Category Archives: family

Your Fur Babies – Capture the Everyday

These are the pictures and descriptions I wrote up for my pets and posted on NextDoor, a great free app that helps with lost and found pets, recommendations for everything from babysitting to automotive repair, and inside scoops for yard sales and local fundraisers (i.e. bags of mulch delivered to your home!).

100 pounds
Chocolate Lab
no chip, very friendly, mostly deaf, wears pearls with her leather tack shop collar with WRONG phone # (our old land line). Call (XXX) XXX-XXXX.

70 pounds
Boxer, Pit, Retriever Mix
Rescue, drug/bomb canine training dropout, wary of men; loves kids and small dogs – TOTAL Ladies’ Man! Fixed, no chip, usually wears bandanna with his leather tack shop collar with WRONG phone # (our old land line). Call (XXX) XXX-XXXX.

Jeez, they look like mugshots!  I hadn’t realized how small I had to take them down to go on my NextDoor profile! But it’s incredibly handy if Boss jumps the fence. Sam isn’t likely to go that far from her food bowl.

I love them both to pieces, and do all I can to keep them healthy and happy. We actually recently started making our own dog food! That’s a post all on its own, but our dogs enjoy free run of the house and large back yard; including sofas, beds, and random human guests they use as pillows.

We started out with cats! I still miss a sweet ball of fur curled up against me, purring. What sort of fur-babies do you have??

Oh, and next week’s topic is Spring Break: Share memories, plans, tips, whatever!

Just When I Felt Alone. . .

I was feeling very, very isolated when a friend tagged this video “for you, Angie Ballard” on FB. I bawled by eyes out. She knows me so well.

Thank you, Julie! I’m reading You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. I borrowed it from the library as an ebook, because I don’t really go out of the house anymore. Or spend money. We have one car that will go forward, but will not stop reliably (Michael’s). He’s been using mine, but now it will not go forward, only in reverse. I personally require a car to both go forward AND stop before I’ll drive it. And Michael drives for a living, for those of you who don’t know. After losing a close friend recently (not LOSING as in death, but losing as in she no longer considers me a friend) I was feeling that much more isolated and depressed.

Until I watched that video. I’ve certainly never been a cheerleader. I’m so clumsy there would surely have been pom-pom-related injuries, even at the junior high level. But I’m a leader, a public speaker, an over-achiever, the girl in the front row every day of class. The nurse volunteering to take the fresh heart from surgery, the MI from ER. Experimental device? Gimme!

So I’m following Nicole’s lead. No, I’m NOT the person I was before. YES, I’m in constant pain. Of course I can smile and pretend everything’s normal. I’ve had a hell of a lot of practice. Of course I wish I was the person I was before. Sadly, the amount of medication it takes to put the “sweet Southern girl” filter back in place is very close to the amount that knocks me unconscious.

My next doctor’s appointment is with my primary care physician. It’s time for him to earn his co-pay. I want my blood pressure controlled by more than a maxed-out beta-blocker that could kill a cow. I’m on enough muscle relaxers that I can hardly keep my eyes open. But usually, when I’m awake, I’m in incredible pain. One dinner out with family costs me two days in bed. It’s worth it, though. I truly don’t want to be a hermit.

Anyway, PLEASE share this video with anyone you know who has chronic pain. I need to watch all Nicole’s videos and read all Louise’s books before I can say I’m an informed source, but it sounds pretty damn good to me so far!

The Aftermath

My disability hearing is over. I think it went much better this time, in that the judge actually looked in my direction and allowed me to talk when I had something to say.

I’d pre-medicated for the hearing, because I was afraid if I threw up or passed out they’d make me come back and try again three years later. That didn’t make the pain of a one-hour hearing any less brutal. I hadn’t been able to keep food down for three days, so I doubted I’d do any real damage, but if I was going to puke it was going in the general direction of the adjudicator in the green suit. Really, his suit couldn’t have looked worse.

This judge actually met my eyes and smiled, and looked at me rather than down at his desk when asking me questions, which made me much more comfortable. Nonetheless, my hearing took a full hour, maybe more. I don’t usually wear a watch, so I’m going by Michael’s count – he was in the waiting room.

I think it went well. I was horribly embarrassed when I couldn’t find a word I was looking for, or provide a place in time where a certain change occurred. But since it was MY hearing, no one could jump in and save me except the judge, who did so on a couple of occasions, giving me options. It was to my own benefit that I not be able to answer questions, but I was frustrated and in horrific pain.

So the third time I forgot my own lawyer asked me the same fairly simple two-part question, then retracted it because I’d answered part of it and asked to have it repeated twice, I slapped my hand on the table and said, “Ask me again, this is important!” He did, and I replied. I have NO idea what we were talking about. It could have been the appropriate time to plant turnips for all I know.

I just remember that it was incredibly difficult for me to even stand (with my purple cane) to exit the courtroom. My lawyer had me perch on a windowsill near the exit while he signed me out and grabbed my husband to take me to the car. The lawyer was all smiles.

We found out it would be three months or more until we received a verdict (WTF?), and then thirty – sixty days after that until I was actually awarded disability. AND that if they wished they could backdate my disability not to the day I last worked (April 2011) but to when I turned FIFTY (December 2016). Seriously? Seriously.

Really? Did fifty feel like some magical age for any of you who’ve passed it? I am DONE with birthdays (of my own). They can just pass without recognition from now on. I’ve hit the age, so pay me. I know it’s supposed to be 50% of my pay, but I’m sure it will be less. Just pay me so I can go on with my life. I am SO done with jumping through hoops like a dog. Not that dogs who jump through hoops aren’t great, but I want the details of the hoop before I jump through it!

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