Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Pendulum Ever Swings

A couple weeks ago, I was driving up to the Wellness Center for a shift. It's a long drive (half of the longness is just me trying to get out of my city), but the interstate part of it is gorgeous. I was tooling along, mostly paying attention but also doing that thing you do when you have a long drive on a road you know extremely well. Which is to say, mentally redecorating the house, having philosophical breakthroughs and generally solving all of the world's problems.

Anyhoo... I'm toodling along mostly paying attention when I saw that ubiquitous road-side sight: an animal that didn't quite make the journey across. You see a lot of that, especially in Vermont with its vast green spaces. It's never a fun sight to see but you do get used to it. I almost always say a little "safe travel, little one" as I speed on my way.

This time, though, was different. It was either a large fox or cyote that had been there for a while. Something about the way it lay - with its poor legs up in the air - just reminded me of Toby.

I haven't eaten any meat since.

This is not the first time I have stopped eating meat since, well, becoming an omnivore again. For the last few years, I've been on this pendulum that swings from "all meat all the time" to "I could live without cheese."

That last one doesn't usually last more than a day. Because, really, who would want to live without cheese if you doesn't have to?

Anyway. Let's just say the other day I was the only veggie burger in a sea of regular burgers at a restaurant - one where I've eaten the regular burger and know for a fact it's awesome - and I was not even tempted. And with summer's bounty upon us, vegetation is so easy and tasty to come by. It's not a hardship at all.

How long will this last? Who knows. I doubt it's permanent. I'm usually only one bad day away from a pepperoni pizza at any time. And if someone put a nice salmon dinner in front of me, I would totally do right by it. Well, the fish might disagree on that, but...

So, I'll enjoy it as long as it lasts. And when the pendulum swings back in the other direction, I'll enjoy that as well. I learned a long time ago I do best when I don't make rules around food. None of it is right, none of it is wrong. It's all good.


Monday, August 29, 2016

Bouncing Back

The last couple of weeks were a tough ones, for reasons that really aren't mine to broadcast to the world. Which explains nothing, I know. Everyone is fine, I'm fine, the small world we revolve in is fine. Everyone is still alive and in good working order. In the grand scheme of things, this was actually small and fleeting.

To make a long story slightly less vague, needless drama was created in response to something that needed absolutely no drama. Not by Best Guy or myself, we're generally not drama-inducing peeps. Hams, yes. Both of us are unabashedly hams. But not drama addicts.

Things have finally cooled down enough so that BG and I could spend the weekend together, uninterrupted. After the stress of the last couple weeks, it was refreshing to spend time puttering around the house, walking the dog, going out to brunch, and garage saleing. There were no dramatic interruptions, no stressful what-if's, just us.

It was wonderful.

An impromptu lakeside getaway one evening. The biggest
drama we encountered was Toby going cray-cray with another dog.
Never thought that would be a relief...

It reminds me once again how grateful I am for BG. He is an intelligent, kind, wonderful Soul. Strong when he needs to be, yet compassionate, reasonable, and understanding. I am safe with him. There are so, so many who can't say the same about their Significant Others, or parents, or family members. This world can be (and more often than not, is) a scary place. To know that I have a haven with BG is humbling, and fills me with even greater love and gratitude.

All beings deserve love, peace, and safety. I am enough of a grown up to know that far too many in this world don't receive any of these. It is my wish that all do.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Dog. Doggy Dog Dog Dog.

We're still waiting for the Puppy Prozac to kick in (oh please gods kick in). The vet said it could be up to four weeks before it did, and it will be just one week with the meds as of tomorrow. The good news is that T-Dawg doesn't seem to be experiencing any of the possible side effects that come with the drug. Those would have kicked in already. His appetite seems fine, and since he's still on a weight loss plan a little less food wouldn't have hurt him anyway. Most importantly, he isn't experiencing Opposite Effect: instead of calming him down the drugs wind him up even more. That was the one we were most worried about because FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY DON'T WIND HIM UP EVEN MORE.

He has always been an affection-hungry pup. We think he spent a lot of his days being loved up by his former owner, so I think even spending just a month at the Humane Society had him desperately seeking love from anyone who'd give it to him. Ironically, even though he wanted the affection, he did not particularly want cuddles. Scritches and petting and tummy rubs were acceptable, and keep them coming.

However, in the last couple weeks and the last couple of days in particular, he has started snuggling. He started with sleeping next to me on Best Guy's side of the bed after he got up for the morning. He'd jump up and lay next to BG's pillow, his rump usually inches away from my face. Next to me, but if I rested my arm next to him it would be too much and he'd move. Very rarely, he'd get up on the bed and sleep at our feet during the night for a couple hours. Mostly though, he'd stay on the floor and come up when BG vacated the premises.

The other night, he was feeling restless and out of sorts. He ended up coming up on the bed and sleeping next to me for quite a while, pressed up against me nice and tight. He's also started coming in between BG and I for scritches, although he hasn't quite dared sleeping between us yet.

This morning, as per usual, he jumped up on the bed after BG left. When I opened my eyes, Toby's head was on my pillow, a mere inch from my face. I could kiss his velvety ear without moving my head.

I admit to being in heaven, just a little.

We've only had T for a few months, but I feel like his willingness to cuddle/snuggle is a huge hurdle that we're jumping over. Buddy was never much for cuddles or affection. It just wasn't in his nature. We also didn't let him up on the bed because he was a smelly SOB and he always felt dirty, even after having had a bath. But Toby is such an affection hound (ha ha) that it almost seemed as if this half was missing from the picture. That he is feeling comfortable enough to even inch his way toward snuggling is huge. We are encouraging it, but we're not forcing it.

But oh, that face.

THOSE EARS. So soft.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Experience List

Every once in a while, Best Guy and I will be watching or reading something and I'll say "that's on my list!" I don't have a Bucket List, mainly because I hate that name. However, I do have this unofficial list of things I want to do/experience in my head. Often, I don't even know it's on the list until I see something about it and I'm like Oh yeah!

Things have been crossed off the list over the years, but I think it's still a long one. It occured to me last night that I should probably write it down some place, so I can actually check things off.

So... here it is. Things I Want to Experience in My Life (in absolutely no order):

1. Hawaii
2. France
3. Redwood Forest
4. Alaska: I've been, but it was for a conference so I want to go back and do it right.
5. Pyramids in Egypt
6. Australia
7. India
8. Pacific Northwest
9. Being gainfully self-employed and confident about it
10. Glastonbury, England
11. Ireland
12. Wales
13. Being able to afford a really big purchase (like a legit home renovation)
14. Fly first class
15. Stay in a really fancy hotel
16. A nice, long stay at the/an ocean
17. Performing at one of the big belly dance gatherings with my group
18. A meal at a 5-star restaurant
19. A day at a super swanky spa where I'm the one pampered
20. Greece
21. Writing and publishing a book
22. A long, long, long, happy, healthy life with my Sweet Babboo (aka Best Guy).

Well... I guess that's a start anyway.

Our wedding ceremony. BG sang me "I Only Have Eyes for You."
My hair and makeup artist cried for me so I wouldn't ruin my makeup.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

I Must Be A Mom, Because I Can't Even Watch a TV Show Without Three Someones Whining for Attention

Or, you know, check Facebook of a Sunday morning.

On a more serious note, this is how we know Beck is feeling better. She's determined to cuddle with us again, even if it means challenging Toby on territorial rights. Toby has determined that the Family Room is his. Actually, pretty much every room save the Living Room and the Kitchen. But the last couple of days Beck has been doing the Stare Down with him, then boogying if it looks like Toby is going to get up and snap at her. We know this is a temporary thing, but it's nice to have our girl back, even if for a little while.

In other news, yesterday we went to the vet and pleaded our cray-cray case with the Tobermeister. We left with a vat of prozac and have already started giving it to him. We are looking forward to an easement of the anxiety that surrounds him day in and day out. We are hopeful that once his fear eases a bit, we'll finally be able to train him up on accepting other people in the house and going out and about in the world. We don't want him to live in constant fear, and that's what he's been doing for the last few months. We want to show him the world isn't such a horrible place. Or, at least, this little part of the world.

Yeah, he looks all calm and cute here. Try to pet him though. I dare you. But don't.

My as-needed time at the Stowe Wellness Center is going nicely. I'm sure that will slow down a little once September and school starts, but it is nice contributing financially again. My main job now is to remember that I actually have a full-time job and to not neglect my private practice for the "glamor" of a paycheck. The goal is to let go of the Wellness Center once again, once I am making enough to pay myself. So.... need to keep on that so I can start paying myself!

This is completely accurate and drawn to scale. Also, about a $75k project,
Since I've essentially put the kitchen where the dining room is and
completely closed off a door to the garage. I tell you, if I was rich
I could spend that damned money.

In the meantime, I've been mentally renovating the kitchen. Big budget dreams, little budget reality. It's a good kitchen, and the last owners did a wonderful job updating it just a few years ago. Not anything I would have chosen for myself, but still. It's a good space, if tiny.

As you might be able to tell by the above pet pictures, a few weeks ago, we moved the dining table into the family room. It has made a huge difference in here. The room finally feels... right. Of course, that means that the dining/kitchen area is now wide open. Which we are also liking, because our dining table never felt right there. We have some minor renovation projects we may take on next year (there is a sliding door between the kitchen and one of the bedrooms we want to close off), and may take on the project of adding a small banquette/breakfast area/built in dining area in that space. I've got sketches. To scale, of course.

Crazy days, yo. Just as we finally get this house our we'll probably end up moving to New Mexico or something. Figures. At least the winters are warm.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Up, Down, All Around

The past five days or so have been a roller coaster of emotions for me.

Two weeks ago, we noticed that Beck the Cat was not her normal self. We got her in to the Vet and we were told that a couple of teeth were causing her great pain, but there was also some weird growth that needed biopsy-ing. This past Friday, we heard back from the Vet about the biopsy and the news isn't good. We've got maybe a month - two at the outside - with her. They've given us some pain meds to give her and we'll just have to keep an eye on her. She'll let us know when it's time, but oh how sad.

In the mean time, she has perked back up. Once we finally realized she couldn't eat the kibble, we switched her to wet food and she's been downing almost a can a day. She is much more vocal and looking for affection again and even cuddled with her brother the other day, something she hasn't done in weeks.

Beck and Bauer. Together again. Possibly for the last time,
as the vet says their separating is part of their coping mechanism.
We worry about Bauer, although we are partially convinced that
he is going to outlive us, simply because he's too stupid to die.

Sunday saw my first fully booked shift in my private practice. It was amazing. I love my office space, and I love working there. I have found that when I am left to my own devices and I have no one else to answer to, my massages are very different. In a good way. I am looking forward to many, many more fully booked shifts!

My private office. I LOVE this space!

On Monday (just yesterday!) I picked up a shift at the wellness center in Stowe. Even though I left about a year and a half ago, my heart always remained there. I missed everything about it. I have remained friends with many people who still work there - including the Manager - and I reached out on Friday to see if there was anything for me, maybe once or twice a week or on an "as needed" basis. It's a long way to drive for full time work, but once a week or so is manageable. It turned out, she was desperate for help yesterday. So I went in and worked a full shift.

It was like going home. Nothing really had changed at all. Being there made me feel so happy. Moreover, it felt like I was once again contributing financially to the household. As much as my practice is supporting itself and slowly growing, I am not yet at the point where I can give myself a paycheck. That is coming, but in the mean time, I've got to say that this felt good.

Today, I have nothing planned. I'll take care of some household chores, and hang with the T-Dawg, who seems to be sticking close to my side after two days of Doggie Daycare.

Every day is a precious gift.

We love you, Beck.

Last Chance.

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