Monday, February 27, 2017

Project 251: Because We Were Bored Edition

Yesterday (Sunday) we started Best Guy's birthday festivities a little early. His actual birthday is today, but since we are both working, we decided to make it a 2-affair.

His first request was Indian Brunch Buffet. We had never been together before and he was craving, so we went. The intensity at which Best Guy went after the food was such that 1) I kept my arms at my side lest I lose a finger or hand and 2) had me realizing we should do this a little more often.
His second plate, my first (and only). He was halfway through his first plate
when I sat down to eat mine. I underestimated his love of Indian brunch buffet.
That is not a mistake I'll repeat.

Halfway through the second plate Best Guy looked up and I saw that my husband had returned to me and we could continue on the day normally. We decided that since we had a few hours, we might as well tick off a few towns that we had been saving. Mainly, the towns that we live in or otherwise go to several times a week. But neither of us felt like driving very far and we needed something to do, so... here you are. These towns are so familiar to us that BG didn't even bother to caption them.
97: Shelburne. Taken at the Shelburne Museum. A gorgeous outside museum
(most of the outdoor exhibits are closed this time of year). I've been here dozens
of times and most VT school kids get at least one field trip here.
98: South Burlington. Surprisingly difficult because to find a sign because
this town is a mix of box stores and suburban neighborhoods. Still, if
you need to come to Trader Joe's or Barnes and Nobles, this is your stop.

99: Winooski. Or the 'Noosk, as many people call it here. The river behind us
(called the Winooski River) was crazy flowing. All the recent melt-offs had
it creating some serious rapids.

100: BURLINGTON! Our home town. Behind us is the ECHO Lake Center
and Lake Champlain. Couldn't think of a better way to celebrate 100 towns visited.
After this we high-tailed it home because that wind was farking freezing.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Thing *After* the Thing that Scares You the Most

This morning, Facebook kindly shared a memory from a year ago: I sent in my paperwork to become an LLC.

I have been in private practice for almost a solid year now. WOW.

While it feels sometimes like I haven't done much and I'm not getting far, that is not the truth. I turned a profit within my first nine months. Granted it was a small one, but for a one-year old business, that pretty damned good. I am lucky in that my overhead for my chosen field is pretty minimal. It helps turn a profit that much faster. I am also so lucky and grateful for a spouse who is 100% supportive in this endeavor. I quite honestly would never have taken this leap without him.
My Silent Partner. My Sweet Babboo. My Best Guy. 

I find it ironic - and perhaps apropos - that after just one year in private practice, I am already looking for the Next Thing. While my private practice is just growing its first teeth, my massage therapy career is seven years old and already in second grade. As much as I love massage therapy and energy work, I am now on the lookout for something that will augment and bring new life into my private practice.

What is that? No idea. I want it to be something of use and help to others. I want to be able to make some money doing it. Because, let's face it, this is my livelihood. I want it to fall within health and wellness. After all, wellness is in the name of my business. I want to do some good in this crazy world.

I also want it to be less physically demanding. I love massage and have no plans on giving it up, but I am no longer able to do 25 massages a week. Too many years of too many super-deep tissues and putting the needs of the client over my own health have taken their toll, emotionally and physically. I believe firmly in Unconditional Positive Regard when it comes to my clients, and I find the more I am hustling for the almighty dollar, the less UPR I am able to share. That is not how I want to greet anyone looking to feel better in their own skin, nor is it how I want to live my life.

So.... what is the thing after the thing that scares you the most? I keep coming back to the idea of writing. Although, while certainly something I enjoy doing is probably not something that will help with the financial stability of my family. There is more out there, and the possibilities are endless. I am looking forward to discovering what lies in store for this journey.

Onward and upward!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Finally, Hope

Last night Best Guy and I went out for dinner. Normally, this is not a big deal. Or any kind of deal. However, last night we left for an hour, and left Toby alone with another person.

That's right, we got Toby a babysitter.

In actuality, this is a friend/colleague of mine who also does pet/house sitting. This dinner out was a trial run to see how Toby would react to being left alone with someone who wasn't us. If this went well, we could see our way towards a week-long trip and eventually our Big Trip to Wales this October.

We provided her with plenty of cut-up hot dogs (which ended up being Toby's dinner) and hooked Toby up on an in-house lead we have set up for those times he needs a little reigning in. We showed her the limits of where he could go with the leash, and then left and hoped for the best.

Just like a nervous new mom going out after having her first baby, I kept my phone handy for the entire 55 minutes we were gone, and checked it obsessively. At one point I actually said out loud (mostly to myself but at least BG was there so it appeared to be an actual conversation) "If there was a problem she'd have gotten in touch by now. Everything's fine."

Not only was everything fine, everything was FINE.

When we got home, she was on the floor with him, and he was laying near her. She said he even asked for scritches by nudging her hand.

There were hot dogs left over.

She was able to get up and leave the room and come back without him barking at her. While he remained leashed while we were gone, we unhooked him when we returned and she was able to mill around with him off leash without him having any kind of problem whatsoever.

I cannot tell you how huge this is for us.

I always hesitated calling Toby a difficult dog, because we see how he is when it's just us. And there are so many other pet parents out there dealing with dogs with much worse issues. How can we complain? But the reality is, Toby is a difficult dog to get through to and you have to be willing to put in the time and effort. I mean, when all of your friends (after meeting your dog) say "He's so lucky to have you" and "You're doing such a good thing for him" what they are actually saying is "Your dog is fucking batshit and no way I'd deal with this level of cray-cray."

But last night, we found some hope. Hope that others can get through, with enough patience and cut up hot dogs. We found hope that we are not going to have to put our lives on hold while Toby is with us. Hope that there is a dog in there that can be unafraid and make new friends.

Last night, we found hope and I will be eternally grateful that our friend helped us find it.

My Two Best Guys

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Cabin Fever

We're in the beginning stages of a proper snow storm up here in Vermont. We haven't had too many of them in my neck of the woods the last couple of years, so we have lucked out.

Since my one client of the day cancelled, I am using this opportunity to catch up on some paperwork. So... y'know... Facebook and blog writing to not do it.

Originally, we had plans to go out to dinner tonight, with our petsitting friend coming over for a couple hours, just to see how it would go. We haven't cancelled our reservations or our friend yet, but it's looking more and more likely given the rate at which the snow was coming down.

We will reschedule of course; it's no big deal. But I was looking forward to it. Just as I was looking forward to a romantic weekend away that may not happen for a good long while, or our trip down to visit relatives. The former has been put off until most likely mid-March (if that), and if we get to visit our relatives in late April, it would be a miracle.

Basically, I'm feeling pretty trapped right now. Housebound, cabin fevery, and stir crazy. I love my home, I love my family and friends, and I love my life. There is absolutely nothing about it I would change.

But I want to travel.

Preferably to some place warm, where these bones can lay in the sunshine and finally be comfortable.

I want to see new things, experience new things, meet new people. I want to eat at restaurants I haven't eaten at a million times before and travel down roads that I can't drive in my sleep because I've been down them a zillion times already.

I want an escape to remind me of all the awesome things I get to come back to after a few days. I want to not be responsible for umpteen loads of laundry, or buying and making food, or picking stuff up, or just generally adulting. I want to not worry for a week if my car is going to start after a 0 degree night, or why it constantly rattles, or if the tire is really going soft, again.

But... at the moment, it is snowing. Heavily. We are probably in for the remainder of this day. I will probably spend a lot of tomorrow shoveling snow. I have a warm, beautiful house and an awesome husband and a crazy dog I am crazy over. I have so much. And I am grateful for all of it.

...but doesn't a week long trip to New Mexico sound wonderful?

2016 trip to Florida. I cannot WAIT to get back there. The travel bug has bitten!!!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

We've Made it to February. Go, Us!

I have been struggling a lot lately. Struggling with the energy that is surrounding us these days. So much anger, fear, desperation. So many different voices struggling to be heard.

This past week, I went to see an acupuncturist colleague to help dispel some of these anxiety feelings, and she said that there is definitely a communal... blah... energy these days and I'm not the only one picking up on it.

I felt much better after the treatment, but the feelings are back. Which makes sense. The treatment was like trying to use an umbrella to take a walk in a hurricane. 

I am struggling to maintain. 

This time of year does not make it easy, either. Groundhog's Day was the other day and everyone was all "oh, poo. Six more weeks of winter!" Obviously they don't live in Vermont because if we had only six more weeks left, I'd be thrilled! The cold gets to me, a little more every year. 
Although with sun rises like this, I guess things could be worse.
But let me tell you, when it's this clear and sunny, it's cold

But there are things to be grateful for, even as we come to the middle of the cold season. We signed up for our Spring CSA this week. We have been loving getting a weekly delivery of seasonal vegetables and a few locally made pantry items. It has really challenged me to use vegetables I don't normally purchase (or really like, in a few cases). I may even have found a way to use beets. The vegetable I quite possibly hate more than any other vegetable. I'm just gonna say beet chips.
Our CSA haul Christmas week. Our "pantry staples" add-on is different
every week. That week, there was honey, a wheel of cheese and bread.
That local, artisinal cheese is like $20 and we'd have never bought it otherwise.

We have also been discussing possible trips, as both Best Guy and I are feeling house-bound these days. Toby is a horrific traveler, and he's terrified of kennels. It leaves us feeling stuck more times than not because his behavior precludes us from leaving him with friends or family. In fact, there was a brief period where I had come to the conclusion that in order for BG to play at an overseas festival this year, I'd have to stay home with the T-Dawg. I was heartbroken at that thought.

It's a good thing he's cute.

In a last ditch effort to prevent this from happening, I put out a call on Facebook for recommendations. A former colleague and friend of mine got in touch and let us know that she housesits/petsits from time to time and has experience with.... Special... dogs. We were elated!

One of our biggest worries was inviting someone we didn't know into our house to stay for days on end. We are having her to dinner tomorrow evening so she can meet Toby, and we are in the beginning stages of planning an overnight trip as a test run. If all goes well, we are hoping to do a week-long trip in the actual Spring, to visit Adam's friends and family down the Eastern seaboard. And if that goes well, European Tour! 

Tonight, my dance troupe will be performing at a local Dance Showcase, which is also a benefit for a small non-profit that works towards educating kids about bullying, abuse, diversity, etc etc. It's always an amazing show and we have such fun participating. 

In the meantime, I shall be bundling up and thinking of warmer days.
August in Vermont. My heart calls out to you.

Better Kate Than Never

As you've probably noticed (all six of you), over the last few months my contribution to this blog has dwindled significantly. In trying...