Monday, March 28, 2016


My weekend started early.
I left work a little after noon on Friday, sick.
One of the receptionist had left before me and several others don't feel well either.
I've never been one to go to bed.
Instead  I usually curl up in my big chair where I can doze on and off
but still be close enough to the back door to let the dogs out when they need to potty.
So I slept the day away and then the night and Saturday
I just laid around staring at my phone, taking photos of my pets, 

reading blogs and scrolling through Facebook and answering texts from work.
My first one was early morning.
Then another after lunch time.
Another later in the day.
I find it odd that for a job that everyone else thinks is so easy,
no one seems to be able to do it without questions.
And I am the Queen of documentation.
I leave notes about absolutely everything.
Anyway. I read stuff, thought about stuff and slept.
Nora stayed close. 
She's my protector.

My cat Charlie 

tried to push his way in and Harry 

cuddled up to me.
Ghost is with me always. 24/7
And as usual was right in my face watching me.

Here's an Artsy photo of Harry.

Oh yeah. I surfed around on Instagram and posted a few photos.
Seriously how did I ever survive without this phone?
Oh wait. I read books.

Today, Easter Sunday, I woke up still sick.
My head throbbing, my gut churning and aching all over.
I got a phone call from the new guy.
A cat at the clinic had jumped out if the it's cage when he went to clean it.
In his attempt to put the cat back in the cage, it clawed him up and he was bleeding pretty good
he said he couldn't get the cat but he thought he'd be able to finish the shift.
So I had him call Doc and then told him to call me back and let be know what was going on.
So... Doc came in and bandaged him up and caught the cat and put him in his cage.
My worker  called me back and said he was fine now and would finish the shift.

All of THAT woke me up so
I decided to go downstairs and work on the basement.
I took breaks and did it a little bit at a time but
I actually cleared out quite a bit and organized it all.
Looking at it all made me wonder if I had made a mistake closing up my booth.
There's a lot of things I'm sure that would sell and I did ok. 
I made enough each month to pay for art supplies and some of the dog food.
Yep, maybe that was a mistake.
But maybe not.
I'll think about that later.

So then I got some texts from the girl that works evenings.
Different questions and things.
Then my sister, just checking in on me.

I did laundry and then did some more sketches, final ones,
for the paintings that I've been promising my friend.
Here's a quick peek at them.

That's how I spent the weekend!
I only cried once. But that was over some silly video
with a Golden Retriever that reminded me of my dog Maddie who passed so many years ago.
So, I'd say I'm doing better.
Except for the sick part.
So not better physically but at least mentally.
Thank you everyone for your wise words. 
It helps to know I have friends out there!
And I hope you had a Happy Easter.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


I'm in a funk.
I thought I had pulled myself out but... truth be told, no.
It's not because of Squeak, although his passing didn't help.
It's just...............

I need a change.
Or maybe just some sleep.
Or maybe just a new approach to life.

I seem to remember an episode of Seinfeld where George, whose life was always a major fail, decided to do the opposite of his natural instincts and suddenly everything started working for him.
Although I can't remember how it ultimately turned out for him, something must have gone wrong as he was back to his never-do-well life by the next episode.

Yesterday when I got home from work it started to storm.
Really high winds, over 50 miles an hour and then hail.
The weather people on TV were intense.
They had their jackets off and their sleeves rolled up and they were showing diagrams on where to seek shelter in your home.
Last year we had a tornado in our region, something rather rare here
and they told us to seek a safe place.
At that time, I went to the basement door and walked down a couple of steps and sat there, holding 2 of my little dogs, Poppy and Ping.

I had motioned Blue to the doorway, I knew he'd never go down the steps, so he sat there along with Nora and Jimmy. I called to the others, I called to my cats...but mostly I called my cats Harry and Ghost.
Strange how I made my Sophie's Choice....
I remember that I had thought if I heard a "train" noise as they predict, I would just set the two little ones down on the icky basement floor and tug Blue as far down the stairs as I could.
I would think if I did that, some of the others would follow him down too.

But last night, curled up in my big chair covered in critters,
I watched the Tornado Warnings and thought about my Dad.
When there would be storms, he liked to open the garage door and sit in his lawn chair and watch.
He never ever was concerned. He never told us to go downstairs.
Of course, the downstairs in my childhood home was nicer than the whole of my home is now.
And MY current downstairs is dark, damp with cinder block walls and it's filled with stuff.
Stuff being old furniture, cat carriers, Rubbermaid containers full of more stuff.
I really didn't want to go down there.
So I pulled up my ottoman and stretched out my legs and more little ones crawled on top of me.
Blue was laying on the sofa

and Nora was pacing.
Nora was the only one that seemed concerned so I called for her to lay down next to the chair.
I figured we'd just wait and see.
I was so tired that I started to drift off to sleep.
I remember thinking just before I drifted off that I hoped the hail didn't dent my car
and that if nothing happened to us, that I needed to pitched the stuff in the basement
and repaint the walls, maybe put down a piece of sheet vinyl flooring...

So, I woke up and the threat had passed.
Apparently 5 tornadoes had touched down in several areas.
Down on the far end of my street, a tree had come down and brought down power lines and people were trapped inside a restaurant.
I was lucky that we still had power in my section of town.
I got up and threw a load of laundry into the washer.
I let the dogs out to potty and the night sky seemed eerie.
They hurried back in and we all went to bed.

I got up this morning and went to work and I cried.
Nothing big really happened or anything but I just cried.
I don't think I'm alone though.
Many people that I work with feel the same way.
And there's other people I know, outside of work, that feel like crying too.
About different things
Maybe it's just the time of year.

Maybe it's that I get home and only have a couple of hours
to clean the house, sort through and get rid of the clutter,
do the laundry, feed the dogs, groom the dogs,

scoop the poop and clean the litter boxes,
read the blogs and the books I want to read and
oh, create Art
and I need to get to bed and get some sleep.
Seems like I never have time to do what I want or the energy.
Maybe it's just that I feel overwhelmed.

Do you feel like that too?
Is it the weather? The time of year?
The horrible things in the News and on social media?
See,  I told you I was in a funk.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


I hope people don't dread coming to my blog and reading sad stuff.
But I can't NOT tell you this and
I REALLY REALLY hope this is the last post of this type, for at least this year.
With a very heavy heart I had to let Squeak go to Heaven this morning.

When I wrote of Rosie's passing on January 28, I kinda hinted at how thin Squeak had gotten.
If you remember when I got him, he was rather roly poly.
I first wrote about Squeak in my "deja vu/longest post ever" post on 8/2.

At first the weight loss was a good thing.

I was measuring out his special urinary diet food and he was playful and would follow me everywhere, even up and down the stairs.
But as time went on he started to sleep more.
He no longer wanted to tackle the steps and was content to sleep with Rosie in the kitchen.
The food was helping with his stones and his urine was no longer pink/red.
He turned 14 but little dogs can live so much longer than that.
In fact several of my little dogs are between the ages of 12 to 14.

Then I noticed his one eye starting to cloud up a little,
like my little Claude's did when he started to lose his eyesight.
Then his appetite dropped off.
So I bought his special food in canned form and that worked for a while.
Sometimes he wanted dry and sometimes canned.
Sometimes he wanted a little warm water on it.
Sometimes he wanted it microwaved.
Sometimes he didn't want that either.
Then a few days ago he wouldn't eat it at all, so I fed him REGULAR canned, not the special stuff.
Doc said that was better than not eating at all.
I told Doc about how Squeak slept 23 1/2 hours a day

and Doc said he wished he could get that much sleep.

Last weekend I noticed that hair was stuck in his lower teeth.
I pulled out globby clumps of icky hair.
I wasn't sure where the hair came from. My floors aren't hairy.
I pulled out the sofa and all the furniture and vacuumed.
Maybe he got underneath the sofa and ate a dust bunny hairball.
The next day, more hair was in his teeth!
That's when I noticed that he no longer had  hair on top of his feet!
He was pulling out his own hair!

I debated as what to do next. Was it his time?
I don't care how many pets a person has to help pass over to the next world,
it's never easy to know exactly when... well, most times anyway.

Last night I came home and he was laying in his bed and had peed on himself.
I gave him a bath and dried him and then he just walked in big circles.
He walked to the water bowl but then turned away.
He refused food and just kept circling.
I had some puppy food for him, I was sure he'd like that, but No.
He refused that too.
Finally he wobbled into the laundry room and went to sleep on one of the doggie beds.

This morning at 3:30 or so he started making a noise.
Not a bark, not his usual squeak but more of a soft little cry. Just laying there crying in a slow rhythm.
I had to work today, so I just got up and got ready for work.
The clinic was closed but I knew Doc would be in to check on a blocked cat that he had kept for the weekend to monitor.
I swaddled Squeak up in a baby blanket that I had and laid him on my puffy coat in the passenger seat of my car.
He just laid there staring at me.
I drove with one hand on the steering wheel and one with my finger on his temple, making little circles. He closed his eyes.
I stopped at a stop sign and removed my finger.
He opened his eyes and I quickly continued.
I fought back the tears and told him it wouldn't be much longer.

When I got to work I laid him in a kennel with a big blanket and went to work in the boarding area.
Eventually Doc arrived.
I had written a list of everything going on with Squeak.
I read it off to Doc and he commented on how thin Squeak was and Doc shook his head over the fact that Squeak had pulled the hair off his feet.
He looked down at Squeak's frail body and agreed it was time.
As he got the injection ready,  I mumbled something about this being my 3rd pet that I lost this year
and he said that was because my "friends" were all getting old.

So... Doc released Squeak from his tired old body.
Doc is cremating him for me as he has for my other pets.
I plan to scatter his ashes, along with Rosie's in a special section of my garden
when the flowers start to bloom.

I'm going to miss that little guy, wobbling around after me.
I didn't even have him a year but I feel blessed to have had him for at least that short time.
Maybe it's wrong of me but I hope and I pray that Squeak's previous owners are paid back by KARMA in a big way.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


I must admit, I've been in a funk.

I suppose the fact that I didn't sell much at the Horse Expo
AND I haven't sold anything at the Art/Antique place, didn't help.
What was really getting to me though was, how I was living my life.

It was getting to me, working at the kennel, taking care of all the pets
and doing through the same thing each morning and evening at home.
In between I had spent every moment working on my Art for these 2 places
and then I suddenly felt as though I had taken 3 big leaps forward
and then slipped off the path and was stuck in the mud.

I try to be optimist and I know I have so many friends out there urging me on
to keep going
but suddenly I just wanted to come home and do nothing.
I wanted to unplug and relax.
I mostly stayed off Facebook and Instagram except to idly thumb through images on my phone.

I felt like my life was just repetition and not fun.

There are a few positives that happened.
There is a new woman veterinarian at the clinic.
I actually know her,  not very well, but she was at the first clinic that I worked at.
I worked very early mornings then and she would be coming in as I was leaving.
I'm not sure if she remembers me or not.
Right now she's taking over all of Doc's surgeries except the bone ones.
He said that he brought her in as part of his plan to scale back.
He wants to just attend to his long time clients who request him
and of course all of his clients that need chiropractic adjustments
and ultimately just do chiropractic care
but he said he's not going anywhere for a while.
I made the comment the other day to my vet tech friend that I plan on Blue being around for another 20 years and he turned and said he wouldn't be around THAT long (he's Blue's vet) and that he'd be retired by then... (Doc is 2 1/2 years older than I).

And talking about age.
I've hired a new boarding person because one of my workers will be graduating soon from college and moving to Portland, Oregon.
I think everyone was very surprised as to who I hired.
Before I hired him, I told Doc that I had an applicant who the girls said was OLD.
I said that he wasn't old and then I told Doc the year that the applicant had graduated High School.
Doc was startled and said that was the year HE graduated and I said,
Yeah! See he's not old!
Truth be told, they might be the same age but if you put them next to each other, you would never guess it.
Doc looks many years younger but I think he has a young mind frame and that makes a big difference.
SO I hired a man who's older.
He's still working full-time and he has a cat that he loves to talk about but he said he needed to fill his off time and and he misses having a dog
and he has a work ethic.
My niece was worried about a man doing the job, because sometimes men can be a bit rough or harsh with animals but one day as she was leaving work she spied him through the window and saw him playing with one of the cats with a toy and then he stopped and hugged the cat and then went on his way to the dog kennels.
Lily called me right afterwards and said she liked that guy.
So there's that.
Although once the college girl leaves, I'll be working 6 days a week... at least for a while.

So all this good stuff and I was still dragging my feet.
I started devising alternative career plans.
I thought about caring for dogs in my home, just smaller dogs
and marketing the fact that they would be in a home environment.
Then I realized I have a full plate right now, several are elderly and
then there's Blue.

So I discarded that idea.... at least for now. Maybe as a side job in retirement, but not NOW.

Then I decided to open a Cat Cafe.
A place where I'd serve, coffee and teas.
Smoothies and tasty treats.
I'd have big comfy chair where people could lounge and read or work on their laptops.
And there would be cats.
Sweet sociable cats, Cats to relieve stress and comfort.
Maybe a big screen in the back area and big floor cushions to lay on and have movie nights....
But after talking with my sister about all the expenses to furnish the place, the rent, the little kids that would want to come in and run after the cats and...
Yep, nixed that idea too.

I did have a great talk with my sister though.
We had met for our monthly breakfast get-together at my favorite family-owned breakfast joint.
I wish we could do that more often.
Afterwards I drove her by a house in the neighborhood we grew up in.
It's for sale and needs A LOT of work but sits on an acre of land.
On either side of it, sits big gorgeous homes and the property taxes would probably be at least 5K a year.
Yep, out of the question.
Then we drove by a house that I've always loved and is now for sale.
It's only four blocks down and one block over from me.
I said to her that I would probably be stupid to move so close to where I live right now.
She didn't think it was dumb, not if I was moving to something better.
So, anyway-
The house is small with a little breezeway going to the attached garage and a nice level backyard.
Usually my sister is pretty bland in her responses about houses I find but she loved this one.
She said that if there was an Open House the next day (Sunday) she would go with me!
She NEVER wants to go to Open Houses.
So I went home and looked it up and found that it was "Sale Pending".
Sigh, Oh well.... it's not like my own home to sale ready.
It needs many many repairs and major de-cluttering.

So... I went to the library.
I checked out a bunch of children's books and poured over the illustrations.
Suddenly I wanted to start drawing again.
I'm going to re-write my Kanga book and making it less wordy.
But I've got clear ideas in my head about it.

I'm then going to start on my Blue book(s).
One for any age and also a series for kids about some of his adventures.
And I can see it in my head!
I'm dropping my altered photos and moving forward on the illustrations.
I'm working on simple little cards and prints and putting them for sale on my blog
and Etsy.

I ordered a couple of books off of Amazon about
non-traditional retirement ideas and also about de-cluttering and why a person accumulates so much in the first place and can't let stuff go.

Then the weather turned and it suddenly was nice outside.
I worked outside for a bit and finally was able to breathe.
Literally and figuratively.
I had forgotten how much I missed working outside, it's garden therapy.
I texted my sister that maybe I'll grow and sell cut flowers!!!
She didn't respond but I think I wear her out with my grand schemes and ideas.
She's probably just waiting to see if I change my mind again!
But whatever!
At least I'm full of ideas and motivated again!