Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Glimpses of our Christmas season

It feels like an eternity since I last posted here on my blog.  In reality, it's only been since November 20th...however, some things affect us deeply enough that they seem to transcend time itself.  

When I first started writing here on my blog, my only objective was to write down my thoughts, my feelings and to keep a journal of my life; and to help me remember the day-to-day ups and downs that can so easily get lost.  I wanted to remember with clarity how I felt, what my emotions were about any given situation or time in our lives.  And, I always feel better when I get all the "stuff" in my head, out.  Writing is therapeutic for me, not as therapeutic as my barn time, but's important.
My Annie
We spent Thanksgiving at my sister's house.  It was a good day, and I'm so grateful for it.  We had a delicious feast prepared by so many different hands, and everything tasted so good!  I got to spend some quality time with my oldest niece, Shelley.  She's the one that's just 2-1/2 years younger than I am, and we pretty much grew up together like sisters.  She enlightened me on the joys of crochet.  I learned crochet in high school, but haven't done any since then.  Aahh, that's 37-38 years ago...phew!  But anyway, I picked it right up and am happy to report that, for me, it's easier than knitting.  I enjoy them both, but I'm rather impatient, and crochet seems quicker.  I'm all about seeing a completed project.  I'm in the midst of 2 projects right now, both scarves (simple enough right?), 1 is crochet and 1 is knitting.  Maybe I'll finish one before Christmas.  Highly unlikely, but possible.  I have hope.
My great niece Jessica, her boyfriend Ryan and their son Hudson

Shelley and me

Shelley, her son Cody and granddaughter, Lilly

My nephew David, his wife Tammy and their kids, Ashley & Nathan, Ashley's son Micah

My sister Lilly and hubby Charlie

My niece Shannon and my great-great niece, Lilly
 I didn't really get much of a chance to visit with my sister, as she left shortly after dinner to go shopping with a cousin.  Oh well, priorities right?  *sigh*  But I got to visit with Dave and Darren (both nephews) and my other niece, Shannon.  I'm really, really hoping to spend more time with my family in the year ahead.  People are important to me, and I want to maintain (or at least try) closer relationships with my family members and my small circle of friends than I've been able to do in recent years past.  We're not getting any younger, and I know who and what is important to me.  You just never know, right?
Full and sleepy
After Thanksgiving, my dear friend Betty invited us up for dinner and wreath making with a few others.  She has this wonderful little work shop, had all the evergreens, holly, pine cones, ribbons and so much more, for making whatever our imaginations came up with.  We enjoyed lively conversation, a fire in the wood stove, beautiful Christmas music and some wine before joining the guys for some chili and corn bread.  They enjoyed their time by eating snacks and watching the Civil War game (football) between Oregon State (Beavers) and University of Oregon (Ducks).  Our beloved Beavs lost.  By a lot.  We won't talk about that.  Anyway, it was another enjoyable evening spent with dear friends, and we loved it.  

We went to the cinema and watched "Interstellar" with Matthew McCaunaghay (sure I misspelled that), and it was surprisingly, very good.  How could any movie with that beautiful man be bad, right?  :)  How I love long weekends spent relaxing and doing...well, whatever else we did.  :)

Last week I noticed a rather large lump on Annie's neck, sort of between her neck and shoulder.  It was roughly the size of an apple.  A couple of radiographs, a couple of ultrasound pictures, and a fine needle aspirate later, the diagnosis is carcinoma.  How I hate that word.  My dear, sweet Annie has cancer.  We had an appointment with our dog vet.  LeAnne is realistic, practical and very experienced.  The news isn't what I'd hoped for, but is what my gut was telling me.  The tumor is inoperable because it's gone into the bone of her right front leg.  From what we saw, the tumor has probably been there longer than I realized, and only recently got big enough for us to see on the outside.  The degeneration of her bone is extensive, and our best option is to leave everything alone and manage her pain.  I've been giving her NSAIDS for about a week now.  LeAnne added Tramadol, and in a couple of weeks if we think it's needed, we'll add Gabipentin.  We manage her pain, make her as comfortable as we possibly can and take it one day at a time.  I made Annie a promise.  She will not suffer.  She will not live in pain.  I will love her and be with her until the very end, whenever that may be.  She has always been, and will continue to live the life of a dignified lady.  That's what she is.  My heart is just breaking at the thought of not having her in my life, but she will not suffer!  God has blessed me with this dog in my life and I will not fail her in her time of greatest need.  Until her time, we will live!  And Annie will pretty much get anything and everything she wants.  She's my girl, always has been...  

Just this past Monday - walk in the park
Last weekend we attended our annual Christmas party with our riding club members.  This year was smaller than usual and fairly low-key.  One family that had planned on being there had a medical emergency, so we're keeping the family, and especially Steve in our prayers.  We enjoyed a nice potluck meal, a time of worship, we sang some beautiful Christmas hymns and then played our cut throat/white elephant gift exchange.  Such fun!!  My hubby made a couple of bridle hangers out of Ladde's old horse shoes and I gave one of my Budweiser collectible mugs.  We have such a wonderful group of friends in this club, and we always enjoy time spent visiting with them.  

my lame attempt at a selfie...
Last Monday evening, our dear friend Claudia took us out for dinner.  We enjoy her company so much and this was no exception.  She's such a lovely lady and we appreciate her so much.  She gave us the most thoughtful gift.  Apparently, she's taken pictures from my blog, had them printed into a calendar and it's just AWESOME!!  I absolutely love it, and so does my hubby.  Every single day when I look at that calendar, I'll be reminded of Claudia's generosity and friendship.  What could be better?

I had lunch with another dear friend yesterday.  She's a gal I met through working at the clinic, and she's also a client.  From the very beginning, I felt so comfortable with her, and felt like I'd known her for years.  Of course, she's an animal lover.  She has horses and dogs and cats, and lives in the country.  No wonder we get along! Isn't it great how that happens sometimes?  I just love how God moves different people in and out of our lives; just when we need them the most.  I'm so thankful.  

Well, that's about it since Thanksgiving.  Our plans are to spend time with friends and family this season of Christmas, and to keep things relaxed, simplified and quiet - all the while remembering the "reason for the season".  

May you all be blessed with good health, peace and prosperity...that goes for your critters too!!

Lorie @ Cingspots


Kate said...

It's good to hear from you, but I'm very sorry to hear about your sweet Annie. Hope you have a number of good days with her.

Grey Horse Matters said...

You've been busy.

Sorry to hear about Annie. She's a sweetheart. I just went through the same thing with my Murphy. Sadly, I had to let him go in September. I miss him. But he was suffering and in pain and couldn't walk or lay down comfortably anymore even with the meds. I promised him I would not let him suffer and I do think he appreciated leaving us with dignity.

It's heartbreaking when we have to make these decisions. You have a good plan for Annie. Enjoy every day you can with her.

fernvalley01 said...

I got as far as Annie, and my tears have stopped me, so sorry, and I know you will love her and do what she needs! Hugs, I will come back to read the rest, family time is so important you are so correct with that

Annette Mickelson said...

I'm sorry to hear about Annie. We went through the same with Sedona last year -- discovered the cancer around Thanksgiving and were able to manage her pain through the summer. I still miss her but I made her a promise and she didn't suffer. Just like you did with Annie. Its the right thing -- the loving thing to do.

aurora said...

Glad you've enjoyed sharing the holidays this year! The photo of Charlie (?) and the little girl making a sandwich is precious :)

SO sorry to hear about Annie, tears here too, because we know the heart wrenching feeling all too well - and it never gets easier. Hoping you feel peacefulness, within your loving care.

Michaele said...

Oh what a bitter sweet post. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Gail said...

Sorry to hear about Annie.

Thanks for coming by for my reminiscing. I do miss my horses horribly and think I should never have let go of the little ones nor the big ones.

Have a blessed Christmas.

T.L. Merrybard said...

My heart breaks for you to be having to face this with your dear Annie. We all understand. We who love our animals have all been there, and it never gets easier, except that when we've had to do it once, we know it is right thing to do and we have that peace. I'm glad Annie got to go on that fabulous holiday with you so recently. xxx

Angel The Alien said...

So sorry to hear about Annie! I remember the moment I discovered a lump on my dog Chopper's throat... I was scratching her neck, and I felt it, and my heart dropped. It turned out to be cancer too. SO I know how it feels... and I will be thinking and praying for you both!