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Carine’s Blog

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  • I Hate Sick, Again

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2016

    Lately I feel as if I’m in need of some help-on several levels.  But it seems that I’m the help.

    First it was that awful stomach virus for some 14 days.  Nothing says fun like two weeks of peppermint tea, toast and baked potatoes.  

    Then almost two weeks ago, Steve came home and said, “I think I have a cold.”  NOOOOOO!

    For Steve a cold means:  2-3 days of sneezing, snoring while he sleeps (okay, that’s normal, but now it’s so loud that my ear plugs do no good at all), drinking tea and not wanting to do much.  After that, he’s fine.

    Then comes the reality of my world:  As a person with an auto-immune disorder, no matter how many times we wash the sheets, wash my hands and how far away from him I try to sit-I catch it!  And it’s not 2-3 days worth of misery, nope!  Here is my schedule:

    Days 1-5:  sneezing, coughing, blowing until my face looks as if sandpaper has been rubbing against it, headaches, low-grade fevers and the will to keep on trucking with whatever is on my plate.

    Then day 6 happens about 90% of the time-it moves from my head to my lungs, my neck and lower back are blown out from the coughing and sneezing and now strange colors are coming out of my various orifices that send me to the immediate care clinic.

    I am then told that I have (usually):  sinusitis (really? no kidding), broncytis (again, really?), ear infections and whatever else my body decides to make me miserable with hosting.

    The doctor usually sends me home with a plethora of drugs (mainly because the ones that are OTC obviously didn’t do anything worthwhile) and told to just rest.

    That would be nice.

    This go round?  Let’s see-Adam needed me to take him to a surgicenter for a minor procedure.  I think the medical staff wanted to quarantine me but didn’t know where to put me.  Once Adam was allowed to be taken home, I stayed with him until Sam got home and then-Steve and I went to the concert that our dermatologist nicely sent us too.

    We don’t go out very often.  This was supposed to be a special date night, really.  I wrote a much deserved glowing review of our dermatology practice on yelp and they thanked us by sending us to their box seats (included dinner and parking!) for the Demi Lovato/Nick Jonas concert.  

    By the time Steve and I got to the Talking Stick Arena I looked (and felt) like death warmed over.  I took a large box of Kleenex in with me (that was fun for the purse police to look at, I’m betting), cough drops, cold meds and prayed I could get through the night.

    Steve was mostly back to normal by that day, I was just dying.

    It was a good show but I must say I think I probably would’ve enjoyed it much more if I had been healthy.

    All weekend I was floating with all the hot lemonade, tea and water I kept drinking.  By Monday, Adam was obviously in no condition to care for the kids and neither was I-but between us we somehow managed to get through the day.  

    Thankfully, Tuesday Steve had the day off so we let him do the “heavy lifting“.  Adam still in pain, me still not breathing and everything spasming from the by-products of this head cold and the household of pets 1/2 of which are still learning the rules of where to do your “pottying“.

    Sigh.  During the afternoon break when the kids were sleeping and Adam was napping I decided that this was a very good time to take our dogs and me home.  

    Early that morning, Sunshine threw up and started us off at 6 a.m..  Seems like her namesake, our little newbie also likes to keep Pepper’s litter box clean and it upsets her stomach-she’s been doing this routine all week!

    In fact, this morning I was planning on taking a nap once Steve left for work-but poor Sunshine started throwing up at 6 again, this time on the sheets.

    Just as well, no sense sleeping in vomit and cold germs.

    Yesterday I saw the ortho and he was pleased with my knee’s progress and told me to limit my walking, keep the water aerobics and remember-he didn’t cure my knee, just plugged up the hole.  His hope is that this works for at least a year.

    As he was telling me this-he was rubbing in hand sanitizer on all of his revealed skin.  Can’t blame him one bit.

    It’s been 10 days since my “latest and greatest” sickness hit me.  I have a chapped face, sore throat, a nose that’s on fire when I breathe, sore lungs and my neck, lower back and bad shoulder are screaming at me.  But I can’t just rest.  Nope, I had the older boys yesterday and did homework, snacks and drinks-the same today and tomorrow.

    My plans for this weekend?  Just hoping that I’ll be able to actually rest.  

    I hate sick.  It feels as awful as it looks and yet it seems that there’s always the fact that others still need your help from the littlest new members of the family who need to realize that litter doesn’t make the best of snacks to the adults who just need a helpful extra hand.


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  • The Sun is Back

    Posted on Thursday, September 15, 2016

    I’m writing this on September 15th.  This is a day we remember for 2 reasons.  I hate that two years ago today was the day I walked in to find that we had be the victims of a home invasion that literally wiped out our home, but thankfully left our little Pepper and Lucky unharmed.  And then there’s the really great memory!  In 1997 our first Sunshine came home.  We met her the day before at a pet rescue and knew from our first glance at her that she would be our “ray of sunshine” for years to come.

    And she was, bless her.  From the four of us down to the day care kids she both watched over and played with-Sunshine was one of those dogs that you just wept with happiness at having-loving, gentle, protective and well, truly the Sunshine of our lives until the moment she left us on September 18th, 2011.

    Pepper howled and cried, we sobbed and for years there was no way I could look at a golden retriever or Labrador without welling up and having a lump in my throat the size of a grapefruit.

    Then along came Lucky.  Physically her complete antithesis.  Not 70 pounds, but 6.  Not floppy ears, golden fur with white markings but perky ears, full bred Chihuahua who needed me to champion her.  Lucky’s name fit her as well.

    We were Lucky Adam and Sam found her before she was either killed or frozen that cold day.  She was Lucky that we were in love with her before we knew what was happening.  We found each other and it was heart-swelling and mind-boggling.

    Yet, I still couldn’t bear to throw out Sunshine’s favorite ball that I dragged from California.  I still can’t bear to throw out her collar and leash.

    Steve and I had discussed the fact that our wonderful Pepper was now 13 and if we didn’t get another pup now and waited that Lucky would then be too old to accept another dog. Yet, we hesitated stating the usual reasons:

    It’s a big commitment.

    What if the dogs and Pepper can’t get along.

    When we go away, will it be fair to ask the kids to “hotel” the 3 fur babies plus their own growing family?

    What if there’s a problem?  Can we afford to take care of another little one?

    And then came that day 3 weeks ago.  “Edie” as she was dubbed wasn’t a Goldie mix.  She’s a Chihuahua/Italian greyhound mix.  No she doesn’t have long fur and no she didn’t come house trained.

    Yet, her ears fold down the way Sunshine’s did, her white markings on her head, toes and tip of her tail are the same as her predecessor and instead of a hearty bark, she howls-yet, her big brown eyes complete the reasons we decided to keep the spirit of Sunshine going by giving her this wonderful name.

    As I’m writing this, she’s on my lap-something the “original” could’ve never done!  LOL, her head would’ve been all that fit!  But, we love her sense of humor, her gentleness with all the grandkids, her friendly calm demeanor and her wanting to be loved.

    Rescues are really the best breed.  They know that you picked them.  And if you‘re worthy, they will love you to the moon and back.

    We know because that’s all Steve and I have been lucky enough to be the pet parents of-they want to please, they want to love and want to be loved.

    When we rescued Sunshine #1, I made the comment that “no matter what the weather, we will always be lucky enough to start our day with a bright ray of love.”

    Every pet has their own personalities, problems and wonders-just like we humans, but that said, on this day of remembrance, I now like to say, “Here in the Nadel household, we are “Lucky” enough to start every morning with a good dash of “Pepper” and that burst of “Sunshine” that we need to get through our day.”

    You know, I will probably cry, but maybe it is time to throw the moldy ball and the dusty collar and worn leash in the garage into the trash.  I’m not promising mind you, but it’s a big step to just type those words.


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  • My Fur Babies Understand

    Posted on Friday, September 9, 2016

    Take the house training:  Lucky goes out in the yard and does her “thing“.  I swear to you, Sunshine stands right next to her watching and waiting for her to be done and then does the same thing in the same spot!

    Since we now have two canines in the household and I’m limited as to how much walking my various joints can stand to do, we ordered a “dual, non-tangling” leash.  It had just arrived and I made the error of opening up the package in front of the girls.  They both seemed to know it was for them!

    Both started jumping up in the air, crying and running for the laundry room where we keep the harnesses.  (I believe these are much safer than just attaching leashes to the collar as there is NO way they can finagle their heads out of their collars)  It was so sad to realize they wanted to try out their new leash that second and I had no plans to do so during the monsoon rains that had begun 15 minutes prior!

    Eventually the girls curled up around my feet and desk chair-I’m being ultra-careful not to move even a toe in my shoe so they don’t get hurt.

    By morning, rest assured, they woke me up 10 minutes before the 5:40 a.m. alarm and let me know that I’d better take both of them on a walk with my friends.  They did beautifully!  I think it’s safe to say that the 3 of us were very happy with the purchase.  We also bought each one a nylabone.  Both seem to understand that these are their personal items-as they ran off to their treat spots, licked them and then promptly took a nap on them.  Neither has tried to take the other’s bone, yet.

    Don’t ever tell me pets don’t understand!  I’m thinking they do a better job of knowing how to listen and behave than many human children!


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  • Not Much Too Say

    Posted on Friday, September 2, 2016

    It’s been one of THOSE weeks.  

    I have had things to do, from the mundane to the interesting, but at this moment I’m making a choice to sit here with my mint tea (yes, the stomach thing is continuing to be a bit of a bother after I ate that ear of corn and had hot sauce on my eggs) and “enjoy” my toast with some fruit spread.  Even after almost 2 full weeks, it appears I’m still going to be enjoying the BRAT diet for a while more.

    Not that I haven’t done quite a bit mind you!  I’ve been to water aerobics, walked with my friends and taken both dogs on strolls (even though I was told not to do that much walking), went shopping with Steve and of course-watched the grandkids!

    Monday I watched Bryce while Jackson went to his 3 year old physical.  Then I got the boys and had them in the afternoon.  Tuesday, after walking, I watched both the little ones in the morning and then again in the afternoon while Steve picked up the older kids.  We did the snack and homework thing and that was it for kiddos this week!

    But Wednesday Steve and I felt as if we were the “errand” couple and did all kinds of running around.  The result is we finished our check list and have food in the fridge.  We came back in between each jaunt to potty the pups.  

    So far, Pepper’s still in hiding.  He did come out long enough the other morning to give Sunshine her very first “love bite” and ran off.  He also came on the bed one night to see exactly what this new addition to our household is all about.

    The hardest day this week?  Sigh.  Tuesday around 3 a.m. poor Lucky started throwing up on our bed.  Ew.  Sunshine didn’t know what this was about but kept patting her with one paw and kissing her head.  I don’t know how, but I still got up at 5:40 to take my walk.  Ugh.

    After trying to walk 2 pups with two leashes, I looked on Groupon and purchased a “Dual dog leash that promotes walking without entanglement“.  If it works the way it should, it will be the best purchase EVER!

    Oh, I’ve also been to the dentist and the dermatologist this week.  

    I may not have much to say this week-but the reason is clear:  I’ve been very busy.


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  • An Unexpected But Loved New Arrival

    Posted on Friday, August 26, 2016

    Sunshine-our new arrival!

    I had been seriously wanting to adopt another cutie-patootie for a while.   Pepper, please Lord, will hopefully be around for another 5 or so years, but he’s 13 and while still healthy and active, he has gone from playing with Lucky all the time to just “now and then“.

    Lucky is now somewhere between 4-4/1/2.  My biggest concern is that since I’m no longer allowed to walk 5 days a week she’s not getting enough exercise and looking a tad “fluffy“.  I felt that maybe having another dog around the two would play with each other.  Especially now that Adam and Sam have adopted another dog to play with their Lily.

    Steve was NOT for the idea:  It will cost too much, two animals are just fine, what if there’s a big vet bill and we can’t afford it.

    So I let it drop.

    We had to go to PetSmart Tuesday to return some stuff that Pepper was refusing and get another bag of dry food and they host the Halo Rescue for both dogs and cats.

    I didn’t say anything, but Steve said, “Let’s go see the pups.”  No argument here.  There were mainly pit bulls, pit bull mixes and Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes.  All looking so sad, some barking, some hiding, some begging for a way out!

    Then we saw a little Chi/Daschund mix.  She was adorable and talking away at us.  And next door was a very quiet, sad looking tan and white Chi mix who just had eyes and markings that made us both tear up at how they reminded us of our beloved Goldie/lab Sunshine.  Steve asked the volunteer to bring her to a room so we could “meet and greet“.

    Turned out she’s a real daddy’s girl.  She looked up at him, kissed him and when he walked across the room she followed him.  We had them do a “cat” test and she did great.  

    We decided to come back with Lucky the next day.

    After picking the boys up from school, we told them we were going on an errand.  Lucky, so far, has been very happy with her new bigger, yet younger sister.  We did have a touch of growling this morning when Sunshine wanted to cuddle with Steve and Lucky was still firmly velcroed to my side.

    Also, Pepper has both smelled and kissed her and Sunshine reciprocated.  But Sunshine is big enough to jump on the bed herself (Longest legs on a Chi ever) and decided that Pepper’s usual spot in my left armpit was the perfect first night sleeping area.

    We‘re going to have to work on that.  We’d never want Pepper to think he’s not wanted!  Honestly, Sunshine sat either next to Steve on the couch or on top of him for the evening so I thought she’d want to continue that theme throughout the night.

    As I type this, Lucky is curled up on the couch in the office and Sunshine is right here on my lap.

    Details you ask (since her first picture isn’t that good)?  11 pounds, 1 year old, mostly tan with white markings and big brown eyes.  Curly tail.  She hasn’t tried her voice out yet.

    The boys were not really happy about grandpa wanting to use Sunshine’s name, “It’s sad grandma, what’s Sunshine going to do?”

    I was just a bit in agreement, but swallowed the lump in my throat and said, “Well, Sunshine was never sad, always so happy and loving.  While we still miss her dearly, grandpa really wants to keep her spirit alive, so I think Sunshine would love that we adopted a pup and gave her a chance to continue to be a part of our lives.”

    Now we move forward on potty training (Lucky’s helping with that!), family rules and how the 5 of us will sleep on that king-sized bed.


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  • Enough

    Posted on Saturday, August 20, 2016

    This past week has been tough. Our grandpup Lily came to stay for the week while Adam, Sam and the kids went on vacay.  We also went up to their home twice a day to feed and care for their two cats.

    Wednesday and Thursday we had the boys after school.

    But this is the norm, nothing out of the ordinary or difficult-the part that makes me want to quit things like cooking meals is that it was also the week I started my 3 weekly “torture” on gel shots to my worst knee.

    The shot was quite painful on Wednesday morning, but what did me in was the ortho “pushing” the gel around the area afterwards!  I swear to you all I literally saw stars, got nauseous enough to puke and then proceeded to practically pass out in a cold sweat.  It took about 20 minutes to feel better.

    The ortho said to use RICE for the following 48 hours and cancel my walk and water aerobics for the rest of the week.

    Ever try to take care of 6 animals, 2 kids and just regular stuff in this condition???

    Thankfully Steve had all of Wednesday off and I only had to drive to school Thursday while he was at work.

    Dylan, 9-1/2, looked at my bandage and my even more swollen joint and asked, “Grandma, did you get a shot in your kneecap?”

    When I confirmed it-he turned a few shades paler and behaved both days he was with me. “Boy, that had to have hurted, a lot.”

    Now I have the next two repeat “performances” to go through.  Let me tell you-this had so better work on improving my knee pain and mobility!  Because the thought of having spent about $700 on the 3 appointments and the eye-crossing and clothes changing (yes, I really did sweat that much) and it be for naught is too much to consider!

    Since we‘re committed to do this the rest of the month and have been told that I probably won’t know the actual results/improvement amount for 6-8 weeks-I’m thinking that my time of standing and preparing anything more than the simplest of fare has come to an end.

    And given the circumstances-I’m okay with this decision.


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