My Best Bud

•October 30, 2016 • Leave a Comment

This has definitely been a rough summer for me and my fur baby.  Rosco will be 8 in January and has always been healthy, full of energy, and a wonderful companion.  I can honestly say he is the smartest and best-tempered dog I’ve ever had.  He’s a lab/Great Dane mix and seems to have the best traits of both breeds.

In May, he was stricken with FCE.   A piece of cartilage broke off in his spine and lodged in the spinal column, rendering him paralyzed from about the waist down.  He has no use of his back legs, and is incontinent.  Initially, we were both in a state of confusion:  he was trying to understand why he couldn’t walk and I was trying to learn how to care for him and keep him healthy.  It has taken several months, but we have both adjusted and learned new routines.

People of varying opinions because of the work involved in caring for him.  I often hear people say how lucky he is to have me or how they could never do it (or wouldn’t).  He’s not in any pain and once he adjusted, his personality began to show through again.  He has a wheelchair so we can go walking.  Hiking is a little more difficult because I have to make sure trails are wide enough to accommodate him.  My living room is decorated with doggie beds so he can lie down in different areas since he often likes to lie near me.  One dog bed serves as our “changing mat”–he will actually lie on it and whimper when he can feel he has to potty.  (He can feel it coming but can’t control it so I have to help him.)

When we are out and about in his wheel chair, most people will stop to ask what happened to him and ask to pet him.  Of course, he’s Mr. Social Butterfly and is always open to getting pats and hugs and kisses.  Kids are often fascinated by him as are most adults.  I’ve also had people look at him with disgust.  I imagine they do the same thing to people in wheelchairs.  I know he’s “just a dog” to some, but I still find that offensive.

While some things have changed, many things haven’t.  He still goes along for the ride when I run errands.  He comes with me when I take road trips or chase the aurora.  He’s my best friend; and as long as he’s not in any pain, we are still going to enjoy this life together.  He will always be my sweet baby boy.rosco-walk

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Don’t Go Away Mad, Just Go Away

•August 19, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I find it rather amusing when someone (namely a boyfriend) gets all bent out of shape when you call them on their shit.  You catch him at his game, call him on it, and you’re the bad guy or mean or bitchy.  It gets even more amusing when they try to make you out to be something you aren’t.

I called someone out on some stupid childish BS that he pulled.  Ever since, he’s made me out to be the bad one in this ordeal.  Yes, I was po’d when I called him out.  He asked for it though.  I had been lied to and misled for months.  I had point-blank asked about certain things and he flat out lied to me.  If there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s a liar.  When I discover I’ve been lied to, I can become the most sharp-tongued, cold-hearted bitch you’ll ever know–and I won’t care.  I even warn a potential partner about this.  I don’t want it to be a surprise.

I won’t accuse you of a lie.  I’ll wait til you tell enough that you hang yourself with your own noose.  Once hung, I’ll watch you swing in that noose while I fire off every little lie you told.  If that makes me a bad person, then so be it.  I really couldn’t care less.  Once I’m over that short spell of anger, I’m done with the liar.  Forever.

I’ve been called unforgiving for that particular trait.  I’m not unforgiving by any means.  I just don’t allow myself to be a doormat and fed a constant load of crap.  I’m one of the kindest people a person could know until that person crosses me.  Once I’ve been crossed, that person no longer exists in my world.  Simple as that.  Hatred, bitterness, meanness….these things will eat a person alive from the inside out.  They cause stress and wear a person down.

By putting that person out of my world, those stressors are eliminated.  I can see that person on the street and look right through them.  I won’t acknowledge their existence.  It drives them crazy.  It amuses me even more when people come back and tell me things that person has been saying even after a significant amount of time passes.  I just smile and say, “Well, he dumped me for what he thought was better.  Funny how he’s still looking for that something better.  I’m quite content in my life and don’t feel the need to find someone.”  And I honestly don’t.  If I allow someone into my life, it’s because I want them there, not need them.  And if I choose to disallow them into my life, it’s because they didn’t deserve to be there in the first place.

So to the guy who continues to think of me, I’d like to say thanks for thinking of me so much.  I hadn’t thought of you once until someone brought you up.  Funny how that works.

Goodbye to a Friend

•March 26, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I got word a couple of days ago that a good friend of mine committed suicide.  We’ve been friends for probably close to 11 or 12 years.  When we first met, we used to go out with a group of friends to go dancing.  Neither one of us drank more than a drink or two so we tended to hang out together.  We used to call ourselves a “token couple” because we would save each other from advances made by the opposite sex.  We’ve always laughed about that.

This is hard for me to deal with because I don’t exactly know how to feel.  Of course, I’m sad.  I’ll miss my friend.  My heart breaks knowing that he felt there was no other answer.  Knowing how he died breaks my heart even more.  Part of me is angry because of this choice.  I feel some anger toward the things and people that I’m sure he felt pushed him toward that decision.  I feel anger toward a system who let yet another of our vets down.  Then there is the anger I feel toward him for not feeling he could talk to me.

I feel compassionate toward him because I do know of the demons he was fighting.  It was something we had talked about a number of times.  At one point, I spent the majority of a week in the hospital at his bedside while he fought one of those demons-an addiction that would eventually overtake him.  It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to help a friend through.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t help him much more than that.  He had to want help in order to win this battle.  His stint in the hospital wasn’t due to wanting help; but rather needing help due to some of the physical ailments caused by his addiction.

He made a plea for help at one point; but the system did little for him.  He was admitted for probably a one-night stay and let go.  I personally feel, at that point, he should have been kept longer, been given treatment for his physical and mental issues.  But that didn’t happen.  It was just a matter of time before he was successful.  You want to step in and force them to get help; but you can’t make a person do something they don’t want to do or don’t feel they need to do.  Treatment is also expensive and hospitals and treatment centers don’t help much if you don’t have enough insurance or money.

I wish I had known you were so close to your breaking point.  I wish you had felt you could talk to me and that maybe I could have helped.  There’s nothing that can be said or done to bring you back.  You can’t hear the words I’d say to you right now.  I only hope you are finally at peace, my friend.  You will be missed.

How I Started Chasing the Lights

•January 14, 2016 • Leave a Comment

IMG_6225copyrightHaving moved to Alaska from the lower 48, I never thought I’d imagine hearing myself say that I love Alaskan winters.  When I lived in the lower 48, I was sure I’d freeze to death with then temperatures dropped below 60 degrees.  I hadn’t done any research on Alaska prior to moving here–it was more of a whim.  Other than movies, I was pretty much unaware what an Alaskan winter would be like.  And besides, movies usually exaggerated things anyway, right?

When my first Alaskan winter began and the weather forecaster predicted lows at subzero temperatures, the first thought that went through my mind was that I must have been off my rocker to choose to live here.  Who in their right mind would go out in temperatures of -10 or even colder?  Surely, I won’t survive this without hibernating inside my apartment!

One night, my sister and I were out walking the dogs.  It was going to be the final walk before bed.  She casually commented, “Oh, look, the northern lights are out.”  I hadn’t yet seen them and didn’t know what she was looking at when I turned skyward.  All I saw were yellowish looking clouds when she pointed them out to me and explained that you can see them better where it’s dark.  That’s when I looked at her and said, “Wanna go for a ride?”

At first, she wasn’t very enthused.  She noted how late it was.  I countered with, “I’ll drive.”  Then she said something about it being cold.  Again, I had an answer for that too.  “I have a sleeping bag we can bring to put around us.”  She finally gave in and we hurriedly took the dogs to our apartments, grabbed coats, gloves, and the sleeping bag and jumped in the truck.

That night we drove out to the Eagle River nature center.  It also happened to be one of those nights where the aurora would blossom and put on the most beautiful display of lights I have ever seen.  We leaned back against the truck and looked toward the stars.  It was a clear, cold night.  I can’t remember if it was 6 degrees or -6 degrees; I just remember that it was cold but so worth it.

We happened to be right under the corona.  The corona basically looks like a black hole out of which the lights  seem to swirl.  They were white, turquoise, burgundy, yellow, light green.  I had never seen anything like it in my entire life…..and had never seen anything that could even come close to being so beautiful.  I remember the feeling of excitement and privilege to be witnessing something so amazingly beautiful that it just left you speechless.

I don’t know how long we huddled together, wrapped in that sleeping bag.  I just remember how all we could say was “ooooo” or “look over there!” or “wow, this is amazing!”  I didn’t realize at the time how fortunate I was to witness that particular display.  Typically, the displays we see are greens and yellows and whites. The pinks, burgundies, purples, turquoise…those aren’t as common.

I have been here 15 years now.  I have since picked up the hobby (or in my case obsession) of photography.  It’s not uncommon for me to run out in the middle of the night to try to capture the lights.  I won’t typically do it on a work night because I have to be up so early.  But, in the rare instances where we have a tremendous geomagnetic storm, I’ll arrange to take the next morning off if at all possible.  IMG_6330copyright

Sometimes my trips are a disappointment when clouds and weather don’t cooperate; however, just to see the beauty of winter at night also brings me a sense of pleasure.  On those nights where I manage to get a good shot or two, I’m ecstatic.  Those are the nights I live for.  Those are the nights I love to share with friends and loved ones through my photography.

 

Ravaged

•January 9, 2016 • Leave a Comment

This was my first week back to work from my staycation, the type of vacation where you just stay home.  (I spent my staycation working on my new apartment-painting, putting things in their places, organizing, etc. )  My office is in a basement and is oftentimes just a touch too cold for me.  This week, however, I couldn’t get warm to save my life.  I could have hugged my space heater all day and don’t think that would have helped.  I was also so very tired, exhausted.  I couldn’t figure out why I was so exhausted.  I was getting plenty of sleep.

Fridays are what I call my “solo” days.  I work alone.  The day dragged by so slowly.  It was all I could do to finish my work.  Again, I was freezing cold and could have easily put my head down on my desk and passed out cold.  I couldn’t wait to go home and go to sleep.  This is so unlike me.

When I woke up this morning, I realized what was wrong with me.  I managed to catch something my very first day back to work.  My throat was on fire and I could barely swallow.  I tried to ask my dog if he were ready to go outside and when I spoke, all that escaped my mouth was a barely audible, pitiful sounding squeak.  I had lost my voice.  Whatever I caught had also settled in my chest-great, an upper respiratory infection is trying to take hold.

I took the dog out; and even though I could feel a difference in the air and knew it wasn’t as cold as it has been, I was freezing to death.  We came back inside and I took a couple of Dayquil capsules, thinking that might help get me going at such an early hour.  It didn’t.  I surrendered to my warm bed and slipped into that illness-encouraging unconsciousness.

I awoke again at 11am.  I don’t sleep that late unless I’ve been up all night chasing the lights, usually getting home around 5am.  I thought I’d read a bit because there was no motivation to do much of anything.  Reading didn’t last long either.  My body hurt from lying in bed too long so I decided to get up and try to take it easy with a nice hot cup of tea and honey which did nothing to quench my thirst.

I have been sucking down water as if I’ve never had a drop.  Apparently my body needs it because I can’t seem to get enough.  I forced myself to eat a little as I have no appetite.  My voice has somewhat returned, albeit scratchy and weak.  My skin hurts as if someone did a quick rubdown with sandpaper.

Trying to take it easy, I sit down to watch football.  I’m not one to sit still for long and this is beginning to drive me crazy.  I need to vacuum, do dishes and laundry, hang pictures, finish painting a room, and so on.  Whether I feel good or not, I know I’m going to end up giving in and doing some of what needs to be done.  I’m bored out of my mind and tired of sitting on my couch (although, I do love that my dog knows I don’t feel good and cuddles up to me).

The game is almost over.  Well, actually it IS over.  They just need to finish out the clock.  Let’s see how long it takes before I’m doing something around here.  I obviously don’t handle being sick very well.  Whatever this bug is, I want to smash it just as I would a six-legged intruder.  I just want it to go the hell away!

Funny thing happened….

•January 4, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Am I the only person in this age of technology who cleans out the contact list on my phone or my friends list on social media?  Seriously, if there has never been much of a relationship (whether it was friendship, romantic, acquaintance, or whatever), why keep that person in your lists?  It’s not that I think people are disposable or anything like that.  I tend to keep those with whom I am in constant and even not-so-constant contact and clear out those with whom I have absolutely no contact.  I’ve had people I don’t know from Adam add me on Facebook.  Sometimes I’ll accept it just to figure out who the hell they are only to figure out I have no clue and delete them almost immediately.  I’m a pretty private person and don’t share well with strangers.

As far as my phone goes….I’ve had acquaintances say, “We should hang out more often.  Let’s exchange numbers.”  So we do and then they either never return a call or you won’t see them again for a year or so.  First candidates for deletion.  When you date someone ONCE and it didn’t work out for whatever reason, do you not delete that information from your phone?  Why keep the number of someone you couldn’t even make it to a second date?  Obviously, there wasn’t chemistry and, as is most often the case for me, he irritated me enough that I knew by the middle of the first date that I’d never see nor have the desire to even talk to him again. Which leads me to the whole point of this blog…..

I got a random text wishing me a happy new year from a number that wasn’t in my phone.  I had no idea who it was so I did the ever so famous “new phone, lost contacts….who is this please?”  No answer.  So as not to be a complete bitch, I then texted a happy new year back.  In the meantime, I search the phone number on Facebook and didn’t even recognize the face in the profile picture.  Didn’t recognize the name either.  (I don’t date enough to NOT remember a name and face.)  I then peruse the photos posted on the profile and BINGO!  I see one from about 75 pounds ago that I recognize.  I dated this guy ONE time at least 8 years ago, maybe longer.  Didn’t even make it through the first date and had to make up and excuse to leave early.

So WHY, after all those years does this idiot still have my number and WHY throw out a random text?  It weirds me out (just like he weirded me out on the date).  I deleted the conversation and then wished I’d had the thought to block the number before I deleted it all.  Guess blocking doesn’t really matter because I’d bet my bottom dollar he doesn’t even know to whom he sent the text.  It was just weird to me.  If I haven’t had even an inkling of contact with you for at least eight years, I can guarantee you won’t ever have contact from me unless it’s by happenstance.  It sure won’t be because I’ve saved your number, hoping to hear from you!

Obsession

•December 31, 2015 • Leave a Comment

You’re thinking of him,
Wanting him yet hating him.
You cant let him go.
You want your revenge
For something he didnt do.
You want your revenge
For what you perceive
To be a horrible act.
Yet he did nothing.
You wanted something
He did not; and in your mind,
That makes him evil.
Anger and hatred
Consume you as you plot your
Scheming, vengeful plans.
You’re thinking of him,
Wanting him yet hating him.
You cant let him go.