Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dakota's story

Christmas is the time for miracles...The Amidei's have one of their own. I thought now is a great time to share it. So, sit back and enjoy the story of Dakota, our miracle dog.

We've had Dakota since he was a 6-week-old puppy. He has been Tom's "buddy" for 10+ years now. He has intensity like no other dog I've ever known, and that focus has always been on balls. Big, little, heavy, light, anything round means it's time to fetch.

It was a common June morning. Tom and Dakota walked with Haley down to the park where they said goodbye to her as she traipsed the last block off to school. The best way to make Kota happy was to run him until your arm couldn't throw the ball any longer. After a few minutes, Kota started limping on his way back from running for the ball. By the time he got back to Tom, he collapsed and couldn’t move any further. Tom had to carry him home.

Honestly, together as a family we went to the vet that day believing we were probably going to have to put him down.

He didn’t seem in pain, just mostly scared and in shock, understandably so. The vet offered us hope, said there was a chance with some steroids that he might regain use of his legs, and we would probably know within a couple of weeks. They taught us how to use a towel to move him around, supporting his hind legs and letting him use his front.

We brought him home, hopeful but still very unsure. The first couple of weeks one of us slept downstairs with him. He was so scared. It was a long long couple of weeks and we knew we were facing tough decisions ahead.

Our neighbor, Angela did some acupuncture on him, we gave him lots of love and care…but after several months the best we got out of the treatments was him lifting his tail to wag it slightly. We resolved to do whatever it took to keep him with us, comfortable and happy. He was still Kota in spirit, but just not in body.

He started being able to drag himself in the house, scooting along on his rear, learning to manoeuvre around, but we still had to carry him outside and help him stand to relieve himself.

Three or four months had passed, we had been told that if he hadn’t improved by now, he was as good as he was going to get.

We got him a wheelchair/cart type set-up. It took a couple of tries to get one that fit his body just right, but once we got it correct…he took off. Tom literally has to get on his bike to keep up with the dog. He gets in that cart and immediately knows his freedom again.

We noticed he started showing signs of having strength in one of his legs, occasionally propping himself up on three of his four legs. Tom started leaving that leg down during short walks, allowing him to use it. That leg continued to get stronger and stronger.

Now, we are seeing movement out of his weaker leg as well. He can stand on all fours, although not for long periods of time. He can walk on all fours. He’s wobbly, and can’t go long periods but he’s walking. Going up steps is still a challenge for him as well. But he can go outside without help, stand to eat and relieve himself when needed. He even chases the ball and wants to play. He’s happy to chase the puppy around to exert his “authority” over him as well. He’s gaining strength and movement more each day.

He’s our miracle dog…still bringing us joy and companionship each day we have with him. It’s been a wonderful lesson to all of us. Taking care of him, struggling with him and nurturing him.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Before I retire to my craft room for a morning of play, I am visiting some blogs, connecting with friends and relishing the quiet that surrounds me.
I'm struck with emotions for some reason this morning.
I'm touched by the beauty that Cheryl and Dean found in spending Christmas away from family.
I'm in total awe of Jen's dedication to teaching and sharing her joys, not to mention the way she inspires my creative side and my soul.
I'm smiling remembering the warmth that surrounded us with family this last few days. But also missing those who couldn't be here.
I'm longing for the company of my best friend, who seems so far away...who should have been with us this year. But who will bring me much comfort and joy soon.
I'm thinking of how much pleasure it gave me to see my favorite piece of jewelry hanging around my mother's neck.
I'm thanking God today for blessing me so richly.
Yes yes.... I'm a blubbering, emotional, sappy woman.
But then again, you all know that about me.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Countdown 'till Christmas

The Christmas Eve celebrations have wound down. We've spent a glorious evening with both Tom's family and mine. Presents have been exchanged, food has been enjoyed and relationships have been re-established. Life is soooo good.

All that's left is to wait until a certain munchkin is asleep (and not just faking it) so that I can "take care of some business" and get to sleep myself. I've turned on some of my favorite Christmas music. The kind that makes me want to listen to the same songs over and over.

It's peaceful here right now....the only lights on are from the Christmas tree and the computer screen. I look forward to the morning and all the excitement it will bring...but for now, peace has settled in my soul. Contentment is brought on by being with my loved ones, sharing such wonderful family time.

Some times I am amazed at how truly blessed I am. Now is one of those times!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My new obsession

My mother sums it up best....she always says when I do something, I can't do it half-way. I do it to obsession. I won't argue that point - she's right. There are very few people in this world who know me as well as mom, and anyone of them would agree as well.

So, having said all's my latest obsession. (Blame it on Jen!)

I can't seem to stop making these beautiful pendants. I've been playing around with all kinds of different effects and feel like I'm starting to really "make them my own".

Everyone at work always comes looking for me each day - they know I'll have a different one on. In fact, some have like them so much they've bought them right off my neck. That's ok! I know I can come home and make shucks, huh?

Any guess what some of my favorite people will be getting for x-mas? Ops...probably shouldn't have spilled those beans.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hazey last fews days

I've lost the last few days.
I had my dental surgery on Tuesday and it's been a blur ever since. Today is the first day I've felt half-way decent, although even now I'm thinking some pain med's are in my near future. I've been in bed most of the time for the last few days.
I'm looking forward to feeling better this weekend and getting a whole lot more accomplished.
Here's to feeling good again!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Arrived

We got to bring in Christmas with Santa Clause last night. He was round, jolly and oh so familiar. Haley got to be Santa's helper at Leslie's church Christmas party, while Tom? well, he was "around" joining in on the fun somewhere (wink wink).

After the party, we drove through some of the more affluent homes in the area and enjoyed seeing all the holiday decorations. We stopped at our favorite, one that always draws a crowd. I've never seen anything quite like it and each year they seem to add a little more to the festive look.

I'm not sure I'd want to set up and take down all this stuff, but what a wonderful display of holiday cheer. It helped get me more in the mood for Christmas. My favorite time of the year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

**** Warning - Disclaimer ****

To all those dentist, oral surgeons, periodontists, etc. I must first apologize for my rant and rave. Turn away now if you are easily offended or take things personally.


I can't say I hate all dentist, because the guy I am going to now is obviously a very kind man....albeit, a nice man who likes to inflict human torture.

I just got finished with my fifth (count 'em...five) root canal. What the heck is that about? And although I am thrilled to say I no longer winch in shear pain when drinking anything but room temperature water, I'm still not at the point yet that I would say "it was worth it."

To top it all off, before I can have the crown put on the dang tooth, I get to see a periodontal surgeon who is going to strap me in for some further torturous activities.

I get to have "crown lengthening surgery" which quite frankly is nothing like the name suggests. They raise my gum line by cutting away excess, then open up the gums and shave back part of the bone. They then proceed to stitch me back together. I get the joy of having a large piece of plastic shoved over the entire area for the next 2-3 weeks so that it can heal enough to go back and finish the crowning process.

Is it a wonder I hate them so?

Monday, December 8, 2008


Ok, this was one of the most fun projects ever...but also one of the strangest ones I've ever done. Love the way it turned out, but gotta say...while I was doing it, I had no clue whether I was going to end up throwing it in the trash.
You start with a photo of yourself, divide it into 4 quadrants and photo copy each quadrant. Then you take the color copy and start applying cheap acrylic paints over it. Mind you, I never claimed to be much of a painter, but this was fun fun fun. You just add paint color where ever you want. The color copy kind of bleeds through. After that, you take it and attach it to a canvas, putting the puzzle back together...blending the pieces where needed.
Then the fun can add just about anything you want at that point. And although I did this project a while back, every time I look at it I think I should add more stuff. It just seems to be calling out for more bling. What do you think?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

When you least expect it.

Tonight Haley and I got into a camera war.

It started innocently enough - trying to take a photo of Haley playing with Milo...but before you knew it, we were chasing each other around the house with camera's in both hands, blinding the other every chance we got with flashes of light. Some of the photos were hilarious - most not even worth keeping.

But every once in awhile you end up with one that may not look like much, but as you study becomes almost art.

I loved this one I got of Haley trying to avoid my flash by using her hair as camouflage. A few minutes playing with it in Photoshop and voila, artsy-fartsy photo collage. I know, I know....I amuse myself sometimes.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ornament Exchange

What was I thinking? I really don't know....

This is my latest endeavor. I put together a handmade ornament exchange at work. We had 13 women decide to participate. Each one of us makes 13 ornaments, then we have a party to exchange. You give one of yours to each person in the exchange, and in turn, they give you one of theirs. You end up with 13 different handmade ornaments.

Here's a sample of the ones I've been making. I'm not sure this was the best time to try to teach myself soldering...but by the 13th one, I had gotten much better at it.

I created a double-sided Christmas collage, sandwiched between two pieces of glass, then soldered them together with jumprings on the ends to attach the wire work and crystals.

Although the soldering is far from being done well, I'm very happy with the way they turned out.

Since I finished the collaged ones in plenty of time, I decided to make another one for each person. Each woman will also get a beaded letter ornament.

This is what the final projects will look like when I give them out this Friday night. I'm excited to see what kind of ornaments come my way.

Next year, someone slap me if I do this again!
Just kidding.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Catching Up

I think I need to change my expectations. No more will I expect I can keep up with this blog, no more will I fret over it, and no more will I start my message with "gee I haven't kept up" (well, after this time.)

From now on, I will write when able, motivated and have something to say. (My guess is I will probably do it a lot more often now).

So, Friday night in the Amidei house. Tom is off working at the bowling alley. Haley is fast asleep after reading in the Twilight series for hours tonight. I've been playing with the new marquees and scrolling photos on my blog. (Fun stuff by the way). I've cooked and cleaned up already. I've visited with a new and dear friend (thanks again Nicki), and now it's "my" time.

What do I do? Go sit at the computer where I spend most of my day because of work...only now it's by choice. I get to look at family and friends blogs, I get to watch tv shows I didn't have time to watch earlier this week, I get to stay up all night playing silly computer games, and I get to not worry about how late I stay up because I don't have to get up early tomorrow morning and go to work. is good when you're an adult!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

There's never enough time

It's never more apparent than on a Sunday night...that's when I realize more than any other night...there's never enough time. I never seem to accomplish all I want, or feel as rested and ready to face Monday morning as I want. Weekends just go so fast when you are working full time. There's never enough time to cram all you want to do into just two short days off.

This weekend was crazy, hectic and wonderful...but I'm headed back to work feeling as if there are a hundred things I should have done, but didn't. And I know without a doubt that when I come home from work tomorrow night I will get but only a few minors ones done. So, it all gets up on hold until that next anticipated weekend and day off finally arrives.'s to Monday ----- pfth!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sleep hasn't come yet...

For someone who had plans to keep up with this blogging thing, I haven't done a very good job yet, have I?

Well, tonight sleep is alluding me. So, here I 12:35 in the morning, knowing I have to get up in less than 5 hours to face yet another day at work. Oh well, there's plenty of time for sleep when you're dead, right?

Here's the newest addition to our crazy household...this is Milo. He's a terror and joy both at the same time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Alright...truth time. I am starting a new family blog because all the young pups of the family have been showing me up. It's my turn to start showing off the techno side of me...catch up to date with everyone and start joining the 21st century.

It will be a grand journey, filled with lots of days I forget to post - so bear with me. But I'm looking forward to getting in touch - both with family and friends, and with the new cyberbased communications so dominating our lives.