Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"The BOX"

So, show of hands...who remembers the story of the insane insanity at the Indy post office?

If you're not raising your hand, you need to go back a few posts...go here!

Anyway, on the heels of that awesome experience we returned home.  And then we waited for our boxes...two were coming from Michigan City and were sent a day after the Indy box.  Once we got home, there was no box (which was okay) and in the next few days, we got our Michigan City boxes, but not the Indy box.

So we waited.
And waited.
And then, for a change of pace, we waited.

Daily we'd come home from somewhere (like the grocery) and hope to see the box on the porch.

It wasn't.


So, after a week after it should have been delivered, I called the USPS customer service.  I asked them what I should be doing - go to the Fort Collins office, call Indy's office, talk to them?

"Oh, it's no problem ma'am.  We'll open up an investigation."

Great.  Investigation.  Show of hands, who feels good about the box being returned to me?  Um, not me.

So I told the "representative" about the box and she gave me a case number and told me that someone would call me Thursday.  They didn't.  Anyone shocked?  Nope. Me either.  This prompted me to call them and ask about the "investigation" (was my box murdered?!). 

"Oh, it looks like they're still investigating.  Someone will call you Monday."

Guess what happened Monday?  You're right: no call.  So I called..."oh, someone will call you tomorrow, we're still investigating."  AWESOME.  I hate you. I want my box.

I called my mom and we decided I should go to the post office here with all the information and they could call the brilliant people at "customer service" and find the box (or what remained of it). 

This morning I headed over with all the information I needed...where I sent the box from, to, what size it was, what was in it, when I sent it, my calls to customer service, etc. etc.  We met with a nice man who looked at it, headed in the back and brought back the box.

So, for like two weeks, our box has been sitting in Fort Collins.  Great.  I want to know who gets paid to do investigations at the post office.  I could be making so much money doing absolutely nothing!!!!

Other than THAT, things are going well.  Kurtis will be tested for HCG on Thursday which makes us happy/freaked.  It hasn't been tested for several weeks now, and we're hoping it is down, down, down.  He's been playing golf and that is "normal" and I start lax practice back up on Thursday.

Chauncey is doing well too - happy to have all of his toys back from the box.

Hope everyone is doing well -


Friday, July 22, 2011

Kurtis back to golf


Hope everyone is keeping cool during the heat wave that the county seems to be experiencing!

Well, we're still home and everything is going well.  The days are ticking down from "summer" back to "school" which I'm not totally disappointed about.  I love teaching and working, so the summer always seems a little bit too long.  However, with the first half of our summer being spend in Indy, I'm not bored with summer yet and looking forward to enjoying the last few weeks I've got left!

Not a lot of stuff is going on around here.  We were able to go to the Rockies game on Wednesday and we met my parents for dinner which was really fun.  The Rockies played well and won the game which is even better.  It's nice to get back to the ballpark and I can't wait until August when they come back to CO! 

Kurtis went to Holyoke this weekend to play in a golf tournament.  I decided to stay home and take care of our grass and get some work in at school.  He's been enjoying hanging out with his family and I got some good time in at work the past few days - always nice to be back in my classroom. 

Chaunce is mad that he can't be outside all day since it has been so hot, but otherwise he's happy.

Sending our love to all of you!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

late night report from the hammock


Hope all is well in your neck of the woods - just a quick update from our end of things.

We went to Colorado Springs this weekend to see my family.  It had been quite some time since I had seen any of them so it was nice to spend a lot of time with them.  My sister comes home on the weekends from her awesome camp job, so I got to see her too.  Last night, Kurtis, my dad and I went to the Rockies game.  Our seats are by the bullpen and I am interested in working with the Rockies to set up a testicular cancer awareness campaign.  The bullpen coach, Mike Wright, knows us (we hang our head over the wall and look longingly at baseballs enough) so I started by writing him a letter asking him to get my contact info to the person who handles that kind of stuff.  He said he would, which is great news - and also wrote a beautiful note on a ball and had a bunch of the bullpen guys sign it.  It was a wonderful gesture that meant a lot to both of us.

This week looks pretty simple.  Kurtis has a blood draw tomorrow morning and then we're going to go to the driving range.  We went last week and it was not pretty for either of us - seems like time away from the clubs is NOT the answer when trying to get better at golf.  Haha.  Hopefully that will go better. I'm getting a haircut that I've been needing for a couple of months in the afternoon, so I'm pretty excited about that. 

I'm not sure what else is up but more hammock lounging (YAY) and taking the stinky dog to get a bath at the "Pawlor". 

Hope everyone is doing well!

Sending love ,

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Monsoon Season in Fort Collins!

Hello all!

We are still home and things have been going great.  Just as per usual, when life begins to return to "normal" I don't usually update as much. 

In the past few days we have really settled in.  During spring break, we started painting our house.  We weren't able to finish our room and then it was cold outside and we were in the middle of lacrosse and I never got it completely finished.  I was supposed to finish after school got out, but as you know - as soon as school was done I was headed out to Indy.  Long story short, I got that done and it feels fantastic.  We also have some dead and thin spots around the yard, so I've been working on growing grass in those places.  I bought some stuff called "Scott's EZ Seed" that was recommended by the grass area worker at Home Depot.  Here's to hoping that it really is "EZ"!

I don't know that a lot of you have ever been to our house, but we have a great backyard.  Minus the fact that there are two huge pine trees placed really awkwardly that neither of us like at all.  I even had a dream about going into the mountains and catching pine beetles in a jar and bringing them home to kill the trees....something I would never do in real life.  So, I was sitting in our living room and I looked out and realized that a hammock would be the perfect thing to go out there.  We set out on a journey and found one at JAX (a store kind of like REI) that is made of parachute.  It.is.awesome.  We love it and I've already become a lazy sleep in the backyard mess. 

Yesterday we had quite the hail storm.  It has been raining in the afternoons here almost daily, and one night we fell asleep to paparazzi like lighting that went on for quite some time.  Yesterday the thunder rolled in and I pulled the cars in the garage and brought our hammock inside.  In a few minutes the stones started falling from the sky, so I moved the peanut sauce off the burner and tried to cover up some of my raspberry bushes and roses.  Unfortunately, they still got beat up quite a bit, as did everything.  The hail was quite big and came in at an angle and it really sounded like we were under attack.  Chauncey wasn't thrilled with the "attack" and wandered around the house like the world was ending.  Hail was shooting out of the rain spout and piling up.  It hung around for awhile after the storm was done in piles on the side of the house and in front of the garage. 

So far, we've avoided the severe weather today and are enjoying the Rockies game.  Tomorrow we're headed down to Colorado Springs to visit my family (and to go to a Rockies game!) so that should be a lot of fun.

Hope everyone is doing well-

Sending love!

Monday, July 11, 2011

H to the O to the M to the E!


I'm sorry I haven't written in several days, but what a several days we have had!

Kurtis and I made our way across the US on I-80.  We started out leaving Michigan City in Indiana and ended up going through Chicago.  As nice as smart phones are, sometimes they make things more complicated.  Our trip through Chicago wasn't planned, but seeing as we didn't get murdered on the south side, we deemed it successful.  We finally got on the roads west - ended up on a toll road...and thought "oh no" but ended up paying like $5 total.  The drive to Des Monies was nice.  Once we crossed the Mississippi River into Iowa, we decided to have lunch.  There were all of the normal fast food choices, but we drove into town and found a great little Gyro joint.  It was delicious!  We even saw a large rodent that we think was a beaver!

We spent the night in Des Monies, IA  which was nice.  We found a little mexican place like Chipotle, but it turned out to be terrible, so that was a bummer.  The flavors were pretty much non-existent...and for me to be saying that says something! 

In the morning, we packed up the mutt and headed to Holyoke.  We drove through the rest of Iowa and all of Nebraska with a few stops here and there.  Nebraska is not nearly as pretty as Iowa, so it was a boring ride.  Chauncey knew that "something" was going on, so he spent almost the whole ride standing up in the backseat.  He would fall asleep with his head on stuff, but stood up the entire time.  At the end of a long (long, long) drive, was Holyoke where Kurtis' family lives.  We hung out with everyone and had a wonderful dinner while watching the Rockies and enjoying the nice cool non-humid night. 

The next day, we hung around for awhile longer before heading all the way home to Fort Collins.  It was a nice blue sky day which was wonderful since we haven't seen "blue" sky since we left.  As we got closer to home we were able to see the mountains - what a glorious homecoming those are!  We had no problems getting into the Fort and even came home to a welcome sign on our driveway :) 

The car has been unloaded and I've been pulling weeds and working in the yard.  Chauncey has been bouncing around the backyard and the house and is very happy to be home.  He misses camp a little bit, but has enjoyed "playing" with the dogs that live on the sides of the fence. 

Today we've got an appointment with our local oncologist to check in and get everything set up here (blood tests mostly). 

Other than that, I don't think that there is much to report! 

Have a lovely day!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

-Indy's Greatest (or not so great) Hits!-

Good Evening!

I'm writing today from the central time zone! We're still in Indiana, but some parts are a little brighter than the others when it comes to selecting their time zone location.

We're spending the night in Michigan City, we'll continue our homeward bound adventure tomorrow.  Today we went to Lake Michigan which was beautiful, and slightly disastrous.  Among other things, I decided it would be a great idea to take Chauncey into the lake (he hates water).  I thought that if I could just get him to calm down a little bit in the water that he might like it. 

It failed.  I now look like I've been attacked by a cat or something with scratch marks all over my arms, hands, and face.  Kurtis said that I had been attacked...by a 'fraidy cat! 

So, in honor of our last night in Indiana for this trip, I've decided to compile a list of things that we will miss and things we will not miss upon leaving the hoosier state.

-Looking tan, even though we are not.  I'm in better shape than Kurtis, but he still fits right in.
-The nursing staff is really nice at IU, so that's a plus

-Driving down Washington St. daily.  On this drive, we pass about fifteen different varieties of fast food and I manage to hit more than 70% of all the lights.

-Humidity.  I do not enjoy feeling sticky and covered in wetness 24 hours a day.  It is disgusting and gross and I do not understand (even in the slightest) how people manage to live long term in such terrible climates.

-TERRIBLE DRIVING.  The driving is absolutely terrible.  Stop signs are optional, I get cut off at least once a day and no one (NO ONE) knows how to merge.  Oh, it is a force to be reckoned with.

-The word Hoosier.  This is such a weird word.  I don't know where this word comes from. It is weird.  I don't really like it - it makes me really uncomfortable for some reason.  Say it out loud.  See?  Awkward.

-Taking my dog out on a leash daily for bathroom breaks.  Oh, sliding door, how I love thee, allowing my dog to pee without me!

-The interesting people that inhabit the hotel.  There are some really...special...individuals.  I am glad to be living not near them anymore. 

-Not feeling safe at the neighborhood grocery store.  I drove to Target instead.  I miss King Soopers. I will not miss the drive to Avon in order to pick up five things. 

-Sweet pickles.  For some reason, Indiana has an aversion to dill pickles and while I don't eat a lot of things with pickles, Kurtis does. And really, sweet pickles are just not very good when you like dill ones best.

-The night news coming on at eleven.  It's way too late people.  But, I guess when you've messed your time zone up and it stays light until after ten, you just have to move the news back.

-Living in a box.  I think the space we were living in was smaller than the main floor of our house.  It gets a little cramped and we are glad to be headed back to our house.

-ALSO! Coin operated laundry.  Wow, I did not miss that from college...

-Construction on the interstates.  Indy is trying to get ready for the Super Bowl and have torn up their entire highway system.  Getting around is really fun.

-THE SUPER BOWL.  People in Indianapolis are in denial that the NFL is in a lockout.  It's amusing.  In the paper everyday, there is a countdown.  Really?  You need a countdown?  (Now you're wondering...it's only 213 days away)

-Having a kitchen.  With four burners and a dishwasher. 

I think that's all for today.  Hope everyone is having a great start to July :)

Love, Liz

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

::what you've been waiting for::

Hello out there!

Well, I'm here to write the words that you've all been hanging on a cliff to read...

...that's right.  THE POOL IS OPEN! It wasn't open when I arrived, and I have been checking day after day after day (after day...etc.) for over a month.  It's been full of water just sitting there for more than a week and today, red signs announced its arrival.  I'm really kind of disappointed that it took so long since we're LEAVING TOMORROW!!  I know that THOSE are the words you've actually been waiting for - and there they are.

The last few days have been kind of hard.  We knew that we should be headed home, and I even made hotel reservations.  However, since last time, when we thought we were "good" turned out to be a "not good" both of us are a little gun shy.  When Kurtis is going through treatment, we know the routine.  Get up. Go to doctor/hospital.  Get treatment.  Come home.  Repeat.  But, as time winds down we start entering unknown territory.  We're excited to be done, but being done comes with its challenges too.  Walking into the hospital today, both of us were freaked out - we didn't talk about it because it was already clear what the other one was thinking.  Today is curveball day, we thought.  Here we are, all set up for a hundred mile an hour heater wondering if that's what we're gonna get  - or if we're about to swing a little bit too early.

The swing didn't come too early, and Kurtis hit it out of the park.  His HCG is now at SEVEN.  SEVEN!!!!!!  Take the feeling that hit you while you read that and multiply it by several hundred thousand (or, you know, infinity) and that's what we were feeling earlier today.  Neither of us thought we'd be getting a number lower that seventeen, so it was a positive shock - like that zapper thing in the hospital where they yell clear and save your life.

So, after a quick morning at the hospital it became pack up time.  I've been running around like a hamster trying to pack up the Subaru (yay tetris!) and not forget anything while remembering where everything is.  WHEW.  Tomorrow, we're headed up to Lake Michigan which I've never seen, so I'm pretty stoked.  Then, we'll head home via I-80 (Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska). 

In order to fit everything in the Subaru, we had to ship a box home.  UPS ships cheaper than the postal service, so I drove up and down Avon trying to find the UPS store, failing.  I finally decided I'd just get a box at Target and use the postal service since I knew where the post office was (like .2 of a mile from our hotel).  I came home and packed up the box with stuff we wouldn't miss and then took it over to the post office.

The box was full of mostly clothes, so it was fairly heavy and 18x18x16 in size.  I pulled it out of the car and then went into the post office.  Once inside and searched around for a label and finally found one in some obscure box...but seeing as this is Indiana, there was no pen.  So, I put on my "pen-finder" goggles and found...nothing.  Fortunately, there was a nice man who loaned me a pen.  I slapped my name and address on the label, put it on the box, hopped into line, and started reading things on my phone while I waited. 

Three seconds later, my silence was interrupted by the "nice" man asking me if I knew the outcome of the Casey Anthony trial.  I did.  I did not want to tell him this because I was not in the mood to discuss it, so I said no.  The woman in front of him wanted to discuss it, so they had this loud eight minute long discussion about how "bad" the jurors were and all of the "what were they thinkings" and everything in between.  Finally (finally!)  the woman got called up and I thought we were home free.  Great!


Mr. nice guy now wants to talk to me about sexual predators.  What?!  Um, no thanks.  Unfortunately, I'm stuck here with this box and I need to mail it now so I just awkwardly stand there and nod while he informs me about how he was raised.  Great.  Now I know more about you and I still don't care.  After what seemed like seventeen hours he was able to go up and mail his letter or whatever.  The man behind me made some snide comments that made me laugh and I was home free. 


I was next.  My big box and I made our way to the "window" and this is what happened.
Liz: Hi! I'd like to send this box to Colorado as cheaply as possible, please.

Worker Lady (who reminded me of the growly old lady monster on Monsters INC): Well, you put a Priority Mail label on it

Liz: Okay, is that the cheapest way?

Lady: It is $40

Liz: Is there a way I could send it less expensively? (I thought asking in a different way might help)

Lady: You can send it parcel post for $18.

Liz: Great! I'd like to send it that way, please.

Lady: You can't.

Liz: (?????????) Why not?

Lady: Because you put a Priority Mail label on it.

Liz: So, can I change the label and send it that way?

Lady: Yes.

Liz: So, do you have a label I can use?

Lady: No. You have to buy one.

Liz: (???????????????) Okay, I'd like to buy one.

Lady: You have to get it from that display back there, and I can't check you out until you have a new label.

Liz: Can you scan the label and check me out and then I'll fix it right here?

Lady: No.

Liz: (...BrainExplosion...)

So, I went and got a label (two for $0.69! what a deal!) and labeled by box. AND WAITED WHILE THE LADY TRIED TO CHECK OUT A WOMAN WITH A BANJO WRAPPED IN PIECES OF BOX ALL TAPED TOGETHER.  Seriously.  I can't even make this stuff up.  They were trying to weigh it by standing it on the "bottom" of the banjo.  It was insane.  It was amusing.  And then, it lasted for ten more minutes.  The other man helped (literally - and yes, I mean literally - five people). 

And now it's my turn.  Please hold while I check my excitement for the opportunity to work with this lady again.  (excitement checked).  I put the box on the scale and we begin this dance again. 

Liz: Hi! I fixed the label! (and then I laughed and pointed...like an idiot)

Lady: So, we're sending it priority mail?

Liz: No.

Lady: Oh, what are we sending it?

Liz: Whatever was $18. 

Lady: (types on computer and scans label).

Liz: I'm going to leave this label here for the next person who needs a label, since I don't need two.

Lady: But you paid for this.

Liz: I know, but I don't need it.

Lady: But it was like $0.75.

Liz: I know, but I don't need it.

Lady: Are you sure?

Liz: Yes.  I'm sure.  Really.

And then I left.
It is a good thing we're on our way out of Indiana or I might smash someone's face.

So, if you made it through all of THAT nonsense...congrats.

I just had to tell someone.  I chose you. FEEL SPECIAL.

Kurtis is doing great and we're ready to kick it outta here.  Tune in soon for Indiana's greatest hits ... the things we will not miss!

Sending love!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!


Hope that everyone is having a good day! Our days in Indiana are numbered!

Kurtis' blood counts came in with good results on Sunday, so we were able to take today off.  Tomorrow we'll go in and meet with the doctors and hopefully get the okay to head on out of here!  Day by day, Kurtis feels better!  We're not sure what all is planned for tomorrow, but we're hoping that it won't take too long.

After the hospital tomorrow, it's time to pack the subaru up and ship some things home.  It will take us a few days to get home.  Our first stop will be to Michigan City, IN where we'll visit the Indiana Dunes.  If you look them up online, they look very cool.  They're right up next to Lake Michigan and we might be able to see Chicago's skyline across the the lake which would be neat.  It will be a nice one night celebration for this part of the adventure. 

Tonight the fireworks will be shooting off from downtown.  I doubt that we'll be able to see any from the hotel, but we're going to try.  If not, my grandparents sent us a bunch of pictures from the Rockies game the other night - so we'll just make our room dark and and play some music and go through those.  They're less scary for the dog anyway :)

We were able to go out for lunch today.  Our first thought was to hit up the Chipotle in Avon, but they were closed, so we went downtown to the Weber Grill for lunch.  We've got dinner and a half left over, but it was good.  One of our favorite "discoveries" here.  We spent the rest of the day watching a movie and planning our trip home!

I think that's all from Hoosier land for today -
Enjoy your holiday!


Saturday, July 2, 2011

countdown to blastoff!

Greetings and hello!

This morning, good old room six is quite a bit more interesting with the start of the Tour de France today!  Now we have something interesting and up to date to watch instead of yet another episode of House Hunters! 

Kurtis is doing really well this morning.  Yesterday, he got his catheter taken out and he feels MUCH better now.  The catheter was near his port and had a tube that went into his chest.  Hanging from it were two tubes that were a couple inches in length.  The entire time we've been here, he hasn't been able to take a shower, and has only been able to take a bath from the waist up - they didn't want anything to happen to his line.  Now that it's out - he only has to wait one more day until he can shower!  I know that he is very excited about that.

We found out that he was going to get his line out yesterday and after he was done with his fluids for the day, we went down to the IR section of the hospital.  We had to wait for about forty-five minutes, although that is actually pretty good considering we weren't on the schedule.  They took Kurtis back to a small area with rooms that had slide curtains.  I had to wear a mask and a hat, so that was new.  Kurtis got a few shots of numbing medicine near his line and then the doctor pulled it right out.  The tube from inside him was several inches in length.  She kept pressure on the "hole" for a little bit, and then bandaged him up.  We were concerned for a little bit when it bled some on the way home, but it stopped and all was well.

We are consuming the last of our food supplies and I'm hoping that I don't need to go to the store anymore while we're here.  I bought extra milk (I have a slight addiction to milk...) so we should be good to go!

Right now, it is looking like we'll be on our way out of the hospital on Tuesday and head home soon after that! HOORAY!

I feel like there is something more I had to say this morning, but it is slipping my mind at the moment. 

Sending love from hoosier land!


Friday, July 1, 2011

[on the upslope]

Good Morning!

The sun is attempting to come out here in Indiana, but as usual, failing.  We'll continue to talk to him and see if we can get his smiling face to peek out!

Things are going as expected here.  Kurtis' blood counts finally started to rise yesterday, although by a small margin.  We have yet to get the blood results back from today, but our hope is that his counts have continued to rise and "exploded" a little.  The sooner his counts are good, the sooner we can get in the Subaru with the yellow doggie and head back west!

Overall, Kurtis is feeling a lot better.  He's been walking in and out of the hospital the last few days which is fantastic.  He has also been sleeping less during the day and eating more.  In the morning he's more alert and wakes up/gets up faster than when he's feeling terrible.  :)

The other day, a guy who had been through this treatment came back to visit (he was meeting with Dr. Einhorn or Hanna) and he stopped by our room to talk to Kurtis.  It was nice to see someone who was done.  He was four months out of this and his hair was back and he looked normal.  He talked to Kurtis and encouraged him which was really great.  There is also a new germ cell tumor patient next door.  He's getting his checmo and stuff and we're both very happy that we're on this side of the whole adventure. 

As Kurtis just pointed out, we'll be in the hospital for another holiday.  We've joked about his cancer being the "holiday stealer" since we've been in the hospital for many of them, including Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Looks like we're also going to get July 4th!  haha.

Hope everyone is doing well - we love and miss you all!