I have a question for everyone:  We can't leave our poodle, Scooby, loose in the house for more than a few hours at a time.  No matter how hard we've tried to teach him otherwise, he will still lift his leg on whatever appeals to him when the need arises.  We've tried gating him into the kitchen so he is on the vinyl floor and can't really hurt anything, but he hates it.  He has escaped nearly every gate and for those he hasn't, he's tried to chew through either them or dig through the wall.  The last

 time we gated him, he dug at the (new) carpet by the backdoor trying to get out and really did a number on it.  We have an open wire crate and can put him in that, but I worry he will hurt himself or at least make himself sick.  He hates it so much and cries, chews, digs and carries on something awful when he's put in it.  He is absolutely drenched in slobber when we get home.  Does anyone have any ideas?
    What gorgeous weather we've been having the last few days....plenty of sunshine and daytime temperatures in the 40's and 50's.  We may even see 60 degrees today.  Very unusual for February, but we'll take it!  It sure has me thinking of Spring and getting out to "play" in the dirt.  A few of the seed catalogs have arrived and I've been pouring over them and making a wish list, but am not sure if we'll be gardening this year or not.  Our garden is located on my mom's property, which is behind ours, and everything depends on what Mom does.  She and John have been spending virtually all of their time at John's home on the ridge.  Mom is sure John will never give up or move from his home as he built it himself and his first wife's ashes were scattered over the field there.  Mom doesn't mind living there for now, but can't see herself staying there alone if something would happen to John.  For that reason, she doesn't want to give up her house.  However, she doesn't know what she wants to do with it.  She has talked about renting it.  I really don't know what else she could do with it.  No matter what, it's probably going to mean some major adjustments for us because of the garden and because Tim uses the large shed as his workshop.  We have no idea what we'd do with all his tools and stuff if he has to move it out of there.
    Tim finished up another construction project this past week.  I sure am glad that's over.  It was a very problematic job from beginning to end and then of course, the last couple of weeks leading up to the turnover are always a stress filled blur for him.  Everything turned out beautifully, though, and Tim collected many kudos from not only his employers but also from the company the project was built for.  He even found he'd gotten a substantial raise when he received his paycheck.  That sure is nice.  I was pleased to see him get some recognition for all his hard work.
    Saturday we all went to Pittsburgh Technical Institute for the housing tour.  Matthew will be starting classes there July 25 and this trip was to choose the apartment complex he will live in and pay the deposit.  The financial aid officers were also there to help you with all that stuff, too, but you had to have your completed tax return with you and we didn't as we've only just gotten the last of our information.  Thankfully, they told us when we do get it done we can call and they will do everything over the phone, we won't have to drive down again.  When we finished at the school we went to Golden Corral for a late lunch and then walked through IKEA.  I love that store!  We wanted to get measurements on a sofa we'd seen the last time we were there and Megan was just excited to go for the first time.....she's read through the catalog countless times decorating and redecorating her room in her imagination.
    Our church is hiring a Director of Youth Ministries and I've turned in my resume.  The job description is a little different, but not much, from what I did as a volunteer for several years.  I loved the work and the kids and would not have given it up if not for the church falling apart last year.  It would be a dream come true to be able to do it again....and to get paid for it?  Well, that'd just be icing on the cake.  To begin, it is a part-time job, only 17 hours a week and the pay would be slightly less than I make driving a school bus, but if I do get it I'll give up driving.  With Matt moving out this summer and Megan still having problems with school, it'd be nice to be able to be home to get her off to school more prepared and to be there when she gets home and keep her on track.
    Volleyball practice starts this week and this year we've got not only Matt playing, but Megan, too.  She decided to give the middle school girls' team a try.  I hope she likes it and sticks with it.  It will be good for her to be involved in something and hopefully, it will develop at least a little discipline in her.
    Well, I really have to head out to run some errands so must cut this short.  Have a great week and.....
Carpe diem!