Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Today is New Year’s Eve

Today is New Year’s Eve, the eve of new beginnings and the day we make our resolutions for the glorious New Year about to unfold. We are supposed to pack away all the ugly and forgettable experiences of the past year and make promises to ourselves of greater things to be; a new wiped clean slate in which we commence the incoming year with promise and hope.

The gym memberships rise this time of year as does I am sure the sales of natural vitamins and many are stocking their refrigerators with healthy and organic foods as they prepare for the new “you”. Lists are composed detailing the outline of their changed behavior, quit smoking, lose weight, eat healthy, finish projects already began months ago or maybe even start a new one. Clean the closet in your bedroom, de-clutter the curio cabinet, train the dog to do tricks, we all have something on our lists that is either telling us to stop something or to start something.

I have not made such a list this year, I am okay with my life; oh sure I do need to lose a few pounds (okay more like a few in the 10 pound range), I should quit smoking, and I do need to clean my closet, but why do I need to say it has to happen tomorrow morning? Isn’t that just setting myself up for failure? Telling the whole world I have finally, once and for all, made the decision to do what I have been unable to do now for years. As if something magical happens at midnight and just like that my mind is overflowing with only high expectations and goal orientated good, I can tell you right now, it won’t happen.

Oh I know I will eventually clean out the closet, lose a few pounds, and hopefully quit smoking without gaining another twenty pounds, but I will do this on my time, not the world clock and I will not be at the gym tomorrow morning in my spandex on a treadmill fooling myself into believing that because the date has changed I have also changed.

I am forever evolving and changing, we all are to some degree, but for tonight I will share some time with friends, kiss hubby at midnight, and go to sleep knowing I am a good human with kindness in my heart and hopeful dreams that someday I will ultimately reach all my goals, but not in one day with the world watching.

Happy New Year everyone, and please, go easy on yourselves and be safe.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Great News!

Great News today! We are keeping our baby Brock! We had adopted his brother Marley a year ago this month and then I found out that his brother Brock, one of nine in a littler that was found in a storm drain was still at the shelter in July and he had just turned one year old. I felt so bad for the little guy and I was out on medical leave at the time so I told the woman that runs the home non-profit no-kill shelter to bring him over to our home and I would foster him and work with him so he too could find a forever home.

After being here for four months now, I of course fell in love with this little angel, he is the sweetest dog, (okay if you read my blog yesterday you know he was on of the culprits that scratched my new leather sofa) when I say sweet, I mean he does not have a mean bone in his body, he is adorable through and through.

He still however will not let anyone else near him, and that goes for hubby as well. Four months later and I am the only one that can touch and pet him, bath and brush him, and dry his feet when he comes in from the rain, and he rewards me with kisses and a smile. Well I was told he was shy when he was brought here in August...but never expected him to still be this way four months later.

Well, as it happened, I received an email yesterday that Lori had an inquiry of Brock and she wanted to see if we were keeping him or if she should call the family and set up an appointment. This brought tears to my eyes to be quite honest; I never thought about having to give him up, I was his mommy. Hubby said, “Well you did say you were just fostering him, and you do have two other dogs.” He was right of course. So I wrote back to Lori stating that he was still shy and only would come to me, explained how much I loved him and so on but I was just the foster mom so she could call the other family and set up an appointment for them to visit Brock.

Well she wrote back today that since we love him and he is in a great home she would love for us to keep him and she is even waving the adoption charge!! She wants Brock to stay because it would be horrible for him with his shyness and his obvious love for me to make him switch to a strange home and new people, (my thoughts exactly). So I just printed out the contract and just have to sign and return to her and Brock is my new forever dog! Talk about the greatest Christmas present, last year Marley, this year his brother. I can see a great and Happy New Year approaching.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Scratching Post

Well good morning to all, it is not however a good morning for me, but I proceed onward. Hubby and I went out for a few hours yesterday and when we came home the house looked just fine, a bit cluttered and dusty but that is my job to fix, nothing the dogs did. Anyhow as my foot is still in terrible pain, still only when I lay down but needless to say makes me quite tired, hubby was doing the vacuuming for me. When he got to the den I thought that he was looking at a couch in fifty pieces by his scream and the next ten sentences that came out of his mouth that I will not repeat here. It appears as if the two young ones, or maybe just Marley, used the new leather sofa as a scratching post. The seats are not ripped, but seriously scratched, one area worse than all the rest, it looks horrible to say the least.

Hubby finally clamed down and I used leather cleaner wipes to try and “fix” the hundreds of scratches on the seats, it helped only a little. Now, when we purchased the leather set the sales lady said if we bought the “insurance” it would cover anything and everything including cigarette burns, stains, tears…so this must be covered right? After reading on line some of the reviews of this insurance company, I am not sure anymore. One particular mans review said because it does cover burns, and he being extremely upset with them at the moment as they denied his claim, he was going to take the piece he has up to their office and set it on fire!

They are closed until Monday so I must sit and ponder what to do if it is not covered. Hubby explained again to me why the dogs need to be in crates when we are out and why some dogs live outside. My dogs will never live outside, they are my “children” and right now they are very bad children. One problem is the crate that Brock came with from the shelter is too small for him and quite small for Marley as well. The one I got for Marley is a very nice one that either dog can use, but not both at the same time. This is where it gets tricky again; hubby hates to spend money on “expensive” things for the dogs, especially after what they did to his new couch, but somehow I have to find a way to get his “blessing” to spend over a hundred on a new crate for Brock, there really is no other option if they are both to go back to crates while we are out.

Okay off that for now…my foot is still the same as yesterday, I am in so much pain right now as I just got up that typing is difficult, but what else can I do to take my mind off it while I await the pain medication to begin its magic? I called both doctors offices and they are closed until Monday and it just happens I already have an appointment with my rheumatologist on Monday anyhow. Yesterday the lower back/hip area was giving me some pain as well, but nothing compared to the burning torture I feel in my foot. I just have to keep sane from the pain until Monday…how often does anyone wish for Monday to hurry up and get here, well this lady is screaming for Monday!

Well, time to go outside and let the dogs run and drink a hot cup of caffeine as hubby sleeps peacefully in bed…and then I will come in and look at crates on line for the local pet store in town and see what is available for in store pickup today. Have a wonderful Saturday everyone…

Friday, December 26, 2008

Night Pain

I hope everyone had a very happy and wonderful Christmas, I had a great day. I have no biological family here in SC but hubby and I made friends with a large Italian family from New Jersey about 8 years ago when we first moved here and they immediately “adopted” us. We celebrate every holiday, the children’s birthdays, and just “family” backyard get-togethers with them; I even have 6 beautiful nieces as they call me Aunt CC. It is a comfort to know, and important to “feel”, that I do have “family” here and makes not just the holidays, but everyday, more pleasant.

For almost a week now each time I lay down in the recliner while watching TV or to go to bed, I begin to get this severe unbearable pain in the left side of my right foot and my heel. I thought for sure it was just some crazy thing and it would go away, but it has been since Sunday night. I did nothing to cause this pain I am in, meaning I have had no recent injury. The strange part is as soon as I get out of bed, although limping and dragging this foot behind me as I walk outside with the dogs for their morning pee, after about an hour and a half my foot is perfectly fine. No pain, even while I have high heels or any other shoe on.

After not sleeping for five nights I found a left over Oxycodine from when I was having my bad back pain and was out of work for five months, do you know I STILL felt the pain and was up until after 2:00 this morning and it is not yet 6:00am here now. I am going to try and get in to see my family doctor today, although I hold out little hope she will be able to detect what is the cause, I just need to get something that will combat what is the most severe pain I have ever felt! I am sure without pain medication until they can get it fixed, another week in such pain and lack of sleep I will go mad. I am scared what I might do if I am dog tired and have this pain in the middle of the night and just want to once and for all end the pain. I know I would not harm myself on purpose, but I am in such excruciating pain at night and I am just so very tired I am not thinking clearly. I will write update if I get in to see doctor later today.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Once there was an elf named Frez that would get so nervous during Christmas time that he would eat two lunches at the elf cafeteria. He tried to be just too perfect in toymaking and never thought they were good enough for the children. The dolls’ eyes never sparkled enough, thought Frez, and the wagons were not as shinny as last year. Nothing seemed to be going right and the time for delivery of the presents was getting closer.

It was beyond anybody’s understanding why Frez was getting so particular and asking for an elf suit larger than his size. Then, one day Santa found out what the problem was and decided to solve it. It seemed that Frez was not a young elf, but elves never looked their age by the virtue of being ever cheerful and happy. Frez needed to feel he was special, so Santa assigned him his own project called “special toys.” These were the toys that were broken and needed to be repaired with love. Frez was so glad to be in charge of such a project that he had only one lunch that day because he had to hurry back to his tasks.

There is a lesson to be learnt from what Santa did for the elf. Sometimes we have off days when we just don’t feel positive. Someone’s smile or invitation to join some friends can make our whole day worthwhile.

Frez is now content with assembling the broken toys and transform them into something new, and he has stopped being a voracious eater that he once used to be because he is happy. He even wears his old suit now, and his new suit is taken in for his smaller waist.

It’s wise for us to try and do something worthwhile everyday so that a “Frez Attack” will never get us. We all have special talents and potentials and we can definitely help someone out if he is feeling a bit low. It takes only a few seconds to be able to know why someone is not feeling happy. Take out that time from your usual day and listen. Most importantly, we are here to help each other and all of us have that hidden talent to do it. Start to make use of that talent today...especially today.

A very Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa and the Angel

One Christmas, a long time ago, Santa Claus was getting ready for his annual trip; but there were problems …… everywhere.

Four of his elves were away sick and the trainee elves did not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones. So, Santa was beginning to feel the pressure of being behind schedule.

Then, Mrs. Claus popped in to tell Santa that her mother was coming to stay for Christmas; which stressed him even more.

After a while, he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and run away, heaven knows where to.

Then, when he began to load the sleigh one of the boards broke and several large toy-bags fell to the ground, scattering their contents all over the place. Needless to say, Santa was not in the best of moods.

Suddenly, the doorbell rang and he went to the door expecting another problem. But when he opened it, there was a little angel with a great big Christmas tree that she had brought especially to cheer him up.

The angel greeted him very cheerfully, “Merry Christmas Santa Claus. Isn’t it just a wonderful day? I have a beautiful tree for you. See, isn’t it just the loveliest Christmas tree you’ve ever seen? Where would you like me to put it?”

Thus began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A cat dies and goes to Heaven.

Score one for the cat!

A cat dies and goes to Heaven.
God meets him at the gate and says: "You have been a good cat all these years. Anything you desire, all you have to do is ask."
The cat says,"Well, I lived all my life with a poor family on a farm and had to sleep on hardwood floors."
God says, " Say no more." And instantly a fluffy pillow appears.
A few days later, 6 mice are killed in a tragic accident and go to Heaven. God meets them at the gate with the same offer He made the cat.
The mice said."all our life we've had to run. We've been chased by cats,dogs, and even women with brooms. If we could only have a pair of roller skates, we wouldn't have to run any more."
God says, "say no more." And instantly, each mouse is fitted with a beautiful pair of tiny roller skates.
About a week later, God decides to check and see how the cat is doing. The cat is sound asleep on his new pillow. God gently nudges him awake and asks, "How are you doing? Are you happy here?"
The cat yawns and stretches and says."Oh, I've never been happier in my life. And those meals on wheels you've been sending over are the Best!"

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

High School Reunion

I logged on to that site that lets you reunite with your past school mates from high school and saw that I missed my 25th year reunion, wow bummer. No really, because I remember when I was being a bit…how do I say…rebellious in high school and I was called into my counselor’s office for a chat. He sat me down in a chair across from him and he had all these important papers in front of him and then the speech. “I don’t understand why you are failing in Home Economics?” he said, “from what your mother tells me you love to cook?” I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “Well maybe because they don’t let us cook Italian food.” He looked at me funny and said, “they bake in this class, are you saying you don’t like brownies and cookies and such?” I had to stop myself from laughing and simply said I was not into sweets, if I had answered honestly it would have been more like “Well you see, I have two free periods before my Home Economics class and I leave the grounds with my friends and we smoke a bit, and then we pig out big time on Dunkin Donuts and by the time I get to class I am waaaay to tired to even look at a brownie much less try and pour liquid into a tiny measuring cup and cook one. After a few more exchanges he finally said to me, “now young lady, you need to take high school more seriously, these are the best times of your life.” Whoaaaaa, wait a minute, did he just say this was the best time of my life, what the heck? I live with my parents, I can’t legally drink, my face has more craters than the moon because acne is my middle name, I don’t have a car, I have no money and I’ve never had sex!!! So if this was the best….well then heck just shoot me now it’s only down hill from here….

Needless to say my life worked out fine, and I have, much later in life, found the best times of my life with the love of life, my 4 legged pals, and my great friends, who by the way never went to high school with me…

Have a good night everyone.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Holiday Stress - Taking on the Experts

Again what a week…two Christmas parties this weekend and then back to work I went on Monday. Today, Tuesday is moving very slow and yet I almost am glad. I will be off Thursday and Friday baking desserts for our annual Christmas party on Saturday and I am looking forward to all the decorating and festivities.

I still have not decorated the tree that has been standing in the living room for over a week now, but that is on the project list for the rainy afternoon tomorrow as I plan to slip out of work at noon. Of course while the goodies are baking I will be on line shopping for hubby and hoping to beat the expedited shipping costs and trying to get some wrapping done as well for the nieces and nephew presents thankfully already bought.

As I myself will be doing, many others will begin preparing holiday feasts, attending parties and shopping obsessively for the perfect presents, all while counting blessings and enjoying the company of family and friends. So how should we handle the holiday stress?

From the experts: From long lines to even longer lists, there are numerous opportunities to become mired in holiday strain, but experts say it can be overcome by tailoring festivities to your liking as opposed to mimicking the grandiose displays reflected in commercials or movies My thoughts: No lines when internet shopping and you can have some eggnog with something real good in it, ah…Brandy comes to mind while you shop in your bunny slippers and no need to put on that mascara and lipstick…that will help combat the stress.

From the experts: People who feel high levels of stress during the holiday season often function as if they're in a robotic fog, thinking, “I don't want to do this, but there are family pressures and cultural expectations.” My thoughts: Being in a robotic fog during all this stress may not be a bad thing, relax and have a glass of wine, what could it hurt if you are already feeling like a robot?

From the experts: Drinking, eating, and smoking, excessively, being overly critical of family members, headaches, muscle tension and an accelerated heart rate are all evidence of heightened stress levels. My thoughts: Well I can already see I will be experiencing the top three, so I will take a deep breath , learn to relax, and have a glass of wine.

From the experts: While it may be easy to identify the warning signs, isolating the source of stress can be trickier; that's because stress often doesn't have to do with the event, but with how we interpret the situation. My thoughts: Okay this one sounds complicated…is it the event or not the event that is causing the stress or is it how I am interpreting it…trying to work this one out is causing me stress, pass the bottle of wine please.

From the experts: Stressful situations might include a combination of family obligations, work commitments, gift-giving expectations, traveling, shopping and cooking within a six-week window--all which add to a perfect storm of stress and conflict. My thoughts: Where did I put that bottle of wine?

From the experts: While spending often ranks high as a cause of anxiety during the holidays, this season may be particularly difficult for families dealing with the credit crisis and layoffs. My thoughts: This is a serious one, if you are not working how can you afford the wine?

From the experts: Other triggers of holiday-related stress are relationship dynamics and the emotional and physical demands of balancing work and family. This happens frequently when people sense an obligation to attend a family function or work party and feel as if they have no decision-making power. My thoughts: Okay if it is family and you like them then go, if not pour yourself a glass of wine, sit down, and call in sick.

From the experts: We often turn to comfort eating during the holidays as a coping strategy, but overeating actually leads to increased feelings of guilt about weight gain and breaking one's diet. My thoughts: Come on now, holiday food is the best, the $600.00 clothes rack…err I mean the treadmill will be in the corner of the room after the holidays are over so no need to stress, why is my glass half empty, anyone seen the wine bottle?

The experts also recommend advance planning and delegating as ways to prevent stressful situations from ever occurring… for that reason I went to the discount wine store two weeks ago, I am waaaaay ahead of all this stress.

So know you know what the experts say of this time of year and you have my thoughts as well,...find you strategy for keeping your stress as low as possible or learning what you yourself need to do to combat it once it begins…as for me all the writing has stressed me out so I think I will go and open another bottle of wine and relax in front of the $600.00 clothes rack and eat a few truffles.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Tree

It seems as if has been forever since I wrote here,okay it has been a whole week, but that is why I put the “Blogging without Obligation” on my site. I read a man’s blog that said something to the effect of “after reading so many peoples blogs that started out with, I am sorry I haven’t written in so long but…” he decided to create the blogging without obligation sign for us all to have, because blogging is not work and should be fun and we should not feel pressure to write each day. I have been keeping up with my reading of blogs, but have been getting up early with a nasty cold, getting the dogs outside, getting myself prepared for work, working OT all week, and getting to bed early trying to combat this cold I have so I not only did not have the energy to write, I didn’t have the time. Now as I sit here with time…I have no idea what to say…LOL.

Okay last week we decorated the outside of the house with Christmas lights and wreaths and garland on the porch and we put the Christmas tree up in the family room. All week I have turned the hundreds of tiny white lights on and that is all the tree currently has for decorations; again lack of energy and time to even think about decorating it. I am one of those extremely persnickety people when it comes to my Christmas tree. The tree itself has to be perfect, the lights must be perfectly placed to cover the entire tree, the ornaments must all be of the same color scheme, the placement of the bows-sometimes over fifty tiny red ones must be meticulously placed on the end of the branch, garland if used must be placed evenly spaced around the tree with each “dip” exactly the same size of the one before it, and I have to have my birds and branches as well. Okay so yes, I am a fanatic about it, and I love to see my finished product each year, so I really must take (make) the time to work on it this weekend as we are hosting a Chritmas party next Saturday night!

I have a party tonight and a party tomorrow and I am still fighting this cold that has it grasps on me (keeping the "Puffs" manufactures in business...their stock should be okay this week!) but I am determined to get the tree finished by Sunday night! As for the dogs, this week they chewed the stuffing out of a really nice throw pillow and when I walked in the door it was as if it had snowed in the living room…there was white “puff” everywhere. I was so exhausted from work and so sick with this cold I didn’t have the strength to question them on who did it. I just re-stuffed the pillow like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz and placed in a safe place until I can sew the seam. So all in all not a bad week in the realm of life as a whole, so we continue on with today and see what magic the day holds.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Well here it is Saturday already. Thanksgiving was a real nice time with our “family” and the food was all delicious. I had a bit too much one of vegetable, brussel sprouts, but I won’t go there.

I just came in from the light rain we are getting here in the South and it is warmer than it has been when I am out with the dogs on their first trip outside. The twins were off doing their thing and Otis, my nine year old, was sitting as he always does, right beside me as I sipped my coffee and smoked my first cigarette of the day. (Wish I could say it was my last, but that would be a wish and a lie)

I began to realize the other day and have been paying closer attention to Otis’ every move when we are together and when we are just in the same room; he is not just my buddy, he is my devoted buddy. There is a difference. The young ones love me, this I am sure, Marley loves to snuggle with me when he is tired, Brock still, after living here for almost fourteen weeks now, will not go to any other human but me, but Otis is immeasurably different...he is true devotion.

A devoted dog will endure anything for their master, he will succumb to any condition you place him in, he will stand in the pouring down cold rain beside you, he will lay in an uncomfortable position if it means he can be closer to you, he would risk his life for yours. He has the heart and mind of one of those dogs you read about, one that is afraid of the flames and heat of a fire but will run through the house of smoke to find and pull you to safety, one that would jump into a river to pull you out, or even lies on top of you in feet of snow in an effort to keep you warm and alive. He reminds me of Lassie, the ultimate devoted dog.

As I look at him curled up on the floor beside me as I sit here and type, I am overwhelmed with a feeling of love, for God to have given me this wonderful gift of Otis, for allowing us to find each other in a time when we were both in need of rescuing nine years ago, I am so thankful. Otis is my faithful buddy and if I only loved him half as much as he loves me, Otis would be okay with that, he is committed. He gives to me unconditionally and I only hope that he can feel the love and devotion I feel for him as well. We are indispensable buddies and I wouldn’t-couldn’t trade him for the winning lottery ticket because you can’t put a dollar amount on love.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for my family and friends…For this meal…and that I saw which part of the turkey the dog was licking…

Life is not always sunny side up

Did you ever wish that you could stop time, now I know almost everyone has? I admit I too wish this, not to stop wrinkles from invading my face, or to stop the body from sagging, or to stop the weight from adhering to the thighs. I wish I could have stopped time about nine years ago.

Nine years ago my hubby and I were so engrossed with each other, we had it all; the newness and infatuation, love and passion, the carefree life without the big house and all the responsibilities we seem to have today. Each day was filled with ecstasy and bliss and oh so less tiring and hectic.

Now today we have a three bedroom house, three dogs, one cat, two full-time jobs, a large back and front yard to care for, four vehicles to keep clean, and so on. We had less nine years ago, but in many ways we had so much more, we had more of each other and less of the “things”. We still had two dogs and two cats, I could never ever live without my babies, but the house was smaller, the chores were less, and our attitudes in life were more carefree and less complicated.

Today we are closer in our relationship mentally and yet the physical has begun to lessen, the sizzling fervor is not as frequent; I am up each morning between 4:30am and 5:00am so you can guess that I am usually in bed at 9:00. I work a full time job with a minimum of five hours overtime each week, and I need not preach to do the woman’s choir, all the work we do in our homes either before or after, and most times a combination of both, when we finish with our “real” job. It almost feels as if I no longer choose what to do each day, the job, the chores, the fur-children, and even things like the weather now dictate what I am to do almost every minute of every day and energy is a word that is no longer in my vocabulary.

I have been diagnosed with depression in the past, and if I were ever to divulge my past relating to my childhood and young adulthood you would understand why. Serious depression is not the one or two days you are feeling sad, or the grief you may experience during a loss, it is a somber life alternating condition that steals your life one day at a time.

First you lose your desire to do the things that once you brought joy, you stop going out and cease to interact with humans whenever possible, you just feel like sleeping all the time, you lose your desire to perform your daily activities, are irritable, have a loss of appetite, inability to concentrate, memory problems, and aches and pains. It is no joke to be this depressed and when you finally realize this is happening it is when you know you have to seek help. I did and I got better and I met the wonderful man I am married to and life was astonishingly incredible, like I was just born and the entire world was new and exciting, and it was sunny every day. It was as if I had never smiled before and now I just could not stop.

I am still very much in love with my husband, he is my whole world, but yet I feel some of the old feelings creeping back in and I know I have to do something about it, but I am just unsure what to do. I have tried all the latest medications and none work, or if they do work, they cause me too many side effects that I throw them away. I don’t want to see a “professional” as I don’t feel I have gone that far to the dark side, I still see the sun, just not as often as I did nine years ago…or even three years ago. So today as I am home baking for Thanksgiving tomorrow, I wonder what happened to that young lady that once lived each day with such zealous, when I seeked excitement and had so much optimism. I am hopeful that this has been brought on in part because of my dad’s passing three years ago, dwelling on the fact that my family is so small and the ones I love the most, my brother and his family live in NY, the stress of my on going back problems, and the stress of work, and a few other things that I will just keep inside. My biggest worry doesn’t have to do with me, it has to do with my husband, he thinks I am depressed because of something he has done or not done, and that is so untrue, he is the one that is bringing me sunshine each day and without him there would be all darkness, he is still the love of my life and for him, I will seek a way to find myself and bring back that young lady that was filled with joy and laughed; I know she is still in me and I won’t give up looking for her.

So with tomorrow being Thanksgiving I am thankful for my loving and devoted husband, my family and friends, my fur-children, and I am so thankful for life; I may not be perfect at this moment of time in my life, but my life is more perfect than most.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Domestic Rules

All domestic dogs must abide by these rules.

1) When you have been caught " in the act " of teaching your people not to leave you alone for any period of time, (even if it is to pick up dog food), you must use this common technique to diffuse anger. Once you hear their footsteps or the key in the lock, quickly move away from the chewed up shoe, rug, or houseplant. You then tilt your head and give a look of confusion. It will be for certain that you will NOT be punished.

2) Once a " mess " as humans call it, has been created, do anything and everything to make it appear to be the felines fault. For example, put the felines toy in the middle of your destruction. This act is called " framing " and tends to work only sometimes, but is always worth a shot.

3) This one is exceptionally important. When you want to go for a walk, you must continually jump up and down, cry, whimper, bark, beg, scratch at the door and fetch your leash. You must make your person understand, for they will not know what you want unless you exaggerate each one of these actions.

4) When you are given a bone, do not share it with ANYONE, not even the person who gave it to you. You must guard it with your life, even if you have no intention of eating it. Everyone wants your bone. After all, it is the best bone in the world.

5) If your person is reading the newspaper or if the children are working on their homework, tear it up. It is your duty as a dog to demonstrate to people how to get their priorities straight. Why waste time reading or working on homework when you can be enjoying a car ride or a walk in the park?

6) When a person says the " W " word, give him/her a glimpse of how intelligent you are. Reveal the urgency to go for a W-A-L-K. If only our people knew we could spell!

7) About collection . . . collect as many balls, bones, sticks and toys as you can. If you have the largest collection on the block, it makes you Top Dog.

8) New studies reveal that humans are attracted to the smell of dog breath. Knowing this, take every opportunity to breathe in your persons face. This displays love and affection.

9) When your person has a guest over, you must always sit in between the two people. If you have two people, do not let them sleep next to each other or spend quality time alone . . . there isn't any need for that when they could be playing ball or fetch!

10) Show signs of frustration when people make irrational demands. People tend to care about petty things, like busy streets, getting dirty, etc. People cannot comprehend the urgency to get to the park and sniff every blade of grass. They just simply don't know how to have fun. They'd rather worry! So, when your person is holding you back from getting to the park to roll in the dirt, BARK! Let your person know you are displeased with this nonsense.

11) When your person instructs you to do silly tricks, honor the human. Let it be known that you very well know how to sit, give paw and fetch. It's a good thing they don't know what else we know!

12) When personal hygiene is in question, take immediate action! Locate guests and assume position. People will get the hint and they'll love the fact that you're so thorough.

13) When peeing on someone's property or belongings, make sure to make eye contact with the owner. They like this, it shows respect.

14) It doesn't matter what size you are, barking instills fear in people. Even if you're a toy poodle in a fenced in yard and the person is fifty feet away, bark. They will surely run away with terror.

15) Last, but not least, don't forget your most important job of all. When your person is feeling depressed or down, offer comfort, love and affection. Your person relies on you to lick his/her face, which makes all human problems instantly vanish!

I love #15 it is so true and the one of my babies that knows that rule as number one is my Otis. God provided me a very special rescue when he brought Otis and I together.
By Kelly Denise Baker

Monday, November 24, 2008

Week-end Update

Well, the weekend was slow going on Saturday, but Sunday I was up at 5:00 and playing with the dogs. Hubby and I went grocery shopping and I got all the necessities to begin baking for the holidays starting Wednesday. We are going to family’s house for Thanksgiving and we are hosting the corvette club Christmas party soon, and then will need to also bake many items for Christmas gifts and for Christmas dinner as well. So I am going to load up on Diet Mountain Dew until my eyes pop just to stay awake.

We also went to see The Trans Siberian Orchestra concert yesterday afternoon. It was AWESOME! The music is a mix of what should be orchestra music but with a heavy rock accent. The light show is what was so amazing and the strobes were intense. They also had fire and pyrotechnics and it blew me away. As the cost was only $45.00 per ticket, of which they donate $1.00 of every ticket to local charity (Greenville for this concert) it was so worth the money and I am already looking forward to attend again next year. They have a web-site if anyone would like to check them out.

I was up at 4:30 this morning, and was able to play with the dogs, finish some laundry, eat breakfast and get showered and dressed for work. I am now writing this from my desk at work and it is 9:30am and I am already starting on the Diet Mountain Dew, this even after I have consumed about 6 cups of caffeinated coffee and my eye lids are getting sleepy. Where are the old days of the 70’s when you swallowed your speed verses drinking it. Does anyone remember the little black beauties, or the pink hearts, wow, those days are long over, but I am not sure my heart could handle it anyhow these days.

I took the advice of a blogger who left me a comment on a natural vitamin that would help my back pain and it great for what about a dozen things that ail you. The vitamin supplement cost me about $16.00 and I have only been on for two days, told it takes about two weeks to kick in, I will let you know how it is working out.

Well, I have to get back to work before I find my forehead on the keyboard and tying who knows what…that isn’t as bad as who it may be sent to by accident.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Prescription

Well after my very busy weekend last week I began my Monday back at work at 6:45am. The hours in the weekday just fly by being so busy and most importantly having to be so precise in my work and not make errors that would shut the plant down due to lack of materials. On Tuesday I finally got in to see the Rheumatologist, a doctor I have been trying to get in to see since August when I was still out on medical leave. She was absolutely wonderful and gave me a full exam including blood work and X-Rays. (No results yet) The part that made her so wonderful is that she met with me in the room and talked with me, then she examined me, and then we talked again. How many doctors these days spend so much time with a patient? Well I don’t recall much after Tuesday except getting up with the dogs no later than 5:00am (Wednesday at 4:00am), getting coffee and going outside with them, come back in and read some emails and blogs, then going to work, coming home for lunch and letting the dogs out again, back to work, and then home for the evening.

I get home bring the dogs out, read the mail, and then start dinner. After dinner I clean the litter box and then back out with the dogs again so I can have a cigarette and they can run and play some. I usually come back in wash the dishes and clean up the kitchen, put away leftovers and then some days I will do a load or two of laundry, other days I will just wash my face and sit on the sofa and watch some TV. I usually can make it till 10:00 in the evening before started to get so tired I have to go to bed, but this week I began a new prescription the doctor gave me; she said it would take away the pain and give me energy! HA, it is like a sleeping pill.

I have not made it to 9:00 all week, and last night Friday night, Hubby took a little nap on the sofa from 7:15-8:00. Then he got up and went to the computer, and I then proceeded to fall asleep and slept until the dogs woke me at 10:00 to go outside for their last pee. When I came back in, I kissed hubby good night and went to bed. I slept all night until I just woke up at 5:00.

Now, this has got to end, I feel as if my life is flying right by me! It is scaring me to be honest, yes the medication relieves the pain, but what good it that if I am either working or sleeping all the time I am awake? Where is my life in-between? How long before my husband has had enough of a wife that never can spend anytime with him after dinner and is fast asleep by 8:00?

So today, having only been on the pills since Tuesday I will begin to wean myself off; there are all kinds of side effects if you abruptly stop taking them and I certainly don’t want to go down that road. It is difficult when you are in daily pain and something finally works well to feel the need to stop taking what is working, but honestly folks, how well it is working doesn’t matter when you feel nothing and your life is spent alone and hubby is waiting in the background hoping someday his wife returns to him with enough energy to, if nothing else, sit beside him and snuggle watching TV or talking, after the clock on the wall strikes 8:00.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Leftover Saturday

Well here it is already, Sunday morning and before you know it this day will be over and the work week will be starting. I feel like the last two days have been a week in itself. Friday work started off slow and then immediately following lunch as the saying goes, “all hell broke loose.” I was mentally drained when I was finally able to tear myself away from my desk and head for the exit. We met the corvette club for a dinner gathering at a new restaurant and then a good friend of ours, who had a dinner date we had not met before, suggested the four of us go out for a couple drinks, so we did. The evening ended after midnight. I can tell you the boys were happy to see us when we pulled into the driveway.

Yesterday, the boys woke me up at 6:00 and I had to force myself to get up, and to be quite honest I would have loved an IV of coffee for my veins as I think the “couple” drinks were more like a few. What can I say I was drained from the work week, I was out with hubby and friends, the wine was tasty, and I was not driving. So as I head outside with the boys and I slowly bend down to pet Brock, it started immediately, my head began to pound as if the little drummer boy had stopped in for a personal concert just for me; I said to myself it is either the little drummer boy or Thumper from the from the forest and Bambi will be looking for him soon.

The days activities were already lined up, head to the department store charity event by 7:00, get to a full body massage appointment by 9:00, come home and do some house chores, then get dressed for a funeral at 3:00, and end the day with a birthday party at 7:00. What was I thinking last night! Oh well, too late to feel sorry for myself I had things to do and people counting on me.

I left for the store, bought only three pairs of socks because there was absolutely no way I was about to try anything on that would have me bending over starting the concert in my head all over again. On my way to the massage I stopped at the local pharmacy and picked up some powered aspirin, at Diet Mt. Dew, the largest single serving power bar I could find, and some breath mints and I was on my way.

I did take a nap when I got back from the masseuse, but it helped very little; so off I go to the funeral and then the party. Wow, when will this day end already?

So now I sit this Sunday morning telling myself I really accomplished quite a bit yesterday and I should be proud of myself; now as I think of all that has to be done today I am depressing myself. The massage felt great when I was getting it, but she hit my sore spots many times and with a great deal of pressure, so much that I can feel all four simply sitting here as if they are poking me from the inside as if to say , “What were you thinking letting her abuse us like that?” I thought I was doing a good thing, you know how that sometimes works out in life. As I am drinking my coffee and typing this blog I am also scheduling the daily events in my mind; get started on the house work while hubby is still asleep, then as soon as he is up, get the laundry going and run the dust cloth around the house and follow it with the vacuum, take a shower and get the grocery shopping done before the store gets crowded, and then, maybe just possibly have time to curl up on this brisk Sunday with hubby on the couch and watch some football this afternoon as homemade soup simmers on the stove.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

How Much Time?

How many of us go though our daily activities every day, week after week, sometimes month after month without ever thinking to pick up the phone and say hello and I love you to a relative or friend that does not live close by? We all get so busy with life…we work, take care of kids (two legged or four legged), have activities or clubs we belong to, have to cook dinner, do the household chores, and the list goes on and on.

My friend’s dad died today, and it made me cry. My father passed away a couple years ago and although he still lived in NY and me here in SC we talked on the phone almost every day. I loved my dad, and yet I love other members of my small family and friends too, but we talk maybe once a month, once every couple months…when we find time.

Life is so very short and we take for granted that we will be here tomorrow, but we may not be, our loved ones may not be, but yet we still procrastinate in making that call. I think we as humans believe we are invincible; I am healthy they are healthy so I will call tomorrow, which in reality ends up being in a few moths at best.

So I guess what I am trying to say is if you have been putting that call off because you have no time, make time, life tomorrow is not a guarantee. You will always feel better for making the time now than wishing you had made the time later

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Found this online today and thought it appropriate.

Vietnam veteran Lyle Hurley of Woodbridge, Virginia is reflected in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial during ceremonies to mark The Wall's 25th anniversary on the National Mall November 7, 2007 in Washington, DC. Hurley stated, 'all the names mean so much' to him and that he was real sorry that he was 'here and they are not.' Organizers commemorated the 25th anniversary with 'The Reading of the Names,' the four-day event during which the over 58,000 names inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial are read aloud. For the fourth time in The Wall's history all of the names were read in Washington, D.C.

By Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Top 20 Reasons Why Dogs Don't Use Computers

1. TwaLIHJSKLN;lkspfdfrO{gO DsA[M,bN HyAqR4tDc TgROo TgYPmE WeIjTyH P;AzWqS, …
(Too Darn Hard to Type With Paws)
2. Butt-sniffing is more direct and less deceiving than online chat rooms.
3. Annoyed by the lack of a Newsgroups entitled "'s.leg"
4. Saliva-coated mouse gets mighty difficult to maneuver.
5. SIT and STAY were hard enough, GREP and AWK are out of the question.
6. SmellU-SmellME communications software is still in beta testing.
7. The barking keeps activating voice recognition software.
8. 'Cause dogs ain't GEEKS! Now, cats on the other hand...
9. Three words: Carpal Paw Syndrome.
10. They are awaiting the introduction of the Microsoft Opposable Thumb.
11. Still trying to come up with an "emoticon" that signifies tail-wagging.
12. Not at all fooled by the Chuckwagon screen saver.
13. Keep bruising their noses trying to fetch that MPEG Frisbee.
14. Involuntary tail wagging is a dead giveaway that they're
browsing instead of working.
15. Fire hydrant icon is simply frustrating.
16. Can't help attacking the screen when they hear "You've Got Mail".
17. Too difficult to "mark" every Web site they visit.
18. Hard to read the monitor with their heads cocked to one side.
19. FETCH command not available on all platforms.
20. Can't Stick their heads out of Windows '98.

(Author Unknown)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Colored Leaves

Today is a glorious day! Brock woke me up at 5:30 this morning, that is one hour later than “normal” wake up time. I started the coffee and waited until three cups were brewed and took it outside with the dogs. By allowing only three of the twelve cups to brew before taking my java means my mug will be full of dark and incredibly strong caffeinated bliss.

The frost was upon the browning grass; as fall moves in each and every day now the once lush and green grass is turning more of a golden yellow with splashes of tan and brown.
As I gazed around outside this crisp morning, it was clearly evident that fall was ending its magnificent display of nature’s palate of what was one of the greatest color performances we have seen in the nine years we have been in SC. What once was spectacular color poking from every branch, on every tree, was now reduced to tan, brown and yellow speckled brittle leaves upon our lawn.

Watching the dogs this morning reminded me of when I was a small child, raking a pile of leaves (okay so my dad really raked them) and then running, jumping and sliding into the massive pile. Hubby had blown the leaves off the patio and from around the sunroom into just such a pile at the side of the house yesterday after work. The dogs ran right for it, no hesitation, as if they had been dreaming of doing it all night and were just waiting patiently for me to open the back door so they could jump in. They were running, barking, tails a wagging and having a splendid time without a care in the world.

I was almost tempted to join the joviality, but what with the frost on the ground, and the darkness still upon us in anticipation of the morning sunrise, and the fact that I still had yet to finish my first cup of Joe, I sat silently with a huge smile on my face watching the children folic in merriment knowing they would be a mess after play and I would be wiping and brushing their coats, but hey, kids will be kids, even mine, the ones that have four paws.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Boys

Well, this morning Otis was like a puppy himself. The young ones were running and playing extremely hard and Otis looked over at me as if to say, “Mom I want to go and play with them.” So I patted him on the belly and said if you can go, then go and have some fun! He ran and barked and played until he was plum tuckered out and panting for water, but I tell you he looked so happy I swear he had a smile on his face!

Marley has just two modes, one is full throttle and the other is sleeping either on my lap, beside me on the couch, or sleeping on my head if we are in bed. He is so full of life I am at times jealous for my yester-years when I was able to fully function on just a mere three hours sleep. He is a bully as well I have to admit when it comes to his brother Brock. He will patiently stand on top of the hill in our backyard, steady and calm, watching and waiting for the opportunity to pounce upon Brock unsuspectingly as he rounds the corner. He can be relentless at times with his sibling, chasing him and playfully biting his back leg and his ear and so on, but when Brock is in the same mood they may play chase for an hour at a time. They both will hide behind one of the bushes and wait for the other to come by, they are smart little devils I give them that. Now when Marley is all done with playing he will come and lay upon me and fall fast asleep and during these moments I cannot even remember the bully in him, because at these times he is the most adorable and precious baby sleeping like an angel in my arms.

Brock is a funny boy. We adopted him seven months after Marley as he never found a forever home and was still at the no kill shelter past his one year birthday. He is taller and longer than Marley, while Marley is tan and white, Brock is 100% black including most of his tongue. While Marley’s tail is long and flips over and hangs to one side, it is pale in comparison to Brock’s long and beautiful tail. It reminds me of a horse’s tail or the mane of a horse as it falls to one side and is lush and full. Brock is a shy boy, he will only come to me even after living here with hubby and I since the middle of August. Hubby tries daily to win him over, but nothing has worked yet so we wait it out. Brock is the calm one of the siblings, they look nothing alike except they are both small in stature, but their personalities is what is worlds apart. Brock is gently and sweet as Marley is rough and tough. Brock gives the softest and gentlest kisses and is a clown as he plays in house by himself with his favorite toy, a green ball that has lost its squeak. I am so happy I was able to join them back together again and be a family even if they themselves have no recognition of each other back when they were just puppies in the shelter with their other six siblings.

Family to me is not just the ones that share my same blood; they are the friends I have chosen to be family. Sometimes the word friendship cannot express how you feel for someone that is when they become more than a friend, they become family. My family must also include the fur children because with out them my world would not be as happy or joyful and it would have more dark days and heavy clouds surrounding me. They bring to me what no human can and it is something I feel deep within my heart that words will never be able to explain.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


What a week it has been. This getting back to work full time has really got me wore out early in the evening and I have been just too tired to write recently. I still get up with the dogs at 5:00 am or earlier and we go outside and they do their thing and then the three of them run and chase and play and I quietly sit in my green lounge chair and drink my coffee and smoke my cigarette. I love this time of day. It is so peaceful and calming to just be out among the stars and the moon while most of my world around me is still asleep.

After Otis has finished his business and playing with the young ones, he will come and sit on my feet, all 55 pounds of him and allow me to rub and pet his chin and belly. He is now ten and I worry that we will only have a few more years of this together. He is my big baby and he came into my life when I was at rock bottom.

I had just had a miscarriage with my new husband we had lost our dog Scooby, and my mother-in-law died; all this all took place in a week’s time. I was devastated to say the least, and I desperately needed a “baby” to love and care for. That is when I found Otis, six months old at a shelter in Rhode Island where I lived at the time. He was a God send to me and helped me overcome all the losses I had just been through. If you saw the blog on “in memory of my dog Sandy” we lost last year, you will understand how important Otis is to me. I love him more than I love some people, to be honest, more than I love most people.

I have the new babies as well now Marley and Brook and they are a joy and love in my life, and they are young and so full of life, I guess that is what makes me sad looking at Otis these days, knowing he doesn’t run as fast as he used to, doesn’t play as long as he used to, has the gray hairs around his chin, and rests with me more now verses tearing around the backyard.

I will cherish every moment I have with him; he already gets an extra treat each day, he gets extra attention and hugs and love from me every morning and we spend time just laying on the floor; Otis gets a belly rub and I get the warmth of his love beside me.

My fur-children are a gift from God that I cherish each and every day, and I say thank you to the Lord above every morning for giving me all that I have in my life and an extra special thank you for the gift of Otis.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Get out and Vote!

Today is Election Day in America. No matter who your party affiliation is or who you are supporting, please vote today! There is nothing more American and constitutional than our right to vote, especially us woman who were not given this right until the Nineteenth Amendment Passed by Congress June 4, 1919 and then Ratified August 18, 1920. For more information on The Woman’s Suffrage please follow the link below and explore the stories of some very heroic woman in their dedication and their desire to unlock opportunities that were open to men, yet denied to woman and you can truly appreciate what many went through and some even died, in the belief for our right as woman to cast our votes and enjoy American freedom of choice. I feel especially proud to have been born in the same great state of New York, where the woman began the suffrage so that today I can walk to the voting polls and cast my ballot, please do the same and get out and vote.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The SUV and Me

I live in America, the home of free and the SUV. Yes, I am now the very proud owner of a SUV, the Honda CR-V to be exact. This is my very first ever new vehicle. My first car was a boat sized used blue 1979 Cadillac, bought for $950.00 from a friend and co-worker at the time. The price was chosen as it was the amount he was being offered by the car dealer if he were to trade it in on the new truck he picked out. I truly loved this car! I had it about two years and on a trip I was making to NY from RI, in the winter, thru the snow, heading out at about 6:00AM, the heater decided to quit working. I had to be in NY by 8:00am so I had no option but to keep going, heat or no heat….what a trip that was! I have also owned, all bought as used vehicles mind you, a 1986 Eldorado America’s Cup Edition Cadillac, beautiful car that was parked at the used car dealership. It was, as I found out, not for sale as it belonged to the dealer’s wife, needless to say when I left the lot it no longer belonged to anyone but me; as the saying goes, everything is for sale! For a very short few months I owned a new Saturn…this car was so small I thought I was supposed to be driving some clowns around under the BIG TOP at the circus. It had belonged to my ex-mother-in-law who had only owned it about 6 months before she suddenly passed away.

My husband at the time had been involved in an accident with my beautiful white and blue America Edition Eldorado and thought he would be nice and give me the Saturn, okay I am not impressed or happy about this. I promptly began shopping again for another used new car. I found a green 1989 Jaguar sitting on a lot one day, and before the week was over I was driving down the road with my leather heated seats and large silver Jaguar hood ornament staring back at me while I was behind the wheel. After my current husband and I sold that car to move to SC from RI and put some money down on a new home, I drove his white Monte Carlo, then I was given a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP (super charged!) because my sister-in-law passed away one year after she bought the car brand new and paid in full with cash. Now that car was awesome, it was black, not the easiest to keep clean, but it had all the features I could have wanted on a car that was manufactured for 2001. It had 6 way power leather heated seats, auto lights (no more forgetting to turn them off and running the battery down) auto day/night mirror…how cool is that, no more having to switch the little black thingy under the mirror when darkness appeared and the bright lights came from behind, moorn roof, a CD player, and controls for the radio on the steering wheel.

Well as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and so the GTP was traded earlier this week for my new 2009 Honda CR-V. It is awesome and I could not be happier! I found it a bit odd at first, going from a car to an SUV is different of course, the entire vehicle is higher, and it handles slightly different, and so on. After only having it a few days, I can’t imagine driving anything else, except of course my corvette. Talk about features, the list is too long, but suffice to say my husband is the best for putting up with my indecisiveness in choosing a new vehicle, allowing me to complain about it for one day, after we had already signed on the dotted line (it was different than cars I had driven so it was a change I had to get accustomed to), and for just allowing me to the proud owner and driver of this new white beauty in the driveway.

My husband tries extremely hard to make sure I am happy without spoiling me, and trust me that is not an easy task. His pet name for me is “Queen of Return” as I will buy bags of clothes and shoes at my favorite department store and then come home and try them all on again only to bring 80% of them back, this is a given. So you can imagine how hard it was for me to pick something to drive for the next 6 years that I would NOT be able to return! We did our homework and this is the number one rated vehicle in its class, it was affordable, it is “cute” and fun to drive, but it is also very safe receiving a 9.1 safety rating. It will be great for the three dogs and I (hubby too) to take drives to the pet store together and it has plenty of room to bring home bags of dog food, treats, new toys and should I ever need to get one I could even fit a large dog house! I can honestly say, we are extremely lucky to have been given the opportunity and very grateful as well to have had the ability to buy this vehicle for years of safe fun for the entire family; myself, hubby, and the fur-children-Otis, Marley and Brock.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sandy - The one year passing

It is quiet this morning, the leaves are not rattling on their limbs as the air is still, the dogs in the yard to the left are still inside their warm beds, and the streets are still sleeping at this early hour on a Saturday morning at five am. A lone squirrel travels the branch of the big oak in the backyard savaging for acorns to stash away for the long cold winter before us. Otis, my mixed breed who truly thinks he is a human fur-child is sitting a few feet away from where I sit holding onto my mug of java and smoking a menthol cigarette. It should be a typical morning for us, we do this seven days a week, sit together looking at the stars, feeling mother Earths air upon our faces, the wind sometimes blowing our hair, and just sitting. I use this time to remember, dream, forgive, or at times even forget, but just to search my soul and let my mind take me where ever it wants to. Otis I can’t say for sure, but I feel he is doing just the same as I am , just thinking and relaxing while sniffing the air awaiting the day’s full beginning when the world awakes and the quite and soothing time we are now sharing turns into the every day hassles it usually becomes. Our mornings are the clam before the storm, our time to be still, our time to be together, and our time just to be.

Things in our house are in no way what I would call predictable, but we have routines; we have early morning routines, later morning routines, afternoon routines evening and night routines as well. The narrative of Otis and me alone with Mother Nature in our backyard before the sun has even risen is a typical early morning routine. Our later morning routine was just slightly different as it included another fur-child of mine, Sandy. She older than Otis by six years, lab –Sheppard mix, a bit over weight, but what lady these days doesn’t consider herself overweight compared to the models of today? She with her light tan and white her short course fur was beautiful anytime of day or night, but more so when she laid her frame upon the green grass with the sunshine beaming down on her. She would have this smile that she shared with the world and you could not help but feel a smile break out on your awn face when she looked at you.

She like many children these days came from a broken home and came to be my child in the year of nineteen ninety nine; and left me on October thirtieth two thousand seven to run and smile upon the stars and heavens that Otis and I now sit and gaze upon during those early hours each day, but now we look upon them with sorrow in our hearts and sadness in our eyes longing to once again gaze upon the beautiful baby girl that was once a significant part of our daily lives and routines, our playmate, our buddy, and now our lost friend.

Today, Saturday, is not one of our typical days; no day has been what Otis and I would consider typical since Monday. Otis and I both know there will come a time again in the future when we consider a morning such as this morning typical, but in our hearts we know it will be some time before we do. You see, although this early morning time we share belongs to just us, there was a time, last Monday to be exact in which we would come out here once again but we would bring our “baby girl” Sandy with us.

Sandy was our friend, our companion, our “baby-girl” all one-hundred and ten pounds of her. Although Otis has had his moments and I will tell you about them as we go alone, Sandy was the one that could always make you laugh all the while spitting out a mouthful of sandy colored fur that would always find it way into anything and everything as she bounced and pranced around with a huge smile on her face of yellow and white.

This is in memory of my "Baby Girl" Sandy who I lost October 30, 2007, written three days after her passing. I still can’t believe it has been an entire year, and yet I still look for her, think of her, and I still miss her terribly and wish for just one more hug of fur and a wet smooch.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Here is my new niece just about an hour, Victoria Paige.

Pre-Op and Post-Op

I really don’t know where to begin today. I just woke up and took the three dogs outside, I made my coffee, and hubby is still sleeping. Thursday morning my new niece was born and I will post a picture later today.

Yesterday afternoon I went to the out patient surgery center to have a minor procedure done on my back, it was similar in what was done to the four I have had in the past, but my experience this time was horrible to say the very least.

We got there at noon as instructed, I got undressed and into one of those hospital gowns and the fun began. My blood pressure was taken; my heart rate was monitored, my temperature was recorded, and I was asked many questions as simple as what is your name and birth date.

The Pre-Op nurse then inserted the needle to begin my IV line. This, I did not like at all. Thankfully she got it in on the first try and the feeding began. All was pretty mundane after that, spoke to the anesthesiologist and the OR nurse more than two hours later as we waited patiently for my doctor to arrive; he was running late and there were patients lined up and own the hall already having gone through the same check in procedure I did, and all laying there in their checked blue gowns and blue bonnets atop their heads passing time as best they could without TV or magazines.

Many like I had a family member or spouse with them, one young girl talked on her cell phone and complained almost the entire time she was waiting in Pre-Op, I concluded she was either very scared about her upcoming knee surgery or she was just a spoiled you know what. One man was in for a 4mm kidney stone that would not pass, I also know he has had another one lodged in his kidney for a couple years that cannot be operated on, that he had heart trouble years ago and what medications he took, how many kids he has, what their genders are, how many grandkids he has, what his sister does for a living, and what size needle worked best in his size veins; okay folks this is way too much information, just waaaaaaaay too much.

All this on an empty stomach and no caffeine; we were not allowed to eat or drink since midnight the previous night and I was starving, caffeine deprived, and aching as I was forced to lay on my back in a checked blue gown that opened in the back, needle protruding from the top of my right hand providing no pain meds yet, and having to listen to who took two blood pressure pills with just a sip of water.

Finally the doctor arrived, he stopped by all our beds for a brief moment, then the very nice OR nurse and the pregnant anesthesiologist came and grabbed my cot and wheeled me down the hall to OR.

It was bright and cold as I was moved from my movable bed to the OR table full of huge fluffy pillows and stark white sheets and blankets. I laid on my stomach atop the fluffy pillows and the action took off all around me, beeping machines, blankets and sheets being moved, people touching me and placing things on me, and then the very kind woman in front of me with her protruding belly about eye level finally began to administer the good stuff, it took three full needles to prepare me, and I felt nothing at all as the needles were inserted so low into my back I would call it the extreme top of the rump.

Procedure done, off to Post Op. Again wheeled down the corridor, stopped at room seven, nurse comes rushing over, takes temp, takes blood pressure, and monitors heart rate; done. Gives me a soda, I asked for coffee but they didn’t have any, asked for Mt. Dew for my caffeine fix, they didn’t have any….reminder for next time, have one of these in the car for immediate consumption. Looks at my back, gives my husband papers to sign, because I am told I cannot drive a car, operate machinery, or sign legal papers for 24 hours, removes the IV and I am out of there.

We stop and get something to bring home to eat because I was about to eat the dashboard I am so hungry. All is well, take dogs out, eat the sandwich, made some coffee, and rested in front of the TV. About three hours later my head felt as if it was literally going to crack open and all the insides would blow out the top like lava from a volcano. It would NOT stop throbbing; hubby went out to get some Tylenol, told I could take nothing else because of the anesthesia I received. While he was gone I got out of bed as I needed some water, my stomach was now beginning to stir if you know what I mean; well needless to say I made it to the kitchen and then in the nick of time made it to the bathroom. Hubby comes in, I take pills with the water I had originally gotten up to take, and off to bed I go. Hubby can feed the cat, hubby can let the dogs out and dry their paws when they come in due to the rain we are finally getting, hubby can….it didn’t matter, nothing mattered at that moment except getting to my dark bedroom and stopping the lava from coming out.

I am awake now and drinking my coffee, and somehow survived yesterday pretty much unscathed except for the pin holes in my back, a small bruise on the top of my right hand, and a stomach that is complaining that if I don’t eat something soon it is going to revolt. So I must go for now…the fridge is about to be emptied.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Crate time again

Well it is crate time again. When I came home at lunch yesterday all the boys were good, no accidents and everything in its place. When I came home from work same again, no messes and everything in its place. WOW a great day and I was ecstatic that they had finally calmed down and could behave while I was at work.

Okay so I now go sit on the front porch to talk to my brother and I was out there maybe 15 minutes tops! I saw hubby’s truck pulling up the road so I went inside to get dinner on the table, I did not expect what I was about to find and wanted to just scream. I saw Marley on the floor with what looked like stuffing from a chew toy, but wait; he is not allowed to have them as he tears them up in seconds. I then look at the couch, it has a large, very large rip and the stuffing that Marley was chewing on had come from the couch. I immediately told my brother that I had to go, hubby was home and the dogs had chewed the couch!

Okay, react mode, run and get a sheet and place it over the couch, no sense in upsetting hubby as soon as he walks in. It didn’t take but a minute for him to say, “What did the dogs do that you have a sheet on the couch?” I told him, don’t look, and explained what had happened. I can’t believe he stayed calm; I thought for sure he would freak out big time.

So today I spoke to someone at work that has a crate that was big enough for two puppy German Shepard’s that would have been large enough for one full grown, so yes, I accepted his offer to take it off his hands on Monday.

I have tried to let them be free, but even I have a breaking point. They have about 10 toys left on the floor each day to play with, some are even Kongs with treats and there are always three rawhides as well. I think Marley just has to have a soft chew toy and since I will not give him one (they last only seconds and I don't want him to choke on it)the couch was it this time for both of us.

Until tomorrow…

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Not a Dress Rehearsal

Reading some of the blogs I follow each day, and no they are not all listed as blogs I follow, I was enlightened. It is very true, and I myself said this in one of my recent blogs “Beyond the Concrete”, there is much good and beauty in the world around us, we just need to take the time to see it, experience it, and most importantly know it is there. Life has a way of getting us down, there are deadlines, grocery and gas price hikes, misc. other bills to pay, war in the world, teachers sleeping their students, and on and on the ugly goes. But stop, look around your world, the leaves are changing for most of us now that fall is here, maybe your new hairdo makes you feel good all over, my dogs alone bring me down to earth each and every day and show me that just breathing, being healthy for the most part, and being with the ones you love is worth more than we appreciate and most of us take this for granted.

I have been telling my husband forever to do as the book says, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. So a dish broke, the dog peed on the carpet, the floors need to cleaned, the laundry needs to be done…so does that mean the world must stop and life is ending, NO! The world will go on, and you can be happier if at times you just let things be and do something for yourself, or a friend, or your spouse. The life you are living now is not a dress rehearsal; it is the real deal, so treat it as such. As the saying goes, Live, Love, and Laugh…you will be happier in the long run, and as others say don't take life too seriously. Nobody gets out alive.......

Monday, October 20, 2008


Some days the sun is immaculately dazzling and brilliant, but then one faulty repositioning and like a relentless storm forthcoming the intermittent signs emerge slowly, progressively, and bit by bit the full intensity of the storm is upon me.

Some days the severity is there from the time I awaken and there is absolutely nothing I do can make the sun materialize to suppress and wash away this nuisance I am feeling from the very first moment I have risen.

Some days the vile torrent never appears and the sun is shinning in all its brilliance moment after moment, hour after hour. Oh how I wish for these days.

I have been in this cycle for close to six months now and I have just one more procedure to go for on Friday and then they say it will all be brightness for the days after. The hideous torrents will be suppressed never to overpower the rays of sun I have so long been searching for to awaken to each day; to have with me each day, moment after moment, hour after hour.

Pain is detestable, but my pain is existent. Pain is my adversary, and this foe I shall overcome.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Quotes from Dalai Lama

Some thoughts for today: Quotes from Dalai Lama.

It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.

If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.

Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

Sleep is the best meditation.

Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.

Spend some time alone every day.

The purpose of our lives is to be happy.

The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.

The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.

We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.

Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.

With realization of one's own potential and self-confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Well, finally the weekend is here and I am amazed how well I made it though the first week back in the cube world. At first it was so unreal, as I wrote in a previous blog, but I must admit it did get better as the days passed one by one. I adorned the new cube I was moved to during my absence with multiple pictures of the babies in various poses, brought in a decorative pillow to cradle my spine while adding color and warmth, and I will finish it all off with a small lamp I will be bringing in on Monday; it is not home but as cozy as work can be.

Otis, Marley, and Brock have all done very well this week aside from one accident yesterday. Hubby almost never gets home before I do, but of course, wouldn’t it be on the day that one of them had an accident on the living room rug!

After dinner last night and the cleaning of the kitchen I decided I was owed some down time for me. I opened a very nice bottle of wine I had picked up at a local winery a couple years back and poured myself a glass, grabbed a clean towel, opened the hot tub cover and sank in. To help keep the mood relaxed, I kept all three dogs inside. The night sky was overcast with showers threatening so there was no glimpse of the moon or stars to gaze at, so I just closed my eyes, laid my head back and drifted into blissful relaxation. The warmth of the water was comforting, the wind rustling just a bit through the remaining leaves on the trees was harmonious, and the reverberation of the water as it washed over me streaming from the jets was just so incredible, it is beyond words.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


There are ice cubes, Rubik Cubes, DNA cubes, storage cubes, and I am sure many more that I just cannot think of at the moment, but for right now there is only one cube on my mind…my work cube. I have been here for just a few hours and how I feel as if the world has vanished; the green grass and the scent of the flowers and the colors of the leaves cannot be seen from this cube I am entrapped in, the bird’s songs are not heard, the wind is nowhere to be felt upon my face, the sun and clouds are no longer visible when I look up as the sky is completely missing, replaced by dingy fluorescent lighting. I miss the smell of the air when I take a deep breath, I miss the dogs frolicking in the yard while I sit and get pleasure from their fun as they go round and round, playing and jumping and then lapping at the water within the bowl tired from their romp and then finally they would lay upon the earth and rest with the butterflies fluttering by and the sun falling upon their fur coats. To be at home again with all the wonderers of nature and life with the dogs would be the ultimate life of luxury for this simple soul now banished to this cube for eight hours a day, five days a week, longing for the sun and the barking and just the experience of viewing natures wonders any time of day; any day of the week, day after day. The mortgage is due every month, the car needs gas, the groceries need to be purchased, and yet…those lazy days of bliss are what I miss.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Beyond the Concrete

Did you ever just sit outside and watch the clouds go by and then watch as the white puff slowly disappears and fades as a gentle breeze moves it along to intermingle with the blue sky? Did you ever watch a butterfly as it glides through the air fluttering from here to there displaying its magnificent wings of multi-color as if there is not a care in the world? How many times have you stood outside on a quiet morning and just listened to the songs and melody of the neighborhood birds as they make their morning flights to the feeders for breakfast? Have you ever seen a shooting star or looked up into the night sky and gazed at the full moon and saw all the dimensions it beholds, or a sunset over the ocean blue?

How often do we take the time to see what nature has in full miraculous display each and every day for us to behold? I have recently had some time off due to a back injury and have had the luxury to see and hear these truly amazing sights that nature prepares for us each day. As I head back into the full time work a day world tomorrow I hope that I remember the times I took those precious tranquil few minutes to enjoy the world around me, to see past all the concrete buildings, or the traffic on the highway with the loud radios blaring and horns honking, or the even the dishes piled in the sink after preparing dinner. Although these are a reality of our lives, they are man made, and can take a toll on us if we allow them to, that is why God created a world of pure pleasure filled with treasure abound from nature. Take time each day to see the world in it’s natural beauty beyond the concrete and human noise and watch a sunrise without worry of how soon you have to be at work, gaze at the hummingbird floating in the air retracting the sugar from the flowers, even just take a moment and embrace the feeling of your beloved pet sleeping soundly with his head upon your lap. Life is to be lived and enjoyed and each day we should put aside a small slice of our time and savor a little wonder of nature and serenity.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Well if you read my blog yesterday morning you know it started out pretty crappy, literally. Yes I over came and went on to have a pretty decent day. This morning I awoke in time to get all the babies outside in time for them to do their thing. As they were outside I was fixing my coffee and then proceeded to feed Spencer my 20 year old cat who was sitting near his empty bowl just meowing for his breakfast as if he had not eaten in months.

I filled his bowl and as I placed his food bag back into the pantry, I looked to the large water bowl to see if that too was in need of filling, all I saw was one big huge ugly looking spider bigger than a half dollar, way bigger! Now I am not a wimp by any standards, okay maybe to some I am, but this thing was huge and ugly and I was defenseless standing in my bare feet with just six inches separating it from me. Hubby was still sleeping so I had to defend myself, it was either this colossal spider or me, we were both not going to be walking away from where we stood, oh no, one of us was about to be laying flat on the floor, and I promise you it was not going to be me.

With bare feet I had to think quick, using the food bowl would not work, my hands would have to be too close to get the job done and food would go flying everywhere, so I opened the pantry door back up and there was my handy Swiffer! I tried to move slow and cautiously as not to spook the spider and have him on the run. Yea, me spook him, that would be a turn of events. I retrieved the Swiffer and used it more like a hammer than a floor washer and it seconds the job was done; I had overpowered the ugly mammoth spider, victory!

I am not one who enjoys killing anything, I don’t hunt or kill for sport but I was the one they were thinking about when they wrote the old song, “I don’t like spiders and snakes” if they are in my house, again I have to repeat, IN my house, they definitely were not given an invitation, therefore they are intruders and I have no choice but to treat them as such. If he were outside in the yard he would have gone on to have a nice morning, spinning webs, eating bugs, and waiting for the sunrise to peek through the cloudy horizon, we never would have met. But his choice to come inside uninvited was his demise, it makes me think, many choices I make can have a serious consequence, so think with your head and your heart, and make the most of your day, because we truly never know when it will be our last.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Morning News

What a morning! I overslept and did not get up until close to 8:00, two hours past my normal awake time. This may have been what my body needed, a few extra hours of rest, but for the dogs, my oversleeping I would soon find out was a decision I would soon be regretting. As I stated in a previous post I have stopped crating, something I am now rethinking. I awoke with the crisp morning air blowing through the open bedroom windows and the sun peeking though the curtains; I thought was a glorious morning!

I walked into the office and said good morning to my husband who was on the internet looking for what else, corvette items. The dogs were all jumping on me, tails were wagging and kisses for mommy were gladly placed upon my cheeks. I made my cup of coffee and went outside to sit and enjoy the morning and to allow the dogs to do their thing. So far the morning could not have been more pleasant, all was about to change when I returned inside. I went to the front door to go out and retrieve the morning newspaper that I was sure would only depress me if I read it, not much good news these days, the stock market taking a downward spiral and taking my 401K with it. Murderous descriptions, car crashes killing teenagers due to alcohol and speed, fights that had broken out and caused one lost soul to stab another, and now even the VP nomination is in the news for using her executive power in all the wrong manners. The paper is as depressing as a snow storm that prevents you from leaving your home for days on end with the electric out and having to wash your hair in freezing cold water. I am seriously considering not renewing my subscription when this one runs out.

As I came in the front door, there it was, plain as day and if my eyes did not see it my nose certainly knew without any doubt. One of my beauties had messed on the living room carpet that I just this week paid $200.00 to have cleaned. Okay, pick it up, get out my trusty hand held Little Green Machine and clean the area, then get the fabric spray and spay. Okay this was not how I wanted to spend twenty minutes of my morning. Life goes on and it is what it is, I can get past this….all cleaned up so move on. So as I moved into the great room, what???? Another mess, what is going on here! Okay repeat the steps listed above this time with a not so pleasant attitude about it.

Needless to say I was not enjoying the beautiful morning any longer and I am no longer in a joyful mood. But hey, now that I think about it, one of them did try to wake me earlier, I just rolled over, and so I guess you could say that this was all brought on by my doing. I have learned today not to sleep in past my normal wake time, the dogs know the schedule and they follow it, if I am not up they try to waken me, and when they can’t do that after a couple times what do I expect; nothing less than what I found today. Crating is still an option, but in all honestly I much rather have them crawled up in bed with me, and outside at a decent time to forgo any accidents. I have forgiven the entire morning alteration to my routine, and now have my alarm set for 6:00 so that tomorrow a beautiful day can be had by all no matter what the weather or the newspaper have in store for me.

Friday, October 10, 2008

To those that are visiting today for the first time, welcome, explore, and enjoy. To those that are returning guests you will notice some changes to my page. I don’t want my page to become one big advertisement, but there are a few non-profit organizations that need our support. I have outlined what each one is asking of us and how you can help without spending one penny or more than 10 seconds of your time each day. I promise to get back to the fun stuff tomorrow, but to me, this is important and I hope you feel the same way.

Pet Finder: is a wonderful tool if you are looking to adopt a fur-child. I adopted Marley from a place called Pet Tender Angels in my area and located them through the pet finder web site, currently today they are stating, the temporary home of 305889 adoptable pets. You place in your zip code, what kind of pet you are looking for, and up all the choices pop, it is that easy. The number of cats and dogs entering shelters each year is 6-8 million (HSUS estimate), and the cold sad truth is the number of cats and dogs euthanized by shelters each year is a staggering 3-4 million (HSUS estimate). If given the opportunity, each dog or cat that would have been euthanized for reasons such as the pet overpopulation situation here in America, or due to neglect or disease is one that statically shows more often than not, would make a great companion if they were only given the chance to show their loving and adorable personality on the other side of their current home, the kennel cage.
Please help the pet overpopulation and spay and neuter your pet, and please, if you are looking for a companion, look to your local shelter and rescue you next companion from certain death.

The Animal Rescue Site: This is a click to give site, so simple, just click once a day and sponsors of the site pay for food and care. I went one step further and bought a beautiful fleece coat off the site with the logo; two paw prints. Trust me, you can find wonderful gifts on this site and every time you purchase an item you are feeding a pet in need. Please click every day and help, it will cost you nothing, but provides so much for the many animals that need our human assistance to survive.

The Breast Cancer Site: Again, this is a click to give site, click every day and sponsors will provide free mammograms to those that would otherwise not be able to afford this necessary test. Facts taken directly from the Breast cancer site state, “The National Breast Cancer Foundation estimates that each year, over 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and over 40,000 die. One woman in eight either has or will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Approximately 1,700 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 450 will die each year.” With something so easy as click and give, we really can’t say we don’t have time to help and the cost of the click to us is nothing, but the click you make could possibly safe a life.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chew Toy in Red

Well the time has come for me to return to work next week. I am happy that I still have a job to return to, but at the same time sad I will be gone all day away from my “babies”.
Since I have been home (5 months now) Otis has not gone to doggie day care, Marley has not been in his crate, and we have the newest edition Brock. They are all wonderful and for the most part behaved and well mannered, but when mom is away the children like to play. I am very apprehensive as one of my fur-children, Otis, suffers from separation anxiety, Marley was crate trained from the day we adopted him, and Brock I am not sure about as he has only been here about 9 weeks and I only crated him a few days.

When I am gone for appointments I have left the three of them to mind after themselves and have the run of the house. So far there has only been a minor thing when I have gotten home, but just like watching NASCAR run at Talladega, you are biting your nails waiting on the big one. We had one of those a few years back and I am not sure my husband could handle another one

A few years back (before Marley and Brock) we kept Otis in the garage while we were out of the house, and in the garage to keep him company was a radio, a fan to keep him cool and a bone and chew toy. What we never could have imagined happened one day when we left him there for only about an hour and went to the store. When I walked into the garage through the side door, the fan was still oscillating from side, Otis was there wagging his tail happy I was home.

But I felt something cold in my bones, I just stood there not really seeing or hearing what was happening; my brain just could not focus on what I was seeing. I felt as if I was in a dream and all was blurred and moving in slow motion. I saw snow floating in the air, snow??? It was May in SC, there is no snow in SC even in December. I went to Otis and saw he had some blood on his mouth, I was scared and for all the wrong reasons. I moved to the front of the garage where the door to the house is and there it was...the snow machine. My husband’s corvette was parked in the garage and was under a car cover for dust protection, trust me when I say dust was not the car’s immediate danger, Otis was. Otis must have been bored or having an anxiety attack and so he proceed to chew the fiberglass bumper of this beautiful car. The snow was what was left of the car cover.

It was then I jumped into protection mode of my own, protection of Otis from the car’s owner who was just turning the door knob of the side door into the garage. I instantly ran to the door and tried to lock it, but Lennie, confused, pushed harder and the door opened. I ran back to the front of the garage and hit the button on the wall that opens the bay door and yelled, “Run Otis run!!!” Otis did not hesitate; he ran across the street and sat on my neighbor’s front step just quivering. I tried to calm my husband, but we need to be real here how would you have reacted if your corvette had just become the largest chew toy?

Many years later, and a call to the insurance company, we now laugh of that day and Otis has been very happy in a cage free doggie daycare. But times are tough and the daycare is no longer an option due to the cost, so back to where I began, wondering when that “big one” will strike again and what will be the new chew toy of choice?