Blame It On The Media

chihuahua dog pet adopt

I used to watch the Noon News Hour on Global, almost daily. I would give equal time to Randene Neill, and to daydreaming. What always snapped me back to reality was, of course, the ‘Adopt a Pet’ segment. The animals were so cute to watch, and it was often quite amusing. As per usual, aside from the couple of farm animals, who were also cute, I wanted to bring them all home. This particular lunch hour, I saw the sweetest, most adorable dog, sitting on Randene’s knees. They had named her Perdida (lost, in Spanish), and said that she was rescued from a puppy mill, run by an old woman. She had lived in a cage for two years, and already had two litters. She looked so frightened, and that just pulled at my heart. I wanted to snatch her up in my arms, she was just so little. Out of all the other animals, I felt a connection with her. Don’t ask me what or how, but I did. So, I hemmed and hawed for a day or so, told the family about her, then got on my laptop to have a closer look.

chihuahua dog pet bone

At this point, it’s pretty much out of my hands, and going to happen. Perdida was in a foster home, had been for about five weeks, when my youngest son and I went to visit her. Pretty shy, which I expected, but immensely improved since her stay with the lovely couple fostering her. We met, I believe, another two times, and then it was time to seal the deal. She took to my son for the first while, and then started latching on to me, she now knew where her food was coming from.

The first few nights were tiring, as she did some whining. Both my dogs sleep in crates, and it didn’t take too long for her to become accustomed to the routine. They know when it is their bedtime, and they happily go inside their crates, I lift the little one into hers, as it sits on top of McKay’s. I suppose, it’s partly the fact that they know they will get a treat and it’s also cosy with all the blankets.

Her name is no longer Perdida (she is not lost anymore), her name is Tia. As you can see, she has made herself quite comfortable.

sleeping chihuahua dog pet pillows

I can’t help but notice how cute her little, little nose is. Even I’m not quite able to believe she is considered a ‘dog’. My kids used to have a couple of rats as pets, and I have to say that Tia’s hair smells the same as the rat’s hair. No joke. So she could actually be the missing link–from rat to dog?? When she is focused on trotting alongside me, I look down and swear to you that her snout, with the whiskers sticking out, look just like a mouse. Some serious cute going on there.

tia chihuahua beach west vancouver

I would take her and McKay to the dog beach, when I lived in N. Vancouver, and she was very brave to be walking with the big dogs. Didn’t seem to bother her until one day, she got in the way of a big dog by accident, and got smushed against a rock. The yelping sound was horrible. The owner’s of the other dog were horrified. Tia was fine, just shook up, and rightly so. Since then, she hasn’t forgotten that and tends to keep her distance from the bigger dogs. Probably in her best interest.

What I notice the most, is how she races around the house, leaping from couch to chair, and back again. I can see her joy at being able to race around, her joy at the freedom she now has. Still, at times, I can tell she is frightened from some memory. I’m working on getting her used to the broom. Whenever a stick-like object is brought out, she disappears. I don’t want her to be afraid. One day at a time.

Tia is smaller than Graysee (the cat), and Graysee will bat at her, as she runs by. Too funny.

chihuahua dog pet profile

She is not a water dog. I know this, she knows this, my guy knows this too. Despite this, my guy likes to drop her in the water, so she has to swim a little to the shore. Yes, she can swim. Yes, she is much happier once she has cooled off, but I think she would appreciate a different way of going about it. Once again, something to work on with her, getting her to choose to stand in the water, so I can cool her off. My guy and Tia have a funny relationship.

From what I’ve heard, Chihuahua’s can be nippy. Tia has such a wonderful, gentle, nature. The only time she feint nipping, was when my guy had his face in her face, making noises. I would’ve nipped too. When she is playing and using her mouth, she is so gentle.

She regularly assumes her position in my lap, or beside me, touching of course, and she will push off her front legs so that she leans in to me. Her tummy is now positioned for rubbing. She nearly always gets what she wants, because she will peer up at me, and shift her position to better accommodate me.

Such an amazing addition to our family! I’ve stopped watching ‘adopt-a-pet’, for fear of needing to adopt another one. Since my guy is allergic, he knew what he was getting into, we are good for now.

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My Precious

If I had to name an item, a physical object, my most-prized possession, it would not take much time or thought to know what it is. It is not a childhood memento of mine, although I suppose at some point it could be for someone else. It is not a flea market find, but it certainly would be a splendid find, for the lover of the saturday flea market. It is not a family heirloom, not yet, anyways.

The future for this object holds some uncertainty, as the best laid plans can change. However, I have a grand plan for it’s future, a desire to pass on, the beauty of it and the emotion that it holds.

It was many, many years in the making, passing through my thoughts as time went by. I had seen a few of them, and was always drawn into the beauty, of the idea that it held. Like building or creating anything, you will have a finished product to show for it. A house, a craftily designed room, a piece of artwork to hang on a wall. Something for you to admire, and bring with you into the future, even if only on film. The memories, right from the moment of conception, are given new life with each and every glance. I experience emotions from years gone by, good or bad, happy or sad, it doesn’t matter which. I love that I can be reminded to get my act together, again, or to be awestruck at the perfection and beauty.

When I wear it, I feel as though I am wrapping myself in love, and taking them along with me on every adventure. I hold them in my hand, or slip them into my pocket, protecting them in a sense. I carry their spirits with me, a closeness which is my substitute for the real thing. Nothing can touch the real thing, but the memories it provokes, go far and beyond the fact that it is just a ring.

Unlike my engagement and wedding rings, which held meaning for only a few years, my family ring will hold fast. Yes, the dad’s birthstone is on it, and rightly so, as he was a part of this family that we created together. It wouldn’t feel right any other way. I will treasure it to the very end, and hope that it will spark someone else’s memories, as it did mine.

Writing 101 last day.

Comments are always welcomed!

Road Trip (Part 2)

Road Trip (Part 1)

“Helen,” Lucas said.

“What,” I said, snapping like a turtle unable to retreat into it’s shell.

“Get in here. This is really cool.” Standing on the front landing, I turned my back to the open door. I hate this place already, and I’m loath to appease my brother.

“Helen, you are going to love this,” He says, making his way back to the front door. “Helen, did you hear me?” Abruptly turning to face him, I avoid eye contact and push past him into the foyer. Startled by the simplicity and beauty, a rush of air inflates my lungs, making a small sound.

“Nice eh?” Lucas said. I could tell he was grinning from ear to ear. Another irritating quality of his.

“Whatever,” I said, moving myself forward to avoid more conversation. Turning to the left, the kitchen, dining room, and family room, flowed from one to the next seamlessly. Pale blue was the predominant colour, with some splashes of gray, green, darker blue. Spacious but not too big. Windows, lining all three walls, were currently closed off with pale blue, blinds. The light of day still able to push through to the room. “Jesus,” I said, not able to mute myself.

“It’s really nice, isn’t it,” Lukas chimed in. I saw him out of the corner of my eye, grinning, his eyes so wide. An intermittent ache had started in my gut. Moving about ten feet to the right of the kitchen island, I use my fingers to push at a door. A half-bath separated by a pocket door, opened onto a state-of-the-art laundry room. I kept moving forward, trying not to lose my terse composure. Through the final door, a long hallway, obviously the other half of the house.

“I guess it has electricity,” I said.

“And a flush toilet,” Lukas joined in.

“Yeah, I guess it does.” The length of hallway showed three more doors. Lukas bumped past me and entered the first one. The same colour scheme, only slightly darker, was pulled together on the king sized bed spread. Sliding glass doors to the left and a window of glass tiles adorned the wall above the bed. So much light, I almost let go a smile. A walk-in closet to the right next to a full ensuite.

I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror, and shrunk back into the bedroom. The ache in my stomach returned with a vengeance. I needed some air, so I held the blinds to one side while I fiddled with the lock on the glass door. “Jesus,” I said, under my breath. Panic was setting in. Finally, the lock gave way and the door slid open. I took some deep breaths, the air was warm, I could feel the sun on my face. No one knew of my anxiety. No one knew what really happened, and I planned on keeping it that way. One family member left to alienate, and I was sure to manage that in three weeks.

Peering out from under my eyelids, I saw a massive deck that ran the full length of the house. A large, sunken, hot tub sat in the center. My thoughts were interrupted by Lukas, as he came around from the right side of the house. “There is another deck around the corner. There’s another bedroom, just like this one.” He taps the glass with his long fingers. “So what do you think, Sis?” He asked, and leaned his back against the glass.

“I guess it’s alright,” I said. “We’re only here for three weeks.”

“What is your problem?” Lukas raised his voice. I had finally inched my way under his skin. “You are being such a bitch,” He said. “I can’t figure you out. Ever since Eleanor, or whatever her name was, you’ve changed. No one can say anything to you, without getting a nasty look thrown at them or having you jump down their throat. I don’t know what happened to you,” He finished with a puff of air, and turned to go back inside, attempting to slam the sliding door after himself. He couldn’t even slam a door right.

“I don’t give a crap what you think,” I shouted after him, wiping at my eyes. He didn’t stop. I walked past the hot tub to the railing, and peered over the edge. “Oh my god, there’s a creek down there. That’s so beautiful.” One or two more tears ran down my face, an impossible side effect of the deep-rooted sadness.

“There is no cell service,” Lukas called out to me. “I’m going to drive back to the main road and try there.” I barely heard him. The creek was a long way down, and I was beginning to feel dizzy, and if the railing were to give way, “Oh,” I yelped, as I pushed off the railing and fell back on my ass. “Why can’t I stop? I want this to stop,” I blurted out into the open air. I could feel the comfort and familiarity of my anger, restore itself inside my gut, stoking the ache.

© Gerri Leathley 2014

Feel free to pick it apart, or not, but do leave a comment!

 So, I used the writing helper, ‘copy a post’. Now I have the comments and the likes from the original post stuck on this one. Don’t quite know how that works. Just so you know.

 

The Twelve Year Old

She comes out every morning in a silly, orange and pink, housecoat. I think she’s had it forever. It looks like she can hardly make it down the two steps to the walk-way. That’s where the paper lands, once it leaves the older boy’s hand. He rides by very fast, I don’t know how he gets it in the same spot every day. I’ve seen him around, other places–“Oh! Here she comes,” I whisper to myself, feeling some sort of weird excitement.

I sit on the front steps of a neighbour’s house, in the morning before school. I walk their little boy to school, and they pay me. At the same time every morning, I see the old lady’s door open slowly. Everything is slow about her. She is old, I guess that’s why. I don’t want to get like that, all wrinkled. Mom and Dad are getting wrinkled too, they are so old. It took her fifteen minutes, according to my beautiful new watch, payed for with my babysitting money, to get her paper and go back in the house.

I heard my parents talking about her a while ago, something about her getting kicked out. Mr. Pauley died three months ago, and the house looks like it’s going to fall apart any day. I think it had something to do with her not having any money left. I remember Mr. Pauley, he used to be the one to come out and get the paper, but he would stand outside with his face up to the sky. I think he was a bit looney. That’s sad that he’s gone now. He said hi to me once, and asked me how I was. He seemed okay.

I didn’t know that she had kids, who were all grown up now. I’ve never seen them visit her. I don’t think I like them very much. I’m pretty sure that I would visit my mom, if she was alone like that. I wonder if that’s one of her kids. Why are the police coming. I watch intently, a little on edge, at the scene play out in front of me. The police were taking Mrs. Pauley out of her house. It looked like she was pulling back, but they didn’t let her go. She still had her housecoat on. “She’s in her housecoat,” I shouted as I ran across the street. “She’s in her housecoat. Where are you taking her? She needs to get dressed.”

Mrs. Pauley sat in the back of the police car and stared out the window. It looked like she was crying. No one spoke to me. I watched the car as it pulled away. Jimmy called to me from his front steps.

As always comments are welcomed and encouraged!

Writing 101

Cleanliness

What does ‘clean’ mean to you? What does ‘clean’ look like, to you?

sink-full-dirty-dishes.jpgThere are so many different ideas around the definition of clean. According to the dictionary, ‘free from dirt, marks, or stains’, means that it is clean. Factors contributing to  the perceptions of cleanliness: ethnicity, physical environment, parental tendencies, personality type, and I’m sure there are more.

For me, clean means to be able to make lunch on the counter, without having to wipe away crumbs from another meal, or move dirty dishes to create a space. Being able to use at least one side of the sink, at any time of the day, without removing contents, is a pet peeve of mine. This is a very general statement, but one that I follow to be respectful of others; if you make a mess, clean it up. This is simple, common sense!

I am no where near being a neat freak, or a germaphobe, or anything else that resembles it. Again, it’s simple to me. If I share a space with someone else, then I make sure I tidy up my stuff within a reasonable amount of time, so it doesn’t infringe on the other person’s space. Why should they have anything to do with MY MESS? They shouldn’t.

Do unto others as you would have done unto you, or something like that. I think that’s fair.

The general all around house cleaning, should be shared between the occupants. A no-brainer. If you share expenses, share good movie-watching, share cooking, share moments with a glass of wine, do your own laundry, then, help clean the house. If everyone pitches in, then no one is left with much to do. There is more time for the fun stuff.

It was challenging as a mother, one son was a neat freak, but only in HIS room; the other son was the complete opposite, and not only in his room. I made an effort, in several creative ways, to establish some sort of neutral ground. Unsuccessful would be a good word. The one, whom was the neat freak, is now the creator of disasters, and the other one, much improved. I would never have known that it would turn out this way.

I think it comes down to being mindful, slowing down enough to notice the mess, slowing down enough to notice  the others in the room. The mind may be creative, with a messy craft room, but the mind cannot be peaceful if the rest of the house is the same. There must be some space for ‘space’. A place for your mind to breath, to expand, to de-clutter. Feel joyful, when you walk into the bathroom that you just cleaned, and you notice how it sparkles. Lie down on the carpet that you just vacuumed, and smile when you get up and have no dog hair sticking to you. It’s the little things that usually go unnoticed, that make the biggest and most profound changes in your life.

This will come back to the topic of cleanliness, but I thought it prudent to mention. Being in a relationship is always, I believe, a work in progress. Communication is key, and contribution sits right next to it. Without discussing who will do laundry, then you will never know who should be doing it. Without discussing boundaries, you will cross over each others, and unknowingly create strife. A willingness to participate in all aspects of the relationship, without grumbling, or eye rolling, shows your partner that you care.

I will say again, I am not perfect, nor do I expect others to be. Just be respectful.

Would love to hear your thoughts on cleanliness. This could be an opportunity for you to rant!

 

Lost and Found

lost and found tagAs a child, I don’t recall much loss, and the same throughout my teenage years. There must have been some, and at the time, I assume I responded accordingly. My life was filled with so much happiness and love, that I suppose I was able to just get on with it, or I blocked it out. As a young adult, I remember the loss of family, hitting me hard, but not lasting any great length of time. I can look back now and see the stages of grief I went through, depending on the relation, and how close I was to them in life. My focus seemed to lie with how my parents felt about the loss, not so much me. I can remember thinking about how much they were hurting, and that is what made me sad.

When I married, and had kids of my own, the idea of loss was much greater. I had so much more to lose, much more that was precious to me. I also had a clearer sense of how I responded to loss; part of my journey on getting to know myself better. (…and I just noticed that I put my comfy shorts on inside-out; I wondered why they seemed darker…brb)

There are many different types of loss: death, ability, material things, relationships, plus. At one time in my life, the loss of material things was much greater. Now, yes I will be upset at it, but I will also recover very quickly from it. Even my photo albums, with all the wonderful expressions, and celebrations, and thoughts on the pages, don’t have a hold on me anymore. Again, I would be ticked, but what I have in this world with me now, is of much greater importance.

The loss of my marriage, of the white picket fence, the fairy tale, hit me the hardest, and I also learned the most about myself. My worry for my kids was front and center, and yet I knew there could be no other way. It was the best thing for everyone, and everyone will, in their own time, see that. I came out of that with a wealth of self knowledge and wisdom, that I can draw from.

With aging parents comes my experience with the loss of ability. It is like beginning the grieving process, and putting a hold on it, until the next noticeable change in behaviour, mentally or physically. For me, it feels a little less traumatic, spreading out the anguish into little parts, instead of one giant cry-fest. Learning to adjust to the changes in smaller increments, less pressure, less stress, a transitioning. As I go through it, I can discover my patterns, and adjust my behaviour, my reactions, with a sense of knowing, and an understanding.

As my kids grow into young adults, I experience second-hand loss. I watch their challenges, wins and losses, and grieve on their behalf, for I only want everything in the world for them. I’m not sure how much they actually process, when I share my life experiences with them, in hopes of alleviating some of their hardships. Even though I’m well aware that we have our own journeys and life lessons, I am full of great advice.

With the years beginning to add up on me, I’ve accumulated some losses, and looking back, the best conclusion I can see is; the less we have in material things, the greater the space in our minds, the less traumatic a loss will be. If you have the space to feel and to process and to love; less trauma, more peace. A knowing that the connection you’ve created from clearing the clutter (say that fast five times), will give you strength and the endurance that is needed to continue on. In loss, you find life.

Feel free to add your comments, they are always welcomed!

Writing 101

Destination Cold

The year of 1978 presented me with some life changes, none of them being my choice. Moving to a new city, fitting myself into a new school, was to say the least, unpleasant. We lived in Penticton for only one year. I had a best friend.

mr pg prince georgeMy parents and I moved to Pr. George, because of Dad’s job. We rented a three bedroom house. A dark green rancher? We were not in that house for too long. It was the second house on the left, in a crescent. I remember the snow that winter, completely blocking the view of the house across the way. The snow piled so high in the centre, in an attempt to clear the road. The winters in P.G. were cold, snowy, and long. Blah!

I, being the youngest by almost eleven years, to two brothers and two sisters, was living as an only child. All the others had moved on to their own life adventures. On occasion, one would come home for a while, re-assessing their life before moving on again.

Being quiet and shy, I was never very good at starting conversations. In fact, I never did. Lucky for me, people seemed to be drawn to me, for various reasons. The first day of school, my mom in tow, we stood outside with other kids waiting to be told which class we were in. I was being scouted right then, by a couple of the popular girls. I found out later that they thought I was pretty, and they liked my hair. THANK GOD! Yes, I had beautiful hair.

I had one year at the elementary school, then moved on with some of the others to the high school, where, to my relief, I stayed until graduation. P.G. was my home for nearly fifteen years.

Writing 101     As always, comments are welcomed and encouraged!