Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Let's get REAL

THIS is a Flying Turtle and I rocked that thing
down a big ass driveway. That kid looks like he
is going real slow, but it was the face I was going for.
So if I'm asking you to support my passions and ultimately my agenda, there are a few things I should lay out there. I will blog about exactly how I feel and when I feel it. I sound like Lesley Gore "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to..." Sure, if I was a safe blogger I'd keep safe content with safe language and safe political jokes, but safe has never really been my bag of chips. I'm the kid that rode a Flying Turtle down Jamie Brantley's driveway, which was the steepest in town, just because everyone else was afraid to and I felt the need to show them how much fun it was and that it was totally safe. What could possibly go wrong while riding a very low to the ground toy with teeny tiny wheels down a steep cement driveway? Fast forward to the halfway point when I was hauling my turtle ass so fast down that driveway that I thought, maybe I should slow down a wee bit and put my sneakers down. I flipped over the handlebars and rolled down the driveway all the way to the bottom. I think I made a skid sound as I reached my stopping point. I remember looking up and my sister looking horrified at my bloody self. All I could do was break out into laughter. I just kept laughing and laughing and laughing. "See! I told you it was awesome!" Limits have never been anything I have taken notice of in my life. Don't tell me I can't do something if you don't want me to prove you wrong.

Sometimes, even the "happiest" of all
people get sad. When we do, we look like this
and we get angry.
Last night I posted a long, overly dramatic, yet totally true to the letter post on (GASP) Facebook. It was how I felt. I wasn't cruel. I wasn't complaining about the weather or a headache, I was merely stating my human weaknesses and the fragile transition my family is in at the present time. I at least threw in a good ole sense of humor to keep it real when I sealed the post with a closing statement, "Until then, just give me a big high five the next time you see me and tell me it will all be fine and that my hair looks amazing." See, I was still being witty. The thing is, my family is in limbo. We built our "dream" home 7 years ago when we thought we needed more space. Tiny human #3 was still in the plans then and our current home couldn't fit a third child. I had a comfortable corporate job as a marketing director and it was perfect. At the time. We built our fancy 4 bedroom, 3 bath home with a playroom that was big enough for roller derby and we were over the moon. Tiny human #3 never happened and after working a very monetarily fulfilling corporate job for 10 years, I had found my way into the non-profit world through volunteer work and when given the opportunity to actually get paid to do something good in this world with my talents and gifts, I took it. I rode that offer right down that driveway just as fast as I could. It was scary and fast and I even took a few spills, but at the bottom of the driveway, I looked up and just knew I could make a difference. The only problem is, my paycheck isn't as rewarding as the job. It got even smaller when I decided to go part-time to be with my kids when they got home from school. My son struggles with anxiety and he is 11. Mama had to take some time to be a mama. My husband supported me 100% (insert very loud applause and hugs and adoration... what a guy). So, we sold the Mommy Minivan for a reasonable car we could pay cash for that got great gas mileage. We rented out our "dream" house to tenants to cover our mortgage and found a smaller, more modest house to rent ourselves at a fraction of the cost. This worked for 3 years until we needed to move forward and out of the limbo phase we had settled into so awkwardly. I mean, I lived with carpet in my bathroom for 3 whole years people! Do you know how hard that is for someone with OCD? It is time to move on. So, while our house is on the market and our tenants have moved out, it's time to turtle up and move back in until we can close this chapter of our lives with a SALE and move on. The uncertainty of my living quarters and moving not once, but twice (can you believe the buyers are going to kick us out after we sell our house?!) is a lot for a gal like me to swallow. So I did what I do best. I shared. I live a very transparent life. You want to know something about me, I'll probably tell you. I am completely comfortable with me and quite frankly, in my world, I think everyone should be.

What do you mean I share too much?
Does this look like the face of a lady
 who takes herself THAT seriously?
Then I got the message. It was a private message that first asked me if I was okay. It was then followed by the advice that I should probably rethink my last post and delete it. I probably didn't want that many people knowing my business. Whaaaaa? Pretty sure I'm good with it. I realize this person was just trying to be on the lookout for me. He didn't mean harm. So I counted to 10 and I kindly explained that I'm an open book. Take it, or leave it. In the world of social media, it is so easy to paint a picture of yourself that looks like perfection. You are the perfect mom, the perfect employee, the most generous volunteer. You can paint whatever scene you wish to be the star of. I see so many people comparing themselves to others because of this. If I only share the glorious moments in life, I am not telling my story, because there are some really not so glorious moments in my life. So I share it all. Here is what really tickles me about social media. Some people are REALLY annoyed by it, yet they have a facebook page. Some people will comment on one of my very long posts and say they are too long. Well... how would you know that if you hadn't just taken the time to read my post? Why do you follow me if you don't agree with my posting strategy? So, I made my peace with it, posted a snarky comment about "If you don't want real, then don't follow me" (that's the short version) and got over 120 likes and 27 comments saying ROCK ON and a handful of messages from people that just wanted me to know they loved me and thought I was doing A-Okay. I think people on social media need the REAL to be shared more often. I mean, let's keep it funny, don't get me wrong, but some days, some dreadful cloudy days, you just have to throw your hands in the air and yell, "shove it!" Usually when I do share my VERY real and raw, I get private messages all day long about people that are in the same boat or are dealing with the same struggles. They thank me for the post, for being bold enough to share something true and scary, or reassure me that all will be right in the world again. It's a tool people. Use it. Reach out to people and relate to them. It might be through technology and that might seem lame, but my God, if you can make one person feel like they have company on that struggle bus, then I'm all for it. If my not so sparkly days in life make you uncomfortable, you probably shouldn't read my blog or be on facebook. I am guaranteed to disappoint you.

Sometimes you just have to jump in.
We are all just standing at the top of that driveway waiting for the ride of our lives. You aren't courageous if you were never afraid. You can stare down that hill and watch me fly down screaming with laughter or you can join in the fun. I promise, the skinned knees and even the goose egg were definitely worth the ride. The fun part of life is that there are hills and valleys that will form your road, your story. Hang on tight on the way down (or throw your hands in the air and scream) and work hard to trudge your way back to the top, but I guarantee, it's always more fun with company!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Until then... We have HOPE.

So it has been a month since I last blogged. #WorstBloggerEver. It isn't because I haven't thought about it or had brilliant things to say (whaaaaa???), it's because I have been a lazy, scatterbrained, ADHD blogger and couldn't decide exactly what story to tell. There are just so many soap operas in my head at once!!!

Hope really digs the car. This is on the way
home from her news debut on WITN. I think they
got her best side.

BUT, this week is different. This week I knew there was a story to be told. That story is about a dog named HOPE.  On Monday one of our staff approached me and began our conversation with, "Bethann, you are going to kill me". Knowing it was the beginning of the week and we were doing intake from the shelter, I laughed and said, "Oh Lord, what kind of dog did you pull today?" You see, although we are a no-kill facility, sometimes life or death sits on our shoulders. The Humane Society of Eastern Carolina takes on the responsibility to walk down the halls of our county shelter (THAT WE LOVE, LOVE, LOVE) and pull animals that we feel are adoptable to save them from possible euthanasia. This means that sometimes we are fully aware that if we don't pull them, they will be euthanized. That is a hard thing to put on anyone's shoulders. I say all the time that I don't envy the Pitt County Animal Shelter staff. They have a really hard job. One I couldn't possibly do, but unfortunately with over 200 animals coming in a month and less than 80 runs to hold the animals, euthanasia is a reality. So, back to my story... Sistine was walking the hallway to make her selections and came across a pair of big soulful brown eyes. Behind those eyes was a wagging tail and a gentle heart that belong to a dog we named Hope. Six year old Hope is what we would refer to as a trainwreck of a dog. We mean that in the nicest of ways (bless her heart), but when one of my staff said, "It could be worse", I honestly looked at her and replied, "Could it?". So I guess she has both eyes and that's a plus, but Hope is a big hot mess.


This will be hard to believe,
but those are Hope's breasts.
And to think I thought I had
girl problems.

Hope was more than likely used for breeding and breeding and breeding some more. Of course all of this is speculation since Hope can't share her story, but the evidence is there. It's in her breasts that literally drag on the ground and have bruises at the base near her ribcage. This is from litter after litter that Hope cared for and nourished until they were taken from her. You can see it in her bowed out front legs with elbows that she isn't able to hold in when she walks. Probably from inbreeding or from being confined to a crate her whole life. Her ears are thick from old hematoma's that healed leaving extra tissue behind and filled with infections. She was covered in fleas and her skin is infected from all of the scratching. Her teeth are broken and rotted and she walks hunched over all of the time. She also has burns on her feet, knees and the backs of her legs. It could have been from sitting in her urine for so long or from hot cement. Which is worse? Oh and of course, Hope is heartworm positive. Like I said, poor sweet baby is a mess! Luckily for Hope, Sistine saw her worth and decided to save her that day. She is now our responsibility and we don't take that lightly at the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina. Homegirl is getting a full makeover and we just know she is going to pull through and get that happy life she deserves.

Bath time for this sweet girl.
So, Hope just gives me another reason to keep up my training and my fundraising for the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina. This is what we do and I'd like to think we do it well. We cannot, however, do this without donations to pay for the medical needs of our animals. Hope's case will cost us a minimum of about $800. We will get her fixed up and then we will find her a home where she will live out her days full of love. Until then... there's HOPE.

Please help if you can. ANY little bit helps! Hope will need a mastectomy, lots of meds for her multiple infections, x-rays on her legs and so much more. She is recovering in fostercare where she is doing well and LOVES being part of a family. We will also need the perfect family to adopt Hope. Please contact me with any questions or adoption inquiries at

 I "HOPE" you can help.