May’s Firsts in My Year of Firsts

May brought another month of opportunity to try new things. While they aren’t big things whatsoever, they were firsts for me.
A weeknight with no dinner plan presented an opportunity. I searched for a recipe we hadn’t used and decided to make homemade sloppy joe’s. Usually, I’d go with Manwich from the can. But, since I had the ingredients, I went for it. While it didn’t turn out great, it wasn’t awful either. Manwich is still a better option, though. I was missing that vinegar type taste and the off brand ketchup didn’t help matters.

Two firsts involved Buster. Usually my husband & son are in charge of giving Buster a bath. He can be quite a handful and I just honestly assumed it would be too much for me. But, he’d been extra itchy lately & the hubs has been super busy. So, I geared myself up with some grubby clothes and went for it. My youngest son did help by lifting Buster into the tub. That was just a physical impossibility on my own.

However, once the heavy-lifting was done, I was on my own. Surprisingly, I did a great job. I also proved a little something to myself by tackling a project I deemed too hard. But, the second Buster activity did require a partner in crime, per se.

We’ve had awful luck with vets. In fact, they’ve been so off the charts expense that we’ve utilized a local clinic for shots & routine things. But, an acquaintance of my husband’s suggested his dogs’ vet so we went. Many things concerned me. There would most definitely be other animals there. Buster does not play well with others. Plus, any new situation causes him to regress into an animal without any brain. Bottom line: he’s a bit nutty. But, I was armed with my super strong husband, a new harness and some willpower.

We had it well planned out. My husband went in first, Buster-less. With the new harness, a one better suited to my stupid Parkinson’s hands (grr), I hooked up the leash & walked Buster to the grassy area. I love this harness. It’s a God send. We’d outfitted him into it before we loaded him into the truck. Surprisingly, Buster seemed to be really enjoying himself. He wasn’t being choked by the harness because it’s really comfy. He even felt comfortable enough to plop down in the grass & watch the cars drive by.

Inside the vet’s, he was pretty good, too. I warned another Dog Mommy over my shoulder that he was dog aggressive so she’d hang on tight to her beautiful Boxer pup. Regardless, Buster waltzed right by him with barely a bark! He was perfect during the blood work and even fell for Dad’s distraction techniques. Both the ride to & from were generally drama free. I declared the whole day to be miraculous. Long story short, I proved something to myself & Buster did too. We aren’t helpless & we can get things done.

Finally, we began some home remodeling to our ancient home. So far, we have the living room completed. However, I know nothing of remodeling. As a contractor, this is as normal to my husband as brushing his teeth. While there are obviously a ton of things I can’t do due to lack of knowledge in construction, I was able to assist in carpet installation. I was also given the arduous task of pulling up old staples. Wee! So, not fun. I continued this task with breaks, frequently, because my stupid hands won’t cooperate.

The floor work was increased when I stepped in the wrong place & literally, fell through the floor. One leg went into the floor, one was up in a sort of vertical split. I am not built for splits. I picked splinters out of myself for several days. However, it was funny and I convinced the youngest to not YouTube or Snapchat it.

Looking forward to June!

My Year of Firsts

I will be 40 this year. I have no idea where the last decade went. It has NOT been an easy decade for sure. So, this year I decided that I would take every opportunity to try new things this year. It’s not a bucket list. It isn’t a wish list either. But, when an opportunity presents itself, I will jump on it. It’s a promise I made to myself.

I’ve been taking stock of things, internally, lately. I figured this would pull me out of my slump, get me moving more, & maybe, just maybe, motivate our youngest to try new things, too. Now, some things might not be big things. In fact, most won’t. I suppose my theory is to just do things. Having two debilitating diseases, one of which is progressive, makes a person re-evaluate a lot of their time and effort. The bottom line is that if my body is going to be tired anyway, I might as well give it a good reason to be tired!

A hinderance for me has always been anxiety. Whether it’s caused by or in addition to, my diseases, the doctors can’t specify. But, I do have issue with crowds, strangers, etc. Wal-Mart is a literal nightmare for me. So, some of my firsts are going to challenge me. I know that. It also takes me twice as long as my husband & son to get somewhere we’re walking to and I am usually exhausted a whole lot quicker. So, the firsts will be a physical challenge too.

So far, I have done some small things. I ate at our local VFW with a crowd of people there. It was a major step for me. However, the people were pleasant, the food was fantastic, & we had a good time. I also tried yoga for the first time. But, I did The Yoga Prayer. Basically, it’s yoga but at times when one would meditate & such, Biblical Scriptures are read along with a Christian prayer. It lasted 45 minutes. It was tasking, difficult, but motivating & I felt accomplished when I’d finished. For a few of the poses, I did have to change a bit. There a just a few things my body can’t physically do.

Win, lose or draw, I hope to accomplish a lot more as the moments arise. If nothing else, I feel like I have a goal for the year. Hopefully, I will have a much fuller list when 1/1/18 arrives!

The End of the Mouse Chase

The night after The Great Mouse Chase occurred, Buster was on high alert. Around 4 AM, he began his pacing & low growling. Most of his attention was centered around the couch in my bedroom.

This time, my husband was already up, as he couldn’t sleep. He’d heard Buster’s insistence and went to look under the couch. Fortunately, he was able to keep Buster from diving under the couch. The couch is low-lying so he had to manually move it to see underneath. With a flashlight handy, he saw our tiny invader crouched, petrified under the back leg of the couch.

He has actual work gloves, not bulky winter ones like mine, and was able to scoop up Mr. Mouse. Buster truly flipped out at the sight of his ‘Dad’ handling the intruder. Plus, being part Whippet, he has an impressible vertical jump. At 5’9, my husband isn’t incredibly tall so Buster can easily jump chest high. All that jumping & barking woke me up.

I was coherent enough to witness the last part of the chase. With cat-like reflexes, slily pun intended, my husband whisked the mousie out the door. From there he was relocated to a secluded, forest, mouse-relocation plan. Hopefully, he’ll seek rehabilitation for his breaking and entering problem. No mice were hurt during this chase. Buster was thwarted in his violent search & destroy mission, but he has moved on to chasing his tail and begging for bacon as usual. The rest of the family is caring on as usual after the ordeal.

The Great Mouse Chase

Sounds like a Disney movie, right? But, alas, it was only the title I’ve given to last night!

I have to preface by saying that we live very rural and since our home was purchased in ’96 by my husband, we’ve had our fair share of woodland visitors. We met in ’98 and married in 2000 so we’ll say, for the sake of argument, that in 17 years we’ve had visits from a bat, several wayward birds, a chipmunk (or 2), snakes, and countless field mice. We are humane. We never set out to kill animals for being animals. After all, no bird flies by thinking it would be great fun to become stuck in someone’s kitchen! Catch & release has always been our policy.

Buster, being a non-human, has a more of a catch and eat policy. We’re not sure if he is trying to play or that Whippet side of him wishes to hunt and eat its prey. The bat & birds were pre-Buster and got in during a remodeling of the kitchen. They escaped unscathed. Mice have been casualties of war. Field mice are almost a given in rural areas. Humans encroach on their space. Winter comes. So on and so forth.

My husband is pretty good at catching them without incident when possible. Several have not made it past Buster. R.I.P. Unknown Field Mice. Truthfully, since we did some fixing up several years back, I haven’t seen any mice at all. But, a few weeks ago, Buster began pacing and sniffing around. I thought perhaps he’d caught a scent through the open window or that the Febreeze plug-in was bothering him. Occasionally, he dislikes the scent! I told my youngest son that whatever it was, ‘Bus was on the case!’. We watched him awhile then followed him into the kitchen.

Sure enough, there was a tiny and I do mean tiny, field mouse trapped in a corner under the heater. Safely removed and non-Bustered, we figured that was the end of it. *Sigh* I was wrong. Around midnight, last night, Buster barked. Now, he doesn’t bark unless there is something not right. Usually, it’s an animal outside (deer, a cat, coyote, etc.) When I woke up, and got my glasses, I saw Buster laying in front of my dresser. It has double doors in the front and 3 pull-out drawers on each side. Doing a funky dance, Buster was growling, standing up then laying down.

Being that my husband isn’t the type of man who one wakes up unless they are steps away from Heaven or the house is burning, I crept around Buster to turn on a low-wattage light. I have to admit that I felt a bit like Shaggy following Scooby. I saw the double doors lightly move. Buster was on it! He jumped into action but his lack of opposable thumbs didn’t allow him to open the doors himself. I’m not stupid so I slipped on my tennis shoes and put on ski gloves. Work gloves would’ve been best but it was midnight!

As I bent over to tie a shoe, I heard the doors bump again and Buster jumped. A growl followed and his focus went to a drawer that I saw was ajar. This line of action repeated which just affirmed my thoughts that we did indeed look like Scooby and Shaggy. Somehow, Mr. Mouse was alternating between drawers and as Buster picked up his scent, it drove him bananas! All this commotion awakened my youngest.

He’d crept down the hall and scared the snot out of me when he asked from the dark hallway, ‘Are you ok?’. Thankfully, I stifled the scream. As we watched the uncoordinated Buster dance of jumping between drawers, we decided to go all do or die. Clad in my pajamas, ski gloves and tennis shoes, I grabbed the double doors and threw them open. They revealed- nothing. Drawers were opened one and a time. Finally, with one left, I sent my son to get a shopping bag to snag Mr. or Ms. Mouse. My mistake was turning my head to talk to him while
opening the drawer.

Yes, you guessed it. As the drawer opened, because the mouse HAD to be in the LAST drawer, he/she made her majestic leap to freedom. Buster in his sonic speed mode missed it by a millimeter. Past me, past my son that determined little bugger ran like The Flash. *Sigh #2* We lost him. I swear even Buster groaned at our epic failure. My son, speechless, walked back down the hall and simply closed his door. I had no idea where to look or go and by now, it was 3 AM. How we didn’t wake my husband is well beyond me!

I looked at Buster and told him we should just go to bed. But, he never gave up. When my husband woke, 3 hours later, for work, Buster was still diligently placed in front of the dresser. We will find the little intruder. For his sake, he should hope I find him before Buster does. I must salute him though for outwitting 2 humans and a pit/whippet! Good show, little mouse. Good show!

Praying Grumpy Prayers

I happened to notice last night, as I prayed before bed, that my prayers have grown a bit, well, grumpy. I listened to my language and how I was approaching the prayer. Where was my gratitude? I heard very little praise or even contentment.

Yesterday as particularly frustrating. The last several months have been, actually. If I’m being honest, this year has not gone how I imagined it would go. Between illnesses, family drama, and other general crap, I could complain 24/7. But, I know I shouldn’t. It doesn’t accomplish anything, really. It’s just an instant gratification of getting off my chest then I feel slighted all over again.

Last night’s prayer did accomplish one thing, though. I am now aware of how I ‘sound’ when I am replaying my day. So I am determined, effective immediately, to put a new spin on my speech. Yes, we had to take an unnecessary trip to Urgent Care yesterday due to our 14 year old’s failure to communicate his illness properly. BUT, he is healthy and wasn’t diagnosed with anything but a common cold. Yes, I was stuck at the eye doctor for an extra hour while my husband took our son to the Urgent Care. BUT, while the wait itself was boring, I am grateful that I was able to go to the eye doctor at all & got a clean eye care report. Plus, having only one vehicle is cost-effective and it’s a blessing that my son has a Dad who cares.

By spinning my words & thoughts, I am choosing my attitude. I don’t want to be an angry bitter person. I refuse. So, while I can’t promise to never be negative, I am going to continue to try my best to have a more Christ-like attitude.

Unexpected Reactions to Medicine

My husband and I are nearing 2 decades of marriage. Over that time, he’s had a few ear problems, a headache here & there, and one or two bouts of the flu. Other than penicillin & Tylenol, he isn’t a medicine type of guy. Now, he’s a year away from 50 and has begun to have some arthritic issues. Most notably, the cartilage in his neck is gone.
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