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Carine’s Blog

  • The Winds are A-blowing

    Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2016

    While we are still experiencing temps in the 90’s here in paradise, the heat is “different“.  Not as blazing and delightful in the evenings.

    Mornings?  Guess what-when the girls ask to go out at 6:15 we’ve moved from blazing heat to dark, gusty and a real nip in the air.

    In fact this morning our walk was more of a guided push!

    My friends had to move up their time due to work issues and I had to go to a doctor’s appointment, so the girls and I didn’t actually go out until 9:30.  It was easily about 78 outside.  The bad part of our walk?  Well, the winds were going strong at about 35 MPH!

    We were greeted by howling and blowing gusts that literally pushed us across the street.  While the directions kept changing the blowing was still strong enough that poor Lucky kept hitting into Sunshine and I was just trying to keep moving in an upright position.

    I know you‘re all wondering why I didn’t just bail and go back in the house.  I can tell you these wise words that I’ve heard during an “Angie’s List” commercial:  A tired dog is a good dog.

    The girls love getting out and they NEED it!  They smell every shrub and tree trunk to garner all the neighborhood doggy news.  They also do their business along the way, adding (presumably) to the gossip chain.

    Once home they both share the water bowl, kiss Pepper and they either share the couch here in the office or the blanket on the floor.

    Because the weather has changed, Steve and I used one of his days off this week to shop for winter coats.  Not for us, ours are busy gathering dust in the closet, but for the pups.

    Now it’s true, Lucky has a wardrobe going on after having her almost 4 years.  She has a thin hoody, a cute bright red sweater with white puffy trim and a fleece hoody.  She loves the red one the most.

    Since Sunshine is new to our family she didn’t have anything to keep her warm during those few weeks when the temps both dip and the wind is bitter.  So this brought on the shopping trip on her behalf.

    We checked out the usual spots:  PetSmart, Petco, Wal-mart and then we walked into Ross Dress for Less.

    It was there that we found quite the array of sweaters, sweatshirts and coats.

    We picked out matching ones in the appropriate sizes and were heading to the cashier when I realized that something important was missing from these items:  leash holes!  How were we supposed to hook the girls up for walks without the leash holes?

    Of course this meant going back to the racks of doggy outfits.  All the dang sweaters and sweatshirts had this oddity!  Then we found them-matching pink puffy jackets with gray fleece linings and snaps.

    Personally, being the one who’s going to be dressing them, I’m not really excited about the snaps, but these will keep the girls warm during our walks this winter.

    When we got home we tried them on.  We did Lucky first, as she’s experienced in what’s “hot” in outerwear for Chihuahuas.  She was thrilled!  Big smile on her face and was prancing around Sunshine.  Then it was Sunshine’s turn.  Poor baby cowered-she thought it was some sort of punishment.

    Then she realized that they were both wearing these “things” and stood a bit straighter and walked around the house as well.  Once we knew they fit we removed the jackets as it was actually 82 in the house.   

    No sense pushing our luck.  They will be walking during our brief foray into the cold winter weather in style.

    For now the matching puffy pink coats will stay in the laundry room waiting for the day when the temps drop clear into the lower 60’s and the wind chill factor will actually put a need for those cute puppy clothes.  Until then, oh my goodness, the girls will continue to walk the neighborhood in a state of total undress.

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  • What a Dif 3 Weeks Can Be

    Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2016

    Three weeks ago Steve and I added to our family.  We adopted an adorable little Chihuahua mix that has added so much joy to our lives.

    We already have no memory of what life was like when our fur babies only totaled two!

    Sunshine still has some ‘accidents‘, but she’s as sweet as could be and both Lucky and Pepper love her, a lot.

    Pepper has decided the best place to sleep in either right next to her tush or on top of her.  Unlike Lucky who once asleep doesn’t like to be disturbed, Sunshine actually seems to like having Pepper be that close!

    Lucky has deftly taken on the role of “tinier but older sister” to heart.  She bosses Sunshine around in the yard. The other night, during the last potty break of the day, Sunshine hopped the 3’ retaining wall and was more interested in finding the lizard that lives there than doing her business-well, Lucky started “talking” to her and seemed to be telling her to get out of there and get with the program.

    Her ears perked up, she jumped down and followed Lucky to the exact spot designated and did her thing and ran to the screen door.

    Right now, I’m sharing my desk chair with Pepper and Sunshine is right next to me licking his head.  That and cleaning Lucky’s ears and eyeballs seem to be her favorite way to show affection to her siblings.

    The double leash is working quite well.  Sleeping arrangements on my side are fixed so that all four of us have a spot, while Dad gets the other half of the bed to himself.  Don’t know why they don’t wish to sleep on that side, but we all seem to get along and get through the night.

    We’ve also noticed some new things:

    Lucky takes after her mom and is NOT a morning being.   

    Sunshine is a morning being along with her brother.

    This means that while Sunshine wakes up with chasing and playing on her mind, Pepper doesn’t quite want to share his toys (this is his time to bat those tiny tennis balls all over the house) and Lucky is a complete grump who growls her speech basically telling both of them to leave her alone until she’s had a chance to have her food and “coffee“.

    I totally commiserate with Lucky.  No one wants to be conversing with me the first hour I’m up.   

    Honestly, I’m not sure how I’m so pleasant at water aerobics at 9 a.m. without the very needed food and beverage.   

    Life is full of love and laughter.  Nothing quite a fun as watching the dynamics of a family change for the better, no?

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  • Actually Enjoyed This Movie

    Posted on Saturday, October 8, 2016

    Yesterday Steve and I saw Snowden.  A “made from real events” movie.  Docudrama if you will.

    It was exactly what this journalist likes in a movie:  entertainment, interesting characters and to learn something.

    It also had a “scary” factor to it.  It was true-developing the story of Edward Snowden, the uber smart IT man who worked for the government and exposed the information telling of how Big Brother was watching over us all.

    I don’t want to spoil the movie (as much as you can on real life events) so I’m veering over to what made this a good fit for an afternoon date:


    Honestly, I can’t say that about many movies lately.  Sully, which we saw when it came out was another movie that was inspiring and interesting.  Batman vs. Superman was NOT.  There were other in the “why bother wasting the silver on this?” category, but they aren’t even worth my remembering their name.

    Steve has always loved movies.  When we met he managed a movie theater just for the perks.   

    There’s a bit of a problem here-he doesn’t care how bad they are!  In truth, I swear to you all, his Netflix account must have some sort of filter that reads “movies awful enough for Steve” and then sends them to our address.

    Out of 20 movies, I may sit through one from start to finish.  A few others find me heading for the bedroom in search of something on Discovery ID or Food Network, Home and Garden, etc...

    He convinced me one time to sit through a movie about a man who could make goats faint (I kid you not).  Had a very high profile cast.  The movie SUCKED, big time!  When it was over I had managed to work about a dozen Sunday puzzles in a book I had.  He actually asked if I enjoyed it!

    My reply?  “There’s 2 hours of my life I’ll never get back.”

    He didn’t exactly like it, but once on he committed to finished the piece of dreck.  After all, “Look who’s in it honey.”

    For most people going to the movies is a delight-not so for me.  Even in the “fancy-schmancy” theater we go to with the reclining seats, they all kill my back, neck and hips.  I have to prop my knee on my purse.  All in all, seeing a movie is quite literally a royal pain in more than just my rump.

    So take my review for what it’s worth.  If I came out asking more questions, googling for answers and suggesting it-you may enjoy this rather talk/thought-provoking bit of cinema.

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  • Professional Issues

    Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2016

    Yes, I’m having issues with my writing.  Not that I can’t write-I could, if publications would realize that I’m not a non-profit and also, well, to be frank-when I put out a call for help in finding subjects, people actually READ what I need all the way through the very brief information box.

    Since moving out to Arizona I’ve discovered that there are really a LOT of local magazines that look really great to do my type of writing for and I’ve sent them ALL my bio, links, etc.-many of them are very interested in having me write for them.  However most of them seem to think that I should be able to pay bills with nothing more than a byline and listing my personal blog’s URL!

    Some of these publications even expect me to drive to venues that may be as far as 50 miles away!

    Maybe I’m expecting too much on the subject of pay-but even though gas is approximately $2 a gallon out here, at 100 miles round trip I’m using upwards of 4 gallons of gas, two hours of drive time, wear and tear on my car and then there’s the time involved in the actual work of putting the article together.   

    So no, I’m sorry, but a byline is really not going to help.

    There’s a magazine who said their top pay is $75. I not only supply the article but any appropriate photos/artwork as well.  If I could do it from the comfort of my office-I’m all in as the issues are high quality, people are very nice and the stories are always interesting.  However, once I start the engine up and spend the time on the highway-well, I’ve calculated the government allowed $.50 a mile-making it $50 off the top for the my vehicle.  Not included the two hours driving and the work involved.

    If I can’t do it from home, I just can’t justify doing it.

    It’s a sad commentary on journalism today.  A dear friend who has written for top publications for over 20 years said that at this point she’s writing three times as many stories for a quarter of the income-and glad to find it wherever she is able!

    For the second bugaboo on my opening paragraph-I use a wonderful source to help get subjects to interview.  It’s called HARO (Helping a Reporter Out).  Basically, I put in what/who I’m in need of, from location, to age group, specifics, etc. and hopefully I get replies.

    This last shout out garnered me three interesting people.  Except one of them didn’t actually read the paragraph past needing to be over 55.  Sigh-wonderful personality, great subject, made the chat time and then, well, at the last moment it fell through because the part about having to live in a certain county of a certain state eluded her!  We were both very disappointed!  Plus it left me short by that one subject for the rest of this year!

    Maybe it’s my age showing, I don’t mean to sound bitter or burnt out-but sometimes it’s just not fun anymore to plead with a lot of people who have no idea who I am (except for the sent queries and accompanying bios) for work.

    I’m at the stage where I send in ideas when I can, hope for the best and in the meantime, just enjoy my life-after all, I can’t let a little thing like the state of journalism today spoil my good times!

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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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