Ch-ch-ch-changes

Wow… how’s this for the most vague update ever?    if you had told me a year ago that I would be sitting where I am right now I would laugh myself silly.   Yet here I am.. looking out the window of my hotel room in the area which will be our home for the next 3-5 years..

 

Japan

 

Of all the (dare I say?) hair brained schemes that my husband has had this one has got to be the biggest one yet.    When we returned from our second tour in Germany I swore we would never move back to Europe again.  Not only because it’s a huge deal to uproot our lives and re settle but also because the last overseas trip we had took its toll on my husband in a bad way.

He would go through these phases where he would skim usajobs for any possible jobs, promotions, etc.     Something about a day at work with drama would eat at him and he would virtually peer over the employment possibility fence to search for greener lawns.   I became used to getting emails from him like “Hey there’s a job opening in Salt Lake City!”  or “How about Georgia?”   etc etc.    I used to stress myself to pieces when he would get into these moods,   but it wasn’t until he sent me a “Kuwait?  What do you think?”   when I had a giant meltdown and learned that I needed to not take these moods so seriously.

Joke’s on me though…     when he sent me a “How about Japan?”   I chuckled and even shared the email with my co worker.   My friend cringed.    Since we both work at a veterinary clinic with primarily military clients we know the process of taking pets over to rabies free places like Japan, Korea and Hawaii.    Japan is one of the hardest that I’ve learned so far.. just the thought of putting all 4 of my anipals through the rabies FAVN process made my eye twitch and my bank account scream.    But nah.. it’ll never happen.

 

Konnichiwa from Japan!   It happened and after quite a bit of crap that will be featured in a future entry,  we made it here and are settling in.  Lately I’ve been clearing my head quite a bit and am getting back into the flow of wanting to write again.  It’s been a long road of emotions and personal battles, to put it mildly.     Currently I am on a jenky laptop that hurts my wrists when I type on it for any length of time.   I long to have a REAL computer again with a keyboard that I can comfortably set in a way to type instead of trying to on this shared laptop.   I hope to have my very own PC in the very very near future.   When I do,   get ready for some reading!    I wonder if anyone has ever started up a gofundme to purchase a ‘sanity PC’?  lol… tempting…

 

Until then I am going to sign off and hopefully writing again on a daily basis will once again become a reality.

 

 

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One of my earliest memories of my grandmother on my father’s side was her telling me to never ever follow in my mother’s footsteps and be FAT. She would tell me that fat people aren’t the type of people that others want to socialize with.  “You don’t ever want to be fat like your mother!” (Did I mention that my dad’s mother wasn’t too keen on my mom?).  Back then as a little kid i would go home, look at my mom and not understand what grandma was talking about.  My mom wasn’t ‘fat’ at all.  She had what we would call today a ‘badonkadonk’ butt, but she was one of the last full time stay at home super wife/mom of the 70’s.  This label that was placed on her by my grandmother was unfair and cruel, and sort of introduced me to what body shaming was at an early age.  

Flash forward to my early teens and I would fluctuate on my weight pretty often. Nothing extreme but over time I noticed that clothes stopped fitting so well.  

My review on Nutrish zero grain cat food by Rachael Ray

Life has been traveling at such a high speed lately that I don’t know where all the time has gone. Influenster courtesy of Rachael Ray had sent me a generous sample of her Zero Grain chicken formula cat food to try out on my cats and get my opinion on the results.  Even though life has been moving pretty fast I can say though, that since all of this time has passed by I’ve had the chance to slowly transition my kitties onto this food permanently.  At first I was going to give them a temporary change because I wasn’t sure how they would react to it.  They made their point loud and clear that they absolutely love it!

I have tried to keep them on a high quality diet, but either they would grow bored of whatever they were eating eventually or they would play this annoying game of ‘pick out only certain flavored kibbles from the bowl’ until I would get frustrated and look for something else. My senior orange boy  Kwyjibo is like a toddler and loves cat treats so if he gets bored with a food he will just yowl for temptations or any other cat nummy.  

They took to the zero grain almost immediately and their enthusiasm when they hear their bowls jingling with the sound of the chicken formula kibble inside sends them running to their room to eat. I have a timed feeder for them and they can hear them running at the very first sound of mealtime.  

So now I can say all of my furbabies are now happily on Rachael Ray pet foods.  She really knows her stuff when it comes to the health and well being of dogs and cats. 
Rachael Ray’s Zero grain cat food gets two thumbs up from me and a BIG “Meowww-yummy!” from Kwyjibo and Mimi. 
Thank you once again Influenster and especially thank you to Rachael Ray for giving us the opportunity to do this review.  

Social media kills relationships

I won’t lie. The Internet changed my life….no, the Internet SAVED my life.    I met my husband online back before it was such a thing.  Before there were all these cases of catfishing and long, long before plenty of fish and e harmony was even thought about. Back then, if you wanted to meet people you gathered in a chat room and became an expert at speed reading while the conversations of multiple people scrolled across your screen.  

If it wasn’t for social media I wouldn’t be in the place where I am today.  There would have been no way our paths would have crossed otherwise. So in this sense I am thankful for that.  However, there is such a thing as too much social media.  Too much looking at a computer screen instead of looking into the eyes of your soulmate. Too much reading online articles instead of spending quality time with your soulmate, too much gaming (yes. There IS such a thing as too much gaming!), too much online shopping, too much internet!
I’m as guilty as the next person. I loves me my Facebook, my Influenster, my YouTube and my gaming.  A few years ago I would spend so much time on my computer that going to work and getting directly on the Internet was my daily routine.   If my ICQ chat wasn’t on I would twitch from lack of talking to anybody.  I gamed and would do so for days at a time.  Heck, I would message my husband while he was sitting across from me in the same room!! Nowadays everyone has some sort of device on them which has access to anything they need with just the click of a button.  If you go out in public and sit in a restaurant and look around you see people on their social devices instead of talking to the people they are sitting with. If there is a tragedy such as a house on fire, car accident, etc everyone around will most likely be grabbing videos or pictures to share on social media. It’s like, telling an old fashioned story isnt enough anymore.   Check out my Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or Facebook for the details.    

After a while though, I’ve grown bored with so much computer taking over my life.   I now look to the weekends as an opportunity to venture out and explore something new, or work on and or finish a home project that’s been on my mind.  I want to live while I can, since life is so fragile.  I want to do as much as I can while I can. 
Unfortunately as it stands now I’m alone in my household with feeling this way.  The same old routine still appeals to my husband and so we clash often on what to do in our spare time that we do manage to have together.   I never wanted to be that kind of wife that complains about how her husband never listens to her, but either I have grown more chatty in my old age or it seems that I do carry on one sided conversations more than not lately.  It’s not worth arguing over when we do get one on one time together, so I’ve reluctantly given more space.  In experiencing this I know I’m not alone.   I have heard countless stories of relatively the same thing, some stories worse Hopefully someday soon there will be a happy medium between internet usage and family time.  In the meantime I’ve been planning some sanity trips to visit friends and family. Solo. I think some much overdue social time will help decompress some of this frustration.  

It’s all about the respect…

“Uhh.  Stacey?  What the hell?!”  One of my friends whom I met through my job since she comes in with her dogs often was standing at my desk eying me as if I had a horn protruding from my forehead. 

“What? What did I do?”   I looked back at her and at first thought she was kidding about something but the expression on her face was serious. 
“What just happened?  Why do you let her treat you like that?”
Huh?  Oh. Now I knew what she was talking about.   I guess it happened so often that I didn’t think much of it anymore. You see, a few of my co workers would regularly grow bored right in the middle of a conversation with me and just get up and walk away.  No warning.   No reason.   Even if I was trying to relay something important pertaining to my job it didn’t matter.  The next thing I knew I was left alone talking to myself and feeling foolish.  Rather than pout about it I had learned to shrug it off and move on to something else.  I had been treated that way pretty much since my first day of working there.  I remember some of us were gathered up at the front after a hectic and long work day chatting away about different things before we all headed home.   The moment I chimed in on one of the conversations I was interrupted, talked over and left in awkward silence as people headed out the door and home for the day.   At first i thought it was a fluke but then it happened again and again and again.  At one point one of my other workers had made a comment about it after I was in mid joke telling and the person whom I was talking to had turned to walk out of the room.  I laughed it off but deep down it really did hurt being treated like that.  Even if it was some stupid joke or something else I wanted to share, it got to the point where I just shut off my emotions and did my best to pretend it didn’t happens.  If anything to salvage my pride.   At it was working for the most part.  It hadnt been witnessed by someone else before though, until now.  

So now I had to explain to my concerned friend what had just happened. And it was humiliating. Again.   Ugh. 

“That’s disrespectful!  Why do you let her treat you that way?”

Well.

The truth is, I don’t have an answer to that question. Even though I preferred to blend in to the background as a kid, I had begun to find my voice and my confidence after separating from Chris and therefore started enjoying more of a leadership and mentor role.  Life became fun again, and even though I was struggling to accept the fact that I would most likely never have kids of my own I could leave my mark in this world in other ways.  With life experiences and helping others.  Isn’t that what life is about?

But on the subject of how someone could treat another person with such little regard that they would walk away from them in mid conversation…. It shows an immature level  lack of respect. I know I would never treat someone that way, even if what they were saying was putting me to sleep from boredom.   I guess rather than let it get to me anymore I can be secure with myself in knowing  that I was raised better than that. 
And if they don’t want to hear what I have to say.     Then it’s their loss.   Period.      

The many flavors of JELLY

We are competitive by nature.   Pretty much from the first day you step
foot into the social world you are in competition with everyone else. Whose
lunchbox is the coolest, who is  better in hop scotch,  who has the nicest
clothing, coolest friends,  best hair,  better parents, better car,  higher job title,
spouse, house, blah blah blah…

It never stops!  And no matter what we ALL are guilty of it.

I guess I have found myself being more observant of it lately since my
social life of where I am currently residing is pretty much nil.   I don’t
have a real big friend circle like I have had in the past.  Most of my close
friends have moved away and are scattered all over the place.  So,  I
am a fly on the wall,  a wallflower… and it’s because of that it’s
heightened my senses in other ways.   I notice more of what’s going on around
me.   I still have a hard time keeping my mouth shut though….  working on
that 🙂

The whole competition thing can be entertaining to watch from a distance,
especially if it’s directed at you in some way…  watching someone fall over
themselves trying to outdo you and hoping for a reaction.   In the beginning
when that sort of thing was done to me,  I would bristle up and get
defensive.   “How dare so and so try to think they are better than ME!”    That would make me want to outdo THEM to the point where it turned into war.   I resented that person for even daring to stick their nose into my business in order to steal my mannerisms.  “Why doesn’t she just do things her own way instead of copying mine?  PATHETIC!”    After a while I actually stood back and looked at the situation…  What I’ve come to discover is when someone is going out of their way to do that to you,  it’s actually a compliment.  I mean,  to have someone actually want to pattern a little bit of their life lead by your example is a very special feeling if you actually think about it.   I’ve done it before,  and it’s shaped the person that I am today.. It’s human nature.

So I say,  if anyone wants a little competition…. BRING IT!   🙂

 

 

“Sorry, wrong number”

Calling the right place on post can be a major pain in the ass.  There are numerous extensions and DSNs,  not to mention the turnover is high and people are constantly moving in and out of offices.   And don’t get me started on the ‘phone directory’ provided online… it may as well be in greek since I don’t understand a word of it.   Especially anything to do with the human hospital numbers, I’ve been guilty of just calling one of the numbers in hopes that whoever it is that picks up the other end can direct me easier than me mulling through pages and pages of extension numbers.

Because of that we receive the occasional wrong number from others trying to reach another department.  We’ve had mental health questions, podiatry, home maintenance requests, and once even a poor mother who thought she was calling the nurses’ line that went into a long story about her son’s circumcision before I was able to politely cut her off to tell her she had called the wrong number.   Usually my co worker and I would just say “I am sorry but you have reached the veterinary clinic” and refer them back to the post operator number to most likely play another game of ‘let’s try this number now” until they reach who they need to.   Yesterday though… we got a call that was different.

I could barely hear the lady on the other end.   At first I thought it was her connection but it was obvious she was having a hard time speaking.  I turned up the volume on my phone and listened to what she had to say.    She was saying something about wanting to get information about traveling across state,  and that she didn’t know what documentation she needed.  Being in the ‘veterinary clinic’ frame of mind I figured she was asking about traveling with pets,  but before I opened my mouth to speak I heard her say the word “Veteran”…… then silence.

“Ma’am?   Are you trying to call the….”  I replied, then I could hear her take a deep breath and she half blurted out as if the words had been choking her in the back of her throat

“You see, I’m the mother….”

Oh GOD…  she was trying to call the Veteran’s office regarding having her child’s remains moved!  You could tell this poor woman was having a hard enough time making this call in the first place and just having me say “You called the Veterinary clinic, not the Veteran’s office” would make it all the more worse.

“Hold on just for a few moments Ma’am, I will get the number of the person you can contact for that”

“Thank you….  very much!”

I put her on hold and my hands were shaking.   Even from that short conversation with that lady I could feel the emotion in her words.  To think of what she was going through calling a military post where her child was once at and now where they will be until arrangements could be made to bring them home.. it broke my heart.   The most I could do was get her to the correct people without any more delay.   Thankfully my husband oversees a number of divisions on post including the Casualties.   I gave her the direct number for them and she thanked me again with a little sniffle and we each hung up the phone.

 

I hope she is able to be reunited with her baby as soon as humanely possible..  and I’m glad I was able to help out if even a little bit by not referring her out into ‘post operator’ land.

My review of Rachael Ray’s “Nutrish Dish” brand dog food

So many pet foods out there.. ! aisles and aisles of them, all claiming to be the very best, highest quality or made with the freshest ingredients blessed by mother nature herself, etc etc. I remember when I was a little girl we fed our dog Purina Puppy chow as a puppy (the kibbles with the powdered stuff on it that turned into a creamy substance when water was added)  and then Purina Dog chow as an adult/senior.  There were no breed specifics, special needs, ‘hormone free, additive free, all natural, free range, soy free/wheat free/ choices out there.   A few years later  while watching Price is right one day I saw a commercial for ‘cycle’ brand dog foods. Cycle one, cycle two, cycle three. It was pretty much laid out in front of you. Feed your dog this.. and it will eat.

 

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Everything was so simple back then…

but then came greedy corporations that thought making pet food (AND human food for that matter, but that’s another rant!) was too expensive for their bottom line so they cheapened it, started adding fillers, fake colors, fake flavors and crap that has now become what we call our food today. Working in the veterinary field as long as I have, I have witnessed hundreds of cases of doggy diets done wrong. Your average consumer will judge a pet food by how it is displayed on the container. “Fresh garden greens, carrots, peas, potatoes and chicken” Wow! perfect! it all sounds fine and good until you come home from work that night to find “Fido” has vomited on your carpet and those ‘fresh garden carrots’ have left a bright orange stain that is very unbecoming of a fresh carrot. What I’ve noticed is usually it’s the prettiest bags that hold the biggest lies when it comes to picking out a pet food. One brand which will remain nameless looks amazing on display, but it’s all for show.  The majority of allergy cases we have seen have been related to feeding that brand of pet food.   Dogs will start having recurring ear infections and skin issues, wake their owners up in the middle of the night licking and chewing on their feet and butts.   Anal gland issues, you name it!  That’s what you get when you eat stuff that doesn’t belong inside your belly… your body starts to revolt!   It’s not the pet owner’s fault at all,  it’s false look of the food and the bells and whistles in its advertising that makes them think they are making an amazing choice for their furbaby.

 

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Influenster once again offered to send me a product to test, and this time it was for my dogs.    A new food that was debuting to the public in March.  Rachael Ray’s Nutrish/Dish with Chicken and Vegetables.

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My dogs were thrilled at the opportunity to eat!  No, really!   Usually when I feed them I have to put their bowls at opposite ends of the room.  Otherwise Rebel will gobble up a mouthful of his food then run over to Daisy’s bowl and do the same.. running back and forth until both bowls worth of food are packed tightly in his mouth like a hamster.  He will then attempt to chew and swallow what is in his mouth like a doggy version of ‘chubby bunny’ that often ends up with him coughing out whole pieces of kibble and me chasing him around trying to make sure he doesn’t choke himself to death.    I did an ‘unboxing’ video for Influenster and it turned into a double feature of unboxing and taste test.  Mainly because once I opened the bag the dogs were REALLY interested in what I had.   The first thing I noticed in the bag was dried veggies.   Carrot slices, shriveled up dried peas and little dice shaped dried potato bits.  Then there were chicken bits with kibble.   I divvied out a bit of each piece and let my dogs check it out.   Both were enthralled in eating the food.   Not gobbling up and swallowing as fast as possible but rather enjoying each bite.  Their noses remained in their bowls (THEIR bowls,  Rebel wasn’t doing his usual running back and forth routine) until almost each bite was gone.    The only thing they had trouble with was the rather large carrot slices.  I tried to break them into smaller bits but resorted to just soaking them in a tiny bit of water to soften them.. then they were free game to devour! Overall I really like this food for my pups.  They really took to it and it is very apparent that Rachael Ray formulated this food with the pet’s health in mind.   It’s not just a ‘pretty’ food but rather a REAL food.    Am I going to switch my dogs over to this when it officially hits the shelves?   You bet!

 

Another reason now why I loves me some Rachael Ray.. 😉

 

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Thank you Influenster and Thank you Rachael Ray!  ❤

 

“What was THAT look for??”

Sigh…..

 

this is a rant that may not make sense but it’s been on my mind for so long I just have to get it out.   I don’t know if anyone else has had this problem before or if I really do give off a look that makes me look like an evil asshole.  Whatever the case it’s something really hard to deal with and emotionally it hurts because I don’t really feel that I’m like that.

I will get comments just out of the blue

Geez, what was that look for?”
“What’s the matter with you, Stacey?”
“I’ve been told by the other employees that you have been short with them today, you are really going to have to change your attitude?”
“WE already know what Stacey thinks, her expression tells it all!”
“What was that nasty look for?”
“I saw you driving in your car the other day and you looked so pissed off.  I waved at you and you didn’t even see me.  You don’t even smile when you are driving!”

There are more comments like that..   a lot more.   And it happens all the time now.     When I try to tell people that I am not upset all I get is “Uh huh… well your look says it all!”  After a while I just give up trying to explain because I guess I do make some ugly looks.  Ugly looks that tells the world how foul tempered and annoyed I am with everything.  Why would people lie?   So because of that to some, I am just an ass.  An ass that always gives everyone dirty looks.    Watch out for Stacey!  she’s got an attitude problem!   Remember my blog about first impressions?  I’ve been a victim of that where I currently work.    I think I’ve been pegged as the bitch so people tend of walk on eggshells around me.   What do I do?  What CAN I do?   it seems like some people have already drawn up their own conclusions about me.
It’s enough to bring me to tears sometimes  (most times) … I wish I could somehow film my expression for a week just to see what others see.   I want to know why so many people think that of me.   I am not that kind of person,  I swear!  I want to spend what little time I have left on this earth enjoying life, making people happy, helping animals and making friends… not constantly saying over and over again “I wasn’t making an ugly face”

I do get deep in thought a lot.   Back when I was little I was a shy outcast.  Not only did I have a pretty bad stuttering problem I also didn’t fit in with the popular crowd so I was happy sitting off by myself in elementary school playing with bugs or watching all of the other kids play.   Occasionally one of the popular kids would walk up to me and say “What’s wrong with you?  Are you weird?”  I would just look down at my feet and say “I guess”   I guess I was weird…. but I was happier being weird than considering myself that mean girl’s equal.    Over the years I found my voice and became more social.  I was still shy and wasn’t considered a social butterfly, but  I made a small circle of  friends and developed a pretty comical personality.  I love to make people laugh, and I’ve been told before I am fun to work and hang out with.

However,  it’s those other people that insist that I’m always giving off nasty looks that is making me rethink how I really am.   Is it something I am doing subconsciously?   am I fooling myself when I tell people that I really am happy?    Do I really have that ‘ugly’ face that offends people and makes me not the kind of person people want to socialize with anymore?

It has almost gotten to the point where I have started hating what I see when I look in a mirror.

 

 

I am truly at a loss..

Time to get back on the wagon

bikini me n lau

This is me (on the right)  circa a LONG ass time ago.   The girl I’m with is one of my best friends in the entire world and we are at some water park near Reno, Nevada.   We thought it would be cute to buy matching bikinis (and we pulled it off in my opinion!)  of course the dark story behind the condition of my body is that at the time I was with someone who body shamed me into an eating disorder (I would buy a pair of jeans or some other article of clothing a few sizes too small on purpose then absolutely wreck myself until I could fit in it… even if it meant drinking straight peroxide to induce vomiting… yeah.. let’s not get into that)   I saw myself through different eyes back then.  Manipulated vision, I like to call it.   Now that I look at it over 20 years after it was taken,  my friend and I looked DAMN good!

I think this picture was the last time I ever wore a 2 piece bathing suit.  Not that I will ever wear one again..  my body just doesn’t like 2 piece anythings anymore,  but I’m going to work on getting my body back into the less ‘fluffy’ form.   I had done it over a year ago and had amazing progress,  but then fell off the wagon after a huge falling out with one of my now ex friends.

Me @ 2012

before

 

and here’s me a little over a year ago after a very determined diet plan.

better

I felt WORLDS better!   Was starting to get more energy, my knees stopped hurting and I was looking forward to dressing up at events.

boat

 

Well,  hubby booked us on a cruise for March so I’m making resolutions to get back into shape for it.    Thankfully I’m not back in the shape of the first picture.. but have dwindled down to the point where I get winded easily.   I’m determined to make a difference in these upcoming months  (and this time…  to stay at that goal!)

Challenge, accepted 2016!   Let’s do this!