Friday, March 30, 2012


This is a reprint of a post I wrote 2 years ago, on another To Write Love on Her Arms Day.

I saved this postcard from several years ago, when I was first diagnosed with depression. Off and on I would set it as my computer desktop picture, to remind me that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

Today is To Write Love on Her Arms day, and I'm going to take part. I said I would last year too, but it was more of an "attending on Facebook" thing. This year I think I'm going to actually write love on my arm. Tomorrow also happens to be a youth group night, which is another reason why I decided to participate this year as well. I want people to ask questions.

I'm sure you have plenty of questions yourselves, and though I realize my blog doesn't have a very high readership, maybe I can raise awareness with even just a few of you. TWLOHA is an organization whose aim and vision is to raise awareness of depression, self-injury and suicide. They also support organizations that promote and help with recovery.
One of the things I both like and hate about depression is that it's hidden. People all around you could suffer from depression and you'd have no idea. I recently learned that a fellow-librarian graduate, Elizabeth, suffers from depression too. I saw Elizabeth almost every day for a year and a half and had no idea. Sometimes, you just can't tell.

TWLOHA is all about telling. Letting people know that you support them, that you hurt too, are hurting now, or have in the past. Whether or not you are ready to write love on your own arms, it's OK. I am participating because I want people to know I'm aware, that I'm a "safe person", for lack of a better way to describe it, that I am someone you can come to and talk to. I've been there, and sometimes I still am.
How about you?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My love affair with coffee

4:45 is very early to have your alarm go off.

It was the summer of 2005. Meant to Live by Switchfoot had just come out, and apparently the radio station I listened to at the time had a set order, because I woke up to Meant to Live almost every morning. I would roll out of bed, throw on my uniform, and be out the door by 5:10 am, at work by 5:30 am. I was working at Dunkin Donuts.

I graduated college in May of 2005 with a degree in journalism and no steady job aside from Dunkin Donuts. Living with my parents, I was paying the few bills I had, and freelancing on the side. It was a decent schedule. Out of work by 12:30 pm, home to nap some days, off to baseball or field hockey games in the afternoon. The only problem was that 4:45 alarm.

Once I got to Dunkin Donuts, one of the first things I did (alongside my set-up duties), was make myself some coffee. I added skim milk and a lot of sugar, and sucked down my first small within 15 minutes of my shift. After that, it was coffee throughout my day, until the early afternoon, of course, so I could sleep at night.

When a Starbucks opened in my town, and I got a decent full time job writing, I discovered the frilly coffee drinks. Though I still enjoy a plain old coffee, now from my Keurig, I often find myself at Starbucks on my way into work. Living in Seattle I embraced the love of coffee and now? I can't start my morning without it.

This post inspired by Mama's Losin' It's weekly writing prompt.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New car basics

I've bought all of one car in my life. His name is Max, short for Maximum Speed.

Max is getting up there in years; he turned 9 this year! I was reminiscing about when I first bought him, and thought I'd post some new car buying tips that I learned when I was searching for mine!

The number one thing you should do before buying a car, is figure out how much you want to put down, and save, save, save! Look at your budget and make mock car payments to yourself until you have a decent amount. Many people suggest between 10 and 20 percent. I say 10 percent minimum, more if you can.

Then, of course, there's the decision of what kind of car you want. I'll be honest with you. When I bought my Volkswagen Beetle I didn't do any research on it aside from asking my dad for his opinion on Volkswagens. I had an idea of how much I could afford in a car payment, so when I researched cars and saw that the Beetle was within my price range, I jumped on it! Maybe I should have done more research, but I've had the car 6 years and it's 9 years old, so I think it's treated me right.

Aside from what kind of car you want, I think the biggest decision is used or new. Between my frugality and my penchant for non-consumerism, I always lean toward used. You'll want to make sure your new car is certified pre-owned, because that means it went through a myriad of tests before it even hits the lot. My car came with brand new brakes, because they needed to be replaced, for example.
You can consider an ex-lease, but I wouldn't consider an ex-rental, because no one takes care of a rental.

Most important of all, make sure you love your car! My VW Beetle is so much fun, to me. It's fun to drive, and it's fun to say I own a Beetle. It will be my last fun car before I have to buy a kid-friendly car (have you ever tried to put a car seat in the back of a 2 door? It's a big pain!) Test drive as many or as few cars as you want (I only drove 1!) but just make sure you enjoy your car, because hopefully you'll be together for a long time!

Do you have any car buying tips? Are you in the market for a new car?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ten things to write about when you have blogger's block

If you're like me you've run into blogger's blog now and then. In fact, I'm running into it right now! So here are some tips for when you have no idea what to write about. You may be seeing more of these in the next week or two, until I get inspired again!

  1. Repost a previous post. Have a post you love? Repost it! Just make sure it hasn't been posted recently.
  2. Find a link-up! There are plenty out there. Brunch with Amber does It's OK Thursday. My Pretty Pennies does a Weekly Money Check-up. Fabulous but Evil has The Nail Files, and Mrs. Monologues does Fur Baby Friday. Just check your blog roll, there are plenty out there.
  3. Post a list of posts you found interesting in the past week. Bloggers love promotion and it feels especially good if you find that someone else liked a post you worked hard on.
  4. Post a recipe you tried and love. I'm not into posting or really reading recipes, but lots of people love them. It's easy to do and takes as much time as writing up the recipe! Make sure you tell people where you got it from.
  5. Review a book you read recently. Everyone loves to hear about a new book to read, especially if it isn't a huge, popular one. Read: don't review The Hunger Games.
  6. Write about an experience you had. Be it the last time you stayed in a hotel, or the day you closed on your house, write it out. Most people love a good story, especially if it's well written.
  7. Write your goals. This, obviously, is typically used for the beginning of the month, but it doesn't have to be! Write the goals you hope to accomplish in that week. I find that writing out my goals and posting them publicly helps keep me accountable.
  8. Write about what you're watching these days. Whether it's Scrubs, which has been off the air for several years, or The Killing whose second season starts in April (yes, I'm watching both!), write about it! It's always interesting to see what people are watching.
  9. Post a picture or two. Have a picture you recently took that you love? Post it, along with the story behind it.
  10. Write a list. There are so many things to list. Things to write about when you have blogger's block, things you learned your first year of marriage, or planning your wedding. Buying a house. Whatever you feel like listing!
What are your tips or tricks when you have blogger's block?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fur Baby Friday!

Typical morning routine:

Hermione loves the bathroom. She used to hate it, because when I first got her I lived in an apartment where the fan turned on with the light. I had another lamp in there, so I only turned the light on when I was going to shower, so she took to running out.
Somewhere along the line, that changed. Whenever I shower I can almost always guarantee that I'll get out, to see Hermione sitting on my towel, on the toilet. She's never far from either of us when we're getting ready, and often hops into the tub to do God knows what. Lick the sides, I guess.

Clarabelle loves sinks. We think it's because it's like a box for her, but she loves them. She is almost always in the least until Geoff turns the water on to shave. Then she crouches on my side of the sink, glaring at him because he dared move her. When she's not on the counter, she's typically on the scale or on the heating vent. She, too isn't very far from us while we're getting ready.

I swear, I have two of the weirdest cats.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The last time I stayed at a hotel...

Mama’s Losin’ It

When I walked in, it took my breath away.

It was the Parker House hotel in Chicago, and we were there for my sister's college graduation.
"I can't believe we're staying here!" I said, looking around. My parents had stayed here before, and they knew how much I loved it when I visited them then, so they got us two (connected) rooms for the weekend.

The history of the hotel is that it was built for a rich man's wife, years and years ago. Now owned by Hilton hotels, it retains it's original features in the rooms and lobby. Each door still has the original wood, and the round doorknobs, not the generic, handicap accessible metal ones.

Every room was different, and the bathrooms were not furnished not with the typical toilet and counters. The rooms looked like they were each individually designed, like something I would like it my house. My family mocks me, but I love staying in hotels and this one had me in fits!

Then there were the beds. Oh, the beds! It was like sleeping on air, with the feather mattress, and the feather comforter. There were so many layers and I just snuggled right into them. 

I've been spoiled for all hotels from here on out.

This writing prompt brought to you by Mama Kat. The prompt was: "What was the occasion? Write about the last time you stayed in a hotel."

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fur Baby Friday!

I've had a pretty intense week, blogging-wise. And by intense I mean not very fluffy. So, today I'm being fluffy! In the form of kitties!
By the way, if you haven't read yesterday's post, you really should.

Anyway, onto Fur Baby Friday!

Today's picture is of Hermione as a baby. This is before she went "poof" as I say, and got all fuzzy. She was still crazy as ever though!

Yeah, who can't love that face??

Sometimes it's hard to remember she was ever that little!

Go link up with pictures of your fur babies!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

You can't make a difference on your butt

I remember several years ago, when internet shopping was just getting big, there was a man who attempted to live a year without leaving his house. He ordered everything he needed off the internet, although I'm sure he was very bored.

The internet has come a long way in a short amount of time, relatively speaking. We can now sit on our couch and make money, announce pregnancies, engagements and deaths. We can congratulate people and wish everyone Merry Christmas/Happy whatever holiday without even leaving your house to buy stamps and mail holiday cards. In many ways, the internet has made us very lazy.

Here's a news flash: Posting your bra color isn't going to cure breast cancer. Telling everyone covertly where you put your purse isn't going to stop domestic violence. And posting videos of starving children isn't going to feed them, or stop child trafficking.

I rarely read articles posted on Facebook. I rarely share articles unless they are hysterically funny or for a cause I support and know about (and even then, they are few and far between). The fact of the matter is, posting random videos and articles about a variety of social issues isn't going to solve them. Awareness is one thing, but without action, it's meaningless.

This past week there was a huge to-do about KONY 2012, both for and against. For a couple days it was all over Facebook (the same videos, over and over again) and Twitter. Then, suddenly, it all stopped. People moved on, and started posting other videos, about other issues. Or about funny cats.

But you know what? There are still 30,000 homeless, starving, deprived and tortured children out there. Posting that video to Facebook did absolutely nothing to help that but bring a fleeting feeling of sadness and, yes, probably the desire to help. But it's fleeting.

I'm not telling you to donate to every cause you come across on Facebook. I'm not asking you to stop posting these things. If you feel the need to do that, then go for it. What I am asking is that you do more than just post a sad video while sitting on your couch.

Because "raising awareness" without actually taking action is just as meaningless as posting your bra color in your status.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I started this post back in December 2010, left it as a draft, and completely forgot about it! But it seems that everyone is posting about tattoos lately, so I wanted to as well. Don't blame me for following the leader!

The other day I was hit with the desire to get another tattoo. It was fleeting, for various reasons, but for some reason at that moment I wanted one. I wanted to permanently write love on my arm. Like I said, it was a fleeting feeling, and when I told Geoff about it he laughed, and told me I was being pretentious. I may have been, but it was the feelings behind the tattoo that mattered, to me. Of course Geoff wouldn't understand, but the fact of the matter is, I wanted him to. I wanted everyone to know that I struggle with depression; not all the time, but off and on. I don't want it to be a secret anymore.

With the recent tattoo postings I have the desire again. I want people to see my tattoo and ask what it means. I also struggle with the idea that there are far too many cliche tattoos out there, and many, many tattoos incorporate the word love.
But that's OK, because all tattoos are different, and they all have meaning to the person with them.

I'll probably never get my tattoo. I already have one, and Geoff doesn't like tattoos. I got my tattoo when we were dating, and it was a huge argument. Now that we're married, I've chosen to respect his wishes and not get another one. Do I regret it sometimes? Yes, but I don't think I could live with the idea that he doesn't approve, or that I bullied him into agreeing every time I looked at my tattoo. So for now, I just dream.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It's not baby time

I'm not anti-babies, I just thought this was funny. Especially since I'm a librarian.

Babies are everywhere right now. I'm not even kidding when I say I know of a baby due in February (born, obviously now!), March, April, May and June. I think there's a break for July, one in August and another in October. And they're always being announced.

I suppose it's to be expected. Many of my friends have been married 2+ years (though I do still have several getting engaged/single) and we're all 28/29 years old. So it makes sense. In my mind, 2 years is the golden year to have a baby, or at least start talking about it. I felt a tremendous amount of pressure (that I didn't realize at first) to plan our baby-making schedule out.

Funny thing was, every time I put a date on it (we'll talk, and probably start trying in X month) I'd get to that time, and push it out further. I suppose this should have been a clue that I'm not ready.

Then we went to Hawaii, and rediscovered each other all over again. And I came to a realization. I'm not ready to give up our us time.
A friend made a comment that really stuck with me. She said, "you've been married a short, 2 years..." When you look at it that way, rather than, "you've already been married 2 years," it changes everything.

So, I threw out my plan. And suddenly, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Just because I'm 28 doesn't mean I need a baby. Just because I've been married 2 years doesn't mean I need a baby. I want to travel, I want to cross things off my baby bucket list. I want to lose weight. I want to date my husband!

We dated long distance for 4 years before we got married. If you put together all the weeks we spent in person, it's a like we only dated 16 weeks. Four short months together in person, before we got married (I guess it's more like 9, because we did spent 5 months together before I went to grad school). However you look at it, 4 or 9 months isn't very long.

So, we're in our selfish phase. We're traveling, going to school, losing weight, and loving our alone time. Coming to this realization was more freeing than any of the planning I was trying to do.

*Note: I didn't want this to come across as judging in any way, shape or form. Everyone chooses to do things in their own time. Some people have kids young, so they can travel when they're out of the house. We've choosing to travel first. Thankfully, everyone does things differently, or else we'd all have babies at the same time, and that would be weird.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Eleven random things

I was tagged by Elspeth to do this little meme, and I'm glad I was, because it looked like a lot of fun when I was reading hers!

There are six rules:

1. Post these rules.
2. Post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog and tell them you've tagged them.
6. No saying, "If you are reading this, you're tagged."

Eleven random things:

1. I prefer to watch a TV show long after the series has ended rather than while it's still on the air.
Some examples include: Lost, Friends, Scrubs, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and King of Queens. When I get involved in a show like How I Met Your Mother, which is still on the air, it's torture to me to have to wait for the next season to come out on DVD (because, of course, I don't have cable). It's much easier to just watch the next episode on Netflix instant.

2. I didn't realize my hair was wavy until I was 22.
Back in the mid-90s, I got a perm. Despite its name, perms are not permanent, and I was convinced that I did something to make it come out. I used to think that it "came back" whenever my hair was wet.
Turns out it has always had curls, and if you have curly or wavy hair, you know that the most important thing is NOT to brush it. I need to use stuff in my hair to get the waves, because they don't know how to dry properly without being frizzy, but now that I know how to manage my hair, I love it! (Most days)

3. I want to be a beer snob.
Similarly to Elspeth's beer-geek admission, I love beer. I want nothing more than to be a beer snob the way some people are wine snobs.
I think I started loving beer because I wanted to be the cool girl who likes beer. The fact that I actually like it, coupled with the fact that I'm really not a huge fan of wine, sealed the deal for me. I almost always order beer in a restaurant (on tap, of course, and local is always best!) when I'm ordering a drink.

4. I love hearts.
When I was little, I had heart curtains, sheets and a comforter in my room. I'm convinced that these things spawned a love for hearts. I love all things heart. The first necklace Geoff gave me when we started dating was a heart. If it wasn't so girly, I'd decorate everything with hearts! Surprisingly, I don't have a heart tattoo, however, because I find them cliche.

5. I collect (cute) dragons.
Most of my dragons have come from my grandmother, and I honestly don't remember how the collecting started. This is a little known fact, and I like it that way, because otherwise I'd probably have a million dragons that people gave me because they know I like them. I have dragon figurines, stuffed animals, and I've been working, for a long time, on a dragon cross stitch.

6. I failed my sophomore honor's English midterm.
I love to read and write. I'm a librarian. I'm a writer. And yes, I failed an English midterm. I sailed through English my freshman year, and it was obvious to both my teacher and I that I should have been in the "humanities" course that year. So, I was placed in Honor's English, and did terrible.
I'm a decent student, but I'm not a straight-A student, and I'm okay with that.

7. I'm a suburb girl through and through.
I grew up 15 minutes North of Boston, close enough to go into the city, far enough not to be living in the city. I now live in the same proximity to the city on the other side of the country, and it's perfect. I've never lived in the city, and while I admit it could be nice not to have to deal with car insurance or gas, I don't think I could do it. I love the quiet of the suburbs!

8. 90% of the time I'm not a girly-girl, but 10% of the time I really want to be one.
I don't wear makeup. I typically don't wear nail polish. I get pedicures about once a year. I wear a t-shirt to work every day (well, that's my uniform!) But when my husband has the opportunity to rent a tux and I can dress up, I absolutely love it.

9. I love my birthday.
That's right, folks. I'm 28, and I still love my birthday. I spend 4-6 weeks before my birthday reminding people that it's coming up, and on that wonderful day, September 10, I'm all smiles. I also love receiving gifts, which goes along well with enjoying my birthday.

10. I hate math, but numbers fascinate me.
I think this comes from the fact that my birthday is 9-10. When we decided on our wedding date, I was thrilled, because it's a palindrome....01.02.2010. Yet, I hate math. Go figure.

11. I love to bake, hate to cook, yet would rather eat a good meal than a sweet dessert.
Those are slightly related. Baking is a science, cooking is an art. There is little experimenting with baking, and I love that. Baking is cut and dry. You need x amount of sugar, to activate the yeast, and another x amount of salt, to stop the yeast when it's done rising. Mess with those numbers, and you won't get a properly risen bread.
Cooking bores me. I feel like I need to be more creative, but I don't have the interest or inclination to do that. And yet, I'd rather eat a good meal than the cookies I've baked. I have a savory tooth, not a sweet tooth!

And, Elspeth's questions to me:

1. What's your favorite cookie?
Panera's chocolate duet cookie. Chocolate, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and walnuts? Delicious.

2. What's the silliest thing you've ever done to save money?
Geoff says "you made your husband install a clothesline". I don't think this is silly, though.

3. What's the silliest thing you've ever done to get someone to like you?
I used to stay up until long after midnight, talking to my husband on IM on nights I had to be at work at 5 am. :)

4. If you are unmarried: what is your dream location/time-of-year for a wedding? If you are married: what would it be if you could do it again?
I'm married, obviously! Our anniversary is Jan. 2, 2010. I absolutely love that date, but there are times that I wonder what we were thinking! Mostly because it's so close to Christmas that it makes gifts difficult.
I suppose if I were to do it again it would be in the fall, because New England colors are just...amazing. So, likely it would be in October, some time.

5. What do you do when you're bored?
When I'm not poking around on the internet, I'm playing Plants vs. Zombies. If I've managed to pry myself off my computer (it's a problem) then I'm either knitting or cross stitching.

6. What does your dream home look like?
It's old, but doesn't need a lot of work. It was built in the late 1800s, and has a small staircase off the kitchen, for the servants and another, nice one, in the front of the house. There are hardwood floors, and it creaks. It has character and it's far from a "cookie cutter house".
Logistically speaking, it'll have at least 2 bathrooms, and the master bathroom will have 2 sinks. And it would be nice to have a little land.

7. What is your biggest musical guilty pleasure?
Katy Perry. Don't judge. I love Firework.

8. What is your most prized possession?
I didn't know what to say to this, so I asked Geoff. He said, "Snapper Blanket" (which is my baby blanket). Ok then.

9. What single life experience of yours are you most grateful for?
My cross country trip with my dad. It was during a horrible time in my life, it was incredibly stressful, and, in many ways, I still can't think about it. But. It was a wonderful experience with my dad, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

10. What one movie do you wish you never wasted your time watching?
Bambi II. There's 86 minutes of my life I'm not going to get back.

11. What was the first reality TV show you liked?
A Baby Story, on TLC. I used to run home every afternoon and watch it in high school, often with my best friend, Kristin. Consequently we both know a lot more than we should about babies, newborns and pregnancy. It actually scares Geoff a bit!

OK! If you go through all that (I hope so, because I barely did!) then I'm going to tag you. I know it's against the rules, but I'm doing it anyway. I honestly don't know who to tag! Also, I have insecurities, and I'm afraid if I tag someone they won't do it, and I'll be sad. So have at it. Here are my questions:

1. Have you ever wanted to change your name? What to?
2. How many states have you traveled to?
3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
4. Favorite quote?
5. Everyone has one...what word do you hate the sound of?
6. What was your favorite grade in elementary school?
7. What movie could you watch over and over and still never get sick of it?
8. If you could do anything in the world, what job would you want?
9. What's your favorite season?
10. Coffee or tea?
11. What is the best gift you've ever received?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fur Baby Friday!

I love my fur babies so much. Have you ever noticed that you can chat with someone, even a perfect stranger, for hours on the weird/adorable/funny things your pets do? I thought I'd write a few of the weird habits that my kitties have, for this week's Fur Baby Friday!

Lets start with Hermione.

This cat has more personality than any other cat I've ever known. That's probably not true, but I feel like I have to say it, because I'm her mommy.
Hermione is a southern girl, born in Alabama and transplanted to Seattle. She is 3 years old, and still acts like a kitten. Some of her weird quirks include...

  • Sticking her paw out and pulling your hand down to her face to scratch it
  • Tearing through the house like a bat outta hell
  • Chewing on everything that comes anywhere near her mouth
  • Jumping into the bathtub after one of us showers
  • Licking inside Geoff's ears in the morning, if he isn't up to feed her yet

Clarabelle, on the other hand, loves to sleep. She's older, so it's probably expected, but I swear that cat spends about 30 minutes of the day actually awake.
Clarabelle likes to...
  • Play with straws
  • Lick catnip pillows until they're disgusting
  • Cuddle. Seriously, this cat has to be ON TOP of you. If you try to move her, she'll just come back. Try too many times and she'll actually "bite" you (rest her teeth on you). We call her a violent cuddler.
  • Sleep in the bathroom sink
My cats are so weird. What do your pets do?

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I'm not gonna lie to you, I'm tired.

Hawaii was wonderful. So wonderful, in so many ways. I told Geoff I fell in love with him all over again (to which he replied he never stopped loving me in the first place, then I felt bad). It was so great to disconnect from the world and reconnect with each other. That vacation, a year anticipated and 2 years since our honeymoon, was so long overdue.

I guess I never realized how busy our life was until I was away from it all, and looking at this. Every day. It was amazing.

I'll show you some of our pictures, but to be honest, we didn't do a lot. We did a lot of this:

and this:

We visited some awesome places like one of the volcanos...

I forget which volcano this is, but it's constantly erupting into the ocean. This part of it is just steaming. A lot. We were actually standing in a crater, looking at another crater, and the steaming is coming from a crater in that. A little ridiculous, right? I knew Hawaii was made up of volcanos, but I had no idea how much history they have! For example, the craters are just parts of the mountain collapsing on themselves, millions of years ago.

This is the view from the place where we stayed. Doesn't look like Hawaii, does it? Well, first of all, we were on the leeward side of the island, so it doesn't rain as much (excellent for me!) Second, those rocks out there? Miles and miles of a'a lava spewed from volcanoes again, millions of years ago. It was fascinating.

We also went to a luau which, I think, is really the most important thing to do when you go to Hawaii.

Yes, in that pile of leaves and things, is our dinner!

Anyway, when we weren't swimming, or ogling the volcano, or going to a luau, we were relaxing, and basking in being together. Alone. {cue gagging, I know, but it's the truth}

Then we got back. And my assistant teacher is away, so I've been on my own, developing my skills in my classroom. And Geoff's school is winding down for the quarter, so life went back to being hectic. And even though it's only been about a week since we got back, I'm trying to hold onto those days on the beach so tightly, and reassure myself that it won't be another 2 years before we go away together again.
I love this man.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I'm obsessed with Scentsy...

I'm obsessed with Scentsy lately.

I think this would go great in my bathroom!

This one would look great in my red kitchen!
And don't even get me started on the scents. I wish I could smell them all!

I also recently learned that the oils they use in things like Air Wick can cause cancer, infertility and a myriad of other issues in people and pets! This makes me all the more excited to use something else!

The only problem? I don't own any! I need your help. Come buy some Scentsy stuff (anything at all!) so I can start my own collection! Otherwise, there may be issues with my husband.

Honestly, I don't normally do this stuff...but I like the idea of having an online party because this way I don't have to clean the house!

Monday, March 5, 2012

I have two gym memberships.

Yes, it's true, I am a member at two different gyms. Yes, I also proclaim to be frugal.

Allow me to explain. I work for a gym. Well, I don't actually work for the gym myself, but I work for a company that owns a gym and I do childcare (not while people work out. This is getting confusing. I apologize). Anyway, I get one of those gym memberships for free, a savings of almost $550 a year, not counting the initial joining fee (why do gyms even have that?)

I'm also a member of Gold's Gym, which is roughly the same price. It's obviously a little more because both Geoff and I are members, but I think my half is about the same amount. The question you may (or may not) have is, why not cancel the membership at Gold's? Especially considering in May my membership will become a family membership, and Geoff can go with me.

It would make perfect sense to do that. The organization I work for (which I won't name, but you probably can figure it out) has a gym literally 5 minutes away from my work. I can easily go between shifts (I work a split shift, morning and afternoon), shower, and head back to work. Or to Starbucks, which is where I am now, to wait for my next shift. Or run errands.

However...the Gold's is also literally 5 minutes away...from our house. My job is about 30 minutes from home. I think you may see where this is going.
Having two gym memberships, one of which I don't pay for, is very convenient for me, and I like convenience. When there are less that 5 hours between my shifts, I stay in town. It isn't worth my time or gas to spend an hour traveling just to have 3 hours at home. However, finding something to occupy 4 hours of my day is also difficult. So, I go to the gym. That's where having a membership there is great.

Yet most days I have 5 hours between shifts, so I go home. Sometimes I don't even start until 2 pm. On these days, and on the weekends (theoretically) I can go to Gold's, because it's so close to home. I love having the options of both gyms. {Plus, Gold's is a little nicer than the other gym, and I'd miss those awesome locker rooms} Sure, I could save a lot of money by canceling my half of the one I pay for, but I chose convenience over money, just this time. That said, I would cancel my membership if money got very tight, but since we can afford it, I choose to keep it.

Is it the right choice? For me, yes. Others enjoy the benefits of a free gym membership. Me? I frequent both, and don't lose sleep over the extra money spent.

What would you do if you were in the position of having two gym memberships?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fur Baby Friday!

Now that I'm back from Hawaii, it's back to my regularly scheduled blog posts. Which really may not be that many, because work is busy, and I honestly have no ideas right now. I will put together a few posts with pictures from Hawaii though! Soon.

Anyway, when Mrs. Monologues posted about her puggle with a chronic condition, I thought it was sweet, and wanted to post about how our Clarabelle came into our lives!

I had been volunteering with Purrfect Pals for a few months when Clarabelle came to the store I volunteer at. She was 6 at the time, and her family was losing their home, so they surrendered her. She had a flea allergy and was, literally, half bald. From the middle of her stomach down she had very little fur. It was slowly growing back, but living at the store is really stressful, so she wasn't getting the love and cuddles that would encourage it to go along faster.

You can kind of see her sad baldness in this picture, but it was coming in quickly by then.

So here she is, half bald, skinny, and older, in the middle of kitten season. {Everyone wants a kitten, and very often the "older" cats, from about 5 and up, are overlooked. This is especially sad because cats live to be 20+ so really, 5 isn't that old}
I had absolutely no intention of getting another cat. Though Hermione flourishes with the attention of another cat, I didn't realize she needed a companion, plus I was not working at the time, so it just didn't cross our minds. Then, a little cold went around, and turned into an upper respiratory infection in Clarabelle and another cat.
Both kitties were taken to the shelter for meds, and the other one, whose name I don't remember, was so sick that one of the staff brought him home that night. He didn't make it through the night. He was 2. Later, after an autopsy, they discovered he had what is like walking pneumonia in humans. Since cats hide their pain, there was no way of knowing.

Clarabelle needed some place to stay for 2 weeks while she was on the antibiotics and recovered. Since the other kitty had just died, I felt terrible, and offered to bring her home. After assuring my husband that it would only be for 2 weeks, I took her home.
She was so sick that she didn't eat at first, she was constantly coughing and sneezing, and was downright miserable. I was so afraid she would die on us. When she finally felt better she insisted on leaving the bathroom she was staying in, and would plop herself right down in the sun, and sleep there for hours. Her fur started coming in, and it turned out she is what we call a violent cuddler (she will actually try to bite you when you take her off your lap!)

When we had an open cage at the store, I told Geoff I would bring her back, if he wanted. Though I wanted to keep her, I knew the decision had to be made by him. Thankfully, he relented, and we've had our sweet kitty for about a year and a half. I love to tell the story and say, she was only supposed to be with us 2 weeks. That was in July 2010.

The funny thing is, despite the fact that Geoff was resistent to her at first, she has turned into a total daddy's girl, and he adores her.

So that's how our sweet Clarabelle came into our lives...and we wouldn't have it any other way.

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