Monday, December 28, 2015

I will NOT be bought!

This Christmas was so much different than past Christmases.

Starting in November, 2013 we decided to attack our unsecured debt, and we did it with a "gazelle-like" intensity, eventually paying off $35,000 in credit card debt.  I had NO Christmas spirit in 2013 because we were budgeted so tight that in my mind if there were no presents, then there would be no tree, and woosh.... out the window went the spirit.

In 2014 we decided we were tired of buying absolutely nothing and we purchased gifts for our family but didn't do it in excess.  (Or at least I didn't feel like it was excessive...)  We put up a tree, loaded it with gifts, and paid cash for everything.  I was the Queen of Christmas Spirit last year!

This year was a combination of the two previous years.

I knew 2015 was going to be rough.  We were back on our budget in hopes of  knocking out the last $20,000 so we can tackle student loans in 2017.

I kept reflecting on what Christmas truly was this season and just when I would want to buy tons of stuff and be a Disneyland parent/partner/aunt, I would hear a gentle nudge saying:  "I will NOT be bought!"  Every time I prayed, reflected, or meditated I heard:  "I will NOT be bought!"  This was my mantra the entire season, and honestly I LOVED Christmas this year.

Somethings were the same:
- We were able to pay cash for everything!
-  There was no tree to stuff presents under.  (I can't be trusted to act responsible when there is a Christmas tree in my reach....)

But instead of spending on ourselves and measuring the holiday by what we bought:
-  We donated to the Syrian refugees.
-  We purchased 18 chickens for 3 families in Africa.
-  We donated to the victims of the earthquake in Nepal.
-  We were a family's Secret Santa, donating $500 in toys and gifts to a family of 3.

-  We purchased $200 in gift cards to hand out to random folks in Chipotle.
-  We donated to the Salvation Army.
-  Paid for several people's groceries.
-  Bought a criminally cute kid a set of bubbles at the Family Dollar.
-  Pre-loaded all the washers and dryers with quarters at the laundry mat.

The most precious part of the season was the time invested in ourselves and others.
-  We played Uno, Bingo and Phase 10 with our family.



-  Laughed and ate until we could hardly move!
-  The Reluctant Farmer made a Christmas dinner that was to die for, further convincing my father not to drag us to the local truck stop for his version of a traditional Christmas dinner.  (Thank honey, I owe you!)

-  Perhaps the most rare part of the season, was the fact we spent 72 hours TOGETHER!  As a family, just doing nothing except lounging in our pajamas, knitting, reading, coloring and watching Christmas movies.

As I read and reflect on 2015,  I am excited for 2016.
This is going to be our best year yet!  I want more quite time, more family and friends, and less credit card debt.

2016, I'm coming for you!







Sunday, December 27, 2015

Seasonal Friendships


I have always believed there are different levels of friendship and most friendships are seasonal.  It seems most people enter your life when you need them the most, but they don't stay for eternity.

I have always been okay with this idea, not finding anything wrong with the fact that people fall out of touch and through no one's fault in particular, they aren't as close as they once were.

What do you do when you don't want the relationship to be seasonal?

My heart is breaking as I realize my relationship with a friend of mine was seasonal when I thought it would be for eternity.  This friend was more like a sister than a friend, and if I have to be honest, I feel like my heart has been ripped out.

Perhaps I was foolish for thinking our relationship was more than seasonal?
Perhaps I am just being immature?
Perhaps this has nothing to do with me?

All I know is there are no more outgoing phone calls, no more returned phone calls, and no more girl talk over dinner.

I keep waiting, hoping this person and I are just going through some growing pains, that perhaps we will recover, that she will tell me if I have done something to offend her.  (I asked...)  So far, nothing.

And perhaps this is just how it was meant to end.
Seasonally.
It sure doesn't make it hurt any less....





Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Christmas story from a humbled, me....



I am a firm believer that God makes no mistakes, and that is why when I feel like He is at work, I try to listen.  

Tonight, The Reluctant Farmer called me while I was on my way home from work and asked me to pick up a can of chicken for a recipe she was making Christmas day.  I was was really put off by this request because she had already been to the grocery store earlier this morning AND who sends someone to the store on Christmas Eve?  Did she not understand what she was asking me to do?!

Normally, I would have gone to our small town grocery store, but for whatever reason, I decided I would take a back way home and I chose to stop at a Meijer's two towns over.  (Meijer's is a huge grocery/department store that is normally open 24 hours a day, and they are quite popular here in Ohio.)  

I grabbed a few last minute items to complete our Christmas shopping, including the can of chicken and made my way to the checkout line.  At this time it's 5:30 pm, and the store is set to close at 6 pm.  In front of me there was a couple arguing about something, and I was all about ignoring them until the husband looked at me and said:  "You can go in front of us.  She has lost our credit card, again!"  I graciously said thank you and jumped in front of them.  At this point there were 2 other people in front of me, so as I waited for my turn, I continued listening to the couple behind me and I could hear the woman say:  "I know it's here!  Just give me a minute!", as she dug through a purse the size of Montana.  "You make me so nervous!  I could find it if you would just stop pressuring me!"  At this point the gentleman turned his back to me and I read United States Army on the back of his jacket.  I could see him digging through a huge stack of paper and other unorganized chaos.  (We ladies, know the stack... This is the stack of papers that resides in the bottom of our purses.  Receipts, notes, old bills, etc...) when I heard him say:  "Jesus, how much stuff can you fit in this purse?!"  Silently, I thought to myself, "You haven't seen anything until you've seen my purse..."  

Then I eyed the grocery cart.  

I couldn't see exactly what was in the cart, but I could make out a turkey, some fruit, several pies, some soda and beer, plus some clothing.  After 10 minutes of them going back and forth over how much stuff was in her purse, and the fact she couldn't find her credit card "again," I could hear Jesus speaking to me.

I called The Reluctant Farmer and did the ol' famous:  "So, I need you to move more money to my checking account and I am not quite sure how much money I am going to need."  Never batting an eye, or asking me if I was in jail, she moved money over to my account, and I spun around to say:  "How about you let me buy whatever you have in your grocery cart."  

They both quickly refused:  "No!  No, thank you!  I mean the offer is very generous, but no."

I then rephrased the question:  "Would you please allow me to buy what you have in your grocery cart?"  

Very adamantly the man says: "No!"

I take a deep breath.  Clearly this man does not realize I don't take "no" for an answer.  I then replied:  "Look, it's 5:30 pm on Christmas Eve.  Clearly, she has misplaced her credit card somewhere in her purse, and from another woman's perspective, I know you could be here for a LONG while if her purse looks anything like my purse!  There has to be a way to get you, and your groceries out of this store, and if you won't let me buy them for you, then how about I pay for them and then you can write me a check for the money that I spend?"  

The woman says:  "That's the problem.  I don't think we actually have the money in our checking account to write you a check, that's why we are putting it on our credit card.  Thank you for the offer though."

I then ask:  "Were you in our military?"

The man states:  "Yes, I was in the Army.  I was deployed and came back a little over a year ago."

I said:  "Alright, let's compromise.  I know what it's like to be proud.  Why don't you put the clothes back, and allow me to purchase the rest of your groceries.  Consider it a thank you for the fact you fought for my freedom."

The man looked at me, thanked me, and left the line with the clothes in his hand.  

I looked at his wife, who was now crying.  She said:  "Thank you so much.  Seriously, you will never know how much your kind gesture means to me.  He came home with a lot of issues, one of them being PTSD.  He means well, but is quick to anger, and I'm sure that card is in my purse, but with him standing there, I just can't find it!"  

We exchanged hugs, commiserated over large purses full of junk, and before I knew it her husband had returned.  He wrapped me in a big "man hug," and with tears streaming down his face he said:  "Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that God blesses you greatly for your kindness."

I simply said "thank you".

What I wanted to say was:  "I want for nothing.  There is nothing I need.  My job is great, my stomach is full, my house is warm, and my family is healthy.  I have been blessed, that's why I am able to help you."

As I walked out of the store, I tipped my face up towards the sky and said:  "Well played God!  Well played!  Here while I am worrying over the measly difficulties of going to the grocery store, there are folks standing before me who are worried about how they are going to eat.  Message received!"  

It took me a minute to reflect on the fact that of all the hundreds of people in Meijer tonight, God put those people right in front of me, and do you know why?!  Because God doesn't make mistakes!  Those folks me and I needed to be reminded about how blessed I truly am.

Merry Christmas friends!  May the wonder and spirit of the season shine upon you and yours this holiday season!  xo    



Don't drink and Prime!


Several months ago, I had a moment of clouded judgement.

I was house sitting for friends of mine who had bonsai trees, and one night as I was sitting on their deck marveling at their little trees, I was instantly hit with the distinct memory of a time in my teen years when I really wanted a bonsai tree because I had seen the movie Karate Kid.

Later that same night I was flipping through the television channels, and what is playing?!  Karate Kid!  Now, call it fate, call it destiny, or call it too much wine, but I just KNEW it was meant to be.  I was meant to own a bonsai tree!

So, I did what any logical person would do:  I got on Amazon.com and I drunkenly ordered 2 bonsai trees.  You know how they always say, "Don't drink and drive?"  Well, my advice to you would be, "Don't drink and Prime", either!

Several days later, in a cardboard box via the Fedex man, arrived my bonsai trees.

After I got them home and unpacked them it dawned on me I had NO clue how to keep these things alive!  The next day, I went to our local nursery, admitted to the bonsai folks there what I had done, got a ton of information and bought another tree.  (You know, just in case I killed the first two trees...)

Before I knew it, I was purchasing special scissors, a watering can from England, etc. and I was the Michelle Duggar of bonsai trees.  (There are now 8 of them with an additional 2 trees I am attempting to grow from cuttings.)

I have kept these little beauties alive for several months now, and I have to admit they are sort of a a big deal to me.  I am attached to them in some weird way.  I equate them with a cross between a plant and a pet.  They require more effort than a goldfish or a regular house plant, but less effort that a dog or cat, and I am pretty much in love with them.  I must also admit they are filling the huge hole in my heart that not gardening in the winter brings, which is welcome this time of year.

I am hoping with enough love, water, and prayer I can keep them alive through the winter....

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Tiger Farts and a Kleptomaniac Monkey


This year for Christmas I planned a surprise trip to Wildlife In Need, for The Reluctant Farmer and Miss K.   As in avid member of PETA in my formative years, I had mixed feelings about this adventure, but The Reluctant Farmer is an avid cat fan and I knew that petting a tiger was high on her life time bucket list, so I booked the trip.

For weeks I have been reading the reviews online and there were mixed reviews about this place.  (I would expect nothing less though when dealing with exotic animals, zoos, etc...)  So, last night I prayed I had not made a mistake by paying for this adventure, and I am happy to report, we had fun!  (You can't wipe the smile of The Reluctant Farmer's face!)  


Now, it was a private zoo and the animals were not in their natural habitat, however I got to thinking, with the rate of extinction rising, captive conservation might be the only way I ever get to see a tiger this close or touch one in person.  The animals were well fed, the cages were impeccably clean, and they taught us a lot about conservation.  It was evident by the way the animals interacted with their caregivers, there was a mutual love between both human and animal.  Honestly, there was not much difference between this guys love for his animals and my love for my animals.


When we left, I asked The Reluctant Farmer, who was beyond giddy with excitement:  "Did you have a good time?  Was petting a tiger everything you thought it would be?"

Her reply:  "Thanks!  It was amazing!  Did you notice after the tiger ate, he farted on me?!  Who knew tigers farted?!"

I just shook my head and laughed.  

$100 to play with tigers/monkeys/puppies.
Across 3 states and 6 hours in the car to make this trip happen.
The smile on their faces because tigers farted on them and monkeys tried to steal their earrings?  Priceless!

I would pretty much do anything for these two ladies.  Even semi-change my stance on animals in captivity... 


***  I will put the entire album of pictures on our Facebook page if you want to see more of the fun we had today. ***

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Learning to be a dog...


Star is making progress.  I was really hoping after a week or two of kind treatment she would quickly turn around and I would be able to instill a little more obedience and socialization, but that hasn't happen exactly as I thought it would.  There is progress being made though and she is a long way from where she was when she first arrived.

On occasion you find a dog that is so damaged and broken, "life skills" become the training you teach.  Star is that type of dog.  She has been working on just being a dog, and folks she is succeeding!  She loves all dogs, big and small, and they are where she finds the most comfort.  She plays with the cats, and she is learning the finer things in life like how to sleep in a bed or on a couch.  She is housebroken and the crate training is moving along swimmingly.  


Even though she often times acts like Drew Barrymore's character on the movie 50 First Dates, she wants to be with people badly.  You can see it in the tail wags, the way she forgets to be afraid and wants to be petted when the other dogs come up for affection, and the fact she is always lounging 2 feet away from us when we are in the office or doing housework.  

It's dogs like Star that burned me out on rescue, and one of the reasons I quit last year, because if you look at the way Star acts it's easy to loose faith in humanity.  We will not mention that in her presence though because I need her to move forward and grow.  And grow she will, her trick for today is learning how to beg from the table!  She is catching on....


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My partner, my love, my pain in the arse.....



You all have heard me say time and time again how I hate the term "rescue" when describing a dog.  I feel like folks use the term "rescue" to defend the fact their dog acts like an ass.  In addition to the fact I feel like it puts you in a frame of mind to feel sorry for the dogs thus holding it back and not allowing it to move forward with it's life.  When I bring a dog into my home I always say that:  "To be committed to a dog is to accept no excuses.  It is to expect results." 

A year ago I drove to Michigan to adopt a Border Collie.  Never having a Border Collie before, I was expecting a well behaved dog that was going to worship the ground I walked on.  I have never been more wrong about anything in my entire life.  It was in the car on the way home from adopting Lilly, that I found a letter from her previous owner, and I remember looking over at The Reluctant Farmer and saying:  "What the hell did we just adopt?  A gremlin?!"  

A gremlin she was.

Lilly was a victim of being loved too much and not having any discipline.  She ruled her life by scaring people, and that was a system that worked very well for her.  She got exactly what she wanted, to be in control.
   

What the little darling failed to realize was that I am used to dogs that are edgy and act a little crazy.  My breed of choice is the Belgian Shepherd.  I LOVE a dog that flips me off and says:  "Make me!"  

I won't lie that for a minute I was frustrated with this girl.  She was a tough nut to crack.  But looking back over the last year, I now realize I don't own just a dog.  She is my partner.  This girl and I work everyday together, and I am so proud of the team we have become.


I have learned so much from Lilly this year, about myself and dogs in general.

1)  Lilly is proof that relationships are hard work, but you get out of them what you put into them, and I would not trade the last year of my life with this dog for the world.  

2)  She frequently reminds me to be a humble dog trainer and person, because just when I think I'm superior due to me being human, she does something that makes me realize dogs are far more intelligent than what humans give them credit for.  

3)  She reminds me daily that if you're going to work together you need to trust your partner.  One of the hardest lessons this year has been learning that without her nose, I am screwed.  I can't work without her and she won't work if she is upset, feels like she is being treated unfairly, or thinks she is being ignored.  (Really, I have dated women that are less demanding....)

In closing, I just want to say:  Happy Gotcha' Day Lilly!  My honorary Malinois in a black and white suit.  You are by far the coolest thing that has happened to me in many years.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Face of Guilt


Due to the impending descent of Christmas, I decided tonight to finish what little shopping we still needed to complete.  I wasn't gone very long. but that didn't matter to the quick acting creatures in my house.

When I hit the door after returning home, it was evident that either our trashcan spontaneously exploded or our dogs were very irresponsible beings.  I was just asking who the guilty party was, when I noticed Ziggy's bed looked like an episode of Hoarders.

This is the face of guilt.....

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Do Love.



All weekend I have been in a funk over the recent events in France and Beirut.  

When I sat down yesterday to write a blog post on the subject nothing would come out, and then when I flipped over to Facebook and watched person after person hate on Muslims, I wrote too much.  (Sorry to the folks that had to witness me loosing my religion on my Facebook page....)  All I could think about were the friends I have who are Muslim, and what must be going through their minds and hearts as they witnessed all of these horrible things that were being said about them as people.  I thought about a close friend of mine who is a Muslim and serves in our military, protecting our freedom, and who is just as "American" as you and I.  And the more I watched friends spew ignorance and hate, the more I hurt.  I stayed up most of the night wondering how God could let this happen to His children.  I questioned what my roll in this equation was, and was I wrong for not hating?  I prayed for the people who lost their lives.  I prayed for the refugees that have been displaced through no fault of their own, and for the families that are now separated and can't go home.  I prayed for the victims and their families, the doctors and medical personnel who worked around the clock to save lives, and the strangers who came together to love one another.  I prayed for humanity and peace.  As I prayed though, one word kept coming to me and that word was love.  

There is evil in this world, evil that is hoping to tear us apart.  It wants to snuff out the good in the world, and make us question our faith.  Well, I will not allow evil or hate to win.  I will not allow the vileness of this weekend to cause me to respond with anger.  I will respond with love and grace.  

I will continue to love my neighbors and to stand up for my ALL of my brothers and sisters no matter their race, religion or sexuality.  I will continue to recognize that not all Muslims are responsible for the heinous acts that took place this weekend, and I will not condemn those folks for what a radical sect is doing in the supposed name of their religion.  I will continue to stand by the offer that, as long as they don't mind a little dog hair, the refugees that find themselves homeless and hungry are welcome to stay at our house.  Why?  Because I stand strong in my faith.  I know the walk God has asked me to walk.  It is not easy and sometimes I don't understand, but I have faith that I am doing life right.  And when I get to Heaven, providing God still accepts me after my Facebook rant last night, I want to proudly say without hesitation: "You commanded me to love my brothers and sisters so I did.  You told me that in order to love you, I must love my brother, so here I am!"  

As this week progresses and we struggle to understand what is happening in the world, I pray you can do so exuding tolerance, empathy, grace and above all else:  LOVE.




Saturday, November 14, 2015

Confused folks and barking dogs



This morning after shuffling the dogs in and out after their breakfast, I had one dog that did not want to come inside. Because I know it's pointless to argue with a dog seeking the last few rays of sunshine before winter, I left him out on the deck and went about cleaning up the kitchen. About 10 minutes later I heard a dog frantically barking in the backyard.  I didn't recognize the bark as one of my own dogs, but it made no sense for there to be another dog in my backyard, and when I went to the door there was my Jack Russell barking crazily at a man standing in the rear part of my backyard.  I quickly opened the door, and said: "Can I help you?"

His reply:  "Yeah, how much does it cost to buy one of these garden plots for the year?"  

I must have looked confused because he then replied as he's pointing to my raised vegetable beds:  "In the spring, how can I get one of there garden plots?"  I sort of chuckled and said:  "Excuse me?"  He replied: " This is the community garden, right?!"  Quickly I replied: "No sir, it's my backyard!"

After we had a brief discussion on why it wouldn't be smart for him to come into my backyard before coming through the front door again, I directed him to the community garden one block over.  
As soon as my heart was no longer in my throat, I laughed and thought to myself, I guess you know you are doing urban farming correctly when folks think they are in the community garden!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Dibs on the Prozac!



As I was walking through the kitchen tonight, carefully balancing dinner for 9 dogs in my two arms, Star excitedly jumped up on me and BAM!  There thrown all about my kitchen floor was 12 cups of dry kibble mixed with water, 1 can of canned food, several glucosamine tablets and a rogue Prozac.  

For a split second I was angry....

Do these dogs not know that the housekeeper just mopped our floors?  Is it too much to ask the dogs for clean floors just for 1 day?!  

But as I poured myself a glass of wine while watching the dogs suck up dog food faster than a turbo charged vacuum cleaner, I thought to myself:  "Screw it.  I would rather tone a dog down, than build a dog's self esteem up, and if the only thing that keeps this dog excited is food, well by God we will just eat dinner off the floor tonight!"

I call dibs on the Prozac!


*** Star the Malinois will be available for adoption through American Belgian Malinois Rescue.  You can find out more about their amazing organization and adoption requirements at http://www.malinoisrescue.org ***


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Doing what she was bred to do!


When I adopted Lilly 10 months ago, I thought I was getting a completely different dog than I got.  Lilly was adopted from a rescue by a woman with really good intentions who was guilty of loving Lilly too much...

You see, dogs like Lilly need more than just food and love.  They need boundaries and a strong leader as well.  That is how Lilly found herself back in the hands of rescue a second time.  Lucky for me, I had temporarily fostered a dog for this group, and told them what type of dog I was looking for, so I jumped on the chance to adopt Lilly.

Now, I am not stupid.  I never adopted Lilly with the idea she was going to be an "easy" dog.  I by nature am a Belgian Shepherd sort of girl.  I like a dog that is spirited but honest, and wants to work with you.  I also love a "bad" dog...  Where I don't mind fostering "wallflower type" dogs, my most successful K9 partners have been dogs with a back bone that would just as soon flip you off than let you be right.


The day we met Lilly, I felt sorry for her.  She was an over weight, unemployed dog, begging for work, and because she had been living in a doggie daycare facility for quite an extensive period of time during her unemployment, she was driving people crazy with her antics.  I immediately noticed Lilly was wickedly smart, and tried really hard to impress me with her agility skills.  I was hooked!  

I signed her paperwork, and then I was handed a yellow folder with all of her medical information in it.  It was in the very back of the file that I found a letter regarding Lilly from her old owner and as I read through it I whispered to The Reluctant Farmer:  "What the hell did we just adopt, a gremlin?!"  The letter was a list of rules about what you could and could not do with Lilly.  No drive-thru windows, no wire crates, no food after 7 pm, and my favorite:  Don't allow her on your couch because she will bite you when you ask her to get off.  


I really wasn't sure about the adoption until I read that last warning, and that is when the illogical part of my brain went:  "Hell, yes!"  I love a dog with enough backbone that she will challenge me,  This is EXACTLY what I was looking for!

I took Lilly home, and then I realized within minutes, I did not adopt a Belgian Shepherd.  I adopted a Border Collie.  Very similar in drive, but 2 completely different breeds on several aspects.
  
1)  Border Collies have a neurotic side that Belgians do not have, and Lilly's neurosis was intensified because she lived in a 10 x 10 run at a doggie daycare until her owner agreed to re-release her to rescue.

2)  She didn't give two shits about me, and she didn't need me at all.

I cried.
And then I got really busy working with this dog.


In the beginning Lilly and I butted heads every day, but I have to tell you I have loved every moment with this girl, because she has taught me so much.  She has made me step out of my comfort zone, forced me to be a better handler, and subjected me to stuff I would have never done before.
  
That is why this morning I drove her one state over to Stockdog U for herding lessons.


I didn't need one more thing to do with this dog, and this sport looks hard as hell, but I know in my heart, Lilly needs this activity like a fish needs water and I respect her enough to know this would make her world complete.  She had a blast today and it was breathtaking to watch her instincts take over.

We can't wait to go back.  
I think we just found a new sport....
  








Thursday, November 5, 2015

Good News for Star!


Last Saturday, we received a new foster dog from American Belgian Malinois Rescue.  Her name is Star.  She is 2-3 years old, and originally was a stray.  Star is one of those dogs whom you wish could talk.  She came to AMBR with a healed fracture of the femur, 3 out of 4 K9 teeth broken off, and some intense scarring on her ear.  Star's story until this point has been a sad one, this is evident in the way she shrinks from our hand, paces constantly, and runs from us if we move too fast.  

We have worked very hard this week to treat Star just like any other dog who lives here, and I am happy to report she is making progress.  She has learned to sit, down, and is working on her crate training.  She has made dog friends, cat friends, and is just as nice as they come.  My main concern this week has been Star's leg.  I have been watching her and where originally she came to me with the understanding she would have her leg amputated while she was here, I have questioned that all week.  
I took Star to visit Dr. Kelley tonight for a surgical consult to start the process of having the leg removed, and I am happy to report the veterinarian said Star doesn't need surgery at this time!  Dr. Kelley evaluated Star's leg and agreed, she uses the injured leg just as much as her good leg.  She said her knee was stable, the fracture has healed, and confirmed Star is not in any pain.  She said amputation is still an option if Star is in pain from arthritis later in life, but most likely she will just be 2 inches shorter on one side.
    
This makes my heart happy, because amputating Star's leg when she has just started to trust us, was really making me sad.  Star doesn't know it yet, but her "story" is about to have a much different ending than she originally expected, an ending where happily ever after does exist!


  


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Letter to my dog....



Dearest Dog,

I want to start this letter by reminding you that I, as your dog-mom, will always love you no matter what.  I also want to remind you that if you ever again act the way you acted tonight, I will lovingly choke you with my bare hands.  You see, when you attempt to bite me because you are angry that you have such a "stupid human" to work with, I find you offensive.  You probably picked up on that when the world came crashing down on you after such heinous behaviour....

Embarrassingly for me, I think the entire class found us both offensive.  (I'm not sure if you noticed their horrified stares or not, but go team!)  Good news is, we get to go back again next week!  Bad news is, I am still your partner...  Let's collectively work harder at keeping things civil between the two of us.  Now, I know that deep down inside your little Border Collie heart, you love me.  That love is somewhere, smooshed between loving to work without me and wanting to herd the cats, but you can't fool me, it's in there!  (I see the same look of annoyance on your face that I see on my teenage daughter's face, but I have faith you will come around to your senses soon.)  Until you come around, I, your mother, will just continue to drive you all over the county to agility lessons, nose work lessons, herding lessons, feed you premium organic kibble and insure you have the best veterinary care, all because I love you and I want you to succeed in life.  It's okay, I trust you appreciate me and you can thank me later.

Love,
Your Mom

Sunday, November 1, 2015

What he said!



Yesterday when I wrote the post about how I didn't like for people to call my dogs "rescued", I didn't just ruffle one lady's feathers, I quite frankly pissed her off...  She took my blog post rather personal, and was very vocal about that fact in an online creative group.  She accused me of "demonizing" rescue and all sorts of other things, inviting me to "come into the trenches of rescue" (Clearly she has no idea I have lived in the trenches for the better part of 2 decades...), etc...  Bottom line she was WAY upset about what I wrote.

I still stand firm in what I said yesterday, and there was never an intended dis towards rescue.  It was the fact that people automatically equate the words "rescue" and "abuse" as the same thing and feel sorry for a "rescue" dog because it's had a "hard life", when honestly if we took the label away and just let the dog be a dog, allowing it to have a clean slate, to re-create it's life from the first moment of being in our lives, real healing starts to take place immediately.  It allows the dog to move forward and get on with life, something we humans are not good at.  

Fellow author/friend Jon Katz wrote a blog post about my post yesterday and perfectly summed up what I was trying to say.  


Thank you Jon!  Once again your written word was quite enlightening....

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Don't call my dog "rescued"......

She's here!


This morning I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of a foster dog, whom is coming to me from several states away.  While she is here she will be having her leg amputated due to an old injury that was not repaired, and by the look in her eyes, she will be learning to trust, love and just be a dog again.
 
As I was on the phone this morning scurrying to find a crate for this girl, one of my kind and well-meaning friends said:  “Oh, that poor dog!  I am glad she has been rescued, and now she will be loved as a rescued dog!”  I know that my friend means well, seriously, she is one of the kindest people I know, but can I just say I hate the term “rescued”?
 
The term “rescued” in my mind deems a dog “less than”.  Do adoptive parents walk around introducing their children as:  “This is my biological son, Michael, and my adopted son, Joseph.”?  No!

To think of a dog as a “rescue” dog automatically labels it and puts you in the frame of mind to feel sorrow, or excuse it’s behaviour, and that label holds the dog back from moving forward in life.  I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard an owner say:  "Oh, he bites because he was a rescue dog."  or "We don't make her do that because she was abused in her last home."  I have some advise for you:  Get over it!  The dog has!  And if the dog hasn't it's because of the emotional baggage you have now placed on the dog by trying to "save" it from it's past life. 
 
When this girl gets here, she will be greeted by a group of semi-well behaved (Chihuahuas are never well behaved…) dogs who will lay a lot of my ground work.  These dogs make it easy for me to rehabilitate dog after dog because they were once her and I “chose” to invest in them.  She will be treated like every other dog that has ever come through this house.  She will be expected to not fight or bite, to potty outside, and as soon as she is well enough, she will be given a job.  (Nosework, obedience, etc…) 


To a dog that has never been given a chance, or had someone to love it, the best gift you can give it, is to be allowed to move forward with life.  Dogs live in the moment, and don’t dwell on the past, so why would we hold them back?

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Bitchy Gem


This has been a particularly rough week in terms of training Lilly.  For whatever reason, she has been crazily wound up all week anytime we work, to the point that she is missing hides on the first/second pass because she is in a constant state of tail tucked, ears back, smile on her face euphoria anytime we work.  Why?  Only Lilly knows....

In order to harness some of her happiness and restore order to our life, I decided to take her to the dog park tonight with the hope we would find some dopey, adolescent male Labrador, that might not mind an intense border collie bossing him around.  Sadly, though no one was at the dog park.

Well, until this man showed up at the fence and started watching us.

After this guy stood quietly at the fence watching us for 15 minutes, my mind went to the darkest place imaginable.  And I was just getting ready to go into total panic when he says to me in the most quaint Irish accent:  "Is your dog a bitch?"

Immediately, my ears perked up, partly because of the accent and partly because if some uses the term "bitch" to discuss your dog, you know they have been around dogs.

Me: "Excuse me?"
Gentleman:  "Is your Border Collie a bitch?"

"Assuming you are asking if she is female, yes.  Yes she is.  Although, if you are truly asking if she's a bitch, she's that too.", I said with a chuckle.

He laughed and asked:  "Does she bite?!"

I laughed again, "There's a strong possibility she might."

Man:  "Can I pet her?!"

Me:  "Um, sure?  If you really want to.  She is leery of some people though."

Man:  "She reminds me of a dog I had back home in Ireland.  Great dog.  Look how symmetrical her markings are and how smart she is!"

Me:  "Yep, she's a challenge, but I love her."

He went on to tell me that he lives here with his wife, but all of his family lives back in Ireland.  They have always had Border Collies and he explained that his family owns a working sheep farm.  Just two weeks ago, he went home for a visit and was able to work with his brother on his brother's farm.  The whole time he was talking to me, Lilly was totally smitten with this man.  She was sitting in his lap, with her tongue lolled out to the side, in total "doggie heaven".

He said:  "Do you mind if I play with her for a minute?"

Me:  "No, be my guest!"

He kicked the soccer ball we had away from us and as Lilly went to chase it, he used a series of whistles and body language to block her movement until she herded that ball right back to us!  The two of them did this several times before we had to leave, and as we were leaving, he thanked me and said he hoped he would see us again.

His parting comments will stay with me for a bit....

"In Ireland, we look for the Border Collie bitch that is strong.  She has to be willing to listen and work with us, yet ignore us and think for herself.  You have yourself one heck of a dog there.  She is a gem!"

I have to think this guy is right on the money.  Although Lilly comes more baggage than an airport, she is quite the gem!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Beautiful child.....


Beautiful child, my hope for you is that you see the same beauty in yourself that I see in you.

Your contagious smile, your laughter, and the purity to always see the good in everyone you meet.

That you never settle for less than you are worth, and that your soul stays as innocent as it is today.

I pray when you get lost in life you remember I love you more than the air I breathe, and I would give you my last dying breath if it meant you would live a moment longer.

I as a parent was supposed to teach you about the world, but honestly, you have taught me so much more.

You have taught me to be kind.  To love with abandon.  To ignite my inner passion.

To do what I love everyday, and to savor each moment.

I am humbled and in awe of you every single day.

 I am so blessed to be your mom.....

 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

No manners?! No problem!


No, we don't make it a habit of allowing our dogs to sit on the dining room table, and right after I took these pictures, the little bum was escorted back onto the floor. But seriously, have you seen a little dog with bigger moxy?!  

Some days you try to instill manners, and some days you just realize you are failing.

No manners?!  No problem!





Sunday, August 9, 2015

Giving my pastor the finger, yet another life lesson....



Now, this is going to come as a surprise to some of you however, I have a confession to make...

I am intense and I lack patience.

I have been trying very hard to slow down, relax, and exert patience whenever possible, however these are areas within myself that still need work.  The truth about me is, I constantly attack life with 100% of myself.  I seldom relax, and I multi-task in a way that would make an air traffic controller juggling fire look sedate.

People constantly ask me:  "How do you do everything that you do?"  Well, the answer is, I do life fast, with a purpose and I am bold beyond reason most days.

This takes us to Friday....

Friday afternoon, I ran to the grocery store after work and then in my post grocery store "I just spent $178- but still don't want to cook" state of mind, I decided I had to have Chipotle for dinner.  Quickly, I hit up Chipotle, took it "to-go" since I had my groceries in the car,and headed home.  I was SO excited about the Chipotle sitting next to me that I could NOT get there fast enough.

Two miles down the road there was a stop light.  The car in front of me was stopped and preparing to turn left, and the car coming at them was stopped and was preparing to turn left also.  We were stopped for approximately 27 seconds, which in my mind was WAY too long, while we waited for one of them "to own" the turn so we could all go about our business.  As we are sitting there a dark blue Camaro goes whizzing by me on the right, and my thoughts:  "At least one of might get home in a timely fashion tonight!"

So, I did what came naturally to me.
I ashamed God.

I rolled down my window, honked the horn, flipped off the car coming at me, and screamed "MAKE A DECISION ALREADY!!"  Then in hit me in slow motion....

**** Side note right here:  For the last little while, I have sat 9 rows from the front of our church staring at a newer pastor, whom I really don't know except in passing, and my thoughts have always been:  "Man, she looks like Sarah Palin!" ****

I looked at the car coming at me and my immediate thought was:  "Man, that woman looks just like Sarah Palin!"  Then it hit me!

I JUST FLIPPED OFF MY PASTOR!!!

I frantically called The Reluctant Farmer:  "Honey, you are never going to believe what I did!  On second thought, you probably will believe me...  I flipped off Pastor Rachel!  I AM GOING TO HELL!"

The Reluctant Farmer immediately starts laughing hysterically, and in her calm, and even tone says:  "I told you that was going to catch up with you one day."

I was NOT amused.  "Honey, stop laughing at me!  This is not cool!  We are going to have to switch churches.  I can never go back there again!  OH MY GOD!"

Then The Reluctant Farmer promptly pipes up with:  "Aren't they going to notice when you don't show up for your Sunday school class?"

CRAP!  I had not thought of that!  I teach Sunday school to the young children of Jesus every week. (No worries, I do NOT teach them how to give folks "the bird" while driving.)  Someone is going to notice if I disappear....

So, I stewed on this for the rest of the night AND was still stewing on this when The Reluctant Farmer got home from work.

RF:  "Hey there!  Are you still upset about flipping the pastor off in a fit of road rage?!"
Me:  "YES!  I can't show my face there EVER again!  We are NOT going back!  I am so EMBARRASSED!"
RF:  "Would you feel different about this situation if the person had not been Pastor Rachel?
Me:  "Yes.  I wouldn't feel guilty at all!"
RF:  "That is NOT Christian like behaviour!  Why were you in such a hurry anyway?  Were you late for something?!"
Me, with my head hung in shame:  "No, I wanted to eat my Chipotle!"
RF:  "All that for Chipotle?!"
Me:  "It made logical sense at the time...."

Then in my mind I thought, perhaps Pastor Rachel had not seen me.  It would be between me and God, and no one would be the wiser.  I would repent by sitting in the front row, tithing an extra 2%, and all would be right with the world.  Except in my heart I did not just let God down.  I let myself down too....

So, this morning I went to church, and you know what?!

Whether it be guilt, coincidence, or just God trying to teach me a lesson, Pastor Rachel was EVERYWHERE!  I saw her when I came out of the bathroom, when I stood in line for my coffee, when I stopped to talk to some folks in the lobby, when I walked to my seat.  Heck, I saw her more in the 30 minutes before church than I normally would have seen her if she was preaching that Sunday!

Then, as she and her husband were standing alone for a minute before service started, I saw my opportunity to make things right with God, Pastor Rachel, and her family.

Me:  "Um, hi.  I think I owe you an apology.  I may have been less than Christ-like in my driving on Friday night, and I don't know if you noticed or not, but I pretty much flipped you off.  And I am sorry...."

Immediately, they both started laughing, and asked me where this happened because they had not seen me acting like a nut.  (Praise Jesus!)  And Rachel went on to explain they were stopped, and about to make the turn when they saw that blue Camaro, barreling up the side of the road, and were discussing the fact that they were both glad they had not turned because that car would have hit them.
Thankfully Pastor Rachel saw the humor in the situation and I have learned a valuable lesson.  I will never use my middle finger again while driving.  

Message received, God!  
Message received....

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Because I Can't Eat You!



Tonight my dear friends Kelley and Ralph came over to took at my horse Mia, whom had suddenly developed pain in her right front foot.  I tell you Mia was a rock star for Ralph!  Even though it hurt her, she allowed him to test her hooves and examine her, never once acting up.  Ralph worked on her front foot finding an abscess, recommended I call our horse vet in the morning, however in the mean time suggested I soak Mia's foot in Epsom salts.  It sounded easy enough...

I went out, bought a bucket, a bag of Epsom salts and headed back to the barn to soak the princess' foot.  Calmly, she gets out of the stall, and then it goes downhill in a hurry.

Me:  "I just need you to put your foot in the bucket of salt water."

Horse:  "What?!  In that bucket?!"

Me:  "Yes, that bucket.  Just pick up your foot and put it in the bucket."

The horse dips the tiniest bit of her toe in the bucket, her eyes widen, head and ears go up and then:  "OH JESUS!  That water touched me!"

"Relax, you gets baths ALL the time.  You are not dying...."

"Um, baths with cold water!  Not with warm water, and not on my foot!", as she steps backwards dumping the bucket of salt water all over the floor.  "Stupid human!  See what you did?!  You dumped water all over the floor!"

"No, I did NOT spill the water.  YOU spilled the water and now instead of warm water you will have to soak your foot in cold water, because we are in a barn and that is ALL we have!  Now, put your fecking foot IN the bucket!"

With her best sulking horse face:  "Fine.  I will put my foot in the bucket, but you could be nicer you know..."

I fill up the bucket with water and salt again, and once again I lift her leg to place her foot in the bucket.Mia looks at me, wide eyed, and with a certainty that death is near: "OH GOD!  That water touched my foot AGAIN!"
  
"Yes and you did not die the first time, so stand still."

"I can't do it!  What if I fall into that small bucket of water and DIE?!"

"Um, you will not fall in that bucket and ....  SPLASH!"  She spills the water everywhere again....
"Mia you have an abscess, you are in pain, and you really need to soak your foot.  Put your damn foot IN that bucket!"

This time I put her foot in the bucket with no water and decide I will pour water into the bucket.
"Okay, we are going to go about this different.  I will put your foot IN the bucket.  You will stand on your foot and I will fill the bucket of water around you."

"Okay, okay....  That sounds like a good idea Human!"  She puts her foot in the bucket, I pour the water in and BAM!  She once again spills the water all over me and the floor.

"Damn it Mia!  What the heck?"

"I got nervous."

"Why?!"

"I have no idea really."

Sigh...
 
"Lift up your foot."

"Okay.  And put it down like this?!"  as she steps through the side of the bucket busting it into a million pieces.

"No Mia!  Now we don't even have a bucket to put water in!"

"Oops.  What shall we do now?"

"Nothing, you win.  You can go back to your stall."

"Yea!  Will there be cookies?!"

"NO!  You do NOT get cookies for this horrible behaviour!"

As she walks back to her stall with her head hung in sadness...  "But Human!  Why can't I have a cookie?  Sniff..  Sniff.."

"Fine you can have a stinkin' cookie.  But I am only feeding you because I can't eat you!"

With her little smirky horse smile:  "Checkmate!"

Tomorrow, Round 2.  I have a sneaking suspicion I won't win then either....
 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Write On!



Standing behind me, as an author, are the most supportive folks I could ever ask for.  Tonight, as I struggled with a fiction story I am writing, honestly wanting to give up, my daughter and her friend picked up my rough draft and started reading.  They both assured me it was really good, and they wanted to know how the story ended.  I probably would have sabotaged myself with self doubt for the rest of the night, not believing them, had I not snapped this picture of them reading.  It was evident when I looked at this photo later, they weren't lying about my writing.  You can't lie about being enthralled, and the focus on their faces tell the truth.  Write on...

Saturday, May 9, 2015

No Place Like Home!


Tonight as I was just getting out of the shower, The Reluctant Farmer called me and told me she needed my help immediately.  She said she was driving down a road about 3 miles out of town and there was a dog running down the middle of the road, so she stopped.  She tried to coax the dog to her, but the little dog went into survival mode and just bolted across a corn field, and towards some woods about 2 miles off the road.  She asked me to come help her catch the little dog.

When I got there, the dog was gone.  Other people had tried to help the little guy, but to no avail, and they had given up on him stating:  "Oh, he probably lives around here."  That didn't sit well with The Reluctant Farmer, because there is absolutely NO houses to be seen in the area where this little dog was found.  At this point we knew we were either searching for a dog that had been dumped or a dog that was on the run and had been for a little while.

I put a long line on Ziggy, our Jack Russell Terrier, and decided to hike in the 2 miles to see if I could vizualize the little dog with his help.  Right at the edge of the woods, Ziggy stopped and took scent and I knew we were close.  I let Ziggy off leash and watched him get to work, and sure enough, 20 feet down the tree line, there was Sammy the dog in the underbrush.  He was in bad shape.  He was so thin, covered in mosquitoes and ticks, and wanted nothing to do with me.  Thankfully, Ziggy ran an interference, saying hello to Sammy, and while that was going on I used a leash as a lasso him, catching only his 2 ears and his eyes.  I bartered with God at that point and pulled out the famous:  "If you just answer my prayer God, and let this leash slip around this dog's neck this time, I will never ask for another thing again, until we are out in a field catching stray dogs together the next time", and BAM!  I flicked the leash and over his head and onto his neck it slid.  Thank God!

I then picked the little fellow up, explained to him that he was safe, and immediately called my friend Julie.  I described the dog I had found to Julie and she searched online on a missing pet website, and sure enough she found Sammy's owners.

Turns out Sammy is 14 years old, hard of hearing, has cataracts, and had been missing for 5 days!  We were all so excited to get the little man back home to his owners who love him dearly.  His dad is a pastor who is preaching his last sermon tomorrow before retirement, and has been sick about loosing this dog.  All I can think is, at least his he will now be able to retire with his beloved companion at his side.  Also, what a happy Mother's Day to Sammy's mom who now has her baby home.

Sometimes it takes a village.....



Monday, April 27, 2015

Life Restructure 2.0



Last month I made a huge decision to simplify my life, and to say "no" to things that didn't bless me.  The biggest thing that I let go of was dog rescue.

I had been saying I was going to quit, but then someone would ask for help, I would find a stray, etc. and I would be right back at it.  A month ago though, my focus was different.  I quit for real...  No more sitting on the rescue's board, no more meetings/obligations, no more folks on Facebook that were only rescue acquaintances.   I was done.

I won't lie, it's been a struggle.  I've had to re-evaluate close friendships that were originally based strictly on rescuing animals, and I've had to do a lot of thinking.  I feel like I'm going through a season of my life where I am once again, evolving and digging deeper into my life's purpose.  I will be frank, this journey has scared the shit out of me.  The last time I went on a journey of this caliber, I was 25 years old.  I was stuck in a dead-end job, was feeling hopeless in a dead-end marriage, and was trying really hard to run from my sexuality.

It was during this time that my friend bought a house in the country, and there was something about this place that just felt magical.  I don't know if it was the location, the ambiance of frogs chirping as the sun set in the distance, the presence of my friend, or the entire package, but I remember just going to her house to decompress.  Sometimes she would be home, sometimes she would be at work and I would just hang out on her deck with her dogs.  (There used to be an on going joke between the two of us, that I got more use out of her mortgage than she did.)  I only remember that her house was a place of healing for me.  It was a place where I went because the rest of the world seemed to be at my back, yet she never judged me.  She just loved and accepted me for who I was, and as I picked myself up and put one foot in front of the other, her house became less and less a necessity, but still a welcome get away when she went on vacation.

It was almost ironic that during the time of another "life restructure", I was asked to house-sit for her and her husband while they were away on vacation.  I tell you, I absorbed every minute of it!  Until yesterday, I had not been home in 2 weeks.  Instead, I holed myself up at their house, reading, writing, drinking wine, and slowing down.  I enjoyed the company of their friends over dinner and long walks.  I sat on the deck for hours watching their chickens run in the yard below me, and many nights I listened to the peep frogs sing well into the early morning.

Somewhere in the middle of this beautiful experience,  I realized everything will be okay.  I'm not comfortable with where I am yet, but I'm confident in the steps I'm taking to get there.  Today, I will face the world refreshed and with a new sense of peace.  It's a comfort that feels oddly familiar, but until now had long been forgotten....

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Peep of Epic Proportion!


Even though my birthday is on April Fool's Day, I was determined to have no flare this year.

There were no presents.  No cake.
Just lots of birthday cheer, cards, and kind words.
Well, that was until Thelma and Louise arrived on the scene!
These two changed the course of my 37th birthday with the most ridiculously awesome present ever!

You have to know I LOVE Peeps.
They are best stale, brick hard, and served with a glass of milk.
My love for these marshmallow creations has sort of become a family joke, and each year around this time, the people who love me grace me with Peeps in all different forms:

Peep bubbles.
Chocolate covered Peeps.
New flavored Peeps.
Peep cakes.

You get the idea.

This is the first time I have ever gotten this though!
A stuffed Peep of Epic proportion!

What I will do with it?!  
I have no idea...
But it's pretty cool!



Sunday, March 15, 2015

I am changed...



For the last few months I've thrown myself into something new.  I have started volunteering every Sunday morning as a small group leader at Ginghamsburg Church.  (Think Sunday school teacher, but modern...)  Anyways, I volunteer in the first grade room with all sorts of fresh faces and young minds that are like little sponges.

Now, I won't lie, I only volunteered to do this because I was hoping I could give up one hour a week, and that would be what got me into Heaven.  I mean seriously, what else could make God happier than me volunteering with His youngest fans?!

I pictured me standing at the pearly gates talking to God and it going something like this:  "Yo God, what's up?!  I know I sinned a few times in the years I was down there on earth.  As you probably know, I got that speeding ticket in a school zone last year, I lost my patience with a slow driver and kinda sorta yelled obscenities at her several days ago, and I lost my cool with my dog today, but you know what?!  I volunteer for one hour every Sunday with 15 little 7 year-old kids, and THAT should guarantee me a place in Heaven!"

As sure as the sky is blue, I know God is still laughing at me and my stupid thought process....

Anyways, I want you to know I volunteered in this place for 1 day and realized two things.  If I was going to do this correctly, I had to devote more than one hour a week to this cause.  I also realized I was in WAY over my head!  It was so overwhelming at first.  There were children running everywhere, I had no idea what a "zone buck" was, and the worst part?  There was DANCING involved!  Yes, dancing....  If you know me, you know I don't dance, but you only know that because you have NEVER seen me dance!  (Well, most of you haven't, and for those of you that have seen me dance, well that was from a life a long time ago.  Let's just keep that on the down low...)  I was so out of my comfort zone, even worse than that time I volunteered to work in the coffee shop at church and nearly steamed my eyebrows off with the espresso machine, that I wanted to quit.

BUT, I didn't....  I just kept hearing this voice in the back of my head telling me to keep going back.

And guess what?!  Those little monsters woo'd me with their smiling faces and adolescent cuteness, and you know what?  My life has been changed because of those kids!

This experience has allowed me to meet some awesome new people, has held me accountable in terms of going to church, has forced me to delve deeper into my Bible so I can answer all the tough questions that cross a 7 yr-old's mind, has allowed me to lovingly tie 400 pairs of shoes, and has taught me to dance.  (It's church folks, my new friends can't judge my dance skills, it isn't allowed!)

And the pay for this volunteer position?!  It's AMAZING!  That's evident in the hugs, thank-you's, and refrigerator art I get every week.....  I am one grateful girl right here!  


Monday, March 2, 2015

Identity Theft and Herpes....



So, tonight I had 400 things to get done on my "to-do" list.  You know, important things like anything BUT what I am about to share....

I was sitting at my desk when a text message came across my phone stating:  "We have found suspected fraudulent activity on your credit card in the amount of $45.00 for CL Media.  Category: Dating Services.  Did you complete this transaction?"

Immediately my heart fell, because I know I did NOT spend $45.00 on an Internet dating website, and that left me with 2 options....


1)  The Reluctant Farmer had finally gotten sick of my crap, and decided to replace me with a younger, kinder, and saner woman who doesn't have 7 dogs....

OR

2)  Someone stole my credit card number and was using it to find their cyber soul mate!


Like the logical woman I am, I called The Reluctant Farmer at work to see which of these scenarios was the correct one.

Me (Very nonchalant):  "Hi honey!  There happens to be a charge for an Internet dating site on our credit card in the amount of $45.00.  Would you like to tell me anything?  Is there something I need to worry about?"

Her (Not amused...):  "Um, no....  I have not used our credit card lately."

Me:  "Oh good, because remember whoever cheats first has to take all of the dogs, including our obnoxious chihuahuas, with them...."

On that note, I promised I would call her back once I sorted things out.


I then promptly logged into Citicard's website, and low and behold, whoever stole my credit card number had been VERY busy this week...  I hope the perpetrator reads my blog, or maybe someone will share it on Facebook and it will get back to him, because I have a few things to say this person.  Here it goes....


Dearest Thief,

Today it was brought to my attention that you stole my credit card number and charged $186.71 to my Mastercard.

Your first transaction for $45, was to an Internet dating site, where I can only assume you attempted to find a cyber-sweetie.  Most likely because you are a slime bag who doesn't have a J.O.B and you must resort to the Internet because all the women in your town are already wise to your shenanigans....

Your second transaction was for a background check.  Now, buddy I actually commend you for this transaction.  It always a good idea when dating online, even at someone else's expense, to make sure that your new girlfriend's ex-husband is not missing with her as the primary suspect.  You just can't be too safe nowadays, and being that you are a lousy, low life thief, who karma is going to come back and eventually bite, I can see why you need to make sure your date does not have any skeletons in her closet!

Your third transaction was to a florist for $60.00 worth of flowers that you purchased for what I assume is your new lover.  I hope if you are using my name, you are at least sending nice flowers!  You may be tarnish my credit, but do NOT tarnish my flower reputation amongst the ladies!

Your fourth transaction was to Things Remembered, for $90.00.  These fine folks specialize in monogrammed gifts, and I am assuming that you found something real special to give to your new lady friend.

Oh, but wait!
I canceled your order!

That's right, I told them to stop the shipment and sale of the items ordered immediately, so if your plan was to get that present to your girlfriend before Wednesday via the priority shipping you had me pay for, you are screwed.

Lastly, I can forgive you for all of the grief that you have caused me tonight, but you know what I can't forgive you for?!

My girlfriend laughing, and making the remark:  "Wow, honey!  Whoever stole your credit card is more romantic than you!"

AND this is the reason, I hope you get herpes....

Much love and no antibiotics for you,
Emily