All Types of Love

This past Sunday evening, I made a batch of homemade peanut butter and pumpkin biscuits for our dog Willie. I got the recipe off Pinterest and it was pretty simple or so I thought. The recipe was simple but it was too moist so I added flour but then it was a tad dry. My attempt at rolling out the dough, per the instructions, was unsuccessful because it kept sticking to the rolling pin. And boy did this piss me off because I imagined it being a lot easier then that. Oh I forgot to mention that my love, my daughter was helping me out and even though it was a sweet gesture, I admit I wasn’t too keen on the idea. Only because I wanted to get the biscuits done as soon as possible…and I hadn’t eaten dinner yet and I was not in the best mood. As any other woman of age, we suffer the horrors of PMS. Some months are easier than others but those unfortunate days my hormones wreak havoc on ME. I do the best I can to be pleasant and inform my husband, and sometimes my brother, that I am not feeling well and sometimes I don’t mince words and I tell them I am feeling very bitchy. Grrrrr! I tell my husband I need some space and that it’ll pass over…several times throughout the day of course. The whole point of this is that I unfairly snap at my daughter without meaning too. Of course, I apologize and I immediately correct my actions. Usually I tell my husband or my brother to keep her occupied while I take a few moments to breathe, which usually does the trick. My daughter is the best helper there is, and I am taking full advantage because according to my mother, this will not last long. Soon I will be nagging her to finish the simplest chores.  

In the middle of baking the biscuits, I helped with giving my daughter a bath and returned to the kitchen to find my husband molding out the rest of the biscuits in shapes of a fire hydrant and squirrels. It was such a sweet sight for a girl who was feeling very grumpy, fat and bloated. My husband is such a wonderful man who tries to ensure that I am taken care of in any way every day. I am touched by his daily gestures and he always manages to surprise me. 

A little while later when the dog biscuits were done, I took two of them and called Willie over to living room, where my daughter and husband were, and gave the treats to Willie. Then my husband said something that I shall remember forever. I made the comment that Willie would eat anything put forth before him, and my husband said, “If that’s not love then I don’t know what is. Homemade biscuits made just for you.” It really made me think of various forms of love that come at the precise moments you need or want them. My daughter loves to help with chores because she loves us and wants to do what we are doing. She loves me even when her mom is in a shitty mood and wants to be left alone. She doesn’t understand the trivial things that seem to bring adults down, and I am learning to remember that each and every day. And my husband manages to make me feel loved and appreciated even after a long day of training at the hospital, and with a head cold to boot. 

Love is wonderful. Every human being deserves to be loved and respected. I am very fortunate to have both.



I had two very good reasons for not posting last Thursday and Friday. My husband graduated from nursing school on Thursday evening and my sister graduated with her Masters degree in Climate Science and Solutions on Friday afternoon. On Thursday, my husband and I worked out at Crossfit Flagstaff and did half of “Murph” which consisted of an 800 meter run then 50 pullups, 100 pushups and 150 air squats followed by a final 800 meter run. Even though it was half a Murph it was still a very tough workout but we felt very good afterwards. We then ran some errands in town and then went home to eat breakfast/lunch and then we tidied up the house for the impending arrival of family later that evening, and for the reception the next day. We got our outfits ready including our daughter’s outfit, for my husband’s graduation ceremony. After we got ready, we had do some things before the ceremony, we went to drop my daughter’s clothes off with my sister, and  then pick up some pizzas for the high school students I work with. These are Native American students who reside at Kinlani Dorm while they attend the local high school, and we learn about climate change effects and solutions in their individual communities. Great students! I’ll have to tell you more about them later.

After we left the dorm, we went to a brief reception at a local Mexican restaurant where I met some of his classmates. He had such a good crop of students to work alongside with during the last two years of nursing school. After an hour, we headed to the school before the reception to save 10 seats for my family. To make a long story short, my daughter and I stood alongside my husband as he received his ribbon of completion and we watched as he received his outstanding student award. It was an amazing experience because my parents and other family members saw and heard what a great experience my husband had in school, and watched him be awarded for his hard work. It was amazing!

The next day we all got up early to start prepping food for my husband and sister’s graduation reception at noon. Now mind you, it snowed a 6+ inches the evening before but we were forth steadfast. Mainly because we were all hungry for my mother’s corn and mutton stew, which is made from her homegrown corn and organically raised churro sheep. When the time came, my father said a beautiful Navajo prayer blessing the food and the family who came to celebrate with us. It was really neat! Then around 2 and 3pm, people started heading towards town for the graduation. My husband and I left around 3:00pm because our daughter begin fussing and so the car ride lulled her to sleep. Whew! A grumpy and tired toddler is not very fun for anyone especially the toddler herself.

Anyhow, another long story short, we got to the graduation in time to see my sister receive her master’s degree and it was a beautiful sight. She graduated with distinction with means she was one of the top students in her class, and she should be because she worked so very hard during the past year and half. After she went up on stage, we shamelessly tired to get her to leave early so we could go celebrate at a local restaurant, but she wanted to stay through whole ceremony and then get photographed with her classmates. Then around 6pm, we met a diner on the east side of town (the west side was inundated with graduates and their families) where we had a great dinner. We ate very well and laughed to our hearts content. Afterwards, my husband and I said it was such an awesome dinner and a good way to end the a wonderful two days.

Of course, sleep was much welcomed and came easily that evening. I would have slept in the next morning but I had to go and volunteer at my gym’s competition that was also a fundraiser for a local foundation. To say the least, it was a very long day on my feet and talking with people and dealing with two very awful impatient men. So yesterday, I was still very exhausted and I felt very off. I was not happy. I was so tired but I struggled through it to spend an awesome day with my baby girl.

Celebrations are wonderful but oh so very tiring especially if you are the host or family of the honored ones. It is worth every minute of sweat and stress but it is also easier when you have a lovely husband and awesome family by your side to help you through the whole thing.

Loss of Family

Lefty!A day and one night ago, our beloved dog, Lefty, left this earth for doggie heaven. It was a sudden departure my family and I were not ready for. I was not ready for him to pass on because I was convinced he was going to live forever. I was convinced I would have the time to say my final words of love and loyalty to him as I did with our other dog, Ca$h, who passed on earlier this year. To put it simply, I am devastated. I am heartbroken. I am grieving for one of my best friends who protected me night and day. He was always so happy to see my family and I when we returned home from work or a visit to the family on the Navajo Nation. Let me tell you how we met and fell in love with Lefty.

When my husband and I began dating, he already lived with a blue-heeler mix named Ca$h who he had adopted from a local animal shelter, Second Chance Center for Animals when he was a wee pup. After two years, my husband and I tired daily of keeping Ca$h entertained because he had so much energy even after 2 hour walks in the forest near our home. We decided to get him a buddy to play with because he needed someone to be with during the day and just to keep him company. So off we went to Second Chance and visited all the dogs available for adoption in the outdoor kennels. As we came into the yard, the dogs erupted with barks of excitement and we were a little overwhelmed. As we read the biography of each dog, I noticed one particular golden fur ball sitting quietly in his kennel. He had these small cute ears that folded over when at attention, and that he was round all over. He also had a lame right leg from when a vehicle hit him on the Hopi rez, and a kind passerby took him into Second Chance. I approached the kennel and the dog sat down near the gate and looked at me with his huge puppy eyes and licked my fingers. It was that moment that he chose us. I said to my husband, “He is the one. Let’s visit with him and adopt him. He is the one!” Naturally, my husband was less inclined to make a seemingly rash decision and said let’s sleep on it and come back the next day with Ca$h. Even then I was reluctant to leave him and I promised him we would come back to visit. The next day couldn’t have come sooner. We learned that another couple of hours, he would’ve been adopted by another couple who were trying to get permission from their apartment’s landlord. We came back to Second Chance and initiated a private visit with Ca$h and Lefty. They immediately got along well and no one growled. Just lots of butt sniffing. That was it! Lefty came home with us. We learned that Lefty was very timid when it came to be leashed and tried to duck out of it, and he did successfully a few times. On immediate arrival at our home, we took both dogs out to the forest for a walk. We placed a new collar on Lefty which he immediately wiggled out of. He was timid and would duck every time we approached to pet him or place a leash or collar on him. He was very skittish and jumped at loud unexpected noises, leading us to believe that he probably was physically abused at one point. He had every right to be untrusting of any human. We were willing to be patient and loving. That was over five years ago and Lefty came love and trust us. Eventually, he stopped being so timid and skittish, and loved his daily walks. He loved doggie treats and would use his big puppy eyes to his advantage to get more treats. Worked every time!

I mentioned that Lefty had a right lame leg, and when it came time to name him we went through a few names; Duece, Johnny, etc. Ca$h was named after Mr. Johnny Cash so we wanted to go with the same name theme. We already had a human friend named Waylon so that was out of the question. My husband also worked as a river guide and as a paddle boat captain so he thought of all the commands he would yell at people like “Left Paddle!” The name Lefty was perfect! It tied in with our other dog’s name Ca$h and from the Willie Nelson song, “Pancho and Lefty” and not to mention, when he sat down he would favor his “left” side. Isn’t that perfect?

He had a lot quirks too. See Ca$h was way more energetic and loved to play his version of fetch GE DIGITAL CAMERAwhich is when we’d throw the stick or ball, he’d run toward it and pick up with his mouth and then stand or run off with it and drop it off in a distance. So I figured it’d be only fair to throw Lefty a stick too, which I did, and boy did he run after it like he was going to beat Ca$h to it. Then he skidded to a sudden halt and stopped to smell some purple flowers. No joke! He literally stopped to smell the flowers! And he never attempted to run after any stick or ball that was thrown. He was happier to smell every flower and plant he came upon.

When I learned of Lefty’s passing, I lost my breath and just about fainted. I miss him terribly. We miss him terribly. The house is a little empty without the two dogs but our third dog, Willie (yes after Mr. Nelson) remains and he will be spoiled rotten. Perhaps we will adopt another friend for him but for now we will continue to celebrate Lefty and Ca$h lives. They gave us so much love and loyalty. My husband says to think of the good times, and the fact that they had such a good life compared to the alternate if they were still abandoned and homeless. I love them so much and will miss them! For now we will bask in the love of Willie, our dog, and Juno, our formerly obese cat (she was very fat when we adopted her).

Best job in the world

I have the best job in the world and it is always the hardest job, and that is being a mother. I really think it is the best job because you have someone who loves you back unconditionally and wants to learn and do everything you know and do. Of course, this is my personal perspective because I know that not everyone feels the same way or has the same experience. Motherhood is very hard and it has taught me immense patience and discipline. I did not realize I was so selfish. I thought I was not that selfish but when my daughter was born, I quickly learned that I had to put my personal wants aside and focus only on the needs when it was absolutely necessary such as personal hygiene and food nourishment. The days of sleeping in and going to an impromptu movie were gone. Gradually, I learned that having my daughter on a routine helped me rest and get some necessary things done. Now as she grows older I find that I can do a lot of stuff with her so she feels like she is helping instead me making her feel like she is in the way.

I do admit that it is nice to get time away from my daughter so she can be with her playmates, and her father and I can work and get necessary chores and errands completed. I currently have a wonderful job where I work with some amazing educators, students, scientists, and activists.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

If I could have any job in the world, I would love to live on the Navajo reservation in my hometown, DSCN1261and I would love to work as a combination of farmer, sheepherder, and run my non-profit, Fifth World Discoveries teaching and sharing traditional and cultural knowledge with youth and adults from all over the nation. I want and need to be near my home on the Navajo Nation. When I was born part of my umbilical cord was still attached, and so when it finally broke off, my parents buried it in the ground so as to keep me connected to the earth and my homeland. So that is where I am connected; physically and spiritually. I really do not have the desire to live elsewhere in the world because home is home, and I want to stay there.

But if I had to dream…perhaps working with Native Hawaiians in Hawaii or aboriginals in New Zealand and Australia on traditional preservation projects.