My Dog’s Lack of Courage

Miscellaneous, Sunday Sol

I hear the random bark. It’s the bark Sam does when she wants something. (A dog-mom knows.) I dismiss her and I continue texting. The random barks continue and I wonder if she’s hungry again. No, she’s not at her food bowl. I begin searching for her, not finding her anywhere. I go downstairs to our garden and then the patio. I finally find her in a corner plant too scared to jump out!

You can also see my lack of a green thumb!

Find Your Character Strengths Quiz

Culture, Sunday Sol

The VIA Institute of Character states your character strengths are the qualities that come most naturally to you. Using these qualities on a daily basis will significantly improve your life.

The quiz is free at viacharacter.org, but they do use your information to further their study.

My top 5 character strengths:

  • Appreciation of Beauty & Exellence
  • Fairness
  • Love
  • Love of Learning
  • Gratitude

And if you want to take this a step further, Yale University has a free course of their most popular class, “The Science of Happiness”. This quiz being one of the first things you do.

I just started the course this week and if you’re interested, you can find it at coursera.com.

My Personal Memorial to My Dad

Sunday Sol

Sadly, my dad passed away in January. In an effort not to be completely consumed with grief, I’ve been reflecting on some things I now know.

  • When you are lucky enough to have a wonderful loving father who made sure we gave hugs/kisses on the daily, there’s no panic at the end wondering if he knew how much I loved him. It’s a sure thing.
  • Who you are in life, you’re also that way until the end. My dad was always a happy fun loving man. At 81 years old and days away from death,  he was still fist bumping the nurses.
  • I stayed with my dad for the majority of his cancer treatment and honestly became very grumpy after a few months because I wanted to go home. Now I know I was lucky to have those days with him. They were a gift of extra time with my dad. I wish I had utilized them better.
  • We spend our lives accumulating nice things to go in our pretty houses. In the end, it all ends up being “just stuff”. His bible and hat were all I wanted.
  • My sisters importance in my life has never been so apparent as it was in those last weeks as we cared for him together. And now will never be forgotten.
  • All through my high school years, my dad’s mantra to me before going out was, “Have fun, be good, and don’t do anything stupid”. It was good advice then and is actually good advice in general.

So dad, now that you’re on the other side, “Have fun, be good and don’t do anything stupid.” xoxo

 

 

 

 

Pet Travel Troubles

Sunday Sol

Yesterday I flew from California to Mexico and things could not have been worse. Let me set the stage. I had two check on bags, a tote that felt like it weighed 20lbs and my furry baby Sam pictured above.

The first leg: I am blessed to have a friend I’ve nicknamed Florence *&^  Nightengale. She’s Johnny on the spot for friends in need. She took me to the airport and helped me to check in my luggage. We both realized quickly this would not be an easy trip for me having a flight layover, customs, immigration….egads. Sam and I go through security and as I unleashed her, she made a run for it. Luckily, there weren’t many people and I was able to catch her quickly. Security done, now we wait. The waiting went well with the exception of Sam being a child magnet and she can be snippy. So it’s a lot of “no, no, no” on my part. “No touching”. She succumbed to her carrier pretty easily and we boarded the plane. It was a tight squeeze under the seat, but I smooshed her in. And then realized the seat in front was broke and was at a permanent extended lounge position. Sam freaked as it smooshed her more. I tried to calm her, but the back of the chair was about 5 inches from my face. I could not reach her without leaning into the chair (and passenger) next to me to try to console her. She finally calmed down and then the babies started crying and screaming. This too set her off. Again I was unable to console her, but did my best. Thank goodness the passenger next to me was very sympathetic. Thank you passenger! The plane was completely full so trying to change seats would have been an even bigger challenge. So we had to suck it up. Then we sat for an hour before the plane even left! I was aware of every minute.

We make it off the plane, Sam a bit frantic. Next was immigration which we made it through easily. I then get my bags to go through customs. It was a bit stressful as I have to leave her on the floor in her carrier trying to find and grab my bags. One eye on the conveyer belt and one eye on her. I get a cart, load it up and proceed to the line. After waiting in the line for approximately 30 minutes, we reach the agent. She tells me I need to clear Sam in a different area. Ok, fine. I go to the “dog clearing” area. I’ve travelled with Sam a few times now and have never had an issue. Well, there’s always a first time. They would not clear her because the certification did not show she had been treated for fleas. What!!! I just Frontlined her two weeks ago, but this time they wanted to see it on the certification. The true panic sets in, not to mention the language barrier. I’m not a beginner Spanish speaker,  but in times of stress a lot of my knowledge goes out the window. I’m a mess now thinking my dog is getting quarantined. What about my next flight… am I going to have to stay in Guadalajara??? After about 30 more minutes, a man tells me there is a vet that will come and take care of this and gave me his card. I contact the vet who will come….another 30 minutes. We go into a room, he does a ridiculous exam of 10 seconds and sprays her with what must have been a flea spray, fills out the paperwork, and we give it to the agent. She then approves Sam and send me back to the customs line. The vet is with me so I can pay him. We go through customs and of course, we get pulled to the side so they can go through my bags. At this point, a man tells us I will not make my connecting flight. I’m disappointed, but it’s one less stress I guess.

After customs, the vet and I go to the check in counter of the airline to recheck my bags. She tells me I can make my flight, but I need to go quickly and directly to the gate as they are boarding now. The vet concedes his pay, but on the way we see an ATM and we bolt toward it. I get the vet paid, and Sam and I sprint to the gate making the flight. Me sweating with stress and Sam clearly traumatized from being bounced around in a carrier for hours.

In the end, we made it home. Me with the knowledge that I will NEVER travel with Sam internationally if connecting flights are happening. And I will ALWAYS be sure the American vet includes flea info on the certification. As for Sam, I’m pretty sure she needs therapy now.

October Awesomeness

Sunday Sol

                              Autumn is my favorite season.

Here in California, the leaves are starting to change colors with crisp mornings and chilly evenings. Now I’m enjoying burying myself in blankets to sleep (even if I have to keep the window open to do it), longer walks with my 4 legged bestie, red wine, and in honor of October: scary movies.

However, in one week I will be back (thankfully) in Mexico. So, I’m enjoying what little bit of Autumn I have left.

 

 

After a Summer of Caregiving…

Sunday Sol

Thank You To:

The nurses who were all so kind to my dad.

Edward who unselfishly offered love and support throughout.

My sister who helped shoulder the caregiving responsibility and also brought gifts for me!

My best friend who got me out of my head and out of the house.

My teacher and brother in law who texted me throughout the summer wishing my father and I thoughts and prayers

The neighbor who offered their help and rides to church.

My dog that makes me smile everyday and kisses my tears away.

And a special thanks to the woman in the cancer care who touched my arm and gave me a warm smile when I didn’t even realize how desperately I needed it.

xoxo

 

 

 

February Recap

Sunday Sol

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Morning routine    tea & news

Spanish classes    twice a week

Kombucha crazy    still

Moms bday    miss her

Dad sick    oh no

Dog has arthritis   we’re all getting older

Warm weather

Diet started    diet still going

One peri-meno maniac meme

Travel bug    bit me

Remodel    continues

Bon Iver    moods