On Veteran’s Day

A sincere thank you to all of the people, past and present, that have given their lives, and their sanity, in the hopes of creating a better world. 

I will leave you with some words that have haunted me through the years… 
“We were young. We were scared, but we had a job to do, and we believed that we were going to make a difference. Turns out we were just stupid.”

“And to think, that sixty years later, that we still haven’t found peace – that’s a real burden.”

Speechless

Yesterday, I woke with a deep sense of foreboding. 

Today, I can feel the anger swirling.

And I am all the way up in Canada. 

I really hope there won’t be any riots or violent protests this week.

NaNoBloMo: Day 3

Her and I

I used to cry before I got on her. Every single time. The fear would snake through me, freezing my feet to the ground. My heart would start hammering so persistently in my throat that I had to choke it down. It was a struggle between something that I wanted so so badly and yet was so afraid to do.

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She is a clever and canny girl. The type that stands stoically still while you brush and saddle her. And waits, ever so patiently, for you to place your foot in the stirrup. Ever so patiently for that last possible second, the very second your weight was solely reliant on that foot, and she would side step, or move forward, so you would be hopping along with her.

I never was that agile. I changed tactics, tried to pull her up to the deck and jump on. And wouldn`t you know it, she would do the same damn thing. I either landed on her ass or on my own. The whole thing was so bloody frustrating that I was in tears most of the time. Every stumble was a kick in my teeth, in my dream of becoming a horse rider.

“Confidence is key,” they said,”when you are dealing with a horse.”

Pretty hard to build confidence when you can`t even get on.

I received a lot of bad advice in those days. I just couldn`t see how smacking a horse, and making them submissive, would work. I never even tried it. I couldn`t. It`s a special relationship between horse and rider, one built on trust, not fear.

We hashed it out one weekend, her and I. It was a battle of the wills, a battle of patience and persistence. I kept asking her to stand still, kept bringing her back to the same spot whenever she moved. The first time it took two hours, repeating the same steps over and over and over before she would politely allow me to get on. I would ride in her a circle, dismount and repeat the process all over again. The next day I switched it up, took her to the edge of the deck, the fence, the bumper on the truck. and repeated the whole process over and over and over again.

We grew a lot closer that weekend. We grew a lot of trust in what we could expect from one another, a lot of faith that in what we could accomplish, together. I don`t recall her pulling that trick on me since then. But if you come over, and would like to go for a ride, don`t expect her to give you the same courtesy.

NaBloPoMo Day 2:When was the last time you did something brave? What happened?

Negative upon the Negative

Why don’t we allow ourselves to feel negative emotions? Hubby said to me the other day :I know I shouldn’t feel that way, but I do…” It seems like a common occurence, that whenever we are feeling sad/mad/angry/annoyed, that we tend to shit on ourselve just a little bit more and tell ourselves that it’s wrong, that we shouldn’t be like that. We pile a bit more negative upon that negative, and berate ourselves for having emotions, and try to logic ourselves from feeling them.

I get it. If you have suffered from depression, and are prone to depressive outbreaks, you don’t want to even entertain the thought of allowing any amount of negativity into your life what so ever. I’ve been there, and I never want to willingly return to that dark pit ever again. But if there is one thing this pregnancy has taught me, is that I can’t always have control over how I am feeling. Sometimes I am going to cry, and sometimes I am going to walk around being super pissy for no tangible reason at all. And instead of trying to rack my brain for a plausible excuse to as to why I am feeling this way,  and assigning blame to this that and the other thing, I just have to accept it and move on.

Tomorrow will be another day.

A good night’s rest does wonders.

Leave your troubles on your pillow, don’t drag them with you from one day to the next.

NaBloPoMo Day 1: When you’re having a bad day with your mental health, what do you do to help yourself?

Update

In case you didn’t know, I work at a vet clinic and it is calving season right now. The days are long, unpredictable and extremely busy. It is a non-stop barrage of people patients, and phone calls. I consider myself lucky when I am able to leave work on time. It is a good thing. A much needed swift and painful slap on my ass to wake me out of my winter slumber and propel me into spring. As the snow recedes, a flood of summer projects takes its place. We are busy talking, planning and deciding on how to revamp our yard to make it more user-friendly. Will we be able to get all of this done? Not likely. But it is nice to dream 🙂

I saved a life this week. With a combination of technical skill and pure luck, I placed an IV catheter in a recumbent calf. By the end of the day, he was half up and sucking on a bottle. Let me tell you, I am feeling pretty damn great because of it. This wasn’t one of those typical moments in my life where I briefly recognize a job well done and move on. The feeling lit my whole drive home and has stayed with me all week. I feel good about what I am doing.

Days off, hubby and I are diligently repairing the basement. I will use the term “we” quite loosely here since he is the one to do most of the work. I hold the boards, close my eyes and press the button on the air nailer. I am super pleased with our progress. It is still a hoarding haven for too many useless things, but we are working on it, and that’s what counts.

It has been good to take a bit of a break from this blogosphere. It just got to the point where I  was skimming through your posts just to leave my mark behind. Each of you put a lot of thought and time into your blogs and I didn’t think that it was fair, or honest, for me to scan over what you have put out. It is not a popularity contest.  It is not about the numbers for me, but maintaining a certain amount of  quality to relationships I have formed here. And I feel very fortunate to have met some pretty incredible people. Thank you all 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging101:Assignment 8: Living in the Moment

I am finding this blogging experience to be filled with many ups and downs and in-betweens.

There are the times when I am flying high, grasping tightly to my creative reins and galloping to the end of a draft. I can barely concentrate on the speed with which my fingers hit the keyboard, their audible click the only sound in my quiet home. There is only one voice here, one narrator, and she is confident and true with her words.

There are the in-between times. These are the times when I am preoccupied. I am at work or I am at home and I am busy. There are always things to do, people to take care of, places I need to be. But, at the back of my mind, there is a flicker of an idea, just a soft suggestion of something to write about. By the time I am freed of my responsibilities, my eyelids are heavy and my brain is numb.
And, there are the down times. The times that self-doubt, hesitancy and fear are banging on my mental door. I do not know why they are seeking my attention – they are not invited guests. Dutifully, I do my best to ignore them but even their knocking has an effect.
I am finding that the best cure, for these down times, is to reach out and read. It was dalaradwan who wrote she felt “naked” when she wrote her blogging101 Task #8. And it was patternsofsouldevelopment who wisely commented that “The only bad writing is the one you never post, because it gets to be rejected before it’s born.” The more I read, the more I realized that everyone struggles with pushing that publish button. We are all fighting our own internal battles about what, and how, we should be saying things here. We all dared to do the unthinkable – start a blog! What were we thinking? Now our thoughts are exposed, we are “naked”. We have followers – what do they expect? What would they like to read? Will this piece appeal to them? What kind of comments will I receive? Or worse yet, what happens if I don’t receive any?

Yes, I can talk myself out of anything within a matter of minutes.

So I continue to read, becoming mesmerized by everyone’s openness and willingness to share pieces of themselves. I feel comforted and inspired by all of you. But this one post really makes me smile. It seems to ease my anxiety and releases the pressure I put upon myself. I hope, if you are ever having a down and doubtful moment, that it will help you too.

About me….

This is such a nervous inducing question. I feel like I am dancing around aspects in my head. ..what to reveal, what to reveal.
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I am female, mid thirties (that is 35, not 38 and trying to be younger). I live on an acreage. I loathe to say farm because it conjures up an image of overweight man wearing overalls, rubber boots and a straw hat. (If you are an overweight man wearing overalls, rubber boots and a straw hat please don’t take offense, I am not judging, it’s just not my thing.) I have a two-year old daughter and two beautiful stepdaughters (aged twenty-three and nineteen) and I have been with same man for the last thirteen years (he says longer.)
Why am I doing this? I feel it is safe to say that most of us enjoy writing. We get something out of it – what that something is I do not know exactly. It is elusive, difficult to pin point and hard to put into words (for me). Ironic isn’t it. And, yes I have had several journals throughout my life. Most of the material in there is quite raw and unfinished. If I ever mustered the courage to show anybody any of it, it would only  return to back to the bottom of the book pile.
I can say this: most days thoughts bounce around my head like a Ping-Pong. They float in  the air but never really touch the ground. I am hoping that, by beginning to blog, I can give these thoughts some solidarity – a beginning, a middle and an end.
And I want to ask you this: when I begin to write, I have no clear view of where it will take me. Is it the same for you?
I cannot tell you what this blog will be about – it is just the beginning. I cannot tell you what it is not going to be about either. I feel like being rebellious. I cannot conform to any preconceived notions. I refuse to put a label on this that I will have to adhere to.
Honestly, before I started this I didn’t realize that blogging was supposed to be a ‘community’ thing. I kinda jumped into it before researching it. And I am currently in a state of self-denial regarding the stats and likes. I shrug my shoulders as if it doesn’t matter, but it does. So I am trying to be more proactive and I will ask you to do the same. I am reaching out and pressing that button whenever I read something that makes me smile, cry or think (great criteria eh?) Because every star I receive offers a boost to the belief that I can do this. It is, at the very least, a confirmation that somebody, somewhere has read something I wrote and thought it was kinda cool. Don’t interpret this as me begging you to like me, that has to be earned.
I cannot tell you why you should read my blog. I am hoping my words will be enough to entertain you, make you think a little or offer you a different perspective, even for a short while. Maybe, with enough effort, I can make you smile or cry. The way I see it, this blog is my oyster and, along the way, I can only hope to drop a few pearls.

My Top 20: Words of Wisdom from a Marinated Vet Tech

So am I seasoned vet tech now? July 2015 will mark my tenth anniversary of graduating from the veterinary technology program. I still feel like I have so much to learn and experience. Perhaps I have only been marinating and will become well seasoned when I reach twenty years…

It is ironic to me that the main reason I chose this profession was because I was scared of committing to the years required to become a veterinarian. I questioned whether or not this field would capture my interest for that long. The formula in my head was something like this: cost + years + $ + questionable acceptance into vet program + years needed = no way.

photo courtesy of someecards,user Sharon 1690493
photo courtesy of someecards, user Sharon 1690493

I feel fortunate that, after a decade of dedicating myself to said profession, that I still love my job. It is emotionally, mentally and physically challenging. No two cases are exactly the same and no day is exactly like the other.

Thus, after reaching the first milestone of my life, I felt it prudent to impart some words of wisdom to all other vets, techs, assistants and volunteers that are involved in the animal health industry. Here is my list, in no specific order:

1. Never cuddle, cradle and nuzzle your face with a pet while it is recovering from anesthetic. You may think that Mrs. Fluffers is super cute and really drowsy but she can still bite you.

2. Sometimes, even bunnies can be intimidating.

3. Ferrets are really hard to catch and/or corral. They are also really smart. I mean, how do you handle a two-pound ball of fur that is the equivalent of a slinky and can dart into places smaller than your arm? Please remember to tape the kennels shut.

4. Never put a patient into a kennel without giving it some love before you close its door. Sometimes we are so busy that we forget to do this but it’s important for them to know that we are their friend. They will remember it when you go to retrieve them.

5. The best thing for a fractious cat is a ketamine cocktail. A frightened dog will respond to soft tones and body language. Cats don’t. Hissing at them only makes it worse.

5.5. Some cats don’t really enjoy seeing other cats as they are being put in their jail (*ahem* I mean kennel). Please try to avoid that visual stimulation.

5.75. Also, if you have a howling, screeching cat, move it to another room far away from the others. It will only stress everyone (including yourself) out. This can be applied to dogs as well.

6. NEVER EVER believe an owner when they say “Oh, he’ll never bite.” This is also true of wild boar owners who think their animals are non-aggressive.

7. It’s okay to cry.

7.5. It’s okay to become attached to our patients. It proves we are human and enhances how well we treat them.

8. If you ever have the unfortunate privilege of being a receptionist, be patient. Answering phone calls and booking appointments sounds deceptively easy. It isn’t. From a typical Tuesday call, you can find out that the owner has company coming on Friday; a sister-in-law arriving on Thursday (‘she doesn’t know why she is coming early because they don’t really get along’); Wednesday is supposed to be the day she does the baking for the weekend festivities; and the week after she will be too exhausted from hosting to bring her dog in.

8.5. Also, you need to realize that nobody wants to bring their animal in. They want free advice. And, even if you give them some advice, they won’t believe you.

9. Brace yourself if you hear “I was reading on the internet…” Suddenly, they are an expert. It is wonderful that people want to educate themselves. It is not so wonderful when they want to dispute or argue with you over their internet finds.

10. I cannot think of a single working day where my scrubs didn’t have any fecal material or urine on them. Please note that you should never stand too close to the back-end of a cow/bull – that sh** really splatters.

11. All bottle fed babies are cute until they bunt you in the crotch.

12. Paper gets lost. Some files are permanently MIA.

12.5. Just because your alphabetized or numerical system for filing is simple to you, it really isn’t. Some people don’t know the alphabet. Some people don’t know how to count. Trust no one.

13. We all make errors. Please take time to share your mistakes with your peers. I have learned so much from other people’s follies.

14. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, animals can die pre, post or during surgery. Accept it. And don’t let the guilt eat away at you.

15. If you handle an animal that is loaded with fleas and ticks, chances are you will find these pests on you. This usually occurs when you are driving home and trying to change lanes.

16. Laugh, laugh, laugh! I still break into a fit over the jokes I cracked when one of the vets was obtaining a semen sample from a dog. C’mon, just take a minute to think of the possibilities.

17. Owners need you. They need your knowledge and your expertise when handing out instructions. They need to see how you perform tasks like ear cleaning and nail clipping and administering insulin. And sometimes they need you to suggest obedience classes.

17.5 They will also need you to hold their hand and tell them it is time to let go. Help them to come to terms with their decision.

18. Keep a copy of all of the thank you notes you/your clinic receives. I pull them out when I am having a horrible day. Yes, most of these animals are gone, but I still smile when I think of them (like Snowbelle, the American Eskimo that would bite everyone but me.)

19. Be strong enough to stand up for yourself and what you believe in. People will respect you for it.

20. You have to pause to enjoy those special, affectionate moments – the licking dog, the head bunting cat, the horse that respectfully comes in for a nuzzle. It is in those moments that we are able to connect to a different species soul. They are precious and rewarding. And it provides us with the fuel we need to get up the next day and do it all over again.

Happy teching.

Needing Some Spice

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How many people in your life do you need? I mean actual people that you can touch, or swat mosquitoes off of their arms, or squeeze gently if the situation warrants it. Recently, I have been wondering about the amount of my real, touchable friends.

Years ago, I scoffed at my teenage stepdaughter whose time was encompassed by checking Facebook statuses. I was astonished at how irate she would become at somebody’s post. I even remember her getting into an arguement with someone – fingers furiously typing, impatiently waiting for a reply and then, finally, throwing her phone to the side in disgust. I thought it was ridiculous. “Why don’t you go out and meet some real people.” I said. “People that you can make eye contact with.” It never ceases to amaze me how life has a way of throwing things you say back into your face. Because now I find myself in the same boat. I get it now.

I have a few good girlfriends and some family that will stop by for a visit. These are tangible, touchable people. And I can count them on one hand without using my thumb. I also have a number of texting friends. These are other women whom I communicate with almost daily. Every few months we say we should get together but we never do. I think we just say it to be ‘old school.’ Add Facebook to that list and my socializing list is complete.

Is this sad or normal or what? Should I be branching out and trying to meet new people? And how does one go about making friends when you are in your mid thirties? I don’t drink so becoming inebriated and laughing about the consequences won’t work. And I think “Hi I like your hair.Do you want to be my friend?” is just socially awkward.

Anyway, back to the picture…I saw somebody post it on Facebook and I immediately filed it into my excuses folder (the one I keep around in case I need a quick cop out). I remember thinking ‘Yeah that’s it. That’s the real reason I don’t have a pile of friends.’

But that’s not it.

The truth is I haven’t put myself out there or anywhere in a long time. I have surrounded myself with docile, real, undramatic people. I love them, but let’s face it, they are boring. We are boring. We are all busy being wives and mothers and caretakers and fixers of our own little worlds. We work and eat and sleep and pay our bills. Where is the crazy one that drags you into some unknown bar only to find out that it was S&M night? Where is the one to push you into frigid lake water in the beginning of June? I gotta find me some of those people because they are fun and unpredictable and have an infectious zest for life. And, although I was never that woman, I was always game for whatever a night with them would entail.

To blog or no to blog

I have sat here for days now contemplating this decision to begin this blog. I wanted my entrance into this tech writing world to be monumentous. I typed out several drafts and lost them because I didn’t know how to save them.  I may have accidently posted something about my hubby’s fiery nature because I didn’t know what I was doing. I panicked and shut my phone down. If it appears please ignore it I will pick it up later. I wrote about this possibly being a life changing experience, an inner molting. I downloaded Merriam Webster because,frankly, I haven’t written anything in so long that I have forgotten how to spell. I pulled out my old battered green thesaurus – the one I stole from high school and I refused to give away because I knew one day I would return to use its delicate pages. (I am so happy to have kept that thing.) And then I froze. What to say  what to say how to begin…
I used to write when I was teenager. Kept a diary. Filled it with anguish about boys and cried over the unfairness of my world. This fizzled out  soon after one of my boyfriends picked up a journal and invaded its privacy. There was an arguement. It was hard to defend myself when the text was right there in plain view for anybody to read. He didn’t understand that sometimes you  just have to get the words out whether (not wether)  or not they are right or wrong.  A truth emerges,  an inner solace, a calm that overtakes your inner turmoil.
So today I  am breaking the ice and posting this dribble. I am ignoring the voice inside of me that is trying to hold back and telling me that this should be more that this should grab you enevelop you force you to love me and my words.  That this post should have a more appropriate end.