Not Going Back There

One thing about dealing with anxiety is that it seems to always be lurking.  When you think you are finally back on your feet and doing good, it slips a trip wire in your path.  You are too busy enjoying life to notice then next thing you know you are down.  That quickly sometimes.

Friday night I met up with a few friends for dinner and to see a free concert downtown.  As the sun set, the crowd grew.


Still I had fun.  I even dared to think how awesome it was to be in a crowd that size.  How at one point not long ago, this would never happen.  Felt so accomplished in dealing with the attacks and thought maybe the agoraphobic part of my life was finally over.

Course shopping the next day reminded me that it can strike back harder any time it wants.  A simple bit of clothing shopping had me in full blown panic in less than 15 minutes with maybe an eighth of the size crowd. Unfortunately I didn’t have my trusty back up to call on (klonpain) so it progressed & I ended up staying inside the rest of the day exhausted & a little depressed that I was back to this. Frustrating.  Still I knew I had been here before and survived.

So next time I went with a friend.  (one who knew about my anxiety issues)  We shopped a little, had lunch then went to another store…. where it hit again.  Even with the klonapin, it hit hard.  Still I was determined.  We changed locations and still no good.  Getting dog food was necessary though so I fought on.  But I was done. Over it.  Lost the fight, but I will win this war.

What happened at the pet store got me thinking though.  Interaction with a seriously rude know it all cashier.  As she rang up the bag of dog food (& I focused on breathing & not subcoming to the urge to dash out the door and just keep running away), she judged my purchase.  Judged as she rang it up.  Asked if my dog liked this food.  Um… well he eats it & has yet to learn english and complain or leave any comment cards, so yeah I guess so.  Then she goes on to say “You know this is the most expensive food in here? ……. and it isn’t the best.”  Who asked you b*tch? nearly escaped my lips but in the attack all I wanted to do was pay & leave so I just looked at her with I’m sure a look that said “Is this happening?”  She then gives me my receipt and a final “well I guess if he loves it”.

Bizarre.  Just really bizarre.

Back home it pissed me off the more and more I thought about it.  The former retail manager in me thought that she really needs to learn to just sell the products from the shelf.  If it isn’t any good, why are they selling it there?  and telling a customer it is the most expensive food in the store just makes the customer feel like they are being ripped off.  Just as two dog people, I have to think she feels like she is trying to help, but really wrong approach for me.  I could see it maybe if we knew each other or if I had asked for her help with something prior, but she didn’t know me.  Just burned me.


Got me wondering though.  Honestly I hadn’t given his food much thought since we got him & the vet suggested that brand & type.  Maybe there was something to what she said.

So I went online to a couple of pug rescue groups that interact with and posed the question about what they feed their pugs.  The information I got back was overwhelming but really appreciated.  Lots of people knew a lot about their dogs’ diets and what brand foods were good or bad.  Sadly Baxter’s food, not so great.

He has had a few issues that I assumed were just part of being a pug.  Turns out he could very likely have a food allergy.  Seems they are common.

Hit me that I am currently more aware of what I am eating and trying to eat healthier, why shouldn’t his diet get a revision?


So I did research and yesterday he started a higher quality food that is grain-free and more protein based, less fillers…. and joy of joys cheaper for me!  His treats also are getting switched up.  We will try it and see how he does.  So far he LOVES the new food.  Acts like I have served up a bowl of treats for his meal.

So evidently we all are getting healthier around here.  The parrots better watch out!  Kidding, though they are enjoying the increase in fresh fruits & veggies from my salad making.

Now if only I can get these panic attacks under control again so that I can go get the food.  Will happen.  I have done it before and will do it again.

Can’t wait to go back downtown for another show…. that pet shop, not so much!



Some days just should be labeled with a Word of the Day.  Today’s would be return.  Everytime I turn around I found myself using it.

Returned from another Charlotte trek late last night and ended up starting the day later than I thought I would have.

Also one of the things that I deal with from time to time is nightmares.  The ambien cuts them down big time, but occassionally I still have one or two slip in.  Since adding Baxter to my life several years ago there are nights where I find myself being awoken from the terror to a lil black worried face staring at me & snuggling close.  Doubt this qualifies him as a service dog, but it certainly earns his keep in my eyes.  Last night as I was up late catching up on emails and missed episodes of the Daily Show, I got to return the favor.  Started out as the typical Baxter dozing off and snoring away.  After a while the snores switched into a different mode.  Then I got to see something I had never seen him do before – he stretched out & up and HOWLED.  Like a wolf at a full moon…. while STILL asleep.  The first couple of times I just watched in awe.  He’s a pug & far from wolf-like.  Guess in his mind last night he was the beast within.

Since it just didn’t seem right, I snuggled up & started calling him.  He didn’t react at first but soon slowly came around & looked at me.  Can’t help but wonder if I had returned the favor.  Thankfully he & I both got to sleep not long after.

School is starting back up Monday & I’m starting to feel nervous again about being back in classes – full time.  Summer session was great, but this is going to be 5 classes to keep up with instead of just the two I had to focus on then.  Got the book this afternoon.  All but one that is out of stock.  May have to order it online after all.  All I can say it how thankful I am for that grant!  These things are expensive.  But I am ready to go back…. I think.

still kinda feel like a giddy girl getting ready for school to start.

Also got the news that my cousin has safely returned from his latest deployment!  Proud of him, but grateful for him to be back and about to be able to enjoy sometime doing whatever he chooses without the threats around every corner.  Chatting with another friend over there makes it all too real.  I know some areas are worse than others as far as activity, but it feels good knowing he is back.  Thankfully soon the friend will be too.

I’m of the opinion that sometimes the best thing to heal the fear is to jump back in and in that line of thought, am open to dating.  No real desire to yet, but figure its going to take a while to find someone I click with again.  Hopefully its the last time I have to activate a dating profile but why not?  Well today is why not.  Those guys are crazy.  Plenty of Freaks is more like it.  Not going to get into specifics but lets just say there are two more profiles on my blocked list.  The things people will say on there!  I may be the odd one out but for me, its not first come gets the job.  I want something real.  Someone I can communicate with and respect while having a blast and dealing with life side by side.  Seems to search for the diamond in the ball pit means risking sticking my hand in half eaten candy or vomit.  Still I have found myself this far, why not just keep falling down the rabbit hole to see what is on the otherside.  Just not going to get any hopes up anytime soon.

so very college dorm cool.

Just taking each moment as it comes.  Had to fathom that at the begining of a month I had thought I had it all together and was sharing life with someone wonderful.  Now I see that it wasn’t so great & although we both have our awesome points, together it doesn’t make extreme awesomeness.  Hoping that apart we both can get back to living life happily ever after in our own ways.  Just still makes me wonder how people do it.  Is it really just being dedicated to each other no matter what or does some have it easier than others.  I know to become a we from a he & a me there has to be compromise & change, but I have to think that some combinations of compromises are easier for each than others.  Hoping so anyway.  I don’t think anyone is unworthy of love  (ok maybe those people who hurt kids or disown dogs, cats & birds… ).  There has to be someone out there for each of us.  Just not sure we always know what we should be keeping out eyes open for.

So for now, I am going to let the ambien take me away.  Close the eyes and snuggle up with Baxter.  Maybe we both can be nightmare free tonight.

Pugster Panic

The events of the past 48 hours have rocked my world.
Woke up like normal & got the birds new food & water, dressed, yelled for Baxter to get out of bed for the twentieth time… then when I got him out finally I was getting my shoes & find that he lost a toe nail on the way out of the bedroom. Not like part of the toe nail.. like the ENTIRE FRIGGIN NAIL! So of course when I let him back in he is bleeding ALL over the place. I was trying to catch him to see what the hell was going on & he was trying to go back to sleep. Lazy bum. So yes, blood in the bed, on the couch, the rugs, my cloths, the carpets, floor…. even the shower curtain! I tried to get the bleeding to stop but it wouldn’t. Compression, cleaned it with hydrogen peroxide & more compression… nothing but more blood. He acted like he felt fine but I know I wasn’t. Used some bandages I had leftover from my days of daily bandage changes & got changed quick from work clothes to jeans & a tee.
So I had to call in to work & take him to the vet. He was still bleeding there & they said there wasn’t anything else that I could have done at home. Had to leave him there for the day. Going to sedate him to suture up the opening & then trim all his other nails back deeper than normal. My lil buddy is going to be on antibiotics for a little bit but should be ok. Still no clue why it just popped off that way. She said she hadn’t see one do that before. Usually they break & dangle but this was the full nail.
Always good to clean up a house that looks like a crime scene, change clothes 3 times, run up a $200 bill & pop a klonapin all before going into work 2 hours late….
While at work I thought I would be smart & move the money I needed to pay the vet bill from savings to the credit card, then use the card. Make a payment & pay the bill with the same cash. Then I went to check to make sure I had the card with me….to find it EXPIRED in JANUARY! See how much I use that thing? so I tossed it back under the desk where my bag was and moved more money from savings to checking. Dang it!
FINALLY I got the call he was ready. FINALLY I got finished up with work. FINALLY I got across town to my lil hurt baby… reached in the purse to get the debit card & discovered no wallet. Searched the bag & the car to no avail. Yup back UNDER my desk it had missed going into the bag. So back across town through traffic. Thankfully I have an alarm code & key to the office because by then everyone had cleared out for the weekend.
So bill paid. Great report that he had been a perfect lil patient and was quite hesitant to want to wake from his afternoon nap to go. He had made a few more fans through the day. Poor guy looked so pitiful all bandaged up. Got the instructions for his pain killer/anti-inflammatory and antibiotics, scheduled the follow up appointment for Monday to have the bandage removed and headed on home to snuggle my poor buddy.
Well that was MY plan. Evidently he had other ones. Like just forgetting the whole healing thing. Did I mention that literally within 5 minutes of being home? Yes the expensive professional bandage was OFF. Little buggar decided Monday was far too far away to wait.
Back to my stash. Another bandage & tried to keep him calm. Kennel time. Lights out & after seeing he was ok, went to dinner with a friend.
Returned to find another bandage OFF. So back to the stash & rewrapping the paw. Gave him the medication as directed. Then on to bed. Snuggle time it was.
Nervously I didn’t even go for the Ambien. Besides after the day, I was exhausted.
Around 4:30 AM I nearly got scared to death. Woke up because it was WaaY too quite. No normal snoring. He was laying so still beside me I couldn’t feel him breathing. Felt him & couldn’t feel anything breath pulse nothing. Tears in my eyes I panicked thinking he had a reaction to the medication. Jumped up & cried out his name wiggling his head in my hands hoping to hear the snore I loved so much. The eyes opened. He had the biggest WHAT THE FUCK look on his face! I think if he could have moved to the couch for the night he would have! Guess the anti-inflammatory stuff helps his breathing & thus less snoring? Freaked me out but he seemed less than thrilled. It is really hard to sleep without that sound now! So I laid there for a while just feeling grateful for him in my life. Also thankful that the bandage was still on even if it had shimmied down a bit down the leg.
Plans were to head to my parents. The weekends ahead are packed with plans & it could be well into May before I have a weekend wide open.
With Baxter doped up, we weren’t quite sure how he would do with the other dogs. Would he stay calm? Then I realized, I wasn’t staying calm, why not go? I didn’t want to miss seeing the family. So we loaded up & rebandaged up… yes AGAIN. Halfway there it was already off again. Long road.
I’m beyond sick of trying to figure out how to keep it covered & clean. Even my sister with all her medical training had trouble in getting one to stay on. Although hers did stay on longest, several hours.
So here we are, at my sisters, on her laptop… wondering what fun tomorrow will bring. Crazy how quickly things change.
Whatever tomorrow has in store, come what may. For now I just look forward to another meal where we all sit around the table together & another night with a snuggled up pug by my side. Snore or no snore.

Dream. Dash. Do?

Some days just rock a lot harder than others.  Days like today just make me smile and hope that no matter how difficult other days may be, there is always hope for more like today.

Especially ones where surprises arrive!

Got the gift cards from Courtney Out Loud!!!  Can’t wait to go checking out Pier One’s stock.  Maybe tomorrow will include a trip to each of them to compare.

Til then, Baxter & I are dreaming & doing our happy dance again.  (& yes I busted out the Valentine’s-ish quilt I made a few years back).  Feeling really inspired again lately & wishing I had the time to make something else.  Very soon.  I played around with the fabric today, but just couldn’t quite decide what to make in time.  If only my craft stuff were able to be as organized as these rooms! Or hell if it had a room….

Craft Room Inspiration

But no time today for that it seems.  I had a date to dash off to.

Met up with a couple of photog friends to brainstorm & catch up… dream about something that if/when it happens will be pretty amazing.  I’m excited for sure.  Which left me inspired to want to take a million and one pictures and dream about this & that in how to edit them and display & all that good stuff.

But no real time for that either.  Off to meet someone.  Inspired by conversations the night before hearing how successful relationships started in various ways be it in a beer tent being polite, intrigued by an online profile a bit too real or even by that one face that just didn’t seem to go away. I had hope for what could be.  The profile seemed ok.  Maybe this one wouldn’t end up making me wish I had a panic button in my purse.

So I went. First good sign – he actually looked like his profile pictures.  Second good sign – he was polite.  So we chatted. We walked. Drank coffee & watched the sunset across the Cape Fear River.  Somewhere along the way it dawned on me that there wasn’t that much in common, but he was a good guy.  The things I expected based on the profile pictures weren’t really there.  It dawned on me that based on those pictures, I read more into them than I should have & basically was expecting him to be similar to an ex!  Turns out he isn’t anything like that ex, except they are both nice guys, but the things that I had in common with the other guy & actually liked aren’t there in this guy.  Hate missing those pieces & hate that I realized I wasn’t even really giving this guy a chance to be himself without comparison.  But such is life. There is a lot of good there, but common interest maybe not.  Perhaps a friend might be a great fit with him.  Time will tell it seems.

When it was time to dash off from that it was errand running time.  Then home again to spend some time with Baxter & the birds.  Perhaps even get in a bit of reading before I crash.

So maybe tomorrow.  Dream today.  Do tomorrow.

One thing is blatantly obvious to me.  I have more desires than dollars or daylight.  If only I could just add a few more hours to a day.  At least I feel this one was about as packed as it could have been.

General goalsfor the coming year & next few months…

  • 100 Days challenge – 100 days straight of intentional moving 30 minutes each day – Back on track & no more slipping. One day of 99 isn’t going to get me down. Maybe soon it will feel more habit-ish & I will start thinking of bigger goals than just consistency.
  • 10 on 10 – give $10 to a non-profit each month on the 10th – gave to the Cape Fear Literacy Council
  • Read more! – Still stunned that I have already basically read more than last year & its not even the end of January. Downloaded a couple of new ones today & starting #6 tonight.
  • Budget each month prior to the month & stick with it – stupid money. Meeting up with friends out for dinner/lunch… isn’t so great for the budget, but well worth it. The other stuff I have been spending on isn’t so much but fun. Pay day is Friday at least.  I can get there.

As for the more traditional resolutions:

  • Try one new thing each week – Attended a new group for crafters tonight along with a friend I hadn’t seen in way too long.  So many ideas brewing.
  • Cook something each week – Potluck at work was incredible! The drinks, the shrimp lo main, the pizza, the chicken nuggets, the pineapple cake, and coconut & mango sorbets delish! Even got compliments on my black beans & rice.  All love goes to my not so secret ingredient – Adobo!
  • Take one photo I love each week – Feeling so inspired lately! I HAVE got to update the scavenger hunt page soon.
  • Continue my love affair with Post Crossing thinking I need a cool way to display these soon.  They are waiting patiently in a box til I do.  Wondering where the next one will come from.
  • Floss daily – check. nothing in between the teeth.  Why did I think this should be a goal this year? Didn’t I realize I do this daily now?
  • Meditate more – at least weekly – sorry. nothing to report here… move along.
  • Daily food picture –  366 dishes – clearly this has been sponsored by chicken and fries.  No more.  I have GOT to eat better.  Or at least in a way where I can be more enthusiastic about the pictures.
  • Spend an hour with someone else outside of work each week – easy peasy this week. reconnecting with so many & even met someone new today.  Thinking tomorrow is going to be a stay home & chill day, but this weekend certainly has made up for the past little while of being a deadbeat hermit.


Today, two years ago I rushed as fast as my car would go to go get my best friend…. BAXTER!

No clue what his birthday is or even really how old he actually is.  One of the downsides of rescues.  Never really know the whole story. Since we don’t know the birthday, we celebrate Baxter’s Gotcha Day!

He quickly hopped in my car December 26, 2009 & just smiled the whole way to his new home

What I do know is that some how he ended up out fending for himself before animal control got him & escorted him to the pound.  Someone else picked him up there & after figuring out her other dog wasn’t so great with him, he ended up with me.  He needed a place & I needed comfort after Badyn had started staying with my parents & I had gone through the attack a few weeks before. Win – win for us both.  Course I had no idea at the time how beautiful a prize I had brought home.

Never knew much about pugs, or even that they were anything other than the fawn ones with the dark face (think Frankie in Men in Black). But I knew he was good with birds, seemed to be enamored with me & the cuddly face I needed… & still do.

Right place at the right time.

Now I know a bit more about pugs

Pugs are an ancient Asian breed that once lived as pets in Buddhist monasteries in Tibet and were considered royalty themselves; they are, in fact, one of the oldest breeds dating back to 400 B.C.

In the 16th century, Pugs were the traditional pet of European royalty and can be seen in many old world paintings.

The wrinkly skin that Pugs are recognized by can actually be a health problem as dirt can get trapped under the wrinkles which can harbor bacteria that can cause an infection. Therefore, you should clean out the wrinkles on your Pug periodically.

Course I also learned that he WILL need to sleep as close as possible as often as possible.. unless you are recovering from surgery, in which case being in a place where he can see my face works.  His snorts can be misinterpreted by the other dogs as growls.  Most dogs are ok with this, but one rather large lady at my parents in particular isn’t so game with his funny noises.   Flips side is that his snoring at night is like a mini sound machine. When I don’t hear it, I miss it dearly.  My sister seemed both facinated & disgusted by another lil told pug fact – that when he “barks” (well tries to) his bumhole pokes out!  See won’t see that one on other websites! But its true.  This didn’t bug me as much as being warned that a traditional collar ran the risk of jerking hard on his neck if he tried to dash off.  Which could lead to losing an eye.  !??!?! Evidently they are prone to having their eyes pop out.  THANKFULLY he has deep set eyes for a pug & his risk isn’t so high, but I wouldn’t want him to get smacked in the back of the head with anything just to be on the safe side.

Pug companionship isn’t for everyone, but I can’t imagine life without him by my side right now.

So thankful that Baxter is in my life!

CHEERS! Here’s to many, many more years together.  Even on those days where we do nothing at all.

Now off to snuggle a bit & hopefully have a great night sleeping in our nice big bed, instead of on a couch… where yes, he HAD to sleep right on my legs & stay by my side til I woke each day.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that will love you more than you love yourself.” ~ Josh Billings”

Such truth in these words.  Grateful for the loves on those days & everyday!


Just a simple post tonight.

Overwhelmed with pure joy.  Sitting her tonight addressing cards to family & looked up to see a face intently watching me.  I smile & ask “what?” & the tail goes WILD!

I love that with just a word & a look, I can bring pure joy.

Ain’t love grand?

No conditions, well maybe just that I promise to be around as much as I can.

Thank you universe for puppies.

I’m loving this pic from the past! Cracks me up. Thank you Baxter for being a good sport & all the love you give.

ME me Me

The past few days have been full throttle.  In a great way, but tiring none the less.

Work – intense, non stop, what more can I say? Steady & mind numbing at the end of the day.  Its as if the data base just hops into my head and the stops & starts of changing gears thru the day just wears down my mental energy.  I love it, but am still STUNNED by some of the people and the stunts.  Who brings a freshly smoked from bowl to the temp staffing agency to get a job? Oh I could tell you! They did admit to possession charges.  Guess the lesson wasn’t learned.

Got the chance to catch up with a few friends, even help one move the final bit of stuff to her new place – which I’m thrilled to say isn’t as far away (not that the other place was far!).  Always nice to get out and have dinner with friends.  Plus it was interesting to see how much the car held. No way all that would have fit into the convertible!  Even with the top down it would have been a no go.

Still looking at houses, still wondering what I am doing.  Although there have been a few more maybes added to the list.

Just feels like I haven’t had time to breath lately.  Even ended up turning my power nap yesterday into just a really sleep filled Friday night followed by a sleep through the night without any pills needed Saturday night!  Maybe now some normal energy?

Treated myself today to getting my hair cut & highlights added.  Money I have been putting off spending, but well spent.  Still second guessing these bangs.  Did them less this time, but I’m thinking….grow out.

Shame I didn’t treat myself to a favorite brunch spot today.  I had some re-editing of the layout of the book I’m getting ready for publishing (oh yes again – I’m learning a lot about what all it takes to get it right!) & decided to 2nd guess my taste buds.  I wanted to go sit and have an omelet or chicken sandwich or anything else off the menu, but thought… its the weekend lunch, they will be busy.  So I decided to drop in and pick up another place I like… chain but they have killer sweet tea.  Also HAD a turkey panini I liked.  So I got the baked potato with cheese and TRIED to order the typical smokey turkey & pepper jack panini without mustard – but the menu had changed.  It now came with bacon & is a “grilled sandwich” instead of “panini”.  No biggie, just hold the bacon & mustard, right? WRONG.  Evidently that made me needy.  The chick running the register had to ask if she could get it like that. WTF?  They did but I over heard another authoritative sounding server say  something to the effect of we can do it right now, but when it gets busier we can’t.  REALLY?  YOU add extra ingredients to something you previously had & I can’t get it without the extra? and face it, not everyone eats pork.  This includes the oh so trendy bacon – EVEN IN THE SOUTH.  Top of that, some people get the TURKEY options since they don’t eat pork.  I was miffed and already planning that this might be the last visit to this place in a looooong time.  Killer tea or not – if this is how they are changing no wonder it wasn’t busy at 11:45 on a Saturday afternoon.

Might as well have gotten some fast food sandwich with fries from my car.

So moral of the story.  Make time for the good stuff.  I’m POSITIVE if I had gone to where I would have gone they would have treated me with respect – like they do everyone.  Also the food would have been about 100 times better at the same if not less the amount of money spent.  So tomorrow…. I’m eating where I wanted to eat.  Treating myself to the good stuff.

Baxter’s impression of me…