Saturday, May 31, 2014

Man's best friend

Good friends and family can probably stop reading now . . .

Meet Dodger . . . yes . . . my closest peeps have heard all about his "9th life".

We got Dodger in February of 2003.    We had just said good bye to our first Boston Terrier Pepper after 13 years of growing up with our kids.  Pepper will always hold the spot in the family as our "first" dog and the one that rode the golf cart, rode in the wagon, climbed into the tree house (well maybe not), swam in the lake, guarded his kids' beds at night, nearly choked to death spinning on his little boy's finger as it tightened his collar and had to be cut off . . . He played football and was the one who taught his girl to dribble the basketball amongst "traffic" a feisty black four-legged defensive dog.  

Then came trouble . . .I mean Dodger.  Dodger truly has had 9 lives . . . He was lost for six hours once, ate the sofa stuffing requiring a massive "procedure" at the vet - doggie enema, jumped in fear at the vacuum cleaner and ripped his side open requiring l8 staples at the vet, needed his tail amputated, nearly choked to death on a rubber toy spending one week at the vet until they finally operated and removed it from his intestines, wart removed from his neck, developed a skin infection lost his hair in places requiring multiple medications and daily baths, multiple "stings" from jumping off beds, chairs, tables, cars, and just plain jumping for no reason, and now a new phase of life has hit . . . congestive heart failure.  The first 8 adventures are of a young, agile, hypersensitive, high strung puppy, who somehow grew into an 11 year old puppy who has developed something new.  My granddaughter would say that Dodger is 77 afterall . . . in people years!

It's rather interesting - I work at a hospital and congestive heart failure is very common in our hugely Medicare clientelle.  When the vet opened his medicine cabinet to fill a script for Dodger - I quickly recognized all the same meds that we dispense at work - and yep - I myself take two of them!    Then I was strangely interested to find out that dogs with CHF have the same symptoms as people.  

Now I'm not a totally over the top about my dogs type of person but I - WE - probably do fall closer to the dog crazy end of the spectrum  - - - than the dogs are animals and belong outdoors spectrum.  So we sure felt pretty sad to see Dodger slowing down, not sleeping, not eating as well, and believe it or not . . . not jumping.  But sad was not the word hubs felt when he witnessed the first "spell"  While outside feeding the big dog - he turned around as Dodger coughed and fell over - still - stiff - - - "He died - - - I thought he has just laid down and died right now" says hubs as he retells the story.  

Anyway after several trips to the vet the diagosis was made - heart murmur and CHF - life long medicine - no guarantee of a few months or a few years - some dogs do really well and have a couple good years and some do not respond and go downhill faster.  Our prognosis is good says the vet.  But wait . . . we notice his tummy is swollen up, hard, and tight???  Oh yes - more CHF symptoms - - - the heart doesn't pump blood efficiently and fluid builds up on the heart and lungs.  Off to the vet for yet more pills - a water pill .  .  .  so you guessed it . . . we spend twice the time letting Dodger outside!  But within 5 days he was perking up - eating better - sleeping better and oh yes - jumping!

Well as I wrap this up . . . the reality of this disease is sinking in . . . Dodger quickly lost two pounds - perked right up and looked like our skinny little dog.   Vet decreased the water pill to once daily - - - two days later - little plump puppy is dragging around.  Frequent weigh ins - constant medication adjustment - this is the life of a puppy with heart disease.  

I really secretly hope no one finds this posting :)  It's just more a journal entry for me to talk about a goofy member of our family - who I now realize took the place of the two kids when they headed out to life on their own.   He's a good friend - so loyal - so well behaved - great traveler - and such a personality.   He still cowers when I'm mad or if he thinks hubs and I are fighting he hides away somewhere til it's over . . . So for all you pet lovers - treat them right and enjoy them - we have and we have been rewarded.  

 Dodger feeling sick . . . (or enjoying the spoilin')

Found him sleeping on "dads" pj's after he left for work last weekend.

Hangin' with his little girl . . . 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Back to the drawing board once again . . .

I don't know if anyone has missed regular posts from Henningsen Happenings but I have missed writing them!!  It takes a creative mind to be a blogger I believe.  When I was going strong it changed the way I viewed every event of every day.  I looked at the simple and obvious with new eyes.

So as we start a new month and summer finally arrives . . . I vow to take a look through those eyes once again . . . 

Plans for June July and August include:

     Vacation with granddaughter at our house for a week!  More to come . . . 

     Summer Reading Program - plus two week long readathons . . . one done
               One of my focuses for 2014 - READ more

     Be active . . . walks . . . bike rides . . . swim . . . 
               One of my focuses for 2014  - EXERCISE 

     Bible Study with Rebecca - The Search for Significance . . . Time in prayer
               One of my focuses for 2014 - WORSHIP

That's my short bucket list . . . nothing like the spring mop and bucket list I had to get ready for summer . . . remember the yard and the garage and the patio and flowers . . . done done done and done.  So now I resolve to rest and enjoy.

My job has been extra busy as of late . . . another focus of 2014 that I have not taken the time to work on . . . in much need . . . is my WORK . . . the place that pays me and my bills!    I plan to take some time this summer to reflect on this and come up with a plan!    To make it better!

Hubs and I plan to take a trip to the mountains with our granddaughter who has not been there even if we have to stretch it into early Autumn . . . A trip to see our son in Texas or meet somewhere in between . . . and I'm going on a trip by myself to stay overnight with my sister in southeast Nebraska . . . I haven't told her yet . . . but we have much to do and much to discuss . . . I want to spend some time in the country.

To summarize my summer . . . READ, RELAX, REST.    Be thankful.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Progress BOB!

And with not much time to spare!  Crazy, tiring week at work and a busy weekend of family celebrations = not much read.  But that's okay because family and work come first.  Today is Sunday and I have settled in twice with a cup of coffee to read on my book Snow Melts in Spring.  

Goals?  I had 3 and you can check them out here.  They were:  

Read one book this week - - - maybe today??

Involve and share reading with another person - - - Granddaughter is reading along with me.

Lastly, to learn some new ways and habits to incorporate more reading time - - - TV is off or at least has sound turned off.  I'm addicted to it being on I believe.  The other part of my plan is to learn to power it down for the evening about 9 p.m. with shower and reading til sleep.    When I was raising my kids that was always my plan - to have the kids bathed and tucked safely into bed and asleep so that from 9-10 p.m. I could watch my favs:  Dallas, Knots Landing, or Falcon Crest, 20/20 or Hillstreet Blues.  

Now to take part in the challenge for today - rename your book - I'm not sure how to do that in five chapters but I will give it a shot - - - Love in the Flint Hills of Kansas - - - sounds like a good read huh!!  So far in Snow Melts in Spring a young talented country vet has a secret that hasn't been shared yet about loss in her life or business - - - she is taking care of a severely injured horse - - - pressured by her dear friend to do so - - - afterall the horse belongs to his NFL Star Quarterback son who picked football over cowboying and has left some hurts behind him on that ranch.    The two meet and the story is off . . . I'm enjoying it  . . . I think it will be one I can't put down til finished - so who knows I may finish today.  

Enjoyed the readathon - thanks so much to the gals for sponsoring it!!

So fun to join in with other readers each night after work - and to hear their progress!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

BOB - Bout of Books

Day #3 in a fun readathon - Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

There weren't a lot of stringent rules for this readathon which is a good thing as I have not read!!! Unless you want to count some very enjoyable articles from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or the latest criteria for the Meaningful Use incentive plan or numerous medical records . . . then no I have not read!!

I asked my sister/BFF why are there not enough hours in a day??  I have a job that I very much appreciate, but oh for the day when I can stay home and work, garden, read,  and anything else I choose!    

Well - my time management thoughts are good for another post another day - but I do have one good accomplishment to share.  If you will remember from my original post - I had three goals.  One of them was to share my love for reading with someone else.  Well tonight via Face time that goal was met.  

Elaine is our 11 year old granddaughter and she loves to read.  She always has a book going.  So I asked her if she would like to read a book with me this week as part of the readathon.  She said she would love that and she is reading The Throne of Fire written by Rick Riordan.

In this exciting second installment of the three-book series, Carter and Sadie, offspring of the brilliant Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane, embark on a worldwide search for the Book of Ra, but the House of Life and the gods of chaos are determined to stop them.

Check back soon for an update on my book selection for this week - Snow Melts in Spring!!
I shall be reading!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Bout of Books Begins!!

I have had a bout of anger . . .

I have had a bout of frustration . . .

I have had a bout of depression . . .

I have even had a bout of Influenza A . . .

But what is a Bout of Books you say?

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
As mentioned in my original post I have signed up for a couple of book challenges for the summer - I'm already going with one that lasts for the entire summer - but today I cheerfully start the week signed up with Amanda and Kelly on a week long book challenge.  The rules are low key - you challenge yourself to read more than normal - and since I have been having a hard time getting any reading done - I chose to read one book this week for the readathon!  I will be reading Snow Melts in Spring by Deborah Vogts.  This book is a selection for the book club that I am in with my sister ... uh yes . . . we are the book club . . . the two of us :)     It takes place in the Flint Hills of Kansas and so it has a special intrigue to both of us!   The young star of the story is a veterinarian who cares for horses - especially one she rescues and saves after a terrible car accident.  I'm also eager for a read about horses as I have been thinking that I wanted to learn more about them and not be so afraid of them.  

Really appreciate these two young gals sponsoring this readathon - and I'll be back at the end of the week to tell you about my experience !

Happy Reading this week!

Monday, May 5, 2014

All in a day's work . . .

It was Saturday - my favorite day of the week - and although I dreamed of this:

I knew I had chores to do:

     Family reunion was the next day - just a few last minute details to tend to . . . 
     Fund raiser at church - just a few last minute details to tend to . . . 

     Peschool SS class - just a few last minute details to tend to . . . 

     And going back to our summer to do list - it was time to try something new . . . 

Saw on Pinterest and knew that other family members had tried this - I headed out to the hardware store for spray paint that works on plastic.  Sure enough they had it, I bought it, and it is now done.  One can of paint per large plastic flower planter.  New dirt added and a few flowers.  Then on to the next project - just adding some flowers to the blue pots - find a spot for the red bird wind chime and there you have it - a red, white and blue relaxing oasis for the summer!

More pics to come when all is said and done . . . 

Hubs got home from his real job and fired up his new "honda" . . . 

Some say this bad boy mows all by itself . . . 

I think Clay would agree - - - look at how he is "following quickly" behind Mr. Honda and he is actually standing up straight and tall!    Far cry from the old mower that required bending over, pushing with brute force strength as you held the gear handle down - all the time.

Gotta love the weekends . . . ended ours here . . .