If you think you can’t, you won’t. So, just do it.

That's me in the grey t-shirt. Wow, I'm short. But I'm surrounded by some amazing people at the MA Humane Lobby Day.
That’s me in the grey t-shirt. Wow, I’m short. But I’m surrounded by some amazing people at the MA Humane Lobby Day.

When people ask me why I’m vegan, one of the main reasons I give is because I don’t want to play any role, no matter how small, in the suffering of living, feeling, and loving creatures. Inevitably, some people say something like “well, they’re still going to continue making beef for us to eat, you know?” Or “chickens are still going to continue laying eggs, so what are you stopping, really?” Um, a lot. And I’m sure it means a lot to every animal that doesn’t have to die just so I can eat it.

Here’s the thing. One person can make a difference. The guy who made the Cowspiracy movie – from his own research, he went vegan and thereby saved (and continues to save) some animals from being sent to slaughter as he’s not consuming them anymore. And by making the movie, he changed my mind into becoming a vegan. And I’m sure he’s changed more minds than just mine. So, he did do something.

During my medical leave, I finished reading a book by Gene Baur called Farm Sanctuary. Again, a man who started small, but who has changed many, many lives, both human and animal, over the past thirty years. It really inspired me to want to do more. So I reached out to them after reviewing their website. I saw that their pages on pending state and federal legislation were from the last congressional and legislative sessions. I asked if I could help them update that information, since I’ve got the skills to look up that sort of thing. They graciously took me up on my offer.

So, as they suggested, I reviewed the information on a few of the major animal welfare organizations and then did some additional searches on my own, for federal legislation. And I found out this week that the information I sent to them was used to update a newsletter being sent out to about 100,000 members and it would even highlight an act that they didn’t know about before I found it, called the SAFE Act. SAFE stands for Safeguard American Foods Act, and if passed, this bill would prevent health hazards posed by consuming horses raised in the U.S., by prohibiting, via interstate or foreign commerce, the sale of horses to be be used for human consumption. I feel good, knowing my efforts made a difference to them, and I hope, down the line, to the people reading their newsletter. (And I hope it will make a huge difference to the lives of horses in this country also.)

So, YES, people, you can do something. The only way to ensure your failure at making a difference is to sit there and bemoan how little you can do, and not even try.  I refuse to do that anymore, especially after having read Best Friends: The True Story of the World’s Most Beloved Sanctuary.   They saved the lives of so many animals who had been abused, or neglected, or just dropped without any emotional thought on the part of their “owners.”  As I was reading through it (in just two days’ time), I just kept thinking to myself, I would LOVE to work there and help the animals!! Imagine being around a lot of other people who feel the same way about animals as I do. Plus, it sounds simply gorgeous, as I know many parts of the southwestern United States are. (FYI, in their recent edition of Best Friends Magazine, they discuss how important it is to contact your state legislatures about animal welfare issues.  See page 16.)

Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend the MA Humane Lobby Day.  One of the speakers talked about a bill that had been introduced this session called “A Bill to Protect Puppies and Kittens.”  Think of that title. As she said (and I paraphrase), “who in their right mind can vote against a bill that aims to protect puppies and kittens??”” Well played, ma’am, well played. 🙂

And if you still think that you can’t do something, well, look at what the power of people in some of our state legislatures can do. Don’t take my word for it – check out this clip of John Oliver from his show Last Week Tonight.

And finally, I’ll point you back to a post I wrote last year about a movie called Opening Our Eyes.  It’s about what individuals have done in various parts of the world and how their efforts have changed the lives of so many over time.  You just have to MAKE the decision that, YES, YOU CAN make a difference in this world. Things may seem depressing some days – I’m not immune to it. Some days, after seeing the news, I wonder “what in the hell is wrong with this world??!!” But then, I think, if we all just give up, then it will all go to hell. So, we can’t let that happen. Don’t let other people’s fears project onto you and keep you from doing something. I’m not.  It’s why I am willing to take the steps I’m taking to change the course of my life and make the world a better place for animals. Because every little bit helps. (And if ever I forget that or doubt myself, I look around at my furballs and know better.)

As much as I like to think I'm making a change in Osito's life, I know she's making a HUGE difference in my life.
As much as I like to think I’m making a change in Osito’s life, I know she’s making a HUGE difference in my life.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everyone! If you’ve liked this post, please hit like or subscribe, or drop me a line below in the comments. Thanks for reading, as always!

Things and People That Inspire Me

Osito. She inspires me to be a better person.
Osito. She inspires me to be a better person. I just realized I posted this pic in my last blog post too. Clearly, I love it (and her!)

Some days, I just get the urge to write. Like today. Yesterday, I felt the inspiration to get rid of crap in my apartment. So today, I thought I might share with you some of the videos, stories, etc., that inspire me, and hopefully you can take away at least one good thing from this post. And if you like this type of post, let me know. Maybe it’ll become a regular thing? 🙂

I don’t have TV so I only catch up on TV shows on netflix or the internet. I do watch a lot of youtube videos, though, because I feel like I can always learn from other people, whether it be in terms of my attitude, or skills such as fixing the chain on my bike), how to eat better, or how to save money and be better disciplined while doing it. The ways to learn are just endless. And of course, there are the cute animal videos that we all like to see. (If you don’t, well, personally, you might want to go to the doctor because it’s quite possible “you’re dead inside.” LOL)

This morning when I got up and was puttering around the apartment, I went to my Favorites list on youtube, and started listening to some of them and really thinking about why they inspire me. I’ve listed a few below.

Minimalists: Living with Less (from The Feed channel) 

Exploring Alternatives: Going against the Grain Can Be Hard. They also have a blog you can see here. They are a young married couple that have a van all set up to live in full time. They are super down to earth, and the first time I saw this video, I really needed that encouragement. 

Carrie LeighAnna, What I Eat and How I Meal Plan. She used to overeat, and I have found myself doing that over the past year. No more!  She has inspired me to eat better. 

Becky Schade, who writes the blog Interstellar Orchard. This video really hit home for me. She realized something was wrong in her life and did something about it. And now, she’s written a book which launches in just two days!!  

A friend of mine posted the following story on Facebook earlier today: The Radioactive Man Who Returned to Fukushima to Feed the Animals that Everyone Else Left Behind. How amazing is he?

And sometimes the inspiration comes from an image a friend sends to me:

This is from the Story of Stuff Project page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/storyofstuff.
This is from the Story of Stuff Project page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/storyofstuff.

I hope that these inspire you today – please share your thoughts about what inspires you in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

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Little Things for Which I am Thankful

All bundled up for the first walk of spring -a sweater, a jacket and a scarf! I <3 Osito.
All bundled up for the first walk of spring -a sweater, a jacket and a scarf! I ❤ Osito.

My friend Kelvin, over at Going Uncomplicated, recently wrote a post about his trip to Haiti last year. Even though he didn’t write it as a minimalism post, it really made me think. We live in such a world of abundance, and there are so many people out there that have barely anything to their name. Some of them are happy, some aren’t. But I will be that more of us in the “first world” with our “first world problems” are unhappy, even with all of our stuff.

After I read Kelvin’s post, I thought to myself, and here I am – my goal is to pare down my clothes so I only have one dresser, and some in my closet. God, we don’t know how lucky we have it! Anyway….

  1. It snowed this morning. NO, I am not thankful for that, but I have to admit, it makes it seem all the better when the sun shines around here. I’m sincerely hoping it is the end of it, but who knows?
  2. I took Osito out for her first walk of spring. Although we didn’t go that far (she is 14 and we have to build her endurance back up again for our summertime walks/carries), I could tell she was happy and relieved to be outside. Even little ones like to feel the sun on their face, you know?
  3. I’m going to be seeing my best friend and her husband tonight for dinner. I don’t usually go out to dinner, and I don’t get to see her or them often enough, so it’s a definite treat for me. Something to look forward to and motivate me to get some stuff done, like this post.
  4. Some of you are friends with me on facebook so you already know this, but I am thankful that my surgery to have my fibroids removed (and other body parts) has been scheduled. April 21st, I go under the knife. I am happy that it is the day AFTER the Boston Marathon, as I live on the route, and I love to cheer the runners on, elite runners, complete strangers and friends. Also, I’m lucky to have a few people offering to help me out with rides, pet duty, etc.

    Speaking of the Boston Marathon, Jill of Jill Will Run will be staying with me this year. This is HUGE. We have known each other online for 7 years now and we have never met face to face, before now!  I’m really looking forward to taking her around to see the sights of Boston.

  5. I paid my taxes this week. NO, I’m not thankful for the fact that I owed (due to my 1099 work last year), but I am grateful that I had the money saved to pay them.
  6. The snow is melting. Finally! I can even see some of the soft dirt on the path around the reservoir behind my building. I’m hoping to go for a run myself this coming week, as my cold is just about gone. I think will do immeasurable things for my outlook and self-esteem.

Anyway, folks, just a short post today, which Kelvin’s post inspired me to write. (By the way, if you haven’t checked out his blog, you definitely should. He’s a great writer.)

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Things I Love

Max and Osito, two that like to be as close to me as possible at ALL times.
Max and Osito, two that like to be as close to me as possible at ALL times.

Sitting here on a Sunday night as I start to write this post. Looking around me and seeing all of my animals dozing or just about there…the bed was just freshly made with laundered sheets and two fleece blankets, so you know what kind of a magnet that’s gonna be this evening for all of the felines! (Well, and this human and of course, the dog.)

It just makes me feel content, moments like this. The heat is running (of course, it is Boston on Feb. 1st, after all, and we are expecting ….wait for it…., more snow!!!) YAYYY (yes folks, you’re not imaging it…that is sarcasm you are hearing as you read this post to yourself.)

But really, it does. I feel content because I know I’m settled in for the night, and don’t have to go out in the cold. (Gotta love having a dog that is trained to use pee pads and who hates the cold, too.) Well, at least I don’t have to go out until the morning anyway, since it’s unlikely my workplace will close.

My buddy, Ross, the pony!!
My buddy, Ross, the pony!!

Earlier today, as is my normal Sunday routine, I got up early, had my two cups of coffee and got ready to go to the shelter to take care of some animals. I was delighted to see that they had another goat that wasn’t there last week! Even the skiddish goats who came in a few weeks ago as emaciated strays seemed a bit more acclimated to us today. And at the end of my shift there, I spent some time with Fancy the horse, and Ross, the pony, outside. Ross can be a bit, how shall we say, overzealous, when food is in front of him, so it was hard holding the last carrot out of his reach so Fancy could eat it. He is such a cutie – he kept backing up or sidling up next to me to be petted and scratched, and then at one point, he got down onto the ground and rolled over on his back and kicked his legs up in the air. It made me so happy to see him so happy (and relieved from his itchy back, I’m sure.)

My cute, little HoneyBun. This is the dog's bed, but whenever the dog is close to me, she loves to spend time there. In this picture, she is kneading the blanket, happy as a cat can be.
My cute, little HoneyBun. This is the dog’s bed, but whenever the dog is close to me, she loves to spend time there. In this picture, she is kneading the blanket, happy as a cat can be.

I have come to realize that whenever I am at the shelter with those animals, I laugh. I talk to them just like I would my pets at home, always in a calming voice, and the horse and pony make me laugh. There are five goats there now, including a mama and baby girl, and the baby girl is such a nut – she has taken to jumping into the wheelbarrow while we are cleaning out her pen. Both myself and  the other volunteer this morning thought it looked super cute, but we still both shook our heads like “girlll….you are weird!!” Only for these animals would I get up so early on a Sunday and actually look forward to cleaning up after them.

That's ok, Max, you just go ahead and lie right there. It's not like I was actually reading that or anything.... :-)
That’s ok, Max, you just go ahead and lie right there. It’s not like I was actually reading that or anything…. 🙂

Other things I love? Spending time with good friends, having a good conversation and four forks to eat a piece of chocolate cake. That’s how I spent my evening last night. It was very needed – with the weather and my starting school two weeks ago, I found myself in a very down mood toward the end of the week. Seeing my best friend and two others definitely helped lift me out of a funk. And hearing that my best friend is still feeling amazing as she reaches week 17 of her pregnancy, that is just awesome in my book. She will find out what she is having in two weeks – my guess is it’s a girl. Don’t know why, but I just do. She is blond haired and blue eyed, and her husband is from the Bahamas, so you all know just how beautiful that baby will be. (I gotta admit, girls are so much more to buy stuff for, what with all the pink clothes and stuff, but …ok, I digress.)

From what I could tell, this was a minivan at one point in its life.
From what I could tell, this was a minivan at one point in its life.

Did I already mention chocolate? (Yeah, there was that bit above about the chocolate cake.) I could go on and on forever about how much I love chocolate, but I’ll stop now so I can shove a few chocolate chips into my mouth…ok, I’m back!

I am sorry for not having blogged the past few weeks but I just started school and am settling into a rhythm of handling that and working full-time. I have to admit, I am enjoying learning again. And I started auditing an animal law class last week at work – it’s so cool to be in a room with so many others that feel the same way about animals you do, and are passionate about it.

Yeah, this is NOT something that I love. Ever. Thank God it's not mine.
Yeah, this is NOT something that I love. Ever. Thank God it’s not mine.

Oh, and one last thing I love? Knowing that this is my LAST winter in the northeast. The location where I am looking to move hardly ever gets snow and as of last week, while we expected a blizzard, its weather forecast was for highs in the 50s. Enough said. I’m going, baby!

What  kinds of things do you love – what warms your heart and makes you laugh as if you don’t have a care in the world? Please drop me a line below and let me know!

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Defining (and choosing?) priorities

I just had to snap this photo of little Osito when she wore her new parka for the first time. She seems to really like it as it keeps her ears warm!
I just had to snap this photo of little Osito when she wore her new parka for the first time. She seems to really like it as it keeps her ears warm!

Editor’s note, written a few hours after the post was first published:

I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor’s office to see how I’m doing and feeling with cutting my Wellbutrin dosage in half. I’m happy to say, I’m doing pretty well, I think. And having cut out the Singulaire I take for my allergies-induced asthma, I’m breathing really well and clearly. Even ran outside yesterday and didn’t experience any wheezing afterward, like I used to do.  There is a medical student working there now, and she is from Seattle. She told me I can definitely can get work out in that area, and that yes, it really is possible to find a place to live there for about $700. She said things are definitely cheaper out there, and after having talked to her, I’m so jazzed, and leaning toward the PNW again. But I know, I need to keep an open mind and think everything through.

*******************************************

So, one thing I have learned over the past year or so is that I change my mind. Sometimes a lot. Enough that I am now somewhat making fun of myself when I tell my friends what my “newest” plan for next year is. I go from wanting an RV, to just having a tiny apartment, to wanting an RV, to wanting a tiny apartment or small place to rent. And well, after I put my post up about so many RVs to choose from, I spent a good week or so watching my animals, and I mean really watching them. Watching how they interacted with each other, when they seemed to be the most content, and how far apart from each other they might be at that time. And I realized a small travel trailer just isn’t going to be enough room for them. Not if I don’t want them to be in a constant state of stress, and if I don’t care to alleviate that, it makes me quite selfish and a horrible fur mom.  Two things I never want to be.

I’ve changed my mind about what I want to do with my life a few times – for about two years,  I thought I wanted to be a personal trainer. Enough so that I took two certification tests (the second being known for being extremely hard.)  However, I have realized that while I do like working out, and occasionally helping out friends, I don’t think the lifestyle is for me. It would have me inside all the time (or a majority of the time) and it can get kind of boring to do just do one-on-one training all the time. I see that in the face of my gym’s trainer.  (He’s a great trainer, don’t get me wrong, but I can imagine it gets boring to work with the same types of problems day after day.) Plus, I find it hard to justify spending the money myself for the sessions (and I get them at a discount) when I’m trying to save money and pay off debt. So how could I then be asking people to pay for my services?

On a sunny day like this one, you just HAVE to be outside even if there is a brisk chill in the air!
On a sunny day like this one, you just HAVE to be outside even if there is a brisk chill in the air!

I was interested in going to an outdoor awareness school at one point (in the PNW) but then, of course, reality started to set in. The program was $10K or so, and involved a few trips that would require me to leave the animals for at least a week or more. That, and while I love the outdoors, I really do like some creature comforts, like, a warm bed. One that doesn’t involve sleeping on the ground, constantly worrying about bugs crawling over me as I try to fall asleep. You get the picture. So that idea went out the window, but the one thing behind it stayed the same – I love to be outdoors, and it would be awesome to live in a place that values the outdoor lifestyle. And if I could find a place to work where I could be outside, or teaching others about nature, so much the better.

So my thought is now to work with animals. That’s always been part of my plan – to do more to help them, but now I want to make it part of my future career, to the extent I can. I have been researching into what it takes to be a veterinary technician, if I need to have an associates degree, etc. I’ve been looking into the various AVMA accredited programs and their locations, cost of living, etc. Still have a lot of research to do on that, but hey, it’s what I do!  If I do go that route, I want to cash flow it as much as possible and would plan on applying for as many scholarships as I am able to do.  And I hope that I can start to volunteer at either a vet’s office or clinic or even work with the livestock that the Animal Rescue League of Boston have at their Dedham location, so I can see what it might be like to work as a large-animal vet tech.

I’ve thought about living in the southwest, like NM, and the Pacific Northwest, and just last week, Colorado. What do they all have in common? Yep, the weather is better than in the northeast, and they all value outdoor lifestyles.  The weather is certainly different in all three places. But one thing I have held fast to, and even more so, as we have just changed our clocks back to not be on daylight savings, and as I saw *snow* flurrying this past Sunday along with 40 mph wind gusts, is I’m DONE with the New England weather and winters. DONE. When I rode my bike to work that morning (it’s either that or walk since the buses don’t run early enough), it was sleeting outside. It hurt my face, not to mention the wind was out of this world, making me very glad my bike has a motor and is a bit on the heavy side. And I thought to myself, yep, I am DONE with this weather. It’s way too early for this crap.

So, here are my priorities:

  1. Live simply. Regardless of what the home looks like, it’ll be just what I need and nothing more. It’ll be a lifestyle that allows me to take care of myself and my animals, and pay off my debts (eventually).
  2. Live someplace where an outdoor lifestyle is valued and desired. And where winters don’t force you inside for months on end because the weather is so miserable and nasty cold. There are so many things you can do for free in the natural world, hiking, running, biking, etc. Why sit inside and stare at a TV or computer screen when you can experience all of that?
  3. My animals need to be happy and have enough space to be so. I have found that most of the time, we are all within the same room and a half (my living room and bedroom alcove), with usually 4 of them being within arms’ reach of myself. So I think a place that is about 400-500 square feet is going to do us just fine. Maybe even someplace smaller.
  4. Find a community of like-minded people. People who are somewhat liberal minded and don’t care so much about appearances or that the almighty dollar is the thing to be worshipped. Living in the NE, I think it’s hard for some people to understand why I would leave a good paying job to do something that makes so much less, especially with all of my degrees. I don’t want to constantly feel like I have to explain my decision to do so.Around here, and especially where I work, I work with very driven students and people who have always strived to be at the top. Many are proud of saying the name of our institution and hearing people go “oohh, and aaahhh.”  The name of my employer means nothing to me. In fact, I even ask people to not hold it against me sometimes, as it can also have a negative connotation, at least in my mind. It can conjure up images of wealth and prestige and power. All things that I simply could care less about.

So, these are my priorities, and while I may change my mind about what I will ultimately end up doing, and where I may be, from time to time, I’m holding fast to them. If anyone knows of any places that fit the bill, I’m all ears, so please drop me a line or comment below.

And, as always, if you have liked this post, please hit like or subscribe! Thank you for reading.

Oh, and just one more pic of Baby O below because she is always just too cute for words, and really makes everyone smile when they see her on our walks.

This is her "old lady" red sweater, complete with flowers and everything. But, it's the perfect weight and thickness for the mild fall days when there is a brisk chill in the air.
This is her “old lady” red sweater, complete with flowers and everything. But, it’s the perfect weight and thickness for the mild fall days when there is a brisk chill in the air.

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Doesn't my baby girl Osito look like she's smirking?? :-)
Doesn’t my baby girl Osito look like she’s smirking?? 🙂

You know how it feels when you wake up one morning and you feel a little tickle in your throat that wasn’t there the night before? Yep…happened to me on Tuesday. I went to work anyway, thinking, ok, maybe I can get through this without it becoming worse. We have all this leftover candy in one of my colleague’s office (from an event) so I felt like a 70 year old Wilford Brimley, sucking on Worthers’ Originals all day long.  (If you don’t know what I’m referring to here, well, please don’t tell me and make me feel old…) While they tasted good, they didn’t do squat to fight a cold. So…I took the next two days off while the cold went into my chest and then into my head. I still have it now, but it’s much more manageable. Nothing that a lot of cold medicine and sleep can’t  help!

Here’s just a sampling of what I am thankful for this week:

1. I am so thankful that I had over 60 days of sick time saved up so I was able to be paid for those days off. Not everyone can. At least my head doesn’t feel like it wants to explode from the pressure today, anymore.

2. You know how animals always know when something is off with their human (slave?) Mine are no exception. As Mom needed to sleep, they burrowed in next to me both days. I felt very loved.

Don't worry, Mom, snuggles will make you feel better.
Don’t worry, Mom, snuggles will make you feel better.

3. How well my building is maintained. When I got sick, I finally got the energy up to take a shower, only to find that I had no hot water. The guys in my  building figured out the problem pretty quickly, and wow, did the hot steam from the shower make me feel a ton better!

4.Still thankful that October is a 3 paycheck month!! I have paid about $1167 on my student loan this month so far, and I would like to pay a bit more if I can! Just seeing the balance go down to the $13K range feels freaking awesome!

5. This weekend is the pretty famous Head of the Charles Regatta, where crew teams from all over compete. I was able to sit and watch them practice yesterday for a few hours. If you have never seen how powerful the big 8-man/woman boats appear to be when watching a really good team work together, you don’t know what you’re missing! It’s pretty inspiring. They are one of my favorite parts about Boston – whenever I run around the Charles on morning runs, seeing them row by always gives me a little boost of motivation to keep on going.

6. Being home sick and not having a TV, what’s a girl to watch, other than Netflix and YouTube? I ended up watching several videos of people talking about minimalism and budgeting, and I’m even more jazzed than ever at keeping a lid on my expenses and seeing just how low can I go.

So, this morning, I woke up, and really wanted to make a smoothie to use up some food in my fridge. Problem is, I don’t have a blender anymore. I found that I didn’t really use the large blender that often, like I had used my single serving blenders in the past. (Unfortunately, both were on the cheaper side and lasted less than one year.) So, this morning, I ordered the Nutribullet through Target, and it’s ready and waiting for me to pick it up later today. Hello, healthier-eating-me! Hello, less wasting of food! Hello, green smoothies! (It’s a bit more expensive but it seems to have a lot more power than the others did, so here’s hoping…)

7. I heard from my author the other day – she has more work for me to do! Not a ton, but hey, every little bit helps!  Working for her helps me to justify/rationalize the purchase of an Asus Transformer T100 which I should be receiving through Amazon this weekend, yay! (Quick explanation – my chromebook is not compatible with Microsoft Office, and I need some of the extra functionality of Word that Google Docs doesn’t give me.)  This is a purchase that I think will pay for itself over time, if I can get some online work to supplement any kind of workamping or physical work I will end up doing. For people like me living on a budget (or at least trying to), it gets good reviews.

A view of all the crew teams lined up, ready to practice on the Charles River, before the Head of the Charles Regatta.
A view of all the crew teams lined up, ready to practice on the Charles River, before the Head of the Charles Regatta.

What are you thankful for this week? Please drop me a line below! Also, hit like or subscribe if you’ve liked this post, and thanks for reading!

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Osito says "I know what you're thinking right now. I am just way too cute for words..."
Osito says “I know what you’re thinking right now. I am just way too cute for words…”

 

1. I took the day off on Monday as comp time for having worked six days in a row the week before at my full time job. We have this really cool option to rent cars in Boston through something called ZipCar. You don’t have to pay for the gas you use (you use their gas card and enter in some information) and you get 180 free miles per day. So I used it on Monday and drove around to five different RV dealers to look at all different types of RVs. It really helped me to figure out some priorities as to what I want in an RV. Also, I had the help of two very good online friends who are more knowledgeable when it comes to RVs than I am.  D and R, you guys know who  you are. Thank you!! (I’ll save the particulars of what I discovered for another post, because I really want to talk about it in more detail than this type of post will normally allow.)

2. I no longer have to regularly open up the gym on weekday mornings, and what a difference it has made in my energy levels! I am now back to my normal routine of being able to work out every day before work. And what a difference it has made to my morale and self-esteem. I’m happy to again be doing some of my harder “Terri workouts” that I use to put myself through. God, I cannot tell you how much I have missed working out hard! (If you’re one of those people who hates to work out or sweat, well, then you can just consider me a weirdo. No offense taken!)

3. The weather has returned to being cooler, more autumn-like in New England. Lots of leaves have fallen, which makes me kind of sad, because I know what is following in its wake (the dreaded winter), but it also creates such a homey, nesting type of atmosphere. Osito loves the cool weather for our walks, I can tell. She has an extra spring in her step, and Wednesday night, she even appeared to be running!  When your dog is 13 years old AND blind, and she starts running, you can’t help yourself but be happy. I just get such a huge smile on my face when I see her doing that. I usually yell out “You’re running, Baby O! You’re running!” (To which she is probably thinking, “duh…Mom, I know that already!”)

4. I’m feeling good enough about my moods that I have asked my doctor if we can start weaning me off of one of my anti-depressants. I take Prozac and Wellbutrin. Why two different pills? Well, they go to different receptors in the brain. Prozac has a very long half-life so that means that if you were to stop taking it cold turkey (which you really shouldn’t), it would stay in your system for about 5-6 weeks. The half life for Wellbutrin is much shorter, so I was told I could even start taking it every other day, since the one I have been taking is a tablet with timed release. I was a bit nervous to do something that seemed so drastic, so we are just cutting my dose down slowly, and the pill I am now taking is only 75 mg, and it’s not time-released. So we will see how it goes!

I think I am past that point in my life when I needed the wellbutrin. I started taking it to help me with the side effects of Prozac when I was on a high dosage for Prozac. (High doses can sometimes make you feel very “flat” – in other words, you just don’t give two craps about much at all. Everything is very “meh.”)  Whatever stressor was bothering me at the time is no longer there,  so wish me luck! It is my hope that by next fall, I will not be taking any medication for my asthma (something else we are slowly weaning me off of), and probably down to just one prescription.  It will cost me a lot less if I am successful, and also, I’d like to just take as few medications as I possibly can.

5. This weekend is the final weekend of the Topsfield Fair, and you know what that means!! (Well, actually, you don’t, but you’re about to!) That’s right, folks, think of it….Deep Fried Oreos!!! Seriously, the best thing ever in the world. It’s good enough that I salivate all year just thinking of it. 🙂  The fair also means I get to pet lots of farm animals, and see the Guiness World Record setting pumpkin – that’s right, they judge that every year in this little corner of MA.

6. Oh, I almost forgot!!! I paid $750 on my LAL loan earlier this week since this is one of those 3-paycheck months at my full time job!! So now the balance is down to $14, 017 and some change. With the next regularly scheduled payment on the 16th, that bad boy is going down below 14K!!!! Die, bastard, die!!!

7. At my part-time job, we made our sales goals for the past month, so I’m hoping to wake up to a bonus in my savings account as a result. I’ll update this post if it happens!

Have a great holiday weekend (if you’re reading this in the US and are one of the lucky ones to get Columbus Day as a holiday.)  If you’ve liked this post please hit like or subscribe! Or drop me a line below!