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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query baz. Sort by date Show all posts

Five simple things


The last two weeks has been a bit odd for us. We've been a house without Baz Swells and we miss him dearly. Last week I didn't post a "Five simple things" because I was just too upset to even bring myself to think of anything good that week brought. I spent most of the time from October 1-October 8 just in disbelief and grieving so incredibly much for my sweet Baz. I sort of tortured myself and would wake up in the morning, before getting out of bed, and go back through my pictures of Baz from the day he died- the moment before they injected him, after he was gone, and just cry so hard. I slept with his blanket, which is still hanging over the back of the headboard. I found a towel in the bottom of the dirty clothes basket the other day that smelled like him and I broke down again. It's painful. I was in denial for a few days that he was even gone. Sort of like a mental coping mechanism, I guess. I still miss him terribly. Literally terribly. My heart is in pain and I am waiting desperately for the veterinary office to contact me when his ashes are ready to be picked up. I want him back with us so that I can have some sort of closeness with him again. 16 years and nine months is almost two decades with your animal. Seems like he lived a long time, but to us, it just wasn't long enough.

We are getting a little better with accepting the fact that he is gone, but the pain still hangs around our house. We still break down when we all start talking about him and the things we know he would love. We will see, or feel, or smell signs of him still lingering around in some areas of the house. I found a spot near the washing machine where he had peed in the house without us knowing. If he was alive I would have taken that for granted and punished him, but now that he is gone, I didn't mind cleaning it up and I cried the whole time doing it. It's crazy how much we take little things for granted. It's just dog pee, right? Unfortunately, I won't ever clean up after him again and that's the pain that is lingering. He was a great dog, and I can't stress enough how wonderful he truly was. I promised I wouldn't make this "Friday things" about sad stuff, we really did have a good week, but if you get a moment, please read the blog post I made in honor of our lovely Baz Swells Happy here. It's my way of letting everyone know what kind of dog he was and how he impacted our lives for almost 17 years.

We received his paw prints in the mail a few days back, and they were much needed. We are still waiting on his ashes and I hope that I will be a lot better once we get them. Slowly we've been seeing signs of him little-by-little and here-and-there. I sometimes catch myself talking to people about him in the present tense. I remind myself that he is gone and my heart breaks all over again. I miss him and I know he misses us, but even if this rainbow we saw isn't him, he would desperately want us to know he is okay and he loves us. But I believe it was him and his subtle way of saying, "I love you all and I will see you again." 

Dogs' lives are too short.
Their only fault, really.
-Agnes Sligh Turnbull

So... Not sure how to transition into a normal "Friday things" post, but I will try. Since I didn't post last Friday we've done a few things over the past two weeks. Here are the things that made (the last two weeks) great!

1. Birthday

The Bean celebrated his birthday on September 30 and he turned 14. His birthday was overshadowed by the loss of Baz Swells, but we tried to make it as happy as we could. I reminded everyone that Baz was always happy no matter what and he wouldn't want us to be gloomy on such a good day. So we all bucked up and made the most of it. I even took the time to make him his favorite flavor of cake, strawberry cream. It took my mind off of things for a bit and in all honesty, we were happy.

For the curious, we used candles from Big Dipper Wax Works and the cake and icing mix are from Wholesome Chow (below). I highly recommend both.

2. Hike

The last weekend that Baz was still with us we took a hike on Fitton Green. The hike was just a day hike, but we all, including Baz Swells, had a fun time. Baz always loved to be off of his lease and in the woods hiking with us. It bothers me so much that he was still willing to go go go, but his body gave out on him way too soon. This hike was a fun one and it is one that I am glad we got to share with him. He had a blast and it definitely goes down in our memory books for time spent with Baz before he passed. -My dad said it best shortly after we lost Baz, "They give so much and they take so much." Isn't that the truth.

3. Ducks

Our duckies, Rosey and Happy, are growing. We loved watching them change over the past few weeks. We are hoping they will be good egg layers and we can give duck eggs a go. 

They were such cute ducklings and we are missing the curious, little ducks we brought home in a box. Watching them grow into bigger ducks and learning about us and the yard has been a treat too.

4. Boxes

Always have to give props to Yogi Surprise. The box above is the Lifestyle box for September. Unfortunatly, the first Lifestyle box I received was missing the book and the yoga mat spray had leaked a bit all over everything in the box. I contacted Yogi Surprise right away and they sent another one out promptly. No questions asked. I can not stress enough how great this company is. I love all of the products in each box and with us now eating more USDA Organic items we get to learn about new companies with each box. We love it! 
The Jewelry box from September. I posted this one a few Friday's back, but I thought I would post again with the Lifestyle box to keep them together. You can check out the previous post on this Jewelry box here. I wasn't too crazy about the Rawkin Raw Macaroon, but The Bean loved it, so win win.

Plus, we have really been enjoying the essential oil incense from Auromere. They have really come in handy when dealing with our recent loss. 

The Lifestyle box for October came this past Wednesday and I love it! As always, right? Such a great box filled with some wonderful items that we are going to use for sure!

The Jewelry box for October is below and I am loving the bracelet! I actually have it on right now while I type this post out. 
Grab yourself a Yogi Surprise box here and get on the mailing list for November. 

5. Stowaway Cosmetics

I have been on a hunt to find some smaller, less harsh, easy to pack cosmetics and I think I found them. With our journey to being more minimal it seemed I have an overabundance of makeup that I just wasn't using. Eye makeup from five years ago, lipstick from longer than that, and eye liner is shades I would never wear. I figured it was high time for a change. I ended up bagging up almost all of my makeup that I wasn't going to use and sent it to my sister in Arkansas. I figure she could either get some use out of some of it, or let my niece play with it a bit. That was the closest I could get to recycling it and not throwing it straight in the bin. 

Stowaway is a great company, or at least I like them so far. Their cosmetics come in sizes that you will actually use up and their products are made without the use of dangerous chemicals, cruelty free, gluten free, and almost 100% vegan. The best part of the company is, for every three products you use up you request of prepaid shipping label and send the empties back to be recycled. In return, Stowaway gives you $5 back for future purchases. I will update once I've used mine pictured above for awhile. If you're looking for a change in pace with your makeup routine, give them a try.

If you want to try a new recipe this weekend check out my post on Organic Ranch Potatoes here. They are delicious! Plus, enjoy my new section at the top of the blog about USDA Organic options available. It will contain recipes that are geared around USDA Organic foods and at the bottom of the page it will show products that we recommend that are USDA Organic. I hope you take a moment and look it over.

-A quick thought: "The business of life is the acquisition of memories. In the end, that's all there is." -Mr. Carson  Downton Abbey: Episode #4.4" (2013)

Have a great weekend and happy Friday the thirteenth!

Five simple things (Baz Swells Happy)


Usually my "Five simple things" are about the good things throughout the past week and what great things made the week awesome. This week, however, isn't about that at all, or could it be?

I always try to lean toward the positive in life and look for things to help make bad situations easier to handle, but I am struggling today to put all of that into focus to where I can find a positive.

Yesterday we had a tough, hard, difficult-and all the words describing pained-decision. It was the hardest thing in the world to me, so far, and I say that without regret. Our beloved Baz Happy fell down the top section of our stairs yesterday morning and hit the landing area to the next set of stairs. He had slept upstairs with Skylar the night before. The kitten we adopted last December startled him at the top of the stairs, by batting his tail, he was wagging in excitement for the day. He turned suddenly from being startled and lost his footing on the top step. He didn't come rolling down the stairs, but rather fell sideways onto the first step and slid down the remaining five stairs. The first step he hit sideways on his bad hip and fractured his femur bone. We didn't know the extent of his injuries, but we were hoping for the best. Maybe a knee out of joint, or his hip bruised really bad, but nothing prepared us for what we were told.

I wasn't ready for the news we were given. I don't think any of us were, really. You go into the vet's office each time with an older dog hoping for the best, but always knowing that there could come a visit that isn't what you want to hear. Before we took him in, I put him outside in the yard to see if he could bare some pressure on the leg at all in hopes that it was just a bad sprain, or bruise that could be fixed in no time and we would be bringing him right back home that day. Baz did end up peeing and even took a small poo without baring pressure on the injured leg. I had high hopes that since he did those two things, that it would be a simple injury and I could nurse him back to health, like I have done many times before. I always took care of him and he knew it. I was his person, and he was my friend, but I couldn't fix this. I didn't even know how to try to fix it and I have gone two days now punishing myself for not being smart enough to fix him. I know it's not my fault, but part of my grieving has to be some self-blame before I can move on. When we took him into the veterinarian she looked him over and did remark about his age, 16 years and nine months, and told us that if it is broken, there is nothing we can do because surgery is not an option for him at this point. I braced myself still hoping for the best and when she came back with the x-ray it was much worse than we expected. Bone cancer. Osteosarcoma, to be exact. And, it was aggressive. I had no idea. I went numb knowing that my sweet, loving, friend was not coming back home with us that day. The bone cancer had eaten up so much of his bad leg where the break happened and the bone was literally rotted away and cancer was destroying my pal.

I felt helpless and I still do even after the fact. When you lose a pet to something that you can't repair, or help, does the feeling ever really go away? I'm going to bet on the answer and say no. It won't ever leave me knowing that he died from something I couldn't fix. The broken femur was repairable, maybe even fixable in the long run, but the bone cancer couldn't be repaired. And, it gutted me knowing this.

Baz never let on that he was in pain. He never showed signs of failure. Even with his old hip injury from a car hitting him 14 years ago, he never let on that he was dying on the inside from cancer. He had a heart murmur and hip dysplasia, and we saw where he was slowing down, but never anything more than what we were told to expect with older dogs. I felt like I had failed him. He was there for me through a lot of things and I personally felt like I failed him. We knew the decision to put him to sleep was already decided for us before we even said "okay." The moment of doing it is something that I will never accept completely. I feel like I let him down. The image I had of him when this moment came, the moment he would leave us, wasn't anything like what happened. I imagined being at home with him, cuddled up, being there with him, while he made the decision to go on his terms. I had the image of that so embedded in my head that this moment didn't seem real. I couldn't believe that it was happening. But, it did. And, now he is gone. He left us the same way he came, unexpected, but so full of love. He had such dignity and love as he passed and he has torn my heart out in the process.


Each member of our family, all three of us, had a different relationship with Baz. I was here with him, day in and day out. I wiped his eyes out when they were matted or watered, I cleaned him up after he peed on himself, I gave him his baths, I massaged his hips and spine area, I rubbed shea butter on his rough paws when they needed it, I put sunblock on his ears so he wouldn't burn, I trimmed his fur when it was matted, I brushed his teeth, I cuddled with him when he was cold, I washed his Mickey Mouse blanket when it was soiled, I put his Razorback sweater on him when he was cold, and put on his rain coat when it was raining. And the best part of it all, he loved me for loving him.

We can't help but remember some of the fun, crazy, and amazing things Baz gave us. Him standing at Cape Kiwanda in the sand with his sweater on, showing us his big smile on his face that he always had just being with us on our many road trips, the move from Arkansas to Oregon, and the many other things, places, and adventures we went on with him in tow. He loved being with us. Road trips we've taken with him and how he would look at us with a look to just say, "thank you for bringing me." I won't be able to forget those times with him anytime soon and my grieving process will last a long time for him. As he aged, his hip began to bother him more and more, and before long he became a special needs dog. I was okay with it, as long as I could prolong his pain and life just a bit longer. And, I did my best. I made him happy. A huge chunk of my time was for him. Now, I don't know how to change to the new normal. I hope eventually the ache in my heart and mind is less, but right now, it's almost as if there's that missing piece in my life that I can't seem to find. His bed, dinner plate, sweater, Mickey Mouse blanket, rain coat, collar, bandanna, leash, dog house-with his name on it, all of his many dog tags we've made him over the years, his folder with all of his medical records, and his pillow will sit on the dresser for now. I will put them away, or shift them to Hardy before too long, but for right now, I like having them there to remind me that his presence is still here in some way.


It is only the day after, and as expected we are all grieving with so much pain. It's incredible how much hurt we can actually handle in life. To you, the reader, this dog is just that, a dog-To us, he was a member of our family that's been with us for 15 years. He was there the day we brought Skylar home from the hospital. He was the first animal to see him as a newborn. Those moments will live on in my memory forever. He was Skylar's buddy and watched him walk, talk, grow, and learn about life. Baz was there. He has always been there. He was more than "just a dog" to us. He was our pet, our companion, our loving Baz. And above all, he was our very best friend. He will be missed, wanted, needed, yearned for, and most of all loved forever by us and anyone else that had the pleasure and luck of meeting the infamous, free-spirited dog named, Baz Swells Happy.

When people who have never had a dog see dog owners mourn the loss of a pet, they probably think it is a bit of an overreaction. After all, it is “just a dog.” Fortunately, most are too polite to say this out loud. But those of us who have loved a dog know the truth: Your own pet is never "just a dog." -source
I'd love for you to see all of the great things we shared with Baz. There's a lot of posts on my blog about him and they are right here. If there is one thing you take away from this blog post it would be for me to tell you, and the rest of the world, what a great, loving, wonderful, cool, loyal, perfect, friend of a dog he truly was. He was. He most certainly was.

We'll see you later, old buddy.
Thank you for loving us.

-Life at a "Swell's" pace-
Baz Swells Happy (November 12, 2000 - September 28, 2017)

"Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ―Anatole France

“Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really.”― Agnes Sligh Turnbull

(Please consider donating in Baz's name to The National Canine Cancer Foundation. Your donation will go to help find a cure for cancers in dogs and especially cancer like Osteosarcoma. Thank you so much!)

-And not to make a sad post sadder, but we lost our goldfish, Gary, this morning. We have had Gary for about a year now and with the passing of Baz, it just seems like these past two days have been filled with pain. We still have Berry, the goldfish we got from the Strawberry Fair this past June, Harry and Larry, the sucker fish, but the tank will definitely be missing Gary. 

Sweet Meia

I feel like our hearts have been put through a test since last September. Not even being a year since we lost our beloved Baz and still not fully healed, we had another blow to our hearts. We let go of another one of our wonderful pets after almost 18 years.

Our sweet, loveable, little, Meia, left us on Thursday and we are all still emotionally numb. Last Friday I didn't really feel like posting for my "Five simple things" because most of the day we were all confused, hurt, and just lost. I felt like I kept hearing her little meow from under the bed and looking at her food bowls really broke my heart. The three of us took Friday off from everything and just used the day to grieve. The Mr. was able to go back to work on Saturday and keep his mind active, but The Bean and I really struggled. The Mr. said he took a few times throughout the day to excuse himself while he walked a hallway at work with tears in his eyes, or went to a back room at work to have a private moment to reflect on what great pets we've lost in less than a year and mourn for Meia.

Pets are such great companionship and Baz was all of our companions, but Meia was different. She was mainly my cat. She was Siamese/Persian and the runt of the litter she was born into. She was always so small and as The Mr. put it, "A forever kitten." I think that phrase defined her in a perfect way.

Meia was born in 2000 and came into our lives the same year in October. She was the only female in the bunch; With the other three being her brothers. My sister had lost her kitten, Max, a few months prior and had talked The Mr. and I into going with her to a pet store in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to find another kitty to help her get through her loss. We found the lucky foursome huddled in a corner of a cage at a pet shop in the local mall for $25 each. My sister talked The Mr. and I into taking two and she took the other two with the hopes that we could have them play together on random days and enjoy our kittens together. Unfortunately, after seperating the four they never bonded again together as a four and they were all really skittish in their behavior. Her two kittens, Cooper and Norman, became friends and our two kittens, Milo and Meia, became friends. Milo and Meia were colored the same, but were opposite in coloring. Milo was mostly dark gray with some white and Meia was mostly white with her dark gray ears and dark gray tail. She was definitely one of a kind in her coloring and personality.

Milo and Meia were such great cats over the next six years. They both would sit with me in our living room in Arkansas and eat cheese out of my hand and slowly they started trusting me and coming out slowly to socialize with us. We started letting them go outside more and Milo would climb trees, chase birds, and be a normal cat. Meia, on the other hand, never climbed a tree, was scared of birds, and would stay close to the porch and watch her brother play. She had moments where she would follow him through the woods, but shortly after she would come running back to the safety of the house. She wasn't a normal cat and we noticed as she got older in age, she always remained small like a kitten. Milo took care of her, though. Because of her being so tiny and not quite fully developed physically and mentally she needed him. He helped groom her, showed her where the food was, and also helped her in and out of the litter box from time to time. They were always together, running around together, and playing together, until Milo's kidney issues took him away from us in 2006. After Milo's passing Meia was lost. She didn't come out from under the bed for four days and she didn't know what to do after he was gone. It broke our hearts to see her grieving for him. I tried several attempts to get her to warm up to me and trust me again. I finally got her to come around after several days and she started opening up to me more, sleeping with me, and before long I became her person to help her get through life. 

She and I would sit together and just enjoy each other's company. She was such a great cat overall and over the years she started showing her great personality to The Mr. and The Bean. She would come into the kitchen when The Mr. was getting ready for work and talk to him while he made his lunch for the day. That is one thing Meia enjoyed, talking. She would sit and meow at us in different tones and tell us so many things.

She would sit in the windows waiting on all three of us, or one of us, when we left the house. She watched out for us and Baz. When we brought Hardy into the family she immediately showed him the first love. She loved other animals completely, but she thought dogs were great! She showed Baz and Hardy so much love throughout the years and they loved her in return. When Baz started getting sick she stuck by his side. She loved him and he loved her. She outlived all of her brothers in the end, with Milo passing first, then Norman passing in 2014, and Cooper following in 2016.


Meia was more than a cat, she was our sweet, little, friend that showed her love for us the older she got. She saw the arrival of The Bean and watched him grow up. She traveled from Arkansas to Oregon, moved with us all four times. We were hoping to have a full 20 years with her and have her take the next steps in our life with us. I don't feel that 17 years and nine months is enough for her, or any animal, and having her poor, little heart fail her in the end just isn't fair. Meia was one of a kind and deserved a better end to her wonderful life. She and Baz are missed so much by everyone that knew them both completely. Our family Christmas pictures won't be the same without her and the 17 years she graced our social media accounts, text messages, and paper photographs. Her presence is missed so much by us and our hearts are broken knowing she is gone. Pets give us so much in their life and in the end, letting go is the hardest part.

Her last picture on the way to the veterinarian to be euthanized. I enjoyed her cuddling with me and spending these last moments by her side. With years of loyalty a pet gives it is our duty to repay them and be with them until their final heartbeat.

We'll be seeing you, Meia.
Thank you for 17 years of loyalty and love.

Baby Meierz (October 20, 2000 - August 9, 2018)

The source of this is unknown, but this gravesite of "Dewey" sums up a lot of how I feel about my sweet, little Meia.

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” ― A.A. Milne