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Archive for October, 2010

A Tribute to Zig

Zig

Zig exploring Andrew's bag.

      On the afternoon of October 12, 2010 my family said good-bye to Zig, our ferret of four years. We gathered around the hole my husband carefully dug in our yard for Zig’s body. Andrew placed his lifeless body, which had been wrapped in a brown shroud, into the hole. Andrew scooped up a small handful of dirt, threw it on top of Zig’s body, and said good-bye. No one spoke as my husband refilled the hole.  Afterwards, we all agreed Zig was probably frolicking in pet heaven with his little buddy Zag, who died two years earlier.

     My family adopted two ferrets three and half years ago from a woman who worked with my mother. Everyone knows that I am very softhearted when it involves animals. My mother’s coworker needed a new home for the ferrets. Apparently, their novelty wore off only after having them for about a month. I had a ferret growing up, so I was definitely interested in adopting them. However, my husband…not so much. Nonetheless, we went to a pet store that sold ferrets to show Andrew what a ferret was all about. He was able to hold it and observe it. We bought a book about ferrets and learned the basics of raising ferrets. A few weeks later, Zig and Zag became part of our family. They were about ten months old.  Our little guys were so much fun. They were very curious, full of energy, and loved to play. 

     Unfortunately, about a year and a half later, Zag died from a tumor rupturing in his spleen. It was a sad time. Andrew took it very hard. Zig lost his buddy and playmate. Soon, we became Zig’s constant playmates. We played hide-and-seek and chased him through his tube. He was always ready to play.

     It was Friday, September 10, 2010,  and I noticed Zig breathing heavy. I scheduled a vet appointment the following Monday. An x-ray was performed that revealed fluid on the lungs and a dark mass. With the fluid on the lungs, the vet could not tell if the mass was a tumor or an enlarged heart. He was prescribed Furosemide, which I had to get filled at Walgreens, to reduce the fluid in his lungs. The next day, we went to see another vet to have an ultrasound done. The ultrasound revealed a tumor, but the vet could not tell which kind. Cells were taken and put on slides. The slides were sent to a lab at LSU Vet School. A few days later, the results revealed it was a tumor, but not lymphoma. There was no good news. Zig was going to die, but we didn’t know when.

     The hardest part about being a pet owner for me is when you have to make the tough decision about when to say “enough is enough.” It took me a month of vet expenses, three meds, and Zig’s steady decline in appetite and weight to let go. It took my breath away the moment he passed away. It was the first time I was in the room when one of our pets had to be put to sleep. My family and I have a rule that someone in our family must be with our pets if they have to be put to sleep. It is the least we can do for them after all the unconditional love they give us.   

     Then comes the hard part…telling your nine-year-old son that his pet has died. Andrew took it really hard. No matter how much I prepared him or myself, it was still so sad. Andrew is happy Zig is no longer suffering. We have a new puppy (will blog about him later) we rescued on 9/30. I told Andrew that maybe God sent Comet since He had to take Zig, and He knew Andrew had so much more love to give. Andrew really loves his new puppy. Comet will not replace Zig, but has made the death easier to accept because he has been so busy with Comet. Andrew asked me not to give away Zig’s cage. So once it is cleaned up, we will put it in the attic. It has been two weeks, and I have yet to clean his cage or throw away his stuff. I know that last step makes it final. And, today… I’m just not ready to make it final.

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

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The Journey Begins

     I have been an educator for the past fourteen years. Recently, with my husband’s blessing, I was given the gift of one year off, a sabbatical of sorts. I planned on keeping a journal about my time off to have a record of how well I used my time throughout the year. A friend suggested I blog this new chapter of my life. Cool idea! One tiny problem, I knew nothing about blogging. Fortunately, with a another friend’s encouragement and a former student’s help, I now have a blog.

     It has taken me almost two months to write my first post. Why, you might ask? So much has happened in my life since school started on August 12th. Basically, I over extended myself. Yes, I figured being a full-time wife and mother was not going to fill my whole day, so I decided to fill my day with some new activities.  

     First, let me establish what I want to do with my year. Besides reorganizing my life and repainting my house, I want to get back into the entertainment business. Now, let me give you a brief history of why I’m not currently in that business, and how I became an educator in the first place. I have a degree in Drama & Communications. When I graduated from college, I worked for a local PBS television station. After working there for about a year, I left to work as a production manager at a small advertising agency. Needless to say, that experience proved daunting. It was “Melrose Place” without the good looking guys. A word of advice….never leave a job you like a lot just to make more money elsewhere. I had a fatter paycheck, but was miserable. Don’t get me wrong, more money is great, but your happiness is greater. This is definitely the lesson I learned from my advertising experience.   

     Anyway, at that time in my life I was a wife with a preschool age son. I felt guilty every evening when I picked my son up from school. He seemed to always be the last child in aftercare. And, he always seemed sad. One day, by the grace of God and a with the help of a parakeet named Sammy, I quit my advertising job. I took a part-time position at Barry Jr.’s school. Long story short….I went back to school and earned my teaching certificate in Lower Elementary. Another word of advice…never leave a career in something you really like because of one bad experience or stay in a career you don’t like because of FEAR. Fear kept me in education for fourteen years of my life. Don’t get me wrong, being a teacher can be rewarding. I loved my students, and it afforded me the opportunity to have the same schedule as my children. To put it simply, I was never passionate about teaching. 

     I spent last year reading some books on spiritualty by Eckhart Tolle and Dr. Wayne Dyer, and watched a movie called The Shift with Dr. Wayne Dyer. The messages I received from the information in their books and Dr. Dyer’s movie helped me to make the decision to take this year off. I am trying very hard NOT to let fear be a factor in making my future decisions about my life.

     Despite the fact that I have been really busy, I am having a great time. I took an acting class with Veleka Gray. She is a wonderful actress who has worked on soap operas, television programs, and movies. I am producing a three-to-five minute feature on a local artist for public television; networking with actors, producers, and directors in the television and film business; and writing a blog. In addition to my projects, I am helping Andrew break into the business as an actor. We are attending workshops, and both of us are in the process of signing with a talent agent in Louisiana.  It is an exciting time. Meanwhile, I still have to take care of my pets, my husband, my children, and my house.

     Did I mention? I’m also subbing at the school I taught at last year. I’ll be there for most of October. However, my horoscope this week in the TV Guide states, “Cosmic activity in the career area of your chart suggests one phase of your work life must end for another to begin. It won’t be easy to let go of the people that have been your anchor for so long, but it must be done because a new life awaits you.”

GOOD-BYE second grade and HELLO Hollywood!  

 

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