bbell

If you're looking for a description of the professional me, please head on over to my career bio. If you're interested in who I am outside of work, you've come to the right place. Kick back and relax, and let me tell you about myself...

I was born May 28, 1956 at Saint Luke's Hospital in Richmond, Virginia to Native American parents and I'm a member of the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe. My grandfather was a chief, my uncle was a chief, my father served as acting chief for several years and the honor is currently held by my cousin, Kenny. The older I get, the more I realize how important my heritage is and how much it has shaped my life and value system. Having two older brothers who struggled through reservation life during the 40's and 50's has taught me a great deal about cultural tolerance and the real value of opportunity.

Both of my parents are deceased and I miss them daily. When I bought my first car, my father wouldn't let me drive it until I learned how to change the oil and change a tire. My mother taught me how to sew and how to inflict self-induced guilt when I don't do my best:

If a task is once begun,
Never leave it 'til it's done.
Be the labor great or small,
Do it well or not at all.
-- Author unknown, but oft repeated by Mom...

I started taking piano lessons when I was 6 and graduated from Shenandoah Conservatory in 1979. I still play piano and guitar when it suits me. My father always said "I can't play a piano, but I play a mean radio."

At the age of 40, I married my one and only husband in 1997. The best thing about our relationship is that I married my best friend and we're still best friends. The scariest thing is that I'm completely convinced we share a brain. More than anything else we do together, we laugh. It's nice to know you can still play when you've reached the era of black-balloon birthdays. I've never had a face lift, I don't dye my hair and I'm perfectly happy with the way I look.

The rest of the story remains to be written, because...

Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.
-- John Lennon

Jun 242015
 

CAVES called this morning. They said Feebs was relatively commfortable throughout the night, but very lethargic and not eating. They also suggested that we may want to leave her there another day because she was going to be difficult for us to handle.

We decided to delay that decision until we had a chance to see for ourselves.

We went to visit around mid-morning, had a bit of *luv* time and attempted to take her for a short walk. It’s true that she didn’t want to move and was pretty much 115 pounds of dead weight… but she seemed to be a bit more motivated with us there, so we decided to bring her home.

She perked up a little when we pulled into the driveway, but getting her into the house was a struggle. My best guess is that it’s going to take a lot of work to get her to even try to support herself with that back leg.

She’s depressed and we are scared.

Jun 232015
 

We dropped Feebs at the vet’s office at 8:30 AM this morning. I have to tell you I was having serious doubts about whether we had made the right decision and it was really hard to walk out the door knowing she had no idea what was about to happen.

Diane called late morning to let me know that both Feebs and surgeon did great in every way. They decided they wanted to have her watched overnight, so they transported her to Caves emergency this afternoon.

We went to visit for a while and it broke my heart to see her in such a confused, helpless state.

I think it will be one long sleepless night of second-guessing myself.

Jun 142015
 

I’m anticipating I won’t have a lot of extra time in the weeks after Phoebe’s amputation, so I’ve been in a cleaning frenzy today. It still looks like Hurricane Helga went through the house, but it’s improving.

Finally managed to get Phoebe’s harness adjusted and it’s a perfect fit. Even more so, I think she spoke to me the best way she knew how. After the final fitting, she ran to the door as if she knew we were about to go somewhere. This is a dog who has never worn a harness so there’s no way she could have associated it with going for a walk.

Dogs are truly amazing animals.

Jun 132015
 

I bought Phoebe’s harness today. The nice folks at Tripawds helped me choose the right one for her weight and size, and our local EMS had one in stock. She looks really good in red.

Since she’s going to have trouble with stairs for a while, I decided to add a dog bed to the decor in the family room. I’ll put it next to the sofa where I’ll be sleeping. I’m thinking I’ll start sleeping downstairs now so she gets used to the idea before the big day arrives.

I added canned pumpkin to my grocery list. Apparently, pooping is going to be tough — not just because of the missing limb, but she has to recover from the surgery meds. So we’ll start her on softer foods a day or two early… hopefully, that’ll make it easier for her.

I told all of our friends. I strongly believe in the power of prayer and positive thinking… so the outpouring of love and support we’ve received has me convinced we’re going to be just fine.