Wednesday, May 29, 2013

love.this.move. -- my last home in BG

I have lived in Bowling Green for four years... and by the end of next week, I will have moved in this city 3 times.  It sounds pretty crazy, but there are good reasons.

Move #1:  My first apartment here was super crappy.  When I moved in, there was dried puke on the side of the sink... that should have been my first clue.  I should have complained and I don't know why I didn't.  I may have been stressed out over the move... it was my first big girl apartment.  Needless to say, I couldn't get out of there fast enough.  And I got to move into a house down the road!  A big, beautiful house with two of my friends.  I was elated.

Move #2:  One of the roommates dropped out of grad school and just (literally) up and left one day, giving us a couple hours' notice.  She paid rent on the rest of her lease, but she basically left a lot of her stuff there and came back occasionally.  I desperately wanted to stay.  Myself and the other roommate even offered the landlord a deal to stay since paying rent between just the two of us was too expensive.  We tried to find a roommate and everything... it just didn't work out... so I moved again.

And now we come to Move #3.

I must say, I have lived here in this 2nd floor apartment for two years.  This is the longest time I've lived someplace since I started college in 2005.  I've moved quite a bit.  I like this apartment, but it's a bit expensive.  Since I live on the 2nd floor, there is a cranky old lady who lives below me.  I used to watch television with subtitles and very low volume, but she always had something to complain about.  The other tenants in the building told me to ignore her and that she was just a sour person, but I'd had the last straw when she came up pounding on my door one day because there was a bunch of gross water in her tub.  Maintenance had been in my bathroom working on my tub earlier that day.  I was trying to fall asleep because I had a horrible headache and she pulled me out of my relaxation.  She kept asking me what *I* was doing that caused all that yucky water to fill her tub and what was *I* doing to make so much noise? (Maintenance was snaking my pipes).

It got to the point that I just didn't care anymore.  I got yelled at no matter what I was doing.  Honestly, it's really just a case of old lady has super-hearing from hearing aids... I can't help that.  But I really missed being able to blast music and dance around and have people over... and then my friends offered me a home in their backyard.  They have a little one-bedroom house back there and needed a tenant for the coming year after their sibling and his family moved away.  Rent was almost half what I was paying at my current residence.  I could walk to work and church and not have to spend much of anything on gasoline.  I would be among friends, in a location that I spent a good deal of my time anyhow.  It was the perfect offer.  And I took it.

I move next week.

So I am packing...

And I have lots of boxes...

And there is more where that came from.  Thank goodness I went through my dejunking/life simplifying stage earlier this year.  I could only imagine how much more junk I would have left to pack.  And there is still more to get rid of!  Can you say yard sale?

In anticipation of my move, I bought a new couch (because I brand new sofa that I just purchased a few months ago will not fit through the door of my new home).  I sold my "old" one to friends, the very friends moving out of the little house I am moving into.  I also took up painting.  I was tired of searching for the perfect posters or photographs to decorate my home with, so I decided to make my own!  (Note:  I have never painted anything in my life).

Not too shabby for a beginner, eh?  It will be perfect over either my television, sofa, or bed, depending on how I arrange things.  I do want to paint a couple more things for my home.  Painting is quite stress relieving.  

I've never been the artist of the family.  My sister is incredibly talented.  Here's an example of her art:

Did I tell you she's extremely talented?  That's a portrait of herself.

And that is a portrait of her cat, Kiki.  

I was always the writer of the family.  I've never really had interest in art, but I've come to realize how wonderfully fun and relaxing it is.  I can't wait to see what I come up with next.  It'll be as much a surprise to me as it will be to you!

Off to pack more of my stuff.  

Monday, May 27, 2013

love.these.apps. -- apps for dog lovers

Happy Memorial Day!  I hope everyone will have a relaxing, enjoyable day and keep those who have served in their hearts.

I love my iPhone.  Yes, it is just an iPhone 4, nothing fancy and no Siri, but I love it.  I gave up my camera because I never have it on the fly to take pictures, but I always have my iPhone.  I use it for just about everything... it's the best multitool (okay, my mini Leatherman is pretty handy too... with these powers combined, I can do anything!).  And when I say everything, I mean it.  I even have apps for my dogs!  Here is a list of iPhone apps for dog lovers - things that I have found useful and awesome to have in my pocket.

By the way, these apps are in no particular order.  

1.  Pets+ The Pet Organizer.  This one, especially if you have multiple pets like I do, is a must-have.  It's basically a dossier for your babies.  I store all their records and information in this handy app, such as their birthdate, vet information, shot records, adoption information, food information, and even photographs!  There are other apps like this on the market, but I think this one is the best.  It's very easy to use and has a clean, uncluttered look.  It only costs $1.99.  It comes in handy when you need to track medication and heartworm prevention, but for those who have lost a pet (or will lose a pet, an event none of us want to experience), it's a great go-to for lost-dog information.  It also offers links to dog services and dog-friendly locations (though I wouldn't use this app solely for this purpose).  They must have an app like this for children, right?  I love how the iPhone can store information we used to pack into our wallets or lose in file cabinets.  Quick and easy to find, and organized, just the way I like it!

2.    Where My Dogs At.  This app is a cool one that you can use to connect with other WMDA users as well as locate dog-friendly places in your area.  I happen to live in a not-so-dog-friendly locale so nothing really pops up for me, but it does list vets and pet stores.  This would be really useful if you lived in a city or other cool place.  Hopefully I will get more use out of this one in our next hometown.

 3.  Petfinder.  I used Petfinder's website to find my baby girl Maizy.  I had no clue then but you can get Petfinder on the go!  It's a sweet little app that allows you to find pets by organization or location.  It gives you all the information you would have from the website.  If you are looking to give someone a furever home, this is the app for you!

4.  MapMyDogWalk.  If you want to record walks with your furry family, this is a good one.  Just like MapMyRun, it logs distance and calories.  You can even network with others in this app.

5.  Dogbook.  I personally don't use this one (I'm not a Facebook user anymore), but if you are an avid Facebook user and think your dog should have their own profile, you might want to check this app out.

These are just a few of the many apps for dog lovers.  Many of them do a lot of the same things, so it is really a matter of you testing them out and seeing which you like best.  Like I said, I don't use Dogbook, but if I was still a Facebook user, I probably would use it (admittedly).  

Please feel free to comment if you know of a good dog app that I have not mentioned here.  Share the love!

Saturday, May 11, 2013 -- a saturday pick-me-up

I'm still sick, much to my disappointment, though I did get a great deal more rest last night than I have in the previous nights combined.  I watched half of Silver Linings Playbook last night, and the remainder of it this morning.  I liked it.  It's a cute story, but I wasn't impressed.  Either my illness has put a damper on my ability to appreciate good entertainment or the movie just didn't live up to the hype and the quality I had expected.  Oh, well.

Because I am still miserable (oh, I wish I could breathe properly), I need a pick-me-up.  So here goes:

Friday, May 10, 2013 -- this is water

I've been sick pretty much all week.  I lost my voice early on, which doesn't affect me writing blog entries, but I've been feeling pretty crummy.  My voice did return, kind of.  So I'm not going to say much.  What I will do is share with you some awesomeness that I've come across this week.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

help needed for WCHS

I just wanted to post this for my local friends to see if they don't frequent the Wood County Humane Society's homepage like I do:

We are in desperate need of liquid laundry detergent (any brand), and bleach that contains 8.25% sodium hyperchlorite.  This percentage must be printed on the label so we know how to dilute it for our cleaning purposes. *Meijer and Wal-Mart brands contain this percentage*.  This is a fairly inexpensive way for you to help us care for the animals on a daily basis! 

It is really inexpensive.  Big jugs of bleach are really cheap (around $3) and you can find a 100 load container of liquid laundry detergent for around $8.

Next time you are at the grocery store, pick up a couple and drop it off here:

801 Van Camp Rd
Bowling Green, OH 43402

Or, if you don't know where that is or it's just easier to get things to me since you see me more often, I can take these items for you.

love.this.update. -- maizy + on getting dirty

Here's the latest on Miss Maizy:

Poor girl.  Maizy got spayed yesterday.  She's feeling pretty awful.  She's puked quite a few times and had a lot of trouble getting comfortable.  She whimpered a lot yesterday, too.  Though she is three years old, she sounds not a day older than a newborn puppy when she cries.  I can't wait for her to feel better.  I swear I was having sympathy pains for her yesterday.  All of a sudden I felt really sick and woozy for her.  I'm sure the post-operation smell didn't help any.  Here's to a quick recovery to my baby girl.  One step closer to adoption!

On getting dirty...

I've never been one to like dirt.  I'm a really clean person, kinda OCD about it sometimes.  I've never liked to be dirty in any way.  In the past, I have thrown away clothing because it has touched something that I thought was disgusting (I used to be pretty ridiculous about it).  It's mostly a human germ thing.  I'm no Howie Mandel, but there is a point where human germs kinda really freak me out and there is a point where it doesn't.  Now that I think about it, I'm pretty inconsistent.  Plus... animal germs (at least dog germs) don't really bother me at all.  That's true love, haha.

I didn't like to sweat.  For the longest time, aside from being lazy, I didn't like working out because I didn't want to be sweaty.  Honestly now, I use sweat as a sign that I am working hard.  I want to sweat.

I still wash my hands a lot but I'm not so afraid to get dirty.  This sounds really "no-duh!" but I really equate getting dirty with hard work.  For example, Wednesday and Thursday, I spent a great deal of time gardening!  That's right.  Me.  Garden.  Dirt.  Sun.  Bugs.  Ripping roots out of the ground.

My friends and I decided to start a vegetable garden behind my soon-to-be home (I move the first week of June - so excited!).  The space back there was a garden, but one that had been taken over by weeds and pretty much left to its own devices.  It was a mess.

Pause.  Let me just say here that I have never been able to keep a plant alive in my life.  My mother has a green thumb and can grow anything.  I did not inherit the talent of growing food out of the ground.  I did, however, inherit the talent of eating food, and eating a lot of it, thanks to my father and my lack of will power.

Time in.  So this space was a complete disaster.  It wasn't being used.  Okay, there were a few flowers (gorgeous, by the way), but overall, this space was just waiting to be made over.  So my friend, who is from Idaho, and I went to work the ground in hopes of making a lovely veggie garden.

I really wish we had taken a before shot because this space looks amazingly different from what we started with.  Now, instead of grass and weeds and ivy and creeping myrtle, we have rows and rows and mounds of veggies planted.  Carrots, onions, beans, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, red potatoes, summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, and herbs (strawberries too!).  It was the most satisfying thing to be sore and dirty this week, knowing that my efforts contributed to a garden that I will hopefully be eating from soon.  That is money saved and health gained!

It's been a process, starting with Hurricane Katrina, I guess.  The first time I ever really got dirty and didn't mind was when Angie and I went on our Jewish Alternative Spring Break in 2009.  We went to New Orleans and legit built a fence for a precious old man on Dauphine in Holy Cross.  He wanted his grandbabies to feel safe in his backyard.  Katrina had chewed up his fence and spit it back out.  It was a week of the hardest work I had ever done.  Short, cold showers in nasty places.  Millions of bug bites.  Sleeping in uncomfortable places... it was perhaps the most uncomfortable I'd ever been (I'm not really a camping person).  Angie and I, when faced with uncomfortable situations like showering in strange/gross places (not that this happens often) remind ourselves of that week all the time.  We often tell each other "if we could do it in NOLA..."

 Knowing that my work was purposeful and charitable kept me going.  I was helping children find safety after the storm.  Literally.

Speaking of "literally"...

I just had to mention that I love Parks and Recreation. I've been avoiding watching it for years because I thought it was too much like The Office, but it really isn't.  I like it better.  I love The Office, but I feel that Parks and Rec is more realistic, and somehow that makes it funnier.  I love Ron Swanson.  Pretty sure he is my favorite character.  If you want a good laugh, like I have needed as of late, watch Parks and Recreation.

And speaking of good laughs, I cannot wait for the new Arrested Development episodes to come out!  Yay for awesome tv!

(Ok, my reading streak has been over, but for good reason.  It'll come back soon.  Promise.)

Friday, May 3, 2013

nablopomo day 3 -- comfort: which would you rather have: a super-soft pillow or a warm, fuzzy blanket?

Which would you rather have: a super-soft pillow or a warm, fuzzy blanket?

While both are very desirable in my household, I want to let you in on a secret of mine...

I'm kinda obsessed with pillows.

And I'm not talking the 2 for $5 Target deal plush pillows from the back-to-school sales... I'm talkin' crazy, costs-more-than-a-tank-of-gas pillows.

I was born with spine issues and I experience a lot of back and neck pain because of it.  For me, comfort in not a luxury, but a necessity.  My bed is an example of extreme comfort.  I have a decent mattress, but that's topped with a cotton mattress cover, then a three inch memory foam topper, then a special Iso-Cool mattress pad that keeps the bed cool so I never overheat at night.  It's pretty sweet. Then, there are the pillows.

I have a half-memory foam, half-standard pillow that cost me a pretty penny.  The memory foam is nice and firm - it's the best.  This is what I prefer to sleep with most days.

Then I have the mini buckwheat pillow.  Yes, it's a mini pillow filled with buckwheat that cost me another pretty penny.  This one is good for neck issues.  It is also my special travel pillow.  Once, in Minneapolis, I left my buckwheat pillow in my hotel room and paid a cabbie $20 to get me to the hotel and back in time to board my bus to leave Minneapolis.  It was totally worth it.  No way I was giving up my buckwheat pillow.

Then I have the ridiculously pricey chiropractic water pillow.  It's the weight of a small child, but is also good for neck and back issues.  Yes, it is filled with water and I had to fill it myself.  It comes with a little funnel and you fill it to your desired level of water.  It is so heavy, it does not move on my bed.  If it has moved, someone has purposefully lifted and moved it.  My dogs don't really use that pillow.

I'm the kind of girl that sleeps with two dogs and five pillows in a full bed.  I like to be surrounded in comfort.  I am not above paying $100 on a pillow that I think will offer me extreme comfort.  I know it's crazy, but it's crazy worth it for me.

Have you ever spent crazy amounts of money for a deluxe version of something standard for the sake of comfort?  I'm sure we all have...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

nablopomo day 2 -- comfort: do you still sleep with a stuffed animal now?

Do you still sleep with a stuffed animal now?

I don't believe, to my knowledge, I ever slept with stuffed animals.  I've never been one to really collect them and pile them onto my bed.  I don't remember having a specific stuffed animal that I freaked out over not having.  I did have a favorite stuffed animal, but I'm not sure I was so attached to it that I slept with it.

No, at almost 26 years old, I don't sleep with a stuffed animal, thought I do know people my age who do.  I do, however, sleep with two furry animals with heartbeats that generate heat to keep me warm and take up space so I sleep in awkward positions.

They are my nightly comfort.  No matter how uncomfortable I get at night, I can't sleep well without them.  And they have to sleep with me too.  If I move from the couch to the bed or vice versa, they are right behind me.  When I am on vacation, it is the one thing I miss most, not having my babies cuddled against me.

Dogs have always represented comfort to me.  My dogs, at least.  Opie and Maizy always need me.  They freak out when I come home, as if I spent three months in Uganda or something, even though I've only been gone a half hour.  Even though they are short-haired dogs and not fluffy, they are still cuddly.  I like burrowing my face against them and not getting fluffy hair in my mouth.

I always joke that my dogs are my space heaters and honestly... it's not so much of a joke.  Together, they generate so much heat.  I've not experienced a hot summer night with both of them yet and I am sure I will be dying, but when it is cool, they are the perfect temperature.

When I am having a bad day, I just want to curl up on the couch or in bed with my puppies.  I don't feel better without them.

So even though I don't sleep with a stuffed animal now, I think Opie and Maizy serve the same purpose.  Comfort that I can hold onto.  Comfort that stays by my side through the night.  Comfort I can't live without.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

love.this.challenge. -- nablopomo may 2013 + did you have a favorite stuffed animal as a child?

Okay, so it's not really a challenge - more of a writing/blogging exercise.  NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Posting Month and I just discovered this yesterday, though from what I have researched, it seems it has been going on for years.  I'm a little late on jumping the bandwagon, but it sounds like fun!  It's similar to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which happens every November, but... I have failed every single time I have attempted that.  The blogging counterpart is much more do-able for me.  

Anywho... I have been attempting to blog more and increase my blogging presence by getting involved in blogging communities.  Let's face it... the lack of comments around here is depressing.  But I also want to connect with others who have similar interests and like to blog.  Blogging has been such a blessing for me as it has restored my love for writing (yeah, the love that grad school murdered) so I want to be as involved as possible.

So I've become a member of two blogging communities: BlogPaws and BlogHer.  BlogPaws is, you guessed it, a blogging community for "pet enthusiasts" like myself.  If you haven't already noticed, I'm obsessed with dogs, particularly my two babies, Opie and Maizy, but I do go crazy over dogs in general.  I am a huge supporter of humane societies and no-kill shelters and of all those wonderful people out there who work their little tails off to make sure that these poor homeless babies find furever homes.  I have found a lot of awesome blogs through this site (and through the use of Twitter) and it's been a lot of fun and very informative for me.  

BlogHer, you guessed again, is a blogging community for women.  It's pretty amazing how much goes on over there.  I was just browsing yesterday when I came across NaBloPoMo and decided, hey!  I want to do this!  So the idea is to blog every day and the theme this month is COMFORT.  Each day, a prompt is offered and though you really don't have to follow the prompts, I am going to.  This is my first stab at this, so I'm going to follow the intended structure.  

Today's prompt:  Did you have a favorite stuffed animal as a child?

This is me, circa 1990.
You can't really tell, but that's me showing of my Cincinnati pride with a Reds baseball cap.  And, tucked into my arm, is Patch, my most favorite stuffed animal of all time.  Patch is from the 1961 Disney animation 101 Dalmatians.  

As you can see, I have always loved dogs.  I carried Patch around all the time.  I had Patch all the way through high school, but I don't know what happened to him.  I still might actually have him packed away somewhere, but for the sake of not knowing, he could be in a landfill.  As a baby, I hated stuffed animals and dolls (so says my mother).  As I got older, I allowed stuffed animals in my life and preferred dogs.  When I was in kindergarten, I vowed I would become a veterinarian.  That dream lasted until I watched an Animal 911 VHS (old school, guys) and saw a veterinarian have their entire arm down a horse's rear end, dealing with a bowel obstruction.  That picture has been seared into my mind.  Thus ended my dream of being a veterinarian.

Patch endured a lot of abuse over the years.  He originally had a collar, but that didn't last long.  His patch had been torn, so at one point I trimmed it up.  His plastic nose was cracked and dented due to many years of being knocked onto walls, floors, other hard surfaces.  He had taken a trip in the washing machine many a time.  He didn't stay white for very long.  And, poor guy, his leg kept splitting from his body so he'd been stitched up countless times.

Patch really is the epitome of my love for dogs.  Patch, and my real life dogs, have given me so much comfort over the years.  Dogs are always there for you.  They love you unconditionally.  They are warm and cuddly (at least mine are) and they sense your feelings.  They know when you need them and they always need you.  For the longest time, I didn't have a dog, so Patch sufficed.  I wish I still had him for the sake of having him.  My childhood wasn't all that pleasant, but Patch definitely is one of those things that make me smile.  And my childhood devotion to the Cincinnati Reds.