Happy Thanksgiving!

chihuahua-turkey

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Make sure you are being safe with the decorations and especially the food around your pets!  A lot of the traditional foods at the Thanksgiving table are not so great for your pups and cats.  Explain to your guests (especially the kiddos!) that the pets are not to receive any table scraps from them.  The worst thing to share with your pets are parts of the turkey that has bone in it, so be very careful with that wishbone!  And if you do want to include Fido in the festivities, a little pumpkin (straight pumpkin, not the pie which has cinnamon and nutmeg – both are poisonous) or some raw carrots or broccoli will do the safe trick for them!

And don’t forget that your pets might not be as excited to hang out with the extended family as you are.  Provide a safe place for them to retreat to if they are nervous or anxious with company.  If you already know your pet does not do well with large groups, be proactive and set them up in a separate room with some fun toys and soft music.  It can be very stressful for some pets to have all that commotion in the house!

I wish you a safe, fun, and festive Thanksgiving and good luck to all the shoppers out there!

 

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Don’t Give Up

If you are like me, you are still reeling from the results of this past presidential election. It does not help that while we try to make sense of all this and try to heal, the hate and bullying continue (and seems to be increasing).  But we do not have to give up.  And I’m talking directly to my fellow white Christians in particular:  we have to stay and we have to fight.

Call you representatives to make sure they know how you feel about decision being made/appointments that are being considered:  https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials (BE RESPECTFUL!)

Here are some petitions I encourage you to sign:

Audit the 2016 election

Appoint Garland now (the Senate has waived their rights at this point)

Encourage the Electoral College to vote for Clinton

Here are some organizations that are worth supporting:

To support women’s health, donate to Planned Parenthood (plannedparenthood.org) or the Center for Reproductive Rights (reproductiverights.org).

If you don’t believe man-made global warming is a silly issue, give to the Natural Resources Defense Council (nrdc.org) or any of the nine other worthy environmental groups listed here.

If you don’t think refugees are a terrorist army in disguise, donate to the International Refugee Assistance Project (refugeerights.org).

You may also want to donate to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (naacpldf.org), the Trevor Project for LGBT youth (thetrevorproject.org), or the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (maldef.org).

And to support journalism, subscribe to a newspaper, and donate to ProPublica (propublica.org).

Start NOW with the 2018 election. 

It does not have to be a last minute thing to get people to register and we truly need to do our homework on our representatives.  The president is just one piece of the puzzle in our government, and we have the power to control who is in the house and senate which, arguably, is more powerful than the president.  So start working now to get everyone you know registered and start working now to campaign for the representatives you want to see in DC.

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Most of all, be good to yourself and to others.  Defend and protect targeted groups.  Here is a great article on how to respond to hate speech/bullying as a witness – it directly talks about Islamophobia, but can be used for any instance of hate.  If they demand a Muslim registry, join me in the lines to register with them.  We must be the change we wish to see in this world.  I look forward to fighting the good fight with you all. ❤

Pet Safety Tips For Halloween

Halloween is a super fun holiday – what’s not to love with candy and costumes galore?  But it’s typically not a super fun holiday for your pets.  Most of that candy can hurt them, people in costumes are terrifying to them, and costumes on themselves can be painful.  Make sure you are being safe this Halloween for your four-legged pals!

Trick or Treaters:  I promise you, no matter how awesome your pets are with strangers, trick or treating is going to freak them out to some degree.  They could spook and run out the door, bite a kid that scared them, or scare the kids by barking/protecting the home.  It’s best to put your pets in another room, as far away from the front door as possible and play some music to drown out the noise of the festivities.

Candy:  Candy is an awesome perk for Halloween, but pretty much all candy is poisonous to some degree for your pets, most notably anything with chocolate, nuts, or gum.  Make sure the candy you stocked up on is safely away from where you pets can get.  A real Halloween fright is rushing your pet to the emergency vet to get their stomachs pumped.

Pet Costumes:  Costumes for your pets are always fun – how adorable do they look, right?!  However, please make sure the costume actually fits them and does not restrict them in anyway.  Check for tightness, especially around the neck, and make sure they can still see and comfortably move.  It’s not cool to hurt your little pal just for some cute pictures.

Have fun this Halloween, and feel free to share pictures of your little ones in the comments – I would love to see them!  I’ll make sure to share pics, too!

Seriously, VOTE!

For real, though.  You better be voting on Tuesday, November 8.  Make sure you are registered, make sure you are educated, and MAKE SURE YOU VOTE!

Registration Deadline (for CO)

The registration deadline for the Tuesday, November 8, 2016 General Election is Monday, October 31, 2016 if you wish to receive your ballot by mail. You may register to vote at the polling place on Election Day.

You can register to vote:

– Anytime in person at a county voter registration office or Voter Service and Polling Center, including Election Day (NOTE: If you register in person after the 8th day before an election you must visit one of the Voter Service and Polling Centers in order to vote your ballot. You will not receive a mail ballot).
– No later than 8 days before an election by mail or online at http://www.govotecolorado.com
– No later than 22 days before an election or through a Voter Registration Drive

Your state’s deadline may be sooner.  Register TODAY to make sure you don’t miss the deadline!  Here is where you can start to find out how to register in your state.

What’s On Your Ballot?

You can visit vote411 and enter your address to see what exactly will be on your ballot!  Make sure you read up on each ballot issue and each candidate that will be on your ballot.  This isn’t just voting for the next President – there are a LOT more items and candidates on the ballot that will most like affect your life exponentially more than the next president will.

Local Issues

For those in Larimer County, I respectfully request you consider voting “YES” for  1A, 200, 3B, 3C, and 5F.  Here’s some more details on these five ballot issues:

Mental Health Detox/Substance Abuse Facility and Services, Ballot Issue 1A

Our County does not have adequate inpatient and outpatient behavioral health treatment facilities to meet the needs of current residents.  We are a growing community and our jail is FULL of people who don’t need to be in a jail cell, they need mental and behavioral treatment help.  This would involve a sales and use tax increase of 0.25% (twenty-five cents on every $100).  While this is a bigger tax increase, I firmly believe this facility is desperately needed in our community and therefore worth every penny.  Data shows that for every dollar we invest in behavioral health treatment, we will save $4 in criminal justice and hospital costs. Emergency room visits decline by over 45% when patients receive needed ongoing behavioral health care.

Establishment of Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, Ballot Issue 200

This would establish a Science and Cultural Facilities District in Larimer County, creating a dedicated fund based on a tenth of a percent sales tax (ten cents on every $100), to support and enhance science and cultural programming in Larimer County.  I love the arts, that’s no secret.  And the tax increase is minuscule.  Totally a no-brainer!

Poudre School District Mill Levy Ballot Issue 3B

The school district is asking for their mill levy to continue for their services.  Does not affect current taxes.  Easy vote!

Poudre School District Bond Ballot Issue 3C

The school district is asking for a bond for capital improvements and to build three new schools (one elementary and two middle schools).  Does not affect current taxes.  Makes sense, we are a growing community!

Poudre River Library District Ballot Issue 5F

Laws have changed since they passed a mill levy in 2006.  The Library is just asking voters to reaffirm that they did indeed mean the Library could have that money.  Does not affect current taxes.  Easy vote!

Save the World: Use a Condom

It may seem odd, and a little impertinent, but the truth is we have overpopulated our habitat. The earth has over 7 billion humans inhabiting it, and I would venture to say that’s a few too many million (and probably billion) than she is meant to handle.

We are depleting resources and abusing our home to the point of no return. We are honestly behaving like a virus, destroying nature as fast as we can. But it truly does not have to be that way. Beyond the usual things you’ve certainly heard (and should most definitely do) on recycling, renewable energy, conserving water, etc, etc, there is another solution you may not have heard.

Don’t have children.

For real, though. Think about it. We have all been taught since we can remember that part of our success as a species is replacing ourselves. The whole “two kids, a dog, and a white picket fence” thing. But think about it. We are over populated as it is. Replacing yourself and your partner is too much. In most cases, having just one kid is probably too much. We all need to stop having so many kids so that our overall population can slowly, naturally, get back down to where it should be. Where the earth can handle us.

So, if you want to help our planet in a simple, expense saving way (seriously, think of all those awesome benefits of NOT having kids: save money, more time for you to pursue your dreams, travel, change careers/take risks without having to worry about providing for little ones… the list goes on quite a ways), consider using some birth control. And if it strikes you that you must have children in your life, please consider adopting a child in need of a home before making a new one. The earth thanks you. 😉

The Great Road Trip of 2016

As my dog’s 10th birthday was rolling near, I reflected on his life and our time together.  I have had him for 9.5 years, officially my longest relationship.  We have had a lot of amazing adventures together and have lived in three states.  But as I thought about things, I realized there is something Monty has not done that I was sure he would love.  So, to celebrate Monty’s 10th birthday, we headed west so he could see the ocean for the first time ever.

So this past Friday morning at 5am, we headed out on our great adventure.  3026 Miles.  That’s the exact distance of the road trip I took over six days and we traveled through Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.

It was an amazing trip that involved exploring some really cool places like Boise, Craters of the Moon, Twin Falls, Crater Lake, Diamond Lake, Pacific City, Cannon Beach, Bend, Portland, and Salt Lake City.  2016-08-07 19.39.18

My puppers got to swim in the ocean and we camped on the beach for good measure.  I had a great time, and after Monty figured out the ocean was not drinkable, he had a great time too.  It was a wonderful adventure!!

Some things I learned:

  • Boise is a pretty cool little city
  • Idaho in general is a lot cooler and prettier than I thought
  • Oregon gets really cold at night
  • Monty WILL cuddle all night… when it’s under 40 degrees and you’re in a summer tent
  • The ocean is and always will be a beautiful, magical place
  • Cannon Beach is a hidden gem on the Oregon coast – loved it there!
  • Portland traffic is rough
  • California drivers are hands down the worst on the roads
  • Crater Lake and Diamond Lake are stunning
  • Oregon is very, very green.  So. Many. Pine trees.
  • Monty can’t figure out that salt water is not drinkable
  • Nevada doesn’t have enough gas stations
  • In that same vein, my car gets amazing mileage – go Matrix!
  • The stretch of road between the Nevada/Utah boarder and Salt Lake City is terrifying to drive at night.  Absolutely terrifying.
  • Mormons have a lot of money
  • Salt Lake City is weird
  • There is no place like home ❤

Driving over 3000 miles by myself, camping alone, traveling alone in general… it felt exceptionally good to realize just how much I am capable of.  It was also very emotional seeing Monty run ecstatically down the beach and into the ocean waves.  This pup has been through so much with me, and I am beyond happy that we were able to take this trip together.

Happy Birthday, Montague.

Do You Even Sleep?

So I’ve decided to let you all in on my (not very shocking) secret in how I achieve everything I am able to, while still having time for my pets, social life, and travels.

So, here’s the secret:

Time is a finite thing – we all get 24 hours a day.  No matter what you do, you will not be able to change or control that fact.  What you do have control over is your energy and your personal drive.

Taking care of yourself both mentally and physically prepares you for being the most effective and efficient you.  It may seem counterproductive, but taking time to re-charge is vital in getting the most done with the time you do have.  Working 12+ hour days is simply not a productive way to get the most done – your brain and body cannot work/concentrate that long each day.  Instead, taking care of you yourself will result in being able to achieve more during 8 hours than the average person does, and much more than you would during the 12+ hour day.

It always annoyed me when I would see supervisors praising employees for their work weeks being well over 40 hours, as if that was a sign of accomplishment.  It is not.  Truly.  It is only a sign of inefficiency and the fast track for burnout.

To manage your time, you need to make sure you are eating well, working out, spending time with your loved ones, and getting a decent amount of sleep.  Because I take time to read, eat well, exercise every day, and make sure to sleep at least 6 hours a night, I am able to get my job successfully done at work in under 50 hours a week.  I am also able to be an active member of Kiwanis, volunteer for the Fort Collins Cat Rescue, be on the board for Animal House, sing with Larimer Chorale, and still have time for quality time with my pets and my friends.

So that’s it!  That’s the “secret”.  Take care of yourself and you won’t need to work more hours, you’ll just work better. 🙂