Saturday, November 24, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 24

Today I want to go a little light and profess my gratitude for puzzles.

I am a huge fan of puzzles and have been for a long time. I love doing crosswod puzzles, especially over breakfast with my parents (they do the ones in the newspaper every morning, just to keep their minds sharp).

I love doing search a words primarily as a way to sort of relax the mind and yet doing these puzzles has trained me to be able to look at things differently when life just isn't quite right.

Ever since I was a little kid I've loved to do jigsaw puzzles and for a while I received one every year for Christmas. I had one that was like 500 pieces and all chocolates and I would challenge myself to see how quickly I could put it back together. Because I put that one together so many times, I think I got my best time under 5 minutes....of course it helps if you don't tear it apart completed.

I have rencently downloaded a jigsaw app on my Kindle Fire, and I am enjoying putting together jigsaw puzzles on that while watching mundane television in the background. The only problem that I find is once in a while, Leo demands that I pet him instead of play....ah the horror!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 23

Today, I am grateful that I do not feel the need to shop on Black Friday. In fact, I am grateful that there is such a place as the Internet (see earlier post) where I will be doing ALL of my Christmas shopping. I do not intend to step foot anywhere near a department store or mall for the next 6 weeks...

Instead, I will be spending this day hanging out with my folks for awhile and catching up and maybe doing to quilt designing with my mom...or reading....or working on the crossword puzzles....or just staring off into space and enjoying the quiet of the country.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 22

Today I am spending time with my family and extended family via my brother-in-law. I am grateful that I have them and that we all live near enough to be able to spend this time together.

I wish each and everyone of you out there a Happy Thanksgiving and hope that you are able to spend this time in the company of people that you love.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 21

Today, I am grateful to the life sucking entity that is the Internet. Without this amazing thing (Thank you Al Gore), I would not be able to:
  • Diagnose my dog's illness
  • Identify whether what I'm about to feed my dog will kill him
  • See what each of my friends is doing AT THIS VERY MOMENT
  • Read and learn about all sorts of fascinating people
  • Find recipes for my crockpot, cakes, pork tenderloin, and silly putty
  • Find quilt patterns that I will never use
  • Find ceramics tutorials that I will forget about
  • Do all my Christmas, Birthday, I'm sad and I want something shopping
  • Try and find a date
  • Create wishlists of books, music, movies, shoes that I want to get
  • Reserve my seat on a plane
  • Purchase tickets to a fair
  • And so many other exciting and/or mundane things.
 Thank you Internet for making my life.... sad and lonely and never experiencing the great outdoors....

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 20

Well, I've put it off long enough. I have to mention how grateful I am to have my Leo in my life.

As you may know, Leo has had some challenging health issues. Ever since I recieved his a year ago in July, he has been on one type of antibiotic or another for an upper respiratory problem or pneumonia, or at least that is what we assumed it was. I'm having second thoughts on all of that at this time.

We recently had another bout of illness, but I decided to just ride it out rather than rush to the vet, just to see how he faired. I also started thinking about what happens prior to him getting sick. For the longest time, I would blame it on Petsmart, because I would take him to get groomed and within 24 hours, he would be sick. However, I started thinking and realized that he has been to the groomers and NOT gotten sick, so was it possibly something else?!?

I then realized that on the first weekend of the month, the weekend that he normally goes to the groomers, I also give him his heartworm pill. Ding Ding Ding Ding!! I decided to do some research on possible side effects of giving him this medication, which is basically a pesticide that he ingests. It turns out that there are some side effects (the following is taken directly from

Adverse Reactions

In clinical field trials with Heartgard Plus, vomiting or diarrhea within 24 hours of dosing was rarely observed (1.1% of administered doses). The following adverse reactions have been reported following the use of HEARTGARD: Depression/lethargy, vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea, mydriasis, ataxia, staggering, convulsions and hypersalivation.
Well, upon reading this, I made the determination that his issues may lie more in his medication than in his bath. He experiences a number of the symptoms, including vomiting, lethargy, anorexia (loss of appetite - not the psycological issue), and probably some ataxia or convulsions, because he does have more leg and foot spasms during this time than normal. With this being said, I'm going to perform an experiment next month and NOT do the hearworm and the grooming on the same weekend. I'm also going to go ahead and start researching what options are out there for preventative heartworm medications that are not administered orally.

I just have to think that we know he has an impaired immune system due to his childhood illnesses, compounding that with giving him a strong pesticide has to make me reconsider everything that I've done for this poor baby... How can I give him something that causes him so much distress?!?

Oh, and as a funny story... Leo is no longer being put into his crate when I leave the house. Since he is in daycare at least 3 times a week, he has a lot less energy and boredom, so I feel comfortable with the knowledge that he isn't going to destroy anything. However, I still do not allow him to just roam free throughout the house. Instead I gate off my kitchen, which has tile floors, and close all of the doors along the hallway. This gives him plenty of space to roam up and down the hall, I also leave him with water and food, if he hasn't eaten it for the day, as well as his bed (unless he starts tearing it up). He seems to be okay with this, he doesn't enjoy me leaving him behind and he has started refusing to eat his treat and/or his food until I return. I feel a little guilty over this, but he has to learn that I will always (I hope) come back to him. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I left to go to dinner with a friend and he was alone in his space. When I returned a few hours later, I opened the door from the garage and expected to have him come flying down the hall to greet me, which is the norm. Well, he wasn't there. The house was completely silent and he wasn't in the kitchen or garage. I started to panic, until I opened the door to the pantry (one of 2 doors that are off of this hall) and he comes shooting out of the dark in a complete panic. After hugging on him and calming him down, I took a look in the pantry. Now, there is no telling how long he was actually in that pantry, I mean did he find his way in there as soon as I closed the door and pulled out of the garage or was it right before I returned home, no matter, though because he did not get into a single thing...even though his treat bag is on the floor, the trashcan is in there, he was within grabbing distance of any number of things....nothing was touched. I figure the door hadn't been latched tightly and he bumped it with his nose in his sniffing around and when he went in and sniffed behind the door it was pushed shut. Since he does not have opposable thumbs nor the understanding of pulling the door open, he was trapped.....poor baby. He has been avoiding the pantry ever since that event.

Monday, November 19, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 19

Well, I couldn't be grateful for my Mom without being equally grateful for my Dad.
I'm grateful for my dad, this year especially, because he is on the mend. He was diagnosed with cancer in February and has been battling it via chemo therapy for many months. He recently finished up his last round and went back for another scan. We are all thrilled to learn that the cancer is gone, for the most part, and we expect many, many more years of him being around.

My dad has always been sort of a moral, ethical, career, life touchstone for me. While Mom has been the comfort and encouragement that I've needed, Dad has been the voice in the back of my head...much like my conscience. I've always thought about what I was about to do as to whether Dad would be proud or angry or discouraged in me. I've always wanted Dad to be proud of me, and I think I've accomplished that....and now I'm working really hard to not worry so much about what Dad is going to think because I know that he will love matter what.

So, I am grateful for having two parents who love and respect me (and whom I love and respect and am in awe of).

And, since I put some embarrassing pictures of my mom out here yesterday, I have to post some of my dad as well....

Dad would be willing to entertain us by coming in from the garage
(you can tell he was working on something based on his attire) and
show how he could do a headstand in the middle of the floor.
The man had skills!!

For a brief couple of years, we were the proud owners of a
Model T Ford. Dad was never really big on fixing up engines
so nothing really came of this car, but it did run briefly...

Dad is an amazing artist and woodcraftsman. This is in one of his
classes that he has taken to learn how to make amazing sculpture
out of wood...I tell you, I come from crazy, talented stock!!

I just love this picture. This is Dad and me standing on the beach
in Florida one Christmas, just watching the waves come in...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 18

Today, I am grateful for the most amazing woman that I know....My Mom. Today is her birthday. For some reason, I cannot find any recent pictures of her, however, I have found some doozies from years past....
Birthday Cake made from scratch by my sister and I in 1980ish.
That was perhaps the densest cake ever made....there is no
telling what ingredient we may have left out....but the imporant
one, Love, was in there and doubled.
Mom, beautiful 30+ years ago. Still beautiful today, although now she
wears less polyester and lots more cotton.
Mom was always willing to join in the fun....

....Or just be the fun at any party...She still is our social butterfly.

After retiring, Mom's opportunity to expand her art has increased
and she is an amazin artist!!

Mom a few years back at Frank Lloyd Write's house Falling Waters.
Mom is a huge FLW fan.
There are so many things that I can say about my mom, besides the fact that she is an amazing wife and mother, artist, teacher, life student, inspiration. My mom has been such an influence on who I am today. Don't get me wrong, we have had our issues, but what parent/child relationship hasn't had issues, but those battle wounds have only allowed our bond to become stronger.

Mom, I love you and I hope that you have an amazing birthday, even if you do nothing more than the crossword puzzle and drink coffee.