Sunday, August 28, 2016

"those" people...

Not sure how it happened.  I called Hubs tonight on my way home from a meeting.  He was breathing rather heavily and my first thought was "oh no", in a slightly fear laced moment.  Seconds later it was an entirely different fear.

That turkey was working very hard on beating my step count!

Somehow we are morphing from people that come home, kick off our shoes and veg out.  To being quite competitve with each other. It's already bad enough that my short legs have to work twice as hard, and that his job is not a desk based job.  Those two things I cannot change.

But here he was getting in an extra 2000 steps while I was driving back and forth to work.

He is going to have to win this round.  I'm tired.

And over 16K steps is simply not bad. Especially when battling the sleep deficit of getting up in the middle of the night with the Neeko.

He and I had midnight med's last night.  Each time I see him I am even more amazed.  He still looked poofy and groggy last night, even though his walking was more steady and we got a short walk in.  Because everyone should get a chance to go strolling at midnight in their pj's with a big dog wearing the cone of shame.  Pretty darn amusing I might add.

He's on small meals.  So we are spending a lot of time feeding a very hungry boy little meals.

This morning, it was another change.  Most of the fluid build up is gone, he is looking like our Neeko again. He's wagging with his whole body, and desperately trying to convince us both to slide him a piece of chicken jerky.  Little goof ball.  He simply doesn't care that he has just had major stomach surgery, he can smell chicken!

Over the course of the day between taking the boys for walks and working, Hubs and I have been competing pretty strenously over who is going to have the most steps.  Walking in brutal 94 degrees and hating life.

It's really rather funny... somehow we've become "those" people!

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Listening to the rythmic snoring in the house today, it's so hard to even remotely believe the last few days have even happened.

Gator is curled up on his favorite sofa in the fireplace room.  His snores are the loudest.  The Neeko is finally home, and despite all the work I put into insuring that the front living room was perfect for him to rest and recouperate, he is stretched out in the dining room in his favorite spot.

All I can say is thank goodness for Oxy Clean, because his incision is still leaking quite a bit. And as it's his tummy, there simply isn't a good way to keep that from happening.

Thursday night and most of yesterday were pretty darn stressful.  But that little furball is one tough cookie. He's not even 36 hours post surgery and he all put pulled me out of the vet's office. He'd had enough of their hospitality I guess.

Heck he even removed his own IV this morning.  I am sure that was quite a sight to see.  Determined little poop.

I have to keep an eye on him, he's got a bit of a fever, but they weren't overly worried considering he'd just had major abdominal surgery.  The bigger task is making sure he says calm and still.  We have to give the sutures time to heal, to insure that tummy stays tacked to his ribs and never again flips.

I will admit that for someone that hates to have their face licked, when he rushed in the room today and ran that tongue all the way up my face... I wanted to cry tears of joy.  Every time I've seen him since Thursday night he has been that much better.

I had planned to be at the Veteran's event with Hubs.  BBQ and prizes to raise money for the Veteran's at the Jefferson County Y, reality check is they didn't need me as much as Neeko did.  And I don't regret the decision at all.  I think being home is making him a happy little guy.

He immediately came in, had himself a light lunch and proceeded curl up and nap.  After he marked the entire front yard, absolutely cannot let another dog mark his yard.  Geez!

So while Hubs is out doing something so important, after all he's a Vet himself, I am home catching up.

I've been a bit busy with work and with making time for my workouts, so maybe I haven't been doing an awesome job as a housewife lately.

I figured I'd take the opportunity to catch up while watching our big boy today.  Laundry is almost done. Ironing, not even started. Groceries, purchased and put away.  Dinner, cooking in the crock pot, corn and cauliflower soup - to be served with sauted cod and a salad. Floors swept, vacuumed and mopped, although, I will be doing this one repeatedly over the next few days I am sure.

And for just a moment.  I am resting.

Last night the emotional exhaustion took a firm grip on me and I was sound asleep by 7:30 pm, I just could not function.  Today, I've been rushing around like I have an endless supply of energy.  If my back and feet weren't screaming for a break, I'd still be going strong.

In a few moments I will get back to finishing chores, doing some meal planning for the coming week, and making myself a big chart so I can remember when to give Neeko each of his medications.  It's going to be a bit of a complicated couple of weeks.  And I am fairly certain between hubs and I we are going to be having a lot of choppy days so that he gets all his meds on time.

I'm just enjoying watching the big guy resting peacefully at home.  It has to feel good to be home.  He's a lumpy, bumpy fellow today, they had to insure he had enough fluids in him.  So he's looking a bit like a camel. It will subside and absorb.  Soon he won't look so post surgery puffy.  He will look like our sweet Neeko again.

Thank you all for your prayers.  I am so thankful that God didn't decide it was time for him to cross the rainbow bridge.  We needed more time with him.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Dinner is cooking.

I don't feel ike eating.

I am staring at my phone.


For some unknown reason Hubs felt the need to come home early.

I'm glad he did.  At least it gave our boy a fighting chance.


They were getting ready to take him to surgery when they asked us to leave.  I would have laid on that floor beside him for hours if I thought I could have provided him comfort.

He's the baby.  He's not even 10. Yet our sweet puppy boy is currently fighting for his life.

My heart is torn to shreds.  I am trying desperately to keep myself busy.  I feel strongly that I need to pace. Like that is going to make this better.

I wrote a check for more money than I have right now, pleading with them to save him.  Willing to give them every valuable I own. They will hold my check until payday. They will care for our baby.

We rushed him in.

Doctor Mike promised us that he would do his absolute best. I have faith in him.

But this waiting.

My mind keeps telling my heart to hush.  That this is a good sign.  That they are doing everything they can for that big, soft-hearted, playful boy.  That they are trying to save him.  So don't rush it.

My heart is having a helluva time listening!

I keep straining to hear, one of our phones will ring eventually. I'm anxious and terrified all at the same time.

He was suffering for how long?  No idea. Vomit all through the house.  Water trying to be drank to ease the pain.

They can't call us.  Funny thing is, I think he managed to let Daddy know he needed him. Why else did he come home unexpectedly?

My girls showed up.

I was struggling through cooking, not hungry, but needing to eat.  Staring at the phone every two seconds.

Writing, trying to sort out my heart and head.

That sweet loving girl of mine. She showed up with two Dilly Bars. "I know you are trying to not eat this stuff, but..."

It was the perfect gift.  The calming effect of those two beautiful girls, bringing ice cream and hugs made things so much better.  The waiting not so unbearable.

That painfully slow movement of the clock was eased a bit by the distractions.  Sitting on the deck, enjoying the coolness of the fan blowing on us. Savoring the company, the news being shared.

Slowly the death clamp grip on my heart started to ease.

Jus then, Doc Kyle called.

Neeko is in recovery.  Heavily sedated.  He came through surgery really well.  They were worried about a small bit of his spleen.  But as they watched him, it started to look good again.  The next six hours were going to be critical, but he was "zonkered" and they would be taking turns coming in to check on him over night.

He has to be doing fair, if not, they would have transported him to an all night facility.  They were keeping him at their clinic.  Another good sign.

Almost instantly, as tears ran down both of our faces, we felt the blood start pumping and the exhaustion start to set in.  We were breathing.  I am not done praying.  Although Doc Kyle said that he was doing very well and will probably be able to come home on Saturday.  

Gator is so worried, looking around the house for him.  I offered to go sit by his side, so did Hubs.  Doc Kyle felt he was doing well enough that did not need to happen.

This has been a terrifying night.  My eyes are drifting shut.  Yet I am afraid to sleep and maybe miss a call that we are needed.  I'm not ready to say goodbye to our big fuzzy baby boy.  I need to hear him talking to me.  It's going to be a quiet few days.  He's a big talker.

Sleep well baby boy... we will be there in the morning.  I need to pet your soft head.  I am not sure how I will sleep without your rythmic snoring, but I need to try.

Monday, August 22, 2016

one foot in front of the other...

I'm taking a minute.  I need to catch my breath and cool down.

Although I am definitely cheering on the inside!  There is no one home to hear me cheer out loud.

I just got back in from my walk.  Half way around the final cul de sac my fitbit cheerfully told me that I had walked 2 miles.  That it took me 37.17 minutes and my average pace was 18.24.  That might not seem great to some.  But given my fibro and the fact that six weeks ago that not only wouldn't have happened, my stats then were 1.11 miles, 34.38 minutes and my pace was 31.20.  And I seriously wanted to die.

Fast forward today.  I am only a bit winded, drenched in sweat and the only thing keeping me from walking a bit further was the fact that I need to get ready for work and fix lunches.  I definitely see another walk in me today.  My faster pace is insuring that I don't hit my step goals doing what I had been doing.

I was feeling so cheerful as I headed out today.  First off the sky is bright and crisp, score one for mental preparation!  The moon was bright and high, the stars glittering against the softer black of early morning.  The short warm up walk with the boys doesn't count for my over all walk, but it definitely makes it easier to walk on my injured foot.

Add to that the fact that it wasn't even 58 out!  Hallelujah! I know it is no secret I hate hot weather, so you can imagine my sheer delight when I doned long yoga pants instead of my capri's and Hubs suggested a sweatshirt!!  What???  My heart was leaping with joy - that is by far my favorite attire and to be comfy in it, not hot... amazing!

I didn't head out immediately, I fixed a nice healthy, low-fat, protein packed breakfast for Hubs and I.  He had to leave for work early.  I don't usually eat before working out, but... I am stealing those moments with my sweetie!

I didn't head to the park as I usually do.  Didn't have time to waste as I slept in a bit.  That stinker of mine shut off my alarm when he got up, so that I could rest a bit more.  Evidently the bags were starting to show under my eyes.

After kissing my sweetie good-bye, I headed off.  I was going to tackle "the hill"!  Daughter lives at the bottom of the hill by us, that hill is a nightmare.  The angle is just sharp enough that it is not fun at all.  I don't like to bike up or down it for that matter.  And a month ago, it almost killed us to walk up it.  Today, I was almost to the top, lost in thought before I realized that I had even begun to climb it.  It's amazing the difference six weeks can make.

So many times I have felt that doing things for myself was a chore.  Something to check off the list.  Even buying myself nice clothes was never something I would consider.  Hubs often snarls at me as I won't even by myself nice under garments (seriously - who sees them?).  I have always felt that my family came first.

I would give up sleep for my Hubs, the kids, grand kids, heck even the dog.  But the thought of giving up 30 minutes so I could walk or do something for my own mental health. NEVER!

Can you imagine where I would be today if I hadn't been so selfish?  Yep, selfish.  I was generous to others but I've always put myself last.  Dead last.  It didn't matter if I ground my batteries to dead.  As long as I didn't make anyone else do without.

Walking in the early morning silence, listening to the birds chattering and the world slowly waking up, I have to say it slowly dawned on me, that I am a better me now that I am taking care of me.  It isn't selfish to care for yourself.  It isn't selfish to meet your own needs.  It isn't selfish to pamper and spoil yourself.  It actually gives you far more to be able to give others.

As I looked around this morning and saw the first signs of changing leaves, I also saw the first signs of a changing me.  And they are both beautiful, warm and welcome.  I saw the same sparkle start to ignite in the Hubs eyes this morning.  He's further behind me this time, he still has battles and demons chasing him.  But the scale tipped down, and he put on his brand new motorcycle jacket that was too snug when we bought it, and... it's a bit baggy.

Take care of yourself, find the joy and beauty in all around you.  Honestly, life is far too short to be neglecting the most important parts of who you are.  Fill your bucket, so you can continue to bless others...

Sunday, August 21, 2016

looking for happiness...

There was a fabulous crispness to the air this morning!  A few random leaves have started to fall.  You can almost smell the end of summer.  Hubs and I walked the boys before the sun even came up.  It was clear, with a bright moon, and slightly cold.  Getting them home posed a serious challenge.  Both of them love the cooler weather and were more than happy to walk super slow to savor every moment.

Shortly after we managed to get them home, we headed to the park to walk.  He hadn't been there yet and I was excited to share the beauty of it with him.  He's in a bit of a funk and I was hoping all that beauty would energize him.  Maybe bring some joy back into his life.  I can't say the walk worked, he's still a bit down. But I sure did see him smile a few times, mostly at the pups being walked by their owners.

I understand what has him down, I completely get it!  I was there myself not too long ago.  I remember wanting to come home, fix an adult beverage and question what I was doing.  Wondering how long I was going to go before I simply lost my mind! I was close, I was teetering on a very sharp edge.  I understand.

I don't know how to fix it.  I don't know that I can.

I guess right now all I can do is encourage him to look for his silver lining, plan for peace and ways to burn stress and move forward.

I know the feelings he is battling are wearing him down and making him tired.  Like I said, not too long ago I was walking in those same shoes. I remember the need to sleep untold hours. Now, I find that I am excited about so many things that I need more sleep and I am bad about getting it.

It's amazing the change little things can do for you.  The smallest positive chance can cause a landslide of positive change.  It's sort of like a tiny snowball that starts rolling, before long it is huge and then it is an avalache in the right setting. I'm praying for that snowball for him.  For an avalanche of goodness.   He deserves it.

He is the kindest, most giving man.  I hate when he is sad and unhappy, I hate when life beats him up.

Although I love the sparkle that being with the grands puts in his eyes!  Grandson #2 has been hanging with us a lot the past few days.  As he and gramps decided to make a run for th custard shop this evening, I could see the love that comes so naturally for him. My heart soared. Feeding the pups the leftover custard, you see that sparkle again.

I can't wait to see it all the time.  I know its in there...

Until then I will just love that silly guy and do everything in my power to bring sunshine back full time.

Friday, August 19, 2016

change in the air...

As my alarm jarred me awake at 4 am my exhausted groggy mind struggled to understand WHY I had not reset it last night when I came home from work at about 8 pm.  What in the world was I thinking or rather not thinking.  These six hour nights are kicking my bum. As I slowly awakened, Hubs trying to ease me awake as the BBC was chattering on about all the gloom and doom that seems to the mantra of the media, I remembered that Hubs had to be into work early today.  And our schedules haven't really allowed us to have much time together.   I wanted to see him, talk with him, have breakfast together....

It has been an incredibly emotionally involved few weeks.  Not so much physically draining.  And not even really draining at all.  More like all emotions, on all sides of the spectrum have been running at full force.

In the past three weeks I have seen people at their worst, people at their best.  I have found a higher level of respect for some and lost it for others.  I have comforted the heart broken, dried tears, celebrated and rejoiced.  I have been able to encourage others while being encouraged myself and I have been discouraged.

It's been a roller coaster.  On Wednesday I participated in an event that made me feel frustrated and borderline angry.  I had to witness and endure people at their worst, in both my professional and personl lives.  Angry, abusive, out of control.  People not willing to accept their own role or responsibility in events and situations that were occuring.  It was tiresome.  Draining.  I hadn't had time to prepare for the initial onslaught, having not been able to find time to walk in the morning (my own defense mechanism) so as the day wore on and different things presented themselves each one a bit more off the chart of what to expect from decent human beings.  I was feeling worn.

Yesterday presented a totally different view of humanity.  It presented polite discussions, heart felt commentary.  It wasn't about anger or denial.  It was about personal loss.  It was about soul bearing and things that cannot be measured.  There is not metric to accomplish that.

Probably the worst part for me, was watching someone with passion in their conviction (right or wrong) slowly start to realize that maybe the narrative wasn't what was presented.  Maybe facts had been skewed... maybe the conviction was flawed.  Still fighting to hold on to that conviction, not ready to back down, but watching them break.  I've known them for a long time, I've seen their pride almost destroy them more than once.  To watch the arrogant, self confident smile fade, to see the slight quiver in the lip.  It ripped my heart out.  I don't have to ever agree with anyone to love and respect them, to have an instinctual need to comfort them.  It's not how I am.

Yesterday was emotional.  Yesterday was powerful.  It opened my eyes to a lot of things.  Made me question myself, made me question others.  It made me sad, nostalgic and angry.  Ironic that it made me angry.  It made me want to scream.  Knowing the darkness that had happened was years in the making. Hearing others voice it.  Suddenly realizing that I was not alone in understanding so much.

As I climbed the stairs to go to bed last night, I was feeling that I didn't have any more hugs to give, no more tears to dry, no energy for anything.  Thanking God that I had taken time for myself yesterday morning.  Time to put on armor, time spent in prayer and reflection.  I needed it.

This morning, as my mind was screaming just another hour of sleep, as I woke up to spend a few treasured minutes with Hubs I was slightly more optimistic.

Poor Hubs is dealing with serious building issues and has been busy walking, working, climbing and doing physically draining work.  His sense of responsibility might be the death of him some day.

So as he hurried off to work, I dropped the grandson off at home.  He's spent the last couple of nights with us and it's been nice having him around.  When I got home I was trying to convince myself to go walk (trust me that bed was beaconing, I have to work late again tonight). I fixed my water cup, then sat down with my coffee.  I even tried distracting myself painted my nails, surfed the net, sipped SLOWLY on the coffee... yet the guilt factor, that inner voice was scolding me.

As I slowly considered where to walk.  Heading outside, inside, picking up my phone, putting it down.  I finally grabbed the car keys and forced myself to go.

Hard to believe that it was just July 12, just over a month ago, that I was very firm in my answer at our first YDPP meeting I would not be going for any 30 minute walks in the heat, if at all.   I was grouchy I had joined (even if it was to make Hubs happy).  I was definitely not feeling any desire to walk.

And yet here I sit, cooling down, hot and sweaty (gross) feet slightly burning, knee not altogether pleased, feeling accomplished and proud.  In just over a month I've gone from not gonna happen to not gonna let myself miss it.

I went to a new park this morning, on my never ending quest for peace and beauty while walking. I wasn't sure what to expect, after all this one is tucked into a little valley right off a major highway and busy major road - not the best combination for peace and quiet as is demonstrated by the park I usually walk at and it's only one a busy road.

As I walked down the slight hill to the heart of this new park, I felt I was heading into another world.  The noise receeded, just like it does at my house.

There were beautiful gardens, bridges over two ponds stocked with beautiful koi.  Trees, flowers, greenery, birds, squirrels, chipmunk and deer were plentiful.  The water fall was small and man made, but the soft flowing water only added to the beauty.  Gazebos, picnic tables, little tucked away spots for quiet time, benches for sitting peacefully.  There were hardly any people, mostly a few older people, walking older dogs, stopping to snap pictures and enjoy the beauty.  It isn't a huge park, but multiple walks around the ponds in a figure eight was not exactly hard to take.

As I silently walked, absorbing the beauty, reflecting, thinking.  I'm not perfect.  I make mistakes, who knows offering comfort to someone might have been one.  But I am who I am.  God didn't make me perfect. I feel peace knowing that I do my best and will continue to do that.  I needed that beauty to steel my heart.

There are a few leaves starting to fall, even though it is only August.  There is change in the air every where I turn.  I'm okay with change.

I'm ready for what today brings.  I'm proud of my accomplishments.  And I am thankful that no matter what God has continued to bless me with compassion and love.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

counting my blessings...

I am blessed.  I don't often stop to take time inventory of all the blessings I have.  I don't usually slow down enough to access the joy those blessings bring to me.

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind.  Like a tornado swirled through my world, stripping away so many things that were hiding and diminishing the joy, the blessings, the absolute beauty in it all.  I was struggling through a dark, dank ugliness.  I felt my heart couldn't find a way to brightness and joy again. There were many factors.  Many things were making me feel less than.

Many things have changed.  Some sad, some hurtful, some exciting, and many life affirming and blessings filled.

Despite all of the challenges and new beginnings, I have been blessed and re-energized by the last few days.

On Thursday morning, despite being exhausted from a far too short night I was heading south in my little Honda.  Buzzing down the beautiful hilly roads on my way to Potosi and Trout Lodge.  One of my favorite places.  I was leaving behind some serious second thoughts about going.  I hadn't planned to be heading south on that beautiful morning.  My plans were only a few days old.

I was concerned.  I had spent the early part of the week fully absorbed with our almost 10 year old "puppy". He'd suddenly stopped being a puppy.  He was favoring his back legs, one of which was damaged when he was very young, the other he'd been worrying.  His eyes were full of nasty green puss and he was very lethargic and refusing to eat.   As a walking garbage disposal that has more energy than most true puppies, this was incredibly disturbing.  I'd been giving him medicine twice a day, massaging topical medicine into his leg and hand feeding him meatballs just to insure he kept his strength up.  The mommy in me, well she was freaking out!  These are my babies!

I was also concerned that I was leaving my work family in a bit of chaos, and the responsibility gene in me was going NUTS!

Yet there I was driving south, trusting Hubs and my work family to handle things.  The morning haze was heavy in those valleys, the sun shining brightly confirmed for me that I was doing something I needed to be doing.

I'd been invited to Trout Lodge to participate in the Global Leadership Summit.  The ultimate leadership symposium for Christian leaders.  It was powerful, affirming, energizing, invigorating and bucket filling.  So many speakers focusing on all the different parts of being a strong, servant leader.  How to be the best at what you are called to do, while still being a humble human.  This is the second time I have attended.  I was looking at it through a different lens than I did last time.

That dark cloud that had been hovering over me has been rapidly burning away.  The brightness of the sky has been very easy to see.  Those two days it lifted entirely.  Clarity feels powerful!

Trout Lodge is an incredible place.  The leaders there are true servant leaders, the work they did was truly awe inspiring.  Flawlessly they hosted two days of a techinical, planned, fully orchestrated program without any hiccups.  Even dealing with a storm taking the satellite feed from the home location with a barely noticable pause.  I usually don't use names... but I have to shout out that fabulous team!  Nicolle's vision brought it to us and she was instrumental in leading the charge to host and care for all of the attendees.  She did this in such a graceful manner that you would truly have believed she'd been doing this for decades. Steve, Cindy and Denise were present at every turn, executing their roles and Deanna's unwaivering support was beyond evident. There were many more that served in supporting roles, cheerfully supporting the mission, lifting up a group of leaders needing to be lead for a minute or more! Insuring rooms, meals, housekeeping, entertainment, and so many other details were completed without our knowledge.

In the midst of getting my emotional bucket filled, there was time for several steamy walks along the lake.  At the end of the first day in the warmth of the setting sun with friends that I haven't had time to connect with in far too long.  And in the wee morning hours of Friday morning.  In the darkness under the stars, in peace and solitude. Time for reflection and beauty.  Hubs and I were in different cities, but we took our morning walk together.  I missed the meteor shower, I was simply too tired to enjoy it's beauty. But walking along the path watching the morning sun slowly peak over the surrounding hills.  It's the kind of beauty and joy my heart craves.  It was a good thing I had a speaker to see that morning, I might have walked until my legs could no longer support me.

I can't even say for sure which speaker inspired me the most.  Some I took pages worth of notes and ordered their books.  They are the kind of leaders I aspire to be!  Some, while their message was powerful and interesting, did not speak to my heart.  I listened and gathered tid-bits, but they were not what I needed at this point in my journey.

It was such an affirming two days, it truly felt that God knew what I was needing in this next part of my journey and put me in a place that I could hear what he needed me to hear.

As I was halfway through the last half of second day, I recieved a text message from my wonderful Hubby. It was a video.  Our "puppy" running through the house, bouncing and playing with his toys.  I had faith and did what I was being led to do, dispite what my human heart and emotions were begging me to do.

On my drive home I had the blessing to talk to one of my "b's" who had been through a very sad and tragic couple of days.  She always fills my heart with love and I needed to know that she was okay.  She is beyond important to me, and I cannot stand anything hurtful to touch her.

As I dashed home, literally, unsure of what needed to be done before Hubs and I hosted our two young friends that I met when I escorted the teen trip to Brazil.  I hadn't seen them in far too long and I was missing hearing about the joys in their lives.

Arriving home, I was stunned to see that Hubs had done all and more than what I was intending to accomplish.  My house looked fabulous, dinner was in the oven and all I had to do was prep the salad.  We walked our boys and waited for the kids to arrive. I guess I should stop calling them kids, they are definitely young adults now! Hours later after much lasagna, laughs and chatting as they left to head back to school and their lives and Hubs and I were climbing up the stairs with our boys to head to bed, I again felt overwhelmed in blessings.

I had awoken to a picture of my daughter and her family enjoying their lasagna that I had made for them before I left, I was heading to bed that night reflecting on the power of simple cooking to bring families and friends together.

Yesterday Hubs and I were guests at a co-workers wedding.  Dressed in finery that I had agonized over for weeks, I realized I was wearing a dress that has been in the back of my closet for literally years, say almost 15 years.  It ended up being perfect. Hubs in his suit was so incredibly handsome!  I was by far the proudest woman in that church! I'm sure of it!!  And listening them take their vows, I was reminded once again that God has always brought me the blessings I need when I need them. In his time.  When I was my lowest he brought me Hubs, and he reminds me daily what a blessing that was and still is!  I am very blessed.

Driving home, I couldn't help but steal a few looks at my sweet tired hubby.  He looked so dashing, but his dark clouds are still hanging around.  No tornado has whipped his away.  The tired look in his beautiful eyes hurt me.  He is the kindest, most generous and loving man.  For him to be hurt and used makes me sad.

In an attempt to help him sleep better and maybe relax a bit after we returned from the wedding we went to the mall for a walk and a bit of relaxation. How ironic is that?  We stumbled on a little Oriental Massage shop, tucked under the escalator in a back corner of the mall.  His first thought was that a foot massage could help my poor damaged right foot, my first thought was that a massage could relieve his stress.  We both ended up having an incredible hour of pampering and heading home for an early night.

He fell asleep almost instantly.  I was awake for hours, my brain couldn't rest, I was being snuggled and protected by both the boys and our kitty (translation - they were kindly sharing my half of the bed with me to avoid crowding daddy.  Mostly, I was listening to four gentle snores, and reflecting on how very blessed I am.

I have my faith, I have a family that brings me more love and joy than I can ever describe, I have untold friends that are always there for me even when I don't have the strength to be there for anyone else, I have the unwavering love of my boys, a home to come to and a career I love How much more can any one ask for?

I feel a great need to do good, to atone for these blessings by paying it forward.

Have you taken into account your blessings? Are you being a blessing to others?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

celebrating life...

I love the sound and smell of a fresh pot of coffee brewing.  Morning almost does not feel right without it.

I hurried and let the boys our for a bit this morning, Hubs was still asleep when I got up and I don't always (read ever) enjoy walking them in the wee hours alone.  Especially when the sky is that inky black, the kind that doesn't even really illuminate the stars.

I ran out of sleep.  I hate when that happens. Although I have sort of power slept my way through the weekend so it is to be expected.  I had a few short nights, which my fit-bit is always eager to point out, and they simply caught up.  Not only did I get an 8 hour night, I also took a two hour nap, and was still sound asleep by 8 pm last night.  Exhaustion is mean.

But a 4 am wake up is not so fun either, especially on a Sunday. Sunday's are not supposed to be rush days. Sunday's are for lazy sleeping in, no alarms, rest and peacefulness.  My brain had different ideas.  So after the boys and I wandered outside under the odd yellow glow of the street light, I started the coffee and treated my babies.

Hubs and I are toying with going for a bike ride this morning instead of a walk.  Is it sad that I feel we need to walk at least 30 minutes so I get credit on my fit-bit?  I don't like to compete against others, but I am crazy competitive against myself.  I was so proud to actually get all five lines on my tracking this past week.

Insane, I know.   I only have a fit-bit flex, so it will not record my bike ride.  Only my walks as I do not run. Shoot, walks are almost more than my poor little foot can take.  I need to go get it looked at, but I am afraid it will mean I can't walk, and I am not prepared for that. I feel like a walking disaster!  Hills are a no-no for the left knee, and pretty much everything bothers the right foot.  And yet, I keep walking!

After we get our daily dose of exercise, I believe I shall pack us a picnic lunch, maybe make a batch of the Sesame Cold Noodles (with zucchini noodles).  I've been seriously wanting to try those.  They look so tempting.  I am completely in love with zucchini noodles and I'm possibly becoming obsessive trying to find new ways to eat them.  And maybe make some hummus to serve with veggies.  Load up the saddle bags with a couple of bottles of water, a blanket to sit on and have the Hubs drive us somewhere for a nice relaxing day.  My book of small hidden spots in Missouri has one listed that is on a cliff overlooking a river... where did I put that book...

It's been such a busy, crazy two weeks that I think I would enjoy to wipe my brain clear and focus on beauty.  It's supposed to be a mild day for early August.  Anytime the high is only mid-80's in August that is extremely mild.  No rain is forecast, another shocker, considering it's rained almost daily this month.  Seems like a perfect way to reset for the coming week.

Yesterday was our sweet grand baby's 10th birthday!  Where has time gone? We usually go out together on the 5th to celebrate together, as mine is the 4th and her's is the 6th.  But this year was a bit nutty.  So I was so thankful when we got to have a late lunch together yesterday.  My sweet little cherub is growing up so fast!

I remember 10, it's probably the first birthday I do remember, note to all children everywhere... just because you love liver and onions does not mean your friends will.  Thank you mom for being far smarter than 10 year old me and insisting we also served mini-pizza's at my 10th birthday party.  Whew and I wonder why I was so socially awkward.  Might explain why I don't eat liver and onions anymore also!

My grand baby is so much smarter and cooler than I was.  She held her birthday party at SkyZone.  And honestly, if my foot had not been hurting, I might have been willing to give it a try, it looked so fun! She and 14 of her closest friends were drenched in sweat, smiling from ear to ear, running around and laughing.  I had been worried her poor little injured foot would not be able to handle it.  It did.  Although it might ache today.

After two hours of extreme exercise and fun the birthday girl, her two besties and mom joined Hubs and I at Red Robin for a late lunch and a bit of birthday singing!  I sure do love that kiddo!  She has the coolest mom ever!  I know she didn't learn it from me.

Gramps and I were not going to attend the SkyZone party, just spend time with her either before or after. She had other thoughts. When I pointed out to her "what 10 year old wants old people around" her answer was a very loud "ME".  She was scolding us over the phone.

I didn't think our gift was going to be cool enough for her party.  I knew it was what she'd asked for, but again, she's 10, and it's kind of "old-fashioned".  Who knew how excited she would be!  Hubs and I found a pretty box and made her a sewing basket.  Two different flannels, a pattern for sleep pants, thread, needles, elastic, pins, scissors and a pin cushion.  She loves to create her own clothes.  She'd asked me for a sewing machine, but as we had already bought mom one that has never been used, I felt we should wait on that.

I am sure that I will be getting a call when her besties go home.  Wanting some time on the sewing machine. I am equally sure that she is going to want me to show her how to use mom's machine.  Maybe by Christmas time we will buy her a sewing machine of her own. Or she will simply steal mom's.

She's 10 now, not a little girl, not a grown one either.  She's a tween.  There will be days spent being a little girl and other's spent being a teen.  She's already got more self confidence than most grown women, so watching her discover her future self is going to be a blast!

Well the sun has risen. Coffee is cold.  It's time to lace up my walking shoes and get ready to go.  Cool breezes and sunshine await.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


I'm meltingggg... or at least it sure feels that way.  The temperature may only be 75, but I am fairly positive the humidity is well over 90%. Gross!

After coaxing the old guy out for a walk, I decided I would tackle my own walk.  I am determined to make it five times a week minimum.  Maybe that little challenge from my fit-bit is starting to get to me... Every week it reminds me that I didn't quite make it... better luck next week.  Digging into my brain.  Who needs a personal trainer when your electronic devices will scold you continually.  Better question is why am I listening to it!

Even though it was humid and damp out it was peaceful and I was even treated to a visit by three precious little fawns.  They even allowed me a few pictures.  They are fairly brave as they didn't even attempt to run back to where mom was hiding until I was a few feet away on the road.  One of our neighbors was attacked by a mom, so I made sure I kept my distance.  Zoom lenses are great!

Hubs had to be at work for a meeting this morning.  It was supposed to be our last day of vacation together... but life sometimes happens.  I should have left the little old guy in the house this morning when he went for his walk.  It was raining, but I am sure it was much cooler.  Gator isn't about to walk in the rain, so I let him come back inside.  Hubs and Neeko powered through the entire mile and a half in the rain.  Although, Hubs got a reality check.  The Neek's was dragging a bit on the last half mile.  He's almost 10, most days you forget he's such a puppy, but today he sure slowed down on the last bit of the walk.

I'm puttering around the house this morning while he works.  Cleaning out cabinets, doing laundry, planning menu's for the balance of the week, mopping, dusting... wow, sure sounded domestic for a moment there. Sometimes as I am surrounded by a week of dropped bags, mail piles, puppy fur and piles of laundry I feel overwhelmed.  Like somewhere along the line I became a horrible housewife.  The 1950's version of me often clashes with the 2016 version.

Deep inside I long to do things like this all the time 24/7.  I am not sure if it is leftover from growing up or an actual desire.  Then I have a few minutes, and that is all it takes, with my co-workers and our members, and I don't miss it so much.  My natural care-taker introverted self realizes that I thrive with those people. Maybe Hub's extroverted self is rubbing off on me...

Ummm... maybe not.  I am fairly positive that I am never going to be an extrovert.

I might just be enjoying this silence a bit much.  Gator's soft snores punctuated by the fountain in the turtle aquarium sounds like a symphony to my ears.  I cherish this kind of peacefulness.  It helps me recharge.

Tomorrow I will head back to work for two days.  I feel after a break a short week is going to feel pretty nice.  Smooth way to ease back into it. I've had time to unwind and relax, I feel refreshed.

For the balance of today, I am going to focus on the home front.  I might even do a bit of work on a couple of my craft projects.  And I know I am going to do more cooking.  I have to admit my spiralizer that Hubs got me for my birthday (yes I know it was early - but I needed play time, ask him, he'll tell you!) makes it a joy to fix some really yummy meals.  And the fact that they are healthy... bonus!

Well... I feel like I have spent far too much time sitting still... my to do list is simply not going to do itself...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

living an ordinary life...

Today starts my fourth day off of work in a five day stretch.  It's been a break that has included deep thought and reflection.  Fun and game. Chores and rest.

We need to take the boys for their walk and get our own walk in.  Yesterday there was a light drizzling rain when we walked.  A splatter here and there.

This morning as there is an eerie red sunrise slightly illuminating the storm clouds lighting is flashing and thunder is rumbling.  It isn't a drizzle, its that heavy bone drenching kind of downpour.  I will walk if Hubs wants to, but it is not going to be a great experience.  I am leaning more towards going to the mall and walking there.

Although we still have to walk the boys.  Yep, Gator is going to love that! Not so much... He's currently curled up in bed, right where Daddy put him in the middle of the night when he wanted to cuddle mommy because of the storm.  He's 15, I don't think he is ever going to get over the trauma of being dumped in the streets.  Experiencing those dreadful storms up close and personal. It breaks my heart.

Hubs and I spent yesterday doing a little bit of everything! Kind of like we have done the last few days.  It's been great!

A rainy morning led to plenty of time to go for a walk, have a nice breakfast at home and work on that "to-do" list.

Finally found a new eye doctor, not a chain store.  What an incredible feeling.  It's the first time I have gone to an actual optometrist.  Not Sears, Pearle, American, Clarkson, Lenscrafters, etc.  I am not sure why we as a country have stopped doing that and gone to the chains.  It was awesome to see a man that took his time, explained everything, checked and double checked and cared about my vision. We were there for over two hours, yet we both felt that it was a valuable use of our time.

I was relieved to find out I wasn't losing my mind, that my eyes were weaker and that the horrible pain in my neck lately was because my glasses were not strong enough and I had been having to hold my head at odd angles to see.  My new contacts are fabulous!  So much so, that I am wondering if I will end up wearing them more than my glasses.  And this day use thing... FANTASTIC!  No more cases or solutions to worry about and keep track of.  Imagine that.

We were able to find a nice black suit to rent for Hubs, we are going to an elegant wedding on the 13th and we sure didn't want to have to buy one for him to shrink out of.  He's going to look so handsome!  Just trying on the fitting jacket... sleeves too long and all... he looked great!  I've never seen him in a full suit, complete with vest... I feel that I am in for a serious treat!

We did not manage to find any shoes for me to wear to the elegant wedding.  I'd bought a gorgeous dress.  It's from Lularoe... yep I might have a bit of an addiction.  And I felt it was perfect! Beautiful, black, simply fantastic.  Add a fancy necklace and heels and it is a perfect party dress.  Flat shoes and my usual heart necklace, maybe a light sweater and it's even more perfect for a day at the office.  What I didn't take into account is my stupid knees, ankles and feet.

I don't wear Birkenstocks because they are a fashion statement! Although I do have some absolutely fun and adorable ones.  I wear them because I have horrible feet.  Too many years of abuse, bad shoes, super high unstable arches, topped with arthritis... means cute shoes are no-no's.  I think I tried on thirty pair yesterday. Each and every one left me feeling a bit more down and depressed.

I want party shoes!   I want to dress up my pretty black dress with a pair of cute (not orthopedic) shoes. Maybe even a cute ankle bracelet.  I haven't quite given up, I have a couple more stores to try today.  Sadly, after yesterday's disappointments... my enthusiasm is greatly diminished.  Heck, I even bought pantyhose!  And those that know me, know I do NOT buy pantyhose... dreadful invention!

Not one to look at the glass half empty, or for that matter even half empty, I am more of "it's a glass, refill it" kind of gal.  I started thinking of alternatives, how could I even remotely compete with Hubs looking all dapper and debonair in that suit, when I couldn't even manage to put on a pair of fancy shoes? Well...  No one said the dress has to be knee length.  No one said that it had to be black.  Just elegant. So... I found a floor length in royal blue in the same style as that beautiful black dress!  Heck I might even get a pair of elbow length gloves and rock it like Princess Grace!

Today's shoe shopping is totally going to look different.  They can be low heels, okay, flat heels... as long as they are cute and don't hurt my feet it really won't matter at all! Victory shall be mine!

Life is full of complicated, I need to keep mine uncomplicated.

Today is more of the ordinary, I don't think a raft trip is meant to happen this week.  Maybe it's nature's way of encouraging me to wait until my grand daughter and I can go together.  Her little foot is still far too injured to even consider it.  I am not so sure that the planned motorcycle ride is going to happen either.  Although it is only 7 am, these clouds and storms could be heading east.

If I don't get to go for a ride, it's okay, there are plenty of chores and items on the to do list to keep me very busy!  In fact, some of those items actually need me to start working on them and stop spending so much time buzzing around on the back of that Harley.

Well, it's time to get back to doing the ordinary...


The sun is just breaking over the beautiful Smoky Mountains.  Watching it set last night was breathtaking! Tomorrow I will get up and ...