Author: Frani

How To Keep Going When Our Country Is In A Political Shitstorm

Image Credit ~ Unknown

So yeah… it’s been four years now, right? It’s 2021? We’re all good? We got over our dumb moment? A moment that will live forever in the history books but did not doom us. Because we squashed that shit early in the beginning and didn’t suffer too dire of long-term consequences.

Right?

What?

It’s still 2017?

What!?

It’s only been three fucking weeks!?

Are you fucking kidding me?

Really!?

*guttural screaming*

Fine.

*sigh*

Let’s keep doing this stupid shit then. Continue reading

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Wanderlust I Must ~ Give Us More Snow, Seattle!

Alright, Seattle. You must have heard me whining last time about missing proper seasons and the smell of autumn. Because this winter, you’ve been bringin’ it with some legit snowfall. Well done, you!

I think the whole greater Seattle area has declared it a snow day today even though I only see a couple inches of actual accumulation here in the city. But ya know, the residents aren’t used to driving in snow, and we got some serious hills here too. So yeah… it’s best if no one drives in the snow here.

The park we live across from has been flooded with parents, kids, and dogs all morning. All of them playing in the snow and wearing down what snow has stuck with each run of the sled and each flop to the ground (by child and dog alike) to execute that perfect snow angel.

The husband’s coworkers are snapping snow day pics and sharing them with one another while cheering about breaking out the “snow sled”. Snow sled? Yeah, I am not too familiar with other kinds of sleds Seattleites use, but shhh… just go with it.

Because if I have learned anything living in Seattle is that snow brings out the city’s innocence. For those of us more acquainted with the beauty and joy of an actual winter wonderland, we may just step back and let you have this Seattle snow day. We will observe and smile, all the while thinking “Oh Seattle, you’re so cute.”

Happy Snow Day, Seattleites! You deserve it. ❄️️

xo~ Frani

 

*Image snapped on a snowy day in Seattle’s Fremont

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We Are All Different. We Are All The Same.

“Go back to where you came from.”

Such a vile statement.

Such a statement that I thought would maybe be phased out of our dialogue.

Such a statement that has sadly made a resurgence lately.

Let me first say my intention is not to pit whites against minorities here. If you have never had this phrase spat upon you, you have no way of understanding. I think we can all agree on that.

My intention is to explain how a lot of us are feeling after this election and even more so after the inauguration of a man I currently view as one of the worst human beings in the world. To truly understand racism or prejudice, you need to experience it firsthand. Continue reading

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The People Fought For Your Rights. Thank Them For Fighting… Again.

Saturday, January 21, 2017.

Saturday, the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.

Saturday, a glorious, sunny day instead of the usual dreary, winter day in Seattle.

Saturday, an outpouring of love and support all across the globe. (Who knew this movement to march had gained such momentum!?)

Saturday, a day to make our presence known and our voices heard.

Saturday, a day to say, “No, we will not stand idly by while you take away our rights and threaten our lives, our health, and our freedoms.”

Saturday, a day where I was proud to stand and march with my fellow Americans: Muslim, Christian, atheist, deist, whatever the fuck you wanna believe, white, brown, black, yellow, all the fucking colors of the goddamn rainbow, gay, straight, transgender, male, female, young, and old.

Saturday, a day where each and every person was essentially saying to one another, “I got your back.”

Saturday, a beautiful day of peace and solidarity. 

Now, to those who say the marches did not/will not make a difference (especially you women and minorities… really baffles my mind, btw), check your blasé attitude at the door. Continue reading

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Hello, 2017. Let’s Do This.

Man, I did real bad with blogging last year. Seven published posts. Seven. Seven’s a good number and all. One of my favorite numbers, in fact. It’s the best number. There is no better number. (Sorry not sorry… I couldn’t resist.)

But, seven posts is not nearly enough writing for one whole year.

What can I say?

I have no excuses really, except that it was a lazy, sort of sickly, and very stressful sort of year. I’m hoping beyond hope that 2017 will be “my year”, that my health will improve, that we will figure out what ails me, and that I will accomplish something meaningful in this life.

Or die trying.

To create and to contribute something to the world around me is all I have ever wanted. I have fought that desire for so long because I thought creativity was not a suitable pursuit. But after 40 years, I now know what I want to do when I grow up! Sort of. ;)

I did not make any resolutions this year. In all honesty, I kind of forgot. And let’s just be real here, I rarely keep them. But, a promise I make to myself this year is to write.

Write for this blog that I still dearly love.

Write that damn book I’ve been meaning to finish for the past couple years.

Write for any of the other book ideas I have jotted down and in my head when I stall out on that first book.

Write whatever comes into my head.

Write it all down.

I feel this year if not the coming four years are going to be crucial. Free speech and freedom of the press, and consequently, art are going to be in danger of censorship. Not to mention any of our other numerous rights such as healthcare, clean water, etc., etc.

It’s easy to feel despondent. I get it. It’s easy to turn a blind eye to what’s going on around you in this country and the world, especially if you’re a white male and maybe even if you’re a white female. And when you have your own problems with your health, your family, your job, whatever, it’s hard to care about other people. You think it’s going to be OK or that it won’t be that bad. I’m pretty sure that’s what a lot of people thought when Hitler gained momentum. Just sayin’.

Some people are just plain narcissists and don’t have even one bone of compassion in their bodies. Those people are the worst. Don’t be like them.

But for those who want to do something to move our country forward and not way the fuck backwards, make your voices heard. If you enjoy your rights and your privileges, speak up. Don’t sit this one out on the sidelines. Fuck that. And yeah, it won’t be easy. But nothing worth fighting for ever is. 

xo~ Frani

 

*Image snapped on a snowy day in Seattle

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Fragments Of Love Friday ~ Share The Wealth

top-o-artist-point

my little love note of gratitude to a roof over my head, food on the table, and warm socks on my feet…

One of the things that weighs heavily on my mind living in Seattle is income inequality and homelessness. It is extremely difficult for me to turn a blind eye to the state of things in this city, and I assume that contributes to my ‘meh’ attitude toward Seattle. It’s hard to see the Emerald City as the greatest city ever that so many others seem to believe when I see real suffering on the streets every single day.

It does make me appreciate how good the husband and I have it, especially me because of my luck in marrying a software engineer. (And yes, we know how the tech industry is boosting but also hurting this city.. we know the irony here.) I am forever grateful to my amazingly generous husband for not giving two shits if I work a “real job” or not. He was incredibly supportive of me as I dabbled in photography for a few years after I quit working for an awful representation of a human being that could be Donald Trump’s clone. And now, the hubs is probably even more supportive as I focus on writing my shit story and daydream about being a published author.

I realize that without him though, I’d sort of be up shit creek. That thought is constantly in the back of my mind as I work out a ‘what if’ plan so the puppies and I do not end up on the streets, turning tricks (the dogs literally, me maybe not so much??) on the corner for food and money. Luckily, I know I can probably fall back on previous employment experience to get some sort of job or another. We have money in the bank and a reliable vehicle that would allow me to hightail it out of this expensive-ass city. I want to live more minimally, and I know how to live frugally. I have family and friends who I know would help me out in a pinch. I know I would be OK.

However, there are so many people out there who are not OK.

It makes me sad.

It makes me angry.

It breaks my heart.

So last weekend, the husband and I made a donation to a local shelter in Seattle. We have made monetary donations to charities in the past. While living downtown, we often gave away our leftovers to those on the streets. I have given away dog food to the Seattle Humane Society for their food bank.

Don’t even get me started on homeless dogs.

However, with clothing, I have always just dropped them off in one of those bins. It’s easy. It’s convenient. But, those items end up in thrift stores where people who buy those items may or may not need to shop there.

This time, we did things differently. We went into the thick of things in Pioneer Square. I wanted to make sure the items we had to spare were getting into the hands of those who need them the most.

So, owing to the privileges we enjoy, the husband and I finally succumbed to buying new (read: most expensive articles of clothing we now own) raincoats as our cheap-ish ones we bought a couple years ago weren’t cuttin’ it for the amount of walking and waiting for the bus that our lives now entail in Seattle. But, they are warm, water resistant, and like new. So, we donated those and some other items of clothing and food. I browsed the shelter’s website for urgently needed items and proceeded to the store to pick up toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, and feminine hygiene products. I maybe spent 20 bucks. To us, that’s nothing. To those who need those items but don’t have the money, it’s not nothing. It’s something.

What’s the point here? A blog post of me bragging about how we donated some coats and tampons? Woo! Good job, us, right?

No, not really. I know the husband and I could do so much more than that. But, my point is that any little thing you can and are willing to do does make a difference. It doesn’t take much time or money, but it will make a small, positive change in the lives of some of these people. Find a way to volunteer your time if you can spare it. Find a shelter or charity you can get on board with and make a regular contribution, either monetarily or in the form of goods. A lot of shelters have an Amazon wish list. Grocery stores will deliver online orders and maybe even match a percentage.

The moral of the story is if you’ve got it and don’t need it, give it. Express your gratitude, and share the wealth. 

xo~ Frani

 

*Image from Artist Point

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Wanderlust I Must ~ The Smell Of Autumn

autumn-2016-in-seattle

Autumn… it’s my favorite time of year. I love the feel of the brisk air cooling my cheeks. I am mesmerized by the red and yellow leaves swirling in the air before they float to the ground. I love a soft, warm sweater, a pair of good leaf-kickin’ boots, and oh yes, pumpkin spice all the things. Visually, it hasn’t been too shabby of an autumn in Seattle. It seems more colorful to me than the previous two years we have lived here. Or, maybe I have been chasing after it more this year.

A couple weekends ago, the husband and I embarked upon a road trip to Leavenworth just for the drive. And while we may have missed peak color, there was one section of the drive that was an enchanting sea of yellow. I would have snapped a few photos to share, but I kind of just wanted to be selfish and soak it all in with my eyeballs instead.

The one thing about a midwest autumn that I am missing though is the smell. Some people may not know what I’m talking about while those in the midwest or New England area certainly do, and it could be because it doesn’t get quite cold enough here in Seattle. Of course, I don’t think the rain smells the same here either for the most part. Maybe that’s just me being a weirdo with a sensitive nose, but there is some science behind the smell of different seasons. I remember even the rain in Portland, Oregon smelling different than Seattle, but maybe it’s because they have more consistent greenery throughout their city and a slight more distinction in their seasons.

At any rate, I miss that smell of autumn. Seattle is situated in a beautiful spot surrounded by mountains and water, and the more I live here in the Pacific Northwest, the more I appreciate its beauty. But man… I miss proper seasons. 

Happy Wanderlustin’!

xo~ Frani

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5 Reasons For Americans To Travel Their Own Country

larabee-state-park

While some people envy those hopping around Europe, touring Asia, or soaking up the sun on the exotice beaches of Bali, I sort of envy the complete opposite vibe of all that. Granted, I want to visit more outside the United States in the future, and a luxurious Mediterranean cruise sounds lovely once in a while. However, those destinations are not that pressing because even though I’ve traveled to a good portion of the United States, there is still so much to this big ol’ country I have yet to explore. And really, I have always thought it silly to visit all the other countries (unless an inexpensive or rare opportunity presents itself) before first getting to know your own country.

The hubs and I have a few surrounding areas we want to visit while living in the Pacific Northwest, and we are slowly knocking those off our list. And lately, my dream vacation has just been a good old fashioned road trip. Specifically, there’s something to be said for a classic American cross country road trip. Even though we basically did that on our move out to Seattle from Columbus, Ohio, I am excited to do a different route on our move to the New England area in the near future.

So, what are the advantages for us Americans to travel around our own backyard?
Continue reading

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Fragments Of Love Friday ~ Giving Thanks To The Birthday Girl

The Studious Catdeerdog

my little love note of gratitude to my punkin’…

This spunky little girl with a big personality has experienced a lot throughout the years. And, we just celebrated her 10th birthday!

I admit it… at first, I didn’t want a Chihuahua but… she needed a home. And, I grew up in a home where we loved and rescued animals, especially dogs. I never babysat kids growing up, but I rescued animals! That’s probably why I love dogs way more than children! :P

She came into my life at the age of one from less than ideal conditions of negligence and possible abuse, and it was rough at first. I wanted to give up. It was stressful. It was tiring. But after about a week, this little cuddlebug stole my heart. And, to make my life easier (ha!), she then learned how to trust a strange new family, walk on a leash, and potty outside. Whew!

In her younger years, she collected tiny baubles she liked and stashed them under my bed. Lip balm, velcro ties, shiny things. She attempted to steal a credit card one time.

We pulled through a difficult ‘merging of two families’ situation with an equally dominant female Dachshund.

Later in life, she then learned basic commands, army crawl, and loose leash walking. It has never been too difficult to teach her something.

Adding to her list of accomplishments: learning the names of her various toys, walking on her hind legs, spinning in circles on her hind legs, speaking on command (with the help of her ball), and jumping through a hula hoop (in varying degrees of difficulty and setup). And amazingly, she just recently taught herself how to “shake” by watching us teach the Butt. The one thing I could never teach her… yeah, she just learned on her own. She never stops observing and learning, and she never ceases to amaze me.

She still has trust issues with strangers and big dogs and is a little too protective of her pack, but I couldn’t ask for a better dog.

She has endured many a photoshoot, hopped around from home to home with me, and moved across the damn country on the longest car ride ever and adapted to downtown city life in no time.

We’re both getting visibly older but we walk more now than ever, and we’re both probably in the best shape of our lives… her more so than me as I still have some work to do. But, I eat ice cream and bacon cheeseburgers, and she fortunately has a bigger, more intelligent being monitoring her food intake. I need that.

She’s the most intuitive creature and reads the vibe of the room like nobody’s business. She comforts us and snuggles up to us when we’re sad. She’s happiest when the pack is all together. She’s our little punkin’ and our doodlebug. She’s my muse, my catdeerdog… my reason for wanting to rescue ALL the Chihuahuas now. :D

The last nine years has been a whirlwind, and I wouldn’t have spent those years with any other pup. I am so thankful this weird, beautiful little creature came into my life. And more importantly, that after some convincing, I agreed to give her a chance to grow up into the most loving companion. 

xo~ Frani

 

*The catdeerdog graced me with an opportunity to photographically capture her beauty and brains.

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Fragments Of Love Friday ~ Time Flies

Wanderwhirl's Fave 9 On Instagram

It has been almost one year and eight months since the husband and I moved to Seattle. And most days, even though time feels as if it has zoomed right by us, it seems like forever ago and not just a measly 20 months. Although I probably bitch more than boast about living in Seattle, I am thankful for the experience no matter how it leaves us feeling or where it takes us in the near future.

my little love notes of gratitude…

♥  My health. My husband’s health. My puppies’ health. It doesn’t get better than that. I love my little family.

 The husband’s support when I thought for sure I was having heart problems. And I’m not exaggerating… I kind of thought I was on the verge of death. I know I scared the shit out of him and probably added a few stress years to his age the past couple months. He never wavered in his support or made me feel stupid though.

 I have been focusing more on my novel the past couple months and have progressed better than I expected while also not feeling my greatest. I still have a long ways to go, and it will most likely turn out to be a shit story. But, it’ll be a shit story that I concocted from my brain… into words… into sentences… into paragraphs… into pages… into my very own shit story.

 Spring! The sun is making a more regular appearance now too. Yay!

 Making and hanging out with new friends. That’s always fun and nice especially when still essentially new to the area.

 Crocheting! I relearned how to crochet, and I have been enjoying that quite immensely. It’s a very relaxing activity that gets me off my computer and/or smartphone.

 Into The Badlands. Ummm… I. Am. In. Love with this show! Do you like smartly choreographed swordplay and kung fu goodness but wished that visionary feast was available to you in a television series and not solely in movies? Well then, this is the series for you. Enjoy and then be bummed with the rest of us waiting until 2017 for season 2. It takes time, though, to make an action show such as this for television and make it good.

 Dumplings! A Seattle dumpling quest is on my list of things to accomplish. Although, I am not sure I will find dumplings I like better than Dumpling Generation’s, so why bother, right? And their fried rice is so, so yummy. Now, I am salivating.

Have a great weekend!

xo~ Frani

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