Sunday, December 30, 2012

Southern Girl In The Duck Pit

The Big Man loves to Duck Hunt - Some Southern Women love to Duck Hunt.  Not this girl, I can't kill an animal. 
The two youngest sons usually Duck Hunt with the Big Man. This year one is in Afghanistan and the other one is working lots of extra hours.
There isn't many things that I ask the Big Man not to do but, hunting alone is one of those things.
He has asthma and arthritis. If he fell or has an asthma attack he might not be able to get help.
So - This Texas Raised Southern Girl put her Big Girl Pants on and went to the Duck Pit.
It is amazing how many layers of cloths you can get under a large size pair of pants.  Dressed and ready - I forgot that Duck hunting means mud and water in 20 degree weather.
As we made our way by four-wheeler down the muddy road to the water - and then across the water to the Duck Pit. I realized just what I had agreed too.
After - removing the trap from the blind, handing the Blind Bag, gun (only 1, I am a bystander), and my little bag (extra blanket) to the Big Man in the pit - walking through the water and mud (lots of mud) and setting up the mojo duck, then carefully following the Big Man's instructions camouflaging the four-wheeler.  Finally - I can descend into "The Duck Pit"
Poor Man, I know he was wishing the boys were with him and not this crazy women with her missed matched camouflage attire,  cellphone, camera, blanket, and Nook. 
Much to my surprise I settled right in. The time alone with the Big Man was great.
I think I could have taken a nap. 
But, then you have to undo everything you did to get in the blind - uncamoflauge the four-wheeler, hand all the stuff out of the pit and load the four-wheeler,cover the pit with the tarp,  retrieve the mojo duck, make your way back across the water to the muddy road and finally to the truck - the glorious warm truck.
Wait, you have to unload the four-wheeler and put the four-wheeler on the trailer. Now - the glorious warm truck. 
Oh what us Southern Girls will do for our Man
~ Connie ~


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Chrissy is Safe Tonight

It was 27 degrees this morning and snowing - I decided today was the day for Chrissy's life to change.
  We dressed warmly and headed over to the abandoned house where Chrissy has been living.  As you can see from the picture above the garage door is locked open about a foot off the ground.  I laid on my belly partially under the door and called her - she didn't come.  Immediately I thought the cold must have finally got her.  The Big Man entered the house through the open front door.
Just as he opened the door she came out of the house into the garage.  She ran directly to me and licked me on the nose.  I scooped her up and headed to the truck.
She didn't fight, she didn't even struggle - it was like she just gave up.
We sat in the truck, while the Big Man searched the house for any puppies.
All the time I was holding her all I could think of is - How thankful I am that God has been with her. I promised her she will never spend another night cold, she will never be hungry again and I will do my best to keep her safe.
No puppies to be found - so we headed to see Dr. Cato (our family veterinarian).
She laid in my arms, occasionally looking out the window.
When we got to Dr. Cato's they asked for her name - Chrissy D. (December) Ash.
They asked what breed - who knows, list her as American.
She sat in my lap - patiently waiting for our turn to be seen.
Dr. Cato just smiled when he saw her - he did remind me that I have brought him dogs in worst shape. Considering Chrissy appears to have had a litter of puppies at some point (Dr. Cato doesn't think she is nursing) and there is no telling how long she has been on the street - her overall health is Good!
She is spending the night with Dr. Cato - I will pick her up before Church in the morning. She needed a bath and some treatment for her skin before I bring her home to meet the Ash Four-Legged Family
I am not sure yet what the future holds for our girl ~ I am hoping I can find her a fur-ever home where she can be the queen. This girl deserves a new and better life.
Check back tomorrow - I will tell you about my first trip to the Duck Pit (and no it isn't a restaurant).
~ Connie ~

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Meet Chrissy - Alone, Cold, Hungry, and Scared

I meet Chrissy on Christmas Eve - alone, scared, cold, and starving.  She appears to have puppies somewhere.  She and I spent an hour looking at each other. Me sitting on the cold mud her sitting on a grassy spot.  Cars passing by - my neighbors trying to figure out what I was doing.
Me throwing bread pieces and her eating them in one bite.  The Big Man went back to the house and got us  dog food. She was eating dog food till a vehicle stopped and she ran off.  I know I couldn't catch her, if she had puppies with the storm coming they would freeze to death.  I cried all the way home - thinking she would not survive the blizzard.

On Christmas day I went out twice to try to find her - I prayed each time for God to warp his hand around her and keep her warm and safe.

 I returned to work Wednesday.  I looked for her before and after work - I went to bed Wednesday night thinking she had died in the Blizzard.
On Thursday morning as I was pulling out of my drive way, I thought to myself, If I don't find her this morning she is probably dead.
Guess who was sitting at the end of my road - Chrissy. 

She stopped when I called her name - for a moment her ears perked up.  I had food in my car. She ate all of it on the side of the road while I petted her head.  My neighbors driving by. I am sure they are thinking I am crazy for standing in freezing weather feeding a stray dog.
For those of you who do not know, I am married to one of the best men in the world. I called him and he brought me more dog food.  Chrissy followed me to the end of the road (me in heels and dressed slacks) to an abandoned house - where I can feed her off the road. 
She eats and lets me pet her.  Still no puppies to be seen.
So tonight, on my way home, I got called back to the hospital.  I called the Big Man and he took food to the abandoned  house so that Chrissy could find it.
Guess What?  Chrissy was waiting on dinner - The Big Man was able to pet her while she ate.
What is next?
I am not sure how this will end - Chrissy is an awesome Mom, she has braved the cold and her fears to feed her babies.  She has graciously taken what food I have to offer.  Her eyes occassionally shine when you talk to her -
Tomorrow - The Big Man and I are going to search around the abandon house for puppies. 
For now, praying that God continues to keep Chrissy warm and safe. I can keep her feed.
Please pray with me - No animal should be hungry, scared and cold.
~ Connie ~


Monday, December 17, 2012

Peace Be With You - Speaking From My Heart

Woo Hoo!  It is Monday.   Each day is a new beginning.  I am praying for a better week than last week and telling my Love Ones - how much they mean to me just in-case tomorrow never comes.

My Family - Christmas 2011
If you are an Arkansas Women Bloggers (AWB) follower then you know that today is our day to reveal our ornaments… but… you have to wait a little longer to see mine.  Tonight I want to talk about something that has touched my heart. 


I have spent the last few days like most of America, thinking about the school shooting in CT and praying for comfort and strength for all those touched by this horrible event.  The loss of innocent lives makes me sad and mad.

I read one blog this weekend that touched my heart.  I feel like I need to share… …
The Anarchist Soccer Mom writes about her life as a mother with a child (13 year-old) who suffers from a mental illness.  Soccer Mom describes how the American Mental Health Care system is broken.

As a nurse I see the broken system everyday – Parents and spouse present to the emergency room with a love one out-of-control.  They need help but we have limited or no resources to offer them.  We give the same suggestions that Soccer Mom hears… “There are no beds at the acute care mental health facility you will have to take them home”, “we can call the police”, “just give them their meds they will get better.”
It is hard to turn these patients and families away – but the suggestions are true. There are never open beds for mental health patients.  If the patient would take their meds the situation might get better (of course they often need financial resources to pay for meds).  We can call the police and they will arrest the patient, the family might get a couple of hours of peace.
I do not have an answer to the issue…but I feel challenged to learn more, to try to do more.  I encourage each American to do the same.  If you have never been exposed to the horrors and heartbreak the families of the mentally ill face read Soccer Mom’s post, you heart will be touched.

Check back tomorrow - maybe I will show you my new ornament.
~ Connie ~

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Addicted to Social Media

Home from work by 6 tonight - discussion questions posted for students while I talked with a friend on the phone.  I am working hard on managing my time. 

I still find myself addicted to things that waste my time - facebook, twitter and pinterest.
At first I said facebook and pinterest were diversions.  When I felt overwhelmed and needed a break from reality - I headed over to facebook, twitter or pinterest.
So, today I made the first step to overcoming my addiction - Hi my name is Connie and I am addicted to social media.  (Wow that wasn't as hard as I thought it would be).

Being a schedule freak - I am offically scheduling 15 minutes a day for either pinterest or facebook.  No more.... I will not miss my life watching others live their lives on facebook, twitter, or pinterest.

One positive note - look what I found on  Pinterest -  Homemade dog treats with only 4 ingredients.

~ Connie ~

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fur-Children Are Great Teachers

For those of you who don’t know, after raising 6 adult children I have become the proud mother to 13 four-legged fur-children.  Each is very special to me and my husband.  They are all rescues. 
What does it mean to be a rescue – it means that as some point in their life, their person decided they couldn’t or wouldn’t keep them.   Being rescued,  to a four-legged child, means never being alone, hungry, or scared.
Life has become more interesting since they came to live with us.  There is always puppy kisses to be had, tails wagging and of course a few blankets to wash and puppy hair to vacuum, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
After a long day at work (hospital) I was grading discussion questions (online teaching) when I started watching the “little kids” playing.  The little kids include MeMe, Paco Joe, Clinnie, Clowie, Sir Duke and Shasha Grace (160lb Mastiff – she doesn’t realize she isn’t a Chihuahua).  
They play hard – they love hard. 
I am thinking I need to remember what my four-legged fur-children have taught me.
~ Connie ~

Monday, December 10, 2012

Where I am Supposed to Be

Good Morning ~ this is going to be a busy week. Implementing a new computer system at work, clinic board meeting, grant for the clinic to finish up and the usual family stuff.

I made a decision last week ~ I am going back to school.

Margaret Thatcher says "YouTube have to fight a battle more than once to win"

Well I might have failed once but I will not fail again. I have prayed for God to show me his plan. I know this vision isn't coming in a word document - but last week at the clinic I found calmness among the chaos and strength among those in need. This is where I am supposed to be.

Hoping everyone has a great week!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 03, 2012

Starting off Right

Monday - walk /run 3 miles with Amy Jo

Amy Jo can't play with her 12 brothers and sisters. She wants to fight. So, she gets exercise with Mon.

Meet Amy Jo Ash~ I am a rescue. Mom found me in the Interstate. I can't see at night. Mom doesn't know anything about my past. I get mad quickly so I don't get to play with my brothers or sisters. But, I get to spend time with Mom and Dad.

Happy Monday
Connie and Amy

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Create Something Different

The weekend has come to an end -
I had a great time tonight, we went on a hayride with our church through the Lights of the Delta. The lights were awesome and the kids on the ride were great fun.

I was reading a few blogs today and ran across the following statement on Simplfy101 ~ As with any change we create, action is key. You simply have to *do* something different to *create* something different.

Maybe this is what I need to do~ (Do) re-enroll in shcool and (create something differnt) a new schedule or a new plan for being successful.
~ Connie ~

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Failing isn't really failing

Every day I feel a little more in control of my life.  Failing and becoming ill felt bad, but the two events have a few positives.  I am slowing down and enjoying life more.  I am listening to my heart instead of my head. I am using my time for me instead of others.

According to Joyce Myers  "Happiness is not based on your circumstances, but on a decision you make".
I have had time to think this past week. Think about my goals and my life.  I found myself one day last week aware of the fact that I had not thought about God and his plan for me.  Because I believe that God has a plan for each of us - my failure was in his plan.

Did failing mean I should not be pursing my Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) certificate?  Does it mean he wants me to be a better FNP?  What does it mean?

RunnerNewbie tweeted today " Time, patience, and perseverance will accomplish all things"

I am feeling enough control and healthy - it is time to start running again. RunnerNewbie tweeted today "you do not need to go fast to get benefits from jogging - it is how long you are moving that counts"

~ Tomorrow is a day to run ~
~ Connie ~

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gratitude getting in the way of my Goals?

Today is a great day ~ I am feeling rested and in control.  I am still wrestling with aligning my goals with my life.

As I was reading today I ran across a blog entry at Simplify101 - I love the blogs and articles at Simplify101, I have been reading Aby's blog for a couple of years. She is always upbeat and on target with advice for simplifying and organizing your life and home.

Today as I was reading the following passage jumped out at me:
The benefits of gratitude have been documented by others as well. In fact, according to an article in the November 2008 issue of Real Simple magazine, expressing gratitude gives you a sense of control plus it can improve your health and raise your self-esteem—all good stuff.

I think my issue has been a feel so thankful and grateful for everything I have that I feel obligated to give it all back.  Today I have come to a realization ~ If I give it all back, there is nothing left for me.
What do you keep for you?
~ Connie ~

Monday, November 26, 2012

How do you know you are living the life intended for you?

Monday is almost done ~ I am feeling better and more in control. 
I have not decided on how to restructure my life, but I know that God will show me his plan.
I found this quote today on pinterest - "Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life." 
Making a life is about defining what is important.  What is important to me?
My Family
Living the plan God has for me
Providing care for God's creatures (my four-legged children).
Clowie Bell - Rescued 2009

For me the issue is knowing what God's plan is for me. 
How do you know you are living the life you are intended to live?
~ Connie ~

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Life Has Been Out Of Control

Wow it doesn’t seem like it has been 5 weeks since I last posted ~ Life is great.  Well maybe not that great.

Sometimes too much gratefulness can lead to trouble.  Have you ever been stopped dead in your tracks and realized – I just crashed. Last week that happened to me.  I failed at something that means a lot to me and I became ill.  Failing is hard - I have never failed at anything.
I run on the belief that I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams.   Because of my many blessings, I not only work for a rural health care system, which means I wear two or three hats at one time, but I also teach nursing online, run a free health clinic, am working on completing a post-master’s degree in family practice, and I am an active volunteer in my community.  On top of all of this my husband ran a campaign and was elected to the Mississippi County Quorum Court. 
With all of these things going on at one time - I have been running on 3 – 5 hours of sleep a night, horrible food and no exercise.  So, this weekend I crashed – from exhaustion and a urinary tract infection.

This next week I will be in thoughtful consideration and prayer for direction.  I refuse to ever push myself to the point of crashing again.  I want time to enjoy life. I want to have time to run, practice yoga, scrapbook, trout fish and knit.... What do you do when you find your life out of control?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Finding Motivation or Time ~ Which is more important?

I can not see to find time to run or craft. Today I got to thinking, is it time I lack or motivation?

I have always heard that if you want something enough you will find a way to get it.

So, do I not want to be healthy? Not enjoy running? Am I not feeling creative?

How do you know is it me or is it me?
~ Connie ~

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Finding Motivation or Time ~ Which is more important?

I can not see to find time to run or craft. Today I got to thinking, is it time I lack or motivation?

I have always heard that if you want something enough you will find a way to get it.

So, do I not want to be healthy? Not enjoy running? Am I not feeling creative?

How do you know is it me or is it me?
~ Connie ~

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Eating Healthy - With No Time to Eat

This has been a long week - I have been covering as case manager at one hospital and coordinating the build for the implementation of a new electronic health record at the other hospital.  I also started my clinical rotation this week for the pediatric part of the family nurse practitioner program - oh and did I say I run a free health clinic, am training for a half-marathon, and I am teaching an online course for nursing (health assessment)...

I am not sure some days if I am coming or going.  There are mornings I have to ask the Big Man what day it is - but, all of this is good, I am blessed.

Eating healthy has been an issue with no time to prep or cook food.  I am tired of eating out.  Fast food has become a main stay in our diet. It is not healthy for the Big Man or for me.  I spent 30 minutes online looking for healthy recipes. It is amazing what is on the web. I found 5 I think we will eat that take no time to prep and a couple can be cooked in the crockpot.

This week I made an awesome Spinach, mushroom, feta crustless quiche.  We have been eating on it for a couple of days. Several Facebook Friends asked for the recipe, click  here Spinach, mushroom, feta crustless quiche for the recipe.
I used the crockpot today to make Chicken with beans and potatoes. This recipe made enough to freeze some for next week.  This recipe is healthy (I limited the salt and the potatoes). The Big Man Loved it.  I found it on the Taste of Home site.
Tonight I plan to make  pumpkin cupcakes (no icing). 
I found an asesome webiste  The recipes are  low fat, family-friendly, and  healthy.  I made these Pumpkin Cupcakes a few weeks ago and the Big Man loved them.. 
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
I hope you enjoy the recipes - let me know what you think

~ Connie ~



Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Letter "H" A-Z All About Me Challenge - Healthy

This week Love Kate’s A – Z Challenge, All About Me is focusing on the letter “H”

To me H is about being Healthy - physically and mentally healthy.  Healthy according to means, “possessing or enjoying good health; conducive to good health.
I try to live a healthy life-style.  I try to take care of the body, after all it is the only one I will have in this life.

I eat healthy – vegetables are the main stay in my diet. 
I know when my body needs rest – I sometimes have what I call is a down day. On these days I sleep all day.
The one area of my healthy lifestyle that I have not been faithful in is – exercise.  I love running but I have not had time in the last six months to run on a regularly.

I have lost my motivation. I say that because, even when my schedule was busy, in the past I would find time to run… morning, afternoon or night.  Now, I find myself thinking I never have time.
Love Kate’s challenge has given me an opportunity to re-evaluate my health. Now is as good as any day to make a new commitment. 

My goal this week is to run, walk, or ride my bike 3 days.

Stay tuned to see if I can keep my goal.
~ Connie ~
The Big Man said H stands for Happy.  Yes, I am happy

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The letter G - Grace. A to Z All About Me Challenge

This week on Love Kate, The A-Z All About Me Challenge we are using the letter G.
Of course I asked the Big Man, “If you could describe me with one word that begins with the letter G – what would it be”?

The BIg Man
He thought for a few minutes and said: Gorgeous, generous, and grace.  

As the weeks and letters have passed, I am consistently amazed that the Big Man sees me differently from how I see myself.  I wonder if others see me like the Big Man does, or does his love come with rose-colored glasses?  
I would never describe myself as gorgeous – Gorgeous is an adjective that is used to describe something; that is splendid or sumptuous in appearance.  At best I could be informally described as Gorgeous;  something that is extremely good, enjoyable, or pleasant. 
Generous – is an adjective used to describe someone as giving or sharing; large, abundant, ample, and / or something as rich or a strong flavor.
Grace, on the other hand is a noun.  Grace can be elegance or beauty.  It can be a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior (God’s Grace).  It can be mercy, clemency, or pardon.
My question to answer is – do these words describe me?
I am good, enjoyable and pleasant.  I have a big heart and I give freely. I give of my time, money, and talents daily.  I do this because of the Grace I have been given. I have received grace in my life, beyond my own belief.  I strive to everyday give or show God’s grace.      
How do you think others see you?  Can you see God's Grace in your life?                                        
~ Connie ~

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Preventing Danger ~ Do More

Do bad things happen because those who can intervene do nothing?  
A friend posted the picture below on Facebook – immediately I thought about all the dogs out on the street alone, cold and hungry.  It breaks my heart to think about my how scared my four-legged babies would be out on the street.  I can’t imagine how lonely they would feel.  I often wonder if those left by their owners on the street ever missing hearing their owner’s voice or hugs.

Those that know me know I have a hummingbird brain.  My thoughts move quickly so while I was thinking about my four-legged babies I started thinking about how short life is - how little time we have to make an impact.
Then I got to thinking about the Texas police officer that was killed by a shooter yesterday.  My husband spent 28 years putting on a uniform and a badge to protect and serve.  He never left the house with saying I love you. I never let him walk out the door without a kiss.  I never worried that he wasn’t going to come home, but I knew any day he might not come home.

Brazos County Constable Brian Bachmann got up yesterday morning put on his badge and went to work. He and his family never expected yesterday to be the last time they would see him, hug him, or hear his voice.
Over the last several weeks innocent people have lost their lives due to dangerous people.  Could the shooters in Aurora, Colorado, Oak Creek, Wisconsin, & Bryan, Texas have been stopped if someone had done something?  Did these shooting occur not because of evil but because of those who look on do nothing? Did someone see these shooters as disturbed, angry, depressed, suicidal or homicidal and do nothing?

Can we do more?
Can I do more?
~ Connie ~

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Letter F - A-Z All About Me Challenge

This week the letter F is the focus of the A – Z All about Me Challenge.   Of course I had to ask the big man - “If you could describe me with one word starting with the letter F, what would it be”?
His response: Fantastic!  I think he is in love.  But, he is right I am fantastic. 

I have raised six kids – three of them for a period of time as a single mother. I have earned my GED  followed by an associate degree, a bachelors degree, a master’s degree, all but a dissertation for a doctorate and now I have returned to school for a second master’s degree. 
I failed at track in high school but I have learned to run as an adult – I have finished a couple of 5ks and I am training for a half-marathon.

I have failed at one marriage but found the love of my life.  
I can grade papers, have a discussion with a child and watch a TV show all at the same time. 

I have a big heart – I live by the rule: to those that much is given, much is expected.  I run a free health clinic.  I volunteer with the Humane Society and the Red Cross.
I am the mother to 13 wonderful, almost perfect four-legged babies.
Oh – and, I am an excellent shot. I love to make my husband work hard to beat me at the shooting range.
I am fantastic –
~ Connie ~

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Finding motivation

I have not been consistent with posting on Training Thursday. My inconsistency in blogging goes hand in hand with my inconsistency in training. 

When my children were little, I thought – I will have time to be healthy when the kids were grown.  Well, the kids are grown.

When I worked shift work or 12 hours shifts, I thought– I will have time to be healthy when I have a Monday – Friday, 8 to 5 job.  Well, I have that job.

When I had to go to the gym to use the treadmill, I thought– If I had a treadmill at home I could use it every day and be healthy.  Well, I have a treadmill.

When it is cold or hot, I think – if my I could exercise inside where it is cooler or warmer,  I would be healthy.  Well, I can exercise inside. I have a free gym membership.

The being fat 24 hours a day isn’t working for me. 

I really have no one to blame.  Only more questions to answer.
How do I change my mindset?  How do I find my mojo?  Where is the motivation to put my running shoes?

I would love to hear from you - How do you find your mojo when you don't want to exercise? What motivates you to exercise?
~ Connie ~

Sunday, August 05, 2012

A-Z All About Me - E for Energetic

This week’s letter is E. Playing along with the A - Z All About Me Challenge at  Love Kate  has become a weekly game with my husband (the Big Man).

Every week I ask the Big Man, if you could describe me with one word that begins with the letter what would it be.  The week's letter is E, wwithout blinking an eye, he said, “energetic, you run hard and play hard”

It is funny he sees me as energetic, especially after last week.  By Friday afternoon I was exhausted not energetic.  I came home from work and took a nap.  I even got a nap on Saturday. Slowing down has given me an opportunity to reflect on how much energy I am expending on things that are important and on things that are not important.
According to Brian Tracy
Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.
I agree my energy flows from my thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values.

I  have come to the realizaiton that to maintain my energy I am going to have to start taking better care of myself. 
How do I take better care of myself? How do I maintain my Energy level?
8 hours of sleep
Regular exercise
Healthy Diet
Learning to say No
~ Connie ~