Pet therapy

Hello friends,

For 13 years, we enjoyed the company of two wonderful dogs, Midnight and Shadow, our Mini Schanuzers. They were brothers with lots of personality. They did everything together, and I mean everything. Shadow passes first, unexpectedly, and then a year and a half later, Midnight passed. Losing them was hard for the family, and it took a while to get used to a quiet house again. 

But then the time came when we missed having dogs around. The search began. We knew we wanted Mini Schnauzers again, and we gave rescues a try. We saw some we really liked, but it wasn’t meant to be. So, after a while, we gave Midnight and Shadow’s breeder a call on a whim, to see if she had an older dog available. We were not looking for a puppy again. Luckily, she happened to have a girl. We agreed to meet, and fell in love with the dog at first sight. She’s all black, stunning, and loves to give kisses. We knew we were taking her home.

A few days later, the breeder called and said she had “a proposition “. She had another dog that was too small to breed, and wanted to know if we would like to take her as well. We were not planning on getting two dogs again, but there must be a reason for us to have two. So, we talked about it and decided to do it. 

This morning, we were so excited to pick them up! We got all of their supplies, along with some frilly dresses, and introduced them to their new home. So far, so good; I think they are doing just fine. 

So, I introduce to you, Sadie and Joy. 

The Heat in Hill Country

Hello friends, 

I’m on vacation with family and friends, visiting Texas Hill Country. It’s Texas, in the summer, and naturally, it’s hot, but we’re having a great time. A couple of days ago, we spent the afternoon in San Antonio and had a good time. A few hours later, the summer sun was at its peak. A few minutes in the heat and humidity, and I was feeling wiped out. Fatigue led to a headache, and I was out of energy and drive. Once we got back to our rental, I thought I would relax and feel better. No chance of that; I felt worse with every hour that passed. Pain medication did no good, and while everyone else slept, I was wide awake nursing a throbbing head with added neck and shoulder pain as a bonus. Good times. Several hours later, I managed to zen out long enough to get a couple of hours of sleep before sunrise. The next day, the headache was gone, but the neck and shoulder pain remained, but less than before. 

I was curious to see how the summer heat would affect me, if at all, so it was a learning experience, for sure. Now I know that I need to be careful when out in the heat for an extended amount of time, and to take measures to keep cool, if at all possible. This had happened to me one time before back in March, if I remember right. I guess I just needed to see if this reaction was just a fluke or a predictable pattern. Experience still is a pretty good teacher. If you didn’t learn the first time, you will get another chance.

Slow down

Hello friends,

For weeks now, my legs have been feeling really weird. Actually, it is my left leg that has been giving me the most concern. It seems like the left side of my entire body feels – different. Any issues that pop up seem to occur on the left side. Lately, it’s my leg. It feels stiff, tight like a large band is wrapped around it, compressed, and my toes feel as if they want to cramp. From the knees downward, and as of the past week, the tight feeling seems to want to creep up the back of the leg, too. When it gets really tight, doesn’t matter what time of day or night, it will change the way I walk. Like Frankenstein. A wobble of sorts, and my steps are made carefully. I wouldn’t say it’s painful yet, more an annoyance than anything else. But, when it feels that way, I try to stay off of it, if possible. I guess it is my daily reminder to slow down. Do any of you have a similar issue? If so, please leave a comment.

Revelation 

Hello, friends,

Waiting for truth to be shown to you can be a challenge at times. We all claim that we want “truth, honesty, sincerity”, etc., but we are not always ready or willing to hear it and accept it when it comes. Sometimes, it’s hard to deal with. Is it good for us? Yes, because you have an awareness of what is in front of you; an opportunity to face your reality, whatever it may be for you at that time, and experience it in the moment. For many of us, this is scary territory. We say we want truth, but we are afraid of it. “Will I like it? Will it be a little or a lot? Can I handle it? How will this change my life?”, we ask. 

What I try to remember is, God never gives us more than what we can handle. I heard someone say once, and forgive me if I can’t remember who, “If He brought you to it, He will see you through it”. Especially true if the moment of revelation that you find in front of you is bigger than you expected. We will get bumped and prodded and knocked around in this life of ours, but you have to get up, and keep your train moving…..

The hardest job ever

Hello friends, 

Today is a day of reflection, acknowledgment and appreciation. We reflect upon the things are mothers have done for us time and time and time again, if we were blessed enough to have a good relationship with her. I understand that not everyone had that experience. Some of us had rough experiences because of women who were ill-prepared for motherhood. They, for whatever reason, were not ready to accept the magnitude of the job before them. Being a mom is much more than giving birth to a human being. It is getting up early and staying up late, it is getting peed on, puked on, cried on. It’s poopy diapers and ear infections, colds and flu, bug bites and toddler bites, affection and discipline, first date and being dumped, prom nights and wedding days, sports practice and dance practice. Motherhood is very inconvenient. We try to make it fit our schedule, our lifestyle, but it does not. We are the ones constantly making the adjustments. 

There are high expectations on moms, too. We are to raise a future adult from day one, twenty-four hours a day, every day, no sick time, no breaks, no days off, for at least 20 years. Then, after all of that, you are expected to let them go to make a life of their own. We are responsible for them until they are responsible for themselves, and it is a thankless job. There is no salary, because the world cannot afford it. 

Sometimes you cry yourself to sleep, you laugh until you wet your pants, you pray for them, fear for them, live for them and would die for them. And then, after all of that, some moms go and do it again and again. The job is hard, but it has benefits. There is no manual, no instructions. The world expects you to get it right, and you consider yourself lucky if you do.

So to all the moms reading this, thank you for your efforts, for your service. You give of yourself until you collapse, and then you get up the very next day and do it again. Although we appreciate the dads to that step up to the plate and are present and active in their child’s life, many men can acknowledge the fact that when they were tired or sick or just didn’t feel like it, they looked to the mom to get the job done. And we did. And we do. And we will again tomorrow. 

What are you doing?

Hello friends,

This is the question we have heard since we were small children, “What are you doing?” But, friends, have you really answered it? Have you even really thought about it?

The word “doing”, by itself, is a gerund, a verb acting as a noun, for you non-grammarians out there.  In this question, someone asks you what IT is that you are doing – which is an inquiry into your life in the present tense. Many of us do not live in the present; we are still stuck in the past, we are still little kids trapped inside of  and living in adult bodies. Are bodies get older, and, if we’re lucky, we celebrate another birthday, but our true selves are still four, or seven, or whatever age. 

How do you know that there’s a small child still inside you? I think it’s easy. Ask yourself: are you doing what you want, what you love, what makes your heart sing, or are you doing what is expected? How many of us are “clocking in”, “clocking out” of tasks that we don’t enjoy? We just go through our day like robots, going where people expect us to be, doing what people expect us to do, day-in, day-out. Some of us have done it for so long, we don’t even think about it anymore. 

So, today, think about it. If you didn’t get paid anything to do that one thing, and it made you totally happy, it got you one step closer to finding true bliss, I ask you, what are you doing?

Sail away

Hello, friends,

It has been a fun and exciting week! For the past seven days, I have been cruising the Western Caribbean with my family. We left from Port Canaveral, Florida, and it was my first time in Florida as well. Crazy as you might imagine, Florida during Spring Break! Once we were on the ship, the fun really got started! Leaving Florida, we headed straight for Haiti, then Jamaica, followed by Cozumel, Mexico. Fun excitement and lots of virgin Piña Coladas. I love traveling to different countries; meeting different people and learning new things. I had a brief conversation at the spa with a Brazilian woman from Italy. She spoke no English, and I spoke no Portuguese, so I spoke to her in Spanish, and she responded with Portuguese. Interesting, to say the least! A very nice woman, and I was introduced to her family. We wished each other well, and went our separate ways.

Today, we wait to debark from the ship, but in the meantime, we have fond memories of our trip that will last a lifetime. If you’ve never been on a cruise, I highly recommend it. There plenty to see and do, lots of shopping opportunities both on and off the ship, and interesting people to meet. You can do as much (or as little)  as you wish,  and a great time is guaranteed.

Twists and turns

Hello friends,

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything; I will try to do it more often. The past couple of weeks have been interesting, to say the least. Between keeping up with Valentine’s Day and work and a doctor appointment, it’s been a little hectic. If you celebrate Valentine’s Day, then I hope yours was a great one. If you’re not into that, then I hope that you spent the day with the people that you love.

Since the inspiration for this post is twists and turns, let me speak a little about that. Just like any road, any path that you may be on, you can’t always go straight. Their will be bends in the road. You have to bend a little, be flexible a little. Sometimes life turns that way, too. Sometimes your journey goes left when you thought you were headed  straight, and sometimes you go right. Here is a look at some of my own. Since about 2010, I have been keeping a journal of some strange symptoms that I have been experiencing: vertigo, weakness in my arms, hands and legs, burning pins and needles in my feet and hands, and other things. Things seemed to subside for a few years, then everything happened again, with new symptoms appearing: random bruises appearing and disappearing, vision problems, chest pain, balance issues, migraines and lots more. Truly, a shopping list. This second round sent me to one doctor, and after some blood tests, I am now seeing five specialists: a cardiologist, a rheumatologist, a hematologist, a neurologist, a retina specialist and my general practitioner. Who would have thought? As of right now, seven years, four months and many blood tests later, no one knows, as of yet, what is causing these things to happen. It remains a mystery.

So, maybe this blog is my way of processing these twists and turns in my journey. With each appointment I learn something new, yet nothing at all, it seems. It’s very frustrating not to have answers, but I know  that day is coming still. I will find out, and I’ll be ok with it- whatever IT is.

Being in the moment

via Daily Prompt: Aware

Hello, friends,

Do you ever think about what it is – what it means – to really know yourself?  Of course, we all have an awareness of our likes and dislikes, but if you sat still for a moment and really thought about it, what do you really know?  Who are you – today, right this very moment, at this point in your life?  Take a moment and think about that.  Ask yourself: “Who am I?”  Immediately, we think about what we do – our job, career, our status, our religious background, our ethnic background, our role in the family, in the community.  Take that out of the equation and plainly ask yourself who you are.  Are you stuck?  Searching for an answer?  Good.  Now you know you have work to do.

Take some time and really think about what it means to be aware.  To be here, present, focused on self. Don’t let your mind wander off to things you have yet to do, things that you did already. Don’t think about that project left unfinished, the friend you have yet to call, the email you haven’t responded to yet.  Let all of that go for now.  For now, just focus on you; who you are.  What comes to mind first?

 

Time to rest my eyes

Hello, friends!

Yesterday something strange happened. As I’m sitting at a red light, returning to work after my dinner break, I saw what I thought was a van (or SUV) continue to drive through traffic, while at the same time, cars were turning left from the opposite direction. My body tensed, anticipating a violent collision, a mass of mangled vehicles all twisted together in the middle of the road. I waited in anxious anticipation, holding my breath. When I couldn’t hold it any longer, I gasped, certain that I was about to witness a tragic event. To my shock and surprise, it didn’t happen. It didn’t happen because there was no van (or SUV). It was a wild hallucination. I actually saw the vehicle slip past oncoming traffic (or so I believed), but in the next moment, it was gone. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before, and it freaked me out, especially since I was still driving. At that point,  I no longer trusted my eyes, and got back to work as soon as I could. And no, alcohol was not involved.

I would blame it on fatigue or sleep deprivation, but I’m always fatigued; that’s normal for me. Have you ever experienced anything like that before? If so, what do you think caused it?  Feel free to share your thoughts.