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That’s what it has been. Seven hundred and thirty days since I was able to hold my Bestie, my Zush.

Me and the Zush, circa 2002.

Life has gone on without my Zush. Well, not really. I still, especially when quiet, can feel her by my feet, or glance over to her spot on the floor and see her quickly in my mind’s eye. It is a truly bittersweet sensation. I have become a firm believer in the Rainbow bridge, as many of my friends have tried to extend their sympathy in telling me the story of the Rainbow Bridge and me meeting Zush again there again one day. I just pray to God I’ll be able to do that. If I don’t get a chance , well,…I shudder to think about it. Believe it or not, there are times in Church where a hymn is sung and my eyes well up. It reminds me of hearing the same hymn during a time in the later part of Zush’s life, where I prayed to God to keep her with me as long as possible. Feeling her by me, I guess God answered my prayer.

My Zush circa 2012

Don’t get me wrong. I love Kasia; truly I do. Zush is still my heart. We have gone through a ton together. She was the best psychologist in town, and she kept all her mother’s secrets. Sometimes, I swear, she’d wink at me to say it was all going to be ok.

So tomorrow, seven hundred and thirty days after she has physically left me, I will spend the day cherishing my buddy’s memory. I will take Kasia for some good walks , spending Mom and Kasia time together, and I know Zush will be with us.

She was ALWAYS the best.

A Gift From Zush

My girl left me for heaven one year ago today.

She sent me a gift from heaven to mark the occasion.

If you peer through the window, you will see “LB”, or Little Birdie. It is a fledgling blue jay who somehow has ended up on our porch. He came into our lives Sunday and has been in various positions on the porch bench. The shot above is Kasia checking in with her baby brother…lol.

The mother and father, I assume, have their nest in the front of our house.They have been back on numerous occasions during the day to check on LB and I have seen the Mom feed LB a worm or two.

I know, eventually, as all “kids” do, LB will leave the nest. Until then, thanks, Zush, for sending a little heart saver to us.

Getting Lower Daily.

It is one month and three days until Zushie’s first anniversary.

Oh how I miss my Bestie!

I miss walking the beach with her; she loved that & swimming.
Kasia can’t be bothered.She prefers to run into the water, chase seagulls and that’s it.

When we were in the city, all Zush and I would do is walk and hike and walk and hike and, well, you get the idea.Half the time I think Kasia went along with us in order to hang with her pack, and that was it.

Zosia was my comfort. We both prayed together, or should I say, she stayed near-by me when I prayed.I remember when Pope Francis was on television, she watched me and listened to the television too.I really believed that she felt what I was feeling.She was the most sympathetic and empathetic girl.

I am waiting patiently to go through life, and pray that I’ll be able to meet up with her at the Rainbow Bridge.

Mom

Well, I really didn’t want either of them to leave me, Mom and Zosia.

I was left behind.

Today my Mom would have been 95 years old.

I remember all the years I tried to get Mom the perfect birthday present. As she would joke that the both of us are each other’s present, there were many years we swapped Christmas pins that people would give each of us for our birthdays.

I think I won, this year, though.

Babci( Grandmother in Polish) and Zosia…

She has my Bestie up there with her in heaven for her polka party.

Party on, Girls!

Reopening the Floodgates

It has been four months and five days since I last gazed lovingly at this gal’s face, before she closed her eyes forever.

This morning, upon opening the Philadelphia Inquirer, my floodgates reopened.

One of their columnists, Stu Bykowsky, wrote a touching article about a group that formed for bereavement for people who have their fur children in terminal illness or who have lost them to the Rainbow Bridge.People who say “it’s only a dog, or cat.”, well; this is something that they got tired of hearing and they are pleased with the results.

The Cat Vet office, in downtown Philadelphia, gives them a free room for meetings once a month.There is talk of expanding. I cried when I thought of Zush as I read the touching stories of those who have lost their fur children. The author, himself, lost four pups and a cat to the Rainbow bridge.

I pray that my Zush is enjoying her friends and my family, and they are keeping her busy and running free and playing.

I pray I’ll see her again some day.

Rolling Around Together

Kasia and I are working through our Zush-less malaise.

It’s not easy, especially on a day like today.

Today was a dreary day and I rolled over and didn’t see my BFF Zush on her bed, as I used to. Kas and I got a start around 9:30 and started our day. We have managed to get some walks in. Funny thing, though, was we have been hanging together on the floor. 

They say all relationships start from the ground up. Kas and I are getting our act together.

Penthouse is the limit! 

Hanging Around with Kasia

Kasia and I were hanging out together today. We came across our neighbor,Dave, and his dog, Petra.

There, for a little while after Zush left us, Kasia didn’t know what to do with herself. After all. all she knew was life with Zush. For a little while, she would wag her tail and make nice to some of the neighbor dogs. Tonight, we saw Dave and Petra and the winds of change came through. Kasia sniffed at her and so did Petra, and then Kasia started growling at her.

So for those of you wondering when a second dog is coming our way, well, we can safely say that not just yet.

Back…

Took a break while my shoulder tries to heal. The area was in question is on the inside of my right shoulder blade, in an awkward spot where it just hurts, seemingly, all of the time. It has gotten to the point where I have to travel Tuesday up to my orthopedist to figure out what’s what.

It also is that time of year where I lay back a bit. My Zosia has finally met my Dad in heaven. Dad left me 19 years ago today, and I have managed to get a slight bit of comfort knowing they are watching out for each other.

I miss the two of you terribly, Daddy and Zush, but will love you both forever. Sleep tight!

Ah, to Sleep

Anyone who has been put on prednisone knows how precious sleep is. It had been a while since I’ve been put on it and it was quite a, pardon the expression, rude awakening for me.

The first night I managed to get one hour of sleep. That was just great ***not***. The benefit of not sleeping was I went on line and found out what to do.

With help of the late, great Zush, I had Melatonin in the house, thank God. Last night I managed 5 hours of sleep and almost felt like a million dollars.

The good news is the symptoms were pretty much quieted with completion of the first dose. Today is day number three.

Four left to go.

My Little Buddy


Above is my favorite picture of Kasia as “only child”.

It’s been six weeks and we both are missing Zush, which is expected. The surprise is when we have her outside for a walk, and she comes across some of the other dogs, her tail wags and she actually is getting along. Prior to Zushie’s passing, Kasia would be barking at everyone she came across to stay away from her “pack”. This has been a nice development. Don’t get me wrong: in the house, with us, she was a love muffin. Outside was a different story.



Our daily adventures are usually good, provided I miss tourists who are out with their dogs and don’t have them on leashes. Allegedly, the local government is actively policing that. I laugh because some of the weekenders KNOW of this law, still walk their pup off the leash, see me or any of my other full time neighbors, and go running to put their dog on a leash. I can only think it’s part of the ploy so they can plead ignorance in picking up after their dog. I figure this will go on until they start finding deposits on their lawn.

Hopefully we’ll get a good walk in tomorrow before I have to start my test prep. I like to keep my littlest of girls happy!

Counting Down


This is my love muffin, Kasia, as she appeared the other morning.


This is Kasia now, at 7:54pm. Our blinds are down , the volume on the television is way up, and Kasia and Momma are in for tonight. We don’t care for the fireworks and mosquitoes, and missing Zush, we will hunker down and , I am sure, Zushie’s spirit will be here with us. We watch the loudest thing possible and when the fireworks are over, we laugh at everyone in cars trying to get out of here and get home, That is the part worth the price of admission.

Don’t get me wrong. A beautiful display of fireworks is nice. I’ve seen a lot of them, and don’t need to see more. I sooner would stay with my fur girl, for Kasia “is” my firecracker.

The Post I Never Wanted to Write

Yesterday,in the late afternoon, Zush was running out in the yard and had a serious fall.

At 15 1/2, she was confused and fell off the handicapped ramp. It kills me, because she was running out to greet me. She ate last night and pottied, but today is not too good.

Please send some good karma and/or prayers out to Kasia’s big sister.

I’m either hoping for a miracle or a smooth transition for her. She deserves no less.

My heart is breaking.

The Vet is IN…

When we last left our Zushie girl, the vet had given us orders to give her melatonin to help her sundowning from her dementia. Well, evidently it has to build up in their system a little to really move things along. OK, that’s something that Mom, “the Vet”, can comprehend.

It’s now 12:23am and according to the National Weather Service, a line of thunderstorms is moving through Delaware Bay complete with downpours and ground striking lightning.

Gee, I wish I had the foresight to ask the vet what I am supposed to do now, when my girls are not happy during the storms, canine dementia or not.

Oh, I know about Thundershirts and the like, and for a while I was giving them both a canine herbal supplement put out by Springtime,Inc., which helped calm them during times like this. If Zush sees me coming at her with a spoon full of peanut butter, and to subject her to another spoonful, well, let’s just say I don’t feel like getting aggravated at 12:30am.

Never a dull moment.

Kasia

Here’s a shot of my littlest girl, Kasia.

I was going to write about Zush and what’s going on, and quite frankly, was feeling a little low, as I tend to feel at this time of the night when she sundowns. All of a sudden, my Kasia comes up to me as I am sitting at my desk typing and puts her front paws on my thigh. This is basically her heads’ up that she wants a belly rub. It is always a little bittersweet in that I remember how I used to sing to Zush when she was younger as I gave her a belly rub.

Kasia, however, is my tear-dryer.She keeps nudging me until she gets 1000% of my attention.Usually, by the time we get through our exchange, things are good.

She is a God send, that’s for sure!

Sunday Night

…and we are waiting for the winds and rain that are due to hit down here. It has been more like London than “Amity’ here.
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One hard part is that Zush is feeling the aches and it is so hard for me to try to get her comfortable, although after a little while she does quiet down and go to sleep. I didn’t take it personally after I got my body down to the floor next to her bed to massage some oil onto her and as soon as I was done, she gets up like nothing hurts her, and then moves to her next sleeping spot.

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So, gentle readers, keep my girl Zush, along with me in your thoughts. Care giving, be it canine or human, is rough, especially since they eventually can’t take me with them.

Finally

I have been posting this blog for a heck of a long time now. If you have followed it with any regularity you know I put pictures of my girls up.
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There’s Kasia

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There’s my Sweetheart Zush.

I could get a ton of pictures, and few would come out with the two of them together without someone, more than likely Kasia, looking the other way, and well, if you have children you know the drill. Fur children can pretty much be the same.

Although I am still not really well, I got them out for their walks today, and I guess sometimes God blesses fur Moms.This is my new favorite shot of them both together and I am blessed to have caught it!

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Just for me: kids listen sometime, I guess!

Taking A Day

Tomorrow I turn, God willing, 57.

Not too cheesy, considering I was due to check out at 33 from my first cancer.I am fortunate to have Jim, who has stood by me through some hard times.

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I am going to spend quality time and prayerful time remembering all in my life, regardless if they are are still with me or gone.It is sad that despite going through everything I have, regarding my cancer history, it still tends to be just another day as you get older.

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Please keep prayers going for Zush, who is having paw issues and may have to get a vet visit in tomorrow.The best present I get is every day I wake up and put two feet on the floor and I have both my girls with me.I have been blessed with them in my life.

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Old Girl’s November

My middle godson, Matthias, just turned 29 years old, and his brother turns 27 next month. My oldest godson, Mike, turns 40 on Black Friday.FORTY.I was 16 when he was born.

Where did those forty Novembers go?

I haven’t written a post of late because I have been mulling over a lot of stuff.

Poor Zush is hanging in there to the best of her ability.I start my physical therapy for my tendonopothy on Wednesday.My family is pretty much gone their on their own, so my days of making Thanksgiving are long gone.This week I was informed of three passings of friends and family.We are traveling up to the city for the holiday, as Jim’s Mom turns 98 on the 22nd.

As Simon and Garfunkel used to sing.”And the leaves that are green turn to brown.”

Status Quo

We have had a ton of rain over the past few days.

The girls are living together,but I have learned I put a four-pawed mother’s instinct out and make sure everyone is working and playing well with others**insert Kasia’s name here**.

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The one thing that I find amusing is that Zush’s foster mom, Kathy,suggested to keep a squirt bottle to help break apart any future altercations. Whenever I would get down with them to the beach,Zush is always the swimmer. Kasia would go into the water to chase something, and is was if she realized her paws and legs were wet, and out she instantly came running.A water bottle, I hope, will help keep us in a status quo situation.

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Something I am a little sad about is that the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi is coming up and I had missed the announcement if my parish is blessing the animals.Of course, I realized it today when the parish office was closed.For the past two years, I managed to get the girls down there and they got blessed. If, for some reason, we can’t make tomorrow or they aren’t having it, well, I have some holy oil and holy water, and I guess I’ll ask God if it’s ok for me to do it.I know He has cut me a lot of slack, but in the light of the past month here, I think both the girls need it.

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Keep some prayers and through some good karma this way.Peace, in my lifetime,would be marvelous here.

Twilight at the Homestead

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As you can see by the sun coming through the window behind Nurse Zush, I took this picture in the beginning of the afternoon.I did everything a little later today, due to the fact that my medication screws up my sleep.I did the wash today in early afternoon, not really comprehending at an 85 degree day,that it is now autumn,and although I know the days are getting shorter, I didn’t realize how badly I misjudged the sun on my clothes line.

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Nurse Kasia is, as usual, guarding her window to keep anyone away from the house. I laugh because our last home had a knocker on the front door, and we didn’t need a doorbell because of Kasia. Now we are in a home with a doorbell, which people don’t have to use because Kasia still does her job.

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So as the sun sets over the bay,we are still homebound and chomping at the bit. We catch the sunset from the front porch for now, with hope that we three will soon be sprung and can get down to the beach. It’ll still be there for us, and I am sure we’ll be happy to walk it again!

Strained relations?

According to Google**remembering when we used to say according to Webster’s dictionary**, détente is the easing of hostility or strained relations,especially between nations.

Well,we are currently living in a state of détente here in regard to Zush and Kasia.
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They are co-existing,again,but,call me crazy,they are not quite what they were.

B.F.,or before fight,Kasia would go over to Zush and bother her,like trying to lick her teeth clean.Now, it’s as if they are ok, but I can’t help but wonder if they ever will be what they once were.I can’t help but wonder if Kasia attacking Zush was her attempt to throw her over as”top dog”.Really, I think Zush was standing in the window that Kasia always looks out of and wouldn’t move, and it was just a play for territoriality.It is hard for me,because they always got along.It’s really hard to think of an altered state, but hopefully, someday soon,we’ll return there

**fingers crossed**

What’s a Mother to Do?

A bad day for the Zush…

I hobbled to the front lawn to get the mail, only to hear Kasia fighting Zush in the house.Jim wasn’t here, and I couldn’t get in quick enough to break them apart.When I got back in as quick as my cellulitis leg could get me in, Zush was bleeding a little under her eye and on the side by her ear.
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It’s sad because she probably didn’t deserve it; she had to endure the trauma.She looks little like Petey from Little Rascals.She’s cleaned up and has neosporin on it.Kasia has been separated from her for a few hours and then we let her come back in.I guess I am going to have to referee them for the duration of being stuck him, but God moves in mysterious ways.We’ll have to police them and separate them when we are not here.
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Please throw a good thought out for my girls, because they could use it.

Just When It’s Peaceful…

Zush is not feeling well.

I have to try to get her into the vet tomorrow, as she has been yelping on occasion and that is not good.What’s worse is I am a big tear-stained mom worrying about it.As someone who would have children would say, it’s rough when a child can’t tell you what’s wrong.Well, same thing for a fur child.

I’m keeping her on only potty walks and out of the heat.She’s eating and doing everything she should be doing, but the sharp yelp scares me: she’s obviously hurting.Please send some prayers or good karma up for my girl.

Motherhood…it’s not for the faint of heart.

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Yes it is July.

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By the amount of perspiration coming out of me and the fur girls, all I can say is I am thankful we are out of the city.I hate to imagine what the humidity is up in the city,

We get up,I take my medicine and then give Zush her medicine. Then we go out for a slight walk.Again, as I mentioned earlier in the post about Zush and her boyfriend,I let her lead the way.We don’t do too much,and then we come back and I do some chores and the girls veg.

As for me, I went to the pool Tuesday and got some exercising in.Now, with the humidity so high, well, I am able to get my 10,000 steps in and wait for another hazy, hot and humid day to go by and the time to pull my fall sweaters out!
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Is it Spring or Summer?

We have had some humidity here for a few days, then, out of nowhere, cooling breezes come out of nowhere.

I have to make sure that the flowers I have planted have water, on occasions that we might actually get to go out on a non-rainy weekend day. For instance, Zush has an appointment at Pet Smart tomorrow for grooming.When the days were so humid, it was a sin for her, as I had not had her coat blown out yet and I KNOW she was uncomfortable.Tomorrow we will remedy it.

They claim one of the weekend days here will be wet: which one is anyone’s guess.

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Check-Up!

Zush and I went to the vet with Jim and Kasia today.

Zush was diagnosed with lyme disease back in October.The vet had given us a prescription for the antibiotic she needed, and thankfully, with my buddy Ryan’s help, he got them for us so we were able to get her started.It was not fun.It was a job to think of ways for me to get the pill into her.Hopefully now, we have this under control and, as usual, I just have to keep my eye on her.

We take Kasia with is to the vet to get her used to coming in.It’s not too much fun, because she gets terrified. The staff suggested we get her used to coming in so when she actually has an appointment for her,well, hopefully it will go a little smoother than before.

Thanks,God! Signing off tonight with a sigh of relief.

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Christmas Parties

We have another Christmas party to attend tonight.

I am convinced it’s a communist plot to get me out of my Danskin hoodie and make me actually brush my hair and put on some lipstick. After all, I am retired, but, as I constantly say, I have to be in this neighborhood for a long time, so you have to socialize with friends and neighbors.

This social schedule makes me double-time my Fit Bit stepping, and add the fact that it gets darker a little quicker makes it an issue for me. I try to get Zosia’s medicine in her and then we try to go and a decent walk in.Not only does it get my steps in but it gets both girls some exercise and empty tanks, as a rule.

Please be careful, dear reader,if you are out and about, as you realize that alcohol, in some form, is usually at a holiday party.After all, it would be nice to be able to see many more holiday parties for years to come.

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Holiday Malaise

Ok, so my tree is up but I haven’t managed to get out to see any Christmas decorations yet.
We were in Congress Hall the other week and it was Christmas-y but tonight was the actual tree lighting ceremony, but instead we are here.

Friends of Jim’s are coming tomorrow so the house got the once over today and instead of taking in the sights we are here at home.**sigh**

I probably will wait until later and try to catch a Christmas movie on tv, figuring that’s as close as I am going to get, for now.Actually, I have to keep an eye on Zush, as I suspect she is not feeling too well, so I’ll probably be monitoring her to make sure she is ok.

My sister has her Christmas decorations up outside, so maybe we’ll try to go out more when it is dark out, so at least there’ll be a little warmth of the season in my heart, until I can see some lights.

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Life in Amity, er, Mayberry, er…somewhere on the east coast

The pup who was having a hard time with meds and stuff, my Zusher, well…
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She got some bones from Utah and I haven’t seen her attack anything with such vigor in a while.
I’m glad she has the vigor.

Me?

Up at 4am tomorrow morning for Election Day here in the Garden State.Now, I have to factor in making everyone get their medicine and a quick walk, as they will be with Dad for the bulk of the day. Not quite as easy as the primary elections: I’m due to work the polls in beautiful downtown Cape May, New Jersey, where somehow the phrase “vote early and often” is something I am sure I’ll hear in my head, being a former Philadelphia: obviously that isn’t muttered in Cape May.

Long day tomorrow…here’s hoping the best people win.

A Shameless Plug

http://pets.subaru.com

Subaru is currently getting folks to enter and vote for pets in the Subaru Pet hall of Fame.

I entered the Zusher.

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The link to vote is at the top of this page and if you should see it on Facebook, the picture above is the one I entered for the Zush.

Please vote for my girl, and if you could share this post,Zusher and I would truly appreciate it. If you are going into the site and can’t recognize her, search for ” Zush” and you will get her entry and the little blip I wrote to submit for her.You can vote daily through the end of November and, again, thanks!

Fall in and Wait…

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We were treated to a first blast of fall red this morning when we were walking,but didn’t need the color to announce the season. I was a little chilly, so that is enough of a fall announcement for me. We had our 1 and 3/4 mile walk and it was quite pleasant post storm. Dare I even suggest it that the sun was brazen enough to try to poke it’s head out…

Today we are anticipating a call from our vet for Zush, to see what the results will dictate for her care as we help her into her senior years, which I pray will be for a long while. I have to work from 10 to 6, so, it was nice having the ability to walk in the light, post nor’easter, and take in the beauty around us.

Please hold good thoughts for my Zusher: she is my BFF.

Joauquin by Northwest

The hurricane that is coming, fading, or whatever, Joaquin, is second fiddle down here right now.

The coin of the realm here is the Nor’easter.

It was bad enough that the ferry “consolidated” boats due to lack of folks wanting to go on a Disney-esque boat ride that would probably have turned the most galvanized stomach green. I, the hourly purveyor of what my three weather apps on my phone say, well, each time I thought I was going out in drizzle, well, I forgot one thing. The formula is you have to take drizzle and multiply it by a 25 knot wind and then you have one saturated self, not to mention puppies. I went out at my lunch half hour today to try to get steps in, and the first 1.5 miles were rough. I am, although thanks to fit bit zip a bit smaller, but I am a big Polish girl and that wind was fighting me. Needless to say, the last 1.5 miles was a literal breeze, as the wind was at my back giving me a little help.

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To counter all of this storm, though, Jim and I are going for our flu shots tomorrow morning, and after we take care of the health of our bodies, I will act on the health oh Zush and Kasia and my soul, when we take our girls to our parish church, when they will be celebrating the feast of St.Francis of Assisi with the traditional blessing of the animals.

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Did I mention I’ll be working on a crock pot of chicken soup to boot?

A good day to take care of the entire family.

Ten

We have finished our first nine months of living full time here, away from the big city.

I would lie if I said I don’t miss the big city, because there are occasions that I do miss certain aspects of my prior life.We used to love close to Fairmount Park, and I miss having the ability to take the girls back there on occasion. When we lived on Rochelle, we were back there all the time.Now that it is October, I know the colors in the park will be spectacular, and although there are trees here, well, it’s not the same as where we first lived.

It is a dreary day here, as Hurricane/Tropical Storm Jauquin is working its’ way up the coast.It matches my mood here, as I am having Zush go for her second blood work today at the vet and worry is an understatement. I am just hoping to keep my girl going as long as I possibly can. There is something about being down here in stormy weather that just really brings out.After seeing, and reading, “The Perfect Storm”, weather is magnified when walking down by the bay. I would never have this atmosphere back in the city.

The first bunch of months here are in the books. I am hoping that we get through the next bunch well, and we stay happy and relatively healthy. I can’t pray and ask for more.

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Fitbit update

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I went to the Doctor this morning for my physical.I have been on the fit bit zip side Halloween 2014,and today, when I stood on the scale, I am down a total of 40 lbs since then-down 10 since March.If that doesn’t give testimony to the viability of the fit bit zip, I don’t know what does.

I looked at today as the fall tune-up for the auto season for the winter. I got my blood work done and we’ll see if hopefully,all numbers for me will be good.With that out-of-the-way, all is left is Zush and taking her in Thursday afternoon for her blood work second set. Please keep the prayers and good puppy mojo going for our girl.

Thanks!

Hard to go

It’s getting to a point where my job is my job and that’s great.

My baby Zusher isn’t well.

I am trying to see with the first call from the lead vet, and waiting for the information for the second reading of the labs from a Philly vet, in order to take her for her second opinion.
If we get good new, for which I am praying, that would be great. If not and hospice is the term for Zush, I probable will leave the job to savor every day I have with the girls.

It all is in the hand’s of God and his hands on the heads of the vets.

Still praying for the girls….ALWAYS.
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Ruh-roh…

We’re off to the vet today.

Zush has been established with the local vet down here and we have had pleasant experiences with them.

The issue is Kasia.

Kasia is a tough bird, and whatever was done to her when she was a pup, well, she is not a happy camper when it comes to vet visits.They both need their nails desperately cut, and hopefully, having Zush with her, well, I am saying some prayers that it will not be THAT bad. I think my Kasia is no dummy, though, because she is looking at me with the ” You have something planned for me today, and I’m not going to like it.” AARGH….

We’ll see how it goes, so put some karma out there for the baby girl…and me too!

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Thirteen

Jim and I were married August 31,and tomorrow is our 13th anniversary.

We were younger, but now we are wiser. We have changed:weight gained, lost, hair changes,friends and family no longer with us,retirement,work,new houses,…life goes on. Zush has hung in with us, and Kasia joined us half way in.

Like any other couple, we have good and bad times, but we are here and the love is stronger than ever.

Happy Anniversary,Baby. 

 

Fit Bit in an Ant Farm 

I made a major error yesterday morning. I got up, threw clothes on,got the girls walked, and 65 minutes later, I realized I did not put my fit bit on. Quel Horror!  3500 steps flying into the air!

So I majored in taking the scenic route yesterday, in order to make up those 3500 steps. It is so infuriating to feel married to my fit bit, but the results are speaking for themselves. I just got my Great Barrier Reef  badge for walking 1600 miles.

I walk everywhere,everyday at my own pace. I am not a race walker, nor do I ever want to be. I have two knee replacements and my motto is you can’t hit s moving target. I admit there are times when I am bone tired and walking is the last thing I feel like doing.i walk enough during the week in the ant farm maze at work.

My 13 year old Zush and 6 year old Kasia love to walk. I don’t want to disappoint them either. We go out together for the entire pack benefit. I am not bad mouthing race walkers, because they are surely more fit then I will ever be.

As for me and my girls…we’ll catch up. 

 

Thursday, er,Saturday night

So we lost our pal, Lola; her family came to bring her back home and the house is echoing from one less set of four paws padding around.

Now comes the part where we get back to normal, or at least try to get back to normal. I wasted an hour of my life fighting with Verizon.Yup, that’s kind of back to normal. Walking Zush and Kasia around for a bit, yup. kind of normal.Trying to figure out what I need to get done tomorrow, another stab at normalcy.Sadness at the fact that my weekend is half over, yes that is normal.

There is something to the concept of threading water to get through a month: I need to master it quickly

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You Say To-mah-toe

Today is my Sunday.

I got all the pups up and fed, and then we went down to the bay for a walk. While I was getting them on leashes, I noticed we had a ton of tomatoes on the vines. 

 
When we finished our two mile walk. I gave the only swimmer of the day, Zush, a mandatory shampoo, as golden retrievers are infamous for itchy skin, and then turned my thoughts back to tomatoes.

One of my childhood favorites was a tomato sandwich on white Italian bread with a little mayonnaise…that thought had my mouth watering, and I tweaked it with a slice of Cooper sharp cheese…yummo!!!!! 

 
It was pretty darn good.if a sandwich can make my day, well, this trip down memory lane did.

Hahaha who’s got the last laugh now?

Gentle reader, if you remember in a prior post I lamented about the death of my MacBook Pro.

Well, this evening, I called apple knowing I was out of warranty, but they were going to try to help resurrect my Mac.In the meantime, here in Jim’s office, I had three dogs under my feet and the desk.Jim wasn’t very happy with that, and was literally dragging my heart, my Zush, out of the office and as he did, the power cord fell down and we reconnected it.

Guess what?

Not only did the computer come on, but also it is charging.

I feel as though I have gotten wind back in my sails thanks to Zush and Jim’s short fuse. Otherwise, we would have been lamenting a potential trip to the Apple store. Instead, all we need is a new mac power cord!

Go figure!

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Apple forelorn

God,I miss my Powerbook.

I am typing on an HP that is like a dinosaur.Awkward, unstable, and mostly slow.

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Meet Lola.

Lola’s family is leaving for vacation for two weeks and she is here at Zush and Kas camp to hang out.We go way back with Lola-she is a year younger than Zush so they are good buddies.It’ll be a blast to be a three dog house for a bit.

Hopefully, Lola will keep me from missing my Mac too much.

Summer’s gone…almost

I can’t believe July is almost over.

I was hoping to have had some time for rest and relaxation. Instead,I am working. I would have liked to spent time working in my garden. It unfortunately looks like the amount of time I have spent on it.I have enjoyed taking the girls down to the bay before, but now, I have to savor having them at the beach once a week.

We had to take Zush to the vet tonight because she has had a GI bug of sorts.Hopefully, the medicine and temporary diet change we are going to have to do will have her feeling better. It is a bittersweet reminder about how short life is, and it needs to be enjoyed.

I am determined that this last month of August will have me actually taking more time to enjoy things.They say you know what you have missed after it has passed you by.

Here’s to stopping the train, getting off, and savoring what’s left of life.

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Neighbors

I am fortunate enough to have some awesome neighbors down here.

I have friends two doors down who have the cutest little guy-his name is Nathan and he is 9 months old. Well Isa and Ivo, his parents, have invited us to dinner tonight and we are really excited.They also invited Zush and Kasia. Zush is a big fan of Nathan’s. when he sits in his little chair with food on his hands, albeit baby food, well, here comes Zush to the rescue.

it’ll be a nice way to ease back into work tomorrow, and we are looking forward to having fun.
It’s nice to have good neighbors!

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Our Day..

So true to a ” Saturday”, aka, real world Tuesday,there were a ton of chores that had to get done today, but none more important that taking my girls for a swim.

For five days a week, when we walk by the bay, the girls longingly loo toward it, but, unfortunately, I have to remind them that Mom has to go to work today, and we will when Mom is off. Fortunately it was awfully hot, so Zosia had no problems going right in; in fact, she probably would have wanted to still be there now, if I could let her.Kasia also had fun.She is more of a run in and out of the water type of gal.

After we got home, I gave the girls their shower to get sand and sand fleas off of them.They were happy to have more cool water on them.

If only every day could be “Saturday”….

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Back in the Trenches

Tomorrow I go back to work.

Seriously.

I’ll be with the ferry, and it would appear, as it is busy season, that I’ll be working **choking** full-time, at least for a couple of weeks.

**Wondering where my retirement went**

It is a good spot to be at, as opposed to where I recently was at, so I am not really concerned regarding that.I am wondering how my poor old body will handle getting up at 5:30 so the girls can get a good walk, work a full day, come home and figure out what’s for dinner, walk the girls again, shower and get to bed.

I really haven’t had to do that full-time since January 2nd.

I’ll be by the water, which, in my book, is the best place to be.The flip side is that my girls will be missing me, as I them, while I am not here.With Zush at the tender age of 13, I know every moment I have with her is precious, so I just am going to have to triple up with her when I am home.

Here’s hoping for a good run.

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Oh the weather outside is frightful

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No, thank God it is not the perfect storm, but the way the girls are shaking, you would think it is.

It started an hour and a half ago, when the storm was 18 miles west of us. Kasia started pacing, feeling it in her paws. Our power went out and we ended up going to McDonald’s’ for dinner, as you really can’t do dinner without a working stove.

We hurried back to be with Zush and Kasia-Zush who pushed me away from the computer so she could hide under my feet.Kasia is about two feet north of Zush. Totally apathetic Dad? He’s watching the Phillies and the Yankees game.

I am going to try to wrap this up and then huddle with my gals on the floors so we can calm down.

Here’s hoping.

The three days of weekend…

Can you hear the pause and the sigh as I sat down?

It’s my weekend. Whoo-hoo!

I had worked the express lane for two days straight and the scanning gun was broken. For two days, I had to lift heavy bags of cat litter,pet food, 24 and 30 bottles of water…you catch my drift? My bones are aching down to the core. I am hoping that if I get back to work, I can get a lane that won’t have defective equipment.

At least my gals and I will go swimming in the morning, so they will enjoy the coolness of the water. The rest, well, depending on the heat, we’ll improvise.I just am looking forward to every moment I have with the girls.

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June

June 1st.

Half-time.

I have completed a half-year of retirement, well, maybe four months if you discount my bakery time.Six months since I was in Center City.Six months since I had to use a finger ID to clock in.Six months since I was within striking range of a coffee shop on every corner and vendor carts.

Do I miss that part of my life?

Some of the people, yes. The daily routine? No way in hell.

Thirty years are thirty years, no matter how you slice it. I was blessed to hold a job steadily for that length of time, but when it’s time, it is time.It was a good run, but it’s over. The new chapter in my life has started, and at six months, my feet are indeed wet. You know what? I take one day at a time and enjoy every day I have got, especially with Jim and Zush and Kasia. It’s a precious life.

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Fluffernutter

If you grew up in the East Coast in the 60’s, you know that Fluffernutter is a term used for a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich.A friend of mine nicknames Zush that when she was a little pup.

We went to Pet Smart today and Zush had gotten her Furminator service done: it gets a good percentage of her winter coat off without leaving her subject to a sunburn. She also got her nails trimmed and her teeth brushed. She is nice and fluffy.

Below is a picture of her post-trim, which is photobombed by her sister Kasia. She loves her Fluffernutter!

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A big thank-you!

The Cutest Pup contest that I had blogged about is over.

The contest benefited the Rogue Sanctuary and Animal Refuge,and they were a worthy cause for the contest.As you know,if you have been following this blog,both of my girls are rescue girls.Zush came from SPCA and Kasia came from G.R.A.P.E, which stands for Golden Retriever Adoption Placement Education. This is the reason I participated in this contest;to honor rescues!

I received the email this morning that Zush won the contest.If you are a reader of this blog and actually took the time to click on links to vote for my girl, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.I appreciate the support.

Thank you!

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Cutest Pup-once more with feeling….

I KNOW THIS IS A REPEAT, BUT PLEASE KEEP VOTING FOR THE ZUSH…we both thank you!

Zush Ciliberti is entered in the cutest pup contest but I need you guys to go and vote for her.

You all know her picture by now, plus she is the only pup wearing glasses…lol.

This benefits the Rogue shelter and costs you nothing…vote for my best gal and please, PLEASE share with all your friends and have them throw a vote for the Zusher.Vote early and often( just because I am out of Philadelphia doesn’t mean some things change..lol) until May 1.

Thank you from Zusher and Mar..click on upload contest pictures when on their page and the photos will come up…Smooches!

Here is the link, and please remember to vote daily until May 1, 2015.

https://foto-app.appspot.com/get100/128640000647630/K_6631463380320256/

This is the picture you are looking for….

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Cutest Pup Picture

Zush Ciliberti is entered in the cutest pup contest but I need you guys to go and vote for her.

You all know her picture by now, plus she is the only pup wearing glasses…lol.

This benefits the Rogue shelter and costs you nothing…vote for my best gal and please, PLEASE share with all your friends and have them throw a vote for the Zusher.Vote early and often( just because I am out of Philadelphia doesn’t mean some things change..lol) until May 1.

Thank you from Zusher and Mar..click on upload contest pictures when on their page and the photos will come up…Smooches!

Here is the link, and please remember to vote daily until May 1, 2015.

https://foto-app.appspot.com/get100/128640000647630/K_6631463380320256/

This is the picture you are looking for….

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New kids on the block

While out walking the girls today, we came across two young girls who were 9 years old.

The one girl, Isabelle, the girls and I had met before during the winters’ snow.Her friend Lily was with her.They both loved Zush, who went over to them and sat on their feet and the other girl’s leg.Kasia,as usual, was skittish and kept her distance.They had recognized us as we walked over and we stopped on the way back to talk.They talked to me about so many different things that my head was spinning.

I, thanks to my nephews, knew Minecraft,and the other computer games the girls were telling me about.They talked about haunted dolls and burying dolls by the swamp,Nine year old girls? More like 30 year olds, I felt,after talking to them.I think I was still playing school and Barbies when I was nine.

It was a pleasant experience talking to the girls, if not an education.If anyone was the old soul in the conversation, it was the two of them.It made me miss my childhood for a fleeting moment.

Equal Time

I did a post the other day about the reason my heart keeps beating…my Zush.

In all fairness, I have to post about the other reason it ticks, and that is my Kasia.

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Kasia is a golden retriever and chow mix.This spring she turns six.Since we adopted her, she has put a little spring back in Zush’s step.The chow in her has made life with her crazy: we never had a dog that barks until we had Kasia come to live with us.She was hard to walk out with people, but the chow in her made her very protective.When it is just me and Jim and Zush alone in the house, she is nothing but a love muffin.The picture inserted above is one of Kasia, as I typed this, she came up on my leg to get her belly rub.Mind you, she still barks at folks going by, but as she gets older,she becomes a little more sedate.

She’s still my Kasia and she is a Sweetie!

The Zusher

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Zush is really my bestie.

She tolerates Jim putting his glasses on her and actually sits for it with an invisible little bubble over her head that would say,” But it’s my Dad, so I guess I have to.”

It is hard for me to leash her, because she is so well-behaved, but in season, the law here is all dogs must be on a leash.I look over to her and tell her she has to have a leash on and she looks up at me and I can feel her sigh.She resigns herself to the fact and hangs in as we walk, and just goes bananas when we get close to the house.Once she gets into the yard,she says with her eyes,”Will you get this leash off of me?”

She really has hung with me, especially through the first few months of retirement, to the point where Jim said her eyes follow me where ever I am in the house.

She’s my heart!

Hole-y Sinking Sand!

The girls and I had a rare treat today.
Jim finished work early and we celebrated by taking a 3 mile walk on the Cove beach at Cape May.

We had a rough time for a little,though.

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Where we were walking, which would normally have been the sand right around the tide line, when you stepped on, when Zush stepped on it, it sunk! I mean, you would put your foot down and your foot would go down a bit and then, eventually, you hit another layer of sand.It scared me, and Zush and Jim, when it happened to each of us: eventually we moved away from the tide line.

We love the Cove, as do a ton of folks, because it allows you a southward view of the ocean and beach and the lighthouse at Cape May State Park.
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We took our time walking,picking up seashells as we went along.There is a bunker that was built for World War II that still was on the beach, and for some reason,we couldn’t make it out from the distance. It gave us incentive to keep on walking.Well, we decided when we would make it to the bunker, we’d touch it and then turn back.

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Here’s a shot of Jim and Zush when we made it down to the ruins of the bunker. Kasia was walking with me.I took this shot of the lighthouse and considered it my reward for the effort and to make 15,000 for my fit bit zip today.

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It was a wonderful family outing…I am hoping we have more of them in the future.

Squirrel Girl

There is a history behind my affection for squirrels.

When I was a kid, my Mom let me go to the local recreation center and one of the first arts and crafts that I did was painting a plaster of paris mold of a squirrel. I loved that statue and it was around for a full time.As a kid, I’d go with my best friend, Karen, and we’d collect acorns and put them in the trees for the squirrels.Seriously.We did.

When I got older and was up Penn State’s main campus,I met the timid, almost tame squirrels.I was in heaven.When Zush came into my life, she chased squirrels and she became my squirrel girl.

It was very funny.that as we go for walks here, I found a sign that I was meant to be here.
The picture is below.

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No snow day

We had some snow fall today.

The forecast had me out early walking the girls, or should I say, Zush led the way and we walked a ton today. Fortunately we came in to pass out just as the snow was starting to flurry.I spoke to a former co-worker who gleefully let me know school children in the city were being let out at 1:30PM. I lamented the fact that I couldn’t call in for a snow sick day, or vacation day, or whatever. We laughed about that.

So January is half way done.

Spring is just around the corner.

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New day

My gut was a touch bit better this morning…not much, but enough to move around.

The girls and I had some significant walks today, as the weather cooperated so we took in what we could, keeping in mind not to tax out Zush and her stitches.Jim, unfortunately, had to work so we went without him.

When you go through a stretch of a weather as we have, with apologizes to my Wisconsin family and friends, you get to appreciate a 35+ degree day.The sun coming down on the bay actually gave the illusion that the bay could have had July sun on it rather than January.

It was good to be home.

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Fit Bit Bug

I was hit with a GI bug around 2am this morning.Not much fun.

The sleep I lost caused me to sleep a little later and wave “buh-bye” to 15,000 steps today.I realized from the get go that it is more important for me to get rid of this bug than to kick over another 15,000 steps.

I am going out now to give the girls their last stroll of the night with me.Jim took the first walk this morning, well, by default.It’ll be interesting to see what the final number is, as I just want to come back in, take a hot shower, watch American Idol, and go to bed.

Stay tuned….

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Hail, hail the gangs all here….

We got through the day and the family is back as a whole.

Zush made it through her surgery,thank God.

We got through the day in different ways. Jim tried to work through the day and did a few things through the house.Kasia went through the day having a hunger strike because she missed her sister: it was the first time in 5 1/2 years they were apart for a good part of the day.I kept going back and forth through the house, praying and puttering and waiting to hear the outcome from the vet.

We got the call and were relieved that she made it through the surgery, as she is 13 in February and at that age we take nothing for granted. We picked her up at 4PM and the weirdest part is the only walk we can do is a potty walk on a leash and then back in. It’s hard because she is a walker, and the colder weather is her trump card.Normally she would run back to the house after a walk, but it’s going to be rough.

We are blessed that we are all together.

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How tired am I?…..with apologies to the estate of Johnny Carson

Mother nature is giving me a break.

If you have been following this blog with any regularity, you know I have been trying to do fitbit zip version walking daily since Halloween.I really have been getting into it, especially since I have seen eighteen pounds disappear since then.

Tomorrow,here at Undisclosed, it’s due to be cold. Not quite Wisconsin cold, but cold none the less.The girls will have to go out, but not as far as we have been.I will be bundling up, but as a sent a quick message to my friend and sister KJ earlier today, God wants me fit, not with pneumonia.

As it would only be day three of retirement, I think a little down time will be in order, and as Zush’s surgery is scheduled for Thursday morning, well, I will try to get some quiet one on one time with her.She is getting a ruptured cyst off of her left rear leg.Any prayers or good mojo that you can send for her would greatly appreciated.

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Making our way

So keeping in line with my fit-bit walking, Kasia and I went for a long walk today while Zush was home with Jim to rest her leg. Her scheduled surgery is this Thursday so any prayers or good mojo you can through our way we would appreciate it.

We walked and walked and because it was just the two of us, we went onto the beach. As Kasia was leashed, we walked slowly and appreciated the stillness and solitude of the beach. It really served to soothe my soul and even Kasia was good in her beach exploration.Below are a few shots I took, or rather, one selfie of us and one of her ready to play

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Going back to Jim and Zush in the house, I really felt at peace. It is good to feel blessed!

Football Withdrawl

The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t play football today.

We are sitting here at the breakfast bar trying to move it down a notch, getting ready to try to sleep a little before we come up to the big city and it just is so weird that there is no football.

I walked with Kasia and did 12,000+ steps today with her and did things around the house, but it really is weird, as we have gotten use to watching and/or listening to football on a Sunday afternoon or Sunday night. This is a change from us, as we normally are baseball people.

Zush sleeping as is Kasia, and we are getting ready getting to shower to relieve some aches and relax and try to get some sleep. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the football season is over…lol.

All in this together

Zush and Kasia and I did our walking today.

I think we did the 10,0000 steps on the main route that is still closed down so it was easy for us to walk it, and for Zush, well, with her designer, expensive arthritis medicine, she kept walking , albeit slowly, so we were ok, as it was not a race.

I enjoyed the time together with the girls: we get out and I think the stress level for us goes down and we are all happy.

We managed to get done in time for Jim and I to go for 4 PM Mass, so now, we are back, and we are one more walk away from calling it a night, as I know we are all tired.

Hope you enjoyed your Saturday and have a fabulous Sunday.

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Nudge by Greg

My nephew Greg paid me a visit to me today.He was kind enough to pick up a prescription for Zush.

During our visit, I started busting on him about Words with friends.They give you an opportunity to nudge a player when they are not playing the game fast enough.

I said to Greg,”I hate when you do that.”**meaning hitting the nudge thing on Words with friends**

Then I showed him my knitting I am working on, and I told him that,” Here, now I am going to nudge you with my knitting.”…lol. I am working on a chenille eternity scarf. It is keeping me busy in the car when the light is good.

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Keep it clean!

I came home from work tonight to find out our Zush got her bandage off. Jim let me know, and as Dr./Nurse Mom, it’s my job to clean her up. I washed the area and cleaned it up, put Neosporin on it and tried self stick adhesive bandage over non stick gauze.**fingers crossed**

Kasia is keeping her sister on her toes, as it’s Halloween week, Kasia doesn’t care for kids.They probably teased or hurt her when she was younger, but kids are running up and down the street looking at Halloween decorations. Zush is just being a puppy: the pain-killer makes her feel that good. In the meantime, Kasia is ready to pull me into the street to get away from kids.

In the grand scheme of things, keep the prayers coming.They are appreciated by all of us.Trust us, we are sending them back up for you!

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Cozy

My girls are always happy to see me.Their happiness lifts my heart.

With Zush and I both under the weather,we call it an early evening, and I reach over and rub her head.Of course,her sister, Kasia is always a half beat away.We chat and their heads sufficiently rubbed,the blinds are drawn and I pull the afghan up over me.It is nice to feel the warmth of the girls, as they lay on the floor right by me.It is as if they know I know we aren’t feeling better, and we girls gather together to group on feeling better.

This is on definition of cozy I will always hold close in my heart.

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Typing with one eye open.

They say that there is often sympathetic pain when a family member is suffering.

Zush has her issue with the cyst on her rear left leg. Me? My lower spine is knotted up tighter than a Philadelphia soft pretzel. I had been sleeping off and on since four o’clock this afternoon .My brother-in-law and Jim’s nephew Tom were over and I was completely oblivious to it,

Now I am up and having a little rice pudding for dinner, typing the post, and then a shower and bed, only to be up at three to head back up to the city.It truly will be sweet once the two of us are back on all our wheels again.

Here’s hoping your night is good, your week is better and the weekend comes really quickly!

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Fur Mom’s Love

When we last left our heroine, Zush, she was bleeding from a ruptured cyst located in her back left paw. When we cleaned up her blood from her leg,it just looked soggy, as though she got wet swimming in the bay.

I brought her into our new vet down here at Undisclosed. As a fur mom, it is always comforting to have a diagnosis confirmed. The new vet had said that we could have it off in Philadelphia. I said no, I’d like it done here.It is possible to monitor her and keep her leg clean and tape it up and once we are established here, I could book her date and this way she’d be home with me.

I think Kasia knows something is up with her sister and is just a wee bit kinder to her.I am sure that Zush would be feeling better with that cyst off. I just have to work some prayers that my girl will have no problem with her anesthesia.

Hold a good thought for her, ok? Thanks.

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More stuff

Looking at Zusher’s rear paw tonight. She has a large benign growth on it and it really hadn’t been slowing her down.

All of a sudden, something made me look at it tonight and it was like it got irritated or rubbed or she was getting at it.The fur around the area is bloody.

Going to try to get in to out new vet tomorrow morning to see what they can do to make her comfortable,

Hold prayers and or good thoughts for my girl, so she’ll be able to be made comfortable.

Thanks!

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A chill in the air

A nor’easter blew through the area, giving us a taste of the weather to come.We had to work our way through some damp, dreary rain.

I am home tonight.My workweek is done.Jim is out of the house.I am sitting down with a nice cup of hot chocolate.

Yes I know I have written a lot about coffee, but there is something about hot cocoa or chocolate when you are home, relaxing, or at least trying to relax, and have your flannels or sweats on. I have the Food Network on, and most of this early evening is mine.You find yourself channeling your mom, as you blow on the mug so you don’t burn your tongue.A little sip goes down your throat and it is delightful.

Now I am going to curl up with the Zusher and Kasia and it’ll be girls night,in front of the television.

As Martha Stewart would say…”It’s a good thing.”

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Powers of Pot Roast

We had gone through pot roast withdrawal for a bit.You know, when it is warmer out, pot roast is not necessarily food on top of your ” must have it now” list.

As it is now mid-October, we here in the Mid-Atlantic states have reached, at least for now, a genuine dip into October weather.When that happens, it was like an automatic reflex:I reach for the crock pot.Having a mom home for most of my life, I grew up with someone who was home and poured love into her meals. As times have changed,I discovered that the I can get the love in a meal via the crock pot.

I put carrots,peeled potatoes, celery and onion in the crock pot and then put the cut up pieces of chuck roast in.I normally cut it up when I know I am having company for dinner.Then, for trying something new, I purchased Campbell’s tavern pot roast sauce. All you had to is open the pocket and put it in the pot.

Cooking the pot roast was easy,as low and slow me a very tender pot roast.It smelled so good, the Zush the invalid come around to be a little bit. It was a hit across the board.

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The Perils of Pauline,er, Zush…

We managed to get in to the vet with Zush today.She isn’t yelping all the time, but the sporadic yelps let me know she is uncomfortable.He gave her another shot of cortisone and we are leash walking her only for potty walks so she can heal.

It’s a job.

After we got her in for her first shot, combined with the pain killers, she was feeling so good she went and tweaked her back again.That’s the rough part about working. You don’t know if you missed her doing something or she did it while we were working or what.It’s frustrating because you don’t know why and, like an infant or toddler, you are left to wonder what’s the problem.

Down here at Undisclosed, I found a new vet, who is willing to help us until we are down here full-time. I am going to be working with the Cape May Veterinary Hospital with taking care of Zush as needed when we are down here. Eventually they’ll be our new vet.They were so nice over the phone and I felt comforted by them and knew it would be a good fit with the girls.

Hold good thoughts for both the fur girls, especially Zush.

We’ll keep you posted.

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