Just Breathe; When Life Hands You Lemons…

This has been a stressful few days. To a lot of people it won’t seem like much, but for me, let’s just say I’m doing a lot of deep breathing and praying. So here is how it goes.

Saturday

Saturday I was doing something with my computer and pop! my monitor went out. So joy of joys, I go shopping for a new monitor on Amazon. No big deal, just two days. MY COMPUTER IS MY LIFE!! Not entirely true, but I do use it for almost everything. It is my blog, my TV, my entertainment, my art courses. But it wasn’t bad, I did some reading, I did some painting, I didn’t feel very good anyway so I spent a lot of time in bed.

Sunday

Not so bad, actually got a lot done. I felt better (finally), I did housework, it was going to be okay.

Monday

Finally my monitor gets here! Yea! Not so much. I get it, I put it together with no instructions (who doesn’t send instructions?). Then I go to hook it to the computer. It fights with me first about the video settings. It came set to 75hz x 60hz and it wants it to be 19 something x 1080 maybe, and not hz. I hit buttons left and right. Buttons that were hidden from view I might add, and don’t really look like buttons. 30 minutes later? I finally have it. But then it was just a blank screen and a cursor for the mouse.

So I call HP and wait for another 30 minutes, okay maybe 20. And it says let us email you a link to our assistant and I think okay fine, “I’ll try that, but I am not hanging up and losing my place in line!” As soon as they send the link, click, they hang up on me. Big SIGH. So I use the assistant and I go through a very short list of things to try (all having to do with the computer NOT the monitor) and it says do you want to talk to someone? YES! Please!! I look, there is a number and it is a different one from what I had called before, Yea! Maybe this one will go faster. I call it and it is a line for business customers. Another SIGH. So finally I am completely fed up, I’ve put in about an hour and a half. I think I will send it back and try a different one. I start to go through the process of returning on my tablet and it asks me “do you want someone to call you?” I think, okay, I really want back on my computer so why not. I say yes and almost immediately the phone rings. I’m like yea! Then I find out it is a Prime technician not somebody from HP and I think, here’s hoping. So I am on the phone with him for another 30 minutes and we get nowhere except wondering if it was the computer and not the monitor, more really good news. I give up and am going to send it back. The guy sends me a return code and I hang up.

So then starts the repacking mess. I hate repacking things. So I pull out the various pieces of packing materials and lo and behold! Instructions! I decide to go ahead and look at them to see if there is anything else I can see that I did wrong. Right there in pink, black and white I see it. I should only be using one cord. Either the HDMI cord they sent, or the VGA cord I already had. Out of habit I had plugged in my old cord, I didn’t know what their cord was for so I plugged it in too. WRONG. I take out one cord and POOF! I have video. So all is well right? Nope.

Now supposedly my monitor has a built in speaker but looking at it I wasn’t seeing it. There was just no place for the sound to come out. So first thing I go to a video, play it and just as I had suspected there was no sound. So I start troubleshooting that. I went to several sites about it, including HP who supposedly had a solution. I tried to go through all the steps, but they were asking me to go through steps that weren’t possible. Push buttons that weren’t there. Click on things that never came up. Another 30 minutes goes by before I decide to plug in my old speaker even though it won’t go on my monitor like it did the old one. All in all I spent around 3 to 3 1/2 hours on the monitor, maybe all the 30 minutes were really 45, sigh. What ever happened to “plug and play?”

Tuesday (and early Wednesday morning)

So finally a day of enjoyment. I was going to a friends house, and did go, and going to have a wonderful day and it was! 5 1/2 hours of fun. Even if we had to stay in the house. I got a few things done while I was there that would have been more stressful for me if I had done them at home. Just being with my best friend sends stress sailing. She is the most positive person in the world. But she never belittles any bad feeling you might have. She just buoys you up. So we have a lovely time. I fix a few electronic things for them, much less trouble than fixing my problems. We watch a movie, do some letter writing, chit chat, eat lunch. Great day. Then I head home. On the way I see my nail salon and think, “Maybe they have room for me today” I pull in, walk in, and they are packed, but yes one girl is almost done and I can get my pedicure and my color change on my fingers. Ah, bliss. Then I leave there and have some ice cream. This day just couldn’t get any better. But I get home and lo and behold! My “mask” for my CPAP is here and that is good news too.

Now it’s Tuesday night and I get to try my new “mask.” I have been waiting for this for a month. For years doctors have wanted me on CPAP but I could never tolerate the masks. I would start out wearing them for 3 or so hours and then my ability to keep it on would get less and less, instead of more and more. But now, I’m getting so little oxygen to my brain at night that I am seeing real symptoms that could be a real problem. So more positivity. I get ready for bed, get it on, and fade in and out for a few hours. It’s loud, but I can’t find a leak anywhere. So I figure that is just the way it is. But then I hit some buttons and it gets quiet but still seems to be going and I think, “okay I’ve got it going right now.” I sleep for a while with no problem until I just wake up raring to go at 430a. I look at the machine and it says I had bad air leakage. So all that noisiness was leakage after all. Okay, no problem, we’ll try again tomorrow night.

Since I was wide awake I decide I’ll get up for a bit. Then I hear it. That awful sound of my dog chewing on something he isn’t supposed to have. The connector to the “mask.” NO!!!!!!!!! So I get it away from him, chastise him, and go to see how much damage is done. Just the little piece he has is damaged but without it I can’t hook up to the nose things that go against my nostrils. So then I spend about a half hour trying to find where I can order just that, as waiting for the VA to provide it could be another month. Finally I find it and order it and will now spend another week waiting for it to arrive.

Now I am here venting. And breathing. And trying to remain calm. Tomorrow has to be better. I have acupuncture, then I am free to rest and relax all day. And I’m going to do just that.

This is my “mask” it doesn’t even go in my nose, just goes against my nostrils. Even though I can’t use it for a week now, at least I know I can keep it on for up to 7 hours. Maybe it will work.

Nahum: Pens!

I am a good boy. I am a good boy. I am a … Oh goodness give me that pen!!!

A Stick With A Juicy Center!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Ever since I was a little boy I have loved pens. They are so wonderful. I don’t know why, but they are. And when I get one, I forget “drop it” and “leave it” and even “do you want a treat?” It doesn’t matter how much mommy begs I just can’t let it go.

Now I will respond to human food, but even that is difficult. I mean it better be the good stuff! Mommy has tried patience, sweet talk, mad, and even top blowing up with steam out of her ears. She gets kind of red for that last one.

She says I can’t have it cause when it breaks the bits are pointy. But she also seemed a little perturbed the time I got the juicy stuff out. I thought it was cool though that she spent so much time on her hands and knees with me. Except she seemed way more focused on the little purpley black spots on the carpet than she did with me. Well, still, I had my stick!

Nahum: The Importance of a Leash

My Thoughts

I don’t like being attached to the thing mommy calls a leash. I want to run and play. Mommy says I wouldn’t come back. I would though, sometime! And I have to admit I would have liked if we had had a better leash when I got attacked. So I see that it has some merit, but still I want to run free!

What Mommy Says

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Mommy says a lot about leashes, a LOT! She says it is the law. I don’t know what that means but she says it matters. She says that it is safer, it keeps me from running into traffic or up to a strange dog or a cat. She says she learned her lesson about that extendable leash, she couldn’t get to me because of it when I was attacked. She says it keeps me from hurting or scaring someone. I don’t know why anyone would be scared of me, but I guess it is true about the little boy across the street. I don’t want to scare him I just want to say hello, very loudly.

Mommy also says that it doesn’t matter how nice a dog is, or how obedient there is always a trigger that could make them attack someone. She says, “Even you have teeth.” And I do too!

Wrap It Up Tight

Okay, not for real, mommy never pulls too tight. But I guess when I think of the attack and how if he had been on a leash, and the other two dogs too, it never would have happened. And I could use my teeth if I thought I was going to get hurt. I guess that means it is a good idea. Still, I want to run and play. I guess I have to keep that up inside. And since I am only 10 pounds it is easy to do there. I hope everyone has a good day, and keeps their babies on leashes!

As a Doggy Mom, I Have Been a Failure.

It Wasn’t On Purpose

When I had my last dog everything was very different. He was laid back and didn’t require a lot of attention. He was happy just laying around doing nothing all by himself. So he got his walks, his food, water, and some playtime when I was up for it.

When I got this dog I thought I had done my research. He was supposed to be medium energy and eager to please. I was a little iffy on the medium energy but I thought I could handle it in the end. Nahum did not come as packaged. He was higher energy and while he would lay around I am thinking now that he needed, and does need, a lot more attention.

Some things I did right, or I thought it was right, he was immediately enrolled in puppy school and then intermediate school and I thought we were doing well. He didn’t agree. He has been a rascal ever since. And other than sit, down, and sometimes stay, we have both forgotten everything.

Slow Learner

When I talk about slow learners I am definitely talking about me, not him. I never really thought about the attention factor as being a problem. But why not? Kids who don’t get enough attention act out, why wouldn’t dogs do the same. Just depends on the personality I imagine.

As Nahum related to you yesterday he did the unthinkably good thing. When he handed me that little dish I thought I would skyrocket through the ceiling trailing treats behind me. But there are other things that have happened as well. He’s more eager to see me, he let’s me pet him more (he was actually kind of skittish), and today without even trapping him I was allowed to pick him up! It has taken 2 years for me to figure this out. Like I said, “slow learner.”

Adjustments Made

Obviously now we have had to make some changes. I make a point of loving on him a LOT more now. And bed time is a special treat with squealing, growling, tug of warring, pouncing, fetching and then cuddling. Also when this corona mess is done I am taking him back to intermediate school since I can’t remember anything now. She said in 8 private sessions I can do the whole class and work on troublesome areas as well. Definitely “leave it” and “drop it.” I can see where it is not a hopeless case, he might even turn into an “eager to please” dog, maybe. But definitely I see how we will be much better off if I continue to bond more. Poor kid ended up with a dud of a mom. But we have a lot of years ahead of us so I’ll get better…he deserves it.

How I Made My Mom Happy!

Nahum’s Notes

Hey! It’s Nahum again. You’ve heard from my mom that I am very rascally and I’ll be honest and say it is true, but I think (and she tells me she does too) that the good outweighs the bad.

Today though I made her so happy. First I did a bad thing, I pulled a little tiny bowl off of a TV tray and I wouldn’t let her have it at all! She didn’t seem all that upset though. Several times she tried to love on me, but I wouldn’t let her because she might take my prize. But she seemed so happy. She said since it wouldn’t hurt me or her that she wasn’t going to worry about it.

Lately she has been trying to bond more with me more, so I decided to say, “thank you.” I came up with the bowl and when she put her hand out I just gave it to her! She was so very happy. She gave me treats and smiled and spoke in that high pitch happy voice that I like so much! Maybe it is the beginning of a new chapter for us!

Today I was a good boy!

My Job!

Hi! This is Nahum. I am Kendall’s doggy and I don’t think she has done a very good job of introducing me. While yes it is true I can get into trouble sometimes, it isn’t the only thing I do! Mommy loves dogs but she loves me best. And that is the main reason I started out being here, but it turned out she needed me too! When my big brother Obadiah died the doctor said that she had to get another dog. She was just so sad and stayed in bed and didn’t want to do anything. She felt awful, or so she tells me. So I was also bought to do a job, keeping mommy happy and comforting her when she isn’t.

What does that entail? Well right off the bat I knew what it meant. If even one tear drop forms I am at her side jumping up and down to get in her lap. I just stand in her lap then and let her pet and hug me. I did this from the very beginning. Mommy says I don’t know the difference between happy tears and sad tears, which I guess is true, but I know that whatever the case I will be there for her.

It also turned out that I performed another function mommy didn’t even realize she needed. Or maybe she knew it would be nice, but never thought that I would do it. Mommy has nightmares sometimes. Sometimes they’re just bad dreams, but when it is a nightmare I wake her up! Who wants to be stuck in all that pain and fear for any longer than necessary? Not me, so I don’t let her do it either.

Another thing I try to do is get mom out and moving around. Because of something she calls fibromyalgia she can’t go for far or for long, but since she has me she has to go at least some. She’s been excited lately that she is losing weight. I always thought she was perfect, but a little more lap is nice. Don’t tell her I said that though.

Well, that about sums it up, my job, and I am very good at it. The other stuff she wrote was true too, but she left out the good stuff so I thought I would take care of it. Oh, and the dog attack thing, that was so scary, but mommy returned all I did back to me so I would be okay…that is her job. Well, that and feeding me!

Nahum: The Most Rascally Support Dog Ever

So I have yet to introduce my dog, Nahum. First I want to say he is a “support” dog, not a “service” dog. Big difference. I don’t even think he could manage to be a service dog, he is just too much of a scoundrel to learn the lessons. But still, my doctor recommended a dog and he is what I got. I will add, I would never give him up.

So a little brief introduction. He is a papillon, about 9 pounds and black and white. Papillon means butterfly in french and that name fits because their big frilly ears make them look like butterflies. This is him as a puppy. It’s blurry but you can see how big his ears are:

Now when I got him he immediately went to obedience school. I was determined he should be a well behaved dog that would learn to meet my needs and then become a service dog so I could have him in high anxiety situations. I bought a papillon because everything about them fit the bill for me. Small so I could handle him even with my fibromyalgia. Friendly so he would love everyone. Intelligent, his breed is the 7th smartest breed in rankings, so he would learn the skills needed to be a service dog.

When we first went to obedience training I am sure the trainer was laughing inside. We were asked why we chose the dogs we did and I pretty much said the above. But I did stress intelligence. Little did I know that intelligent does not necessarily mean teachable. Now he did fine in puppy school, but as we got into the intermediate class things didn’t go so well. I mean he did learn, but he refused to retain while at home. And he also developed some behavioral problems, partly my fault. Later Dulcey, the instructor, told me that smart dogs are often stubborn dogs. The AKC says that papillons are supposed to be eager to please, but my dog missed that trait.

So the behavior problems, there was no picking him up, only if you could catch him. I know one person who can do it and it isn’t me! And that is only because she is faster than I am. When he got hold of something, don’t think you were getting it back. He eats sticks (and clothes pin springs). And pens, he loves pens. He had an ink pen party spreading ink all over the dining room and living room one time and himself one time. He jumps, and I don’t mean he jumps on your leg for attention, no my 8-9 pound dog can jump and get things off the dining room table, the desk, and the kitchen counters!!! It’s all fair game. Lastly he has now discovered his bark. He makes a variety of noises that are absolutely adorable, but his bark is not one of them and lately he barks at everything. Now the ones I take credit for are the sticks, and the jumping. I thought it was so cute that he would pick stuff up on our walks and carry it as far as the dumpster so I could throw it away. So I encouraged picking stuff up and carrying…the eating idea is all his own. As to the jumping, he just looked so cute bouncing higher and higher and so I would hold out rewards to see how high he could go…now I know.

So my dog is a scoundrel. I plan on doing some more training when this virus gets done. Private one on one though so I can try to manage the things I have inadvertently caused. But let’s talk about the good things. He was meant to support me emotionally and he takes that job seriously. He has two very special skills that melt my heart every time. First is he can hear a pin drop from a mile away and so before I even let the tears fall he knows I am crying and he is not satisfied unless he is in my lap to be held. Now he doesn’t know the difference between a happy and a sad cry so we get some extra love, but who doesn’t want that! The second is if I am having a nightmare he will wake me up. With PTSD that is an invaluable skill. The poor guy usually gets pushed away to begin with because I can’t quite figure out what is going on, but he comes back until the job is done. So despite his little rascally self, he is a great dog. My mom doesn’t see it, neither does my dad, though they both still like him since he makes me happy. But I know we just have to work out the kinks and keep on loving each other and it will all be good.

Here he is now:

Actually that isn’t as recent as now. This is before he was attacked by a pit bull/mastiff mix. But that is another story.

Gasping for Life

Had a nice thought last night. My dog gets the hiccups or backwards sneezes or whatever anyone wants to call them. They look and sound horrible, like he has had his air cut off suddenly and he is gasping for life. Whenever this happens I jump to his side and start to stroke him and try to soothe him so they will at least slow down if not stop. I felt so sad because I couldn’t, on my own, make them stop. He too had to act, he had to calm down and trust it would stop if he let me help him relax. Finally they did stop and I started to think about my reaction and my feelings. And then I thought about Jehovah.

When I am struggling, be it for hope or joy or patience or whatever I might need at the moment, but can’t find it, Jehovah jumps to my side. He is desperate to help. Now Jehovah can do anything so why is he desperate? In our lives he can only help us if we too take action. He provides us with everything we could possibly need, first and foremost His word the Bible. But so many other things too: broadcasts, meetings, literature, the elders, the friends, prayer, personal study! All of this has been given to us to help us when we are gasping for life. And you can trust exactly what you need is in there and Jehovah will guide you to it. But you have to act. You must or you will continue in your struggle.

Time in this system is short. Life is getting harder and harder and our gasping is happening more often. So we need to trust. We need to trust in Jehovah, that he has us and will give us what we need. But we also need to ACT! We need to pray, we need to study, we need to make ourselves firm in faith. Don’t give up when we are so close.

Visit www.jw.org for faith strengthening articles and free Bible access in hundreds, many hundreds, of languages! (1000 last I heard!)