Author Archives: emaylerocks

Taking the Small Moments for Granted

This morning, Cal told me I looked like I needed a break. So he took Numba 11 and me to the beach after dropping the teenager off at work. It was rather nice with the pelicans flying to and fro, a boat sailing lazily in the distance, and our son happily splashing in the surf.

I love looking out as far as I can see. I enjoy listening to the waves as they crash in around my feet. Even watching the tiny birds (not seagulls, the smaller ones) five for the minnow sized fish as the waves rolled in. All these things are just some of the little things that make the whole beach experience unlike any other.

While enjoying the morning, I happened to note two particular figures walking up the beach. It was a mother and her son. Normally, I disregard the Beach visitors. Living in a resort area, one tends to become inoculated to the tourists. However, this little boy and his mother, while obvious tourists, were different. It was one thing that he was a tad taller than his mother, who as all of four foot eleven, it was another that he was que ball bald. He was even sans eyebrows.

This child was fighting cancer.

He fooled to be about nine or ten years of age. I just found it amazing that he has come far enough to be able to enjoy a morning stroll down the beach with his mother. It was cute to observe them. They obviously been through a lot together and he adored his mother as much as she cared for him. The morning stroll, looking for shells, and splashing in the shallow water was a normal moment for them.

Moments like that are things the rest of us take for granted. It made me look at the love of my life and our youngest with exceptional love. In that moment, I appreciated everything that live had for me. I have a wonderful husband, great kids, and I am alive. I am healthy and able to do for my family.

It’s all too often that we take the small moments for granted. I was reminded, just for a moment, how wonderful life really is.

What do YOU think?

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Midnight Snacks and Potty Breaks

Tiny dogs have tiny bladders. As a human, if you love to sleep or need 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, owning a dog without access to a doggy door is not a lifestyle choice you want to make. This was something my mother failed to tell me. It was not something I was taught in school (although quadratics came in quite handy the other day…go figure.) Further, this is not something on a list of life skills I was given in any psychology class I ever took in college.

As a parent of four fur babies, all under fifteen pounds, even heavy sleep is something only dreams are made of. (See what I did there?) This being our life, I have found the youngest gets creative on nights I am especially tired.

As I work from home, I try to make healthy choices and, instead of eating chocolate, cookies, or cakes for my mid morning snack, I have got into the habit of having either a fiber bar or a genial bar of some kind. My morning snack is always consumed while I work and ultimately, the wrapper ends up in my tiny office trash can. I would like to think that Team Snoopervisor and I have an understanding that the trash cans are off limits. As of late, it is apparent there was an executive meeting I was not invited to.

You see, Courage is the biggest of the lot and he has a reach that includes the kitchen trash can. I think the Team also knows he has the puppy eyes that make me melt and he is often the one sent to forage the wonders of the garbage containers in the kitchen, bathroom, and my office.

I assume he tried to wake me up for the midnight potty run with a nose boop and it didn’t work. In my half asleep state, I remember seeing him walk into my office. I thought nothing of it as that is a sleeping place for him sometimes. A few minutes later, I heard what could only be described as infuriating.

While not the first time, I came to realize that it trash forage missions are not only to find the goods. Apparently there are uses for the plethora of things to be found therein. Courage had went and gingerly plucked a granola bar wrapper out of the office trash and calculatingly lay just beyond my reach and began to chew the crunchy wrapper. What’s worse?

He did it while watching me.

This smart azz knew, without a doubt that I would get up to stop the noise. I open my eyes, give him “the look” to no avail and swung my legs out of my sleeping place to get up. Oh, but it does not end there, folks. Oh no! What does Courage do? The minute I am vertical, he drops the wrapper, a foot further away from me than where he was, and walks nonchalantly into the kitchen.

Cue the rest of the Snoopervisors to follow him to the door to be let out.

All I could do was stand there for a moment. I had so many emotions running through my body in that moment. I was pissed for having to getup. I was aggravated for having to pick up the wrapper. (Courage is so smart, his little fuzzy butt could have put the dayum wrapper in the kitchen garbage on his way. I mean he walked past it on the way to the door!) I was also amazed at the epic thing that just happened to me. I was in awe and still half asleep.

Sometimes I expect Courage to break out a top hat and cane for a song and dance number like Michigan J. Frog. (Yeah, showing my age, aren’t I?)

Reluctantly, mumbling, and whisperingly, I let them out for the midnight potty run. My noon snack turned into a midnight snack of intelligence. A reminder that our fur babies know more than we give them credit for.

What do YOU think?

Flavorholic Anonymous

As the idea for this came to me, I was eating my lunch. 260 calories worth of Grilled Peppercorn Beef and Vegetables paired with a goblet of refreshing fridge water, 2018. (The jury is still out as to whether that is a great year.) I was scraping the last bit of rice and peppers onto my fork and the decision was made. To no one in particular I said, “My name is Micaa. I am a flavorholic.” As the last syllable came out of my mouth, just for a moment, my inner fat girl surfaced and the tray I was scraping with my fork flipped out of my hands and bits of rice went down the front of my shirt, all over my lap, and down the side of the couch.

And just like that, she was gone.

Instantly, I knew without any speculation, what an alcoholic feels and precisely what those meetings are for. I knew, in the mess that the meetings were quite helpful and why they are life long missions for those addicted to drugs and alcohol. It really made me pause. Sitting there, covered in saucy rice, I thought: “You know? Food addiction is a thing and there should be some sort of program for people like me too.

So here it is: Flavorholic Anonymous.

A while back, a co-worker and I were losing weight and being quite supportive of each other. We did exceptionally well despite being states apart. We shared workouts, recipes, motivation, anything related toward that goal of not being called “overweight/obese” by the doctors. While she went farther than I did, and kept it off, she did say something to me once that resonated with me. I even wrote it down and that sticky note on my Monitor has a slight gathering of dust since it has been there so long:

“I know I am going to have to count everything I eat for the rest of my life.”

There is more truth in those eighteen words than anyone who has not known the struggle of changing to a healthier lifestyle forever will ever know. My view on food was that 1. I loved flavor. 2. I was a stress eater. 3. I am a member of the ‘clean your plat or else’ generation. And, 4. I viewed food as a fun/social thing instead of fuel for my body. These are things that can hurt anyone’s progress.

I had to almost start my journey over from where I started. With my coworker, I had went from 208+ to 148 over a period of 18 months. I counted every bite of food, every exercise. I worked out daily. It wasn’t easy. Once I got comfortable, I slowly slipped into some bad habits. I had a stressful period and, before I knew it, the scale yelled 181 at me.

I was devastated.

What I didn’t do the first time was change my mindset. The entire time, I would spend every extra second of my day planning and thinking and fantasizing about my next meal. It was horrible and tiresome to have my brain wired in such a way that food was the only thing there was when I was not focused on work or whatever. The day I figured out how to change that, my inner voice was totally silent.

The silence was so loud! Yet, it still spoke volumes.

I still have to count everything. I still have to do some physical activity every day. If I stop, the numbers will creep back up there and I am back to wearing those sweatpants with the fuzz balls on the legs. Similar to an alcoholic, they thank a greater being every day and set the intention…one day at a time. As a Flavor Hog, the intention is set when I honestly count everything and remember that food is fuel and not some reward for abstaining from throat punching someone.

There are days when it’s a struggle. I just want to cram my face with a Tasty Kake Honey Bun or two then sleep it off. These are like the days an alcoholic will sit in the parking lot of a bar wondering what’s on tap. While the AA person will call their sponsor, it’s not that simple for me. I have to convince myself that is not a good idea and take that bad intention and work it out. Am I really hungry or can I do something else until this yearning goes away?

I don’t know. I have to keep that demon I refer to ad my inner fat girl suppressed and sometimes, she’s a beast and gets the best of me. It’s a daily struggle.

I cleaned up my mess from lunch. Since I am not going anywhere, I think I will just keep my ricey clothes on as a reminder that the struggle is especially hard today and set the intention to work even harder at it. When I win these battles, tomorrow is better and I feel good about that.

You can join too. No judgement. We are all comrades. Remember:

My name is Micaa. I am a flavorholic.

What do YOU think?

SoCS-Reservation

Funny this is the Stream of Conscious Saturday post prompt. (I reserve the right to spell it out and not put #SoCS. See what I did there? 😁 ) I have to make reservations for my birthday as oh my gawsh I am stressing out.

It is not so much that it is my birthday or even that it is in a couple of month. I am scrambling so hard to figure out how to make it work. People think I am silly when it comes to planning a trip. But jeez! So much to do! The dogs, the kids, the house sitter, the contingency money for the house, the mail, the paper. That is all before we leave home! Not to mention the car, the flight. The … wait … OH YEAH! The reservations!!!!

I really gotta go. I have my own reservations about making this so short, however, how about reading another post and leaving a thoughtful comment? It would be greatly appreciated. Also, don’t be so reserved in your comments. I accept any comment and will reply … within reason. Haha.

Have a great Saturday!

As always, what do YOU think?

This short post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the following link to check out all the other posts (which you can find in the comments) and join in! It’s fun! https://lindaghill.com/2018/06/15/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-16-18/

Their Job is Important

I find it interesting to have epiphanies about things that have changed my line of thinking over the years. It has always bothered me to witness someone talking down to another person just trying to make a living. As a child, I often wondered why people did that. When we studied American slavery in elementary school, I remember thinking why did human beings treat other human beings in such awful ways? I never talked to my parents or family about those things. I observed and studied more than I asked questions when it came to people. Of course, I was curious about all kinds of things. I asked questions about things and how things worked. It was just people that I found I learned more by watching.

I don’t remember where or when, but at some point between the ages of seven and ten, I read a story where a father told his child to always remember the name of the janitor. To not only do that at school, but in life. Janitors are everywhere and they are an important part of living. Schools, apartment buildings, business offices, everywhere you go, there is always the person pushing around the cart or changing the trash. Their feelings and lives are just as important to the greater scheme of things as the CEO or Receptionist. After I read that story, I did just that.

My most memorable and favorite janitor has to be Ms. Georgia. She was the one at my first high school. She never seemed very friendly, but after I had asked her name and began saying hi to her when I seen her, she turned out to be a very sweet lady who loved her job and knew a lot of things. This stuck with me and I try to remind my kids to do the same.

Cal and I take this same token when it comes to cashiers. I mean, if someone is wearing a name tag, speak to them and use their name. You would be surprised the difference it makes. Today, for example, the Walmart cashier looked like she was a cardholder of the Slap a Bitch Quick club. Her name was Michelle. Now think about this. You will be standing in front of this cashier from 2-8 minutes depending on how much you are purchasing. I always greet the cashiers by name as soon as they start scanning my stuff. As soon as I stepped up and said “Good morning Michelle!” Her whole demeanor changed and she carried on small talk with me. I could never be a cashier by trade. However, some of these people like it and make a career of it. Don’t look down your nose at them or treat them bad. Their job is important. Further, there is absolutely no need to use these people as an example for your kids. It is downright cruel. Without these people, you would not have the convenience of shopping like you do.

Further, there is a way to tell your children that you don’t want them to grow up to be a stocker in a grocery store. Standing in front of the guy helping you find something in the pasta aisle at the grocery store and loudly telling your six year old “this is what happens when you don’t go to college” is not at all appropriate, respectful, or getting your point across. Do you know what you teach your kid in that moment? A lot more than “Go to college and make lots of money!” You are teaching them hate. You are teaching them disregard for humanity. You are teaching them that people are not important and, most of all, you are teaching them how to be an asshole…just like you. Nice. Plus one for the dumbass parenting skills there.

My point is, if the job was not necessary, it would not exist. The jobs are important. They enable you to live your life easier and they enable the cashiers, janitors, stickers, wait staff, and call center representatives to work. It gives those people a sense of stability, experience, and most often, livelihood for their families. Just because they are not from the gated community of millionaires like you does not discount their value or importance. If at all, if you have to look down upon them, they are richer than you will ever be.

I am not perfect. I still will be a nasty customer if I have to call customer service. However, I have worked in call centers and know these jobs are important. I will remember the name of the janitors and try to remember to call the cashiers by name. Besides, we see them more than just once. I will sometimes even choose a longer line because I see that miss Elsie is working today. It’s just respect and the fact that I do know their job is important. Not just in the scheme of things but to them too.

What do YOU think?

Guest Post in DogTown

I am grateful for the opportunity to have one of my Courage stories approved to be a Guest Post over on the DogTown blog. Comet and Donner are great and so is their human in understanding my attempt to provide all information requested. Click on the link above to see our post as well as see all the adventures going on in DogTown. There may even be a random cat story!

Thanks again!

#DogTown #GuestPost #Snoopervisors #WhatDoYOUThink

I broke it. I should fix it.

A few days ago, I got up for a 2A.M. puppy potty party (chihuahuas and their teeny tiny bladders won’t let me sleep a night through. Nothing like a cold nose boop on the forehead to wake you from sleeping in fifth gear at zombie in the morning… Ah, but I digress.) I had decided that I too will participate in the call of nature and headed to the bathroom after locking the rascals out. Normally, they give me an extra hour. Not that night.

In my groggy state, I take a seat upon the throne. Now let me stop and give you a back story, so that my line of thinking in my half conscious state will make sense. When my inner fat girl was, in charge, if I leaned over to reach for a new roll while sitting on the pot, the toilet seat would inch over and those little bumper things underneath would slide off the rim of the bowl and the seat would audibly tell me it had made an unsafe movement. Now, I have since lost quite a bit of weight and put that bitch back in the inner sanctum of my mind, hence her new title: “inner fat girl.”

Back to the present.

As I leaned over for a new roll (gotta love the monsters who don’t have any courtesy for the next potty master,) I heard that unsafe movement noise. Instantly, I was wide awake because that honestly hurt my feelings. Here I am feeling good about me because I am feeling good about my weight and stuff. Then Karma comes strolling along with a sense of humor and lets the toilet seat make that noise and hurt my damn feelings. 😡

So, I wrap up the throne business and stand up. As I teach to flush, by the light of the moon, (no pun intended. I love light filtering blinds sillies!) I see a line on the toilet seat. Knowing I was not making a mess, I turn the light on. Just…wow. The seat didn’t move after all. It broke.

Great. With payday ten days away, we had to suffer with a busted toilet seat. Really?

This morning I found a tenspot doing laundry. So guess what? Cal was dragged to the store for a new seat. When we got home, he was called into work. Well, I broke it. I should fix it. So I did!!!

I am a staunch believer that little girls need to be taught to fend for themselves. This includes fixing things. Cal was busy and I was quite capable. Now we all know how I feel about bathroom germs. So this was a super big deal for me as I had to step outside of my comfort circle to do this. Armed with one glove, a screwdriver, and an entire thing of bleach wipes, I set out to fix the toilet. I fixed it and I survived. And Cal was so proud!!

Remember, teach your girls to be able to work along side their man on house and car things. Tell your sons to teach their girls and find a good woman who can fend for herself. It’s a team effort and boy do Cal and I have the best team!

What do YOU think?

Happiness Challenge: What I Love About Me

Taking a moment to step outside the typical post here.

Most of my followers know I often post about Team Snoopervisors, sideways views on funny life happenings, or other random things. At work (the “nine to fiver”) the Wellness lady has initiated a Happiness Challenge for the month of June. She posted a bingo sheet, of sorts, of things to do for the month of June. Yes, there is an incentive, but that is not the important part. The learning that has to happen from this challenge is to do things to bring the happiness and stave off the depression bugs. It is also, I think, meant to teach us all there are things we can do, outside of our daily habits, to make happiness worthwhile. Also, they are things that are not terribly difficult.

I have found quite a few are outside of typical comfort zones for most people. While I started a few days late on this challenge, I am picking the activities that I find hard to do. This being one of them. Ah, but I digress…here goes.

Five things I love about me.

  1. I am all about my husband, family, and work. In that order. Yes, I know I should always put my kids over my other half, but you know what? Without him, there would be no kids and I would not be who I am. Cal completes my circle and he will still be there after the kids have grown up and chasing their own happiness. This is a lifetime and he is my world. The kids are next. I am who I am not only because of Cal but because of the kids. I have a lot of stories about them and oh the many things they have taught me. As parents, we often forget that our children teach us the most valuable things. Some of them being: Always view the world with awe, because it is amazing. Being an adult just numbs our senses to that. Also, they teach us that hate is not genetic that it is learned and love is exactly the same. This and a myriad of other things. Finally work. I love what I do! Yes, I have an education that far exceeds what I am doing right now but this works for me. I look forward to clocking in every day and that is not something many people can say. Collectively, these three most important things have taught me about loyalty and that is what I am. Loyal to my husband as my life partner. Loyal to my children as my family. Loyal to my job because well, I like what I do!
  2. My eyeballs. Well, that may be a stretch but it is hard to think about things you like about yourself! (Especially when there have always been self esteem issues!) I am not content with the fact that I am Thelma-like (reference: Scooby Doo) without my glasses. That is another thing all to itself. I like the color. They are blue. Not just blue but, like, different. I don’t know. I just like them. Secretly, I will stare at them in the mirror just because I like them so much!
  3. I am organized. That is one thing I have always been. While some of it may look like a mess to others, I have a “talent” for reaching into a pile of things and pulling out exactly what you are asking for without having to sort/dig through the entire lot. Ever since I was about 12 or so, I have carried a calendar or organizer book. This is where I got into the habit of planning out things up to a year in advance.
  4. I am mechanically inclined, sort of. As a kid, I would always follow Daddy out to the cars and berate him with questions. “Whatcha dooin?” “What is that for?” “What does this do?” “Why does it need that?” “Can I try?” There was even one time, Daddy told me I could sit in the car but to not touch the gear stick. Um, telling a 7 year old not to touch the gear stick is basically telling her “Go ahead. Try this. See what it does.” I nearly rolled the car off a 8 foot drop into the back yard before I got it back into park. I can fix things if I have to fix them when Cal is at work. I can hang a picture. I can change a tire. If I had to, I could probably fix the car. I always tell our kids. Boys: Get you a woman who can fend for herself. If she can’t, teach her. If she don’t wanna learn, you don’t need her. Girls: Learn how to be self-sufficient. Relationships are team work and nothing should be one sided. Especially working on the cars or fixing something.
  5. That I took the time to do this. I find it difficult to do self-reflection because I tend to go down the road of rattling off all the things that I loathe about me. I have always been like this. The fact that I can step in a different direction and do something like this shows that I can do something for me and appreciate, at least a little, something about myself. I don’t do things for me often as I would prefer to do for my family. (See number 1, the first two mentions.)

So, there you have it. A few things I like about me. That was more difficult than you think! Take the time to do the same for yourself. Warning: It may take a while and it may  prove to be difficult. But, it is something we all should do.

As always, What do YOU think?

Pigeon Preventers And The Hangry Cats

My new favorite dog blog!

It's a Dog's Life

This week’s Guest Blogger: Everyone Has the Best Titles

I am very grateful to feature an adventure of our favorite resident of Maine, mainepaperpusher, her dogs Walter and Greta, and other critters.    

Pigeon Preventers And The Hangry Cats

IMG_6030 Enter a Echo and Lily doing what they do best!caption

One might think that keeping cat food where it should be would be an easy task. Even with dogs in the house, most people are quite successful in keeping their cats well-fed and happy. Our cats, however, are food insecure. When I first heard the term “hangry” I thought of my cats. Putting the words ‘hungry’ and ‘angry’ together was brilliant and a perfect way to describe what my poor felines felt about their disappearing meals and the dog burglar who committed these crimes. You’ve heard of cat burglars? Leave it to us to have a dog burglar. His name is…

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Intelligence Taken Fur Granted

I have never been one to choose a plain dog. Being raised in a dog family, it is my experience that, when you choose a dog, especially a puppy, something about them stands out or is very special to you. I never gave a second thought to the plain dogs of the world. Over the past year, our Mollie (the Shadow Stalker) littered a total of eight puppies. All but one were chosen for their forever homes. This one we had decided to keep. Honestly, it was the next to last one to go that we had initially wanted to keep but how can you say no to the twelve year old girl who fell in love with a particular puppy at first sight? So we were left with Courage. Caption: Courage at seven weeks waiting for the masses to finish eating.

As a tiny pup, Courage wasn’t interested in much. He’s like his mother in that he would rather sit and watch the action instead of participate. Full of manners, he evens let the others get their fill at dinner time and then eat in peace. Just a totally different dog experience for me altogether.

Since the New Year, it has begun to show that there really is something special about this dog. For starters, he is nearly double the weight of his mother and just turned a year old last week! He loves it when I sit down to read, because he knows he is going to get a snuggle and an extended ear rub. Typical dog stuff, I know. Now he usually waits for one of the others to tell me that it is potty time. As you know, I work from home and Courage (and the rest of the pack) are my “Snoopervisors.”)

This particular Snoopervisor has started to show me that he can grab my attention exceptionally well. Sometimes, I will tell the dogs to give me a minute because I want to finish whatever task I am working on before letting them out. This particular day, Mr. Courage was not having it.

Courage has a body more reminiscent of a large weenie dog. Raised up on his hind legs, and still with his butt in the floor, he is tall enough to put his paws on my keyboard tray. Currently, said tray is in a bent track and if you push on it too hard it will jump the track making for a bad day. (Ok, small digression here, it’s bent because I am graceful. That is all.) So, I tell the “team” to give me a minute as I continued to do my work. I must have take a minute or three too long. Courage appears and puts both paws on my leg, Ensures that he has my attention, then proceeds to slowly move his left paw to the keyboard tray. Holding my gaze, this stinker proceeds to push mown on the tray and it pops in warning that anymore pressure and it will fall!

Appalled, I move his paw off the tray. I pop the tray back into place, tell him “Gimme a minute lovey boy!” Then turn back to my task. Without so much as a blink, he literally sighs loud enough for me to turn back to him (mind you, he still has his right paw on my leg.) When I do, again, as if it were a staring contest, he takes his left paw and proceeds to pull down on the keyboard tray. Yes, it popped again.

As I begin to become frustrated with the newly found smart tail gene Courage has tapped into, I remove both paws and put him back down on the floor. I told him that I was almost done. Apparently I did not get the message. Undeterred, Courage moves from the side of my chair to in front of me. All of a sudden, this dog face comes from under my desk and is now between me and the keyboard tray, facing the same direction as I am. Just as quickly, these two stubby legs wit paws come from the same place and proceed to forcefully push the keyboard tray to its resting place under the desk. Caption: That paw!

Courage then looks up at me with this look that says “I know you love me HumanMom!” Of course, it was all over at that point. Potty time it was. No gimme a minute, no wait a second. Right now. Happily, Courage led the pack out of the office to the potty door.

In the days since, other things have happened which show intelligence taken fur granted. I will eventually share some of these.

On a final note, plain dogs are more special than any dog with a special mark or blue eyes. Their special is inside. So far, the biggest dog we have not only towers in size but his heart has so much love and his brain continues to amaze us! I am also of the opinion that plain dogs are not chosen, they are bestowed upon special people!

What do YOU think?

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