Top 10 surprising reasons it’s good to get outside

When we were kids all we wanted to do was get outside and p,ay, and our parents were more than happy to let us do that. Computers and phones have changed that dramatically especially with the younger generations. And I think it’s time for a change! The clouds are going away and, the sun is coming out more which means it is starting to actually get warm. I say come out of hibernation and get outside. Facebook and Instagram should start filling up with photos of people out by the lake, or riding their bikes on forest trails. Research has even shown that getting outside is actually really good for you.

It helps with sleep patterns and getting a better nights sleep.

By getting into nature and fresh air your lungs will feel refreshed by not having to breathe in pollutants found indoors as well as in heavily populated areas.

When people are outside they are doing much more activities than they would be by being indoors.

And if being active outside really isn’t your thing then go find a patch of grass and lay it in, watch the clouds roll by, read a book

Need some inspiration to get you moving, check out the list below:

  • Vitamin sunshine: The sun will do wonders to your attitude especially if you are dealing with seasonal depression or simply just cabin fever
Photo by Laura Pratt on Unsplash
  • You can put the kids to work doing yard chores
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
  • Can you say WATER WARS!!!!!
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
  • You can try a new activity or adventure
  • Family time around the fire pit laughing, eating s’mores and making big flames
  • Spotty internet service, you can finally disconnect from the world for a short time
Photo by Марьян Блан | @marjanblan on Unsplash
  • Summer storms are fun to play in
  • Letting your inner photographer out
Photo done by my daughter Tabby
  • Getting a group of friends together to play a sport
Photo by James Lee on Unsplash
  • Farmer’s markets are a great place to get local produce and fun crafts from local artisans
Photo by Shelley Pauls on Unsplash

To be honest it is going to be so great to have the sun out, to dig the shorts out of storage and to have Popsicles always at the ready. To be able to kick the kids out to play, set up the hammock to read with a large glass of tea and not be in the house all of the time is something I am so excited for. Hibernation is not this momma’s thing. Adventure and sunshine fit me so much better. Until next time:

The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for a newer and richer experience.

Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s ok to not be ok

It can happen in a blink of an eye, you are doing good, things seem to be running smoothly and then they aren’t. It’s not that you did anything differently, it’s more that life is just a bit off and that is OK. There can be many factors that contribute to the shift, and for the sake of this post digging into the medical conditions (ie depression, anxiety) isn’t somewhere that I feel comfortable going. Depression and anxiety can play huge roles in having off days for sure and if these are conditions you deal with I hope that you are receiving guidance from people who are trained to help. That being said there are other factors that can cause an off day or even week to happen. If you see it as it is: an off day, you can move past it and start to change your perspective which will then start to change the path you are heading.

A few days ago I had just gotten to work when I was given a note from the receptionist to do a “check up” call on a patient. I had just seen this owner and had a good conversation with her so doing this call was no big deal to me. To say there was a shift to my morning after that call was a bit of an understatement. The phone call didn’t go as I had thought it would, I had to take a moment afterwards to think it through and see that it wasn’t aimed at me I was just the person who made the call. The person needed to be heard and I was the one to lend the ear. I had a choice to make after that call: allow it to ruin my day or move on knowing that it was just one incident. Choosing to move on was the obvious choice for me and by doing so I was able to have a good day.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

A friend of mine was telling me how it was a bit more stressful in her house right now. She was temporarily laid off due to the pandemic, and with three kids all having to do school from home, her husband was the only one who really got somewhat of a break by going to work. The stress she was dealing with was more due to the unknown of when life will get back to “normal” and the fact that her kids seem to pick on each other now more than ever. I can hear every parent right now groaning including myself. This was a pretty big kink in her life, and at first she was pulling her hair out trying to fix it, then she saw she had to embrace it and see it as it was: the “new normal”. This is what she said she did:

  • She sat down with each kid and made a schedule that had times for school, chores, eating, and playtime
  • She made a schedule for herself that included time that was allocated for just “me time”
  • Each day she and the kids would go for a walk
  • When her husband got home from work they would eat together at the table and have devotions afterwards
  • Sundays were deemed “no electronic” days.
  • Weekends were for doing projects around the house and for going on hikes

After all this was set in place she knew her family needed a bit of a reset button so they went camping for the weekend, read books, rode their bikes and ate s’mores by the campfire. A little get away to get her family back on track.

Photo by Sidney Pearce on Unsplash

We are in a time right now that put us in a state of unrest. Some of the control we once had has been taken away even though temporarily. The fear of the unknown is being felt everywhere. Heck if someone sneezes in public or touches their face they are looked upon like they just grew an arm out of their face. During these times it’s OK to break down just as long as you don’t stay there. It’s OK to cry, just as long as you wipe your tears and move forward. It’s OK to need something bigger than yourself. The Bible says in Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. It’s OK to put on some loud music and sing and dance. It’s OK to eat a whole container of Ben and Jerry’s, but when you do make sure do it once and save the other containers for next month. My point is this, it’s OK to not be OK, just don’t stay there. It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. Yes it is tough, but darlin’ so are you.

Not once in my life was I told life would be easy, but I was also taught to find the good, see the good and be the good. Smile at someone, what’s the worst that could happen? Until next time:

Only You can choose to allow people’s reactions and opinions affect the way your day goes.

The Old Fart award goes to….

This week I turn 40 something and man lately I am feeling it. I am feeling so very thankful because to be honest I don’t have much to complain about. Now don’t get me wrong my world is not all rainbows and daisies, I wake up each morning a little stiff in the knees and wondering if the dog really does want to go on a walk, but I woke up and I was able to walk my dog. So with my birthday litterally right around the corner I thought I would list out 43 reasons why it’s so good to be alive.

  • I have the freedom to worship my God. I may have to do it in the comfort of my living room right now but I still get to do it.
  • My family, they are a little bit crazy, a little bit loud, but they have a whole lot of love
  • This little bit of heaven right here, brownie bottom, chocolate chip cheesecake. (Recipe at end of post)
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  • I have a group of friends that are more family than friends. They are nuts, they are fun, and they are so supportive and fun I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world
  • I get to be a Veterinary Technician. I help pets and their families almost every single day.
  • I have a roof over my head and food in my belly.
  • I have the ability and desire to work out every day, whether it is a walk with my dog or doing a workout with the FitOn app.
  • I can have s’mores in my back yard in a fire pit my husband built
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  • I have a cat and a dog
  • I get to start riding my motorcycle within the next week (hurry up Cycle Gear and get my helmet and jacket here!)
  • Thunderstorms, I mean really, who doesn’t love a good thunderstorm.
  • The smell of summer
  • Fresh mowed grass
  • Laundry hung outside to dry
  • Homemade Kahlua, especially after a long day at work
  • Family hikes on Sunday’s, listening to the kids talk to each other, while enjoying the company of my hubby
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  • Getting to do special training to help owners with hospice and palliative care
  • Nachos, or tacos, or basically anything that involves cheese, salsa, tortillas and chips
  • Cozy days reading a book
  • Shish kabobs with a family recipe marinade
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  • That feeling you get when you check something off your list
  • That feeling you get after finishing a race whether it’s a 5k or a 1/2 marathon
  • That special song you share with your best friend.
  • Since I think coffee is disgusting, I am so very thankful for my Spark in the mornings
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  • Pickled Onions and then when the onions are gone drinking the liquid that is left in the jar! Yum!
  • See’s Candies
  • Laughing so hard you know you just completed a twenty minute ab workout
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  • Getting fresh flowers from the farmers market
  • Helping others find the joy in the everyday life
  • Loving someone and being loved
  • Flamingos! I mean really, they really do stand out from the crowd
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  • Surprise drive by of friends blaring the Happy Birthday song and honking their horns
  • A nice tall glass of ice cold ice tea
  • A good long phone call with your sister
  • The live action movie of Beauty and the Beast
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  • When you get excited with a friend who is excited about something they have or did
  • When someone gets excited with you
  • A snuggle with my cat, on her terms of course
  • A good laugh with coworkers especially when times get stressful.
  • A big bowl of ice cream
  • Disneyland at Christmastime
  • Intermittent fasting is hard but oh so good for my health and eating habits. So glad I started doing it
  • Taking risks because you only have one life, if you are scared all of the time you will miss out on so many things. Trust in God, remember that worrying about tomorrow won’t add time onto today.

Well that is it, I did it! When I first decided to do this list I thought it would be easy. So often you forget about all the ways that you can be thankful and live a life you want to live. Some of these things are silly and some or serious but they are all important. They make me who I am. So who are you? What are some of the things in your life that you are thankful for? There is so much bad or negative in the world, why not make sure the world around you is positive. Even if you are going through hard times you can find at least one thing that brings you joy, peace even. So until next time:

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things
Phillipians 4:8
Thank you bakeorbreak.com

You are what you believe

All too often I hear these words: “I can’t do that” or “Man, that is just too hard” or even “I could probably do that someday, but I am just not ready to right now” All of these are excuses. Whether you believe them or not you are right. When you are making excuses for not trying new things or even not trying to make yourself better, you are putting limitations on yourself that no one else has put there.

Now I am not saying that if you believe you are going to be the next president and you have never worked in politics before and you are like 50 that it’s going to happen. What i am saying is, if you have a realistic goal in mind and you work hard to achieve that goal, you better believe you can do it. The only thing that would stand in your way is yourself. It takes as much time to make up excuses and stick with them as it does to actually work on your goals and achieve them. I think one of my biggest pet peeves is when you can see the potential in someone to achieve great things and what they seem to be the best at doing is making excuses.

When I started to work with Advocare a few years ago, my goal was to start using the supplements to have a more healthy lifestyle. I bought into the 24 Day Jumpstart, and Spark and even the supplements that helped with building healthier muscles. I bought into it because I believed they could help me, and after researching the company, loved the values they had. Those supplements have helped me greatly and because of them people noticed and started asking me what it was I was doing differently. I was excited to talk, to help, and to listen to them. I knew that these products could help them based on the knowledge that they helped me. The problem that came up was the excuses. They wanted to have what I had, but when they found out that it still took work and that the products were not “miracle pills” the excuses started flying. Now don’t get me wrong there were some people that bought into the products and loved them and still use them. For most though when asked if they would “put their money where their mouth was” they didn’t end up doing it. It wasn’t a money thing, it was a motivation thing, they couldn’t believe that they could actually change because the mountain they saw in front of them was too big to see over.

A few years back my husband and I took our kids to Yosemite National Park to go camping with our extended family. We are a family that loves to hike and be outdoors. Yosemite has a lot of places to hike and we did those hikes, but the one that we knew would be the biggest of all hikes was to the top of Yosemite Falls. This is about 8 miles round trip and is considered a very strenuous hike. We started early in the morning with high spirits looking forward to the adventure. After the first mile there was some groaning about the constant uphill. Mile two and three took a lot of convincing that the view would be amazing and that they would feel so good that they accomplished the hike. Then the 4th mile hit, for the most part it was switch backs in the blazing sun and really no shade. My middle daughter at this point put the breaks on. She was not going any further, she was done listening to the encouragements, she was done walking, done talking, she was just done. My husband and older daughter kept going, and I stayed back and found a little bit of shade to sit with her. At that moment she could not believe that she could accomplish this goal. We were close enough to see that the top was maybe 30-45 minutes away but her brain said no. So we sat, we talked, we fueled up with snacks, and then she got up and very slowly we would walk and make our goals be to get to the next spot of shade. It took us about an hour to finally make it to the top, but we made it! Once we took in the sight of the valley below and the rushing waterfall, we found a spot by the river to take off our shoes and socks and put our feet in. The look of accomplishment on her face as well as my older daughter’s face was worth every sweat drop that rolled off our heads.

On that hike we pushed them, because we knew that it would be worth it. Excuses could have been made, (and the girls did try) but in the end they dug deep and made it. The feeling of accomplishment for them as well and my husband and I was there and it felt great, but the lesson was learned too. Work hard, believe in yourself, don’t give up and try your hardest. These will be with them for a very long time and will be passed to their kids.

Challenges are all around us, new adventures are there to be had. Even if it’s a change of lifestyle, wanting to get healthier, seeing that mountain and having the courage to climb it, jumping out of a plane, or even moving somewhere new and unknown. They are there in all shapes and forms. The one and only thing that holds people back is the excuse. It’s too hard, I have no money, I am nervous, it’s not the right time….the list can go on and on.

My challenges consist of:

  • new training in hospice and palliative care for animals so that I can eventually make my own schedules and fill in a niche that just does not exist in my small town.
  • I can’t wait to have my blog have a good healthy following, I had to step out in faith and write that first blog though.
  • The challenge of being debt free is one that my husband and I are working on right now.
  • Currently and most importantly the challenge of helping our kids through this tough and weird time while also trying to safely go to work to help pets stay healthy.

So what are your challenges? What is it that holds you back? How can I help you move forward to reach your goals? I would love to see your comments. If this has helped encouraged you and you know of someone that could use encouragement from this blog please share. Until next time:

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals

Zig Ziglar

My pet says “thank you!”

Misery loves company, but I would much rather be around people that are happy, have a good attitude and just exude joy. Before anyone says anything, I know I just described a pet. People have it in them too, I just know it. These days it can be hard to find the good, there is a lot going on that can cause us to shrink back and hide, but I think if we just look there is a lot of good to be found. Basically if we look at the world through the lens of our pets we can’t help not seeing the good.

To test this theory out, so I set up my super scientific method: I asked the pet. Ok, so I asked the pet’s pet (the owner) for a little bit of info about their fur baby, I took a picture and I will now share them with you. What makes most of these pets a bit different is that they have to see the veterinarian/vet tech more than normal so they wanted to make sure to say “Thanks!”. These pets also wanted to make sure you get to the end of this post because they wanted to ask a favor from you, so let’s get started!

http://www.hullmanveterinaryhospitalllc.com/

Every day I go to work with my momma, she is gonna be a nurse someday, but right now her and I greet you when you come in. I LOVE all the extra pets I get.

I know I heard my dad pet open the Cheeze It box.. He is a pretty good guy, he takes care of my momma who works a lot as a vet tech. They make sure I get my medicine day and night to help control my epilepsy

Hi! my name is Psycho, I used to be one of the greatest hunters but now my back and hind legs aren’t as strong and they hurt sometimes so my pet (momma) has a nice lady from the veterinary office come and give me some pets and a shot that makes me feel better. I pretend to not like the nice lady but she makes me feel better.

Sit pretty for a picture? I can do that! Sit down anywhere I can reach you, and I will force you to pet me. I don’t have any problems, I love my pets (momma and dad)and all my fur siblings. Did I tell you my momma and dad let me lay down in their garden so I can soak up the sun? They are the best-est pets ever!

I know you have a ball somewhere, I am one with the ball and can sense that it wants to play too. My pet (momma) doesn’t like me to overdo my playtime cause I have a bad knee and I sometimes don’t feel too well cause of my other medical issues. I am so glad for this play date though, so will you please throw the ball for me? I will be careful I promise!

I am as feisty as my name is long. My name is Bella Mia Papagallo and I used to be my momma’s girl but then she brought this guy into my life and now I love him so much…..not to worry momma I love you too. I just wish you wouldn’t let that vet lady trim my nails and beak.

My face might look to familiar to you, that’s because you’ve seen my snout before. Can you believe that my pets don’t even know I am a dog? What is a honey badger anyways? I wonder if I am one and I am wrong about being a dog? I am too tired to think bout this, I think I need a cat nap.

I am a flatten floofball. My pets (momma and dad) rescued me from a really bad situation. It took a lot of love a work to help me know I was safe in my new home, but once that happened life was awesome! I got to do a lot of hikes and run around. One day though I didn’t know the edge of a hill was so close (stupid sagebrush) and I fell, my pets were so scared that I died. I am so glad I didn’t but I hurt my lungs and from then on I have had a hard time catching my breath. Medicine helps though. I love to melt into a puddle of floof when I go outside, and my momma cuddles me close when I sleep on the couch.

It may seem silly that I am in a car since I do not like going outside. My name is Belle, I wasn’t feeling good one day and my pet (momma) was worried. I had to go to a place called “the clinic” where they had to poke me, but they petted me the whole time and talked nice to me. I heard them say I had “kidney disease” whatever that means, but now a nice lady comes once a week and gives me fluids in my back (boy does that feel weird) and that makes be feel a bit better and my pet feeds me special foods. So why am I in a car? The nice lady can’t see my momma right now because of some bad virus, so she takes me to her car (in my carrier) and gives me my special fluids there and then she lets me explore a little before I go back to my momma.

I am the luckiest doggo in the world! I have the best pets (momma and dad). I had a pretty sad and scary start in life. I was rescued from a puppy mill and when my pets came to the rescue place, they knew I was the one. When they adopted me I had to be in the car for a long time, I was still so scared so each time we stopped I tried to run away because I didn’t know what else to do. My momma and dad took real good care of me and gave me lots of love. I still get anxious and stressed sometimes and I sometimes shake and black out for a little bit (seizure) but then when I stop I feel safe because I am being held by my pets. I love them and I feel so safe with them.

Hi! I am Marcus! I started out with a not so great life, when my pet (momma) saved me and three others I felt so yucky cause I wasn’t getting fed well, my mouth hurt so bad, my momma said it smelled bad too, and I itched all over. I was only 8 months old. Since then though I have been living the good life. I am so loved and my pets (momma and dad), they take such good care of me. I don’t get around much and my eyes don’t work too well, but momma takes me to the nice vet lady and she helps me too.

I am Lulu, I am spunky and I loves to look cute for you. My pet (dad) rescued me a really long time ago. He and my other pet (momma) are so good to me, I have lots of siblings even TWO birdies. I really love everyone EXCEPT that vet lady that everyone says is nice, but I am watching her…she likes to poke me but then confuses me cause then she pets me. There is something going on here, I know it!

This is a mark of a pet. If you have ever had one of these you know you are special. There are so many, many more stories of “special needs” pets, to the point there may be a second post to keep the stories going. I can’t wait to get that one started. The pets here are so well taken care of but because of the Covid-19 pandemic some owners are not able to afford the services and medicines their pets need. In most situations the veterinary hospitals are having to change protocols and take more protective measures to keep the pets, their owners, and the vet staff safe. Because of this for the next 2 weeks anyone who purchases a “So Dog Tired I Could Take a Cat Nap” decal, will be helping pets. All of the proceeds will go into a “good sam” account at The Happy Pet Vet to help owners who can’t afford to get the care their pet needs.

I know for most of us times are tough, if you are able to help we appreciate it and you’ll get this cute decal!

So Dog Tired I Could Take a Cat Nap Decal

This fun decal can be put almost anywhere. With the purchase of this decal the proceeds will go to help owners who can't afford veterinary care due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Limited time only.

$15.00

From our family to yours, thank you! We are there for your pets so that they can be there for you!

I want to say thank you to all of the veterinary professionals who go out each day to take care of pets, risking that they may too get the virus, but do all they can non the less to make sure pets go home to their families.

Once it starts screaming, it’s Done

Today being Sunday, it was time for my family and I to go on our family hike. We headed out to a part of town that has an awesome 3.5 mile bike trail that is ranges from flat to hills. The girls like it because they can take the dog and great really far ahead of their brother and us parents. We started this hike in perfect formation, making sure to keep an eye on the ever so heavy looking clouds in the sky. Pretty close to the turn around point is when it started to downpour. By the time we got to the car we were cold, soaked and ready to have hot cocoa at home. While waiting for the tea pot to start “screaming” my middle daughter blurted out “well we know, once it starts screaming it’s done!” This got me thinking of how often this is true about so many other things.

I read a book once about anger and how people can be compared to volcanoes when it comes to how much they can handle before they “blow”. I was curious as to what kind of volcano I was so I took the test and I came out a composite volcano. Basically I am Mt. Shasta, or Mt. Rainier when it comes to my temper. I usually don’t get mad or upset at the small things but instead, I let them build up which sometimes causes little cracks in my composure. Then one day I just blow up! I scream , I stomp, I huff and I puff until all of the “mad” is gone and then I go back to my normal self. Usually this is when the kids go to their rooms, the hubby goes to the garage and the dog looks at me like I am made of broccoli (he hates broccoli). So how do I deal with this? I would tell you that talking about it helps, and it does but usually a long walk, or good housecleaning to calm down has to come first. By the way have you ever noticed how much you can get done when you are mad?

Photo by Gary Saldana on Unsplash

A sermon I listened to a few weeks ago talked about the pressures of life and how you deal with them. So often when people are under pressure the urge to scream is there. The response that you have to those pressures will reveal what you believe about the outcome. Winston Churchill, during World War 2 when Nazi Germany had taken over all of Europe and France had fallen, had been interviewed and asked what he had to offer he said “all we have is our blood, toil, tears and sweat, our aim is victory!” He believed in the outcome of victory. There are so many things that we cannot control in our lives. The wind, how others think and act towards us, but if we focus on what we can control, like our actions will become the foundation of who we are. I encourage you to listen to the full sermon, it is encouraging and full of insight on how to look for what you can control in the situations you face.

A saying I heard was this “People don’t often change with permission but with pressure” Think about this for a minute and maybe re-read it. People usually will stay with the status quo until they can’t. A friend of mine was told that she had cancer, for as long as I have known her she had talked about getting healthier, eating better, exercising more. She is now forced into eating better and trying to have a more well balanced life because of a “pressure” that has come into her life.

Take our current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, it started out with us being able to have some liberties on what we could do socially, with our jobs, how we dress, how we wash our hands..etc. As hours, days, weeks have gone by those liberties have changed due to the “pressures” of more and more people getting sick and the goal of flattening the curve overwrites the liberties that we want to have. Most of what is happening is out of our control on what we are allowed to do. I would love go back to church and be with my church family, since I can’t right now podcasts/streaming are getting me through. My kids are already missing school, but we are making schedules and doing supplemental assignments to get us by. I would love to go to work and not have to wear a mask or worry about who I come in contact with and if they are healthy. I would love to not have to go out to people’s cars to get their pets (especially when it is raining/snowing), making sure they know we’ll take good care them but they need to stay in their vehicles. This too shall pass and the mash wearing days will get behind us, I can’t control this but I can control how I respond (even if there are days I drive to a park first before going home just to scream and let it all out).

Jorj

Jorj is my super sweet, lovable, bed hogging, please throw the ball for me dog. When he was a year old he started to have seizures. He started out having one every 6 months and then something clicked and he started to have 5-8 grand mal cluster seizures a week. We did bloodwork which let us know we had a super healthy dog. Since he was having so many seizures, we started using medications to help slow them down. We started with one, experimented with two others, and eventually added on 3, including one to help support his liver because another one of his medications was starting to effect his liver. The seizures started to slow down with the medications and we have managed to get them down to one every 3-6 weeks, but let me tell you the pressure was there, it is still there but we know this is the new normal. We can’t control why this is happening to our Jorj, but we can control how we react to it. He is still our super sweet, lovable, bed hogging, please throw the ball for me dog. He just has seizures, we support him with love first and foremost, but also with a special food and medications. He gets to be a dog and we get to share life with him

There are times when the urge to scream is there, when the pressure is on and we just have to put our head down and walk forward knowing that this too shall pass. As we are approaching Easter, think of the pressures that Christ had to face as he was led into the city, people all around singing “Hallelujah” while laying down palms and their cloaks, knowing that in a weeks time those same people would be chanting “crucify him, crucify him!” The pressure was so real that while praying for God’s will to be done he perspired drops of blood. He knew that outcome would be that there would be no separation between us and Him for those who believed, and because of that He died for us. Talk about pressure, I am so very grateful that He did this for me, for you, for everyone who believes, I am thankful that he didn’t succumb to the pressures, and just skip town. This brings the hope of Easter, and for that I am extremely thankful. Until next time:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotton Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

That’s not what I meant!

Have you ever noticed that we have preconceived expectations in our heads of how we thought things would turn out, or how things were made, or how people act? We picture things a certain way based on our life experiences, what we see others doing, whats seen on TV….etc. Then when it doesn’t go our way we tend to get upset. So how do we know what to expect, when really it is out of our hands? The answer is, we can’t. We can explain what we want, we can show what we want, but it will always be up for interpretation. That is where we get can get frustrated, or have the flip side happen and we get something that goes way beyond our expectations. So I thought it would be fun to take a look at some scenarios and see if we can find the positive in them:

  • Scenario # 1: A few weeks ago a dog was brought into the hospital I work at lethargic, not wanting to eat and was having bouts of diarrhea and vomiting. It had been going on for about a week but the dog would have a couple of bad days and then would seem to get better so the owner decided to wait it out. His expectation was that our doctor would do an exam, tell him it was fixable and maybe give him some medicine to help his pet. The doctor expected that the owner would see the severity of the situation and agree to do diagnostics so that he could figure out what was wrong with his pet. The pet was just excited that he got to go with his owner on a car ride even though he was tired and didn’t feel like doing anything. Two totally different expectations, the owner’s and the doctor’s. Neither was wrong but they were both based on the person’s experiences and knowledge levels. Luckily the owner agreed to have some diagnostics done and he was able to take his pet home for some rest and support through medicines.
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  • Scenario # 2: A few days ago my wonderful husband decided to make dinner. It was a dinner we hadn’t had in a while because let’s face it, my kiddos are quite picky and they usually don’t like trying new things, and lately it wasn’t top on my list to force new foods down their throats. To say I was a bit excited to have something other than spaghetti, stroganoff, or even hamburgers is an understatement. The kids expected the same dinner routine and were not super happy that they would have to eat something different than normal. We as parents expected them to eat what was on their plate. The time came, the dinner table set and the food was before us. The complaints were minimal (a lot less than what I expected) and other than the spinach in the salad they said they liked it. Will it always happen that way, probably not, but I can at least say this time what I expected did not happen and for that I am happy.
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  • Scenario # 3: This past summer my husband had to travel A LOT (3 month at a time). When we were planning for this new way of living I expected life to be as normal. Our kids were old enough to be home alone while I was at work, for the most part they are super awesome well behaved kids who are pretty easy going, and I figured that on my lunch breaks I would come home and hang out with them. I also expected that they would be nice to each other, help around the house and help with dinners on the nights I had to work late, oh and of course I expected when they got bored that they would play with the dog. Ok, so before you leave comments about me having really high expectations of the kids, I will tell you, you are right. I went into our new way of life a little bit blindly. I came out of the experience with a new sense of respect for my kids but also the single parents, military spouses, and any other member of society who take on raising kids solo for months at a time.
    • My kids expected that during the times that I was at work, they could be on the various devices in the house most of the day. They expected that there would be enough snacks in the house to feed an army. They did have rules set in place of when things should be done, but figured it was up to their interpretation. They expected that their summer would be laid back with summer camps, and camping trips sprinkled in to give them little bit of fun.
  • What we got was a menagerie of chores, simple dinners, bike rides to the store, camping trips, summer camps, phone calls from dad, soccer practices and games, fights between siblings, slightly stressed out parents, a dog that got played with, and a whole lot of expectations that were fulfilled and changed due to new experiences that took place.
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  • Scenario # 4: This past fall, I thought it would be fun to get my motorcycle license. This required that I take a 3 day course that included learning to ride a bike on a closed course as well as learning the rules of riding a bike in a classroom. I had never ridden a motorcycle before, but I thought “really, how hard could it be?” I expected to just get on the bike, take some directions and go. Little did I know how tiring it is to ride a bike, how hard it is to make tight turns, and that it can be a bit scary in the beginning to go faster than second gear when the person in front of you is just as nervous. I made it through the course, I aced the written exam but the instructor in charge of the riding portion passed me but made sure I knew I needed to practice more before I did any riding on the roads.
    • Fast forward a few months I was finally able to get my bike. To say I was excited was an understatement. Before I could ride though I had to get my gear. So off to the nearest Cycle Gear store to try on jackets, pants, helmets, boots and gloves. Man I was bursting at the seems with excitement! My husband and I got to the store and walked in, to be met with a blockade of tables. Social distancing at it’s best. I expected to go in try on gear and get all I needed to start riding. The store employees expected to keep working so they followed the procedures set by their managers and answered the questions we had and gave us info on where to get the best review online of the various items on our list. Do you know how hard it is to shop online for motorcycle gear when you can’t try it on first, or find a brand that fits? Let’s just say I see a lot of returns and online refunds in my future but I get it and I will adapt to our new way of life.
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So what are some expectations that you have? Do you find it hard to adapt? Has there been a time where you had something/someone go above and beyond your expectations? I have come to realize that getting upset because what I expected would happen didn’t isn’t worth it. I have been pleasantly surprised more often than not. I have learned new ways of doing things, I have been able to help people, I have been able to grow as a person. It is not always easy to take what you expect and throw it to the wind and go for something new, but it can be worth it. I would LOVE to hear your comments and if you like what you have read please share. Until next time,

“People look to time in expectation that it will eventually make them happy, but you cannot find true happiness by looking toward the future:

Eckhart Tolle

This is me, and why you should care

Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash

Hello and welcome! I am excited to meet you and I can’t wait to share a little bit about myself. Now some of you may be thinking, why now? She has already written some posts and is getting her name out there, but that right there is the reason! Why would you want to read what I have to say if you don’t even know who I am?

So here is my story in a nutshell. I grew up in sunny Southern California. I grew up going to a church that was amazing. It taught me the importance of helping in the community, whether it was painting over graffiti, volunteering for special projects with inner city youth, or mowing lawns. It was (and still is) important to show Christ’s love through actions. I was a band nerd in high school, and had a competitive streak that pushed me to do the best I could do in my studies, but mainly it pushed me to prove that a middle child should be noticed (MIDDLE CHILDREN UNITE!).

Photo by Viviana Rishe on Unsplash

College was a different thing all together, other than the steadiness of church I just could not figure out what I wanted to do. I loved the outdoors, I loved animals, I just didn’t have a clue what my next step should be. Luckily I had one of the best jobs in the world. I got to work at Disneyland for a few years while trying to figure out life after high school. Let me tell you, all that you have heard about their cusotmer service is so true. I mean really, I had to go through “Disney University” just to be able to go out to where the “guests” were with enough confidence to know I was doing it the “Disney way”. I learned so much about the value of a positive attitude and smile and what it could do for a person.

Photo by Travis Gergen on Unsplash

Three colleges later (and a lot of college debt) I had to say goodbye to my family, friends, and my familiar way of life so that I could move up to northern California. I finally made a decision and enrolled in college for a degree in Forestry. College life was an eye opener! The first year I thought I would not make it, no job, funds were running low and I knew no one. Such a sad state of affairs. With lots of prayers a few strategic phones calls to mom about the small amount of funds, I made it! I was even able to get a job! Fast forward a couple of years and a couple of moves to finally end up sharing a house with 4 super awesome gals. I ended a relationship with a guy who was not so great and definately not meant for me to start a relationship with this great guy who eventually proposed to me. After gradutation, and the wedding, and yet another move, we ended up in Southern Oregon.

Photo by everett mcintire on Unsplash

Oregon has been our home ever since. In the beginning it was a love/hate relationship. We moved here so that my husband could start his new job. This job kept him so busy, I barely saw him the first year of our marriage. God at work again eventually got us to a point where Tim started working for a company that gave him better hours and I found myself working for a veterinary hospital. I absolutely loved my job, and I still love it since I am still working in the veterinary business going on 15+ years. I learned so much in the first few years. I have to give created to the vet techs that took me under their wings Vi and Lori. If not for them I would not be where I am now. They saw me as a sponge that would just soak up any information they gave me. They pushed me to be the best I could be, eventually helping me get my license as a vet tech. They saw potential in me when I didn’t see it in myself. That hit home for me so much I wanted to be able to do that for others.

About 6 years ago I had to leave that vet hospital, it was becoming a place that was toxic. I had to put me and family first (since we grew from Tim and I to Tim, 3 kids, 3 dogs and a cat). My health was on a slight decline, I started to have major anxiety attacks each time I had to go into work. My heart would race, I would get light headed and just the fear of having to see certain people made me have to change my work schedules and go home early. Within weeks of leaving that job the anxiety attacks were less and I was able to start working at a church doing children’s ministries.

I eventually became the director of the program and started working more in growing the youth group. Jr High and High school kids are so much fun! Yes there are trials and difficult situations but give them a ball and tell theme we are playing dodge ball before the Bible study and they go hog wild. I was there for only two years but they were some of the best times. My good friend and I started outreach programs, had Father/Daughter dances, did Science schools during the summer for the community kids, and we got to see God working through those kids and their families.

Life was busy during that time and soon afterwards I started doing more vet tech work again. ( I had been doing weekend work while at the church). I decided at that point too that I wanted to get in better shape, eat better, get more energy (I became an Advocare coach). As I started feeling healthier, I was feeling better about myself and my confidence grew. People noticed and I was able to encourage others to eat better, start exercising and for some they started to use the Advocare supplements that I had (and still do) used.

Today I am working full time at two different vet hospitals. I started this blog and hope to see it grow. My husband, the kids and I are working currently working on surviving the “staying at home” rule that has been applied to us all. I will say that there will be a lot of Spark and Oasis in our future as we become stay at home teachers, referees, and all around super humans trying to prevent the home as we know it from imploding on itself. I really love to encourage people, I love to be sassy, I love a challenge and as a true middle child I won’t give up, and I hope you won’t either. Until next time:

So Dog-Tired you need a Cat Nap

So Dog Tired I Could Take a Cat Nap Decal

Stick this fun decal on your car, on a notebook, even on a water bottle. The sky is the limit. Choose white or black

$15.00

All I want to do is take a cat nap because I am dog-tired. Cats on average sleep 18-21 hours so why do we call it cat naps when we try and take a little 30 minute nap? Most dogs seems to have bounds of energy, but when we get home from a long day at work we are dog-tired.

Dogs and cats are some of the most common pets, and for most people they are an important part of the family. They are fun to interact with, they give us a purpose, help ground us and are all around goof balls. I dare you to watch a puppy or a kitten play and not crack a smile. As a vet tech, I get to see a lot of pets. The wide range of personalities they have is amazing. I actually joke with a lot of clients that they don’t need TV all they need to do is watch their pet. So then the question again is this: Why is there the phrases dog-tired and cat naps. Well let’s dig into them and see.

So there is this guy, his name is Alfred. Now Alfred was a pretty important guy back in the day. Actually so important he sat on a throne and fought Vikings. He also had a great reputation as being merciful, level headed and really encouraged education which were part of the reasons he got to change his name to Alfred the Great. So what does this have to do with being dog-tired? There is this old tale: Alfred the Great had sons who needed to exert some of their energy into other things besides hanging around the castle. So one day Alfred had an idea, (killing two birds with one stone) why not send the boys out with the hunting dogs, whichever son could catch more of the hounds first would get to sit next to dear old dad at the dinner table (actually quite the honor back then). So off the dogs go, they are fast and are pretty good at not getting caught. Cue the boys who are probably equally used to running but are not as fast as the dogs, so when they finally did get home they would be dog-tired…oh and probably pretty filthy. Pretty fun right? So that is where the term dog-tired came from, though I would hazard to say it would probably be better to say boy-tired but that doesn’t sound as good huh? This actually sounds like a good exercise routine, especially now with those who have kids. Ok Fido, you go chase that animal over there and I’ll send Sally out in a bit to see if she can catch you…….ANNNNNNNDDDDDD GO! Winner gets dinner tonight. Ok maybe not.

So what’s up then with the term cat nap? The story behind this term isn’t as “fun” as the dog-tire story but it is still interesting. Cats have this thing where sleeping is a big part of their lives. It’s kind of like filling the tank for the long haul drive, without the long or the haul since they sleep for 15-21 hours a day. Sleeping is a relative term though, they actually doze more than sleep and position themselves to be able to get spring into action at a moments notice. Try that they next time you decide to take a nap and you “spring” into action when that ice cream truck comes. Cats in general conserve energy, they are physiologically wired to be a predator and love to pounce and creep, it just happens to be more in the wee hours of the night that it happens. Experts say that cats like to be around us humans but I would put a BIG “IF” after that statement and say, yes they do like to be around us humans if we do as they say and when they say to do it. We are after all their servants right?

Dogs and cats are amazing creatures. In my previous post Top 10 Ways Pets Help Keep You Grounded, I go over some of the ways they help us humans out. Aside from grounding us though, they march to the beat of their own tune, they are goofballs that find the fun in simple things. They are demanding, they love to snuggle and man do they know the importance of sleep.

During this time of uncertainty why not take our cues from our pets. Take a cat nap, pounce on a new project or hobby. Find things to do around the house, play with your kids, try something new, set a new goal. Whatever you do, do it so that at the end of the day you are dog-tired. Until next time:

Need help understanding what to do with social distancing and being home? Ask your pets, they are experts.

Helping Pets

Top 10 Ways Pets Can Help Keep You Grounded

A couple of weeks ago I was having a really challenging few days at work. I am a veterinary technician for two different practices so I see and help a lot of patients. We happened to have some cases that were hard to deal with, a dog with pancreatitis, a cat that ate an unknown object that was making him vomit often, a puppy with a limp, the list seemed to go on and on. These were not quick fixes for the animals or for their “pawrents”. Each case that presented itself was just compounding the stress that was building up.

As much as you want to leave work at work, it does tend to follow you home. This is the way that it is sometimes. You worry about the patient that had to stay overnight to have fluid therapy, you hope that you communicated the best you could to the client the best options for their pet after the vet has told them the diagnosis. Sometimes it’s even a relief that you didn’t strangle your coworker because today for some reason their head was in the clouds.

We all have our stressors, the things that really cause our blood pressure to rise and for some to have more anxiety. Right now the world is in somewhat of a discombobulation. We don’t know what we are going to be able to do from one day to the next and that in itself is stressful.

So what do you do with all of this? You find the best way you can to deal with the stressors that come up. An article written in the UCLA Heath talks about “The healing power of pets”. In this article it stated that research is continually showing that regular interactions with dogs or any pets or animals can have immediate and long lasting impacts on your emotional well-being. So to show that this is true here is a top 10 list of ways pets can help keep you grounded:

  • They have a significant impact on your well-being. In a six week study from Mount Sinai Hospital, 42 cancer patients received daily 15-20 minute animal assisted visits. After the animal therapy most reported that they were more able to face their treatments with less anxiety.
  • Puppies almost instantly equal happiness. During my shift last week there was an hour stretch of appointments that just happened to be puppies. They were all healthy puppies so it didn’t matter what they were seeing us for at the time. What mattered was the feet that smelled like popcorn, the cute puppy kisses and those tails that wagged so much the puppies knocked themselves over. In that time frame, my mindset changed and I was able to take on the rest of the day
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  • No matter what your day is like, when you get home your pet is happy to see you.
  • You know that no matter what you have or haven’t done for your pet they love you unconditionally.
  • When you are dealing with elevated stress or anxiety contact with animals especially one’s own pet causes the oxytocin levels in the brain to increase which will counter the elevated levels of stress and anxiety.
  • Taking your pet out for a walk or even a hike, gets you outside, gets you moving, causing the serotonin levels to rise in your brain meaning you actually start to feel happy. You are also spending more time with your pet, whose main goal is to be around you, which equals joy for you both.
  • Pets give you a purpose, they have to be fed, walked, and taken care of. This in itself is very grounding
  • Pets are great security blankets. In my home the animals are allowed on the bed and furniture. This is great since animals love to be right next to you, thus you will be warm, and honestly, do you think someone would mess with a person that has 2-3 dogs surrounding them on their bed? I think not!
  • Having pets means there is not much extra cash laying around (not that that in itself is a good thing, but spending money on your pets is oh so much fun) which means you get to stay home more, meaning more time with your pets. A win, win!
  • They are great alarm clocks. They have a special part of their brain that alerts them seconds sometimes minutes before your alarm clock is actually suppose to go off. This is the time to pounce on your chest, lick your toes, meow so loudly the neighbors wake up…etc. They would hate for you to be late in feeding them or letting them out.

There are so many other reasons and ways that pets help keep you sane, grounded and loved. Time is limited though, and I highly doubt you want to spend all day with me, so just make sure you love on your furry friend, and find joy in that. These days there are unlimited things that can cause stress in our lives. Why not curtail those things with your pet by your side. Now if you’ll excuse me, my cat just sat on me and if I don’t respond quickly that meow is going to wake the dead. Until next time:

Remember this: “Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.” –A.A.Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

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