Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mudball Murphy

This was the sight from this morning. Murphy was whining to come in, so I went to check and discovered a total mudball. I became just as muddy trying to clean him up. For some reason, he attracts all kids of dirt and you can really see it on his coat.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Murphy fits in

Murphy loves his big sister. He cries when he can't find her and loves to snuggle on her when they are done playing. She puts up with him for the most part and actually loves playing with him, too. We just make sure she gets some personal space from time to time as a way of keeping the peace.

He also loves his daddy, who is teaching him to swim and retreive. He loves to snuggle up to us and prefers to sleep with us, although we don't really allow this. I don't know he wants to be near us, rather I think he prefers a soft bed to his crate with a towel. I know I would!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

100th post and going green

Yea - the 100th post of our little family blog. I could barely believe it when I logged in to post this while taking a short break for lunch. I was never really sure if I could keep up with the blogging and while I don't post as often as I would like, it has turned out pretty well. Since my husband says I have no hobbies (sorry, I am not creative, so scrapbooking, quilting, etc. is not fun to me), I am considering blogging one of my new hobbies. Here's to 100 more...

Now on to more important things, like our environment. As everyone knows, Todd is an environmental scientist, so we are very aware of environmental issues. I've also never made it a secret that one of the reasons I am nervous about having kids is the future of our environment and world. I don't want to subject them potential resource shortages all because our current population did not treat the environment properly. That said, we are always looking for little ways to be more green - we recycle, we use environmentally-friendly cleaning products when possible, we try to buy products that are renewable like our bamboo flooring, etc.

That said, there are lots of ways we can be better about things. One area is transportation. While our cars get fairly good gas mileage, it could be better. Also, since we both work at IU, we could car pool. The problem is that on most days we have such different schedules and get to or leave work at different times. So, we are going to try to work on coordinating better or carpooling with friends whenever possible. This past weekend we went and looked at some hybrid cars. We would like to get one as we feel we are the perfect people to have one. We do a lot of city driving because of where we live. We are pretty set on a Toyota Pirus or Honda Civic Hybrid. There are other hybrids out there, but the gas mileage isn't as good as these two cars and the safety ratings aren't as strong as these two cars. Also, the reliablity ratings for the Pirus and Civic Hybrid have been steady since 2005. For the most part, these two cars come in head to head in Consumer Reports. We also decided that we would rather buy new because the technology for hybrids has changed so much in the last three to four years that it would be best to get a new model car. Below is what we found out about buying a hybrid (in our naivety):

  • Both Toyota and Honda hybrid car prices are not negotiable. There is such a high demand for these (even used models) that they will not negotiate and they tell you that up front. You pay the sticker price. Period.
  • There is a wait-list for most hybrids because the demand is so high.
  • If you want to get a hybrid, you have to put a down payment on the car while you wait for it to arrive.
  • The value in these cars does hold well. We looked at a used 2005 Pirus that had all the bells and whistles for that year and it was still $22,395. Most 2008 models for the Pirus and Civic Hybrid run between $25k and $30k depending on what you add to the car. That isn't a bad return since cars typically depreciate more than that in three years time.
  • Finally, if you want to buy a Honda hybrid in Bloomington, IN, they have none on the lot to test drive. But, you can give them a non-refundable $500 deposit to put you on the call list to test drive when they do get one in (maybe within 3 months) and you get first bid at purchasing the car. I am not sure if the same is true for Toyotas, but apparently people do this all the time. (I was a little shocked when the sales guy said this, but he did not waiver when I asked a second and third time if he was joking.)

So, we are going to do some thinking about this before making a final decision. We do want to get one, but we want to know what we are getting first. I think we may also head to Indianapolis or some larger city where we hope to find a dealer with one on the lot we can at least test drive.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Murphy learns to swim

Murphy is a natural in the water! This is good news since he will be hunting a lot of ducks in his future. He is a little scared of water at first, but is great once he gets in. He also does really well retreiving ducks even though he can barely fit his little mouth around the duck. Unfortunately, Lucy "dunked" him twice and he was a little shaken up by that. So, we have to watch her when they are in the water together as she tries to play a little too hard for a pup just learning to stay afloat. Here he is showing off his new-found skills:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pearly Whites Drama

My annual visit to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned Wednesday turned into a major ordeal. Let me preface the rest of this post by saying that I hate the dentist. I hate that they always tell me I don't floss enough, I hate that they make me hold my mouth open for so long, and I hate that I get a different hygienist every time I go. That aside, I know it is important to have my teeth cleaned, so I go every 6-months to have it done.

Prior to moving to Bloomington, I have always had a simple visit to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned. However, since moving to Bloomington a little over three years ago, it has been nothing but trouble. I experienced my first cavity ever two years ago! It was a horrible experience getting it filled with me balling in the dental chair. Then, they kept telling me the grooves in my teeth are very deep and I was getting a lot of decay. So, I had sealants put on last May. Well, when I went in to get my teeth cleaned this week, it turns out part of my sealant on tooth 30 had fallen out. Super.

It had to be fixed - they could already see a little decay (no cavity thankfully) and needed to get out the other part of the sealant to re-do everything on that one tooth. So, my options from the dentist were:
  1. Receive Novocaine shot to fix one tooth. This would mean I would have to endure the shot and be numb for 5-6 hours.
  2. Let her drill out the spot without any drugs, which she assured would be done very quickly and that some people don't even feel any pain.

So, knowing I had to go back to work and deal with meetings and conference calls, I chose option 2. I couldn't have a half-numb mouth all day. Boy, was that a bad idea!! She drilled and I jumped out of the chair at least once. It was the most painful thing ever. She kept hitting the nerve and apologizing. She also said that it appears I have sensitive teeth based on how I react to them poking in my mouth. Really?!? (I wanted to say check my chart lady and see that I use Sensodyne and the reason I didn't even feel the problem with the sealant is that hot and cold is always painful on my teeth, but I have learned to live with it. Also, this is the driving force behind why I don't have a problem with room temperature pop.) Anyway, I made it through and they fixed my sealant. Of course, I wasn't charged for the repair since it should have lasted longer than 4 months. Gee, thanks.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Playful Dogs

Murphy loves to play and he loves Lucy. He cries when he can't find her or if she gets to do something he can't do. He and Lucy play for hours, which is good for us because we don't have to do much to wear him out! Murphy is slowing getting used to his crate and cries less each time we put him in there. He also hasn't had an accident in doors for a few days (crossing fingers it stays this way). The bad news is that Todd pulled three ticks off Murphy tonight, so we are going to have to start him on some flea and tick prevention. He is a little young, although I have read you can start them at 8 weeks. We'll talk to the vet and see what he thinks.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Account Status: Paid In Full

Who-hoo! My student loan is paid in full. I have been making the minimum monthly payments for years, but I got close to having it paid down and decided just to pay it off this month. I love the fact that it says Paid in Full when I look it up online! So, we are officially done with school loans as we paid Todd's off earlier this year. Of course, this means I should probably consider going back to actually finish the master's I started (or start over, which is what I fear is going to happen).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Murphy tackles the stairs

Murphy has some trouble with the stairs - both up and down. I need to keep my camera ready, because this is not at all the funniest time he went down. But, I do love the fall at the bottom.

Officially Registered...and tired!

After a hard day of playing, Murphy is officially tired! He is also officially registered as "Royer's Mighty Riverman Murphy" (aka Murphy for short).

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Puppy Announcement!

Well, I have lots to catch up on as usual! Work has me way behind on lots of things, not just blogging. It doesn't help that we left for the weekend with one dog and came home with two! That's right, we are now a family of four as Murphy has been added as a new "kid."

It has been an interesting weekend as we are trying to get Murphy used to his crate and learning how to potty outside. I'll have lots of stories in the coming weeks, but let's just say that Lucy is more than a little jealous. Yet, there are moments when they play together and sleep cuddled up. So, I am sure they will be best friends in the long run. Now, if he sleeps a little more at night, I'll be happy!

Murphy is 9 weeks old. He is a light deadgrass color Chesapeake Bay Retriever (Chessies). There are a variety of Chessie colors. Murphy's color is perfect for pheasant hunting because he will blend in with picked corn and hay fields during the fall. He has already been in water and he can retrieve a toy duck that has been thrown just a few feet. So, hopefully he will be ready to hunt next year. The vet said he is surprising very social with us and others, which is not always the case with Chessies. Some can be very territorial and without proper socialization they can be a assertive and reserved around strangers. But, Lucy is over-socialized in some respects, so I don't think we will have a problem with Murphy.

More pictures of Murphy can be found online at our Picasa site. More stories to come (he and Lucy have some seriously funny interactions).