5-17-15 Sunday (Aloha?)

Saturday (5/2/15) in Augusta was about shopping, lunch out, dinner with friends at the campground and picking up Dasher’s ashes.  We went into Banfield, said one of those sad toned “Hi.  I’m here to pick up Dasher’s ashes.”  “Ashes” is definitely the keyword.  If I hadn’t said that she would have paged something like “Dasher is ready to go home.” or started searching the computer for him.  Either one would be a very uncomfortable situation.  Anyway, I was totally fine until I placed his remains in the trunk and then it started.  I balled, and Jim stood strong for me.  I know he was hurting and he kept it together. 

Sunday we attended Erik’s service at Riverwalk Park which is where Robert and Erik were married in November.  It was a nice service with one of Erik’s close friends delivering his eulogy. 

It was a sad weekend…  We’ll skip to the next week.


On Friday (5/8/15), we took off a half a day so that we could go to the county office in Augusta to get a permit for a roof over.  Of course, they wanted engineered plans which they neglected to tell Jim about the 1400 times he spoke with one of the inspectors.  So we wasted some PTO time and accomplished nothing.  This delays our install dates.

Saturday, the campground celebrated Cinco De Mayo with a potluck.  We brought ground turkey, onion and cheese sauce.  All of the food was delicious.  We had a great time!

Sunday was dinner with Jamie and Ruby.


So, that brings me to this current week.  I’m writing this on Saturday, May 16th.  Toward the end of last week, Jim started looking into vacations to use up so air miles with.  These are miles we got from opening credit cards.  We started researching Hawaii.  Cruises and hotel vacations.  We researched.  We talked to our AAA travel agent and friend Ruby (see above) about pros and cons of different types of Hawaiian vacations. Since we love cruising and it’s the most economical, we settled on an 11 night cruise.  11 nights?  Yep, but a good portion of it is at sea days. 


So let me explain about all the “at sea” days.  First off, probably 99.9% of the large cruise lines are internationally registered to avoid US labor laws and probably tax/fee advantages. So the big cruise line leaders register elsewhere in countries such as Bahamas, Panama, and Liberia.  Norwegian cruise lines has 1 ship, Pride of America, that is registered in the US.  US law is that an internationally registered ship must have at least 1 international port of call.  The Pride of America cruises can start in Hawaii and end in Hawaii with no international stops make them a 7 night. 


Meanwhile, the other ships sail to Vancouver, BC or Ensenada, Mexico.  We really prefer to stick with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity (they’re related) where possible so that we maintain and also grow our points.  Points give lots of perks.  We’re also willing to try a cruise that keeps us on the go for several days in a row and then just turns into 5 days of nothing but poolside, nap-tastic, hot tubbing, eating everything in sight, relaxation.  The 11 night cruise and the 7 night are virtually the same price too.

OK, so the point?  We booked a cruise for April 2016.  Yay!

BUT, then we realized Jim only gets 18 PTO days next year.  Using 10 for a cruise, leaving only 8 for the remainder of the year wouldn’t be a good idea so we’re going to book for another year out.  Hawaii 2017. Smile  In 2017, Jim will get 23 PTO days.

We’ve set up a partial payroll transfer into an extra account just to save for the trip!  We have plenty of time.

5-1-15 Friday (Erik And Stars)

DasherWeek of the 20th.  It’s been a rather rough week.  As I last blogged, Dasher died on Sunday.  We stayed home from work Monday.  That brings me to Tuesday.  I had intentions of going to work but when Jim and I woke up, he said he didn’t want to go in.  I stayed home too.  I worked on laundry and some other stuff that’s pretty much a haze for me now.  Jim and I had our tear jerker moments through out the day.  Jim worked from home on his work laptop.  I think we just didn’t want to be at work for fear of public cry outbursts.  On Wednesday, it was a little easier to deal with the emotions.  I still didn’t want to talk about it so I even messaged my work wife, Jessica, not to bring anything up and just act like nothing happened.

HoardingJim wants to hold on to all of the pet stuff in case we get a new family member.  We’re both in agreement that we’d prefer not to get anew but Jim’s “just in case” personality forbids him to part with all of those leashes, pet beds, bowls and other investments.  Fine.  We’ll label a box, and get rid of it in 6-12 months.  Even before Dasher died, I said I didn’t want another pet.  We like to travel and do so at least twice a year.  It’s tough to find a sitter.  We only kenneled him once.  Then there’s the issue of housebreaking a new dog.  Then there’s the awful kennel experience.  I understand the need for it but can’t bear to think of an animal caged for 9-10 hours a day, free to roam for a few hours in the evening and then either caged again at bedtime, or sleeping with us but either way not really interacting with anyone.  I just can’t do it.  What if our new pet is once of those yappers?  Or perhaps a chewer?  Ugh.  Maybe a cat?  Nah.  I think I’d like to spend our future years pet-free.  We’ll enjoy our friend’s pets.

My mother-in-law gave me a Hummingbird feeder for Christmas and we’ve had a lot of activity.  Jim put it up on the kitchen window.  Many times while at the sink, I look up and see one at the feeder only inches from my face.  I try to remain still and watch as long as its there.

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We made it to Augusta this weekend.  I immediately cleared out Dasher’s stuff here to take home.  Once again, we had a few moments, but nothing too severe.  As suggested by so many people, I’m focusing on the good times, the great memories and not so much about his absence. 

Week of the 27th.  Wednesday (4/29) was my follow-up appointment to last month's diabetes diagnosis.  This time I saw the doctor rather than the PA. 

Animal scale

The time line:

  • 3/16/15 A1C = 6.7.  Told I had type 2 Diabetes. 
  • 3/18/15 I started Weight Watchers
  • 3/24/15 I started Metformin. 
  • 4/29/15 A1C = 6.0.  I've lost 15 pounds.  I've been taken off Metformin. My doctor says he'll consider it that I'm in remission. Huh? Either way, woot woot. Go me! I'm still going to continue Weight Watchers.  I’m extremely proud of myself, hence the gloating.


10849828_10152501847406643_103615710[1]On Thursday night, 4/30, we received horrible news.  Our campground friend, Erik, died.  He was a funny and nice guy.  I’m not at liberty to share the details but he’ll be so missed.  I knew it would be a somber weekend here at the campground but we came anyway to share our support for Erik’s husband, Robert.  They were together for over 10 years (I’m not sure of the exact number) and were recently married but just a few months ago.  Just as we pulled in on Friday evening, we spotted Robert, jumped out of the car and gave him big hugs.  I could see the pain in his eyes.  It may have been the first time I’ve even seen such pain honestly.  What a crappy month. 

Obituary for Mr. Erik R. Moen

Mr. Erik R. Moen, 47, beloved husband of Mr. Robert L. Turner, entered into rest on Thursday, April 30, 2015.

Born in Evanston, IL, he was a son of Betsy Dereby Moen, Kennesaw, GA and the late Clifford Moen, Sr. He was Lead Teller with Wells-Fargo, Daniel Village, Augusta, GA. He had been a resident of Savannah, GA, where he was a Personal Banker at Ameris Bank, prior to relocating to the CSRA. Erik loved music.

In addition to his husband and parents, family members include siblings, Frank Moen, Cocoa Beach, FL, Jennifer Marsden and her husband, Bob, Napersville, IL and Clifford Moen, Jr., and his wife, Jackie, Kennesaw, GA; a niece, several nephews, as well as many beloved friends.

In accordance with his wishes, Erik will be cremated and a private memorial service will be held.

If so desired, please make memorial contributions to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. (www.afsp.org)

I was told Erik loved stars so hence the borders above and below.


On Friday, I received a voice mail from the District Attorney’s office asking me to appear in Superior Court for a case I witnessed.  I kind of remember it and had to search the blog for info (see why I like my blog/diary)?  Here’s the entry:

After all that excitement for the day, we went food shopping. First stop, BJs.  We passed a Mercedes Benz SUV parked in a handicap spot (it had a placard) with a screaming infant.  There was no one in the front seats.  We took a closer look, like real closer, like when you have to cup your hands to see in because of the glare, and saw a 5 year old with an infant.  The kid rolled down the window with one of them fancy switches, and I asked where his mom was.  He replied, “in the store”.  I asked what his mom’s name was to which he replied “Ebony”.  I tracked down a BJ’s employee who radioed a manager and agreed to page this woman.  In the meantime I called 911.  The first of 2 cops arrived.  He asked for my name, address, phone, DOB.  He talked to the kid who turned out to be 6 and agreed that was too young to be left alone.  I went inside but noticed a woman running toward the exit.  I had to follow.  It was the mother.  Glad she could run with that handicap placard and all…  Anyway, that was it.  Just another thing to make my day fabulous.

That was 2 years ago!  3/12/2013.  I’m not sure how much I really remember although the post itself reminded me of some details.  Anyway, the voice mail said that she’d want me for this week.  Short notice.  I’ll call her back on Monday to get the details.

I’m just wondering if May is going to suck too?