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… 🤔

 

Late to the Party

Thus is my life. It seems like I’m always the last person on earth to find out how great something is, especially TV shows. I didn’t realize the greatness of Sex and the City until about 6 years after the series had ended. A friend of mine had every season on DVD and let me borrow her set. I bet I’ve watched every season 10-15 times. I’d watch every episode and start over again. At that time in my life, I could relate in so many ways.

My new current obsession is Nashville! I find myself catching up during my breaks and lunches at work and any spare moment I get. I love it! For a long long time, I wanted to move to Nashville. I had big dreams of going back to school to pursue a career in the music business. Apparently that wasn’t God’s plan for my life. Anytime I started looking seriously at a move, something would happen preventing it. And I’m ok with that. I can just live vicariously through Rayna James and Juliette Barnes. 😊

Without Purpose

I’ve been having a huge internal struggle for a few months… since I accepted a new position at work. I work for a company that I love and I make pretty good money, especially for someone who hasn’t finished a degree program yet. The job is do is okay, but there’s no career path. The position I’m in has zero opportunity for advancement. The only option would be to move into a sales position, which requires extensive travel and time away from my family. That just wouldn’t work for us. Not only that, but I’ve been in sales for the better part of my life and I hated it. Sales just isn’t an option for me.

And I struggle with this… bad. I’ve never been the type of person to just punch a clock, work eight hours, and just go home. Any job I’ve ever had, I’ve worked to advance within the company. Now, I don’t have anything to work toward. It’s just a job. I feel like I have no purpose. Its not fulfilling at all and has been overwhelmingly depressing these past few months.

Leave? Well, I could, but I would most likely take a significant cut in pay to start somewhere new. This company has been financially good to me. I’m just disappointed that this is most likely all it will ever be.

My husband said to me, “I think you’re in a pretty good spot and don’t realize it.” I do realize it. I have a low stress level. I’m only responsible for me. I make pretty good money. And I’m grateful for all of that. Perhaps my purpose now is to simply punch a clock and help provide for my family. I’m trying to come to terms with that.