It’s the first day of spring! While some of us may be rejoicing that warmer weather will soon be here, the rest of us are not looking forward to it — especially Southerners.
After living in North Carolina and now Georgia, I’ve experienced the extreme heat and humidity. It is not fun, and it can be very dangerous.
Typically from March to September are the months to be weary. This is when you start to hear the sad news about people leaving their pets or children in their cars and they die of heat illness. You may also hear of people working outside and suffering from heat strokes. Soldiers, construction workers and many others are at a disadvantage with their uniforms and heavy gear.
I can’t stress enough the importance of preparing for the heat before it gets here. I just wrote an article for my job regarding heat safety (information provided by the Fort Benning safety office) for Soldiers and the heat mitigation tools they use: Soldiers urged to prepare for upcoming heat. This can also be put into life outside the military. Please read the article by clicking here and educate yourself on how to keep yourself and others safe.
I wrote a blog post last year about keeping pets safe in the heat: Keep pets safe in extreme heat. Again, please read this article to prepare yourself, your family and pets before the heat and humidity arrive.
So, there have been a lot of things going on lately that have been keeping me extremely busy and unable to post, and a lack of any unique weather scenarios. With that said, I thought I would bring my audience up to date on my life and let you know where I stand today. (Side note:I apologize for the strange spacing in this post. I tried fixing it, but not sure why it won’t adjust!)
Before I get into details on updates, I wanted to mention that it has now been one year since we lost our dog, Toby. He was taken from us too soon due to a rare medical condition. In lieu of March Madness approaching us, I’m sharing this photo of him in his Syracuse gear. He always had fun cheering on our favorite teams with us! We miss him every single day, and we can’t wait to see him again.
Speaking of March Madness, Selection Sunday is today! My alma mater, St. Bonaventure, had a great basketball season — both men and women. The men lost to Davidson on Friday in the A10 conference tournament, but they should still be able to get a decent seed in the big dance. We found out about the women’s team on Monday. I can’t wait to watch; it’s my favorite time of the year!
Here are my updates:
Surgery. Last month, right after my last blog post, I had to get sinus surgery — a septoturbinoplasty. This put me out of work for awhile. I’ve always had issues with my allergies and sinuses, and never really had a day in my life without sinus pressure or pain. My left nostril was completely blocked.
Well, I can now say that I can fully breathe through my nose now — especially after getting my splints out. I never felt so much air! I have still been feeling a bit of sinus pressure, but that is normal for the first few months following surgery. I go back next week for a follow-up, and hopefully everything is good so I don’t need to have anything else done. I would share the hilarious and somewhat disgusting photos of my mask, splints, etc., but figured it may be too much for the blog 🙂
Etsy.I finally was able to dedicate time to my Etsy shop: MagicCatDesign. I offer graphic design services and various paper printables. I added some invitations and wall art, and I will be adding some more items very soon! I also created an Instagram account for the shop, and you can follow it at @MagicCatDesign. Below are some items available in the shop.
My job. Several things have happened at my current job as a Journalist for the Bayonet & Saber newspaper on Fort Benning. First, two of our writers recently left — Noelle, who had been there for over a year, got a job in Savannah and Anna, who had been there about a year, just moved to Fort Drum, New York (where we are going soon!) Since they left we got two new writers, Danielle and Kellie, and they are great! So I’ve been busy with taking extra work as well as training. It is definitely exhausting, but lots of fun … I am happy to work with them! 🙂
Second, one of my stories served as the lead story on www.army.mil for a few days! This was the first time one of my stories became top news. It was very exciting! You can read the story here: British and US troops collaborate in technology experiments.
Third, another first for me was designing the layout for the newspaper. Check it out below! It could use some work for the next time, but I’m learning!
Fourth, I had the pleasure of meeting Brigadier General Malcolm Frost, Chief of Public Affairs of the United States Army. Frost talked to Armor Basic Officer Leaders Course, Infantry Basic Officer Leaders Course and Maneuver Captains Career Course students about leadership and public affairs. He had a lot of great information! He explained how when sending the message of the Army to those outside the Army, it is important to talk about all the good the Army does for its Soldiers and families. He mentioned the misconceptions people have, such as it being a “last resort” for most Soldiers, and that the Army does not take care of families (but it very much does … more than any other employer, in my opinion.) He was an excellent speaker and really motivated all of us to help brand the Army. He also took some selfies with the Soldiers!
Fifth (last by not least), I had the opportunity to attend another Ranger School graduation. I covered a story on a fourth generation Ranger — very cool experience! That story will be on the www.BayonetandSaber.com website soon. Below is a slideshow of some pictures I took at the graduation. You can view more at www.fortbenningphotos.com — a website that is always updated with the happenings around Fort Benning. Markeith and Patrick are great photographers!
Creating an animal rescue business. I unfortunately can’t give too many details on this, but my friend, Sandy, and I are working on creating an organization that raises the awareness of animals in need. We still have a little while until we go live, but I’ll be sure to post updates as they come … stay tuned!
Moving. As I have mentioned in previous posts, we are soon moving to Fort Drum! Hours after work have been filled with trying to find places to live. Hopefully we find something soon!
Those are the updates on things that put a stop on my blogging lately. I hope to have more time to post with all that is going on!
In honor of Toby, always remember to keep your pets close. You never know when something can happen. I think of Toby and all my other pets every day, and the big impact they had on my life. It is a love like no other!
I hope everyone has a great Selection Sunday! Go Bonnies and Cuse!
It has been awhile since I have been able to write a lot on here. Life has been a little rough. We lost our angel of a dog, Toby. It was very unexpected as he had a lung lobe torsion which came quickly out of nowhere. He was about to go into surgery, but he went into cardiac arrest before they could do anything. They were unable to revive him. It was, and still is, such a shocking and terrible feeling. My fiancé is deployed so that has made it even harder. He couldn’t be there to say goodbye.
Toby was our first dog together. He was a rescue from a local shelter. He was extremely abused by his previous owner and needed a lot of help. He had come such a long way. It is terrible he is gone. He deserved to live so much longer. Our other dog, Scrappy, has been very depressed. He misses his brother. We know it’ll never get easier to miss him; we have lost so many pets over the years. We can’t wait until we see our Toby again.
Toby really was an angel. Everyone knew that. Now Toby is up there giving us this beautiful sky tonight. We know he is looking down on us!
Please honor Toby by spreading awareness about lung lobe torsions and animal abuse. Although the torsion is rare, someone can be saved from knowing what it is.