warm and toasty

November 23, 2014 | View Comments

Pacey is warm and toasty!

You should just see my Pacey today! He is being super cute and adorable! He is a talker, and he is definitely showing off that trait today, for sure! Mark’s been sick on the couch, so I’ve come down to check on him a couple of times, and each time Pacey has come marching in there, chatting up a storm! Haha! Not only that, but he cuddled with me for both my morning and afternoon naps! I was shocked! My back pain is more than godawful today, so I definitely appreciated the fact that I fell asleep easily and that I had such a sweet companion both times! I mean, usually the others swap out and I am pretty lucky to always have a cute furry body curled up with me, but he wanted to monopolize the cuddling spot today! Anyway, doesn’t he look cute in his little snuggly robe? He has short fur, so I worry about him when it gets cold out, even though he burrows under blankets whenever he feels like it. It’s not like a real fear I have or anything, but I still feel like he needs to be extra warm sometimes. That’s probably why I heard Santa is stopping by with another self-heating pet bed at Christmas!

We were really happy to work with The Honest Kitchen again, especially to help them promote their Winter Warmers, a line of special, limited edition, make-at-home broths for dogs and cats that are available now for the holiday season! Winter Warmers are made from a mix of healthy dehydrated ingredients. The broths are designed to be blended with hot water and are served to dogs and cats as a warmed wintertime beverage treat. Their Winter Warmer gourmet broths are super-easy to make and are an irresistibly tasty way to treat pets to a nourishing drink in cold weather. The Honest Kitchen is always excited to uphold their commitment to only providing the highest quality pet food products and is sharing their holiday Winter Warmers with us with a holiday discount. These Winter Warmers are a limited 2014 holiday edition gourmet broth set of 3 that currently sell for $19.99. You can use the promo code BGWW14 and get $2.00 off each Winter Warmer gift set, so stock up now as they’ll make great stocking stuffers for your pet or a pet lover you may know! Keep reading to see what my furbabies thought.

Here are some photos of the Winter Warmers that were sent to us:

The Honest Kitchen Winter Warmers product review
The Honest Kitchen Winter Warmers product review
The Honest Kitchen Winter Warmers product review
The Honest Kitchen Winter Warmers product review
The Honest Kitchen Winter Warmers product review

And here’s a video where I take a closer look at what we received:

Included in the package:
- 1 Chicken Consommé, made with dehydrated free range Petaluma chicken, goat’s milk, chard, and parsley
- 1 Beef & Bone Broth, made with dehydrated ranch raised beef, pumpkin, shiitake mushroom, and chard
- 1 Turkey Stock, made with dehydrated cage-free turkey, goat’s milk, parsley, and a hint of honey

Here is some information about the Winter Warmers from its website:

Winter Warmers Set of Three – Chicken Consommé, Beef & Bone, and Turkey Stock
3 x 5.5oz jars (16.5oz total)

This holiday season indulge your four legged family member with a warm, wintertime beverage treat! Perfect for chilly days, post-hike hydration, after playing in the snow, or any winter morning (or evening). Helps your pup or kitty feel warm, loved, hydrated, and happy in the tummy!

Our Winter Warmer Broths are made from a mix of human grade, dehydrated ingredients and are designed to be blended with hot water before serving. Winter Warmers are sold as a gourmet gift set and include three different broths: Chicken Consommé, Beef & Bone Broth, and Turkey Stock.

They make great gifts and stocking stuffers for cats and dogs!

Here’s a little video and two photos of Mark preparing a broth for our furbabies:

The Honest Kitchen Winter Warmers product review
The Honest Kitchen Winter Warmers product review

And here are some photos and a video of Sam enjoying his yummy new Winter Warmer broths:

The Honest Kitchen Winter Warmers product review
The Honest Kitchen Winter Warmers product review
The Honest Kitchen Winter Warmers product review
The Honest Kitchen Winter Warmers product review
The Honest Kitchen Winter Warmers product review
The Honest Kitchen Winter Warmers product review
The Honest Kitchen Winter Warmers product review

The verdict? I really like the idea of these Winter Warmers from The Honest Kitchen! Who doesn’t want to feel warm, snuggly, and toasty when it’s chilly out? We do that through warm drinks and soups, and now we have the opportunity to share that with our sweet little furbabies too! The Chicken Consommé, in particular, smelled sooo yummy, just like chicken noodle soup, and it made the kitchen smell really good. I had high hopes that all four of my kitties would enjoy these broths, but they didn’t. Only our Sam dug in. Then I realized that, of course, they’re cats and cats are cats, and they’re never all happy at the same time, unfortunately! I still think they’re great, and I’m glad that at least Sam got to have a warm belly on a cold evening. These Winter Warmers are a limited 2014 holiday edition gourmet broth set of 3 that currently sell for $19.99. You can use the promo code BGWW14 and get $2.00 off each Winter Warmer gift set, so stock up now! FYI – this promo code works for those in the United States only. If you purchase these products, please let me know what you think!

(Full disclosure – The Honest Kitchen provided these items to us free of charge in exchange for a product review. Thanks!)

Basia gets her blood pressure checked

So we had the mobile vet stop by Monday after we got back from my doctor’s appointment. for the first time in I think forever, they were super early! We hadn’t even started rounding up the cats that were going to be seen, so when the doorbell rang fifteen minutes earlier than the actual appointment time, we were happy but screwed because the cats scattered. Basia was easy to get because she only ran into a cat bed while Sam and Lulu ran under the bed in the master bedroom, and that involved much harder work for us which obviously sucked due to our bad backs. So there Mark was laying on the floor pushing the cats out with my cane, and there I was grabbing them and carrying them down. Sigh! It was kinda funny when the vet tech first arrived because it wasn’t our usual one. Mark wasn’t prepared for it to be someone else, and he was worried whether she was going to be able to get Lulu’s blood easily or not since there’s been an issue before and the other vet tech has been superior at drawing it, and he also thought I’d be annoyed it wasn’t the other one. Mark’s sick, so he doesn’t sound very friendly, so I swooped in as soon as I could to make her feel more comfortable. Anyway, Basia got her blood pressure taken, as the photo shows. Honestly, it was the cutest thing ever to witness! It was recommended that our cats with kidney disease now get this done every few months, and hers checked out just fabulous! Pacey had his done not long ago, and his was fine too. Next time they will be on the same schedule. Then we had Sam’s anal glands checked since they’ve been an ongoing problem for him. This time there was hardly anything worth mentioning that came out, so I’m wondering if maybe this issue might be ending for him. It would be great all around if so! And then Lulu needed to get her T4 checked because of her whole hyperthyroidism thing – is she/isn’t she? Well, she got her blood drawn easily and like a champ, and we got the results back today. These results were also shared with the doctor who was going to give her the Radioiodine treatment. Between her and Lulu’s regular vet, they decided not to currently pursue that! Yay! To be extra safe, we are getting Lulu rechecked and having more bloodwork drawn in three months. Additionally, our regular vet suggested putting her on feline immune support and thyroid support (a reduced dose of canine) to see if we can try to keep her from turning thyroid since it seems “she is skating this disease.” So that is what we are going to do, and hopefully it will help! Fingers crossed!

pimp my ride

November 18, 2014 | View Comments

pimp my ride, our new car

Yesterday Mark went out and got us a new car, a 2014 Ford Escape! After going to see my pain management doctor and then hauling out three cats for the vet tech to see (another upcoming post), I couldn’t even go back up the stairs to the bedroom for a period of time. Unfortunately there was just no way my back was going to let me sit in a dealership for a couple of hours. Though I didn’t go, he took all of my wants and needs into consideration by getting my preferred color and stuff like that. I mean, in general, he got the type of car I wanted this time. Last time when he bought one, he did his own thing because I was doing my own thing and still driving! Now that I never drive and don’t even have a car due to my back pain and am thus only a passenger, getting in and out easily is super important. I took a chance by not being there and sitting in these 2014 and 2015 versions, but I – thankfully – had no reason to worry! This morning when I got in it, it was still like stepping right into a cloud, and I didn’t have to bend, reach, stretch, or do anything else annoying. He was deciding between the two years, but the 2014 had the better deal and the most features. He needed to get a car yesterday. It really couldn’t wait another day, so we are lucky it worked out how it did. The only issue was he didn’t get as much money on his trade-in as he would have liked to because Carfax showed that his Xterra had been in an accident when it hadn’t been. He didn’t have the time to dispute it because it takes weeks and weeks. I guess next time now we know to check in advance ourselves so we have the time to resolve any unexpected issues before car shopping. And can you see in the photo how the one front tire needs air? I showed it to Mark who was typical Mark and dismissed me, saying it didn’t need any. Well, guess what. On his ride home from seeing his back doctor this afternoon, the light goes off that indicates that it indeed does need air. But what do I know, right?

And it’s a pretty car, but it will be sitting here for a huge chunk of time pretty soon. I was still hurting a ton today so I didn’t go with Mark to see his doctor like I planned to, but I sat in on their appointment via phone. He’s definitely going to be getting fusion surgery as things in his back have shifted in the past year which accounts for his increase in pain. I think this will happen in January, but I’m not quite sure. He will be in the hospital for two to three days. His mom will come out and help us for a little bit, but she already complained about her bad knees and our stairs when we asked her. I know our cleaner can help some and maybe a lot if the price is right. And I believe my insurance advocate mentioned that we were entitled to a nurse when I brought this up to her awhile ago. So we have a lot of things to get in order first. Also, before he left, I reminded him to ask for drugs as I’m the resident pill popper. It was a good thing too because he had completely forgotten to by the end of his appointment. My appointment yesterday was more of the same in that nothing changed. She gave me my Oxycodone and lowered my Topirimate because I believe it’s been making me really, really nauseated. I’m not sure why she didn’t just take me off of it completely and try something new. I asked and she just shook her head. I’m just happy I got the good stuff. Lastly, it was time for my yearly drug test, and I go back in January. I wish my situation were something the doctors could be as hopeful at fixing as they are with what Mark has. If everything goes well with him, fingers crossed, it’ll be like this whole episode never happened. And I’ll still be stuck struggling through my days. It’s not that I wish bad for him. It’s just that I wish better for myself too.

In preparation for this upcoming holiday season, Wellness Natural Pet Food’s veterinary consultant, Dr. Cindy Bressler, who has worked with the likes of P. Diddy, Donna Karan and J.Lo, to name a few, will be hosting a #HappyPawlidays pet safety Twitter chat. This Wednesday, November 19th at 8:00pm EST, Dr. Bressler will partake in an hour long Twitter chat to discuss tips and tricks for keeping your pets safe this holiday season!

Here are the details:

When: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 8:00pm EST

Topic: Holiday pet safety tips; #HappyPawlidays

Host(s): Dr. Cindy Bressler: @DrCindyBressler
Wellness Natural Pet Food: @wellnesspetfood

Provided my chronic pain plays nice, I’m going to stop by. You know I’m alllll about pet safety, and I support Wellness because Spenser just couldn’t get enough of their Core Superfood Protein Bars. Maybe I’ll see you there too!

family shamily

November 17, 2014 | View Comments

new front door

Here’s another thing we can cross off our list! We had someone come out and paint our new front door and sunroom! Now if I wanted to be my true self and stare and obsess, I’d probably have them come back and also paint our shutters because they are just a touch lighter than our door now, but it’s hardly noticeable. If we were staying here long term, I might make a fuss, but I think it’s a close enough match. All that needs done now is for me to update the pet alert sticker and for me to ask the cleaner to use the magic eraser to get the rest of that other sticker off. The main thing is that my brother went from being all about being our painter to being unresponsive. I think that if the door had been the right size the first time around during its first installation attempt that he would have done the painting without issue. This time, though, he just was such a jerk about things with me via text. If he didn’t want to do it, he could have just said no. But he actually said he wasn’t saying no. We had a time issue because of community rules, even though I don’t know specifically how long our front door could have gone without matching our shutters. He wasn’t too busy to text me things like my mom never wanted kids or my back pain was psychological and so on. Mark and I were getting frustrated when he wouldn’t give us a definitive time. When I tried pressing him more, he said I was acting like our mom. Umm. Between my chronic pain and Mark’s pain issues which have only gotten worse by the day (thank goodness he sees his doctor tomorrow), we needed him to come through or at least be forthright if there was no longer any interest. We’re physically hurting so bad and we just need some things to be clear and easy. I obviously don’t always have much luck with family, but sometimes I have with my brother. Ugh. I even sent him a text from Mark’s phone asking him about it, but he never even responded to him which was really odd and so rude. So we looked elsewhere and got the job done, and it feels good to have it checked off our lengthy to-do list. It just sucks that I couldn’t count on my own brother because he was like literally the last family member I thought I had in my corner.

The Yoga Cat Mat was proudly created in L.A. by Paige Guthrie Hodges and her delightful feline companion Pippy. Pippy is the resident expert on yoga because, after all, she is of the feline persuasion. Paige is the human of several mischievous felines who immediately take over her yoga mat every time she gets it out to practice. Together Paige and Pippy run Feline Yogi, and they are committed to producing the best yoga cat mat toys for your hip, modern, enlightened feline! It should be noted that Pippy is now the CEO of Feline Yogi, of course. Feline Yogi graciously sent us over some of their great products for my kitty furbabies to product review! The Yoga Cat Mat is a cat toy, cat scratcher, and cat lounger all rolled into one! Ultimately, it is as their tag line suggests: the zen way for cats to scratch, lounge, and play! The Yoga Cat Mat comes in a variety of different colors, so please visit the Feline Yogi Store on Etsy to view their mats and accessories, like catnip and other fun toys. Also, to give back to the feline community, Feline Yogi donates a portion of each mat sold to help homeless cats.

Here are a few photos of what Feline Yogi sent us:

Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review

And here’s a video where I take a closer look at what we received:

Included in the package:
- 1 The Yoga Cat Mat, in olive green
- 1 Wacky Weed – Catnip (FYI – remove any loose stems!)
- 1 The Thunderbolt – Wine Cork Toy
- 1 The Starfish – Yoga Mat Material Toy

Here is some additional information about the Yoga Cat Mat from its website:

The Yoga Cat Mat is:

- A Scratcher
No-mess surface for scratching and sharpening claws

- A Toy
Features a built-in rope toy with a catnip-stuffed natural twine ball

- A Lounger and Resting Mat
A comfy place for kitties to lounge and show off their yoga poses

- A Feeding Station
Fun place for kitty to be served catnip or treats without messing up carpets or floor

- Great for Vet Visits
Accompany kitty on vet visits because cats hate the hard slippery surface of stainless steel examining tables

- Easy to clean
Water resistant yoga mat material wipes clean easily

- Modern in Design
Looks good with any home decor

- Available in Four Colors
Olive Green, Slate Blue, Purple, Red

Here are some cute photos and videos of my sweet furbabies enjoying their new goodies from Feline Yogi, whether they’re stretching with their daddy, checking out some fresh catnip, investigating some new toys, eating a meal, or just hanging out:

Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review
Feline Yogi product review

The verdict? The Yoga Cat Mat and its accessories from Feline Yogi have been very, very loved by my furbabies! Sam and Lulu, in particular, constantly lay on it, run at it, and buff their pads on it. A few days ago, I accidentally put a bunch of toys on most of its surface and there the two of them were, squeezing their bodies onto the tiniest surface of olive green that was left toy-free peeking through. I obviously had to rectify that immediately and clear it all the way off. Ha! Also, they’ve definitely been playing with The Thunderbolt and The Starfish. One evening I placed both in the master bedroom with me, only to wake up the next morning to find one in the guest room and the other downstairs on the second floor! If you purchase any of their products, please let me know what you think!

(Full disclosure – Feline Yogi provided these items to us free of charge in exchange for a product review. Thanks!)

guest room, her room

November 12, 2014 | View Comments

Basia sips some water!

Last night Mark and I were talking about all the things we have to do in the upcoming weeks – get the front door replaced, get a car, get a kitty, holiday shop for them, see my pain management doctor, see his back doctor and whatever/whomever he recommends, go to the eye doctor, see a lawyer about our pet trust, get my hair done, have the mobile vet come for two vet appointments (one with Lulu being retested to see if the hyperthyroidism really doesn’t exist, the other with acupuncture and testing for the two with kidney disease), and figure out if my brother is painting the front door and sunroom or not. As of right now, he’s still not committing to coming up, and we can’t have a white front door very long due to our community guidelines. The stress is affecting my back, of course. So last night we were both in bed, clutching our backs and saying, “OW!” What messes! Finally Mark said he was tired of talking about things that were coming up, so we went back to watching Burning Love which we are like two years behind on, but it totally changes our mood instantaneously!

And at bedtime Mark’s back was hurting so much so that he didn’t feel like going to get Basia and carrying her up to the guest room bed with him. He figured she’d come up at some point and didn’t think she’d come if he called. I believed in our daughter! So I called down and said, “Basia, it’s bedtime! Come get some yummies!” I repeated it maybe three times total, and she trotted on up the stairs and went right into the guest room all on her own. And he and I had such huge smiles on our faces! I was particularly happy because she, a true daddy’s girl, came up when I called her!

Today the front door finally got replaced, so that’s one thing off of our to-do list! Last time it came in, we found out that Home Depot had ordered the wrong size door, so we were back to waiting around for another four or so weeks. Unfortunately, the installer left the debris at the side of the road which we could get in trouble for. We thought for sure we had asked to have all of that removed, so we called about it and he is supposed to come back for it by the end of the day tomorrow. While we had no front door on our house, a dog (part pitbull) wandered inside. We didn’t recognize it, so Mark put the dog inside our fence with some water, and we planned on making a sign and taping it to our community mailboxes. After some time had passed, I asked Mark to check on it. Apparently one of our neighbors came by to look for her missing dog, and the installer directed her to our fence. Nobody bothered to tell us or thank us, but I’m just glad it ended well! Anyway, while all this was going on, three cats were stashed with me while Basia got her glorious guest room again. That’s her room and her room alone whenever something like this pops up. She may be a loner, but she’s a cute loner!

Bossy Boy Sam

I recently realized that I let my cats boss me around – and I don’t even care.

Not too long ago I told the story about how Pacey doesn’t always come upstairs for his bedtime treats. If I’m the one doling them out, I don’t take them to him if he’s downstairs; I keep some under my pillow for when he comes upstairs for cuddles. If Mark hands them out, he will take them downstairs to him and Basia. I don’t use the stairs if I don’t have to because of my back, and Mark always takes care of Basia. But now even if Mark gives him some, Pacey expects to find extra treats waiting for him tucked under my pillow, and I’m finding it hard to say no to his sweet, expectant face. Also, he has this thing that he’s been doing forever where he stares at me until I do what he wants, like follow him into the other room where he wants to go for cuddles or turn onto my left side to spoon him for cuddles, even if I’m already online watching tv or otherwise occupied.

On Sunday, Sam literally backed himself onto my pillow, forcing me to move my head to make room for him. He did this so he could have his favorite cuddling position which is where I put both my arms around him and he slings one of his meaty little legs/paws across my arm so we can snooze together. In this instance, after we had been asleep for a little bit, he threw his caboose onto my face to the point where I just couldn’t breathe. I had to complain, and he acted like it was all my fault and then left in a snit!

Basia isn’t immune to being bossy, yet she does it in such a cute way. She squeaks, and she has learned that I can’t say no to those adorable little noises that come out of her sweet mouth! So, yes, I give her treats if she squeaks at me. But if it looks like I’m taking too long, she’s now taken to jumping off the counter and hanging around by the pantry door where the treats are located. So, yes, I give her a little extra, especially after she puts all that hard work into getting my attention!

Lulu’s only a bossy girl at mealtimes, just like how the rest of them are. If it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, she will chime in and let us know that her tiny tummy is on e for empty. But I think that’s about it for her!

typewriter tough guy

November 10, 2014 | Comments Off

Yeah, it’s just been more of the same around here. I’ve been sleeping as much as I can so that I don’t feel the back pain and then watching tv when I’m having decent moments.

But nothing is changing with the pain stuff. We tried increasing the new medication, the Topirimate, and nothing happened. I maybe thought something was working at first, but if it was, it didn’t last very long. That’s somewhat typical of whenever I start or increase a medication. Another trend I’ve noticed lately is that right before my period, for about ten long days, I seem to get such a deep, almost debilitating back pain that does not let up until I start menstruating. I’ve already been checked for that and had the appropriate conversations and ultrasounds and so on, yet it remains a mystery as to why it’s affecting me like this. Luckily I have this one machine that rotates two balls and heats up that I sit up and lean against, and it is the only thing that remotely touches the pain in any type of way. My periods aren’t regular, so I never know how long the particular monthly madness is going to last me, but it’s unbearable. The regular heating pad doesn’t work, the pills don’t work, laying down in different positions don’t work – nothing really quite works to take it away. But that’s the story of my life right there.

Mark has gone back to saying very hurtful and unkind things to me again. It’s as if he’s doubting the pain I’m in when he says I’m being lazy and could be doing more. I find statements like that so incredibly hateful and so lacking in empathy. The other night I was upset. All I wanted was a hug or a back rub and what I got was a lecture. A lot of times I believe I’d be better off emotionally if I were on my own. His mere presence and his tone of voice raise my pain level a lot of the time. I find myself taking extra pain pills after he’s left the room because he’s stressed me out so much and my back pain has thus gone through the roof. I know he’s unhappy with the situation. But there’s more that can change. We can hire someone to get the rest of the groceries that we can’t get shipped to us online, if he wanted to go that route since he hates grocery shopping so much. Why not get that out of his hair? He literally complains and shouts about that every single weekend. Now that Spenser has passed away, I’ve noticed that there’s a lot less pet hair to contend with. We can have the cleaner come every other week now instead of every week, so if he were going to bring money up as an issue, that can help with that. I don’t know. All I can do is bring up ideas, and I do. I bring up lots and lots of ideas, but he shoots them all down, all the time. All he wants to harp on is the fact that I don’t seem grateful or that I don’t thank him enough, but I thank him for all that he does all the time – so much so that he’s probably not even hearing it anymore.

It’s also ridiculous that he’s saying cruel things to me once again when he is able to relate to what I’m going through. He gets especially nastier when he’s hurting too. That’s right! He became an umpire because of his own back issues, but he forced the issue twice this fall ball season and actually played baseball himself until he was basically crawling through the front door. He loves the game that much that he’s willing to risk his health over a stupid hobby. Umpiring just isn’t enough for his dumb ass. The first time around he said he pitched the best he’s ever pitched, but he had terrible back pain for two weeks. He was already being a jerk to me like I mentioned, but he became even more unbearable. He was so nasty and mean because he was hurting. He felt okay for exactly two days before he played again. He could barely climb the stairs when he came home from that game. Of course, he was miserable to be around, he was struggling, and he couldn’t even bend. Weeks have now passed, and the only time he isn’t hurting is when he is sitting down. Truthfully, I don’t have much sympathy for him because this is all over a silly, stupid hobby. He’s being short, mean, and rude to me as if our situations are the same. At one point, he dared to glare at me in front of the vet tech when they were both bent over on the floor as Mark held Sam while Sam got his anal glands done. Mark was hurting, but to glare at me in front of someone else over something that was his own doing? I didn’t make him pitch a billion innings too many that caused him this pain. He’s going back to his doctor to discuss his options, which includes fusion surgery. I don’t even think that should be talked about further yet. If he had just listened to everyone the first time around and not pushed himself like a moron, then he’d still be moving through his days just fine. He was so, so bad the other night that he asked me if he could have half of one of my pain pills, but I said no. First off, no, they are my lifeline. And, second, no, if he takes a Tylenol PM, he’s still groggy for half of the next day, so he needs baby stuff. He’s seeing that doctor in a week anyway who I hope lectures his stupid ass off but will give him the right medication his body needs. Also, when we are in bed watching tv together, he gets super annoyed if I shift body positioning because it hurts him. I find this incredibly funny because he used to be so, so incredulous whenever I yelled at him to stop moving his feet around because it hurt my back. It just didn’t make sense to him how that could even be possible, but now he can relate. The thing is, he will get better, more than likely, and forget all of this, and it will be back to that different kind of super frustrating around here again. He still needs to see his doctor, probably get another MRI, see that doctor again, consult a surgeon, and then go from there. If he had only umpired and not played baseball, his back issue wouldn’t have gotten worse yet. It just wouldn’t have. And he already resented taking care of me when he was healthy, but now that he can’t even move? Pft.

But I also need to say that we’re not always at each other’s throats. There’s a lot of laughing, because you need to laugh in these types of situations or you’ll go even crazier. We watch tv together a lot. We actually do support each other a lot. I really try not to engage when he’s yelling which I think helps out our communication. It stops him sometimes, and he approaches me differently, though I’m not sure he is even aware that he’s doing so. But softer approaches are needed for the both of us because anger only increases our individual pain levels. We’re going to be getting another kitty soon as well as another vehicle because putting another dime into Mark’s Xterra just doesn’t make any more sense for us. We just came back from a fun and interesting overnight trip that we got along great on that I still need to write about; he picked out a gorgeous hotel and perfect rental car for my snobby self, which were both wonderful and thoughtful of him, even when he was dealing with his own pain issues.

Also, I’ve been texting with my brother because he’s supposed to come up to paint our sunroom and our new front door that’s now supposedly getting installed this week. While attempting to set up a time, he’s been talking about how horrible our mother is and how we both dealt with “psychological warfare” from her while we were growing up. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in thinking that. He thinks she never wanted kids which very well could be true, and he also agrees that it wouldn’t matter what we did, like if he cured cancer, that she would still find fault with an aspect of it. He is saying things like how my back pain stems from her which doesn’t make sense to me at all, no matter how many different ways he tries to spin it. All in all, I think it would benefit him greatly to do what I do and disengage from her as much as possible; not having her negativity around all the time is really quite nice, especially when I’m dealing with so much else already. I realize that I am probably not going to be in the will any longer which is truly unfortunate when it would change my life, but my mental health is already so taxed by dealing with what I already deal with.

Lastly, I can’t believe it’s practically mid-November already! I need to start ordering the furbabies their Christmas presents. It’s always sad to think that Kip isn’t here anymore to celebrate with us. And it’s going to be sad this year without having our wild child Eva flying around, and it’s especially going to be weird to not have any dog presents sitting under the tree or our Spenser to enjoy them for the first time in our marriage. But the others definitely deserve a great holiday (of course!), and they’ll get one! It’s going to be tough shopping, though, because I’m pretty sure they already have everything! Ha! If you have any suggestions, let me know!


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