One Year with Baxter

It has been one year since Baxter joined our family. There have been lots of ups and downs as I adjusted to having a dog, but today I can say that I’m glad he’s here with us.

I wasn’t so sure I would feel that way at various points over the last year. There were a few days where I felt like I had postpartum depression – the feelings of being helpless and overwhelmed were so strong. Sometimes I could not figure out what he needed – when he regressed on his potty training after I introduced some wet food when he stopped eating the dry food. Thankfully cutting the wet food back to a very small amount mixed with the dry fixed that issue.

Getting outside help has made things substantially better. First we hired a dog trainer once a week for a few weeks. She helped us work with him on some of the issues we were having. He still has a lot to learn, but she gave us some tips on how to train him which were very helpful. Another thing we did is start taking him to doggy daycare once or twice a week. That way he gets to be energetic and social with other dogs while I get a little break from him. He loves it there and gets excited when I mention going to daycare. Plus he is super tired and chill in the evening after he goes and even somewhat the next day.

One thing I can’t believe is how much money we have spent in the last year on him. I have only ever had cats before and spend very little money on them. Part of it was us going overboard buying stuff for him like treats and toys, but also he has needed to go to the vet more often and now we are paying for the daycare.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t think I want to go through raising a puppy again, despite how utterly cute he was. But I am glad now to have him in our lives.

What I’m Reading – September 2020

What I’m Reading Now:

The Outcasts by John Flanagan – Brotherband Chronicles #1 – this is a new series I am starting by John Flanagan, who wrote the Ranger’s Apprentice series I enjoyed so much. It takes place in the same world and overlaps the time frame somewhat.

What I Recently Finished:

A bunch of books by John Flanagan:

What You Wish For by Katherine Center – A bit formulaic, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I have her other books.

Always the Last to Know by Kristan Higgins – A good story about a family as they deal with the dad having a stroke.

Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks – This was okay. I needed something to read and it was available.

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld – This was a reread. Not as good as the original but enjoyable.

Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope – This was another reread of another retelling of the original story. Good book!

What I’ve Added to my TBR list:

The Missing Prince by John Flanagan – Ranger’s Apprentice: The Royal Ranger #4

If you’re on Goodreads, feel free to add me as a friend. I’m always looking for new recommendations!

What I’m Reading – August 2020

What I’m Reading Now:

Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks – Not my usual go to author, but I was out of stuff to read and this was on the available list on my library app.

What I Recently Finished:

Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue by Hugh Howey – Book One of the Bern Saga. This was a good read for a young adult science fiction novel. I’m not sure I liked it enough to read more of the series, however.

To See the Moon Again by Jamie Langston Turner – I can now say that I have read all of this author’s books in the order they were published. I really enjoyed going back through her works; she has such a unique style that I appreciate a lot.

The Emperor of Nihon-Ja by John Flanagan – Book Ten in the Ranger’s Apprentice series. This was enjoyable to read. I am almost to the end of this series.

What I’ve Added to my TBR list:

The Lost Stories by John Flanagan – Book Eleven in the Ranger’s Apprentice series. This is the final book in the series.

If you’re on Goodreads, feel free to add me as a friend. I’m always looking for new recommendations!

What I’m Reading – July 21st

What I’m Reading Now:

Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue by Hugh Howey – Book One of the Bern Saga. I’m just a couple of chapters in, but it’s good so far.

To See the Moon Again by Jamie Langston Turner – Still on my nightstand. I am definitely going to read this one soon so I can say I’ve read all of her books in order.

What I Recently Finished:

Erak’s Ransom by John Flanagan – Book Seven in the Ranger’s Apprentice series. This one actually goes back in time a bit to fill in a gap that he felt was left in the series.

The Kings of Clonmel by John Flanagan – Book Eight in the Ranger’s Apprentice series. This one picks back up after the events of book six.

Halt’s Peril by John Flanagan – Book Nine in the Ranger’s Apprentice series. Can you tell that I’m enjoying this series? The earlier books had a wait to check them out on the library app, but it’s been no waiting for these last few.

What I’ve Added to my TBR list:

The Emperor of Nihon-Ja by John Flanagan – Book Ten in the Ranger’s Apprentice series. I might take a little break before getting this one to read some other stuff, but I’m definitely going to finish the series. There are eleven books in this one, but he has written spin-offs.

Becoming Us by Robin Jones Gunn – Book One in the Haven Maker’s series.

If you’re on Goodreads, feel free to add me as a friend. I’m always looking for new recommendations!

What I’m Reading – July 14th

What I’m Reading Now:

Erak’s Ransom by John Flanagan – Book Seven in the Ranger’s Apprentice series. This one actually goes back in time a bit to fill in a gap that he felt was left in the series. It’s a good read so far.

Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue by Hugh Howey – Book One of the Bern Saga, this is his first novel. I have only read the first chapter, but it seems good. I absolutely loved Wool and its related stories, so I wanted to check out some of his other writings.

To See the Moon Again by Jamie Langston Turner – Still in pending mode, but I will read it once the library books slow down.

What I Recently Finished:

Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire: The Guide to Being Glorious You by Jen Hatmaker – I have to be honest, I mostly skimmed this book. I need to be more realistic about what I choose to read – I am just not that into nonfiction anymore.

The Siege of Macindaw by John Flanagan – Book Six of the Ranger’s Apprentice series. Very enjoyable!

The Case of the Spellbound Child by Mercedes Lackey – Book Fourteen in the Elemental Masters series. Combines fairy tales with Sherlock Holmes and magicians – what could be better!

What I’ve Added to my TBR list:

The Kings of Clonmel by John Flanagan – Book Eight of the Ranger’s Apprentice series.

If you’re on Goodreads, feel free to add me as a friend. I’m always looking for new recommendations!

What I’m Reading – July 7th

What I’m Reading Now:

Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire: The Guide to Being Glorious You by Jen Hatmaker – I’m not sure what to expect from this book. It makes me a bit nervous, to be honest, but I’m going to read it with an open mind and evaluate what she has to say as objectively as possible.

To See the Moon Again by Jamie Langston Turner – Still in pending mode, but I will read it once the library books slow down.

What I Recently Finished:

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins – The story of Coriolanus Snow from The Hunger Games. I loved this book! Highly recommended!!

Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein – This was a good book, but nothing earth shattering. My job is pretty routine, and I am pretty organized already, so there wasn’t much here that I found helpful. The only area I think I need to work on is going through my files and purging excess paper. But my files fit comfortably in two drawers, so I’m not really motivated right now to do it.

The Sorcerer of the North by John Flanagan – Book Five in the Ranger’s Apprentice series. This was one of my favorites so far. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next book.

What I’ve Added to my TBR list:

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer – the story of Twilight told from Edward’s point of view

The Siege of Macindaw by John Flanagan – Book Six in the Ranger’s Apprentice series.

Did Not Finish:

The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel – My foray back into the world of WWII novels. I had to stop reading this one. I didn’t enjoy the characters or the story, and I just didn’t want to read anymore.

If you’re on Goodreads, feel free to add me as a friend. I’m always looking for new recommendations!

Happy 4th of July

It is Saturday, July 4th, and today we are going to our first family gathering in several months. Since my father-in-law is currently undergoing chemo, it will just be the kids and not the grandkids attending this time. I got Michael some extra snacks to enjoy at home while he watches Baxter for us.

Joe’s job is winding down, and he starts his new job on the 13th. He will be working at a cabinet manufacturer. It’s first shift, but they are currently working extra long days plus every other Saturday. Once he gets through training, the hours will be 5:30-3:00. I would hate to get up that early; starting at 7:30 is plenty early enough for me!

His current job had their annual raffle, and he won a bunch of stuff, including a new laptop and a Dell all-in-one computer. I am using the Dell for work now instead of my old laptop. It has a huge screen, which I love. He was also able to get a graphics card that they were going to throw out, and he put that in Michael’s desktop computer. The only computer issue we are having now is that since we moved Michael’s computer up to the office, he occasionally gets disconnected from his games. So I bought an inexpensive wifi extender, and we are going to try that to see if it gives him a better signal up here. I do lose the connection occasionally as well, so it will help me too if it works.

Things with Baxter are doing much better. Since I cut back his wet food to a tablespoon per meal mixed with his dry food, he is settling more and we are getting back into a good rhythm with going potty. It’s still not perfect, but at least we gained back the ground we had lost for those few weeks. We are still meeting with the trainer and working on leave it and greeting people at the door and walking on the leash. It is slow going but I am still hopeful we can get there. I am also going to be taking him for a trial day at a doggy daycare this coming Tuesday. If it works out, I plan to take him there 1-2 times per week. I think it will be good for him.

The sunroom floor is in now, so that room is just about ready for the furniture that’s arriving on Wednesday. I am so excited to finally be able to use this room! I will post pictures once we get the furniture. We still need blinds and possibly other furniture, since we just got a recliner and a two-piece sectional with a chaise lounge.

So that’s my news for today. Enjoy your holiday!