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  1. I’m really sorry you have a bunch of problems to deal with right now. Some people have suggested making a list, and while it sounds simplistic, it really does help. I am the kind of person who needs to put “make a list” onto a list before I remember to do it! But my husband is a list maker and I absolutely benefit from his efforts, even though I make fun of him as he writes things down in a little notebook and sticks it in his front shirt pocket like it’s 1950. I make a point to look for shirts with big pockets just so he can carry those lists around and I won’t have to!

  2. When it rains, it pours. I agree about looking into the dental schools. I would tell them ahead of time about what happened with getting shingles last time you went to the dentist. I’m assuming that maybe there’s a medication they can prescribe before you go in for treatment. As for your car, it sounds like maybe you need new tires? Hope today is a better day for you and Charlie.

  3. I’m so sorry about Charlie! I had 3 dogs eons ago ~ such joy! I lost the oldest and then about 2 weeks or so later, the next oldest got very I’ll & the vet was afraid we were going to lose her. Actually, she was grieving and her little body was weakening. Lots of extra hugs and love + meds and she came out of it.
    I have a lot of dental issues too plus no insurance. I found a dentist very near and they have a payment plan that has helped me tremendously! He also gives a senior discount. I hope you can find someone that will help you out.
    Just be very cautious about car repairs! Sadly, there are still many that take advantage of women. Do you have a Male friend or relative that might help guide you?
    Lists are my jam! ?

  4. As a mom to 5 precious Shih Tzu’s my cure for UTI is Cranberry Powder (purchased from Ebay). You can use it once a month as a preventive sprinkled on there food. Hope Charlie gets better soon. Breaks your heart when they are not feeling well.

  5. Hope Charlie recovers from this latest episode quickly and fully. Since I just saw my primary care physician today for my annual wellness check, I thought I would pass on what she told me about the shingles vaccine. There is a new vaccine out that is 90% effective and is given in two shots. The second shot is administered 2-6 months after the first shot. The name is something like Singrex. The cash price at CVS is $168.00 for each shot. My drug insurance considers this a tier 3 drug and will only pay about $20.00 on each injection.I had the earlier vaccine which is only 50% effective. Given the number of people I know who have had shingles, I will get the first shot next week. Actually, the CVS promo states the new vaccine is 97% effective. I was told to go to the pharmacy for the injection as the doctor’s office does not have the vaccine or administer the injections. Hope tomorrow is a better day!!!

    1. The reason I never have gotten the shingles vaccine was that I read it was only 50-51% effective. So I may look into this other one you mention.

  6. Maybe you could foster an animal? The parent organization picks up the costs such as neutering and vet bills. I have a friend who has enjoyed helping at least six dogs, before they went to their homes up north. She likes it a lot and does not worry about them because they have future homes.

    1. Well, I won’t do that to Charlie. He’s so enjoying being an only child. So if I ever get a kitty it would be months down the road. Because I read you need to give them at least three months to grieve their companion. And if I had dogs barking here, I’d be in trouble.

  7. On my,take a deep breath,had things do seem to come in bunches,don’t they…
    Is it possible that he becomes fearful when you’re out and has accidents?
    He only knows,she was there and then she wasnt,we had a dog years ago that would per when she got excited.
    Are kidney/bladder issues something that is specific to this breed when they get up in years?

    1. Charlie has always had accidents. But he hates it when I go out. Which I rarely do.


    1. I don’t know. But I just saw him outside squat and pee. I think his back is hurting him. I just gave him a pain pill.

  9. Seems like so many things tend to go awry all at once. I like the “list” idea; I have to make a list so that I can see the items that need attention. And then I do try to prioritize those items the best I can.

    We are all hoping that little Charlie will be just fine in a few days. Keeping my fingers crossed.

    That photo of the daisies looks so real I wanted to lean over and sniff them!

    1. He seems to be feeling okay now. He just ate his lunch and is next to me.

  10. Brenda, I’m sorry everything is happening at once for you. I know it does feel overwhelming but the advice given of making a list of everything and prioritizing sounds like the best way to go. I think putting everything on paper will put everything in perspective. I’m sorry Charlie has an infection but I’m glad you got him seen by the vet and that he’s on his way to healing. I do believe this: “you are not given more than you can handle”. I know I’ve been at the breaking point a few times over the years but I take everything one at a time and it does get better. You are a strong woman and you will persevere. Continue to journal on your site for us and we are all here to support and give you encouragement. There is light at the end of the tunnel, I promise!
    Carol and Molly

    1. You guys are great! Everyone has this stuff happen from time to time. So I’m not unusual certainly!

  11. Sorry, accidently hit post comment before I finished. I don’t know what you feed Charlie but perhaps he is getting the same thing, it is very common I’m told. I had a very long conversation with my vet after the surgery and he said that people feel if they spend a lot of money on food and it has no grains and no this or that that they are doing their pet a favour but in reality they are not. You might want to ask him what his thoughts are on the subject. I know my vet says many vets in the U.S. feel the way he does and we should just give our furry family members regular food unless there’s a reason they nee a special diet.

    1. Mine have always needed a special diet. Mentioned that above.

  12. Poor Charlie! My dog kept getting a urinary tract infection but it turned out it was bladder stones, $875 later they were removed, they were huge. My vet said he is convinced it is the food we give our pets, you know the one, no this or that and more dogs are coming into his office with urinary tract infections/bladder stones. He has 6 dogs and he feeds them Purina Pro Plan, he says he has never had a problem so after I bring a urine sample in I will change my girl over to Pro Plan.

    1. My dogs have been on prescription food due to easily getting pancreatitis for years. So I don’t think it’s the food. He would have changed that I think. I can’t even recall when I’ve been able to just get dog food or treats at a regular store. It’s been that long!

  13. Oh poor Charlie and poor you! Things do seem to come all at once. don’t they. Anyway hoping that Charlie will be fine. I too have put off going to the optician and one of my eyes is definitely blurry. I haven’t changed my glasses for years. Instead of going to a dentist I go to a dental hygienist who cleans my teeth and has a good look around and if she sees anything wrong she will send me to a dentist. This way I avoid having X Rays. She certainly cleans better than I have ever had at a dentist and of course it is much cheaper. Having said that it does sound as if you need to see a dentist this time around.
    Talking of vet bills. My husband and I went to Florida taking Dexter with us. On the way down by car Dexter was acting up and we thought he just didn’t like the journey but when we got to our rental we decided to take him to the emergency clinic. $5000 later….. he was fine but we decided to go home early so he could recuperate in familiar surroundings. That was a very expensive holiday!

    1. Yes, that WAS an expensive holiday. I didn’t know you could find just a dental hygienist not connected to a dentist’s office. I’ve never heard of that. Do they have separate offices?

      1. Yes they are not connected to the dentist at all, it is their own business but they attach themselves to a dentist in case you have a problem.

  14. Brenda, I am so sorry for your myriad troubles. Would that I could offer you a cup of tea, a biscuit, and a smiling face to talk to. Aaah, you have many smiling friends to speak to. I agree with the ladies who said to prioritize and tackle the most necessary problems first. The advice about the dental schools is excellent, also. I left my newish dentist because she caused a sinus infection and nerve damage of 3 months duration. Perhaps it’s time to change your dentist anyway. To add a little novelty to your life now, may I suggest that you try watching one of these wonderful new TV series that are prevalent now. ‘The Crown’, ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, ‘Ozarks’, ‘Breaking Bad’, etc. etc. I get copies from my library or I stream from free websites. And remember, “This too shall pass”.

    1. I never can figure out the TV listings. Cox has changed up their website and I haven’t figured it out yet. I’m behind the times. I’ve never even heard of those TV shows you mentioned. I don’t like TV much. I’d rather read and I get books free. I always need to read a book so I can review it for the publisher or author’s publicist. I try to be timely in getting that done.

      1. I do love this shows that were mentioned and when I had major surgery 9 weeks ago they saved my life. I couldn’t read, no concentration, but Mrs. Maisel made me laugh. A bit rude but that is ok, I am not so old that I am stuffy! By the way, you are not 64 yet, are you? My surgery, 8 days in hospital, plus all that goes with that didn’t cost me a cent. Dental work though, no insurance, same with eyes.

  15. Brenda I am sorry to hear Charlie is having UT problems. Praying it is a simple diagnosis!
    Have you ever, or ever thought of writing a book? You are an excellent writer and your mind seems to put things together in an interesting story form.
    Just a thought.

    1. Yes, I’ve thought about it. But I don’t like long term projects unless I know I will get paid for it. Plus right now typing gets painful.

  16. Brenda, please look into getting the shingles shot for yourself. You can get it from a doctor or a pharmacy with a walk-in clinic, like Cvs.
    Sending you and Charlie love and healing wishes.

    1. Yeah, I need to do that. I didn’t know you could get it at CVS.

      1. I believe you can also get the shingles vaccination at Walgreens, some locations have a nurse-practitioner who can administer vaccinations and also issue prescriptions.

  17. I agree with the certified dental schools. When I was a single parent, I used the one in Dallas. On that note, is there a vet school nearby? I think OSU is an hour and a half from you.
    So much good advice. . . do try to just take one thing at a time. It is hard.

    1. My vet has very reasonable prices, and let’s you pay bills a bit at a time. My next door neighbor takes his dog there now because of the good prices and wonderful vet.

  18. Please check into certified dental schools. My best friend is a social worker and has sent many seniors to our local dental school. The price is very reasonable. Your health must come first or who will take care of Charlie and your plants if you become ?

    1. I have a list of dental schools. I’m just hating to do it because of the shingles.

  19. Take one day at a time steps. When I get stressed I go in my kitchen and bake. I’m always trying out new recipes to cook and bake. When my stove stopped working I used my toaster oven..even to make dog bone treats for my dog. If you have a tablet, you could buy books on’s cheaper. Charlie and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    1. Luckily I don’t have to pay for books. Publishers send them to me free to review to give advertising to the author.

  20. Brenda I’m hoping Charlie will be fine. You are such a good pet owner and I certainly understand your concern.

    Take just one step at a time, then one day at a time and try to not worry about upcoming events. I find most of the time I do better when I’m calm and not trying to figure everything out. Life seems to throw more problems our way at certain periods than things seem to calm down. I’m hoping you reach the calmer period real quick!!!!

    1. Things will calm down. I’ve just had a bunch at once. However I’m wise enough to know how very lucky I am overall.

  21. I agree with the one-thing-at-a-time-list idea; that is my strategy.
    Poor Charlie. I hope this is not “too much information” but I recently had a UTI and then a month later started having more trouble. The doctor said that sometimes the antibiotic can kill even “good” bacteria and lead to infection. After taking the new medication for about 2 days I started to get better, Hope the little guy is ok soon

    1. This time, today, the vet said it wasn’t much of an infection. So maybe the last shot a month ago didn’t get rid of it all. So he gave him another. He said he was a bit dehydrated. Everything else looked okay, liver results a little off.

  22. I’m with Elizabeth and Eileen. From what I know about you, you seem able to prioritize and do what you must and what you want to do at the right times. You have your own timing. ? I do hope all of this is resolved so you can feel settled again. I’ve had some bumps in the road recently and I wish I had a reset button to push that would take me back to ordinary happy days. Wouldn’t that be something!
    Also, thanks for the book reviews. I’ve read a few based on those reviews and finding the authors here on your blog. Thank you.

    1. I can prioritize. Charlie’s health comes first unless I’m falling apart. Just took him to the vet. Then the next most important chore will get done. This is just how life is sometimes.

  23. Brenda, sounds like you are having a day when things are overwhelming you. But as you know, things have a way of resolving themselves as you attend to each one. My only advice is to pick one issue at a time and get through that one. First Charlie, then your car, then whatever seems appropriate as your next thing to tackle. Sharing it on your blog is a great coping skill, since you have a lot of supporters in blogland. I got a dental plan recommended by my dentist, it’s AVS, you pay a yearly ‘fee’ and find a dentist that takes that plan. It is a ‘reduced fee’ plan, there’s a list of what your dentist will charge you for each procedure, based on the fee structure. It’s always about half of what the regular fee is. They have senior discounts and when I hesitated, they gave me an even better price. It’s an option to dental insurance where you pay for 12 months before they cover anything. I know you will get through each next step on your list because you are a fighter, a survivor and a strong woman.

    1. Oh, I don’t mean to complain. You guys are just my sounding board! I’m okay. Just got back from the vet with Charlie. Another expense, but I’m his mom and he gets good care. The dogs always came before me. I imagine a lot of pet lovers are that way.

    2. Good info, Laura. Brenda, you have your hands full right now, my sympathy. A kitty would be fun but maybe stress pup to distraction….a kitty is less expensive, right? My dogs cost me a fortune, the cat was cheap! Although, we were lucky, Sasha, was never sick.

  24. I concur with Elizabeth; sorry for all the troubles at once, make a list and fix the highest priority first or start saving a little at a time until you can tackle #1 on the list.

    About the microwave – Brenda, did you try the “unplug it, plug it in again” task to see if that works to restart the microwave? Sometimes it helps and it will save you $50. if that works and if you take back the new one. Good luck on that.

    1. Oh yes, I tried all the tricks. Finally just couldn’t get it to work. The lights came on, but wouldn’t do anything.

  25. I agree that looking at pet photos, mine are dogs, especially cairn terriers, can be addicting. I can’t afford a pet right now either.

    I’m a big list maker and have recently been knocking off some of the big items. Tremendous amount of satisfaction. I find they just hang over my head if I don’t just Do it.

    Some days, it’s one step forward and two back. So sorry about Charlie.

    1. Maybe I’ll make a list then. Might make me feel a little less stressed.

  26. Brenda, I am sorry about Charlie. I hope that you are right and that it is just a little stress or something minor. As for your other troubles take it one day, one issue at a time and don’t let them get you down. Perhaps make a list of the most important and take care of that first.
    There is nothing wrong with looking at the cats if it makes you happy.
    I have you and Charlie in my prayers.

    1. I’ve been at the vet with him for hours. They did blood work and a urinalysis. Blood work says he has a slight infection. Liver levels were a little off. They had me get liver supplements. And a shot.

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