Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Salt in the Wound

I have been staring at this blank page for a while; I can't figure out how to put into words what I'm feeling. We all have a story to tell. Some stories are harder than others. How do you cope when you lose the very thing that was helping you deal with how damaged you are? How do you tell a story that not only left you with a jagged, gaping hole in your heart, but also hashed open an old, still-healing wound? You know the kind that I'm talking about; it's that wound that took forever just to scab over and has just barely reached that stage of the flat, shiny scar. It's the wound that is so fragile that it seems like just enough pressure will split it back open.

This is my wound.

Sadie was my dog. She was my rock, my solace. She was much more than "just a dog." Sadie was a special addition to our family. Many of you don't know the reason that I had her in an apartment that didn't allow pets. She was a certified, papered, companion animal. Being present at her euthanasia was the most difficult thing that I've ever done. I held her as her life literally slipped away. I pressed my face against hers and sobbed uncontrollably as I clung to the scruff of her neck. I made sounds that shouldn't even be humanly possible. I clutched her collar in my hand as I left without her, emptiness overwhelming. Losing her left me reminiscing. Losing her was the salt in the wound.

I went back to the beginning.

When I was 10-years-old, I was sexually abused by a man that my family and I considered family. From the moment that I told my dad what was happening, I was whisked into a frenzy of police interviews and court dates. I was branded. I was a victim, and some considered me an instigator and said that I was lying or that I had asked for what happened to me. That's a lot of emotional trauma for a 10-year-old to endure. I suffer(ed) from anxiety, night terrors, and bouts of depression.  I was placed in individual therapy, which I attended for an hour every Thursday. Eventually, I "graduated" to group therapy, which I attended every week. After a matter of a few months, the funding ran out. We were faced with several options: pay for therapy out-of-pocket, see a doctor so that I could be medicated, or look into a companion animal. The idea of a dog was joyous. What child doesn't want a puppy?!

One night, we stopped at Mark's Ark on a whim. We were just going in to look at the puppies. I remember walking over and seeing this tiny dog, about the size of a chihuahua, with ears the size of satellite dishes on her head. I fell in love at first sight. I asked to hold her, and the rest is history. Sadie Ann came home with us that night. You would be surprised at how therapeutic it is to train and care for a puppy. She was the distraction that I so desperately needed and the nonjudgmental, loving being that I could pour my heart out to without the slightest hesitation. She listened to me unceasingly and tilted her head intermittently at the sounds of certain words. I formed a special bond with her. Even though I still hold that she loved my mom the most, she was always right there next to me if I was hurt or upset. She could always tell, and she wouldn't leave my side. She was able to comfort me more in her silence than any person could with words.

I struggled with the fact that I would have to leave her at home while attending college. I knew that it was for the best. Home was home for her. Moving her would have put an unnecessary strain on both of us. That's the reason that I chose to leave her with my family when I married and moved out. It was just better to keep her home. She had cataracts in both of her eyes, and I knew that she couldn't hear as well as she used to, but she would still come greet me whenever I visited home. We had a special kind of bond. It was a love/hate relationship. She drove me crazy most of the time, but, my word, I loved that dog. When she left, she took a piece of me with her. My heart literally ached for well over a day. Just when I thought that I couldn't cry anymore, my eyes held a thousand tears. In time, the raw edges will be smoothed, but I will always have a hole that only she could fill. There will always be that empty feeling when I return home to visit and she's not there to greet me or lounging in her favorite chair. I will still struggle with the events that took place some 13 years ago, but I will do so now knowing that I was not alone during my darkest times. Sadie didn't just enrich my life as most dogs do. She saved it.

"My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet."

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Piddle Puddles and No Solution...

No cleaning solution, that is!  In my last post, I told you all about the awesome $1 Handy Shammy from Dollar Tree as a reusable cleaning pad for the Swiffer WetJet. I, Cherish Anderson, am in love.  With the WetJet.  I use it ALL the time around the house!  This leads me to my current post.  There's only so much cleaning solution in those little bottles, and the refills are not cheap.  So, I set out on the internet in search of a way to open the bottle to put my own cleaning solution in.  Of course Swiffer doesn't want people refilling the bottles, because they'll lose money that way, but I knew there was a way to get it off.  I found an awesome tutorial on Youtube.  You can pretty much find anything on Youtube.  I must give credit where credit is due, so here's the video.

So, carefully stick the cap of the bottle into boiling water for ten seconds.  Use a dish towel to twist the cap off.  It worked like a charm!

I decided to fill mine with white vinegar diluted with a little bit of water.  It's known for its disinfecting and deodorizing qualities.  I twisted the cap back on and popped it right back into the Swiffer.  I cleaned up the floors.  They sparkle!  Once it dried, it didn't smell like vinegar anymore.  In fact, it didn't smell like anything, which is just the way I like it.  I'm also not afraid to use it on the floor and let Sprocket go in there after.  It's just vinegar, after all, so it won't hurt anything.  Awesome!  Way cheaper than going out and buying the refills.  I'm not sure how many times you can refill the bottle, but if it works a second time, I'll be sure to let you know!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Piddle Puddles and a Handy Shammy

Guess what!  We got a puppy!  He's a pug.  We (I) named him Sprocket.  He's adorable.  As you know, puppies are a lot of work.  Sometimes, they have accidents in the house.  We've been training Sprocket to go potty in the bathroom just in case he can't hold it and we're not home to take him outside.  He has piddle pads, but he misses more often than he makes it on the pad.

A few months ago, we decided to get a Swiffer WetJet.  It's pretty awesome!  It's way easier than mopping on hands and knees, and you don't have to move a mop and bucket of water to each place that needs to be mopped.  As you can imagine, with piddle puddles on the bathroom floor, I've been Swiffering a lot more often than I used to.  The refill packs are a little bit too expensive for my frugal tastes.  While perusing the Dollar Tree a few days ago, I stumbled upon perhaps one of the greatest finds ever: the Handy Shammy.

I though to myself, "Hmm.  I wonder if that would stick to the WetJet.  It's only $1, and if it doesn't, I can still use it around the house."  I decided not to pick it up at the moment.  After cleaning up several more puddles, I asked my husband if he would go back to Dollar Tree and pick one up.  I cut it to fit the Swiffer.  Guess what.  It stuck!  

The Shammy towels are big enough to cut two pads for the WetJet.  Bryce purchased two of them.  I LOVE them!  They absorb the cleaning solution really well, and they pick up more dirt than the original WetJet pads.  The best part about them is that you can throw them in the washer and reuse them!  Wash them in warm water with no fabric softener.  Lay them out to dry.  The directions are right on the packaging.  They're more durable than microfiber cloth, too.  So, there you have it, $2 for a total of four reusable WetJet pads.  Every thrifty bone in my body rejoices!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Spit Happens

Annabelle learned how to make spit bubbles.  As you may already know, this is a valuable skill for every 11-week-old.  This is what we do with our Friday nights, and we wouldn't change a thing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Plights of a Stay-at-Home Mom

 I have been blessed.  I have a beautiful baby girl, and an amazing husband.  He works so hard to provide for our family.  Because of him, I've been able to stay at home with our baby to tend to her needs and watch her grow.  Even though I wouldn't change a thing, I do miss him terribly while he's away.  When I worked outside of my home, I still missed him, but there weren't constant reminders that he was away.  At home, it feels a little empty.  Anyway, enough of this.  I'll be a blubbering idiot if I keep going.  I'll just share a song.  I can't wait for the end of the day to come.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Stroll

Today was such a beautiful day!  We decided to take advantage of the lovely weather, so we packed up the diaper bag and went for a walk.  It's only 1.3 miles from our house to Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Baby Belle enjoyed the ride there so much that she took a snooze.  We didn't stop and smell any roses.  We just trekked over.

She spent some time with Grandpa Phil.  She also played with Aunt Meg and Grandma Terci, but we didn't get any pictures.  We will next time!

We had a lovely time on the walk home...

...and then a neighbor tried to start her car.  Yikes!

I can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday than with family.

Sock it to Me

Yesterday, I grew up just a little bit more.  Do you know what I did?

Guess!  Come on, just GUESS!

Alright.  I'll tell you.  I matched my socks.  Yes, every single sock is now with its "proper" mate.  Any sock without a match went where all single socks go: in a sack, in the trash can.

My mother would be proud.