A couple weeks ago I met a few friends for Sunday brunch. We sat on the patio drinking champagne, laughing, and the rain began. We watched as patrons scurried inside to get cover from the rain. We looked around and noticed we had been seated under the only tree that provided protection from the rain. It was one of those moments that makes you stop and think say, ‘huh’.
We continued drinking our bubbles, trading stories, laughing, just loving the weather and people we were surrounded by. The rain continued. There was something magical in the air. It was a feeling that cannot be put into even the most eloquent of words. I would not have changed a thing about the weather or that afternoon. It was perfect.
I have not stopped thinking about that afternoon. The patio. The smiles. The sound of the rain. The warmth of great friends. The bubbles, oh the bubbles! I have been hooked on champagne, bubbles, ever since. The other night at our favorite wine bar I ordered champagne and the waitress asked what I was celebrating. My response was, “the people I am with”. Isn’t that the greatest celebration of all? Having people in your life that are genuine, kind, and care about you, care about how your day was is something that should be celebrated every day!
Every now and again I will get that fog of sadness or loneliness that starts to creep in slow and steady. On days when it feels the rain is coming down all around me, I will remember this storm will pass. There is a tree to shelter me. Friends to hold me. And bubbles may be just the reminder I need that all will be fine. In time, even perfect. Whenever I am amidst a storm, I will reflect on the wonderful people I have in my life and drink my champagne in the rain.
Tomorrow, we head south of the equator! I am excited, nervous, anxious….and and on…
I packed and repacked about 6 times in the past 7 days. I printed our itinerary, tickets for planes, train, tours, maps of both Lima and Cusco, menu translation guides, stocked up on every medication (rx and OTC) I could think of, and packed everything but the kitchen sink!
My camera is charged with 2 huge empty memory cards waiting to be filled with breath taking sights 🙂
I packed shoes of every variety in hope of keeping my angry heel at bay.
For the long flight, I have books, magazines, movies, knitting, and Xanax 🙂
Now, attempt sleep. HA!
Well, I will see you when I return with 2 more stamps in the passport (one for Peru and one for Machu Picchu!)
For those of you who think you should move to the desert for the clean air, good Lord, think again! The air in AZ is awful at best. A brown layer looms over us every day. That is why I get so over-the-moon excited when it rains! The rain is the one chance for us to breathe ‘clean air’. We can thank the folks that have transplanted their native grasses, flowers, shrubs, trees, etc. for the diverse pollen production now home here in the desert.
Well, it is cactus flowering season according to my sinuses and throbbing headache. I made an emergency run to the pharmacy to grab an antihistamine at lunch. Oh, how I wish I had my Neti Pot handy! Just as the anti-histamine loosened the vice on my sinuses, a lovely stress headache took hold. Nothing like a Monday, on a Tuesday! Three day weekends are supposed to be a blessing, right? WRONG! It makes for a nightmare the day back. The trials of today dulled the memory of a long and relaxing weekend.
I caved and had to take something for the pain. I decided not to cook dinner. To hell with it. I heated up bone broth, grabbed some kale chips, and filled a glass with coconut water. Yup, my pathetic, yet compliant dinner 🙂
Ok, enough negative Nancy for now! I am hoping to hit the hay by 7pm…yes, I am livin’ the dream over here 😉 Goodnight ya’ll!
Meet Macio (Ma-see-oh) my 1 year old ebony chinchilla. He is full of personality, has moods, has a fan club at work, and is with me everyday. Macio resides at work with me Monday thru Friday and comes home with me on the weekends.
Chinchillas are part of the rodent family. They originated from the Andes mountains in northern Chile. Chins make excellent pets for dedicated parents who enjoy daily care and interaction with a pet that will live up to 20 years. They are not for children. Chins are very delicate – extremely heat sensitive (keep them between 65-78 degrees), hare susceptible to GI tract upset, and fragile little bodies.
This past week, Wednesday, I arrived at work and found Macio’s cage clean. Not a lot of feces, no hay thrown all over as usual and no night time re-decorating of his cage like normal. Then throughout the day he kept ‘barking’. My co-workers and I were puzzled and worried. Very worried when I noticed he wasn’t eating that day. I called the vet and went that afternoon. That’s another thing with Chins, they can get sick and be dead in the matter of hours. The vet examined him and sent out lab work. He had lost about 50 grams since his last weight 3 months earlier. That is quite a bit when you only weigh 500 grams.
His examine was pretty normal, he pooped a little their, but the vet also saw the tiny size and dryness of the feces. The doc gave him fluids under his skin to help hydrate him and I took him home with instructions to syringe feed frequently and watch his poops. Syringe feeding a tiny, fragile, stressed chin is one of the more challenging things I have done as both a pet parent and as a veterinary technician. I had to be careful he didn’t aspirate the food and make sure I got enough in to keep his guts moving. The first 24 hours were terrible. He went back to work with me the next day. I fed him throughout the day, as best I could. Friday, his poops really diminished. We were at work a few hours when even my co-workers said, he needed to go back to the vet.
We saw a different doctor and had another head to toe exam. Gut felt soft and ok, teeth looked good, and blood work was not in yet. The tech taught me tricks to ease the feeding and hoe to give him fluids under his skin at home. We started antibiotics and a pain med/anti-inflammatory for his tummy. Friday night, Macio and I hung out in the office and I let him free roam to help move his guts. Still, he would not eat, not even his favorite treat, oatmeal. My heart was breaking. I know GI stasis is lethal in chinchillas. I had to keep the food coming to ensure his gut didn’t completely shut down. I bought 3 types of hay, new food, I dried fresh herbs he loves, bought chew toys, you name it! Nothing, no interest. He remained very active and stopped the barking – a good sign. All day and night I did feedings every 3-4 hours, fluids and medication every 12 hours. Saturday his poops were smaller than peppercorns. I broke down. I knew his gut was stopping and there is nothing I can do but feed him. My manager, an exotic animal vet, said, just keep feeding him and let him run around. The vet called with the lab test results – organs look good, but he has a stress leukogram – an infection, somewhere for reasons we may never know. The meds he is on were the correct treatment plan, so we press on!
Then, this morning, his cage was loaded with larger hydrated poops!! I was crying with joy! Yes, over poop! So, here we are Sunday evening and he still will not eat. He runs in his wheel, loves his chin scratched, but won’t eat. I will continue the feedings all day. He will go to work during the day and home at night – thankfully he just sleeps in the car 🙂
Today, the lack of sleep and emotional roller coaster finally hit me. I felt like a zombie today. I ran a couple errands and had to come home and lay down. Besides the gym and a store or two, I have been sitting on a couch across the room from my sick baby, just staring and hoping he eats or drinks something…anything! Since his poops are almost normal size and consistency tonight, I might sleep…for more than 4 hours. Please keep my little man in your thoughts and prayers. I think he is on the mend, but we have a ways to go. The things we do for our kids 😉
PS – I apologize for any grammatical errors – My eyes are about to bleed from exhaustion!