Fragments Of Love Friday

Fragments Of Love Friday ~ Long Overdue

It’s been a while since I’ve done a gratitude post, so this is long overdue and very much needed on my part. This is a fucked up and rather scary time in our country, folks. We’re so close to a political disaster, so try to keep the good things in life present in your mind at all times. The little things that make you smile will keep you going.

my little love notes of gratitude…

A mini vacay by myself in Portland, Oregon.

Snow in Seattle!

A Christmas getaway to the Oregon coast.

 Marching with my husband and thousands of other people on January 21, 2017. I’m so happy my husband isn’t an angry, racist, bigoted white dude.

This Countable app. Makes it so easy and kind of fun to stay informed of the issues!

Health insurance! I have it so much better than a lot of people… sooo thankful my husband has a good job he enjoys and we receive decent health insurance. Something I wish for everyone.

Healthy pups! They’re getting older, but they’re still puppies at heart… and at brain for that goofy muppet one.

This image of Justin Trudeau’s butt that’s got all the internets going gaga. Canadians are the envy of most Americans right now. Rightfully so. 😍

Chiropractor! I’ve just begun sessions to correct some shit that’s been going on in my spine. A few things I already knew about, but one pretty serious issue I did not know about is my cervical neck is rather jacked up. No wonder I’ve been having neck/jaw/shoulder/upper back pain! Yeeesh. Hopefully, chiropractic care gets me all sorted out.

Salt & Straw Ice Cream! I so wish they would open up a scoop shop in Seattle. I used to be a Jeni’s girl, and while Jeni’s ice cream is still good, my allegiance now lies with Salt & Straw.

Freedom and love in the USA. We have the right to speak our minds, voice our concerns, protest the atrocities our current administration is trying to enforce upon us, and fight their hypocrisy. Use the power of the 1st Amendment that our Founding Fathers bestowed upon us. Be the dissenting voice.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

xo~ Frani

 

*Image snapped during the Women’s March in Seattle on January 21, 2017.

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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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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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Fragments Of Love Friday ~ A Fairytale Escape

Little Yew Lodge Rhododendron Oregon

I have been quite short-tempered the past couple days. The slightest things have been annoying me, and my patience has been reduced to negative numbers on the tolerance scale.

Maybe I’ve had too much shitty food lately… too much anger-inducing dairy foods (is that a thing? maybe?) and not enough calming, magnesium-rich nuts, seeds, and veggies. (I really do know too much about nutrition for not being a professional about it in any way.)

The overwhelming feeling I’ve had the past couple weeks only abated during the weekend we were away from the city, the noise, and most of the people. And the heavy feelings of sadness, guilt, anger, and disappointment over family stuff are wearing on me. And with that, maybe I’m subconsciously dreading the holidays I used to love so much. Things have changed and not in the most ideal way. My heart is broken. But, I hope in time the cracks either heal or at least stop spreading from artery to artery.

All I can do at this point is:

  1. Eat better and exercise.
  2. Practice mindfulness and deep breathing. Lots of deep breathing.
  3. Realize I can only make myself happy. (And hope others are finding their way on their own…) And more importantly, know that my happiness is important despite many years of being conditioned to believe otherwise.
  4. Write. Spill all the feelings onto the pages of this blog, published or not. Pour the darkest parts of myself into the pages and the characters of my novel.
  5. And something I haven’t done in a while… give thanks for who and what I do have in this life.

So with that, here are my little love notes of gratitude…

 Finally settled into the new place. We had some hiccups as it seems to be the norm for us in Seattle, but it’s good. I like some aspects of living farther north better than downtown, but I also miss downtown. It’s weird. I want the more urban city living. I just don’t think downtown Seattle is the right fit for me.

 Had a great although exhausting time exploring with friends and family who came to visit in August. It’s interesting to get someone else’s perspective on Seattle. It seems like people either love it and set it up on this emerald pedestal or they think “Meh.”

 Autumn! And everything that comes with that. Pretty leaves, colder weather, boots, sweaters, roasted pumpkin seeds, and yes, pumpkin spice all the things! I’ll never tire of it. ;)

 Going on a couple road trips. One was a day trip to Artist Point, and then we just got back from a late anniversary celebration getaway to a unique, little cottage in the woods in Rhododendron, Oregon (pictured above).

 Falling snow! I miss snow so much! We actually saw falling snow on our way up the mountain to Artist Point at the end of September. And then, there was snow on the ground in Mt. Hood this past weekend when we visited Timberline Lodge (the hotel used for the exterior shots of Overlook Hotel in The Shining).

 Having such a supportive and understanding husband. He’s my favorite person, and I love hanging out with him. This past weekend of doing nothing except cuddling up by a fire with our pups in a cute little cottage in the woods was just what we needed. It pretty much rained the entire weekend, and we didn’t mind one bit.

What about you? Have you been like me and not done a little gratitude list in a long-ass time? Take a few minutes to think of a couple things! It does the mind good.

Have a great weekend, folks!

xo~ Frani

* The above image is of the ‘Little Yew Lodge’ on Airbnb.

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Fragments Of Love Friday ~ All The Exclamation Points!

Cotton Candy Seattle Skies

Holy shit, people! Can you believe it’s already ummm… basically mid-July!? I will be 40 years old in about two weeks! TWO weeks!

I must use all the exclamation points!

I really need to do my gratitude lists more often.. I’ve been slacking so much with blogging lately. Aaargh.

Anyway…

my little love notes of gratitude…

 The PNW heat wave has finally taken a break. I hope it stays away for good.

 I’ll never get over these gorgeous sunsets though. And they’re not always the same.

 Marriage equality in the United States! Now if some of the county clerks with their knickers in a wad over the decision would get over themselves, do their job, and just issue the damn licenses already…

  Signed a new lease and will be moving out of downtown Seattle next month! I’ll miss the view we have now, but I can do without everything else about living in downtown Seattle. I don’t think we’ll miss the crowded, ‘living on top of each other’ high-rise living, the piss-soaked and littered sidewalks, or the gobs of tourists. Maybe we’ll even see less drug deals and public urination/defecation? It’s going to be strange living in civilization again. ;)

 Folding bikes! The husband and I are looking into acquiring some folding bikes. He’s going to use his for work to cut down on his commute time on the bus. We’re also planning on using them more around our neighborhood for going to the market on the weekends and such. I’m super excited about that!

 We went to our first Sounders (and professional) soccer game (game? match? whatever) last month. It was a really good game, and I kind of got into it. I haven’t done any regular sports watchin’ since high school. Who knew it could still be enjoyable? ;)

 My husband’s sourdough pizza crusts. He’s been making some really good pizzas lately, and I like it when he cooks. And not only because I get a break, but because he enjoys the creativity with it. Plus, he’s good at it!

 Spreadsheets! I love spreadsheets. I really, really do. I use them for practically everything from to-do lists to pros and cons lists to research notes to writing a book. Love ’em, and they’ve been helping me from getting too overwhelmed lately with working out this novel. Organization is the best.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

xo~ Frani

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Fragments Of Love Friday ~ If You Want To Be, Then Be.

Georgetown Seattle WA

Holy crap. It’s almost June! How the fuck did that happen!? This year is flying by so fast… so, so fast. In a couple months, it will be my 40th birthday. In about three months, we’ll probably be moving to another area of the city. And then, it will be my favorite time of year… Autumn!

But for now, we need to slow it down. Savor the moment. Cherish the little things in life.

my little love notes of gratitude…

 Spending time with the husband after our separate family visits out of state. He really is my most favorite person in the whole damn wide world and probably the only person who does not annoy me.

 Lasting about three weeks before breaking ‘No Sugar May’. Hey, it’s better than I thought I would do, and it was worth it. A Maple Old Fashioned ice cream creation at Cupcake Royale!? Uh.. yes, please! (P.S. I love their cupcake sundaes!)

 Getting back into my exercise regimen.

 Checking in with my goals and trying a different tactic. Life should be about evolving and adapting.

  Renewing my love of photography. I’m looking forward to shooting more and honing my skills.

 Meeting new people… for better or for worse… ha. At least we’re trying to be social.

 If you want to be a cat, be a cat.

 Competing with no one but myself. Never ever.

Have a great weekend, folks!

xo~ Frani

*Image snapped in one of my favorite neighborhoods in the Seattle area… Georgetown! I think I like it so much because it doesn’t really feel like Seattle. :p

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Fragments Of Love Friday ~ Spending Time With Family

Flying Over The Rockies

It’s May 1st, better known as May Day. And here in Seattle, it might get a little cray. As the husband and I keep an eye on the activities, protests, and tone of downtown this afternoon and evening, I thought it would be a good time to write out the things for which I am thankful.

my little love notes of gratitude…

 Flying and traveling. Exhausting and sometimes stressful, but I enjoy it.

 Being on a boat and out on the water. I love it.

 Lounging in the ocean. Scary and relaxing all at the same time.

 Taking pictures of my nieces and nephews… seriously the cutest kids ever. Trust me.

  Coming back to Seattle after visiting small town, redneck (and old folks) Florida. Who knew I’d be happy being back in downtown Seattle!? It was refreshing… for about a day. ;)

 Catching up with the chick flicks while the husband was away visiting family.

  Green tea frappuccinos

 Chocolate chip cookie dough

 Salt water taffy!

 Spending time with family. I have three half-sisters and a half-brother in Florida I did not grow up with, and I have not seen them all that much throughout the years. I’m trying to change that and make an effort to visit with them and my nieces and nephews on a more regular basis. I had an awesome time a couple weeks ago with us all getting to know each other better. It was especially fun and awesome hanging out with my sisters more. It may sound cheesy, but my heart swells with love for them. ♥♥♥

I can’t believe it’s May already! I’m looking forward to more sunny days and being outdoors. Have a great weekend!

xo~ Frani

 

*The above image is from somewhere in Colorado flying over the Rocky Mountains.

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Fragments Of Love Friday ~ A Shot A Day Keeps The Doc Away

Pike Street Hill Climb Short Cut Light Sculpture

I’m currently on the downswing of a bout of bronchitis or some sort of allergy/sinus/phlegm-y cough issue, and I’m hoping I’m done for the year… or two… or three… or more! Bleh. Aside from the excess mucus, I had felt fine except for getting a little winded/tired when walking briskly as you would with any cold and chest congestion.

So now that I’m feeling clearer, I’ve been trying my damndest to keep up with regular exercise, popping a basic multivitamin with a little extra vitamin C daily along with a probiotic with a wider range of strains than my previous one, AND doing a shot of apple cider vinegar a day.

Yes, apple cider vinegar shots. Yummy. People are drinking vinegar. Should you?

You can google all about it. There is supposedly a slew of health benefits from lower cholesterol to easing arthritis to better digestion. Is it some sort of pseudoscience, new age, naturopath mumbo jumbo? Who knows? I can’t say. I’ve done the whole tablespoon a day thing on and off throughout the past eight or nine years. I DO know that every time I’ve gotten a cold or heartburn, it helps. It also makes my complexion clearer.

So this time around, I made a pact with the apple cider vinegar gods that if they expedited the eradication of this excess mucus issue that I would be a consistent devotee for life.

Again, yummy.

(Pssst… it’s not yummy. Not. At. All.)

I eventually kicked the mucus to the curb, but I’m not sure if the ACV expedited the process at all. So, I’m still a little on the fence about it.

Wanna give it a go? Well, you want the good stuff with the “mother” not the cheap-ass Heinz. You can add water, lemon juice, and honey to it and sip it throughout the day. I prefer to just do a shot to get it over with just like when someone hands you a shot of tequila. You want the benefit of getting drunk without tasting it, know what I mean? (Well, when I was 20 years old, that is. Because shots? *groan*) Same thing with apple cider vinegar… you want the health benefits without tasting it. Some people like it. I used to be able to handle it better, but now? Blargh.

If you go the shot route, I recommend having a full stomach especially in your first few days. It’s great at upsetting the bacterial balance (in a good way), but it’ll make you feel like hurling. Also, be sure to chase it with some water. It can burn a little going down which is not too good for the delicate tissues of your esophagus. And there is some debate on whether it’s good for the teeth or not, so I rinse out my mouth afterwards to be on the safe side… plus, it gets the taste out quicker.

Yummy yummy.

Cheers!

So, what am I thankful for?

my little love notes of gratitude…

 Apple cider vinegar… maybe

 Spring and more daylight

 Beautiful sunsets

 Exploring more of the city

  History and architecture… my two favorite things as of late

 Finding a veterinarian we really like for our two pups… took us two tries but we did it! Sweet relief.

 The Bird Dog of the Day Instagram account… the cutest puppies, man.

 And, I’m more and more thankful each day that I do not drive that often. Traffic in Seattle SUCKS.

What’s on your gratitude list?

xo~ Frani

*Image taken at Pike Street Hill Climb of one of the “Short Cut” sculptures by artist, Dan Webb.

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Fragments Of Love Friday ~ Relishing The Sun

Shadows & Lone Girl At Alki Beach Seattle

We’ve been having rather rainy, cloudy days the past couple weeks here in Seattle. I’m kind of not a fan of this city’s winters.

And, you’re probably thinking, “Well, it’s Seattle. It rains.”

And yeah, I know. Believe me, I know.

You also get wet here when it rains. If anyone ever tells you otherwise, they’re a damn fool.

my little love notes of gratitude…

 The sun came out for about an hour today! Wooooo!

 Football season is over! Sorry, Seahawks. I’m just not a fan of… well, your fans, really. A lot of them can be quite obnoxious.

 Urban exploration

 I’m a diehard Lip Sync Battle follower:

 My pretty, new Macbook Pro with Retina display. The screen… it’s Just. So. Beautiful. I had no idea what I was missing.

 Making my own Aeropress lattes at home.

 Not missing Facebook. I’ve been without it for almost a month, and I can’t say there’s a big void in my life. I feel like I’ve been keeping in touch with family and close friends much better without it as well. Conversations are more meaningful and intimate. Go figure.

 Through my words, affecting the life of someone I have never met and in return, knowing that person truly understands what I’m going through as well.

 New life, especially of the cutest, smartest biracial variety. Can’t wait to hopefully see my new niece and nephew in the spring.

Have an awesome weekend! Take a moment and be thankful.

xo~ Frani 

*Image taken at Alki Beach Park in West Seattle
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