Caregiving | 1010 Park Place
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Caregiving

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This was my little man, Sam. If you look closely, you can see fur peeking out from between his toes, a sure sign he was a house puppy, which was fine with me. Being an indoor dog made it easier for me to give him hugs, rub his soft silky ears and tell him how much he was loved and adored.

Sam captured our hearts the second we saw him. James said Sam was the only dog he knew who’d read and memorized the “Puppy Handbook.”

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Megan is a devoted wife, mother of four children of various ages, a photographer and the one in charge of cooking, cleaning and providing a family taxi service. Her pottery wheel is where she says, “I go, daily, to reclaim my sense of self.”

To the casual observer Megan and I are completely different. She’s tall and slender, never wears makeup or nail polish and is very quiet. I, on the other hand, am short and curvy, rarely seen without mascara and a red manicure and can be quite vocal. We live vastly different lives.

Yet we strongly agree on one particular topic; the importance of self-care.

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Annie
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My forearms look like someone burned rubber on the highway except instead of tire marks, they’re teeth marks, and I have a newfound respect for mothers… especially of twins. I now understand when mothers say they haven’t gotten out of their PJs or brushed their teeth, all day, and the only meal they’ve eaten is a cold slice of pizza on the run.

If you or anyone you know is lonely or depressed, I suggest a puppy instead of antidepressants. If you get two puppies, just don’t expect to get anything done!

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My bedroom smells like urine, and there’s a dog that likes getting stuck under my dresser, but I’m deliriously happy. It’s been a long time since I’ve had an eight-week-old puppy and until now… I’ve never had TWO. Everything is something to chew on: the dust ruffle on my bed; the edges of the old mirror that leans against my wall and the terra-cotta pots in the courtyard.

When they’re out of their crates, I feel like it’s Roller Derby time. Girls rushing past me like they’ve got wheels on their feet!

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My parents helped me so much with my kids when they were little. Loving, experienced… and free caregivers. It don’t get much better than that. Fortunately my folks lived close, so often my kids went to their place.

But many grandparents live far away, or take care of grandkids at their children’s home. Even when coming for a social visit, they often end up babysitting, and trust me. They love it. Continue Reading

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I knew Chantilly would be a good companion kitty for Penney, and we bonded, just like that! She'd already been spayed and had a microchip. Good work City Critters!
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I live and work in one of the largest cities in the world, have a lot of wonderful friends, but what would I do without my sweet kitties? Continue Reading

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Candy Martin, President, American Gold Star Mothers
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Did you know the last Sunday in September is Mother’s Day? While it’s not the traditional mother’s day most of us think of, Gold Star Mother’s Day is reserved for mothers who’ve lost a son or daughter in the active service of our country. Gold Star Mothers is a nonprofit, nonpolitical organization dedicated to continuing the service their fallen sons and daughters cannot finish. It’s been almost 100 years since Gold Star Mothers first came into existence.

During World War I, Grace Darling Seibold stopped receiving letters from her son, George. Every day she went to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., hoping to find him among the wounded.

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Last night I slept 14 hours. It’s now late afternoon, and I just awoke from a three-hour nap. I still feel like I could crawl into bed and crank out another eight or nine hours of deep REM before facing another day. No, I don’t have the flu, or narcolepsy, or a colossal hangover, but I have been serving as mother/hostess to a bevy of late teens and 20-somethings over a V-E-R-Y  L-O-N-G holiday weekend. Continue Reading

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Booker’s toupee was an exaggerated version of Frankie Avalon’s pompadour in the 60’s film, Beach Blanket Bingo. It was an odd-looking hairpiece that perched on Booker’s head like a renegade dust bunny, curled up for an afternoon nap. Booker liked to rattle-off names of Texas vegetation: “Bluestem, switchgrass, purpletop and drop seed.” Just when you thought he was finished, he’d let out a long sigh and continue with “scurf peas, prairie clover and Englemann daisies.”

When he was younger, Booker wanted to be a barber, but the only job he could get was barbering in a nearby asylum where manic depressives, old folks and autistic children were warehoused like rolls of cheap carpet.

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La Réserve B&B, Giverny
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How do I begin to describe the best things about my recent trip to France? Let’s start with my newfound love affair with Air France; new friends; Maison Laudrée’s legendary macarons; the Eiffel Tower at night; the gilt and grandeur of Versailles; the d’Orsay and Rodin Museums; decorative French Ironwork; tall walnut doors and old parquet floors; La Réserve B&B in Giverny; the beauty that is 1010 Park Place’s own Esther Zimmer, inside and out–Essie came from London and met me in Paris!–or that water is served in wine bottles.

I learned several things about self-care, although to my surprise, not where I expected to find it: in the Extreme Self-Care Retreat.

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