Saturday, July 7, 2012

Closed Doors and Open Windows

So much has happened it seems since my last post, most of them not fun. I'm going to skip that though because I want to close that chapter, I don't need to think about it. I have come to realize ever since I moved home, despite the hardships I've had over the last 9 months that life is a road and there are bound to be potholes, I guess I tried to swerve around the potholes and flew into the ditch for a while because I really struggled with just about everything. The beginning of June was seriously the lowest point in my life I feel like so much happened to stop me from getting back to my feet and even though I was already down I just kept getting kicks to make it worse. I got to the point where I felt like nothing I did no matter what it was was good enough for anyone and didn't see the point in trying anymore. Why try when its never good enough?

I found myself with a lot of spare time, and I thought to myself, am I going to let the decision of others and what they think and say destroy me so completely that I just want to give up? There has to be one thing in this world that I know I can do well. Something that I don't need someone to say hey that looks good or good job. Something I knew I had to find within myself. Something I knew with 100% confidence that if I started, if I did it, if I put everything I had into it - it would be amazing. So using a home program I designed my own cross stitch, got the supplies for it and got started on it. I can honestly say I haven't been this excited about something for a very long time. And it worked, this is something I don't need someone to tell me I do well because my work speaks for itself. It is one of the most incredible things I've ever done and even though it is only halfway done I am so pleased with how it looks. What I hadn't expected was how it would help me deal with my depression. Not only did it give me something to look forward to doing, it let me release my frustration, hurt, anger, and every other negative feeling that has been building up and festering for months. And it feels so good to release that - as well as feeling good about myself again.

Thanks to that, and with the support of my amazing family I know I'm out of the ditch again. I find joy in little things again. I've been on a cooking spree, much to my brother in laws expense since he is my guinea pig for these new recipes since we work at the same place now. Poor guy. But he's been a good sport about it. I've tried several new things. I made my first ever cheesecake. And a new kind of pie. I made a pretzel chocolate cookie my mom loves and today I made candy cookies with some of my favorite candies.

I'm finding myself more at peace and relaxed than I have been for a while and I'm thankful for every day I have. I know I never would've gotten this far without my family, my amazing friends, especially Chantel and Sarah. They have been big lifelines for me always letting me vent when I needed to, hearing me out and supporting me. And I know that I could always pray when I needed that support as well. Talking to the Lord was better than talking to a therapist. I don't need some stranger telling me how screwed up in the head I am. Or pumping me full of drugs. I believe in that saying. When God closes a door somewhere he opens a window. I found my window. And I'm not outside anymore.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Turning Point

Well I've been through a few rough patches over the last several months but I've had my good times too. December especially was a really rough month for me, it should have been good as my divorce was finalized and I got everything I wanted in my divorce. The judge pushed it faster for the emotional abuse and I have officially been divorced from Mike for a little over two months. Work was going well, at least so I thought, but on the last day before our Christmas break Joseph gave me a nasty shock telling me that he and Mindy had decided to let me go - but it was ok because he was giving me a Christmas bonus. I nodded my understanding, thanked him for the job, and left for the last time. I immediately called my old grooming teacher Crystal, who'd I'd already talked to about working over the Christmas break so I could earn a little extra money. She gave me a job, for which I was very grateful, so within five minutes of losing my job I had a new one. I went home but didn't keep it together long before I completely fell apart. Melinda, Brent and Molly were over for movie night but I just couldn't keep a happy face and retreated to my room after my mom had gotten me to confess what was wrong.

I could tell I was really worrying my mom over the next week or so, I didn't like to leave my room - and after a fight with my dad my mom found me determined to sleep in my car with the dogs and had to beg me to get me to go back in the house. I was starting to feel like I didn't belong anywhere and was once again seriously wondering what the point of trying was. Christmas had very little appeal for me and I wasn't looking forward to putting on a show for family and pretending I was happy when on the inside I felt like I was screaming.

I started my new job at Crystal's Dog Spa - now Crystal's Dog Spaw as she broke the business deal with her old partner and restarted the business on her own. I knew I had a lot to learn still, as did Crystal. I was terrified I was going to let my old grooming teacher down, I really didn't want to disappoint her and have her regret hiring me. And at first I was only working once or twice a week.

But after I'd been working there for a few weeks Crystal told me that she was going to move me up from back up groomer to her second groomer as I'd proved to be responsible, reliable, and dedicated. I've really liked working for Crystal - I've had my rough days, but I've continued to improve in my grooming and have gotten so many more compliments from both Crystal and her manager when she isn't there, Marci, that it has been a much more pleasant working enviornment for me. I feel like I am more appreciated where I am and I like that when I drive to work I don't have to keep driving around all day. Crystal also lets me take Jack and Priestly to work once a week so they can have a free bath. Jack loves going and playing with the toys in the playpen - but he's recently discovered that he's big enough he can jump out - so if I don't pick up the toy he drops for me he'll jump out and carry it over to me. Priestly loves going - until he realizes he's getting a bath. Then it isn't fun anymore. But I love taking them to work with me. Priestly just tends to sleep on Jack's back for most of the day - though he will bark at the dogs that come in.

One thing I really like about working for Crystal is she knows I'm doing my best - and with her tips and encouragment I've continued to improve. The other day I was halfway done on my last dog and Crystal had already finished - she left to ran a few errands then came back to see how I was doing and was very pleased with how my dog was looking. And yesterday the first teddy bear face I was doing on a dog who's owner had taken a pair of scissors too and made it look awful Marci told me it looked very cute and I'd done it all by myself. I can't say how satisfying it is to know that my work is improving. And I really enjoy working with Crystal again - we can laugh and joke and have a good time at work and sometimes if we are hungry when we are done at the same time we go out for dinner. I have been very blessed to have Crystal as a friend and teacher. She's been very good to me.

I am also very grateful for my parents who've been supportive and have helped me out more than I can even say over the past few months, helping me through the dark pit of depression I've fallen into. I still have my rough days, but I've reached a turning point. I'm getting there. I'm slowly crawling out and I know I'll get there.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Striking gold with a side order of laughter

So my favorite brother in law has told me that he is so happy I have the job I have now. He loves the stories I come home with, although Mindy was a little worried about that when I told her that he said that. She asked me what kind of stories I was telling them and I reassured her it was nothing too embarrassing. But hey what would the fun of being a groomer be if there weren't a few laughs along the way.
I was so happy my family, with the exception of dad because he had to work, got to meet Mindy and Joseph so now they know who I'm talking about when I tell them my stories. Everyone in my family liked them and I always have such a good time at work when I'm with them. I decided I'd better start writing some of these things down before I forget them.
Today for example started off kind of shaky. I haven't slept well in the past two days and I was tired. I did the first dog - a little Yorkie, very cute but not as cute as Priestly I have to stay loyal to the little jewel of my eye, Mindy worked on the van while I tried to wake myself up. But then to my surprise Mindy suddenly declared that she had forgotten her phone. Not moments later my phone rang, so I went to grab it from my purse and surprise surprise it was Joseph calling. He asked if he could speak to Mindy, so smirking I handed the phone to her. Joseph then informed her that she had forgotten her phone. As if she hadn't noticed. Snickering I went back to work while Mindy talked on my phone.
The second dog we did was a bear - a short-haired German Shepherd. That dog looked like a bear my goodness he was big. And he shed all over we could have made two small dogs with all the hair we brushed out of him. But he was rather cooperative so I won't complain about him. The groom went fairly fast but because he was so big and had so many clumps of loose hair it tooks us a while to brush them all out. But finally we did we both gave him a bath and while I was waiting for the last of the water to drain from the tub some hair got caught on the hair catcher and made a rather loud raspberry. But the funniest part about that was that it was completely quiet at the time the tub made that noise. Then Mindy and I both burst into fits of laughter. Mindy told me that she thought it had been me farting and had been surprised because I've never farted in front of her and I hadn't given her any warning whatsoever. However, when the raspberry sound that the tub made lasted longer than a normal fart would she realized it wasn't me making that sound. I would have been rolling around on the floor laughing if it hadn't been covered with hair. But the thought that she thought I was farting in front of her just really tickled me. We giggled about that the rest of the groom before heading to our third dog.
The third dog we did was a Shih Tzu. Mindy told me to do the teddy face so she could see what it looked like because I am going out on my own again tomorrow. So I worked on the teddy face while she worked on everything else - nothing really eventful happened, unfortunately, but we had some interesting conversations talking about the presentation she'd given for her class the day before, what I had done during my day off, and the up coming holidays. After we bathed and dried the Shih Tzu I went to work adding the finishing touches to the teddy face and when I told Mindy I was ready to inspect she didn't have one thing to touch up. I was thrilled and Mindy was so proud of me. I think if I had felt any higher I would have sprouted wings and flown away. Mindy is the toughest critic I've ever had and for her to say my face was perfect was such an amazing thing to hear. So we gave the dog back and headed to our next one.
The next one was a Labradoodle and he was HUGE! I've seen Labradoodles before but this one took the cake and the icing with it. Luckily we were only giving him a slight trim and brush and bath. Nothing really exciting happened during that groom either until after we'd bathed him and Mindy started to dry him. She left him in the tub to dry him and I watched after sweeping up the hair and clipping his nails. She was only halfway done and the tub was covered in black hair - so I smirked and told Mindy that she might have noticed I'd shaved my legs in the tub again. She laughed and told me she'd prefer that I shave my legs at home - I told her the reason there was so much hair in there was because I'd shaved my armpits too - she giggled about that for several mintues while more black hair flew off the dog and clung to the sides and basin of the tub.
The next dog we did a pug. Well, I think she was a pug she didn't have the squashed in face most pugs do. It was just another bath and brush. Mindy wanted to see how long it took me to do it. She said it should only take me twenty minutes... so I went to work while she watched. Twenty minutes later... and I was taking the dog back into the owner. Mindy was so thrilled.
The final dogs we did were an English Sheepdog, which Mindy had to shave bald because he was so matted, and a Shih Tzu who wasn't in much better condition. Mindy and I chatted a little about Tuesday when I had been out with Joseph and she mentioned the Schnauzer I had done who had tried to bite me every 5-10 seconds. He was a nasty little booger and I had muzzled him after he'd tried to bite me before I'd even touched him. I've learned by now that if a dog is acting aggressive it is better to be safe than sorry. I'm glad I did as he was going to bite me to really get me rather than bite me to warn me. But Joseph had called me Wednesday afternoon to see if I remembered anything growing on the Schnazuer's but - a lump. I told him I had and that I'd pointed it to him when I'd been grooming him. Joseph realized I'd pointed it out to him and said he felt really stupid because when the Schnazuer's concerned owner called to inquire about it Joseph told her he didn't know anything about it - but I had shown it to him and he had seen it. So he had to call her back and tell her that he really had seen it. Those last two dogs were such a mess they took us a while to finish. The English Sheepdog kept farting and stinking up the van and Mindy would cry out in disgust every time he did. I didn't know whether to laugh or keep my mouth shut so I wouldn't inhale more than I needed to of the disgusting fumes the dog was releasing so I opted to bite my lip and pretend I couldn't smell it. By the time we'd finished we were both tired and ready to call it a day.
Some of my favorite highlights of the day were the bathtubs funny noises, Mindy keep having to ask me if she could use my phone, Joseph calling my phone and asking me directly for Mindy, Mindy forgetting that she didn't have her phone and reaching for the GPS to call a customer, Mindy being proud of my grooming.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm Official

Well Mindy finally got around to updating the website and I am offically on the website. Mindy thought I was hilarious when she told me that today and I gave her a great big smile and told her Priestly was famous now because his picture was on her website. She had to laugh because I felt like that was so important to me. She said that people what to look at me and my entire profile is basically about myself but the first thing I thought about was Priestly. I guess it was funny but Priestly is my little pride and joy - he is such a sweetie.
And I am going out on my own officially for the first time tomorrow. I'm so excited to test my wings and see what I can do. Mindy told me that I was going to drive a little bit today so I could get used to the van. She forgot that I've driven it a couple times now - even on the freeway once. I think she had her hands clamped to the seat I usually sit on - or she wanted too. LOL. Not that I'm a crazy driver she gets car sick when she is sitting backwards so she was sitting sideways in the seat looking out through the windshield while I drove and told me where to go. She is so funny.
It made me laugh Saturday when Brent came over and told me that he was so happy I had this job because I came back with the most fantastic stories. I need to get a journal so I can write some of these things down so I'll never foget them. Even if Mindy cringes when I tell her what stories I tell - I can't help it. They are so funny.
If anyone wants to see the official website it is

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Note to self - losing temper is not a good thing

Man I don't know if it is just me or the stress I've been under or everything that has been going on in my life lately but I pretty much let a customer have it today. Although in all fairness she was rude first.

After spending an hour and a half grooming and brushing out her horribly matted dog we took it to the door, Joseph had already checked mine to make sure it looked good so I wasn't worried about it. But when she looked at him she said in the snootiest rudest voice I have ever heard "He is a mess!" I was shocked for a second then angry the next. She told me his face wasn't even clean. Now that wasn't true because I'd scrubbed it with the soap - problem is that the fur was stained and the shampoo won't take the staining out. So I told her that I had washed his face. I think she was just used to him being fluffy and sometimes our dogs are still a little wet. We don't have the battery power in the grooming vans to completely dry every dog. If you want it a little drier we will be happy to go back and dry it some more - otherwise we get it almost all the way dry and give it back. She then said "what happened to his face?" This dog had had eye crusties so bad they looked like marbles that needed to be cut out. She honestly seemed surprised by this. So I told her his eye crusties had to be cut out and that I had washed his face - I don't think I said it very nice though, probably not because she looked angry. She then told me his face was dirty and again I assured her it wasn't. I should have just bitten my tongue and agreed with her. So we took the dog back to the van and blow dried it some more so it was "fluffy" and did a little touch up job. When we took it back she was fine with how he looked but she was so angry with me. I have the feeling this is not the first time she's talked to a groomer like this. Especially since she never takes care of her dogs and that much is obvious. But again I shouldn't have said anything - I should have just agreed with her and told her she was right and asked what she wanted us to do to fix it instead of telling her that I had cleaned his face.

She then gave us the money and said that she normally tipped but because I was rude she wasn't going to. Now normally I don't say anything and even when she said that I bit my tongue because I was just being honest with her - and with as snotty as she was being I thought I was pretty polite with her. Still I have to remember that I have to keep my emotions way down. Despite the fact that she never brushes out her dogs and his tail alone took me thirty minutes to demat because all it was was a giant mat I should have known better. Ah... well guess I'm going to have learn my lesson.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Life As A Dog Groomer

I'd have to say in my short career as a dog groomer I have never been happier than I am right now with any other job and I have the most amazing people for my bosses. On top of them being patient but critical teachers, who are determined to make me the best groomer I can be they are also LDS members so I never have to worry about them saying things that will offend me or making me do something that will make me incredible. The Lord certainly knew what he was doing when he gave me this job. There hasn't been a day that has gone by that I haven't been grateful for it.
There are downsides of course, there are always downsides when you are working with something that can think for itself. Trying to avoid getting bitten when doing something like shaving pads or clipping nails is usually the downside. But I've only had one dog try to take a snap at me usually Joseph is the one who has to jump away to avoid getting bitten. I teased him about that a bit telling him he brought out the worst in every dog. He laughed and told me from now on he'd give me the mean dogs. Mindy almost got bit last week - but luckily she is pretty fast on the draw and the dog missed.
This week has been interesting. I learned how to put bows in a dog's hair and do it well. I did a little victory dance over that and it made Mindy laugh at my antics. I also learned not to hold my hand close to where the dog pees when you blow dry them otherwise you'll get pee all over your arm like Mindy did. I had a hard time keeping my face as stoic as possible and it only lasted for about 30 seconds before I busted up laughing. Mindy didn't find it as funny until I pointed out if it had been me that had been peed on she would have been laughing at me. She had to admit that I was right.
I have really learned a lot from Mindy and Joseph. And I'll continue to learn as I continue to groom. I really couldn't have asked for a better job or better people. I feel so blessed.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The New Me

I have to say it has been a long time since I have posted anything here. But what would I have really said about myself? I work, go to school, eat and sleep? Because that is basically all I was doing. I was working very hard to try and ensure that I'd have a job after I lost my job at the post office because one thing was certain I was going to lose my job. So I was going to school to learn how to be a dog groomer and I discovered I really loved grooming dogs. I found my dream job. Working with dogs all day without the horrors of seeing them torn open by a car or skateboard. For our final dog we had to do a Schnauzer and I was so terrified since I'd only done the cut once but the dog I groomed was named Teddy and she was such a sweetie that it made it much easier. And on my final written I scored 50/50 so passed my course and I am so glad I decided to take the risk and do it because I found something I love and something that'll give me job security for the rest of my life. As a graduation present Crystal (My grooming teacher) got specialized cupcakes made for me and my fellow student Kelly it was so fun. I still keep in contact with Crystal and we hope to get together sometime soon to catch up with everything.
Shortly after I graduated Mike had a stroke because he decided he could stop taking his blood thinner and I was stressed out of my mind because at the time I had no job, very little money, Mike was barely working, and we had no insurance. I wasn't sure how we were going to pay the hospital bill and no matter how hard I prayed it just seemed like hit after hit kept coming. I kept faith though that the Lord would help if I kept my faith in him.
Mike spent four days in the hospital and when he came home my dad, sister and brother-in-law Brent came over to give Mike a blessing. I spent the next three days catering to every one of Mike's wishes, making sure he was well cared for but realized quickly that he didn't appreciate anything I was doing. He started saying very rude things, demanding without being appreciative, and if I didn't do something fast enough he'd throw a temper tantrum or call his mom to tattle on me. After he fell asleep I'd have my cry so he wouldn't hear me and I prayed that the Lord would just let me die because I didn't feel like my life was worth living anymore. I felt trapped in a horrible relationship where my husband didn't appreciate anything I did, where he was always beating me down until I felt smaller than an ant, and nothing I did was good enough. I was so tired of carrying all the financial burdens and all the house work as well. I told the Lord that I needed help, that I couldn't do this on my own, that it felt like I was carrying too much and I'd break under the weight. And then I remembered one of my favorite poems in the whole wide world. "Footprints in the Sand." The very last line gave me comfort. "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you." I know that the Lord has been carrying me and helping me through the rough times. So I thanked him for the strength he has given me and prayed hard about what I should do and to please help me get a job.
The next day I was sending out applications and cover letters again, something I'd been doing for almost a month with no luck. I saw a dog grooming position available for K-9 Mobile Grooming so I sent my cover letter and resume. Twenty minutes later I got a call from Mindy. She gave me an over the phone interview and wanted me to come down and go on a trial grooming with her. So that Monday I went down and went grooming with her, she hired me that afternoon. I was so grateful. Not only did I get a job in the field I went to school for but it also would allow me to make more than double what I was making at the post office.
Mike called to see if I got the job and when I told him I did I could just hear him relax over the phone because he knew the financial responsibility of the family was once again off his shoulders and it made me realize something. He was never going to change. He is always going to sit back and let me take care of everything because he knows I will. His house will get cleaned, the bills will be paid, and his meals will be cooked because I take care of everything. Because of all the stress I've been under my body broke out into hives, when I told Mike he laughed, and my hives spread covering most of my body. I knew then what I had to do, my own health was in danger because of the stress and it wasn't handling it well, between the hives and my high blood pressure I knew if I kept this up the stress would end up killing me.
So I finally got up the courage and told Mike what I've been feeling for a very long time now and then told him I want a divorce. After that I packed up my backpack, grabbed Priestly and we went down to my parents. And I have to say this week has been the happiest I've been in almost two years. My stress levels have come down considerably. My blood pressure is getting under control again and over the past couple days my hives have really started to fade. I find I'm not so tense and because of that I'm more pleasant to be around. I've done things I've found enjoyable and I've found my love for life again. I told Mike he has three weeks to pack up and get out otherwise I'd take my name off the lease and he could handle paying the rent, the power, utilities, and gas bills by himself. I've been paying for everything and I'm not going to pay for it if I'm not living there. I talked to a long time family friend Sue and she said I could move in with her for less than half of what I'm paying now and that I'd be able to take Priestly with me. I have my whole family behind me to back me up and support me in this decision, and my friends are so relieved because from what they've seen and what I've told them they haven't liked how Mike has treated me.
He has beaten me down emotionally time and time again and I really had to step back and take a look at my life and realize that this isn't what I wanted. So I plan on getting my car paid off, and save up for a place of my own. Hopefully somewhere closer to work so I don't have a 40 minute drive to Orem every day. But I know that this decision is the best one I've made in over two years and it makes me so happy. I'm going to think of what I need first for a change since I haven't done that in two years. With Sue I'll still feel independent but I'll have a friend to live with who loves and cares about me but won't care if I feel like cooking dinner, who won't care if I want to go to my room and read. I have many amazing people in my life, my friends and my family, and I am so grateful for each and every one of them. They held me while I've cried, they've listened to what I've been through, and they've understood and respected my decision as well as supported me. I know with my family behind me I can get through anything. As hard as this will be I know it will be worth it. I'll be a much happier, much less stressed, much wiser, and more appreciative person. I'll be a new me and I'll be much better for it.