Friday, April 30, 2010

Another Fiona update

When I left for work this morning all the dogs were in the back yard. A short time later Craig went out to let them in and found Fiona shivering in pain and not putting any weight on her back right leg. Instead of waiting until Monday Craig took her to the vet today for X-rays. X-rays confirmed the suspicion of Calve Perthes disease and not only does she have it in one hip but BOTH hips. The vet thinks her right hip may even be broken already. Our hearts are breaking for her. We have been referred to a specialist.... more to follow.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fiona Update

Fiona goes to the vet on Monday to have x-rays of her hips. She isn't getting any better and it's more evident all the time that somethings wrong with her. She walks funny... she uses both of her hind legs together like she's always pushing herself along instead of normal walking. She easily falls over when she tries to run and play with the Seadra and Zoe. Today I watched her try to make a sharp turn while she was running and she fell over and yelped in pain. Also today I gently picked her up to put her on the couch with me and she yelped again. The vet suspects she has a genetic hip problem called Calve Perthes Disease. It's a deterioration of the head of the femur due to insufficient blood supply. As a result of the insufficient blood supply the femur begins to die and disintegrate. It's a known genetic disorder in pugs and shows up between the age of 4 to 9 months. Fiona is 6 months old. We'll know more from the x-rays Monday. We'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Best Season Ever

Jordan had a track meet this afternoon and I got some great shots of her. She was first in the 100 hurdles. She was clocked at 17.5. Her PR (personal record) is 17.3. Her goal is to break into the 16's before the end of the year.
I love this photo! And we love track season!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What I'm Loving Right Now

A puppy who has stolen my heart... Yes, I'm ready to admit it.
A major transformation of the yard and all the work that goes along with it. This is a huge hole in the side yard where we had a tree cut down and the stump ground out. We are temporarily using it for burning a lot of junk wood. We are having a truck load of dirt brought in to fill it soon. The fence posts were installed and cemented in on Thursday and Monday they are coming back to string the fence..... Yahoo... I've wanted a fence for as long as we've lived here! There's going to be a lot of work landscaping everywhere we want and it will probably take us a few summers to accomplish it all but I'm loving it!
Spring! And all the great stuff spring brings, including Jordan's track season. I love watching my little girl reach goals she's set for herself and knowing what an amazing life she has ahead of her.

A simple anniversary dinner out with Craig last Monday night celebrating our 24 years and both of us getting teary eyed when we talk about how much we love those kids!

A hammock in the back yard with a big pillow and Seadra snuggled next to me.

Sleeping in on Saturday mornings. I was one to never sleep in but I've so needed it this past winter and spring with my new job.

And speaking of my job, I'm going to add it to this list too. As I've shared on this blog before it's been a tough transformation for me (and my family) but there are so many good things about it. Patients that warm my heart and leave me with feelings of gratitude. Doctors (my bosses) that are compassionate, caring and understanding when I get overwhelmed. They are also so appreciative of what I've been doing. There are some major changes forthcoming that I am excited about that hopefully I'll be able to talk about soon. All good stuff!

Anticipation of an awesome summer ahead.... Lots of camping visiting new places and old favorites. Spending days at the cottage, going for Jeep rides.... my list is long.

Listening to Caleb sit in the living room playing his guitar and hearing him sing in the shower while I'm in the kitchen working. He's not singing to impress anyone, he doesn't even know anyone hears him... he just feels like singing and I love it! Caleb is a true gift, a gentle spirit, a huge heart. Everyday I am more thankful for the person he is.

Our outside fire pit. Last night Craig built us a fire. It was sprinkling but we didn't care. I love those fires and what they mean to all of us. We solve life's problems, we laugh, we plan our lives, our stresses from the days melt away.

Life is good.......

Monday, April 19, 2010

24 Years!

Twenty four years ago today I received one of the greatest gifts of my life...
...... my Hubby! Happy Anniversary to us!
He's my world!
He's my All!
He makes me happy!
He makes me feel safe!
He brings me joy!
I love you Craig!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fiona Update

It's been awhile since I've done a Fiona update. She's growing but she still has that puppy look to her. She's soooo darn cute. Just yesterday she turned 6 months old. She's still a tiny thing at only about 10 pounds. I thought she would be bigger at this age. Maybe she's just going to be a small pug. Zoe is a monster pug at 26 pounds so I guess she looks tiny compared to her.

She LOVES her dog beds. We've tried to get Seadra and Zoe to like dog beds but they never cared for them. Fiona is very attached to her dog beds. She about wore the first one out so last week she got a new one. She was very happy!

I'm happy to announce she's pretty much housebroken. She rarely has an accident and usually only when we've neglected to take her out in a timely manner.
She loves her Daddy and the feeling is mutual. Craig is quite smitten with her.
I have to tell you about her bark. The poor little thing hardly has a bark at all. Don't get me wrong... she loves to use her voice. She's already learned to bark at the neighbors, barks excitedly when she's being fed, and barks when she plays.... but we still can't believe it. When she barks it's the littlest whip of a bark. It like a deep soft sound. At first we thought she would outgrow it and acquire the sharp shrill sound that dogs make when they bark but so far no such thing. And we LOVE it, we are really hoping she keeps her bark. I have never heard a dog bark like she does.
She is slowly winning my heart like I hoped she would. I've had my days (OK, weeks) where she has stressed me but they are starting to be fewer. I've noticed that she is not so relentless in her badgering of Zoe and I even seen glimpses of Seadra playing tag with her outside, I thought I would never see that.

Seadra has an affectionate nickname of Boo Boo, Zoe is Zo-Zo, and I'm catching myself calling Fiona "My Fiona". I guess that means I love her.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Another post with no photos..

I rarely ever do a post without photos... That tells you how my life has transformed the last few months. The plan is to be outside a lot today so I'll for sure have my camera out there with me. We've called the fencing company and told them we are ready for them to install the new fence around the back yard so we are doing a few finishing touches getting ready for that. Last night Craig and I went to Lowe's and bought huge patio blocks to place under the gates and also to expand the fire pit area. We still have to move a small tree that is in the fence line and I have a lot of ornamental grasses and hostas to move. Poor Craig's been getting overwhelmed and exasperated. He's been out in the yard every night this week in the dark and in the cold and in the rain trying to get stuff done. I've promised him that I will help more this weekend.

As we speak, Jordan is taking the ACT again this morning. She is consistently getting a 29 each time and needs a 31 to bump up her scholarship. She's determined and we are proud of her. This is her last attempt to try on her own. If she doesn't get a 31 this time we are enrolling her in the Kaplan class at Western. Ferris is giving her until the end of August to qualify. Jordan and I were talking the other night... she very excited about the end of her senior year, so many fun things coming up. Track season is in full swing, senior trip to Florida in a few weeks, prom, etc, etc. Life is good for Jordan!

The last 4 weeks at work have been stressful to say the least. The workload was overwhelming and everyday I have frantically been trying to dig myself out of a hole. I was finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and then all in one day I was drowning again. I about lost it. I literally thought I was having a nervous break down. Knowing I was near the breaking point one of the doctors came into my office to talk to me last week. All I could do was sit there and sob! They are concerned and caring and we are coming up with ways to delegate some of my more mundane tasks to others. For the first time EVER since I started the position in January this past week has been manageable. Yesterday I found time to clean out my email, organize some files, catch up on correspondence... I even dusted my office and washed the windows. You have no idea how good this past week felt. We'll see what next week brings... it's so unpredictable. Good thing I love this job!

One day last week one the receptionists called me and said there was someone here to see me. I went out there and there stood one of my patients families. They had 2 dozen donuts and told me they were for me to share with the whole office staff. They grabbed me and hugged me and told me how much they loved me. They told me what a huge difference I had made to their whole family, they said I went above and beyond the call of duty in helping them prepare and understand everything for their father's surgery. I almost cried..... that makes it all worth while.

It's time to go.... there's never enough time on the weekends to get stuff done, especially these days. Have a wonderful weekend and I promise my next post will have some photos.

P.S. The hummingbird migration map is reporting sightings of hummingbirds half way up Michigan already. I saw my first hummingbird April 26th last year but I'm going to hang my feeders today. Are yours up yet?

Saturday, April 3, 2010


One of the best things about my new job is the people I meet and get to talk to. My official title at work is surgery scheduler but it involves so much more than just scheduling them for their surgeries. I try to get to know my patients and see their needs. It's important that I am compassionate and caring. It is always my goal to help them and make the burden lighter for them, but I'm finding more and more that they are the ones that touch me.

Yesterday I met a farmer. He didn't look like your typical farmer. He was short stout and muscular. And he had red hair and red eyelashes. He had that pale skin complexion most redheads have. He wore a shirt that was unbuttoned half way and his thick chest hair was exposed and he wore big gold jewelry. Now, would you think I just described a farmer?

After we got the medical business out of the way he started talking about his farm. His eyes sparkled. He told me he bought his first farm when he was still in high school. His parents had to sign the note at the bank and they were not supportive at the time. A short time later he bought his second farm a short distance from his first farm. He went on to tell me that the farm was his life and how he's poured his heart and soul into those farms. He's up there in age now and he's worried about what the future holds for his farms. He grown children are not showing interest in keeping the farms running. Further into the conversation I asked him where is farms were. I couldn't believe it when he told me the name of the town and the road.... the exact same road I grew up on and spent 10 years of my childhood. And I had never met this man until yesterday. His farms were a few miles from our home.

I liked that short stout man and I'm still thinking about him this morning. I told him he could leave his farms to me, that I would care for them. That made him laugh. Next time I'm in that area I'm going to drive down that road and look at his farms.

I met another man yesterday. Totally different. He was confused and alone. He shuffled when he walked and talked with a slur in his voice. It was hard to understand him and he obviously didn't understand anything about his medical condition or what we needed to do. "Oh Boy" I thought, this was going to be a challenge. It took me a long time to get him scheduled and set up for his testing. I had to tell him everything over and over. I would just get done explaining something to him and he'd want me to tell him again. He had no one to take him to appointments or take him to the hospital for his surgery. He asked me to call the senior center and see if they would take him. I did but being Good Friday they were not open. I told him I would call them on Monday for him but 2 minutes later he would forget everything and we'd have to go over it all again. I was starting to get exasperated. About this point I could tell he was feeling overwhelmed. He lowered his head and in the softest voice said "You know, I don't have much education". This exact moment my heart broke for him and I wanted to cry.

At this point I told him not to worry, that Monday I would work on making some calls to get him help. There was no point in trying to get him to comprehend, it was only confusing and overwhelming him. I walked him back out to the reception area where the receptionists were going to call the public bus system that dropped him off. Being it was Good Friday the bus system had stopped running at noon that day.... so there he was, no way to get home. A Good Samaritan in the waiting area overheard the conversation and spoke up.. "I'll take him home".

I learned a little more about compassion yesterday and that there are still good people in this world. Would I have done what that Good Samaritan in the waiting area did and offered to take that man home? I hope I would have.

Last week I had a patient in my office that was recently paroled. He was still semi-incarcerated in some rehabilitation program and he was tethered. He had just been diagnosed with cancer and was facing a big surgery. I had no idea what this mans crimes were or what his circumstances were. All I know is that here sat a man across from me scared. He needed an over the counter medication as part of his prep for surgery. He told me there was no way he could get to the store to purchase this item. On my way home from work I picked up the medication and dropped it off at his facility for him. I have been criticized by my husband for this act. I simply do not have it in me to not feel compassion for everyone.