Sunday, August 28, 2016


Sorry that I'm so late on posting what happened with Blue.
And sorry for the length of this post.

It's been an exhausting few days. 
I brought Blue to work on Friday and he had finally pooped!
I was so happy but when they did another X-ray, while it showed that the barium had finally made its way into the intestines (It shows up white on X-ray ) there was also a big white blob still in his tummy.
The techs said to try to feed him and see if it would budge.
So he finally ate some canned food, the first food in a few days!

He went potty again, not much and it was runny.

Doc looked at the X-rays and there's definitely something that you could now see an outline of.
Maybe a wash rag or something is what he said.
He wanted to do another X-ray at noon, since Blue just had some canned food and then diarrhea.
To see if it moved any more.
He didn't want to do surgery quite yet since there's been a little bit of movement.

I tried to be calm but inside I was freaking out!
The night before I kept waking up and then I'd have to make sure he was ok.
In the morning, driving him to work, I totally lost it when he suddenly leaned his head over from the passenger seat and rested it in my shoulder.
I was having a really hard time being strong and thinking positive.

(Blue, resting between X-rays)

So after the X-Ray at noon, where they could see something in his belly but entering into his intestines, the 
tech said if Blue would eat, then see if maybe I could get him to eat enough to push it through.
So I gave him canned food and squirted cheese whiz on it and he ate quite a bit.
He seemed to be in good spirits and Doc thought we could give him the weekend to see if it would work it's way through.

It was really busy at work because on Fridays there are only two vets so Doc was double booked while the other vet, was doing an emergency exploratory surgery on someone else's dog. She started surgery at 1:30 and it wasn't finished until 4:30. They weren't sure what was inside the dog and it took quite a long while.

SO, about 3:30 or so I took Blue outside again to see if he'd poop.

He was walking slower and getting into the position to poop but nothing.
I could see his stomach ripple and kinda tremble.
But no poop.

I went in and told Doc and he was frowning and thinking and then said to take another X-ray.
So we did and it was obvious that Blue was in distress now.
He was breathing heavy and quivering.
The X-ray showed no change and Doc said Blue needed surgery.
We agreed to do it and not wait. 

Doc finished his appointments and the other vet finished up her surgery.
I helped the girls as they prepped him and when Doc came in, I left.
I've been in surgeries before but I couldn't handle seeing Blue cut into.
Lily came in to help.
So in 40 minutes. Start to finish, Doc cut him open, cut out some fat, cut his belly and pulled out a huge woolen thermal winter sock.
It was so big that it would never had gone through his intestines.
I was shocked.

Some of the other techs and the other vet started to make jokes about how socks disappear in the laundry and that's when it hit me.
I'd been so confused as to how he got socks when I haven't worn any since it was cold out.
But when my washer quit and I pulled it away from the wall, a lot of stuff had fallen behind it and there was some old dog food under there so I had run and got a dust pan as I shoo'd the dogs away.
I didn't want anyone eating that icky stuff.
I remember rags, wash cloths, and stuff and I bet there were socks!!!
He must gave gobbled them up as I shoved the washer out the door and down the steps!!!!
So I think that solves the mystery!

I must say that Doc can upset me at times, but he knows his stuff. I don't think Blue could have lasted 3 hours on the table.
Lily said it was the quickest surgery she's ever seen.
She said Doc just went in there and got it, double checked that there was nothing else, flushed it out and closed him up!

I couldn't take Blue home that night because he was out cold (and too big to carry although he's 
down to 140lbs) but I would get him in the morning.

My friend Katie, the vet tech, went in that night  to give him his injection, pain medication.
And to check on him.
She lives minutes away and I'm across the river in Illinois.

So she sent me photos while she tended to him.

Here's where he's just awake

and then another where he's turned around and he has an e-collar on.

I asked if he hated the collar and she replied that he was already snoring and the walls were rattling!
That's my boy!
So I went to bed and slept very restlessly.
In the morning I hurried downstairs to let the dogs outside to potty.
My cat Harry was in the kitchen.
I don't write as often about my cats but I have so many stories about Harry.
I have had him longer than any pet ever.
He is so special and I've tried to explain to people that he's not really a cat at all but a person trapped in a cat's body.
People always give me that "you are crazy" look but then they meet Harry and fall instantly in love.
You'd just have to meet him in person to understand but he's super important to me and I've had him for 17 years.

So this morning he was crying loudly and walking wobbly.
I ran to the basement for a cat carrier and scooped him up and rushed to the clinic.
I sent a message to the tech that was working that I was on the way with Harry.

I have to drive over a bridge to go from Illinois to Iowa.
I got to the Government Bridge and it was blocked off so I had to turn around and head for the Centinnenial Bridge.
Traffic was lined up because of a big tractor going across.
Apparently they were having a Tractor Show in the East Village.
So as I drove behind this tractor going 20 miles an hour, I lost it.
I was just sobbing.

Finally I arrived at the clinic.
We did several X-rays of Harry.
Luckily we found nothing.
Nothing broken.
No mass inside of him.
He wasn't blocked.

So they drew blood and while they ran his blood work I went back to Blue.
He had an accident over night and they had cleaned him up.
He wouldn't eat breakfast but that's not a surprise. 
I took him outside and he moved very slow and his back was hunched.
He was really sore.
I cleaned his bottom up and his tail.
Then I took him back to his run and gave him his pills.
Because of his size, he's got a handful of them.

Then I went back to check on Harry.
His bloodwork was fine.
The vet couldn't find any bruises or wounds and she checked him over thoroughly.
Doc stopped in and we asked him to give Harry an adjustment while he was there.
He said Harry's neck was really out bad.
He said it would be sore for a while after the adjustment.
The other vet had the tech give Harry a time released pain injection and then they gave me more pain medicine for him to have at home.

I loaded up Harry in the car
And lined the passenger seat with bedding and went and got Blue.
He got into the car like an old person and I buckled him in.

When we got home, Blue took the 5 steps up to the house very slow and gingerly.
I guess we will be sleeping in the living room for a while.
He's not ready for all those steps to upstairs.
When he got inside the house, he just went and laid down in front of the fan.

I brought Harry in and he hid for a while but then came out and I held him as we all took a nap.

I must say, this has been an exhausting few days.
Usually I feel physically exhausted! LOL!
But now it's more mentally and emotionally.

Sorry for such a long post.
I just wanted to share what happened and get it all out of my head.

And finally,
to everyone who sent positive healing thoughts and energy out for Blue.
And thank you for so much more than that too. The emails and the support and the HELP.
Truly, I'm blessed. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Blue is sick.

Blue is sick.

He'd been kinda weird about his food,
meaning he'd smell it and not eat it all.
So I thought it was his food and then
He threw up a sock at lunch time yesterday
and then another at dinner.
Both socks were completely intact.
Not chewed, just swallowed.
Another odd thing is,
I haven't worn socks for months.
I gave him a while for his tummy to settle and then I gave him special canned food
and he threw that up.
Then he threw up 2 times before bed
And once during night
And twice in morning.
Once in my car and another time here at work.
They gave him an injection for vomiting etc. he won't eat canned, dry or treats. Now they are doing a barium series,
Which involves lots of X-rays.
They are also doing blood tests.
He might be a senior
But he's still a puppy to me
 I know it will all be OK.
Still, Blue and I would appreciate any good healing thoughts and energy that you could send his way.

The last X-ray of the day showed that the barium had not moved past his stomach.
It should have gone through to his intestines hours before.
Therefore they say it must be a blockage of some sort
or an issue with his intestines not functioning as they should
and squeezing it through.
They are pretty sure there's a blockage.
If it hasn't passed through by the morning
they will do exploratory surgery.

I suppose that some might hesitate doing surgery on a Great Dane who's
almost 11.
But... I have no choice, I must have it done.
So PLEASE, everyone visualize whatever it is
passing through BLue's intestines.
Or him vomiting it up.
It just needs to get out of there!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Choosing Happiness and Joy

So what's new with you?
Nothing much happening here except -
It's busier than Christmas time!
I'm guessing everyone is trying to fit in one last vacation before school starts.
So it's been pretty crazy.
And Very HOT.
In fact, in the last 3 weeks I have eaten a whole cherry cheesecake (save for one piece, it was a birthday gift) and several pizzas, a few hot fudge sundaes and/or ice cream bars and poptarts for breakfast and I've lost 13 lbs!
So yeah, I've been working hard.
Then this happened -

Last Friday, someone at work was talking about being upset that their dishwasher had broken down

(I'm the dishwasher at my house)
so I made the statement that I would feel upset if my washing machine ever broke down as I use it every single day.
I wash dog bedding and potty pads.
I said if I didn't use it daily, I'd probably save a lot of $$$ but what else could I do?
So I went home that night and the washer wouldn't work.
Saturday morning
(I won't bore you with all the horrible details)
but after a nightmare of a morning, the washer ended up dead.
Broken forever.
Beyond repair.
It had a good run.
Years and years of daily washing.
So there was that.

After I calmed down and cleaned up, I ran downtown to the place I have my Art prints for sale.
I had done a "July Special" and I hoped I had made some good sales.
The woman who owned the place said several people liked them
and commented how they might want their own pets done but....
Nothing sold.

Sunday morning I met my sister for our monthly breakfast.
As I left my house I looked around and realized I would need to cut the grass.
So after breakfast I came home and cut it.
I have a small front yard and I mostly just weed whack the back yard.
I was thinking how I could almost weed whack the front, since it's so small but then decided it wouldn't look nice.
Along the flowerbeds, next to the driveway, the grass had grown high and I decided to just run the mower along the edge of the rock border.
I didn't see the rock in the weeds but the mower hit it hard and it stopped.
I flipped the mower over, the blade was bent at a very sharp angle and was gouged up into the plastic in the top of the mower. It was embedded deep....

Monday I got my pay stub.
I had overtime on it.
I ordered a push mower off of Amazon.

I also ordered disposable Doggy potty pads.
I can easily hand wash my clothes.
If I have something big, like a comforter, I can take it to work and wash it until I figure out what I want to do.

While I was at it, I ordered 200 ft of cotton clothesline.
Then I went and dug up my old clothesline post and moved over to a more convenient spot.
I figured that I might as well start line-drying too, while the weather is good for it.

And about my Art,
I decided to go back to making illustrations.
Maybe some with quotes, something more general.
I talked to the woman at the place about how I plan on doing Halloween illustrations too

and seasonal stuff

she was excited.
She said Halloween is BIG!
but it only sells from now and until through September.
So I'll be doing that.

OK, now we are to Monday.
I fell.
I was wearing different shoes because my other ones had created a huge blister on the back of my foot and then I accidentally ripped that skin off.
Since it hurt like Hell to put on any regular shoe, I was wearing my old Crocs.
I was on the wet floor in the kennel area and just sort of wiped out and landed on my knee.
Luckily I came down straight on it and didn't twist it.

Tuesday, a dog pooped as he came in the door of boarding and the owner walked in it and smooshed it everywhere. After he had left I dragged the hose out and was cleaning it off and as I walked back in, there must have been water on the floor because I wiped out AGAIN and came down on the same knee and then fell backwards. I could feel the muscles on the top of my thigh pull. I had the hose in my hand and it went off and sprayed the ceiling and then down on me and got me all wet.

I gathered the hose up and tossed it into the laundry room and then I gave the old lab that had pooped a bath.
That's why he was there, for me to give him his monthly bath.
I'm washing the big dogs now.
The groomer has decided she's too old to do them any longer, so I'm doing them.
Fun fact: I'm 5 years older than her.

After that was done, the old blind diabetic Schnauzer that was boarding had to go potty so I carried him across the room. The hose was still on the floor so I kicked it out of the way and it went off again.
I turned quickly to shield the old guy and it sprayed the entire back of me and got me soaking wet.
I took the old dog out to the grassy area and stood in the sun, wishing it would dry me as he wobbled around the yard.

Later on I sat down to look at the boarding schedule.
I'm back to working 6 days because I have to double up the workers for some shifts.
I was studying the schedule when someone called who just needed to board his dog overnight. Luckily it's for NEXT week when most of the dogs are going home.

So I set up the boarding appointment for his little dog.
We coordinated it so the little dog could be groomed too.
The owner was this very cheerful man who unfortunately had to get his home "bombed" for bedbugs. He was so pleasant and laughed about the situation and said he'd bring the dog over before picking up his disabled son from school. Then afterwards he said he'd run his elderly mom to the hotel that they are staying at.
He said that it "sounded like a plan!
He was so happy that it all was falling into place nicely. I hung up and thought WOW!
If I was in his situation I'd be all grumbly and bitchy.
In fact most people I know would be too.

There's definitely a lesson to be learned here.
We have the power to choose how we go through life. To focus on the good things rather than dwell on the bad.
I felt bad for him but at the same time felt in awe.
How amazing with so much on his plate, he was able to find joy.

And that made me think again about Jean's daughter and son-in-law and their tragic loss of Montana.
They too, are amazing people who were able to rise above it all and find Joy!

Life is full of crappy little details and we can let those things drag us down.
At least I know I do.
And yet people with BIG issues are able to find Happiness and Joy.

Once again, I'm gonna quit my belly-aching and

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


So many things have been going through my head this week.
So many blog posts that I want to write.
So many different topics.
So little time. 
Soon work will slow down 
(kids go back to school soon and families won't be taking vacations and leaving their dogs with me.)
and then I'll be able to write posts about everything I've been thinking about.

So, for now I will just share some of my photography that I first altered in the Aviary app and then the Prism app.
My dog - Jimmy Chew

Blue, of course

And my little Chihuahua, Twinkle

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

HOT, the POOL, Paint Colors and the Kanga Book.

Sorry that I haven't been stopping to comment on blogs lately!
I'm reading them on my phone.
In fact I'm doing this post by phone!
It seems like I never have very much time to set down to the computer.

It's been SUPER HOT here
and I've been putting in a TON of overtime.
Don't ask why, let's just say, same old same old!
Anyway, the pool has saved me.
Relaxing and refreshing.... 

Except for yesterday when I came home and within the course of ONE day, it had turned an ugly green color.
I had been adding chlorine tablets but apparently I need to change the "filter" and also to "test" the water and to, at least weekly, "shock" it with chlorine.
Luckily I will have some overtime pay because it's becoming clear that pools aren't cheap.
I mean yes, THE pool was cheap but the maintenance is not.

There's a metaphor here but my brain is too fried to think of what it is.

Other news: I've finally chosen paint colors for my kitchen and laundry room!
This is HUGE for me as I'm addicted to White.
I'll share more on that later.

Other news. My Kanga book...
I have had it written for quite some time.
I've had the sketches scribbled out in a storybook fashion too.
But then I was stalled.
I just couldn't move forward.
Then the other day as I as floating, it hit me.
I felt the story was too generic.
Too typical.
But as I floated, I thought about how I wanted the story to be so many things.
#1 Dealing with a handicap
#2 Rescuing animals, especially ones that aren't perfect
#3 (most importantly) How to choose be happy.

So as I floated, it suddenly started to come together in my mind's eye.
It's still not completely worked out but I'm ALMOST totally sure on how I want it to be.
I just need some chlorine and stuff so that I can get back to floating/visualizing so that I can complete the process!
OK! See ya later!
Try to stay cool and hydrated!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Today is ...MY BIRTHDAY!


Actually, I HAVE been thinking about the aging process a lot lately.
Who knows how long we have.
Someone could be 80 years old and have 15 years ahead of them
and someone could be 19, and die in a car accident that year.
We just don't know.
I've already lived past the age of my Mom's passing
and if I go for Dad's age, I've got slightly less than 20.
But seriously who knows?
and why think that way?!

I got news recently from someone I was close friends with in high school.
I was close with the whole family.
I practically spent all my spare time there.
Their family was polar opposite of mine.
It was loud and rowdy and everyone was on top of one another.
They were outrageous and made messes and had so much fun.

Last year I heard that the oldest daughter had passed away from a brain tumor.
Now I heard that one of the sisters that I spent so much time with, has pancreatic cancer.
She's younger than me!
I haven't seen her in more than 30 years.
She got married and had kids and we just lost touch and now....
Her sister tells me that there's not much hope.

There have been many people over the years that are now gone.
People I grew up with and now, BAM! gone.
Most of my relatives have passed and several of my old boyfriends.
Two years ago, a woman who was my sister's best friend when we were all little,
was posting photos of herself and her fiance on this fun grand vacation they were taking.
Everyday there were photos on Facebook.
They were having so much fun.
I even commented on how she didn't seem to have aged.
So they came home from the vacation and that Sunday afternoon
she had a headache and went to take a nap and when her fiance went to wake her,
she was gone.

Everyone was in shock.
So I was thinking about her again,
as I thought about so many other people who are now gone too.
You just don't know.

So why do we count the years?
I wish we could just live and never know how old we were.
My sister once gave me a birthday card that said pretty much that.
It said something like -
"If you didn't know how old you were, how old would you be?"

I think I'm 36!
No, seriously.

I do know that I appear younger than my age.
I get that all the time.
I contribute that to three things.
#1. Genes. My Dad looked way younger than he was until one day he didn't.
#2. It's my nose. I have a Sally Field type of nose.
#3 Fat. Extra weight plumps out the wrinkles.

Also, I like things from NOW.
I think that helps keep a person young at heart.
To be open to new things.
I like the current music.
Sure, I love some of the old stuff but I like new stuff too.
I hate when people my age, scoff and talk about the good old days.
There WERE some really GREAT old days
but I hate when people act as though the good times are behind them.
I hate when I hear "I'm too old for that".
I've caught myself saying something similar to it.
But it's because I'm tired, not because I'm old.

OK, ok. Maybe my joints and things hurt a little bit more now but...
I work with young people who complain more than I do about their aches and pains.

So... I'm hating putting a number on myself.
When I hear my new number, I'm shocked!
How can this be?

I've decided not to put things off any longer though.
This year I'm going to try to push myself out of my comfort zone,
which is ironic since I've been working so hard at creating my own little private sanctuary.

But I'm going to start putting myself first, or try to anyway.
I'm going to do it in small ways.
Today I actually bought some nail polish that I wanted.
Of course it's the cheaper brand ($1.66) but it's this lovely shade of blue.

Not really navy and with a hint of lavender.
and I'm not too old for it!
I also picked out some lip stain ($4.79) from Burt's Bees.
It all totally up to less than $10.00 but I felt so extravagant!

and finally, I'm going to share what I did for myself that is BIG!
Well, to me it's big.
When I first heard this news of my old friend being sick,
when the reality of mortality hit me again.
We all need to treasure the time we have
And to be Happy!
I started to think about what made ME happy in the past.
Maybe not what would make another person happy but Me.
I wanted to start enjoying my life.
Then I got an idea but I didn't have the cash and that's when The Universe stepped in!

I never get tipped at work.
Well, I used to... by two different ladies who boarded their dogs with me
but both of those dogs have passed away now.
There was one year someone gave my hand lotion and gloves for Christmas!
but I don't get tipped like the Groomer at work does.
She pulls in a lot of cash everyday!
She has a tip jar stuffed with $5 and $10's!
She doesn't even know some of the pets names and yet some of them I have cared for,
for several weeks and fretted about their eating and playing with them and .... nothing.
Oh well!

So when I got my idea, a sweet older couple returned to pick up their 3 little dogs who had boarded with me for a couple of weeks
and they handed me an envelope.
I get cards all the time but this one had CASH in it!
I was so surprised and HAPPY.
That set it in motion.
Then I sold 3 painting/photos at work and that decided it!

I took my Lowes giftcards that I got from my step-mom and my sister for Christmas.
(I wanted to buy a cool faucet for the kitchen sink with them)
but instead I used them to buy fence pickets!
I already had the posts and had purchased the cement last Fall but never put the posts up yet.
I just couldn't figure out where I wanted the fence.
But now I had a plan!
I put in the posts and built the fence.
Then I leveled the yard behind it.
That about killed me.
The heat index was close to 100 that weekend but I had to get it done.
I actually had a 3 day weekend off! The Fourth of July weekend
and I was outside working hard for most of it.

Finally it was done.
Then I used all my money.
My money from the card, the painting money
and I bought a pool that I found on clearance!!!!
It's not huge but it's not tiny either.
The water comes to my waist and I can float on a raft
and I can swim three strokes across it.
Or swim like a goldfish around the side.
I'm out there splashing and paddling and I'm loving it SO much that it's ridiculous!

The other night I came home exhausted.
I let the dogs out on the patio and they laid on their chaise lounges
while I paddled around on the raft reading my book.
Then I laid on my back and just floated.
I felt like I was almost meditating.
After a while I gathered up my stuff and went in and feed the dogs and felt so much better.

Yep, I'm going to concentrate on just being Happy
and believing The Universe will help me find a way!
and I'm going to forget this age thing.
Not because I'm denying it
or want to pretend I'm younger than I am
but because I don't want it to define me.

So yeah, it's my birthday
but Whatever!

Sunday, July 17, 2016


Rained this morning.
Really hard!
It was cool enough afterwards to open the windows for a while.
A few people started out for their morning walks before it started to heat up,
with no idea that they were being watched.