Category Archives: Tahnee

28 things I learned in my 28th year

Today I am 28 years old. 🙂 Here are 28 things I learned in this past year.

  1. I love going to plays. I saw two plays (Good People and The Brother’s Size) this year, and I was moved to tears by both. I can’t wait to see the next one!
  2. I enjoy TV shows that have one word titles; “Revenge”, “Deception”, “Nashville”, “Survivor”, “Scandal”, “Chicago Fire”… oh wait. Never mind.
  3. You can teach an old dog new tricks.

    Tahn at her first (second round) of Puppy Class

    Tahn, at her first (second  time around) Puppy Class

  4. I hate living in a messy bedroom and a messy house. (Also: I hate all the clutter and stuff I have. I am in the process of getting rid of many things. DVDs and old Coach purses, anyone?)
  5. I like driving with my windows down.
  6. I need to do yoga weekly. With or without a studio.
  7. I shouldn’t wait until I make more money to start saving money. I am learning to make better (small) financial choices daily.
  8. I did find an exercise that I love.
  9. Meditation only helps with stress if you practice it daily. Meditation doesn’t help when you’re remarkably stressed or upset.
  10. Being honest and telling the truth continues to be the best and most challenging decision I’ve ever made in my life.
  11. Eating well daily and consistently keeping active will help you lose (and keep off) weight.
  12. I like thriller novels. (Just like my grandma).
  13. Being single is really fantastic. I have embraced my singleness this year (after the dramatic failure of an attempted relationship) and I am much, much happier single.
  14. I was born a leader. And I become a better leader everyday.
  15. Making time for myself has a paramount affect on my happiness spectrum.
  16. I actually do like going out. As a self-proclaimed home-body, I have found friends whom like doing what I like to do – happy hours!  (and other things). I love it.photo(37)photo(36)photo(38)
  17. Acts of kindness from strangers are some of the best experiences you’ll ever have.
  18. While making friends can be challenging, once you find them, they bless your life in more ways then you could ever imagine.
  19. San Diego is one of the best places to live. (My sister was right).
  20. Doing the right thing and treating others with respect doesn’t guarantee that you won’t have conflict in your life. In fact, there is no protection at all. Sometimes, you do the right thing and get burned. Don’t be deferred. Do the right thing.
  21. Although I value the opinions of those who I care most about, their opinions are just that – opinions. I am the person who has to live with my daily choices and life. My opinion is the only one that matters.
  22. Having a nephew is great. Having a niece and a nephew is really fantastic.
  23. Tahn LOVES a routine.
  24. The difference a year makes. I am in such a better place then I was a year ago. And a year before that. Aging is awesome!
  25. I need to learn how to speak slower. For real.
  26. Non-judging is key to my happiness.
  27. Kitchen appliances, although they take up space, can be very useful for healthy cooking. (A food processor and blender are on the top of the list, not far down is a rice cooker). (Also: I am my father’s child).
  28. My mom and dad really, truly love me with all of their hearts. (It’s not that I didn’t know this, but this year I was overwhelmed by their love for me on many occasions. I went home a few weeks before Thanksgiving and the one thing I took away from that weekend was that my parents just love me. It is one of the best feelings in the world).
    photo(36)

    My mom and me.

    My dad and me. (Hey Dad, we need to take a more updated picture. This is from 2009).

    My dad and me. (Hey Dad, we need to take a more updated picture. This is from 2009).

8 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Crazy Dog Lady, Exercise, Family, Fun Things, Life, Living Simply, Love, Tahnee, Things I love, Things I've learned

10 Things I Learned at Puppy Class (sans Tahn)

After years of thinking, talking, ho-humming and planning, I took the plunge and decided to finally get Tahnee certified to be a Therapy Dog. Choosing the organization, learning the (money, training and time) requirements and finding the best fit for Tahn and me was a bit overwhelming. But here we are, back from our first class!

  1. The most successful way to have a peaceful dog class is to exclude the dogs. (The first class was orientation, the dogs are invited next week).
  2. Leaving my house 2+ hours before the class started was slightly overkill. I’ll never get back those 50+ minutes I spent in the cold, rainy parking lot waiting for class to start.
  3. Considering that Tahn is the oldest (by 4 years) and most experienced puppy (I mean dog) in the class, she will definitely be the star of the class. (This is by comparison to her first rounds of puppy class, as an actual pauppy. She was not the star of that class).
  4. The clicker may be my new best friend.
  5. The clicker may be my roommate’s new worst enemy.
  6. Puppy class on a Friday night is not a way to meet single, eligible bachelors.  (90% of the students were women. The two men that were there were 50+ and with their wives).
  7. The instructor warned us that while our dogs may be very good with their commands at home, they may act like they have no idea what we are talking about in class. (This I actually didn’t learn. I know from experience with Tahn. See bullet #3).
  8. I really, truly, for-realsies not for-pretensies have to ignore Tahn when I first come home/when she’s excited. She’ll. Never. Get. Better. At. Greetings. If. I. Don’t.      I get it.
  9. Read the entire email from the class. BRING THE RABIES VACCINE CERTIFICATE TO CLASS.
  10. Tahn is a really great dog.

(I actually already knew bullet #10, too).

1 Comment

Filed under Crazy Dog Lady, Tahnee, Things I've learned

white trucks, cleaning out closets, and consequences to everything

White pick-up trucks have a visceral affect on me.

White, Ford Ranger, pick-up trucks, specifically.

Previously, the affect was joy-filling excitement.

Currently, the affect is gut-wrenching painful.

The white truck knocks that box of sorrow off the shelf I so neatly tucked away a few weeks ago and throws its wide open, spilling it’s contents everywhere.

I stand there looking at the contents of the box, saying, “You again? Really!?”

But that’s the way it goes I guess. That’s the thing about things. Sometimes when you think you’re over something, (or maybe desperately trying to be over it) certain triggers pull you right back and make you dealwithitnow.

Consequently, this is what I will do.

______

This past weekend, Tahn and I traveled home to the Bay Area to see Buddy and my newest love, Lily (my brand new niece. And no, Lily’s not her real name).

On this trip home, I decided to clean out the closet of the my previous bedroom at my Dad’s house. The closet that hadn’t been touched close to the 10 years since I lived there.

Hello dust.

Hello old memories.

Hello junk.

Hello whydidIeverkeepthis?

It was overall good, cathartic and slightly odd. I threw away/gave away/ recycled most of everything save a few boxes of photos and cards from my grandma. And of course, a Justin Timberlake doll.

Old habits.

______

During our stay home, Tahn happily found herself at her grandpa’s. Like old times, he had her water bowl and bed out for her to feel right at home.

Over the weekend, my dad would occasionally leave Tahn alone.

Yesterday, after I returned home, my dad called to tell me a story.

My dad is in the process of putting new doors on his kitchen cabinets. Therefor, his cabinets and all such contents are exposed and open.

On Tuesday, he found a Brillo pad (which is usually kept under the kitchen sink) in the cabinet under the stove.

When he told me this story, he indicated this was a sign of protest by Tahn; she did not appreciate being left alone.

My response?

There are always consequences for your behavior.

😉

______

What are your current triggers? (Positive or Negative)

Do you have any plans for Spring Cleaning?

2 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Crazy Dog Lady, Life, Stories, Tahnee, Travel, Vacation

Learning to Find Time

Unbeknownst to me, I’ve been losing my time. My self.

At the start of my First Summer in San Diego, I had two goals:

1. Have fun.

2. Make money.

And I did. Lots. Of both. I took a second job at my beloved Bar Method Studio, and jumped from weekend to weekend – working, entertaining (beloved) visitors,

attending very wonderful friends’ weddings,

attending AWESOME sporting events,

and meeting real life race horses up close and personal.

My summer? It was fantastic. My only regret? Not learning to surf.

But here’s the thing: from working two jobs, never having a day off, and continuous fun, I somehow lost a sense of me. I lost the time I used to spent doing things I liked – things I needed – to be a happy person.

I stopped writing. And blogging.

I got involved in a messy, toxic relationship – one I’m still dealing with the residual pain and nonsense.

I stopped walking Tahn. This summer? From my busy lifestyle, and my very physical full-time job, and the Bar Method, I got in the best shape of my life. My dog? Gained weight. Gained 12 pounds.

I lost time for myself.

It wasn’t until the excitement of the Summer passed, and leaving my second job did I realize how unhappy I was.

It wasn’t until I took my days off – to cook, to clean, to read, to walk Tahn, to sleep, did I realize how unbalanced my life had become.

It wasn’t until recently – almost 3 months after the CrazyFunSummer did I have the urge to write – to blog.

I’ve been reading a few books – books on how to simplify your life, your thoughts, your self. Recently, I read this from one of my absolute favs, Anne Lamott.

I hope you click over and read the fantastic article. But, if not, here is a quote, summing up what I’ve been working towards/thinking about/ attempting lately:

“I’ve heard it said that every day you need half an hour of quiet time for yourself, or your Self, unless you’re incredibly busy and stressed, in which case you need an hour. I promise you, it is there. Fight tooth and nail to find time, to make it. It is our true wealth, this moment, this hour, this day”. – Anne Lamott in Sunset Magazine

4 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Exercise, Friends, Fun Things, Life, Living Simply, Money, Tahnee, Travel, Vacation

Tales of Tahn: Hot Dog, Hurt Paws

When I woke up this morning at 3:30am to get ready for work, I was greeted by my happy, silly, and slightly tired dog. I sluggishly got ready for work, knowing I’d be off early and could come home and rest. Then I remembered how my roommate and I agreed that we were going to take our dogs for a hike this afternoon. We’ve been busy in the past few weeks and they both haven’t been walked enough.

After getting home from work I put on shorts, laced up my shoes and drove the four of us to a nearby trail. It was in the 80’s with a light breeze, beautiful outside. We happily started our hike down a very steep hill, firmly reminding the dogs not to pull us down the hill. We chatted of the guys we were seeing, talking a mile a minute while the dogs pranced around with joy.

I didn’t know that less then 40 minutes later I would be sprinting back up the hill by myself to get water from the car.

I didn’t know that I would have a dog who was overheating and getting worse by the second.

I didn’t know that once I got the water, got back to the dog just as fast as my legs could carry me just to find my roommate, with a look of horror on her face.

“She started crying a little bit ago” she said.

I did know that crying was a very, very bad sign. She only cries when she’s really sick.

I didn’t know that I would beckon her into a nearby brush just to watch her collapse and bury her head in the weeds.

I sat next to her, helpless. I found myself in a situation we all have to face someday; realizing she might die right here, right now.

I didn’t know what to do.

I decided to send my roommate home. I gave her the keys to my car.

“Get more water.” I said. “We’ll wait until she can cool off enough to walk.”

I started going through the symptoms of heat stress: vomiting, refusal of water, severe panting. Her paws seemed to be hurting her too – it seemed they were hurt from the ground or the rocks.

I found myself pouring the little water we had left into the cap and giving her little cap fulls at a time.

I watched her painfully lift her head from the brush to grab a drink – then bury it down again.

I knew two things for sure: I had no way of getting her up the two huge hills that separated us from my car. I knew she wasn’t going to walk at all. One of two things was going to happen. Either we’d wait until she cooled off and regained her strength, or she would overheat on the trail and I’d watch her die.

Just as my roommate was getting ready to leave, she saw a young family approaching us with their dog. She told them about our situation, and asked if they knew of anyway to get a car on the trail.

The man looked at me, sitting in the bushes with my dog.

His wife turned to him, “you can carry her, right?

I sat there shocked before I said, “oh, no. I can’t let you do that. She’s 70lbs.”

Sure I can.” He said. “No problem.”

I watched him immediately walk over to my dog.

His only was concern was if she would be friendly to a strange man.

I told him her name, and despite my best efforts I couldn’t say anymore.

I saw this man pick my dog up and cradle her over his shoulder. He didn’t complain about her weight; all he said was how she was such a great dog.

I watched this man carry my baby a half a mile up two huge hills. He took two short breaks and pet and loved my dog the entire time.

I found myself supporting her shoulders as it got really steep.

At the top of the hill, I watched him carry her past the summit to the water fountain. There I saw his son filling up the water fountain with fresh water for my dog.

I watched her cool off quickly and her spirits immediately lift. I stood there for a few moments before I realized I didn’t even know this man’s name – the man who could have just saved my dog’s life.

I had enough sense to ask his wife for their name and address to send him a thank-you note.

I thanked them and they left.

I gathered my sick dog into my car and brought her home. It took her a long time to get from the car to my apartment.

After a call to the vet, it seems her heat stress was fading and he thought she would be okay. His only concern was that she injured her paws and he wanted to see how she did in the morning.

___________________

About halfway into our walk I noticed Tahn was getting hot and tired. She’s a black dog, and it was a warm day. I was worried the ground was too hot for her paws, but when I touched it with my fingers, I felt it was fine. Apparently it was not. My roommate’s dog also seemed to have hurt paws and was very hot too – but, unlike Tahn, she didn’t lay down and refuse to walk. Tahn went from needing a little break to refusing to walk very quickly. I knew I needed to act fast, because heat stroke happens fast and once a dog (or human) has heat stroke, they need immediate medical attention. Knowing we were a good half-mile in, I knew that was not an option. My priority was to keep her cool. I didn’t realize at first that her paws were hurting her too.

The man and his family also had a dog – a dog who walked further on the same trail as Tahn and also had a thick coat. He seemed fine and his paws weren’t burnt. I really don’t know what happened.

I do know one thing for sure : that man – Bobby – could have very well saved my dog’s life. It’s possible she would have not gotten heat stroke but her paws are injured enough that she probably couldn’t have walked the hill for few hours. We would probably still be in the bush.

I don’t really know what else to say but this: during this whole ordeal this afternoon I couldn’t stop thinking about how last night I got up to use the restroom and found Tahnee laying on the ground next to my bed, on the side I was laying on. She wasn’t laying on her plush bed a few feet away. Instead, she was laying as close as she could to the bed as possible; her paws under the frame. I remember looking down at her and thinking, “Wow, this dog loves me.”

Maya and Tahn, right before Tahn started refusing to walk.

1 Comment

Filed under Crazy Dog Lady, Stories, Tahnee

The Worst Part of the Day

For reasons I won’t bore you with, I’ve been spending a lot of time home, not at work.  I’ve been home for the past three weeks, reading, cleaning, exercising, organizing and reading again. I’ve kept away from the TV because I find it just makes me want to nap. So instead of napping I’ve read 5 books, donated old clothing, and really organized my life. It’s been productive.

And since I’ve been home most of the day, I’ve been spending almost all of my time with the dogs – Tahnee (of course) and Maya (my roommate’s dog). And since the dogs are both Labradors, they follow me everywhere all the time.

The dogs have greatly bonded to me in these past few weeks; I am their alpha, their everything. Whenever I leave, they sulk and pout and are pitiful. This is a drastic difference from a few weeks ago when I would just get sad eyes. Now every time I leave they ache devastation, unsure of what to do or where to go.

I suspect they just sleep.

I leave at least once everyday – if not to exercise, but to also run errands. Each time worst than the next, each time they are more helpless and forlorn. It is the worst part of their day

I, on the other hand, leave them with no guilt. And for this I believe I am punished.

Everyday, around 3pm it starts.

Tahn will suddenly sit, staring at me.

Maya gets up and paces a bit.

I ignore them at first. “No eye contact” I tell myself.

Tahn’s piercing black eyes start working their way into my soul.

When I cannot take it anymore I tell them both to lie down.

They do. We have peace.

Until 3:30pm.

Tahn is up again, beady eyes on me.

Maya may bark once or twice.

Now I’m getting mad. “No!” I shout. “Not yet.” I scold.

They huff and puff  and lie down.

By 4pm, it gets really bad. (Like yesterday).

They no longer hear anything I say.

They double-team me.

Tahn pokes me with her cold nose and gives me the stare of death.

Maya goes from a high-pitched whine to a full bark attack.

I get incredibly angry. “NO! BAD DOGS!” I yell.

Tahn stares and pokes and Maya barks.

I consider putting them in the backyard and then remember Maya will bark even more and Tahn will eat sticks.

I consider putting them in their respective rooms and then remember Maya will destroy my roommate’s things in anger and Tahn will lie on my bed and pull back the covers and put her head on my pillow.

I scold them once more, really being firm. They coil in sadness.

I can almost hear them talking to each other, “Gosh, she didn’t have to be so mean, Tahn,”

“I know, Maya.”

At 4:30pm on the dot, the dogs are fed and the worst part of my day is over.

Today I’ll be at a coffee shop from 2:30pm to 5pm if anyone needs me.

Pouty Dogs

5 Comments

Filed under Crazy Dog Lady, Life, Tahnee

Things I like this week (vol. 10)

1. I discovered the goodness of roasted pumpkin seeds from Trader Joe’s a few months ago and they quickly became my favorite snack. Tonight I finally put them in my salad and OH.MY.GOD. they are unreal. Try them.

2. Lisa from Smacksy posted this on her “Smacksy Sunday Links” if you’ve ever had a dog and moved, then you must read it. I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe.

3. I baked again this weekend. And, if you don’t already know, I have an obsession with anything S’mores related. So when I made these, I almost died. Pure bliss.

4. The little boys in my apartment complex are playing some sort of police/capture/shoot-each-other-with-nerf-darts game outside right now and it makes me really miss being a kid. (Expect my roommate’s dog, Maya is FREAKING out with them running around my apartment. It’s unfortunate).

5. I decided to save some of my hard earned cash and start checking books out from the Library. I went and got a Library card today and learned that many books are available to check out in the e-book form – they will send the book to your Kindle for a period of three weeks. I excitedly came home and dusted off my 2nd edition Kindle (that looks like it’s from the dark ages) and I’m in the midst of getting it synced up with the Library. Love it – I don’t have to ever worry about late fees again!

6. I’ve had a lot more time on my hands lately and so I’ve been home most of the day. The dogs (Tahnee and Maya) have been glued to my hip. Part of me is tired of two large Labradors following me from room to room to room, but the other part of me just loves their devotion.

7. I’m in the middle of a major re-organization of well, everything. Man, does it feel so good. (Wasn’t I just complaining about being unorganized?)

8. I know I’m totally late to the party on this one, but I just started watching the first season of “Lost” – I kinda know how it ends from all of the outrage almost two years ago, but I still freakin’ love it.

I think I’m just like Kate. Sans the criminal record, curly hair and incredible biceps. Other than that, we’re exactly the same person. 😉

9. I’m also late to the party about the amazing Florence + The Machine as well, but I’ve just discovered they’re song, “Shake it Out” and no, I didn’t discover it from watching “Smash”…. This song has been my theme song for the past four weeks.

Let me just tell you:

It’s hard to dance with a devil on your back, so shake him off.

1 Comment

Filed under Music, My Apartment, Tahnee, Things I like

Things I like this week (vol. 9)

1. I hate how much I’ve been neglecting my blog but I’ve been working on a project that has been taking up 90% of my free time. I’ll be back soon.

2. I read this weeks ago. Weeks ago. I’m a moderator. What are you?

3. I love to watch Smash and envision Katharine McPhee back when she was on American Idol singing “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree”

4. I was sitting in the bath tonight reading O’s latest issue on decluttering, and I realized how badly I need to declutter, but I need to totally unpack. First things first.
5. I made these this weekend.

Delicious.

I’ve been eating 1 (or 2) every night since I made them on Saturday. They are so good that this evening I was sitting down to enjoy a cupacke and my DVR in my room wasn’t working. I walked back and forth from my living room to my room troubleshooting my DVR, dropping sprinkles all over the place. (Note: the DVR still isn’t working. I guess the cupcake didn’t help).

6. I went to the dog beach with Tahn, my roommate, and my roommate’s dog, Maya. It was maybe the best hour of my life. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Tahn that happy. Ever.

Tahn and Maya

7. This is how I have felt more often than not lately.

8. Drea’s post on living alone made me laugh and realize how similar I was when I lived alone. I rarely did dishes, clothes were everywhere, I usually walked around without some form of clothing on.

9. Tahn’s been putting herself to bed lately.

It’s a problem.

2 Comments

Filed under Food!, Friends, Life, Tahnee, Things I like

The space beside me

For 18 weeks, the space beside me was mostly vacant.

I had an occasional passenger in my car; a friend, a family member, a coworker.

I had friends I shared meals, movies, wine and conversations with.

I had company, but not my dearest friend.

After 18 weeks, Tahn finally came to live with me in San Diego. The weekend after I moved into my new (and permanent!!) place, I drove to the Bay Area and back in the span of 40 hours. It was exhausting, emotional, and worth every second.

Tahnee, minutes after we started our journey to San Diego, stopping for gas. Very anxious.

Starting to relax, hoping she's really staying with me this time. Anxiety diminishing.

Finally able to fully relax and rest. Anxiety almost gone.

Stopping at my favorite gas station with my Tahn. Anxiety free and loving life.

At our new home, with her new roommie and best friend, Maya.

The space next to me is now filled with two rambunctious, happy, playful dogs. And I couldn’t be more thrilled.

________________________________________________________________________

Many, many, many thanks to my dad for taking care of Tahn for the 18 weeks. He fed her, WALKED her (walked her more than she has ever been walked in her life) and gave her tons of love. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what I would have done. He’s the best.

Retro photo of my dad and Tahn. Circa 2008 (Isn't she a small little girl?!?!)

2 Comments

Filed under Crazy Dog Lady, Family, Tahnee

A few thoughts

The other night on my flight home from celebrating Buddy‘s first birthday, I thought about a few things:

  • Above all, my family is the core of me. Hands down, they have been and will always be the most important people in my life. I can’t quite articulate my feelings for them, but I will sum it up to this: I love my family more than anything else in the world. They are my comforters, my nurturers, my challengers, and the people whom I sacredly love.
  • I am continuously surprised how much I love Buddy. Saturday morning, I woke to my dad and Buddy walking down the hall, very sleepy. (And Tahn, OF COURSE). My brother and S2 had a holiday party on Friday night, so Buddy slept at my dad’s. He woke around 6am, and my dad brought him to me. Buddy was pretty confused why his Aunt Brittany was there and why he it was still dark, but he adjusted. I gave Buddy his bottle and then he was ready to go back to sleep. (Yes, you read that right. Buddy wakes up, eats, and goes back to sleep. He is my kind of child. Clearly, we are made of the same stuff). My dad thought it would nice if Buddy snuggled down with me and went back to sleep. After a short amount of time, Buddy finally settled in and fell fast asleep. (Details? Buddy was snuggled in as little spoon with his tiny baby feet squished in my legs. It was heaven on earth). In the past I’ve snuggled and slept next to other children; I was a nanny for 12 years – but snuggling with Buddy? The best sleep I’ve ever had. We awoke a little over two hours later, feeling great.
  • Tahn is officially the best dog I have ever met. Yep, I said it. After being away from her for so long, meeting a bunch of other dogs, I can say that Tahn is amazing. She is kind, loving, obedient and fun. And? Next to Buddy, she’s the BEST SNUGGLER IN THE WORLD.

Snuggle Bun. 12am Saturday morning.

  • Although I had some adjustments in my new life in San Diego, I really love it here. I can’t get over how beautiful it is here. Even today when it was raining and pouring, it was gorgeous. I love that I live 15 minutes from my sister and I get to see her at least once a week; I haven’t seen her this much for over 10 years. It’s really fantastic.
  • The most important quality I look for in others is kindness. It all started a little about fours years ago when I walked into a dear friend’s home and on her entry way table she had a small sign, “Approach everything with kindness.” It was then I knew the man I walked through that very door with was not kind. It started off when I first realized on our second date that he was not kind to strangers,  three months in I realized he was not always kind in stressful situations, a year and three months I realized he was  not kind to Tahnee and ultimately, two years and one month into the relationship I realized he was not kind to me. I have since realized there are only two type of people in the world; those who make an effort to respond to others and in kindness and those who do not. I believe that many, many people are unkind. I’ve seen it for years. At work, in relationships I’ve been in and been witness to, in interactions with others. But, I’ve also met many people who are groundbreakingly kind. These people may not always be the best version of themselves, but they are authentic, real and intentionally kind. I strive to be this person everyday.
  • I know one thing for sure: my instincts about a person, situation, or group of people have never been wrong. I can spot a bad apple from a mile away. Often I feel neutral about a person/situation/group of people. But when I have an incredibly bad feeling? I just know. After years of trying to ignore my intuition, I am finally embracing it and learning to appreciate it.

1 Comment

Filed under Crazy Dog Lady, Family, Fun Things, Love, Tahnee, Things I've learned