Friday, December 28, 2007


the natural way to protect your MINI's floormats... guess I need to clean my car this weekend, huh?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas from Petey too!

Merry Christmas!

Merry has really been a good Christmas. I was unsure a few days ago because I was really missing my dad, but it turned out to be one of the more meaningful and fun Christmases I've had in a while. Here's wishing you and yours the same joy and more...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

beagles make bad elves...

ho...ho...ho... from the reluctant beagle-elf.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

this is so true...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Well, okay...I gained a pound.

Monday, September 10, 2007

meow...cough cough...

Turns out Grayson didn't have a cough because of his heart. He has some sort of respiratory problem. I have to get his lungs flushed out and the fluid cultured to see where the problem is coming from. So, overall it is good news. He also had very low potassium, so he's on supplements for a while.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Pepper hopes you are having a relaxing Sunday!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

where, oh where has my little blog gone...

oh where oh where could it be?


Oh, wait. Cool! I see where blogger has added a video option. You go Bloggy boi!


This massive career change has really consumed me hook, line, and sinker... I am realizing self-care isn't just nice, it's survival. This new job is really, really stressful and I have to really practice active relaxation techniques and make sure I eat right, exercise---or, ka-pow!!! But, somehow I love this job more than anything I have ever done...weird.

Anyway (deux).

Gotta take Grayson to the university vet school for an echocardiogram tomorrow morning. He's kitty no. 2 falling into the category of heart failure. Atticus is still going strong, but now Grayson, who has an enlarged aortal arch, is starting to develop a chronic cough and continued tachycardia. I'm afraid we're going to lose a couple of critters this year, which I can't even fathom going through that all over again...

One very interesting proposition I made to my husband the other day-- "You know, I need to really take better care of myself, get this extra weight off I've packed on during graduate school...say, if I get down to 149 pounds, you can book a trip to Paris...*snicker*"

To my surprise, he agreed. I clarified immediately that we were talking about THIS PARIS and not THIS PARIS.

Yep, he said he would walk straight to his computer and book the trip if I got healthy and reached 149. I am currently 181(ugh).

He established the rules of deflabulation:
1) I can't starve myself (or cut off necessary limbs for instant weight reduction).
2) I have to eat right.
3) I have to exercise.

In other words, I have to get healthy the old fashioned way--the only way that works.

This all came about after I had a meltdown after an extremely stressful family session that was quite toxic. I thought I had debriefed enough with a colleague, but au contraire, as I was to find out...after I got home, up came some bubblin' crude...

oil, that is...otherwise known as a stressed-out meltdown.

THUS, Operation Glue Your Shit Back Together was initiated. The payoff is quite nice:
1) lower blood pressure
2) reasonable cholesterol
3) less junk in my trunk
4) and a frickin' trip to France

Damn. I'm feeling downright lucky.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

kitties and computers...

Friday, August 24, 2007

and rising...

Smidget says it's friggin' hot...

Sunday, August 12, 2007



Thursday, August 02, 2007

good morning Peanut...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

but I have fun at work, too...

Gosh I hate to leave out the highlights of my career. Like the other day when I was conducting a relaxation group...everyone eyes closed...breathing deeply...then about 20 minutes into the exercise, I hear a couple of gags and open my eyes to a patient puking freely all over the floor...uh, um, continue breathing...uh...uh...

We moved to another room.

And the other day the cleaning crew had the joy of wiping down a poo-smeared bathroom. Now, I don't know what that was about, but I'm glad I didn't walk in on it.

There's never a dull day, and never a day that doesn't keep you human and very humble.

golly I sure do miss some things...

I really do miss my blog. I no longer write for eloquence or wit, but for speed to meet an insurance deadline. I write about symptoms in sentence fragments, instead of worrying with the musical lilt of the words...which, at first, nearly broke me out in a rash.

But I have learned SO much as a beginning therapist. Although we are still fighting short staffing and program changes, I have really gotten an education on a lot of things...on hope, on the tragedy of cognitive decline, on the perils of insurance bullshit, on learning a new lingo and becoming part of the clinical world, on priorities, on self-care, on dignity, respect, and honor.

There have been days when I really felt like I made a difference in a person's life, which is a heady reward for someone who churned out newsletters and intranet snippet-writing. There have also been suicide prevention contracts to sign, frightening stories, and heartbreaking situations.

All in all, the rapid pace of being immersed in this new profession has my head spinning, and it will take me a while to regain balance be able to leave the patients at the center and not hear them ruminating, asking me questions, and mucking around in my head all evening long. But I've heard that skill of separation simply takes time and experience. It is quite an adventure and one I do not regret.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


what's that on your nose?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Well...I decided to go forward with nostril piercing. I asked for the smallest possible piercing. I like it, but it sure did make my eyes water! I've been wanting to do it for a couple of years but couldn't decide...well, that's over with!

Sunday, July 15, 2007


101 flavors of ice cream to AVOID...

Rooney concurs...

that goes for me, too...

whatever... says Atticus...

Sunday, July 08, 2007

oh, the frickin' woe of it all...

Wah. Wah. Wah.
I am still in school, taking one last class to get a graduate certificate in gerontology...and the "frickin' woe of it all" has to do with a paper I need to be writing right now.

But I don't wanna.

Like a 5 year old doesn't wanna...

I have been so tired and stressed out over the past two weeks that I don't frickin' wanna do much of anything when I get home. We are under-staffed and reorganizing all in the same breath at the hospital I work at and it is excruciating. Everyone is trying to stay afloat and not kill one another. Our director just left, everyone on staff is fairly new and admissions are flocking in like stuck-together boogers on a stick.

I dare say my marketing job at its busiest was akin to sitting around and picking my nose compared to my job as a therapist at this partial-hospitalization program. I do still love it, but it is fast-paced, extremely emotionally and intellectually demanding, no time to eat or take a piss... I've worked through my lunch everyday since May 25. Come in early and stay late--and be nowhere near caught up on Medicare's evil and mighty stack of required paperwork. Suicidal? Yeah, well prove it with these 15 forms...

Like I said...wah, wah, wah.

I still wouldn't go back though. The rewards of the job are worth the growing pains.

Unfortunately, the blog has suffered mightily, and probably will continue to do so until things smooth out a little more...

I guess I'd better go squeeze that paper out of my ass now. Bleh.

Peanut wishes you a nice, peaceful Sunday...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

the better I can smell you with...

Petey would like to smell hi to you all...

Monday, July 02, 2007

So, I did 8 1/2

So, I did 8 1/2 hours of paperwork and 1 1/2 hours of therapy today...see anything wrong with that? Unfortunately, that's pretty typical.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

gotta love it...

I felt like this at work today...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

silly cat...crates are for dogs...

Yuki takes a power-nap while Petey plays outside...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

oh, the trees...

As a new therapist serving older adults, I am single-handedly killing the rainforest. Medicare requires so much documentation that it is a flat-out race to get it done each day. I spend far more time documenting than I do providing treatment.

Now THAT'S crazy.

It's not like you can catch up on it either. You've got a 24 hour window to get it done. Fortunately for the trees, we will be transitioning to an electronic charting system.

What a big change it is to go from the administrative side of life to the clinician side. They really are woefully disconnected from one another. I hardly have time to pee during the day as a social worker/therapist. Everything is time-limited and pressured. There's no time to read the silly newsletter I used to edit. There are 500 other things that come before it...just like what I used to complain about..."why don't they read their newsletter?!" Now I know why. Well, I knew before, but I tried to convince myself that they would somehow find it in their hearts to read the corporate newsletter in order to save my waning ego.

The other big change is that everything is ill-equipped for staff. Ah, the days in marketing were cushy, my friend. You needed supplies...ask and ye shall receive promptly. Welcome to human services... Now I sit in a broken chair, work on an old computer and clunky old inkjet, share an office with another therapist and scrounge for supplies and materials. But I knew it would be that way, because our focus is on the patients who enjoy a homelike atmosphere that is healing and healthy. And the hungry get fed first when there's only so much money to go around, right?

By the way, did I tell you I love my job? (never said that before) Either I'm a masochist, or something real is happening in my life...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

and then...

On Friday, something will be conferred to, not cooties or some other dastardly disease of social lubrication...

The Degree.

Yup, that one. The one that says I'm out of the nest. Jiminy Crackheads.

So, apparently I somehow got through the whole thing and will finally get my master's in social work. Maybe even summa cum laude. Not that I've paid attention to such things...

Snarling Purring and waiting around the corner is a new career. I have been offered a full-time job as a geriatriK therapissed. Happy about that...not pissed ;-)

One of the reasons I chose this field is because you will always be challenged to learn more. I just dread the years of being a beginner again. Or maybe if I can be truly mindful, I can be in constant wonder at the knocking of my knees...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

talking about school shootings...

There's just nothing you can say about this week's horror. Here are some good articles for those who are looking for guidance in helping themselves or others heal...from the American Psychological Association.

Tips for College and University Students: Managing Your Distress in the Aftermath of the Virginia Tech Shootings

Talking to your children about the recent spate of school shootings

Managing stress after traumatic events

And related...
Violent Video Games Can Increase Aggression

I should note what prompted this post so late after the news of this event...this morning I was sitting in one of my very last university classes before graduation and I kept hearing a "popping" outside...just like a handgun (sounding eerily like the video as well as I have shot handguns before and know what they sound like)...and even though I was 99.9% sure it really was construction, it was very, very unnerving to keep hearing it. It went on for about 10 minutes and finally stopped.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

for the love of Pickles...

The most precious little mutt ever, Pickles, our little pup we rescued from a neglectful neighbor nearly 15 years ago was put to sleep yesterday...

Something terrible happened, possibly a brain tumor or a brain bleed. She wasn't able to do anything but pace as if she were blind, unable to recognize us or respond. It was as if she had developed sudden severe dementia. It was really horrible, especially knowing what a sweet spirit she was...never once a bad mood, never once unhappy to see us, never once a complaint...always sweet, always 100% loving. We miss her horribly.

Please go give our little gal a bone on Dogster...


Make your own badge

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

uncles and things...

One of my dearest uncles died this morning. He became ill rather suddenly. I didn't get to say goodbye, which makes me sad. He was one of the most kind-hearted people I've ever known. Another funeral.

SOLVED...I think.

An International Space Station sighting from 1992...familiar?!

Works for me!

A preferrable explanation...

I would like to find out if this was a space station sighting.

Here's the info from NASA...looks like this could be the culprit, even though it doesn't explain the strange sparkles so far away from the center light.

I saw it again this morning in the same area, so I'm very interested to see if this is it.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

convince me it's a star...

and I'll shut up...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Another picture...less explanation...

This is another photo my father-in-law took. It is completely unretouched. Pretty eerie...

I'm not at a computer with graphics software, so I'll post a better crop of it at home. I don't know what it is...

Zero percent more explanation

My father-in-law did take a photo of the object we saw, but as I suspected, without a massive zoom, it doesn't really look like much. You can tell it's not a picture of a star, but it doesn't appear to be anything else either.

So, anyway, all I saw this morning was a star hanging out in the same blinking, hovering or speeding satellite objects.

I am all about finding a rational explanation for this, by the way. I have seen in the early morning bright reflections from airliners traveling into the dawn while it was still dark where I was, but it still doesn't explain all the other stuff. I am pretty relieved that the geometric lights were not real (I think anyway).

I'll probably never know. Weird.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

15 percent of an explanation...

So, being the rational sort, I can't stand the fact I don't have an explanation for this phenomenon I experienced this morning.


I did discover that the geometric lights were a trick of the eye. I took the binoculars to several windows and discovered that the window upstairs has a metal screen that separates large points of light into segments. And that explains why my father-in-law didn't see the separate lights like I did (my husband couldn't see separate lights because he can't see crap).


that explains the fancy clothes, but not the rest of it...all the stuff I saw from the basement window with my naked eye--the abnormal sparks, the wavering hover, the bright light that has never been there any other morning...and then, upstairs, the reddish blinking light that traveled upward in a diagonal direction at an exponential speed...

I hope tomorrow's doggie duties yield nothing more exciting than full water and food bowls.

And, I hope I find some way I can explain the other 85 percent. But, I doubt it.

only aliens would be able to keep me from earning my degree...

I was downstairs filling up the dog bowls with water this morning about 6:30 a.m. and I looked out the window. I saw an extremely bright star, even though it was a bit cloudy. "Hmmm, that's really bright," I thought. Then it moved. Just a little...hovering.

We live near an airport, so I didn't think that much of it, but I continued to watch it while I filled the other dog bowl. Then there were "sparks" appearing around it; much like landing lights, but way too far from the center light to be a plane. "What the hell?" I turned the water off and I have to admit, being a skeptical person of those sorts of things, I was quite freaked out. OK, really, really freaked out. I stood there for 10 or 15 minutes watching, expecting to discover it was a plane, but it became more apparent to me that conclusion was quite impossible. It continued to hover and from time to time the "sparks" appeared around it--one near, one or two further away. Again, much, much too far to be part of a set of landing lights. Honestly, I started to pass out after I realized this was something very unusual.

I was afraid if I ran upstairs to tell my sleeping husband it would be gone by then and I would have missed this weird opportunity to observe such a thing, but I finally decided I ought to go up.

I ran to the bedroom window, dog food scoop still in hand, and woke up my husband. It was still there. Still very bright. I got a pair of my dad's birdwatching binoculars to see it better and was shocked at what I saw. It wasn't a blob of light like a star, but an organized set of lights in the shape of a cross or, what seemed to me, lights criss-crossed over the shape of an orb. Faint streams of light emanated from the "thing" and it continued to show the "sparks" from time to time. Unfortunately, all my cameras had dead batteries(though without a serious zoom it probably would have looked like a star on film anyway).

After a while another cross-shaped set of lights, fainter and seemingly farther away, appeared and moved across the sky in a perfect upward diagonal to the left. While moving, the lights showed a more reddish color and blinked/flashed. It left a very faint trail. Alien exhaust emissions!?

As daylight broke it got impossible to see the "whatever-the-hell-it-was" and we went back to bed after checking to see if there were any strange news reports on TV.

I didn't get to use a camera, but I did render in PSP a fairly accurate representation of what I saw, and that's the image in this posting...the lights beyond the bigger "cross" of lights were the intermittent "sparks" and the smaller "cross" is a representation of the location and look of the moving object which only appeared for a moment.

I Gooooogled "UFO March 22, 2007" this morning and I haven't learned of any other people who have seen this, but I, my husband, and his father (who got his telescope out this morning after we called him and saw the reflection of the sun off one of the object's "panels"--he said it looked like a "space station") all saw the same thing and have no way to explain what we viewed. I can't even explain it as a hoax or media stunt...I'm just glad I'm not the only one who saw it, otherwise I would have been dismissed for sure.

Hopefully, no government people in dark suits will show up at my door after this...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

My gal...

Today is the one-year anniversary of Sadie’s death. I can’t believe it has been a year. She was a real rascal and an expert at disobedience. She rarely sat still and she frequently lost her temper with our other dog. There were at least three times that we rushed off to the vet to get stitches. We went to a veterinary behaviorist (which is the same rate as a shrink, except without the insurance assistance). I read books. I fretted. I chased her all over the house. She chased me all over the house. We played hide-and-go-seek. She had to be at least one body length ahead of Pickles when we walked. She would distract Pickles by barking at a fake intruder and then steal her treat as soon as Pickles came to see what was going on. She wanted soft toys just to un-stuff them. She wanted hard toys just to bury them (she took great care in burying items). She ran from my big white deaf cat. She hated the garbage men. She hated sirens. She hated thunderstorms. She loved people and kids. She hated dogs. She constantly pestered us when she was inside. She constantly pestered us to come inside when she was outside. She loved to chase birds. She hated to get up in the morning. She hated to go to bed. She’d run upstairs when you told her to go downstairs. She loved to eat more than anything else. She learned that she could only eat the pieces of cat food that had fallen out of the bowl and on the kitchen floor. She cleaned the kitchen floor of all crumbs. She wouldn’t stay out of the garbage. She loved to hear herself bark. The neighbors hated to hear her bark. She loved getting her Christmas toys. Her Christmas toys only lasted 30 minutes. She was a handful. She was always mischievous. Her eyes were always sparkling. She was always smiling like sunshine.

I miss my gal.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

it's getting fugly...

Today is the 2nd year anniversary of when we found my father after his accident. I've taken off a couple days to lay low, decrease the stimuli and general overload. I didn't expect the second anniversary to be as painful as the first...

A couple more months and I will have hopefully earned my mastirz in soshul werk...thank God...I thought I would never get there.

My internship in veturinarie soshul werk has been very interesting, but the constant death in this teaching hospital has really worn on me. There are multiple euthanasias nearly every can be terribly difficult for the interns and residents just starting their careers. And I have found out that I would not be able to do this type of work full-time. It is constant grief work and not much else. Yes, you get to see animals all the time and that's really cool, but you also get to see a lot of them die, too.

It could be the anniversary or it could be something else, but I know I want to be able to do more than crisis management and grief work. I do, however, want to be connected to the field as a supportive clinician. Compasshun fatigue is a huge problem in the field and vets see death 5 times more than human doctors. Becoming disconnected and numb is a problem for these folks sometimes, as is burnout.

knit your own penis...

Yes, now you can create the penis of your dreams. And balls, too...need to talk to the boss? Just join another skein and get the cajones you never had.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Atticus says hi...

Atticus says I am feeling better...and I have even gained a little weight!

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Hi from Yuki

Rooney says hello!

Rooney is where he should not be!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

What A Pretty Dog!

And I don't take it back.

A couple of weeks ago I came in to work over the weekend and the building alarm went off. Mind you, it's always malfunctioning and such, so quite frankly, I didn't do anything about it. I didn't have a number to call so I just tried to get my stuff done.

Which is stupid, but sometimes I do stupid things.

I wasn't going to be there long, so my husband came with me. He was wondering around the suite, annoyed that I didn't know who to call. I was in my office and then I heard him call my name, "Uh, Teresa?!"

When I stepped out into the main area of the office, there was the K-9 unit and two policemen with their guns drawn.

Puppy looked hungry. Puppy wanted to eat us.

And the first thing out of my mouth was, "What a pretty dog!"

The cop closest to me looked stunned, as did my husband. But, the smallish German Shepherd dog was beautiful, despite the fact it was pulling so hard the K9 officer had to brace himself to pull him back.

"I guess I shouldn't be happy to see a K9 unit," I said to the officer.

He chuckled a little in a dismayed sort of way and shook his head. "No, you don't..."

So, I proved my identity by pointing to my name on the wall, giving him my license and a business card. All with a smile. All while no one else could figure out why I would take a thing in stride.

I did apologize...a lot. And they told us to have a good night.

I got an angry lecture from my husband and I took it because I deserved it this time. I do not take lectures from anyone unless I've really goofed.

I do know the security code now. By memory. Etched in gray matter.

But the truth is that I really wanted to pet the dog.

The Rodent Department

A ratty mascot for our office...degus from South America...

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Sunday, January 21, 2007


My papaw-kitty, 14 year-old Atticus is not well. Over the past six months he's been losing weight and though his bloodwork looked okay at that time, he's gotten skinnier. The pic is of him before he started to lose weight.
So I took him back and he's in renal failure and has a heart murmur...and has liver problems. I didn't expect to hear any of that and left with two meds, special kidney diet food, IV fluids and a bag of needles to do sub-cutaneous fluids daily.
I really hate poking him on a daily basis. I get through it, but I think it traumatizes me more than it does him. He does seems to feel a little better with the fluids, though. I really hate to lose my Atticus-man. He's a really special, kind of spunky/cranky kind of cat that steals your heart. I don't know how much longer I'll have him, but I'll try to enjoy the time we do have.
I'm going to try to post a little more's a crazy time for me. I have four cell phones between my personal, internship and work equipment...every day is a battle against getting confused as to whether I'm coming or going.
It will all work out somehow. Hope all is well for my friends in the blogosphere!

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