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


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

I’m not sick!

With all of the mandates coming out about closures and cancellations of things like sporting events to concerts to races for local charities it’s a wonder that we all don’t start feeling sick just by thinking about it so much.

Now I know the coronavirus (COVID-19) is a serious illness and people have passed away because of it so I am not taking the subject lightly. I will put this out there, please if you are feeling sick stay home and rest. Also on that note, and I really feel that I shouldn’t have to say this but WASH YOUR HANDS! This should be something we have been doing all along but I won’t get into that. Since it seems we are on the path of having to figure out things to do during this down time here is a list of some fun and/or interesting things to do to keep from getting bored:

  • There are so many fun board/card games out there. Some examples would be Mattel’s Uno card game, Telestrations made by USAopoly, Speed (a fast pace card game), The Game of Life by Hasbro, the list goes on and on
  • If you have pets, take them for a walk, or go for a drive to the beach or the mountains
  • Start cleaning all those places in your home that you swore one day you would clean. Start with the baseboards, work on the walls and doors and then maybe if you are feeling ambitious those windows have been looking a bit griming in the sunlight. If you have kids have them help you, turn on some upbeat music and get started.
  • Read a book
  • Talk to each other
  • Have a recipe you have been wanting to try? Go for it! Have fun! If you have kids, let them help. is a great place to get the Chocolate/Chocolate Peanut Butter Meal Replacement Shake Mix
  • Time to purge? Spring is getting closer so what a great time to clean out the closet, garage, pantry, medicine cabinet, etc. If it doesn’t fit, smells funny, has a bad expiration date or is a random idem that has been in your garage for a long time, get rid of it!

Get creative but have patience with yourself and especially if you have kids. I know at least around here school has been cancelled for a bit until this virus starts to get controlled. We have a long road ahead of us and our leaders (locally, and beyond) are doing what they can to keep us safe. Getting irritated only causes bad moods (believe me on this one). So all we can really do at this point is use our common sense, stay home if you feel sick, and go with the flow.

Running out to load up on flu medicine or toilet paper is only going to make your pantry full of those things. Do you really need 10 bottles of cold and flu medicine? All I am saying is common sense, use it. I am not putting you down if you really feel you need all that you have stock piled, but when is enough, enough?

So WASH YOUR HANDS, stay home if you feel sick, enjoy this extra time you have. Try some of the above suggested activities and above all stay safe. Until next time,

Matthew 6:27 Says: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

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