Finding the silver lining: Spilling over high tea February 2017


Do you know where the quote “every cloud has a sliver lining” came from? I didn’t, so I looked it up. Don’tcha love google?

Turns out it’s a quote from John Milton. From the 1600s! That Milton’s clouds were a thing. That it got changed to the quote we knew in the Victorian era. Who knew? Well, now we do.

I do try to hunt out the silver, and sometimes it’s found in really surprising places!

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Today I am joining up with Coco and Deborah for their ultimate coffee tea date.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that while I am sorry for the skiers, I am so not sorry that overall, so far, the winter has been rather crazy and mostly mild.

I would also tell you that we are not out of the woods yet. It is February, the month I was almost born in a car due to a snowstorm — yes, February is usually the worst month of the winter.

Sometimes March gets that honor. And we are traveling in March.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that, as I’ve been saying all along, I am a bad daughter. I think my sister and I try to fight over that honor. The reason I had to take my parents to the doctor, despite the fact that my sister lives right there, was that she was taking a little staycation and just couldn’t bear devoting the better part of a day to my parents. Again.

Which is fine — she has born the brunt of caring for my parents, and I have yet to take them to the emergency room. She was absolutely due a break.

It never even occurred to me to stay overnight so I didn’t have to do so much driving. Of course, then there’s the problem of the dogs, but the truth is . . . I don’t want to stay over night with them in their now much smaller apartment which only has 2 bathrooms.

My Dad suggested it out of the blue while I was down there, but of course I didn’t have any clothes with me, I hadn’t brought food for the dogs . . . was that a conscious or subconscious decision?

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that I know my life will continue to be a little crazier, too, because of my parents. More trips, less time, more stress.

So of course I am contemplating running 4 halfs this year.

They always say you should carefully consider your stress level before signing up for a race. But here’s the truth: running destresses me (when it’s not stressing me out how to get it in, of course). Having goals to work towards and exciting vacations to dream about destresses me.

Until I totally get FOMO over your beach vacation photos in December, when all my trips are finished and winter is sinking its hooks into us.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that mom guilt is real, even for furkid moms.Don’t worry, I’m not equating being a furkid mom with being a mother of little humans. I can leave my furkids, after all.

Still, I crate Bandit when I am not home. Lola hasn’t been crated in years (although she still goes in her crate when nervous or afraid). And although Bandit seems quite calm in the crate while I am out (Mr. Judy has a webcam trained on him), he is super anxious to get out by the time I get home.

So it’s hard for me to go out for more than 3, maybe 4 hours tops, unless Mr. Judy is home.  Because of mom guilt!

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that sometimes the hardest things might actually be the best things. You hear that all the time, of course, but it’s hard to believe while you’re in the trenches. And some things really do just suck.

The boys helped me through a lot of tough times
We got the boys (Gizmo & his brother) after losing Cleo, and while Puss was declining with kidney disease. They got me through so many tough days; they made me laugh every day (until we lost Simba to lymphoma, too early, of course). They definitely helped heal the hole in my heart.

Are you my silver lining (and my cloud)?
Dare I say that Bandit is doing the same thing for us? Oh, he’s still not an easy dog, obviously (hello, occasional growling at Mr. Judy). I was so desperate to get rid of him when we got him — short of ending his life, of course, as we’d been advised to do (or assured we weren’t bad people if we chose to do so).

The first few months were definitely hell, too, and there were many tears shed and I’m not a cryer at all. But now he does make us laugh. And the pain of losing Chester has definitely faded a lot . . . perhaps that’s just time, but I like to think that Bandit had a paw in it; I still do really feel that Chester sent him to us.

Don’t worry buddy; always in my heart

Now when I think of Chester, there’s a little bit of a wistful smile on my face.

Why couldn’t Lola heal that hole? I really liked having just one dog — I still kind of miss that. It was far easier. Maybe Lola was just too inextricably intertwined with Chester in my mind. Maybe it was the fact that she began to get depressed, too. Or maybe sometimes you just need something new and “fresh” in your life.

Don’t click on that!


If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you I came downstairs to exercise after being away from the computer for a while to see this lovely message on my screen, and any tab I clicked on in Google Chrome just made a bleeping noise (hence the Bleeping Noise malware name).

All the instructions to get rid of it were long and complicated and involved downloading more software or had steps that didn’t work.

I ran a quick virus scan. Then a complete one. I’m not sure it’s gone — I’d bet money it’s not — but at least I was finally able to close Chrome, reopen it, and finish up this post. How’s that for a silver lining? They’re everywhere, if you look for them (just don’t come talk to me if it happens again).

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Or something else?

What helps heal your heart?

Do you have mom guilt over your furkids?

Do you sign up for all the races when you’re stressed?

31 thoughts on “Finding the silver lining: Spilling over high tea February 2017

  1. Wow ! I am emotionally exhausted reading this post.

    I hope your parents are doing better. I get the stress of taking care of parents. When my mom was sick a few years ago, it was all me. My sister always had something to do it seemed. I guess that is the responsibility of the children though right….they tool care of us now it is time to take care of them.

    Mom fur guilt is real!! Since having kids, my relationship with my cat has shifted completely and not in a good way and I feel horrible.

    Thanks for the tea!


    1. I guess my furkids are lucky I didn’t have human kids. 🙂 How could I, since I seem to get the hard case furkids?

      I don’t think my parents are really going to be doing any better. One could hope, but at that age . . . unfortunately I think it’s downhill all the way. 😦

      However, all 3 of us really do chip in. My brother comes in frequently from the West Coast — poor guy is always so exhausted, talk about moms not taking care of themselves!

      And my sister does her share, and then some, even though she really doesn’t want to.

      I’d do more, but it’s very hard with just that little bit of distance between us.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Coffee drinker here. Time & the love from my husband is what heals me. Caring for parents is tough. I live 1500 miles from where mine lived. Both got diagnosed with cancer. Dad first & Mother after he died. Talk about guilt! My sister lived close by so she pitched in often. Both were capable of taking care of themselves so it didn’t involve nurse type care. However, I felt guilt even though they told me not to. I was not running back then, but I was a big bike rider & hiker & found exercise kept me sane. I have been running since 2015 & running is my stress release. I am happy I found your blog since I am an older runner (54 in April).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We used to live 2000 miles away, but then moved almost 9 years ago. Now we’re just far enough away to make going down frequently not easy, but at least doable.

      My parents no longer drive, and my Dad is definitely no longer capable of completely taking care of himself (he’s also almost 91). It’s hard.

      People do go through far worse things, though, and I’m well aware of that.


  3. We don’t feel guilty about leaving our dogs alone but do try to limit it to 8 hours. One is crated and the other sleeps in our master bedroom closet. I think they enjoy their long, uninterrupted naps! I know it can be very stressful having sick and aging parents. My are both gone now, but I have a brother that needs special care. You are lucky to have a sister so close to your parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t feel that way about Lola, but of course I’m not gone 8 hours a day & frankly — pretty sure either one wouldn’t make it that far.

      But with Bandit? Yeah, he gets so anxious; it makes it hard.

      I am very lucky my sister is so close — her, not so much.


  4. What was the original Milton quote? I guess I can Google it. Caring for aging parents is tough. I’m an only child so it will all come to me. Luckily my Mom is healthy and active now. I’m so glad things are getting better with Bandit. You did go through a lot to get there.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I feel extreme guilt when I have to board my dog. I don’t worry about leaving him at the house all day, but I just hate leaving him at the vet for boarding…he just looks so sad and I wonder if he thinks we’re never coming back. And trust me, I have three human kids…and the mom guilt is much worse over furbabies because you can talk to your human kids and explain things to them and know they understand. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a pretty coffee mug you have there! My mug is filled with raspberry tea today. So here’s my “every cloud has a sliver lining” example from today’s run… The overcast and chilly morning meant fewer people were out on Saturday morning at the park. I like seeing familiar faces there, but I also like being alone sometimes like it’s my very own park!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I smile every time you reference your past year with Bandit, and how things played out. I know it was tough in the beginning, but I so admire your patience with him. Our little Max kind of has free roam of the house (well, all the upstairs doors are kept closed LOL), so I don’t have too much guilt leaving him as long it’s not for more than 5-6 hours at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not even a year yet, kim. 🙂

      Lola is free to roam the house. Bandit still has some issues, and I am not ready to let him loose in the house while I am not there.

      I used to leave the dogs for 5 hours at a time . . . sigh.


  8. I have mom guilt with my cats and dog all the time, especially now that my dog is getting older and I work in the backcountry a few days a week. I’m lucky I have my mom and grandma nearby to help me pick up the slack though. I definitely believe animals can heal our hearts though.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My heart is still healing and I can’t tell you a thing is helping. Keeping busy does not hurt. Enjoy the silver lining and remember to breathe 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. MB, it hasn’t been very long for you at all. I haven’t lost a parent yet, obviously, and so cannot speak to that.

      As to the animals . . . time helps. A lot. And everyone grieves in their own way; there is not schedule for grief.

      I also have not lost anyone suddenly — well, uncles & grandparents. but not anyone truly close to me. Someday, no doubt. I think that’s a lot harder — you aren’t ready and have no chance to say goodbye. 😦


  10. Aggg- the computer thing is my nemesis! I am always waiting for some virus to hit and I am the same way with thinking it never is truly gone- though, Chrome is supposedly the best at detecting and protecting your stuff- technology! Your pics of your furry loves are adorable- you are their mom so it is very much a parenting situation, I think fair to say!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Caring for aging parents is such an emotionally draining thing. My mom has been going through it with my grandmother and I’ve seen the effect. It’s great when you have siblings that can help with the load.

    I’m glad to hear Bandit has helped to fill that hole…I remember when you first got him and were feeling so doubtful! I’m sure you have many, many more adventures ahead!

    I haven’t been feeling the “mom guilt” yet, but it’s easier because we have 2 kittens so they are usually fine if we’re gone. I definitely look forward to coming home and having them back on my lap!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Caring for parents is hard and you just have to the best you can. I’m positive your don’t win the worst daughter award.
    Oh and the dogs… so hard. Mine always have something happening to keep me on my toes. And I still miss my Reina even with this crazy puppy keeping me busy.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Total mom guilt for my furkid! My husband is traveling all week so I am working from home because I hate having to leave her multiple times (workout in the morning, then for work, then for run or errands in the evening). At least when my husband is home she doesn’t get left a lone in the evening. I feel you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! My husband has had to work from home a lot this year due to all my time at my parents.

      Because Bandit still has separation anxiety (thankfully mild), it’s hard to leave him multiple times, too. Hopefully someday we’ll get there.

      Lola just thinks I get more kongs . . .


  14. I totally get mom guilt leaving the dogs when I go off to work when the hubs is out of town… I get it if it is nice out and they can play in the yard all day or if they get stuck inside all day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We never leave the dogs out in the yard unsupervised (not for any length of time). They just always seem to get into some mischief if we do.

      And this time of year — they don’t want to be out too long anyway.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s