Punks Kid Rock is the registered name of my American Quarter horse gelding, Rocky. This blog chronicles our adventures together,
as well as stories from my horse past and, occasionally, a tidbit from my non horse life.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat, what are we feeding you?

In "Tired" I talked about one or both of my cats that was pooping intermittently outside of the litter box. Since that post, we have discovered the culprit: Bennett.

Despite the name, Bennett is a girl. I suppose I should have added an 'e' at the end to get the French feminine spelling, but I don't like it spelled that way. Bennett is my "mental health" cat. I've talked about her previously, how we found her as a stray outside of our home one cold October night and invited her in until we found a suitable home for her. Which became our home.

Our mental health cat was diagnosed with anxiety two years ago by a veterinarian. She over grooms, which I am told is fairly common in cats. Ever since we had her spayed (spay or neuter all of your pets!) she has kept her belly scrupulously clean of fur. She also overdoes her hind feet a little, but it's more patchy. Her belly, on the other hand, is pristine pink skin with a little bit of shading where her stripes would grow. She's a brownish gray tabby.

We had her on anti-anxiety pills for about a week. By the end of the week, she was turning her nose up at tuna (TUNA!) and would run when she heard/saw me take down her pill bottle. They seemed to be causing more problems than they were solving, so we stopped giving her them. As an indoor cat, she doesn't HAVE to have all of her fur. So she over grooms and we all get along.

She is also a frequent vomiter. On average, she vomits about once a week- also a possible side effect of her anxiety. It's always partially digested food, never hairballs- which, you'd think it would be hair by the way she over grooms, but whatever. It's not.

Then came the pooping. For about the last two weeks she has been pooping in our bedroom, on the rug that used to be my Grandma's. She also pooped in our living room several times. It's runny and essentially kitty diarrhea. After looking at our finances, I made her an appointment with the vet for a Friday- gotta love paydays. The cash comes in and is swiftly gone. Anyway.

I was able to bring in a fresh poop sample, clean of all litter, even. The rug has a white fringe on two sides, and this round of diarrhea was right on the fringe...

We (Bennett and I) were almost to the vet's office when she began to cry in earnest. She had been meowing plaintively before, but now she sounded like a small child. I continued to try to talk to her, to reassure her that she'd be okay, but the small-child wailing kept on. Until she vomited. Mental health cat, indeed.

The vet looked her over and she felt okay under his probing fingers. She let him take her temperature (up her hiney) and it was normal. They checked her stool sample and found it clean (haha), or at least clear of any worms or other possibly bad things. I had them take a blood sample to make sure that her kidneys, liver and blood count were all normal, which they were.

Bennett has Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and/or allergies. Essentially, her digestive tract is very unhappy and needs to be soothed. Treatment? Right now she is on steroids, in pill form. (My little 8 lb cat is going to be BUFF!) We're doing a 15 day "trial run" with the steroids to see how she handles it and what level of steroids she may need to be on for the rest of her life- or if the 15 day trial will be enough to soothe her system. 5 days of pills twice a day, then 5 days of pills once a day, then 5 days of pills every other day.

Think steroids was enough? Think again! She also needs to eat hypo allergenic cat food- available only from your veterinarian! The wet food cans cost $2.50 each, and the dry food? $25 for 10 lbs. Just SLIGHTLY more costly than the bulk bags of dry food from Petco, at roughly $19 for 25 pounds.

If at the end of our trial steroid pill taking (which, by the way, she happily eats when it is in $2.50 wet hypo allergenic cat food) she can maintain on just the food, then we won't need to continue the steroids.

The good news? So far, she has been on this new diet since Friday night, and no pooping outside of the litter box has occurred! Also, the vet thinks that this new diet may stop her vomiting, as well, which could have been a sign of her delicate internal system.

The down side? Apart from the cost of the new food and steroids, the steroids will make her hungrier and thirstier than before. So she'll want to eat more, and will then poop and pee more frequently. Also, if she eats ANY of the regular cat food, her system may not accept it and it could start another round of the cat who squirts from both ends. So we need to (carefully!) feed the cats separately. We could make it easier on ourselves by feeding both cats the hypo allergenic stuff- but Fox is an almost 13 pound CHUNK and would likely eat the expensive stuff at an alarming rate.

For now, we are trying to save our screaming wallets as much as possible, and will give Bennett the food she needs to be comfortable while saving my Grandma's rug. And feed the chunk, aka Fox, separately.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Case of the Mondays

That last post was awfully sad, wasn't it? When I got home and saw Justin, I talked about what I had written and finally cried. Then I went to my calendar (both wall and purse) and began marking down appointments to go see Rocky. So far I kept every appointment I made this week (2) and I have three appointments written down per week for the next month- which, for those of you keeping track- was the goal I set for myself several posts ago. This last week was the first week I have made that goal in a long time, and he was so happy to see me! Rocky genuinely enjoys being worked with and learning, his ears perk forward and when I tell him he's a good boy, he tucks his head into my chest. There is no way I would sell him, I just needed to get my heart back on straight. :)

So a while ago I promised a post about my wedding day. I don't know that I will be able to finish it today, but I can start.

The first question I am usually asked about my wedding day is if everything went to plan. They... well, everything worked out in the end. I married the love of my life, had a beautiful ceremony, a wonderful reception and so far have been enjoying married life.

To steal a line from Paul Harvey, here's, "The Rest of the Story."

My mom and sister went to the reception site, hereby "the Castle," the morning of the wedding to decorate the banquet hall with our buckets of flowers (small galvanized steel buckets with an arrangement of artificial sunflowers and hypercium berries) as table centerpieces. My mom made our wedding cakes with my grandma's wedding cake supplies, so they needed to drop off the cakes, get them into the refrigerator, and put together the three tiered wedding cake. Except they couldn't get in for over an hour. The doors were locked, and no one was to be seen. Finally, my sister ran around the building after a car and found the master chef, who was kind and good and let them in. So that got taken care of.

Next we had hair appointments. I had a pedicure and a manicure, and my pedicure appointment lasted almost an hour and a half. Delightful but my manicure had to be sped up so we could get to my hair. My hair is being curled and fastened into place with about 50 bobby pins when my mom looks at me with fear in her eyes.

"Alright Dude, we have a problem." My childhood nickname is Dudie, but is often shortened to Dude in conversation.

"Okay, what's going on?"

"There is a cross country meet at the Tower golf course today, and the area is full of several thousand people. We can't have the wedding ceremony there."

I think I said, "okay..." while I tried mightily not to panic. It was 12:30 pm, and the wedding was supposed to be at 3 pm.

We needed to find a new wedding location and let 150 guests know where that might be in 2 1/2 hours.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I'm really tired today. I've been tired for a while now, it seems. Lately, mornings have been dragging myself out of bed, or pressing the snooze button way too many times. Sometimes at night I have trouble sleeping.

My interest in going to see Rocky has waned, as well. I am so frustrated with my schedule and myself. I've been thinking about selling him, he costs so much money and if I'm too damn lazy to go see him... what's the point? It hurts me to write that and put it out in the universe. I felt like crying today on my way up to see him, but didn't work up the tears. I think I do miss him but I haven't put the energy into caring for him, so he is an "out of sight, off of schedule" thing. I feel so bad every time I think of him and how long it's been since the last time I went out to see him. I don't think I actually want to sell him, but I need... something.

Today I dragged myself around the house and out to see him, if only for 15 minutes. He was dirty and injured and I felt bad. I will drag myself up sooner tomorrow so I can at least groom him properly before saying good bye, maybe go for a little walk. I feel bad leaving earlier than usual in the mornings, as Bear then needs to be kenneled longer and I don't have time to walk him first. I did take him for a quick walk this morning, so I suppose I should feel better about that. It just feels like everything is too little, too late.

I started to organize our living room, and now 4 garbage bags of books and 1 of my clothes sit in the living room, taking up physical and mental space. I need to throw them in my car and let someone else enjoy them. I need to go through my bookshelves again, more mercilessly, create more free space so our living room can breathe. I need to get rid of the stacks of magazines and crap that pile up on every available surface, to get things off the kitchen counters. I want to dust my shelves and rearrange the living room so that it is more open, less littered with stuff and more deliberately put together.

One of the cats (or both?) has begun intermittently pooping outside of the litter box. Twice now, on my jeans, which I only realized as I started to pull the denim up my leg in the morning. Don't worry, I didn't get poop on my legs, but I was a gross surprise. Also, if it's not on my jeans, it's on the rug that used to belong to my grandmother. The one that makes me think of her and smile a little.

I still have a few thank you cards from the wedding to write (late gifts), still have to get car insurance under our new names, still have to figure out our schedule for Christmas and when everyone is doing everything.

There's a painting I want to get my mom for her 50th birthday this year, but the original is $1500 and there are no prints of it yet.

I don't know what to get Justin yet, or how my sister is going to make it up to Duluth to celebrate Christmas and our parents' birthdays (Dec 21 and 31). I had an idea for everyone to meet at the halfway point between where she and we live, but my mom's face fell at the suggestion while my dad looked like he was forcing optimism. I just want the Holidays to go well, where my parents and my sister never say anything to each other that wounds. Where I sit there, knowing that they will continue to hurt each other and then pretend it didn't happen, trying to just "get along" for the short time she is in town. Because we love each other. I hate the moments where they have swiped at each other and I can see both sides of the story, but no one is there to narrate.

I worry about our credit rating and how we are going to handle changing all of our finances into one account. I worry about the weight I've gained and if I should take back a few of the nice, good condition jeans that don't currently fit me but might if I lost the weight and put them back in my dresser, instead of giving them away. They're part of the bag of clothes in my living room. So I can see them and remind myself that they don't fit because I have become too fat, and dig for a pair that does. I could use another pair of jeans that do fit, but I don't want to waste the money if I just lose the weight. Then again, when am I going to get THAT started?

I'm tired.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Name Changes

Hello Again!

It's been just over a month since we got married, and it feels good. The name changing process has and is definitely... a process. My driver's license finally came back, but we're still waiting for his. Our social security cards came right away, and thus far have been the most painless part of the journey from one last name to another. We are still waiting for Justin's driver's license, as he had to bring in multiple documents (wedding certificate, birth certificate) and take a driver's exam for our state. He had to go back to the DMV THREE TIMES to try to get his license, and each time they would tell him he needed another document. Apparently they don't give you a nice little list of what you need the first time you go, they tell you each item individually. Dumb. But he passed his test and so hopefully we'll get his ID soon.

We need it to change his name with the bank, and then add me to his bank account. Then I can get a new debit card and checks that match my ID. In the meantime, I carry both my old and new driver's license, along with the application for it as none of my cards match my new name. You have to call a number on each card for them to send you a new one, but my bank account name won't match...argh. They should really have an easier way of making the transition. Last night someone checked my ID with my debit card for the first time since I got my new ID, and she asked me if I had recently changed my name. I said yes, and she let me make the purchase. I was a little worried for a minute that I was going to have to dig out my old ID or something, but I guess she accepted what I said. It must be my honest face. (What does that even mean?)

I really like being able to say "my husband." Hearing "wife," however, gives me pause. As does anyone saying my new last name. My brain is slowly tuning into listening for it, but I still respond more readily to my old name. When giving my name to people, I have to think about which name I should give them based on their relationship to me. I appreciate anew why some people keep their birth names.

So that's most of the new stuff with me. I need to go riding more, and schedule it like an appointment. Otherwise I'm too lazy to get up and go.

What's new with you?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Honeymoon, Day 1

I got married this weekend! And (apart from a last minute venue change- more on that later) everything went really well.

However, today I want to talk about the first day of my honeymoon. We slept in until the sounds of the garbage truck outside had sufficiently roused us from slumber, then had a fairly leisurely morning beginning to put away wedding gifts. After that, we went up to where I board Rocky, and I worked with him while Justin played on his iPad and kept an eye on Bear. Bear ran around happily and threw up horse crap only once, and thankfully in the barn, not the car.

We also made an amazing discovery tonight, one that will surely hit us in the wallet in the future. We went to an Italian restaurant in town, Bellisio's, that we have never been to before. Wine was half off a bottle (every Monday!), so we decided to splurge and order a bottle of wine. We are not big wine drinkers, and I am very picky about the wine that I like. Moscato's are my favorite as they are a sweet wine with less of the aftertaste I dislike.

Tonight, I had the best wine EVER. It was sweet, fruity and delicious to taste with absolutely no alcohol-y aftertaste. I wrote the name of it in my cell phone so that I can hopefully find it in stores and buy it. It's Moscato D'Asti by Luccio, and I highly recommend it. Unless you're one of those people who enjoy super dry wine. Anyway, this post should probably not be all about the wine- but oh man was it good. We finished the bottle at the restaurant. Additionally, I love the way they presented it, poured it for us, and put it in a chiller wrapped in a white cloth.

We also had a cheese tray appetizer with three different cheeses, red grapes and focaccia bread. I didn't care for the blue cheese but the other two were delightful, and we took home the extras.

I had their Fettuccine Alfredo, which tasted like fancy, grown up macaroni and cheese. YUM. I just got home from this dinner not long ago, and just writing about it makes me want to reheat my leftovers and eat them now. Justin had Chicken Marsala with Parmesan Romano potatoes and fresh green beans with sliced carrots. He enjoyed his meal but wishes he would have gotten the Fettuccine Alfredo.

The couple at the table next to us fascinated me, and I stared at them more than I probably should have. Their server (who was also our server) brought them a bottle of wine that she suggested based on what the couple said they liked. They did not like her suggestion. She ended up bringing them a sampling of three other chardonnays for them to try, for a total of four chardonnay choices that they tasted. The woman tried them with complete seriousness, dismissing two right away and mulling over a third until pronouncing, "it's ok." The fourth agreed with her, and she said that it was "really good." Her husband said little, and peered at the menu with his glasses perched near the end of his nose. He was a little less serious about the chardonnay but agreed with his wife's choice. He seemed like a well trained husband. She laughed, making a joke about getting older and that he needed to wear his glasses to see the menu. He smiled patiently.

Overall, it was an expensive dinner but if I could afford to go there more often... I'd be there every Monday for half off that bottle of Moscato. Which, I just discovered online, is $9.99 a bottle. I'm sensing Bellisio's jacks up their wine prices just a little.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

One Week...

Ok, so it was one week yesterday.

Today, it's six days.

I had my first real bout of nerves yesterday, as I had my final dress fitting with the shoes after getting the dress altered. I was so, SO afraid that somehow the dress would be ruined and I would have to either pay tons to have someone fix it or find another dress that would work. Thankfully, the dress is not ruined and is almost perfect. There is no longer a ripple across my boobs, which was my biggest concern, so I think it was worth the money I spent with the tailor. The dress will sit perfectly but I will need to check it and tug the bottom of the bodice to make sure it lies flat; the tailor kept telling me that "the longer I wear it, the better it will fit."


So I am supposed to wear my dress for a while before the wedding. My pristine, white wedding dress can easily be worn...what, while baking? Watch movies in it? Is she KIDDING ME?! The second time she told me that I had to hold myself back from screaming at her. Generally I think I've done a good job of not being a Bridezilla, but this lady came close to making me snap. There is no way I am sitting around wearing my dress before the wedding. The number of things that could go wrong with this scenario makes me cringe just thinking about it. I have a dog and two cats, and even if they were locked away, their hair would still be present. What if I tripped and fell? I am definitely not a graceful person. Or got sweaty and had sweat-stains? Or thirsty or hungry or Justin comes home and sees me or it gets all wrinkled from me sitting- or am I supposed to stand around for several hours?

I know there are more things I could think of and I am probably being a little too dramatic, but this is... my wedding day. The bride is the main focus of the entire event; of course the groom matters, too, but who does EVERYONE want to see? The bride. I tried explaining this to someone yesterday, and I don't think he got it.

As a general rule, women are much more judgmental when it comes to how the bride looks. There is the inevitable comparison between what they wore/want to wear and the bride's choices. Additionally, how does the bride look in her chosen outfit? If you can't tell, I am feeling just a little nervous about the scrutiny. This is supposed to be the day when the bride looks her absolute best in every way.

It does make me feel better to think back on the other weddings I have attended, to see if I remember what others looked like. I am left with general impressions, but all of them amount to that the bride was happy and beautiful in her own way.

I have also started a list of things I need to get done before the wedding, or things I need to remember.
-Stickers on boxes (these are sunflower stickers on the boxes to hold candy at the reception as party favors)
-I need to find a pretty table or an adequate table with a table cloth for the wedding to hold the roses for those who cannot be at the ceremony (grandparents)
-Get a cake cutter and server (the implements, not the person)
-Pick up the marriage license after Wednesday
-Decide on ceremony music
-Choose a father/daughter dance song
-Choose and buy bridal party gifts
-Find/choose something old to wear for the wedding... I have blue and borrowed in my shoes (they are my soon to be sister-in-law's wedding shoes, and new in my wedding dress)
-Buy static guard
-Be at JCPenney's at 10:15 on Saturday to start getting everything done... manicure, pedicure, and hairstyle. I debated the mani and pedi but then I thought... heck, it's supposed to be the fanciest day of my life. I should get the full treatment.
-Let Molly and Michelle know the rehearsal times (DJ's wife/my boss and the photographer, respectively)
-Ask Molly to help with chair setup at the ceremony site, making sure the chair rental company sets them up correctly

There is probably more but I hope not. Oh, and then there's the planning for our honeymoon...

Monday, September 12, 2011


Lately, I have been wondering about my career choices and what I am truly passionate about. Today, while reading "Life of Pi", I realized that the care of both animals and children matters a great deal to me. However, I think that animals would be at the top of my list, and before someone starts a whole animal versus human debate, I would like to explain myself.

Does it matter how children are raised? Absolutely. When I consider having children of my own someday, I'll admit to being afraid of being a poor parent; not for any particular reason, but because it is a huge responsibility which I take seriously. At work, I see the results of not just poor parenting, but neglectful, abusive- really, an abhorrent lack of parenting. It's sickening. I do my best to remind myself that these adolescents I work with are generally the product of having no one to care about them and growing up in an environment that fosters their negative behaviors rather than teaching them appropriate ways to live in society. It is easy to become passionately angry with their parents and society, and again I remind myself that the parents likely come from situations that are the same or worse as the clients I see, but perhaps they didn't get the chance to go to a treatment facility, to receive help.

Where is the accountable party, then? If these cycles of abuse and neglect aren't stopped... whose fault is that? I realize that this need to blame someone or something for problems is normal, but it feels...I need someone to blame or I feel powerless. If I can identify that so-and-so fucked up, then the lines are drawn and there is a clear 'enemy,' someone to work against or to help. It's not that simple, however.

I believe that everyone should be held responsible for who they are and the choices they make once they are an adult. I have to believe that everyone has a chance to better themselves. It may be a tiny window of opportunity, it might be incredibly hard to see it or to follow that shred of hope, but it has to be there. If someone doesn't want to continue the cycle of bad choices and have a healthy life, there are options. It's the age of technology and there are so many organizations out there to help. Heck, step into the library and, if you don't know how to use the computer, ask the librarian for help. Look up parenting classes, housing assistance, there are even agencies to help with job placement including career planning, resume writing, interviewing skills, etc.

And that's why I am more passionate about animals. People usually get the chance to grow up, get help, and better themselves. They can attend therapy, and if they so choose, move to a completely foreign place and get a fresh start. People have the ability to choose. Animals do not.

Animals are stuck with who picked them up and has decided to keep them. I just made kissy sounds at one of my cats, and he ran across the room to me, sat down, and started purring. I didn't even have to touch him.

Animals are wonderful creatures, and can teach us humans so much if we are only willing to learn. How many people do you know would be happy to run across the room to you and sit next to you? No conversation, no touching, just sit there and be happy? Hopefully more than I can think of. I think a true friend is someone you can sit next to in silence without feeling the void.

Someone whose dog, cat, rabbit, what-have-you- someone whose animal loves them is a good person. Or can be a good person given the right circumstances.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Okay, so two posts in one day is a lot for me. But I wanted to post this today to try to keep myself honest.

Today I worked out to Jillian Michaels, and it was hard. HARD. I think I liked it, and want to do it every day, at least until my wedding. That's my first goal. After that, it would behoove me to continue working out- obviously- but I'm trying to set smaller, more reachable goals for myself.

Yet, even as I make it, a part of me is already making excuses that I can't.

Indeed, this week I have also resolved that I should be spending at least 3 days in a row per week with my horse.

These two ideas don't have to compete with each other, and yet they do seriously impede my... well, okay, sleeping in and watching TV. Two activities that I very much enjoy, as lazy and somehow embarrassing as it sounds to admit. I enjoy being lazy and relaxing.

If I go overboard, I don't think I will be able to maintain the schedule. I think, for now, I will figure out the best 3 days in a row per week to visit Rocky. He should be my first priority as he is under my care. The other 4 days per week I will devote to spending 20 minutes getting my butt kicked into shape by Jillian.

And now that it's on the internet, I might even do it.

Monday, September 5, 2011


This last weekend was super fun. Apart from an injured hip and butt cheek (I fell off my horse... or, rather, was dislodged from my horse's back in a manner that was not planned by me), I had a great time.

A friend of mine, who has been living in South Korea for the last year, has returned to America! On Saturday, we met her at the Mall of America (very American) to see each other and shop. I have missed her greatly, and it was wonderful to see and speak with her again in person. After that, we met up with another friend of ours at our hotel, and then proceeded to carpool to the State Fair!

The State Fair was great, we went to the Miracle of Birth Center and saw tiny, newborn goats, cows, pigs, and sheep. I wanted a goat. And a pig. Perhaps a cow...yeah. Talk about your barn of adorable! So then we went to the Warner Coliseum to watch the "Western Horse Show" which was scheduled from 6 pm to midnight, or something crazy like that. We didn't stay for the whole thing, and it started late (because, let's face it, horse people are NEVER on time). The first competition was...odd. And not very safe.

You started out with your horse in a horse trailer with its halter on, while you and your partner had your saddle, saddle blanket, and bridle up at the front of the truck pulling your trailer. The goal is to take your horse out of the trailer, get all of its gear on, gallop around the arena 3 times, take all of the gear off and load your horse back into the trailer in the fastest time. I felt a little bad for the horses, who were being hauled out of trailers by their tails, their girths were pulled tight very quickly while bits were shoved into their mouths, and then they were off and running. It was exciting but not exactly...sane. Or horse-friendly.


I got a new pair of Ariat boots. A part of me questions the wisdom of the particular pair that I bought (or rather, my parents bought as an early Christmas present). They are quite a unique pair~ shiny black patent leather, with turquoise and white stitching on the top part of the boot. My attempts at adding a photo here have so far failed, but the point is that they are hardly the type of boots I would normally wear around the barn. They are... shiny. Fancy looking. And I adore them. They look like a men's dress shoe-cowboy boot hybrid in feminine form.


After the State Fair, we went to the Renaissance Festival. I unfortunately left my outfit at home, but had a wonderful time anyway. I got two little grotesques; the shop called them gargoyles, but technically they aren't. Real gargoyles are water spouts, but I digress. They adorable little grotesques, they are the size of a large shot glass. One is based on a bull, but has 4 horns, a lionesque mane, and little bat wings. The other is a sortof monkey-puppy mix, with one little horn on top of his head, little bat wings, a fringe of mane, and pointy ears.

The best thing I got all weekend, though, was time spent with my fiance' and one of my best friends.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Socially Acceptable Assholes

When you don't see people very often, they usually ask you about three things: how's work, where do you live, and are you seeing somebody? The Big Three questions that are supposed to tell you what the other person has been "up to" and how they are doing. There is nothing wrong with those questions; in fact, I much prefer them to the Fly-by-hi. This is the person who sees you, usually at a store, and says hello to you as they move toward you. You start to smile and say hi back, readying yourself for a conversation. Instead, they keep their momentum up and sail past you. However, they don't want to appear rude, so as they are passing you, they say, "how are you?" You begin to turn to answer, but they are walking briskly away and are not looking back. On these such occasions, I will sometimes shout after them, "Fine! How are you?"

These interactions irritate me. I'd much rather both parties pretended not to see each other by focusing intently on items on the shelf, the floor, the ceiling...whatever. What is it about seeing someone you know, even vaguely, that forces us into these awkward socially "correct" boxes?

I am getting married in barely over a month.

People love to hear about it. Sortof. They want to know "how plans are going," and what we have left to do. They also want to know what we have already planned on, and usually, how much it cost/where we got it.

When I first started being asked these questions, I was under the misinterpretation that these people genuinely wanted to know about my wedding as it relates to myself. In other words, they care about me and what I am doing. However, I have discovered that this is not always the case. Usually, in fact, it isn't.

Everyone knows someone getting married, or they have just been married themselves, or they were married 15 years ago, or they want to get married someday. Notice that none of those things relates to me. I am not trying to say that everything should be about me; to the contrary, I very much would like for most things to not be about me. However, if you are asking about my wedding...that's about me.

At work the other day, one of my coworkers asked me how my wedding plans were going. I gave a vague answer, something like "we've only got a few last minute things left." She then began asking me about my DJ. I told her who our DJ is going to be, and she asks how much it costs. Here I hesitate, because money makes me uncomfortable to discuss with most people. I tell her anyway, now starting to realize that she may have an ulterior motive for her line of questionings. This is confirmed as she turns to one of our other coworkers, and says, "Oh, we can get one WAY cheaper. That's a lot of money for a DJ. My fiance' and I are...." Coworker number 2 eagerly chimes in with her own wedding plans.

I stood there for a minute, staring at the two of them agreeing that I have overpaid for my DJ and how it's not really worth spending so much money on anyway. THEIR plans are going to be just fine. They continue on trying to talk to each other about their own wedding plans, and essentially ignore me. Yup. The entire reason they even asked me about my wedding was to confirm that they had the best, cheapest DJ. Essentially, their wedding was going to be "better" than mine.

I could continue to give examples of similar ways people have been socially acceptable in a rude way, but there is no point.

I'll just continue to make it a point in my own life to only ask someone else about their lives if I genuinely want to hear the answer. Not to compare and contrast to my own life, but because I care about theirs.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


My new dog is probably going to the bathroom downstairs as I write this. He's four months old now, and almost completely potty trained...except when he's left alone downstairs.

Okay, he's laying like a good boy at the bottom of the stairs. We'll see how long that lasts. He's really quite smart, and affectionate in his bumbling way. My little Bear has grown to 23 pounds the last time my dad weighed him a few days ago. It's amazing how fast he's growing, when we got him a month and a half ago, he weighed closer to 10 pounds. His back is only a few short inches from being level with the seat of our couch and he can easily rest his chin on our bathtub. Bear's paws are ticklish and it has taken him a little time to get used to having them wiped off when he comes in from outside. So far, he has been miraculously good at not destroying our things; apart from the occasional bathroom accident, he hasn't chewed up or shredded anything of ours.

He's also been wonderful with the cats, who seem to have mutually decided to not like him. Bennett is starting to accept him and takes most of his attempts to play with her in stride. She is the brave one, and will sit her ground, watching him with her steady gaze until he backs down. If he gets too close too many times, she will raise her paw and hiss as he scoots away. She's actually hit him twice now, the first time requiring a trip to the vet for the scratch she put on his eye. After having an ointment and eye drops put on his eye twice a day and a cone around his neck for 3 days, Bear's eye has healed without incident. The second time she tapped his nose and there was no injury. He has since become adept at dodging and is careful not to get into her space too much, unless he forgets himself in his desire to play.
Fox, on the other hand, is the scared-y cat. He watches Bear from his various perches, appearing engrossed in whatever Bear is doing. If Bear gets too close, the hair along Fox's spine stands on end and his back arches. If Fox becomes truly "frightened," his tail puffs up and he growls low in his throat. I say "frightened," however, because Fox continues to sneak around in order to watch Bear, occasionally appearing to want to play with him. It seems Fox loses his nerve and scampers away only to test his own daring again a few minutes later.

I worry about how Bear will do this summer. His coat is incredibly dense, built for withstanding harsh winters. That's the Husky in him, or as the vet suggested, potentially Akita. The rescue said he was a German Shepherd/Husky mix, but who knows? His fur is soft like a stuffed toy, but it keeps him well insulated. He already gets hot easily in 50 degree weather; what will it be like when it's 80? The vet said to keep him inside during the summer and only walk him in the early morning or late evening. Sure enough, when it's -10 next winter, he'll be begging to go for long walks. Luckily, he seems to enjoy relaxing much of the time, so maybe it won't be so bad.

People always look surprised when I say I got him from an animal rescue; apparently he doesn't look like a "shelter dog." After getting him, I've had many people tell me that a German Shepherd/Husky mix is a great dog, and much better than either purebred. A part of me thinks that I should have done more research than I did before getting him, but I had been interested in a German Shepherd. I did a search online and found him, couldn't get his face out of my head. When we drove down to get him the same day we were moving houses (because that's exactly how life works) I knew it was him the second I saw him. A lady was carrying Bear and his brother in her arms. As soon as I saw him, I knew this was my dog.

Friday, March 4, 2011

(read this in private)

To: Keri, on her 13th Birthday
(read this in private)
Love From:

You turning 13 makes me think, damn! I should write her something profound... like one of those sayings at Bible & Books. Then I thought a little more & realized that if I did that, you might die of shock & then shit... I'd be responsible for the death of my sister... that'd suck.

So anyway, the point is, I'm writing you a letter... hopefully to enlighten you, and make your adolescence easier. (because I, hopefully, have been through the toughest parts)

Alright, sappy time:
I know I can be hard on you, and very demanding of you. I also realize that I force you (rather harshly sometimes) to be more mature than your years. I know that sometimes you must think I'm a real bitch (and frankly I am... sometimes)
but you should also realize that I do this out of love. What I really want is for your life to be easier, and so I force you to do/think about things that society says you're not ready for... well, you know what a mold breaker I am, and that for the most part I think what society says is bullshit. I believe that if people are informed about more things they'll make better choices. I'm really trying to protect you, so you won't make the same bad choices I did. I protect you because I love you.

Okay, sappy's done... now tidbits of wisdom, from someone who grew up really fast... and then discovered she still has a lot of growing up to do!
1) mom & dad are always right...
2) even if they're wrong, they're RIGHT!!
3) don't confuse sex with love... if someone really loves you, they won't give a damn about sex, kissing, ect. (get my drift?)
4) have sex when you're ready to have a baby
5) trust mom & dad, even though they act like dumbshits sometimes, they still know quite a bit
6) ask questions... about everything! you'll be surprised the people you meet/things you'll learn about them
7) don't be afraid to say "I love you" to someone, but always mean it
8) never let anyone think they're better than you because of a physical/material thing
9) don't be afraid to ask for help... especially from Mom & Dad, and me :)
10) brown leather + black leather = BAD
11) take advice w/grain of salt

I'm starting to black out from lack of sleep, so before I start writing/spelling weird things I gotta get sappy again.

You know I'm going away, but really... w/computers & phones we'll still be able to talk & I want you to know you can always count on me to be there for you, NO MATTER WHAT! so if you have a problem, you better call me. I love you honey :) and no matter what (even if you get to be 3 feet taller than me & 600 pounds heavier) you'll always be my baby sister.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My sister

My sister is a drug addict and an alcoholic. I have known she uses pot since I was 13 or 14, but I just recently realized she is addicted to pot and alcohol. She uses them to cope with her depression.

Today it just hurts. I want so badly for her to want to have a relationship with me, and she says she does... but actions speak louder than words. I know in her way she loves me, but she can't (or doesn't) spend the effort to make a relationship with me.

She is going to be the Maid of Honor at my wedding. I don't know how I feel about it anymore. I wasn't going to pick her, but then the friend I was going to choose also doesn't ever contact me without me having to say something first. Then my mom wanted me to choose my sister- wants, really, for our family to be whole and happy when it isn't. But for my wedding day we can all pretend and put on our nice clothes with our hair done up and the pretty makeup, say nice things in speeches and cry at the first dance, then go our separate ways. To an outsider, you might not notice the tensions under the excitement of a wedding, or the seemingly small comments made from one party to the next, comments that express years of hurt and anger without really saying it.

It would be great for her to- change, really. I struggled over that word choice but I think it fits. But people don't really change much, do they? She has so much potential, ability and good to give to the world, and it's being squandered and squelched by her addictions and untreated mental illness. The hurt just keeps being pushed around, some drifting here or there and simply adding up like dust bunnies over the years.

I keep imagining this Talk that we could have. During our Talk, I would tell her how hurt I am by her not being in my life, how she should go to therapy, quit smoking and drinking to cover up her feelings and fulfill her potential as a person. She would listen and we would cry, and then at the end we would say we love each other and she would do it all. The relationship between her and my parents would heal, they would realize that all along they'd been struggling to come together. I realized after I typed it that I said "my" parents, but this is fairly accurate. They are her biological parents, they love and try to support her but in the end, there isn't much there. Just like between her and myself.

How can you know someone you never talk to, and when you do talk, it's reminiscing about being eight when running barefoot through the woods was the most complicated thing you had to do. My stupid heart loves her, even though she hasn't given me any reason to feel that way in- my God, at least 6 years. Yet, when we're together we can click back together. Maybe that's because I still fucking worship the ground she walks on because I have always adored her. I took whatever shit she handed me for a relationship and treasured it. She could show up on my doorstep after not speaking to me for years and I would take her in. I won't give up hope for her.

I won't give up hope for her. Some days it seems like trying to hold onto sand in a sieve. Is it worth it? She gives no indication of caring, other than random texts of when she's found something that makes her think of me. These give me hope.

She doesn't know that we're moving yet, or that I've found a puppy I want to get. I was going to tell her but, even after scheduling a time to call her, she didn't answer. I try not to be surprised when stuff like that happens, and I try not to let it sting, especially when the reason for her not picking up when I call is, "I ended up staying at so-and-so's house longer than I meant to."

Is it sad that I just got the urge to have a shot of Sour Apple Pucker? I won't do it because that might make me an alcoholic (which runs rampant through my family) and I don't want to depend on it to feel better. It doesn't make you feel better, anyway, it just puts the problem on the back burner until you're not drinking anymore.

I miss her.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Sunday afternoon

I was searching Craigslist, once again hoping to find a listing for a house that would suit us. I found three, and promptly sent inquiries about going to see the house for rent. The first two sent back eerily similar replies, although from two different addresses and names. The first reply was about a woman who had purchased a house where I live but had moved to Nigeria to be a part of some Christian organization. She wanted to "stand in our trust" and to know that "we would take care of her house as though it were our own," so that "she would be pleased to see it when visiting." She continued on to say that if we were serious about wanting to rent her house, to send a long list of information. She would then pray to the Almighty Father (whom she never makes a decision without consulting) and speak to her family about it. Then she would see about getting papers and keys. The entire email screamed scam, so I forwarded it to Justin for a little laugh and deleted it.

The second reply, as I said, was much like the first, except this time the woman was not in Nigeria. She had moved a few hours away and not to join a Christian organization, but otherwise the wording was much the same. Yet another scam.

The third was from a housing company that I had wanted to rent from previously due to their wonderfully accessible website, but they didn't have anything at the time that would work for us. Now, they had a home that I was rather excited about. This email requested that I call for more information, and I did. They had just listed this home and the man, "Scott," had not yet seen it and needed to check a few things before showing it. He said they would allow us to have our two cats, and to get a dog! He said he wanted to look at it on Monday, and asked me to call him Tuesday morning to set up a showing. I happily agreed, and began filling out their online application.

Monday morning

I stopped in to the housing office to drop off our rent application fees. The young man at the front desk, "Jan," (pronounced 'yawn;' he really did have a unique name like this so I kept it close to the original) asked if we had seen the property yet. I had to say no, and he told me they didn't take application fees until after the person had seen the place. Reasonable. He said he could hold on to it for me so that they could start processing as soon as we had seen and okayed the place.

I spent the rest of the day anxiously anticipating tomorrow.

Tuesday morning

Scott calls me and sets up a 5pm appointment for this same day. I text Justin and make sure my awesome boss is okay with me leaving for an hour or two to check out a house. She says yes.

Tuesday, 5 pm

Ok, so we got there 20 minutes early. I was just a little excited. On the way to the house, we cross a State Trail that goes for miles only two blocks from the house. A perfect place to walk a dog, no? We also took the time to walk down the street a little, where there is a marina on the Bay. We have lake access! We glance around at the neighboring houses, a quiet community with well maintained homes, a community garden and fenced in backyards. We check out the house's backyard, boasting a chain link fence and a garden shed. There is also a nice bench beneath what I'm hoping is a large lilac bush.

The Realtor arrives to find us standing in the porch, where the front door had been left open. The porch has a large bank of windows facing the Bay and providing a sort of mud room before you get to the 'real' front door. We enter the house and it's lovely. A great kitchen, complete with modern appliances (no more setting the oven at 15 degrees below the desired temperature and then cooking food for 10-15 minutes less than you're supposed to, only to have it burnt!) and a dishwasher! There is even COUNTER SPACE, both next to the stove and out far enough from the cupboards so that my Kitchenaid mixer will fit on them! The cupboards are bright white, and the walls are deep pink. There is a dining room connected to a living room, so it feels like one big space. Then there is a back door with space to one side for shoes and coats. I discover what looks like an innocuous older-type door (one of the handles is white porcelain) that leads to both another door outside and the basement.

The basement reminds me just a little of Silence of the Lambs, when Starling goes into Buffalo Bill's basement. Without the moths and the psychopath (or the well), but still. A narrowish hallway with orange and brown 70's wallpaper. There is, however, a door leading to the single stall tuck under garage, a storage room, a washer and dryer, and an odd bathroom. There's a toilet sitting next to the dryer, and an old shower with white cracking tiles. I worry for a moment that this is THE bathroom, but then remember from the online photos that there is another bathroom upstairs. With relief, we go up.

The master bedroom has hardwood floors and space. They have a queen size bed in it and there is still comfortable room around it for dressers and walking. It has two closets, one normal closet size and the other a deep walk in. My hoards of clothes would have a place to live, and Justin's would, too!

The second bedroom is only a bit smaller than the master, with it's own walk-in closet. It also has hardwood floors and would be a perfect Man Cave for Justin.

The real bathroom has a deep, soaking tub with a shower as well. The ceiling curves down so that the shower curtain has to be pulled up the curved curtain rod, but it is designed in a way that works. The shower head is at the tallest part, so if you're standing you may do so comfortably. On the other side of the shower wall is installed shelving for towels. Of course there's the usual toilet and sink, with a cupboard under the sink and one of those mirrors that stores stuff behind it.

We tell Scott that we love the house and would like to move forward with the application process. He tells us that it may be a few days before we hear back if we were approved or not, and asks if we have any criminal history or unpaid bills. We say no and leave with high hopes.

Wednesday, 12:02 pm

I get a call from Jan, and he says that we are approved. I try not to freak out while on the phone with him, and schedule a time to sign the lease. I hang up, allow myself to freak out with excitement, and then call Justin. He's excited but has a conference call to get ready for and therefore must hang up.

I just had to spread the news.

We move in less than a week! :D

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

10 Things

Last night, I was watching OWN with my mom (yeah, that's Oprah Winfrey Network) and there was a show about people who are pretty much hoarders of stuff. As in, PILES of crap EVERYWHERE in their house, and it made me want to declutter my house. Again and more thoroughly than ever before! My mom was describing the show, and how they make the people who own the house take everything out and sort it, but they have a limited time in which to do so. One thing they made a lady do was choose 10 pairs of shoes and get rid of the rest.

At hearing this, my eyes widened and I began to think of my two wonderful hanging shoe racks. Plus the shoes littering the floor beneath my shoe racks that don't fit in them due to their size. I wondered, how would I narrow down my shoes to just 10?

1. My Ariat cowboy boots. LOVE these and they're necessary for horseback riding. I searched for a while to find a pair of Ariat boots in a color other than regular black or brown. These have a red-brown hue, warm. Additionally, the first time I slid my feet into them I remember going, "Oh My God, these are amazing!" - SO MUCH BETTER than the last pair I'd gotten and worn holes through from Wal-Mart.

2. My Ariat winter riding boots. I just got them and they are GREAT- my feet stay warm, I have some traction and I can still ride with a safe boot.

3. My Mukluks. Super warm, comfortable winter boots. Better than any other winter boot I've owned previously.

4. My red Converses that I designed myself. They're still in good shape, I designed what they look like myself, and are personalized with PunksKidRock. The soles are white rubber with a red stripe, the entire outside is red and the tongue has a white background with gray, black and red barbed wire print. The inside of the shoes have the same barbed wire print as the tongue, and I chose red laces. I love these shoes and get compliments on them almost every time I wear them, plus it's fun to tell people I designed them.

5. My red peep toe heels. Justin got them for me when I was feeling really down, and they are gorgeous shoes. They have cut outs and I think they make my feet look pretty. Plus, they're more comfortable to walk in than most heels.

6. The black slouchy suede boots. I got these at Macy's and they were originally $100, but they were the last pair in the store. They fit me, including my calves (!) and were 50% off. Plus, I had a $25 gift certificate so I ended up paying $27. They're sexy and comfortable.

7. Purple suede, ruffled pointy toe flats. They sound and look like heels without being heels. I got them in Chicago when I went to Oprah with my mom, sister, and cousin, also at Macy's. I paid full price for them, but at $70 they were worth it. I feel special in these shoes.

8. Gold flats- my "sun" shoes. These were also purchased in the same Macy's on that same trip to Chicago, but they were in the clearance section. They have a small platform that gives me a little extra height without being heels, and have a round gold beaded disc on the front. Otherwise they're basically fancy flip flops, but that's just it: they're fancy and summery. They go with a LOT of outfits and look better than $5 flippies.

9. Deep red ankle boots. I can wear them with pants over them without having to have unnecessary boot length nearly reaching my knees. They have kitten heels and a pointy toe, effectively lengthening my leg line (thanks Stacy and Clinton) without making me totter around in "real" heels. Plus they're just snappy.

10. The last pair. The black pumas with the gold stripe. This adds a second sneaker to the collection, warmer than my Converses because they're leather. I got these at a Puma outlet store with Justin and I think they were half off.

So that's it. The 10 pairs of shoes I would save above the rest. I realize when I look over this list that 4 of them are in the red family, but I think I have enough variety in styles that I'd be able to dress for nearly any occasion. Maybe I SHOULD downsize...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget

Well then, it's been quite a while since I've last written- since last October, according to my blogger time keeping thing. I'd best get to updates!

Wedding Stuff
Well, we were going to go with a young man named Max Caven to do our photography, until a friend of mine said that he often misses appointments. For example, he was supposed to show up at 7am and instead arrived at someone's house at midnight. The control freak in me does not want someone to photograph my wedding that may or may not show up on time, if at all. I have a small nervous breakdown just thinking about it. So, we are going with Michelle Sternberg, whose photos are lovely and prices are reasonable. I keep forgetting to call her and discuss which photography package we want, mostly because I don't know how long I want/need her for, and don't want to be off in either direction. Have her leave too soon, and she could miss an important moment. If she's there too long, we pay her to sit and/or dance around with all of the guests. Bah. I don't know what time we are starting the ceremony, either.
On a more clear cut note, we got our wedding bands! Hurrah for Valentine's Day sales!

Rocky Stuff
Oh boy did I spend money yesterday. I got Rocky a GORGEOUS new saddle that was everything I had wanted in a new saddle. It's a brand new Circle Y trail saddle, originally intended for gaited horses but for some reason fits Rocky perfectly. Apparently for a Quarter Horse, he has a back like a Tennessee Walker. (Although, I did hear that Circle Y was wishing they hadn't named this series of saddles the Trail Gaiter, just because people would assume they are for gaited horses only.) At any rate, it has an amazing cinch system that is rather challenging to describe.
There, a picture! Except mine is the rich brown Walnut shade, not Regular Oil as pictured here. Anyway, the cinch. You start to tighten the girth normally, but then you put the strap through the second little C ring (yup, I don't know what it's called and their website didn't seem to name it) that hangs down beneath the cantle. So it tightens in a triangle shape that helps keep the saddle on from two different directions.
Then, because this saddle is shaped uniquely- and by that, I mean it has a tiny skirt in back- I got the saddle pad that goes with it, in brown felt with Walnut leather trim. And since I was already ordering the saddle pad online and a girl has got to have matching equipment... I got the matching breast collar, too. I resisted getting the bridle as well for a few reasons. One, I really like the headstall and reins I have right now because they have clips to make changing bits easy. Two, because the matching headstall didn't have aforementioned clips, and three, I didn't want to spend yet more money when I am happy with what I have.

I got Rocky his hackamore when I got his saddle. I now ride without a bit in Rocky's mouth, and it's amazing how much better he is with it. He was leaning on the soft snaffle bit I'd outfitted him with earlier, and it took a while to convince him to curve into turns rather than resist them. Additionally, he became scared while trail riding and bolted with me. The snaffle bit did nothing to stop his headlong rush back to the barn, whereas the new hackamore has enough "bite" to it to stop such a charge. It's still a light enough bit to cue gently, but will back me up if needed. It is a favored bit for barrel racers due to it's ability to encourage great turns and quick stops without being overly harsh. We may try barrel racing one day, but for now, it'll be nice to know I've got Whoa! when I need it.

Other Stuff
My job is going well! I got a lovely raise and sincerely enjoy work on most days. My boss is amazing and the girls I work with can be incredibly rewarding. I also joined a book club, and our second meeting is coming up soon. For the first month, we read Alice in Wonderland, and now we're reading Alice I Have Been, in order to compare the two. I very much enjoy the person who invited me. She boards her horse where I have Rocky so we've gone riding together as well, and she is a kind, intelligent and funny person. A harder combination to find than one might think.

We are trying to find a new place to live before our current lease is up on April 15. We could renew said lease, but I desperately want a puppy and a real bedroom that is not in a basement, both of which are not possible where we live. I just found a place today that I emailed about that could be great, and I am praying it will work out. It is within walking distance of a beach, has 3 bedrooms and says cats and dogs are okay. Plus, it's within our price range, so it is attainable if someone else doesn't snatch it up first.
Simultaneously, we are considering trying to buy our own house, but are uncertain of whether or not the bank would give us such a loan. We have a good chunk of money going out in various loans that we already have, and they probably take up too large of a percentage of our income for the bank to feel comfortable granting us such a sizable amount of money.

I think I want a German Shepherd.