Food for Me and Thee

Pray for Paris, for Beirut, for Baghdad, for countries absorbing the refugees from the Middle East. Pray for us all as we seek to rid the world of this evil….

Sometimes, I realize just how blessed I am. Last week, I ran out of food. I “eat” through a stomach tube and normally get a shipment of food every month. I was two months ahead, so we put it on hold to use up what I had….and then, because I was accustomed to the comfort and routine of my shipments being on time, I forgot it wasn’t….till I saw I only had two cans of food left (TwoCalHN, if anyone is interested). A computer glitch ditched a number of us who had “holds” on….and thus, we ran out. A local pharmacy could have a case in the next day…but didn’t. So, I used an off the counter substitute…and felt hungry. Now, some days, I only eat twice a day. This is not a pleasant way to eat….and some days, I can barely face it. Yet, when the convenience was removed, I was HUNGRY.  Interesting psychological reaction….am eating just fine now, thank you.


My reaction to my food is not unlike the reaction to my delivered dog food. I buy the best food on the market for my dogs every two weeks. In the meantime, I cut it with a lesser grade food (though still a good food: believe me, there is no Ol’ Roy nor Beneful for my dogs). I ran out…hmm, seems to be a theme these past couple weeks. So, I bought two well-regarded foods (but not as good as my standard, IMHO) to use while we waited. The dogs did fine…except for Annie, who developed a bout of GI distress. I don’t think it was from the food. I don’t know from what it was. She spent a night on IVs at the vet’s, home with a soft food and meds, and is doing 100% better. Plus, our normal food was delivered. I always feel so much better, knowing I have their best food here….and need to remember to buy a support bag so we don’t run out…


Our favorite dog food – we change types regularly plus add different food to give a change-up for better nutrition. I also add raw and soft food to help medicine go down as well as give a delicious punch to dry kibble.

The Dogs’ Week

I’ve spent more time at the vet these past 4 days almost than at home. Love my vet and techs, but enough is enough. Today, my Annie Beagle, the “Energiz-Her,” is there for the day after a night of vomiting phlegm, and then blood. Saturday, I spent the morning with Remi, my pocket Beagle, after he sustained a shoulder wound most likely in the melee when neighbor dogs were visiting. Yesterday, I “only” needed better medicine for Ellie Mae, my Bloodhound, whose arthritis is really becoming a problem..oh, and more heart meds for Archie the Tyrant.

Annie is my only true
Annie is my only true “free” dog. Her finder/rescuer said and has followed through that she would pay for vetting throughout her life if I adopted her. She is a splendid, opinionated, affectionate Beagle.
Remi (short for Remington) or Bug, as I call him, is doing well with his stitched wound.
Remi (short for Remington) or Bug, as I call him, is doing well with his stitched wound.
Ellie Mae Bloodhound likes to supervise and keep the smaller, younger dogs in line. She thinks Remi is her
Ellie Mae Bloodhound likes to supervise and keep the smaller, younger dogs in line. She thinks Remi is her “boy toy.”
Archie is a senior Rat Terrier who almost died but was saved by his ACO and vet. He is all BOSS and sometimes, can be quite the hand-full for an 11# dog.
Archie is a senior Rat Terrier who almost died but was saved by his ACO and vet. He is all BOSS and sometimes, can be quite the hand-full for an 11# dog.

By the grace of God, we’ve had very good weather these 4 days I’ve been off work. Tomorrow, we get wind, rain, and possibly tornadoes, right when I go back for a long stint of 12 hr night shifts. Trying to get a lot done in this last day of calm, sunny weather.

P.S. Just heard from my vet. Annie is not doing well. Hopefully, bloody gastritis which can be handled, but she is much more sick than I thought this morning. By the time I arrived to see her, Annie was wagging her tail,  I stroked her neck which she loves, and she licked my nose, her “signature.” She’ll stay overnight, at least, with her IV.

I Don’t “Pink Up”

I had cancer – several times. Though I thought it was the same recurring, my physicians said, after two 5 year hiatuses, it was a new cancer – until the final four years; then, it was a recurrence. I did not have breast cancer. My cancer was and is not glamorized nor even addressed in the mainstream media. My hope is someone, somewhere, shares their years long breakthrough with other researchers so others won’t lose part of their tongue, or neck, or clear speech, or swallow….

I’m also a nurse, an RN, who uses the stethoscope around my neck, which I bought; it is purple on purpose – a physician won’t long borrow it in such a color. I see people “surviving” terrible illnesses every day, yet they are not called survivors nor heroes (that now ubiquitous word, the true meaning of which is being lost in almost everyone being a “hero” these days). They lean on family and healthcare workers, they depend on insurance, family, church, and government assistance to survive and when there is none, they often die or come close to death because they cannot afford their medicine or the gas to get to the physician.

After and during my cancers, treatment, and side effect treatments still occurring, I rescued and now foster dogs, preferably Beagles. I drive transport legs, so one to three dogs get to a better home or rescue from a kill shelter or backyard neglect. I train my dogs in my home. They learn to become dogs again, not things, not beaten, not ignored, but treasured. As a now foster home, I collaborate with several Beagle rescues as a short term foster home for those close to me till a foster there is available. Then, the fosters move on to their longer term rescue foster or to their new home.

I am not just cancer, yet the effects of my disease affect me every day. I’m done with cancer. I support many venues, but I won’t, I don’t Pink Up. I don’t need to be reminded and pulled around a walk every year. Of course, I donate, but I donate to systems where the research and need is actually supported and met, like the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Pets of the Homeless, Partners in Health….I listen, and I try to hear the back story to my patients’ pain and treatment, to understand and appreciate that “all behavior has meaning” every shift I work, and in my community at large.

I’m done with cancer as a definition of me…and yet, it always will be so. I’m try to keep it at bay as much as I can. I just want to be a normal person…and I never will be again.

The most charming comments on my change in appearance and sound came from a 3 y/o girl at my vet’s office (sometimes my second home!). She walked up to me and said, “You have a crooked face.” “Yes, I do, ” I replied. She gasped and said, “You have a crooked voice, too!” and I smiled as her dad got all apologetic. “Please,” I said, “she means no harm, she is making a simple observation…and a charming one at that.” Out of the mouths of babes. I don’t Pink Up – everyone carries a burden; if not now, later in life. Carpe diem. Or, at my house, carpe osseous (seize the bone).

Getting Out of Ruts – A Painful Process

Justus concerned? about new dog in room next door.
Justus concerned about new dog in room next door.

I’m on vacation this week. I actually left town with Justus, my American dog who looks like a Doberman until you put him next to a Doberman; then he looks like a really funny Greyhound/Coonhound mix. I meant to go to Eureka Springs, AR but was delightfully delayed by two situations, so I ended up stopping in Branson, MO. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve been in what I consider a tourist trap town – and I got trapped. On my way in, I ended up signing up to listen to a timeshare presentation for “only 2 hours.”

Being a people pleasing person, I listened, toured, applied to see about credit, was made a very good final offer but left in tears after over 3 hours. My dog was at my motel. I only had TWO nights away from home; the plan was to not cause any more stress, and yet I did – and so did they.  I find Branson itself stressful – full of tourist signs and neon. Seems this city girl became a country girl in the last 20 years or so.

However, after leaving and being in such distress that several people asked me if I was all right on my way out, I thought to myself, WHY was I so distressed? The last offer, a 2 year trial at a reasonable rate (for them), would have gotten me to Alaska, my Bucket LIst vacation destination. The young closer pissed me off when I tried to discuss how important pet friendly accommodations are to me: “No Alaskan cruise will allow pets….” I know he was just doing his job and I knew later I should have walked away from the beginning. Then the second closer came in and made the best offer. I refused it because I was so stressed by that time (I thought) but really, thinking later, I wonder….am I afraid of committing myself to a vacation, a real vacation, each year? I don’t even have to use a whole week at a time – 2-3 days OR a week. I’m also upset for people pleasing again and upsetting myself as well as the presenters and workers. I’m not sorry I walked away. I’m thinking, though, of checking this place out again next year…waiting for that last offer….and committing to a vacation.

When I stopped at the Branson Information Station, I had no clue it was a front for a timeshare or vacation ownership situation. Naive. Long not traveled. Hopefully, by next summer, I’ll be down more dogs (I’ve stopped rescuing but will cont. fostering) which will give me more leeway. I’m working hard at paying off my credit cards by snowballing them which is another reason I turned down the final offer today. My financial officer and I have a plan and I want to finish working that plan. So what did I do? Took my dog with me for some retail therapy. He did GREAT in the stores :).

Who knows? Perhaps in two years, I’ll have been to Alaska.

Addendum Sept. 27, 2014 – After more consideration, I’ve decided to SAVE the maintenance fees plus most likely others not disclosed for a very good vacation with Justus next year.

“I AM” limitless!

The more I hear and learn about dark matter and dark energy, that “space” is not empty but full of this energy and matter we cannot explain, that string theory posits a very real argument for multiple universes, the more I see God writ throughout the Cosmos, the world, and all of creation, unlimited by our human imaginations and sexism. “I AM” exists more than our wildest imaginations can fathom in science, in space, in town, in country, in sea, in all creation, carbon based or otherwise.


WORDDeut. 8:1…


Deut. 8:1-3

1 This entire commandment that I command you today you must diligently observe, so that you may live and increase, and go in and occupy the land that the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors. 2 Remember the long way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments. 3 He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

John 1:1-3
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.…

The Word of G-d, Jesus Christ, the Bread of the World

Snow and Cold Days


The winter temperatures and wind chills, not seen in “20 years” are upon us. The dogs and I are bundled up in the house with access to the yard for those who don’t get out; the escapees are let out carefully except for Sophie Tucker, who is crazy enough to hunt rabbits till she is frostbite and hypothermic. She will only go on leash with me twice a day (she is VERY house-trained and becomes distressed when she’s unable to relieve herself outside).

In this part of MO, people are not accustomed to cold or snow. Ice they deal with, but real winter weather is a different ballgame. Most drivers don’t know how to execute proper left hand turns in good weather, much less this nasty, very bad weather changing outside my window by the hour.

My garages are full (and I used to keep two vehicles in them) so every so many hours, I go out, start my car, move it back and forth in the drive to be ready to go to work tonight at 11:00 PM. I’ll leave about 10:00 PM to be safe and give myself time. 


OneWord2013_EngageI’m close to retirement and very in debt.  Thankfully, I have an Edward Jones advisor alarmed at what I’m paying each month and my total debt.  He immediately set out to adjust my financial status. By the grace of God, had I not needed several large withdrawals from my Roth IRA, I would be doing very, very well – even so, it is doing very, very well. We hope to keep it that way.

We took out enough funds to pay off my car. That monthly payment will now go toward paying off, in 8 months or less, a credit card. Said credit card is a Chase card with Blueprint. Blueprint helps you pay off your cards and/or use them more judiciously than I have in the past. Not only did we, Conrad and I, set up a payoff plan; I also set it up under Blueprint. I’ll receive monthly reminders of my progress from them, too.

What this reminds me is ACTION. When confronted with a concern or worry, I tend to stew over it way too long. Instead, I need to take action and engage, whether it is paying off debt, studying for a certification, or getting regular exercise. Setting up a PLAN is immensely helpful no matter for what the plan addresses.

I’ve known for a long time about the concept of snowballing: paying off one debt, in this case my car, then adding that payment to another to pay off a second debt quicker. It had been a long time since I sat down and did it.

I’m excited about this New Year. Not only do I have a job which pays well, is flexible and yet full-time, I see progress for my financial future.

Next up – prayer, study, and exercise!