101 Days til Bliss

Life is just bizarre at times. This past week has been a whirlwind of emotions as a family member passed away. At 97 no one can say they didn’t see it coming but the drama of it all still takes it’s toll.

In a lot of ways, the whole process was healing to me. Being able to be there as he let go was something a few years ago would have terrified me. Now I just realized that the process had started & accepted it for what it was. The death rattle didn’t scare me, just made me wish there was something I could do to prevent the pain & confusion. Thankfully although all I could do is talk with him & hold his hand, hospice was there to assist with the pain & anxiety. Not sure how people pass without them & their gifts but again I am grateful for all they do & amazed that people do this daily yet stay so positive and caring.

The good-bye itself carried a lot of emotion. I believe that you never turn your back on family & that blood binds, but at times that is tested for sure. He & I didn’t agree on a lot of things, but he cared for my father when he was young & tried to be there for us all. Listening to so many rave about him at his funeral almost made me forget the bad times. I am thankful that there are so many who do remember him fondly & that I could hear the good things he did in his life. His time on earth truly has impacted many people in a lot of ways which is an achievement for sure. He fought hard to make it to 100, but in the end it was time for him to go on.

Now it is time for us to move on. Getting hugs at the end of the days from my nephew and seeing his smile reminded me that there is hope for a better tomorrow. Just have to make it so.

Which got me thinking- why abandon this blog? Because it reminds me of the tough times? Nah. Those are the times that made me strong enough to be who I am today. Scars and all.

So time to revamp & renew. Change this into something that once again makes me feel at peace with life. Happy to be me. Thus the new look.

Hopefully the changes will be good ones. Time will tell.  All we can do is the best we can & find something to always look forward to. See the glimmer of hope.

For me today that spark is knowing that in 101 days I will be in Disney World with the cutest kid I know as one of the happiest aunts alive.

That and that there is always a snuggle waiting patiently by my side.

Pugs lives are just hard sometimes.

Pugs lives are just hard sometimes.





the 10 Day YOU Challenge: Day 9





Today has felt like a whirlwind kind of day.

Should have gone to get groceries yesterday when I got home but laziness from traveling kicked in & well… this morning I ended up regretting it. Drive thru on the dash to class. Still glad I kept in within the acceptable carb range & was able to resist the sweet tea urge.

After class was straight to the beach (seriously I wore the bathing suit under the jeans & tee) which was much needed. I know it had only been a few days but I missed the sounds of the birds & the waves crashing. Just the peaceful calm of it all.

Covered in sand & sweaty from relaxing in the sun, I ventured the grocery store. I should be ashamed. Part of me felt guilty for not going home & showering first but as someone who has worked retail, I know I was far from the worst thing that walked in that day! Plus I was starving which is never a good thing. Now I have food & a few protein bars to carry for those emergency situations away from home. One of which ended up being lunch along with a bottle of cold water that I swear tasted like heaven.

Being seriously low on my calories paid off tonight when my sushi plans turned into Mexican restaurant night. Nearly just gave up & called it a cheat day (which I never do because why would I cheat on myself?). Looking over the online menu while I waited to go made me feel like all the articles on suggestions for diabetics eating out basically just said avoid the Mexican places because there isn’t much there for you. Thankfully I found a couple that made me realize dining out wouldn’t be blowing it for me, especially since I was no where near my goal calorie range. Grilled chicken tacos with lime juice & boo-coos of cilantro on corn tortillas rocked my world! They came with a side of rice & beans, which although normally I would have devoured I knew just a few bites would be plenty. May or may not have gotten a strange look for squirting stevia in my unsweet tea but at the end of it all I had a great night of great conversation & food without compromising my goals at all. Nothing sweeter than that!



9. The beach. (surprise!)


8. Fresh, clean, free water. No calories, detoxes, cleans, what doesn’t water do?

7. My friends who keep me laughing & remind me I’m not alone in this world.

6. The fact that I am in a place in my life where I feel better about myself than I have in a long time. I don’t panic at the thought of wearing a bathing suit around other people & even seem to have found a confidence that shines thru to where I can go out with whatever color hair & feel at ease. Got a great compliment that made me realize this tonight. In talking about the purple color, I got told that it wasn’t even weird on me. That for me it just seemed natural not just a way to get attention. I had the confidence to pull it off and it works. Hearing this still makes me smile. I guess I finally do.


5. Color… all of them. The brighter the better. Just cheerful and vibrant all around. There is a time and place for black & white, neutrals, but for now color is king.

4. The sense of smell (most of the time). The fragrances like gardenia, watermelon, sea spray, coconut, cilantro.. so many different notes. Bliss.

3. Baxter. What would I ever do without him? Absolutely love him.


2. The fresh produce I have been lucky enough to be eating now. Not sure how I was doing the fast food thing so much before, but I’m grateful to be back eating food that is real and makes me feel more alive. Dare say I’m getting energy back & I know it is the dietary changes.

1. This kid ( of course).  Can’t leave the nephew out. It is harder and harder to leave him every time I visit. Grateful he seems to remember me & gets excited to give his aunt a big hug. The sad face as I pull down the drive way is brutal. Already looking forward to the next time I see him when I know he will have grown again & learned more tricks!


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!

Comfort of Cousins

Spent this last week with family again.  Extremely grateful for family now more than ever.  This time family came up to my sister’s from South Florida for some girl time.  Wedding planning,shopping, catching up and of course lots of baby snuggle time.   There is no replacing Mom, but aunts can sure due when you need a dose of expert female advice mixed in with memories and that security of being with someone who has been there over the years and knows where you are coming from.  I only hope that one day, my nephew finds comfort in time together as much as I enjoy time with my aunts.

Had to laugh inside when my aunt surprised with a new glass!


My cousin is OBSESSED with Tervis tumblers & my sister seems to love hers. To me they seemed like overpriced cups, something I had plenty of in my house.  My aunt did just like my Mom used to do when we all would go out shopping.  Sneaky buy something she thought might make you smile, just because.  Guess it runs in the family.  Which comforts me.

It didn’t escape me that I had been upset about a broken glass and now I was being presented with a new (nearly unbreakable) one that in a totally different way, was so very me.

Plus this one is proving to be incredibly useful in traveling in the heat.  Can’t believe it kept ice in a blazing hot car while we shopped.  Also loving that it I can take it to class and not worry about accidentally setting my notes or book on wet rings left on the desk top.

Cousins…  to me they are just siblings that aren’t around as much!  Giggles together just seem more pure and healing.  Felt great being with my sister & two of my cousins all weekend.  No big events, nothing we had to get done.  Just togetherness.

Yesterday brought me back home and to reality.

One of those realizations was that there are six weeks til the Electric Run 5K & it is time to formally lay out training schedule.  So I did.  But for me this isn’t about times or pushing myself physically as much as it is overcoming this danged fear of crowds.  Figure under the cover of night & with the distraction of the glow in the dark, fun party atmosphere, I can do it & have fun.  Still it is a 5K & part of it will be finishing without completely dropping dead on the track.  I have been less than organized about exercising.  Baby steps.

sorry for the blurry pic, but I was on a treadmill, unlike the pug

sorry for the blurry pic, but I was on a treadmill, unlike the pug

Unfortunately Baxter isn’t as excited and is going to be less than motivating.

Goodbye to 2012

Oh 2012, you were as they say the best of times & the worst of times! But that is life.  I don’t think I would want to live in the light non-stop.  We have to have the dark mixed in to rest, recharge & appreciate.  2012 certainly has given me a depth of experiences that I never expected.  2013 promises to be even bigger.

Looking back…


1 January

Seemed I was fighting off a sinus & ear infections for most of January.  Which brought me to FINALLY go to the doctor & get some antibiotics for the first time in years!  Derailed my resolutions, one being 100 Days of exercising each day.  I had a ton of Resolutions & had a lot of hope for 2012.  Can’t stay I kept that enthusiasm through the whole year, but it certainly surprised me.


2 February

February didn’t seem to feel much better than January even if physically I was much better.  Learned my job at the time was not the one for me and got my hopes up for a too good to be true beach house…. or any house.  I needed CHANGE.  Started really looking inside to figure out what I wanted.


3 March

March I struggled to find more of something to make me happier.  Spent time going on a few dates, visited with the family, baked.  Work still wasn’t lighting me up inside, but I had fun while I was there!

3 March2

Discovered the fun of eye bombing!  Which has since become a habit.  Makes me smile.  Makes others smile.  How can it be wrong?


4 April

April found me bruised.  Luckily it was doing something I LOVED – Pole dancing fitness classes!  Working out & learning to swing & climb like a monkey was just what I needed, even if only once a week.  The bruises were less than sexy, but it was a blast.

4 April2

Also I left the job that was killing me.  I trusted luck and just let go.  Discovered it was okay to embrace change.  Wishing it hadn’t taken so long & perhaps would have been easier on all involved, but in the end I don’t regret the decision.  Human resources is great, but I grew tired of the high pace & sadness of trying to find perfect people for temporary positions when none of us are ever really perfect.  Learned more about people than I wanted to know, in & out of the office, and found myself becoming bitter.  Seeing the less than great side of people without also finding the beauty is a cry for change & I followed the call.


Oh May!  May was alive with promise & hope again.  Excitement and energy left and right.  Got a new laptop to replace mine that had died.  Discovered that paralegal classes were a great fit & enrolled in my first law classes (Family Law & Administrative Law).  Loved every class!  Met someone new while getting back into a favorite hobby – photography & felt more me than I had all year.

….and I feel back in love with the beach.  The reason I moved to this town had been neglected for far too long.  I spent a LOT of time in the sand.  Morning, day, night – anytime I could get there was a great time to be there.  Without work, it was easy to wander the coast for hours reconnecting with nature & myself.

5 May

Had  a blast exploring life & even playing every chance I got.  Including adding Lil Chewy photos as I went along the way.  Anything to make a girl giggle!  Why not? Life is way too short not to.

5 May2


June felt fabulous.  I played tourist all over the state.  I took time to relax.  I ENJOYED living my life.  Finances were tight (still are) but what college student doesn’t get by on bare bones.  Basics.  Just the basics are needed.

6 June

and some love.  Which I found in family, friends, Baxter & the parrots as well as a couple of new faces.  Like cuteness incarnate… Snips.

6 June2

Oh Snips.  The lil purr monkey never fails to find a way to calm my heart.  Even though times didn’t turn out the way I thought they would, I have never stopped caring for this cat.  She is just the coolest.  What else could make a great summer even better than seemingly unlimited beach time and playing with a growing kitten as she discovers the world? Just precious.


7 July

Sometimes I felt like my world was hanging by a string, but I learned to let life flow.  Things work out as they should.  You do what you can, but you also have to learn to make what you have work.  So I did.  Lots more free exploration of life & stumbling on some of the sites I missed rushing through each week working 9 to 5 & then some.  Still no full time job, but I was all over school.  Enjoyed registering for Fall classses and finishing up the first session.  Felt real.  Felt good.  Felt like where I should be.  Truly bless with so much joy.

7 July2

Joy & studying… on the beach.  Right where I should be.


8 August

Started the second semester & first normal full time one!  Still loving all my classes and discovering how the legal system works.  I went looking for a more black and white cut and dry line of work thinking that the order would prove to be a fair and equal way.  After diving into it all I learned there is more grey and flexibility than I had thought & that in the versatility lies the beauty in the system.  The rules were rules, but only because we make them so.  We mold our lives and world into what we believe it should be.  Only through agreement do we all live happily ever after.

Also thanks to Pinterest influences, I probably caused my entire family to gain 5 pounds in one weekend.  The pakie (iced cake on a cookie in a pie shell) was introduced to the family and it was decided that we love it, but needed to restrict our love to just once (maybe twice) a year!

8 August2

Then the fun came…. Panthers Fan Fest which heralded the start of the season!

8 August3

The downside was ending a relationship I had grown to love but realize wasn’t working out.  For my own sanity I needed to end that chapter.


I found ways to keep smiling no matter where I went.  Sure there were sad times and hard times, but perspective is everything.

9 September

Seeing a premier of the locally filmed new NBC series, Revolution, before it was shown on TV and hearing the actors talk about their experiences was a highlight!

9 September2

Plus more time with the books in the sand.  The ocean really does make everything better.

9 September3.


The new experiences didn’t end in the summer.  News that a local serviceman had paid the ultimate price and that some seriously sick people planned to use his funeral as a political statement brought people together to take a stand.  We lined the streets the day of the service, ready to block any drama but mostly to thank the family & everyone who serves for everything they do.  Especially hit close having a friend just ending his year deployment and hearing the horrors so many faced daily.  My heart warmed to see so many sharing in the passion of gratitude and I think I feel even further in love with the area of the world I live in.  Although there are days I complain, I am lucky to have the chance to complain and each day am blessed with a new day to embrace.

10 October

Life is just way to precious to not appreciate, even if it is so easy to take it for granted.  Baxter & I traveled to visit family more and more.  Time is limited and should be treasured with those you love while you can.

10 October2

While mistakes are made, learning and forgiveness are healers.

Opened up to revisiting relationships and better defining how to be happy and healthy.  I was hesitant but finding someone you connect with can be so hard.  When you do find kindred spirits, it can be worth giving them another shot.

10 October3

Also… the beach.  Did I mention that I love the ocean?  Never ceases to amaze me.  Discovering treasures I never took the time to see before.  Like the biggest shark tooth I had ever found!


11 Nov 2

All good things must come to an end and November found me bidding adieu to my catering position.  The beautiful moments and places, the decadent food, the killer workouts are missed already.

Spending more time with my family continued while the weather got cooler.  May not have been able to make it to a Panthers game this year, but my Sister & Brother in Law were nice enough to treat me to a Checkers Hockey game.

11 November

Was great, but yes I still prefer the touch down dances to the goalie being scored on.  Branching out to do something different certainly has advantages.  Always open to new experiences.  This year certainly proved quite a few.  Changes to the family grew more and more obvious and letting go becomes harder and harder.


December brought intensity & less beach time.

12 December

but it also FINALLY brought me a more reliable and better suited for me phone! Thanks to a certain someone who seems to get me more and more as the year goes along.

Baxter and I traveled more, but no longer to new places.  Just to see family.

12 December3

We continue to adapt to taking care of Mom and planning for what will be.  This is bringing us all closer and together we are going to make the best of it.  A close call has changed us all forever and we by no means are giving up the fight, but we recognize that it all will end.  In a lot of ways that brings relief, but along with it such pain that I can’t begin to imagine.  Still we are holding on to hope.  Taking care of what we can and spending as much time together while we can.

which brings me to 2013.

12 December2

Leaving behind so much and looking forward to the changes this year will bring, I realize it is impossible to grasp what it will hold.  More classes, more time spent on the road and thankfully more memories to be made with those I care most about.

What more can we ask for?

CHEERS!  Hoping that 2012 as left you in a better position than it began and that 2013 brings more magic than we can dream of.  Luck, laughter & love to us all.

Whatever will be, I will embrace.

Its the 10th of the Month…

BONE PUGZ from Bone Pugz on Vimeo.

Its the 10th of the month! My favorite post… sadly not much picture wise since I’m still winging it without the laptop.  Grateful for the saved pictures to reuse.

This month I am showing some love to the pugs.

Making another donation to the Mid-Atlantic Pug Rescue.

No matter how alone, mad, sad, scared or stressed I get, I am loved by this face….

and that is priceless.


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.