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Yes I realize this is a bizarre title for a post, but in all honesty, how many things or people do we make fun of without ever giving them a chance?  For example, here is a short list:

McDonald’s Snack Wraps — at first glance, these seem like the perfect nutrition scam:  take something unhealthy and make it appear good for you.  When they came out with the Big Mac wrap, I nearly peed myself laughing so hard.  And then one day, literally nothing sounded better.  Guess what — I enjoyed it.  Most of all, I enjoyed the fact that I was eating essentially half a hamburger with a lot less bun than the original sandwich.  So yes, I have to give them props.  It’s still not as healthy as some options, but it was enough to fill me up with half the bad stuff.  So props Mickey D’s — now I can enjoy those french fries with slightly less shame.

Ugg boots — spend one Christmas vacation where temperatures threaten to be as cold as it can feel here and all of a sudden, those fuzzy lambskin snow boots look pretty nice.  Then I tried them on — and quickly became a fan.  Not only are they the most comfortable shoes on earth, they are nice and warm, perfect for hiking in single-digit temperatures.  Yes, I am in love.  (Ugg boots with miniskirts, however, will still earn a good mocking.  Because seriously, you look ridiculous.)

Pets with favorite toys — ok, honestly, this is something that I’ve never really mocked.  I’ve seen it first-hand.  My cat played fetch (yes, you read that right) with a yellow foam golf ball.  Emphasis on “yellow” because he had a wide selection of colors, all of which were only acceptable when “yellow” was MIA.  But for the most part, many pets don’t have a preference.  Take my rat terrier for example, who any toy is acceptable so long as it is in reach.  (Bonus points if it has a squeaker.  Bonus bonus points if toy is long enough to hit people in the face with.)  In fact, this dog has fallen asleep with toys in her mouth, and there really doesn’t seem to be a preference as to which one.  She has favorite types, but honestly, as long as she has a toy, she’s good.
I think the best example of the “favorite toy” phenomenon is actually found in the world of my rodents.  See, none of my rodents have really had a singular favorite toy.  Again, favorite types existed, but no real loyalty to a particular one.  Enter my guinea pigs.  My first pig lived by herself for the first year I had her.  To help with any loneliness, I gave her several stuffed toys, including a stuffed banana and stuffed apple.  Then Bath and Body Works did their winter promotion with the Lambies, and my mom lovingly gave Gipsy her own Lambie.  Needless to say, Gipsy pretty much ignored it, and except for randomly finding it in new places around the cage, there was no evidence that she ever interacted with it.  The following fall, I brought home a real companion for Gipsy — her half-sister Nugget.  Nugget never spent a day in her life away from another pig.  So when she wasn’t harassing and annoying her big sister, she was running and playing.  Despite the fact that Gipsy was perfectly fine being a solitary piggy, Nugget couldn’t handle it.  So Nugget adopted Lambie.

Camoflaged, but very much present

I realize it’s hard to see because it’s been rolled around in a cage with shavings for so long no amount of washing will get it clean again, but Nugget is in fact sleeping curled up with lambie.  Those black things poking out of a sea of tan paper shavings?  Yep, that’s Nugget’s favorite toy.  Heaven help you if you don’t put it back in the cage.  She will squeal for it, and if she sees you move it, she better be able to find where you put it or fire from the sky will rain down upon you and your descendents.  (Don’t believe me?  Try trimming her nails.  If you aren’t bleeding afterward, you get a cookie.)
So no, it isn’t something I’ve mocked, but I know people who do because honestly, to people without pets, it sounds silly.  But it exists.  When clients bring animals in with their “favorite toy,” I make sure to put that toy in the cage with them because who knows?  It might just make the difference in how that pet recovers.

Lesson?  Don’t mock it ’til you try it.  Or, if you’re like me, just keep something handy to repeatedly pry your foot out of your mouth.  And don’t take a Lambie away from a piglet if you want to keep your fingers.

P.S.  I know that most of you might have a hard time discerning head from tail, but Nugget is actually curled up with her head snuggling the lambie’s head.  In case anyone was thinking that it was just a coincidence and that particular stuffed toy was the most comfortable.  Also, one day when something set them into a temper tantrum, I noticed lambie was slowly making its way into their house.  Apple and banana?  Carelessly left in the open.

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I took the day off from work yesterday.  We were supposed to go to a friend’s wedding this weekend, but unfortunately, things worked out to prevent us from making the trip.  All things considered, it was nice to have an extra morning to sleep in and enjoy a little extra time to myself.  I did manage to accomplish a few small things this weekend, such as getting my old external hard drive to cooperate so I could get some pictures uploaded to my computer.  The only downside was choosing a weekend to take a break when the weather is less than desirable.  I would have preferred to have a full free weekend when the weather is nice enough to open the windows up, but again, living in Oklahoma has taught me to trust the weatherman only when the forecast describes what is occurring at the present moment.  So despite having an extra 4 hours of sleep, I still feel exhausted, and I attribute that to the fact that I am stuck inside on a gloomy, cold, wet day with nothing on tv and a hubby with a research paper to write.  The upside is that today is the perfect day to try to finish my current knitting project, assuming I don’t fall asleep first!

Looking forward to getting spring back.  🙂

Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, I go to yoga class with my mom.  It is a completely refreshing and uplifting experience, and the mental and physical health benefits are amazing.  During the last part of class, we have a relaxation phase, which includes a little bit of guided meditation.  This is probably my favorite time, not only because it involves lying on your back with your eyes closed completely still, but because it is during this time that I feel I can truly escape this world and transcend into the next.  My view of heaven has always been something familiar, something that I have experienced, and frequently changed depending on my mood, but I can say that I believe I have finally glimpsed my heaven, a place I have never physically experienced but yet seems so familiar that I can picture it anytime I need a bit of freedom.

I can’t take all the credit for this pristine picture.  Its inspiration is hanging on the wall in my office.  A little 2×3 original painting of an open field with hills and clouds in the background that I paid a small fortune for at NatureWorks that seems to have a life of its own.  What is truly amazing about this little painting is not the detail (though incredible), nor the simple picturesque beauty (which is indescribable), but the fact that when I look at it, I can see not only what lies in front of me, but what is behind me as well.  My view of heaven is not the picture exactly, but rather it is like the picture was created to help me realize what I have been searching for all along.  Even now, writing this, I can see everything, all around me, smell the fresh air and the rain in the background, feel the cool breeze on my arms, even see those that will lead me into eternity.  It almost moves me to tears, because it is so REAL.  Never has the intangible been so tangible, so here and now, so close.  When I am in this place, no troubles harass me, no hate, no fear, nothing but peace and love and warmth.  I can only hope that everyone is so fortunate to find their heaven during their earthly existence.  It is life-changing and eye-opening.  For me, it is a place that is always with me, even in the hectic business of the day, a place that I can quickly retreat to when I need a breath of everything good and pure, for that is all that exists here.

The artist who inspired all of this is Lindsey Foggett, but in truth, all artists inspire me.  They are able to see beyond what is in front of us and reach further than most, and more importantly, they can bring their visions to the rest of us in a tangible way.  So today, go be inspired.  Who knows, maybe you will find your own heaven.  🙂

Whew!  What a week!  It truly has felt like Friday all week, and not in the “yay the weekend is coming” way either.  This has been such a busy week for me!  The other vet was out of town on vacation, so I had the clinic to myself.  A bit nerve-wracking at times, especially with several more complex cases, but overall, it went smoothly.  The last two days have been a whirlwind of activity, so needless to say, I haven’t had the opportunity to really sit down and collect my thoughts in awhile.  Plus, a couple of difficult people brought about a lot of negativity, which is never a good atmosphere for composing thoughts of any kind.  I did manage to finish the yoga mat bag I was knitting for my mom, and other than turning out to be nearly a foot longer than necessary, it turned out pretty good.  Looking forward to starting my next projects.  I’m going to be an aunt soon, so I will finally get to use all the baby patterns I keep getting in my magazines!  Good practice for when I finally decide to become a mom.  🙂

Hubby and I actually went out for St. Patty’s day last night.  We went to a little local pub to hear an Irish band perform.  I got to see a lot of people from high school, which was awesome, because some I hadn’t seen in years.  It was a nice reunion.  Plus, watching my yoga instructor and her husband dancing “Irish jigs” to the music was awesome.  Had I not been in heels, I might have been out there with them!  The price I pay for cute shoes, lol!

Looking forward to a relaxing weekend.  I’m turning emergency duty over so I can hermit away and enjoy the beautiful weather!!

Hearing about the earthquake and tsunamis in Japan put me in a bit of a thoughtful mood last night, but exhaustion kept me from posting until this morning.

I love the idea that you can text in and donate money to help with efforts, but there is something about it all that seems hollow. It’s so easy to do and then go about life and forget everything that has happened. We may text in a donation while grabbing lunch and then silently curse the waiter for getting our order wrong. Or text before we head home and then flip off the drivers that cuts us off in traffic. Sure, we say, this is a horrible tragedy and we feel bad for the people who have lost everything in mere seconds, saying we will pray for those affected, but then what changes in our own lives? Do we sit back and appreciate everything we have, or do we continue to go about our days taking everything for granted?

We are born with nothing, and we will die the same way. And yet, when something happens and people lose everything, we continue living our lives with the same apathy as before. I’m not suggesting that we should all sit and mourn and do nothing but feel sorry for ourselves and everyone else, because that is worthless. But yet, we should be aware that everything can change in an instant. We can lose everything and everyone in the blink of an eye, with no warning, with no way to get it back, and all we can do is move forward. We too easily forget that.

Yes, I will pray for those affected by tragedy, and I will do anything I can to help relief efforts. At the same time, I will wake up with a new appreciation for everything — the bed I sleep in, the hot water I shower in, the clothes I wear, the food I eat, the birds that sing me awake, the car I drive to work — all these things I can lose instantly. These things do not define me. How I live my life is the only thing that I can control. I will be grateful for what I have, recognizing everything is temporary and every breath, every moment is a gift. Be grateful for your life.

Thank You.

Wow, today was the epitome of “crazy.” Despite only having 5 cases this afternoon, I didn’t sit down at all! Got to use a little bit of my emergency training trying to resuscitate a kitty, and despite the temporary success, ultimately it was a lesson in why emergency medicine takes a special kind of person. *sigh* Even this morning was busy. I had two surgeries plus appointments, and that’s always a bit hectic. I realized I will be on surgery duty until next Thursday! Thankfully everything is routine but I do enjoy breaks in between. Surgery, even the routine ones, can be stressful. You never know what may go wrong. Just gotta put the grown-up gloves on and face the music. 🙂

I’m going to a dinner meeting tonight put on by one of the drug companies. Not sure what it will be over but I can’t complain about a free dinner!

Well, the weekend came and went quickly. The NatureWorks art show Friday night was a blast. Found lots of lovely new treasures to adorn my walls, as well as the most beautiful bunny necklace from a jeweler we frequently buy from, so overall highly rewarding. Also was lucky enough to pre-order a sea turtle print, so I’m really excited about getting that! And since I can never turn down something cute with rodents, I wound up with a bronze sculpture of a rat that is literally the spitting image of my little girls.

I also splurged and bought a small original painting of a landscape that is currently hanging in my office. Every time I look at it, it takes me away from the business and craziness of the day. It is so peaceful, and just looking at it I can feel the cool breeze of a cloudy day and smell the fresh clean open air. Perhaps it’s because I am reminded of all the beautiful places I have visited, but there is a calm quiet serene feeling I get every time I look up. The small size cannot lessen the giant impact it has on my soul, and that is not something one can put a price on. Truly a blessing that I came across it that night.

The weekend was fairly relaxing for the most part. Only had to come in once on Sunday for an emergency, so not a busy day by any means. Yesterday was insane though, and I barely had any time to catch my breath. Thank heaven for my yoga classes!

Today my little rattie girls turn 1 year old, so I’m trying to come up with a way to celebrate. I can’t believe they are that old already! Its been so wonderful watching them grow up and having them in our family. 🙂

Well, the day is still young, so back to work go I.

Still sad over the loss of my little bunny, but in truth, I am thankful that she passed in peace.  She was well-loved, had a fantastic life, and died quietly after surgery, not even fully awake from anesthesia.  I am grateful that she was spared the pain of dealing with more health problems in the future, and while she will be missed here, I know she is in a better place.

Going to an art show tonight, which I am very excited about.  The NatureWorks art show in Tulsa is put on once a year to benefit environmental programs, so I am always excited to go and support in any way I can.  I love living near a city that has things like this.  For as much flak as Oklahoma gets for being a red state, it’s not all negative.  I’m going to enjoy seeing lots of nature-themed art and hanging out with friends and family.

Hubby has an interview tomorrow, so send prayers and good vibes his way.

Chocolate and coffee and cool weather make for a fantastic day.  Wish I could spend days like this with the window open and a book or my knitting projects and just enjoying the peace.  However, it’s always hard to turn down puppy kisses!

Update:  speaking of puppy kisses, I just got one from the (historically) meanest dog we see.  Makes everything worthwhile. 🙂

I wish I had a more uplifting subject to talk about today, but sad news:  my sweet little bunny passed away yesterday.

I managed to make it down to Stillwater in time to watch her surgery.  She had multiple suspicious masses along her belly that were initially diagnosed as potential cancer.  Since the biopsies came back negative, we decided to get her spayed to minimize the chance of cancer occurring as well as take care of the abnormal mammary tissue.  Since the mammary masses did not come back positive for cancer, the next most likely diagnosis was that this was hormone related, so spay seemed to be the best option.

During her surgery, her uterus had some abnormalities, including two masses in one of the horns.  The most concerning find was the presence of multiple blood clots throughout.  Most of the mammary masses were removed with no event and were found to contain mostly pus.

Despite a lengthy surgery, she was stable the entire time and was waking up very well.  However, 3 hours after surgery (and 5 minutes after her last check), she stopped breathing and we were unable to revive her.  My dad was devastated, since he was very attached to her.   Understandable, since this same bunny survived a previous surgery to remove a large softball-sized mass from her abdomen and recovered uneventfully.  She had a miraculous and charmed life and will be deeply missed.

I returned to work today, grateful for the distraction and being able to focus on my patients.  I have to admit, I could not bring myself to perform the spays we had scheduled.  Some things will still take time.  But life moves on, caring not who is left behind.  The only thing we can do is move with it and carry the love of those who have passed on in our hearts, knowing that the are watching over us, waiting for the day we can be reunited once again.