Sunday, April 30, 2017

Just My MFing Luck

Walking through Walmart this after, I realized that I got fucking fabric color transfer on my week old Coach bag!!! I'm so upset I could cry. And I know what caused it ( even though it looks blue )...it was my gray Carly dress that I wore yesterday to Erika's party...ugh.



I've Googled "how to clean vinyl/coated canvas/Coach bags", I called the Coach Outlet at Hershey and I've tried numerous ways to clean off this stain to no avail:

-Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
-rubbing alcohol with a Q-tip
-makeup removing cloth WITH exfoliating beads
-Coach Signature Fabric Cleaner
-fabric/stain remover we got when I purchased the bed
-warm water & Dawn dishsoap
-a white pencil eraser

...and NOTHING!

😢😢😢 If anyone stumbles across this blog and has any tips to un-ruin my bag, please leave a comment below. I love this bag and was super psyched to find the last one in the store last week, and now I feel I've ruined it forever. One blog I read said that if the stain gets between the plastic coating and the canvas, it's pretty much impossible to remove...I'm so irritated I could cry.

...and this is why I can't have nice things...😞

 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

April Showers...

...are supposed to bring May flowers, and I pray it's true.

It's been rainy and dreary here in Central PA, and we got quite a boomer last night around 3 AM. I knew it was going to be a hot weekend and that they were calling for some rain, but I was hoping it would pass. Luckily, it's around noon now and the sun is trying to peek through the clouds...but man is it humid!

So far, I've woken up and run 2 loads of laundry...but I've been thinking about spring cleaning and getting a start on it. 

Spring cleaning is a great way to get rid of things you have hoarded for the last year and may have never realized. You can open the windows and let in the fresh air, and just...declutter your life a little bit. It's a kind of therapy for me; the "out with the old, in with the new" feeling.

Since Haley's incident last month, I've decided that I don't want to travel for "vacation" this year, as to save money. So since the house hasn't been painted yet, I'm aiming for that to be completed during that time.

But in the meantime, it's always nice to start out small(er):

Those pesky Rubbermaid containers
Also known as "tupperware", I know I've accumulated far more than I will ever need. Through Nate's collection, my collection, ones we acquired from family as "take home", and empty lunchmeat containers/take-out food...we have a line of cupboards devoted to the shit. The other day I decided to take everything out and match the lids to the containers. Anything else will be tossed/recycled. I've noticed that a lot of our stuff has disappeared and I'm left with all this unmatched excess:


Check out your junk drawer
We all have a junk drawer ( or multiple ) I know that drawer probably accumulates a LOT of shit that you don't even remember you have. It's nice to pull it out every once in a while and make sure there isn't anything in there that you really don't need. If you find some of that stuff--toss it out.

*dundunDUNNNN* the closet!
I try to purge my closet about twice a year...or anytime I realize that I can't hang anything up anymore. I used to keep "just in case" clothes ( the clothes I can wear "once I lose weight...=/ ) but I'm thinking that this year, if it doesn't fit it goes. Although I purged my closet a bit ago, I didn't take out the JIC clothes so I think I'm going to go through it again. I also got a shoe rack to organize my shoes and I have a few pairs that can go. After slamming my arm in the chest to get a pair of sandals, a nice hanging shoe rack was just what I needed.


TURN THAT "TRASH" INTO CASH!
One of the best parts of purging is that you can possibly make a little extra cash from it! Using apps like LetGo, OfferUp and eBay can easily make you a few bucks on the things you no longer want. There's even the Facebook Marketplace and numerous Facebook yardsale pages. Clothing that's too small? Wall decor you've grown out of? Old electronics just laying around? Sell it! One man's trash is another man's treasure, y'all!   

**or you can always have a good, old-fashioned yard sale! 😄

And once you get rid of all that junk you no longer want and clean out your closet, it's then time to get yourself a few new things, haha! You can do so by coming out to my next PetValu event for CPAA; it will be a Lularoe fundraiser with consultant Heather Weaser! A percentage of sales will go straight to our cause, and then Lularoe itself will cut us another check for so-much-per-piece-sold. She will have great spring/summer options like the Carly/Julia dresses and Cassie/Maxi skirts, along with Classic Ts, Irmas and the famous "buttery-soft leggings". Tell your friends! Tell your family! Post it on bulletin boards and share it at work! I'll post the flier below so you can share/print!

 Enjoy the weekend, lovelies ❤

  

Friday, April 28, 2017

Yup

I'm breaking my cardinal rule...the one thing I never wanted to really discuss here. But I'm so revved up about shit lately that I need an outlet. So in turn, I'm just going to have to be vague in parts. I don't need shit started ( more than it seems to have already ) but I also can't take much more...

I want to say, first and foremost that I LOVE MY JOB! My boss is super awesome, kind, courteous, good at what he does and is super easy to get along with; you don't find that with many doctors. I joke that he's "the easiest going person in the whole office--and he's the boss!" We get along great, he appreciates the work that I do for him, he's fairly easy to please and easy to assist. He trusts and truly cares for all of his employees...something some people can only dream about. Hell!...for our one-year anniversary of opening the office, we closed after lunch and went to race go-karts and he got us Isaac's and sushi for lunch! He pays 100% of our health insurance AND we get profit sharing. I never in a million years would have thought that I'd land such an awesome opportunity with such an awesome guy...but I did. And I count my blessings everyday for it. He's optimistic and always wanting to better himself and those around him. I look forward to joking in surgeries with him and the CRNA.

I also love the patients. You meet all kinds of people from all different walks of life. When I worked in perio, I said my biggest feeling of accomplishment is when I can make a truly terrified patient feel at ease. And it's so true. I feel kindness goes a long way. When you're going to a hospital and you're scared of what's going to happen to you, some of the staff is just so exhausted and overworked that they sometimes treat you like you're just a number. I like patients to know that they are a person; a person I care for and will do my best to ease tensions because...surgery is scary! I remember the first time I went to be sedated for an endoscopy: my 20 year old ass was bawling in that waiting room. Hahaha. No shame! I was a fucking mess. 

Of course you always get a few crazies, but we do even in just daily life...

But what I've found to be my biggest obstacle in office situations is the amount of women who work together. 

Right out of high school I became a Certified Nursing Assistant because it paid well for not having a college education ( and at the time I was just working at Walmart ) I was newly 18 but had good work ethic. Well, with all these senior employees seeing the horrible turnover in the homes, I wasn't given much of a chance before they just assumed I was a "stupid, lazy kid"...that was until one night when it was just myself and another chick and we whipped out rounds like fuuuuuck. When you're young, you seem to have to "prove yourself" to the old-heads. But then when you're with a bunch of other young girls, they get clique-y and you end up having to use a two-assist hoyer-lift on a 450lb. immobile patient all by yourself. I did that shit for a year and was like, "Peace, I'm out!"

My last office was also full of women. I only had an issue with one of the original girls and that was only because she was super religious and she always made snide remarks about my tattoos and piercings. I never said anything rude to her, but I didn't speak to her. Why should I have to entertain her and pretend to like her when I don't? We did speak briefly after she quit and she sent me a very sweet card in the mail saying that it was wrong of her to judge me based on what was on my body ( especially when her daughter started getting into body modification, also ) and we made amends. Are we friends? No. Did I hate her? No. We just weren't compatible and that was OK.

Now I work in this wonderful, busy, state-of-the-art office with yet again...a bunch of women. But this time we have so many strong personalities that I feel at a loss anymore. Don't get it twisted: I don't hate any of them. But it's not like my old office. Aside from bitch-ass Heidy G., I LOVED hanging out with those girls. We would go tubing down the Yellow Breeches in the summertime and drink and fuck around; we would have Tasteful Treasures parties at Roxi's house, we would do dinner with me, Roxi, Neha and Lynne some nights after work, Gary would always have dinner at DaVinci's every Thursday night and anyone could come. I grew a bond with some of these girls. And even though we may have pissed each other off sometimes, we stuck together and really cared about eachother ( or so I thought at the time, at least ) But these girls found me a riot. Roxi was my "mama bird". Lynne candled my ears and we'd play Cards Against Humanity after hours in the break room. I'm not in that type of environment anymore. I'm the "odd one out". And because I don't particularly care for certain people, I'm kind of now a loner. But I'm also at the age where, as long as I'm still professional, I don't feel I have to be anyone's friend if I find them toxic to my own mental health.

I've discussed my issue with my therapist. And about how I don't know how to have healthy boundaries, but I need to learn. I told her that I:
*help out when needed
*answer questions without being a bitch, when asked
*work together when necessary
--but I don't want to be buddy-buddy and don't make chit chat with someone I don't trust/care for. 
She told me that I'm doing exactly as I should be and that you can be professional with someone without having to be their best friend.

Clearly that is not the case, as I've been snapped at half a dozen fucking times within the last few weeks. And I'm tired of it. And I spoke to someone else about the issue and they gave me some useful advice that I cannot seem to facilitate because the snide remarks are said ( very unprofessionally ) in the presence of patients!

Logically speaking, I see there's someone on the schedule for surgery at, say...2:00. Someone puts them in a room because we don't have consults on Friday...so there's an extra room available for the quick checks. But because that someone is who they are, even if you had a quick check you wanted to put in there, you don't say anything to them. BUT GOD FORBID I PUT A FUCKING SURGERY IN AT 2:30 BECAUSE "THAT'S YOUR ROOM", yet you dealt with it for the other girl? Do I treat YOU like that? Do I fly off the handle and get shitty and make rude-ass remarks and bully you where patients can clearly see and hear? No. I fucking don't. When you're doing something in MY room and I need it, I come back from lunch 15 minutes early to get it done as to let you finish what you needed to. I'm professional about it because you're my co-worker...but you are not my friend. And I don't have to be.

As you can probably get from the tone of this post, it was one thing after another. I got my head bitten off by one girl and then another girl snapped at me 2 minutes later ( but it had nothing to do with me; it just kinda added to my already disgruntled mood ) When I came back from my long weekend on Tuesday, people ( I guess ) noticed that I was just kinda quiet and to myself--AND THIS IS WHY. 

Because I don't like drama.
Because I don't like bullies.
Because I'm learning healthy boundaries.
Because I don't feel I need to be friends with everyone anymore.

Your job is where you spend a majority of your life until you're ready to retire. I see it as, I want to work in a nice place but not all the people will be nice...and you just have to deal. But there's NO REASON to purposely try to make another's life miserable simply because they may not like you so much. Everyone is different. And IDGAF if you like me or not, as long as you treat me with respect when in a situation where it's necessary. 

"It's your tone!"

✌✌✌




Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My Last Ipsy/First Birchbox

Well guys, I decided that Ipsy was no longer for me...so this month was my last glambag. It was fun while it lasted, but I wasn't too pleased with receiving things I'd never use ( not all of it, but when you tell them you don't like a product...they shouldn't send something like it again multiple times )

I'm sitting outside since the sky cleared up and I needed a little less dreariness and "inside time" to spruce up my mood. So here we go with my April/FINAL glambag review:


OFRA Cosmetics Blush
I think mine was the Peach Blush, but I haven't used it yet. When my samples come in these little box-like things, I tend to not use them as often because they aren't as convenient. I feel like storage is harder because I don't want glittery powder shit all over my make up bag. The color is nice, though, it may actually be the Format color...IDK...again, I haven't used it yet.

POND'S Cold Cream Cleanser
I used this product once because I'm not a huge fan of Pond's products ( I feel like they make me break out ) Plus...I know nothing about "cold creams". I put it on my face in the shower and it felt great, but when I wiped/washed it off, it felt very greasy. I assume it's to "moisturize" but I don't know. I'll try it again...but if I don't like it, I'll probably just give it to someone.

Jesse's Girl Liquid Eyeliner in Black
I liked this eyeliner. I like all eyeliners; it's a staple in my make up bag. So much so, I keep one in my purse at all times ( in one of my past glambags, actually! ) It actually said on the package that this brand can be purchased at Rite Aid stores!

Ciate London Mini Bamboo Bronzer in _____ Island
Again, I am not sure which color I got: Star or Palm ( I'm outside, remember? ) but I'm not big on bronzers. I used them as either a blush or an eyeshadow because I don't know how to contour mah face! The color isn't too bold, though, which I like. Yeah...I haven't used it yet.

Meg Twin Nailpolish in Lovey Dovey
I finally took the gel polish off of my nails this weekend and I decided to give myself a mani on Friday. I decided to use the tan color in this polish duo. I used white as a base coat and when I was finished/after I fucked up one of my nails, I decided to do a "design". The color is *meh* but it's nice for the fall or maybe a wedding/funeral/job interview ( they all suck ) But here were my results:


**Bonus items: I used up the rest of my Ipsy Points since I was discontinuing my subscription, so here's what I cashed in for:**

Dermelect Rapid Repair Facial Moisturizer
I REALLY like this face cream! It's actually a blueish tint but, of course, it doesn't turn your face blue. It smells amazing. It's thick but goes on great. A little goes a long way. AND I. DON'T. BREAK. OUT! Love this -ish!

28 Remedy Balancing Toner 
Eh, it's toner. Toner is toner.

So noooooooooooow, we are on to my first Birchbox! =) YEP, this is gonna be a longer blog!


rms beauty "the ultimate make up remover wipes"
I used one of the two I received last night before bed when I tried out the lipstick I received in this same box ( hold, please ) Um, PROBABLY wasn't the best idea to try after using a bold color but you live and you learn ( and look like The Joker ) ANYWAY, these wipes are pretty much just coconut oil on a sheet...but it worked GREAT! My skin felt slick for a few minutes, but the benefits of coconut oil are awesome and it took my makeup off, leaving my skin clean and moisturized. Plus, it smelled GREAT! It tells you on the package, but you want to warm the sheet up between your hands for about 20 seconds just because coconut oil tends to harden, but it worked really well and I really liked them.

The Beauty Crop GRLPWR Liquid Lipstick in Imma Bawse
To be honest...the color scares me. As one girl reviewed it, it's "brick red". It dried fast, is a matte finish and a bitch to remove...but for someone who regularly wears lipstick, that's probably a good point. The color is gorgeous but I am very fair complected and I'm very unsure of the hue with my skintone. I sent a picture to a few friends on Snapchat and they thought it looked good, but I'm still skeptical. I will keep it in my make up bag until I see a use for it.

amika Bombshell Blowout Spray
O.M.G. I loooooooove this stuff! Smells great, works great...and my hair looked amazing even the next day! Full body after blowdrying, smooth and less fly-aways than usual. I really like this stuff. So much that I actually may consider purchasing the expensive full-sized bottle ( it's $24...but I don't do my hair very often, so it should last a while, I'd think...? )

R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo
The first time I used dry shampoo was when I had the cyst removed from my scalp...and I haven't used one since. I plan to keep this little sample in my gym back to use on an as-needed basis/when I'm a sweaty fucking mess and need to go somewhere. But no, I haven't tried it yet. I hope it doesn't smell like fucking baby powder...

Coastal Scents Blush and Bronzer Palette
This came with one blush hue and one bronzer, and I used just the blush. It's a nice tone that wasn't too harsh and went on with little effort. Just a little color to add to my *blah* complexion every now and then.

Now, I just eagerly await my second Birchbox. They actually let you select one of your samples ahead of time if you'd like to: I did today, and I selected a gradual sunless tanner ( for my pastey-ass legs ) I'm hoping to have better luck with this beauty subscription and I don't have to worry about what I'm going to do with a dozen different bags! Haha! 

If you're interested in trying out Birchbox for yourself, click HERE and follow my referral link to subscribe! It helps me earn points to use on the site. 

Stay beautiful! 🙌 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Down Days

If you have clinical depression, you know alllllllll about "down days". Unfortunately, today is one of mine.

The weather is dreary, I have cramps because it's "about that time", I woke up later than I'd wanted, and just the atmosphere is very...blah...today.

It's like when one shitty thing happens and then it just spirals into everything being shitty.

So what do I do to combat these feelings?
...I keep to myself.

It's not anyone's fault; it's my own mind and my own issues. I find it better to just be quiet, do the tasks that need done and then check out for the evening. And sometimes...I just don't want to talk.

Some healthy ways of fighting these blues would also include:

-count your blessings
-do something that you enjoy/makes you smile
-talk to an old friend
-eat a favorite snack
-retail therapy aka. TREAT YOSELF!

But sometimes, you just wanna wallow...and girl, that's okay, too! 

So that's exactly what I'm gonna do!...



Monday, April 24, 2017

Big Boobs & Bralettes

If you are like me and have been (un)blessed with a big chest, trying to find shirts/bras/dresses/swimsuits can sometimes be a challenge.

Not to mention...they are heavy AF! 😒

Well, even at my 38DDD bust, I am in love with these "cage bralettes" and wanted to try them. I wasn't sure what the final verdict would be and, even after buying two, I'm still on the fence. But here are some of my opinions on boobs vs. bralettes.

Bralettes are NOT for practicality.
Girls, they are SUPER cute...but ladies should know they are NOT meant for high-impact. Lace/nylon/non-adjustable straps just scream "please don't run in me". This should be in Boobs 001 as soon as you hit puberty. So, as long as you don't plan to run a 5k, I think you'll be just fine sporting that adorable bralette.

Little boobs win all.
If you know anything about me, I hate my boobs and would like nothing more than to cut them off ( once I lose about 20 lbs ) Of course, when it comes to low-impact bras like bralettes, they are best for little boobs. They have little to no support, don't show sag and are super flattering on the thin and flat(ter) chested. But I'm not saying that big-breasted babes can't rock these...yet. 

You GOTTA make sure it fits right.
When it comes to bralettes, they go by sizes like S, L, XL...they aren't cup/bust sizes. So when you choose one of these lingerie-type bras, you have to make sure that it's tight enough around the ribs to stay up...but also LARGE enough in the cups to cover your tits. Bt you also don't want a bra that's cutting into your back and making you look like the Pillsbury Doughboy. Good luck ladies...it's a challenge.

LOOK FOR ONES WITH REMOVABLE PADDING!
Some of the ones I've seen, especially at Forever 21, are just nylon and spandex...meaning total. nipple. show. So if that is not the look you are aiming for, find a bralette that has extra padding in the cups or a removable pad.  

The other day, I decided to look online for the best options to get a caged bralette and the top two I found for the style and price I was looking for was: Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe. Now, I have a really hard time finding standard-sized tops when my girls are so large, so my biggest struggle is that I need a plus-sized cup but I'm only a 38 bust...thus making most "standard plus-sized" too large around my ribs. This is ESPECIALLY hard when trying to find swim tops, but that's a whole other story.

Well, Forever 21 has a plus-sized webpage but, unfortunately, they do not carry larger sizes in their local store. But after reading some of the reviews and even stopping into my store, I found that they were not what I was looking for.

Then I tried Charlotte Russe, knowing that my mall has a small plus-sized section. I looked online first to see what they had...but the true challenge was if they had it in the store or not. Well, they did!...and I scored one in each color: black and white.



With a 20% discount, I got both colors for $16. Of course, it's still money...but at least if I hated them, I didn't spend $30-some on each of them, ya know? I got them in a 1x/2x size ( the smallest size they had in plus )

Anyways, they give me NO lift. Although they fit AWESOME and aren't too tight and aren't too loose, in some tops...they just aren't flattering. Honestly, I should give two-fucks less what people think if my boobs are "saggy" or not and just worry about comfort, but when I don't have much lift and they don't look good in a shirt...I feel they make me look even bigger than I am.  

They have removable padding thus keeping my nips from showing. Always a thumbs up for that!
 
The straps are comfortable, but a little too thin for someone with such a large chest. But they don't cut, thank God.

All-in-all, I will say that I love bralettes simply for the comfort factor. I love the caged detail but...I think with a chest-size as large as mine, it's easier to find a cami with the caged accent and wear a real bra underneath it rather than buy a bralette. 

Unfortunately, I think bralettes are for the small chested and I just don't fit the bill =(



 

Monday, April 17, 2017

HOPPY Easter!

Happy Monday, y'all! I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday weekend! Here in South Central PA it was gorgeous, with mostly sunny skies and lingering in the low 80s ( plus that breeze! ) It was definitely a beautiful day.

Saturday was also quite gorgeous. The Newberry Peddler's Market had a food truck event on Saturday, so Carol, Maddy and I went for lunch and Maddy saw the Easter bunny. And the rest of the day I was just a fat piece of shit. LOL. We went to the Silver Lake for dinner, and then I headed down to the neighbors for drinks and some Cards Against Humanity.


I was happy that Nathan had off of work Sunday...even though there was a slight mix-up where, even after numerous conversations about the day, they still put him on the schedule...=/ In either case, he did NOT have to go in.

So we both got ready and went to my dad's around noon. I got to see his new(er) place and spend some time with him. We still have not resolved our "conflict" but I thought I could put things aside for the holiday. My sister told me some promising stuff about said situation, but I won't believe it until I see it.

After our visit we ran to Walmart for some last-minute essentials for the week ( ie. bananas, milk, yogurt ) and we picked up a dessert for Easter dinner. 

Like last year, we went over to spend the holiday with Grandma Tutie, Deb and Eric...but this year we had Sara's family over, also...so it was a very large group of people. The kids had their annual Easter egg hunt and I got plenty of pictures. Stuffed full of food and 3 bottles of water down ( I'm such a party girl ) I was ready for bed around 7:30, HAHA! 


It was a good day with beautiful weather and lots to eat. It could've have been a more perfect Easter!




Sunday, April 9, 2017

Vantel Pearls/"Those Pearl Parties"

My coworker Jim and I had a few discussions about "those pearl parties"; making fun, not really understanding what they were about. Well, on St. Patty's Day I caved and played into one of those parties. Haha!

I received my pearl yesterday.

I was looking around on Facebook on St. Patty's and someone had shared a lady having a party at that present time. It was a live stream video and she was doing a contest to "find the golden oyster". It sounded fun; you get a pearl and, if you got a golden oyster, you'd get an additional $20 gift card to Starbucks. I thought, "What the hell...let me look at this catalog and see what's up"

My first take was: damn this shit is expensive. So, while perusing, I tried to find the most simple yet inexpensive thing I could find that I actually liked. I found what they call the "twister necklace" which was a sterling silver "cage" in which your pearl is put in.

So backtrack to how pearl parties work:

 1. When there is a live stream party ( because you only get to open an oyster if it's live--you CAN, however, shop anytime if you want to ) you shop the online catalog for what product you want. They have rings, necklaces, keychains, charms, etc. Prices vary, but they aren't cheap. I chose what I did because I knew sterling wouldn't flake away, it was simple so could be dressed up or down and it wasn't the most expensive thing in the book. Once you purchase, your name goes into a list and when it comes up on her screen, your hostess will shuck an oyster on the video and that will be "your pearl".

2. They show you your pearl up-close, go over color and size of your pearl and then put it in an envelope to be sent to Vantel Pearls for placement in your jewelry. Pearls come in numerous colors, but I think when you buy from the catalog and not a live show, it always comes with a white pearl. 

3. Your hostess ships all the party's pearls to the company, placement is done, they ship it BACK to the hostess who then ships it out to you.

4. You receive your jewelry within 2-4 weeks.
 
This is how my package came yesterday







Close up of my twister necklace with snow white pearl



I think the necklace is very cute; simply and classy. It will go with many different looks, which I like. 

Would I recommend Vantel Pearl parties? Sure. It was fun, but I think it's more a "one and done" type of thing. I most likely won't be purchasing any other items. I'd rather spend my money on LulaRoe or Coach bags.

Where can you find Vantel Pearl consultants? They probably come up on your Facebook feed periodically, but the lady that I purchased from is named Alicia Harmon and you can find her at https://www.facebook.com/thepearlqueen/. She seems to have frequent parties and is very nice.

Can I possibly shuck my own pearl? You CAN! They have kits through Vantel where you get an oyster and a necklace and you can shuck your own at home ( I did see elsewhere, though, that you can buy the same types of kits on Amazon for cheaper ) It sounds like an awesomely unique gift to give for a birthday, Christmas or other special occasion.

Alright, so that is my review on Vantel Pearls. Leave a comment if you've ever purchased and let us know what you think! 

Thanks for reading! :)

 

A Thank You

As some of you may know, once we were told that Haley was misdiagnosed ( she was not in CHF but actually had laryngeal paralysis ) I set up a GoFundMe page. The surgery was estimated to cost $3k-$5k. This was an expense that completely caught me off-guard and would wipe my savings account clean. I know...woe is me..."At least you have a savings account"...etc, etc. But one of my biggest anxiety triggers ( one I frequently talk about in therapy ) revolves around money. And thousands of dollars out due to the error of the vet threw me into a slight mental breakdown. So, to offset some of the financial stress, I went to the kindness of strangers. 

Since I ( somewhat ) work in rescue, I thought the best place to go was my fellow pet lovers.

What surprised me was the mix of people who were kind enough to help during this crisis.

I know that it's hard in 2017. We all pretty much live paycheck to paycheck. My savings account isn't for fun, but to be available "for the next disaster". So to have so many people donate...it makes my heart melt. Friends, coworkers, strangers; all coming together to help Nathan keep his dog for a while longer.

If you've read my previous blog, Nate lost his sister to a drug overdose on March 13th. In my last blog, I described the emergency visit to Rossmoyne because Haley was struggling to breathe. It was a lot on his plate. And although some people think that the GFM was asking for a "handout", I see it as: Nathan and I are two people who are trying to get our lives in order, and a $5k bill would throw a monkeywrench right into our progress. Neither of us have a money-spending habit ( ie. "keeping up with the Jones's", gambling, drinking, drugs ) nor have either of us had to file bankruptcy or anything of that sort. We don't spend money that we don't have, we don't try to take out loans for anything and we are just trying to make a good life for ourselves.

When I met Nate, he was separated and amidst a divorce. I wasn't planning on meeting him, it just happened...and it happened at a bad time in his life. Anyone who's gone through a divorce knows that it can be emotionally and financially draining. And they know it takes time. Nate doesn't always have "extra"...and he's very kind about bills, so I tend to have a little more "extra" than he does. 

It was also a bad time in my life when we met, and I was financially drained after my accident. I didn't have a car for a while. I completely drained all but $250 from my savings ( that was the "next disaster" ) But we made it work, and here we are 2 and a half years later.

So I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who donated to help with Haley's medical bills and who shared her page. After fees, we will end up with about $880 to go right towards the Care Credit bill. We also had a generous donation called into the vet hospital and we were blessed enough to have the bill a few hundred dollars less than the smallest quote they gave us. In times of disaster, you have to the be thankful for the small victories.

And to those naysayers that think it's absurd that we asked for help, that they would've just "put their dog down if they couldn't afford it", or said Haley is JUST a dog...fuck you. I don't want children; that's my choice. So all that love that I would give to a child, I put into pets. Would you say the same thing to someone who can't have children? Who knows...maybe I can't. How insensitive. And "going into debt" over a dog is just as "bad" as buying a $50k truck you don't need or ATVs/boats/fun things you can't afford or hundred dollar pairs of shoes you'll wear once or just...objects to make you look good to outsiders. 

How about this?...you mind your own fucking business and don't worry about what we spend our money on. Or if we ask for help or not. It's not like I'm asking strangers to help us build the porch we've been wanting to build for a year and a half...we asked for help to save a dog.

And an update on Haley: we picked her up yesterday and she's doing well. She's on about half a dozen pills and on limited activity for about 10-14 days. She's been sleeping a lot ( she's on Tramadol and Trazadone, so of course she's zonked ) and they shaved her neck, as the surgery was slightly invasive. She's got a dry cough from sedation but she's still a hog when it comes to her food and wagging her tail all over the place. Nate is a happy dog-dad and relieved to have his baby home.

I will be shutting down the GFM page probably Friday. If anyone else would like to make a contribution, I thank you ahead of time. 

And to everyone else who sent well-wishes, prayers and monetary donations: thank you SO much, from the bottom of our hearts!

https://www.gofundme.com/haleys-lifesaving-surgery



 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Yesterday's Fiasco

My plan was to simply hang out with my sister and my niece...maybe head to the consignment store, stop at the Grocery Outlet. Well...that plan quickly changed...

I'm pretty sure Haley almost died on me yesterday.

Backtrack:
Haley is Nate's 12 1/2 year old chocolate lab. He's had her since a wee little pup. In short, Haley is to Nate as Lola is to me ( ie. our everything ) At the beginning of the year, she started making coughing noises that we'd never heard before; not so much a cough but a "hack" or gag. Since it was new, we decided to have it looked out. After a couple of chest x-rays and them listening to her heart, they determined 1) she did not have a murmur that they could hear 2) she did not have any fluid in her lungs but 3) her heart was enlarged. The noises she was making was due to the exterior of the heart pushing against the esophagus, making it slightly irritated. So they prescribed her Lasix and Enacard to help keep the heart from growing further and to keep her from getting worse. We knew she was old for her breed but she's healthy in all other ways, so things were hopeful...

...until this incident.

She was having trouble breathing on Thursday but we both thought it was due to her simply getting too excited. When her blood pressure goes up and her heart has to work harder, it does a number on her. And since she still is very active, it's hard to keep her at bay sometimes. We contemplating taking her to the vet that night, but luckily it ceased and all seemed well.

Friday we barely had any symptoms.

Then yesterday, she was good for a while. Around 12:45 that changed, though. I noticed that all of a sudden she was drooling...for no reason at all. Her ears felt like they were on fire and she was breathing so hard that her ribs were protruding and then it was like she was sucking in with ALL her might. I had coaxed her in from pottying with the promise of a treat and within minutes, she had puked up said treat and defecated at the exact same time. She continued to walk strained and poop as she went along, which clearly showed me that she was sick. The drooling then started to worsen, her nose was still wet but very hot, her gums were pink but her tongue was turning purple and I knew she was to the point where she needed to be put on oxygen or she was gonna die very shortly. I ran next door to Nate's parents and asked Eric to drive me to the vet. Dover had already closed for the day ( 45 minutes prior ) and, although I called them hoping someone was still there, they directed me to Rossmoyne ER.

Upon arriving, they told me that they were going to put her on oxygen because "they didn't like the way she looked". Chest xrays concluded that her heart was very enlarged, meaning either a) our approach wasn't intense enough from the get-go or b) the original plan was no longer working. These meds were intended to prevent the heart growing larger. They also saw that she had fluid in her lungs, which luckily was reversible by pumping her with continued Lasix. They did xrays, EKGs, had her in an oxygen tank, sedated her so that she could calm down enough to steady her breathing, bloodwork and an overnight stay.

22 hrs and $1600 later, she is home.

I already called the Animal Hospital of Rye and left a message as to schedule an appointment with the cardiologist. From here on out, Haley will need to be taken care of by a specialist for this condition. Aside from this issue, Haley's sight, hearing, energy levels and joints seem to be fine. Her quality of life is still very valid and I see no reason why we shouldn't continue trying to save her life. 

It may stress me out sometimes because of how I hoard money ( since this shit ain't cheap ) but I can't kill an otherwise healthy dog if I have the means to help her. I also cannot have Nathan losing his best friend and baby after losing his sister only weeks ago.

I ask that you please keep Haley, Nathan and I in your hearts and thoughts...and send good vibes out into the universe that we can keep this old girl around for a good while longer. 

💓 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Written In Ink

I haven't written in a while, so I was contemplating a topic to write about. I decided on the origins of my ( numerous ) tattoos. Why?...people ask. And I have a lot, so this is an outlet where I can go over them all at once.

So here, in no particular order, are my explanations:

The Bumblebee


The bee tattoo on my foot is actually a design that I drew. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision between and old friend, Megan, and I. We were at the GMAN one night when we were discussing wanting a new tattoo...and we happened to know a guy from school that tattooed out of his house ( yeah, I knowwww ) Well, we hit him up at like 1 AM and he told us to come on over, so we left the bar and drove to his house on the outskirts of Carlisle. A few hours later, we had matching foot tattoos. Since then, the yellow has faded and some of the design has spread...and our friendship has ceased...but I really don't want another tattoo on my foot. Maybe I'll change my mind someday, though. 

The Mustache


Another whim tattoo is my finger stache. My friend Meg, an old friend Ashley and I decided to drive to Shippensburg to get finger tattoos for $25. With us being obsessed with all things containing mustaches AND as a "friendship" thing, we took off on a Friday and did the damn thing. I've had a few people ask me why I would do that, but hey...it has a story and I don't regret it. Plus, it's fun to use for pictures! 😎

The Tooth


For my second time attending 717 Day at 717 Tattoo in Mechanicsburg, the flash had a tooth! I couldn't pass it up since I am a dental assistant and work with teeth daily. I put it on my wrist because it's hard to find a place where small tattoos look okay...but it's also a great conversation piece with patients at work!

The Mechanical Heart/"All You Need Is Love"


Okay, so this tattoo started as simply the two adjoining hearts on my wrist that, again, was a design of mine. Unfortunately, my "friend"/"artist" at the time ( I say both loosely ) clearly did not understand that my drawings were ideas ONLY and that I wanted him to spruce them up to make them look better. Well, I decided later to add one of my favorite quotes/Beatle's songs to the design and he totally fucked up the alignment. I was young and dumb, and cheap. So to try to fix what was already done, I found a new artist to add the mechanical heart and "tie everything together". The heart is to represent the strength of love and loss; the heart is a machine that keeps on turning, even with a few screws lost. It is to represent perseverance and overcoming heartbreak throughout your life. 

The Hibiscus


In my early 20s it was "the thing" to have a hip tattoo, so I found a cute hibiscus outline that I wanted and had the crap-guy do it. I will eventually cover it up...maybe...but I think it was one of my most painful spots to be tattooed. Plus, I don't think I'll be showing my stomach much anymore these days. So for now, it stays.

The Trio of Stars


Yet another design I made that wasn't fixed before putting it on my body, it is to represent myself and my two sisters.

"Everything Is Impermanent"


My favorite quote from my favorite book "Tuesdays With Morrie", it's pretty much a classier way of saying 'nothing lasts forever'. The font is disgusting so I'm glad that it's on my back where I can't see it regularly. Plus, with weight gain, it's lower than it was...so it's more of a *tramp stamp* now 😒

The Paw Print




...and Lola's name, it is actually a replica of Lola's "little white foots" to keep with me forever because she is my baby princess pug ❤

The Floral Piece


 I have a half-sleeve that consists of roses and daffodils--my two favorite flowers. I told myself I wasn't going to get this tattoo until I lost weight, but then I thought, "Why must I have such a superficial goal simply to get something I want on my body?" So I said fuck it and got the tattoo, fat arm and all. It's one of my favorites. I would've liked to have had it on my right side but since my thigh piece is on that side, I had to be symmetrical. Haha ( but seriously... )

My Thigh Piece/"The Pin-Up"


 I saw this idea in a flash book YEARS ago but, of course, I wanted it to be mine. I loved the concept, and Cooper made it for me...on me...at the time of my appointment. It's a pin-up sitting on top of the world and luck, money, love and jewels are all incorporated. For a long time, I was very much a hopeless romantic...and "I want it all" ( which is written on a banner around her feet ) Of course, what girl doesn't want it all...but as time moved forward and I put away childish things, I've realized that you truly can't have it all, unfortunately.

The Mandala


 A mandala represents the universe. I am a big believer in what you put out into the universe comes back to you and I also believe in karma. Dust was doing a special on some personal flash that he wanted to tattoo and when I saw this design I fell in love. It was history from there.

The Lock


 As a child, I was also in love with skeleton keys and old door locks. I found them to be beautiful and I loved that skeleton keys could pretty much fit in any door with said lock. I remember running around my grandparents house as a kid playing with the key my grandpa gave me in their very old home. Instead of getting the key I got the lock...in hopes to find "the key to my heart" ( tacky, I know ) 

That's all I have SO FAR, but there will probably be plenty more to come. I love body art and self-expression, and I love my tattoos. My next plan is to get an antique mirror with shatters glass and the quote "This Too Shall Pass"

I'll keep you update! LOL.