Too hard this time I think. I'm in an odd place at the moment with the reason why being that I'm feeling both loved and battered by the universe. This past week has been filled with some highs and lows. It started with a trip to Page, AZ where on the way a semi kicked up a rock which struck and left a nice crack in my windshield. Luckily I have a low deductible, but I'm still out $100 to replace it. Low.

After more than a year and a half a German Shepherd dog arrived at the sanctuary which (so far) seems to be just what I've been looking in age/health/temperament to adopt. High. The following morning I spoke with a coworker/friend about visiting with the GSD who also happens to know that I've been looking since I started working there. New arrivals have a 24hr cooling down period after arriving to give them a chance to acclimate. The initial separation from their families can be traumatic. I was telling the c/f about how I was looking forward to meeting the GSD later that day and arranging an intro with B if he turned out as good in temperament as I was hoping for. At the time the c/f only indicated that they had already met and nothing else. I learned at lunch that day that the c/f had already informed their family who emailed the department and secured themselves a first in line position to adopt him. LOW! I futilely put in an adoption application for him. Meh. I arrived for my scheduled visit with him, and he was visibly upset and confused. Despite that he was poised, alert, and very calm. I brought some treats which he took very gently from me. Once he felt comfortable with me he began communicating with me. He had walked to the door and looked at me then the door and back. He wanted out. I asked him and he reacted in a positive way to indicate yes. He wanted to go thru the door that lead back into the building rather than out the back door because this was the way he was brought into this place. Our meeting went better than I expected. High. He was already spoken for pending a cat test. He passed it. Low. I gave up and did not return to visit him again. No sense in learning more about what I'll be missing.

A new friend/coworker had finally arrived/moved into town and we were meeting for lunch on my last workweek day. High. Unfortunately that same morning one of our senior kids had passed very quickly and suddenly. LOW!. I canceled on our lunch plans being that I wasn't feeling like I'd be good company. Low. By the time lunch arrived I was feeling a bit better having regained my composure. My friend came to see me at lunch anyway. High! They also treated me to dinner and a drink later that evening. High.

When I got home from work that day I noticed that I had received a few emails from my Mgr and the lead adoption coordinator from that afternoon. Turns out the GSD had failed his dog test and the first adopter had backed out because of. Cautious High! At this point I have lots of questions. Some which were answered via email, but I still have many more to ask. I wasn't aware the GSD had to also pass a dog test. I'm wondering if my c/f had something to do with the family members backing out because of the failed dog test or at the c/f's request? I haven't spoken to the c/f because, to put it frankly, I was furiously hurt and upset beyond reason. I felt betrayed. Be it true or false I haven't cleared this up with them yet because I really needed to decompress and temporarily forget everything on my weekend off. What I need and what I'm doing here isn't lost on me either. I proudly own my crazy.


so where were we?

One quick correction. In my last post I had said my remaining parent. By that I didn't mean to insinuate that one was deceased. Both parents are alive and well. I only meant the one I was maintaining a relationship with. The relationship with both is estranged for now.

This past Summer was full of visits from friends and family. A childhood friend and his oldest son made a trip up this way. It was a high school graduation celebration run from AZ up to UT on motocross bikes. Due to weather conditions at the time they were only going to stay a single night, but alternative arrangements were able to be made. They stayed and explored all this gorgeous area has to offer for another couple of days before heading home. There was also the devouring of a delicious tater tot casserole somewhere in there.

On the heels of my friend and his son's departure ... my mother and aunt arrived. Well sort of. I had to drive to Vegas to pick them up which is a three hour drive away. The trip served to remind me how much I hate big cities, but also underscored my need for them. Vegas has an Asian market where I was able to load up on hard to get goodies a small town doesn't have. Mom brought me a care package consisting of some new and old cookware along with queen sized bed sheets and other sundries. I could tell mom was happy for me in my new life, but sensed her reservations. There are two times in life where I felt her pride for me. The first was when I'd started a new job where I earned more than her or my father, the second was when I paid off all my debt. This kind of made the visit bittersweet for me. 

I always get a little stressed out when my mother is around. Luckily my aunt ran a lot of interference making the four day stay of theirs pleasant. I took them to see the sanctuary where I work as well as Zion and the north rim of the Grand Canyon. We managed to get out and eat twice but the Peruvian in them took over so there were plenty of home cooked meals. My aunt lost her husband to cancer earlier this year so it was great to see her getting out and doing things. She could tell I was truly happy with all the changes I'd made in my life and was really proud of me. 

About two months later a new friend who comes out to visit and volunteer at the sanctuary was out here for almost two weeks. She's a feisty tiny lady who hauls a 25 foot travel trailer out in a ginormous truck. She really cares for and loves all the dogs she gets to spend time with. Her departure date also coincided with the arrival of family.

My sissy, nephew, and her beau (whom I met for the first time) arrived for their visit. There was no sightseeing this time outside of visiting the sanctuary, this was all family time. We spent most of the time in town together relaxing, hanging out, and eating really well. The visit was too short but we made the most of the time and had a blast! Sissy loved the area so much that she's already begun plotting a longer return, but in a rental RV. I'm looking forward to this!

I was sad to see them go, as was Bridgette. She was over the moon with excitement at all the family/friend visits we'd had. There was one more visit. New friends again whom I'd first met last year. Bill and Kelly. They come out every year for roughly almost two weeks with all kinds of accumulated goods to donate in addition to all the volunteer time they put in while here. They're not rich and earn a modest income, but their resourcefulness is limitless. I'm glad that the sanctuary recognized all they do in kind and elevated their donor status. This allowed them to enjoy a few nice perks while here. I also can't thank them enough for feeding me during their time here. Kelly cooks old school and never makes a meal for just two people. 

I should also mention that I've finally increased my family by one. It was on a resupply trip to St George between my sisters visit and arrival of Bill & Kelly. I named her Pips, short for pipsqueak. The picture was taken the day I got her, and she's a little bit bigger now. I'm impressed with how well socialized she was as most stores don't bother with any handling save boxing them up when purchased. She's very sweet and affectionate. I'm using a rubbermaid storage container for her home while I decide on building or buying. The last time I owned a rat was well over 40 years ago, and I'm happy that the internet has brought me up to speed in it's typical lightning fashion. This little girl is not missing out on anything because of all the different types of enrichment's I've given her. 

Bridgette was a little unsure at first but has come to accept her as a very little sister. She's learned how to be gentle with her and the two of them usually sleep together on the couch after dinner. I didn't leave B out when it came to enrichment's either. I purchased three food puzzles which she absolutely loves to play with.

Despite all the good grub I've been eating I did make a major change to my diet. Partially out of curiosity to see if the health benefits happen as quick as I'd read about, but also because it saves me money. I switched to a diet of primarily rice and beans. I'm into the third month of this new diet and the main challenge has been in keeping it interesting. Being creative in the kitchen is something I love so it's been a lot of fun. The speed at which things changed was immediately noticeable. My energy levels shot up which has been a huge help at work, but first thing I noticed was my resting pulse rate improved. The old average was in the mid to high 80s but is now in the low 70's.  And it's still dropping. I'm hoping to get it into the 60's by the time winter is underway. 

There's still more to tell but this is a good partial overview of what's been happening since last June. More to come ...


still at it

I've not yet come up with the new name for the next blog, but I've decided I'm going to stay with blogger. I, instead, will keep posting until a new name hits me and transition over to the new blog when that happens. There have been many changes in my life, both personal and professional over the last few months. I hate keeping everyone whose stayed with me this long in the dark so I'll be catching you up on what's what in my life.

Work has been great but it's review time. Here's hoping I didn't do as badly as I felt I did and managed to garner a raise along with some positive recognition. I've been clued in that there will be some changes coming but I'm not sure what that means exactly. More to follow when I know.

The relationship front came to a horrific and screeching halt for me as you may recall. Things have improved in that I've relaxed from pursuing anything on purpose and simply letting life take its course. I'm not sure where things are going here but I can say that life has been kind and generous with me. I'm grateful.

I had a recent incident involving my remaining parent which I was keeping in touch with. Sadly, I think it's time to end that link as well. It's a heartbreaking epiphany when you've matured beyond your parent's capacity to rise above pettiness and dishonesty.

You know it's not my style to end on a negative note. Over the last three weekends I've hiked. It's not that I haven't before, but this has been a bit more structured. The first weekend I hiked the Zion trails of Angel's Landing (dangerous), Emerald Pools, and The Riverwalk. I had clocked in 13 miles at the end of the day. The following took place in Bryce where I did the Bryce Point & PeekABoo trail where I came in at 7 miles. Today I hiked the only dog friendly trail in Zion which came in at 3.3 miles. Bridgette absolutely loved (deserved) the chance to commune with nature. I was so happy to be able to make that happen for her. She's almost 11 now and still basically a puppy at heart. Who knows how long I actually have with her but I'm doing my best to give her the best still. She deserves it.

More to follow ...