Dream about death leaves me thinking about life – HaliPawz

I don’t always understand my dreams. This morning, I woke up after having a dream about four people who we are thinking about dying. Well, actually three of them were thinking about it, one was already on life-support. One of them, a younger person, was terminally ill. To break it down; Two adult males, that were of older parental age (40-50), one person, female, on life-support, and then a young girl about mid to late 20s who was terminally ill. 

They were all somehow related, but I could not quite remember, or figure out, how the relationships all worked out. I do know, however, that they had decided to all pass away at the same time. It was in such a bizarre way though, the one who was on life-support was going to remain on life-support and they had a note asking whom ever walked in on them to stop her life-support after they were all gone. The other three had decided to lay in shallow pools of ice slowly bringing their core body temperature down until they grew weary and eventually pass away. 

The three all had a normal conversations, talking about other family members, and did not seem to be freezing as they all laid in the ice. As the talking slowly drifted away, and they began to think about their own lives, my dream began focusing on just one of the men. My dream showed him starting to think about some things he didn’t get finished, about someone else in his life he hadn’t seen in a while, and even about one of his pets. As his thoughts continued about all the good things, the happy things, in his life, he realized, he wasn’t ready to die. As he felt his eyelids getting heavy, he said out loud,  “I’m not ready to do this”, and he stood up.  

The other adult male glanced over at him, and asked “why”?  “I don’t know” said the man, it’s just not time. The other man stood as well and decided perhaps he to rethink the decision and reasons.  I know more happened before he rethought it, I just don’t remember the details.  

They glanced over at the terminally ill young lady, realizing she had not said anything throughout their exchange. She had, indeed, already passed away.  The woman on life-support had also quietly passed away. While the men were sad at their passing, they also knew it was the right time for them. 

I woke up completely confused; confused about why I had a dream about death, why I had dreamt about suicide, because that is indeed what it was, and why there were four people in my dream I did not know at all. It started making me think, that because they had chosen something that was so slow and within their control somewhat, is this the message I was supposed to share. If more people who were contemplating suicide had the time to reflect on the good things in their lives, on the things not yet completed, and on the thing that made them happy, would they second-guess their decision? 

Too many times in our society, especially with social media today, we are used to knee-jerk decisions and reactions. I think it is time for us to understand how important it is to not do a knee-jerk reaction, or make a knee-jerk decision. Take time to think about the consequences of your actions and your words before you do or say them.  

Sadly, when someone chooses to take their own lives with suicide, they don’t have the time to reflect, to reconsider their actions. I am not a trained professional, I do not claim to have all of the answers… So if anyone is reading this, and they are considering suicide, please think about reaching out to those who love you, or reaching out for professional help. Think about all of the things that make you happy, the moments in your life where you smiled or laughed, focus on those times until you can have a conversation with someone who can truly help you. 

As I said at the beginning, I don’t always understand my dreams, but this one seemed important enough to share. I can only hope, that if it even helps one person, then there was a reason for the dream and the push to share it. 

I wish everyone reading this many wonderful years of happiness and laughter.  Reach out to those in your lives you love.  Let them know you are there for them. 

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Why is my vision worse when I drink soda – HaliPawz

Why is my vision worse when I drink soda, or for my Michigan friends and family, when I drink pop? It’s a random question, I know, but the optician in me has been bothered by this question for a while.  

Since I have been trying to lose weight, I have not been drinking as much soda.  I still drink it, I just make sure to include it in MyFitnessPal calories, so when I do drink it, it is usually one can of Coke followed by one or more glasses of water. On rare occasions, I have a “I don’t care” day and don’t track all of my calories. These days are usually when I have plans with friends and I just want to enjoy myself.  Last night was one of those nights.  I had plans to go out with friends so I was careful to not eat too much during the day, keeping my available calories on the high side. 

Our plans changed slightly, so we ended up going to a local bar I had never been to before. They served Pepsi, not Coke. I would usually opt for water with lemon, but I wanted something more and didn’t feel like drinking alcohol. I had three glasses and no water for the night. 

I fell asleep on the couch watching tv, nothing unusual, but Bella, my Mastiff, woke me up at 3am. I still had lights on, the tv was loud, and I had to throw a load of clothes in the laundry, so I stood up to fix all of it and go to bed.  I looked out my patio door to see what the dogs were doing and noticed halos all around the lights.  My eyes felt heavy and dry, I couldn’t focus clearly on the clock. Since my LASIK surgery, I hate when my vision is blurry but I know it’s temporary. I really hate halos. I always notice them more after I’ve consumed a larger amount of soda (last time was after leaving a movie theater). 

I saw the pattern, the question still loomed as to WHY….now, common sense tells me it is because I’m dehydrated and dehydration affects your whole body, including the vision, but I wondered if there was more too it.  I began my Google search, since there is always an answer in Google, it might not always be right, but there is always an answer.  First five results were about caffeine affecting your vision.  Great! There are answers.  Until I started reading them. The answers were about a study showing where consuming coffee daily can affect your vision health. I’m not a coffee drinker but kept reading because I thought it might be the same thing, until I get to the line….

Researchers found that participants who reported drinking three cups or more of caffeinated coffee per day were at a higher risk of developing exfoliation glaucoma. The results were interesting though in the fact that they linked coffee consumption to exfoliation glaucoma, and ruled out other drinks and foods that were caffeinated.

The optician in me was interested in learning more about this study, but I wanted to stay on track. I found a blog where someone noticed worse vision after sugar binging since they went paleo. Of course, everyone went to diabetic conclusions, which I have been tested often for diabetes and I do not have it, plus my vision isn’t affected when I eat chocolate, only when I consume soda.  Still no answer.  

I then when to my scale, not that I wanted to check my weight after a “cheat” evening, but my scale also measures BMI, body fat, and water. 3:48am and I’m stepping on a scale. 26%. I knew it was lower then my typical percentage of anywhere from 33-37% but I realized I had no idea what it should be. Back to Google.  

Google Results for what should my water percentage be


50%!?!? I was currently at 26%. First thing I did mentally was set a goal, not only for weight loss, but to also get to 40% water; steps to the goal of 5o+%. After reading a couple articles, I realized my water percentage should go up as I lose weight, but I still need to step up my water intake in general. 

I think it’s safe to conclude consuming so much soda isn’t the sole contributor to my halo vision, but the lack of consuming enough water to counterbalance the soda consumption. I’m dehydrated, clearly, and my eyes are warning me to do something about it before it affects more of my health. 

Health through eye exam, hazel eyes
As an optician, I understand your eyes are the window to your health, so it is important to listen to what your eyes are telling you.  When your vision changes in any way, process what was different in your day, if you can conclude what the cause was, great, if you cannot, make an appointment.  It could be your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. 

So now I know, if I’ve consumed a large amount of soda, I need to make sure I also drink plenty of water. If you are someone who notices a lot of halos at night, you might want to check your water percentage. For now, I will drink a glass of water, put some Refresh in my eyes and get a couple more hours of sleep.

Optician PSA: Even if your vision is perfect, get an eye exam ever 12-18 months. It truly is so much more than just a prescription for glasses or contacts. 

When arrogance and a self serving attitude steal moments from others.

I really don’t like to give Kanye West more attention than he is already getting, because, let’s face it, he doesn’t need any more attention, but I read yet another story about him tonight and I have to share my thoughts.

First, I want to go on record of saying I am an HUGE fan of the Kardashians.  I’m not here to dispute the pros and cons of the family.  I admire their family togetherness, being from a large family myself, I understand how they can be mad at each other one minute and then band together the next minute when one of them is going through something.  Love them or hate them, I think it is clear, to anyone who has watched more than one episode, they are truly a family first and foremost.

Kanye West is not a Kardashian.  He married a Kardashian.  Just because he married one doesn’t mean I automatically have to like him.  I’m not a huge fan of Kim’s anyway, so it’s easy to not like him.

Here is my issue.  I really do not like self-absorbed people.  I know it is easy to sometimes get so caught up in our own feelings and life that anyone of us can come across as self-centered, self-absorbed from time to time, but he takes it to a level I cannot even comprehend.

Tonight the news is all abuzz about him tweeting an apology to Beck.  Isn’t that nice?  He tweeted an apology.  So big of him.  Are you kidding me?  So he tweets an apology and everything is all good and happy with the world again?  Does he truly think that is all it takes?

Let’s look back to the VMAs back in 2009.  Taylor Swift was announced as a winner for best female video.  It was clear she was truly honored and excited to win this award.  Here was a young artist making her move from country to pop, accepting an award she was EXCITED about and out comes Kanye West, interrupting her acceptance speech with bad English “Imma let you finish” and then went on to say Beyoncé had the best video of all time.  How dare he?  How dare he believe he had the RIGHT and the AUTHORITY to take away something so precious to Taylor Swift just because he felt she should not have won?  Who does he think he is? Moments are to be treasured, and he stomped on Taylor Swift’s moment.  Yes, she wins awards, yes she wins lots of awards, but it doesn’t matter.  What mattered on that day back in 2009 was her getting to say thank you and he interrupted it.  He hands the microphone back to her and walks off.  She is silent.  What is she supposed to say?  What did he THINK she would say?    Her moment is dashed by a pompous, arrogant jerk.  Beyoncé tried to make it better by giving Taylor some time when she was given an award, which was sweet, but doesn’t give a moment back. What I find ironic is he takes to his blog shortly after “apologizing” to her in the most in sincerest way possible.  He says he is sorry, then goes on to say Beyoncé’s video was the best of the decade!  Are you kidding me?  How do you call that an apology?  It wasn’t.  It was just a way to save face.  And to bring his mother into it, saying she would have corrected him.  He should have apologized for the horrible apology, but that wouldn’t be sincere either, so why does he even bother to waste his breath?

Kanye West has been a jerk prior to this event, in Europe at an MTV awards event.  Clearly he is a poor loser, even when the loss isn’t directly related to him.

Fast forward to this year.  The Grammys…..West, once again, thinking he is better than EVERYONE else in the room, interrupts Becks Acceptance speech for Album of the Year.  West then plays it off like he’s just joking and walks back off the stage.  Now, before we even talk about what happened in post interviews, let’s talk about this moment.  It was BECK’S MOMENT, not Kanye West’s.  Kanye West has no respect for anyone but himself.  You don’t take away someone’s moment with the thought, “Oh, I can just apologize later and make it better”.  To have such a level of disrespect for others and such a high sense of self is truly disgusting.

Beck was a perfect gentleman and handled it gracefully, but he should not have been put in the position in the first place.

In the post-show interviews, West went on to, surprise surprise, talk about Beyoncé again, saying she should have won.

I just know that the Grammys, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain’t gonna play with them no more. And Beck needs to respect artistry and he should’ve given his award to Beyoncé.

I find it interesting he uses the word respect yet has no idea what the word means.  What is his love affair with Beyoncé?  If I was Jay Z (Beyoncé’s husband) I would be so mad.  It is clear West has an obsession with Beyoncé.  Then the truth comes out he hadn’t even HEARD the album by Beck.  So, he had nothing to compare it to, yet felt he could open his mouth?  Why do they let this man continue to come to award shows?   In my opinion, they should ban him for a whole year from all of the awards and tell him when he grows up and can be respectful of others, he’ll be allowed to attend the shows again.

Of course, now it’s coming out he’s apologizing.  He’s stating he’s going to record with Taylor Swift.  He’s saying how great of an artist Beck is, etc.  All this is saying is he realizes he was, yet again, a disrespectful jerk and has to play nice to pretend he really cares about others.  At some point, when are people going to realize he’s just a jerk?  He’s not going to change.  He’ll act out like a child, then apologize when a parent tells him to, until he does it again.  It also shows how much of an adult Taylor Swift is, trying to put the past behind them and move on.

Of course, West doesn’t stop his attacks on just other artists.   He thinks so highly of himself to believe he has the RIGHT to MAKE concert goers stand up when he commands them to.  At a concert in Australia in 2014, he is filmed saying everyone has to stand up unless they are handicapped.  Then, when two people don’t stand up, he doesn’t just keep going, oh no, he has to send his security team to make sure they were, indeed, handicapped.  News Flash jerk….not every disability is visible!   How about you don’t draw attention to people who probably have unwanted attention drawn on them every day anyway?  Oh that’s right, he doesn’t care about other people’s feelings, only his own.  It was sweet of his wife to stand by her man saying that he qualified who didn’t have to stand up.   Really???  Come on!  If someone wants to pay unbelievable amounts of money to see a pompous jerk, then they have the right to stay seated if they want to.  As much as he want’s people to believe, he isn’t a god.  He doesn’t control other humans.

We have to stop rewarding bad behavior people!   We have to stop allowing these celebrities set the tone for disrespect. The question is WHY do we keep saying it’s ok?  Why do we shrug off the bad behavior when it so blatantly steals another person’s moment(s).

We need to start focusing on respect and truly understanding what the word means, then start showing it as an example, not an exception.

My Organized Religion Rant of the Day

I am a Christian. I do not hide the fact that I do believe in God or a higher spiritual being. What my rant
today is about is Organized Religion and the problems resulting from bad ones. As I was going through different social media sites today, I came across an article about a mega church that was closing due to financial difficulties because of “negative press”. This “negative press” that the church is referring to was all because the leader of this church said women’s vaginas we’re good for nothing other than being a home for a man’s penis. Yes, you read that correctly.

Pastor (their term for him, not mine) Mark Driscoll is reported as saying “ultimately, God created you and it is His penis. You are simply borrowing it for a while.” He went on to say “knowing that his penis would need a home. God created a woman to be your wife and when you marry her and look down you will notice that your wife is shaped differently than you and makes a very nice home”.

The article went on to say some other things including why a man should not be gay because of how the penis fits and why one man should not sleep with another man’s wife because that would be like stealing or breaking and entering. I have included the article at the end of this post for everyone to read.

Here’s The first question that came to my mind; how in the world did this man become a pastor? No I know it is easy for anyone to slap the pastor title on their name, but it made me wonder how he got people to support him. He founded the church, which again, anyone can start a church. It’s pretty simple really. The church is in Seattle, which is known for it’s open minded style. Again, a plus for Seattle, but still not sure how he had so much support.
He described his style as “theological conservative and culturally liberal”. As I read that, my thought were….WTH does that mean exactly????

This man was not just a pastor of a regular church… This church is
considered a mega church. That means he had followers upon followers believing in what he was preaching. He has been invited all over the United States to preach as well as to London England to speak to over 4000 people at any event.

It is said that he used a lot of preaching about sex and crude comments. He grew his church by preaching to “horny ” single people.

At some point, I have to wonder why so many people just followed his teaching and preaching. Was it because he said he was a pastor and they just excepted it? Was it because he talked in a language that fit what they wanted their own “church” to be like? It really makes you wonder.

No, the thing that really frustrates me is that because of his comments it makes it hard for people to understand that sex still is not a bad thing to discuss in the church. In my studies for my business, I have read and met with many Christian couples that do not communicate comfortably or at all when it comes to things of a sexual nature. Should that be fixed? ABSOLUTELY! Should it be fixed the Pastor Mark Driscoll way? I do not believe so. He does, however, have some very good points in his book “Real Marriage”. Do I think he’s a pastor and extolling the virtues of a sound Christian leader? No. Do I think he could be a strong sex educator? No, not until he understands women are more than a home for the penis. He is setting healthy sex education back too many years with that way of thinking.

Another thing I found interesting is that former and current church leaders are going against him and accusing him of “creating a climate of fear through his verbally abusive language, lack of self-control, and arrogant domineering attitude”. So…did this all happen overnight??? Was he at one time a super nice guy? Oh wait, or is it easy to attack the guy for his attitude when things aren’t going great? That is another issue I have with organized religion. It’s easy to hold hands and sing Kum be Ya (I am not sure if that is spelled right) when the numbers are growing and the money is rolling in but the minute things go south it is everyone attack the leader. He didn’t change! They just don’t want to be seen as supporting him but they were all about supporting him when it was good for them.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe every Church is bad. Just like anything, you have the good, you have the okay, and you have the bad. What I get frustrated with is the fact that so many people blindly follow teachings of one just because they say they are a pastor and those around them are cheering him or her on.

To my Christian friends and readers…. I urge you to challenge those that you are listening to that have a leader role. Do you not just blindly agree and cheer them on because it sounds good or because others are doing it. Look into it for yourself. Do your homework.

To my non-Christian friends and readers…. Please do not use this as a reason to bash those that believe. I understand and respect your position as well.

As I said at the beginning, yes this is a rant about organized religion but it is also a plea to the good pastors and church leaders out there do not take this man’s issues and use it as an excuse to not talk about healthy sexual communication amongst your married church members. We have to encourage that! It will help the marriage stay strong!

Here are two of the better articles about this man:

Driscoll Controversy

The Frisky – Mark Driscoll

The Question is Why…..Government Funding

I recently read an article about a couple that went zip lining outside of the US and the husband suffered a horrible accident after the wind shifted. He is now in Mexico with a brain injury. I don’t know why, but I started reading the comments. Sometimes the comments are more informative that the actual news article. They provoke thought. In some stories, they are humorous. Not in this one though. This is a sad story so the comments were filled with prayers, concerns, the atheist saying prayers aren’t going to help unless you back it with cash, and of course….the comments I refer to as the “blame game” comments. None of those were a surprise of course, but the one that stood out to me was “why isn’t the government helping to pay?” For accuracy sake, I will say I am paraphrasing, but the bottom line is….it’s the governments responsibility.

That leads me to my: “The Question is Why” segment.

Why are so many Americans so quick to jump to, “Let the government pay for it”. The last I checked, the government doesn’t have a bottomless bank account. For those that struggle with this concept, let me put it in a simpler fashion…..

Someone has to fill the gas tank before you can run the car!

Now, if you are the one receiving the money from the government, you are not the one filling the gas tank. If you are the hard working, tax paying citizen, you ARE filling the gas tank.

The money isn’t falling from the sky people. It has to come from somewhere. We are going to be in trouble one day because, at the rate we are going, we are going to have more people taking money from government sources than we have paying in. What do we do then???

Now, the people I feel bad for are those that legitimately need the help. They are unable to fiscally contribute to society, either due to physical or mental limitations. It is our responsibly to help those that need that help. I won’t go into all of the ones that I feel we should NOT be helping because that would be another post. I want to talk about this one situation.

Here are some facts that I have learned, based on the story and the comments:

They “the couple” have been together for 20 years. This means they are capable of communicating with each other, making plans with each other, etc. It wasn’t a emotionally charged, spur of the moment, trip planned by 20 something year olds.

She (the wife) is a doctor. I don’t know what kind, but many posted that she was their doctor, so I’m going to guess at least family practice or specialty. She’s not a medical examiner for a county, she interacts with real people on a regular basis and seems to be well liked. This tells me she is educated, had decent social skills, etc.

They went with another couple. This means FOUR adults made the decisions for this trip, or at least 2 and the other two just went along with their decisions. Either way, one person, in all likelihood, did not plan and pay for this entire trip.

Four adults went on a trip outside the country, which means they knew to get a passport and they had the fiscal means to do so as well as the fiscal means to actually go on a trip.

I am not trying to pick on this couple during their tragedy, this really could be for anyone that fits these demographics…..but not once did they make a decision to purchase international trip insurance. That was THEIR choice. They didn’t look to see if their insurance would cover them outside of the country, but now that something tragic has happened, some “do gooder” instantly says….why isn’t the government helping to pay?

Are you kidding me???? That is the PROBLEM with so many. Now, in fairness….The wife is NOT the one asking the government to help. Someone set up a “GoFundMe” account for them. I truly do hope those they work with and those that respect this doctor step in and help them. I won’t be. Not because I don’t care, but because my money goes to organizations and causes I believe in. That’s how most people decide who and when to support.

For those that are reading this and want to see the original story, here it is: Accident leaves husband with brain injury

If you want to help them, here is the GoFundMe link. GoFundMe

It looks like almost half of the $100,000 has already been raised, which is great.

As I have said, this is NOT about them, I wish them well. This is about someone automatically saying anything that costs money should be the governments responsibility. Even I have gambled on the outside the US travel insurance. Sometimes I buy it, sometimes I don’t. Educational side note, ALWAYS know what your insurance does and does not cover, especially when going out of the country.

We have to stop automatically assuming the government’s money will bail us out when we make choices that end up fiscally impacting us.

That is my soapbox for the day.

The Question is WHY? Baby left in car

I first want to say I am happy the baby is safe and sound. I never wish harm on any child, or adult for that matter. Unless of course, the adult has done harm to others!

My question is why….

Why was the child left alone in the car in the first place? Almost every gas station has “pay at the pump” so PAY AT THE PUMP! If you do not want to be bothered by getting your child out of the car and then back in, DO NOT LEAVE THE AREA! It’s as simple as that. Yes, it is sad that the day of walking away for a few minutes and everything being ok is gone. People have to start taking responsibility for their own actions! Don’t leave your child in a car and then wonder why something happened to your child. It’s not rocket science people!

My question is WHY…..

The other part of my question….IF you MUST leave your child in the car while you ran in to pay, WHY did you leave the vehicle in a position to be taken? Did you lock your doors? Did you take your keys? Did you leave the windows down all the way?

It would seem to me that; IF you rolled the windows down (ventilation), but locked the doors, and took the key, there would not have been time for a car jacking. They would have tried the door, locked…dang it, move on to the next vehicle. If they had enough time to pop the lock AND Hotwire the car, HOW LONG was the parent inside “paying” for gas??? This is summer!!! You shouldn’t have been away from your child that long! I don’t think anyone of legal driving age has the excuse “I didn’t know what could happen” when they leave a child or an animal in a hot car. Ignorance is NOT bliss!

My dogs love to travel in the car with me. The minute it starts hitting 70+ degrees out, I think before they go with me. Will I have to stop and get out and leave them? What is the high temp for the day? I know dogs are not children but I’m going somewhere with this. I THINK about the steps BEFORE I leave the house.

I travel with my dogs, sometimes even in the summer. That takes even more preparation. Here are my steps when I stop to get gas and / or use the restroom when I’m traveling with them.
1. Leave the windows down while I’m pumping gas. Talk to them. Make sure their heads can get out the window but not their bodies. Not always an easy task when one is 100+ pounds and the other is 18 pounds but I’m checking it and gauging the windows at that time. All windows EXCEPT the driver’s side window is down pretty far.
2. They have a water source. It used to be a big bowl, but the mastiff would tip it over. Now they have a double-sided cooler I had in my basement that I never used. It’s high enough to hold water and heavy enough to keep from tipping.
3. I lock the doors and take the key.
4. I set my timer on my phone for 5 minutes. If my timer goes off and I am not walking out the door yet, I put stuff down (if buying snacks, etc), go out, check on them, go back in and finish the transaction. I make sure to set my timer again as I go back in.

Does all that seem extreme, probably to some but I don’t care. I am the one responsible for their health and well-being, just as a parent is responsible for their child’s health and well-being. All these steps may sound like a lot, but in reality, they take 20-30 extra seconds (other than having to run back out after five minutes). If these same steps were being followed by parents that don’t want to take their child in to the gas station or corner store then we would have less incidents where a child dies or is taken in situations like this article. Proper planning and forethought is all it takes. Of course, I don’t recommend letting your child stick his head out the window! 🙂

Parenting, be it to two-legged babies or four-legged babies, isn’t easy. We make decisions for them all the time that we then look back on and say…. WHY did we do that? We can’t plan for everything ahead of time, but just stopping and thinking about all possible scenarios for a few seconds and then acting on it would probably stop a lot of the stupidity!

Have a great day all!

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/baby-girl-found-safe-after-she-went-missing-stolen-car-n138196