A Moral to My Three Stories.

So I have been sick.
It totally wiped me out.
I still have a cough but feeling much better
I did miss a couple of days work and slept in until 7
I have a really hard time staying in bed, even when I feel horrible.
So I'd get up and stumble downstairs and let the dogs out and back in and then
collapsed in my big chair where I just dozed in and out all day.
I had no energy to do anything and I couldn't really get my thoughts together enough to form a sentence.
Finally the haze has lifted and I find myself really reflecting back on a couple of things that happened prior to my illness.

Halloween morning I was running a few minutes late on my way to work.
I hadn't planned on wearing a costume but the day before my co-workers had talked me into it. 
So because it was last minute I dressed as what most girls do when in a pinch.
I went as a black cat.
I wore ears and a tail and painted my eyes like a cat and drew whiskers on my face.
Doing this different make-up threw me off my normal routine of getting ready so I was hurrying to get out the door.
I jumped in my car and drove down my street, there wasn't hardly any traffic
but of course the light was red at the intersection.
I pulled up to the stoplight and waited for it to change.

There was a car to my left in the turn lane that was pulled up a few feet further than I was
and there was a car to my right also waiting on the signal.
At this particular stop there's a sign that reads "Obey your own signal" so no one turns on red there.

It was still very early, the sun was not completely up but it wasn't dark any longer either.
Just kinda of grey.
I sat at the light and reached over for my purse and double checked that I had my phone.
I did, so I set it back in the passenger seat .
Then the light turned green.
I stepped on the gas and out of the corner of my eye I saw something kinda flitter up to the left.
The car to the left had not turned although it was ahead of me and because of that flitter I stomped on my brake.
Suddenly there was a young girl, probably only about 12 or so, frozen in front of my car.
She must have realized my car was going forward and then for some reason just suddenly stopped in front of me. 
Her face was painted like a cat and the hood on her coat was down and I saw her black pointy ears.
She actually looked like I might have at her age. Her hair messy and her cheeks red from running.
She looked frightened and had that deer in the headlight look.
She stopped for that split second and then ran across the rest of the intersection.
There's a Middle School a few blocks further down, maybe she was late
although I thought it was too early for school to be starting.
I just Thank God that none of us in our cars had been in a huge hurry.
I drove to work so AWARE.
It was like someone had thrown ice water in my face.
In the matter of seconds and I could have killed her.
Her life could have been GONE.
Her family destroyed.
I don't know how I would have ever survived something like that.
Mere seconds and everything could have been so different. 
I couldn't help thinking there was something even bigger about all this that I needed to figure out.
That is was some sort of a sign, a lesson or maybe a moral. Something more than just  a reminder to drive very safely.

Then I started thinking about something else that I never shared here.
A couple of months ago I went in one of our exam rooms at work to say goodbye one of my boarders.
I had boarded this couple's two dogs, an old greyhound and a very old Whippet, for many many years.
Then the couple had adopted a younger whippet a year or two ago to kinda buffer the pain of the losses that they knew would soon come.
But last spring, their younger dog, the newest one, was diagnosed with some things that I won't go into here but eventually she was wasting away and they had to let her go.
They told me through tears that she was supposed to be their safety net. Their dog to help them through their grief
but instead they lost her first.
Now the greyhound who had been on almost a dozen different medications suddenly just couldn't go on.
He couldn't walk and he wouldn't eat and they had to let him go too.
They brought their ancient whippet along with so that he could realize what was going on.
They wanted him to realize that his friend had died so that he wouldn't be looking for him and wondering where he was.
We all sat on the floor and cried.
I said goodbye to the old greyhound and turned to pet the little whippet.
He had survived them all.
He looked at me hard. His gaze was intent and
I swear he was telling me with his eyes, "I'm still here!"

I suddenly thought of my grandfather.
He passed a few years back but I remember some 25 years ago rushing to the hospital when he had a heart attack.
Everyone was gathered around his hospital bed, so worried about him.
My grandmother didn't even know how to drive and was terrified of the possibility of a life without him.
My Dad talked about how my Grandfather needed to eat healthier from now on and
my Aunt was so shaken and shocked by the fact that she almost lost her Dad
and then...
One after the other, those three people have passed on and my grandfather lived many many more years.
He was retired but then got a part-time job, he dated several ladies and he even adopted himself a cat.
Yes, he's gone now too but who would have thought he'd be the last of them to go.

I'm boarding that little ancient whippet dog right now.
The couple has gone out and rescued two more whippets, both 9 years old.
So I actually boarding all three.
They all have fleecy winter coats that they wear outside in this bad weather
and today as I velcroed the old dog's belt around him, I looked at him at had that thought again.
He's 16...and I swear he has more spring in his step than ever. 

So what do these three tales have in common you might say?
Well. maybe it's just that you can't really plan anything.
That things will happen and not happen,
Life goes on.
Just because we are a certain age that may sometimes seem old to us,
it doesn't mean we might not have more years left than someone much younger.
Maybe the moral is that no matter what, what's going to happen it's going to happen.
Or not happen.
Maybe it's about fate, some cosmic plan or maybe it's God
Maybe it's just to say enjoy TODAY.

The other morning I was running a few minutes behind again and as I got to the bridge, the drawspan was open.
I had to turn around and drive to the other bridge, but I didn't hurry.
I just drove to work and didn't feel stressed
When I got to work, I was only a few minutes past the time I'm usually there, still earlier than almost everyone else.
I later told a co-worker that I think there was a reason for me being late by just a few minutes.
That maybe I missed something that I was suppose to miss.

NO POST TODAY

I'm SICK 
and feeling -

futile


adjective
1.
incapable of producing any result; ineffective; useless; not successful:
Attempting to write anything worthwhile by the sick blogger was futile.
2.
trifling; frivolous; unimportant.

HOW COULD I HAVE FORGOTTEN?!

I was so looking forward to this extra hour.
Daylight Savings Time, Wahoo!
How could I have forgotten that last year it took the dogs a few WEEKS to get into the time change groove.
At 4:30 AM this morning I could hear Blue pacing.
His nails clicking on the wood floor.
I felt, rather than saw him come to the side of the bed and stare at my face.
I couldn't open my eyes, if I did that, game over.
If he knew I was awake he'd gallop for the door and wake them all up.
So kept my eyes closed and tried to will both myself and him back to sleep 
but then he hit the door a couple of times with his paw.
Maybe he's got an upset tummy, I thought. 
Last night he vomited up his dinner but he seemed fine later..but maybe he was sick again.
Great Dane vomit. or worse yet, Great Dane poop would not be something I'd want to be cleaning up.
Especially at 4:30 in the morning.
So I sat up and everyone started barking in excitement.
Downstairs they ran and I knew I wouldn't be able to go back to bed.
Once I'm up, I'm up and besides it was actually 5:30 if not for the time change.
After everyone had pottied, they ran around the living room knocking down pillows and being rowdy.
I made some coffee and sat down to the computer.
A little bit later I look over and there they were....

Lazy bones!

I made some breakfast and answered early morning texts from other people who know I'd be up
and I cruised around on some new blogs.
The sun is coming in now and Charlie wants out on the porch that is crammed full of all the garden things that I dragged in from the yard.
That's my project for today.
To clear out the porch and to rearrange my furniture again.
I have so many plants that I've brought in from the cold and I need a place to put them until Spring.
When this chore is done I'm usually happy because my tiny space looks like a greenhouse
but placement is crucial so that the cats don't feast on them
or the dogs try to dig in the dirt.
Yep, that's how I'm spending this day.
And I have some wicked satisfaction of sweet revenge because Charlie keeps hitting the doorknob
in his effort to get out to the porch.

The sound of it is like someone trying to get inside
and it wakes the dogs!
Ha!

PING PONG

I have a cabinet in the kitchen next to the windows.
The cats enjoy sitting up there and peering out into the yard.
There are birds to watch and the occasional chipmunk and bunny.
Once in a while the neighbors cat will appear in their window and they will have a stare down.
So I decided to put a basket on top of the cabinet with a little retro pillowcase inside.
Just something for them to sit in because cats like that sort of thing....

and apparently dogs do too.
Yesterday as I sat at the table "pinning" things on Pinterest on my laptop,
I looked over and there's Ping.
WTH?!
How did she get up there?
She was in the basket looking out the curtains.
I picked up my phone and said her name "PING"! and took this pic.
Yep, Ping once again, living up to her full name of Ping Pong.
She probably bounced up there.

HALLOWEEN PUMPKINS

A couple of weeks ago one of my co-workers brought in some pumpkins for whoever wanted them, from her garden.
I took a couple and then went to see what paint we had left over at the clinic.
Mostly it was just odd wall paint colors but I found some white and black and a green.
So I painted the pumpkins for some Halloween decoration for the clinic.

Then last Friday a woman came in and wanted to buy them.
I told her they had been out there for a few weeks and might be getting "soft" and I wasn't sure how much longer they might last.
Then she asked if I could paint one special for her, of her dog.
She was standing there with a nice looking Weimaraner and I could envision how easy it would be, so I agreed to do it.
Then she pulled out her phone and showed me the dog she wanted me to paint.
LOL!
I still said OK and that I would have it ready for her to pick up this Monday, today.
So here's her pumpkin -

She was happy, so I was happy.
I painted another pumpkin for our employee pumpkin carving/painting contest.
I'm no good at carving so of course I painted mine.
I thought I had my pumpkin secured in my vehicle but then I heard it rolling around and when I got to work, it was laying against the car door.
Yeah, kinda got dinged up! Oh well....
Here's my pumpkin - 
SUPERBLUE
(I suppose it's obvious that this one is mine! LOL!)

MY HOUSE

My home.
A port from life's daily storms.
Sometimes I will post tiny snippets of it
but I never share the whole thing.
Part of the reason is because I do want to keep it private but
mostly because it's far from being "done" and definitely doesn't measure up to the homes on my blog feed.
I'm slowly working on it but it's taking me forever.
It's due to lack of money and also time.
I work a physically demanding job and when I come home, I don't always feel like working on the house.
So it's taking me YEARS.
I know some people aren't concerned with such things 
but I'm obsessed with decor and design.
It's obviously not because I'm trying to impress people
because I basically don't let many people inside my home.
I know it's for myself, my own satisfaction and  the feeling of peace as I step inside the door to my private space.

Lately I feel like it's creating me stress.
Stress, because I've been a bit overwhelmed emotionally lately
(I'll share at a later date)
and it's been a struggle to just maintain order.
And also I'm having stress because I have a friend I recently reconnected with, after decades
and who wants to come to my home. 
I've said we should meet up for lunch but this friend is constantly requesting to meet Ghost
and Blue and....
asking how many pets I have 
and.....
I don't feel like it's mean spirited at all but it's freaking me out.
I've seen images of this person's home
and I'm thinking I could fit my house into the foyer of hers.
and...I don't want to be judged, critiqued or whatever.
I'm not saying she would necessarily judge me but we are now from two entirely different worlds.
This is my refuge, my safe place
and I don't need the pressure.
Some day I hope to have my house to a point that I won't be self conscious about every little thing
but it's not there yet.
I've tried to nicely convey my thoughts
and truly I don't understand why there is such a need to come here.
I've had been working hard on my home
but right now I just want to stop.
Relax and mess it up with art stuff.

It's nice that technology has enabled us to reconnect with people from our pasts
but hermits like me, are hermits for a reason.
That being said...
I love having people like my niece Lily over.
She comes over and flops down in my big chair and chats.
She opens my refrigerator and doesn't comment on the items inside but just grabs some cheese to munch on.
She eats the Halloween candy that's sitting on the shelf with my art supplies and
she looks at things I'm working on and gets excited.
She joins me on the patio and helps me scoop poop
and plays with my dogs.
She doesn't seem to notice that I still have sample paint colors painted on the wall in the kitchen
or that the bathroom still doesn't have the wallpaper done.
I've had other people who have come over and asked me to put my dogs outside
as they excitedly jump up. I've told them that my dogs are just happy to see them and will settle down in a minute
but I can feel my shoulders tense tight and I feel uncomfortably as their eyes scan around the room taking in the chaos.
I hear myself explaining how I'm doing laundry or working on a project or.....
The thing is, when you live in a teeny tiny house where when you walk in and you are instantly in the living room that turns into the kitchen that turns into the laundry room...
Well, yeah. It's all THERE
right in front of you.
Sigh....

So that's just a tiny bit of the stress that's been bugging me.
I'm tired of it.
I'm tired of defending why this or that isn't done.
I'm tired of saying I have no extra dollars.
I'm tired of having no energy.
I'm tired of people feeling sorry for me.
I'm tired of feeling like I must spend my time on projects on the home when I just want to work on my art/books.
and I'm REALLY tired of people asking how many pets I have and making jokes that I live in a zoo.
All my pets are very well cared for.
I make sure they have what they need even if it means I buy the special food for them and eat cereal for myself.
Besides, I love cereal.

It's easy for me to complain here but hard for me to convey that to the people who don't even realize how much their comments and requests stress me out.
So... I'm really thinking hard about how to deal with THIS
because I have some OTHER things going on that I have to figure out too.
My usual method is to pull out my big scissors and cut the ties, the strings that reach out to tie up my thoughts.

OK, I've got that off my chest!
and here's a photo I found over HERE.

Funny that I love white so much but this just jumped out and grabbed me.
It's how I truly want my home to be.
Warm, safe, comfortable and private....
and no concerns about keeping up with the Joneses, or whoever.

16 seconds of BLUE

So much has been going on.
Stuff that is better that I don't post on the Internet.
Problems at work.
Disagreements, misunderstandings and MAJOR STRESS,
but it's all been resolved so I'm just "LETTING IT GO".
Wiping it from my mind.
Starting fresh....
sigh.
But hey, here's 16 seconds of Blue!


BODY HEAT

I've been really looking forward to Fall.
I love the Autumn colors 
and the cooler temperatures.
Yesterday when I woke up it was 58 degrees in the house
and 39 outside!
I refused to turn on the heat.
I grew up with a Dad who would say -
"Put another sweater on if you're cold!"
So we toughed it out because temps are supposed to climb a little bit.
In the meantime, the critters were using body heat to stay comfy.
Hattie is in the back, Raini in the middle and Louie snoozing in the front.

Then Ghost crawled in...

Pretty soon Mimsy walked up,
"Is there room for me?"
"NO!" they all grumbled.
"Sure there is!" exclaimed Mimsy

She climbed in - "I'll just sort of circle in right over here..."

"Oh Lord! This is ridiculous! I'm outta here!" said Ghost



Mimsy smirked with satisfaction as Hattie noticed the camera and posed.

Louie woke up "I can't breathe! Someone's on top of me,!"

Raini sat up, saw Nora and said "OH NO!" 
"I'm leaving before SHE tries to get in here!"

And then I said "Want to go outside?"
and everyone except the cats did.



YESTERDAY


was Poppy's birthday.
She's six.
She's been mine for..two or is it three years?
I don't really care how long she's been here,
I prefer not to even think about that except to wish she had been here her whole life.
It was hard for me to imagine anyone giving her away. I know I could never do it.
But when she was given to me, her then mom said she was a very picky eater and most times just wouldn't eat.
She also said that Poppy refused to come out her kennel and be with their family.
She said she'd take her out and she would run right back in and just sit there.
Hmmm.
She eats just fine here. In fact she runs up to me and gives me one or two tiny little "barks" in the morning
and then again in the evening, that clearly says "Where's my food?"
I used to put her in her kennel to eat and she would hurry so fast and then bark to be let out, that sometimes she would throw up.
Now she just waits for her turn to eat in the laundry room.
I feed Blue first, by himself.
And then I feed Jimmy and Nora.
Then the rest of the little ones
and lastly, Poppy, Claude and ancient blind Rosie.
They get the "special" little teeny tiny dog bites food.
Those three eat very very slow, so that's the reason they eat last.
Poppy likes to take a piece of kibble out one at a time and place it on the floor, look at it and then place another and another.
She's like a kid with M & M's, sorting them out by color.
She does it at every meal and then she goes back and eats them.
Sometimes Rosie will stumble upon one and eat it and Poppy will stand there and just look at her, kinda stunned
and then she will hurry and go get another piece.
And Claude? He tiptoes between the girls, takes a mouthful and backwards away and munchies.
Back and forth he goes
It's like a well choreographed little dance.
And the thing that really gets me about Poppy is how, somehow...
by some miracle, she has helped heal my heart after my Ruby's passing.
Just looking at her little face or feeling her tiny little body pressed against my shoulder as I drift off to sleep,
suddenly makes it very clear why she didn't fit into her previous home
and was meant to come live with me.

REMEMBER ME?

Uh yeah, So that blog break lasted much longer than I had planned.
Actually though it wasn't really planned at all.
I kinda lost the drive to write after that whole back stabbing lying ordeal
and then it was so busy at work and it still is!
Usually it slows down when the kids go back to school but people are still traveling.
I guess I shouldn't whine about it...it keeps me employed.
Then just when I started to feel like blogging again I started having computer problems.
I also had my oil light come on in my vehicle so I took it in for an oil change
and of course they found I needed shocks and struts and a serpentine belt.
So I charged that and then the next week I couldn't back out of the driveway.....
Long long boring story but MAJOR repairs to brakes and things that added up to BIG $$$
More credit card charging.
And then my laptop went black and never came back.
Sigh....
The good news is I found this great company that sells refurbished laptops at very reasonable prices 
(more"cha-ching") but I finally have a working laptop and so far it appears to be a step up from what I had!

So I'm back!
I have a lot to write about but not sure where to start.

I did try to read blogs on my phone but I have a horrible time trying to comment,
Finally,  I just didn't.
I lurked.
Facebook was easy to do, so I spent a lot of time over there and
I do LOVE Instagram, it kept me in touch with the world
and I now have quite the collection of boarding pets photos that we've posted on our vet clinic's FB page.
And if I say so myself, I'm kinda proud of them and the reason why is because
we had a professional photographer come in and take shots of our own pets and then she enlarged them onto canvases and hung them around the clinic.
Most of us were extremely unhappy. She cut the ears off of almost every pet and some she cut their noses off!
A few turned out nice but on the average I was really surprised that they weren't better since they are "professional".
I'm not one to usually blow my own horn but my phone photos at least got the pet's whole head and captured their personality.
So I will share some of those photos... but not today.
Instead I'll share a painting that I did.
One of the veterinarians asked me to paint her dog and you all know my bad experiences in the past
but she had found my blog and read about it and reassured me that it would not happen with her.
And really, she's one of my bosses LOL! so of course I did it.
So here's the photograph of her dog:

and here's the painting I did:

She was SUPER HAPPY, which made me SUPER HAPPY and she paid me.
That always makes me happy. 
She had told me no rush and of course that made me drag my feet but then I felt bad about doing that,
so I also did an illustration of her little dog too.
Something she could keep on her desk.

This is what I truly enjoy doing.
The illustrations.....which yeah, I'm still not done with my Kanga book.
Actually haven't worked on THAT at all while on the blog break.
Instead I was very busy with another activity...

But now I'm back!
I will try to get into the swing of REGULAR posting
between doing  the house and yard and work and life stuff
But truly, I've missed you all and I hope you are still out there reading!

DING DONG

OK, she's not really dead but

shes' been FIRED!
and that's even BETTER.



for TAMMY

My friend Tammy (http://peanutonthetable.com/)
is just the sweetest kindest woman
and she has Malignant Hypertension.
She has to keep her BP down and is taking medication for it.
She recently tore her rotator cuff and will be needing surgery
but has to get some of these medical issues under control first.
And there's the worry of heart problems too.
She's been told to stay calm, cool and positive.
So this post is for Tammy
and if everyone could just take a moment and send out positive healing thoughts her way.
Or say a prayer with her in mind, This little lady could use it.
I've gone through my Pinterest account and posted some calm, happy images.
I think visual images can definitely have a calming effect. At least I hope so!
These are for you Tammy! ....







OOPS, this one might not be good for the Blood Pressure! LOL!






xoxo


THE NEW PHONE BOOK'S ARE HERE! THE NEW PHONE BOOK'S ARE HERE!


I'm surrounded by people at work who have no idea what I'm talking about.
Sigh.
Or when I Xerox off paper and hold it to my nose and say
"Remember that mimeographed smell?
and they look at me as if I'm insane.

Or the other day when I realized that no one writes in cursive anymore
and everyone says that it's OLD and obsolete.

and I defend it as easier, faster and as an ART.

Jeez.

And what about people who can't even count back change now-a-days.
I go through a drive through and my total is 6.55 so I give them a ten dollar bill and a nickel 
and they stare at it.
"It's only $6.55, a ten will cover it." they say to me
to which I reply "But I don't want all the change, I want quarters"
....they have no idea what I'm talking about.
Actual money is hard for most of them. They are used to plastic money.

anyway...
I came home yesterday to see that my package from Amazon was on my front porch!
I was so happy. I could hear Steve Martin in my head yelling "The new phone books are here!" 
So what books did I order?
Well, I already had gotten this one-

so I ordered-

and also just learned about this-

and I got this one too-

and I pre-ordered this - 

I can't delay any longer.
Wishing won't make it true.
I need to focus and buckle down and not sweat the small stuff.
I've spent much too much time obsessing over wall paint colors
and yard/garden work
and procrastinating organizing the spare room as my Art room.
Hey! it's MY house.
If I want to work at the kitchen table and have my art supplies in the mud/laundry/dog room, I can and I will.
Maybe some day that room will be my work area
but obviously the fact that it's upstairs and away from everything, just doesn't seem to work for me.
At least not right now.
I might change my mind but it's not my top priority.
I need to LIGHTEN UP FRANCIS


and just get busy.
Someday I will want to retire from my current job
and hopefully I can make enough income from writing/illustrating
that I can live on that and social security comfortable
and not have to share cat food with with my kitties.