Friday, January 11, 2019

RIP Galileo

On Tuesday morning, our sweet kitty, Galileo, passed away at home. He was 15 years old.

We adopted him from a pet rescue in Waco in June 2004, when he was only 6 months old. When we met him, his name was Dusty, but Matt didn't so much like that and decided we should name him Galileo. It's a pretty big name for such a small creature, but it was somehow fitting.

Over the years, he's been with us in Waco, Stepheville, and then kept Matt company on our move to Utah. They rode together in the Uhaul all the way. He was definitely a character, but was so loving.

Then, almost two and a half years ago, he got very sick, very fast and we thought we were going to lose him. Turns out, he had diabetes and his sugar was so high, meters couldn't read it. We did everything we could to save him and, eventually, he went into diabetic remission. He gained weight, began walking normally again. We couldn't have been happier.

During the last few weeks his health declined so quickly and on Tuesday morning, around 4:30am, he passed away. We're having him cremated, his ashes put into a pretty sealed box, same as we did when our kitty, Chummer, passed away in November 2005.

It goes without saying that we are totally and completely heartbroken over the loss of our sweet Galileo. He was the very best cat, so sweet and loving. He would cuddle and drool, and purr. He was so affectionate and Matt was very attached to him.

RIP sweet boy, you're forever in our hearts. ♥

Friday, January 4, 2019

Heritage for Christmas

I mentioned once that Matt was adopted. Because it was a closed adoption, he doesn't have any information about his birth parents. He doesn't know what he is or what he's predisposed to. For as long as we've been together, it's been a bit of a running joke him not knowing what his heritage is. He would tell me that not knowing was a good thing, it meant he could choose which one he wanted on any given day and would never be wrong. Maybe he'd be Italian, or Hungarian, or German. He has no idea and has always had a very good sense of humor about it.

For Christmas this year, I decided we should settle it once and for all. As one of his gifts, I got him an Ancestry DNA kit. I gave it to him early so he could send it in, mostly because I'm impatient. I want to know what he is. Almost 20 years of suspense is killing me! He did the swab and sent it in. This thing is supposed to take almost 2 months to come back. It only took less than one month and shortly after Christmas, he got his results.

Turns out he is almost 100% from the UK. England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Just a tiny, tiny, tiny less than 1% German. I won't lie, I'm a little bit shocked. I've always thought it was likely that he was at least a little bit Italian. Nope. Not at all. But what's amazing about this thing is that it shows him the migration of his ancestors from Europe, all the way across to the East coast, then south, and finally to the middle of Texas.

This is pretty impressive because he was born in Fort Worth, TX (at Edna Gladney). This DNA test shows his family's migration to the very place he was born. What's also neat about this thing is that it can connect you to people who share your DNA. This means for him that he may be able to connect with his birth family. He may already have started doing just that. Best $50 I ever spent.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Small Successes & New Year's Resolutions

As we move on to 2019, it's time to make a New Year's Resolution. In general, I suck at these, but I'm going to try again anyway because the idea of a new start at a new goal in a new year is irresistible to my one and only optimistic brain cell.

Thinking about what my resolution will be, I was thinking about all of the small successes I've had in 2018. I've begun trying to find success in the little things and not to let the small victories slip by unacknowledged. Maybe I'm becoming more sentimental as I get older. Maybe I'm just looking for anything to boost me up when my brain is constantly trying to drag me down.

In January, I began doing a Q&A a Day Journal. It asks you a question every single day of the year, for five years. So you answer the same question five times. I've completed every day this year. I'm really proud of that because I usually start things like this and don't follow through. I've followed through every day this year and plan to do so for four more.

In July, I went to a movie alone for the first time ever. Just a few weeks before my 40th birthday, I went to see Skyscraper with Dwayne Johnson. Granted, I was motivated by unhappiness at being home alone while Matt was in Branson, MO, having a good time without me. Turns out, he really wasn't actually having a good time, but that's neither here nor there.

In the October, I learned that I might actually like Baseball. I know this doesn't sound like much, but I've been pretty anti-baseball my whole life. I really did not like it and wouldn't give it a chance. I was reflecting to Matt about this tonight and he jokingly said, "I thought I would never see the World Series again."

In 2018, I've blogged more than in the previous two years. So, even though I only wrote 15 or so posts, I feel like it's an accomplishment over the previous, disappointing years.

Even though it's not much, just a few fairly unremarkable little things, for me, they were memorable during 2018. Gotta embrace the little things, right?

Okay, now for a 2019 New Year's Resolution (or two)...

I'm going to join my friend Jodi and commit to blogging, at least once a week. If I manage more, that's great, but I'm going to strive for just one post a week. 52 posts in a year is a totally reasonable goal.

I'm also going to dedicate myself to doing at least 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation a day, at leat 5 days per week. I've been using the Calm app and it's amazing. I don't always make time for the meditations, but I love the sleep stories. They put me right to sleep in the best way. I couldn't love them more. I also use the breathing tool, which helps with guided breathing and really helps to calm me down. Now, I want to start doing the meditations more regularly.

That does it for me this year... Happy New Year, y'all!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

An (Accidental) Compliment

A couple of weeks ago, I was preparing to go to an event for my job. I work at home and don't get out much, so going to a work event was making me quite nervous. I was a little bit nervous about the 2+ hour drive, but more than anything I was nervous about coming face-to-face with people who, until now, I had only met mostly over the internet.

My darling man, trying his best to pep talk me, said: "I don't know why you're so nervous, you're smart and charismatic, you'll be fine!"

Wait, what? He thinks I'm charismatic?

This may not really seem like anything. In fact, you'd think him calling me smart would have been more of a compliment than charismatic, but I know I'm smart. Despite many struggles, including a very powerful case of dyslexia, I'm damn smart. But, charismatic? I've never felt charismatic and no one has ever called me charismatic... until now.

I don't think he was trying to compliment me, so much as he was trying to remind me about my virtues. But, I've been thinking about the compliment ever since. My brain just can't seem to let go of it, so I'm obsessing (thank to my anxiety, pretty normal for me). Unable to resist, I asked him about it the other day and he said that yes, he thinks I'm charismatic. I wasn't fishing for another compliment, I promise, I was mostly trying to verify that he really felt that way.

Thing is, I've always felt so awkward and there are moments when I literally have zero idea what to say. None, no idea. And sometimes, I fumble through interactions, then want to crawl under my desk and die of humiliation. Then again, maybe I'm not so much awkward as my anxiety tells me I am. Either way, charismatic is a strong compliment. Matt's the best! ♥

Monday, December 24, 2018

Coffee and a Classic: Great Expectations

As a part of my Christmas present, my darling man ordered me 3 months of Coffee and a Classic. It's a subscription box service that allows you to choose between a classic novel, classic non-fiction, or classic children's book. You also get to choose between coffee, cocoa, or tea. I knew about this particular gift because he asked me about it before ordering. He let me choose which category and which beverage. Then he put in my email address wrong and getting it fixed was an adventure. They have great customer service who got back to us really quickly and were able to fix the gaffe in record time!

So, my first box came today and, oh my goodness, it's amazing. I couldn't be more pleasantly surprised if I tried. It's wonderful! I kind of expected just a book and some cocoa. This box was packed with goodies.

The December book is Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. The edition they sent is so lovely, it's got a silky blue cover. A couple of years ago, my best friend bought me Bram Stoker's Dracula from the same collection, so I knew these books were beautiful. It's such a lovely collectors book.

I read this book in high school, and haven't again since, but Matt recently read it. He really seems to enjoy Victorian literature, which is an interesting facet of his personality. His choice reading is usually business books and fantasy/historical fantasy, so the fact that he also loves classics is great. Now that I've gotten this book, I have every reason to give it another read. I'd forgotten how long it is!

The cocoa in the box is hot buttered rum flavor. I turned the package over and it's actually a white powder, I can't wait to try it. I drink so much cocoa these days (with creamer, a sort of Utah thing that I wish I had discovered years ago!).

The lovely wooden engraved book mark was in the bottom of the box and I just about missed it. I was reading the insert that came with the box when I noticed I'd not seen the book mark. I thought it was missing. So glad it's not, I just love it!

The beautiful cooper colored mug in the box was extremely hard to photograph because it's reflective. But, I did my best. It still managed to reflect my phone, but I think I managed to get a pretty good shot. It's so lovely in person. I absolutely adore the little Victorian scene.

There was a little whoopie pie in the box when it came, but I'm a little embarrassed to say that after taking a picture of the treat, I sort of, kind of ate it. I love that it's branded to fit the title... Miss Havisham's Wedding Cake was delicious!

The ornament in the box is a wood slice with Gads Hill Place, the country home of Charles Dickens on the front. On the back, it's got the name of the house. I put it on my Christmas tree and after Christmas will probably hang it on my desk.

The last thing in the box was Dickens themed wax melts. The packaging is so lovely, but they're too strongly scented like cinnamon for me to burn them. Ever since I was 20 years old and drank too much Aftershock (we're talking the whole bottle, and not the small one, either), I can't stomach anything that smells too much like cinnamon.

I'm just going to leave them in their packaging, which is just lovely, and keep them closed up. And who knows, maybe I will decide to risk it and burn one of the cubes... maybe.

All in all, this gift was a serious win. I've gotten other subscription boxes--Ipsy, FabFitFun, Lootcrate--but none of them have been half as me as this box is. If the next two months are even half as good as this one has been, we will definitely be renewing. Have I mentioned that I absolutely love it?!

Oh, one last thing... this is in no way a paid advertisement. I just love this thing so much, I wanted to share!