Friday, September 26, 2014

Cat Care for the Mentally Stressed

Welcome to today's lesson on caring for your cat that you got from the Humane Society. I'm glad you could all be here, in whatever mental state you're decided on today. I've prepared a few brief notes on how life will be with your very own brand new kitten!

Kittens are a dream. They are cute, energetic, cute, unbalanced, crazy and cute. But they're not always cute...

Remember a full nights sleep? Falling asleep, dreaming of the brewing coffee in the morning? Remember being awoken by the soft chatter of birds mauling worms in the morning? Forget it. You've just got a two month old kitten who's never been alone before. He's going to need to be within line of sight of your face the entire night, cause if he isn't, he will cry. He's clingy, and wants to push his nose up inside your nose as far as possible. Yep, that's right. at 4am. I even prepared a selfie of him in the act.

Plus, this perfectly innocent and cute cuddles at 6am may include the poor kittens back feet being covered in cat poop and kitty litter, resulting in the quick and unceremonious changing of the sheets at 4am. (I was asked, while I relayed the story to Shelby, as to why I didn't go sleep on the couch. Honestly, I have no idea)

Having grown up with cats, I claim that I thought I was prepared for one. I thought I knew how to raise a cute little kitten from 2 months, to the old and tender age of my parents cat who's running on 18 years right now. Nope. I have been in for plenty of nights of intense clawed cuddling, cleaning up cat poop off kitten paws, and cat jerk tendencies.

The first few nights of having little Atticus was pure hell. A lot of emotions were running around my mind; I had just left a job that I loved everyone I worked with, but wasn't getting the motivational push to pursue anything, I was dealing with those motivational lackings, and poor Atticus looked just like a cat I had with my parents that had passed away suddenly a few months prior. So we're all just going to look over the fact that I was already emotionally unstable and mentally stressed.

Then I got a little thing that breathed and I had to take care of it.

He cried and mewed so much. If I wasn't in constant view of him day or night he cried. If he somehow wandered to the foot of my bed, or god forbid, the FLOOR, he would cry and cry, searching for me, waiting until I called for him. As soon as he got to within pouncing range of my face, he would go quiet, and... pounce. Then he would dig his nose into my neck, finding the warmest spot, and cuddle there for a bit, then cry, then sleep. All night I had to deal with that, until 5 or 6am when he would finally wake up for good. Queue that for 3-4 nights before I politely asked and forced Shelby to spend the night on the futon with him, while I locked my bedroom door and cranked the fans onto high.

It's still be a while since I've woken up later than 6:30-7am, which I guess is good. Early to bed... early to rise.....

Atticus Poopy-Foot Crosby. His middle name is obvious once you realize that he had some stress poop, up until almost he was 3 months old. A ton of antibiotics and a good kitten biscuit diet fixed that. But man, the fear of him jumping onto the bed, or you with that foot covered in you know what was just too much. I'm so glad he's gotten over whatever was going on. That poor guy. He knew it was a problem, and when it happened he'd either rush to you or just cry until I came over to wipe his foot off. I think thats why he is so attached to me. We have the unbreakable bond of poopy-foot cleaning. Though Shelby's had her time cleaning his foot too, Addy and I remember that first time, 3am, washing off his foot in the sink. He didn't even try to get away from the water, he just let out his little kitten mew, and I washed that little foot.

This one always makes me laugh "Nappers"

This is his "I heard you come home but I was napping" look

Where was I?

Oh yeah, enjoy your new cat... though you'll yell at them, chuck them off you when you're mad, and accidentally scare them. They will love you and find whatever whey they know to show you love. It might be as little as not biting you as hard as everyone else, or being the biggest cuddler in the world.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cape to the Cod

So basically I had forgotten my camera exists until about an hour ago. I was pleasantly surprised to find a few pictures I took while Zachary and I visited Cape Cod this summer. So here is our trip to Cape Cod in no particular order.

Cape Cod is pretty.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Baconless Vacations.

It took me until the flight home to realize we hadn't had any bacon on our little trip to Cape Cod, and another 12 hours to realize that we, in fact, had had bacon during this trip.

Anyways, I love the title, so I'm going to work with it. Not having bacon on a vacation would be the worst thing ever. It'd be like going on vacation on Cape Cod and not going on the beach, which could have happened. Bacon is just the treat you want with your pancakes and coffee in the morning, while overlooking a garden, or waves crashing on the beach. Bacon brings people together, even if just for a moment. I think you could forge treaties over a pile of bacon.

Let's step back. Shelby and I went to my homeland, Cape Cod. It's the little arm shaped peninsula, in Massachusetts, that juts out into the atlantic grasping on to the only warm water north of Virginia. I spent 20 years of my life there until I up and moved to Utah for no reason. But that's a different tale. Shelby and I piled into a jet and flew to Boston and got to sleep the first day at 3am, which was AWESOME.

Then it rained. For 2 days. So we sat, on the couch, staring out the window, tears streaming down our faces as we imagined a sunny day at the beach. We did a few trips out to see the sights, and do some shopping in the rain.

The rest of the week was mostly sunny and included boat rides, beach days, farmers markets, lobster, chowdah and relaxing. For the most part.

Shelby is such a trooper. I hadn't been home in 7 months and people constantly wanted to see me, meet the strange blonde girl I had by my side (Though they all knew who she was through instagram and facebook). I was used to seeing so many people whenever I'm on the cape, I never stopped to think about a stranger in a strange land meeting so many strange people. I think it all came to a crescendo on Friday night, when a huge batch of the family came over for a cookout, and Shelby got to see first hand how "crazy" my family is. But she powered through it, which made it see to me that she had no problem jumping in the pack. It wasn't til about noon on Sunday when I realized how exhausted she was from meeting 20 million people. It was really hard to see her dealing with that, so we took the last night off, went and had a date night.

So always have bacon on your vacation, don't worry about diets and veganism, just eat Bacon.

- Z

More Pictures.

Mary liked grass.
The Parental Units on the boat.

My Brother and I with Ice Cream.
The Amigos met again, sans one Amigo.
The Long Flight Home.

Milcreek Shenanigans

Once upon a time my family plus Zachary went up Milcreek canyon to roast marshmallows. It was a perfect summer evening where we skipped rocks and sang campfire songs (I lied about the campfire songs). The adventure was coming to an end when my mother and Zachary decided it would be a good idea to play Chubby Bunny. Like the good citizen I am I immediately pulled out my camera, and what I captured was pure gold. Ladies and gentlemen, please enjoy!

Hahaha! Your welcome.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

One Year

So in case you all were wondering (which I am sure you were) Zachary and I have been dating for a whole entire year now. A YEAR PEOPLE! Since we have been dating for such a long amount of time I would say we are pretty much experts on relationships now, so I decided it would only be fair to give you all some words of wisdom on dating, and how to make a relationship last.

#1: Find a human you like that also likes you back. It would be even better if you guys had stuff in common. You know, so you have stuff to talk about and such.

#2: If you like each other and get along, stay together. If you don't, find someone that you actually do like and start over.

Really, it is as simple as that. One of those times it will just stick, and you will just know. Be patient. It will happen sooner or later. Just let life work itself out. You will be glad you let it.

So yeah, there you go. The wonderful wisdom of Shelby at its finest. I hope you all can find someone as wonderful as my Zac, because he truly is something else. Mostly because he let us celebrate our "anniversary" wandering around the farmers market, eating food, giving me candy bars, and watching movies together. Does life get better than that? I don't think so.
Proof that we went to the farmers market, and ate food. Also, this was the best piece of toast I have ever put inside my body. It needs to be a staple! Rye bread, goat cheese, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, and honey. Yes please!


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Too many chargers..

I'm always on the phone, even at work...

It's been a while since our last post. But it's been for a good reason, Shelby decided to leave me behind and go on a super sweet adventure in Costa Rica, where she river rafted, ziplined, parasailed, watched soccer games, saw foggy volcanos, and all this other jazz while I stared at the creases in my palm hoping to determine when I'd get another job.

But today is not about her, or me, or even my odd body build. Today is about the influx of data intruding on my brain each and every day.

To get to this point today, where I am sitting calmly writing this post, I have probably spent over an hour wasting time since I woke up. I've been checking social media, doing factual internet searches, browsing reddit, and checking up on people that live worlds away. Heck, even my morning ritual is to grumble and claw for my phone to turn off the alarm, check facebook, instagram and reddit, then get up and get my coffee ready. While coffee is brewing, more internet, more information, more useless knowledge... more more more more more.

I have chargers for all my devices all over my house. I could probably take 4 steps in any direction around my house and end up in range of a plug for my phone. I am wasting so much time on my phone that I need to plug it in and recharge it, but all the while not letting me recharge. I'm still glued to the screen, checking to see what new movie fact is real or not, new pictures of batman from the next movie, what kind of money I wish I had to buy cool things. I never stop, even when my phone it like, "Dude, I need a second to breathe." But I don't listen to it, or remember I should step outside and just lay in the grass.

I've come to this realization a few times, the enlightening thought that I am taking in so much information, that the majority of it falls out the other ear. I forget dates, I forget why I'm driving a half hour across the valley, I forget what Shelby's favorite color is (Hint: It's sea foam, I do actually remember that). And I'd like to blame the fact that I'm constantly skimming articles, facts, details about my life and others, and not taking anything in. I'm just reading the words of the article, and not really taking it in but the facts, I form no opinions of what I read. Nor do I give anything back. I never share my thoughts, my feelings, my worries, in life or online, except in small bouts of when I get "real" with twitter. I bottle it all up except for the occasional vent session with Shelby. So here is this blog, my outlet, of humor, stories, and maybe sometime in like 40 years, I'll share some emotion. Here, I'm forced to talk, forced to at least write about SOMETHING, even if I never post it.

So while I've been cutting back on my social media intake, and reddit surfing, this blog will never be a problem, this is the outlet. The tap to my brain. And I can't wait to actually remember an idea I want to blog about, before it fades away to the abyss of my mind.

Shelby's so cute... Just thought you should know. So had a bad sunburn from the beach day, but she has so many more freckles now!!!

- Z

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Coffee Affair

Can we, for a moment, think about that the cup of coffee you had this morning, or yesterday, or the one you'll have in the morning.  Think on how it has been lovingly cared for throughout it's entire life! The tender bean is carefully grown on coffee farms in tropical climates like: South American, Central American, India. The bean is then picked at just the right time, and roasted on site or shipped to a roaster, also very carefully. Beans from all over the world are grown and make their way to roaster here in the United States. Beans that will be roasted lightly for a soft taste with all the caffeine, or burnt to a crisp for Starbucks normal brews. Each batch of coffee is cared for, roasted and sent around the world, to be ground up and end up in your morning caffeine buzz.

Except for Instant Coffee....

If there is one thing that God had no choice over, it was allowing the devil to take this tender beverage, served hot or cold to millions around the world, and give it the kiss of death that only a dehydrated cup of coffee could offer.

I mean seriously, anytime you are given a spoonful of powder and a cup of boiling water, you should probably throw to the ground and run in the opposite direction (See: astronaut ice cream, dehydrated beef stroganoff). For the foul tasting liquid tar that awaits you is neither comforting or enjoyable for any participant.

Except my dad.

For as long as I can remember, my dad has had to morning routine of making a cup of Folgers Instant Coffee. He swears by it, and will probably have it til the day he dies. Now, I began drinking coffee at the tender age of 14 or so, to make the miserable experience of waking up as the crack of dawn... more pleasant. This became the daily ritual: awake from deep slumber, accept sacrifice of the day, boil some water, add Satan's whisper to the water, douse in Half/Half and copious amounts of sugar, drink with a bowl of sugar... err cereal, and go about my school day.

This went on for 4 or 5 years.... Or more... I have pretty much blocked out what I drank from 2008-2011. All I do know, was that it was awful Folgers instant coffee with an intermixing of "good" drip coffee, or some done with my parents old Moka Pot... that I burned on a regular basis. I was without good coffee, but had no idea of it. I was in my dreamland, my sheltered world of instant coffee and drip.

Until Panama.

I got hired to go down to Panama to assist on a natural history shoot for a museum down there, lots of work, gallons of sweat, but the coffee..... oh man, the coffee. We resided on a coffee farm for the first week we were there, and everyday was perfection from a coffee ground. I don't think you could get it any fresher. It was an eye-opening experience both in taste and caffeine intake. There was a good version of this brown liquid, one that doesn't even need cream, or sugar. Something that just was... good. I had the ultimate coffee epiphany that I think everyone has, that moment when coffee is more than just a caffeine buzz, when it becomes a tasty drink. Hot, cold, milk, or sugar. I could have it any way and it was still incredible.

Every now and then I get an order of that coffee from Panama, or through the cinematographer Tom, who's father-in-law coincidently owns the coffee farm.

What I was doing.

Who I was drinking coffee with.

Random Picture. The Best Steak I've ever had.

From that point on, good coffee, and making it well, was my obsession. Now, my morning ritual is: awake handsomely, rush out of bed, put water on to exactly 200 degrees, burr grind fresh coffee to coarse, put grounds in french press, pour water, steep, more water, time, depress fully, add dash of half/half, DRINK. Yeah, it may take more time, but at least it's not instant....

If you're going to spend 10 minutes a day on drinking something, don't let it be instant coffee... let your taste buds love you.

- Z

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Little Thing Called Love

I decided that it is probably time to introduce myself to the blog. I mean, my face is plastered on the side over there. Obviously that means I am somewhat important in this whole thing (even if I may have put that picture there myself). For my first post I am going to talk about something that has been on my mind a lot due to endless tears after seeing The Fault In Our Stars, and watching the newest season of Orange is the New Black. That's right, LOVE. Hold on to your seats humans, because it's about to get crazy up on here!

So yeah, lets talk about love for a second. Do you guys believe in soul mates? Do you think that there is one person for everyone out there, and that no matter what you will meet that person? Well I'll tell you what I believe... not that!

Like everyone, I have had my fair share of break ups, make ups, i love you's, and heart break. Heck, I've even had the occasional I HATE YOU SO MUCH YOU STUPID FACE I DON'T EVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN or something equivalent in nature. Each of us have had our own unique experience when it comes to relationships, but all of us have the same goal in mind when it comes down to it. The reason why we put ourselves through all the heart break, and let down. To find that one person that we completely connect with on so many different levels than we do with any other average human...

Now I don't mean to brag, but I just thought I would let you all know that I have found that one human. His name is Zachary, and he is in that loony picture on the side that I made you look at at the beginning of this post. He has changed my life for the better in so many ways. He has taught me to stand up for myself, and has challenged me to really think long and hard about what I believe in. He has given me so much confidence in the past year. I never knew that I could be this happy. To me, he is my one and only. He has taught me what REAL love is. A love I never knew existed. I am so grateful and blessed to have this silly human in my life, and I thank God for putting him in my life every single day.

So maybe there are soul mates, and maybe there aren't. All I know is that I found that one person that just clicks perfectly with me. We fit together like a puzzle, and I couldn't imagine any other person out there that would fit me so flawlessly. I personally don't believe in soul mates, but if I did I know Zachary would be mine.

And the cheese ends there my friends. Have a wonderful day.

- S

P.s- I bought a plant the other day, and I'm a little obsessed. Enough that I needed to share it with you all. Okay, bye.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Upsides of Lawn Care.

"A neglected lawn is ugly.."
-Shelby Richins

These ever so eloquent words spoken by my fair dear are true and unforgiving. Neglect a lawn for a growing season and it will never let you forget it. It will become weed and bug infested quicker than you could expect, and will take a few years to bring back to life. Leave it unmowed, velociraptors will begin to move into the tall grass and wreak havoc on your life until you switch your door handles to door knobs. Okay, not so much, but seriously, don't neglect a lawn if you happen to move into some place, or buy a home, that has even the semblance of a good lawn.

Luckily, where I moved too, had neither the velociraptor problem, or any semblance of a nice lawn. But what it did have, was a "yard" with "grass growing".

Lawn Care 101, 
for Dummies, 
like Zac.

So I haven't technically done anything terribly wrong, in fact, for a dude like myself, I've done a lot right.. I swear!

  1. Cool! You have a new apartment! It smells like cigarette smoke and the windows are painted shut! But hey, you have a good yard out back that soon will look like a beautiful manicured lawn. You know, that kind of lawn out in front of the Biltmore Estate, or those botanical gardens your mom brought you to on every family vacation. With just a quick mow and watering, it'll be as green as it can be.
  2. ALL LIES. Except for the sentences ending in an exclamation point. Those are terribly true, though Shelby claims I've just gotten the place smelling like a neutral zone, neither bad, nor terribly good. But the yard. Yeah, no secret fertilizer, no watering it once a week, mowing it down to a reasonable amount is going to be the secret code to a perfect lawn.
  3. Some times you just mow it for the first time in 5 years (or your girlfriend's dad does). Yes. apparently this lawn has been neglected for over 5 years. Maybe once or twice a summer someone would stop by, or a neighbor would get pissed and come over and mow it. But seriously. On a regular basis, it has been over 5 years since someone has cared about this lawn.
  4. My final step for Lawn Care 101 is PEOPLE. Do not neglect the fact that there are a lot of people just like you. They want to see a nice lawn when they look over the fence at their neighbors yard. I've been constantly bombarded with amazing help from my neighbors, offering hedge trimmers, tools, advice, labor, air conditioners, and one neighbor has even taken it as a mission himself to provide me with as many plants as possible to start my own herb and tomato garden. Seriously. And not just my neighbors. Shelby's family has made the first loving mistake of offering to help assist me in moving in to my new place. A tribe of Richins descended on my Bountiful apartment to haul a ton of my silly junk down to my new place. Huge mattresses and all. I am pretty much forever indebted to their help for saving me boatloads of cash on a U-Haul rental. But that's not even the best part. In their help, Garret (Shelby's dad) offered up his yard tools to get me rolling on the yard work, until my landlord could get me a mower. A few days after I got settled in, I thought it would be good to start on the lawn. So I asked on Memorial Day if I could go pick them up. Oh No... I was amazingly mistaken. They hauled a ton of tools over here, with Kim in tow, and preceded to help me make my yard look incredible. Lawn mowed, edges trimmed, hedges trimmed, weeds pulled, more weeds pulled, weeds killed, more weeds pulled. And holy crap. My yard looked great. All because Shelby's parents decided they wanted to help me do yard work, instead of having a BBQ. Never neglect people. Cause if you do, they'll come out of the woodwork to remind you that they want to help.

The First moral of the story about Lawn Care, which I guess applies to so much in life. Don't expect to make things perfect the first time around. I'm probably going to have to wait another year before I can get the lawn to get somewhere close to where my dream is, but I knew this from the get go, my lawn was going to look horrible this summer. 

The Second is don't underestimate people. No matter if you're introverted, lonely, or burned the bridge with everyone you've ever known. Someone will find you and offer some help of any kind, be it the kind of fertilizer for your grass, or a bunch of plants to start growing good healthy things. Don't forget. And don't forget to offer them something in return, or force them to accept something in return.


Some of the Neighbor's sacrifices to keep me pleased.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

So It Begins..

Why does one start a blog? 
To brag, confess, complain, and gain attention. 

That's so last decade, a time when the internet was still kinda young, and people just wanted everyone to know about their lives. Now we have the tweet perch or Faceplant to get all of your 600 closest friends the chance to hear what you're feeling at this moment, or eating. But how about two cool cats starting a blog, just to grow closer to one another. Two fine looking felines who can sometimes put things together better on paper than in words, especially when those words have to be strung together in tight fancy sentences vocalized by our oddly shaped mouths.

Writing is so much easier. I spent like 5 minutes writing that last paragraph. If I had to form those beautiful words in tandem out loud, I would have only been able to spend 30 seconds thinking that on the fly, 1 minute tops.

But here we are, I've given Shelby 20 names for the blog to choose from, she narrowed it down to 3. Her and I kept coming back to this name, mostly because it was so random, and included the word Rambling, which is exactly what we plan to do here. Ramble on questions we find online, in books, on paper. Questions that can delve deeper into our lives that we know it. Questions that might provoke some controversy, tickle fights, or settling our differences over coffee. Whatever the blogs might be, you'll be sickened by the amount of love we'll share for each other on this blog. So barf bags ready, cause this blog thing is going to take off, just like the prices for beanie babies in mint condition.