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Broken

BRoken seems to be the theme in my life this week. My body is broken, my dishwasher is broken, my washing machine appears to be broken, although that I believe is vaporlock. Still don’t know, but I saw what the dishwasher was doing this morning, and that is FOR SURE not vaporlock. I don’t believe in coincidence, but how strange the dishwasher would break at the exact same time the washing machine backs up….And of course, I have this bum shoulder, which is preventing me from pulling out any of the appliances for a closer look. I went to acupuncture yesterday, and it helped some, but I still hurt. There is one factor missing, my husband! He has a little trick he does when I am all jammed up like this, and once I get the muscles to relax, he straightens me right out. It works so good. He may get the opportunity to come home this weekend for a few hours, and if he does, oh thank goodness. If not, I will be calling a chiropractor on Monday. The acupuncturist confirmed my belief that the massage therapist made it worse, she was surprised he was even willing to work on me with my shoulder so acute! Her words, not mine. She also sent me to a PT to get some strengthening exercises. I just don’t know how I can do strengthening exercises before I get adjusted, as it is difficult to move my head, due to the vertebra slamming into each other every time I move. I wonder what the PT can do to get me out of pain quickly, as she seemed to think he would get rid of the pain faster than a Chiro would, and I will admit, the idea of being adjusted today, even by a gentle Chiropractor, makes me want to cry. I believe no matter how gentle, it would be excruciating! So, I will go to the PT today, and keep drinking my “Chiro Klenz” tea. If you have not heard of it, look it up. I was given this tea by a Chiropractor years ago, and I swear by it. If I drink it three or four nights in a row, and trust me when I say it is VERY IMPORTANT that you follow the directions closely, I can lay down in my bed, take a deep breath, and hear my back realign itself. The tea is designed to removes toxins and gas pockets from your body, so be very careful the first few times, cause it will cleanse your system, and you don’t want to take the chance of being far from a bathroom (a private bathroom, preferably). I always feel lighter when I drink it. I use it particular for gut health, because it makes me go when nothing else will, and it is not painful, like some other products can be, but again, I caution you…do not overdo it. I made that mistake once and Holy Heavens it was painful, in a detox kind of way (use your imagination here folks)! It seems to help my muscles to feel light and clean, My spine adjusts, and lots of gas pockets released (the popping sound you hear when you crack your knuckles, or any other joint, is a gas releasing, which builds up between your joints and when you pop them, you are releasing that gas.) My guts feel much cleaner, and I just feel all around better. I am popping like crazy today, every time I move, and it is only a matter of time, until that shoulder gives and my spine realigns! I can feel the stuff around it starting to move! Small blessings! Thank You God! I will take any relief I can get.

I have three recurring health problems, and I believe that I can get each of them healthy through diet. It sounds funny, and of course there are other factors at stake. I have a tooth I need to have pulled. Clearly diet wont fix that. I believe that I will have the opportunity to get them fixed in the near future. The tooth greatly aggravates my TMJ. I never had TMJ pain until that tooth became infected. If I never have to go through that pain again, I am good! If you have TMJ, acupuncture works wonders for immediate relief, however, if you have an abscessed tooth, you have to get antibiotics first.  THat tooth also leads to bad bacteria in my already sick gut. I have poor gut health, and have had a host of doctors telling me it was this or that since I was seven. I finally got so desperate, that I din my own research. I spent days on line, googling every detail I could, till one day I hit the jackpot. It’s all about my blood type, and acids and enzymes present in my body. Or should I say, not present. It turns out gut health is the key to all health (or so I believe at this point). I came across the Blood Type Diet, which went into detail all of the symptoms I had been having, seemingly unrelated, but sure enough. I have become observant in the folks around me, and wow! Gut health, or lack thereof, is a prevalent factor in our society! When your guts are not healthy, you do not process your vitamins and minerals properly, and the rest of you breaks down, starting with your immune system. Once I figured out which supplements I needed, I was able to gain some control over my gut health, but I still need the help of a professional to help me get it all fine tuned. Now if I can find one who will listen to what I have found, rather than blowing me off, because I don’t have a PhD or understand the human body better than they do, although, this time, I think I do. Also, getting that tooth fixed will be huge in getting my gut health under control. Meanwhile, 37 years of not digesting my food properly, has led to a weakened immune system and deteriorated muscles. People always tell me they wish they were as skinny as me. If only they knew how many days I spend in pain, severe pain, and that I would take obesity over skinny, if it meant I could feel acute pain less often. Don’t get me wrong, I am not aiming for obese, but enough meat on my bones to protect me from injury would not break my heart. My third recurring health problem is my back. It hurts, a lot. I believe that as I adjust to the new diet, and my body starts absorbing the healthy stuff I put in it, that those muscles will get stronger, and I will feel all around better. I have been listening to a hunch I have about our food source. I feel a need to get back to God’s way. If we are all to be healthy, then we really need to get back to living the way God intended for us to live, and I feel desperate at time, for someone to discuss this with. In the course of a week, I read about test tube hamburgers, inorganic arsenic in rice, and an animal byproduct wax sprayed on veggies, and I am scared of the food source. Part of the mission of Rocky Mountain Rescue Ranch, is going to be to live as close to God’s way as possible. I plan to raise as much of our food as possible. We eat a lot of game meat also. I came across a book at the thrift store the other day called “Makers Diet” and I really think it makes sense. Between the blood type info, and The Biblical diet, I really feel like I can get a grip on my gut health, and subsequently, the rest of my health. I feel really pleased that I found the Biblical Diet, now if I could find a book on Biblical homesteading I would be a happy camper! Who are we kidding, I am a happy camper, just a little tired of pain is all. Today, I can focus long enough to sit and write an entire blog post, so that must be a good sign.

I can’t wait till I feel good enough to be a functional mom again. Despite the pain, I am in fairly good spirits, but that was not the case yesterday. I was down right grumpy! I tried to explain to my son that it was not his fault, and that my back really hurt, but still, he should not have to live with that. At this point, my garden starts are started, but I have not got a lot of energy to tend them, I have a ton of projects I want to do, that I cannot get started on because I simply cannot focus on anything but this dang shoulder. I have paperwork and business work to do, and I just keep avoiding it. My back has started to align a little this morning, pain is receding, and I actually got a few things done, but I cannot wait to be a fully functional woman again!

Well, Physical therapy was not full of good news, I have a bulging disk in my neck. At least now I feel a bit less like a wuss who has been walking around crying all week about a sore muscle. On the other hand, bummer….no wonder it hurts so bad! I have officially been restricted to bedrest, ice, and a few small walks to go with my PT exercises each day. On that note, I am going to crawl into bed and rest this poor shoulder, because the tyoing certainly doesn’t help. Have a blessed day everyone. Until next time….

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Gifts

Today I am thankful for..My life, and all of the ups and downs it took to get here. I am thankful for my special ability to see the good in the most negative of situations. I am oh, so grateful for a chance to do God’s work, and especially that He gave me special skills for helping, sick, wounded, scared, and needy. I am so thankful that he made my heart one that comforts and warms people.

Today, I am blowing kisses at the sky, because I cannot contain the love pouring out of me. I want to scoop up random strangers in the store and just hug them like I have known them my entire life. I have not been able to stop the slow trickle of happy tears at any point today, and I feel silly, but how else do I get this overwhelming abundance of love and joy out?

I sit back and take a look at who my clients are, and it is clear how he equipped me to help each and every one of them in a special and individual way, and then it occurs to me how blessed I am to even have clients. I have no formal education…just the education that life has to offer, but it clearly is a valuable education, because I am now making a difference in so many people’s lives. This week, He showed me how equipped I am for the job. I am ready to move forward, and on the hunt for a new house. One that will accommodate the beginnings of the Rocky Mountain Rescue Ranch. I am thrilled at the notion of starting up the foster and resource counseling programs.

My week started out slow, boring even. On Tuesday morning, I had a clear schedule for the week, and but lunchtime Tuesday, my entire week had been booked solid with plans, commitments, and people in need. I found myself calmly rolling with the punches one after another, non-stop. At some point after an incident with four boys under the age of 14 in my home, three of whom are diagnosed with AHDH, well…you can imagine. Anyway, I walked away from the situation calmly. I never raised my voice and was able to quickly submit all four boys to calm, acceptable, indoor behavior, through rational discussion. It was wonderful. I was slightly dazed as I walked out of the room, wondering when and where I perfected that skill? At what point did I abandon my irrational, enter scene and take control through power and volume, and learn to calmly dissolve an elevated situation? I know it happened some time in the last fifteen years. So, situation after situation presented itself, and I realized that I have somehow, somewhere, learned how to handle a series of situations, calmly and rationally, and even overflow that feeling, to those around me. I am thankful for THAT! I am thankful that I have learned to recognize when I am getting overwhelmed and let my family and friends know I am going to take a day or two to recoup. I am thankful that I have acquired enough clients that I feel as though I have outgrown my home. When did that happen? I am thankful for the wisdom to see that this is not about money, but about what I have been training for my whole life, raising up strong, healthy, community members, and the ability to translate that to mothers who feel guilty because they cannot pay. Sure I take cases of peaches as payment too, but if you can’t pay, you can’t pay. That doesn’t mean that I am not supposed to do the work. I am so incredibly flattered, that I was chosen to make a difference in so many people’s lives. I feel as though I have been in training my whole life, have barely begun my work, and have already made a difference for so many people, I can only imagine what my lifetime will bring. Oh, I am so excited about this next chapter or my life.

I am thankful for the diverse friends I am being introduced to, and the unique perspectives of some really good folks. I am thankful for the realization that I can, and should, go out to lunch with my good friend, without feeling guilt about spending money on something that is a “want” rather than a “need”. It truly is a need, the fellowship and discussion. It lifts me up and gives me one more chance to glorify Him. In my search for a home to continue Rescue Ranch work in, I came across one that seems appropriate, realistic. I am confused by it’s location, but I have had several thoughts about that, and maybe it is, maybe it’s not, but I won’t find out if I don’t pursue it. Tonight, I write the email that starts the ball rolling, and I watch closely, for signs of His intentions.

I am thankful for my family. My husband…how lucky can a gal get to find a man who supports her taking in a host of sick, needy, hurt, and abandoned creatures of various sizes, shapes, and species. It really is a lot of work and a heavy burden to put on someone who does not feel passionately about the situations. I am lucky, oh so lucky, to have a husband who supports me, in my desire to change the world, one broken piece at a time. I am thankful for his new opportunities, and the doors which they have opened for us as a family, and as individuals. I am thankful that they bring him peace. I am thankful for my son. My very well adjusted, Aspergers boy. I feel so blessed and lucky to have been given the gift of raising this incredibly gifted and loving child. I am thankful that he is exactly who he is. I will take the struggles that we face, over the pressures of drugs and alcohol, and other teen behavioral issues, any day. I feel thankful that we were able to embrace our diagnosis and take the opportunity to educate others about the joys of Autism, rather than be ashamed and feel that something is wrong with us. I am especially overjoyed that my son has the perspective of “teach don’t hide” the special needs.

Today I feel called, to calmly lead people who have never known safety or trust, to a safe and trusting place, and that, my friends, is the best blessing of all!

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What a strange place I am in today. So far the pamper me time is going great, but today I have no desire to do anything at all. My house is clean, my plants are watered and the baby sprouts are coming up, getting ready to head out to the greenhouse.  Spring is in the air, the chives and crocuses have arrived. I should feel vibrant, beaming even, but instead I have a low buzz of “I don’t want to do anything”. What on earth do I do with this feeling? I am happy, generally content. I have a new client, who baffles me but I feel at peace, as though she was brought to me for reasons only I can understand. I feel as though my life is in order for the most part, but I have no ambition. Surprisingly, I look around me and see order everywhere, and wonder if I am bored? The sky is gray and dreary, but the weather is warm, perfect for being outdoors, doing spring garden clean up, but not me, I am in here, writing this silly blog, trying to figure out where my drive went. The past week or two have been above and beyond relaxing and peaceful, and I have slept more than I ever do. What a strange funk. Happy and content, with about as motivation as a person with severe depression (I mean no judgement there, as I have suffered from severe depression in the past, I am speaking from experience). I have a great book I am looking forward to reading, but can’t seem to make myself pick it up for more than a minute or two. I have little desire to journal or do crafts and I just don’t know what is up with me. I am very bored with sitting and staring at this point. I am content and bored. I heard one time “only boring people get bored”, and I am a little stuck on that. I think I need a change. I don’t think a haircut is going to do it, although I still haven’t gotten that haircut, I think it is because that is not what I really want. I want a real change (and a haircut, so I will do it eventually).

I realized that I reached a place where I need a big change to move forward, and that change is in the process of happening, but I think I just sat down to wait, which is very unlike me. I cannot remember the last time I felt bored, of all things. I want to move really badly. I feel that I have reached most of the goals that are possible for me  to reach from this home, and I want to move somewhere with some space. While we own our home, we rent the land that it is on, and unfortunately, the world has become a place where limits are a must, due to the sue happy nature of folks. Our son is not aloud to climb trees, ugh! Really, we aren’t aloud to do anything, add raised beds, gardens, walkways, dog fences…nothing, and so, it is time for a little more space. I need a change that includes a yard I can fence if I so desire, so that on wonderful days like today, my dogs can be in the yard with me without having to worry about them running into the highway after a deer. Now, I feel guilty going out and enjoying it without them, and so I am sitting here with them, not being productive. we do out treks to the woods, but even when we get home, they just look at me out the window like “c’mon, let us out”. I tried tie-outs, which I am a firm believer against, but if I am out there with them…so I justified. They just get tangled into a little ball and stand there staring at me in a pack of dog statues. Not to mention, they have officially broken two of the three tie-outs quickly. I am ready to move forward in my life, but don’t know how to do that from this home. At least I finally figured out what the problem is, should make it much easier to tackle, and I am thankful that my house is clean while I do.

Aha…well identifying the problem has brought some ambition and motivation, so that must be a good thing. I have a client who weighs heavy on me, but I don’t know what to do. I have peace about it. God will lead me. My son has acted up a bit since dad’s career change, so we are addressing that, and I myself have had health scares this month which have caused me to reevaluate everything about my life and how it functions. I love God, and have a desire to talk to Him every day, but feel completely alienated from my church…

Well, on that short and sweet note, I am going to go do something with this newfound information…anything! I am going stir crazy!

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The kings daughter…

I fought a war against co-dependency, and I won. I fought a battle against poverty, and I won. I went to combat against mental health instability, and I won. I spent years of my life in boot camp, training in all the right moves to conquer the evil that gets deep under out skin, and I spend my life as a drill instructor, teaching, training, drilling people to understand their worth. I beg, I plead, I empathize and I spend my days praying that others will see how beautiful they are, how much more they deserve. I want people to see themselves the way God see’s them. I want them to understand His love the way that they love their own children. I want them to all see how He looks down upon us, His children, the way we look down on our own children. I want them to know that unconditional love. I want every woman to know that she is the kings daughter! That SHE is a princess, and deserves to be treated like one. I spend my days trying to convince overwhelmed and under appreciated moms and sisters that THEY are princesses…daughters to the king…who else do they need to impress? Meanwhile…it has become very clear to me that I never learned how to treat myself like a princess, like the daughter that I am, washed in his blood and deserving of the throne, through His grace and forgiveness. I want others to understand that this is His gift to us. How is it that I can devote my life to helping other women break free from their chains, while I am still tied to this condemnation of self. When do I learn that I too, deserve those very things that I am pleading with others to receive for themselves? Maybe I already know, but I sure do struggle with implementing a plan. Today, I made a new category, because yesterday I made a new rule. I will be spending time pampering ME. What a strange concept…spend money to get my hair done, I can hardly imagine that being ok for me. Other folks do it all the time, but I, myself, do not splurge like that. Eight dollars to go swimming in some healing mineral waters…are you kidding me, that seems like highway robbery. Even if it is one of my favorite pastimes, we can’t afford for me to blow 8 dollars on a frivolous day of soaking and swimming! What a waste of money…  this is a typical conversation in my head, when I want to do something for me. Why is it that I think that I am not worth the 8 dollars to spend an afternoon in some healing water, or even fifty, for a haircut?  Why have I abandoned my stretching mat and candlelit meditations? Why do I quietly wish someone else would notice I am a good, hardworking, albeit tired, person, and deserving of a break? Why should they recognize that if I don’t? I feel as though I recognize the tired part all of the time, sleeping doesn’t make it better. I have been told three times, by three different people, that I deserve a break, a healing break. Not the kind of rest you get when your sick, but a healing and rejuvenating vacation, was what one lady said. I have never done that, and cannot imagine what it must feel like? I have spent 30 years taking care of other people, putting everyone before myself. I have learned how to weed out the ones worth putting before me, and the ones who are not, and so I claim to have broken the co-dependent cycle. I realize, this week, that I only let go of part of that co-dependency baggage, and the rest I am carrying like a weight I refuse to let go of.  I am spiritually healthier than I have ever been, mentally, as well. I feel balanced and in control of my “life”. I quote life because for me being in control of my life means that I have faith that God is in control, and as long as I trust Him and keep moving forward, life will be grand.

The health problems I have encountered have put this into grand perspective for me this past week, and I realized that I need to treat myself like that princess I am talking about. I need to pamper myself as though my life depends on it. I am pretty convinced this week that it does. I realized that stress takes a toll on me unlike the average person, due to my highly sensitive nature. I process stress like a poison. It shuts me down. Every muscle in my body aches, every day. I have digestive issues, oral health issues, and now female health issues. I don’t have the option of setting my pain aside anymore, as I literally feel like I am rotting from the inside out! My body seems to be attacking me! I have always told women who run themselves too hard, that if they don’t rest, God will force it on them. I don’t really believe that He brings the darkness of sickness to his children, but I believe He can get you through it. It’s just my way of saying, if you don’t rest, you will be forced to. Well, here I am staring my own stubborn desire to put it aside and keep going, in the face. Makes me feel pretty hypocritical. How on earth can I stare these women in the faces and tell them to take care of themselves when I am not doing the same for me? I try to demand it, but I never actually do it.

So here I am today, I have spent the last three days in deep contemplation, about why I don’t know these things, and how to learn them. I am really thankful for the internet as a research tool. It gives me endless hours of looking for ways to put my plan into effect. I have spent years learning about home remedies and spa products, to try to figure out my health problems. They all feel great, but I never considered the health problems could be related to lack of decompression time, which is pretty ridiculous given who I am and the amount of time I spend researching things like sensitive personalities and complaining about how fast life is today. I can tell you I process stress through my stomach, but have been searching and searching for answers to my digestive issues for over thirty years. Hmmm…left the logic at home on this one, huh? Oh, I have physical symptoms as well. It’s a blood type thing, not making the digestive enzymes I need to process food. I got it figured out, but don’t feel a lot better. Gee, could stress be the problem? I made rules about stress this weekend though, and I am putting my stubborn foot down and sticking to my guns on this one! I will learn to take care of myself. I will learn to meet my own needs first (or at least second or third). First and foremost, I will be requiring some pampering! There is just no question about that. As soon as I started looking for ways to spoil myself, I was motivated. I started thinking first about a haircut, a cute one, not just a trim, which, by the way, I do myself in my own bathroom. I am going to get a hairstyle, and I am excited about that! It made me want to go through all of my old make-up, get rid of the old, yucky, and take an inventory. I decided I would dress up one day a week. I love my comfy clothes, but often wish I had a reason to put on more fancy clothes and go out. Who needs a reason? I am going to wear my heels and pretty make-up sometimes, if only for my husband and son. If only for myself. Today, I am going to splurge, spend the 8 bucks, and do some serious warm spring water soaking, and oh my, I am nearly in happy tears at the thought. I won’t lie, I cried when I told my husband I was doing it. He is such a good man. He was very supportive, at least of the ideas. We shall see when it comes time for me to put them in action. So far, so good!

I have made it my mission to get healthy, To get me healthy and meet my needs, and as I learn how to do that, I am going to share it here with you. Some of it may seem simple, and silly, but I am just an infant in this world. Realizing I do deserve a professional haircut was a huge step for me, or that I could spend eight dollars to go swimming. So, I am off for a soak in some hot springs, and let me tell you…I have no guilt whatsoever about it! Have a nice day all, and remember, God gave you blessings so you would utilize them…enjoy something nice for yourself today! It doesn’t have to be expensive, just relaxing! It doesn’t have to take a long time, 15 minutes in a hot Epsom salt bath is wonderful! Do you have a candle? Light it! Count your blessings, thank God for them, and then enjoy them!

 

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Adjusting…or loss and growth

Well, I never imagined I would have so much time on my hands without my husband here. I have been such a lazy bum the last few days. I feel no pressure to get anything done (this is NOT a good thing), and I feel like I am walking around in a daze. I have spent some time reflecting on my loneliness the last day or two. I am happy, content, not feeling like I need to ‘hang’ with anyone. I am enjoying loneliness very much. I didn’t even know that you could enjoy loneliness, but I am. I have had a ton of health problems the last few years, and someone recently said to me that I needed a rest. Not the kind of rest you need when you are sick, but the rejuvenating rest you get on vacation. I spent some time thinking on that, and realized that I don’t think I have ever had that. It occurred to me that you all may hear a lot from me, with my husband gone, and it looks like I am finding truth in that thought. I spent a minute today thinking about my desire to chat it up, with a gal who understands me. They are all gone…kind of. In order to deliver today’s thoughts, I have to give a LOT of background on myself, so please bear with me as I explore things I have left alone for years. First, let me explain in very simple terms, I am not one to cry at good-byes. Don’t get me wrong, I cry. I cry when I need to. I am a highly sensitive person. I have been meaning to make a tab on my blog for Highly Sensitive Personalities for a long time now. It is a real condition, it does exist, and there are a lot of people who possess highly sensitive personalities. Beautiful things hit me in the chest like a ton of bricks, as do terrible things. Look at the humanitarians in your life. It is very likely that at least some of them are HSP’s. If you are reading my blog, and interested in what I have to say, you may be an HSP. I think it is a privilege and a gift from God. But, back to my point about crying at good-byes. I am not sure if it has to do with the overwhelming amount of death in my childhood, or with faith, or just simply that I did a lot of the leaving, but whatever it is, it works for me. It started when I was seven, the death rate in my life. I am so thankful that God gave me the tools that He did, and I imagine he did that because only He could know I would need them. Remember that I consider myself blessed to be able to take positives away from a situation. I believe that is the tool that got me through my childhood. Looking back, it was the only chance I had at survival. I realize now, that He prepared me for everything I needed to get here, and spend the rest of my life glorifying Him. What else could a woman ask for? So, a brief history of my childhood. I had a hard time, but I was convinced that so many people had it so much worse. That was my mantra, my go to phrase, and my get me through it. It could be worse…

I had a roof over my head, clothes on my back, a family that loved me, and food in my mouth. I thought my needs were met. Little did I know, you also need validation, trust, a safe place, parents who will stand up for you, respect, and the chance to be a child. As an adult, I have become thoroughly educated on the finer needs in life, and I spend my days passionately trying to validate other people, help them see their shame platforms, and help them realize that they were created perfectly by God, and to believe otherwise is a great insult to Him. To let other people tell them otherwise is an injustice to the self. That is where my joy comes from. The Bible tells me that the only one I have to please is God. There is a level of safety in that, that I just cannot put into words. But, I digress. I never imagined I would have a passion for PTSD in children, but looking back, it is clear God prepared me to help a lot of people with that one. I have even been asked to write a book about it by my sons therapist! Talk about flattering, if you can use that word to describe God’s work through a person. He trusts me with the little ones. That nearly brings me to tears! When I look at my life, I realize that He trusts me with the damaged, the weak, the injured, the sick, and the just plain needy. I am so blessed! He directed my life to a place where I would be in a position to do the work that really matters. He gave me the responsibility of understanding compassion, validation, trust, faith…all of the skills necessary to save the lost. I didn’t even realize it was happening till it was here. I always said He had great plans for me, because there was no other reason for me to go through all of these trials, tribulations, learning situations and so much misery if not. But I did not realize I had arrived until I was standing in the middle of it! What a beautiful realization! The PTSD in my life starts young, as an infant. My parents both had their own shame platforms, and drugs and excessive alcohol were most certainly the influencing factor in my early years. I lost my father to drunk driving when I was seven. I think that is the day I knew God, but it was not until much later that I admitted it to myself. God protected me from even that event. I was at my grandmothers house when it happened. She was the ONLY Christian in my life. My grandmother was Catholic, and despite my misgivings about some Catholic “laws”, she was a true and devout Christian. I cannot thank her enough for that now! My would be step-father moved in when my dad had been gone two weeks. I was yanked away from my biological family to another state far away, with no explanation. By the third grade I had attended six schools. From that point on, I had experience after experience with death. My very first grade school boyfriend was shot in a gang war (and we didn’t even have ghettos or gangsters where we lived. It was a quaint little midwest town, even rated #1 while I lived there). Another friend has a brain aneurism from a drug overdose, gramma and grampa, great aunt and uncle. I watched them pass one at a time. Soon I learned that death was inevitable, a fact of life. By the time my very best friend in the whole world died of cancer, I was praying for God to take her. She was an angel, too good for this word anyway, and she did not deserve the suffering! I was so incredibly relieved when she passed, and this is when I knew I had fully accepted death! I have quite the gang of angels, let me tell you! I still cry cause I miss her…It took me years. I didn’t cry because she had passed, but I would love her to meet my son, and my dad too. I cry occasionally for my own selfish reasons…but I am glad they are in a better place. Oh boy, it is going to take a long time to get through this, I keep getting distracted.

When I was twenty six, I went to my first wedding. I realized that I had been to more funerals than I could count on all of my toes and fingers, but this was my first wedding. I felt a bit gypped that day! I remember my pity party quite clearly. I am an expert in saying good-bye. We moved to that far away state, and I was pretty much prohibited from talking about my daddy I had lost, or any of his family members. I had nine aunties and uncles, most of them I was very close to, all gone in one swift move. Trust me, as an adult, I had a  lot of anger and resentment to work through, especially for my mother and step father. I grew up with an abusive step father and an alcoholic mother. The only thing my step dad didn’t do was hit me. Verbally, and sexually, he abused me repeatedly. I was a grade A student, never skipped a day of school in my life, till I was seventeen, when I realized I had been going about it all wrong. All I wanted was to hear my mom and dad say they were proud of me. I did everything I could to please them. I never heard those words. I heard about how I was going to be a drug addict, barefoot and pregnant, waste of life. I heard about how bad I was all the time. He even made fists and told me it was my fault he started smoking again. Thankfully, I was smart…I didn’t lose that. I told him that he was an adult and I didn’t make him do anything! I dared him to punch me. It would have been a way to get him in prison without shaming my family with the sexual abuse. If I could take sexual abuse and verbal abuse every day for eleven years, then I could certainly take a punch! I told my mom when I was seventeen, like most mothers, she chose not to protect me. We have since mended most of those broken fence posts, although there may be one or two remaining. I am not sure. I guess I have mended those, she just started therapy, so she has some mending to do and I imagine with that will come a conversation or two that is healing for me. I had a very strict schedule, and was very limited in activities outside the home. I understand now it was a control issue on his part, and a money issue on my mom’s part, but at the time, I just thought they didn’t like me. This is when I started journaling. I am thankful for the tool of words! We got through the drama of all of that, all the while, I went through life with the nickname SMILEY. I always had a smile on my face, never cried. The more I hurt, the bigger I smiled. When I was nineteen, I ran away to another state far away with a good friend. That is where I started over. That is when my life began! I wonder if she has any idea the role she had in saving my life. I guess I had better tell her! I realized I had not cried…ever. I could not remember my last tear shed. I started crying, and I could not hold it back. I have never stopped. I searched and searched for answers to my heartache for years. I was a social butterfly, which is the whole entire point of this post. I had a ton of friends, everywhere I went. I fit into every social category, and was rarely not included in an activity. I spent years chasing fun, afraid to miss out on something, but I was depressed, and bi-polar as all get out. I later learned that the birth control I went on when I was nineteen had a HUGE role in the bi-polar tendencies, meanwhile, it really aggravated the situation! If you have bi-polar, and are on a hormonal birth control, get off, right away! The tri-cyclic hormones mimic the bi-polar cycle. You will find a huge change in your ability to control emotions. I also had the dumb luck to see a therapist, in my ten years of therapy with various individuals, who in a very short time, taught me three tools to happiness, and they work. I will go into more detail another time, but they including “shoulding all over myself and other people”, learning that five bad minutes only wrecks five minutes of my day, not the whole day, and walking to stimulate the amygdala when I am upset…to get the living hormones going and the fight or flight ones to stop. It is not healthy to live in a constant state of fight or flight, you have to physically get yourself out of that place, and hard walking does it. It was my sons therapist who really changed my life for the long haul. She taught me how I should be treated, what co-dependency is, what I have to tolerate from people, and what I don’t have to tolerate. I must have been a good student, because not only did she ask me to write a book, I am now being represented under her license to work with traumatized kids that she refers to me. That is huge growth. I went from thinking I was not good enough to deserve the basic right of respect, even though all i did was try to be good enough. I broke myself trying to be good enough. I spent years in rebellion, when I realized my parents didn’t want me to be good enough. When I realized I was going abou tit all wrong, what I cam e to was that my parents told me every day I was a loser. They didn’t want to be proud of me, they wanted a drug addict, trailer trash, drop out…so fine, that is what I would give them. I abandoned my education in my senior year, started skipping school, doing drugs, and having sex. If there was a way to rebel I would find it. I had, after all, finally figured out how to make my parents proud of me! Or so I thought. Thus began a downward spiral in my life. One that led to rock bottom, and ultimately, to Jesus. I dug that hole for years, and years, and years. I just kept going deeper, never finding the treasure at the bottom of that hole. I became a single parent. I never really understood it until a good Christian put it in perspective for me.

I tried my hand at college, but not understanding that my child had special needs, I thought I was a terrible parent. I could not keep a job or get to class. I was a straight a student when I made it, but it was just too much for me. I wondered how other mommies did it. I just couldn’t understand how I could be this smart and still fail time and time again, until the therapist put my son in perspective for me. We got some testing and diagnosing done. I had always known there was a creator, but I refused to call it God, because of the social stigma related with that name, and the only influence I had was at a prominent catholic church. I refused to believe God would not love me because I wore jeans or patent leather shoes. I denied Him for years. I also refused to go to a church for help because I felt that it would be sacrilegious to take help from a church while denying God. One day I got so low, I had no choice. I attended the church I planned to call two Sunday’s in a row, decided I could appreciate this new take on God, and called them for help. They opened their arms to me, and really helped me out. I sat down after that first meeting, with tears streaming down my face, at the end of my bed. I put my arms up in the air, and said “that’s it God, I cannot do this by myself anymore. I am giving it to you”. Wow! I cannot even express the way my heart opened up that day. I can’t explain the change that took place in me. My life has blossomed since that day, and I owe it all to one man, who opened my heart to the idea that God could save me. When I dropped out of school, I got a job on a ranch. I met the most amazing Christian I have ever known that day. He didn’t judge me, he talked to me. He heard my story and told me his perspective without judgement. When I told him that I wondered what on earth made me think I wanted to be a single mom, he said, well look what the men in your life have done to you. I know why you chose that path. I guess you don’t know yet, that at 22 I decided I wanted a baby, and the way the world was going, it was easier to be a single mom anyway, and I didn’t want a dad in my child’s life. I even told three people I felt that way, and every single one of them supported me. Even I could see I was trying to find someone to tell me not to do it, but they all supported me wholeheartedly. What in the world…? so, I got rid of my very awesome and respectful boyfriend, and got me a loser! Unfortunately, he stuck around, and that led to my child having to be exposed to such things as meth and violence in his fathers home. I have to just tell myself that God has a plan for him, just like I did when I was going through my own childhood hell. The fact that this eighty year old devout Christian could love and respect me, and even understand and tell me why I did what I did, made me realize there might be something to this Christianity thing. When he talked about the Bible, he talked about love, trust, forgiveness…not the horrible things people try to use to condemn the Bible. I have since learned how to understand some of those horrible things, and they are often taken greatly out of context, in my humble opinion. I am thankful for eyes that read the Bible an translate it to interpret love. I suppose I ought to get to the point one of these days.

When I first found my son’s therapist, she taught me a lot of the very same things I learned as a dog handler with stressed out dogs. It is pretty amazing how child rearing and healthy household dynamics are much like healthy dog packs. I think dogs have the heart of Jesus. They love unconditionally, punish swiftly and get on with it. They forgive quickly, and they forgive everything. They don’t turn their backs on you. Dogs…Jesus, just think about it. So, much in common that I think God gave us dogs as an every day reminder of TRUE, UNCONDITIONAL love.I use my dogs, when I work with problem dogs, to train said dog, while I train the handler (that is the trick to good dog handling and good child rearing, train the handler). This week, that same therapist made a comment about how good my Aspergers son is a t socializing other Aspergers children, and she is sending us another client for him to socialize. Like I said, just like dog handling. I use my mutts in my training. I never imagined my son would be such an important part of parent training!

When I decided to grab the codependency bull by the horns and reign him into submission, I had to drastically change my habits…finally getting to the point. This was the hardest part of my recovery. I had to quit going to the bar (I went to the bar to be sober and drive people home at the end of the night, how bad could that be for me?) Right, I didn’t drink, so it wasn’t that. I was afraid to miss something. I sobbed and sobbed about how these people were my friends if I came to the bar, but they wouldn’t come to me in my house when I was home with my child. I went when he was with his dad. As a matter of fact, most of them have had nothing or little to do with me since I stopped going to the bar, and I guess I have learned to balance and accept that, and have even come to a place where I want nothing to do with people who only want to hang out at the bar. It is the best feeling. When I told the therapist through tears that I was a social butterfly and I didn’t know how to live without out all of these people in my life, she put my reclusive nature into perspective for me in a big way.  She told me it was coping mechanism. I went back to the bar one day for a special thing that one of my friends was doing, and I can say, that even though I did not have one drink, I felt truly hung over the next day, and I understood what the bar was doing to me. Especially as a sensitive person, I was absorbing all of that terrible energy. I avoid the bar at all costs now. I don’t want to feel that way again. I had been using social time to survive all these years. I had become dependent on other people needing me. Oh dear! This is not healthy. I realized that in high school, I was up and out of the house and at school with a smile on my face every day. I realized school was much better than home, and I loved it, and all of the nice people there. No one insulted me, touched me, abused me, violated me. School was my safe place. To think I almost threw it all away in my senior year. I am so glad I made it through that very tough time

Today, my friends get upset with me because I won’t come to them. I won’t go to the bar and to their parties. They do not understand what I have learned. They think there is something wrong with me, or I am depressed or something. I am the happiest I have ever been. I blow it off, because it is not them I aim to please. The ones who get it, come to me or hang out with me in their houses or at the park, or in the woods. I am no longer stressed over friendships lost because I don’t go to the bar. So, people come, and people go. I am happy with my solitude. Today I find myself lonely. In a good way, mostly. I used to have a lot of friends, but I have since scaled down my social connections. I have a few good friends, whom I can count on when I need them and not just when they need me. I don’t struggle with good-byes. I know if they are worth being sad over, I will see them again. My bestest friend in the whole world is fighting cancer with her daughter. They are far away an another state with a good children’s hospital. She gets me to the core. She never judges, and is just plain awesome anytime. I miss her so much. In the last six months, all three of my other close girlfriends have moved out of state. I did not struggle with a single one of them leaving, but as a whole, I feel like the people who most understand me are all very far away, and I am very lonely to just talk life through. I have had a ton of goings on in my life, and now even my husband is far away. I enjoy loneliness, but I fear that I will talk the ears off of almost any adult at this time (or reader of my blog, lol). I am word girl. I talk, I write, I sing. Words are what I do. I love comfortable silence, and I am enjoying my loneliness, but I really do need some good woman time with my dearest friend. I guess I feel like I have stuff too, but everyone else has more important stuff, and I sit quietly, waiting for my turn to have worries to share, and wondering if I will even be able to remember them all by the time I can share them with someone. I am feeling a little trapped in my brain with health concerns for myself, and who do I share them with? I am feeling excited about how close I am to Rocky Mountain Rescue Ranch, and who do I share that with? I am excited about my Bible Study on James…I want to talk to someone on a peer level about it. But who? I want to have someone’s ideas about things I am processing through, but who do I bounce them off of?  I have behaved for the last three days, as if this is that vacation that my friend spoke of. I have spent three days doing very little but thinking and wishing that I had someone to bounce it all off of. Someone in particular, who gets it, and me. Who I don’t have to give a background to, or who won’t interrupt before the thought is through, to tell me how it will fail. I just want to spend a few minutes with someone I can let my guard down with. I want to tell someone I am worried about things. Instead, I smile and say “good”, when people ask how I am. It is true. I am good, and none of them are people I want to share the worries with. They are just the day to day worries of a woman, but as far as I can tell, we all need someone to share those worries with. I want to tell someone about my new progress on the rescue ranch without having to give them the whole danged background story first. I usually never get to the point anyway, cause I get distracted on the details. A lot of people have advice on it, and some have even taken my explanation as an invitation to start this ranch with me. Not that I  have ever given anyone that impression intentionally. I don’t believe in going into business with friends, and if God wants them there, He will put them there when the time is right. One person had the nerve to tell me she was going to start it and hand it over to me when I was ready and this is how it was going to run. She and I don’t really speak much any more. Holy cow, dear readers. I have been sitting here a while. I think I made it to my point inadvertently, and I have responsibilities, so I will have to be back later with more. If I try to proofread now, I will be here all day adding and rewording stuff, so bear with me if you get to editing errors before I do. At very least, you got to see what my brain does when I go too long without adult conversation. Have a nice night all, and I will elaborate more later… until then, God bless.

 

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Change

Ahhh change, and a little more sweet relief! My husband finds himself traveling for a period of time, and the guest on the couch has to go. It was already determined that he would leave before hubby did. It just didn’t feel ok to me, to have my husbands best friend sleep on the couch while he was away. It was a good thing anyway. He overstepped about a hundred boundaires while sleeping on our couch for the last month, but the last straw came this weekend when I got a homepage from my internet service provider reporting too much abuse coming from my IP address! Excuse me? How is that possible. Come to find out, that after being asked three times not to look at porn on our son’s computer, by both my husband, and me, he not only looked at some really nasty stuff…titles like sleazydates, but we got a virus. A BAD virus! Are you kidding me? We have been deep scanning my sons computer for two days. It takes twelve hours per round, and the virus attacked the antivirus software and opened up the camera. Oh you can bet I was livid. I was calm angry. At that place that comes after raging, shaking angry. Calm, quiet, ready to punch him in the face angry. I don’t hit. Never have, don’t plan to start now. Seeing white angry! You can bet when my husband looked at me speechless, overwhelmed, and not sure where to begin, I had plenty to say. When my friend started to talk, I told him he didn’t get to talk. We had talked to him about this three times. It was disrespectful to our home, and everyone in it. He not only had the nerve to access that stuff while my respite client was here, and five feet away on the couch, he also knew of the virus, shut down the computer, and went to bed without telling anyone. Oh livid! When I was done, I apologized to my husband and son for what they had heard, and how mean I had been, and my son actually told me he had never heard me be that mean before. I can promise you one thing, and one thing for sure…Messing with pornography and my son all in one motion will get you to my deepest rage. That is a promise. I am a kind, caring, nurturing, and compassionate person. I have even spent a moment or two dwelling that my friend is out there, alone. Not a friend in the world. Lost his wife, his house, his job, in one day, and only sees his child occasionally now. Our other good friends turned their backs on him. He is a good friend, he made a very rude and disrespectful mistake, but I do get where he is coming from, and it most certainly the sin that I hate here, not so much the sinner. Him, I am angry at. The fact that he is lost and wandering in a dark world is not surprising, as it seems the norm when I evaluate the behavior of myself and others coming out of a long term relationship. I am not saying everyone handles loss with porn, I am saying that every divorce or separation I have seen has come with some sort of rebellion and irrationality. That does not excuse his inappropriate behavior in my home, and he knows to stay away for a while.  I was mean, I was vicious mean. Part of me feels guilty, but most of me feels like “how dare he?” I sent him away with the knowledge that he would be replacing my sons computer very quickly if I did not get it fixed, and that I would be sure that happened. I explained to him exactly how angry I was when I could not get to my little friends cancer awareness page, and that he had lied to me over and over and over again. I can forgive almost anything, immediately, if you can be accountable and own it. Lying to me will get you anger, mistrust, and a cold shoulder. People often tell me how big my smile is. Sometimes I am forced to remind them that while my smile is my favorite facial outfit, the rest of my emotions are just as big! Few understand that until they push me too far or see someone else push me too far. I am not a spiteful or vengeful person, I am just patient. I take a lot of crap, but there is a line, and when you cross it, that’s too much crap. I get cold and rational….and smart. That crushing wit I talked about…it leads my conversations with or without my permission. My husband thinks its funny. I think I need to control it well, but I am pleased that I was able to get my point across yesterday, and quite frankly, on a human level, it just felt good to tell him how badly he treated us and to get the hell out of my house…now. I hate it when I enjoy making a grown man cry. Thank God it doesn’t happen often.

The world is in a smoother, more relaxed place now. Bad friend off the couch and outta my hair, hubby off on a far away job, computers both clear and free of viruses and other malware, and the house is in a state of peace and quiet. I have the parental setting set so high in my sons computer, there wasn’t one piece of infected file attached to his account. I had no idea parental controls worked so well. The settings that high also prevent him from operating the camera, and yet the camera was activated, so I think I am just going to put a piece of electrical tape over his camera. My father in law laughed at me, but I saw a tv special the other day on pedophiles, and how easy it is for them to turn on your child’s computer cam remotely, in seconds, without anyone knowing. That scares the daylights out of me. My child is a teenage Aspergers nerd (I say that with the most pride and affection you can imagine). It is just that he would rather play an engineering game than talk to people or look at girls online, but that doesn’t stop people from watching him, and I am NOT ok with that.

I am pretty lazy and unorganized today, but with the start of a new week, I am looking forward to what the days should bring. I anticipate getting some lists made, getting my house clean, getting some crafts done, and getting paperwork responsibilities managed. I think I will get a chance to pamper myself one or two times while he is gone, and I look forward to a quiet, relaxing, clean, home. I think it will take me a week to get to that place. I anticipate the following week to be productive as I work on focusing toward the future and some of the responsibilities that come with getting to a rescue ranch. I can turn the heat up a degree or two, without anyone caring, and I don’t have to worry about my hubby being sad when I don’t go to bed as early as he does. My son’s sleep disorders physically limit this behavior in our lives, and so far we have not been able to find a solution to the fact that he hates to go to sleep without me, but I have to stay up with the boy, and he needs more sleep than I do, so he can’t make it through the week if he sleeps on my schedule. It will be nice to not feel bad about that.

The grocery store near our house is remodeling, and there are so many great deals to be had. I look forward to grocery shopping this week. It seems like everything is on clearance, which is not true, but a ton of stuff is. I LOVE CLEARANCE! It could be a hoarder tendency I think…I am not a hoarder, but I could be with the right amount of space and money…kidding. I grew up without a lot of money, and then was the single mother of a special needs child for ten years. I have a tendency to want to buy things cheap, and when they are cheap, to stock up. I think it is more a survival instinct than a hoarder tendency, since I like it all to be neatly organized and in its place with labels and dates.

I just remember the relief, when I was supporting two on less than four hundred dollars a month, when there was a spare shampoo under the sink for days when I had three dollars to my name. Speaking of that time in my life…if you are having trouble handling your finances, may I suggest Financial Peace University. Dave Ramsey. The man is a genius. I was able to support two people on under four hundred dollars a month, without accruing any new debt, for almost a year. My church paid for the class and materials for me, and I went. It was amazing. Nothing like I imagined it would be. He didn’t tell me I had to quit doing anything, he didn’t set strict rules I couldn’t will myself to observe. He taught me to make common sense changes in my life, in a Biblical way. I will go again and again to the classes (they are free once you have taken it once), and I would recommend, and will purchase the class for people in my future. I have already bought it for one person…my friend whose world was upside down. he didn’t make it through, but maybe when he gets back on his feet he will try again. I will offer these classes to the community when I start my rescue ranch. I feel strongly that the simple skills outlined in those classes can turn anyone’s life around.

Dinner is made and the dishes are done. Son is relaxing for a few minutes before he has to get in the shower and get ready for school tomorrow. Mutts are pottied and quietly snoozing. I have not bothered to turn on the tv today, but maybe I will do that in a little bit for some quiet background noise. I even got some food processed today that was not going to make it any longer in my fridge if I didn’t do something about it. I have roasted a turkey and a chicken in the last three days. That is a lot of white meat in my freezer. I got the clever idea to grind some up for chicken salad before I froze it, so all I have to do is thaw and add condiments when son wants chicken salad for a snack. Here is hoping it works. I tried to press as much of the air out of it as I could. I look forward to a lovely, quiet evening of list making and regrouping myself for my week that starts tomorrow. I love regrouping on Sunday night. A fresh start first thing in the morning is awesome. Especially on Monday morning.On that note, I believe I will go start my nighttime routine. You kids have a lovely day! God bless!

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Moods

I hesitate to write this post. I must be honest, I am afraid you will see the “real, raw” me. I have been in this funky mood for two days, and I finally feel the urge to write, but dang, the cynicism is overflowing in a way that I am not sure I want the public to see. My husband says…”your hilarious when you are irritated, i mean, not at me, but when it’s someone else, it’s funny”. He refers to my cynicism and sense of logic. I tend to be more cynical when people are not logical, and the simple but crushing wit entertains him. I am glad it doesn’t come out often…she is not the lady I want to be. She is mean, cold, cruel…calls it like it is with the blatant harsh reality that life is, and can somehow make others laugh doing it…but still, I don’t want to be like her. She has the power to wound people with her words. I want to be a woman who heals with my words and actions. I don’t want to be a woman who wounds people with my intelligence, logic, or wit. I want to use those gifts to serve the world, not shame people…so you can see my hesitation, in writing in this frame of mind. I woke up grumpy, again. Two days in a row of just being blah…

I had a really strange day, and my brain was stimulated in ways that I cannot even begin to put into words at this moment. I heard some of the craziest things ever today. I argued with a Christian…I am a Christian, and it was a frustrating discussion because he could not be rational. He warped everyone’s words to say things they were not saying at all, and when we responded, he just argued more nonsense, all the while, bullying these three women. I fear his judgement was the exact reason people turn away from Christianity…because of the judgement and lack of character he showed today. I was the only other Christian in the conversation, and had to argue with him that he was sinning just as severely as those he was judging…I still believe that I was successful at representing the Bible, and those women, who were not equipped to answer his demands about what the Bible says. Telling a non-Christian what the Bible says is really a moot point, as they don’t hold it as law the way a Christian does. What I have learned is that people come to Jesus through love. They don’t get saved cause you tell them they are killers, sinners, going to hell…whatever it may be. People get saved when they see the joy, love, compassion, and strength that God gives. Every single person that has gone to church with me has joined me because they wanted the peace and joy that I have…and all but one has continued to go to that church, and found their peace and joy in God. The one who does not attend, is saved, knows that the peace is there, but has not found the strength to trust Him. She is lost, but she will find her way back…she longs for it and tells me so. Just show them the peace and joy, and they will come…Don’t judge them, don’t condemn them…that is His alone. Just show them the love, the peace, and the joy.

I am getting back into my personal mode again, and catching up. It has been a hard month…thank God for faith. It is way past my bed time, a problem I have been having all week, and I cannot make myself go to bed. I guess I might be having a slightly ‘manic’ week. I have a ton of things I would like to digest here, but feel the pressure of knowing my alarm will ring in four hours, and I could easily write for an hour if I get started now. What to do? Ten more minutes….Family life has been interesting. After talking to the realtor, I do not feel as though God is telling me I should move forward with the piece of land I have my eye on. It is slightly disappointing, but I am prepared to go down a very different path than I picture. Quite frankly, I am not as disappointed as I thought I would be to get no confirmation. I am flexible…I will go where He leads me. I believe that the more I fight it with my own stubborn ideas, the harder it will be. I think the path of least resistance will likely be the intended route. What does not bend in the wind, breaks, a favorite musician reminds me.

My son resists sleep, fighting a case of pink eye, and now ringing and pain in his ears. Bummer! We have missed all but one day of school this week. Dear Lord…please, no ear infection, Please!

It’s time to plan the danged garden…but it just started snowing…I am unprepared for this feeling.

Hubby took an unexpected path, and once again, life will be completely separate from the norm, but we will adjust quick. I will try to get on in the next few days with a better update…until then, God bless you all and have joyful adventures!

 

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Ahhh…sweet relief!

Relief…where do I begin? I woke up this morning, in a strange town, in a strange bed, with pillows taking the place of my husband. Thankfully, I felt well enough to go on my adventure, but today was the first day I had no pain and swelling was minimal. I am blatantly aware of little blessings today, and the relief that they bring. It was a HUGE relief to wake up this morning with no pain and minimal swelling in my face! Yay for eating what I wanted to today! It was nice to not be constantly bothered by the throbbing in my face!

Our drive was uneventful and nice. We made it to our destination in great time, and had a lovely time. My roomie was a great person to “bunk” with, and it was all around pleasurable. Our day was a smashing success, despite little challenges all day long, and we managed to spay and neuter over a hundred and twenty animals. I would say that most certainly falls into the relief category! The clients were awesome today, no impatient pet parents trying to tug their still anesthetized dogs off the floor in an effort to unsuccessfully convince me that they are ready to go home. I LOVE patient pet people!

As concerned as I am about the lack of precipitation this winter, it snowed today. Quite a bit. We got so many phone calls and text messages telling us that is was nasty out, and the roads were twenty five mile an hour road conditions all the way home. They were a little disturbing. Go figure, it waits till I am out of town to snow a bunch, and now I have to drive back in a seventy something van that really needs to be replaced, and being a non-profit, we just don’t have the money, so we drive it till it dies…hopefully not in a snowstorm! One of these days, maybe we will be blessed with a donor…for now, we just keep praying we make it to the next event, and home! So, we drearily heave our exhausted bodies into this van, unenthusiastic about the dreaded drive home through the treacherous storm. It’s gonna be a long night! We have what should be a three and half hour drive ahead of us, but through weather predictions, and in this ragged old beast of a van, we are looking at a six or seven hour night, minimum! Oh my! Imagine our relief when we found the roads to be dry and clear all the way home! Twenty three miles out, we had to get off the interstate, and drive local roads…at which point the concern became apparent. There must have been an inch of ice under that snow! Still, we are tired, cold, hungry, and still have to drop off the van at the storage unit, pick up coordinators car, drive to her house, start my car, scrape my windows, wait for it to warm up, and drive another fifteen miles on those icy roads to get to the comfort of my home.

Ahhh…familiar roads. I could drive them blindfolded…such a relief! The light pollution reflecting off the newly fallen snow, was just enough to highlight the range that reminds me I am home, and at this point all I can think about is greeting my husband in a few short minutes, and kissing my boy goodnight. I spend the next half hour winding my way through the frozen streets, slipping and sliding through every take off from stop. These roads are awful! Thank God I have my family, and wonderful pets to daydream about, while my eyes are riveted on every little obstacle on the road between them and I. The only thing that matters is that I get to them, and it is relieving to know that they are only moments away!

Now you must know that the sweet relief of pulling into my driveway was so overwhelming that I had my door open, and was stepping out of the car, before I realized that I needed to gather my belongings, and shut off the car. I pulled my foot back in, gathered my things all up in one big armed trip, and trudged my way through the snow to my freshly shoveled sidewalk. I entered my home to find a pack of mutts so excited to see me that I could not find a place to set my bags. My husband could not get near me. That statement is not fair, unless you know that I have well mannered dogs, who know that I am going to take my jacket off and put my keys, purse, mail, and whatever else I may be carrying, down before they get attention. While they may follow me around the house until they get my attention, the rarely get in my space before I have room for them. You must also realize, that while they most certainly recognize my husband as the dominant male in the house, I am the dog handler, and the one whom they are with all day every day. It was me who trained them, and it is primarily me who potties, feeds, and exercises them. I am their pack alpha, and I left them for almost a full 36 hours. I swear they thought I was never coming back! Even my two cats are willing to sleep snuggled up in the same vicinity as the mutts in an effort to grab a miniscule piece of my attention. All I want to do is kiss my husband and get out of those snowy wet clothes. Hours later, I am still chilled to the bone, and I am about to revisit that hot cocoa craze I have been in. The guys did not destroy my house (they didn’t do dishes either, but who cares, I am just happy to have them), I got my kiss, got out of those snowy, wet and cold jeans, and into something much more cozy and comfortable, got another kiss from my hubby, and went to find my boy for a goodnight kiss too… Until tonight, I am not sure I realized how much I appreciate a kiss from the ones whom I truly deeply love.

Pets sufficiently appeased…for the most part, hubby off to work now, which is ok. The cold is outside, and I am in. All is well. I am going to snuggle down into my cozy warm bed, thank God for the wonderful outpouring of relief on my day, and sink into the sweetest relief of all…pure, delightful, in my own bed, with my own pillows, best kind of restful, oblivious sleep.  Sweet dreams, my friends, and may you all enjoy the kind of deep slumber that I anticipate for myself on this ever so blessed evening.