The cat was a little suspicious at first.
The cat was a little suspicious at first.

Bringing home an older dog

My family recently adopted a new dog. His name is Beauregard, and he is a rescue from HAWS in Waukesha.

We weren’t looking to adopt another dog but sometimes fate just intervenes. We lost our Shadow a couple of years ago and after a period of adjustment Sydney was comfortable at home with her feline companions.

Sydney just turned five on Thanksgiving and there was always the understanding that if another dog did come along we wanted one a little older that she could play and walk with. A puppy is fun but just a lot more time and work than we had. Anyone who has had a puppy knows that a bored puppy can get in an awful lot of trouble an older dog with the proper companionship is usually going to be fine.

A few weeks ago I attended an community event. HAWS was there and so was Beau. He was the canine representative, and he shined. The children at the event were drawn to him and his calm cool demeanor. He just leaned into their eager hugs and kisses. It was unbelievable to me that this dog had not been adopted.

In speaking to the HAWS volunteers I was told that Beau was around 4 years old and had been brought up from a shelter in Alabama. HAWS was working diligently to find all of the animals a forever home. Beau had been in Waukesha for a while.

I casually mentioned to the volunteers to keep me in mind in case no one stepped up to give this lovely young man a home. The call came a few days later and it was clear to me that his forever home had to be mine.

We traveled to Waukesha to have our meet and greet with Sydney. It went perfectly and Beau was in the car in less than an hour.

The first night at home was filled with food and fun but clearly exhausting.

The following day was a day of discovery as Beau found out he wasn’t along with Sydney. We had CATS! What a wonderful treat to have something to chase around the house. Initially the cats decided to take safe harbor under the bed but they have since started making their physical presence known and things …

Let's be nice to each other in 2016.
Let's be nice to each other in 2016. (Photo: wikicommons)

Let's make a real resolution

I think that New Year's resolutions are B.S., and I think most people think so, too.

Why do we feel the need to make some random promise to ourselves, fully understanding that it will hold true for a couple of weeks and then it's over? Do we really think we are going to hold on to the promise of losing weight, quitting smoking, drinking less and getting healthy? Who are we kidding?

But this year I think we need to re-think the resolution thing. As we close out 2015 and welcome in 2016 maybe we make a promise to ourselves and stick with it this time. Don't get me wrong: this is not some kind of let's sit around the campfire, sing songs, hold hands kind of kumbaya moment.

Well, it is a little bit.

Here's what I am thinking. I think we as a whole need to start being nicer to people.

We all know how to be nice. It's just that so many of us have either forgotten or just refuse to do it. I don't know; maybe those people just didn't get hugged enough as a child. But, really how hard can it be? Niceness is defined as being agreeable, pleasant and kind. I think we know how to do that.

I understand that everyone is busy. We're all so busy taking care of work, kids and home. Run, run, run, run and never fast enough.

Am I waxing poetic because it is the holiday season? Maybe. But, maybe it is the perfect time for a little waxing poetic.

There are so many horrible things that happen in today's world. There's a whole list of it. Too many to even run down. People just being mean to people.


How hard is it to help your neighbor or just say hello? How hard is it to volunteer at a local shelter or hospital, donate to a charity or say thank you to a veteran?

Aren't we all a little tired of the meanness and viciousness? I call those personality traits energy vampires. It sucks the life out of a person leaving nothing but an empty shell.

We all know how good it feels when someone goes out of their way to make our day brighter – so why not pay it forward? I love people an…

We are women that like the challenge. We are all women who have watched as their bodies have been reshaped and we are healthier for it.
We are women that like the challenge. We are all women who have watched as their bodies have been reshaped and we are healthier for it.

Why we women work out

This is my hell, and I am headed back in today.

Why do I do this? It's a good question. Since starting a regular workout routine a number of years ago, I have exposed by body to all kinds of torture: boxing, boot camps, cardio, yoga, hot yoga, weight lifting, Barre classes, Pilates, pushups, battle ropes, spinning and even running those incredibly evil stairs at Concordia University!

I mean, what am I doing to myself? Has my body done something to offend me? I don’t remember being upset with it. All I know is that I walk into hell religiously 3-4 days a week.

Every workout is different, and my group never really knows what is in store for us when we show up for class. What we do know is that there is this love-hate relationship we've got going on with our instructors.

We like them as people. I mean they are fun to talk to, but when the music starts, that’s when hell begins – and yes, there is always music; it’s like we are in a techno dance club, and any minute, a half-naked man with a test tube drink will show up. I wish.

The pace is unrelenting. A few weeks ago, this was actually uttered by instructor Lynn: "Yes, I know you can't feel your legs, you're sweating profusely and you can't breath, but keep going!"

Wow! You are really selling me on this, Lynn.

The music and the torture continues. After an hour, we all collapse into a panting pile. Done for another day. And even though we are exhausted, there is a sense of euphoria and pride. Here we are standing as a testament to what the human body can and will endure.

Why do we do it? We are women that like the challenge. We are all women who have watched as their bodies have been reshaped, and we are healthier for it. None of us are athletes, but we feel like one now.

So in 24 hours, we'll be back. The women warriors who have forged a friendship through pain will walk through the doors of hell again and what fun it will be!

Midnight snack? Maybe.
Midnight snack? Maybe.

I'm a Benadryl zombie

It’s allergy season in my house.

I have allergies, my dog Sydney has allergies and one of my cats has allergies. You can’t throw a stone in my home without hitting someone taking something for itchy skin, running nose or clogged up sinuses. So it should come as no surprise that we are grateful for the first hard frost, and we can put the meds away.

Recently, I found that my regular antihistamine was not doing the trick, and I was really having trouble sleeping. So, with my Walgreens card in hand, I did what every person would do: head to a store with the intention of self medicating. I decided that Benadryl might be the answer, and I walked out of the store with a giant bottle of it.

Huge mistake.

I decided to take two pills at night before bed. That was a very bad decision. One morning, I woke up with my head at the foot of the bed and my feet at the head. But that turned out to be the least interesting discovery of the morning.

After making my way downstairs, I found the remnants of cheese and crackers on the counter. I didn’t remember eating cheese and crackers the night before. Is it possible that in some Benadryl induced haze I had raided the fridge?

No! I refuse to believe it.

Two days later (after taking my self-prescribed Benadryl) I found myself standing at the kitchen counter holding a corn chip in my hand dipping it in the gallon jug of mayo I keep in my fridge.

Holy crap! I was making my way downstairs in the middle of the night to EAT!! I have no recollection of getting out of bed and making my way down the stairs. Thank goodness the keys to my car weren’t available – who knows where I might have ended up?

I’m not a doctor, but I have decided to go the old fashioned Milwaukee way of just having a glass of wine before bed. So far it’s worked out so much better.