❤ Therapy Dogs For The Win! ❤

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Is that not the sweetest face?

Today was a ridiculously busy day for me. Betweeen getting items I thought I had months to retrieve from my old office to swapping out stenciled wheelchairs out for non-stenciled ones, to handling additional verbiage to my new job description? I had the absolute honor of meeting Micky, one of our therapy dogs and his owner this afternoon.

Now, y’all know I am a serious dog-person, right? (I am owned by six papillons and a rescue dog.)

I was in the process of swapping out marked versus un-marked chairs on multiple floors. While I was dropping a chair off on the 3rd  floor, I had the privilege of meeting Micky and his owner. Micky is a Labradoodle therapy dog at our hospital.

All of these dogs are AMAZING!  I’ve encountered most of them, and today I met Micky. His owner/trainer and I had a good conversation, from one dog owner/lover to another.

The picture above is not Micky, but a Googled image of a doggie that looked the just like him.

I was able to have what I refer to as “puppy therapy” with him. I know my blood pressure was decreased by just a little bit of puppy-love.

I look forward everyday to seven wagging butts when I come home, so if I have a spare moment to spend with our therapy dogs? I will take it on a New York minute!

i absolutely appreciate these volunteers that come to our facility and not only share their time, but their fur kids with us, as well!

I am in awe of not only their dedication to their fur-babies’ behavior, but their willingness to share their fur-babies with all of us!

God bless all of the therapy dog owners and trainers! We really do appreciate all of you! ❤

Until next time….

Playing Catch-Up…Part II

Image obtained from kingdomreading.com and looks much like my life has felt over the past three weeks.

Image obtained from kingdomreading.com and looks much like my life has felt over the past three weeks.

When we left off, I had come back from visiting Middle Son at the detention center, and it was one week post-5K.

FITNESS:  My back was feeling about 95% better, and I was tired of looking at my Olympic bar and plates and watching them collect dust, so I jumped back into my StrongLifts 5×5 program. Sadly, I had to start with just the bar (45 lbs.) as if starting from scratch, and was a little frustrated at that because I had been squatting 95, deadlifting 115, and rowing almost 70. Given that bench and overhead presses were/are my weak lifts, 45 pounds was kind of a relief. It felt soooo good to lift, again, after almost a month of not doing my entire routine. 🙂

Also worth mentioning, is that on the 17th, less than a week after the mud run, Jennifer called me and told me that they had registered for another 5K. This one is in Raleigh on June 22 – it’s a Color Vibe run, and while mud is an attraction to me, so is colored corn starch, so I signed up for team “Peace, Love & Colors” and paid my registration. Never say die, baby! So I KNEW I would need to re-start my Couch to 5K program and, um, you know…stick with it this time. I made a mental note to start it the following week, once I knew I wasn’t going to throw my back out again on my lifts. (To date, I have completed the first two weeks of this program and have not had a heart attack yet…week 3 starts Monday. Say a little prayer…just sayin’.)

During this time, Belle, still wearing the cone of shame, was doing her best to stay chill, though it was pretty obvious to all of us that she was ready to start jumping on the couch by herself. We had been carrying her outside and down the steps to the grass, back inside, lifting her to the couch and the bed so she wouldn’t pull those stitches. As long as she was taking her pain meds, she was mellow, but once she came off of them? Holy crap!

GETTING OUT:  On Monday, the 22nd, I was winding down my work day when my cell phone rang and it was a number I didn’t recognize, so I sent it to voicemail. A few minutes later, a vaguely familiar number called, but I sent it to voicemail, as well. The first call’s voicemail indicator went off and I played it back. I caught about half of the recorded message. It told me that an inmate I was tracking, Middle Son, had been released on a probationary status. O.M.G! Middle Son was out. Then it clicked…the second number was the same one I called to set up my visits! I called it back, and told the friendly voice on the other end that I’d missed a call from this number and wondered if it pertained to Middle Son’s release, and then identified myself. She told me to come get him. I told Cindy to let everyone know I was leaving, as Middle Son was OUT!

Picked him up and went straight to the probation officer’s office. (These guys are commonly referred to as PO’s in certain circles, I learned.) This was a learning experience, also. Firearms must be removed from the home. (Check.) My home, where Middle Son would be staying until he gets on his feet, would be subject to unannounced visits from the PO at any time after Middle Son’s curfew, which is at six p.m. nightly. (I’m thinking I need to get home and tidy up, hardcore!) Also, that my home is subject to warrantless search at any given time as long as the offender is staying here. I’m ok with that, though the hubs wasn’t loving it. Our PO is really nice. Lots of tattoos and his ring-tone is Sweet Home Alabama. Called my boss and asked to take a couple more days off, given we had a list of things a mile long to do; DMV for a valid ID, Employment Security Commission to register for work on the former offender program, clean the back room and convert it from storage to an actual bedroom again. We did all of that.

BELLE:  During my mass cleanup effort on Wednesday, the vet called regarding Belle’s biopsy. It wasn’t a spider bite. It turns out that it was a tumor, the type of which I canNOT for the life of me remember. They said the biopsy revealed some existing live cells on the outer parts of the tissue, and that we would really need to keep an eye on her and that they would more than likely have to go back in and remove any remaining malignancy. Not the best news, but we have a good chance that she’ll be around for quite a while.

Image courtesy: Screamin' like a banshee – Abu Dhabi by Krizz Kaliko rapgenius.com

Image courtesy: Screamin’ like a banshee – Abu Dhabi by Krizz Kaliko
rapgenius.com

WEDDING OR NOT:  On the following Saturday, the 22nd, I had to go in and work the day job for a little while. This was the scheduled date of Oldest Son’s wedding. Now, when Middle Son was released, I texted both his father and his older brother, both of whom reside out of state, to let them know, per their request. To this point I had not spoken to Oldest Son since our blow up after his refusal to see a problem with his “beloved” verbally coming unglued on his mother (me). He did finally call to speak with his brother the Wednesday before the hanging…err wedding. I answered the phone and let him know that I hoped he’d had a nice birthday the weekend prior, that his brother wasn’t home as yet (he was at the other house cleaning, which Oldest was pleased to hear), and that I was sorry that it upset him that I couldn’t be there the following weekend, and he assured me that was fine. Please know, I wasn’t sorry I couldn’t be there (only sorry he was hurt in any way by this), simply because SHE burnt that bridge and burnt it good. The first couple of times you verbally accost me? Shame on you. The third time? Shame on me. Third strike and she’s OUTTA THERE! If I give you three chances and you blow every. single. one.? It’s on you, now, baby. So I’m at work that Saturday, wondering if perhaps he’d woken up the night before and might leave her at the altar. If that wasn’t the case, then I would have a new daughter …errr…banshee-in-law. After getting home, taking Baby Boy’s first series of senior portraits (he was in ROTC fully decorated dress uniform, per his request), I checked the Facebook pages of any and everyone I thought might be at the joyous occasion. Nothing. Not a status change, not a mobile upload, NOTHING!!!!! I started looking at court clerk records in their county, hoping against all hope that there wouldn’t be a marriage license on file. So far there hasn’t been. Was it possible that perhaps they didn’t go through with it? It was really starting to look that way, and then Middle Son called to talk to his dad, and it seems that there was, in fact, a ceremony, and for some reason, NOBODY thought to bring a phone, camera, or anything. I found this fact out overnight. Oh, well. Can’t win ‘em all, I guess. I imagine things will be a little awkward at Baby Boy’s graduation, because 1/2 of that happy couple is not welcome in my home. Fortunately they have a home of their own to stay in…and who knows? Maybe there will even be utility service restored by then.

MOTIVATIONAL READS – “Diet” and Exercise:  I was going to close this at the end of the above paragraph, but figured since I only have a short blurb left to share, I’d just go ahead and finish it up.

So, I have been keeping up with the following blog, Trying Not To Be Fat, for quite a while, and while she seems to be on hiatus right now, her backstory is crazy good, and I’ve really gotten motivated by following her progress during this time.

My second motivational blog/read I simply stumbled upon while looking for something else, entirely. This lady is a personal trainer, runner, weight lifter, and boom, I had to start reading. Bonus for being ridiculously popular AND local! I present to you Cherie Runs This. This blog is a really recent find for me (as in, last Wednesday), and while it’s a good jump back in time if one starts from the very beginning, it’s well worth it, because this allows you to see where this super woman comes from and how she got where she is today. I found myself relating to her in a lot of ways, and while I am only a few months into my own lifestyle change, she has really made a huge success out of her own, and if you haven’t already discovered this gem, you need to follow the link and check Cherie out. 🙂

So that’s it…I think we’re all caught up, now.

PS…anyone know any good smoothie recipes that include…*sigh* kale? If so, hit me up, huh?

Until Next Time…

Playing Catch-Up…Part I

Image obtained from kingdomreading.com and looks much like my life has felt over the past three weeks.

Image obtained from kingdomreading.com and looks much like my life has felt over the past three weeks.

I can’t believe it’s been almost three weeks since I put a blog up here.

To say that it has been crazy-busy is probably an understatement.

Where to start, where to start…

Well, let’s start with the “kids,” both the furry four legged ones and the two legged adult ones, yes?

My mamma-dog, and canine bestie, Belle, has had a kidney bean sized lump on her left hip for some time and I have been keeping up with it, looking for changes. The day of the 5K we returned and found that the little bump had grown to the size of a ping-pong ball virtually overnight! By the following day, the day I posted my last blog entry, it had swollen further, and Belle was acting like she didn’t feel well, so the next day, we called our vet, and got her in as soon as we could. The vet checked her out and had some ideas of what it might be, but wasn’t terribly sure at that point, so prescribed a pain killer, steroid, and antibiotic and scheduled us to return the following week. They also drew a circle around the swollen area and told us that if the swelling exceeded the drawn outline we were to call them, and they sent us home with Belle wearing an e-collar, aka the cone of shame. Got her home, comfortable, and drugged (little, single-serve cans of Chef Michael’s food are ideal for disguising meds), we sat down and watched movies. I was on “vacation,” since I hadn’t taken any time off since the New Year’s holiday, and wasn’t due to go back to work until Wednesday. After watching one movie, we flipped over to local television and that was when we found out about the explosions at the Boston Marathon. Needless to say, I was fairly glued to that for a while.

The cone of shame. Poor baby...

The cone of shame. Poor baby…

The following day was uneventful, but by Wednesday morning, while I was getting ready for work, we noticed Belle’s swelling had gone beyond the lines, so we called the vet, and the doctor wouldn’t be in until 8:30, so I went on to the office and came back home mid-day to get her back to the vet. The area was starting to … well… leak and I wrapped her in a towel and off to the vet we went. In the two minutes it took to get there, this thing literally burst, soaking through the towel and my clothes. The vet scheduled her for surgery the next day and gave us a second antibiotic. At this point, she thought that it might be a spider bite, completely unrelated to the initial tiny lump, but they were going to do a culture and a biopsy from the tissue removed during the surgery. By now, I am doing well not to go to pieces, because Belle’s nickname is “Best Girl,” and it’s for a reason. She’s only eight, and the idea of something happening to my best girl was not something I wanted to entertain at all.

Thursday morning we get her to the vet and are told we can call anytime after 3:30 and can pick her up after 5:00. Fair enough. Off to work I go.

Later that day, I got a phone call from the Middle Son’s attorney’s office. It was the secretary, who told me that Middle Son would be going before the judge that afternoon and that I should be getting a phone call to come get him or at least a status update. As I was getting ready to walk out the door to leave work, the phone rang and the secretary was on the other end. Seems Middle Son said something the judge didn’t like and wasn’t going to be getting out on that day. She made sure to tell me that she could not divulge the details and that they would try to get him back in front of the judge the following Monday or the one after that.

That evening, after getting Belle back home with instructions to keep her as still as possible, I got a call from Middle Son, who was beating himself up for not lying to the judge. Seems that he would accept responsibility for one of the three charges, and the attorney had brought him a plea to sign and told him if he signed it he could go home. All Middle Son could hear was “go home,” and apparently didn’t absorb which charge he was taking the plea for, and then signed. They got in front of the judge and His Honor asked Middle Son if he was guilty of said charge. Middle Son hesitated before stating yes, because the charge on the plea was not actually the one he committed. The judge saw his hesitation and reminded him that he was under oath and asked him again if he was guilty of said charge. Middle Son said no, and back to jail he went, his public defender mad as hell. He was really upset that he’d blown his chance to get out. After all, he’d been there over four months and REALLY wanted to go home.

Saturday morning I got up, got dressed, inhaled my daily quota of coffee and did my usual – spent my morning at the county detention center and visited with Middle Son, who was still really feeling dumb for not just taking the plea. After having almost zero interaction with his public defender since December 18 (I guess a 10 minute visit that day counts as almost zero), he was pretty ready to fire him and get a new defender. He had is written complaint ready for me to send to the state bar. Of course, he’s got to mail it to me, given you are separated by glass and can’t pass ANYTHING back and forth. Yeah, I know. That goes without saying.

After having previewed this, I see where this has gotten tremendously long, soooo…I will wrap up part one, and will write the rest in another installment or two.

Coming up – Wedding or not, lifting again (finally), getting out, high school senior stuff, adventures in calorie counting, and my favorite motivational fitness blogs.