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Zoom, zoom

Thank you to my two readers (Lauren & Vanessa), who encouraged me to start blogging again. I can’t make any promises, but I will sure try.

We recently bought a car because I have chosen to become a real estate agent. While I have aspired to work in the nonprofit world again, I really hadn’t found an organization where I could see myself – now & in 10 years. So, after some soul searching, I decided to take my career back into my own hands. Go me.

A fun side effect to that is the car. It is a must-have, and therefore, we got one. A small SUV, so we can carry stuff around, etc. I like it & I really like that I can drive places without having to pay for a zipcar.

But, if you know me well, you would know that my track record with cars hasn’t been good. And for that, I am very nervous. Since we got the car, I have been driving the speed limit, paying for meters and being overly cautious in regards to other drivers. But, that wasn’t always the case…

You may have heard that the California state budget is in dire straits. I am pretty sure that it is because I no longer live there, and therefore, do not get tickets of any kind in that state. I mean, seriously – they made so much money off of me. I lived there for 4 years & I had at least 3 red light tickets, several speeding tickets and so many parking tickets that I had to move to another state. (Only kidding, I am completely paid up on everything.) We are talking thousands of dollars that I spent on parking tickets. Ugh.

Additionally, I have been in several fender benders – side, behind, you name it! But, my insurance company and/or police were always able to prove that it wasn’t my fault. Whew. Nonetheless, it is a scary world of driving out there.

With the crazy weather here in Chicago, the aggressive drivers & the millions of 6 point intersections, it is all a little intimidating. Luckily, I have started learning where the red light cameras are (just in case) and the faster streets to drive on. I hope that I can go at least a few months without as much as a parking ticket. Woohoo!

2010 Handbook

A friend of mine sent this to me & I thought these things were good to remember going into the new year.

Health:
1.       Drink plenty of water.
2.       Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3.       Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4.       Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5.       Make time to practice gratitude.
6.       Play more games
7.       Read more books than you did in 2009 .
8.       Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9.       Sleep for 8 hours.
10.    Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

Personality:
11.    Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12.    Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive
present moment.
13.    Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
14.    Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15.    Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
16.    Dream more while you are awake
17.    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18.    Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin
your present happiness.
19.    Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
20.    Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
21.    No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22.    Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.  Problems are simply part of the curriculum
that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23.    Smile and laugh more.
24.    You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree…

Society:
25.    Call your family often.
26.    Each day give something good to others.
27.    Forgive everyone for everything..
28.    Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29.    Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30.    What other people think of you is none of your business.
31.    Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Life:
32.    Do the right thing!
33.    Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
34.    However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
35.    No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
36.    The best is yet to come…
37.    Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

- Unknown Author

WISHING YOU A NEW YEAR FILLED WITH LIGHT, LOVE, LAUGHTER, ADVENTURE, SUCCESS, JOY AND PEACE!

The Mayonnaise Jar

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle,
When 24  hours in a day is not enough;
remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of  coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy  class
and  had some items in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly,

he  picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar
and start to fill it with  golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and  poured
it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again
if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand
and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded
With an unanimous  ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the  table
and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively
filling the empty space between the sand.
The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the  professor, as the laughter subsided,
‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things – God,  family,
children, health, friends, and favorite passions
Things  that if everything else was lost
and  only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car.

The sand is everything else
The small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar  first,’ he continued,
‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf  balls.
The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy  on the small stuff,
You will never have room for the things that  are
important to you.

So…

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your partner out to dinner.

There will always be time
to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.

‘Take care of the golf balls first –
The things that really  matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.’

One of the students raised her hand
and inquired what the coffee represented.

The  professor smiled.

‘I’m glad you asked’.

It just goes to show you that  no matter how full your life may seem,
there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.’

Please share this with other “Golf Balls”

I have definitely had some dating horrors, but this one takes the cake. My fabulous friend Elisabeth lives in Nashville and is single & looking to mingle. She recently had an experience that I wanted to share. Read on, enjoy & tell me about a dating mishap you have had!

Here is Elisabeth’s story…

So, I am at the Tin Roof a couple weeks ago, and my friend Mandy was talking to this group of guys.  One of them asked her if I was her friend b/c he really wanted to meet me.  So, I met him.  He was nice enough, good-looking.  But after a couple cocktails, I think I forgot how “redneck” he was.  So, I agreed to go out with him.  The next day he calls and leaves me a message.  Well, I had forgotten his name, and I couldn’t understand it on my voicemail b/c his southern (or red) accent was so thick.  I call him back and get his voicemail.  Still can’t understand it.  So, basically, I did not know his name when he came to pick me up.  I had my roommate, Heidi, answer the door, so she could introduce herself.  Conversation:

“Hi!  I’m Heidi!  Elisabeth’s roomate”
“Hey”
“Ummm, what’s you’re name?  I haven’t seen much of Elisabeth all week”
“Oh, hey, I’m Todd”

Okay, so I come out, and Heidi says, “well I hope you and TODD have a great time”

I noticed the can in his hand, but I assumed it was sprite, or something.  No.  We get into the car, and I realize it is a Busch Light.  He offers me one, I politely refuse.  RED FLAG.  GET OUT OF THE CAR!  No, I don’t.  Then he proceeds to tell me how he usually drives a Honda Pilot, but he got pulled over a couple months ago for drinking and driving, so when he knows he is going to be drinking, he drives his old honda civic.  RED FLAG #2.

So, he tells me his brother just moved into this new house, so we were going to stop by there to say hi before we went and grabbed a drink.  Okay, great.  So we go over there.  We have a beer.  We get a tour of the house.  He and his brother play a video game…yep, that’s what I said.  Well, the brother has this really big dog that tends to slober a lot.  So, we are going down the hardwood stairs after they finish the video game.  I am holding onto the railing b/c I know me (you all know me), and I am in high heels.  I slip on what I am guessing is slober and bite it down the stairs.  Fortunately, I was holding onto the railing, so I didn’t fall all the way down.  Still managed to throw my beer all over the wall, hurt, and cut up my foot pretty bad.  Todd was impressed w/ how I caught myself.  Sweet!  I told him it happens to me a lot.  Had I been on a great date, this might have been humiliating, but this date, I didn’t really care.  It makes the story more comical.
Okay, so then Todd gets called into work.  He works in the offices for the railroad, so he sometimes has to go in at like 3 in the am.  He asks his brother if he can just borrow a t-shirt b/c he didn’t want to drive all the way home before work.  His house is like 25 miles north of the city.  So, I am thinking, “does this guy think he is going to stay with me?”  So, I ask him,
“where are you going to stay?”
“Oh, oh….I guess I will stay with my brother.” Ummmm YEAH!!!!  “I really hate to cut this date short.  I feel bad.  I’m sorry!”
“No, it’s REALLY fine.  I’m tired anway”
“Alright, well let’s get you home”

So, he is driving me home, and when we get close he asks me if he can come in for a bit and hang out.  If I were smart, I would have said no.  But, of course I’m like, “Okaaaaay?!”
So, he comes in, I sit on the far end of the couch and grab a pillow.  Turn on the tv.  So after about 5 minutes, I go to the bathroom.  I come back, and he’s like, “well I think I am going to get going.”
Forgot to tell you this detail.  His mom had been calling throughout the date.  He would not answer.  I am telling him to answer b/c it must be important if she keeps calling.  Well, as it turns out, he talks to his brother while I am in the bathroom.  His brother tells him that their mom is worried he is out drinking and driving.  SWEET!  So, he tells me he needs to go, so he can call her and calm her down.  I walk him out.  He tells me to call him tomorrow.  I say, “Sure!”  Boo!  I will not be calling you!
He leaves, I go into my room, change, and head out the door to go out!

And, if it couldn’t get any better, I later find out from someone who knew him that he was married with a kid or two.  AMAZING!!!!

Oscar the Grouch

As you hopefully know by now, my husband & I adopted an adorable shih tzu poodle mix from PAWS. We are so happy to have him & enjoy every second we spend with him. That said, we are still learning some him of quirks. For example, he gets very excited when the L goes by. In fact, his reaction draws so much attention, it is embarrassing.

Another example – he is a bully. Oscar is incredibly sweet to people he knows & dogs in the dog park. However, he has some on-leash aggression that seems to be the issue.

Little story to illustrate…

Pippin, a shepherd mix pup, lives down the hall. Because I work from home, I walk Pippin from time to time. I originally wanted to walk Pippin & Oscar together because it would encourage good behavior in Oscar & help him to be more social while on a leash. Unfortunately, the dream was squashed.

Oscar snipped & snapped at Pippin & he became miserable on our first walk. The second time, Pippin wouldn’t even get near Oscar. So, I ended up walking both dogs – leashes on each arm, pulling in both directions. It was pretty horrible.

The next time I walked them, I decided to re-introduce them off-leash, in my condo. So, I brought Pippin over, unwillingly, of course & re-introduced them. Pippin cowered in the corner, peed on the floor & hid when I tried to put the leash back on him.

At this point, Oscar was happy to see Pippin, wanted to play & shared his toys. As his mom, I thought it was pretty cute. Unfortunately, Pippin didn’t share my same sentiment. I finally got their leashes on (all the while, Oscar saying excitedly, “Come on Pippin, we’re going to have fun!) and we walked out the door. Pippin peed again in the hallway.

Oscar now has a personal trainer, who is teaching us how to make him feel “safe” when other dogs approach. It is so interesting how dogs interpret things – basically things are either “safe” or “dangerous.”

I am hoping that after Oscar finishes training, we can get Pippin & Oscar together & they can become friends. Fingers crossed.

Keep you posted…

The Big O

When the weather is nice outside, it is very difficult for me to sit down & blog. So, I usually tweet more in the summer & blog in the winter. I hope that works for everyone’s schedule. :)

Now let’s get down to what I have been up to.

For the most part, I have had a great summer. I am still looking for a position at a nonprofit organization, but while I have been doing that, I am also having fun. Some of the jobs I have interviewed for, I can look back & really say that it is OK that I didn’t get that specific job. It just wasn’t THE JOB.

I will write about my trip to Europe for our 1-year anniversary & I will tell you about being a tourist in my own city. I will also tell you about my time spent in Texas and how many wonderful people & organizations I have met. It has truly been a great experience.

For now, I am going to tell you about MY BIG O. His name is Oscar & he is the cutest little puppy. He is a shih zhu mix and lord help me if I ever figure out how to spell that. :)

He is approximately 1 1/2 years old & was found wandering the streets of Chicago’s southside. If you can even believe it, he was on the streets for a while. I am not sure how he survived. I do know that he had a pal – possibly his girlfriend, aka Britney. If we breakdown & hire a pet psychic, I will blog about it – don’t worry!

The two pups were rescued from Animal Care & Control in August, spade/neutered and then put up for foster by PAWS volunteers. I got the email early on a Saturday morning. Nicole wrote about (shreek) K-fed & Britney (their PAWS-given names), as they were called, and described how they needed a home for 2 weeks while they recuperated from their surgeries.

This particular morning, I must have been able to pull out the kind of sad face to trump all sad faces, because my husband agreed that we could foster both pups for the 2-week period.

We picked them up the next day & learned that Britney’s surgery had not gone as planned. They discovered an expired fetus inside her uterus. The vet removed the fetus & she was spade. Because of this complication, Britney had to be on medication & needed rest.

Both dogs were so dirty, but they couldn’t have baths. They were so little & frail and they had big white cones on their heads because of their surgery. And, no matter how long they have a cone, they never understood the concept or width of these cones. Nonetheless, it was entertaining.

Oscar with cone

But, Britney was getting sicker & wasn’t taking her medication. We would try to force it down her throat, but it got to the point where that wouldn’t even work. She was no longer eating. All she would do is sleep for a few hours at a time & cough the entire time she was awake.

That week, I got no sleep. We tried to put them in the bathroom, but that only scared them because they didn’t know where we were. We could hear Britney coughing & K-fed (shudder) whining & crying.

We tried to keep them in a separate part of the house with an impromptu baby gate that we made, using a table. K-fed (shudder) tried to jump over it and almost hurt himself in the process.

Since my husband was working & I wasn’t, the only logical thing I could think of was to sleep on the floor in the living room with the dogs. And, so I did. I pulled out an extra comforter and pillow. I stayed with them on the other end of our loft apartment so that my husband wouldn’t hear Britney cough & he could get some sleep.

After many, many phone calls to the vet & to PAWS, they finally agreed with me that Britney was not going to get any better in our house. She needed a much higher level of medical care. She needed to be on an IV, so that she would actually receive her medicine. She also needed a vet to check on her many times during the day.

We dropped her off & got some additional medicine for K-fed. It seemed that he caught a bit of kennel cough from Britney. So, off we went – back home.

We all slept soundly & after a couple days, we were able to give K-fed a bath. I remember thinking after the bath, “Well, he is still cute, but I think he needs to be shaved so we can start over.”

Oscar on deck (post- K-fed)

Once K-fed’s cone was removed, he had been bathed & brushed, we discovered who he really was. He is a little adorable guy who loves to play fetch, snuggle and chew on random things. (We definitely have to keep a close eye on him.)

Once he was off of his meds, you could tell he felt better. At this point, he had been with us for 3 weeks & we had fallen in love with him. Both my husband & I decided that we would be too sad to give him away. So, after much consideration – we adopted him & renamed him Oscar. (I mean, really?! K-fed?!)

We got him groomed, clothed (only when super cold) and gave him tons of toys. The photos above were of K-fed, but the photo below is of our “Big O,” Oscar. He has a big personality, but weighs only 12 lbs. He loves to run & loves his parents.

We also checked in on Britney several times. Once she was on an IV, she got better pretty quickly. We were so glad, & if we had more room, we would have adopted her, too. But, her story ends happily, too. She was put up for adoption just a month later & was adopted extremely quickly. Way to go, Brit-Brit.

Some people say he is lucky to have such [over-attentive, overbearing & crazy] wonderful parents. We think, however, that we are the lucky ones.

Oscar

Thank you, Op!

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