Saturday, June 8, 2013

In loving Memory of Little Miss

My husband and I are suffering our first pet loss. After 7 long months of prednisone our beautiful girl 12 year old Miss Maddigan passed Friday evening at about 5:30. It was the hardest thing I have had to endure thus far. She was a strange cat, not very social, disliked loud noises, fast movements and hid from most humans and animals. In fact she hid away or stayed in her bathroom most of her life. She would screech from the top of the stairs if a storm scared her. She accepted my husband and I because we brought her home, loved her, played with her, fed her, combed her (which she loved), and loved on her every chance we got. When she was kitten she would nuzzle into my hair when I went to bed. She wasn't a pain or a nag, she was very talkative and she just wanted things quiet, to be predictable, and to get as much love as she could. We gave her that. I wish we could have taken away her Lymphoma and her pancreatitis.

I know that we got about 2-3 months longer with our angel than the vet expected. I know that when we took her into the vet it was because she was not going to rally, but had gotten to that horrible stage of Lymphoma where it cuts off their airway and they suffocate. I know we did everything we could for her. I do not have any guilt or regrets. I just wish she wouldn't have had to go through all that. She died peacefully. She didn't fight my husband when she went into her carrier. She sat calmly in the vets office with 3 dogs staring at her. She even was calm when she laid on the exam table and was palpated by the vet tech then carried off to be weighed.She tried to get away, but accepted us keeping her on the table. Never before did she behave that way. It tells me that she just was too weak to fight, she was ready, and we had chosen the right time.

So why do I feel so fucking wretched? Because I miss the meows at the top of the stairs, her bright eyes when I would mention "treats" and her silly copious drooling when I would love on her. I suppose now I can just have faith that at the rainbow bridge she is being cared for, no longer in pain, and I will see her again.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Summer reading + Activites

I am really not good at keeping and following lists but I am going to give it a try. My problem is that when it comes time for the next step I don't want to do the next step or I forget that there is a next step or I get distracted by the sewing machine or the crochet hook and bright yarn. I hope this time it will be different I have several heavy books to read and work out for work and while I thoroughly enjoy the topics and even like how both of the authors write there is something about reading for work that seriously grates on my nerves. Obviously, I am more passive aggressive than I care to admit.

Summer Reading:
1. The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (pleasure)
2. The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (pleasure)
3. The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (pleasure)
4. Self Compassion by Kristen Neff (for work and pleasure)
5. True Refuge by Tara Brach (for work and pleasure)
6.  Getting Past your Past by Francine Shapiro (work)
7. Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne W. Dyer (work)

Welp, now I can see why I don't care to read for work...there are more titles for work then for pleasure! Who wouldn't be a little passive aggressive.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Beans + Spice= Happiness

I am from Arizona. Spice is in my blood. Sonoran Mexican food is what I crave nearly all of the time. It's raining we have tortilla soup. If it's sunny we have Tacos. I also will come up with any excuse to eat  My Nana's tortilla chips.  I recently came across a wonderful recipe for Crunchy black bean tacos on Pinterest. Last night I finally made them. They were pretty good.  I had to tweak the spices a bit. Cumin and Paprika are safe spices, they give warmth and some flavor, but they are not really spicy. So today I decided that I needed to play in the kitchen a bit and make some beans for the week to have for lunch. I figured I would play with the beans recipe above. Here is what I came up with:

1 15oz can of Pinto Beans drained and rinsed.
1 cup of broth or water
1/2 cup minced sweet yellow onion
2 fresh garlic cloves minced fine
2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 TBS minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp coconut oil or whatever oil you have on hand

Monterey jack cheese
chipotle jack cheese
medium or mild cheddar
sour cream
guacamole or an avocado
a tortilla product (chips or a tortilla- flour or corn- its your choice)

Method :

rinse and drain the beans
mince the onion and garlic
mince the cilantro.

in a small sauce pan/skillet melt coconut oil, once melted add onion and saute a few minutes then add garlic and saute until fragrant. add in beans and saute a minute then add water/broth. add in spices and cilantro, mix. you will bring this to a slight boil, once there mash some of the beans with the back of the spoon or spatula and allow to continue to simmer. I admit I am not sure how long I allowed them to simmer, stirring them occasionally and not allowing the liquid to cook off completely. I wanted a thicker saucey sauce for my beans to cook in. Once I got that, it was time to eat.

I chose to eat them with a mixture of Chipotle white cheddar, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream. I scooped it up with tortilla chips and my husband decided they were perfect for a burrito. Really, you cannot go wrong no matter how you choose to eat them. But you gotta give them a try.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Refelctions on 2012

It seems that January is when I post here. Perhaps this year, that will change. In January it is natural to reflect on your last year. We have plenty of reminders in the media. It is a perfect time to evaluate where you have been and where you want to be. And the great thing about being human is we have a choice to learn from our mistakes. We do not have to keep repeating the same behaviors if we don't want to. So where have I been in 2012?

I did not take a vacation. I needed one, but the powers that be made it impossible to gather up the funds to run off to the beach for a week and as much as I would have loved to venture out east and see some lovely people, I couldn't do that either. 2012 was full of lessons for me and my family.

I learned that no matter how much I want to back off, hide away and let someone else deal with crazy I do have to stand up when I am pushed into a corner and sometimes before I am. I am not a woman who does back down. I am usually the one who nips it in the bud. I am assertive and have learned not only from my mother, but my boss that with a look I can shut down a conversation that is not helpful. However, this particular brand of crazy was beyond my ability. I tried at first. I jumped in with both feet. I attempted to find out where this man was coming from, to clarify what it was our office did for people, and how we are supposed to treat people less fortunate them ourselves. That  man was so arrogant and completely inappropriate to be a prescriber. I was amazed to know that I had more knowledge about treatment then he did.  How did he have a license to practice medicine?! Eventually, I did take him down and I am not ashamed to say it like that. It needed to happen. It needed to be made clear how he intimidated patients, how he bullied and discredited staff.

I learned that I should be thankful everyday for being employed. I did choose my career when others told me not to, but it has sustained me and my family. It has kept me out of the unemployment line, kept my house when many others lost theirs, and it is always teaching me something about myself. Working as a mental health counselor, self reflection is needed every day and sometimes the awareness that brings is painful. Pain is only temporary and after the pain comes mindful re-direction. Who doesn't need to be more mindful about what they are doing, how they are behaving, or what they are saying?

I am ok with not having children. I have a few physical issues that could make pregnancy and child rearing very tricky. I am not willing to end up unable to care for my child. No matter how much family or friends say it will all work out, I can't deal with having a child I can't chase after, play with, and do everything a mother needs to do to raise a well adapted child. And that is NOT something I would feel comfortable pawning off of other family members, my husband, or a babysitter because my body is not cooperating. There is nothing I can really do for these issues, but accept them. I do have a choice in this matter and I am not putting myself or a possible child through the torture of having an absent mother because she does not have the ability to function fully. Responsibility rests with the parents not on the community, the extended family, or the school.
I have an irresponsible and absent father who I would not wish on anyone.

So what am I going to do in 2013?

An independent license should be in the works....finally! Its been a long 7 and a half years. I am a seasoned therapist now that does good work. Maybe this year will be the year I get my LAC too!

A promotion may be imminent. With that comes more responsibility. Time will tell.

Sewing! I got a sewing machine! I am going to learn to sew this year and I think Pillowcases, Duvets, and skirts  will be the first projects I work on and master before I move onto other things.

We are taking a vacation this year! I hope we will be able to do 2 this year. One to see family out east and one to the beach with Em our doglet.

I hope I get a jump on homemade Christmas gifts this year. Last year was too much activity outside of the home to focus on what needed to be completed when.\

Watching the Triple Crown! While Shanghi Bobby won the breeders cup in 2012 and that is promising as far as 2 yr olds go, but with the change in how horses qualify for the Derby there may be plenty of others that can do as well. I am quite interested in Violence as a possible contender for at least the Derby.  I have no idea if there is a triple crown winner in the mix, but would be delighted to see a horse get immortality by becoming the next Triple Crown winner. Before you assume anything, I am not a gambler, I watch the races simply to see the horses run. Nothing makes me happier than to see an animal do what they were bred to do.

Riding lessons! I found a stable that teaches all areas of horsemanship. I can't wait to get started.

A new puppy! Em is our only doglet.She is a Cairn terrier. She has 2 cats to call her own and one of them will pass this year from Lymphoma. We have decided that it is time that Em got a puppy to bully, love, play with, and snuggle with. She is a fantastic snuggler and quite the bully. She likes to head butt Cleo, our male cat.

So what are you plans? Do you reflect and re-evaluate? Or do you pick a focus and head in the general direction?

Friday, January 20, 2012


The Kitchen was a battle for awhile. It's teeny tiny. enough space for one, but if there are two people in there you start bumping into one another. Not to mention sweet Em sitting below my feet as I cook, waiting for droppings. The rule is if I am stupid enough to drop it she gets it....most of the time, there is a huge list of foods Dogs cannot have that I am extra careful not to drop and if I do I will go in after it. She understands this and duly allows my fingers into her mouth/throat to fish it out. She is also a very good listener to the tone of my NO's.

Anyway my spices were all over the place. I cook that is where I find my happiness some nights and well the spices just get left on the counter. Partly because I had too many...too many that were way past their dates. Those got tossed and a new spice rack was purchased and organized. Ta-DA! I have a counter top that can be used for things other than random spice jars!

The same weekend I found new plates! I did not buy them yet as I am still deciding on color, but that should be this weekend. I am thinking yellow, green, and blue. They are solid colored and stone ware. I hope they last as long as the current set has....15 years. My what a long time, but well worth the $80 I paid for them way back when.

And then it was onto the coat rack. I just got a over the door rack for the pantry door and Voila! my dining room chairs can now be seen and not a mere suggestion.

Next? the dishes are to be purchased and the office to be properly sorted out. I plan to start yoga this Sunday!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Plans for 2012

My first project of 2012 has been to re-organize and organize our home. My office, which I love and used to do Yoga in, has become the laundry room. That is being worked out, but it is an ongoing battle with the lack of hampers in this house. What the hell we did do with our laundry for the last 7 years that we have lived here I am not sure, but I don't remember it encroaching into my personal space quite like it is now.

....enter the 3 bin laundry sorter....I think it's more for one person and NOT a couple, but it's working.

kind of.

So why the big push for a space I tend to forget about? --I realize that is why it was over taken by laundry in the first place, but some how I expect when I leave my room in a fit state for it to stay in that state. The laundry fairy has deemed otherwise. I want to paint one of the walls and re-start my annual new years/spring struggle for a decent at home exercise practice. I could do my daily practice in the living room, but it is not my space. I like the good juju that lingers in my room after a fulfilling practice, its a cosy room full of my things. The living room while it has my and his things is a might bit more cavernous and cold. The juju, while still good, is a lot more spread out and does not feel immediate.

Am I making a bit of sense?

However there is a lot more to this project. So in short order, without a lot of fluff:

1) Kitchen: spices, dishes, and a new kettle please!

2) Entry way needs a COAT RACK! I loathe to see coats hung on backs of my puny dining room chairs.

3)   Yarn Stash is OUT OF HAND

4) Who in the hell buys black/brown finished wood in the desert? Oh yeah I do. UGH

5) Master bath needs a paint job, shower curtain, towels, and flooring!

6) My junk. I am not talking about the material junk I leave lying around or piled in corners...but my personal junk that has seeped out and has stopped me from not quitting smoking or exercising.

7) My 19th/20th century addiction is in check but I think I want to dedicate a lot more time to the history of it. Historical non-fiction and fiction were my primary focus for this blog way back when I started it and I have really lost that thread!

8) Fun with paint and tile! I want to learn to make a mosaic this year, make one, and hang it in the entry way to take the place of the run-of-the-mill-home-improvement-store mirror that is there now. Preferably re-purposing the mirror for the mosaic.

9) renew my license before I have to send them any more money for being late.

10) Buy a bike. nothing fancy, just something to tootle around on and enjoy the springtime before the blistering heat sets in. Id also like a little wagon to attach to it so I could take Em. I am not sure her short little legs could keep up running next to me and she would so enjoy the wind in her face! Probably as much as I do.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy 2012!

I have been away a while. I didn't really have time to come here. I was just too busy between work, knitting, family, weddings, friends, illness, and the garden. Believe it or not the garden still survives! I don't have any recent photos so you will have to take my word for it. Even after the unseasonable soggy cold weather we have had the garden has pulled through swimmingly. One pepper plant got a little frost, but for the most part everything survived the downpours and the frigid temperatures. We dipped down to 35-32f a few days out of several weeks in November and while me and everyone I knew came down with 2011's last viral hurrah the garden still survives. I am most grateful for that.

Happy New Year!