You Can Teach Old Dogs…

So a while ago, when I was sitting at home, in the thick of my contemplating about my life and future–I had a harebrained idea: I would take a course. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do, but what I did know, even though it was kind of intimidating, was that I would attempt to do it online.

This may not seem like a very big deal to many of you out there in computer-land, but to me, the gal who is a ‘hands on’ learner, it felt very strange. But on the other hand, I also knew that I was in no position to go schlepping off to some place for a class, nor did I want to pay a huge amount of money for some program that maybe I wouldn’t like after a few weeks. And I knew that nowadays there are so many courses offered online. How hard could it be?

So I started to search, and sure enough, our local community college had some very short and very inexpensive courses that seemed quite reasonable to explore. Hey, I had nothing to lose since my time was wide open, so I decided to sign up for the Veterinary Assistant class–actually a set of three of them (maybe I was a bit ambitious) which started today. In the long run I guess I hoped it might land me a job.

My job is to look beautiful

I literally had no idea what to expect when I logged into ‘my classroom’ today. But there were my lessons, a syllabus, some quizzes, some assignments (optional), a forum area to talk with the Professor (a Vet from Canada) and other students, plus other relevant stuff.

It was all fairly straight forward. Of course I couldn’t get my printer to work when I tried to print the lessons (I finally did after 2 hours), something suggested by the teacher and a good idea for studying for the Final to have for later on. Once the class closes, one doesn’t have access to the information again, so I will create a notebook for reference.

This kind of learning is actually perfect for someone older (like me) or busy…go at your own pace. And it’s basically open book for exams–who wouldn’t love that? I’ve always felt that in real life one gets to look up what we don’t know, so why memorize everything? It’s great.

I have a memory like a steel trap

Will I get a job out of it? Well, the funny part is that after I had already signed up for it, I got a call for a job interview for a job that I applied for about a month ago. I’d given up thinking about it actually, but it so happens it’s at the very college where I’m taking this online course! Imagine that. The interview went as well as expected, but I am still waiting to hear. Who knows?

But I will take this course anyway as it is designed with pet owners in mind also. Plus it’s fun and always good to stretch one’s mind. Maybe I will even use the information to volunteer…

And who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks….??

No tricks for me Mommy


I have always believed in signs.

When I first moved here and into this rental apartment, one of the first things I saw on my make shift patio, was (of all things)  some sort of crazy crab creature! Now maybe that doesn’t sound too weird to you, but it seemed nutty to me given that I live in a pretty down town area, very far from the ocean or any body of water.

So imagine my surprise, when I saw this crab skittering side ways along my back wooden wall, in total fear of me. It was bluish, and quite beautiful. I thought that maybe it had narrowly escaped from someone’s bar-b-que?

But I never saw another in the year that I have lived here, so I figured it was a fluke.

Today,  as I was continuing to pack and putter getting ready for Saturday’s big move, my dog began to bark and bark. I figured it was my neighbor arriving home from work. I shushed him, but he would not be swayed, so I went to investigate.

Of course, dogs are much smarter than we are, and don’t talk without a good reason. And, apparently he had one. A visitor had arrived, unannounced–one that didn’t use the buzzer, but rather just showed up on the patio.

And guess who it was who came a-calling? Yes, another  Mr. crab! He must have figured his cousin came to greet me and now it was his duty to say Bon Voyage! So there he was, doing his crabby dance, looking at me like I was some kind of kook.

This time, I was able to run and get my phone for some shots before he danced away. Don’t think it’s easy getting photos of a racing crab…they move at lighting speed (a little scary I must admit), and will do anything (like climb a wall??) to get away.

But I was grateful for the send off. Even though it was as short as my welcome.

Maybe they came because they know my Zodiac sign is Cancer and figured I’d appreciate them being my welcoming/send off committee!

Poem: By The Lake


Sweet moments when we walked together

by the lake

on a blazing day, our love just paces away

Those colorful flashes

when all the toil

came to rest in my beating heart


The anticipation of newness of splendor

each passing sky

the humble movement of earth’s daily chores


And gentle footsteps of those that share

paths, hillsides and mountains with me

My grateful reverence


For these things

I walk in thanks

In peace

and keep hope

close by



How many times in life do we wait? If we think about it, we probably spend most of our lives waiting for something! Sometimes good things, sometimes bad things–but it seems like minutes, days, weeks are spent simply waiting….


  • For the bus or a friend to take us to work; or our car to warm up.
  • The divorce papers to go through or the wedding date to arrive.
  • Nine months of wondering what sex the baby will be or wading through the adoption proceedings, or if the in-vitro took.
  • Wondering if the kid will ever be potty trained and then if they will ever grow up to be respectful, loving adults.
  • For vacation to come–or even the weekend.
  • The doctor’s call with results of the tests.
  • Months of treatments and sickness to be over.
  • One more minute of sobriety turning into years.
  • Enough money.
  • Your birth family to show up one day.
  • Morning to arrive and a glorious sunrise/bedtime after a grueling day.
  • The kids to all get along.
  • Forgiveness.
  • Waking up every day with joy and no worries.
  • Never looking back.
  • For your dog to actually talk.
  • The end of that triathlon, marathon, 5K.
  • Life to really begin.
  • The perfect blog piece.
  • The yelling to stop or the bruises to heal.
  • Summer to come or maybe winter if you like snow.
  • A miracle.


How many more? What are you waiting for…? We wait for so much!

It feels like we’re often standing on the edge of a cliff and we don’t know what’s down below. But as we get closer, our heart thumps in our chests and peering over can be the death of us. So, we must just stand back and be patient–something that is not a virtue of mine!

Today I wait to hear the final word on the new job. Nothing huge really in the grand scheme of the list, but for some reason I feel nervous. Sleeping will be hard tonight–I’ll be up tossing and turning and, well, waiting. Why couldn’t they have emailed today?

But such is life: dots of doing little things connected by endless moments of waiting. So that, my blogging friends, is what I will continue to do…..


No Snow!

It’s been a long time since I’ve moved, longer since I’ve moved far and never that I’ve moved across country. Holy smokes (as my Dad used to say)–it’s nuts! But I’m excited, nervous, crazy and everything that comes along with such a life change.

My traveling buddies (my dog and cats) definitely know something is up. With the house in disarray, and me bustling about–they are very suspicious. My pup is adjusting to his new harness for the car, and the cats have been sleeping in the carrying cases… Little do they know they will be home for many days in a car!


At work I am taking down personal items from my bulletin board, cleaning out my locker, pulling down things from the wall. Some folks are sad I am going, and those people are coming for a quick goodbye tomorrow while I’m on shift. Hopefully no-one will have the nerve to call 911 while we are trying to gather. Other coworkers are glad I’m leaving, but to those people I say: ta ta. For they are the reasons I was uncomfortable and unhappy where I should have been satisfied. The job/career should have been rewarding, but instead ground me down. Now on to better things!


So my life gets stuffed into as few boxes as possible now. I am so happy to be minimalizing! How do I accumulate so much crap? Like George Carlin said: we love our ‘stuff’. I promise myself not to do it anymore. My new apartment is small–no need to fill it with unwanted items. So my Mom says to me now: when in doubt, throw it out. Or actually I’m giving most of it away. Everyone seems to want my ‘stuff’. Recycling at its finest!


Soon I will say goodbye to my beautiful lake and its sunrises and sunsets. I’ve walked by it so many times with my dogs. I’ve wishes for many things as I did. Now I will see new views and I have new prayers. Palm trees instead of falling autumn leaves…and best of all: NO SNOW!


Moving On!


I’m closing in on a new and interesting phase of my life. The house you see has been my home for 10 years, but will be going on the market in the next couple of days. It’s been for sale a couple of times before, but never before have I been so serious or sure it will sell. The economy was poor and the price was much higher and I did not put as much effort into selling as I have this time. This time I just feel that it is meant to be and it will work out.

It’s interesting because I move into this phase with such mixed emotions. I’m very happy to be moving forward to new things, a different part of the US and to try on a better me.  I’ve even been thinking that this may be the time to quit being a paramedic. But of course I will be leaving my kids, a home I’ve loved and my friends. Also, I am coming closer to the decision that it really may be time to euthanize my old dog. He has become more and more incontinent, so I am beginning to wonder if his kidneys are failing. This is a discussion to have with my vet tomorrow.

At any rate, my life will be so different. I will be moving to a part of the country I’ve never lived before as I’ve always lived on the east coast with the change of seasons.  I haven’t lived near my Mother for 40 years. And I haven’t lived away from all of my kids since they were born/adopted.

Coming here as a family 20 years ago, we came with high hopes and dreams. Many didn’t pan out. Now I leave with many more as a single, middle-aged woman. Living alone seems delicious now. I have no desire to share a home except with my remaining pets. And once they are gone, I may go completely solo for a bit because maybe I will travel with one of those tiny houses in tow.

For now I am savoring this bit of time here. It’s nuts that I am fixing all those nagging things that I should have done while I was living in this home just so someone else can enjoy it. I’ve made myself a promise never to leave those little things go again! I’m not beating myself up though because I was a single working Mom and had very little time to get things done–at least that’s my story!

Honestly, I can’t say I was crazy about living around here. I’m not sure which came first: did all the negative things go wrong because I didn’t like living here or the other way around? It doesn’t matter now. But I do know that I’m looking forward with an open heart and a positive attitude. The warmth all year long can’t be a bad thing either!