In a Flash like That, Recognize I’m back

I am sorry to all 54 or so of my followers for my absence the last 28 days and the fact that all of the posts prior to that were just blogging about how I really needed to blog. As the wise rapper T.I. once said, “I’m back.”  Life has finally settled down and my thoughts have cleared out well enough that I can put them into words again.  Or at least in some capacity.  Let’s see how far we get.

Over the course of the last month, I left my gym job and have become a full time waitress.  And it has been great.  I’ve finally gotten the knack of knowing what I need to do and when to do it, I’ve made some nice new work friends, I’ve gotten on the good side of the kitchen so I get free food, and I’ve sweet talked at least 10 people into starting a fantasy football league.  I’m in.

It’s exciting to start to feel like ‘me’ again, as cliche as that may sound.  Misery drains your energy and your feeling of self worth and your desire to live your life, and no one should live that way.  I’m no expert on happiness, but I know the difference between being happy and wanting to hide in your closet every day of the week to avoid the rest of the world and I now know that the former is preferred.  I’m not 100% recovered yet, but at least I’m on the way.

I’m having a wonderfully relaxed couple of days and someone just walked by me and said “I like the way you work!”  Let’s set the stage:  I’m in a hotel lobby which is full of players from my favorite football team.  I’m wearing leggings and a sweatshirt.  I’m drinking a Blue Moon and listening to country music.  My feet are up on the chair next to me and I’m blogging.  I love that this was just deemed “work.”  Because I do have a job where I get paid which I very much enjoy and I love to keep up with my blog when I have time.  And it’s obviously going to be a book deal one day, right?  What’s that silly quote?  Something like, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life?”  Well if that’s the case right now, I love working.

Enough with the sappy emo nonsense.  Let’s jot down what else has happened over my blog-less 28 days:

One: Darcy turned two years old!! Can you believe it?!  Despite her insistence on running into traffic or massive treat consumption, she has managed to survive for two whole years!  Clearly there was a celebration…

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Two: I met my favorite baseball player of all time, Darren Daulton.  I couldn’t speak to him for a long time.  Eventually I did, but mainly I just stared and waved like the biggest nerd ever.  But he was really nice and took a picture with my brother and me, with which I have wallpapered my room.

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Three: I had a fabulous weekend in our Nation’s capital with my college friends.  An imperative member was missing (that’s you Bailey!) but there’s nothing like getting together with people you have such a strong history with.  It was so much fun.

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Four: I went to the Kenny Chesney concert.  I thought it was good but not great.  He needs to get some tips from Taylor Swift.

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Five: My parents celebrated their 30 year wedding anniversary by spending it with my brothers and me and one of the best meals we have ever had.  Clearly the night was topped off with celebratory baby Guinness shots… I mean, how else would the Irish celebrate?

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Five: I stopped drinking whiskey!  That doesn’t help a ton but does make things a little better.  It didn’t help me learn to count any better apparently

Six: I cleaned my room, messed it up again, cleaned it again… it’s all been a vicious cycle

Seven: I have lost three shoes from three different pairs.  So there were once six shoes – there are now three shoes, one of each.

Eight: I re-watched the first season of True Detective rather than trying to force myself into the second season.  Fact – it’s even better the second time.  I love Louisiana

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I think those are the most earth shattering things to mention.  I hope everyone else has had as great a 28 days as I have!! And don’t worry, I’m really back – get ready, the rest of the summer is going to be blog worthy!

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The Real Winners

One of my favorite days of the year is the Phillies 5K.  I have run it for the last three years and it’s the one day when I know for a fact I will accomplish something that I’m proud of.

Sometimes, I make the silly decision to sign up for more 5Ks.  Last Saturday was one of those days.  My friend Bake-Master and I were going to do the Color Run in Camden.  Saturday morning, however, we woke to a predicament.  It was 40 degrees outside.  Allegedly everything you wear during the Color Run gets destroyed and we had bought sacrificial running gear for a 70 degree morning.

I woke at 6:20 and had a text from Bake-Master from 6:09 subtly mentioning that if I didn’t want to run she would understand.  It was one of those situations where I didn’t really care strongly either way, but I didn’t want to freeze, I didn’t want to ruin something nice, I didn’t want to have to spend my morning in New Jersey, but most of all I didn’t want to sound like the lazy friend.  I told her it was up to her – I was in or out, all the while praying she was out.  It took her maybe three more texts to justify why we should stay home and I happily obliged, falling back to sleep by 6:32.

We did, however, decide to celebrate our win.  We didn’t have to run in the freezing weather.  We didn’t ruin any clothes.  We didn’t get covered in color gas and look like Occupy Wall Street hippies.  We didn’t have to leave the safe confines of Pennsylvania.  We were clean.  We were well rested.

We met at noon for a fantastic brunch and afterwards had a champagne picnic in the park to further discuss our great decision.  Someone did win the Color Run.  But we were the real winners.

We probably looked a little like hippies at this point

We probably looked a little like hippies at this point

Celebratory Brunch

Celebratory Brunch

One Man’s Trash is Another Girl’s Dream Dog

During the colder months whenever I felt sad, I would Google three things: 1 – Real estate in New Orleans, 2- The average annual income of a family of four in Mississippi, 3- Handicapped animals.  I think I felt like if I could get out of the chill, help someone or remember that I made a decent salary, it would cheer me up.

Last March when I did this, I ended up with a puppy named Darcy.  And goodness did she have a story…

Darcy was born in August, 2013 in Puerto Rico with no back feet.  One of her back legs reaches the ground and has a full pad and the other leg isn’t fully grown and has a small pad.  I’m not sure exactly what happened to her for the next four months, but on New Years Day, 2014 she was found in a bag full of Christmas trash in a dumpster off of a nauseating place called Dead Dog Beach.  A number of islands, Puerto Rico especially, are infamous for animal abuse.  People visit Dead Dog Beach daily to dump, mutilate or murder dogs.  I’ve read a number of stories and news articles and will spare the gory details but when I watch my dog run around in the dog park or hear her cry when I leave my house, I struggle to imagine how anyone could treat an innocent animal the way some awful people do.

She's always prepared for a tornado

She is always prepared for a tornado

But hiding is not her strong suit

But camouflage is not her strong point

But back to Darcy – she was taken to Second Chance Animal Rescue of Puerto Rico – one of the fabulous humane societies who does their best to save and rescue the animals of Dead Dog Beach.  She was rehabilitated, spayed, vaccinated and in March she was cargo shipped, along with a number of other dogs, to Vermont. Once in Vermont, Darcy was sent to another incredible organization, Random Rescue, where she was then sent to live with her foster mom, Val.  At this point, Darcy was 7 months old – imagine the whirl-wind that was her first 7 months of life.

When I found Darcy, formally Nutmeg, online, I didn’t necessarily think it would work out.  I had applied for dogs before and never heard back.  But the signs were all there.  Her name was Nutmeg – my name was Meg.  We would be like Dr. Evil and Mini Me.  She was in Vermont which, according to Google Maps was 6 hours and 29 minutes away – something that spoke volumes to a girl who’s birthday was June 29.  Sure enough, I heard that my application had been reviewed, my reference had been called, and if I wanted I could set up time to speak with her foster mom.

Val was fantastic and told me all sorts of sweet lies – she doesn’t chew shoes (tell that to my closet) she is so loving (tell that to the little girl in the park last week) she doesn’t bark (tell that to the dogs across the hall.)  I’ll never forget her telling me she didn’t have much land, only 14 acres, but Nutmeg seemed to really enjoy the outside.  It was ironic considering I live in an apartment that is 1400 sq/ft.

The decision was made.  That weekend, my friend Fire Alarm and I hopped in the car and made the 6 hour and 29 minute (each way) trip up to Vermont.  It was a long, long trip.  My favorite part was when we hit the Massachusetts border and Fire Alarm asked me what my plan was if I decided I didn’t want the dog. To which I responded …that was a question for New Jersey.

We met Val, her two grandsons and now Darcy in the Yankee Candle parking lot.  I’ll never forget it.  Darcy looked at me with complete disinterest and my immediate thought was oh my God my dog doesn’t like me.  Val and her family had made her a blanket (that she still sleeps with every night) and told me that it was going to be sad to lose her. The worst part was after I signed the papers and we said our goodbyes how distraught Darcy looked when Val walked away.  Here she was – 7 months old, being moved yet again.

IMG_9266IMG_9263During the ride home she just sat there.  She would either fall asleep standing up or just stare at me from Fire Alarm’s arms.  She wouldn’t go to the bathroom, she wouldn’t eat anything, she just stared.  She was skinny.  She was shedding like crazy.  I can’t imagine what was happening in her head.

Once I got home it seemed like a good time to tell my parents.  My mother said “that dog is not coming into my house” (never the animal lover, that one – but things sure have changed) my dad said “it’s nice to have a companion.”  My youngest brother said “she’s the cutest dog I’ve ever seen.”  My other brother came over and acted like he was an Uncle for the first time.

A year has passed and so many things have developed.  Darcy has reached her ideal weight of 12 pounds.  She’s so happy.  She loves my parents – whenever she goes to their house, they yell “DARCY” and she runs in like it’s the greatest place in the world.

She has bad dreams at night sometimes.  When I wake her up she’ll run away from me – which always makes me wonder what else she went through. She has trouble jumping without the full footed leverage she was supposed to have.  She hates when something touches her back feet/stubs and she’ll only walk on her front legs when that’s the case.  But with the way she runs around, you would never know she was disabled.

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She is protective.  She thinks Roommate (who also did not want her at first) is the most popular girl ever.  She’s a huge Saints and Phillies fan.  She loves to chase birds.  She hates baths.  She is a trooper about getting dressed up. She chews her stubs. Her favorite toy is a stuffed bunny that is her size.  She has a bright pink crate. She loves cheese.  She’s my baby and she has a family that loves her.  I cannot believe anyone would ever have not wanted her.  But God am I glad they didn’t.

Today I signed her up for obedience classes and agility training.  And if all goes as planned, in a couple of months Darcy will be a certified therapy dog.  When I adopted her it was because I wanted to help someone – I wanted a dog that no one else wanted.  Imagine how many lives she could touch with her story – pending a little training. Don’t worry – I’ll keep you posted on her progress.

Check her out on Instagram #twopawsonestub

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She has a huge crush on Chase Utley

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Her only tricks is that she runs around in circles when I say Who Dat