 minutes and numerous neighbor's yards, Zack managed to find Lex down over the hill in one of our neighbor's yard on E. Phillips Place.  Zack got a hold of him and marched Lex back home.  He then called me to report his progress at which point I came home.  I was very concerned that Finn was separated from Lex.  No matter what, Lex won't go far.  He is acutely aware of where his food comes from and he doesn't like to get too far from that.  Other times he has gotten loose he always comes back within 30 minutes or so.  Finn doesn't yet have that instinct and I was upset that he had separated from Lex.

We got Lex situated back in the house and we were standing in the driveway making plans as to how we would search and we heard the jingle, jangle of Finnegan's collar.  Sure enough, there he was loping down the road towards the house.  Boy were we glad to see him!

The boys must have had some adventures while they were gone as they were tired and slept the entire rest of the day.  Waking Finnegan later in the afternoon for his dinner was like pulling teeth!  I fixed the fence immediately and we will never have this kind of problem again!

I have to say, Zack impressed me greatly with his behavior during this crisis.  He was steadfast in his efforts to find the dogs and didn't start acting like a child by wailing or crying.  He grimly, but with great determination went after the dogs.  He worked methodically - going from yard to yard and he made the difference in finding them!  Great job Zack!

It is very interesting to watch Zack right now as he is physically growing a ton and he is also really doing so much to improve his efforts around his anxiety and his overall maturity.  He still doesn't have it all figured out, but just the difference that has appeared in him in the last 2 months has been remarkable.

That's about it for us.  Zack has another day off of school tomorrow.  I am not exactly sure why Cherry Creek has two days in a row off, but I will go with it.  I have an appointment with an orthopedic back surgeon on Wednesday morning to give me a second opinion about what I should do.  The question isn't whether to have surgery or not as I will be having surgery - it is more a question of what kind of surgery should I have.  Despite my physical pain I am tired of not doing much of anything, so there are quite a number of activities on the agenda for this week.  I am really looking forward to it as I have been living the life of a social hermit for way too long.  It's good to be busy for change as opposed to having nothing going on.

I hope everyone has a great week ahead.

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.

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