These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Friday, September 23, 2016


The story of Ginger

When I began to look for another little girl to be a playmate for LolaBella, now that her buddy Jewel (Jewelli, I called her, like "Julie")was too sick to play, I was surprised when I found her face within a few days of deciding that I had to do this for both my girls. LolaBella needed a playmate very much. She didn't understand why Jewelli wasn't playing with her any more. She tried, then looked so sad when Jewelli didn't follow her and run and wrestle anymore. And Jewelli desperately needed to be able to rest without being poked and pulled by LolaBella.

So, anyway, this little face popped up at my favorite rescue, one that I trust because of their treatment and ethics for the lives of their little charges. One look, and I knew she belonged. I made the call, and after a few bumps in timing, we got it worked out.

I was relieved when they offered to meet me almost halfway, because the drive is longer than I can do in one day by myself now. If they had not done that, it would have meant two days going and two days returning. I couldn't do that. Bless them for their help!

Her background story......
She was reported to have been found in an alley by a young woman with a small child. She took this little pup home and named her "Alli," reflecting her origin. After a time, the young woman had financial problems and needed to return to her mother's home for a while to get back on her feet. The woman's mother had some tiny Chihuahuas, and she was afraid that Alli would hurt one of them. She wouldn't allow her to come to the house. I can understand her concern, because this dog is bursting with energy! I will come back to that point later. Apparently, the younger woman was heartbroken about it, but she didn't see a choice, so she relinquished Alli for adoption.

So Alli was at the rescue only a few days. Then I brought her home. And why is she named "Ginger," not "Alli"?  Well, as I was driving home, she was curled up in the seat beside me, nervous, I'm sure, but also very tired because she had been spayed in those few days and was still recovering. As we drove, then spent a night in a hotel once I was too tired to make it home, I talked and talked to her. And strangely, she didn't particularly respond to the name "Alli." Oh, she would look at me, but she didn't "spark." So I said to her, "Is "Alli" not the right name for you?" and she cocked her head at me. So I started saying all kinds of names that I thought might suit her. I probably ran through 12-14 names, but nothing seems right to me and she didn't react in particular, either. I said, "Well, you're a spicy little thing from what I hear. Hmmm. Is your name "Ginger?" With this, her ears perked up, her eyes opened wide and her tail wagged. So I kept trying "Alli" and "Ginger" and a couple others, and she chose Ginger every time. Ginger she was!!

Once we were home and she met the others, everything went smoothly. Of course, she was mobbed while they got acquainted, but within minutes, everyone was OK. Her adjustment was good. In the first few days, she dived under the covers of the bed and staked her claim to sleeping between my ankles for a short time. After a few nights of this, she came out and has been my sidekick ever since.  And :sidekick" is literally correct. She wants to be right beside me when we all go to bed. Winter is coming, and she will be my back-warmer, I'm quite sure!

Ginger has no fear! Well, very little. She has more energy than any ten pound dog should! She's only about 1-2 years old, and she acts like most toddlers, run, jump, race, tear across the couch, run, jump off the bed, run, jump off the back steps, run again! Oh, Mom's home! Jump up on her, bounce off her thigh(OUCH!!), race the others into the house, jump on Mom again! She is very rambunctious. I now understand why the older woman was worried about her fragile Chihuahuas. BUT........Ginger is very smart and she learns quickly. I have to correct her just once, or occasionally twice, and she is trained. The jumping on Mom? It's over. She still jumps or bounces AROUND me, but she does not jump ON me. And she doesn't run into or over her older sibling-pups. She is incredibly active, but doesn't run willy-nilly. As I said, she does insist on sleeping glued to me in the bed, but after all, she DOES rule the world! Or at least our house!

Ginger has fallen perfectly into her prescribed role. She and LolaBella are absolutely best buds. The chase each other and wrestle a lot. Interestingly, their play has inspired a couple of the older kids to play with them a little also. That's good for everyone. She sometimes gets a little bossy with the others, but a simple "No," and she sits down and it is over. Their personalities are so different, very opposite, to be sure. Lola is shy, timid, but when they play she gets just as rough as Gin. And Ginger is often the submissive one in their play. So interesting!

She is a real blessing. She is a sweetheart. She is full of love and shows it often. She brings a bunch of life and happiness in the house She completes our family, for sure.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Admiration and strength

I work with a woman for whom I have a great deal of admiration, for who she is, for how she handles challenge, for everything she stands for and pushes back against.

She is young, in her early 30s. She is a single mom to her three small children. She is a hard worker, dedicated to our patients in home health and hospice, where she has applied her education and training as a Certified Nurse's Aide (CNA) as a Home Health Aide, helping people to take care of their daily personal needs. She has gained the trust and appreciation of our patients for her warm, sweet nature, her wisdom and insight. She is wonderful to work with, as she is reliable, honest and has a great sense of humor.

And a while back, she was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

And her world crashed down around her.

She couldn't walk. Her vision was affected for a period of time. She was helpless and had to depend on others for everything.

She was advised to put her life affairs in order. So, at an age when most of us are not thinking at all about end-of-life for ourselves, she was signing forms that defined her final wishes, the medical measure she would want or not, should she be unable to voice that at the time. She contacted the father of her children, who has been totally non supportive financially,  and only vaguely involved in the lives of the children, to tell him that she has arranged for the children to come to him at the end of her life.

She was devastated beyond description.

She has endured unbelievable medical interventions, but a treatment regimen restored much of her motor skills and enabled her to return to her job. Periodically, the vile MS struck, without warning on most occasions, and she would have to be off work to receive the treatments for a few days, and then she would return to work, to the delight of her coworkers and the patients.

Recently, the "attacks" became more frequent, and it was clear that she was not able to consistently help the patients. She was becoming weaker, so tending to their needs was a struggle for her.

The company we work for has made arrangements for her to become a full time office employee so that her waning strength is not drained, and keeps her from personal physical danger. This allows her to continue to support herself and her children. It is a win-win, as we needed another administrative assistant. Of course, she is having to learn a whole new skill set, as she is only vaguely familiar with a computer, so she is challenged daily with wrapping her head around these new tasks. She is bright, but the whole thing is off the track she has been on for years.

She came to my office today, just taking a break, and sat down to let off steam. I know it is hard for her. Everything in her life is now just upended, not even near the path she thought she was on, say, three years ago. It is frustrating to be in the learning mode now, when she is so very good at her chosen career, and she feels like she is swimming upstream in an unfamiliar stream.

But the thing is......I admire her so greatly. Even before she was slapped in the face with this medical mess, she was determined to make her way and to raise her children with honor and manners and to be ethical citizens. In spite of everything, she remains in that mode, daily instilling her strong values in her three little kiddos, and making the best of every situation.

 Can you imagine yourself in this situation? I can't. I'm nearly twice her age, and becoming more aware every day with the limitations I experience. I took a fall recently. Long story and not pertinent here, but at the time I considered what might have happened, how my life might have changed if I had broken something or been seriously injured. I considered how I might have spent the rest of my life with serious handicaps. But the "rest of my life" is nothing compared to how my young friend must see things. The rest of her life can be as long as the distance between our ages. Unfathomable. And yet she journeys on, bravely.

So, all this said, I just want to close with, again, stating my admiration for the person she is. She is a person of quality, of determination and strength, and I'm proud to be part of her circle.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Didja know?

Miracle. All of it.
by David Kanigan

Each hair on your head is replaced every 2 to 7 years
A hundred hairs fall out every day and new ones grow back in their place
And look at your fingernails - they're completely new every six months or so

The lining of your stomach and intestines gets pretty beat up -- it's constantly exposed to acid and bile and so those cells get replaced every few days

Every few weeks, your outer layer of skin is completely renewed every four months you have a fresh army of red blood cells

A hundred million new cells are born every minute and a hundred million old cells are destroyed. It's actually the breakdown products of these red blood cells that turn your bruises and urine yellow

Every 10 years, you've got a new skeleton, a special team of cells breaks down old bone
and another builds new bone

Every 15 years your muscles are refreshed

You might think you gain and lose fat cells when you gain and lose weight but they actually just get bigger and smaller
Over the course of 25 years though, most of them turn over

But there are a few things that stick around for your entire life
About half of your heart stays with you from birth to death because those cells are replaced very slowly

Certain parts of your brain add a few new neurons over the course of your life but the vast majority of your neurons developed before you were born
It's the connections between those neurons -- the circuits that store memories — that are constantly changing

And there's one more part of you that lasts your whole life (your eyes)
Months before you were born, little cluster of cells stretched and filled themselves with transparent protein As you grew, even after birth, more and more fibers were added, but that center endured
This is your lens the window through which you are watching this video right now and its core has remained the same since the moment you first opened your eyes

~ Adam Cole and Ryan Kellman, excerpts from Your Body's Real Age

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Our Horses are GONE!!!

I'm pretty much beyond words at this time. I ranted and wailed and cried last night. See the article in the first link, then if you are in New Mexico, please be sure to follow the second link and sign the petition.

Friday, August 19, 2016

I am not "YOU"

Trump's "apology" or "confession".... he started with "Sometimes, in the heat of debate, and speaking on a multitude of issues,YOU don’t choose the right words or YOU say the wrong thing. I have done that, and believe it or not I regret it." In an attempt to normalize what he has said, he attempts to align himself with the public by inferring that we all say "those things.” He needs to own his mistakes without minimizing or trying to normalize what he has said. 

Mr. Trump, do not drag me into your presence with that “you” in your vocabulary. In the heat of the moment, of course I have said regretful things, but NOT EVEN CLOSE to the disparaging remarks you have spent the last few months repeatedly throwing around.  You are still xenophobic, racist, misogynist, Islamophobic, birther and a bully and display a total lack of ethics and conscience.

No, I’m not part of that “you” in your rhetoric.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016


There are different kinds and degrees of trust.

I generally trust people until I'm given reason to do otherwise.

Trust that people will perform jobs ethically and fairly.

Trust that friends will stand by you, even if they don't understand the situation. Even when you have no words to explain what is inside you.

Trust that loved ones will be there for you.

Trust that people in positions of power will do "the right thing."

Trust that others give you the same right of choice that you give them.

Trust that if someone has a problem with me, they talk to me rather than gossiping so it comes back to me from someone else.

When I find that once my trust has been broken, I have little tolerance.

I don't understand people who break trust, yet seem to expect me to suck up and carry on.

Or people who break ties but don't let go.

~    ~    ~    ~

Over the years, I've had several heartbreaks from people who took advantage of my trusting nature. A friend who put me in a tough situation that threatened my marriage; coworkers who fudged on rules, then left me or others to try to pick up the pieces; a friend who just disappeared from my life with no word; a boss who said one thing and did the opposite.

Every time something like this happens, it shaves away at my trust. Not trust for those who harmed me; trust for them is already gone. But trust for other people I meet and deal with in the present time. A person can only take so many of those damaging blows before one backs away, becomes more reserved and less willing to open up to new relationships. How sad that is.

A person goes through grief when a relationship ends, not just with death. Generally, the stages are accepted as set out by K├╝bler-Ross:  denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. There are other, more recent theories, but for ease, I'll just talk about this model. I find usually myself first dealing with disbelief or denial ("No, this can't be happening.") and then I start bargaining ("Now wait, can we talk about this?"). After that, it depends of the circumstances, but I often vacillate between anger and depression for a time before finally being able to let it go and accept the loss.

I've learned that there is one important step before acceptance comes to me. I have to forgive. I forgive the other person, even though I ’m often no longer in touch with them, but turning loose of it and letting it go, just as if I could say it to the person's face. Then I forgive myself for being sucked in. Again.

There will be more hurts and betrayals because people are people. We are all flawed and make mistakes. I will continue to trust until a person gives me a reason to do otherwise. Then I'll hurt and grieve and forgive and life will go on.

I wonder why we humans do that. I'm sure I've hurt some people along the way, too, and for that, I'm sorry.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

...And my own changes

Since last post in 2013, my life has changed in more ways than the pup family. It has been a busy three years, sometimes a bit too busy. But I would not change it.

I've been working at a home health and hospice agency for five and a half years now. I started out as a part time coordinator of hospice volunteers and coordinator of bereavement services. I've enjoyed it a lot. People often say "How can you do something that is so sad?" It is not sad. Supporting people who are nearing the end of their lives and the families who are there with them, is a real blessing. People are usually very real, genuine at this stage of life. Being a part of the support system to help make the transition as painless as possible is sobering, but is also one of the most reassuring experiences ever. Sometimes, there is forgiveness and healing; occasionally, people learn a lot about themselves and their loved ones; at times, it is filled with love and sweetness; rarely, it is stressful and agonizing, as families find out things about themselves long hidden away. With the bereavement program, I am privileged to be with the family as they begin to heal, to find their way back to normalcy.

Our agency was locally owned. That is nice, more personal. But competing against the large companies around the country is very difficult. About three years ago, the agency was sold to a large nationwide corporation. The change was very difficult for many of us. We stumbled along for a long several months until things began to fall into a recognizable form. Believe me, going from a small  staff of about 20-25 to being part of a huge company like that, one that is "ruled" from afar, is a tough change. After a few months of rearranging, relearning, readjusting, we began to be comfortable except for one thing. Our social worker had left and a replacement could not be found. The position was part time, so finding someone in this small, rural community who was not already working full or was interested in working in part time was not happening.

Then, the VP of Hospice flew into Ruidoso to talk to me. Would I be interested in taking the position? I had retired my license in 2005, while Glenn was dying. After thinking it over a couple weeks, I agreed. The company paid for the relicensing expenses (a nearly year long process!!) and I became a full time employee as Medical Social Worker, Bereavement Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator!

I'm working 32 hours a week, Monday through Thursday, so I have three days off to rest and recuperate. It is working pretty well for me, and I'm loving being back in the field again. I enjoyed retirement, but I missed the work, too. Having long weekends allows me to have lots of time with friends, the pups, and to enjoy life, balanced with doing the work I love. Sometimes, it is hard. I'm actually on a vacation as I write this. I began to feel stress a few weeks ago, not for anything wrong, but just needing a break. So I'm enjoying a ten day reprieve. I've enjoyed being lazy!

Otherwise, my life is about the same as always. I'm still single, and I probably will always be. I have no inclinations toward remarrying, and I enjoy living alone, believe it or not.  I know better than to say "never," but I don't see it. I was in a singles group for a year, and that was nice because no one was looking for dates. It was just a group of great people who enjoyed company, playing board games, taking short trips, having potlucks, and dancing. But in the end, I'm very contented with my job, my circle of friends, and the four-legged family I have.  I enjoy life.

Yes, life is good, for sure! And I still have that wonderful view!