Just Do Something

I wish people were as passionate about children in foster care as they are about animals in a shelter.

I keep seeing that message posted around social media and you know what…

I wish people were as passionate about Jesus as they are about politics. 

I wish people were as passionate about finding a cure for cancer as they are about their sports team. 

I wish people were as passionate about children in foster care as they are about going to Disney World. 

I wish people were as passionate about homeless people as they are about LGBT rights. 

I wish people were as passionate about eating healthy as they are about getting a flu shot. 

This type of thinking absolutely infuriates me. It implies that because someone cares about one thing or cause that they don’t care about another one. Can’t you care about more than one thing at a time? Because someone cares about one thing, does it make it more or less important that something else?

I care about kids in foster care. That’s a really bad situation. What’s even worse is that if you want to adopt a kid in the United States, it can cost upwards of $30,000 or more. BUT if you want to MURDER a baby, it’ll cost you less than $500. Be fired up about that. 

My passion just happens to be shelter animals. They have NO voice. They depend on humans for food, water, and care. Did you know when an animal is brought into a shelter, it often only has a few DAYS to find someone to adopt or rescue it or its killed? MURDERED. Since animals don’t have a voice or a way to reach out to people, they have NO way to find a way out of the situation it is in. I choose to be their voice – that hopefully someone will see a cute face, fall in love, and save a life. And I’ve helped save many. 

Is this as important as foster children? Some may think not. But when was the last time you saw an orphanage post pictures of children online or on social media trying to help them get adopted? These are children and because of privacy and regulations, it doesn’t happen. Their stories can’t be shared to try to get them adopted. So what can you do about that? Go foster a kid, or two, or four. That’s fantastic! I have friends that do that and I commend them. I’m not in a position to foster children. But I can help network to save animals lives. 

Get off your high horse and get over yourself. What cause are you helping or contributing to? Are you fostering children? Are you raising or donating money for foster kids? Find something that means something to you and fight for it. Help someone, somebody, something. Just do something rather than sitting behind your keyboard or on your phone placing judgement on those who choose to. 

Change of Plans

Hey there, how’s it going? It’s been a minute, huh? I decided to brush this space off and give it another try. I get busy and struggle with finding time to post anything, and then my life seems so boring- what do I post? I used to think my life was SO interesting. Now I realize I was basically just young and really dumb back then. 😂

But anyway… so remember back over a year ago when I said I was going to have that surgery? Well, it didn’t happen. My husband ended up having to have a disc replaced in his neck and then spinal fusion surgery. Things just got hectic and it fell off our radar. But also, I’ve changed my mind about having it.

A few months ago, I applied for a life insurance policy. I knew my weight wasn’t exactly where I wanted it to be but thought that overall I was pretty healthy. I have a pretty bad needle phobia so I’ve not kept a good check on my health… ever. I just figured if its not hurting or broken, don’t fix it. WELL, come to find out, I wasn’t in great shape. My blood sugar and cholesterol numbers were off the charts high. They were so high that I was denied a life insurance policy. I was told to go to the doctor and try to reapply in a year. 🙄

That was my wake-up call. I immediately started researching the best way to lower these numbers and stumbled upon keto. I had  heard about it, but didn’t really know what it was. I had seen people post on facebook about it but I just thought they wanted to sell me something so I scrolled past it quickly. It turns out, this is pretty legit! There were hundreds of stories and testimonies from people and doctors talking about how people were dropping weight like crazy and even reversing diabetes.

I immediately cut out all sugar, all grains, all starchy foods, even starchy vegetables. And as crazy as it sounds, I started adding in a lot of fat to my diet. Keto is a high fat, moderate protein, very low carb way of eating. And it has been fabulous!

I did a grown-up thing and made a doctor appointment. As I suspected, the blood work came back and my blood sugar was still high. I guess it had been really bad for a really long time. They put me on some medication to get those numbers to come down, BUT the numbers had already come down quite a bit since the insurance medical exam. And even adding in all the extra fat I was eating with keto, my cholesterol and triglyceride numbers had come down too. So much so that I didn’t even need any medication for that. And I’ve lost about 20 pounds in the last couple of months.

Will I say that I’ll NEVER eat sugar or bread or potatoes again? Nope. I will eventually have those things occasionally but I will not eat them on a constant basis like I did before. Keto isn’t a fad diet that I’m trying out, but rather its become our new way of living and I know that it is sustainable long term. I only have about 25 pounds before I hit my goal weight and for the first time in forever I know its achievable. It’s just a matter of time before I’m there.

Dive Bombers

Our dogs are pretty good about waking us up in the middle of the night if they need to go out. Chloe is our beautiful two-year old labradoodle, who is still very much a puppy. She sometimes gets bored and wakes me up to go out and play…in the middle of the night. The other night, I let her out at about 1:00am. She seemed to be taking an extra long time so I went out to check on her. I found her jumping and diving into our crepe myrtle. Usually I can lure her back into the house with the offer of a cookie or carrot. She wasn’t listening to ANYTHING I was saying though. She was obsessed with this tree and something in it. I had to go out into the yard and physically pull her back into the house.

     

The next day, I learned that they must be a bird nest in that tree. Every time I would let Chloe outside, she found herself under attack! These two birds would get up high in a tree or on the roof and dive-bomb her over and over. This has been going on for several days now. For the most part, she doesn’t even realize its going on because they usually don’t hit her. Yesterday I saw one of them actually swoop down and hit her in the butt though. Of course she just tried to chase it like it was a game. My poor sweet princess! These birds better back down off my baby or I’m taking the bird feeder down!

Mean Bird

Dream Home

We’re not necessarily in the market for a house or looking to move, but the other night, someone shared a house listing on Facebook and I instantly fell in love. The house is nice, but that’s not what made me fall in love with it. This house is attached to a 2682 square foot kennel with more than 25 heated/air conditioned indoor/outdoor doggie suites. It sits on 19 acres and has multiple fenced in doggie play areas. There’s also a grooming area with an attached bathtub.

I have a dream, and if I ever find myself with a lot of money (i.e., I win the lottery) I will buy or build a house similar to this one, with the dog kennels and outdoor space. I want to start my own animal rescue. It would be mostly dogs and cats but if I could help the occasional rabbit or other smaller animals that would be great too. This is my passion and where my heart is.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve really started to pay attention to how many pets get abandoned, abused and/or surrendered. The numbers are astounding and it breaks my heart how so many people just toss away their family pets like they’re a piece of trash. Scrolling through Facebook, I see all of the “urgent” dogs in shelters needing rescues or fosters and I just cry and cry. When I’m able, I donate to help secure a rescue, but I’m not always able to give and I hate that.

Each year, about 3.7 million animals are euthanized. 5 in 10 dogs and 7 in 10 cats in shelters are euthanized simply because there is no one to adopt them.

Did you know that if you surrender your pet to a shelter, there is no mandatory hold placed on them. There is no mandatory time given to help them find a new home. They can be euthanized immediately. If the shelter is out of space or low on resources, that is exactly what happens.  After all, no one is looking for them and their owner doesn’t want them. This absolutely rips my heart out.

I know I can’t save them all,but if I could save some… if I could keep a few from suffering or losing their life early. I don’t think any animal should ever suffer at the hands of a human. These sweet babies deserve to be loved and spoiled and treated like members of a family. I want to help make that happen, one furbaby at a time. 🐶❤🐱  And to think,  I used to not even like dogs; now I have two of my own and can’t imagine my life without them.

Trypanophobia

Last night I had a dream about the surgery. In my dream, I almost missed my flight and for some reason, I went alone. (I won’t actually be going alone; my husband will go with me.) The entire dream was very rush rush- almost like an escape scene out of an action movie. I was on a very small private plane and the hospital medical staff was on the plane. The plane landed right outside the clinic in Mexico and Dr. Ortiz was standing outside waiting for me. Blood work had to be done before surgery. I have to tell ya’ll, I seriously fear the blood work and the IV more than I fear having 2/3 of my stomach removed. I HATE needles! Seriously, I probably have a legitimate phobia. Upon my arrival, I immediately tell Dr. Ortiz about my fears in hopes that he could somehow lessen my anxiety or at least have someone gentle handle all that needle stuff. He reassured me that I had nothing to fear and they would take good care of me. Then a nurse came up to me, still outside the clinic, and jabbed a huge needle underneath my fingernail to draw blood. In her attempt to draw the blood, she cut a big chunk out of my fingernail! 😳

I know this isn’t how this will go down at all. After all, I went with my husband when he had his surgery. We’ll fly into San Diego and a driver from the hospital will pick us up and drive us across the border into Mexico and on to the clinic. And I know that no one is going to drive a needle underneath my fingernails. That sounds absolutely dreadful though, doesn’t it? The surgery isn’t even officially scheduled yet and I’m already having nightmares about the needles. #wimp #weenie #wuss

Bring Back the Blogroll

I started my first blog back in 2005 on Typepad. I had never even heard of a blog before, but a friend at work had one and I was intrigued. She was so creative and even created her own designs using the art of Ryan Vernon’s Pin-Up Toons. It was so cool. I soon found that Typepad didn’t have all of the capabilities that I wanted and eventually landed with WordPress. I was single back then and had a lot of extra time on my hands. I had a design professionally created and I’d spend hours learning CSS and installing plugins. I never really got to the expert level I was going for, but I did learn quite a bit back then. Now everything is automated and its fantastic but blogging has really lost its luster. Its just not what it used to be and it makes me so sad!

These days most blogs I come across are big and commercialized. There are blogs with multiple contributors and thousands of readers. Everyone has a general theme or deep down, they’re trying to sell you something. It’s lost that personal touch. I have trouble finding regular people blogging on a personal level that I can connect with. I used to love finding a good blog and then going through that person’s blogroll. That person typically linked to several other like-minded people. It was awesome! I made so many new friends that way and drew so much inspiration from others. While I was away from blogging, the blogroll went away too. ☹ Why?! Why did everyone purge their blogroll?!

I blame Facebook. Facebook killed MySpace and it killed blogging. MySpace probably needed to go… with all the blinky gifs and bad music as soon as a page loaded… well, that was justified. But I digress… I really do miss the way blogging used to be. Bring back the blogging communities and bring back the blogroll!

Not So Easy

It’s the “easy/lazy way out”.  I would never do that! I actually used to even get angry when I’d hear of people doing it. But, I’ve changed my mind.

What am I talking about? Weight loss surgery

Several years ago, I worked with a woman who wasn’t heavy enough to qualify for weight loss surgery. She ate and ate until she gained enough weight to qualify. Then the doctors made her stop smoking prior to the surgery. She said that she couldn’t wait to get healthy! She also said that she couldn’t wait until after the surgery so that she could start smoking again. 🙄 Now THAT is ridiculous. I think situations like this is where my frustration came from.

But then my cousin did it. My sister-in-law did it. My husband’s co-worker did it. My hair stylist did it. My husband did it. One of my best friends just did it. And none of them have regrets about it. Every single one of them will tell you that they would absolutely do it again.

I used to think that you just went in and had your surgery of choice and you lost weight – easy peasy. Just fork over the money and there’s no effort or sacrifice required. What I’ve learned is that it really isn’t so easy. It’s not just a quick easy fix. It’s a tool. Having this surgery doesn’t guarantee that you’ll lose the weight. It just gives you a much better chance.

First, there’s a pre-op liquid diet of at least a week, maybe longer. My husband had to lose about 40 pounds before he could even have the surgery and was on a mostly liquid diet for several weeks before his surgery. After surgery, there’s a post-op diet of liquids and pureed foods for a good 5-6 weeks. That’s about two months or longer without solid food, mostly broths and protein shakes.

After surgery, you’re no longer supposed to have beverages with a meal at all…ever. After all, your stomach can only hold about 1/2 cup of food at a time. Yet, you have to ensure that you get the proper nutrients and stay hydrated with those small portions. If you overeat, you get sick- very sick. You also run the risk of busting your staples. If you eat the wrong type of foods, that can also make you very sick. It is a huge life change and quite a sacrifice. I’ve had two of those people I mentioned earlier tell me that this is the absolute hardest thing they’ve ever done in their life.

More and more people are having these surgeries not because they are morbidly obese, but as a preventative measure. They want to keep their weight in check to avoid diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Having a surgery like this physically forces you to control your portions.

This is where I am. I do need to lose some weight, but I’m not heavy enough to qualify for this surgery in the States. I’m a stress-eater who sometimes can’t get a handle on portion control. I’m also a yo-yo dieter. I’ve tried every fad diet on the market at least once. I’ll lose a good amount of weight and then gain it back. I’m not consistent. Also, diabetes and high blood pressure run in my family and I want to avoid those.

After much deliberation and discussion with my husband, I’ve decided to have gastric sleeve surgery. Since I don’t qualify for it here and our insurance doesn’t cover it, I’ll be going to Mexico. This type of surgery in the US is around $20,000, but I can have it done there for about $6500. I know what you’re thinking – it sounds insane. I thought so too until my husband had his surgery there last year. Everything was fantastic! I went with him to the clinic, met the doctors, nurses, and nutritionalists. Everything was very clean and everyone was professional. Dr. Ortiz is world famous and considered a leader in the bariatric surgery field. I trust him completely.

After talking to one of the clinic coordinators, she wanted to schedule my surgery at the end of August. I really wish I could do it in that time frame, but since we’ll be paying for this out of pocket, I’m having to wait until we can save up the money for it. My goal is February/March 2018. More to come! 😊

Sweet Dreams

Let me preface this post by saying that I love my husband dearly. ❤ BUT, he and I have completely different ideas of the perfect sleep environment.

He wants music playing all night long, and not a quiet peaceful melody. Depending on his mood, he might play Southern Gospel music,  Sheryl Crow, Ozzy Osborne, the latest country music, R&B, even Auburn’s marching band fight song music. Let’s just say that he’s not playing any Beethoven or Mozart – nothing relaxing. Everything is upbeat and he plays it through a Bose speaker loudly. Its like trying to sleep with a marching band in our bedroom every night.

He very rarely sleeps through the night. He typically gets up 2-3 times per night. And each time he gets up he turns the lights on, waking me up and our dogs. I’m convinced his body never relaxes because he has that loud music playing. He insists that he’s listened to music like this since he was young and he can’t sleep without it. 🙄 Since I’ve known him, he’s had this same pattern. He’s never slept well. It’s the music…. but I digress.

If I had my way, I’d sleep in complete silence. I like the room cold and very dark and without sound. The temperature, we can agree on. No problems there. Sometimes he’ll think not to turn the lights on when he wakes up, but not always. The music has been non-negotiable. He absolutely refuses to turn it off or even down. I’ve tried using headphones to block out the noise, but they fall out and/or hurt my ears. +

Enter SleepPhones! My life is forever changed! Its a soft headband with built in mini speakers that snuggle up next to my ears. I turn on my Rain Rain app and it blocks out all the other noise. I slept like a baby last night and it was glorious! Now, if I can find a way to block out the lights… 🤔