Pets & Health

Awww Shucks.....

Animals make really cool friends.  My dog has never told me she’s sick & tired of lying on the couch with me.  Never said my hair was whacked or I was too sweaty when I felt bad.  She quietly, patiently hangs around.  Snuggling & snuffling at JUST the right time to make me laugh.

When things get really bad & we’ve been couch-bound for a couple weeks, she’ll get her toy & put it on the sofa with us, as if to remember the good old days.  But she’s never pushy or rude.


Mommy's little lady

Having her during my down times has made my life much better & I’ve had a barrel of fun with her during my good times.  She gets toys & treats.  She does NOT get clothes or bling–because she doesn’t like them.  Sometimes I’m tempted though…

I want to give credit where credit is due.  My little Tiny has done more good for my health & sanity than medicine ever could.  Once, I rescued her from life as a hungry stray–now she saves me every day.  Wow, what an awesome investment!!


Are you SERIOUS??


Going to my happy place..


OMG…Tonight must’ve been mega-crazy night at the nut house!!  I simply cannot fathom what my patients & family members were thinking.  They had NO concern for the ‘life-saving health care aspect’.  They behave as if they are in a hotel with room service…Two were upset that dinner trays were late –then one of them refused to eat hers when it arrived.  Personally, I think it’s a decent accomplishment that a non-restaurant can prepare and deliver 300 specialized diet trays in two hours.  Another was upset because his procedure  couldn’t be done for two hours later than originally thought.  What did he say??  “I don’t care about anyone’s fucking emergency-I was told 10 am!”  Apparently he thought someone gave a damn about his childish fit but he still waited.  Four or five others were throwing fits for private rooms; they think we’re lying about not having them but they truly do not exist.  The few we have are always full, based on need not “want”.  My whole shift was tied up with “I don’t like my chair, my gown isn’t comfortable, my room is too hot/cold.  You should provide refreshments for my family, I demand to speak to your manager. You’re just keeping me here for the money.  You’re taking advantage of my insurance company (TRULY–nurses have NO CLUE what your coverage status is and we don’t care. We take care of everybody.  period.)  I just had to vent a little.  The patients and families were so childish and petty it was almost impossible to do my job and yes I know there are at least two sides to every story….  Geez…Wonder if I’ll get in trouble for telling them to put on their big girl panties??

Make Hay While the Sun Shines~

Yo Ya’ll,  guess what??  I still feel GOOD!  Woo Hoo!!  I’m so tickled I could roll around in the floor like a happy dog-but I’ll save that for later.  You don’t want to see that…

A lesson I’ve learned over the years is to utilize feel-good time for things that matter & toward making the future better.  In doing so, sometimes I’m confronted with situations I would prefer to NOT address, yet there it is….So..In light of my recent feel-goodness & my goal of making tomorrow better,  I’ve been making a lot of big decisions & I want to share one of them.

So much of being well (in my mind) is about being in control of my life and doing things for myself.  However, my last bout of less-than-wellness has changed my view in a particular area & it has been a monumental revelation.   Drum roll please…..I’m going to have someone clean my house!!  For me– in that secret place where I keep my not-nice thoughts–household help is for the lazy, rich or self-indulgent.  Of course, I don’t see myself as any of those things so I had to find a way to get over my negative thoughts.

This meant re-thinking control & aligning my priorities a little more.   I am making a clear outline of what I plan to do & what I would like her to do.  She will come three times a month the first month than twice monthly afterward.  That’s enough to help but not make me feel l “lazy”.   On the financial end of it–the person I’ve chosen is a friend & she is doing it at a very reasonable rate.  It’s enough to be a benefit to her & not a burden to me.  I will take my lunch to work & do things to save money in other areas. After all, I work two jobs & I can get help if I want it.  (feel free to jump in–validation is appreciated!)  As for self-indulgent,  I’ve decided that’s a GREAT thing to be & I’ve made it my new hobby!!  Life is short–will I get to Heaven faster if I make myself miserable??  When I asked myself why self-indulgence is bad, I didn’t have an answer.  Am I secretly punishing myself for being sick?  for my perceived failures as a parent?  Hell, which ever it is, I’m OVER it.  If I don’t take care of myself, I cannot care for others.  Updates to come!!

To be self-actualized in an unaware world….

This stuff is true; not the easiest

stuff to process emotionally, but

true.  I borrowed the quiz (below)

in case you wanted to mull it over..

Characteristics of a Self-Actualizing Person

by Dr Richard Boyum

Listed below are a series of 16 characteristics of a self-actualizing individual as described by Abraham Maslow. Self-actualizing here is defined as a person who is in the process of fulfilling their potential. After slowly and thoroughly reading each characteristic, rate yourself on the scale listed below that characteristic from 1 to 10. Your results will give you both a linear and intuitive representation of your strength and weaknesses in moving towards being a self-actualizing person. Spend some time focusing on why you are stronger in some characteristics than others. What is it that has given you a higher score? What might you do to make your score higher on any given characteristic. The highest total you can receive is 160 points. How close are you?


  1. The self-actualized person has more efficient perception of reality and more comfortable relations with it. He can accept the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, and he can tell the difference.
  2. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  3. Acceptance of self, others, and nature. The self-actualizing person sees reality as it is and accepts responsibility for it. He is as objective as a subjective being can be in his perceptions.
  4. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  5. The self-actualizing person has spontaneity, simplicity and naturalness. In other words, this kind of person is not hung up on being as others think he should be. He is a person who is capable of doing what feels good and natural for himself simply because that’s how he feels. He does not try to hurt others, but he has respect for what is good himself.
  6. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  7. Problem Centering. The self-actualizing person is someone who is generally strongly focused on problems outside of himself. He is concerned with the problems of others and the problems of society, and is willing to work to try to alleviate those difficulties.
  8. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  9. The quality for detachment, the need for privacy. For all his social mindedness, the self-actualizing person has a need to be by himself or a need for solitude. He enjoys times for quiet reflection and doesn’t always need people around him. He can be with the few people that he would be close to and not need to communicate with them. Their presence is sufficient in and of itself.
  10. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  11. Autonomy, independence of culture and environment. The self-actualizing person is capable of doing things for himself and making decisions on his own. He believes in who and what he is.
  12. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  13. Continued freshness or appreciation. The self-actualizing person experiences a joy in the simple and the natural. Sunsets are always beautiful and he seeks them out. He can still enjoy playing the games he played as a child and having fun in some of the same ways he did many years before.
  14. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  15. The mystic experience, the peak experience. Self-actualizing people usually have experiences in which they literally feel they are floating. They feel very much in tune or at one with the world around them, and almost feel as if they are, for a momentary period in time, part of a different reality.
  16. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  17. A feeling of togetherness. Self-actualizing people have a feeling for all of mankind. They are aware and sensitive to the people that are about them.
  18. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  19. Interpersonal relations. Self-actualizing people have deeper and more profound interpersonal relations than other adults. They are capable of fusion, greater love and more perfect identification that other people could consider possible. They generally tend to have relatively few friends, but those relationships are deep and very meaningful.
  20. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  21. The democratic character structures. Self-actualizing people tend to believe in the equal nature of human beings, that every individual has a right to say, and that each person has his strengths and each person has his weaknesses.
  22. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  23. Discriminating between means and ends, between good and evil. Self-actualizing people know the difference between means and ends and good and evil and do not twist them in a way that hurt themselves or others.
  24. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  25. Philosophical and unhostile sense of humor. Self-actualizing people tend to enjoy humor. They like to laugh and like to joke, but not at the expense of others. They are generally seen as good natured, even though they are capable of being very serious.
  26. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  27. Creativeness. Self-actualizing people are capable of being highly creative. Creativeness can be expressed in many dimensions by writing, speaking, playing, fantasies, or whatever, but self-actualizing do have moods of being creative. Maslow has said that a first-rate cook is better than a second-rate painter. Hence, creativeness can be expresses in many dimensions.
  28. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  29. Resistance to inculturation, the transcendence of any particular culture. Maslow feels that the individual is above his culture in some way, that he maintains a strong individuality and is not so absorbed that he cannot evaluate the culture objectively in such a way that he can make decisions about what is best for him and those he cares about .
  30. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  31. The imperfections of self-actualizing people. Self-actualizing people are individuals who are aware of the fact that they are not perfect, that they are as human as the next person, and that there are constantly new things to learn and new ways to grow. The self-actualizing person, although comfortable with himself, never stops striving.
  32. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

    TOTAL SCORE ______

On Denial & Not Opening the Mail….


Some times I really don’t want to deal with stuff.  I just don’t.  I’ve spent many years  confronting things head-on, being the first one in & the last one out.  It was always me, going first, testing the waters, asking the crappy questions.  Well I’m finished with all that shit.  I don’t want to know any more than I have to in order to live my little life.

I get so much crap in the mail.  Some are bills, some are ads, some are plain old junk.  Well I have gone on a mail hiatus.  All of my major “stay alive” bills are automated so I know my lights will stay on & the mortgage is paid.  There’s nothing in that pile of mail that will affect my immediate well-being, so I’ve said to hell with it.  Sometimes I’ll open a piece or two that interests me & other weeks not.

Am I being irresponsible?  Am I obligated to spend time perusing something because a stranger felt the need to send it?  To date,  I haven’t missed anything by NOT opening this stuff & if something REALLY needs attention, I’ll get a phone call (or a hand-delivered summons!!).   For me, it has been really therapeutic to not have all of that stuff in my head.  It feels like a new type of freedom & I’m happy with it.  Hmmmm…..I wonder what else I can choose NOT to do………….

Digging In-Making Changes

Good morning world!!  It’s a misty fall day in KY and chaos reigns supreme!!  On the good side of things–I feel better than I have in MONTHS.  Thank you God for giving me good days.  On the less attractive side, my life is full of clutter & insanity that has piled up during my last bout of yucky-ness.

Giving credit where it’s due, I really have organized & stream-lined much of my life.  I don’t want it to sound like I’m beating myself up.  On the other hand, I have many miles to go before I’m happy with my progress.  I’m frustrated that my level of personal discipline is lacking in other areas.  I guess I’m going to have to tackle those areas as well.  Hopefully my feel-good time lasts a couple of weeks.  That will be enough to make a difference.

In the Graceful Agony group (HI JO!!)  we are doing a balanced life challenge, helping each other get a grip on areas we’ve all struggled with.  So far we’ve incorporated:

A.  spend a few minutes in one key area of the home daily

B.  spend time cultivating a  spiritual pursuit daily

C. stretch 15 minutes daily (do something for our physical health)

If I keep up with these three things I will be thrilled; these things will help keep me centered & motivated.  I would also like to add a few other things like eating better (because I feel better when I do) & finding ways to keep the healthy eating alive doing times of sickness.  Realistically, my options plummet during those times & I’m going to have to forgive myself & move on from it.

I would like to also spend more time looking nicer.  NOT model-like by any means, but neat & put together would be nice.  I’ve gotten into the sweat clothes trap & I knew it was at a critical level when I caught myself thinking “I need to get some new dress-up sweats”.  I’m almost ashamed to admit that…OMG.  I spent an hour cleaning out my closet; I got rid of everything with a hole in it, everything older than my daughter (19 yrs), and most of the things I would classify as dust rags rather than garments.  Since I’m so frugal by nature,  I made sure the useful stuff went to someone who could use it;  I also  had a $5 rebate check I used toward buying myself a new basic wardrobe piece that did NOT look like something I could sleep in.

I’m feeling really good about my progress & I know that successes build upon themselves.  I think my next conquest will be sleeping in my bed again.  I have an awesome queen-sized bed that I haven’t slept in for nearly a year.  For some reason I’ve turned into a couch sleeper.  Gotta get over it!  Sincerely hoping I’m not the only one in this spot….


Reduce, Re-use, Recycle!

This appeals to my inner cheapskate & my inner environmentalist!!

Cut the top off of a water bottle.


Thread a bag through the opening then use the top to seal it.

COOL!! Wish I’d thought of it….

These are the Days I’m Talking About…


Ah, unpredictable unpleasant episodes….For the past few  weeks I’d been feeling pretty daggone decent.  I’d piddled with some projects, started to catch up on house stuff and even felt a little like ‘me’.  Then…….

Wednesday morning I fixed my morning cup of coffee, sat down to sip it and felt the ghastly familiar “ick” feeling when I swallowed.  That feeling is my body telling me “no more food ’til further notice and you’re gonna feel unbelievably bad for D-A-Y-S.”  Soon comes the aching, intermittent fevers, headache, eye pain, fatigue & both northern and southern bathroom symptoms which shall remain nameless.  FOR DAYS…. Now it’s Saturday & this is my first attempt at moving around.  Everything is piled up around my couch.  Papers, clothes, empty 7-up cans, animal hair, books.  I haven’t showered or changed clothes; I wish my hair & teeth belonged to one of my enemies and my special ‘cologne’ is one of a kind….

Damn, I’m never gonna get this mess caught up…..All of my clothes are dirty because I had been behind on them anyway; my dishes are dirty because I felt to bad to stand up to load the dishwasher.  I flippin’ hate all of this.  These crappy episodes can hit at any unexpected time & nothing helps..  I used to go to the ER and they always admitted me for anywhere from 4-9 days.  Yes, I was ‘better’ but I’ll never be fixed.  Unless I start having dehydration symptoms I ride it out at home.   Saves money & hassle, but sometimes the hospital pain management is awesome….

I don’t know what I’m gonna do to get my life under control.  I’m so afraid of loosing everything and my options are pretty limited at this point.  I’m gonna go on the day-by-day plan and see how it turns out….

Long Time No See…

Wow, didn’t realize I’d been MIA for so long.  I’m feeling really bummed and over-extended.  Being back in school has put a huge crimp in my nap time–that’s not a joke either.  I keep telling myself I’ll be finished in less than a year and I need to tough it out.  However, thinking about it makes me want to puke so I try to NOT think about it.

I’m achy, sleepy, nauseated, have a sharp pain between my shoulders and my ingrown toenail hurts–I had to throw that one in there.  All I want to do is fall over on the sofa and go to sleep, BUT I have to go to work instead.  Thirteen hours.  Ummmm.   When I get there I’ll be fine, and really grateful to get home.  Getting over the dread is the worst part; I really have a good job (two good jobs).  Since I’ve been sick I’ve come to realize that (many days) I can feel like hell at work as well as I can at home.  Unless I’m house-bound by symptoms I try to go to work.  It’s not my favorite thing though.

Suppose I’ll have a little shower therapy and search for motivation…I think I can-I think I can-I think I can….

Worth repeating–I LOVE the Graphics Fairy!

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Erica’s Running Journey

Erica’s Running Journey