Friday, October 21, 2016

Small Business Appreciation

A lot of people (especially politicians) talk about small businesses.  They really are the bread and butter of our economy.  Many people are small businesspeople and you might not even realize it.  While corporations may seem like they are slowly taking over the world (including the veterinary world) there are still many small businesses that keep our economy going.  Your plumber, doctor, electrician, daycare provider are all important small businesses.

So I can safely say I never thought I would never be a small businesswoman.  I kind of fell into it.  Initially, it was intimidating, exciting and scary.  I may be pretty good at math, but accounting and tax law is a whole other world.

While my first official employment was for a university, and then corporate medicine, I've worked at (and with) many small businesses.  They actually say my line of work as a traveling veterinarian is a great way to work prior to starting your own clinic because you get to see what works (and doesn't) when owning a small business.

I have had many clients tell me I should open my own clinic.  While I can't say I ever thought about being a small businessperson prior to starting my current line of work, I've definitely thought I NEVER want to own my own clinic.  It's one thing to be a single person, taking on the risk (and rewards) of your own business.  It's quite another matter to be responsible for other people, and managing them.  Human resources is the single thing that would scare me away and providing healthcare for employees in this current climate would also scare me.

I grew up in a business environment, with my dad working with businesses and even having his own business.  I remember watching, as a small child that he kept his struggling business open, even at a monetary loss so that every last one of his employees could get a job before closing it down.  That type of experience leaves an impression.  First, it left an impression of what a wonderful man my father is, but also an impression that this is what separates small business owners from the big corporations.

Supporting small businesses is something I've become more aware of and whether its supporting an artist on Etsy, a vendor at a farmer's market, or just patronizing a local store, I try to consciously make a decision to support small businesses.  Please, as you consider where you do your shopping this season, consider patronizing more small businesses.  They improve our world, one job at a time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Acorn creativity

Sometimes it's tempting to just turn on a TV to entertain children.  Sometimes a parent has to get creative and choose the least destructive of destructive entertainment...

I found myself today with two rambunctious boys on a historic property.  How was I going to entertain them?  They didn't want to throw footballs, they basically wanted to throw rocks at anything they could.  They didn't want to run, talk or play other games, just throw rocks.  First, I transitioned them to- "if you need to throw something, throw acorns."  They struck me as somewhat less dangerous and less destructive than rock throwing-  about 30 minutes of acorn throwing (with brief periods of picking up and piling acorns) ensued.  I then started to wonder if the founding father who the property had belonged to ever sent his rambunctious grandchildren on a mission like this and perhaps that is where some of the mighty oak trees we saw got their start.  Just a thought...

And what did both boys want to thank Jesus for after a long day of adventure, visiting history and eating great food?  "Thank you Jesus, for throwing acorns" , they said simultaneously.

Friday, October 14, 2016

You know your a mom of a toddler when...

There could be lots of things parents could add to this list, but here are some of my unique experiences this week I wouldn't have appreciated without my little one.
  1. You reach into your purse for business cards and you pull out baseball cards.
  2. You're sitting on the floor holding a dog for a heartworm test at work and you realize you have a sparkly baseball sticker on your shoe.
  3. You go to an Imax movie about National Parks and instead of watching in awe at the bicycles jumping over rocks you're grateful your son didn't see it because he would try it at home.
  4. You're relieved when you talk with another mom about dropping balls and balancing things.  She said she's given up on not dropping them and just rejoices in how fast she can pick them up after they drop.
  5. You find yourself laughing at spilled milk.  My son insisted on his sippy cup from when he was a baby  He had bit some of the pieces off of the top and so it was leaky.  I told him that his decision was not a good choice.  He tried it out, got milk all over himself and said, "That WAS a bad choice."
  6. You find yourself explaining the presidential debate.  Even though my husband and I shelter him from most of the stuff going on, he overheard his Dad say, "ooh it's going to get ugly."  "What's going to get ugly Daddy?"  "Two people arguing tonight and they don't like each other and say mean things."  "oh, that is not nice, that is not nice at all!"

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

In the busyness of it all...

What a busy Holiday weekend!  Nothing like post-hurricane (from several hundred miles away) weather for flying a kite.  The last time we were able to get this kite to fly was on the day my husband proposed to me, post Hurricane Irene in 2011.

We've been busy around here, cleaning up for summer, getting ready for Fall and Winter.  Apparently my son loves apple cider and pumpkin toasters with frosting from Trader Joes.  As I told my husband, maybe they aren't the healthiest, but he's not allergic to them and I'd like to get him acquainted with the tastes of Fall.  I'd also like to get him to eat healthier, but apparently he keeps living out every kids dream.  He's allergic to vegetables.  We aren't sure exactly how many for real, but he's definitely allergic to peas and he's allergic to beans "sometimes".  Green beans, bush beans, black beans, kidney beans.  Do you realize how many things have beans in them?  Last night he had some type of reaction to red peppers.  Dear God, I don't know what I'm going to be able to get this kid to eat (My theory about the peppers is that he's not actually allergic to it, but he made such a production over eating them, I think he had a topical reaction).  We will give it another go tonight.  (He's had red peppers numerous times in so many things that an allergy to peppers is unlikely).

It's pumpkin time and clean up the yard time and I will have to get over and clean out our garden which started marvelously and then totally fizzled because the deer figured out how to get in.  I think next year, if I bring myself to do it again, I will get an inside lot, somewhat protected by others and with much stronger fencing.  You learn from your mistakes...

My son is now getting to the age where we can do "art projects" so that is exciting too.  So much going on around here, I will try to keep everyone posted.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Hurricane Matthew

My heart goes out to all those in Florida and the South Atlantic today and they are all in my prayers.

When you hear about people who have not evacuated, consider that some of these people are people who can't go to shelters because they are taking care of animals.  Dogs, cats and others that are not allowed in shelters and horses that are not only difficult to move, but regulations sometimes prevent movement.  To move a horse from Florida, they need a current Coggins test, which takes a veterinary visit and up to 30 days to get a health certificate.  Moving a horse doesn't simply involve getting it in a trailer and moving, it requires much more logistical planning.

I'm sure University of Florida Veterinary School will probably be offering ways to help the animals, I will keep everyone posted.  Not only do we need to worry about the movement of the hurricane with weather damage, scientists have also said there is a possibility the Zika mosquitoes can move north with the hurricane, as well as all the animals moving north (One of the un-publicized effects of Hurricane Katrina was a real increase of cases of Heartworm Disease in places of the country that had never really had it before because of all the animals rescued from the South and transported to other parts of the country).  I just received a notice that ScrewWorm, a tropical disease that effects dogs is now in the Florida Keys, hopefully this hurricane will not increase disease in either humans or animals.

Monday, October 3, 2016

You know you are a tired mommy when....

You know you are a tired mommy when....

1) You forget you put the keys in the refrigerator when you were trying to get your son's orange juice out.

2) You dress your child in clothes for the next day the night before to try to bypass the conflict in the morning of changing out of pajamas.  Your child thinks you are a cool mommy for letting them wear pajamas and other parents don't judge you because they can't tell.

3) You accidentally text your boss, "Remember to tell the teachers not to flush the toilet because it makes a scary noise."  Yes.  This is a true story.  Fortunately boss knew the mommy was so mortified, no response was made.

4) It's hard to stay awake even when you really want to do something and your spouse questions whether you need to talk to a doctor about narcolepsy.

5) You reach Starbucks Gold Star Status over the course of a month.  It's supposed to take a lot longer to do this.

6) You are completely honest with your hairstylist that absolutely nothing that requires any work will ever happen to your hair until the next time she sees you.  Forget the movie star haircut, you're looking for the brush and air dry haircut.

7) You challenge a co-worker on Fit Bit.  She wonders, "wow, why did you get 13,000 steps today, you must be doing something awesome."  Your response- "I'm chasing a toddler- Coming to work to wrestle with large dogs and angry cats is my idea of relaxation."

8) You make a peanut butter sandwich for your son for breakfast and save the "leftovers" for his lunch.

You may be a tired mommy, but even through the sleep deprivation, you know it's all worth it.  Some day, way too soon, your child will let you sleep in late in the morning and you will miss your "tired mommy" days.

Friday, September 30, 2016

The sin of ignoring Lazarus

I heard a great homily last week and it really was relevant to my previous post, "Outreach".  It is also a very relevant message to life.

If you see something, say something.  When we think of this, we often think of the Department of Homeland Security's messages to prevent disaster.  This great priest was the first who connected that saying to Luke 16: 19-31.  This is the Gospel reading where there was a poor man and a rich man.  The rich man lived opulently.  In today's world, he was probably a foodie who enjoyed Wines of the Month.  The poor man lived at his gate and "who would gladly have eaten the scraps that fell from the rich man's table."  The lack of charity the rich man had was apparent, but what was brought to my attention was that a portion of his seen was his lack of seeing and lack of saying.  What does this mean?

Even after the rich man ended up in the netherworld, he wasn't apologetic to poor Lazarus.  He didn't see the value or dignity in the poor man who was at the bosom of Abraham.
snapping fingers

True sin was not seeing Lazarus, not what he did in response, it was his lack of seeing Lazarus as a person and his lack of saying something.  Instead of humbling himself before Lazarus to ask for a sip of water to cool his tongue, he was snapping his fingers demanding that he come, like one hollers for a taxi.  The priest even went farther to say, perhaps Hell is a place where everyone snaps their fingers, demanding attention and part of Hell is that everyone is doing it and hollering so loudly that no one responds.  It is something I could imagine.  I certainly deal with entitled people who think of no one but themselves and demand others to break laws, or bend rules because "they are special."

The rich man though was still in the netherworld with no remorse.  He didn't see Lazarus as a person. How many times do we not "see" people, but "see" what they can do for us, or the role they are supposed to play to get us to the next step in our life.  How often do we utilize people as a way to further ourselves with no thought for them?  I'm sure I am not fully doing justice to the homily I heard, but I have pondered these thoughts over the week and wanted to share them, because in my 36 years of hearing this particular Bible passage, I don't think I've heard a homily looking at this part of the story.  Now the say something part.  When we "see" people, it's not good enough to "see" them, we also need to "say something".  We need to take our witness of their dignity to the next step.  This could mean directly helping them, this could also mean saying a silent prayer.  It means acting.  Not only do we have faith, but we have faith in action.  The homilist said it would have even have been better for the rich man to go into a diatribe about capitalism and working for a living would have been better than saying nothing.

So remember, if you see something, say something.  Faith does not bear fruit without action.