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Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Bahamas 2017

Since I had my laptop with me anyway, since I had taken it to do my homework, I figured I’d keep a daily journal on it and post it as a blog post.

Day 1 – travel day – October 7, 2017

I left Louisville at 6pm on a Saturday.  My destination for that day was Orlando, FL.  The flight was quick and painless.  I sat next to a young mother and her two year-old son.  At first, I was annoyed with this because I have heard nothing but horror stories about sitting next to little kids on planes.  However, I quickly learned that the little boy, named Caden, was sweet and at times, rambunctious.  I enjoyed the 2 hours sitting next to them.

I made it to my hotel around 9pm that night.  I settled in and finished up some homework that I had forgotten to do before leaving.  I realized it before leaving, so I grabbed my laptop and threw it in my bags to bring with me.

Fascination

Day 2 – October 8, 2017 – Day 1 of cruise

I woke up bright and early for the cruise day!  I was so excited to get on the ship.  I woke up at 530am!  My shuttle wasn’t going to arrive to the hotel until 1130 or so.  Ugh.  I went downstairs and ate breakfast and sat outside for a bit.

When the shuttle got there, I could hardly contain myself.  I kept thinking, I’m going on a cruise!!!!

We got to the port and filtered in to the terminal to check in.  The check in process was quick and painless since I purchased the Faster to the Fun package, which gave me a dedicated line for check in.  It also gives me a dedicated line at guest services on board and priority debarkation.

Once I got on board and found my cabin, I wandered the ship for a long time.  I found the buffet, the smoking sections, and the spa.  Once my bags were outside of my room, I unpacked and got comfortable with the cabin.  These inside cabins are perfect for one person.  I don’t know how I’ll ever go back to cruising with someone again because I like having all this room to myself (but you know I will cruise with others!)

Day 3 – October 9, 2017 – Day 2 of cruise

This was our sea day.  So we were cruising at sea all day long.  This was also my spa day.  I had pre-purchased a manicure, pedicure, and Swedish massage.  While I took a tour of the spa, I set up a consultation with the doctor who does acupuncture.  I have always been intrigued with it and I wanted to know what it could do for me.  I ended up buying 3 treatments.  These treatments were for my left big toe (arthritis) and my back and neck tension.  My stress levels got to a point that it was very painful for the massage to happen.  I had my first session with Dr. Cai that night at 7:30pm after dinner.  Besides a little pinching every now and then, it was painless and once the needles were in, it was like they weren’t even there.  My toe was pain free for the rest of that night and into Tuesday until I walked around Nassau that is.

Day 4 – October 10, 2017  –  Day 3 of cruise

sunrise in NassauWe arrived in Nassau in the Bahamas at around 8am.  I stood on deck near the front of the ship to watch us come into port.  It was magical.  I can’t even put it into words how it felt watching the ship maneuver into the port.  There were a few other cruise ships in port with us, Carnival Liberty, Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas, and a Disney ship that made the rest of our ships look like row boats.  It was huge!!!

I ate breakfast and then headed out to check Nassau out.  The Bahamas are on my bucket list and now I get to cross them off that list!  It was a busy little town.   Cars speeding by and people bustling all over.  I walked around the shopping areas and kept close to other tourists, since I was solo.

I finally got tired of walking, so I paid $30 for a horse and carriage tour of the downtown area.  It was educational and I enjoyed learning about the Bahamas and Nassau.  We went by Princess Margaret Hospital and my driver told me that it’s $10 to see the doctor and $5 for the medications.  For everyone. There were a lot of lawyer offices on this tour.  He said that there is an over-abundance of lawyers on the islands due to the fact people come there to do their offshore banking and launder money (just like the Cayman Islands!)  I found that fascinating!

I went back onto the ship and wandered.  I napped and then did my 3pm appointment in the spa for more acupuncture.  Dinner was amazing as usual and I had their famous chocolate melting cake for dessert.  Holy crap!

Day 5 – October 11, 2017  – Day 4 of the cruise

We arrived in Freeport as the sun was coming up. There were a few boats and ships in dry dock there, including the Carnival Conquest.  It was a very industrial looking area, completely opposite from Nassau.  I didn’t really like the look of things, but there was a little fenced in shopping area for us to walk around in there.   So, I hung out on the pool deck for a bit and then went off the ship to wander the shopping area.  Once I was done with that, I went back onboard for a quick nap, lunch, and my 3rd and final acupuncture appointment in the spa.

Sunset the last night

It’s so hard to believe that the cruise is just about over.  I have to pack and put my bags outside my room while saving stuff I’ll need for the morning.  Or I need to keep my bags and wheel them off myself.  Pfft.  Heck no, I’m packing and putting them outside my room.  Any time I can make my life easier on this trip, I’m doing it.  I stuffed my large suitcase and my smaller one to the brim with the stuff I brought and the stuff I bought.

My backpack is stuffed full and I bought a small bag on board to help carry my little purse and other essentials for my travel day.  I skipped dinner in the dining room so I could go out on deck for the sunset.  I grabbed some food from the buffet and went out on the deck where they have some tables there.  I ate and watched the sun set.  It was beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 6 – October 12, 2017 – time to go home

I got up at 6am this morning, anxious to get the day started.  I figure the sooner I start the day, the sooner I’ll be at home with my munchkins.  I knew this day was going to be long and I will be spending a lot of time in some airports.  I’m currently sitting in the Orlando airport while I wait for my 2:15pm flight to Baltimore.    From there, I’ll go back to Louisville where my friend will pick me up and take me home to my babies.

I have been trying to find the words to describe how I feel about this vacation and I just can’t seem to find them right now.  I knew I needed this vacation in a big way and I haven’t been that relaxed in a very long time.  It was such a well-deserved vacation and I spoiled myself rotten while I was gone.  I need to give myself permission to go on vacation once a year like this because I can’t go another 10 years before visiting somewhere I’ve never been.

 

 

My mom…

Four months ago today, I lost my mom.  While it wasn’t “sudden,” it was very quick.  She hadn’t been feeling well since November and finally got an answer to what was going on in May.  On May 10, we found out she had stage 4 lung cancer that had metastasized to several places in her body, including her brain and spine.  On June 3, she was gone.  I feel shell shocked still and the loss has been crushing for me.  I push through each day, trying to pretend that I’m okay.  But I’m not.  Here’s my story:

When mom got out of the hospital, I rushed down there for an extended weekend in May.  I was there around May 12, just a few days after she got out of the hospital from coughing up blood.  This is when we found out she had lung cancer.  While I was there that weekend, we had a home health nurse come out and we found out a little more extensively what was going on and where the cancer had spread.  We found out she had lesions in her brain.  Home health nurse called hospice, who came out as well.  We found out even more of the extent of her cancer.  It was horrifying.

I came home to go back to work and to take care of my babies, planning to go back down in a few weeks.  I originally planned to go back down the weekend of June 9.  However, the Tuesday before she passed, my brother text me and said he felt I should come down sooner, he had a weird feeling about things.  I figured things out and I found someone to watch my dogs and I left on June 1, Thursday.  I made it down there around 2:30 in the afternoon.  Mom was bedridden by then and barely conscious.  She recognized me and we said, “I love you,” a few times.  I held her hand for a few moments before going out to the living room to chat with my brother and sister in law.

That evening, something happened that I never thought would occur.  As I was walking Beck in the driveway, the neighbor dog came over and attacked us.  She ripped Beck right out of my arms.  He was in my arms because I realized the dog was near us and I didn’t know how they would get along, so I picked him up.  She came over, circling us and then got faster than me and snagged him right out of my arms.  She started flipping him around like a little rag doll.  Did you know dogs scream?  I didn’t either until then.  The owner finally came over and was able to get her off of Beck.  In the process, I got bit, but I don’t know if she bit me or Beck bit me.  I had jumped in and was punching the dog’s head, trying to get her to let him go.  Somewhere in there, I got bit.  My brother and I rushed Beck to the emergency vet and they shaved him up and cleaned his wounds.  They wanted way too much money to keep him over night.  The next morning, we took him to the vet my mom used for Chloe.  Doc Win was amazing.  Beck had emergency surgery that day.  I spent more time in the vet office than I did with my mom those few days that followed.  It was traumatizing and I’m still having nightmares and dealing with the emotional and physical kick back of that.

Mom passed on June 3, Saturday.  In a way, I feel like I did not get there in time to spend more time with her before she left us.  I know I did, logically.  Emotionally, though, I feel like I didn’t.  I feel robbed of time with her, too.  The time I could have been spending with her, I ended up having to worry about my munchkin and getting him healed up and well again.  I don’t resent him at all.  I’m angry at the dog who attacked us.  I’m angry she stole time away from me that I could have been spending with my mom.  I know this may not sound logical to some people and it’s probably not that logical.  But it’s how I feel and if I’ve learned anything over the course of being in Gambler’s Anonymous for 16 years, is that I’m allowed to feel how I feel.

In the process of grieving for my mom, I started going to a Grief Share class that has helped me a lot deal with a lot of things.  It’s helped me start working through my grief for Todd, my dad, and my mom.  It’s also helped me start working through the emotions I feel over the dog attack too.

Until next time…

What is your grief journey like?

Grief.  It’s what we’ve been having for breakfast.  And lunch.  There may have been a  small side serving at dinner too.

Late in the first week of March, as I was preparing to leave work, I found out that someone I have known my entire adult life passed away.   I was in the middle of a conversation with my coworker when I got an alert on my phone, so I looked and it was a message on FB asking me if I had heard about our friend passing.  I immediately stopped the conversation and called another friend in California, looking for clarification.  I was devastated.   I just couldn’t believe it.  Actually, I still can’t believe it – but then I go to his FB profile and I see that it’s true.  The pain I felt when I found out he died was similar to the pain I felt when I found out Todd died and at one point the following day, I felt like it was worse than when Todd died.  I don’t know how true that is or if it was just feeling that way because it’s been almost 12 years since Todd passed.  The entire world seemed so much darker for me, it felt like I was gutted and then run over by a semi-truck.  It was horrible.  And if that was the pain *I* was going through?  I could only imagine how his family was feeling.  I lost my dad last year, at the end of this month, so it’s pretty raw for me still.  But his death was expected and I think that gives it a difference to a degree.  It didn’t make it any less painful, but it wasn’t unexpected and it wasn’t something I didn’t see coming.  This was something his family did not see coming.  It was sudden and it was unexpected.

I met Jef at the young age of 18 while I was working at Odyssey Records.  He was working at Boston Pizza across the street with his best friend, Mark.  Shortly after meeting them, chatting with them when I’d go over there for a break or calling and ordering food, we found out we were all on a bulletin board system (BBS) called Multi-Comm (it kind of predates the internet, similar to ICQ. chat rooms.)  A small group of us formed a tight circle.  We were all so close.  So young, silly, loyal, constantly together.  I say this almost every time I talk about him, but I think it’s awesome, so it must be repeated!  His daughter was the first baby that I ever changed a diaper on.  We had our differences, we had our similarities and we always had our loyalty towards each other.  There wasn’t much I wouldn’t do for that guy and his family.  He was one of my favorite people to walk this earth for any amount of time.  Before I moved to Louisville, we had lost contact.  But thanks to Facebook, we were reconnected shortly after I relocated.  When I would go back home, we would try to meet up for coffee.  Sometimes it didn’t work, sometimes it did.  I loved meeting at Starbucks at Desert Inn and Eastern, catching up and chatting for an hour or more before one of us would notice the time and had to go.  We disagreed on a lot of things, but we never let those disagreements take over our respect for each other as humans; as friends.

There was a celebration of life the weekend after he passed.  It was such last minute for me, I couldn’t make it there for that one.  But a mutual friend planned another one the following weekend and I was able to get some time off work and get back home to pay my respects to my dear friend and his family.  Three of us who live out of town all went into Vegas for the celebration.  It was amazing.  His daughter, his sister, and several of our old friends from Multi-Comm were there, including his best friend from when he was a child.  We cried a little and laughed a lot.  We shared stories, we did shots in his honor, we reminisced and we mourned together.

I will never forget the impact he had on me, as a person, and on my life overall.  Rest easy, my friend.  You’re work here is done.  We’ll take over the watch and be sure to watch out for us.  I’ll see you soon.

Until next time…

 

My Old Lady Josie

When Josie turned 13 years old (about 2.5 years ago), I started calling her my “Old Lady.”  She was the longest “relationship” I’ve ever had.  She was the love of my life, my soul mate, my companion and my ride or die bitch.

In June of 2000, I saw her for the first time when she was just days old and I named her.  I named her after the cartoon Josie and the Pussycats, if you’re wondering.  In August of 2000, when she was 7 weeks old, I brought her home.  She was so tiny, she fit in the palm of my hand.  Over the years, she grew quite a bit, but never went over 8.5 pounds.

Josie as a baby

 

Here she is as a very young Josie.  Looking over the edge of my bed, trying to figure out if she would make it or not!

She was such a precious girl.

She was loving and cuddly for the first few years of her life.  As she grew older, she didn’t like to be held unless she was in the mood.  She didn’t like to cuddle as much unless she didn’t feel well.

In October of 2000, I had surgery on my left hand.  I was laying on my bed, propped up against the wall, watching TV and playing “tug” with her with my right hand.  At one point, she jumped and landed on my left hand.  I moved my left arm so fast, it flung her off the bed and across the floor.  I just about died.  I was in tears until I knew she was okay.

One of her favorite things to do was to jump up on my lap while I was on the phone or in a conversation and since I wasn’t paying attention to her, she would put one of her paws on my mouth to try to shut me up.  She would do this to very few people, but my best friend Tobe was given this treatment when I lived with her and her sons.

In May of 2015, she had a stroke.  At that time, we discovered she had a slipped disc in her back, which was causing a lot of her clumsiness.  She was also in the beginning of kidney failure and dementia.  She had high blood pressure, a heart murmur and was deaf.  In May, the vet told me it would just be a matter of time and that my Josie would let me now when she was ready to go.

Yesterday, when I got home from work, I discovered Josie had lost control of her bowels and bladder.  She was experiencing very labored breathing and was whimpering in between each breath.  After I cleaned things up as best I could (including her butt that was caked with poop), I wrapped her in a pee pad and a towel and snuggled her.  I knew it was time.

me and josieI was devastated and heart broken.  As I cuddled her, I took this photo because I wanted that reminder of how I knew.  She let me know through the way she was looking at me that she was done.  She needed to rest.

I called my mom in a panic and we agreed it was time.  I then took her to Blue Pearl Veterinary Hospital over in Louisville.

They put us in a “comfort room” and came in to talk to me (between my sobs I learned the vet’s name was Ruth).  Ruth let me know that they would do it in this room and I could hold her as long as I needed before they did it and after.

The tech took my Josie to put in an IV port and then brought her back to me, still wrapped up in the pad and towel.  I held my girl and sobbed and told her I loved her and that I would be okay.  She could rest now.  I thanked her for being the best dog ever and for being my constant companion for the last 15.5 years.  The vet came in and gave her a sedative through the IV.  I immediately felt and heard a difference in Josie’s breathing.  It was no longer labored.  She then made eye contact with me as Ruth put the meds in that would put her to sleep.  She went within 2 minutes of that injection, the entire time, holding eye contact with me.  I watched the pain leave my baby’s eyes and I watched her rest for the final time.  It was the most precious and heart wrenching thing I have ever experienced.

Less than 24 hours later and I’m going in between being numb and being devastated and sobbing.  Right now, as I’m writing this, I’m sobbing.  I have to get ready for my 2nd job though so I need to compose myself and get ready for that.

Josie Barrett was born June 4, 2000 and passed away November 30, 2015.  My best friend, my soul mate, the love of my life.  I will never forget her.  She was the best companion I could have ever asked for.

Until next time…

Being proactive.

After my last post, I started reaching out.  I’ve contacted my work EAP and have my first counseling/therapy session on Monday after work.  The therapist answered her own phone and I got a great vibe from her after just a 1o minute conversation, I’m actually looking forward to it.  I’ve also started a 9 week program online through the same EAP for my anxiety.  It’s a Cognitive Behavior Therapy thing and I think it’ll really help.

I’ve rejoined a gym.  I did cancel my membership at Crossfit the Ville per my doctor’s orders and I’ve gone back to the chain gym type.  I joined Planet Fitness for $10 a month.  I have 24/7 unlimited access to the equipment.  Their cardio area is to die for as far as I’m concerned.  They have treadmills (I can’t use those – too high impact); ellipticals, Arc machines and rowing machines.  The rowing machines and Arc machines will be my best friends when I go.  I tried the Arc machine and loved it, so I can see myself using that quite often.   If I were to upgrade to the $19.95 a month membership, I’d have unlimited tanning each month (once a day) and unlimited use of their hydro-massage tables.

Did you know that working out is the least used anti-depressant there is and in order to save my feet, I had to go with the lower impact stuff.  I’m looking forward to getting back at it as much as my feet will let me without trying to push myself to the brink of death, as I did with Crossfit.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Crossfit.  I mean, insanely love Crossfit.  I’m hoping I can work my way back to the Crossfit box once my doctor and I get my feet under control.

I also got a new dog.  This was a spur of the moment decision and I ended up getting him for free.  A friend had to re-home her 5 year old Havanese because he got aggressive with their son.  She posted on Facebook about it and I told her that if Zeevah got along with him, I’d take great care of him and spoil him rotten.  I took her over there Tuesday evening after work so they could have a “play date” and they got along very well.  I can’t blame her for doing it, but I know how heartbroken she was.  So I’ve added a new four legged friend to my routine and I just adore him.  He is so stinking cute, I can hardly stand it most days.  The girls are getting along with him very well.  Zeevah has a new play mate and Josie loves it because now Zeevah doesn’t aggravate her as much as she used too.  It was a good decision and he’s turning into a great addition to the family.

So while I’m working through this depression and anxiety, I’m finding myself not having to force as much as I was.  For months, I was forcing myself to act “normal.”  I was forcing myself to pretend everything was okay and nothing was wrong with me, all the while isolating myself, not doing things that I enjoyed (except play WoW and shop).  Now that I’m done pretending and I’m taking proactive steps to fix it and recover, I’m feeling slightly better.  The road to recovery will be ongoing and possible a lifetime of work.  And I’m okay with that.

Here is my Motley Crew now (from left: Josie, 15 year old Yorkie; Zeevah, not quite 2 year old black lab/GSD mix; and Beck, 5 year old pure bred Havanese)

My motley crew

Misunderstandings and forgiveness

I was on a break from work yesterday when I opened up Facebook on my phone and got one of the biggest shocks of my life.  Someone I had once considered a great friend had passed away at the age of 40.  It was unexpected from what I’ve gathered.  Many years ago, we had a falling out.  We were both mean and it was ugly.  I remember the details, but I won’t go into them here.  I’m just going to say that I held a grudge for a few years.  Somewhere along the way, I forgave her for her part in it and hoped that she forgave me.  Over the last year or so, I would think about reaching out to her to mend fences and then I’d just chicken out.  I didn’t know how it would be received and I just didn’t want to face rejection, if that’s where it would end up.

It was a clusterfuck of misunderstandings that led to our fall out.  I don’t know exactly when that fall out started, but I know where it ended and it never sat well with me.  My feelings were hurt and I got angry.  My anger and resentments have always been fear or pain based.  And until I worked on that part of myself, I felt anger and resentment towards her.

At one point in time, we were as close as two people could be.  We had so much fun together.  We helped each other, we challenged each other to be better women.  She also flew all the way to Vegas to drive cross country with me when I moved here to Louisville.  How many friends do that?  She was a very large part of why I moved to this region.  She was just a few short hours away in Indy, so I knew we could spend weekends together whenever we wanted to or had time.

And now she’s gone.  I’ve talked to her, I’ve let her know I love her and forgive her and hoped that before she left this world, she forgave me for my part.

I am sad.  I am heartbroken for her husband, best friend and family.  She was so young and so full of life.  Rest in Peace, my old friend.  Until we see each other again.  xoxo

Protected: New Year – new me?

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My week in a nutshell…

I posted something and then I deleted it.

My week has been exhausting and revealing. I get fatigued extremely fast. I worked part of Thursday (my first day back to work) and then all day Friday. I felt like I had worked 7 days straight. I’m approaching the one week point of being on these medicines and I know that it takes 2-3 weeks for these things to kick in and do their “job.” I’m trying to be patient with myself and just take it easy and not over do it. Easier said than done for me. I’ve been doing a lot of old school writing in my journal and I’ve been listening to Spotify on my phone. A lot. It helps.

The good news is, my foot has not really hurt all that much for the last week. I don’t know why that is. Maybe because I was in the hospital Sunday night and most of Monday and then didn’t do anything Tuesday and Wednesday except visit the doctor. Whatever reason, I enjoy walking without pain.

I woke up this morning to the news that a friend of a friend committed suicide last night back home in Vegas. Such a tragic loss for his family and friends. It brought back some memories of when a friend I worked with, committed suicide back in 1997. It was a horrible time for his loved ones and friends. I’m counting my blessings tonight.

Until next time…

Well hello there.

I’ve gone back and forth in my head on what to do with this place. Sometimes I want to keep blogging and other times, I just want to let it die. And then I get a wild hair up my ass and come here to see when the last time I posted was.

Since my last personal post of my workout in April of 2013, I have been told to no longer do high impact workouts and sadly, I can’t even wear a tennis shoe because the injections of cortisone did something to the skin on the top of my foot and so it hurts to have anything over my foot. I have no idea who still reads this, but this is what’s going on with me since my last post.

I’ve had surgery on my foot to remove the neuroma from the nerve. It healed to a certain point and then stopped. This is partially my fault due to the fact I went back to work 4 days after surgery (yes, I know. I don’t need a lecture) because it was payroll Monday and God forbid I’m not there for payroll. I really don’t think I took enough time. I’ll be going back to the foot doctor soon to have it looked at and see what’s going on with it. This time, I’ll do exactly what the doctor says and won’t go back to work until he tells me I can. I promise.

I’ve been having a bunch of dental problems. I had a root canal recently that for some reason, caused a lot of pain AFTER the fact and so I had to wait for that to heal before going back to get the temp crown and then the perm crown. However, that costs more than the root canal, so I’m waiting on that. I’m hoping to get that appointment in sometime this week so I can get that moving towards being good again. I need a broken tooth in the back removed and I need at least two more root canals and crowns. Needless to say, I have NOT taken great care of my teeth. Never too late, right?

My car is falling apart. I need new brakes, I could probably use new tires and it’s making some strange noises. I’ve been told Volkswagens always make weird noises. It doesn’t make me feel better. It’s paid off and I want a new car, but I’ll drive this POS into the ground before I entertain that idea seriously. Although, the longer I put it off, the higher the chance of it just up and seizing on me.

I’ve been going through some shit at work that I won’t talk about here but I will say that I know I’ve gone all the right things. I’ve done what I should, the way it should be done. I’ve stood up for myself and I’ve stood up for what I think is right. Outside of that, what happens is out of my control and I continue going to work doing my job to the best of my ability and doing it well. I’ve been told I’m a vital portion of the division and that I am needed, so that’s kinda nice to hear.

My number one priority is to get my foot healed so I can get back to my workouts because my stress reliever was taken away from me the minute the doctor told me to stop working out. I can feel it, I haven’t been dealing with stress very well at all since April. I’ve also gained back 15 of the 30 pounds I lost back in 2011. The 2nd priority is my teeth and get those taken care of.

2014 is going to be my year for getting myself back to feeling good. I’ve let my physical health go quite a bit in 2013. It’s time to reverse that trend and get on it.

I’ve also been 2 days 10 hours 29 minutes free of cigarettes. I’ve been going to Cooper/Clayton classes again. I tried last year and failed. This year, I’m not going to use my stress as an excuse to keep smoking. I’m determined and I may feel like I got hit by a bus right now, but I’m going to push forward and keep doing it.

Until next time….