Friday, March 26, 2010

Make your car a no phone zone

I was watching Oprah the other day with my daughter. The topic was distracted driving. I have been guilty of this in the past myself. No I do NOT text and drive, but I have spoken on the phone, and even have eaten while I drove on occasion. This episode brought home the dangers of ANY distraction. So I won't be doing that anymore! They say when you know better, you do better and I am doing better.

I thought of my daughter driving on the roads with people who do this and I was struck by how quickly it can happen! I have threatened her life (LOL) if she EVER texts while driving and we agreed that she will pull over if she needs to make a call and will not answer the phone until her car is stopped. I can't protect her from everyone out there that does stupid things, but I can try to make my voice heard to try and keep her, and all of us safer on the roads. I am a big proponent of stopping drunk driving and so this just fits right in. I am not against drinking or texting; just do it at home, not in the car!

One story on Oprah really got me, as the young man was killed when he dropped his phone and tried to retrieve it from the floor and crashed headfirst into a tree; he was killed instantly. Such a innocent thing resulted in his loss of his life. All the stories were heartbreaking; families devastated by something so stupid and preventable. And it is not just kids doing this! There were adults doing it as well!!

We really don't need to be THAT connected and that self centered that our desires should end someone's life or our own. That phone call can wait! And tell everyone to stop that stupid texting crap! Personally. I just don't get it. I can call you and say what I need to say in a couple of minutes; it takes me forever to text and it is so impersonal. But I get that people just love it, and like anything else, it needs to be done appropriately! Not while you are driving a vehicle or any other activity that requires attention.

I think technology is great, but we are becoming more and more disconnected from each other. I see and hear people EVERYWHERE yakking away like they are totally alone. Some of these conversations are really inappropriate and bizarre. I see people at dinner in restaurants blabbing away on the phone while their dinner companion basically eats alone,and the rest of us have to listen to a totally invasive conversation; usually carried on quite loudly!

No one needs to lose their life over this. I signed Oprah's no phone zone promise; you can too by going here;

Remember the life you save may be your own.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Where have I been?

The Piz

the Murphy!

I have been gone a while. I have been under a whole lot of stress lately. Many of you know I love my bulldogs. Two of them Murphy and Sydney ( aka the Piz) have been in the vets office a good bit all through this month. Murphy needed a second surgery ( in addition to the one on his palate as a pup) to remove more of his palate and also to remove laryngeal saccules which were keeping him from breathing well. That was in the beginning of March. That was something that I knew had to be done. But to get him there I had to get up at 3:30 am and drive him a hour and a half to the best bulldog vet in the state. That wasn't as hard as letting the tech take his leash from me and watching him look back at me; me with the tears right in my eyes as I tried to pretend it was not a big deal for his sake. I watched him until they disappeared behind that door, wondering would I see him again alive, would this be the last kiss I ever gave him? He came through it like a puppy. His brother Niles was in Heaven I know watching and guiding the surgeon, this I know right along with God. For Niles is our angel in Heaven and I know he knows how much I miss him even today as I write this, tears are flowing.

Last weekend, the Piz and Murphy began having a lot of congestion; breathing was difficult for them both. I drove down there to the vet's office terrified. Murphy was deemed okay; but then Piz was critically ill. It went from maybe its a viral thing between to finding out she had lungs filled with liquid; but she also had a congenital defect called megaesophagus.( It is a large esophagus that has problems with moving the food and drink into the stomach, so it is often regurgitated and many times aspirated into the lungs) They believe that due to this condition she aspirated either food or water into her lungs and developed a pneumonia.
So I am faced with the possibility that she might die. She spent the night and as I was going to get her, they called and said she needed to stay as she had gotten worse and had blood in mucus from her nose. Well I just had a meltdown. My daughter has been with me all through this and I think she was surprised when I just lost it completely and began to cry and hyperventilate. I generally do NOT cry in front of others ( there is only one person in the world that I have shared my tears with and he knows who he is ) It stems from something that happened to me a long time ago. I feel so ashamed and embarrassed to cry in public. But this day after all the fear and worry over the Murph, I just could not hold it in any longer. Finally we picked her up on Wednesday; I felt lost without her. She is Niles' twin! Without her the house became even more sad and deathly quiet. She was down the first day, but she has begun to be her old loud,bossy self. Such joy in that little package.

The really neat thing was that when we (my husband went with me to get her) got to the vets office, we got to meet another bulldog who just had three babies; and we were allowed to see the little ones. That was such a highlight after so much sadness, To see that was for me, to step back in time; to when we went to see our sweet boy Niles; our very first bulldog. I could still feel the love we had for each other and for our new baby. It was like bringing a newborn baby home from the hospital when we brought him home. I will never forget that feeling of hope, joy and love that was shared on that day in February of 2000. Seeing those puppies brought that all back to me.
Piz slept all the way back to my husband's truck. When we dropped him off, as I was driving away I noticed Piz had rose up and was looking out the back window, with her little paw on it like she was so sad to say goodbye to her dad. It made my heart sad to see that despite all the sadness and stress of this past year.

The truth be told, I still harbor love in my heart for her dad because I remember who he really is; not what he has become now. We are still a family; we are just not together in the same house right now. I have forgiven him because unless I do that I am not worthy of forgiveness myself from God who sees it all and knows my heart. What the future holds I do not know; but I am doing the very best I can with what I am. I miss having those conversations and discoveries with him. I am still not sure of I can do it with someone else in the future if it comes to that.
Its hard when so much has been lost; that is why this month only 15 days in, has been so darn difficult for me. So much fear and sadness.

But in contrast, I have found that there is a spirit in my friends that burns bright. My friends Sonny and Karen came over to spend the weekend prior to Murphy's surgery with me. Somehow they knew that I needed to have company to keep my mind from wandering. They made food; Sonny made me LOTS of cheesecakes; chocolate and my new favorite; coconut cheesecake. My friend Sue and her daughter Rikki came over the weekend before last and we had a great brunch of biscuits and gravy and bacon. After that we sewed all day and crafted with Rikki. Then my daughter went into town and brought back sandwiches for dinner. We were quite productive! I finished the curtains for my friend Karen, made a pillow for Rikki, Sue pinned everything; it was like an assembly line! They brought my other fur kid Bailey; I trained him for Sue and raised him as an honorary bulldog with my boys. They all played and had fun too!

Just a few days ago, I heard the red winged blackbirds singing outside. To me that is one of the two indicators of Spring ( that is also where my blog name came from) The other one occurred also; my biker friend and neighbor got his bike out and was up and down the road more than once. Now I ride too, but I am so not that dedicated! When you get going it can be quite cold!!! LOL! So the world goes on here in my little bulldog farm where the blackbirds sing ( and the bikers ride by calling my name)

My Country Baby Murphy