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Shortly before my 6:30 alarm goes off I've had a minute to myself. I've stolen it from internet time, texting, phone conversations and world events. It's a moment to recharge and get ready for the 6:30 alarm clock and the few tasks that follow.

I let the alarm continue until it turns itself off 20 min later. It's set to play a 20 min segment of a lecture which helps me get lessons deeper in my head.

While listening I down evening meds, which is the main reason the alarm is set. I also take the time to mist the frog tanks, mist the crickets, turn off the plant lights and now feed the dog his dinner.

Six thirty is a transition from focusing primarily on outside issues to personal care. My creative juices start really flowing. I paint, sew or do something else creative. There are times when I'm not done with volunteer work and I need longer to finish up, but usually the alarm clock signals a change from 'you' to me.

Part of 'me' time includes walking the dog and interacting with him. He's an emotional guy so today I gave him a back massage and brushed him longer than usual. He did well with it. I love how much he stays beside me.

Even though I need space too, I need a way to get out of my own head. I need help out of the vacuum. Paying attention to pets helps with this.

Although there's much to do with deadlines to meet , this is by many standards a slow pace life. It gets even slower at the sound of the alarm.

Faith

2:07 am EST

She nixed the Gabapentin and Cyclobenzaprine which no longer work for me and exchanged them for Lyrica and Zanaflex. I'm already on Cymbalta with Abilify. This is a combination I've not had before, one I really need to give some relief. I'd take a level pain 7 with no questions asked. If they could just get me to a 7. I know there are a few moderate potential problems with this mix but being in pain makes me willing to take the risk. I'm monitored very carefully.

I said this wasn't the doctor for me but we'll see. The first two appointments with her weren't promising but it's gotten better. She was pleased to see that I've lost 23 lbs since August. She was pleased to know I got Clyde and that we're walking daily. Today has been harder than usual because my left knee is swollen, so our walks aren't as far away from the house. We walk the courtyard several times which is a good leg stretch for us both. ...continue reading "Medications. GP Impression. Decompression."

snail hunting at the parkA week ago a friend and I went snail and moss hunting. I didn't find a single snail but I did get great moss. There was moss down by the water but I didn't want to risk my life going where the best of it was so we just ohh and aaahed on shore.

The park closest to me has seen Sir Clyde and my face daily since he's been here. I feel more secure leaving the house with a dog at my side. I walked to the park when I didn't have a dog but it wasn't as relaxing. I had to force myself to go but that's not the case with a dog.

I've talked to Dr. D and to my old medical doctor about getting a dog for at least a year but a lot had to happen before I could do it. I had to know I could go up and down those stairs to take him out. I had to know I wouldn't be in the ER several times a month or be bed-bound like before. I needed to know I'd have the physical ability to care for him. I do. I'll be working my butt off putting dolls and paintings in my shop to pay for his day to day needs.  ...continue reading "Courage with a Service Dog"

He's usually very loud but today as I mist his tank he sang quietly. Here's Chandler's voice.

Faith

Sir Clyde Austin looking Kingly

Racism and the police lives on.

Today I was harassed by the police for the crime of walking while black. It would appear that a black woman walking her dog warrants harassment.

Clyde and I were originally only going to go for a short walk but I decided to go down to the park, circle around and come back. As I got to the entrance of the park I noticed a police car coming towards me. I noticed him because the guy in front of him was nervous. He was relieved to see the police officer pull into the park and let him go on. I laughed inside and thought, "Maaannn u know u got weed in dat car." I chuckled inside and thought nothing else..... until I noticed the officer focused on me. That's when I got nervous. ...continue reading "Walking While Black"

5

Three weeks its been since I first inquired of this dog name Clyde. Several snags came up and I figured I wouldn't get the dog, thought it had all fallen through. I said if I didn't get him I'd concentrate instead on a six month vow to serve my community in a fuller way.

Here's what I know about Clyde.

  • He's got a funny name that I didn't like at first but that is too cute to change. It's silly and I now like it. I can't help but giggle when I say it, just like when I call my frog Chandler. I giggle. Strange name, cute animals.
  • Clyde has taken professional obedience classes and knows several service animal commands.
  • Clyde is laid back but has a need for regular walks which I am confident I can do.
  • He is a low key dog who needs a low key environment without a lot of intense stimulation.
  • He learns quickly and knows how to do compression for my legs which are often in pain. This is a key reason for getting a dog as opposed to a cat. I need the weight on my legs and sometimes my arms. I need a pet that will sleep with me so I can sleep instead of staying up until the sun rises. I can't explain how much I need another service dog to warm my heart with big brown eyes and slobbery kisses.
  • Clyde comes with all his food, bowls, leash and his crate. He's crate trained.
  • He's 6 years old, 60 lbs, neutered, chipped, not an excessive barker, shy with new people.

Clyde - a 60lb muttTwo people who are in my life have questions about the dog. "How can you afford a dog?" ..... "How are you going to take the dog out for a walk when you're in pain"....."I don't like dogs. He'll have to stay away from me." .... "What if he doesn't work out, what are you going to do then?"... The negative sisters have questions, some valid and some just typical of them.

I am not a 'love me, love my pet' kind of person. If someone states clearly that they don't want any part of the pet for whatever their reason, then so be it. I can respect that. I don't push my pets on people which means Betty will more than likely never even pet his little head. That's fine by me. She's under no obligation to like my pets. Her sister Snow prefers dogs at a distance. She likes them but doesn't want them all over her and doesn't want dog kisses. That's fine. I'm not offended by it. And for short visits I can put him in the room when need be. It's not like he'll be locked up all day or anything. No, he'll have a lot of one on one time with me and a few other people who are thrilled to death that we're this far into the adoption process that I was sure fell through. .... I feel the need to add that no friends are co-owning or sharing financial responsibility, including the adoption process.

soft ears and a tail that thumps makes my heart breathe easy

I hurt so badly. My heart is desperate. I need a companion animal. I can't stand life as it is right now. I look for the soft eyes of a pet and those eyes aren't there to tell me I'm okay. I look at the door wondering if my mother is standing there. I wish so much to have a dog I can learn to trust. If he's not barking and responding to sounds then no one is in my doorway, I don't need to keep looking up.

Last night in bed, last night after 2mg of Klonopin, last night after tears, I instinctively reached behind my back to caress the head of Mary Jane but she wasn't there. There is no soft purr to greet me and demand breakfast. Please, I need something gentle to balance the harshness of pain and grief. I just can't take my current load in life without a pet beside me. I need one.

Bringing in a dog is so much better than a cat. No more $30 flea and tick treatment. I can use diluted tea tree oil at $8 a bottle which will last forever. If he gets ill I am capable of caring for him better than I can a cat. Mary Jane's vet was 2 blocks away. That's where Clyde will go.

I expect the transition to be rough because there are many of me that have to get used to him. It'll be difficult for him because he's grown up in one home only. The transition will not be easy. I'm going to flip out because that's what I do. I flip out and panic!!! But flipping out isn't the same as giving up. It took a year before Mary Jane and I became a team. It'll take time for Clyde and I to work like a well oiled machine. I think I'm physically and emotionally up to the task.

If the adoption goes through I'll have 4 pets with a name starting with the letter C: Charlie, Cheesy, Chandler and Clyde. My baby boys would be the 4 C son's.

Soft ears and a tail that thumps makes my grief stricken heart breathe easy. Please let this be okay. Please let me get the right dog.

Faith

 

2

I've been reading about staying positive which can be difficult for me. One of the things I've been trying to remember is that even with my health issues, I've not lost everything. I made a short list of things I've learned to do while in bed and while pacing at home. The reason I learned these things is that it's difficult to sit. It's painful so I end up  lying down or I keep moving while I'm up. Standing still doesn't go well for me but as long as I keep moving I'm okay. So, here is my photo for the 17th of this month and my list of things I can still do:

  1. Complain. I can do that in whatever position I find myself in. I complain in English and American Sign Language. I'm currently learning French, which isn't killing me this time around.
  2. Paint. I can paint and draw while lying down. I've covered my bed so as not to ruin my mattress. It was my greatest concern that I wouldn't be able to paint because of needing to lie down so much.
  3. I can sew while lying down. This was a welcome surprise. I have to be a little more prepared but it is still possible. I just finished and adopted out two dolls and I've started on a custom order doll today.
  4. I can study and take notes in bed or on the sofa as long as I have my tablet and supplies with me. I can read and pace at the same time which I do quite often.
  5. I can produce hand written letters of encouragement to others while in bed. It's important to always reach out.
  6. I can still receive visitors if I'm on the sofa.
  7. I stand while making tea but I have a no spill cup that allows me to drink tea in bed. Yup, gotta have that tea no matter what.
  8. I can enjoy the sunshine on my face from the comfort of my bed. I can see the sky and hear the birds and ducks.
  9. My smile isn't broken because I'm lying down. I still have a sense of humor.
  10. Possibilities. Options. Hope.

...continue reading "What I can still do"

1

A video for friends.

At the end of the video I said these are my 'frogs' but only Cheesy the Chubby Frog stars in this short vid. ...continue reading "Cheesy the Chubby Frog and Aquarium Therapy"

When thinking about losing Jane, I don't feel crippled by it. I feel bad about that because it's almost like I should be out here falling apart, but I'm not. I feel bad that some reached out but she died anyway. I feel bad about that but I hope they realize they did make a difference. Reaching out always makes a difference.

There's a huge hole where Janie used to be. The house isn't the same at all, but it's still better because she was once here. I think that's what I still feel the most, very grateful.

My heart is heavy concerning my brother. I heard him play the cello, my favorite instrument. I thought I was going to burst into tears. I've never heard him play the cello before, just the violin, so watching and hearing him was rather moving. A long time ago I said I never got to tell him how proud I am of his accomplishments with music and with the children's orchestra. You could see in his face that he loved his job. ...continue reading "Cats and Violins"

5

She is ridiculously adorable. This is an addition to the frog's name, not a change. C. Annie Pickle is her name. Chandler Annie Pickle. If you can't tell, I'm so lovin' this frog. Look at those big eyes. My goodness, and those crazy legs of hers. When she jumps and lands she sounds just like those gummy frogs you get out of the machines at the store. There's a splat and smack combo as she lands. I so love frogs and their crazy feet.

Little green Annie is an Australian Tree Frog aka Dumpy Frog. She'll get anywhere from 4.5 inches to 5.5 inches. I intend to get her a friend at some point.

Too, too cute. I'm having way too much fun with this frog.

Green Annie My Chubby frogs are as beautiful as ever, a rich chocolate with gold banding. I'm getting used to their call. At first it was strange to hear them but now I enjoy it. I've heard Annie call twice. 🙂 For a short while the crickets sing then the frogs. This is an orchestra with a song I've come to depend on.

When I first realized Jane was really sick, I moved out to the living room with her. This meant I spent a lot more time observing the terrariums as opposed to just working on them then coming back in the room. I'd like to keep my new observation vantage point. I like watching them move around, snatch bugs in their terrarium and explore their environment. Having a third frog that is primarily a land frog means I can watch plants grow and see the grass fill in places. I'll see their landscape change with time which is a nice thought.

Jordan

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