ch-ch-changes?

July 18, 2014 | Comments Off

Sam rests and observes

Sam will probably always be vigilant due to spending his early years outside, but this past week he has impressed me with his cuddling skills! One day he came up here at morning nap time when Lulu wasn’t around and took the spot next to me. He rolled around right into me and snuggled up against me! It reminded me of the time months ago when he shared a pillow with me which is something I wish he’d do again! And at night Pacey always cuddles with me on one side of the bed and now Sam has been getting on the bed again more often. When he goes on the other side of me, I like to joke that I’m in the middle of a kitty sandwich. I like when he stretches out and kicks me in his sleep. I really do. It’s important for this cat to relax and be calm, so I love to see it and feel it when it happens.

not so little anymore

July 16, 2014 | Comments Off

babysitting
babysitting
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We babysat last weekend Friday into Saturday, and I think that may have been our last time doing it. It was just physically so difficult for me to manage it, and it isn’t fair for me to dump a lot of her care onto Mark’s shoulders when it isn’t even something he wants to do to begin with. We took her Friday night because she always acts grumpy as hell when we first get her but then wakes up just fine. I don’t know if it was my mood or my perceptions or what, but I just didn’t get the feeling that this time she had all that much fun. And she’s starting to do this thing with her face that her siblings do where they scrunch it up when they’re mad, annoyed, or unhappy, and it’s a look that I can’t help but read as ungrateful. There’s a local lake I never knew about that you only pay $6 to go to that has bunches of stuff to do. It was crowded but not too bad, and it was hot but not too hot. She came with a filthy bathing suit. I couldn’t believe my freaking eyes. I texted her mom about it because I was so grossed out when I should have just shut my mouth without saying anything about it at all. Mark was already going to kmart to look for things for the cooler so he tried to find another suit for her, but they didn’t have anything in her size, so we ended up quickly washing it. Some of the stains were just set in there for life. Ugh. I didn’t want people to think she was dirty because of me. And prior to going I had to face my own bathing suit hell. It was so very depressing. I came across the cute set I wore all those years ago when we went to Mexico and one from way before even that. How did I ever fit into those? Oh my gosh. I still fit into the suit I got a couple of years ago for when I was assigned aquatic physical therapy for my chronic pain in my lower back, so I just wore that, all the while wishing I could still fit into my super cute suit from Mexico. Anyway, she fell asleep for the twenty minute ride back here in the car which meant that she was fighting her nap when we carried her from the car to the bed. Eventually I laid my arms across hers so she’d stop clapping them together and told her to keep her eyes shut so she’d relax. She and I finally did nap together. Then we all played with chalk and bubbles until her mom came for her, with the bubbles being the biggest hit of the day. I already knew that she didn’t like water all that much, but she did okay at the lake. Sitting on my lap in the water was her preferred way of being wet as she wouldn’t sit on the lake floor herself. I was so relieved after she left and my house was put back to normal. I could tell the pets were happier after she was gone too.

That being said, if I were to win millions of dollars, I’d still apply to be a foster parent to babies ages infant to three. I’d definitely need assistance, hence that kind of money would be needed for someone else’s salary. I’d need help driving to therapy appointments, visits, and fun activities. I still read that foster forum at minimum twice a day. I feel so badly for those babies who experience trauma and neglect at such a young age. In my dream world, I would wake up one day and my debilitating chronic pain would be gone, a thing of the past, a distant memory, and I would be able to be a foster parent without even having to win the lottery. But then again, I guess I’d be winning a lottery of a different sort, right?

Speaking of, my pain has been pretty freaking atrocious the past few days, the taking-my-breath-away and leaving-me-alone-to-cry kind. I’m feeling especially worthless. It doesn’t help that Mark is back to yelling at me a lot again, pointing out that he does everything and that I do and contribute nothing. That’s great for my self-esteem. And each time he yells, my pain levels increase. And there are little comments that gut me too, like how he needs to get clothes but doesn’t want to go shopping with me. I thought he used to like my taste, but now I know he thinks I’ve lost my judgment since all I wear are nightgowns now. He also said I slow him down when shopping. I guess that’s true because I’m in such pain that I can only move at a snail’s pace now. Also, the past few days my grief over Eva’s death has been hitting me hard all over again, and I find myself questioning it all once more. She was a beautiful firecracker, and I hope she forgives me for not recognizing before it was too late that she had cancer and was dying. I’ve always prided myself on being overly attentive, so I feel like a giant failure in this regard as well. The house is still very, very quiet and lonely without her giant orange amazing presence.

I guess I’m hoping this weekend that we can get him some new work clothes anyway and me a manicure and pedicure. What is irritating me about having nice nails and fingers now is that I have to stay on top of the color because it’s constantly chipping. One tiny chip looks trashy to me, but it’s so much work to be doing all the freaking time. I try to paint them between manicures, and I totally suck at it. Maybe it’s just my polish choice? Mark’s birthday was Monday, so we should try to celebrate that too, even though his attitude towards me makes me want to smother him with a pillow rather than share a meal with him.

closeness

July 14, 2014 | Comments Off

Lulu & I touch paw to hand!

Earlier this morning during our morning nap, Lulu put her tiny paw on my hand/arm. I opened one eye when I felt her do that, and that was right when she turned her little head to look at me. I’m glad she left her sweet paw there and faced me long enough for me to take this photo. Seriously, I just can’t help but be totally and completely in love with her!

lucky little furbabies

July 13, 2014 | Comments Off

product review packages - all dropped off in one day, don't I feel fancy!

These product review boxes ended up getting all dropped off on the same day last week, a day in which there was a threat of rain and thunderstorms. When it got cloudy, I went down to bring them in myself and wow wow wow was one of them especially super tough on my back! And, it never ended up even raining here, of course! If I had waited for Mark to get home from work, I just know that it would have definitely rained. Ha! Speaking of, I hadn’t realized when I asked to review one of them that it required assembly. We all know Mark has no patience for that and that I get called a variety of loving phrases while he puts things together. I wish he could see past it and see twenty minutes into the future when Sam is finally lounging inside something that he’s been unable to ever really do because he’s such a big boy. Gee, when they say you marry someone just like your father, well, they were definitely wrong about me. My dad is a retired contractor, and Mark would be thrilled if he never had to pick up another screwdriver ever again. I guess such is life. I’ll take being called names and sitting through the yelling about the accumulation of boxes that need broken down because I generally feel really quite lucky that my furbabies get to check out and keep such great products, like treats, toys, and bedding. I feel very fortunate in that regard. I love them so much, so I am happy for them. And once we do move out of this three-story and into a one-story that’s better suited to the needs I now have due to the chronic pain I experience in my lower back, shelter pets will benefit because we will donate whatever pet stuff we have that won’t be making the move with us. We’ve donated several times, including this big trip, so doing it again is a definite no-brainer. What I’d really like to product review next is right around $200,000 so that I can get into a house I can call a home before Christmas. Or who wants to build me a home near Philadelphia? Any companies interested in that type of exchange? Anyone? Bueller?

dvr love

July 12, 2014 | Comments Off

Pacey loves to lounge on the hot DVR

Speaking of staying warm, this is another way Pacey has been keeping his little tushy toasty! I don’t even know how he can stand it because it gets so, so incredibly hot. He doesn’t seem to mind and will even fall asleep on it!

Betsy Farms product review

July 10, 2014 | Comments Off

Spenser recently had the opportunity to check out some new jerky treats from Betsy Farms! Their company headquarters is located in Eagle, Idaho and their dog jerky is produced at their manufacturing facility in Springville, Utah, where it employs a unique dual heating process that eliminates potentially harmful bacteria. Since quality comes first for Betsy Farms, they use real poultry, which is pulverized, mixed with other ingredients, and cooked again. This helps assure product safety while avoiding the use of harmful ingredients. Thus, all Betsy Farms products are made here in the USA with ingredients sourced from right here too. This allows them to confidently stand behind the quality of each product they sell. Speaking of products, Betsy Farms currently offers jerky treat fillets that are available in three savory recipes: chicken, turkey, and duck. Each is made with wholesome ingredients and real poultry for protein that all dogs need. They’re also free of wheat, artificial colors, and artificial flavors. Spenser was sent the chicken and duck jerky to try!

Here are some photos of what we received, some shots of the jerky, and some pics of Spenser investigating his new yummies:

Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review

And here’s a video where I take a closer look at our package:

Included in the package:
- 1 package of chicken jerky
- 1 package of duck jerky

Here is some additional information about Betsy Farms straight from its FAQ page:

Q – What are Betsy Farms Jerky Recipes for Dogs?
A – Betsy Farms Jerky Recipes for Dogs are tasty and healthy treats your dog will love. These treats fillets are made in the USA with wholesome ingredients you can feel good about.

Q – Are there different varieties?
A – Yes, there are three varieties: Chicken, Turkey, and Duck. All use real chicken, turkey, and duck poultry.

Q – Does Betsy Farms Jerky Recipes for Dogs have ingredients I should be concerned about?
A – Betsy Farms Jerky Recipes for Dogs are made with wholesome ingredients and are free of wheat and artificial colors and flavors. Visit the product page for a full list of ingredients.

Q – Are Betsy Farms products safe?
A – If you’ve followed the news lately, you’ve noticed some concerns with imported pet treats, including dog jerky. Betsy Farms Jerky Recipes for Dogs have a unique process that first cooks the poultry at a temperature high enough to eliminate potentially harmful bacteria. Then, the poultry is pulverized, mixed with other ingredients, and cooked again. This helps assure product integrity while using wholesome ingredients your dog will love.

Q – Are Betsy Farms products made in the USA?
A – They are! As part of our commitment in providing quality treats your pet will love, we source ingredients and manufacture Betsy Farms products right here in America.

Q – Where can I buy?
A – Betsy Farms Jerky Recipes for Dogs are exclusively available at Walmart and Sam’s Club.

Here are some photos and videos of Spenser trying out his new treats from Betsy Farms!

First up, the chicken jerky:

Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
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Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review

And then, the duck jerky:

Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review
Betsy Farms product review

The verdict? Truth be told, the first time we tried to give these Betsy Farms Jerky Treats to him, Spenser turned his little beagle nose up at them – but it isn’t why you think! See, he has these little tummy issues every now and again, and he had just gone through a little spell. He was just being careful and picky, which are very anti-beagle behaviors when it comes to him and his food. And it’s hard to see him like that too – old age stinks! But we took these photos and videos the very next day, and you can see that he was back to his normal self! Out of the two, he looooved the duck jerky over the chicken jerky which, at the time, surprised me. But as I thought about it, it did make total sense. He gets a lot of chicken stuff around here and must have enjoyed the novelty of eating duck! As for me, I like knowing that I’m giving him a healthy treat. Also, be sure to check out the packaging because it tells you how many pieces to give to your dog based on their weight. You never want to feed your pet too much, even if it’s good stuff! If you purchase any of these products, please let me know what you think!

(Full disclosure – The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them. I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.

my hyper tortie

July 8, 2014 | Comments Off

Lulu shows her crazy side!
Lulu shows her crazy side!
Lulu shows her crazy side!
Lulu shows her crazy side!
Lulu shows her crazy side!
Lulu shows her crazy side!

Sometimes Lulu just kills me with her cuteness! There have been many times that I’ve wondered how she hasn’t managed to fall off of that thing!

hot hot heat

July 6, 2014 | Comments Off

Sam in the "hot" room

My kitty furbabies love to congregate in the guest room on the third floor during the late summer afternoons. It gets so, so ridiculously hot in there that I don’t even want to walk in there sometimes! But if I want to find the majority of them, I just need to look in there. That’s Sam’s spot. Lulu likes to lay on the edge of the bed. Pacey likes to burrow into a cat bed that has a fleece blanket inside of it. I can’t even imagine how they can spend hours in there like that, yet they do! It’s still hard to go in there and not see Eva, who was always in there with them this time of year, either on her little blankets on the bed or in the cat’s trapeze. Kip, too, would usually have been on the floor. I like to think that they are still around sweating it up with their siblings, just in a new way now.

Happy 4th of July!

July 4, 2014 | Comments Off

Fourth of July, 2014
Fourth of July, 2014
Fourth of July, 2014
Fourth of July, 2014
Fourth of July, 2014
Fourth of July, 2014
Fourth of July, 2014
Fourth of July, 2014
Fourth of July, 2014
Fourth of July, 2014
Fourth of July, 2014
Fourth of July, 2014
Fourth of July, 2014
Fourth of July, 2014
Fourth of July, 2014
Fourth of July, 2014

My furbabies would like to wish you a Happy 4th of July! Have fun, no matter how you choose to spend your day, and please remember to keep your furbabies tucked safely inside tonight. Also, if you’d like to view all thirty-five photos that we took (gasp!), just click here!

run away, runaway

July 3, 2014 | Comments Off

I hate summer. Heat and I have never gotten along. Who likes to sweat anyway? If someone likes to get sweaty for any reason, I distrust them. It’s just all kinds of gross. I actually get sweaty a lot because I spend boatloads of time on a heating pad for my back pain, and I just hate it for many reasons. I hate feeling chained to the bed, but it is one of the only things besides oxycodone that helps with the pain. And I hate when the sweat pours off of me. So, so, so gross.

And speaking of my back pain, nothing much has changed in that regard. Since it’s been a loooong time since I’ve written one of my “a day in the life” posts, I’m not sure where I’ve left of in regard to my medication woes. Right now I’m taking Opana ER generic. Initially there was an issue where that grumpy pharmacist I sometimes use said that the generic version of it was discontinued. This was untrue. This was after some miscommunication in which I went on fentanyl for a bit because my doctor and insurance weren’t writing down the same wording on the scrip when trying to get it covered for me. Anyway, now she keeps increasing my dosage while talking about taking me off of my oxycodone for Opana generic. She has such a hard-on for getting me off of oxycodone or at least giving me less of it and has ever since I started going to see her. Frankly, this has and still scares the shit out of me – because oxycodone is the only thing that takes the pain away, albeit for a limited amount of time. Nothing in the past seven years has even come close to doing what that has for me, and I’ve tried a bunch of stuff. What’s majorly confusing and distressing this time around is that Opana is supposed to be Oxycodone, only stripped down and more effective. I was told it’s made of the same stuff but that it enters your body quicker, is stronger, works better, and so on. But it isn’t doing any of that stuff for me. How can that be? And I’m obviously beyond frustrated. It’s like all these things that should work for my body or that work for everyone else just don’t work for me. So what does that leave me with? What am I supposed to do now? Because, really, I feel like a failure wrapped up in failure. My mood isn’t helping the situation any either. I’m sure it doesn’t help that my sleep schedule is all kinds of weird right now. The past few nights I’ve found myself wide awake until 3:00am, and I have the most attractive puffy bags under my eyes to match. I mean, I always have bags under my eyes, so this is some super impressive looking stuff. I am thinking about purchasing some hemorrhoid cream to help with them, a tip I heard on an episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I always get sound medical advice from such quality television programming. Of course, further internet research says not to do that, but I bet Kyle Richards knows best.

I wear a lot of short nightgowns now because they are easy to hike up for the heating pad. I bought a few recently online that were sorta expensive, but I rationalized it that in general it’s just too much trouble physically for me to go actual shopping. I thought they were cute. Well, Mark complained about me wearing them all the time. I guess he wants me to greet him when he comes home from work in full makeup and heels with dinner on the table. Since that’s never happened in sixteen years, I don’t know what the hell he’s thinking. Besides, I’m totally tired of seeing that purple shirt and those gray shorts with the black stripe that he throws on all the time too. One of these days they are going to get intimately acquainted with the trash can. Speaking of Mark, he wants to umpire more. He also said that he’s thinking of trying to play fall ball this year. I thought he was done playing baseball because of his own back issues. Well, his back hasn’t been bothering him lately, so he wants to test it out in a low key fashion. I just worry about the damage it could cause, of course. He doesn’t want to give up the game he’s always loved, but he’s still a part of it when he umpires. Ugh.

I got another manicure last week, and this week I painted them on my own. It seems as if the color only lasts a week on me before I need to do it again. Is that normal? I don’t want to do it myself because fussing with my own nails makes me worry that I’m going to go down the wrong path again. I mean, I’m still going strong with both my nails and fingers. And I miscalculated when I wrote that post. It’s actually about six or seven weeks now this past Wednesday that I haven’t butchered them.

What I have been doing is watching loads and bunches of television. I bought and watched Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules in record time. I’m still keeping up with the Orange County and New York versions, as well as watching General Hospital daily. I loooved Playing House, though I thought their last episode was terribly weak. I also watch Gang Related every single week even though it is sooooo awful (well, maybe because it is sooooo awful). I also watched the red carpet for the Daytime Emmys with those chicks who knew nothing about the soaps, and it was really super annoying. I could have done a better job from my bed while doped up on pain meds! Now I’m wanting to buy last season’s Real Housewives of Atlanta, last season’s 16 & Pregnant, last season’s Teen Mom 2, and the Everwood series, but I should attempt to be sensible, especially if I’m constantly complaining about wanting to move. And I am constantly complaining about wanting to move. Mark recently said that we would reassess next Spring and that it would be most helpful if the housing market turned around by then. Ha! I’m back to twitching about wanting new furniture. He said we could totally get it if I want, but deep down I know that it makes no sense to replace this shit now because the dog could just scratch up the new stuff too, and the sizing of items between here and the eventual new home probably won’t match up. I know in some rooms it didn’t between our last house and here, so there’s that issue to contend with too. I’m just not a patient person at all, and I hate ugly, used things. Besides, it just wouldn’t be enough for me for here. I’d want to repaint and put up crown molding too. So I wait since it just doesn’t make any sense to do any of those things here. It would certainly speed things up if only I could work again and contribute more financially than just via disability.

And speaking of, we haven’t done much due to my being-in-pain situation. We’ve even cancelled a few babysitting opportunities. I’m tired of feeling stuck and like I’m disappointing him, but Mark does get out and do things. I just know that he’d like to do more. We really need to do something couple-y soon. I’m hoping that over this holiday weekend that we actually can. If that happens, I will be going out with an attractive giant bruise on my arm that I got from falling down the stairs! See, Spenser can’t always get up the stairs very well anymore, so the other day he was barking for me to come carry him, which is obviously so very great for my back. As I was going down to get him, I slipped. My feet came out from under me. The earth shook, and I banged my arm on the banister as I went down the stairs. Oh, and my back super appreciated the extra jolts to it!


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