Friday, November 20, 2015

Juggler


Some days I feel like I juggle it all very well. Some days it makes me sick to think about the days I don't seem to juggle "it" at all. In the archetypes of life, at the very beginning men were hunters and "brought home the bacon", whilst women were gatherers and took care of the home and offspring. When is America going to update this notion, because women have long since left the cave and been doing dual roles with little to no recognition. Most women I know work to balance exercise and diet (yes, I DO consider this work), a full time job, child care, home care (domestic chores) and still get treated like the lesser of the two sexes. I'm sorry, but I think most (not all) men are incapable of multitasking and quite frankly, just run out of steam when they get home from their 8 hour work day. I'm not here to argue whose 9-5 job is more stressful, rather, that a woman's day doesn't end at 5 pm. 

Women's brains are always thinking about the next thing to be done and there's usually very little down time in between tasks. We literally, run ourselves ragged. Now, sure, some women self induce the "crazy" by demanding perfection while men seem more laid back about the status of their household; I'll give you that. But none the less, real or imagined, we women have very hectic lives that far exceed the "gathering" role. We gather work projects, groceries and children, meals and laundry, and well, this list could be it's own blog post but that's not my point.

So then, what is my point you ask?  I suppose that as a fellow juggler, I recognize the hardship of completing the lion's share. Seriously, for those of you who don't get it, here is your pat on the back! So here's to us and cheers to us for making the "crazy" seem seamless and smooth, containing the chaos and taming the tough stuff that, in the end, we wouldn't trade for the world. Chin up and sip up!

Cheers!


 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Admit It

Tonight we dropped off the camper for storing. We headed south towards farmland, and even though it was roughly the same time of day as when we picked it up back in June, the view has changed dramatically. It's dark and cold now. All signs of Spring, and future Summer camping adventures are gone. This unwelcome shift in the hours of light in a day make me finally admit to myself that Fall is here. Until next year my friend. Until next year. 


Spring Sky - Dekalb, June 2015
Farmland Ford

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Paint Nite

This is my "work of art" from tonight's Paint Nite
I've missed doing fun and random stuff like this! 


Monday, November 16, 2015

Texts

I teach dog Obedience classes on Monday. Some days are ruffer than others, but even a bad day is a good day when you get to play work with dogs. Dogs are unpredictable. Dogs are funny. And if I could teach my students to text for entertainment purposes such as the images below, I would. These crack me up!




Friday, November 13, 2015

France

I was driving home tonight when I heard about the attacks in France. Fourteen years ago, I was driving to work when I learned of the bombings in New York. The shock of "how could someone do this?", never escapes my thought process because I cannot fathom ever carrying out such an act, for any "cause", myself. 

I haven't investigated the fallout of opinions that follow something like this, but I did stumble across this article and video and thought I'd share. I agree that not all "fill in the blank with any race or religion" are bad, but here's why the majority good, does not prevail...

Thursday, November 12, 2015

TBT


It's Throw Back Thursday and this is a picture I snapped poolside while staying at the United State's second largest wooden structure, The hotel Del Coronado. Oh how I wish I was back on the California beach jogging along the surf, watching the dolphins jump along the horizon...


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Beyond Balto

I just completed the The Cruelest Miles. The book details the great race across Alaska by dog and man for anti-toxin during the 1925 diphtheria outbreak. I'll spare you all of the new words I learned (like those of the native Athabaskan people) and other interesting details, because quite frankly, my focus is on the dogs and what happened afterwards.

More than likely, everyone has heard of Balto. He was the lead dog in the team that "crossed the finish line" to deliver the life saving serum to Nome residents. He has a statue in Central Park and even a movie named after him. But what about the others? The distance traveled from Nenana to Nome was 674 miles, and was completed by a relay of numerous sledding teams. While Balto and his owner, Gunnar Kassen, completed their 54.3 mile leg ending in Nome, Togo (another lead dog) and his owner Leonhard Seppala raced more than triple that distance along the way to save Alaska. Togo lead his team over 170 miles of frozen Alaskan terrain with little fanfare to follow. Why can't we celebrate the underdog? I mean, what's the saying, "There is no I in team"? Obviously from this experience, there was no Togo or Seppala in the word "team" either. Not until later.

Why am I blogging about this? Because the lack of shared fanfare for the numerous dog sled teams post serum race, troubles me. And what's worse is, this is still common place behavior in today's world to forget about the people who helped you along the way, and only focus on the those who punt the proverbial ball over the finish line. 


While after much dismay at the lack of shared recognition, it was decided that the two winning-est dog sled teams (Togo and Balto) would go on tour to celebrate post run notoriety. But eventually, the parades and tours diminished and Togo went back to racing, doing what a sled dog does best. But the all famed Balto did anything but lead a star's life. Balto and his team were sold to the highest bidders from the tour company who in turn, tied the dogs up for viewing as part of a circus side show. Years later, upon discovery of their abuse,  George Kimble, a businessman, worked to free them and turn them over to the then, Brookside Zoo. 

While the story The Cruelest Miles is about saving Alaska from a serious epidemic, I can't help but focus on the aftermath; the lack of team recognition and in it's simplest form the way a nation threw away it's hero, Balto. This is seemingly though, common place in America as this disposable treatment is mirrored in the way we treat our Veterans. We single out those who performed the "bravest" acts, but truly, isn't everyone who served brave? We celebrate  individual victories and honor individuals, forgetting about the others who helped, and more so died, along the way. And then, at our very worst, when the novelty is gone, we then forget to take care of those we praised when they need it most. Wake up America, today is Veteran's day. We should not need one day to remember to respect, honor and thank those who served, rather it should be an every day occurrence. We shouldn't have to rescue our Vets from the side show circuses of depression and lack of after care. The next time you see an elderly gentleman with a Veteran hat on, or visit with your grandpa, thank them in any way appropriate. With words, with a kind act. Whatever the moment garners. But just thank them and remember, they are Veterans 365 days a year, not just today.



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lena

Piranha pug! 
(Because this is just too cute not to post)


Monday, November 9, 2015

Red Cup Stupidity


Have you heard what terrible thing Starbucks has done now (besides overcharge for it's coffee that no one will stop buying - myself included)? According to a man who has nothing better to do then create anti-Starbucks campaigns, the bean-processors have taken Christ out of Christmas, and Christmas away from their consumers in the way of a new holiday cup design. What's so offensive about the cup you ask? The new, sleek and simply designed seasonal cup is a plain red cranberry color that sports their green and white logo. Hmm. Offensive? Anti-Christmas? Excuse me, but isn't red, green and white all colors associated with Christmas? Or is that just the Italian flag? I think after this post I will make a video about all the countries Starbuck's is excluding by only supporting a 3 color design on their cups, no? I digress in the name of stupidity examples (hopefully I haven't given anyone any bad ideas) but come on!

The idiot video maker raising the ruckus believes that excluding the words Merry Christmas from the cup is Starbuck's way of being anti-Christian, and anti-Christmas. Ironically though, Starbuck's most well-known, best selling seasonal blend of coffee is called, CHRISTMAS blend. Dude, find a new hobby and fight for a real cause, like wounded veterans and the poor after care they receive once they've returned home. The fact is, your "movement" isn't even an effort to boycott Starbucks, but rather aggravate the help by "tricking" them into saying Merry Christmas by telling them that's your name (which they then write on the cup you've ordered). I'm pretty sure they'd write any name you give them on your cup provided you pay for it.  And speaking of names, I've purposely left out the video-maker's name and information in efforts to not regale him to any higher standard of internet fame then what he has already obtained. 


The fact is Christmas, the holidays, the non-holidays - whatever you observe or don't, is and always will be, what you make of them and what you carry in your heart. Christmas and God are not found in a design of a cup and if you think they are, I feel sorry for you. Christmas and (any) religion or religious based holiday are not a floor plan confined to a church, a particular saying, or even a seasonal greeting. Long story short, believe in what you believe in, celebrate it, and enjoy your coffee in whatever damn cup it comes in.


PS) In doing minimal internet research, I don't see where Starbuck's ever printed "Merry Christmas" on their cups, versus having seasonal wishes and snowmen galore adorn the beverage holders. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Best Friends

Friendship is giving up your veggie burger because it's the last one, knowing that I don't like black bean burgers (the alternative lunch option). YAY! I feel loved.



Thursday, November 5, 2015

Colors

It's been unseasonably warm this week and I've taken full advantage of it. Here are two of my favorite Fall pics (so far). 



Wednesday, November 4, 2015

20 Questions


Ok, so it's more like 50 questions. Don't judge me. 

1. What color is your toothbrush? 

White and purple. Or purple and white depending on how you look at it.

2. Name one person who made you smile today? 
Eric 

3. What were you doing at 8 am this morning? 
Driving

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? 
Pretending to work.

5. What is your favorite candy bar? 
York Peppermint Patty (ok, so it's not technically a BAR!)

6. Have you ever been to a strip club? 
Yes.

7. What is the last thing you said aloud? 
Why aren't you on Sametime?

8. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? 
Actually, it's Wedding Cake flavored Gelato.

9. What was the last thing you had to drink? 
Coffee! 

10. Do you like your wallet? 
Yes, but I like it better when it's full.

11. What was the last thing you ate? 
Yogurt.

12. Have you bought any new clothing items this week? 
Only if jewelry counts.

13. The last sporting event you watched? 
NIU Huskies game. Ok, like five minutes of it.

14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn? 
Butter, butter and more butter.

15. Who is the last person you sent a text message to? 
Eric (strikes again)

16. Ever go camping? 
Yes. Finally.

17. Do you take vitamins daily? 
Yes. When I remember.

18. Do you go to church every Sunday? 
No.

19. Do you have a tan? 
Slightly.

20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza? 
Ohhh...that's tough. Can I have Chinese food on my pizza so I never have to choose?

21. Do you drink your soda with a straw? 
Only if it's a fountain drink.

22. What did your last text message say? 
"New Big Bang tonight!"

23. What are you doing tomorrow? 
Working. And starting the weekend.

24. Look to your left, what do you see? 
Pictures of me and a baby.

25. What color is your watch? 
Ain't got one. Well, I do have one, I just don't wear it. It's silver, ok?

26. What do you think of when you hear Australia? 
G'day mate!

27. What is your birthstone? 
Ruby.

28. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru? 
Drive through.

29. What is your favorite number? 
7

30. Who's the last person you talked to on the phone? 
Eric (Again? Really?)

31. Any plans today? 
Up in the air, but first I must complete the work day. 

32. How many states have you lived in? 
2

33. Biggest annoyance right now? 
Germs.

34. Last song listened to? 
"Another Day" (from the soundtrack to Rent)

35. Can you say the alphabet backwards? 
Not without engaging way more brain power than I want to in order to do so.

36. Do you have a maid service clean your house? 
Me, myself and I.

37. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time? 
I have lots of favorites, but I don't wear them often. Black and white converse, any of my heels, my Brooks...just depends on my mood.

38. Are you jealous of anyone? 
Not that I am aware of.  

39. Is anyone jealous of you? 
Probably. I mean, I'm just here living another day in paradise after all.

40. Do you love anyone? 
Pretty sure.

41. Do any of your friends have children? 
Lots.

42. What do you usually do during the day? 
Work. Pretend to work. Workout. Why must all things include work?

43. Do you hate anyone that you know right now? 
There are people I do not make an effort to interact with. 

44. Do you use the word 'hello' daily? 
I use aloha, hola, good morning or, "bon-journ-no" more often...

45. What color is your car? 
Dirty. 

46. Do you like cats? 
I do. I miss my "kids".

47. Are you thinking about someone right now? 
Well now that you asked...

48. Have you ever been to Six Flags? 
Way too much.

49. How did you get your worst scar? 
Sister. Enough said. 

50. Do you have a favorite flower?
Anything colorful, but Stargazer lilies and Gerbera daisies rank tops.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Positives

I've started my "Three things I'm thankful for today..." posts via social media for the month of November. It's a nice way to give thanks to the universe for sending me positive people, things, experiences - you name it. And while I know it can seem overly perky and annoying to some, trust me, there are days where it's very hard to think about anything positive. We all have those days. But that's exactly why the "project" is awesome, it forces you to appreciate what you have, no matter how small it seems. So, what am I thankful for today?

- A half-priced massage!
- An answer to my vision issues (no worries, I just stare at a computer screen far too much)

- Warm November weather 

What are you thankful for today? 


Monday, November 2, 2015

QOTM

The Question of the Month is hosted by Michael G D'Agostino from the blog A Life Examined. The first Monday of each month I'll be answering a question posed by Michael. Here is this month's question:

“Are you an introvert or an extrovert?”


I used to think I was an extrovert. A huge extrovert. I mean, I can talk to anyone ranging from the next person in a grocery line or a complete stranger out at an event. I do lots of things on my own like participate in races, volunteer, travel, etc. I get out there. I do things. I meet people. I'm friendly.

Yep, I've always thought of myself as outgoing. But the older I get, the more people I encounter, and the more I learn about extrovert vs introvert, maybe I'm really somewhere in the middle. And what is the definition
 of extrovert and introvert anyways? Some say extrovert/introverts aren't about the "doing" or being "friendly" versus  being shy and isolated, it's about how you get your "battery recharged". Basically, does being around other people charge you up and excite you, or drain you? Because if that's the true definition, then I'm both. I'm actually an Ambivert. (Yes, that's a real thing.)


In like minded activities such as hanging out with friends, seeing a band, or attending a race event, it's easy to talk to people and get charged up by the shared excitement over a common interest. But in the day to day, I tend to find people very draining. Complaining. Negative. And sadly, I can very easily fall into that mode. You know the one. "People suck, I'd rather be alone" kind of mood. But the fact is, not all of them (people) suck. And when I feel like this, I try to find some down time to recoil from society and recharge. Maybe I volunteer, maybe I read. Maybe I just need to sit in front of a TV and veg out.


So, to answer the question? I'm an ambivert. I enjoy the qualities of both the introvert and extrovert. I can be highly social, friendly, and super out going, but, at the end of the day, I also enjoy my solitude in something like a morning cup of coffee or reading. Finding a balance between the two (extrovert/introvert) can be hard at times, and heaven help you if momma is out of balance - it can be down right draining. Thankfully, the imbalance doesn't last long and I'm up and ready to be social again in no time. Or maybe I'll go finish that book I'm reading.