Monday, December 29, 2008

Final post for 2008.........................................

As 2008 draws to an end I feel like I have finally surrendered to it.

A week and a half before Christmas six out of seven of us got a bad, bad bug. This was two days after I decided to paint the living room, one week before our scheduled resident Christmas party. Of course the painting got thrown off course and wasn't finished (as planned) before (my) Mister had to take some time off for a hernia repair (I know. Why would anyone schedule voluntary surgery two weeks before Christmas? He has kept putting it off and I INSISTED that he do it before the end of the year since it takes us until June to meet our insurance deductible and I didn't want to have to pay out of pocket in January simply because he wouldn't make a few phone calls)

Of course, surgery went well (doc says he could run three weeks status post. I ask just in case since (my) Mister hasn't actually ran a step since the Marathon a year ago October... I believe in miracles), everyone was well for the party and had a great time singing along with my friends that came and played the guitar and banjo. Ya it was the week after the party that the living room was completely painted (the old me would have never stood for this. The new me was completely cool with it), but so what? Christmas day came and went without a hitch, the tree is packed away and my living room looks just like I pictured it (minus some art work I plan to commission to finish it off). Life is good.

What I discovered a-new the last few weeks was that the more I tried to control circumstances and plan things the more out of control and scattered I feel. If I focused on staying in the moment and letting things play out, life seems to unfold not only effortlessly, but just the way I wanted it to. Everything gets done, everyone is happy, and I get a surprise or two along the way. It really is easier to just go with the flow rather than fight to get upstream against the current.

So why is it, that even as I write that there is a part of me that knows I will be fighting a current of two come 2009? I know that my life is going the way it is suppose to. I know that all of my needs will be met and that I will also be blessed with much more than basis needs. I know that life lessons will present themselves and it is up to me to learn them now or wait to learn them the next time they show up. I know that learning them now would be best for my growth and yet I am under no pressure to do so.

Just to prove that point I have been coasting the last few days, hanging out, reading for pleasure, kicking back and relaxing. Things I normally don't do. It has been good for me, and everyone around me has seemed to survive it as well. Imagine that!

So in gratitude I say "So long 2008, you were good to me and for me," and "Welcome 2009. Can't wait to see what gifts and blessings you have in store for me." Bring it on...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

12-10-08 is "Call in Gay Day"........................................

Have you heard of this day? I don't really know the details of how it originated, but to show support to same sex unions one is to call in sick to work and not spend any money, or any portion of the two that they are able to do. The nature of my business means I will be performing basic care for my OPs, but I am not doing the home care job and I will not be spending money on this day.

The biggest reason I am supporting this idea?

I put gay marriage rights in the civil liberties category. Yes! It is that simple...

So, in conjunction with the defeat of the CA law recognizing gay marriage I heard something (again, sorry about no real details) that there is some state that is trying to make it illegal for a gay person to be a foster parent.

I try not to be too political and truly believe everyone should be allowed to make decisions about their lives for themselves, but we must speak up for the children.

For whatever reason, and most often the reason involves both physical and emotional pain, foster kids end up in a system that is not equipped to handle their needs effectively. Due to a situation that I will not talk details about I learned that in my school district there is not ONE foster parent. Not one! This means that any kids needing to be removed from their homes in my area will also be removed from their school district. So you are telling me if there was a man or woman out there willing to help out a child, and able to pass all the requirements of becoming a foster parent the people wanting this law passed would rather see this child go into a broken system instead of a loving environment because of sexual preference?

If I were a foster parent I doubt I would be sharing my sex life with any foster children, and believe the same would be true for anyone with a same sex preference. Why the need for a distinction between the two, especially considering that most of the children that a person would be fostering would have seen much more graphic crap than a person's sexual preference or they probably wouldn't be in the system in the first place. Right?

The other thing I must mention in support of same sex unions is also pretty simple. Look at the divorce rate of heterosexual couples. We have done a pretty good job of screwing up marriage, making a joke out of intended life-long commitments when the marriage doesn't even last a year. Compare this to a same sex couple that has no legal binds and yet manage to stick together and work things out for years and years while fighting for the simple right of having their love and commitment recognized as valid. I for one think that those of us that jump from union to union might just have a thing or two we could learn from these couples.

Lastly, I understand that people have interpreted the Bible to say that same sex unions is a sin. I am not here to argue religion with those of you that believe this way. I am only offering up for your mature consideration the possibility that the main theme of the Bible is love and acceptance and love can express itself in a wide variety of form. Stop and consider if you are feeling loving towards another human being no matter what the circumstances of the situation and I think the gap to mutual understanding will decrease considerably no matter what the topic is.

Nough said...
Ahhhh, holidays................

As I travel from home to home bring good cheer and exercise sheets I get to see the homes transformed into various states of holiday cheer. My favorite to date...

A very traditional nativity scene arranged perfectly on a table, and at the foot of the table a VERY laid back red-nosed reindeer hanging out, sprawled across a golden sleigh.

Somehow the two balanced out the opposing angles of Christmas just perfectly!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Since we are on the subject of healing......................

Last September I was ask to take a weekend seminar for my PT job. It is a program that focuses on improving peoples balance through concentrating on strengthening the three componates of balance; vestibular (ears) ocularmotor (eyes) and proproception (sensation intake of the feet).

It is a really great program, but I will confess that I have been miffed from time to time about the follow-up WEEKLY MONDAY MORNING meetings that make me leave my house by 8:30. Do you have any clue how hard it is to get four women up, dressed, and breakfasted by that time? I know, whaa, whaa. Had I know that piece of the training I might have turned down the opportunity which would have been my loss. See, there is a good reason for us not to be able to see into the future!

So, I get this client about three weeks ago. At that time his life consisted of eating and laying in bed with an occasional fall and/or doctors appointment sprinkled in here and there. To say the least he was not thrilled with the idea of exercise/therapy but I pored on the Patty charm and got him to work with me. To be perfectly honest what I did was pray all the way to his house for my angels to get him to work with me and then give thanks and praise (to both him and my angels) when it happened.

Two short weeks later his wife shared with me that he is now reading the newspaper and that he watched three hours of television with her the other night. Now this might now seem like much of an improvement in the quality of his life (and let me say that he is also up and walking around and doing other things now that he is not so fearful of falling). The point here is his improvement has positively impacted the quality of his relationship/interaction with his spouse. How cool is that for both of them?

I went into his home thinking I could have some impact on his balance to reduce his fall risk, but by having him work to strengthen his eye muscles the program has had a much greater effect on his overall quality of life.

Why post about this? As I was thinking about his changes I realized that I am still putting things into neat little packages and wonder if this isn't somehow limiting the outcomes of my life. If I were more open to unknown, unseen possibilities would I be even more blessed than I already am? Is that selfish to even think about?

Maybe we should all try an experiment and practice being purposefully open to possibility instead of perceived outcomes and chart what comes into our lives as a result of doing so. What do ya think?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

An early Christmas miracle.................................

NOTE: If you get a little squeamish in the middle of the story hang in there I promise a happy ending...

Last Saturday morning I woke up to find Fred (the cat that adopted up last March) not bearing any weight on his right front paw. Having not gotten around to having him de-clawed yet I called the only vet I found that does Lazar de-clawing to see if they could see him since he needed to have a check up before they would do the procedure anyway.

Of course they could not fit him in on Saturday but said if he didn't seem to be too distressed they didn't see any reason that he could not wait until Monday to be seen. Except for the altered gait Fred was acting perfectly normal so we went with that plan.

Come Monday the vet checked him out and Fred let him know how unhappy he was when it came to having the paw touched. The Vet stepped back and declared that the only way they could treat him would be to keep him overnight, knock him out, X-ray the leg and go from there. For these diagnostic procedures the bill would be a minimum of $400.00. If anything needed to be done it would go up from there.

The faithful readers of this blog know how much I love Fred, but he is a cat and the way I was brought up animals are farther down on the food chain than humans (not to mention it is against the law to not seek medical treatment for your children) and I could just not see spending this kind of money to find out what was wrong with him. I called (my) Mister and he concurred so I packed Fred back into the kitty crate and brought him home.

In the small amount of time the Vet was actually able to check out the leg Fred only made noise when he arrived at the paw so I deduced that the leg was not broken, and that he had done something to the paw. We held his paw over the sink and dumped some peroxide over the paw and then put some antibiotic ointment on the paw.

We repeated this procedure again yesterday morning, and last night when Fred was jumping up onto his favorite ledge he hit the paw and some blood spurted out of it.

This morning he is weight bearing on the paw and seems to be just fine which totally supports my theory that the body is a miraculous thing and given time it will often heal itself without a lot of intervention. I am thrilled and grateful beyond belief. This makes two times now that I have almost had to lose Fred and then got him back.

And even though I know it isn't logical, somehow I feel $400.00 richer! Crazy I know...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The kindness of a stranger......................................

I know it has been a while since I last posted, but this gift was meant to be shared as a perfect thing to give thanks for around the dinner table tomorrow.

A few months back I started being a hospice volunteer for a family with three (tweenish aged) children. Last September was the first time I threw a football in years but I tell you within a couple of weeks I was spiraling that bugger with the greatest of ease (just like riding a bike). Let me also say that I haven't a clue about computer war games, but it is enough that I just sit and watch so my lack on knowledge in that area has not been a problem so far.

Anyway, on last Monday's visit the plan was to make pies for the holiday. One of the girls wanted to have a pie to take to their celebration at school the following day and I had not brought the ingredients to make another one but told her we could run to the store and get fake/frozen pie crust and canned filling if she wanted to.

When we arrived at the store I discovered I had left my purse at home. YES! My life has been that crazy lately! What to do?

Not wanting to disappoint I told the girls to wait in the car (smaller town than the one I live in, and they ARE old enough) and I went inside and ask to talk to the manager. I explained to her that I had promised to help this child make a pie, had forgotten my purse, and was there some way she could float me a loan until the following afternoon when my husband got off work (he drives right by every day as part of his 50 minute commute). She said, "Sure. I can do that." After giving her a hug and many blessings, I went out and got the girls, we got the goods, and were on our way home in no time at all.

Back in the car, one of the girls ask me what I had said to the woman to get her to help us out. After I told her she said, "Man. I would never have the guts to do that." Which gave me a perfect in to share my belief that one should always ask/go for what they want because being told no is never the worst thing in the world and people will often surprise you by stepping up to help when you think your chances are slim to none.

So folks, listen up. It may appear that times are economically hard right now, and I am positive that the $12.00 that woman loaned me would have been felt had I not repaid her. SHE DID IT ANYWAY. I am not advocating that you take this story as license to spend money foolishly, or that you absolutely should put your change into every Salvation Army bucket you pass this season. What I am advocating is that you listen to your heart and if it prompts you to share something you have received with another then do so with without fear and without worrying that it will cause you lack. The best way to gain abundance is to practice gratitude by sharing what you have already been given.

I hope this story warms your soul and sets the tone for your holiday season. May your blessings be many and may your cup be filled to the brim with all your true hearts desire. Practice gratitude and give thanks, tomorrow and every day.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Conversations.....................................

The phone rang yesterday. It was my youngest...

"Hey, Mommy, Did I leave any of my books at home?"

(me) "Didn't know it was my day to watch them."

"Well, it's just strange. My satchel is here, but my books aren't with it and I was sure I had picked everything up this morning. I just thought maybe you would see them on the counter."

(me) Nope. No books as far as my eyes can see."

"Okay. Thanks for checking."

About fifteen minutes later the phone rings again...

"I've been robbed!"

(me) Wow! That's a little dramatic don't ya think?"

"No! I mean someone got into my car and took my books, Cd's, wallet, and tic-tacs."

"They took your tic-tacs?" Apparently you forgot to put a circle of protection around your car this morning when you went to class."

"Yeah, on both counts. I went back towards class, but something was just bugging me so I went back and checked and I realized that only some things were missing. But at least I have my drivers licence because you know how I never keep it in my... Oh! Wait! I took care of it after I voted so that was in there too."

(me) Okay. hold on a second. You are fine, it will be a hassle maybe, but as long as you are not hurt everything else can be dealt with.

"Ya! I know. I just need to get to class so I was wondering if you could call the bank and cancel my debit/ATM cards?"

(me) I'll take care of it, just stay in the moment and don't worry about anything else.

"Man! When I was driving in to the ramp today my gut was telling me to go park on the third level, but I didn't listen. Should have listened I guess?"

(me) Go to class, things will work themselves out."

Third phone call later in the day...

"Well, I went to campus security and reported what they took (ME - see one can't say break in if they don't lock their doors. And for the record, I am guilty of this as well). The guy ask me if I noticed it right away and I told him it took me about a half hour since it isn't all that uncommon for me to lose things. He said that they have been having a rash of theft in the ramp and he came and took finger prints off my car."

She is fine now folks. When she got home we talked about how violated it feels to know that someone had been in your space and took something from you, and yet no one can ever take the really important stuff, the stuff you are made of, unless you allow the experience to change you. Oh! And when I went to the store to buy bread I replaced her tic-tacs. See, I am not the heartless mother that it might seem I am at times.

I can't help but wonder if the person (s) that took her books were just up to mischief or if they were financially desperate. I like to think someone would only steal if they had no other choice (yup, rose colored glasses I know). I guess, for my sanity and peace of mind, I have to think that there are NOT that many people in the world that are just simply evil, that most of us are driven by perceived circumstances or beliefs.

And I sincerely hope that the few hundred bucks that the person (s) gets when they sell what they took goes to feeding hungry children or some other worthy effort.

It makes it easier for me to sleep at night having this belief, so let me be.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Follow up to the last post.....................

As you might recall, I made a visit to the wife of the man in the yellow house, and discovered that I am known as Fred's mom.

Last weekend, I was returning home from a run and the man in the yellow house was chatting with the neighbor to the right of us. Being on the right of them there was no way to avoid an encounter, but I will be honest enough to admit to trying to figure out how I might do so.

I opted to go for a pleasant nod and smile and just as I felt the distance between us was appropriate to do so I looked up and the man in the yellow house was coming toward me. Me? Panic? Okay. Just a little... What could he want?

What he wanted was to share with me how much it meant that I had offered assistance to his wife and how much he appreciated my offer. And then, right there in the middle of our block the man in the yellow house and I hugged. From the heart! WOW!

He went on to ask if we could use some squash that had been very prolific in his garden. Reciprocal helpfulness between the two of us? See why I believe in miracles?

But ya, I am not perfect yet. I went home to share the encounter with the family and that imperfect part of me had to ask, "Are you sitting down? You will never believe what just happen" before sharing with them. And two days later, when Fred was trying to get out the door, informed him that while the man in the yellow house had given us squash he would still probably want to trap him if he went in his yard.

Do you think? Or is my weak faith in people's ability to change the issue at hand?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

My latest claim to fame..................

Some of you might recall my past troubles with "The Man in the Yellow House T.M.I.T.Y.H.)." The guy that hates neighborhood animals and likes to trap cats. I have taken to calling him T.M.I.T.Y.H as a way of being neutral and not emotional.

Anyway, word in the neighborhood is that his bladder cancer has returned. Regardless of how negative he is this is still not happy news, and I have been debating whether or not to send him a note to let him know I am holding good thoughts for him and his wife. (Am I the only one that writes letters in her head for several days before actually committing them to paper to get the wording just right?)

Sunday, I was returning from a five mile run when I noticed that T.M.I.T.Y.H. was in his back yard mowing the lawn and his wife was unloading some stuff from her car. In the moment I decided to just let her know I was available if they needed anything and headed up their driveway. Of course she looked at me like I was a total stranger. I introduced myself and when she still looked confused I pointed to my house (two doors down) and said my address. Then I added, "the house with the big travel trailer in the drive, to which she added, "You mean the ____'s house." No, this side of _____'s house. Then I said, "I'm Fred's mom."

INSTANT RECOGNITION!

She got a big smile on her face, and said, Oh! Patty." Then went on to rave about what a cute boy Fred is (For those of you who are not regular readers, Fred is my naughty cat that likes to sun himself on their deck), and we had a quick visit. Now, two days later, I am still smiling over the fact that my claim to neighborhood fame is being my cat's mom. How cool is that?

Friday, October 03, 2008

This is for your Maria......................................

I got this from a friend and thought you would enjoy it if you have not read it already (or even if you have). I don't have an e-mail address so this was the next best way I could think to share it with you (and everyone)...


MENTAL HOSPITAL PHONE MENU

Hello and thank you for calling The State Mental Hospital. Please select from the following options menu:

If you are obsessive-compulsive, press 1 repeatedly.

If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2 for you.

If you have multiple personalities, press 3, 4, 5 and 6.

If you are paranoid, we know who you are and what you want, stay on the line so we can trace your call.

If you are delusional, press 7 and your call will be forwarded to the Mother Ship.

If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell You which number to press.

If you are manic-depressive, hang up. It doesn't matter which number you press,nothing will make you happy anyway.

If you are dyslexic, press 9-6-9-6.

If you are bipolar, please leave a message after the beep or before the beep or after the beep. But Please wait for the beep.

If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.
If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.
If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.

If you have low self-esteem, please hang up. Our operators are too busy to talk with you.

If you are menopausal, put the gun down,hang up, turn on the fan, lie down and cry. You won't be crazy forever.

If you are blond, don't press any buttons.You'll just mess it up.

This coming week is National Mental Health Care week. You can do your part by remembering to contact at least one unstable person to show you care.

(Well, my job is done . Your turn!!)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This life I've created........................................

When I was in my twenties, I thrived on chaos. If my life wasn't full of crisis, perceived pain, and drama, I (unconsciously) set out to create some. Fortunately for me I somehow learned along the way that the only way I could be a victim was if I saw myself as one, and that I was the only one in charge of my life and my destiny.

Did this mean crap stopped happening to me? Nope. It just meant that I started looking at it as an opportunity to learn instead of another excuse to lament about, "poor me."

The last couple of weeks I have been gifted lots of new learning and interactions with challenging individuals that once upon a time would have sent me into a bitching frenzy. I've come a long way baby!

If it were possible I would have no desire to exchange what I now carry inside of me for the taunt skin and youthful glow of a twenty something. Maybe I don't look lovingly at my "bat wings" (Flabby upper arms for you youngsters reading this) and crows feet, but I am okay with the fact that they are part of the package that is me. As my next birthday gets set to role around I am holding this image of a one-of-a-kind treasure wrapped in crumpled, recycled wrapping paper. Once you get past the wrapping you are awed and amazed at what you find inside.

Are there any of these aging presents in your world? If so, do yourself a favor and take the time to value the gifts you will discover by spending time with us old souls.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Back to school................................

Not me, not yet, but I am thinking of buying/getting one of those Internet minister degrees to "assist" me in my pursuit of an official grief counselor certificate. Oh! And my youngest is taking a photography class for fun (and to fulfill one of her required credits) so I am unofficially taking the class with her to learn more things about my new camera. Also not what I am blogging about.

Over the summer I have gotten to know one of our neighbors that my youngest has been babysitting for for years. She has two children, one requiring about forty minutes of before school care. When she called to ask my youngest if she was available (since she leaves the house at 6:30 for work now that school has started up for her this was a no go) I convinced her it would be fine (that is no problem for me) if her daughter just came her for that short time. I was honored when she agreed.

This young lady (I don't think she would appreciate the term "little girl" anymore) is very sweet, quiet, and shy (around me anyway). The first morning she was here she comes into the room where I am and says, "which one of those clocks out there is the right time?" Poor thing! We have three clocks (wall, oven, micro) and they all had close, but different times on them. Smart woman that I am I suggested we compare the times to our computers. You guessed it, we got two different numbers there as well, proof that in this house close counts. She thought for a minute and said, "Well, eleven is in the middle of all of them so we can go with that." Smart kid!

Next day she comes in and five minutes later it begins to rain cats and dogs (wouldn't it be cool to really see that expression in action one time?). I inquired if she had brought the rain gear we had talked about the previous day. Her reply, "Sorta." What did sorta mean? "I have a sweatshirt." Nonplussed she reassured me that the rain was going to stop before she needed to leave. And you guessed it again. The rain stopped and she headed merrily off to school. That is what I consider a psychic-in-the-making.

It is good to have some young blood around here again, if only for a few minutes a day. The pets are all loving the extra attention as well. Lady luck has shined down upon us yet again.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Running the Mighty Mac....................................

I haven't talked much about running lately because I haven't done much of it truth be told. Early in the spring I did a run that allowed me to enter a lotto to run across the Mackinaw bridge. They have been doing a walk (not allowing anyone to run for safety reasons) across for the past fifty years, and five years ago added a run limited to three hundred people.

Anyway, I was chosen this year to participate and had a great time doing so. The distance was about four and a half miles and since it was recreational, and I never remember to turn on/off my stop watch, I have no official finishing time Who cares? I finished and had fun. That makes me a winner.


A fellow fun-loving participant snapped this picture of me just as the sun was coming up.


Pretty big bridge isn't it?


Oh! Ya! The whole thing is part of the Governor's counsel on physical fitness, and our current governor is the one that started the run as she herself is a runner. The week of the race I got an e-mail from favorite coffee place that ask for vacation pictures sporting your coffee cup. The pictures are entered into a monthly drawing to win a month's worth of free coffee. After the race I ask Ms. Governor herself to pose with me to give me an edge towards winning. Yup, I am the one with her hair plastered to her forehead like a bad-bowl-cut-gone-wrong, and the blond in the red shirt is the very supportive, accommodating governor of my state.

I am so going to win!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Recovering...............................

The same day I cleaned my house, the Chaplin from hospice came to visit our residents. He is a funny, down to Earth guy who doesn't talk religion so much as he lives it. As I was talking to him about a totally unrelated topic I heard myself saying, When someone hurts you the best thing you can do is pray for their happiness." Why did I see that dog woman's face right at that moment (along with a couple of others) I wonder? It is never about what someone has done to you (physical violence and harm to a child not included), but about how you perceive things and allow them to color your world long after the other person has moved on. So, I am better now.

And it is time to talk politics.................................

I make it a rule to not talk politics with the general public, but you guys are my trusted friends so I can make an exception to that rule. I need some help in this area.

I will confess to ALWAYS having voted democratic when it comes to president. I will also confess to wanting John Edwards to win the nomination, because I knew something about him aside from political commercials. I try and avoid the news and news paper at all cost (which is why it was almost a week before I heard about John's affair. Just like with Bill, I would rather NOT know the details of his sex life, as I am certain he could care less about mine) to keep the negativity away from me. I have a belief that most of what we hear and read as "news" is what someone has decided we need to hear at least as often as it is fully, factually the truth. I have been using the current political commercials that do reach my ears as meditation practice. When I hear one I try and instantly close my mind and go inside rather than focus on what the commercial says and my negative response to it.

Though this is working well for me, it is not doing much to prepare me to make an informed vote. Not voting is not an option for me. I take that right very serious and would never not exercise it. I was thinking if those of you out there that have made up your minds would share your thoughts with me it would help me learn about the two men as people. I know that you have been an Obama supporter from the get go Sheri, but please share your heart with me on why you are so cemented in your choice.

I did hear yesterday (On Dr. Oz) that one of his guests supports Obama because he feels his style is to bring people together to effect change instead of playing party politics. This sounds good to me, but during his campaigning I have always heard some degree of slamming his opponent.

In a perfect world I would like to vote for the guy that takes the millions of dollars spent on slandering the other guy and uses it to help those less fortunate. I would need to know nothing else about him. Since that isn't like to happen in this election I am asking all of you to let me in on you points of view. If you don't want to post about it, send me an e-mail. Thanks for your help.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I have so much in my head, and really nothing I want to write about. Because I am being selective? Because I have created a certain feel for this blog and what I am currently feeling would expose some ugliness that I want to keep hidden from the world?

More likely because I know that all the darting thoughts are completely invalid, part of whatever dark moment I have decided to sink into for a while. Figments of my imagination.

Did I tell you I have been put on notice?

Night before last the youngest and I were taking our nightly walk with Emma and she says to me, "You need to figure out some solution to whatever you are going through because you have been more negative than I can ever remember you being."

Called out by a nineteen year old kid! Ya! I've been that bad. In my defense I questioned whether or not I have been that negative or if it appears that I am being that extra negative because it is coming on the heels of being so upbeat and positive? If that is the case then good for me... One can't truly enjoy the positive if they don't linger in the negative from time to time. Right?

So today I am taking the bull by the horns and cleaning my house. Don't ask me why but an orderly house gives me a sense of control. Getting every room just the way I like it somehow gives me a sense that I can get everything else in my world just the way I want it. Glancing at a corner and NOT seeing animal fluff along the base boards gives me a feeling of everything else being manageable. Kind of like a placebo, if it works who cares how or why it works.

One more thing... I came across a quote that has also been helpful in lifting the dark veil of feelings:

Instead of believing that you know what is best for others, trust that they know what's best for themselves.

That sure takes a lot of responsibility off one doesn't it? Also leaves lots of time for one to self-nurture. Permission to do so granted.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ego out of control....................................

I have been crabby the past few days. Crabby enough that even I am noticing. Here's a perfect example of what I am talking about.

Night before last I had some books I wanted to donate to the library so my youngest and I decided to walk them up and take Emma with us. As we are walking along, minding our own business, we approach another dog with it's owner. As we near them the lady says, "Oh! Here comes the dog that is not social." (I need to insert here that a few nights prior my youngest and Emma had met these two and had a conversation about the fact that Emma isn't fond of other dogs.) Just like a mother bear protecting her cub I got instantly defensive and replied, "Who are you to call my dog unsocial? She is VERY social with people, she just doesn't like other dogs." This woman fires back, "It's easy for dogs to be social with people. She isn't social with other dogs. Don't you want your dog to be social with other dogs?" Just like I was a bad mother or something. I began to explain to this COMPLETE AND TOTAL STRANGER that she had absolutely NO RIGHT to say something so negative to my dog when she was within hearing distance. The woman went on to try and tell me that the reason she had said that was because of her conversation with my youngest, but I was having nothing to do with her explanation. I told her she was talking to me, and she did not, in any shape manner of form, have the right to comment on my dogs social skills. Picture this... Two women standing on a public street corner having a loud "discussion," two other people walking their dog pass us, round the corner, and glance back to see if a physical fight was going to break out. I am normally not a person to make a public scene, and at the time I remember the sane part of my brain asking me what I was doing at that moment. Finally, the lady said she was sorry if she had offended me, and I spate out forgiveness, grabbed my dog's leash, and flounced off down the sidewalk.

WOW~

There really is no rational explanation for my behavior, even if I choose to believe Emma can pick up on negative energy. The energy I gave off after the comment was far more damaging to Emma's psyche than the comment of a stranger. Whether her comment was appropriate or not, my response definitely wasn't.

Having said that, the incident got me to thinking about how important it is for my dog to be a certain way. I was a very stern parent when I raised my three human children. If I said something I followed through, EVERY SINGLE TIME. That's a lot of hard work. I can be honest and say I don't care to do with my dog. The vision I get is of a Nazi dog trainer with the perfectly behaved dog that cowers when she comes near her (with a face strangely similar to the woman on the street, but I digress), but I get that that is an egoic fantasy and that I could be more consistent with my pets, I just choose not to. Honestly, I got the dog to make my youngest happy, for our enjoyment, not to work hard to make Emma a well rounded dog that is friend to man and beast. Is that wrong? As long as no other dogs are harmed in the process is there a real benefit to Emma to break the news to here she is not human and should be kind to her kind?

I guess I am going to have to do some more thinking on those things once I get my ego back under control, I get over myself, and stop being so crabby.

Wonder how long that will take?

Monday, August 18, 2008

At long last..........................

After another productive weekend we have filled our third (and hopefully final for a few months anyway) dumperster and the new bathroom is finished! I have been drinking extra fluids just for the excuse to go spend time in it I love it so much. JK, but when you see the pictures I think you will agree with me it turned out beautifully. Enjoy...


This is the piece we found at an antique store to turn into a vanity.


My fabulous sink with the waterfall faucet. I should have had the water running to show you just how cool that is. Sorry.


Looks good side by side doesn't it? The black toilet is a pain to keep clean but the look is totally worth it.A view of the shower. Don't you love the color of the shower curtain? I found it on clearance for a mear $9.
The infamous $75 soap dish.



I had these cut out put in to hold soap and shampoo. Much nicer than one of those things hanging from the shower head or just setting the stuff on the floor.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back from vacation..............................


A wonderful time was had by all (ten of us), and I took over two hundred pictures with my new camera (NO! I do not plan to bore you with them). I actually took more like four hundred pictures, but the new digital cameras have this great little button called, "delete" to separate the chafe from the wheat. My camera is an SLR/digital so I have fun playing with shutter speeds, depth of field, all that jazz, and when it didn't work I could get rid of the evidence and start over.

And I took my knitting class. The knitting class that ended up not using knitting of any type. That what happens I guess when one is successful at staying in the now and doesn't really look into the details of her future class.

What we did was learn different techniques of felting (I knew this part, I just still envisioned some knitting taking place for some reason). At the beginning of the class everyone was given a couple bags of fiber (this is what it is called at the point of having been removed from the sheep and dyed, but not yet spun into actual knitting yarn) and told to pull out a couple of strands. Then we laid over a thick piece of decorators foam and jabbed at it with this thing that held five, long, darning type needles.

About two minutes into this I missed the foam and broke all of the needles. Felt just like I was back in grade school having to confess to having broken the only magenta crayon. Fortunately the instructor was prepared so she had extra needles.
So, I am blissing out, jabbing, layering different colors, and jabbing some more, when the instructor says to me, "So. What are you making?" What? We're suppose to be making something? I thought we were just suppose to be getting the hang of jabbing a needle into foam rubber. Since I hadn't broken any more needles I was feeling pretty good about things until she said that. I was making nothing. Of course I didn't tell her that. I told her I hadn't decided yet and then spent the rest of the class trying to make my felt into something, anything.
As I looked around the room, the other, more experienced felters were creating things like hats and scarfs. This is what I ended up with...

One more example of my uniqueness!
I loved the experience, even if I "didn't make anything" functional, or even recognizable. The fun of the moment, and the interaction with the other ladies made the day a total success for me. And who knows, one of these days I just might figure out what I made if I work at it long enough...
It could happen.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Alive and well...........................

Just wanted to let all my faithful readers know that I am doing well, just too busy to take time to post a decent post.

We leave for a four day vacation tomorrow morning, which means I have to cram two weeks worth of planning and work into three days so that has taken my full focus.

I will be back with a brilliant post (talk about ego!) one day soon.

Love and best wishes...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

It's a rental..................................

I have a new slogan, the one above. Let me explain so you can adopt it too.

Without sharing too much information... Young (22 y/o) single mom of two (1 y/o and 3 y/o), MVA (motor vehicle accident) left her with her three lower vertebra fused (L 3,4,5), floppy feet due to nerve damage, and mostly confined to a wheel chair.

Due to a crappy role of the dice (DON'T let your car insurance lap people!), she has only been granted five PT home visits to get her up and walking again.

As her cheer coach (yours truly) was giving her a pep talk about how she (I) was confident this young woman could accomplish anything she desired to accomplish she (the young woman)looked up and said,

"I agree. After all, the wheel chair is ONLY a rental!"

Is that wonderful or what?

How many things could you apply that slogan to in your life?

Having a bad day at the office, "It's only a rental day." Hubby driving you nuts, "He's only a rental." Car cuts you off at the intersection, "Only a rental." YES! I'm talking about the attitude, not actually renting jobs or husbands (though, can you imagine???:). More of a This too shall pass kind of belief instead of taking on a problem, owning, and then allowing that problem to become a part of your identity.

If we could flow through, and with things as they arrive maybe they would pass more quickly? More of that being in the now stuff again I know. But how many times do we hang onto a hurt or a perceived wrong days, months, and even years after the actual event? If we looked at it as a rental, we might just send it back and stop paying the charges it is continuing to cost us emotionally. Think about it. You might just find you have a rental or two you're ready to return.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Oh! The fun I've been having...........................

After the last Attic clean out I had a small to medium pile of boxes to go through to divide up among my three children. Yesterday I actually had a few minutes to go through them. I found the newspapers I saved from the days that my children were born (1979, 1981, and 1989 were the years). I had also saved the paper from December 31, 1999, and January 1, 2000. Remember all the Y2K hullabaloo? I bet there were many people disappointed that morning when it turned out to be just another ordinary day.

Anyway, I also found a selection of writing I had done in high school; poems and short stories. Here's the gist of one poem (?):

This paper was blank before I wrote upon it.

Now,

it is not full,

But it's a start.

Feel free to gag. I did! It was still enjoyable to laugh as I remembered how good I thought some of those papers had been and what I could see now. Do you think I will feel the same way about this blog when I read it thirty years from now?

The other cool thing I found were a couple of piles of love letters that my former spouses and I had sent to one another. It was nice to be reminded of how much love there was between us, and easy to see why we opted to get married. For some silly reason all this love gets pushed to the side when one is going through a divorce (at least in my cases it did).

My children were all small when I divorced (3 and 5, and 3), so they have no memory of loving times between their parents. Maybe they will enjoy reading these letters and getting a glimpse of what once was. Maybe they will simply burn them when I die. Either is okay with me, but I am glad that I saved them so they could have the option.

So, I am down to one book shelf to go through. This has crap, I mean mementos of their school days; papers, art work, report cards, school pictures. Once this is divided up then I will turn up the nagging on (my) Mister. He is suppose to be gathering all the important papers (like insurance info, money account info, etc...) into one space, so when he dies I won't have to scramble around for any of it.

What? Of course he is going to die first. He's an old man according to him, and old people die. I told someone just the other day that even when I am eighty I will not be old, and they could only agree with me. But seriously folks. Do you loved ones a favor and get your business affairs in order. In the event that something does happen to you (and we ARE all going to die someday) do you really want them to have to put their grieving on hold why they look for account info to tie up the lose ends of your life? If you love them you won't put them through this. Think of it as a last gift, and throw in a love note of two among the papers for good measure. Just make sure the important papers are in those plastic page protectors because there WILL be tears of gratitude from your loved one for your thoughtful pre-planning.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Early morning post.............................

First let me share with you that the wedding was wonderful. A Greek wedding ceremony is steeped in ritual and tradition that I found very meaningful, and it has been about seven years since I have been in a church for something other than a funeral so that was also a refreshing change.

Random, I also discovered how it is that you can wear your highest heels out for the night and keep them on the entire time. Translation... Three cosmopolitans and my feet didn't hurt one tiny bit. Seriously the first time I did NOT kick my shoes off the second the dancing started.

And the food, some of the best I ever tasted. Of course after two cosmos I took three bites and was too full to eat my dinner. Tacky or not table twenty-three ask for doggie bags. Knowing the price of the food, along with the taste we could not see wasting it. Do you think this is why they put us in the way back corner?

Regardless we had a nice time and it was great to spend some quality time with my close circle of friends. This coming Saturday we have another wedding to attend (no weddings in three years and now two in two weeks?). This one is taking place in a park and will be night and day different from the Greek wedding, but I am looking forward to it just as much.

*******************************************************************************

A couple of hours ago (two AM my time), as I was waiting to see if the medicine had kicked in for our current hospice resident, I read the following sentence:

What others think of you is really none of your business.

What?

Read it again.

What others think of you is really none of your business.

WOW! I never looked at it from that angle before, but that is a pretty powerful statement!

We, the people, tend to be so concerned about what others think that we are rarely our true selves. Kind of like how table twenty-three had to first discuss just "how tacky was it" to ask for doggie bags at a wedding instead of just doing it. Or why we feel more comfortable walking into a room full of strangers AFTER someone has told us we look good, and our heels TOTALLY rock. Why our favorite things to hear are phrases like, "I see what you mean," and "You're right."

What's the problem with caring what other people think about us?

I think it becomes an issue when it keeps one from being ones self on a soul level; if what others think stops us from extending comfort or support to another because we are not sure of their response. God forbid you offer someone a hug to show you care and they think you're hitting on them. Right?

Trust me, there is nobody out there that should stop and think more than myself before just blurting out some thought, but how many times have you swallowed an expression of true concern because you wondered how it would be received?

It is a wonderful gift to yourself to be able to comfort another, and feel that you have made a difference in the life of another. Don't let ego take that away from you. Since we are all one, what you do unto others you do unto yourself. What you send out you get back, so do some self-nurturing today and perform an act of kindness towards a (perceived) stranger. And remember, how they receive it, is none of your business.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Going to a wedding...........................


This picture was forwarded to me by Dee. I am ALMOST ashamed that I find the photo funny. One should not make light of divorce right? Especially someone that has been through it twice, right? But if we can't laugh at ourselves...

Oh! Yes, There were times when I would have happily taken the above brides place. I am grateful those years are behind me. (Yes, Mister, you can relax. It's NOT about you.)

The wedding we are going to this afternoon is the first among our circle of friends. The bride and groom are in their mid and late twenties respectively, and I wish for them not only a magical day today, but everyday they share as husband and wife.

I have been told it is to be a BIG, FAT Greek wedding, and will be my first. I shall let you know if it was anything like the movie. Of course, since I turn into a pumpkin after eight in the evening I will probably miss all the good stuff. Such is life for someone that doesn't get out much.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Should we filter ALL of our relationships?......................

I just finished sending my oldest an e-mail that was a follow up to a phone conversation last night. The two of us talk about everything and anything, and we are open and honest no matter the topic or how the other might feel about things.

For example, I created some drama a couple of weeks back (see, ego is not fully in check as of yet), having to do with a paper the youngest was writing for her class. I heard the oldest questioning my reason for helping/editing the paper, and I heard her talking to me like she would one of her employees. I am not saying she said the things she said in that way, just that I heard them that way.

So, in my pouty little way, I ignored her for a couple of days (really mature aren't I?) and then when she called next and ask what was wrong I told her that regardless of how old she was I still expected her to speak to me respectfully. Of course she had no clue what I was refering to. Once I shared my opinion she saw things from my point of view and we were able to correct perceptions and move on. A good thing right, since our relationship was once again on an even keel.

After I pushed send on today's e-mail I began to think about the opinions I had expressed and the teasing I did completely confident that she would get the joke and not be upset. This reminded me of our early conversation when I got upset and she didn't have a clue. That got me to thinking about whether or not we should extend the filters we put on our conversations with friends and acquaintances to include our close, intimate relationships.

I don't think so, because I think it would stifle the opportunity for growth on both sides, which is what I believe intimate relationships exist for; growth for the people involved. Since I had a minute to write I thought I would put the question out there and see what the rest of you think about this topic. Please do share. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Another amazing day...................................

I hope that it comes across in my posts that I don't scare easy, because really I don't. Having said that, a home care client that I picked up last week had me trembling Sunday evening when I called her to see whether or not she had decided to let me come back. It was probably all tied up in ego thinking and not wanting to be rejected. Something along those lines anyway.

She grudgingly (again, an ego thought for sure) agreed to let me come see her, so Monday, mid-morning I headed over, praying I didn't put my foot in my mouth by saying something wrong.

I went into her home, apologizing for being ten minutes late. In a deadpan voice (NOT an ego statement) she says, "I noticed," so I went on to explain that I had to get my new hospice resident settled before I could leave. She says (without a hint of humor I might add), "I was just kidding." I re-apologized and went in to wash my hands thrilled she hadn't kicked me out.

As I sat down the woman says to me, "Have you ever treated anyone that had a heart valve replaced?" Like I remember??? Praying I wasn't lying and about to turn into a pillar of salt I replied with confidence, "Oh! Yes!" She continues, "Well, tell me about it."

Remember I am already on pins and needles. You know that candy bar commercial when the guy stuffs the bar in his mouth to give himself a chance to think? That was me! It did occur to me to find out what she was really asking instead of just rushing in to talk. I sent up a quick, "shut my mouth Lord and you do the talking," and went into an explanation of no matter what one has done, after a hospital stay muscles are going to be weak and exercise will be helpful. Then I meekly inquired if she knew someone with this problem. "Yes! Me," she replied. Okay. Now what? She went on to explain that she only had 23% of her heart functioning, and her doctor said she might have to have a valve replaced.

I am not a doctor, and not about to give medical advice. I also, can't just say that and then add, "so let's get on with your exercises." Still asking for diving guidance, the words come out, "So, what does your gut tell you to do?" she said with no hesitation, "Have the surgery." "Do you trust your doctor?" "Oh yes!" She replied. I went on to tell her that what she might want to do them is get all the information she could from her doctor, make a list of pros and cons, and if she has spiritual belief and/or a spiritual support system to utilize these things to help her make her decision. After she assured me that she did have spiritual support, I found myself telling her my story of the note I wrote for the OR staff about my angels being present at my surgery and to feel free to rely on them in need be. SHE ACTUALLY SMILED AT ME, and assured me that she thought it was a great idea not a whacked out one (like I suggested she might think at the beginning of the story).

So, now we are BFFs. She told me that her grandson was coming to paint something for her and that she was making him meatloaf and pumpkin pie. We swapped recipes, and even managed to do a few exercises (I had physical therapy progress to document whether or not that was what she needed at this particular visit. JACO doesn't see trust building at documentable progress).

The best part... At the end of my visit, this woman let out a loud sign of relief and said to me, "I feel so much better after talking to you." If you re-read what I said to her, you will note that I said nothing medical, really I said nothing specific at all. What I did do was listen to her and that listening helped her to put voice to what she was feeling, and gain a small feeling of control over what was happening to her; at least for the moment.

So, the way she came across to me as harsh, was simply a cover for her fear. Once she was able to function outside of that, her true personality came through. Thanks be to God!

Oh! And I promised her I would have everyone pray for a good outcome for her. Thanks ya all!

Friday, July 11, 2008

From phone calls to miracles...................................

Before I share details, let me share a paragraph from the book The Heart of the Buddha's Teachings. It is s supplement book recommended in the New Earth book club I am attending.

Yes, there is tremendous suffering all over the world, but knowing this need not paralyze us. If we practice mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindful sitting, and working in mindfulness, we try our best to help and we can have peace in our hearts. Worrying does not accomplish anything. Even if you worry twenty times more, it will not change the situation of the world. Even though things are not as we would like, we can still be content, knowing we are trying our best and will continue to do so. If we don't know how to breathe, smile, and live every moment of our life deeply, we will never be able to help anyone. I am happy in the present moment. I do not ask for anything else.

So the past week or so my focus has been on not worrying about things, knowing they will turn out as they are intended to. That is the biggest reason I was able to come to terms with letting Fred go.

Last Sunday, (my) Mister headed up north to bring the trailer home after the youngest had been camping. He called me and told me the truck has died in the middle of the road, just past somewhere (like I know road names?). I ask him why he was calling me, "well because..." I suggested he call AAA instead and let the situation take care of itself. After hanging up I reminded myself that in the now I didn't have truck problems, I was sitting in my living room relaxing. "I am happy in the present moment. I do not ask for anything else." (my) Mister called back about fifteen minutes later and told me he wasn't sure what happen but the truck had started and he was moving again.

Last night my youngest called and said her car was stopped on the side of the road. I ask where she was, and she reported she was on the off ramp of our exit, off to the side out of traffic. RIGHT ACROSS THE ROAD FROM A GAS STATION! She reported that the "add oil" light had come on so I told her to go buy a couple of quarts and dump it in, and then went back to what I was doing. I called her twenty or so minutes later and she reported she was just starting up the car. A nice man had stopped to help her find the place in the car where the oil goes (she shouldn't be driving not knowing this), but that both he and (my) Mister had told her it wasn't an oil problem because there was oil on the dip stick. She put in a quart anyway, on faith from having seen the light flash when the car first stopped. When she got home she says, 'The car runs better than it has in weeks."

Who are we to be granted such great miracles? I have no idea. The three of us sat around last night and gave thanks for the blessings of the week (and there were plenty more than just these two) and for one another. And just think, there are still two day left of the week. Life is great indeed!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

So, Fred is staying home for the time being......................................

If you haven't read the comments from the last post, I will fill you in on the e-mail I received from (my) Mister yesterday morning. Don't tell his boss, but he got on line and found a bunch of systems to build an outdoor space for Fred so that he can be happy, roam, and stay safe.

Yes, Fred has purred his way into (my) Mister's heart, but it is much more than that. He is doing all this for me (and our youngest). Call him old fashioned, but in his world a guy takes care of his family. He fixes their problems and rights the wrongs done to them. He has defined himself as our hero, and this Fred fiasco has him shining up his sword and armor.

That's the really wonderful thing about love and commitment, be it partnership, work relationship, or friendship. If the parties involved can define and carry out those two things to the fullest, ego tends to take a back seat.

Some of our biggest fights have been over stupid things like me insisting that he cut drywall a certain way (like I know about construction), or the way he files (I should say DOESN'T file) things. Just yesterday I was snipping at him because he didn't record a debit purchase in the checkbook. Will I ever learn?

Yet, the big things have never been a source of tension for the two of us. We have never fought over money, child raising, or religion. Okay, the kids were pretty much raised by the time we met, and both of us are following a spiritual path and have no need to attend a church, but still... We support each other's dreams. Never once has he degraded my crazy dreams and ideals, instead embracing them and telling me that he knows I will do anything I put my heart and soul in. And I tell him that he better support me or I won't be letting him ride on my coattails once I am rich and famous!

My point? Take a peek at your relationships. Do any of them need polishing? Is your relationship garden in need of weeding, to help it flourish and bloom? Trust me when I say if you make the effort it will be you that comes out the winner. Approach a problem with love and you will receive a miracle for sure.

There is a poem that goes along the lines of, If you love something set it free. If it comes back to you it is yours. If it doesn't it never was. First I have to tell you that one of the creepy guys I used to date sent me this poem and told me he wrote it. I bought it hook line and sinker, and then one day I read it in a published book. Yah! I was that good at picking men back then. My point is, I made the choice to do what I felt was best for Fred, out of love and compassion, and because of another person's love and compassion towards me I got my Freddy boy back. Miracles DO happen every day! Be on the look out and enjoy yours today.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Fred's next adventure........................................



Yesterday morning one of my neighbors came over and informed me that another neighbor had my Freddy Boy trapped in a live trap. Yes, for you long time readers, this is the same neighbor that has had issue with our dogs.

I had a total meltdown. Upon calling animal control I was told that he did indeed have the right to trap a cat that went onto his property. I broke into uncontrollable sobs over a cat. Not so much that he was trapped, I am sure that Fred just made an adventure out of that, but the idea that he was outside in the sun without water tore me apart. Maybe I have watched too much Animal Planet?

Of course, I couldn't leave to go spring Fred from Jail, but my neighbor went and talked to the guy and he told her he wouldn't give Fred back and that he had to trap him because, 'He just couldn't talk to me." I find this funny because you might recall the letter I wrote to him about the dogs (not a harsh letter at all), that he didn't respond to. The one and only conversation I have had with this man was the time the trash people left trash in the road after dumping mine. He called me threatening to call the city if I didn't get it cleaned up. My reply was to encourage him to call the city on my behalf as I had been calling for two weeks about the sloppy job without success, and that maybe if more of us called the issue would get resolved. He hung up on me.

I had always known that Fred showed up in my life for a reason, and now I am thinking that the reason was to give me a chance to choose not to be angry and bitter at this man for trapping my cat. Reading Tolle's book about pain bodies would leave me to believe that this man behaves like he does to draw other people into his drama with their anger so that his ego can feed off of it. As soon as I was able to push out the horror thoughts about my Freddy being in anything less than stellar conditions I made a conscious choice to pray for this mans happiness. After all, if his life is so miserable that he has nothing better to do with his time than trap neighborhood animals that is totally and completely sad.

Of course I called (my) Mister and sobbed my troubles to him, and then shared the news with our youngest. Above all else, we agreed that we did not want Fred to get trapped again and again by this man. Being a, "Don't fence me in kind of cat" it would also be mean to try and make him a strictly indoor cat, and with all the coming and going around here it would be hard to be successful at that.

Not all relationships are meant to be forever relationships, so to hold onto Fred would be selfish, and not in his best interest. We decided we would surrender Fred to animal control. In tears, I dug out his little life book and wrote the following letter to send with him to increase his chances at adoption:

Hello,
My name is Fred and I am the best ever cat in the world.

Why am I here then? Because I like to roam, and we have a neighbor that does not appreciate that reality. My mommy takes care of senior citizens and can’t leave the house to come find me when I get out so she sent me here to find a new, really great family to take care of me.

I like to go for walks with the family dogs if you have them. I don’t need a leash, but will follow behind and stay right with the group. I have a fabulous personality and promise to make you smile and laugh all day long.

My mommy rescued me from the snow and cold this past March when I jogged the block with her. Unable to find my previous parents, she took me into her home and heart.

My family had been saving up to get me de-clawed and fixed, but you will have to take care of that for me now. Trust me, I will be well worth the effort in entertainment value.

Mommy says I am the most charismatic cat that she has ever met, and that she is thankful for the time that I was in her life. She also says that she will be eternally grateful for whoever gives me a home next.

Will that be you?

I was so proud of our youngest. She called me up and shared with me that she was about half-way through her anger and working towards forgiveness for this man. Like me, the part that bothered her was that he trapped Fred without water and didn't come to us with his concerns.

I had to go do some home care in the afternoon (red eyes and all) so the youngest was here when animal control brought back Fred. She went out to his truck, held out Fred's life book and said, "You have to keep him," and promptly burst into tears. The officer calmed her down, and told her the guy is known for doing this kind of thing but there is nothing that they can do to stop it. He also told her he could tell that Fred was a special cat and he didn't want to see him put down. The officer told her that she needed to keep Fred over night and talk to her mother about what we wanted to do long term.

So Fred came home, plopped down in his favorite chair and took a nap, unfazed by it all. Told you he was a cool cat.

When I walked in the door from seeing clients the first thing I noticed was (my) Mister's red eyes. Since my ego was totally convinced he was jealous of Fred I found this interesting. As we talked about the situation what came out was, "I'm pissed! He made my wife cry." Isn't that the sweetest, most romantic thing you ever heard? A little behind us, he eventually made peace with the fact that the honorable thing to do was find Fred a new home, and send love and blessings to the neighbor. I hope to compose a letter to him today, and will share it when I do.

In the meantime please send good thoughts to Fred that he enjoy his next adventure and that the universe assists in leading him to the perfect new home where he can teach his next life lesson to a deserving family.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Psychic typing (as in what type are you?) quiz.................................

I am taking a psychic development class, and one of the things that the instructor had us do was to take this quiz to help us figure if we lean towards being clairvoyance (visual), clairsantience (feeling), clairaudiance (hearing), or claircognisance (mind). I am not going to reproduce the entire thing, but if someone wants to take it, let me know and I will give it to you. Basically, the questions are designed to tally how you react to your environment as described above.

This quiz was really hard for me as will become clear as I share the questions with you.

1) What is the first thing that comes to mind the last time you went out to eat?

I honestly couldn't remember the last time I went out to eat.

2) If you were trapped on a deserted island, you would rather have your favorite a) pictures, b) set of comfy clothes, c) CD/MP3 player, d) books.

I would find taking my cat Fred much better company and entertaining, but at least I was able to pick an answer for this one...books.

3) Ask about vacations, a) scenic tour, b) pampered cruise, c) touring with your favorite band, d) working vacation.

There is no place like home.

4) When you arrive at a social gathering or party, you first: a) notice what everyone is wearing, b) find a comfy spot to sit, c) take note of the music, d) map out your environment.

I take a look around to see what needs doing and then take care of it. That is how all of my friends are.

5) When you are talking about your brand new car, you first mention:

I have NEVER purchased a brand new car, never desired to do so, and never plan to do so in the future. I love and appreciate my old, paid for cars.

6) Your friends usually ask you a) does this outfit match, b) why is s/he acting this way, c) what is the word I am looking for, d) how do you get to ____ from here.

All of the above and lots more. My mom should have named me Abby.

7) You are most likely to say, a) I've got the blues today, b) I feel kind of down, c) nothing sounds good right now, d) I think I'm depressed.

I have made it a point to not say anything of this nature because my thoughts create my reality, and I don't give credence to negative thoughts.

8) What do you remember best about your first date a) eye color, butterflies, conversation, random details.

Once I decided what constituted my first date, I remembered it was a group treasure hunt, so then I went back to whether a group thing was a true date or not, got lost on a tangent and decided to just pick "d."

9) You prefer to learn by a) reading or diagrams, b)tactile, c) verbal, D) you just seem to pick it up.

I really need to utilize the first three to cement things into my memory.

10) Your ideal first job would have been a) at a museum, b) daycare or candy striper, c) music store, d) real world job

All I ever dreamed of being was a wife and mother so I picked "b," but now that I am typing this I realize that after being a wife and mother for many years I should have picked "d." What is more real world than being a wife (husband) and mother (father)?

11) Your worst class in high school was?

FINALLY, one I could answer without hesitation, b) math.

12) Favorite class in high school, again, b, the one with your favorite teacher of the school year.

Which happen to be ALL of my classes. As long as I was out of my crappy home environment I was happy with being anyplace else, even math class. It only got the worst class award because of the grade I got, but I loved the teacher.

So, did I make too much of the questions, or over-think them? That's okay... I just relied on my developing psychic feelings and ended up determining that I am prone to using clairsentience. But then we already knew I was a feeling kind of gal didn't we? What brand of psychic are you?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Law Of The Garbage Truck.............................

The following story was sent to me and I enjoyed it so much that I thought I would share it with all of you. Consider it food for thought.


I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport . We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.

So I asked, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!"

This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, "The Law of the Garbage Truck."

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you.

Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so..... Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Needed, but not needed...................................

I got a phone call Monday morning from the couple I was to provide labor support for. As soon as I heard her voice I ask, "Are you in labor?" Her reply, "Well, I was!" As it turns out she was at the hospital for about an hour before the baby was born. Since it was three in the morning, she was waiting to call me. I was so thrilled for them that I couldn't even be disappointed about not being there. She also told me how all the things we talked about really helped her husband be a good support for the short labor. They are such special people that she probably told me that to make me feel better, but I am claiming it as being helpful anyway. BTW, baby is healthy, and according to his mommy, "VERY hansom."

Just as well I wasn't needed at the hospital over the weekend as we have a new hospice resident that moved in on Saturday. Hippa being Hippa, let me just say that he arrived with a bad reputation. Let me also say that the man is dying, and facing a lot of regrets about choices he made in the past. If you put yourself in his place can't you see yourself acting out in one way or another?

So, if you have not done so already, stop living a life of regret before it is your too late. If you have fences to mend, get mending. If you have plans and dreams, get going on shifting them into reality. Stop thinking, "I can't," and get on with, "How?" All things ARE possible for those that truly believe.

This post is not written to brag, or get an ego rush (though ego is pretty pleased with my accomplishments), but to remind everyone to stop and step into the other person's shoes the next time someone is short with you or has an over the top reaction to something or someone. Remember that one doesn't always know the full, behind the scene story.

By reminding myself (every few seconds at first) not to take his reactions personally, and giving him unconditional positive regard, he has become calm, thankful, and expressing gratitude for his surroundings. Trust me, this was not by my doing. For the first two days I went anywhere near him I first prayed that God keep MY mouth shut and that he say the words that this man needed to hear in order to trust that we had his best interest at heart. In addition, the entire time I was with him I was keeping a running plea in my head for help from all of my (and his) angels. Now that I have learned a bit about how he likes things I am starting to trust myself to go into a conversation without so much care, and things are fine. It has been an amazing blessing to be a part of this transformation, and I am the one that is blessed.

If I don't get back to post before, have a safe, happy holiday. My oldest will be turning twenty-nine on the fourth of July. How time flies when we're having fun!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Finishing touches.........................................

It was one year ago last May that I picked out the new tile for the walls and floor for the bathroom that we are remodeling downstairs. For a year it was either no time or no money for the project, finally we were able to hire the job out and we started to see progress.

It is shaping up nicely now, and we are finally in the home stretch. I am holding out on pics for the final outcome but I will share a little bit.

The shower/wall tile is hard to describe, but is darker, and then we have a small black band of tile that goes around the room (about half way up) on the (one) tiled wall and shower. We have a lighter colored tile on the floor and bottom half of the walls. Then I got a black toilet that sort of grounds the light tile and brings the top and bottom of the room together.

I found a really cool antique oak cabinet that our carpenter is making into a vanity and my sink is the kind that the people in the Holler commercials would drool over.

Now we come to the counter top, the last real expense of the project. Since we have all these other top of the line products we couldn't skimp on that (even though the part of the basement outside this bathroom is cement walls, studs on the ceiling, exposed pipes/duct work, storage/work-out area/furnace room/laundry room/just-plain-unfinished mess) could we now? We are getting the coolest stone counter that is black but has sparkles in it that pick up the light. The room is not that big and is rectangle shaped with the shower taking up the entire end of the room. I wanted a corner soap dish installed (along with the two I had installed into the wall of the shower. I hate all those bottles of shower supplies sitting all over the floor), and I thought it would be a cool tie-in to have the soap dish made out of the counter top stone. This silly thing cost $75.00 dollars. Ya! I'm that spoiled...

This is funny, because I have been working so hard to save money at the grocery store, consolidate trips to save gas, opt not to enter races I did last year to save the entry fees, all to get us to the finish line of being debt free (except our home) by early fall.

But I needed it. Right? I will make it back in re-sale value when the house is sold. Right? Quality is a good investment. Right? One justification after another...

Maybe there is no good reason to spend $75.00 on a soap dish beyond the fact that I wanted it. Now we are totally into ego, entitlement, selfishness, me, me, me.

So I will take ownership. Fortunately it wasn't a $75,000.00 car I wanted. I paid cash, there is food on the table, and gas in the cars. I am blessed beyond measure and count those blessings daily, and with gratitude. It is the spoiled brat in me that is making me type: Just wait until you see the pictures of the finished bathroom. Then you will get it!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

To let you all know I am alive and well.............................

The plan was to post yesterday (Sunday). I got out of bed early to do just that. Being the good mother I am, I opted to first look up a bit of research for the paper my youngest has to write for the summer class she is taking. That filled the first hour of my day yesterday, then I started my morning resident care routine. Once breakfast was over I decided I could not stand the futon mattress in the middle of the living room floor one more second (this is where it landed when the youngest sat up her garage sale last Thursday). That led to vacuuming, which made the other rooms look bad... Then I noticed that the pond was low on water - lunch break (fixing, not taking time to eat) - weeding, lawn mowing, a little tiff with (my) Mister. Where-in-the-world- did-the-day-go-it-is-already-time-to-make-dinner??? Tarot homework, a few business e-mails, and sorry folks but I put food ahead of posting.

But I had a good week, in spite of being crazy busy. I instantly remembered what I didn't like about home care (dealing with people's schedules) and driving in summer construction traffic) and what I did like (the sweetest little old people and all of their little quirks). I also discovered the job is like riding a bike... After five years I wondered if I would forget anything, but the medical terms shorthand came right back and my soap notes are as long as ever (when I was in school we were scared into believing if you didn't write it down it didn't happen and if it didn't happen you could be hauled into court and have your note blown up to life size and tore apart by some cut throat attorney) Needless to say, in my quest for perfection, if someone sniffles I not only document it, but why I think they did it, why they think they did it, why their caregiver (if they have one) thinks they did it, and what each person in turn plans to do about it.

I saw one lady that was being seen after a total knee replacement. She had one tiny area of her incision that MAYBE looked a little red. She ask me about it. If this were one of my residents I would have pushed around on the area, seen if it had any puss or was open, and through some triple antibiotic ointment on it, checked her temp a couple times a day and kept an eye on it. Easy peasy... In this case I took her temp (97.4) felt to the way outside of the incision for any warm areas. Did NOT touch the actual incision because I am neither a nurse or a doctor.

While I was doing this the client was telling me she didn't know when the nurse was coming out. I can fix that, call the office. This is the same office I worked for five years ago, so the receptionist recognized me, and put me through to a supervisor. I left a message detailing the knee and the client's concerns and then called the PT I work with ( a PTA has to be supervised by a PT) and left him a message telling him what I had done. As I am leaving he calls me and tells me this client is a rehab only and she doesn't have a nurse coming in. At least I now know why she couldn't remember her name! In this case, I am to call the doctor's office directly, and speak to his nurse. This I did, and of course was told to tell the client to simply keep an eye on it. Then I had to call the office back and tell the supervisor to disregard my first message and that the matter had been addressed with the doctor's office so it was all good. And then, as soon as I had hung up from that one of my resident's son's called to go over his mom's medication list for an upcoming doctor's visit. Fortunately, I have a good memory for those things so I was able to give him a list of all the non-prescription meds/supplements.

And yes, I will confess to doing all this while driving. I really do not like to talk while I drive, but I has another sweet client waiting for me to do her PT visit and they get really upset and worried if you are not right there when you say you will be. If they get worried, the blood pressure goes up, and I discover it, have to report it, and the cycle begins itself all over again...

Hope you all had a great week and that this one turns out to be just what you want it to be! I don't expect to be that busy and will try to post soon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Race review.......................................

Though I seem to have been lost from blog-land, I did not get lost in the woods this year at our (third) annual trail race. Due to an injury and a last minute emergency-had-to-drop-out, we ended up doing the race with five runners instead of six. The first year the race director informed us that it couldn't be done, but what the hell, no one has ever called any of us quitters.

I headed to the woods with our trailer (actually, (my) sweet Mister hauled it up and dropped me off and then came home to handle OP duty... WHAT A GUY!) two days before the actual race, and it was the first time since December that I have actually been totally, and completely alone. Talk about Heaven on Earth!

On Thursday, the area got more rain, the river was rising, and a bridge had been washed out. I sent out the SOS to bring extra shoes, and to plan on getting wet, and by Friday night I had been joined by the rest of the team.

We opt to camp at the end of the 78 mile race course, so bright and early (4:00 AM) we were up and preparing for our latest, greatest, adventure. In addition to only having five runners, one of them was only six weeks post knee surgery. With a trail full of hills we opted to each do a leg and from them on plan as we go. Finish or not we set out to have a great time, which is exactly what we did.

I am going to finish this post by sharing the post-race e-mails sent out yesterday. It really sums up why I am foolish enough to get up at 4:00 in the morning and spend the next 13 plus hours fighting towards the finish line. This weekend is about much more than running a race. It is about friendship and teamwork. It is about bonding and supporting one another. It is about living life instead of just going through the motions. Enjoy the comradely...

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Hey All! We made it home safe too- glad to hear everyone is back and settled.

So-- I looked up our time from last year and it was 13:07 (not adjusted) That means with us at 13:17 and some change this year we were only 10 minutes slower than last year with only 5 people!!!! This to me is insane and I would not have bet money we could do it going into it. Not that I don't have confidence in us but it is a tough race! I think our teamwork, positive attitudes, and flexibility all came together and is the reason we did so well. Every single person was a huge, integral part to our team and we could not have done it without the people we had. That and the crack cookies ( one of the guys brought these insanely good homemade cookies and the way everyone was eating them we were joking that he must have put crack in them) I suppose... ;-)

I have attached our times and paces from this year- as a team we were right about 10 minute pace! Can you believe it? I am so proud of us you guys- those trails are beasts and we conquered them! XXX- we hope you had fun and will consider doing this again. XXX- you are a maniac in a great way and that is all I have to say. XXX, I would promise you don't have to do that 6.4 gut buster next year but that is what I said last year so no promises! Mom (me)- I am still skipping because we did not get lost on that evil leg- that one is yours forever. I have pictures but am having problems getting them downloaded so I will send later. We Northern "Crushed" (our team name is Northern Crush) my expectations of this weekend in both fun and performance. You all rule.

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Well, I to made it home and just finished my first post race jog, and let me tell you that smooth flat pavement felt good. I felt as if I was flying the effort of climbing hill after hill no longer present. I was actually surprised my legs are almost back into working condition and with a little more time and stretching things should work themselves out.

I feel as if I have re-discovered my love for running and owe it to each and everyone of you for not giving up when things were not going our way and making me get off my butt and get moving again. Maybe this time I can stick to it and be more of an assist next year

As for finishing, well that I never doubted. I knew our team was Strong and the challenge of this year has only made each and every one of us a stronger runner. Have a great summer everybody and don't forget to mark your calender next year :)

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Good lord, Northern Crush! Did you see that, with our handicap adjustment, we were 20 out of 28 in our division, 35 out of 49 overall? Wow!! That’s pretty fantastic for a team of 5 who wondered if we’d finish! Last year we were 26 in our division, 46 overall. We even improved, a lot, on our standing from last year!

So it looks like we have even one more reason to be proud! What a great performance by every last one of us. No runners were lost (not this year, not on our team, though that “evil leg” still trapped some teams!), the trucks got to the exchange points with time to spare (no mean feat with some of the roads nearly washed away!), and our runners came in fast and strong. 5 people, 15 legs, 77.8 miles. What a tremendous effort, what a great success!

Congratulations all around. This was a whole lot of fun and a great story to tell for years to come. I am certainly happy to be part of this team.

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Hi you crazy running types,

Being new, I have no experience to compare this year to previous years, but, it feels like we collectively kicked ass (he is SO right about that!). What a wonderful experience and thank you for inviting me to play. I would like to play again next year if you’ll have me. I’ll make another batch of crack cookies, I promise. It’s been fun telling my friends about the race and all the wonderful people, they think I’m nuts, so that makes all of you, well, um, nuts too! Hopefully my legs will quit aching soon so I can hit the roads again, my training now is going to include trail running. Gotta go for now. Have a GREAT day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The (really cool) return of my past.........................

Several days back I was sitting with some thoughts about potential employment. Not as in "what am I going to be doing in six months," but of all the things I will capable/able to do six months from now. One of the thoughts that came into my head was traveling back to home care physical therapy with my friend who has a home care therapy company. The thought came in, I went, "mmmm," and the thought went on and that was that.

Until this past Saturday when this friend called me and ask me to do some visits for him. After saying yes, I thought to myself, "Did my thoughts create my reality? Did I pull this to me by thinking it? Or is he just desperate for help and my ego is having a hey-day with the other thoughts?" I settled on a combination of all three.

After this coming weekend I have no races scheduled so I can use the time I was using to run to help out a friend and take a look at how it feels to work outside my house after being home for so long.

With life being life, it has been about a year since we actually talked, so his next bit of news really knocked me for an exciting loop. He is having his fourth child sometime next month. His youngest of three girls is four, and this child is a boy so that is pretty cool. They found out about the pregnancy on his wife's fortieth birthday so I would say the number four might have some significance in their world, and I am hoping for a fourth of July birth. That is my oldest's birthday and she has always loved it.

Anyway, my friend and his wife have ask me to provide labor support for their birth and I am thrilled beyond belief. It has been around ten years since I last had the privilege to do this. It will be a refreshing change of pace to step out of the life cycle of death and witness the life cycle of birth. Now I just have to brush up on my Lamaze breathing and review the stages and progression of labor and delivery and I will be all set.

Oh! To help me out, please include this couple and baby in your prayers during the last month of pregnancy and that the outcome will be a safe, joyous, healthy birth when the time comes.