New Blog

I’ve decided to start a new blog that will be dedicated to stories about my dog-sitting adventures. This site will be reserved for more personal posts about what’s going on in my life … or in my head. (I know…that sounds scary!)

Click here to get to my new blog.

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I Love My Job!

I love my job. How many people can truly say that? I love the fact that I’m self-employed and have the freedom to accept or reject any job offer. When I am at a dog-sitting assignment, I always spend some time just sitting there marvelling at this great life I am blessed to have. What I love the most about it is the animals I care for….

From the ole stinker to the little snugglebugs 

to my bedtime buddy  to my favorite boxer  

to the yappy little ones  to the big sweetheart  

to the gorgeous retrievers    

to the occassional cat or other type of animal.

 .        

I thank God every day for blessing me with my dream job that feels nothing like work!

Recent Thoughts

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. That’s because my mind has been occupied with so many things at one time that it’s been hard to get it to concentrate on one thing long enough to get an article written. I have a journal where I write my deepest thoughts and feelings to try to make sense of the chaos going on around me and inside my own head. Since, I have managed to reign my brain in enough to write in my journal every day, I am just going to share a recent journal entry here today.

For the last few years, I have lived with persistent worry and dread because of all the stress and upheavals in my life. I had made it a habit that was hard to break.

Yesterday, while driving to meet a new client, my brain instinctively went into worry mode. As it was searching for something to worry about, I realized I had no need for worry. I couldn’t think of any reason to worry, be sad, or feel dread. It was such a liberating feeling.

It wasn’t a fabricated feeling or one of my own design. It was from God. A while back, I was so overwhelmed with my problems that I didn’t know what to do. As I Peter 5:7 says, I cast it all on God. I told Him they were His problems to handle because I couldn’t fix them myself. In return, He has shown Himself faithful, over and over, in providing for me, protecting me, and leading me in His way; and He has given me a joy unspeakable and a peace that passes understanding.

I’m an independent, stubborn person, and giving all control over to someone else, even God, was a difficult thing to do. However, I’m so glad I did because that one decision has opened up a whole new way of life for me.

Goodbye to the Gentle Giant

One of my all-time favorites passed away today — Don Williams. His silky smooth voice was a balm to my broken heart many, many times; and today nothing can console me but his music.

Wednesday, I took a trip to eastern Kentucky where I was elated to hear a couple of his songs on the radio. Radio station WMDJ in Martin, KY, plays music you just don’t hear anywhere else any more. As I was listening to “Till the Rivers All Run Dry,” I was reveling in his voice and thinking about how no one else sounds like him, never knowing that two days later he would be gone.

In memory and deepest respect of Don Williams, here is a playlist of his music that I compiled on YouTube:

Labor Day Weekend

For these Schnauzers, this weekend has been about NOT laboring. These are the dogs I’m dog sitting, and they love to snooze and snuggle! One of the downsides of dog sitting is not having much human interaction, but with cuties like these to snuggle up with, who needs people?

I, on the other hand, have worked this weekend. I fulfilled two cookie orders of two dozen each. The first order was for a Winnie-the-Pooh-themed first birthday party on Saturday. (Pictured on the right.)

The second order was decorated in funky designs with the pastel colors I bought for the Winnie the Pooh cookies. (Pictured on the left.)

If you are interested in ordering cookies for an event (or just because), feel free to contact me through my Facebook page, Sunshine Cookies and Muffins. 

Car Opportunities

Have you ever been around those annoying people who try to assure you that there are no “problems,” but only “opportunities”? In an effort to see my life in as positive a light as possible, I’m going to tell you about two car “opportunities” that arose today. 

The first one had to do with my brakes. As I pulled up to a stop sign this morning, the brake pedal went all the way to the floor before my car started slowing down at all. That started a panic attack, but thankfully, it stopped just fine. I began checking on prices for new brakes when I remembered that when I bought the car, there was an old, almost-empty bottle of brake fluid in the spare tire compartment. So, I got a new bottle of brake fluid and added it, and the brakes started working properly again. I made sure to thank God that it was an easy (and inexpensive) fix! Of course, I will need to eventually fix whatever is causing the leak, but since I’ve driven over 10,000 miles in the last 4 months, it must not be leaking badly…yet. 

The second “opportunity” had to do with the starter. If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you may remember that on my epic trip to Colorado in May the starter went out on the first day. For the entire trip, I had to either park on an incline or be pushed by Sam and Seth. (Thank God for manual transmissions!) For the past couple weeks, the starter has been a little fickle. Sometimes it will start up right away, and sometimes it needs a little coaxing. Then, tonight, in the Kroger parking lot, it decided to not start at all. I tried for probably twenty minutes before I called someone to come help me. On the phone, I was trying to appear not to be completely helpless, so I said I could push-start it myself if I wasn’t afraid of hitting the buggy corral directly in front of me.
When I got off the phone, I surveyed the area around me and decided I would have plenty of room if I pushed the car back some first. So, that’s what I did. I pushed the car back until I knew I would have enough room to steer past the buggy corral. Then, I pushed the car forward until it picked up a good amount of speed, hopped in the driver’s seat, shoved it in gear, and started the car. All. By. My. Self. So, I called my friend back and said, “From now on, you have to call me Wonder Woman.”

Now, I’m feeling confident and competent to meet whatever “opportunity” life throws at me next. 

Obligatory Solar Eclipse Post

Since the solar eclipse is what everyone has been talking about all day, I decided to go along with the crowd and write about my experience today. I’ve heard it called a once-in-a-lifetime event, and for many people that is probably true. However, I remember the last solar eclipse, in February 1979. I was nine years old and in the third grade.

What I remember the most about it was the stern warnings not to look at it or we’d go blind. I can’t remember if we had solar eclipse glasses or not. I do remember my class (and probably the whole school) going outside to experience it. It was a very momentous occasion.

This time around, I didn’t get into all the hoopla about it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not nine years old any more, or if it’s because I have very weighty issues on my mind these days. Perhaps it’s because the second time a once-in-a-lifetime event happens it’s just not as spectacular as the first time. Whatever the reason, I had low expectations going into it, so I shouldn’t have been as disappointed as I was.

I realize that if I had solar eclipse glasses through which to view it, I probably would have been more excited about it and enjoyed it much more. I guess I should have put forth a little effort into getting some, but as I said above, I have some very weighty issues on my mind, and solar eclipse glasses just weren’t high enough on the priority list.

I was hoping that my current location would be ideal for experiencing the astronomical phenomenon, but it ended up not being anything special. It didn’t even get dark. It got dusky, and the chickens came back to the coop, thinking it was bed time. Below are two photos that were taken in about the same place. The first was taken an hour or so before the eclipse, and the second was taken when the sky was at its darkest. As you can see, there wasn’t a huge difference.

…Two Months Later

It’s been two months since my last post, in which I said that my life would be completely changed in two months. And, I was right!

I wasn’t right about being completely moved out of Scott’s house by now, though. Sam and I are physically moved out, but we are still working on getting our stuff out. I’ve been busy selling and giving away lots and lots of stuff. We have a storage room about half-full of things we are keeping. I still have several things to get ready to sell, photograph, and post on LetGo and Facebook Marketplace. (By the way, those two sites are a great way to sell things you no longer want or need.)

For now, we are staying in an adorable, little guest house owned by a family in our church. Sam went to school with their older sons, and he has enjoyed visiting with them. They have been gracious enough to let us stay here for a couple weeks, until Sam can find a permanent place of his own.

My plans are not fully formed yet. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be leaving Bristol, but I’m not sure when or exactly where I’m going to go. For that reason, I’m not looking for a place for myself at the moment. I have some exciting things going on this month and next (which I’m not comfortable with sharing widely just yet), and after that, I’ll see what God has in store for me. One thing I’ve learned this summer…God’s plans for me are more exciting (and sometimes more surprising) than anything I can come up with on my own.

One very sad note about all the changes taking place is that we had to get rid of McKenna. Although I wasn’t very happy when Sam brought him home without first asking permission, I quickly fell in love with the little fella, and I miss him dreadfully. Tonight is only the second night he’s been with his new owner, but it already feels like an eternity. I texted the guy today to see if McKenna is doing okay, and he replied that he is doing great, and he loves to go outside to play. I’m glad we were able to find him a good home with someone who was wanting a dog. I have to stop talking about him now, before I start crying on my computer.

If you’re interested in my adventures, stay tuned. There will be plenty more in the near future!

Changes on the Horizon

Two months from now, my life will look nothing like it does now. Everything is changing! Most of the changes are good, and I’m looking forward to them. For starters, I’m finally getting divorced. It’s been a long time coming! In fact, when I have told some friends that the divorce is finally happening, they have invariably replied with, “Girl, I thought you got divorced a long time ago!”

For my readers who don’t know me or my history, I have been married for twelve and a half years, and I was separated for seven of those. Last year I approached Scott with, “You know, this whole separation thing is stupid. We need to either get back together or just get divorced.” His response was that he did not want a divorce. So, I told him we could get back together as long as it wasn’t like before…I wanted us to be a real family and have a close relationship. He said he had changed and things would be better. Yet, here we are, about a year later, getting divorced. The papers have been officially served, we have come to an amicable agreement regarding the settlement, and the attorney should have the settlement papers ready for us to sign next week. It’s really happening!

For the rest of this month and next month, I will be busy selling as much of my stuff as I can, giving or throwing away what I can’t sell and don’t want to keep, and packing the rest. I don’t know exactly where I will be living two months from now, or what I’ll be doing, but it’s sure to be a grand adventure, which I will be sharing here. So, stay tuned…

Home, Sweet Home

Thursday was the final day of our epic road trip, and it was the most uneventful. I’m grateful for that! As happy as I was to get home so I could rest, a huge part of me wished I was still in Colorado.  I don’t think I could ever become jaded to that view!

We were gone on our trip for seven days and six nights. We drove a total of 3,530 miles in ten different states (Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky). I was blessed with the opportunity to see family and friends I hadn’t seen in many, many years; Sam got to add another state (New Mexico) to the growing list of states he’s visited; and Seth got to visit several new states. We were all in awe of the raw beauty of the Rocky Mountains, and we were all equally sad to leave them.

Now that I’ve gotten out of my stay-at-home funk that I’ve been in for 12+ years, I’m hoping to do more traveling in the near future. So, stay tuned for tales of more adventures!