Posted in Written Word Wednesdays

Written Word Wednesday: This Time Last Year

July 3rd: This time last year, we treated you to a pre-4th hike so you’d have the chance to relax and have fun before a day that usually resulted in you cowering in a dark, quiet corner, fan and music turned up high.

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July 4th: This time last year, I was so proud of you for being social, tail wagging, greeting visitors and having a generally calm day.

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July 5th: This time last year, you were still here.

Yesterday, I thought of you as I watched a lantern float up in the sky, floating farther and farther away from my reach, like your memory, like my recollection of the feeling of your fur, the shape of your face, the sound of your bark, the personality of your walk.

Next year, when I bring up “this time last year”, I’ll remember the myriad rhubarb desserts, deliciously unplanned like four girls at the prom wearing the same dress and each looking spectacular in their own way. I’ll remember the hilarity of mini confetti poppers.

But I won’t be able to say “this time last year, you were still here”.

Ah, time is a strange thing, isn’t it?

To Holding Tight to Precious Memories,

Violet

Posted in Thoughts on...Thursdays

Thoughts on…Thursday: Thinking Out Loud Link Up

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Reaching out

I haven’t given myself a checkmark in awhile, so I figured this new Lent series I’m doing to reach out is a good a time as any to dust the cobwebs off it and use it.  Continuing on my search for awesome new link ups, today I’m linking up with Amanda over at running with spoons.

This one I think perfectly matched up with what I usually do on Thursdays, anyway, so totally a win-win situation!  Except with this link up I do little snippets of what I’m thinking right now as opposed to one long (sometimes rambling) post on a very specific subject that I took time to think about.

So, regular Thoughts on Thursday is Violet thinking…Thinking Out Loud Thursday link ups is Violet thinking without any censors…any questions???  😉  (If so, feel free to leave them as a comment at the end!)

If, at the end of reading my random craziness and want to join in on the link up fun, you can see the complete rules here.  Well, here goes nothing!  🙂

Thinking-Out-Loud

1) Coconut oil.  YUM.  Where have you been all my life?  Aside from the fact that coconut is one of my very favorite scents in the whole universe (others being vanilla, pineapple, snow, and bookstores–yes, they have a smell), the wonderful creations in which coconut oil is an ingredient are drool-worthy.  I was hosting a “Gal”-entine’s party (though I’m married, I still love doing Valentine’s-y things with my gal pals) and trying to think of a good treat I can make for a friend who’s doing a raw vegan diet, and I came upon a recipe for strawberry milkshake fudge.  Yes, you heard me right.  Strawberry.  Milkshake.  Fudge.  Turns out she couldn’t make it to the party, but I ended up making the fudge anyway, and it was a hit even to those not on a diet.  I fully plan on making it again.  Anyway, that recipe called for some coconut oil, so I grabbed a jar from my mom’s house that she said she never used.  So I had all this leftover coconut oil that I had to figure out something to do with.  Since then, I’ve fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the coconut oil and made a scrumptious tofu curry with it.  The jar’s almost empty and now I’m thinking it’s an ingredient I should always keep on hand.
Product DetailsThis is the kind I have.  Amazing.

2) My doggie chewing.  It’s probably one of the cutest things I’ve seen (but then again, my doggie generates many cute things).  For those who have dogs with a snout that sticks out (as opposed to a dog like a pug or bulldog–not that I have anything against these breeds, but their non-snouts don’t quite have the same effect), you probably know what I’m talking about.  Watching those little micro-muscles help with his mastication is so endearing.  It looks like  he’s opening his mouth to talk.  And he gives a little Elvis lip sometimes when he’s concentrating really hard on chewing.  I picture him having a mafia-type voice in these moments.  When he’s not chewing, I picture his voice as a bit dopey and Gomer-y.
Questions:  What’s your favorite part of your pet, if you have one?  What kind of voice do you picture them to have?

3) Dancing With the Stars.  The new season’s premiere starts on March 17th.  I’m pretty stoked for it.  I gotta admit I was a little confused when I saw Erin Andrews in the cast picture.  I was all, “What the heck?  Is she going to compete again?  Why isn’t anyone else getting a second chance (barring the DWTS all stars season they had)?”  And then I found out she was going to be the co-host, and that’s pretty cool.  I mean, she’s already a seasoned interviewer and she has the added benefit of having gone through the DWTS process.  I’m excited to see what kind of host she’ll be.  The contestants I’m most excited about are Candace Cameron, Danica Mckellar, and Drew Carey.
But…no Harold Wheeler and the band?  What the heck?!
That being said, I’m curious about this whole “switching partners” twist.  It should be interesting.  Anyone know if they’re going back to the Monday & Tuesday format, or are they going to do Mondays-only like last season (totally lame, by the way)?

4) The Bachelor.  Yeah.  So, speaking of reality TV…(hey, don’t judge)
Is it just me, or is this season pretty boring?  For some reason I find myself either skipping episodes or not paying attention to what’s going on, and I’ve never once done this for any Bachelor/Bachelorette season.  For the record, I’ve been watching ever since Brad Womack, Part One, which I believe was back in 2007?  But I’ve since done a little research (I’m nothing if not thorough sometimes) and I’m familiar with Trista’s season, and Andy/Tessa’s season, and the whole Jen Scheft book deal thing.  (I promise that I do have a life.)  I just don’t think Juan Pablo’s got anything going for him.  It was kinda like Ben’s season, but I don’t remember how I managed to not skip any Ben episodes.  I did enjoy that finally someone had the courage to speak out and say what was on the audience’s minds:  Juan Pablo’s a pretty shallow guy who doesn’t ask anything about anyone else.  I’m glad that caught on and turned into a discussion during the Women Tell All.


Anyway.  For those of you who participate in the train wreck that is watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette, who was your favorite and least favorite?  For the record, my all-time favorite is Jillian Harris by a landslide.  Love that girl!

Also, if you happen to be a fan of her fashion and interior designing as much as I am, she has a blog!  Check it out!

5) Shakira. Um.  Okay, last mention of reality TV, but watching this second season of The Voice with her as one of the judges has just solidified how awesome I think Shakira is.  I totally get why people crush on her now:  she’s sexy without trying too hard, nice, genuine, and really smart.  What else could you ask for?  Also, Adam & Blake are freakin’ adorable.

Usher, though?  Meh.
6) “Happy” by Pharrell (sp?) Williams, from Despicable Me 2 soundtrack.  I’m probably gonna get flack for this, but I feel like this song is the modern-day “My Life Will Go On” by Celine Dion.  Good song in its own right, and catchy.  But after hearing it over and over and over again, I can’t get it out of my head and kinda wish it would go away for a little while so I can like it again.  Also, “Let it Go” from Frozen.  I’ve heard so many remakes, parodies, and in different languages.  Just can’t handle anymore.

7) Jennifer Nettles. To end on a positive note, though, the music I am totally digging is on the new solo album by Jennifer Nettles.  Great melodies, great lyrics, great voice (at least in my humble opinion).  I dig it all.  What new albums are you enjoying?
Here’s my favorite song so far from her album, though that changes on a weekly basis:

BONUS:  While searching for a video of this song on YouTube, I just now discovered it’s the next single off of her album and I got to watch the lyric video!  Hooray for happy surprises!  🙂

Thanks everyone for following my random ramblings.

To Saying What’s On Your Mind!

Violet

 

 

Posted in Making Memories Mondays

Making Memories Monday: A Fresh Start

Happy Monday, dear readers!  🙂  I hope this week is proving to have a great start for you.

For me, I feel as if this week is a chance to start again.  At the beginning of last week, I had every intent to keep the everyday-posting momentum I started two weeks ago.  I was ready to go with a topic in mind for every single day, and I had a draft written up for each one, too.  Unfortunately, nothing came to fruition.  The good news, though, is that it should be easier to do a post every day this week, because each post is already about halfway done.  So I’m feeling really optimistic about this week.

It also feels like a fresh start for me because it’s a new month, and as far as pictures go, I have to say the list of items for March is the one I’m most excited about.  Each item really conjures up a great and fun adventure in my mind.  So let’s begin, shall we?

March (week one)

DSCN5167Your pet on a walk

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Friday, March 1st just happened to be my dear doggie Dexter’s ninth birthday, so I thought that was the perfect excuse to do dog walk pictures.  He got treated to not one, but two long walks to his favorite parks in my town.  We were thinking of adding a third and going to the off-leash dog park, but it was too rainy for that.  We did, however, make up for it by taking him for a swim in a lake on Sunday.

DSCN5167Your exercise routine

I have to say I’m pretty proud of myself for picking up a consistent exercise routine again.  I’ve come across a few weight loss blogs that have been very inspirational, so I thought it’s about time I started working on getting healthy, too.  I’ve done some form of exercise every day for the last two weeks, so I’m hoping it’ll stick.  Weight loss is hard, but I’m taking baby steps to a healthier lifestyle.  Anyhow, here is my usual routine (warning:  there are some silly/embarassing pictures, but you have my permission to giggle at them.  I know I did).

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Step one: don an adorable and inspirational workout shirt.  This one’s my absolute favorite and it’s this one I try to always wear.  The only times I don’t are when I didn’t have time to clean it.  Those times I do have cute backup shirts, but they pale in comparison to the perfection that is this one.  Seeing as I’m obsessed with unicorns, I think this completely embodies what I feel like when I work out.  Go, rhino, go!  🙂  One day I hope to be a beautiful unicorn, too.  😉

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Step two:  the nerve-racking weigh in.  I like to weigh in on the Wii because I personally think it’s more fun than stepping onto a scale, and I almost always do a balance test afterwards, which is good for me.  Also, it’s kind of fun to see my cute little Mii hanging out with my hubby’s Mii.  She even has a little pooch like me.  What’s also kinda cool about Wii weigh-ins is that it gives you weight, BMI, an opportunity set a goal for yourself, a mini-celebration if you reach your goal, and encouragement if you don’t.  And your Mii’s body shape changes along with the changing of your BMI, so you can see on the screen (as well as your own body, I hope) your progress.  You also get to mark your progress with a stamp.  All these things are very encouraging to me, as I need lots of praise when I take on a difficult journey.

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This day I happened to lose more than two pounds, so I totally patted myself on the back.  Yay me!  🙂

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Steps three & four: yoga warmup and strength training.  In this case, downward-facing dog and jacknife sit-ups.  Sorry for the butt shot.

Steps five & six (not pictured):  I usually follow up the strength training with some aerobics (I’m partial to some sort of dancersizing, like Zumba or salsa or, yes, stripper-cizing [I own the first DVD in Carmen Electra’s series.  It’s actually tons of fun!]), then make sure to do stretches as a cool down.

All this being said, this is only my exercise routine when I exercise at home.  I don’t currently have a gym membership, so my “outside of the house” exercising consists of long walks with the dog, yard work, hiking, snowshoeing, biking, and hours’-long shopping marathons with my mother.

DSCN5167Favorite Dr. Seuss books

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Can you believe that I don’t own any Dr. Seuss books?  I’m thinking that may need to be remedied.  This was taken at the same indie used bookstore that was nice enough to masquerade as Shakespeare & Co. for our Paris date.  I realize they’re not all Dr. Seuss books, but it works.  Happy belated happy birthday, Dr. Seuss (his birthday was on Saturday)!  Note to self:  other things that need to be remedied is the fact that I only have one Shel Silverstein book, don’t own any Ogden Nash, and don’t own a copy of Jack Prelutsky’s a Pizza the Size of the Sun.

DSCN5167The first signs of spring (flowers sprouting, tree blossoms blooming)

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All of these pictures are from my front and back yards, and what makes them especially meaningful is that these flowers are blooming even though we completely tore up the ground to do house projects (French drain and other drain-like things).  That gives me hope that the beautiful things that bloomed around our house when we first bought it have weathered the storm.  Can’t wait to see them when there are blossoms!

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This was totally Photoshopped, because I wanted to be kosher and not break any rules about not getting permission for the faces of these kids to be published.  So I blurred it out, and I dig the effect.  It wasn’t really in THEIR yard; it was in a grassy area of the park we walked Dexter at, but I think it counts.  🙂

And now, since it’s Monday, it’s time to do Friend Makin’ Monday!  🙂  I actually LOVE the questions this week!

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If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: http://www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Almost Spring

1. What do you love most about Spring?  The sense of things coming to life.  Also, my birthday’s in the spring.  🙂  Also also, since I was married on the last day of winter, spring signifies the start of our lives together.

2. If you’re lucky enough to have a Spring Break, what will you do to enjoy it? We started a cool tradition of taking the week after our wedding anniversary off of work to do a road trip, and it’ll be no different this year.  I’m so excited for it!

3. What is your favorite flower?  Daffodils!  There are a lot of reasons for this, which I may go into later.  More specifically, ice follies daffodils, which are white on the outside and yellow on the inside.

4. Do you have a garden?  If so, what do you grow?  I do!  Our house came with a beautiful one, and I’m so afraid of ruining it because both the hubby and I have brown thumbs.  But I took copious notes from the previous owners on upkeep, so I’m crossing my fingers that we do their beautiful garden justice.  We’re also starting to grow edibles for the first time!  Hubby is really determined to save money by growing all our produce.  We’re starting with onions and they’re doing good so far, knock on wood.  I’ll post pics soon.  🙂

5. Share one thing that you hope to accomplish during Spring.  I really hope to finally completely unpack my craft room so I can start doing stuff in it!  (Equally important:  finishing my wedding scrapbook, five years after the fact.)

6. Do you do Spring cleaning?  I always have the intention to, but I never quite finish it.  Hopefully this year I’ll carry it out.  I do have to say, though, that we always do a pretty good job of taking a huge haul to donate the thrift store, so that’s pretty cool.

7. What is your weather *really* like right now? {Just b/c it’s almost Spring, doesn’t mean that it feels like it for some of you.}  Absolutely sunny and gorgeous!  The funny thing is that all the news channels in my area were calling it a “one day wonder”.  So guess the weather must’ve known this question was coming up and decided to dress for the occasion.  😉

8. Share one photo that you’ve taken during the month of March. Why, funny you ask!  See above for way more than one.  😀

9. What’s your favorite thing to do on a sunny afternoon?  Since most of the time I’m actually not a fan  of sunshine, I prefer to hide in the shade and hunker down with a good book.  Farmer’s Markets are also fun, but again, if given the choice between that and being in an air-conditioned place, I prefer the air conditioning.  Just one of my quirks, I guess.

10. If you could spend the day doing anything in your city, what would you do?  I actually love my little town and have spent the past year getting to know it better and finding great things to do.  It’d be a toss up between antiquing, frolicking in the daffodil fields, or hanging out at the 24-hour coffee shop with good company and/or a good book.

Wishing You a Week Full of Potential,
Violet

Posted in Thoughts on...Thursdays

Thoughts on…Thursday: Dogs* vs. Children

*For the purposes of this blog, I will mention dogs, only because I have the most experience with dogs.  But it can apply to all pets: cats, bunnies, ferrets, rats, birds, hedgehogs…whatever’s your pleasure.  🙂

I thought for awhile on how to even approach this lightly, but realized I might end up sitting on this forever.  So I’m just going to dive right into it.

I’m not a parent to a human child, though (I think) I want to be eventually.  More on the parenthetical later…

I am, however, a dog owner, and have been for a little over seven years now.  It’s the first pet I’ve ever had, and I am so in love with him.  I find myself just staring at him in admiration at who he is and how cute he is and how amazing he is.  I hug him goodnight almost every day, thanking him for being in my life as a part of my family.

It wasn’t always that way, though.  As I mentioned before, he is my very first pet.  Before that time, I was always just a little bit afraid of dogs.  Not so much as to run the other way when I saw one, but if one jumped on me, I’d feel myself tense up.  I’d let a dog lick my hand or sniff me, but I would always be on alert that they may bite me.  Even when we first got Dexter (the name he had at the pound, so not sure if he was named after Dexter’s Laboratory or Dexter from the TV series.  We didn’t feel like confusing him by changing his name, so it stuck), I was a little nervous when he would jump on me and lick my face or get close to me.  I just wasn’t used to having a dog yet.  But I did choose him out of all the other dogs we saw (in fact, my husband walked right by him, dismissing him as being “too furry”…he didn’t want to deal with all the fur on the carpet afterwards), so I wasn’t about to go back on my decision!

I quickly got over my fear of him, and, consequentially, pretty much every other dog.  (Also more on that later, I promise.)  My family, though, wasn’t quite as welcoming.  As most pound dogs (and most puppies, for that matter) are apt to be, mine had some severe separation anxiety the first few months we had him.  The first time we brought him over to stay at my parents’ house, my parents insisted he sleep in the car by himself (side note: he’s quite comfortable staying in the car by himself now, but not so much back then).  I agreed to live by their rules while at their house (I want to say it was sometime during Christmas…I don’t make it a habit to stay at my parents’ house when I have a place of my own), so grudgingly put Dexter in the car and shut the door.  He barked and cried and whined up a storm as soon as I closed the door, and my heart broke as I went into the house.  I tried to fall asleep, but could hear him barking from inside the house.  When I couldn’t take it anymore, I informed my mother that I was going to sleep in the car with Dexter so he wouldn’t be so panicked.  She scoffed at me: “You’re crazy.  It’s cold out there.”
“I’ll bring blankets.  Come to think of it, I should probably bring one for Dexter, too.”
“Sleep in here with the humans.  He’s just a dog.  He’ll be fine.”

“It’s okay, Mom.  I’m going.  I don’t want to leave him alone.”  I started to gather some of our heaviest comforters, but my mom stopped me.

“Fine, bring him inside,” she conceded.  “But only in the laundry room.  And make sure you close the door.”

So I brought Dexter inside the laundry room, made him a comfy little nest of blankets, kissed him on the snout, and closed the door.

Big mistake.  I listened to his pained howling until I couldn’t take it anymore.  The hubby and I ended up sleeping in the laundry room with Dex that night.  To this day, I’m not sure if my mom knew about that.

Of course, Dexter got more independent.  There are days that he voluntarily doesn’t sleep in the same room, mostly because he’s too lazy to move.  But if we leave him in the car, he doesn’t freak out anymore.  At the same time, my mom spoils our dog rotten with treats, and sometimes finds him napping at her feet (no more being locked up behind a closed door!).

Gruffy’s family has always had a dog in it, so it was really no problem on that side.

That didn’t, however, stop either family’s desire to want a (human) grandchild.

Which brings me to my first parenthetical.  And another Gilmore Girls quote.  😀

Rachel (Luke’s old girlfriend, and for the purposes of this blog, a 30-something-year-old) just had a chat with Lorelai (another 30-something-year-old) and Lorelai’s daughter Rory.  After seeing how well-behaved Rory is, Rachel comments, “Wow.  That is one really not-annoying kid.”
Lorelai:  “Yes.  She really is not.”
Rachel:  “See, I might consider do the whole Mom thing, if I could be guaranteed that I could get one just like her.”
Lorelai:  “Oh, you can.  You just have to go to Sears.”

Incidentally, later in the series, Lorelai adopts a dog named Paul Anka…but that doesn’t really relate to the blog.  Ahem.

Hubby and I have gone back and forth many times on whether or not we really want a kid.  For the most part, I think we’re pretty pro-kid.  Don’t get me wrong, neither of us have anything against kids.  But we are both fully aware (perhaps me moreso than him) of how much work a kid entails.  Dogs don’t require a babysitter or a parent to stay at home to ensure it’s looked after 24/7.  Dogs, for the most part, let you sleep throughout the night.  They require less feedings.  You can leave dogs at home if your friends ask you out for drinks or a party or a movie or dancing.  You don’t really hear people saying, “I’m too young to have a dog.  I want to enjoy being young and adventurous first before I settle down.”  I don’t toss and turn at night wondering if I’ve done a good job of raising my dog (okay, fine…maybe sometimes I do, but not as much as I would about my kid).  Children are a huge commitment and life change, and I certainly don’t take having one lightly.  At the same time, there is a lot of love among me, my husband, and Dexter, and we all can’t wait to share that love with the kid.  I’m excited to see this kid grow up, play, take its first steps, see what kind of wonderful things they’ll contribute to this world.  And, well, kids are cute.  But that’s not the first and only reason I’d want one.  🙂

It bears repeating:  I have nothing against children.  By no means am I saying dogs are better than children.  Not at all.  But here’s the rub:  I’m not saying children are better than dogs, either.  I view dogs and children as equals.  This, perhaps, is where I’ll get some criticism and/or comments, and that’s good.  I welcome them (as long as you keep them civil, of course).

Now, I’m not saying that dogs and children are the same thing.  Of course, humans and canines are completely different creatures and should be treated as such.  What I’m saying is that if I were asked to pick whom I love more, it would be impossible.  Both are part of my family, and I wouldn’t get rid of either one on a whim.  Again, I don’t actually have a child yet, but I’m 99.9% sure that opinion’s not going to change once I do have one.

I also have to disprove (at least in my case) the widely-held theory that people have pets to appease their maternal/paternal need.  If I really wanted to have a kid instead of a pet right now, let me tell you, I’d have one.  I’d stop at nothing to get one, whether naturally or adopting.  So having a dog is not my “cop-out” of being a parent.  The reason I own a dog is not because I’m too lazy to play a full-parental role.  That’s as ridiculous as positing that people have kids because they really want pets.  I’m not going to take my kid out for a walk on a leash (whooole other blog post topic!!), and I don’t think parents are going to throw a ball to their kid, expecting them to catch it in their mouth.  Pets and children serve very different, yet equally important, roles in a family’s life.

Which is why I cringe a little when I’m called Dexter’s “Mommy.”  I’m not his Mommy.  That title is reserved for my human kid.  I prefer being called his owner, because being an owner is so much different than being a parent.  “Mommy” is reserved for the person who kisses boo-boos, annoyingly judges potential boyfriends/girlfriends, tells my kid they can do anything they set their mind to, holds their hand when they cross the street.  “Mommy” is a title given to those who have a child who can call them so (whether through speech or sign language).

My heart breaks when some people view dogs in a less-serious light than children.  In my opinion, dogs are no more expendable than children (i.e., none of them are just things to have on a whim and give away if you change your mind and it gets to be too hard to take care of them).  Potential dog-owners should give just as much thought as to how a dog will change the family dynamic as potential-parents give thoughts to having a child.  When you get a dog, you should understand that it belongs to you until either it or you passes away.  I may get some heat for this, but I absolutely abhor it when a pet owner has a child then decides to get rid of the pet because they don’t want the added responsibility, or they’re afraid the pet will hurt the child, or are afraid the child may be allergic to the pet.  Or, in some instances, pets are given away to a pound because the place they move to doesn’t accept pets.  I know life is hard to plan, but one should really take these possibilities into consideration before getting a pet.  If you plan on having a child and don’t like the idea of your child interacting with a pet, don’t get a pet.  Simple as that.  I think that may be one of the biggest reasons why I both do and don’t want a kid right away.  I do, because I want our child to be able to meet our wonderful dog before he dies (he’s 8 right now, so I’ve sadly acknowledged the fact that he probably won’t be around much longer).  I’m looking forward to seeing them play together.  I’ve seen Dexter play with friends’ kids, and he’s just wonderful with them.  At the same time, I can’t say for absolutely certain how he’ll be around our child, so I don’t want to jump into parenthood without taking that into account first.

I’ve also heard the argument that children are better than pets because children are an investment in your future care.  As the saying roughly goes, “Pets are nice and all, but who will take care you when you’re old?  Certainly not a pet.”  To which I say, not true.  At all.  How many stories are out there about therapy animals who help to heal those in the hospital?  Pets love you unconditionally.  They don’t hold grudges (in other words, they can’t get you a BAD retirement home out of spite for giving them a bad childhood).  They cuddle and nuzzle and are there for you to just pet.  That certainly sounds like you’re being taken care of to me.

After all that’s said and done, though, I feel I get more genuinely excited about dogs than children.  I coo over dogs, pet them, have a special place in my heart for them.  When I go to a dog park, I want to know their name and how old they are, and always say how cute they are to their owners.  Not so much with kids.  I don’t have an overwhelming need to have them.  Yet picturing my life without a dog…I can’t even bear that thought.  My heart doesn’t swell when I see a newborn like it does when I see a dog.  I think babies are cute, but I don’t squeal in delight when I see them, or try to play with their tiny little hands.  What that says about me, I don’t know, but I thought it was something interesting to note.

What do you guys think about all of this?  Do you disagree and think that children are better than pets?  What of you readers out there who have both?  Who have only pets?  Who only have children?  I would love to hear from a wide range of people on this topic.  🙂

And, because I can’t resist showing off (what proud parent or pet owner can?), here’s another cute picture of Dexter:

To Loving Responsibly and Unconditionally!

Posted in Thoughts on...Thursdays

Thoughts on…Thursday: Are best friends necessary?

This is quite a touchy subject for me.  As you may or may not have seen, #15 on my Things to do Before I Die list is to find a best friend who will last forever.  I’ve had many best friends in my life, pretty much because I’ve moved so much.  But those are stories for another time (for my memoir, to be exact).  Long story short, and without going into details, I haven’t had a best friend in eight years.

But we’ll get back to that.

A little over a month ago, I was watching The Talk, and they brought up the topic of best friends.  I don’t remember the exact citation, but there apparently was a study or some important guy who posited that adults didn’t need best friends anymore because their partners should serve the function that a best friend does.

Some of the panel agreed, some didn’t.

My take?  Well, obviously, because I put it on my bucket list, I still think having a best friend is important.  Don’t get me wrong; I do consider my husband as my best friend in many ways.  He knows everything about me, we have inside jokes, and we spend the majority of our free time with each other. He provides me with many important best friend-like duties.  I’ve laughed and cried with him and we’ve discussed things that bother us.  It’s a greatly symbiotic relationship.   For all intents and purposes, he is a best friend to me.

But there is still a hole in my life that a best friend should fill.  Gruffy doesn’t like to talk for hours on end; all my best friends did.  And I can’t necessarily talk about my husband TO my husband.  That’s just weird.  I need someone to do girly things with, to talk about fashion with, and to discuss reality TV with.  I want to go out dressed to the nines for no good reason at all except to look good karaokeing.  Someone to do crafts with.  That’s definitely not my husband’s job, and there’s no way I would force him to make that his job.  I do respect him, after all.  😉

I’ve gotten the whole speech from hubby where he says, “Well, if it hurts you so much that you don’t have a best friend, why don’t you just work harder with the friends you have to turn them into your best friend?  Or go out there and find someone new to be your best friend.”

This poses several problems, though, and I’ve mentioned them to him.  For one, most of my friends already have a best friend.  Sure, one can have more than one best friend, but I’m not gonna be all, “Hey, can I be your best friend, too?”  That’s just tacky.  And awkward.  And I have more respect for myself than that.  For another, I view having a best friend much like finding a boyfriend or girlfriend.  Not just anyone who wanders into my life can be a best friend.  I have standards.  I also have that semi-sugary-optimistic view of best friends that people have about “the one”:  I just know if they’re my best friend or not.  Best friends are like soulmates to me–something natural, something I shouldn’t have to work hard to find.  It should be a very easy thing that just happens, not something that is forced.

So, looping back to the beginning, yes, I think best friends are necessary.  As I’ve said, I haven’t had one in eight years, and I feel much like a single person (I have to make the distinction that it’s a single person who doesn’t like being single, because there are actually some single people who love being single) who sees couples everywhere being all lovey-dovey and they’re not.  I get insanely jealous of those with a best friend, and I physically ache when people talk about their best friends.  Just recently, when I went out with a friend of mine to a Girls Night Out to get our hair curled, the hairstylist, just trying to make polite conversation, asked a loaded question:

“So are you guys best friends?”
Ouch, my brain and heart replied.  For a split second, I felt like someone had punched me right in the chest, but I quickly recovered and slapped a smile on my face.

“She’s a good friend of mine, but her best friends live in another state.”

Whew.  Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?
Oh, but it was.  Every time I think about it too much, it really gets me down.

Some people might say that I feel this hole because my husband isn’t being a good enough friend to me to fill that void.  Perhaps they’re right, but like I mentioned above, there are some things I look for in a female best friend (or a really awesome gay bestie) that my husband could never provide for me, and I would never expect him to.

What do you guys think?  Is your partner your best friend–a good enough best friend to not require a separate best friend?  Do you differentiate between a best friend title and partner title (as far as their “job descriptions”)?  Do you think people outgrow the need for a best friend as they move into adulthood?  If you’re single, is having a best friend enough, or do you long for a partner to fill that “ultimate best friend” title, one that will replace your current best friend?  I’d love to know in the comments below.

For now, I’d like to provide you with a picture of my current best friend–besides my husband, that is.  🙂

 Hey, no one said it had to be human!  🙂

 

To Friendship and All the Love and Laughter they Provide,