Sunday, December 26, 2010

Millie and Lola

Millie and Lola.... the little loves of my life. My friends know that I love my dogs...... they are like my children. I think I would be lost without them. I do spoil them (a LOT).... but they spoil me more. They love me more than I deserve. 


Millie came into my life when I needed her the most. I did not know how much I needed her unconditional love and friendship at the time. In fact, I was hesitant to have a dog right then. I grew up with dogs and I was looking at getting one sometime.... like when my life was calm and I had time to properly train and care for a pet. Ha. Life has a way of giving you what you need when you need it,even if you don't know what you need. Thank God. 

My parents brought Millie to me two years ago at Thanksgiving. I was living in Fort Worth and had just started my first round of chemo. I had no idea how I was going to take care of myself, much less how I was going to take care of a puppy. But my mom really wanted to give me a puppy~ so they came from Los Alamos to Fort Worth for Thanksgiving with my Millie.That Thanksgiving day was a big blur. I was so sick and throwing up constantly.....I could not get up to go to a restaurant or to cook anything. My parents went across the street to Starbucks, bought some sandwiches, coffee, and gingerbread cake. They ate their Thanksgiving meal at my card table while I slept on the couch with Millie. That little furry thing was so cute and she knew that she was MY puppy..... she did not want to get down from my lap for anything. She just slept the day away with me.

 From the moment Millie came to me, she has been at my side. Sleeping with me while I am sick, curled on the bathroom floor while I am nauseous, and always comforting me. To this day, she knows when I am sick and can't play.... she gets really calm and just sleeps in my lap. She listens to me when I am upset and crying~ she licks my tears.....and waits so patiently until I am ready to play again. I often say she is my little guardian angel. I just love her so much. And I am so grateful that I get to be her puppy mommy for as long as she is here. 


Lola came into my life last January. I thought Millie needed someone to love and play with when I am not here. So, Lola came to live with us. She is a little ball of energetic sunshine. Little Lola is so sweet... and funny. While Millie is calm and patient with me, Lola makes me enjoy this life. She is so playful, loving, and forgiving. 

When I got Lola, I was making a HUGE change in my life. I had resigned from my teaching job (which I loved) to move to Colorado. Ever since I moved to Texas, I have missed the mountains SOOOO much. I was so sick and so unhappy~ I needed a change, something big to jump ~start my life and give me a reason to want to enjoy the things that I am blessed with. Even though I may not be blessed with a lot of time, I needed to find myself again so I could do what I knew I needed to do with my life. And Colorado seemed to be the answer. (p.s.... I know I have made the right choice~ I will blog about THAT soon). 

So, since I was making this HUGE change in my life, I decided I needed a puppy. Really. I picked Lola up one COLD day in January~ I packed Millie up in my car and I drove to Oklahoma to get my little Lola. I just knew from the moment I saw her that she was my puppy. I needed her. I needed her love of life, her fearlessness, her joy about EVERYTHING. I call her Lola Love... and she is. She is a little ball of love. She loves everything and everyone. There is NOTHING that she won't try at least once. I think everyone could learn something from her. 

I know that I have been a lot more active since my little white puppy came into my life. She is so full of energy that she makes me play.... and I need that a lot. Instead of saying to myself "I am sick, I should stay in bed"... I look at her little face and I know I can't disappoint her. I end up taking her to play in the dog park, and I never regret the walks, hikes, swims, etc. that I have taken because of her. She is a true joy to my life.


"Dogs come into our lives as "just" a pet, but before we know it they become drinking buddies, shrinks, playmates, cheerio-munching vacuum cleaners, alarm clocks, sleeping partners, and best friends. And in their mysterious and muttish ways, they become our teachers."

I LOVE my dogs. I really believe that they help me live my life to fullest. I wonder what other lessons, adventures, and joys I will discover while I am given the honor of taking care of these wonderful little creatures. 


Friday, November 19, 2010

Joshua James and Alexi Murdoch

Music has always been an important part of my life. One of my favorite, and first, memories of my brother Andy is his music. I recall driving down Grand Canyon Drive in my parents blue mini van while Andy was BLASTING Led Zeppelin. I felt SO cool to be in the car with Mr. LAHS, windows down, music up, while he was pretending that the steering wheel was a drum set. My love of rock was born. Thanks to both of my brothers I had a good dose of the greats: The Beatles, Neil Young, Bob Dillon, The Doors, Clapton, Grateful Dead, REM, and so many more. Every time I here a song from that era, I feel so close to my brothers. 

Music has a power over me... it can bring me back to a time and a place. I can't listen to "Turn Around" without going straight back to high school. When I hear Chicago or Journey, I think about Kate, Erica, Hilary, Jenn, Steph, and all of my high school BFF's. Eagle's "Desperado" brings me back to one tearful night when I was 16 and heartbroken for the very first time because of a (dumb) boy. When I hear "Sail Away" I miss all of my T.I.P. sisters from McMurry (Rutha Rocka Socka). And Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" will always be my mom's song. When I am in a bad mood there is nothing more reassuring than listening to some slow melodies.... Joni Mitchel's Blue album is great for that. 

I have been through A LOT of changes and hard times these past few years...... and music has been my saving grace (along with tons of AMAZING friends.....). Last year at this time, I was trying to decide if I really wanted to move to Steamboat. I knew that I needed a big change and I wanted to love life again. I did not know myself anymore, and I was afraid that I was dying, and I knew that I had so much on my "bucket list" left to do. I did not want to leave my friends, but I knew that they would be my friends no matter what..... so I had to at least try. I decided to visit Steamboat over Christmas and see how I liked it. I dreamed of mountains, snow, music, new friends, better health, and peace. 

So, I bought two c.d's on impulse.... Joshua James and Alexi Murdoch's soundtrack for Away We Go.  I have absolutely NO explanation for why I did this. I have always been impulsive and I DO believe in wishes and fairy-tails. And somehow I believed that listening to these songs would help me in some way. For the past two years the Avett Brothers, Gillian Welch, Greensky Bluegrass, Mumford and Sons, OCM, Patty Griffin, The Weepies, Frightened Rabbit, Kings of Leon, Railroad Earth,  and so many more have been the soundtrack to my cancer and my life. So I really felt like I need these two new c.d's for my road-trip from Fort Worth to Steamboat. They would be the new music for my new journey. 

I listened to that music THE WHOLE trip here. Over and over. I think I even wrote some of the lyrics down as my Face Book status. It seemed like at every point on my trip that I needed to hear something, I heard it. And as I drove up Rabbit Ears Pass, I heard this:

Feel I'm on the verge of some great trail
Where I'm finally in my place

And I took it as truth.

I just pulled those two c.d's out again. I have been playing them everyday since the snow has started up..... and I am remembering all of the feelings that I had a year ago. I was so sad to leave my friends. And at the same time I was SOOOOO happy to be moving forward and doing something for me. To me, these songs that are on these c.d's will always remind me of change and re-birth. Hope, fear, sadness, and hope. Promise for a future. I have hope that I have a promise a future. I listen to my future in music everyday.