Thursday, January 02, 2014
As I sit here this morning typing this blog, I have a little sandy colored ball of fur sleeping beside of me. When my Thor passed away I was heartbroken and couldnít imagine bringing another pet into my home too quickly. But things donít always go as planned.
I picked up Thorís remains on New Year's Eve and will very soon be returning him to his rightful place with Tommy. It was a sad time, but my boys are both at peace and together again.
As a pusher of pet adoption, I regularly go online and look at all the adoptable pets trying to match my human friends with a furry friend that I think would be perfect for them. Thatís what I was doing Sunday night when I came across a new little face that immediately jumped out at me. This little dog they called Daisy was nothing like my boy Thor. It described her as an Australian Cattle Dog mix that was white and tan and 4 to 5 months old. She was definitely not the type of dog I would pick for myself, but for some reason I kept going back to her picture and looking at those big brown eyes.
The next morning I found myself at the shelter with my daughter-in-law asking to meet Daisy. I was so surprised by what a petite little girl she is, quite the opposite of my big boy Thor. I hadnít planned to get another pet just yet, but soon found myself filling out an adoption application. They called me back that evening to say my application had been approved. Daisy (now Sahara) would be spayed and micro chipped the next morning and ready to go home with me at 5:00. We changed her name to Sahara because of our love for the desert and her sand colored fur. After picking her up, we (my son went with me) stopped at PetSmart to fit her with a new harness and leash and bought her several toys and puppy food. When we got home, she quickly laid claim to Thorís bed and gathered all of her new toys together on it. She is a very loveable little ball of energy with an endless supply of kisses. She can never replace my Thor, and is certainly nothing like him, but she has her own little unique personality with lots of love to give and I'm happy to have her.
So just hours after bringing Sahara home, I brought in the New Year with my newest little family member resting comfortably beside me. As soon as she is completely healed from her surgery, we will be out on the hiking trails together. With the new addition to our family comes new hope and happiness for 2014.
Happy New Year my friends!
Monday, December 23, 2013
I canít believe how quickly this year has gone by. Even more, I canít believe how much my life has changed since this time last year.
As a second shift worker, Iíve always tried to sleep late in the mornings so as not to be tired at work. I think back about when I was young and how sleep came so easily. I long for that type of sleep again, but I simply have too much on my mind. My thoughts keep invading my sleep and I wake several times during the night and much too early in the morning. This morning is no different, except that I donít have a big Doberman head in my face telling me to get up and let him out.
Iím glad the weekend is over. Iíd spent several days dreading its arrival, knowing that weíd made the decision to end Thorís battle with cancer Saturday night. His cancer had spread throughout his abdomen and into his lungs. We knew he was having issues with pain and had increased his medications. It helped, but he was still having problems and I could not bear the thought that he might still be in pain. It was getting harder for him to get up and down on his three legs and to walk around. Even as he continued to smile his big Dobe grin at us, we could still see him struggling to enjoy the things he loved. Thor was a trooper right up to the end.
Enjoying one of many rest stops on his walk Saturday afternoon.
Saturday was a long day, but we gave Thor an early Christmas. He got his new blanket and went for a car ride on his pillow. On the way home we stopped at KFC to get him his very own mash potato bowl, something he loved very much. He had a long walk with lots of pain meds and even more stops to lay and rest, and he grinned the entire way. For dinner he had homemade lasagna and his absolute favorite - ice cream! Lots of visitors came by throughout the day to shower him with hugs and kisses. As my tired boy settled in for the night on his favorite cushy pillow, my daughter-in-law arrived at our home with the doctor who would end his pain and give him the rest he so desperately needed. Thor passed over the rainbow bridge shortly after 10:00 on Saturday night. There was not a dry eye in the house, but we knew it was the right thing for him.
Many of you have read my ďBest FriendsĒ blog I posted in 2011 and already know the story of Tommy and Thor. I take comfort in knowing that Tommy was waiting for Thor on the other side and that my boys are back together again. A friend told me that Tommyís Christmas present this year was having his buddy back with him; I think she was right. Maybe they even have a golf cart to ride in heaven!
Tommy and Thor on their golf cart.
I have friends telling me I need to go get another dog. And I will, in time. For a while though, Iíll just shower my hugs and kisses on my sonís dog, Heinlein.
Sorry my friends, but hereís where I jump back up on my soap box! I know youíve heard this from me before so forgive me for continuing to preach, but this is something I feel so strongly about. When the time comes for me to get another furry friend, I will go to our local shelter and bring one, or two, home with me. Thor was a rescue from a bad situation and he was an amazing boy. I know he can never be replaced, but I will save a life and share my home with another amazing friend who needs and deserves a home. The shelters are full of furry friends, some who have never had a loving home, others who were surrendered by their owner for some reason. Most of them will eventually face euthanasia. Please, if you are considering getting a pet for yourself or for a loved one, check out your local shelter. You might just find your next best friend there and also save a life. If you are considering buying a puppy, first ask yourself where it came from. There is a good chance that it came from a puppy mill, and if you donít already know about puppy mills, please check out the information provided at this link - www.aspca.org/fight-cruelty/puppy-mi
I will stay busy at work tonight and tomorrow night, but Iím off on Christmas day and Thursday. Iíll have Christmas lunch with Tommyís family and then dinner at home with my boys, daughter-in-law, friends, and even Heinlein.
Please remember those who are less fortunate this year and keep them in your prayers. Even during our darkest hours, there is always something to be thankful for.
I love all my Spark Friends and I WISH YOU ALL A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!
God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Monday, November 25, 2013
With Thanksgiving only three days away, most of us are thinking about all that we have to be thankful for. My first thought was that I would love to forget 2013 because of the loss of my husband. Indeed, it was the hardest thing I've ever faced in my life. But as I reflect on the entire year, I realize that I have so many wonderful memories that I don't want to forget.
This year, God gave me so much time to spend with Tommy doing the things that we loved. I am thankful that Tommy felt good right up until two days before he passed. We were able to have our wonderful vacation together in May and many other weekend and day trips. As much as Tommy hated going to the cancer center every other week for his treatments, it also made his free time much more precious and we enjoyed every minute together. Even though I miss him terribly every day, I can smile as I think of all the good times we shared.
I spent this past weekend with my best friend at Myrtle Beach. Her mother passed away recently, also from cancer, so we decided we both needed to get away for a few days. We found a great deal on a 2 bedroom/2 bath oceanfront condo with great views from the 10th floor. It was a busy, but wonderful, weekend.
View from our condo.
Broadway at the Beach
A light show we went to.
They had a great Santa Claus who had the perfect jolly laugh.
Yesterday after checking out we drove to Huntington Beach. It's my favorite because of all the birds and very few people on the beach.
Yes, I have so much to be thankful for, and this fun weekend is just one more thing to add to the list.
Finally, I must say that I am truly thankful for my Spark Friends. Thank you all for your kind words of support over the last four years. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and are able to spend it with all of your loved ones creating special memories.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
The last two weeks have been incredibly busy. Most importantly, my youngest son, Jeremy, got married on October 4th and I'm very happy that I now have a wonderful new daughter-in-law, Rosa. I felt so honored that they wanted me to perform the ceremony. They were married at a park close to my home with family attending. We went through their vows a few times the evening before and I was confident that all would go well. Then shortly after beginning the ceremony, I unexpectedly was caught up in a rush of emotions as I looked at both of them. I'm not a person who is prone to crying, but I really had to work hard to fight back the tears, even stopping to few times to take a few deep breaths and regain my composure. Of course Jeremy and Rosa had to tease me afterward about almost crying, but looking at my baby and suddenly realizing that he was a man and was embarking on his new life with his wonderful bride caused so many emotions to surface. They are a wonderful couple and I know they are going to have a great life together.
I was really working hard not to cry.
They are so adorable together.
Their baby, Heinlein, who also got to attend the ceremony.
A cute picture by the huge poplar tree at the park.
They then celebrated their marriage at a reception that evening with family and friends. Because they both love Halloween, they decided on a Halloween theme for their wedding. I wasn't sure about this in the beginning, but it was all fun and everything turned out great. Because I used to make wedding cakes many years ago, they also asked me to do their cake. Of course they presented me with a real challenge with the cake they picked out, but in the end it turned out well and everyone seemed to like the orange buttercream icing they wanted. After getting them to the airport for their honeymoon trip to New Mexico (which they absolutely loved), it was right back to work for me.
The wedding cake
After a few days of rest, I then had to get ready to go to Charlotte for the NASCAR races. My aunt and uncle had invited me to come with them and to bring a friend. I brought my daughter-in-law Sonya (Tommy's son's wife) with me. My aunt and uncle had provided everything for us, including our hotel room for the weekend, the tickets, and dinner both evenings at the Speedway Club. They are so good to me and I truly appreciate all they do. We all had a good time at the races, but it seemed so strange going without Tommy. He was always the huge race fan and really the main reason I always went. I'll be meeting my aunt and uncle again in a couple of weeks for the race in Martinsville, Virginia. Even though I don't really like hot dogs, I guess I'll have to have one for Tommy as he loved their famous hot dogs at that track.
Rainbow over the track before the start of the race.
Nik Wallenda and his sister also performed before the race on Saturday.
We had great seats overlooking the track in the restaurant at the Speedway Club.
I'm enjoying the day off work today, but I really wish it wasn't raining outside as I'd rather be hiking. Oh well, this is a good time for me to get my house cleaned.
Hope everyone is having a great week!
Friday, September 20, 2013
I do have a tendency to be impulsive sometimes, especially when I'm angry, the worst possible time to make decisions. Yesterday was one of those times, or maybe not.
I won't start by picking on a particular internet service provider. Actually, I will, but I just won't name them here in case someone works for them. Anyway, we've been with this same company for years and have been paying a ridiculous price for their fastest speed. I will admit that it is really fast, when it works.
Over the last year our internet has gone down more times than I can count. Tommy used to get so frustrated because he loved to keep in contact with all of his friends on Facebook. We would always do the whole unplugging everything, plugging it back in and waiting to see if it would come back up (all of you with problems know the drill). Sometimes it would come back up, sometimes not. On those occasions when it didn't, I would have to make the dreaded call, go through all of the obnoxious menus, get a technician on the phone who would make us go through the unplugging drill again, even though I would always explain that I'd already done this, and then they would inform me when a technician would be at my house (usually 2 to 3 days). They would usually come out, replace our modem, it would come back up and they would leave, only to have the problems begin again.
Yesterday was another one of those days. Around mid morning I went to send an important email out and NO internet signal. My son and I went through the drill and still no internet. I called our provider's customer service department only to have the rep try to give me a lower priced tier. Really? I guess he thought I would feel better about paying less for no service. This is where my impulsive behavior came into play. I told him "Turn my service off right now." He again asked me if the price was an issue and I AGAIN explained to him, much slower this time, "I t d o e s n o t w o r k." And again, I told him to turn it off immediately because I wasn't interested in paying any price for intermittent service. Now understanding how angry I was, he turned it off.
Next came the part where I began questioning my decision. I started calling around looking for a new provider. Because we live in a rural area, there was only one other provider and their speed in our area was pretty slow (probably too slow to use Netflix instant watch, which I love). Oh no, I had no service and no other good options!
I woke up this morning thinking I would have to tuck my tail between my legs and go grovelling back to my previous provider for service.
I kept putting off calling, and I'm sure happy I did. I received a call from the provider this morning thanking me for being a loyal customer - LOL - and asking for another chance to make it right. Okay, now I was feeling a little smug and told the rep I wasn't interested in paying a high price if they weren't going to figure out why I keep having problems. He offered to cut my bill significantly for one year (with no contract) if I would let them come out this weekend and check everything out to correct any problems. I agreed (of course) and I'll make sure they check all the wiring when they come out as I suspect that's where the problem really is.
They must have immediately turned it back on because my internet is now back up and working. I'll still make them check everything out because the on, off, on, off has been a pattern over the last year. Still, I'm happy they have restored my faith in them by promising to find the problem. Now we'll see if they keep that promise.
On a different issue, has anyone priced a new roof lately? I'm having sticker shock, but I have to have a new roof. Oh well, that's another story for another time.
This is my weekend to work so no hiking for me, but I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
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