Monday, September 28, 2009

garden things...

I don't consider myself a green thumb by any means, but I'm a better gardener than I ever thought I could be. Last year I planted Silver Lace Clematis to run over the pergola my mom built for us. It's already up and over the top and halfway across. It blooms in September and smells delicious.

The daisy-looking plant (I can't remember the name of it) has been a nice surprise. It is still in full bloom and brightens up the garden for fall. These plants are about 2 years old. This year has been the first year it has looked mature. It can tolerate some shade as well. I just love seeing things grow and change in the garden--every year is a surprise. :-)




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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Baxter says "Arrrrooooooooo!"

Baxter was the cutest little beagle with honey-colored eyes. For some reason he was completely enamoured with my mother. This little video is him getting all wound up when my mom went into a gas station for a potty break. Baxter is saying "Come back!" Actually, he got pretty excited every time the car stopped. He was a real character.

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Rescue Transport Yesterday

Here's our buddies going to rescue yesterday. Three hound dogs in a car in torrential rain means STINK. But it was fun. The 3 hour trip turned into about 4 1/2 because the rain was so horrible. We saw three cars wrecked in ditches because there was so much water standing on the interstate. Baxter is the little beagle and the two elderly bassetts are Jiminy and Cricket. They will be excellent pets for someone very soon. Baxter insisted on sitting on my mother's lap.




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Saturday, September 26, 2009

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A national bill (not just Florida) Tax deduction for pet care costs

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AJSavannahs: F2B Kittens Oscar and Henry

I just love these guys!
AJSavannahs: F2B Kittens Oscar and Henry

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He said it best...

"Never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake.  Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way."  ~~ Martin Luther King, Jr
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Check out this LOLCat!

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Pepper snoozing (and destroying the couch)...

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Petey lounging in the adirondack...

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Thursday, September 24, 2009


Finally got some news on Mom's MRI. It showed no additional cancer and they think what has been found is in very early stages! She will still have to have a mastectomy but it will be unilateral instead of bilateral. I am so relieved the cancer has not spread beyond that initially identified spot. Mom had a sister who died of breast cancer in her 50's so I was in a heavy-duty panic. Thanks for all the prayers, hopes, and good karma that was sent our way. *happy dance today*

-- Post From My iTouch

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yuki sez...

"I can haz capstarz now?"

Apparently he is allergic to fleas and given our surprise infestation it only takes one to send him scratching holes in himself. Capstar sure is expensive but I'm going to keep him on it until we've beaten the little devils. Even Frontline and Sentinel were no match for them. Until this year we hadn't had those rotten pieholes in our house for 15 years.

I have never hated a bug so much in my life. I feel like I have them in my hair even though I only see one or two a week. Still, the mere thought of those blood-sucking trolls makes me itch all over.
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Time for Pepper's afternoon nap

I wish I felt that relaxed. We're still waiting for MRI results for my mom. It seems like each minute lasts an hour when you're waiting for that kind of (hopefully good) news.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I can't believe the sun is peeking through least here and there. Gosh, any light at all at this point is a Godsend.

I'm doing a pet loss support group tonight which is kind of difficult for me right now after losing my kitty Grayson, but these groups help people so much. Our culture doesn't do a very good job of honoring companion animal grief and people really suffer when they can't get support from others. Loss is loss in my opinion. If you've loved an animal like a family member, that loss is commensurate to the attachment. Additionally, that loss reconnects people with other losses in their lives. Unresolved grief issues can pop up.

Mom's MRI went well...she had to be perfectly still for 45 minutes, which is like asking my mother to do a tightrope act between two speeding 747s, but she did it. We should know some more by tomorrow. She is nervous about getting bad news (that the cancer has spread outside of the known area). One day at a time. I am not good at waiting and she isn't either. Genetics, I guess. Overall, she is nervous but still has a good attitude. Me, I've gained 3 pounds. I'm not sure what that's about!

One day at a time. :-)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

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Yikes! This common ingredient could kill your dog!
#animalwelfare #dog #dogs #doglovers (In case you missed it)

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Rain again

The sun came out for about 2 hours on Friday and has otherwise been rainy and gloomy for almost a week. Ugh. I would REALLY like to see some sunshine!!
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Saturday, September 19, 2009

These kittens need good homes...

A very sweet good samaritan is desperately trying to find these kittens a home before they are taken to the shelter. She is trying to get them a home even though she is severely allergic to them. If you are in the market for a super-cute kitten, these darling little guys are available. Please share with everyone you know. After losing Grayson last week, we're not ready for a new kitty baby just yet.

Friday, September 18, 2009

heart and mind tired...

Whew...tired tonight. My body is dragging because my mind and soul are exhausted from worry. Mom spent a great day with loving friends, so that is comforting and wonderful.

I lost another job to a candidate with more experience, though I was in the top running. This time I am not upset, but relieved. I think right now my mom needs me and I am grateful for time to take care of her with surgery on the horizon.

I worked at the vet school today but the afternoon was quiet, which was probably good given my confused state of mind. The sun came out for a while this afternoon, but rain set in again later least we got a little sunshine to boost the spirits. That always helps.

Tick, tock, tick, tock...

Can't sleep. I've been noodling on my iTouch for more than 2 hours now. The husband is asleep; the dogs are asleep; the cats are asleep...but not me.

I'm trying to not worry- trying...

-- Post From My iTouch

Thursday, September 17, 2009

what are the odds on this one?

I really would like to know the odds on receiving a pitch letter from a funeral home on the very day you are told you have breast cancer?

Thankfully, my mother was able to laugh about it and shake her head. Today, she is a bit more gloomy, as is the weather. The news is starting to sink in and I can hear the fear in her voice. I hope and pray this cancer has not spread. It's hard to wait even one day to continue the treatment plan. MRI on Monday; discussion of type of surgery on Wednesday. I wish we could get it all done today and know what we're dealing with. And I wish the sun would come out. My mother's gas tank has always been run on sunshine.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The "C" word...

I went with my mother today to get her results of her breast biopsy, and unfortunately it was cancerous. I knew it was not good news when the manager of the breast center ushered us back to a room with couches and "comfortable amenities." \

The first sentence out of the doctor's mouth was that "it was cancer..." Thankfully, I was able to take some notes and keep things straight, because after the "c" word, I think my mother zoned out. It was a real shock.

We immediately saw a surgeon and had bloodwork done. It was a really, really hard day. I had a gray feeling when I headed over to her home to take her to breast center this morning. I felt the constant stream of bad luck was not over.

Monday will be an MRI and then Wednesday we'll talk to the surgeon again. I can only hope it is in early stages and that a mastectomy can take care of the cancer. This is scary. I am really close to my mom and I'll be frank...I'm scared to death.

Let's hope her diligence has paid off. The mammogram did NOT show this as a mass to be investigated because it was lobular and not ductal cancer. Lobular breast cancer DOES NOT always show up on mammograms! So, after her mammogram, which was CLEAR, she reported to her doctor she had a "tender place" and her doctor fortunately did a sonogram which resulted in the immediate recommendation of a core biopsy. Thank God for that. Otherwise, it could have been another year before another mammo was done and by the time it did pick it up, it could have been much worse. My mom is a strong lady and keeping her chin up. I hope and pray for the best.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I almost can't write about losing Grayson so suddenly. It makes me hurt all over. I was part of making a pet memorial event happen just three days after his death and I thought I was going to be physically sick for hours on end. My body hurt as if I had the flu. Today I feel better having had some sleep and quiet time.

I have lost my father, four cats, and two dogs in the past 4 1/2 years. It's only been four months since losing my 17 year-old kitty Atticus. He was my art partner...always sitting near me any time I went to create. It's just been one loss after another and I feel as though my heart as been pureed. Throw in turning 40, major surgery, job loss...well, hell...that's enough.

Tomorrow I am going with my mother for her follow-up appointment to a breast biopsy. I am very nervous about this as my bad luck with beloved companions and family seems to be curse. I hope and pray we get good news for her tomorrow morning. If we hear otherwise, I think I might explode.

THE GOOD THING ABOUT TODAY IS THAT I HAVE BEEN MARRIED 13 YEARS. My DH surprised me with a netbook...he knows I'd rather have technology than jewelry (I can pick out my own jewelry-LOL). I absolutely love's so light and portable and the battery lasts forever. Super cool gift!!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Goodbye precious Grayson

We had to say goodbye to our 15 year old kitty Grayson. I was with him when he was put to sleep this evening around 6 pm. He passed peacefully. Praying angels are watching over him now--he was some of God's finest work. Aching.
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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

...still waiting...


Poor Grayson is still at the vet and will stay another night. His bloodwork hasn't come back yet. I am not as worried as I was, but I just don't know what's wrong with my little guy.

My mom has a breast biopsy tomorrow to boot. I am trying to not think about that at all. I'll be with her, but I'm trying to not get panicky over all those possibilities. I am very close to my mom. After losing my dad in 2005, I am paranoid about anything happening to her.

And still waiting to hear back from the folks I have been interviewing with. I've lost one opportunity through no fault of my own (it's a long story) and I'm hoping this other one won't fall through as well. It's been about 140 or so days since I've been laid off and I'm starting to get a little antsy over it all.

Plllbbbbbbtttttt. Say a kitty prayer and one for my mom, too, while you're at it. :-)
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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

say a little kitty prayer...

Poor Grayson is at the vet.
He has been getting more and more disoriented over the past couple of days and I asked the vet to squeeze him in today. They are keeping him overnight for fluids and checking bloodwork. Not really sure what is going on with my little old man. He's 15 and the last of the original crew of kitties we adopted. Hopefully we will hear something tomorrow.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Settled in after a bath

Pepper settles in for the football game after a bath. She's always exhausted afterward!
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Friday, September 04, 2009

dishes, be washed!

The dishwasher dude came and performed his miracle and left. So far the kitchen is not flooded. Now if the other dude would come to fix my fire-hazard-recalled range!

Well, this is fun...

NOT. I've been waiting all day for two separate repairmen to come and fix 1) my new (but past warranty) dishwasher, and 2) my recalled oven. They were supposed to call this morning to give me a time (which has not happened). So here I sit. If I were working right now I would be having an unholy fit about it. Customer service appears to be a thing of the past.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Nero and Gizmo

Last weekend I transported some pups part of the way to their new forever homes. These families are going to be some lucky people. Both dogs are just super!! Nero is a husky mix and Gizmo is a Catahoula Leopard puppy. Both saved thanks to Bonnie Blue Rescue. :-)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


My recipe calls for a little more heart and a little more bravery. Seems like I was a little short on both today. Hopefully my energy will be better tomorrow.
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A message from the unemployed...

Being unemployed since April has been a challenge, a tragedy, a blessing, and just a weird experiment in the journey of life. I've never been unemployed since graduating college in 1988, then after I changed my career to social work, bam--here I am. I find it odd that a support service like marketing is 100 times more stable than something like social work. And when I look in the paper, marketing jobs work almost nothing and half of those are with scary, dysfunctional agencies no one wants to work for...

The things I miss about work: helping people, being intellectually challenged, feeling useful and needed, money, having structure in my life, seeing friends and colleagues, getting OUT. Things I don't miss about work: getting up early, being stressed out, having to get up and out when I'm sick as a dog, not getting to enjoy the outdoors-especially mornings.

Things I will miss when I go back to work: sleeping in, not worrying about staying up late, not necessarily having to get dressed up or put make-up on, shopping in off hours, having lunch with my mom whenever I want to, spending more time with my husband (he works out of the house), and probably most of all-getting to spend time with my animals. I have become a lot more bonded with my dogs, Petey and Pepper. Pepper has gotten a lot more confident since I've been off. She's gotten more consistency and guidance and that has changed her for the better. She's still a nervous, high-strung, anxious dog, but she's a lot better and I think that's because she's had a lot more time with her mama. I tend to be the most "consistent" of the puppy parents and that helps any anxious dog. Petey has just gotten more cuddly with me. He was previously cuddly mainly with my husband.

I am hoping to get a part-time job with benefits and maybe do a little private practice. I also hope I get to stay very involved in veterinary social work. It's kind of an odd field, and more challenging than one would think. I find it the hardest work I've done so far. I'm not sure how to explain that just yet.

Being unemployed has riddled me with anxiety and doubt at times, and has given me a sense of getting a wonderful break at other times. I haven't done anything I thought I would do (all those huge projects you never have time for), but when else are you going to not work for months at a time other than getting laid off? I have to work at not feeling guilty and at times have thoroughly enjoyed it. Like now, my eyes are getting heavy, Pepper is laying beside me on the couch cleaning her paws. The washer is humming downstairs, and it's rainy outside. I'll probably take a little nap. How sweet is it to take a mid-morning nap? Pretty sweet. It will be really hard to get my sleep schedule back on track but I think that's the least of my worries.

So, someone...hire me. It's time for me to go back to work (plus my severance package just ran out...ha).

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