Saturday, February 28, 2009

RIP: Dennis the fish.




Dennis died this week. He was my first fish as an adult and I became very attached to him as I am capable of doing with almost any sentient being...

Dennis first came to me as the mascot for the PEACE program but because he had fishacidal tendencies, killing everyone in his bowl, we deemed him an inappropriate PEACE mascot and I brought him home. He lived a long life I assume for a beta. Almost 2 years. He liked his worms and flakes. He had a couple of bouts of ick and was treated and survived. I attempted all the usual tricks this time, but he seemed to be slowing down, sitting on the bottom more until one day he just sat and didn't move. Then I burst into tears and bid farewell to a tiny fish who left a huge hole in my heart. Funny how the smallest beings fill our lives...

Sunday, February 22, 2009


2 months ago...





And now!





GIANT FEET!

Through a glass darkly

Its snowing again. And I don't like it a bit.
I used to be a person who loved, LOVED snow. Just the sight of it made me happy. It could mean snuggling in w/ a book and the cats and whiling away a day. But now it feels more like entrapment.

This winter has been very cold and dark it seems. Maybe its the business I am in, or the economy, or just the world in general... actually, I think it may have more to do with the internal me than the external world.

I've been spending a lot of time remembering lately. Mainly because of facebook. I have been reconnecting with old friends, some from my childhood. Its been bittersweet. I have been able to offer some long overdue apologies and to resurrect some lovely memories. But I also have resurrected a yearning for simpler times. I have wanted to go back to those days when my family was still together, alive and happy. There was a period of time when my father was still alive and all my nieces and nephew had been born, that we always got together for Sunday dinners. I remember those as wonderfully loud, laughing, joyous times with fried chicken and fresh vegetables and homemade breads. I would sit surrounded by love, feeling secure and unafraid. I was not worried about anything.

Maybe that's the difference now. As an adult, I realize there is always worry, concern and anxiety looming over our shoulders. I haven't felt secure in a long time. Money is a constant concern. There is no job security for either the hubster or me, so we just do our best and say our prayers and hope that will be enough. I feel the weight of responsibility now. Not just for myself but for my clients, their families, my pets, my husband, my home, city, state, country...

Its a big world and I feel rather small and lost in it lately. I am sure this has a lot to do with having my 3rd illness in a month. After bronchitis and a stomach flu, I woke yesterday with a raging head cold and defeated spirit. I could go to work in spite of feeling badly, but would spreading this to my coworkers or clients be really fair? No, it wouldn't. So I will probably take the cut in pay and stay home.
Maybe I will just snuggle up with the cats, read a good book and wait for the light.

Spring is looming, the snow will leave and the light will linger longer each day. The flowers will bloom, the grass will green up and soon the world will thaw...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's cold. Inside and out.

I have been sick. AGAIN. I am the world's worst patient because when I am sick I just get angry. I get mad because I am wasting time that I could be doing something much more constructive than lying around moaning and whimpering...
Plus it was a GI bug and of all sickenesses that is the WORST for me. I hate being nauseated more than anything else in the world. Coupled w/ a fever and body aches, well you should just give me the big pink shot and let me die in peace!!!

This time I had weird fever induced dreams as opposed to my run of the mill weird dreams. I will spare the graphic and disgusting details of the dreams other than they involved raw liver and slugs. And nose blowing. I will leave the rest to your imagination...




Throughout it all Bob was a trouper, bringing me gatorade and aspirin, hauling the 35# puppy off me, putting socks on my feet, finding the socks when I kicked them off in a fevered sleep, taking the socks out of the puppy's mouth, getting me new clean, dry socks...

I am better now and went back to work. Angry that I lost 2 to 3 days that I could have been billing and catching up on paperwork that I am now even more behind on... I hate being sick!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wild weekend





Yesterday I finally made it into Wolf Run Animal Sancutary where I got to pet actual wolves and wolf/dog hybrids. It was pretty awesome. I also witnessed the volunteer staff feeding the lions, cougars and bobcat, hurling half chickens over enclosures while cats with feet bigger than my head paced and roared.
There were also horses, a goat, disgruntled sheep, deer and chickens. And a wallaby! and two very ugly monkies. and a few bunnies. All in all a nice day...

Then today a couple of guys came and cut down my oak tree. I am mourning it although it has been dropping branches for several years now and has been an increasing risk to our neighbors and ourselves. Still it hurts to cut down a tree who has been on earth longer than me, survived ice storms, high winds and countless droughts. I went out and gave it a hug before the men came to take it down. I made myself watch and it was brutal. I don't know what the squirrels will do now... they used that tree as a main crossing point from one side of the street to the other, bouncing from branch to branch, swing twig over twig and scattering acorns as they scurried from the tree to the roof...
There were visible signs of rot in the trunk, but also the wood was wet and heavy, the sap had started to rise, a sign of spring returning...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Connections

This week has been amazing~ all about connecting with others.

On facebook I have reconnected with several childhood and college friends. I was finally able to say "I'm sorry" and "Thank you" to a person who made a huge difference in my life 25 years ago. I found out one of my favorite teachers ever had died and I spent a while remembering what blessings he brought into my life. I laughed over funny memories from college, I cried when a friend had to euthanize his beloved golden retriever after 14 years of loving and living together...

At work, I listened as young boys/men told me what their lives had been like as gang members, the horrors they had witnessed, the deeds they had committed, the remorse they were experiencing, the dreams they were dreaming, and I encouraged, validated and listened some more. I got to take a kid to the library where he chose to read aloud to me rather than to spend time on the computer; this is a child whose family is all illiterate and he has discovered the love of books. If I have given him nothing else, I have given him the library. I have met with girls on the brink of womanhood who are scared and frightened and looking to fill themselves and I have listened and ached with them...

I have met people who others would turn away from, who would frighten others, who are dirty, illiterate, poor, needy, wounded...

I have spent the week with the Christ child.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

GRRRRRRRRRRRRLLFriend

Jake has a girlfriend. She is a 4 month old German Shepherdess. Her name is Clare. They are romping buddies at the dog park. We moms exchanged phone numbers so the two can have playdates.

Photos will be forthcoming.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Jake at home



Grace in small things: 5 for today.

I have a couple of friends who are doing the "GIST" aka grace in small things on their blogs. I have been thinking about gratitude lately...

I am grateful that we were not without power during the ice storm. We were able to stay warm and lighted and all our animals had food and shelter. This was especially good as the hubster and I both were very sick and basically just slept through the 3 days of bad weather.

I am grateful for my job. I get to help people. I get to go into their homes. I am so honored when they admit me into their homes, their lives, when they let me see the "real them". I am so blessed to get to see authentic people, who are baring their souls to me. I am humbled and honored by their trusting me so much, trusting me to help them, to not hurt them, to help them heal. It is an awesome responsibility and I don't take it lightly. I cannot describe the feeling I get from serving others. Only that I take away much, much more than I give. I am thankful for those connections, soul to soul. It is a holy experience.

I am grateful for my family. For their unswerving love and support. If all my kiddos had what I have, they wouldn't need a social worker. If the world at large had my family, we would all be richer...

I am grateful for my husband. He loves me no matter what. He sees the real me and somehow makes me feel better than I am! I love that I wake up at night to find we are holding hands in our sleep after 20 years...

I am grateful for words. I love books, reading and writing. I love that we can touch each others lives with words. I love the power that simple phrases hold: "I am sorry", "I love you", "You are forgiven""Thank You"... words are amazing.

That's 5 for today. Grace in small things. My 5 don't feel small. They feel like my whole world...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Jake's very exhausting but best ever weekend.

Jake ran with the big dogs two days in a row.
On Saturday we went to a friend's home where 2 goldens live: Asher and Jax. Jake loves them!!! They rolled him in the snow, about a million times, ran and ran and ran with him. Played chase and tug and shared their chewies and rawhides. Then they sent home a ton of new toys w/ SQUEAKERS in them. Jake LOVES squeakers almost as much as he loves Jax and Asher!

Then today we went to a dog park. Jake got to run w/ the big dogs again for about an hour. He met Duke who rolled him in the snow, and a bunch of ladies who remained nameless but did play nicely with him.

The nice thing is other than Jax and Asher, Jake does not appear to be dog aggressive. He seems to be a fairly laid back pup. He loves all humans too. He has potential.
Right now tho, he has a sleepytime...