This Day

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Last Saturday began as a normal day.  As I fed my two dogs and one cat, my oldest dog, Sierra, was behaving normally.  She’s been having a really hard time walking due to arthritis and old age, but she has been holding her own even though she’s been getting worse and worse over the past year or so.  However, by nine in the morning she’d lost control of her bowels, and was just lying on the floor looking upset and confused.  I called the vet and told them what was going on.  That afternoon we took her in, determined that there was nothing more to be done, and we had to let her go.  I can’t tell you how horrible this has been.  While I know that it was the best thing for her, it’s been the worst thing for us.  We have been devastated by this.  Every time I go through this, I both can’t believe that it’s happening, and vow to have no more pets.  My heart is ripped apart, and I feel as though I just won’t be able to get through it.  I’ve been crying almost non-stop for days, even waking up crying.

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This is the story of Sierra.  Our son wanted a dog of his own for his fifteenth birthday.  I took him to numerous shelters, however all of the dogs there needed to be the only dog in the family due to previous issues. Since we had another dog and two cats at that time, none of the dogs were a good fit.  I went on Pet Portal and found a no-kill shelter about two hours away.  They had pictures and histories of all the pets available on their web-site and we found the prettiest mixed-breed dog.  Her name was Sierra, and she was available.  So, we took a trip there with our other dog (to make sure that they would get along), and met her.  She was skittish and shy, but very loving and got along with our dog Shadow.  She had had a hard time of it, since she’d been an abandoned dog, and then had been adopted and brought back twice due to her nervous and skittish behavior.  However, we just knew that she was the dog for us.  And the rest is history.  At first, she would “squat and pee” when people approached her due to her fears of being abused.  But with time and love she calmed down enough to realize that she was safe.  Although for years she was afraid every time she got in the car that she was going to go back to the shelter,  she eventually came to believe that we were never going to dump her.   She was sweet, and funny.  Her favorite thing to do was to hop around on her back legs when she was excited and also when she wanted to see what it was that you were carrying.  We called her a Kangaroo due to this, and also due to her coloring.  Going for a walk and getting treats were two of her favorite things.  She also had a blue ball that squeaked, that we called her “baby ball” since she would walk around with it in her mouth, put it on our laps and we were expected to tell her how beautiful her “baby ball” was.  She’d then grab it and jump up on the couch to cuddle with it.  She was such a loving and sweet girl.

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In our family our pets are our family.  They are our children, they are loved and they are a huge part of our lives.  There is a hole in my life the size of our sweet and loving girl.  Sierra, you have been loved and will be forever missed.

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Lead in Baby Food

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Years ago, when I had babies, I read an article saying that lead was found in baby food.  At the time, I was a stay-at-home mother, and decided that I wouldn’t buy any baby food, instead, I would make it.  The way that I accomplished this was to simply put some of the food that I’d made into a food processor and then fed it to my babies.  I was already making my own applesauce, etc. before learning about the lead issue, since I didn’t want to feed my babies refined sugar.  I still make my own applesauce and have only ever added some cinnamon to the finished product.

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The reason I’m sharing all this with you is that once again, scientists have discovered that there is lead in baby food.  The amount is around 20%, with baby juice and root vegetables being the main culprit.  Researchers say that although there is some lead found in the soil where the vegetables may be grown, they feel that it is the high level of processing that is causing the problem.  However, since there is no acceptable level of lead intake, this is cause for concern.  I know that the time constraints on a family with a new baby are excessive, but I do encourage you to make your own baby food.   I know that most people are aware of the effects that environment has on the growth of a child, so if you can, perhaps you should consider making baby food yourself. It really doesn’t take that much time, and the result is that you would have one less thing to worry about. When it comes to raising children, one less thing to worry about is always welcome.

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http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/06/15/533103892/lead-detected-in-baby-food-samples-pediatricians-say-theres-no-safe-level

 

Clutter

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I recently watched a documentary on clutter.  First of all, I must admit that I was pleased that I don’t have the level of clutter in the houses that were shown.  These were typical American homes; however, these weren’t hoarders, just the usual clutter that we’ve probably all seen.  You know, where you can’t walk anywhere except in the ally-ways that have been made.  None of these houses looked like that.  So, they weren’t talking about the extreme clutter.  Just the mostly normal amount of clutter that most families live with on a daily basis.

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However, while I was watching the documentary I was wondering what the effect on people is from just having the “normal” amount of American clutter.  Some of the information that I found includes weight-gain, stress, sleeping problems and anxiety.  This I can believe, since even though I don’t have the amount of clutter I saw in some of those houses, I do have more than my fair share – and it drives me crazy.

While I have no ambition to become a minimalist, I do want to stream-line my life.  I know that I’ve got too much.  Who really needs thirty or so journals? Well, apparently, I do, since I keep buying them.  Or how about twenty or so plastic and stainless steel drinking bottles?  Yes, even though I’ve gone through them, gotten rid of a bunch, somehow, I’ve managed to end up with more of them.  Seriously people?  Do we really need more?

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So, my project for the next few months so going to be getting rid of the clutter.  Have you done this?  How did it work out for you?  And, if you accomplished this goal, have you seen any differences in how you feel?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

An Empty Nest

My contemporaries often talk about their grown children moving back home after college due to the job market and low pay.  However, I’ve never had an “empty nest”.  My son chose to work instead of going to college, and now he has a great career where he actually earns quite a bit of money.  He however, has told us that he plans to never move out.  But, at the ripe old age of twenty-six, it’s more than time for him to leave.  Make no mistake, I love him dearly, however, he really needs to get out and live life on his own.

Ah, what a rant!  Our daughter is another story.  She’s stayed at home to go to college on-line, and will be graduating in August.  She helps with the housework, cooks dinner sometimes, and is usually quite sweet.  We have no drama, etc. with her.  She works by babysitting, dog-walking and creates content for a web-site related to her area of studies. Her plan is to stay at home for a year after graduation, and then hopefully go to graduate school in the U.K.   She would love to move out, but needs to save as much money as she can.

With all this, I must admit that I’m dreaming of a house of my own.  A little french country cottage or a hobbit house would be just wonderful.  Think of all the peace and quiet!  Family, you can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them!

 

Parenting manual.

Pets

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I’ve had an upsetting few days.  We have three pets that have all been rescued in one way or another.  We have a mixed breed female dog named Sierra that came into our lives about 11 years ago, when she was about one year old.  She’s the sweetest dog, however in the beginning she was so nervous.  She’d previously been brought home by three other families and then returned due to her nervousness.  For the first couple of years whenever we put her in the car, you could tell that she was convinced that we were bringing her back to the shelter.  Of course, in my family, once an animal is brought home, they’re one of the family.  We’d never return them.

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Since Sierra is getting old, and she’s a rather large dog, (she looks like a Beagle with extremely long legs and body), she’s been having various ailments.  One winter a few years ago, she broke her leg, and the Vet luckily saved her leg, and she recovered.  However, now that she’s gotten older, she’s got arthritis in both her back legs.  We’ve got her on pills for that, and pills to deal with the nausea that accompanies the arthritis pills. I also give her herbal remedies for her joints, so everything has been in a holding pattern as far as that’s concerned.

But, last week she couldn’t walk.  I thought that she’d had a stroke or something and we put her in the car and drove to the Vet at top speed.  Luckily, she just had Vestibular disease.  That’s basically vertigo in dogs.  Within hours after a shot and pills, she was fine.  We kept giving her the pills until they ran out, and she’s been okay since.  But then, two days later, she came down with a UTI.  I have to tell you, you’ve never lived until you’ve spent some time chasing after a dog that can barely walk, trying to collect her pee when she doesn’t want you anywhere near her.  It was a challenging proposition, but I persevered.  She’s doing much better now, but these last few aliments have taken their toll on her.  She still is very interested in her food, but she’s starting to “wind down”.  My heart is breaking.  Every time one of my fur babies starts to travel this path, I think I’m going to fall apart.  I can’t see how I’m going to make it through once again.  I know that I gave her love and a good life, but that’s little consolation.  They make our lives so wonderful, and they are our loves.

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Fighting for Positivity

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Sometimes it can feel like in order to survive I need to hide in my bed, under the covers.  I’m sure that I’m not the only person who sometimes feels like this.  I’ve said before that some of the people in my life are extremely negative.  They can also go out of their way to try to make me as negative as they are.  Since staying positive is not a default position for me, it can be a trial.  However, I’m trying my hardest to remain as positive as a can.  So, that being said, here are some of my favorite quotes I often read in order to remain as positive as I can.

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