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Thursday, September 22, 2016


It's Been a Bit of a Rough Week, Again

Lately I feel as if I'm in need of some help-on several levels.  But it seems that I'm the help.

First it was that awful stomach virus for some 14 days.  Nothing says fun like two weeks of peppermint tea, toast and baked potatoes.

Then almost two weeks ago, Steve came home and said, "I think I have a cold."  NOOOOOO!

For Steve a cold means:  2-3 days of sneezing, snoring while he sleeps (okay, that's normal, but now it's so loud that my ear plugs do no good at all), drinking tea and not wanting to do much.  After that, he's fine.

Then comes the reality of my world:  As a person with an auto-immune disorder, no matter how many times we wash the sheets, wash my hands and how far away from him I try to sit-I catch it!  And it's not 2-3 days worth of misery, nope!  Here is my schedule:

Days 1-5:  sneezing, coughing, blowing until my face looks as if sandpaper has been rubbing against it, headaches, low-grade fevers and the will to keep on trucking with whatever is on my plate.

Then day 6 happens about 90% of the time-it moves from my head to my lungs, my neck and lower back are blown out from the coughing and sneezing and now strange colors are coming out of my various orifices that send me to the immediate care clinic.

I am then told that I have (usually):  sinusitis (really? no kidding), broncytis (again, really?), ear infections and whatever else my body decides to make me miserable with hosting.

The doctor usually sends me home with a plethora of drugs (mainly because the ones that are OTC obviously didn't do anything worthwhile) and told to just rest.

That would be nice.

This go round?  Let's see-Adam needed me to take him to a surgicenter for a minor procedure.  I think the medical staff wanted to quarantine me but didn't know where to put me.  Once Adam was allowed to be taken home, I stayed with him until Sam got home and then-Steve and I went to the concert that our dermatologist nicely sent us too.

We don't go out very often.  This was supposed to be a special date night, really.  I wrote a much deserved glowing review of our dermatology practice on yelp and they thanked us by sending us to their box seats (included dinner and parking!) for the Demi Lovato/Nick Jonas concert.

By the time Steve and I got to the Talking Stick Arena I looked (and felt) like death warmed over.  I took a large box of Kleenex in with me (that was fun for the purse police to look at, I'm betting), cough drops, cold meds and prayed I could get through the night.

Steve was mostly back to normal by that day, I was just dying.

It was a good show but I must say I think I probably would've enjoyed it much more if I had been healthy.

All weekend I was floating with all the hot lemonade, tea and water I kept drinking.  By Monday, Adam was obviously in no condition to care for the kids and neither was I-but between us we somehow managed to get through the day. 

Thankfully, Tuesday Steve had the day off so we let him do the "heavy lifting".  Adam still in pain, me still not breathing and everything spasming from the by-products of this head cold and the household of pets 1/2 of which are still learning the rules of where to do your "pottying".

Sigh.  During the afternoon break when the kids were sleeping and Adam was napping I decided that this was a very good time to take our dogs and me home. 

Early that morning, Sunshine threw up and started us off at 6 a.m..  Seems like her namesake, our little newbie also likes to keep Pepper's litter box clean and it upsets her stomach-she's been doing this routine all week!

In fact, this morning I was planning on taking a nap once Steve left for work-but poor Sunshine started throwing up at 6 again, this time on the sheets.

Just as well, no sense sleeping in vomit and cold germs.

Yesterday I saw the ortho and he was pleased with my knee's progress and told me to limit my walking, keep the water aerobics and remember-he didn't cure my knee, just plugged up the hole.  His hope is that this works for at least a year.

As he was telling me this-he was rubbing in hand sanitizer on all of his revealed skin.  Can't blame him one bit.

It's been 10 days since my "latest and greatest" sickness hit me.  I have a chapped face, sore throat, a nose that's on fire when I breathe, sore lungs and my neck, lower back and bad shoulder are screaming at me.  But I can't just rest.  Nope, I had the older boys yesterday and did homework, snacks and drinks-the same today and tomorrow.

My plans for this weekend?  Just hoping that I'll be able to actually rest. 

I hate sick.  It feels as awful as it looks and yet it seems that there's always the fact that others still need your help from the littlest new members of the family who need to realize that litter doesn't make the best of snacks to the adults who just need a helpful extra hand.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


Thank you Affliated Dermatology!

Thursday, September 15, 2016


The Sun Shines Again

I'm writing this on September 15th.  This is a day we remember for 2 reasons.  I hate that two years ago today was the day I walked in to find that we had be the victims of a home invasion that literally wiped out our home, but thankfully left our little Pepper and Lucky unharmed.  And then there's the really great memory!  In 1997 our first Sunshine came home.  We met her the day before at a pet rescue and knew from our first glance at her that she would be our "ray of sunshine" for years to come.

And she was, bless her.  From the four of us down to the day care kids she both watched over and played with-Sunshine was one of those dogs that you just wept with happiness at having-loving, gentle, protective and well, truly the Sunshine of our lives until the moment she left us on September 18th, 2011.

Pepper howled and cried, we sobbed and for years there was no way I could look at a golden retriever or Labrador without welling up and having a lump in my throat the size of a grapefruit.

Then along came Lucky.  Physically her complete antithesis.  Not 70 pounds, but 6.  Not floppy ears, golden fur with white markings but perky ears, full bred Chihuahua who needed me to champion her.  Lucky's name fit her as well.

We were Lucky Adam and Sam found her before she was either killed or frozen that cold day.  She was Lucky that we were in love with her before we knew what was happening.  We found each other and it was heart-swelling and mind-boggling.

Yet, I still couldn't bear to throw out Sunshine's favorite ball that I dragged from California.  I still can't bear to throw out her collar and leash.

Steve and I had discussed the fact that our wonderful Pepper was now 13 and if we didn't get another pup now and waited that Lucky would then be too old to accept another dog. Yet, we hesitated stating the usual reasons:

It's a big commitment.
What if the dogs and Pepper can't get along.
When we go away, will it be fair to ask the kids to "hotel" the 3 fur babies plus their own growing family?
What if there's a problem?  Can we afford to take care of another little one?

And then came that day 3 weeks ago.  "Edie" as she was dubbed wasn't a Goldie mix.  She's a Chihuahua/Italian greyhound mix.  No she doesn't have long fur and no she didn't come house trained.

Yet, her ears fold down the way Sunshine's did, her white markings on her head, toes and tip of her tail are the same as her predecessor and instead of a hearty bark, she howls-yet, her big brown eyes complete the reasons we decided to keep the spirit of Sunshine going by giving her this wonderful name.

As I'm writing this, she's on my lap-something the "original" could've never done!  LOL, her head would've been all that fit!  But, we love her sense of humor, her gentleness with all the grandkids, her friendly calm demeanor and her wanting to be loved.

Rescues are really the best breed.  They know that you picked them.  And if you're worthy, they will love you to the moon and back.

We know because that's all Steve and I have been lucky enough to be the pet parents of-they want to please, they want to love and want to be loved.

When we rescued Sunshine #1, I made the comment that "no matter what the weather, we will always be lucky enough to start our day with a bright ray of love."

Every pet has their own personalities, problems and wonders-just like we humans, but that said, on this day of remembrance, I now like to say, "Here in the Nadel household, we are "Lucky" enough to start every morning with a good dash of "Pepper" and that burst of "Sunshine" that we need to get through our day."

You know, I will probably cry, but maybe it is time to throw the moldy ball and the dusty collar and worn leash in the garage into the trash.  I'm not promising mind you, but it's a big step to just type those words.

Friday, September 09, 2016


My Fur Babies Understand

I'm one of those pet moms who talk to my fur kids.  I truly believe they understand. 

Here's my proof:

Our first pet together, Snowy the cat-decided that we brought Sarah home for her.  No one could go near that baby unless they were properly vetted by Snowy.  Hence, only half of the grandparents were allowed access during visits.  She seemed to know what was right for her child.  During bath time I wasn't allowed to take her out of the little tub until Snowy smelled her head!  She also ran to me as soon as I'd call her name.

Push ahead 22 years to when Sarah brought Pepper home to us with a sob story that we'll never know the veracity of, he was just a teeny, tiny 2 pound gray tabby with deformed front legs that right after our first Sunshine decided to keep, proceeded to leave the "leftovers of life" on our leather sofas, a handmade Mexican blanket that we brought back from our 20th anniversary cruise and the living room carpet.

I picked up our little ball of cuteness and quietly told him, "Listen-you're adorable, sweet and Sunshine loves you BUT I'm in no mood for THIS!"  He looked up at me, let out a little "meow" and never, ever had an accident in that house again. 

To qualify-he's never had one in our present home either, but he was so mad at us for sending him for a week's vacation at Sam and Adam's house (Lucky was there too, but at 13, he felt 2 dogs, 3 cats and 2 kids were just not the serenity he's accustomed too and got mad) this past April, that he squatted and did the deed right in front of Sam.  He did it before, but poor Lucky got the blame!

Now our first Lucky, a 70 pound Shepherd mix, was adopted at 8 weeks of age and honestly only had a couple of accidents until senility crept into the picture.  Our first Sunshine came totally house broken!  Lucky #1 also understood that when she and the kids were in the yard playing and I called them in, that I meant NOW!  If the kids didn't react to my call fast enough-she'd goose them in as if to say, "Did you NOT hear mom, she said we need to go in!"

Sunshine #1, would "talk" to us constantly.  She knew that at a certain time she'd get her evening treat-we couldn't be late for even a minute past the designated time or she gave us quite the scolding!  It made us break out in giggles to listen to her.

Move ahead numerous years later, Pepper seemed to know how to handle and teach Lucky how to fit in best around the house.  And now, Lucky #2 is showing us just how smart she is by teaching Sunshine #2 what to do.

Take the house training:  Lucky goes out in the yard and does her "thing".  I swear to you, Sunshine stands right next to her watching and waiting for her to be done and then does the same thing in the same spot!

Since we now have two canines in the household and I'm limited as to how much walking my various joints can stand to do, we ordered a "dual, non-tangling" leash.  It had just arrived and I made the error of opening up the package in front of the girls.  They both seemed to know it was for them!

Both started jumping up in the air, crying and running for the laundry room where we keep the harnesses.  (I believe these are much safer than just attaching leashes to the collar as there is NO way they can finagle their heads out of their collars)  It was so sad to realize they wanted to try out their new leash that second and I had no plans to do so during the monsoon rains that had begun 15 minutes prior!

Eventually the girls curled up around my feet and desk chair-I'm being ultra-careful not to move even a toe in my shoe so they don't get hurt.

By morning, rest assured, they woke me up 10 minutes before the 5:40 a.m. alarm and let me know that I'd better take both of them on a walk with my friends.  They did beautifully!  I think it's safe to say that the 3 of us were very happy with the purchase.  We also bought each one a nylabone.  Both seem to understand that these are their personal items-as they ran off to their treat spots, licked them and then promptly took a nap on them.  Neither has tried to take the other's bone, yet.

Don't ever tell me pets don't understand!  I'm thinking they do a better job of knowing how to listen and behave than many human children!

Wednesday, September 07, 2016


Meet Laurie Zagon!

Meet this month's senior profile-Laurie Zagon.

A talented artist in her own right, but her real notoriety has come from her personal contributions to helping those in need through art.  Her story starts on page 2:

Tuesday, September 06, 2016


Breakfast with a BIG Buffalo

Friday, September 02, 2016


Sunshine's sweet face  

Not Much to Say

It's been one of THOSE weeks. 

I have had things to do, from the mundane to the interesting, but at this moment I'm making a choice to sit here with my mint tea (yes, the stomach thing is continuing to be a bit of a bother after I ate that ear of corn and had hot sauce on my eggs) and "enjoy" my toast with some fruit spread.  Even after almost 2 full weeks, it appears I'm still going to be enjoying the BRAT diet for a while more.

Not that I haven't done quite a bit mind you!  I've been to water aerobics, walked with my friends and taken both dogs on strolls (even though I was told not to do that much walking), went shopping with Steve and of course-watched the grandkids!

Monday I watched Bryce while Jackson went to his 3 year old physical.  Then I got the boys and had them in the afternoon.  Tuesday, after walking, I watched both the little ones in the morning and then again in the afternoon while Steve picked up the older kids.  We did the snack and homework thing and that was it for kiddos this week!

But Wednesday Steve and I felt as if we were the "errand" couple and did all kinds of running around.  The result is we finished our check list and have food in the fridge.  We came back in between each jaunt to potty the pups. 

So far, Pepper's still in hiding.  He did come out long enough the other morning to give Sunshine her very first "love bite" and ran off.  He also came on the bed one night to see exactly what this new addition to our household is all about.

The hardest day this week?  Sigh.  Tuesday around 3 a.m. poor Lucky started throwing up on our bed.  Ew.  Sunshine didn't know what this was about but kept patting her with one paw and kissing her head.  I don't know how, but I still got up at 5:40 to take my walk.  Ugh.

After trying to walk 2 pups with two leashes, I looked on Groupon and purchased a "Dual dog leash that promotes walking without entanglement".  If it works the way it should, it will be the best purchase EVER!

Oh, I've also been to the dentist and the dermatologist this week. 

I may not have much to say this week-but the reason is clear:  I've been very busy.

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