Monday, December 27, 2010

so THIS is what getting snowed in feels like.

This picture was taken from my phone and is not really accurate:

I would have gotten my camera out of my car, but my poor blue chevy is buried. A blizzard has slammed the northeast. Yes, you read that right. An actual blizzard. We don't get blizzards that often and it usually takes a lot to close schools and businesses, (ESPECIALLY near and in New York City), but a lot is shut down. And what isn't shut down now, I assume will be in a few hours. We are under a state of emergency, so the only places that should be open are government offices and hospitals. The wind is howling at about 80 mph (weatherman said this was like a CAT 2 hurricane with snow). the wind chill is 5 degrees, and we have snow dumped on us at about 22 inches and counting. The storm isn't supposed to end until 4am, but the winds will not subside until Tuesday, making driving still very, very dangerous. My brother actually STILL came for Christmas today (ahhhh, to be young and dumb), but only stayed for about 20 minutes when he realized that was a mistake. We gave him his gifts and shooed him out the door. He made it home safe, but a 20 minute drive took almost 2 hours.

Merry Christmas indeed.

Today we made the best of it by making a fire and watching movies, but I have no idea what I'll do to keep myself busy tomorrow. I love being out and about. It'll probably be another PJ day. Ideas so we won't go insane? So far we still have power, so that's cool. My friend Amanda doesn't, so I'm about to give her a call.

Better pictures to come when I do get my camera. This is truly something I haven't seen. :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa came early? You don't say.

Yesterday, I had a wonderful time at my nephew Dean's house as he celebrated his 5th birthday and talked to me about trains while eating cake. Tonight, I am kicking back with a glass of wine, my new pillow pet (thanks Nannie) and watching "It's a Wonderful Life". Not bad. Not bad at all. Have a Merry Christmas everyone. Stay warm, safe and full of cheer.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Christmas used to be huge in our house.
When my mom was alive, she was like a female Clark Grizwald, immediately wanting to put the tree up after the Thanksgiving turkey got cold. Our house had to be the BRIGHTEST house on the whole block. Dad and my stepmom? Not as much. But that was okay as the years went by and we grew up. This year however, is the last Christmas in our house before we all split up in ten different directions. So out came the Clark in all of us.
This year my father found an old box with Mom's ornaments inside. It was pretty fantastic to finally see a "Baby's First Christmas 1983" ornament or a "First Christmas together, 1982" decoration. I liked that it was mixed with new decor. When two lives collide I suppose.

When it was the five of us and life was a lot smaller, Dad would drill into our heads the true meaning of Christmas, and try to get his troop to attend Christmas Eve midnight mass. First of all, NO WAY did I want to get out bed and miss out on a possible Santa sighting, so I was out. Brother was out also, as he would become so excited that Santa was nearing our house, he would vomit. Mom didn't want to leave her ducklings alone, so she was out too. And Little Brother always fell asleep in any place that wasn't his room. Sorry Dad. 1 out of 5. I completely listened to the True Meaning of Christmas story. Totally. BUT, Santa had to come too you know. We did always end up at Christmas Day mass.

I never asked for much from Santa. In fact when I was older, Mom often told me I was the hardest to shop for, because she had a budget for each kid and I always came up grossly under budget. (My total often came up to $20 or $30 dollars) I was an odd child. I asked for little paperback books. Or buttons. Or stuffed animal dogs I could call my own. "Santa" always granted my wish for miscellaneous items, and I would often get "surprises" as well, since he ran out of ideas on what to get me. I thought about all of this and smiled as our Santa troop was laid out.

I wondered what my new traditions would be like? As Dad and I explored Costco earlier that afternoon he saw light purple ornaments and grinned. "These will probably go on your tree," he said. (purple was my favorite color) Probably. What else would be included in my Christmas card next year? I couldn't imagine what my apartment would look like or my tree, or if I would have a sprawling dog at my feet, but I wanted those things. I look forward to the future. I realized that the Christmas traditions Mom drilled into our heads and the True Meaning of Christmas story Dad couldn't stop reciting weren't in vain. I wanted those things in my adult life. I wanted everything we were taught for my own children. Indeed, we turned out okay. A little kooky perhaps, but that was just fine.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Life without Noah.

It's been a over a week since Noah hasn't been with me.

I know what I did was the right thing. Everyone from my stepmother, to my step grandmother, to my friends have told me that I have done the right thing. What I didn't realize was just HOW difficult the right thing would be. I unexpectedly feel like I'm in grief. There are random moments where I think of wonderpup and  begin to cry. Is he happy? Confused? Does he miss me? I know the most likely scenario is that he is having a blast with two teenagers, a couple of dogs, and running on a huge property, but I miss him like crazy. Because I don't start working until after the holidays, (if I'm even accepted back) I have a lot of time to notice who's missing in our household. I'm trying to keep busy, but it's hard.

When I was looking for a job and had a long period of unemployment, Noah and I were together all the time. In the morning, we'd go on a long walk around the block together, followed by playtime. I'd feed him breakfast, then I was either off sending out job apps or he was with me as I ran errands. On weekends, I would take him to the dog park for a couple of hours. The first thing I noticed on Thursday morning was how quiet the house was without wonderpup. I looked to my left as I rolled over in bed and instead of a crate next to the bedframe, there was an empty space. Instant tears. Instead taking a shower, then grabbing his leash for our walk, I wandered aimlessly downstairs. "I guess I could have breakfast," I thought. I grabbed a cereal bowl and realized the silence was deafening, so I quickly flipped on our family room TV. Noah would be greeting me/bugging me at this point, probably wanting to go out or have some of my cereal. (I made the mistake of training him using cheerios as treats. It's pretty cheap.) I never gave him what I was eating, but that never stopped him from trying. I noticed his bowls were gone. Instant tears as I poured my cereal. My stepmom came downstairs the second she  heard my footsteps and asked me how I was.
"Okay," I lied.
She saw tears on my face and gave me a hug and I felt embarrassed and way too old to be crying in my parents arms over a dog. The day passed by uneventfully and I gathered up the remainder of Noah's toys and donated them to the local animal shelter, who were very grateful. My best friend called and immediately asked how I was. "Fine," I said.
"I'm coming to pick you up tonight," she replied.
I turned her down three different times until I knew she wasn't taking no for an answer. Erin drove to my house around 3 and said that we were going to see a Christmas light show. I perked up a bit, grateful that I had my new camera (more on that later) and was ready to take twinkling pictures to post on this blog.
The light show closed unexpectedly.
No matter. Erin and I stopped by her house where her dog Maggie greeted us. It felt weird to snuggle with a dog that wasn't mine, but I was just happy to pet her and she was thrilled to hang out with me. Erin and I then went out to dinner instead.

Erin was right, being with her and her family did take my mind off things. If I was home, I would have just been sitting by my cell phone, waiting for it to ring, in hopes that Noah's new family would give me a call to let me know how he was.

My friends have suggested a new dog, but I don't think now is the right time. (Another friend of mine was actually in the process of adopting a dog for me until I put an end to it, though the thought was nice) For now, I will continue to apartment hunt, cross my fingers regarding work, and get myself settled. I'll also make sure my new place allows pets, for when the time does come for a dog to enter my life again. I've decided to open my heart to an older dog who will find me, when I am ready to open my eyes and look. In the meantime, I still believe Noah entered (and left) my life for a reason. It's now time for him to begin his new life.

And for me to begin mine.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Broken Hearts and unconditional love.

Well, Noah doesn't live with me anymore. I'm tearing just typing that. It all started on Saturday morning. I was off to the vet with Noah because of his strange and unpredictable behavior. The result? The vet examined him, and besides a hotspot on his thigh, (which he gave me cream for) he sat me down and told me what he expected it might be. He suggested Noah's issue was he was just too dominant for me. I could work with him, but it would have to be leash corrections every hour. Every. Hour. I thought that I just couldn't do that, and was beginning to wonder what to do. He said there would never be a cure for his issues. He suggested Noah be rehomeed to someone with more dog experience (like a trainer) to give him the help he needs. I was silent in the car.

At night, we hung out comfortably (he wasn't getting up and playing), until it was time for us to head to bed. I tried to take him out one last time. I clipped his leash to his collar and with no warning what so ever, he lunged up and bit my hand hard. I put him into his crate, shut the door and cried. And there is where my family found me, sitting on the floor in tears. I think it was my stepsister who gave me a hug and said, "We know you love him, but he needs more than that." I knew then what I had to do.

All week I called rescues. No one would take Noah, because he bit people. Last night, my stepmother came home and said that she found a home for Noah. Just like that. She loved dogs, worked with dominant dogs and had been to our house before (my stepmom has a social group) and loved Noah. They had a giant yard, two teenage sons, and she could devote her time and attention to him, because she worked with dogs all the time. I asked her a million questions like what her family was like. Their dog had just died, and they were ready to open their hearts to a new one. I met her, and she was just so kind. They were ready to take him soon. "How soon?" I asked. "Tonight," my stepmom replied. "She wants to help him right away."

Noah was laying in my lap, with his giant brown eyes looking at me. I knew he wasn't a happy dog. Still....tonight? I thought. I won't have a chance to say goodbye. But I knew that if I kept him one more day, I would keep him forever. I nodded, tears flowing. I talked to the woman who was going to take him and cried. I packed up his things, (everything from leashes, to a new bag of food, to doggie mouthwash...yes really!) and cried. I wrote his new forever family a letter of instructions and cried. Everything from his hypoglycemia and his strict eating schedule, to his food allergies, to the park he loves to go to. I packed his favorite blanket given to him by Nannie and a T-shirt with my scent on it, in case he got scared.

Then we went on one last walk. I let him sniff and mark everything to his hearts content, from phone poles to stop signs, to his favorite tree. Half of me wanted to stay in the 20 degree temps and never take him home, but eventually we rounded the corner to my house.
"You be good okay?" I said. "I still love you. Always will." I scooped him up. I kissed the top of his head. He gave me a quick lick on the nose, as if to say "Thank you." And my stepsister gentlely put him in his crate to take him to his new home.When Noah met his new family, they were smiling from ear to ear. He ran right to his "mom" as if he always belonged. She picked him up. "Tell Katie he will always be loved. She doesn't have to worry." She called me later that night and said she'd love to send me e-mails and pictures and even visits as he grows up. I told her I would love that.

Last night, I couldn't sleep. The space next to next to my bed where Noah's crate should be was empty. I heard no puppy dreaming sounds or light snoring. Eventually, I turned on my TV and fell asleep to Conan O'Brien bouncing around like an idiot.

I hope I did the right thing for my little guy. Be well Noah. Thank you for being such a wonderful part of my life. I'll never forget you.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I just don't know what to do.

I have a confession to make. I love my dog. I seriously do. But I've been bitten by him now on an almost daily basis. It used to be just me. Now he's expanding out:

After working with Noah for several months with a trainer and a behaviorist, I thought I was seeing improvement. Recently, my four year old nephew came over. He and Noah are usually buddies and have never had any problems. After a day of play, Noah walked over to my father and laid down on the couch with him. My nephew walked into the room and without warning, Noah rushed over to Dean and bit him on the hand hard. There was no was no warning growl, no stare, no air snap, nothing. Just a growl AS he bit Dean's hand. It was completely unpredictable and everyone was shocked. Luckily, Dad was able to get Noah away quickly (I wasn't home) and his bite didn't break Dean's skin. Still, I hate hearing this, it makes my heart drop. I immediately called my stepsister and apologized asking if Dean was okay. He was. (In fact he wanted to come over and kiss Noah goodnight. I told him that's gonna have to be a big, fat no)

Another incident: He used to be excellent at the dog park....until last weekend when he pinned a puppy to the ground, gripped onto her neck and wouldn't let go till I came over. The puppy wasn't hurt. Someone brought a dog toy to the park....Noah took the toy and even when a pack of dogs chased him for it, he wouldn't let go of the toy. A woman tried to take the toy, he air snapped at the woman. I took the toy. We won't be going back. :( It seems like Noah's world is getting very small, but I must put people's safety first.

I do love Noah. I was so excited to get a dog and have us be together, but I never expected it would be like this. Your dogs don' this do they? My old dog Happy was never like this. Ever. Kids could CLIMB on her and she would just sit there with her tongue lolling out of her mouth and wag her tail. (of course, I never let the climbing continue, but in the 12 years I had her, she never hurt a fly. In fact, she whined once when she killed a ladybug. True story. I had to comfort her and bring her home from our walk)

I'm bringing Noah to the vet today to talk about his behavior and (hopefully) see if there's any root cause with this. He's definitely not around kids anymore. Makes me sad. I'm just stumped. There's moments where he's so loving and just snuggles with me on the couch. Or he sits by the door waiting for me right before I come home from work. As I type this, He's snuggled under his blanket, in his crate next to my bed, where he always sleeps. We played ball happily last night. But you just never know with Noah. It changes in a bipolar instant.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

In Flux.

November 30th, 2010

My project ended at work and now I am awaiting a new one, which is good news. The bad news is I may not get a new project until after Christmas. Which means that I have a limited income on what I can spend for my crazy, blended family. I intended on tightening the reins anyhow, since I'll be moving out this summer, but now? Oy. I wish I was crafty, but alas I am about as good at that as I am cooking...which is I am not good at all. The two people I would really like to make something special for are my almost 5 year old nephew Dean, and my 2 year old nephew Matt. Dean is sensitive, loves trains, and hide and seek. Matt loves...anything. I swear that kid is the most easygoing child I have ever met. Always smiles at you, plays happily, remains mellow in any given situation. He's also pure boy and can break something instantly (never on purpose, always an accident.) So I don't want to buy anything out of my budget.

Speaking of budgeting, Have you ever heard of this? People are building tinyyyyyyyyy houses on a small budget. I'll admit I'm open to the idea, but my dad isn't too keen on it. (you know when Dad's not to keen on something by the way he raises his eyebrows) Part of me thinks I may be claustrophobic, and the other half of me is saying $65 A MONTH on utilities? Who WOULDN'T do that?


They also have tiny cabins. :)

The idea of living simple and never having a crippling mortgage is appealing. Just a thought.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dear Noah: This is what happens when you jump in a pond.

Your coat gets matted instantly and you have to have it shaved off. Just sayin. Oh and hate to break it to ya, but you're not a lab. You can't just jump in the pond with all the other labs. You're still cute though. Kind of.

PS. Yes sir. I know it's cold. Quit yer whinin. You know what made me cry? Spending over $100 on my debit card for emerency grooming and a sweater. We need to reevaluate our relationship and have a talk. ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wedding Bells.

I've really been slacking on the blogging lately between my new job and the maid of honor duties and it's making me feel a tad guilty. To catch up, I'm happy to report that my best friend Erin got married on Halloween and it was beautiful. She was originally pretty nervous (as any bride on their big day is I assume), but us gals kept her pretty calm and we all enjoyed ourselves. The rehearsal itself came and went smoothly. We spent most of our time laughing and smiling with the little flower girl Cecilia (age 2) who was debating going down the aisle or not. Finally she turned to me, big brown eyes sparkling and said: "Katie is this a weddin church?" "Yup." I replied simply. She paused, brow furrowed. "I go down the aisle okay?" she asked, as if giving herself permission. "Okay." I said. "And tomorrow, you'll be wearing a beautiful dress and you get to hold very pretty flowers."
She was sold.

Her big brother Topher was the ring barrier. "We're getting married right Cookie?" he asked his sister (her nickname) causing us to crack up and Erin to loosen up, momertarilaly forgetting all the "what if's" that could go wrong. The priest carried us through the rehearsal pretty quickly, with only a few minor mishaps and lots of jokes. (Cecilia decided she didn't want to stand with the bridal party and declared this quite loudly with a "DON'T WANNA GO OVER THEREEEE" and tears. Lots of tears. "Mamma?" She begged. "I wanna be with youuuuu." I told her that Mamma was going to be right where Cecilia could see her. "Let's wave Cookie!" I said. We waved, Mom waved back. Tears averted. When the priest said "You may now kiss the bride" the best man pretended to push the groom out of the way and kiss the bide himself. We once again collapsed in laughter, with even the priest wiping away tears. "This is honestly the most fun wedding party I've ever had."

In the evening, instead of a huge rehearsal dinner, her mom had food prepared (insisting that she didn't need help) and we had a family meal. Erin's favorite was next on the agenda. A bonfire in the backyard. Growing up in Ohio, bonfires were a pretty big staple for me, so I too was as happy as a clam.

It's starting to get pretty chilly here in the northeast, so no coat weather is once again becoming a distant memory. We just about managed to keep warm with our hoodies if we huddled close enough to the flames. The groomsman party were mostly EMT's, and they kept us entertained with their crazy stories from work, including one about a man who was so angry that his car was cut open in order for him to be rescued...he sued the very people that saved his life. It sounds like kind of a dower written here, but trust me when I say it was hilarious.

After the groom party broke up for the night (hubby to be and pals stayed at a hotel the next town over, with a pool and other fun stuff) we just hung out at Erin's watching movies, then cartoons and prepared for the next day. I took a shower the night before at the hairdresser's request. While eating some snacks, Christine (one of the bridesmaids) looked at my hands.
"You bite your nails?"

I'll admit it, I don't have many bad habits. I don't drink (much). I don't smoke. (as in at all). But I do bite my nails. I have since I was a little sprout and my mother (bless her heart) never could get me to stop permanently. I did once, when money was promised, but I haven't kicked the habit for good.
"Yeah," I confessed. "And I know my hands look terrible."
"Wait here," Christine told me. She returned with fake nails. I'd never worn fake nails before. I don't know. The idea of putting super glue on your nail beds just to place acrylic crap on top never sounded appealing to me. But it WAS a wedding and I really couldn't have hands like a little girl's. I relented, and gave her my fingers. Each nail she placed on (carefully) looked okay until we reached the thumbnails. I have VERY tiny hands (children's gloves can fit on me. To get an even better idea of how elf like I am, I wear a size 3 children's shoe.). when I looked at the fingernails, they were a little long, but do able. The thumbnails however, were ridiculous. They were twice the size of my thumbs. The nails had to come off.
"Do you have nail polish remover?" Christine asked Erin. She did, but we also had to drive to CVS to obtain a chemical that would remove the nails and the glue. I'll say it rather undiplomaticly: What a pain in the ass that was. It was also painful period. Christine had to make sure that she didn't rip my nail beds off or the skin surrounding it. She tugged a little at one of the fake nails. "OW!" I blurted out. "Oh my God!"
"Sorry," she said sheepishly. "This might hurt."

I have a pretty high pain tolerance, (spinal surgery will do that to you) but I was whimpering quite a bit as she removed each nail. Never again I say. Never again.
We went to bed pretty early, (around ten) knowing that we had to get up by 8 the next day. I slept in the guest bedroom like a baby, until sunlight hit my eyes. "It's going to be a great day for a wedding," were the first thoughts that entered my brain. And indeed, as I pulled back the curtain, I noticed the colorful fall leaves on the trees and the gorgeous flowers that had arrived the night before in the front yard. I climbed out of bed and was greeted by Maggie. She's the family dog, but has a special bond with Erin. They usually go everywhere together, Erin driving, Maggie her co-pilot with her doggy bed in the front seat. She's even been on a few dates with Erin. We knew James was the one when Maggie approved and James didn't care that Erin's four legged friend joined them on adventures. "Good morning sweetheart," I greeted. Her tail was wagging a mile a minute. "Are you excited?"
Erin's mom was already up. On the table, there was a whole platter of muffins, bagels, toast, pancakes, waffles and fruit.
"WOW!" I gasped.
"Eat up!" she said cheerfully. "It's going to be a busy day."

And indeed it was. Once I was up, I was off and running. Soon Christine, Amanda and our bride to be Erin, were up as well. Tammy, Erin's childhood friend and recent cosmetologist graduate, went to work on our hair at 8am. I was first.

"Warning you now," Tammy joked, "You're gonna hate me. There will be lots of pins and a ton of aqua net. You ready?"
"Sure." I said.
There was, indeed, tons of pins a lot of aqua net. I tried not to think of what I would have to do that evening when I would have to remove the pins, and was instead curious on what my hair looked like. I soon found out when she handed me a mirror and announced that she was finished. I was stunned at what she could do in 30 minutes. I loved it.

Amanda was next, followed by Christine.

And of course, our Erin.

After getting dressed and doing our makeup, we surprisingly had some time to relax. I couldn't believe though, that in a couple of hours, my best friend would be married.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Getting my job back=horray.

Posting my big blog later. Making dinner tonight. My family is VERY afraid. You see, I am NOT a domestic goddess. Does anyone know of any easy recipes I could make for future reference?

Monday, November 15, 2010


Getting laid off: Oh. So THAT'S what that feels like.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm a bad blogger. Bad. BAD.

I haven't blogged in awhile and it makes me sad. :( Turns out, working full time and maid of honor duties keeps you busy. Who knew? I'm working on a big (HUGE) entry on my best friend's wedding (including lots of pictures) But for now, I'll just have to put up this cute little video of my pup with his friends.

See you soon!

Monday, October 18, 2010

busy bee!

I went from 0 to 100 miles an hour and I love it.

Well, on most days. I'll admit I'm not used to getting up at 6:30 in the morning and coming home at 7pm. And gone are the days where I could avoid the biggest highway in NJ (or on the East Coast for that matter). In the morning, my new routine goes like this:

I wake up about a half hour before I'm supposed to (I inherited that from my father. You think about what time you want to wake up, and you do...trouble is, you're always nervous about oversleeping, so you end up having 5:30am on your mind)

My wonderpup snoozes in his crate beside my bed as I take a shower and get dressed. (He's SO good that way) Then, I announce "Time to get up!" to wonderpup and he emereges from his blanket and looks up sleeply...until he realizes that it's...MORNING HORAYYYYYYY and zooms out of his crate at about 50 miles an hour (usually bolting passed my hamper and stealing a sock as he does so) We go on a short walk to do his stuff, and I get pup's breakfast and fresh water set out. I make my own lunch...and then it gets tricky. You see, I guess wonderpup didn't expect his routine to change...or "mom" to be gone during the day. He's taken to following me (more like rushing to me then wrapping two of his paws around my legs) to the front door and looking out our window (paws aganist the glass, sad face, and whining) as I walk to my car.

It kills me.

My stepmother pointed out that as soon as I leave, he walks away from the window and plays with his toys contently. Go figure.

At work, I've met a wonderful group of people who meet up for breakfast and it's been nice to join them. I'll admit my job itself is hectic, but I enjoy being busy. I leave work at 6 and would be home by 6:30 if it weren't for the three construction zones that I have to drive through and bumper to bumper traffic. When I move, I want the area to be spacious and quiet. Stepmom doesn't think it's a good idea ("That's so boring and depressing!" she exclaims) but it's how I grew up and it's what I want. I'll admit, I'm surprised it's what I want, considering that when I was a kid, I hated the midwest. I guess it takes stepping back and truly looking at the positive aspects as an adult to appreciate it.

My friends have noticed that I haven't talked to them much in about two weeks. Sorry guys, I've been passing out at about 9:30.

I guess I'm an old lady now. ;)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Times a' changin.

Well, it's happened. I've found a job! I'm incredibly excited and grateful to have found work in such a tough economy. (especially around here) It is a temp job, but one that should suit me well. I will be working at an educational service and start next week. I think this will help me open a few doors. My dad and stepmom are putting up the house for sale in the spring, so apartment hunting is looking more and more imminent. And I'll admit it, a little scary. If you're starting pay is $12 an hour, and you work FT, it's possible to budget and live on your own right? Right.

Meanwhile, a group of my girlfriends (Amanda, Christine) and I threw a bachelorette party for my best friend (who's getting married on Halloween) a couple of weeks ago. It went great without a hitch. When I say "party" I really mean "get together". You see, my buddy is a quiet girl (in fact, we all are) and decided that a gathering with a small group of us was more her style.

4 of us bridesmaids, (I'm the maid of honor) got a hotel room and split the cost. Then we went to dinner.

According to casino rules, you're not allowed to take pictures inside. (Who knew? I didn't.) So the pictures that I took inside (before I knew of the rule) cannot be posted here. We chose Harrah's because the buffets are cheap but REALLY good. $15 a plate for all you can eat. By eating, I mean lobster. (It's usually $30, but Amanda had a discount) My friends were amused during dinner because a guy approached me and asked what grade I was in. Being in your twenties, getting carded, and asked that question IS pretty amusing. :) Afterwords, some of us played the slots. I love watching my friends gamble more then I like gambling myself. I loved just hanging out with them. We may have not be able to take group shots of us inside, but Amanda did get an awesome shot of our bird friend near the car.

We went to the outlets by Atlantic City after that. Now, let me explain something about AC. You do not want to be there after dark. Actually, you probably shouldn't be there at all. But they do have great outlet stores. Erin (our bride to be) has been talking about getting a Coach purse since forever. So of course we hit there first.

Erin got a messinger bag with purple trim. I shall remain jealous. ;) Walking past the Disney store, we all began reminiscing about our childhoods and recalling who are favorite Disney characters were. Mine was Belle. I always enjoyed a good book as a kid, (even going as far as reading while walking, just like Belle) Once inside, we made a beeline for the Halloween costumes.

"Bet you could wear this." Erin tells me, smiling as she holds up "Belle's" dress meant for a ten year old girl.
"Oh no," I replied.
The girls continue giggling.
"No. WAY." I said laughing.

I tried on the dress. It slipped right over my head. Although it was a little tight in area, I was stunned by how well it fit me. The girls almost fell over laughing. "Seriously, THIS was my highlight of the night," Erin gasped, wiping away tears.

After becoming tired of shopping (no I didn't get the Belle dress, much to Erin's disappointment) we went back to the hotel. We had brought a chocolate fountain with us and strawberries, rice krispie treats and various other things for dipping.

After that, we played wedding games, chatted and watched movies well into the night, before finally turning in at 2am and going to lunch the next day.

My life is awesome. I have the best friends. It's all you could ever ask for.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

basic living.

There's lots of exciting things going on that I'm a bit fearful to devulge because I don't want to jinx anything. But I have a wonderful job lead that's fantastic. :)

Meanwhile, the apartment hunt is still on. Yardley is looking less and less likely. The realitor called me and while the apartment I was looking at is pretty, he's concerned that being on the third floor (with the interior made of wood and there's only two windows) is a fire hazard.

So now I'm looking across the river, in a tiny town called Florence. Ever since reading Hayley's blog, I've been thinking about my own OH upbringing, and yearing for more rual living. (It's not the Alaskan wilderness of course, but a quiet area with lots of land surrounding me and trees is what's been needed in my life) I just want a pretty area to walk in with my dog. :) Getting back to basics is a must.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I NEED to get my camera fixed before (and if) I move. This blog is so bland looks wise without it. Meanwhile, here's pictures of Yardley I found online:

The town center.

This would be right by my apartment. It's a bike/canoing trail that's been there around 100 years.

More of downtown. :)

 I wish I could post pictures of the house, but I'm afarid it's not mine yet. :) The area reminds me a little of our old town in Ohio, without the square.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lots going on! :)

I haven't found a job yet (that seems to be my mantra), but I may have found my new hometown. I can't go into too much detail yet (because not every family member knows about my possible new adventure and the deal may fall through) but I can introduce you to Yardley, PA.

Yardley is in Bucks county, not too far from home, but just far enough to begin a new adventure. Surprisingly, the sourroundings are completely different then those in NJ. The town is tiny, with little thrift stores, people sitting out on porches, tiny dirt roads (with one main highway) and plenty of wooded areas to explore. Dad and I went to look at a place for myself on Saturday, with one he had in mind that he just happened to stumble upon online. He's been very supportive of my venturing out and about, but isn't too sure of me being 3,000 miles away. I told him I still might have a go at it, if this doesn't work out, and he understands. But he said: "Just PLEASE look at this first." And so I agreed. The apartment is just before the little downtown square, in a stone house built in 1920. It has a wrap around porch, an adorable red door and friendly neighboors (only 6 units). Across the street is the Delaware River. (I mean RIGHT across the street. I'd wake up in the morning and see sparkling blue right outside my window...the Delaware River is a lot cleaner then I remembered it to be). Up the road is Yardley pond, where the town holds boat races. The house is tucked, but not TOO tucked, into the woods, so there would be plenty of shade. The place allows pets, so my little wonder dog would be able to come with me. Inside, I'd have a washer and dryer, new appliances, and a dishwasher (Yay!)

Now the drawbacks:

The apartment is (drumroll please) 260 sq ft. That's it. It's adorable, but it's a shoebox. Right away I realized that my idea of Noah having a potenal furry sibling to play with would be out the window. Cable is out, because in that area it would be difficult to get. The apartment is on the third floor of the house, and it used to be a 3 bedroom that they split into one studio and a 2 bedroom. I would have to be REALLY thrifty....Any ideas?

In the meantime, have a look at Yardley here, here and here.

I'm excited. :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I'll admit it, my mind has been feeling a bit stuck lately. I've been trying to fight the pessimism that has been creeping into my brain over the last month, but 16 months (and counting) with no work has really been difficult. A couple of days ago, I realized that it'd probably be best to avoid breaking down in front of your blog. No sir, I will not write negative posts on here. I'll just keep going. So I've avoided my (now broken) laptop when feeling like crap.

Instead, I've been hitting the pavement looking for anything. Ever since a spinal injury, my doctor recommended that I avoid any type of retail work "or work involving physical labor." Well ma'am, no offense, but the economy isn't exactly friendly right now (in case you haven't noticed) and I no longer have the patience to wait for a job that would be the right fit for me. You have to adapt to the world. The world isn't going to adapt to you.

Yesterday, I applied to be a secretary at a hospital, and I'm waiting back from my job advisor to hear about a job in a courthouse.

My mind's been racing over a lot of things:
-Returning to school?
-Trade school?
-What jobs are economically friendly? Medical jobs. Federal Jobs.
-What areas have a better economy then mine? Texas for one. Austin especally.

I've even thought about applying for work in other states and if I find a job, packing up and just leaving NJ with the savings I already have. (My orginal plan was to save up some more and move out in two years) Risky? Hell yes. Especially since my savings consists of about $8,000. Frankly, I'm not even sure if I'm being realistic. I've got a stepmother at home who doesn't want me to go anywhere one minute, and out the next. All I know is that I feel like I've always been the one to watch the world go by, I've always paitently waited for my turn. Well, I'm no longer paitent. I want it to be my turn. I want to get out of here and do something that's just for me. A story that's just mine to tell. Selfish? Perhaps. But I no longer care.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I had a good cry last night. The first in a long time. I'll admit it felt good.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Looking Up!

My generous best friend wanted all of us ladies to pick out our own bridesmaid dresses for her wedding. The only requirement is that the dress needed to be a black cocktail one. After months of searching, I finally found mine...for $20 at Marshalls. I can honestly say that it's the best dress I've ever worn. It hides my "real scoliosis women have curves" look quite nicely.

Excuse the humidity hair. On another note, I got an interview at a doggy day care called Camp Bow Wow. I'm really excited because this may mean my love for humans and canines will collide. :) (The idea of being surrounded by animals all day makes me smile from ear to ear.) It's a part time job, but I feel it'll be wonderful just to get my foot in the door and get out there.

I've also signed up to be...drumroll Avon rep. Yes ladies, I will be going out and about around town (and online) selling makeup to y'all. Orientation is tomorrow, so my website isn't up yet. (nor do I have any clue with what I'm doing) I wonder if I'm able to put it up here on my blog. (if only I had more followers...I don't bite....I swear. ;) ) For the lovely follower I do have, hi there! If you ever need some makeup up in good ol' Alaska, let me know.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Days

I got rejected from a hospital in Princeton. No other calls. Still applying like crazy. Still trying to feel hopeful. I really haven't been back in the grind all that long, but already I can see that this is going to be one of the more difficult things I've ever done.

I took a break on Saturday from my full time job of finding a job by hanging out with a group of friends. (Some I haven't seen in years) We went to Thomson Park, a long sprawling property in Monroe, and tried cooling off in the shade in spite of the sweltering heat. (Sorry, so pictures to speak of, because my camera is as dead as a doornail at the moment.)

I took my Little Sprout with us, despite his protests, and brought him into the dog section where he could burn off some energy. (before you say "But in the heat?" I came well prepared by bringing three bottles of water in a mini cooler, and doggy ice cream) As soon as I unhooked Noah, he was in his glory, bolting from one side of the park to the other, occasionally zooming back to me for his cooling off needs. Us humans got to sit in the shade and talk, until Gus came into the picture.

Gus was a giant, dopey looking dog, with hair covering his face. He actually looked like a springy, breathing carpet. This high energy ball of hair was very friendly to all of us...perhaps a little too friendly. Gus immedately bounced on me, placing muddy paws on my shirt as he did so. I laughed. "Hey buddy! Don't you want to play?" I asked. Like magic, as soon as he noticed Noah, he rushed over and hump. Now, keep in mind I know dogs are dogs. I'm not like some owners at the dog park who hover over little FiFi's every move. I try and restrain myself from stepping in. Gus however, was well over 30 pounds, while Noah was a measly 13. I don't think that's fair do you?

I glanced over at Gus's owner, who was intently talking on her cell phone, so I decided to take matters into my own human paws. "Here Gus!" Gus amazingly had excellent recall, and gallopped over to me. Only Noah's pride was hurt. We petted our new furry friend as Noah went back to rolling in the dirt and relaxed. Until, with no warning...Gus got up...walked over to my friend Jason, lifted his leg...and peed all over Jason's leg. "Whoa! What?" He gasped jumping back. "Are you kidding dog?" Gus didn't look the least bit embarassed as he promptly walked off. I started feeling bad for bringing my friends to the dog park, until Karissa broke out into a fit of laughter. "You got a hose to wash that off Jason?" He made a face in reply, then went off to find a pulley. I made the dogs take water and doggy ice cream breaks to cool off, which the dogs were greatful for. As for Gus's owner? She left the park for 20 minutes (with no warning) while we baby-sat Gus. Gus began jumping on Noah's back, until Noah decided he'd had enough. He snapped at Gus ("Whoaaa now" replied Jason) and jumped in my lap, where he stayed until Gus's "mom" returned.

"Come on Gus!" she said cheerfully, "Let's go!" Gus lay down in the dirt. "Agustussss." I couldn't beleive my eyes. He responded to BOTH names. Just jumped up and took off. We didn't stay in the dog section too much longer and left for the main area of the park, where I set up drinks and snacks. I tied Noah's leash to a picnic table and gave him water and a bone. We sat and chatted till 7pm, then went to an outdoor cafe for dinner.

I tied Noah up again, then sat down on the cafe bench. "OH MY GOD KATIE!" Karissa shreked. I slowly sat up. I had sat down in poop. Leaky diaper poop. (you don't want to know how I drew up that conclusion.) I glanced to my right. Noah's lead had just enough lengenth to reach underneith a grill, and my dog took full advantage. He was covered in soot. I decided to burst out laughing. "I don't think any of us are outdoor people." I said.

"I think you're right." Jason replied.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Beginnings.

No job yet.

That's okay. I know the economy isn't the greatest right now, and I'm hanging in there. I had a phone interview though and I'm supposed to be going to an in person interview with them soon. I've applied to four more places (three hospitals and a hotel) and am hoping for the phone to ring. My job hunt is going pretty well though. I've noticed that the number of jobs out there has increased in the last few months, and more positions are long term with lots of potential.

In the meantime, I'm pretty...broke. You see, my Little Sprout, (aka Hell on four legs, aka Noah the wonderdog) has been battling quite a lot of crap himself lately. A skin infection ($200 in meds and many aveno baths later, that's now cleared up), a double ear infection (S45), the medication he's on to have him feel like a normal dog (Anti anxiety), and dog training = draining bank. "My god!" said my father. "It's like he's a CHILD." Now of course, before I offend, I know he's far from a baby. But if this is what a small taste of raising children is like, I think I'll just play with my nephews and call it a day....unless I get a windfall...yeah that's it.

I had a breakthrough yesterday though. My vet noted that Noah has finally...come around. He's friendlier, snuggles with you, loves my nephews (still weary around other children, but I'm working on it) and has relaxed. (the doc said he was probably inbred, which can make a dog have an entire host of problems.) His feet are pigeon toed, but so far, he doesn't appear to be in pain with that. I'm actually enjoying him, and can see myself having Noah for the rest of his life. No matter where I go, or how things will change, I can see him coming with me happily and coping with it.

I can't wait to see where things will lead. Good things are finally happening.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Long Term Plans.

My life has completely shifted as of late. But after a few days of feeling sorry for myself, I've decided to take the bull by the horns. (What's the fun in feeling sorry for yourself anyway?) I've been on an intense job hunt, as well as finalizing my travel plans. (I'm hoping one or the other doesn't collide.)

I've applied to a company (that shall remain nameless) that gives a great base salary, as well as insurance. I've applied to other places as well. The max I'm giving myself is two years to get on my feet and get the ground running. I'm not staying in New Jersey. (With an unenployment rate of 10% and the cost of living rising dramatically, I'm not sure I could ever move out of my parents house at this point) I'm moving out of state to a quieter (and CHEAPER) area, with a more laid back lifestyle. I defnately need it.

I have a savings. I know I need a newer car. A plan is finally building in my brain, I can feel it. I'm excited, but a little nervous too.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Up, Up and away...

Well it looks like the first place I'll be going to is...drum roll please...Florida! The last time I went to Florida, I was an 11 year old sprout and beyond thrilled that I was going to Disney World. No Disney World trips this time. Instead I'll be heading to my best friend's new rental. I haven't seen her in a few years, (not since she got married actually) and have yet to meet her (now 2 year old) son Ethan. I haven't worked out the details yet, but I'll be having plenty of adventures on my own as well as some girl time, so that's a plus.

Meanwhile, I headed out with a good friend of mine Friday night. Since the death of his brother, my friend has been in a bit of a funk. (completely understandable of course) It's been a month since he died, but instead of sitting around moping, we decided to do something he was completely in love with: Go to the county fair. Two years ago, I remember winning a Spiderman poster for him at that same fair, and he practically burst over his prize. Not to mention he wanted to go on every ride, see every show and play every game. This time around, it felt weird that he wasn't there with us. I was determined however to get my friend out there and to have a good time. My friend was reluctant in the beginning to do anything (his logic was that if his brother could no longer enjoy life's simple pleasures, why should he?) I understood his reasoning, but I couldn't allow him to sit there and punish himself. Finally (and bravely I might add), he allowed himself to have a good day.

The only thing I refused to do was go on the Ferris Wheel. Last year a kid thought it would be awesome to swing the seat we were in as we were high in the sky. No thanks. Sure did look pretty in the dusk though.

I just had to take a picture of Llamas. I love them so much. I've always been fascinated with them since I was a little girl. I wanted one for the longest time as a pet. "where would we put it?" Mom would ask. "In the yard!" I'd reply. Of course it would work. Of course.

After ice cream, a smile like this always appears on my face.

I'm unable to go on a lot of rides, due to back surgery I had as a kid. (I have a metal rod in my back...I'm almost proud to say I'm a human conductor) but that doesn't mean I couldn't enjoy taking pictures of my friends on the rides:

I can't wait to get a camera (an AWESOME camera, like a canon). I'll have much better pictures up then, especially for my trip. All in all, we had an awesome night. I hope we're able to have many more.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I don't want to do this, but I just might have to.

Let me start off by saying that I love my dog. I got him as a beautiful ball of white fluff from a breeder, who breeds poodles and cockapoos. I wanted a cockapoo after endless research last year led me to believe that they were great with kids and social dogs. At ten months old, my puppy has been anything but friendly to many. Oh sure we go on nice walks and have our cuddle time on the couch, but ANYTHING could set him off and that mood changes in a bipolar instant. The sweet moments are becoming few and far between. I try to make sure that he has everything he needs. I took him to training class beginning at 9 weeks and continued with it and (still) work on it everyday. I brush him everyday, bathe him regularly, am always trying to play with him. He goes on walks three times a day. I feed him Halo. I take him to the dog park every weekend. I've socialized him with every person within a 50 mile radius. But, I've finally come to the conclusion that something is very wrong. When his agression issues began (gaurding paper, growling and snapping) I worked with a trainer ASAP to try and curb it. But starting last week, it got alarmingly worse.

The first time was when I got on my knees to clip his leash on. Noah bit my hand. HARD. It put a small hole between my index finger and my thumb. I came to the conclusion that it was my fault (maybe I startled him) I told him "OW! NO!" and he backed off. The second time was out of nowhere: He bit me while I was petting him. I put him in his crate to cool off. The third time, he bit my father as he gave Noah the drop it command while Noah grabbed mulch. On Saturday, while I was at a wedding shower my stepsister invited her friend and her little girl over for lunch. Noah let out a low, threatening growl to the 2 year old, (who made no move toward Noah and was just near her mom) and my stepmom quickly put Noah into his crate. But he continued to growl until she put a blanket over the crate. Tonight, I put my hand under Noah's mouth and said "drop it" in a calm, but firm, voice after he got in the trash. He growled low, snarled at me. I smoothed back his hair to look at his eyes, and it was like a strangers dog staring back. They were wild.

At the beginning of last week, I contacted a behaviorist, who is coming to see Noah this week. I've also been in contact with my vet, who will check Noah to see if anything is medically wrong. That's today. Noah is also no longer around children. I can't take a chance with little ones. He is on a leash with adults. I know I need more help with Noah at this point then you anyone can give, but am I doing the right things? I might be missing some steps to take? I just want to try everything I can to help my dog. I'll do so much for him.

That said, If this behaviorist or the vet can't help, Noah might have to be rehomed. I haven't told the breeder the steps I'm taking yet, but I did let her know that there is a major problem.

This is what she wrote:

"Hi Katie, So very nice of you to send me the pics and the update on Noah !
I have never had anyone say anything like this before so i am stumped but your trainer should be able to work on this issue and it does concern me that he bit you as they are very affectionate dogs."

I don't know what else to do. My dogs are my babies, but it's clear that Noah needs more help then I might be able to give.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I'm afraid there's a reason plans were put on hold and I haven't blogged in awhile. There's been something I've been holding out on this blog. A friend of mine has been going through a rough time. Last year, his fifteen year old brother was diagnosed with brain cancer. (This was after a headache that he had been complaining about to us that seemed harmless but turned pretty quickly.) After CAT and MRI scans, his cancer was found.

Over the last 15 months, this fantastic kid has been battling chemo, radiation and been poked and prodded without a single complaint. He's also been in a lot of pain, but you wouldn't have known it with the smile and the thumbs up he gave. I've been so proud of him. This school year, he got straight A's and and honors.

Right before Easter however, the monster in his brain grew in an area doctors could not operate on and he entered the hospital to try one more treatment. I'm sad to say that he passed away on May 8th.

Since then, we've all been reeling, but especially his parents and brother. I don't know what to say my friend about the death of his sibling, since it's a pain I can only imagine. Very secretly, I've been grieving too. I'll catch myself thinking of this sweet boy as I'm watching TV or I'm trying to go to sleep. I'll climb into my friend's car expecting his brother to be in the backseat. I'll go on his myspace and facebook, almost leaving a message, hoping he'll reply. I worry about my friend, who keeps saying he needs me, but I don't want to confess to him that I don't always know what to do. I was with my friend everyday until yesterday, when I'll admit I selfishly gave myself a break from it all, went on a job interview, cancelled the second one, then fell asleep at home. I'm tired all the time. I'm not hungry at all.

But I can't say that to the family, because their pain must be so much worse. Maybe I shouldn't be hurting at all, but I don't want to say that I am. I almost cried last night, but held it in. I can't cry right now. I have to be strong for my friend and their family.

But I can't help but think, after knowing my friend for five years that I'll miss his brother. And I didn't even think I would go over their house and not hear his brother running down the stairs, or tossing his back back by the door, or the sounds of video games. I didn't think that we would stop taking him to karate, or he wouldn't be going to the county fair with us anymore or I wouldn't be able to win a movie poster for him. I should have treasured him. He was an angel in the making. Godspeed to an awesome boy. Heaven is so lucky to have you.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Setback and moving forward! :)

Well, I wasn't able to go to the Schuyler Fisk concert. On the day of the show, my body decided "Hey, you haven't had a fever in awhile...let's give you one girl!" I woke up to body aches, chills and a classic fever. My head also felt like it was split in half. Boo. I had lovely people update me on the show though, so I'd like to take a time out and say thanks! My evening instead consisted of catching up on programing with the DVR and letting my mind travel nowhere, but it felt good to just relax in my PJ's.

No travel updates right now to speak of, but I've narrowed down my choices to San Diego, Orlando, Los Angeles, or Tucson. Can you tell I'm craving a warm place? :) Has anyone reading this been to these places? gives me an idea on these areas. While reading one of my favorite blogs, I checked on Alaska just for fun. There is a section on every town Hailey, if you want to check that out!

In addition to travel plans, I've begun volunteering at our local animal shelter and taking cooking classes as I save up. My puppy is NOT happy of my new activites, since it means less time with him.

I want to say sorry in advance Noah, since you aren't coming with me.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

One small step.

Happy tax day!

How's my progress been? Slow and steady. I've begun looking at rates online to go to the west coast. Besides Hawaii, I've never been to the western states, so I'm giddy. HI International Hostel appears to be my best bet to stay. A friend of mine who traveled one summer said that hostels are much nicer then they used to be. (Although, during a hostel stay in San Diego, she told me the water smelled weird in the shower) Hey, it's all part of the experence right?

Meanwhile, an unexpected perk happened just this morning. My favorite singer Schuyler Fisk, is playing at the Living Room next Wednesday night in NYC. Having never been there alone, why not start now with my being bold and brave? I'll report back here after the show. :)

Take care for now everyone!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

hello all.

I don't know exactly how many people will read this, (if any) but allow me to introduce myself. My name is Katie. I'm a 20 something who lives in NJ with her parents (a less then ideal situation for me but we're all making do for now). Currently, I've been looking for work with little luck (damn you economy), so it's been unsettling. In between job interviews and with gaps of time on my hands I began thinking: What if I could just do something for myself before hunkering down into the world of 9-5? Something adventurous and exciting, with no one to answer to and nothing to worry about? It was a foreign concept, since I'm the biggest worrier on the planet and everything NEEDS to be planned within an inch of it's life, but it entered my brain.

What if I could go where ever I wanted? Around Christmas, I was stuck on bed rest with full blown Pneumonia and started dreaming of warm climates: Florida, Arizona, California. I've been fascinated with visiting different areas of the country since high school, but it had never crept into my sub conscious quite like this. It hasn't left me since.

Shortly before New Years, my slightly out there but endearing Aunt Lynn told me all about her travels as a college student in Europe. She was "scared shitless", she said. This shocked me. A woman who has been to China? Who went with her kayaking club to New Zealand just to visit Lord of the Rings locations? Who traveled to an island I'd never even heard of of until it was featured on Survivor? It was oddly comforting, to hear that even my superhero could be afraid. She traveled just to do it, and returned from her first trip unharmed.

I have rarely left my comfort zone as an adult. After the death of my mother, I became a bit of nervous nelly. Driving freaks me out. So does being away from home. I used to be fearless, taking on the world in my dirty chuck taylors, believing I could be anything. Could I reach into that part of my soul again? I've decided I could certainly give it a try. And so, I'm here to announce that I will be picking a destination to visit and updating you on my travels, with very little money and no job prospects in sight. Wish me luck. Kidlet Katie is cheering the adult woman on. She's a little older, a little wiser...and now wearing sneakers.