The Pillow Top and Memory Foam Mattress: A Step in the Right Direction

The world that we live in is a busy one. Oftentimes we are non-stop from the time we wake up in the morning, till the time we go to bed at night, only to wake up and do it again the next day. Despite this though, we still manage to find the time to accessorize our homes with all of the newest and most cutting edge refinements, oftentimes forgetting that in doing so, we are sacrificing the three basic things that we want the most- good food, safety and a good night’s rest. Sleep in particular is something that most people tend to sacrifice. While we all are willing to shell out whatever payment may be necessary for a massive new TV, oftentimes we aren’t willing to make that same investment in a quality mattress. ‘A mattress is a mattress.’ We tell ourselves, as we continue to sleep on the same old, unsupportive, and uncomfortable model that we have used for years…only to wake up the next morning dreading work, and wondering why we are so tired. This is where the pillow top mattress comes in.

It is available through both Serta and Simmons, and is increasing in popularity by the day. It has a multiple layers of cushioning across the top, thus allowing for the body itself to remain firm without compromising comfort. As a function of this design, both the Serta Pillowtop Mattress and the Simmons Pillowtop Mattress offer the best of both worlds in terms of support, and alignment and general comfort. These mattresses are generally available in a full range of sizes ranging from single and twin to California King. Both companies also produce a range of styles, and Serta even has models inspired and designed by Vera Wang.

While we cannot always control all of the elements necessary for happiness and satisfaction in life, what we do have control over is how much sleep we get, and the quality of that sleep. If you are one of the many who are suffering unnecessarily because of it, then perhaps looking into one of these mattresses is a step in the right direction.

Enhance The Comfort With Twin Memory Foam Mattress

The twin memory foam mattress has emerged into the limelight mainly because of the relief it brings to a sore back or limb joints as the case may be. Some have even claimed that the therapeutic-like effects of lying on memory foams have led to increased sleep quality. Some people have been so conscious with their inner physical being that they even wear those detox foot patches while sleeping on memory foams for a fully refreshing sleep hours. Believe it or So what it is with twin memory foam mattresses, anyway? The answer lies on how the memory foam functions with respect to your body contour and weight while you are lying on it.

In a nutshell, the memory foam mattress has been claimed to be useful in relieving sore backs (for those having some back problems) and sore joints. This is probably due to the type of elastic foam used in its construction. The type of foam used in memory foam, usually petroleum based, is polyurethane in most cases. The mattress is then constructed in such a manner where the foam materials are segmented in cells. This makes every single foam cell’s movement independent with each other. This design makes the whole twin memory foam mattress adapt to your body contours from the head down to your toes making the body relaxed and feel some relief in the joints that may have become sore from an activity, injury or ailment.

However though, with the increasing awareness about environmental upkeep, petroleum based products have become the subject of ridicule in some cases. As such, many foam manufacturers have created memory foams with less amount of petroleum or foams with semi-organic or purely organic materials such as latex. Furthermore, there are some manufacturers who also make memory foam mattresses out of synthetic materials. But nonetheless, many people have agreed that the memory foams that produce the desired effects are those that are petroleum-based or have some traces of petroleum ingredients in the materials.

Currently, foam twin mattresses can be found in abundance in display rooms of various furniture stores in the locality and different cities across the country. Because of its immense popularity, many have been inclined to get one or make it the standard mattress for the bed frames that require a twin size mattress. In addition, manufacturers and vendors have already made their presence online making it very convenient to choose and buy the color and design of your choice. Depending on the model, thickness, brand and type of memory foam materials used (organic, petroleum-bases, synthetic) the prices can range from $200 up to $400.


I Might Move Down to Texas

I have been contemplating an option that the company has given me to relocate to a little town South of Houston and quite close to the Gulf Coast. I probably like that up to a point, at least the part where you have salt water fishing and girls in bikinis on the beaches of South Padre Island. Of course the weather down there is quite relentlessly hot from what I understand. The heat is unbearable much of the year and you have hurricanes and tornadoes as well. I have been looking at this website and trying to get a gauge on what the cost of living is going to be down there. That is a big factor in this decision.


Finally Spring is here!

A new year and a new look for my blog page.

What a long winter!! I have not posted in awhile. I have to say, it is so nice to see the warmer weather. As much as I enjoy winter, this year was a bit much for our area. Last weekend was in the 90’s and I nearly got heatstroke mowing the yard. Doing too much too soon in the heat made for a terrible agility class. Jethro helps me mow so he was awfully tired as well since we mowed AND trained both days. Note to self: it is my responsibility to remember that it does no good for either of us to overdo it in the heat.

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Rolex this year was pretty awful for most of the workers at all jumps this year. It POURED rain all morning and everyone was so cold and miserable that we did not take our group photo this year, just packed up and went home. But we will be there next year! A group photo from a previous year:

Fence judge family reunion

Two people in our group were sick as a result. One horse was euthanized due to taking a bad step in the mud, which could have happened to him anywhere at a canter with an old injury. Otherwise, no serious injuries but the CCI4* courses are getting tougher and tougher. It reminds me of the Olympics where the athletes are risking life and limb in events like gymnastics and ice skating for the drama of that extra spin, etc. Many think the course designers are creating for the audience for the excitement factor. It may backfire as more and more horses and riders are injured. I would like to see eventing strike a happy medium.

Looking forward to agility trials this summer. This time we will be better prepared for the heat!


“We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work” ― Thomas A. Edison

Weekends are generally when I mow the yard at my house. This chore has actually become less frustrating once I was willing to change my thinking about a few things. Like opportunities. The most important being I get to mow my yard because I have a yard. Difficult to remember when the temperature is 90+ degrees and the humidity is not too far from that. Still better than last summer when we got no rain and my yard just burned up and the weeds tried to take over like zombies. They just kept pushing on in. Zombie Summer. But today the weather is perfect. The sort of weather one waits for all summer. Cooler, drier, sunny, with a Munnings sky overhead.

Where do the dogs fit in? Opportunities. Yes, opportunities.

My neighbors on both sides have yappy dogs. Great opportunity to teach ‘leave it!!’ Yes, I AM more fun than fence running “but MOOOOMMMM, this is fun too!!”

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I admit that I am not always consistent with this since they are having fun and burning energy. Plus, Ziva becomes delirious with happiness while hopping along the fence line barking her head off. It took so long to get her to ‘happy’ that I forget that I am encouraging a bad habit.

And they are far from stupid. And far from deaf. They can hear a piece of kibble drop from the backyard during a UK basketball game but I can stand three feet from them and say “leave it!” with no response whatsoever. Until I realized that I DO need to tell them everything, that “down-stay” means “down-stay”. And that I DO mean it.

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Persistence has finally paid off. For the most part.

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Once they also realized ‘leave it’ was not forever, now they are much better at listening AND obeying, like Beltone came to visit one day while I was at work. Pleasing me is now winning more often than not. Has it been a frustrating, infuriating process? Hard work? Absolutely. But definitely worth it.

Keeping a glass is half full mentality is difficult and sometimes I just want to smack someone into next week when I hear or read something like this:

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
― Winston Churchill

Each opportunity for change is about perception. Change is hard but my mind can twist it into facing a horde of Klingons while holding a dicey light saber. Yea, ponder that for a moment.

 


The Asphalt Gods have been appeased yet again in Lexington

Oh joy, oh rapture, construction continues to be ongoing with the Citation Boulevard extension project behind my house. Each morning this summer at ZERO DARK THIRTY, the equipment rumbles in from the distance like an approaching thunderstorm.

Sunday has not always been sacrosanct due to the weather.

My Ziva has the same reaction to both forces of nature. I will find her in the hallway after I get up or next to me with her head on the pillow when a huge clap of thunder finally wakes me up. Jethro usually snores though it all,having been raised on a farm as a pup. My rescue girl is learning that there are rainbows after a storm, just in different areas of life. Like treats and hugs and the feeling of being safe and loved.

I mourn the loss of finding deer in my backyard, of finding out it is likely that the young buck, who jumped my new fence just so he could see what was on the other side, was shot only for his rack. Which was not that impressive. Done just because someone could, who was so ignorant they just left him behind the house. I was lucky; I did not see him; my neighbor said he reported it, but I am convinced one of his redneck buddies took him out. My other neighbor is sad because the den of foxes have disappeared, or at least moved further away. I have looked for the huge groundhog was the second neighbor to welcome me to the cul-de-sac. Cedar Mill Charlie has moved on. The moles have moved into my backyard with a vengeance and I just don’t have the heart to drive them out.

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They keep Ziva busy. Once morning I was blessed with the gift she left one morning on the back porch. Very dead. Perfectly intact, not a mark on him. I miss the hawk that landed on the fence—thunk!–one morning. He GLARED at me, his grumpy self wanting to know why I had put the fence in.

My greatest joy is that the birds have remained. I still see and hear a great variety. Even the redwing blackbirds have stayed to snack and gossip in the early mornings. They are good company and the best entertainment in the winter. Feeding them has helped quite a bit with that and it is a wonderful hobby. Naturally, the lone squirrel has settled in since there is a handy food source. We have Masterson Station Park close by, where Jethro can imagine he is King of all he surveys.

But fall is approaching and so is the daily loss of early morning light. The crew is now arriving later since the sunrise is too. They are missing more days due to the rain. I still can hear the coyotes at night, but the stars will be more difficult to see when the lights are turned on. Citation is like the building of the Death Star or the menace of the Borg. Resistance is futile.

Such is the nature of ‘progress’.

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Let the Games Begin

Last week I finally filled out the premium, wrote the check (and signed it), took the BIG leap and mailed in our first agility trial entry.

This important step on the rocky road to qualifications (Qs) is the culmination of frustration, procrastination, and finally, exhilaration. Often followed by lack of respiration and the need for medication, namely naproxen or ibuprofen. And a large raspberry-mango Cooler from Culver’s.

It is all worth it to see the joy on Jethro’s face as he runs the course. Naturally, he rarely makes mistakes, any of those being mostly handler error. He is so patient with me. He will gleefully refuse to let Terry or Leo show me something with him. “NO! Mom has to do it until SHE gets it right!” Smarty pants.

I have seen many variations on a theme expressed by people at the trials via their T-shirts. “great agility dog, too bad about the handler”.

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By watching and listening to others, I am learning that the challenges of this sport are never-ending. That the opportunities to bond with our dogs through each tunnel and chute are limitless if we just allow ourselves to be like our dogs, absolutely in the moment and filled with the exuberance and sheer joy of just BEING. My journey to this point has been filled with many mistakes and Jethro has survived all of them. The miracle is that he still loves me unconditionally, no matter what.

So, I am in Kroger tonight already making a mental, really mental, list of what to bring to our first adventure. Not a bad plan since the trial is not until the middle of October. One thing is for certain, my t-shirt will look some thing like this:

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Dogs will fill you with joy and gratitude. They will fill the spaces in your heart you did not know were empty. Dogs will also keep you humble.


Modern Family

The Labor Day holiday weekend is about to begin. In my mind, I have a list as long as Hadrian’s Wall of stuff to do. And my mind can make this list just as insurmountable. At any rate, that’s how it feels. The fact is, I have learned to write things down, checking each task off the list as I go. Much more satisfying. The DCAA Agility Trial is also this weekend I Louisville and I plan to take the dogs at least one day for crate training.

image4-e1409315903835Great plans, you say? But not for long. Because, as ‘they’ say, make a plan and God laughs. Why? Because I have kids. They may be four-legged and have fur, but they are every bit my children, fiercely so.

My cats and dogs are quite intuitive at knowing when I really need to be left alone for just a few minutes. When they want outside, seconds later they want back inside. IN OR OUT!!!!! Bless their hearts, they don’t want me to miss anything. Then Chessie and Gabby (cats) will play hiss and spit. The game is to get Mom to squawk, because they sleep most of the day while I am at work. Outside, while trying to mow, Jethro will sometimes march along to make sure I am doing it right, but digging for moles and/or eating stuff I don’t want to think about is more the thing to do.

image15Right now, this blog post is being finished in the bathroom since head nudges and whining and ‘the stare’ don’t help. I can hear them outside the door, worrying that I may need help or they might miss something. I am sure other dogs do this, but not with such dogged (could not resist), determined, dedication. To be loved this much is such a gift.

So, to all the people out there who have rug rats, crumb snatchers, curtain climbers,  carpet sharks, etc. stop telling furbaby parents that “we don’t know anything about having kids”.


THOUGHTS ABOUT MY DAD

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MY DAD

Dad, seldom present,
rarely capable, yet he
did the best he could.

My aunt has a framed needlepoint on her wall that says “Anyone can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a Dad.” It’s a sad thing to admit, but I have no memory of celebrating Father’s Day when I was growing up.

 

zorrothermoslunchboxI am part of the baby boomer generation, the oldest of five children, all girls. We were raised in a traditional Catholic family, went to Catholic school. Mom would fix us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on toast for breakfast, which were carried in our lunch boxes and eaten at our desks after Mass and before class. That Zorro lunch box, complete with thermos filled with Campbell’s tomato soup, still brings back happy memories. Wherever it may be. Probably on Ebay.

Dad went to work, or we thought he did. Mom stayed at home to raise the children, at least until it became painfully obvious that he was not employable. We ate dinner together each night. No television, books or cell phones, — thank God– were allowed at the table. We learned how to have conversations, and how to interact with family on a daily basis. With mixed results. Being of Irish and German extraction, generally one could expect lots of hard-headed arguing and certainly some shouting. In the long term, I think eating dinner together, having that simple routine in our lives, was one of the few things that kept us from becoming totally uncivilized. We were also blessed with the gift of receiving a good education and to have come from a family that valued it.

beaver_the_black_eye_1My Dad was not home much, but he did join us at the table for dinner upon occasion, which usually left all of us stiff with apprehension. We tiptoed through the nightmares of holidays. Dad was an active alcoholic, in and out of AA, still doing things his way, and one of the brightest people I’ve ever met.

Rages were always anticipated, we were always hypervigilant, and knew nothing different. Loads of drama and chaos came with him, but my Mom gave as good as she got and all five of us were stuck either watching the show or becoming bit players on the stage. My point being, Dad was so smart, he was too smart to get the fact that he was dying a slow and painful death and his disease was affecting everyone else around him. That’s not really true. He just wasn’t ready to admit defeat, to say he couldn’t do something and he did what he wanted until the bitter, lonely end.

panchoandciscoIt was very painful to even think of him for a very long time. I was scared to death of him for years, but was also the only one of my siblings fortunate to have spent time with him as a child when he wasn’t drinking. Misty, mixed-up memories. Dad had nicknames for us, mine was ‘Peanut’ since I was a preemie. He had no son so I filled that role. Dad taught me how to shoot and to have respect for firearms. He took me to riding lessons just to aggravate my Mom. He had hunting dogs and I participated in that. Somewhat. At least in terms of caring for them which I now know was convenient for him. No instruction involved, yet lots of criticism when I didn’t do it right. Repeating an old pattern, because he simply didn’t know how to teach, how to be a Dad.

But there is one particular memory. A cold, grey, snowy Thanksgiving morning. Hearing Dad getting ready to leave and talking him into taking me along. Rarely do I experience a Thanksgiving anymore without the memory of that morning years ago, the air cold and crisp, our breath like quicksilver mare’s tails. Feet crunching in snow now sparkling like crystal when the sun finally appears. The dog running happily in front of us, ever hopeful, anxious to flush out that first pheasant. It is a positive memory, something to focus on, being outside with nature, the dogs. Being with my dad. The dogs are still my link with him today.

And the apples didn’t fall far from the tree. For alcoholism is a family disease. We certainly learned how to contribute our share of drama as children. I asked my Dad on more than one occasion when were ‘moving to the ranch.’ He must have thought I’d been hatched or that the milkman was responsible. Then again, probably not since he knew who my parents were. What he didn’t know was that Zorro, Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger, even Pancho and Cisco, had replaced him at some level as father figures. Doing good, catching the bad guys. So sad. Of course, there were the horses. I am still horse mad.

 

lonerangerSeveral of us in the family, including myself, are members of AA. We know today that life is tough, but drinking doesn’t help a thing and makes any problem worse. We know today that we have something bigger than us that sustains us, teaches us faith, friends that lend us their support. We have regained hope that was lost. Today we are blessed by the Grace of God that we don’t have to live the way we used to. In misery, in fear. My sister told me she asked Dad one time when he was in a period of not drinking, why he could’t stay sober. He apparently had a moment of clarity and told her the truth. “It was my thinking, honey.”

 

Just as simple as that. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know for myself that I have wasted countless energy and time trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, that I have worried about things that have never happened, that I have let to many people, places and things rent too much space in my head. And that rent is not worth the price of my serenity much less my sobriety anymore.

Coming to terms with my Dad took a very long time. The anger and fear slowly dissapated as I got sober and realized why he struggled. Not a thing I could do. He was my point man, showed me I had a choice, to continue on with my life as is, or make the changes necessary to move forward. To learn how to live. I did get to tell him I loved him before he died and he told me the same. It helped both of us find peace. I was not there when he went into the hospital and I was told he asked for me. I had made the decision to go out of town that weekend. No one knew he wasn’t coming back out. I still sometimes feel bad about that, but know today that he understood.


THE DOG ATE IT

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Came out this morning to check on my Kentucky Derby day project and found one of my rose bushes missing; it was in pieces around the yard. So, I’ve found a new use for tomato cages. Not that they will really do any good, but it made me feel better.The CSR at J & P said she’d replace it free of charge even though the’dog ate it’ (Jethro) wasn’t covered by the guarantee. Once she stopped laughing. She said she had never heard that one before and wanted to know what kind of dog I had.

Jethro was chewing enthusiastically on a twig last night and sneaking looks at me like he was getting away with something since he knows I don’t really care for him to do that. I should have known….

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Of course, we know who DIDN’T do it

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Ziva still likes to supervise from afar. She does not like either the mower or the tiller so was probably counting on them reappearing. Jethro, on the other hand, doesn’t want to miss a thing, will follow me around while I mow and get as close as he can to the tiller. And was apparently sizing up the bush that looked the most likely candidate for plucking. Yours truly was apparently paying way too much attention to gardening. Jethro gets credit for grit and determination since the rose bush, named ‘Sunny Days’, wasn’t thornless. A good laugh was much appreciated on a dreary Monday since it’s been raining steadily now for 2-3 days.

Staying positive over things like this is a huge change in behavior for me. Don’t get me wrong, I can still work hard on having a bad day if I so choose. I just try not to wallow in it for as long. In the past, this sort of thing was a golden opportunity to vent misplaced anger at the dog, the rose bush, the world, whatever. And a great excuse to get drunk. Problem was, I would wake up/come to feeling like crap but the rose bush would still need to be replaced. Calling and asking to have the rose replaced and being told they would do that for free probably wouldn’t have happened back then, either because of my poor attitude in general. Or if they did offer to replace it free of charge, that gift would not have been appreciated nearly as much as I do now.

God likes to hand out pop quizzes every so often. That’s life, one pop quiz at a time, sprinkled amongst ongoing term projects. I think I did pretty well on this one, and that is a good feeling.


Welcome to my world

They say that ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’. “They” being either Lao-Tzu or Confucius.  Who is credited with saying this is not important to me. What is important is that the quote illustrates my decision to stop procrastinating and finally start blogging on a regular basis.

The time has finally arrived to focus on what is important to ME. How I feel, what I believe, even what I think no matter how crazy those thoughts might be. To continue to learn, to grow, to ‘enlarge my spiritual condition’ which can take many forms and bring many surprises!

What is really important to me?

The Power of Spirit that lives in all of us. Even though I agree that one cannot believe in the Light without believeing in the Dark, I prefer to live as much as possible in what some call ‘the Sunlight of the Spirit’. I have been on this journey of recovery for sixteen years and it’s true for me that the longer I travel, the less I know. But I no longer have to do this alone.

In this and subsequent posts, meet the furry people that matter to me, who have shown me the Power of Unconditional Love:

JETHRO — He has forced me to step up, he is a Force of Nature.

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To say that Jethro has taught me much about myself would be an understatement. He is not afraid to show how much he loves his family members, he is not afraid to express his opinions on EVERYTHING, and he is not afraid to try and convince me do things the RIGHT way in a kind and loving manner. All of this is nearly the opposite of how we were taught to interact with the world growing up. One did NOT have opinions, one did NOT speak unless spoken to, and what one thought or felt was dismissed. Especially how one felt, because neither parent was able to cope with their own emotions, much less those of five children. Besides, we would be be stealing THEIR thunder.

Each furry member of my family is a living, breathing, sentient being with a soul. Each one has a different personality and each has taught me different things. Jethro is teaching me about boundaries, about standing up for myself and not being afraid to speak my mind. He is trying to teach me how to speak from the heart. Jethro is also teaching me how to have fun, to not take myself so seriously and knows that this task is not an easy one. But he is a German Shepherd and he will not give up on me even when I sometimes give up on myself.

I am blessed, one of the lucky ones. I am thankful every day that I can be aware of everything around me and sometimes even appreciate it. To be in this world and to walk this path is such a gift from the Universe, even on the days when I want to just pull the covers up over my head and isolate.

Jethro won’t let me do that for long.