Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hi Everyone

If any of you are still following this after a year of absence that is.

Wanted to let you know that I have started a new blog that is located at:

It is about my new job as a volunteer coordinator of the hospice company I talked so much about in this blog.  So, if you have been wondering what I have been up to, come on over to my new blog and see.

Many blessings to you all!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Big dog little dog..............

I have discovered an off-leash dog park near my home and I love to take my year old Yorkie there to play. It is not going as well as I would like.

When I first took her I knew that there would be an adjustment period so my "tough love" parenting style kicked in and I told her "we were coming every day for two weeks until you learned to like it!" She did okay with the smaller dogs, but as soon as the big dogs came over she would snap and bite at them and then cling tight to my leg. Anyone have any ideas about how to deal with separation anxiety in dogs?

Finally the day came when she met the right dog and they actually played together. I can't tell you how much joy this brought to my heart. I probably looked pretty foolish standing in the woods trying to snap pictures with my cell phone as they circled around one another, but this was a huge deal to me.

Why do I care that a strange dog likes my dog? Though it makes no rational sense what so ever the feelings really were akin to wanting my kids to have friends to play with when they were growing up. I want her to be liked by each and every dog she encounters so her self-esteem (not to mention mine) doesn't suffer.

Going to the dog park I get first hand experience of the idea that one is either a small dog person or a big dog person. Some big dog people can be rude to the point of commenting, "Come this way Duke. I am not in the mood to deal with a little yippie dog today." And this before Bekeeni even gets close enough to sniff Duke's ankle (His ankle being as high as her nose will reach). Most big dog people simply ignore us, as if we are not important enough to even comment on.

I can't decide which is worse!

Having said this, I have to confess that it is not my favorite thing to be approached by a soaking wet, sandy dog and have him/her shake out their coat and them proceed to jump up on my in greeting leaving muddy paw streaks behind. As I learned never to wear white around a toddler, I have learned never to wear clothes I care about to the dog park (like I really care about my clothes we're really talking about shoes here folks).

So are big and/or little dog people born that way or is it environmental? I maintain I am a little dog person because I have always had home businesses and it is much safer for a little dog to jump on someone than a big dog. Shouldn't all dogs be trained not to jump up on people (Ya! Right! That's never gonna happen around here, try as I might)? Truth be told, my belief is, "The bigger the dog, the bigger the mess." Shame on me... Something else for me to work on I guess. What about you? Do you have a preference? Why?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

"Don't come from your history, come from your imagination"........

This is a quote that came my way several days ago that rings very true for me. When I was in foster care, the one thing I was sure of was how I DID NOT want to parent. Shortly after I married I spent time with a woman that had two small children and it was easy to imagine mothering my kids just as she mothered hers. When I shared with her how she was my role model she expressed thoughts of feeling like she didn't do that good of job as a parent. Proof positive we all have our own perspective about joint experiences, and we take what we need, the way we need it from those experiences.

Most of us have graduated from the school of hard knocks. Some of us have had a few refresher courses over the years. In these cases if we approach life from our history it may limit the fullness of our lives. If we choose to overlook a negative past experience and imagine the best possible outcome, we stand a good chance of having just that. After all, what do we have to lose?

So what is the history that you hide behind? How do you let yourself off the hook because of something horrible that happened in the past? What is it causing you to miss out on in the present? Think about it...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Light and love......................................

Earlier this week I had to take one of my resident's for a post hip surgery visit to the surgeon's office. I take her as her family moved to another state for employment but with her dementia deemed it better to leave her in a familiar environment until they are sure of their plans. I explained this to the surgeons office, that it wasn't as simple as making an appointment, and I would need to mail the info paperwork to the son and he would fill it out and return it to them. The only thing the person on the phone could focus on was that my resident needed to get into the doctor for her checkup yesterday.

Of course she and I arrived at the appointment, and upon going to the window and explaining (again) why I didn't have the paperwork with me (and God forbid, the all important insurance card. The numbers just aren't acceptable) I was told that without the paperwork she would not be able to be seen today and we would have to make another appointment.

I was not mean or aggressive, I did not yell or make any funny faces. I calmly told this woman that yes they were going to see my resident today and if not I would not be bringing her back. The girl started in again about policy, blah, blah, and I interrupted to ask what she would like me to do? Of course she didn't have a clue so she had to go get another person to tell me that answer.

This woman was far worse than the first one and began berating me for coming in without the paperwork. I calmly told her that the best I could do was give her the son's number and she needed to figure out how to get the info from him. After giving her the number I went and had a seat. A few moments later I heard girl number one saying, You can speak to her in a moment, first I need this information." At that point I went back up to the window so that I would be ready to take the phone. Girl number two in on fire by this time and lashes out at me that I would just need to be patient. I replied (in my sweetest voice possible) that I was not aware of being impatient with anyone, and she spat back at me, "Well you are!" Dumping a bit more syrup on my voice I replied, "I'm so sorry. I hope you can forgive me." She said nothing so I ask for her forgiveness twice more until she finally granted it to me. Then I ask if she would like me to go sit down until the son was ready to speak to me. She mumbled no so I stayed there. Then it occurred to me that I had a great opportunity for a little love experiment.

As I stood there I kept repeating to myself (but directing the words to her soul), "light and love, light and love, light and love." Outwardly she didn't change one bit, but after I talked with the son (who was upset because he had barely time to fill out the papers let alone return them. Knowing they were listening I calmly told him, "_____, we are doing the best we can to take care of your mom. I explained the issue of you being in another state, and you and I can only do what we can do. It is not your fault that much of the information was lost in your mother's head. You can only know what you know. If she is seen today, fine, if she is not seen today she will still be fine and that is our only concern.") I handed the phone back at the end of our conversation and ask girl number two if there was anything else she needed from me. She smiled at least a full half smile and said, "No." And then added, "Thank you for your help." It was all I could do not to snap my head around to see where the ventriloquist was hiding. Those words could not have come out of her mouth!

But of course they could because I bypassed her ego and saluted her soul and that was who was answering me at the end of the conversation. Made me smile for some time after the encounter.

Of course it did not keep me from discussing the behavior of the office staff with the surgeon. I told him that I had much respect for his work and I thought he was not only nice but kinda cute, but I would never come and see him if I needed surgeon after what I had just been through since I deal with him for about five minutes and the rest of the staff the remainder of my visit.

Since I did not speak with anger or nastiness, he took my feelings seriously. After we discussed my patient and he found out my background and we had a little bonding moment over a person he did surgery on and I saw for home care, he again reiterated that we would talk to the staff and explain how he would like things handled.

At the end of the visit he told me he would like to see her again in six weeks, glanced at my resident, and changed it to eight weeks. I think he got a glimmer of how difficult it is for her to go out and have to deal with a different environment and strangers. I told him that I would bring her back unless she was on hospice care (which she probably will be) and in that case I would not be bringing her back. He told me he understood and thanked me for letting him know. How hard was that human to human exchange? NOT!

What about you guys? Any horror stories along this vein that you would like to share?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Does this mean I am a square?.............................

I went rug shopping yesterday, first to Sam's Club and then to Wall mart. I ended up finding the perfect rugs for my laundry/work-out/work room (otherwise known as stage two of the basement re-do). Then I found new rugs for my kitchen. I have to be careful about throw rugs with the OPs, but they are not allowed in the kitchen and so I get to have them there. The other rugs were a couple of years old and looked like it. Anyway, I found some reasonably priced rugs that I really liked and when I got up to the check out discovered that they were half price so I went back and got two more. This morning, as I was pouring my coffee and admiring my new rugs it occurred to me that the pattern was squares (I have never been a floral person, and fruit in the kitchen has never appealed to me either), just like the new pillows (I purchased for the new paint job in the living room) have a square pattern. Do you think this is the start of a geometric stage or am I simply a square? Regardless, I like them and they make me feel happy and contented.

So, in my work-out room (my) Mister made me a board that holds all of my free weights. For whatever reason I only had one 1 pounder and one 4 pounder. I am sure that I used them for a client and never got them back, and I really can't see me using the 1 pounders but the display wouldn't be complete without them. We went to get some of that rubber flooring that they use in gyms and I found one 4 pound weight but they didn't have a match. I could have used two different colored ones but yes, I AM that anal about those kind of things. They had these blue ones that had most of the rubber coating "chewed" off (his word not mine) and I figured I could remove the rest of it and have a matching pair. So I ask the salesperson how much of a discount he would give me for taking them off his hands? He said 50%. I countered with 75% since I would be spending money in his store that day ("enough actually that you should give them to me for free but I understand why you cannot do that" was the full sentence). He ask me how much and when I told him I was getting three containers of flooring at $49.95 each he gave me the (originally $8.00) weights 75% off. I still felt like I had gotten a deal which just goes to show that we can make ourselves believe anything we want to. When I got home, I was admiring all my free weights lined up in order of size when I noticed that I don't have any 6 pounders. How can that be? It is too much of a jump to go from 5 to 8 (I THINK I can live without 7 pounders) so now I won't feel complete until I add those to my collection. And of course I can't start my new program until I have the room finished and everything complete because, well, just because. But when I do there will be no more excuses!

One question (and I know you know the answer to this Maria) and then I must go start my day. Is is too early to start seeds inside? I found this little plastic greenhouse a few years ago ridiculously cheap and I have always been going to grow my own plants from seeds. This year I have actually purchased the seeds, pots and started dirt which is farther than I ever got in years gone by. Now I just need to know when to start the seeds. We really can't set things out for good until mid-late May, maybe early June in my area without danger of a late season frost. If I plant them now (which is what I want to do) will they wither away in my greenhouse before I can put them in the ground?

Well, that was actually two questions, but if anyone can help me out with the answers I would greatly appreciate it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Goodbye blister............................

I removed the dead skin (old blister) from my foot two nights ago (it healed nicely) so I decided it was time to post, however short, to get the pic off the top of my blog. I also get that as much as I love wounds not everyone gets into them and having that be the first thing people see might be a bit off-setting.

I feel like the last two weeks have been another marathon. I have been doing home care for long enough now that the patients I first saw are getting sick and going back on caseload. Of course they want me to come back and work with them (I am that good:)!) and of course I can't say no to them so I have had double the people I normally see. That will end next week and with luck so will the yucky weather so I can pick my training back up in above freezing temperatures. That will be nice.

The next step of our basement remodel is about finished and it is time to purge the final room and get started on turning it into a media room. Does anyone need a good double bed mattress? I have decided that I don't need to store it for several more years and if I ever completely close the business I can sell the four Temperpedic twin beds and buy a new mattress to set up a guest room. I also have to make a decision about all the Tupperware and crap like that I have that I use once or twice a year and am tired of storing. I totally know that if I get rid of it I will be upset at some point in time, but it takes up so much space. One would think I could improvise with something else, and I am really hoping that my desire to reduce my material possessions will win out over my desire to own the perfect cooking tools. Or non-cooking tool. Do you know how many things are sold to prepare raw foods (blender, juicer, food processor, dehydrator, mandolin, just to name a few).

Hope all is well with you. I have not had much time to check blogs and see how everyone is doing, but know I think of you often. Take good care.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Race update......................................................

This is a little souvenir that I brought home from my 26.2

I first noticed it somewhere around mile six or eight and when I changed my clothes to head to the airport (in the hotel bathroom since we couldn't get a late check out) I decided it was a good idea just to leave on the shoes since I could walk on it okay. When we went through security and I had to take off my shoes I didn't see any blood on my sock so I opted to look and was sweetly rewarded with that yucky looking thing. It was intact, remains so, and is reabsorbing nicely so no harm no foul. I always loose a toenail (I think I might loose two this time) but never a blister like this and I am totally blaming it on Asics for not making my shoe any longer and having to go up to their "improved" version of that. I will adjust.

But the race was great! I started out so strong from all the winter training and finished my first ten miles in two hours, and sixteen miles in about three in a half hours. That is a really good time for me. About an hour and a half into the race it started to rain and did so for the next few hours. Again, because of the conditions I had been training in the rain and wind didn't bother me a bit. Who would have thought sub-zero conditions could be a blessing?

After mile sixteen things get a little blurry for me. The race was an out and back course and I kept waiting for the turn around. Waiting and waiting. Finally I saw the end of the road! Only to find out that the course turned and then went into this park thing and around a lake. I will admit it, I broke down a little at that point. The poor boy at the water station. "Would you like a drink?" Teary eyed me, "No thanks, I just need a moment." So on I trudged, gave myself a little pep talk and kept going. When I emerged from the park I knew I was close to mile 20 and I had this vision of the movie the Wizard of Oz when they run out of the poppy fields and can see the Emerald city in the far distance. This vision gave me some stamina back and I was able to pick up my pace for a bit.

Around mile 22 the bowl issues began (which is one mile later than the last marathon) and this slowed me down for the next couple of miles. The last two miles I have no excuse... I was just tired and moved slow. But moved I did and finished the race in just over six hours. Since coming home I have not had a chance to look up my official time so I can't share. I still knocked a good 15 minutes off my first marathon time and am very proud of that fact.

The day after the marathon I had planned to take off and lay around. As it turned out I ended up working (outside the house) a 12 hour day. I am sure some of my PT patients thought I was the one in need of therapy as I could hardly walk, but in retrospect I am sure the day did me good and by yesterday I was walking normal and all the soreness was gone.

And I am already thinking about my next one!