Just Sharin'

Missing Our Cuddlz April 18, 2017



Zoro’s favorite phrase: “Be afraid, be very afraid !”

After Zoro died in May of 2004, Bob went searching for a new dog. We bought QT July of 2004.

QT at 8 weeks old.

   He is a Blue Fawn Chihuahua. We bought him from folks in Sweet Home.   It didn’t take long for Bob to decide that QT needed a friend. We often wondered if Zoro had been lonely.


It was December 13, 2004. I remember Bob picking me up from work, school bus driving, we were going to Newberg, that rainy evening. Bob had found a good deal for our next chihuahua. I remember being in the Freddie’s entrance. It seems the lady brought 2 pups with her, just in case Bob wanted the boy instead of the girl. I was holding the precious little girl. She seemed content to be in my arms. Bob had been holding her brother. I observed for a while, but I wanted to see how this little girl reacted to Bob, so we switched.  The little girl jumped to Bob’s face and was licking like crazy. Her reaction was all I needed to see. Bob recalls that she warmed her way into his heart and he knew that the money we brought with us was to be used after-all.   

Cuddlz at 8 weeks.


 When we arrived at home, QT seemed shocked when he saw Cuddlz. Immediately, she took over. She was not afraid of QT. She was rip-roarin’, trying to get QT to play. She found one of Bob’s hankies.  Such preciousness !!!    





Cuddlz liked QT’s idea of sleeping on Bob’s shoulders. Here she is yawning and QT freaked out.






Napping buddies.

One of  Bob’s favorite photo of QT & Cuddlz.

 Cuddlz loved eating. I loved how she would carry a carrot straight out the front of her mouth. She loved sleeping.  Often times she would make a contented snore noise when sleeping. When she was being held, she would make this noise from her throat like she was trying to talk. She made it clear she was okay.   We eat in our rocking chairs and watch the news, our dogs know the chairs are off limits until we have finished eating. Cuddlz eagerly sat at our feet until one or the other finished eating. She would drop her snack for us to  pick up and she would turn around so she could be picked up easily.  Since Bob started on fb, Cuddlz’ picture has been Bob’s fb photo. Bob just now reminded me.

 Something Bob and I thought was interesting: Cuddlz did not like any tension or harsh words.  She would paw and bother until she was picked up.  Mind you, Bob and I are pretty blessed, we do not have a lot of friction moments.

 Cuddlz was born October 16, 2004. Cuddlz was put to sleep April 10, 2017.  Cuddlz left  a big vacancy, in our lives !!!  Pet loss hurts more than I thought  possible !!!   I will close for now. I will put out a couple more posts about Cuddlz’ story, at  another time.  

Cuddlz and us.

My Grief Challenges

God Loves, Me ??? April 1, 2017



My cold was so awful that I did not do an audio for the post from last week, therefore I did not do any rereading. Before I go any  further, I will  read the last paragraph.

 Maybe next week I can do audio. 

 I did share last posts happening with my counselor. I was afraid he would say I have gone off the deep end. Instead, he gave examples of similar experiences from other folks.  He told me to look at it as an answer from God, that Shawn is okay. I am to consider it a gift from God. My counselor encouraged me to look at these type of events in a more positive way. Realize God loves me and does answer my prayers, in ways only He knows is best for me. We live in a broken world, with fallen humans. There are realms, here, too great for our understanding, but God is not limited and uses what He chooses.                               My problem is that I have a hyper sense of responsibility, which causes me to see God as always needing to shake His big finger at me for whatever I failed to do properly, or plain didn’t do. I am a fallen human. I need to embrace the depths of Psalm 23. 

  I am stepping back in time. Around 1986 Melissa, Shawn and I lived in Gram & Gramps little house, before it was sold. I cherish this photo.    We had the photo taken because we had finished memorizing 3 things: The Lord’s Prayer,  a different version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star…it is dark and night is here, but I know that God is near… (it came from Shawn’s Sunday school class. I have not been able to find that version to get all the verses) and Psalm 23.

When God gave me the idea to rebound before work, I had an impression that this would be a good time to listen to sermons. Bob’s mother no longer lives here.  In the past I did not want to listen to anything, in the garage, because her room was on the other side.  I did a listen test to see if the sound would travel up to our room. At a loud volume, even I could not hear it.

I have listened to some of Rick and Kay Warren’s messages about the loss of their son. For whatever reason, when I pulled up YouTube, for my first day rebounding, there was Rick Warren, teaching on Psalm 23: https://youtu.be/6WzICvMTP70. I remember when I chose this passage for Melissa and Shawn to memorize, it was because I wanted them to have it in their hearts, especially for the difficult times. I wanted them to be assured God would take care of them. When Shawn was in the hospital, before he died, many times, Psalm 23 and the Lord’s Prayer were quoted. Those moments were times when Shawn seemed to have peace.


 I dread many occasions, at this time in my life. Even if they are happy moments for others. How awful of me.  Each one that comes and goes, reminds me of each passing moment of Shawn’s goneness, now almost four years. I seem to be struggling a lot with my emotions. If my counselor is right and I am depressed, will the depression ever go away or can I force it away ??? I am so exhausted.  I have learned changes add extra stresses. I am a person who likes constancy. I find myself frustrated with myself for letting myself sink into a depressed state. Plus, I chide myself for being such a wimpy Christian.

 Over Christmas break I had worked so hard to get Shawn’s photos  into one location. Now I need to organize all the pictures, by year.  I am thankful for the memories, but for whatever reason, I cannot look at them-they have become a smashing reality of Shawn’s goneness.                   I have been breaking down projects into doable stages and having goal dates. I have decided, for now, to allow myself to take a couple years for my ornaments.           I try very hard to not allow myself much time to dwell on my woes.  I have tried  to listen to talk radio, but that gets me more depressed. A few weeks ago, my nerves were rubbed raw when replay after replay was done of those protesters:   https://youtu.be/lJG0Ibhcsng    I find this one so awful. You can tell that the person was looking for the camera placement, and then she did her thing.  Their rantings and ravings. Seriously ???   OH DEAR !!!  I was slammed with a dose of reality. I  must sound like those protesters  when I cry to God about Shawn’s death. What was to be was and is and I cannot change what was meant to be.


 I will end on a positive note. This past week my cold was awful. My ocular rosacea, flared up. It hadn’t been that bad in quite sometime. I went to the Natural Grocers, nearby. Hoping to find something to relieve the inflammation, burning, itching and drainage. The clerk said a new product had come in and folks were pleased with the results. We couldn’t find anything saying I couldn’t put it on my eyelids. I am so glad to have found something that soothes my eyes !!!  Here is the site: https://www.montanaemuranch.com/emugency-pocket-stick-p/anem.htm

My Grief Challenges

Ease My Grief March 25, 2017


A very bad cold, so no audio.


Death taints life, or my perspective, anyway. This toy represents my life.            A knock-down, I come back up for another knock-down. This year, my unb.day was very depressing.    It was on a Tuesday which meant the first of March was on a Wednesday and  Friday was a 3rd.  So many sames from Shawn’s death. For now, I cannot see any approaching event as one that is truly filled with joy. Maybe I was low on air, but this last knock down was the hardest I have had to date. I did not know if a come back up was doable. I do not understand grief. Will I ever get to the place when I am not so displeased with myself and my role in Shawn’s end ??? Every workday, I put my busdriverness on and get through the days. I am constantly praying that God would see fit to ease my grief, but there seems to be many moments of a total knockdown.  


  I believe it was about March 13. I had unlocked the gate, so I could get to the track. It was probably about 10 minutes before the mechanics would be arriving. As I made my way down the  dreaded hill, a hill I swore I would not endure going up at the end of a work day. It is usual, for me, to look and listen in case something untoward might be  happening. As I was looking at all  the buses, I saw one bus door all the way opened and wondered why the driver would have left it open all weekend. I noticed many bus doors open. Them I saw writing on a couple of bus windows and almost stepped on a pair of glasses which were next to an umbrella. I was wondering if there was anyone on the lot, but I heard nothing. I left everything as it was, as I walked by.

When I arrived at my bus, I saw the tell-tale signs of it having been broken into. I did not touch anything, but headed in the direction of the mechanic, who has just crossed the gate threshold.  I told him something was wrong and that a lot of  bus doors were open. As it turned out, the bus lot video showed the folks who broke in,  they had a key  and drove through at their pleasure. Apparently, they had locked the gate after their business was finished-about 15 minutes before I had unlocked it.

 The Friday night before, I had secured my bus, I had been sure no one would waste their time trying to wreck my locked door. I was wrong. It looked like something had been forced into the lock. The folks who rifled through my bus, were too neat. They took out the neatly stored items from the bag by my bus seat. They did not take my gum, cough drops, inhaler.   What was missing was my blanket I had behind my seat, my thumper and a knee pad.  Okay, no big deal…??? Yes this turned out to be a BIG deal !!!  

After the video was reviewed, it was asked of me not to walk the track in the dark anymore.   I spent a few days struggling with an upset attitude towards our boss and others whom I was sure were trying to take away my way of release and facing life ???  Were folks trying to find ways to make my life more miserable ? What privilege is next to go ? I spent a lot of time begging God to help me find a replacement to my routine. So much of what I have done the  years since Shawn died, have been little helps, but still helps. I miss loopin’.  I loved the quiet mornings. I loved the dark-I don’t have to wear my glasses to block the light. I miss my prayer time. On my first day of no loopin, as I approached my bus, I heard a pleasant greet from Mr. Owl. I spoke back to him.  I will miss his cheers from the trees area of the track.  I  continued asking God to help my attitude towards those who wanted my loopin’ stopped-because of safety issues ???   My mind kept wondering to my rebounder when I would pray about a loopin’ replacement.  Well, I have started  rebounding before I leave for work and listening to sermons. I start my routine with 33 squats. Oh yes, I am trying to figure out how to use my Gwee gym, while rebounding. I get to work early enough to eat and pray, in my car. I am, now, walking up the dreaded hill, 3 times a day~~~go figure. I have, also, increased my daily Fitbit steps goal to 13,333.  So, all in all, I have been able to make lemonade out of very bitter lemons. At least they were very bitter lemons to me.  I still lack trust in most folks-something else to work on.   


 The chorus of this song, fits me: https://youtu.be/yXYdGD3-b7k


A strange end to some very frustrating days, since my un~b.day. Yesterday (March 24) I was on my high school  take home run. At one of the stops a huge tree had been taken down. It had  caused rerouting this past week. Friday, I could not see how blocked the road would be, because of various rigs, so I decided to reroute. I had one passenger who needed that stop.  As I was getting ready to close the door, he turned, very quickly and jumped back onto the bus, he had realized he had left his baseball cap, in his seat area. I was speechless. As my passenger came up the stairs and spoke, he was the image and sound of Shawn. I have had this run since December and this guy doesn’t ride very often. How could this person be a living image of Shawn ??? His voice and chemistry towards others, are how Shawn would be. What does this mean ???          

I have begged God to lessen my ?guilt, regret and doubts about my role in Shawn’s end and to ease my pain of how I could have dealt better with All the issues, at that time.     I have been asking God if  Shawn is okay. I do not understand all that is happening. How much longer will this torturer last ???

Audio is Available, Just Sharin'

Our State Bird !!! February 25, 2017



I love to hear the melodious singing of the Western Meadowlark. This one was from Dub Paetz. I do not know what it is about the Meadowlark’s song that lifts my spirit. In my childhood years in Idaho, I loved it when the snow was gone enough and the Meadowlark returned with it’s glorious melody. Strange thing, I was sure I heard the same wonderful notes, this past Wednesday, while I was loopin’. I had been pretty bummed and those glorious notes warmed my soul. My heart was saddened, later that day with the news that someone in Oregon thinks the state bird needs no longer be the Western Meadowlark. REALLY ??? WHAT IN THE WORLD !!!     OREGON !!! Keep the Western Meadowlark our state bird !!!


Some time ago, I mentioned that we have off white carpet throughout our house. I love carpeted floors. It is important to me that my carpet is clean and looks new. I must admit that it has been difficult to keep the carpet clean with a couple of phases of  Chihuahua puppies.  Also, several years ago, there was an awful clay stain, at the sliding doors, created when the mountain behind our house was made: 20170225_092750.jpg

 At that time, a chipper semi was parked at our back fence. I was the only one that weeded behind the fence~I guess it was a nice park spot.  I now, have several trees back there. The tallest arborvitae, was transplanted by Shawn. The mountain,  in the back, originally was smaller. I remember watching the rigs pile MANY loads of dirt. They rolled, many times across the soil to pack it down. I thought the slant was too much and the rigs would tip over. It took me many years to not worry if the man made mountain would come falling down, because of  the mega rains storms we have here.  Anyways, the dust from the mountain making  project was awful. My Extractioner- carpet cleaning machine, a purchase from the 1980’s was very helpful. Due to over-use, another carpet cleaning machine was purchased. A lot of use from me and I loaned it out a few times. It needed to be replaced.  mightyprox3_1024x1024_3bc4f167-5482-461e-a0fc-26d2b1e2e1bc_large

It was quite a surprise when Bob bought me the Mighty Pro-Blue. I use it a couple times a year. It is very powerful and does a great job helping me clean the carpet.  I am amazed at how well our carpet has held up, after all the cleanings it has been through.  

I have been longing to find a machine that would take care of little problems. An example would be: this past summer, a bucket containing melted coconut oil dribbled  onto the carpet. It left a dribble trail of about 5 feet. The RugDoctor was helpful.  BUT, every few weeks the coconut oil dribble trail reveals itself. I do not want to take out my big machine for small areas. Oh and yes, the Chihuahuas have accidents that need more than just a rag cleaning.

During Christmas break, while watching a recorded movie, for some reason, I did not fast forward through a batch of commercials. There it was an electric gadget being used to clean linoleum. It was then used to clean a carpet stain. Wow I was excited !!! You see my steam mop broke, so I have been back to mopping on my hands and knees. I showed Bob the commercial. Guess what ???       A wonderful surprise came to our door.  A Bissell Crosswave All-in One Multi Surface Cleaner !!!  This machine is perfect for a picky cleaner like myself.  It works great on the linoleum!  It was easy and a blast cleaning our garage floor and the outdoor carpet on the garage floor !  Yes, I mop the garage regularly,   doesn’t everyone ?   The folks who made the Crosswave thought of everything. It is easy to use !!!  Also, all the parts are easy to remove and clean for the next job !!!  AND, they have a tray to station the Crosswave, during stop moments-which when some drippage usually occurs with water gadgets.   I love this gadget even though it is not blue. 


One more find !:

Being a cleaning fanatic, I have tried many products in hopes of finding the one I can use for a variety of situations.  Because of my lung sensitivities, it is important to find products that do not cause breathing issues. I have had NO bad reactions to GOOP (http://goophandcleaner.com/the-scoop-on-goop/) ! For whatever reason, this past summer, after trying many products, on a stain, I slathered some GOOP, onto the stain.

goop-groupa_pg_111   I cleaned the Goop off, the spot was gone. Bob found a 4 and 1/2 pound size of  the white cream cleaning miracle working GOOP.     I have been experimenting: it has worked well on spots on fabric, stains on the carpet, it is great for cleaning the inside of my bus: the seats, flooring and ceiling. I hope the company doesn’t mind, but this is how I use GOOP. I scoop a bunch of GOOP into a big pouring type container, that has a screw on lid. and then I add  a small amount of H2O.   I shake it up until it looks like milk. I squirt it onto my cleaning rags, and wipe the messes away.  GOOP has been a thrilling find for me !!!     There you have it, some things that have made my life easier.  


See, I am not always, depressing ! Just tryin’ to grow on this grief journey.


Audio is Available, Just Sharin'

I’m Freezing Hot !!! February 11, 2017

I need to give this a try !!!

I need to give this a try !!!

It doesn’t seem to matter how cold it is outside, I can find myself, sweating. It can be frustrating. I try to wear jackets that I can peel off quickly, before they get sopping wet, during those hot moments.  I do not understand how one’s body can drip sweat and be freezing at the same time. I have come up with a perfect phrase that fits me: I’m freezing hot !!!                                I must admit, I am still trying to figure out all my issues. The 3 seem to intermix: grief, menopause and exhaustion from bad asthma lungs.  Just kind-of frustrated.

One of my torments with being freezing hot reminds me of many times while Shawn was in Harborview. There were times his room was very chilly. There were other times when his room was nice and toasty, so much so that the staff would be sweaty.

Just plain missin’ Shawn !!!


 I heard a lot of talk this past week about all the different things that would be perfect for a Valentine’s Day gift. Like: a big bear, flowers, sweets, cuddly pj’s.    For me, the most precious thing is that Mom has sent Valentine cards to us kids, always. I wish I had been better about sending out cards to my kids.  Anyways, all the commercials about what to buy, made me think.      Ummm, let’s see, I am trying to set this up to make sense. You see, my husband knows I do not need flowers, to go out for dinner, cards, sweets-which I would gobble too quickly.  I love the unexpected throughout the year. I have found this approach less stressful for him.  

An example would be picking out a card. Bob can spend many moments trying to find the right card with the right words. It is painstaking to watch. He usually gets a white envelop.

~~~ Just a side note~~~

Many years ago I was in a Target store. I had found a card, in short order.  As is usual  for me, my search for the perfect colored envelop is where my time is eaten up. On this particular day, a reset was being done on the card section. A woman asked if I needed help. I told her I was trying to find an envelop that matched the card. Her face twisted in disgust. She told me that that card had a white envelop and that I was not to mix them up. She proceeded to give me a here to what for. I was rather embarrassed as other customers stopped to listen to the goings on.  AND, a couple of years ago, I had gone into a little gift shop, not far from our house. Again, I had found an appropriate card, but I needed the perfect envelop. The store owner asked if she could help me. I told her I was trying to find a better envelop. She told me to take the one that was meant for the card. She informed me that folks like me mess up her inventory.

SO~~~Hallmark or whomever are the card and envelop makers, give me better envelop choices, PLEASE !!! I do not like being scolded for trying to find a better envelop choice.  

Maybe I should take the time to make my own envelops !?!

Maybe I should take the time to make my own envelops !?!


Last weekend I attended a memorial service of a co-worker. The service was simple and sweet. I heard the most beautiful performance of “How Great Thou Art”, that I have ever heard. I left the service thinking about the memories shared. A thought kept popping into my head: how will others remember you ? What will you (me) remember others by ?  I do not like to have my photo taken. Then I remembered all the precious photos of my co-worker. Smiles are much better than a grimace or a turned head. Have I treated others in a loving manner? Have I been willing to make friends or has my grief enveloped me, too much ???



Shawn's favorite saying: love ya to the moon and back...

Shawn’s favorite saying: love ya to the moon and back…






Audio is Available, Just Sharin'

A Just Because~~~ January 29, 2017



A just because~~~ today, I am sharing one of my favorite images. Thanks to Pinterest, where I found it. It is nice, simple and clean. Maybe someone who is hurting or frustrated will be encouraged to look for something that is a blessing to them self. I would love it if folks had the courage to share their favorites here. It could be a poster, quote, photo, drawing, decoration, oh just anything. Who knows, maybe someone else will be blessed, as well.

Folks, I really do care and I hope you know it !!!