Friday, September 28, 2012

Sept 28th...Time Flies!

I'm really having a hard time getting motivated to write anything, I just want to be a slug! I cherish my days off for the gift of being able to sleep in, but my personality is such that I can't let myself be too lazy or I feel guilty. Yesterday I spent all day in the kitchen. I made applesauce with apples from the tree in my in-laws yard. Ten pints of nice organic, smooth, healthy, with a tad of cinnamon and just a tad of sugar, applesauce. Then I proceeded to bottle tomatoes from our garden. Whew! I was so tired I could barely get into the bed because my legs were hurting so badly. This time of year we are busy reaping the benefits of the harvest. Our garden is wild looking but a great producer of healthy fruits and veggies. I just don't have time to be fussing with the garden all the time but the kids, hubby and I somehow manage to keep it watered. With my leg problems I don't have the stamina I used to so my yard work ability has gone way down. I did manage to plant a nice patch of bulbs- tulips, daffodils, crocus, etc. in the front yard though.

Last week was spent helping my Mom, who just had knee replacement surgery. She had a partial knee put in about 10 years ago but it was all worn out and she delayed getting it replaced because that surgery is so awful, but it was a major knee overhaul this time and is quite painful to get through in recovery. She has her good days and bad days still, but all in all seems to be getting more positive about it every day as she heals. I am glad I could be there for her. It's a curious thing to have the parent-child relationship reversed. I was mothering my mother!

My Mom with my sister and I many years ago. I am the one with the crabby expression on my face, trying to hide in the blanket.
One of our neighbors lost their daughter to complications of diabetes, she was only 20 years old. Far too young to even have lived life much, and it is very sad to contemplate the grief they much be going through right now. I can't imagine losing one of my precious children at all. My heart goes out to them.


10 pints of yummy applesauce!
We are going to be expanding our household soon when my daughter's family comes to stay for a bit. It's a long story but as far as we know, they will be staying at least 6 months. I will love having them close by, and I relish the chance to be with my other sweet granddaughter as well, but it also means three more dogs here at the house and lots of people (2 and 4 legged) to feed and clean up after. I know they will help out, but I can't help being a bit nervous about a major life-style change, especially with my health and all. I am thankful we are in a position to be able to offer some help to them as they need it. They have been across the country for so long it will be good to have them back home.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Vanessa, is 'waiting at the gate'.

Gregg holding Vanessa, she was also known as the 'Twirpy'

My life seems endlessly busy, but I need to take a bit of time to say a proper farewell to a loyal furry friend. Our tiny toy Fox Terrier, Vanessa, passed recently. Evidently she had been sick for a few months but we just thought she was starting to show her age (she was 11), and did not fully realize what was happening. She wound up having a severe case of bladder stones. We scheduled surgery for her to have them removed, but the strain of dealing with her condition got the better of her before that. I hope she will forgive us for not realizing how sick she really was. Be at peace now little Vanessa, you are no longer in pain. Now she is 'waiting at the gate' ( a reference to a story I recently posted on this blog; scroll down to read it). There's nothing like a soft fur-ball to help make your day brighter. Our four-footed friends still love us even when we have bad breath and morning hair, and they remind us life isn't that bad after all!

Vanessa and Heidi sharing a bed
Even though I always adopted our pets, I found little Vanessa in a pet shop, she is the first pet shop doggie I ever purchased. It's a bit of a complicated story, but we had formerly had a very tiny chihuahua that we adopted who had been horribly abused, and you could say I was sensitized to animal abuse because of her. We helped her learn to trust people again and had a wonderful love-filled five years with her as she was quite old when we adopted her. I am also a spiritual person so I believe in premonitions, hunches, etc. As I gazed at the dogs in their pet shop cages, I had no intention of buying one, I was just there to pick up some bird seed. I had this overwhelming sense of foreboding envelope me and I could almost hear the words...this dog is going to be abused...I knew I needed to buy her to save her from that fate. That might sound hokey to some, but that is what I felt. I also thought she was a rat terrier and did not even realize there was a breed called 'Toy Fox Terrier', at the time of purchase.

Well, needless to say, Hubby was not all that pleased with me bringing home a puppy out of the blue, but kind man that he is, he knows I am incurable when it comes to tiny furry things and he accepted her into our family anyway.

We'd never had that type of dog before, so her already docked tail was a novelty to us. She was a very intelligent dog and learned a few tricks, kept us all company and was always friendly to everyone that came to our home. She had a good disposition and she was a 4.5 pound cutie on little skinny stilt legs, with a big black terrier spot right on her butt!

Vanessa, aka- Twirpy
Oh! She loved her food, and we had to carefully monitor her diet or else she would balloon into a little pork roll on skinny legs. We even put her on the 'green bean' diet once to help her drop some weight. She ate anything and everything, especially if it happened to fall on the kitchen floor. Like the fastest lightning, she was instantly there licking it up.Vanessa was the first dog I ever saw that liked eating cantaloupe! She responded joyously to any and all sorts of belly rubs and scratches and when her little leg would spaz out- you knew she was really enjoying the rub down.

Goodbye, little Vanessa, we'll meet again when my time comes...ooxx.., Your Human Family.

Warning signs for bladder stones in pets:
Unexplained incontinence
Abdomen feels stiff
Blood in urine
Pet generally acting different or subdued
Female dogs can be more suseptible to them

Sign of bladder stones are also similar to those of kidney disease, which requires immediate life-saving medical attention, consult your vet whenever your pet starts acting differently for no explained reason. (Our Vanessa was all of a sudden unable to hold her urine and we mistook it for just a sign of old age, the stones were the evident cause but we did not realize that until it was nearly too late.)

An interesting quote...

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
--C.S. Lewis