Thursday, December 18, 2014

When the love of a dog takes the pain away

Pain. It can be described in so many ways. A physical suffering. An emotional suffering. Or even a laborious effort that sometimes goes unnoticed. No matter the way you feel it, it’s real, and it’s in everyone.

I went in to the doctor for a female procedure yesterday, and the cramping it causes, is painful. Not so painful that I walk hunched over like an old man with weights in his pockets, but a pain nonetheless. An uncomfortable one that has mentally talked me into not going to work. This pisses SS off to no end, but ultimately it’s my decision, and when it comes to my body, I’m the boss. No matter what.

This handsome, freshly groomed Poodle, is the best bed cuddler ever. He sneaks in between SS and I, and when he lays his head on our pillows, we just can’t help but feel our hearts melt. (We only allow this when he is groomed and clean.)
While cuddling this morning, it made me think about the dog I had as a child. She was a Beagle/Lab mix, and saved me a number of times from a bad situation. You see, my Dad would throw his cigarette butts out into the lawn in the backyard when he was done smoking them. Me, not knowing any better and assuming they were okay because my Dad was putting them in his mouth, would find them and put them in MY mouth. That awesome dog, used to take them out of my mouth and lay on them so I couldn’t eat them. Smartest dog ever.

Here’s me with her in the doghouse…..

She really was the best dog ever. We were ALWAYS together.

When I was five, my parents sold their house in the Valley, and moved to a huge 2-story home in a newly developed city called Valencia. You might all know it as the home of Six Flags Magic Mountain. There was very little here at the time, but now, it’s full of cars and people and is ultimately just overcrowded. Definitely not my favorite city anymore.
Not long after moving into that house, the dog somehow hung herself with a leash she was tied off to that afternoon. I can remember coming home from 1st grade and hearing the news. It was heartbreaking for a five-year-old, and the first time I can remember feeling emotional pain.

As the years past, we had other dogs. Labs, German Shepherds, a Cocker Spaniel, and even a Dachshund. And with all those dogs, I never could get close. I never developed a relationship that said we were friends. Sure, I would feed them, and maybe throw a ball once in a while, but didn’t go out of my way to bond with them.

Then I met this guy, and my whole outlook on dogs changed. I never thought a Poodle could steal my heart, but every day when he looks at me with excitement and recognition, my heart flutters and I know it’s true love.

LOVE is a 4-legged word.


Monday, December 15, 2014

New Toy

Guns. The topic of many late night conversations on television. A dangerous weapon? Or a tool? No matter how you feel about guns, they’re in our society and they’re not going anywhere.

stevie new gun

SS got a new toy for his birthday. A 50th anniversary Ruger 10/22. It’s a beautiful gun. I love the sleakness and the light weight of it, and I can’t wait to shoot it.

Happy Birthday to SS.



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmastime is here

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..

It looks like Christmas around our parts. Finally got the tree up and decorated the other day. Yay!
It’s funny, I can remember just a few short years ago, feeling as if it didn’t matter if Christmas came or went. It was just another day to get things done. Life sure has twists and turns you don’t expect sometimes. I’m happy for that.


How is YOUR holiday decorating going? Do you have everything up already? Have you finished your shopping? Yikes! I haven’t. Back to it….


Monday, December 8, 2014

Accident in Gnomeville

Kids. They can be so rambunctious and careless at times. And in times like that, bad things can sometimes happen.  Back in October, there were some kids playing out by our front door. One of them jumped down off of a balcony, and landed right on top of Francis.

Francis came to live with us back in March of this year, right after StepDad died. :(
He sat ever so beautifully at the top of the stairs that welcomed you to my home. (click the link to read the story).

I happened to be watching out the window when it happened. Francis fell from the weight of the kid when he landed on him, and I felt an immediate pain shoot through my body. It was weird. Took the breath right out of me as I fell to the ground crying. SS tried to be a hero and went after the kids, but by the time he went looking – after trying to console me – they were nowhere to be found. Fear not, I’ll never forget the face of that kid. When I see him, I’ll know.

Two and a half weeks later, Sis and Squid showed up at my house with a gift. They called it an early birthday gift.

Meet Grimble
He’s the new Gnome that resides at Casa de Gnome. He temporarily took Francis’ place at the top of the stairs.

Thank you Sis and Squid. He fits right in around here.


It took me a real long time to decide what I wanted to do with Francis after his fall. Call it not being motivated, or just plain lazy, but whatever it was, it’s done. He’s been placed back at the top of the stairs, and Grimble has been moved to the stairwell in our hallway.



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

That time I promised you SIX new commercials we did.

Remember when I posted THIS post? About the six new commercials we were doing? And that cuuuute little monkey? Well, they’re here!!


Here ya go….
They play one right after the other so just keep watching.

Which was YOUR favorite?
Mine? The Sloth.

Hope you enjoyed them. It was a LOT of hard work, but they came out great.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

December Cheer–in the form of photos

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in the Photo-A-Day Challenge, so I thought December would be a great opportunity to spread some Christmas cheer.
I’ll be posting the photos on Instagram, so if you want to play along, hope on over and follow along.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Birthday Wish List…


In four days, I will be another year older. In four days, I’ll wake up and be 36.


I’ve had a few people ask me if there’s anything specific I want, but truthfully haven’t given it much thought. Until now. I feel fairly lucky just being able to have what I currently have, so anything else, would just be the cherry on top of this awesome cake that is my life.

Fish tank:        
I’ve written about my passion of fish tanks in the past, and since I feel pretty settled into my house, I think it’s time. I don’t need something huge, certainly don’t need that big 100-gallon tank back from my Dad, but perhaps a tabletop/desktop tank with a couple of fish would be fine. Maybe a trip to the pet store is in my near future.

Kitchen/Cooking Items:  
I’m in desperate need of glass bowls for my kitchen. I have a set of plastic, but sometimes, it’s just not in plastic, that I want my leftovers. I’m also in dire need of a second medium pot. I have one that I use almost every time I cook, but sometimes, I need a second one that same size. And while I’m on the subject, maybe I’ll just take two new medium pots and put the one I currently use, in with the camping stuff. Decisions, decisions.

Master Bedroom Décor:    
The Master Bedroom and the Spare Bedroom are the two rooms I haven’t spent time finishing. It drives me nuts, because I know I could be so much more in love with my bedroom than I already am. I would love to have a new bedframe. Something that takes my bed a little bit more off the ground would be nice. Putting some wall décor above our bed would complete the room, just haven’t decided on what would be perfect there. I’ve been waiting to get a new bed frame before putting stuff up because I’m not sure how the headboard will be placed. I suppose I just need to dive in and do it.

That’s enough. I could go on and on about other things I’d like to have that would decorate my house, but I have other things to do today, so this is where I’ll stop.

Enjoy your Saturday.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Monkey Business

It’s time for another big commercial shoot. This time, we’ve got six different spots we’re shooting. And there’s a different animal in each spot.

A few days ago, we had them all out at our ranch for rehearsal with the talent. Such a fun day. I can’t really say much about the spots until they’ve been aired on broadcast television, but I can tell you that they’re going to be hilarious.

I tried to talk SS and Squid into coming out to see these guys, but having to show up to work that day was more important to them. Whatever. Everyone has their priorities. ;-)

During some down time in the rehearsal, I allowed the Poodles to have a tea party. They like fun too. And look very impatient while waiting for me to bring them their tea…


Speaking of Poodles…. Did you watch Conan the other night? If you did, then you saw our Golden Retriever sweating while the very best Mini Poodle in the whole world was shown to him. I make no comments on the outfit. Or about the fake boobs.

Poor Udon!


I promise to share the spots as they air, but something tells me you’ll know when you see them.

Oh! One more thing. Don’t forget the Super Bowl is only a few months away. It’s almost time to start shooting those commercials. Can’t wait!!


Song for Today

Sometimes, there’s a song that plays on XM, that just tugs at my heart with no plan of letting go. Today was one of those days. Heard this on the way to work this morning. Apparently, it’s an older song of his, but I’d never heard it until this morning.


I saw it in her eyes
When I was sayin' goodbye
That girl, she ain't gonna be alright
'Cause I could tell
She'd be goin' through a livin' hell
And I wouldn't be there by her side
And Lord I felt so bad as I sat and watched her cry
Thinkin' I was movin' on and she was barely gettin' by

Look at what I've done to her
Look at how I made her feel
I gave back her heart, the broken part
She got the raw end of the deal
And look at what it's done to me
You gotta know it tears me up
I gave it everything I had, and
Lord, it just wasn't enough
And hurtin' her like this seems so wrong
Yeah, look at what I've done to her
Now she's alone

I saw her out last night
And she was havin' a good time
That girl, it looks like she's doin' fine
But then I saw a man
Walk up and take her by the hand
And I, oh God, I almost died
And then it hit me, she didn't really need me
I just sat there for a while, until I finally smiled

Look at what I've done to her
Look at how I made her feel
She's found somebody new
And look who took the time to heal
And look at what it's done to me
You gotta know it tears me up
To have walked away from the love we made
And just leave it in a cloud of dust
And now it's got me thinkin' maybe I was wrong
After all the things I've done to her
Now she's strong

I walked up and said hello
She said, "It's good to see ya
But hey, I've gotta go"

Look at what I've done to her
Look at how I made her feel
She's standin' tall, she's got it all
Got the world at her heels
And look at what it's done to me
Look at how it makes me hurt
If I could go back now
I swear somehow
I'd find a way to make it work
Ain't life funny
Now I'm the one alone
Look at what I've done to me
She's gone


Sunday, October 5, 2014

The day my life changed forever.

October 5th, 2013.

One year ago, a mechanic walked up to me with the keys to my car, and politely told me that my car was driving straight again. I was thrilled, and probably showed a little too much excitement. Perhaps that’s what sparked the next conversation.

SS: (handing me my keys) “So, is there a Mr. Nascar?

Me: “Ha. No. There isn’t. There used to be, but he wasn’t smart enough to hold onto me. So no. There is not a Mr. Nascar.

SS: “Can there be?

Remember when I said Fuck the Norm? Well, it’s worked out amazingly ever since. I left my guard up for as long as it needed to be up, and eventually brought it down.

It’s been an entire year, and I don’t want to hurt him and bury him in a hole. I can stand to be in the same room with him for longer than 30 minutes at a time, which brings the grand total of people I can do that with, to SEVEN. I’m proud to be seen walking around with him, and live for the moments when he chases me through a parking lot with a basket full of groceries. We create our own fun, and I think that’s what I love the most about him.

My Dearest SS: You were there to help give me that push I needed to move out on my own. You were there to wipe away the tears when I got the news StepDad was dying. You were there to comfort me when things went bad at work. You provided a strong shoulder, when all I expected was a hand. You’re an amazing man, and I’m extremely grateful every single day, that we have found each other. I love you.

Here’s to many, many more…..  Mug


Monday, September 29, 2014

Vegas Weddings

Vegas. The Entertainment Capital of the World.
A place for gambling, drinking, prostitution, crime, love, bright lights, fancy shows, and weddings. Not the kind of place I ever imagine getting married, but that’s one of my favorite things about America. Anyone can get married any way they want. And it’s totally okay.


Over the weekend, my favorite cousin got married. After a few years of dating, they finally decided to do it. And since not everyone in the family could go to France, they decided the Paris hotel in Las Vegas, was close enough….

The photographer that was provided by the venue, wouldn’t follow them around town to take photos at the various locations they had in mind, so I broke out the D90, and down the strip we went….

They were greeted with smiles and well wishes for the future by just about everyone we passed.

SS and I jumped in for a few pictures of our own…

Then we stopped for drinks….

And then this happened……

SS was given the garter. I was given the bouquet. I know what this is supposed to signify, but SS and I are so far from entertaining the idea of getting married, that people just need to simmer down. It’s something that could be in our future, we won’t deny that, but trust me when I say It’s nowhere in the near future.

In all the times I’ve been to Las Vegas, I’ve never been to the New York hotel to ride the rollercoaster. So, this time we made sure that happened. And it was sooooooo awesome!! I highly recommend you do it if you’re ever in Vegas.

Until next time….


Monday, September 22, 2014

Catching up…


1.  Summer. It’s officially over tomorrow, and I didn’t once go camping. I’m disappointed about that. So, in a mad dash to rectify that, Sis, RJ, and I jumped into the car and drove around looking at several different camp sites within a 50 mile radius. We found a few places that seemed promising, but most of the places we were actually interested in, were shut down or closed due to extremely high fire danger. Apparently, they don’t trust people in the outdoors with campfires during a drought.

2. Vegas. Since camping was a bust, we decided a different weekend getaway would suffice. One of my favorite cousin’s is getting married in Las Vegas. So, a Vegas trip is in our future. Our very near future. Like, this weekend future. It’ll be the first time SS and I have been there together, and it’ll be the first time I’ve ever gone with my Sis. I’m anxious. Can’t wait. The last time I was in Vegas, I hung out with this guy….

3. Food. A few months ago, I received a waffle iron as a gift. Since I’ve never even used a regular one, I was a little apprehensive about using a different type. But, they tasted like waffles and everyone ate them, so it didn’t matter. Score!

4. TV. Regularly scheduled television is back, y’all! This week is the beginning of Premier Week, and I’m so happy! Like, doing the Happy Dance kind of happy.





Hope everyone has a fabulous week……


Monday, September 8, 2014

Chase Bracket Prediction

Since everyone is filling out their Chase predictions, here’s mine…

I want to be given credit when my choices win.

Starting out with the 16 drivers in the chase, I’ve narrowed it down to the eight I think will make it to the Eliminator Round, followed by the four I think will race for the Championship.

To be clear, I’ve chosen Jeff Gordon to win the Championship. Who you got?


Rowdy Nation

It’s Chase Time!

It’s time for the Sprit Cup Chase to begin, and as usual, I’m showing my support for Kyle Busch.

Let’s take a look at this new chase format. It might be easier for many to follow, since it’s similar to the way other sports do their championship finals, but for some, it’s confusing. Let’s try to make it a little less confusing….

The first round (Chicagoland, New Hampshire and Dover) will be called the "Challenger Round." If a driver in the Chase Grid wins a Challenger Round race, the driver automatically advances and their points will be reset to 3,000. Only the top 12 in points after the Challenger Round remain in championship contention.

The second round (Kansas, Charlotte and Talladega) will be called the "Contender Round." Likewise, if a driver in the top 12 in points wins a race in the Contender Round, the driver automatically advances and his/her points will reset to 4,000. Only the top eight in points after the Contender Round remain in championship contention, and all then will have their points reset to 4,000.

The third round (Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix) will be called the "Eliminator Round." If a driver in the top eight in points wins a race in the Eliminator Round, the driver automatically advances and his/her points will reset to 5,000. The top four in points after the Eliminator Round remain in championship contention, and all then will have their points reset to 5,000.

The final race of the year at Homestead-Miami Speedway will now be referred to as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. To win the Sprint Cup title, be the highest finisher at the end of the race among the four eligible drivers, and you will lift the Sprint Cup.

Got it? Make more sense now? Good.


Who you got?



Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Hanging Memory

Circa 1994.
Sophomore in high school. Sitting out on the front porch with StepDad, just talking about life. The view wasn’t spectacular, mostly because the houses across the street made a better wall than window when trying to see the mountain ridge behind them. There was often a police officer that sat across the street during rush hour, hoping to catch the speeders that blew through our neighborhood. They often did that to avoid the crazy traffic on the main street one block over.

We talked about boys. We talked about driving. We talked about how to use tampons. We talked about cooking. And eating. And we talked about dying. I can remember the conversations as if they were yesterday.

He always spoke of Santa Barbara as if it was the best city on earth, which is why his ashes were spread there. Sitting on the balcony of a hotel room that overlooked the beach, was his favorite thing. And the only thing that made it better, was when he was there to celebrate July 4th.

Since Independence Day (and anything remotely related to ‘Merica), was his favorite, it only seemed fitting to make sure a part of him rested peacefully, inside an American flag. This necklace, holds the remaining ashes that weren’t scattered in the water of Santa Barbara.

And it will hang in my house, ever so perfectly, at the top of the clock that used to hang in his.



I miss you, StepDad. And now I’ll have you here with me forever. xoxo


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