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Dog, Door, Up North

I'm cconsidering getting a puppy, you guys.  Trying to get an adult dog has just been a pain my ass.  Shelters just don't call back and others aren't trustworthy.  My coworker (who is really dog- knowledgeable) said it's better to get a puppy because you can train it the way you want.  She said it's not too hard to train a puppy but I'm not so sure.  I've heard they cry all night, chew up everything, and pee everywhere.  The good thing is, because I work from home, I'm here to take her out to pee frequently.  And if I get one, I'm enrolling her in obedience school post haste.

I'm going up north this weekend to my dad's, but there's someone about halfway between here and there who is selling Cavalier-Cocker Spaniel puppies.  She has a girl (which is what I want) and she's absolutely adorable (see picture!).  I've learned better than to get excited about any dog at this point, though. 

In other news, I bought some front-door decor for that awkward post-spring Cherry Blossom Wreath and  pre-Halloween-Wreath period. 
The space between my door and the glass storm door is too small for anything too thick.  This is actually two pieces I bought at Michaels and combined them.  I'm kind of in love with owls so I couldn't pass up the little sign.  Plus it's a positive message, unlike the other sign I liked there that said "Let me drop everything and work on your problems." Which I considered hanging in my office but I don't want to make myself more snarky at work than I already am. 

I also finally bought a frame for my Edmund Fitzgerald print, which I find to be a nice change in decor for my dining area, at least for fall and winter.

I'm watching Olympics on and off. I worked until 9 tonight; usually I work until 8:30 or 10. I managed to not spoil myself for the team gymnastics and watched the US win gold, which was great.  I'm watching some more gymnastics tonight ... there's a male gymnast who went to Univ Michigan and also a female gymnast from Michigan (whose dad works for the same company as me!) so that's kind of cool.  Otherwise, don't care about sports, including these.  The overblown media coverage just makes it worse. 

I'm excited to be going up north this weekend though! It's supposed to be in the 70s and sunny up there (if the long term weather forcast can be trusted) and I'll be staying in my dad's new house, which is close to a very nice public beach on Lake Michigan and not far from a really gorgeous (and warm) lake that also has some nice beaches.  And if you grew up in Michigan, going "up north" is just something you have to do in the summer!


Bitching (a pun)

I'm beginning to think it would be easier to give birth to a dog than to adopt one.  Here's the thing- I found out that some breeds of dogs shed less and hypoallergenic. I'm not seeking a purebred, but I'd like something with some Bichon or Havanese influence for the allergy reason.  I also happen to need a relatively quiet dog because of my job (working from home on the phone a lot) and I don't want the hassle of a puppy.  Maybe I'm just being picky but there you go. 

Shelters, as it turns out, are often mismanaged in terms the right hand not knowing what the left is doing and/or not getting back to you.  It can't be easy to work at a shelter and I acknowledge they're volunteer-run.  Because of the horror stories they see, they have some ridiculous rules and fees associated with adopting.  This just results in good people like me having to turn to breeders which keeps breeders in business.  (I know not everyone who breeds dogs is abusive or greedy.  A neighbor/babysitter of mine bred her Golden Retriever when I was little and sold the puppies, and this was a wonderful family.)

So I'm just waiting for God to deliver me a dog.

Tiny violins in an overdue update

It's been forever since I've updated, so here are some key occurrences from the past month or two.

Bruce the dog escaped from my house and bit another dog.  The other dog is fine, thankfully; just bruised.  But it cost me $150 in vet bills; plus $150 I paid for Bruce; $100 in dog accoutrements; and $150 in a pet deposit for my condo.  Bruce went back to the no-kill shelter where I adopted him but when I think about all that money, I wished I'd killed him myself. (ok, not really).  And now I don't have enough money to adopt another dog (even shelters ask for $200-300 for dogs; Animal Control asks for less but they're less likely to have small dogs, which I need because of my living situation).  The lady whose dog Bruce bit is very nice and is not going to sue me, I don't think. 

Also, shelter re-posted Bruce as being "good with other dogs."  This whole thing is going to happen again to someone else!  And it could literally get Bruce killed, either by another dog or by the state.  If a person is bit, that person has the right to demand the dog be destroyed.  Why can't they just be honest and say Bruce needs to be in a fenced yard or else he will try to attack other dogs who may be walking by?

Went on vacation with my mom to rural Indiana and Illinois.  We have ancestors from there, and Ft. Wayne Indiana has one of the best historical/genealogical collections in the US.  I helped her find some gravestones and read over census records.  Combing through a microfilm version of the handwritten 1850 census for someone named Charles Smith was exactly as fun as it sounds.  I also met up with a virtual-coworker from my last job and we managed to get lost on a paved walking trail in a state park, but it was a beautiful (but hot) day and it was awesome meeting her. 

My job is going great!  I start overtime next week, which is great because I can use the extra money.  I'm not teaching any college classes right now.  There's less demand for instructors because of the lull in enrollment that comes with the summer.

Welcome home Bruce

Yesterday I picked up my new dog!  His name is Bruce and he's a rescue - originally from Animal Control and I adopted him from a foster-owner who works with a local no-kill shelter.

The first night went pretty well.  Bruce's foster owner kept him in a kennel at night and while they were at work so I bought one as well and put his blanket from his foster-owner in there.  He went in there but wasn't happy when I turned out the light and walked away to go to bed.  He barked somewhat but calmed down when he learned I wasn't coming back then. He did wake me up at 3 a.m. and I let him out, thinking he had to potty, but he just wanted to play. I did get him to go back in after 10 minutes or so and he let me sleep til morning. 
Right now he's laying down on the rug by my feet. I can't get him to use his dog bed yet, but I'm optimistic he'll get used to it.


New job, New dress

I'm excited to report I got a job offer today for a job I really want! Quick overview:
  • It's virtual health coaching; what I did at my last job.
  • It's with a health insurance company; my manger is located in MN
  • My first day is April 23rd and they're flying me to their Texas office for training at that time.
  • The pay is several thousand per year more than I made at my last job and it has full benefits.
All of this is pending a drug test. I HATE those because I can't pee on command & it's always embarrassing to have to "try" several times.  I don't do drugs but someone I know missed a whole rotation on her medical-residency from a false positive for a TB test.  So I don't take anything for granted until I actually have the job/get a paycheck.

The awesome part is that I applied for this job before being laid off. So my old company ended up paying me a severance to take a few weeks off & take a job I would have taken anyway! HA!

Kohls is very clever with their Kohls cash to lure you back! I'd had my eye on the handbag below for a few months but was waiting for it go below $70.  Last weekend, it was $60 and I had a 30% off coupon.  But then they gave me Kohls cash so today I used it to buy the dress below. I ordered the dress online (free shipping promo code!) so I don't know yet how it will fit.

On Death & Dying

Behind the cut is an article from this month's Hour Detroit magazine which I found super interesting. Have you ever wondered why people aren't buried "naked" - free of caskets and vaults - so that we decay naturally into the ground? I mean, caskets and vaults take up a lot of space on this Earth and it's not natural to be drained of fluid and filled with formaldehyde when we die, and then preserved forever - underground where no one will see us anyway.

Scans of the article are behind the cut.
Going Green to the EndCollapse )



This is a post secret from today. It's not my secret but I can relate.


Good riddance to bad rubbish?

Long time no update!  I had a pretty rough month: I was laid off from my job & my boyfriend broke up with me.

I'm quite sure he had a drinking problem.  The only time we argued was when he was really drunk & yet he thought those small occurrences were severe enough to warrant breaking up.  95% of our lives meshed great.  But if you need alcohol to have fun & can't fathom why someone else doesn't, you have an addiction.  Also, he thought it was okay to trash Christianity in front of me even though he knows I'm a Christian, & even though I never tried to bash his spiritual or philosophical outlook. (Then again, perhaps alcohol & pot ARE his spiritual & philosophical outlook). Again, he only did this when drunk.
ETA- plus he was boring in bed.  Not the most vital thing, but still important.
I'd been looking for a new job for a couple months prior to being laid off, but I didn't expect the layoff to happen to abruptly.  I got a severance which will keep me from touching my savings for about a month if I don't find anything new.  However, I already have something new!  (I'll make a locked post about that later).  I'm so glad I don't have to work with Kerri - the terrible new manager we had just before I left.  She had zero managerial skills and I fully expect her to be laid off post haste as well.  It's too bad her incompetence had to take others down with her. 


Just in case...

If anyone gets one of those Google Adwords coupons you're not going to use, would you be willing to pass it on to me? My mom can use it for her site. ... thanks!

Even though no one has died...

I heard the Irish poet John O'Donohue interviewed on On Being (a Public Radio show about faith) and was very moved by his poetry, writings, and blessings. Here's one in particular that struck a chord.
From the book Benedictus.

When you lose someone you love,
Your life becomes strange,
The ground beneath you becomes fragile,
Your thoughts make your eyes unsure;
And some dead echo drags your voice down
Where words have no confidence
Your heart has grown heavy with loss;
And though this loss has wounded others too,
No one knows what has been taken from you
When the silence of absence deepens.

Flickers of guilt kindle regret
For all that was left unsaid or undone.

There are days when you wake up happy;
Again inside the fullness of life,
Until the moment breaks
And you are thrown back
Onto the black tide of loss.
Days when you have your heart back,
You are able to function well
Until in the middle of work or encounter,
Suddenly with no warning,
You are ambushed by grief.

It becomes hard to trust yourself.
All you can depend on now is that
Sorrow will remain faithful to itself.
More than you, it knows its way
And will find the right time
To pull and pull the rope of grief
Until that coiled hill of tears
Has reduced to its last drop.

Gradually, you will learn acquaintance
With the invisible form of your departed;
And when the work of grief is done,
The wound of loss will heal
And you will have learned
To wean your eyes
From that gap in the air
And be able to enter the hearth
In your soul where your loved one
Has awaited your return
All the time.


Writer's Block: ONTD Games Giveaway

Which video game character would you like to have as your real-life BFF? One random response will win a $60 Amazon gift card! [Full contest rules here.] Don't forget to share your favorite gamer moments on at 3 p.m. PST for Free For All Friday (FFAF).

Link from Legend of Zelda; because I imagine he looks like Orlando Bloom's Legolas from the LOTR movies.

quote of the day

"Happiness, like misery, forces us to make choices."

-Jane Stern, Confessions of  a Tarot Reader


Recipe: Puerto Rican style Rice & Beans

I can't believe it took me twenty-mumble  years to get around to learning to make this, but here you go.  This is a bean sauce Puerto Ricans traditionally serve over rice.  Like most traditional dishes, there are multiple ways to make it.  Here's the way my brother makes it - a combination of what he learned from my step-mom (a native Puertoricaña) and the several years he worked at Seattle's best Puerto Rican restaurant, La Isla. 
The ingredients can be bought at Mexican grocery stores. Goya and La Preferida are two good brands to look for.

Above, some rice and beans I had in San Juan in 2010

Recipe behind cut!Collapse )


I didn't watch last night's Bones when it was on because I went out for some Ethiopian food with a friend, and then I was watching The Red Wings (they lost, sadly). The Ethiopian food was really yummy - I recommend trying it if you haven't. It's kind of spicy like Indian food, but without curry. Unfortunately, there are only a few places in Michigan that have Ethiopian food. In Portland, they were all over.

Anyway, Bones was amazing.

This weekend is ass-busy: tomorrow morning, my mom is coming down and we're going to look at apartments (I have a list of about 5 places). It's hard finding a place to live, as it turns out! There are too many choices, especially since I can live anywhere. Saturday night, the New Boy is coming overand Sunday, I'm getting Mexican food and seeing Bridesmaids with my BFF.


quote of the day

I'm not a big fan of Olivia Wilde's character on House (13) but after reading this quote from her, regarding her recent divorce, I developed a lot more respect for her.  This strikes me as sound advice.

“The mark of a good marriage is partnership and continuing to feel inspired by your spouse. I had that with Tao. But the end is not necessarily the tragedy. Staying in a relationship that is no longer working is the tragedy. Living unhappily—that’s the tragedy.”