Thursday, October 26, 2017

Elephant Tales

Emily made an elephant coffee cup when she went with a friend to a local pottery painting place late this summer. She had a blast and could make anything for herself, but she chose to make a coffee cup. For me. At almost ten she already knows the joy of giving is better than receiving, even though it’s difficult for her to practice she did it. I valued the surprise and all it encompassed. I cherished it. I was afraid to use it. I wanted to protect it. I would use it on occasion and cringe as I poured coffee into it. I would fill it with milk and let Emily enjoy drinking from it.

This morning with what I am fighting inside of me, I reached into the cabinet and thought it would be the best cup to use. While Emily readied for school I prepared my coffee. When we were at the front door and Daisy’s leash had been placed, I unlocked the door and heard the bus pulling up. I sent Emily out the door in a rush. I followed carrying an elephant and holding Daisy’s leash.  I tried not to run as I have been instructed not to. But I wanted to make sure she looked both ways and that I got to wave goodbye per our morning departure routine. “Look both ways,” I yell as she sprinted off. “Be kind!”

Sunday night after work I parked my cruiser at the end of the driveway where I rarely park it. As I passed it I thought to set the elephant down on the trunk of the cruiser. It was dark. It was wet. It slid off the truck and shattered into pieces. I knew beyond a shadow of doubt to never be repaired. But I didn’t have time. She was already across the road. I went into a brisk walk to the opening at the end of the driveway. She was on. The bus driver had illuminated the inside of the bus.  She had grabbed her seat on the side of the bus that faces me. She smiles and waves, eager to get to talking with her friends, but per usual takes the time to wave goodbye to Mimi. I wave and smile and in my heart, I want to cry. But I wave and smile to see her off to school and pray she is kind to those around her. As she rides off turning to the other children I can see they are chatting already.

Walking back up the driveway, the shattered elephant cup screams at me. “Look what you did, Donna! Look what you allowed to happen!”

Suddenly the elephant in the room is not the elephant that is shattered at my cruiser trunk.

There are times in my life that I have held myself responsible for the ill that took place. I have struggled with the idea that bad things just happen. I have struggled with the concept that no matter how well I’ve tried to handle a situation I cannot control the outcome. No matter how strong I present.

I have had one of those chapters in my life resurface lately as it does periodically. I’ve tried to encourage myself to remember bad things happen. To encourage myself that it is not a sign of weakness. Showing up and doing what needs to be done to get to the other side is a sign of strength. You cannot stop bad things from happening.

And then Sunday came. And with all it brought I tried to hide again. As much as I could to hide the fact that I was weak again. That I allowed a bad thing to happen, again. That I should have done better. It’s been four days since Sunday and with the elephant cup this morning the “glass was shattered.”

My eyes were open, despite not having my first cup of morning coffee.

Sunday, just before I was supposed to get off early I was dispatched to a disorder call. I won’t go into the details but will tell you in the process of working that call before backup had arrived my head was bounced off the concrete twice. I honestly thought for a split second I was going to die at the hands of a meth user. Split second. Things worked out. Back up arrived and I carried on as if bouncing my head off the concrete was my fault and I had to just fight through it, so I wouldn’t be perceived as weak. I didn’t go to the hospital because in my mine my injuries were not as bad as other officers had experienced. I could hear myself talking, it was like I was outside of myself listening. I knew I was loopy but would not allow myself to succumb to what my mind said was being weak. I worked another 4.5 hours on the case and went home parking my cruiser at the end of the driveway where I rarely park it.

I planned the next day to go straight back to work. I struggled with walking. My head pounded. My right eye was seeing blurry. My wrist hurt. My knee hurt. BUT I was going back to work. Until… I talked to an officer who knows me well. He texted with me about being hard headed and advised I was to go be seen… I even argued with the doctor…and then fought through what another officer who had experienced a concussion was telling me. I was so tired.

Tuesday night, I began to connect with healthier thoughts: “not being able to control the bad things that happened to me as not being a sign of weakness--- that taking care of myself is not a sign of weakness.” I started looking for positive signs from the overwhelming past to give me courage to stand up for myself. I was reminded of a hawk that swooped in and went after a squirrel during a huge battle I was experiencing. What it represented at the time. I received strength from that memory. Just as I now have received strength from the shattered elephant experience this morning as I ponder it.

We are human.

We are not in control of everything.

We do feel pain.

We do have needs.

We can only suit up, show up and do what we can in this out of control world.

We can fight the best we can and know deep in our being that God is our strength.

God is our peace and yes, He can take shattered elephants and use them.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Butterfly Thoughts

 I see this scene often in the back yard...and many times over want to mention it to friends and family...

The beautiful butterfly...needs nutrients and will get it from whatever is it a flower or dog doo. 

"When children get little or no affection and physical comfort, they are vulnerable to anyone who will give them attention." 


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Joy to be Free

This week I have found myself smiling as I worked...or lay in bed...or moved about.

I realized thinking, my thoughts are causing me to grin, to laugh out loud, to pause and be pleased. I pass by a mirror and I don't avoid looking. Sometimes, I look and say, "Hey, there!" to myself.

I know I have lots of prayer cover...I am reminded by those who love and care for me.I'm thankful for God's hand on me and on my mind.

I also think my thoughts are not haunting thoughts as they have been in the past. I am not rehashing the what ifs or why didn't's.

That is so freeing...

That is so me.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Jr CPA 2017/1

Today was Emily's first day of Jr CPA 2017/1. 

I can't begin to tell you how excited she was once she got into the truck. I asked her to tell me about her day, she said, "Well, Where do I start, it was such a big day!"

She got to learn about the Mounted Unit and meet the seven horses, eat Little Caesars pizza, see the new  training facility/the newest academy class at work/talk about taser and pepper spray, challenged to use "Yes, Ma'am, Yes, Sir" through the week, and ..."I got to meet the Chief Mimi!! And I took my picture with him!"

"Have you ever taken a picture with the Chief before, Mimi?"

"Well, I may have but I've not done a selfie with him." 

"I'd say not!! Mimi, that's just wrong!" 🙈

She talked about the friends she made. She even talked about a boy that attended that never said anything to anyone. And how she's gonna try to help him feel more comfortable tomorrow. 💙

She found out from me that I had a video of my Academy class when we were talking about pepper spray. When we walked in the door she just had to watch it. When it first came on she paused it, ran and got a pen and paper and wrote down 12/2007. She said it was homework to find out what class I was in. 

And I can go on and on with the talk. 

So grateful to Ofc. Towery and Sgt. Berry
and the Lex Police Explorers for the awesome job
of working with Emily. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How Hazel Got a Teddy

Hazel came to us at the 100  Acre Wood in a strange way. I was an inexperienced Bun Lover at the time. Although I'm so pleased to have Hazel in my family, I have regrets for my ignorance when she came to us.

August 2015...
My granddaughter came to live with me. I had just adopted two kittens from the humane society, Xena and Amy. I was working full time. I was taking care of my ailing elderly great Aunt. During my 10 hour shift that night on the way to a call, I attempted to take a bathroom break at my house. As I pulled out of the driveway... from the light of my headlamps I spotted a bunny with circles around it's eyes, with an ear and a half. I knew I saw what I saw. But I questioned myself if I really did. Yes, a domesticated bunny with a half ear. I ran and got a box. Remember, I'm an ignorant bunny lover at this point. I caught it, rather quickly and with no time did it escape out of the box as I tried to keep it in. I had to get to my call, so I left.

As soon as the call was complete I came straight back to the house and got out on the radio. I texted a fellow coworker and low and behold she was an experienced bunny lover. I told her about the half eared bunny.  She came over and together we caught the bunny. A bunny with circles around it's eyes and two full ears. I caught it with a children's butterfly net and we got it in the box. It had taken some time so I stationed it in the house with some direction from my friend and we went back to work.

Thus the awakening to a bunny love I never knew I had.

Xena was smittened by her and initially I refused to name her because I thought...someone is missing her. The next day I borrowed a habitat from another person my friend knew who raised bunnies. I went and got a habitat that was bigger. And set the borrowed aside. Until, looking out my kitchen window a few days later, I spy with my little eye, a bunny with circles around it's eyes and an ear and a half.

I will tell you right now, it pains my heart to even write about this. My granddaughter named the first bunny, Hazel. The second bunny, I took to the humane society where a pregnant worker took him from me and fell in love with him. I only assume for my heart pain that she kept him. Hazel mourned her love being taken yet again.

They were both dropped off at my driveway. They were mates. As time went by, I found Hazel to be pregnant. She was probably too young. But she struggled for 20 minutes trying to get the first kit out. They were all eight dead when they were born. We tried everything to revive them. Hazel mourned her babies and our hearts broke.

Xena pretty much adopted Hazel. We didn't know at the time but Xena was either born with or caught feline leukemia at the shelter. She passed this February 2017. She took a piece of us with her. Only a year and a half old, she was adored and admired. I had never had a cat like her. And Hazel mourned her friend.

It's difficult to watch a dependent baby mourn so much. I don't do well with observing suffering. I want to make it better. I found the Bun Bun Brigade that was an hour away. My granddaughter and I took Hazel to see if she would accept Teddy. Yes, we chose Teddy for Hazel through the website. Just like we had done Xena. Amy came with Xena because they seemed to be sisters...and they lived like it, too.

After only one night of sleeping separate, tHazel and Teddy were able to share the habitat.

Now, Hazel has a Teddy. And you get to enjoy the "bun-i-ful" joys of their companionship.

The half eared bunny
He was hungry. She was anxious.

I missed you!!
Xena supervising nest making

Amy loves Hazel, too.

Xena and Hazel

Xena and Hazel

Xena and Hazel

Xena and Hazel


And now you know, the rest of the story.

Follow us on Instagram @ Hazel_has_a_Teddy

Monday, March 20, 2017

One Year Later...This First Day of Spring

One of my favorite reminders this past week when I have complained to Ariel about how I feel after gall bladder surgery…

“Well, Mom, you just had an organ removed this week!”

And so I have and so I have.

I remember having my appendix taken out when I was six and a half months pregnant with Ariel.

I think it’s amazing how we are equipped with all these spare parts. Appendix? Gall Bladder? Who needs them…Why even yesterday; Emily worked on a loose tooth until it was lying in her hand instead of the socket in which it was born.

It’s difficult for me to sit still. But I must as I’ve lost an organ this week.

Today marks the day Aunt Juanita went to her heavenly home. My heart aches and so I take pictures and videos of my sweet babies today trying to hide from the pain.

It’s difficult for me to sit still and think. But again I must as I’ve lost a piece of my heart this year. My anxiety level is high. I am irritable in so many ways that I try to hide it because Emily shouldn’t have to carry the burden nor should my fur-feathered babies. I know Aunt Juanita is in a better place. I finally went by her house the other day. Her neighbor called and said there was a hole in the roof over the front door and she knew Aunt Juanita would not have wanted her home to have such neglect. Aunt Juanita’s executor of estate is truly the same even a year later. I had told the neighbor to call him as he was the one in charge of the Aunt Juanita’s property now. He told her he had nothing to do with it. That it belongs to the bank. I told her to call Code Enforcement. I told her to drop my name. I know that isn’t true as the bank contacts me monthly since Aunt Juanita left us to ask when the executor will be sending a death certificate. I went by her home and took a picture. I couldn’t keep it on my phone. It breaks my heart to see it. But the kind neighbor is right. Just above the front porch is a hole and green moss trails down.  As it rains today…I am keenly aware of the damage that slowly grows on 1616 Strader Drive. I want to stop it from continuing. Probate court says get a lawyer…the bank says get a lawyer. I’m a single Mimi. I don’t have money for a lawyer. I have had dreams this past week of Granny dying and leaving a bird that the executor failed to look after…that I sneak in her house to help it. I’ve had dreams of Aunt Juanita in her home.

Maybe, I can do something. It’s been year. I know in my heart that Aunt Juanita worries nothing about anything here on earth now. But I want to do right by her. Maybe, a door will open.

Maybe, it’s just a simple way to try and heal my heart by trying to save her house just like taking pictures of my babies.

No matter the holes your try to fix the damage is done.

Unlike a surgery recovery or a tooth growing back…some broken hearts never mend.
"Some memories never end.
Some tears will never dry.
My love for you will never die."

Friday, March 17, 2017

A weed in a child's hand becomes a flower or a weed in your mouth can better your health...or everything I learned about dandelions makes me want to roar.

Emily and I left the store with our rabbit greens in tow. Once settled in the truck, the bag of dandelions beside me, I couldn’t resist the urge to pluck one out of the bag and start taking it in my mouth as I had observed Hazel and Teddy do numerous times.

Maybe it was the connection I had with the sweet lady in the store that watched me sort through the dandelion greens, asking me in her broken English how I cooked them. I had lowered my voice as if it were a secret and said, “I don’t. I feed them to my rabbits.” Maybe she didn’t understand what I said or maybe she just wasn’t swayed by my ignorance because she went on to tell me that they are good for me and I could boil them and make tea. Yes, I thought to myself, I had bought dandelion tea before. And yes, I had watched Silas pluck a dandelion once when he wasn’t feeling top notch and tell me it would aid him in feeling better as he just popped it in his mouth and started chewing.

I suddenly thought…I am learning something here that I just didn’t pay attention to before…

So there in the truck, the dandelions looked quite appealing to me and I munched one up. Just like Hazel would. “You ate it, for real?”  Emily gasped from the back seat as she watched it disappear into my mouth. “I did!” I explained in surprise at myself, too. “Well, let me try,” Emily replied. I went on to tell her it was a little bitter but not too terrible. She pinched off a very tiny piece and chewed it.

So curious I began looking up the nutritional value on my iphone. Totally surprised by what I found.

Since then I have had dandelion greens in my shakes that contain spinach, too.

Did you know?

Dandelion herb contains notable nutrients and is a great source of nutrition during winter
This humble backyard herb provides (%of RDA/100g)-
9% of dietary fiber,
19% of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine),
20% of Riboflavin,
58% of vitamin C,
338% of vitamin A,
649% of vitamin K,
39% of iron and
19% of calcium.
(Note: RDA-Recommended daily allowance)

So my question is…WHHHHHHHYYYYY are we using pesticides on them?

What if we as keepers of God’s garden are actually “weeding out” the good stuff?

What if we as the recipients of God’s goodness are actually turning our nose up at a simple food?

It’s not like we haven’t done this before when He gives us what we need to succeed.

And the bees…what about the bees…can’t you just find it in yourself to tolerate the dandelions.
I think they are so dandy all the way around.