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Meet The Mutts: Frankie

Jumping right in here. No pre-amble. No teaser. No easing into this. Nope. Meet Frank. Because that’s how Frankie rolls. He comes at you out of the blue. Sideways. When you least suspect him. Boom! You have a Bull Terrier. Then you spend some time not entirely sure how that happened. Then even more time (much time) grappling with all the implications of that decision. It was a decision. Mine, even. One made out of haste. Grief. Panic. Not my best laid plan. Yet here he sits, 45lbs of adolescent Bully. What in the hell was I thinking? Read more

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First, The Bad News

I should write 3 of these posts. But, I can’t bring myself to. Even now. This is a big part of the reason why I stayed away. I avoided you once due to news like this. When the news compounded, I just couldn’t face it. Not here for some reason. Our cast of characters has changed, drastically. A change that I still, months later, haven’t quite come to terms with. Putting it up here for the world to see, seems to make it even more permanent. And how can that be? How is it possible that my dogs have left me? Read more

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Where to Begin?

How do you pick up something you put down 6 months ago? And when you do simply pick it back up, how do you compensate for all that time away? It’s difficult. Whether its a barbell or a blog. Although, its a little more straight forward with inanimate objects. You know its probably going to be painful. You can avoid or embrace. Ok, maybe not so different from here. But, blogs and readers and spaces seem more difficult. They feel neglected. They lose interest. They move on. And really who can blame them? Because isn’t that what I did? For half a year or so. Read more

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The Stay at Home Dad

The tables have turned. Six months have come and gone. While my career as mommy is certainly not over, I am now the one trotting off to work each day, lunch, coffee and breast pump in hand, reluctantly pulling myself away from the cooing early morning baby wiggling around with his toys on the floor. I feed him. I dress him. I turn on the NPR. I make sure there are bottles a-plenty. I discuss his days menu and activities. But, then I gotta leave. For 9 long hours.

I’ve heard some moms who were really happy to go back to work. For the adult conversation. Because it got boring at home. These were not problems I experienced. Yeah sure, I spent my days talking to creatures who don’t talk back (dogs and babies), or maybe the six months wasn’t long enough for me to get fully sick of it. But, in general, I thrive on a schedule of my own creation. My gym trips, coffee dates, and errand running were enough to keep me feeling connected with the world at large. I suffered not one iota.

Now it’s Daddy’s turn. Read more

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2013, In The Bag. Bring it, 2014.

Every year of my adult life, I’ve taken this week off. This wormhole of space between Christmas and New Years, in which nothing really gets accomplished in Corporate America anyway. So, why bother? I’ve always used it to spend an excessive amount of time in my PJs, to putter, to read books all day, or binge watch a little TV. Heck, I’ve even been known to make a once a year foray into computer gaming. Sure, there’s some reflection happening. A recharging of batteries. And yeah, I also pay attention to some neglected tasks on the home front. In general though, sloth is the sin du jour. UN-productivity, the name of the game.

Not this year. This year is different in so many ways. Read more

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I’ve Been Avoiding You

And for good reason. Well, not good. Tragic. Unfortunate. Devastating. Reason. The worst kind of reason. But, I have to get it out there. Off my chest. Into the open. Make it all finally officially, official, so we can have our good cry and move on, right? As if. Thus far, it’s a strategy not actually working for me.

We lost our pug. Read more

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Dog Training: Essential Equipment

I have a lot of dog paraphernalia. Which makes sense. I have a lot of dogs. And have for years. Over the course of those years, I’ve amassed quite the collection of leashes, collars, beds (of course), bowls, jackets, toys, chews, and uncategorizable detritus. Alas, now my dogs are older. A lot older in some cases. We aren’t doing the training, the walking, the dog parking, even the playing that we once did. Yet, I still have this closet (yes, an entire closet) full of well, crap. Useful crap, up until recently. Now, it is crap in need of some downsizing. That causes me to reevaluate these items. If I had to do it all over again (which I suppose I will eventually), knowing what I know now, 13+ years into this dog journey, what would I hold on to? I’m not talking about the items integrated into my home. Not the beds (love those!), not the feeding stands, not the Crypton Throvers (worth their weight in gold). No. What would I need to be out and about and functional with my dog. To train them. To travel with them. To accomplish that A-1 goal of having a dog who doesn’t embarrass me in public. Couldn’t we all use a little help there? Read more

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On Being Mommy

Once upon a time, long before I had a baby, before pregnant, I would say even before I was having baby thoughts, (although clearly I was having baby thoughts), I bought a domain name. Mommyunlikely.com. Don’t bother. There’s nothing there. I hold onto it, because I love it. Not that I’ve done a damn thing with it pre-mommy or post. My future as a mommy blogger remains tenuous. But hey, mommy, currently blogging. The shoe could be more comfortable than I think.

It’s the unlikely, really. I never thought I would have children. I curse too much. I don’t share well. I don’t even cook! (much.) I’ve never been particularly drawn to children. Nor they me. Not one to ooh and ahh. Limited fawning. I’m loud. I’ve never considered myself particularly maternal or warm. Not a natural motherhood fit. Not by all our societal Mommy-dearest, greeting cards, boo-boo kissing, cookie baking, apron wearing, Suzy-Q homemaking standards. Although, I do love me a good apron. Read more

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No Income!?!

Three months into my leave. (How did that happen!?) Short term disability exhausted. Vacation time spent. I am officially without an incoming paycheck. In fact, I have been for a couple weeks. For the first time ever in my adult life, there is no check in the mail with my name on it. No anticipated direct deposit. What an odd feeling. It really shouldn’t ‘feel’ any way. But it does have connotations. A little vertigo perhaps, due to a missing safety net.

Fear not! I saved for this! Money set aside that can seamlessly slide into the place of those missing checks. Whew! Except…Well, except I hate spending savings. Or anything remotely resembling savings. Anything residing in a savings like account. Under certain circumstances, I will just have to. It will be unavoidable. Those circumstances have not yet arrived. (Read: The Husband is gainfully employed. Cross your fingers, toes, eyes, double appendages, and knock on all things wood it remains that way.) In the meantime, I vow to protect those savings, erm “that money”. I will strive to add to it. To not take it for granted. To respect it for what it represents: hard work, time, and a finite resource.

Without being employed, how does one do that? Read more

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Frugal Should Not’s

I do the things you aren’t supposed to do. Not as a card carrying member of Team Frugal. Not if I ever wish to become Financially Independent. Not as a devout follower of Amy Dacyczyn. Cardinal Sins. Poor life choices. I’m screwed. With my 2012 car depreciating in my driveway, as I kick back and stream the last season of Girls via one of my many iPaidTooMuch Apple devices. Skipping, dancing, and latte drinking my way down the road to (financial) ruin. Or so they’d have you believe.

Who? The ‘they’. Internal or external Them. Collective wisdom. Bloggers (oops), commentators, talking heads, conventional advice. If you make THIS choice, you need not apply to our club. It’s a comfy clubhouse. Furnished with second hand furniture, featuring low-cost beverages (tap water), and a 24 hour beans and rice buffet. Read more

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