Things I Never Thought I’d Say To My Cats

Sometimes I think we adopted 3 wild beasts instead of 3 cats. Other times they’re like sour patch kids. Sweet one moment then ornery like hell the next. I love my girls and they definitely bring joy, comfort, and entertainment to my life. So in honor of National Cat Day on October 29th, here’s a list of things I never thought I would say to my cats.

  • Don’t put your paw in the green bean juice
  • Get out of the dishwasher
  • Stop giving me stink eye
  • Who’s messing with the toilet lid?
  • Stop knocking the hand sanitizer off the table
Tilly giving me the stink eye
  • Don’t lick the dirty bath water
  • Don’t lay on top of the cookies
  • Stop thumping Daddy’s shoes
  • Don’t eat the vomit
  • The chair leg is not a toy
Poovey perched on the chair she just knocked over
  • Stop smacking your mother’s ass
  • Hashbrowns are not for kitties
  • Stop hissing at the neighbor’s cat while he’s taking a shit
  • Why are you rabbit kicking my foot?
  • Get out of the trash
My golden girl Savina
  • Are you in your hidey hole?
  • My insulin cap is not a toy
  • Stop head butting my medicine box off the table
  • Get your paw off my peaches
  • Are you jersey turnpiking? (Head down ass up in the air)
Savina loves to zoom!
  • Stop attacking me when I’m picking a wedgie
  • Why are you weighing yourself on the bathroom scale?
  • Get your nose out of the cinnamon sugar
  • Don’t smack Daddy’s dingle
  • Do you want toilet time?
Tilly loves to play in laundry baskets
Poovey
Savina AKA Veenie Beanie
No room for me even in a king size bed
Poovey is a wild child!
Tilly getting her birthday sardine toy
Savina loves to hunt from her cube

40 Things I’ve Learned In My 40 Years of Life

They say “Another year older, another year wiser.” But are we really wiser? Wisdom comes from life experience. Life experience comes from learning from our mistakes and having the courage to take corrective action. Have I made mistakes in life? Boy howdy! But I’d like to think that I have gained some life experience and wisdom over the years. So without further adieu, here’s 40 things I have learned during my 40 years on this planet. Shout out to my blogging friend Brittany from mindbeautysimplicity for inspiring me with this post!

1. Not everything or every statement needs a response or reply.

2. Halloween and Spring Oreos taste better than regular Oreos.

3. It is very empowering to go into a restaurant, say “Table for 1,” and eat by yourself. I have done this several times, both locally and while traveling solo to Cancun, Mexico. I feel it makes you stronger and more confident.

4. It’s OK to ask for and to accept help.

5. Communication and comprehension go hand in hand. You can communicate to someone all you want but if they don’t understand you, it won’t reach them the way you need it to.

6. Nothing in life is permanent.

7. You don’t always receive in return what you give to others.

8. You’re never too old to eat chicken nuggets or to lick the spoon from cake batter, brownie batter, and cookie dough.

9. Expect the unexpected. I never expected to become disabled and unable to work at age 37, mais c’est la vie.

10. The best way to not touch my shit is to not touch my shit. Here’s a video tutorial on how to not touch my shit. https://youtu.be/IpCxZUrjImY

11. People aren’t paying attention to you as much as you think they are. We think that people care about what brand of clothes we wear, what car we drive, what job we have, or how we look in a bathing suit. But they don’t. We think everyone focuses on our awkwardness, insecurities, flaws, or nervous habits. But they don’t. We go through life as if our every move is being watched, judged, and evaluated by those around us. Here’s a reality check: you’re not that important. People couldn’t care less about what you do or how you look.

You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

12. Fart and poop jokes don’t ever stop being funny! πŸ’¨πŸ’©

13. Everyone is replaceable. People tend to think “no one can do this like me” or “I can’t take off work because no one can do what I do.” But guess what? Employers don’t care. They WILL find another warm body to fill in or replace you in a hot second.

14. My taste buds change as I get older. I have started to like foods that I used to hate and on the flip side, some foods are too sweet for me to eat now.

15. It’s OK to make mistakes! Making mistakes is part of life and accepting responsibility for them helps us become a little more humble.

16. Quality is better than quantity.

17. Experiences mean more than material items. I used to place a lot of value on material items like designer purses, clothing, or home decor when I was younger. As I have gotten older, I value traveling, tending to my orchids and plants, learning new languages, and laughing my ass off with loved ones and friends. My favorite memories are from traveling to Norway and Costa Rica, $2 bowling nights with friends, and playing yahtzee with “dirty dirty” at Mommom’s house.

18. Time is money.

19. You are never too old to learn something new.

20. You can’t make everyone happy.

21. Antiperspirant clogs your armpit pores so now I only use deodorant.

22. Know when to pick your battles. Some arguments just aren’t worth your sanity, energy, and time. Being right isn’t nearly as important as knowing when to shut up and/or walk away.

23. Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs, who accept you for who you are, and who love you no matter what.

24. People don’t always get what they deserve and some people don’t deserve what they get.

25. Drinking hot chocolate out of my cupcake poot mug tastes better than out of a regular mug πŸ˜„

26. Comparing yourself or your life to others only leads to hurtful feelings.

27. There is no right way or time frame for grieving. We falsely assume that grief passes in chronological order. But it’s a tangled up mess that reawakens the shock we experienced on the day we lost our loved one. Our mind wants a quick fix to move on, but our heart never forgets.

28. You can’t help those who don’t want to help themselves and you can’t force anyone to change. No one changes unless they want to. Not if you beg them, shame them, use reason, or tough love. Someone changes only when they realize that they need to do it and when they decide they’re ready.

29. Screaming your guts out on a roller coaster ride is good for the soul.

30. You will end up doing things in life you thought or swore you’d never do.

31. A picture is worth 1000 words. It captures moments of pure joy, love, sadness, pain, and raw emotion.

32. Practice doesn’t make perfect. It makes improvement.

33. Some people who are dying have a “last hurrah” shortly before they pass away. They are laughing, telling jokes, talking lucidly when previously incoherent, eating meals when they haven’t been eating for days, or even walking around when previously laying in bed sleeping most of the day. This “last hurrah” occurred with my grandfather, both of my grandmothers, and two different coworkers before they died.

34. There are many different ways people can do things and still end up with the same result. It doesn’t have to be your way.

35. The best way to conquer your fear is to just face it head on. Often times you will see it’s not as bad as you built it up in your mind.

36. Change is not a bad thing. It’s necessary for growth to occur. People have often said or written in yearbooks, “Don’t ever change.” But if no one changed, there would never be progress in life, education, or healthcare.

37. There are oodles of different types of peaches just like there’s different types of apples. I thought there were simply yellow and white peaches. I’ve discovered that I love Loring, Early Loring, Sentry, and Encore peaches. Nothin’ like slurping a ripe, juicy buttcrack peach! #badonkadonk

38. Things don’t always work out as you plan.

39. Life is a marathon not a sprint.

40. Music and food always bring people together.

There you have it folks! What are some things you have learned? Feel free to share some of your favorite life experiences πŸ™‚

Spicy Nuggs Volume 4

It’s been a hot minute since my last Spicy Nuggs post. Get it? “Hot minute” & “Spicy nuggs.” *snort 🐷* I amuse myself sometimes! 😁

Numero uno. Businesses out of stock of shit when offering freebies. So Duck Donuts had a promo for a free milkshake. No purchase necessary. I go to order my milkshake and I’m told there’s no ice cream. Why are luring me in with free shit you ain’t got? Bait and switch! Bait and switch!

#2 πŸ’© Cicadas. These things are noisy AF. And they’re fucking gross. Flying around, then landing on you and humping your ear. We get it. You emerge every 17 years and want to get your freak on. But once you’re done gettin’ busy, do you have to torpedo into my car windshield? And you can’t just clean the splatter off with windshield wiper cleaner like bird poop. Cicada juice is not an accessory I want on my 4runner.

Cicadas around Baltimore Spring 2021

Trois. All the trendy words and phrases that need to go somewhere. Perhaps my *cough* middle aged ass is just out of touch with social slang. Here’s my list:

  • Lean into it
  • Living my best life
  • All the feels
  • “Low key” anything
  • “Slaying” anything
  • Adulting
  • The new normal
  • Totes malotes
  • I felt that
  • Woke (yes I am awake but what does that have to do with anything?)

Quatro. Cookies on websites always popping up taking up half my screen so I can’t see nothing else. I just want to read the damn article or shop online! Unless it’s a delicious cookie I can eat, stop shoving it in my face trying to force it down my throat. Because I am only going to choose necessary cookies. Every. Single. Time. I don’t need you suggesting what I should read, watch, or buy thank you very much.

Cinq. Have you seen these 3 wheeled cars around? Apparently it’s called a Slingshot. Now that it’s summertime I keep seeing them. At Target, on the highway, and the grocery store. Looks like the Batmobile to me. I think the driver should be wearing a cape so it’s flapping in the breeze while driving down the road.

Polaris Slingshot

#6 Cars, trucks, and buses comin’ in hot. In a parking lot, turning onto a street, or going to a drive thru. I have yet to see a minivan haulin’ ass. And when I am stopped in a middle lane needing to make a turn, why are cars coming in the opposite direction weaving over the center line like they’re trying to intimidate me out of there?

That’s a wrap for this 6 piece nuggets post. Feel free to share your own spicy nuggs with me. Until next time, may your summer days be muy caliente! πŸ”₯πŸ—

5 Favorite Things About Where I Live

My blogging friend Shelly from growingwithspawn recently wrote a blog post about her favorite things in her hometown of Johannesburg, South Africa. I enjoy reading about another part of the world and seeing the similarities and differences to where I live.

I originally grew up in Salisbury, Maryland. It’s a small town on the east coast of the United States. I always wanted to move somewhere else when I had the chance and so I moved to Baltimore, Maryland when I was 21. I have lived here in the Baltimore area for nearly 19 years now. There are lots of things I like about living here, but here are a few of my favorite things. πŸŽΆπŸ˜€

1. Delicious Local Food

You know I love me some good ass comfort food! Nothin’ takes me from hangry to happy quite like chowing down on something I have been craving. People around Baltimore know how to put their foot in it! Here are a few of my favorites around here:

  • Chicken and waffles from Connie’s Chicken and Waffles
  • Warm apple cinnamon or banana nutella crepes from Sofi’s Crepes
  • Spinach quiche and pastries from Bonjour bakery
  • Cornmeal fried oysters, Asparagus, Softshell crabs, and Pan Seared Sea Scallops from Charleston
Connie’s Chicken and Waffles

2. Nature Stuff

There’s a lot of free or inexpensive attractions around Baltimore. It makes me happy when I am able to get out of the house to visit these places.

  • Rawlings Conservatory: they have a Mediterranean room with citrus trees, a tropical room with a koi fish pond and tropical flowers, a cactus room, an orchid room, and a palm tree room. You know how OBSESSED I am with orchids!
  • Cylburn Arboretum: there are lots of hiking trails, trees, wide open areas for you to walk or run, and a mansion. My favorite time of year to go here is in the fall to see the leaves changing color. πŸπŸ‚πŸŒ³
  • Sherwood Gardens: beautifully landscaped garden in a residential neighborhood where you can walk around or picnic. The highlight is the tulip display each spring.🌷
  • Ladew Gardens: there are umpteen different types of gardens (a rose garden, iris garden, white garden, pink garden, yellow garden, Victorian garden, the list goes on.) There’s also a 1 mile nature trail, butterfly house, and mansion. My favorite is the yellow garden. There’s a water fountain and when the sunshine hits that garden with the Japanese maple tree just right, it’s picture perfect and so peaceful.
  • Maryland Zoo: There’s lions, and tigers, and bears, Oh my! But there’s also a penguin exhibit, flamingos, zebras, and rhinos. I even got to feed the elephants one day! πŸ¦πŸ―πŸ»πŸ§πŸ¦©πŸ¦“πŸ¦πŸ˜
Orchid Room at Rawlings Conservatory
Cactus room at Rawlings Conservatory-Of course the child in me thinks these look like dig ole hairy bicks πŸ€£πŸ†
Mansion at Cylburn Arboretum
Leaves changing in the fall at Cylburn Arboretum
Leaves changing in the fall at Cylburn Arboretum
One of the hiking trails at Cylburn Arboretum
Tulips at Sherwood Gardens
Yellow garden at Ladew Gardens
Iris garden at Ladew Gardens
Water lillies in pond at Ladew Gardens
Azaleas in the Garden of Eden at Ladew Gardens
Me feeding an elephant at the Maryland Zoo πŸ˜€

3. Funny Port a potty names

Need I say more? How can you not laugh, chuckle, or tee hee at these? 😁🀣

  • A flush away
  • SOS
  • Bobby’s potties
  • Don’s Johns
  • Gotugo

4. We have 4 seasons

Call me crazy but I love experiencing all four seasons every year. Although many times in Maryland the weather can feel more like disgusting hot and humid or colder than a witch’s nipple without much difference in between. Our spring and fall don’t last long and we tend to get sick and tired of how long winter and summer last. Mother nature has a hard time making up her mind about the weather in Maryland from one day to the next. It can literally be 80 degrees one day in February and then 35 degrees the next. Here’s why I like having all four seasons:

  • Spring: Blooming flowers! Azaleas and hydrangeas are my favorites. We have lots of these in our yard! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’—
  • Summer: Vibrant colors everywhere, ice cream, and pool time
  • Fall: Looking at the leaves changing colors and riding around in my 4runner with the sunroof open, the cool breeze blowing in my face and hair while rocking out to music
  • Winter: Watching the first snowfall coat the trees and house, drinking hot chocolate out of my cupcake poot mug, and snuggling under warm blankets with kitties on my lap ❄ πŸˆπŸˆβ€β¬›
Our Azaleas
Our hydrangeas

5. Great access for traveling

I love to travel! Although it’s been a few years since I have been able to travel due to COVID restrictions and my health. But I am REALLY hoping that within the next 6 months to a year G and I will be able to take a vacation. Here’s why I think living in Baltimore is great for traveling:

  • Multiple international airports within a 90 minute drive
  • Cruising out of Baltimore
  • 3 hour drive to the beach
  • Accessibility to bus and train stations as well as multiple interstate highways for driving destinations

Well that’s it in a nutshell folks. Where do you live and what are things you like about it? I’d love to hear about your neck of the woods!

Moving Through the Pain

Hello! How are ya now? Good and you? For those of you who regularly follow my blog, you may have noticed my nearly 3 month hiatus. There’s a lot to catch you up on, so let’s get crack a lackin’!

Back in February I had surgery on both eyes due to cataracts that formed as a result of the high doses of prednisone I have been on. Just another reason to hate this GD prednisone! I swear. πŸ™„ My cataracts formed in the center of my eyes and grew very rapidly, affecting my entire field of vision. The surgeries went off without a hitch, but I was left with such blurry vision afterwards that I couldn’t read, drive, or use the computer. So that meant no blogging until I could get glasses. I had to wait 6 weeks to get my glasses prescription because my eyes had to fully heal from the surgeries. Once I got my glasses, it took me a few more weeks to get adjusted to seeing through them since they’re trifocals.

Right after I got my glasses, my grandmother’s health declined to the point where the family decided it was time for hospice to come in and help make her as comfortable as possible. She passed one week later on April 27th. She was the one blood relative that I had the closest relationship with. It broke my heart not being able to visit with her over the last couple of years due to my poor health. We would talk on the phone whenever we could during this time, but it wasn’t the same. I was now struggling with figuring out if I could attend Mommom’s funeral and pay respect to her without jeopardizing my health and safety. After talking with my doctors, they gave me permission to travel the 3 hours in each direction so I could attend her funeral as long as I took the precautions they strongly recommended.

The discomfort and awkwardness people often feel towards grief has given rise to many platitudes. Personally, I don’t like it when people tell me, “Everything happens for a reason” or ‘It’s God’s will.” While I believe the person has good intentions, I don’t believe that time heals all things and that everything always ends up being fine. While I am learning to bear the weight of my grief of losing Mommom, I will never “get over it.”

Words don’t seem sufficient enough to express how much I I love and miss Mommom. She was the epitome of a strong, feisty, and graceful woman. Our bond is so special and it means so much to me that she and G have such a wonderful relationship too. She didn’t allow many people to cook in her kitchen, but she allowed him because he can “pick a bird clean” and “mash potatoes right.” I will always remember her unconditional love, her smile, our Yahtzee games, and family dinners at her house.

My brother, Mommom, Poppop, and me (1985)
Me in my wedding dress with Mommom (2004)

Less than a week after Mommom’s funeral I suffered an anaphylactic reaction. On G’s birthday of all freakin’ days. πŸ˜’ Less than an hour after arrival to the hospital, I was intubated and placed on the ventilator. This time was scarier than previous times because G wasn’t allowed inside the hospital with me due to COVID restrictions. Plus, during the intubation I was paralyzed but aware of the breathing tube going down my throat. AGAIN. This same thing happened to me in 2019. I was trying my damnedest to move any body part to alert the doctors but no success. Two days later I awoke in the ICU gagging on the tube in my throat. I wanted that somebitch OUT! The sedation had been turned off in order to test if I could breathe on my own, but I kept failing that test. The doctors just left me gagging on the tube for hours with no sedation. I kept writing on the dry erase board they gave me how pissed off I was with them and that I wanted the tube out. Several hours later, I finally passed the breathing test and the tube was removed.

At this point I wanted to contact G and let him know what’s going on but I couldn’t find my cell phone. It wasn’t in my hospital room. I also realized that my backpack with my medical supplies, shoes, and clothes were missing too. I told my nurse and doctors about all of my missing items and I was given the bullshit response of “sometimes these things happen.” No assholes. 🀬 I was knocked out in the Emergency room without being given the opportunity to secure my belongings. You didn’t allow my husband inside to secure my belongings either. So what the fuck did you do with my shit? At this point I am LIVID. I want to leave. I didn’t feel safe there. Not just because of my missing stuff. But also because they hadn’t given me any of my daily medications since I had been in the hospital, they blew my veins all to hell trying to get IV access and blood gas labs, and the traumatic events of being paralyzed during the intubation and gagging on the breathing tube for hours without sedation. I insisted on leaving and coming home where I could better manage my health care. Multiple doctors tried to convince me to stay but I refused out of concern for my own safety. I told the doctors that I would need an EpiPen to leave the hospital since my missing backpack contained my EpiPen. I was told they would have the pharmacy fill an EpiPen for me so I had to wait for that before I could go home.

My right arm one week after multiple IV lines and lab draws
My left arm one week after multiple IV lines and lab draws

As G is nearly to the hospital to pick me up, the doctor comes in to my room and asks me to have my husband bring an EpiPen from home because she claimed their pharmacy wouldn’t dispense an EpiPen for me. Now I was out of fucks with these people. Hell I was fuck bankrupt at that point. So I had to call G and ask him to turn around and go home to get an EpiPen for me so I could leave this hell hole. An hour later, G arrives with an EpiPen to take me home-with no cell phone, shoes, backpack with medical supplies, or clothes I wore to the hospital. G had been in contact with security about my missing items but no one had been able to locate any of them by the time I left the hospital. A few days later (after several phone calls, emails, and a social media posting) ALL of my missing items were found and returned to me. Thankfully I have been slowly recovering and improving since I left the hospital with my home breathing treatments and medications.

So there’s the 411 on what’s been going on in my neck of the woods these last few months. Now that I can see with my glasses and I am moving through the pain of losing Mommom and my hospitalization, I am looking forward to blogging again. I hope that you will join along for more delicate and brutal tidbits! πŸ˜ƒ

Rambling Buffoonery Volume 2

I’m back for another segment of rambling buffoonery so try to curb your enthusiasm. 😁

Who decided that it would be a good idea to sell an Oyster po boy sandwich at a gas station? Yeah that’s what I want. Some gasoline with my *cough* oysters. This sparked a conversation between G and I. What is the weirdest food that could be sold at a gas station? Is there any food stranger than an oyster sandwich at a gas station? I’m gonna go out on a limb and vote for Spaghetti and meatballs or Chipped beef and gravy. Although these are common American foods, I would find it extremely odd for them to be sold at a gas station. How would you manage to eat either of these while driving without being a complete shit pig? At least the po boy is a sandwich. Not that I am defending a gas station oyster sandwich. Cuz I ain’t. But I thought gas station food is about quickness and portability while driving or on the go. So what would you consider to be weird gas station food?

What is with SUVs changing shape so often? Especially the smaller ones like the Honda CRV, Toyota Rav 4, Nissan Rogue, and the Hyundai Santa Fe. I feel like every model year (or nearly so) has a different look to it. Now the Jeep Grand Cherokee hasn’t really changed shape since my childhood. Damn that’s been well over 20 years. The Ford Explorer’s shape didn’t really change until 2011. The Toyota 4runner hasn’t really changed shape either. I also wonder why I don’t see as many Volvos on the road. I feel like Volvos were hot shit about 15 years ago. But not so much now.

It has been over a decade since I last bought bath towels. Hell it might have even been when we moved into our house over 14 years ago. I noticed recently that several of our towels were fraying and ripping, and to be honest, some were a bit funky. When G commented that maybe it was time to buy some new towels I bit the bullet and bought some nice quality plush quick drying towels. These towels. These towels G. OMG! These towels! I put them on our towel warmer to use after the shower and forget about it! I’m drying my ass in warm velvety softness. What raggedy shit had we been using before?

I got a hanckering for a KFC chicken little sandwich. I remember eating these as a kid. A chicken patty with two pickles and mayo on a little buttery bun. It only cost $0.39! Perfect little chicken sandwich. As a kid I wondered if the sandwich was named after the story of Chicken Little and if the sky would fall after eating that chicken. Thankfully it didn’t!

Learning to manage my high blood sugars has taken a lot effort and getting used to. I love chocolate and have always had a sweet tooth. To my surprise there are several sugar free cookie options in the grocery stores. So I figured I would try them out. G and I both really like the Voortman sugar free orange creme wafers. They are da bomb.com. Since I love chocolate so much, I figured I would also try the Voortman Sugar free chocolate wafers. I never thought I would be revolted by chocolate. They are dick. No worse than that. They’re pig shit. Don’t try these at home kids.

Sunshine Blogger Award

Thank you so much Amethyst from love.inspire.learn for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! It is truly humbling and an honor to be recognized by other bloggers. 😊Amethyst is an aspiring artist and graphic designer with a passion for reading, learning, and writing, as well as inspiring others. Please follow this amazing blogger and artist here.

Rules:


1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate up to 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.


4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Questions from Amethyst:

1. Who inspires you and why? I have been inspired by my grandmother since I was a child. Throughout my life I have watched her love her family unconditionally, go out of her way to help those in the community, and suffer the terrible tragedy of her oldest son passing away on Mother’s day. When things went wrong she didn’t complain. Instead she found ways to handle them with a level of grace and strength that is truly admirable.

2. What does your morning routine look like? I wake up around 7am, pee, do my breathing treatments, eat breakfast, take my morning meds, clean myself up, and throw on some clothes. Usually by this time the cats have had their breakfast too so I get a few giggles in as I watch them zoom around upstairs while I either read or throw in laundry.

3. What is your favorite book and why? “People I want to punch in the throat” by Jen Mann. This book just makes me laugh so hard my cheeks hurt. I think all of us have met certain people and asked ourselves “WTF is wrong with you?” These ninnies infuriate you so much you just wish you could punch them (whether you want to openly admit that or not.) Jen Mann’s writing style is very informal and she drops F bombs throughout the book which adds a spiciness that I personally enjoy. 😁

4. What is your dream job? I don’t really have a dream job. I can’t work anymore because of my medical conditions so I don’t really think about “dream jobs” anymore. But I do hope and dream about other things like being able to travel again, staying out of the hospital, and dressing up to go out to eat at our favorite restaurants. 😊

5. What do you want to learn this year? I would like to become fluent in French this year. I learned quite a bit of French in 2020 and can read it pretty well but I haven’t practiced speaking it enough. I would also like to start learning Russian this year.

6. What is your writing routine like? I typically write over the weekend and post every Sunday evening. If I have several different ideas hit me at once, I will write a few drafts and save the editing for the weekend.

7. Are you a lark, owl or hummingbird? I don’t give a hoot about this question so I will choose owl.

8. If you had to rename yourself, what would it be and why? I wouldn’t voluntarily choose to change my name because it’s part of what makes me…well…me. But say I HAD to change it for life or death reasons or to get a lifetime supply of free chicken nuggets, fries, and milkshakes. Or I needed a fake passport and a bug out bag. Then I would change it to Savina. Yes that’s what I named our cat. But the name Savina in Russian has a meaning of providing comfort. And I like that.

9. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you go? It’s a toss up between Norway and Italy. Norway is so clean and friendly but it is cold and expensive. G and I just loved our trip to Norway-it was easy to see why people loved living there. Italy is on my list because of its proximity to traveling to other European countries, its weather and cost of living are similar to where I currently live, and the food is awesome. Good food is a priority for me! πŸ˜„ I would either want to live in the Naples area or nothern Italy around Genoa.

10. What do you want to be remembered for? For being me. I don’t pretend to be anyone else.

11. What is your happiest memory? Traveling with G. My two favorite trips have been to Norway and Costa Rica. Both are beautiful countries with friendly people and lots of things to do. Cruising the Norwegian fjords and kayaking in the Gerainger fjord were very memorable experiences. Staying in a villa in the Costa Rican rainforest with a view of the Arenal Volcano was relaxing and unforgettable. Zip lining through the rain forest was so much fun and something I will never forget!

I think every blogger spreads a little sunshine! So if you want to answer the same questions above and spread a little more sunshine across the blogging community, I would love to read your answers and learn more about you. πŸ˜€πŸŒ»

My 2020 In Photos

2020 is now behind us and I think everyone is happy to celebrate that while looking forward to 2021 with hope. As fucked up as 2020 was for so many people, I appreciate the moments of beauty and joy from last year. So here are 20 delicate and brutal photos of my 2020 to share with all of you.

I love summertime! The colors are vibrant, the pools are refreshing, and the fruit is juicy. πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ‰ Plus our blooming hydrangeas are my favorite if you can’t tell! πŸ˜πŸ€—

Our backyard pool with impatients. I just love the colors of summer!

Next up are our orchids. I love these as much as our hydrangeas! Growing them has taught me a lot of patience and to appreciate the beauty in things.

My health continued to be a roller coaster throughout 2020 with several hospitalizations for severe allergic reactions and asthma flares. My body has continued to change and swell from all the prednisone.

My last time on the ventilator was March 2020. So thankful that I haven’t had to be intubated since then.
On hi flow humidified oxygen after a severe allergic reaction
Hospitalized again for a severe asthma flare 10 days after allergic reaction
Currently still in the hospital for another severe asthma flare. On continuous breathing treatments to try to open my airways. Very swollen from all the prednisone.

One of the highlights of 2020 for G and I was adopting 3 kitties from our local animal shelter. Tilly, Savina (AKA Veenie Beanie), and Poovey are frisky, curious, and sweet cats who bring us their toys, zoom around the house, and love to cuddle.

Tilly loves to play hide and seek πŸ˜€
Poovey
Savina (AKA Veenie Beanie)
Savina wants to help G ice cupcakes πŸ˜„
Tilly posing on her new Christmas toy
Poovey was overly excited from the catnip in her new Christmas toy 🀣

Who doesn’t love a nice fat Christmas tree? Is this the biggest thing you’ve ever seen?! 🎢 I like ’em round and big 🎢🎀

Our 2020 Christmas tree πŸŽ„

Well that’s a wrap! Au revoir 2020! Here’s to a healthier 2021 with just as much beauty, joy, juicy slurpable fruit, and kitty friskiness. πŸ’•πŸ˜€πŸ‘πŸ˜Ί

Cleanse The Chaos From Your Soul

Do you ever feel like you are stuck in a vicious cycle of your own thoughts? Dwelling on your own thoughts is like a cow chewing on its cud, chomping over and over without swallowing. Or like spinning your wheels in the mud. Your wheels spin faster and faster while digging a hole, but you don’t seem to be getting anywhere. You find yourself stuck and unable to get out.

We can easily find ourselves overwhelmed by our feelings. Our thoughts can quickly take over our mind and we get caught up in this sticky tangled web we’ve spun. We convince ourselves that we are being ridiculous or too sensitive and end up shaming ourselves for whatever we are feeling. Over time we can start relying on that familiar place of reacting without thinking. We tend to push our uncomfortable feelings away instead of confronting them and then disconnect ourselves from situations completely.

I had an experience with a coworker where I stewed in anger for over a year because of something they said about me. Let’s call this coworker Val. I had previously been on good terms with Val so it was infuriating to me to hear this information. A new colleague (we’ll call her Ellie) shared with me that when she was hired, Val warned her that I was a mean and rude person because I couldn’t have children and just had a hysterectomy. Val also told Ellie that I was difficult to work with. Ellie mentioned all of this to me one day after telling me I was nothing like Val had said and that I was always so kind and helpful with the workload. She admitted she was really nervous to work with me as a result of what Val had told her and didn’t feel right keeping these comments to herself anymore.

First of all, my ability to have children has NO FUCKING bearing on my ability to do my job or treat other people with respect. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Second, why are you blabbing MY medical information to people I don’t even know yet? I am the boss of who gets to know my personal information. Not you Val. Third, you put these preconceived notions in other people’s minds causing them to judge me before they even met me. Not cool. You overstepped boundaries Val. You are now on my shit list. 😠

For the next year I was very distant with Val at work. I kept my communication with her strictly professional but there was always this undertone of displeasure I exuded when talking to her. I couldn’t bring myself to have a civilized conversation with her about what she had said about me because I knew that I would lose my temper and get fired. I stressed myself out everytime I went to work knowing Val was there. I had fallen into the trap of avoiding conflict at the expense of my own well-being.

After I became too sick to work, my health became my priority and I no longer gave a shit about this resentment towards Val anymore. I reached out to her and had the civilized conversation that I was not able to have while we worked together. I aired everything out and she apologized. I accepted her apology and apologized for not being able to have that conversation in person while we worked together.

Life is unpredictable and out of our control. We can choose how we respond to life’s difficulties. Worrying about what others think of you and say about you doesn’t change a damn thing. It won’t suddenly make people love and respect you. It won’t magically change their mind about you. It doesn’t make them accept you. Life can be better when you focus on what’s going on inside of you rather than what’s happening around you.

We can’t stop negative thoughts from popping into our head, but we can learn to recognize and challenge thinking patterns that put us down. We don’t need to let our minds bully us into a constant state of stress. We can either crumble under life’s pressures or embrace them and become better versions of ourselves.

Holly Jolly Christmas Tag

Thank you Brittany from mindbeautysimplicity for including me in this festive tag! I always enjoy these Q & A sessions and try to make them fun. So pitter patter let’s get at er! πŸ˜„

What is your favorite Christmas memory? Going to my grandmother’s house and having family dinner, exchanging gifts, and dessert afterwards. Sitting next to Mommom and eating at the grownup table was such a treat for me while all the other grandchildren ate in the other room.

Do you like to stay in your PJs or dress up for Christmas? Pajamas all the way! Comfort is king! 😍

If you could only buy one person a present this year, who would it be? My G. We always have a fun time exchanging gifts with each other. There’s usually silly gifts involved and we like to make funny faces and gestures when opening gifts from each other. There’s no pressure to get “the perfect gift.” It’s all about JOY πŸ˜„

Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? Christmas day. Although G and I used to be more impatient and childish opening a gift here and there DAYS before Christmas. 😁 We would just get so damn excited about wanting to give each other certain gifts. Now we exercise more self control and open them on Christmas day.

Have you ever built a gingerbread house? Noop. Never. I know. I know. What a travesty.

Any Christmas wishes? To stay out of the hospital. Because hospitals are gross and I’ve seen enough of them the last 2 months.

Favorite Christmas smell? The smell of a live Christmas tree. We always buy a live fir tree and the smell of it wafting through house is just so fresh.

Favorite Christmas meal or treat? G makes these roll out sugar cookies in different fun shapes that I obsess over. 😍 When they’re fresh out of the oven with a tall glass of milk I lose all self control!

What are you doing for the holidays this year? Staying home with G and the kitties. Nothing fancy. Just enjoying spending time together and watching the cats play with the tissue paper and gift bags. πŸ˜ΊπŸ˜ƒ

Candy cane or gingerbread men? Ewww. Neither.

What’s your favorite holiday/Christmas song? “O holy night.” This song just moves my soul. Now if I am in a fun or silly mood it’s gotta be “A Peter Griffin Christmas” from Family Guy. For those not familiar with this nonsensical Christmas “album”, the lyrics are below. πŸ˜‚πŸŽΆ

Peter Griffin[Random jibberish to the tune of “Sleigh Ride”]

Reh-dyeh-seh-frah-huh-vraweweh-seh-meh-blah-naruh-reeaaahhh…

Eh-weh-heh-heey everybody look at the snow in the yard.

Peter Griffin[Tune of “Little Drummer Boy”]

I brought these gifts for you they’re up in my bum.

Peter Griffin[Tune of “Carol of the Bells”]

Blah-la-la-la β™ͺ β™ͺ Laaa-la-la-la

Look at the bells β™ͺ Look at the bells

Holy crap, here comes Jesus, and he doesn’t look too happy. “Merry Christmas everyone.”

Have you ever made a snowman? Does drawing one on paper count? I’m gonna say it counts. We didn’t get much snow where I grew up. On the rare occasion it snowed enough to build a snowman, I could never tolerate playing outside in the cold long enough to make big balls of snow and roll them around. πŸ˜πŸ˜‚ Phrasing boom!

What is at the top of your list this Christmas? A gift subscription to Universal Yums (a box of snacks from countries around the world.) I figured since I can’t travel right now this is a great way to feel like I am traveling and experiencing the world.