Sober Miracles

Today is the last day of Thanksgiving break and I am bouncing around the house with a gigantic permagrin on my face.  I am just So. Incredibly. Overjoyed.  And yes, I am bouncing!

Today was nothing short of a miracle.  I took Jules for about a mile long walk.  I rode over 4 miles on my bike.  I covered 5 miles of earth.  THIS.

Last weekend I opted for a wheelchair at the canopy walk.  I was staying at my friend’s house and she has an extremely LONG hallway that leads to the backyard where we let the dogs out.  I dreaded walking that hallway when I had to let the dogs in or out and no one else was around.  Complete dread.  Because my feet hurt, SO bad.

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Saturday November 17th at the canopy walk, getting pushed by hubs.  

 

                       A nice 1 mile walk with little pain in my feet on Sunday November 25th.                           I will never take my mobility for granted again!

I’m optimistic that I am getting rid of those things (Parvovirus, Staph, Strep and Gout) that have been causing me pain and suffering, and that the supplements that I am taking daily are working.

The rest of the long weekend…

This has been an amazing weekend full of food, family and relaxing.  Our kids went to their aunt’s house for the night on Friday night and we had a terrific date night at home.  We went to Target because my steam mop is broken and they had some good Black Friday deals.  I got a Shark steamer for $89 normally $189.  We were going to go out to eat, but didn’t want to waste time at a restaurant so we bought frozen food for dinner and stocked up on snacks.

We watched a movie (An Interview with God– it was good I recommend that you watch it right meow) while eating our smorgasboard.  Hubby doesn’t get down on me for drinking, but his biggest complaint is that when I drink he loses me (I get too drunk too fast, get a vacant look in my eyes and numb out).  Well, I had decided before Thursday that I didn’t want to drink this short vacation away, so I was stone sober.  I was so grateful to be present and in his arms receiving his kisses on my head throughout the entire movie.

Afterwards, we sat by the fireplace and played our favorite music (a mix of 70’s classic rock and 90’s grunge) on the new speakers he bought himself for Christmas.  We reminisced and enjoyed the moment.  It was an economical date night, yet one of my favorites yet ❤

Today is day 5 and I don’t intend on going back.  I don’t want to trigger the stupid gout!  I also don’t want to dull my life, have a perpetual hangover, and be functioning at less than 50%.

On a related side note, my son and I left last night to pick up a late dinner.  The air was very unseasonably mild and I immediately had a huge urge to jump on my bike and just ride.  I don’t get those urges when I’m actively drinking, ever.  When in active addiction mode, I don’t care to do the things that matter, the things that make me happy and feed my soul.  So yeah, I don’t want to go back.

That’s all I’ve got.  I am looking forward to getting back to work– this time bright eyed, bushy tailed and a skip to my step ❤

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Pity Party: Time for a Gratuity List

Honestly, I have been SO crabby the past 2 days I can’t even stand myself! I could not sleep well on Sunday so I was so tired all day Monday. Slept very well last night (Monday) but I’m drinking only decaf tea & was just groggy & not well all day. Also woke up with sore feet (yes plural & that sucks because usually it’s just 1 foot).

I’m SO tired of the meals I’m eating & am hangry most of the time. And to top it off I bought f’in diatomaceous earth to start ingesting to help this inflammation. I’m. Going. To. Eat. Fossilized. Algae. 😱😱😱. PLEASE, someone call me a WAAAAAMBULANCE!!!

Ok my point of posting this is that I am not acting grateful & need to start. Making a gratuity list. #1 on my list is DAY 17 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼. Ugh— can’t wait for this funk to pass!!!!! 🤦🏽‍♀️

I’m Thankful Today

  1. Day 17 of sobriety
  2. Day 16 of elimination diet
  3. I don’t have a life threatening illness
  4. None of my immediate family have a life threatening illness
  5. Hubby treats me well and works hard and is a great father
  6. Kids are doing well in school
  7. I’ve lost weight and fit into my clothes better
  8. Thankful for having enough money to buy supplements that could help my RA
  9. My manicure still looks nice
  10. I like my job
  11. I like my coworkers
  12. My furbabies give me so much love
  13. Being able to get braces next month
  14. Being able to get all of the problems my teeth have fixed
  15. Selling (and buying 🙂 ) Avon again
  16. Our new fireplaces
  17. Being able to have an area to set up for meditation/yoga
  18. Good friends who are always there for me (Debbie)
  19. Chai tea lattes
  20. Tigernut butter

That’s all I have right now.  PHEW– already I feel lighter and happier!  ❤

 

 

Summer Reflections

Summer 2018 is coming to a close!  Well, technically, we have about a month left of summer, but summer vacation is almost history.  Today is Friday and I go back to work on Tuesday.  I was at school last week for a meeting and most teachers are already hard at work setting up their classrooms.  Most of the prep work that I need to do I can do from home, such as sending out IEPs at glance and trying to get my schedule set up– so I typically don’t go in until I’m required to.

The summer of ’18 was one of my favorites yet.  Normally over the summer there are many times that I am bored, lonely and get depressed.  Depressed– as in– barely having enough energy for a shower and being in a general funk for days.  I’m happy to say that I didn’t go through that this summer.  The reason, I’m pretty sure, is both external and internal.

I’ve made a ton of growth internally over the past several months and years.  By internally, I guess I mean mentally and spiritually.  I used to think that everyone was mad at me or didn’t like me– and I don’t know why I spent so much energy worrying about all of that.  I’m not sure when or how this changed, probably due to the self help books that I read, but I no longer worry about other people.  I’m sure this has helped me to not feel depressed and has helped me at times when I’m alone not feel so lonely.

Externally, the summer was bustling and busy, with little time to be feeling down.  Cousins and the kids’ friends were over constantly, and a lot of time was spent with family and friends in both July and August.

There was that terrible situation towards the end of July when my mother and father-in-law had to take their 3 grandkids.  Since then, I’ve gotten my dose of little ones! My own kids are older and it is nice to have smaller kids to hang out with.  We’ve taken them to the park, the cider mill, swimming and other fun things.  Also, my niece is going into kindergarten and is academically behind so I’ve been tutoring her for the past few weeks.  After our tutoring session, we make time to do something fun like taking the dog for a walk or baking muffins.  It’s been such a blessing to have that time with her.

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Fun at the cider mill– my niece and my oldest 
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Spending time with little ones is good for the heart and soul

It sounds like my sister in law might get custody back in a couple of months.  I can’t say that I feel good about it or support it.  I’m really anxious and scared about it, but that’s a story for another day.  For now they are happy and safe and I have enjoyed building a relationship with them.

Here are some summer highlights:

  • I learned how to use the weedwacker
  • I got all my teeth problems fixed and have an appointment set up for an orthodontist consultation (I’ve been putting this all off for YEARS)
  • I rode 154 miles on my bike during the month of June (my goal was 150)
  • Paid off my smaller private student loan and faced my large federal loan after a decade of avoiding it
  • Learned how to make falafel
  • Read, read, read!  Read some great books for fun and also some spiritual books– my favorite being The Four Agreements.
  • Started meditating daily
  • Started the summer with a strong streak of sobriety– recent relapse has taught me some good life lessons (story for another day)
  • Started seriously working the steps
  • Had some spiritual realizations which have provided me with internal calmness and clarity– I am ecstatic to be able to pick up on signs and messages
  • Got iron infusions and am no longer anemic
  • Planted a garden which has provided me with some delicious fresh peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and squash

Yes, this summer has been a great one!  Today is going to be another fantastic day.  I have a lunch date with a good friend from work and then I’m getting my hair done.  I still need to get some new work clothes, get my nails done, go school clothes shopping with my youngest and schedule an appointment to get new contact lens– all in good time.

 

The Epiphany

A natural consequence of losing my mom suddenly was becoming much more spiritual and aware of unearthly phenomenon.

During the summer that she passed, I was in my backyard scrolling through Facebook when I saw a post from my cousin that was a picture of small purple flower with the caption “Does anyone know what this is?”

I don’t know many flowers, hardly the basics, but a fleeting thought passed through my brain “crokus.”  It was so weird and random and I had no idea where it came from.

I looked at the comments and sure enough, it was a crokus.  I determined that my mom was with me, in spirit, and had whispered the name into my ear (she was a flower guru).  What else could it have been?

I’m also pretty sure that my angel mom had something to do with an enormous epiphany that I experienced shortly after the crokus incident.

About a month after she passed it was a Saturday morning in early August and we had plans to pack up and head up north for the week.  Usually when we’re heading up north I would be in a frenzy cleaning the house, getting the pets ready, watering the flowers, etc.  This morning was different.  For some reason I had this odd desire to go for a long bike ride (totally abnormal for me to do the day of a trip– but I went with it).

About a mile in, I had a vivid and random thought cross my mind.  “We need to buy the ranch.”

My in laws had two houses, a farmhouse that they had fixed up and an adjacent ranch that they were now getting ready to put on the market.  They bought the ranch over 20 years ago and had continued living there for the couple of years that it took them to fix up the farmhouse and my hubby had mentioned a couple of times throughout the years that maybe we should buy the ranch.

My answer was always a firm no.  I wanted our forever home to be a more modern and open home and wanted to stay in the city we lived in.  The ranch was small and boxy and the yard was too big to maintain– I liked our neat and immaculate city lot.

So.. when the thought and certainty of buying it came across my mind, I felt ecstatic.  I rode the rest of the trip with an enormous amount of energy and excitement.  I was so pumped to get home and tell hubby that we should buy it.  It is the best definition and feeling of epiphany that I have ever, and probably will ever, had.  I thought about it all the way home.

Hubby was less than excited when I ran through the door exclaiming my plans to relocate our current life.  He wasn’t sure if we should do it– or if we could actually afford it.  So we spent the next few weeks running the numbers and talking to our bank, adding up all of the expenses, comparing pros and cons, etc.

The trip up north after my epiphany was intriguing and sometimes agonizing.  I thought about the possibility of moving to the ranch constantly– and couldn’t stop wondering if we would actually call it our home or not.  I also wondered a great deal about why I had the epiphany.

Was this a premonition that something bad was going to happen to me?  Was moving close to my inlaws insurance that my hubby and kids would be ok and taken care of?  Or would something happen to my hubby or one of the kids?  I had just suddenly lost my mom a month beforehand, so anxious thoughts of losing my loved ones unexpectedly were a common occurrence– and now I can see how these thoughts were normal given the time frame.

It ended up being a go and we moved the necessities in during Labor Day weekend, 2014.  Moving in right before the start of school was one of the craziest things we’ve ever done.  Our boys would be starting new schools, I would be going back to work and we would need to get the old house ready to sell– and we had a pretty young puppy.

Time sped by, like it tends to do and we had our old house on the market within a month.  By November we had sold our old house and closed on the ranch.

It is 4 years later and I still think about the epiphany occasionally.  I find this house incredibly peaceful.  Everytime I walk through the kitchen and see deer in the backyard– or on the deck watching the small animals and birds in the yard– I am at total peace.  The house isn’t great– it is old and boxy and some of it is outdated.  But it is a sprawling ranch on a good chunk of land and I completely love it here ❤

 

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Watching fish in the pond never gets old
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Seeing deer hanging out gives you a feeling of serenity
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Cardinals in the yard always bring peace and comfort

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swimming

backyard

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Puppy, My Heart <3

It is Saturday and I have horrible feelings of fear and dread.  It started after work yesterday.

I had dropped my dog, Jules off at daycare in the morning.   I usually take him once a week to keep him socialized and to get out excess energy.  I picked him up after work and everything was normal until we got to the car.  He refused to jump up into the car.  I went to pick him up and he winced and cried and his back legs were shaking.  I had no idea what was going on so I walked him back in to see if anything had happened while he was there.  The person supervising his room said that he had a great day and nothing out of the ordinary happened.  She proceeded to feel his abdomen and legs, but he was stoic and showed no sign of pain.   She helped me lift him into the car and I assumed that he just sprained or twisted something while playing.

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Jules smiling on the outdoor slide at daycare 
He jumped out of the car when we got home and it didn’t seem to bother him.  He was acting ok but wouldn’t come up the deck stairs (he went down them just fine) or jump up onto the couch.  His back seemed ok when I gently pressed it and he was still wagging his tail so I was hoping that it wasn’t a spinal injury.  I messaged my friend who is a vet who said she could see him today if he is still painful.

By the time we went to bed he seemed to be getting around better.  He walked up the deck stairs after going potty and that made me feel much better.  This morning when we woke up, he also seemed ok.  Cried a little when he got up but came up the deck stairs ok.

Our neighbor stopped by and when she knocked Jules got up and started barking but getting up suddenly hurt him and he started crying.  Something is wrong.

He has an appointment to see a vet at 2:15 but I am so anxious.  I consulted Dr. Google and beagles are predisposed to Intervertebral Disc Disease– which can affect dogs as young as 3 and can result in paralysis and death.

Jules is my heart dog.  We got him in 2014– the worst year of my life so far.  In May 2014 we lost our 13 year old boxer.  We intended on waiting awhile (like a year) to get another dog– although I was continuously looking on petfinder because not having a dog created a huge void in our house.   In July 2014, I lost my mom suddenly.  On the morning that she died, I looked at hubby and said, “I need to get a puppy.”  He understood.

We found Jules’ litter through a rescue, but had to choose which puppy without meeting him.  There was only a couple of puppies left who didn’t have homes yet.  We picked Jules because they said that he was a laid back puppy, liked to play but also liked to be lazy– which seemed to be a perfect fit for our relaxed family. His personality did not disappoint– he was exactly what they described.

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Jules as a puppy
My mom died early in the summer, so there was several weeks that I was out of work after she passed.  Having to take care of such a young puppy helped me navigate through those early weeks of grief, especially with so much unstructured time.  Meanwhile, Jules and I were creating a bond like no other dog that I’ve had before.  I’ve always felt a strong emotional bond with him and often wonder if it was because he was so young and impressionable while I was so sad and vulnerable.  He is truly my heart dog, sent from the heavens.

Now at almost 4 years old, he is my best friend.  He is always up for going on a run/walk with me, even at 5am or is happy just cuddling with me under a blanket on the couch with a good movie.  When I’m at home he is always by my side.

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No matter what he’s doing, Jules is often a source of entertainment in our household
Now I feel so scared and anxious.  I’ve often dreaded him getting into teenage years and having to say goodbye and how completely awful it’s going to be and kind of symbolic given the timing of when I got him.  NOW he could have something as awful as IVVD at age 3?  What if I lose him at 4 or 5?

Ok– enough dread and worry.  I don’t think normal people worry this much about every ache and pain their dog has– but then again I’ve never been normal.

I will take deep breaths and deal with whatever God is going to give me.

His appointment is in an hour.  Hopefully I will feel better afterwards and some of this anxiety will go away.

On a happier note, today is Day 30 for me!  I have barely thought about it and am not enjoying it much, but I am happy to report that this extra stress is not triggering me so far– and hopefully that continues.

Happy Saturday everyone ❤

**Update**  Vet visit went well!  His back checked out ok and his reflexes were good!  The doctor thinks that it was a sprain or strain and gave him an injection of Rimadyl.  He will prescribe orals if it doesn’t improve.  I am so relieved and hoping for the best!!!!

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