The love of an animal -HaliPawz

dogs, neapolitan mastiff, laying down
dog, mastiff, lying down

Waiting for Grandma

This is the door leading to my mom’s room. We had just come downstairs ourselves and I sat on the couch to search social media.  I heard the click of the brake on my mom’s walker so I knew she was up and moving around.

Bella, my Neapolitan Mastiff, must have heard the click as well because all of a sudden I heard the thump thump thump of her tail hitting my hardwood floor.  She gets so excited when my mom is around.  When my mom comes out first thing in the morning Bella does a polite excitement.  I love it.  Her whole body will wiggle, she spins a little.  She’ll mouth my mom’s hand (which is on the walker) softly until my mom says “no”.  She never pushes her or jumps on her like she sometimes does to greet others.  It’s as if she knows she cannot handle it.  Once my mom is seated, Bella will be right in front of her, tail wagging.  My mom will pat her on the head, say “I love ya Bella” and then sometimes the whole interaction is over.  Bella goes on her way.  I don’t even think my mom has realized this daily ritual between the two.

It’s not just the mornings.  Bella will greet her with a toy if my mom has gone into her room to use the restroom.  Bella will wait until she’s seated and bring a toy, usually a long stuffed animal or her long rope toy.  My mom will take it and, with her arthritic hands and shoulders, attempt to throw it.  It never goes very far but Bella doesn’t care. She’ll jump like she’s getting ready for a major sprint and pounce on it, grab it, and bring it back.  It only lasts one or two throws and then Bella, content, will walk away with it and lay on the ottoman.  It never ends that quickly when I’m throwing it for her!

So here we are. My mom will be out soon. Bella is waiting patiently for her. She has moved from being over by me to taking the spot in front of the door. She will be the first one to say good morning!

With Bella’s size, she doesn’t get to interact with my mom as much as Zipper does.  Zipper is small, he can jump up next to her. Bella has found her own way to share time with my mom.  She has found her own way to work into her heart. The love of an animal knows no age or disability.

If you like this and want to stay up to date with my posts, follow me on Twitter @HaliPawz  or Like me on Facebook.com/HaliPawz 

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When the box is more fun than the contents – HaliPawz

Priceless

Spend money on dog toys, dog chooses box instead

My dogs love cardboard.  Zipper, my Jack Russell, will rip open any box he can sink his teeth into in order to see if there is anything in the box for him.  I have ordered toys from the Horseloverz auction for them.  When the box arrived, I put it off to the side and got busy with other things.  I left the house, came home, only to find the box open and two of the dog toys destroyed already!

Bella, my Neapolitan Mastiff, doesn’t seem to care about the toys, instead, she has a love of cardboard boxes.  She will snag any piece of cardboard she can and walk around with it like it’s the best toy she has ever been given.

I love my fur babies.  It is never a dull moment with them around!

If you like this and want to stay up to date with my posts, follow me on Twitter @HaliPawz  or Like me on Facebook.com/HaliPawz 

Why isn’t Ruby Tuesday busier? – HaliPawz

I used to travel a lot for work.  One thing I learned was the importance of consistency with restaurants.  After working all day and spending multiple days in a city, you start to find yourself not willing to try a new local restaurant, you want one of your old reliable(s) because you know what you are going to get.  Depending on what city I was in, I would have one or two “go to” restaurants.  Sadly, I even ordered the same thing from them usually.  Over time, you begin to know which restaurants are very consistent with their quality and tastes and which ones might be hit or miss.  Let’s face it, when you’re tired, eating in restaurants every day, and have been away from home for a few days in a row, you just want something you know and like.  One restaurant I came to know to be pretty consistent is Ruby Tuesdays.  One thing I noticed from town to town, even here in Kansas City, is the restaurant is never packed.  It makes me wonder, Why isn’t Ruby Tuesday a busier restaurant?

My mom and I went out to dinner tonight and we decided to go to Ruby Tuesdays.  I gave her a choice of three and let her pick.  I tried to pick places I knew wouldn’t be too busy for a Saturday night but would still have good food.  We went to the location in North Kansas City, but I can speak confidently about that one and the one in Independence.

I want to talk about some of the facts, based on MY experience……

    • I have never encountered poor service.  Just the opposite really.  It must be a decent restaurant to work at because everyone always seems friendly.  I have laughed over one thing or another with a waiter.  Take tonight for example, I was drinking my typical Coke with Lemon and she brought me another drink with a new straw still in the wrapper.  She asked me something, probably about the food, and as I was answering her, I opened the new straw then chuckled a little and said I didn’t know why I opened the new straw.  She genuinely laughed with me and said she didn’t know why she brought me a new straw!  I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s the little moments you come to appreciate.
Ruby Tuesday Salad Bar     Photo by TripAdvisor.com

Ruby Tuesday Salad Bar Photo by TripAdvisor.com

      • Their salad bar is one of the best around!  I LOVE their salad bar.  I can not say enough good things about it.  Everything is always fresh.  I have never seen a dirty salad bar at any location I have gone to.  The dressings I have tried always have flavor to them.  Their croutons are amazing.  I can honestly say, if they aren’t my favorite croutons from a restaurant, they are in my top three.  The quality of the salad bar is very consistent in every state and every location I have ever been in.  The only thing I have ever encountered was one location, I can’t remember where, was out of croutons on the bar.  I mentioned it to the waiter.  Not only were they refilled immediately, the waiter brought me a small dish of them for the salad I was eating.
Ruby Tuesday Salad Bar Photo by TripAdvisor.com

Ruby Tuesday Salad Bar Photo by TripAdvisor.com

  • Their menu has some hidden gems on it.  I changed the way I cooked my green beans at home because of the way Ruby Tuesday’s prepares them.  I finally asked someone what they were cooked in and how they were cooked and they told me.  I now brush my green beans with olive oil and grill them.  I even went out and bought a pan a few years ago just to grill green beans on my grill.  Since then, I have used the pan for other things, but it was originally purchased because of those green beans.  They also have white cheddar mashed potatoes that I love.  One of my favorite meals from their was their Asiago Peppercorn Sirloin.  I say was because one day I was torn between ordering my go-to and trying theirRibeye.  Ribeye is one of my favorite cuts of meat but I had always been happy with the sirloin from there.  The waiter, ever so helpful, pointed out I could order the Ribeye and have it prepared like the Asiago Peppercorn Sirloin.  Are you serious?!?!  I never even thought about it!  I have a new favorite!  My mom ordered the bourbon glazed pork chop tonight and it came out looking as good as the picture in the menu.  It smelled great and she said it was really good.  She said it was nice and tender.  It must have been because she ate more of her meal than it did.

    Ruby Tuesday Asiago Peppercorn Sirloin

    Ruby Tuesday Asiago Peppercorn Sirloin

  • That leads me to another point…..the portion sizes are good.  I always leave full when I eat there.  Tonight I even took home a small portion of my steak.  I was just too full to finish it.  Not only that, but the food actually has flavor but not so much fake flavor you lose the flavor of the actual item.
  • Their food prices are reasonable.  In addition, if you are like me and like to take advantage of savings, if you have a smart phone with the Retail Me Not app, type in Ruby Tuesdays and there is usually a Buy one meal, get one 50% off.  I use that coupon all the time when I eat there.  I tell the waiter and at the end of the meal, they ask to see the coupon and I show them the code.  I have never been made to feel awkward for using it or felt like the waiter was annoyed I was using it.  ****Just remember to tip them based on the amount BEFORE the discount.  You can also go online with a desktop or laptop and go to RetailMeNot.com and print the coupon ahead of time, but if you have a smart phone, it isn’t necessary to print it.  In doing some searches for this blog, I did find a Facebook group called Ruby Tuesday Coupons where they also have different coupons posted on there.
  • I do think their desserts are a little pricey for what you get.  I ordered the cupcakes once and wasn’t impressed.  I do like their Blondie dessert though, so if you’re not too full from your meal and want a huge dessert or one to share, you might want to consider it.
  • They are a full service bar.  I don’t usually order alcoholic drinks when I’m out.  I just don’t see the point in spending that much money.  I am completely against drinking and driving, I’m usually the driver, so again, I tend to avoid alcohol when I’m out to eat.  I have ordered their signature drink; Ruby Relaxer and it was really good.  According to their website, the drink is: “a mellow blend of Absolut Vodka with Cruzan Coconut Rum, peach schnapps, pineapple and cranberry juices, and fresh orange.”
  • They have these cheddar cheese biscuits they normally serve with the meals.  For some reason, now that I think about it, we didn’t get them tonight, but I didn’t think to ask why.
  • Their carry out service is pretty good as well.  I love the fact you can run in and make your salad and then grab the hot portion of your meal and head back out.  They do have prepared salads on their menu but I don’t know why anyone would choose that over making it yourself at their salad bar.  I’ve never tried it, but I’m sure you could just order a chicken breast by itself to add to your salad if that is all you want.  I know Outback will do that.  I used to do it for carry out all the time.  I’d just order their house salad with a 6 oz chicken breast.  Never hurts to ask if you are interested.
  • They are ADA Friendly.  There is usually enough spacing between tables for wheelchairs and walkers.  Just tonight, I noticed about three different families eating there where one member was in a wheelchair, plus my mom was there with the walker and even with her getting the salad bar, she is able to navigate it on her own.
  • Family Friendly, Meeting Friendly, Date Friendly, and Friend Gathering Friendly.  I wouldn’t say it is a romantic place, but I have actually had two different dates there.  One was even a first date.  I don’t think it should be understood the man pays so if he insists, I try to think of a restaurant centrally located between the two of us with good food and not too pricey.  Ruby Tuesday fits the bill.

So why isn’t it busier?  I’ve been thinking about this.  Perhaps people don’t understand what a hidden gem of a restaurant they are.  Are they the fanciest?  Absolutely not.  They are clean, they are simple.  They are like a neighborhood restaurant that just happens to nationwide.  I remember I didn’t go into one for the longest time because I thought it was a seafood restaurant.  I have no idea why, but I did.  Their logo, the little swoosh on the “s” in Tuesday made me think seafood.  I chalked it right up there with chains like Red Lobster, Applebees, etc, all of which I don’t go to.  I have never been impressed with the quality of their food.  As I don’t eat anything from the water, Red Lobster’s only alternative was a chewy chicken.  So, with this thinking, I stayed away until one day I decided to venture in and I am so glad I did.  I remember taking a friend there once and when we left, he admitted he had never eaten there before and it wasn’t what he thought it was.  I think we’ve been back two or three times after that.

To me, it is just a nice, relaxing, place to go and enjoy a decent meal at a decent price.  The only complaint I have about the locations in Kansas City is that they don’t have one close to me.  If they wanted to put one near Waldo, I would probably just bounce back and forth between them and Chipotle all the time!  Actually, I think Waldo demographics would be perfect for them.  They should consider it!

I encourage you to look to see if you have a Ruby Tuesday near you.  If you do, go check out what coupon would be the best for you, and then head out to try it.  I’d love to hear about your experience if you do.  Or, if you’re already a fan, drop a comment about what location and what you love about it!

Happy Eating everyone!

If you like this and want to stay up to date with my posts, follow me on Twitter @HaliPawz  or Like me on Facebook.com/HaliPawz 

The trip to the Kansas City Zoo takes a frustrating turn – HaliPawz

I love zoos. It’s a great way to get outdoors, go walking, and enjoy seeing all of the animals.  Great zoos aren’t just about keeping animals in captivity but about learning about them and striving to find a way to help those in the wild stay wild.  Mom is down visiting right now so we are headed to the Kansas City Zoo.  With her electric scooter, it’s a nice day outing and I think she enjoys the zoo as much as I do.

Growing up, we didn’t get to the zoo very often, it wasn’t close to us.  The Detroit Zoo was about an hour away and when I was young, that seemed so far away. Both me and my sister now live close to a zoo, she is near the Comunbus Zoo in Ohio.  I think my mom made it to four zoos last summer between us; Kansas City, Omaha, and Detroit with me, Columbus with her.

The Weather Channel App for Kansas City

The Weather Channel App for Kansas City

We arrived around 10am, two hours after the zoo opened. I couldn’t believe how many cars were here. A lot of buses were also in the parking lot.  The handicapped spaces were full, there isn’t a lot of them, so we went in search of a parking space.  Even though there isn’t a lot of handicapped parking, there is a large area for loading and unloading, so it isn’t necessarily a problem.  Mom had her scooter, so we could park pretty much anywhere as long as I had room to get it out of the back of the van. We ended up parking by the buses.

Mom forgot her hat so the first 20 minutes were spent going back and forth between her and the gift shop as I looked for a hat for her.  She prefers the crush-able fabric bucket hats but it seemed like they only had those in child size.  She didn’t want to come in with her scooter because it is sometimes difficult to navigate in there with it, especially when there is a lot of people.  While most of the park is ADA friendly, I will say the main gift shop near the entrance is sometimes difficult.  It has enough room for a wheelchair, so they are compliant, but, like we often see in stores, they don’t take into account someone with an electric scooter.  There are quite a few sharp twists and turns from that perspective.  I finally convinced her to come in and look at them.  She didn’t want the adult hats because they didn’t say “Kansas City Zoo” on them, so I found the largest size child’s hat they had and she purchased that.  I’m sad to say I didn’t get a picture of it because of what happened as the day progressed.

Giraffes and Kansas City Zoo

Giraffes and Kansas City Zoo

As we were going through the back half of the zoo, after we crossed the swinging bridge, I noticed I smelled a burning wire / electronic smell.  I thought perhaps it was just being in that area and ignored it.  As we crossed back over the swinging bridge to finish our African Adventure and grab a bite to eat, I noticed my mom was getting further away from me.  She keeps the speed pretty slow in general, but this was slower than normal.
We had lunch at Rafiki Restaurant right at the beginning of Africa.  I had shut off the scooter and removed the key while we sat at a table inside.  After our day, I hate to say something negative about the zoo, but I really have to.  I know you can bring in your own food but when for me, between traveling with everything my mom needs and the scooter, the last thing I want to worry about it packing a lunch and keeping it cold.  The food at the zoo just seems so overpriced for what you get.  The fries were good.   They were the nice thick crinkle ones.  The double cheeseburgers are $8 and so dry! I understand having to cook them well done, they might even purchase them pre-made, pre-cooked, I’m not sure, but my cheese didn’t even begin to melt.  Is the cheese too cold?  The burgers not hot enough?  It’s a little disappointing.  One way to save some money though is to have a Friends of the Zoo Membership (FOTZ).  You save money on food, items in the gift shop, etc.  If you purchase a large, refillable, souvenir cup for $8, you can get it refilled for $1.50 or $1.35 with the FOTZ membership.   They will refill it with ice water for no charge.

Pepsi, Orangutan Canopy

Kansas City Zoo Souvenir Cup

The cups are nice and large and for us, they fit in the basket of her scooter quite well.

After we finished eating, mom started the scooter back up, ready to enjoy the remainder of the day and head over to the new Orangutan Canopy Exhibit.  She pushed the lever and nothing happened.  I looked over and the scooter wasn’t moving.  Uh Oh, what’s going on.  I thought perhaps I forgot to re-engage the brakes, but it usually gives us an alert when we do that.  I had her shut it off, I checked it all over, had her start it up again, and again, nothing happened.  What is going on?  I have her hop back off it so I can try to figure it all out.  I pull the battery out, check all of the connections, put it back in, and try it again.  Still nothing.  I turn it on and leave it on for about sixty seconds, and a series of beeps start to come from the scooter.  I know those beeps mean something, so I turn it off and back on again so I can count the beeps.  9 beeps.  Pull the battery back out to cross reference what 9 beeps means.  INTERNAL ERROR!!!  Contact an authorized dealer!  Ugh!!!! I leave a message with Chuck from Chuck’s Mobility over in Lenexa, KS.  He is the one we had purchased it from.  I guess I should be happy that this happened in Kansas City and not in Michigan.

So here we are, stuck in the back of the zoo with a scooter that isn’t working.  I can’t push her all the way to the front.  Even if I went to get a replacement scooter, I still had to get the other scooter back to the van.  What a dilemma.

The restaurant is pretty busy, so I push mom out of the restaurant and head over to the gift shop.  They weren’t quite as busy so I asked the associate if she could contact someone in guest relations to figure out if they had a solution.  She was so helpful.  She was able to reach someone and they were sending EMS out to help us out.  I didn’t really feel like we needed EMS because it wasn’t an emergency, mom was fine, maybe a little frustrated, but fine.  EMS arrived and after a few minutes discussing the problem, we came up with a solution.  He was going to take mom in his cart, we were going to lift the scooter into the back of his unit, and he called for another person with a golf cart to give me a ride.  They were extremely helpful.  I can not thank all the parties involved and the Kansas City Zoo for their quick and effective help in a very frustrating situation.

While we didn’t get to see everything we wanted to see, now we just have an excuse to go back sooner once the scooter is back in commission and a reason to compliment the zoo even more!

Additional Note about the Scooter

Chuck called me back and I ran the scooter over to him.  He called me back after talking to the manufacturer and they believe the mother board is damaged.  A new one is on it’s way and Chuck will replace it as soon as he gets it.  If anyone is in the Kansas City area and in need of a scooter rental, a scooter purchase, or any mobility needs, Chuck is a great resource.  I have rented two scooters from him before we purchased mom’s last year and we have had nothing but great service from him.  The mother board is just a fluke and not a common problem.  We will be happy to have it back and her rolling again!

Mom on Scooter at Omaha Zoo Summer 2014

Mom on Scooter at Omaha Zoo Summer 2014

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Reluctant to stay, ready to go, why we are our own worst enemies when it comes to dating – HaliPawz

dogs, flowers, relationships

I believe, as we get older, dating becomes a chore, not something we cherish.  I’m 40 and HATE dating now.  When I was younger, I was quick to go on a date or even, yes, gasp, do the “hook up” with someone.  The thrill of getting to know him, the thrill of the anticipation, it was all so much fun.  I might have even been a serial dater over the years, if you want to get right down to it.  It doesn’t mean I didn’t want the relationship, I did, often it would just be with the wrong guy.  Those stories will have to come another day though, trust me, some of them are pretty funny.  The thing I find interesting now is how quick people are to just walk away when the person doesn’t seem “perfect” but they can’t seem to understand perfect doesn’t exist because we are humans, we evolve over time, our thinking changes, our priorities change.  My “perfect man” in my twenties is no where near who I would consider my “perfect man” now that I am 40.  It’s ok!  Could you imagine if we never changed?  If our thoughts and ideas stayed the same every year.  I know I would be a little scared.  The thing is, today, it seems like everyone is reluctant to stay in a relationship, they are ready to go out the door, and that is why I say we are our own worst enemies when it comes to dating.

Young love, as in the two people are young, is simple.  We aren’t hung up on all the BS we seem to get hung up on as we get earlier.  The fighting is because one didn’t call the other enough or they fight over who loves who more, ahhhh to be that simple again.

Young love, as in the relationship is new, when you’re older takes a whole new meaning.  We have to juggle our friends, will they like him or not, because, let’s face it, they have been around a lot longer than he has, so they aren’t going anywhere.  Not once do we think, hey, they are as old as me, they are single still, is their opinion of him out of love and concern for us or out of jealousy and spite because you met someone and she didn’t?  Yes, it does happen.  We worry about our family liking him.  I know my family is used to my “flavor of the week” from my past, so when they are introduced to a new guy, they don’t really give him much thought right away.  Their typical comment is, if you like him, we’ll be nice to him.  I love my family for thinking like that, but it also makes me laugh.  I haven’t done the “flavor of the week” in over 12 years, but they still think of me like that, so I let them.  Honestly, living so far away makes it easier.  I try not to talk about any new guy and don’t bring them home to meet them unless something big is going on and I really like him.  We have to juggle our work, social life, family, and new relationship.  It isn’t as easy when you’re older.  You like doing things with your friends or family, so dropping everything to go out with your new guy, especially if you aren’t 100% sure about him, isn’t as enticing to you.  When you’re young (in age) you’ll drop everything to go hang out with him.  Then there is HIS mentality as well.  If he’s been single for a while too, it’s even worse.  He doesn’t understand why you want him to forgo hanging out with the guys to spend time with you.  Yes, it’s a little hypocritical, because you don’t want to do it either, but we won’t talk about that!   How do two people every get together over the age of 35?  Add young children, which I don’t have to worry about, into the mix and it gets even tougher I’m sure.  Maybe not though, maybe those with children are used to changing their plans on the spur of the moment.  Maybe it’s just us single people with no kids who get so set in our ways.

I have watched a show on A&E called Married At First Sight.  If you haven’t seen it, I want to give you a little snapshot of the premise.  Four experts, a psychologist; Dr. Joseph Cilona, who, for the record is a very attractive man, I think A&E should feature him even more, or just do a show where he does the majority of the talking.  I don’t know why, but I love listening and watching him talk.  No wonder he’s so successful, his patient’s would keep coming back to listen to his hypnotizing voice!  But I digress, back to the show.  The other three experts; relationship expert and professor of sociology, Dr. Pepper Schwartz, relationship expert and sexologist, Dr. Logan Levkoff, and religious adviser, Greg Epstein.  These four go through a crazy amount of applicants looking for love and choose six people to participate in the show.  They pair them up and the three couples have to get legally married to each other without knowing a single thing about their new spouse.  They don’t know their name, their likes, their dislikes, any of the information us single people try to get to know before we are even willing to set up a date!  Now, one thing I will say is, it doesn’t appear like the experts match them up for television drama like so many reality television shows do.  It appears like they give it a lot of thought and truly want the three couples to make the marriage a success.  In the first season, the couples met again at the end of 30 days to say whether they want to stay married or get a divorce.  It appears the experts learned from a few mistakes and now, the couple gets married, goes on a honeymoon, then comes back and has to live together for four weeks, so in total, it is about six weeks they are together and then meet to say whether they want to stay married or get a divorce.  In the second season, the experts also plan time to meet with the couples throughout the time frame, so they aren’t just left alone navigating the marriage waters.  GREAT CHANGES in my opinion.  It makes sense they want the marriages to be successful.  Imagine what it would do to the dating world?  What they, as experts in the relationship field, could learn from the social experiment and use in their individual practices could be priceless.  In the first season, two couples stayed married and went on to continue filming their first year together.  One couple chose to divorce.  The second season is still airing, so we don’t know yet who will make it and who won’t, if any.  I’ll be sure to post an update when it finishes!

One of the things I noticed while watching the show is, all of them go through a rough patch at one point or another, and ALL of them say (paraphrasing)

If we hadn’t been married, I would have been gone by now.  If we had only been dating, it would have been a red flag and I wouldn’t have stayed with him/her.

In less than three weeks, each of them found something in their spouse who, had they not signed up and COMMITTED to sticking in out because they were married AND because they signed a contract to do the show, they would have left.  Every one of them, so far, with the exception of one, have been able to get help with COMMUNICATION and were able to sit down to discuss the situation and work it out.  It doesn’t mean we didn’t see some anger, passion, fighting, and disagreements come out of some of the couples, but, for the most part, AFTER they were able to calm down and actually TALK about their emotions and feelings, they grew from it.  It is just an example of how “knee jerk” we have become as a society.  If we don’t like something, we just walk away.  It’s like we don’t want to give anything a chance.

Another thing I found interesting about the experiment(s) is that, in each season, at least one person did not find their new spouse attractive.  Don’t get me wrong, not a single person featured on the show would be what society would consider unattractive.  You never see shows like this with people who are over weight, in their forties, etc.  I’ll never be chosen for a reality show about relationships!  I don’t think I’m ugly, that isn’t what I’m saying.  I’m just saying, I would not be the society pretty reality shows pick for love and romance.  We are left to figure it out on our own.  Again, sidetracked….back to my point.  Both seasons, one of the females did not find her new spouse attractive.  To the point they wanted to run away.  They didn’t think it would ever work.  He didn’t give her butterflies when she saw him.  Within two weeks, both of them were changing their opinion.  Not only did they no longer want to run, but they talked about how attractive they actually found him.  I do think we can sometimes get hung up on looks too much.  Yes, there has to be an attraction, don’t get me wrong….but is the attraction all physical or does there have to be a mental attraction as well?  I know I personally have changed over the years as to what I find attractive.  It doesn’t mean I’m lowering my standards it just means I can appreciate a man’s smile, or his eyes, and find something like that which makes him so attractive in my eyes.  I always say, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it starts with a mirror”

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Sometimes we let society, our friends, and family interfere with our relationships and affect the way we see someone else.  In the past, I wrote about loving for love and yourself, no one else and it is so true.  In the case of these couples, their spouses personality shone through and made them attractive to the other person.  Had they not been doing the show, they would have never met, never taken the time to learn about each other, and see how attracted they really were to this guy they called ugly.

Relationships are not easy.  Not the lasting ones anyway.  They take work.  Today would have been my parent’s 60th wedding anniversary.  My dad passed away in 2013.  He had suffered from Alzheimer’s for ten years before he passed.  Their marriage wasn’t perfect.  It had it’s ups and downs.  I remember listening to my share of arguments between the two of them.  Sometimes the storms were rough, but after they made it through them, they came out stronger.  That is something I learned from them.  Getting through the rough spots doesn’t just get you to the other side, it makes you STRONGER as an individual.  My mom had the strength to make it through some really difficult times with a man who could be, at times, a grumpy man, and went on to care for him for five years of his Alzheimer’s keeping him at home until we, her children, stepped in to let her know he needed more care than she could physically give him.  He spent his remaining five years in a nursing home, where she went almost every day to see him and feed him his lunch.  The only days she didn’t go was if she was out of town or the weather was just too bad for her to get out.  She stayed true to him and a wife to him to the very end.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should stay with someone JUST to stay with them.  I’m saying we, as a society, are quick to react instead of trying to communicate and fix.  I know everyone says they have a list of reasons why they would leave and every thing else is things they would try to work through, but is that really true?  Think about reasons why you have left some of your past long term relationships…..was it because of something on your “hard” list or was it really due to poor communication?

Clearly I am not a relationship expert, I am single right now, so I won’t profess to have all of the answers.  Sometimes I am guilty of seeing the red flags and making some up if there isn’t really any evident ones.  I get not everything is solved with communication if both parties are not committed.  This isn’t about people who meet to decide if there is a connection, it is about couples who are ready to SAY they are a couple and be in a committed relationship…..don’t run the minute things make you want to run.  Stop.  Calm down so your brain is doing the communication, not your emotions.  Then COMMUNICATE about what happened about what upset you.  It’s amazing how much better communication goes when it’s done in a calm, honest manner, not an emotional, hurtful manner.

In the end, we all have to remember humans are just that; human.  We are individuals trying to make it work with another individual.  It’s not easy.  It’s not always fun.  The thing to remember is, it is worth it!

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