Saturday, December 25, 2010

Some Year End Thoughts

December is usually a time for reflection; on the previous 11 months, on what you have accomplished, and perhaps what you intend to accomplish next year. Here's my thoughts:

I am immensely thankful that I accomplished my goal of becoming a credentialed vet tech. All the studying and hard work and worrying I did all year truly paid off. Of course, I couldn't have done it without the help and support of my husband Anthony, my best friend Hilton, and my mentor, Dr Marsha Smith. She was my rock and my cheerleader throughout. I conquered my fear of math from her lessons. I learned many procedures by working side by side with her at work. She gave me the confidence to realize that I was "educatable", and she continues to help me and be proud of my achievement.

The economy was in turmoil this year, and I'm well aware of the monetary thread we are hanging by. Each month goes by and we scrape together the mortgage payment and do without many things, both necessity and luxury, just so we can keep our house. I'm very grateful that we are both working and can (sort of) pay our bills.

I am looking forward to finally finishing up my Vet Tech course at Penn Foster College.  It was not an easy journey at times, but when I look back at the direction my life has taken, all because of a small ad in the back of an equine medical journal, my head spins. I've never been so happy and fulfilled in my life.

And finally, I'm also looking forward to new journeys. I'm considering enrolling at Wilkes University to obtain my MA in Creative Writing. Apparently I've decided that learning is truly a life long thing and I'm going to keep on going until I die.

Life is never easy, but your choices can make it more pleasurable. What type of year end thoughts do YOU have?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I Have Become An Examiner!

In between studying for the VTNE and working, I have embarked on a new project. I was really trying to do research on what college I should go to, to obtain my MFA in Creative Writing. As I Googled and typed busily, I was directed to a site called They offer little blurbs, or "articles" written by regular people, about subjects that they are familiar with. I found someone to chat with me about Wilkes University, which is the school I've chosen to attend. I also became interested in becoming an Examiner, which is a person who has their own page and writes about a subject near and dear to them.
My application was accepted, and I'm now the Atlantic City Greyhound Examiner.

Sounds cool, like I'm peering closely at each canine, looking for something tiny. Anyway, my page can be found here .

Feel free to subscribe or check back often. I plan to put up articles on greyhounds at least once or twice a week, a lot more regularly than this poor blog. As I move forward with my MFA process I'll be blogging about that too.
Feel free to offer feedback on my Greyhound page, I welcome all comments.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Overcoming Self Doubt

I'm not a person that usually doubts myself. I'm very opinionated and sure of my beliefs. But for the last few days I'm having a crisis of faith.
I'm convinced I'm going to fail my VTNE exam.

I've been studying and reading and thinking about stuff at work for months. I've gone into Defcon 5 mode now, since the test is less than 14 days away. I've even started to review the math questions that I forgot how to do, and feel a lot more confident in my calculating ability.
Yesterday I took a practice test, straight from the Technician Review book that is one of the texts I'm studying. As I answered the questions I felt confident. I felt that things were finally coming together. I could even do the math.
My grade was 70%. When I first started taking the practice exams my grades were in the 60's. How can I feel so confident and yet not get more than 70% correct?
So last night I gave up. I went to my bookshelf and grabbed a fiction hardcover that has been waiting for me to read it, and I immersed myself in it. I sulked and posted a pity status update on FaceBook. I told myself it didn't matter if I passed.
What is wrong with me?
I woke up today with the attitude that I only have a few days left, maybe I should just go ahead and keep reading/studying. Who knows what the test will be like? I have to make the best of things, since I devoted so much of my time and energy to it. I know it's not the end of the world if I don't pass, and my friends keep telling me I can take it over (but I'm not sure if I can, due to new regulations) , but I know in my heart I have to give it my best shot.
I will read over the chapters on diagnostic imaging tonight, and do math problems every day until Dec 8th.
I may or may not take another practice exam. I WILL try to put all negative thoughts out of my head and rely upon my intelligence and natural self confidence.

I just wish it were all over already.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Fly in the Ointment....Not Exactly

I've recently begun to adopt the habit of taking crushed ice in a cup with me to work. I used to nibble on the ice in the car on the commute in, but now I've decided that I might as well eat the rest of it at my job.

I ate my ice this morning like I usually did. I would scoop up a spoonful of ice, slurp it up, and continue on with my typing or filling out paperwork or whatever. About halfway through the cupful, as I brought the spoon to my mouth I looked down at it, for some reason.

There was a bug on my spoon. I called another tech over and we both peered at it. "It's a FLEA!" she announced.
"I think it's just some kind of BUG!" I said.
"No, that's a flea for sure," she told me. "Want to go check it out under the microscope?"
Of course I did.

The little spot on my spoon (that was on its way to my mouth to be EATEN) was indeed a flea. He was cold, as he was nestled among my crushed ice. We marveled at his tiny eyes, his little flea legs, and the fine hairs along his body.

I wanted to gag. I almost ate a flea.

As we continued to alternately peek and shriek at this little creature, he suddenly moved. We both jumped back, for the magnification of the image caused the movement to scare us. Turns out he was all thawed out from the microscope light beaming up at him, and he did what all fleas do: Jump.

He was gone.

"I knew I should've put him in oil," I said. (Oil is used to prevent mites from walking off the slide before you can find them in all the debris.)

I still don't know where the flea came from, exactly, since my cup was not around any pets. But one thing is for sure: I will always look at my spoonful of ice before I eat it.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Poetry, For A Change

A Day-Glo druid mows the lawn
I pass him by in slow motion and think
what it would be like to spend my day amongst
the grass clippings and diesel fumes
always circling
circling around every tree and curb
But then are we not circling ourselves
throughout our day
avoiding obstacles in our path
Some just go straight through them

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Math Is Hard

My next study subject for the VTNE is medical calculations. Math has never been my strong point, so I'm looking forward to this subject with trepidation. I brought my textbook and question book to work last night , thinking I would be able to work on problems here & there. First, I circled problems I knew I needed more help with. Then I took the first one and tried to figure it out. Marsha saw me working on it and asked if I needed help. Does the sun come up in the morning? Of course it does.
The question was:

How many milliliters of a 50% dextrose solution are needed to make 1000 mL of a 5% dextrose solution?

Marsha looked at the question and came up with the answer in about 1 second. "It's 100 mL", she said.
Ok, but how did you arrive at that conclusion?
She started by telling me that percent is the total grams in 100 mL. Apparently once I knew that, it all fell into place.
The next step was to make an equation.
10g                X
------       =    -----
100 mL       1000 mL

She showed me how to cross multiply and then divide. I still didn't get it, because she was talking about decliliters and converting grams to milligrams and then she threw in a .10 to really throw me off.

She had to go into the exam room to talk to a client, so I took my book and wandered away in search of more help. I ended up in the CCU, where three techs just told me to "memorize this chart, in real life you will never have to know any other amounts other that a 5% or 2.5% solution".
That was fine too, but I have to learn the calculation for the test...because you have to answer questions on a TEST, and they are sure to give you strange numbers not used in real life.

So I went back into central treatment, where 3 other techs were working on a patient. One tech in particular tried her best. I then realized it was like a foreign language to can repeat the sentence all you want, but if I don't understand the individual words it will never make sense.
At one point I had about 5 techs all shooting numbers and percents and decimals at me, and it was all I could do to hold back the tears of frustration. I felt so stupid. It was all so easy for them and I just couldn't get it.
As I tuned out their helpful chatter, I made a decision to go back and review the basics...converting decimals to fractions, the metric system, and basic tenets of ratio and proportion.  I hugged my book to my chest, said a general "thank you for your help" and started to walk away. As I got through the door, one tech rushed out after me. She said she was getting off work in 15 minutes and would be glad to sit with me and help me learn. I was very touched by her offer, but at the same time I was still fighting back tears that were threatening to break through in seconds, and I did NOT want to cry in front of her. (The whole showing weakness thing, you know.)
I told her exactly what my plan was:  learn the basics, then I would know the "language" that they were all speaking. I told her if I needed any more help I would definitely ask her. I smiled at her through glassy tear filled eyes (could she see my imminent breakdown? I had to get out of there NOW, I was gonna lose it!) and beat a hasty retreat. Once I was alone in the hallway I allowed the tears to come.
Unfortunately, as I got back to my work area there was another tech in the hallway. She asked me what was wrong, and I just covered my face and said "Nothing" in a voice that wouldn't have fooled anyone.

She told me not to stress over the math. She told me that I was a good writer and she had trouble with getting her tenses correct in a sentence (I did laugh at that a little, which was her intent). She also told me that I wasn't stupid, I just needed to take my time and learn as much as I could, and that the test had 8 other areas of concentration that I would excel on.

As I tried to dry my tears, my vet came out of the room. I told her I was stupid and would never learn this math at all. True to form, she sat down, got a fresh piece of paper, and went over the steps again slowly. After 10 minutes, I actually solved the problem! She showed me a way to think the problem through and understand what I was doing, which is just as important as memorizing a formula. This math is actually used in hospitals on patients, so I had to understand the big picture as well as calculate numbers.
We did 2 problems together and I felt a tiny bit of elation. Maybe I wasn't so stupid after all. Well, maybe I am, but if I can do a FEW math problems on my exam that is better than not doing ANY.

I took home the little scraps of paper with her calculations on them and resolved to show her on Thursday that I learned something.
Now as I finish this post, I'm going to open up my two math books and start over. I will try not to let these lousy numbers get the best of me.

It's an uphill battle. And I'm not looking forward to it.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Things That Bug Me

Not that I woke up cranky this morning, but I've been thinking about some things that seem ridiculous to me.....and lately there have been a lot. In no general order, here is a list (I love lists. Maybe I should change the format of this blog).

The dumbing down of America..such as the misspelled words on the news channel, the egregious grammar  on TV, and the instructions on food that tells you to be careful, it's HOT.

Cameras on traffic lights. Too Big Brother for me. (I did a previous post on this a while ago.)

The rush to get kids into school, learning 3 languages by 2 years old, doing calculations by kindergarten, and the playing of classical music while still in the womb. Just stop. Let them be kids, they will have to learn stuff in school soon enough.

Playdates. Whatever happened to leaving the house on your bike and riding to your friend's house, then taking a walk to someone else's house? Now playtime has to be penciled in and organized.

The flap over Katy Perry's dress on the Sesame Street video. No one cares about her boobs. The whole American prudishness bugs me too. Not that we should be naked every minute, but the fact that it's deemed "wrong" just heightens the salaciousness of a little exposed skin. It's natural, people...get over it.

Why are so many Americans out of work, yet when I go to ShopRite or Dunkin Donuts, I can't find anyone who speaks English?

Stink bugs. Where did they come from, and why are they always hanging around my house?

This is a partial list. I'm sure I will be adding to it in the future....but I'm getting annoyed just typing this post so I will end it here. I'm in a decent mood and don't feel like spoiling it.

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Simple Things

I have figured out that it is the simple things that make me the happiest.
Sitting on the deck with the sunshine and a good book. Snuggling up to the schnauzers before dropping off to sleep. Going out to eat with friends. Getting personal satisfaction from my job. The moment when I realize that some of my vet tech knowledge is helping me in my job. Relaxing on the couch with a magazine.
I could go on and on, but the big picture here is that I am comfortable with myself and my life. I am rejecting the commotion and embracing who I am.

Life is good.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Today is a day that will resonate for many of us, as we reflect on where we were when we heard the news. It is our generation's "Lunar Landing" or "JFK shooting", as we can pinpoint exactly what we were doing when our world changed. I look back at the nine years that have passed since that fateful day, and feel lucky that I did not lose a loved one that day. I feel amazed as I recall the things that have happened to me, my hurt back, my depression, my choice to start a new career, the loss of my Dad and my Greyhounds, financial problems, getting older....but also feeling better about myself and my life, a marriage that is still going, a peaceful home to live in and a deck where I can spend time writing, the new goals that I have set for myself, and of course my new Schnauzers.
Life has certainly changed both for the good and the bad since then. The Twin Towers will always have a place in my memory, for the World Trade Center was a place I visited, was the site of a first date, made deliveries to, and photographed many times during countless trips into the city during high school and college. I even flew past them during one of my flying lessons out of Teterboro Airport! Try doing THAT today....not happening.
So today I reflect on life....the way it once was, the way it is now, and the loss of innocence, both within myself and throughout the world.
It is an uneasy feeling....but it is what shapes us today.

Never Forget.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The 15% Dilemma

The other day a discussion came up somehow about eating in restaurants and leaving a tip. I'm a notoriously bad tipper, as my usual M.O. is to leave 4 dollars and be done with it. My dining companion will always make up the difference.
My question today is: why does there have to be a difference? If I order a burger and fries, my meal might be around 10 dollars. If I order lobster or filet mignon, the price of the meal goes up to about 30 or more. However, and here is where my argument lies: the waitress only comes over the same amount of times. One, to greet and take drink orders. Two, to bring back said beverage and take food order. Three, to bring meal. Four, (if you are lucky) to ask if things are "all right". and finally, Five, to check on dessert and then bring the check. Why should I pay more just because I'm having an expensive meal?
Don't get me wrong. If I'm eating at a five star restaurant or if I'm dressed specially for dinner, that means I'm at a swanky place. I'm talking about a regular place like a diner, or Friday's, or a casual place like that. Why should my tip be more because I'm having salmon instead of grilled cheese?
I was told that "If you order more expensive food you tend to stay at the table longer to eat and they cannot turn around the table as fast to gain more tips, so you are paying for time."
That sounds good, except I can recall eating on the cheap and hanging about to chat and relax just as long as when there was a steak in front of me.
Look, I didn't invent the pay scale for waiters. I understand that they are there to make a living just like all of us. I do think, however, that most people are decent tippers and that those of us who cannot tip to the extreme need to make ends meet. That thought may lead us to the statement that if you cannot afford to leave a good tip, you cannot afford to eat out.
To which I say: and there are plenty other jobs out there that pay by the hour, if you have to find a job that has tipping as part of your pay, perhaps you need to check your skill level and work towards another career.
I can feel the hate right now.
Listen, I used to drive a cab and work for tips a long time ago. My dispatcher was resentful of the fact that I was a girl, and thus sent me on jobs where I would come to no harm, like picking up all the senior citizens and taking them to doctor's offices. Sometimes I would get a dime as a tip. I didn't make a lot of cash driving that cab, so I took a second job. Eventually I embarked on another career, one that paid by the hour.
I didn't resent the elderly, I knew they were on a fixed income and needed every penny.
I may not be on that same fixed income, but I need every penny as well. I can go to Five Guys and get a great burger and not have to tip, or I can go to the good old diner and get the same meal and have to budget for money left on the table.
I just don't agree with the system.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Moment Of Greytness

I see many kinds of dogs at my vet hospital, but some breeds are under-represented. I think we don't see enough Mini Schnauzers, or Greyhounds. The sight of an ex-racer sends my heart soaring!

Today was a good day, as we were lucky enough to have a Greyhound come in for vaccines. As I clipped his nails a few techs saw me hugging him and wondered aloud what is it about retired racers that grabs my heart. One tech even said they seemed "bland".
Well, yeah...anyone who owns a Grey knows the Look Of Fear that they all adopt once inside the vet hospital. Their eye bug out, they start to pant, they freeze and pretend they are invisible.
I dealt with that every time I took my girls to the vet. And I see it daily whenever I'm lucky enough to help examine a needle nose.
But that should not be what Greyhounds are judged on. I tried to explain to the techs around me how gentle they are, how silly they are (especially when squeakies are involved), and how wonderfully FAST they are. I told them stories about horrors at the track. I explained how they get socialized upon their retirement. I even said I had never met a mean one (unlike some other breeds that will not be mentioned).
I could tell that I didn't sway many opinions with my talk. As I led my sweet patient back to his mom, I petted him softly and pretended for just a moment that he was mine. I let my memories drift back to the days when my two girls brightened my day with their soft coats and cold noses. It has been one year since my special girl GiGi crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, and I miss her every day.
Readers with Greyhounds: give your dogs extra love and hugs today, for I cannot do that to mine any more.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What To Do When You're Not Doing It

Yesterday my boss told me that I will have to start coming to work on Tuesday at 11am again. That means no more having the whole day to myself until 4pm. This does not bode well for my studying, my writing, or my sleeping late.
Today I happen to have the day off, and after a fun filled day of shopping, flea markets, farmer's markets and bookstores, I am home by myself.
I should be doing my Business and Technical Writing homework. Failing that, I should be writing my novel.

I'm not doing either of those things. Instead, I'm writing this blog. Aren't I making good use of my time?
I guess not.

Here is a list of things that I end up doing when I know I have to work on my homework:
1. Check out FaceBook.
2. Check out Twitter.
3. Pet the dogs.
4. Fold laundry.
5. Chew on ice cubes and think.
6. Look at my "Writing Effective Communications" study guide and wish that I was never born.
7. Gaze longingly at the 4 books I just bought today and wish I could be reading them right now.
8. Go back to FaceBook to see if anything new showed up in my news feed.
9. Give the dogs a chewy stick and watch them eat it.
10. Call my best friend and tell him how busy I am and how I'm working hard on my writing.

As you can see right now, I'm actually very busy. Perhaps I will end this post while I'm on a roll, because I have so much to do.

As soon as I check my FaceBook just one more time......

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dumb Fish, Smart Pond

I was talking to Marsha today about her parents, and asked her if she felt proud that they were so smart. They were chemists. She said that their smartness did not help them at the end of their life, when they died in pain and wracked with Alzheimer's.
That took me back, because I just expected a simple yes or no answer. Marsha is always very philosophical.
That being said, I told her I wished I was smarter. I told her that in high school, I was a big fish in a little pond, I had many friends, got good grades, and felt a lot of self worth. Then I got into college and didn't pay all that much attention to my studies. I was too busy enjoying my freedom and my "grownup-ness", after all, in college no one is telling you what to do!
Back in my day, the guidance counselors gave you few options: go to college; become a nurse; work in an office; or be a mom. I went to college, but I didn't really know what I wanted to do with my life. I worked a lot of "jobs", not careers. I eventually wound up working in an office, something I swore I would NEVER do. I kept an office job for about 15 years.
Recently, my life path has lead me to work as a vet tech. I find myself being the dumb one surrounded by smart people.
Marsha told me that just because you are a vet doesn't mean you are smart, it just means you are educatable. (See, more philosophy.)
I told her that I felt that so many people at my hospital were smarter than me and it was unnerving. I feel that my intelligence has diminished since I got out of high school, and there are times when I hear the vets talking that I feel like an utter moron.
I have to remind myself that they went to vet school, so they better know what they are talking about! I still wish I had done something better with my life 20 years ago, though. I would have loved to be surrounded by smartness when I was still young enough to really make the most of it.
I will have to be content with the knowledge that I have a rewarding career now, and not to regret anything that I have done (or not done) in my past. I just wish I hadn't let all my brains dribble away, because I really need to use them now.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Discipline is Needed

I have been reading more books on how to get published, and I have learned a few things.
1. You must write every day, no matter what you are going to do with it.

2. You must read a lot as well, good stuff and bad, because it all soaks into your head and helps you become a better writer.

3. You must develop a thick skin, because there is a lot of rejection out there. A story like "Harry Potter" comes along once in a million years.

4. Grammar, spelling and style are legion. You must either know how to spell or use a good spellcheck program. (This does not worry me, I'm a great speller.)

5. Finally, discipline and perseverance must be your strengths. Keep at it and don't give up, if you do, then you are not a writer, only a dabbler.

I still have a long way to go...I think the hardest part is writing every day. When I was younger I would write a few lines (or more) in my diary every night before bed. I wish I had that enthusiasm now, because it just seems that my daily life is not that interesting to write it all down.
However, the more I think about it, I was not writing it down because it was interesting..I was documenting everything that happened because I wanted to REMEMBER it. Sure, there was a lot more drama in my life back then, but now I can draw upon my life's experience and knowledge to create, not just document.

I will keep working at it.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Doing It For Myself

Today was haircut day for me. I have been getting my hair cut short for a while now, much to the dismay of my husband. However, I keep telling him that I'm doing things for ME now, as opposed to when I was younger and trying to follow the crowd, or give in to peer pressure, or wear things because I thought I was "supposed to".
I'm middle aged (ugh!) and have come to realize that I do not have teenage hormones raging inside me, affecting every decision I make. I am comfortable in who I am, and my life experience makes me realize that I no longer have to please people with my appearance. Not that short hair makes me ugly...I just have more confidence inside to wear this style. It's easy to take care of and doesn't get in the way when I'm working.
Perhaps "confidence" is not the proper word to describe how I feel. At this point of my life I just don't care about what people are going to say or think about me. I have a great career, I'm well-read, am happy being me, and do not concern myself with other's opinions. I don't have time for the drama.
Right now I'm waiting for my husband to come home, and I'm sure the first words out of his mouth will be "I remember when your hair was long, you used to be hot."
Hey! I'm still hot. I'm a smart confident woman with a life plan. What could be hotter than that?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nothing To See Here Folks, Move Along

I either must have a really boring life or a really lousy imagination. I see blogs updated daily and admire those writers. I suppose I can toss up a few lines here and there if I were to do it on a daily basis, but I don't think that is me. I've been doing the same school/work cycle that has consumed me for the past few years...and I've been seriously considering writing a book. I've started doing research on how to get a book published, and so far I've discovered that it is nigh impossible, unless you self publish.
I don't want to self publish. That says to me anyone with a dollar and a manuscript can see their work in print. I want an editor to justify my writing. I want to be told that my ideas are worth getting out there. I want my talent to be confirmed.
Yeah, me and about a million other writers out there.
So this explains why there is nothing going on here. I keep thinking about writing instead of actually DOING it. Of course, anything I post online usually will not be used in a book, something to do with "first rights" and "second rights" or something like that. So, the things I'm actually thinking about writing about cannot be posted here.

Guess you will have to wait for the book.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

An Example of Compassion

This little anecdote will explain why the vet I work with is a wonderful role model. The other day we were in central treatment working on a dog. There was an anesthesia box on the other table with a critter in it. Upon closer inspection we found that it was a possum with bite wounds. He was in the process of being anesthetized/euthanized. He was still awake, however, and was able to look around at all the activity in our hospital. My vet shook her head and said to me, "They are such shy creatures, he must be so scared watching all this stuff going on around him!" She took a minute to find a towel to drape over the box to block the possum's view, so that in the last moments of his conscious, pain filled existence, he would not have to be scared too.
Possums are nocturnal creatures that favor dark, secure areas. My vet understood this and had empathy for this wild creature, enough so that she took time out of her busy day to make his world feel safe.
That touched me, but did not surprise me. She continues to show me examples of kindness towards animals and depth of caring that I can only hope to approximate in my lifetime.

Thanks, Marsha.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's OK To Let Go

As I was walking thru the parking lot at work the other day, getting ready to go inside, I heard my name being called. It was one of our long term clients, pulling in for an early appointment. I went over to her car to say hello and was met with two sad faces and a slowly wagging tail.
My heart sank, for I immediately knew what was to come.
Our patient, who was diagnosed with congestive heart failure about a year ago, was not doing well at all. We had been keeping a close eye on him over the last few weeks, as he needed more Lasix than normal and was having a lot of coughing fits. As I petted him and gazed into his sweet Maltese eyes, I heard the owners ask me if I thought it was his time.
We talked about quality of life, the quality of Teddy's life, and life in general. From what they told me I did believe he was suffering and not able to enjoy the things he once was.
I told them I would meet them inside, and hurried inside to punch in and tell the in - window that they were coming.
I escorted them into our Comfort Room. We talked some more, and shared stories of Teddy and his life with this man and woman that loved him so.
My vet came in, and we listened as they described his physical condition. Both their faces searched ours, for a sign that it was time to let him go. Teddy snuggled between them, comforted by their warmth and loving hands as they took turns petting him.

They decided to let him go, to give him peace.

The husband was having an especially hard time coming to terms with this, and even as he watched me walk away with Teddy to place his catheter, his face showed words that he could not say out loud.

The triage techs held Teddy as his catheter was placed, and I gave him some oxygen to make his labored breathing easier for him. I know it did him some good because his tongue color became more pink and he was not struggling.

Finally we brought him back to the Comfort Room and he eagerly went back to his mom's arms. He took up his spot between mom & dad as we began our task that is both caring and painful at the same time.
His dad was telling him how much he loved him and what a good boy he was. Mom was stroking his soft fur and holding back tears.
As my vet sedated him so he could pass peacefully, Teddy did something I've never seen before. As he was slowly relaxing, he seemed to focus for a second and then he lifted his head back up....turned to his dad....and gave him a few kisses, licking his face three times, then settling back down to relax again. His passing was very peaceful after that, as he was loved and petted in his final seconds.
I wiped my tears away, my vet reached over to get a tissue for her eyes, and as silence settled over the room I could not get Teddy's final action out of my head. His dad started to cry in earnest and I said to him, "He wanted to let you know it was OK to let him go, he kissed you to give you strength and love as a lasting memory of him."
I believe he was letting them know that he would be OK, waiting at the Rainbow Bridge until they all met again.

It was the most touching euthanasia I have ever witnessed, and Teddy's memory will stay with me forever.
Rest in were loved every much.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Cobweb Site

That is what this blog is turning into...going from a web site to a cobweb site because I haven't written in almost a month. Either my life is very boring or very busy.
I will choose the latter, in between studying for my vet tech degree and learning more about Wicca I don't have much free time. Nor has the urge to write grabbed me.
I'm wrong there. I was pondering creating a new blog to document the exploits of my recently expanded Mini Schnauzer family, as I've adopted 2 more girls. That brings the number of terriers in my house to 3. I was only supposed to take one but couldn't choose between them, and my husband was pressuring me to keep them both.
I'm glad I did.
So I'm sure I could fill up a blog pretty regularly with photos and tales of their exploits. I'm going to let the idea simmer a bit and see if I can fit it into my busy day.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Drama at ShopRite

My mom and I took our monthly food shopping trip the other day. It actually was about 2 months since we had been shopping, so I had the world's largest list. I had almost no food in my house and I also needed mundane things like mayonnaise, ketchup, soap, etc.
By the time we got to aisle 5 the cart was almost full. (We start at aisle 1 and go up & down every one.)
By the time we got to aisle 10 I told my mom to get another cart.

Bear in mind, it was Saturday, so the store was quite full. As we maneuvered our carts up and down the aisles, checking items off our happened.
My mom accidentally "ran over" someone's ankles with her cart. She never learned to drive a car, so it's safe to say that she doesn't have a lot of experience driving much of anything. We've all been "run over" at the supermarket--someone behind us bangs our poor ankles with the little bumper thingy on the bottom of the cart. Usually the one hit turns around and gives a death glare to the one who hit you, and that is that.
This time was different. The man that my mom ran over turned around and yelled "For Christ's sakes, lady! That's the second time I got hit in this store today, watch where the hell you're going!"
I was all ready to tell the man to stop yelling at my poor old mom.....when I realized...and my mom did too......that the man she ran over was none other than Chuck "The Bayonne Bleeder" Wepner.
Needless to say, we kept our mouths shut. It truly was an accident, and she was all ready to apologize, but when he started yelling it took us by surprise, and he walked away before she could get the apology out.
The rest of our shopping trip passed without incident. 20 grocery bags were loaded into my car and we were off.
It's always a fun day with mom!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Writing Pluses and Minuses

This month will be over before we know it! I'm pretty disappointed in the fact that there are only 2 posts for January. I suppose it's a combination of not thinking I have interesting things to blog about, combined with the fact that my free time is spent studying.
A few weeks ago I had considered the idea of writing a book...and I see that if I ever did go through with it I would have to be done with school. How anyone writes and works full time is beyond me. Of course, there is a lot more research I would have to do before I even attempted to pull this off. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to actually write the book before getting an agent or publisher, or get them first and then be under the gun to produce.
Knowing me, I'd rather have the thing written to avoid stress.
That being said, I will have to work on blogging more. I'm sure interesting things happen at work all the time but I see it all day long so I don't consider it blog-worthy.
I'm studying 2 subjects right now, one class should be done in a few months and then I will have a whole new area to blog about. I don't want to say anything about it now, but I'm very excited to be learning new things. I feel much more complete inside.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Big Brother Is Watching

One of my favorite novels is "1984" by George Orwell. I remember reading it many times and being thankful that I did not live in such a dystopia. I felt sorry for the main characters and wondered what life would be like having someone watching my every move.

This world is rapidly approaching that concept.
I found out from my husband that there are red light cameras stationed on many of the traffic signals along my route to work. I never noticed them, but this morning I made sure to check as I commuted.
There they were! I was dismayed to see them, for that means I have to be extra careful as I travel along to work. I cannot scoot through a yellow light like I have done in the past. I know it's all done for safety, but I can't help thinking that this is only the beginning. There are cameras in elevators, cameras in the stairwells at my job, cameras at ATM's and fast food restaurants, and major cities like New York and Philadelphia have them on a lot of street corners to observe and record activities 24 hours a day.
We are told they are there to "keep us safe". When will the authorities take the next step and start making these cameras more intrusive? We are already told we cannot talk on the phones in our car, we must wear our seat belts as we drive, bike helmets are required...I could go on and on. Are we so fragile and incompetent that we need laws for everything? How did the general public function before all these laws were in place?
When did privacy become a premium?
I realize that these camera were put up originally at high accident intersections to either keep everyone honest, or, failing that, be able to determine the perpetrator of an accident that was caused by careless driving. But what is the reason for cameras on every corner? I can only think it's becoming an easy way for a town to make easy money by snaring the unsuspecting occasional yellow light scofflaw. It is too easy to make the jump from 1 camera in town to multiple sites, then to more intrusive ways to spy on the public.

I prefer to live my life in relative anonymity. I certainly do not want to end up like Winston Smith, the hero of 1984.
What are your thoughts on this?