Wednesday, November 16, 2016

four months with trixie.

We have had Trixie for a little over four months now, which seems crazy! Some days feel like we have had her forever and some days I am reminded that she is still new to the pack and I shouldn't expect her to act otherwise. Either way, things are a lot different from when we brought her home. She has come out of her shell and learned to trust us, get more comfortable with the other two dogs, and really begun to flourish. Every day I love her even more than the last - she is such a sweet, gentle dog with a soulful personality who loves to play and snuggle.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

green lakes state park.

We have been having beautiful, warm weather here in upstate New York, which is very unusual - it has typically snowed at least once by Halloween. When I was younger, almost all of my costumes had to be modified to include some type of long underwear or thermal layer since the temperatures were hovering around or under freezing. Strangely, this past week it has been in the 70s - although I'm not complaining!

Last Saturday, it was perfect weather to go to one of my favorite state parks: Green Lakes State Park in Fayetteville, New York.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

book review: behind closed doors.

I love to read. I don't remember a time in my life that I wasn't reading. My earliest memory involving books is when I was four, laying in the armchair with my dad, having him read book after book to me and sounding out the words with him. I knew how to read way before I started kindergarten, and reading has always been an escape for me. There is nothing quite like diving into the world of someone else to distract yourself, or to make you feel wonderful feelings of joy and anguish along with the characters while you're simply lying in your bed or couch. Learning about things I never would have had the chance to know about otherwise, enriching my life with knowledge about all sorts of subjects, and experiencing worlds completely different from my own, are privileges that reading has afforded me and I am so grateful for.

I am often reading more than one book at a time - usually a fiction book, a medical book, and some sort of memoir or other nonfiction book. Which book I pick up at any given time depends on which mood I'm in, but when I find a book that really sucks me in, I will read that exclusively until I'm finished. I love finding those gems and those are the ones I like to rave about to other people.

So naturally, I thought it would be a great idea to share those books that I have read recently and loved with you. First up is Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris, an intense thriller that had me riveted from page one.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

brown's settlement cemetery.

I really enjoy finding interesting cemeteries to walk around in and look at the gravestones. I truly appreciate both the beauty of the stones and the history and meaning behind them, as well. There are quite a few in the area where I live and most of them have old stones because the cities and towns around here were settled a long time ago. I typically go with my mom, who also likes to visit them, and we are always on the lookout for unique stones, monuments, really old plots, or things we haven't seen before. This beautiful cemetery held wonderful surprises for us!

Brown's Settlement Cemetery was established in 1795 and contains approximately 238 stones. It was named after John Brown, whose farm land was set aside to use for the cemetery. Many of the stones' writing has been worn off, but this is a very well maintained cemetery. Although it has quite a few stones, it is a fairly small area of land and is under trees on a quiet back road. Chris and I discovered it while driving around one day, and I went back with my mom a few weeks later to show her and get a closer look at it.

Monday, September 19, 2016

the great new york state fair.

Every year, there are a bunch of festivals and fairs in our area. I love going to them and seeing the different vendors, finding new treasures, and most importantly - the food! Fair food is always so delicious, probably because it's so bad for you! Unfortunately, we didn't get to as many fairs this year as I would have liked because of our vacation and not wanting to leave Trixie alone so soon after getting her.

One of the great fairs near us is the New York State Fair. It's a huge annual fair made up of 375 acres complete with a Restaurant Row, hundreds of vendors, animal barns with loads of farm animals, a separate kids section, a petting zoo, and a midway with rides. It attracts big name entertainment acts, as well. Two weekends ago, Chris & I decided to take a trip up to the fair, since Labor Day was the last day it would be there. I have been suffering from a delightful chest cold for the past few weeks, but on that Sunday, I finally felt well enough to go to the fair.

Monday, September 12, 2016

fort desoto dog beach.

When Chris and I went to Florida to get Trixie, her foster mom Pat took us to an amazing leash-free dog beach there called Fort DeSoto dog beach. Fort DeSoto park itself is a huge 1,136 acre place made up of five interconnected keys, with beautiful natural ecosystems and more than 328 species of birds. The key with the park on it juts out into the Gulf of Mexico and right at the very tip is where the park is located. There are two giant, fenced in play areas - one for larger dogs, one for smaller - next to the parking lots, along with dog showers. There are also signs pointing to the dog beach, which is where we went.

Fenced dog park areas. (Photo from

On our way to the beach!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

welcoming trixie to our family.

When I was younger, I used to think it was so strange when I would see my mom wave at people who were complete strangers, and even more odd when she would strike up conversations with them. Who are these people, I remember thinking, and when I would ask, I would feel so baffled when she would shrug and answer, I don't know! with a smile. It didn't bother her to talk to people that she didn't know, because she figured that each person had something new and interesting to offer her, and perhaps would lead to a new opportunity that would otherwise be missed if she hadn't said anything to them.

Like most kids, I swore to myself that I would never do that, would never end up like my mother and talk to people I didn't know. Also like most kids, of course I ended up like her and have been known to strike up conversations in the grocery store line, walking down the street, and anywhere I saw someone interesting that I wanted to learn more about. Along the way I have learned some fascinating tidbits of information, but mostly I have just felt more enriched and confident by putting myself out there and opening up to people I otherwise wouldn't have. Recently, doing this led me on quite a little journey and ended up in one of the best rewards of my life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

what's been going on lately.

Since I haven't posted in so long, I wanted to do a health update for those that are curious about where I stand with my health currently. It's been almost a year since I posted one of these and although not much has changed, a few things have.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

oh, what a night.

I have always been a night owl, staying up into the wee hours of darkness, way past the times when everyone else bows out to call it a night.  I'm the person burning the midnight oil and even long past that - typically awake until four or five AM, on a reverse schedule of most humans, sleeping during the day and wide awake while the rest of the world sleeps. In high school and college it made for extremely difficult class schedules and I was perpetually tired and falling behind.  It used to drive my parents nuts and was always a bone of contention between us.  When I found a job working evenings, it was perfect and even though it's been years since I was on that shift, I've never gotten out of the habit of keeping those hours.

I used to like the silence - there's a unique quiet that comes in the middle of the night - and the lack of people, especially the lack of people.  The darkness has never really bothered me, and I love being able to see the stars even brighter.  The dogs are trained, after all these years, on my schedule and they don't seem to mind it either, especially in the summer when the blazing daytime temperatures are not very appealing.  Things are more peaceful at night.  Or, they used to be.

Now, nighttime is becoming a time when my doubts creep in, my dark thoughts come to attack, and my failures come to play on a loop.  Instead of being able to peacefully enjoy the quiet, the quiet seems to have turned on me.  Lately, there have been nights I just lay in my bed and my thoughts just drift to the me I could have been if I didn't get sick.  A few days ago, my mom ran into someone that works in the labor & delivery unit at my old hospital, someone I have never ever met, who told my mom that she knew who I was, what an excellent tech I was, that all the doctors loved me and missed me.  Four and a half years after leaving and a woman I don't even know can still say that about me.  It makes my heart ache, because I still have such a burning desire inside of me for the knowledge and the passion to do the work, but I physically can't.  I truly feel trapped inside my own body.

During the day, it seems so easy to put on the mask of make-up, nice clothes, and styled hair and say "oh, I'm fine"... even when you're not.  But at night, when you're alone, all of that falls away.  No, I'm not okay.  I feel lost.  I feel like all of my friends get to move on with their lives - move to new states, find new jobs, get engaged, be happy - while I am just stuck in the same position, day after day.  Sick, waiting for my next doctor's appointment, which usually brings more "I don't know"s and stagnant results.

I want to be able to have those dreams again, to sit down at night outside, looking up at the stars and dreaming of my future and to have those dreams actually be possibilities - not just laughable wishes.  I want to love the night again like I once did, to love the peace and quiet, to love the comfort of the darkness and the relaxation it brings.  I hope that someday soon I will be able to renew my love for the night.  Until then, I will be doing my best to remind myself of all the wonderful things the night can bring, and fighting against all the terrible things that are trying to creep in.

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