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[THR] Aloha All! It's good to be here with you...

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by Kona Girl, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. Kona Girl

    Kona Girl junior member
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    Aloha all of you in various stages of recovery. I joined a couple of days ago, but was encouraged to start my own thread...which I hadn't done. Soooo here I am.

    I've had many surgeries in my life, health challenges (2 aggressive cancer-breast and ovarian), but still consider myself at 71 to be a healthy, active woman inspite of these many challenges. I view them as blips on the screen of my life and only a tiny part of my story. which have contributed to my inner fortitude and added to my belief that I am a survivor and a healing human (at whatever level, physio, pshcho., mental, etc.)

    I had my right hip replaced (anterior) August 27th, my left knee back in 2011. I struggled lots with the healing of my knee (still am to a certain point), so I went into my hip replacement surgery with some anxieties. I didn't want to get too positively optimistic (as I had been with my knee), only to come away from it discouraged. Fortunately, my nature is to be optimistic and I think that's served me well during this first week of healing. Today, on day 10 of recovery, while not running out to the mailbox, LOL, I am now mostly without my crutuches. Does that mean I don't have a ways to go? Definitely not! My gait is slow, plodding, mostly pain free (until it isn't, especially if I over do which it doesn't take much to do. Then I grab my crutches for extra support).

    What makes me most impatient is that I'm still sleeping on my back on my recliner and would dearly love to turn onto my beleoved fetal position on a cozy mattress. But my body just isn't ready for that so I will wait and not push the river so to speak. I guess that's what experience teaches us...to be patient. Which has been difficult for me as an athlete because I want to get back out there on the courts ASAP!! LOL There's a great 12-Step saying, "I want what I want when I want it! Nooooo, you'll get what you get when you get it." Seems appropriate right now.

    I am grateful to be finally free of the opioids. My head was getting way too cloudy, but they were the only thing that helped with the amount of pain I had (which I wasn't prepared for once all the surgical medication wore off). Especially the hamstring and quad spasms that were fairly constant. Not as bad now as I regain a certain amount of range of motion. Much as I hate the opioids, they were a life saver. I'm now on Tylenol and only take 1/2 the prescribed amount. For that I'm very grateful.

    I have some goals...as a medical massage therapist I want to be back to work in 21 days. I originally, and unrealistically, thought 10 days would be when I'd return. My clients laughed at me, well deserved, when I told them that. LOL However, I do believe in setting goals and resetting when and if necessary. We're all different, our body has its own healing time line, and if I've learned anything it's to respect that timeline, but still push ever so slightly.

    Thanks for listening! I look forward to reading the members' threads and learning from each of you. Malama pono...
     
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  2. julesglass

    julesglass graduate

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    Evening @Kona Girl. Welcome to BoneSmart. I'm 8 weeks out and just starting to walk more without the cane. I think I spent 2 weeks in the recliner before I could get my leg up into bed. Ohhh it was heaven that night, to sleep in bed:roseshwr: Are you icing your hip? It helps with pain along with inflammation. I'm not athletic, however I don't like sitting or laying around. Lots here are athletic so plenty to help keep that patience muscle strong and in control. Take care, you're still early in recovery.
     
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  3. Kona Girl

    Kona Girl junior member
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    Good evening @julesglass! :flwrysmile:Thanks for your warm welcome. I appreciate your kind words. Regarding your thoughts: I can get my leg up on a bed, thank goodness, though the first five days, I had to lift my leg to where I wanted it and squiggle it around. Not only did the muscles not fire, but it just plain hurt!! Still do have to lift a bit, but mostly it responds pretty good. I don't ice now, as the swelling is down substantially, I don't have lots of pain and inflammation. I always advise my clients to ice acute injuries, I'm just not feeling particularly acute. Cute maybe...LOL... I don't apply heat to quads, where surgery was, but I do apply infrared heat to my hamstrings (in the back of leg) and to my lower back which gets sore from lying around. This helps these muscles to relax a bit and keep the spasms down.

    Regarding keeping muscles strong and in control, I do think that because I've been active all of my life, that has definitely helped me recover a bit faster. And as a body worker, I understand the functionality of the body and the "job" each muscle performs and why it/they may not be performing their best

    Yes, I agree, I'm early in recovery and a way to go before I'm playing competive pickleball again. Darn it! Will be heading to Hawaii soon (with surgeon's approval to fly) to continue healing. When I return, I hope to begin my return to the courts. :happydance::yes!::egypdance:
     
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  4. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hello Kona Girl, I'm happy to see you started a thread :welome: I believe you'll like it here.
    I'm sorry for the health challenges you've faced in your past. You certainly have a great attitude in regard to it all. It's inspirational and admirable. I wish you good health only going forward.

    It seems your goal of returning to work as a massage therapist at One Month post op is an ambitious one. I'm tagging @CricketHip to weigh in on that with her opinion as she is involved in the same type of work. I'm guessing you can set your schedule so you're not on your feet for lengthy stretches of time as you adjust to a phased return. It's your recovery to do your way but, CricketHip, may have some valuable insight to consider.
    Icing will help with any residual pain and swelling. It's recommended you ice for 40-60 minutes, no less, each time you ice. Target several times daily until you're no longer dealing with pain or swelling.

    Consider a belt from a robe as a leg lifter on the days you're having difficulty.

    Check out the Recovery Guidelines below. You'll find lots of useful info contained within the short articles.
    Thanks for joining us, stop back often, we'd love to support you on your healing journey!

    Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
    1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
    2. Control discomfort:
    rest
    elevate
    ice
    take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​
    3. Do what you want to do BUT
    a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
    b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.
    4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
    5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
    6. Access to these pages on the website

    Pain management and the pain chart
    Healing: how long does it take?
    Chart representation of THR recovery

    Dislocation risk and 90 degree rule
    Energy drain for THRs
    Pain and swelling control: elevation is the key

    Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it

    Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
    Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

    BIG TIP: Hips actually don't need any exercise to get better. They do a pretty good job of it all on their own if given half a chance. Trouble is, people don't give them a chance and end up with all sorts of aches and pains and sore spots. All they need is the best therapy which is walking and even then not to excess.

    We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

    While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask the at each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice. @Kona Girl
     
  5. Kona Girl

    Kona Girl junior member
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    Aloha Layla! Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement. Much appreciated! As I mentioned in my post, returning to work will be a series of goals set/reset/reset. If I set a goal at 10 days (yes, not doable), and my body says "NO!", I will not go. If I reset a goal to say three weeks, and my body says, "Nope, not quite ready," I will honor my body's guidance and wisdom. I do appreciate that many people (including myself at various times in my life) push ahead with the "no pain, no gain," philosophy. That's not mine, though when I was in my youth through my 20's, it had a loud voice. I've had to learn to regain a proper balance between creating a relationship with my mind/body that supports healing. Not one of dominace over the other. Believe me, this hasn't been an easy learning! Unlearning old paradigms can be very difficult. I'm sure you have found that as well. I would love to hear @CricketHip's experience. Sharing stories is so helpful.

    Thanks again. Pleasant evening. Malama pono...
     
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  6. Debru4

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    --Well said---I think this is so critical, and one of the hardest parts of recovery for most of us! It sounds like you are doing great. I hope your recovery continues to go well. And remember...keep going slowly now so you'll be able to go faster later.:loveshwr:
     
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  7. Kona Girl

    Kona Girl junior member
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    Aloha @Debru4! Thanks! A beautiful note to have received before I head off to dreamland. I love what you said, "keep going slowly now so you'll be able to go faster later." One of my many mantras I've added to my morning wake-up. And to be reminded of throughout my day. Sleep well...:hiking::upright::tennis2:
     
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  8. CricketHip

    CricketHip FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    @Kona Girl Hello and welcome to Bonesmart! Sounds like we have a similarity in our occupations, my wonderful OS gave me the best advice in regards to returning to work , I've followed it with both THR's.
    He suggested that I do one session, wait a day then another day with one session until I felt I could add a session each day. I began at week 7 with my first hip, 8th week with the second.
    so my schedule looked like this:
    Monday- one session
    Tuesday- off
    Wednesday- one session
    Thurs.- off
    Friday- off ( I decided to take Friday off, I felt achey)
    2cnd week- I did one session daily and took Thursday off and really was glad to have Thursday off!
    3rd week - One session daily and incorporated the clients who were harder to work on. 90 minute session and more of the therapeutic corrective work
    Now currently I am seeing 2 clients a day and will most likely stay at 2 clients daily for another two weeks. This way I can enjoy increasing my walking distances and whatever else is going on in my life.
    Interestingly with this hip, I feel I've lost a good bit of my arm strength. I am proceeding slowly to prevent an issue with my upper body, too.

    You sound like you are doing very well! Congrats on your new hip!
     
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  9. Kona Girl

    Kona Girl junior member
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    Aloha Carol! Good morning to you and thanks for your kind note. I had a TKR 8 years ago, a broken wrist (both ulna & radius bones) which required a permanent implant three years ago. With both of those, though very different, required that ever present listening to "how much" and "when can I work?" Fortunately, I'm self-employed which allows me, even when not in injury state, to work with as many clients in a day or week as I think my body/mind can handle. The good news is I absolutely love my work and clients and have been blessed to be able to do it long after many therapists have had to retire. As you know, massage in any form can be demanding. At 71, I feel doubly blessed and hope to continue for many more years.

    If I have any concerns, which time will only reveal, is will I get back to my level of fitness for the things I love? I play tournament pickleball, traveling to many states. The TKR left me with an uncomfortable level of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Syndrome, more commonly known today as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) which has affected my life. Obviously, I'm playing sports with it, so it can't be that bad. I've seen worse in a few clients and friends. I am old enough and, hopefully, wise enough to know that life is ever changing and adaptability to our circumstances, good or bad, is required for a certain level of inner peace. However, I've heard from some of my hip replacement friends how much better they are for having done it. I do hope that is my story.

    Regarding you: Do you think your loss of arm strength is a result of being away from your work for recovery purposes? I know sometimes for me I can lose strength much faster as I get older. LOL One thing I do for my recovery is sit in my chair and lift my weights. They're only 10 pounders but by lifting them I ensure a certain amount of retained strength. I work biceps, triceps, and lower arm muscles. I also have use bands which are tied to my bathroom door which I can do back and shoulder exercises fairly easily, even with a new healing hip. I started those about 5 days after surgery. Some loss is natural, of course, in the upper body. But I've found that has come back pretty fast after a time out, I guess because I'm always doing something to remain as strong as possible.

    Your schedule sounds like a sound one and you've allowed yourself some "wiggle" room for change in your schedule should you need to. I agree with scheduling the less physically demanding clients first. Some require kitten touch/energy work, others are tough guys who want the all of me, which I'm grateful I can give. However, new injuries aren't in my landscape...so I can only give what I can give. I will most likely save them for much later in my recovery.

    My surgeon says he thinks, knowing me, that I could possibly be back to work by one month and out on the courts again at week 6, though with very limited play. I can do that! But time and body will tell. Worthy goals but my body will be the judge.

    I wish you all the best on your healing journey. I love your name BTW...Cricket...it fits a new two-hipper! LOL

    All my best...malama pono
     
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  10. Barbaraj

    Barbaraj post-grad

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    Welcome, @Kona Girl, with your positive and realistic attitude towards recovery, I bet you will do just fine. I was not a competitive player (pickleball--did you know it originated here in Washington State, where I live?) and didn't have a physical job like yours, but I did keep in pretty good shape with daily exercises and regular trips to the gym for some cardio so I, too, kept in reasonably good shape before surgery. I agree, being as active as you can before surgery, barring other health concerns, will probably make your recovery a bit faster than many IF you are sensible and really do stick to your plan of not pushing yourself too hard. It is a wonderful to set goals to keep your "eye on the prize" but having these goals be flexible is key. Congratulations on getting through surgery and joining everyone here on the recovery trail!
     
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  11. CricketHip

    CricketHip FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hi again! I'm not too sure about my arm strength, I actually missed more than 8 weeks of work due to a death in my immediate family, so in retrospect, it's been a longer sabbatical.
    My inclination is to think that I am still protective of my hip and am using my arms too much in the delivery of strokes.
    I worked on that today with a client.. using my legs more and it seemed fine, later tonight will tell me the true story and of course I shall ice as soon as I get home, to be safe.
    Good for you for adding hand weights. I did a very light version of that and some wall push ups, etc.
    So very glad that you are doing so well! The surgery is life changing, for sure!

    Have a great weekend!
     
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  12. Kona Girl

    Kona Girl junior member
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    Aloha @Barbaraj and @CricketHip! We all seem to be on the same page regarding healing. Set realistic goals, move as the body wisdom guides... I love you for what you add to the vitally positive life forces we desperately need at a micro and macro cosmic level in our world today. Do do do do. LOL

    @Barbaraj, yes, I know that pickelball originated here. Cool huh? In fact, in my tournament tennis days, way back when, my brother-in-law had a pickleball court in his back yard, he invited us to play. A dedicated tennis player, I thought this was a fun game, not serious like tennis, kinda silly. Nobody knew how to really play and when I thought "enough of that game," I headed back to my first love. Fast forward 40 years later after knee and back injuries, I sadly left tennis, like so many of us had to. It was only a couple of years ago that I rediscovered pickleball and fell passionately in love with the game. You wouldn't believe how many seniors play, and now the youngsters are getting involved. It's grown from 2 million in 2018 to 8 million this year!! Much easier on the body, more social, friendly and what a great way to meet people from all over the country. PS: Also cool you live in the Washington area. Maybe we can get together some day and compare hips! LOL

    All my best...have a great day!
     
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  13. Barbaraj

    Barbaraj post-grad

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    Glad to read, @Kona Girl, that you were able to move from tennis to another active, more social and fun game. My dad knew one of the guys who invented the game, here in Bainbridge Island, WA, and my dad used to set up a net across the street from our house which was, fortunately, not a heavily trafficked street as the net needed to be moved whenever a car needed to pass. Never played myself but sounds like, at 8 million, it's really taken off! Have a great day yourself.
     
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  14. Trudijane

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    Hi!
    I really admire your totally positive attitude about pretty much everything - and as another person said, one day you will realize it's the best thing you could have done. I had so many expectations in the beginning (Posterior RHR on 4/4) so I'm going on 6 months. I actually bought 2 recliners that I didn't have before which are wonderful to sit in now.

    In bed, I was always a back sleeper, but I would find myself switching to my right side - which I could not do until fairly recently. This group helped me enormously every time I vented about this being wrong and that being wrong, etc. I was maybe going on 3 weeks and based on what others told me, I should have been walking freely by then. I learned there were no expectations or time frame in which we all heal. I am only thankful that I have (mostly) and I can begin doing things without thinking or being over cautious.

    I'm sure you will be a great asset to this wonderful group!
    Trudi
     
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  15. Kona Girl

    Kona Girl junior member
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    Aloha @Trudijane! What a lovely note! I appreciate your affirming comments...I've pretty much been a positive person since I was born, much to my mother's chagrin. She never really understood that, provably because she was so cerebral and probably was challenged with some depression. Over the years, I've learned to balance my over agreeableness with a little more grit. The two can be an awesome combination! Wisdom is born of experience is one of my favorite sayings mostly because I find it to be true.

    Yes, healing should have that right combination too! A certain amouont of expectations is a good thing, IMO, but realistic expectations is much better. I've had a few too many huge scary health challenges and some not as big, as well as other "stuff" that we all have to deal with during our lifetimes. That's when I "knew" in my gut that I had to fight, be determined, visualize success, and go to my darker places so the light could shine in. I love that I feel that so utterly cellularly now.

    My hip replacement is just another blip, as I mentioned. Going from stability to chaos and back again is a normal cycle of life. I've learned not to be afraid (mostly) of those natural cycles, though I admit I do like the "UP" times a whole lot more! LOL
    All my best and thanks again for taking the time to write. I really appreciate your thoughts. Malama pono...:flwrysmile:
     
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  16. Barbaraj

    Barbaraj post-grad

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    Hope you're waking up this morning with a smile and your usual positive attitude, @Kona Girl. Positive attitude is critical in so many situations, and it's really helpful, I've found, in hip recovery. Sure, I had the meltdown at day four (really miserable and unhappy, and undoubtedly undermedicated--bad me) but the next day, having reluctantly popped an oxy so I could sleep, I got up the next day to behave, even if I didn't feel like it, and pretend to be more optimistic and positive. It worked! The first two weeks were tough for me, but since then I've continued to sail along pretty well--aching and stiffness a "new normal" but as this is my second hip replacement, I know that in time this will fade and I'll be bouncing around in my life cheerfully and easily in a few more months. Have a great Sunday!
     
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  17. Kona Girl

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    Aloha @Barbaraj! I always love reading your posts, to whomever. I did wake up with a smile this morning, as I had a rather "bad" night. More pain than I'd had in many days. Not sure why...I didn't do anything that I could see that exacerbated it. So iced up, Tylenoled up, and 1 oxy. Finally I fell asleep, gratefully. While the pain isn't gone completely (that would be entirely unrealistic thinking on my part), it's much better. I take it to mean that my body is in another phase of its remodeling healing cycle. I've learned it's not a linear path. Darn!!:good-bad:

    Will be in week two on Tuesday...aching and stiffness with me, so I definitely resonate with you. Having had several surgeries, like you, I know in time the pain, the stiffness, the memory will fade, and new normal will be left. No wonder women continue to have babies. They forget the pain of childbirth!!! LOL

    Have a lovely Sunday. I'm going to watch the movie, A Dog's Journey. It will be a great distraction and I hear it's really GOOD!:angel:
     
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  18. Kona Girl

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    I've actually enjoyed, well maybe that's not quite the right word, for my last 12 days of recovery. I've latched onto a really phenomenal yet a bit controversial Canadian psychologist, Jordan Peterson, who not only has a zillion (ok, I'm exaggerating), YouTube interviews, but has written several well-known books, one of which I'm immersed in. It's called, "12 Rules for Life...An Antidote to Chaos." Deep. Very deep, which I love, but definitely a renewed invitation to all for Self-Responsibility, Transparency, Brutal Self Honesty, and aligning our words with our actions. Can't put this thing down for more than a minute, so intriguing and thought provoking. If you like the revealing archetype stories of Carl Jung, Nietzsche, Doetoyevski, etc. you will really like his stuff. More distraction during your healing time.

    This afternoon is calm after the brilliant light show we had in the Seattle area last night. Wow! And what a show it was. Painfully bright and loud. Perhaps the high barometric pressures were the reason for my increased pain last night. I had been doing so well, then whoosh, it seemed I took a few backward steps (though I know I didn't, it's all part of the non-linear process). And this afternoon, no pain, feeling relaxed and ready to settle into a movie my daughter recommended, "A Dog's Journey." A bit lighter fare than Jordan Peterson...looking forward to sinking into my cozy recliner, and munching down a bunless turkey burger and salad, and hanging with a cute pup.

    Hope your recovery days have been peaceful and painless as possible. Malama pono...:flwrysmile:
     
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  19. Barbaraj

    Barbaraj post-grad

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    Hey, good Monday to you, @Kona Girl Yes, it was a pretty spectacular display on Saturday, wasn't it? My husband got a great view from Husky stadium's concourse after all the fans were relegated to the concourse area as the game was weather delayed, and he said it was "magnificent". Can't imagine having the patience to read the sort of book you've described, too intense for me--and I'm a lazy, although voracious, reader--but mysteries and other fiction are my go-to reads. I used to read more nonfiction when my parents were alive (Christmas gifts always involved books) but as I've gotten older I've gotten to the point where I only read fun stuff. Yes, my brain is probably rotting away from this "meretricious garbage" (as my mother would refer to my reading choices) but it is what it is. Still, kudos to you for immersing yourself in deeper, more controversial reading--and having the interest and the patience. Hope your aching subsided a bit and you're feeling better today. Week two is just around the corner!
     
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  20. Kona Girl

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    @Barbaraj I'm my mother's daughter, so to speak. It's difficult to pull away from a highly politically active mom whose idea of reading was Ayn Rand's, Fountain Head, Anthem, and others. And we were definitely encouraged to read from a very early age, those very books plus some. I do love the depths of exploration into our inner worlds, actually getting lost (in a good way) for hours on end. However, I do like the simple, the fantasy, the fun, the Hallmark moments of a good movie or mystery book, especially those with investigation high on its priorities. I was once a criminal investigator, so no wonder. Last night I was lightened by the movie, "A Dog's Journey." Such a sweet, though sometimes sad, story. Wouldn't it be nice to know that all the lovely critter furry friends we know have been following us through their incarnations to be there for us. Somehow I do believe that!

    Enjoy your day in wet Seattle. I'm here with you... much more enjoy the sunshine and blue skies. :)
     
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