Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Turkey Day - Delayed

We did our Thanksgiving in two parts this year. With Richard having to work Thursday and Friday, we had a private celebration with some homemade spicy chicken drumsticks for our game-watching. Go Horns! Then on Saturday our friends Barbara and Daniel had some of the folks from Richard's office over for "An American Thanksgiving" gathering .I made a turkey and some yummy mac & cheese to add to the potluck. And of course i made a few pies as well.   Delayed Thanksgiving dinner was fabulous and we were able to share our traditions with a few Irish friends as well. I didn't win the wish bone contest, darn it. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Coach Of The Year

TJ Update

We got great news! TJ's biopsy came back clean. They've determined that the mass is a polyp. Right now, we're deciding between surgery or letting him live with the mass in his mouth. It would be a risky surgery, but it's not much fun with a golf-ball- sized mass in your mouth either. So, decisions, decisions. All in all it's good news, though we have some thinking to do. Thanks for everyone who sent their concerns!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What a Day for TJ

We've had a bit of bad news this weekend for TJ. Last week I noticed a sore inside TJ's mouth, But it had gone away by the evening so I assumed he had eaten something that had caused some irritation. But then Friday we noticed that it had returned. Saturday when TJ greeted me with a morning yawn, I saw that this little sore I had seen was actally a large, larger-than-a-golf-ball-sized lump in the back of his mouth. So we packed him up and walked down to our vet immediately. After not too long of a wait, we saw the vet. She explained that it looks like an epulis, which is a benign growth of the gums. It's fairly common in large dogs, especially boxers. She seemed to think it was a little strange that it was in a dog TJ's size. But she still assured us it was most likely an epulis though we are doing the recommended biopsy following the surgery, just to be sure.

We scheduled surgery for Monday morning first thing because they don't do surgery on weekends. Our vet assured us that dogs gums heal very quickly and the gums should look normal after only two days if all goes well in surgery. We took TJ in Monday morning and it was already a full house as soon as the doors opened. The assistant took TJ to the back and told me to call in around 3pm. Well, I called at 2:40 and they said they hadn't gotten to him yet. I was less than thrilled about this, but what could i do? So I was now waiting until 6pm to make my second follow-up phone call. 6pm finally arrived so I called to check on poor TJ who had now been through quite a long day.

The doctor who operated on him, Michael, told me some not so good news. Apparently the tumor is in a very dangerous spot for operating. It's attached to the frenulum, which is the little piece of tissue under the tongue that connects it to the bottom of the mouth. The mass is on both sides of this tissue and about 2 inches in length, basically the length of his entire mouth. This area is a high risk for blood loss, so Michael didn't feel comfortable opertating in such a risky area until we knew what we were dealing with. He did a biopsy and we were told we'd have to wait a week for the results. So poor TJ. He went through quite an ordeal for very little immediate results.

The good news is, this mass doesn't seem to cause TJ any pain at all. He's eating normally, still active, etc. Though I couldn't imagine having a golf ball under my tongue all the time, TJ seems to just roll with it...always my trooper.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Autumn in Dublin

Cooler weather is definitely here. We've been enjoying the days that are rain-free, exploring Dublin in Fall.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Back in Dublin

Football, tailgating, barbeque, chicken fried steak, Tex-Mex - a lot of Tex Mex, Blue Bell, Lone Star, Shiner...any beer under $8 really, warm weather, friends and family, showers, birthdays, babies. Well, living life as a Texan again was fabulous, but we're slowly adapting back to Irish life. Luckily it rained so much in Texas while we were there we didn't get used to too much sunshine. I really enjoyed my time in Texas and was a little hesitant to return to Ireland. But I suppose anyone would be hesitant to return from a 5-week vacation with so much family, friends and fun! Enjoy the montage of photos below from what was a great reminder of what we're missing during our European adventure.

Birthdays and Family Fun

Texas vs. Texas Tech

Texas vs. UTEP

Texas vs. Colorado

Texas vs. OU

Friday, September 18, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Richard's folks finally made it over to see us. We wanted to get them out to see some castles and fun stuff outside of Dublin, so the day after they arrived, we headed to Kinsale. Kinsale is Ireland's foodie town. It has some of the best seafood restaurants in Ireland. We were late planners so we couldn't get reservations at Fishy Fishy whish is supposed to be phenomenol. So instead we ate at Jim Edwards. Everyone loved their meal. Very delicious, fresh seafood. I think we saw more than the required number of castles for one visit to Ireland. We went to Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle, and Blarney Castle. We kissed the darn Blarney Stone, again! And then headed back to Dublin. And would you believe it rained the entire time. I'm not joking, there was not one single hour without rain.


When we got back to Dublin there was one glorious day without rain. We spent that day exploring the parks and sights of Dublin. For the last night of their visit, we went out to celebrate Richard's birthday. And then before we knew it, it was time for our visit to end.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Getting out of Dublin

We rented a car and got out of Dublin for Chelsea's last couple of days in Ireland. The first day Chelsea helped me navigate the Dublin streets, then we grabbed the pups and headed to County Wicklow to Glendalough and Sally Gap and bog jumping!

First up was the 5000 year old passage tomb of Newgrange. This monument which dates even before the pyramids was built by the sun-worshipping people that inhabited Ireland in ancient times. It was built to light up only one day a year, on the winter soltice. It's quite amazing.

We then jumped 4000 or so years forward in time and visited Trim Castle, the largest of the Anglo-Norman castles in Ireland. It was quite impressive.

And across from Trim Castle is St. Patrick's Church, a beautiful church whose altar has been decorated in a motif reminicent of the Book of Kells. It was the most beautiful church I've seen in Ireland.

And all that was great. But the real excitement of the day was ending Chelsea's trip at our modern-day monument, IKEA! A great day, but also sad since it was Chelsea's last.