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.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Life is Good!

I'm not sure how to explain this but I'll try.
Sometimes I think I block things from my mind.
I mean I'm not completely oblivious but I just refuse to think about it.
I can feel it floating around in my head.
In my subconscious and then peeking out into my conscious thought.
Do you know what I mean?
See, I knew I couldn't explain this right but... 
it's like having a dream and you know you are dreaming and then you wake up and for a moment that dream is still there, floating in the room and then you get up and go about your day and just forget what you dreamt.

So I noticed this marble size lump on Blue's back foot and when I brought him in for a nail trim,
Doc said he didn't think it was anything to worry about.

Then Blue was being grumpy.
It seemed like everything was irritating him.
So I got to thinking, I mean he's 10 years and 8 months old,
maybe he's feeling some aches and pains that seniors have.
So I talked with Doc and started him on a medication for pain and inflammation.

On a side note, one of the women at work whom I have mentioned before, made a comment to me.
She asked if I was trying to have the oldest Great Dane ever.
I didn't look at her but just replied, Yes! He'll be in the World Guinness Book of Records!
Doc didn't say anything and just went and got the pill bottle
but there was this weird jibe in the air.
Seriously, you don't want to know what I was thinking at the time
or what I wanted to say, when she said that.

So I got the pills and because of his size, the chewable pills would cost $60 a month.
They were flavored and he'd gobble them down with his meal.
He'd eat it first and look at me, like it was a treat. 
He'd come up to me and lean his head hard against my leg.
He'd look up at me as if to say 
"Another treat please".

But he'd still be grumpy at times and show his teeth sometimes when little dogs would bump into him as they played
or when I'd nudge him with my toe to move over or
When I'd try to clean around his eye-

Of course I'm Alpha, so I nipped that behavior in the bud right away!

Then my co-worker/friend went on vacation and left her two dogs to board with me.
As she was leaving she said to me that maybe I could ask Doc about the 2 lumps on her dog.
She was sure they were just fatty lumps but since they would be at the clinic anyway....
One of the lumps turned out to be Cancer. 
They called her and then did surgery and the good news is that the results came back with clean margins and they got it all.
But my friend said she felt bad because she almost hadn't had the lumps checked. 

So the end of last week, I searched all over Blue. He grumbled and ROARED!
Then I found another lump.
It wasn't just below the surface but deeper.
Below his rib cage and close to his tummy.
I took him to work Monday.
He was SO happy to go!
He loves riding in the car.

(Jimmy about had a heart attack as we left. Jimmy loves playing with my little dog Ricochet but he needs his Blue).

So we went to work.
I had an official appointment for later in the day at 4.
At 10:00 I couldn't handle it.
I noticed a cancellation at 11:30 so we took that appointment instead.

Years ago, Blue didn't like Doc and would jump and bark at him like crazy.
It was kinda embarrassing actually.
I think Blue was feeding off my energy at the time.
Now I think things are better. I feel like I'm treated with more respect now.
So on Monday Blue was happy to see him.
He was happy to see everyone!

Doc looked him over.
I told him about the pills having no real effect on him so we'd decided not to continue those.
I told him that Blue no longer had the skin irritation or the scratching and seemed to be doing really well on the grain-free food.
Blue is doing good at maintaining his weight and was still 145lbs.
Doc said he looked good.
Then I showed him the new lump and he aspirated it with a needle and it turned out to just be a fatty lump!
I swear I felt like someone took a huge wet backpack off of my back.
Suddenly I felt like I could stand straight again.
Then Doc gave him a chiro adjustment.
I asked if there was anything else?
So Doc got out his stethoscope and listened to Blue's heart.
He said - Sounds Good!
I thanked him and took Blue back to my area.
I swear, it was hard not to skip.
I felt so happy!
I felt like my head cleared suddenly and I could think!
It was like suddenly remembering a dream.
It was a good dream! A happy dream!

After work I loaded Blue up into the car 

and as happy as he had been to come, he was just as happy to be leaving.
I'd glance at him as I drove and he sat there, looking straight ahead.
We got to a stoplight and he leaned over and tried to lean his head on my shoulder.
I laughed and gently pushed him back into his seat.
Blue is healthy and
Life is Good.

Sunday, July 3, 2016


I've finally finished my friend's pets.
Truly, she has waited forever for them.

This is her old guy.

This is Winter, who I plan on blogging about someday.
He lost his front leg.

Horrible story that I won't share today but a Happy Ending
as he now is living with my friend.

All of her other pets are rescues too.

And here's her kitty Peg.
Another three legger.

Many times people comment on my blog and say very nice things to me about ME
and how my pets are rescued.
I feel uncomfortable as I am not the only one that has a house full of rescues.
I plan on sharing some of my friends stories.
I'm afraid that sometimes I complain too much about the negative people in my life
but I'm fortunate to know some awesome people too.

Other news,
I also finished up some work for another dear friend that I will share later.
I don't want it to be seen here and the surprise ruined.

I've been working outside a lot.
I've come to realize that it's therapy for me.
Slowly my yard and is becoming what I want it to be.
A refuge of sorts.
Or as I told a friend recently about finishing up my fence -
Step One in becoming a recluse has been completed!

I received a gift the other day that I'm very happy about.
My step-mother contacted me to ask if I had a need for a patio table and 4 wicker chairs.
I did not.
It's very pretty, a woven wicker kind of set but I'm no longer collecting things I don't need.
But I do appreciate her asking me.
Then she asked if I'd be interested in some 16" paver stones?
Well - YEAH!
She said she and her husband would be glad to deliver them and
that they would give them to me at a good price - FREE!

So yesterday she and her husband dropped of 40, yes FORTY of these pavers!
They are nice thick stones, weighing 35lbs a piece.
They will fit into my plan perfectly.

On a complete different topic,
it's so nice how well she and I get along now.
I mean, we are really good friends!
I wonder what my Dad would think of this whole situation? LOL!
She's only 7 years older than me
so it was never a mom/daughter relationship.
There was a time I think we honestly hated each other!
But what 15 yr old is going to listen to a 22yr old?
What was my Dad thinking?
OK, NEVERMIND. I don't want to think about THAT. LOL!

But here's the odd part.
After Dad died, instead of us going our different ways
we became closer.
My sister and I even stood up with her when she remarried.
She found a really good guy and I am a highly critical person of men most times
but she found the nicest man.
He had been a farmer and now hauls freight for a living
I must say, She lucked out with him.
A good guy
and I'd be the last one to approve of anyone else but my Dad.

At Christmas time, we all get together on Christmas Eve.
My sister's family, me and my step-mom, her husband and his kids
and their kids.
Yep, a Modern Family.

OK, off to work in the yard!
Have a Wonderful Fourth!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Just a Quick Post!

Just a quick post!
So that everyone doesn't think I've fallen and couldn't get up.
I've just been super busy.
Busy at work. Summer is here and the Fourth is fast approaching, so it's crazy busy.
One of the girls is on vacation so I'm back to 6 days a week
and when she returns, the new girl has to be off for at least 2 weeks
because she's having surgery....

I've also been working on putting up a privacy fence here at home.
(More about that later and the reason behind it.)
I had a couple of gift cards given to me at Christmas to Lowes.
I had them earmarked for a new kitchen faucet but....
I bought wood, screws and pickets instead.
I already had the posts and I had cement that I purchased last Fall
that was still sitting on my porch so....

OK, don't be yelling at me now!
I used my dolly to move those bags around
and I was very careful of the muscles that I hurt before.
I barely have any pain left!
and I can't just stop doing things.

So I was extremely careful of my stomach muscles.
I didn't want to get hurt again
but I did accidentally get beaned in the head with one of the posts.
I turned my head but it still got me good in the ear.
Luckily my hair covers it but for several days it was swollen.

AND.... ok, I hate telling people this one but...
for as long as my muscles have been hurt, for at least a month,
I've had this tooth problem.
My gum was swollen and... infected above one tooth.
I won't go into detail but I was brushing non-stop, flossing, swishing hydrogen peroxide
and every day this thing swelled back up.
I tried coconut oil pulling too, where you swish it every day for 20 minutes
and... it wouldn't get better.
The tooth itself didn't hurt but it was discolored.
No one could see it because it's way back in my mouth.
I don't have a BIG mouth, I've always wanted a big Julia Roberts type of smile
but mine is small, like Bernadette Peters' mouth.

Anyway, I'm terrified of dentists
and I don't have insurance but
today I went.
I was going to tell him to pull it and this morning I think I started having
a panic attack over it!
I went up front to the office girls and was almost crying.
But it turns out a couple of co-workers have had teeth pulled and I never knew.
They told me it was nothing to worry about!

Still I was sick with worry.
I went to a new dentist, the one my sister has started going to.
They took x-rays and he asked if I had considered a root canal.
I couldn't afford one of those but then when he looked at the x-ray
he said it wasn't an option anyway.
The infection was too severe.
So he pulled it.
He said he gave me more Novacaine than was probably needed
but he wanted to make sure that I didn't feel pain.
He said it was fractured and that had caused it to get infected.
I have no idea how it would be fractured
and he said it could have happened when I had gotten a filling.
So, I guess because of that, it crumbled as he pulled it out.

Good news is that he prescribed Tylenol with Codeine.
As I type this, I finally getting feeling back in the side of my face.
I haven't taken a pill yet but my sister said that at the first twinge I should.
So, I guess I'll wait for the twinge.

I'm starting to feel "something"...
but I really hate to take any drugs
unless I really need it.

So anyway.
That's kinda what's going on
but I have more to share for later.
Like the reason for the fence
and photos of the work that I finally finished of my friends pets.

Ah OH! I'm feeling something now,
Dang it!
If it increases, I'll take one of those pain-killers.
Before I sign off, I'll share another commissioned print
that I did for a client.
She supplied the photo and I'm not that happy with it but...
she was happy,
so that's all that counts.

And like I said before, since they are prints
they are pretty cheap so that helps me deal when I'm not crazy over one of them.

I'm off to take a pill!

Saturday, June 18, 2016


is tomorrow and today is Father's Day,

it seems like a good day to start posting again.
I'm feeling much better.
I had this weekend off and although I received one phone call and several texts so far,
it's still nice to take a break from work and do nothing.
I got up early Saturday, at 5:30 because of the dogs
and also because I decided I hated my curtains in my bedroom and took them down.
So at 5:30 in the morning my room was bright with sunlight.
I'm contemplating leaving the windows bare though.
It's on the second floor and unless I'm standing right in front of them,
I don't think anyone can see me.
Even if they could, I'm usually covered in little dogs and the random cat.

Speaking of cats.
Thank you ALL so much for all your kind words about Stretch's passing.
That really meant the world to me and I could feel the love and friendship.
Truly, thanks for being there.

My cat Ghost, I'm sure I've mentioned him a few times.

In fact he might be the topic of the first post I wrote on this blog
back in 2009.
He had become lost back then.
Lily and I searched everywhere.
I posted signs,
Lily went door to door with flyers.
I had ads with photos in the 2 newspapers.
I had a HUGE sign posted on my front fence.
I went to all the shelters every other day
and Blue and I walked the neighborhood.
I had a few people who walk by my house with their own dogs,
tell me that they were keeping an eye out for him.
I went to a couple of homes of people who called about the ads
and said they had found a white cat
but it was never him.
I purchased my first cell phone so that I would have it on hand if anyone called.
There's much more to this story but 1 month and 3 days after he was suddenly gone,
he was found.
Foind in the next town over.
Some kids found him in a storm drain in a park
and put him in the bathroom there and called Animal Control.
Animal Control came to get him but he crawled into a hole were the plumbing came out of the wall.
The animal control officer, a woman I knew, finally got a gripe on him and pulled him out and scanned him for a chip.
Thank god I had him micro-chipped and she called me right away.

So anyway, lately he has been following me everywhere.

I mean he always does but now he doesn't let Ping or anyone else push him out of the way.
He lays stretched out on my chest with his face tilted up, just staring at me as I watch TV.
He's on my lap as I sit at the computer.
He sleeps on my head at night
or lays in front of me and stares at my face,
putting his paw on my cheek.

I'll move his paw and he puts it back.
Sometimes I fall asleep holding his paw.
There have been times  that I've woken up because he's laying across my throat
and I will push him off and roll over and he lays on my back.
He's gotten so obsessed that he sits in the bathroom when I take a bath and he'll perch his front paws on the edge of the tub like he's thinking of jumping in.
I've had to put my finger on his forehead and push him back.

He did this over-the-top behavior once before
and I became worried and took him to the vet and had him looked at and his blood work done.
He was fine.

I told co-workers back then that maybe there was something wrong with me!
But I'm still here and that was quite a while ago and now he's doing it again.
Maybe he's just my comfort cat.

Hey! I heard some good news the other day that I will share now.
The Wednesday before last, the 8th, when I was really bumming out.
I was at work, Wednesdays are half days for me and Doc doesn't work that day
so the clinic has a different jibe for me.
I was just trying to get through the morning and go home.
It was the anniversary of my Dad's passing and some years I don't think about it that much.
Not now anyway,
but this year it landed on a Wednesday again, just like all those years ago.
It was a sunny summery Wednesday that day too and I was to leave for lunch when I got the call.

So I'm trying to not think about that or the other things I've mentioned in the previous post.

I was up front in the reception area and chatting briefly about something to one of the receptionists when I see this man walk in the door.
I recognized him.
He's boarded his little dog with me a couple of times
and he brings the little guy to the clinic for grooming too.
I remembered how he talked about his little dog, who he adopted from the shelter
and how he never wants to go anywhere because he doesn't want to leave him.
I remember he had to go to a family thing and he was so sad about it.
And when he returned the little dog who had been so quiet and calm and so good,
had stood up and came to life, hopping with happiness to see his dad.
I remember how the old man had laughed and hugged him and the moment just made me feel so happy to see that bond.

So Wednesday the 8th,  I'm talking and trying to pretend that all is right with the world
and this old man comes in and he's got tears running down his face
and the receptionist hurries up to him.
I hurry back to the lab area to tell the vet techs and the vet that the man was here and something was wrong with his dog and....
I just started to cry.
Then the receptionist came rushing back with the little dog and I hurried off to my area.
I tell ya, with all that was going on in my head at that time,
I felt like I was on the verge of sobbing hysterically.
Finally I got it together, finished my work and went to leave.
I stopped up front for a moment and saw that they had kept the little dog to run tests and things.

Turned out he had a heart condition and fluid had built up and...
Anyway, it can be controlled with medication.
The techs filled me in on the details and told me that the vet had said the whole situation had gotten to him too.
They said he said it was hard to to see a nice old war veteran so upset.
Then the other day, the vet stopped as he was passing me in the hallway and said that the little dog was doing really well on the medication, that he was doing REALLY good!
He thought I would want to know.
I thanked him.

So there's that good news!
and the little Eskimo dog is going to a new home this week!

And I'm starting to feel better!
I haven't had to take any pain medicine at all anymore
and there's just a dull ache and occasional stabbing sensation but I usually can massage it out.
I guess it was my muscles, pulled, or torn or something.
I'm going to be more careful from now on.

So - I'm back!

I've finished a few commissioned pieces and I'm working on one more.
In the end, they are actually prints, mounted on canvases
and I sell them are dirt cheap.
I'll do a few more new ones and then I'll just have them reprinted and sell those too.
To be honest, I'm wanting to move on to something else.
I have some ideas on some collage paintings
and of course my illustrations.

Talking about that, I did do a little one for my sisters birthday last Sunday.
She's always gardening and her cats like to be out in the yard with her so....

Now if I did something like that for people, I'd charge more
because it's takes a lot longer to do.

But first I need to catch up with my own yard.
Mowing, weeding, planting the flowers that are still in their containers.
And the house.
Yep. Kinda let it go.
Yesterday I got rid of 3 big bags of stuff.
Vacuumed everywhere and need to get scrubbing because I want to paint.

I also want to go back and read all of the posts that I missed on my fav blogs.

Wish I had more time for everything.
Oh well! Someday.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


The morning after I wrote my last post
I came downstairs to find Stretch just laying on the kitchen floor.
Nora saw him and ran to chase him but he didn't get up.
Nora just looked at him and then at me.

That morning I took him into work with me and had extensive blood work run on him.
And radio-graphs
and had a fecal done and an urinalysis.
Then a sonogram.

I had him on a food that he liked and which helped him form firmer stools.
That's always been his problem.
That's why I have him.
HERE is the post that I wrote when he came home with me.

But lately he didn't like his special food
So I had tried some others.
In the meantime he was really dropping weight.
When I weighed him at work, his weight had plummeted to 6.10 lbs.

The Dr. thought maybe with a couple of  medications
and different food and a shot of Vitamin B12.
Maybe that would help.
She consulted with the other vets
and no one could find anything conclusive.

So, it was either IBS or Lymphoma. (Cancer)
I kept him at the clinic, where I could closely monitor him
and his eating and his stool, etc.

Last Saturday he weighed 6.4

Yesterday, Monday he weighed 5.11.

Today he was wobbly and fell.
He was drooling and I knew it was just a matter of time.
I wasn't going to make him wait.
So I had the vet release him to Heaven.

This has been a bad few weeks.
In June alone, FOUR of my long time boarding dogs have passed.
One of them was a dog that I felt so close to, that I felt like he was my own.
I went into the exam room to say good-bye and his owners and I just balled our eyes out.
Another boarder, as the husband was carrying him into the clinic, the wife ran to my boarding door.
She was in tears and motioned me to come with them.

I have a few more really sad things I could share that happened last week,
but I won't.
No use in depressing all of you too.

Some good news though!
Mikey is getting a home.
The son of the owner was going to put him down.
(I'm leaving out a lot of details)
but I had him sign Mikey over to the clinic and a home has been found.
(No, not me.)

And my friend's little schnauzer Louie, his Go Fund Me page has gotten a lot of donations!
Yep, that's good news.

Sigh... anyway.
With all the tragedy in the world
some might think me silly to get so upset about all of this
but I can't help it.
I just need to work on myself some more.
So, my break continues,
I just felt that I needed to share Stretch's passing.