Congratulate her.

I didn’t want to make this about women. Because just about everyone we see everyday is working hard to create something. But lately some women in my life have just been hitting the ball out of the park. They’re amazing, and I don’t think they get enough credit, and more importantly, women do not encourage women. Women tend to be not only self deprecating, but also more judgemental of other women than they are of men. We have inherent biases that keep us from congratulating, and really truly and vocally encouraging other women in our lives.

 

So today, I am congratulating all of them. The “hers” in my life that inspired this post. Without specifically naming them, lest I divulge something that they didn’t wish should be posted online, and also for fear of forgetting any one of the “hers”; I will simply be alluding to them and what I think is so great about them. In an era where we are very obviously regressing in this great country, voting into power someone who is not only openly disrespectful toward us, but undoubtedly will take measures to make our lives more difficult than they already are as women, I think we, and our supportive male allies are our biggest hope for progress.

 

To the ones who are successfully running their own businesses – taking what they love to the next level – animals, food, photography, writing. You are bringing what you love, to others in your own unique light – organizing workshops ¬†to engage people, doing interviews with people for projects that you’ll eventually release and will be a raging success, writing to engage children, getting children to engage with abused animals, sharing your recipes for food and for success – you are doing wonders for the human race using things that you love. You are brave to do this, and to not stick with something that only gets you a steady paycheck without nurturing your soul. Take that, and run with it onto braver things!

 

To the ones who are pursuing degrees or studying for a milestone exam – You are working hard, and it is visible. You have voiced how LONG you have been doing this, and you’re ready for it to be over. It will be over. Soon. And you’ll emerge victorious ;), brave, and successful, and you’ll have that job or that degree, and it’ll be amazing. Just brave on, a little more. You can do it. You’re amazing.

 

To the ones who are teaching – I can think of noone more qualified mentally and emotionally to impart wisdom to the next generation. (Old, much?) Yours is a difficult job, and one that you do well. Yours is the most valuable role in society. It shames me to think that all I do all day is sit at a computer writing code that will only ever so slightly REALLY impact a living, breathing soul in a meaningful way.

 

To those getting married as I write this ūüėȬ†– The wedding is for others, the marriage is for you. You have been so much more patient, accepting, and loving throughout the preparations than I was for my wedding. You are so involved, and you want to make everyone happy. That is f*cking EXHAUSTING, and you are doing an amazing job. I wish I had your strength, your beauty, and your grace. I hope your weddings are wonderful, and I hope your marriages are STELLAR!

 

To women in tech – Much as I love and support you, I think there is enough material about you already. So I am leaving you out of this one. This is about the non #femgineers in my life who are beyond amazing, and we do not talk about enough.

 

For those people who have talked insecurities with me, and I have shared mine with them. It is hard to remember how superbly wonderful you are in ALL other facets of life, than the one you’re insecure about, when you’re feeling like crap. But every time you find yourself engrossed in that one small slice of the pie, come back to this post, and remember that someone thinks that you are successful, wonderful, beautiful, and LOVED. AND you are drop dead gorgeous! Nobody’s life is what it appears on social media, and everyone wishes they had something that YOU have.¬†So, walk like that, talk like that, and BE that way!

 

To all these amazing girls – your work, your choices, your souls, – a pinch of each one, blended together is a beautiful seasoning that makes you your own unique form of rare. So even though I just made you sound like a well seasoned steak, I think every one of you is a wonderful human being, acing all walks of life, and breathing life into a race that is slowly and surely writing itself off to technology and bad voting decisions. I congratulate you, and I thank you for being my friends!

 

Love, Your Cardboard box

“Where’s your Father?” I ask him, slightly tilting my own head in anticipation of hid head tilt.

Our sweet boy looks at Karan and then goes bounding toward his father like a ball gaining momentum on stairs. If there is a ball or a favorite toy in the path from starting point to Father, an abrupt stop is made to take it along as a precious offering of love, or to just say “Throw the ball for me please!”.

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Father and Son.

Kahlua has always been good at recognizing his “people”. He knew to turn to Nandu, my roommate and sister, his other mother, back in Tallahassee when asked “Where’s Nandu?”, but never without a head tilt.

He knew “Michelle”.

He knows “Lisa”, our car.

He knows “Piggy”, his now mute Green Pig that brings him immense joy. He knows every ball, every toy and his “Throne.”

But ironically, he does not know his “Mother”. It is actually very comical. The one human being who has been a constant hovering annoyance in his life ever since he could learn to reason, he does not know.

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I don’t know my “Mother”.

What’s even funnier is he recently learned that his “Mother” is a cardboard box.

Karan sat him down and asked him repeatedly, “Where’s your Mother?”. After about the second or third time with me anxiously standing by, hoping for a big bounding ball of love to come my way; our child lifted his front right paw, and placed it confidently on a cardboard box.

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“Mother?”

 

Oxytocin flooded my bloodstream anyway, and I laughed. I hugged and kissed our child which is my reaction to just about anything he does anyway.I know he knows I am his mom, but it is very funny that his “Mother” is a cardboard box.

And I know that he knows that his cardboard box and his “Father” will always love him, take care of his every need, brush his teeth, feed him, pick him up when he is too scared to walk, tickle him, give him belly rubs, take him to the vet, and do everything do give him a full, happy, loving life.

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Trained?

Growing up in India I had a love-fright relationship with dogs. (Pick your jaw up. We all grow up only at 30, and sometimes never.) These changes were not frequent, but depended on those around me, and of course on the dog itself. (No matter how much you love them, always make an informed approach, or no approach.) If there was a person in my close and constant surroundings that was extremely scared of dogs, somehow being the fool that I am, I would be scared too. Remove this person from my surroundings, and this would eventually change to my default state – I love you dog. I don’t care what flea bitten, diseased situation you come from – you must be loved.

Anyway, a question I heard a little too often (I attribute some of these occurrences to myself too), was “Is he/she trained?”.

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Who’s askin?

Now as a pet parent my instinct lies in responding with “to/for?”. Until I raised my very own bundle of crazy I never realized that maybe what the people in my land are trying to ask the dog community in general every time they stop of their members¬†is, “Is he/she tame?”

A dog can be trained to Sit, Stay, Hug (yes, my fabulous boy knows how to Hug is parents), Roll over, Search and to Rescue. Which subset of these is the right answer¬†to “Is he/she trained?” When is a dog considered “trained” enough for that answer to be “Yes”?

But is he/she¬†tame? ¬†India has a lot of stray dogs. They are much less now since awareness about Spay/Neuter and Rescue is very prevalent, and many groups are working tirelessly to increase this awareness, and to increase adoptions. So it is most likely that a dog on the street who has a human leashed to him/her is tame. He/she may or may not know any commands, in which case yes maybe some training is in order, but this dog is tame. And I think this is where the confusion of tame/trained stems from. It’s even more confusing that many strays are tame. Many strays are also “trained” meaning they know one or two commands atleast.

Is your dog child “trained”?

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Adopted, Tame, Trained, Spoiled, and Loving it!

Fun little confusing question! I have to say we humans sometimes are neither tame, nor are we trained to do anything useful. In Dwight Schrute’s words “We need a new Plague.”

 

{Photo Non Sunday} The case of the missing Grumpus Maximus

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We have missed two Photo Sundays and we are sorry! We will also be missing this next one. June and July are turning out to be pure insanity but we do have lots of pupdates! We will have them to you soon! In the meanwhile, have a great long weekend, stay safe and keep all paws indoors during the fireworks!

Easy Peasy spa recipe

Who doesn’t love a good scrub? (if you said yes, we need to talk.) Everyone does. But I learned a few months ago, that I don’t need to spend as many dollars as “they” put on their price tags. Every healthy ingredient I need to feel special, is right in my kitchen. (This is true on so many levels!)

And Pinterest has an opulence of great ideas. Follow me on Pinterest here if you like.

I loosely followed this recipe, but I did not want to make quite as much, plus I did not want to cube the scrub. I used about 1/3rd the ingredients, and was done in about 10 minutes. That website has some fun twists to the flavors though. I once also made a Lavender-Vanilla body scrub with pure Croatian Lavender that turned out great. Warning: These scrubs will make your bathing area slippery, so be careful.

What you will need –

1/2 tbsp coconut oil Р Really, coconut oil has so many good qualities. I feed some to Kahlua everyday. It is good for my skin and hair too.It is worth its own google search.

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 to 1/3rd tbsp shredded soap – I used the Trader Joes honey and oatmeal bar soap and grated it like cheese. This turned out perfect for me, because that particular bar sop made my skin really dry. It is also pretty scentless, so I did not enjoy it as it is.

1 tsp maple syrup РI used a local syrup from the Catskills area. I got it at a distillery the fiance and I visited earlier this year. 

All the good stuff!

All the good stuff!

What you do –

1. Heat the shredded soap and coconut oil in the microwave stopping to stir every 10 seconds until the soap melts into the oil. The picture below is before I started heating the mixture.

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2. Add in the sugar and the maple syrup and mix well.

3. Allow to cool and transfer to your favorite container. Mine is an ugly one, but yours need not be. I get the good ones at the World Market for a dollar!

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4. Enjoy.. my gosh my hands feel so exfoliated right now!

Oh by the way, it smelled so good, someone came to see what was cooking!

20150102_182320I bought this whipped butter soap and rose petal soap at Etsy, and now with my scrub, I have my own little spa, and I did not spend insane amounts of money on it! Be sure to visit Fairbubbles on Etsy!

All the good stuff!

All the good stuff!

It’s your birthday? Wait, let me unfriend you.

It’s no secret I have a few bones to pick with social media, and technology in general despite being born and brought up by computer science.My qualms about social media, technology, and all the various gadgets that are the evil spawn of computer science were¬†well reinforced by my friend’s blog post on appreciation today. Look at what she has to say, it’s really cool! And don’t¬†forget to Like Pitbull WorldWide¬†on Facebook.

When did a chip become something other than that you dip and enjoy? When did a cookie become something non- ahoy ? And when did a tablet become something that you glare at and develop a characteristic squint, rather than something white and bitter that comes in a blue wrapping that you wash down with water to control a fever ?

It’s not all too bad though. Although I know that if it came to it, I CAN find my way from point A to point B, a part of me is thankful for that sexy lady voice that says “In one hundred feet, your destination will be on the right”. And just yesterday Retail Me Not saved me 20% at Kohls. So .. okay. It’s how the cookie crumbles, right ? Not what it stores in your browser ?

Speaking of privacy, do you ever have this feeling that you have WAY too many Facebook friends ? I do. And what’s more unfortunate is most of them are ¬†acquaintances. Who need not know what is happening with me. Yeah I know that FB has had an “Acquaintances” list built in for a while now complete with the one privacy option that allows you to Show This to Friends Except Acquaintances. Genius. But you have to designate Random Person X as Acquaintance, and you need to have the presence of mind to do this when you accept their friend request (because face it, you are never going to go back and do it later). And THEN, FB will go ahead and tweak their settings in a small, inconspicuous manner so as to reveal ALL your deepest darkest secrets on your Timeline to said acquaintance. So, why are you airing your dirty laundry on your Timeline, you ask. I don’t. But there are enough stupid people out there who do.

Anyway, I keep straying from my point which is this – I realize that I have someone totally unnecessary on my list only when I see their birthday alert. And my brain says to me – Damn girl, why has this person got ANY insight into your life at all ? And my urge is to unfriend them. But come on, it’s their birthday! There is a good chance that they’ve already blocked all my updates anyway because MOST of them are about dogs that need rescuing, or that are up for adoption, or my own dog because he is bloody gorgeous. But what if they haven’t ? Then one day after they turned ‘old’ they won’t be seeing all these awesome updates of my oh so exciting life and realize that I unfriended them. AND they’re ‘old’. Mess, yes ?

So i’ll make a mental note to do it another day. And then like all the other notes that are mental and not on my smart phone, or my calendar this one too finds it’s way into a black hole of forgetfulness and general stupidity that comes from owning a smart phone.What makes this whole birthday thing worse is that I can’t really post a Facebook Status Update about it, even on a day when I do not see an alert, because it’s SOMEONE’s birthday that day. When you combine the probability of having atleast one birthday from among 494 people on a given day , with Murphy’s Laws, you will have pissed atleast ONE person off.

So, the list grows from 494 upwards and the trauma is endless. The social pressure builds. Do I want to break the cycle ?Would you ?

Would you unfriend someone ON THEIR BIRTHDAY ?

ADOPTABLE MIDNIGHT, horrified at the thought of unfriending someone on their birthday!

ADOPTABLE MIDNIGHT, horrified at the thought of unfriending someone on their birthday! Contact cauzicanfl@gmail.com for more information.

I found blood and I saw stars

“You need another boarding pass.”

“Wait, but I have this one…look.”

“Haha, silly girl, no you need another for your next flight. And here, grab those bags and put them over here. ” … “Foreigners!”

I joined the meandering queue for a boarding pass. Damn it, ¬†Mumbai airport, why couldn’t you just print em all for me ? Because, well, you’re Mumbai airport.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Airport, some ungodly hour on August 11th, 2008. I had almost arrived at my new life. The 16 hour plane ride from Mumbai to New York’s JFK had been my first ever flight..in life. It was also my first ever close, and seemingly never ending encounter with loud Indian children with semi-american accents and overflowing airplane toilets. (Note to all potential international travelers – try to not use the bathroom for the last few hours. Regulate your intake. It’s possible.)

Boarding pass in hand, I exclaimed and swore hard because I was a mere 15 minutes from take off in a major international airport I’d never seen before. I have a Dad that explains everything diagrammatically and Google maps everything before visiting. Unfortunately for me, he gave birth to a girl who listens selectively. So now, sink, or swim.

5 years later today, I know this airport like the back of my hand. I know you can take the plane train to cross concourses and not try and make a mad dash using your almost atrophied from 20 plus hours of travel and dehydration, muscles.

Sure, I missed my flight.

Was I going to sleep over at the airport ? – hell no.

“Excuse me, could you help me ? I missed my final leg. Is there another flight I could get on?”.

“No ma’am we are full, you can have a $6 food coupon”

<<And stuff it where ?>>

“Please, I’m a student. I’ve never been to a foreign country before. I’m scared and alone” <<And I also have crocodile tears to prove it.>>

Sink, or swim ?

“Ok, calm down, let me see what I can do.”

Sink, or swim ?

“Looks like we have an opening for the 9:00 pm one.”

SWIM.

At 10:30 that night, I arrived in Tallahassee. A city I had no idea I would fall in such pure, unadulterated love with. A city that would give me so much to be thankful for, and so many people to love and live for.

Today’s daily prompt asks this:

Tell us about a time when you were left on your own, to fend for yourself in an overwhelming situation ‚ÄĒ on the job, at home, at school. What was the outcome?

While I do not consider this being left to fend off for myself, It was overwhelming at first – to come ¬†to a nation unknown, one which does everything exactly opposite, drinks their coffee differently, drives on the other side of the road and the car, expects different mannerisms yet embraces people as different as me; to build a life that I call my own, and mine alone. But the fear of the unknown, the learning process, and the experience of learning to accept people and things around you, and make them yours to love, has been wholesome. I could never have learned to swim like this, ¬†if I hadn’t just picked up and moved, 10,000 miles away from a life that used to be mine.

 

No Shit! {Reasons to Pick up after your Dog}

Have you read that funny bit about how if aliens were watching us and saw us humans lift and bag the excrement of our dear dear fur children they’d think that they’re actually the superior species ? News Flash! They are the superior species. In every way. This shouldn’t be reason enough to leave it lying around.

Green Bag image courtesy http://notesfromadogwalker.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/dog-poop-bags.jpg

Green Bag image courtesy http://notesfromadogwalker.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/dog-poop-bags.jpg

So, why deal with this crap on a daily basis ? I have a few theories!

Dogs eat each other’s output materials. And that is how most diseases are transmitted. Virus, bacteria, intestinal parasites and other worms jump from pup to pup through the poop. It is cheaper and less painful for everyone to just invest in some bags and pick up after our¬†dogs. Pick up bags are easily available at most pet and home stores. If not, your grocery store¬†shopping¬†bags will suffice ¬†too. If you are more of a paperbag person, that is great, but one odd large shopping trip can be done using the plastics to load up on¬†your pick up bags. Now, if that has not scared you enough, you know the disease transmittal and all to your furkid, and you’re usually more frightened by things that can harm you as opposed to those that can harm¬†your pup then we can’t be friends and why are you reading my blog, but there are “crapbourne” diseases ¬†that are contagious to you from you pup too. All ears? Read up on Giardia.

Sidebar: I realize that it can be argued that I’m being environment unfriendly by encouraging the use of plastic bags to pick up droppings that are perfectly biodegradable and natural and all that other good stuff- but those droppings contain microbes that will¬†eventually result in heavy water pollution and cause disease like I’ve already explained. With Florida’s rains and flash floods, it is not uncommon for ¬†water bodies to be contaminated by pet waste run off. So recycle extra or do whatever you need to do including purchasing biodegradable pet waste bags if you can afford¬†to, but pick it up.

Your daily bag of crap can tell you if your dog needs medical attention. Inconsistency, presence of foreign materials or blood, odor etc.. It’s all there. Pay attention ¬†to this $hit! It can tell you about your dog’s health. Many vets will accept these as fecal samples. So if you notice anything strange, be sure to drop some off at your Vet’s office the same day. (Some tests need to be done within a few minutes¬†and this won’t work.)

Next – just plain civic sense. Would you want to step in something? No? Others don’t either. Nor do their dogs. Well.. that might be questionable but really how would you feel if your dog went and rolled in another dog’s output and then you had a stinky mutt you needed to wash right before you had to go to work on a hurried weekday morning?

{That ain’t enough – give me more.} Well – you can be fined.¬† And why shouldn’t you be? Practically every place that you are allowed to take your leashed, well behaved dog, and also the local dog park is equipped with pet waste stations. Your tax dollars pay for all this. Use it. As for apartment complexes – these too have waste stations. Your pet fee funds these. Use them.

Leon County’s Animal Control Ordinances have a specific mention of waste removal

Sec. 4-43. Removal of animal waste.permanent link to this piece of content

(a)

It shall be unlawful for any owner of an animal to fail to remove any feces deposited by his or her animal on public walks, recreation areas, public streets, or private property other than the premises of the owner of the animal.

(b)

This section shall not apply to disabled persons accompanied by a service animal used for assistance in accordance with the law.

Penalties for violations, as per the ordinance are $50,  $100 and $250 for a 1st, 2nd and 3rd violation respectively. Please look up your county ordinances for these numbers but these should give you a general idea.  Just to put things in perspective,  a box of 700 pick up bags costs on amazon costs $14.99. These are not biodegradable though.

That is all I have but I hope it is enough.

My quest for the image of a big green bag brought me to this wonderful article on being a dog walker. My favorite line is “Bad moods evaporate on impact.”.

Bonus for making it through my very pedagogical, self righteous rant РSnag some fun tips for a vacay with your furkid in Florida!

We made one such trip yesterday. Check out adoptable Debow enjoying the beach with his beach buds!

Debow's first trip to the beach. Will you be his forever home that takes him to more ?

Debow’s first trip to the beach. Will you be his forever home that takes him to more ?

Born to retrieve (Melon and KMan are already in their forever homes)

Born to retrieve (Melon and KMan are already in their forever homes)

Seeing double

How many black labs can you spot?

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Little adoptable Sasha came to spend the day with us today. Yes I am getting a reputation for running a bed and breakfast for black homeless dogs.

Sasha will be going to Lab Rescue of Florida most likely but I know that if her Foster mom can see her find a great home closeby, she’d be elated! So I decided to share some pictures.

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She is funny! Her Foster mom termed this as ‘half assing’ ūüôā I could tell she wanted to be on the couch but also chase Kahlua.

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Sasha butt! It is funny how this girl selected the same spots that Midnight used to select in this house, including walking all over me and specially stepping on my very full bladder with a vehemently wagging tail and half a toy in my face.

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We have a couch for every dog that visits or stays here. Not necessarily for every human.

Well, the dogs played and tired each other out. At some point every human and canine existence that belongs or was visiting here,  was  fast asleep occupying whatever comfortable surface was available.

It was a true Sunday!

Email cauzicanfl@gmail.com if you think you can be that awesome home that little Sasha needs.