I’m Still Here! and Looking Forward

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

This is my last week of the semester and I have two presentations due this week, plus I’ve been given the gift of some extra transcribing these past few weeks, so I’ve been a busy girl!  Also, two of my cats have had dentals performed in the past week, and so I’ve been worried about them and their recovery, which takes me away from other duties.  (Poor little HoneyBun – check out The Herd page – she’s my beautiful orange/buff colored beauty) has a cone on her head now.  But she remains her extremely loveable self, even rolling onto her side so we can rub her belly.)  But I want to let you know I’m still here and plan on getting back to posting twice a week once this week is over.

I’m excited because next semester, I will be taking two classes:  (1) Animal Protection and (2) Writing for Social Change.  These are two classes that I already know will be near and dear to my heart.  The latter is one that is usually taken in your second year of the program but my advisor thought it to be a good idea for me to take it now, earlier on.

I’m looking forward to using my blog to include some of my humane education efforts, but for those of you who read it (maybe to cure your insomnia?!) to follow along with my life, don’t worry, I won’t abandon writing posts to discuss my life, decisions, hopes, and of course, simple dreams, etc., so please keep with me!!

And in case you are looking for some good books to read, or maybe to even give as a gift, please check out my newly improved Helpful Books page, which I’ve recently changed and plan on updating regularly.

As always, thank you for reading! What’s been keeping you busy lately? Drop me a line below!

And to any of you who have used or plan on using my Amazon Affiliate or Ebates Referral links for your shopping this holiday season or just in general, thank you!!

And remember to always . . .

enjoy today
Image courtesy of pixabay.com

 

 

 

Feeling Contentment (Without Spending a lot of Money)

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image courtesy of pixabay.com.  The ocean and nature, what could be better?!

This holiday season, if you shop for holiday gifts online, via Amazon, would you kindly use my Amazon Affiliate link?  It will cost you nothing extra but I will earn a small percentage of your purchase!  If you’re looking elsewhere, please use my Ebates referral link – I will get a small referral fee, and you can save money on something you were going to buy online already it can even be airline tickets or hotel reservations, etc.).  Please!! And thank you!!

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been getting daily emails from Mrs. Frugalwoods of the Frugalwoods blog.  Today’s email asked the following at the end:

When are you most content?  When you are spending money?  When you are spending less money?  Can you be content with fewer material possessions?

The first is an easy one for me to answer – I’m content when:

  • I am with my animals (The Herd) watching them all sleep peacefully, knowing they are safe and sound, and they will not go hungry, wanting for another meal.
  • I’m writing (blog post or otherwise) and I feel like I’m “in the flow.”
  • I’m reading a good book that I just can’t put down! (Check out my Helpful Books page for some of the most helpful to me.)
  • I’ve just finished an awesome run or workout at the gym. I don’t smell like a rose but who cares?!
  • I’m spending time in nature, feeling at peace and just “being.”
  • I’ve just finished up a transcription or other type of project, or accomplished all the goals I set out to complete on a certain day.
  • I help someone over the phone at work, and feel my inner librarian coming out, and they tell me I’ve been very helpful with all the information I’ve provided.
  • I check my retirement accounts and see that the balance is growing! It’s hard for me to save right now with such a low salary, but I’m trying to sock away 7% into a 401(k) and $95/paycheck for my Don’t Touch (emergency) fund, my insurance premiums and travel/tiny house funds.  (I just calculated that $95 savings amount to be roughly 13% of my after-tax salary!)

As you can see, I’m perfectly content to spend my time in activities that cost me very little, or nothing, and in some instances, actually earns me some money.   Also, I can definitely be content with fewer materials possessions! When I moved from my Boston apartment to Utah, to live in the fifth wheel travel trailer, my car held everything of value I owned (and my animals who I don’t own as they are living creatures and my family).  All except for one painting of a coastal setting, which I ultimately gave to my friend Michele back in Kanab.  I just had this feeling that she was the right person to receive it and her reaction to it confirmed that.

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You can only see two pet carriers in the photo, but there were five of them inside, plus Osito on my lap!

These days, I don’t buy much. When I do, it’s usually something I have thought about a lot, such as my first Christmas tree since 2014.  Someone told me that Hobby Lobby was selling all of their Christmas stuff at 50% off, so I bought a 4.5 foot tall tree and ornaments.  It makes me happy to look at it, and I feel like it makes the house more of a “home.”  When alone over the holidays, it can be very easy to feel down.  Believe me,  I know.  And it’s small enough that I can put it up in a tiny house later on!

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My first Christmas tree in three years. A whopping 4.5 feet tall.  My baby girl, Callie, approves!  Yes, one of the ornaments is a tiny, vintage travel trailer!

When do you feel most content? When shopping or indulging in retail therapy?  Or some other type of activity – exercise, etc.?  Tending to a hobby?  Reading a book?

Please drop me a line below and let me know! And as always, thanks for reading, and if you think someone else would like or benefit from reading this post, please share it!

Moments of Beauty

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I love this photo of Morgan because she looks like she is smiling.  Luckily, I get to see her do this every day.  As humans, we should strive to smile more and live in the moment like her.

 

One thing I’ve known about in the past but which has really hit home as I pursue the program in humane education is that people react much better to something positive, or something beautiful, something small and simple that they can relate to, rather than an abstract whole world problem, something they have trouble picturing.

So below are my ideas of what are truly moments of beauty:

  1. Reading a facebook post of a friend who has recently become a mom via adoption, after years of trying to become pregnant.  She broke down in tears when in a store with her child strapped to her chest, seeing all the Christmas decorations and realizing that this year, she wouldn’t face the holidays with sadness in her heart, but with a feeling of fullness and pure joy.
  2. The turning of the leaves from green to gold and bright red and orange.  Realizing that New England doesn’t have a monopoly on beautiful fall foliage, after all.
  3. The amazement you feel at seeing one or two wild sunflowers still finding the courage to grow, weeks after the rest have died.
  4. The warmth of the sun on your face while you lie on your back and look up through the trees at the blue sky above you.
  5. The sound of children playing together at a party in the park, cheering for one little girl who *almost* makes that one perfect hit to the piñata that will grant all of them a good deal of candy.
  6. Seeing your dog literally smiling because she has found a home with people who really love her.
  7. Writing to further my dreams and listening to one of The Herd (Snuggles, to be exact), barking while he’s deep into a dream, nestled at my feet.
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My phone’s camera doesn’t do the redness of the leaves justice.  It was amazing!

 

What are some moments of beauty that you’ve recently observed or felt in your life?  Please feel free to share them in the comments.  And if you’ve liked this post, or know someone who might benefit from reading it, please hit “Like” and then share it!

And as always, thank you for reading.

Welcome to the Herd, Snuggles

As you can tell from the title of my post, there is a new family member.  His name is Snuggles, and I think little Osito had a hand in his making his way to me.  Allow me to explain.

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A very sleepy Snuggles.  This usually happens after he and Morgan rough house (I always watch them to make sure no one gets too excited.)  Adorable. 🙂

You know from reading my last post that I lost my little Osito a few weeks ago.  Well, the following day, my friend Elaine’s dog, Annie, was crying and crying at the front window in her house, and wouldn’t stop until Elaine went to see what was amiss.  She looked outside and saw this little brown dog on her front lawn and he was running from one neighbor’s house to another.  A lady was walking by and helped her to catch him.

Upon closer look, Elaine could see that he had some sort of injury to the right side of his face.  His jaw was misaligned, and one of his eyes appeared to be much smaller than the other, or maybe that’s just because it was more sunk into his head than the left side.  So basically, it looked like he suffered a major trauma to that side of his face at one point.  Then she looked down to his feet and saw that his toenails were so long, they had curled under his feet and he was essentially walking on them.  That couldn’t have been comfortable for him.

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Just relaxing in the backyard with Mom

She took him to her vet, located nearby and asked them to see if he had a microchip.  He didn’t.  They suggested she take him to AWD (Animal Welfare Department) but also said that he would likely be put down there.  So she called me and asked if my hospital could do that kind of work that he might need.  We do.  So she brought him down to me, and I had a doc examine him, who surmised that he had had a broken jaw at one point.  However, it wasn’t causing him any pain at this point, you could touch it and he would never cry out.  So clearly, it was an old injury, and one that he had learned to deal with.  I told some of my coworkers that I would take him home that night and see how he did with the herd, and see what I thought to do  in the morning.

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Super drugged up after being neutered and having some teeth removed all in one shot! This pic shows how his jaw is misaligned.  He doesn’t let it stop him from doing anything, and I’m so inspired by him.

Well, you all know where this is leading.  The following morning, I was like “no way in hell am I taking this little guy to a shelter.  I don’t know how i will afford to pay for his care, but he’s staying with me.”

Flash forward to last week.  He has all of his vaccinations, and he IS microchipped. He has a collar with his and my names on it, and my phone number.  He has now been neutered. He had a dental surgery that removed three of his smaller teeth and a canine tooth that was hanging out of his mouth like a snaggle tooth.  This way, when he eats, he doesn’t have a tooth pushing up into the roof of his mouth, since it is so misaligned.

The dental vet thought that he might be 9 to 11 years old.  That’s older than was initially thought, but it makes sense based on his energy level and the grey hair I see under his chin.

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Taking a breather from playing

He has fit into the family quite easily.  Morgan loves to play with him, and he pays no mind to the cats.  He weighs about 12 pounds, so he’s what we call a chi-weenie (part Chihuahua and part mini-Dachsund (or weiner dogs as I like to call them.)

He loves loves loves to be snuggled, as his name suggests.  He doesn’t bark much and has a great demeanor.  Very loving.  When he wants to be picked up, he gets up on his hind legs and rests his front paws on knee.  He loves to sleep on the bed and on one of my living room chairs.  And usually, it’s with all four feet up in the air while he lies on his back.  You can tell by that pose, he’s happy and comfortable where he is.

What’s unusual about this story is that Elaine’s dog, Annie, doesn’t usually whine and cry like she did that day.  She usually barks, if anything, at people passing by.

Also, his temperment is so much like Osito’s, I definitely think that he was a gift she sent to me. He loves to sleep under the covers just like she did.  He is perfectly content to just sit beside me on the chair while I’m reading or doing some transcription. And the fact that he is another senior makes me love him all the more.

I may not have been planning on getting another animal so soon, but I’m glad he found me.  Thank you, Baby O, and Annie for being the conduit that day and getting your mom involved. ❤  Osito can never be replaced, but I’m finding a different part of my heart for this little one to occupy.

Have a great day everyone!!  And as always, thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Musings with Morgan

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My mommy keeps taking all these pictures of me!

My mommy reads the blog Change is Hard, and occasionally that lady, Dawn, lets her dog, Katie write blog posts. My mommy really enjoys them so she thought it would be cool if I wrote something, just to change it up. (Ok, actually she’s taking dictation from me because it’s almost impossible to type on a keyboard when you have paws like I do.) Details, schmeetails, I say.

By the way, I’ve been added to her The Herd page! Check me out – don’t I look like a model in my picture?!!!?

So, anyway, I want  you to know that today is the BEST DAY EVER!!! I mean, yesterday, I thought was the BEST DAY EVER! But today is it!! Can tomorrow even be the BEST DAY EVER???!  I guess we will see!

So, I guess I should tell you a bit about myself so you know where I’m coming from with these posts. I was what they call a “rez dog” – that means I was born on a reservation and I lived on it for a few years. I had a couple litters of puppies, and my owners cropped my tail, as they sometimes do to cattle dogs (or heelers, as I am also called).  They weren’t that nice to me – they never let me inside their house, at all! (So different from my mommy now, who always insists on bringing me inside after our walks, and then giving me a treat!) I love my mommy. Have I said that yet? Because I really do.

Anyway, the people who I first lived with wouldn’t let me inside their house. They would even put their foot in the door to keep me from going inside. I really couldn’t understand why they didn’t want me to be with them. Was it something I did? Was it something I barked?

When I had had my second or third litter of puppies (I am a dog, so I can’t count), they brought me to the Page Animal Adoption Agency. At first, I felt lonely for them, I mean, they were the only people I ever knew. But soon, I met some really nice people named Natalie, and Sharon, and Doris, and Sara and  Brian and  Shelley. These people were so nice to me. They gave me hugs and kisses and took me on walks or car rides to the park or canyons. They encouraged me to cross over what i learned is a threshold, from the outside of the building to the inside. And they let me hang out in the room with all the cats, and they let me hang out with lots of little puppies, I love cats and little puppies. It’s the bigger dogs I don’t like. So, yeah, I don’t have any problems with Osito, or Baby O, as my mommy calls her sometimes.

My mommy has three cats, and I’m really trying to be friends with them but two don’t seem to like me very much, and one of them seems to tolerate me. Callie and Max hiss at me, and HoneyBun occasionally hisses at me, but I have noticed when she raises her paw to me, her claws aren’t out. I know she doesn’t want to hurt me. The other two, I’m not so sure about. Mommy says to give it time, but how much time do they need?? I mean, I’ve been with Mommy now for a month!! A whole month of living indoors! A whole month of sleeping on a bed at night!

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This is one of the places we went this weekend  – Tingley Beach!

My mommy and I go on walks every day. She says she’s “walking the crazy out of me,” and I have no idea what she’s talking about! I just do flips and circles in the air sometimes because I want to go, go, go! and sometimes she’s not moving fast enough for my liking. So I just need to give her a little encouragement, ya know??!! And on weekends, we go on long walks. I’m not sure how long they are, but she keeps taking me to all these new places with woods where there are lots of smells and places where I feel the need to leave some pee mail behind for my brethren. 🙂

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We went to this place this past weekend too. My mommy kept saying “Morgan, can you believe all these pictures?? They are hundreds of years old!” (All I cared about was the smells on the ground, and then when that evil hot air balloon showed up, I was FREAKED out!!!)

Anyway, it’s getting late and I need to get some of my beauty sleep. I’m already on the bed, and dictating all of this takes a lot of energy out of me! But I kinda like this writing thing, ya know? Maybe I will write again soon! And remember, this is the BEST DAY EVER!!

Tuesday Thoughts, Thankfulness, and Totally Awesome Links

This photo was taken while on the Panoramic Cruise around Lake Powell yesterday. Enjoy!
This photo was taken while on the Panoramic Cruise around Lake Powell yesterday. Enjoy!

Why Tuesdays?  Well, I know on Monday we all have to get back to work. By Tuesday, we’ve caught up and if we work in an office, we might have some time to take a few moments and check out blogs or whatever else we like to surf on the net. So, I hope that this post will be a good distraction for you and if you’re reading it in the morning, help you get your day started on a good note. And I promise to keep them short!

They will include some new links of possible interest to  you, thoughts about things for which I am thankful (it used to be its own series on this blog, so this is my way of bringing those back to life), and possibly different perspectives to help you get through the day. Hope you like this new series!

By the way, if you need some cuteness overload, check out my new blog page: The Herd. Yep, there you will find pics of my awesome furballs.

  1. If you’re sitting at your desk, and not  loving your job, think of it this way – you are earning a paycheck, and outside of work, you can work on changing our work situation. Spend some time updating the resume, or take time to research into other options, even if it’s only on your lunch break. If you feel stuck, take at least one small step today to make yourself unstuck. It’s empowering. Trust me. For me, I’m grateful to at least have money coming into my life that allows me to put a roof over my head and that of my pets. I just need to stay disciplined, and it can help me to save money for my new future that I’m envisioning right now.
  2. I’m very thankful that my family (my older brother and his family) have been able to travel to the southwest for a week. They are spending a few days in Lake Powell, and then heading to Flagstaff on  Tuesday. I’ll be hanging out with them for the day!  It has been over a year since I saw them.
  3. As I’ve been trying to gain control of my financial life, I’ve started seeking out others who write about this field and came across some awesome podcasts: Budgets and Cents, and Martinis and Your Money.  Both make me feel like I’m listening to a conversation between friends, and I’ve definitely been binge listening! The latter had an amazing episode called Frugality for Depressives. Having struggled with depression, it really hit home and the lady she interviewed had some really insightful comments.
  4. Sometimes you need a little inspiration or to see beautiful things to help you get through your day – I hope you enjoy these two photography blogs that I’ve just added to my links (can’t believe I didn’t do it before): Adventures of Dorrie Ann and Joyfully Green.
  5. Like I said above, check out the newest page on this blog, The Herd!!

As I said, I want to keep these posts brief, so I hope you will all have a good Tuesday!  If you have anything you are thankful for in your life right now, please feel free to drop a line below and let me know what it is! And if there are some good links you want to share with others, please do that too!

As always, thanks for reading!