Thursday, March 15, 2018

On Being a Pet Momma

Let's get one thing out in the open, right up front.  I have four children.  No, I did not give birth to them.  No, they are not human.  They are children none the less.

We currently have four girls, two dogs and two cats.  We talk to them like they are human and treat them better than some people treat children.  The sleep in our bed, they get on the couch, they make us crazy.  We buy them treats, toys and even clothing when needed.  I worry about them as if they are children when we leave them with a sitter for the weekend.

Our youngest has bad manners and is headstrong.  She loves to "taste" everyone who comes to the door.  No biting, just a bit of doggie mouthing and gumming.  She gets very excited when people come and she loves to talk.  She's the Houdini of the group.  Can get out of most anything that she finds confining.  She loves treats, being free and sleeps on her back under our bed at night.  Hedy is a mixed breed rescue dog, part husky, chow and rottweiler.  She's a bit misunderstood and is totally a momma's girl.

The "baby" of the family loves treats and belly rubs.  She's sweet and loves her daddy.  Snores like a hibernating bear and will do anything to go bye-bye in the car.  Thinks she's tough, but only from the confines of the house or the front porch.  Loud noises make her run for the bunker, aka the downstairs tub.  Matilda is a Toy Aussie, also a bit of a rescue dog.  She's the princess of the house.

The one with the most energy in the house will also come running when the treat drawer is opened.  She steals things small things like buttons and coins off of the counters in the night.  She loves to sleep under the covers and hide in the closest when we're gone for long periods of time.  Lemon came to live with us when some of our family needed to give her up.  She's a tiny calico full of playfulness.

Our oldest is a crabby girl, most people call her mean kitty, including me.  She was a pound baby.  I've had her since she was tiny.  She's 17 now.  All black and full of sass.  She screams at everyone and would prefer it if we left the faucet in the tub on for her drinking needs.  She hisses, and occasionally swipes, at anyone that doesn't live here. Ashes is an unknown bread, but full of attitude. 

Anyone that comes to visit expecting our pets to behave like well-trained animals will always leave a little shocked.  I tell anyone who stays overnight, or for any length of time, to shut their door at night if they don't want an unexpected bed partner or two.  Yes, they beg and yes, they do get table scraps.  They are spoiled, ill-mannered and full of love.  If you visit, expect to leave covered in hair and maybe even a little dog slobber.  They are our children, they live here, you do not. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

March Currently

I've been listening to a variety of things as of late.

I'm about halfway through reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  I'm trying hard to finish this one, but I'm not sure it's gonna happen.  I could really do without the excerpts that are comments from her blog readers.  There have also been a few spots where I just want to shout - "get to the point already".  I think I can honestly say at the halfway mark, I won't be reading any more of her books.  Her writing style really isn't a good fit for my reading style.

I'm exploring how my personality type - INFP.  I took the Meyers Briggs test online at to learn my type.  Now I'm focused on trying to figure what changes I need to make to fit my type and my life better.

I love reading non-fiction, and really love finding subjects that fill a learning aspect for me as well.  Right now that little space is dedicated to essential oils and how to add them into my life more.  

The 100 Days of Photos project has just passed the 20 photos mark, today is day 23.  I have less than 80 days to go in this project.  I'm not sure I'm learning much with this project, but I am taking more photos, which was my goal.  Some days I struggle to get one and others it's so easy to get multiple photos.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

March Staycation

We did a long weekend away this past weekend.  It was a staycation of sorts.  We drove the 100 miles to spend the weekend in Fairbanks.  It's our closest "big" town with a population of a little over 32,000.  The big city of Fairbanks includes shopping, multiple restaurants and even the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

We did a lot of eating out.  We're food people and one of our big things, when we go on vacation, is eating, staycation or not.  We decided to eat at places we've never eaten while we were there.  Breaking out of our comfort rut.

Stop number one, lunch on our day of arrival.  One of the food trucks has recently opened a new restaurant serving Indian food.  We're big Indian food lovers and knew we had to try it.  So glad we did!  Spice It Up is a small order at the counter location with a limited menu, but the food is delightful.  We both enjoyed a Lamb Gyro and shared two Samosas and an order of Naan.  Everything was delicious.  I would say that these were some of the best Samosas I've ever eaten and the Naan was prepared to fresh to order.

For Breakfast the next morning we hit another place we'd been meaning to go back to - The Cookie Jar.  We'd been to The Cookie Jar for lunch a little less than a year ago and not been too impressed.  This time was a much better experience.  I had the Biscuits and Gravy Platter and hubby had the Corned Beef Hash.  Breakfast was outstanding, service was great and the restaurant was much warmer this time.

We spent a couple of hours at the Museum of the North, located on the Univerity of Alaska Fairbanks campus.  It was a nicely curated museum, but certainly not a $14 value.  We'd heard a lot about this museum and how great it was.  Again I say nicely curated, but not worth $14.  The upside was we went on the weekend, so didn't have to pay for parking.

After our museum wanders, we set out for our next mean - lunch.  We headed across town to the Alaska Cheesesteak Company.  Yummy eats here.  This was another walk up and order at the counter kind of place, with a limited menu, but the food was fantastic.  Hubby had the Jalapeno Jack and I had the Breaded Portabello.  We both added fries and a drink to make the meal complete.  This is a must stop for any cheesesteak lover.

Are you wondering what we did for dinner both nights?  Domino's Pizza!  We live in a town where you can't get delivery pizza, so this is always our treat when we stay overnight in Fairbanks.  We shared a pizza the first night and had buffalo chicken bites and garlic knots the next.

We always get a suite at the Hampton so we have space to spread out and a couch to lounge on.  We don't watch TV.  We usually read and sometimes I knit.  We enjoy ending the day with a beer.  Much of this blog post was written there this weekend.

Besides all the eating and the museum, we did some shopping in store we don't always get to when we're on our usual "supply" run.  We enjoyed not rushing through things and checking off lists.  We enjoyed just being together and unwinding for a few days.

Have you done a staycation?  What did you enjoy?

Monday, March 12, 2018

100 Days of Photos - Week 3

Day 14:
I'm a daily journaler, usually at the end when I crawl into bed.

Day 15:
Feet up and hair down, end of the day.

Day 16:
Morning view, with green tea and more journaling.

Day 17:
My favorite pen, goes everywhere my Midori Traveler's Notebook does.

Day 18:
Indian for lunch.

Day 19:
Historic brick of tea, from an exhibit at the Museum of the North in Fairbanks, AK.

Day 20:
Knitting in the car. 

Only 80 more days to go!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

On Being Married

...and they lived happily ever after.  Okay, but what did that really look like?  The boy gets the girl and they ride off into the sunset, but then what?  No one ever tells you what a truly happy marriage is about.  It's not about the end of the love story in a movie, it's about all the stuff that happens after that sunset. 

It's about...

Repeating favorite one-liners from movies and songs, all the time.

Doing the laundry and never folding it.

Cooking, hopefully together like we do in our house. 

Cleaning the kitchen and taking out the trash. 

Talking about mundane things from your day. 

Funny pet names. 

Silly grade school humor, including fart jokes. 

Riding in the car and not talking for miles.

Being comfortable in silence together. 

Having someone to travel with. 

Adjusting bra straps and sinching up suspenders. 

Accepting the clutter and the habits of the one you love. 

Remembering and reminding. 

Never going to bed mad. 

Snoring and talking in your sleep. 

Meltdowns during the high-stress parts of your life together. 

Little things. 

Lowering your expectations.

Laughing at the same inside jokes.

Balancing checkbooks and paying bills.

Being in love, but more importantly, being loved.

It's about finding someone you love being naked with.

Being married is about all the little, less than glamorous things in life.  There won't be rose petals all over your bed every night and baths by candlelit are something in the movies.  It's way more about dirty socks on the floor, coats on doorknobs, getting dressed out of the laundry basket, changing the cat box, and eating breakfast for dinner because anything else sounds like to much work.

The next time you think marriage is about living happily ever after, remember what that really looks like.  Leave your rose colored glass behind.  The real thing is so much better, trust me.  All the little things, good or bad, make marriage so much more than happily ever after.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

On Not Having Children

It's really simply amazing the thoughts people think about women who don't have children.  It's also simply amazing how rude other women are about the whole concept.  Now that I'm 40 no one is asking me about having kids anymore, thank heavens, but when I got married at the age of 29 that was a hot topic of conversation.  I used to come home from work at least a few times a week and complain about the constant topic of children.  My husband always said it had to be a female thing.

Let's face it, men don't go through the barrage of questions women do.  It all starts with "why don't you have a boyfriend", then you get a boyfriend.  Next, they ask "is there's a wedding in the future", you become engaged.  Next, come the questions about a date for the "big day", finally a date is set and you tie the knot.  Questions don't stop there, they always move on the badgering you about when are you planning to start a family, to which I very often wanted to reply "None of your damn business."  Which, let's be honest, would have been easier the awkwardness of explaining why we didn't want kids.

When you go out on a limb and explain that you won't be having children, most women jump to the conclusion that you hate kids.  Never, ever does it cross anyone's minds that you just genuinely don't have an interest in having your own.  I've been called selfish, told I didn't know what I was missing out on, and even been given sympathy for how empty my life must be.  REALLY?  It was our choice, and we choose no.  End of conversation.  This wasn't about how anyone else felt about our decision, this was what was best for us.

This merry-go-round went on until I reached about 35 or 36.  Then it mostly mellowed out to people asking if I had kids, me saying no and them saying "that's to bad".  To which I very often wanted to ask "for who"?

I'll be quite frank here, this is by far the worst question to ask ANY woman.  Why?  Because you have no idea what she is really going through.  We choose not to have children, but there are many women who desperately want a child and are struggling to make that dream a reality.  When you ask that woman about having children you are kicking a woman while she is down.  Would you ask her when she's having a baby if you knew that was a daily struggle for her?

What I really want to say every time I hear someone ask anyone questions about starting a family or having more children - SHUT UP!!!!  It is none of your business!!  If you know me personally you know I'm leaving out some less than PG additives here but in all seriousness mind your own damn business and stop asking when a woman is going to start a family.

Everyone has the right to make so many choices in life,  why is it so against the grain for a woman to accept another woman's choice not to have children?  I can't count how many times I wanted to go off on other women and tell them things like - "I'm not missing out on a damn thing", " No I don't hate children", "I'm not selfish", and my favorite "What gives you the right to look down your nose at me for not having any children".

I have tons of friends with children, many of which I love as if they were my own, but I don't want to talk about anyone's pregnancy, not yours, your friends, your sisters, your daughters, or your neighbors.  No.  Really.  I don't.  If there isn't more to your life than having babies we can't be friends.  I wasn't put on this earth to populate it, and there are many other women out there like me.  If you're one of these women, I hope this gives you strength to stand by your choice and know that saying no to having children is perfectly acceptable.  Your life can be full with or without children.  Support that woman who doesn't feel called to be a mother, don't badger her with questions about having babies.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Raw Thoughts

What if I wrote what I really thought?  No really.  What if I actually wrote all the things I think.  All the raw uncensored emotions that run around in my head.  Would you read or would you be a troll telling me how stupid I sound?

I'm always full of questions and unrequested advice.  Sarcasm and words often flow out of my mouth without much thought.  I talk too much, which magnifies when I'm wound up in anger, frustration or on the edge o tears.  I'm jampacked with opinions that are mostly unwarranted and judgments no one is ever seeking.  I come off sharp and even mean at times without really meaning too.  I've been told my whole life that I'm loud and bossy.

Again I ask, would you read it if it wasn't censored?

I have the vocabulary of a well-educated sailor.  I make my Marine husband proud because I have a mouth that would make a church lady blush and a Marine welcome me to the chow hall.  I don't have a college degree, and no I don't want one.  I also despise people who look down their nose on those without one.

I'm a rare mix of political views, mostly conservative and I'm a Christian.  I don't believe life is fair, nor should it ever be.  I believe you should accept your limitations and push yourself to be the best you.  I hate political correctness.  I also detest the 'liberal' woman platform.  I believe in equal rights and equal pay, but I also want to be treated like the lady my mom thought she raised.  Guns don't kill people, people do.  We need to stop blaming the world for everything and start being accountable for our own actions again.

Still reading?

I think manners, life skills, typing, and handwriting should still all be taught in schools.  Parents should be parents, not friends with their children.  Children should be taught that the world doesn't revolve around them.  The world needs more common sense and more kindness.  Being polite is huge, be more!

Hey you...yeah you, the grumpy one with the scowl on your face who thinks the world is against you.  Wipe the scowl off your face and return the smile to that stranger at the Post Office.  Hold the door for some and say thank you when someone holds it for you.

Still with me?

Stop assuming you know everything.  Never stop learning.  Everyone can teach you something, EVERYONE!  Be open to kindness, and return it.  Basically, stop being an ass and start being a human.