Sunday Funday Quiche Off

16 09 2013

I made it. All day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday without smoking a cigarette. Not gonna lie, there were times when I wanted to light one up, suck in the addictiveness and give in to my love-hate relationship with the tiny white stick. But I didn’t. I wake up each morning and my lungs say thank you for another 24 hours of clean air. It’s not easy but I’m noticing it is a lot about habit. It would be so easy for me to grab a cigarette from a pack and start puffing and regretting but when those urges come up, acknowledge them, embrace them, and try to figure out a substitute. Preferably one that won’t put the weight on because I can already see how substituting food or candy for cigarettes can be a bit of a crutch.

I just let out a long sigh but your couldn’t hear it because this is a text blog. That sigh was the release of another incredible day. A day filled with family and friends and games and conversation. Oh, and a Quiche Off between myself and my girlfriend, both of us virgin to quiche making. We shopped for our ingredients, prepped the food, and began creating our masterpiece quiches. We each made two with different ingredients and no one quiche was identical to the other. It was a nice, delicious variety from spinach, broccoli, bacon and cheese to asparagus, tomato and cheddar.

We invited family and friends to come over for brunch, complementing our quiches with mimosas and fresh fruit. The smell of sizzling bacon and baked egg and cheese permeated the air inside the house and teased the stomach. We decided we would pay attention to the responses and that would determine who’s quiche wins the Quiche Off. There were a variety of people with a variety of tastes and each of our creations were talked about. They loved them all. I watched everybody eat every last crumb off their plate, some even went for seconds. They were a hit. It was kind of hard to say who’s quiche was the best. I tried them all and each had a unique flavor I enjoyed. I walked inside to see what was left over and saw that there were 3 pieces left from each quiche. Nobody had anything left on their plate. I would say that this was a tie. It’s pretty cool too because it was something new for the both of us and we had an awesome Sunday brunch.

Quiche Off Part II….coming soon

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A Dog Fight at a Dog Park

28 01 2013

I love my dogs so much. Some may think it’s not normal but I’m not really seeing children of my own in my future so my dogs ARE my family. I’ve taken hundreds (probably thousands) of pictures of them and will probably take thousands more. I talk about my dogs like people talk about their children. I enjoy spending time with them, teaching them new tricks and spoiling them with special dinners and fun toys. My life is a lot happier when there is a dog in it.

I think I’m more amazed that I can still be amazed at the stories I come across about dogs; their loyalty and never-ending love, their will to survive, their forgiving hearts, their amazing talents and their instinctual behavior that causes them to perform life-saving feats that sometimes make the headlines. I can never get enough and there always seems to be something new popping up.

Yesterday, I caught myself in a state of amazement once again.

BFFs

BFFs

We took my Pit Bull and her sidekick Boxer mix sister to the dog park on Sunday, a ritual we’ve started since the first of this year. This is my first Pit Bull and I’ve spent the past 4 years learning all that I can about them. Even though she’s been around other dogs her entire life, she’s had a few squabbles, which leave more of a negative impact on me than the dogs because they always sound so horrible and scary. I don’t want to see my cute, sweet baby girl showing her teeth and scrapping until blood is drawn. I don’t want to see any dog getting hurt.

Needless to say, I was a little hesitant about bringing her to the dog park. When I had my Shepard/Rottie mix, I didn’t think twice about the dog park. Maybe I was naïve or inexperienced. I never had a problem or was traumatized by any dog fights all those times we went. But with my Pit Bull, it was different. Maybe because I’ve heard a lot of negative things about Pit Bulls or that I know what they are capable of if not trained or conditioned properly. They are very smart dogs with amazing strength, but then again, so are a lot of other types of dogs.

Dog parks, although an excellence place for exercising and socializing your dogs, can be scary. As a Pit Bull owner, I’m very aware of other people and dogs around. I’ve trained my girl a certain way but I don’t know how anybody else trains their own dogs. I’ve overheard people say that their dog doesn’t get along with this type of dog or that type of dog but they still bring them into the park. I was a little nervous at first but the more we went, the prouder I was of the way they behaved.

My Pit Bull simply likes for me to throw the Frisbee the entire time. She’ll check out a dog or two and sometimes checks up on her sister but for the most part it’s just her and I and the Frisbee at that park. She loves that there is a lot more room for her to run, jump up and catch the flying disc. She pays no attention to the other dogs for the most part.

Backyard Fun

My Boxer mix on the other hand must meet and greet every dog that comes into the park or is already in there. I noticed her playing kissy face and following around this beautiful male Blue Pit. I have to watch her a little more carefully because she is still young and energetic and sometimes tries to play with the grumpy dogs. Maybe she likes a good challenge. Truth is, she would rather be playing with the little dogs next door but settles for running up and down the fence between the big dog section and the little dog section chasing the fast rascals that are brave enough to race her.

So I was throwing the Frisbee around and my Pit was showing off her skills. All of the sudden this older Lab mix and another Pit Bull get into a fight. The grisly sounding barks and growls caught the attention of the other dogs which gathered around and watched, kind of like us humans sometimes do. Owners grabbed their dogs one by one so they wouldn’t join in. The two dogs went at it for a few seconds and I noticed my Pit Bull watching real close. So many thoughts went through my mind. It’s hard not to get involved in a fight because I love these dogs and I don’t want to see any of them getting hurt.

I clenched the leash tightly in my hand and wanted to make it over to my dog who was on the other side of the fighting dogs. At this point even though the Lab mix was the fight instigator, the Pit Bull had strength and youth on his side and was now dominating the fight on top of the Lab. Before I could even take a step towards my baby girl she jumped in on the back of the Pit Bull and straddled him from behind. Yes, it looked like she was going to hump him and my anxiety immediately escalated because this dog was pissed off already and in fight mode.

I see her wrap her front paws around his backside with a tight grip. She didn’t bark or growl or even hump. I didn’t notice that crazy look in her eyes like when she’s tried to hump her sister. She actually started to drag him off of the Lab. It worked for a second and distracted him from further attacking the Lab allowing the owners extra time to retrieve their dogs and break up the fight. I saw the Pit Bull quickly snap back at my dog but then just as quickly turned back to the Lab. At that point I was able to grab my Pit’s collar and pull her away from the fight. I was holding on to her collar so tight before I realized that she was fine. She wasn’t barking or growling or trying to get in on the action. She was actually a lot calmer than I was.

The fight was stopped and both owners held on to their dogs. Immediately the other Pit settled down once his owner had control over him. The Lab had some injuries to his tail and leg that looked pretty bad and was whimpering a little. My heart went out to that dog and his owners who were a little shaken up by the scene. They carried him out of the park and took him to the vet where I’m sure he was taken care of.

My Boxer mix was already leashed and taken out of the park as a safety precaution and I was considering going home at that point because I was emotionally exhausted after that. Nobody good wants to see their dogs fight like that.

I couldn’t leave though. It didn’t seem fair. Both of my dogs acted great. The Boxer noticed the confrontation but obeyed the commands to leave the area without a fuss. My Pit actually tried to do what I couldn’t do and jump in to stop the fight. I watched her assess the situation, act on it with bravery and strength and backed down when I commanded. She actually grabbed the other Pit from behind and tried to pull him away from attacking the Lab. It was like she knew what they were doing was wrong and was trying to help make the situation right. All she walked away with was a couple of scratches but didn’t seemed phased one bit.

Afterwards we ran into the other Pit Bull owner who was upset about what happened. Upset that people immediately started making comments about Pit Bulls and his dog had never been in a fight before. He stuck around and offered the owners of the Lab any assistance but they had bolted quickly.

My Pit and his Pit gave each other bloody nose kisses and were very calm and collective. You wouldn’t have thought at all that these dogs were just in a fight a few minutes prior.

I decided that since we hadn’t been there very long it wasn’t fair to punish the dogs for behaving properly by taking them home when all they really wanted to do was play. We brought them back inside the park and let them play for another hour until they were both exhausted.

Smiles

I’m still in awe of my Pit. She is amazing to me. And to top it off she has a heart of gold which makes me the proudest mother around!





Squirrels and the Dangers of Tightrope Walking Power Lines

11 01 2013

Have you ever been outside and witnessed a squirrel tightrope walking on a powerline? Almost every day I see squirrels doing these amazing stunts and often wonder how they do it. Their tiny little feet and claws gracefully scurrying across a thin, high voltage line, crossing over streets in what appears to be a very risky endeavor. I’ve seen a few slip but would quickly catch themselves and continue on. Most of the time they make it across to whatever destination they were pursuing.

Image

Picture © Paul Young 2008

The other day when I was walking my dogs in the morning before work like I always do, I experienced something pretty horrific and a little traumatizing. I can’t get it out of my head.

I have a routine with my dogs and that is they get a walk every morning before I go to work. It’s great exercise for me too and really wakes me up and I feel better knowing the kids got to enjoy some semi-fresh air and a little exercise before I leave them for a day of work.

Ever since the holidays it’s been harder for me to get up as early as I would like. Each morning they get walked at different times. Sometimes early, sometimes later. This particular morning I was struggling with getting up. So their walk was just slightly later than the average.

We made it around our 1.5 mile loop and were coming down that last long stretch that dumped us out on our street. Throughout the walk we encounter other dogs walking with their owners, lots of cats that either scurry away when we approach or tense up in a ball and stare us down with evil glares, several squirrels that like to race us along the top of the wooden fences, lizards, birds, etc.

As we were walking down the sidewalk, I was keeping my Boxer mix puppy under control as she was getting excited about a cat sitting in this neighbor’s driveway. All of the sudden I heard this noise. It sounded like a splatter, one I’m oh too familiar with. This sound reminded me of my childhood days when I used to skateboard and rollerblade. There was always that one stick or rock that would get under my wheel and cause my wheel to lock while my body continued with its forward momentum. Then I would slap my body onto the concrete sidewalk, face first, sometimes catching myself with my hands or knees. It wasn’t the greatest feeling in the world. Who am I kidding, that hurt like a bitch. I recall several accidents resulting in me falling and smacking myself hard onto the concrete.

Image

When I heard the sound I thought to myself, “Was that? No, it couldn’t be. But that sound.” I felt it was something more than an acorn or bird poop. It was more of a splat than a splatter. When I turned to check it out I was horrified. Only a few steps behind me on the sidewalk lay a squirrel, flat on its stomach and face. I watched for a second to see if it was alive and I saw some movement. My heart went out to this thing. It must have fallen from a powerline or tree or something. The crazy thing is if I was 10-15 seconds slower it would have landed right on top of me or one of the dogs. I kind of wish it did because it didn’t look like it was doing well on the sidewalk.

I thought maybe it broke its neck or seriously injured itself. It was barely moving until I started walking back towards it. I wanted to help it if I could, and yes, I was planning on scooping it up and taking it to a vet if it was still alive. When I took a step towards it, it started to crawl a little. Its hands looked a little funny, like they were broken and weren’t working properly. This squirrel still tried to crawl, dragging its body to the edge of a yard.

I didn’t want to scare it but I had my two big dogs with me, both very interested in the squirrel now. I couldn’t just leave it because I thought time was of the essence. As the three of us approached, that squirrel quickly recovered and skipped on through the chain-linked fence to the base of a nearby tree where it sat for a few moments. I imagine it was trying to recover and stay safe. I was still a little worried since that cat next door looked like he was ready to prowl. I walked up to the fence with the dogs and the squirrel scurried up the tree, holding on without any difficulties. It seemed as if the fall didn’t hurt it that much. It was lucky this time.

That sound still haunts me because it originally appeared that the squirrel was dead and that made me sad for a moment. Oh, well. Happy endings rock!





After all these years, is it really important to know your dad?

3 08 2012

There’s been a lot of baby fever going around in my family these past several years. Some of my cousins made a head start and are raising toddlers right now while others set another pace. We celebrated my brother’s first born last October, welcoming a stud of a little boy into our family.

I love seeing the changes in people when they bring a child into the world. I’m going to tell you right now, I never pictured my brother as a daddy. Yes he’s responsible, a hard-worker, a devoted husband but a dad? He still acted like a kid inside a 40-something body. But he’s shown me another side that I absolutely adore.

My brother and his son hanging out with an Oriole.

I’ve met so many people in my lifetime that come from diverse walks of life. I do feel lucky to have been raised by two loving people who showed me right from wrong, passed down admirable qualities and worked together to make sure I had a great childhood full of experiences I’ll cherish forever. Some of my friends were raised by both of their parents together while others had separate lives with mom and dad. Some of them never knew their dad and some of them never knew their mom. Some of them knew both of their parents but one of them chose to never be around. Some of them lost a parent or two and had to take care of there own well-being or had another family member step in.

Family is and should be the most important feature of life. For the most part, they will always be around through thick or thin, you can depend on them, you can make mistakes and know that although they may not agree with your actions, they’ll be there by your side. Blood is supposed to be thicker than water, right?

Well does that same rule apply if you were adopted into a family?

I cannot complain one bit about my life. I may not have had designer name clothes and accessories or lived in the biggest mansion in Florida but I had two parents that loved me to death and made sure I never went without necessities. They treated me just like my brother, who was their blood-son and I never saw any difference between us.

My parents explained where I came from the best they could and were always willing to answer any questions I may have. It wasn’t like they knew a lot since it was a private adoption between two families, their lawyers and their doctors. Whatever information they knew of my bio-mom, even though they weren’t technically supposed to know (the names of the families were to be anonymous but the laywers forgot to cover them on some paperwork that my mom had to sign to take me home) they openly shared with me and were available in case I needed to talk.

I grew up not knowing my bio-mom but I had a wonderful mom and dad taking good care of me. They attended every soccer game of mine throughout high school, cheered me on at my cross-country races, applauded me when I won awards for my academics or other activities. They were there for me the first time I was dumped by a stupid boy and when I broke my wrist behaving recklessly on the school bus. They forked over money sending me to camps and putting me through whatever new endeavor I challenged myself with. They helped me with my homework, listened to endless hours of teenage drama and never refused to read any of the stories I wrote. They taught me morals and values and how to treat people, animals and the earth. I never felt I was missing out on anything.

I was in my mid-20s when someone I was closely related to searched for me and eventually found me in a town nearby. This woman contacted my parents and asked their permission to meet me, claiming that she was my biological mother. The message was passed to me and it was completely my decision on whether to pursue this or not. I didn’t HAVE to if I didn’t want to, but this woman would really love to meet me. And I can’t say I was never curious. I’m guilty of performing small internet searches using the name I was given as a child. My friends would always push me to seek my bio-parents out after hearing my story. I never wanted it to be a big deal. I had a family I loved and loved me back just the same.

Thoughts such as, “Do I really need to add more family to my life? Would it be awkward or strange? Would my parents get upset and jealous? Would I be ungrateful by getting to know another woman that knows me as her child?”

It was crazy for a little while. My emotions were a little stone cold, almost in shock or something, keeping at a distance while still all over the place. I was going through a lot of changes in my life that year. Relationships, friendships, sexuality, drinking habits, career moves, etc. I wasn’t sure I was ready to deal with my feelings on that particular subject matter. But I did take her feelings into consideration too. And I arranged to meet her.

I couldn’t even begin to tell you what was going through my head. And yes, it was awkward at that Panera Bread downtown with the amazing parents that raised me sitting next to me and the woman that gave birth to me, and let me go to have a better life than she felt like she could provide, sitting across from me. The spotlight was on me and it was blinding.

We exchanged stories and pictures and that day marked the beginning of my relationship with my first blood-relative and bio-mom. It’s a day I’ll never forget. It was a day I was told the story of how I came to be here on this earth. And it was the first time I noticed resemblances between myself and somebody related to me. While my other friends told stories of how they have their father’s eyes and nose and their mother’s hair and hands I had to sit quiet without contributing. A lot of people would say I looked like my parents and we would always smile and say thank you for the compliment.

I’ve learned a lot about myself through the friendship with my bio-mom. She’s an amazing women herself with the biggest heart. It was like she, too, was part of the family I was raised with. I still can’t get over how lucky and blessed I was, and still am.

Since meeting my bio-mom, I’ve also met her mom and her brother and have enjoyed my time getting to know them. Are we this one big happy family? Not really. Do I benefit from having met them and keeping them in my life? Absolutely. We’ve taken the time to get to know each other and although the pace may be slow for some, it seems to be working out for all of us.

I had no idea what to expect when my bio-mom and her family entered my life. It was nice receiving some answers and making what had only been a fantasy illusion of how I came to be, an actual reality. I do feel like this discovery was meant to be. I’m not sure if I’ve changed in any way because of it but it’s definitely a bonus in my eyes.

Now due to the fact that my bio-mom had a bit of an unusual time growing up; she and her brother were raised by a single mom; her brother was hit by a car when he was around 8 and she was 12 which put him in a coma for nearly a year while clinging to life; her mother tended to her brother’s side while waiting for his recovery leaving her to take care of herself while still a kid; she was 13 when she got pregnant and forced to keep it a secret and never talk about me once I was gone; drugs, alcohol, and older boys played a part in the life of this teenager who was starving for some attention and love.

I wasn’t surprised when she told me she wasn’t sure who my father was because her memory had blocked that crazy time in her life. At the time, it didn’t seem to matter that much to me. She was more embarrassed with not knowing or having the recollection to give me an answer to that question. It didn’t matter to me because I already had so many amazing people in my life and felt supremely blessed. Since she never talked about the event to anybody, my bio-dad most likely doesn’t know I exist.

Lately though, things have been coming back to my bio-mom’s memory. Images, people, conversations and certain moments have been sneaking back in. She’s embarrassed to have to figure out “the one” between several different guys, recalling a time in her life filled with darkness and uncertainty. I’m definitely not one to judge nor should be since I haven’t walked a day in her shoes. So she was a little promiscuous as a child, her circumstances were not like other children her age. Her mom did the best she could but was dealt a few tough hands. She was a dreamer and just wanted to feel special. Attention is something children need. She was just trying to get by the best she could. Even though her actions were nothing like what I grew up with, I love her and would never pass any judgment on her.

So, now that I’ve caught you up on things, here’s where I’m at currently. Bio-mom says she would dig deep within herself and do whatever it takes to locate my bio-dad if that’s something I wanted to do. Digging up the past isn’t always the best to do if it’s a time of heartache and pain. I don’t want my bio-mom to go through any more unnecessary strife, especially on behalf of my curiosity. But is knowing who my bio-dad is only for satisfying my curiosity?

I’m struggling with this right now because I don’t know what would be the right thing to do. I don’t want to cause my bio-mom any grief. I don’t know if it really matters whether my bio-dad knows I exist or not. My life is fine and will continue to be fine. I don’t think meeting bio-dad would change anything. I’m in my thirties now, I know that he’s all grown up too. Some of the bio-dad candidates are married and have children or were married and have children. The only way to truly know would be to take a DNA test along with the candidates. Is it worth it? He may want to know me but there’s a chance he may not give a shit. I’m not looking for any handouts, never have, never will. It would be strictly for the purpose of knowing. How important is it to know the people who made you after being raised by people who loved you just as much? Will me interrupting his life hurt him and his family? I’m not expecting some big epiphany if me and bio-dad ever met or for either of our lives to change direction or even be greatly impacted by this. So is there any reason to reveal this information?

As of right now, bio-mom has decided that it may not be the best time for her to pursue this and is concerned that popping in this man’s life may cause more harm than anything. But if I really wanted to know, she would help me. Since I have no idea what the right thing to do is, I’m in search for some answers that will direct me down the right path. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.





5 Benefits of Lesbian Dating

6 03 2012

Wardrobe Malfunction

Sometimes…if you forget your makeup, didn’t accessorize enough, need to change clothes to go out but didn’t bring extra, forget to moisturize, snag your pantyhose, or need a refresher spritz of perfume…you can borrow hers or she can borrow yours…sometimes.

Bathroom

When you both are out at a restaurant, bar or club with a group of friends and she looks at you with that glisten in her eyes; the hormonal urge quickly bestows itself upon the both of you. Make the nod towards the women’s restroom where you both will meet up in a few minutes to sneak that kiss, or whatever,without even being suspected by guests or staff. Girls love to go to the bathroom together.

Sympathy

That time of the month can be a bit challenging for a woman…emotions out of control, abdominal cramps bringing you to your knees, patience non-existent, mood changes constantly…It’s nice when the person you’re dating really understands what you’re going through and knows how to not irritate you or upset you and most especially, when to back off. They can honestly relate, without holding it against you later!

Feminine Products

Going along with period sympathy…when Mother Nature pops up on you unexpectedly or maybe you just used the last tampon you brought out with you, chances are she’ll have tampons in her purse or under her sink, saving you both time and money not to mention the prevention of any embarrassing accidents. She’s got you covered.

Department Store

There’s nothing like being able to go with her into the changing room in the department store. It’s a free strip tease in the middle of a small secure area lined with mirrors and bad lighting. Kind of like the champagne room only the music isn’t quite as loud and you don’t have to dish out any money. Except to purchase whatever is it she wants to buy. Hmmm…come to think of it, you might save more money just going to a strip club.





Changing the World One Blog at a Time

7 02 2012

One person can’t save the world right? Or maybe they can.

I involve myself in the dog rescue world because I have always had a big heart for animals and I love making positive differences. It’s sad and upsetting to hear stories on a day-to-day basis about a dog owner surrendering their furry family member of some crazy number of years because of one thing or another.

I’m not one to judge but what happened to following through with the decisions you make?

You wanted a family dog, you got one, you played with him for years, you fed him, you let him sleep in your bed at times, you made him a part of your family, you made him believe he was safe and loved and now times are tough…

…There’s not enough money to be made to continue your lifestyle, the dog’s sick and you foresee huge vet bills, you have to relocate but you can’t take the dog, you don’t have the time anymore to take care of it….

 

I’m sorry but that’s bullshit.

I firmly believe that where there is a will, there is a way. Can’t remember where I’ve heard that before but it’s perfectly true.

This is my response.

Make yourself a new budget, plan ahead and get pet insurance, put some money aside for these unforeseen circumstances, change your plans or lifestyle a little to incorporate your furry family member, make time for the important things, follow through and take care of the responsibilities you took on rather than pawning them off on somebody else. Stop putting your wants and needs in front of everything else.

I had no idea the amount of responsibilities I took on when adopting my first dog. I was still in college and working full time. I learned the hard way but I learned. I had help at times but I always strived to take care of my own things and would work hard at getting back in balance.

And I did.

Not to say I wouldn’t be thrown off course again but I just get back up and move forward with my goals. Leaving my dog behind though, wasn’t an option to me.

Looking back I see some of the things I could have done better, better choices I could have made. I remember many times looking for an apartment within my budget that allows big dogs and hitting one dead end after another. The thought of how much easier this apartment search would be if I didn’t have a dog did come across my mind.

Easier is the key word here. And the apartment search would have been.

But I fell in love with this dog, and I made her a part of my family and to choose the easy way over the unconditional love this animal gave me would be a mistake I would live to regret for the rest of my life.

Not only would I fail and pass on my burdens to someone else, I would fail because the other options didn’t favor my immediate gratifications. I would fail because the other options weren’t in my comfort zone and I can’t think outside that box. I don’t know how anybody can justify doing that.

Did you really exhaust ALL of your options?

Maybe bringing the dog with you on your cross-country move would be extremely difficult. Maybe it would mean you would take longer to get to your destination or maybe it means you’ll have to live in a different city close by the one you originally wanted to live in. Maybe it would cost a little more. Maybe it would require more planning on your part which takes up more of your time.

These reasons don’t seem impossible to overcome. They don’t sound like life-threatening, doomsday, can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel type of corners you think you’ve backed yourself up into. If there is a will, there’s another answer other than wiping your hands clean of what you now call a problem when you used to call him your dog.

I’m thankful to all of the people out there who own up to their responsibilities, for better or for worse, and stick through it. I’m thankful to those who lend a helping hand to people and animals that need it in tough times or just in general. I’m thankful that there are people out there that don’t mind taking on more than their fair share in order to save the lives of these dogs.

If we all just did our part, and it’s really not that big of a part, then this world would be such a different place. One to be proud of.

Which makes me come back to whether or not one person can save the world. My answer is absolutely! One person at a time.