Kristina Furey

Lead us not

 

They call him president…  

I don't!

I see his mouth moving but all I hear is,

“MY AMBITION SUPERSEDES:

your science

your health

your worth

your safety

your contributions

your needs

your compassion

your grace

your life

your children

their offspring

humanity

your god

MY AMBITION SUPERSEDES

all that exists or would but for my ambition. 

This is MY KINGDOM, MY POWER, bask in MY GLORY! The rest is just alternative news. These are MY WORDS, MY LAWS, MY AMBITIONS, MY KINGDOM COME, MY WILL, TO BE DONE!!!"


and so it is, with dark humor, that I laugh at the last week’s White House dinner for Evangelical supporters.  It is a sad, heartbroken, on the verge of hysterical laugh that slips out of me as I ponder the possibility of having crossed into the twilight zone or maybe this is Wonderland on steroids. I was invited to the Tea Party, I did not drink the tea and certainly would not purposefully inhale the mercury vapors coming from the Mad Hatter's hat!

 

Seriously, how could they have been so blind of his self generated pride and adversarial disposition. Look at his track record and see a person who seeks to deceive and throw suspicion on facts. He downplays the worth of others by stereotyping and maligning them. He seems to have an endless supply of remarks and tweets to discredit and devalue the citizens of our country. Then there's the jabs taken at other leaders and countries without concern for our American’s safety, here and abroad and those in service to our country.   My heart filled with grief, that we would dismantle families and incarcerate them, when they come to us from neighboring countries in search of help… There has also been dismantling of our government and things like the repeal on clean power (I urge you to go research this now, if you are a parent of a child that has allergies, immune disorders or asthma).  He dismantles with no real consideration for our patriots abroad. No concern when his unchecked ego puts them in harm's way, as they attempt to represent or negotiate on behalf our country.  His behavior, time and time again, has been completely disrespectful. Shameful, that he believes our daughter's are his for the grabbing, by the… well whatever, so long as they're not bleeding from the, well wherever. His disrespect goes beyond those individuals, singled out. It touches each of their loved ones and pollutes our society as a whole. He acts as if people are merely items to be used, silenced, discarded... and now God… I hope my fellow Americans are paying attention, especially those that identify themselves as Christians. WWJD? I don't suppose he would show up at that supper and praise Trump. If you find your own religious leader doing such a thing, you may want to ask yourself, “Who is their God?”  "Have they taken a false god?" Take some time to educate yourself as best you can. Then take a moment and pray on it but please, don't put your faith in false prophets.


Forgive me, if my words seem harsh or controlling. I only mean to caution you.  We were given free will for a reason and I believe in respecting free will. We all need to experiment with ours and hopefully, we learn from our mistakes. Through my own experiences, I have come to the conclusion, that my free will best suits me when I respect what I was taught was God's will, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Truly, this is what repulses me on the man people are calling, Mr. President. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth picturing that. I just can't digest what is going on. My apologies, that I have been stuck here on this subject. I know now, I need to be done with it. It's stupid to beat a dead horse, a dead fish, whale, my brother, my father or my mother... What's done is done. I can choose to live in the past and be angry over what's been done.  Ambitious greed will get us the same results time and time again, lives dismantled. I can choose to live in the present continuing down the paths that have been so well worn for me to walk down myself or I can look for higher ground and hope that when the waters rise I will be safe, able and willing to do the best I can for myself, my loved ones and others.  I can pray that God will spare us from all the natural disasters that we humans bring upon ourselves and this world. I will pray for forgiveness for myself, you and even those who claim, that none of what happens is their fault. I will pray for the enlightenment of all and that we may all learn, that we have the power to move forward, past this, past grudges and the memories of suffering at the ambition of others and I will pray for the ability to put my own actions behind my prayers, as I do my best to move forward, come what may.

 

Here is a riddle I wrote when I was a teenager, meant to be in the style of the riddle song, "I Gave My Love A Cherry". My riddle was, "What is left when all is gone? (Answer: memories, memories) What with us will travel on? memories, memories)" Seemed important I write that one down, less I forget, as it seemed to me at the time, that too many grown ups seem to have a terrible condition of amnesia. That said, I will leave you with this, "Touto poieite eis ton emen anamnesin"--Jesus' words (unless I have received alternative news instead of the good news.)

 

With love, the girl next door

 

I was teased by the man behind me at the grocery store today for how many bottles of Perrier I had in my cart.  I told him I stock up when they're on sale. We got to talking about mineral water and I told him about a place in Missouri, I had been to once, while touring an old Spa frequented by Marilyn Monroe. I told him how it was there, that I discovered there is a such thing as a bar that serves nothing but mineral water. He had never heard of such a thing and he was from Missouri. By this point, in the conversation, my cart was packed and my receipt was in hand. So before I gave it any thought, I ended the conversation with, “If we all don't watch ourselves and take care of our water supply, we might find water bars are the only place we'll be able to get a healthy glass of water”.  Ou, ouch, I felt a little guilty as I walked away that I left such a dooming thought with him, the cashier and the person bagging. I hate leaving conversations on low notes but I find that's happening more with me recently. I need to work on this, if I am to leave a legacy of love, peace and hope.


I love Perrier, it is my favorite mineral water! I call it fizzy as opposed to flat.  I still remember the first time, in Columbia Mall, as I sat down to eat a pasta salad I had ordered from Vie de France. Along side it, that cute little green bottle. I stuck my straw into that little Perrier bottle and had my very first mineral water experience!  This was not soda but it gave the same burning, thirst-quinching sensation soda gives, only without that drying, itchy feeling, I get from soda. Instead, it was purely, satisfying and I was an immediate fan! These days, if I drink Perrier straight from the bottle, I drink it from a metal straw or with no straw at all.  Mostly, I get the big glass bottles and drink it in small doses, out of a glass. Mmmm and sometimes with a slice of fruit or some ginger syrup I make.


While I hated to leave the grocery store today with such a dark warning, I have seen with my own eyes what unhealthy water does.  In June, we thought it would be fun to take our dog to a dog beach. Only, when we got there, I had to pull her away from a dead fish and then another dead fish and another, which lead me to look around and notice there were many dead fish down the shoreline. I had been cautioned years ago when I came to visit Florida about a thing called red tide. I have an overactive immune system and someone mentioned, out of concern for me, to be careful because some people have allergic reactions to red tide.  If I understand correctly, in the more recent past the red tide would be here for a few months and then would be gone. Now it's here for longer and longer periods of time. It kills all sorts of aquatic life. It can bring on asthma attacks in some people. It seems there is a connection between the algae in Lake Okeechobee and our lingering red tide situation.  Something about how the algae breaks down into something (I think nitrogen) when it hits the salt water, that provides nourishment for the red tide. Anyway, I'm trying to educate myself on this, as well as other things that are unhealthy to our planet and I'd like to encourage you to do the same. We are in this together not to-get-her or him or them. So we just need to come together, with, or in search of solutions.


I know people think I'm a little woo woo out there sometimes because I'm a romantic and an imaginative one at that but I'm also very much a realist, a person who holds the facts in high regard. I believe in being proactive.  Which is why I find it deflating when I'm guilty of taking a moment and downgrading it, like the one in the grocery store today. Hope is a medicine I don't want to defeat. I realize, I have been confronted with things disturbingly real and at times, I feel I'm not fit for human consumption as I fear I'm contagious of things that would defeat hope and the energy it brings to create solutions and this, at a time when I know, I know, I know, we all need to come together. If I could perform Spock's Vulcan mind meld, on people I would, so they would understand what I understand. I don't want to judge. I don't want to preach. So, I guess the best I can do is ask "What kind of world do you want to live in? How long do you want your loved ones to live? Yourself? What quality of life do you want for them and yourself? How do you assure this will be so? Are you willing to make it so?"


I recently sunk a small fortune into something called Dynasteam.  I don't want to use something that may cost me, a loved one, anyone else or other creatures, their health, life or extinction. So in lieu of dubious weed killers, I am really hoping my weed steamer is up to the challenge of removing the weeds from my gardens. I used the Dynasteam on one garden last week and it worked, mostly. There are some weeds that look untouched, so I will be going back over them (perhaps it was user error), as well as expanding treatment to the rest of my gardens. Fingers crossed!! I'm hoping for a planet healthy tool that I can educate others about while lending mine (they are crazy expensive) to neighbors and friends, so we can all take a step in a healthier direction. (Did I ever mention the idea that I believe Libraries should lend out tools, toys and other material goods so we can help out our community members, cut down on discarding items to the dump and cut the energy and money it takes to create so many non organic items?)  I believe if each of us would just research one thing and work on finding a solution we can share with those around us, we have the ability to find healthy solutions to all of our problems. As for me, I won't stop searching! I have a legacy to leave, one of love, peace and hope.



Here's a song I have been working on for years. It has had many incarnations but I think I just might settle on this one. I call it "The Girl Next Door" and this last re-write took place two days ago.

 

"Life can steal a moment from you

before you know you've been hit

Strip you of sacred possessions

and all while you're still just a kid

They say the one without sin

should throw the first stone

I'm not trying to condemn

just trying to find my way home


Didn't mean to be the one

bound to let you down

Cast within a role

a scapegoat to be found

Then you ask me

who do I think I am

So I'll try to say it in a way

I think you'll understand


I’m just the girl next door

The one they ignore

The one they never pay attention to

Unless they're calling me weird or insincere

but I don't dare take my eyes off of you

cuz I know what life can do.


People say that I should take

this path laid out for me

I keep trying to explain

I'm not the girl they peg me to be

They think I'm entitled

my eyes are focused on you

They just see me dancing

magicians use distractions too

 

I'm just the girl next door

The one they ignore

The one they never pay attention to

Unless they're calling me weird or insincere

But I don't dare take my eyes off of you

cuz I know what life can do.


A lifeguard scans the horizon making sure that no one drowns

The girl next door gets put down for no ambition to leave town

I never chose where I chose to stay to be a failure at anything

I'm just a girl standing in front of you begging you to see me

love me, can't you see

why I chose to be


The Girl Next Door

The one they ignore

The one they never pay attention to

unless they're calling me weird or insincere

but my eyes, my eyes won't leave you

cuz I know, I know, I know what life can do.

 

So I'm watching Classic Albums yesterday...

"Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance"--Margaret Atwood

 

"Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance, you have to work at it".--Margaret Atwood from The Handmaid's Tale.

A young man, age 30, was telling me about a memorial service he was at with his cousins.   He said, as people ate, drank and toasted the departed, he took his cousins aside and asked them, “What’s missing at this service”?  When no one was able to come up with an answer, he shared with them that there were no children. “Here we are ages 33 the oldest and 18 the youngest and none of the 9 of us, have any children.  Children represent hope and are a reminder at a funeral, of the continuity of life". He recounted how 13 years earlier, their youngest cousin, had humored the family the night before the great-grandmother's funeral, when the youngster asked if they too, were going to great-grandmother's graduation and some quick-witted adult chimed in, “Yes, you can call it a graduation of sorts".   Everyone laughed and the mood was lightened. I told this young man, I thought it was an astute observation on his part. I found his observation thought-provoking and unsettling at the same time and his words, “Children are our hope and reminder of the continuity of life” I feel should be shouted from every corner of the globe.


Have you noticed how children have been making headlines lately as shooters, as victims of gun violence, there was the soccer team trapped in the cave and there's the immigrant children, torn from their parents…  


Interesting to me, our country is once again revisiting Roe versus Wade these past weeks with the latest Supreme Court nomination.  Pro life... Pro choice... I don't really have a point to make, except, maybe we should put that on the back burner for now and do the best we can to protect the hope we have, in an effort to assist the continuity of life.

Ordinary People-by me

“Goodnight, Sweet Prince”, she whispered to the night.  She said,”I think I've been missing you through the hardest part of my life”.  “Goodnight, Sweet Prince”, she whispered like a prayer “and as I lay me down to sleep, I hope to find you there”.   “Because in my dreams, I can hold you. I can hold you through the night. And I long to be with you, come the mornings light”.  


Ordinary People, with extraordinary love, the kind that is stronger, than the romance books speak of.  Extraordinary love, to withstand the tests of time and a love made only stronger, by the challenges of life.


And they knew, of life's true gifts.  For their children, did their best, and they held on to, one another as each child left the nest.


Ordinary People, with extraordinary love, the kind that is stronger, than the fairy tales speak of.  Extraordinary love, to withstand the tests of time and a love made only stronger, by the challenges of life.


As I look, at my husband, I pray that we too shall know, that kind of love, that lasts forever.  The kind that always grows..


Ordinary People, with extraordinary love, the kind that is stronger, than most people, ever know.  Extraordinary love, to withstand all tests of time and a love made only stronger, by the challenges of life.


Good night, sweet prince. Good night, princess. Your love has been a testament and our legacy, was to have come from it.

 

 

"A Little More Like Me (The Crucifixion)"--Kenny Rogers

"I'm fixing a hole"--Lennon and McCartney

"Look Away"--Lemony Snicket

 
You have been warned! <--(Just substitute immigrant children for Baudelaire children.)

Living in DC I had a best friend whose Grandparents fled Czechoslovakia (from Nazis) with her mom, who was a baby at the time.  I had a handful of friends that came from other countries, including a friend in Middle School, (if memory serves me right it was a Vietnamese friend) that told me how her family came to America by boat.  I had the pleasure of having so many friends, with such interesting backgrounds and stories, who were either becoming American’s or were studying to become an American.  The DC area is really a delight of cultural diversity. I was fortunate to have grown up in that culture while young and developing my mind and beliefs. It encouraged in me a love of all people and a real interest in communication.  I can't stress enough, what a strength the ability to communicate with many people of many backgrounds has brought me. I believe my struggle to listen to and understand people who spoke different languages and those with thick accents has strengthened my communication skills and understanding of others the most. I have to believe it plays a big part in my songwriting. It also has played a part in my belief in happy resolutions and a win/win philosophy.

Growing up this way, I learned just how lucky I am to have been born here.  I grew up feeling proud of my country and this was enforced by the understanding that people from all over the world would want to live here and call themselves American.  My thought on this, was we needed to help other countries be as awesome as they believed we were, they would have their needs met in their own countries and instead of dreaming the American dream, we could all dream a universal dream, together.  One that is more proactive to all of life. I understood by those stories my friends and their families told, that it is the dehumanizing and disregard of people's needs that lead to discord. Lifting people's spirits with consideration and care is a gift America used to have and I found my place in that world, so of course, I made an effort to help others find their place.  

When I was 4 or 5 years old my parents started to take in foster kids.  When I was 5, Marie came into our lives. I remember very little about her and I'm not sure I ever knew the circumstances in regards to why she was in foster care.  I do know, eventually, she went to live with her Tia who lived in Miami Florida. She was Hispanic but I only really understand that in retrospect. When I was a child, she was just a child like me. I have pictures of us dressed alike which is something I guess parents did with their children in the early 70s.  She was, if only for a moment, my sister but the understanding of our sameness has lasted with me all these years.

 

One of my other foster siblings used to climb into my bed if she wet her own bed.  I understood she was extremely overwhelmed by sadness and anxiety. I never thought anything of scooting over and giving her space to sleep.  I only wanted her to feel and be okay. I often consoled her and my other foster siblings, when I could, if they needed it. It was emotionally traumatizing and devastating for them to be separated from their loved ones and not know when or if they would see them again or if they were okay.  I made it my job to advocate for them on the playground, in school and in my neighborhood.

 

I have seen the anger that arises in children when they are separated from those who are most invested in them.  I have seen the fear they carry, the lack of hope and lack of trust. I have seen the light leave their eyes. Thank goodness it only left for a bit.  I think our school shootings we have experienced here in the US, have something to do with the lights behind the eyes going out. I care deeply about this, as I am very aware of what the disregard and dehumanizing does to its victims. A full grown adult might have the reasoning skills to get past such a thing… maybe…  a child has neither the reasoning nor the experience to put these things in perspective. I experienced my own dose of this, when I was 11 and my mother left. I internalized it as I tend to do with things. It was toxic to my system. I ended up with a swollen spleen for about 6 months and a diagnosis of psychosomatic illnesses.  They said I was a healthy child prior to that and rarely ever missing a day of school. My health has been a challenge for me ever since.

 

Last week, as I heard for the first time about the children that have been separated from their parents and pretty much put in detention camps, I felt ill and tired all over.  I felt a sense of defeat. WTF. I mean seriously WTF? What have we become as a nation? As people? Where is our humanity? At what point did we sell it out? Last week, I believe it was Gayle on the CBS morning show that said, the people inside of the child facility she was at, had been instructed not to hug the children or touch them?  Another person said they were instructed not to make eye contact. WTF? This is so dehumanizing and it's abusive to treat children this way.

 

When did we make children the whipping boys and girls for the errors of their parents and their countries?  What now? We send them back broken and without hope? That is exactly what the gangs would want. Broken people and those that feel weak are so much easier to push the buttons of and take control of, they couldn't have hoped for better compliant subjects. These children deserve no less than what we would give our own children after they've been traumatized. At the very least they should get immediate psychological counseling and be reunited with their parents ASAP.  PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME, "That's Not How The Story Goes." Let's not look away until these families are reunited and Count Olaf can no longer do harm.

 

Can't put my finger on it but...

 

About blogging, I'm just not feeling it this week.  It's nothing really, except I have nothing to say.  Which is curious to me.  I've had a about 5 songs show up in my head this week and I only documented two.  I let the other ones go which is something I do often if I'm busy and can't get to it or if I'm tired.  You know, when I think about it the best way to describe it is like when you have a dream, wake up and it quickly starts to blur.  If you wrote it down immediately you might just get it all but forget about it if you don't. 

So the first, I think came about because recently I observed a conversation where a Swiss man asked a group of Americans I happened to be hanging with at the time, "Why did you elect Trump?"  Then a woman, who spoke up first and seemed to be speaking for everyone said, "He's not what you think and then started telling us what he was about and I realized, he was just a blank canvas for this woman to paint her own picture of what she thought he was.  Intrigued I just, sat back and watched and listened, a little in horror and a little in realization that I have done the same as she.  When someone's actions annoy or offend me, I tend to ask myself, "Do I do this?"  If the answer is "Yes" I try to make a note not to do it anymore, since I find it annoying.  She's a likable woman, though different from me, for sure.  So the basis of the song lies in the lyrics, "We don't talk anymore.  We only make insinuations.  And I don't trust anymore, in the words that you are not saying".   As i think about it, I realize the other one pretty much comes from the same place.  With it's opening of "Perception is nine tenths of the truth because people only see what they want to see".    It ends with, "Things they are a lot like that but there is a lot more too it. You know, there's a me and a you and we blew it.  We didn't open up our minds to try to see the other side.  We're getting taken for a ride". 

I find myself nostalgic for something that's missing.

 

Hanging on the couch, reflecting

 

Currently curled up on my couch with my puppy.  Earlier today had to get a biopsy of my uterus. Pretty barbaric the way they do it.  I got a shot of something like Motrin, only it was supposed to be stronger. Waited for it to take effect, which I'm really not sure it ever did.  Then, they just went up there and cut while I did my best not to curse at the top of my lungs. After that, l headed to a restaurant by the water, sat in the sun and did some day drinking, which is something I hardly ever do.  Weddings, I might day drink at a wedding. Saint Patrick's Day, yeah I've been known to do that. Cinco de Mayo, yes, but really otherwise, no, because unless there's a real party going on, it just makes me feel like going to sleep.  I have been known to fall asleep at parties too, even with no alcohol. So… ANYWAY, I came home and landed on the couch, did some sleeping but mostly watched Joanna and Chip create people's dream homes on HGTV. I can totally see why people like this show.  Chip and Joanna remind me of Dan and I. They work well together. They support each other and you can feel the love just coming through the TV screen.


Yesterday, I went to an RV show in Tampa.  I did some daydreaming there and sized up some of those RVs to see if they would fit what I want.  Tuesday, I actually sat down at the keyboard and messed around, which is something I haven't done since we got our puppy.  Truth be told a lot of things have been on the back burner since we got her but she's worth it. I'm patient when I can see that patience is necessary for me to piece together the bigger pictures I'm out to accomplish.  “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast” or so someone once said.

I'm still trying to get my routines and those of my puppy aligned and in place in such a way that they match the original intent I had prior to moving to Florida.  The idea was to have a playful little spirit to wake up to in the morning and walk with, come home have breakfast and spend time working on music stuff for a couple hours or run errands on those days it's necessary to run errands.  I seem to be at my most motivated in the morning when I've had a little sunlight, exercise and food in my system. It's when my thinking is most clear, passion and enthusiasm often make an appearance and I tend to get the most done.  My morning plan was to end by making a lunch, that I could eat outside, as I love the effects nature has on my mood. Then, if I should happen to feel sluggish I would plunge into the pool before sitting or lying in the sun to dry or I'd run on my elliptical, maybe lift some weights.  I would grab a cup of tea (probably matcha) and get back to work for an hour or so, followed by vocalizing and then making dinner. Of course there would be breaks to take my pooch for a walk or a romp in the yard. Dan and I would have dinner and we'd go for a walk. Then we'd practice music or go out and play, watch a little TV, wind down and go to bed.  Of course, it wouldn't be as regimented as that always but for the most part that was.the plan. Definitely, I need to schedule trips to the dog park as I am trying my best to raise a well rounded pooch.


I have had health challenges all my life and I kind of ignored them last year because they always seem to be prevalent and I really wanted to be with my mom.  She died last June of periurethral cancer and she had symptoms, she discussed with her doctors in 2013 but they did not pick up on. It wasn't until the summer of 2016, they really figured things out.  Mostly because both Gynecologists and Urologists don't normally have all the information needed to diagnose it. It's a very rare cancer and it takes someone with knowledge of gynecology and urology to put things together and diagnose it.  She knew something did not feel right and her body was not functioning the way she considered it to be normal. Like most of us she wanted to hear she was fine and so at first being told she was fine was comforting. Later, she questioned their ability to listen, hear what she said and she became distrustful of their conclusions, then there was fear.  She waited in silence until there was another reason, symptom or/and until things got worse. I tell you this because we really need to advocate as best as we can for ourselves and our loved ones. For our own sake and the sake of the doctors. No one wants to feel responsible for a misdiagnosis or lack of ability to diagnose.


As for me, I have pressed on with my own puzzling health challenges.  We don't expect to find anything more than endometriosis and fibroids but I've had strange symptoms that called for another biopsy and since my brother, my father and my mother died of cancer, we had a good reason to get another biopsy.  I look forward to getting past this concern and once again feel free to look forward to getting my routines in order so I can move forward.

 

Odes to my puppy Aja

 

My puppy Aja loves to gently bite at me and for me, it’s only natural that I should make a song up about it.  You can find it here, at the bottom of my share page.  It is the first, of the last four videos currently on the page.  You'll see, the one where she is biting my hand.  I would be completely at home in an operetta, where people sing instead of talk.  So it’s no surprise that I have been making up songs when playing with Aja.  I did the same thing with my kids when they were young. 

When I was a child my mom came into my bedroom each morning, throwing open the shades on my window, singing “Lazy Mary,” will you get up?  She was the first person I remember, who ever sang to me.  She had a song for everything and if there wasn't one already, she’d make it up.  She had a beautiful voice but she didn't like attention drawn to her so she never really got into singing for other people, besides us kids.  Her grandmother used to play for the silent pictures (movies).  I do remember her singing too, when my great-grandmother would play the piano, back when I was a child.  

This method my mom had of waking me up, helped me learn about waking up on the good side of the bed, as opposed to the wrong side of the bed.  My mom was all about having a cheerful attitude as she went about her day and each day starts in the morning, so she would do her best to set a positive tone.  She was also, seriously into her religion, so she really subscribed to the song, “This Is The Day, that the Lord hath made, we should rejoice and be glad in it”.  I was raised in that mode of belief.  So singing songs of praise was perhaps her legacy to me and probably why so much of my time is spent humming or singing.  

Back to Aja and my silly songs in her honor.  She has a serious case of separation anxiety that we have been working on and when I put her in her pen, as we are house training her and I can’t watch her like a hawk all day and get anything done at the same time, she cries and works me like those ASPCA commercials with Sarah Mclachlan, which is what she was doing yesterday when I came up with this idea of making a mock ASPCA commercial and then before I had the chance Dan freed her.  Neither of us have the heart to put her back in the pen today because yesterday was so nerve-racking.  Today, I have been a hostage to her and Dan’s and my overindulgence of her.  Pray for me!  Here is my silly ASPCA mock song, sorry I have no terribly sad Aja video to accompany it, you'll just have to use your imagination...  Interesting thing, I was relieved to learn while looking up the commercial information, Sarah Mclachlan does not want to be forever linked to those commercials with abused animals in them.  Seems like it bothers her as much as me.  I don’t want it in my memory bank and I change the channel or leave the room to escape the mental anguish I feel.  For now, I think I will leave the house when we put Aja in her pen, for the same reason.  Years ago, when we got our first dog, we were both working outside of our home and I would come home on my lunch breaks to take my puppy out of her pen for walks and playtime.  She seemed to do okay with that arrangement but with Aja, if she knows I’m home she gets so distressed at the thought she can’t be with me or Dan every moment and we get distressed over her being distressed...  Our other dog was completely potty trained by her 13th week.  (…Exhale…)
I'm a little distressed this is not the case with Aja but all in all, she is a wonderful, loving companion and a reminder to me to wake up joyfully and embrace the day!  Now if she can only learn to embrace her alone time….