Dixie update


For those of you who are wondering how Dixie is doing, here’s a quick Dixie update.

She is craaazzyy. And cute. And cuddly. With a little bit more crazy mixed in. :).She’s got teeth like a piranha. She’s got a tail that can wag 90mph. She dances when she’s excited, which is most of the time. She’s just happy to be alive.

Her favourite pastimes are terrorising the half grown kitten in residence, as well as chewing on anything and everything she can find. I mean, anything. She has taken to even trying to chew on my clothes as I’m walking by. She will nip at my pants as she prances along beside me while I’m walking through the house. If I stop, she’ll reach up and grab on to my T-shirt and start a game of tug of war. If I’m working in the kitchen? The kitchen towel is a free-for-all if I accidentally let it get too close to her level. I basically have to decide how important that particular kitchen towel is, because her little piranha teeth are not letting go. I have caught her chewing on the cupboard doors, the baseboards, the dishwasher, my grandmother’s sewing machine stand, the couch, the refrigerator… nothing is safe from her. At least she is finally potty trained and I seriously thank God for that.

You should see her eyes light up when she’s outside and the chickens or guineas walk by. She starts to chase them but remembers she’s not supposed to, so she stops and follows them with great interest for awhile.

You should see our little foster boy’s eyes light up when he sees her. “Dixie!” he shouts with all the excitement that a 19 month old can muster. He absolutely adores her. Until she wants to chew on him too, and then we have to separate them.

Our two older dogs have agreed to live with her, although neither of them wants to play games with her like she so desperately desires. Our basset hound will occasionally acknowledge her, but the old lab completely ignores her, which isn’t easy to do. And she’s still small enough that the barn cats will swat at her as she walks by, if she tries anything too rambunctious.

All in all, Dixie is a puppy.  Plain and simple.  She’s adorable, frustrating, cute and cuddly, high maintenance… she is behaving exactly like what God made her to be at this point. She teaches my 17 year old responsibility while he learns how to take care of her. She teaches all of us to let loose and enjoy life a little more. She makes us laugh, and to sigh contentedly when she curls up next to us for a short peaceful nap.

If you haven’t considered getting a dog in awhile, consider it. Dogs are such great companions, and they bring so much joy and laughter into your life. That is, if you’re willing to go through the teething stage. That’s a growing time for everyone. :).

Here’s to Dixie, may she live long and well. With plenty of chew toys along the way. And here’s to our house, may it stay standing in the wake of her path.

Have a great day, everyone, and enjoy the cute and cuddly ones in your life, whoever or whatever they may be.

                          Nurse Ames, RN

Puppies, babies, and springtime, Oh MY!

Hey, everyone, today I’m taking a break from the weighty matters that sometimes fry my brain. Today is absolutely nothing about nursing and all about a Dixie update. That’s more fun anyway, right? 🙂 You’d love her if you could meet her. She has stolen all of our hearts, along with a few of the foster baby’s toys, the cat’s bed, and a few shoes. She’d chew on your fingers if she could, or play tug-of-war, or trot all over the backyard with you, checking out the smells and sounds. She’s a small, wiggly, black-and-white bundle of pure puppy love.

And my foster baby, who is just as adorable in his own way, has fallen hook, line, and sinker for Dixie. He literally has stars in his eyes when he gets to hold her and play with her. Cuteness factor overload!!

Daddy Duty

Speaking of babies, my daughter and I visited Lake Hefner on our way home from an appointment today. While visiting the lighthouse, we found one serious daddy on duty. Mom and her eggs on her nearby nest were well-protected!

My beautiful daughter Hannah

And because it’s springtime on the farm, I’ll share a couple of other spring pics that make my heart happy. Fall will always be my favourite season, but spring is a close second!

Spring is a season of renewal, hope, and change. I hope wherever you are, your spring is blooming beautifully, and full of life and love.

Dixie and my Day Off


Spring is at its finest today. The daisies and yellowbells are in full bloom, the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and a gentle breeze is blowing the curtains at my window.  And most importantly? It’s my day off!  I rose with the morning sun–as always, the Oklahoma sunrise is breathtaking, and it gives fresh inspiration for the day.   Today is state testing for my youngest in middle school.  He has requested hash browns for breakfast.  So I make a quick but delicious breakfast of hashbrowns, farm fresh eggs, and juice.   Trust me, I don’t do this every morning, but it’s my day off and he has made a special request.  I pop in VeggieTales for our foster child to watch while everyone readies for school and work. I then kiss and hug everyone and watch them go out the door. After the door closes behind the last one, I throw my hands up in the air and twirl around in a circle -“Woo-hoo! What do I do now?”  I have a whole day to myself with no commitments, only minimal housework, and a beautiful spring day to rejuvenate my soul.  So I proceed to do exactly that. 

Because that’s what it’s all about.  Health and well-being are not solely physical in nature.  Our mental state of health is as much a part of our overall wellbeing as the physical aspect.  What is one of the number one causes of nursing shortages? Burnout.  Has been for years.  We as nurses often take care of everyone else first and ourselves last.  This goes directly against everything we’ve been taught–we all know the drill on an airplane–“Put the oxygen mask on yourself before placing it on those around you.”  And yet in real life, we often do the opposite.  We pour all our energy, to the point of ongoing fatigue, into those around us.  We rarely leave time left over just for ourselves to pursue our own hobbies, quests and quiet times. It is in that environment that burnout creeps in.  Where our mental health lags as our mind and soul cry “Enough! What about me?!” 

So, on this rare luxurious day off, I spend my time meandering through several projects, working in the garden, taking a quick nap, reading a book, giving treats to my chickens…you get my drift.  Whatever I felt like doing, I did.  And my soul inside of me stretched and went “Ahhh…This is more like it.”  And I could feel myself relaxing and destressing the longer the day went on.  And now school is out and my 17 year old’s grinning face pops up in the front door window.  He opens the front door carefully to show me what he is holding.  A wiggly, squirmy, fluffy bundle of floppy puppy ears, pink tongue, and a short, wagging tail. Dixie has arrived!  Its his birthday this week, and he has been waiting on this puppy for six weeks.  He is ecstatic. He’s my quiet, dependable child, so his ear-to-ear grin speaks volumes to my heart.  So he plays with Dixie and shows her around her new home while I cook supper for the incoming masses.  Which would only be my sweet hubby, my daughter who is home from college for the weekend, my middle-schooler, and our adorable foster child.   But they can put away a lot of food! 🙂  Soon everyone arrives and it’s almost time to eat.  But first, introductions must be made. Everyone quickly falls in love with Dixie, but the squeals of joy and laughter from our 19 month-old foster baby help rejuvenate my soul a little more.  For he is simply enchanted with the wiggly wonders of a small puppy.  The look on his face is priceless as he hugs her as hard as he can before she wiggles loose and escapes.  Finally, we sit down to eat together around the table, another rarity in today’s fast-paced world.  We eat fried fish that was caught on a fishing trip by the boys last year, steamed veggies and a large garden salad.  It tastes delicious, made more so by our precious family time.  We talk, we laugh, we tell old jokes and stories, we giggle over earlier memories of when the kids were growing up.  My mother’s heart is thankful for the bounty at my table this evening–all my family is present, the food is good, and the memories are even better.  Soon however, as do all good things, our evening draws to an end.  The puppy is placed in her kennel, the foster baby in his crib, and my other kiddos do a few other odds and ends chores.  Soon I will ready for bed, knowing I have another long 12 hour day ahead of me in the ER tomorrow.  But I don’t dread it like I sometimes do.  I have worked out many emotional knots and kinks today while I took time to unwind.  I feel much more content and less stressed in general.  Did I accomplish great things today on my day off? Well, I guess that depends on how you look at it.  Achieving and maintaining good mental health is definitely a goal for everyone to strive towards.  Today, I took time out of my busy schedule to do just that.  And I even found a new friend in the process.  Welcome to our world, little Dixie!

                     Nurse Ames, RN